C'est un blague.

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  • Monday, March 31, 2008

    “Ultimately,” she said, the goal is “to not have to check a box.”

    Read this article in the NYT: "Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race".

    Some quotes that really resonated with me:

    "...the people who challenged them to label themselves by innocently asking, “What are you?” "

    "While many mixed-race people say they see their heritage as a plus, they also say they often face pressure from others who want to pigeonhole them. Mr. McBride [whose mother is white and father is black] said his books invariably were shelved in the African-American sections of bookstores. “Why can’t I be a white author?” he said. “I’m half white.”"

    "“It’s really unfair to expect people to choose,” she said. “It’s like asking to be loyal to one parent or the other.”"

    Although this was a light treatment of the multiracial issue, using the hook of Obama's biracial background, it hit a few nerves for me. For me, the "what are you?" question really rankles -- and always has.

    How the heck is a young kid supposed to understand that question -- especially without hearing loud and clear "you're different" (and "different" generally = "bad", until you've got a good sense of self, which often doesn't happen until you hit your 30s)??? -- let alone, answer it?

    "What are you?" WTF?

    As a small girl, I had no idea how to answer that. I didn't even know why people asked it. I mean, my parents were/are my parents. It was absolutely normal to me to have one Asian and one non-Asian parent. I didn't know that my parents were different from any other parents or even different from each other. Of course, I simply accepted them as "mom" and "dad". What kid wouldn't? "Mom" and "Dad" are only that when you're young (heck, they aren't even people; they're just parents). That was my life, and I didn't know that my family was any different from anyone else's (which, in retrospect, is a credit to the open-minded community where we lived). So that question baffled me because I didn't know that I was different, and yet, clearly people thought I was and demanded that I identify how. That's a lot to ask of a kid. And yet, I was frequently asked.

    So, in this respect, I'm glad that Obama generates conversation. I've always wondered why he, Halle Barry, Lisa Bonet, Alicia Keyes, Hines Ward, etc. are identified as "black", vs. their other ethnic/racial backgrounds...

    I mean, I know it's because people are labeled by others based on how others see them. So a person with a black parent, if his/her skin is even the slightest bit darker, will be seen and labeled as "black", regardless of how s/he self-identifies. And that external label does affect self-perception. No doubt.

    But for me, from my perspective, I just never understood that. I never understood the societal need to label folks, pigeon-hole them, ask "what are you?" What does it get anyone to know that my father is Japanese American and my mother is Croatian American, making me CroAsian American? And why do we only ask that question, in that manner, to people of color? Do we as a society ask the blonde, blue-eyed person in the next office or cubicle "what are you?" Nah. I've never heard it. So does that mean the norm is white? Seems that way. Only when someone's appearance varies from that norm do we ask the question.

    Instead of the dehumanizing "what are you?" question, can we instead express our curiosity in terms such as "does your name have any particular meaning?" -- which, clearly, doesn't necessarily get to the race question (only the ethnicity question), but I don't think that it should. Not at least until you get to know someone better and can have a real conversation about it, out of genuine interest, rather than a cursory smacking of a label on someone. Ya' see, it's a personal question to ask, and yet we do. No one seems to see it as intrusive. But it is.

    Yeah, sore point.


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    Monday morning haiku

    Rain, rain, go away.
    Come again another day...
    when I'm out of town.

    Yup, flying the coop again this week. This time, it's for work, and we're off to sunny Scottsdale for a conference. I only go to one conference a year -- a conference that is, arguably, of only marginal use to my work (there are much more interesting and relevant conferences out there, but I don't get to go to them) -- and this is it. With the other attorney in the office and our division director.


    Still, it will be fun. The division director loves good food, so we've got reservations every night at some really fantastic restaurant. It will kill my per diem and hurt generally. Ya' see, the division director is an SES, and the other attorney is a 15, high step (at least above a 5). I'm not. They both make more than twice what I make, so these meals are relatively twice as expensive for me. Oh well. I'll still enjoy the food. It's only once a year.

    Most importantly, I'm excited to be out of the office for most of the week. Yay!

    And it probably won't be raining in Scottsdale.

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    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    Scooter's add-ons...

