Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cookie Corner Answer: Inmate Love

Prison is not exactly the place I'd like to go searching for a mate. I know every situation is different. I know of women, family members, who have or had relationships with inmates. I have never thought of breaching anyone's privacy by actually asking the people that I know why they have relationships with men behind bars. Even though I'm super nosey and extremely inquisitive about things that I don't understand, I just haven't found a good enough reason to ask.

Looking at why people even want to be in relationships is where my opinion stems from. Why do people search for mates?

I remember when my ex and I got separated, I agreed to it under the premise that he was returning home to help his mother out and that he'd be back to be my husband. Throughout our separation, I longed so much for companionship. I longed for his physical presence and for attention that I felt I deserved.

So this brings me to my question about relationships with inmates. The inmate has to sell a really intense story to the civilian for him or her to even be interested in trying it. There has to be some hot romance coming through via letters. Though I have to admit, the letters are probably hot and steamy as well as laden with heavy romance, letters DO NOT make a relationship and I'm a letter person.

My ex and I exchanged letters for a couple years before we finally married. Then when we separated, once again, I assaulted him with all kinds of letters and cards. (Secret: I still have all the letters. I've been meaning to take it to work and run it through my huge shredder... but I think there might be a book in those cards and envelopes.) I swooned over the letters he wrote me before we married. The words on a page always made me feel good about the distance and the time that separated us. It made me believe in something that didn't really exist except as it did in my mind.

Is it impossible to have a long and lasting and joyful marriage between an inmate and civilian? No. Nothing is impossible.

Is it likely that the marriage or relationship will last? **shrugs**

What I do know is that long distance relationships, no matter the reason, do not work all that well. I think of all the time I wasted waiting for my ex to come to his senses. When he finally did, it meant divorce, and I'm okay with that except that I wasted the prime years of my life waiting for HIM.

* * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cookie Corner Question

What makes a woman want a man that's in prison?
Things that make me go HMMMM.....???

My opinion later.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Regulating Discrimanators

Lesbian couple files discrimination lawsuit against Hawaii business

This article appeared in my news feed on my Facebook page. I'm not a CNN or FOXnews person. However, I subscribe to the local news because I find some of it interesting. I don't normally watch the news.

The linked article above states that a lesbian couple is suing the owner of a Bed&Breakfast here on the island. The owner refused service to the lesbian couple. I know this type of discrimination reminds people of the tumultuous Jim Crow era in the United States just a few decades ago. There are obvious differences!

I am somewhat sympathetic to the homosexual movement. If they want legal rights under man made laws, I think they should have it. In this case, I don't know what the lesbian couple is attempting to do. What is the outcome they are seeking? This is what I hear from their lawsuit (excuse the sarcasm):
LESB: "Let me in your establishment."
OWNER: "No. You're gay. I don't want you here."

Angry lesbian contacts her attorney.
LESB: "That place won't let me in. I want them to let me in. NOW!"
ATTORNEY: "Ok. I can help you."

Lesbian contacts the media, under the direction of the attorney.
LESB: "We're suing XYZ Bed&Breakfast because they won't let me in."
NEWS: "Oooh... news for Hawai'i residents. Thanks for the heads up. We'll watch what happens in court."
What are the legal precedences that have been set around the country for similar cases?

Can the owner include in his or her contract or lease or check-in document that they refuse service to Gays and Lesbians?

If I recall, there are signs at several establishments that read:
"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

Looking at my sarcastic dialog above, if we replaced LESB with DRUNKGUY or PERSON.TRAVELING.WITH.PETS, would this be a lawsuit?

If a non-Mormon were at the footsteps of the Mormon Temple and were refused entry, should the non-Mormon sue for entry?

Country Clubs are "exclusive" groups, should I sue?

I don't understand why the law would impose itself upon a private establishment. If I were a business and refused service to someone based on my personal preferences, why is that NOT okay? Should someone disregard their personal values and adopt the social norms?

At what point can a person or establishment have an opinion without fear of government interference?

Just thinking out loud.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Life Lessons Remembered

Random Facebook quote that I LOVE:

When people walk away from you...

Let them go...

Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn't mean they are bad people.

It just means that their part in your story is over.

I often think of my ex-husband when I see quotes like this. I know it sounds funny but I knew he was only going to be in my life for a short season. Most of our relationship was spent apart even before we were married. There's that little voice in your mind that whispers truth. In that whisper I have known/knew what the fate of our relationship would be. Today and even then, I was okay with it.

I have to admit that I learned so much from him about myself. The two biggest lessons....

1. What I had to learn quick is that his opinion of me (he walked away) should not determine my own opinion of self. After he left... all I could say was WOW to the new me. I think I dropped like 60 pounds in a matter of months. I regained half of it back but it was fun while it lasted.

2. I can do hard things. That was a big lesson! Divorce is difficult especially when all you want to do is LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. CRAZY LOVE. I got through it. Yeah, I can do hard stuff!

So even though he left me high and dry and divorced me, (See the story here and here and all throughout this blog. The topic is absolutely redundant.) my life has moved on in an awesome direction. Even though I tear up when I read my posts about the divorce and remember the heart ache in each and every goodbye, I also remember that I made it through. Our story together is complete however the lessons learned linger on.

I'm not sure if he ever thinks of me. I have no ill feelings toward him. In a way, I still have love for him; the way a student has love for a special teacher. I am grateful for his presence in my existence. The divorce pushed me beyond what I thought possible.

In gratitude, I bow to the lessons I have learned.

Never to be again....

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I remember hearing a podcast of Oprah interviewing Wayne Dyer. For those who are not aware of who Wayne Dyer is, I encourage you to look into reading one of his books. He has several dozen out. Maybe even YouTube him or start with the free podcast of the interview I referenced above.

In the interview, Wayne explains how he followed the wisdom of the Tao for an entire year. I thought it was very engaging. SIDE NOTE: my most favorite book that he wrote is The Power of Intention. It was wayyy deep to where I had to digest the book, one chapter at a time. Like, a chapter per week.

For the purposes of this post, I focus in on something Wayne Dyer said is the first principle in the Tao. In attempting to explain God, the Tao says that once it is labelled or given a name, it ceases to be God. Over time, that simple thought has shown up in my life many times.

Does humanity need to label everything?

Once we label ourselves, we tend to take on that persona.
"I'm gay."
"I'm heterosexual."
"I'm Jewish."
"I'm Muslim."
"I'm Mormon."
"I'm Black."
"I'm Polynesian."
"I'm Chinese."
"I'm Atheist."
"I'm Republican."
"I'm a stay-at-home Mom."
"I'm homeless."
"I'm unemployed."
...and on and on we label ourselves.

Along with the labels come the pre-conceived and pre-determined roles that society has developed through the mainstream media.

Authentically, stereotypes are not who we are. We are not LABELS. We are a part of the consciousness in the universe or as I prefer to say, we are a part of God.

I am not the labels that may have been placed on me by an observer.
I am not a sinner nor am I saint.
I am not obese nor am I too thin.
I am not a victim nor am I a bully.
I am not diseased.
I am not mean.
I am not angry.
I am not possessive.
I am not hurt.
I am not evil.
I am not a label.

