Monthly Archives: May 2013

Hawai’i: Day five

this year is the 12th.  I also spoke at the 5th.

this year is the 12th. I also spoke at the 5th.

Today was the first day of the Hawai’i International Conference, where I’ll be speaking soon, and which was my impetus for coming over here at all.  Boyfriend and I had breakfast (the rest of the eggs with tobasco and the last of the toast with honey), then drove across the island to the hotel where the conference is being held in Waikiki.  I attended a couple of talks: the first was on the sexual attitudes of university students (but turned out to be about Filipino students in the Philippines, and not pertinent to my interests), and the second was about race-based marketing (but was really just a presentation about a case study that proved the obvious: black people are more likely to pay attention to advertising aimed toward black people).  I checked out a poster session after that which was surprisingly poorly attended, but had some interesting stuff about the relationships between shapes and language with young children, and the relationship between gangs and religiosity (no correlation, even though being religious should keep one from becoming violent, right?).

/drool

/drool

Boyfriend was super hungry after that (he hung out by the hotel pool while I was busy), and found an amazing udon place called Marukame Udon not half a mile away that makes its noodles fresh (and in full view of their customers).  The line was long but moved super quickly.  You get to watch them make the noodles, then they put them in a bowl with the broth you order (hot or cold), then you get to choose whatever tempura you want and oh my fucking god they all look amazing.  I wanted them all.  Boyfriend got a cold ontama udon with one shrimp tempura, and I got curry udon with pumpkin tempura (of course).  Delicious.

boyfriend sang the theme for Jurassic Park as I drove

boyfriend sang the theme for Jurassic Park as I drove

We didn’t have time to go to the zoo like we wanted to afterward, so we headed back home and got caught in some Los Angeles-grade freeway traffic.  So brutal.  We jumped off and took streets to the 61 to get home, which took us through a really beautiful stretch of land that looked mysterious and awesome with all the mist hanging around the tops of the mountains.  We came out of a tunnel to see some deep green in low-hanging clouds.  Just gorgeous.

pictured: not a centipede

pictured: not a centipede

We took a short swim in the ocean for a bit, took a shower, dressed and were about to leave when we noticed we had a visitor on the window: a baby gecko.  I explained to Boyfriend the first time we spotted a baby gecko in the cottage that they’re good to have in the house because they eat bugs.  The second gecko we saw in the cottage, however, was a full-sized gecko, which was only a problem because the previous day, during a walk with Nancy and Bella, we came upon a dead centipede.  Centipedes are disgusting and horrifying and they fucking bite, so no thank you.  Naturally, I mistook the harmless gecko scuttling across the wall of the kitchen for a centipede and blurted out “OH SHIT!  OH SHIT!  OH SHIT!” before realizing my mistake.  Boyfriend almost had a heart attack because, as he put it, “You never freak out about anything, so when you said that I thought there must be a dead guy hanging by the ceiling in the kitchen or something.”  Sorry, Boyfriend.

Anyway, we headed over to the house to say goodbye to whomever was over there, chatted with uncle Bobby for a while (and gave Bella some love since she had been bitten on the snout by some fucking Labrador earlier today) before heading back across the island to Aiea to eat dinner at a sushi place called Kuru Kuru Sushi.  It was Boyfriend’s and my first time at a sushi place with a rotating conveyor belt, and it was so tasty.  I expect all conveyor belt sushi to be a little gross, but this one did not disappoint.  It was recommended by my cousin when Sister came out here with her new boyfriend last year.

Boyfriend has had a runny nose all day long, so we got him some Benadryl.  I sang him a song in the car that made him laugh: Gonna go get some yummy drugs for my boyfriend… Yummy yummy yum, drugs drugs drugs.


Hawai’i: Day four

sonofabitch

sonofabitch

Boyfriend and I made eggs and toast with honey this morning (plus cereal with a banana for me) before heading to the beach to swim around and meet up with Nancy and Bella.  The water was gorgeous, not as choppy as the previous days.  But I got stung by a man-o-war!  I even saw the one that did it, the bastard.  It hurt like hell, but I didn’t get out of the water or even bitch that much (I’m so brave).

