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WRITING FICTION

thread
GAMBATTE - PERSEVERE, OVE... GAMBATTE - PERSEVERE, OVERCOME OBSTACLES
"KEEP ON TRUCKING"
Signing up for a fiction writing class is a major challenge, but what else is there to do with Covid-Isolation?

I've decided to try writing a novel called "GAMBATTE".

I consider myself a fair writer and a descent recorder of incidents.

Our first assignment is to write a "flash". Now that I have read as to what a flash might be, it's something I feel comfortable trying because it's short. Short, is the way I write to keep the reader's attention?

Here's my example: BORN IN CAR
It was 2am, the morning after Valentines 1944. The tan one-seat 1940 Chev coupe with only a window and shelf-like ledge behind the seat, was slipping and sliding as well as speeding the 12 miles to the hospital, along the snowy country gravel road, from their farm in a place called Sand Hollow. The Japanese man was driving, his wife in labor next to him and the 5-year-old, half-dressed girl, with a coat but no shoes, curled up in the window ledge. “Hurry, hurry! It’s coming! It’s coming! in exaggerated but muffled whispers so the 5-yr-old would not be frightened.

"I'm... going as fast as I can," was the frantic reply. He parked in front of the hospital steps, ran to get help and was followed out by a nurse. They clamped the umbilical cord and cut it. The placenta was laid on the hospital steps while they carried healthy baby and assisted the mother into the hospital. Coming back to clean the blood and debris, the nurse was shocked to have totally missed seeing a 5-yr-old still on the window ledge, until she heard the child's voice, “Won’t the baby freeze out there on the steps!?”

WHAT DO YOU THINK??

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VOTING??

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FOUNDATION OF OUR FREEDOM FOUNDATION OF OUR FREEDOM
My neighbor and I Covid-distance visit every Tuesday. She is an immigrant who worked to get her citizenship and the right to vote.

Both of us plan to vote. Therefore, a good part of our usual 3-hour visit out in her garden patio is a discussion of whom we vote for.

I have long held beliefs on both sides of the political divide. We are free because we agree to have differences of opinion.

Listening to a TED talk or two, it seems "reason" is no longer the answer. Both sides are right, but the problem is that we know how to deal with anger, but not disgust.

The solution?

According the Jonathan Haidt: read HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE again by Dale Carnegie.

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OVER CONFIDENT??

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A POPULAR JAPANESE APHORI... A POPULAR JAPANESE APHORISM WHERE MONKEYS
ARE PART OF SOME OF THEIR LANDSCAPE.
Mary’s Place is a non-profit temporary place for homeless families in the Seattle area. They made arrangements the first of 2020 to use the old Keiro Nursing home that closed a year ago and was sold. The buyers agreed to allow use by Mary’s Place for a couple years until they began construction of a new high rise.

The building was originally created and used by the Japanese American community. Linda, the communications director of Mary’s Place, agreed to some drawings that depicted Japanese values.

The idea was generated because our friend, John, told me a story about his family picnics at the park when he was little. John explained, “Mom made us clean up the place as we were leaving so it was cleaner than when we got there. She said that was the Japanese way!”

That statement gave me an idea, The kids and families who come to live at Keiro could be inspired to learn some Japanese values for living. My granddaughter agreed to do a few drawings which Linda wanted to blow up and frame along some of the walls.

We decided on depicting a few Japanese sayings and five were completed.

Like the comic strip above suggests, the idea has “slipped off the branch”. The project is on hold. Mary's Place may not be able to use Keiro building after all. Some political issues are getting in the way of what we thought was a sure thing?

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STARTING SCHOOL

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SO WHAT?, NOW WHAT? SO WHAT?, NOW WHAT?
School principal, Linda Cliatt-Wayman from Pennsylvania says, “SO WHAT? NOW WHAT?” This is one of the mottos that changed their “failing school” 120% for the better. Wayman encountered too many neglected children who endured abuse or were left to raise themselves and she has spent her decades-long career demanding that students fight for their future. She has transformed three low-performing schools, dramatically improving test scores and the rate at which students attend college.

