Sunday, May 30, 2004

Jaa mata

Ok, I've decided to leave blogger and go back to my website It's home for me, and even though this is easier to upload, I don't like it much. I know I can find better skins, but it's not just the skin, it's that I'm a visitor and I miss my own, dysfunctional manually-driven website. Jaa mata... see you later aligator.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Voting Priorities

Did you know that 65 million people voted for the American Idol 2004 vs. 100 million people voted in the 2000 Presidential election? Unreal.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


So busy at work these days. We're gearing up for the culmination of our residency, "To All Relations: Sacred Moon Songs" in 2 months. I've taken back the producer role on this project. Tickets will go on sale soon. We're still finalizing the show, getting the production crew together and getting the PR done. We're also working on our big Courtyard FUN-raiser Auction in October, but there's a lot of work to be done now. If you are on the Great Leap mailing list, you should be getting our newsletter this week (E-mail me with your snail address if you want me to send you one.)

For dinner, we made burritos with Trader Joe's ingredients, tortillas, refried beans with jalapeno, organic cheddar cheese, organic sour cream, organic baby lettuce, tomatoes, cut white corn, Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde, and turkey breast (not sure where the turkey came from). I thought it was delicious.

Tonight, I saw the last 20 minutes of"American Idol." Yes, I admit I was crying for Fantasia as she performed her final song. It was so emotional. That young woman has a beautiful voice. Tony was so excited he fell asleep.

I just caught a clip of Al Gore on the news giving a pretty rousing speech for calling for the resignation of "all the president's men." I'm pretty surprised that he spoke for them because my sense of moveon is that they are a fairly progressive e-grassroots organization.

Game 4 is tomorrow. Unless I go to Mike & Laura's, I'll be listening to the game on the radio. I just hate that it's only on cable. Darn cable. Go Lakers!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Just can't cope, without my soap!

My Japanese morning soap with English subtitles "Watashi no Aozora" on NHK is finally gettin' interesting. Up till now it's been pretty frustrating, and I've been having a hard time liking the annoying and somewhat dumb heroine in this serial, but I've continued to watch every morning at 7:30 am in hopes that it would get better. Different from the other few shows where I was crushing big-time on the young female Japanese heros like Eri in "Churasan" or Konoha in "Honma Mon."

Here's the storyline: Nazuna was left at the altar on her wedding day. The kicker was that she had found out she was pregnant, but had planned to surprise her husband-to-be (Kento) with the news at the reception. A woman in a red dress barges in to the ceremony and takes Kento away before the wedding was completed. Kento was an injured retired young boxer who took off to America to have eye surgery. (I think I may have mentioned all of this in my April blog - the show started on 4/27).

Nazuna decides that she is going to keep the baby. While Kento's eccentric karaoke bar singing father is sympathetic and supportive, she is disowned by her father, an old-fashioned tuna fisherman who thinks it's immoral to be an unwed mother. Nazuna has the baby, and decides she's going to go to Tokyo with the baby to find Kento. After much difficulty, she finds an apartment and a job. She befriends this anti-social wierdo, who is in love with her. Kento sees her with the weirdo and assumes that she has married the weirdo and had his baby. She finally finds Kento, learns that he is still with the woman in the red dress, and secretly watches him box his first big match. He loses miserably. She gets drunk and decides she never wants to see him again, that he abandoned her to selfishly become a boxer and that he is a loser. Nazuna's brother, a blond haired rebel dropout who wants to be a fish delivery guy, finds Kento and tells him he needs to speak with Nazuna.

In the meantime, Nazuna's father finally sees the baby after 1 1/2 years, and decides he is going to be the next fisherman to carry on the family line. He tells Nazuna that he and his wife will raise baby Taiyo and that she needs to talk to Kento, which she is against. The next day, her father takes Taiyo out to sea, without telling Nazuna. It really is a cute baby. She decides to go back to Tokyo... in the meantime, Kento has decided to go to Nazuna's father to find out where she lives and what she wants. The woman in the red dress tells her father (Kento's coach) that she will kill Nazuna if she steps in the way of her being with Kento.

They see each other on the dock... first time since their wedding day. She says, "Kento, this is your baby." - To be continued. (Episode 20 - yesterday)

Today's episode 21: Kento wants to meet his obligation to her and the baby and wants to live together. He doesn't say that he loves Nazuna, but he says he has a duty to be a father to the baby. She declines - she tells him that he is selfish, he abandoned her and put boxing first, and once he fulfills his obligation, he will leave again. She knows that he is using the other woman, and stringing her along to support him in his boxing. He seems genuinely sad, but she seems to have made up her mind that she and Taiyo are better off without him.

