I don’t want to beat a dead horse to the ground, but I wanted to put in my two cents worth on the recent article, “Nerd Girls take on ‘sexist’ industry” posted here:


For those that know me well, you know that I don’t comment or blog unless it is something that strikes a cord with me or I am passionate about the subject at hand.  What I am about to write, some people may agree with me, some disagree with me and some just think that I am just full of shit. (Pardon my French) But that’s okay…I accept that and I even encourage people to take my view and mull it over…good or bad.

Now, getting back to the main topic at hand, if you were to look back in history, discrimination and stereotyping has been in existence for as long as we can remember.  Whether it is sex, race or religion, it is a reality.  And for women, they have always had an uphill battle with equality.  Even though things have gotten better over time, unfortunately it still exists.

I for one have been a victim of discrimination and stereotyping.  Being a minority woman with a small stature, it always has been an uphill battle for me to gain respect.  But I took that as being a way to grow, improve and challenge myself.  In some ways, all the discrimination and stereotyping has made me who I am today.

Now lets be honest with ourselves, we all have discriminated and stereotyped others at one time or another.  We see it all the time…on TV, in advertising, etc.  Just look at the Super Bowl ads…beer commercials with sexy women, car advertisements with gorgeous girls.  Bottom line, sex sells, subliminal or not.  We are all guilty in stereotyping with such stereotypes as secretaries are just “sexitaries” and don’t have brains, or that football players are not smart, or that all “nerd” girls wear glasses and are unattractive.  As much as we don’t like it, its something we deal with every day.

And what about those women that work in a male dominated career field?  Do they have to work harder and smarter to gain that respect?  Possibly, maybe, yes…I suppose it depends on who you are and whom you are talking to.  Do we, as women have to become brass and wear a chip on our shoulder to prove to ourselves and to others that we belong?

So what do you do with all this and how do you deal with it on an individual level?  My personal belief as well as personal experience, it all boils down to how you perceive yourself.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you happy with whom you are?
  • Are you happy with what you do?
  • Are you confident in what you do?
  • Do you feel you are making a difference?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then what does it matter what industry does or says?  Who cares if a woman that works in a male dominant field wears dresses and has a pink iPhone case?  Kudos to her!  To me, this tells me she is comfortable with who she is regardless of what others think or perceive her to be.

Don’t let discrimination, stereotyping and industry protocol mold you into something you are not.  Be proud of who you are (Yes, I AM WOMAN, hear me ROAR)

Worry about things you can change and not on things you cannot.  The Serenity Prayer (as cliché’ as it may be) has some very powerful words to live by:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

As much as we would like to change the way industry perceives women in a male dominant field, it’s not going to change for a long time.  Accept it, embrace it and be all who you can be.  If you can, I guarantee, life will be much easier and you will be a lot happier.

So Kudos to all the women out there – Nerd girls, homemakers, doctors, lawyers, secretaries, administrative assistant, teachers, nannies or whatever you do…. You can and do make a difference and that is all that matters.



Dear Mom in Heaven

I sit here and ponder how very much

I’d like to talk with you today.

There are so many things

That we didn’t get to say

I know how much you care for me

And how much I care for you.

And each time I think of you,

I know you’ll miss me too.

An angel came and took you by the hand and said,

Your place was ready in Heaven, far above…

And you had to leave behind all those you dearly loved.

You had so much to live for, you had so much to do…

It still seems impossible that God was taking you.

And though your life on earth is past, in Heaven it starts anew.

You’ll live for all eternity, just as God has promised you.

And though you’ve walked through Heaven’s gate

We are never far apart

For every time I think of you,

You’re right here, deep within my heart

Mom, we are thinking of you on your birthday.  We talk of you still.  We haven’t forgotten you and we never will.  With love always,  your daughters…Kathy, Elaine, Gayle and Kelly

My Miracle Mother by Joanna Fuchs

‘Mom, I look at you

and see a walking miracle.

Your unfailing love without limit,

your ability to soothe my every hurt,

the way you are on duty, unselfishly,

every hour, every day,

makes me so grateful

that I am yours, and you are mine.

With open arms and open heart,

with enduring patience and inner strength,

you gave so much for me,

sometimes at your expense.

You are my teacher,

my comforter, my encourager,

appreciating all, forgiving all.

Sometimes I took you for granted, Mom,

but I don’t now, and I never will again.

