ビクトリア・クラウス

(Victoria Kraus)

Victoria Kraus is a former Web Editor for DiscoverNikkei.org. She is a half Japanese half Caucasian currently residing in the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles. She graduated from Soka University of America with a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts.

Updated October 2008

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Following my sign

My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks. I tend to get spiritual around the month of my birthday, trying to deepen the “meaning” or significance on the one day during the one month of the year that celebrates another year toward retirement. I attribute my getting spiritual on my birthday to my fascination with the fact that while no one 24-hour day will ever repeat itself, someone’s birthday is revisited every 365 days.

My birthday falls under the Aquarius zodiac sign. An Aquarius is generally described as one who is independent, creative, and likes nature. I ...

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Japanese cars are better

In last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times (January 21, 2007), columnist Steve Lopez wrote about Hummers and the people who drive them, specifically Los Angeles’ transportation chief. This upset Steve. I also find it ironic and upsetting that the city of Los Angeles’ transportation chief would drive a Hummer. It would seem that people in public office positions, at least those who are in charge of things environmental, would drive more environment-friendly energy-efficient cars. The Hummer breaks every rule.

Steve’s column, naturally, made me think about my own lifestyle and the car I drive. I drive a SUV (sport ...

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Spiritual journeys, done from home

I woke up at 6:07 a.m. last Friday morning to an NPR “Morning Edition” interview with Gillian Siple, a World Religions major and senior at Davidson College in North Carolina. She talked about her travels throughout Asia and Europe as she learned about various religions practiced in Thailand, China, India and France, and the deep spiritual awakening she experienced that challenged the Christian beliefs she was raised with at home in the United States.

Gillian grew up in a town in South Carolina where she attended a Presbyterian church with her “liberal” parents. Gillian said that her parents ...

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Remedies for the common cold

I recently caught a winter cold. Although it’s never really winter in Southern California, there are occasionally rare days when the temperature can drop down to the low 40s. It could’ve been due to the drastic up-and-down weather patterns lately with daytime highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s. I must’ve let my guard down when I wasn’t looking.

It’s been six months since I was last afflicted with the inescapable common cold virus so I tend to forget how to take care of myself and recuperate properly. I don’t keep in ...

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Boars and fortune cookies

2007 marks another year of the boar since its last turn of the animal wheel twelve years ago. I am a proud 1983 boar. Friends and family say it’s no coincidence since I am generally stubborn. And since it’s that time of year in Western society, I thought I’d share some of my new year’s goals inspired by some fortunes in my cookies and my boar-ish personality.

My first fortune of the new year said, “Keep your feet on the ground even though your friends flatter you.” My lucky numbers were 4, 14, 29, 31, 46 ...

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