Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Fever and then Kaput!

It is crazy how the days before Christmas are so filled with things to do that our proverbial fangs emerge and there is a subliminal growl in our voices. Gotta do this!! Gotta do that!!! Where did I put this? Where did I put that? Did I forget something? Darn, where's my list!!

Christmas Eve service is the benchmark about how everything is in a downward spiral.

Christmas morning is always the mini-feast of hot, delicious coffee and some kind of baked treat like pumpkin bread. Then the unwrapping of gifts and the quiet chatter of its description and the thanks uttered to the sky.

Then AHHHHHHHHHH!! peace and quiet. We are back to the recently forgotten nights of kicking back and watching the TV with nothing in hand to finish doing. What a marvelous thing. Going Kaput is a nice reminder. The antithesis of Christmas Frenzy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday Ornament Hunt

Why can't we have a Holiday Ornament Hunt much like an Easter Egg Hunt but substitute Christmas ornaments for the children and adult treasure hunters. Unlike the aftermath of an Easter Egg hunt where the family will be eating deviled egg sandwiches for days, the Holiday Ornament Hunt would be a great way to get some exercise and have fun!! It would be a fun way to travel hill and dale looking for Christmas ornaments...some made by people and others made by nature.

Each hunter would bring their treasurers back home and decorate the Christmas tree for the event. The manmade ornament cards could have numbers indicating the grab bag gift to be claimed. The ornament cards could then be tied to the party's Christmas tree. Natural ornaments could be attached to the tree with some ingenuity, some colorful yard or ribbon. The tree could be lit and all could gather to sing "O Tannenbaum" (or Punahou's alma mater...depending on the crowd)!! Hot coffee and cocoa could be served with delicious fragrance of yummy goodness in a hot beverage. Favorite cookies could also be served as people sing their favorite Christmas carols. I vote for Mexican wedding cookies or Pua O'Mahoney's raspberry shortcake cookies!! Shigeko Ikeda's buttery macadamia nut cookies are also an all-time favorite!!

Now doesn't that sound like a swell way to spend a Christmas day?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kingsolver's Quote Worthy of Remembering

"The past is all we know of the future." The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, p240.

If this is indeed true, how can we build new pathways of life? The possibility could be hinged to the Japanese proverb. "I tell you one thing and you will know 10 things." Adaptation based on a given

I am always amazed by the extents to which people will resort to to avoid change."I never travel beyong the bridge before the Panaewa stretch." heard by a woman who is now living in Volcano.

"What's that?" said an UH Manoa English professor who had lived in Hawai'i for 20 years when faced with onigiri sushi.

"The best thing about being a competitive swimmer is to feel like you are about to die and find out that you can survive the heart-pounding, oxygen-deprived body shock and live," said an all-around high school golden boy.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ain't it the truth?

Just finished reading the novel, The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Thought I'd do some light reading to just let loose and it was a good fun read. In fact, I got up at 3:40 this morning and read until the alarm rang.

Samantha Sweeting, a high-powered lawyer, is working hard to become a partner. Her life was work, work, work!!! Not even time to look outside her window. Then disaster happens. She made a mistake and is fired!! In desperation, she madly escapes the city and finds herself in a small farming community in who knows where.

Her life takes a drastic change. Through a misunderstanding, she changes her occupation and poses to be something she is NOT. (Not competent, not knowledgeable, not capable!)

A handsome gardener (of course) helps her transition and she learns that money, status, and power are not all they are cracked up to be.

This is a really sweet beach read for those women who are working too hard, carrying too much responsibility, trying to do too much, being someone they really don't want to be!! When the book ends, the corners of your mouth will reach upward. Guaranteed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Power and Politics

Today is Election Day and the polls are full of people. The Mountain View Senior Citizens location was populated by a mixed bag of people. The Volcano polling site was filled with gray haired people, the proverbial Gray Panthers. Where are the young voters? Probably in Hilo watching their kids' sunrise to sunset series of soccer games.

I wonder why people want to get into politics. I don't think it is for the money. I don't think it is for the prestige as some politicians are plagued by naysayers, backstabbers, and stinging critics. It may be for the power if some of the politicians live long enough to survive the onslaught of crises.

