Earthquake-Proof Parenting

In the moment, I thought it was a big truck rumbling past. Sitting on the sofa with my daughter, playing with her alphabet animals book (did you know that Z is for Zorilla?). But the truck just kept getting bigger and closer. Bigger and closer than seemed possible. Then the pictures started rattling on the wall, and the windows shook in their panes. When I figured it out, I scooped her up and ran outside without even our shoes (apparently exactly what FEMA doesn’t recommend). There, I saw an assortment of our awful neighbors....more

Memoir of a California Earthquake Rider

Being born and raised in the San Fernando Valley I’ve lived through more earthquakes than I have pairs of shoes in my closet.  Sure, it can be exhausting having to duck under my office desk, or dash beneath the nearest doorway at the first sign of a tremor.  Actually, I don’t do that. As a seasoned California Earthquake Rider, I usually stay wherever I am, e.g....more

An Unplanned Life

It seems that the most important decisions I have made in my life were made without any planning, and were for the most part made out of necessity. The first—and most significant—of these was actually one that was made for us:  becoming parents. The impact of this life-altering news did more than just turn us into an instant family, it changed everything we knew about our lives....more

Supermoons and Super-tasty Salmon and Dill Fishcakes

Last month there was a significant date in the astrological calendar. Yep, it was the night of the 'supermoon'. To be honest, although it sounded good, I really didn't know what a supermoon was. A normal moon but with a cape? ...more

Japan, One Month Later: Life Goes On for Three Women

It's now been a full month since a devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and even more destructive tsunami, hit the eastern shore of the Tohoku region. What has struck me so much about this month is, despite what I thought was increasing interest in Japan over the last few years, how very little most people do know or understand about Japan. The fact is, most of Japan, outside of the disaster-struck areas of Tohoku, people are fine for the most part. Despite all of these issues though, life here is almost back to normal. Hard to believe? Well, I'd like to introduce you to three ladies, all in their 30s to 40s, from the Tokyo-metropolitan area. I asked them all some questions about the events of March 11 and afterward, and here's what they told me. ...more

I enjoyed reading these three interviews--thank you!

It's true that rolling blackouts are ...more

Radiation 101: How Does Nuclear Radiation Affect The Body?

The latest weather forecast reports that the winds over the nuclear power plant in Japan have switched directions, and instead of blowing radioactive particles out to sea, the nuclear plume is drifting over Japan. Which is tragic, really. Given that there’s over 5000 miles of ocean between Japan and the United States for radioactive materials to disperse, I’d rather take the fallout this way than see Japan further under siege....more

The Restless Fish - Japan as I Understood it in Grade 7, and Today.

Over the years, I have saved a few of my favourite assignments from school.  At the tops of my list was a huge project we did in Grade 7 Social Studies on Japan.  I put my heart and soul into that assignment.  I had my mom sew a white cover for my binder, and I embroidered a red circle on the front, so that my report would look like the Japanese flag.  I looked up the symbols for Japan to include. ...more

Heart Break for Japan

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Broken

If this happened any other time in the last 17 years, I would have cried. Wept over a bowl that symbolized my connection and deep love of a small island country on the other side of the world. ...more