Friday, September 25, 2009

"The Sun Has Wept Rose"

I am not a big fan of translated literature works of any kind. The culture that the language in the original work bolsters is bound to change its meaning or to lose at least an aspect of it when it's forced to be clad in a different language. BUT, all is so, given that you actually know the two cultures to begin with. I mean, it never was a problem for me until I actually went outside of my home country and learned the new language and its culture. Until then, you just don't know any better.

So, while I go through my favorite book at the moment, I have swallowed the notion that I am only getting a version with a cloudy veil over it, or a version that has been nibbled at a little bit. But hey, when ever did a poem become clear to a reader anyway, even if the original was written in her mother tongue? Besides, I have read the translator's introduction and what he had to say about the poet and his verses and other works that I adore and hold dear to my heart, and I have become quite fond of Mr. Schmidt himself due to his beautiful writing.

So I am completely giving my heart up to trust his English translation of my beloved "Arthur Rimbaud Complete Works." Bought on for about $30.00. Its original price: US$14,00. Brand new. Shipped from New York City. Sent in two weeks after order. I consider my money very well spent.

Here is just one of many reasons why I cannot put down the book every night since its arrival:

The sun has wept rose in the shell of your ears,
The world has rolled white from your back, your thighs;

The sea has stained rust the crimson of your breasts,
And Man has bled black at your sovereign side.

Now, try and defy me not to want to read and understand in original French version of this beauty.

Until next time,


p.s. Time for bed. Another one-hour date with Arthur before sleep.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Changes Please!

Gave it a lot of thought. Moved a thing or two around. Took about two hours. Who does that on a workday after 10 p.m., rearranging everything in her bedroom on a whim? Well, obviously, I do.

Here is my creation. Meet my boudoir. Ta dah!

Here is what I did.

Step one: relocate the big fatness that is my bed. Oh my god, it was freaking, and can I stress freaking, heavvvvvvvy!!!! By golly, I thought I was gonna lose my arms shoving its ass this way and that, until it got nicely placed in the midst of the room, the way I wanted it.

Step two: get rid of the two sliding doors between the room and the living room. I am no Homer Simpson and wouldn't exactly walk right through them, but they never really meant much to me, either. So, bye bye sliding doors.

That's it, really. Bed location and door removal are the only prominent changes I made, but what a difference!! Too bad I forgot to take the "before" pic. But I am very proud of myself for having done this and I love my bedroom now so much, I wish I could share this with someone right now... wait, that didn't come out right. I wish I could show my bedroom to someone... still sounds... oh what the hell.

Aside from the satisfaction I'm getting out of playing a decorator for my own flat, I've been feeling like I need a change in my life. Do you ever feel like that? I've been feeling that way A LOT recently. It wasn't enough that I got a new haircut in June. Wasn't enough that I started walking to work. Wasn't enough that I started wearing skirts to work (I've always been a pant suit girl) and shocked the hell out of my coworkers. I wanted to redo my boudoir for a long time, and now that it has been redone, I now feel like getting anew haircut again.

What's next? When does this stop? What am I really after? Somebody stop meeeeeeeeeeee!

Until next time,

Sak, with two very sore arms

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bakin' Time! II

Do you know what I took for granted when I lived in the states? Cookies.

Those who live north America don't realize just how ridiculously available cookies are there. I'm not kidding. Inhale now and read on, whoever reading this that has never gone grocery shopping outside of America, because you are about to gasp a good one. Did you know that, overseas, a supermarket doesn't even have an entire isle dedicated to cookies, especially if they have a deli-counter for baked goodies AND the baker's cabinet with freshly baked cookies by the entrance too?

I never even took a note of them cookies that much while they were all around me, like the road signs or something that I might know are there but not really stand in front of and take a good look at. Only when I left the country de diabétique to live in the land of rice, fish and seaweed, did I start missing some of those Ahoys!

So, I was pondering what to do with the rest of the 85%-cocoa chocolate and baker's butter from two days ago. And I had this sudden craving for soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. ...Wow. I just realized, I haven't even used the word "chewy" as long as I can remember until just now. You know what, I will happily bet my $100 on that 95% of the time when north Americans use the word "chewy" in a sentence, they are referring to cookies, I swear to God. I wouldn't be surprised if they are talking about chocolate chip cookies, too.

Anyways, here are chocolate chip cookies a la Sak fresh out of her oven. Warm, chewy, sweet, melt-y, diabetic as hell, AND heavenly. I say this, and I don't even have the sweet tooth.

