Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Work It Out, Babe!

So I’ve been bad. I took a few weeks off from working out at all. On the one hand, it’s difficult to keep myself motivated at the moment and so a gym partner might be good. On the other hand, I’d feel terrible if I had a partner and still didn’t go. I’d feel terrible twice because I’m letting the other person down and then I’m letting me down. Hmm…dilemma, dilemma. Well, I guess I’ll have time to work on it until a gym partner presents himself to me. Or herself. Someone. I have had periods before where I’ve motivated myself to get into shape and I did well, I’m working on it this time.

I went today and had a pretty good day. I didn’t see my gym bike friend though. My gym’s gotten even more cardio-machines and new flat-screen TVs; they look good. But I guess someone on the machines had the controls for one of the TVs and so he turned the station. I don’t mind watching ESPN, but then there were 2 sets on sports channels. Plus, I tend to pick a machine somewhat for the program on the TV in front of it, and if I’m following along with a show, I like to know what happens. It’s a little annoying when I’m reading the closed-captioning and then the show changes mid-sentence. Well, that’s a minor irritation ‘cuz then I switch completely to a podcast to listen to and focus on.

I think I’m just cranky ‘cuz again there was a smoker near me. I don’t like interrupting my workout to move to another machine. I’m kinda sensitive to cigarette smoke and it is worse this time ‘cuz the vog in the air recently has been affecting me too.

But I got in a good 4+ miles each of biking and elliptical.

Maybe I’m a little cranky also because I haven’t lost any weight. I mean, I’ve lost weight, but then I gained the same amount back so I haven’t lost, I haven’t gained. I gotta figure this out. All my life, my weight’s gone up and down; all of a sudden it’s up and wants to stay up. Well, at least I’m not gaining either but I don’t think this is the weight I’m supposed to be. It’s too much for my small frame. So 25 by July, a little less possible. Hmmm…

Okay, could it be chocolate? This is my last bag of chocolate just in case. I’ve cut back on the soda intake and back to drinking more water. This is about once a decade when I crave chocolate. I’m coming up on finishing a decade this year, so that’s about right. I’m not a chocolate girl. I think it especially freaks me out to eat a chocolate from one of those variety boxes that are popular during Valentine’s and not know what’s in it. I don’t appreciate that at all. Luckily, no one’s ever given me one of those boxes.

If you’ve given me a box of chocolates in the past, I obviously don’t remember it so don’t sweat it. or you can tell me about it ‘cuz I don’t remember it and I can sweat it.

And it’s been noisy around here, I don’t exactly know why. The gardeners were out yesterday so that’s good. There’s a lot of vacuuming going on in back. I hope it means that we’re getting new people behind us but we have never had good neighbors back there. Then there’s a new baby next door. That’s great, I love babies, and this one doesn’t cry much, it’s a soft cry. Some jerk that lives nearby has a chopper that is seriously noisy and annoying, especially when he rides by at odd hours of the night.

Um, I’m just one of those people that likes quiet on occasion. I might be a big typer here, but I’m generally not a big talker. I’m not a phone person. I sometimes make my music loud, but I’m okay with just silence. And I think if I can spend time with someone just being quiet, that would be an ideal partner. Not all the time, just sometimes.

That’s Not Sunburn
If one sees a bunch of red on people in Hawai‘i in the coming future, it’s probably because Hawaii’s football darling Colt Brennan is joining the Washington Redskins. I probably don’t have to recount the draft.

I was listening to a show and they asked who was the most surprising pick or something. I think 2 guys said McFadden dropping from second expected to fourth actual. I don’t understand why that’s such a big deal, maybe that shows my X-X chromosomes. So he doesn’t get as much money. What about Flacco going in the first round? Who was up watching him play for Delaware? I’m thinking he could be a good QB, he’s got the size and skills, but talk about not having had a lot of coverage compared to others like Booty and Brohm and going before them. I’m just saying, they coulda gotten Flacco in the 2nd round or something.

I’ve been a UH FB fan longer than an NFL fan so no, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I grew up on the Cowboys and that’s about it. My Former used to ask me to pick a team, I wonder how well I did. Probably not well at all but he probably wouldn’t have told me so.

So it’s a little heart pain for Dad who’s the Cowboys fan. I guess when Dallas plays Washington, I’ll root for Brennan as soon as he sees the turf.

Which Earth? There’s Two?!!
So, the Oprah favorite “A New Earth” is finally being discussed on some of the podcasts that I listen to. I watched the show Oprah dedicated to the book. Before everything, I was intrigued by Oprah’s passionate advertisement of the book so I looked up reviews on it. Don’t get me started. I’ve downloaded the audio of the on-line classes and I’ll probably have a lot to say about it in the future. Anyways, if one wants to hear the Christian worldview regarding “A.N.E.” from learned scholars, the ones I’ve heard so far address the book and classes, I’ll have the links at the end of this entry. The main issues they address regard the questions, “Do all paths lead to God?” and “Is this book compatible with Christianity?”

Replacing Losers …With Dancing?
So, since The Biggest Loser is on hiatus now, I’m fully paying attention to another favorite of mine, Dancing with the Stars. Guess what? Jason Taylor is really good! This week, each of the remaining couples had two new dances to do, and in the judges’ scores, Taylor overtook Kristi Yamaguchi who had consistently been on top. Yamaguchi’s a phenomenal dancer also. Taylor, Yamaguchi, and I also like Cristian De La Fuente.

I also had to watch last week’s American Idol for the Andrew Lloyd Webber factor. I haven’t seen too much of this season ‘cuz in general I don’t care. I liked Asiah Epperson so I was bummed to hear she had been knocked off. So, from the little I’ve seen, after Asiah, I like Brooke White. I saw the ones where she played the piano and the guitar; anyone who can do that is a true student of music. I think she did the right thing by starting over on “You Must Love Me,” mainly because it was very early in the song, not as big a deal. I like her voice. I would think of all the people left, she probably had the most knowledge of Webber’s work or should have had.

I liked Archuleta’s rendering of “Think of Me.” I thought David Cook was okay but finished “Music of the Night” very well. And it’s just ridiculous that the other guy is still on and that he sang “Memory” and didn’t know what it was about at all. Syesha did well, but I don’t like her overall. Mostly because early on she had sung “Me and Mrs. Jones,” which isn’t a song that does well as the opposite gender. As “Me and MISTER Jones,” it loses the element of scandal inherent in the original song. Bad choice.

So I’m glad that Brooke’s moving along in the competition.

She’s Always a Woman

For that “man” who is pregnant, I’m thinking that if one looks at his DNA, one’ll find X-X chromosomes. I’m not being judgmental on this, I’m just saying, it’s not really a pregnant man. That’s the truth. It’s not like Schwarzenegger in “Junior.” And yes, I looked up the spelling of Arnold’s name and was surprised that I had it right.

The Wrong of Wright
I hope people have been paying attention to this issue. I think a lot of people are dismissing it because they have hopeful expectations of Obama. It’s important because Wright was saying things that have nothing to do with salvation and have no part in the Bible yet was teaching them at the pulpit as if they were doctrine. I’m not saying that Obama believes what Wright believes, no one but God can know what Obama believes. It’s just difficult to believe a person as intelligent as Obama and one claiming to be as spiritual as Obama has claimed to be, didn’t know over a span of 20 years and didn’t care that such things were being said. It’s not like a drunk uncle saying crazy stuff and one can’t just dump an uncle. I just question Obama’s judgment. Choosing a church, choosing a spiritual leader, as I see it, is no small thing. I just went through it myself not too long ago.

I saw more of the sermon on YouTube when Wright was talking about the “coming home to roost” thing. People are saying that those comments are being taken out of context. Look it up [video posted by TRINITYCHGO]. It’s not out of context to say that Wright believes the government created the HIV virus to kill the Black Americans nor when he said “G—D--- America.” Now, none of us has the right to tell someone else that they’re going to Hell, or to Heaven; that belongs to God. Nobody has the right to tell God who to d---; that belongs to God. I don’t care how many good things one has done if one hasn’t repented of the wrong things. But again, I don’t know Wright’s heart, only God does.

If someone believes that America is on the wrong track, one should pray for the US to be again or remain a great country, one says “Please God, bless America.” Even if one believes the US is great, it’s always a good idea to pray for the country.

I said I was cranky and no, it has nothing to do with a certain time. This is what happens when I don’t let it out. It could have been worse. Mahalo.

Podcast Episodes:
Apologetics.com- “Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle and the Replacement of Christianity”
Bible Answer Man- “Questions and Answers” for 04/09/08, Wednesday

*Note: whenever one downloads from OnePlace.com [in this case, for the Bible Answer Man episode] and it says “free with registration,” the registration is not a sign up for extra emails or newsletters and such. The registration is only one single email that sends the link(s) for the particular download that one wants in case one doesn’t have time to download the file right away but wants to remember to do it later. There are no requests for money or Bible tracts or demands that one believes in any faith. One doesn’t have to download at OnePlace; one can listen to episodes for free through their site.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Camp on Fire

The Jeremy Camp train doesn’t seem to end and I hope it doesn’t. Stay was released in 2002 and it is good; Carried Me: The Worship Project in 2004; Restored topped those later in 2004.

Next came the live Unplugged in 2006. On the album are live versions of: “Understand”; “Right Here”; “Take You Back”; “Stay”; “Walk By Faith”; “Empty Me”; “Restored”; “My Desire”; “I Still Believe”; “Beautiful One”; and “This Man”. During Thanksgiving a few years ago, I listened to the radio a lot and one station played live versions of hit songs from various artists. That’s when I came to really appreciate live music. I mean, I’ve always appreciated live music, but maybe it made me more aware that there are a lot of live albums out there.

