Death, Dyeing and the possibility of becoming a Skunk Head

I turn 46 tomorrow, and although I’ve already hit the mid-way point of my life, somehow the number 46 seals it for me. I’m sliding down the second half of my life towards death and freaking out just a little bit!I always hoped I’d be the sort of woman who aged gracefully, who accepted her gray hairs, who grew wiser and kindlier and more open with each passing year.  But now I’m not so sure.Take hair dye for instance.  I swore I’d never dye my hair because in Hawaii there are all sorts o … [Read more...]

Loving Students

Several years ago I thought of leaving campus ministry to take a church job.  When I told my kids they literally began weeping and wailing, “No!  Don’t do that!  We like InterVarsity!  We love students!”I didn’t leave InterVarsity, but I did leave direct grad student ministry to direct our team and work with faculty.  My kids are less enthusiastic about both aspects of my new job.    As Ling said recently, “What’s great about hanging out with a bunch of 40 … [Read more...]

I’m Torturing my Kids

My 2 younger kids claim I’m abusing them.  Is it because I’m forcing straight As or piano lessons or some other Tiger Mom stricture?  Is it because I’ve decided to go vegan on them and expunged the house of chocolate and junk food?  Nope.  I signed them up for swim team and am forcing them to exercise.  Yesterday the whining started 2 hours before swimming even began.  It got so bad that both parents lost it before almost forcibly carting these kids off to the Y.&nb … [Read more...]

The Last of the Typewriters

This morning on NPR I heard that the last company that produces manual typewriters has just discontinued them.  There are 10 English typewriters left of the 200 in stock—buy one now!  I turn 46 on Saturday.  The passing of the manual typewriter and my impending slide towards 50 makes me nostalgic for times gone by because my first manual typewriter was like a best friend.  When I took Typing in 10th grade, I was the third best typist in Mr. Kusonoki’s class, just behind Mar … [Read more...]

True Self/False Self and the Problem of Baking

(yet another blog that sort of picks up on the theme of true self/false self)My kids have spent vacation week doing a camp called the Possibilities Factory. They’re trying to raise $500 for Japan tsunami relief and send 500 letters to kids in Japan by 5 p.m. TODAY. Yesterday, I showed up as my kids were volunteering baked goods for the bake sale.  They wanted to bake:·      chocolate chip cookies·      sugar coo … [Read more...]

Big Kathy/Little Kathy Take Two

(This is blog post #5 in a series on True Self/False self--you probably want to read #1 before reading this to know what's going on)Lily Tomlin as Edith Anne.I was quite a bit smaller.Eleven years after my first Big Kathy/Little Kathy vision, God brought me back to that same vision.  I now lived in Boston, was married to Scott, the mother of two kids and in such rough shape Scott had declared “You’re out of control!  You need a retreat of silence!” He bundled me off to at the … [Read more...]

A “True” Test

(This is blog post #4 on a series looking at True Self/False self.  Click here to read #1, #2, and #3)Two weeks ago at my daughter's 13th birthday party, I foolishly left my open computer sitting on the kitchen island while 11 girls helped themselves to pizza, cupcakes, soda and ice cream sundaes.  As one of Kai's friends poured herself a glass of water over my keyboard, in as calm a voice as I could muster so as not to startle her, I said, "Could you please pour that water just a step … [Read more...]

Will the “True” Kathy please stand up?

(Blog #3 in a series on True Self vs. False Self.  Click here to read #1 and #2)Growing up, I was the black sheep of the family.  I didn’t drink, take drugs, or sleep around, but my parents thought I was a juvenile delinquent because I failed to meet their Chinese standards for an oldest daughter.  For them, an exemplary oldest daughter shows irreproachable and responsible behavior, both at home and at school.  When asked, she joyfully washes the kitchen floor on her hands a … [Read more...]