Category Archives: Filipino

Predicaments

Standard

I have thought for many days about what would I have done

differently in an early February conversation during a break

at work.  So many times during my life I have stood up for a

situation or cause, only to find out later this alienated me from

a friend.

 

I was so excited and passionate about seeing the movie, “Selma.”

I have been taught that by being silent one is quietly accepting

another’s words or choices. This is not a good position to be in

when making friends. I feel that if my friends don’t think along

similar lines, it is not a strong friendship but one of convenience.

Over the past six years, I have built a close-knit group of people

who get along together, joke and lighten each other’s days at work.

 

 

My fellow coworkers, Tammy, Melvin, Felda and Mary Jane are

part of this group. We have enjoyed sharing weekend experiences

and expanding our minds in lively conversations. There are many

fringe friends who join in and stop by our table. I enjoy meeting

such a wide variety of people at my warehouse job. This is one of

the best positive aspects of my work.

 

It is not generally a good idea or tactful while in a work place,

to express controversial opinions. Yet, my table mates and I

have seen eye to eye on the subject of acceptance. Some of us

even voted in elections the same way. We started watching

some of the same t.v. shows to be able to share about these.

 

 

Little did I expect, someone I cared about would be making a

rather outrageous statement in response to a movie review.

Here are some quotations to lend support to my response.

 

 

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

~Eldridge Cleaver

 

A longer version, expanded from the above thought includes

the following words which are also true:

“. . . but the perpetual human predicament is that the answer

soon poses its own problems.”

~Sydney J. Harris

 

The old Latin rule of the law of acquiescence would apply here,

“Qui tacet consentire videtur” means one who is silent is seen

to have given consent. To acquiesce is to accept or to comply.

 

I was mentioning how many things about the Civil Rights period

despite being raised in a conscientious and active participant

family, I had missed. I was describing one of the early details of

a particularly disturbing scene where children in a church were

killed in a bombing in the film, “Selma.”

 

Out of nowhere, my ‘close’ friend,  Felda said,

 

 

“We, in our country, believe in love and cannot ever understand

people who are raised in a “culture of hate.”

 

I emphatically agreed with this, thinking she was talking about

bigoted people who are ‘taught’ to hate people from another

group from their own. In other words, I was thinking she

meant to be talking about ‘whites’ being part of the ‘haters’

specifically, in the Civil Rights movement.

 

As I nodded and said, “I agree,” I noticed a quiet pause in the

conversation. Tammy (Ohio country girl) and Melvin, (son of

immigrants from an island off of Portugal) did not join in.

 

Felda helped me to realize who she was talking about by adding,

in a most definite direction I would NEVER agree with,

 

“Why do blacks get taught to hate whites in America?  In the

Philippines, everyone loves others. We were ‘slaves’ in our own

history, but we ‘don’t hold it against you.'”

 

Okay, now I knew where silence would not be appropriate. I

had to dig myself out of a hole, so to speak. I said that she did

not understand the trials, tribulations and how people who were

slaves, or had slave ancestors, were affected by their treatment.

They may have possibly been taught to ‘mistrust’ white people.

 

Inside my head for a moment, I thought possibly only coming

here to live in the U.S. (and marrying Jason, an American) in

the 1990’s may have given Felda less understanding of the

long history, prevailing ways and practices which continue

going on from when the Civil War ended in the 1860’s, into

the present. The other two of  her friends have always been

less outspoken and didn’t try to contribute or interpret what

she meant by her hurtful words.

 

I added,  “This is not how this conversation was meant to go.”

 

I had hoped that by talking about “Selma,” to help everyone

at this table understand why fear and distrust could become

part of a familial pattern of handling people. The small town

in Mississippi had many people showing their prejudice against

the blacks. I had especially thought the Filipinos (what they

insist on being called at work) would have empathetic feelings

coming from their own personal experiences of prejudice.

 

I looked at Melvin, who is sophisticated and warm.  He had

served in the Army, traveled Europe and was raised in an open

minded, accepting and loving family. He would give the shirt off

his back and has often been found this brittle cold winter, under

the hood of a fellow employee’s car trying to fix or replace a part.

Actually, the speaker of this unfortunate point of view, had been

‘only charged for car parts’ when she had needed four brakes

replaced by Melvin and other repair assistance.

 

I wondered why Felda had said this about blacks, without any

clarification? Did she intend to hurt Melvin?

The rest of the people at the table were either Filipino or

white.

 

Melvin shrugged. He knew it was pointless to mention that

this person who arrived in America, married an American,

may not completely understand the racial issues, tensions

and dynamics here in the United States.

 

Melvin felt my eyes on him, urging him to ‘speak up.’ Finally,

he responded by saying,

“My people are not nor have ever been descendants of slaves,

but I feel a lot of sympathy for the blacks here. I get the same

kind of attitude from whites as they do, I get followed around

in jewelry stores, I have been shoved while at a peaceful protest

rally by a ‘white supremacist’ cop and have been taken aside to

be shouted at. I would ‘never measure up to the white people’

in my Army experiences. This came from more than one officer

in the Army.”

