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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Life in Wonderland

It's great being a puppy on Guam!

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Viewed in Wonderland: Must see!

I was browsing Design Sponge today and decided to watch a video they had posted.  This beautiful stop motion video is by Oren Lavi.  If you have a few minutes please watch it.  You won't be dissapointed.  You might want to have your speakers on too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oishi in Wonderland: Allan's favorites

Allan wasn't feeling too well last night so I decided to make him some soup and throw in some other goodies I thought he'd like.  We had udon soup, broiled mochi wrapped in nori, gyoza, and a pickled cucumber salad.  Finding mochi was really difficult.  Lucky we made it to Tokyo Mart just before they closed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shopping in Wonderland: Preserve

I found this awesome company that sells home goods made from recycled plastics. Preserve sells razors, tumblers, collanders, and many other products made from 100% recycled plastic.  They also have a recycling program in place.  So when you're ready to dispose of one of their products you can send it back to them.  This keeps them out of your local landfill.  On Guam, our landfill is a major issue at the moment.  Also, these items are manufactured in the U.S.A.  

I need a new cutting board and collander so I'm considering ordering from Preserve.  Just thought I'd share this site with every one in Wonderland.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shopping in Wonderland: Furniture Score!!!

Allan and I have been wanting to buy a couch.  We had a couple twin beds in our living room for the longest time.  Viva destroyed one and was slowly destroying the other.  We really needed a couch.  So last week we went looking and found a really cool one that flattens in to a bed.  It was $200.  So we decided to go back the week after to get it.  The day before my mother told me to check out Designer's Direct, a local furniture store, because she heard they had used furniture.  So we went.  And we found a bigger couch/futon bed for only $100.  It wasn't brand new or stylish like the other one, but this one was very clean, comfy, bigger and only half the price.  On our way out I noticed some cute dressers.  They were a little banged up but affordable and with a little black and silver paint they'd be perfect in our bedroom.  
So for the price of the couch we were planning on getting we got a bigger one and some new pieces for our room!  I can't wait until my next day off.  I'm going to paint the dressers.  I'll post pics of that later!

                           The futon is black, but has this blue cover.  I'm going to have to dye this, but after taking this pic I covered it with a beige queen size fitted sheet.
I originally planned on stacking these, but that just looks silly.   :P

Crafting in Wonderland: Stuffies for my little monster!

Viva is truly a little monster.  We've bought her many stuffed toys and they rarely last more than a few days.  Silly us.  We finally stopped buying them.  I actually had a stuffed toy graveyard going for a while.  I wish I took a picture!  

Anyways,  I was going through Allan's sock collection and throwing a bunch of old ones out.  I decided instead of throwing them in the garbage I'd use it as stuffing to make Vivz some toys.  She 
really likes stuffed toys, but I really hate worrying about her swallowing all that stuffing.  I also hate cleaning up all the stuffing.  :P  Atleast with the socks it'll be easier to clean and harder for her to swallow.  I just sewed up a heart casing and a bone casing, stuffed in the socks, and closed it up with some ribbon.  She loves them!  It's been a whole day and she hasn't destroyed them yet.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crafting in Wonderland: SWAP!

Pinky puffy sparkly girly swap

My swap partner recieved so I can post pics now!!!

Cute pins in a decorated tin!
Magnets I made with magazine cut outs!
Zipper and button book mark!
Nintendo controller wristlet/pouch!
Charm bracelet made w/ plastic bottle beads, buttons, and a girly guitar pick!

Click on the images to make them bigger!  :P

Everything ready to be sent!

I included some stationary, a purse I recon-ed from two shirts, and a flower iron-on patch.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love in Wonderland: Bittersweet valentine

When dropping me to work today, Allan looked over at me and told me I was the only beautiful thing in this world. As you can tell his world view is a bit pessimistic at the moment, but Wow. I feel so loved.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Celebrate in Wonderland: From your Valentine

Shedding my somewhat pessimistic views of this holiday we celebrate today I author this post as my Valentine to you all!
First an awesome video on the history of the romantic holiday.
And a little bit about my love
Allan and I met a little over 5 years ago. I was bartending
and he was playing in a band. Our first real conversation 
was about music. I can't play any instruments and I can't 
sing to save my life. He told me he felt that there was an 
instrument for everyone and I just needed to find mine.
I still haven't found that instrument, but even so my life has 
been filled with music and love ever since. We've had our
share of bad times and more than our share of great 
times. We have the ability to build each other up to the 
highest heights, but with that comes the ability to bring 
each other down to the lowest of lows. I think that is what 
love is about. It's about trust, companionship, and support
through it all. It's about forgiving and learning.
Or at least that's what I figured out so far.
My message to you
This valentine's day, it doesn't matter if you're single or taken, celebrate love.  Celebrate the loves you've had, your present loves, and the love you will surely experience 
in the future.

