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March 2003

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March 2003

March 31 - A Little Poem for Jenni from Tony

Us On 3/31/03

what's goin on
well, lover
things happen
beyond our control
there's always a but
when it comes to
takin on
the new
and mysterious
... but we'll keep on
as we move forward
and healing
as we move on
Don't worry baby
we'll be celebrating
when our time
comes again

March 30 - Peace(ful) Weekend

It's Sunday evening again, and the Laker game is on behind me. It was a sunny and hot weekend. Yesterday, Tony & I went to the Venice Co-op, Santa Monica Co-opportunity and Trader Joe's. So nice to have organic fruit, vegetables, yogurt, tofu and snacks in the house again (we ran out of food the last few weeks). We cleaned the house a bit, and our artist friends Glenn and Traci came over for dinner, music and games. Tony knows Glenn back from when he interned at the Rafu, and I've known Traci 10-11 years. We see them in the community all the time, have worked with them, but haven't ever just hung out together. We scheduled the evening into our calendars 2 months ago since we're all so busy. Tony made a delicious tofu/kale/onion/corn stew with chipotle and soyrizo, sauteed mushrooms, spanish rice and salsa. I "made" baby carrots and hummus. Glenn, who is a musician, restrung Tony's guitar, and they played music for awhile. Afterwards we ate pecan pie and played 10 rounds of Boggle. It was nice to hang around the house with good friends.

Today, I dropped off Tony in Little Tokyo to meet up with Asian Pacific Islanders For Peace and Justice. He went to the peace march from Pershing Square to the downtown federal building. See photos above. I wanted to go, but I had plans to go to cousin Hiroko's baby shower in Boyle Heights. It was nice to see cousins, aunties and their church friends. I used to hate baby showers and stupid shower games, but it was fun to mold a breast pump out of playdoh and have my table guess what it was. It was also hilarious to see my aunties run across the room with balloons between their legs and try to drop the balloons into a laundry basket with the static cling in the air. It was also nice to see Hiroko looking very pregnant and healthy. Another peace(ful) weekend over. Peace. Out.

March 28 - The Quickie
Monica & Dyami

Last nite, Nobuko, Nona, Erica and Sarah treated me to a massage at the Korean spa. Mmmm. It was great. I had "The Quickie" which was a fast body massage with oil and honey. Then, I got a hair wash and fresh cucumber facial mask. It ended with a body rinse with warm milk. Afterwards, I was like a zombie. I came home and fell asleep about 10 seconds after my head hit the pillow. I forgot all about how behind I am on my emails, how much work I need to do at work, the Manzanar pilgrimage next month, JACS event in May, how my entire April is booked solid, how I have to get my tax stuff together and clean my house, and how there's a war going on. Today, we had lunch with Monica, who worked at Great Leap until she had a baby in October. Here's a picture of Monica and Dyami, taken today in my office. I haven't seen him since he was 5 weeks old, and here he is at 5 months old. Peace. Out.

March 26 - Smooth Flights
Back home
Just got back from two days in Sacramento. It was only 2 days, but I really missed reading the blogs. Two days without the internet, and I felt like I had so much reading to do to catch up on blog people's lives. Anyways, I was in Sacramento, sitting on a grants review panel for the California Arts Council. I love sitting on panels, this was my second time. It's such a great process to review grant applications, to meet and hang out with people who are "into the arts," who run arts orgs or are artists themselves. And I learn so much about what panelists are looking for when "they" review "our" grant apps.

Traveling was pretty easy. I haven't flown since last summer. Hardly anyone was on the flight up. I guess people don't travel as much with the heightened security alerts. Lots of commuter fliers. Getting through security seemed pretty smooth. We got new carry-on luggage this weekend. It was time. I have a tapestry flowered bag that I bought 20 years ago, and an REI backpack that is heavy when full. I have lugged this bag around the world. Anyways, I carried on my new rolling suitcase. After the flight, I just roll off the plane and out to the curb. No long wait in the baggage claim area jockeying for position. As Nobuko has been telling me for years, "wheels are good." All in all, I like traveling, being away, having a change from the daily routine, but it's also good to be back home.

While I've been writing this entry, the Lakers won. I'm thinking about what to plant in my garden. Tony just walked in the house. It's Spring. Life is good. Now, if only we could get the truth in the news. That pep rally G.W. orchestrated this morning was enough to make me lose my appetite. Maybe we can get him to come to a peace rally, so we can get real.