I don't think I want to be a politician. I don't want people looking at my life through a microscope. I don't always want to be dressed up and on my best behavior for every minute of my life outside my home. I don't want to deal with crackpots. I don't want to live my life for others...I've already wasted my children's youth taking care of other people's children in school.

I do like to get things done. I do like to see positive change. Rather than entering politics, I can support people who have an honest and positive work ethic. Then I can read the paper, expound on the working of government to my heart's delight, write an email or two to get my candidate on the straight and narrow and have the best of both worlds.

With age comes wisdom.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who's the Monster in Frankenstein

Our book club read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley this time around. Remember reading Frankenstein as a kid so revisiting the book after decades has been an interesting journey. Here are things that I learned in the revisitation.

1. Mary Shelley wrote the book when she was about 19 years old as part of a writing exercise with other writers. Another person in the group wrote a book, The Vampire. Judging by the current trend of vampires, werewolves and such on the movie screens these days, I'd say what they wrote has lasting appeal.

2. There are words in the book that I didn't know and will have to look up. Identifying the new words is okay but looking the words up...that will be a drudgery but I assigned it to kids for decades so I should just do it without whining!!

3. The question remains after all the decades: Who is the monster in the novel, Frankenstein? Is it the creator Victor Frankenstein or is it the nameless creature? My opinion is that Victor was pretty much of a jerk to have created the creature and then spurn him so completely. What was he thinking? Why didn't he start with a smaller creature to try his experiment on? He wanted to play God and yet he could not face up to his responsibility of bringing new life to the world. Sounds like some other irresponsible and immature jerks I have known in my life. What's up with that?

Really enjoyed and appreciated the book. There were revelations and understanding. Allusions abound in the novel...for a lit major, it is like finding gold in a dusty mine...Ah...Rime of the Ancient Mariner...Paradise Lost...Prometheus...and so on. It is great to read the old school novels to see character development, dialogue, and description painstakingly built.

Wonder what we will read for our next selection.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Forbidden Luxuries

Have you ever had the feeling that your free moments were a luxury that was not to be? You are feeling carefree and invigorated by just being able to take a breath, perhaps sit in the sunshine and feel the breezes whisper past you? This is too good to be true, you think to yourself. Oh well, enjoy the moment!!

Then CRASH!!! BOOM!!! GAZOOM!!!! Hours later, you find out that the time you had luxuriating should have been spent at a meeting or doing something that was due? Bummer to the maximum!!

In my old age, I am finding that time is more valuable than money. Time spent with loved ones. Time spent just talking and perhaps enjoying a cup of coffee. Time to sleep in the sunshine. Time to sleep late. Time to enjoy a morning sunrise or an evening moonrise. Indeed, my mother's admonition, "Time waits for no man," may be true but what I am also finding out is that I don't need to fill my time with THINGS TO ACCOMPLISH, PLACES TO BE, OR PEOPLE TO SEE. There is a time for everything and I give myself permission to spend the time relaxing and enjoying the moment. Learn from me and I give YOU permission to sit around and do what others may perceive as just doing nothing but enjoying the moment!!


Friday, July 16, 2010

In the Miso Soup

Read a weird book, In the Miso Soup, by Ryu Murasaki. This Japanese writer writes about the sex tours in Japan. The tour guide named Kenji meets a strange American named Frank whom Kenji suspects as a serial murderer. Does Kenji do the prudent thing like avoid Frank? Nope, Kenji, the dope, keeps his promise to meet Frank for three nights with each night getting stranger and stranger by the moment.

Frank kills several people in an omiai club. Does Kenji do the proper thing like tell the police? Nope, Kenji, the dope, follows Frank to an abandoned warehouse where there are clues that violence took place in this location and sleeps over.

