Friday, October 31, 2008

MJ made my day so lovely and perfect

I had been running around all day and night more so for this week (I wasn't even around to write a new post...)

And then something very special happened this morning. I was checking my blog comment and I found the message from my dear MJ who gave me my very 1st award yesterday which is known as the Superior Scribbler Award. You have no idea how happy I am. This is just UNBELIEVEABLE!!! Whoo Hooo! May I just do a happy dance?

This is what she wrote about me:
"...because she has a big heart, is obviously a great mother, and her broken English is the most endearing thing about her." -- Thank you sooo much MJ, you really made me cry because I am sooo happy and delighted!!! (ps: I am working on my broken English!!! LOL)

Now I have to pass this award to five people and here is my 5 choices.
Franco @ rivermistexpression. He has been my daily supporter ever since he left me the first comment. His blog is fully of candy! Thanks Franco!
Jess@ The Everyday Adventures in the City. Her blog is so charming and lovely. I enjoy reading her blog.
Luca@ LBluca77. She is funny, Okay? She cracks me up and I can't get enough!
Carrin@ Carrin's comments. I've know her only a week or so, but I totally respect her. She is a lovely mom who's raising her 4 children on her own (well she has a nice BF) and we are both 35! I love reading her blog.
merc3069@ BookBitten. She was my first follower - She's been always kind to me. Thank you merc...

Now should you choose to accept the award, please follow these steps:
1.Post the award on your blog.
2. Link me for giving it to you.
3. Link the originating post - here.
4. Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5. Post these rules for your recipients
Thanks again, MJ for choosing me one of your picks - I am so happy!!

Polka Dot

praying baby Pictures, Images and Photos
My girls, JT and I pray every night together before the girls go to bed; The Lord's prayer and Child's prayer. Now our Ju Ju came up with her own prayer and we have added it as our third bed time prayer. And it goes like this..

"Polka Dot, Polka Dot,
Please make it rain
For all the trees and plants to grow
Strong and tall

I am pretty impressed with my daughter who is only 4. The whole sentense makes perfect sense and it rhymes, too! And she thinks about the beautiful nature just like her momy.

But our Ju Ju has been very sad for the past several days since her favorite grandpa and grandma went back to NJ. She cried so hard in the car after saying "goodbye" which of course made me cry, too.

JT, Dad, Soapy, Me, JT's step-mom & Ju Ju
Soapy, GrAnny & Ju JuBut today, Ju Ju went to school wearing Super Girl costume. She said, "Mommy, I'm going to be strong today!!" - that's right, no more tears, sweetheart...

So, what are your plans for tonight's Halloween night, everyone? Anything fun?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Favorite Hollywood Couple

Brangelina Pictures, Images and Photos
I am not sure about you readers, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are my favorite Hollywood couple. They were the most unlikely people to share life together in my book before. It was nice surprised when I heard about their love affair (sorry Jen!). They are gorgeous to look at; They try to make a difference in the world (even it's a small step at a time with large sum of money); They have a big family which keeps growing; And most of all, they love each other. Look at this photo above:I can honestly feel that they adore, respect and love each other deeply... I love looking at them being together and I am happy for them, especially Brad Pitt who wanted a family for so many years. Oh, and don't forget - they are both damn sexy!!! (And they even have the same hair color!!!)

brad pitt angelina jolie Pictures, Images and Photos
Brad Pitt Pictures, Images and Photos
Angelina Jolie Pictures, Images and Photos
brad pitt angelina jolie Pictures, Images and Photos
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Pictures, Images and Photos
Angelina Jolie   Brad Pitt Pictures, Images and Photos
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt are effing sexy Pictures, Images and Photos
So, what are your thoughts on the couple? Do you love them or hate them together?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Belated Birthday Photos!

It's been two weeks since my 35th birthday party.
I have been saying I would post pics, but I have been lazy until now.
I thought I could relive and enjoy the fun night once more...

