Definitive Japanese Music??

Hi…if you have a minute I’d appreciate your help :- I’m trying to put together a CD of a variety of Japanese music for my chef friend. So far, I have various anime soundtrack stuff, but what I’m really interested in would be some actual NON-anime japanese music.

Any thoughts?? The CD is quite a mix from perky-upbeat to stuff to rather surreal a bit dark, so really anything could go with it.

Actually this is a chance to expand my own musical taste, so any japan-o-philes out there, I’d love your recommedations…

preferably something I can download an mp3 of.. πŸ™‚


One of the most intriguing things about life is that the lessons and discoveries you actually learn are not the ones you expected. (or often planned for). Continual sequence of small surprises keeps me on my toes. πŸ™‚

I think (hope) I will look back on this year (stretching back to last July) as when I learned some self-responsibility.

brief ponderings

Faith and Fantastic Article; Karen Armstrong

What happened yesterday morning was that I caught a bit on the radio on my way into work. They were interviewing a lady called Karen Armstrong who has written a book called Spiral staircase (which I’m probably going to buy some point). She was talking about having to
go from living as a nun in a convent to back out in the real world, and she sounded very calm and with some real wisdom-from-experience. Particulary about faith, and belief, and history and concepts. Shame I only caught a few minutes!

I found a good article online, and although I always feel a bit naseous anytime I see something headed with “september 11th” and big american flags, thats not really what the article is about. It’s actually a nice collaboration of different ideas, with lots of informative history and cultural info.. I haven’t read much of it yet because I think it deserves to be printed out and read with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

In this lecture Karen Armstrong, a celebrated writer on the world’s religions, argues that what is needed after Sept. 11 is a “spiritual revolution,” a “new faith,” and that most crises in the modern world can be traced to the loss of a sense of sacredness. In an erudite, wide-ranging account of the spiritual reckoning after Sept. 11, Armstrong draws on texts and anecdotes from ancient literature and from several of the world’s major religious traditions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Sufism, and Confucianism.
One day I hope to be able to lecture like this lady



I remembered something important last night, which is – I used to have a sense of humour, and thats precisely what keeps me going at times, as well as keeping me sane and balanced. Woo! All this seriousness just isnt’ me.

I’ve been winding myself up into so many problems, that don’t even really exist! silly girl.

How did i cope at school when I was stuck at home and so on – not by becoming full of angst, all austere and moody, not by hiding myself in philosophy novels, or intellectualising away the whole world. No, by writing comics and generally shifting the heavy suet dumpling of seriousness into something lighter that sits easier on the stomach.

of course, i am still serious about Life – but the stuff that’s really worth being serious about is also the stuff thats bloody hilarious at the same time. if you can’t *also* laugh about it then it means you’ve not really ‘got it’. Now -theres- some mystic wisdom for ya.

ha ha!


-Cat πŸ˜€

After much deliberation on the inner mysteries of the universe..

I have come the conclusion that:-

1. when you really think about it, sex is just far too silly and embarressing an thing to do unless you love someone (or are really very fit in an attractive sense, or are getting money out of it) : thus is the extent of my moral code re:relationaships as far as I can discern. I need to get a fucking religion to tell me what I’m supposed to be thinking.[1]
2. Also : I really need a Life again. Or maybe one of them mobile phones with a digital camera and mp3 player built in that can play video, because ofcourse, consumerism gives us more purpose than we have money to spend or time to waste.
3. first i could do with more sleep. Definitely more sleep. what with my dreams being so undisturbing and all.
4. a strong drink and a cigarette would also be most welcome, along with any other chemicals that would just **obliterate** my brain. I mean, why do i even bother?
5. Actually an ice cream sundae with a really big curly straw would be better than all of that, especially if it has a sparkler in it. But most of all, by far the biggest and most pressing question is :

πŸ™‚ about sums it up right now. Sense of humour. woo.

[1] buddhism is out of the question because it says “NO!! ATTACHMENTS!! BAD!” while taoism seems to just go “well,whatever, as long as you don’t think you really know what you’re talking about” and most of the other things, including science, tell me it’s all just a big sodding illusion anyway, in one form or another.

Bottom of the Well

Today’s creative output-story

(actual entry about real life events and music coming later. ps – fantastic commentry on the progress-post, I feel so privileged to have such intelligent friends..given me a lot to think about….more to say on that too πŸ™‚ )

a story, of sorts

This is perhaps a bit immature and full of blatant and not so blatant symbolism, but it made me feel better to write. Read into or not. Am I trying to express something or just tell a story? who knows! πŸ˜‰



3 entries found for vagueness.
adj. vaguΒ·er, vaguΒ·est
1. Not clearly expressed; inexplicit.
2. Not thinking or expressing oneself clearly.
3. Lacking definite shape, form, or character; indistinct: saw a vague outline of a building through the fog.
Not clear in meaning or application. See Synonyms at ambiguous.
Indistinctly felt, perceived, understood, or recalled; hazy: a vague uneasiness.


Rebooting and Rooks

I feel rebooted.

The last four days, away from work, travelling about, has been full of people, adventures, magic and stories. I have taken in so much, it will take a while for it to mull around and come back out again as ponderings.