The craziest thing is that although the book was so weird and violent, I kept reading it until the very end. So who's the dope in the end? I guess I am but the last lines of the book were the most rewarding. I won't tell you...you'll have to find out for yourself. It will definitely make you scratch your head and say, "Hah?"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

End of Bookstore Browsing

Hilo is a nice little town with really nice people. It is trying to grow into a comprehensive city but we keep hitting obstacles. Today, the newspaper reported that the Borders Bookstore will be closing its doors soon. Since I have been going to the public library faithfully, it does not really affect me in terms of getting books but its absence will be felt on weekends when families would go to Borders, the kids would plop themselves down in the children's section and perhaps whine for a manga. The parents would go and get some coffee, check out the latest magazines and perhaps talk to their friends or even each other.

It is this loss of a place to socialize that would be sorely missed. As it is, it is difficult to find place to stage a party. If you want to do to a county or State park, you need to reserve the pavillion a year in advance! We live in paradise but the number of places that we can enjoy without being crowded out are limited. Granted we are not Pensacola Beach in Florida where the people number in the thousands to go to the beach. But still....we need more open spaces and parks for old fashioned networking and family building, otherwise known as picnics and family gatherings.

Building the community one family at a time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carefree Travel in Europe

My daughter, Becky, will be traveling to Germany and Denmark soon for a summer session program. 20 days on the continent. Since she started going to college, I kept encouraging her to take a semester abroad as part of her college experience. Now that the travel is fast upon us, I am worried about this and that. This morning, I got up at 4:00 am to pen her a list of things she should be doing, things she should not be doing, yada, yada, yada.

Now that I have completed my list of cautions and advisories, I feel suddenly lighter. In the meantime, I have given her a list of 20 things she should remember.
I wonder if all parents have the same anxieties as they allow their children to spread their wings in Europe?

Parents are filled with anxiety, concern, worry, and the worst case scenarios.

Youth are filled with hope, excitement, enthusiasm, and the desire to capture life.

No wonder we don't see a mass exodus of empty nesters traveling abroad just to explore the world. We are too full of anxiety, worry, concern, and the worst case scenarios.

The irony of the situation is that all of us parents have lived through our "devil-may-care, all-out-adventure" stage of our youth and have survived very well, thank you very much. So why would our experience cause us to shackle our kids with our anxiety?

So to Becky Hughes, I take back my list of 20 advisories and encourage you to have a GREAT TIME in EUROPE!!! Love you very, very much!! Love Mom

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Day is Lei Day

Coming from Lahaina where plumeria were abundant, making a lei meant scampering outside with a paper bag, picking the fragrant blossoms, sitting under the mango tree, and stringing the garland of flowers. A snap!

Plumeria are like gold in East Hawai'i. Living in the mountains, making a lei takes a lot more time and effort. There are the fragile but pungent yellow ginger. But you need to pick the just about to open blossoms about noon time, place them gently on beds of wet ti leaves or paper towels and store them in the refrigerator until you have enough flowers for a lei.

Ti leaf leis are also an option but they do not have the lovely fragrance factor. Ti leaves grown green and abundantly in our area. The simple leis can be dressed up by using the various colored ti leaves, adding in fern or fake maile leaves, or wrapping ti leaf roses. Red leaves, purple leaves, yellow leaves, green leaves...the possibilities are many provided you have patience and ingenuity.

Travel a few miles up and liko lehua lei materials can be found along with the various ferns. Pick the shoot tips, clean the materials, spread out your mat and then spend the next two hours or so wrapping the arrangements of flowers and greenery on a backing. A treasured lei indeed.

But the simplicity of making a lei are gone. To wear a lei for May Day in the mountains takes time and planning. Perhaps that is why the gift of leis becomes more precious.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Avatar, Vietnam, and Eden

Finally got to see the film, Avatar. Although we went to the cheap theater with $1.50 tickets and crying babies, we enjoyed the movie sans 3-D projection and surround sound. The film was a metaphor for the classic movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. There was the good and the beautiful, the soft and the tender. There was the bad and the corrupt, the greed and the disrespect. There was the ugly, the killing and the wanton destruction. The movie was an onion with many layers to peel, to cry over, to examine in the light.

