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
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
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.
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.
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
I am an independent thinker. I
am not a conformist. I am that odd one who, like Henry
David Thoreau, marches to a
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,
O is quite the
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
lava tubes, practically in my backyard, and limestone
caves in southern Indiana and Kentucky, home of Mammoth
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
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."
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