Okay so my new life in Japan starts in about a month and a half. That is both a lot of time and no time! After all, there is still some preparation for the job. I have recently made the decision to go “natural” by wearing my hair in braids. No extensions though. Although I personally feel that permed hair is more aesthetically pleasing( I am speaking specifically about my own hair, and not other peoples), I feel that it will be easier for me in the long run. Getting a perm in the states is super easy because there are obviously a lot more people with my kind of hair. Plus my mom always did it. Shout out to mama!
Yes, there are international salons in Tokyo that I could go to, but to be honest, I am very picky about perms. If done correctly, your hair grows and things are good. If not, well… you go bald. Not that I am saying there are no beauticians in Tokyo that can do my “kinky” hair, but the number is lower. This means that the odds of finding a decent stylist is low as well. That makes me darn nervous.
Also there is this thing about price. In America, there are boundless options for getting perms at a variety of prices. On average, $40-$150 depending on where you go, or who you go to. There is one place I researched in Tokyo that does relaxers, but that price exceeds $100 in yen. To go there every two months or so gets really expensive.
Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind during the year and spend the yen. Or maybe I could use that extra money for a day trip, or importing hair care products from the States. Either way, I feel that braiding my hair would make it healthier by not using a chemical relaxer.
I am just starting to braid my own hair and surprisingly I am doing well. I improve every time I try and that makes me feel good. I would love to keep it up because why not! Natural hair is gaining more acceptance in the world and the business world as well. That is important! As a black woman I always felt that “kinky” hair was seen as “unkempt” and “unattractive” to others for a long while. Permed hair, or straight hair, was seen as “neat” and “good”. I mean it’s still like that in a lot of places, even in the States. Yet, things are changing and it makes me feel more confident in going back to my natural state.
However, I am a very indecisive person, soooo…. let’s see how long this lasts. hahaha.
A few months back I had written a post called “Working on a Newish Book”. This was the book I started writing in 2005… really 2008 and I took a 7ish year hiadus. WEll. I went to a cafe a few weekends ago and decided it was time to dust off that green journal and do some edits. I took a different approach to writing, in the sense that I took time to map out what I wanted in the story. Normally with my writing, I know the ending to a book, and write the events of the story to fit the ending. This time I don’t know the ending to my story. I find this to be a challenge because I am not sure what direction the story should go.
I changed a lot of the story thus far to add more depth to the character development. I noticed in my story that the main character was awfully bland. What I didn’t want to do was create a character that was over the top or classically precocious. (btw the main character is a preteen child). Normally in books, kid characters are like this. For my character, I want her to be quite, and obedient. She is not the most exciting, but she still has a personality. If anything, she chooses when and where to display her thoughts. She is the polar opposite of another character.
I am really into making this new book a gem, so I will take my time with it. I will look into more resources to publish it and make sure it appeals to readers. Oh and if you’re wondering why it’s called book three, Amazons of the Myst was my second novel. The Door to Freedom (unpublished) was my first. Both of them are copyritten.
I’ll keep you posted on this book’s progress.
I am a fan of music. It inspires my calm and the novels I write. I decided to make segment type posts about my varied tastes in music.
This post is all about Kelis.
I first heard Kelis in 1999 with her song “Caught Out There”. It was odd and filled with strange imagery. I loved it! I thought it was a perfect amount of weird and the music was wonderful! However, I didn’t really get into her music until 2006 when my high school friends were boppin’ to “Bossy”. I then rediscovered her music and was drawn in yet again to her eclectic sound.
What I love about Kelis (mostly the era 1999-2006) was that her sound was varied. She had hip hop beats, but then had neo soul beats. She dabbled in rock/alternative and then calm melodic sounds.
In 2008 her album “Wanderland” inspired the novel I am currently re-writing. Kelis is eclectic and never repeats the same sound twice. It evolves over time. Just listen to songs from 1999 to her current album titled “Food” and you can see it is vastly different. I must say that I enjoyed her 1999-2006 era more so than her album “Fleshtone” 2009. It’s not that it’s bad, but I just don’t like it as much as her earlier years.
When it comes to Kelis, she makes music for herself and is random at heart. It only makes sense that her music reflect her style and growth. I can respect an artist that allows themselves to genre hop and not be defined by one moment, regardless if it was more popular and safe than what they are doing now. She could have easily stayed in the zone of her hit “milkshake” 2003, but instead immediately changed both her look and sound for her album “Kelis Was Here” 2006.
