Friday, November 17, 2017

My brain on drugs

I'm sure everyone knows that I have cluster headaches by now- I'm not exactly quiet about it. Short explanation though- I get headaches that last for about 2 hours, and they're one of the most painful conditions you can have. The cause is unknown and they don't respond to medicine- at least mine don't anymore. I just had maybe my worst one yet today.... so I was inspired to write a little about it.

So what can I do when one of these terrible headaches strikes? Well usually I would take this nasty nasal spray medicine I have, then chug an energy drink (for the caffeine), then I thrash about in pain for about two hours. I've written about this exact experience before.In Japan this was all I could do.

But now we're in America- California. Now I can use marijuana. Unfortunately it doesn't actually help with the pain- nothing really helps that- but it does help in a different way. Let me explain.

When I'm having a headache I'm in a massive amount of pain- and that pain causes my body to just freak out. It makes my head a scrambled chaotic mess- which makes it difficult to focus on remaining calm. Here's a good representation:




As you can imagine, if you're trying to keep a strong mind and remain calm through physical torture, a scrambled mind like this can make that nearly impossible. However, when I'm able to smoke marijuana it does something amazing to my head- it takes all that chaos, all those scattered thoughts, and it brings them all together in a calm, orderly fashion. It takes that explosive chaos and turns it into this:





And you know whats even betters? When I add music it gives my newly quieted brain a direction to move in- like a flock of birds with a breeze to follow.




I can easily focus on the music and drown out some of the smaller pains. It gives me something pleasant to think about instead of focusing on exactly how much I wish I were unconscious. And if you're wondering about how it feels to be high and in pain- I actually don't really even get high when I'm in that much pain. The stress to my body seems to burn through the high super quick- just like how I chug a whole energy drink but the pain burns through it and by the end I pass out from exhaustion.

Well I hope it was interesting to get another angle on insight into my headaches and possibly satisfies some curiosity. Thanks for continuously listening to me blab about it.

K+K


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This is Halloween

Its Halloweeeeeeeen!!!

Sooo its Halloween night, bout 7:00pm, I get home and realize theres something wrong... There's no pumpkins, no decorations, no lights... and no frickin tirck-or-treaters! What the fuck is going on here? Do people no trick-or-treat in this neighborhood? Is that a thing? What the fuck is going on?! I'm a bit disappointed....

Anyways, so I've been working at the dojo for a little over a month now. Some days are easier than others. The hard days mostly involve kids acting like little jerks or no time for breaks. Otherwise its not the worst. I spend a third of the day cleaning, the next third is babysitting, the last is dealing with parents with the best customer service I can manage. This basically it. I have been doing some graphic design work- making ads, flyers and newsletters- and the boss mentioned he'd like to have me start doing social media for the dojo too, so that could be potentially very cool. We'll see. As a very small business a lot of things get put off until we have time and we never seem to.

Aside from that, Kris and I have been spending time working with the haunt! All month we've gone out to Modesto to take some sweet-ass photos, which I then turned into awesome ads. Then I got a chance that I've been waiting for for years- I got to be a SLIDER. If you don't know, sliding is a scaring tactic used at some Halloween events where the scarer wears special gear so they can crawl on the ground and slide at you on knee pads.

After seeing this IRL just once I knew I had to do it. Of course when the haunt was in the backyard it was impossible- but this year, for the first time, we scared at Boomers! Modesto and it was the perfect place to introduce sliding. The other sliders had all summer to train and prepare- I had one week. Without much practice I kept my sliding to a minimum- for everyone's safety- but it was still so amazing. I'm hooked, as I knew I would be. Its basically an extreme sport that involves scaring people, and you get a great workout without trying because its just so addicting.

So now that the haunt is over, Halloween has almost passed, its time to start focusing on my art. I've got a craft fair in about a month and I gotta get shit going for that. I'm finally starting to feel like I can get my feet under me a little.... Our time back in America has been plagued with bad luck and severe depression... this month I've felt a little like a zombie coming back to life. Lets hope I can keep this flame of passion alive.

Monday, September 25, 2017

First Week of Work

Since it is the Sunday after my first week working at my new job, I reckon its time for an assessment.

As I mentioned before my new job is essentially receptionist at a martial arts studio for kids. This dojo essentially runs an after school program for kids in kindergarten and elementary schools nearby. They've been experiencing a lot of growth lately so they hired on a couple new people all this month, me included. This week all of us new hires have learned how to clean everything- and we clean frickin all day long. Kids are frickin messy as crap but we keep that place basically spotless. This and watching to make sure the kids arent killing each other are the main parts of our day. Other than that theres an hour-ish portion of our workday devoted to going out and picking all the kids up from their different schools that all get out at different times. After theyre in the dojo we get some chill time where I basically sit at the desk and just watch the lessons.