I AM that I AM.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Need to De Stress

I told myself that I would blog at least three times a week this year. I have failed miserably in this area.

Writing is something I love to do. My diary has also suffered from my lack of desire to sit down and right. One of the ways I destress has always been writing. Now, in one of the most difficult times of my life, I have yet to sit down and sort it all out. In my 20's and part of my 30's, I used alcohol and cigarettes to ease my pains. It was definitely a way for me to relax and slow down and get my mind off the world. That is probably one of the biggest reasons why I think of my former life so often.

When my ex-husband and I finally parted ways after being separated for 2 years, my normal routine was to drink as soon as I got off work. And I didn't just have a beer or a cocktail, a meal, and call it a day. NOPE. A dear friend and I would turn the cocktail and meal into a party even if it ended up just being us at the house. We would drink, drown in our sorrows a little then call some guy friends that we had met over the weekend. LUSH. Plain and simple, we were LUSH.

I often think about the rush I got from the alcohol. The feel-good, feel-invincible, feel-unbreakable, feel-alive feeling -- I miss that. Though I could never and will never characterize myself as being depressed, if I ever did feel depressed, I imagine that it would feel like how I've been feeling lately.

I miss my moms, no doubt. But it's not just the missing her that leaves me in a funk. It's also the aftermath of her leaving. The aftermath consists of the following:
1. My father, the lonely widower.
2. My two young brothers - one just turned 18, the other just turned 14.
3. My duties as a diligent and dutiful daughter has left much to be desired by my husband.
4. Having to take over the duties of paying the bills for the household;

I'm kind of burnt out and I have no outlet anymore. I don't feel sorry for myself but I do feel a little STUCK.

I have my own dreams and desires to do big things. Big, for me, at least. There are things that I'd like to do that are just for me. Thus, I think of the alcohol and the backyard barbecues and the sweet release that comes from destressing.

What to do? What to do?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thoughts of Her

The thought of my mother pops into my head on many occasions. It will be in random moments when her memory is least expected.

In a sea of Red at a Kahuku High School football game

While playing sudoku on my phone

Looking at a Facebook picture that I uploaded several weeks ago that my father commented on saying, "No one mourns her loss more than me."

Looking at an unkempt yard

Looking at an immaculate kitchen or a spotless living room

I miss her.

I miss her everyday and it seems like I miss her more as time passes.

Things that she's taught me seems to make complete sense now. While she was here, I seemed to fight against her wisdom and logic.

She lives on in me in a way that I thought I would never appreciate. All her countless hours of tireless, patient teaching has affected me so profoundly.

These past few days, I've been fighting a cold. When I was at my worse, I instantly thought of the many times my mother bathed and nurtured me as a child. No doubt, I took her for granted while she was here on the earth. For that, I regret every moment I spent fighting against her wisdom.

And yet, it is in our disagreements that I have come to continually discover "ME".

My mother is one of my greatest teachers and I look forward to reuniting with her.... I know when I do see her again, it will be like no time at all had passed.

Please grant me the endurance to get through this lifetime relatively quickly and full of lasting memories as I journey toward my next lifetime... ever searching to meet with HER again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Closed In

Sometimes I feel so trapped.

I wonder if other people in the world feel like that.

I truly long for a life without restraint. Does that make sense?

The structure of trying to be the way society wants us to be makes me a little numb. Attempting to fit into someone's view of how my life should be makes me feel...
it makes me feel...

No. It's not my marriage that makes me feel so confined. My husband truly is my best friend. It's other things... things that will not make one bit of difference at the end of my life.

So why do I continue to follow it?

**heavy sigh**

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Has marriage become obsolete?

I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine. We were discussing the nuptials of a couple who knew each other a few weeks before they decided to "take the plunge". Dear friend had the opinion that the couple just wanted to have sex and that is the reason they decided to marry. Due to personal commitment and religious belief, the couple had not consummated until after the marriage vows were taken. Dear friend thinks that marrying for sex is all wrong.

What is the purpose of marriage?

What are the reasons that leads a person/persons to marriage?

Is sex a good enough reason to marry? Why or why not?

What is a good reason to marry?

I think that any two people can have a successful marriage without having known each other very long. Two people must have the same commitment level, the same goals in terms of living a good life, and most of all the couple must be willing to make the marriage/relationship work. Love is not necessarily a component, in my opinion, in building a successful marriage. In fact, the love tends to come after many years.

Husband and I are creeping up on 8 years on Monday the 14th. I can honestly say that we are finally rounding the corner to where we step into semi-bliss. I only say "semi" because there's bound to be a couple of bumps in the road in our future. However, we have formed a cohesive bond that allows us to operate as a single entity yet maintain separate identities. We have grown together through these 8 years and I feel so blessed to have a strong and intelligent man to travel this life with. We are two peas in a pod.

The emotion that we think is love in the beginning stages of a relationship is more than likely just infatuation. We are enamored with the idea of being in love and of spending forever with our love interest. It prompts us to make commitments that we normally wouldn't under different circumstances. I've told the story at least a dozen times on this blog about how my husband and I met and married 7 months later. As I look back, I can't believe that we even waited that long.

I notice the current trend with adults is to discard marriage altogether. Has marriage lost its appeal? I have an aunt who is adamant about never marrying again. She's been single for a relatively long time. She doesn't like having to answer to someone or ask permission of someone; not that marriage requires it but it makes the relationship work better. I can see her point and should my husband and I not work or he pass before me, I probably will not ever marry again. I too would rather not have to "answer to" anyone.

So has the current young adult/ adult population outgrown the "institution" of marriage?

Why are gay people in such a hurry for something that hetero's are disregarding altogether?

If marriage is a spiritual and emotional commitment to another, why does one need the STATE to recognize it?

Dear friend of mine that started this whole conversation is still single. I'm curious as to why she's not in a hurry to marry. Many young people are not even flirting with the idea. I think I was looking to marry as soon as I left high school. I was searching for LOVE and someone to love me enough to marry me and commit his life to me. I just don't see that in young people today. No one is in a rush.

What is truly the status of marriage in modern America?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PHOTO SHOOT: Mr. & Mrs. Elison

An old friend came into town. She brought her sister to renew her marriage vows with her husband. It was a cute 15-20 minute ceremony on our wonderful HUKILAU BEACH. I feel like my editing skills are getting better and maybe even my creative eye. Good luck to the lovely couple and their baby girl. Fun!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Missing Her So Much

I miss my momz...

...but I just realized how hard this must be for my father. As I try to sort out my own feelings, I haven't been able to see past my own nose. Today, I sat with my father and tried to express to him how hard it has been for me to process the loss of my mother combined with the distraction of two cousins that never left since their arrival prior to my mother's funeral.

He said one sentence that just broke my heart: "I wish I could be wherever she is."

I wish I could be with her too....

I can't wait to see her again.

I can't believe how hard this has been.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Make the World Go Away

So much is going on in my home. It's driving me insane. I cannot stand one more minute.

My mother passed on June 30th. We held off with the funeral until everyone was here for our family reunion at the end of July. My mother's eldest brother left two of his children when he left after the funeral. I am absolutely FRAZZLED by their presence in my home and their inability to fit into our household paradigm.

