Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Angel in Heaven

Tusday Fionna Witt

Please pray for the family of Tuesday Fiona. They lost their beautiful daughter who fought bravely till the end and left so much laughter and happy memories..
My heart breaks and aches for them.

JT's friend's son is also fighting cancer.
Life can be so cruel and unfair, but also beautiful.

So please pray for Tuesday's family, as well as for all the families whose children are fighting cancers and other illness...

Friday, January 30, 2009

This Is Why I love My Mother

I snatched these photoso from my sister's facebook. My younger sis, T went back to Tokyo to see my parents past December. They went to shopping one afternoon (it looks pretty cold) - here is the photo taken by my sister in the tiny alley in Tokyo.. We have these tiny side mirrors rest in the corner of every streets for drivers because you don't want to drive over pedestrian.

The person who is doing the weird dance in the mirror is my mother - This is why I love my mother. Her charm is priceless. She never stop dancing, smiling and loving. Also, I am a goof because she is the original goof. LOL. The "BEST" mother I could ever ask for.

And she rocks - even she is turning 64 in two days, she still knows how to dress.....
And the warmth she has is so deep. I hope to be a wonderful mother to my two girls just like my mother is to me...

I talked more about her here and here

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meet My Cat(s)

(top) Sainen (below) Hachi



Today, I am going to talk about my cat(s) because it's Thursday and you know what that means. It's Mama Kat's Writing Assignment. Kathy is so intelligent - she always comes up with many different prompts every week and I don't even know how she does it.

Anyway, I picked the prompt #1.
"Tell us about a stray animal you took in."

Okay, I love cat. I really do love them. When I had a cat for the first time, I was in fourth grade. My classmate was looking for someone to take in a kitten. I begged my mom and she said, "Ask your father.." She thought my dad would say no, but he said, "Okay." My mom forgot the fact the my dad loves cat - his favortie friend when he was a little boy was a cat. So, we had Tom (it's female cat, by the way). We thought about having another cat, but we never did until one summer night in 1993.

I was back in Tokyo, Japan for the summer vacation. My mother and I went out to dinner and we were walking home. Then I saw a little tiny thing coming out on the street from no where. Then it ran and the little thing was hiding in the little pocket of the wall. I looked and there was a tiny kitten looking at me. The kitty was soooooo cute and so little. I looked around, but I didn't see any adult cats around. So, I told my mom, "Mom, let's bring this kitty home!" My mom was a little shocked and didn't know what to say except, "What do you mean? Take home? Now? How?"

Well, she had a plastic bag that had our leftover food in. I told her to hold the leftover container and give me the bag. My mom was just looking what I was going to do...I said to the kitty, "Hey, you wanna go home with me? We have another cat and you can be her sisiter..." Okay, if I think about it, I totally kidnapped the cat from the mother cat. Sorry! But, I just could not resist because the kitty was super cute. I grabbed the kitten gently and put her in the bag and I walked home with her in my two hands. I still remember my mom's saying, "OMG, you dad is going to be angry. He doesn't want another cat. He thinks Tom is the best. What are you going to do? We can't keep it.." - I said to her, "Then I'll find someone who can take her."

That night, we put the kitty in the box with blanket, water and food. Our plan was to keep her for over night while we discussed how to break the news to dad. When my sister saw the kitty, she was screaming for joy.

My dad came home late at night from work and a dinner meeting and he was kind of happy drunk. Then he heard cat meowing non-stop. Well, what we didn't realize was that the new kitty was missing her mommy or was nervous being in the new enviroment, so she was meowing really loud. I was getting nervous that he'd find out about it.

Dad: I hear Wakaba (another stray cat that comes to our home time to time, but she lives outside) crying.. Oh she's meowing a lot tonight..
Me: Ah huh..
Dad: But.... it sounds kind of different..
Me: I think it's the same.
Dad: It's kind of louder than usual. (He starts to walk down the hallway
Me, Mom & Sis: Are you sure? We don't hear anything, but Wakaba's voice.
Dad: Shhhh, I hear it in this house. It's not Tom... (He walks in my room and finds suspicious box). What is that?????

Now, he opened the box and he saw this cute little cat looking up. He shuts it and said, "No. We can't keep it." He went to his bedroom and that was it. When my dad says no, means no. I was crying and begging (and I wasn't 5, I was 18), but he wouldn't listen to me. He said, "Return the kitty where you found her in the morning."

The next morning, I was still asleep when my mom wake me up saying, "Maki-chan, we can keep the kitty." WHAT???? I jumped out of the bed and saw the kitty eating in the kitchen.

Apparently, my mom brought the little kitty to the bathroom where my dad was doing the morning ritual (#2) while reading newspaper and put the kitty on his lap. She said, "Please take a good look at her and make sure to say goodbye..." My dad looked and saw the precious animal sitting on his lap. He smiled and said, "Well... you're cute. I guess we will have to keep you..."

