Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2 showers and an icy cold bath daily ain't enough

We're just pushing into July, and already the weather here in Nueva Inglaterra has begun its spectacularly sticky ascent. From a half-full perspective, you could say that being outdoors will save me some serious moolah, since there's no need to head to the square for some Bikram Yoga or to trek to the gym for some sauna sesh. And then there's the added bonus of being bronze again (with the aid of my dear friend UVA/UVB SPF 100) instead of the anemic Swiss cheese colour I've been for months. On the half-full, however, the 808 wahine in me is pretty much programmed to bust out the tank tops, board shorts, and slippahs (don't call them thongs!) when the weather hits 80 and above. Unfortunately, surfer chick wear is pretty much frowned upon when you have meetings to attend.

But I digress.

I'm in a summer writing workshop in addition to being a part of a writing group. It feels like all I've been writing these days are research papers and grant proposals, with no room for the creative stuff. To be honest, I haven't really created impromptu art lately. I've been living off of a rigid schedule broken down in half-hour increments, neatly outlined by iCalendar and a day planner. I've been multi-tasting and have been productive, sure, but I really don't like the fact that I have to pencil in time for creating art, taking photographs, or writing instead of doing when the inspiration strikes. But pffft. I shouldn't complain. I'm alive and healthy, as are my loved ones. That's all that matters, evet?

In any case, here's some A Fine Frenzy for languid summer days...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finding Andromache

Leaving the familiar to go into the unknown is as alluring as it is daunting. The thought of my loved ones not being a short train or plane ride away scares the shit out of me. Alone at bed at night, sometimes I am filled with doubt and am convinced I should stay in the U.S. and "settle down". After all, I have opportunities here that a lot of people could only dream about. American Privilege. Sometimes I start to believe other people who say that I am a smart woman who has made a foolish decision to move to Turkey for an indeterminate amount of time for no reason other than answering "a call from deep within". It is an adventure, but an uncertainty nonetheless. 

And yet despite these doubts and looks of disappointment, I cannot give in to fear and doubts. I can no longer continually try to fulfill expectations that people have of how I should be. I cannot fall into the trap of complacency and safety. I need to let go…have and want to let go of these safety nets that weigh down my wings. I need to fall—or at the very least experience the sensations of falling—so that I can pull myself up and fly. I need to live and not just go through the motions of living. I need to live for myself instead of be a vessel for other people to live out their dreams. I have to make my own mistakes and not spend a lifetime trying to avoid making the mistakes that others have…mistakes that have defined them into the people that they are now. This lifetime is short enough to spend it worrying about reliving other people’s past, and it is long enough to spend it defined by regrets.

At times I feel like I’m too old for this “finding myself” bit; after all, I did it for a couple of years after high school. But logically, I know that it cannot be true, for since the dawn of time, people have struggled to find themselves. Some have spent a lifetime doing so. Age is irrelevant, as “self” itself doesn’t truly age. 

The hardest part about trying to live up to legacies is that in so doing, you could easily lose track of who you are. To follow in other people’s footsteps more often than not entails setting aside your wants until you just wake up one day and realize that you don’t know what you want. You’ve felt it for so long that somehow, you now believe that your wants have ceased to matter. 

Who am I without my so-called intelligence? Would I still be me? Would I be less of myself had I been more acquainted with the letter grade C than A? Would I still be the golden (grand)child had I chosen writing over game theory, and creativity over pragmatism? What if I believed in kindness and in humanity more than I do in prestige and profits? 

Maybe at the end of this journey and adventure, I'll come back to where it all began. Maybe I already have whatever it is I'm searching for--whatever I feel is missing in my life but have yet to be able to name. Or maybe, just maybe, whatever I'm looking for is on the other side of the world...waiting to be explored. Perhaps in searching for Hector, I'll end up finding Andromache. 

So I'll keep walking, no matter how hesitant my steps. No matter how many times I falter or fall, I will get up and keep walking. I can feel the sun even as I feel uncertainty. I just gotta keep facing forward. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hau'oli La Makuakane, Daddy.


Aloha au iā 'oe.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Game 7 Final Score, 83-79: Beantown Heartbreak

In what had to be the most anemic Game 7 in the history of the Series, Kobe B(eef) and the L.A. barbecue posse edged out Beantown. No green beers to be had. No duck boat parades, either. 

I feel ya, Paulie Boy. I feel ya. 

Next year, eh? 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dear Daddy,

               We met again in my dreams not so long ago, where enticingly the constrictive bonds of reality and time are broken. Sometimes I wish I could live the rest of my life in the borderlands of wakefulness and dreams, if only to have you near.  To constantly feel your presence, not in fleeting bursts. 