 

Melvin quietly expressed his thoughts on a tough issue,

“I will share this additional thought: black people raised in the

South are different from black people raised in the North. To

be honest, unfortunately their perspectives are not the same.”

 

I went on a limb and put my thoughts out there for friends

who had included me in christenings, birthday parties and

delicious meals at parties where we sang karaoke together,

 

“I need to study your islands’ history better of what you call

‘slavery.’ I am not sure that slavery there was the same as

slavery here. I have the misunderstanding that your culture

may have a history of servitude.  Sometimes smiling when you

were crying inside, but this is probably inaccurate. Meanwhile,

I would never agree with your statement about the black culture

being raised to hate whites.”

 

As far as research, there are considered to be 130,000 to as

many as 160,000 people in the Philippines who are part of

sex trafficking, indentured servitude and this is from an article

on October 9, 2013 from the newspaper called, “The Manila

Times.”

 

I wished to re-emphasize my opening remarks to them.  I didn’t

realize the total impact on everyday activities of black people from

those who felt ‘superior’ to an entire race until recently. I heard

‘snippets of history’ in school. Like not being allowed to ride in

the middle or front of a bus, Rosa Parks ‘took a stand’ for freedom.

I saw firsthand the water fountains, restaurants and other public

buildings in the 1960’s. They were labeled, “For Colored People.”

I knew this must have been hard or rough on anyone living in

their skin color. We read together my kids and I about the

Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman.

 

I just finished a great book by Tara Conklin, considered historical

fiction called, “The House Girl.” It has the legal aspects of the

reparation act for families of slaves.  Every other chapter is about

a young woman called “Josephine” who worked in a slave owner’s

house. She learned how to paint from her ‘mistress.’ Later, the

‘house girl’s’ art work is given credit to her owner. Learning is

ongoing.

 

I was truly interested and asked,

“How long ago in Philippines’ history were there slaves?”

 

“Selma” brought back memories of partial lessons for me.

It depicted Ku Klux Klan members, cruelty and ‘hate crimes.’

Who could ever wish to bomb churches and not allow people

to gather in protest?

It is hard to imagine but not right to brush uncomfortable

subjects under the table. Seeing these violent acts on film,

brought back how recently this had happened. It made me

wish to promote this movie, as I did last year when I saw the

fine film, ’12 Years a Slave.’

 

Felda, Mary Jane and May have not looked me in the eyes

since this happened. I continue to say, “Good Morning” and

ask how their family members are, ask how their weekends

went, etc. They give me short answers and have been sitting

at their own table, talking in their own language. I don’t regret

my words, but was sincerely meaning to defend Melvin, along

with my own grandchild’s heritage.

 

My oldest daughter’s son, Micah is 1/4 black. His father’s Dad

plays an integral link to his life and comes to family gatherings.

 

Micah has overheard their complaints about prejudice. We

talk openly about how his own father has been pulled aside

roughly by teachers, coaches and strangers. When he shows

his ‘independence’ it is sometimes considered ‘an attitude.’

This happened with my coworker and friend, Cheryl (who

recently lost her grandson to illness). She has been told, she

says that she “has a chip on her shoulder.”

 

Micah was in preschool when a fellow  4 year old asked him,

“Is your Daddy a terrorist?”

 

This fills my eyes with tears, my heart with sadness and my

mind with fear for Micah, too. It is ‘still out there.’ Even in the

minds of immigrants who feel that black culture is ‘filled with

hatred.’

 

Here is an update on getting an ‘excuse’ written for my eyesight

and concerns for safety while driving heavy equipment. My phone

call with my ophthalmologist left me without anything promised

in writing and another appointment made in April.

 

I visited the optometrist who seemed more interested in helping

me. She wrote a well thought out letter, including the reasons I

would not be a safe candidate for ‘heavy bulk’ at the warehouse.

 

She wrote about my lack of depth perception, my monovision

while wearing a close distance contact to read fine print and a

far distant contact to see far away. She mentioned my not being

able to judge distances, especially in the narrow passages while

driving backwards with the double pallet riding equipment.

 

Her professionalism and need to be clear, may have included

details which won’t help my cause:

“Robin’s peripheral vision and depth perception would be

greatly improved by wearing single vision distance only

spectacles instead of contact lenses. Obviously, if the patient

is in a warehouse, she should be wearing safety spectacles.”

 

I have been wearing contact lenses throughout my six years

at Advance Auto Distribution Center. I am most confident

while reading the tiny UPC codes, picking the correct items

to place into bins, hampers or gaylords. (Containers which

are actually huge cardboard boxes for Open Stock and used

in heavy bulk on top of a wooden pallet and plastic pallet.)

