Monthly Archives: April 2013

I sleep too much

I remember before college I didn’t need so much sleep. I think it was sometime after college, when I got my second, really stressful job, that I started needing sleep quite as much. That job killed me; I was unqualified to be a programmer* and out of sheer stress I spent the day surfing ebay and reading the Boston netgoth mailing list, waiting for the evening parties.

*(having been a double major in media theory and graphic design as an undergrad. I dropped out of Intro to Computer Science, as it bored me to tears…. and I had started dating J then and was giving him the time I needed to be spending in the lab.)

Anyway, I eventually had to quit that job, but I was so stressed out that the day I quit I came down with the flu. It was like my entire system collapsed.

And thanks to grad school, I’ve been aggressively taxing my adrenals ever since. Is it a wonder that I need a lot of rest? So how do I get my stress down when so much of it is a result of genuinely stressful external life events? (I suppose you could argue it’s my reaction to them that is the problem.) Should I forgive myself and let myself sleep as much as I can?

I mean…that’s all well and good, but you try keeping your self-esteem up when you’re a “type-A” productivity oriented gal who finds herself sleeping until noon some days.

I do the yoga. I do the meditation. I walk a lot in Tokyo. I try to run. I do the acupuncture. I do massage when in Texas (free at my Uni!) I drink herbal tea and avoid caffeine… except in Tokyo where decaf can be a bitch to find.

Last night around 1AM, T was lying next to me in bed, his eyes red-rimmed with sleepiness. He’d been dragged out drinking with co-workers (inset long boring explanation of how someone who owns a clothing shop has co-workers), because it’s Golden Week here in Japan and those who don’t really have a vacation, like T, are pretending they do. Anyway, he was commenting on how much I sleep, and I was getting defensive and cranky as usual. And he added that “futsu” (normal) in Japan is to come home from work at 1AM, cook dinner, take a bath, and then go to bed around 3. Then get up early the next morning and repeat.

In a  somewhat bossy voice I told him that in the American way of thinking, people need 7-8 hours of sleep a night to really function, and many people think getting to bed before 11pm is ideal. He “mm-hmm”‘ed me in a skeptical voice while I grumbled to myself that the whole sleep-dep thing is why Japanese people are always sleeping on the train, in meetings, at their desks, etc.

He added that days off are for sleeping. You sleep all day to make up for the rest of your week. Does this sound reasonable and healthy to you? Sleep culture here is just fucked.

I am googling “anxiety disorder sleeping too much” right now.

Oh, and I just got an Aeropress coffee maker (not an affiliate link, alas). It’s kind of awesome.



T told me yesterday that he likes ironing. This makes me adore him even more. Really, the man could be the perfect housewife, which is lovely because I am possibly the world’s worst housewife.

Wait, that’s not fair. I love making my own cleaning products from essential oils and putting them in little hand-labeled bottles. Oh my god, just thinking about it makes me cheery. In addition to loving home decorating, I love clean things….. but I really loathe cooking. I haven’t been able to get a handle on vegetarian meal planning for two for a week… in Tokyo, where there ain’t no Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (my crutches in the U.S.)

I am also a total workaholic. I want to be the 1950s dad if T and I ever have kids… god, I can’t believe I even just typed that. When I was with J, I had convinced myself there was no way I’d ever want kids, as he didn’t want kids. I am slowly realizing now how desperately unhappy I was then (not his fault, our fault), and what a miserable crank I must have seemed to so many people in Texas.

When I am upset, T looks at me with the kindest eyes I think I’ve ever seen. They even crinkle in the corners when he smiles. He tells me he’ll listen to me any time.  And I threw out the man’s undies (see previous post).

I am starting to think I have a tweak about throwing things out. I hate clutter, and he (being Japanese) attracts it like a magnet. So when he says “This Starbucks mug is useless” I grab it excitedly and put it in the “freecycle/free on craigslist” pile. But then he grabs it back with a wounded look, saying “but it’s sentimental! It was a present!”

