100% Mixed Webinar

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Webinar” Cedar Park, 2020

I attended 100% Mixed 100% Nikkei – Experiences of Mixed Race Nikkei Webinar hosted by the JACL, in which the discussion centered around the experience of mixed-race people, and specifically those with Japanese ancestry as part of their makeup. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and especially the discussions that touched on where we fit in with today’s events surrounding racial inequality, the BLM movement, and the rise of white supremacist rhetoric in America. I didn’t realize (and I still need to explore) how the Japanese-American community was affected by the civil rights movements in the 60s, and became the “model minority” as a response to anti-blackness. It’s something that not a lot of people think about, but I think it’s worth exploring.

I’m happy that organizations like JACL exist and provide resources for helping Nikkei explore their roots. It’s refreshing to see and hear people of mixed race speak about their individual experiences that make up a collective experience that so many of us share, even though everyone’s present situations might be different distances from when our ancestors came to America. And it’s also wonderful to see people of different age groups too! There are many differences generationally, but we all are the same in that we are curious and want to know more, and share our experiences.

It seems to me that first-generation Asian-Americans share a stronger bond with each other, and with each successive generation, those bonds becomes weaker, or perhaps less-easily defined. Japanese-Americans (and Chinese-Americans) have been present in America for a relatively long time as compared to other Asian groups, so the Nikkei bonds have to extend a greater distance. And each generation may have additional ingredients added into the mix, so it’s harder to identify a dominant flavor. I’m not sure if that is a good analogy or not. At any rate, I think third-generation (Sansei) or fourth-generation (Yonsei) Japanese-Americans have less common identity to use to connect with each other as compared to first-generation Asian-Americans. It’s very complicated, yet fascinating.

I’m a Yonsei, so Bay and Koa would be Gosei (fifth-generation). But since Mariko is an Issei (first-generation), they could also be considered Nissei (second-generation). 🤷‍♂️

A 1.5 hour webinar is not nearly enough time to cover such a complex subject, but it’s a great start! I’m very happy that I attended. Thank you, JACL, for putting it together! Much more to learn…

Running With a Mask at the Ready

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 2.671mm, f/2.2, 1/550 sec, ISO100
“Covered Up” Cedar Park, 2020

During this pandemic, I stay away from routes where there are a lot of people, specifically the hike & bike paths that are too narrow to keep a safe distance from other people. So that means I stick to my neighborhood streets where I can run in the road or easily cross to the other side to stay socially distant. However, there are some parts where I have to run on a narrow pathway or sidewalk, which is why I always carry a disposable mask.

I will just put the mask around my wrist, and it’s so light that it doesn’t interfere at all with the running experience. But when I am running on one of these narrow sections and I see another pedestrian or cyclist, I’ll put the mask on. It literally takes just three or four seconds, so why not? Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) I haven’t seen any other runners using masks, but maybe now that they’ve seen my put on my mask, it will normalize it to them (or maybe they will feel a little ashamed), and they will start doing the same. Hey, we have to look out for one another!

In other running news, I saw this really great sidewalk art version of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Very cool!

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1500 sec, ISO100
“Sidewalk Art” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO100
“Sidewalk Art” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1600 sec, ISO100
“Sidewalk Art” Cedar Park, 2020

I hope you had a great day!

“I Don’t See Color”

I was reading a thread in a forum, and one of the commenters said “I don’t see color”, with the intention of conveying that race shouldn’t matter. Honestly, I thought this was an admirable sentiment, but soon learned how problematic this phrase is. I spent some time reading about the reasons why, and I now consider myself a bit more educated than I was a little while ago. I’m linking the articles below:

After 51-years of life, I’m still figuring out what it means to be mixed/multiple-ethnicity. It’s complicated, but fascinating, and surprisingly challenging to find information or groups that discuss mixed-Asian ethnicity (Asian-Asian, not Asian-Caucasian, Asian-Black, etc.).

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On a side note, the original commenter’s reaction to the links to the articles was defensive and hostile, instantly devolving into name-calling and personal attacks. Which reminds me of the saying, “when you resort to ad hominem attacks, you’ve already lost”, as in the entertaining feud between James Altucher and Jerry Seinfeld.

Snapshot While Running

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/2700 sec, ISO101
“Cloud up the Hill” Cedar Park, 2020

This is one of the longer hills near our house but the school bus gave me an extra bit of motivation to power up it today.

When facing a big hill, I usually think of a saying: “Just keep your legs moving and let the top of the hill come to you.” It’s worked every time! 😊

Have a great day!

Triple Exercise

“Evening Stats” Cedar Park, 2020

Wow, what an active day that I had! The weather was fantastic in the morning, so I headed out for a short 2.5 mile run. I often run (and bicycle) to the elementary school that Bay and Koa attended, and it is always a mental pick-me-up as I remember the good times watching them grow up. It seems like just yesterday they were attending Cox Elementary!

As I ran by the front, I took a photo of this sign, which shows the first phase of the re-opening during the pandemic. I hope this the the only time they will have a sign like this on display.

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1200 sec, ISO100
“Reopening” Cedar Park, 2020

In the evening, I had to go for a bicycle ride around the neighborhood, and that included both Cox Elementary again and the other elementary school on the other side of the neighborhood and the football stadium that is used by the district’s high schools. At that time I was treated to a nice sunset:

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO200
“Sunset” Cedar Park, 2020

On my way home, I received a text message from Koa asking if I wanted to throw the baseball over at the school, so I headed over to Cox for the third time today! We threw the ball until it got dark (and my arm was tired) and then came home to my second shower of the day.

It was a lot of physical activity (running, cycling, baseball) but I feel great! Thankful for my relatively good health as I approach age 52. Whee!