    Scooter posted a mighty meme over at his blog. Not only did he answer the meme below, but he provided context through a narrative. Wow, that's a freakin' long post.

    He must be really bored. (Scooter, hope Eryn and PTW come home soon!)

    He also added the following questions to make this an even uber-er long meme (of which, the second question was CLEARLY directed at ah-hem, me...thanks!):

    (x) Biked at least 100 miles in a day [I'm checking this because even though I haven't biked 100 miles a day, I have done a century ride on a mountain bike. I did the 100 km version but since it was on a mountain bike, I was pushing a lotta extra rubber on the road.]
    (X) Turned 40 [yes, thanks, earlier this month -- but I still look younger than you, Scooter! :)]
    (X) Forged a signature on something [my dad's name on release slips for absences in high school; my mom's signature is waaaay too neat and consistent to forge (even my mom says so).]


    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Because a meme is better than no post at all.

    Snagged from Zuska, with my own additions...

    In my life, I have ….

    (X) smoked a cigarette

    (X) crashed a car

    (X) got drunk with a good friend

    ( ) stolen a car
    (?) been in love

    (X) been dumped

    (X) shoplifted
    ( ) been fired

    (X) been in a fist fight [does it count if it's just with my brothers?]
    ( ) snuck out of my parent’s house
    ( ) been arrested

    ( ) gone on a blind date

    (X!) skipped school

    ( ) seen someone die

    (X) been to Canada

    (X) been to Mexico

    (X) been on a plane

    ( ) purposely set a part of myself on fire
    (X!) eaten Sushi

    (X) been skiing
    ( ) been moshing at a concert

    (X) taken painkillers

    (X) love someone or miss someone right now

    (X) lay on my back and watched cloud shapes go by

    (X) made a snow angel

    (X) flown a kite

    (X) built a sand castle

    (X) gone puddle jumping

    (X) played dress up

    (X) jumped into a pile of leaves

    (X) gone sledding

    ( ) cheated while playing a game

    (X) been lonely

    (X) fallen asleep at work/school

    (X) used a fake id

    (X) watched the sun set

    (X) felt an earthquake

    (X) touched a snake

    (X) slept beneath the stars

    (X) been tickled

    ( ) been robbed
 [not robbed but burgled, yes – since I now know the legal difference]
    (X!) been misunderstood

    (X) pet a goat
    (?) won a contest

    (X) run a red light

    ( ) been suspended from school

    (X) been in a car accident
    ( ) had braces

    (X!) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
 [try in one sitting]
    (X) had deja vu

    (X) danced in the moonlight

    (X) liked the way I look

    ( ) witnessed a crime

    (X) questioned my heart

    ( ) been obsessed with post-it notes

    (X) squished barefoot through the mud

    (X) been lost

    (X) been to the opposite side of the country

    (X) swum in the ocean

    ( ) felt like dying

    (X) cried myself to sleep

    (X) played cops and robbers

    ( ) recently colored with crayons

    (X) sung karaoke
 [not a pleasant experience for anyone in the vicinity]
    ( ) paid for a meal with only coins

    (X) done something I told myself I wouldn’t

    (X!) made prank phone calls

    (X) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of my nose
 [chocolate milk, of course]
    (X) caught a snowflake on my tongue