We named the kitty, Hachiko. Nick name is "Hachi" (meaning Bee in Japanese) - because she has brown hair and white stripes. She is still alive and has become my dad's favorite. We have had total 6 cats in Hawaii and Tokyo. I will talk about them some other time. But "Hachi" was the first stray animal that I had kidnapped from the street.

Now, my two little girls are saying they want a kitty cat. Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Is Happiness?

happiness Pictures, Images and Photos

For the past few weeks, I have had tough time going to bed or falling asleep. Even when my body says I'm exhausted and need some sleep, I find myself either facing computer @ 2 am or in bed tossing and turning for hours, just to realize it's 3am. It has to do a lot with uneasiness and uncertainty that my life brings at the moment, non-stop thoughts racing through my tiny brain. It also has to do a lot with my husband losing the job in December and hasn't been able to find a new job for over a month. And it's making me really nervous.

And that has got me into thinking about my life lately. A lot. What is my life and what's in it; what is my choice in life that I can provide the best for my daughters? I'm trying to figure out the meaning of life itself...

The question that comes to my mind always and first is, "What is happiness?" - is it wealth? Is it all the money you make and how rich you can be? Does it have to be fame? If you're a Hollywood star, would that make you happy (because they are loaded!!)? Or is it the simple thing you have and feel in your life; looking at the beautiful blue sky or feeling the beautiful breeze. What is happiness?

I know the answer, and for me, it is my two daughters. As cheesy as it may sounds, my daughters are my everything and they have shaped my happiness the moment they were born. But when I feel I am not doing my job to provide what they deserve, I question my ability as a mother.

Life brings you expected and unexpected events and some times you have no control over what's to come. Honestly, JT losing his job was one of those unexpected events that we had no control over and it's not fair to blame him. But I can't deny the fact that it has given us tremendous grief and trial. It sucks because the finacial burden has weigh so much on our relationship right now that even when I know money is not everything, it is definitely causing the tention between me and my husband, hense I often ask myself, "is money = happiness?" That is kind of shallow, I know..

Today JT is going for another interview. I am praying. I'm praying really hard that he gets this job. We are in serious need of a miracle...

What is happiness to you, dear readers? Are you happy now?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My New Hair Color..

A while back, I asked all my readers to help decide on my hair color (if you missed the post, please check here). Well, everybody liked different color (from auburn to jet black) which made it even harder for me to decide, so I was debating in my head for forever.. Then finally last week, I colored it to darker shade of brown. It's really dark, just like the one in the Cameron photo.

I thought maybe, if I don't like it, I can ask my hairstylist to give me some cool highlights. My eyes were having tough time getting used to the dark hair because I'd had the lighter shade for so long, but the feedback from my husband, my daughters and people at work have been great... Oh well, I guess the change is always good, right?

So here is the pic of me with new hair which I took past Friday using my stupid BB (my digital camera totally went and need to buy a new camera) - Okay, I'm not used to taking pic of myself. I can smile for the camera when there is someone in front of me, but smiling at the mirror, not so much. Can you see the difference??? It's dark! Do you like it?

I must admit though, I do like my new hair and I think when the spring comes, I may change my mind again...

I hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Would You Do?

Do you ever get so nervous that you almost want to puke??? Well, yesterday was one of those days for me.

I went to work as usual and everything was honky dori. Everyone at work was happy and it was Friday, of course we were happy..

We have this turn sheet that shows the next nail tech's turn when a customer walks in without appointment. It is fairly easy to use once you learn and get used to how to write it down, but if you miswrite someone's turn, it's like a domino effect; everything and everyone's turn gets messed up. It took me two months until my boss was comfortable for me to handle this turn sheet.

Anyway, I took over my co-worker who went home and I was doing the sheet. I was thinking to myself, "Man, Maki is so smart. I'm getting it and doing it." WRONG! The thing I didn't realize was that my co-worker C, forgot to write down two techs before she left who just started working on clients, but I kept on going. It's my fault, too, that I totally assumed she wrote down before she went home, but it was not really my mistake. Soon enough, one of my bosses realize that the turn sheet was all messed up.

I could totally tell my boss was annoyed (well, she's been really in a pissy mood for the past week or so), that's when Maki's downfall (emotional) began.

It definitely comes from my old childhood experience that I get really REALLY nervous once I make a mistake, so I start to freeze. Once I freeze, then my performance starts to detoriate. It was just a small mistake, but I can't stand myself of making mistakes, especially when this is such an easy job.

My heart was pounding and started to sweat a lot. It was not a big deal really, my other boss was smiling and fixed the problem without saying anything. But I have to tell you, my anxiety level was so high that I started to feel like throwing up. I didn't have to be so nervous, but I had to leave the salon to the outside for a minute or two... I took a couple of deep breath and went back in. Things were back to normal after awhile, but I was totally losing my mind!!

After I came home, I told my husband about what happened today.

