About Me

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California born by a Cuban mother, married to a Japanese man, and have lived in Japan since 2004, minus one year living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have friends and family in many places in the world. I dreamed of traveling to many distant lands, creating music and dancing to it, meeting interesting people, and discovering treasures in the most unlikely of places.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Want to know how to fix something? Learn Japanese...

Hahaha. So I was looking for a way to fix this coffee maker that I found in the recycle bin which is labeled the garbage at my university. When people move out, they just dump their whole apartment in. Needless to say, you can find some pretty nice things in the "garbage". So recently, there was this Nescafe Alegria (Nescafe Barista in Japan), and since my husband wanted a coffee maker, we decided to bring it on home. I found some videos in Japanese on how to clean it. There were really no good ones available in English. And I cleaned it. And put coffee in .... and turned it on and ...! Warm water came out. :( So I started searching for repair info on the thing. I mean, there are so many tech forums and such, I figured there must be, but NOOOooo. No English explanations on how to fix it. Or Spanish. Then I looked in Japanese. I found a bunch of pages on how to fix the thing. Here is a good one. Scroll down and down... and down! to see how detailed the explanation (with lots and lots of pictures) is! It reminds me of yesterday when I put together my computer, and there were tons of good videos on how to put the CPU on, or how to install the motherboard! Why are all the good repair or tech explanations in English only about computers (Or cars)? Anyway, I put it through Google Translate, but the English is really hard to understand. Better off trying to read it in Japanese maybe...

This is not the first time that I have seen this phenomenon with normal everyday items. I guess Japanese people really want to help other people while showing off their cool otaku style?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rachel Carlson

Watching Bill Moyers Journal: Remembering Rachel Carson with Kaiulani Lee...
I started looking into Rachel Carlson after some reading on Sustainable Urban Development stated her book as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. I would just like to quote one beautiful passage from Kaiulani Lee's play, which often directly used Carlson's own words.

"The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth. That, I take it, is the aim of literature. My own purpose was always to portray the subject of the sea with fidelity...I never stopped to consider if I was writing scientifically or poetically... The winds, the sea, the moving tides, and what they are. If there is wonder and beauty, majesty in them, science will discover these qualities. If they're not there, science cannot create them... If there is poetry in my books about the sea, it's not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one can write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry."

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Baseball Boy's High School Experience in Japan

One of my graduating high school students wrote this. I have highly edited it, but his earnestness is really admirable, and that's why I'd like to share it with you today.
The deepest memories of my high school days is from my club activities. I entered the baseball club. I wasn't familiar with many teams or teammates in the beginning, but gradually we made friends because I lived at the dormitory. While I spent much time, including bathing, meals, and life, with my friends from the club, we were able to get to know each other and our bonds deepened. The exercise was severely hard. It was hard physically and mentally in comparison with the exercise I had done in junior high school until then. However, we really wanted to go to Koshien (the national high school baseball championship games, which are aired on national television every summer). That desire to win, coupled with my belief in my teachers and my daily practice, made me strong and I became able to exercise hard. Everybody acquired power through expeditions, camps, and practice games. We were not able to win much at the beginning. I talked with all the team-members whenever we lost, and I thought that if we did things differently or thought differently, we could beat the other teams. Then we reached the last game. My team showed the fruits of our daily exercise in our strength and ability. We won and advanced to the finals. We lost at one step in the finals, but satisfactorily, were able to play a game there. We were able to be runners up because there were parents, teachers, supporters, fellow students, and the support of various people including our friends. It is essential that if something is important, that one make an effort. I played baseball for three years, and I have learned that the existence of friends supports that effort, they provide an aim. In addition, I understand that I can receive power if I have the support of a lot of people in my circumference. Therefore, it is very important to make friends. I want to make use of doing the national high school baseball championship league for three years, and use it in life at college.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Entrance Exams (Haiku)

a strange sound, like rain ---
boys' chorus like early plums ---
baseball helpers running.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Erica Maree and Desigual

I bought some items at one of my favorite designer shops, Desigual, since we weren't able to go to China, and I was shocked that I could fit into them! As I was talking to the attendant, and looking around, the resemblance to Erica Maree designs struck me. When I told the sales attendant about the Erica Maree bags, she got really excited. Apart from creative patterns and interesting cuts, Desigual uses traditional designs from Spain in their clothing and bags. Erica Maree's designer bags are full of Traditional Mexican designs, as well as being sturdy and well-engineered. Maybe one reason that they look good together is the resemblance in their use of traditional art with Spanish roots. Vibrant colors and interesting fabric combinations are another similarity. I think that Desigual clothing and Erica Maree bags would go quite well together, don't you?

I have a feeling...

For a long while now, it seems the level of society has been decided by what happens in the First World Nations. However, I have a feeling that the future is being decided now by what the First World Nations can do for the Third World Nations. For example, UNICEF and SOIL held a Sustainable Santitation Conference in Haiti last year about what they are doing to improve the situation there. One of the presenters, Vladimir Fachini put it well when he said that ‘in Rio de Janeiro right now, politicians and planners are discussing the future of the world at Rio +20. But here, today, we are making the real practical changes that will affect people’s lives’. On the other side of the world, I recently went to a seminar presented by the UNHabitat in Fukuoka, Japan, and Mr. Lalith Lankatilleke gave a presentation about what is being done to reconstruct the communities in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan through guiding the communities and empowerment of women; placing the monetary power in the women's hands. Great progress has been made with this method. There are volunteers giving aid in all sorts of ways, ranging from solar ovens to orphanages. Social progress and change is happening quickly in these areas for a variety of reasons. But there is one main one. That is that they are the new frontier. Beaurocratic, social, and commercial systems are already in place in First World Countries. However, we have many problems facing the world, especially environmental ones. I think that living trial and error experiments in Third World Countries may provide us with the necessary information to move forward into another age. Not only will we have improved their lives, we will also use much of that knowledge indirectly in our own cities and towns at some point, probably due to need, somewhere down the road.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What makes a good story??

Hello, Dear Readers. I have a question for you. What do you think makes a good story? What in a story makes you want to read it again, or go through it again? Do you think it is the same for children as for adults? I am thinking about writing a story, but I really don't know where to start. My husband always falls asleep when I sing or make up stories, because they are so peaceful. I read online that if there is no conflict, then there is no story. That no one likes a story without some sort of struggle... But all of my stories, even if there is a sort of struggle, are so surreal or subtle in it, that you might not notice... For example, my story of a rock. Very similar to the song by Suzanne Vega, "Small Blue Thing". The story is told from the perspective of a found object, description of it, the way it changes at having been found, and then how it is once again taken from the pocket and hurled. But I could be wrong in my own assumption that there is no conflict; does the story really have no struggle, or is it just a very subtle one, or badly orchestrated? Also, does no one really like stories like that? I remember telling it, and only one person out of the room loved it, but he really loved it. Of course, he was a peace-lover. So much for that. How many people are peace-lovers out there, really? Does no-one really want to hear a conflict-free story, or is it just that the numbers are in that less-than-seven-percent-equals-insignificant range?