Sunday, April 29, 2007

Random recent photos

Maiya really enjoys reading "I Spy" books.
She's got a good eye for small details.

A little bit of artwork while daddy surfs the net for stereo equipment.

Jumping on daddy's back in the front yard on a very cold afternoon.
Rain clouds behind me... blue skies above.

Playing ball with Mama in the backyard.

Chasing birds, running and screaming is such fun!

I think this is my current favorite photo.

Stay tuned for... potty learning, some cute videos, photos of the zoo and our weekend trip to Manzanar and Whitney Portals.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Recent Random Ramblings

WORK: Work has been a little nuts lately, which is why my posts have been kind of lacking lately. In March, I got real sick for 2 weeks, and then recovered in time to go to Detroit, and then when we returned, my work schedule got kicked into high gear... working 7 days in a row, including 9 hours on Easter Sunday. I worked about 40 extra hours this month in order to do some contract renewal and quarterly reports. I finished everything last Thursday and then took Friday off. Auntie Keiko came over and we went shopping and for lunch.

RAFFLE: The Science of Sake fundraiser event below is SOLD OUT. I think over 800 people are attending. Pretty amazing... Raffle tickets are still being sold. If you are a gambler, or not, the odds are pretty good. It's $100 for a raffle ticket, and the grand prize is $25,000. And as of today, only about 250 tickets have been purchased--and 500 tickets is the maximum that will be sold. Let me know if you want to buy a ticket. I have one ticket left to sell--it's $100 (if you get 5 people to kick in $20, you could win $5,000 each). But hurry, because the winning ticket will be drawn on Thursday night, and SOMEONE is going to win $25,000.

ZOO: We went to the LA Zoo on Saturday. I love taking Maiya places as a family. I hadn't been to the LA Zoo since I myself was in the Brownies, so it's been awhile. I remember my mom driving the Brownies in our Ford Country Esquire station wagon. I remember being hot and when my mom asked everyone if we'd had fun I remember saying that I didn't have fun and she got mad and said something about not taking me again, or about me being ungrateful, which obviously I was. Anyways, I think Maiya had fun. My favorite thing was seeing the giraffes, so tall and graceful. I enjoyed the zebras. Maiya loves "oso" (bears) and we saw a really big one. Pictures to follow if I can find the energy to upload them off the camera.

WORDS: Maiya's vocabulary, and willingness to use it, has been increasing rapidly the last month or so. It's just so much fun. She usually speaks in 1-2 word sentences, so I have gotten pretty good at using context and my shrewd investigatory skills to figure out what she's saying (or not saying). Tonight in the car she must have said "monkeys" repeatedly for about 5 minutes before I realized that she had dropped her green monkey and wanted me to get it for her. I thought she was talking about her monkey PJs (the shirt she wore to childcare today) or about the monkeys from the zoo on Saturday.

Ok, well it's time for me to go (back) to bed. Went to sleep with Maiya at 10, but then woke up at 12:30 and couldn't fall back asleep.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hubby Date

I took Tony out to a belated dinner for his 40th birthday on Saturday night. It's like our 3rd or 4th date since Maiya was born. Last year for Tony's birthday we went to Blue Hen, and I think we went to Tender Greens on my birthday in November. We went to RedMoon Cafe, which is a local Vietnamese place I'd been wanting to try. We got a two person appetizer so we made our own spring rolls and they had a little charcoal bbq for meatballs and some fried rolls and shrimp. I thought the food was pretty good--but Tony says we probably won't go back there.

Two things happened. One is that we ordered veggie curry. They brought us chicken curry and the cook said that he made chicken and took it away. So, we said, no, it's ok that we would eat the chicken curry. No problem... the chicken was pretty good I thought. But when we got the bill, I noticed that they crossed out veggie (8.95) and wrote chicken and charged us the extra dollar for the chicken. Then I noticed that they charged us for rice, even though we didn't order it. Tony was pretty sure that the menu said it was served with rice. (I just checked their website on geocities (wow!) and it does say that it comes with rice). I guess I should have said something about it at the time, but I didn't. Anyways, it was so nice just to be out with Tony in a "quiet" restaurant (no Maiya) where we didn't have to clean the floor before leaving, and were able to both eat our dinner without having to leave the table. Anyways, I hope we go on more dates together, I really enjoyed it! Maybe next time we will plan it so we have time for dinner and a movie.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Science of Sake

"THE SCIENCE OF SAKE" - A Sake & Food Tasting Event
Benefiting Little Tokyo Service Center

Thursday, April 26, 2007
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

California Science Center
Exposition Park - 700 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Award Presented to Iron Chef Morimoto
(during VIP Reception - VIP Ticket Required)

Enjoy a unique evening of science and sake with hors d'oeuvres from LA’s top restaurants to compliment the palette of sake from around the world. Sake experts will be on hand to provide education on sake and food pairings at various stations. As guests sample the offerings, they will have access to the California Science Center exhibits including the limited engagement Star Wars Exhibit: Where Science Meets Imagination. This year the event will also honor Iron Chef Morimoto for his community involvement.

