12th Man in the Motor City

12th Man in the Motor City

Blog of a Michigander


自信につながったこと ブログネタ:自信につながったこと 参加中

Things that lead me to have confidence: Two things that lead me to have confidence recently would be: Public Speech for Anti-RFRA (against Religious Freedom Restoration Act) a few years back that I was invited to speak on and media training followed by real Interviews during the time of World Meeting of Families held in Philadelphia as a Progressive Catholic Young Adult pilgrim.

Granted, I liked being on the stage as I used to belong to multilingual theatrical company, when I was a child. I was a pretty imaginative kid and so acting as a character on books, was just extension of my imaginary play I did at home, but with more audiences.

In High School, I belonged to a Jazz Band. I was chosen as the trumpet soloist for the school Jazz Band. At first, I was baffled with confusion, because I was used to classical music through long years of piano lessons. What confused me was the Jazz Music Sheet I was given. It didn't have any note on one page, but just a line with "Improvise!" written above. It took me a while to get used to improvisation, but after I realized it was just like an "ad-lib" in music version, I was cool with that. I started to enjoy freedom, it had given, that I was never able to experience, when I was learning classical music.

With those experiences, I was a kid who enjoyed being on the stage. However, as I entered adulthood, I started to get very nervous. I think, it might be related as I started to accept myself of being a sexual minority. At the time and it still is here in Michigan, that LGBT folks could "legally" be fired for simply being who they are! And as a young adult, I learned I had to be "closeted" in order to avoid being fired. So, while I'm outside, I had to be acting "straight", and the only place I felt I can be out was at my apartment room, where I can be alone. It kind of taught me in a sense, that "my existence" was something to be ashamed of and that I should be feeling "embarrassed" about.

But you know, no one's core personality can be changed that instant. I was invited to make public speech for Anti-RFRA movement in local LGBT friendly town. The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), which was pretty much a trojan horse to legalize all sorts of discrimination, while disguising under the name of religious freedom. Anyways, I was against this act, so when a local LGBT activist invited me to speak from my Roman Catholic position, I accepted to do so. I thought I was going to get nervous, and I was right up until the time for me to speak. It's kind a funny, I get sick to my stomach kind of nervousness, right up till the show time. But once I speak one word, all of a sudden, I can calm all my apprehensiveness. I was able to work up the crowds, giving the crowds response time, and when they responded, it just gave me confidence cuz I knew I had supporters; that I didn't have to be ashamed of being authentic self. In fact, shame was on the those who lives by their ignorance, with their limited mindness.

The other thing that helped me gain/grow confidence was the Media training I attended through the organization I work for. At the media training, I remember asking the teacher to come at me aggressively, like the nasty media person would. I asked that, cuz I wanted to know what would be a trigger question for me and how I would react to it when I'm angered. After the training, our team was interviewed by NYT and other media outlets.

I still got nervous, but the first interview I received, the interviewer lady was so kind and so mindful. She took long time to interview, rather than rushing, even though she's such a busy successful journalist. I truly respect her and appreciate the organization that made my first experience with media, a very positive one.

Anyways, that gave me a bit of confidence. To speak out for the marginalized and oppressed. At least, I can use my outgoing personality to express the need of justice and equality, for those who might not be able to be authentic selves due to the risk they have to take in their home environment.


待ち合わせ、何分か前に着く?ちょうど?遅刻?ブログネタ:待ち合わせ、何分か前に着く?ちょうど?遅刻? 参加中


I am a very punctual person, and I like to be prepared at all time, so I usually prepare myself to get to destination location at least 15 min prior to the actual time of me needing to be there. 

In US, especially Michigan, the motor city, the public transportation service is awful at best... It's easier to count the time the buses actually got to the bus stop on time, than when they didn't.  And in winter time, sometimes the buses just never show up. I can totally understand if it's a heavy snowstorm or something, but even when it's not that bad outside, sometimes the buses just decide to change the route and never show up! 

So I usually make sure to get a bus early enough to be at least by the meeting location at least 15 min prior. If the bus doesn't come I could at least get a lyft/uber to get to location. 

Just as I'm punctual, I hate people who tardy often. I learned that it's way too stressful to expect others to be on time, so once in working group, I learned to tell earlier meeting time to those who tardy usually and tell the regular time for those who are punctual, so we all can start around the same time. It's easier to change how to deal with things from your side than expecting others to change.


Usually Sanshin players don't wear "yubikake" (finger guard), but since my hands are tiny and with my allergies to chemicals including different kind of paints and lacquers, I use yubikake that I imported from Shamisen online stores.

