Can’t Help Falling In Love

Can’t Help Falling In Love

 

Aloha From Hawaii Concert, 1973

Some people say Elvis Presley couldn’t really play a guitar but all would say he could really sing and touch your soul! As with millions of people across the world, I was one of them. I wish I had kept the Admission ticket to his live Aloha From Hawaii Concert, in 1973. But, I was young and I thought that Elvis would live forever. I had thought that there would be many more live concerts in Hawaii.  Today, August 16, 2017; 40-years ago, Elvis Presley died. But his image and soulful voice still resonates within me. Elvis the Legend would indeed live forever!

BornJanuary 8, 1935, Tupelo, MS

DiedAugust 16, 1977, Memphis, TN
Aloha from Hawaii Concert, 1973
 The song, “Can’t help Falling in Love” from the movie: Blue Hawaii, 1961.
“Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can’t help falling in love with you?
Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can’t help falling in love with you
Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can’t help falling in love with you
For I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Songwriters: Fernando Adour / George Weiss / Hugo Peretti / Luigi Creatore
All Recognition and Rights Reserved: Can’t Help Falling in Love lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Neal S. Blaisdell Center near downtown Honolulu, Hawaii is a community center for the City & County of Honolulu, known affectionately as the NBC Flying Saucer, where Elvis performed live in Hawaii!

Trappings of Commercialism

Trappings of Commercialism

Ever wonder why retailers are so busy?

Besides our National, State and Local Holidays and observances, retailers and resturants churn out local, weekly advertisements, along with national advertisements and campaigns carefully timed for these events that compel you to BUY!

Keep in mind, all of this isn’t by accident.  “Herd” mentality is an induced phenomenon.

Did you know, Retailers have what is known affectionately as: National Returns Day (as in profit)?

“There are several “retail holidays” we have experienced in the last 30 days. You may not even have been aware of some of them. These aren’t traditional “Hallmark Card” holidays. These are days created by the retail industry to promote more sales.

First was the kickoff of the holiday retail season, Black Friday, the shopping frenzy that takes place the day after Thanksgiving. This was a record year for sales, which made the retail world very happy.

 

 

Cyber Monday followed three days later with incredible online savings, and another retail sales record was broken.

 

 

• A lesser known event is Green Monday, which was the second Monday of December. The “holiday” was started in 2007 after certain retailers noticed an increase in sales on the second Monday of December. This year the numbers set new sales records.”

In Hawaii, besides State Holidays, depending on one’s interest, there is a mix of “National Days” for assorted things to celebrate and spend, spend, spend:

  1. Jan 1 New Years Day
  2. Jan 16 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  3. Jan 28 (Not a holiday but observance of) Chinese New Year
  4. Feb 14 (Not a holiday but observance of) Valentine’s Day
  5. Feb 20 Presidents Day
  6. Mar 3 (Not A holiday but a Japanese celebration for) “Girl’s Day”
  7. Mar 17 (Not A holiday but observance of) St. Patrick’s Day
  8. Mar 17 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day
  9. Mar 27 Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day
  10. Apr 14 Good Friday
  11. Apr 15 (Not a holiday but observance of) Father Damien Day
  12. Apr 22 (Not a holiday but observance of) National SPAM Day
  13. Apr 26 (Not a holiday but observance of) Administrative Professionals Day (Formerly Secretaries Day)
  14. May 1 (Not a holiday but observance of ) Lei Day
  15. May 5 (Not a holiday but observance of ) Cinco De Mayo
  16. May 5 (Not a holiday but a Japanese observance of) “Boy’s Day”
  17. May 29 Memorial Day
  18. June 2 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Doughnut Day
  19. June 12 King Kamehameha I Day
  20. June 18 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Go Fishing Day
  21. July 4 Independence Day
  22. July 6 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Fried Chicken Day
  23. July 16 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Ice Cream Day
  24. July 19 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Hot Dog Day
  25. Aug 13 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Filet Mignon Day
  26. Aug 18 Statehood day (State of Hawaii)
  27. Aug 26 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Dog Day
  28. Sept 4 Labor Day
  29. Sept 1 – 30 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Sewing Month
  30. Sept 10 (Not a holiday but observance of) Grandparents Day
  31. Oct 16 (Not a holiday but observance of) Boss’s Day
  32. Oct 29 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Cat Day
  33. Oct 31 (Not a holiday but observance of) Halloween
  34. Nov 10 Veteran’s Day
  35. Nov 25 Thanksgiving
  36. Nov 26 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Cake Day
  37. Dec 7 (Not a holiday but observance of) Pearl Harbor Day
  38. Dec 13 (Not a holiday but observance of) National Horse Day
  39. Dec 15 (Not a holiday) National Cup Cake Day
  40. Dec 25 Christmas Day