JT, my bro-in-law and friends got the whole 2nd fl @ our favorite bar for my birthday.
I was screaming at people downstairs, "Thanks for coming!!" (I wish-LOL)
Yep, birthday girl's face is half missing, but I don't care - meet my fabulous GFs!!
My BFF/Stylist Mr. D & Mr. M My JT and I...
My girls: Miss A & Miss K
My dear (another) Miss A, she's going to be Mrs. next week!
JT & Dr. Orthodontist (he's gonna fix my teeth! LOL)
Two Bros up to something: JT & D Jr. My sweet bro D jr. & BFF Miss K
Big Guy JT enjoying laying on top of the girls My better half Miss J
Anothe pic w/ Miss J"One more shot!" (I'm already drunk as hell..) Group pic!
And another one! I must say, I was miserable before this night, but it wasn't bad to turn 35 after all.
I was so fortunate to have my hubby, family and friends who were there to celebrate my birthday.
Thank you so much, guys!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One Late night..

Hey guys! I just came back from a night of fine dining and drinking with my in-laws. I'm a bit tipsy -- oh that white wine I had was so delicious. Well, my hubby JT's dad and stepmom flew in from NJ today (Friday morning). My two daughters have been so excited and happy that they are here. We had this "Boo Fest" for the kids tonight in our town, so all of us took the girls and enjoyed watching Ju Ju and Soapy getting all the treats (but who need so much candy a week before the real deal?).
Anyway, as their grandpa and grandma clicking away the photos of my girls, I was standing by them at the same time, trying to capture some cute shots. But Ju Ju and Soapy wanted nothing to do with me. Their eyes were all on their grandparents. LOL. The girls insisted on wearing their real Halloween costumes tonight, but oh no, their mama said "NO". I wouldn't let them ruin it. So I told them to be princess, put on their daily costumes. Am I mean or cheap? Honestly, it's like everyday is Halloween to them. They get to be fairies and princesses and eat sweets all year long. But we had great time tonight.. Aww, I'm in such a great mood..

Another big, big news. Call me silly, but I've been excited about this for the past three months. And tonight is the night! I'm gonna have to spill it out. Now I finally got the photo and clip, I'm posting it on late Friday night (actually it's 1:00am Saturday) just because I'm tipsy.
Take a look at this photo. I'm introduing John Connor played by Christian Bale!!!! (I know most of you don't give a crap, but bear with me). For some of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I'm talking about the movie "Terminator". I am not a big fan of SciFi action movie, but I have certain favorite flicks and "Terminator" is one of them. Ever since I've seen the first "Terminator", I've always wanted to see how John Connor will turn out and who would play his part. And my prayer has been granted. Christian Bale, one of the hottest men in Hollywood plays the hero I've always wanted to see fight for our future!!! Awwwwwww! Isn't he gorgeous or what??? I don't want to talk about next year because it's still 2008, but I just can't wait for this movie to come out!!! Forget Bat Man my friends. Christian Bale is John Connor from now on.

Enjoy one of the very first official Teaser Trailer
The movie "Terminator Salvation" will be open in summer of 2009!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'd Walk A Mile...

Hello everyone. Today, I've decided to try my first "Writer's Workshop" with Mama's Losing it.

I picked two prompts:

1. "I would walk a mile for a ________"

A. I would walk a mile for a cure for kidney disease. Maybe I would even walk 200 miles if I have to. I've already talked about my mom in Japan and some of you may already know that she has been on dialysis for the past seven years. She goes to the clinic every Tue, Thu and Saturday morning from 8am to 12pm, four hours attached to a machine laying on bed, so she can live.

She was really depressed and didn't want to go on at first when she started it, but when she learned that I was pregnant with Ju Ju, she bounced back and has been positive since. Her two young granddaughters are her will to survive. I have asked her to consider transplants which is a common practice here in the US, but my mom refuses the idea no matter what I say.

She hasn't been feeling well for the past week (hmm, maybe that's why I'm still sick...?), fainted several times and even threw up at the clinic after the dialysis. That makes me want to just fly back and be there for her. My mom is my best friend and I'd do anything to lift her spirits. She deserves to watch my girls grow up.


2. Describe in detail a person who leaves no stone unturned..

A. I thought about my dad as soon as I read this prompt. He is such a determined person and he'd do anything to make his dream come true. I will make this short and sweet, so you wouldn't get bored reading it.

