Friday, March 25, 2011

Random Photos

I've been wearing "For Audrey" by China Glaze for the past few weeks. The name is in reference to Audrey Hepburn's classic film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Tiffany and Co. owns the rights to the robin's egg blue that's synonymous with their jewelry box, but this is a pretty close shade, no?

I always order Crispy Pad Thai whenever I eat at Bangkok Blue.

On the MBTA, back from Salem, using my momma as a pillow ;o) Momma's zonked out after a day of museum-hopping. I think she got a little freaked out by the Witch Museum ;oP

Mubarak Protest at Copley Square.

Red Velvet is looove. Sweet's version is just right--frosting's not too sweet and not too rich.
We'd just watched "Inception" ;o)

Quote of the Week


All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. 

--Toni Morrison 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quote of the Week


Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


I still miss her. And to this day, I'm still not quite sure why she's no longer in our lives.


 to J, me
show details 10/31/07

For you loves of my life.

Time passes
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do .
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you...Or come in and ca rry yo u out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still. Pass this on to all the women who help make your life meaningful. I just did. Short and very sweet:

There are more than twenty angels in this world.  Ten are peacefully sleeping on clouds. Nine are playing. And one is reading her email at this moment.

Send this message to ten of your friends including me. If you get 5 replies, someone you love will surprise you.

Happy days!

Don't break this; it's working!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quote of the Week



All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

--Anatole France 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Post Secret Sunday: Knowing


While my momma began and ended each day with an "I love you, baby!" punctuated with hugs and kisses, proof of my da's love came in the form of books, magazines, and puzzles. He worked for the government and was away for most of the year. He always began his letters with "My Darling Wife and Daughter" and signed off with "All My Love, Ronald" but other than that, "I love you" didn't flow easily from his lips. Growing up, I felt like being a husband and father were second only to his love for the United States.

Oh, I knew he loved us. I could feel it deep down. But when you're a kid who's constantly teased about "not really having a dad," every missed birthday and forgotten holiday begin to pile up as evidence that the love set aside for you isn't enough.

After my da's funeral, a friend of his from work walked up to me and told me how much I looked like my da, but with my mom's darker eyes. He said that my da was always talking about me, about how proud he was that even as a young girl, I showed strong convictions. "Nobody's robot," he said. "My daughter will bow down to no man!"

Da's friend began to walk away, but stopped to say, "I'm honoured to have seen you grow up in pictures and photos." He must've seen the confused look on my face because he explained, "Ron's desk was filled with pictures of you growing up. He even framed some of your letters, little poems, and drawings, and put them on the wall."

I never knew he did that. Never knew he kept my scribbles and finger painting experiments.

But now I know.

I know just how much he loved me in his own way.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011



 A while back one of my favourite bloggers, Istanbul's Stranger, posted a meme on privilege. It's a meme that I'd seen floating around the web for a while. The meme in itself is interesting; if my family and friends were to take it, it would reveal that~95% of them have most--if not all--of these status markers. Growing up, I never really thought of these markers as "privilege''. It's thought-provoking in a way, because as much as I try to fight against entitlement, I may unknowingly hold some myself.

In any case, this meme was developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka from Illinois State University.

Highlighted in red are the sentences that apply to me:

Father went to college
Father finished college (He dropped out 36 credits shy of graduation in order to fight in Viet Nam)
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children’s books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (Scholarship, baby!)
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
There was original art in your house when you were a child
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

The last marker particularly struck me. It may seem insignificant at first glance, but it's actually so telling. When you live a privileged or even comfortable life, you don't really mind the numbers or the little details. When you struggle, however, you know the little details. You know exactly how much the heating bills cost; even a dollar could throw your budget off. This is a reality for people living paycheck to paycheck or on fixed incomes. 

Have any of you taken this meme? What do you think?

For all y'all with tiger blood and Adonis DNA who are bi-winning


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quote of the Week


After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

--Aldous Huxley 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blogger banned in Turkey...AGAIN!

