Tag Archives: money

Got my Pumpkins, But not my Life Plan

Every week is different, but they’re all pretty interesting… what makes them so is the combination of different projects I’m working on at the moment. Project one is the babies. Project two is teaching, and trying to maneuver behind the scenes to turn that job into a full-time position so that I can stay in academia without leaving Houston.

More than a year ago, before I came down with a case of “the pregnancy”, I submitted a journal article. I got back the usual “revise and resubmit”, but I actually hadn’t opened the feedback until now, a year later. I was too tired and overwhelmed.

The reviews are hilarious. One recommended immediate acceptance and gave it the highest possible scores. The second went on what sounded like an emotional rant about what a piece of garbage it is, and gave it the lowest possible scores. The editor was like (….) but wrote that if I managed to garner such extreme reactions I must be doing something right. Kinda cool. Anyway, I must revise some bits to address “angry reviewer”‘s gripes.

I am also toying with taking on freelance projects- this happened by accident. A design firm in town got in touch with me out of the clear blue and asked if I’d do a three week project for them. Then, after my hopes skyrocketed, they flaked- said they’d decided they could handle the project in-house after all. But I got a taste of the money, and I must admit, I liked the idea of actually getting to pay down my debt.

Speaking of, my first choice academic publisher wants to talk to me about my book- in person. How do I explain that I don’t have the money at the moment to fly to conferences at which I’m not presenting because their call for papers happened when I was birthin’ the twins? (Plus, I don’t know whether they’re even worth the investment right now!)

Oh, so much life confusion.

Ok, so some random things:

I can hear little C2 babbling upstairs- the little dork has only been “napping” for an hour, but he slept through the night last night (Sweet Jesus yes) so he’s forgiven.

After seeing how much baby food for two growing twins is costing us, I am back on the “making baby food” bandwagon (not an affiliate link- I don’t have my act together enough for that). I may be behind on all other crafting and planning and tidying and exercising, but the baby food thing is happening. You’ll see.

After my friend K got me to go to two in-person classes with her, I tried the online Bar Method classes yesterday. How are they? I have no idea- a minute into it, the twins started fussing and crying, and they didn’t let up until I forlornly turned off the video and gave them my full attention.

Being only the stepparent, I had no idea Monday was a day off for A and C. Made me wonder whether I have the day off from teaching too. But nope, it’s the usual routine. I got a fun primer on the sins of Columbus from C this morning – as we say in Texasland, Happy Fall y’all.


10 Ways that Divorce Has Improved My LIfe

I’m having a glum morning. Divorcing means losing my current health insurance, and although I can and will (and have to by their rules) switch to the University’s grad student insurance, it will cost more than $1000 to sign up…. which I just don’t have. And it’s, of course, not as comprehensive by a long shot. And I can’t afford to order my contact lenses… (seriously, screw LASIK. Everyone I know who’s had it has needed vision correction within 10 years, and my eye doc says those who have gotten LASIK pay his mortgage and Mercedes car payments. Feh.)

I know I’m in the company of many, many people who have been tossed from financial security to a precarious position by divorce, but it’s still hard for independent and proud me. So, in order to lift my mood, I’m going to list the things that kind of rock about having to go through a divorce:

1. I’m Getting Fit. I am the fittest I’ve been since high school. Thanks to my friend K, I did that 40 day yoga challenge, and it converted me to Baptiste Power Yoga (sad that I wasn’t into it when I lived in Cambridge or Philly at the same time as Baron Baptiste!) I love feeling myself get stronger. I love being able to do push-ups, and trying new poses that were previously beyond me. I even like the heated rooms at this point. I’m in Bucks County, PA for two weeks visiting my parents, and am missing my Houston studio, even though I’ve been doing yoga here too! Being single means I can go to yoga whenever the whim strikes, without compromising or apologizing or negotiating the car.

2. And Getting Over my Fear of Loneliness. When I moved to Japan, I suffered immensely because I’d never lived alone and was dealing with too many pressures at once. And when I first returned to Houston, I was terrified and depressed. I felt as though I was haunting my own house. I paced. I frantically made plans. I fell into a horrible black sadness every time there was a lull in my distractions. Mostly I used dating to avoid dealing with my own mind. But I’m learning to be okay with just hanging out alone (In the past I loved alone time, because I knew that eventually someone would come home and relieve me of my solitude.) Now if I can learn stillness…

3. Learning to cook. Living with a great cook for my entire adult life meant I never did learn how to cook much of anything. I’m enjoying dusting off all of the cookbooks I had pointlessly accumulated, and making the things I once wanted to try. I’m just -learning- how to enjoy the process and results. Nobody mocks my knife skills, nobody tells me I did anything wrong. I can just learn as I go. I know I don’t cut things correctly, but my food still tastes good to me.