My dad was majoring in architecture in college when he met my mom. She was a daughter of a photographer who owned a photo business (yes, I'm talking about my grandpa). When my dad wanted to marry my mom, my grandpa said "No," because my dad had no photography background. Because my dad was madly in love with my mom, he gave up his dream to become an archtech and decided to go to a photography school. My other grandpa wasn't happy and totally against the idea because he wanted my dad to take over his archtecture business. But my dad went on to finish the school, he went back to my mom's dad ask for permission to marry her. Then my grandpa gave my dad another obstacle. My grandpa told my dad he can only be with my mom if he chose to give up his last name and took my grandpa's last name which is a very common practice in Japan in order to keep the family's last name going; not die down.

My grandpa only had two daughters; My mom and my auntie. It was very important to him that his business and his last name wouldn't die with him. My dad thought about it and he agreed marrying into my mom's family. Well my dad was second son, so his oldest bro could carry on their last name. I know it sounds strange to many of you, but that's how things work in Japan sometimes. So my dad gave up two things for my mom because my dad had to have her. After seven years they had met, my dad and mom finally tied the knot at 26.

Then after 11 years of marriage, my dad at the age of 37 realized that photography was not something he wanted anymore. My dad told my mom about leaving the place he grew up, moving to Tokyo and chasing his dreams. He grew tired of living someone else's life. Now it was my mom's turn to give up something she loved so much; her parents and a comfortable life. We moved to Tokyo, we struggled for a while.. My dad even took on a day labor job, but he never gave up. He kept on trying and trying and he finally landed the job he'd always wanted. He became a very successful sports agent in at I%G (I don't think I should spell every letter here, so I took out the middle letter) in Tokyo.

My dad is a person who would do anything for his dream and love. Granted he is a risk taker, but I truly admire him. I'm proud and glad that he is my dad... I love him!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And the winners are!?

One of Ju-Ju's artwork - she is so proud!

My girls before picking the winner

Ju Ju and Soapy holding the winner name

Last week, I held the "Pay it Forward" contest that I was passed on by MJ. My two daughters and I picked three winners late this afternoon.

the winners are... (the sound of drum begins....)
franco, dorkys and merc3069!!!! And another twist is, since franco didn't want the nail polish, we picked another winner and the lucky person is

The winners, please send me an email with your address, so that I can mail the stuff that I have promised to you guys. Franco, don't worry, you won't be getting the nail poslish, but Ju Ju drew something special for you!! :) Once you recieved the item, you need to forwad the love to three people of your choice. This has been such joy and I hope this will keep going and growing! Let's forward the kindness and feel the love y'all!!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Your Unknown Power

My grandma (dad's mom) was a medium. Believe it or not, I grew up listening to her stories of countless encounters with ghosts and paranormal activities. I wasn't afraid, but rather curious, so I used to beg her to tell me about her ghosts even when my dad told me to stay out of it (he was scared, I'm sure!!).

She used to say, "Oh, last night was bad.. The furniture wouldn't stop shaking. I told them to shut up. I think something bad is going to happen." Then soon enough, we get news that our family member had passed or got in the accident. My grandma had seen so many ghosts or spirits that were unable to go to heaven. My dad hated hearing the stories though. I think he can also feel something beyond our imagination or understanding, but just doesn't want to admit it.

I can not see spirits/ghosts. Period. I don't see them. BUT, I do feel them sometimes. My thing is, although I don't see them with my eyes, I have the gift that I am not so fond of. I can tell if someone is going to die. I realized I have this weird intuition of predicting someones death when I was teenager after my grandfather died.

One day, I was watching TV and saw this huge actor R.P. talking about his upcoming movie. I felt this overwhelming sadness when I was looking at his face. I still clearly remember the moment which I was thinking to myself, "Oh my god... I think he is going to die.." Then a week later he overdosed and died at a famous bar in L.A. Coincidence? Maybe. But since then, I often times find myself feeling the same things ove and over again, and soon after I learn those intuitions were indeed real.

For the past two years, I have lost two friends and a family member. All of them I somehow knew they were going to die even though they were not ill. The sad thing is that I didn't want to believe that was going to happen to them, so I shrug it off from my head saying, "Oh, stop it... She will be fine," or "He will be fine..." Nobody would believe me anyway because I wouldn't know exactly when or what time. It is something that I wish I could just throw away because it is scary if you really think about it. I am not proud of my six sense. I wish I had the ability to do something more fun.