In yet another say what? news from the country where I'm moving to, Blogger (aka the host of this here blog), has once again been banned. Apparently, some big shotnsports-loving bloggers stomped on the rights of meek underdog Digiturk by posting footie games. As such, Digiturk has wisely decided to penalize ALL evil bloggers in Turkey. Guilty by association, evet?  As Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review reports:

A spat over rights to broadcast Turkish football matches has led a local court to issue a blanket ban on the popular blogging platform Blogger, angering Turkish Internet users with what experts said was a disproportionate response.
The court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır banned the website, a property of Google Inc., in response to a complaint by the satellite television provider Digiturk, which owns the broadcast rights to Turkish Super League games. Matches broadcast on Digiturk’s Lig TV channel had been illegally posted by several Blogger users on their blogs.
“This is a disproportionate response by the court and undoubtedly has a huge impact on all law-abiding citizens,” cyber-rights activist Yaman Akdeniz told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday, adding that millions of Turkish bloggers and blog readers would be affected by the Diyarbakır court decision.
“[I understand] there is a legitimate concern [regarding Digiturk’s commercial rights] but banning all these websites will not solve the issue. The decision opens the way to collateral damage,” said Akdeniz, who is also a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi University.
There are more than 600,000 Turkish bloggers actively using Blogger and some 18 million users from Turkey visited pages hosted by the site last month, Akdeniz said. The ban is expected to fully go into effect within a few days unless it is successfully challenged in court.
“If two people plan a criminal activity on the phone, should we ban the use of telephones all over the country?” asked Deniz Ergürel, the secretary-general of the Media Association.
“We believe this is a wrong approach to the issue and deprives millions of bloggers and Internet users from writing and sharing ideas online,” Ergürel, who is also a regular blogger, told the Daily News on Wednesday. He added that while the violation of Digiturk’s commercial rights should not be ignored, other solutions had to be found. “Even cursing, threatening or cheating over the phone is considered a crime, but this does not imply access to phones all over the country would be banned if there is a case against them,” he said.
In a press release Wednesday, Digiturk said illegal broadcasts of the league games had not stopped despite many warnings about the issue.
“Digiturk has spent $321 million in order to get the right to broadcast Spor Toto Super League matches. However, matches [whose broadcasting rights] belong to Digiturk and Lig TV are broadcasted by certain websites, disregarding all relevant laws,” the company said in its statement. “Thus, we applied to court to ban these websites, and the court decided to ban access to them, after it was proved that although all legal procedures were conducted, the violations were not stopped.”
Bloggers and their readers reacted angrily and quickly to the court decision, with nearly 9,000 users of the social-networking website Facebook joining a group called “Do not touch my blog” in less than two days after the decision was announced. Similar campaigns have also been created on other websites, such as Twitter.
“I can understand that a company tries to protect its rights when they are violated. But I cannot make sense of the banning of all blogs for content illegally used on only a few blogs,” regular blogger Gülşen Çetin, 24, told the Daily News on Wednesday. “The company that is involved says it couldn’t handle the issue with Google. Of course, everybody is responsible for their own claims, but this is not an excuse for them to cause such a big censorship event.”
In addition to harming innocent parties, the court decision is unlikely to solve the copyright problem, said another regular blogger.
“The people doing pirate broadcasting are skilled in this. Shutting down only one or a few [sites] will not solve the problem because they will find other ways to do it,” said Güldem Zeybek. “How about us, the innocent bloggers? Here, without doing anything, we face the charge of [being] criminals and have to [find ways to work around the ban]. No company’s copyrights should come before me expressing my thoughts.”
Cyber-rights activist Akdeniz drew a differentiation between regular websites and platforms for user-generated content such as Blogger, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, saying the courts must be sensitive to this distinction when they make decisions. “In my view, access to such platforms should not be banned, whatever the cause,” he said, adding that other technical solutions could be found to address issues of property and intellectual rights.
“The [impact of the decision] will be censorship, although it might not have been the court decision’s final purpose,” said Ergürel of the Media Association. He added that depriving millions of people of a way of communicating and sharing with each other could be considered a kind of censorship.
“We would not see such a phenomenon [like this court decision] in more developed democracies, such as in the EU countries,” Akdeniz said.

