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One of Those Days · 3 December 2016


Today is one of those days. You know, the ones that for some reason or another just start out in a way that you know things are not going to go your way.


Truth be told, I never have one of those days. Even today, I know I am going to have a great day. It is, after all, a choice. You make your day what you want it to be. (Sorry if that made any of you gag, but it is truly what I know to be true.) But writing is different. Sure, there is no such thing as writer’s block, but there is such a thing as nothing to say. Or too much to say. Or not really ready to start the next project. Or not ready to finish the current project. Or. Or. Or…


Today, I am not ready to finish a project I started several years ago. Actually, I started it when I was in elementary school. Okay. I did not really start writing my series, Autobiography of a Sixth Grader, in sixth grade. I try to write it like I did, but I did not start it way back then. I started it a few years ago.


I currently have three of them out as digital books on Amazon. I am planning on releasing them on CreateSpace so people can have physical books in their hands too, but I have not gotten that done yet. Sure there is lots of work to do to get all seven books out there. But I just finished the first draft of book six the other day. But try as I might, I cannot get started on the last one. It is like saying goodbye to an old friend. I am just not ready for another sad goodbye. Even if it is really a fond farewell. And even if it is only in my head.


So today, I am just going to simmer a little bit in that angst. And I am going to chalk it up to being one of those days.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Mutual Admiration Society · 26 November 2016


Photo courtesy of Peggy Filer


Peggy Filer is a friend and co-worker who said I should start my own mutual admiration society. Actually, she just said she was texting her siblings, nieces, nephews, and others just to tell them that she was grateful for them. And she said to try it to see if the results were as entertaining as hers were. Or something like that.


I have known Peggy for twenty-something years. She teaches health and teaches all the freshmen about being safe and healthy. She tells them to make good choices and to be safe and healthy. Those are her sign offs. “Make good choices,” or “Be safe and healthy,” are what her students hear when they leave her class. Maybe even both. They are not just things she says though. They are her mantra for the kids. They are her wish for the kids. They are her hope for the kids. They are her admonishments to the kids. And of course, they are what she lives.


Peggy is not just positive and motivational around the students, she is one of the most positive people I know. She is almost always smiling and she is a good listener. She is more interested in what is happening in your day than in telling you what has been happening with her. And she is empathetic whether what is happening is good or bad.


So naturally, Peggy is the advisor for our school’s Random Acts of Kindness Club. This club has meetings about how to make the school and community more positive. They do nice things for individuals and the school as a whole. They do not seek recognition, but they have received it. In fact, in 2012, they received an award. (See their video on YouTube.) It was pretty cool that the ones who sought no reward or recognition for their efforts got one. (Actually, more than one. Read an article too.)


Peggy is also the initiator of the Healthy Challenge at our school. She encourages students and staff to give up something or try something new to get healthy. People sign up by listing their health goals and after a certain period of time tell her the results. I am not sure how many people make permanent changes from the challenge, but at the very least, they know they can work toward being healthy. At least they are made aware.


Which brings me back to the mutual admiration society.


We often take people for granted. Especially, those who mean the most to us. Parents, siblings, other relatives. We just know they will always be there for us, so we take them for granted. Sure, if we live right next door or down the street or maybe even with them, we cannot really ignore them (or avoid spying on them), but there are things like the internet and phones that make it like we are right next door all the time. We can post on social media or call or text any time. And pretty much any place. Which is what Peggy encouraged me to do.


She said that when she texted her siblings, they were appreciative. Some of them needed a bit of gratitude right at that moment and she provided it. And it was a great time of reconnecting for all of them.


When I texted my siblings, we started a mutual admiration society. We told each other that we were great and that we appreciated each other. (Oh it was mushier than that, but if you start a mutual admiration society, you can see for yourself.) I realized how much I actually like them and their families. And I realized how much I miss seeing them on a regular basis. Oh I already knew, but sending and receiving those texts helped me to not only reconnect with my family, but with my own feelings for them. It helped me to get out of the rush rush rush mode of life.


I am grateful for many things this Thanksgiving weekend. Mostly, I am thankful for my family. Even more so after taking my friend Peggy’s advice. In fact, I think we all ought to do more random acts of kindness and we all ought to start more mutual admiration societies. After all, showing kindness and being grateful never go out of style, and those little acts might just change the world. At the very least, they will make the day for a few people.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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My Complaint about Digital Photographs · 19 November 2016



Photo courtesy Margie Miyoshi


I have only one complaint about digital photographs. They are too real.


Digital photographs are amazing. Even the pictures people take with their phones are high quality. You see these photos on the internet or even just on people’s phones and they are amazing. So realistic that it seems you are in the scenery or can touch the people in the picture. Which is, of course, my complaint.


When you lose loved ones, you want them to still be around. You miss them because they are gone. But with digital photographs, it seems that those people are still around. The pictures stay the same high quality forever. So even though memories might fade, the pictures do not. Which makes the pain more real too.


If we lived in The Matrix, we could just say that the pain was digital and as unreal as our memories. But the memories are real and those digital pictures help us remember in 32-bit color. And unfortunately, the pain is not digital. You cannot just turn it off.



Actually, I have a second problem with digital photographs. Pictures printed from those digital photographs do not fade. They do not get yellowed or beat up. And even if they do either of those things, you can just print a new picture and the loved ones are back again in full digital color. It is amazing.


I suppose that some of my problem is that I still miss my loved ones. Especially, my dad. So seeing pictures of him makes me wonder why I cannot give him a hug or call him. The pictures are so real. And they will not fade or yellow like the pictures in old photo albums. Those old pictures remind us that time has passed and the people in those pictures have aged or passed on. The crinkles and discoloration tell us that time has continued to flow. But Dad and others who have been captured digitally will never age. Their pictures will stay crisp and clear whether printed or just on the screen. They will continue to remind us of our losses.


I suppose that eventually, my pain will fade. Like pain from all loss does. After all, it is not digital. But until then, I will have a complaint or two about how real digital photographs are.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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