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Arika Straata

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  • How can I help my husband through his grief?

    My husband’s mother died of cancer when he was 24 or 25, about ten years ago, well before I even met him. He never really talked about her much, but I know it affected him deeply. Recently, his grandfather (his mother’s father) passed (old age) and while he was doing all right for a while, he’s recently been spiraling into a depressive state that he finally admitted to me was because he had been thinking about his mom and how he wish he had tried to know her better when she was alive. All I could really do was hug him.

    I don’t know how to help him because he’s a very private person and bottles a lot up. Part of it is because he’s Japanese and was raised with the social stigma that you have to get over your mental issues yourself. I don’t think it’s helpful to force him to talk but I feel very helpless because he won’t talk with me about personal issues unless i get fed up and either yell or cry about my frustrations, which feels very selfish if I’m honest.

    6 AnswersFamily2 years ago
  • I dreamt I dropped my cell phone into a river and retrieved it?

    ***PLEASE DO NOT COPY PASTE INFORMATION FROM DREAMMOODS OR SIMILAR SITES*** I have already been there and cannot decipher this on my own.

    I think I was biking along a path alongside a river (a familiar routine for me) with my cell phone either in my hand or sitting on top of my bag, when it kind of jumped/fell into the river (as if I hit a bump). I got frustrated and resigned at the same time, but I thought maybe it would be in the mud of the river bank, so I climbed down.

    I sank into the mud up to about mid-calf and blindly started searching the shallow, muddy water. I found it pretty quickly before climbing out. Both I and the phone were miraculously clean, though wet.

    (From here on, I think I was starting to wake up, or at least become lucid, since cohesive thoughts found their way in. I'll mark what I believe to be lucidity with asterisks like this: *_____*)

    I dried it off and thought, *"I have to find some rice," because I've heard rice can absorb water from phones and make them work again. * I went to take out the battery and SIM card, but *remembered I had an iPhone so I couldn't * and accidentally turned it on instead. It still worked!

    I woke up shortly after that.

    1 AnswerDream Interpretation7 years ago
  • What does "this" mean in the following sentences?

    "My father bought me this great Elbow CD for my birthday."

    "Have you heard of La Tolteca? It's this excellent Mexican place near Danny's house."

    "After that, I visited this cute little shop that sold hair ties."

    *Note: I am a native speaker, but I'm trying to figure out how to explain the use of "this" to my EFL students.

    4 AnswersWords & Wordplay7 years ago
  • Dreaming of two full moons and weird solar activity in general?

    I had a dream that I was with my friends and when I went outside, I saw two full moons. They were slightly different in face, but I felt like it was the same moon - like I was seeing double. They were the same size. As I looked closer, I noticed that one had more craters. I could see them very clearly.

    My friend said, "Hey, is it just me, or are there...?"

    "Two moons." I responded. I felt a little relieved that I wasn't the only one to notice.

    Other objects, larger than the moon, started to appear in the sky, but I thought they were more moons. They were less clear, almost translucent, and massive. Then, another full moon appeared. bigger than the other two, and seemed to overlap everything a bit.

    I was in awe, and I watched as the largest moon started to fade away from the bottom up, as though something was covering it. When it vanished, so did all of the other anomalies, including the second moon.

    I said to my friends excitedly, "Oh! That must have been the lunar eclipse I heard about! I heard one was coming!" and then explained the other things in the sky must have been projections of space stations. Then I woke up.

    *Note: I have seen both lunar and solar eclipses before, so I think my subconscious was just "explaining away" the weirdness. In my dream at this point, I was feeling relieved that I could understand the situation, but knew I was making assumptions.

    1 AnswerDream Interpretation7 years ago
  • How can I reduce my boyfriend's stress - or, at least, my own?

    My boyfriend doesn't have a job, and this is a source of a lot of stress for both of us. He refuses to do part time work (a point of contention) and wants to focus on his career. Fair enough, but at the same time, my salary isn't enough to keep us both afloat. On top of which, I cook two meals a day and pack us lunches, work 40+ hours a week, and try to keep the apartment in check, while he doesn't really do anything except practice, try to make connections, and think.

    He thinks a lot.

    When things are good, they're really, really good, but when he gets into this anxious-thinking mode, I can't talk to him because he just gets angry. He doesn't think out loud, so I have no idea what he's worrying about, and at the end, he tends to make a decision and suddenly (angrily?) just dash off. And I'm sick to death of it. This happens at least twice a month, and when I bring up my problems (even a small one, like something that irritated me at work that day), he makes light of them, as though they're stupid a petty, or points out that his problems are much bigger and he doesn't have time to be worrying about my **** right now.

    And that's fine, except that his problems are chronic, whereas mine are more immediate. Even "Do you want pizza or hamburgers for dinner tonight?" is met with a lot of hemming and hawing.

    Maybe I just want to complain. I don't know. But I wish I could at least understand how he's feeling and what he's thinking, if for no other reason than to rid myself of this anxiety.

    2 AnswersMental Health7 years ago
  • Can I get a Masters in Education online?

    - My undergraduate degree was in Asian Culture

    - I currently teach (and have taught) EFL for three years (going on four) in Japan

    - I'm interested in returning to the US or moving on to Europe or Australia to teach ESL or Japanese (holding a JLPT N2 certification)

    - I would like to work in a University setting.