I haven't even had a chance to mourn the loss of my mother and I'm stuck with two strangers in my home. (Even though they are my 1st cousins, I only met them once before.) It adds to my sense of loss because normally my mother would deal with her family. I can't even begin to explain the crazy things that have happened since these strangers came to our home.

I am ready to EXPLODE.
I wish they would just GO HOME.

They are grown adults (over 21) and I have to tell them to clean up around the house, to take a shower, clean the bathroom, wash the dishes. What did their parents teach them? They are just THORNS in my side.

I miss my mom... wish I could just "be" in my house without the extra baggage around.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Miss You Mom

I'm really missing my mom right now. She has been on my mind all day. I wish she were here because she always knows just the right thing to say or do.

We didn't have enough time.

I miss her so much!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Favorite Memory Pictured

I seem to blossom when I fall in love. I was 28-years old when I graffiti'd this. My favorite memory is falling in love with my husband. In a couple months we will make 8 years of marriage. Isn't that crazy?

Here we are, less than a month into marriage. Husband was getting ready to deploy to IRAQ and one night at the bar sounded like a good time. We did have a blast. It was cold and when we exited the club it was snowing everywhere! It was kind of magical.

This picture was of us... a month or two after we met. Both of us having just met up after a night on the town. He was with his fellas and I was with my BFF. Falling in love was and is so very magical.


This is my second year volunteering for The Haunted Lagoon. I had to get a shot of the clowns that were walking around the lagoon, waiting for darkness to fall. So that fairly represents what I did with my evening. Last year I was in the clown section as a Tech person controlling the sound and the strobe lights. It was fun. This year, I'm a little more involved.... kinda.

I'm "involved" but I don't feel as involved as I'd like to be. The area I'm in is just.... BORING at this point. Tonight was the first dress rehearsal in preparation for the September 30th debut. We have a long ways to go before 9/30. I'm not at all impressed with what we have so far. If I were truly in charge, it would be totally different. So I'm in the zombies and mummies section. Right now, everything is so random. No scares... just a collection of things to "look" at... kinda like a museum. BORING! I want to be part of the solution so I sent an email out to the person in charge. She's probably totally irritated with my eval but it had to be said. If I'm going to claim that I am a part of this then I need to tell the truth about what I feel. The truth is.... I MISS YOU CLOWNS!!! ahahahahaha

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cast of My Favorite Show

Photo Credit
Day 3 picture challenge is to POST the cast of my favorite television show. Project Runway is it. Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum are the picture of class and sass. The reality shows have taken the television world by storm. Most often I find that I prefer the reality stuff -- HGTV, Food Network, America's Next Top Model, PROJECT RUNWAY. :-)

The situation-comedies and the dramatic lifetimeTV genre is old and tired! Although a close second to Project Runway is Drop Dead Diva. I think both shows appear on LifetimeTV. Anyway -- thanks to DVR I don't have a problem missing my shows.

Photo Credit

Monday, September 12, 2011


Day 02 - A picture of the person you have been closest with the longest

 So here's my second photo. My dear cousin is like... like... we are like peas in a pod. I consider many of my friends and family very close including my husband. But this girl seems to be the constant. She was in the wedding line of my first wedding... was there when I got divorced. Was my roommate when I met my husband. Now, we're contemplating business together. My sister moved away to Washington with her birth family. Mahea's sisters moved away and they could probably rival the "closeness" but... THEY ALL MOVED AWAY! I wish they would all come back. LOL

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pic + 10 Facts

I think this is one of the more recent pictures of me with my dear husband. This year makes 8 years of wedded bliss. Well... I don't know if it has been all blissful but our passion in our fights exist also in our love.

For this challenge, I am supposed to post a picture with 10 facts about myself. I am having the toughest time thinking up 10 interesting things about me. I mean, my life is strewn across this blog like a wide open book. I don't mind that everyone knows so much about me but it just makes me less of a mystery.

1. I am quite impatient. I've been that way since I was a child. It's weird how I've just noticed that about myself. With all the family that has been in and out of our house over the last couple of months, that feeling of impatience has really come forward. My sister was here and it was so refreshing to have her come and know exactly what needs to be done without me needing to tell her. My impatience with the rest of my family... **sigh**...was and is unnerving.

2. I feel like my creativity has been dormant for so long. That is my newest realization of self -- that I have let my creativity go to sleep. I look forward to dreaming big again and putting my creativity to full use. It's okay to believe that all things are possible.

3. I am thoroughly in love with my nieces and nephews. I can't even imagine what life would be like if I had my own children. In a conversation with my aunt a couple weeks ago, I told her that the biggest risk for me having children is that I know they would break my heart. In terms of children, my aunt and I identified that the "risk" of bearing children is not greater than the joy of becoming a parent.... and I'm ready. But I'll also be okay if I never do bear children. Either way -- I'm ready. :-)

4. I have a growing affinity for tea and coffee. It's true! My father tells me that his grandparents drank coffee often. I think that "memory" has been passed down through genetics because my father loves it too and I just recently found out that my niece likes it too. Go figure. Due to religious upbringing, coffee is frowned upon. For whatever reasons they are, I can't call it. I love the taste. I love to sip on a hot drink usually all day long and hot water just doesn't do it for me. Tea -- I have several different varieties. If I'm relying on my "genetic memory" theory then I suppose I can credit my Chinese ancestors for this. In many Asian cultures, tea and the service of tea is an art form. I love the different flavors that come from different teas and herbs, both sweet and savory.

5. I love the sunshine AND the rain! Septembers in Hawai'i are absolutely gorgeous. Blue, blue, blue skies and white puffy clouds, turquoise oceans and white sand beaches. Even with all of this beautiful weather, I still love the rain. I love how green everything is after the rain. The air is clean and crisp and everything springs into life. Water, any kind of water is just so cleansing. My life is similar to this because I appreciate the good times and the bad times... all are lessons.

6. I sometimes think I may have Attention Deficit Disorder... lol. Often times, especially when I'm sitting in a lecture, I need something else to do besides listen to the lecture. If there's wifi available, I fire up my laptop and get busy blogging (this is what I'm doing right now) or working on something. No wifi? I break out my journal and start writing or my sketchbook and start sketching. Journal not available? Text! I am this way even if I'm sitting in a church service. I find that I learn so much more when my hands are engaged. In a class I took I found out that this is quite normal and many learners fall under this category.

7. Just a few years ago, I hated the color pink. Now it has become my FAVORITE color. I don't like the pastel pink. I like HOT PINK, FUSCHIA, MAGENTA... the hot stuff! I have several blouses and dresses and jackets that are pink, pink, pink.

8. I just recently discovered a youtube converter that converts videos into an mp3. I absolutely love it. Some of my favorite songs that can't be found on itunes or amazon can be found on youtube. So grateful for the brainiacs on the planet who think up this stuff.

9. I used to read a novel every week or two. That has dropped off significantly but since the closing of Borders Books, I was able to pick up some novels at a bargain price. Sometimes mindless fiction is such a stress reliever!

10. Something else that I have discovered about myself is that I have an oral fixation. I think that is what made smoking such a normal part of my day. I kicked tobacco about 5-1/2 years ago. I will never go back! I have replaced smoking with gum and sometimes sunflower seeds. I also like to munch during lectures (see #6).