Life in Wonderland: Free Art Friday

I spent my evening handing out raffle tickets at the Guam Gallery's first Free Art Friday event.  I say first because it's going to be an annual thing.  I went to the event with Allan and my mom.  Mr. Alcon the owner was handing out tickets, but asked me if I could take over.  I realized later when talking to Allan that I was chosen to do this task because I was the youngest present.  Which is a very cultural thing.  As a youngster their are certain things expected of you such as chasing flies from the fiesta table, walking around with the pugua basket, and various other social tasks and errands.  It's not a bad thing, but I'm very shy.  I did manage to make sure that everyone got their tickets.  :P

It was a nice night though.  I wish more people showed up.  There were a good number of artists present offering free prints.  I took home a photograph of a banana spider.  (I will post it later)  Our friend Tess had brought a long some of her photographs including the photo of me with the island in my wineglass.  It was a good night for meeting other artists, but it was sad that not many people from outside the art community showed up.  

Tess informed me of an upcoming exhibit featuring female local artists.  She will most likely be participating and was encouraging me to inquire also.  The problem is that I don't own any of my pieces.  I've given them all away.  If I can borrow some back maybe I'll see if I can join.  It's really intimidating though.  A lot of art on Guam is cultural and my art isn't really cultural or scenic.  My art also looks like it could've come from any number of different artists.  If grouped together it might look strange.  Maybe I'm just being critical of myself.  We'll see.

OOoooOOooh.  Allan won a beautiful carved pendant.  (I'll post that pic later too!)

Crafting in Wonderland: Tie-dye bubble skirt

When I started sewing my mom gave me some fabric and clothes to pick apart for notions and fabric. One item she gave me was this tie-dye sarong like thing. It's really loud and not something I'd wear, usually. Last night I decided I'd try to make it work for me though. I need practice any way right? So I cut it , pinned it, added elastic and sewed it up in to a bubble skirt. Not exactly how I saw it in my head, but not too bad for my first attempt. And since it is short and paired with a plain black shirt it isn't too obnoxious.

What do you think?

I'm trying to use my sewing machine to make more than just purses and pillow cases. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crafting in Wonderland: This chick is insane!

GiannyL makes sexy dresses and other things out of t-shirts and pillow cases.  It seams super simple, but I haven't put it to the test yet.  I will definately be testing this one out as soon as I can find a shirt long enough.  :P  I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life in Wonderland: I wish . . .

Dream Sweet
Dream Sweet - by drea_nicole on

By this summer I want my bedroom to look more like this! I already have a candelabra. :P

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Viewed in Wonderland: "Justice is what love looks like in public."

New Trailer, June 2008

I haven't watched it yet, but it was brought to my attention by a post on 
The Quiet Anarchist. Going to see if I can find it at the video store or online.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Life in Wonderland: change

Today Allan and I went to the post office and as we were walking in a man asked if we had any change.  He was very polite and obviously in need, but being that Allan and I aren't making enough money to really be able to give we said sorry, but no.  As we were walking out we heard the man politely asking others if they could spare some change.  One man replied, "Why don't you get a job?"  Allan and I both stopped and looked at each other.  We were both silently fighting the urge to walk back in to the post office and find that man.  Instead I reached in to my pocket and pulled out a couple dollars.  It was my way of saying sorry.  It was our way of connecting and letting the man in need know that we understand how hard it can be and sometimes we need help.  It isn't wrong to ask for help.

I hate when people say that homeless people are lazy and should just get jobs.  Ok, maybe there are some who are lazy, but the majority are down on their luck.  Who knows why that man was asking for change.  Maybe he had a job and lost it.  Maybe it wasn't his fault.  And it is hard enough for a college graduate to find a job right now, can you imagine how hard it would be to get an interview when you don't have a home address, a phone, a car, the means to purchase the clearances required just to apply at most places.  I bet most homeless people would rather be working than begging.  If I could I would've offered that man a job.  Since I couldn't I gave a few dollars and some much needed kindness and understanding.

Be kind to your neighbors.  It doesn't matter if they're in the house next to you or on the sidewalk at your post office.  It is time for change!

Thoughts from Wonderland: On Apologies

This post is a response to the recent Hannah Montana chinky eye pictures and her apology.  

I saw the pictures and read the apology.  As for the pictures, I don't think it was offensive.  I don't know.  I have "chinky eyes"  and I wasn't offended.  My eyes are my most Asian features and they happen to be my best features, I think.  My nephews have the most beautiful eyes and they are asian eyes.  And what about the Asian guy actually in the pictures?  Was he offended?