  • Do live TEFL certification courses have more value than online certification?

    I currently work full time as an EFL teacher/instructor overseas, but I do not have TEFL certification. I've been here for three years and am about to enter my fourth, but I'm starting to get a little antsy and would like to move soon. I was thinking about Europe, but I noticed that most places require TEFL certification.

    The biggest downside I can find to getting the certification online is the lack of teaching experience - and with three years and on under my belt, I can't see how this would be detrimental.

    Note: I am an American, and I recognize that getting employment in the EU would be difficult. This is something I'm considering doing in late 2015, and I'm just looking for information now.

    3 AnswersTeaching7 years ago
  • How to handle my fiance's clothing-related OCD?

    He admitted to me that he has some kind of problem with his clothes. I'm not clear on what it is (he won't flat-out tell me), but it has something to do with his clothes having a certain level of cleanliness.

    Yesterday, not knowing about this, I did a massive amount of laundry he'd hoarded (we live together) and arranged his closet so it was neat. When he came home, he kind of lost it because now it all has to be thrown out and replaced - and some of it is brand new. As in, still has tags on it.

    We agreed that he'll be more proactive about cleaning and I just won't touch his stuff from now on, but aside from that, I'm trying to understand more about what's wrong with him so I don't cross the line again. He doesn't want to talk about it because it's too embarrassing for him, and I feel terrible kind of going behind his back like this, but I just don't know what else to do.

    3 AnswersMental Health7 years ago
  • What kind of screw is this?

    Two screws fell off my my violin case, causing the handle to fall off. I'm looking for replacements, but I can't identify the type of screw.

    It's a 1" blunted phillip's pan head screw, but the threading only goes from the head down about 1/4 of the body, if that. The rest is smooth.

    There aren't any repair shops around here (I live in a city and don't own a car, and it's hard to find this kind of specialty screw locally), so I'm looking to buy a pack of them online or something. If anyone can link me something with pictures (or better yet, somewhere to buy them!) that's the best answer for me.

    6 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)7 years ago
  • Can someone interpret this dream? (Tornadoes and dogs - but I'm no Dorothy)?

    I'll preface this by saying I'm not sure if this is one, two, or three dreams all mixing together. It's just a weird little circus of information that I'm trying to get a handle on.

    I'm on my way to a performance (I can't remember what kind, but I'm the one going to be performing), and I see two small-sized dogs running around together. They're not puppies; they look like Bichon Frise or Pomeranians or something. There are no other people around, so I pick one of them up and try to find its collar, when I notice its back two feet are loosely bound together and there's some sort of air tube running into it - so it's sick, and I want to get it and the other one back to their owner.

    I look up and notice some odd clouds forming. They combine into a funnel shape off in the distance. I go to pick up the dogs, and when I look up again, the narrow white funnel has darkened and thickened into a massive, slowly moving column. I'm not afraid, but I am worried for my home. For some reason, I feel that the column won't move, so I try to decide whether it's near my place based on how far west it is. I decide it's far enough away, when I look up and see that it's turned on its side to create a kind of sideways S shape and that the base has moved further east. I'm immediately annoyed, because this means I can't go back to my apartment, so I head straight to whatever performance theater I was headed to.

    While walking, I try to check the dog tags to see where they live, if it's on the way, but they're really struggling against that, so I just carry them. I also notice mountains in the distance seem to have their leaves changing color, but I can't see too clearly because I'm focusing on the dogs.

    I get to the theater, and find out that I'm in two consecutive performances - the first is a dancing number, and I'm slathered with white makeup to make me practically glow under the lights. I won't have time to completely change between acts, so I decide just to clean off the makeup and continue. While I'm doing this, I put the dogs somewhere. I find them being messed with later - the one that had her legs kind of tied together has been put on some kind of walker, so her hind legs touch the ground and her front legs don't. I take her off it and try to find her brother. It takes a long time, and it's late afternoon by the time I can set out to return them. I'm angry by the way they were treated, but when I get outside, I notice the leaves really have started to change. They're gorgeous, in red-orange-yellow-green fading beautifully from top to bottom. The trees I see are magnolias.

    When I return the dogs, I find that one of them has gone missing, and at this point, I'm fed up with small dogs and the owner. The owner seems to be someone I know, because I'm returning them to a cafe I've been to before, but it's dark and seems to be closed, so I can't go in. I leave the last dog in the screened-in front area and leave.

    On my way back, I pass my work place and go in. My old boss is there, working again. I say something lame, like "long time no see!" She looks happy to see me, but I sense a kind of animosity that I can't place.

    And then I wake up.

    1 AnswerDream Interpretation7 years ago
  • Is a relationship without sex weird?

    My boyfriend and I are not terribly interested in sex. We sleep together every night (we live together), but we haven't had sex, and don't really plan to in the foreseeable future. I don't have a problem with this, but I'm wondering if it's particularly unnatural or odd.