Monday, September 05, 2011

An Ode to a Love Gone Away

Making love was like, was like....

An emotional roller coaster.

the moment you decided to walk away, we pretended as if our relationship was not ending
but i knew that it was

No amount of making love was going to bring your heart back to me

And whatever time you needed away from me was only going to hasten our relationship to its grave

the love that i felt was unlike anything I have ever felt before or will ever feel again because
you were

you are the only man to ever capture my heart with such ferocity
in that way that only a first love can

i think about you all the time
when we met
how i fell so hard for your body and your mind
how i felt so safe with you, so protected
how you cradled me through one of the most difficult times of my life
how you loved me
how i loved you

In the final days before you set our relationship aside
we made love on our living room floor
And as you climaxed
the tears fell from my eyes
and i felt my heart break for the very first time
and i knew that wherever your heart was
it was not with me

your love has gone away
and i will miss you all the days of my life

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Lack of Creativity

Since I am lacking in the creativity department these days... mostly due to my mother's passing, I thought I'd find something to try and get me blogging again. This photo challenge seems appropriate. **heavy sigh** So here it is... hopefully I can get through September. Should be interesting... At least it will get me behind the camera lens again and blogging as well.

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts
Day 02 - A picture of the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 - A picture of your night
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory
Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
Day 12 - A picture of something you love
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 - A picture and a letter
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of your day
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


I feel like a weight has been lifted.

Today I had a session with a Theta Healer. My aunt has been trained in energy healing and I always look forward to seeing her to feel of her good vibes. She always seems to "adjust" me in just the right way to bring me back to life. It's like she lifts all my burdens and raises my hope level. I am so glad that she spent that time with me today. I am so blessed!

Our family just laid my mother to rest on July 29th, 2011. It was such a beautiful send off. I am so happy that it was relatively drama-free and that all 8 of my mother's 9 siblings that are still alive were able to meet in the same place in peace and harmony. All the events surrounding my mother's send-off were so beautiful, spiritual, and truly a manifestation that she is alive somewhere beyond this dimension. For that, I am so grateful. I'm grateful that I will meet with her again someday in the eternities. I feel peace.

As I begin to purge my negative energy I am replacing it with all the goodness my mother was able to put into the world through her actions. I choose happiness and joy for this life and for all the people I love... unconditionally!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Unfolding My Feelings

Everything feels so unreal lately. My mother's passing has made things different. I've been trying to get used to a new reality and so has my father and my brothers, my husband and everyone around us. Life hasn't been overly depressing. I'm grateful that everyone around me is coping so well. This makes the process of grieving and mourning one of celebration rather than sadness. I know that is what my mother would want.

My mother has had so many complications with her health and wellness. Her death allows her to move beyond this life and dimension and it's a good thing for her. She is free from the body that kept her so trapped.

Niece #3 is coping well. She's all of 4 years old and is just the most precious 4-year old on the planet. Sis-in-law told her that "mama" went to heaven.

NIECE #3: She went to heaven already? But I didn't get to say bye.

As soon as she said that, she started singing some random song while my brother and sis-in-law were fighting back bittersweet tears. Bitter because mom is gone to heaven but sweet because NIECE #3 put it in the right context. What we're really grieving is that there was no goodbye and we will miss her presence in our life.

My Bishop, in his visits with our family, said, "Your mom is not gone. She is here, in you."

When people used to say that I am just liker her I thought it was such a terrible thing. I did not want to be like my mom. She was too forward, too honest, too controlling. At the same time though, she had the biggest heart. She took in everyone's children. She helped anyone that needed help. She volunteered to help with anything and everything even with her failing health. She was the definition of charity. As I review my life with my mother, I am so grateful to have had her in my life and to even be compared to her in some small way. And all the things that I did not like about her are actually the qualities I appreciate the most in other people. Isn't that funny? I prefer brute honesty over fake-ness and my mother was always good for a dose of straight-up HONESTY. :-D Makes me smile just thinking of all the many times she's checked me and anybody else that needed to be checked!

The coming months may find me blogging often about her as a way of unfolding my feelings. It makes me feel closer to her.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do I Have To Be Sad?

A couple days ago my sis-in-law was trying to see how her oldest daughter was coping with my mother's passing. Sis-in-law was curious because there weren't any bouts of sadness or sobbing. My nieces and nephews call her "mama".

This is their conversation....

Sis-in-law: Are you okay? Is there anything you want to talk about?

Niece 1: I'm okay (shrugs)

Sis-in-law: Are you sure? How do you feel about mama's passing?

Niece 1: Well, do I have to be sad?

Sis-in-law: No. You don't have to be sad. You feel however you want to feel.

Niece 1: I'm going to miss her but I'm not sad because I know she's okay. And... I know I'm going to see her again.

And just like that, the conversation is over and there is no question that my 12-year old niece understands what is going on. I will follow her example and trust in the sure knowledge that I will see my mother again. I choose happiness and celebration!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Slowing Down

It was such a gorgeous morning. I cannot be anything but grateful for the abundance of life in the universe.

My mother passed on June 30th.

In the time that has followed her passing, I have "slowed down" quite a bit. Not a depressed kind of slow down but more of a slow down realization of what is truly important in my life.

Today, I placed myself in nature. As I sat on the beach at Pounders listening to the ocean crash against the shore and the wind whipping past me, I remembered how small I am in relation to the wide universe. Feelings of gratitude came over me. Gratitude for the life of my mother and everything she was able to instill in me. Gratitude for a full life, for my health and strength, for my husband and wonderful family. I am so grateful for this beautiful earth.

After I left the shore, I made my way to the Ma'akua trail behind where I live. The different birds singing and chirping is such a beautiful sound. That I'm here, able to take in the Creator's bounty with all six senses, is humbling.

Thank you for today, for right here and now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

They Met on Blackplanet

Former mistress of attempted murder suspect testifies

Oh my goodness... they met on Blackplanet. A couple of years ago this guy meets a woman on Blackplanet. Guy is married. Woman doesn't know at first but eventually finds out about his true marital status. Guy's wife ends up beaten in her bed and dies a year and a half later without any recollection of the events. So the guy is on trial for attempted murder. His former mistress shows up to testify in the case.

This kind of story doesn't usually interest me except that.... well... THEY MET ON BLACKPLANET. Before I started a blog, I was a regular on Blackplanet. It was my way of blogging. I'd change up my page daily to reflect my thoughts. I was in an unfulfilled marriage (the first one), separated from the 1st husband, and totally desperate to be relevant.... at least relevant to HIM. So I expressed myself on my BlackPlanet page with the username NEENALOVE. That is still my "call name" now (come find me on Words With Friends).

I was a regular in many of the chatrooms and made tons of friends from across the United States both male and female. I also had a few flings... wanna read about one of 'em CLICK HERE!! I have met some downright dirty men from Blackplanet and a few precious gems.