Her TED talk is particularly inspiring and we can apply this wisdom to our Covid-Isolated family situations. I like her examples.

It feels good and is socially prudent to be concerned about the “needy”, but we all have needs. We are working on it all and everyone here is excited to make our school situations successful.

The girls want to be teachers - at least that is what they are saying now. I trust ideas like Wayman’s are being incorporated into their learning so the girls will one day be ready to pass the skills on.

The illustration is a true story. One of the benefits may be that we no longer have to face such embarrassments with Covid-Virtual school??? The other part of the illustration story is that it was a 3 mile walk to get to school. Also, he couldn't get out his whole name "Shigeru" which was hard to pronounce. So the teacher gave him the name "Sam" and that was fine with him. For sure, we keep learning, it is always good to know history and reminds me to be grateful for how far life has progressed for us. Covid brings us a new era!!!

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SEX

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INTIMACY FILLS AS WELL AS ... INTIMACY FILLS AS WELL AS CREATES NEEDS???


Dear M,
It occurs to me the lines: “The seasons you’ve endured”, “This too will pass” and “resilience” in the wake of your goals for intimacy; are what prompted you to send me the meditation?

Listening to the various ways Hallmark movies say: “Follow your heart.”

We have shelves of books with suggestions for filling Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. We listen to computer videos, TV and radio that give a variety of scenarios. We live among family and friends who are constantly looking for the best ideas. Our "basic/having" physiological & health needs of food, clothing, shelter and security of privacy and financial are met. The question is, "Where and how do we fill Maslow’s interpretations of putting sex into this 'having needs' category?"

My take is that intercourse is basic for reproduction. Most of the other aspects of sex needs fall into the middle psychological, social and "doing" category. Our new dimension of life requires more thinking as well as trial and error for me too.

Therefore, my choices and maybe your choices are in the areas of “doing” with job, parenting/leadership, social, education and charity. That is how we fill our need for psychological security, autonomy, self-esteem and connection.

Sex is used to fulfill needs, but is not like eating. We don’t die if we don’t have it. There is also evidence that some SEX is even physiologically harmful. Men unlike women, in their brain hook-up and physiological make-up, use sex to fill different needs.

I like the fact that men and women bring different biological and psychological perspectives to life’s table, but so do different ages and individuals of the same sex in general. Good intimacy makes me smile!

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify some of this,
D

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"WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND"???

thread
From the other side of our wo... From the other side of our world, Japan
It's called "karma"!
Here in Washington State, Kay repeats this phrase: "What goes around, comes around" constantly. At age 79, she runs to clean the church, she makes sure John at the hospital or Barbara at the nursing home are not alone. As she treats her grandson to his favorite pudding pie she cautions, "Do the right thing, or you know you will pay for it later?"

Covid-19 isolation brought my grand daughter, Avery, home from Chapman University to virtual lectures in her Graphic Design field. Avery was listening to Steve Gordon's lecture when he mentioned, "One of the persons that got me started in my field was Kelly Goto."

Avery exclaimed, "Hey, that's my Aunt Kelly!"

Kelly, similar to Kay's philosophy, is generous with her energy.

Growing up, my Mom constantly used a negative form of this phrase from her Japanese heritage, "Bachi ga taru." It was shortened to, "BACHI!" In other words: KARMA. But the word Bachi is used like a little swat on the rear end or a verbal reminder not to be involved in the naughty thing that is happening.

I prefer POSITIVE THINKING, but maybe this Covid-19 is one of the universal answers to life and what humanity has reaped?? !!

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RUTH & SUTT STORY PART 2

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During my visit to get more information for the 50th Anniversary Talk, Ruth went on, “You just do what you gotta do.”

Ruth was never shy about her cuisine as she explained, “You should try new things and try to improve.” A family favorite was her Pistacio Pudding.

Ruth’s brother, Henry Watanabe recalled, “We never ate anything decent until Ruth started to cook for us. Mom just went out to the fields and worked.”

According to Fannie Farmer, “A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.”

Back to Ruth’s words about Sutt. “You don’t really know a person until you live with them. I do my thing and he does his. Problem is the he don’t do his thing right.”