Anyway, one of my favorite TV programs is coming back next week. It is A&E's Paranormal State. Have you seen the show before? It's pretty interesting. Check out the preview!

And these are the films related to the above subject that I enjoyed seeing. I tend to love happy movies, but sometimes I just can't help myself wanting to see something scary.

So, my friends, do you believe in ghosts? What are your thought???

Back to my normal self

sick baby Pictures, Images and Photos

I have been sick since past Saturday, but I am finally able to sit and type today's post which is a relief!!! I was able to visit some blogs and leave comments, but when it came to writing my own post, my brain just didn't want to help me with it.

It all started when I realized my right ear was acting weird. It felt like when you go swimming and get water inside of your ear. I couldn't pop it, so it was very uncomfortable. And I thought I was losing my hearing which was really a scary thought! Then somehow I caught a bug from my Soapy who had been coughing at night (which she got it from her sis Ju Ju's BFF, Little Miss M). My body ached and joints hurt... I couldn't get out of the bed all day yesterday. I was miserable!!!

On top of that, I was a bit overwhelmed with everything: my new work, kids and everything else's in my life. I hadn't had the chance to really sit, relax and take it all in when I started my new job because I was always on the go. So, I decided to take a little break from blogging and recharge my energy. I think it helped me so much. What I realized is that you need own peace and serenity in order to enjoy your life and yourself. Without having that, you would totally lose it!

I just want to thank you all who entered the "Pay It Forward" contest last week! I will announce the lucky winners tomorrow afternoon, so stay tuned!!

This is where I want to be right now...
serenidad Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, October 17, 2008

Meet James Pond

Okay, some of you looking at today's title might think, "Here she goes, that Japanese gal misspelling again.." Ding Dong! Not this time my friends; I'm not talking about James Bond just so you know. :)

About three months ago, I was watching Dateline on TV about child trafficking in Cambodia where many young children as little as 4 have been used as sex slaves. It was simply horrible and heartbreaking. As many of you know, I have two little girls; 4 and 2 years old. I looked at the girls in Cambodia on TV, I couldn't stop thinking to myself, "What kind of a world do we live in?"

Then the program introduced one extraordinary family who watched the original Dateline "Child Sex Trade in Cambodia" 4 years back and did something unimaginable. James Pond and his wife were watching the story on Dateline about the sex trade and they were in such a state of shock; crying and couldn't even get off the couch. So, what did they do?? They talked to their children the next morning about the story and they had all decided that they want to do something about it. How?? Not by sending money. James Pond quit his job as a successful sales executive, they sold their house and moved to Cambodia. His family has built a safe house for the girls who were sex slave and trying to help rehabilitate those girls, so that they would have a better life.

Okay, my friends. We often watch something on TV that moves and touches you; makes you wanting to change the world. But how many of us really put that into the action? James Pond and his family are incredible. I couldn't even cry because I was simply amazed how brave Pond family was..

Please read the story about the recent update on "Child Sex Trade in Cambodia" and you'll meet James Pond (page 5 - 6). He also has a blog called "Transitions Global (formally known as Transitions Cambodia)". His story is eye-opening experience and makes you want to do something to help, not just sitting in front of computer all day blogging (I'm talking about myself, my readers..). And you can, too, to change the life one person at a time.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!
PS: Today is the last day to enter Pay It Forward Contest!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Love...


When was the first time you fell in love? Was it when you're 5 or sweet 16? Or was it when you grew wiser at the age of 20's?

I've been thinking and looking back trying to figure out when or who was my first love.. It's funny how I could think all the boys and men I've dated and even when I thought I was in love, I realized now that many of the case I wasn't.

I could say though, there are three guys who had shaped my love life; my ex, Soul Surfer, another ex Party Boy and my hubby JT.

I briefly talked about Soul Surfer a long time ago, but anyway.. I met Soul Surfer when I was 20, right before I turned 21. It was love at first sight. I went out one night with my friends to a bar called "Pink Cadillac" in Waikiki. He was working as a bouncer. I walked in when he was counting $$ and a cigarett in his mouth. He was gorgeous. I couldn't stop thinking about him all night and the morning after and the next day. So I went back to the bar, hoping to see him and there he was. Believe it or not, I decided that I was going to be his girlfriend right then(hmmm, kida creepy if you think about it. Boarderline stalker activity. LOL).