    (X) danced in the rain

    ( ) written a letter to Santa Claus

    (X) been kissed under a mistletoe

    ( ) watched the sun rise with someone I care about

    (X) blown bubbles

    (X) made a bonfire on the beach

    ( ) crashed a party

    (X) gone roller-skating

    (X) had a wish come true

    (X) worn pearls

    ( ) jumped off a bridge

    ( ) ate dog/cat food

    ( ) told a complete stranger I loved them

    ( ) kissed a mirror

    ( ) sung in the shower

    (X) had a dream that I married someone

    (X) glued my hand to something

    ( ) got my tongue stuck to a flag pole

    ( ) kissed a fish

    (X) sat on a roof top

    (X) screamed at the top of my lungs

    ( ) done a one-handed cartwheel

    (X) talked on the phone for more than 6 hours

    (X!) stayed up all night

    ( ) didn’t take a shower for a week

    (X) picked and ate an apple right off the tree

    (X) climbed a tree

    (X) had a tree house

    ( ) been scared to watch scary movies alone

    ( ) believe in ghosts

    (X!!!) have more then 30 pairs of shoes

    ( ) worn a really ugly outfit to school just to see what others say

    ( ) gone streaking

    (X) gone doorbell ditching

    ( ) played chicken

    (X) jumped into a pool/hot tub/lake with all my clothes on

    (X) been told I’m hot by a complete stranger

    ( ) broken a bone

    (X) been easily amused

    ( ) caught a fish then ate it

    (X) caught a butterfly

    (X) laughed so hard I cried

    ( ) cried so hard I laughed

    (X) cheated on a test
    ( ) owned a Britney Spears CD

    (X) forgotten someone’s name

    (X) French-braided someone’s hair

    ( ) gone skinny dipping in a pool

    ( ) been threatened to be kicked out of my house

    ( ) been kicked out my house

    (X) had a fantasy over someone I love as a good friend

    (X) sun-tanned naked

    ( ) ran naked in the rain

    to which, I am adding…

    (X) crossed the Equator
    (X) lied to someone I loved
    (X) lied to myself
    ( ) bought new clothes rather than do the laundry
    (X) left dirty dishes in the sink until they started to smell/mold
    (X) hidden dirty dishes under my bed
    (X) had ice cream for breakfast
    (X) called in sick when I wasn't
    (X) snooped into my roommate’s/friend’s stuff
    (X) kept a diary
    (X) filled out a credit card application just because I wanted the freebie they were giving away
    (X) learned a foreign language
    (X) gone without shaving (face, legs, whatever) for more than a month [hey, it’s winter!]
    (X) had surgery [if having my wisdom teeth extracted counts; otherwise, no]
    ( ) dated someone more than ten years older/younger than I am
    (X) driven in a foreign country
    (X) slept-in past 2:00 pm
    (X) faked an important something to get off a phone call or out of a date
    (X) pierced my own body part

    What say you?



    I finally, finally switched my car registration to Maryland from DC. I went online to the MD motor vehicle administration (MVA) website to find out just what documents, etc. I'd need for the switcheroo. And let me tell you, that website was damned confusing. I went through law school and passed the bar -- which means I've had to read some really BAD writing and complicated documents -- but I couldn't figure out for certain if I needed to get my car inspected to register it.

    Turns out I didn't, but I did anyway.

    That is, to cover all bases, SM took the car in for an inspection. The last thing I wanted to do was arrive at the MVA sans everything I needed. The car, a lovely 1988 Toyota Corolla, failed the inspection. We were not surprised -- not because the car is in crappy shape (it isn't) but because, duh, it's 20 years old (five more years and I can register it as an historic car!). We had to get something like $1600 worth of work on it. Things like a new front axle. Who needs that? Cars have two. Isn't one extra? Two new wheels. Fix the driver's side window which didn't roll down properly. Brakes and other trivial pieces of equipment as that. But, the place fixed it up very nicely and quickly (and it does drive much better now), and off I went to the MVA this morning.

    And here's what was weird... when I went to listen to the radio on the drive to the MVA this morning, several pre-set buttons were fixed to what seemed to be Christian rock or other "inspirational" stations.

    Yeah, it soooo wasn't me.

    What happened to my classic rock and NPR?

    I can only assume that when the garage was working on the car, they had to disconnect the battery at some point. That's reasonable. Then when they plugged it back in and were working on other stuff, maybe they wanted to listen to some tunes. Also reasonable. And that's when my radio was despoiled. At least three of the six buttons were set to stations that, well, are of no interest to me.

    Oh well.

    I managed to correct one of them for the drive back and will have to fix the others later.

    And it turned out that since my car had previously been registered in MD and gone through inspection then, I didn't need to have it inspected again (never mind that the first inspection was in 1994). But I'm glad I did it because it caught things like, um, a bad axle, two bad wheels and other not-so-fun stuff.

    Happily also, the visit to the MVA was almost entirely a painless process. I got my new tags, a duplicate title (from the first registration) and now we're all officially back in Merry-land!


