on the Easter jailbreak of 2015…

Mom and Mr. Lum. Easter 2015.

My mom, who now lives in a nursing home, wanted to go to church for Easter services so we planned for me to pick her up to go to the service which started at 9:00AM. When I pulled up to the facility, 15 Craigside, the parking lot was bustling and one of the parking lot attendants said, “Your mom is down here looking for you.” They wheeled mom out and she got in my car. The thing is that we usually park, sign in at the front desk in the lobby, go upstairs to the nursing floor, sign in as a visitor, sign my mom out for the trip, then reverse all of it before doing the transfer into the car. Mom being downstairs, therefore, was a bit unusual…

Mom, though, said, “I told them I was meeting you and I took my meds so we can go.” Hint: If you have a parent 89 years or older, when they tell you stuff that seems a little out of the ordinary, you should employ #Side-Eye.

We got to the church and mom was the belle of the ball. People greeted her warmly and the service was beautiful. After the service, we gathered in the meeting room for hospitality hour during which I got a text from my sister:

Yep, my mom broke herself out of the nursing home!

Long story short, we had a really great morning. Mom had a really good time seeing old friends. When we got back to 15 Craigside, every staff member greeted her jokingly as, “Holoholo Lady” and I had to apologize profusely and hang my head in shame a little. I’ll never really know for sure whether mom just got a little confused or whether she just wanted to assert some independence. I am a little suspicious that Holoholo Lady knew exactly what she was doing because when we returned, she was wearing her slightly sly smile. In fact, the more that I think about it, I’m convinced that she saw that there was a lot of activity in the facility, lots of residents and guest we’re going in and out of the nursing floor. There was an opportunity so she took it–Home Alone, style!!! LOL!

In the end, it was all worth it. Every day is an adventure to be lived!!!

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

on ribbon jello awe…

Ribbon Jello!

I have recently been inspired to attempt to recreate the joys of 1970s era jello desserts. I’m talking orange jello with mandarin oranges stirred in. Nothing remotely close to the ultra-advanced ribbon jello dessert of our youth because I am paying homage, not engaging in an act of hubris.

I worked with a wonderful woman, Mrs. Ruth Chock, who was the music teacher at the elementary school where I worked. Ruth was famous for her ribbon jello. Always even. Always perfect. The thing is, that Ruth was one of the most precise and exacting people I’ve ever met. A friend and I once got the keys to her room and as a practical joke, went in and changed a handful of the files in her filing cabinet around. She BUSTED us within a day! She was exacting, but also a really good sport.

Anyway, Ruth once told me that to get her ribbon jello perfect, she counted the number of spaces in on the metal rack of her refrigerator because she knew the precise spot was where her refrigerator was exactly level so that each layer of jello and cream came out EXACTLY even.

Ruth has since passed, but I will always remember her and her ribbon jello with fondness and gratitude.

Here’s to you, Ruth!

Addendum: So, the instructions on the box of orange jello indicate that putting canned pineapple, kiwis, or other fruit into the jello is fine. Fresh pineapple or kiwis, however, will prevent the jello from setting. What’s up with that? Anyone know?

on toes and food…

It’s not much of a secret among people that I know, that one of my absolute favorite shows over the past few years has been The Middle.  One of The Middle’s most memorable plots was an episode that involved the mom’s consumption of toenails. LOL! That’s right! Toenails…

Well, while I didn’t eat toenails I have eaten toe spacer butter. See, my mom, like many Chinese mom’s wasn’t exactly a touchy, feely, huggy, “Oh I love you so much because you are my golden child” kind of mom. My mom showed her love for others and us through food. Food is love.

Now, even though my mom now lives in a nursing facility, she still finds ways to send her love through food. With every meal, mom gets foil wrapped pats of butter. She dutifully collects her pats of butter and compiles them in Ziploc baggies that she gifts to us regularly. “We paid for it so take this home…” Well, my husband, who now does all of the cooking graciously unwraps the pats of butter and cooks with it. This week, we got to the bottom of the baggie and this is what I found…

Hard to see, but yeah, those are toe spacers and a nail clipper...LOL!