You know what let me lay out an average work day:
Noon - get into the dojo, start cleaning EVERYTHING
around 2 - head out in 2 large vans to make a couple pick-up trips
around 3 - kids eat a snack on the mat, then change into their gi and they can play legos or something
around 4 - class starts, some of the girls take a break or clean, I sit at the front desk
around 5 - those kids are picked up, I need to recognize their parents and call them out to be picked up, then other kids are dropped off for 5:00 lessons
around 6 - the 5:00 lesson is over, those kids go home, we're done, time to clean again and go home

Its super easy, super chill, and the people I work with are kind, competent, and warm. The kids are cute, rowdy, and annoying. The parents seem nice, for adults. Big bonus- I essentially get to wear tights and comfy clothes and no shows as a job requirement haha! I swear guys, after wearing scrubs for 4 years and now this... if I'm going to wear progressively more comfortable clothing with each job I guess I'll eventually just end up working in jammies.

What I also like about the job is how minimally it impacts the rest of my life. The hours are short and they fly by, and its pretty low stress. After work I actually have the time and energy to work on art and other projects. Instead of killing my hopes at working on my art career this job may be making them a possibility. We'll see though.

The minimum wage thing still sucks though.




Saturday, September 16, 2017

Its TEMPORARY

Got a rejection letter from the company I recently interviewed at. Getting a lot of those lately. Its enough to give a girl some serious issues. I know I'm taking it really personally and I know thats stupid... but god damn its starting to feel like I'm unemployable. I mean I get every single job I really went after before getting my degree and going to Japan... how am I less employable now?? I don't get it. Kris says I'm overqualified but I honestly don't believe thats a thing.

At least I did secure one job though and I'm trying to focus on the positivity there. Its part time, its minimum wage, it involves children, and maybe it'll me amazing. At least it'll give me time to work on art still, so maybe that dream isn't entirely dead.

The only thing that's helping me not get too down is telling myself that this is all temporary. Its TEMPORARY. I will not be unemployable forever- eventually jobs will come. We won't live in one bedroom in the basement forever- we will get our own space where we can actually cook food. One day people will actually pay me for some art. This is all totally possible. A lot can change in a year.

I know this blog has become a but of a pity party, but I just wanted to thank anyone thats actually still reading. Writing here has been a great outlet for all this shit I really don't wanna cry about in front of actual people. And I dearly hope you all are getting at least some kind of frickin entertainment out of this! If you're not appreciating this schadenfreude crap then you're making a mistake, friend.

GIF PARTY GO!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Chuggin along

It was a bit of a long week. I had two interviews, two birthday dinners, a haunt meeting all in just 3 days spread around between El Cerrito, Modesto, and Morgan Hill. It was exhausting, stressful, and fun. The interviews went well and it seems like I was well received by both- but it may take longer to hear back from one position while the other already offered me the job.

So thats potentially good news... I'm not sure why but I'm just not excited about the one job I have basically secured. Maybe its because I've been going through a lot of bad luck and I feel like theres still a chance for this to go south, or maybe its because the job is something I'm extremely overqualified for and it pays minimum wage. It feels really shitty to only be able to get a part-time minimum wage job after all the other jobs I've had and all the experience I've amassed. I'm trying not to see it as a huge step backwards but yeah... it fucking sucks.



But whatever, beggars cant be choosers and any job is better than no job. Hopefully its temporary, and hopefully I'll get better opportunities soon. Aside from that I've been working hard on haunt stuff, riding the wave of growth they're having over there. Honestly, some days the excitement I get from working on haunt stuff is the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning (afternoon).



But there is good news- we have internet!!! Our own internet, here at grandma's. Its glorious. Def would recommend. Helps life feel a little more normal at least. And it makes working on everything a lot easier.

Alright well thats all I got for now. My world has become very tiny with few ups and lots of downs. But its all just temporary.



Time for an update



Ok, lets do an update.

Termites: still gone. They did reappear for a moment... but appear to be gone now. Good.

Spiders: sometimes we'll find one on the bed, mostly hanging out around the shower. They've backed off a lot though.

And our newest threat: ANTS. We've had two battles with the ants so far, but they are a weak opponent that lacks my sheer determination and tragically jobless free-time. The first time they infiltrated our room they came right under the backyard door into our room and stupidly went for the only place that didnt have snacks- our dresser. We literally had food of some kind on every other surface. No more though! So I squashed/sprayed them away in a late-night skirmish. I also moved our trash to the hall in front of the backyard door in case they came for that in the night. Sure enough the next day they had discovered the trash bag, but I was ready. This time they had sneakily come from under the house and dug up into one of the door jams- a pile of dirt the only evidence. I destroyed them again, did a clean sweep of the room, and now they hopefully won't come back. I keep a constant watch and any scouts are quickly dispatched.