The fun of baking is, without a doubt, the aroma. I can almost guarantee this, but had I no sense of smell, I wouldn't have been into baking at all. And when the spoon-dropped dough were a-bakin' in my Japan-made, technologically AND ecologically sophisticated, microscopically tiny microwave/oven, the living room was filled with the air of love that is of cookies. The highlight, and really the whole point of my baking, exactly.

May the chewiness be bringing smiles across North America yet another day.

Until next time,


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bakin' Time! I

We are having a train of national holidays here in the land of Japan. Starting Monday ending on Wednesday, proceeded with a regular weekend, the country of workaholics is now having a 5-day weekend called Silver Week. For a Saturday work bee like myself, it is cut down to 4 days, but for someone who doesn't have the luxury of two consecutive days off on a regular basis (my days off are Sunday and Tuesday), it is a glorious deal nonetheless.

Day 1. And what a beautiful day it is, really! I woke up feeling like baking very, very badly. It's the autumn thing. If love is in the air in the spring as the saying goes, it is in the oven in the autumn, I'd say. Whenever the morning chill starts to linger longer and longer into the daytime, I turn into this crazy baking woman that sees no end of sifting flour and melting butter and pre-heating and re-heating the oven every weekend. And the craziness seems to have arrived this year.

So it beings...

...with banana chocolate chip muffins, a request from my sis (who I know schemes on hawking a few before she goes off for a hike on a mountain with her friend tomorrow).

...into the oven they go!

(23 minutes)

...out with the m'ffins!



Sorry about the poor quality of the photos. My Cybershot was nowhere to be found and I had to make do with my cell phone camera.

I don't have a Stepfordwife friend to exchange recipes with, and I will not post one in my blog (simply because I don't know the measurements by heart and am too lazy to go get the recipe and type here as I read it). Every recipe I come upon, I add something or change the measurements to my liking. And for this particular muffin, I use home-made yogurt instead of milk, melted butter instead of vegetable oil, and chopped-up 85%-cocoa chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips.

I doubled the measurements and made 8 servings instead of 4. But I see a very quick banishment of the baked, the way my family is wolfing them down.

Until next time,


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Changing Pace. Keeping Peace.

I usually spend my days off at my parents house. And this past Tuesday was no exception. I came back to my castle up on a hill on Wednesday morning at 8 o'clock; plus a bag of vegetables from mom's garden; minus my cell phone.

It's a 40-minute drive between my flat and my parents house. It's not that long. Under an ordinary circumstance, I would have gone back there last night just to have the wireless with me. Hell, I have 10 text messages on average and at least 2 phone calls a day, be it from my family members, coworkers, friends, and what not. But this particular time, when I realized I left it on the table next to bed, I thought about it for 5 seconds, and decided to spend the rest of the week totally without it (I'm going back to my folks this Saturday). And you know what the thing is? I used to feel "naked" whenever I had gone out with my cell phone left at home. But now, it feels totally liberating, like I just chopped off my hair or something.

Have I suddenly turned into some anti-social emo who needs a solitude therapy and cuts herself off from the world? Well, of course not: I am writing an entry here, ain't I? In fact, I let all my friends (that I could get a hold of on my hotmail account) know of the situation via e-mail, and posted my cell-less status on my facebook page to let them know that I am not ignoring them, had they tried to contact me.

I had the same kind of weird impulse last week, Wednesday morning to be precise, and I started walking to work that day, and have been since then. Which naturally means that I have been walking back from work, too (but only for the reason that I don't really have a choice, do I, for a lack of a car at this point?). It's a 2-mile walk one way; for me, that's about 20 minutes. It feels equally liberating to be out on a street stepping one foot in front of another, going forward, feeling my breath in and out my lungs. I now actually get up every morning looking forward to the walk.

I am going through the busiest time of the year at work. Contrarily, since I started walking on a regular basis, I have been feeling quite at peace and in control of things. And I don't think it's merely my adrenaline going up as I get my daily exercise done before and after work that I am being so darn positive.

What is it then?
Well, I am yet to find out.

Until next time,


Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Fan Spinning. An Ice Cube Melting.

Who would have thought a grown woman in her late 20s would jam her pinkie into a fan? And, of course, I'm talking about a fan that's on. Not me, and especially so since I constantly tell the kids not to go too close to the activated fan (I work in an environment with very small children coming and going). But jam my pinkie into a fan, I did. Right in front of the kids, too.

