Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Someone Needs to Spank Christmas! It's Being Mean to Thanksgiving!
Sometime in late October, I was driving down Main Street. on my way home from work or maybe I had run an after-work errand – I’m not sure. It was already dark out. I was coming upon one of the mansions I pass every day and in the distance I see lights…many many strings of lights. As I passed, I was flabbergasted by the fact that this house was already covered in strings of white Christmas lights, with hanging electrical lit up snowflakes on the surrounding trees in their front yard and the dimly glowing nativity scene on their roof. There was even a white decorated Christmas tree in the window and it wasn’t even Halloween yet! Then I asked myself, when trick-or-treaters come knocking on their door, do they hand out candy canes?
I’ve never been a huge advocate of Halloween, but skipping two months to get to Christmas, I thought, was insane! Then my story telling mind quickly took over when I began to paint a tragic tale of a terminally ill resident who doesn’t know if she’s going to make it to see Christmas, her most favorite holiday of the year. Her teary eyed husband and sons vow to her that Christmas will come extra early this year so that she doesn’t miss a thing. In the days passing they diligently envelope the entire house with the spirit of the holiday and allows it to seep out into the neighborhood and infect the entire community with the spirit of love, and giving… Okay, that’s the ONLY way I could wrap my mind around seeing a decorated Christmas tree in the window of a house in my neighborhood in October.
Poor Thanksgiving. Oh yeah we still celebrate it, and look to it for our annual feast, but Christmas is getting out of hand. Becoming obnoxious even, as it steps on a handful of holidays before it so that it could be seen and celebrated the longest. Christmas is turning into a spoiled brat. We need to stop giving into the whining and begging of Christmas…pull its pants down and give it a firm whack on it’s overindulged little toosh.
I know this recession has got retailers biting their nails, so they’re rolling out the red carpet for consumers, slashing prices on items before they even get price tags. I get it. I also get that consumerism has completely hijacked our holidays (and our economy). But as long as there is a dimly lit nativity scene on someone’s roof before the arrival of Thanksgiving, I will always be here to call out, “HEY! THERE’S OTHER HOLIDAYS GOING ON HERE PEOPLE!”
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Triangle Fire 100% Contained
My daughter and I were out at the Staples Center before the Clippers game on Saturday, trying to sell our wares, and on the way back home the sky looked like this. This is from what they dubbed the Triangle Fire, also known as the Freeway Complex Fire that began on Saturday in Corona, (Riverside County) about 9 a.m.
The Triangle fire: The wildfire, which scorched 30,305 acres in Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, was 100 percent contained as of noon Wednesday, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
As you can see, when closer to home, the sky looked drastically different. In Orange County on the streets, I looked out of my right window and saw nothing but beautiful cloudless blue skies, and then looked out of my left window and saw nothing but black smoke. The contrast was amazing!
According to Signonsandiego.com, estimates of property losses resulting from the Triangle Fire stood at between $125 million and $135 million in Yorba Linda, $17.4 million in Anaheim and $3.5 million in Brea. Most of the damage happened in Orange County.
By the way, these pictures were taken by my daughter while I was driving.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Six-Year-Old Albino Girl Murdered in Burundi
In the small country of Burundi, a 6-year-old albino girl was murdered and mutilated in the middle of the night on Sunday, by attackers linked to witched doctors. She is the 6th albino killed in Burundi since September, according to BBC News.
Officials said that armed attackers broke into the family’s home with rifles, tied up the girl’s parents, and then shot 6-year-old, Cizanye in the head in the city of Bugongo. The attackers decapitated the little girl, and severed her harms and legs, which they took with them.
In this region, 1 in 3,000 people are albinos vs. 1 in 20,000 in the United States. And though discrimination against albinos has been a serious problem throughout sub-Sahara Africa, it has taken on a new twist recently, particularly in Tanzania, where murders against albinos for their body parts have peaked. According to The New York Times, officials say that witch doctors are now marketing albino skin, bones and hair as ingredients in potions that promise to make people rich.
According to Kasim Kazungu, head of the Burundi Albinos’ Association, albinos from Burundi had not suffered much discrimination until other Burundians heard about the lucrative trade in albino body parts in Tanzania.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
For the past month or so, I’ve had language on my mind… particularly since I’ve decided to learn Dutch. Dutch? Yeah, Dutch! Have I been neglecting the Hodaoa-Anibo language, the one I created in dedication to my ancestors? No, not in the least – just ask my MySpace friends.
Well, in the spirit of new languages, I’ve decided to share (again) 40 Hodaoa-Anibo phrases, that will be quite useful if you miraculously stumbled upon another Hodaoa-Anibo speaker.