 

I won’t change to regular glasses to carry out my job nor to

bifocals. I am not sure I would be as confident in performing

my job with single vision glasses. The reason I chose contacts

was because I used to have to take off my glasses to read the

fine print, use the RF’s (tablet computers) and now, new piece

of equipment,  a Bluetooth computer on my arm.

 

As my good friend, Jenny, honestly suggested work may try

to force me to use glasses and go to work in heavy bulk.

I am ‘screwed.’

 

My ophthalmologist who had told me he could not write a letter

until I came in for another appointment. I will hold out for Hope.

An April letter request will hopefully include all the parts that

Dr. Wagner wrote without the details suggesting I switch to

glasses or ‘safety spectacles.’

 

Thanks for your concern about my work situation with my

vision and cross training into heavy bulk work once again.

When I tried this for eight weeks of a summer, I managed

to run into metal racks, back into a pallet on the shipping

floor knocking the products over and wearing my nerves

into a frazzle.

 

I need to find a way out of this physically demanding area

without leaving my job. I have a much better salary than

other positions listed in the newspaper and have finally

earned three weeks’ vacation this year. If necessary, as many

have mentioned, my being fired for refusing to go to heavy

bulk may be my ‘release’ to a better solution. There were such

great and positive suggestions from all of you. Thank you.

 

 

If you have had a stressful or awkward situation at work

please feel free to comment and add to the conversation.

 

Fantasies

Standard

Not sure the Grimm brothers would wish to be considered descendants from an

“elite line of criminal profilers” known as simply, “Grimms.” The character, Nick

Burkhardt, is very popular in the television show with that name. It is a combination

of mystery, suspense, horror and fantasy. I have watched this from its premiere, with

bated breath waiting for the next episode to begin. Nick’s character partner is named,

Hank Griffins, who is part of knowing Nick’s ancient history. The story revolves with

ancestry references and a fictionalized heritage besides. Hank is a good and trust-worthy

partner. This history allows him to ‘see’ and ‘fight’ by engaging in battle with all sorts of

strange creatures. The fantasy television series first appeared three days before the

holiday, Halloween, in 2011.

The other side characters in “Grimm” include a woman, Fuchsbau Rosalee, who is

able to use pharmaceuticals, including herbs and natural ingredients needed to be

‘antidotes’ and ‘potions.’ She is the “Fox,” among the characters. The Wolf,” is also

once the ‘big, bad wolf,’ but has learned to control his transformations, unless he

is angered, his character’s name is Monroe.

A very popular episode with my fellow coworkers at my warehouse is one that engages

the character of the Filipino fairy tales, the terrifying, ‘aswang.’ Felda, Mary Jane and

their families gathered to watch this “Grimm’s” episode that aired on March 7, 2014.

It came up again in conversation, with the new Fall Season starting soon. Next Friday,

another “Grimm” show will be presented. The March scary Filipino fairy tale involved

a popular character played by a Clevelander, a Padua Franciscan High School graduate.

In the television series, his name is Sergeant Wu. As Sgt. Wu, his character was an integral

part of the way the case against the “aswang” was solved. In real life, Cleveland born Reggie

Lee, could have headed off to Harvard. His parents, who were from the Philippines, would

have been so ‘proud of him.’ He chose instead to dabble in the dramatic art of acting,

at the Cleveland, Ohio Greenbrier Theater and Cleveland Play House.

 

Make sure you check out “Grimm” for fulfilling your need for fantasy crime scenes!

 

There is a rather new “fractured fairy tale” written by a woman named Helen Oyeyemi,

who has written a re-telling of the traditional, “Snow White.” Her book titled,  “Boy,

Snow, Bird” is her newest book. This is a tale with the main character being a bi-racial

eight year old girl and her ‘badly behaving’ secret friend.  Ms. Oyeyemi’s history of

wondrous books includes her first book published called, “The Icarus Girl.”  This tale

wove African and Western cultures together in an international mythology.  Her second

one was called, The Opposite House.” Her third book, “White is for Witching,” sounded

intriguing, too.  While on the cover of her “Boy, Snow, Bird” book there includes “Mr. Fox”

as her most recently published before this one. If you wish to hear why the secret friend

of the 8 year is old is ‘wicked,’ you may check this out.  The playfulness of the book, is

shown in the mother being called mistakenly, “Boy.” While her daughter is called, “Bird.”

The rat-catcher, involved in the plot, adding comic relief. It is published by the Riverhead

Publishing Co. Its bright lime-green colored cover, captures your eyes like ‘eye-candy.’

It has a rose-covered vine winding around the title. . . like a sinister snake.

 

This is not a fantasy, but it is certainly inspiring to watch. Check out YouTube for a

community of Amish people constructing a barn. I always think of that fantastic

mystery, police story and cultural movie, “Witness,” when it comes to the artistic

‘barn-raising’ scene filmed in this Harrison Ford movie. The way it is constructed in

such a beautiful, poetic and fluid way is just goosebump raising for me. So far, there

have been over 2 million ‘hits’ of watching this Raising of an Amish Barn.