JT: So, did you tell them C forgot to write it down?
Me: No...
JT: Why? Why didn't you explain to them it wasn't {fully} your fault?
Me: Because... I felt like if I did that, I was blaming on C and not taking any responsibility? You know the ones always blame others? I didn't want to be that person.
JT: But they would think that you made the mistake. If you don't stand up for yourself, you'll lose your job, you know that?
Me: Oh C'mon, it wasn't that big of a deal!
JT: Maybe, but what if the same thing happens again? Then what? If you don't tell your boss that you didn't make the mistake, they would think that you're the one who keep messing it up over and over again.. Right?
Me: Ahem.... I guess so? But C is working there longer than me. I feel like they assume C wouldn't make any mistake.
JT: Exactly my point! That is why you have to stand up for yourself.

So, everybody, what would you do if you're in my shoes? Would you tell your boss that the initial mistake wasn't yours? Or do you just nod, say "sorry" and let them think whatever they want without mentioning about your co-worker's mistake?

Also, what are your tactics when you make mistakes at work; what do you do to calm your nervous level?

So, you know when you are having a "I almost wanna puke" kinda bad day? Something good will happen! You receive an award! The lovely Tara over @ The Watermelon Treegave me a new award! Yay for me! I've always wanted this award because it is so lovely!!! I don't know why, but receiving award gives me a pure joy! Tara is also throwing a cute giveaway, so you make sure to check her out!

Now I need to explain what this award stands for: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.Deliver this award to three bloggers who must choose three more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I pass this along to:
Whiring Dirvishing & Jone's Blurbs
An Extended Vacation
Real Confession

I hope you're having a lovely weekend!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are You In?

STARBUCKS! Pictures, Images and Photos

I was watching Oprah as I was working out at my gym yesterday afternoon. The program was aired from Washington D.C. and they talked about Tuesday's inauguration. Everybody was so ecstatic.

Then Oprah mentioned about Starbuck's I'm In! campaign which if you volunteer 5 hours of your time for community service, you'll get a free coffee. This is another way of Starbucks wanting to join new Obama movement to get all of us involved to change our society.

I had to go to Target to get some toothpaste after working out. There's a Starbucks there, so I decided to swing by and to see what's up with their "I'm In" promotion. I ordered Grande Latte and picked up the "Yes, I'm In" promotional paper that they had on the counter.

Me: "So, can you tell me how this works?"
Barista#1: "Ahhhh..." (he seemed a little confused)
Me: "I heard that if you join for this volunteer thing, you get free coffee. Do I need to sign up or tell you where I intend to do the volunteering?"
Barista#1: "I don't think so...." (he clearly has not idea what this campaign is)
Me: "Oh, so you wouldn't even know if I am really going to vlunteer because there is no way for you to find out that I did community servise...
Barista#1: "Okay, let me ask someone else" (so this kid grabs another barista and she came towards the cash register..)

Barista2: "Hi, how can I help you?"
Me: "Yes, I watched this on Operah today and wanted to know how this works. I thought I have to tell you where I would go to do 5 hour community service."
Barista: "Oh no, you don't have to do anything. All you need to do is to say "Yes".
Me: "What? That's it? I don't have to write down my name or anything?"
Barista2: "No... We take your word for it."
Me: "Wow.."

As I got my coffee and walked away, I heard Barista #1 asking Barista #2, "I didn't know that we're doing this.. Is it popular?" LOL. Barista 2 said, "Oh yeah, it's all over the place, radio, newspaper and tv.."

Okay everybody, I paid for my latte. I didn't say "yes, I'm in!" just for a free latte. I felt like if I said "Yes" to this 5 hour community service and got free latte, but ended up not doing volunteering, that would be bad. Starbucks is proud to say that over 576,600 hours have been pledged to community service. That is great, but how many people of those who got free coffee really are going to invest their time to volunteer? I hate to say this, but I have a feeling many people wind up not doing it because Starbucks does not take any record (name, organizations, etc) of people said "yes, I'm in." After all I am sure many people would say "yes" just to get free coffee.

I would hope that they all take their time to volunteer because it's a great thing. I am thinking about going back today to pledge my time - 5 hours of my time to help homeless people at a shelter.... This promotion is until today, so if you have 5 hours of your life to invest, then go to Starbucks! But also, this doesn't have to be just 5 hours - you can volunteer any time and any where because that is even more beautiful!!!

One of my high moments during the Inauguration was the Reverend Joseph Lowery's benediction. I thought the prayer/speech was beautiful and it touched me deeply (and a good laugh in the end!) Although I hear that many people didn't like or disagree what he had to say, it was very powerful, kind and warm....

I hope you're enjoying your week!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dear Mr. President

jay obama Pictures, Images and Photos

Mr. President (elect),

It's only 12 hours away from your big day tomorrow. We'll witness one of the biggest history to be unfold in front of our eyes via Live (on TV) tomorrow.