1. Hello . . . Sepaz (pronounced – say.pawz)
2. Goodbye . . . Sepaz (pronounced – say.pawz)
3. Good morning . . . Giye manlu (pronounced - gee.yay mawn.loo)
4. Good afternoon . . . Giye nopau (pronounced – gee.yay no.pow)
5. Good night . . . Giye beslum (pronounced – gee.yay bay.sloom)
6. How are you . . . Balpu (pronounced – bal.poo)
7. I am fine . . . Balpa giye (pronounced – bal.pa gee.yay)
8. You look good . . . Pu sama giye (pronounced – poo sah.mah gee.yay)
9. Thank you . . . Gdasije pu (pronounced – gda.see.jay. poo)
10. I am tired . . . Pa sya broyeka (pronounced – pa syah broy. ekah)
11. I am hungry . . . Pa sya lavatu (pronounced – pa sya lavah.too)
12. Dinner is served . . . Samoj sya renj (pronounced - samoj. sya. renj)
13. What time is it . . .Kimey ore sya vo (pronounced – kee.may oray sya voh)
14. It is time for you to get a watch . . .Vo sya emi mot pu ka dupun a fod
(pronounced – vo sya. emee. mot poo ka doopoon a fod)
15. Would you like something to drink . . . Likamon pu dokapgo ka fua (pronounced
- lee.kamohn poo dohk.apgo kah fwah)
16. What do you have? . . . Kimey Ħenix pu sigda (pronounced –
17. I don’t understand . . . Pa Ħenix ne loirtan (pronounced – pa shay.nix nay
18. Don’t play stupid . . . Ħenix ne gduhi slasaze (pronounced – shay.nix nay
19. How was your day? . . . Splyen syeka ih’pu sdume (pronounced – splyayn
sye.kah ee.poo stoo.may)
20. It was good . . . Vo syeka giye (pronounced – voh sye.kah gee.yay)
21. It was bad . . . Vo syeka badz (pronounced – voh sye.kah bahdz)
22. I feel sleepy . . . Pa dum yatu (pronounced – pa doom yah.too)
23. Are you okay? . . . Pu zafe (pronounced – poo zah.fay)
24. Yes, why? . . . Ye, gala (yay. gala)
25. What are you doing? . . . Kimey pu Henixmaki (pronounced - kee.may poo
26. I’m doing my thing? . . . Pa sya Ħenix ih’pa apgo. (pronounced – pa sya
shay.nix ee.pa. ap.go)
27. Wake up . . . Gdusip (pronounced – gdoo.seep)
28. I am sorry . . . Pa sya vyu (pronounced – pah syah vyoo)
29. I forgive you . . .Pa motejma pu (pa. mo.tej.maa poo)
30. Who are you with? . . . Ken pu uli (pronounced - ken poo oo.lee)
31. I am with them . . .Pa sya uli tem (pronounced – pa sya oo.lee tem)
32. How do you feel? . . . Splyen pu dum (pronounced – splyen poo doom)
33. I feel great . . . Pa dum lefij (pronounced – pa doom lay.feej)
34. I’m about to go . . . Pa tyari ka mip (pronounced – pa tyah.ree ka meep)
35. Are you ready? . . . Pu tyari (pronounced – poo tyah.ree)
36. Get off of me . . . Dupun dibey pa (pronounced – doo.poon dee.bay pah)
37. You are funny . . . Pu plaĦu (pronounced – poo pla.shoo)
38. I need that . . . Pa uhitaka tat (pronounced – pah oo.hee.tah.ka taht)
39. Bless you . . . Dej pu (pronounced – dej pu)
40. I love you . . . Pa yeje pu (pronounced – pa yay.jay poo)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Stanley and Madelyn "Toot" Dunham
A Message for Toot
I never met your grandson, Barack, but hopefully, someday, I will. He has spoken highly of you in public, and credits you for shaping the man he has become. You’ve most certainly never heard of me, but I feel like know you…a little. And even in the tiny fragment that I’ve been able to glean from you through the prism of your grandson, who represents a change in the world as we know it; I can see that you have most certainly made the most of your life here all the way up until yesterday, when you left us.
I was asking myself, why you would leave the day before our election. Many of us here believe that it is tragic that you weren’t able to stay one more day to see your grandson become elected as president, but I tend to believe that maybe you left early on purpose. In my mind, nothing is by accident, and because I hold this belief, I wish I knew you a little better. Maybe then my question could be answered.
I remember when I was 19 years old, away at college, my mother called me in my dorm room and announced that my own grandfather had passed away. She told me that my grandmother had recalled the night before he died, how he stood up and said, “Well, I think I’m going to go meet my Jesus.” By morning, he was gone. It wasn’t until his death, that I knew it was possible to choose to go. I never knew you could will yourself to the other side – and if I hadn’t heard the story unfold in my own family, I may have still been a skeptic to date.
It is because of this knowledge I have about death that I believe that your passing, the morning before one of our country’s most historical elections, that I believe there is a message in your departure.
Was it to Barack? Was it about you, to the world? Was it out of confidence? Was it out of fear? I would like to believe that you didn’t feel the need to see the official results, because you already knew that they would be… no matter the title your son ascribed to, he would always be your Bear. Ambitious, noble…and sometimes a knuckle head ... who you loved with your whole heart.
He will miss you and we are grateful to have met you.