 

Here is a quotation that wraps up this post that is about the television series,

“Grimm,” some creatively constructed fairy tales by Helen Oyeyemi and

the Amish community spirited barn-raising:

 

Charles Dickens’ quotation:

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this:

that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a

thing created is loved before it exists.”

Weekend Updates

Standard

I am excited to tell you that my Filipino friends, Jason and Felda, safely arrived

back from their extended vacation. As she was arriving at work, we all hugged

her and asked how things went. I was pleased that she brought me a couple of

treats. (They are wrapped candies and these layered cookies with cinnamon and

sugar on them.) She told me to meet her outside work, on Monday, because she

was going to give me something no one else was getting! When we left work, she

gave me a pretty, new t-shirt from Hong Kong.

While we ‘got one back,’ we will have to say goodbye Friday, to Mary Jane. She will

leave on Saturday morning heading off to the Philippines. (She is from a different

island from our mutual friend, Felda, she met here in the U.S. In fact they have

different dialects, unique ‘clicking sounds’ that vary from one part of the islands

to another.) It has been three years since M.J. visited her family and she was so

excited to spend time with her family. Unfortunately, James, her husband was not

able to take time off from his government post. M.J. will use the same airlines, also

one that curves around Russia, not entering any of their air space.  By going out of

its way, the plane circumvents any possible dangerous disasters or attacks.

Felda showed me gorgeous photographs of Kridia Dawn, snorkeling in clear blue

water and her hands are outstretched to touch:  sharks! I was curious about the

experience but she said these sharks have little teeth and don’t eat anything but

plankton. The kinds of sharks could be sand tiger sharks, goblin sharks, or whale

sharks that are considered ‘safe’ to swim with. I will have to check which one she

may have allowed her daughter and husband to swim with.

The baby, “Zachie Poo,” was passed around and held constantly. He is toddling

around holding onto hands and surfaces. (I have written about his baby shower,

when Felda was expecting him, along with this precious and affectionate baby’s

christening.) Felda’s mother adored Zachary, which was very nice to have taken

those memorable photographs to show him when he grows up.

I was saddened, when Felda privately told me that her Aunt, her mother’s older

sister, had had a heart attack the day they left. I was very concerned about her

hospitalization. In the long time past, I had posted that Felda’s nephew, Vincent,

had not lived past age 8, since the Philippines’ hospital requires money up front

and he had a serious blood disease. He had some transfusions, provided by our

coworkers’ collections, along with her St. Mary’s Catholic Church donations for

his continued health care. There were many of us, trying and scrambling to figure

out how to ‘beat’ the system and the clock on his life.

Felda told me that her mother had put a ‘lien’ on her house, as collateral for her

sister’s hospitalization and surgery to repair her heart. I wrung my hands, teary-

eyed, wishing I had more that I could do for them. Felda told me that she will

ask at church again, for any helpful donations towards this situation. Felda told

me to explain to my fellow bloggers, that their health system is not like ours. We

need to feel blessed that we have a more open system for admissions at our own

hospitals. You don’t hear too often of little ones being turned away, like her cousin

Vincent was.

Other news, my friend and coworker, Tina, went to court with her case being

reduced to simply one that requires community service for her  “hit and run”

incident with a security guard at her work. They also received, as a family, from

their church a substantial donation towards a much needed vacation.

Tina was able to take her daughter, her husband, (for those who don’t follow

my posts about my coworkers and friends too closely, he has threatening

cancer), her oldest daughter and two of their grandkids to Gatlinburg,

Tennessee last week. She was back, tanned and refreshed from her vacation.

No repercussions other than court costs, so they are not going to have their

budget too stretched by the unfortunate accident or incident.

I think this will set a lot of sympathetic commenters’ minds to rest! I was

relieved that the court did take Tina’s remorse and stressful home situation

into consideration.

My coworker and friend, Mark C., who I admit to having a ‘crush’ on, recently

confided that his mother has not been out of his house, for over 2 years. I had

not pictured her being in such failing health.Mark told me, this is due to her

serious illness and aging process that she is going through.

Although, you know I am an “open book,” Mark is not. I thanked him for this

most recent revelation. It helps explain some of the “why?” he has never called.

I kept his very neat note, which was to recommend the trilogy of Frank McCourt’s

books.

By the way, Mark is the one I gave my cell phone number in November to call me.

I had suggested if he should ever need to talk or wish to eat out with me, “Dutch

Treat,” to let me know. . .  (Do we still say this?!)

I told him recently, “Friends can wait until circumstances allow more time. You

can call me anytime, if you wish to have a someone to lean on.”

This coworker, Mark, is a truly gentle, soft-spoken man; more than a ‘gentleman.’

