Random Bits & Pieces, Part II

Sunday, November 4, 2001


This is a continuation of yesterday's Random Bits & Pieces,  "a streaming of miscellaneous tidbits of my life, in no particular order or design."

I recommend this exercise highly.  The nooks and crannies of your  life are there to be explored when you are ready.   "When the student is ready, the guru appears."

I was readier than I thought.

I am a fiercely independent, self-sufficient person.  I came from a privileged, upper middle-class home, but chose not to exploit it.  If I could do it myself, I did it.  You see, my father was a real-life Horatio Alger  hero to me.  He claimed the American Dream by pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.  In his case, his rubbah slippahs (pidgin for rubber thongs, zoris, go-aheads). 

I aspired to be just like Dad.  Emulating his personal initiative and self-sufficiency,  I earned scholarships for college and worked part-time and summer jobs to cover my living expenses.  

When I was 13, I was given the opportunity to go to a college preparatory boarding school on another island.   I realized that it was gift given to a very few.  While I needed my parents' financial help then, I stubbornly resisted asking my parents for more than what was absolutely necessary to subsist. They were already doing so much for me.

My father's financial success created challenges for me, as I was eliminated from any consideration of financial aid based on need.  I was limited to scholarships based on merit, and this limitation proved to be the best incentive to do my best as a student. Maintaining a near perfect GPA to earn  scholarships, while working part-time jobs, was an intricate juggling act,  which required foreplanning , efficiency, and focused effort.  These acquired lifeskills have served well ever since.

In college, I lived an ascetic life of self-imposed poverty, and  I often felt like I was following the Buddha's footsteps.  He gave up a princely life to learn poverty, in order to learn that it is best to live the middle way, between luxury and poverty.

>> More about Gautama Buddha's life

 As did Buddha, I had a safety net.  My parents.  I knew I could count on them.  They would have fed me before I starved to death, or loaned me money before I had to drop out of college for  lack of funds. This sense of security allowed me to take greater risks for growth and forge ahead on my own.   

To this day, I don't mooch, and I don't take a shine to moochers.  I don't waste, and I disdain wastrels who dissipate time, money,  and material resources.  

Most of all, these days,  it's "pay back" time.  I am now the safety net for those who are stretching themselves, going beyond their "limitations".  


I am an independent thinker.  I am not a conformist.  I am that odd one who, like Henry David Thoreau, marches to a different drummer.  

>> On different drummers

I have a strong sense of right and wrong, which has helped me to resist temptation, sometimes against  all odds and having to  withstand overbearign to go with the group consensus.  Whille I am not infallible, but  I have yet to compromise my personal and professional integrity.  I walk the line.

I am more of a listener than a talker.  I am not, however,  afraid to speak up on ethical matters, knowing that if God is for me, who can be against me.   I have often surprised those who stereotype me as a submissive minority woman, a fragile flower.  This forthrightness gets me tapped for leadership, power, brain trust,  and political positions that I neither aspire to or relish.

I am a maverick. With a strong individualistic streak, I like doing my own thing, preferring to be unbeholden to interest groups, political organizations, and commercial interests.

Life is not a popularity contest or a conformity fest. Because I am tenaciously steadfast and independent in my thinking, I have been able to  help my fellow humans on a national and global level in a quietly effective manner.  Waffling, justifying and and rationalizing never makes a  wrong a right. This, I inherited from my father, who inherited it from his ancestors who practiced the way of the warrior.



>> Before you read on, click here and see if you think outside the box.  

I am known (and occasionally misunderstood) for thinking outside of the box.  I don't take it personally.  I was one of the first fruit of the gifted children's program in Hawai`i in the early 1960s.  

We were given the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler IQ tests and gained entrance based on our scores. There were six of us selected from three grades, and we met with a teacher once a week.

Early in our academic experience, we were encouraged to be inquisitive, question, and think creatively and independently.  We were taught to be original, unconstrained by apparent parameters.  We were trained to look at problem from various perspectives, especially the long shot; and we were rewarded for not accepting the obvious answers.  

We were gifted with the freedom to be ourselves.

I am a registered Independent.  I dislike politics.  I am wary of politicians.  But someone's got to do it, and I don't want to,  so I don't complain. 

I go out of my way to exercise my freedom to vote,  appreciating it as a hard-won right and privilege.  As an Independent,  I  vote for the person I feel is best for the job.  I am blind to gender, color, race, political party, sexual preference,  and religious affiliation.  I didn't vote for Mr. Gore or Mr. Bush. I was more attracted to their vice-presidential running mates; Mr. Lieberman's high integrity and Mr. Cheney's formidable experience were attractive.