I asked Suttt, “Is it alright if I tell everyone that a lot of what you have around here and how good it looks is because Ruth bitches at you so much?”

Sutt laughed, “Sure! It starts first thing in the morning when I come through that door.”

Ruth Added, “Be sure to emphasize the BITCH. If I don’t do it, nothing gets done.”

One day Nephew Andy Goto and wife Beryl met Uncle Sutt looking lost at the Southcenter shopping mall. Sutt said, “I have to get out of the house sometimes.”

Ruth emphasized, “My father was an old military man. Boy! We had to clean up before he came home to our house in O’Brien, from his office in downtown Seattle, Sundays at noon. He was real strict. I’m the one who took after him. ‘A place for everything and everything in it’s place.’ ‘If you’re going to do it, do it right.’”

The girls, including the cousins from California who visited Renton many summers, attributed good handwriting to their mom and remembered, “You know, push - pull - round & round.”

I asked Uncle Sutt, “Isn’t there something you specially like about Auntie Ruth?”

He responded, “Well…she used to have a sense of humor.”

They were like the Japanese saying “Nomi no fufu yo.” - like a flea couple - woman is larger than male. Or was this a marriage of OCHAZUKE (hot tea over left-over rice) AND SUSHI? We loved both!

At the reunion I said, “I give a lot of credit to Ruth and Sutt for this family reunion. They’re the ones who keep us all in touch.” I directed the comment to Ruth, “You have to admit, Ruth, that if it weren’t for Sutt you wouldn’t drive around and visit everyone?”

Ruth reluctantly answered, “Well, that’s the only thing he does good!”

I ended, “As most of you know the real anniversary isn’t until November. What do you think??? Will this marriage last 50 years?”

“Actually”, Ruth answered, “It doesn’t seem that long. He’s good for me and I’m good for him.”

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Uncle Sutt & Auntie Ruth's 50th Anniversary

thread
OMOIDE = Memories JCCCW Wri... OMOIDE = Memories
JCCCW Writing Group contribution
Ruth called me that spring of 1991 and said, “Our 50th anniversary is this year. It’s not until the fall, but we want to celebrate during the Nakanishi family reunion this summer. I don’t want a bunch of statistics. You’re one who knows the real me. I want you to give the talk.”

Later, I chatted with daughter, Connie, and she said, “I started to write out some things and all I can get is a hallmark card. I don’t want that.”

I called other friends and relatives for stories. A French writer, Colette, puts it this way: “You do foolish things but you do them with enthusiasm!”

Most of my memories were of sitting around the big kitchen table watching Ruth do her handicrafts, like the rug that got the grand prize at the Puyallup State Fair - Uncle Sutt sitting behind me watching television. Ruth always had something to show off saying, “Dee come here, I’ve got to show you….” I then followed Ruth to the living room to see her Christmas decoration projects for the grandchildren or the latest find for her paper weight collection.

This one Friday, shortly before the event, I drove to their house in Renton (Uncle Sutt had it built in 1936) to learn more about their story. I asked Ruth if she had a crush on Sutt? She answered, “Them days, we didn’t have any of the hanky panky stuff. Sutt asked me to go to a movie after the Hiroshima Club Valley picnic in the summer of 1940.”

I asked Sutt why he asked Ruth? He said, “There wasn’t anyone else there that was interesting.” They made it sound like the beginning of army duty.

Here’s how I think it really happened. Ruth and her sister Bessie were cute, smartly dressed and energetic young ladies from a slightly more affluent family. Their father owned a successful produce business. The girls often walked to the edges of the baseball field and giggled about the cute guys on the successful White River Valley baseball team. There was a tall handsome catcher on the team. He was clean-up hitter and even recruited to play on the white semi-pro team as a substitute a time or two. That was Uncle Sutt.

Ruth, in her early 20s, had been a Valley Japanese festival princess. This day, Ruth and one of her friends managed to amble around to where the guys were kicking dirt and talking about last night’s poker game and Sunday’s baseball game.