This is a lot different from my friend, Amy’s situation, since her Roy has taken

advantage of her. That book’s chapter is NOT closed, by the way!

Peggy fell off her ‘center rider’ while attempting to do ‘heavy bulk.’ She is one of

the two ‘aunts’ that I am friends with, who have a niece that is my oldest daughter’s

very best friend. She recently turned 60 and is still happy with her independent

man, Tim. (Almost 15 years of living in separate homes, but still ‘together.’)

Peggy’s sister texted me back and forth, about her progress at the hospital. While

there, she had a CAT-scan and x-rays on her head. Peggy came back after just 2

days’ off, since the doctor didn’t write an excuse for ‘light duty.’ I worry about

her not waiting, since inside her head I am sure it is slowly healing.

And now, the Grand Finale!

My biggest update for the week is after I had long day on Monday. . .

I was very dismayed to see over 20 forces, police, sheriff and helicopters, all over

the place in Delaware. They were on a serious search for a “dangerous”carjacker.

I could not proceed home across the railroad tracks on London Road. There were

three police cars blocking the railroad tracks on either side.  I had to turn left and

head north on crooked Curtis Street. I had my eyes bulge out of my head, my

hands shaking like a leaf and knees nearly knocking, when I saw armed men!

They had flak vests on, looking into dumpsters, into the unused warehouses and

the ones that still have windows in them, along this curvy road.

They were looking for a fugitive from Franklin County, who had stolen someone’s

car.  The owner had enlisted someone close by where the car was taken, to chase

their own car! There was a kind of ‘chip’ that would determine the car’s location,

then once the police were called in, it became a cross country and across-county-

lines car chase.

When I arrived at the library, the librarian looked up the television news to show

me the progress the whole search was managing. We had a discussion about the

way the one helicopter was diving down and then up again. We wondered what

possible reason they would have SWAT teams included.

There literally were men with rifles out, going around the corner within yards of

the cars that were being sent this direction! There were black dogs, also German

Shepherd dogs, with their harnesses leading them into and out of warehouses

along this stretch.

When I got around the curves, I saw a nice, local man who walks around town with

a Panama hat and a Hawaiian shirt strolling along by the Re-Store Shop.

I wanted to stop him, tell him to, “Watch out!” But I thought better of it. He was in

his own little ‘time warp’ and didn’t want to give him a ‘buzz kill.’

 

Did any of this remind you of the distorted headlines that those crazy “Saturday Night

Live” comedic newscasters give? I did not make any of these many exciting things

happening around here, enough to make a zany comedy show…

Hope this leads all of us into a Normal, Usual, yet Fun Weekend!

Holograms and “Ghosts”

Standard

Malfunctions in different work areas can annoy me, slow me down

and also, sometimes create ‘havoc!’ In the zone I was filling my

orders at the warehouse today,there was a ‘ghost!’

I would go to push a button out (they have a light and a Pick #

on them) and the light would ‘flicker’ and go out! Huh?!

Before I actually pressed it! I felt like I was going a little

crazy, since it would then light the next ‘pick’ and just as my

arm went to grab the parts, trying to ‘beat’ it from going out,

the ‘ghost’ would push me forward to the next pick.

I stopped my Filipino friend, Felda, who was in the next zone,

asking her to come and verify what was going on. Unfortunately,

for my sanity’s sake, she was not able to see it happening from

her side of the conveyor belt.

I hurried to the office, telling our order filling ‘clerk,’

Danielle, about my ‘ghost’…

She replied, “That happens when Don is over there! Log off

and try to re-start your picks and I will call Jeff, our

‘systems guy.'” (Well, at least Danielle didn’t think I

was ‘loony tunes!’)

I logged off, scanned my two labels and found the same

frustrating thing going on. I logged off, wrote the time

down and started to sweep, pick up trash and ‘kill’ time.

You never want to be caught doing ‘nothing’ at our

warehouse! (We hand in ‘records’ of our time used, called

time sheets, so what I was then doing was using ‘Indirect

Time.’

Shortly, Jeff arrived and watched the ‘ghost’ firsthand.

He validated my crazy moments with a big dose of reality.

It would take him almost 40 minutes to figure out how to get

the system to stop this ‘ghost!’

By the way, this is how serious ‘Indirect Time’ is, my boss’

boss, Mike, came running down my zone after about 15 minutes,

catching me bending over and getting dusty, fallen parts and

putting them back where they belonged. He told me to,

“Make sure you write this down under the heading, “Cleaning,”

for ‘Indirect Time.'” Apparently, we have Big Brother on the

other end of our system, and big warning, flashing lights

must go off when Robin may be “Dilly-dallying!”

As I was sweeping, I thought about Angela An, on CBS Channel

10 this morning. She said that she thought the part of the

Billboard Music Awards Show, where Michael Jackson danced

with others, as a hologram, was “Creepy.” That is the word

this female broadcaster used.