Luckily, one of my friends knew him, so we started hanging out as friends first and we stared dating six months after. But his true love was surfing. He blew off our date so many times without calling and having me wait by the phone. Every time I called him to find out where he was, his roommate told me, "He is surfing." It's funny how I got used to it. If I could place myself in his priority list, I could say that Surfing (1st place), Friends (2nd) and Maki (3rd place!!). But I loved him and adored him otherwise I wouldn't stayed with him for five years. He loved nature, the ocean and surfing, all the things I love. Anyway, you can read my old post to see what happened with Soul Surfer

After the breakup with Soul Surfer, I met Party Boy and dated for six months. And I could say, he totally broke my heart. We met at a party, he liked me, he got my number and the next thing I know, we were dating intensely. He did so many things that Soul Surfer barely did for me or with me. Party Boy wanted to spend every single minute with me. And we even talked about getting married (yes, he was that special). But do you ever feel when you're so much in love and things were going great, somehow you start to think things might go wrong or thinking, "This can't be true?" - well, that's exactly what happened. All the fun times and good times fell apart when I started to feel insecure. We brokeup the day after my birthday. I was a wreck!! I was depressed and cried everyday. I couldn't go on anymore without him and I was sure I was not going to find anyone who would put a smile on my face. It was one of the most horrible time of my life.
That's when I met JT. It was not love at first sight, but I remember thinking "ummm, he is handsome.." We saw each other every time I went out for drinks. We became good friends. JT was the one who saved me from being sad everyday after Party Boy. I stopped thinking about Party Boy when I was with JT. I started to feel that I can smile and be happy again.

When I was with JT, I never had to worry if he cared about me. He was not afraid to show his affection. I could honestly say that he was the first man ever that I knew in my heart he'd always be faithful to me. I could be a bit too much and kind of clingy at times, but JT was man enough to embraced me with open arms and never ran away from it. Although JT and I have gone through A LOT (for those of you reading my blog for the first time, read here to know about me and JT), I still feel that I'm lucky gal to have the man who loves me deeply. I love him so much...

So my friends, please tell me: Who is your first love?? Are you with him/her right now? What is first love to you; is it something you had when you are young or when you truly fell for someone when you're more mature and older?

PS: Don't forget to enter for Pay It Forward contest; deadline is tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SITS Blogathon

Apparently SITS are hosing "Blogathon" today. It is a great supporting system for all the bloggers and I'm delighted to participate!!!

I am going to have to link 5 blogs here that I like which is very hard for me because I really can't just pick 5. But anyway, I want all of you to know that I cherish and enjoy your blogs both mentioned or not-mentioned here.

1. Rubber Slippers In Italy was the very first blog I left a comment for. I found Rowena on Blogs of Note. Coincedentally, she is from Hawaii and I am a devote reader of her blog.

2. A Cup of Jo is one of my favorites because of its simplicity. Joanna's blog is so simple and yet, so charming full of laughter.

3. Alev @ Bad Seed was my very first person to leave me a comment and she's been my loyal reader. Because of her, I kept on writing my blog when it seems nobody was reading. She is a talented poet.

4. franco @ Rivermist Expressions also has been great support for my blog. I love his bloging style with twist - he's going to be famous!

5. When I feel blue I always turn to Spittin' (out words) Like a Lahma. Colby's humor is just what I need to get chuckles and bright my day!!!

I wish I could mention all of the blogs I read everyday because I do love all of them!!!

I hope you're having a wonderful week!!

PS: Don't forget to enter "Pay It Forward" contest!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pay It Forward

pay it forward Pictures, Images and Photos

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to do the guest blog to fill in for MJ who had gone to the vacation with her then BF, now fiance for their 5th anniversary. It was all because I won the contest MJ had put out in order to do the "Pay It Forward" thing that's been passed along.