March 23 - Untitled
It's Sunday. It's only been 2 days since my last blog but it feels like a long time ago. Tony and I bought luggage yesterday, I saw the movie "Chicago" with Lisa, Lily & spouses, ate popcorn, got to see baby Kai, and went for pizza for dinner with Tony. Afterwards we hung in the bookstore. I read books on pregnancy, miscarriage and fertility and bought a new book, "Making a Baby." I am depressed and am still grieving and working through this. Emotionally, I have been sad, but have tried to remain positive, and keep healthy so we can try again in a few months. Since last night, I have had a killer headache, and and have decided not to take anything for it. Hey, I had Vicodin for my miscarriage, but didn't take any drugs, so I can make it through this nasty headache. I stayed up till 4am watching "Prince of Tides" on TV last night. It was better than I remember. Watched the Lakers lose to San Antonio Spurs today and vacuumed the mini-blinds. The war, the Iraqis killed, the annoying news spinning, the peace rallies around the country and the globe are on my mind, but I have to go about my life. Got to go make a smoothie and do some yoga. I like what Tish said, something like, I have to be the peace I want to see. Peace. Out.

March 21 - PeaceBlogs
Tish and Zeebah have joined the new PeaceBlogs. Me too. I love the concept. But when I signed up, I didn't want to choose the US flag as my country of origin unless it was upside down in distress. I wanted to select the flag from Cuba, since it's the country I most admire, but it wasn't an option. So I put Japan, since that's where all my grandparents came from. I also changed our website name (see homepage). Peace out.

March 20 - There's a war going on
There's a war going on, but we had a grant deadline today at work.
There's a war going on, and a four year old girl in Iraq is in the hospital crying.
There's a war going on, and I'm hoping people leave a Comment on my blog.
There's a war going on, and police are beating people speaking out for peace.
There's a war going on, and I have dishes in the sink.
There's a war going on, and I hope it ends soon.
There's a war going on, and I'm going to go do yoga so that I can keep on keepin' on.

But first, here are 4 questions out of 53 that I found on the Community for Peace website. Check out the other questions on this: "Do you know enough to justify war against Iraq?"
Q: How many countries are known to have nuclear weapons?
A: 8 
Q: How many nuclear warheads has Iraq got?
A: 0 
Q: How many nuclear warheads has US got? 
A: over 10,000 
Q: Which is the only country to use nuclear weapons?
A: The US. 

Here are some revealing Q&A's that I found on Santosha's blog, which she got from the Green Party website.
Q: How much business did Halliburton Energy do with Iraq between 1998 and 2000, while Dick Cheney was CEO?
A: $73 million.
Q: Who has the $900 million dollar contract to rebuild post-war infrastructure in Iraq?
A: Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton Energy.
Q: Who just won the contract to put out the fires in the oil wells in Iraq?
A: Brown and Root.

March 19 - Stop the Bombing
Art by Weston
The big bad bully launched his war tonight. After work, Tony and I drove down to the Federal Building in Westwood to join in the call for peace. We thought there would be many more people there, but they had only started the bombing about 10 minutes before we got there. I'm guessing many more people will be gathering there tomorrow nite. I feel mad, especially when I hear people talk about standing behind the President, and when I see the misinformation lies the mainstream media puts out. Stop the bombing.

Here's an excerpt of Michael Moore's letter to George Bush: "The majority of Americans -- the ones who never elected you -- are not fooled by your weapons of mass distraction. We know what the real issues are that affect our daily lives -- and none of them begin with I or end in Q. Here's what threatens us: two and a half million jobs lost since you took office, the stock market having become a cruel joke, no one knowing if their retirement funds are going to be there, gas now costs almost two dollars -- the list goes on and on. Bombing Iraq will not make any of this go away. Only you need to go away for things to improve."

Note: I finally figured out how to get the Comments thing to work. This is for you! Let us know what you're thinking.