In hindsight,  I'm glad that President Bush was elected, as he has surrounded himself with competent, experienced advisors. I especially like General Colin Powell.

We need all the smarts and cool heads that we can muster, including our own. 


I love my Cloud 9 pajamas and booties. (I'm wearing them right now).  They are the most comfortable ever, and yes, I can't wait to get home from work to put them on.  

Recently, O personalized them for me.  I had some dog biscuits in my right pocket, and she literally ate  two inches off the pajama top's lower edge  to get to them.   The right side is shorter with a  frayed lower edge.  

I've since come to like O's mouthcraft. It's an original with a one-of-a-kind, asymmetrical look.

O is quite the artiste.

In spite of a strong aversion to needles bordering on a phobia,  I had my ears pierced in high school.  Just one hole per lobe.   I've never considered body piercings or tattoos.  My tastes have evolved with the ears, and a person is stuck with their holes and tattos for life.

Not raised in or belonging to any church,   I am, however,  the most prayerful person I know.  I am in constant dialogue -- atheists and agnostics  may believe, monologue -- with God and my Heavenly Family.


I love to sing, even if my range is less than an octave and I am often off-key.   l love to sing-a-long, and I'm a master at lip-synching notes I can't reach.  I love to dance, ballroom and hula.  I am may not be the  most graceful or coordinated, but I sure have fun dancing.   I love to laugh, even if my laugh is a quiet one.  I love to chant.  I love to garden and get my hands in contact with the Earth.  I love homegrown flowers. I love to read.  I love dogs.  I love artwork.  I love quiet, private spaces.  I love Zen environments, spartan and clean. I love to be productive.  I inherited all of these loves from my Grandmother Satsuma, who raised me,  and her son, my father.  

We are three peas in a pod.



A protected,  alpine mountain valley with sunny skies and starry nights, alongside a large, placid  lake, is my most favorite place in the world.  

>> Here's a view of the valley and the lake.

I received my first kiss when I was in 8th grade.  My beau was a older man -- a junior in high school.  Gasp.  Not to worry, it didn't go pass  shy  handholding and that first kiss.

>> Click here for Bouguereau's delightfully sweet and innocent rendering of The First Kiss.

Sushi is my favorite food.  I like making my own, but I especially like having it made for me by an itamae (sushi chef).  The preparation can be as dramatic and  disciplined as a classical dance performance; the sushi, a three-dimensional work of studied art

I sleep on my right side, and sometimes on my stomach, rarely on my back, with my husband to my left, Freddy often between us for the first few minutes, and O at the foot of the bed.

I'm not big on jewelry. I've seen how they own people. What I do like is functional, simple, and classically beautiful.   

I am heterosexual, but I am not very girly.  I was a tomboy as a girl, tagging along with my father to work and the ranch. I much prefer working outside than inside.  I enjoy guy interests more than gal stuff.  I picked a profession that was dominated by males.

I may look trés femme on the outside (so I am told), but  I fancy myself to be a strong, balanced  woman on the inside.  I tend to attract birds of a feather as women friends and appreciate them for their rarity.   

In general, I like guy conversations more than girl talk.   Whining, gossiping, and tales about soap opera lives that go on and on and on leave me cold and exhausted.  Forcing myself to pay attention to vacuous chatter that go nowhere and say little tax me.  

I absolutely love the Oprah Book Club discussions, usually all women.  I am no misogynist.  I like intelligent, thinking, and productive  women, just the way I like my men. 

I prefer beer (and always in a glass, thank you) over  wine; I dislike frou-frou pretty drinks with umbrellas, usually way too sweet for my palate.  

I like physical activities like walking, skiing, biking, and hiking.  I like to go spelunking, but caves give my husband the creeps.  Before I met him, I spelunked Hawaiian lava tubes, practically in my backyard, and limestone caves in southern Indiana and Kentucky, home of Mammoth Caves.

I have no problem with women who want to be in the kitchen, if that's where they want to be.  Being a domestic goddess is not in the cards for this life.  I blame this on never having taken a home economics class in 9th grade.   

I'm an okay baker.  My maternal grandparents had a Mom-and-Pop bakery, and I learned a few tricks of their trade.  My husband's cooking skills easily surpassed mine after the first year of marriage.  I taught him everything I knew, and he enhanced and improved on it.  

I am the initiator, the  idea person, menu planner, and gracious hostess.  I am also a most excellent  cleaner-upper with "a place for everything, and everything in its place."


I am the luckiest person in matters of the heart.  I adore and respect my husband, and I love him, as the refrain goes,  "more today than yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow."


I love life.

"Life is a Gift."

Author Unknown

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September 29, 2001
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