4. Getting to budget. I do so much better with money when I can be a super control freak about it, and without some other reluctant party to mess it up and sabotage my efforts, I can save for the things I want that are more expensive (of course, with no income that’s trickier…) When I splurge on something, I know it’s okay for my budget and I don’t have to argue with anyone over it.

5. Getting to travel if I feel like traveling. If I can scrape together the money (yay frequent flyer miles!) and, so long as I can find a way to deal with the dogs, I’m free to go. Being married to someone who hates to travel was sad during my 20s. If we’d had a budget (see #4) we could have saved for trips… but we didn’t even take a honeymoon.

6. Juice Fast? Sure, why not?. I can randomly decide to do a 7-day cleansing fast if I want to, and nobody can say boo. I’m looking at you, January 7 (when my sister goes back to Philly from Houston). I’m going to try the Cleansing Diet that Baron Baptiste used on his 7-day Bootcamps. I’ll probably get all surly again. But they really do have an overall positive effect on me, and I didn’t expect them to, so I’m not sure the case is strong for a mere placebo effect.

7. Learning to be less useless. With nobody around to handle things like the smoke detector needing a battery change, or the paint chipping on my back doors, I’m just sort of learning to do them myself. I changed my own car oil the other day!

8. For the first time in my adult life, figuring out who I really am.  I defined myself in relation to another person for my entire adult life (19-35), and I am discovering I didn’t have much of a sense of my own strength, or even who I am apart from his opinion of me. So much of me was defined by the feedback I got from him, and not all of it was complementary. I’m also realizing that, because I was the submissive partner in the relationship, I deferred to J’s opinions on a lot of things- but I’m often right (too). Not always, but more than I thought I was.

9. Regaining my Sex Drive! Er, you might want to skip this, friends. But yeah, a dysfunctional relationship can really, really torpedo your sex drive, eh? I’m sure some people are able to sleep with a person towards whom they have years of accumulated hurt and pain and anger, but not I. And I’m enjoying feeling like a more healthy and vital person as a result of not having to wrestle with that emotional garbage constantly. I should qualify that the garbage is still there, but it has nothing to do with my current sex life. 

10. And…  Forcing me to Leave My House. When I am in a relationship, it’s just too easy for me to give in to my introverted instincts, to hide in my house with the other person. Thanks to being single, I’ve gone to (and participated in) The Moth, and Grownup Storytime. I’ve gone out for beers on weeknights, tried bars I hadn’t been to, etc. Forced to leave my house if I want human contact, my life is much more interesting now.

Because that’s what happens to braggers

NHK quiz show

I like this shot because I captured a great “derp face” on the left. Incidentally, T and I both got this question wrong.

T and I were playing along with a Japanese TV-quiz program. And the first question was on the history of the Sumidagawa fireworks festival (hanabi matsuri- not the question in the photo). I immediately chose A as my answer- of course the original festival was a Shogunate sponsored event “back in the day”. T decided that it had to do with honoring the dead. When we saw the on-screen tarento’s answers, not a single one had chosen along with me, so I immediately started up with the boasting: “Look at me, a foreigner. I know more about Japanese history than all of you. I study this stuff for a living, you know.”

T, as usual, let me sit around with my chest all puffed out and spew a whole bunch of hot air, before the quiz revealed that he had been correct, not me.


T was kind enough not to say a word. He didn’t even look at me sideways. At the end of the program, he actually commented how awesome it was that i was good enough at Japanese to participate in the show. And he meant it. I’m laughing at myself as I write this.

I have moved on to mocking the Japanese accents of some tarento on the next program he recorded, mostly out of jealousy that they’re truly fluent and I am not, and this brings me to another point:

Comparison is the root of suffering in my life.

I met a guy today who’s a PhD student at one of the Best Universities in Japan. He’s my age. He has lived here a long time. While I spent most of my 20s teaching graphic design/art in the U.S., he came here, worked in the industry that I’m now studying, and became fluent in Japanese over time. He’s married to a Japanese woman, and has a kid. The kid is no sweat off his back, because she does all the childcare. (His words, not mine.) So often nicer to be an academic man than academic woman… sigh.