Well, if I can sense the emotions through Camp’s studio albums, I really get them in the live versions. As I’ve said in previous entries, “Take You Back” is one of my favorite songs and it sounds great in the studio and live. So if one likes live versions or want a sort of introduction to Camp’s music, the Unplugged album is a good one to start with.

Camp continues to rock on Beyond Measure [2006]. I liked the first album; I liked the second more than that; the live album’s even better; and Beyond Measure is beyond expectation. I love it. How often does it happen that an artist continually tops his previous work? The music just gets better with each album, so let’s take a look at some lyrics:

Tonight, I will take my cross
Tonight, I will count this cost
Tonight, I realize to take hold of this very moment

In this time, You draw me by these words You’ve spoken
I feel inside, this neverending hope
I’ve placed all that I trust in knowing one day I will see You
The only thing worth holding onto is holding onto me

Beyond Measure
The fog has finally cleared to see
The beautiful life You’ve given me
To feel the breeze of my newborn’s gentle breath
With one to walk hand in hand
To share this life that You have planned
It’s like a storybook with dreams that are meant to see
every next step is an extraordinary scene

I know that I’ve been given more than beyond measure
I come alive when I see beyond my fears
I know that I’ve been given more than earthly treasure
I come alive when I’ve broken down and given You control

Again, Camp has a hand if not sole [and soul] responsibility for every one of his songs and all of it comes through in the music. It seems that his music continues to grow as he grows. In that way, his albums are a great companion as I grow myself.

As I’ve said, I went through a struggle as recently as last year. I am very selfish in those low moments and can forget that this life isn’t ultimately about me. To that effect, “Take A Little Time” is a good reminder:

I picture all the things that I have seen
All the broken hearts and tainted memories
All I see are all these needs
I’m tired of my selfish tragedies
It’s time that we show the hope that we all know

Take just a little time
To give your hand, see the world
And take just a little time and try to understand
That there’s more going on
Than what these eyes can see

And as a gentle shove to make a break from my guilt and grab onto God’s forgiveness, I love “Let It Fade.” It’s one of Camp’s softer songs but with a great message as is in all of his songs. It’s easily another favorite of mine:

Have you been walking on a surface that’s uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that’s empty?
You can’t live this way too long
There’s more than this, more than this

Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
You can rest, you will find rest

Let this old life crumble, let it fade
Let this new life offered be your saving grace
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade

Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?
It will be gone, forever gone
It will be gone, it will be gone

The link to Camp’s website is below. He can also be found on Myspace with some videos on YouTube. The other links connects to an early and then more recent biography on Jeremy Camp. Find out some of the history behind the music and one will find that I was right; a lot of personal experience and feeling is there.

Thus concludes the Camp line for now; hopefully there will be more Camp to come! Oh, and if one noticed, I didn’t review Carried Me; I don’t have it. So, if one is feeling particularly generous…! Nah. Mahalo.

Early biography on Camp
More recent biography on Camp

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nothing Campy Here

“Campy” brings National Lampoon movies to my mind. Jeremy Camp’s music is not that at all. I said I liked his first album; I like his second album even more. As on Stay, Camp wrote all of the songs on Restored, with help from Lajoie on “Lay Down My Pride.” Camp is still a Christian and Camp still rocks.

The music is good, but what I like more about Camp is that the words are just as good. A lot of times I like a song for the music and don’t care for the words at all but that has never been the case with Camp so far. So, here are more lyrics from just a few of the songs that I enjoy from the album:

All this time I’ve wandered around
Searching for the things I’ll never know
I’ve been searching for this answer that
Only will be found in Your love

And I feel it, my heart is being mended by Your touch
And I hear it, Your voice that’s shown my purpose in this world

You have restored me
From my feeble and broken soul
You have restored me

“Take You Back”
The reason why I stand the answer lies in you
You hung to make me strong though my praise was few
When I fall I bring your name down
But I have found in you, a heart that bleeds forgiveness
replacing all these thoughts of painful memories
But I know that your response will always be

I’ll take you back always
Even when your fight is over now
I’ll take you back always
Even when the pain is coming through
I’ll take you back

You satisfy this cry of what I’m looking for
And I’ll take all I can and lay it down before
The throne of endless grace now that radiates what’s true
I’m in the only place that erases all these faults
That have overtaken me
And I know that your response will always be

I’ll take you back always…

“Take You Back” is one of my favorite songs, I’ll say…top 25 at least. I can definitely relate to struggling with something or I’ve done something wrong. In those times, I am very prone to dwelling in my guilt, because I do have a high standard set for myself. And I’ve thought, who’s gonna like me now, how can anyone forgive what I’ve done? This song reminds me that no matter how low I feel, I can come to Jesus, leave it all at the cross. Even if we can’t find forgiveness from men, we can find forgiveness from God through Jesus. “Restored” is the aftermath of coming to Jesus; I’ve been there too. Actually, I’m there right now; I struggled last year, returned to leaning on God’s strength, and I feel restored.

Speaking of returning to God, take a look at the chorus of “Lay Down My Pride”:

Lay down my pride
My desires, my demise
I’m ready now to see it your way
I’m done, I’m through ignoring you now, it’s true
I’m kneeling at the cross of your grace
Lay down my pride

The times of struggling have been times that I have tried to ignore God, ignore what is true, what is right. It’s not a way of living that I would recommend. When I have tried to do things my way, try to make up what is true for myself, it can be disorienting and disappointing and worthless. What happens is that I eventually come to understand that if I make up what is true, then I can change what is true into what is false and make that a new true, and there is no stability in that. In contrast, God does not change. Truth doesn’t change. I didn’t make that up and so I’ve found it to be true every time.

Once again, it’s plain that I like the music of Jeremy Camp. The songs I mentioned above are only a sampling. On my IPod are never less than 5 Camp songs and currently there are 8 Camp songs [I have only one song for most of the artists on there]. So, if one liked Stay, more than likely one’ll like Restored; it doesn’t disappoint.

Next up: Live Unplugged: Jeremy Camp and Beyond Measure.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Camp Out

Very few artists have album stamina. You know, those “one hit wonders” and the “sophomore slump.” I made that second phrase up I think, I don’t know if people really say that about music albums, but I mean those times when a good artist puts out a not-so-good, disappointing album.

Well, Jeremy Camp doesn’t disappoint. I think I came across Camp when one of his songs was featured on one of the WOW albums; must be because I rarely listen to the radio anymore. I like compilations when I’m looking for new artists to listen to and that must have been what happened here. Camp’s music has been labeled as “Christian Rock.” That is to say that Camp is a Christian and he rocks.

So I picked up his first album, Stay and liked it right away. Certainly I review works by people who claim to be Christians a little differently than people who don’t, but I haven’t found a fault in that with Camp. I find the lyrics to be doctrinally complimentary. That might not matter to one as much as it does to me, and I don’t know if a non-Christian will appreciate the songs as much as I do as a Christian, but I still recommend Camp to all because anyone can appreciate good music. I’m sure that one will find the honest emotions coming through his music to be refreshing.

Lyrics to the title song are an encouragement to remain on the Christian walk:

I can feel that in your soul
The more you reason, the more you’re shown He’s there
You can see the only way you’re falling down
Is when you’re looking everywhere
So far from this, you can’t live
So far from this

Stay right here in the light
So that you won’t walk away
Stay right here in the light
Throw your burdens all away
Throw your burdens all away

Camp wrote the lyrics and music for all the songs on the album himself except for one song [He had help from Jean Luc Lajoie on “Take My Life”]. Another good pick on the album is “Walk by Faith,” something I strive to do when I go through the unpleasant times:

Will I believe You when You say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to rid my endless fears
You’ve been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You made me new
Your grace covers all I do

He sings, he writes, he plays the guitar, all adding to my respect for his talent because I like a lot of his songs. I’m not talking about one or two songs per album, but practically WHOLE albums and I’ll go through that in entries soon to follow. I want to spend more time on Camp because I really like his work. Obviously, I connect to the words as well as to the music and I appreciate that the words work well with the tone of each song.

I couldn’t properly talk about Camp without pointing to some lyrics, which makes this entry long and I don’t want to make it too long. I’ll end this here for now and talk about his second album, Restored, next.

In the meantime, if one is looking for some good music, try Jeremy Camp's Stay. Mahalo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Wanted Child: The Logical Pro-Life Argument

Now, I have been working out the issues behind abortion for myself for at least the last decade. I have decided that I am Pro-Life and uncompromisingly so. However, in all my searching and logically working this position out, I wasn’t able to lay out the argument for being Pro-Life in a way that I felt confident to share it; I have a lot of other interests and important obligations to take care of. I knew that the Pro-Life view is correct, but I didn’t know how to say it clearly so that I could be assured in my position and so that others would understand my thoughts on the matter.

Well, I am now emboldened by a speech I heard recently and I’ll get to that shortly. I did not come out with it right away because even when I hear or read something that sounds good and right, I still take the time to think it over, work through it for myself. I need to know if something is true before I pass it along as a support to my beliefs.

Author and speaker on bioethics Scott Klusendorf lays out the Pro-Life view for us logically and clearly. He was featured a few months ago on the Focus on the Family broadcast titled “Reaching Hearts On Abortion I-II.” I recommend that you request the broadcast from FotF because there is so much good stuff in it. Whether you consider yourself Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, the argument that Klusendorf produces will make you think; it may not change your position but it’ll make you think about it.

So I will leave most of Klusendorf’s argument for you to seek out yourself, but I do want to include here just a portion of it. To set up the argument, Klusendorf quickly goes through two questions that are being debated in the culture today. The first question: is truth true or just a matter of preference? The second question: are human beings intrinsically valuable or only instrumentally valuable? I’m going to leave the first question for another time and get to the second question because it has to do with the abortion debate directly.