Her apology was lame, though.  She would've been better off not apologizing at all.  She said her and her friends were making goofy faces.  That's a little offensive.  She thinks "chinky eyes" are goofy?  But then again we make fun of our friends with extra slanted eyes.  Ok, my point is I really don't care what Miley Cyrus thinks or does. It might be different if I had a daughter who made me buy all kinds of Hannah Montana junk, though.   But right now, some things aren't worth being pissed about.  And this is one of those things.  Asians, laugh it off.  And if it really upsets you just remember (sadly)  she is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Life in Wonderland: Another Chess Night

Crafting in Wonderland: SALE

There was a decent sale at Ben Franklin craft store, the only real craft store on Guam.  I got these goodies for under $10.  Not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it, but I'm sure I'll eventually need them and I saved loads of money.  I would've spent more than double if I bought them at regular price.  If only the fabric section had such awesome sales.   

Friday, February 6, 2009

Update in Wonderland: Hmmmm....

Today I worked from 7-7.  Tomorrow I work from 7 to 2:30.  Then I'm off for the next 2 days.  Yay!  I've already started planning out my weekend.  I'll probably only do a quarter of the things I've planned and that's why I make a long list.  lol. 

I can't wait to get the feedback from my first swap.  There are a couple other swaps I want to join and can't until I get that feedback.  Plus the anxiety is killing me!  I'm doubting my projects more with each day that passes.  Maybe she'll recieve tomorrow.  hehe.  I should check the mail tomorrow too.
Allan decided to go to the skate park tonight.  I think it's because I was talking about Valentine's.  :P  We don't usually do holiday gifts for each other.  Christmas we do our best to get our family and friends stuff, but usually I just get him a few small things.  Valentine's we both agree it's more commercialized than we'd like.  Not that I think people who do go nuts on Valentine's are silly.  It's just that it's not our thing.  This year though I have some little ideas of things to make him.  I was telling him that we could make each other stuff, but he said he wouldn't know what to make me.  (guess he forgot about the cat tree . . . again!)  Our first Valentine's he stayed up while I was sleeping the night before.  All he could find was a crayon so he made me a card with construction paper and a crayon.  I kind of miss those weird little things.  I know I'll be a little dissapointed, but I really do love him.  It's all the little things he does all year long and not just one big thing once a year that reminds me I'm loved.  Yeah, I'm reassuring myself a little. lol.

Anyways hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life in Wonderland: taken from The Marianas Variety

ben's Pen: A leader's voice

The recent news that the Joint Guam Program Office was looking at government and private land to support the needs of the Marines being relocated from Okinawa to Guam surprised many people in our community, to include the Governor of Guam.

There have been many community members who have voiced their concern. One of the most effective voices I have heard is that of Mayor Carol Tayama of Agat, which I would like to share with you:

"In 1948, a few years after the war and our Liberation, a little girl was born to a Chamorro couple. Of course, the parents of that little girl were ever so grateful to the United States of America and to the military for ensuring that this island and her people would live in peace and freedom and to perpetuate the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Chamorro people.

The little Chamorro girl, her parents and family were soon to be made a part of the United States of America by giving them citizenship through the enactment of the Organic Act of Guam in 1950. That little girl grew up loving and accepting the fact that the members of the United States military were the ones responsible for our freedom. Her parents did not object to the fact that the United States military settled on Guam, took whatever prime land and beach area they needed because after all, they were our friends and protectors. The little girl did not question her parents either. As the years went by however, that same little girl began to wonder about some things ...

Why are the best locations on island encircled by fences that have signs saying U.S. Property? How did they get these lands? Who did they ask to take these lands? Where did the people go that used to own lands?

The girl grew up never getting an answer. All she was told was that the Chamorro people are a grateful people who gave what they had for the freedom they received. She accepted that because it seemed everyone else accepted it.

But now, in 2009, some 60 years later, the same United States of America and the military seem to want more Chamorro property, and again… the best properties that our island has.

That little girl whose parents freely gave what they had so that she and her brother and sisters may live in a peaceful Guam is now herself a parent. She is the proud mom of a son in the United States Air Force and she is proud to be under the American flag. She is patriotic and she supports the United States of America.

But unlike her parents and many others who gave freely without question to the needs and plans of the United States military in the 1950's, this time she wants the United States of America and its military to be up front with the people of Guam. She wants the military to tell our leaders what they need. She wants the military to tell our leaders what they have planned. She wants the United States military to respect the needs and plans of the people of Guam too.

