Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Song of the Month

Collar Bones by North Highlands.

I say "Wellllll....."

Was it just me or did Jack White look like a version of Johnny Depp's twin brother vampire elf? Just saying.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween keeps on Giving

So by all accounts, this was a very tame and family friendly Halloween. No plushie costumes. No alcohol. No inappropriate dancing. I stayed home, handed out candy to the good citizens of East Bay. But I didn't realize how much I loved Halloween until maybe 2 days before it came around. I tried not to think about I guess, thinking that the best Halloweens happen only in Hawaii. But no! Halloween's can be awesome here in the Bay Area too! There are two things that make Halloween superior here than in Hawaii.
1) The pumpkins here are HUGE and cheap. Both of these things appeal immensely to my artistic DH.
2) The squirrels.

Yes, I said it. The Squirrels make Halloween awesome*. Check out my pictures:
Anson carved out the best pumpkin ever! I didn't realize the pumpkins are really exceptional carving mediums. It's true. If you have a good set of carving tools, it's a very calming experience to just chisel away a freakish face. Can't wait till next year!

*actually what made Halloween excellent was of course, Anson. Not only did he carve an insane pumpkin but he made breakfast that somehow resembled toast barfing up intestines and yet tasted exquisite.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Yakudoshi time

When I think of this year's yakudoshi, I think of being in a plane crash, watching my uterus turn to dust, and having bird crap on me all on the same day.

(photo: the most unlucky group of people on the planet. Yakudoshi people waiting in line to be blessed)

It is slowly creeping up on me. It's almost my yakudoshi, aka bad luck year. Yakudoshi is an old Japanese belief that turning "33" will be a year filled with 'calamity and danger' (19 and 33 for girls, boys get their own crappy years, 25 and 42). Some people celebrate their yakudoshi when they turn 32,  some (those in Japan) celebrate when they turn 33, and some celebrate again when they are 34 to mark the end of surviving the yakudoshi. By "celebrate" I mean, "pray" and go to the temples more often. And depending where you are, I also mean "eat" and "be happy".

So why is turning 33 such a bad thing? Well in the old days, before vitamins, internet, a sense of equality, and prescription drugs, people noticed that women around 33 weren't quite what they used to be. Turning "33" is a yakudoshi year for women because it symbolized the last year of appropriate childbearing. Grrrr--reat! A big yakudoshi is traditionally held for the woman turning 33 because it would protect any child born after (because those babies could possibly end up stupid, ugly, and unlucky). Another reason is that Japanese the word "33" itself when pronounced means basically, shit out of luck.

The discrepancy in what age to celebrate lies in two things.   Japanese women in Japan tend to celebrate their yakudoshi when they are 33. Makes sense. However many people outside of Japan feel that when a Japanese person in Japan is 33 years old, she is really only 32 years old. This is because the counting birth years is different in Japan. Old style is that when you are born you are basically at "1" year, not "0". Hence the reasoning behind celebrating your yakudoshi at 32 in the West (by West, I mean Hawaii). 

Another reason why some celebrate their yakudoshi at 32 instead of 33 is the belief that the year before the yakudoshi (the maeyaku year) also tends to be rather shitty. Actually the year after can also be bad too, so that year has a name of it's own, the "atoyaku". Neat, huh? So I'm thinking I'm pretty safe to prepare for two years (at least) of fairly poor luck. So what's a girl supposed to do in order to prepare for her yakudoshi?

If i was in Hawaii I'd go get myself purified by a Shinto priest (excellent folks to be purified by). Living in the East Bay, however has left me with some very few options. I don't even know if it's celebrated here...At most will definitely have to make my way over to the Buddha Gate Monastery and sit with the monks and Abbess there. I like to go there and not tell them anything about myself. I don't know what's wrong with me. Can't they let me sit there and meditate in peace? Actually everyone there is very nice and while it is Chinese Buddhist Monastery, I might find the guts to ask one of the nuns about a superstitious Japanese custom. I believe though, traditionally you would go to temple, surround yourself with your friends and be happy. Everyone in attendance kind of agrees (by being present) that they will carry some of your bad luck for you. Perhaps I can also wrangle up a motley crew of unsuspecting folks and make them drink with me all the while divvying up my potential ill fortune among them.

 I think I'll wait until I turn 33 to "celebrate".