I reflected how it makes me feel very warm, fuzzy, and happy

when I watch my Dad’s VHS tape of him following my two young

children and me, while holding my six month old youngest at

the Lancaster, Ohio Rising Park. I love the way he is walking

while holding the camera, so it jiggles. I also laugh at his

little comments to the camera, as he is gazing at my children

on what we used to call the “Rock and Roll.” It was like a

big metal barrel, sideways, where about six children, using

their weight could rock the barrel back and forth. It would

make me dizzy, just watching it! It would make me dizzy,

watching it on this tape. (It had been transformed or

transferred to a DVD, thanks to my good friend’s husband.)

Anyway, I thought of Michael Jackson’s family, they must have

felt their chests fill with pride while watching this Awards

Show! I imagine that it made them smile, thinking a bit of

him was ‘still here on Earth.’

I feel blessed and lucky to watch the only tape my Dad took

of the kids at a park. There is another short segment (filmed

at a different time) of my youngest daughter while her older

brother (age 3) and older sister (age 5) were playing on the

Vermilion Showse Park’s gym set. She is looking inside an old

lunch box which has Raggedy Ann and Andy on it, taking out

some little kitchen items in and out, that my Mom had put in

there. The half and quarter cups and the metal measuring spoons

clattered and made noise when the ‘baby’ would close the

lunch box shut and shake it up.

My Dad is using a lilting, ‘baby talk’ voice while trying to

get her to look up. He is trying his best to capture this

precious moment in Time. Watching this, listening to his voice,

gets me teary-eyed. I love the way he is saying her name,

repeating it until my youngest looks up at him and grins.

She is concentrating so hard, on the ‘task at hand!’

Hearing my Dad’s voice floating across time and space gives me

a combination of comfort and brings me sadness, too. I wish

he could have seen my youngest graduate from college. Been here

to see how the others are today. Grown and having families.

This is exactly how I feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram.

I feel wistful and happy, for his siblings, mother, father

and especially his children. That his music and his image is

captured in ‘videos’ (oh, I mean film!) and this Hologram shown

last night. I don’t imagine that is was at all “Creepy” to them!

The other famous people who have utilized Holograms, include

Natalie Cole singing with her deceased father, Nat King Cole,

to me, showed the transcendence of time. I think it is beautiful

to see father and daughter, transported to a place where they

can sing together.

I don’t consider that “Creepy,” either. I love the combination

of both their voices singing a duet, that without the taped

image of Nat King Cole and his fine voice, a daughter and her

father couldn’t have sung this special and sweet song:

“Unforgettable” is so lovely as a duet reproduced in 1992.

Just to remind you, Nat King Cole died in 1965. If they

had not been able to use technology, his daughter would

not have been singing, as an adult, with her father. I am

very amazed and marvel at this ability to combine both

their beautiful voices together. I enjoyed this when it

came out, then again today, listening to their harmonizing.

It would be like Elvis singing with his daughter, Lisa Marie.

I would embrace this duet, as I do Natalie’s and Nat’s.

Here is a list that my table of coworkers collaborated with me,

to make. It includes, images, faces and full body poses of

famous people who have been videotaped, filmed or otherwise

duplicated by using other amazing ‘tricks of the trade’ to

create commercials or print advertisements.

1. Marilyn Monroe, (for perfume or cologne)

2. Audrey Hepburn, (in magazines for jewelry, recently a lookalike

in a television advertisement.)

3. Elvis (and his lookalikes, too.)

4. “Singing in the Rain” trio, Gene, Debbie and Donald.

5. The Three Stooges.

6. Laurel and Hardy.

7. Superheroes for advertising. (Maybe this could be ‘Creepy?’)

Have you noticed any deceased famous people featured in commercials?

How do you feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram?

The M & M girls strike again!

Standard

Makyah turned three years old on March 1st, 2014.

Her ‘scheduled party’ was negotiated between her

cousin, Micah’s #5 and a family friend’s daughter,

Hailey’s #6 birthday parties. So, she was a ‘free

bird’ flying along with her sister Marley. Both

were needing a break from home yesterday. We all

ended up having a wonderful day, evening and early

morning together.

Kyah and Marley had met my Filipino coworker’s

daughter Kridia Dawn, a few years ago, when Kyah

was only a baby. Marley and Kridia remembered

each other and were ‘fast friends’ yesterday,

while I was having a blast with the reunion of

several of my Filipino friends, May, MJ, April

and Felda.

What was the occasion? The festivities were due

to Felda and Jason’s new home and they were

throwing a housewarming party! I brought a whole

wheat flour spice cake with cream cheese frosting

(which unfortunately turned out dry… wishing I

had some bourbon or other alcohol to moisten it

since I have leftover cake! This used to be my

Mom’s ‘excuse’ to add alcohol to cake that came

out dry!)