On the up-side we now have a nicely vacuumed room.



This week we've been working on getting Kris' computer updated. Its been a long process that mostly involved buying new, expensive stuff, realizing we needed more new stuff to fit the new stuff, then realizing the electronics store sold us the wrong new new stuff, and so on. Once the thing was physically built problems continued in the form of old hard drives and Windows 10 updates. The computer now operational, though updates need to be downloaded for some programs.

So now we need internet!

Since this house is legit from the 50's the internet line is not built into the walls- it is plugged into a fixture on the roof and the line is tacked along the exterior wall and comes into our bedroom through a literal hole in the wall. The old Akita dog that used to live here (RIP Mochi) used to chew on the line, so it need to be repaired. Kris tried to splice in a new line, removing the damaged portion. We own our own modem so all we needed was service from Comcast. It was set to start today, but our modem isn't getting a signal. After calling Comcast it appears the remaining line that Kris spliced may have been fully damaged, as it doesnt seem to be sending or receiving any signal. It was a pretty big blow, as we've been looking forward to FINALLY having INTERNETTTTTTTTTTTTT. So now we have to wait til next Wednesday (Labor day weekend!! Thanks Obama!!!) for someone from Comcast to come out and help us, thankfully for free.

They job search is.... sucky. Looks like theres not a ton of art-related jobs in the east bay and I must be uniquely unqualified for fucking all of them because I'm not getting much response. I mean, aside from those polite rejection emails of course. So I'm giving up on working in the art field (once again) and I'm just looking for anything local. I've got an interview for a clerical position at a local martial arts studio nearby next Friday.




I'm becoming more familiar with the area, so I figured I'd describe my discoveries as I make them. First of all I've learned that the east coast of the SF bay is actually shaped like a 3, with Richmond being the middle point. El Cerrito is slightly south of Richmond and is actually just the tiny strip of city thats pinched between a small range of hills and the bay. The freeway (i-80) runs along the coast and the main expressway of El Cerrito, San Pablo, runs parallel to it. Grandma's house is in some of the lower hills, so from her house we drive down to San Pablo to get most places. There are many ways to get to San Pablo and all but 1 are confusing as hell. All the restaurants are on San Pablo, but theres only, like, a handfull that are really in El Cerrito and not Albany or some other random-ass chunk of blocks they call a city around here. No Taco Bell, which seems odd, but there are Nations and Church's Chicken. Lotta burger places, FML.  Since we have no internet I go to Starbucks (on San Pablo of course) and sit there for some free wifi.



And thats all I can really say about El Cerrito. Oh- and don't cross under the freeway because then you'll be in Richmond where the murders all happen. They showed me the exact places and everything. Anyways, it feels like things are just as difficult and shitty as they've been the last couple months, but maybe with a light at the end of the tunnel. We'll see in about a week, I guess.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Life is so fickle.



We took some time hopping around a bit again, house-sitting here and spending the night there. More thinking about the future, more feeling like crap about how things are right now. Lots of applying for jobs, lots of rejection. Life is kicking my ass a bit right now.

Anyways, we're finally back at grandmas, where it seems like the termite situation is better- potentially fixed? I guess we'll see if they come back... So yes, we're still in the East Bay- for now. But we do have an idea of where we want to end up....


Get it? "We're Back"

So I guess the plan right now is to save up enough money to get where we wanna go. Since we currently do have a jobs thats going pretty slow but, like I said, I've been applying to jobs like crazy. For right now thats all thats going on in our lives... its a bit slow and sucky but... yeah, it is what it is.



Sometimes it sucks to look back at where you used to be and think about how much better it was then... You tend to think your life will only go forward, not backward. But I tell myself our current situation is temporary, not permanent. Its hard not to feel trapped sometimes though.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

When you hit rock bottom...

When you hit rock bottom just remember... theres always lower to go.

Ok, thats dramatic, but sometimes life can feel that way.

Turns out grandma's place is not going to be our home. Yeah, my head is spinning too. Long story short- turns out Kris isn't going to attend San Francisco State and also theres termites in the downstairs shower. So while they take care of the house we figured its time for us to go crawl in a hole and die. Just kidding, we gotta figure out plan B... plan C.... whatever we're on now.

Are you exhausted yet? Cuz I frickin am. Where do we go? What do we do? It kinda feels like fate is pushing us really hard in some direction, but what is it?! I'm kinda over it really.

If you know what we should do please tell me cuz I'm feeling a bit lost right now.




