Friday, September 30, 2005
So for the past month or so, I've been absolutely drained and somewhat depressed. I tried to feel better using "vitamins and exercise" like Dr. Tom Cruise & his wacko Star Trek church suggested, but I'm ready to tell him where to shove that ineffective, expensive Once-A-Day pill. And in case you're wondering if I've been able to attain that exercise utopia where one is able to enjoy exercising in a meditative like trance? The answer is a BIG heeeeeell to the no!!! (I got that from watching one episide of Being Bobby Brown, I promise I'll never bring it up again). I'll tell you what what would lift me up though- eating caramel apple cheesecake from Costco. In front of the tv. But that's not really an option right now so yeah, I'm a little grumpy.
Today I'm heading out to Palm Springs for two nights at the Hilton. Before you think I'm heading there to recover by the poolside in a robe with cucumber slices on my eyelids, please remember that A) We're poor. I can't afford to go there on my own (it's a business trip); and B) I'm so hungry right now I'd eat those damn cucumber slices even though they touched my eyelids.
There is no rest for the weary. Next week I head to Long Beach for a few days, and two weeks after that, I'm in San Diego for a week. Since I love to travel, I'm sure I'll soon bounce back to my chipper self. To make sure that I do, I've told Roy that we're gonna have to stop at the giant outlet mall on the way home so that I can manically buy even more crap we don't need. Retail therapy...works better than vitamins and exercise everytime.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Nonetheless, I still made sure I took the appropriate precautions for a person of my weight and age. To ensure I didn't die of cardiac arrest, I intentionally did NOT go to a class taught at a gym. This is because I know that these classes are usually taught by young, chipper, 20 year-old hard bodies that would put me in an early grave.
Instead, I opted to go to the one offered by my Homeowner Association at the clubhouse. I figured it would more than likely be a bunch of frail, white-haired older women doing low impact aerobics while leisurely chatting about the rising price of Metamucil.
To ensure that I didn't die of embarassment, I went there ten minutes early to secure a coveted back row spot. I think we all know that the only human beings with less rhythm than white men are short, chubby, Asian females. Let's just say God did not bless me with the gift of dance.
Anyhow, the workout got off to a great start. Much like I'd hoped, our teacher was very petite, soft spoken and sweet. She started us off with plenty of sloooow, methodical stretching. Ahhhh... And that's when it started to go downhill. Suddenly the music started pumping and our sweet, wee instructor turned into a crazed, screaming dominatrix.
About thirty minutes into her workout, I knew I was in serious trouble. I quickly scanned the room for a defibrillator so that inevitably when I fell to the ground- I would at least have a CHANCE. No such luck.
If I had had the strength when I left when I left the class, I would have jumped that witch in the parking lot. But I needed every ounch of strength I had to even make it out to the car. Trust me, she and I are both lucky to be alive.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Nonetheless, the day didn't go so well. Hundreds of us were crammed into a room and people started to get cranky. After an hour or so we had to watch a 15-minute video that attempted to extol the virtues of being a juror. Among the many unexpected surprises and treats? I quote, "Many people find the jury experience so enjoyable and rewarding, that they still maintain the new friendships they formed with their fellow jurors!" Hmm. In-ter-es-ting.
Now I'll be the first person to say I can always use more friends. But I'd have to draw the line at harrassing my fellow jurors for party invitations:
Foreman: I know we've been deliberating for 7 straight hours now, but I'm confident we can wrap this up soon. What are everyone's thoughts about Defense Exhibit A?
Juror #8: I say we toss it out based on the witness testimony.
Juror #2: What do you think Juror #4?
Juror #4 (Me): I'm thinking it would be REALLY GREAT if we could all potluck together this weekend!!! Whaddaya say guys?! I've got PLENTY of paper goods!!!
Juror #2: Uh...sure. Whatever. But back to Exhibit A, I thought the prosecutor successfully dismissed it anyway.
Juror #4 (Me): Did I mention I make a MEAN pot roast and one helluva jello dish!!! So who's in?!!!
So yeah, I can really see myself using my jury service as the foundation for building future long lasting and meaningful relationships.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
As sore as they were today, let me tell you the humilation I used to suffer through when I was in high school (I know you males are really digging this story so far).