Now it is my turn.. I thought about it a lot, really. Well, I realized that I work for a beauty salon, so I decided to bring home three O.P.I nail polish to give away. I haven't decided exact what colors, but they will be fall colors: dark red, dark brown and dark purple.

Also, I have summoned my oldest daughter Ju-Ju, the best artist ever to draw some stuff for the winners. I don't know if you want her art work, but you could probablly sell it for about a million dollers if you wish... Lucky you!!! LOL.

In order to participate in this contest, you need to leave me a comment and the color you wish to have. In the comment box, please include your most proud moment that you helped others (ex: you gave your seat to an eldery person). This doesn't decide the winner, but we will have the chance to learn all the good things that the other readers have done in the past.

This coming Friday will be the deadline for entering the contest. Then I will write down each contestant's name and my daughters will pick three winners randomly. Then winners have to pay it forward with three things.

Good luck and looking forward to hearing from all of you!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Birthday Memes!!

I've been tagged by three people last week (franco, savvy & dorky r). Since it's my birthday and I had the luxury to sit in front of my computer all day today, I'm going to do them altogether. Dorkys, I'm sorry to say, but I've done the one you tagged me for, so please forgive me - but thank you for thinking of me:)

My blogging buddy, Franco over @riverexpress tagged me with FOUR THINGS. Kind of similar the one I've done a while back, but anyway..

Top Four wishes:
1- A cure for kidney disease. My mom has been on dialysis for the past seven years, attached to the machine for four hours, three times a week. I just want her to be free from it...
2- My daughters happiness
3- Becoming a great cook like Giada de Laurentiis.
4- Just for a day, I want to be a famous fashion designer and create the most gorgeous dress.

Four Places I want to travel to:
1- Italy
2- Antarctica
3- Grand Canyon
4- Greece

Four Careers I want to be involved in:
1- Writing.
2- Crafting / Designing.
3- Helping people in need.
4- Owning and operating a fansy restaurant.

Four things I would like God to say at the gates of Heaven
1- Welcome my dear, Maki....
2- What took you so long?
3- Do you have any questions before you move in?
4- Your friends and families are waiting for you over there. The drinks are on me, so have fun!

4 people I'm tagging:
1. alev @ Bad Seed
2. brook @ Vegas or Bust
3. Sarah @ A Blog about Sarah
4. merc3069 @ Book Bitten

Next one is Lovely Savvy over @ savvy mode tagged me with 11 Things about me.

1. Clothes Shop: Aloha Rag, Bloomingdales and the Shore in SRQ
2. Furniture Shop: Pottery Barn, West Elm and Restoration Hardware
3. Sweet: Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream
4. City: Hiroshima (9 yrs), Tokyo (6 yrs), Maui (1 yr), Berkeley (2 yrs), Honolulu/Waialua (13 yrs), Florham Park, NJ (9 mos), SRQ (3 yrs).
5. Drink: Surfer on Acid & Cosmo
6. Music: From Sinatra, Coltrane to Stone Temple Pilots. I listen to anything that moves me.
7. Series: Cold Case, CSI (Vegas only), How I met your mother, ER, Rescue Me, Office
8. Film: Too many to list here...
9. Workout: 40 mins cardio, 30 mins lifting 5 days a week.
10. Pastries: Black cherry tart
11. Coffee: Honolulu Coffee Co's Iced Cafe Mocha (slush) & Starbucks grade Latte (Ice Latte in summer)

The person I'm tagging is Maegan @ Maegan

Have a wonderful week!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Feeling Blue on Birthday Eve..

Tears Pictures, Images and Photos

I guess tonight was one of these nights that I feel somehow lonely and it happened to be the day before my birthday. I've been celebrating my birthday for the past three nights by going to my friends' houses having drinks and great dinners, and it is not even my birthday yet, because you know, this one is pretty big. I am going to be 35!

Maybe because I've got period (clearing my throat; excuse me gentlemen) or maybe it's simply I'm getting emotional that today is my last day of 34, but I'm feeling so blue. Or maybe because I had a little argument with JT. Why did we have to do that before my birthday? Couldn't we just get along??

