Saturday, January 29, 2005

Reporting In

Just reporting in to report that there's no update with the countdown at 4 days till due date. Last night contractions were 2-5 minutes apart for an hour, so I thought this was it. Again. Went to sleep, waking up every 20-40 minutes until 4 am without contractions, then up till 5:30 pm. This has been going on for weeks. I did find that the glider (rocking chair) that we borrowed from Sergio and Steph is the most comfortable seat in the house.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Self-Care and Movies

Yes, still waiting. I so am ready for this baby to come. Went and had a manicure/pedicure today, and treated my friend Laura to her first mani/pedi for her b-day. Best part was the hands, feet and shoulder massage that goes with it. So, I will have nice nails when the baby arrives. Then I went and ran a bunch of errands, including over an hour at the grocery store trying to stock up on foodies. Got stuff to make 2 lasagnas, but by the time I got home, I ran out of energy to actually make them. Maybe tomorrow. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I haven't worked in 27 days, and that's definitely the longest break from work I've ever had in my 20 year work history. I don't think I've ever had more than a week and a half off without being out of town or out of the country.

As part of my additional self-care in waiting for baby and keeping my feet elevated (severe feet and hand swelling), I have watched a lot of DVDs this month. Here is my star rating with 1star being worst, and 4 stars best.

Meet the Fockers** - worth seeing for Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman. They stole the movie! Oh wait, we saw this on New Year's Eve at the theater. The only other movie I saw in a theater in 2004 was Fahrenheit 911, which I highly recommend.
Manchurian Candidate*** - pretty good. Meryl Streep is amazing in her role as a powerful senator, and Denzel Washington is totally great. I needed to watch the director's comments to pick up on some of the storyline that confused me in the first viewing. This is an anti-war movie that has a strong political message by the screenwriter and director.
Day After Tomorrow**- fell asleep during the viewing, and the next day while watching the director's comments. There's a strong political commentary about the environment, but still I couldn't keep my eyes open.
Collateral*** - pretty good movie. I was surprised that it takes place in LA and shows a lot of diversity of LA within the story. Shabaka Henley (his wife Paulina is a long-time Great Leap artist) has a pretty big role. A little too much violence for me, but Jamie Foxx' performance is worth watching. He's fine.
Happiest Baby on the Block*** - for parents of infants, this is a pretty good DVD of some ways to calm a crying baby.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle* - what a waste of my time. This is not my kind of humor. It was pretty stupid, very sophomoric humor --but Tony was laughing hysterically. I pulled out the laptop and surfed the web until it was over.
The Forgotten*** - I really liked this very suspenseful movie. You really feel for Julianne Moore's character in her refusal to forget about her son.
Love Actually**** - I'm a sap for a romantic comedy. This one has about 10 different stories and you just get caught up in all of them. The best story was the one with Liam Neeson (sp?). I was surprised how much I loved this one.
Secret Window *** - Ooh, this thriller had me jumping out of my skin. I haven't seen Johnny Depp in years, he's a fun actor to watch.

Ok, that's my little movie review for the month. I think I saw others, but these are the ones I remember. Any other movie recommendations for me?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Mama Who Cried Wolf - Monday, Monday

I think I had something like 39 Braxton Hicks contractions on Sunday. Yesterday morning (Monday), I was having contractions every 4-6 minutes from 3am to 5am. I was so sure this was it, I woke Tony about 3:30 am (who had gone to sleep at 2am). My breath was very short, so I did some deep breathing. I started to get confused and wondered if I should call my birth coaches, wake everyone up and get my a$$ to the hospital. I was exhausted, after Tony spent 6 hours to put our new TV antenna up in the attic, and rearranging furniture, and not getting enough sleep. I thought, oh, I just need to rest a few more hours b/4 going into labor. I went and took a long shower and by 5am, they stopped and I fell asleep till about 10:30 am. False alarm.

I woke up and talked to Fran, my in-house nurse midwife (Tony's mom) and she assured me this was natural, and said it could be another week! Aiyah! Lily came knocking at my door, and was kind enough to do a Costco run for me. Frozen ravioli, toothbrush refills, a gallon of Naked Juice OJ. Ate a little breakfast, puttered around, talked to Tarabu (Interim Managing Director at GL who is filling in for me after 7 years on the job) for half an hour, talked to Juliet (new Manzanar Committee Secretary who is handling a lot of stuff I've been doing the last 7 years) for about an hour and a half.