     I keep searching for you, da. These past few years it feels like I've been retracing your footsteps, stubbornly chasing rapidly fading footfalls. Praying, begging to please let me see you where you last stood when you were whole. Before that cursed aneurysm led to a stroke, which in turn began a slow decay 18 months in the making. You, my Hawaiian Superman, lay immobile as your body betrayed you and turned into Kryptonite. 

     Almost 8 years ago, I told you it was okay to let go. And so you flew. You were free. 

     But I have not let go, da. Where do I begin? Grief's paths have so many twists and turns, and I am still lost. Standing in the middle of nowhere. The roads before and beyond are daunting, and I cannot trust my own hesitant steps. My feet are much too small to walk surely into the forest that I know holds promises of new beginnings. 

     I'm scared to let go.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yale Fan Chooses Harvard

Yale is about to get schooled by the 02138 ;oP

Reprinted from The Crimson

Despite what his name might suggest, Yale W. Fan will be joining the incoming class of 2014—at Harvard.
Curious, we asked Fan about his interesting name and wise decision.
"I don't think my name is that interesting," said Fan, who told us that "Yale" was just phonetically close to his Chinese name, "Ye"—which is part of "shiye," meaning "undertaking." His parents decided that two letters was just too short for a name (how unfortunate for this Flyby correspondent), so they added "al" in the middle and made "Yale." 
"When I introduce myself to people, people like to ask, 'Do you want to go to Yale?'" Fan said. "I had never really seriously considered it until this year because I had only thought of [Yale] as a law school...and I only decided to apply to Harvard last year."
Fan, a competitive science researcher from Oregon, was accepted to Yale, Princeton, and Harvard, among other universities that were "similar in academics." After visiting these three in that order, he decided on Harvard.
"I chose Harvard because it combines the different aspects of what these schools have to offer," Fan said. "I like the flexibility of the curriculum. It provides the opportunities to do a lot of different things."
Other than perhaps not knowing where to sit at The Game, as Fan told the Yale Alumni MagazineBlog, Fan doesn't foresee many problems with telling new people his name. He too thinks it's funny—at least, for now.
"If I constantly hear jokes about my name for four years," Fan said, "it might not be funny anymore."
Fan assured us that he is still a fan of Yale. We'll see about that in the fall.

Photo courtesy of Yale W. Fan.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy 21st + Awesome-th Birthday, J!

   Best friends are like bras; close to our heart and always there to support. With that in mind, we would like to take this time to celebrate one of the most important brahs in our life, J. 

     Like our lingerie collection, there are many shapes and colours to J that are worthy of getting to know and loving in their own right. There is the no-nonsense, white cotton blend bra: practical,logical, dependable. J is able to temper passion with pragmatism, which makes her a kick-ass advice dispenser. Freaking out about whether to stay at a stressful (albeit well-paying) job, or take a risk and travel abroad for a bit? Dial the 818, and J'll break down the pros and cons for you, all the while being supportive. 

     The animal-print bra: magnetic, dynamic, and oh so fierce! C'mon, there's no denying that J is one gorgeous babe. Beauty and brains, the whole package. Whether dressed down in jeans and a tee, or dressed to the nines in night-out attire, she is stunning. She has a natural magnetic quality that draws people in to her and makes them want to get to know her. She and R met at a Gender Equality class, and according to R, she knew right then and there that J would be a great friend. Same goes with me, when we met in Tibetan Buddhism class. J's inner beauty comes out like a disco ball that lights up even the darkest, dankest tunnels. 

     There's the sheer, lacy pink bra: sweet and innocent. This is the nurturing, tender side to J that most people, for some reason, don't really bother to unearth. They don't get to see this side because they're too busy being hung up on the animal-print bra J, and boy is it ever their loss. J's the type of friend who'll pack sugar-free candies in her purse, in case her rebellious diabetic friend gets a sugah cravin'. She'll sit there for hours --iPhone battery life be damned--to listen patiently to her friends unload their burdens...without judging. Not too many people can make sense of me when I'm full-on  snotty/bawling and speaking in languages other than English, but somehow she does. You see, J listens to beyond the words and straight through to the emotions behind them. And so in moments wherein I go "waaaah, miss him...wahha... why... sniff,  daddy have to die? waaaah.. hurts, gaaaaaah," she knows exactly what to say: nothing. J understands that there are just some things that have to be dealt with through silence and time. 

     And then there's the corset: feminine and powerful=100% woman. One of the things we love most about J is the fact that she is who she is. She, R, and U taught me most about what it means to celebrate womanhood. Womanhood is not just about the femininity, the virginity, the sweetness, the ability to give birth, and all those other stereotypical gender stereotypes. To be a woman is to have strength and vulnerability, sweetness and sassiness...sometimes at the same time. To be a womanist or a strong woman means that you do not restrict yourself to societal norms, and to love yourself even if you don't fit the mold. J, like a corset, makes those around her see the beauty and the strength in and strength that although can't be seen by others outside, is there your own little secret. 

