7/31/11

Caption Time!

I like pictures because they can be worth many maany maaany words. Most of those words are from our own opinions, analysis and interpretations of the pictures' contents.
This is going to be a new - and regular - feature in my blog  called "Caption Time" in which I will post a picture and attach my own caption(s). Most of the pictures - at least the first ones - will be of Samoa but I will also try to include others. Captions will be mostly humorous and good-natured and are not meant to be derisive. (Hey, let’s laugh at ourselves sometimes. It’s healthy!) You can create and assign your own caption too and then laugh quietly to yourself ... LOL!  After all, laughter is said to be the best medicine.

Ok, here’s the first two ...


Husband (calls to tourist taking the picture): "One moah phonograf pleese ... foa my jurren ing Niu Sila"

Wife: "Aooo e le ose phonograf sole ... o le photograph, 'aia lou vale!"

Husband:  "Sigiva, ku’u ku’u aku le maile lea la’a u mai lo’u magava."

 "Oi kafefeee .... miiisi akoa, so’u faakope aku ma a’u kipoki omoomo ia, ua maka’i mai a’u e keige lae... Aauoooishaa! ... ka ma ae i nei tipoti iila ae ma’omo’omo!"

Teine (with black bag): Kama, seki a kipoki a ka’ua, ... o fai sau sefe?

Tama: E leai sau feau ... o kipoki a leisi fafige la e faakali mai ole ...

7/21/11

Utahns and The Movies

Utah has garnered the reputation as the happiest, the fittest and healthiest state in three separate surveys in the recent past. It has also become the leader in another category - Moviegoing.

This has been true especially in most major movie premieres. Just last weekend The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 enjoyed its highest box office sales in the Beehive state.

As reported in one local paper:

Warner Brothers Distribution says three theater complexes in Utah led the nation in the box office for overnight screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opened at midnight across the country.

According to Warner Brothers, Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons in Sandy, The District in South Jordan, and The Gateway in Salt Lake City were the #1, #2, and #3 theatres for opening night box office of the last installment in the Harry Potter film.... The three Megaplex locations took in $158,000, $121,488, $110,933, respectively overnight.
Wow!...that's a lot of money for each single theater - in one night!  So are Utahns obsessive moviegoers or is that a reflection of some of their idiosyncracies? Could it be the LDS culture? I think so. Mormons, to outsiders, are viewed as different and peculiar and are therefore reputed as socially atypical mainly due to their teetotal and abstemious lifestyle.  In jest, mostly, Mormon fun and partying are associated with jello, orange juice and milk. (In defense of "Mormon fun", however, does fun really have to include alcohol and drug-induced euphoria?)

Moviegoing is a big part of Mormon fun, hence many Utahns love the movies and other fun activities that don't involve being doped and inebriated.

Ms. Rowling and Hollywood should keep sending their non R-rated movies to the state and those Utahns will go see them. Between a bar and a movie theater, the Utahns have an easy choice. It reminds me of one bumper sticker I saw in California that read: "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may be in Utah."  Yes, because in Utah, they eat jello, drink orange juice and milk (with chocolate chip cookies ...yumm!) and then go ................................... TO THE MOVIES!!

Vini and Tapaga Revisited

Again, these two seascape features in my village have inspired the expression "Ua feagai Vini ma Tapaga" (Vini and Tapaga face - or are opposite - each other) and is often used in traditional oratory (re: Motuga'afa page). This expression has been around for as long as I can remember while growing up in Samoa; it was also used in many simulations of traditional oratory during my Samoan Culture classes at Samoa College.

But in recent years, a newer contravening version of the expression emerged - "E le feagai Vini ma Tapaga." with emphasis on "le" meaning "not" (Vini and Tapaga do NOT face each other).  As a result, the two expressions contradict, negate and nullify each other. It may not be a matter of right and wrong as much as the flagrant ambiguity and confusion created by the "newer" opposing version. Though the two expressions may and can still be used intelligibly by seasoned orators, with the contexts as the main discerning references, to most people they can still be confusing and ambiguous, if not blatantly adversarial.

Apparently, it's the nuance of the word "feagai" that is being juggled and equivocated.
First, "feagai" as in "face to face", denoting the context of relativeness in socio-political rank and status, and second, "feagai/faafeagai" in the context of opposite physical location and proximity.