Uuuuufffff, yaaa! It doesn't make sense to impose a blanket ban, but I'm American and not a Turk. I grew up here, not there. Thus, what's incomprehensible-nutso for me may be the norm for others. That being said, news from Turkey is never boring!

Home (I No Longer Recognize)

***NB: This post was originally an E-mail I wrote to one of my friends after going back home and finding myself a stranger. Despite the melancholic, frustrated, and defeatist tone in the E-mail, I have now thankfully come to a sense of peace...and empowerment. Yes, hope may fade fast, but it can never truly be gone so long as the last person who gives a damn about changing the status quo still stands.


The Hawai'i I left behind was a paradise. In my memory, at least. It was one of innocence and joy, despite it being where my da died. How naive. Everything is so different now. Or is it that I was blind before and now my eyes are wide open? Were some people I used to know always that concerned about image and class distinction? Has my friend [redacted] always believed that all Muslims are terrorists or terrorists-in-training? Is it an exaggeration to feel upset when I see my Hawaiians--people who look like me--serve me at the country club, where most of the members are White? Is it weird to feel a lump in my throat to see my Native people languishing in poverty while the people with whom I (used to) belong are driving around in expensive cars or have haircuts that are the equivalent of a whole week's paycheck for minimum wage workers? Is it foolish to care so much about the pain of others, their hardships, and the injustices they've experienced? Is it better to be selfish, avert my eyes, and stand up only for my own well-being? Is it possible to turn off the compassion in your heart when it is so much a part of you?

My Hawai'i may be a salad, but it certainly has its rotten parts. The income disparity is so jarring. In Kahala, houses cost millions of dollars and have climate-controlled pools, manicured lawns, and winding driveways. On the other side of the island, broken pavements and ramshackle houses crookedly line the horizon.  This is the other side of my island paradise, past the plastic glamour of Waikiki and beyond Maui's exclusive gold courses. It's an all-too-real Hawai'i, where impoverished  men take out their anger on the haoles--they who stole Hawaiian lands--by beating their wives and children or resorting to an all-too-common escape--drugs and alcohol. The cycle continues. Sometimes this anger and violence become an inheritance of sorts, a tradition passed down through the generations like a quilt your tutu made lovingly. I see it in the rage of unemployed men who feel emasculated by a society that judges masculinity in proportion to bank account balances. I feel it in their wives' resignation to their fate. I hear it in their children's silent shame. A similar truth is screamed at AmerIndian reservations, Pinoy shanties, or Brazilian favelas. Perhaps it's not one culture's or one people's truth: it is a universal truth, one that the world dares not speak of, but inwardly scream. It is our collective cross to bear. 

Luv, my Hawaiians and my AmerIndians are on the verge of becoming caricatures. Some are forced to sell out and exoticize our culture for money. Some of my brothers and sisters dress up in our ancestral garb, then dance and perform for tourists. Sometimes it is not the truth of our culture or traditions that they share.  Grass shirts have become cheap, dyed straw skirts and hula chants have given way to the easily understood "Tiny Bubbles." Of course, tourists don't know differently. And because of this economic crises, my people allow these tourists to keep believing this image. Lies become truths as long as the money flows.

I do not judge my  people for doing what they have to do in order to survive. Nor do I pity them--not really--because that would imply that I am better than them, which I am not. What I feel is a loss. Loss and loneliness. And fear. I fear that perhaps one day, my cultures and traditions will be lost. 

And with it, our pride as a people who have already endured so much. 

Langston Hughes, "Harlem (A Dream Deferred)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

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