What’s important

In a few days, I’m going to hit the three-quarter century mark, and I’ll be damned if I’ll spend the fourth quarter of my life letting the bastards get me down (referring to my usual modus operandi of getting myself worked up by the never ending news stories of the horrible and despicable things we humans do to each other in the name of a cause or, lacking that, cop a plea of insanity). аAs I head for the end zone of my life, I’ve decided that I will no longer keep company with misery. Instead, I will put my energy into the things that are important to me, starting right here at home. This blog is about the most important one.

My Facebook friends may find this repetitive and even a little tedious, but c’est trop mauvais! (It sounds more polite in French: That’s too bad!)

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Just look at those eyes.

It’s enough to make you try

Not to fuck things up.

There’s nothing like a child to give you a new enthusiasm for life. While I know my time is short with Blake, this precious grandchild of mine, I can’t help but worry about the kind of world we’ve created for him and every child being brought into this crazy, dysfunctional world.а In our country alone, there are more than three million reported cases of child abuse and neglect every year. It’s a huge number that leaves you feeling helpless, if not hopeless. What can we do not to fuck it up further? What must we do to reverse the madness? Heck if I know. The best we can do is to work on making life better for the ones we care about.

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Luckily for Blake, he has loving and engaged parents, an equally loving extended family, and he’s growing up in a nurturing environment. Too many kids aren’t so lucky. For my part, I’ll do everything I can to give Blake lots of Popo love and a sense of himself as a perfect little human just as he is. а

One of the dangers of being the adult is the tendency to impose our own expectations on this person in the making. He is our chance to fulfill our own thwarted dreams of being a successful, accomplished human being, however we define it. аAnd, oh my, just think of the bragging rights! а

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We just celebrated Blake’s first birthday, and in a Korean birthday ritual called Doljanchi (Blake is one-quarter Korean), he was dressed in ceremonial clothing and placed before a table laden with different types of cakes and fruit.а The table also held various objects like a spool of thread, a pencil, a book, money, and other things the family added. We watched anxiously as he chose four things that would tell us what he’d be when he grows up. It reminded me of the ritual for choosing a new Dalai Lama.а Our little guy bypassed the American flag (his Korean grandma dreamed he became the president of the U.S.) and a crisp $100 bill for an ukelele, a pencil, a big picture book, and a Korean phrase book. аI loved it! My analysis: He’s going to be a musician, a writer and artist, and a scholar. See, even I have my expectations. But I’m sure he’ll surprise us. You go, Blake.

He’ll learn soon enough

What others expect of him.

Just be your own man.

The birthday party was held at one of the most serenely beautiful beachfront locations on the island of Oahu – Lanikuhonua (which means “where heaven meets the earth”) at Ko Olina. The property is owned by my client of nearly 30 years, the James Campbell Company, and is a picturesque location for private events like weddings and birthday parties. Oceanside of the gorgeously landscaped grounds is a sheltered, kid-friendly lagoon, which was ideal for all the babies and toddlers. It was also the stage for a totally unexpected event.а The theme for the party was the honu (the Hawaiian green sea turtle), which symbolizes longevity and wisdom.а You can imagine the excitement when a real honu came up onto the beach as if for a little meet and greet with Blake. We couldn’t have planned it better!а We’re not sure what Blake made of the encounter, but what a picture-perfect moment!

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Like a wise old man

He came crawling from the sea

Bringing his blessing:


"Long life to you, Master Blake. May you live it wisely and well." а а а а а а а а аа


ай Maya Leland 2014