I must also add that if you are looking for music that is good, then give Kelis a try. Her album “Wanderland” was a gem of a cd that you cannot find in America. Seriously, in 2001 her then recored label, Virgin, did not like the eclectic album. As a result, they didn’t release it in America, but instead only released it in Europe. Thanks to the internet and Amazon.com, I bought it from Holland and enjoy it everyday! hahaha
Most people would think of Kelis as either the screaming mad woman from her first album, or the milkshake bringer from her second, technically third album “Tasty”. However, if they listed to the extent of just one, they would realize that none of the songs sound the same. Crazy right???
Her first album “Kaleidoscope” is a wonderful production from the Neptunes aka Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams. These songs are all different and not expected. To get an idea of the wonder that is Kelis, please go to the following link. This will take you to my youtube page where I created a Kelis! playlist. Sorry for adding 20 songs, but choosing a top 5 is impossible. But if you twisted my arm I would say listen to the following,
1.Perfect Day- Wanderland
2. Goodbyes- Kelis Was Here
3.Little Suzy or Lil Suzie- Wanderland
4.In the Morning- Kaleidoscope
5.Rolling Though the Hood- Tasty
If you like these, then please listen to all 20 songs. Your welcome. hahaha
Hello all! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have two months left before I move to Japan! I’ve been spending my free time writing my next novel, walking, and sleeping…a lot. haha.
It honestly won’t hit me that I’m in another country until I’m there for a few weeks. Even when I visited my friends in 2012, it didn’t hit me that I was in Japan until a week after I was there.
Japan was not that “different” than any other country. It had a lot of what I was used to and the only differences were that most people around me were Japanese.
I only knew I was in a foreign land because of the numerous cultural differences. These differences were slight and only noticeable for little things like dinner or taking public transportation. Seriously, people don’t push you to get on the train or bus, they are patient and wait in line!!!!! (behind a yellow line of all things!)
I am really ready to work and start my life, but I have to say I got some nerves brewing. I am a nervous nancy about the most random things and stress myself out more than necessary. A few weeks ago I freaked out that 4 of my business blouses were too low. So I bought a cammie to make sure I can bend over without introducing my girls to unfortunate students. (all developed ladies know what I mean)
I also freaked about having only one black blazer. I get that Americans are not put up to the same standards as Japanese when it comes to their strict customs, but still, this is my job and I don’t want to be another “stupid American”. I guess I could just wait to start my job to see how things go and if my nerves are just that.
I try to meditate daily to make sure my thoughts don’t get the better of me. It is great that my best friend will be living in my same town. So if I do have a bad day or a nerve induced day, I can always go to her house to de-stress. Consider myself lucky for the support 6+ thousand miles away from home.
Till then I will enjoy my carefree carol days, and hope the best for the future.
I am done with all my classes. I am so happy to be finished with school. I will take this time to work on my book (details in a future post) and relax until March!!!
Last week I received the best news ever! I got accepted to work as an English language Teacher in Japan. I will start in late March of 2016. This is great because I get to live overseas in a country I adore, and work with children as a teacher.
I will document my journey in Japan and hope to share all of my groovy adventures. I wont have video on this blog because that would mean upgrading. So I’ll work on making a Youtube channel!
This is why I teach! During the summer in July I taught a class called origami. Origami (おりがみ) is the Japanese art of folding paper. I had eight classes in total and taught a variety of projects from animals to inanimate objects. One of the longer projects was the paper crane. It is a doozy of a project for some students. It is met with either fierce determination, or utter defeat.
On the very last day of the summer program, in my last class of the day, two students, a brother and sister with their mom gave me this beautiful crafted crane mobile. I was so happy to hear from their mom that the siblings loved my class and wanted to make me a gift.
This is my last year of teaching in America, and for the summer camp as well. This is one of the best presents I could receive. First things first, the students learned how to make something I taught. They liked it so much they wanted to show their parents. And finally, they thought to make a really cool mobile! I cannot express how happy I was to have such a cool gift!
This makes teaching so wonderful and fulfilling because the students truly took a lot out of the class. Although just folding paper, it ignites the imagination and inspires true creativity and sharing.
I have this wonderful mobile in my room at this very moment, and will be tickled pink to display it up in my new home in Japan next year!