Your will have a tough road ahead. Everybody in this country is counting on you.

Please lead us to a better life.

I know that you won't be able to do this alone. It is our duty as well that we all have to do our part and be willing to work hard to make a difference.

You showed us that we have voice. The voices that made us believe we can change the world we live in.

When your first term is over, my oldest daughter will be 9 and the little one will be 7. I will be 39 (what!?). If you get to serve one more term, when you leave your office after four more years, Ju Ju will be 13 and Soapy will be 11. I will be 43 (big big sigh).

That is a long, long road ahead. Many people in this country now have doubts and they are in despair. There are many many nervous people out there.

So, all I ask of you is this: Please be the man you ought to be; the man that we will gladly look up to; the man that we all want to follow and the President that we all can respect. The trust that we have laid upon you is tremendous, but I know that you'll do whatever it takes to do what's best for this country. You have installed new "HOPE" in our lives - for that I'm grateful.

God Speed, Mr. President - We got your back!

You got my daughter's endorsement.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Wish You Love...

I was on the computer this morning (Sat morning) when my little Soapy came running and hugged me. She looked up, smiled and said, "Mommy~, I luv you~~~~~." How do I get so lucky for being loved by just being on the computer??

I told her I love her and hugged her back. I hugged and hugged and hugged and thought, "Gosh, I can't hug her strong enough..."

When I hug my daughters, I hug them really strong and tight. I may be hurting them by doing so. I feel like I want to let them know that their mommy loves them. But I always feels like it's never enough and strong enough. Or I say that I love them, but I feel lke they'll never understand how much, how deeply I love them. You know the song, "More Than Words" - it's kind of cheesy, but words can't describe what I feel inside, how much I cherish and love my daughters.

Now I know how my mother feels about me and my sisiter T. My mom has this unconditional love which my sister and I often took advantage of (not in the bad way, but very spoilish way). I just want to be like my mother who has showed what true LOVE is and how to be a good mother. I would be happy if I am able to take care of my daughters like how my mom has taken care of me and my sister = my girls will grow up to be just as special as me and my sister. LOL

Enchanted Pictures, Images and Photos

By the way, JT found the movie "Enchanted" was going to be on Stars tonight (Sat night). It's my daughters's FAVORITE movie.

JT: "Girls, guess what's gonna be on tonight!?"
Ju & Soap: "What Daddy?"
JT: "Enchanted!!"
Ju & Soap: "REALLY!???"
JT: "You wanna watch it with Daddy?"
Ju & Soap: Yaaaaaayyy!!!

Everyone, we have "Enchanted" on DVD (Thanks to Uncle D!). We can watch it whenever we want. But everytime it's on cable, JT finds it and watches it with the girls. As much as our daughters and I love the movie, my husband loves it, too.

"Enchanted" was my first date movie with my oldest Ju Ju. Me and Ju Ju went to the movie theatre for the first time last year alone and this movie was perfect for us. I truly enjoyed it (probably more than Ju Ju at the time) and I was amazed how well the movie was done. Have you seen it???

Here is the clip; one of my favorite parts of the movie. When I first time saw this scene, I cried like a baby. Julia wanted to know what was wrong with her mommy, so I told her the movie was so beautiful that made mommy cry. I guess it's fair to say I suffer from Princess syndrome. But don't we all dream to be a princess once in our lifetime? My girls also dance to this music every single time. And, funny thing is this song is the ringtone for my mom when she calls.

Do you believe in Fairytale?

Hope your weekend is filled with love and magic!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

City vs. Country

city. Pictures, Images and Photos

For the past several months, I've had 4 - 5 hours of sleep everynight and that's average. Blame it on blogging and raising kids at the same time. I knew I was not getting enough sleep when I suddenly get so sleepy around 4 - 5 pm every evening, feeling my eyes getting heavy. Then something weird or funny or interesting happen which would brings back to my real world..

So, I tried putting the girls to bed at 9 pm last night and next thing I know my husband JT is telling me that I need to move to our bed. It was 11:30pm. If this is my usual self, I get up, clean the house a bit and go straight to my beloved computer. But last night, I somehow found myself walking pass the living room and straight to the bedroom. I remember taking off my socks (did I just say socks?) and putting my head on the pillow. I remember thinking, "Oh I need to take my makeup off..and brushing my teeth..and....."

When I woke up, it was 7:20am!!! That is over ten hours of sleep! But I am still tired as I type this.

The Beach Pictures, Images and Photos

Anyway, I had a dream about back home, Hawaii. I was hanging with my sister and friends by the beach. Gosh, I miss that place so much...

I think that's why this question came to my mind after I woke up: Am I a beachy/country girl or city girl? It's winter and it's ridiculous to think about beach, but I am in Florida (although it's very chilly here today!!). Seriously which one am I?