Klusendorf tells the story of how he had been on a plane trying to sleep when he was asked by the man sitting next to him what he did for a living. The conversation picks up from there. This is how Klusendorf tells it (edited for length, underlines added for emphasis):

I said, “Well I do lectures on bioethics.”

He said, “What’s bioethics?”

“I do lectures on things like embryo stem-cell research, doctor-assisted suicide and abortion.”

He said, “Really? I agree with you; every woman should have a right to choose.”

That set me off. My wife will tell you it is hard for me to walk away from arguments once they start. I said, “Well, actually, that’s not my view.”

He said, “Uh oh, I know what you’re going to tell me. You’re catholic and your pope says abortion’s wrong, therefore you believe that you can impose your view on me, right?”

I said, “No, I’m not catholic, although the pope has written very eloquently on abortion. The Gospel of Life is a beautiful defense of the Pro-Life view but no, that isn’t my position that I was going to argue.”

He said, “Okay, you’re a Jerry Falwell guy. You’re one of the religious right-majority types…and you’re going to impose that because that’s your religious view?”


He said, “What were you going to tell me?”

“I was going to tell you that I’m Pro-Life because I believe the Pro-Life position is true.” Men and women, he looked at me liked I’d stepped off Mars.

He said, “Really? You really believe that it’s true?”

“Yes, I do, because there’s good evidence for it.”

Now, I didn’t know this but the guy in front of us had been eavesdropping on the conversation. He turned around at that point, spread open the chair, stuck his nose through and said, “I was listening to what you just said…that you thought there was good reason to believe the Pro-Life position was true. I was wondering, do you have evidence for that or was that just an opinion?” --- wrong question to ask a guy who makes a living defending fetuses as human beings.

I said, “Sure, I’d be happy to defend that view. First of all, may I ask you a question. Do you believe newborns are human beings?”

[Man #2] said, “No, I believe once it’s born it’s a human being.”

“Fair enough. Would you be willing to look with me at the four differences between a fetus that you say is not human and a newborn that you say is, and let’s examine those four differences and see if any of them are relevant such that we can say it’s okay to kill the fetus but not okay to kill the newborn.” [Man #2 says okay].

“There’s only four differences: [S]ize, [L]evel of development, [E]nvironment and [D]egree of dependency. And I’m going to say that none of those are relevant. Let’s take a look at them.

“First, size; would you agree with me that the fetus is smaller than a newborn?”

He jumped all over that, [saying], “Oh, absolutely. How can you call something the size of a dot a human being?”

So I asked, “Are large people more human than small people?”

We went to the next category…I told to him to think of that acronym S-L-E-D. Then we went to level of development. I said, “Would you agree the fetus or embryo is smaller than a newborn?”

“Absolutely. How can you call something that doesn’t even have a functioning brain yet and is not even self-aware a human being?”

I said, “if self-awareness and intelligence define us as human beings, that means that those who are more intelligent should have the right to exploit those of us whose GPA was not too high in high school. It would also mean that we’re all in a gigantic bell curve; we start off with very little rights of personhood and very little self-consciousness and we gradually gain personhood as we reach our intellectual and physical peaks and then we gradually lose rights of personhood as we age. Is that your view?”

He says, “No, that’s an elitist view.”

I said, “Then why are you imposing it on the fetus? A four year old girl is less developed than a fourteen year old one. That four year old girl does not even have her reproductive system in place yet. Is she less of a person because of it?”

“No.” he said.

“Then why would you rule out the fetus from being human simply because its development doesn’t match ours?”

We went to the next category: environment, or location. He said, “Until it’s born it’s not a human being…because birth makes it human.”

“How does where you are have any bearing on who you are? A few hours ago you walked from the terminal at LAX onto this plane. You changed location; did you stop being you? what about when you rolled over in bed last night? You changed location; did you stop being you? if not, how does a simple journey of 8 inches down the birth canal suddenly transform a non-human tissue blob into a protectable human life we ought to value and respect?” he didn’t have an answer for that.

We went to the final category: degree of dependency. He said, “Until it’s viable, it’s not human.”

“If that’s the definition of what makes us human, our ability to live independent of anyone or anything, we’ve got a problem because there are people on this place that are not human and we may kill them…because there are people on this plane who depend on insulin, heart pacemakers, perhaps diabetes medication and without them they will not survive. Does that mean they are less human than us?”

He said, “No, I don’t like the way that sounds.”

“I don’t either. You can see then that there’s only four differences: size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency. None of them are morally relevant, are they?”


Are they?

As the Wanted Child series continues, I’ll probably point back to the points articulated by SLED because it gives the foundation to why I believed the views I came to own in regards to being Pro-Life. If one’ll notice, Klusendorf made no reference to the Bible so it is a solid argument that one of any faith may trust, and yet the argument is biblically sound. There was no reference to the argument being gender relevant, so men and women may trust it. Klusendorf didn’t engineer the argument to be non-denominational or gender relevant; he just presented an argument that is true.

Maybe I’m taking what he said too simplistically. Maybe there is another way that a fetus and a newborn is different that does justify killing the fetus, or maybe one of his points doesn’t make as much sense as I believe it does. If someone has a different interpretation of the argument, please let me know because as always, I want to believe in that which is true.

I probably should have started this series with the logical argument, but as I’ve said before, I needed more time to work through Klusendorf’s presentation. The issue of abortion is on TV practically daily in one way or another and I didn’t want to wait to start talking about it.

Conclusion: human beings are intrinsically valuable.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

Make me a match
Find me a find, catch me a catch
Matchmaker, matchmaker, look through your book
And make me a perfect match

Matchmaker, matchmaker, plan me no plans
I’m in no rush, maybe I’ve learned
Playing with matches a girl can get burned
So bring me no ring, groom me no groom
Find me no find, catch me no catch
Unless he’s a matchless match

Those words are from “Matchmaker,” a song in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. I have not seen the musical yet but Aunty Shirlynne and I spent some time together yesterday [Sunday if I don’t post this on Monday] and she has invited me over to see it on DVD in the future. Instead, I watched Miss Potter at her house, the one about Beatrix Potter; it’s a good movie. For at least the first 32 years of her life, Potter remained single and had determined to remain so for she didn’t want to become a “silly woman,” directing a household and holding dinner parties and such.

I have had a lot of thoughts about the prospects of marriage for my future. What single person doesn’t think about whether they’d like to marry or not? I am decidedly for the idea of my marrying someday; I think I would enjoy being married. I’m not looking to have the “perfect” marriage; I’m not under the impression that there is such a thing. But I’m hoping to be a mother someday and I am determined to do that the traditional way, with my future husband.

However, I have come also to the decision that I am going to be okay even if I never marry. I am going to have a big birthday this year and I am still single in the basest of meanings; I have no boyfriend and I am not dating anyone. Yet, I don’t feel the urgent need to find someone. I don’t feel any kind of clock ticking. I would like to have a child from my own body and as I age, that may get more difficult to do so, but I’ll be able to adopt far after I’ll be able to give birth. Anyways, I'm sure most people who know me know that I've hardly ever been in a hurry to date someone. I may be interested in someone, but I don't really care if anything happens.

Since I don’t have someone in front of me right now whom I sense that God has specifically for me, I’m not really looking. I mean, I see guys and I think, he’s a good guy and notice things about him that are attractive to me, but then I move on with what I have in my life right now. It gets difficult sometimes, I’m not gonna lie, because I experience some things and I think to myself that it’d be good to have a particular someone with whom to share it or talk about it.

It also gets difficult because other people will have their opinions. I was telling a friend how I usually sit in church by myself [Mom’s teaching Sunday school at that hour] but one day, a male friend had come and so we sat together. Um, when an unmarried guy and an unmarried lady sit together in church, especially when there’s not many people near them, it’s very noticeable. People start looking and wondering. And especially when one is my age, people wonder even more.

Now, I’ve been conditioned to resent the wondering. I have a long list of instances when people have linked me romantically to someone when it wasn’t true.

Then when I was helping a friend with wedding preparations, her mother said something that came off a little snide to me, as in a “my-daughter’s-found-her-man-good-luck-finding-yours” kind of way, or a “your-mother-must-be-so-sad-that-you’re-still-single” kind of way. I know that’s probably just my perception; I’m generally loved by parents but I’ve never been comfortable with this friend’s mother.

My own mother got a little into trying to match me up but thankfully she’s gotten over it. She has said, however, that she hopes that I marry a white collar man. I haven’t told her that I’m just hoping for a good man. In my mind, almost any work is noble if it’s needed. I’d be a mail carrier if I could, I think I could be happy doing that. I could respect any man who could provide for a future together no matter how he makes his honest living. But if Mom has hopes more urgent, she’s not telling me.

Anyways, after I said the stuff about people wondering about the male friend and I in church, the friend I was talking to said that “Clay’s a good guy.” It kinda came off, to me, like a little admonishment, that sort of you’d-be-lucky-to-have-him kind of way. I hate it when people tell me that about someone. It’s true, I would be blessed ‘cuz Clay is a good guy, better than a lot I know. I am very aware of Clay’s good qualities. Two things though: I’m really not looking for a marriage partner now and I’m not getting any indication from God that Clay is for me or that I am for Clay. Clay is more of a gentle guy whereas I’m very hardheaded. In the past, with gentle guys, I’ve had the tendency to not be so nice to them or treat them as I should, and so I’ve come to thinking that I might need someone who is at least as hardheaded as I am. Okay, that sounds strange, I’m very aware of it but I don’t know how better to explain what I mean. Um…. God may tell me later that Clay is the one and I will listen to that, but I’m not getting it right now, and I have asked quietly to myself if he might be…. That's not to say that I know anything of how he feels towards me, I have no idea.