I've seen the explanation of the contravening version by a Samoan orator in which he claims that an aerial view of the two - especially Vini - confirms that Vini "faces" away from Cape Tapaga, hence "E le feagai Vini ma Tapaga."  This interpretation and syntax may be correct based on a literal and physical configuration, however, they can also be viewed as mere speculation and imposed guesswork. Who determines which side is the front/face and which is the back side of Vini? Therefore, the forced interpretation of a literal "face to face" is subjective and is a relative proposition. The more absolute reference, on the other hand, is that the landforms lie across and opposite (feagai/faafeagai) from each other and not necessarily face each other. It is this opposite positioning of the two - if not not face to face - that should have precedence.

Ground level view of Vini and Tapaga both "facing" - and across from - each other.
This is more the view upon which the expression is based.
But the ground level view, as in this picture, which places Tapaga and Vini directly opposite (feagai) and "facing" each other that is more immediate and intuitive than the detached and subjective aerial view.

Lastly, the newer expression has a negative, provocative and vitriolic tone compared to the more civil and gracious feel of the original one (Ua/E feagai Vini ma Tapaga); which is also indicative of the respectful nature of the Faa-Samoa.

So use "Ua feagai Vini ma Tapaga" - and not "E le feagai Vini ma Tapaga." ‘cause if you do use the latter and not quite know how, when and where to use it, you can get in trouble; e uma ifo ua pepe le ‘ie o ka'ua.

7/7/11

The Faleo'o

Pic 1: A faleo'o in Samoa
This post is dedicated especially to those who now live outside Samoa but were born, raised and spent some years of their lives in the islands.

If you often reminisce and yearn for a touch and feel of Samoa that is more penetrating and soothingly real, then you need a faleo'o. A faleo'o - for those unfamiliar with it - is a small open hut that is often stilted. It does not have to be on stilts, but every Samoan's idea of a typical faleo'o is a stilted one. It's more genuine and indigenous for a faleo'o to have a raised floor, hence one cannot picture a faleo'o without including someone seated with dangling feet, enjoying the cool tropical breeze.

Pic 2
 Several years ago, after our house (pic 2) was built, I decided to build a faleo'o in the backyard. I knew how the weather in the Rockies was not suited or ideal for a faleo'o - at least during winter months. But when the hot dry summer months arrive, the faleo'o becomes a much needed haven and retreat. Better still, the cool summer evenings in the faleo'o bring back memories and chimerical feel of Samoa. Dearie and I would sit - feet dangled over the pebble-fringed edging or leaning against a post with feet outstretched - and talk about the fun times in Samoa, especially from a "faleo'o perspective".   For some obvious reasons, I still prefer the faleo'o to a modern house.

The unique structural plan and pattern of the faleo'o - outside of Samoa - invite and imbibe a distinctive aspect of Samoan life that can be felt and fancied. Try sitting in a similar structure like a gazebo and the same feeling escapes any sojourner and expatriate.

Pic 3:  Our faleo'o in America
Our children have come to appreciate the faleo'o though they have not fully grasped its role and significance in Samoa's everyday life. The grandchildren too use it as a playhouse and as a home theater for the summer nights, as in this past July 4th weekend (pic 3).

Personally, I believe that having a meal of strictly Samoan foods (taro, palusami, etc.), and/or wearing a lavalava are less authentic and less representative of Samoan life than sitting in a faleo'o. But consider this, if you wear a lavalava and sit down to a meal of taro, palusami and other Samoan foods in a faleo'o, then your immediate setting is a slice and transplant right out of the islands ... makua seki a kakou. I must admit that I have done that on several occasions here in my American backyard, and we also play cards (suipi, lami, etc.) and hang out late into the night in the faleo'o. You can't help but feel the native connection and island similarities in such a simple structure.

We look forward to the summer months so we can spend time in the faleo'o. And believe me when I say that it's quite a therapeutic and relaxing experience which also restores much of my sanity. Again, it's in the faleo'o where, amazingly, we can quickly connect with beautiful and enchanting Samoa. Even during an occasional summer downpour, we enjoy more the sound of it on the roof and on the pebbles outside. And the words of the song immediately come to mind:

Se funa e, sau ia sou leo lea ua ta fia faalogo
Mapu maia i o'u vae ma lo'u fale lea suga o le faleo'o
E malu lona ea, a timu fo'i e te fia faalogo
Ma lau sogi tasi mai la'u pele ona uma ai lea.

If you want to have a semblance of Samoa at your place that's inspiring and convincingly alluring, making you feel like you're in Samoa, a faleo'o is an ideal construct - pun intended ....LOL!!