Had a little lunch, made some hardboiled eggs, then settled in on the couch with a grape Dreyer's Frozen Fruit bar, a People magazine and watched Ellen. Tony came home from work, and we/I napped until almost 7:00, when Juliet came over. We ordered pizza, made edamame and a delicious salad for dinner. I showed her how to update the Manzanar website (, and helped her with some strategies on handling this year's pilgrimage, which has a pretty full and amazing agenda this year. It felt good to do some community work, since I have been on hiatus from the committee the past 4 months.

After Juliet left last night, Tony awoke from a 6 hour nap, and we watched Jay Leno and the tribute to Johnny Carson. Some pretty funny moments. I didn't record any noticeable contractions the entire day. It's now, Tuesday morning, Jan. 25. I like odd numbered days. Maybe today is the day that our baby will be born?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Back Up? For Now, At Least

So, I think I'm back up--but just temporarily. So you can click back to my regular journal page, but if you don't see me updating there, it's either cause i can't get to my computer, or some other reason, like I'm at the hospital giving birth.

Yesterday, I went to visit baby Kevin, my new nephew. I got to do a poopy diaper change and a feeding. It was fun! I was having contractions in the car all the way home. Today, Ayako came over and brought lunch. It was nice to catch up. Been having lots of contractions. Funny how when I'm up straightening the house for 15 minutes, they come every 3 minutes, and as soon as I lie down, they go away. This pattern has been going on for days, so I think it's getting closer. Today, Tony put the infant seat base in the car. But, still no agreed upon boy's name. Hey, we're working on it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Have you found here?

Hi friends, family, bloggers, just wondering if you found your way here via my blog. Yeah, it's a drag. Ever since we got DSL, we've been having problems with our computer and now we can't even boot up our computer, so I've been unable to update. But, since our baby is due in 10 days, people are wondering, emailing and calling to see if we had the baby early.

No. Not yet.

So anyways, yes, we are still waiting for baby. If my normal blog page still looks screwy, check back here until I can fix it. In the meantime, I'm glad I kept this blogger account open. If you haven't been on my blogger for awhile, feel free to check out some of the things I've been putting up here, mostly political things, articles, links to songs, random thoughts, etc.

Do me a favor, can you leave me a comment here so I can see if people are getting here? If not, I'll put the old page back up and ya'll will just have to wonder. Did Tony & Jenni have their baby? Was it a girl or a boy? What did they finally name it? Did they ever finish their home improvements?

Peace. Out.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Baby... House... Update...

So, we finally got DSL, but that involved us upgrading to OSX, which has caused numerous problems with perpherals and now finally, our computer has completely not working the last week. So I'm unable to update

We're at 38 weeks, so people might be stopping by and thinking that we've had the baby. We have not. We still don't have a boy's name, although we have a few top names for girls picked out. As you can tell by the picture on the home page (January photo of the month), I am huge. I'm moving slowly. My pelvic pain is slightly better, but I've had much more pressure since the baby dropped down. Still not sleeping well, but am using the hours to get things done, and I'm lucky that I'm able to take naps in the mornings and afternoons. Yesterday, we got our first delivery of cloth diapers, that was pretty exciting.

Our house stuff is coming together, we're not finished, but things are much more organized and livable. Seems like I'm constantly cleaning and straightening up the house.

Today was the inauguration of the idiot who stole the White House. Again. Ughh. I tried to stay away from network TV or news today. So today is like a day of mourning. I didn't know about the economic boycott for today. Too bad, cause I went to Trader Joe's with my auntie and stocked up on some groceries.

That's about it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Water & Disasters

By Shea Howell
Michigan Citizen, Jan.16-22, 2005

For the last two weeks much of the media has focused on the tsunami disaster. We have seen the horror of whole communities
destroyed. Hearts around the world have been moved by the horrible loss of life and the daunting challenge to rebuild life amidst devastation.

The contrast between the vivid images of this disaster created by earthquake and water and the dull, dim images of the devastation of Iraq created by bombs and bullets is worth considering.

The wave killed 100,000 people in Indonesia‹so far. The death toll in Iraq is 100,000 people‹so far. By now most Americans have hundreds of images of the human dimensions of loss in Indonesia. Yet we have only vague images of the deaths created by our bombs and bullets.

This contrast is not by accident. Nor can it be explained away by the distinction between an unexpected natural disaster and the
slow, steady spreading of death through military conflict.