He seemed so happy….

In the U.S. I only play the competitive game with women (sigh), but in Japan it’s “me vs. all Americans”. I don’t feel threatened by foreigners, male or female, from any other country (even you, Canada).

Because my life is in such shambles right now (in some ways. I must maintain perspective), I find myself extra vulnerable to this unproductive mental game-playing. Hearing someone is married, hearing someone is married enough to have a kid… these things send me into a downward spiral. And if they’re better at Japanese than me on top of it, I can spend a good 8 hours in a deep depression.

I’ve been trying to snap out of this thinking for years, but it’s time to really get on top of it and give thanks for my blessings, focus on the positive like it’s my job, etc. I’m a really dark person, prone to depression, and so this runs counter to my instincts and nature.

What snapped me out of it today is learning that a 52cm box is around $130 to mail from Japan– via cheap freight shipping even. I need to mail two 60cm boxes, at least….  I am kicking myself for not mailing my winter clothes back separately and sooner, and bringing so many books here! Now granted, I’ve -read- them all so it wasn’t a waste. And they were all books I needed to read for research. But I could have just checked them out of the university library in Tokyo, maybe. Lessons learned about how to handle moving abroad for 15 months. I’ll need to plan better for my future long research trips to Japan.


So yeah, once again money worries snapped me out of my depression and sent me into anxiety-land (which shares a border with depression and has terrible border-security).

And it led to the same kind of ungrateful thinking as before: “oh if I only had money I could just mail what I need to mail home with no worries, or dump it and just buy new copies of these books/new winter clothes/shoes in the U.S.” Guess that’s a lot of money.

I suppose I’ll go back to mocking the American on TV, because he probably could afford to send these boxes. He’s not attractive, or particularly charismatic, so I wonder what choices led him to where he is. Fluent Japanese + foreigner + talent agency member + not entirely hideous –> get to be on TV in Japan.

In a lot of ways I don’t really want to leave Japan. Considering how much my Japanese skill has improved since I moved here, I’d love to see what another year could do for me, and am afraid of backsliding in Houston. Also, Tokyo is just amazing in so many ways, and I’ll really miss the friends I’ve made here.

T is sleeping on my shoulder, which means he’s officially not watching the special on Kobe beef and I can turn it off. Poor cows.

Who me? I just write here

I have had to stop reading Facebook for a while. For a lot of reasons, coming in contact with certain kinds of content is… I guess what people call “triggering?” I never understood that term before this year, but had a vague sense that my lack of comprehension stemmed from it being a term with somewhat subjective meaning. In my case, it can mean panicking, often crying, falling off a mental health cliff, essentially. Vague much? I’m not doing much to help define “triggering”, am I? I like to use the site to keep in touch with people, but I won’t be clicking on “newsfeed” for a long time, I think. Today, when I did I freaked out for close to 2 hours. Not sure. It’s almost midnight now.

Gah, see, that stupid site derailed what was supposed to be the topic of this entry- my preparations to leave Japan for the foreseeable future. T took me to a Bunkyo-ku temple that is the main Tokyo site visited for concerns related to academia and academics. I was reading the prayers so many people had written and hung on wooden plaques, and I got a bit teary thinking about how earnestly these things were wished for, and how many of these students wouldn’t see their wishes come true.

We were there so T could buy and give me an academic omamori (お守り), to help me with my studies, and so I could buy an omamori for my father’s health and mail it to him (I did that today.) Dad’s is beautiful, in a wooden box wrapped in white tissue. They even wrote his name on it in katakana on the box. Even after his stroke, he hasn’t stopped drinking, and from here, praying at a shrine for his my health and happiness seemed like it couldn’t hurt. At least it made me feel better.


Until I take a photo of my actual omamori, here’s a placeholder image from a lovely blog I found. Cute story too: http://mizupon.exblog.jp/7449349

T helped me organize a research focus group, which happened last night, and it was a grueling, action-packed event, let me tell you. I shouldn’t have bothered to pick a place whose food I like, because I only got to eat hurriedly, when something I asked caused my interviewees to pause for a moment. I wound up looking longingly at the tofu, and I never did get to have any of the shabu-shabu.