    5 AnswersSingles & Dating7 years ago
  • Why does relationship advice always devolve into "have more sex" ?

    Any time I seek advice online about my boyfriend or dating, I always get advice like "suck his dick!" or "just sleep with him!" It's kind of frustrating, because I'm going slowly with him - he doesn't have a lot of relationship experience, and I want him to be comfortable with me. Just jumping in like that would be a serious breach of trust (especially at this point), and while it is something we need to talk about soon, people telling me to essentially molest/rape him is not advice.

    So, why is it that people seem to think sex is the answer?

    2 AnswersSingles & Dating7 years ago
  • Are there any opportunities for International students over the age of 30 to learn violin in France?

    My boyfriend wants to learn violin in France, but he'll be 30 next year, which seems to be the cutoff.

    Neither of us can find any options past 30 years old, and that leaves us less than a year to come up with the money and learn the language.

    It's a stretch looking on here, but any help is appreciated.

    2 AnswersStudying Abroad8 years ago
  • Should I move to France with my boyfriend?

    I moved to Japan to teach English three years ago and I love it.

    I've recently got a boyfriend here, and we're pretty serious, but he wants to move to France next year for three years for university, and I'm on the fence about it. My concerns are that I don't speak French or even have much interest in it, I'm in a good place right now with my job (which I love), and I don't have any savings. The last of which is not as big of a problem, but it is something to be concerned about. Also getting a job in France is a concern, because aside from speaking English (and teaching it) I have no real marketable skills.

    He said that if I don't go with him, he'd want to get married before he leaves.

    2 AnswersOther - Family & Relationships8 years ago
  • Help identifying a bug in Japan?

    I live in Japan, and recently I've seen these large flying bugs around the city. I honestly thought they were the horrifying Japanese wasp at first glance, because they have a black and yellow underbelly. I had the opportunity to get a closer look today (no camera on me, unfortunately).

    Body approximately two inches (5cm) long, similar wingspan. Wings are clear and jut out from the body in a "v" shape. The body has three different sections - the top near the head was green and about half an inch long. The main portion of the body looked to be white, and this was about an inch and a half. The third section was also about half an inch, and was yellow and black. While I was looking at it, I noticed that this yellow and black section was fuzzy, and appeared to be bristling a little. I think the underside is yellow and black with some sort of pattern at least one inch long.

    Just curious, if anyone can help, I would appreciate it!

    2 AnswersJapan8 years ago
  • Would our next meeting be too soon to talk about being serious?

    I met a guy on OKCupid, and he asked me to coffee (pretty much within an hour of him having messaged me), so I went. I wasn't sure if it counted as a date so much as a getting-to-know-you sort of event. Regardless, we exchanged numbers, exchanged texts all week, and agreed to meet again today. Originally we were going to hang out all day, but he found out he had to leave for a business trip in the afternoon, so we ended up having lunch and going to a karaoke box for a bit. We hugged before he caught a taxi, and he sent me texts when he got to the airport and after he landed.

    I think it's pretty clear that he's into me, and I do really like him, but we've only seen each other twice - I've only known him a week! Still, I'm looking for something steady, and I don't want to limit myself waiting for him to say something, but I don't want to feel like I'm leading other people on by meeting up while I'm waiting for him.

    1 AnswerSingles & Dating8 years ago
  • I'm dating Don Draper?

    Not really - but the guy I'm sort-of seeing right now, I found out that he has (or, at least, had) a wife and two kids. We're still in the very beginning stages of our relationship so I'm glad I found out now, but he didn't tell me (I found out by Googling him).

    I've read that you shouldn't talk about your past relationships until things start to get serious, but I really feel like I should confirm this information sooner rather than later. Any tips or advice on how or when would be appreciated (we're meeting for lunch and hanging out in the afternoon on Sunday, and I was trying to figure out how to bring it up then, if I can).

    2 AnswersSingles & Dating8 years ago
  • The guy I'm interested in might be married?

    I met a guy on OKCupid and we really hit it off - exchanged numbers and agreed to meet again on Sunday to hang out in the city. I decided to google him for fun, and found a few articles he was interviewed for where he mentions his wife and children.

    Now, these are from a year ago or more, so it's entirely possible that they've divorced since then, but I'm not sure how comfortable I feel about dating someone who has kids. I feel kind of guilty for even looking him up now, and I'm not sure how I should bring this up with him next time - or if I even should.

    4 AnswersSingles & Dating8 years ago
  • Sex turns me off, but other things turn me on?

    I don't even need to actually experience it, but nine times out of ten, just imagining someone holding my hand, smiling at me, or kissing me makes me a lot more excited than the prospect of actually having sex. Is there something wrong with me?

    I'm a virgin and I've never had an actual bf/gf, if it matters. Closest I got was this guy that made out with me at a party and tried to get me to go to a hotel with him that night.

    2 AnswersOther - Society & Culture8 years ago
  • Wipe down the treadmill?

    I heard you're supposed to wipe down the treadmill at a gym when you're finished. This makes sense to me for other machines, but what exactly are you supposed to wipe on a treadmill?

    I do wipe the bar off after I've used it to check my heart rate, but is there something else I'm missing?

    3 AnswersDiet & Fitness8 years ago