But some things irk me about the movie. I hated the Ugly American attitude shown by the short guy who seemed to be in charge of the program. I hated the attitude of conquering a region and robbing it of its resources with no regard for the consequences of the indigenous people. This seems to be a recurring attitude of many Western groups: The Spaniards in South America, the whites in our own country, the whites in the Hawaiian islands. Does traveling away from the homelands result in the reckless attitude to the lands and people from other shores? Ugly, ugly, ugly.

I hated the "take no survivors" attitude of the military commander. Things were done by brute force...kill, wreck damage, at any cost. There was no time for peaceful negotiation. Did we not learn anything from history when we try to force our way into other countries...? Try Korea, try Vietnam. Many American lives lost. Lack of support from the people in the country and in our country erode the basis for action. Are we reenacting historical and military mistakes from the past in the Middle East today?

I hated the destruction of a society which was living in Eden. Harmonious existence with the environment seemed idyllic. But then the Seekers had to take what was forbidden treasures. Adam and Eve in the garden were not satisfied with their lives, they had to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. The commandment, Honor Thy Father, was not observed. The Americans invaded Pandora try to steal the precious unobtainium (a pun perhaps)to break commandments: Thy shall not steal, they shall not covert your neighbor's property, Thy shall not kill. Have we not learned anything from our history that sin leads to dire consequences?

I said I loved the movie and then I proceed to write three paragraphs about what I hated. I did love the reaffirmation that there are people who are willing to do the right thing despite the odds against them. The hero, the savior, the brave. That was downright applause worthy. Loved that the helicopter pilot was a female. I loved the love story!

The fantastic scenery of Pandora was breathtaking. The colors used and the special effects were great!! I want to go back to see the movie again. Peel more layers of the movie onion and see if I cry again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't judge a book by its format

I cracked open the book and found that it was a series of letters. Bleah...boring...tedious. But The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was number #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. There must be something to it. Endure...continue on.

Indeed, indeed...this was an enjoyable book with twists and turns, tears, surprises. I highly recommend this book for long airplane trips when you have the time to immerse yourself in the island life in the Channel Islands. It ain't Hawaii but the close knit island mentality is apparent.

Life without cell phones, telephones. People wrote letters in standard English and yet the voice of the each writer was apparent. Tidbits from others in the community painted the characters in 3-D. If only we were privy to see how others see us...would we be glad or disappointed? There were characters I loved and characters who set my teeth on edge. Oh, how I loved the snappy answers and swift (and sassy) rebuttals!!

Worthy, worthy of your time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Recession...nothing but a hype?

With all of the media hype of how we are doing so poorly economically, all families should be living off of their home gardens, walking to work and school, and eating frugal meals. Yet the traffic seems steady past our house of cars whizzing to and from Hilo...20 miles away. The supermarkets are full of people, even on nonFood Stamp weeks, buying carts full of food and drink. Walking along the highway is the occasional hitchhiker in dreds or flowing skirts. And the fast food restaurants take out lines have snakes of cars with people too lazy to get out of their cars to order food.

At the recent Merrie Monarch festival, the craft booths had a range of products and prices and not all cheap. If you want to buy a handmade lauhala hat, plan on spending at least $100. If you would like a string of pearls, consider $500 for gleaming chocolate pearly baubles. How about $50 for a scarf? These artisans deserve the money to produce these items. What amazes me is the people who have the money to plunk down several thousand dollars for strands of Ni'ihau shells.

The recession must not be as debilitating as the media is reporting. There is still money for the fine arts. Or, are the damages from the economic downfall affecting only a certain class of people? Those that did not have much to begin with?

If scarcity bring clarity, perhaps the scare is good for us to reprioritize what is really important in our lives, make adjustments, and go on living.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Deceptive Appearances

Bread is my enemy!!

I have to rant and rage how unfair it is that delicious food is often riddled with one million calories.

I have to rant and rage how unfair it is to work so hard to get rid of 50 calories by exercising and how easy it is to consume 50 calories in one bite.

Cruelest of all is how calories seem to lurk and hide in waiting for the unsuspecting diner.

Did you know that 1 burrito sized flour tortilla is 120 calories? A premium slice of nutty bread is 110 calories.

