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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gritty Snow Rules

Learn the snow rules that every good Gritizen should know. Click HERE to visit Gritty City Woman to find out!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Cold Outside

And Then

the Wind came

Snow Driving: How's Your Neighborhood Doing?

South Sound: How's the driving going in your neighborhood? Are you seeing these around?

This picture came from the University Place Patch. This morning our roads were terrible. I suspect that will be the case again tonight. Sigh....

Cold Days...Warm Moments

The times are always going through their changes, aren't they. One day I can be up, the next day, down. Nothing to do with not taking the appropriate medications. It's a mind limiting thing... leads to procrastination, hiding, depression. Or, I can work a little differently. The glass does not have to be filled with castor oil; mocha expresso will bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.

After all,every now and then I can admit to myself that I am a wonderful human being and I do make mistakes. And those mistakes can either lead me to freeze up, not try again, just plain give up. Or I can decide to take responsibility for my mistake, reflect on what I did, and learn what I shall try the next time. In other words,
life can either look beautiful or ugly, depending on how I choose to look at it.

For example the thought that the Dr. Martin Luther King Library might close just breaks my heart. So many wonderful people go there. The staff is so kind to me. I have found so many precious books, compact discs, and dvds there... Just sitting there and people watching gives me a deep sense of being really close to folks.

So... I am going to let my desire to keep MLK known to every human being I can and encourage folks to write the librarian director and let her know MLK needs to stay open. Here are the names of the board memebers and the phone number for the administrative offices:

I walk down the stairs at Orton Hall this cold grey Monday morning and look, beautiful pieces of work created by Bellarmine High School students. Wonderful!

For every challenging experience, there is the hard, cold side, and the exciting, warm side.

Keep warm...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tacoma In November

I took advantage of a break in the weather and ventured into the very heart of this Gritty City to walk around and take some pictures. It was cold and the wind blowing in from across the water added a bite to the chill.

The dead leaves on the sidewalk skitter in circles as the cold wind rips through the streets and alley ways. Few people are out and about and those that are, have their coats zipped up and their shoulders hunched up trying to stay warm.

You can hear the wind as it rushes up from th
e sound past the old city hall clock tower. You almost get the impression that the clock is just too cold to tick.

Across the Foss, the Tide Flats are hard at work despite the windy cold.

Enough is enough! I'm ready to warm up and there is a Tully's in front of me! A hot cup of coffee before I head back to the house is just what I need.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Why I Love Tacoma's Parkway Tavern

Check out my little love piece for the Parkway Tavern on Gritty City Woman. Share your fave watering holes and beer, HERE or on GCW. Happy sipping Tacoma!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Natural Man

Back in the eighties I used to go walking in Seward Park in Seattle, compact disc swinging merrily in my portable cd player and, with Lou Rawls singing to myself as I briskly moved through my two and a half mile walk, the affriming lyrics of the song, "Natural Man."

Much older and wiser now... I see that the lyrics of this song catch a lot of my present dreams:

"So when ya see me walkin', won't you notice that proud look in my eyes
My feet are on the ground and my soul is searchin' for the sky

'Cause I want to be happy and free
Livin' and lovin' for me
Just like a natural man
A natural man
Just like a natural man
My feet are on the ground
My soul is searchin' for the sky
Like a natural man
No more 'Yes, sir'
No more 'Yes, mam'
Huh, 'cause I'm a natural man
I'm a natural man"

In those few sweet, soulful moments Lou Rawls summed up the desires that African American people have had for five hundred years..."

As I listened to Lou Rawls singing via my Itouch during my moaning and groaning and sweating at the Family Y in Tacoma Thursday, November 18th, I felt affirmed and challenged... affirmed because more and more I am respectfully taking responsibility for my choices... because I choose to rather than because I am commanded to and challenged because I want to help every person I meet to confidently do the same when working with me or working with/for any other human being.

Smiling as I worked out at the Family Y, I played Natural Man again and again.

Snow: Friend, Foe, or Frenemy?

I've been hearing a lot about the s-word in the weather forecasts. When that word starts getting tossed around, dear readers and neighbors, the South Sound takes pause. 

So, do you feel this way about snow? 

Or do you feel this way about it? 

Good or bad, what's your South Sound snow coping strategies?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Pacific Northwest Book Review

Over on Gritty City Woman, I had the opportunity to read and review Vancouver, B.C. native Robyn Harding's book, Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis. I even had the opportunity to chat on e-mail with the authoress herself! If you are looking for a great read by a local writer, check it out right HERE.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making It With Reall

Folks at the 12 Week Program at the Morgan Family YMCA in Tacoma have seen me through some tough changes... working at getting physically fit deliberately for two years. And up and down...
The staff never gave up on me. I have used a lot of excuses during that time for not following through: too cold to go... too wet, too dark...
Somewhere deep inside the Truth kept a knocking... "Choose to live now!"
So, after a good workout Monday afternoon, I took another step... joined a support group which, for the next eight weeks, will be focused on taking practical steps to living healthy and happy lives now...
We're meeting to share our hopes, ups and downs, our actions, feelings, and thinking. Scott Reall's book, Journey to Freedom, offers wonderful matter for day to day reading and reflection, and we shall discuss six chapters of the book at each session.
I have just finished the first chapter... this book is a keeper... the program at the Morgan Family Y--- the Reall Deal...

