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January 29, 2005

goodbye, Grandpa

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Tsang (or Chang) Yun-Wei was born in China on the 11th of December, 1910. he died yesterday, as Joseph Chan, in New York, nearly a century later. different name, different language, different country – i wonder how he imagined his life would be as it unfolded. did he guess at the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren he’d have? did he know that he’d spend much of the family fortune spiriting his wife & children out of China, and then start all over again in America? did he have a clue that he would still be eating sesame balls with lotus paste until the very last days? i think it’s difficult for anyone to imagine a grandparent as a young person, with dark hair and bright, naïve eyes. it’s much easier for me to imagine him now, looking around his new living quarters, shaking his head at God and saying in his half-scolding, half-humorous voice, “Lord, why did you wait so long to take me? i’ve been ready to come home for awhile now!” and God smiling and saying, “Yun-Wei, come look at this garden plot I have ready for you to plant out back here.” Grandpa, you think you grew your tomatoes big down here? just you wait. i think you’ll like the soil of heaven.

Posted by hadashi at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2005

quick update on Big Rock

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well, wouldn't you know, my current job shot today in Chatsworth -- which is conveniently located just over the hills from my home via...yes, Topanga Canyon Boulevard. so of course i had to check with CalTrans:
"Status: Closed. Reason: Large boulder in the road. Duration: Unknown."
further research reveals that when demolition crews tried to blast it, it just split into Two Big Rocks.
so i may have spent at least an extra hour of freeway drive time today, but Big Rock still prevails! hah! go Big Rock!

Posted by hadashi at 9:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2005

yay Big Rock!

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you have to love the chutzpah of Big Rock here. after about a year's worth of rain in mere days, this geological marvel decided to plop itself in the middle of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. just look at it -- that thing is over 8 meters/25 feet high! its inherent visual absurdity is simply splendid. meanwhile, thousands of Rich and Important Valley People and Even More Rich and Important Malibu People were forced to use the nasty freeways. believe me, i've heard the grumbling. it makes me chortle. i'm sure, even as it is refusing to budge even under the force of dynamite blasts, Big Rock is chortling too. i mean, thanks to national news coverage, it's even an instant media star (and a far more interesting one than many that will come out of shows that involve Dramatic Eliminations, say I). even though after way too many explosives, Big Rock will most likely become Big Gravel Pile, it's still quite the heroic two-stories-high chunk o' wonder. it's reminded us that no matter who we are, how much cash we have, or how important we think we are -- all or us are quite small and helpless next to a Big Rock, and the forces that moved it.

Posted by hadashi at 9:26 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2005

found poetry

i was wandering around the internet today in order to satisfy my curiosity about various national anthems (which HadashiWorld will address soon), and i discovered that Japan Today manages to make its headline links sound amazingly poetic:

Tis the season for wedding gossip
Chinese ships roam at will
Grisly details of Nara girl's murder
Environment tax is shady

or how about:

Don't blame God for tsunami
Sharpening Shonen Knife
Toyota Corolla best-selling car
Nose ointment blocks dust

out of interest, i did a quick check of CNN. no poetry to be found there. maybe some good haiku headlines would make reading about Abu Ghraib easier.

Posted by hadashi at 10:24 PM | Comments (1)

January 9, 2005

resolutions

i don't like New Year's resolutions. they start off as Nice Ideas for the coming year, but quickly morph into huge drooling monsters called Imminent Failure that pressure you to do things like Achieve and Succeed. eek, i say. eek.
i'm still stunned, however, that my Nice Ideas for 2004, which never were allowed to develop into said drooling abominations, actually happened. i learned to knit. i spent a lot of quality time in the ocean with my 8'10" longboard -- and a few dolphins. and i finally started volunteer teaching, which has been hugely rewarding so far.
so i've decided to carry over my Nice Ideas for '04 as Continuing Activities for '05. maybe i'll come up with some new Nice Ideas this year, but in the meantime, i've decided to make a few New Year's resolutions specifically for the purpose of breaking them:
1. cut down on carbs.
2. buy an SUV.
3. stop listening to NPR so much, especially This American Life.
4. enjoy closed-toed shoes.
i'm doing amazingly well with these. in fact, i managed to break all of them just today: i ate bread and rice and pasta, and i listened to Ira Glass while driving my wee Honda barefoot. (hey, it's raining hard right now & i just wanted to dry my toes.)
i feel so successful, i think i should go eat more rice.

Posted by hadashi at 9:37 PM | Comments (0)