Friday, May 28, 2010


The adage is do-unto-others-as-you-have-them-do-unto-you (actually, it is "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them", Matthew 7:12, but I can't quote that right off the top of my head).

And I do struggle to incorporate this in even dire, possibly life-changing situations - such as letting someone else merge into your lane while you are idling and sitting perfectly still in a massive traffic jam.

This evening, I took my daughter's car for an extended drive into the Hawaiian sunset for one pure and simple reason - to use up the gas in the tank.

Shipping automobiles is a regular concern for military families when you are stationed overseas - such as Hawaii (yes, I know it's a state, but both Alaska & Hawaii are both considered 'overseas' tours by the military). 

 And before they will take your car on-board, you must have less than a quarter tank of gasoline - safety reasons.

My son-in-law was willing to simply let the engine run until it got to the prescribed limit -- I figured it was better to go for a long drive.

And he was right.

Hawaiians, known for their aloha spirit, graceful manners and easy temperament turn into ogres at rush-hour. It may be in part because there is only one highway to get from Honolulu to any place eastward (H1), and only two ways to the windward side of the island (H3 or around Diamond Head).

And when the choice is between being polite and giving up your position in line by a few meters, it gets fairly nasty.

As if letting ONE car get ahead of you will make a more than nano-second change in the time you arrive home to watch television for the rest of the evening... when you have a DVR and are already recording anything you really want to see.

It got pretty nasty out there tonight.

But now, at least, there is very, very, VERY little gasoline left in the car.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela

Last night we watched "Invictus" on the pay-per-view channel. I had seen the previews when the movie was still in theaters, love Morgan Freeman (especially when he plays God), and even had on hand a rugby enthuiastic (my son-in-law) to translate for me.

"Invictus" is not a movie about the Rugby World Cup in 1995 South Africa - it's a movie about the incredible Nelson Mandela.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-- William Ernest Henley

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


McDonald's marketing department, bless their tiny little souls, have made certain services an essential part of American culture:

- Vaguely warm piles of processed... well, processed something, liberally drowned in stale condiments, which we can gulp down before we reach the next traffic light

- Slices of healthy vegetables  fried and salted completely beyond recognition

- Huge ice-crammed cheap sodas in flimsy containers which threaten to collapse into themselves and form a unique black hole in the middle console of your Toyota.

- Drive-thrus (and Sierra Vista. Arizona was the location of the VERY FIRST ONE, I would like to note, for Mickey-Dee's) where you can order unhealthy and fattening food items without even having to work off a grand total of 14 calories by getting your butt out of the car and walking ten feet to the counter of the 'restaurant.'

- And indoor playgrounds, made of plastic tubing, slides, ramps and plastic matting.

The greatest impact of this last item would be in regions of cold long dark winter days (did you know the first shopping mall was in Kalamazoo, Michigan?), where playgrounds were inaccessible for five months and house-bound moms were ready to murder any small loud child - places like Kalamazoo - Milwaukee - Buffalo, New York.

But to be able to purchase the afore-mentioned warm, unwholesome 
foods and then turn your children loose on an enclosed area (which someone was actually PAID to design specifically for your offspring to injure themselves) while you could drink coffee and talk to your neighbours... pure heaven.

It does seem ludicrous here in paradise- you can get fresh and HOT food on almost any street corner, the weather is perfect 362 days of the year, there are parks everywhere.

But the McDonald's I and Kate stepped into late this morning had a bathroom (when a three year-old tells you she needs to "GO POTTY RIGHT NOW", you find one IMMEDIATELY), and it had one of those huge indoor playgrounds.

So I bought a newspaper (since I don't drink coffee), and sat down to watch Kate play with probably seven other kids on the varying levels, slides and climbing bars.

It was sorta fun.

And then the Pearl Harbor Holy Family School Pre-School Class, all 38 screaming, crying and low-blood-sugar-before-lunch two and three year-olds, poured in.

When the decibel level hit 125, I grabbed Kate and we left.

Sometimes I am grateful I already have permanent hearing loss.


Numerology puts meaning with certain numbers, combinations, and/or sequence.

And don't we all?

13 is lucky for me - I was born on it.

6 and 12 are good numbers - I guess just because they are friendly.

7 and 9 are mean - I mean,  just look at them!

I like 21 because it is so lonely.

I was so excited to find our granddaughter, just like me, will wait and watch for a digital clock to go from 5:51 to 5:55. And we only like sequences like that - 1:23 or such mean nothing.

This entire post began because yesterday I posted my 666th blog entry.

And I don't believe it is the "sign of the beast" or satanic - it's just some buddies hanging out together under the streetlight.

So are there any numbers that mean something to you? And why didn't they explain what the numbers in "Lost" signified in the very last show?!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"Thanks!" I shouted, as the gracefully soaring airplane turned and smashed into the concrete.

Do you have days that are filled with unbelievable sweetness and light, and then crashes into despair, splattering your heart across counties?

Or perhaps I just need to get my medications monitored.

It began today with spending a joyous hour with my granddaughter, going through and touching, smelling and playing with almost every single toy on the shelves of the local Target.

Times which I try to engrave on my heart.

It hit rock bottom when my grandson asked what my favorite grade in school had been.

I try very much to not dwell on unpleasant memories - and so many of my grade school years seem to have been filled with those.

