About Me

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California born by a Cuban mother, married to a Japanese man, and have lived in Japan since 2004, minus one year living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have friends and family in many places in the world. I dreamed of traveling to many distant lands, creating music and dancing to it, meeting interesting people, and discovering treasures in the most unlikely of places.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

La Trampa - A beginning translation

I have decided to begin the translation of my grandfather's greatest work, the novel "La Trampa", or "The Trap". The novel consist of 461 dense pages of Spanish literature, his life autobiography until he was encarcerated. This includes the years during the rebellion in Cuba, the fall of Batista and the rise of Fidel Castro. The Bay of Pigs. His debauchery and use of women. His love of his country and family. His escape in the night from death. Days of starvation on a raft. I do not know how good I will be at this, but it is something that I have thought of doing for years, and now is as good as ever to start. If you are interested in seeing pictures of him or his paintings, look him up on the internet.

"LA TRAMPA" by Manuel Penabaz. Zoom Publishing, Miami 1983. Library of Congress Card No. 83-50033.

Youth is for making history,
old age for telling it, and childhood for listening to it.

This book is dedicated to the memory of my father, Manuel Penabaz Solorzano, and to my son, Manuel Ranulfo.

My dear Manolo,
I received your letter. Thank you for remembering me. I am very surprised at your rapid conviction. Not because I think you are innocent, but after looking into a street full of criminals, it is difficult to comprehend the velocity with which they took your case. I do not understand it.
Of course I will aid you in what you request.
As for the book, having analyzed it, I reccommend the following. Write the truth. Write it all, fall who falls. Do not attempt to justify yourself and do not embellish anything. Do not write literature, because you know nothing of that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Windblown Seed

A log set to drift...
An insect in a typhoon...
A seed carried to another land...

Sets root
as only it can
and it can only
survive in another land
where its leaves might grow strangely
or its flowers face another hill
against a sun
from another angle

But it sets root
into the earth
by destiny
Set out to live
and blessings
as only can be seen
from this angle

Grow little seed
into that sun
into that mountain
It is the same air
the same sun
and the same Earth
in perspective

Monday, June 21, 2010


My husband took me to one of Kyushu's amusement parks, Mitsui Greenland during spring break. This is a picture of the place next door, Ultraman Land.
I thought I would talk about some of the things that are poplular in Japan today. The boys love Ultraman. They also love another show that reminds me of Power Rangers, called KamenRider. The stars are insect or crustacean heroes and villains. The third fanaticism is with insects, especially large beetles. I wrote about them last year in this blog. My husband says that the children consider these insects heroes also.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The wave is going up

Life has those ebbs and flows... this time the wave is going up.

We have been going to look at the fireflies at night. They are sooo beautiful. They fly toward the car in a sparce wave, and then when we turn off the lights, they fly away, startled perhaps. They are so numerous, and the mountains are so steep that they are like a curtain of tiny soft lights, moving across the nightscape. The fireflies will only last until the big rain, Tsuyu, when it rains nonstop for a month.

We got our bathing suits in the mail today. Now we can go swimming at the pool. Ordering things online is much cheaper.

We are watching "The SOund of Music". It is a lovely movie, not at all boring or cheesy. I think it is a real piece of art. My father, Norbert, was born in Austria. It really gives a lovely view of the landscape and some traditions.