Thursday, January 29, 2009

 

Testing Myself


Through my blogging/online/cyber explorations, I've tried many an application and new *whatever* that's happening online. Curiosity and being an early adopter keeps me young I tell myself.

And this "tech-me" is always challenged and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d!

Nothing ever comes easy--does it?

Take today, for example:

I signed up for the beta Skitch *amongst other new online 'toys' I've experimented with today*.

And I tested to see if it would work for me...but NO! Back to the drawing board....or is it that Windows hasn't approved it yet? The mysteries of cyberspace are daunting. No wonder so many people are Luddites. I actually KNOW people would who prefer to go back to the '50's!

And on some days, I can't blame them.

The people who don't mess around with computers and the latest trendy thing seem perfectly content.

But our paths have separated. It's not that I'm discontent. It's more like I want to explore and see what's new.

P.S. The illustration above is my Manga which I created last year, and which I guarantee you 99.99 percent of my friends are clueless.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

 

Wassup on Maui

*Photo taken by me of the Chinese New Year celebration at the Maui Mall*

Recently I posted on one of my microblogs that I hadn't been blogging lately. And someone wrote back to me, "Blogging is for the zealous."

This comment caught my imagination and attention, and I considered the implications. Had I become a blogging zealot--a "fanatically committed person" in regard to my blogs?

Perhaps it was time to take a longer blog vacation?! After all, I've been blogging for FIVE YEARS, way before most people even knew the word 'blogging'!

And so if you've wondered why I haven't posted here for awhile, this is why: I've been enjoying my blog vacation! I've been able to catch-up on much needed business, creative projects, and exercise. I still make daily posts on Wailea Daily Photo, Twitter, and Plurk. Please feel free to follow me on my Twitter.

Many inquire of me what's happening here on Maui, so I'll fill you in:

1. The Maui economy is hurting, and thus, there are many great deals on room rates at hotels and resorts if you're considering a vacation now.
2. Despite the down-turn in the Islands, there STILL seems to be many vacationing here and swarming the restaurants. Some of our old favorite restaurants have closed such as Manana Garage, and we're hoping some of our other favorite Maui eateries will survive.
3. We've had our fair share of rain this year, and according to my partner who has lived here twenty five years, he has never seen Maui this green.
4. Modified Prius electric cars are now being driven on Maui--three of them!
5. Rentals are in abundance, and prices are lower as is real estate. Jobs are scarcer. Some employees at a major resort are working every OTHER day.




Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

 

My Wordle Of The Day

Wordle: Mama Maui

Click on the above Wordle to see it in larger size. And if you'd like to see the Obama Speech Wordle, click on the link.

I'm still so overcome with emotion about the Inauguration. Our family all cried as we watched the Inaugural events on tv.

Oh Happy Day!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

 

Inaugural Fever Is In The Air

Photo: Charles Pfeil

Can you feel the Inaugural Fever?

I sure can! The excitement about tomorrow's Presidential Inauguration is building and building...it's everywhere--in people's hearts, in conversation, on the net, on tv and radio. This fever is floating through the ethers, and one can't help but catch it.

Never in my lifetime have I felt such a fever or observed others with such fever.

Like millions of people around the world, I'll be joyfully imbibing this historic Washington D.C. event.

From afar...


And yet connected to all by heart strings of hope, faith, and love.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

 

An Evening With Dzongkar Choede Lamas


Last evening we attended a get-together with the five Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Dzongkar Choede Monastery of Mysore, India who are creating a sand mandala at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center from Jan 13-18th.

This 7-foot-by-7-foot medicine Buddha sand mandala is laid out in ancient Buddhist texts, and you can watch the creation of it online here. If you miss it, you can also watch the archives of the creation by the monks here.

And if you've never heard of sand mandalas and their purpose before, you can read about them here. Here's a snippet from this site: "Mandala, a Sanskrit word for "circle,” is a sacred diagram for the passing on of ancient knowledge in Buddhist text. The creation of sand mandala symbolizes the transience of life and the ideal of non-attachment to the material world. The meditative processes of sand mandala share the symbolisms of ancient teachings and allow participators to allude new meanings. All in all, this collaborative art embraces the unity of creations shared by those whom participate."

Sponsored by Lama Dhondup Gyaltsen of the Tashi Pendey Foundation, the Tibetan Cultural Fair is a yearly event.

The Buddha shown in the photo above (taken by me at last evening's gathering) is over 700 years old, and everyone present last evening had the honor of being blessed by this Buddha when the Buddha was placed briefly on our heads. We were also blessed by ancient relics, some as old as 1300 years old. The lama holding the Buddha is Lama Jampa Sopa, a sand mandala Master.

