Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catching Up!

Thank you Terilee for this great shot... my well worn hands.

We have been making some changes in our blog, and it is probably apparent that many posts from our older blog are being added here.  There happen to be some that we decided have some fun information, or flavor, or friends that we did not want to leave out from our new blog site.  Thank you for sorting through and hopefully finding something you might enjoy!  

Kick Off Ends in Home Run!

We are just starting to get up to speed.   Learning all of this is such a challenge to me, as I mentioned in an earlier blog. We truly are so excited about the book release party at La Perla del Mar.  Looks like about 250 - 300 people stopped by to share the joy, and it was fun from beginning to end.  Our book, Real , features about stories of about 65 people that are basically anonymous, first name only, with photos of their hands.  It was really exciting to have most of them at this first party so that they could reveal their identities, only if they wanted to, and also sign their pages in the book. They were like celebrities for the whole night!  Everyone was going about and introducing themselves and sharing stories and getting signatures and just enjoying meeting someone new.   By the end of the night Terilee and I were glad we had set aside books for the next day, because we had another book signing in the morning at a local church!   We really love the support our local community has given us.  Thank you to everyone who made it a really successful kick off !!
A week later we signed at the LA Festival of Books at USC in Los Angeles. More coming up...

"I've Got Something to Say"

Another reflection on our book release party.  It was such a joy to share this time with so many people who were a part of the book as well as so many people from our communities of the Central Coast of California.  The noise of chatter filled La Perla chapel for at least three hours. There were lots of new faces and lots of hugs all around.  Two memorable moments were: the screening of the book video trailer on our big screen and when Lloyd stood up and asked for everyone's attention.  He had something he wanted to say and asked Lynn to give a loud whistle to grab everyone's attention. Lloyd then stepped to the top of the stage and addressed the crowd with a big thank you to everyone, but then proceeded to share his feelings and concern about the recent tsunami disaster in Japan.  He talked about his love for Japan and its people, and his experience there with the Special Olympics.  We were moved to smile and cheer and even get teary, about the cause, and even more about the passion with which Lloyd spoke, encouraging everyone to care, to be proud of our country, to appreciate each other and how much we need each other.  Thank you Lloyd for being you. 

From Internment to Enrichment: Kaz

Another of REAL's featured subjects is Kazuo.  His story of endurance, friendship and heritage are so powerful. His Japanese family's contributions to our community are immeasurable and lasting.  This pre- New Year's, December 2010, my daughter, Meredith and I were invited to a "mochi pounding" celebration at "the ranch".  As a Japanese tradition, just before New Years Day, the families come together to prepare the rice in steaming vats, pound volumes of it to make a dough, then pull and roll it into dumplings.  They  are then either stuffed with a sweet black bean filling or left beautifully and deliciously plain.
It has been the practice, as a right of passage, that the young men do the pounding of the rice.  However, as this generous Asian family of several generations, dozens of aunts, uncles, cousins welcomed friends and neighbors, even I and my daughter were encouraged to take part each step of the ritual.  The first session of pounding is done with carved wood dowels that are about the size of closet rods.  The pounders form a circle around a massive granite bowl on a wooden stand. The rice is shoveled into the bowl and we marched in  circles pounding the rice for several minutes.  The next step was the mallet pounding which is more dangerous and done by only two to four men.  Large, squared "croquet" like mallets pound the transformed dough alternately as they each go faster and faster trying to not hit eachother or the single man below who is slipping his hand into fold and scrape the sides of the dough between pounds.  It is really quite thrilling to watch! When the still steaming dough is just right, the giant blob, about the size of a baby, is carried into the long table where dozens of women and girls have their duties as pullers or dumpling makers. Flour is everywhere and the chatter is energizing and filled with laughter.  They work quickly as the consistency changes with the cooling of the dough on the table.
At the end of the morning, dozens of bowls and tables full later, hundreds of dumplings had been made to share with friends, families and the community and even local hospitals.  Some specially prepared "snowmen" were formed by three dumplings stacked with apricot slices on top for good luck in the New Year.
Thank you to Kaz and his family for passing on the experience of their tradition, the treasure of sharing, for enriching your community and those who know you by your unconditional acceptance and love.
See the video trailer here:    

You can purchase REAL at  or or amazon and barnes and