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May 2003

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May 2003

May 30 - It Flushes... It Drives!
So I mentioned that one of the things we did last weekend was go toilet shopping since our toilet broke over the weekend. We brought it home Tuesday night, but didn't get home before 10:00 any night this week. We got a one piece toilet, tank and bowl combined. Since we have a small bathroom, we had to get the smallest one they had. So tonight, we got home early and Tony installed it. It wasn't easy! Luckily, we had Hammerzone to help replace the wax ring and install it. So it's in and it flushes!

We also had to deal with my car this week. Last night, the battery died because I left the lights on accidentally for five minutes while filling up at the gas station. Tony's dad had to come give us a jump, the third time I've had to jump it in the last few months. Also, my right headlight has been out for the last two weeks. So, this morning I went to J&S Auto Service, nearby Tony's work. He replaced the headlight and battery for me. I showed him my auto records for the last 10 years, and asked him about the auto lube places that have been telling me every 3 months for 2 years that I need to flush my radiator. He said that I didn't need to flush my radiator ever, because it's plastic. It's nice to have a car guy that you can trust. He charged me less than I would have paid had I bought the stuff and installed them myself. So it's done and it drives!

I'm getting bored with the format of this site. Maybe I'll make some changes this weekend. Or maybe not, it's going to be a busy weekend. Thanks to Zeebah, and about an hour trying, I finally got the new button to work. Check it Out. Peace. Out.

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May 28 - Imagine
I found this on the Dudley Street Website today...


A village...with a family feeling
A welcome home where we get some healing
A place to drink some juice or herbal tea
With a theme of the month for all to see

A home for our village where people can play
And the rhythm of the seasons will mark each day
Where children will learn about their rights
And a place where there are no fights

Where we meet in a circle and go around
And everyone's voice can find its sound
Where we find a new way that comes from the heart
With an inclusive process right from the start

Where we respect one another and honor the earth
And all our relations through death and rebirth
A place where we help each other be strong
A place where we learn to change what's wrong
A place where we come to get involved
Where neighborhood problems can get resolved
With popular theater and cabaret
We'll show the world what we have to say

A place where we sing and dance together
Where festivals happen in inclement weather
Where people do yoga, aerobics, tai chi
And paint the pictures they want to see

Where everyone learns, regardless of age
And original plays are performed on the stage
Where fundraisers happen about every week
We'll work to help groups with the funding they seek

Where good food will be served in family style
And people will linger around for a while
A place where our spirits can freely roam
A place where we all can say, "Welcome home!"

I'd like to go to this place called Dudley Village in Boston... oh what a community. It reminds me of the Adamah project in Detroit and some of the work we've been doing in Detroit through Great Leap... Peace. Out.
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May 27 - This or That Tues
1. Do you prefer silence or do you like background sound?
I like background music at work, especially if it drones out voices.
2. Bathe/shower in morning or evening? Shower in the morning, except on taiko days (2nd shower at night on taiko days).
3. Sleeping in complete darkness, or with a nightlight on? Not sure, since I’m sleeping. It’s probably darkness, although I can also sleep with the lights on.
4. Lay out clothes the night before, or just grab what's closest in the morning? I normally dress in the morning. The only exception is when I travel and have a morning flight or departure time. Then, clothes, shoes, everything’s laid out.
5. Hang up/fold clothes neatly, or just toss them wherever? Hang up and fold, for the most part. Training Tony to toss them in the dirty clothes hamper. Some of it makes it, some of it doesn't.
6. Work out at a gym, or at home on your own (or do you not bother with exercise)? Yoga at home, taiko in J-town.
7. Talk on the phone, or via IM/e-mail? Email all day long (5 addresses), lots by cell phone, no IM. Almost no calls at home.
8. Are you usually on time, or late? Usually late, but I am trying, especially in those instances where I am habitually late. Part of the problem is that I usually allow 30 minutes to get somewhere. But in LA, I should probably allow an hour for everything.
9. Spendthrift or frugal? When I worked in the corporate world (1985-1997), I bought whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without looking at prices. Since I’ve been with Tony and working in the nonprofit world, I’ve gotten much more frugal. We do splurge on purchasing organic and natural products. We often pay more at independent, mom & pop shops or co-ops, rather than saving a few cents at a crowded mall or corporate chain megastores.
10. Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: You work with someone who is not in the habit of bathing regularly. The smell seems to be getting worse and worse! Would you: 1. try to do something about it, or 2. try to grin and bear it? I would "grimace and bear it." Personal hygiene is a sensitive subject. Where I used to work in human resources, people complained about a guy who didn’t bathe, and then slathered himself with cologne. If I recall correctly, It was my job as the HR manager to approach or "counsel" him, but I don’t remember what I said. Peace. Out.
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May 26 - Ten Things
laura and mike
at chantry flats 5.24.03
Ten Things I did over the 3-day weekend:
1. Hike and picnic with Mike, Laura and Tony at Chantry Flats in Angeles National Forest.
See lots of pretty wildflowers.
2. Go to Santa Monica Farmer's Market. Buy fresh strawberries, blood oranges, grapefruit, garlic, white carrots, all organic. Also buy tomato & mint plants for late, limited garden.
3. Laundry - 3 loads.
4. Write 2nd quarter report for Manzanar Committee grant (due on Jan. 31).
5. Attend Taiko Invitational at UCLA. 7 college taiko groups perform in concert.
6. Go to Trader Joe's. Buy OJ, yogurt, trail mix, bananas, soy milk, all organic.
7. Clean kitchen dishes, bathroom rugs and sweep the kitchen floor.
8. Play Mahjongg and other miniclip games.
9. Go to last Taiko class.
10. Go toilet shopping with Tony to replace broken toilet.
Back to work tomorrow for a short week. Over. (Peace) Out.
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May 23 - Fatshadow's Blog-a-thon

