Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodnight Frankie...Goodnight...

Our beloved Frankie Manning, the "Ambassador of Swing" passed away this morning in New York just 1 month shy of his 95th birthday celebration.

I wrote about his influence in our lives a while here to read the post.

Please take a moment to watch this great video tribute which was made 15 years ago to commemorate Frankie's 80th b-day.

Swing dancing is an American folk art that I never want to forget...thank you Frankie for being an inspiration to me, my children and many around the world. You will be missed!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thousand Words Thursday

Oh Boy...oooooooh boy!

I just booked our tickets to Japan! I can't wait!

One of my favorite things to do in Japan is EAT!

Look at all the scrumptious sushi! It's SOOOOO tasty!

I have blogged about food in Japan here to read more ...

Cheaper Than Therapy

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You Better Call Grandma And Tell Her

The other night one of my dearest friends and her daughter surprised us with an afternoon knock on our door.

We were excited to see them and after hanging out for a while we all ended up lounging on our couches munching on goodies and talking about nothing.

At one point Momo got a mischevious look on her face and ran off to my bedroom where I could here here rustling through my bookshelf.

She quickly ran back into the living room and pulling something out from behind her she said:

"I have a very special book to read to you all...It's called..."
Now, it's important for me to preface this story with the fact that my dear friend who was all cozied up on my couch...well, we met back in the day when we were both sex educators, so the arrival of Momo standing before us, insiting that she must read a "sex book" to us was a welcomed and funny sight.

Anyhow, my friend noticed how old the book was and after I told her the book was given to me by my mother when I was about 10 or 11, she said:

"Cool Momo, read us the book!

And boy, did she read it!

It was so funny...Momo, sitting on the coffee table reading then pausing to ask questions of me and my dear friend. Mango and my friends daughter (let's call her Goldie) were listening intently, laughing a lot and occasionally asking questions.

Goldie, having the mom that she does, is also very open to talking about sex, sexuality etc... but by nature she is more reserved and contemplative than Momo and Mango who are the proverbial extroverts. Given their personality differnces and the fact that Goldie is 3 years older than Momo (and about 6 moths older than Mango), it was a given that she would get a kick out of listening to them talk about everything from "does the penis go in and out or round and round" to "why do my friends call semen JIZZ" to "oh, by the way Mom, have you ever tasted it?"


So many funny things were said and many good lessons learned (for one...I learned that Momo CAN indeed make me blush!) but all that aside, one of my favorite things happened after our guests left and I was putting Momo down for bed.

It had been a very long day and Momo was really tired. I was prepared for our typical "Go To Bed" routine...I was not, however, prepared for what happened instead.

After the tucking and kisses goodnight, I was just about to leave Momo's room and she asked me if I had a minute to answer a question. "Just one" I told her and this is what ensued:

Momo: Mom, can a woman have a baby when she is really old?

Me: Ummm...well, women are having babies later and later but most women go through something called menopause when they are around grandma's age. That means that their bodies stop releasing their eggs and they stop having their periods.

About midway through my explanation Momo's eyes had closed. Then she was silent for a moment...


I giggled and nodded...

Then Momo lied back down, closed her eyes and said: You better call grandma and tell her

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Weirdness

They're just...


Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Thousand Words Thursday

This is bad...REAL bad...

It goes against my morals in many, many ways and I am shocked that I allowed it.

I really have nothing to say for myself except:

1. This is not a real gun
2. Momo has not been recruited by a militant religious group
3. I need make sure my brother hides his Air Soft stuff more effectively
4. What kind of weirdo mother casually takes a picture of their child all armored up and pointing a gun at them?


Cheaper Than Therapy

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Peace Be With You

Why is it that I cannot have Peace?

I am not asking for a lot

I don't ask for Peace all the time...

I don't even expect Peace all the time...

I'm a simple gal and I only really want a little bit of Peace in my life...

Just a moment or two...

In the bathroom!
I mean, seriously...with the way that Momo and Mango stalk me outside of the bathroom door you would think that I had a dayglo toilet and a graffiti wall for them to draw on...

I remember back when Momo was a toddler and she would often enter the bathroom with me. I didn't mind and neither did she. It was actually a bit cute to watch her play with toys or hold a conversation with me as though I were not ermmmmm "busy"...

One time we were at Nordtrom's in the women's lounge and of course I brought Momo into the stall with me. She was talking and looking around then she paused, looked right into my eyes and in her cutest, high pitched, chipmunk baby voice she said: " poopin?"

It was cute...back then...

But I thought that by 11 and 14 years of age this business would stop.

Not that Momo and Mango join me in the bathroom anymore, but I thought they would get the point that when I enter the bathroom, it's my time...

Oh boy have I been wrong.