7/2/11

My NewStand

1. Ok, mark (no pun intended) this name: Mark Halperin
Occupation (or maybe previous occupation):   MSNBC senior political commentator
Status: Suspended
Reason: Called President Obama a [bleep]! - No, it's not the "n" word.

Here's an excerpt from The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) version of the news:

"Mark Halperin was suspended indefinitely on Thursday, after casually tarring President Obama with … well, let's call it an epithet that polite company uses only as a nickname for Richard."

First: Sorry readers, the publication is not "Science Monitor" - but "Christian Science Monitor" - otherwise they would have printed the actual anatomical term. It's only a "christian" thing to do I guess. (Btw other news sources like HuffPost printed the actual term.)

Second: CSM will not print the term which does not offend a PARTICULAR person, but they would rather print something that would offend a real person - nickname for RICHARD! ...yes, all the 20 million people named "Richard" in the world. Now that's a real "christian" thing to do.  hehee

Third: CSM calls it "...an epithet that polite company uses ..." So the term can be used in a polite context and setting, aye? So why suspend the guy? I'm sure MSNBC is a polite "company" ... and in CSM's case, why not print it "politely" then? ... Or who knows, maybe on the President's real birth certificate his real name is Richard.   hahaha
Wait, but I thought MSNBC was pro Obama? I guess that with the bad economy now, even the President's friends are starting to see their boomerang coming back and so now they're all screaming: "Duck!" (yes, pun intended) ...lol

2.  Now this next news item involves a Real Duck! ...hehee
His name is Noibi - a Nigerian who traveled from NY to LA using an expired boarding pass, and the pass was not even his!! He was arrested by the FBI and released - yes, released!! And that's not the end. He again tried to board a flight from LA to Atlanta on yet another expired boarding pass - again not his. And that wasn't all. The FBI again arrested him and found that he had 10 other boarding passes on him - all expired and all NOT HIS! ...
Where and how in the world does he get all these passes? Shall we blame the TSA and the airlines boarding/gate staff for the breaches? ...though the guy himself should be called an
"expired boarding [p]ass"   They say it's the body odor (the so-called "expired odor"?  Lol) that also drew the people's attention to the guy.

3.  Scorpion- not snakes - on the plane
A guy on an Alaska Airlines flight was bitten by a scorpion. Yep, a scorpion which did not  have a boarding pass!! I guess the biggest relief for the Airline is when they found out it was a real scorpion - and not an explosive or a terrorist in a scorpion suit, or a real scorpion with a bomb attached to it.  Come to think of it, the scorpion was on the wrong flight, it should have been on the stinky flier's flight and in his particular seat.  Ia fai aku ai fo'i!

4.  On the political front, Michele - no, not Obama's wife - but Michele Bachmann the rising candidate in the GOP field for 2012. She boldly revealed during one of her campaign stops that she had a miscarriage. And some pundits are lauding this as an effective political gambit to connect with the people! Reeeaaally? Adding salt to the wound, one writer said that imagine other GOP candidates doing the same thing - will it be effective? Oh yeeeaaaah? ... then Romney, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Huntsman,... please go ahead and reveal your own miscarriages! ..Duuhh!  Or is that why Obama won because he was able to connect with/to the voters by revealing his smoking dope?  It makes sense ...'cause with the terrible state the country is in now, those same voters are now saying this "We must have been on dope or something ...!"  when referring to their vote in 2008 for Obama.  They are certainly able to connect! I think it's a new political trend by candidates to win votes - let's call it  CONnetting!

5. And the Pope made history by sending out a historic tweet using an Apple iPad.  I wonder if he feels omnipresent  now with his tweeting ..hahaha.  And wouldn't it be nice if the Pope had an app on his iPad to respond automatically to tweeted confessions ...even better, call the iPad app "uBad". ...lol!

6. And finally this receipt  left at an ATM after a withdrawal in NY. A picture is worth a thousand words. Feel free to wonder about things like, $99 million in a savings account?? (whose interest rates suck) or why the owner needed $400 cash at 10 o'clock at night? ..hmmmm... In-and-Out burger stop maybe?... yeaaariiight!
If you're like me, I don't care about those things, I just wished that's the balance on my savings receipt ....or I'll start rationalizing ...like "money is not everything" .. ..ooohh Shudddd Up LV!!! ..  Hahahaaa ....

 
Well, have a good weekend everyone, and a good long weekend and a fun Fourth, for those of us in
O-bum-a-land!!