I have been thinking about my life as a whole and I am afraid to look back what I have accomplished throughout the year. And as much as I'd like to hope that I have done many good things, I know I really haven't done much at all except being a good mother to my daughters and a wife to my husband. Some say that's good enough, but I have a dream and I want to make it come true. But more I get older, I feel like the dream becomes more distant and further away from reach.. I felt so alone, so I cried while laying next to my youngest daughter who is sound asleep...

Okay, usually I am very optimistic and I would say, "Oh, my life is great!! Yay! Dream will come true as long as you work hard towards it!!!" But, oh no, not tonight.... Big, big sigh...

My hubby is throwing me a huge birthday for me tomorrow night and all the people I love are getting together for me. What else can I ask for?? I am a lucky woman, but then I feel like I am so unwanted sometimes. Am I crazy to feel this way or what?

So, I need your help, my friends. Please tell me; what would you do to pick your mood up? Do you guys ever feel this way even when you are usually an upbeat person? Is it just me or do we all go through this emotional roller coaster sometimes in our lives???

Hope you're having a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Twist of Fate vol. 2 ~ then we meet~

Peace Pictures, Images and Photos

So, I talked about my grandfather who survived the A-bomb in Hiroshima yesterday. His life has been my inspiration to be a better human being. But I had never imagined that a twist of fate would lead me to the person I would spend the rest of my life with.

I met JT in Hawaii during the Christmas holiday in 1999. He was visiting his brother D whom I knew and Mr. D introduced JT to me. One late night after partying at the bar, JT invited me over to his hotel room he was staying (no intention to have any sexual thing, I swear!!). We spent hours and hours talking about our lives, and we somehow ended up talking about the movies we loved. I told him one of my favorite movies was "Saving Private Ryan." He said, "Wow. It is a great movie...," then he went on to ask me why I liked the movie. So, I explained to him about my grandfather surviving the A-bomb and how his experience had shaped my belief in world peace. JT gave me another big "Wow," then said, "you wouldn't believe what I am going to tell you...."

JT told me about his uncle R (his grandmother's younger brother) who was deployed to Marianas island working as a technician for Army during WWII. He was in Stealth program, tuning the props for the B-52 bombers to make them silent, so people wouldn't hear the plane as they flew overhead. Most people who were in the program didn't know the true mission of the aircraft, The name of the plane was Enola Gay.

When JT told me the story, I was thinking to myself, "Wow..., this can't be true... I mean this is too much of a coincidence.." I think JT saw confusion on my face, so he said "You can ask my gram and she'll tell you all about it."

Several years had passed and I had the opportunity to meet Uncle R at a restaurant in NJ. We really didn't discuss about WWII until we were having deserts.

Uncle R broke the silence and talked to me. "So, Maki, JT told me about where you are from and about your grandfather. Do you want to see the picture of me in front of the plane?" Before I had the chance to say "yes," his wife, auntie M, poked his body with her elbow saying, "Oh my R, would you stop that? Of course she doesn't want to see such a thing. Don't be rude.."

But I was really honored to see the photo of him.. When he took out his tiny photo from his wallet and hand it to me, my heart was beating really strong and fast. There he was in the black and white photo, standing in front of the Enola Gay. It was just surreal experience. As I was gazing into the photo, Uncle R tried to apologize to me...

He said, "Maki, I just want to tell you how sorry I am for what happened. I was young and far away from home. All I wanted was the war to be over, so I could go home. They said the plane would end the war. But after I found out what had happened, Oh my god.. I couldn't forgive myself. I have had this guilt in my heart that I've been carried for so long..." I looked in his eyes and I was holding his hands as I listened to his story. And I thought to myself, "God, this is what my grandpa wanted to see..." It was such a peaceful moment.

United States and Japan were enemy during WWII. Japan's offense had caused tremendous pain to so many innocent people in Asia. I still feel extreme shame and grief. But my grandfather used to tell me that the true enemy is war itself and it is my generation's duty to pursue and protect the peace so many people fought for.

When I met Uncle R and had the conversation with him, I realised that time can heal pain if you allow yourself. I know right and there, my grandfather would have wanted to sit and have the conversation with Uncle R. That would have been the must beautiful moment.

I do not talk about politics in my blog, but I will say this; I hate to see innocent people suffer from on-going wars. So many people sacrifices their lives during WWII, so that we can live a happy life. Life sometimes carries you through unexpected events, but I pray everyday that I will lead a good life and be a good parent to my daughters, and raise them right, so that my children's generation do not have to go through the suffering that so many others in previous generation had endured.