When I first heard about these crazy bloggers who post 150 blogs in one day I thought it was ridiculous. But! Tish! Girl, she's done 100 blogs in a day. So many links to choose from. Thanks to Tish's 100, I found a new free game, Mahjongg, I made a new button ko-button.php, and I finally learned what meme means. Gonna go play me some Majongg. Peace. Out.
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May 22 - Womyn Changing Detroit
kuidaosumi in detroit
with scott and emily

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month which is almost over, here are five Asian women from Detroit who are changing the world. Story. Photos. Three of them are friends of mine. Yamini. Emily. Grace. Here are 3 articles I've written about my 5 trips to Detroit in the last three years:

Obon in Detroit (2002)
Connecting Gerald and Grandma (2001)
Crack House to Hay House: My (Detroit) Summer Vacation (2000)

I am looking forward to going back to Detroit this summer for a few days. Speaking of Detroit, I read on Zeebah's website about a book called The Old Neighborhood. It looks really interesting. I'm going to get it. Oh, I also updated the Community Links page tonight. Peace. Out.
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Tony at Far East
May 21 - Tony's Element

Tony wanted me to post the photo of him at the Far East tour on Sunday:
To my husband who will drive 300 miles in one day with his dad for almond duck.
To my husband who has the old Far East menu pasted on a Memory Candle in our living room.
To my husband who can tell you every place in LA that still serves almond duck.
To my husband who spent our honeymoon in Honolulu obsessively in search of almond duck.
To my husband who is in his element at Far East Cafe.
Peace. Burp. Out.
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May 20 - Goodbye Linda

The Asian Pacific Islander arts community has lost a really great woman. Linda Mabalot passed away last night at 49 years old. She was the Executive Director of Visual Communications, one of the largest Asian American media arts organizations. She was diagnosed with cancer less than a month ago. She was a feisty, smart, crazy, strong, visionary filmmaker and arts organizer, a beautiful and energetic soul. The community is planning a memorial service for June 22nd. My love and condolences to Linda's friends, family, comrades, staff and board of VC. We'll miss you. Peace. Out.
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May 18 - Moving Towards Health

Went to the Farmer's Market in Santa Monica this morning. I always feel good when I go there because everything we buy is organic. Lots of people milling around, looking for good food, good deals. Got my favorite blood oranges, juicy grapefruits, baskets of really fresh, red, delicious strawberries, avocates, yum. Tony got some nice tomatoes, swiss chard, kale and other things green. After, we stopped at the Venice Co-op, and finished our shopping. Yesterday afternoon, we went to Trader Joe's and stocked up on soy milk, juices, yogurts and other things. This week, I juiced some carrots and tangelo, jogged in my neighborhood, and did yoga 4 mornings of yoga at home. It's so much easier now that it's warm when I wake up. I have laundry drying on the line outside, and heading back out into my yard to do some yardwork. I'm not eating bread (see May 13), taking my daily supplements, and moving towards better health. Peace. Out.
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May 17 - Weekend In J-Town
Wataru Ebihara's photos in 2002

