Monday, March 31, 2014

Tell us one thing you learned about yourself this month

Wow! I just realized that this is the last day of the March National Blog Posting Month Challenge. I made it! This was the first month that I posted something every day on my blog. That is a big change for me. Even though I’ve had my blogs for over a year, I’ve never posted every day. I used to think once a week was a lot.

Now I know a bit more about blogging and hope to post more often than once a week!

What did I learn about myself this month? I learned that, hey, I like to blog! I’ve had art blogs for years, but mainly just posted my artwork and never really wrote much on them. Now that I was “forced” to post every day for this challenge, I am more comfortable with revealing more of myself to whoever stops by to read my blog.

I didn’t realize that I had so much to say. I knew I had a lot of stories and experiences in my life, but I have always been private about them. Since I’ve blogged so much this month, I’ve found that it’s not so bad letting these stories go.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Do you enjoy being alone? What do you do when you're by yourself?

I love being alone. I read, listen to podcasts, write novels, draw or paint, watch movies or TV, browse the internet, study languages, and look stuff up on YouTube.

I’m like Burgess Meredith in The Twilight Zone where he’s the only survivor of an atomic blast and he’s ecstatic to finally have time to read all the books he wants.

Part of the reason why I like zombie movies is the thought that after you've gotten away from the zombies, have enough food and drink, and have a safe place to sleep, you have all the time in the world to read without interruptions.

Right now I’m the only one awake in the house and ON THE COMPUTER typing out blog entries. My blog seems to have taken up a lot of my alone time lately. :o)

Stray dogs and Earthquakes

When I was out with my family today eating outside at a restaurant, we saw 3 stray dogs wandering around together. They looked well kept and at least one of them had a collar. I was worried about them because they kept crossing the street. Luckily they were at a 4-way intersection with stop signs so the cars were all driving slow.

My next thought was, "Uh oh, we're going to have a big earthquake."

According to Jim Berkland, animals know when earthquakes are coming and tend to run away from their homes. That's when you see a lot of "lost pet" signs.

As we sat there eating, a 4th dog joined the group of 3. They went up and down the streets and around the block. I kept expecting the owners to come by and get their dogs. Didn't they notice their pets missing?

I didn't want to call the shelter because then they'd be killed for sure. We already took a stray dog in so we definitely couldn't take these dogs in. One was a young husky, another was brown with a curly tail (I'm not good with identifying dog breeds), one was a short white dog with long hair, and the last one was a black fluffy dog. I'm allergic to dogs, but it just so happens that I'm not allergic to our dog because she is part poodle. It was meant to be.

My oldest son was very worried about the dogs. I hope the owners found their dogs before it got dark. The black one was the slowest moving and would be hard to see in the dark. A police car drove by, but I couldn't see if it stopped for the dogs.

It's strange to see so many dogs lost together. It didn't seem like they were all from the same home, but who knows?

Maybe they were spooked from all the earthquakes we've been having. I heard we had another one yesterday afternoon. That's at least 4 earthquakes in 2 days. My mom said there were more. I've lived in California most of my life and I don't remember earthquakes being this active, ever.

Also, yesterday while I was visiting a friend, I noticed a "lost dog" sign posted on a tree outside their neighbor's house. Interesting.

Well, I guess we'll see if these lost dogs will be an indication of another earthquake.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Have you ever taken a trip by yourself? Do you prefer to travel with people or alone?

I moved to France on my own and surprisingly wasn’t afraid. Maybe I was just too stupid or naïve to be afraid. About 6 or 7 months into living there, I was jogging alone on an isolated dirt path that I ran on every day and it dawned on me that I was alone. My family was across the ocean and unable to help me if I needed it. That’s when I got scared.

I don’t travel anymore, but if I did, I would prefer to travel with other people. There are just too many crazies out there and they all seem to gravitate toward me if I’m alone.

When traveling with other people, though, you need to get along with that person really well. Traveling can ruin a friendship. I’ve heard about it many times. One person will want to visit a particular place and the other might not want to. Or one person gets up late and you miss your tour group or bus or train or whatever. Arguments and resentments arise. Next thing you know, you’re traveling separately. You have to share living spaces with another person and it’s like having to learn to live with a new roommate. It can be tough.

But, there is safety in numbers so I think it’s wise to travel with a friend. You need someone to watch your stuff or hold your place in line or train compartment and the like while you go to the restroom or wherever you need to go.

Plus, there are creepy guys that tend to prey on lone women travelers. They’re like leeches that you can’t get shake. You need a friend who can back you up if you need it.