It may be that I am leaving in just another nine days.

And it may be because I'm going home in another nine days.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I learned a while back that irritation is, like almost all human emotional responses, completely subjective.

What may annoy you one time - say, the sound of a screen door slamming - can be a completely joyous occasion the next time you hear it - when a part of your heart walks back into your life.

It's up to you.

Although it has taken most of my life, I am finding joy in almost all things nowadays. I will admit some times it is only after taking several deep breaths, counting to 5... or 10... or once in a very great while, to 134,288 - but it will come.

If I let it.

So next time something gets under your skin - a comment, a noise, a sight - let it go. Don't let it control what you are feeling. Remain where you want to be (hopefully happy, peaceful and content).

Happiness is a decision.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


"(Life) isn’t about saying the right thing; life is about failing. It’s about letting the tape play.” --Jonathan Goldstein

I am a big fan of http://thechocolatechip, and responded to her post this evening about letting the tape play. I think she was asking more about actual music, but it prompted this response from me:

I am a firm firm believer of letting the tape run. I've extremely grateful that I learned a long long time again that it's gonna happen, whatever it is, regardless of how much worry and pain and sleepless nights you put yourself through.

Do what you can, then just sit back, allow it to happen, and most importantly, ACKNOWLEDGE that it happened.

Accepting reality is what holds us back.

It helped this evening to hear myself say that again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


My granddaughter began singing a song today that she had learned at preschool ("He's Got The Whole Word In His Hands"), and was astonished when I began to sing it with her right away.

My grandson has been learning pick-up lines at age 6 - his favorite one is "Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice!"

My daughter is an aggressive driver - wait, I think "aggressive" is too soft a description. She learned to drive on the East Coast, and is the one who always needs to be in front, will not allow anyone to pass her, and is always the first one in line anywhere. -- And today I (unfortunately) followed her example and forced my way into a McDonald's drive-thru. (It also helped that I was driving her Ford Explorer, which is roughly the same size as M1 Abrams Army tank).

Kate can scream without taking a breath for nine seconds. Time it yourself and try it - I can't do it. (And did you know that the Hawaiian word 'haole' also means "no breath"?)

The cat has discovered that if he threatens to poop on the carpet, I will race and clean his litter box. Another fine example of human training, and how good felines are at it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Why is it SSSOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier to be nice/ compassionate/ helpful to complete strangers but not your own family?

Because you know that your brother/aunt/nephew has 1) gotten themselves into this scrape through actions of their own, 2) numerous times before been in the exact same situation, and/or 3) actually deserved the emergency disaster they are in.

My husband today has cheerful and willingly spent literally HOURS helping the daughter of one of his sergeants (who is currently in Germany) cut through the military-health care-through-a-civilian-hospital for emergency stitches on her hand, and also told the previously mentioned sergeant to come home immediately if necessary and not to worry about completing the inspection she was over there to do.

But now our actual/biological daughter's apartment is up for an actual inspection by the manager's of her complex, and it's difficult to get up any enthusiasm after literally years of "if-you-don't-keep-this-apartment-clean-you-are-going-to-get-kicked-out", purchasing cleaning supplies for her, about every six months breaking down and at least cleaning off her kitchen counters (which are buried under piles of pizza boxes, microwave dinner boxes, and discarded newspapers).

Have you ever wondered if the Good Samaritan helped this particular guy because this dude wasn't related to him?

It is much more pleasant to help almost anyone else in the world rather than someone you are related to.

(Of course, unless they live in Hawaii - then it is pure charity)

Monday, May 17, 2010


One of the signs of aging is sight becoming weaker. 

And right now my eyesight is the equivalent of the 99 lb. weakling getting sand kicked in his face.

I can see - I still can drive - I can read regular print... if I have my reading glasses and regular daylight and not too much distraction when I come to big words.

But a little farther away, moving blobs on the horizon transform into trucks thundering down the highway straight at me... or sometimes rain clouds instead.

What appear to be wind-swept leaves transform into small birds.

Street signs are only readable when you come to a complete and sudden stop, ignoring the screech of brakes behind you and the outpouring of profanity from the six cars piled up behind you.

Smiling at an approaching familiar face can turn into a look of sheer panic when the face slowly solidifies into that of a complete stranger wearing similar colors. How can you politely retract a smile without appearing to be mentally handicapped?

I feel like the high school student who passes every class... with a C minus.


We are all performers in one way or another.

We show our sunny side at community gatherings, church, and while watching our children perform at school plays.

We look thoughtful and interested when someone is speaking to us and we need to pretend we are listening with some degree of concern and attention.

We complain and commiserate when with our friends, and share a small section of our hearts as they share with us.

And we only cry in our closets and pillows late at night when no one can hear us.

And most individuals seem to have a deep-rooted fear of appearing foolish in front of large groups of people.

However, I seem to have been born without that particular gene.

I can (and did) perform a very silly combination of karate, karaoke and kick-boxing this very morning on a public beach on the windward side of Oahu.

I also today attempted to disable an "official use only" divider on a major freeway in Hawaii to be able to make a completely illegal u-turn - and was chastised over the loudspeaker by someone monitoring the tunnel we were trying to get out of entering.

And I am teaching next Sunday to a group of adults whom I have never met.

I might be more concerned about appearing the fool - but tell me, why?