Not Allowed to Use Glue · 22 January 2022

I am not allowed to use glue. Ever. Okay. That is a lie. But it is probably the way it should be. I like glue, but it does not like me.

I like to be craftsy. Well, maybe artsy. At any rate, I like to be creative. But doing arts and crafts is not always my thing. Especially, when it comes to glue. Glue is messy. Glue is my nemesis.

If you think back to elementary school, there was always somebody who poured glue on his or her fingertips. “Look. No fingerprints.” That person was not me. I was the person, who regardless of how neat I tried to be, could never keep the glue off of everything. Including me. Especially me. I usually got it where it needed to be, but I also got it on the work surface, the surfaces that did not need to be glued, my clothes, myself. Practically everything.

When I was a little older and started making plastic models from kits, I would get model glue everywhere too. My beautiful automobiles would have their surfaces marred by globs or streaks of glue. The models themselves would be put together properly, but they just looked funny with the ugly, gluey surfaces.

Unfortunately, I have never gotten over that.

You would think that over time a person would get better at doing something like gluing. But not me. At least not with gluing. I still leave messes. It is still a good thing that the glue I use dries mostly transparent. And that it cleans up with water. At least off of myself. I constantly have glue on my hands and clothes when I use the stuff. Even if I am careful. Even if I do not use too much.

Which brings me back to the rule.

I am not allowed to use glue. At least not unsupervised. At least not in good clothes. At least not on arts and crafts. When I am using glue on wood, things are okay. I can clamp things together and wipe off the excess glue and everything will be fine. Now that I think of it, maybe one day I could even try doing a model again. But then again, maybe not. That type of glue does not wipe off at all. And it gets everywhere. Especially on my fingers. Ah well.

It is funny. I no longer have the excuse of being a little kid with no dexterity or very little concern for getting glue everywhere when I use glue. But I still try to stay away from it. I think glue has a mind of its own and just likes to jump to my fingers and my clothes and the work surface and everywhere else. So even though I really am allowed to use glue, I try to stay away from it. But when asked about my hesitancy to use permanent adhesives, I just say, “I am not allowed to use glue.”

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Installing Hardwood Floors · 15 January 2022

My hat is off to anybody who does backbreaking work all day long.

I just installed hardwood floors in three rooms of our house. It took a week to do two rooms and a weekend to do the third. They are all about the same size, so it must have been the little bit of experience that made the last one go faster. At any rate, I know the cost of those floors in terms of blood, sweat, and tears. Okay. Maybe not tears.

I never would have thought about it, but being on your hands and knees for ten or eleven days all day long is not an easy thing to do. Especially when you are not used to being in that position for long stretches of time. Laying out the boards and then nailing them in is not for the faint of heart. Even with the right tools, there is lots of sweat that goes into the whole process. Carry the boxes of planks up the stairs to the correct room. Lay out the planks. Measure the end planks. Carry the planks to be cut down the stairs. Cut the planks, then carry them back up the stairs. Go back downstairs to cut a little more off the plank because it was too long the first time. Go back up the stairs. Lay the plank back down. Nail the planks. And then repeat for each row of planks. Oh. And do not forget that the seams of adjacent boards and even boards two apart should not align with each other. That causes enough sweat in and of itself.

The cost in blood is paid just because I do not know how to use sharp objects. Knives and box cutters inevitably cut me. Rather, I inevitably cut myself with those tools. It is not that I am not careful. It is just that I forget the rules of using knives, so I bleed. Plus there is the blood that comes from slivers and nicks from the wood itself. And if you count the blood that shows up under a bruise… Well, you get the picture. I pretty much bleed with any big project.

I did not really have many tears when it came to installing my hardwood floors. I suppose I could say that a tear came to my eye when I was finished because I was amazed at how beautiful they looked. But that would be a lie. No tears for this project.

Beyond the blood, sweat and tears of any project is the satisfaction of a finished job. Which was the best thing about installing hardwood floors. There is beauty in hardwood floors that is something to behold. Plus there is the knowledge that they will not need to be replaced again. Ever. At least not by me. Which is unlike carpet. Carpet needs to be replaced. Even if it is not showing wear after many years.

