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Mon, Apr. 18th, 2011, 06:00 am
Can't catch my breath...

...and life keeps spinning.

Sat, Mar. 5th, 2011, 08:26 pm
The Urgency of the Heart

It's been a tough time. Taking care of my mom and my aunt as well as training, adding on LCSW supervision, and, oh, jobs one (the big KP), two (P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc.), and three (blogging--not here but here and here), not to mention exercise and trying to keep healthy and alive not to mention physically tuned up for basketball, hiking, racing, and cycling has kept me overly busy.

And I'm in the midst of an eleven day work stretch, which had a super busy Saturday smack dab in the middle of it.

I'm tired, I'm grumpy, I'm holding my tongue rather than lashing out. It's time for some time off soon--this weekend, then four days off starting next Thursday--but how much of that time off will be mine?

Battling my own selfishness has been an ongoing theme recently.

***

Remembering that I am third--inspired by Gale Sayers's autobiography, at least to some extent--makes things more difficult in terms of behavior, but makes making choices clearer. How do I remember what to do first? That which is of service to my faith, my family, my friends, and then me.

I can make those choices without much thought. I can do what I choose with little difficulty. What I'm having difficulty with is overcoming my attitude and feelings.

Orthodoxy--right thought and speech--is fine, but it's not as important in my view as orthopraxy--right doing.

But right being--which I don't know an ortho word for--would be best of all. Having the thought, the words, the attitude, and the behavior.

I'm not there, not yet. I don't know if I'll get there, but I have a goal that I will. Eventually.

***

My cousin Mike, only 55, died unexpectedly the other day. No one really knows what happened, he was a surfer, and young, so we're all shocked.

I wasn't especially close to Mike, but in a lot of ways, he was like me--or maybe more, I was like him. On the Suenaga side of the family, just about all of the families have one child (me in my case) who is unmarried and watches over--to varying degrees--their parent(s). Kim, Ed, and me now; Mike was one of us too.

Until the autopsy is done, none of us will know what happened to Mike (and quite frankly we still may not have any answers after that either). He may have had some disease that was undiagnosed--or maybe he knew about it and never let anyone else know.

Rest in peace, Mike.

***

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my personal life.

There, I've mentioned it.

(Only kidding).

My birthday came and went and it was celebrated by some awesome friends both from life and online. The Twitter gang and I went to Yogurstory and then a smaller group to karaoke. Missing my pal Lisa--we're still close but tons have changed on both sides--and others, but always glad for new friends.

And I still not only haven't had enough time to open holiday presents fully, I've not touched the birthday stuff at all. I'm three months plus behind in life.

Valentine's Day came and went this year and like usual, the only person I did anything for was R, really, although it was really her early birthday present. And of course not only did I not do anything for Ms. Unreliable, she forgot (or ignored, which I try not think about) my birthday again.

I don't really know if that's better than the year she took me out for my birthday to somewhere she chose that was cash only and didn't come with any cash.

On the other hand, she could remember me a couple of weeks later when her car battery died and she needed help both fixing it and paying for it. Then forget it when we were supposed to be heading over for dinner on a Friday night.

Still wanting her to finish the PhD and just move away.

***

I've decided--like it's a decision--that until my aunt's situation is resolved, no dating (among other "no" items, but that's the biggest one).

I say "like it's a decision" because it's not like I expect that to be tested very much. Let's face it--it's not like every day, or even every year, do I meet someone who I would date. I don't think of my standards as high--whatever that means--but I do think of myself as a difficult match.

Which is unfortunate, and not something I'm sure I actually would like to change.

As usual, I wonder what to think when I encounter couples who have been together for however long. I'm clearly not an expert on this subject--duh--but I wonder if my thoughts about someone I would date make any sense.

I've said before that it's clear to me that sometimes we do a really crappy job at picking who we partner with. I look no further than my friend's desk at work--years after she stopped dating a guy, I met him, and while he's a great guy, in no way is he a match for her.

In no way. Like OMGWTF no way.

And I've experienced this for myself as well. Not just in the OMGWTF was I thinking wake ups years later I discussed last time, but also from friends. Years after having met and briefly dated Geek Girl, two of her former coworkers, on learning I dated her, thought the same six letters above.

OMGWTF

Perhaps I need to change what I would accept. It's clear that what I would accept is… different from most people. Talking to a guy I know very well, when he's asked what kind of lady he'd go out with, it's "Japanese, shorter than me," and not a whole lot else.

Or when I hear other, female friends tell me about some "loser" (their words) guy they dated, they say he didn't have a job.

Isn't that supposed to be part of the screening process? To me, just not having a job would weed someone out right there. But there I am, who not just wants to be with someone with a job, but a particular kind of job. To be of a certain ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation and religion and drive a certain make of car and be financially and emotionally on stable footing.