Enjoy the five minute clip inspired by Scott Reall's wonderful book.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Annual ART AT WORK Month Provides South Sound Citizenry Inexpensive Fill-Ups At Fuel Station Of Innovative Thinking And Creativity

No matter what kind of weather and temperatures are playing on the outdoor stage in Puget Sound country, the wide open spacious halls and galleries at Tacoma Art Museum can always be called upon to lift those members of the community who harbor an artistic spirit.

Last Thursday night, TAM put on it's party hat and hosted this year's Art At Work Month kick-off celebration in the main lobby. The annual month-long and much-looked forward to festival salutes the deep and rich bank of homegrown talent, resources and time-honored well-spring of innovative conception, development and creativity within the City of Tacoma and surrounding Pierce County.

It is ably executed each year to showcase and honor art organizations, sponsors, volunteers, organizers, participants, long-time patrons, newly emerging artists and public fans which provide not only a delightful series of wonderful sights, performances and shows but also provides a strong foundation and ongoing support to the overall health and well-being of the extended public.

Individuals attending this year's kick-off at Tacoma Art Museum were not only treated to colorful buffets of snacks, refreshments and live entertainment, but a generous opportunity to quietly peruse and personally examine both spacious galleries and seasonal highlights like the profuse explosion of handbuilt altars and exhibits on the upper floor of the museum showcasing Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead).

Below: Photos below include snapshots taken of guests at the kick-off party and views of just a handful of the highly moving, clever and heartfelt colorful and hand crafted memorials and constructions overflowing with a virtual abundance of warm memories and fond remembrances of friends, family and other loved ones no longer able to be physically present with us. TAM's Dia de Los Muertos, the sixth annual partnership with Centro Latino, is capped tomorrow with a free community festival at the museum from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Photos copyright 2010 by Mizu Sugimura.

Lucky individuals attending this year's kick-off at Tacoma Art Museum were not only treated to colorful buffets of snacks, refreshments and live entertainment, but a generous opportunity to quietly peruse and personally examine both spacious galleries and seasonal highlights like the profuse explosion of handbuilt altars and exhibits on the upper floor of the museum showcasing Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead).

For relative novices on the local Tacoma arts scene, Art at Work Month provides an excellent introduction to the levels of energy and creativity which continue to propel the growing name. respect and reputation the city and Pierce County are building in the overall state, regional and national arts communities. More importantly this kind of event elicits the kind of ongoing positive vibrations that both visual and performance artistic worlds are well equipped to recognize, welcome and continually attract, nurture, capture and sustain gifted, resourceful and like-minded men and women from around the globe into the region.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yet Another Round For The Ongoing Democratic Process!

Above: While Republican US Senatorial candidate Dino Rossi (right) looks on, 7th District US Congressman Jim McDermott (left) assures the audience that the nation's government is really listening to concerns by small business. Photo copyright 2010 by Mizu Sugimura.

Tonight's election is almost history as snapshots such as these taken a few weeks ago of several local Congressmen, state legislators and candidates who spent hours doorbelling, rousing the faithful and just meeting voters in the communities where they live. This forum was sponsored by the Korean American Coalition who held a candidate forum in Federal Way, WA last month. Having attended something similar in the same community a few years back I for one, was quite pleased as were event organizers both to see such progress and enjoy the presence of such a blue ribbon selection of politicans and political hopefuls from several political parties.

Above: The race to determine Federal Way's first elected mayor drew candidates Jim Ferrell (left) and Skip Priest (right). Ferrell is currently a member of the FW City Council. Priest, a former FW City Councilman and former (appointed) Mayor, earlier vacated his seat in the Washington State legislature to enter the elected mayor's contest. Copyright 2010 by Mizu Sugimura.

Congressman McDermott was not the only member of the US House of Representatives who took advantage of this networking opportunity. Other's included the Washington's Ninth District's Adam Smith (above) and First District Congressman Jay Inslee. In addition, Mike Honda, a member of Congress from California's Silicon Valley Fifteenth District, and former resident of a US wartime internment camp in Colorado during World War II, made a special appearance. Copyright 2010 by Mizu Sugimura.

Above: And finally no voter's convention or candidate forum in any community could possibly be complete without those few precious moments devoted to introductions, picture taking, a shake the hand, exchange of cards or all-purpose networking. Copyright 2010 by Mizu Sugimura.

This One Kept My Attention

I could not stop reading Beverley Barton's thriller, Dead By Midnight. I could not put the book down! I liked all of the characters. I did not want one of them to get hurt.

I kept hoping that someone would stop the villain. But on the villain went, outthinking and overcoming each one of my heroes and heroines.
This book is not one to read with children. It sizzles.
The woman at the center of the story is beautiful; the man...too stubborn. (I leave the rest of this to you to deal with.
Three lessons I got from the story: 1. don't work out one's concerns in the presence of children; 2. don't judge other; 3. forgive those who have hurt you.
And a final lesson: Check out Beverley Barton; I ebooked her from the Tacoma Public Library website.