Thursday, March 17, 2011

Across The Deep Blue

A week ago...

I was watching CSI when the Tsunami watch alert came over the station. Japan was hit by an 8.9 earthquake that could send dangerous waves over to the islands.

A little later, watching the news coverage and seeing the water move over the land like a dark rippling sheet lined with silver. Houses were being swept away, farmlands gobbled up and drowned. The refinery burst into flames.

I went back and forth between watching the news and chatting people on Game. Most who were chatting were also watching the news coverage on their end. Someone said it caused them to cry.

I told them that I was in the middle of the island, fairly safe from most anything but thoughts for my safety came in. Another island friend said that she was also out of the inundation zone.

Mom and I quickly thought of those who lived near the coast. I checked the evac zone near The F family, Cousin C’s family, and Aunty C. Aunty was just outside of the zone.

At the Game, more people became aware of what just happened in Japan and other areas possibly to be affected. They thought of those they knew. A prayer chain post started going around.

Still sensitive to the recent Game player scandal, everyone there knew that Japan was real and that Japan was under great strain- fact verifiable.

Dad went to fill up his gas tank. Mom recounted all the water jugs that were already full. We got our flashlights ready.

Sister D was concerned for her family and friends all over the Pacific region. I went on FB chat to help calm her what I could.

I thought the tsunami watch and the Game chat would keep me up all night. Instead I went to sleep around midnight. I’d personally had a long exhausting confusing day. If tragedy did strike the islands, I would handle it better with some rest.

I woke up the next morning to a text message. I checked my phone and found several messages awaited me. Most were from friends writing on my FB wall wanting to hear from me. I logged into the game and found even more messages on my whiteboard there. They all warmed my heart.

We were relatively quiet in the islands. Some areas flooded and some harbors suffered damages but the full force of what could have happened didn’t arrive.

Through FB, I learned that three friends in Japan were safe through the earthquake and tsunami.

I really don’t know what else I can say about the situation in Japan. To think that people were unprepared and more so unawares…. I’m not equipped to write something… profound or moving.

Please pray for Japan. Please also send help in what way you may be able to.

Mahalo for reading and I hope you are safe.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Listen To This: Tini Grey

My good friend Tini Grey has an album out! Shocker!

Well, not really that much of a shocker.

Start from the beginning? Okay… quickly….

I met Tini my first year of college. Being from Hawai’i, going to a small college, one gets to know whom else is from the islands. We all pretty much dormed it on campus. What’s more is that a lot of us were in the architecture program together. Tini was a Third Year.

It turned out that Tini had a girlfriend back home. And it turned out she graduated from the same high school as I had. AND it turned out that she was an older sister to a classmate of mine, one whom I had known [Tini said Albie had a crush on me but I don't know if that was true]. I loved hearing Tini talk about his girl Angie- I felt like I kind of knew her [I was glad when I had heard news that they did marry- congratulations Tini!].

I remember one night at college, we had a luau? Or some kind of pool party thing. Tini had said that everyone in his family was musically inclined in some way. That night, they were the musical entertainment, and Tini hadn’t lied- they were good.

So now, many years later, Tini and I are Facebook friends. I saw news about his album release party in the feed. The pics were great, wish I could’ve been there.

And you can purchase music by Tini Grey on iTunes. Check it out for yourself!

I already have!

The album is “Better Place” with 5 tracks: “Is It Gonna Be You,” “Broken Arrows,” “What She Needs,” “Like 4 a.m.,” and the title track.

What I think, in my lame amateur critique, is that they’re worth getting. If you knew me, I rarely give idle compliments, even to friends. When I say that I like Tini’s songs, it means that I like Tini’s songs and not just because I know him. Even I was pleasantly surprised to like each of the songs. His personality comes through the songs a bit, a sort of upbeat and relaxed way that is personal and honest. He’s got a good voice, there’s good rhythm to the music, content in the lyrics. What more would I ask for?