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Second night

Written on July 16th, 2017

Its our second consecutive night in our now place and today was all about relaxing and feeling more comfortable here.  I never moved when I was younger but I learned a lot from moving to Japan (and then back, to Modesto). A really important part of moving, for us, has been to discover things we like near our new home and remove some of the newness and mystery. Obviously Kris has lived here before, but that was well over a decade ago so theres still lots to discover or rediscover. 

We started off with a chill lunch at the first pho place Kris ever went to. There were doubts about whether or not it was as great as he remembered- and luckily it was! Not the best we've ever had but it was close. It was also located in a shopping center we'll probably return too often as it has a Ranch 99 (asian market) and Daimo, a late-night Chinese food joint.

We also visited Target for some soap- you know you're home when you switch from travel-size soaps to full-frickin-size. By the time we got home it was late afternoon on a hot day and a nap sounded perfect. I feel like napping is also a sign of becoming more comfortable... Wait, now we're starting to sound like an adopted dog...

Anyways, after our nap we walked to Safeway- literally a 10 minute all downhill walk. Cake. Walking back wasn't too bad either. I got a ground view of our neighborhood and a good reason to walk more. Oh- and have you seen the gluten free section lately?! In Japan there was no gluten free anything, and while we were gone its like the gluten free section just EXPLODED. I love the frickin variety!

So finally back home we ate our simple dinner on our bed and watched Rocky Horror- one of the few movies downloaded to my computer. We still don't have any internet- hopefully that'll be fixed this week though.

The last, and maybe most important part of the day, was the battle. The battle between me and the spiders. You see, the spiders have fully infiltrated the downstairs area. They're all daddy-longlegs, so its not quite as terrifying as it sounds, but still. Anyways, so today I fought a battle to reclaim the bathroom. The spiders got some early hits in- mostly with surprise attacks. I know the war isn't over, but for now the bathroom is ours. The bedroom, however, is another story.

I did a couple other small things- hung up a new shower curtain and window curtains for the bedroom. I condensed some boxes that need to be moved into the storage room. There's still a ton to do but... at least its starting to feel a little like "ours".

Thursday, July 20, 2017

East Bay!

Written on July 15th, 2017


I'm sitting here in our new bed in our new home. Its 10:30PM- Kris and I just showed up after a sudden decision to spend the weekend here instead of in Modesto, where we've been living with a friend. Kris has orientation day on Tuesday at San Francisco State, so we'll stay here until after that. This trip actually marks the beginning of our transition to this location.

So more about our new home: We are going to live with one of Kris' relatives. At their house there's a downstairs master bedroom on one side of the house and a storage/bonus room on the other side. We will essentially have the whole downstairs as our private living space- however the bonus  room is basically all taken up with storage-- mostly old boxes, some spiders and a ton of dust. We're able to clean out some space in there to use as a office/painting studio though.  We do have our own bathroom, which is nice. And of course we will have access to the kitchen and living areas upstairs, but we'll probably keep to ourselves aside from mealtimes. 

We're living in a particularly hilly part of the east bay, so this house as kind of a split-level home- meaning you enter the house upstairs and the downstairs exits into the backyard. Since we are downstairs we have a window that looks out on that backyard- mostly just overgrown plants for now. The view upstairs, however, is much better. You can see the San Francisco Bay easily from the dining room- and if this dumb tree weren't there you'd be able to see San Francisco itself. The views of SF and the bay are easily one of my favorite things about this area.

This house is located in El Cerrito, which is a small town close to the more famous cities of Berkeley, Richmond, and Oakland to name a few. Kris grew up here, in this very home for a time, so he is very familiar with the area. I've only just started to drive around here- before I was too afraid of the small, confusing roads and all the inclines. I'm not used to driving on hills! Pulling out of a stop uphill terrifies me. So its on the list of new experiences to enjoy here.

Of course it sounds terribly exciting to move to a new home in such an exciting location, but it doesn't feel exciting right now. To be honest it can feel like a failure sometimes. A reminder of the fact that I failed to secure a job and a home upon our arrival in the States. A reminder that I'm currently not making money with my art. I'm sure for Kris it has the added negative stigma of moving back to your parents' house (though its not).  It feels a little like the last resort. 

But a great friend tried to put it in perspective for us. This home isn't a last resort- it isn't what we're stuck with. Because we don't have to do this- I can look for another job, heck Kris could too. But we decided not to- we decided to go for our dreams. So this home is a blessing- a blessing that allows us to pursue those dreams. Its a pathway that gives us the freedom to work for experience instead of money- to focus on improving our skills instead of working a job that will distract us from our goals.  Our time here may not always be ideal- it may be quite painful- but all transitions are. With any luck we'll look back at our time here and appreciate it. 

In the meantime I'll try to write about all the ups and downs. This is a crazy time for us- it feels much more risky and dangerous than moving to Japan. Theres a lot at stake and tensions are already beyond high. Wish us luck.