    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    The Pudge Report -- now where was I?


    I'm back from Spain and Portugal where we ate anything and everything we wanted and walked all over the place. The results? I gained one pound. Now I'm -28.5 lbs. That seems to be a stasis point for my body. Gotta work to get beyond that, but right now, I'm thrilled 'cuz that's a good number considering all of the bread, chocolate, pastries, butter and so on and so on that I ate over the past week.

    But now I'm back -- back to reality and my routine.

    And it feels good to be home, even if we left the place a huge mess.

    Posts on the trip when I have a chance to catch up with the past week.


    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Clearly, Gidget is our daughter.

    Just like SM and I, Gidget jones for the joe. Every time we inadvertently leave our coffee cups on the table, she drinks whatever is left. The first time she did it, it scared the crap outta me because caffeine is a big no-no for dogs. It makes them sick and can even kill them in high doses. Fortunately, because SM and I also enjoy the hot stuff, we don't usually leave too too much left. But she lurves herself some java. Slurps it up noisily whenever provided the opportunity.

    Which I find odd because coffee is such an acquired taste. I don't take mine with any kind of sweetener, and yet, she loves it just the same.

    Weird dog.

    Weird, hyperactive, caffeine-spiked dog.


    Thinking about packing...

    We confirmed that our reservations were confirmed. Now I'm doing some laundry to make sure we have ample choices for our trip.

    Ya' see, this is a different kind of travelling for me. I'm used to backpacking, travelling light, moving around quite a bit and staying at hostels and the like. This time we're parking ourselves at a hotel for three nights and moving to a second hotel for three nights. And we'll only be in the city. So that means we'll need to be a bit dressier -- it is Europe, after all -- and certainly dressier than my usual backpacking attire. And six days is just long enough not to do laundry. Which means we'll be carrying just as much as if we were travelling for two weeks or two months.

    And I won't be wearing my engagement ring. Just not gonna take the chance. Now, that will feel weird. Maybe I'll wear another ring just so my finger doesn't feel nekid.


    43 and 44 for 40

    As part of my big 4-0 birthday, we're taking a quick vacay. Tomorrow night, we're off to Lisbon and Madrid for a week, three days in each city. Looks like we won't have to bring sunscreen but will definitely need our umbrellas. But at least it won't be cold.

    Yay! Yay because I'm looking forward to getting some time off work. Yay because I've never been to either city. Yay because I'll be adding two countries to my list (currently at 42). Yay because I won't be here to do my weekly weigh-in and can avoid the reality of the repercussions of my indulgence of the past week.

    We've done nothing to prepare for this trip, other than get the tickets and accommodations. We'll need to pack tonight and take our bags with us to work. We also need to drop Gidget off with my sister. This is the longest we have ever left her. I wonder who will have more separation anxiety?

    Well, we'll certainly get over it... drinking local wine, eating the cuisine, shopping, sightseeing, shopping, and so on. We are only taking a week, so three days in each city is just about perfect to have the chance to do a few things without feeling like we have to try to do everything.

    Hopefully I'll be able to post from Europe.

    Oooh, I'm starting to get excited!


    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Someone please educate me.

    I just read this post by Jami. I don't know if the story is true, but the words couldn't be more true.

    Someone please educate me as to what the heck "the gay agenda" is supposed to be? Is being gay like having a "to do" list with items to check off as they are accomplished? Is being gay like running a meeting with topics that need to be addressed and resolved? Is being gay like some kind of political movement with aspirations of goals to implement? Call me ign'ant, but I fail to see how being gay has anything to do with an agenda.

    Or is "the gay agenda" just a term invented by hatemongers who seek to vilify people they have branded as being undeserving of the most basic human compassion in order to further their own intolerant agenda?


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    Career option?

    Snagged from E. McPan, who in turn snagged it from Denise...

    bedroom toys

    (I think it's my bra size that did it.)


    I'm still alive

    Just had training much of the week. And spent a lotta down time at work adding items to our wedding registry, rather than blogging. It sounds like it should be fun, but it's a lot of work.

    Yeah, poor me.

