Saturday, February 27, 2010

Doing Something Good

Today was a nice day. I was able to participate in a great thing. An organization I am part of, was able to award a significant amount of money to an orphan here so that she might go to an ESL school in Minnesota this summer.

I know that doesn't sound like much, but kids in orphanages here don't have the same opportunities that regular kids have. Not only that, but she is a girl and this makes this event an even more unusual opportunity.

So we met at the orphanage, had a tour, met the director, talked with some of the kids and took a lot of pictures. We presented Ryoko with a oppportunity. She responded with a handwritten thank you speech that she delivered perfectly.

Reality is, the ESL school is not very long, and she won't come back fluent in English, but with any luck at all, she will discover a desire and interest in English, and the opportunities that speaking English along with her own language might provide her in the future.

Maybe we gave her a chance today...we'll see what she does with it. It was an honor to be part of it.


Last Year on In My Words...Peek-a-boo

Just A Little Shake

Okay, so we had this little earthquake that hit our small island this morning, and woke us all from a deep slumber. It was definitely the longest shaker I have ever experienced (and I had a few quakes in So Cal in college). I fortunately had no damage, although a few of my friends did have some breakage of shelved items (mostly those living in multifloored buildings). We almost immediately went into a tsunami warning which was lifted within the hour.

I was able to get on Facebook almost immediately via my cellphone in my bedroom, and then I came out to the computer so I could get connected to JMA website to check the magnitude, location and depth. Everyone else here was awake and on Facebook as well, so we all let each other know we were okay, and by updating our own status', hoped that our families back home would also know we were okay.

It seems that due to the earthquake in Haiti, the news is very sensitive to earthquakes, because this is the first one I have ever been in here, that made CNN. Of course, most of you know that Chile had an 8.8 hit them this afternoon (JST), and probably is experiencing some of the devastation that Haiti did so our news is mild in comparison.

We are lucky here. Japan sits on the "ring of fire" and in "typhoon alley" so our structures here are built to withstand earthquakes and typhoons (something a few places in the States could learn from). Only those in rural areas, living in traditional homes that were built before earthquake standards, were enacted would be at risk of really losing much. Obviously, a tsunami would be dangerous for any of us living close to the water regardless of the structure.

So while our earthquake here definitely was the topic of conversation today, I am thrilled to say we are all okay and that our thoughts are now for those suffering in both Haiti and Chile.


Five Years Ago on In My Words...Birds

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Coverage Woes

Let me start of by staying that I am thankful for the amount of coverage I have been able to see so far away from home. Between the US coverage and the Japanese coverage we are able to see just about anything we want regarding the Olympics.

Okay, so my peeve has to do with the fact that NBC is spending WAY too much time talking to people that are NOT competing!! I want to see the events, not watch Bob Costas try to get athletes to fight each other through the media while sitting near a fireplace. I was able to ignore it for a while but the other day when Evan (from the US) won the Men's Figure Skating gold medal and then had not just one but two different interviews with Bob Costas and all Bob did was try to get him to say bad things about his competitors. Congrats to go to Evan for not only providing a gold medal performance on the ice but being an outstanding person and not getting sucked into whatever drama Bob was trying to get started. Bob even went so far as to try to get Dick Button to talk smack against the silver medalist since obviously Evan wasn't going to. I know that is not just Bob Costas but NBC as a whole. Regardless it pisses me off.

Now today, I am watching Olympics that I recorded earlier, since I was volunteering during the airing of it. And I only have one question for NBC....was there really nothing else you could have been showing us that you had time to interview a SUMMER olympic athlete for twenty minutes???? He is just a spectator here, and I could give a crap what he thinks about being a spectator...I want to see the current OLYMPICS...that means the sports that are being done at that moment. Get off the sofa and away from the fireplace and show me some damn sports!!!

(Note too, that Bob tried to get Micheal Phelps to talk smack about one of his competitors too....grrr)


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Sounds Like...

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It didn't start off that great...I woke up feeling worse than the day before physically and had slept in much later than I wanted (which always makes me mad) even though my body probably needed it (not to mention that I didn't even get to bed until 1am).

As it progressed, I did start to feel better. I think when you have a cold, you always feel terrible when you first get out of bed anyhow. I took some tylenol so my throat would stop throbbing and I weighed my options on whether to take any other cold medicine. This head cold has been a bit different than most in that I am not stuffed up (at least my nose is not stuffed up) so I really don't want to take a decongestant if I don't have ears do feel stuffy though. So I might break down and take a decongestant tomorrow if I am not starting to feel a change.

Enough about the cold. Anyway, I didn't get a lot accomplished today since I was trying to take it easy. I did help some people on Google's help board for Blogger, along with knocking out the dusting around here (it was bugging me). I managed to sit outside for a bit when the sun was peaking out and that felt terrific.

Tonight, I managed to soak in our jet tub in some nice hot water, with the window open putting cool air on my face. It reminded me so much of sitting in our hot tub in North Carolina in the winter time. It was very nice and definitely a good way to end the day.

So overall, in the normal Mishka definition of a good day (one with lots of check marks off the to do list), it wasn't a good day, but in reality, I don't have a lot to complain about...sun on my face and nice soaks to wrap it up is not too bad. I think I will have to call it a good one even with the head cold.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Making Soup

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympics Are Here

For the last three days, I have been watching the Winter Olympics in the morning, and recording it in the afternoon. We get a broadcast in the middle of the night too which I have not yet tried to record for viewing later but will probably have to do as events come on that I am most interested in.