I think “What She Needs” might become my favorite of the 5. Just from the title I was pretty certain it would be about Angie. I was thinking, “Is he gonna say her name right there in the song?” It seemed like he would, or maybe he wouldn’t, then there it was- he said her name! I love the story, I think the chorus is great, and the bridge topped it. I think the bridge lyrics aptly paint a portrait of a strong, beautiful woman as the subject of great affection and yet she needs the singer to simply love her.

“Like 4 a.m.” is also a good one. I imagine it’s about being with the one you love, when it’s simply the two persons enjoying each other’s company. 4 a.m. is a time when the world seems peaceful and worry-free.

I told you, I’m not a professional music critic by any means.

Here’s a video [I’m guessing] a friend of Tini’s shot at the album release party. It’s mainly so you can get a listen to his personality as he chats easily with the crowd and performs, and then also to listen to the song of course!

Or listen to Tini’s music here [and then go buy it- seriously!]:
Tini Grey's website

Mahalo for reading!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Strangely Charming Birthday Wish

I just read this today and getting onboard with it as quick as I can though I’m a little late. Put it to “Hawaiian time.”

Happy birthday wishes to Joanne Heim!

Again, I don’t know Joanne personally, which is the "strange" part of this celebration shout out, because we're strangers to each other. I only know her from listening to Grounded with Ryan Dobson and a couple Family Talk programs. I didn’t become aware of her blog until just about a month before her tough ordeal began but her blog has become a good friend that I like hearing from every so often. I'm inspired by her writing, by Toben’s writing about her, by their apparent faith, by just about everything through her blog. My first post about her ordeal is here.

So. Since I don't know her and don't know how to write more about her, here is my small thanks in the form of this post.

So. The theme is charm bracelets. When you read Joanne’s blog, you can instantly tell that she must have a lot of charms and not just on her bracelet. [Did you like that one, huh…? ;) ]

Years ago, I started making my own bracelet. I mean, I MADE it. I learned how to connect links to make the chain, I made it to fit my wrist, I searched out some charms for it.

Bear with me because it’s been a while since I’ve taken out my bracelet. Earrings and rings are my usual jewelry of choice so I don’t think I’ve worn my charm bracelet even once yet.

The charms on it are:
The Japanese symbol for “Happiness”
A pair of slippers [or what you mainlanders call “flip flops”]
An eighth note pair
Soccer ball
Hawaiian turtle design
A quarter moon

Of course, each one has a meaning for me.

As someone who lives with anxiety/ depression, “happiness” seems like a myth at times. I am also part Japanese. The slippers remind me of being home in Hawai’i, even though I wish I could walk barefoot everywhere instead.

I love music, almost all kinds of music. In school and church, I was involved in choir, band, symphonic wind ensemble, and marching band. I love listening to my friends sing and was asked to help write songs at one point- still sad that the song-writing didn’t go through but I’d still like to try one day. It’s on my 40x40 list. I also have a memory of the time that a former boyfriend played the saxophone for me, before we got together- the charm is partly for him too.

The strawberry reminds me of things I like- I like strawberries! That is simple enough. One year, Dad’s coworker went to Hilo for a day, work related, and Girls’ Day had been two days before. Dad arranged for his coworker to pick up a dozen strawberry mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen for Mom and me! Yummmm! I wrote about it here.

Ahem, the soccer ball… yes. I… have a thing… for soccer players it seems. My brother and “brothers” played soccer when we were growing up, my dad coached them one year but I don’t know that it has anything to do with why I like soccer players. I don’t watch pro-soccer, I don’t really care about Beckham except that he has talent I hear. I have liked guys at school whom have played soccer. So this soccer ball charm reminds me of Dean first, and then my other former, Chris. It’s not that I have any attachment to them beyond friendship but that they were a significant part of my past, of who I am today.

The airplane is for all the trips I’ve been on but most specifically for going back and forth from home and first college for three years. I love to travel but I love being home more.