Is that too much to ask? Maybe it is. Because on top of all of that, not only do I have to find her attractive, she's gotta at least be willing to go out with me.

And all that has to happen, all of those things need to coincide, with a time that I'm not overwhelmed in life, like I've been with my aunt recently--among everything else.

That seems pessimistic, probably because it is. But yet, guess what? Perhaps with less stringent demands or less crazy lives, it happens for millions of other people all the time.

It just doesn't happen for me. Or at least not yet.

**

I think about the discussions in Angry Conversations With God on issues like the author's anger with God because he didn't deliver her the life she specified; that God didn't abide by her timetable; that she "married God" only for the success he could offer her, not for the possibility of a horrible life.

I can relate.

I've come to consider myself a very religious person in recent years, and yes, there are apparently some (although not tons) of parallels between Buddhism and Christianity. I wouldn't say I'm angry with anyone but me about some of the predicaments I'm in (although at the same time, perspective is important--after all, life could be much worse, and I am fortunate in many, many ways).

This is my life. For better. Or worse. And not everything is in the better category. But neither is everything in the worse category either. In many ways, I have an ideal life.

Just not in every way.

No matter what I'm brought, I resolve to be grateful and not just to think the right thoughts, have the right intensions, and do the right thing, but to be the right person.

Until next time, in reverence, I remain.

***

And finally, since this is being written on a Saturday, I'm close enough to when it was out to participate in a Friday 5:

1. Dr. Seuss’s first published book was And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street!. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve witnessed on your street?

A few weeks back we had a water main break, which I think qualifies as "interesting" (if not just sucky). If I expanded the street definition to the main road, a few months ago, a killing happened just off of it :(

2. In The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, a boy removes his hat to pay respect to the passing king, but each hat is somehow replaced by a bigger, fancier hat. If you’re a hat person, what’s your current favorite? If not, under what circumstances did you last wear a hat?

I cannot recall the last time I wore a hat--for a very brief period of time in high school I tried to make myself a hat person, but that didn't work out, mostly because I have a large head. But if it counts (and even if it doesn't), I wore a bike helmet today.

3. In If I Ran the Zoo…, a boy fantasizes about how fantastic the zoo would be under his administration. What’s your local zoo like, and how do you like it?

I haven't been to the zoo in awhile, but I do indeed like it. It's relatively cheap to visit, and it's really fun for adults and kids. I wish it was larger, but it's decent for what it is.

4. In Green Eggs and Ham, the main character refuses to taste a certain dish until, just to get Sam to leave him alone, he gives in and discovers that he likes it. When did something like this happen to you?

I don't recall this ever happening to me. I guess the closest would be me discovering after years of not liking his music, starting to like some of Rod Stewart's songs.

5. The Foot Book contains a lesson about judging others based on their feet. Feet seem to be something people have widely polar opinions about! How do you feel about feet, and can you think of someone in your life who has especially nice feet?

I feel like, as a diabetic, I would love to keep my feet, and that's a goal of mine. I'm not sure who has especially nice feet, partially because almost everyone I know covers their feet up with shoes (or in R's case, boots).

Sun, Jan. 9th, 2011, 09:53 pm
New Year--Same Stuff?

I get the feeling that 2010 was a year where I gained in some areas and gave ground in others; where I grew up some and just aged in many ways.

It was a year I moved farther away from my Apple II friends--the folks who have stood by me forever, but also many of whom have been shouting me down in anonymous and not-so-anonymous email for years. A year where I moved even closer to the local Twitter community, where I moved ahead athletically, where I traveled to Philadelphia to do the Livestrong Challenge but didn't travel to Kansas City for the first time in more than a decade to go to KansasFest.

A year alone--or rather, another, despite the fact that I'm almost never alone.

***

Ramping up my fitness program--or at least changing it up. I've plateaued both on weight and fat loss, but I'm working on it. Reading Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald--only about 1/2 done, so I'll have to renew it to finish--which is both informational and depressing, since my body fat scale continues to tell me I'm between 27 and 29 percent body fat. And why is this book not available (yet) in electronic format?

Makes me wonder just how much body fat I had when I weighed 265 pounds instead of 179.

Pretty pleased with my performance in this morning's run too. Personal record for the 5K--which is, of course, my fastest race of any length. Even though my body fat and weight were essentially identical to what they were three weeks ago, my times in the three mile (just about a 5K) have been getting faster--even though I'm clearly working very, very hard to get those times down.

Next up is an 8K in a couple of weeks.