I know that everything I am today

relates to you and your loving care.

I gaze in wonder

as I remember you being you-

my miracle, my mother.’

Happy Mother’s Day mom!  I know you are watching from above.  I miss you and am remembering you on this special day and always.


Happy Birthday Mom!  You would have been 81 years old today.  On this special day, I celebrate you!

Guiding Light Mom

Mom, from the time I was really young,
I realized I had someone…you,
who always cared,
who always protected me,
who was always there for me no matter what.
You taught me right from wrong,
and pushed me to do the right thing,
even when it was hard to do.
You took care of me when I was sick,
and your love helped make me well.
You had rules,
and I learned that when I obeyed them,
my life was simpler, better, richer.
You were and are
the guiding light of my life.
My heart is filled with love for you,
my teacher, my friend, my mother.

By Karl and Joanna Fuchs

I am everything I am today because you loved me.  I miss you and love you always…. “Mother’s hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever”

Today I remember….

My mother….

February 15, 1931 - September 11, 2010

Hisako Ujifusa February 15, 1931 - September 11, 2010

and the victims of 9/11


May they rest in peace….

Happy Mother’s Day mom!

Today I celebrate you not only on this special day, but always.  This is the first Mother’s Day without you and I am feeling a bit melancholy.  It was weird not buying you that special card at the card store this year and thinking of a wonderful gift that I could buy you.  It’s so hard not to want to pick up the phone to talk to you and hear your voice.  But I know that you are looking down on me today and reaching down and smiling.  I take comfort knowing that you are always within me, in spirit and in memories.  I carry you within me not only today, but every day and celebrate your life.

Today and always, I thank you for being my mom.  You will never be forgotten.  I love you and miss you.  I take pride that you have molded me in being the mother I am today.  I celebrate you today…my mother, my companion, my rock….

Your mother is always with you…

She’s the whisper of the leaves

as you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of bleach in

your freshly laundered socks.

She’s the cool hand on your

brow when you’re not well.

Your mother lives inside

your laughter. She’s crystallized

in every tear drop…

She’s the place you came from,

your first home.. She’s the map you

follow with every step that you take.

She’s your first love and your first heart

break….and nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, Not space…

Not even death….

will ever separate you

from your mother….

You carry her inside of you…


Happy Birthday mom!  Today you would have been 80 years young.

It’s hard to believe that it has been only 5 months since you left us and even harder not to pick up the phone to call you and wish you a happy birthday.  But today, I celebrate your life and the memories that you have created for me.  To remember your laughter as we chatted about various things from the weather, to your grandchildren, to what was going on in my life.  Listening to you speak in half English and half Japanese to me.  (something that I really miss hearing) Wishing that I could hear your voice once more, for only just a minute.  We used to talk for hours on end about just anything and nothing.  I miss watching my  kids talk to you, knowing that they sometimes had a hard time understanding what you were saying.  They would smile at me and shrug their shoulders, but just kept talking to you, telling you that they loved and missed you.

I remember visiting you in the hospital in Billings, MT, spending days and evenings with you.  Some times we would talk, some times we would just be quiet in our own thoughts.  But every night before I left the hospital, I told you I loved you and that I’d see you the next day.  I remember that last night I saw you (as I had to go home) that you gave me a kiss and a hug and a special longing look, like you were memorizing my face.  I remember turning around to look at you in your hospital room, wanting to turn back and not go home.  I left that night with a heavy heart.  That night, that moment,  is something that I will always remember.   No words can ever express that feelings that I felt.  As I looked back, I know you were saying “good-bye” to me, even though you never really said the words.  It is something I will cherish all my life.

So today, mom, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday and to remember you as you were – strong, brave, loving…special.

You may be gone from this physical earth, but you live within me every day, every moment, every second.

Happy Birthday, mom….I love you



I feel a warmth around me

like your presence is so near,

And I close my eyes to visualize

your face when you were here,

I endure the times we spent together

and they are locked inside my heart,

For as long as I have those memories

we will never be apart,

Even though we cannot speak no more

my voice is always there,

Because every night before I sleep

I have you in my prayer.

-Louise Bailey

Just recently, Bruce and I were featured in the Innovators of Vancouver segment which outlined how Elguji and we, as individuals, innovate and leverage social media in our lives.

At first I was really nervous at the thought doing this, but after all was said and done, I had a great time and felt that the segment turned out very good.