They had picked up some of a local barbecue

restaurant named, “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit,”

and had macaroni and cheese, rolls, cole slaw,

shredded beef, and varied sauces to put on the

meat. Then, there were two different Filipino

dishes, both delicious. One is more pungent and

spicy flavored with shrimp, beef, chicken and

vegetables and what Felda called, “Americanized

pancit palabok.”

There were other desserts and other side dishes,

too. This reminds me of other cultural parties I

have attended, where Italians or Germans are

very friendly, encouraging you to, “Try this, you

will like this dish!”

I had bought a ‘Welcome to your new home’ card

and added a small gift of money enclosed. I also

felt that by bringing the girls, at least in

Felda’s point of view, expressed several times,

that Kridia was so ‘glad to have children at

the party!’

Once we had cleaned up the play room and Kridia’s

bedroom after staying three hours, talking to all

that attended we headed home to put our pajamas on.

I had chosen three movies, one they liked before,

“Ice Princess,” which was a ‘hit’ and they decided

my two twin mattresses were an ice skating rink,

along with adding some gymnastics to their original

exhibition style routines.

Now, if you don’t have children nor grandchildren,

you may have assumed that we would be all ‘uckered

out’ and heading to bed soon. No such luck! In the

case of kids that I know, they feel like they just

‘switched gears!’

We ended up watching at 9 a nice, older movie

called, “Life Size,” about a Barbie-type doll

named, “Eve” who accidentally and magically

comes to life. It has a young Lindsay Lohan,

who was quite a fantastic actress back then,

along with Tyra Banks’ playing the beautiful

doll character. I would recommend it for young

girls who will find out about Lindsay’s losing

her mother (in the movie) and her father trying

to cope with grief, both the best they can.

When we finally had seen two movies, with some

acrobatics and entertainment along the way, we

were settling down to read books.

Kyah had chosen one of the Spot books and Marley

had the “Each Peach Pear Plum” book out.

I had chosen “Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?”

This book was written in 1986. I like the style

of illustrations, striving in my own pen and ink

drawings with watercolors to provide such great

artwork with sweet details.

The Jesse Bear book is about a boy bear which

captures his adventures on a typical day at

home with his mother bear. The author is Nancy

White Carlstrom, while the illustrator is Bruce

Degen.

In my preschool Ohio testing and reporting to

the State of Ohio (through using twice a year a

test called, “Get It, Got It, Go”) it would

measure learning in three different areas. This

is interesting to some people, that we are

testing 3-6 year olds in Alliteration, where the

pictures that begin with the same sound are matched

up by the student (which is a part of Phonics and

sounding out words), Rhyming and Picture Naming.

We found that some children lagged behind in our

classroom in the first year of testing in the two

areas of rhyming and alliteration.

In the past, my children and many children around

the world were introduced to rhyming in books, in

poems, and in an environment less dependent on

video and computer games. Sure there are ones that

are focused on these areas, but I just felt that

my classroom and now, my grandchildren needed to

hear a real live person reading with emphasis in

these areas, which can be made into a lot of fun

and humorous playful reading times, too.

A very well written series is by Dr. Seuss, or

Theodore Giesel. He was educated and studied how

to use all the sounds and also, how to incorporate

necessary pre-reading skills.

Anyway, just in case my two preschoolers this

past Sat. evening were not really hearing rhymes

so much in their daily lives, I pointed out the

easy ones in the fruit book with the Mother Goose

characters, “Each Peach Pear Plum” and the fine

repetitive rhymes in the Jesse bear book, too.

Jesse bear goes through his day by noticing things

around him. He miles and sniffs roses, catches

butterflies, plays in the sand box, and washes his

hands for lunch. There are cute bear details, like

on his baby bib, his high chair, a bear cookie jar,

and cookie cutter hanging on the wall. I think there

is a bear shaped clock, too.

I liked his enthusiasm and pointed out to the girls,

that he enjoys eating vegetables like carrots and

peas, making the celery ‘crunch,’ and sprouts in a

‘bunch.’ I asked them which words rhymed throughout

the book, too. He receives bear hugs and kisses

from his father, who came home before dinner,

while Jesse was on playing on the swing set.

In the bath, Jesse blows bubbles from a bubble pipe,

and plays with his boat. When dressed for bed, he

has those adorable pajamas with ‘feet’ and the face

of a bear on his ‘seat.’ There is carved into the

wood of his bed, a bear ‘angel.’

I will share the last page of the book, one part

that seems appropriate to close this post today.

There is a full moon shining into Jesse bear’s

room, a glow on the wall, all the stuffed toys

and other decorations illuminated in a blue-gray

light. Reminding you that each page of the book

has asked, “Jesse Bear, Jesse Bear, what will

you wear?”

“Sleep in my eyes,

And stars in the skies.

Moon on my bed,

and dreams in my head,

that’s what I’ll wear tonight.”

An International Love Story: Shanika and Anthony

Standard

Just in time for the week leading up until Valentine’s

Day, Shanika and her husband are sharing their love

story. It began while they were interns at a Cleveland

hospital.