Somewhere inside, Things make sense that didn’t make sense before. I have tied up some loose ends and found many new threads for more journeying. Including but not limited to; properties of water, aikido, balancing, movement. christianity ane meshing with other things. A huge dose of information on history of art – I found a shop in glastonbury full of pre-raphelite and victorian romantic art (it made me think of Amy ). The ownerness is packing up the shop and moving to Cyprus, hopefully to start teaching as well. She downloaded reams of information and inspiration into my little head. Suddenly, dawning awarness – just because i did science all the way through school, there is no reason whatsover I can’t learn about history or art! Obvious, perhaps, but also liberating.

I keep coming back to the notion/concept of ‘energy’, which has encompassed and expanded from the desire to find energy-as-a-mystical-scientific ‘thing’ to more of a natural way of thinking about how stuff works and moves and interacts.


Days of life, and experience, and people. Talking and listening and watching and learning and loving. Reconnecting with friends, giving and taking and enjoying and relaxing and shaking about.

I have grown up a little more, or perhaps, grown closer a little more. I can see where and what I need to do and go, the biggest block is apathy and fear, as always, but also I can’t just sit back and make things happen. The value of experience is paramount to learning.

I can not right now express or describe to you everything. Memories are off glinting sunlight on a river, the taste of ginger cake and listening to the story of my buddhist friend trying to find his way. Standing on top of the tor, as the wind blew crazy vortices on the grass; wind so strong you could lean on it…the feeling of flight and exuberance and being alive. (Like the rooks and crows that cawed and played beneath you). Darkness fading and then encroaching again. Exertion and rest. Watching Malaika dance while wearing an 1930’s bowler hat (which she makes look -good-). Making biscuits with Rachel in a sunlit kitchen. Candle lit passion and being held to the sound of beating stormy rain. Laughter. Lying on cushions and sheepskin in a ‘goddess temple’ and feeling peaceful. much…

I suspect that, we can use our minds and intellects to create walls, to build castles we can feel safe in. Or we can use the same for removing obstructions. I don’t think that I need to build new answers any more, which includes, building a new ‘self’ that’s better than the old one. All I need to do, is remove what is in the way and see what is actually -there-. To look for common sense not complex theory. We all have ‘voices’ in our heads; mad and sane a like, of friends, driving instructors, parents, education. Somewhere in here, I have found the little voice that is ‘mine’. This is the voice I want to encourage and one day to be able to express, be it in words or art or action.

If I am serious about this, it will take more than words.

I have also realised that scientific-rationalism really IS but one tool on the swiss-army knife of human ability.

So there πŸ˜‰

Gender, Identity and such

You know all my recent ponderings and questions and such on gender, sexuality and so on? Well, I have really enjoyed listening , and thank you for you input because it has helped me a lot, given me some points of reference outside my own limited view.

Well, today Mark-In-Japan popped on AIM and handed me a link to a page which basically sums the whole thing up for me. Most of the things there I have considered before, but that page kinda puts its altogether a bit more concisely than I could.

a couple of added comments/highlights
“Your gender is a focus point for your consciousness grounding you in nature through the powerful force of sex and procreation. Your sexual qualities are a part of you, they do not define you.”
While I can see that your identity should not be constrained by cultural gender concepts, I DON’T follow that this means we should become all asethetic (sp?) gender neutral abstract entities. For me, my biological gender IS important in that its part of my body, and my body is what keeps me -grounded- and where all these things come together. Being a woman is not so much defining me, but an expression of me and in some way the main focus-gronding point between hazy mental trains of thought and the physical reality. I don’t think it healthy to deny your body. There is something else I know about this which I can’t put into words yet…

..its somewhere in this (rather interesting if controversial) passage though.

In the west we think that live in a such a liberal and open culture where we see sex everywhere blatantly displayed and worshiped. Yet in reality we are sexually excessive while at the same time being gender repressed. We are psychologically trapped by our cultures limiting gender expectations and
classifications. In a truly liberal culture there would be far less homosexuality and lesbianism, far less debasement and denigration of human sexuality and far less loveless sex. In a gender liberal culture a person would be accorded respect and acceptance as an individual first and as a male or female individual second. This type of gender freedom would create a variety of role model options for each gender to identify with, so that the majority of people could begin to live genuinely and without self reproach or recrimination and without having to either deny nor exaggerate their inherent psychological traits and qualities.

I have to admitt that I do have mixed feelings about homosexuality (in theory more than practice?). It’s not that I think it’s BAD in itself, but more I take issue the often-implied tennant that “(simply by virtue of the fact we are gay, it means) our love has transcended the classic boundaries of gender! ” when actually I don’t think that follows at all. I think there are just as many problems and entrappments and repressions going on in what seems so often to be potrayed as “a people liberated!”.–(edit: stupid stupid stupid girl!!! what are you saying! I will leave the rest in tho) Straight people, gay people, bi people, whatever, I think everyone has to learn about accepting and loving the person ‘within’ the body/perceptions/assumptions. This includes YOU as well as someone else.

doo be do de dum…. πŸ™‚