The spider reminds me of my friend and a hilarious moment; at least, it was funny to me. Mom found a huge spider in the house one day. I am okay with pretty much any bug except for roaches- will not go near a roach, even if it’s dead. So I bottled up the spider and took it to the Entomology department at the U to find out more about it. It was a typical cane spider, probably female. I put it in the backseat for the time being and went to pick up friends for an event. B in the backseat picked up the bottle. All we heard was a loud scream! And then big laughter from me and I think it was Julie in the passenger seat? B calmed down after that initial shock and even looked at the spider, as long as it remained securely enclosed. I let the spider outside when I got home again. I dug deep in my photo files for this pic.

The Hawaiian turtle design charm is to remind me of Chulo and his daughter J. When he told me he had a daughter, I think one of the first things I sent for her was a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle [Honu] doll. She’s a bit older now and they live on the mainland so I’m not exactly sure what she’s into these days. I still send a turtle thing when I can.

The moon is for Popo from a part of her name. She died when I was barely two and all I remember about her is her funeral yet I have always sensed a strong connection to her.

There you have it, my bracelet with charms. I need to find more to fill it with- there are so many more things and people that I’d like to carry with me. So don’t feel poorly for not being represented on my bracelet yet ‘cuz I’m not done yet!

Here’s a pick of a bracelet I sometimes wear. I got it from my favorite Jules. I like elephants also and these jingle-jingle!

Once again- Hope you have a jingling good birthday Joanne!

Mahalo for reading.
[Click on an image for a larger view]

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Whatever and Ever Always

Well, I haven’t written in a while. No, more correctly, I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve written several entries. The entries for Rachel’s wedding I had written very soon after the event was over but I didn’t post till recently.

I don’t know that I have anything to say.

I’m in Bittersweet Heartbreak Mode. For many reasons. I’ve been trying to get myself to answer Apple’s text and I can’t even do that at the moment. I’m sorry. I’m all out of sorts; when am I not. I don’t know what to say.


So. It’s the little things.

So. The other day I had to pay a bill. I also ran a few errands. I finally picked up a small stack of drawers! Why should that rate? It will sit on my small shelf and not permit me to knock things over any more. It also provides more organization and space.

I couldn’t help myself. I picked up a couple of cacti along the way.

A few years ago, I wanted always something living in my room. With my feisty cats, that ruled out more fighting fish until I build and install the fish shelf. I’ve killed flowery stuff before. Cacti, sounds easy enough! Nope, they died too. Don’t ask.

So. I got two new cacti!

I don’t give up easily.

I watched a few Hitchcock classics. Great! Great.

So. I’ve been making friends online. I’d rather have local friends but that seems to end with me and not well at that. I’m trying a different avenue. I’m already in love with a few.

I’m taking more small steps towards taking better care of my health. I’ve been eating oatmeal again and this time I’m enjoying it better. I calculated that one serving of the spinach and mushroom salad that I make is 178 calories. I’m still working on phasing in more water. I don’t give up easily.

The only part that is hard with the oatmeal is that it doesn’t keep me full. In an hour, my stomach is growling like it’s gotten nothing at all. I’m doing my best to push through that and pretend I didn’t hear that, or feel it.

I’ve been too lazy to drive all the way to K to get the granola that I love. So. Someone had recommended a certain granola that they find at their Walmart. I searched up and down all the food aisles at the nearest W. Nothing. I’ll try again another time or another W.

Yet I really wanted granola. I checked out S and picked up a package. The ingredients looked good enough. I checked out L anyway but the granola they sold had more calories per smaller serving size, so looks like I made an okay choice in the S granola, for now.

The S granola is a little soft and not as crunchy as I like granola to be but it’s alright. I’m mostly using it in the Greek yogurt anyway. It’ll do until I make the trip out to K and get the one I love.

I spent Valentine’s Day with myself. No, it’s not sad for me so no pity here. I’ll write about it later- we’ll see if it gets posted.

So. I’ve been doing the dishes. I’ve been cleaning other stuff too. I’m slowly getting my desk more and more organized. I still need to fold my shirts.

I’ve fallen behind in my writing about reading journal. I call it my “Writing About Reading” journal. And just now I realized that it spells out WAR. 6 books are awaiting memory entry. It’s soon to be 7.