One horror story: dude wants to take me to lunch. We have never met except for our passing notes back and forth on the net and the eventual exchange of our phone numbers. When we finally do meet up he looks NOTHING like his photo. Serious! I was super disappointed. On top of that he was really touchy-feely. A few conversations on the phone did not give him the right to be so touchy-feely! Eeeeew. On top of that, he was not as attractive as his photo was. **sigh** We ended up at Ward Center where I opted for McDonalds. I just couldn't do an entire hour with him. We never spoke again except for a few notes on Blackplanet. The horror story part happens when he shows up at a barbecue with one of my best friends. What are the odds? In any case, he pretended like he didn't know me which upset her to no ends because she felt like he was trying to hide something. That was that.

Blackplanet was like MySpace. You could fix up your page using simple html. Embed photos and videos and all kinds of fun stuff. I shut down my page when husband and I married. No matter how much I try to say that I treated BP like a blog, it was nothing more than a site to pick-up guys for me so it had to go once I committed to my husband.

Anyway -- the news story about the attempted murder brought back so many memories. It seems like a lifetime ago. I just remember the excitement of meeting new people. The romance! The wining and dining.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


I don't know where all the time went.

I sent my little brother off to the mainland today. He's just going for a short visit but I am amazed that he's 17-years old, will be 18 in September.

Where did all the time go?

I have such a soft spot in my heart for him. I acknowledge that I spoil him rotten. Ugghhh.... and he knows it too. He is on the precipice of man hood.

Where did all the time go?

I used to love taking him with me wherever I went. When Disney's "The Lion King" came out in theatres, I took him to see it when he couldn't have been more than 2-years old.

Where did all the time go?

I wish him well on life's journey. I pray that he makes good choices... that he does good things and puts goodness into the world. I pray that his trials in this life will be small... but significant enough to push the boundaries of his mind. I wish for him all the abundance and goodness in the universe... that it may rest upon him softly and that he will accept it, wholeheartedly.

He is obviously NOT a smiler. LOL

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Submitting to the Light

This semester, I am taking PHIL 410. This course is part of my academic plan since I am a Philosophy major. The topic of the course is God and World. The text is really good. It's by Karen Armstrong entitled A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This week is mid-terms. What I really enjoy about classes online is that there aren't any "exams". Instead of an examination - midterm or final - most online professors prefer a term paper. This is totally fine with me. I love that I get to write about topics that I actually enjoy. I don't really care for this particular professor. He comes off as a guy that wants to be right all the time rather than someone attempting to nurture the thought process. He is very condescending toward most of the students. It's irritating but totally off subject.

He dropped the term paper topic list today. I love every single topic on his list. How can I choose just one? Here are the topics:

-Jewish Groups at the time of Jesus and the Concept of the Messiah
-Jesus in Historical Context
-Gnostic Gospels
-Contemporary Commentary on the Koran from a Feminist Perspective
-Christian Mysticism
-Concept of Sin
-Major Figures (select one from this list:

What I love about Philosophy is how much I explore into the mindset of thinkers throughout the history of the modern WESTERN world and the advent of religion and the social structures that either support it or discard it. I have had several epiphanies over the course of my studies. I am nearly done and will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Philosophy within the year. I don't really consider this an accomplishment because I have never liked the idea of college. Taking college courses and pursuing this degree was more a matter of accessing the funds that are made available to native Hawaiians through Kamehameha Schools.

I appreciate that many of the subjects I have explored throughout my studies have been topics that were outside of my experience. However, I don't think that a college degree is an indicator of how well a person can think. I say this because I have encountered many people (I work at a private university) who have difficulty utilizing their critical thinking skills. My social interactions with my family, friends, in my community, and even online have been colored with shallow/narrow conceptions of various topics. In an abundant universe with an infinite number of possibilities, I find it increasingly difficult to remain so fixed in my position on the topic of religion and philosophy, any topic. I am but a small speck in the large universe with very little understanding of infinity. I conclude that I couldn't possibly know everything. I cannot make declarations that will be fixed for eternity because, well, in a second that declaration could be overturned by new information.

I submit to the eternal search for light, love, knowledge, and truth. I do not search for these things to gain leverage over another. Rather, I search for these qualities only to understand, to feel compassion, to express kindness for all living entities in the universe. I want to share my light. I want my light to burn brighter.

Can you dig it?

BTW: the topic I selected is Christian Mysticism.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Treats: El Rancho Flaxseed Tortilla Chips

Oh the joy that comes from LITTLE TREATS. This is my new favorite healthy chip alternative. I found it at Tamura's. If you're counting calories -- this might not be the chip for you because 8 chips=139 calories. The upside is that 8 chips=500mg of Omega-3's. The taste and crunch of the chip is perfect! Happy eating!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Netflix Viewing: Greek

Over the weekend I had plans to watch the new Pirates of the Caribbean. I had to rethink that because I didn't really want to be packed into a theater on opening night when I could watch it during a matinee and have the theater almost all to myself. So this past weekend I opted for Netflix Viewing. I took in 9 episodes of the show GREEK.

It is based on the Greek system in colleges and universities across America. I never quite understood the Greek phenomena aside from the magic of a step-show. My ex-husband was part of a fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, and he was branded on his arm. It looked painful but I suppose it was something important to him for him to allow someone to brand him. I mean no disrespect when I critique his choice. It is what it is.

I thought it interesting that at our (me and the ex) wedding reception a guy recognized the actions and behavior of my then-husband as Que-doggish. He was a guest of a friend of mine. I had not met him previously so did not know that he too was a Que-dogg. They had a conversation that seemed to include all the "signals" of their organization. I don't know what the draw is for Greek organizations. My bloodlines, at least in the last 200 years or so as far as I know, do not lead back to Greece. So, what makes one desire to "pledge" to the fraternity/ sorority?

The television show Greek is a one-hour teenage drama. It seems to promote drinking and promiscuity while trying to maintain academic excellence (not). Odd, considering that the show airs on ABC Family. Is that what is considered family values now? The world is so confused as to what, exactly, constitutes family values. No one can agree. No philosophy is all-encompassing of the different types of social behaviors that are in the world. **sigh**

As I watch the show, I'm intrigued by the characters. They all appear to be versions of people that I know in real-life. Does art imitate life or vice-versa? What is good entertainment nowadays? There's tons of kissing and allusions to sex. Is this indicative of the normal college experience? Husband is not interested at all in the show. He was irritated that the only black male on the show happens to be the gay one. Is this a true sampling of society at large? **shrugs** What I do know is that I am probably going to finish off the series because I'm 9-episodes into all the characters.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Governor tackles questions from students

Short Summary:
Governor tackles questions from students

Audio Summary:
Governor Abercrombie Unveils 90-day Homeless Action Plan

According to this article (click the link above), Governor Abercrombie suggests that social groups STOP feeding the homeless in the park. He calls feeding the homeless as "aiding and abetting" the homeless to remain in their current state. His reasoning, according to the article, is lacking in substance. May 17th, 2011 Abercrombie unveiled a 90-day action plan to eliminate the homeless from the streets. "Relentless," he calls it. Sounds void of compassion to me.

Abercrombie is creating a State Inter Agency Council on Homelessness to be implemented by Executive Order. More government! It makes my stomach turn. In a failing national economy, why are we increasing state-sponsored programs?

I am not happy with what this governor is doing. He was just elected in November 2010 and has already agreed to enslave encumber future tax payer dollars by supporting the rail, impose gay marriage on a population that already voted against it, and continues to create government programs further enslaving burdening the residents of Hawai'i. Why was he voted in?