    I added a number of things to the registry, but it's still quite paltry. There's definitely not enough on there to give our guests any variety of choice. So SM and I will go to the mall to look for stuff to add to the registry. I think that will actually be fun. Like shopping but no bills!


    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    The Pudge Report


    Again -29.5#.

    Phew, relief! With the way I've been eating (celebrating and mourning), well, I expected some really bad news. This isn't bad news.

    Here's hoping I survive the rest of the month without too much diet damage!

    Out again with friends tonight.
    Dinner with dad tomorrow.
    Book club Thursday.
    Party Saturday.
    Off to Europe on Tuesday.
    Oh my!

    (And for the record, because I can't help editorializing, Eliot Spitzer is an idiot. How dumb -- or arrogant that you don't think you'll get caught -- do you have to be to torpedo your career like that? Stoopid. So much for his aspirations. With this, they're obviously now cut short. He's just left being an ass.)

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    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Monday morning haiku

    Ack! What time is it?
    Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!
    I hate being late!

    Damned metro screwed me up again. Thank goodness that I have some above-ground time during my commute, which allowed me to make the call to let them know that, I swear, this time, it wasn't my fault!


    Sunday, March 09, 2008

    I wuz robbed!**

    Ya' know, it's that "spring forward, fall back thing" that's got me bent outta shape.

    You see, today is my birthday. (Yay!)

    Today we also lost an hour because of daylight savings time. (Boo!)

    Ordinarily, losing an hour is rough enough because it means I get less sleep, but this year, it also means that my birthday will only be 23 hours long.

    And that's just not right.

    I blame President Bush. He's done all sorts of nasty stuff to this country, but this is personal! I mean, how mean do you have to be to rob someone of part of her birthday???

    Double boo, hiss!

    So, I've decided to just keep on celebrating until there is no more celebrating to be done. I have dinner tonight with my mom; tomorrow is with SM. Tuesday is friends. Wednesday is my dad and stepmother... (and yeah, the diet is out the window this month, but all for a good reason).

    And, BTW, I'm forty. The big 4-0. Even though I've sorta, kinda known this was coming for the past 40 years, it was still kinda shocking to get a birthday card that said 4-0 on the front.

    Is there anyway to take the birthdays without the aging?

    **In the past, I would have said "gypped" but I recently came to understand that this term is derived from "gypsy" and less than flattering views of them (being cheaters, dishonest, etc.). So, nope. No more. Recognizing the power that words have, I am trying to eliminate any from my vocabulary that are based on outdated notions (e.g., "old wives' tale") or possible sexist origins (e.g., "rule of thumb") or stereotypes such as this.


    Friday, March 07, 2008

    Off to NH

    SM's grandmother passed away suddenly on Tuesday. She was in good health, albeit suffering dementia. She slipped and fell in the bathroom and hit her head.

    We're going up for the wake and funeral.

    We'll be back on Saturday night.

    Not much more to add. I guess I'm just really (selfishly) glad that I went up at Christmas to meet SM's family; otherwise, this would be the first time I would have met them.


    Thursday, March 06, 2008

    Just for kicks...

    At first, I thought this was spam. But it turned out to be a message from a seller for an item I bought on eBay.

    Not your usual invoice/"please pay" message. Definitely quirky.
    Congratulations on winning my eBay Auction.

    I have sent an invoice to you but I want to give you some additional info to help with your shipment ...

    Please indulge me for rambling on a bit..:-)

    ALL payments are to be submitted in US Funds

    I prefer PAYPAL but I will accept Money Orders..


    We no longer accept Money Orders from WALLY'S DELI & LUMBER ....

    It's a long story..:-)

    If getting a Money Order from the Post Office ...please make sure it is a PINK INTERNATIONAL one..

    Green Money Orders are not accepted in Canada so..please repeat after me..



    If you are sending a Money Order PLEASE... make it clear what your payment is for...If you just send me a Money order with no information included.....



    We will accept well hidden cash but.. just know....you send it at YOUR own risk..

    Be aware..

    your well hidden Cash COULD ...make the day of an unscrupulous Postal Worker...if you catch my drift..:-)

    I am located in British Columbia,Canada.