I love the smell of the caramel candle.

I am caught up on reading Joanne’s blog!

Ministry is on my mind. It hasn’t stopped being on my mind and in my scribbling since the day I heard the call. God has been sending things my way. I’m just… I can’t talk about it more than that at the moment. I don’t give up easily yet this….

A quarter of my right toenail has come off. I mean- OFF. I don’t know where it went or when it up and left. I just hope it doesn’t grow back worse like my other toe had.

I’m starting to use the AC again. I was worried that it wasn’t working anymore but it is.

I haven’t decided yet if I will grow my hair out for donation right away again. I’m still considering changing the color, and then I wouldn’t be able to donate again until that grew out though. Or I might have them touch up the short cut. It’s grown on me and I love it. Or I might try some other daring style.

I read some completely unexpected thing recently.

I am glancing at my phone more frequently now.

Ever since I first had a phone I’ve been considering doing without one. Yet it’s so handy when I get a flat tire. Or I fall down walking on the sidewalk and jam my knee. And then fall again a few days later and jam the other knee.

I saw a spider wrapping up a future meal and tried to get a pic of it but I moved something to get closer and it hid from me.

[at this point, this entry too is several days old. Maybe I’ve already written about V-Day but still to see if it gets posted].

I-i-i-i-i-i’m just gonna post this already. My finest work yet, no?

Mahalo for reading.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The First Dress: The Last Dress for Rachel

February 5th, The DAY
After dropping off Krystle at home, I went home to get part-way ready. Tim and his mom picked me up; I’d made arrangements because there wouldn’t be much parking at the church. We got there pretty early.

From there, it’s not easy to remember what happened during the preparations- so many things going on! There was a lot of surprising the guys with a script and getting them to go with it. Hideto was to do the Banzai and wanted to do a perfect job for the couple. The bridesmaids were still wondering where to place our red flower pins. Krystle was ready to dance.

Lisa’s mom was cool but made me so nervous. She speaks in Japanese and fussed over our hair and makeup, two things that already make me nervous. I just stood there as still as I could and nodded when she said something and Lisa wasn’t much help because she was fussing over Rachel and I had no mirror so had no idea what was going on. Sorry, I’m just uncomfortable whenever someone fusses over me ‘cuz it’s not often that it happens.

And, I think I looked good so mahalo Lisa Mama!

The flower was originally thought to be placed on our dresses somewhere, probably toward one side at the waist. I think because I was goofing with the placement and was caught by Lisa’s mom, we all wore it in our hair with the gold headbands.

Rachel’s cousin and Kendal were floating around to take pictures. Rachel was doing such a good job of not letting Zac see her in the dress before the ceremony but then everyone was getting dressed and Zac’s grandfather, who’d be officiating, wanted the license signed before the ceremony. So Rachel got dressed.
Getting closer to the main event. The Mother of the Bride came in and the moment hit her. Rachel embraced her mama and they cried.

We walk out. They’ve turned down the lights and lighted the candles. It looks great. The guys line up in their order. The music begins.

The guys are on stage. The song switches. I’m smiling as big as I can and thinking through my cue to go, being the first bridesmaid out, and where I’m supposed to walk. So, I start walking…

… and I don’t trip! I got a little shaky when I had to step onto the platform.

A few quirky moments but the ceremony goes well. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Zac!

We step off in our pairs, Tim and I last. Tim being tall and walking a little fast, I had to skip a few steps to keep up.

The program was jam-packed with good stuff. A couple dance groups, praise band worship, Mama G and Zac’s mom both performed something each, a slide show, the banzai, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss…. All the performers had some kind of friendship-family tie with the couple which adds to the specialness of the evening. And then it was…

The couple’s first dance.

I’m gonna cut it right here. If you don't know me by now, I am usually one of those floating amateur photographers but this event, I tried to relax on it. I can't wait to see what moments the event photographers caught!

Again congratulations to Rachel and Zac- I love you both. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of it. I wish it were one of those things we could say, “Let’s do it again!” but really, let’s NOT. ;)

And that is the tale of the first dress for me, last dress for Rachel.

