What are your little joys?

I try. I really do. After all, there’s no shortage of horrible news that makes you want to suck your thumb, strap on an adult diaper, and lose yourself in a tub of tears and ice cream. Salty! Happy Panda did a ‘Happiness is…’ photo series which is such a good idea. Here’s one of…

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The gifts of a reading habit

Falling in love with reading has been one of my biggest influences. I can’t imagine my life without a good book or even a shampoo bottle for me to read. I was thirteen when I walked into Waldenbooks out of utter desperation to do something with my time after I had no friends, no outside…

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Changing Seasons – Aug 2020

Hello, again. I’m back! Sorry about missing June and July, needed a break, but I’m ending the month with a holiday so I’ve got time and sanity back (momentarily). Most of August was tough though. I was juggling two jobs, teaching online and in the classroom. We went back into the classroom at the end…

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Film Fridays – Death at a Funeral (2007)

Some movies remind me of those long gone days of perusing indie video stores. Where you wandered down aisles and contemplated something outside your comfort zone. Sometimes you might have been hoping to bump into a handsome stranger, but that never ever happens in real life. Right? I might have heard Death at a Funeral…

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Film Fridays – Beautiful Accident (美好的意外)

On a long haul flight, most likely from Hawaii back to Thailand, the BF binged watched Chinese movies while my nose was stuck in Norse Mythologies by Neil Gaiman. And after watching god-knows how many films, Beautiful Accident is what he remembered and recommended. This was years ago, so that’s how long it’s taken me…

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Social media: self harm or much ado about nothing?

Every day, I usually do a quick scroll though Facebook because: it has become a second inbox, it’s how I remember birthdays, and it allows me to stay connected to my family, friends, and students from around the world. On this particular occasion, I was having a giggle over the above image. Was it 100%…

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What do you value?

Quicksand economies, medical crises, personal blows, you name it, there’s no shortage of external and internal factors that can cause us to reevaluate how we live our lives. A couple of years ago, I had a wake up call when I realized, like really realized, how much my mom and I are different, how our…

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Film Fridays – How to Train Your Dragon

Finally, it was my time to introduce a movie my BF hadn’t seen! Although to be fair I think he’s much more of a movie buff than I am. What saves me is when I was in high school theatre, we thought it was our creative thespian duty to watch old classic films so I…

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Film Fridays – Jaws

Until recently, I never saw Jaws. Now you might find that odd, or you could argue that since I was born and raised in Hawaii, this made perfect sense. We don’t fear the water over here; we respect it. I grew up listening to the surf report on the radio. Our islands have good warning…

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How to improve your mood (extra strength edition)

Prior to 2020, life was plenty challenging enough, but after? As soon as we entered this new and momentous decade, 2020 took the reins, told us to reach for the sky, and it doesn’t look like its going to stop terrorizing us anytime soon. After months of isolation and contemplation, as well as witnessing what’s…

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Film Fridays – The Graduate

I am not a fan of movie trailers. I think this is because trailers often do a poor job of grabbing my interest and often spill the whole story including plot reveals. When I was listening to Tim Ferris’s podcast with Brené Brown, she confessed that she likes to binge watch movie trailers and never…

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What’s your relationship with clothes?

Clothes and I have never had any problems. Clothes have taught me a thing or two about penny-pinching, distorted body images, and beloved jackets. And just like how you change on the inside throughout the years, “my style” has evolved too. [Thanks, Marta for the inspiration for this post.] Childhood Running around with the boys,…

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Changing Seasons – May 2020

Hello! I’m back for another monthly photo recap hosted by Su (find out the details if you’d like to join here). For my birthday month, I decided to do something a little different. Please share yours too! My biggest wins: // getting published for my funny essay “Jumpsuits, not just for air-raids anymore!” on Drunk…

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Film Fridays – 1917

I have wanted to hang out with the cool kids, Darren and Sarah, doing their Film Fridays but it is a rare day when I watch a movie. Normally, I watch British panel shows or standup bits and specials. The last movie I watched before 1917 was months ago, and it was Grease because the…

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Discover Prompts, Day 30: Grateful

Despite participating in #365grateful for several years, I’d still wake up with an expletive as soon as my alarm went off on certain mornings. A gratitude (or even a mediation) practice is no magic pill, but many of us believe that it’s the Holy Grail to serenity, sanity, and everlasting self-discipline. Yet there are plenty…

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Discover Prompts, Day 27 + 28: Team & Focus

Like most kids in Hawaii during the ‘80s, I enjoyed an abundance of free time and sunshine. My younger brother and I grew up in an enclosed neighborhood of tall rock walls and bougainvillea and hibiscus bushes. Even though I had a collection of Barbie dolls and her accessories, I ran with the boys. We…

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Discover Prompts, Day 21 + 22: Instrument & Tempo

Instrument: Electric kettle, French press, coffee Tempo: Slowly wake up, make coffee (drink it black, strong, with feeling). Instrument: Journal and Paper Mate Ink Joy gel 0.7 Tempo: With starts and stops, with pleasure and panache, scribble down yesterday’s events, thoughts, lofty dreams, goals, and to-do lists. Instrument: All-in-one Acer desktop computer + working internet…

