+100 followers. reason I’m thankful

| By Sushilove51 |

“Domo”

 

This is a short note to thank everyone who choose to read this blog. Honestly I didn’t think anyone would. After I wrote my first post. I meant for it to disappear into the abyss. I was surprised to read that I got a “like”.

But, I’ve learned from reading the words of encouragement from other bloggers, that I have to start speaking more confidently about writing. What’s funny is there’s a familiar pattern of me needing a push.

The Genesis of this whole blog began with a slight shove.

I was at a Starbucks with good company. Two friends, Kira & Miki. I had an Iced Chai Latte and they both drank a tall complicated thing.

Kira brought her laptop and we sat there watching a show on Netflix called Terrace House. Which is a Japanese version of the Real World. Where they have a nice house, nice car. And invite twenty-something-year old strangers to move in. You just sit back and watch the entertainment unfold.

I had mixed emotions watching it. Literally, the show is both entertaining and boring at the same time. I can’t say it’s a must-watch or a waste of time. It gently tip toes on a funny borderline.

You can marvel at the fact at how much the show differs from the craziness of the Real World. And at the same time be awed by the maturity of the Terrace House’s inhabitants.

“Are they forty year olds in twenty year old bodies?”

although sometimes they can be immature and appear to be like eight year olds in twenty year old bodies. Which can be said about myself as I read this out-loud.

Overall, I like the show. It’s in Japanese with English subtitles so it helps boost my language skills.

Still in at that moment Kira & Miki didn’t think I liked it as much.

Kira saw that I was looking at my phone and typing more looking at the show.

“I could change it to something else if you don’t like it”. Kira offered.

Sounding kind of bothered I was on my phone instead of enjoying the show with them.

I was enjoying time with them. But I guess it didn’t look that way. It looked like I was in my own world. Relaxed in my seat ignoring the two and Terrace House.

“No, I like this show I just had an idea. that’s all” I told her.

“Are you playing a game?” she asked

“No, just writing something down. I don’t want to forget it later”.

“Writing what?”

I explained to them both that I like to type out my thoughts as a way to make sense of life. Events that are stuck in the drain and won’t leave until I rinse it out the back of my mind. Mostly things I haven’t told anyone. Including the emotions I felt at the time.

Personal things that would kill you with boredom.

“Oh, do you blog?” Miki asked.

“Nope”

“Why not?” she asked surprise

“If you like to write than you should” *the nudge*

I didn’t want to talk about it. I shrugged my shoulders. Sat back in my seat and tried to change the subject so she would stop digging. My writing is personal. I tried to get more into the show with Kira & Miki.

“Let’s just watch this”

Still it was too late. She had planted a seed. it sprouted and grew like a weed.
I asked myself that question over the course of a year on why I didn’t blog.

And so here we are now. finally.

I started my blog Sushi Love a month ago. And neither Kira nor Miki knows about it. But, eventually I’ll fess up.

Maybe over a Iced Chai Latte at Starbucks.

And this is why I appreciate every person that choose to read my blog and comment.

I’m a lover and a prayer and I hope everyone prospers. But I did want to ask the question.

What made you want to blog?

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Children of the Rising Sun |Part One|

|By Sushilove51 | Photo by T. Donsho |

“Love your neighbor”

– Jesus

 

Prof. Jen taught me most of my first two years in college. Going to a U.S. College overseas there’s not much choice. The base tends to hire teachers with a million degrees and able to teach multiple subjects.

This wasn’t a problem for me. I liked Jen’s style. She was a smiley free-spirit who brought M & M’s to class. What’s not to like? Since we had to spend three hours a day, for two days a week. We could only hope for a little bit of fun.

There were rumors that some Professors were so boring students would fail just to end the misery. These stories made me feel lucky to have Jen. Not only was she easy to get along with but was also professional. Yes, at times the lectures went off course. They were fruitful nonetheless.

She spoke of her dreams, her travels, and her dance school. And in the end the whole class got A’s.

It was good to hear from a woman who dreamed big and got to see them come to life. It’s nice to know someone who was rewarded well due to the level of risk taken. Overall she sent a good vibe that flowed throughout our class room.

We had a lot of breaks that were used perfectly like a good coach uses a time out for there team to re-group. Maybe we showed a face that showed it was time. This allowed  students to get into some good conversation with each other. We mostly talked about upcoming events.

There was a musician who was planning on making a music video. He was always looking for someone who wanted to be a part of the them.

“Hey dude, you should show up. We all hang out, then get sushi afterwards”

“I don’t know, I appreciate the invite but I got some things to do”.

I would be tempted to go but wouldn’t be 100% sure about the decision. After all I’ve partied for a majority of my life. I figured it was time to head to another direction.

One guy did get my attention and showed me the way when he mentioned the annual event his squadron throws. A party at a near by orphanage. They serve American Style BBQ, brings gifts, talk and play with the children. Something in me lit up when I heard about it all. I wanted to be a part of it.

An Orphan must carry a heavy burden with them. These are children who have been abandoned or separated from their relatives somehow to live in a strange home with other kids. I guess I felt it was time. I didn’t have too much. But, what I did have I wanted to give.