I used to love living in the city. I grew up in Shinjuku, Tokyo which is just like living in Times Square, NYC. Stores open late and you get to eat and drink 24/7. Everything is so convenient. So I chose to live in town (that's what we call "CITY" in the islands) when I lived in Hawail. When JT moved to Hawaii from Tahoe and started living with me, he could not stand the noise - the sirens and cars.

When we moved to North Shore of Oahu, I couldn't believe myself how much I loved being in the country. Stores there close by 7pm which kind of sucked, but I really loved living there. Everything about the place, I loved it.

I enjoyed the silence, fresh air, hearing waves while you sleep and surrounded by hills and ocean. I loved visiting farm house with my girls. People are so laied back. Kids running around bare feet. Cars drive really slow and let each others right of way all the time. Happy People. I lived in paradise that's for sure.

I still love some aspects of city life which is: SHOPPING!! I love going to nice stores and shop. But I don't mind driving 50 mins to the city and shop now. I rather live in the suburb. Maybe I am getting old?

Now, I live in Florida. Beach is close which is good and the town I live is fairly quiet. We have stores and restaurants are really close and open late, so I can't complain. But I still miss Hawaii. Hawaii has best of both worlds. City and Country living only 40 minutes apart. All my friends and my sister are there waiting for us to come back. Every time I talk to them on the phone, all they ask me is when we're moving back there. Believe me when I say I want to raise my girls in Hawaii, so please be patient. We'll be there soon.

So, everyone, which one are you? Are you a city gal or a country girl?

Hope you're having a beautiful day!!

flip flops Pictures, Images and Photos

I've received so many comments yesterday. Thank you sooo much! I am try to visit all of you although it may take a while. Thanks again so much for the comment love!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Is My Day - I'm gonna enjoy it!!!!


Today is my SITS day! I received a letter from Heather over at The Secret Is In The Sauce last week that my turn will be soon. I've waited and waited for so long, I can't believe the day is here. I am doing my favorite Happy Dance! Whooo Hooo!!! I am so excited that I get to meet new fellow bloggers - Welcome, Ladies from SITS and my dear readers, old and new!! I hope you'll stick around for today's story.

So, I went to work today (actually it is yesterday because it's early Tuesday morning now) and it was kind of a difficult day for me. (For the people who read my blog for the first time today, I am a receptionist at a salon.) I was looking at the computer screen and checking to see what our appointments will be like tomorrow. The front door opened up and a lady came in. She said she wanted to get pedicure and manicure. I didn't see her face clearly at first, but as she approached the desk, my heart sunk. Her face was badly burned. I tried not to show any expression, but I was crying inside. It is none of my business, I know. Pity is probably the last thing the lady would want from me. I smiled and took her name and brought her to the spa chair. I asked her if she wanted to drink something, but she said, "No, I'm fine." She smiled and thanked me.

An hour later, the nail tech who did the lady's nail gave me the ticket and ran to the back room. I asked the lady if everything was good and she said, "Oh it was great, thank you." She left the salon with a smile. I went to the back room and there I found my co-worker sobbing. She said it was too painful for her to see the customer's face and she couldn't take it. I gave her a big hug and I could only say it's okay to cry...

After I came back to the front desk, I thought about my friend in Japan who got married a long time ago. My friend and her fiance was set to get married, but six months before their wedding, the fiance got in a huge car accident and was severely injured. It was so horrible that his face was unrecognaizable.

She was not sure if she could be with him. She was having tough time looking at his face and it was really, really painful for her to see him like that. You love someone and you think you'd spend the rest of your life with him. But sometimes, things that are out of your control happen and it could change your life. She was honest about it. Then one day, he told her that she should be with someone else. She deserves better than him.

That's when she realized that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She knew right then she can't be with anyone else, but him. Fianlly, what he looked like on the outside didn't matter to her. She was able to see what was under his skin, the guy she fell in love with. They are still together, happily married.

I can't deny that the day like today will stay on my mind for a long time. It sinks deeply in my heart. But I think when I meet people like today's client and realize they have the courage to live their lives as normal as they can and move forward, what I can do at least is to see them for who they are without feeling sorry for them. It's tough and hard, but I want to smile and look in their eyes when I say, "Hello!"

My question today: What would you feel and do when you encounter a situation like today at my work?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everybody!!!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Belated Holiday Video Clip..

It's been three weeks since Christmas 08', but I wanted to share the live video clip of my girls for the first time on my blog.

I made three clips together into one movie. This is on the evening of Christmas at JT's mom's house after we stayed the night before and opened the gifts in the morning. We had dinner and we're enjoying a nice time together with all the family before deserts. Soapy is enjoying being the dj's and the turn table that she got from Santa.

I just LOVE the way she dances. Also, I must mention the special guest appearance by JT's mom (I made sure to get an okay to post her on here) and me! You also will meet my oldest Ju Ju. JT is the camera man.

It was a very peaceful and wonderful Christmas.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What Did The Chicken Say?