Sure, they let me slip away, get comfortable, pick up a magazine...

Then of them is at the door asking benign, unimportant questions that they need answered RIGHT NOW or one of them is yelling for me from another room, for no apparant reason, other than to sabotage my PEACE!

I will sometimes ignore them or plead with them to leave me alone and every time this happens, Momo and Mango take it upon themselves to then yell..."MOM"S POOPIN---Leave her alone"

And I swear there is nothing else that could ruin your Peace than the thought of the entire neighborhood knowing your business...

I mean COME ON!

The only rememdy I could think of was to tell Momo and Mango that the next time they bug me, come to the door, yell out for me etc when I am having some ALONE TIME...I am going to make them come in and join me.

We'll see how it works, but in the meantime

If you ever see my weirdo's...could you please ask them to give me a freaking minute of PEACE!

I need it!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pearls In Unlikely Places

I've had a rough week.

Life seems to be throwing more stuff at me than I can handle right now and I feel really at a loss...

Relationships, illness, mounds of work, messy rooms, taxes, paperwork etc... On their own, quite manageable but all at once and I am feel really overwhelmed.

Not to mention that I feel like I have allowed things to get to the breaking point. Like the lava boiling within a volcano, just ready to erupt and cause irreparable damage to the beautiful landscape of my life...

I cried today...a real breakdown cry...and it felt good. Funny thing is that it was really hard to open the floodgates. I was so pent up with frustration and anger and hurt that I really was like a dam...barely holding it in...Then the tears came and I think I cried for 4 hours times sobbing with that heart-achy feeling engulfing my whole being and at other times sitting stoically with tears emotion attached.

Either way, I needed it.

It felt good.

Anyhow, earlier in the day (while stoically crying) I found a few photos that I didn't know were on my computer.

They were grainy and fuzzy, as most pictures taken on a cell phone are...but I wanted to post them anyways so I made a note of where they were and thought to myself that I needed to think of a story to put with them.


So here I am, several hours later, feeling a lot less tragic (for now) and I have a story...
Weird: Check
Involves Momo and Mango: Check
includes odd "Pearls of Wisdom" gathered from a very unlikely source: Check

So here goes...

Last summer Momo, Mango and I began going to a semi-local Japanese Buddhist Temple to learn special dances Bon odori for the summer Obon Festival. Obon is a very special time in the Japanese Buddhist tradition as it is a time to celebrate and remember our ancestors...generally there is a festival of traditional music, food and dance... Anyhow, The pics I found today were of the Obon last year.. That's Mango on the left with two of his gal-pals taking a break in between dances..

And here's a pic of Momo and Mango (check out Momo's purple locks)! At one point in the festival there was an announcer on a loud speaker who said "A kid with purple hair just walked by I have seen everything". It was very funny...


Mango decided to rent Karate kid II tonight (the one where they go to Japan and participate in an Obon festival) and as I cozied up on the couch to watch it with him, I began to feel that dreadful feeling come over me again...

But then...

Mr. Miyagi started spewing his words of wisdom and I started to feel some of the heaviness lift off of my chest.

Yes folks, Mr. Miyagi made me feel better.

At one point early in the story when Daniel-san was having a bad day, Miyagi said (in his weirdly broken English):

When feel like life out of focus
always return to basic of life...
No Breathe- No Life

I rewound it like 2 times just to hear Miyagi say those words again then Mango was like:

Mom...WTF...who talks like that? My [Japanese] grandmas don't even sound that weird...OMG are you writing down what he said? are so weird mom...

Despite Mango total loss of respect for me over my frantic attempt to capture the words of Mr. Miyagi, I took a breathe and remembered how much I need to practice mindfulness in my own life.

In that moment I realized that for the last several days...I have hardly been breathing...both figuratively as my mind, heart and body have been so clouded and heavy and literally as I am having a gnarly case of springtime induced asthma.

Either way, I took note that I need (and want) to go back to the basics of life. Man do I need that right now...

Then, just as I had processed the profoundness of Miyagi's words he went and said:

Never put passion before principle...even if win, you lose

WHOA...that hit me like a brick... I can't share why, becasue I am not entirely sure how to put it into words...but, boy oh boy, did that feel profound to me...

So I sit here, mindful and breathing, getting ready to stretch and get in tune with my body and I must say...

thanks for listening, and...

Domo arigato gosaimasu, Miyagi sensei...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Thousand Words...

Here is a pic of my Momo...taken in the Spring of 2005.

Looks as though she is trying to eat an ice cream cone with as much gumption and passion as one can have on a cold blustery day in the Bay Area...

My favorite part of this picture though, has to be Momo's expression.

Reminds me of a little kitten gnawing on something she shouldn't be.