Thursday, March 17, 2011

I am breaking that promise to myself. I am flying home on Sunday night and I actually am hoping that we get to return. It's just stuff...it's just stuff...it's just stuff...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

stick it out

Some of my friends are flying back to the States as the deployment that was almost over is extended indefinitely...it's a tempting thought, to get away from the aftershocks and the rolling blackouts and the gas rationing and the food shortages at the Commissary that happen for no other reason than that people think there's going to be a shortage, panic, and buy five carts full of food. (Self-fulfilling prophecies, dummies.)

But I won't be going back to the States. Because once I go to Narita and step onto a plane that's bound for American soil...I am never coming back. That is something I decided long before the quake, and it's a promise to myself that I have no intention of breaking.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

we're okay

It's completely illogical, but experiencing an 8.9 earthquake (actually it felt like a 6 or so where I am) and 100+ aftershocks actually calmed me down quite a bit. I had such a bad morning of crappy neighbors and crying to my husband on Skype about how I can't stand living here anymore, and then BAM! I have to stay calm for my kids, which surprisingly enough, wasn't difficult at all. I pulled my evacuation kit out of the laundry room and put it next to the door, just in case, and sat on Facebook for the rest of the afternoon/evening. It was such a comfort to be able to be in constant contact with both my friends here in Japan and my friends back in Hawaii. Once I knew that everyone here was safe, I turned my attention to Hawaii, and freaked out about them for a while. (Tsunamis were my biggest source of anxiety when I lived there!) Now that I know that everyone there is safe, I'm marveling at just how huge this all was.

This is a video of the indoor pool on base, where we have swimming lessons, I hope you all can see it: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150092747686056&comments

Here's some news about the US Navy in Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJfEXUrvrsc

Here's a constantly updated list of all of the quakes in the region; there have been more than 100 aftershocks since the first major quake, and they'll probably be going on for quite a while: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/region/Asia_eqs.php

As for what it felt like: you know how it feels when you're on a subway train that's swaying a lot, and it gives a sudden jerk that almost knocks you down? It was exactly like that, for like 2 or 3 minutes straight. I was under the table with the boys but I'm sure that if I'd been trying to stand, I would have fallen down. The towers are built to sway so they don't crack, so really, it felt exactly like being on a very unsteady train. I have friends who had lots of glasses and dishes break, but the only damage we had was to a Mega Blocks model of Iron Man, and the gumpaste Iron Man I made for Brandon's last birthday cake. It was a bad day for Tony Stark.

Friday, March 11, 2011

you've got to be kidding me

I made the decision a couple of years ago to stop being passive-aggressive. I’m really good at it, but having been on the receiving end of some particularly undeserved passive-aggression, I decided right then and there that I just didn’t want to be that guy anymore.

Last night a neighbor put a passive-aggressive note on my door that I honestly don’t think I deserved. And I just feel sick about it. Literally, physically sick. Why can’t people just be polite, and honest? Why can’t they just ring the damn doorbell? Why doesn’t anybody ever think about anyone but themselves?

I’ve been saying for years that I feel like the only person in any given neighborhood who gives a damn about not disturbing my neighbors. I’m constantly telling my kids not to jump, not to push furniture across the floor, not to drop heavy things that will make a loud noise, not to talk loudly in the hallway. I bought my son a drum set, because he really wants to learn how to play, but I’m also spending more than the drum set cost to build a sound-isolation stage in his room so as not to bother the neighbors too much.

But I put on my headphones and sing along while I’m doing the dishes, because I’m f'ing miserable to begin with and I despise doing the dishes, and singing makes me feel better - and I get a passive-aggressive note on my door. From someone whose children run around the hallways screaming all afternoon, every day after school, banging on the walls and the doors and leaving bikes right in front of the elevator. From someone who leaves trash out in the hallway, sometimes for days at a time. I was bothering them. Of course, how silly of me. I sang in my kitchen. I was thinking about myself for once. Sorry, folks, won’t happen again. Back to putting your needs first.