And that brings me back to Aunty Shirlynne. Aunty and Uncle Mike dropped me off at home and spent a little time talking to my parents; Aunty and my mom are very good friends. When they were finishing up, I walked Aunty and Uncle out. Uncle mentioned that they have a son who is my age. That’s when Aunty turns to me and says, “That’s right, Gavin’s still single, you know!” I answered, “But he smokes.” She said, “He’s quitting, I’ll make sure he quits!”

I can only laugh. There’s no way I could ever be upset by Aunty Shirlynne; she’s one of those people that just put a smile on one’s face. Also, to be honest, I do sometimes ask her how Gavin is with a little of that…romantic interest in mind. One should understand, though, that I grew up with her son so there’s a history there. I don’t remember having a crush on him or anything, but it’s possible. Plus, since I am not looking, it’s a little safer to think about Gavin because he’s in Arizona. It isn’t like I run into him at the house all the time and bat my eyes at him. I haven’t seen him since our graduation day.

Besides, Aunty says he loves it in Arizona; I'd like to live in Hawaii as much as that may be possible.

So imagining the possibility of a “Gavin,” not The Gavin, allows me to keep hoping while waiting for God’s word on the matter. If Gavin is not a Christian already, which it doesn’t sound like The Gavin is at the moment, at least he comes from a good Christian home. My thinking is that if it would be possible for me to marry a non-Christian, Gavin would be more ideal because then he would at least have a reference as to why I think and do the things I do. He wouldn’t think I’m crazy because he’s watched his mom in her Christian walk; it wouldn’t be that foreign to him to watch me in mine. In that way, I might be a better witness to him.

Okay, that’s being a little wishful. Well, my friend Darling and I, I think because of the distance between us, we eventually come around to talking about guys. So she probably thinks I think about my Former more than I actually do in my normal day. In these days…it’s been years so I mostly think of him only to remind myself to keep hoping; someone cared about me once, someone will care about me again. So in the meantime, I’m not looking, but let’s say that I’m preparing myself to be a wife someday.

And “matchmaker, matchmaker…”


Friday, April 18, 2008

A Night of Eyes and Ears

My good sister-friend Jennifer has been rehearsing a role in Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon; it opened last night and will run through this Sunday at the Mamiya Theater on the Chaminade campus [see the link at the end of the entry for more information].

I called Aunty Shirlynne and she called the Aunties and gathered a group to go for opening night. Aunty Pat picked me up and we had dinner at her mother’s house. Good Korean food, so good, I ate too much! Well, to be truthful, Aunty Pat encouraged us to finish all the food and so placed a second helping on my plate. Aunty Pat, her sister June, Kaya and I piled into Aunty Shirlynne’s van and we were off.

I entertained Kaya, who’s 3, on the way. When we got to Chaminade, Kaya took my hand and we walked/ran down the road to the theater. We sat in the front row. Now, Kaya who is very smart and cute can be more than a handful, she can be three handfuls at times. But, Kaya loves plays, possibly an influence of Hannah Montana, and is very behaved in the theater. As soon as we get in, she’s holding her finger to her lips and shhh-ing me.

Kaya had sat mostly in her grandma’s lap [Aunty Pat]. During intermission, she sat on Aunty Shirlynne’s lap because Aunty Shirlynne had candy. I took the red Lifesaver and Kaya took the green one. Kaya showed me and said she’s only gonna lick it. Then, while sitting with Aunty Shirlynne, Kaya would lean over and drop her head on my shoulder. She was playing with my hair and looked at my ear and I started a little game with her about ears, don’t ask me. Mothers have to be very smart and creative people to keep a 3-year-old entertained and out of trouble I think.

Kaya went back to Grandma who so nicely suggested that Kaya sit in my lap, so Kaya came back over and climbed up and intermission was over. Kaya is tall for 3 years and so her head falls right in front of my face, little neat curls in my mouth. I had to tilt my head around her, crinking my neck and I’m watching the rest of the musical at an odd angle. But Kaya is so darling, she held my hands and such. At least I got to have her when she’s behaved.

So, one of my friends has said that they consider me the “cultured one,” but I didn’t know what “Brigadoon” is about. I was a little confused in the beginning when this group of actors come out on stage in the second scene, a group which was mostly Asian including a former Farrington girl straight from Kalihi [GO KALIHI!], wearing kilts, a lot of tartan and with some kind of accent not quite Scottish but heading towards Scotland.

When my SF Jennifer came out on stage, it took me awhile before I noticed the other actors again. I hadn’t seen her perform since high school and so this was a real treat- she is wonderfully good! Back in school, she was more in the background like me, rather reserved. The first time I saw her on stage, I wasn’t sure it was her! Maybe I should try acting, but I doubt it; once in youth choir was enough for me I think. Anyways, she’s so stunning, I had to work hard to take my eyes off of her and pay attention to the play itself.

Well, in Lerner and Loewe style, “Brigadoon” is thoroughly entertaining, full of wit and good songs. It includes a wedding, a miracle, and a sword dance ending in a fight. Jennifer has one of the good secondary roles, after the stars. She also has a solo and I’m reminded of her powerful voice. I’d recommend seeing “Brigadoon;” I think even the men will be entertained enough to enjoy it.

After the play, we waited in the plaza. We told Kaya we were waiting for the other Jennifer. She said her favorite character was the “purple one,” meaning Jennifer who wore purple. In about 5 minutes, Jennifer came out and had changed clothes, so I don’t know if Kaya is at the point of recognition that Jennifer is the “purple one.”

To emphasize the significance of the night, Jennifer is the friend who lost her mother earlier this year. This was the first production after that and we tried to fill in for her mother as best as we could; her mother always came to opening night. Jennifer did very well, performing without flaw and crying with us afterwards. I know her mother is proud of her strong daughter.

It was such a good night. The pictures are on Aunty Shirlynne's camara so I hope to show them soon. Mom couldn’t make it last night so I’m going again tonight with her and Julie. I can’t wait; I was anxious to see Jennifer last night but even more tonight ‘cuz she was great! So please, if you’re on the island, check out the link below and then check out “BRIGADOON!”

Hope to see you there! Mahalo.Brigadoon

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Way to Lose!, Part Two

Let’s get right to it.

This was the first time that Americans had the chance to vote for who should be the 3rd finalist. The choice was between Roger and Mark; America gave Roger the chance. Then they brought out all of the eliminated players to accompany Mark on the couches. Everyone’s decked in their finest outfit to show off their new bodies. During a break, they got changed into their workout clothes to be weighed in for the $100,000 prize.

This is the order of the WI and the results:

The bold names are the ones who held the lead until the next person to hold it. The weight loss needed to take the lead is based upon the person who had the lead ahead of them. In other words, Maggie needed to have lost more than 94 lbs. in order to take the lead from Curtis while Jay needed more than 134 lbs. to take the lead from Bernie. They said that Paul was ill and couldn’t make the trip to the finale.

Mark is left to weigh in; currently Bernie holds the lead. Mark needs more than 130 to take the lead from Bernie and win the prize money.

With that, Mark misses the prize by ONE pound and Bernie is $100,000 richer! I wanted Mark to win it.

Here are the results again in descending order:

*Mark reentered the game in week 11.

I’ve highlighted Curtis because he needed to be under 283 lbs. in order to qualify for health insurance, and he did it! This also shows his determination because he did most of the weight loss on his own, having been eliminated in the 3rd week, and came out 4th in this list. Jackie lost the most of the women and she’s a mother, not one of the younger women who should have an easier time. That is the same reason why Bette Sue is highlighted also, because she’s in her 50s and lost more than 5 other people, including a younger woman who had gotten much farther in the game than Bette Sue had. Also, Bette Sue entered the game only to allow her daughter Ali to have a chance, but ended up gaining her own life back as well, she looks great.

Brittany, having gotten far into the game and had a great competitive spirit for most of the game, should have lost more than those who had gone home before her and didn’t have Bob or Jillian to train them. I don’t mean that to be critical because she still lost weight and looks great, but I would have expected more from her because of her competitive spirit that I liked so much. On the other hand, Amanda, what little we saw of her, had a more mild, good-housewife type of personality, and she did a most wonderful job. Having been eliminated early yet being 7th of 16 on the chart is great, and she looks absolutely amazing and strong! And Trent started out as the heaviest player, had pain in his knee from early on in the game which eventually led to the decision to sacrifice himself in week 7. He’s done a great job losing the weight and I’m sure he would have lost much more if his knee had been 100%.

And on to the 3 finalists!

They showed video clips of Roger, Ali and Kelly returning home and being greeted by their families. Then they talked about the struggles they were having being on their own and still being in a competition to lose weight, the healthy way. Ali found herself back in the kitchen late at night. Kelly had back problems. Roger hit a plateau and started to worry.

Then they came out and they all look stunning, I mean GORGEOUS. I have to say that Kelly came out in this satiny black dress that had a wide, somewhat low v-neckline, a little more daring than I would have expected from her. I like that! Ali barely has hips anymore! And Roger looks a lot younger.

Since Ali had the best percentage of the three back at The Ranch, she got to determine the order in which they would weigh in. Here are the results:

Ali wins it! Ali wins the grand prize of $250,000! And if one looks at the numbers of all the players, Ali really is the biggest loser in the truest sense! She lost almost half a person. She’s the first FEMALE Biggest Loser! She holds the record of the most lbs. lost by a female at the Ranch, the most lbs. lost overall by a female, and the best percentage lost by a female overall. FANTASTIC!

Mahalo for reading in.

Way to Lose!, Part One

This has been, by far, the best season of The Biggest Loser! I didn’t think I’d get into this season like the last one. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work as couples down to the end, but the producers do not disappoint.