***

I still haven't gotten all of the holiday presents open. It's not a matter of not wanting to, but of time being an issue--and time continues to be an issue. My aunt is still living with us--my feeling, and her doctor's too, is that she isn't likely to be able to live independently again. So her son, my cousin, is coming back from Massachusetts where he's lived for many years to take care of her, but until he arrives--February? March?--she's our responsibility.

Add to that the fact that I've started having two classes a week again and all of my usual commitments and I just sit down every so often to open a couple of gifts and that's about it.

I'm beat.

***

So one of the two parts of myself I don't like to see--the other part is the jealous part, which I -really- don't like to see--is the selfish part.

The difficulty now is whenever I have to take my off time from work to do something for my aunt (like take her to the doctor's or to her old apartment), I feel incredibly selfish.

I still do what I need to do for her, it's just how I feel.

People, I think, do not understand this. They see the behavior and they say it's generous. And yes, that is how it appears. But it's not enough to do the right thing, I'm finding. The attitude does matter too.

It's kind of interesting--so much of what I do in my work is talk to parents about their kid's behavior, and I so often find folks who believe if they find the perfect punishment, their kids will behave. It just doesn't work like that, so I keep saying that these things only work so much (positive and negative reinforcement), but more to the point--kids are not their behavior. Behavior is just a part of who they are.

Similarly, adults are not their behavior.

Even though this is a country where we consequence negatively only due to people's behavior--no one can get sent to jail for thinking about robbing a bank, they can only be sent to jail for actually planning it, doing it, or trying to do it--my behavior alone isn't enough for me. I have to fix my attitude.

I guess we all have something to work on. I have that.

The other thing to remember about behavior and consequences is that this is what psychiatric treatment plans fall on with untreatable personality disorders. That means it's the last resort.

My behavior is just a part of me. It's pretty decent.

The rest of me, including my attitude, needs to catch up.

***

So another holiday season gone. I, of course, sent Ms. Unreliable a present. I, of course, got nothing in return--which is fine. I also, of course, didn't get a thank you card--which is fine. I also, of course, didn't get an email thank you until today, mostly because I emailed her, which is my every few week duty.

This is still fine, mostly. But it points to my two questions which keep coming up with Ms. Unreliable-But-I-Insist-We-Stay-Friends:

Why insist on being friends with someone but not do the things that friends do? Or is my expectation of friend too high?

It's only a little bit of a time and emotion sink, but it still is one. If for no other reason than…

…ever have one of those times in life when you meet someone who says, "I used to go out with your friend," and you think about this person, and you think about your friend, and you think in your head to your friend, "Just WTF were you thinking?"

That's what I think when I look in the mirror at myself and think about Ms. Unreliable. "Just WTF were you thinking?"

Especially when I figured out a few months in that she had substantial financial issues. For a guy like me to wind up with someone who had financial issues is just unthinkable.

Maybe it was one of those situations where she looked better on paper than she did in real life. "Teacher, part Japanese, part Okinawan, Buddhist family, drives a… Subaru."

Close. On paper.

But not in real life. Yes, just WTF was I thinking?

Or am thinking now. I will bet $1000 she will forget my birthday. Or ignore it, but that sounds and feels a heckuva lot worse than forget does. If we really are friends, then it would feel better to me if my friend forgot rather than ignored.

***

Perhaps it was a discussion about the other Ms. Unreliable with one of my librarian friends who worked with her who gave me the thought above. Just WTF was I thinking when I went out with her was what she thought (and of course, my other librarian friend echoed that). I guess it is more evidence that we (okay, in this case "we" at least means "I") don't really do a great job of picking our own partners.

I guess a lot of how my love life has gone has a lot to do with how I view myself. I know I'm just a guy. I'm not the kind of guy women swoon over; I never have been and at this point it's unlikely I ever will be. It's interesting in the audiobook I keep listening to, Angry Conversations With God, that the other uses that exact phrase or a slight modification to it to describe so many of the men in her life, whether romantically involved or not: "just a guy" or "just a bunch of guys."

At the same time, the author talks about Really Nice Guy, the only guy in New York who asked her on a date but who she could not keep dating because he was too nice and too polite and not dangerous enough.

I relate to Really Nice Guy.

I guess in the same way I relate to Sign Guy (Mark) in Love, Actually.

Did you know that in Family Ties when Alex met Ellen she had a boyfriend? I related to that guy too. And I bet he was also a nice guy.

Or maybe I play a role in life like Gary in Last American Virgin.

From the outside looking in, is it possible to be a bit player in your own life? If so, maybe I am one. I don't know for sure, but I sure as heck don't appear to be the leading man. Maybe I need to be more of a jackass. Imagine how well that plays with the rest of my life.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I want to be the leading man, even if there are things I desire. I am third--faith is first, the people in my life are second, and I am third. Yet I read things like Donna's blog and how much she loves her husband or Rachel's Tweets about her sweetheart and I think to myself, "I really wish someone would think of me like that."