I was making dinner after coming home from work Saturday evening. My oldest daughter Ju Ju was watching the whole process when she spotted raw chicken on the counter. She brought her step stool, so she could get closer and see it better.

Ju Ju: "mommy, what is that?"
Me: "Oh, that's chicken.."
Ju Ju: "chicken?"
Me: "Yes, chicken."
Ju Ju: "chicken... the bird, chicken?"
Me: "Ahem....., yeah? chicken (Now I know what she's going to ask me next).."
Ju Ju: "it's dead?"
Me: "... Yes..."
Ju Ju: "what did the chicken say when they die?"
Me: "I don't know.. Maybe they cried?"
Ju Ju: "oh they cried? you think they were sad?"
Me: "Oh yes, I am sure they were sad.. but you know..(I don't know what to say)"
Ju Ju: "were they hurt??"
Me: "Oh! You know what you can do for Mama? Can you set the table, please?"
Ju Ju: "oh okay mommy.."

Okay my friends. Ju Ju has no problem eating chicken. She's eaten chicken many times before. But I think Saturday night was the first time she had ever associated the live bird as the chicken that we eat. Maybe because she saw raw stuff. I don't know..

I have a tough time explaining to my daughters about food chain and how it works. I am positive that she doesn't know steak (one of her favorites) is actually coming from cows. She doesn't know pork is pig. She thinks meat is meat and has nothing to do with animals. I know she will learn someday that in order for us to survive, some animals will sacrifice their lives for us. (Oh by the way, she eats fish and sashimi/sushi and she knows they are fish from the ocean..)

It's hard to explain about death and how it is okay for the animals to be killed for us to eat when we teach our kids to be kind to animals. So, Saturday night was no exception; I had to change the subject by asking her to help me set the table for dinner.

Do you have the same problem with your children? Do you know how to explain things like these? If so, can you share some tips with me? Or do you remember when you were little and asking bunch of questions to your paretns about food?

( I can't live without the electric frying pan that JT's grandma had given us when I cook anything that uses oil. I learned from JT's mother that the oven top stays clean when you use it...)

I made the Lemon Chicken with garlic Spinich on the bed of Spaghetti Rigati. The resolution of the pic above is horrible, but I must admit, it was very delish!

Have a beautiful Monday, everyone!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Are You Sure You're Talking About Me?

Many of you know that I have been working at a salon for the past three months. I work as a receptionist and it's been fairly fun experiences. I get to see/meet different clients = different types of people. Most clients are kind and nice. But just sometimes, we get those women who think they rule and own us.

The other day, I picked up the phone as always and there was this client who has been one of the longest client at the salon. I have never seen her yet, but I know her name.

Me: "Good afternoon, {my salong's name} How can I help you?"
Client: "Hi. I want to make an appoint with B either tomorrow or Friday."
Me: "I am so sorry, but B is already booked up through the weekend. Is there any day that you would like to come in next week?"
Client: "No, I want to come in this week."
Me: "Well, B has been all booked since last week, can anybody else do your nail?"
Client: "No, I don't want anybody else to touch my nail."
Me: (Big Sigh in my mind)"I am sorry, then I will need to book you next week..."
Client: Are you telling me to go somewhere else to get my nails done?"
Me: Of course not, it's just that B and K are very popular and sometimes you need to call in a week early to book the appointment."
Client: I've been going there for years and I've never had the problem booking with him.
Me: I am sorry.
Client: Ask B if you could squeeze me in...
Me: {Really really pissed off by this time} Sure.

Now I have to ask my boss.

Boss: "What does the computer(clender) say?"
Me: "Um.. you're booked."
Boss: "Then I'm booked. Tell her that."

I am now in between my boss and his client.

Me: "I've been saying that she's booked, but she is very pursistant about it."
Boss: "Who is it?"
Me: "M.R"
Boss: "{big big sign} give her my lunch spot."
Me: "okay"

So this client got the appointment she wished. You know, this is why certain people think they can call and make a last minute appointment. They think they are special because my boss and another boss try to accomodate their clients doing whatever possible.

On the other hand, me and my other receptionist C look bad because we have to tell them first that our calender is booked.

So, yesterday I go in to work and the next thing I know, my boss tells me he needs to talk to me. I smelled something bad.

Boss: "So you know M.R. came in yesterday right?"
Maki: "Yes."
Boss: "Well, she complained about you that you didn't want her to come in."
Maki: "What!?"
Boss: "I know, I know. Don't worry, we know it wasn't the case. She is a very difficult client and she gets angry when anybody said we can't take her.
Maki: "I told her what I saw on the screen that you're booked. I was nice about it"
Boss: "I just want you to know that you rule the the world in the salon. You book the appointments. Don't let customers tell you what to do. Be firm about it."
Maki: "{I was firm about it} Yes, I understand."
Boss: "Okay, don't worry, we told her that you're the nicest girl on the planet."