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Discover Prompt, Day 20: Music

I made a timeline. It’s called A Brief History of Lani & Music 😀 I’ve been participating in WP’s Discover Prompts for April and they’ve allowed me to dig in and get creative. Even though I’ve already shared music with PAIRS on Day 9, I knew I wanted to try to create a timeline, a…

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Discover Prompt, Day 18 + 19: New & Three

Three new things that I have been doing: 1) Participating in WP’s Discover Prompts I’ve been blogging for ten years (but not all on WP), and I’ve never blogged every day nor have I ever participated in any WP challenges. I’ve tried to, but the timing was never right. Doing this has been more rewarding…

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Discover Prompts, Day 15 + 16: Scent & Slow

// The world has slowed down, and I’m not sure we like it. // I live in an apartment in Thailand, so sometimes I smell what other people are cooking. When this happens I shut my windows because it’s often the neighbor deep frying garlic or fish. Now, if I’m frying garlic, I don’t mind…

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Discover Prompt, Day 12: Light

“Is anybody awake? I’ve got to go to the porta potty.” Kari confessed. We were seniors in college, doing archaeological fieldwork at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Southwest Colorado. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding.” Sara rolled over. “What time is it?” Kari and Sara were my best friends and our tent…

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Discover Prompts, Day 9: Pairs

What are the five best books I’ve read paired with a song? Glad you asked. Challenge accepted. In no particular order (thanks to Jeremy for recommending the first two books), but this was not an easy list because I’ve read many wonderful books. I tried though to think about books that really impressed me.  …

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Discover Prompts, Day 6+7: Hands & Below

I am a giant tending to my plants on my apartment deck. Sometimes I start the morning by giving my plant children a stern look over. Is everyone okay? Who’s thirsty? I pick up dead or dying leaves. It’s important to make sure your little forest doesn’t have any fires. During this ritual I noticed…

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Discover Prompts, Day 5: Dish

It was American Thanksgiving, and like many other years, I was far from home. I was living in Eugene, Oregon, working part-time at a non-profit ISP, training to be a Waldorf teacher, and living in a house with a divorcee, Jo, who seemed angry at the world. Her best friend, who also was one of…

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Discover Prompts, Day 4: Street

Take me back to Hawaii On Anania Circle Where you could feel the light, laughter, and sun Bouncing off the black pavement, On many afternoon. After long school days We played in the parks, Climbed the walls, trees, and dug into the ground. Across Kamehameha Highway In the enclosure As we wished In the warmth…

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Discover Prompts, Day 3: Song

Dear Dangerous Kitchen, We had a lot of laughs, didn’t we? Who would have thought that a song would describe my childhood kitchen? Sure, maybe a heartbreak, a rekindled romance, or a perfect summer’s day, but a kitchen? At this point in my life, I’ve seen a fair share of kitchens, messy, minimalist, modern, but…

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Discover Prompts, Day 2: Open

  // When I thought of today’s prompt, this photo came to mind. Angkor Wat was much more impressive than I expected, and I deliberately stayed away from looking at photos of the park before visiting because I wanted it to be a new experience. Has anyone else done this with a major tourist attraction?…

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Discover Prompts: Day 1, Joke

I know I’ve lived in Thailand too long when the first image that comes to mind when I hear the word ‘joke’ is the rice porridge dish that makes for a great breakfast here. You can add a soft boiled egg, green onions, soy sauce, and other bits like ground pork for a sustaining meal.…

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The Changing Seasons – March 2020

March was a f***ing dickhead, is what it was. Now, to be fair, it started off innocently enough. Oh sure, we were in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but March is when COVID-19 gained the kind of speed and tenacity that woke up the Western world. It was also when I went to the…

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Hair: a braided essay

  Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen who desperately wanted a child. It seemed like an eternity, but then one perfect day, the queen became pregnant. During the height of her term, she craved a particular kind of vegetable that happened to be growing in their neighbor’s yard. (Do kings…

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The Changing Seasons – February 2020

Hiya! I’m back again for another Changing Seasons photo challenge, hosted by Su. How is everybody? I hope the month of love treated you right! For most of February I wasn’t myself because I lost the momentum that I had in January. I’m also fairly certain I’m  pre-menopausal (fun!), so I can’t be sure how…

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The Changing Seasons – January 2020

Welcome back for another monthly recap/photo challenge, thanks to Su. I hope this post finds you well. January was an unusual month because I traveled, got to spend time with old friends, and enjoyed a better work-life balance. Although, I’m hoping to commit to the latter for the rest of the year.     Rayong…

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The battle for your body – Diet Wars

Not only are we more politically divided than ever, we are in regards to our diets as well. There’s the Keto Diet (high fat, low carbs), the Dubrow Diet (intermittent fasting), the Carnivore/Paleo Diet (meat only, or mostly meat), the Mediterranean Diet (healthy fats and whole grains), the Flexitarian (mostly veg, with meat when you…

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