I am not going to dwell on how it happened, but I actually hurt myself pretty good. I had to teach a class right after it, so I pretended nothing was wrong for the next 50 minutes despite the numbness that I did feel at first was slowly turning into a fireball that had its own beating heart. When I actually took a good look at it afterward, the head of it had 4 good gushes across it, and the blood that stained in and out of the cuts were more purple than scarlet. I started going a little bananas at the thought of "what if I had stuck it just a little further...?" and had shivers down my spine. I have a tendency to make jokes when I should be rightfully scared shitless (I think it's a bit like being high on the seriousness of the situation, does it ever happen to you?), and I was making a whole lotta jokes by then.

Then, A came to me, saying "Lemme see your finger." I said, "I'm fine," as if I was actually asked how I was. It wasn't a question. Not responding to what I said, he went on. "You should put some ice on it. Or, do you have a first aid kit here?" "No, I'm good. Don't worry." (<- me being stubborn here). A is working at our office only for three days, and today was his first day. He is sent from the head quarter to help out a situation we have. But anyway, he didn't know where things were around the office, and, seeing how I wasn't cooperating with his attempt to help me by finding the items in question, asked another coworker where they were, and came back in a minute: didn't say anything, just took my pinkie and took a look at it, put a cube of ice on until the entire thing is melted. As he did so, he gave me an instruction on what to do tonight for the cuts when I get home. Think I was actually listening to what he was saying at this point? I was rather melting with the ice.

He genuinely just wanted to help me. Not because I am a woman. Not because I am going crazy and speaking in my high-pitched fast-speed voice that I was. He helped me just because I had jammed a bloody pinkie into a spinning fan and now it's bleeding and swollen and purple.

You know, I had forgotten what it's like to let a man take care of me... wow, that feels so sad typing. Yet, seriously, when did I become so protective of myself from feeling a little needy of a kind and even manly gesture? When did I start reading too much into his intention, and doubt that it's genuine? When did I let having a pinkie with 4 gushes and sheds of blood on it become not worthy of a kind attention from a man, especially when I'm actually in a little pain? When did I make it even an issue? When did I start drawing the line so thick? I mean, what would it take, when a pinkie is actually chopped off all the way? Will I then actually admit that I could use some help? What a sad, sad person I had become?

I might have come a longer way than I thought after I took a turn on Guardyourself Lane off of Brokenheart Street. A little further this way, and I might have stepped without realization into Cynicism City. And, you know what, I have a feeling that I can still bail myself out from the direction I had taken. It's not too late. Not yet. I'm going to turn back while turning is good.

And, might I mention, my pinkie feels a lot better now.

Until next time,


p.s. Very special thanks to A who doesn't take shit from a woman in pain.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Visit of the Much Missed

It happened the moment I walked out of the building after work. There was a draft, and it actually felt cold on my non-jacketed body. "Ah," I thought. "I missed you."

Autumn happens to be my favorite season. And feeling the first draft that delivers a message of its arrival on your body is like walking into a kitchen and spotting a box with a bow on it in the corner of your eye on your birthday.

For me, autumn is the time for literature and art. Coincidentally, just yesterday I placed an order for a book, a poem collection, that I had been searching for (Thank you,!). I can't wait to spend one Sunday afternoon with it. I read and draw all seasons, but this time of the year seems to inspire me more than any other, evoking the feelings and spirits who didn't seem to reside in me when the summer sun was up above and I wore less clothes. Speaking of which, I also love the fashion choices I can make at this time of the year too: long coats and boots.

Oh, and might I mention, I also feel more... prêt pour l'amour.

I wonder: Is it a human nature that, when the air is chill, you get a sense of longing for a warmth of a living form? A kind that lasts a little longer than, say, a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallow bits in it?

Until next time,


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Pocahontas Moment

I've repeatedly declared my love for sunset in the past (, but this one, last Friday, was just tear-sheddingly beautiful.

See the little moon there too?

I was sick the good half of last week. Away from where I should have been (at work), I stood in my balcony looking at the wonders happening before my eyes, and somehow the fever and the condition with my stomach and other innards that had made me feel weak to the core seemed to fade away, washing off the virus that had been taking hold of my biology.

Reminded. One of my favorite songs by Jewel goes:

I had this theory that if we are told we are bad
that's the only idea we'll ever have
but maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see
'Cause anyone can start a conflict
it's harder yet to disregard it
I'd rather see the world from another angle

It's time like this when I look at the sky as captured that I feel like telling her with affection, "we are surrounded in beauty; we just have to start seeing it. BTW I love your songs."

I truly think we underestimate what the beauty of nature can do to us on a very fundamental level. It definitely made my otherwise miserable day.

Until next time,