Today I had the privilege of spending time with one of the women I admire most–my Sunday School teacher Nan.Nan started teaching the junior high class when I was in 8th grade.  I was pretty jaded on church youth programs, having just endured a Big Island youth group trip where I felt like I had been thrown to barracudas, and had learned to swear in defense (a habit, unfortunately, I’ve never broken). Nan announced that we would study the book… Read more

She became one about 3-4 years ago when she realized that joining the Elks meant she could get relatively free parking at the beach with a shady place to sit and sip iced coffee while grandchildren played in the pool and waves crashed against the sea wall. “Do you have to wear funny hats with antlers?” asked my husband.”No!””Do you have to do secret ceremonies and give your allegiance to Satan?””No!  You have to believe in God to join.””What is… Read more

“Termite night!  Termite night!” Mama has just announced to the whole family.”The kids don’t know what that means,” I told her.When flying termites swarm on hot muggy nights like tonight, our family turns off all the lights and spends the rest of the evening in the dark.  That’s because termites are attracted to light, and if they see our lights, they might bore their way into our wooden house and make it fall down in the night. termite fumigationPeriodically, houses… Read more

As I write, I’m sitting on the floor of the Seattle airport at the only free outlet I can find, recharging my computer.  The kids and I are on our way to Hawaii! We have a 6 hour layover here in Seattle, so I had the crazy idea of renting a car, driving to Seattle and having an adventure. I think this idea came to me because I once took a personality test that asked what I would do if… Read more

Last week, I finally used a gift certificate for a massage that expired the next day.  Scott had come home from work so I snuck out and refused to tell the kids where I was going—I just didn’t want anything to interfere with my enjoyment, especially their accusations that I was self-indulgent.  When I got back, a daughter immediately began sniffing me all over, my neck, my arms, my back—it was like having a tall thin and beautiful beagle greet… Read more

(Those were the signs advertising game booths and malasadas and Korean plate lunch plastered all over telephone poles and tents at Punahou Carnival, the largest carnival in the state of Hawaii that my school put on every year)This morning Scott and I will be giving the “Sex Talk” at the Cana Marriage Retreat.  We gave it 2 years ago, and surprise surprise, no matter how I recruited others to give it this year, everyone politely declined.  Since Friday, our family’s… Read more

Two days ago I competed in the first ever Boston Grad/Faculty Ministries Guac-off at our annual summer team meeting/pool/jerk chicken BBQ party.The competition was stiff.  Jeff, who hails from Southern California, hence has the most authentic experience with guacamole, brought the best avocados—large, creamy and in perfect condition (although his wife apparently told him he shouldn’t even compete—such is the strength of my culinary reputation!).  As always, not my guac–but mine looks like this! Only I don’t own that great… Read more

For someone with a significance/achievement addiction, it’s hard to work in campus ministry.  The vast majority of my peers have high powered, respected jobs that pay quite well.  While I, to put it bluntly, don’t.  A bunch of years ago, several of us on the Harvard ministry team found ourselves struggling with this conundrum.  It’s hard to earn a prestigious degree or two and then raise your own salary for a job that no one seems to understand.  As we… Read more

(3 days after posting the greatest cartoon on Asian aging, I unfortunately must report on the next step in my saga)Yesterday Ling and I attended the 1st birthday party for the son of 2 former students, Jas and Jon.  They were married 8 years ago and Ling, Kai and Ren were their flower girls and ring bearer.  It was fun to have Ling tower over this mostly Asian-American, mostly parents-of-young-children crew of partiers and remind them that she was waist high… Read more

Folks keep asking me why I’m on the i-diet.Look at the picture below and you’ll see the answer:I’ve always said that Asian women look young, look young, look young, and then all of a sudden look like chimpanzees as their faces collapse into wrinkles.As a peri-menopausal woman, I feel the tug towards that chubby cheeked round pot of a woman and I’m trying to avoid it the best I can, hence the i-diet.Meanwhile, true confessions. . .  I cheated.Not on… Read more

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