i happen to be a refugee blogger from vox and i work in a building with lots and lots of books and lots and lots of noisy young people--it's just about the best job you'll find anywhere. random likes: bargains, apple pie, peach pie, vanilla ice cream, sunny days, air conditioning, caffeine free diet pepsi, the ocean, new york city, pancakes, romantic comedies, dogs, days off when everyone else has to work, gerber daisies, camping, the sale rack at the gap, pizza, netflix, carnival food, orange chicken, burgers, nieces, nephews, travel, things chinese, croutons, swimming, talking to myself in the shower, e-mail, the internet, family, target, laughing, good friends, laughing with good friends, laughing at good friends, and most of all the Significant Other ...
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.”
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?
I 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
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.
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!!!
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 …
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.
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…