Event Features:
- Over 50 brands and types of Sake provided by Mutual Trading Company
- Morimoto Beer and Sake as well as Other Non-Alcoholic Beverages
- Hors D' Oeuvre Stations hosted by Top LA Restaurants
- Private Viewing of Star Wars Exhibit: "Where Science Meets Imagination"
- Fabulous Silent Auction
- $25,000 Grand Prize Raffle

General Admission: $40 Pre-Sale (through 4/24 subject to availability), $45 at the Door (Subject to Availability)
VIP Admission: $75 - SOLD OUT

FOR TICKETS and INFORMATION or (213) 473-1608
21 and over only. No refunds.

$100 per ticket, a maximum of 500 tickets sold
1 in 500 chance to win, need not be present to win
Call or email JENNI to get your tickets now!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Maiya Grace meets Big Grace

Here we are in Grace's kitchen in Detroit last week. Grace made ramen noodles with veggies for us. Maiya and Grace were playing silly games and laughing out loud. It was a beautiful moment.

This video seems slow here. You can click on the YouTube text in the bottom corner to watch it directly on YouTube. By the way, we are amassing quite a library of short video clips on our YouTube/kuidaosumi account. Mostly they are starring guess who... and she's usually dancing. From disco to rock to nursery tunes, feel free to check it out!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

KuidaOsumi in Detroit!

Our friend Emily invited Tony to Detroit to lead some workshops and presentations around the book "Teaching About Asian Americans," a book that Tony contributed a chapter on the "Feast of Resistance," which is an activity for teaching about Asian American history and activism through food. We arrived on Friday, spending time in East Lansing, Detroit and Ann Arbor, and coming home Tuesday night. Since it was Tony's 4th trip and my 7th or 9th time to Detroit, we were excited to bring Maiya to Detroit to visit with our friends from previous trips that we've worked with over the last 7 years. We got to spend a lot of time with Emily, Scott and their 17 month old daughter Tula, and Maiya got to spend time with Grace Lee Boggs, a 91 year old movement activist, who Maiya "Grace" is named after.
Emily and Tula at the Michigan State University in East Lansing for a K-12 Teacher's conference.
Maiya and Tula at the Boggs Center in Detroit for the Feast of Resistance potluck and conversation on Freedom Schooling and Liberatory Teaching with Tony & Glenn Omatsu. Notice the matching outfits. The girls' parents were getting them to do "power fists."
Jenni, Maiya and Tony with Grace
At the Cass Cafe with Kibibi, our friend from Detroit Summer. It was so great to see Kibibi. When we met her she was just starting college, and now she is finishing up her M.A. in Urban Planning.
At U of M - Ann Arbor for the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies presentation and book signing for "Teaching About Asian Americans" (Back from left: Emily, Joe, Christina, Tony. Front from left: Edith & Glenn (editors), and Maiya)

Kids at the U of M event. Maiya actually ran off for about 15 minutes with these big kids. At left, is 3 year old Maya, whose mom Christina was one of the book's contributors. We visited Maya's hotel room to watch Elmo DVDs, and then on Monday, we met Maya and her daddy for a playdate at the kids museum.
Maiya with our sweet friend Shea, who coordinated Detroit Summer for many years, playing outside of Avalon Bakery. Shea is a community organizer who is a walking encyclopedia of Detroit, and has been one of our closest friends in Detroit. She and Grace write a weekly column in the Michigan Citizen newspaper.
Tony and Maiya in Grace's living room where we spent Tuesday afternoon talking with Grace. Grace is really amazing. She is actively engaged in Detroit City of Hope and the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, and is going to be interviewed for Bill Moyers' new PBS show this month.
Here is Fire Fighter Maiya at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. While Tony was busy at U of M, Maiya and I spent 4 hours at the kids' museum, playing with the exhibits. She loves fire engines.

BIG THANKS to the amazing, amazing Emily for organizing multiple events for 6 people in 3 cities over 4 days, and for taking such good care of us. Thanks to Scott for giving us a political tour of Detroit.  Most of our work has been centered on the Cass Corridor, Eastside and Southwest Detroit so we got to see more of Detroit by car and by the rive.

Thanks to Marilyn from MSU for arranging the K-12 teacher's workshop. It was a lot of work traveling with a two year old, keeping her from being too overstimulated or bored, trying to find time for naps, providing snacks and meals (finding string cheese wherever possible), and dealing with meltdowns and adjusting to a 3 hour time difference, etc., etc., but she really had fun on the plane, meeting our friends (and several toddlers and children), and experiencing Detroit. I hope we can go back again soon... it's our second home.