Last night was the finale for the couples’ season. Let me run down the season as quickly and best as I can. The season began with ten teams with a color designated to each couple: father/daughter team Lynn and Jenni [green]; young husband/wife Neill and Amanda [white]; husband/wife Curtis and Mallory [brown]; mother/ daughter Bette Sue and Ali [pink]; best friends Jenn and Maggie [purple]; former spouses Paul and Kelly [yellow]; mother/ son Jackie and Dan [orange]; former football teammates Trent and Roger [grey]; strangers Bernie and Brittany [blue]; and brothers Mark and Jay [black].

Grey started out as the heaviest team with a total of 799 lbs. Yellow Kelly started as the heaviest woman at 271 lbs. Many of them had health problems like high blood pressure, pregnancy difficulties, sleep apnea and such. I missed the first few episodes but I guess they tried to size up their competition and see if they can make any alliances, you know, it’s like orientation day at school.

The way I listed them earlier is roughly in the order of their elimination. At first, each couple had a vote at the elimination table. In the 4th week, Pink was voted off solely by Yellow [see Loving Losers]. The following week 5, they remained as couples but were split into 2 teams, Blue chosen and trained by Bob, and Black trained by Jillian. Jackie, Dan, Trent, Roger, Jay and Mark now became the Blue Team. Jenn, Maggie, Paul, Kelly, Bernie, and Brittany became the Black team [Losing Gracefully]. The team with the lower percentage weight loss at the weigh in [WI] has to vote an individual member off. Jenn was the first individual to go home; next was Jackie (week 6).

Blue loses the following WI (week 7) and Trent sacrifices himself [Is There Honor Among Losers?]. Black team loses the WI. The players go home for a week to train on their own. Brittany, Bernie, and Maggie conspire and succeed (week 8) at voting off Paul [Lose the Attitude Already!]. In week 9, Jay wins the Blue team a trip to Vegas without their trainer; the boys have a good time. Even on the trip, Mark and Jay are all business and work out hard but Mark hits a [weight loss] wall; Blue loses the WI. Blue has an argument on whom to vote off, Roger or Mark, but eventually Mark sacrifices himself [A Gut-Wrenching Loss includes a couple of pictures of Brother and I at the bottom].

Week 10 has the craziest Temptation of which everyone left participated in, and a fun-I’d-like-to-try-that Challenge [Double the Losers]. At the WI, it’s announced that they’ll be competing and weighing in as individuals from now on. The 2 under the yellow line are up for elimination and each person above the line have a vote at the e-table. Kelly and Bernie are up for elimination; Bernie’s voted off. Week 11 was a whopper; the 14 eliminated players are back for a chance to earn a spot back in the competition by weighing in and having the best percentage of total weight loss. One woman and one man were to reenter the game. White Amanda and Brown Curtis looked so amazing, but Pink Ali and Blue Mark won their way back. Right off, the two are burning to prove that they belong back in the game. At the WI, Brittany and Maggie are up for elimination; Maggie’s out. Ali won the WI, which is tough to do for a female to beat all the males in losing weight in general.

Brittany, Jay, Roger, Dan, Kelly, Ali, and Mark get makeovers in week 12 [A Four Time Loser]. They look amazing! Brittany and Jay are under the yellow line; Brittany’s gone. In week 13, Ali wins the WI for a 2nd time, Dan hits a plateau, Mark and Dan are up for elimination. Dan goes home. Roger, Jay, Mark, Ali and Kelly go to Australia, complete a triathlon like no other, and…the brothers Mark and Jay are under the yellow line together. The 5 left are really good friends while being fierce competitors, and Jay makes a plea to have himself sacrificed; they grant him his wish. Ali has won her 3rd WI.

Week 15, the 2 guys and 2 ladies left are back in the U.S. at “The Ranch” and without their trainers for the week. Roger, Mark, Kelly and Ali all pull off great numbers in this last week…and Ali wins the WI again. Mark and Roger are under the yellow line and America voted on which one would be the 3rd finalist.

Well, overall, a few milestones occurred. Curtis was the first to lose 100 lbs. at The Ranch, followed by, I think it was, Roger, then Dan. Ali lost the most weight by a woman ever, leaving The Ranch with a total of 99 lbs. gone; it would have been so great if she had been the first woman to lost 100 at The Ranch, but that’s still a great accomplishment. Roger grabbed the record of most lbs. lost at The Ranch ever in the last week, beating the previous record-holder by 1 pound. They all went home and I’ll continue with what happened at the finale by the end of the week.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The “Ex” Factor (With An Affirmation Note)

I will never speak an ill word of my ex-boyfriends. I’ve only had two relatively short relationships, a few months each. Both times, the severing of the relationship didn’t happen well but neither was it hostile, as many sound like they were. I didn’t leave myself any reason to hate either of my former boyfriends. I’ll say “former” from now on because it doesn’t sound good to me to “ex” someone. “Ex” seems to have a sense of a negation taking place that I just don’t like, meaning that both relationships still mean something to me now in that they had a hand in whom I am today. They’re a part of my memory and should not be erased. “Former” has a sense of change in that I used to date him and now I don’t, but he’s still a valid person. Anyways…moving on…

This isn’t really about them so much as it’s about how I perceive things in ways that seem to be different from what I hear from my friends and acquaintances. The not-speaking-ill rule is more about what it says about me, as I see it [as well as goes along with my not wanting to say “ex”].

I thought about this after both relationships had long been over. I took a class at the university and befriended or was befriended by Kai [alias]. As we talked, I found out that she worked where my more recent former worked and indeed, she knew him. They both still worked together so she went back and, I guess, told my former that she’d met me. Kai comes back at the next class and says that my former told her to tell me that I can talk crap about him. Well, I said I couldn’t. Kai asked why not, ‘cuz she’d talk crap about her former all the time.

It seems to me like most people are like Kai when it comes to what they say about their former relationships; whether it’s true or not, I have no way of knowing. I gave her a flippant answer that my former said he would spoil me and so he did, how can I complain about that? But I thought about it for myself; why is it that it’s so easy for others to disparage their formers while I find it so difficult to do the same? I’m not saying that what Kai does is mean or bad and Kai’s not the only person I know to say stuff; some of my friends won’t even talk about their formers out of hostility towards them. I think most people do it without thinking about the meaning behind what they’re saying, or by refusing to say anything.

The reason why I don’t speak badly about formers isn’t to say that I’m too nice either. As I recall, my former told Kai he didn’t think I could talk crap about him ‘cuz he thought I was too nice but that’s not it. Hint: I’m not that nice. I have good intentions, they don’t always come across as good, I like a good fight, etc. It isn’t because my formers were perfect; they weren’t. I can think of ways in which my former could have treated me better, but then there are ways in which I could have better shown him how much I respected and admired him; I’m not perfect.

So then what is it? Why do I stick to this rule? Well, for one, it goes to the Golden Rule a bit as I would hope that they aren’t speaking ill of me. In that hope, I’m not gonna spread their faults around. Unless one was abusive in some way, then I would feel an obligation to make it known that one’s a danger to others. I haven’t been in that kind of situation. And if the way that my former talked about his formers before me is any indication of how he’s talking to others about me now, I REALLY hope that he isn’t talking about me at all.

Secondly, I don’t know what gets accomplished by my telling people gee, he was such a jerk, he did this and he didn’t do that. Does it matter? What would I be saying, that I should be pitied because I suffered so? Is it to dissuade anyone I know from dating him? Again, unless he was abusive, I see no reason to dissuade people from him. Otherwise, I would expect my friends to not want to date my former on principle so saying bad things about him doesn’t matter. Again, I maintain that neither of my formers were jerks, generally.

Maybe more importantly, I believe that with whom I enter into a relationship reflects on who I am. A Japanese proverb says, “When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.” I would extend the proverb to include the man I date. I chose to date him. I had a friend who would say yes to pretty much every guy that’s asked her out without real thought as to how she felt about him. Regarding her long term relationships, she’s told me that she stays because he cares about her a lot and so she felt obligated to return the affection. I think otherwise and so both relationships were sort of born out of mutual interest and attraction; he asked me out and I was hoping that he would and since we didn’t get married, I felt no obligation to stay with him if it wasn’t working.

So I’m a little selective in who I date. I’ve turned down a few. I could write a whole other thing about that because I’ve been scolded a couple times for being selective, and then rebuked for not caring that I was being scolded. Anyways, I chose to date my former and the reasons why I chose to date him was that I wanted to get to know him better, I perceived him to be a good man, I deemed him to be someone worthy of my time and affection. I don’t choose I guy because I want to marry him right at that moment, but in a way, I choose him because of the potential of the lifelong commitment of marriage. I don’t start out believing this is the guy I’m gonna marry but I’d like to find out ‘cuz I see some possibility of a good husband in him and I see in myself the possibility of being a good wife for him.

To illustrate the Japanese proverb in another way, now, I have this uncanny ability to wake up with a bruise somewhere on my legs, so far, with no apparent explanation for the bruise. To my knowledge, there is no evidence of my being a sleepwalker and I’m sure my cats aren’t beating me up in the middle of the night. Well, this started before I had cats and for sure my fish weren’t beating me up.

One day, I woke up with a huge bruise on the side of my thigh. Honestly, it was at least three inches in diameter, at least. It took weeks to clear completely. After awhile I didn’t feel it when I walked and so I forgot about it sometimes. I went to the gym with Shay and she saw the bruise. She asked me about it. I don’t think I’m funny and so I said that my imaginary boyfriend hit me. Shay laughed. She didn’t laugh because of the imaginary boyfriend part and so that… well, she laughed.

She said that she knew I was kidding because I wouldn’t be with a guy who hits me. What Shay was doing was correctly assessing my character to being that of someone who wouldn’t stand for someone abusing me. I don’t intend to hurt those who have been in an abusive relationship or are in one now; I’ve known people close to me in those situations and…it’s a terrible situation to be in. I don’t think that I’m completely exempt from being lured into a situation like that either, but there’s something about me that would make it more unlikely than not at this point.