As if being short and chubby with badly permed hair and acne was not bad enough (and can you believe I was single all through high school?!!!), I also suffered from severe menstrual cramps.
The pain used to be so excruciating for me that despite taking prescription medication, I would still end up curled in the fetal position, furiously cold sweating and occasionally even blacking out from the pain. I can't tell you how absolutely thrilling it was to be sent to the Nurse's Office once a month like clockwork for four wonderful years of high school! And then to have the Nurse have to call your FATHER to come and pick you up and take you home??? Priceless! What a fun ride home that always was! My father always seemed to be VERY focused on the road on those days. Come to think of it, I don't think he ever said a word all the way home.
So I don't even want to hear your "But I was a band geek, I had it waaaay worse!" stories. Sheesh. Unless YOUR dad also had to drive YOU home from school every month because you had your period, you KNOW I had it worse.
On second thought, perhaps the only way I'll ever recover from this childhood trauma would be to hear YOUR stories of similar childhood trauma! Did you fart loudly on stage? Throw up in the punch bowl on Prom night? Have to wear head gear AND bifocals?! Please share!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
There is no continuity or theme to this blog. More days than not, I will likely moan about being chubby (this is really my favorite past time). Other days I reminisce about life in Hawaii. But today- I'm writing about one of my heroes.
When I was 13 or 14, my father (a history teacher) let my brothers and I watch a movie called "Escape from Sobibor." The movie was based on the actual escape of Jewish prisioners from a Nazi death camp during WWII. What made the escape noteworthy was that because the German soldiers would always kill an equal number of prisoners whenever a group tried to escape, the captives knew that if they wanted to avoid others from being killed, that all 600 prisoners in the camp would have to be included in plotting the escape. Of the 600 prisoners who attempted to escape that day, 300 succeeded.
Since that day nearly two decades ago, I've had a passion for learning about Nazi death camps. As a high schooler, I devoured all of the available books from my high school library. It also influenced me to earn a History degree in college. Years later, I visited the Holocaust museums in Los Angeles & New York City, where I was able to attend a lecture given by a Holocaust survivor. About 5-6 years ago, I was able to make good on a promise to visit two of the world's most infamous death camps- Auschwitz and Birkenau.
I'll be the first one to say that my name and the words "emotional" or "moved" are rarely in a sentence together. However, visiting those camps was overwhelming. I did not utter one sarcastic word the entire time we were there (an event that has never been replicated). One of my most powerful memories was walking through Birkenau's burnt down barracks (the hastily retreating Nazi's lit many of them on fire in their attempt to hide the evidence) and asking the guide where the Nazi's stored all of the human ash. He told me, "You're walking all over it. They used the ashes to build all of the roads here."
I won't go into great detail, but we saw the gas chambers, cannisters of unused cyanide, torture chambers, prisoner barracks, and an execution block.
One of the world's greatest heroes to emerge from all of this was Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi Hunter. He barely survived numerous death camps and suicide attempts, and was on the verge of death (he weighed about 99 lbs. when his camp was liberated in 1945). Though he had little initial support in his efforts to track down Nazi criminals, Mr. Wiesenthal was able to hunt down over 1,100 Nazi war crimnals, many of whom were responsible for the deaths of 89 of his family members.
Unfortunately, I think the timing and devastation of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita somewhat overshadowed his death on September 20th. This is just my small tribute to him.
Friday, September 23, 2005
1. He could either catch the bus, hitchhike, or bike all over town (I liked this one, he didn't)
2. He could catch a cab (cheap people don't ride cabs)
3. I could drop him off at school everyday in my spankin' minivan wearing hair curlers and a ratty bathrobe, with him slouched down low next to me, begging me not to wave and scream "LOVE YOU POOKIE BEAR!" as I drive away.
Those of you who know I am slightly cheap are probably wondering why I'm not hollering and carrying on more about the cost of repairs. This is because for once, fate is on our side- his car is still under warranty! The car started to make a funny whirring sound (oh, excuse me...the stick-up-his-butt Nissan service manager informed me that the official term is 'growling,' not 'whirring') about 100 miles before our 36,000 mile warranty was due to expire. Talk about luck!