When I was in New York, a guy was following me on his bicycle. My friend turned around and told him off. Lol

In Paris, a weird lady tried to touch my face. I saw her coming and moved away. She missed me and ended up touching my friend’s hair. My friend made a huge scene. She was yelling at the lady in her broken French. It was frightening and funny at the same time. People were watching us and laughing. We escaped on the train. Before the train took off, a guy came up to the window and kissed the glass right next to my friend’s face. She squealed in fright. N’importe quoi!

It was my fault for smiling at the lady and saying, “Bonjour” to her in politeness when I saw her staring at me. That’s when she came after me. My friend wasn’t even paying attention. She was looking the other way and was taken by surprise when the lady touched her. I confessed what I did and got a scolding from my friend not to be friendly to strangers. I swear the lady looked totally normal. She looked like the church lady from Saturday Night Live with cat-eye-glasses and a nice long coat. Like a librarian or something. I didn’t know she was going to be crazy.

Lesson: Don’t act Californian in France.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Earthquake March 28, 2014

So, we just had an earthquake and 2 aftershocks tonight. The one at 8:03pm was a 3 pointer and we didn’t feel it. Even though it was near my mom, she didn’t feel it but she remembers brushing her teeth at that time and thinking about an earthquake.

At around 9:13pm I was in the kitchen with my son Kaleo teaching him how to make spam musubi when the cabinets and counter started shaking. I looked at him and said, “Oh, it’s an earthquake.” He didn’t know what it was at first. He thought the sink was going to explode. That was the aftershock of the earthquake at 8:03, but it was bigger. It was a 5.3 and felt all the way in Arizona. Wow. This time my mom felt it, too.

I’ve been in a big earthquake before, so I know what it’s like. This one was scary, but not that big. I usually wait to see if they get bigger. I don’t start running for cover unless I hear the loud banging and feel the ground shaking like I did in the big one I was in.

I went to see if my son Bodhi was okay and not freaked out. He was just sitting down playing his video game on the Xbox like he didn’t even care.

Kaleo, on the other hand, was scared. He said, “Aaagh! My legs are weak now!” He said his heart was beating hard. Mine was, too, but I was laughing at him. I told him another one was probably going to hit which would be the aftershock. He went under the table. I told him they weren’t going to hit that soon. He’ll be there all night.

I called my mom since it was so close to her house. As I was talking to her, another one hit. I ran to get the kids and stood in the hallway where nothing could fall on us. They were scared, but the quake didn’t reach us. Sometimes it takes several seconds before it reaches you depending on how far away it is.

Ever since I was in the big earthquake, my body goes through some sort of post-traumatic stress or something every time we have an earthquake. It’s involuntary. My mind knows the earthquake isn’t that strong and it’s nothing to worry about, but my skin feels like it is being pricked with a thousand needles and my heart races. This time I didn’t feel the needles and I hope it finally went away after all these years.

This one tonight was a rolling earthquake which is not as bad as the ones that shake up and down. When the big one hit, my friend said he couldn’t even walk through the house because the house was shaking so badly.

My kids are scared and hiding under their blankets, like that’s going to do any good. It’s the first earthquake they have been in that they have been awake for.

We just had an earthquake a week or so ago. It seems unusual to have another fairly big one so soon. Big enough to feel anyway. It’s probably partly because of the weather. This week has been fairly cold. Well in the 70s. That’s cool for us. Plus it’s supposed to rain in a couple of days.

The full moon was a little under 2 weeks ago. Jim Berklund was right again. I just posted on this topic last week. Full moon, road kill, lost pets. I think that headaches or dizziness are also an indication. I had a slight headache yesterday. Maybe it’s the electromagnetic pull from under the earth that is pulling at the fluid in the inner ear or maybe the brain to cause the headaches and dizziness. My friend at the gym said she got dizzy tonight. That could’ve been from her workout, though. Who knows?

My mom and friend think we are going to have a bigger one coming soon. I have the same feeling. Hopefully we’re wrong.

It makes me think of Yellowstone. That caldera is overdue to blow. That would be really scary if it erupted. I hope all this activity doesn’t mean it’s getting ready.

Okay, it’s late and I’m falling asleep. If we do have an aftershock tonight, I might just sleep right through it.

How old were you when you started your first diary?

I was around 11 when I was given my first diary. It was a Little Twinstars diary and I loved it. It was so cool. I was in awe of it because it was cute and it came in a twin set. One was red and the other was blue. They fit nicely into their own casing. Then I had a Hello Kitty diary which I also loved.

I wrote in diaries for years until I discovered pen pals. I probably had about 20+ pen pals all over the world. There is a pen pal I had in France who I still keep in touch with today, but now it’s through email and Facebook instead of pen and paper. We hung out together when we lived in Paris. She lives in Bretagne now where she’s from which is still in France, but not near Paris. I think I’ve known her for 25 years now. Yikes! That’s a long time!

…and one day you wake up and are surprised to find that you are old.