March 18 - This or That Tuesday

1. Cold frosty ski slopes or warm sandy beach? There was a time when I skiied at least 10 days a ski season, but I have always preferred lounging on the beach with a great book.
2. Chevy or Ford? Are you kidding? Neither! My first car was a 1973 Ford Mustang. It was stolen from my apartment in college. Since 1986, my only two cars have been Hondas. My next car may be a Civic Hybrid.
3. Mac or PC? Mac. I will never go back.
4. Dial-up or high speed internet access? Dial up from home, DSL at work.
5. Small *family-only* wedding or large 200+ guest wedding? Well, *community-style potluck picnic wedding* but with 200+ guests. Dress was "picnic-casual." People brought food, blankets, chairs and games.
6. Would you rather be the bridesmaid or the bride? Bridesmaid 5 times I think (Jackie, Lea, Maria, Gayle, Ayako), bride once. Definitely more life-fulfilling to be the bride once than a bridesmaid many times.
7. AC/DC or ABBA? Hmm, Journey, Triumph, Styx, Kansas, Billy Joel, Elton John in the 80s. In the 90s, it was Holly Near, Indigo Girls, 10,000 Maniacs, Tori Amos, Rickie Lee Jones, all womyn.
8. Roses or daisies? Any flowers are nice. I grow both. I'm also growing poppies and I love their whimsy.
9. Trashy romance novels or classic literature? I used to own 30+ Danielle Steel books, but most of the books I read/borrow/buy now are about Asian Americans or about alternative healthy life styles, internal cleansing, fertility.
10. If you had to choose one...would you rather be blind or deaf? Why? You would never choose one, so this is a bizarre question. Great Leap's performances feature Arlene Malinowski, who is a CODA, child of deaf adults and Lynn Manning, a blind performer. I have always loved watching the beauty of sign language and would love to learn it. Arlene grew up with as a translater for her parents. Lynn has toured with us across the country, has a voice-activated computer/fax. I would learn to adjust to either situation, hopefully as gracefully as Arlene and Lynn's families.

March 17 - Orchid Surprise
Thank you to whoever left the beautiful orchids on our doorstep. They're breathtaking and I love them.

March 16 - Disclosure
The funny thing about blogs are that what gets posted is only what the blogger feels like disclosing. So, while I have blogged about many things in my life, there are some major personal things that I haven't talked about. So here goes. We found out on February 7th, that we were pregnant. After trying for a year, we were stunned to find out that we were going to have a baby! Since I was only 5 1/2 weeks pregnant, we decided to wait until the middle of March before telling people. That would have put me at 10 1/2 weeks. Sadly, I had a miscarriage last week. We were disappointed to find out that there was no longer a heartbeat and that the baby had stopped growing at about 7 1/2 weeks. We were stunned because I had been feeling so good, very healthy, no morning sickness. Anyways, although it's very sad, we feel positive that we will try again in a few months.

March 15 - No War, Yes Rain!
Real Axis of Evil
Today, the chants were, "No War, Yes Peace! No War, Yes Peace!" But, it was more like "No War, Yes Rain!" It was pouring rain, but that didn't stop the thousands of people who came out to downtown LA today to call for peace to stop the war in Iraq. People were wet, but that didn't seem to dampen their spirits as people covered their signs with plastic, marched through downtown to the Federal Building, singin and dancin in the rain. I didn't see them in the crowd, but I knew that there was a contingent of friends bearing signs that said, "Asian Pacific Islanders for Peace and Justice." I stood by myself in the downpour for about 1 1/2 hours - soaking wet, and feeling a connection with all the people against the war. The police presence was as ominous as the clouds, but the spirit of the people was infectious. I got a new pin today, WAR-Not in my world. Check out photos from today's rally.

March 14 - Easter Bunny Arrested!
Easter Bust
On Monday, I blogged about how I was upset about seeing military Easter baskets at Rite-Aid. Just found out that last week, the NYPD arrested a woman dressed in furry slippers, a cottontail, fuzzy rabbit ears and a lavender sweater calling herself "Miss Bunny." She came to the K-Mart in Queens to protest the sale of military-themed Easter Baskets. She stood next to the display carrying a sign that said "Someone's in my Easter Basket... and it's G.I. Joe!!" She handed out plastic eggs with a printed explanation inside. "Don't you think it's strange to have guns and soldiers in an Easter basket?" Her two year old daughter was in a stroller next to her.

The Village Voice ran these two articles by Erik Baard: Bunny Busters and Full Metal Bonnet. Photo at right by Erik Baard.
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March 11 - Slip Slidin' Away
Tony on his folding bike
Yeah, the greenbacks are slippin out of our pockets and out of our lives with the price of gas these days. I'm glad I don't have a gas guzzling SUV. My 10 year old Honda Civlc gets me there with pretty good gas mileage. If you're obsessed about finding cheaper gas, you can check out, and drive 20-30 miles to get cheap gas. Or, you can get get a hybrid, get rid of your car, walk, ride a scooter or a bike, take a bus, subway, train or carpool. It's been about a year since we've become a "one-car family" by choice. Tony does a variation of scooter/ bus/ carpool/ motorcycle several times a week. It's a bit of a hassle at times, but we do spend more time together carpooling. We only pay insurance, maintenance and DMV fees on one car. I don't say it enough but I am proud of Tony for selling his car and lessening our family's dependency on oil. Maybe if the price of gas keeps going up, more people will start buying smaller, safer cars and looking at other alternative modes of transportation.