The question that gets asked that brings Susan to tears in Angry Conversations With God is, "Do you feel loved?"

***

If there's parallels between Susan in Angry Conversations With God and myself, one of them would be what she states before she meets her fiancee: "I was single and forty!" Another would be that at some point she admits to herself, "I may never get married."

Almost a year ago I wrote in this space about some of my younger friends who were talking about when they would get married, no ifs involved. I'm not envious, I'm just not sure I can relate. I don't think I was ever sure that I would (and since I haven't, that might be for the best--imagine my disappointment believing I would all along and it just never happening).

Yet--and I think this comes up because I found out in the last few weeks that Lynn, who, really, would have been the best actual match for me of anyone I've ever dated (yes, Okinawan Buddhist school teacher who drives a Camry, all of those), got married recently--I can't say I didn't have my chances, with her or Deanne, at least (definitely not with one of the Ms. Unreliables). I hold no ill will toward Lynn. She deserves a great guy, and I hope she got one (I don't know who the guy is at all). I just know that that guy happened to not be me.

Would that guy ever become me (or vice versa, I guess--I have to become that guy, possibly)?

I don't know.

I'm not jealous (at least I sure as heck believe and hope I'm not because that side of me is all kinds of ugly), but I am envious, the same way I envy other guys who have great wives and girlfriends--not because I want them, but because it would be nice to be wanted. At least in an appropriate way (I only mention that because one of my clients recently referred to me as "hot", which is [a] weird and [b] inappropriate as well as [c] the kind of thing that worries social workers because all it takes for someone to have their career go in the toilet is for someone to accuse them of something inappropriate happening).

It would be nice to be loved. In that way.

(On that theme just remember my previous entry about how "Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.")

***

Maybe I've spent too much time becoming a guy who looks "good on paper", the way I complain that Ms. Unreliable also looks good on paper, but not necessarily as good in real life. Just another play on the theme of being the kind of guy a girl's mother would want the girl to marry.

Doesn't always work out the way we want.

Or at least the way I want.

But it's not over yet. And I'm not a finished product.

That said, it's late and it's been yet another heckuva weekend and I need rest since this week we'll be short at work. So, in reverence, I remain.

Sun, Nov. 28th, 2010, 11:07 am
Wow, it's Been a Quarter?

Time flies when you're having fun. Or something.

It's been months since I've updated this blog. Not that I haven't felt the need to. My feeling is blogging helps my mental health, as well as helps me document what goes on in my life.

The issue this time is that life has gotten out of hand in terms of management.

Right now and over the last few months I've been training for first the Honolulu Century (done for about the eighth time) and the Honolulu Marathon (about to do for the second time). My marathon training has been going better than expected, but it also means it's taking tons of time.

In the meantime, my aunt was hospitalized and has since moved in with us. At 80, she's having memory issues and may never be able to live alone again. Since she's widowed and her son lives on the east coast, we took her in.

I love my aunt. My family loves my aunt. There's a lesson here for my niece in that we take care of our family.

But man, has it put a serious dent in my life.

I dislike saying that, true as it is, because the selfish part of myself is one of the two I don't like seeing (the other, the jealous part, is even uglier than the selfish part). I've been taking vacation time to take my aunt to the doctor, to her hair appointments, to the bank--whatever needs to happen. Managing her medication hasn't been fun either and there have been errors made--mostly by my mom, who has my aunt a lot of the day--but in general she's improved.

I just don't know if she's going to improve enough to go home by herself--I doubt that more and more each day--and if not, exactly what we'll do.

But it's family, and family might best be described as a bunch of folks who are just trying to figure out a way to make life workable for all of them. Because they have to. And they want to.

***

As much as I hate running--and I hate running a lot--I have to admit its kept as much of my sanity intact as possible. It's stress relief. It's self-improvement. It's a goal I have for myself. I'd like to run longer. To be faster. And when I'm out running, I'm running--successfully if temporarily--from all of these real world problems that are making me crazier.

I didn't think that my life as an irresponsible bachelor was going to mean taking care of two elderly people. But it does.

Irony... is a strong word.

***

To recap:

Got a lot of hate from both folks who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and friends in the Apple II world about not podcasting and not finishing Melissa as well as not being totally forthcoming with some things I'm working on. Hey, it's a tough world out there, gang. There aren't a lot of Apple II Geeks still out there. This is not helping me want to stay one of them;

realized I haven't had a date--aside from the occasional going out with Ms. Unreliable which really isn't a date--since... 2008?