If you want to join me in watching the show... I'd love to have someone to talk to about it. It's M-F 7:30 am on channel 18 (International Channel - NHK) or channel 69, depending on your TV, in Southern Cal. It's VHF, not a cable station.

Takes a Kuidaosumi but it Keeps on Tickin'.

I like our slogans:
Takes a Kuidaosumi but it Keeps on Tickin'
What Would you Do for a Kuidaosumi?
Kuidaosumi-lickin good

A fun little thing to check out - The Advertising Slogan Generator at

Monday, May 24, 2004


"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it." - Malcolm X

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Weekend Rundown

Yesterday, I did a reading at the Friends of the Little Tokyo Library author recognition luncheon. I read, "Valley Girl's Memories of Far East Cafe," a piece I wrote for Nanka Nikkei Voices ( . It was published in a book I helped to edit, "Little Tokyo: Changing Times, Changing Faces." I was a little nervous, but I figured it would be ok. There were about 70 people there, mostly a Nisei (2nd generation JA) audience. It went pretty well, although I had to speak loudly since the sound system wasn't really working. I got a lot of laughs and some very nice compliments. If you want to buy a copy of the book, which features over 50 writers, let me know.

Then after that, I went to NCRR's discussion with three American Muslims, and their perspectives on Iraq. It was pretty informative, although the room was very hot, so it made it hard to concentrate. Plus, I was so tired. I went home, Tony made me some pasta, and we watched "Keep the Kid in the PIcture," which was a pretty good docu-movie about film producer Bob Evans. I fell asleep on the couch early in the evening... saw a little of the Carol Burnett reunion thing, although I slept thru most of it.

Today, I went to Mi Piace in Old Town Pasadena to have lunch with Minna and Alyce. I have known Minna since the 3rd grade, when she came here from Taiwan, and I met Alyce in college through Minna. Alyce and I were roommates for about a year in the early 90s. We hadn't seen each other for over 5 years since Alyce's wedding, and 3 months ago, we got together for brunch, and decided to schedule a get together every quarter. It was nice to catch up and visit. I had a great smoked salmon and cream cheese frittata, it was yummy. After lunch, Alyce and I did a little shopping. Our next get together will be in Santa Monica in September.

Got home about 3:30 pm, and flopped on the couch, exhausted. Did some crocheting, took a nap till about 7pm, watched some TV, and here it is, Sunday night. Wished we had cable because they're not showing the Laker games on TV! Sucks. Anywhoo, that's the rundown on my weekend of feeling a little run down.

Oh, I'm still deciding if Blogger is the place for my blog. After a week, I was already bored with the colors and format. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Out of Balance

Here's an article written by a dear friend of mine in Detroit. Shea writes a weekly column for the Michigan Citizen called, "Thinking for Ourselves."

By Shea Howell
Michigan Citizen, May 23-29, 2004

The mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is a scandal that will not go away. The President has apologized, sort of. The Secretary of Defense has said he didn’t know this kind of thing was going on. The generals are claiming the abuse was the result of a few “bad apples.” Right-wing talk show hosts charge the incidents of mistreatment are being blown out of proportion, that the photos disclose nothing more than good-humored fraternity pranks. Conservatives are outraged by the outrage. And now the Pentagon and the White House are claiming that Seymour Hersh, whose careful articles in the New Yorker broke the story, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. In just a week’s time the administration moved from concern to attack. In an effort to avoid blame, this administration is robbing the American people of an opportunity to explore how we have come to this point in our history.

But the images of Abu Ghraib will not go away. They have captured an essential ugliness about American power. The face of the prison guard, grinning astride a pile of hooded, naked men, is a macabre parody of how much of the world sees our nation. Before our eyes, flexing military muscle to humiliate, emasculate, and denigrate the very souls of those whom we label as ‘others’ has become as American as apple pie.

We owe the world more than an apology. We owe ourselves more than the effort to place blame on a few soldiers. We owe more than a painful investigation into what will ultimately prove to be the complicity of the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon in creating the context for these abuses.

It is time for us to raise a fundamental question. Are we willing to continue to use military might to secure the wealth of the world for ourselves? We are less than 6% of the population of the earth, yet we consume over 30% of its resources. This is an unholy and unnatural imbalance. It can only be maintained by force.

Most of us, as we shop at Wal-Mart, pump gas into our cars, toss out the countless devices that crowd our lives and clutter our landscape, don’t dwell on what it takes to keep this imbalance in place. We don’t think of ourselves as connected to some vast effort to exploit and dehumanize others.