Most of the mainstream media has focused on this war through the eyes of the military and the political goals of the Bush
administration. Media coverage, when it happens, is of attacks by insurgents on American troops. We have vivid images‹usually from a distance--of car bombs. Or we hear of the attacks on American-backed Iraqis as insurgents unleash their fury on those
whom they view as collaborators. These stories are cast against the backdrop of the drive toward meaningless elections.

What we don∂t see are the stories of the deaths and lives of everyday Iraqi children, women and men. Most of us have no idea that the simple act of getting drinking water is still a major problem for almost everyone in central and south Iraq. People are drinking from filthy streams. Wells cannot function because of the lack of electricity. Ground water has been polluted by raw sewage and water treatment plants have yet to be rebuilt.

The lack of clean, safe, dependable water is a daily problem and creating a public health catastrophe. The restoration of the water supply is the responsibility of Bechtel. On April 17, 2003 this giant corporation was awarded a no-bid contract of $680 million behind closed doors. In September this was raised to $1.03 billion. Then Bechtel won an additional contract worth $1.8 billion to extend its program through December 2005.

Of course, we get little news of Bechtel∂s failure. Nor do we get images of the horrendous results created by the lack of basic
sanitation. We have little idea of what doctors are seeing in their daily work. In Fallujah, for example, the General Hospital was seized in order to keep out reporters and to keep doctors from reporting out. Doctors report typhoid, cholera and the very rare hepatitis type-E as common.

Medicine and materials are in short supply. Qasim al-Nuwesri, the head manager there, said, "We are short of every medicine. It is forbidden, but sometimes we have to reuse IV's, even the needles. We have no choice."

Nearly three-quarters of Fallujah has by now been bombed or shelled into rubble. The devastation of that town is as complete as if a giant wave had moved over it, flattening all in its path. Slowly reports are coming forward claiming the wave got its destructive force from chemical and phosphorous weapons. There are growing reports of the use of cluster bombs.

Many in Indonesia say they now curse the sea that brought them such destruction. How can we possibly think the Iraqi people
will not come to the same conclusion about the source of their pain?

Saturday, January 08, 2005



Dear Friends of Great Leap:

Happy New Year! After 7 years as Great Leap’s Managing Director, I will be going on an extended maternity leave of absence beginning January 1, 2005. My partner Tony Osumi and I are expecting a baby in late January/early February.

When I began here at Great Leap in 1997, our main focus was establishing Great Leap as a theater-based national touring company, reaching children and college audiences of up to 50,000 each year with our multicultural performances. Some of these performances on our roster included, “A Slice of Rice,” “A Grain of Sand,” “A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens,” and the “Grain of Sand Reunion Concert Trio.”

While we still tour quite a bit, we have expanded on that each year by adding the “To All Relations” community residencies which we have made friends in Phoenix, San Jose, Detroit, Watts and Boyle Heights. Our most recent residency, “Sacred Moon Songs” has been a great collaboration artistically, socially and spiritually. We have also begun work on COLLABORATORY, an initiative designed to invigorate Great leap with new talent and usher in the next generation of diverse community artist-leaders. In 2005, we look forward to the world and local premieres of the long-awaited theater production, “The Triangle Project: Journey of the Dandelion” featuring Nobuko, Yoko Fujimoto of KODO and PJ Hirabayashi of San Jose Taiko.

I have grown so much in the past 7 years. I have learned much about the struggles and successes of non-profit life in a nurturing multi-ethnic arts environment under Nobuko’s leadership and commitment to community art-making. I am great-ful for the many friends I have gained working with the Great Leap community/family of artists, staff, board members, donors, funders and the very receptive Great Leap audiences. Likewise, Great Leap has grown in the past 7 years. Our annual budget has doubled; we now have Harry Um, Development Associate, phloe pontaoe, Booking Coordinator, and Luke Patterson, who is being promoted to Administrative Coordinator, our talented and dedicated staff working with us in the Leaper office.

I would like to also announce that Tarabu Betserai Kirkland will be stepping in as the Interim Managing Director from January–April 2005. In May 2005, I will return to Great Leap as a Board Member and plan to work from home on a limited basis, until a new Managing Director can be hired and acclimated. I am so great-ful to Tarabu for his incredible knowledge and wisdom, as he guides Great Leap’s programs and development activities in the coming months, and works with the board and staff during a time of continued re-visioning and transition for Great Leap.

As we plan for 2005 and beyond, we look towards sustaining our organization and continued growth, development of programs and funding in a time of extreme cutbacks in funding at all levels. I hope you will stay with us, continuing to support us with your generous contributions, love and energy.

Peace and all my love,

Jennifer Kuida
Managing Director