After we showered and changed, we went on a day-trip to Haleiwa on the north-western end of the island with uncle Bobby.  He was amazed at the number and strength of the waterfalls all over the mountain range we passed through.  We decided it must be raining really hard at the top of the mountains, passed through a long tunnel, and came out the other side to be met with a torrential downpour.  We almost drove with the top down, and would have if not for all the sun I’ve already gotten.  That would have been great, driving in all that rain.

the Ko'olau mountain range with loads of waterfalls

the Ko’olau mountain range with loads of waterfalls

matsumotoWe went to a cafe in Haleiwa, then got shave ice at Matsumoto’s.  We stood around the parking lot outside the shop staring at chickens while Boyfriend and I split a shave ice with lilikoi and strawberry flavors (with ice cream and azuki beans) while Bobby devoured his (papaya, mango, pineapple flavors with ice cream) at breakneck speed.  Apparently he has a serious sweet tooth.

one of the several hibiscus near the cottage

one of the several hibiscus near the cottage

The drive there and back was long, but we had a fun time.  I harassed him to wear his seat belt by tapping his face with a hat until he put it on.  I told him about how, when he was growing up, some girl told his friend’s younger brother Ray Fox that he had pretty eyes.  Ray didn’t like that much, so he took a swing at her face, which was a big mistake since this girl was amazing, and ducked in time to avoid the punch.  Ray hit the wall behind her instead and broke his wrist.  We had a good laugh about that today.

I went on a walk with Nancy and Bella when we got back, then watched an episode of The Protectors, a Danish cop drama she’s hooked on right now.  Boyfriend and I used some of the special salt we got at the farmer’s market earlier on some ground beef, and I grilled up some burgers for dinner (they were delicious).  Nancy made a rice and bean salad and corn.  We had some red wine to go with it, what a feast.


Hawai’i: Day three

this guy was hanging out on the cottage stairs this morning

this guy was hanging out on the cottage stairs this morning

Today we woke up around 8 and made eggs and toast with some honey from the big island that Nancy was nice enough to give us, and took it over to the house to eat with her and Bobby.  Nancy made an amazing mango, papaya, banana fruit salad, which is saying something considering the fact that I hate fruit salad.  We decided to go on a hike today, and almost went on one recommended by Sister, but were diverted by Nancy’s recommendation to do the Pillbox hike right up the hill.  We walked all the way to the turnoff of the main road before we decided we needed water and sunscreen, so Boyfriend went back to the cottage while I went on to Kalapawai Market, and we met back at the base of the trail head.

It was a pretty good hike for us since we’re not very athletic recently, but it was definitely worth it: the view was incredible.

view from below the first pillbox, which was a gunnery station during WWII

view from just below the first pillbox, which was a gunnery station during WWII

wtf is this?

wtf is this?

On our way back home we walked by a tree with some fruit I’d never seen before.  Boyfriend suggested that it might be a guava tree.  I forgot to ask Bobby and Nancy what it was.

Back at the cottage, we changed into our suits and rinsed off at the outside shower to get all the sweat and dust off.  We were starving and wanted to try the “beach burgers” from the Kalapawai market, which Nancy apparently loves so she came with us and bought lunch for us.  We sat and chatted about Cambodian art history and American politics before heading back home with a burger to go for Bobby.

hit the spot

hit the spot

We were going to visit Tutu (grandmother in Hawai’ian), who I haven’t seen since we had a family reunion here over a decade ago.  She’s aged a great deal since then, and Dad thinks she won’t remember me.  Bobby got caught up with work stuff (he’s in real-estate), so we decided to go see her tomorrow morning instead.

With our afternoon freed up, I looked through the other lectures being offered at the social sciences conference I’ll be speaking at, then decided to help Nancy with whatever we could.  She was doing taxes while Bobby took a nap, and asked us to take Bella for a walk.  Nancy recommended that I do what she does: keep Bella on my left side and give her a little yank if she pulls on the leash.  Bella did very well most of the time, and when she pulled too much and ignored my little yanks, I had us stop, told her to sit (which she did immediately, good dog), and just ignored her for a few seconds before rewarding her with affection, and then letting her know we could walk again.  We took her down a couple of paths the beach, but it was crowded and the tide was all the way in, and Bella got overexcited and was a bit intimidated by the water, so we went back to the house the long way to give her a chance to explore and get some exercise.

so good blehhhh

so good blehhhh

Boyfriend and I helped make some salad to go with the AMAZING lamb shanks she made yesterday in a giant red Le Cruset pot in the oven.  We had them with potatoes, it was like a medieval meal, and the meat fell right off the bone.  It might be the best lamb I’ve ever had, so tender and delicious, mmmmm.

Last night after dinner we watched the first episode of Sherlock, and tonight Nancy suggested that we watch a second one.  Boyfriend and I of course said yes, but couldn’t make it through it.  We were totally wiped out from the hike and still had to shower before bed.

Tomorrow we’re taking a day-trip to Haleiwa with Bobby and Nanners, where Bobby says there are shops and shave ice to be had.  We were gonna do that today, but Bobby had to work.  It seems like whenever we make plans, they get put off due to a combination of Bobby’s work and our flexibility, which actually works out great.  I don’t want him to feel pressured to take care of us, and we don’t really care what we do with our time, as long as we’re experiencing island life and getting lots of family time.