That weekend I took the invite and brought some friends who I thought would be interested in tagging along. Friends with the right priorities. In the military some people do things like visiting orphanages with selfish motives. They do it for the bullets (highlights of experience) that military members type on these performance reports in hopes to further their career. I wanted to go with those whose motives were pure and had a genuine emotion to care. Other wise the trip would of felt tainted.

I remember the moment I walked in those doors holding bags of food and soda. The kids greeted us with loud pitches of excitement. Big Smiles. Happy that we’d come to visit. They’d stare at us with a look that revealed there gratitude. Maybe we symbolized hope to them. Hope that since  foreigners came to give presents and spend time with them that one day this would happen permanently one day.

The kid’s ages ranged from 4-18. The majority of them being younger. Only a few were actually 13 and up. I remember a little 5 year who ran up to me as soon as my arms let go the bags of food I carried. He wanted to be picked up. This only was after 20 minutes of walking in. I gave him a high five. But, my heart turned into mash potatoes when I saw how bad he wanted to be held. He desired affection. Just for a moment. He wanted to feel loved. I didn’t want to fail him. So I carried him and told the caretakers he was very playful kid. They remarked that he’s always been this way.

This made me wonder where his parents were and why he was here. If this was my son I don’t know if I could go a day without giving or receiving that affection. It’s energizing to see someone on earth who just wants your affection and in return you give it the same. No cost. I don’t think he even budged when the food was being served. He just wanted to play games with the foreigners. A similar pattern with the other children as well.

The girls were getting their hair braided by the women. And the other men were playing catch with the little guys. Reading stories to them. Teaching them dance moves. Enjoying each other’s company.

Later, I find out these kids have survived some tragedies. Abusive homes, homes with low income that couldn’t maintain. Homes that weren’t happy. Homes that weren’t healthy. Life isn’t fair. I only hope that one day these children see glory.

Are there injustices you see in the world you want to fix?

Thoughts before Disney Sea

|Written by Sushilove51| Photo on pexels.com |

“Vacation, All I ever wanted, Vacation had to get away…”

– The Go-Go’s

 

Years back.

You may have seen a comic strip by Adam Ellis that trended for a while on the internet.

It was a four scene story with a memorable line a lot of us could relate to. Two buddies sit on a couch. One is watching football on T.V. with a generic t-shirt that reads sports team.

The other guy sits next to him and begins to complain about the game of football. Then he begins to gives reasons of why it sucks.

The football fan then shuts his mouth closed and whispers.

“Let people enjoy things”.

It’s a comic strip that does the dirty work for you. If you have some person in your life adamant on taking the fun out of life. This is your battle cry.

Still at the same time it’s weirdly comforting to know others been in this situation. Your not alone in this.

And when it does the go to attitude was aloof and tune them out. Those who like to crap on beautiful things. It’s an ugly vibe I try to stay clear from.

Which brings me to when a person tried to ruin Disneyland for me. A person I barely knew and seen in passing. The military base community is a small world and news travels quicker than in hair saloons even the most useless information that has nothing to do with you.

I was filling up a mug with coffee when I heard my name.

“Hey what’s going on?”

“Sup you”

“Good man, Heard from so and so you were going to Disney”

“Yeah, I leave this weekend”

“Really man, you’re going to support Disney?”

“Yeah”

“There’s an evil corporation that has been influence the minds of the youth with evil imagery…There connected with so much of the elites…”

“Hey man, good talk…I don’t have time for this…ever”

I prefer a positive vibe.

Have you meet killjoys and wanted to say “Let people enjoy things” ?

Night Shift at Aomori

|Written by Sushilove51 | Photo by A. Chandra|

“Funny thing is I used to stay up all night and called it Fun”

– unknown author

 

I know there’s a stigma about working the night shift. It isn’t good for your health. It isn’t natural your body wants you to be tucked away in bed. Still, despite all of this. I’ll always prefer Nights to Day and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m not sure as to why. Except for the tranquility I feel during those late hours.

It may be a useless talent of mine that has developed over time. By “Useless Talent” I’m piggy-backing of the theory mentioned in that Tarantino film, “Planet Terror”. It was said during a dialogue between the character Dr. Dakota to a patient.

“You know, my girlfriend had a theory. She said at some point in your life, you find a use for every useless talent you ever had. It’s like connecting the dots.”

Having grown up in Southern California. Very close to Mexico. I’ve partied very frequently since the age of 15. (All you really needed was $15 and a fake id.) While I was up at any hour who knew that I was possibly training my body to be ready for the graveyard shift.

It’s not something you can put on your resume. Word-for-Word. You have to spice it up. Instead, of saying something like.

“I’m able to rock out for 48 hours straight”

You can instead say “I’m able to give 110% working long hours on any shift”

like I said, “Spice”.

When the time for our base’s deployment exercise came around. I’d gotten tasked as a Guard to work the Night Shift. This connected the dots of my useless talents to other useless talents I had.

I remembered every time I spent sitting in a garage watching movies with buddies. Kind of what a guard does. In the sense that you sit on your butt and are required to be alert for long period of time. (Of course, credit the fact that your head is on a swivel ready for bad guys.)

