Wednesday, July 27, 2005

On the 6th Day She Rested (Tony's Blog)

Man, am I tired. It’s 4:54 am and I haven’t been to bed yet. But I gotta blog because last week I challenged Jenni to blog for 5 days straight. She took it one step further and blogged twice a day for 5 days and said I had to blog on the sixth day. Well here I am.

Working on the mural

I’ve been working on the mural all night and for the last hour checking out eBay, Craig’s list and reading and commenting on Yuko and Ayako's blogs. The mural is coming along. Ten of the twenty 4’ x 8’ panels are completely finished and clear coated. I was working on two more tonight and 8 more are at Sergio’s house that he and Jorge have been busy finalizing. Our goal is to have them all done by August 1. It’s gonna be tight. Although we wanted to get the mural done last January/February, I’m really glad Maiya will get a chance to “paint” the mural. I think a footprint or handprint would be very cool.

Maiya "bridging generations" on the mural

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fwd: Freaky Feet

I don't usually pass on forwarded emails, but I have to say, this one is a little bit freaky. I remember getting it last year from my friend Dean, and then Letty just sent it to me.

How Smart Is Your Right Foot?
This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And you will keep trying it at least 50 more times to see if you can outsmart your
foot. But you can't!!!

1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction!!!

The Good Girl

People often tell us, "Oh, Maiya's such a good girl. I've never seen her cry!"

People, she cries. She gets fussy. She whines. While we're lucky to have a relatively easygoing baby who has a high tolerance for wet diapers, she is a baby, and they do cry. The term "crybaby" didn't come from no where. Crying is how babies communicate. But not crying doesn't make her good, just as crying doesn't make her bad. So, for those who've never seen Maiya cry, here's one of my favorite pictures of her "communicating" with us.

The Good Communicator

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Updating Today's To Dos

* Book flight to Idaho/Washington - ALMOST DONE. Spent 3 hours researching flights, rental cars and figuring out itinerary for upcoming trip. Tony is going to be driving up to Washington with his dad and Uncle Bill to visit the families of Tony's grandfather. Maiya and I will be flying (her first airplane ride!) up and meeting them in Washington, and then we will also be visiting Tony's mom and husband Don, Aunt Jenner and Aunt Liz' families in Idaho.
* Pay July bills - DONE. Wrote 10 checks and renewed my subscription to Mothering, the magazine for natural family living.
* Do dishes - DONE. But there will be more tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on, and so on...
* Do laundry (3 loads waiting) - PARTIALLY DONE. 1 dark load washed, dried, but still needs to be folded. 2 more loads still waiting. Will do tomorrow.
* Work out at Y - DONE. When me and Maiya started the swim class at the Y last month, we joined as family members. Tony and I have been going a few times a week to work out at the gym. Maiya goes to free, onsite childcare. Today I did 35 minutes of cardio on the recumbent bike, treadmill and elliptical, and stretched for 20 minutes. Then, I went to Empanadas Place and got 4 empanadas to go.
* Higashi Obon - DONE. Ayako, Maiya and I went to see Bombu Taiko (I took a beginner taiko class in 2003 and played in the obon 2 years ago). Anyways, we had somen, visited with friends, went to the bake sale, the farmer's market (I bought 5 zucchinis and one melon for $1, and a plumeria for $15). Since Ayako and I went last year together, we decided to make it an annual thing.

Carrie, Maiya, Ayako and Kathy at Higashi Obon

* RSVP for Warren Furutani fundraiser - DONE. Check is in the mail. Help send Warren to Sacramento. He's running for a California State Assembly seat representing the 55th District next Spring. I volunteered on Warren's LAUSD School Board re-election and his run for City Council many years ago. It was my first experience with phone banking and precinct walking. i've known Warren for many years and I can see he's a nice guy, an excellent advocate. Let me know if you're interested in making a contribution to his campaign.
* Friends to schedule visits with: Alyce & Minna, Peg, Beth's family, Ayako - PARTLY DONE. See Higashi Obon above re: Ayako.

Feeling good about today's accomplishments. More work to be done on the list!

Jenni's To Do List

This morning as I was lying in bed, I was thinking of what I would write for today's blog entries. But there are all these things I need to do that are probably more pressing and are scattered and wandering around my head, so I thought I'd write them down. They are not prioritized, but they probably need to be.