Ran into the other Ms. Unreliable (Geek Girl) at her campus of employment recently;

got in a weight loss bet with one of the ward clerks at work;

haven't had enough clients to do my two classes a week part time gig in awhile, so just having one a week, which helps with time management but hurts the bottom line;

haven't been stressed about work nearly as much as home.

And that's a few months in a nutshell.

***

I've gotten a lot out of listening to Angry Conversations With God recently, even though I've been asked by many that why as a non-Christian I'm reading it. I tell those folks that even as someone who's not Christian, there are a lot of points I can relate to.

Doing something because you can't not do it;

doing something for fun and for free;

being equally yoked (or whatever the Buddhist equivalent of it is);

and not worshiping because it helps make things work out for you, but because it's the right thing.

I recommend it.

***

And now I'm going to finish eating and run nineteen freaking miles. I hate running.

Thu, Aug. 26th, 2010, 02:36 pm
Does it Really Matter?

Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia was this past weekend and it was an amazing experience, the kind of peak experience everyone needs in life. Suffice it to say, calling it P-hill-adelphia is appropriate and it really is a challenge, not a walk in the park. I finished Saturday's run pretty well, but Sunday's difficult course, inclement weather, and subsequent mechanical which knocked me out with just five miles left is a tough one to swallow.

So tough I'm thinking of going back to Philly to tame that course. I need to avenge that DNF.

***

Tweeted back to me after I Tweeted in disgust about my thrown chain and subsequent DNF five miles from the finish by the amazing @lavagal who is coming back from a significant injury to her Achilles and a cyclist and aspiring runner herself (spouse of the incredible @alohajohn, one of the nicest, most athletic guys I know personally):

"Hugs, Ry! No shame! Your ride for #livestrong is from the <3 HEART!"

Yes, I was laying it all out there. At the end I had just decided I could and would finish this ride after a guy who passed me as I struggled up yet another climb told me, "Don't let those guys take you off the course. You'll have to live with it forever."

And now I have to live with it until I can do another Livestrong Challenge.

But more fuel to the fire--something I've been missing recently with my exceedingly helpful support system--might be useful. Yes, I believe I am in the best shape of my life, but I know I can be in even better shape--and I need to get there.

***

Tweeted to me by my friend @electric_bamboo after my less than enthused end of ride and somewhat more spirited discussion about his company's support of one of my favorite community resources in Hawai'i, HUGS:

"Kudos to you for teaching us all to support good causes."

Did I really teach that? Even among my social circle on Twitter others have been fundraising and supporting worthy causes all along. What was different? I don't know, but it's nice to know that at least one person thinks so.

***

And of course, part of this journey is to remember that the whys of what I do are at least as important as the whats. Livestrong was a great experience for me, but in my world, I am third. The people in my life--the ones who support me and I support back--are second, and they gave me every bit of support I could use. And faith is first--if there's anything that Shin Buddhism has taught me it's that life is about doing the right thing, and helping those who are in need is the right thing.

***

On the other hand, I am constantly challenged and need to remind myself that there is no bad karma and good karma, that karma just is, and to believe that there is a fairness or reciprocity out there that will happen if I just do the right thing--that the right things will happen to me--is just...out and out inaccurate.

The messages at Livestrong Village, heartbreaking and inspiring all the same, tell part of the story. So many good, loved people taken early or fighting for their lives against a disease that just came for them, no matter how good and loved they were. That's not fair--which is one reason I've tried to let that go.

I'm still trying.


Every so often I reflect back on @scrivener's bit about how people just love each other because they do and it doesn't have anything to do with anything else, like who you are or what you do.

I've said it before about how I've encountered battered women in my career who I swear have a death wish by going back to their abuser time and time again. I am not one to judge but I believe this is an example--it has nothing to do with who these men are or what they've done (like beat their wife within inches of a coma), these women keep saying, "But I love him!"

And they do.

That's not fair either.

***

So to add one and one together makes zero--zero sense if I believe in fairness. Great people who are taken too early by a horrible disease and people who are abusive continuing to be loved by those they abuse.

What does it mean?

If there really is no fairness in this world--which I believe in my head but have not totally convinced the rest of me of--then why do I strive to do the right thing?

Only one reason:

It's the right thing.

In reverence, I remain.

***

So, a question that is still in my head after all this time, with all that I said above: is it really possible to earn love? We know in families that love is supposed to be unconditional--that no matter how horrible the kids behaved today they'll still be loved, for instance.

Is that how it's supposed to be otherwise? I used to think not but I may now be less sure. Perhaps it's my own personal experience; after all it's never me who ends up breaking off a relationship--see Ms. Unreliable--and I really don't understand how to stop caring about someone.