Hard to see, but yeah, those are toe spacers and a nail clipper imparting extra flavor to my butter…LOL!

It’s a little hard to see, but we’ve been eating toe spacer and toenail clipper enhanced butter for the last three weeks or so! Don’t get me wrong everything was still delicious, but I just might check the baggies before I bring them home from 15 Craigside from now on!

I have to admit, it is still is nice to be able to get just a little bit of food that is love from my mom…

on curation: the frozen thread …

The post that started it all (at least I think it’s the one that started it all).

Then the people that have to one up the first couple by actually singing:

Then there is the smartass genre of which, these two are standouts:

And because I’m not ALWAYS a jaded cynic, there this totally awesome legit version:

Ultimately though, let’s face it. I’m pretty sure that this would be the closest version to my reality. LOL!

on WTF?


So … Services are SO efficient these days!

Yay! Self-checkout at the store! Woohoo! (But really, I’m doing what someone used to do for me…Thanks for jack crap!).


I need to register the car I shipped from CA to HI in Hawaii. To get a registration, I need a safety check, but to get a safety check, I need a registration. So I have to go to a station, fail a safety check, take the failed paperwork to a City Hall, get a registration, then GO BACK to the station to get a sticker. Have IT ppl in Hawaii never heard of databases?


Now Oceanic Time Warner Cable (the ever LOVELY AT&T) can’t seem to figure out how to change a California billing address to a Honolulu address WHERE THE SERVICE IS ACTUALLY DELIVERED. Go to Oceanic office where nice woman clicks away at a computer and “takes care of it” but doesn’t. Bill still goes to LA. Go online. Before ever going down to the Oceanic Office, I had done address change online in the profile>billing address field so it had already been changed under “Billing Address” in the profile. Bill still goes to LA. Call. Wait on hold. On hold. On hold. On hold. Lady gets error message. She’ll call me back after she talks to supervisor. Calls me back. She can’t fix it. I need to talk to “bulk department.”

Lady: “Can I transfer you to the bulk department?”
Me: “Yes, please.”
Lady: “They’re closed because it’s Saturday.”
Me (sighing): Is there a case number that I should refer to when I call them back?”
Lady: “No, you just call us back and we’ll transfer you.”

I ask again:


on living for the weekend and Sunday evening dread …

When I was a kid, the six o’clock news used to come on, on Sunday nights. The KGMB news used to have this jingle that went, “One of the good things about Hawaii is KGMB…”

I hated that jingle!  I didn’t hate it because it was horrible or anything, but remember hating the fact that I almost always got a stomach ache when that jingle came on, on Sundays because it meant that the weekend was over and that I’d have to go to school the next day. Going to school the next day was almost always made worse because more often than not I had lied to my mom about having finished all of my homework for Monday which meant a lot of desperate scrambling between my 7:15 drop off at school and the first bell at 8:10.

Anyway, I don’t usually have homework anymore and I actually have a job that I very much enjoy, but I still get that sad feeling of dread on Sunday evenings.  It got me thinking, tonight, about why it is that I dread the end of my weekends. What is it about my weekends that I love so very much? Well, this weekend, I took my mom out for lunch at Highway Inn (highly recommended, but not if you are one of the many, many people in Hawaii doing the Purium 10-day Transformation cleanse); I had dinner with my mom and brother’s family tongiht; and in between, I watched 11 episodes of season 1 of ABC’s Revenge on Netflix.

As you can probably guess, I’m not exactly the most “active” guy ever. My friend Anna recently stated, “The sloth is my spirit animal.” You know, I think I’d have to concur. The sloth is my spirit animal, too … and that is why I dread Sunday evenings.

Yeah … This is pretty much me on every weekend.

How much longer until I can retire and have six Saturdays and a Sunday?

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

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.


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!!!