you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

memories and snapshots

Years ago, before my adventure in Japan started I had another fantastic adventure. I was a part of a CISV camp in Norway. CISV or children's interenational summer villages, is a fantastic program promoting peace, cross cultural understanding and is just an all around fantastic group.

It was a life changing experience. One of the cool parts of being active on facebook is that many of the students and teachers from our camp are back  in touch 13 years later! pretty wild.

This is a a shot of me, back then, on a rocky shore of a lake in Norway.

I learned so much from so many people during that summer. It was a special time. I am hoping in the years to come I can get involved in CISV again. I have written to the Japan chapters several times but never had a response :-( BUT I will keep trying.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

taking time to smell the flowers

I am a go-er, a do-er and a running around-er. I find it really hard to slow down. So in many ways this week at Stanford has been a new experience for me.

I was here with no agenda.
No checklist
No time table.

It has been great. Reading, writing, thinking and soaking up sun without all the Tokyo humidity. It is certainly something worth repeating.

Though it wasn't easy.

Truth be told I did squeeze on a very full day of San Francisco exploration mid week. I am not sure I could have made it a whole week without some sort of frenetic activity.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


One of the big benefits of traveling is to recharge my batteries. Not just resting- which I am not actually all that good at... But recharging my imagination and perspective batteries. Great to look beyond the everyday, get out of the daily and weekly routines. Travel gives me a chance to explore internally and externally. Lots of thinking time. Filling up the idea and experience notebooks. This has been true ever since my first memories of going from ny to pa with my mom. It is now ingrained in me. A part of my psyche. I cannot fathom staying in one place for years on end without rambling at least 3-4 times a year. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Traveling Time

We are on a two week rather whirl wind trip to the USA. First stop San Francisco. Chris will be taking a one week class at Stanford on NetFPGA whatever the heck that is. This trip is only possible because of frequent flyer miles, nice friends who put us up, and chris' company. I am calling it the cheap and cheerful tour.

Despite his best efforts to stow away in my suitcase, Archie stayed in japan with friends in the mts of iwate.

We have a couple of days in San Francisco before the class starts. I had a fun touristy ramble that included a gallery, fisherman's warf, a street food festival at fort mason a hike up telegraph hill and a browse of the famous city lights bookstore. (with various coffee and cocktail breaks on the way). We also went to Noisebridge, the SF Hackerspace, and we spent a great night with Patrick and Yukari, and another night with Carol and Jack, all great friends and foodies.

I love travel time. It is good time to both think about stuff and NOT think about stuff. On my own time schedule. Also a good time to get some food inspiration. I got a couple of great brunch ideas and some drinks I want to try.  Nice start to the trip. More updates soon.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Doing what you already know is comfortable. It is easy, And it makes us feel successful.

Attempting something big, something beyond our reach, something larger than life is out there. The exposure along can send me running for an afternoon nap under the quilt on the couch. But the things I have learned in life generally come from leaping in, trying, sometimes crashing and burning. But lifting the heavy stuff, not just the twigs. Not easy. Not safe. But for me it is what makes it worth while.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Somethings Bear Repeating

There are a few movies that I am sure I will watch every couple of years before I leave this planet. I watched one of them last night. "to Kill a Mockingbird" with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. What an amazing movie. Everytime I watch this film I see and feel something different. I am always moved.

This movie is brilliant in every way. If you have not watched it yet, do so. (shame on you). The acting, the cinematography, the history are all pretty amazing. Filmed in 1962- it will remain timeless I believe. Though hopefully the racism that is depicted will require more and more explanation to future generations. The history lesson alone is a good reminder of where we came from and how far we still have to travel.

This viewing I was struck by the theme that people are not always what they seem and I don't mean the Boo Radley Character - I mean Atticus himself. That people can make choices, they can be good and many things but focus on the things that they are most proud of, and feel are best for their families,and their communities. I was also struck by how commanding a truly strong will and intellect can be, no matter the threat or the situation. The kids in this one are priceless, especially Scout. And I am so glad that the filmmakers kept so much of the feeling and language of the Harper Lee novel in the screen version.

Films like this are special, rare and important.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Little Things You Do Can Make a Difference

Sometimes the world of a new small business owner can be overwhelming and sometimes even the fast paced life in a big city can make me feel quite small. But I am beginning to appreciate more and more that each day is a sum of many small moments, small steps, small things that you can do to move forward, share love, make the world at least your small part of it, a bit better. Sometimes it is too hard to focus on fixing the big picture- but a small thing can make a difference.

There is this guy in my neighborhood. I am sure he has been here a long time but I never knew anything about him. I still no very little. But this guy, who I don't know has made our little part of tokyo better every day. He's about 60 something, retired I think, older Japanese guy, very healthy. Every morning from about 5 AM he is out in the world walking- this is how I finally found out about him, now that my puppy Archie drags me outside for a morning walk anytime from 4:45-5:30~! (tooo early!) But the thing is, when he walks in his exercise clothes and baseball hat, he does something else too. Instead of just focusing on himself, or thinking about his worries, or just enjoying his morning... he also makes our neighborhood better. It is just a small thing, but he walks with one hand in a working type garden glove and whenever he sees cans or bottles along his walk he picks them up and throws them away in the next recycle bin *there is one next to every vending machine and there are TONS of vending machines. So most people in our neighborhood are probably like me and have noted that we have very little trash compared to other spots in the city- and I always thought it was just good city services in my part of town- BUT it is also because of this guy. A little thing, a small step he takes every day to make where he lives better. Not for thanks or for show - since there are very few people out and about at that time of day... He does it just because.

Little things DO make a difference.