My left hand doesn't get itchy or hurts anymore since I started to wear it. And I'm glad I got it, cuz it became easier to slide fingers up and down the neck of the instrument, even when my hand gets sweaty from practicing long hours!


【新商品】厚みしっかり ぽってり指掛(指すり) 津軽三味線用【メール便対応】


  • 何分か前
  • ちょうど
  • 遅刻


 英語以外で学習したい言語は?ブログネタ: 英語以外で学習したい言語は? 参加中

As I'm working with a couple of Catholic Non-Profit Organizations in US, the language I really "need" to learn is Spanish, as more and more Spanish speaking American Catholics are on the rise.  It is definitely a necessity and I know it; It would definitely be great for me to master Spanish, so I can be of a help in making pamphlets or in translation at organizational conferences. 

My high school had French, Latin and Spanish as a choice for foreign language course. Michigan historically has higher population of French American thus French was always available choice, Latin, tho it's technically a dead language, it is used in academia thus certain popularity among students remained, and Spanish emerging necessity as Hispanic population started to grow.  I took Latin, as I saw merit in learning which would be in future scientific field I would major in. 

Anyways, I see more necessity in learning Spsnish at this time of my life, but what I truly love is Italian language. I wanna be able to master Italian language so someday I could do pilgrimage trip to Assisi, Italy one day; A homeland of my baptismal Saint, St. Francis of Assisi.


How To Put Shpulder Strap on the Sanshin

1. Unwind the Karakui (tuning peg) to loosen the strings. 


2. Unhook the Neo (string holder) from tail of the instrument. 


3. Put tail of the instrument through the hole of the shoulder strap.


4. Put the Neo (string holder) back on to the tail of the instrument over the end of  the shoulder strap.  


5. Tie the rope end of the shoulder strap in between tuning peg of 1st and 3rd string and beyond the second tuning peg. 


6. Tune the instrument and off you go!



三線用 胴巻き(ティーガー)ミンサー柄 黒 : fs04gm


予定きっちり立てたい?場面行動したい?ブログネタ:予定きっちり立てたい?場面行動したい? 参加中


I don't like plan things too tightly, when traveling. I mean, I'm all for it to plan in general sense, like departure time and arrival time, but other than that, I'd like to have time and space for improvising. I would take a look at where I can go to hang or research a couple of major location I want to visit with enough leeway time, but if something happen I'm not gonna be annoyed missed occasions. In fact, I would take it as another reason to revisit, a reason to travel again. 


5th: String and tighten the rope. Then, put one string through the loop of the other end. Tie the end. 

-• While it needs to be tight, be sure the rope wouldn't get in between the body (drum part of the instrument)  and Sao (wooden neck). 


6th: Fold short rope about the width of the instrument or at least the width of tiiger.


7th: Take the long end of the rope and coil it around. Coil it tightly around and as much as you can.


8th: Put the end of the coiled rope through the loop that you made with the folded short rope. 


9th: Pull both of end of the rope, tighten it as hard as you can. Shape the coiled part to make the coiled part even. Tie the end. 


10th: Hook string holder back on the instrument, tune the instrument and you are good to go!



胴巻き(ティーガー) 紐 青


  • 予定きっちり立てたい
  • 場面行動したい


3分で済む用事は電話?LINE?ブログネタ:3分で済む用事は電話?LINE? 参加中


I personally would prefer text message, messenger or Line or quite frankly anything other than phone calls, but it all depends. The organization I'm involved with, I'm the youngest one on the board, so other folks there are older than I am, and they are not familiar with newer technologies and sometimes, they just prefer to be called, even if they know how to use text message and so on. In that case, I would be fine with going by regular phone calls. 

Anyhow, the Sanshin accessories I ordered from Japan, finally got here. So, I'm going to be writing about them:

How to tie "tiiger (pronounced: tea-ger), the wrap that goes around the body (drum part) of the Sanshin:

1st: Loosen all Karakui (Tuning pegs) and slip the Neo (string holder) off from the tail of the instrument. 



2nd: Untie the rope on the current Tiiger and unhook the tiiger from the instrument.

3rd: Prepare the new tiiger. 
You are likely to be needed to open a hole for the tail of Sao (Wooden neck stick) on the new Tiiger. Each Sanshin is unique in where or the size of the hole needed. So you have to measure the tail of the Sao to make a hole. However, I've found an easier way; You would put your old tiiger over the new tiiger, and just cut out the hole exactly the same size according to its old one. 



4th: Get your rope for tiiger ready. When you buy tiiger, it usually comes with the Edo Uchi Himo (Edo rope), but if not, you can import it using global rakuten market. 

Fold it in half, and slide one end about 10cm (4in) longer than the other end.


It is getting longer, so I will continue tomorrow.

  • 電話
  • LINE