Though I hate to share ALL my secrets- I am pretty sure that our good karma is the result of my overall good deeds. You see:
- A week ago I bought some candy from a little boy at the grocery store (philanthropy)
- A few months ago I got some popcorn at the movies (patron of the arts)
- I am TIVO'ing the Angelina Jolie special in Africa (support third world countries)
- I reused a plastic spoon at work once (Earth conservationist)
Please don't be intimidated by my Christ-like example. I am sure that if you dig deep too, good things will happen to you as well.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I initially wrote that entry because one of books I was reading suggested that rather than berating myself for being chubby, to try and find something positive about being chubby.
As you can imagine, this was hard. Really hard. I mean, can you honestly think of a reason that you would LIKE or WANT to be fat? The book is right, it's MUCH easier to hate being fat. Take for example all those celebrities who at one time professed that they were "totally fine with being fat." Hell, some of them even insisted that they "looooved being fat!" Yet all of them eventually went on diets and later admitted that, "Yeah, being fat sucked." Need examples? Try Roseanne, Kirstie Alley, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Osborne & Carnie Wilson to name a few.
It took me a few days, but eventually it hit me. I realized that the greatest thing being fat taught me was empathy and humility.
You see, because I am chubby, I learned what it feels like to have a sales clerk look you up and down and then quickly declare that they "don't have anything in your size."
Because I am chubby, I learned how to convincingly feign interest in racks of clothes, pretending I was having fun "clothes shopping" with my (thinner) friends even though I damn well knew there would be nothing there in my size.
Because I am chubby, I know what it's like to force myself to pick at my food when I'm eating in a restaurant with friends because I feel like they're all watching me to see how much I really eat.
Because I am chubby, I know what's it like to have to sit by all by myself on the beach while everyone else frolicks in the cool, blue ocean because I don't dare let anyone see me in a bathing suit.
Because I am chubby, I know what's like to not be able to proudly show off ANY of my exotic vacation pictures because I am too ashamed of how I look in all of them.
Because I am chubby, I know what it's like to feel completely powerless, overwhelmed, pathetic, and disgusted all at once when I realize I can't stop snacking, no matter how hard I try.
Because I am chubby, I know what it's like to be scruntinized by members of your family who feel that because you're "family", it's okay to blurt out, "Boy, you got fat!" to you.
But perhaps most importantly, I've learned that buried under the layers of fat of most overweight people, are the humblest, kindest, most empathetic souls on the f***ing planet, because they know what I now know.
I'm not saying I will ever be happy I'm heavy, but I can say it has given me some of the greatest gifts of my life.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Mom: So what have you been up to lately?
Josie: Well, have you checked out my blog? I really don't want to repeat all the same things to you.
Mom: The what?
Josie: The blog! You know, my on-line web log...the one where I blame everything that's wrong on me on dad?
Mom: The dog?
Josie: THE BLOG, MOTHER. The web site!
Mom: Oh...that! (Sheepish laugh) Well OF COURSE I visit it all the time!!! I just visited it...gee, what was it? Last month? No wait, two months ago!
Josie: Mooooother! I am your own flesh and blood! Jesus! You told me you would visit it last week! Don't forget to go on tonight and...mom?
Mom: (Covers phone, has muffled conversation with my father who is likely 3 feet away from the TV remote control in the living room, calling her from the bedroom so that she can bring it over to him) Oh, sorry Josie! Dad wants me to scratch his back, gotta go! Love you! Bye!
You SEE why I have issues? I'm surprised I don't weigh twice as much.
Anyway, don't feel bad for my mother. Trust me, she's not abused. Those two cater to each other. They grew up less than a mile from each other on Oahu's North Shore and have now been married for over 33 years. My father still drives my mother everywhere she wants to go, does half the cooking and cleaning, and buys her anything she wants. My mother continues to do things like ride a golf cart with him for FIVE hours on the weekend even though she hates golf. Sometimes I think maybe I should learn something from their kind, loving example.
