Wednesday, October 10, 2018

3 Things: A Star Is Born


VIDEO: 3 Things - A Star Is Born
Ok. Who wants to take me to see this movie... again? 
I don't know what creates sparks between two people but I am aware enough to know that it doesn't happen with everyone, both romantically and with new friends you meet. I absolutely love that magic that happens with new love. Remembering new love fuels everything in the relationship that follows. 
The magic that happened between my current beau and I continues to push us forward. He calls it love at first sight. He said he knew there was something magical between us the minute he laid his eyes on me. And I have to concur. You can't even make up the circumstances behind our meeting. When it's time for love to walk in, it's time. 
I have never been shy about love. My heart is wide open. I don't stop myself from feeling. Does that make sense? Some people who have been hurt in the past tend to cut off their feelings. I'm not one of those. If I feel love, I move with it even against all logic. I know how to follow my heart like that. And now, more than I ever have in the past, I know how to stand on my own two feet and not worry about what people around me think about my life choices. No one has to understand me or my choices. I am the only one that has to understand it. 

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Friday, October 05, 2018

Short Trip Home

I was in Hawai'i - September 23rd and I just returned yesterday. What a trip! I didn't get to hang out with everyone that I wanted to. Most of my time was spent with my nieces and nephews. I love hanging out with them. They are so smart, so brilliant, bright shining lights in my world. It's always tough to leave them but I know that I cannot build my world around them as much as I want to.

I am so grateful for everyone that made time for me. I felt so spoiled while I was there. Dates for every meal of the day... a girl could get used to that even though I am not really a breakfast eater. I mean, I like breakfast just not in the morning and definitely NOT every morning. Me and Popps did our normal hide-and-eat adventures. Tita's Grill and Zippys. That's what we do. Lei Lei's, Kula Grill, Kaneohe Pancake House, Original Pancake House, Papa Oles, and the list goes on. I put on at least ten pounds while I was home.

When I walked into my apartment last night, I was a lil choked up to be ALL.BY.MYSELF. Alone. I was writing in my journal that it was always nice to come home to someone... that someone would be waiting for me when I opened the door. What greeted me was a messy house and complete and utter silence. I came home with wayyyy more than I went with. I checked a bag and a cooler plus my carry on and I sent a very large bin of goodies on Delta Cargo. I am pretty well stocked with my goodies and I brought more of my books from home. Anyway, I was irritated that I had pulled a muscle while I was in Hawai'i and had to lug all that mess into my apartment. My cousin offered to send his sons with me to unload my bags but that just wasn't necessary.

Anyway, I miss the noise of my nieces and nephews and their constant banter. I put them in front of my camera, lights on, and mic'd up. They are such naturals in front of the camera. No shame. Wide open. Full of interesting things to say or maybe I'm just biased because I am one-proud-aunt! Whatever. I'm here in South Carolina with a purpose and I will fulfill it, God-willing.


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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Goodbye Dear Friend



I heard some heartbreaking news this morning. A death of a dear friend from my high school and college years. It has me feeling some kind of way. Though I don't have all the details, the word is that he died of a heart attack. News spreads like wildfire with social media. Death from heart attacks are so sudden. You can't prepare to let go like you do with a cancer patient or any other terminal illness. With sudden deaths, you just have to let go.

We had two nicknames for each other. The first one was Blue Zebra because it was a club on Restaurant Row in Honolulu. I was with him the first time he went. There was a whole bunch of us that went together. He was fresh off a 2-year LDS mission and so brand new to the club scene. Me? I had been using my cousin's ID to get into clubs since I had turned 17. Anyway, as we walked into the club, I wanted to go to the bar side to drink. He was like, "Can you just stay here and dance?" I rolled my eyes at him and told him that there were all our other friends that he could dance with. He seemed content with that answer and I made my way to the bar. After that night, we called each other Blue Zebra. He said I was too much and I told him that he hadn't seen anything yet.

The second nickname we called each other was french fry.  And people would ask the question, "Why do we call each other French Fry?" and I would relate this story. It all started in our Macro Economics course in College. The teacher asked for a product so that we could break down all the costs associated with it. Of course, I picked french fry because it WAS and still is one of my favorite foods. Especially the crinkle cut fries. Anyway. he couldn't stop laughing at my answer -- FRENCH FRY. We spent the rest of the class listening to the teacher break down the french fry from potato spuds to distribution to McDonalds and other fast food chains. We always laughed about it when we saw each other. No one ever thought this story was particularly funny or that the french fry was funny. Who cares though? We thought it was funny.

