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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.


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).

Sat, Apr. 9th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!

Wed, Apr. 13th, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Hoping to have my say

Hi - I am certainly delighted to discover this. Good job!

Thu, Apr. 14th, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Looking forward to have my say

Hi - I am certainly glad to find this. great job!

Mon, Apr. 25th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)

Facebook is full of remembrances of Ryan, and a blogger on another site connects him with this story of a 44-year-old man who died from a fall while hiking on a really tricky volcanic outcropping on the Windward Side of Oahu where Ryan lived:


Edited at 2011-04-25 04:23 pm (UTC)