Uncle R passed away 4 years ago. His wife, auntie M gave me the photo of him in front of Enola gay. She told me, "R would have wanted you to have it..." I placed the photo right next to my grandfather who passed away 20 years ago. I look at their photos everyday, thanking them for all they had done for us. And that is my moment of eternal peace...

Enola Gay

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Twist of Fate vol.1 ~This is my grandfather's story~

This post will be very long and serious. There won't be too much joking going on, therefore if you wish, you're more than welcome to abort, but if you choose to keep reading, I thank you first for giving me this chance to share my story. So, here goes...

I was born in Hiroshima, Japan, where the first ever Atomic bomb was dropped on human soil. My grandfather (my mom's dad) M.K was a photographer for the Army during World War II operating out of his photo studio.

On the morning of August 6, my grandpa opened his photo studio in the Hondori shopping district around 7:00 a.m., just as usual. Then realizing he had ran out of cigarettes he closed the studio and decided to go to the store to pick up a pack or two. This store just happened to be a Japanese Army depot in a underground shelter. When he walked down stairs and began to say hello to the people he knew, suddenly, they heard a very large and very loud noise the ground started shaking.The people in the shelter didn't know what was happening, but everybody knew to stay put because, something terrible had just happened.

After several hours had passed the people in the shelter decided to go outside, and what they saw was indiscribable the total devastation of Hiroshima. Everything was gone. My grandfather decided to go back to his photo studio and once he got there, all he saw was a burned out building he had once called his studio.

Then he realized, he had to do something; to help injured people. People were screaming and crying out for help. It was Hell. After a while, my grandpa heard this tiny voice calling his name. "Mr. K., Mr K..," the girl said. He looked around and started walking towards where the voice was coming from. There, he saw a young lady in the emergency water tank whispering my grandpa's name. He ran up to her, but her face was severely burned.

My grandpa asked, "I'm so sorry, but do I know you?," then the girl replied, "It's me, Mr. K, you took my arrangement marriage photos several months ago...."

My grandfather's heart sunk, then he knew exactly who it was, not many people were getting married due to the war.

The girl begged my grandfather to take her back to her parents house which was many miles away. "I want to see my dad.. I want to see my mom.. Can you please take me back?" the girl asked. My grandfather decided to carry her on his back and started walking. My grandfather told her stories, and told her to hang in there because he'd bring her home to her parents. But soon the girl had died on my grandpa's back. He walked the entire day and arrived to her house late at night.

The girl's parents heard about the news that something horrible happened in the city and they were really concerned about their daughter. They were devastated for the loss of their daughter, but they were truly grateful to my grandfaher for returning her to them even though she had passed. The father of the girl told my grandpa to stay over night and the family fed my grandfather dinner and bunch of 'sake' (Japanese rice wine) to remember her life.

Many people who were in the city of Hiroshima at the time of the bombing or who later came to help the injured developed the symptoms of radiation sickness and many had died or had suffered for a long time. My grandfather was there near the epi-center, trying to help people, but had only minor symptom of diarrhea and loss of hair. It was miracle that he didn't develop luekemia or other type of cancer. He used to say the sake might have cleansed his body or maybe the girl was watching over for him.

My grandmother and mother who was only 6 month old were evacuated to the country side (town called Kake) several month earlier. My grandma heard about the horrible news, but there was no way to communicate with my grandfather or anybody in the city, so she feared the worst. Several days had passed, when my grandfather had showed up at their door, my grandmother was overwhelmed with happiness and joy.

Being a photographer (or Japanese. LOL), my grandfather always carried his favorite camera and he took many photos of the aftermath. Some of which are in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. (I added one photo to this post below.)

Because of my grandfather and what other innocent people had gone through during the WWII, I have strong feelings towards world peace and always want to do my part to spread the message.

Tomorrow, I am going to talk about the second installment of "A Twist of Fate ~And then we meet~".

Domo Arigato "thank you"

This is one of my grandfather's photo

Hiroshima A-bomb Dome; a symbol of Hiroshima

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