* Book flight to Idaho/Washington - TODAY
* Pay July bills - TODAY
* Finish assembling taxes - TODAY
* Do dishes - TODAY
* Do laundry (3 loads waiting) - TODAY
* Work out at Y - TODAY
* Higashi Obon - TONIGHT??
* RSVP for Warren Furutani fundraiser (LAST FRIDAY)
* Buy stamps online
* Order bigger diapers and covers for Maiya from Dydee
* Make appt with accountant
* Buy Mother's Milk organic tea
* Make appt with lactation consultant
* Make Maiya's 6 month checkup appt
* Confirm dinner with Jackie & Maria next week
* Order tix for August Wilson play Radio Golf
* Make deposit
* Balance bank statements
* Sweep/clean hardwood floors
* Wash sheets
* Mop kitchen floor
* Clean new kitchen table
* Clean bathtub, sink and floor in bathroom
* List and send thank you notes for recent baby gifts
* Set up Maiya's college fund
* Get Maiya's birth certificate
* Switch washer and dryer locations
* Develop photos from trip to lake and July photos
* Organize Maiya's photo album (huge project)
* Write Maiya's birth story and name story
* Burn Maiya's photos to CDs
* Upload Maiya's birth pictures to website
* Organize July photos for website
* Set up meeting wtih Juliet for Manzanar web updates
* Friends to schedule visits with: Alyce & Minna, Peg, Beth's family, Ayako, phloe
* Organize Maiya's closet
* Find and take a baby CPR class
* Check out local Mom's club
* Organize and prioritize this list

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Photo picks for today

Here's Maiya with her daddy. She looks so happy. I love her in the beret, it's so cosmopolitan. Sometimes we just play with her and laugh, all three of us together. It's so sweet.

Here's me and Maiya at Artwallah, the South Asian arts festival a few weeks ago. Maiya went to her first hip hop concert to see our friend Luke from The Aesthetics Crew at Barnsdall Park. I got some Indian food and Maiya stuck her hand in my plate.

Ok, well, the 2 blogs a day continues... is anybody out there? I wish more folks would leave a comment--it's fun to know who's reading. I remember when Tish did like 100 blogs in one day. Maybe one day when I'm home and have nothing to do, I will try to do like one blog an hour for one day. Yeah, right.

Tick Tock

I had noticed (maybe yesterday) what looked like a scab in Maiya's ear, inside, near the top of her earlobe. She had scratched her ear before, and I had seen a scab a few months ago, so I didn't worry about it too much. Today, I noticed something similar again at Skyler Mariko's 1st birthday party. I asked my mom to look at it, it kind of looked like a scab but was bluish and looked like a seed, or a scab that might be filled with blood. We didn't know if we should wipe it off with a Q-tip because we didn't know if it would bleed. My friend Mary was walking by and also looked at it.

Later as we were leaving, Mary asked her husband Doug to take a look at it. He said, "Oh, that's a tick." Oh. My. Gosh. We talked about what to do about it. All of a sudden I was feeling a little freaked out. Calm, but freaked as we discussed what to do. Mary wondered if we should take her to the doctor. Someone asked the host if she had a tweezer. I'd heard of ticks on dogs, but never seen one before, and never on. my. child.

Anyways, Dr. Doug to the rescue, along with medical consultants Drs. Mary, Darin and Saori. Doug, being from New Hampshire, knew exactly what to do and how to do it. He took it out with tweezers, and me and Mary cleaned it out with water and wiped it down.

I got home and immediately searched online. Here's the info for what to do about ticks for babies 0-12 months.

She must have gotten it at the lake in the woods that we went to earlier this week. I can't believe that she's had it for maybe 2-4 days. Glad that I asked the right people about it. Glad we noticed it sooner than later. Whew.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friends & Babies

L to R: Kai, Miya, Lisa, Maiya, Jenni, Lauryn, Marissa, Lily, Mary
(Photo by Lianne. Courtesy of Lily)

My sweet friend Mary came into town for the weekend with her family. We met over at Lisa's house tonight to hang out, meet each other's kids, and have some delicious Thai food. We reminisced about the Thai food making party that we had at Lisa's house ten years ago where we cooked a huge Thai food dinner. Back then everyone was single. Life evolves.

Five kids. Five gals. Two hubbies. Woo hoo. Lots of kiddies this week!