Note from Tony: Check out Self Propelled Cities for cool commuting solutions and a great fact sheet about our over dependence on cars. Also visit Car Free Times for more eye-opening perspectives.
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March 10 - At Rest
This weekend, I pretty much took it easy. I've been under the weather, so I stayed home all weekend. We rented 4 videos, I watched "Big Fat Greek Wedding," "Play It Again, Sam" and "Barber Shop." I liked BGFW, but I think it was overhyped. It was good, moving and funny, but I've seen way better independent movies that only handfuls of people have seen. PIAS, was hilarious. I haven't seen many Woody Allen films. We laughed and laughed. It was made in 1979 with Tony Roberts and Diane Keaton. Note to self: Rent more old Woody Allen movies. We also saw Barber Shop, but I wasn't feeling well and kept falling asleep, but Tony really enjoyed the message. Tony also rented "Shanghai Noon"- but it was "his" movie, so he watched it alone. (I told him I would "allow" him to have a movie choice. He retorted back quickly with a smile how he "allows" me to be in his life. Touche, love!) Last night, I tried to set up a Comments thing, Blogextra, but couldn't get it to work.

This morning, I went to the doctor. After being in all weekend, I ran a ton of errands before noon today. Went to return the videos, went to the pharmacy for dental floss, they didn't have it. Went to Costco to get my tires rotated and balanced (free). While i was waiting (2 hrs) I walked over to get a veggie avocado sandwich, went to look at cell phones, got my hair cut (no appt, no waiting), went to grocery store to get dental floss (got it), browsed another video store, the shoe store, and then went to pick up my car.
At both the pharmacy and the grocery store, I saw these Easter Baskets that made me very upset. One was "military" theme with a big machine gun in camouflage, toy military "men," all these military accessories, and candy. The other one was "Police" theme, complete with plastic gun, handcuffs, baton, badge, sunglasses, and candy. I might have to go back with the digital camera so you can see what I'm talking about. I'm a little pissed and trying to figure out what to do about it. Please don't buy this sh*t for your kids. It's a really bad message. Anyways, I'm back at home now, reading blogs, about to make an all organic smoothie (yogurt, soymilk, banana, cranberries, blueberries, and protein powder), and ready to flop back to bed for the rest of the day.
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March 9 - Pizza, Beer N' Horchata
Tony's friends

Last nite, Tony got together with with Hector, Greg and a few friends from high school, some he hadn't seen in over 10 years. They met at Shakey's Pizza, close to our house. He was going to guest blog today and write about the evening, but he's busy working on political buttons for KIWA. Anyways, he said the 7 guys drank 6 pitchers of beer. Tony, who doesn't drink alcohol, had a pitcher of sweet horchata all to himself. That's one of the things I love about Tony. Not afraid to be different.

Happy Anniversary to Fran and Don, and bday wishes to cousins, Tina and Nina.
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March 8 - LA Leggers
Sorry I didn't blog much this week. I've been preoccupied the past few days, but I just read this beautiful email from our friend Letty, who ran in the LA Marathon last weekend. I hope she doesn't mind that I
Letty at left 2002
share excerpts of her experiences in her words:
we had a gorgeous, sunny day with a light breeze most of the way - a bank on wilshire had the temp at 68F. a little warm but not like last year's! our time was about 4 minutes longer than last year but we had more stops with friends and family on the route, more potty breaks, and took more pictures to try to capture the great flavor of the marathon. pictures, however, can never do the experience any justice. there's no way kodak can capture the energy and smiles on kids' faces as they line the route on exposition blvd. - offering you a tiny high five from which you draw strength. no amount of pixels can recreate the thump, thump, thump you feel pulsing through your body as the taiko drummers set your pace on figueroa. there's no way to express the humility you feel as you run alongside true heroes that are aided by crutches or pushing themselves on their wheelchairs up crenshaw blvd. it's just something that people need to experience first hand.