After all, Roy did just point out to me last night that he still can't walk away from the computer without coming back and finding something like "ROY LICKS HIS BALLS" scrolling across the screen saver. (Heh heh... that one never gets old!)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I actually get it now...(don't read this if you're not chubby or sympathetic to those of us that are)
Years ago, after reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods I too once had dreams of hiking the Appalachian, appreciating nature and dropping 40 pounds in the process. What's not too like? Well other than mosquitoes, snakes, a chafed ass, blisters, weeks of dried food, crazy knife-wielding hikers, torrential rains, and hungry wild animals with a hankering for a chubby, defenseless, whimpering Asian girl, I can't think of a darn thing. So you can see why I have so much admiration for Steve. I would have soiled my drawers the first night in a tent by myself.
We've heard all the naysayers commenting on his journey- But he left his family! His job! How selfish and irresponsible, surely there were other ways! Uh...don't you think he tried them? Do you think he did this because he thought it would be fun? I am sure he is reminded daily of the painful sacrifices he and his family are making, but unless you've hit rock bottom emotionally, I don't think you understand that sometimes you have to do drastic things in order to save yourself. It would have been far easier to throw his hands in the air and stay home and continue to get bigger and bigger than it was to leave everything behind and hit the unknown, open road. To me, that's courage.
Call me a liberal, ultra sensitive, crystal-wielding hippie- but I know that compulsive overeating is a sickness borne of other issues. I believe that it is as hard for compulsive overeaters to give up food as it is for alcoholics to give up booze. The idea of reducing your intake or putting down the Triscuit box is unfathamoble when your physical and psychological need for food is so powerful.
I am doing everything within my power to win this personal battle because without getting into too much detail, I have hit rock bottom. More than once. I stupidly and vainly used to write off my annual 5-pound weight gain as 'not that big a deal' because I thought mine was more 'controlled.' I was like a white-collar alcoholic sipping from a flask at 9am rolling his eyes at the alcoholic bum laying on the street, thinking "Well at least I can function." You see, though I joke about it, I didn't actually get fat eating chips, red meats and pastries, I got fat eating great meals, granola bars and rice crackers. But ultimately, here's what I realized- SO WHAT? Excess calories are still coverted to fat. Your body doesn't care if they're from soy beans or sugary frosting. Eating five or six portions of whole wheat pretzels instead of one or two still means your clothes won't fit. I was a clueless, fat snob.
As Steve so wisely put it months ago on his webpage (but I have only just realized this)- I am no longer doing this just to lose weight or diet. I am doing it to regain control over my demons and my life. I know that once I find inner happiness, I will also find a better balance. I was naive to think I could make permanent lifestyle changes in my attitude toward food simply based on self-discipline. I didn't overeat because I was hungry, I overate because that's how I chose to cope. Instead of smoking or drinking, I reached for food. And like any substance abuser, right after we eat, we berate ourselves. I have called myself crueller and nastier names that I would NEVER even think to call someone else. We don't encourage our friends to change by insulting them, so why do we do it to ourselves? How can it possibly help?
Now that I know I was too proud and foolish to admit that I couldn't do this without changing my attitude(s) toward food and myself, I have truly made progress. In my usual manic style, I've thrown myself into reading a dozen books on emotional overeating. One in particular- Conquer Your Food Addiction (Caryl Ehrlich) has been life changing for me. If you have a chance, check it out.
My second goal is to also rid myself of both my desire for and fear of food. I think that will be the hardest part. Trust me, it's a lot easier to force yourself to walk when you're tired and it's 95 degrees outside than it is to end your love of Monterey Chicken from Chili's.
If there were a four-step path to a thin and healthy person's enlightenment/nirvana, I would say I'm still on step one. But I've come a long way. I've moved from total revulsion for myself to grudging respect, and I feel a little more in control each day. I'll let you know when I get there without making you want to puke.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
But not this weekend.
This weekend was a weekend of giving. Paying it forward. Performing random acts of kindess. Doing the Lord's work. Giving unto others as I would want them to give unto me. I think we can all agree that most good-hearted people who do things for others expect nothing in return. It must really suck to be one of those people. In fact, whenever I cave in to the grocery store cashier asking me if I want to donate $5 to the Red Cross, I pretty much expect all the other customers and employees to break out into applause and have the store dim all the lights except for the one that is shining on me.