They were ‘study buddies’ and took many different late

night ‘breaks’ from the challenge of learning their

physiology, molecular biology and medical training.

They had ‘all nighters’ and clinicals to struggle

through, depending on each other, learning how to work

together as a ‘team.’

Shanika had come from Sri Lanka, while Anthony had

come from the Philippines. His background, parentage

consisted of Filipino-Chinese. Once they shared their

private conversations for a few years of being close

friends, they knew their commonality in the Roman

Catholic church and beliefs. They also knew both their

families held education and traditions as important

values.

They had good friends that also shared these close

values and philosophies. When they would gather to

celebrate good grades or a successful step in their

futures, they always produced a meal that combined

their different cultures. It sounded like a feast

to me!

When Anthony asked Shanika to marry, he had already

met her father and mother. He had travelled with her

to her ‘homeland’ and made the decision on their next

trip there to ask her father for her hand in marriage.

What a lovely tradition and this is sometimes the case

in American weddings, a focus in romantic comedies, too.

They had started to, unconsciously, show preferences

for some of their favorite foods from each of their

families’ recipes.

The couple had also begun to have premarital counseling

with their priest, who would guide them in expressing

their feelings more easily and helping to choose what

were going to be priorities in their home life and

future family. Both Shanika and Anthony agree that

they hope someday to have children.

Melding the two cultures and the varied customs,

meant so much to this couple!

When Shanika’s father ‘gave his blessing,’ they were

much relieved to be over that hurdle!

When their two best friends and marital role models

accepted the role of being their ‘sponsors,’ they were

relieved and thrilled!

International weddings are even more important to have

understanding of each other’s familial and cultural

backgrounds.

Whenever they attended a wedding together in the past

two years, they came home and started to make lists

of what they had taken part in, as guests. They would

discuss and agree which parts of the ceremony and

reception they enjoyed and meant more to them, too.

Both Shanika and Anthony are very considerate and

almost self-effacing people. If you ever met them,

you would not necessarily guess they were both

doctors!

They were told, in their premarital counseling, that

part of searching their backgrounds would help them

discover what would become part of their own personal

traditions.

While some of us may want as a future bride to have:

“Something new, something old, something borrowed,

something blue.”

One important part of the bride’s wardrobe was her

wedding dress reflected her mother’s own choice of a

white sari. This is traditional of Sri Lankan heritage.

Anthony felt an American tuxedo, like the many movie

stars and actors wear, was his desire for ‘appropriate

attire.’ He chose a black tuxedo, a white vest and tie.

They made compromises on the menu but Anthony wanted

to ensure that his family would be pleased, thus the

appetizers included ’empanadas’ served at the reception.

Their eyes and souls were filled with a lovely vision,

while attending an Eastern wedding. They both knew one

element of the ceremony would ‘have to be part of their

own’ wedding!

When they saw the centuries old tradition of something

called, “Cord and Veil Ceremony.” There was excitement

when this caught them, helping the planning to all fall

into place, after that serendipitous attendance of a

close friend’s wedding.

To explain this, while the couple hold hands and are

on their knees in front of the Priest or Father who

is leading the marriage ceremony, the sponsors place

a long, sheer, intricately designed rectangular veil

across the shoulders of both the bride and groom.

This custom is to represent or symbolize, “Purity.”

Then, once the pronouncement of their vows and the

priest has nearly completed the service, they have

a cord, it can be white silk, that is placed over

their heads, this connects them and it signifies

their “New Bond.”

Having gone through the many steps to reach this

special moment, the beauty in the presentation of

this couple was captured on film. Their silhouettes

of their backs on their knees, with the veil across

both their shoulders and the cord loosely laid

around both their necks shows a different kind of

wedding photograph. I could say it compared to

ones where the couple are on their knees up at

the altar, being blessed by their minister or

their priest.

I studied their photograph, their faces looking at

each other, adoringly, and I believe this marriage

will last.

I know their families, coworkers, patients and their

two sponsors will hold them in their prayers.

I think all the ‘work’ it took to get the complete

ceremony, with their giving and taking, their choosing

special parts, and debating which parts to include and

dismiss became a great beginning to how to overcome any

future challenges. They have created the foundation of

a lifelong partnership and their bond of marriage seems

strong.

When the couple entered the reception, they were treated

to Sri Lankan dancers. They were also led into a pathway

to their table, where there were little tea candles.

These candles, flickering and shining, led their way to

the special places they were to sit for the reception

meal.

I imagine this, more than have seen it. I have only

seen the one photograph, taken by a friend of the

family’s.

It is that of the traditional cord and veil positions

of Shanika and Anthony, heads turned towards each other,

their shoulders together, their hearts intertwined in

love.

It could almost bring tears to my eyes, as if they

had been my own children.

Wouldn’t this make a great fairy tale ending?