Sutt was 26-years-old. Bachan (grandma) mentioned marriage a few times. Sutt didn’t want one of those arranged things like his older sister’s. He had a couple quarters in his pocket, gas in his Black Buick and a pretty girl beside him would feel pretty good.

Ruth says, “It was a cowboy movie. He don’t have no class.” Sutt, I understand didn’t even have any money for a hamburger afterwards.

A year later, Sutt went to a jeweler friend’s shop in Renton and bought a $700 diamond. They honeymooned in Los Angeles, visiting Sutt’s brothers Mush and Kazumi. They came home through Vale, Oregon, where Masako Nesan (older sister) lived. They barely made it back home to Renton as the WWII started.

Auntie Mits later commented, “Can you imagine a new bride coming home to 2 brothers, 4 sisters, and a Mother-in-law?




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Uncle Sutt & Auntie Ruth's 50th Anniversary

thread
Ruth called me that spring of 1991 and said, “Our 50th anniversary is this year. It’s not until the fall, but we want to celebrate during the Nakanishi family reunion this summer. I don’t want a bunch of statistics. You’re one who knows the real me. I want you to give the talk.”

Later, I chatted with daughter, Connie, and she said, “I started to write out some things and all I can get is a hallmark card. I don’t want that.”

I called other friends and relatives for stories. A French writer, Colette, puts it this way: “You do foolish things but you do them with enthusiasm!”

Most of my memories were of sitting around the big kitchen table watching Ruth do her handicrafts, like the rug that got the grand prize at the Puyallup State Fair - Uncle Sutt sitting behind me watching television. Ruth always had something to show off saying, “Dee come here, I’ve got to show you….” I then followed Ruth to the living room to see her Christmas decoration projects for the grandchildren or the latest find for her paper weight collection.

This one Friday, shortly before the event, I drove to their house in Renton (Uncle Sutt had it built in 1936) to learn more about their story. I asked Ruth if she had a crush on Sutt? She answered, “Them days, we didn’t have any of the hanky pinky stuff. Sutt asked me to go to a movie after the Hiroshima Club Valley picnic in the summer of 1940.”

I asked Sutt why he asked Ruth? He said, “There wasn’t anyone else there that was interesting.” They made it sound like the beginning of army duty.

Here’s how I think it really happened. Ruth and her sister Bessie were cute, smartly dressed and energetic young ladies from a slightly more affluent family. Their father owned a successful produce business. The girls often walked to the edges of the baseball field and giggled about the cute guys on the successful White River Valley baseball team. There was a tall handsome catcher on the team. He was clean-up hitter and even recruited to play on the white semi-pro team as a substitute a time or two. That was Uncle Sutt.

Ruth, in her early 20s, had been a Valley Japanese festival princess. This day, Ruth and one of her friends managed to amble around to where the guys were kicking dirt and talking about last night’s poker game and Sunday’s baseball game.

Sutt was 26-years-old. Bachan (grandma) mentioned marriage a few times. Sutt didn’t want one of those arranged things like his older sister’s. He had a couple quarters in his pocket, gas in his Black Buick and a pretty girl beside him would feel pretty good.

Ruth says, “It was a cowboy movie. He don’t have no class.” Sutt, I understand didn’t even have any money for a hamburger afterwards.

A year later, Sutt went to a jeweler friend’s shop in Renton and bought a $700 diamond. They honeymooned in Los Angeles, visiting Sutt’s brothers Mush and Kazumi. They came home through Vale, Oregon, where Masako Nesan (older sister) lived. They barely made it back home to Renton as the WWII started.

Auntie Mits later commented, “Can you imagine a new bride coming home to 2 brothers, 4 sisters, and a Mother-in-law?




RUTH & SUTT STORY PART 2

During my visit to get more information for the 50th Anniversary Talk, Ruth went on, “You just do what you gotta do.”

Ruth was never shy about her cuisine as she explained, “You should try new things and try to improve.” A family favorite was her Pistacio Pudding.

Ruth’s brother, Henry Watanabe recalled, “We never ate anything decent until Ruth started to cook for us. Mom just went out to the fields and worked.”

According to Fannie Farmer, “A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.”