Thought that having a tortilla would mean consuming fewer calories so had two wraps of my own making.

Calamity! Disaster!! Tortillas have more calories than bread.

Torillas are my new enemy!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Relinquishing Responsibility

As parents, we try hard to shelter our children from hurt, disappointment, and rejection. Yet, somehow they need the skills to handle these negative incidents in their lives. What is the balance between our counsel and life's lessons?

Some kids do not welcome sage advice or suggestions from their parents or elders. They need to experience the hard knocks before they can understand what was being relayed. We cringe and feel the pain that they will experience and yet these kids are determined to be on a crash course of their own determination.

Some kids will listen to advice but too often, when they begin to ask for help, it may be too late and some of the negative consequences are inevitable.

Then there are some kids who are afraid to stray from the path of the known. They are cautious to the extreme, fearful of the unknown, and small minded. Of all the kids, these are the most dangerous because they are unwilling to experiment and experience life.

The best thing we as parents can do is to give our children the courage to jump in with both feet and the skills to swim to shore or safety. There is a point in which we have to acknowledge kids' decisions and let them take the consequences of their actions. If the consequences are positive, we celebrate with them. If the consequences are negative, we sympathize and look for ways to help. We cannot and should not do everything for our kids...we only handicap them when we try to do this.
Let the kids live life on their own terms.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Overpreparing in a Disaster

This weekend, there was a tsunami alert for the Hawaiian Islands. Although we were sequestered at the Kilauea Military Camp on the slopes of Mauna Loa, we were kept updated by folks with iPhones about the panic going on.

This morning's paper showed a family buying emergency supplies but 3 20-pound bags of rice, isn't that gluttony? There is some logic to the Mormon practice to keeping extra supplies at home. Then there is no need for greedy emergency buying when the prices are highest.

We are so lucky to live the way we live. We have our own water supply. We process our own biodiesel so that we don't have to rush to buy gas from stations with long lines of anxious drivers. We raise our own beef. We have food in our freezers. We have generators. There is wisdom in low tech living.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Valentine's Day Hype

Retailers pounce on our frailties and bombard us with merchandise to cure the ills in our lives. Medicines you can request to self medicate. Chocolates, cards, balloons, jewelry, and even kitchen cabinets to grab the attention of a loved one. We are such puppets to these wallet robbers, eager to snatch our hard earned cash.

Valentine's Day was no exception. By buying the rich, dark, two-pound box of chocolates, you will surely get the affection of someone.

But it's not about buying but rather the considerations of love. Doing something without being prompted. Doing something sweet and unexpected. A kind word. A gentle gesture. A memory shared and replayed in quiet conversation.

These are the gifts worth a million dollars but can be given freely.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Price of Stupidity

'Refusing to admit defeat, I shouted loudly to them again, "Where is Sunamei? Sunamei?"

They responded with the silence of a ten-thousand-year-old, snow-covered mountain. I wished they would curse me, see me, or hear me. Standing in the yard, I howled desperately,"Sunamei! Sunamei!"

No one heard my howling but a flock of scared chickens that fled noisily. Their flight proved that my vocal cords still worked.' p 367-368

from The Remote Country of Women by Bai Hua.

The character Liang did a foolish, foolish thing. He insulted the cultural practices of his wife's people, the Mosue, a matrilineal society in which the women are their own masters on earth.

The punishment for his misbehavior was unspoken among the villagers. He became an Invisible...not worthy of being seen, being heard, being considered a living entity. What a torturous existence...Indeed!

A very lyrical book worthy of reading several times. The book sways from one point of view to another with constrasting timbre of each speaker, views from different worlds. The surprising ending is not surprising upon reflection however, one is left with the proverbial, "Hey, wait a minute...What happened here?"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Perfect Timing

Just wanted to share a personal testimony about how God is So Good.

Last night, Don was bummed because he had to stay at home and miss his Bible study.
I had a meeting so Don called around looking for a ride to the Thursday night men's Bible Study. But he was not able to contact people so he stayed at home.

