Thursday, April 30, 2009

10 ways to Catch a Cold

Best in combination, this is a sure fire recipe for some down time:

1. Have a good, emotional blow up with your spouse/intimate

2. Stay up way too late, aim for 3 am or later, 3 or more times in a week.

3. Eat crappy food.

4. Enjoy unseasonally stormy and cold weather

5. Breathe as shallow as you can, quickly.

6. Cold showers.

7. Wet blankets.

8. Rub your eyes a lot, especially after touching preschool door handles

9. Visit children's hospitals

10. Complain a lot about your health

...and that should do it. To get rid of a cold, do the opposite...or read the next post.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22 2009 Best 10

Sometimes the best work in Powering up your Tens is had just by reviewing the best parts of your day. There are probably 10 reasons for doing so, but for me it helps me feel gratitude, it helps me reflect and review the day, and it is a nice closing bookend of one unit of living.

As I have written before, the real work comes towards the end, but the Power of Tens is in the work at the end. What little successes did I enjoy today? What little things were good? A lot of littles make a big big.

Today's List of Ten came easily:

(in chronological order)
1. Morning call from Kota’s mom. Could he start coming back to I CAN? Seems his grandmother is stressing him out again these days, and everyone agrees he needs to get out of the house! Great to have Kota back with us!
2. New Zealand buddy Simon stops by I CAN with his McLunch for a visit. He helps us set up our youtube inspired “Mentos in Pepsi” experiement. Result? not as impressive as online.
3. Playing “the Game of Life” (literally, you know, the board game) with these guys. Funny how the “winner” is decided by how much money you have at the end.
4. Neighborhood 5th graders stop by I CAN after school to play. This reminds me that I have a(n unimplemented) plan to open up for after school visitors! We played a charades-inspired guessing game using red, yellow, green and blue Play-doh.
5. After kids go home, I run to the cable TV station to try to borrow a projector for our homestay slideshow, and also try to get some local, cable news coverage. I got 2 yeses.
6. Then I got on the phone to try to confirm attendees for the homestay success party itself, and to round up more photos for the slide show I will try to put on DVD for them by Sunday. Still, the sixth (newly 7th) graders are not quite on the ball with deadlines.
7. As almost an afterthought I called our chairman and asked him to attend. He was delighted with stories of the trip and will attend.
8. I took the rest of the night off to attend what I thought would be a koto (Japanese harp) concert. In fact it was one of the strangest meetings I have ever attended. While I used to get myself into these situations a lot when I first arrived in Japan, it had been a while. I walked into the 300 year old restaurant, expecting a room full of classical music fans. Instead, 15 chairs around a table, mostly filled with company presidents, cultural leaders, and other town “elites.” Each place was set with a meeting agenda, other official looking documents.
Turns out that the meeting I was asked by a Rotary acquaintance to attend was in order to commission a “support group” (fan club?) for a local, distinguished koto artist. Unfortunately, the man who invited me hadn’t done his homework. There was a near revolt when it became known that the woman for whom the group was being commisioned hadn’t asked for support, and that furthermore, she was not in attendance, though she said she might stop by later that night.
I received a lesson in Japanese politics, as each member politely declined being an officer, and then had their name written in anyway when the room’s ranking leader cajoled them into (forced) volunteer service. I resigned myself to eating and drinking as much as my $80 addendance fee would allow.
9. Best part of the surreal meeting was introducing myself to a doctor Kawamuro, a woman director of two hospitals which specialize in mental health. We talked a bit about school -outs and society -outs, and she and I seemed to be on the same page regarding how best to support such members/patients/citizens. Will drop her a thank you tomorrow.
10. Got back home in time for reading in bed with Emiko, Yuto and Eli. Did my son just say “I love you, Dad.” before nodding off?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ten People from High School

A strange excercise, inspired in part by and facebook.
1. Steve Martin
2. Tommy Mucciaro
3. Brad Gill
4. Gail Becker
5. Ruthie Haas
6. Harold Levy
7. Teri McGill
8. Gigi Best
9. Bill Patterson
10. Mike Craven

Like with all of these best 10's, the good work starts coming around 7,8,9,10, just a tad of a stretch. In the last 5 minutes I have reviewed the drama club, the cross country club, friends, enemies, more-than-friends and never-to-be's.
Amazing, memory is.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

10 things to be Thankful for...

1. Waking up one more day
2. This noisy, cluttered, loud loving family
3. All of the financial support received for work (non-profit received more than $10,000 in pure doanations last year(!)
4.This adventure called Japan
5. Mom, Dad, extended family
6. Healthy body and spirit
7. This noisy, cluttered loud loving apartment
8. Music!
9. Books!
10. Rest!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The First Ten

What follows will be 10 lists of 10, for you to work on, post here if you like, or keep in a journal. I will be posting my personal “Lists of 10” for each of these categories, in coming days. It’s like President Obama’s first 100 days. (10 x 10 days).

Let’s see how much we can get done in the next 3 1/3 months.

So here’s your homework, to be taken on one list a day. DO THIS, and you will be surprised at the new you whom you meet next summer!Let’s get started:

List 10 things you are grateful for.

List 10 people you remember from high school. Can you reach them? Will you try?

List your 10 favorite songs. Burn them onto a disc.

List your 10 favorite colors. Find them right now and smile.

List your 10 favorite books. Will you read them this year?

List 10 things you wish your friend would say to you. Ask them to say them!

List 10 memories from high school.

List your 10 favorite animals. Go see them at the zoo, or get a DVD and watch them!

List 10 difficult things to do. Break them down into 10 steps each. Take one first step.

List the 10 Best Things of today.