A Princess Dream Come True

Our court from 1991. I am second from left on the bottom row. This was taken about a month before our Nisei Week Pageant and Queen selection.

Over two decades ago, my first seemingly dreamy and unattainable goal was to be involved in a yearly Japanese-American festival in Los Angeles known as Nisei Week, which was established back in 1934.  Aside from a period of seven years between 1942 and 1948, during which World War II raged and carried a solid and jarring impact on the Japanese-American community, the Nisei Week festival has continued to run throughout the decades.

As a child, I remember seeing the Nisei Week Queen and court each year, and it became a dream of mine to be selected as a court member when I got older. However, I got sidetracked by life and didn’t bother to enter the  competition for the local queen selection until the year I turned 25.  I was stunned when I was chosen as the Queen of my community center (the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, or SFVJACC) for that year.

Once I was selected, I spent the next three months in regular meetings with the queens from the other eight participating communities, meetings in which we would practice all the routines for the beauty pageant which would mark the beginning of that year’s Nisei Week. We competed in that pageant for over 1,000 audience members in a 3 hour event, and though I didn’t win the Nisei Week Queen title, I was happy with being a Nisei Week Princess. We rode on floats, visited businesses, and fostered good will throughout the Japanese-American community.

August 16, 2015: Nisei Week Queen and Court on the float of Nisei Week Japanese Festival Parade at Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles.

When we were on stage, on parade floats, and on visitations, we would wear our sashes, a definite marker which identified us all as queen and court.  On some occasions, we would wear our crowns, and were either clad in matching dresses, or in kimono.

Queen?  Princess?  I guess so, at least in pageant terms!

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Don’t Blame Los Angeles

Sometimes you just have to rewrite your list and rid yourself of toxic people.

Within the past year, I have separated myself from the few toxic people in my life who used me for their personal gain. One by one, several fair-weather friends had become so opportunistic, jaded, and filled with an exaggerated sense of self entitlement, that it was sheer torture to be around any of them.

It blows my mind that a couple of these people have chosen to act “Hollywood” recently, prompting their expulsion from my life. That’s definitely not cool, especially if you aren’t from Hollywood! I was actually BORN in Hollywood and spent the first five months of my life there, then my mom moved to the suburbs of Los Angeles. It turns out that none of the people I have chosen to push out of my life are originally from Southern California.

I’m not prejudiced against people who aren’t from L.A., but I am not joking when I say that every single Los Angeles native I know is incredibly humble and genuine. We L.A. natives just get a bad rap because of all the transplants who come here seeking fame and fortune, and who become bitter when their dreams don’t come true.

For those of you who are not from Los Angeles, who want to blame the city because you didn’t find your golden ticket there, I strongly suggest you go back to wherever you came from. Quit blaming the city for your failures. Instead, look at your life choices and the possible reasons why things didn’t work out.

I will always support my true friends, in whatever endeavor they choose. However, I will not put up with being used, and then cast aside in preference for the “bigger, better deal”. I have news for those of you who are in the habit of doing such a thing. Before long, you will very likely be cast into the dump pile for the exact reason, most likely by someone with power and influence who can see through your ulterior motives.

Kybella For Double Chins

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Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is an exciting treatment from Allergan for reduction of excess fat under the chin. The treatment is performed in series, in an average of two to four treatment sessions. Results are permanent.
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If you are in the Los Angeles area and are interested in a Kybella treatment, please contact me at stacey@staceynaito.com for pricing and to schedule a consultation.

Come See Me At The SWAT Fuel Booth At The L.A. Fit Expo This Weekend!

SWAT Fuel

It is always an honor to represent SWAT Fuel! Come visit me at their booth this weekend at the Los Angeles Fit Expo. I’ll be there all day Saturday and Sunday, handing out samples of 9mm Plus P which is a fantastic thermogenic/energy formula/pre-workout formula. We will also have full size products for sale.

For any of you who are interested in signed 8×10’s, I will have those on hand as well. To see the selection I have available, please check out this link: http://www.cutcurves.com/stuff-to-buy.html

See you this weekend!

Come By And Say Hello This Weekend At The L.A. Fit Expo!

Fit Expo 2016

If you live in Los Angeles, or will be in town this weekend, you should check out The Fit Expo Los Angeles! I will be working at the Muscle and Performance/Oxygen/Black Belt/The Box booth (Booth number 722) on both days. Please come by to say hi, get free magazines, and get signed magazines and photos from me and the other incredible athletes who will be at the booth as well!

The Submarines Biography Is So Interesting!

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I enjoy the musical arrangements and vocals which characterize songs by indie pop group The Submarines, but I had no idea how interesting their biography was!

The Submarines consist of John Dragonetti (aka Jack Drag) and Blake Hazard, who met in Boston and began to collaborate musically and romantically. Dragonetti produced Hazard’s debut solo album, Little Airplane, in 2002, from which point they began playing and performing with each other’s bands. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved west to Los Angeles, but their relationship ended in late 2004. The breakup turned out to be magical for their respective songwriting, however, and since Hazard was still recording at Dragonetti’s studio, the two began sharing the songs they had written about their breakup. This collaboration also rekindled their romance and the two got back together, recorded the breakup songs, and ultimately married. Their 2006 album Declare a New State! was mastered by a friend as a wedding present. As a reflection of better times, their 2008 release Honeysuckle Weeks featured much happier songs.

What’s Up With L.A. Weather?

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Los Angeles is known for its great weather, but those of us who have lived here for many years are well acquainted with the quirks and inconsistencies in the weather patterns. I was born and raised in L.A. and have lived here for the majority of my life, and know first-hand that there are a few cold nights during the winter in which the temperature drops to the upper 20’s Fahrenheit where I currently live. Generally speaking, though, those of us who live in Los Angeles are usually blessed with pretty nice weather most of the time. We often get sunny days with moderate temperatures, and the oppressive humidity which our East Coast beach fantasy counterpart, i.e. Florida, must deal with around this time of the year doesn’t hit us until August and September. No wonder people think we are spoiled with good weather in Los Angeles, because we are.

However, an odd pattern has emerged with the weather lately, in which one week will be blazing hot, reaching temperatures in the high-80’s to mid-90’s, only to be followed by overcast skies and much cooler weather (low to mid-60’s) and the threat of rain the following week. It has become next to impossible to determine how to dress for the day when such fluctuations assert themselves. As an example, last week was so hot that I wore tank tops the entire week, but this week I am bundled up in a warm sweater and leggings. According to the extended weather forecast, things will warm up again next week, with temperatures rising into the 80’s once more. I wouldn’t mind so much if the weather fluctuated from warm to a bit chilly, which would be appropriate for the spring months, but the summer heat has made its appearance far too often this season. Basically, we toggle back and forth on a weekly basis from spring weather to summer weather, and April showers seem to have largely eluded us. When the mercury drops and rain clouds hover over the southland, many of us hope for rain so that the state of California can find some relief from the severe drought it is in, but we just get the overcast skies and perhaps a light drizzle. It is such a tease!