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May in photos

Over Memorial Day weekend, Andy and I traveled to Los Angeles for the wedding of two of our best friends from college. We made a whirlwind vacation out of it, as we often do. Highlights include: The Getty, Santa Monica, the original Los Angeles Farmers Market (which is really more of a food stall market now), a Warner Bros studio tour, Joshua Tree (very cool but a looooong drive), the wedding itself, the Channel Islands, Disneyland, Manhattan Beach, and last but not least, U2 in concert. Enjoy!

I'm not a fan of hot sunny weather, but this guy is. #grumblepup Strange and lovely. #flowers

Cali Day 1 Santa Monica 008
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Cali Day 2 Los Angeles 001 Cali Day 2 Los Angeles 016

Cali Day 3 Joshua Tree 002
Cali Day 4 Wedding 008
Cali Day 5 Channel Islands 002
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Cali Day 6 Disney Manhattan Beach U2 010
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And for your listening pleasure…

(Here’s the link for anyone who can’t see or play the embedded video.)

“You don’t have a black role. You have an equal role.”

An amazing anecdote from Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series:

You don’t have to be flashy to shine

Several weeks ago, Andy and I had the pleasure of seeing Sara Bareilles in concert. I confess, I’m not always one for live performances, because I dislike sharing the experience with a crowded mass of drunken boors and flash-happy tweens. Fortunately, Sara’s fans were a calm, courteous lot, and so I was able to enjoy her tremendous vocal talent, along with her clever, heartfelt lyrics.

sara bareilles concert 001

To be honest, she didn’t “work the crowd” the same way I’ve seen Ed Sheeran or the Spice Girls do. But Sara engaged us by being a storyteller. She shared the inspiration behind her songs. She revealed personal triumphs, struggles, and future aspirations. She took us back to her roots with a special a capella performance. She even gave us a sneak peek of her work-in-progress.

(Did you know that she’s doing a musical adaptation of Waitress? OK, I know nothing about the movie besides what Sara told us, but her song “She Was Mine” was soooo good.)

sara bareilles concert 002

Moved by her artistry, I shed a few tears during the concert, and at the end of the night, I walked away with a feeling of warmth and genuineness. From Sara, and from her music. I was reminded that you don’t have to be flashy to shine. Find your passion and share it with the world. Focus on what you’re good at. Connect with others, heart to heart. That is so much more than enough.

Just for fun, here’s a brief clip of Sara singing one of my favorites, “Gravity”:

sara bareilles gravity

(And here’s the link for anyone who can’t see/play the embedded video.)

A day for Loving

I was born in America to a Taiwanese mother and a Caucasian father. I grew up with three other “halfie” friends, their mothers also immigrants (former classmates of my mom’s) and their fathers white men from this country, just like mine. Three boys and me, only two of them brothers, but all of us family in those days.


To me, this was the norm. Mixed race families, with mixed race kids. Even my other best friends were girls with brown hair and brown eyes, so I kind of assumed they were halfies too. Or rather, I didn’t really question what they were — didn’t see them as being different than me — because it didn’t matter.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized a family like mine wasn’t necessarily the norm. That mixed race marriages were not only uncommon in this country until the late 20th century, but also illegal in most states until the Supreme Court invalidated those laws.

That landmark case, Loving vs. Virginia, was decided on June 12, 1967. So today I’m celebrating 46 years of my family being allowed to exist — and hoping for a future full of more loving marriages, between whatever races, genders, backgrounds, and beliefs there may be.

Note: I was inspired to write this post after hearing about this adorable Cheerios ad, and the unfortunate backlash against it.

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