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I don’t really formally celebrate thanksgiving due to historical inaccuracies. Well, there’s that and the whole Black Friday thing;  A time dedicated to the gluttony of consumerism and the emptying of what the true holiday spirit should really be about. But I will say, if the date has become about a bunch of people spending their time to be with the ones they love & commit their thoughts to being thankful, than, that in itself, is something to celebrate. You always get more of what you want and need in life when you are in a constant mode of appreciation, not just one day but every day. So whether you have a lot, a little, or have someone or are alone, find something, anything to be thankful for. Consistency of thought as it regards to recognizing what I have is what I aim for.  So here’s a list of 24 things  I’m thankful for, in no particular order.

1. Mis Padres y mi Familia

2. Mis Amigos

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ENMA & JB

3.  YOU- To everyone who comes to my blog, reads and clicks. I really appreciate it.

4. For every day I wake to see the sun come up, I know I have purpose and that my work here is not done. And yes I do this Shirly song and dance EVERY MORNING hahah

5. Hot Coffee or Cocoa & writing I am about to move the world through words.

6. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying so hard towards the balanced manifesting of my dreams that I am grateful for the moments when I know that I’ve done enough.

7. Jellyfish. Why? I don’t know, just because they’re beautiful and they artistically inspire me and they are strange creatures. For instance, Jellyfish have been around since before the dinosaurs existed, the biggest jellyfish ever found had a diameter of 8 feet and its tentacles were as long as half the length of a football field, and the growth of a jelly fish NEVER stops, and they are 95% water, and some types, up to 98%.

8. The woods

Even the snowy kind

9. When I meet someone that I feel comfortable enough to reveal all of myself ..and I don’t regret it later 🙂

10. When I feel I’ve tried everything, there’s no greater feeling than infinite possibilities re-shaping itself in a way that I can see and embrace. A shift towards an enlightened perspective that helps me move forward, I am always grateful for.

11. The color red- Since I was a kid it’s never failed to make me happy! Fall, lips, paint, dresses, you name it, if I was born in the form of color it would most definitely be red.

12. Signs that lift and encourage me, especially when I need it the most.

13.  Being in the middle of a busy day and finding the time to lie down, look up and day dream.

14. Neo-Classical Interior Design

15. Handwritten letters & Typewriters

16.  When something I’ve been working for comes my way or when something really lovely happens and I get butterflies in my tummy. Or sometimes it can be just those little wonderful moments where hope presents itself in the form of a film, art, admirable recognition from people you respect or even from a stranger. Or sometimes all it takes is a simple song from jazz crooners like Sam Cooke, Shirley Bassey, Ottis Redding, Louie Armstrong, Julie London, Nina Simone, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald or Harry Connick Jr. (who I want to sing at my wedding) that make me feel all excited and hopeful about life.

16. Indian Sari’s

17. Rebellious dogs haha

18. The stillness of the night right before I nod off.

19. Lace & Detailed Embroidery

 Amazingggg BerqclE!

20. The Audrey Tautou CoCo Channel Commercial and the Levi Commercials because they inspire me in every way.

21. Oversized sweaters, long or short skirts w/ pockets, long socks, hats and headbands!

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22.Birds nests

23. Imagination & Dreams

24. FIlm Film Film! From as long as I can remember I always knew that film was a huge vehicle in which my energy is meant to travel. I’m to do great things in film.

 

With Love to Japan

March 14, 2011

 

By: Nicole Cleary
“Floating Gold”

This past, Friday, March 11 there was a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit northern Japan, generating a tsunami that has caused extensive damage.  My brother, who has been living near Tokyo for over five years with his wife and kids, was caught in Tokyo the day it happened.  A few days ago he wrote this note on Facebook about his experience. I wanted to post it on my blog because I admire his ability to embrace a moment while still being proactive. It’s not that everyone should or should not feel this way; it’s just a different way of looking at things. It’s difficult to have a light heart in the midst of chaos and when everything looks and feels grim, but I find the ability to be able to grab light-heartedness from anywhere you can, an amazing ability. I appreciate his perspective and hope that when faced with traumatic events, I can too, be calm and embracing all whilst being steady, focused, and proactively determined.

I have posted this with LoVe to Japan.