Wishing On Forever

I found out some unsettling news today.

I feel like I will live forever
Like my parents will never age and that they too will live forever

I feel like the people I consider my second family will live forever
That sickness will never interfere with our earthly happiness
But it does

We are, after all, human
Subject to sickness
But capable of health
and Wellness
and Joy
and Strength
and Happiness
and LOVE, unconditional

I contemplate my mortal existence
and I factor in all the relationships and bonds I have nurtured over the years
and I have concluded
is not enough
I want forever
for Always
for this world
and the next

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Travel Where?

Husband and I are supposed to be taking a trip over Memorial Day weekend. We are unsure where to go. I originally suggested New York City. Husband doesn't want to spend money on a hotel so we have to travel to a place where we can crash at someone's house. I'm thinking that we may head out to Baltimore to visit a dear friend of mine and maybe catch the train out to New York City. I'm up in the air. In June or July we may head to Europe. Italy or Paris -- we'll see. My cousin said she wants to do Thailand for her birthday. Sounds fun! I heard it's quite inexpensive to hang out there so that is an option in the future.

I need a break... that's for sure! Everything has been piling up on me -- all my extracurricular activities. My husband, ever patient, puts up with how much I love to be out and about. School, volunteer work in the community, church obligations... I'm pooped! The month of July is off limits for anything to do with the stuff I just mentioned. I'm going to relax!!

My 36th birthday is quick approaching in August. I haven't decided what I want to do. Last year was a blast. Parasailing, my brand new Nikon D5000, comedy show... I had a blast. Life is quickly moving past me. I can't believe how fast time seems to progress. What have I done? What have I accomplished?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo Blog: He'eia Fish Pond

This past weekend I got to spend some time at He'eia Fish Pond. The group that maintains the fish pond has community work days on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Paepae o He'eia are attempting to resurrect the area to be as sustainable as it was anciently. The ongoing objective right now is to restore the kuapa (rock wall). So, we hauled rocks for the day. My biceps are grateful for the exercise. There is just something absolutely wonderful about connecting with my culture in such a positive way.

I am always so grateful for the beautiful place that I call home. Some people are made for urban living. I'm not! I will always prefer to be half naked (like my ancestors), barely any clothing on, running around barefoot in natural surroundings!

Coconut trees, green grass, fresh water stream... this is me!

Such a gorgeous day to work. I am so grateful for this beautiful world!

Look at the gorgeous Ko'olau Mountain range (a small portion of it). This one of the things that I miss when I leave the islands... the beautiful mountains.

This is probably one of my most favorite pics of the day. We were out on the fish pond at just the right moment of the day to catch this beautiful reflection.

I love everything that is going on in this pic. The calm waters on the left side of the pic, the rushing water on the right side of the pic, the rock wall on the bottom right of the pic, the hills in the background, the blue skies and puffy clouds at the top of the pic -- What's not to love?


This gap in the rock wall was blown out from a wild storm back in the 1960's. This is the portion of the wall we assisted in restoring.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Music Rave/Rant

A couple weeks ago I spent the entire weekend with young people... aged 14-18. I had a blast. I felt like I was in a time warp and I was a teenager all over again.

Youth Conference.... almost every denomination has some type of youth ministry that caters to the teenage population. The LDS faith is no different. We started our weekend off with a dinner and dance. The music was outstanding! I know I've expressed my disdain for music over the years but I was quite pleased with the DJ at both dances. His selection of music was perfect. My new anthem has got to be Jay Sean's DO YOU REMEMBER. I have fallen in love with that song and consequently Jay Sean. :-)

The song reminds me of my teenage years. I am incredibly nostalgic when I hear this song. I have such good memories of my teenage years as well as my childhood. My life, under the care of my parents, was not marred by any kind of abuse.... unless you count my mother's control issues. **giggles**

Another song that DOES IT for me is Firework by Katy Perry. I know it gets major overplay now. I hear it on commercials and ads for new movies coming out. I love the lyrics and the feel-good vibes and you should see the young people go crazy when this song comes on. I love to see that!

"...ignite the light and let it shine..."

The selections I made are very "pop"

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


I work with young women ages 12-18 at church. Several months ago, one of the girls lost her grandmother. I knew how close she was to her grandmother so I instituted FREE HUGS. I walked up to her and all the girls she was sitting with and told them that today was FREE HUG day. Any takers?

All of them took me up on it.

It's kind of become a "thing" now. Random girls will come up to me for their FREE HUG. I love it. Probably what I love the most though is that I probably need it more than they do... even though that isn't what I started it for.

So today -- give a FREE HUG to someone, anyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Step Mom Blues

I'm a step mom to a boy and a girl.

My stepson added me on Facebook.
My stepdaughter didn't.

At first, it didn't bother me at all. Today it does. Maybe it's because she added everyone else -- my husband (her father), my sister-in-law (her aunt), my mother-in-law (her grandmother) -- that I feel a little "left out". **shrugs** I mean thanks to Cinderella all stepmothers are evil, right?

She doesn't owe me a thing and she's just a child. Who cares, right? If she only knew how often I think of them and their well-being.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Current Events: Government Shutdown

One quick point I would like to make:

The current media is a government machine for the purpose of furthering propaganda. It is a form of mind control.

So what has been in the headlines for the last couple of days? THE GOVERNMENT IS SHUTTING DOWN!!

The idea of the government shutting down is ridiculous. What I think is going to happen in relation to this is an imposition of a draconian-type legislation, similar to the Patriot Act, that will force the masses to submit to an ever-enlarging government, ever-increasing tax burden, and that top 1% will get richer and richer and richer. Slavery, I say!

They (Legislators) create this huge problem: THE GOVERNMENT SHUTTING DOWN

"Hundreds of thousands of workers are suddenly out of paychecks." -Obama said that in a Press Conference today. This is an appeal to your emotions and the rationale of millions of federal workers who rely on those pay checks to live. Here's a novel idea -- why doesn't CONGRESS take a pay cut? Why does a government-shut-down mean that blue-collar folks will not get paid? If the government shuts down -- let it be in Washington D.C. **sigh**

In the old days, before the Federal Reserve System was created, the government had to ask the people (citizen/ tax payer) for more funds. Now, thanks to the Federal Reserve and legislation like Fractional Reserve Banking, Congress no longer has to ask the people for money. They just ask the Federal Reserve to print more money. Here's an example of Fractional Reserve Banking:
1. Congress goes to the Federal Reserve and asks for 10B -- they get the 10B
2. Congress in turn uses that money to pay all Federal Employees, including themselves.
3. Federal Employees turn around and deposit their money in a Federal Reserve bank (most banks operate under the Federal Reserve).
NOTE: that 10B has successfully been injected into the economy.

But with Fractional Reserve Banking, it doesn't end there. If all of that 10B gets deposited into the bank, it will show up on the Bank's books as an asset. Fractional reserve banking requires that the bank only have 10% of what it lends out to be on reserve. (Read it over a couple of times before you move on.)

If 10 Billion was deposited...... that means the banks can lend out 100 Billion. 90 Billion has been created out of thin air! On top of that... they charge interest!! **sigh** Does that make any sense to you? Following the money trail, who benefits from that?