That doesn't mean that I would chase endlessly after someone. Again, see Ms. Unreliable with the bizarre learning for me that honestly, it's easier--not better necessarily but indeed easier--to just be bitter. But that said, even though I know it would not work well--see previous relationship with Deanne and seven freaking years of trying to force something to work out--it's not like I can just stop caring. I believe I'm just built that way.

At the same time, what else am I supposed to do? The options are not necessarily better. Yes, it'd be easier for me and a whole lot less painful if Ms. Unreliable just went into a black hole and disappeared forever but that's not likely to happen and the whole reason I maintain that relationship is because she says she wants to stay friends. I guess I'd feel a bit better about it if she would actually act like she wanted to remain friends as well and do things like return calls or emails or answer when she asks me to call or remember birthdays but oh well, she just doesn't (and i scold myself over this because i seem to be expecting fairness). But to get back to the point, if it there is no fairness, then why do guys like me do things like open doors, pay for dates, be the white knight in shining armor?

Why, when we don't get the girl in the end anyway? Because we like pain? Because we want to be placed in the Friend Zone again?

Some would argue maybe, but I think it's just trying to do the right thing.

My Twitter friend @carmillelim blogged awhile ago about what she called "The Nice Guy Standard" and I am still not quite sure what to make of it. It seems to me that on one hand she believes women often "settle" for a "nice guy" and she believes that instead of settling, a guy ought to be nice as a minimum. Yet nowhere in the piece that I can figure out is where those of us who are nice guys (for lack of a better term) are supposed to make any of this work. We're settled for yet we're supposed to be minimums?

So confused.

I guess it would just be easier if some late 30s/early 40s Japanese or Okinawan Toyota driving teacher or librarian just showed up at the temple. Like that'll happen.

So in the end, I don't know if there's anything better to do than what I do now. Just do the right thing. It doesn't mean anything will get better, or work out, or I'll become rich or the world's greatest blogger or social worker or Geek [kind of discouraged about Apple II stuff right now after a less than nice anonymous flame email and then a less than pleasant email exchange about a project I am (was?) working on] or even help me land the right lady friend.

But there's still nothing better to do.

So yes, even though it doesn't matter in terms of an outcome since, repeat after me, there is no fairness, it does matter.

Because there's no better path to follow.

Sat, Jul. 31st, 2010, 10:44 pm
The Stuff Life is Made of

Has it really been more than a month since I last blogged here? In the old days that would never happen, but I guess today... it has.

And this is following another long lapse in personal blog posts as well.

I don't have an explanation for it. Have I been busy? Sure. But I'm always busy.

I read a long time ago that blogging was beneficial for your mental health and I believe it. I've often blogged here out of necessity more than anything else; when I needed it, I blogged.

Maybe I don't need it all that much anymore.

This is not to say all is 100% well, but all is what it is.

***

KansasFest is going on right now over, and for the first time since the mid-1990s I'm at home.

At the same time I hgave a virtual presentation there on Saturday.

I found out that not going to KansasFest is essentially 80% of the stress of not going, because I still have to get a presentation ready, and I have heard--already more than once--the questions about my not showing up.

I chose not to go to KansasFest. I could have gone; I could always go. But I do have to make choices, and it seems to me that fifteen straight years is a lot--especially when there's so many other things I can do in life, like ride 100 miles on a bicycle in Philadelphia to fight cancer.

This is not to say that I don't want my friends there to have a great time, the Apple II to live forever, and KansasFest to go on forever. Maybe someday I will choose to go back again.

Maybe. I hope it's there for me to make that choice.

***

It's essentially August. I'm tired. I'm so beat up from this past week. I substituted on Thursday night at my part time job--they ran out of clients for me for my Tuesday class so I haven't had class then for a few weeks.

The issue? It was Wai'ana'e. Which is fine in and of itself except that's even farther away for me than Mililani, which I already consider a foreign country.

Then on Friday we were short, short, short at work, and I got bombed with what started the day as a possible child neglect case and ended with it turning into a baby with a serious illness. Made me really tired.

Not feeling 100% back to normal even after riding today.

Getting there, I hope.

***

I guess it's time to put in my usual musings about human relationships and my observations and such.

Someone asked me when the last time was I actually went out on a date and honestly, I can't remember. Definitely not in 2010. Maybe not in 2009--there were a few going out times with Ms. Unreliable there, but we were clearly not together anymore by that point. Despite the presence of Ms. Unreliable 2 since... well, maybe that was my last date and that was like two years plus ago.

I did go out with R to eat dinner, but that's hardly a date.