It used to be alot easier to help others. But if you haven't already noticed, the cost of giving has skyrocketed recently. Kids keep coming to our door to sell us $30 magazine subscriptions that would normally cost $12. A few weeks ago, I bought two containers of cookie dough for $28! God help you if a friend is selling Partylite candles. Those little suckers cost more than a child in Thailand. WHOA! That's not very nice. Forget I said that.
It didn't use to be this way. Back in the early 80s when I was in elementary school I had to sell either cinnamon bread ($3) or portuguese sausage ($4). I'd imagine they weren't too hard to sell at those prices. The reason why I wouldn't know for sure is because I'm Japanese, which meant that my mother didn't want us asking the neighbors or other family members to buy our crappy food. If I had to sell ten loaves of cinnamon bread, my mother would buy ALL ten from me. Not once in my life did I ever have to ask anyone to buy anything from me. Keep in mind, she had three children in school. That meant there were times when she would buy THIRTY loaves of cinnamon bread. (You're probably thinking...well that's why she's so chubby...but you would be wrong. My mother would usually give them all away or donate them back to the cause. I got fat because of movie theatre popcorn, thank you very much).
And I was just kidding about mentioning the things we did this weekend. But I do wish we could do more. I hate to use the "we're just so busy" excuse, but with Roy studying 24/7, pretty much everything falls back on me while he's in school. I myself rarely even see him. I can tell it's been hard on him, so I suprised him this weekend with a special dinner. I made him shrimp cocktail and homemade (with some help from Trader Joe's) whole wheat veggie pizza. He was practically moaning while eating it, but in true Roy Focker fashion, he wolfed it all down while reading his Pediatrics textbook before rushing out the door to work and leaving me behind...in a messy kitchen covered from head to toe in flour. It's okay though. He's worth it. ; )
Friday, September 16, 2005
I think it's pretty obvious Hawaiians are a loyal bunch based on how long our tiny state kept Jasmine Trias on American Idol . It goes without saying that if a person with Hawaii roots is on tv, or a show set in Hawaii is on tv (Lost, Magnum P.I.), Hawaiians will watch it. The show may be painful to watch (North Shore, Baywatch), or slighty embarassing (Dog tends to showcase scary Hawaiians), but you better believe we're tuning in weekly to support our own!
This Hawaiian brotherhood also explains why everytime my mother goes to a craft show, she ends up with a few suspect pieces of 'art.' When asked what possessed her to buy an odd, mishapen koa-wood business card holder in the shape of a frog, she says, "Oh...I felt so bad for the man. He looked so sad sitting all alone at his table. No one was stopping by, so I wanted to help him."
Then there's my dad. He's been on this kick of "making someone's day" for a few years now. What this usually means is, we all go to a restaurant, a surly, bored waiter ignores us for most of the meal, and then he generously leaves them a 50% tip so he can "make their day."
The older I've gotten, the more I 'get' what my parents are doing. And I find myself doing the same thing for others. People from Hawaii look out for their own. It's a nice feeling.
Just as gays have 'gaydar,' Hawaiians have 'Hawaiiandar.' We can sniff out a fellow Hawaiian in a room full of people. Sure, sure, the rubber slippers and Locals Only t-shirts are a bit obvious, but it's also the ill-fitting pants, the refusal to wear a jacket even in 60 degrees, and the subtle mispronounciation of proper English.
My love for fellow Hawaiians is surpassed only by my love for mainland transplants who fall in love with the islands and the people. When they start to speak fluent pidgin, call your parents 'aunty' and 'uncle' and ask you how to make spam musubi for their upcoming baby luau, it's all you can do to not embrace them on the spot. They just get it.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Let me explain. Today when I went out to check the mail I heard a rock land behind me. I quickly swiveled around and looked in the direction of where I thought the rock came from (a neighbor's fence about 30 yards away) but saw nothing. Though suspicious, I chalked it up to me possibly being insane and returned to screening through my valuable mail coupons.