Life is too short to be anything but happy. We get caught up in all the little details of life instead of living in the moment and in the here and now. Death has a way of reminding me about the things that really truly matter. I don't know what tomorrow brings but I will not be a prisoner of my fears. Some of my closest friends have the harshest judgments on my life and how I choose to move about in the world. And I will not be a prisoner of their judgments anymore. I will not fear the unknown or the mysteriousness of my future. There is no more time to live in fear. For right now, there is only LIFE. LIFE and LOVE. Sweet love.

I bid farewell to a dear friend. I can't believe he left in this way but I honor his light and his life. The world is a little dimmer but we will move forward and remember to hold our loved ones a little closer.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Falling In Love, etc.




Nature never moves in straight lines but basic human logic does. Nature creates perfect order from chaos. Human logic creates chaos from order. ~Bob Proctor

Falling in Love doesn't make sense. In my life, it never has. The chaos of falling truly, madly, deeply in love with someone always takes my breath away. I don't see all the incongruent parts that could make us fall to pieces. All I ever see is all the things that could make it work. I only see his good parts. I don't look at his past to indicate what type of future he might give me. I live in the moment. To everyone around me, this makes me foolish but I have never cared what outsiders think of my choice in who I love.

When my ex and I parted ways, for over a year all I could talk about was how I did not want to put in any time getting to know someone new. I would rather get together with an ex than try to learn someone else. That mindset has changed. What would it look like for me to go back to an ex? Like I didn't learn from the first failure? There's just too many possibilities in the world to think that going to an ex is the best route for me. I'm not saying that I couldn't or wouldn't go back to an ex. I'm saying that that is not my only option for finding a fulfilling relationship.

Long relationships and marriages go through funky periods of time when nothing seems right, everything seems wrong, and the only thing that makes sense is to leave. I don't know how to leave. I am just not that type of girl. So even if my relationship may fall into a funk, I revert back to that crazy, chaotic moment when I fell in love.... that moment when my heart chose him (whoever 'him' is). That initial magic will always make me melt and thinking of it will always bring me right back to being in love even in the midst of the worst funk. I wish that my former partners had the same resolve but they didn't and I'm not looking back anymore. I have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to.
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I can't answer any of the questions that I posed on the video and I'm curious as hell to see how people respond.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

NATURAL DISASTERS - What Are Your Memories?





It was September 1992.
I was 17 years old. My senior year in high school had just commenced.
Hurricane Iniki was touted as the most powerful hurricane to hit Hawai'i in recorded history. It was a Category 4 hurricane when it hit the island of Kaua'i. The damage it left in its wake was heartbreaking. I have extended family in the Ha'ena, Wainiha, Hanalei region so it was sad to see the damage.

The island I lived on, O'ahu, had been spared any real major damage. We had dodged the fury of Iniki in my little town of Hau'ula. The day the hurricane arrived was a Friday. When O'ahu had received the all-clear sign, I instantly went back to teenage mode instead of worrying about my life and the unknown future. Being that it was Friday night, I wanted to hang out with my friends.

A few of us met up at the BYU Hawaii Campus. The Canon Activities Center on-campus was doubling as the Red Cross Shelter. We normally hung out there on the weekends. It was a safe place. Clean. It had a snackbar with inexpensive food and there were college boys.

The remnants of the hurricane left us with light passing showers and cloudy skies with a full moon hiding behind it. Naomi (high school bestie) and I were sitting near the box office of the Canon Activities Center. A couple of our guy friends came by also. We sat there laughing and talking. And then a peculiar thing happened. The full moon revealed itself from behind the rain clouds. One of my guy friends, let's call him Scott, went into this weird trance. We all started laughing while he was stoic and contemplative.

He proceeded to tell us a story. I cannot remember all of the details but I remember the important stuff. Scott said he had a dream one night. He was compelled to walk out of his home in the middle of the night and directed to go to the intersection of Moana Street and Kulanui Street. There, a man in black waited. (I swear this is not a reference to The Gunslinger stories by Stephen King.) The man in black asked Scott if he wanted to live forever and have supernatural strength. Scott agreed and did as the man in black directed. He lay down on the ground at the "crossroad" of Moana Street and Kulanui and sold his soul to the devil.

I couldn't figure out if he was telling the truth or if it was a scary story for a stormy night. I giggled at first (probably an attempt to calm my fears) but was completely weirded out by the visuals that I had in my mind of the man in black. I wondered what the man's face looked like. Was he like that creepy old man, Reverend Kane on Poltergeist II? Or was he a mirror of Scott's deepest fears?