Hawai’i: Day two

Nancy is the best, super smart and fun

Nancy is the best, super smart and fun

We woke up today around 8am to the sound of a dog racing around upstairs.  Once the confusion faded, I padded upstairs to find Bella waiting for me; she barked just before I came into view, and gave me an excellent good-morning freak out.  Turns out Bobby had intentionally let her into the cottage, knowing she wouldn’t go downstairs (where the bedrooms are), and figured that would be a good way to wake us up.  Bobby is nothing if not a trouble-maker, so this surprised no one (although he did receive a gentle reprimand from Nancy, bless her heart).

Boyfriend and I went with him and Bella on a walk down to the beach.  His emphysema is slightly better, but he had to stop at the top of the driveway on our way out to catch his breath before we went on, and he kept our pace a bit slow.  It’s so nice to see him and Nancy.  I’m looking forward to seeing loads of them throughout the trip.

Once we got back from the walk, Nancy said, “We have to hurry if we want to get to the farmer’s market!”  We headed out and meandered around the stalls set up in the Lanikai Elementary School parking lot.  The very first stall we encountered had a couple dozen types of salt, which made Boyfriends eyes bug out of his head because I just got him a book called Salted so he’s kind of obsessed with salt right now.  We ended up getting two kinds: Boyfriend wants to use the red one for steak when we get back, and the spicy black one for seafood (I’m thinking salmon).  I got a Belgian waffle with pumpkin spice paste and whipped cream and cinnamon, so fucking good.  Boyfriend got a large breakfast burrito, along with Bobby and Nancy, and we all sat down next to the spot where the musicians had set up (bunch a’ hippies).

salts from Salty Wahine

salts from Salty Wahine

We headed home, and Nancy recommended Waimanalo for a beachy place to relax, and a little restaurant just down the road from the beach, called Home Sweet Waimanalo, for lunch.  The beach was, of course, beautiful.  On the way we saw four wild pigs!  They were black and hairy, and looked big enough to eat, so I pulled over with every intention of grabbing one and stashing it in the car.  Boyfriend thought they were too cute to eat (he’s probably right).  They all ran into the underbrush once we pulled over, and came back out as we left (clever bastards).

The beach wasn’t too crowded, and we had fun getting smashed by waves for a while, then laid out and dried off.  We got fish tacos and a beet salad with hibiscus mint iced tea for lunch, all delicious.  I texted Bobby and Nancy to let them know we were on our way back, and they said not to hurry since Bobby had to deliver some paperwork or some such.  So we stopped by a little Hawai’ian ice cream shop with every intention of getting the Kona coffee flavor, but I had to try their azuki bean ice cream and omfg it was amazing.  It might be some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.  Usually I get accustomed to the flavor and get a little tired of it by the end of the cone, but this one was amazing.

azuki bean ice cream, yum!

azuki bean ice cream, yum!

Then we stopped in a shop next door and I FINALLY found the type of li hing mui-covered stuff I’ve been looking for going on seven or so years now: turns out it was some kind of ginger (I don’t like ginger, I wonder if my taste has changed that much since I had it last).  I haven’t broken the bag open yet for fear that it might actually be awful, and not as good as I remember it (how could it be, though?).  Tomorrow I’ll break into it and we’ll see.

The four of us grabbed dinner at some golf club (totally overpriced, and the waitress was annoying and flirted with Bobby the whole damn time), but the conversation was good.  Boyfriend says he enjoyed watching Nancy and I hating the waitress while Bobby grinned and enjoyed the attention.

We chatted earlier with Nancy about the Danish TV shows she’s been watching on Netflix, and we mentioned Sherlock, the series from the BBC.  When we came back home we all settled in and watched the first episode, which they enjoyed very much.  Bella came in midway through and wanted to play, and made it halfway onto my lap before getting shut down by her folks.  I find her enthusiasm infectious.  It’s gonna be tough to train my future dog properly if all I’ll want to do is play with it and watch it be hilarious.  Bella rolled around on the ground for a while today while Boyfriend and I were on our laptops at the house, waiting to put more time on the roast in the oven.  She looked like she was having an awesome time chewing on some toy and thrashing around, then sprinting back and forth for no reason.  I wish I was a golden retriever sometimes.  This afternoon was one of those times.


Hawai’i: Day one

photo 1 (2)Boyfriend and I are in Hawai’i!  We arrived in Honolulu last night and will spend ten days here.  I’ll be speaking at a social sciences conference next Saturday, June 1st, held at a hotel in Honolulu, but until then, Boyfriend and I are bumming around the island in my uncle’s old Kia.  There’s no air conditioning, the breaks are crap, and the interior reeks of wet dog.  Neat!