Went to J-Town this morning. Tony came with me and waited while I had a Manzanar meeting. I was up till 3am typing up the evaluations from the pilgrimage. Finally, did the wrap up and got the budget for the Manzanar After Dark settled. Still got over 500 digital photos to sort through and upload on the Manz site. Still need to do overdue reports due on Jan 31 and April 30. Still need to get more submissions and put together the publication. Never ending. Tony got Peanut Butter Mochi from Fugetsudo on first street. It was great! Afterwards, we went to The Actor's Gang in Hollywood to see a free performance by continuation high school students from The Heart Project, including two of Tony's students. It was good to see powerful personal stories of teenagers today. Actor/activist Tim Robbins, who is the Artistic Director, spoke a bit after the performance, encouraging the kids to continue, and opening the theater to them.

Tomorrow, Tony will be back in J-town for a Hard Hat Tour at Far East Cafe (closed in 1994 after the Northridge Earthquake) which is being renovated. Back in 1995, when I had a crush on Tony (before we got together), my friend Lisa was casually trying to find out if Tony was seeing anyone. He told her he was getting married at Far East Cafe. She said "oh, you're engaged?" He said no, but when he got married, the reception/wedding would be there. It was about the same time that my brother Darin met Tony, and told him that our family had grown up eating at Far East Cafe every month. We've been married almost 5 years and now, it's finally getting closer. Peace. Out.
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May 16 - Save the Arts in Cali!

Governor Davis came out with the May Revised Budget this week. Bad news for the arts. He wants to:
* Slash California Arts Council’s core programs from $16.3 million to $3.5 million—a 79 percent cut from the current year budget;
* Chop the Arts in Education program from $6.2 million to $1.6 million and dump the Artist-in-Residency program (and this from the Governor with a commitment to children and education);
* Kill the Multicultural Program and the Folk Arts Program
* Eliminate the CAC’s Challenge Grant and Special Initiatives programs; and
* Fire at least half of the CAC professional arts staff

Great Leap, where I work, is one of many who receives funding from the Multicultural Advancement, Artists in Residence Communities, Organizational Support, and Touring and Presenting programs. It's possible that over 50% of the thousands of artists and arts organizations who currently receive support will not receive funding next year. The Arts community is appealing to people who believe that the arts have the power to heal, transform, engage, educate and enrich, to help save the arts by writing letters, making phone calls, marching on the State Capitol. Several other states are considering eliminating their arts agencies. Once again, the arts are paying for the energy crisis, homeland security, the war, the economy. The state legislators will be meeting on May 19 and May 21, so we need to act fast. For info about what you can do, see California Arts Advocates, California Arts Council, Visual Communications and Great Leap websites. Peace. Out.
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May 13 - Community Energized
Sometimes I get so burned out. But the last 2 days have been real good. Monday night was the Public Hearing about the police station/jail/childcare/bomb squad/parking lot that the City of LA wants to build right in Little Tokyo. What's wrong with this picture? Tony spoke in the public comments section. He was great. I was proud to be his partner. And the audience loved his comments, too. He even took off his button (see May 11) and gave it to the City Councilwoman Jan Perry. He's going to write up his comments and I'll post them on the site (hopefully soon). Again, we have to fight city hall, and react to yet another issue, when we have proactive positive things that we want for Little Tokyo (Rec Center). But I am energized that over 300 people came out on a Monday night. Then, I ran over to taiko class, and we beginners "performed" Renshu for the more advanced students in the class. I made several mistakes but I'm really having fun. It's kicking my butt physically, but I feel improvement happening.

Today, I had two meetings at Nobuko's house, they went really well--some great ideas brewing for Great Leap. Then went to see Victor, my chiropractor/energetic healer. I hadn't gone since the miscarriage and I wanted to get nutritional testing done again. It turns out that the aluminum that was in my body has been eliminated. Yay! But, I still have lead (heavy metals), and I have a yeast problem. So I am off of bread/yeast for the next month, and I have new supplements to take. Tonight we went to Thai Town for dinner with Traci and Glenn, and saw the Armenian Elvis. Afterwards, we went to Espresso Mi Cultura, a cool coffee bar, bookstore and gallery space with a Chicano/a and Latino/a flavor. We talked about ideas for programming and community space in Little Tokyo. I feel pretty energized about it. If it's not me organizing the stuff, I know that there are friends out there with fresh, vibrant ideas about community, community performance spaces, positive energy and I like it. Peace. Out.
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May 11 - Kieth's 2nd BDay
Kieth's 2nd Birthday Party. Gayle made an Elmo cake. Kieth loved the Elmo Rock 'n Roll Book with electrical guitar riffs.
Kyle and Grandma. We all watched the Laker's win! Go Lakers! Peace. Out.