Naomi and I stood up to move away from him. He stood up immediately also and began following us as we backed away from him.

"Scott. Stop! What are you doing?" I asked.

The full moon was so bright above him. He towered over us. He turned his head to the moon and began howling at the moon as if he were a werewolf. When he faced us after his howl, he raised his arms up, his hands mimicking the claws of an animal and began chasing us. Naomi and I screamed. We were both on the borderline between laughter and terror. Scott saw the terror on our face and fell down laughing. When we seen that he was laughing, Naomi and I calmed down and started laughing too.

At the end of the evening, Naomi and I talked about it and we couldn't figure out if Scott was joking or if he was telling the truth. Til this day I still wonder.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

3 Things I Learned From My Parent's Marriage



I did not forget about my Wednesday podcast. I just couldn't post because at the last minute, I decided to hit the road. Hurricane Florence is on its way to South Carolina so I had to leave Dodge. I find myself in Maryland again. I didn't feel like weathering the hurricane by myself so instead of buying all the food and emergency supplies, I am spending that money on gas to get out of town. Bye SC. See you soon.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Dear Best Friend

Dear Best Friend,

I feel so blessed that you are a part of my life. There have been times that we've drifted apart but we always find our way back to each other and pick up wherever we left off. We can sit for hours talking about everything and nothing. I cherish that type of conversation but more than that, I love that you know parts of my history that I don't even have to explain. And because you have seen me repeat the same mistakes over and over, you know when to push me and when to just step back and let me go through it. I think of the times that I have fallen apart with you, crying the ugly cry on your couch. It speaks to your character and your ability to receive me without judging the dumb things that I have done. I never let people see me weak the way that you have seen me and I appreciate that you can see my flaws and call me on them while still being supportive and encouraging. I love that you can see goodness in me because sometimes I need a little reminder that I am kinda smart, and I am kinda talented, and I am kinda beautiful, and I am kinda worthy of goodness. Everyone should have the type of friendship/sisterhood that we enjoy. I can't imagine not having it.

We rang in the New Year together this year and vowed that we would make this year the best yet. I am not disappointed. We did Vegas in March. When I moved into my own place, you and Skeet drove down Memorial Day weekend to "warm" my house up. You filled my linen closet with sheets and comforters and towels and I can't even begin to say how much that meant to me. You threw me the best birthday weekend. The party was non-stop even with your wife and mommy duties. And here we are turning up on your birthday/Labor Day weekend. You always had the best birthday parties when we were back home. Oh my goodness the good times we had in Waialua. The gallons and gallons of jungle juice. The extremely large cooler of every drink imaginable. The food! The music! Good times, I tell ya. A lifetime of it. And there's still more to be had.


WHAT I ADMIRE ABOUT YOU

  • I love your sense of style. Our shopping trips are the best! And we are always exchanging clothes. I'm happy that the red dress that I love so much looks wayyyy better on you than it does me. Sad to see it go but happy that it fits you like a glove. And I love that we both love to work the thrift stores. I can't imagine buying regular priced items when we can get EVERYTHING we want at a thrift store.
  • I love how giving you are. I can say, "Ooh I love that," and you will take it off the shelf or off a hanger and give it to me.
  • I love to watch you "work" a room. You have a way with people that makes them feel welcomed and appreciated - not all the time... but most of the time.  
  • I love how you are very clear about your expectations of people in your life. There are no gray areas and you remain 100% YOU no matter who is standing in front of you. That realness, that genuineness, that authenticity is hard to come by and I am learning to be my most authentic by watching you be you.
  • I love the way you mother your children. Both of your sons are respectful, intelligent, and kind souls.
  • I love how much I feel at home with your family and your husband's family. It's like I'm already family. The fact that I am comfortable calling your mother-in-law, "Mom," says a lot about how you made them aware of my significance in your world. Best friends do that kinda shit.  
  • I love how you always know what to say to build me up. On really rough days when I'm sad or lonely, you know the exact time to call and the exact words to say. You will pull examples from our past to let me know that I've overcome hardship before.

WHAT I WISH FOR YOU

  • ...That HEALTH and WELLNESS will attend you and yours
  • ...That you will always experience LOVE in your relationships
  • ...That you will be fulfilled by LIFE's challenges and triumphs
  • ...That you will find richness and ABUNDANCE in the coming days and years
  • ...That you will CELEBRATE you all throughout your life
But most of all, my wish for you is that your dreams are filled with happiness and that you will find joy in every waking moment.

Happy 43rd Birthday, Best Friend! I cannot think of a single place that I would rather be than here in Maryland, celebrating your special day with you and yours.