That little girl born in 1948 and is now herself a parent is me. I support the United States and the military but I also support the need for them to be open and transparent with the people of Guam. This legislation should not be necessary, but unfortunately, we as leaders cannot continue to be taken down the road blindfolded. We must know of their plans. We must know what they want to do.

I owe it to my parents, to my people, and to my children to make sure that the Guam that was, will continue to be… a place where all Chamorros will continue to live with pride. We will continue to support… we will continue to give… we will continue to be patriotic."

We just need to be asked because, after all, the greatest effect of this military buildup is not what happens in other countries. The greatest effect is what will happen to the people of Guam."

Thank you Mayor for such a clear voice.

ben pangelinan is a Senator in the 30th Guam Legislature and a former Speaker now serving his eighth term in the Guam Legislature. E-mail comments or suggestions to or

The next great land grab

Guam is 209 square miles in size. At about 640 acres per square mile, that's 133,760 acres or about three-fourths of an acre for each of the 175,877 men, women and children that live here.

That's all the land there is, and the federal government already owns outright 33,500 acres, or about 26 percent, of our native island home. The feds own more of Guam than our own Government of Guam, which has a minuscule 23 percent, or just 31,032 acres. The other 51 percent of the island belongs to private owners.

And now the feds want more.

On the surface, it seems pretty appalling that our people will again be asked to provide dear old "Uncle Sam" with more property - especially given the historic land takings of yesteryear; and even more so because the feds already control so much of our tiny island.

But we can make this right so all of our people will benefit.

That is why I, along with Sen. Rory Respicio and Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz, introduced Bill 43, which tasks the Guam First Commission with inventorying all land administered by GovGuam that the federal government may intend to lease, sub-lease or acquire. The Legislature will decide if the deal is a good one for our island and people.

We need to protect our resources, especially our land, and there's no question that the military buildup will require land over and above what the federal government already has in its inventory.

Bill 43 will disallow the practice of subletting GovGuam land to the military for pure profit by entities other than the Government of Guam. The entire island community must benefit from any short or long-term land leases or acquisitions by the federal government, for the military buildup.

Without this measure, individuals are free to engage in speculative acts with the intent to profit from renewed need for land by the Feds. This profit will benefit the individuals, but it will not benefit the rest of the island. Some people already have leases from GovGuam, while others plan to obtain a lease for the sole purpose of sub-leasing to a federal government entity. These actions would allow a few to profit while our entire island community bears the brunt of the buildup.

The Guam Legislature is the policy making branch of our government, elected by the people to represent their best interests. Our small island has a finite amount of land, and in order for the people of Guam to obtain maximum benefit, the Legislature must be involved. Any and all needs for additional land by the military must come to the Legislature. When we take into consideration the injustices of past land takings by the feds, especially after World War II, this is our only recourse.

The intent of Bill 43 is to ensure that land leases benefit the entire island community and not just a few people seeking to gain a quick and potentially huge profit while the rest of us suffer. Let's not let history repeat itself.

In order for the military to function and maintain mission readiness, the acquisition of additional property, including land owned in the name of the Government of Guam, will be a necessity. At this point, our people have the upper hand. Let's seize this opportunity - and for a change - let's tell the Federal Government what Guam wants!

Speak out and be heard. A public hearing on Bill 43 is scheduled for tomorrow. We will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Legislature's public hearing room. I hope to see you there.

Senator Judith Paulette Guthertz, DPA, in her second term as a lawmaker, chairs the legislative Committee in the Guam Military Buildup and Homeland Security. She is a longtime University of Guam Professor and a former Vice President of Academic Affairs. Please send feedback to

Life in Wonderland: Guam then, now, and our future

I'm very lucky to live here. Sometimes I have to remind myself that though. Or the island reminds me, actually. I'll notice the sunset or hear the sound of the ocean meeting the shore. I'm rarely more than 10 minutes away from the beach. And as much as I hate how hot it gets, I don't think I'd survive the cold.

Guam has been developed faster than the island should've been, though. Tumon as fun as it can be on a drunken night is almost grotesque in the day. Too many hotels. Too many condos. You can barely catch a glimpse of the ocean even when you're minutes away on foot. Locals often have to walk through hotels just to get to the beach. And the beaches are crowded. Because of the hotel development, a lot of the marine life close to shore is gone. There are no more shells to find. But that's Tumon. And even Tumon has the sweetest sunsets.