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May 10 - Not Another Block!

Tony's newest handmade button
Little Tokyo is uniting against a serious threat. The City is proposing a $700 million project that would house headquarters for the LAPD, fire dept, emergency response center, bomb squad, disposal facility and a 500-bed jail--a huge bunker to be plopped down next to the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple which also houses a day care center. In fact, the City has made the temple an offer to purchase their parking lot, which they need for weddings, funerals, community gatherings and annual summer Obon festival. Temple leaders feel they cannot function without it and have refused to sell. The 80+ member Little Tokyo Community Council has unanimously voted to oppose the facility and stand behind the temple in retaining their property as it now stands. Also, the recently formed Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council--which includes Little Tokyo, the Arts Loft District, Olvera Street/El Pueblo and Chinatown -- is also opposed to the proposed mega-complex. But the City may proceed anyway. We need your support. We need people to be there. Come give testimony against this project on Monday, May 12, 6pm at the Aratani Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo. Not another block! Defend Little Tokyo. Peace. Out.
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May 9 - Why Count?

I love I was showing someone how I get these weekly reports from The Counter, which lets me know how many people are coming to our website. She asked why did I care how many people came? I didn't have an answer, except that I am totally obsessed with knowing. For example, the JACS website will get 1-2 hits a week, and then one day we get 10 hits. Why? Oh, that's the day my press release came out in the paper. Or, how freaking amazed I was the week when the Manzanar website got 595 hits in one week... and in the month coming up to the pilgrimage, our traffic tripled. It made me update it real fast. The kuidaosumi site, gets an average of about 100 hits a week. If I drop below that to like 70-80 in a week, I think, hey, what's going on, am I boring them? I better write more or better! Lately, I have weeks where I'm getting about 150 a week. And it just makes my day! Anyways I was bummed to know that The Counter is no longer going to have a free counter come July. So, I've added Sitemeter, which I found on Tish's site. I'll keep them both running for the next few months, but since Sitemeter is free, and I can get all these statistics, I'm excited about the change. I still don't know why I care, or why it's even important in a world where people think Bush is a hero, or that the war is over, when it's not. But still, it does count. For something. Cause I have things to say... Peace. Out.
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Kieth 2 years and Kyle 6 mos.
May 7 - Running Around

It's a busy week. I have hundreds of photos to upload for JACS, Manzanar, and the things I've been doing lately, it's almost overwhelming. Perhaps I'll get to them this weekend. Last weekend, I had the JACS luncheon, went to the APIs for Peace and Justice Meeting, a Boutique benefiting Great Leap, and an anniversary dinner for my parents at Darin & Saori's. We had delicious shabu shabu. The photo at right is my parents with the grandkiddies, Kieth and Kyle. Monday was taiko. We have finished learning Renshu and are working on technique, style and practicing. It's the piece that most beginners start with. The last 2 weeks I was able to run without stopping, but still, most people are lapping me many times around the parking lot. I'm having fun, it's the most I've sweat since aerobics in the 80s. It's part athletic, musical and cultural. So, it's good for me. Yesterday at work I spent the morning at a booking conference at the Music Center, had a meeting with our touring artists for our kid's show, a fundraiser meeting, and two interviews for our summer internship position. So much running around. Breathe. Oh, and congratulations to my cousin Marlon and Hiroko on their new baby boy, Akira born on May 5th! Peace. Out.
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May 3 - Catching Up

Saturday morn. I feel like I need to catch up on life. Archived the April Blogs. Organized the links below. Had dinner with M & L last night and hung out. Early this morning, I had to get up early to drive Tony to Hollywood. It was pouring rain when we got up. I stopped to get my oil changed on the way home and by the time I got home, the sky was ALL blue, the sun was out and the birds were chirping. We have a bird's nest in our patio the past few weeks and for the first time today I saw the little baby bird. I even heard a chirp. If I see it again, I'll get out the digital camera. Ok, our house is a wreck. It's a busy weekend. Gotta catch up on life.

Saturday nite. Over the last few days, I've continued working on the Hawai'i pix. I finished tonight. Check out the Hawai'i photos:
Ono-licious, Visiting South Oahu, Visiting North Oahu, Oahu to Kona, and Relaxing in Kona, Visiting Waipio, and Last day in Kona.
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