The winter olympics always seem so much harsher to me...probably the ice and cold is what gives me that feeling. When people fall, get hurt or injured, it just seems harder. I love many of the events in Winter Olympics...but I find myself squinting my eyes at the TV when they are doing something particularly difficult so I won't see if they fall and hurt themselves pushing themselves to the limit and beyond.

The passion and drive of all of these athletes always amazes me. I feel for them if they are not able to acheive their dreams. I realize that everyone is not going to win gold but when an athlete fails to do their best, is injured qualifying or weather takes them out, it makes me sad because you want to compete at your best and then the scores are what they are. When someone who has worked so hard for this moment loses it because of something outside their own control, that is when I feel bad for them.

Another thing that just amazes me is how comfortable all the athletes are with their sports. Skaters walk on skates is if they have always been attached to their feets and skiers and snowboarders do the same...I have never had that comfort level on my own two feet much less on something foreign and I think I envy them that a bit. I have to tell myself that it is from weeks, months and years of time being spent using that skate or ski that they get that comfort level, but they still all look so relaxed and comfortable in their elements.

So as the couple's short program in figure skating draws to a close for today, I look forward to what might be coming up in the next two weeks. I hope that some of you are able to tune in for your favorite events as well.


Four Years Ago on In My Words...Guts and Determination

Monday, February 08, 2010

Focusing On The Good Things

Seems like every once in a while I find myself in a bit of a negative rut...where all I do is notice the bad things and tend to be perpetually peeved...usually after a bit of time, I realize this and take action to change my perspective/outlook.

This is one of those times...the negativity hasn't been too bad this time but I still have seen it there and I hate when it takes a good hold and I start seeing it reflected in the mirror. Being negative gives me wrinkles, causes me to get sick, and gives me excuses for being lazy in fitness, education, and overall task completing.

Focusing on the good things that happen everyday is one of the ways I get out of this rut...and it really does work. Instead of thinking about the issues that might have pissed me off throughout the day, I try to see each of the reason why the day should be labeled as good. Now this is not a matter of sugar-coating, I am not trying to say that everyday is a perfect day, but it is a way of seeing the glass is half full rather than half empty.

Everyone has their ups and downs and each day does too, but for the most part, unless you have been hit by a bus, the day should really end on a positive value than on a negative, right?

Have you ever noticed that only the bad news seems to make the news? Well, having a negative outlook seems to be the same thing but on a individual level. You can notice the few small things that might have sucked during the day and count the day as a loss overall, or you can look at the millions of positive things that happened that you really didn't even notice and call the day a positive is for you to decide.

This all goes in hand with my plan to focus on me, getting things together, figuring out where I am at, and if I want to be there, and if not, making changes to get where I want to be. Spring is on its way and focusing on the positive is just the thing this new season needs.

Periodic self evaluation can be a good thing, it can help you stay on track and it can help you be more productive and determined. Being that I am in the midst of a few personal goals, this is perfect timing for me to have a new fresh outlook full of positive energy.


Five Years Ago on In My Words...Tolerance is a 9 Letter Word

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Shake Rattle and Roll

We had a little rumbler early this morning. I actually woke up while it was rolling to me because I could hear it. I find it so strange that we can hear earthquakes but I guess with all that land mass moving around, there has got to be some noise from it.

This guy was a little one so it really only felt like someone was trying to wake me up by shaking the bed a bit. Nothing dramatic but I do remember it and I remember looking at the clock so I could check it out on the web in the morning. The Japanese Meterological Agency's website is pretty thorough and up to date which is nice. I use it for typhoons as well.

Anyhow, all is well here, but it is strange for me to feel two earthquakes so close together...wonder if we'll be getting a decent sized one in the near future?


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Grandma's Pillowcases

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Down and Out

This is not news to some of you that know me on Facebook but over the last week or so, I have been dealing with a bit of vertigo from a probable inner/middle ear infection. It was really bad on Monday night but has steadily gotten better. I was able (with the help of some great friends) to get some medication on Tuesday morning to help with the dizziness and since then I have been taking it easy and trying to feel better.

Over the last couple of days, I have been able to start back to my usual activities, and I think tomorrow is going to be my first day trying to get some exercise. Nothing crazy, probably just a walk on the beach for some seaglass or something...but I need to do something.

We had friends move away recently and they left some food with us. Some of this food is very quick and easy to make, and being that I have been feeling crappy, quick and easy is the best mode. Unfortunately, quick and easy also means not so great for you. Being stuck in the house means that I have more time to munch on things and it just seems like I am eating all the time and most of it hasn't been good for me.

Tomorrow is my day to start back towards my previously heathly lifestyle...I will be working on the giftstore books for most of the day, but I am going to clean some things out of the cupboards so I am not tempted and then I will get a walk in, if nothing else. I want to get back to the Wii Fit Plus but I am not sure my balance is up for that just yet....haha.

During my week of rest and relaxation, my To Do list did nothing but grow but on Tuesday I was able to knock out a few tasks that had been lingering and this gave me such a great feeling. This great feeling should carry me on to more tasks but somehow, a few days get in between tasks and the feeling fades and I have to start from scratch all over again...ugh!! I wish I could find that great feeling and just bottle it for when I needed some motivation.

I am thrilled though that all of this did get a blog post out of me (another item on the task list) all is not lost...hehe.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Musubi