So, let's think about this supposed GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN... what's really going on? Is it as I am implying: that the mass media machine is advancing the financial agenda of the elite power class? I would have to say........ DUH!!!

And the American people, feeling the pressure of having to pay bills and save the federal worker and hold down a mortgage and keep the heat on and feed their children and send their kid to college and on and on and on.... will ultimately fold to whatever "those people" in Washington decide.

What would happen if allllll the Federal workers walked out tomorrow?
What would happen if we all said ENOUGH is ENOUGH and we all stopped paying our mortgages and simply WALKED AWAY?
What would happen if government was as small as it was in its inception?
What would happen if we let the GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN as they are making it sound in the media?

We can overcome!
We must!

It has to start somewhere. Let it be now. Call your congressperson and tell them what you REALLY think. Tell them they need a paycut and not the blue collar guy or gal just trying to feed their family and put a roof over head.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Any Given Sunday

Challenge #11: What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday? How would it differ from a typical Sunday? If it’s Sunday where you are, what kind of day is it so far?

* * * * * * * * * *

Sometimes Sunday is my busiest day.

Typical Sunday:
-More Meetings

Ideal Sunday:
Kakela Beach -- perfect for a barbecue and some relaxation!

I don't know how we get sucked into being so busy on the supposed "day of rest". What I love about Eastern traditions is that there are general principles to govern their lives. General meaning... universal principles like Love One Another or Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You... but the practice of it is left to the believer and is not regulated by someone "judging" your actions or attempting to assess your "worthiness". As I age, I find the whole worthiness thing to be quite disturbing even though I put myself through it every couple of years.

My perfect Sunday -- relaxation. Sleep in.

* * * * * * * * * *

Photo Credit

Monday, April 04, 2011

He and She Of It All

I just seen a picture of my ex-ex-ex on Facebook... a guy from the East Coast. He ended up marrying a girl that I know... we went to high school together and hung out in the same circles. I am so happy that they are still going strong after all these years. He was a boyfriend from the early 90's. Yikes... seems like yesterday but it was so long ago!

Anyway, the picture just made me realize how happy I am with where I am and who I'm with. I don't think he and I were good for each other. In some respects he did all the right things. I mean he was 'head-over-heels' in love with me and I, unfortunately, was only infatuated with him. That's the funny thing about love... when everything is in sync, when the 'he' and 'she' of it all are both at the correct moment of blossoming, the magic happens.

I love the magic! I have told the story about husband and I too many times here to rehash the "he" and "she" of it all.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A Tribute for Baby Casen: Tyrayl's Song

A dear friend of mine, Neta, lost her son today. He was born a month or two ago with Spina Bifida. Baby Casen donned his angel wings today and I wanted to post this in his honor.

I wrote the lyrics to this song back in 1991 and another dear friend of mine, Omi, put it to music.  I wrote it when another dear friend, Jenika, lost her son a month after his birth. In 1991, we were just juniors in high school when Jenika bore her first child. We were all there in the hospital when Baby Tyrayl took his last breath. It was very peaceful.... but still so very sad. Hearing the news today that Neta lost Baby Casen made me think of Baby Tyrayl. (A group of us sang this at his memorial service.)

I love my friends. I'm grateful for all of them in my life. Though I don't have children of my own and I could probably never understand a mother's love, I ache and hurt for my friends who have lost a child. **Sending love to Neta in Pensacola, Florida**

* * * * * * * * * * 

Tyrayl's Song

Mom and Dad, will you remember me?
Mom and Dad, will you still be mine?
Although my time on earth on is done
I will still love you and always will

Mom and Dad, will I see you again?
Mom and Dad, will I feel your touch?
Please be strong until the end
I will wait for you, til we meet again

Dear Father, hear my plea (hear my plea)
Please bless my mom and dad
Give them strength to understand
This is our Savior's plan

Firm and strong, I will be someday
For you to love and hold I pray
I will always live in your memory
So just close your eyes and I'll be there
(Repeat Chorus)

* * * * * * * * * *
Rest In Eternal Love Baby Casen!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Funny People

Challenge #9: Who are the three funniest people in the world? Who are the three funniest people you know personally?

* * * * * * * * * *

When I was little, I thought that Bill Cosby was the funniest man on the planet. Maybe it's because I grew up in the era when The Cosby Show ruled the television. **shrugs** Just thinking of those innocent years makes me smile and long for my childhood. I also watched Bill Cosby Himself over and over. I used to sing, "Dad is great. He give us a chocolate cake." Only a person that has seen that knows the significance of that song and the skit that goes with it. He has this way of telling a story that is so smooth and funny without being vulgar or focusing on the base and negative things in the world. He is my favorite funny guy that I actually get to enjoy with kids around.

My next favorite funny guy -- BERNIE MAC. His style is not funny one-liners. Rather, his funny-ness comes in the form of story-telling. The way he tells a story and the things he focuses on is just hilarious. Sad that he left us so soon. I remember seeing him on Def Comedy Jam on HBO then on Kings of Comedy. His Milk & Cookies skit is so hilarious. Some of us have that way of telling a story that makes it funnier than it really is.

Ellen Degeneres is my next funny person. She is such a crack-up on her talk show. I absolutely loved her as the voice of Dory in Finding Nemo.

* * * * * * * * * *

The funniest people I know in real life.... simple but I'm not sure if it will make much sense to the readers of this blog. (Last names omitted for their privacy)

HAILAMA -- ok... he is such a crack up. I think he needs to be, considering his profession. He is a tech/care-giver in a section of the hospital that is considered hospice (they're going to die soon) and doubles as a funeral director. With such morbidness around him, I don't know how he can have such an awesome sense of humor. It has toned down considerably but he is still cracking jokes every time I see him. We grew up together so I've known him all my life. When we were little, at camp, he was the "entertainment coordinator" for our little crew.

UNCLE K -- Uncle K is Hailama's uncle. He always seems to call me out whenever he is emcee'ing an event. I remember once going to a party and as soon as I cleared the reception table, I hear my name over the loud speaker. Then we have this back and forth cut-down conversation and the crowd goes nuts, laughing.

FUSILOA -- dear friend of mine. It's the wit. [She] has the quickest mind and remembers things from way-back-when. As we age, the jokes have become less cruel. I'm grateful for that. [She] is the reason why I have a 'most embarrassing moment'. Most people who were there will never forget it and I've told the story a million times also. The story is funnier if its told in person because there are just some things that can't be conveyed with the written word. We're on The City Bus. [She] pushes me as we're stopping at [her] stop. I go sliding to the front of the bus like I'm sliding into home base. [She] jumps off the bus, runs to the front and yells out, "Safe," while making the motion for it. The whole crowd laughs hysterically. I stand up and take a bow... still totally embarrassed but taking it in stride. The killer is that I have to ride the bus another three miles.

* * * * * * * * * *

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Music and Me

Challenge #9: If stranded on a deserted island, and could only bring one music album with you, which would it be? What is it about this music that never gets old for you?

* * * * * * * * * *

My favorite music album changes as I age. Every time I think I have found the definitive album that matches me so perfectly, I hear something else that blows my mind away.