So my dear readers, I have been upset about it. I got the first complaint yesterday from someone who thinks she can do whatever she wants and telling a lie that I was mean to her. What? Mean? Are you sure you're talking about me? The other girl C was there when all went down and she told me, "Man, we have no idea what her problem was. We kept telling her Maki is a nice girl, but she went on and on how mean you were.. We laughed."

Yes, I say this. Bitch. I don't usually use this word unless someone really, I mean REALLY makes me angry and I don't get angry easily. I talked to a friend of mine who works at one of Starbucks last night about it and she told me there are ton of those that she deals with at her work. Apparently they even have a black list and they have all the right to kick out customers who mistreat their employees. I did not know that! That's kind of cool.

I was feeling down because of this, but do you know what happens when you're feeling blue? Awards! Yes, my blogging friends have given me several awards. Because I was slow on posting the awards, three of my friends have giving me the same award.

Cloie over @ Orchestrated Destiny
BakerGirl @
An Extended Vacation
Kaitlyn @
gave me the cute Lemonade Award!!! Thank you so much, my lovely Girlies!!! Sorry it overlapped because I didn't post the first time I got the award from Cloie, but still, I'm graterful that you all thought of me!!! You cheered me up!

Now, my dear friend Carrin over @ Carrin's Comments gave me another award. Thank you my Sweet! I like the phrase "Measures Up!" I will treasure it:)

Now I need to follow the rules and pass these two wonderful awards to well deserved bloggers. I have to get ready to go to work now, so I will post all the recepients I will pass these award to tonight, so make sure to check back later when you can!! I poromise I will follow through this time. Thank again, Cloie, BakerGirl, Kaitlyn and Carrin for making me feel better going in to work today!


UPDATE (Jan. 10 @ 3am)

So, I'm done with painting and back to blogging. I am starting from where I left off - I think I need to pass these two awards to my favorite bloggers.

First, for the award "Pink Lemonade" (God, I love that name) - I have to give link love to the person who gave you the award and secondly, nominate ten of your favorite bloggers to receive the Lemonade Award.. I will pass this on to..

1. Rene over @ Not The Rockefellers
2. Colby over @
Spittin'(out words) like a Llama
3. Sara over @
Blogging in Bed
4. Needsleepy over @
I barely survived yesterday and it is today already!

Second award's rules are:

Rule 1 - Say a nice thing to a man in your life.
Rule 2 - List at least 6 ways you measure success in your life.
Rule 3 - Assign 5 other worthy blogs

So, I told my husband that he is becoming a better father each and everyday. He was afraid to be a father before we had Ju Ju, but I see so much change in him. He tries and helps me more with the girls and do stuff around the house for me. He was very happy to hear it from me.

At the end of the day, if I know that I am a great mother to my daughters, wife to my husband, sister to my younger sisiter and daughter to my parents, then I think I am successful. Teaching my daughters the meaning of "Love" and the importance of "kindness" and "honesty" weighs a lot in my book as well... Success is not about money (although it looks like it some times), but to become a decent human being, at least that's what I believe.

I will pass this award on to...

1. Alev over @
Bad Seed
2. LadyStyx over @
LadyStyx's Blog
3. Hollylyn over @
If I were really skinny

I am sorry, it's 3am - I can't nominate total 15 people all at once.... I tried and I will have to post more deserving friends later on. Wait, I've been saying the same thing to the other awards that I had received also. I'm in trouble! But, sleep is important, too! Goooood nigggghht!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What Else Are We Missing Out In Our Lives???

Ju Ju suddenly was not feeling well yesterday evening. She said she has a headache and the next thing I know, she changed into her pj's on her own and crawled into her bed. Actually it was her third time in the past ten days complaning about her headache and goes to bed way before her normal bed time. It kinda makes me nervous when a girl full of energy doesn't want to do anything. I decided that if she complains about her headache again soon, I am going to take her to see her doctor..

Anyway, my sister in Hawaii forwarded me an email yesterday and I thought you all should read this post if you would. All of us have a hectic work schedule or busy life raising children. And we often don't even have the time to stop in our own tracks and take a deep breath. This email really made me realize how true that is.... The below is the message I was forwarded by my sister.

*A Violinist in the Metro* From The Effective Club

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw> the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but> the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing? ****

So what do you think everyone? This email kind of made me sad. It's Joshua Bell! And not even one person noticed him - I wouldn't have noticed that it is him either. That's how busy we are or at least that's what we think we are. And you know what funny thing is? Only the children wanted to stop and listen to his violin. That's how innocent and curious our children are. They want to see and listen to things, play and enjoy life! When did we ever stop to think that life has so much to offer if we let it?

I found the real footage on YouTube of what happened in the email as well as the article from Washington Post. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Noisy Neighbor Part 3. Update

Silence Pictures, Images and Photos

Well, many of my old readers know that I have a noisy neighbor upstairs. She is pretty famous among my old readers and I talked about her here and here.

Well, some miracle happened, everybody!!! No, she hasn't moved yet. But she has been awfully queit. Isn't that great???