As I get older, alcohol gives me wretched insomnia (if I drink more than two drink’s worth), and then I have a bad time the next day. Between the adrenaline and over-exhaustion and booze I was up until well after the sun came up, woke up at 10AM to cancel everything for the day, and then went back to bed for a couple of hours.

I am just done, mentally and physically. Like any modern holder-of-a-cellphone policy I knew that cancelling my contract with Softbank early was going to result in a fee, but when I signed up and asked about it, I was sure the guy said it’d be 9000-yen-ish ($90). Indeed, that’s the only number printed on the contract, but it turns out that this is just part of what come to a nearly $600.00 charge.

I was with T at the Softbank store when I learned this, and it was a good thing too- because 1) He got pissed at the clerk, and while I felt like an idiot-child once again he said “don’t you know it’s illegal in Japan for people to sign contracts they don’t understand? She never heard 60,000 yen! She was never told that. When she got the iPhone, she said she’d be cancelling the policy in August, and she was never told about the charge being so high!”

In my head I thought: “I am an adult, and it’s nobody’s responsibility to look after me but mine. It’s my responsibility to make sure I understand everything I sign, not the government’s to make sure I am protected from my own stupidity.”

2) Still, this stress pushed me over some mental edge I’ve been teetering on, and once we left the store, I freaked completely out. Not in a crying way- in a … I went nonverbal for more than an hour sort of way, and stared vacantly into space. I know I was sitting, and T was trying to get me to snap to it… (poor guy has learned more about anxiety disorders this year…) Then I started shaking, and I finally managed to squeak that I needed to go to the hospital, because I was on the verge of fainting, and I felt like I was talking to him down a deep tunnel.

But we didn’t go… I’d actually already been this week. I had a fever and apparently a … hm, uterine infection. Yeah. Anyway. The infection causing the fever…. so … *cough*

Moving on… I don’t know why we didn’t go. I don’t really remember. But at some point we started walking, and that felt good. The adrenaline in my body had something to do other than churn around (oh how horribly inaccurate of a description that is). We walked. And we walked. From Shinjuku to…. ? And slowly, I came back to my body, and to the realization that I need to really scale back all of the stuff I am trying to cram in before I leave on August 15th. I just can’t be the person I usually am- a total workaholic cyclone.

T has an idea about the contract… I think it involves pointing out that I am incompetent to sign contracts in Japan. I despise this idea, and yet I have no money with which to pay Softbank, and I don’t think explaining to them that I almost finally entered nervous breakdown territory after I saw the bill is going to help my case.

To, um, circle back around… If it weren’t for T, my focus group wouldn’t have happened. He really organized the whole thing for me. He invited some of the zillion people he knows, he made sure there was an even mix of genders, he divided the groups up, he collected everyone’s money, he organized the restaurant reservation and payment, he told everyone not to forget their umbrellas that night, he did absolutely everything so all I had to do was write my questions and show up. He even messaged me the morning of to make sure I had my IC recorder charged and to ask if he could Japanese-grammar check my questions.

I have spun myself in circles trying to distance myself from him these past few weeks, since I know I have to leave… but even if we never wind up being “together” after this year, I think I’ll remember him as one of the best people I’ve ever met for the rest of my life.  (And oh, he just got home! T was treated to a yaki-niku fest with some clothes importers tonight; he said 3 men managed to rack up a 30,000 yen bill (around $300!) )

Let it never be said that I’m not attracted to nice guys, because I love T more every day for his kindness. (If the bitch corrects my Japanese grammar one more time before Sunday thought I might cut him.)

Two sides of the… boy?

I was thinking today (now that I am a bit more stable and not at the same risk of balcony-jumping I was a few weeks back).. how can I give up T? We have conversations like this, which I’ve wanted to have with a boy since I was about 9

(He had sent me a link to a shoe shore that had opened near his own store):

Me: その店の靴、全部を買いたいよ!それから世界の一番かわいい女性になる。

T: でも、世界で一番リズは今でも可愛いよ♡

Translation: I want to buy all of that store’s shoes. Then I’ll be the cutest girl in the world.

T: But you’re already the cutest girl in the world ♡

I mean.. c’mon. I led the witness. But because I’ve never had a boy say something like that to me in my entire life, I wasn’t prompting (really!) and I was genuinely all “oh shucks, me?” when I read that.