And so, if I were to speak ill of my former, I view it as speaking ill of myself. I didn’t have to love him, I chose to and so to disparage him would be to disparage the choice I made in the kind of man I believe I deserve. To say anything bad of him is to say that I shouldn’t have trusted my decision. On some level, it would say to myself that I’m such an idiot for liking him, much more for loving him.

I just had the thought that someday this is gonna come back to kick me in the mouth. Someday, my future husband is gonna find this entry and say, “See, it’s right here, you said it. You can’t complain about me!” Um…well…I’ll deal with that if it ever happens I guess *wink*.

I think we say a lot of things without really thinking about the consequences; I’m guilty of it also. From this, I hope that we do take a second to think about what we’re about to say and the implications of it. I don’t know anyone who entered into a relationship saying, “gee, I hope this guy makes me miserable.” So when one reminisces, think on the good times, the former’s good qualities that one valued, remember that one is valuable. The main things is to be respectful of the past and present. If one’s in a new relationship now, be respectful of that relationship and work on building those good times with that person.

If one would like a Bible verse to base the rule off of, read Matthew 12:34 & 35.


Post-Note: I had written this entry sometime last week but there’s been a lot going on and so I had other things I felt I needed to post first. I didn’t have the time to go over what I had written and give it my final approval [I find it difficult to be my own editor]. Well, I’m listening to today’s Focus on the Family radio broadcast called “How to Raise Respectful Kids Part 2” and the guest speaker Jill Rigby just went over the time of her divorce and raising two young boys on her own. What she has just said exactly echoed what I had written here, that there’s a negation that happens when we “ex” someone and that it does reflect back on ourselves. Wow! So there is someone who thinks some of the things I do!

Also quickly, the link to Focus on the Family is to the left in "I Recommend" along with other links. Also to the left, I've added individual links to the "previous five entries" so it's a little easier to go by title to ones you might've missed and also links to entries I hope that you would not miss or to highlight the most recent "Goods" under "featured entries". You can still view all entries by going through the "archive" or read entries with "labels" for a certain topic that I cover periodically. As always, feel free to leave a comment or email me! Mahalo!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Show Me Love

At church, I’ve been taking a class going through The Truth Project. It’s a DVD series put together by Focus on the Family and led by Del Tackett. It’s got a lot of wonderful stuff in it. I highly recommend it to everyone. For Christians, it puts together the things of the Bible and how we should live in a comprehensive way. For non-Christians, it helps one to understand what Christianity is and isn’t as well as why a belief in God is logical as well as full of faith.

This week, we went through the last “tour” as they call it. The last tour went over the Christian’s responsibility in regards to community and involvement. In Matthew 37-40, Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Jesus doesn’t tell us who our neighbor is but rather how we ought to be a good neighbor to others [see Luke 10:25-37].

Romans 12:13 says, “Share with God’s people who are in need.” Mr. Tackett helps us understand who are the needy. He recalls coming home from his first dance, having his father ask him if he had a good time, and if everyone had a good time. His father asked him if there were girls there who weren’t asked to dance and Mr. Tackett said there were a few. Then his father asked if he thought that those girls had a good time.

Now, my parents raised me to be a good person; they didn’t raise me to be a Christian. I became a Christian in my teens and then I started on the journey of learning to be more Christian than yesterday, and that journey doesn’t end until I’m in heaven so I’m still on that journey. I thought back to my years in school and how I could have been a better person to those in need. I hope that I have been good to people, but I fear that I wasn’t good to all people.

As much as I remember, I wasn’t a monster. I was basically nice to everyone…unless one upset me. I certainly never thought of myself as popular or of being in the in-crowd. I had a longing to belong and to be invited places. I was one of those kids that were chosen last in P.E. and so I remember the one time I wasn’t chosen last; in fact, I overheard someone [I remember exactly who] say to the leader to pick me because I was good at that sport.

Yet, I knew that there were others who were more on the outskirts than I had perceived myself to be. The guys had the skinny kid to pick on and tie up under the guise of friendship with boredom; I would sometimes, not always, untie him. He mostly took it. The guys would sometimes do those things to the skinny kid to provoke someone like me, usually me because I was around a lot, to do the untying, and I resented it. I resented that the guys couldn’t get it into their heads that they were doing wrong and always expected me to make it right, but how could I make any of that right. If they had found a gun on the skinny kid, I would not have been surprised.

Nobody seemed to want anything to do with these two girls if they could help it. The one girl always had her long hair in a thick braid; the other had frizzy unkempt-looking hair. They had acne and sometimes smelled funny; I couldn’t say what it smelled like because I didn’t know. Thank goodness they had each other and they held close to each other, but I would not have been surprised if they had conspired something against the other kids, including myself. I wasn’t invited to any parties in high school and so I had no parties to invite these girls to, but how would they have known that I wasn’t invited either. I would greet them, sometimes have small conversations with them, but I didn’t know what they liked, what they hoped for their future, how their families are doing, I didn’t even ask.

Even some of the “cooler” kids had something that others held against them. Rumors of conceit, of homosexuality, of unintelligence, I’ve heard them all. I’ve heard about what was said of me. I was very aware that there were people who did not like me and were not going to change their mind no matter what. We all had those people against us for whatever reason and some of us more than others. I had a friend who was the sweetest thing, always smiling, always apologizing even if I was the one who bumped into her; everyone liked her, but some said it was creepy. Doesn’t she ever frown? What’s wrong with her?

So what, Jennifer? Sounded like you had an okay high school experience. Sounded like you did as much good as you could. I hope I did my part, but I could have done more. What can I do about the past, I can’t turn back time. Well, I can do better this moment and from now on. I’m convicted that I should do better. I struggle with it. I’d rather not talk to certain people and some people with whom I’d like to talk to I don’t because I’m generally not a good conversationalist. But I can learn.

I returned to choir this past season and didn’t know everyone yet. I tend to arrive to practice early. One time, I was waiting on the benches when this woman sat next to me. after talking for a little while, I found out that night would be her first practice.

Then we went to practice where I learned that she wasn’t a good singer by any means and her breath wasn’t as pleasant as she was. She couldn’t read music and so she sat next to me in the soprano section and her voice threw me off. I listen to the voices of those closest to me to be in tune with them or to discern whether I’m on the right note or if they are and we correct ourselves, but from the new member I couldn’t discern any melody or voice part whatsoever. [But God hears our hearts and not the perfect pitch of our voices]

I’m still working on getting my social skills back in order and so I was reserved and shy on following occasions when I saw the woman. Then I felt God urging me to befriend the woman, even though others in the church already have. Now she is encouraging and welcoming to me every time she sees me at church [because choir is on a break]. I thought I was befriending her for God, but it turns out that God’s ministering to me through her and I cannot tell you how good that feels.

Lately, I’ve been reconnected with classmates and each time that happens I am amazed. I am touched that a person would think fondly of me and seek me out. When I’ve sought someone out and found them, I am touched when they greet me with plans of getting together with me. It tells me that I did something right in their memories of me. But I am still convicted of those I’ve wronged or those I’ve ignored and I pray for their sake.

I write this because I need to be reminded. I write this to urge the people reading this, Christians especially, to find someone unlovable and show them love. If one needs a little encouragement, I recommend requesting the CD from Focus on the Family called “A Man Called Norman” about a man who was dramatically changed after years of a neighbor showing him love when no one else would.



Friday, April 11, 2008

A Four Time Loser

I have the last four episodes of The Biggest Loser to owe for, since I had decided to write about the show. The last I had reported was that Maggie and Brittany from the Black Team were up for elimination and for once, the show decided not to show the elimination until the following episode.

Week 13?
It’s rarely as dramatic as the episode teaser makes it out to be. With that, Maggie was taken out. I had wanted to mention that the person on the top of the leader board at the weigh in that put Maggie and Brittany under the yellow line, Pink Ali beat out everyone, including the guys by a good margin. Woohoo! Fantastic! I knew there was a reason why Pink Ali’s one of my favorites.

Black Brittany’s realizing that boohoo her buddies Maggie and Bernie are all gone and she is practically alone. She pretty much burned the narrow bridges she might have had with Kelly and any of the guys. I’ll add here that those left are Black Brittany, Blue Dan, Jay, Mark, and Roger, Black Kelly and Pink Ali, 7 left.

The challenge wasn’t really a competition format. They were gathered at Macy’s and met Tim Gunn, a stylist advisor for Project Runwayy. He walks around the store with each person and talks to them about what they usually wear and what they have always wanted to wear confidently. They’re getting makeovers. Then Tim Gunn brings them one by one to a room and reveals the outfit that he’s chosen for them to wear. Dan had a rocker kind of look, a leather jacket was part of Jay’s outfit, and Kelly got a feminine black dress with white band accents.

Pink Ali has always wanted to have great arms to show off in a sleeveless outfit. She got one, a beautiful white spaghetti strap dress and yes, her arms look good! But the most shocking outfit was the fuschia dress with a low-low-low cut v-neckline for Brittany. That’s the kind that um, people use double-sided tape to keep their boobs in.

Then they had to show off their newly structured bodies in the new outfits by walking down the runway in front of a room of people. They showed Mark first and he ate it up. He strutted down the walkway looking handsome, did a little turn and pose at the end, then walked back. The Hostess Ali asked him to take a second turn. When he turned around, he spied his wife waiting for him at the end of the walk. He cried. Since Mark’s been back, he cries a whole lot more.