As much as I kid about having low standards, I guess the fact that I have any standards at all means I really don't have low standards. And my standards just might be not the type that other people have. I don't know too many other singles who, for instance, think something like, "I wish X was 10 years older," or, "I wish Y was Buddhist and Japanese instead of Christian and Chinese." But yes, this is the kind of stuff that goes through my head when I meet someone new.

I look at couples I know--or more accurately, couples where I know one of the two really well and don't know the other that well--and wonder, well, WTF? By that I just mean that this seems very odd, like they don't match somehow, but I'm sure all of that is tainted by my own bias. For instance, my boss when I first started working at Kaiser told me when she met her husband her one major criteria was whomever she was going out with had to have--get this--a job.

That's correct, just a job
. Not something like me where I meet someone and think, "Wow, if they were a teacher or a librarian that would rock. And if not, well, they're nice people anyway."

And I look at someone who I know really well who has apparently been secretly dating a guy for years, but won't tell her friends nor her parents, and I wonder, "Geez, you're single and in your late thirties, what the heck? If you so much aren't willing to have some guy you've been with for years meet up with the other important people in your life that doesn't say much for the relationship." And what about the guy? Doesn't he wonder what's going on with all of that?

On the other hand, I understand all about accepting a lot. In a lot--but not all, of course--ways I tend to accept a lot. I've never been the one to initiate a breakup--instead, I'm the one picking up the emotional pieces of my shattered dreams. But only after a point. It's like I have a different system of selection than others; it's really really hard to find someone who seems like a match, but then once I get to that point, I'm willing to swallow down a lot.

Which really explains Ms. Unreliable, when I think about it.

Half Okinawan, a quarter Japanese, a quarter haole. A teacher. With a masters degree. Driving... well, not a Toyota, but an import. From Hawai'i. Never married, no kids.

How much closer can someone get to what I look for? A little but not that much more. And once I figured that out and that she liked me -at least a little-, I was off to the races.

And in the end, despite her maddening inconsistency and unreliability, it wasn't me who walked, just like it's never me who walks. Is it because I like pain? Or because I don't want to be faulted? Or because I always feel like there's a way to salvage something rather than just give up and start over elsewhere?

Honestly, I think that... as much as I don't like to admit it or hear myself say it, when it's over, it's easier to be bitter.

I didn't say better, but easier.

At the same time, I'm not sure being bitter gets me much of anything except some spare time and energy.

I was thinking of writing more here, but for now, that's enough.

***

Finally, since Twitter is down, I have a few moments to do this week's Friday 5, props be to @scrivener:

1. When were you last in ocean waters?

Whoa. So long ago I can't remember. I've been to the beach a few times recently but just for running or riding a bike through. I don't have an actual answer for this besides definitely not this year and maybe not last.

2. When did you last fly over ocean waters?

My trip in February of this year to Oakland.

3. What ocean sports activity seems like the most fun?

Hm. Jetskiing? Never tried it, but looks fun.

4. What are your thoughts or feelings about public aquariums?

I like our public acquariums.

5. What are your thoughts or feelings about sushi?

I like sushi but I rarely eat it.

Sat, Jul. 31st, 2010, 09:32 pm
I'm Not...

...dead.

Post soon.

Mon, Jun. 14th, 2010, 12:55 pm
Moving Past It

I haven't blogged much recently here; part of that is just due to being busy, but part of it is also due to being in less of an emotional malaise than... well, maybe than ever.

I don't really understand it.

It's not life has gotten any easier or better, really. Just busy and trying to get things done.

Spending more time with friends, which is probably healthy, but doesn't explain much of anything either. But maybe it doesn't matter.

Maybe I've just reached a point where I'm just over it already. Well, not already, after decades.

Of course, this is all a way to set myself up for some kind of meltdown this week.

***

So R was on vacation this past week, and I guess if there's any one thing I've learned from it is that I'm not nearly as dependent on her being around as I used to be. I'm not really sure exactly why that is, but it is. Maybe my support system is better, if I want to sound like a social worker (which would be appropriate, since I am a social worker).

I'm on vacation now; I was supposed to be since yesterday but the week was wildly busy and apparently most of my coworkers decided to have a cow at the same time, so I just came in, helped a little, and finished up as much as I could.

Now I have to try and get my training back in gear and my life otherwise in order until I'm back at work. This is actually a forced vacation because I'm hitting my maximum in vacation time. So unhappy to have to take it, but let's face it: I can use some time off.

***

What goes on around me? I recently friended one of my old friends from intermediate and high school on Facebook and one of our interchanges included his stating, "
Why is that you've seemed to have grown up and I feel like I HAVEN'T after 30+ years???"

But I'm not sure I'm at all grown up.

