Washing Fungus Feet: A Maunday Thursday Reflection

I knew Scott was going to wash my feet when he proposed because his good friend had done the same.  So I brought along 3 bars of LL Bean soap, the first presents Scott ever gave me (for Christmas when we weren’t even dating—I had that horrible “I didn’t get you a present because I didn’t want to presume our relationship is actually going to happen” reaction).  We washed each other’s feet with LL Bean lily-of-the-valley scented soap as a symbol of how we wanted to serve one another in our marriage … [Read more...]

Some Reflections on Raising Hapa-Haole kids

“Would I be considered an Asian-American actor?” asked my stage-struck 11 year-old thespian son after we listened to an NPR story about a Filipino play—notable because of the scarcity of Asian-American plays (and roles) out there.“Probably. . . do you consider yourself Asian-American?”“No, not really.”“Do you consider yourself White?”“No.”“What do you consider yourself?”He smiled a little sheepishly, “Hapa-Haole.”In Hawaii, folks of mixed ancestry are called “Hapa. … [Read more...]

Justin Bieber’s Biggest Fan

Like many victims, she didn’t tell anybody about her years of sexual abuse.  When she was a teenager, she resorted to drugs and alcohol to numb her pain.  She left home at fifteen, lived in a house with a bunch of guys, became a thief, and skipped school.  By the time she was seventeen, she was so desperate she tried to violently take her own life by running onto a busy street in front of a truck.Fortunately, the driver swerved and the girl landed in a psychiatric ward instead of the morg … [Read more...]

Do Orcs Play a Role in Your Family Traditions?

I grew up with very few traditions.  Though my parents were born and raised in China, we didn’t celebrate the Chinese New Year with lanterns, moon cakes, feasting or the fastidious cleaning of the house to sweep away the evil spirits (you could eat off my mom’s floors every day of the year!).  They decided they’d raise their children as “American” as they could and in the process, didn’t pass much Chinese culture along to their three children – all of us are sadly unilingual and didn’t pass along … [Read more...]

Happy, Thanks, Giving

“Aqui, aqui!!,” yelled my filthy, smiling son as he sprinted across the playground, urging his new Mexican friends to pass him the soccer ball.Our family had just traveled across the country for a service trip in Mexico.  The day was a scorcher and dust rose from the dilapidated elementary schoolyard where mangy dogs roamed, crossing a foul stream of sewage.  Without complaint, however, our four kids captured the spirit of our first “service trip,” and cleaned floors, collected trash, dug hol … [Read more...]

Bringing Home the Tofu and Stir-Frying it Up in a Pan?

Being a woman used to be defined as “bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan.”  (Not to mention the part about not ever letting our husband forget he’s a man.)  Perhaps the more modern definition of womanhood might replace frying up the bacon in a pan with choosing whole, fresh, natural, organic, local, seasonal, unrefined and unprocessed foods to serve to your family before homework and a reasonable bedtime.Real woman know, however, life rarely lives up to your aspirations and expe … [Read more...]