Check out GL's new works!

Great Leap proudly presents “Collaboratory,” two nights of collaborative performance by seven emerging artists of color on July 30-31 at La Finestra, downtown LA’s newest gallery/performance space.

"Collaboratory" is Great Leap’s new mentorship initiative, designed to train emerging artists of color in cross-cultural collaborative performance as well as community-based leadership skills. Led by internationally-reknowned performance artist Dan Kwong with numerous guest teachers and mentors, Collaboratory's basic goal is to help develop the next generation of artist/leaders in our local communities of color.

Participating artists are: D’Lo, Shyamala Moorty, traci kato-kiriyama, Emeka Simmons, LaTrice A. Dixon, Pete Lee, and Gabriela Lopez. The artists participated in eight weeks of workshops developing performance and leadership skills, and exploring the possibilities and challenges of cross-cultural collaboration. These work-in-progress performances will feature a fusion of theater, spoken word, dance, and multimedia.

Collaboratory was conceived by Great Leap Artistic Director Nobuko Miyamoto who has long been creating performance works that cross cultural borders. “Collaboratory artists are the future. They give us new eyes us to appreciate and negotiate the complex cultural maze we live in.”

Performances are Saturday, July 30 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, July 31 at 8:00 pm at La Finestra, 240 West 21st Street in downtown L.A. (21st & Grand Ave). Admission is FREE but donations are greatly appreciated. For more information or to RSVP please e-mail: lisa[at] or call: (213) 250-8800

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Go jump in a lake!

Maiya and I just got back a few hours ago from a quick 2-day trip to Lake N. Our first little vacation together. We drove up Tuesday morning with my mom and dad. My sister Gayle (her two kids), and her sister in law Heidi (and her 2 kids) are staying there for 3 weeks. We mostly hung out lazing on the dock, went for a few boat rides, ate junk food (me, not Maiya), watched the kids play. I got to watch my 4 year old nephew Kieth water ski from the back of the boat. Very fun--and a little crazed with 5 kiddies ranging from 5 1/2 months to 4 years old.

It was hot hot hot! When it got too hot, we jumped in the lake. We put Maiya in a life jacket and she was very relaxed and happy in the water. She even fell asleep floating on the lake. It was so cute.

I thought Tony was going to be working on the mural, but he was only able to pick up a few panels. Instead, Tony was "home relaxing," he says, and I'll quote him verbatim, "with no responsibilities, living the celibate bachelor life, sleeping in, cooking what I wanted, staying up late, leaving the toilet seat up, getting in the car without putting the baby seat in, watching the DVDs I wanted, ebaying and craig's listing." He said he was kind of scared being alone. After watching "Dawn of the Dead," he was kind of jumpy. Hahahaha.

More pictures of our vacation to follow on the main website, once I get them sorted out.

Double Dare

Tony dared me to do a blog a day for 5 days. Doesn't have to be long. And then if I do, he'll blog on the 6th day. Hmm. I'll take that dare, but I will double it! I'm going to do 2 blogs a day for the next 5 days.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Join J-town Voice!

Location:  The Garden Room @ the JACCC
244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA
When:  Sunday, July 17, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Join J-Town Voice for an afternoon of food and drinks, and learn about the history of J-Town and how the neighborhood is changing today.

** Did you know that the population of J-Town is set to triple in the next few years?
** Or that the average income of new residents around J-Town is $90,000?
** And that over 1,000 affordable units of housing have been destroyed since 1950?

J-town Voice! brings together different generations of Asian Pacific Islanders interested in building a Little Tokyo where workers, residents, small business owners, youth and other community stakeholders all participate in this community's decision-making and planning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Obon Season starts at Senshin!

Kuida-Osumi at the Senshin Obon
We took Maiya to her first Obon at Senshin on July 2nd. When we got there, Tony made a beeline for the chili rice booth, said hi to Tad and then stopped off for a shave ice (snow cone).
He was carrying Maiya in the New Native Carrier.
We visited with many friends, took a lot of pictures. With Sam (4 weeks older) and Nobuko.

Happy dancing girl

Tony and I danced with Maiya a bit. I followed along, taking pictures. Maiya loved it. She was laughing and giggling as we danced. She was mesmerized by the lights and the lanterns with the strips of papers in honor of those who have passed away. Even if her parents don't know the dances, I have a vision of my girl dancing in her yukata or hapi coat. But first, she has to learn to roll over, sit, crawl, walk. And then, she will dance!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Maiya Blogs!