Mahalo for reading. I know, quick this one but it’s so hard to aptly describe such a great event to celebrate two wonderful friends! I do feel like I’m missing something though… oh well, another post, another day.

The End.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The First Dress: Rehearsals & Other Preparations

January 22, 2011
As I drove up to the church-in-a-warehouse, I spotted the guys outside. Good thing or I might have passed it and gotten lost.

The rehearsal… took awhile to really get started. The guys were given their ties and practiced putting them on [aside: I prefer the solid look of the double knot].

The pairs and order would be:
Shaun- Lisa
Bert- Krystle [of course]
Joel- Megan
Tim- me

… which meant I would be the first bridesmaid walking out and on my own! Scary!

The ladies are all chatter and who’s gonna cry…? I’m my awkward self, generally being more comfortable with guys but I try my best to spend some time with the gals [nothing wrong with the gals, it’s me; I’m not very versed in girly-girlese].

After the rehearsal, Rachel asks me if I want to hang out with her later- the other ladies had something else to go to. I meant to go home and read but as I mentioned earlier… it’s tough turning her down. I went with her and Mama G to Rachel’s hair appointment.

At the salon while Mama G and I waited, a couple of familiar faces walked in. We ended up talking story during which I couldn’t hold back the tears. Mrs. R gathered us together to pray- over ME- and I couldn’t speak. To this day, my mind is spinning on what happened, what it means, and what to do next.

Back at the G’s, I get to see Rachel in her dress with her hair all done- she is so precious and lovely!

Rachel dropped me off at the church for my car. The guys were still at the weight room so I popped in. I hadn’t seen them in a while.

January 29, 2011
I had planned to be early in order to check out a few stores for a dress but I wasn’t early enough.

The wedding party- minus bride and groom, for it was to be a surprise for them- on time.

Before I got to sit down, I looked over at a familiar face at the next table- someone I had grown up with, one of several “brothers” was at the restaurant celebrating a friend’s birthday. Their table was filled with other alumni [at least three more of the brothers] so I went over to say “Hi.” I am so awkward in such situations only because my memories and thoughts speed through my mind and I fumble the words that come out of my mouth. I was so happy to see him though- all of them- it has been too long.

Our dinner… I don’t know how anyone can NOT have a blast when Rachel’s around! Lisa told us the story of having to get Rachel there without her finding out why. Rachel, being Rachel, followed instruction.

The ladies enjoyed a good sangria! Calamari and Fried Mozzarella were the appetizers [I remember something about Zac being the “King of Cheese” …? Lol ]. Lisa said the gals would choose a pizza and a pasta and the guys would choose likewise. The girls got on it- ravioli and …I forget what kind of pizza. The guys dropped the ball somewhere/somehow so their choices came a little later- Spaghetti with meatballs and a meat pizza. It was all so good!

February 3, 2011
Two days before the big day! Still no dress so I head out. Please let there be the right dress!

Returning to the scene of the crime, I see one of the dresses on the front rack… which usually means “sale”… YES! I anxiously search for the dress in my size and it’s there! I was so relieved and excited so I tried on a yellow dress and a pink top just for myself. Oddly, I am feeling quite feminine….

Dress chosen, I put it and the pink top on hold and move on to the next mall to do my due diligence. At the first store, I took a pic of a couple of long gowns I wouldn’t mind wearing to an event, if I had another event to go to that is. Only one possible dress to try on- it fits but I just don’t like it as much as the chosen one.

I stop off at one of my favorite stores- on the rare occasion that I actually want to buy something to wear- and I feel good trying on stuff. The shirt I definitely wanted wasn’t in my size, I couldn’t decide on the others, so after all that I purchased a sale sweater- I am enjoying it! I saw a possible purse for purse-lady Jules… maybe it’ll arrive at her door….

Another dress at another store but it’s still not as good as the chosen one, not even close. I try finding some “supports” at the “pink” store but came away with nothing there for me towards the wedding. I couldn’t find anyone to help me at the makeup store so I walk confidently into M.A.C. I am so grateful for salespeople who know their products! I don’t like to be bothered when I shop but this time I had a definite question. The lady was so quick and helpful that I was out the door in about 10 minutes easy, feeling accomplished.