This is a picture I took from the southern end of the island. Isn't it beautiful? So untouched. My family is originally from the southern end of the island, but most of us grew up in the north and spent the weekends in the south. Some of my earliest memories include standing around a giant container of water, cleaning green onions. My cousins and I were my grandfather's work force. :) I remember the sweetness of the ixora flowers and my granny yelling at us to stop sucking on her plants. I remember the cliff that my cousinsand my brother would climb to get to the "big rock". That rock isn't so big now that I'm an adult. We don't go to Ipan much anymore. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was there. But more and more now I think about going back. It'd be nice to have a little house there to visit on the weekends like we did when we were kids.

Guam is my home. All my memories are right here on this itty bitty island that most people in the world have never heard of. And that's fine with me. What worries me is what the future holds for Guam and the people who live and love on this island. I'm scared because the fate of our home is being predetermined by politicians and military officials. Even after Obama pulls the troops out of Iraq, the war doesn't end for Guam. A storm is heading our way. This storm wasn't created by mother nature, either. That we'd be able to handle. A major military move is about to happen. Most of the chess pieces will be on one little square, we call home. And really we are just one little perfectly positioned square. Guam is the tip of their spear. What happens to the people here, though? Our infrastructure is already failing. And what if it doesn't work out? What if they discover they need more land? Some original land owner's are still waiting to get land back from the military. What can we do though? We aren't even allowed to vote. Our congresswoman doesn't even get a vote.

If it doesn't work out so many people will just pick up and leave. But some of us don't have that option. The people I love and couldn't live with out are here and even if we all chose to move there are some people here we can't move. I'm talking about my family that is buried here. Even my grandmother, who is Japanese and hasn't lived on Guam since before I was born, is here. Her ashes are in the ocean surrounding us. How could we leave.

I guess I'm just a bit scared. Sorry if this is all over the place. I was watching some stuff on You Tube about the military and Guam. It makes me frustrated and feel a little helpless, but I guess that's part of life. We just have to figure out what we can do individually to maintain some sense of sanity in it all. That's what my search for Wonderland is about after all.

Wondering in Wonderland: Marraige and television

Okay, so I was at my parent's and my mom was flipping channels.  She stopped at a show, I think it was The Bachelor, and the commentator was talking about how all these women want to marry this one man.  I thought it was so ridiculous.  Why is it that this man and what ever woman wins the game get to get married?  They've known each other for the time it takes to shoot a season of television.  Why do they get to get married and a homosexual couple who've known and loved each other for years are prevented from being legally married?  Does that make any sense?

Viewed in Wonderland: Garbage Island

Incase you didn't hear him he said the average ratio of plastic to plankton is 6:1.  
And this contaminated area of the ocean is about twice the size of Texas!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Viewed in Wonderland: Licking Cream

Absolutely love this song a music video. This is my song for Allan when I'm upset with him.

Found in Wonderland: Paper printables

Lucky me.  I just found a site that has loads of free printable papers.  I'm talking lined school paper, a whole section of music sheets, and even penmanship paper.  I'm thinking of making Allan a music work book.  He can use it for chords and writing music.  I'll add lined paper for writing lyrics.  It'll be awesome.  Hope he likes it!!!

They also have sheets for daily, weekly, and monthly budgeting.  They even have sports score sheets and a chess score sheet.  You keep score in chess?  Oh well.  They have everything you need to make your own organizer, too.  Why spend loads of money on specialized note books when you can put together a personalized one for the price of ink, a binder, and paper.

If you're interested you can find it Printable Paper.

Hope it's helpful!

crafting in Wonderland: Collapsible jewelry organizer/display

Isn't it awesome?  Allan helped me make it.  The four sections are specifically for earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces.  It collapses in to just two flat pieces.  

The rings on it are mine.  Everything else is Nella's.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Allan and I collect Archie comics.  We have a bunch so I decided to disect one of the Betty & Veronica comics to make some beads.  I ended up making this charm in the process.  I want to make 2 more bracelets with charms as a set.  

The next set I make will be with black and white beads.  That I can wear.  :P

Life in Wonderland : Update ... blah

So let's see.  I finally sent out my swap package.  I can't wait for Pinkguin, my swap partner to receive.  I had a lot of fun putting it together.  

Nella and I are working on a project.  Be on the look out for Constants.  You'll be hearing more about that later.

Valentines is coming up.  It's not one of my favorite holidays, but I hope everyone has a good one.  Allan was supposed to make Merlot a cat tree as our Valentines present, but I'm not sure if he's going to come through.  I had to remind him today.  :P  I was thinking about doing something for him, but I'm not sure what yet.  Any ideas?  I think I'll make Viva heart shaped puppy cookies.

That's all for this update.  Not much happening.  Hopefully my next update will be more exciting. lol.  Hopefully I'll have swap pics to share and pictures of the garden I want to get working on.  Maybe.  :)