Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunami Warning Day!

We had a tsunami scare here in Hawai`i yesterday! As a result of the Chile Earthquake (my heart goes out to the people in Chile still dealing with the aftermath) massive waves traveled across the Pacific and were estimated to make landfall in Hawai`i around 11:30 a.m. This was a big deal because Hawai`i was actually hit by a tsunami in 1946 and it killed many, many people. The civil defense sirens went off at 7:00 am, and they evacuated parts of the islands (including famous Waikiki). There were roadblocks to prevent people from travelling on coastal highways, and the grocery stores and gas stations were clogged by people trying to get emergency supplies. Civil Defense recommended that people get to high ground, so lots of people headed to the mountains, and the boats went out to sea to avoid getting thrashed around in the harbors. Luckily, the waves never really came; instead the tsunami looked like a bizarre and crazily low tide, with 2-3 feet of water getting sucked out of the coast and exposing sandbars/reefs etc. I think Japan might have actually been hit by waves as high as 8ft, but we were definitely lucky here in Hawai`i.

Anyway, this is going to sound kinda bad but even though it was a tsunami warning day, we went to a fair. That's right, a FAIR! My highschool, Kamehameha, throws an annual fundraising fair called Ho`olaule`a, and it just so happened that it was yesterday. We had some quick thoughts about whether it was a good idea to go to Ho`olaule`a, but in actuality Kamehameha is on a mountain, so we were much safer there then we were at home (near Waikiki). Can I help it that safety also involved good food, good music and lots of fun? Anyway, we watched the tsunami tide come in from the mountain; I can honestly say I've never seen the ocean look like that in my life...the current patterns were all messed up, all the boats were out of the harbor, and the water levels were fluctuating wildly... it was a bit freaky.

It's hard to see from this picture how weird the water looks... trust me on that; it looked REALLY weird! Anyway, from this picture you can also see how it made sense to still go to Ho`olaule`a even with the tsunami warning... look how high up we were!

It was crowded! I think everyone had the same idea we did and figured they were pretty safe from the tsunami on the mountain, fair and all!

They don't seem to care about the tsunami... I miss being able to go on these little kiddy rides!

Delicious smoked meat plate... yum! They had all kinds of yummy Hawai`i fair food, like Chicken yakitori sticks, fried saimin (like local ramen noodles), fried fish plate (Moloka`i style), kulolo (sweet coconut and brown sugar treat), Hawaiian food plate, and hot malasadas (Portuguese fried bread with sugar)! Best part of Ho`olaule`a: eating a plate there and then taking one home for dinner so you don't have to cook!

Here's my sister... she looks like this because she was right in the middle of proving to me that she could still fit in the lockers when she heard people coming up the stairs; then she yelled "People are coming!" and pulled her butt out of the locker really fast (she hurt herself a bit, haha!) I told her she should have stayed like that until the people passed by and asked them if they could hand her that book on the ground. Ha ha ha ha! I'm a mean big sister.

Anyway, thanks for all the prayers and well wishes from around the world, and Happy Tsunami Warning Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy cupcakes

Sorry its been so long since I've updated the blog for all you lovely people; I really appreciate all the love I've been getting recently! You guys make me smile like crazy all the time :D

Man, what a week! Stress and jerks-who-can't-drive and busy-ness and ugh! Cut my finger, my car got scraped, and I have writer's block like the Great Wall of China! I guess some weeks are just like that, so I'm glad this one is very nearly over... I hope everyone else is having a good week (or at the very least an okay week... :)

I made a little bit of happiness for mi familia using my favorite recipe for cupcakes. If you are having a bad week too (or if you are jonesing for something delicious) try this:
  • Step one: open a boxed cake mix and bake according to what the magical box tells you... extra points for adding food coloring like I did to make the cake bright pink.
  • Step two: Open a can of frosting (preferably vanilla or another yummy white flavor).Frost.
  • Step three: Eat a whole mess of cupcakes... we're talking sitting there watching 30 Rock with your cupcake plate and and a nice glass of milk.
*** Optional but worth it: use sparkly pink icing to make your pink cupcakes look like a cute animal before you devour it. Guaranteed to bring you some happiness!***

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Needle-felted bears

Newest batch of needle-felted bears! I've been working on these for months... not that it normally takes that long, but I was trying to abstain from crafting for a while, so consequently I made pieces of these bears a little at a time. I can't decide which is my favorite, but I am definitely partial to the panda!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I enjoy these anime... watch and be pleased

