Monday, July 24, 2006


These bags are made of salvaged tires. The strap on the larger bag is part of a seatbelt. Sustainable, stylish and probably durable, too.

The rice bags in Cambodia are way cuter than any I've seen here. This messanger bag is made of recycled rice bags and sewn together by a women's cooperative in Cambodia.

These and more funky finds at Uncommon Goods.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Recently, Wal-Mart has been the scene of a few violent crimes here. The most notorious involves a man who was shot to death by a police officer after he snatched the police baton out of the officer's hands and refused to listen to the officer's commands. The officer shot him four times, twice in the chest, once in the shoulder and once in the head. The man had allegedly been beating his girlfriend in the Wal-Mart parking lot while their young daughter watched. She was reportedly crouched beside her father's truck when the officer shot him.

Other crimes include an attempted rape at a hotel neighboring the Wal-Mart and another domestic situation that escalated into a stabbing in (again) the parking lot.

A second Wal-Mart opened at the opposite end of town, and this has me wondering about a lot about Wal-Mart and crime. I saw a recent news broadcast about how police in Albuquerque respond to more calls from the city's dozen Wal-Marts than anywhere else. Most of the calls involved minor crimes and the police went so far as to arrange a meeting with Wal-Mart officials to discuss what constitutes a situation worth calling police for, versus a situation their own security could handle.

I think I still hate Wal-Mart but curiosity is urging to make a stop at one, to watch the parking lot fill up with people buying cheap plastic crap, to see the new things that are being sold their (a new line of organic products, I hear?) and perhaps spy some hint of just what it is about the place that draws such strong emotions out of people.

I think someone made a movie about this, and perhaps I should just rent the DVD and not bother actually entering the store.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I just discovered the Vermont Organic Fiber Company. The founders seem to have a commitment to sustainability and all of the products are certified organic. Best of all (to someone like me, who likes to knit) they have a line of 100 percent wool yarn, O Wool Classic. If you head on over to the site, you can read about what it takes and what it means for a prodcut to be certified organic.

A little bit of whimsy

Available at ReproDepot

Sometimes a certain something catches my eye and I have no idea why. I have no idea what I'd use the particular something for or what it says about my taste. I find my taste changes regularly and I worry that I'll have a hodgepodge of stuff that doesn't match and will end up contributing to a chaotic environment. I'm no interior designer, or any kind of designer for that matter, so I have no idea how to make all the divergent things that capture my imagination work.

I fear I'll become a pack rat, or a one-woman version of a Salvation Army Thrift Store.

I really like the fabric pictured above, but probably won't purchase it unless I can think of something clever to make with it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Make me up

I'm addicted to my new pot of Dr. Hauschka lip gloss. It smells like roses and doesn't contain petroleum. A nice change from the plasticky-fruity tasting glosses I'm used to. In fact, I bought a Dr. Hauschka trial tin to see if the products actually work. I like how smooth and soft my face feels after applying the Quince day lotion but I'm not used t the very organic smell of the cleanser. I remember having the same impression when I bought my first Burt's Bees product. I'm a big fan of the Burt's Bees hair care line now. The avacado hair treatment really does work for me.

I wasn't sure, at first, whether I would like all this hippie stuff. The hippie "look" is not a look I favor, but if the product works without all the chemicals, well then I might just convert.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Target, why can't I quit you?

Shopping at Target is a bad habit I can't seem to break, like biting my nails and putting off doing the dishes. I think it's the trend appeal. How can a place that sells Mrs. Meyers hand soap and Sonia Kashuk make-up brushes be so evil? And the clothes there are so cheap...

So I caved and bought some of this Method hand soap. Totally taken in by the packaging: Clear liquid soap packaged to look like a drop of water. And the scent is called "sweet water." Sweet.

At least I wash my hands.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I really don't need another shower gel. Especially since I broke my no-shopping-at-Target vow the other day and bought some shower gel that claimed to have been infused with nutrients from the Dead Sea and promised to make my skin stay young-looking. Hey, it smelled like the ocean -- without the rotting sealife, icky seaweed smell. You know how I'm being stupid sentimental about the ocean lately.

I already have a shower gel that smells like egg nog and one that claims to have been infused with sake and promised to make my skin stay soft and supple. And let's not forget the old staple, Cotton Blossm. And that bottle of Yardley's Lavender that is oh-so-close to be finished, and would have been if the sake one hadn't come along.

So, really. I don't need another shower gel. But I happened to cruise by the Bath and Bodyworks web site .... OK, I lingered for at least an hour ... by the way, have you noticed how that place has changed lately? All those swanky new brand names and candles? Almost like a Sephora? Anyway. The shower gel. It's by a company called 100 % Pure and the packaging is sumptuous (why else would I be tempted, right?) and Bath and Bodyworks is selling it. I first read about this brand in the May issue of Elle (dubbed the "green" issue) and was intrigued even then.

