nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
( Feb. 15th, 2017 05:19 pm)
Today is Very Important Day. Today is Bloke's Birthday. And hence, there has been BAKING. Behold!

Star cookies (from the dough reserved at the weekend)
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That most American of treats, pecan pie (with toasted almonds, because I didn't have enough pecans, ho hum)
Pies, we made PIES!

And choccy biccies. Huzzah!
Choccy biccies
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
( Jan. 26th, 2017 08:51 pm)
Dad & Mom at Waimea Canyon, Kauai
This is a scanned photo of my mom and dad with their arms around one another at Waimea Canyon in Kauai, Hawai'i. I love this photo partly because they both look happy, and partly because this is how they always appear in my mind. I know they have white hair and stooped shoulders now, but my brain fails to see that unless they're right in front of me, which doesn't happen very often since they live so far away.
Hanalei Valley, Kauai
This is me, my mum and my grandma at Hanalei Valley in Kauai, Hawai'i, USA. I believe we have stopped at a Point of View along the road into the valley. Items of special interest in this photo: my mum's glasses, my grandma's flowery dress and my yellow bonnet.
This is not a review.

[This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: Rogue One. Do not click the cut if you haven’t watched the film and are sensitive to spoilers.]

I saw Rogue One last week and I'm still dealing with the emotional fallout.

Actually, before I get into this: If you think the film was terrible, want to pick apart plot points, lecture me about how the story isn't deep or meaningful, argue that a having female lead is a pointless gesture in the direction of political correctness, tell me I’m not a “real” fan, or claim that casting a significant proportion of characters of colour is tokenism or that representation doesn’t matter, I have a request. Please, hold your tongue. This post is not for you.

Because the film drew me in completely. Not just because it was, in many ways, the Star Wars film I always wanted. The Force Awakens was good, centering the female lead, providing a nuanced character of colour, connecting beautifully with the characters in the original films (Episodes IV-VI). Rogue One does those things too but I got involved with this story on the level I used to when I was a kid and I'd lose myself completely in a narrative, to the point where I'd have visceral nightmares about it (as I am with Rogue One). This story felt true.

Here be spoilers. )
Me & Gram at Kalalau Lookout, Na Pali, Kauai
This is a scanned snapshot of me, aged about one, in my grandmother’s arms. We are at Kalalau Lookout in the Na Pali Coast State Park on Kauai in Hawai’i. When I was very small, my parents had a condo on Kauai and we went there for our holidays (from Honolulu). It was wonderful. I have vivid memories of the hike down the cliffs to the fine white sand of the deserted beach below the condo, and of playing for hours in the crystal clear water. My parents always found this surprising as I was, at the time they sold it, only about four years old.
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In the second installment of Weird Metal Contraptions I Was Placed In As A Baby, I give you my baby bouncer. At least this one features floral print fabrics instead of black leather like my high chair. The bouncer was modified by my grandfather (also pictured) so that he could bounce me with minimal effort. We’re on the lanai (porch) in my grandparents’ house in Honolulu, here.
Bauble mania
Restraint was not exercised during the application of baubles to the Rectory tree. The bag was emptied!
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Above, my (only white) cousin, aka Big Keiki, aged about five, spoon-feeds me, aged a few months, in the weird black leather and metal contraption that functioned as my high chair. The chair looks as though it were designed for more sinister or deviant purposes. It was the 70's in Hawai'i, so who knows. Anyway, I like how his mouth is wide open and mine is not.
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For Throwback Thursday, here's a scanned photo of me flopped out on my maternal grandmother, who is bottle-feeding me. I think I'm only a few months old here. She was like a second mother to me when I was growing up, until she began to suffer from dementia when I was a teenager. I don't have a lot of photos of her, as she was not fond of having lenses pointed in her direction, so I treasure all the snaps I have of her.
I grew up in Honolulu. I was one of the youngest of a large group of cousins, most of whom are male and Filipino, apart from my mom’s sister’s son, who is white. We spent a lot of time together since we all lived pretty close, and my Filipino grandfather (and, until three days before I was born, grandmother) owned a large house that always seemed to have at least two or three aunties and hence vast quantities of delicious food in it (chicken malunggai! pancit! lumpia! suman!) .

I haven’t seen these cousins very frequently since we all became adults. Two of them were in the military for many years. They came to visit us in Monterey on our recent trip to the USA. So before I share the photos from the meals we ate together (because of course there was food, lots of food), here are the photos my parents brought of us as children. Most of these were taken at Waimea Falls on the north shore of Oahu.


I’m on the left. The two cousins in the middle came to Monterey over Labour Day weekend. On the far right, holding the camera to his eyes, is the cousin I shall refer to as Big Keiki, because Little Keiki is named after him. Please note matching bowl cuts. Niiice.

+5 )
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