Suddenly,he heard a knock on the door and thought it was strange because he did not see any car lights nor heard a car drive in. (We live in the boonies and do not have neighbors near by.) He opened the door and saw a young man who asked for help. There was a young female who was injured with blood on her hands, blood patters on her shirt, injury to her scalp, and lacerations on her shoulders. Don ran around getting first aid supplies to render aid to the girl.

He told the young man to call 911 as the girl's injuries were beyond first aid response. Don was also counseling the young man to pay attention to the girl.

The ambulance arrived and Don noticed that the man was gone. Soon after, two police cars came by and Don explained about the occurrences. Don knew that the man was still in the yard because he could smell the man's cigarette and our niele horse, Hoku, was looking in the direction of our water tank. Don and the officers went looking for the man and found him hiding behind the water tank. The man left with the officers.

God's timing is so perfect. Don's inability to find a ride to Bible study made him available to help the injured woman and hopefully the young man. Praise God for the things He does that are beyond our understanding.

Pray that God will use you to serve Him today.
Don and Mililani

Friday, January 22, 2010

Satisfaction NOT Guaranteed!

Why is it that we are never satisfied with what we've got? I have thick, straight hair. I want soft, curly hair. People who see me wish they had my thick, straight hair and thus resort to such tactics as fluffing out their hair to make it look thick except when you see them with light shining through the thin gossamer veil of hair. Or women who will pay big bucks to straighten their hair so it becomes a straight and lifeless head curtain.

When I was young, I always thought I was fat, husky, big-boned, the Big Hulk! And yet when I look at my old pictures, I do not appear to be a big as I imagined. Now that I am really heavy and fat, I keep wondering why I spent so much time worrying about how fat I was.

What about going out to eat dinner and finding something delectable? But if you eat even one bite more than you should, that delectable tidbit turns into a rubber hockey puck that transforms into a tractor tire with the last drop of saliva you swallowed!! Takes the fun out of the whole meal!! And then there is the misery of feeling overful, bloated, and squeezed into your clothing like an overstuffed sausage.

We had a spacious house when the kids were growing up. It was a place of many family dinners with loud talking and laughing, mountains of food, and love. We had about 40 people over with no problem although it rained inside the house with the body heat of all of our friends. As our children got older, moved out, we thought we'd move to a smaller house. Finding space was a challenge. Having family dinners was a logistical nightmare. So what are we doing? We are building a new building on our property to make up for the lack of space in our "new" house. Thanks to the slow housing market, we still have our old house, the place of childhood memories for our kids. Maybe one of the kids will make our old house their home and a place of many family dinners with loud talking and laughing, mountains of food, and love for a new generation.

We need to live in the moment...savor the present. It might be a lifelong memory for someone someday.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wiry Abundance

Hair, Hair, Hair. My daughters and I have hair to share. My hair is thick, straight, and very wiry. People say I have enough hair for three or four people. Not only is my hair plentiful, but the strands are very thick. I am certain that if I donated my locks, they could be braided into a cable that could pull a loaded Mac truck across the United States.

Of all of my siblings (there are 7 of us), I probably have the grayest hair..and I probably have more hair per square inch than all of my siblings combined. My dad had soft wavy hair and so did my sisters Cookie and Rose. Two of my brothers are bald. And, I have a full head of gray (salt and pepperish) straight hair.

My hairdresser of over 26 years said that I am famous for being able to grow my hair fast!! For a hula recital, I grew my hair from a short boy cut to shoulder length in three months. Of course as soon as the recital was over, I chopped my hair off and was glad to see it go. My husband and my son beg me to grow my hair but I don't want to hassle with a heavy weight of hair on my head. I hate when I wash my hair, twirl it into a bun for a day's work, and when I get home and let my hair down, my hair is still wet. Yuck. Most women with long hair tame their tresses with a hair band, elastic, scrunchy, pen, chopstick, or whatever is available. If this is the case, isn't it better to have short hair and quit tugging at your roots?

When I had long hair and worked in a high school where many of the girls were hula dancers and had long hair, I would urge them to participate in a Hair Emancipation Day when we would all let our hair down, loose, and flowing free. We tried it several times and found that by the end of first period, everyone had their hair twirled and twisted into tight knots. Such short lived emanacipation campaigns.

