Thursday, May 26, 2011

Update to When Women Change

This is interesting: the weather's been unseasonably windy and cool, so I wore a thin sweater for a change. It was a vibrant fuchsia-purple. The next day, T wore a top the same color!

Coincidence? I think NOT! Especially when her everyday wardrobe is usually olive, black, gray, blue.

T is also wearing makeup more often, too. But M remains her same, sweet, un-madeup self! I even saw D with makeup one day - rather unusual.

I am NOT saying makeup is a requirement for everyone.


Monday, May 23, 2011

If I ever feel sorry for myself, I'll remember this story

There is video for this, but the sound is not the best. Read the story first, then scroll down for the video to hear Yolanda Caluya Domingo in her own words. Inspiring.

I was at Leeward Community College just yesterday, and passed the temporary site of UH West Oahu.

You don't need to know Japanese to understand this tsunami video

A friend sent this to me, and I don't usually pass these on, but this is so unforgettable.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Or is it a sea change?

He asked her why she wears men's clothes. She answered rather defensively that she didn't feel comfortable in women's clothing. It was unspoken, but I felt her disapproval of my own femininity as an almost palpable thing.

So I'm leafing through this magazine that purports to be about creativity as well as youth and sustainability and I'm confused because it just looks too slick. The reason I receive this magazine (I didn't subscribe/don't pay for it) is that I'm a member of both of the art museums in the city - that are poised to merge.

And I see her in a photo in this magazine, and she's wearing women's clothing. And that confuses me even further.

I don't judge. I DO observe and ponder. And wonder.

Has there been a paradigm shift?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One man's vision saves a town in NE Japan

Forty years ago, when they began construction, they probably called it Mayor Wamura's folly, but it saved the town of Fudai. It was his idea to build the 51-foot high floodgates that protected the town of Fudai from tsunami waves that reached 66 feet. He died in 1997, but it was his foresight that protected the town on March 11, 2011. He remembered previous devastating tsunami, and vowed that would not happen to Fudai.

Quoting from the article: At his retirement, Wamura stood before village employees to bid farewell: “Even if you encounter opposition, have conviction and finish what you start. In the end, people will understand.” And they are grateful. 

Read about it here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When Women Change, so does their Appearance

T had long, middle-parted hair for years, but about 3 months ago, she cut most of it off. The new 'do includes bangs and fringey side pieces. Not only that, but I could see she has new tattoos, big ones, and brightly colored. She's taken on new responsibilities, so she needed a new, assertive look. The haircut and new tats were the result.

When a classmate of ours saw us recently, she did a double take and told me, "You always wore your hair in a bun!" No, I told her it was a ponytail; I had it for seven years, and I cut it off 3 long years ago. I told her - she also has Alice-length hair - it's only hair! T said: yes, chop it off, 'cause it grows right back, besides, the weather's hot today! Still, Alice-hair classmate is young, and not open to a radical hair change.

Since the ponytail days, my hair has been down past my shoulder blades - but I didn't go back to the 'tail! - and up to my chin. It's been one length, or many.

My reality is that I've had at least 5 jobs in as many years. I admit that part of preparing to start work in a new environment for me is taking a look at what I can wear: what is practical, and what would be acceptable. But here's what I notice about the women I work with after a while:
  • They start to wear makeup - or more of it. One I worked with closely started to wear brighter colors.
  • They do their nails when they never did before. Two out of three are doing so.
  • They put on dangly earrings. I told one of my supervisors they look great on her!
Perhaps this is the "oshare" effect? The translation for that Japanese word is "stylish", but as I grew up it meant that you made the effort to dress or groom rather than not. The day you see me without makeup or nails is the one when I am merely taking a walk around my neighborhood, or just running to the supermarket for last-minute provisions! My hair is not always perfect, but I try to keep up with nails and some spackle. This is NOT for anyone else, it's for ME. 

I do admire women for whom less is fine - this shows confidence in what they basically look like. I go the extra distance, as I feel I need help in those areas. Again, I'm not high maintenance, and do not pay for more than a good haircut every few months, and a routine pedicure because my nail tech does a much better job than I would, which is worth every penny.

What about clothing? In Hawaii, we need to dress for the weather as well as the climate. It can be pouring rain in the morning, which means boots to walk down the street or across the parking lot. Then you step into an air-conditioned office that's like a meat locker by noon. So, a sweater, wrap or jacket. My coworker was wearing TWO jackets yesterday at 3 pm! But if you stepped out at noon, it would be broiling or humid, so you may even want to change and wear less! Otherwise, it is 80 degrees and 75% humidity for 300+ days of the year!

Back to change and appearance. I work in a conservative setting, so started out with neutral eyeliner, shadow and nail colors. Today, I'm wearing fuchsia on my toes and "Not A Shrinking Violet" on my fingers. And blue eyeliner. This doesn't mean I'm wearing spandex and leather. Yesterday, I wore leggings that look like denim, a burgundy knit top, suede booties and a denim jacket and colorful wrap. After seven weeks at work, I don't need to look bland and "safe". 

Do you change your look in response to changes in your life or responsibilities?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Decorated Doggie Doorbell

You read that right! I wrote about this before here. It had bunny ears for Easter, and there are now Boy's Day carp on the door, if not the dog! At least it's stopped barking!