(Speaking of carpet. Do not think about what is under your carpet. You might get a little sick. Especially if you have lived in the same house with the same carpet for a long time. You might think you are getting rid of all the crumbs and dust and skin cells and other stuff when you vacuum, but you are not. Even if you vacuum every week. Or even every day. The vacuum just does not get those tiny particles that go down through the carpet and through the padding. I ought to know. I swept up and vacuumed all that fine powder when I removed my carpets. I suppose if you do not think about what it is or that it is even there, you will be okay.)

I am thankful that I have Dean, a friend who knows how to install hardwood floors and who allowed me to help him do a different room in our house. I got to be the apprentice on that job. And his tutelage helped me do a pretty good job on my own. My hat is off to him and to others who pour their blood, sweat, and tears into their work. I applaud them, but am glad I do not do their work all the time.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Kimchi Is the Perfect Food · 8 January 2022

I may have said it before, but I am going to justify it here today. Kimchi is the perfect food.

(I do not know why, but I am on a kimchi writing kick. Call this, Kimchi Part 3, if you will.)

I would not say that I love kimchi, but I do like it. Whenever we have it in the house, I binge on it. Okay. Not really binge, but I do eat it like it is going out of style. I like the taste. I like the smell. I even like the texture. But truth be told, I used to think it had to go with rice. Lots of rice.

To be sure, I am not going to hate on rice or anything like that. I like rice. I always have. I grew up eating it at pretty much every meal. Rice for breakfast with eggs. Rice with lunch with bologna. Rice for supper with anything and everything. Okay. Not with everything. Not with potatoes. Mom drew the line at that combo. Potatoes or rice, but not both. Unless of course, we were at a potluck and somebody brought some of each. Apparently, it was okay to have them both at the same meal, but not to cook them both for the same meal. Needless to say, I cannot hate on rice. Especially since I like sushi. Unfortunately, my body just cannot eat it every day like I used to do.

Where was I? Oh yes. Rice and kimchi.

I used to think that rice and kimchi were an unbreakable pair. If you had kimchi, you had to have rice. Period. Then, I tried something new. I tried kimchi with spaghetti squash. Surprise! It was marvelous. I never knew that kimchi could combine with anything but rice. I was ecstatic. “Why?” You ask? Because having kimchi without rice made me realize that kimchi was the perfect food. If it could work with spaghetti squash, it could probably work with anything.

Then I realized something else. Kimchi is good all by itself. I was amazed when I made that discovery. All these years of thinking that I had to eat it with rice. Then finding out it went well with other food. I was overjoyed when I found out that it was good all by itself. I figured it out by accident. I was just hungry for it but had nothing to go with my kimchi. So I just ate it by itself. Which made it even more perfect in my mind.

But of course, there is more to being a perfect food than going with anything or even going with nothing. A perfect food should also be good for you.

I am not sure of all the science, but apparently, fermented foods are good for you. Something about good bacteria in your colon or something like that. (I looked it up and apparently, kimchi is a probiotic, which means it is good for digestion. Who knew?) What I do know is that kimchi is rich in antioxidants. And foods rich in antioxidants are good for you.

Playing nice with other foods and being good for your health are two keys to being a perfect food, but I think there is one other factor. Aroma.

I know. There are those out there who think that the odoriferous qualities of kimchi would not qualify it for having a pleasing aroma. But even though I thought that when I was a kid, I think kimchi smells wonderful now. I even think it is a good thing that it smells good to me but not to others. It means that I can have it all to myself. People do not want to be near the stuff when you eat it. And in this day and age when we are supposed to keep at least an arm length apart, kimchi breath keeps people away after you eat it. Not just the trifecta of food, but the quadrifecta! (I doubt quadrifecta is a word, but that is okay by me.)

At any rate.

I may not have convinced anybody with my arguments, but the qualities of going with anything, having positive health benefits, and being able to keep it all to myself are enough to convince me that kimchi is a perfect food. If not the perfect food. But if this blog post did not convince you. Perhaps you should take the advice the kids use to give Mikey in the old Life commercial.

“Are you gonna try it?”
“I’m not gonna try it. You try it.”
“I’m not gonna try it.”

“Hey! Let’s get Mikey.”
“Yeah. He won’t eat it. He hates everything.”
“He likes it!”

So go ahead. Try it. You might like it. Even if you do not agree that kimchi is the perfect food.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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