But the harsh truth is that the way of living for most Americans is a way of death for much of the rest of the world. We can try to apologize for this. We can say we didn’t really know this kind of thing was going on. We can claim it’s just a few bad rich people who benefit from this system. We can say such charges are way out of proportion to the good we do in the world.

But the photos from Abu Ghraib are not going away. They are about more than the crassness of a president and his willingness to wage war at all costs. They capture the very real costs to our own young men and women and to their
brothers and sisters around the globe of a way of life that is out of balance.

The original people of this continent, the first to suffer the full extent of the destructive power of the U.S. military, have a modern-day slogan. It says, “Live simply so that others may simply live.” The photos from Abu Ghraib are an opportunity to look at the deal we struck a long time ago, before Bush and his war on terror. They mirror a truth we should not evade.

For more info, see the Boggs Center website,

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Ride Your Bike Today

Yesterday, Tony needed to borrow my car, so for the first time, I drove his old Toyota truck. I have to admit I've been spoiled. Even though my Honda Civic is 12 years old, I bought it new, along with my previous car, another Honda Civic that was also purchased new that I drove for 7 years. So I basically have had very comfortable cars since 1985. Tony's truck is a 4 speed, without A/C, power steering, automatic windows, passenger mirrors, or a radio. It squeaks, it lurches, it is a workhorse. Anyways, Tony didn't have a car for almost 2 years (in his quest to be a one-car family, our contribution to lessen our dependency on oil), so for him, any car is better than nothing. As I was complaining about the lack of amenities in his truck, he informed me how much money we are saving by not having a car payment, plus the truck was very cheap! So insurance and registration, also cheap! I reminded him about past obsession with Ebay, with his motorcycle, 4 bicycles, 2 scooters and skateboard! He may not have a fancy 4 wheeler, but he has plenty of 2 wheelers!

Anyways, today is Ride Your Bike to Work Day. We didn't, but we carpooled. I noticed that we got across town pretty quickly, but we figured it might be b/c of Ride Your Bike to Work Day. Yesterday, we participated in the Don't Buy Gas Day, to send a message to Bush about his keeping the prices of gas high until the election. Both of our cars are running on fumes, so it's good we can buy gas today.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Busy Busy

Man am I busy this week.

*Monday night I went out to dinner with my cousin Roxane. We went to Shaka's for Hawaiian food. I had the Chinese Chicken salad and a side of macaroni salad. Yum. I wish I could have eaten more, but we went out for Korean food at lunch and I ate a whole DolSotBap/Bi Bim Bap by myself--along with a whole lot of Kimbap (Korean sushi).

* Tuesday - Last night, I had a Board Meeting for work. I'll admit I wasn't in the best of moods.

* Wednesday - Tonight Tony and I are going to see Slanguage/Universes, a performance with some of the artists that I met in Massachusetts last summer when I was at New WORLD Theater doing a study trip for several days.

* Thursday - Tomorrow night Tony and I are going to a fundraiser for a really cool arts organization.

* Friday, Nobuko is doing a performance at a national conference for Asian American community development organizations, so I am going to go to that.

Makes for a pretty busy week. On Saturday, I am going to be reading a piece that I wrote about the Far East Cafe that was published in Nanka Nikkei Voices: LIttle Tokyo: Changing Times, Changing Faces. i am reading it at a luncheon of the Friends of the Little Tokyo Library. Afterwards, I will be going to an event by NCRR called "The Future of Iraq: A Muslim American perspective." It ties in with my community work, as well as Great Leap's current project "To All Relations: Sacred Moon Songs."

Monday, May 17, 2004

Weddings in Mass

This morning on the news I saw that today is the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. I wondered how far we've come. Then, I saw groups of people happily getting married to their long-time partners in Massachusetts. Wow, that made my heart go a flutter. Such a beautiful site to see women loving women, being able to be married, and men loving men, and able to legally tie the knot. It really makes me happy.

Fiddling with Blogger in the Wee hours

It's late. At midnight, Tony gave up on me and went to bed. He yelled from the bedroom, "Get your ass in bed." "But I'm blogging," I said. I had only been playing Simmies for an hour and a half... a drop in the Simmie bucket. Hey, it's my first time playing in at least a month. If you read my kuidaosumi blog, you will see what a busy girl I was today.

I've been fiddling with Blogger. I like it. I like the quick informality of it all. So, I'm telling y'all to check here for updates, if you don't see them on the site. You probably don't care where you read me from. I'm thinking I can be more spontaneous, b/c I can update from anywhere, and don't have to do a whole bunch of crap to take care of it. I like the perkiness of the dots on the blogger template that I picked, and I figured out how the comments work. What do you think? Should I make the change? Will you follow me here?