     We may have met by chance, but we are in each other's lives by choice. To know J and to have the privilege of seeing the many layers of complexities in her is a blessing. There's more to her than meets the eye. In a world of Fruit of the Loom underwear, J is definitely La Perla. 

     In closing, dearest J, we leave you with one of our favourite quotes from childhood: "If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you." 

Mischiefketeers Luv,
R and L

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Being perpetuated (is) the sovereignty of the land to righteousness, Hawai`i*

Hawai'i '78, Braddah Iz

Ua mau ke ea o ka `âina i ka pono `o Hawai'i *
Ua mau ke ea o ka `âina i ka pono `o Hawai'i

If just for a day our king and queen
Would visit all these islands and saw everything
How would they feel about the changes of our land
Could you just imagine if they were around
And saw highways on their sacred grounds
How would they feel about this modern city life? 

Tears would come from each other's eyes
As they would stop to realize
That our people are in great, great danger now
How would they feel?
Would their smiles be content, then cry

Cry for the gods, cry for the people
Cry for the land that was taken away
And then yet you'll find, Hawai'i. 

Could you just imagine they came back
And saw traffic lights and railroad tracks
How would they feel about this modern city life
Tears would come from each other's eyes
As they would stop to realize
That our land is in great, great danger now.

All the fighting that the King has done
To conquer all these islands, now these condominiums
How would he feel if he saw Hawai'i nei?
How would he feel? Would his smile be content, then cry?

Ua mau ke ea o ka `âina i ka pono `o Hawai'i
Ua mau ke ea o ka `âina i ka pono `o Hawai'i. 


Reblogged from The Koani Foundation 

Hawai`i is not, and has never been in or a part of the United States. 
So you cannot secede from something you've never been legally part of.

You cannot quit something you didn’t join. You cannot resign from something to which you don’t belong. You cannot divorce from someone to whom you were never married.
Hawai`i regaining its independent status is a matter of reinstatement; of putting something back into its rightful place. Since Hawai`i was never lawfully made a part of the United States, its rightful place is still that of a sovereign, independent nation.

The current status of Hawai`i is that it’s people, lands and government are being held captive by the US.
The Hawai`i independence movement is not seeking to secede from a bad union, it is seeking freedom from captivity, and the freedom to resume Hawaii’s status as a sovereign and independent nation. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

"Israeli Defense Forces Execute American Citizen"

By Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks for The Huffington Post

What else would you call it? The Israeli commandos that boarded the Free Gaza Flotilla shot Furkan Dogan once in the chest and four times in the head at close range. Was he still resisting after the third head shot? Did five different commandos happen to shoot him all at the same time in the middle of the night with stunning accuracy? No, someone shot Dogan at close range and did so enough times to make sure he was dead well after there might have been any resistance. That's generally known as an execution.

 Dogan is an American citizen. That's an uncomfortable fact for a lot of people, especially for our politicians who will do anything possible to cover for what Israel has done here. It's hard to cover for the summary execution of an American citizen. But they've managed pretty well so far. Do you hear any cries of outrage coming from America? No, didn't think so. 

Now, let's be fair. Dogan was born in Troy, New York, but he moved to Turkey when he was young. Maybe that's why the American government or media haven't made a big deal out of it.
So, imagine if Hamas had boarded a ship in international waters and shot a Jewish American who had lived in Israel most of his life. Now imagine they shot him in the head four times. Does anyone really believe we would say that doesn't really count because he'd been living in Israel too long? Does anyone believe we wouldn't be apoplectic about that? And rightfully so.
Anybody know what we would call it if Hamas had shot an American citizen in the head? Yeah, you guessed it. Terrorism.
So, I'd like to ask the Obama administration - which one is it? Was his life more expendable because he was a) Turkish-American b) Muslim-American c) lived outside the country for awhile or d) because Israel killed him rather than another country?
I'm genuinely curious about that. The US government so far has reacted with what appears to be complete and utter indifference to the brutal slaying of one of its citizens. So, what was it that made this guy's life irrelevant?
I'm about to have a son. He will be partly Turkish-American. Can he be executed by Israel or any other country? Will our country protect him? Will they consider him a real American? Does he count?
Is there any other country that also has immunity in killing US citizens? We're apparently very good allies with Saudi Arabia. Do they get to execute of any our citizens? I'm just trying to figure out the ground rules here.
Does it still mean something to be an American?

We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl