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August 31, 2004

who is HadashiWorld?

FIFTY SUPERBLY RANDOM BITS ABOUT ME:

1. yes, those are my feet you see on the banner. aren't they cute?
2. i was in Mexico at the time. one of the 30-plus countries i've been to so far.
3. i live in Los Angeles, California. yes, the weather here is really that great.
4. the traffic, however, is not. i am a maven of surface street shortcuts, because the freeways are usually bad.
5. my surfboard is 8'10" and has a yellow-and-blue top, which makes it vaguely girly.
6. there aren't lots of other very girly things in my life. okay, maybe my love for sparkly things and also scented toiletries. okay, there is that whole thing where i like to wear only skirts or dresses for about a week aftern wrapping a show (see #11). and okay, maybe that i love to stare at my toes after a particularly nice french manicure. but that's because they're my hadashis.
7. i grew up in Okinawa, a gorgeous tropical island that is the southernmost prefecture of Japan.
8. yes, i can speak Japanese. but it's pretty rusty. in fact, it's terrible.
9. okay, i can speak some German too, but that's a fairly new development.
10. it's because my husband, T.T., is German, and so it would behoove me to learn the language of my newly acquired family.
11. i work in television, as an audio mixer. this means that i am very behind-the-scenes and it's not particularly glamourous. at least not to me. i am a schleppy tech girl.
12. yes, i meet celebrities. no, i rarely know who the heck they are. no, i rarely recognise them at all.
13. perhaps this is because i grew up without much of a television, and i've never owned one. nope, not even now.
14. i get my media fix from NPR. i heart NPR. i particularly heart Fresh Air, Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Speaking of Faith. as my friend Trixie would say, i super puffy heart This American Life and Radiolab.
15. if i had to live on just one food for the rest of my life, it would be rice. or i'd cheat and say sushi, which is technically multiple foods.
16. however, i hope this never happens because i heart food in general. i eat a LOT of food in proportion to my body size (relatively wee).
17. my favourite books as a very small person were the Curious George ones. when i got a little older, it was The Chronicles of Narnia. by the way, you should read them in the order they were written (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe first, NOT The Magician's Nephew).
18. i'm biracial; while both my parents are American, my father's family emigrated from Germany three generations ago, and my mother's came from China when she was nine years old.
19. i love being hapa. it makes me happy in a deep down sort of way. please feel free to ask me about this. i don't mind.
20. sometimes, when the traffic is really bad, i like to roll down the window, stick my head out of the car, and give a good, hearty cry of distress. Billy Idol would call it a rebel yell; Walt Whitman, a barbaric yawp. either way, it always cheers me up. and the drivers around me.
21. in my lifetime, i have had several hamsters, a pair of gerbils, a turtle, countless fish, and two snakes as pets. someday i would love to have a Bengal cat.
22. my first dream profession (aka "what do you want to be when you grow up?") was astronaut.
23. i love to ride roller coasters. and i can't wait to bungee jump off of something again. it was more exciting than skydiving.
24. each morning, i grind my coffee, brew it using a single-cup unbleached cone filter, and add one raw brown sugar and a small pour of half-and-half. this proves that i learned to drink coffee from a Seattle native (it was a college roommate). i have now given up coffee completely and am drinking only tea. yes, i miss the coffee. but not enough to start drinking decaf.
25. if i could change one thing about my body, it would be to have 1) a prehensile tail, 2) opposable toes, or 3) multiple sets of arms, like the Hindu goddess Durga. since this is HadashiWorld, i suppose it's a no-brainer that i must pick #2.
26. i had to wait until i was thirteen to get my ears pierced.
27. i had to wait until i was twenty to get my driver's licence (due to Japanese driving laws combined with my lack of a car in college).
28. i have only one sister, who is four years younger than me. she is a professional writer, and i adore her.
29. since becoming financially independant (i.e. leaving home at 17), i have never had a traditional 9 to 5, 40-hours-a-week job. i hope to continue in this trend for awhile.
30. yes, being freelance can be nerve-wracking. the price for your freedom is paycheck security. no, i am not planning on trading anytime soon.
31. i always wanted to play the drums. i had to settle for piano lessons instead. not that i'm complaining; i still play my piano in the living room, just not as much as i would like to.
32. my first word (other than mamma or dadda) was apparently "circle." this is ironic, considering that by the time i got to school, i hated geometry and all things math-related.
33. but i loved all my language-arts classes. my radio-dramatised version of "Beowulf" for my BritLit class, complete with battle sound effects created by some friends dueling with cafeteria silverware, got an A.
34. like any good resident of Los Angeles, i heart my car. i especially heart my car's excellent gas mileage.
35. i'm allergic to eggplant.
36. i really hate whining. especially when i'm the one doing it.
37. i'm very proud of the fact that each week, my household generates three times more recyclable than non-recyclable waste. (and i'm thankful the city accomodates this.)
38. i have never tried illegal drugs, and never plan to. i think i'm crazy enough as it is without adding any substances.
39. i started wearing glasses when i was seven. by the time i was twelve, i had to switch to contact lenses. my default reality was complete blurriness until the miracle of LASIK came along. it's been several years, and it still excites me to wake up to a sharp, clear world.
40. i got chicken pox in fourth grade. unfortunately it was during spring break.
41. i'm missing one tooth, but only my dentist and i know that. okay, now you do too.
42. T.T. is also freelance. he works as an industrial designer, and instructs at a design university too. i think he is a genius. he disagrees. this makes him, in my opinion, even more of a genius.
43. yes, i do have a life-threatening crush on my husband.
44. if i had to choose a superpower, it would probably be the ability to fly. although i am very intrigued by shapeshifting...
45. i often forget to charge, turn on, or answer my cell phone. sorry, everyone who's ever tried to call.
46. penguins fascinate me.
47. i strongly believe that when it comes to spending money, you should make sure that before you buy any Stuff, you 1) save some, and 2) give some away to people who have less than you.
48. i also strongly believe that you should 1) love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and 2) love your neighbour as yourself.
49. even though i don't always do this as well as i could.
50. i'm certain that my life is an adventure, in the best way possible. i hope yours is too.

Posted by hadashi at 11:00 AM | Comments (3)

free toes are happy toes

i have always believed that shoes are little foot prisons. Some of them are cute, some are utilitarian, some are even sexy, but they are foot prisons all the same: shoes cut your body off from the very reality it walks upon. i grew up in Japan, and there one always removes one's shoes before entering a residence. it becomes habitual, unconscious; the shedding of one's footwear before coming home. there is always a small internal sigh of relief when the shoes come off; an acknowledgement that my toes are finally free.

that's what hadashi means: barefoot. actually, it literally means naked foot, but i like to translate it as happy toes. in college, my first experience of living in America on my own, i clung to my hadashi-ness with such ferocity that for awhile i simply wore no shoes at all; not to class, not outside, not at all if i could help it.

at the time, i just knew that free toes made me happy. but now i realise that going barefoot in a shod world reminds me that being myself is a whole lot better than conforming -- what i give up in "fitting into the norm," i gain in freedom of heart, mind, and soul. my literal kicking off shoes & wiggling my toes translates into a deeper sense of personal satisfaction and room to breathe.

So. Welcome to HadashiWorld...leave your shoes at the door, and come right on in.

Posted by hadashi at 10:58 AM | Comments (6)