    Your item will be shipped promptly and carefully packed upon receipt of your payment. We ship 4 days a week...

    Most items take 10-15 days to get to the US from BC (To Europe it takes usually 12-15 days)

    Please remember that items shipped to the US and Europe need to clear Customs so that can occasionally result in a longer delivery time. Most of my feedbacks report fast shipping but please be aware that delays can occur with International shipping...

    Those who are used to Priority USA shipping, please note that not only does Canada Post offer MUCH slower shipping than their US counterparts but it is also one of the most expensive Postal Outlets in the World..


    Don't blame me..


    We will gladly hand deliver your item to you..


    so.. Hand delivery is an attractive option...

    all we ask is... you pay MOST of my airfare AND ...allow me to stay at your home.....just for a week....I don't eat much...:-)

    We appreciate feedback..We give out our feedbacks once per month in a mass FEEDBACK orgy..yes..I DID type....FEEDBACK ORGY..:-)

    so..you will eventually get your feedback and we appreciate yours..


    Most of my bidders are responsible and pay promptly and I thank you for that but ....there is a segment of Deadbeat bidders on eBay these days.

    To deal with this growing reality I have hired a Collection Agency to deal with these wayward souls..

    GUIDO'S COLLECTION AGENCY is proficient at convincing people to pay..

    Click on the link to see their Photo...

    You REALLY don't want to recieve a visit from them......

    They haven't had their shots yet..:-)

    thanks for bidding

    email me for any further questions: [deleted]

    click on the link to see...GUIDO'S COLLECTION AGENCY

    Here is one more fun link I found..if you are an eBay fanatic..THIS should make you smile..

    and....last but not least..just one minute of fun..


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    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    The Pudge Report


    Back to -29#s, which is down .5 pounds since last week... which is excellent news because this past week was HORRIBLE for me.

    Let's see...

    Ate out for lunch and dinner on Wednesday.
    Ate out for lunch on Friday.
    Had a birthday celebration on Saturday (with ice cream cake).
    Ate out for dinner on Sunday.
    Ate out for lunch (birthday celebration with cupcakes) and dinner yesterday.

    There may be more that I am forgetting.

    This week, I have a dinner thing on Thursday, a birthday thing on Friday and another birthday thing on Monday night. There will probably be lunches out in there too. And then, next week the food keeps on coming. Then we're off to Europe for a week.

    March is gonna be really tough for me, worse than the holiday season.

    So -half a pound is very good, all things considered. I gotta, gotta exercise. The warmer weather will eliminate one excuse. Now I just need to get off my ass and do it.

    Heh, fat chance?

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    Monday, March 03, 2008

    To invite or not to invite

    Kids, that is. To your wedding. That's the question explored by this NYT article.

    Our answer is that we are NOT inviting the children of in-town friends, unless we have a personal relationship with the children themselves. We are, however, inviting the kids of out-of-town friends and family (as well as in-town kiddie relatives). We will be providing a babysitter in a separate room, with a DVD player and distracting stuff. There's also a jungle gym outside and putt-putt golf. Once we figure out how many kids will be coming, we'll decide how many babysitters we'll need. It will probably be either zero or at least two.

    I also deliberately mail merged the RSVP cards to have the names of those invited on it with a total number (e.g., SS and SM, a party of 2, respond....). Hopefully that will cut down on the number of write-in responses.


    I guess I'll see!

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    Monday morning haiku

    No more easy days.
    Gotta get to work on time.
    Boss is back today.

    Yeah, I had very "flexible" mornings for the past two weeks because the boss was on vacation. But she's back today. Not only is vacation over for her, but also for the rest of the office. 'Cuz she's that kind of boss.

    Ah, well.

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    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    Family firsts

    I didn't know any of this until a (second or third) cousin emailed this...

    My great uncle by marriage on my father's side -- my grandmother older sister's husband -- is a "first" in sports history. His name was Kenso Nushida, and he was the first Japanese American to play professional baseball in the United States (keeping in mind that Hawai`i wasn't part of the US until 1959).

    Okay, yes, it was certainly the minor leagues, the farm teams... but it was also 1932.

    Pretty cool.

    Here's a picture of him.

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