Back to Ruth’s words about Sutt. “You don’t really know a person until you live with them. I do my thing and he does his. Problem is the he don’t do his thing right.”

I asked Suttt, “Is it alright if I tell everyone that a lot of what you have around here and how good it looks is because Ruth bitches at you so much?”

Sutt laughed, “Sure! It starts first thing in the morning when I come through that door.”

Ruth Added, “Be sure to emphasize the BITCH. If I don’t do it, nothing gets done.”

One day Nephew Andy Goto and wife Beryl met Uncle Sutt looking lost at the Southcenter shopping mall. Sutt said, “I have to get out of the house sometimes.”

Ruth emphasized, “My father was an old military man. Boy! We had to clean up before he came home to our house in O’Brien, from his office in downtown Seattle, Sundays at noon. He was real strict. I’m the one who took after him. ‘A place for everything and everything in it’s place.’ ‘If you’re going to do it, do it right.’”

The girls, including the cousins from California who visited Renton many summers, attributed good handwriting to their mom and remembered, “You know, push - pull - round & round.”

I asked Uncle Sutt, “Isn’t there something you specially like about Auntie Ruth?”

He responded, “Well…she used to have a sense of humor.”

They were like the Japanese saying “Nomi no fufu yo.” - like a flea couple - woman is larger than male. Or was this a marriage of OCHAZUKE (hot tea over left-over rice) AND SUSHI? We loved both!

At the reunion I said, “I give a lot of credit to Ruth and Sutt for this family reunion. They’re the ones who keep us all in touch.” I directed the comment to Ruth, “You have to admit, Ruth, that if it weren’t for Sutt you wouldn’t drive around and visit everyone?”

Ruth reluctantly answered, “Well, that’s the only thing he does good!”

I ended, “As most of you know the real anniversary isn’t until November. What do you think??? Will this marriage last 50 years?”

“Actually”, Ruth answered, “It doesn’t seem that long. He’s good for me and I’m good for him.”


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MASLOW AND POLITICS

thread
I learned the 3 levels as: Hav... I learned the 3 levels as:
Having, Doing, Self-Actualizing
Every Tuesday my immigrant from England neighbor and I Covid-distance visit. Last week she brought up the fact that her late husband and their son were at odds a large part of their lives, because they were extremely polarized in their political views.

Psychology is my field and it occurred to me that psychologist Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains some of the differences between the left and right political beliefs. As I explained it to her, she agreed.

Maslow draws a pyramid and suggests there are three levels of finding a meaningful and fulfilling life - the larger “Basic Needs” at the bottom, psychological “Service/Social Needs” in the middle and the “Self-fulfillment Needs” at the top where one spends less time. Finding fulfillment and peace are the completion of all three levels on a daily basis!!

Each of us need a foundation of “Basic Needs” - food, clothing, shelter as well as physical and financial security. These basic needs are met individually or by dividing up the responsibilities as a family and/or partnerships. Some in our community have enough financial resources to hire and/or shop for the basics provided by things or someone else.

Unless these basic needs are met daily, one can not move to the second level of “Service Needs” and “Psychological Needs” - includes education, jobs, parenting, charity, hobbies, bucket lists and social needs that bring self-esteem and respect. Further progress of reaching the top of the pyramid of “Self-Actualization” - love, beauty, esthetics and peace - require having fulfilled levels one and two daily.

Those around me who prioritize personal responsibility for meeting their basic needs before moving upward seem to be more conservative or more Republican. Liberal & Democratic thinking seem to skip to the middle and top in their thinking and doing - “letting government and bureaucrats take care of the basics?” This is also leading to someone else deciding our psychological and self-fulfillment needs.

It feels good to be charitable and focus on helping the poor and needy. People like Bill Gates find themselves being more Liberal because they have the money to take care of the “having needs” daily and can spend time with the upper levels!

In this Covid-isolating 2020 months, protesting is fulfilling a lot of the “Service/Psychologial needs”. My neighbor is also asking why those, “Serving” by protesting, aren't "doing" more to help prevent and clean up the vandalism, even if it is not their doing?

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