For the others, they brought Brittany’s mom, Roger’s wife, Kelly’s mom, Dan’s dad, and Pink Ali’s sister. The best one was when Jay turned around for the second walk and saw his wife. Upon seeing her, he immediately let out a sound of pure joy. His wife later said that Jay had “squealed like a girl,” which was pretty accurate, and that’s how she knows he was so excited to see her.
Then they had a physical challenge: walking backwards on a treadmill so as not to fall into the pool below. Winner gets a week at a fitness spa and resort for two. They all made it the first 40 minutes, at which point the incline was raised and the speed quickened. Kelly fell into the pool, then Roger and Dan shortly after the 40-min. mark. Brittany made it about 45-min; Jay was out just short of the hour.

It was down to Ali and Mark, the two that had worked their way back into the game. They both kept a good steady pace through the incline raises and faster speeds. Ali took a few quick peeks at how Mark was doing, Mark tried a little psyching out by saying how Ali knows how he is, he competes to win. At 1 hour 5 minutes, Ali falls into the pool. Mark jumps in.

When H.Ali’s congratulating Mark and announcing his prize, Mark says a little something. He says that he thought about letting Pink Ali have the prize, but he just couldn’t turn off that competitive mode. He was sorry that they couldn’t both win.

They show the Blue guys telling Trainer Bob what happened at the challenge. Roger’s out of sorts and vents that he was irritated by Mark’s speech at the end, saying that it was like Mark was apologizing for being the competitive leader that he is. Mark said it was fine for Roger to be the nice guy in the shadows being quiet while everyone hated Mark for being the tough competitor. Now Mark’s got a second chance in the game and it’s changed him and he wants to be in the shadows, Roger’s got a problem. Well, that’s it, they’ve talked it out in guy fashion and everything’s good from there which is what I like about guys. I think that if Brittany had been the one in the end competing with Mark, Mark wouldn’t have said what he did, but he’s always gotten along with Pink Ali, they are friends, and they had both been eliminated and came back, so Mark really cared that it was Ali he had to beat to win.

The WI: Pink Ali goes first, gets 5 pounds with 3.13%. Mark pulls a 3 with 1.60%. Dan gets a good 8 with 3.86%. Brittany comes out with 2 and 1.16%. Roger scores with a 9 and 3.59%. Jay needs more than 3 to be safely above the yellow line. He gets exactly 3 with 1.44%. Kelly’s finally thinking she really could become the first biggest loser female; she needs more than 2 to be safe and pulls out an enough 3 with 1.49%. Jay and Brittany are up for elimination.

During conversations, Kelly shows some backbone and I’m really liking her now. She really likes Jay but just can’t betray her teammate; she’s gonna vote for Jay to go home. The guys had asked her where she’s at and she feels a little slighted by them ‘cuz she’s gonna vote that way. Dan and Roger say they’re gonna keep Jay there. Brit’s packing and really doesn’t think she can ask anyone to keep her there [‘cuz she didn’t make even competitive friends]. She’s talking with Ali. In a confessional, Ali sounds like she wants to keep the girls there and beat the guys, Brit is a semi-quasi-teammate, maybe she has to be loyal. Brit’s hope is that she can talk to Dan maybe because he might be the only swing vote she can…push. It’s advantageous to Dan to keep her around ‘cuz he’ll have a better chance of beating Brit than Jay for the overall prize. Dan starts to entertain the idea.

Roger votes for Brit. Dan votes for Brit. Pink Ali makes it 3/3 and Brit’s gone.

Week 14
Jay, Roger, Dan, Mark, Ali, Kelly left in the game. The challenges and stuff must not have been terribly interesting ‘cuz I can’t remember anything about them so I’ll cut to the chase. I took notes on the WI so I’d get it right.

During the temptation or challenge, something, somehow Roger had a chance to effect the outcome and he chose to let Jay win $10,000. At the WI, Jay had the chance to buy a 1-lb. pass for #10,000. As a competitor, Roger told Jay to keep the money. As a friend, he told Jay to take the pass. He chose to take the pass ‘cuz this season especially, one pound has been the difference between going home and staying in the game.

Jay got 5+1 pounds with 2.91%. Roger came out with 6, 2.48%. Dan puts up a meager 1 at 0.50%. He’s very disappointed, his stall week comes up at a terrible time so close to the end. Mark gets 4 and 2.16%. Ali needs more than 3 and gets 6 with 3.87%. At a total of 85 pounds lost since the beginning, Ali’s officially lost the most by a woman ever. Kelly needs more than 4 and pulls out a whopping 7 with 3.52%. Ali’s won the WI for the second time and Kelly comes in second- they’ve just beat all the boys!

So Mark and Dan are up for elimination. Jay says he’s not voting his brother out twice, just no way. Ali of course didn’t know about what happened with the Blue elimination where they were deciding between Roger and Mark. That’s the time that Mark sacrificed himself and told Jay to vote him off. Jay tells Ali about that and he’s not doing it again after Mark fought his way back. Everyone likes Dan, Dan wants to stay, but he’s feeling really bad about the 1 and probably had the notion that he’s going home. Jay won’t vote for Mark, Blue team had a system of voting between two Blue members and sending the one with the least pounds loss home. He has no idea how Ali and Kelly are gonna vote.

Ali votes for Dan, Kelly votes for Dan. Roger serves up Dan. Dan’s gone. Roger had said some good words about how he’s watched the young Dan grow into a man after his mom had been voted off and he’s so proud of him.

Week 15
Roger, Kelly, Mark, Jay, Ali left. They’re going to Australia! They really have a great time taking in the sights, participating in an aboriginal cleansing ceremony, and enjoying each other’s company.

Their told to meet H.Ali at the top of the bridge, I mean on top, the very top of the structure. At first Mark looks at the bridge and says no way; he’s got a phobia of bridges, avoids walking, driving, going near a bridge at all possible times. They talk him into it, what better time and with whom to help get over a fear. At the top, H.Ali explains the challenge. It’s a marathon: swim, bike, run, with a stair climb to the top of a 40-something storied building. The winner gets to go up in a seaplane to tour Australia by air, taking another player with them.

Pink Ali gets a good lead in the water; apparently she’s a fine swimmer. Mark catches up to her on the bike. Roger is still way last, to Kelly’s amazement but she takes it. Mark takes off in the run but Ali keeps him in her sights. Roger gains a little ground on the bike and the run but Kelly’s still ahead of him on the stairs. Not for long, Roger passes her on the stairs. Mark reaches the top but stops feet away from the finish line to wait for Ali. This time, they are going to tie. Ali sees him and says he’s crazy, what is he doing there. He hops on her back and she carries Mark over the finish line on her back! Not struggling, she just carries him like a backpack walking strongly, like nothing! He weighed at that point, I think 30 pounds more than her.

Jay gets there shortly, then Roger. They go back to cheer Kelly on to the finish and she only had a couple stairs to go by then. A great accomplishment by Kelly who probably wouldn’t have thought a few weeks ago that she’d be keeping up pretty well by these younger people and athletes and stuff. By now she’s really enjoying her success.

Ali and Mark tied and went up on the seaplane. They also won a meal out on a private lawn somewhere looking over the bay and a phone call home. Mark calls his wife and cries some more.

The WI: Jay goes first with a pound GAIN and -0.50%. He’s disappointed; Mark’s devastated and starts to tear up. Ali gets 3 pound loss with 2.01%. She wants to celebrate but can’t ‘cuz no matter what, she likes everyone that’s left and a friend will be going home. Roger gets 2 and 0.85%. Kelly loses a pound with 0.52%. Mark needs just one pound to push Kelly under the line; he had a 1 pound GAIN also with 0.55%. Ali wins her third WI- simply amazing!

And the brothers are up for elimination together. How can they choose? Jay takes it upon himself to sacrifice; no way he’s letting Mark go home a second time. He tells everyone to send him home. They obey his wish. Ali had said at the e-table how at first, she connected with Jay ‘cuz he was like a teddy bear and would make room on the couch for her, he was just sweet. At the second chance, she bonded with Mark, being the two to come back to the game and being great competitors. Mark’s the guy she wants to measure up to in the game. Kelly said how can you choose between two brothers who are both hard workers and fierce competitors. Roger said he watched the younger grow up out of the shadows of the older and he’s such a sweet guy but this was his wish [to be voted off]. He said Mark is sometimes sweet too. Mark even asked him if they were doing the right thing and Roger said he had to let Jay stand on his decision. Jay’s gone.

Week 16
Kelly, Mark, Ali, Roger left. 2 women, 2 men. 4 equally strong competitors.

It’s the most crucial week as the 3 finalists will be known. They go through the week without their trainers. They get to meet Rocco DiSpiritu again and he shows them how to cook healthier versions of their favorite meals without losing the taste.

The trainers come back on the last day of the week. Roger wants the overall record of the most pounds lost at the ranch, 143 I think set by Neal of the previous season. Roger needs to lose at least 15 more to do it. He tells Bob, he’s gonna be 219 at the WI. Bob says okay.

Bob talks with Mark privately. Mark’s having a tough time not having Jay there.

The WI: Roger goes first. He comes out with exactly a 15 pound loss, taking the record by 1; it put him at 6.41% for the week. Mark gets a good 12 with 6.63%. Ali needs >9, possible but maybe tough at this point, she doesn’t have much more to lose. No problem, she gets 11 with 7.53%. She’s lost a total of 99 pounds, an astounding record. Kelly needs >12 to be a finalist. She comes away with a good 13 and 6.81%. Ali’s just won 4 WIs! Pink’s never been under the yellow line! She can’t wait to tell her mom.

And amazingly, 27 pounds, not enough to save the boys. The girls have blown them away. Everyone’s thinking Roger’s out. Then H.Ali announces that America’s gonna decide who the third and last finalist is going to be! So vote this week for Roger or Mark. This means you if you’re reading this before…Monday the 14th I think?