 

 

 

Commercialism is about creating celebration and making money.  On the other hand, marketing is about creating immense desire and immediate self-gratification by spending lots of money to satisfy that desire! Credit was the remarkably ingenious means to fulfill that desire in the absence of cash!

A great deal of advertising is needed to keep the cash flowing.  A great deal of advertising is needed to keep herds of people attentive to sales, gifts, gift cards, restaurant dining, bakery pastries, eating, drinking and celebrating!

A great deal of advertising and a great deal of marketing are needed to generate mass excitement, and mass urge to spend quickly, urgently, desperately!

That’s commerce you say?   That’s free-enterprise?  That’s globalism?  Yes, it is!

None of this can  happen unless you SPEND!

And that you DO!  You spend, spend, and spend. You acquire stuff. Endless stuff! Excess stuff!

You live for Sales! You die (sometimes literally) for Sales during BLACK FRIDAY!

This year, as it was in the previous year and the previous one, Christmas Decorations will be on sale in November. About the time Thanksgiving rolls along. Christmas rings cash-registers, but get a head start and beat the crowds!

Click this link if you want more “Holidays” and “Observances” to celebrate on!

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/

But let me reel you back to the basic thought that you don’t have to buy on impulse or what everybody else is doing in sheer frenzy!

Let me reel you back to considering Miminalislism is about rethinking the “herd-mentality” of unchecked, high-octane commercialism driven by relentless marketing which is designed to alter, modify, influence and incite your desire away from spending out of practical necessity to spending in desperation of unthinking addiction! 

When the retail gates open for the next run on sales….the Herd will charge and trample!

Slow down, think about this for a long moment. The massive ring of sales equates to the massive after-shock of debt that you’ll need to pay off. Uncontrolled debt definitely lingers and causes grief. Eveyone who has ever been in debt knows this and wishes long after if only they’d had been wiser, cautious, and aware to what really drove them into debt!

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had to pay up. The point is, if it’s become an addiction, only you can stop it or be consumed by it.

Living Minimalist 3

Living Minimalist 3

 

I think you remember how dining at home used to be?  Homes with family, generally had what amounted to a whole lot of utensils, plates, cups, bowls, gravy bowls, soft-boiled egg holders, dessert dishes, glasses and still more glasses. That was sort of the “norm” and the standard to aspire to.

Fine dining today is a remnant of the past, and an expensive reminder at that; with suited waiters, etiquette, and fabulous table service. It’s nice to splurge and treat yourself once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with that unless you’re the dish-washer. In the olden days, a dish-washer came with two legs and two-hands. And that brings us back home.

Times have changed. People have changed. What we want have changed.

Minimalism is a change of view and awareness. It is a stark realization that we are truly products of age-old and modern, roboust and hypnotic commercialism. Our own behavior is based upon our formed belief system of “wants and desires” bombarded by effective commerials, advertisements, and shrewd marketing.  Our “must have now”, “Buy, buy, buy”, “more, more, more” mindset isn’t by accident!

The excessive consumption leaves a deep footprint in the sand. If unchecked, Quick Sand!