I worry that I am cold, because a useless (to me) present gets freecycled. Because to someone else it may not be so useless. Is that so wrong?

Right, it’s a lovely day and I am in my jammies still. Was supposed to Skype with parents at 9, but it didn’t happen because I was up until 3 feeling way way too genki. At 9 I wrote them an apology email and went back to bed. Until noon.

Maybe I was right that I should never have children 😉

Uh, hi

Today is tattoo day. Or rather, appointment #5 in the continuing saga of this big shoulder/arm/chest tattoo.  I’ve been wanting to get this thing done for years, and the truth is, it’s gone way overbudget, but I keep pretending that it hasn’t because I don’t want a half-finished tattoo. Anyway, I arrived to the Shibuya shop and my tattoo artist had forgotten our appointment, which had never before happened. She actually is going to give me a steep discount to come back later tonight. So here I sit, with the windows open in my apartment (T’s apartment) on this lovely sunny Tokyo day, farting around on WordPress and NOT doing research work until I need to leave for this appointment

Yesterday I sucked it up and went to a real therapist, rather than the University (the U) counselors. The Indian-British woman I saw was light years better than most of the American counselors I’ve ever seen, which shocked me because she was also cheaper (shout out to ) She also speaks 6 languages fluently, which seems to be a talent of many Indian ex-pats I’ve met and never ceases to amaze me given my struggles with Japanese. (Then again, she doesn’t speak Japanese.. mwahaha.)

When talking about the situation with J I almost cried twice, so I was a mess for most of the day. Adding to the stress my money situation is a bit dire (to say the least) for three reasons: 1. my debit card recently gave out. The card itself is too old, and it won’t scan anymore, anywhere. So my money is kinda stuck. 2. No credit card/backup in Japan while I wait for a new card to be made… which is taking forever. 3.  I am actually quite a careful budgeter and recently jumped in to using You Need a Budget.  So when I prepared to sell off my old laptop I coordinated with the buyer and wrote that into my budget. But… he hasn’t paid me yet. Because he lives far away we agreed that he’d send me photocopies of his ID cards and then after he received the laptop in the mail, he’d verify that it works and then pay me. But the bastard hasn’t paid me a dime yet and it’s been two weeks! I just told the miserable SOB that if he doesn’t pay me by Tuesday I am calling the police, which sounds like a nightmare to me but… I have no other leverage.

So I can’t access this money… that I don’t have anyway.

Broke broke broke. Last night T, feeling sorry for me, bought me wine and cheese. And then he made me an omelette when we got home. I rewarded him by crying on his shoulder and getting his favorite “full of holes, but it’s soooo soft I can’t throw it out” t-shirt all wet. I cried about the stress of living here, of my life turning upside down since I moved here, missing my dogs, etc. I had a big ol’ cry and then fell asleep. I am a fun girl, let it be known.

He made up for coming home tipsy after hanging out with man-friends and waking me up at 2AM by calling my name “L-chan, I loooooove you” like a 5 year old the day before. I almost pushed him out the window. Being woken up is one of my pet-peeves. If I ever manage to have a child, god help me.

For some reason the man will not get rid of clothing with holes. I blame his Japanese “motainai”-ness (“waste not, want not” as my mom would say). So just now I saw his orange undies in the laundry pile… they have 2 big holes in them. They are now in the trash. But I had better take that trash out before he gets off work or they’ll be straight back in the laundry pile. The man owns more undies than I do (sexy, stylin undies nonetheless)~ what does he need the holey pair for? I think orange is his favorite color and I’m about to break his heart, but you can see the man’s butt through the back!

I think a nap is called for. Nothin like a nap in the sunny warm breeze.

Also am trying to figure out how to add my Amazon wishlists here, because I have this fantasy that somehow a mystery present will arrive at my door someday.