Our local park we like to frequent held a little festival this weekend promoting equitable commerce, reduction of inequalities, education, peace, and cultural respect.  Booths from Cambodia, the Caribbean, Africa, and more were brimming with artisanal wares, authentic cuisine, and native clothing.  The rhythms of African drumming, southeastern Algerian, and traditional Flamenco music coupled with the essence of fresh fatayas, empanadas, and dorowat accompanied our stroll through the park....more

The Beholder's Eyes

 Are we the product of our cultures? Or, do our brains' wiring determine how we relate to the subject of "beauty"? Could it be a combination of these two factors?On Claudsy's Blog today, aging is the topic up for grabs. How we age is an individual decision. We can concern ourselves to the strict confines of our bodies and how they are perceived by others in the world, or we can concern ourselves more with our minds and spirits and getting the most out of our lives through our awareness of living. It truly does depend on us....more

Broken Arms and Broken Places: Going Postal in a Chinese Hospital

I am sitting in Hong Kong with my 6 year old and using the word "lovies." It sounds clumsy coming from my American vocal cords, but here in the land of British English, it seems awkwardly appropriate.   This little jaunt across the water started on Tuesday in an unfortunate ripstick accident. A ripstick is a wobbly skateboard. As if skateboards weren't a tragic enough invention on their own.    ...more

Are you Old School or Nu Skool?

Have you ever heard a parent describe their little child as an old soul? I hear it quite often and though I understand what they are saying, I did not always relate to it. I have a sister who fits this category and I’m married to an old soul. Both of them are mature beyond their years and do not seem to have any patience or desire for current trends. I have not quite figured out what the opposite of an old soul is, but it may bring to mind ”kidults” who never move out of their parents homes, or cougars on the prowl for fresh meat....more

Victim Shaming & Bullying

The surface of that locker was cold, and rough from paint chippings. I remember the unique sound it made as my forehead made contact with the back of the locker over and over again. It echoed around my ears within the tiny compartment and from the point of contact it was nearly deafening. The only other sound I could hear beyond the clanging and crashing of my head being slammed into my locker, was the shrill laughing and cheering from 14 and 15 year old girls. I was in gym class, I was surrounded, and I was being physically assaulted by a rich, white girl in a high school sorority....more
 @Mockingbird Dont WriteThat sounds very hard and it makes you wonder if the parents don't see ...more

There is No Such Thing as Half Italian

The other night, while guiltily attempting to enjoy the silence of a first-ever empty house, I settled into my sloppy, toy-covered living room with the remote and a fleece blanket. I was thrilled about the opportunity to watch adult television, at a normal volume, without the worry of tripping noisily over a toy, or sneezing, or breathing. The silence, though a blessing in the face of recent stresses, was ill-placed. I've never been without my children in the evening, and it was downright disquieting....more

Is motivation bound to culture?

Reinforcing awareness to the dangers of stereotyping has become second nature to me. As you will notice, despite my beliefs, there is a question that I am burning to ask. Does our cultural background mark our motivation in a particular manner? I occasionally wonder if there our cultural background marks our motivation and ask myself questions about what is the relation between motivation and culture. ...more

Vagaries of Culture

Do you care if people, especially children, starve to death down the street?I think that question would get a majority vote of "YES!"On Claudsy's Blog today I explored the value of understanding what "real" hunger is, and how it was back when I grew up when neighbors discovered that someone was going hungry. I discussed the then and the now in general terms, with the odd example thrown in to emphasize the fact that our culture has changed....more

Ciao, Ciao Bambina

I always cringe whenever I see the latest advertisement sporting English words.  I walk into my bank and find them advertising a M'Honey account, replete with a jar of honey - as if any of their 2+ million pensioners would even know that honey = miele and what either of the terms have to do with money (maybe it rhymes? at least in English).  The Telecoms cos. are no worse off:  you can now go to VodafoneYOU or open a TIM Young package....more

Katsuya Studio City: Great California Sushi

Katsuya in Studio city is an upscale Japanese sushi restaurant that has a reputation for fantastic food at a reasonable price, and it a favorite among professional critics as well as individual people who stop in to eat and then comment about their experience....more