A second later, I heard an unmistakeable second rock land a foot behind me (and these were not pebbles, they were rocks), and turned around in time to see the exact location of where a third and fourth rock were launched from. Because I was now in shock (no one has ever thrown rocks at me, except my father when I was like 10, and because I'm not sure if there's a statute of limitations with Child Protective Services I'm gonna cut him some slack here). Anyway, after 2-3 seconds of shock, I yelled, "I CAN SEE YOU!!!" (I couldn't see crap through that fence). "You better cut that out RIGHT NOW!" Still no movement. Not even a giggle.
As I walked back to the house, I envisioned a small group of 12-year old boys snickering at me from behind that fence and that really upset me. I then (and I'm NOT proud of this) spun around, made sure none of the other neighbors were around, flipped them off and yelled (again, NOT PROUD of this) "Do that one more time and I will [bleep!] you up!" Yes, yes, I am well aware how hysterical, ghetto, and "threatening" I looked, but I was steaming at this point.
As I walked back up my driveway I suddenly realized that because I had just flipped off and cursed a bunch of kids with nothing better to do than toilet paper my house or pee on my rosebushes (if say, I had some), that I had essentially started World War III with them. And we all know who wins those wars.
So what did the crazy lady do? I marched straight to their home and rang the doorbell. Though I had intended to rat out the kids to mom or dad, instead, a breathless, terrified little 9-year girl answered the door on the first ring. I wasn't expecting this, and I have to admit, it threw me off.
I could hear her mother yelling at her (I'm not sure how she found out so quickly, but if I had to hazard a guess, it could have been because they all went tearing into the house in fear when they heard their crazy neighbor threatening to [beep!] them up). Just a guess though.
She opened the door a tiny crack and quickly slid out before slamming the door shut behind her (I am guessing, so that her mom wouldn't come out to talk to me). I asked her if her mother already knew what she had done and she nodded yes. With the sternest face you can give a young child without giving them nightmares, I told her she needed to go and pick up all the rocks out of our driveway, which she did.
As she picked up the rocks, I actually felt sorry for her. Sure, she launched some rocks at me and could have hurt me. But in return, she got more than she bargained for. I can honestly say I've never yelled at a child in my entire life (much less cursed and threatened one...), so I did feel pretty bad at that point.
So while my dear Roy is working a 12-hour shift at the children's hospital today- valiantly attempting to save children's lives, I am threatening them and flipping them off. I'm one heck of a classy broad, I know.
Post-thoughts a day later: I had no idea I would lose it like that. If you had told me that's what my reaction would have been, I would have laughed and said no way. I think I reacted like that because my first thought was not necessarily that kids were throwing rocks at me, only that there were rocks being hurled at me. It's hard to explain, because I NEVER get mad like that. Ever. Roy can tell you that in over 9 years together, I've yelled at him less than 5 times. Not that it means I don't do infuriating passive aggressive tactics when we're disagreeing, but I really don't have a history of flying off the handle like that. I've honestly never even been in a fight with a friend, foe, coworker or family member. Moral of the story? Those kids are lucky I didn't make them eat the rocks.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
$3.95 for regular unleaded
$4.15 for supreme
Un-freaking-believable. And no, their gas doesn't come from the Gulf Coast. So someone in Hawaii is getting rich. Pity the poor souls who thought that the GM Employee Discount last month was a good time to get an SUV! Whoopsie!
Everyone's panicked about the prices, but the extent of my gas conservation efforts have been to turn the A/C off about a 100-yards before I pull into my driveway. (Hey, we all have to do our part...)
Besides, I have bigger issues right now-
Ahem. Roy now wants a child. Damn you Loma Linda pediatrics ward!
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Otherwise, things are going well. I've been exercising six days a week- walking, hiking, biking, swimming, lifting at Curves, and aerobics. The more I exercise, the more I enjoy it. I hope it lasts.
In fact, we were supposed to go hiking this morning but to make a long story short, instead- I got to wash and polish my car. For those of you deprived (and undoubtedly envious) folks who don't own a minivan, trust me when I tell you this is an event. As if it's not enough punishment driving a mini-school bus around everywhere- it also takes a half a day to clean it.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
These are my grandparents on their wedding day in Hawai'i, Jitsuo & Miyoko. No one in our family had ever seen this photograph while my grandparents were alive, probably because my grandmother was too embarassed to show it to anyone (apparently, I have not inherited her modesty or humility).