The excessiveness can consume us, and one day we know we’ve surrounded ourselves with excessive stuff! Excessive stuff with no end in sight. The advertisements keep coming.

Relentless commercialism continue, and the advertisements roll in unabated.

We’re hooked!

 

 

 

Advertising designed to sway public opinion is nothing new. But Minimalism reels us back to what is being done to our mindset, our “herd mentality”. It begs us to take a look at what we are told to do despite what we think it’s not doing!

It’s hard to believe excessive stuff is bad for us especially when commercialism is non-stop, daily, weekly, seasonal, and celebrates every known and yet to be known holiday, celebration, birthday and “special day” dedicated to someone or something!

Sidebar: Commercialism Herd-mentality can start at a young age!

I remember my neighborhood kid-friend offered me a smoke when I was in grade-school. The cigarette came in a “Cigarette box” and from afar, it really looked like a cigarette but it was really a sweet, stick of white candy!  YUM!

We “smoked” and it was cool. Just like the actors and actresses in the TV. By the time middle school arrived, real cigarettes from vending machines were the rage! It was KOOL!! I won’t get into this any further but its says globs about advertising and image!

 

Back to our Minimalist Living….

 

 

Today’s Minimalist by contrast, has a simple table setting amounting to a one-bowl meal. It’s a take off to a Monk’s one-bowl and a one-cup set up. In some cultures, “utensils” are their own fingers. In other cultures, it may be a single spoon, or a fork, or a chopstick. A single-cup is for drinking.

 

 

The Minimalist isn’t re-inventing anything, but merely applying simple but decisive mindset to downsize, declutter and simplify their daily life. In essence, its a simple way of life downsizing, decluttering and simplifying everything; shopping list, clothes in the closet, tools in the garage, bills, debt, vacation, relationships, meals, vehicles, toys, magazines, periodicals, excess stuff and exccess stuff, and excess stuff!

Other devices are giving up the “second-car”, using alternative transportation, walking for a change, perhaps car-pooling, Uber (?) or a combination of all these things.  The idea here is to free yourself of the economic costs of ownership or more precisely, entrapment, just because.

 

The spillover effects are enormous. The clutter and junks in your home disappear resulting in less physical, visual and emotional distractions and irritations. Your environment becomes lighter, brighter, refresing. There’s less to keep track of. There is less to carry around, less to be tied-down.

There are several techniques to do this which you are already doing or in theory are familiar with for example: Donating stuff, re-cycling stuff, sharing stuff, gifting stuff, and (easier said than done) trashing stuff. All of this stuff takes energy and effort, so the fact is; once its done, you’ll have more energy for other quality of life activities!

But mostly, you avoid replacing stuff you made a good and concerted effort to get rid of!  You avoid piling up stuff in the free and clear area of you apartment or your home that you JUST CLEARED! You therefore, control your stuff rather than let your stuff control you! Walk freely through your floor space you’ve just cleared, rather than around-your-stuff that blocks your path!

 

        

All rights Reserved: Grace’s Inn, located in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Grace’s Inn has been in business for over 45-years catering successfully to generations of Hawaii’s residents and visitors alike. A great place for a huge variety of food, competitive prices and generous food portions.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/graces-inn-honolulu

Minimalism can downsize your expenses. If you tend to not use your stove and oven, and incorporate meals-bought-out, definitely incorporate conscious food portioning. You’ll eat less, and stretch that meal into two separate meals, maybe even three?  Or share a meal with someone?

You may be pondering, “What about how many meals do I eat?”

Well, the fact is, you don’t have to restrict  yourself if you don’t want to or have to!

Minimalism makes a conscious effort to reduce our dependence or learned-addiction toward excessive consumption.

 

We downsize, de-clutter and simplify!

So as far as eating, this really depends on your own nutritional needs, your work demands that may require more calories, fat, carbos and protein, as well as your specific health and dietary needs. There isn’t a one-size fit all.

