on love-hate retail relationships …

Don Quijote HawaiiI have this weird love-hate relationship with the Don Quijote stores in Hawaii. I find myself wandering the aisles of Don Quijote on Kaheka St. surprisingly frequently.  I mean, where else can do one-stop shopping to find:

  • a set of Sony RF wireless headphones so your mom can hear her TV in the nursing home
  • a reusable lunch bag
  • a golden-dewlicious hybrid melon
  • one of those kitchen towels your mom used to wipe the counters down
  • Pic-brand roach killing boric-acid
  • tonkatsu sauce
  • THE ABSOLUTE BEST CUSTARD PIE IN HAWAII

There was a time a long, long time ago when I would have said, “Longs Drugs,” but now that Longs Drugs in Hawaii are really CVS stores in disguise, they are mere shadows of their former one-stop shopping retail glory.

I LOVE that about Don Quijote. The weird thing, though, and the thing I seem to hate about the place is that it is the most ODDLY organized store in the history of retail stores.  You have to just wander around until you find the things you need because if there IS some organizing principle about how products in Don Quijote are organized, I don’t get it.

LOL!

A few things to know:

  • Their custard pie has been my favorite for years, but last week somebody forgot to set a timer and every single one on display in the case was burnt so let the buyer beware!
  • Everybody’s elderly mom, dad, and calabash uncles and aunties also shop at Don Quijote and, you know, they’re all getting up there in years so the parking lot is SUPER DANGEROUS. Watch out!
  • Tuesdays are Senior Discount days–10% off! DON’T GO HERE ON TUESDAYS!!!

on your loss …

'Storm clouds over Highway 97 near Valentine, Nebraska' photo (c) 2013, Diana Robinson - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Have you ever noticed that when things happen in life that make your friends and family say, “Well, it’s their loss …” that those are the times when it really feels the most like you’re the loser?  Yeah, that happened …

And, “It’s not you, its me …” That, too …

 

on t-shirts that need to be made …

So … Apparently, some people that I work with (well … one person) feel that my vision of educational technology is too, “pie in the sky …” whatever the hell that means.  To you, I say:

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tshirt1aYeah you can suck it, dumbass! You’re lame and I have to be polite to you so all I can do is write in this blog … But it does make me feel better.

LOL!

on why government matters by senator elizabeth warren …

Yes! Thank you, once again, Senator Warren!

on civic duty …

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Let’s just say it, “I hate jury duty!!!”

So many things I’d rather be doing than sitting here, but … What choice do we have, right? If we want our system to function, then we all have to pitch in a little bit. The thing that bums me out the most is that I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 12 years and this is the THIRD time I’ve been called for jury duty!!! Either, there is A LOT. Of crime in LA, or there are an awful lot of jury duty scofflaws that aren’t getting busted by the system and I’m one if the suckers making up the difference. Other than that big hiccup, I find that doing my civic duty isn’t all that painful. Thank goodness, though, that the court now provides wifi access in the jury assembly room!!!

Most people don’t want to be here, but I do have to say that it is nice to see 250 other Americans showing up and patiently waiting out the day to do their civic duty. With just a very few exceptions, people are pleasant and try to make the best of the situation.

I know that it is fashionable to bag on civil service employees, but I can truly say that the clerks running this assembly room do a really admirable job. I’ve watched them calmly diffuse angry folk in the jury pool who are outraged that they cannot be dismissed to live their lives that are so much more important than the rest of ours; I’ve watched them compassionately lay out options available to tearful potential jurors who cannot make ends meet should they lose the income of workdays missed due to jury service ($15.00 a day really doesn’t make up a day’s wages); I’ve watched them firmly shut down the obnoxious attorney broadcasting his anger at having do his civic responsibility in a horrendously loud cell phone conversation; and I’ve watched them very firmly inform people that showed up too late that they would have to reschedule their jury service for another week because … THEY WERE TWO HOURS LATE!!!

Our courts, though, really do need some more money to keep me going. My jury assembly room is on the eleventh floor of the court building downtown. There are ten or twelve elevators, but at least four of them are out of order. When everyone got dismissed for lunch, the wait for elevators was so long that a good chunk of us decided to walk down eleven flights of stairs rather than wait. That’s not a good thing! It was a little surreal walking down eleven flights of stairs in a huge continuos stream of jurors from all different floors heading out to lunch at the same time. We reached the bottom and found out that it was a dead end (kind of a bad plan for N emergency exit … How about a sign, guys?) only to have to back up and clog up the exit door on the second floor.

All in all, though, it is what it is. If I have to serve, I have to serve. I have a copy of my flight info showing that I will be flying out of LA on June 12th. As long as a judge is cool with me leaving on that day, I’m cool with it.

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to passive-aggressive people i say …

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on best friends forever …

2 Mom Dad Bern Donald

Dad, Mom, Auntie Bernadette, and Uncle Donald

My 87-year old mom took a fall backward and got a bad bump on the back of her head. She suffered a pretty serious subdural hematoma, but thankfully she has stabilized and seems to be back on the (long) road to recovery.  She had been out painting the town red with her best friend, my “Auntie” Bern (in Hawaii, your parents’ friends are all “Auntie” and “Uncle”). They were returning home from a friend’s birthday party when my mom took her tumble in her driveway.

In the hospital, I heard details of their friendship that were new to me that need to be written down. Mom and Auntie Bern became acquaintances in the seventh grade at Stephenson Intermediate School (one of Honolulu’s old time schools) where they were in Stephenson’s first graduating class!!! They remained acquaintances through high school and through their first two years at the University of Hawaii. As sophomores, they independently decided to pursue occupational therapy degrees and together decided to attend OT school at Milwaukee Downer Women’s College.

In their day there was no such thing as a “college tour” so the two if them crossed the Pacific to San Francisco on a convoy ship at the end of WWII. They shared a cabin, but on the crossing only women and children had cabins and any men making the crossing slept up on the deck in makeshift bunk beds enclosed by canvas tenting. Because they had better accommodations and fare than the guys, mom and Auntie would order extra food and slide it under the canvas wall to the guys. Their waiters, apparently, wondered constantly how in the world those two Chinese girls were able to pack all that food away!!!

WWII ended while they were mid-crossing so when they arrived in San Francisco, it was in shambles from the celebration. They hopped a train for the three day train trip to Chicago. Upon arrival in Chicago, they ran into another acquaintance from Hawaii who was heading to Milwaukee Downer for OT school. This acquaintance, my “Auntie” Mabel, turned out to be their third roommate at Downer.

As travel was costly, there were no trips home for Thanksgivings or Winter or Spring breaks. In fact there were no trips home until they all graduated two years later so it was there that what would become their lifelong bond would more fully take shape.

My earliest memories of Auntie Bern, Auntie Mabel, along with Auntie Nitta were if them all working as OTs together at Leahi Hospital. I remember, as a young kid, going to the beach for “OT picnics” on Friday evenings.  My “cousins” and I would swim until sunset then we’d eat dinner around a hibachi grill.

75 years later, they’re still together. Caring for each other. Looking out for each other. My Auntie Bern has been at my mom’s bedside everyday since mom’s fall. They’re closer than sisters and it makes me cry to see them together.

More than anything, I’m grateful that mom has had such wonderful friends. My Auntie recently told me, “We’ve been best friends for over 75 years.”

They’ve given me a new understanding of the phrase best friends forever.

We should all be so lucky to have just one BFF like my Auntie Bern in our lives…