Also, I think I have a separate personality in Japanese…. I don’t say shit like that in English. English-Liz is far more jaded, sarcastic, and wary. Maybe it’s a facet of the language? Interesting…

So just when I was thinking “He’s such a sweetheart”, he f*ked me off royally. We met up at Shinjuku San-chome station, and neither of us could decide what to do about dinner, as it was nearly 10pm and we were both exhausted/hungry. “Indian food?” he suggested. I agreed instantly because, dude, Indian food.

He ordered the most expensive set on the menu. We went to pay and it came to around 3000 yen.

T: I only have 1000 yen on me, so here.

Me: ?! (Thinking “We could have gone somewhere cheaper/you could have ordered less etc.”)

I was pissed because this was after Pizza Saturday. I should just paste in screen caps of the Japanese Line conversation the way C did in this entry, but I’ll paraphrase instead.

T: What do you want to do about dinner?

Me: I was going to check and see if there’s a good pizza coupon tonight.

T: Okay.

Me: There is! 1100 yen off! Plus I have a 210 yen credit. So a large comes to….. only 2500 yen! What do you think? Should we order it?

T: Yes, we should order it then!

Me: What toppings do you want on your half?

T: You can pick!

Me: Let me know if you wanna fork it over for that chicken appetizer with fries thing you like (the Wafu Chicken Combo… bastard wafu chicken combo)

T: I love that combo

Me: I know. So should I order this? Let me know. I’m really really hungry as I skipped lunch. Is this okay?

T: Sure.

So I ordered and then the next exchange was:

Me: Pizza’s here. When do you think you’ll get to the apartment?

T: Soon, but I don’t know what to eat.

Me: ….. ???? You could eat…. pizza? Or… the chicken combo?

T: Really? Oh thank you so much!

Me: ….. ?????

(We’d ordered pizza 1000x before, and had the same conversation before, and always split the bill…. so I was thinking “okay, this is weird, but of course if he eats more than half he’ll give me half of the money…”)

Nope. Not a dime.


So tonight at the Indian restaurant I was -pissed-

We then went to a kombini (convenience store). I bought a banana and some bran-biscuit crap/non-food item for breakfast tomorrow. Just as I was paying, he said to the cashier: “Oh and Marlboro Menthol Lights.”

I whipped around like he’d grabbed my ass. My look must have been one of fire and brimstone as he said quickly “I’ll pay you back tomorrow.”

First he has me pay for his meat, and then his cigarettes? Two things that in conversation I’ve told him I am unwilling to use my money for? To contextualize, he knows that my financial situation is really dire right now. Yeah, I’m ordering food and not cooking…  I’ve been doing
research in the evenings and not getting back until late so it’s just wound up that way. Ok, ok, I still hate cooking too. That’s a part of it.

Bastard had better pay me back….  I can’t be the cutest girl on the planet if he keeps sponging my shoe money off of me (kidding! too broke for shoes). And I don’t forget money issues  between me and other people, which is why borrowing money genuinely upsets me.

People watching from Omotesando

Working does help (oddly enough considering how much I procrastinate lately). So does getting out of the apartment, which is a space I mostly associate with crying until I pass out. I had an appointment today in Omotesando, so I just stayed here. I caught a glimpse of myself in a bathroom mirror, and my face looked drawn and grey, with deep bags under my eyes. My appearance startled me so much that I took a photo and Line-ed it to J… I think I wanted him to see the physical toll that all of this is taking on me.

My parents are the only reason I was able to extend my research stay another 60 days… annoyingly, had I known when I applied for this grant that I’d need to be here 15 months this time around the Grant Agency would have funded me… but I didn’t anticipate it, and when I was poised to run out of money on June 15, my parents wired me the money to cover my continued stay. I feel really guilty, actually… at 34 I wish I was supporting them. Until recently I wasn’t broke, and I didn’t know that I would be, so I didn’t plan for this. I genuinely don’t know how I am going to cover my bills come December. I might have to see if someone wants to rent a room in my house. (I wonder if $400/month is fair for full use of my furnished house. It’s in Houston, and a 15 minute drive from campus in the uncool direction…)

I so much prefer Omotesando to Harajuku, proving, I think, that I am indeed a giant yuppie.

Monday I do a presentation about my research in Japanese. Oh my… am going to see if I can run it by T on Sunday evening. To distract everyone from my incoherent babbling I am using lots of photos. This is contrary to the usual English-language anthro conference approach of reading an essay out loud to a room full of people whose power of concentration must be better than mine.