I heard the sounds of the drums- Happy Year of the Hare [~ah, Chulo, I miss you]! I found a cozy spot on the third floor to watch the center stage festivities for a little bit.

A Pomegranate tea, another sweater, and I’m on my way to pick up the dress. I’m certain of it.

February 4, 2011
Set up wasn’t as bad as anticipated. By the time I got there, the guys were on it in moving stuff where it needed to be.

Sooo…. I was on the decorating committee with most of the women and… I had no idea what to do…? At least I didn’t break any of the delicate things. Very few matching things but it was so Rachel and it turned out looking great! I mean, this is the gal that got me to wear a party hat during indoor rock-climbing because it was for my “birthday,” with Chinese pretzels, gau, and a dress up set [I’m Chinese and that’s the reason Rachel gave]; it’s the We-haven’t-got-much-but-what-we-have-we-make-GREAT Rachel style!

Zac’s aunty came later to do the more formal final touches but first she showed us the bouquet- silk flowers, waterfall like style, just gorgeous. As bridesmaids, she made us red rose little bouquets. Then she whipped up more pretty things for the aisle and the wedding party table. Good thing she came ‘cause we umm… kind of neglected that table….

Near finishing up, Krystle, Rachel and I were exhausted and getting a little… loopy. Krystle picked up a gold cloth remnant and made a cape for herself. There was this spotlight moment when Krys wanted me ready with the camara… and then she popped up the cape behind her like she was going to fly and the music came back on and a breeze from the A/C caused the cape to flutter…! LOL You had to be there and I wish I’d had it on video. We were all cracking up! Aunty said she liked us ‘cause we weren’t shy prissy things- we knew how to have fun. Yup, ask her.

Later that same night…
The guys were having Zac time so the gals got together and had Rachel time! Ugh, more eating of goodies… dinner and chocolate covered fortune cookies and the fruit cups- whoa. The fruit cup had layers and layers and more layers on top of that of strawberries, blueberry, blackberry, yellowberry [lol- j/k] and cake, cheesecake, jam, and I don’t know what else but it was the yummiest thing [almost yummier than guava cake]. Stickers, nails, more wedding details to finish up, pictures and memory lane, etc. It was a good night.

Almost forgot, we had wine. Proper.

I can’t tell ALL the secrets…

Krystle and I slept over.

February 5th, The DAY
We woke up to a beautiful day in K. Rachel was still taking care of last minute things. Krystle and I helped what we could, hung around, and then I took her home.

Click on photos for larger view. Another post to recap the rest coming up next time…

Monday, March 7, 2011

The First Dress: Receiving the Honor & Shopping

The Tale of the First Dress begins [at least for me and this specific event] in October of last year.

October 26, 2010
Rachel requested a night with the ladies. For someone who is always appreciative and excited for anything I do, I cannot say “No” to Rachel.

While we are eating sushi and salad in the Mililani Ninja Sushi, Rachel asks if we would be her bridesmaids. Of course that gets Krystle all jumpy and squeaky. Once again, I am thrilled by Rachel!

After eating, we scoped out possible decorations for the wedding at Pricebusters. Candles and flowers and what will the colors be?

I’ve been to a few weddings [other than for relatives]. It surprised me just to be invited to them- when one invitation arrived in the mail there was no doubt that I would fly to CA to attend. One wedding was a little strange for me , for I had been very close to both bride and groom but was left out of the party. I reconnected with a friend over a FB Scrabble game and she invited me to her wedding about a week before the event- I hadn’t seen her in years!

Rachel and I met three years ago. It seems like such a short time to go from stranger to friend to bridesmaid, but I was going to take it! For Rachel, I would do just about anything. I felt honored.

Yet, I went home that night wondering if I had misunderstood. Krystle as Rachel’s bridesmaid made sense. Did I hear her right regarding me?

It would be a short 3 ½ months to the main event!