Maiya's Toothy Grin

Yes! Maiya has a blog! I put up June's First Fotos and Maiya's 4th Month Blog. I added a few other things like the Cute-Cuter-Cutest Series and the Bonding with Daddy section for Father's Day. Please check out the pictures and leave her a comment there. It will make her day!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Ten Years with TonyO!

Jenni & Tony at Higashi Obon, our first photo together, July 1995

Just wanted to wish my honey a happy 10 year anniversary. Last night, Tony and I celebrated the eve of our anniversary by having dinner at Koraku in Little Tokyo. I had the curry fried rice, the same dish we shared that first night, which we've shared on other anniversaries as it is "our place." The main difference with our anniversary dinner this year, is that we had Baby Maiya with us. Koraku is loud, chaotic, greasy and has lousy ambience. The booths are too small for a wriggling infant--definitely not kid-friendly. We must have passed her back and forth between us about 5 or 6 times, taking turns eating our dinners, me nursing her, pushing water cups out of the way, Maiya kicking her foot into Tony's plate, knocking over things, etc. I wouldn't have had it any other way.


Here is an excerpt from my journal, the night after our "first" and "last" date, and then 2 additional entries from those first weeks of our relationship!

Tony Osumi, where do I start? I don't even know where I first met him, I recall about 3 years ago, seeing him at an APAN (JACL) meeting and asking my friend Gary Mayeda about him. I remember seeing him at the Wakako Yamauchi play, "12-1-A," at UCLA. We were both with other people. I remember reading things in the Rafu Shimpo and admiring this man, this activist, from afar.

Then there was a series of events where I started to see him at meetings where he talked about A3M (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches) where he was the Japanese Task Force Coordinator, and the New Otani Workers’ Support Committee. Then I saw him at NCRR’s Day of Remembrance in February. I saw him at the JACCC Spring Festival in May. I ran into him again a few weeks later at the Visual Communications Asian Film Festival where we chatted at the reception. The next day I saw him at the CSUN Nikkei Student Assn banquet. My friends all knew of my developing crush on him and were teasing me. I was so embarrassed when he sat at our table, I couldn’t speak.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I read about this event in the Rafu - Home Movies of this Okinawan American activist, Dick Kobashigawa. I ripped the article out of the paper. The bottom said, “For more info, call Tony Osumi at ...” So I thought about it and tried to get up my nerve to call him.

I called and we chatted for 15 minutes or so about stuff. Pause. I took a shot and asked him if he was still a SHAM, I AM. ("SAM, I AM" was a play I had seen at East West Players for Single Asian Male, I Am. He had a poem in the Valentine’s issue of the Rafu and at the bottom, he had written SHAM, I AM, Single Hapa Asian Male, I Am.) He said he was and asked “What about you?” I thought it was a pretty clever opening.

What I didn’t know at the time was that my friend Lisa Sugino, who knew Tony from work, had been e-mailing him about a mystery woman that she wanted to set him up with. He figured out who it was and e-mailed back to her, “It’s a go.”

Last night we ate curry fried rice at Koraku, wandered around Little Tokyo, passing through JVP, reminiscing about the Far East Cafe, walking to my grandma’s church at Koyasan. Then on a lark, we drove out to the West Covina Obon. A perfect first date. He’s a muralist, artist, poet, writer, activist. He is committed, dedicated, articulate, attractive, and something that seems right.

7/24/95: I have serious feelings that I have met my soul mate for life. I am on a cloud.

8/21/95: How wonderful life is when Tony Osumi is in it. It’s hard to tell who’s more in love, but it really doesn’t matter. What I do know is that he is it.

The things I wrote about him being committed, dedicated, articulate and attractive, are all still as true today as they were back in 1995. Tomorrow, we will go to the Senshin Obon together. We will bring our beautiful, grinning daughter, Maiya, who also celebrates her 5-month birthday today. Now we are three. I think it's so cool, that of the places I ran into Tony at in 1995 (Day of Remembrance, the JACCC Spring Festival and the VC Asian Film Festival) are places that we have taken Maiya to in her first few months. Our life together continues and grows... I am still on a cloud.