If any one of you know me well, I am pretty much the “quiet reserve” behind Bruce’s flamboyant personality.  I don’t have a problem with that as it is my nature of being just that.  Growing up, I was taught not to brag or boast about your successes or endeavors and that the recognition would come from within and from others on their own.  But with the rage of social networking and the continuous movement of needing to be recognized for your uniqueness to set yourself apart from the rest of the social media frenzy has pushed everyone to become their own “attention seeking whore” aka ASW.

Now there are many ways of being an ASW, all of which can be subjective.  However, the key to becoming successful in “tooting” your own horn has to come genuinely from within with honesty, class and unpretentious.  The key is not to brag or to bring attention to yourself or to say, “look, look, look at me”, but only to state your successes and how you obtained the goals you set out to do.  Everything else will fall in place when people recognize you as an example they want to follow.

So even though being an ASW is not in my nature, I guess sometimes you just have to do it…and sometimes its not so bad!

As most of you already know, my mom recently passed away peacefully on September 11, 2010.  What most of you might not know is what kind of person she was or what kind of life she led.

When my sister was speaking to the Buddhist priest to arrange a memorial for my mom, one of the questions that he had asked her is, if she could describe mom in one word, what would that word be.  All of us sisters agreed that the word that described mom the most was the word “courageous”.

You see, mom had lived a hard and arduous life.  As a little girl, her home town, Nagoya, Japan was bombed over 90% with incendiary bombs.  She lost her home and her family had to rebuild from scratch.  She learned how to fight/defend herself at the age of 9 or 10 with items such as sticks and poles.  And every time bombers came over, she had to go to the air raid shelters until the bombing was over.  I remember her telling me that when she looked up at the sky, the sky was blackened by the numerous amounts of B-52s flying in the air.  There were times when food became scarce and she had to resort to eating plants and sometimes beetles and grasshoppers.

As she grew up into a young adult, she was struck by a car which opened up her chest.  She survived the accident, but left a scar approximately 6-8″ long and about an 1 inch wide above her left breast.  It almost took her life.

She met my dad when the US Armed forces occupied Japan working as a manager at the Officer’s hotel laundering service.  They married and mom left her family in Japan to begin her new life in a new country.  Going from living in a large city to living in a small farming community, not knowing anyone and not speaking the language was a huge adjustment for her.  I remember her telling me how much she missed her family and some times longed to go back.  Since coming to the United States she only had the opportunity to see them once in her life time.  Yet, she never complained.  She learned how to read, write and speak English, get her US citizenship and raised 4 girls (she lost two infant boys).  She even got a job as a manager at a fast food restaurant!  She was adored by all!

Although her life was filled with hardship, she persevered and remained strong.  She taught us girls how to stay strong when times got tough, to love unconditionally, and most importantly to live our lives to the fullest and appreciate the things that life gives us.

Yes, “courageous” is the perfect word that fits her.  Courageous to the very end.

I’m going to miss my mom dearly, but she will continue to live within me and my memories.  Her spirit will continue to guide me and help me live my life knowing that I was blessed with knowing and loving such a wonderful person.

She may be gone from this physical world, but will always be with us in spirit…

Don’t think of her as gone away-
her journey’s just begun
Life holds many faucets-
this earth is only one
Think of her as resting-
from the sorrow and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort-
where there are no days and years
Think how she must be wishing-
that we could know today
That nothing but our sadness-
can really pass away
Think of her as living-
in the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost-
and she was loved so much!

Happy Birthday Bella!  You are now 3 years old today!

I clearly remember the day we brought you home…howling and screaming all the way home in your crate!  I thought to myself…”boy, do I really want another dog??? Especially this howly one??”

What was I thinking!!!  Every day, you bring us joy and happiness to our family!  Your morning “woo woo’s” to wake us up to a new day, your “woo woo’s” (with your bone in your mouth) greeting us when we come home….the joyous sound of “welcome home mommy and daddy” fills the house.  What a blessing you have been to all of us!  Domino has a best friend and sister who he loves to play with!  Erin and Brandon have a “best friend” at their side.  And the shear joy and laughter you bring to me personally has been the best “medicine” that anyone could ever prescribe!

Thank you for being the little “fart” you are, Bella!  We are sooo looking forward to many, many more years of the same!  Happy Birthday my baby Bella!


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