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (the remix of Full Metal Alchemist... yes!). The manga author (the lovely Hiromu Arakawa, an awesome writer and artist) wasn't done with the series yet, but gave all the materials she had to an anime studio and basically gave them license to develop a show out of her existing materials. Well what the studio did with the story/characters/ animation was amazingly awesome in every way... Full Metal Alchemist is my favorite anime (and probably one of the greatest anime of all time!) Well now, Arakawa has completed much more of her original writing (which is still in progress) which is different than the first anime. If you aren't familiar with Full Metal Alchemist, it is basically about two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who attempt to use the science of alchemy to ressurect their dead mother. Because this act is a violation of the alchemic law equivalent exchange (to gain anything, something must be lost), Alphonse loses his body (which Ed attaches to a suit of armor in desperation) and Ed loses an arm and leg (which must be replaced by synthetic automail limbs). The series follows the attempts of the brothers to regain what they have lost through the use of alchemy and by seeking the philosopher's stone, a mythical stone which defies the laws of alchemy.

The second anime I've been watching is Mushishi (which coincidentally has many of the same dubbed voices as full metal alchemist... see if you can guess who!) This anime follows Ginko, a traveling mushi master who solves problems that occur because of mushi... like the flora and fauna of our world but consisting of pure life. Although this series doesn't have the character development of Full Metal Alchemist, it is interesting and beautiful to watch. Check it out for yourself here:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

For those of you who don't know, Chinese New Year falls on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, or this Sunday) this year. This year's zodiac animal is the tiger... it promises to be quite a tumultuous year! Unfortunately, I haven't finished all the goodies I was planning to do before Chinese New Year (or Valentine's Day for that matter!) but I was still able to join in the festivities in Chinatown this year. It was a pretty big affair, and it seems to be getting bigger every year! Besides the lion dances, parades and performances, there's lots of street vendors selling food and goodies... so much fun! Kung Hee Fat Choy/Happy New Year!

Lion dance: people usually give them money for good luck! This little guy wasn't scared at all!

Zodiac charms to hang in your house; I ended up getting a string of the 12 zodiac animals... this year is the year of the tiger!

People buying gao (traditional Chinese rice cake with a red date for good luck... very good!)

Miniature Lion heads for display

Have you guys heard of bubble tea or boba? This is new; I never saw them before last week! I know, I know, it looks like frog eggs or something, but it's really good I promise! It's called poppin' boba (I got it at Hula Boba on N. Pauahi St. in Chinatown) Instead of being tapioca pearls these are little jelly globules encapsulating juice... very refreshing. This is yogurt flavored poppin' boba on top of frozen yogurt... in the future I'll try another flavor like lychee or mango (but this one was still sooo good and very refreshing)

I love these little solar toys!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday= funday

Today was such a lovely Sunday, mostly because our local Ben Franklin craft stores had Cascade 220 yarn on sale. I loooove this yarn; it's Peruvian wool and is a little finer than regular acrylic yarns. Basically, the stitches you make look much neater and the yarn itself feels pretty good. I love making amigurumi out of this yarn, but mostly I love making these bunnies... so much fun! I was thinking about switching all my amigurumi and making my pattern instructions with photos of amigurumi to be made with this yarn! However, Cascade 220 is a little more pricey than regular acrylic yarn (and more expensive here in Hawai`i than it is elsewhere... we usually pay around $7.99 for one skein). We also have limited colorways; you guys know I love all the bright saturated colors (for some reason we have lots of the dark heathered colors here; the yellows and oranges we have are especially lacking). Anyway, I was literally one day away from ordering a heap of yarn online for $6 a pop (which I thought was a really good deal worthy of patting myself on the back for) until I found out that Ben Franklin was selling it for 2 skeins for $10! And that's how I spent the best part of my Sunday; buying 14 skeins of Cascade 220 yarn.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oops I did it again!

Thanks so much to the anonymous tipster who caught the mistake on my calendar... yes I did it again! You may remember a few months back when I dropped a day and consequently the calendar was off by a day; this time I dropped Feb 25th! So for anyone whose birthday is on the 25th, never fear! I fixed it :D

This just goes to show you why I'm in History and not in engineering or something math/ number related! I still remember the time I was subtracting years on the board in front of my students and I stood there for like 2 minutes trying to figure it out before my students had to tell me the answer (laughing all the while!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February Calendar: Heart Carnival

Yay, February's calendar is up! I hope its not too pink... hee hee! To download, click on the button in the upper right hand corner to go to my flickr; or you can go to my photobucket too! Pick the size you want by clicking on the picture. Go to "all sizes" and pick "original." Save it/ download it to your desktop, then right click on the calendar and select "set as desktop." Enjoy lovely blog people, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's the story:
Scout the rabbit, Hammie the pig and Oscar the bear are having a fun day at the annual heart carnival of Apple Valley... Oscar secretly fed a peanut to the elephants when no one was looking!
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