Dzongkar Choede is a monastic community of 280 monks located near Mysore India.

Once the sand mandala is finished, it will be destroyed, and the millions of grains of dyed sand will be released into the ocean. It's believed that all who see the mandala are blessed. **Since I posted this information this morning, I have since learned that no longer are the grains dispersed into the ocean upon completion of the mandala. Instead, the grains are handed out to the public to be taken home for blessings.***

As well as watching the monks create the sand mandala, the public can view Tibetan arts, crafts, carpets and thangkas from Tibet. The funds raised from this event will help support Tibetans living in exile.

If you'd like to view more photos, click here for more at my Flickr website.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

 

Belated Happy New Year!

What did I accomplish this past 2008 I asked myself today.

Suddenly it dawned on me that a New Year had finally/absolutely/completely arrived!

After introspection, here's my analysis of accomplishments, failures, and thoughts/feelings about beloved Maui:


1. I came to terms with my *geeky* self in 2008. The geeky self had always been there, but out of deference to my *vain* self who was very aware of image and beauty, she'd stepped back to allow the *vain* me to shine. No more. She's proud to be a geek and maybe even a nerd. She doesn't fear wearing her geek badge anymore, and ya know what...I really like her! She's very smart and shining.

My geekiness overflows in multiple, yet organized online folders, emails, blogs, file cabinets, and bookmarks.

2. The books I've been writing for many years no longer resonate with me! I've outgrown them. Mind you, I'm not deleting the computer files because that part of myself might cycle around again. One never knows. Now these manuscripts feel far too frivolous. Every now and then, I re-read them, and say, "Hey, this is a great story!" And then I happily put them away. and ponder, "Who were you when you wrote these books?" Hah!

3. Over the past year I've dived with passion into social networking and writing with only 140 characters...or is it 160 characters per message? These short twitters, purks, ideas, feelings, links, photos, and thoughts have become my norm--text messaging with many folks from around the world--colorful, funny, creative people.

From Plurk to Twitter to Identi.ca to Facebook to Tumblr to Populus and many others, online people reaching out for connection have touched my heart and taught me so much! Even the ones hustling to make a living and marketing to me touch my heart--maybe them even more so because I feel such compassion for their diligence and industry to survive in these challenging economic times.

I foresee a big future for social networking--a trend which will go more mainstream.

People you'd most likely never meet in real life follow you, and you read each other's words or view their photos.

Who knows how many id's are faked, air-brushed, tweaked or are from someone's younger years. But truth is truth, and their nature is revealed. For example, a cab driver from London followed me on Twitter, and as I read his brief tweets, I touched into a world far from one I've ever experienced. As I read them, I could imagine what it's like to a be a London taxi driver. His words felt authentic and raw and foreign and oh, so touching. I could visualize him waiting for his fares as he twittered away on his 'smart' phone. He didn't post a photo of himself, but I didn't need one to 'get' him.

4. I made some headway with my Flickr account, much of which had to be scanned into my computer from old photographs, a laborious process, and one which I have yet to complete. We've done so much traveling before the digital times, and these stories and photos are fabulous and deserve to be shared.

5. My daughter became a geek like her Mother, and like the cliched duck to water, she's enjoying it almost as much as her mom. Even though I rarely post on my MySpace blog, G. pimped it for me so I'm not totally ashamed. I'm still too embarrassed to link to it. When last I looked, I had twelve friends including my daughter and a sprinkling of famous folks who friend everyone. I convinced G. to join Facebook, and she's done so... and is discovering a different group of friends online. And so it goes. Mother and daughter growing our geekiness together...

6. Maui's leadership continued to disappoint me: first, the stipulation against vacation rentals which caused a lot of hurt to lots of folks who could no longer rent out a room or rooms....then came the fee for beach weddings! I could go on, but the good old Maui I used to love is gone which saddens me. Many people I know are moving to greener pastures like Costa Rica and Panama, and I can't say I blame them. One of the candidates which could have done a lot of good for Maui lost her bid in last year's election. This was a loss for all of us, and I shudder to think what will happen to Maui when such gifted leaders are not given a chance to right the wrongs and light the way. Will Maui become another Oahu?

7. Our family had ONE great adventure when we traveled to the Mainland and then eventually on to South America. Each of us learned a lot about one another and grew through the challenges of traveling in foreign countries, dealing with airlines, people, and unusual situations. Who knows when our family will be able to travel again together again in this lifetime? What a treat it was!

I've not covered everything, but I've got to get a move on for dinner.

Happy New Year!

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