If Not Here, Where?

"If you don't like living here," they say, "if you don't like living beneath this flag, you are free to live somewhere else."

The here they are talking about is the United States. The flag, of course, the stars and stripes of Saturday's fireworks extravaganza. But here is also Hawaiʻi. The state whose flag was once the flag of an independent nation.

Week In Surfing: July 4, 2015

As a child, of course, the fourth of July was always an exciting holiday. Sparklers were wielded in great loops, drawing our names in the darkness until they sputtered out and stabbed into water filled coffee cans. The neighbor boy up the street lit firecrackers and jumping jacks, which frightened me with their loud chaos.

Unpack This

I'm early for my appointment so I sit in the waiting room. Usually I wait in the first floor lobby, alternately checking my phone and people watching until it's time to go upstairs for my session. I also hang back from the bank of elevators, waiting to catch an empty one. It's a busy building so I'm hardly ever successful, but still. I try.

Week In Surfing Nov 22: Pacific Islander Edition

This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech urging Australia to reveal its plans for cutting greenhouse emissions, warning that Climate change 'won't stop at the Pacific Islands'. And hey great, a world leader presenting us with the reminder that we do share the world. That climate change will soon become everybody's problem, everywhere.

But it already is, if we recognize that Pacific Islands and Pacific Islanders are part of everybody. Part of Earth's everywhere. So when I first read Merkel's statement I was the opposite of impressed. And so, for today's Week In Surfing, I thought we'd take a moment to remember that Pacific Islanders are a vital, important part of our global landscape, and we aren't willing to drown in the sea of political idiocy.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks For Readers of Every Age

"Don't step on that book," my grandmother would chide. "Books are your friends. "

She loved reading, and probably couldn't imagine raising a child without instilling the same kind of reverence. With her books as gifts and regular public library visits, she saw to it that the children in her care would become avid readers. And because we were Hawaiian children living in Hawai'i, she was able to give us a luxuriously diverse reading experience that I completely took for granted.

Small World Seattle

My sister's birthday is today and tomorrow we are going out, just us. Well, just us and a room full of comedy show audience members, plus one Chamorro comedian I know through the internet.

I found Mona by Googling “Chamorro Seattle” because I was looking for a community center maybe? Classes? I dunno. Something to root out this cultural loneliness. I don't know anything about my Chamorro ancestry and ever since my mom died, I've been looking for some serious ways to get reconnected.

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