28 Kilometers….

By Cecil- on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 6:54am

….That is the distance that I walked from Tokyo (Roppongi) to Yokohama (Aobadai).   The quake hit about 245 Tokyo time while I was in a meeting with a client.   I felt it first, ignored it, kept feeling and called his attention.  We stopped, waited…listened…and felt.  The ground swelled.  We went outside and found a bunch of people kind of meandering about, looking at each other for confirmation of what everyone was thinking, “is this the big one?”  The ground kept shaking for about 6 minutes, with intermittent ground swells.

People started screaming.  I made my way to the highest ground I could find with no electric cables around and just enjoyed the ride.  I figured if this was the big one, it would be my only chance to participate in this AWESOME experience….so I might as well enjoy it.  Hahaha.  Every time I felt the ground swell, I was like “Yeah! Baby!”…and then I looked over at this huge office building and stopped cold, watching it sway back and forth as if rocked by a breeze. The quaking stopped.  I stood for awhile and just enjoyed the moment.  I had tried calling my wife, but line was totally dead.  Although the biggest I had ever felt in my 10 years in Japan, I did not feel it was big enough to inflict major damage in Tokyo.  Also, the way it built up gradually, it provided enough warning for people to move and get to safety, if they had a clear head.   In any case, I simply did not FEEL (in my spirit) that my family was in danger.

I went back to my meeting, excited and even a bit…disappointed…that the big one was not so big.  And then, about 5 minutes later, another one.  We darted outside again, and met the same group of neighbors, this time a bit more panicked.   The lady next door came out in her bathrobe.  I was like, “Cool.”:)   hahaha.   This time was not as strong but combined with the experience of the first, it felt just as big…standing on the ground, like I was surfing on a wave. Kawabunga dude!

After this quake, we decided to head to safer ground and walked to Aoyama cemetery.  I thought to myself, “Best place to go if we are going to die”…laughed to myself and then thought, “that’s not funny” hahaha.  (Actually, i said it to the lady next door who had changed from her bathrobe into jeans and was heading the same direction. She laughed as well, but then kind of stopped and gave me an odd look…hahahaha! I deserved it.  ANYHOW….)

When we got to the cemetery, people were gathered there and in the street, talking, texting, being scared and surprised.  My client and I finished our meeting standing…and took a snap shot to commemorate the event:  “3/11/11 at 3pm – The big one”

My next meeting was at 4 pm in Daikanayam.  I was still thinking to go but was going to be late; Trains were not running and all the phones were still dead.  I had about 5 meetings that day and was just going to stay in the city and have my meetings and hope that the trains would be running when I was ready to head home at night. I realized that I could still text, so I text my wife to see if she was ok.  She was fine and went to pick up my son, Cecil Jr., from pre-school.

But, then I stopped and thought for about 4 minutes…”what if this was just a warning?…What if this was NOT The big one and it was coming tonight?  Then it hit me, I need to get home ASAP because I have no idea what will be coming tonight and if I will be able to get home.  Then I started to survey the damage, and it occurred to me that in the worst case scenario, I might not be able to make it back home and my wife would be stuck with the kids.  That single thought was the trigger.  I decided to go home.

I thought to take a bus, but the line for the bus was about 1hr long.  Shibya was 20 min away on foot.  Decision: walk.

When I got to Shibuya station, it was flooded with people, lines everywhere and nothing was moving.  I did not know what I was going to do, but waiting in those lines was not the solution.  So I started to walk in the direction of home, thinking that I would catch a taxi…then I SAW the traffic; no movement.  I was walking pretty quickly and noticed that I was passing busses…and taxies.   And slowly it dawned on me, there was only one way to get home: Walk.

So with my PC (actually Mac Book…do I get money for the product plug?:) on my shoulder and my Alberto Rossis (plug plug) on my feet, I pounded the pavement for about 30 kilometers (about 20 Miles) to get home.  I left Roppongi roughly around 4pm and delayed about 20 min to buy water and 2 pieces of bread, so the total trip took approximately 5 hours.  I walked mostly along the 246 highway at an average pace of 6 kilometers per hour.  I got a helluva’ workout, wrote some DOPE rhymes, got to walk ON the 246, and was able to grab some quality thinking time – all good!