Minimalism is a creative endeavor to experiment, “to-try”, to get away from the herd-mentality!

One bit of wisdom I heard from a Minimalist, for anyone thinking about buying a home, ask yourself, “NOT how much money do I need to buy this huge home but how small a house can I buy to live the lifestyle that I want!”

If you’re relatively healthy, perhaps a little chunky and want to slim down, incorporate what many “monks in asian countries do”. (European monks have a different way of eating, and it may or may not have restrictions).

Asian monks tend to eat two meals a day.  The last meal is consumed at or near noon time. No solid food is eaten until the next morning.  An exception is if the person is ill or needs special dietary or medical protocol.  Sometimes they are allowed tea. Sometimes a small sweet. But not a solid meal.

So what happens when your last meal is at noon?

Well, your body now has a window to digest your first two meals, and you virtually “fast” from Noon until the next morning. In the beginning, give yourself lots of slack: eat if you’re hungry. “Fast” as long as it’s comfortable and bearable.

Don’t deprive yourself by going cold-turkey!  Eventually ease into the two-meal a day schedule and see how it goes. Drink lots of fresh water. Be mindful, this isn’t a dietary recommendation but an alternative from eating 3 or more full meals a day, including gorging on snacks.  With the two-meal a day schedule, consuming the largest meals during before noon, then “fasting” for the rest of the day and most of the evening hours. It is adopting a way of eating less, and striving for a healthier body and mind.

Just another thought, don’t skimp on your optimum state of health, and certainly do not measure your efforts by becoming sickly and skin-and-bones!  Some people are at optimum with the body fat that works for them!  Therefore, don’t let the floor scale dictate to you, what your optimum state of health is based upon solely on your body weight or the amount of your body fat alone! Be forgiving on yourself!  Honor your body and self-esteem!

Strive in applying practical and realistic balance. But overall, consuming less food in the right proportion and manner reduces excess consumption and resources, and helps your body to achieve a healthy balance.

Explore the realm of a Minimalist Life-style!  It can set you free!

 

Living Minimalist 2

Living Minimalist 2

It was during another round of a series of electric rate increases for residential homes, that was especially electricfying because water and sewer rates were also increasing, property tax was increasing, along with the increased cost of gasoline at the gas pump, and the County vehicle weight tax. Collectively, these increases put a damper amongst the other bills that needed to be paid. No wonder there’s a saying, there’s only two things that are certain in life: Taxes and Death.

The cost to fuel up my (then) Chevy Van cost me a good Steak dinner. And if that wasn’t enough, my gasoline mileage was insanely bad lugging around all that heavy iron and steel as the cost of fuel rose evey several days. Suddenly, I needed to fill up twice a week. That really amounted to “steak dinners twice a week!”

With no end in sight. I fueled my van so it would over-lap through the weekends when I drove less. But still, the distance from my home to my work place couldn’t be shortened. Public transit wasn’t an option because I was an active parent driving my young toddlers to and from school and other activities.

Something had to be done.

Between several years and changing needs, I eventually sold my van. I bought a used Toyota sedan and embarked on a more entrenched Minimalist Lifestyle.

Next Up: Out of sheer disgust, I hunted down every single issue of read and un-read weekly newspaper advertisements and shredded these into the trash. My inner space was slowly being transformed into a brighter, freer, and healthier less distracting inner-space!

One of the ways to experiment with Minimalist Living, is to understand that it’s a simple “want” to: Downsize, De-clutter and simplify.

Downsize your living space. Downsize your bills. Downsize your expenses. Downsize all those things you bought into your home and now displaces YOU!

De-clutter distractions in your life. De-clutter unnecessary Drama in your life. De-clutter all those sale advertisement, magazines, newspapers, flyers piling up all over your living room. De-clutter your acquired habit to seek out weekly sales, just because its on sale! Honestly, how many snacks, junk food, non-essentials did you buy this Sunday alone! Blame it on the subliminal lure of the color advertisement, and the herd-buying instinct that you’re a better home-maker (female and male alike) when you shop at CVS/Longs Drugs!  Costco buyers are a different herd and pretty much in a different frenzy level!