I kind of want to get Japanese fancy manicure-nails done before I leave, just to do it, but I wonder how long they last… miss my cheap American pedicures.

Right, anyway, parents sent me money, and they actually sent extra to help with my medical expenses of late (woah, baby carriage filled with 5 Chihuahuas just passed my cafe… distracting).. so today I was wearing a pair of shoes that has somehow, recently become way too small for me. My feet aching as I walked, I leapt at the chance to nab a cute pair of strappy sandals for $30 (3000 yen). Ironically the shop only had size 25, and I’m a 26, but I tried the LLs on and they fit well enough. So I bought my first luxury item (tattoo and eating out aside- which are not to be downplayed) in months.

I tried to leave my old shoes with the shop owner and not take the box, but she was having none of that. Not that I blame her. I’ll put them up for free on craigslist and see what happens. (There go those dogs again!)

I keep wondering how American tourists end up here. Considering how few vacations I’ve taken in my adult life, I am often startled to realize that other people… do that. I wish while I am in the “neighborhood” I could see Korea (North, of course) or China or Australia… but I don’t know how I’m going to financially pull off the mandatory conferences next academic year, let alone gallivanting around East Asia!

Also confused lately about which name to use. I am legally still LM, but I already think of myself and am trying to get people to refer to me as LR… I have to go back and forth depending on the situation. And I think I’m confusing a lot of people. Never. Never changing my name again… and I suppose someday I do want to meet someone and fall in lurve again…

(see, I still do have hope despite the depression)

Wow, I meant to take a 2 minute break from working and went on this ramble…

I never wanted to get a divorce (does anyone?) … my anxiety makes me rather conservative about how I live my life, so… yeah, despite appearances I’m just a homebody who wants to feel safe. I feel like I am surrounded by babies and pregnant women right now…. and cruelly, as I am 34, I know it’s the wrong time for me to be pregnant/have a child, but seeing infants reminds me of how alone I am.

I think I’m going to pick up this book soon: Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, although Eric K can suck it for having a family of his own.

So maybe this fluffy one too: “Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent”

I like making lists

Apparently, Takashi seriously thought that all Americans walk around with guns. I told him, fudging a little, that I don’t know anyone with a gun. That’s not true. I know a few people who have one. My uncle has many, used for hunting alone (ugh, but I have a lot more respect for someone who can kill and prepare their own meat than someone who eats meat, but could never handle that. Ahem.)

Said uncle also built his house himself and lived in the mountains of Colorado until last year’s Colorado fires took his house. He used to keep fainting goats, and he likes smoking pot, and Lou Reed.

But I digress.

My parents offered to buy my house in Houston so I can return to it and live there. And make smoothies, and cook, and lie on my couch, and sit in the backyard with my dogs. (And swat away man-sized mosquitoes.) Granted, this solves one problem, but not everything… I still have mere peanuts to live on, pay the utilities with, etc. I’m pretty worried about basic survival, and embarrassed that my parents have to bail me out like this (and this really is the first time this has happened… I was financially independent, even doing well in my 20s).

I tend to write down anything of any importance that I need to communicate with someone. I never felt with J like I had control over my words when I spoke, and I am simply more accustomed to organizing my thoughts by typing them out than telling them to someone. Last night I grumpily told T that I didn’t want to watch anything in Japanese, and he had an Al Pacino-Robert deNiro film on DVR (Japanese subtitles), so we were watching that when he conked out midway through.

I couldn’t sleep, so I composed him one of my epic numbered-list emails- always a treat for someone to wake up to. It basically outlined that I was going back to the US and possibly never, ever coming back to Japan (ok, didn’t really write that and it isn’t true). But my advisor did offer me a really cool opportunity for the next academic year, and I need to be in Houston to take advantage of it.

Still, I have been cheery all day at the idea of going back to my house, and have only cried the one time in the last 24 hours.

Shrink told me that she wanted me to jot down what I do that helps these days. It’s a short list:

-Going to Lush (going to a Lush store always helps, though I wish the staff would leave me alone.. I know more about the products than do 95%)

-Yoga (but I don’t get to do it every day)

-American food (right now I have this super obsession with cheese and crackers) and eating things in general. Mmmm food. Lately I have loved it more than I ever have.

-English-language media

-Academic settings that stimulate me intellectually (that needed to be qualified)

What else?