If you have short hair, don't you hate it when your hair gets into the infamous "UGLY" stage that no matter what you try to do, it is UGLY? Dig through your box of hats, put on a kerchief, plaster on a handful of super-duper gel...doesn't matter, Your Hair is UGLY. It's like a neon sign of ugliness. I always feel like the first thing people will fixate on when they see me is my UGLY hair!! AARGH!! I mean, my hair can be doing all right and it seems overnight, it grow 2 centimeters over the line of nice hair into UGLY hair and it is torture. And the irritation seems to grow by geometric proportions.

The only remedy to this situation is to go to the hairdresser and get a haircut. Having plenty of straight, thick hair means finding a hairdresser with excellent skills and a pair of strong hair shears!! Snip, snip, snip, the hair falls to the salon floor like salt and pepper snow. Then Hallelujah!!! I am a human again.

It's those little pleasures that make life so wonderful...the miracle of transformation and I'll say, Amen, Amen, and Amen!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zero Calorie Feasting

I just finished Nicole Mones' novel, The Last Chinese Chef and enjoyed it thoroughly. In reading the novel, I could almost taste the food. The five-duck duck dish, the baked chicken which had no chicken meat...just the golden brown skin stuffed with minced vegetables and ham, the 30 crab tofu that did not have any crab meat in it...the artifice of what seemed to be turned out to be something else as experienced by the tastebuds. What a mind trip to savor the flavors with my imagination.

I really want to eat Chinese food now...but not just any kind of Chinese food. Delicious morsels that taste flavor-full without the fullness of overconsumption. I want to eat pillowy buns filled with kau yuk...pork fat that melts in the mouth bathed in red food coloring #5. I want to eat my Aunty Rose Tom's birdnest soup...luscious texture and sublime flavor.

This is the exact opposite of the other book I just read...Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life as we knew it. This book chronicles life after a cataclysmic meteor strike...hoarding food, surviving on melting gray snow water, relishing a fresh egg. Two extremes of thought regarding food, and ways of life. Good reminders of the central role food plays in our lives.

Thinking of these two books, I wonder about the perspective of people who don't really care to eat...and I am not referring to people who have eating disorders. They are really missing out on a very pleasurable pastime. Although overeaters spend a lot of time thinking about food, eating a lot of food which may not necessarily be good food, there must be a kernel in there about the pleasure of food gone wrong. I guess I will confess that I like to eat well flavored food, I like to cook good food, I like to watch people enjoy eating the food I have cooked, I like scheming about food to cook. Now if only I can quit the gall durned habit of eating too much...then I'll be a happy baby. Bon Appetit, you fellow food maniacs!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Which one triumphs

When you are polyracial, which ethnicity should be the dominant one? Is it politically correct to choose the one with the most possible benefits...i.e., the Native Hawaiian, or the Native American (Cherokee)? Or is it better to choose the ethnicity with the lifestyle values that promote the most happiness as it is played out in financial success, social prestige, personal fulfillment, or whatever spelling for success you choose.

It is no wonder polyracial people are confused as to who they really are. It is a struggle in getting one's head on straight to gain personal insight. Growing up in a plantation town, all the smart kids went into the A class which was made of mostly Japanese kids, some Filipino, Haole, and a couple of Hawaiians. The C class was the "slow" group made up mainly of Hawaiians, immigrant Filipinos. So to have a tall, hunky Hawaiian in the A class was like being a Giant in Munchkinland. Then to be an A class student trying to paddle canoe with the Kanaka kids was like a Geek trying to make it into a powerlighting world competition. See the irony of being all mixed up?

So just forget trying to comparmentalize things, values, traditions, superstitions, and proverbs!! At my age, I figure it is best to embrace it all!! Celebrate ALL the ethnic holidays!! Learn to cook ALL the favorite ethnic foods whether they belong to you or not!! Learn the wisdom of the ancient ones, no matter what language they spoke!! A lifetime will be filled with learning hopefully followed by understanding. What started off as a struggle ends up as a triumphant realization.
Ain't it funny how things turn out?