Here's the nifty part - theirs was a traditional omiyai (arranged) marriage. But it lasted for over 50 years, and it always appeared to me that they were very much in love. They raised three very successful sons, and had two daughters (neither of whom lived). My grandfather was a carpenter, farmer and a property caretaker, and my grandmother worked alongside him in most of those ventures.
Though my grandmother is dressed in ceremonial Japanese wedding attire, they were very much Hawaiian at heart. Both of them were actually born in the Hawaiian islands (when it was still a territory of the US), and spoke both English and Japanese.
My grandfather told me that when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he was working in the fields and saw the planes flying overhead. I can't even imagine how they felt and were treated after that. Thankfully, they were not "visible community leaders" and therefore avoided being sent to internment camps like many other Japanese-Americans were.
When we saw this photo for the first time at my grandmother's funeral service last month, I was floored. At my own wedding I was sulky (being the center of attention is not my thing), my wedding dress was purchased with very little thought or effort (I got in under an hour from Ala Moana Mall...it was actually a white prom dress), and I didn't even come close to realizing the significance of what I was doing (I only knew Roy for 9 months at the point that we got married, with 4-5 of those months being spent apart). I won't even get into the dancing and drunkeness part. It doesn't reflect kindly upon me.
So yeah, I was immature and crazy.
But you can tell by their eyes that they're not. They're quite grave, and I believe they very much understood the impact of that day. I respect that.
Friday, September 09, 2005
I have freely admitted that as a child of the islands, I not only eat Spam occasionally, I actually like it. I probably open up a can only 2-3 times a year, but that's not to say I find the following recipie from the Hormel webpage at all enticing. I found it while hunting down some high protein recipes yesterday and it really, really traumatized me.
SPAM® Speedy Dip
1 can SPAM® Classic (12-ounce)
2 jalapeño peppers seeded
4 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
Chips and/or crackers
In bowl or food processor fitted with metal blade, blend together SPAM® Classic, onion, and jalapeno peppers until smooth. Stir in mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Serve with chips or crackers. Makes 2 cups dip.
Holy mackrel...I think they're serious! I'll tell you right now, even if you attempted this in Hawaii, where we have the highest SPAM consumption per capita, I don't think this crap would fly. (For the record, Alaska is #2. Clearly they don't have their priorities in order, if they did...then perhaps they too, would be able to offer Spam in their McDonalds chains like we do!)
More fun Spam facts- Hawaiians consume about 10,000 cans of the pink meat per day! That is probably why we were the ONLY state that rated our own collector's edition can, complete with hula dancers on them. You better believe I have one! When we went to the Spam museum a few years ago we got Roy a Spam t-shirt, and I swear to god, he got more attention from that shirt than if he were to have walked around nude.
For those of you who are not Spam connoisseurs (and it's okay, it's not your fault, it's your parents...), there are really only 1-2 acceptable ways to eat and serve Spam in the islands:
1. Burnt crispy and served with eggs and rice for breakfast (think bacon substitute); and
2. In the middle of a musubi (rice ball wrapped in seaweed).
BUT NOT IN DIP AND NOT ON CHIPS. Get real, Hormel!!! I'd like to think that all of the farmers around the world who are raising and breeding the highly sought after Spamalope are not working in vain- so eat your Spam the right way. Down with the dip!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
As you can see, that's Mr. Focker in the top picture harvesting grapes for mashing, and that's me on the bottom, learning how to use a loom so that maybe I can move to Guatemala and work for $2 a day.
I would have posted more pictures, but as anyone struggling with their weight knows- it's not necessarily the most scenic photos that get shared with others to see...it's the ones that makes them look the least fat. Case in point- you get to see me in an adobe hut with a loom. Nice, huh?
I started the photo album project last night, which is a nice way of saying I hurled a litany of expletives at the Winkflash website all night long. It's probably my fault I had over 5 hours of photos to upload (and yes, we do have high speed), but I kept getting kicked out and ended up only getting half of them posted.