what am i going to remember about this year's run? i'm going to remember: running alongside grant with his 'no war' sign as he sang along to songs heard on the road (or just decided to sing); listening to jerry recite a hip-hop version of shakespeare; watching rosa come in at the finish line; lorraine's insistence that we enjoy the marathon; velvet being a superhero and towing in a complete stranger whose calves were cramping at 1/2 a block from the finish line; joy's great attitude, muscle memory, and salonpas; seeing alicia and karena (nieces) at the mile 21 water station; janina, ryan, and mrs. g screaming and dancing on robertson blvd; running into ucla classmate evelyn at the expo; praying at the gates of the new cathedral the night before the marathon with velv, joy, aprille and toni; the guy who was running in honor of mr. rodgers (it was a beautiful day in every neighborhood); a legger being cheered on by her friends who were cruising along in a police squad car; the fact that running on the streets of l.a. is no different then driving - there are still people who don't watch where they are going because they are talking on cell phones (!!); and that after all those hours on the streets, hoping that someone might snap my picture or film me during one of my finer sports moments - it was in the end my mom, dad and hector who ended up on the nbc coverage of the marathon!

earlier in the season we had said this would probably be our last marathon. after re-living the excitement of it all, we are now thinking we'll just have to continue to do the l.a. marathon cause it's so much fun. it's like evelyn says, you just get hooked! i encourage everyone to check out the leggers ( and consider training for next year's run, l.a. marathon XIX. see you at the start line next year... Leticia
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March 4 - This or That
Tuesday's Lunch
So I'm doing this a few days late... I guess it must be time for lunch!
1. Soup or salad? Alejo's Chopped Salad, or any salad with Chipotle Cheddar dressing or Spicy Ranch.
2. Hot or cold sandwiches? Hot or cold doesn't matter, as long as there is lots of mustard, mayo or Dijonnaise.
3. White or whole wheat bread (or rye, etc)? Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Honey Multigrain. Rye makes me ill.
4. Pack a lunch for work or buy it? Pack it 1-2 times/week when we are cooking. Buy it when the fridge is empty.
5. If you eat out... fast-food chain, or mom & pop place? Talpa, Alejo's, occasionally Quizno's veggie sandwich, In-N-Out veggie burgers, Pollo Loco Ceasar Salad Bowl. But I'm really trying to eat at home.
6. Tuna or chicken salad? Tuna, as long as there is plenty of mustard and mayo. Avocado or lettuce a plus!
7. Cheese: Swiss or cheddar (or American, etc)? Yes. I love anything with cheese. Although am experimenting with organic cheeses and tofu cheeses. But generally trying to cut back on my beloved cheese.
8. Mustard or mayo? Yes! Yes! Yes!
9. Sandwiches: wrap/pita pocket, or regular bread/roll? Hard to find a good wrap that's not dry and tasteless, but am always searching for a better wrap.
10. Sweet stuff: cookie/cake or fresh fruit? I didn't have fruit for like 10 years during and following college! Now, I try to have at least 2 pieces of fruit per day and several fruit/soy smoothies per week. Trying not to do heavy processed sugars cakes and cookies: low-fat organic Fig Newmans is my latest health store find.
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March 2 - Ho Hum

Can't even believe that it is March already. The past week was a lazy one. I didn't do much, didn't have much to say. Work in February was all about catch-up, and still many things remain to be done. We have had no grant deadlines in two weeks, so nothing too stressful or remarkable. This weekend at home has been rather ho hum, I had about 10 things on my to do list yesterday, and the only thing I accomplished was going to the library and then to Alejo's for dinner with Tony. In the community, the Manzanar Pilgrimage is coming up in less than 2 months so we've got planning for that and a decision whether I'm going to put together a Poetry Zine or not, I'm planning a luncheon for the JACS grant recipients in May, and am flying to Sacramento for a few days to sit on a grant review panel. This morning, I got up early and archived the February Blogs and worked on updating the old website. Today, I hope to catch up on some of the things I didn't do yesterday. Shout out to our friend Letty who is running the LA Marathon today!
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March 1 - My Two Nephews

I went over to my sister Gayle's to help watch (play with) Baby Kyle. My brother Darin and Saori (Kyle's mommy) were going out for a romantic dinner. Gayle's sister in law Heidi was over with her baby, so it was Kyle, Kieth and Ronnie, 2 mommies and me. It was a nice relaxing evening. Baby Kyle just sort of hung out, kind of how he is in the photo at right. Saori just sent me a link with 60 photos of Kyle's first three months. My favorite photo is the one of Kyle, with Darin's practically identical baby photo in the background.
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