Uncle Bobby and his super cool wife Nancy picked up me and Boyfriend from the airport and showed us around their guest house (they call it the cottage, and it’s fucking amazing) where we’re set up to stay for the first five days.  They gave us some eggs, milk, cereal, fruit, and macadamia nuts, so tasty!  This morning we woke up around 715, got dressed and went over to have breakfast with them and their adorable golden retriever puppy, Bella (we’re obviously best friends now).  After cereal with banana, some tasty mango, lychee from a neighbor’s tree, and tea, we discussed our plans for the day.

the leis Nancy gave us when we arrived

the leis Nancy gave us when we arrived

Nancy, Boyfriend and I took a walk with Bella down to Lanikai beach where we walked waist-deep in to the water for a while and threw a stick for Bella.  On the way, we ran into Barbara and her mother, Mrs. Fox.  It was nice to see them.  Barbara’s niece will be moving to LA soon and wants to be part of the industry, so I’ll introduce her to Boyfriend and our friends who will show her the ropes.

After our walk, Boyfriend and I drove into town for malasadas (a family tradition), then got lunch at K and K, then sat on the beach a while to digest.  it was super windy today, so there were a bunch of kite surfers out (Boyfriend and I liked it when they would go up high, then crash down into the water with a splash).  Then we headed back to the cottage to dump our stuff so we could head back down to Lanikai beach to swim around.  The water was really choppy due to the wind, so we got tossed around a good amount.

colors like a cartoon paradise

colors like a cartoon paradise

At one point, Boyfriend said, “Ow!  I think something stung me!”  He said it didn’t hurt much though, so I figured he was hallucinating or something.  Turns out he was definitely stung by a jellyfish, probably a man-o-war, since we saw about a dozen of them floating around today, but neither of us saw what got him.  He has a very faint red dotted line along his right trapezeus that flows down toward his shoulder.  It doesn’t hurt or even itch though, so he’s just excited to have had a new experience.

After we rinsed off and changed, we drove across the island to Shimazu’s for shave ice (Matsumoto is good for tourists, but Shimazu’s is a local favorite).  Even their small size was WAY too big (as big as my head!), but it was pretty tasty.  I called my dad to see how he usually gets it, and ordered one of the same: azuki beans, ice cream, and green milk tea royale.  It looked like an unripe, mishapen, frozen coconut, but tasted pretty good.  Boyfriend got orange and milk tea with mochi cubes.

photo 4

traditional male and female hula

On the way back to the car, boyfriend’s sandals started irritating him, and he had to take them off 😦  So we headed toward our next destination and bought him some $8 sandals that he’s super happy with now.  Then we speed-walked to a spot on the beach where there was a free hula demonstration.  So cool!  Boyfriend and I really liked it.  He particularly liked this one old guy who was amazing, and clearly the instructor for the men, who wore long, royal blue loin cloths that they constantly pulled at to make sure they hid their junk, haha.

Then we walked a couple of blocks to a great hole-in-the-wall sushi place called Hanna no Sato.  Delicious.  After a long drive back across the island, I’m totally pooped (and a bit sunburnt) and ready for bed.

delicious tuna

delicious tuna


Just say no to drama, gurl

wait... we have a kid?

wait… we have a kid?

I work with parents at Office Job, and over the course of the past year they’ve really been misbehaving.  As a direct result, their PTA has been disbanded by order of the school, which will effectively eliminate all the problems and ensure that the parents who really want to focus their efforts on the school and their students will have every chance to do so without all the selfish politicking and unproductive complaints.

You’d think this would chill out Hollywood Coworker, who dealt with a big chunk of the drama.  You’d think she’d be happy and relaxed now that our office can focus our efforts on helping parents feel connected to the university and all the other work we have to do (because dealing with the PTA isn’t even 10% of what we do, much to the surprise of the majority of the PTA).  You’d think she’d be just fucking jazzed about this change, and excited about taking the reins of an organization that has gone badly off-track.

And yet.

She approaches my desk at least once a week since the disbanding and says something like, “I just have this really bad feeling that there is plotting going on behind the scenes, in the shadows, y’know?”  “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the problem people.”  “I just know the drama isn’t over.”

And I just look at her like:

Wash knows what's up

Wash knows what’s up

Because come on.  Seriously?  At this point she’s stressing about imaginary problems.  How am I supposed to commiserate?  I’m feeling really positive and optimistic about this coming year, and she’s dragging all this fucking baggage around from last year like, “Oh no, what will we do with all this fucking baggage?”  How about letting it go instead of proudly displaying it like a white-collar battle scar under the guise of preparing for the next impending (read: non-existent) disaster?  Cus… that might work.  So… maybe do that.

I realize she wants to feel useful and important, and dealing with drama can be addictive for some people, but it’s not healthy, and more importantly, IT’S OVER.

save it for the drama llama, gurl

save it for the drama llama, gurl


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