What took even longer was the aforementioned process (which I'll call 'fat screening'), whereby I end up eliminating 99.9% of the photos because I look fat in them and then try to convince Roy that yes, yes, I know we were in Thailand for three weeks, but really, we only took two photos there!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
So here's my petty little dilemna. I have fallen a wee bit behind in putting our pictures in photo albums. Like nine years worth of photos. I figure we take about 10 rolls of pictures a year, which is the equivalent of about 240 pictures a year. Multiply that by nine years and I figure I've got about 2,160 pictures to file. Unless God gives me the rest of the week off with plenty of speed and Red Bull, this isn't gonna happen.
I would ask Roy for his help, but I've lost him to Nursing School for the next four months. Last night I was begging him to hang up my work clothes for me (I was busy laying on the bed...geez, you don't think I'd ask him to do this for me if I wasn't already doing something, did you?) and he basically told me where to go. Touchy, touchy. I think it's because he had to get up at 6 this morning to work a 12-hour shift at the children's hospital.
The whole experience has taken a toll on him. He comes home from his exhausting shifts with these moving, emotional tales of trying to help save kid's lives while I'm telling him to cut to the chase and get out of the way so I can watch The Girls Next Door (my new favorite program). Because I actually do feel bad about him embarking on this noble profession while I sit idly by, I have been considering a career change for myself. But I've been having some difficulty:
Police Officer- Thanks to my father's influence, I myself would be arrested within 2 days of being on the force for police brutaility. I have no doubt I'd wrap that baton around the head of the first suspect who gave me even a hint of attitude.
Nurse- I wouldn't have made it past Nursing 1, when Roy was dissecting Fluffy the cat for like, 2 weeks! How much cat is there to dissect anyway?!!
Fire fighter- First of all, I would fall in love with all my hot male coworkers. On top of that, I think those uniforms add at least 20-30 lbs. to one's frame. So forget that.
Teacher- See police officer explanation, but substitute 'baton' for 'yardstick' and 'suspect' for 'student.'
Relief worker- This one is definitely an option. I love to travel and can definitely rough it. But I think relief workers have to be skinny. Can you imagine ladling out bowls of gruel to famished refugees looking like YOU were the one who stole all their food? Forget it. I'd be eaten by the villagers before the end of the week.
So I guess I'm screwed for now, but you can't say I didn't try.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Once there, I quickly discovered that I AM MADLY, DEEPLY, & PASSIONATELY in love with Santa Barbara. We are so moving there. I have been told we could never afford it, but a big HA HA to all those negative nellies. I found a copy of Homes & Land and found a NUMBER of places we can afford out there! So what if they're decrepit mobile homes for people 65 and over? We can do it!!!
In all seriousness, we did see homes built in the 70s (1200 sq. ft.) that were $750,000-800,000. Even renting a 2-bedroom condo there is about $3,000 a month. Absolutely insane. While I do want to live there, unless someone is willing to let two scraggly people pitch a tent and crap in their bushes, it just ain't gonna happen.
I had a fantastic three-day weekend. We toured beautiful downtown Santa Barbara and the coast and stayed with a dear friend of mine (she and her husband own a very successful company that creates a number of X-box video games). They even gave us a tour of their company, where I was absolutely stunned to learn that apparently, NO ONE plays Space Invaders or Pac Man anymore!!! They tried to enlighten me by giving us some of their latest games- ESPN basketball, hockey and baseball. I just tried sticking one in the Beta-Max, but it doesn't seem to work!
I also went nutso in two outlet malls this weekend! To assuage all my guilt for spending so much and leaving Roy at home (supposedly, he *had* to study, but something tells me five minutes after I pulled out he was snoring), I baked him some fresh Mrs. Fields cookies AND made him dinner. That lucky fella.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I was and am 110% opposed to the war in Iraq, but I have a deep, deep respect for every solider who is there. So it absolutely horrifies me to see all of their life-threating diplomatic efforts being pissed away by their 'brothers back home' who are raiding the goddamn Footlocker on Bourbon Street.
It kills me to see them victoriously jumping up and down with their loot, thumbing their noses at the cops. People died trying to save their homes from people like them. I hope the looters realize at some point that they have blood on their hands.