When I got home, all was fine with the fam.  One room was pretty bad, but all in all, not a disaster at all.  My feet were swollen and blistered, ankles were out….but I was home and my family was together.  Can’t complain at all.

I heard that a friend’s dad made a similar 18mile walk in about 11 hours!  And a friend of mine who lives in the area, made roughly the same drive on the 246 in about 8 hours…and another friend walked about 20 Kilos in 7 hours!  I wonder if I set a record!?

Right now, as we have now prepared sufficiently for another quake and have a kit ready, clothes next to the door, ready to jam on a dime, I am trying to discern fact from fiction and decide when to get out of emergency mode.

Now, after seeing the news and seeing the magnitude of what has happened, I really feel for those who have lost everything.  At the same time, I am all the more grateful that my family is safe and aim to them this way.   Once I decide what the next move is, I will inform my network of the facts that I have gathered and the decision that I have made.

TO HELP CLICK HERE: 

Food for all people

Happy NEW Year!

January 1, 2011

 

When Harry Met Sally

Happy Heart Day!

February 14, 2010

So it has arrived, a cacophony of clinging glasses, sighs and the sound of unusually quickly drumming hearts. The one day of the year where an excess of chocolate, roses, and Champaign is more than an expression of love, it’s practically a ceremonial procedure.  Today is Valentine’s Day; the time of year for some to show their love through grand gestures and for others to reciprocate through swooning and fuzzy feelings.

 That being said there are those that at times can feel left out, after all Valentine’s Day has paraded itself as an exclusive lovers club, well at least that what it can feel like at times.  Besides the many single people that may feel excluded, there’s also those who oppose the holiday due to the exorbitant 14$ billion price tag attached to the holiday.  According to a survey conducted in January by the National Retail Federation and BIGResearch this year’s amount spent on Valentines day will be a 13.5% decrease from 2008’s V-day amount  of 17$ billion.

I remember in elementary school we would either make or buy a box of cards for all our classmates. Even though I was little, I recall the excitement as I and some of my other classmates had as we opened our V-day Animaniacs, Looney Toones or X-Men cards hoping to have a secret admirer.  At times there was that youthful eagerness to read into the meanings of a heart candy that said “I Love you” or “kiss me.”

In middle and high school, kiss-a-grams were the “it” thing. The day before V-Day one would buy a dollar kiss-a-gram only for it to be delivered by class picked Cupids sporting cherry lipstick.  My freshman and sophomore year I remember hoping   that I would get a kiss-a-gram.  Only the disappointment of not getting one was much more frustrating than in elementary, where there was practically no frustration at all due to my ability to move on, and continue day -dreaming about  whatever movie character crush I had at the time.

Although I am quite the romantic, love dark vanilla cream chocolate, and red heart stickers, I do think that Valentine’s Day    has become a consumer driven holiday.  Mind you there is nothing wrong with celebrating it, I just think we need to go back to a time where buying something was not the first means of expressing our love.  The most important things that cannot be bought or found in any store is romance, romance, and more romance. With the economy being what it is this is the best time for creative gestures of love. 

I don’t think singles need to feel excluded either.  Although it has been championed as a couple’s holiday, the underlining meaning to Valentine’s Day is Love.  That means whether you are single this year or not, you need not feel left out this holiday.  It’s just a day dedicated to love of any kind. The love you have for your mother, father, neighbor, best-friend, or even dog.  I realize there has not been a fun undertone created for any other love besides lovers, but thats for you to make. 

You don’t have to be a love sap to enjoy the lighthearted silliness of a day excusing the most wonderful at times ridiculous displays of love.  I don’t think the day calls for expensive bouquets of roses, pounds of chocolate or diamond necklaces; but maybe we should think back to the simplicity of spending time, of lasting kisses, or pontificating love letters.

Whether the day is celebrated or not perhaps the symbolism of the day could be seen as a reminder to us on how we should be every day with those we love. Maybe see it as the New Years of Love, giving people second chances, new beginnings to how they want to go about love in their relationships with family, friends, strangers or lovers.

Sometimes the best way to say I love you is as simple as a gaze, hold and a kiss. 

If nothing else let the day remind you that a life without love of any kind, well, is not much of a life at all.

To all of you coupled, and singled out there, Happy Valentine’s Day! 😉