When I was young and single and fresh out of high school, the ABOVE THE RIM Soundtrack would have been the album for me. Why would anyone pass up SWV, H-Town, 2Pac, and Tha Dogg Pound? Now, I still enjoy that particular album but my taste in music continues to evolve. Back in 1998/1999 era, I would have said that KIRK FRANKLIN and any kind of gospel music was "it" for me. But as I stated before, my taste in music continues to change. Probably the best thing I could do is make a play list of some of my absolute MUST HAVE songs because just one album would not do it for me.

Song #1: I remember when I was five years old my cousin Nani (God rest her soul) used to play The Manhattan's Shining Star over and over again. Back then, we didn't have the convenience of a cd where all you do is go back to the beginning of a song. We had cassettes and you either had to press rewind to get back to the beginning of the song (it took a minute or two, literally!) or record the song over and over on the cassette until it ran out of space. Either way, it took some effort. That song is definitely imprinted in my mind and would be considered a song that I would want on a CD because of the memories associated with the song. Song #1 SHINING STAR

Song #2: My parents are fans of Country-Western music. As a little girl, my father would put in his Glen Campbell 8-Track and we'd cruise down Kamehameha Highway, aboard our white impala (sixth generation) with red vinyl top and red interior. I can still remember singing, "..There's been a load of compromisin'/ On the road to my horizon/ But I'm gonna be where the lights are shinin' on me/ Like a rhinestone cowboy/ Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo..." Any Glen Campbell song will remind me of my father. But the one that makes me miss him even when he's right next to me is Wichita Lineman. I have to give it to country-music, the lyrics often tell a story that is not based solely on lascivious desire as is the case with some rap, some hip-hop, and some R&B. So song #2 is definitely WICHITA LINEMAN.

Song #3... comes from one of my favorite movies of all time. The Mirror Has Two Faces starring Barbra Streisand has the title song "I Finally Found Someone". That is a definite favorite. And if I'm imagining that I'm on a deserted island then I would want this song handy to remind me of this movie and what my life was like when I first seen it. The movie came out in 1996. I didn't see it until probably 2001 or 2002... the ex and I were separated. I was feeling very, very low -- doubting my reflection. Why didn't he love me? Am I unloveable? I went through a myriad of emotions mostly pointing to me feeling sorry for myself. The movie portrays Barbra as a frumpy single lady who marries the handsomest professor for all the wrong reasons... just for the sake of being married. HMMMM... sounded so much like my life at the time. To find out what happens... well... you have to watch the movie! SONG #3: I FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE.

Song #4 is an unlikely choice that ties into Song #3. It was another song that was featured on The Mirror Has Two Faces in a roundabout way. The song -- Nessun Dorma as performed by Pavarotti. As a child, I did not have access to things like ballet or opera so hearing this song was such an experience. I don't even know what the song is talking about but it comes from the opera Turandot. It is magnificent!

Song #5 ... this song OFTEN makes me feel homesick for somewhere beyond this earth. I don't know if folks can connect with that. I wrote about it before on here. It stimulates weird emotions... not weird meaning bad but like weird meaning new emotions and experiences. The song is by Christopher Cross, SAILING. The vibrations of this song is at the right level to reduce me to tears -- homesick.

Song #6 ... going in a totally different direction, one of the greatest rock songs for me comes from the classic late 80's rock band Guns-and-Roses. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. I love that song. I love Axel Rose. Not only is it a pumping, up beat song but it appears on the movie Lean On Me.... great memories.

Song #7 ...a rap classic PAID IN FULL by Eric B. and Rakim. The bass line and sound bytes are representative of the era of Yo! MTV Raps (at least for me, it is). I remember first hearing that song and seeing that video. I was/ am hooked. Current "pop hip hop" artists can't even touch the lyrical skills of old school rap masters like Rakim. His distinct voice coupled with his delivery and poetry -- no one can duplicate it. The quality of his voice is probably my favorite even to this day. (I like Dr Dre's voice also.) East Coast style rap was king before NWA hit the scene and when they did -- it was up in the air who ruled the rap waves.

Song #8 ...I NEED LOVE. L.L. Cool J was, in my opinion, the finest man I had ever seen when I was 12. I always imagined that he was rapping right to me when he did this song. I used to write down the lyrics over and over in my journal. Til this day, I can still rap the entire song. Goodness, it's been over 20 years. I amaze myself.

Song #9 ... SEPTEMBER by Earth Wind and Fire. That song makes me feel happy. I can just see myself waking up to this song if I were deserted on an island. It wakes me up and makes me feel a little nostalgic.... wishing for the carefree innocence of childhood.

Song #10 ...CLAIR DE LUNE composed by Claude Debussy and performed by 101 Strings Orchestra. This is my  most favorite classical piece of all time. It appears in a couple of Hollywood movies. Think of the end scene of Oceans 11, outside of The Bellagio, the water dances to this tune. It's used in Twilight. I've heard it was cut from a crane scene in the 1940 Disney Classic, Fantasia. I just love the good vibes I get from this song. The thought of being on a deserted island makes me think of the piano or the stringed instruments I will not hear for awhile.

* * * * * * * * * *

I think that's a pretty good playlist for now. I have eclectic taste in music. What can I say?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I heart you, You haunt me

Jackson sits with me.
He plays with the TV
from time to time,
making the channels turn.
At first it makes me smile.
Then it gets on my nerves.
Big time.

Because he can't talk 
like a normal guy.
He can't hold hands
like a normal guy.
He can't kiss
like a normal guy.
Unless it's in my dreams,
and then we do those last two things.
But dreaming about them 
isn't the same 
as actually
doing them
and experiencing them.

All he can really do
are the strange ghostly things
that let me know
he's here.

(Excerpt from the book by Lisa Scrhoeder,
I heart you, You haunt me)

I Heart You, You Haunt Me

The other day I asked for some advice on how to deal with a young woman whose boyfriend just passed. In the comment section someone suggested this book. Praises to the smart people who thought up Public Libraries. I requested the book online and was able to pick it up within a few days. Spectacular!

So I read this book hoping to understand the myriad of feelings that a young woman I associate with may be going through. What I came away with is a feeling of triumph for the central character, Ava, who overcomes her grief for having lost her boyfriend, Jackson.

The book is an easy read. It took me all of 45-minutes to get through. The format: Verse Novel. I have never read a verse novel so this was an interesting treat.

Ava loses Jackson to a diving accident which she dared him to do. She carries the guilt with her. Immediately following his funeral services she begins to feel his presence in the hope indicated by a cold impression. He signals her with songs on the radio and the opening and closing of cabinets. He appears in the mirror and in her dreams.

In dialogues with friends and specifically with an ex-boyfriend, Ava gets a push in the right direction. The ex tells her how he 'got over her'.

"I just decided, Ava.
That's all.
I just decided."

She tosses the idea around and finally musters the courage to let go of her guilt, a switch in the mind that happens so quick.

The beauty of it all is evidenced in a letter she writes to her parents. If I could, I would tell the girl I associate with the same.

When I look out at the stars now, I wish with everything I have that Jackson was still here. Every day, I've wished.

But today, I'm wondering something. What is Jackson's wish for me?

I think his wish for me is this:

Joy, not sorrow.

Laughter, not tears.

Life, not death.

Love, not blame.