December 30, 2010
The maid of honor Lisa gathered the bridal party together over a late lunch. It felt real now; I would be a bridesmaid with Lisa, Megan and Krystle!

We decided on a Wedding Party Dinner for late January.

Someone would have to let the guys know, Shaun, Bert, Joel and Tim. Lisa would take care of getting Zac and Rachel there as a surprise.

I had a caramel apple cheesecake to celebrate, just me. I was so excited and it was so yummy that I had forgotten to get a photo of it BEFORE consuming it! =)

January 15, 2011
I had thought I would lose some weight and was on a good track until January snuck up on me! And here I am at the Bridal shower organized by Zac’s mom. On my way there, I quickly picked up the workings of a gift package to contain the present I had for Rachel.

Krystle caught a ride with me. She was all abuzz about who the pairs would be, our dresses, the decorations, etc. She wouldn’t have to wonder about her partner- it would be her husband. I guessed Lisa and Shaun would be the maid-of-honor and best man. Krystle says there is no maid-of-honor or best man. Come on, of course there is and it doesn’t matter- I am honored just to be up there at all; none of us should feel slighted for not being the maid-of-honor.

[Aside: Jules, if I am not in your wedding party AT ALL, you and I will be through! Just kidding but kinda not… ;) ]

Oh, Tsukiji’s- my second time at your establishment [and still no Asahi :/ ]! As soon as Rachel saw me she went straight for playing with my recently cut hair. That triggered a few more hair touches from Krystle as well.

I had only briefly met Zac’s parents once before. I quickly worked my mind to orient myself to Zac’s mom and his relatives. The tables were so close together throughout the place that I saw some well-dressed ladies on the table to the right and said “Hi” to them also- they were a different group. I sat down, never looked back.

Plate #1: salad, spicy ahi sushi, unagi, ahi, fresh mochi with kinako, fried fish, fried tofu, with a side of wasabi.

Plate #2: Tempura!!! Shrimp, string beans, sweet potato!

Dessert: Sake!

The bridal party was made even more official as Rachel presented us with the red flower pins and gold headbands we would be donning.

We moved over to Aunty Helen’s for the games and presents. Krystle and I were just winning- we placed top 3 in the first game and Krystle's contribution in the second game is probably what brought it home for the team.

And… dessert #2: the oh-so-onolicious cupcakes from Hokulani Bake Shop!

Afterwards, Krystle and I stopped off quickly to look for some dresses for the wedding. We were to find black knee length dresses. No luck at that store… [Krystle- if you’re reading this… no telling!]

January 19, 2011
I braved the outlet mall to search out a dress- oh what I’m willing to do for Rachel! I found a few possibilities at BCBG. I came to love and appreciate how well-made the dresses were- of course they were the pricier ones. I tried to take photos of me trying them on so I could ask for opinions later. Besides, all sales were final and I couldn’t decide on which dress. I really shouldn’t be allowed to shop on my own because I don’t have an idea of what looks good on me.

Tip: I also take a photo of the store policy for reference and reminder of where the dresses are as well as the dress tag to remember what size I tried and wanted, with the price of the dress.

At the Bebe store, I walked through looking around as I had in other stores. I’d like to be able to wear some of their stuff. In the back by the sales was a Chinese woman- nothing unordinary. I didn’t see anything for the wedding so I start moving towards the front of the store- so does the Chinese woman. Something caught my eye in a bin near the cashier so I stop to look- the woman and I reach for the same purse! I move even closer to the door, the woman is ahead of me now by the door, I spot something on the rack and go to look, the woman has turned back to look at something nearby too. At this point I’m wondering if she’s going to follow me to the next store. I walk out, still expecting a tap on my shoulder and a revelation of long-lost relatedness… but she was gone. … … I’m… rarely ever creep-ed out but that was… was… yes. Interesting.

Again I’m wondering what I’m doing shopping alone- I have no one there to laugh at me!

As I walk around and text something, I catch a couple glances. I sense I’m being judged by my phone. …

Click on any photo for a larger view. More to come next time...