Must stay practical...or take more showers.

Also, I know I've told myself this before, but nothing ever came of it: I want to eat a Loco Moco. Maybe it has something to do with calling home and finding out my brother picked up dinner at Cafe 100. Homemade Loco Mocos always taste better.

A taste of home

Does anyone else eat avacadoes like this? Or is it just a Hawaii thing?

Mash up avacado with one or two spoonfuls of sugar (or as much as you prefer) and spread onto bread to make a sandwich

Yesterday it rained and rained and reminded me of home and I made myself an avacado sandwich and the taste reminded me even more of home. Ahhh, it was such a little thing but it made me feel warm and pampered.


It rained! It rained today! It really, really rained! Can you feel my giddyness? My joy? Oh, how I've missed the rain. It rained so much it actually reminded me of Hilo, where everything is always a little damp. Of course, New Mexico is ill-prepared to handle moisture so the ceiling in my office leaked and cars were stalled in the middle of busy roads and I'm sure that added to the overall effect.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Time to wake up

Almost a week and I'm stll living in a neat, roomy apartment. It's nice. Can I just say, though? This has seriously impeded upon my crafting urge. All my crafting supplies are stacked in neat, clear, plastic bins and I'm very hesitant to open up any of those Pandora's boxes for fear that the spirits within will once again roost on my floor, bed, tables and chairs. I'm no witch. I have no power to send them back.

In other words: I don't have faith in my ability to put things back where they belong.

So instead, I've taken up with another old pal of mine: Reading. One book at a time, from beginning to end. I'm already on page 243 of "Wild Swans" by Jung Chang. The mental stress of living in Communist China is mind boggling. I think I would have died of the pressure, or at least gone blind (if I lived long enough not to be killed off by the famine).

I think Chris is doing a secret happy jig now that I've returned to reading and talk to him about the books I'm reading. I was a voracious reader when I first met him, and since then he's watched me turn into a knitter/crafter who really had no desire to write. On a couple of occasions he's even asked if it was he who sucked away my desire to read, write and be ambitious. (Of course not, silly, that was New Mexico's fault).

Friday, July 07, 2006

Now that I'm grown up I can say, "Fuck" and not get into trouble

What's it like to be a grown up? When I was a kid, I looked forward to the day I turned 18 because it meant that I could move out of my parents' house, make my millions, buy a mansion and a private island and look down my nose at everyone else. I imagined that when I turned 18, I'd automatically learn how to get health insurance and do my taxes. I'd learn what it was I was supposed to look for when buying a new car. I imagined that everyone would automatically treat me differently -- reverently.

Last night I trudged home to find an envelope stuck to my door. Inside was a notice from my landlord that she hadn't gotten my rent for July and to make sure she got it (plus the late fee) or to consider my rental contract terminated. I actually had mailed her the check, but it was late.

Really, this was the last thing I needed to see after a emotionally draining evening of work. Funny thing is, I couldn't even cry about it (and a day I can't cry about something is really A Day). I just put it down on the table and tried to go to sleep. Then I woke up this morning and called the landlady and told her I'd bring the rent, plus the late fee, by.

I feel like I'm living my life in slow motion, with my eyes glazed, totally exhausted and uninteresed. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that I've stopped writing. Not just on this blog, but in general. I used to write (if you can call it that) for a living, but more importantly I used to write for myself. And most importantly of all, I used to think like a writer. Every situation was funny, or tragic, or poignant. Every situation was somehow worth writing about. What happened? Life?

Is this what it feels like to be a grown up? Cause if so, I'd much rather be a kid again. I know, it's cliche, but there you have it.

My heart hurts

I miss the ocean.

When people find out I'm from Hawaii, they ask me if I dance the hula or surf. I do neither. Like a lot of kids growing up in paradise, I considered both stupid and counted the days until I got off the rock, preferably when I got accepted to a good west coast college.

My life didn't go like that, though.

Here I am in the desert southwest still. For someone who grew up around water and moisture (rain, ocean, puddles, waterfalls, mud) living in the desert is like living in constant thirst.

There's a "beach" in Albuquerque -- Tingley Beach -- that is made up of three or four large man-made ponds lined with that black plastic stuff gardeners line their koi ponds with. The locals gather to fish and sun bathe. I keep meaning to take a picture of the place because no matter how often I see it, it still seems unbelievable to me. The water doesn't even cover that plastic lining completely and it reminds me of a boy wearing too-baggy jeans with his underwear showing. A little embarrassing. And horrifying.

I want my ocean. I want to smell salt air. I want to smell a lot of things that remind me of Hawaii for that matter: Mochiko chicken frying on the stove, rotting fruit on the side of the roads, rain on the asphalt, coffee roasting in the afternoon.

I've been here more than a year now. I try, but I can't love New Mexico.