I feel some days like an observer in my own life. Very little has changed. I often say that, particularly when a friend of mine graduates and starts a new job (like @usagikisses), how exciting that must be, but yet it's about never happened for me.

1996 was the year I finished graduate school, and the year after I started at the big KP. The day after graduation... I showed up for work.

And so it's been for 14 years now.

That's not a slam on the place I work or the job I have. Just an observation. I remain, in large part, the same.

Is that consistency? Stagnation?

Or just another take on the Buddhist phrase, with reverence, I remain.

***

Since I've been MIA for awhile, I haven't done one of these, but props be to @scrivener, here's the Friday 5:

1. What are your thoughts on “air quotes?”

I use them frequently, although I don't know why. I do remember using them during a speech I gave competitively in high school, and I did not do well.

2. If you are the sort to flip someone the bird, what were the circumstances surrounding your most recent flip? If you’re not that type, have you ever, ever used that gestue?

I can't really remember the last time I did that, so I guess I'm not "that type" (air quotes :-) but I definitely have used that gesture.

3. What’s a gesture you’ve made up, or what’s a gesture made up by (and shared with) your friends or family?

Maybe gestures of kindness, like closing the refrigerator?

4. Are there any gestures that have specific, unique meanings in your workplace

Don't think so.

5. Have you ever received an anonymous gesture of kindness or affection?

Anonymous? Nope.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010, 07:52 pm
Reclaiming Myself

It's been awhile since I've blogged in this space (for what it's worth, I know you all know about Uncommon-Cents.net and Athletic-Diabetic.com, so I won't say much more about exactly where I have been blogging), so I'm overdue for a bit here, just like I'm overdue for all kinds of other things.

The truck is a mess. I need to do an alignment, change oil, and change coolant--not done. My training schedule isn't a mess, but it's not where I want it to be. The house is a mess--a huge one. My finances are not a mess, but they're not in their usual kind of order either.

And after Tweeball yesterday, my back is killing me.

***

So I've been iPadding for a few weeks now--got one from someone who was an early adopter then decided he wanted the 3G version, so I got it for a song. So far, so good, but it clearly doesn't replace either my MacBook nor my iPod touch (although my iPod touch is now deceased, so it kind of is, doing a really poor job since it's not pocketable--well, other than in the rear pockets of Tactical 5.11s). It also doesn't really replace my netbook, at least not for content creation (blogging, anyone? Or writing code for that matter).

But for watching movies in bed, it's freaking awesome.

I plan to write some code for this sucker too.

***

We got a new dog the other week, another Humane Society find, this one named Sunny (as per my niece). Personally, I think she's a Korean dog and needs to go by Sung Hee, but whatever. My sister says there are no Korean dogs. Anyway, she's pretty fiesty and is currently beating the snot out of the Japanese Spitz (who I am no fan of).

***

Personally, I am... out of touch with myself.

I must blog more in this space to get back in touch with myself.

And I will.

Mon, Apr. 19th, 2010, 09:21 pm
Small Bits of Nothing

I’m off on Monday. This was an incredibly long week even though it wasn’t necessarily all that hard of one. I swear I was out every night since Monday--Tuesday and Wednesday teaching, Thursday at a Tweetup the @ParkRat insisted I come to (“Just come, dammit!” is his quote), and a party for someone starting a new job on Friday night after a meeting for my part time job.

So thrilled. Actually, just super duper tired.

***

Sunday was the Hale’iwa Metric Century--100 kilometers, which (http://www.lmgtfy.com/) is a hair over 62 miles. Not a trivial ride, but largely flat, and really ended up going better than I expected. Finished in under four hours, which is about as fast I can do for a ride at distance--a bit over 15 mph.

I dunno how I did it.

The reason I say that is because my training as of late has not been all that hot. I’m tired, I’m feeling like I’m overworked even though work in and of itself hasn’t been all that horrible, and I can barely get up at six let alone five.

Need to challenge myself more and fix this.

***

Yesterday for brunch went to Pancakes & Waffles for the first time; very new breakfast/brunch/lunch place in Kalihi near Sugoi that actually services chicken and waffles! Verdict: clean, new, pretty decent food. Gotta bring my own syrup though; the one they served wasn’t doing it for me.

***

Finally, this week’s Friday 5, props be to @Scrivener:

1. What is your favorite red food?

Tomato based sauce for pasta

2. When were you last caught red-handed?

Hm. I can’t remember a time I was ever caught red-handed.

3. What’s your nicest red article of clothing?

My Kikaida golf shirt!

4. Who’s got the loveliest red hair?

Uh... Brittany O’Connell? Tiffany Mynx?

  1. 5. What are your thoughts on the 2002 Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge!?
Uh, never saw it.

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