As you Minimalize your life you CAN ask youself proudly: Did I really need to shop at Longs this week? Did I really need to go to Macy’s this weekend for the sale “on sale” Sale?  Did you miss it? It does take a while to remove the addiction but eventually it goes away. Instead of spending $75 every Sunday, you can bank that.

Simplify your morning, simplify your activities, or simplify your life to recuperate, rejuvenate, re-claim the “old days” when you can remember a simpler life that suited you! Simplify the time you take to contend with chores which essentially maintains all the excess “baggage” in and around your life; which are distracting and drains a whole lot of energy.

So where did I begin?

When I saw the Light!!

I’ve always enjoyed the relaxing “lighting surrounding a camp site”, as well as “lightning” from the most severe thunder-n-lightning storms! I’d bring out these LED lanterns to survive. In this spirit to survive, the spirit of my Minimalist Living emerged so willingly.

For one month, as a live experiment, with the cooperation and enthusiasm of my family and I, we lived off 4 LED battery operated lanterns for our lighting during the night and early morning.  We used them in the kitchen. We carried them into the bathroom. We carried them into our bedrooms. We carried them into the living room. We used the clique: Live like the Walton farm! This being: do everything during the daytime. Sleep at night. If we needed night lighting, night lights were provided from our LED Lanterns!

 Urbanized lighting saves!

We refrained from using the oven, turned off “Vampire electrical” appliances when not in use including the LED Television, and other trappings of modern luxury and conveniences.

The issue of cooking (electrical range uses a lot of AC power just heating up), became an exercise of interesting perspective. It enabled us to ask intriging questions about how we did things. Did we have to prepare foods as often, as comprehensively, as habitually as we had?

Not everyone was home anymore. Not everyone had the same schedule. Where we were once an active family in the central nucleus of “home”, we were now a HUB of independent adults, with separate livelihoods, and separate life-styles.

Adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle became an essential and favorably attractive alternative.

By downsizing, De-cluttering and simplifying; the physics of opposing attractions occur: You’ll realize by creating less, you actually create more.

More time to be free to do other things, more space, more positive energy, more incentive to create, to think, to design, to wish upon a falling star!

But remember, herd-mentality isn’t a pre-requisite to adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle. In fact, Minimalism is more individualistic than you would imagine. There’s a whole lot of freedom that can be yours in all aspects of the word!

 

Living Minimalist 1

 

 

Living Minimalist 1

Here we are! WOT are we going to discuss here? Minimalist Living. I’m going to share with you some of my Living Minimalist practices that I do at home in subsequent posts.

But first, I want to share with you these Minimalists (people) who had profound influence with changing my perspective of how I was living my own life. We all have tragic moments in our personal lives and sometimes we just have to declutter, shed and latch on to a refreshing, jubilant, rediscovery of ourself!

It really begins with just you. At first anyway. On your own terms.

My introduction into the realm of Minimalist Living began from my reading a virtually cheap ebook (at the time) on Amazon.com by Francine Jay, called, Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to downsize, declutter and simplify.

This ebook literally changed my life! I wish I could say I knew Francine but I don’t, but her words changed my life in a tangible way.

About Me

Then about the same time, two guys named Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who I dub the Minimalist evangelists emerged and really lit my fire!  Their personal stories are deeply felt. I don’t know these guys either, but I know their “stories” so well.

http://www.theminimalists.com/

Films by The Minimalists

Third, is Leo Babauta’s extraordinary blog where talks about his struggles and revelation. He’s not single anymore. He’s married with children. And his wife isn’t a minimalist in the vein he is in so his minimalist life is one of compromise. Real life. How do the Babauta’s balance this?

Note: Since this blog’s entry, Leo’s life attention has become very family driven, and according to his update, he isn’t blogging fulltime.

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