Who knew that chit-chatting about random topics like who has the best crossover in the NBA, The law of attraction or the benefits of wheat grass. In front of Soda, Monster energy drinks, and McDonald’s would someday give me the skills I needed for a future career.

I looked around and thought that life has started to get better. Deciding to stick around has finally started to pay off. I wouldn’t let nothing ruin the good news I’d been giving. Even if I had to work it alongside someone with one of the worst reputations.

To me he wasn’t all that bad.  He was from Sudan. Had a very Sudanese name. However, was preferred to be called Matthew. I assume he was tired from American guys mispronouncing it. I knew him from Basic Training. I’ve always thought he was an “all right” guy. But then again we didn’t really speak a lot to each other. A lot of the other guys avoided him like a wild fire.

One of the reasons was his Temperament. They said he didn’t know how to take a joke. It was said that whatever was said to him he took very personal. And taking everything people say to you personal can get your feeling hurt a lot in the military.

Since, most of the Leadership are straight shooters when it comes to talking and they could care less about your feelings. For example: if we are exercising and someone’s not fit enough and slowing everyone else down. None of them will baby you. Instead, You’ll more than likely hear leadership say.

“Hey fat ass, you should start throwing up after you eat. Then you’ll finally make the run time”.

Also, Americans participate in the Art of roasting. Which by definition is insulting your fellow man for fun. And when it comes to roasting I believe there aren’t any safe zones. It’s pretty much open season for everyone. But, to Matthews credit this is something you have to kind of grow up in to get used to.

The other main reason no one wanted to work with him was because of his smell. Which I admit was an acquired kind of off putting. Back in Training school, we stayed on the same floor and you knew which room he stayed in by that pungent, combo that could be confused with hamster cage hay and ripe onions.

If he said that he was growing onions in his room. I could imagine people saying, “Oh it makes perfect sense”.

Instead people said “Bro, you smell like crap. Did you take a shower?”

I admit this would make me want to get out of guarding a post for 12 hours with him. But, it didn’t bother me so much. Because, since I got to Japan. I had the worst allergies of my life. My skin would flare up and get red. I would wheeze when I went to sleep. And, I was immune to the smell because my sinus where always stuffed. I wouldn’t be able to smell the gun smoke if I fired a rifle. Everything was okay.

As far as how Matthew’s personality. I’m the type of person who tries to understand. And if he was sensitive I wasn’t going to try to bother him. I didn’t need to roast him. He’s probably had enough of a hard time coming to America from Sudan and all. I had no problem with him.

One top of everything. The Supervisor said we’d be guarding the exit gate on the West Side. This was easiest task. When you’re guarding the exit gate your required to do nothing but sit there, couple radio checks and grab your binoculars every now and then. And whenever they simulate a Chemical Attack you can pretend to put a Gas Mask while the guards at the Entrance gate have to actually have it on for hours at a time. Running around like toddlers while the Training Instructors are evaluating their every move. But, who knows maybe I would have been happy either way. Looking at the bright side might be another useless talent being put to use.

*The day our shift started*

We sat there two men making a living sitting down, chit-chat about random topics. In front of Coke, Monster energy drinks and McDonald’s. All my life I thought that this was just a Useless Talent. Well, past negative thoughts. Look at me now because It can’t be that useless if it puts food on the table.

During our shift Matthew and I converse about life experiences but after about two hours in there is only so much that we can talk about. Until the two of us start to get tired. We retreat to our books or magazine.

*Three hours later* Matthew starts to giggle.

I question him out of curiosity. “What’s so funny man? you read something good?”

Out of nowhere Matthew says, “You know the guys at work like to joke around a lot”.

“Yeah, nothing like a good laugh” I respond.

“Yeah, it’s very different from where I’m from”

“How so?”

“It’s a sign of aggression to make fun of someone the way they do it” Matthew says sternly.

“Really?”

“Yes, and you don’t want to start fights where I’m from…Because we’re I’m from we fight until the death”.

I just nodded along, and thought to myself. “Wow, this got uncomfortable fast” I pulled out my book. And decided not to talk the rest of the shift. because I wasn’t ready to die nor to kill. I was just looking forward for time to pass. Not out of fear of him. But more so we can get into my favorite time period.

It begins at 0400 and ends around 0445 this is when the sun starts to rise.

To me there is something, “magical” about this time period. I know that once I’m here I get this burst of energy. Everything feels more calm. Everyone gets calm. The wind isn’t moving. The air seems to feel fresher. I think about a new beginning. And the inability to articulate words to convey the beauty of it all.

I just learned accept that you don’t need it. All the understanding of why something is enjoyable. I have to tell myself “How about you just enjoy the mystery”.

Then another memory comes to mind. I smile about it. Even if it’s kind of sad because it’s a story of wasted opportunity. And not much can irk a person’s soul worse. There’s that sense of regret of saying the wrong words or not saying anything at all.

Then all that’s left is hope. The hope that something better will come. A better chance. Your life’s Destiny.

 

Are there any talents you thought were useless but a moment they became useful?