She was in Miami again for about a month and came back right after Thanksgiving. I was so dreaded. I honestly thought that my holidays are sure to be ruined. But one night she didn't make any noise even when I knew she was home. It turned out her son was visiting her. I saw her outside of our condo and she said "hello" to me. She was really nice and friendly - Miracle #1. We talked and she was on the way to drive her son to the airport. I asked when will she go back to Miami and she said end of January. Big sigh.

Then JT and I spotted a blue Yamaha motorcycle in the same parking spot where she parks her car a few days later. We were like, "Oh, new boyfriend... Now how long will it last??" We were betting that it would last a week because she was a serial dater.

To tell you the truth though, when we first time saw his blue motorcycle, my husband and I liked the idea that this guy has enough respect for others to park his ride in her parking stall (they double park in her stall) and not having to take someone else's parking spot even where we have plenty empty spots. I thought that he was another guy that she brings home to just kill time.

Well, my dear readers, I must say, we were wrong.

Ever since we started seeing this blue Yamaha, she is staying home with him. He goes to work in the morning and comes home early in the evening. And I don't hear her coming home late in the morning at 3am drunk or arguing or throwing a party - Miracle #2! I am thinking she makes enough money in Miami that she doesn't have to work when she comes back to town.

She does still play loud music, but as long as it stops before 9:30pm, we are okay with it.

Now, JT and my conversation the other day went like this:

Me: "So, JT, don't you think she's been really queit ever since the Yamaha guy showed up?"


Me: "Right? Right?"

JT: "Have you seen the guy?"

Me: "No.. but I must say he is doing something great for her and us!!"

JT: "I can't believe she can be this quiet...."

Even now, it's really quiet upstairs. It's almost scary. We may be louder than upstairs - wouldn't that be funny? LOL.

I remember someone said that maybe only thing she needs is someone who is special enough to tame her wildness or someone that she can fall in love with. And it may be true... Really true.

Everyone, you don't even know how grateful I am and my family are for this new boyfriend of hers. I look up the ceiling every night when I go to bed, thanking him, "Thank you! Thank you soooo much!" Now, I'm knocking on wood and praying that they stay together as long as she is living upstairs. I would like to meet him in person and shake his hand.

So, there you have it. 2009 is looking good so far!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The worst thing that could happen to your life..

is to lose your own child before your time.

John Travolta has lost his son two days ago in Bahama while vacationing there. I don't know the actor personally, but I feel so terrible and sad for the family. The pain and sadness that they are going through must be tremendous, especially it happened right after New Year's. It definitely is not a way to start a new year. Whether it be God's will or fate, it still doesn't do justice that a parent or parents to lose their child. It is just not fair.

My husband JT told me about it first saying, "John Travolta's son died after having seizure."

I said to him, "Oh no... That's terrible! He can't die from Seizure, maybe he hit his head or drowned while in the bath tub or water or something..." And sure it was, we learned that he had a seizure and hit his head in the tub. My heart fell!!!

Some of my readers already know that JT has suffered from a seizure disorder for the past five years. He hasn't had any episodes for a year now (knock on wood), but I know how scary it is to have seizures. I am the only one who have seen my husband having seizures via live. One time, he hit his head at a deli in NY while we're having lunch and had a seizure there; he bled like a pig and I honestly thought he was going to die.

I don't hide that JT has seizures nor my husband. He is pretty honest about it, so that people can help him if he has seizures. Some people may look at it differently, but I strongly believe that there is nothing to be ashamed of.

John Travolta's son, Jett was also suffering from seizures number of times, his parents and family say due to his condition called Kawasaki Disease or some people (including doctors who specialize in seizures, autism and Kawasaki disease) believe it is from autism. When I looked at the video clip from, I think I agree with the people who believe Jett might have had autism.

I can see from the clip that the family is very loving and caring people who are committed to their children. The love and devotion that John and his wife Kelly have for their children exuberate from the photos or videos that I have seen many times before.

Your child will always be your child even they grow older. And I can't even comprehend the pain that people must endure when they lose their own child. It is terrible that they have to grieve their son's loss in front of millions of people, but I just hope the Travolta family finds comfort in their son's memories that he left for them and find peace and move forward, one day at a time.

*** On a lighter note, we took these two pics using my blackberry (resolution sucks, sorry!) 10 minutes before the clock hit midnight on the Eve of New Year's. JT and I weren't getting along that day, but in the end, we all decided to smile for camera. LOL. We watched our girls danced away into the New Year's watching various TV shows broadcasted from Time's Square in NY and L.A. We enjoyed Japanese tradistional New Year's Eve feast that include Sushi, Misoka Soba (Japanese noodle to eat for longevity) and sake and white wine. We really had a nice New Year's Eve as a family. I hope that we have a better year than 2008 and I will do anything to achieve it!!

Happy New Year, Everyone!!!
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