So that’s it. Everyone looks amazing, I have no idea who’s gonna win or who I’d want to win. I’m leaning just slightly towards Ali only ‘cuz she’s always been a favorite of mine this season and she’s done phenomenal since she’s been back. If any female can win it, she can!

Really really long. I'm fascinated with bridges. Mahalo!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's April? Already?!!

I haven’t written in awhile, lots going on. Here’s some catching up:

It Really Is Good!
This was my first time singing in the choir for the Easter season which included singing in the Good Friday Night service. It was fun; we praised the Lord with song and enjoyed a moving performance by the Drama Team. One couple witnessed their daughter receiving Christ into her life.

The drama was centered around the song, “Weight of the World.” The second verse and chorus: There are times I forget/ that the blood that was shed/ was for me and the weight of my world/ God is there right by my side/ the times I dance the times I cry/He bore the weight of my world. The song, of course, speaks to the things that can bear down on us in this world, the worries, the cares, the guilt, etc, and a piece of what it meant that Jesus died on the cross. He took all of that stuff upon himself, though he had none of that in his own life, took it with him to the cross and died for them. The second part of it was the resurrection that we celebrate on Easter morning when Jesus conquered death and with it all of those cares and worries and we can take comfort in that.

One of the short videos that were shown moved me. The title of it is “God Sent.” I’ve found it on the web and will post the link at the end of the entry if you’d like to see the demo of it. I liked it enough that I’m considering the purchase of a copy of it. It’s under “Easter Themed Videos with words.” Here are some of those words, talking about whom we need and whom it is that God sent: To those who cannot speak for themselves, God sent an advocate and high priest/ to those who are alone, God sent Emmanuel, “God With Us”/ to those whose lives have been filled with torment, God sent the Prince of Peace. The video has more in it connecting the names in the Bible referring to Jesus Christ to what they mean for us.
Then Easter was on March 23rd this year, rather early. Did you miss it? Someone said it was early because of it being a leap year. I was up at 5:30, Mom and I made our way to church and yes, it was also fun!

Every year, weather permitting, KUC holds its Easter Sonrise Service outside on the lawn on the church grounds. The hand bell choir started things off; I love the sounds of the h.b.c. Chris Ikeda is usually in the group but took a break so he could take pictures of his new bride with the bells. We had the privilege of hearing Randy Hongo give his testimony, which included images of a PanAm shoulder bag and a pocket protector, and then he sang while our hula dancers performed.

The voice choir splits in two and spends the service listening from the 2nd floor lanai when not singing. Susie looked across at the other half of the choir all in white and said, “Don’t they look like angels?” Well, yes, they did! Later, Jackie said, “We only get to do this [watch from above] once a year.”
The little-er girl in red is Gracie. Finally as church news, KUC held a child dedication service couple weeks ago. I think it was 9 young children that were blessed by Pastor Peter. A family I had met just a couple months ago as I returned to my home at KUC dedicated their baby girl Gracie. The last child was a baby boy named Noah. Noah slept soundly as his mother held him in front of the congregation. As part of the dedication, Pastor Peter had looked up each child’s name. What does “Noah” mean? Rest.
Noah at rest.

I didn’t really do these events justice. It’s difficult to explain what it all means on a short entry.


The Lone Star
The Warrior Volleyball team has two more matches for the regular season at Pepperdine. Last week, they played their last home matches against BYU, a formidable team as they held the #1 spot for weeks. On Thursday night, BYU took the match in 4 games. The Warriors fought valiantly but didn’t make it by an inch.

Friday night wasn’t much different, except that BYU swept UH. It was senior night so in UH fashion, we acknowledged the 5 BYU seniors. Then came the celebration of our lone senior, Jake Schkud. I think Schkud felt strange being the only one but he took it all in. His parents and sisters were introduced and also a bunch of Beckwiths lined up to congratulate Schkud. He was literally buried in lei. The families started the pile, then his teammates lavished more lei on Schkud to where he couldn’t see. Carney tried to smash the lei down for him, then more teammates came out with more lei. Schkud couldn’t escape.

They showed the senior video starring Schkud. It was interesting because they chose classical music to accompany it. I was trying to figure out what piece it was ‘cuz I have the feeling I should know it. It was a nice touch. Usually to cap the video is a picture of the seniors together, so what I deem to be in Schkud fashion, Schkud posed with the volleyball, reclined on the floor. I say it was in his fashion ‘cuz Schkud’s the same guy that two years ago, shaved part of his hair off to imitate Al Scates, the UCLA coach, when UCLA came to play. Schkud seems like a really fun guy.

Home Not Quite Alone
Mom, Dad and Brother went to Vegas again, this time leaving 5 cats and a dog to take care of me. Dad’s still waiting for the time that I go with them but I don’t know how to tell him that I don’t really care to go to Vegas. I’ve been there 4 times with 4 different groups of people. I would only go if I could see a show ‘cuz that’s one thing I haven’t done there yet. The last time I went I wanted to see Bette Midler’s show but nobody I went with wanted to go, what bums.

Mudge getting in a good stretch. So, 2 of the cats are my brother’s. The last time they went to LV, his cats came to our house. Then I had to lock up my 2 cats in the bedroom with me and let his 2 have the house at night. He’s got 2 of the ‘fraidiest cats ever. During the day, they camped out under my bed which is why I had to let them have the house at night or else they wouldn’t venture out to eat. And they’re huge. I mean enormous. Well, to be fair, Mudgie’s just got a lot of hair but Honey Girl’s just fat. Take my word for it, I’m not exaggerating when I say that when H.G. runs, the whole house shakes.

Hanging with Charis. This time, H.G. and Mudge stayed at Brother’s place so I went over there occasionally. It’s just too much to load ‘em up these days. I stayed in my parent's room with the big bed and all the pets at night. The 3 cats all took a corner of the bed and lucky me was left with a corner of the bed myself. The dog stayed on the floor in his watermelon bed. He mostly behaved the whole time and the cats let him live. I love having the big bed; I pile all the pillows, add my pillows, and relax. Not much more to report here.

No, I Wasn’t Sold At the Fair
Since they were off island, I went to the Made in Hawai‘i Gift Fair on my own. I wasn’t impressed much this time. I could make most of the stuff myself and there weren’t many booths this time. I liked a shirt but it was about $50 bucks and nothing really fancy. I liked a bag but it was about $70 bucks and still not worth it. I watched a guy in a wheelchair painting by holding the brush in his mouth and the piece looked beautiful, better than I could do at this time probably. I think his booth was called “This Abled Person.” I didn’t see a piece of his that I really liked and really, my walls are full and so I wouldn’t be able to give his work justice. I can’t wait to have a house of my own with lots of wall space for art, maybe even a whole room of just art and books. Anyways…

The clay flower vials. I did find a few things that I liked very much and could afford. Mom has a rose plant that produces gorgeous blooms and so I got her a flower vial. The vial is wrapped in clay fashioned with color and a kanji stamp. I got one for Dad, not that he likes flowers but that he would be represented in this way. Mom’s one is red because that’s her favorite color and the kanji is for “love.” I didn’t have many choices by the time I went to the fair so I was lucky that the color and kanji came together in that way for Mom’s. Dad’s one says “long life” and is yellow which I think is still ideal for him. I haven’t given it to them yet so don’t spoil the surprise! Added to the special-ness, for me, is that they were one of the crafts at the fair that I thought were most unique, ones that I don’t generally see at other craft fairs, helping to make them worth their price.

Another rather unique craft product was at a hair station. The station had scrunchies that were fancied up with jeweled decorations added, fancied hair clips and the like. The ones I bought were these combs that could be used in multiple ways. Let me attempt to explain: two hair combs are paired up facing each other and attached by crisscrossed elastic bands. The bands and combs are all dressed up with beads of different sizes and shapes. The two combs can be used to fix a quick and easy yet fancy ponytail or be used to hold a bun in place or other ways. The lady selling them had hairpieces to demonstrate some of the uses; I should have taken a picture of them to show what I’m talking about but in anyway it’s a craft that I found quite unique and useful; if you’ve seen all the hair I have you’d agree. The lady demonstrated a ponytail on me. The combs came at a reduced price for buying three and by chance I found three that I liked or I wouldn't have bought any. I don’t know that I’ll keep all three or gift two of them but I’m at least keeping the white one for myself.

I thought I was done then. I cruised around one more time, evaluating the different things I saw. Then I had to look at one more jewelry booth. This one made use of a lot of pearl and shell material, rather beautiful. The only reason I had bought anything at all from there was that my eyes fell upon a pair of shell earrings engraved in the image of monstera. I’ve come to like the look of monstera very much and so I bought the earrings which I could afford at this time.

The best part of the fair was that I ran into the mother and sister of a high school friend. I had recognized first the designs printed on the shirts and things because the mother had gifted some to a group of us back in intermediate, a shirt and two bags of which I still have. Then I recognized the mother; it had been our graduation when I had last seen my friend and her family. The mother told me how my friend is doing up in NV and such. Then she had the sister write down the number for me. Then she had the sister call my friend and I was to leave a voicemail but my friend answered. I tried to be quick because we’d waken her up from a nap but it was so good.

To explain the feeling a little, this friend and I had a somewhat fragile friendship back in high school and there are things of which I could hold against her from that time. By this point, I’ve chosen to let go of all of that, not only with her but with other people as well. It’s just not worth my time to hold onto it and it wasn’t so terrible that I couldn’t forgive and forget.

And so it felt good to hear her voice and to hear her say that she had just been thinking of me not too long ago. She couldn’t remember who she was talking to but she had asked about me and had gotten no answer. I let her go back to napping and gave my info to her sister to relay. I hope I hear from her again. I love reconciliations and reunions.

So that’s a little of what I’ve been up to. I apologize for the fuzzy pictures. Mahalo.

To view the "God Sent" video.