*Some information is from my childhood, some from "Japanese American history: an A-to-Z reference from 1868 to the present  By Brian Niiya, Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)"

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Dear Burger King

Your new commercials are embarrassing. Please stop playing them. You serve breakfast, I got it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

News from Alaska: Standoff over cat

So every once in a while I like to check in on Alaska. It is near and dear to me after living there for 5 years. Lately news about my old home state deals with some Palin related incident but today one of the headlines on the Anchorage Daily News was about an elderly lady, her cat, and her gun. Let me digress here for a second. I remember seeing a bumper sticker once while driving around Anchorage. It read "Alaska, Where the men are men and the women are too". Crazy old cat lady's are pretty hardcore up there too, apparently. Anyhoot, this woman's "standoff" at the senior center brought in the SWAT team. For reasons unknown the press did not go into detail about why she was upset about her cat. All we know is that she was upset about her cat and then proceeded to get what must have been, Mad Max on her neighbors. She got so Mad Max, they called in the SWAT team. Everyone ended up alright though without injuries when the lady had to take her medication and fell asleep. True story. You can read the article here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Halloween Choices for tweens. Ho or pototo sack?

It's that time of year again. Halloween season has quietly embarked and has settled itself beside you on this crazy bus. It's your fault. Your seat was empty. You slowly turn to greet this newcomer only to peek inside it's grocery bag of assortments. Yes. The usual choice of ho, slut, and pradatoot is there. What am I talking about? I'm talking about your tween neice asking you what to be for halloween this year. And you offer "zombie" or "ninja" only to be met with "ahhhh no, you're so lame, Auntie". So what to do? You think about. Well, halloween is kinda a safe zone for tweens to experiment with feeling "sexy"...uh maybe. Google Halloween outfits for tweens and you get the usual tights and short dresses. Why is this normal? *sigh* I was in Africa when I was a tween. I only had a Halloween costume once and it was 3 sizes too big and it was a cape and a robe. It was a red devil outfit but it could easily have been white and then I could have been a princess nun. I tripped over my robe like, a gazillion times. I didn't want to be super model or sexy pirate dame. Big disappointment with the creativity then as it is now I guess.  Oh yeah, the creepy girl in yellow is the Goldilocks costume for tweens. Your other option is this peice of doo doo:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blobfish: Asian carp may make headlines, but fear the blobfish - latimes.com

Posted using ShareThis

Jumpin' jesus this fish has a face! This fish has no muscles, no bones...just floats around waiting for it's next meal. I think it's drooling.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome 2010

I apparently "forgot" I had a blog. I was rummaging through my computer files and found a bookmark for my blog. Ha! But It was a bittersweet finding. Going over my old posts I saw my entries about my mom, who passed away at the beginning of 2009. Her sudden death was very traumatizing being preceded by an anuerysm and coma. To say my family was ill prepared for such an event is an understatement. I miss her every day and not a day has gone by yet when her absence is not felt. I came across this poem by Edna St.Vincent Millay and it has this one line:
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies

How true this rings to my heart! As I settle in comfortably into my 30s, my mother's passing is the real marker and awakening that I am grown up. It may sound silly to some people, but it's true. How naive I have been! But I'm happy to find the footage of her smiling and laughing amoungst this odd blog of random events...one of the many good things about this whole internet "thing", I think people's personal lives are being documented much more often. And anything to help capture memories, milestones, and musings is a blessing in its own way.

Well I think I'll start this ole blog up again and see what it brings. I feel that my mind could use the excersize.

Happy Brithday!

Today was Ans' b-day so we celebrated by spending the day at the beach. One of my favorite beaches on Oahu has to be Lanikai beach. The sand is so soft and if you go during the week day its pretty empty. But the fun thing was we swam out to Popoia Island from Kailua beach. Its a little less than half a mile swim to get there. Popoia Island is a bird sanctuary but there were a lot of dead birds scattered all over the island. I don't see a lot of dead birds so i'm not sure that goes first, but the dead birds on Popoia Island were freaky because only their wings were left....there were very few bird bodies left...just wings. Strange right? Besides the plethora of dead birds on the Bird Sanctuary Island I could find large deposits of salt crystals on the island. If you ever go there try to bring reef shoes because the island is very hot and the ground is very sharp in some places from the coral.

We also had dinner at Dick & Balls with Ans' family which ended up being very fun partially due to the amount of alcohol being consumed. The bartender took a liking to my husband and he got over 8 free drinks....and out of sheer luck i managed to hit the jackpot on skeeball. You learn things about people when you go to D &balls...like how high they can jump (or not jump) ...its very enlightening. The night ended with over 5,000 tickets and everyone getting finger shaped nose hair trimmers and farting pens.