Alofa Tele,


NeenaLove


P.S. This letter is about a week late but better late than never. I actually started writing it before I drove up to your house with the intention of finishing it while I was there. With all our turn-up and turn-down going on, I didn't have time. Charge it to my inability to plan out my time properly. No surprise there. Haha


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Video Podcast Episode 10: Push Away From The Harbor



I briefly mention the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in today's video. It is a short read and very thought-provoking. The book is a work of fiction and the story serves as a parable. The message will only be received by those who are ready to receive it. The summary of the book on the back cover of the paperback version of the book describes it best. I hope it's enough to tempt you to read it. I think the book is about a 3 to 4 hour read. Put in the time and feed your mind and your imagination.

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Back Cover of THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.



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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Video Podcast Episode 9: Geisha, Sex, Embarrassing Moment


VIDEO: Geisha, Sex, Embarrassing Moment


This is the second time I posted on Instagram and Facebook, what topic should my next video podcast be?

Everybody has jokes and all sorts of silly topics. My male fans... SMH. Naughty, naughty, naughty! So I narrowed down all the topics to the stuff that are Rated PG-13. I can't say that I will always stay at PG-13 because I do love trashy talk every now and again. So, who knows what the content of future Video Podcasts will be?

Sex is such a touchy subject for a lot of people. I don't know why that is. It is as natural as breathing. Me? It is a necessity. With my raging hormones, I feel like how the media portrays young teenage boys -- I want IT all the time! Oh my how I expose myself so publicly on my blog. I am an open book.

I didn't get the "birds and the bees talk" from my parents. My grandmother (mom's mom) actually said something to me when I was 12. I was getting ready to go to a dance. My mother didn't know it was a dance. I told her it was a talent show in town and that someone's mother was taking us down there and would bring us back home. Before I left the house, my grandmother gave me a whole talk about a cowry shell and how I need to protect it. I had no idea what she was talking about. None. It was like the scene in The Color Purple where Shug Avery is asking Miss Celie if she ever looked at her lady parts. I did not know what my lady parts looked like so I did not make the connection to the cowry shell.

I don't know why my mother's generation is so afraid to talk about sex or to explain the mechanics of it. I think I would have made better choices if my mother was open and honest with me about all of it. Instead, she just left me to find it all out on my own. The one talk that we did have was about how I shouldn't sleep with a boy because my virginity is something I should gift my husband on our wedding night. That was unrealistic to me because I did not even know what happened with sex. The movies and soap operas made it seem like you get in bed naked, you kiss and roll around under the sheets and that's it. So, I did not know the mechanics.

Needless to say, I certainly understand the mechanics now. And sex, as I said, is as natural as breathing.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Who Is The First Person You Slow Danced With?


It was the end of Summer 1989. There was a dance to send off the summer and welcome the new school year. My mother told me that I couldn't go to it because my older brother was not going to attend with me. I had just turned 14 and she didn't think I should go out with my friends without my brother close by. Normally, my big brother would cover me but he had plans of his own that night. The dance was being held just a mile from the house and I couldn't understand why she wouldn't let me go. So I did what any head-strong teenager would do and lied. I told her I was going over to my cousin's house, three houses over. I didn't really lie because I had to pass their house on the way to the dance. I stopped in, showed my face, said, "Hello," and kept on moving. By the time I had deployed that plan, it was already late. When I got to the dance, there was only fifteen minutes left before they were shutting it down. I found my friends on the dance floor. One friend, in particular, was dancing with the little boy that I was crushing on but I was glad to just be near him.

Every dance ends with a slow jam. The last song came on. It was "Superwoman" by Karyn White. All my friends were coming off the dance floor and changing dance partners. I had just arrived so I didn't even know who was there. I feel a tap on my shoulder and I turn to see John (not his real name) standing there. He said something really smooth to me. I can't recall what exactly he said but it made me feel like he was being such a gentleman. In school, he had this really rough exterior like he was a tough guy but I knew he was a big teddy bear inside. I was burning up inside. He wasn't the guy I was crushing on but I still felt flattered that he asked me to dance. And that was that. I only remember it because it was such a new experience for me and I felt special. What can I say? I'm a hopeless romantic.

Maybe it's just me. Everyone says I have a distorted view of reality. As my ex would say, I have an unrealistic outlook on life and love. I don't think I do. I think I see the world exactly as I wish it would be and it is my reality. And even though my romantic life has never been the fairytale that I wished that it could be, I am exactly where I should be. And I still believe in the fairytale and I still believe in LOVE.

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