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!