Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Whiny Wednesday

Costco bites.

Someday when I rule the world I will wipe every Costco off the face of the Earth.

Until then, I think I will form my own Ultra-Exclusive, Members-Only Shopping Club.

There will be rules, strict rules, and no one will be accepted as a member unless they pass the Super-Secret, Super Selective Membership Test. It will go something like this:

(True or False)

1. Free samples draw me into the store and I could stay for hours just roaming the aisles looking for tiny cups filled with Cheezits.

2. It's always a good idea to leave my shopping cart in the middle of the aisle while I wander off in search of something (free Cheezits, perhaps?).

3. The Earth revolves around me.

4. My kids don't need my supervision, especially when there is a maze of aisles for them to run through.

5. If I wear expensive sunglasses I should get head-of-line privileges.

6. I can buy a size 5 knit shirt for my size 12 body and consider it a "belly shirt".

7. The older you are, the better you look in a belly shirt...as long as you have a belly ring.

8. It doesn't matter if I have money to pay for my purchase - people don't mind waiting in line while I send my child outside to the ATM.

9. I just LOVE when shopping carts are larger than most hybrid vehicles.

10. If it isn't enough to feed ninety, it isn't a bargain.

The test, of course, will be followed by a personal interview and a brain scan.

Anyone want in?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Name Change Time!

I've decided that the Little Guy should no longer be referred to as "the Little Guy" and am hereby relinquishing all rights to the name "Little Guy". So, if any of my pregnant friends has a little boy and chooses to call him "Little Guy", I won't be offended or confused. (Har!!)

Until further notice, the child formerly known as Little Guy will be known as Destructo.

This seems to suit him, and is what we've started calling him at home.

He has a way of methodically wreaking havoc on every inch of the house that is accessible to him. It usually starts in the kitchen, where he pulls several dozen items out of the Tupperware cupboard before deciding which two he will carry to Point B.

On the way to Point B, he usually drops one piece of Tupperware and replaces it with a random item he finds along the way, say a magazine. Once he reaches Point B, he drops both the magazine and the Tupperware, and digs for two new objects to transport to Point C.

The pattern continues throughout the day until the house is a minefield of dropped objects.

The wastebaskets are up out of reach, StupidDog can only have dog food when Destructo is asleep, and at any given time two of our three phones are unplugged and strategically placed in the mine field.

None of the other kids were this busy. With them, I was actually able to accomplish things during the day.

Not so with Destructo. If I leave him alone for a minute, I might just catch him sitting on the kitchen floor sharing a snack of Pup-a-roni with StupidDog.

Not that THAT would ever happen.

Really.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Frustrating Friday

Okay, so the Photo Friday topic is "Tiny", not "Frustrating".

I was trying to think of something different than the usual outdoorsy pictures because, well, it's raining and windy and impossible to head outdoors looking for Tiny objects.

So, yesterday as I was pouring my One-a-Day Coke, it hit me - Tiny Bubbles. I would read my camera manual to figure out the closeup feature and use it to photograph Tiny Bubbles in my One-a-Day Coke.

This afternoon I poured my One-a-Day Coke over ice and began shooting it from every angle imaginable.

Nothing.

I drank my One-a-Day Coke and poured a second one, this time without the ice.

Again, nothing.

So I drank it.

Then I decided it would really be best to use a tripod because:

1. The pictures weren't as crisp as I would like, and

2. I had just downed two Cokes within a 20-miute period.

I set up my camera on the tripod and poured my third One-a-Day Coke, over ice, and in spite of the odd looks I was getting from various family members, I set out to capture some Tiny Bubbles.

The
result isn't what I was hoping for, but after three One-a-Day Cokes, I was done.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Saving Myself Several Thousand Words...

(or not)

It's time to bore you with my vacation pictures.

This first picture was taken the day we arrived - the Wildcard is in action, the Blonde One is in the Pool, and the Hubster and the Little Guy are testing the waters. Our balcony overlooked one of the pools, and the ocean was just beyond that. It is whale season, so we were able to sit on the balcony and watch the whales do their thing.



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The next one was taken after our futile search for the perfect wave. The Little Guy is thinking, "If only my Mommy would make some decent waves...."

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And His Grumpiness taking his fins and heading out to sea....

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Later that day I was trying to point out Haleakala to the Wildcard, but it was mostly obstructed by clouds. The sun was setting behind us and I really liked the colors. No other reason for taking the picture, just that I really liked the colors.

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This was taken from our balcony (on the opposite side of the building from the mountain) just a few minutes later.

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The next five were from our trip up to Haleakala to watch the sunrise. It was a very surreal experience (but most things are surreal to me at that time of the day) and I would do it again in a heartbeat. There was a heated observation building at the peak, but no one showed up to open it that morning, so we stayed in the parking lot. The temperature was about 35 degrees, and the winds were 40+ MPH. (Can you believe SOME people showed up in long sleeved t-shirts, gym shorts, and flip flops??? What were THEY thinking?) The Wildcard mostly stayed in the van and yelled, "Mom, turn the heat ON!!" while I popped in and out taking pictures each time the lighting changed.


Just as the sun was breaking through...
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A few minutes later. At first I didn't like the other cars in the picture, but it's grown on me - I like the way the sunlight reflects off the windows.
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As the sun rose, so did the clouds....
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And this one was taken as we headed back down the mountain. It is the South Shore of Maui, and even though it looks close, it took nearly two hours to get there from the summit.
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Later that day, after I picked up the Pair O' Divas from the hippy town, we stopped by 'Iao Valley State Park. The Divas actually wanted to hike the trails with me, but then it started to rain. They were both in bikini tops and shorts and the rain was cold, so they bolted back to the van to wait. The sun came out minutes later and I don;t know if you can see it in the picture, but a rainbow spread all across the valley.
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And finally, the Little Guy earned a round of applause and many laughs from the balcony watchers when he decided he was done swimming. He took off out of the pool, floatie still attached to his booty.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Whiny Wednesday

Vacation Timeline:

September-ish: Aloha Airlines offers discounted Interisland fares. We haven't been to Maui, so I ask the Hubster if he would want to take a long weekend during Spring Break. He says it would be a great idea. Purchase tickets.

December: Discuss lodging options with Hubster. His response, "Whatever you decide is fine with me."

February: Begin browsing travel guides for things to do on Maui. Consult Hubster to see what he wants to do while we are there. He leaves it up to me, adding that he just wants to hang out, relax, take the kids to the pool and beach, and eat.

Friday, March 18, the day before we leave: The Hubster (from here on he will be referred to as "His Grumpiness") asks, "Do I HAVE to go on this Maui trip?"

Saturday: We head to Maui. The airlines lose the Little Guy's carseat and the boogie boards (just forgot to unload it from the little baggage truck - oops!!). We hang out in the airport for an extra hour waiting for them to find the missing items. We drop our things at the condo, pick up some snacks at the grocery store, and take the boys to the pool. The Two Divas, the Little Guy and I head off to browse a nearby artsy flea market. After walking across the street with the boys to look at the beach and declaring it 'sub-standard', His Grumpyness goes to bed at 8:30.

Sunday: Take the boys to the pool while the girls head off to do more browsing and meet up with some friends. His Grumpiness stays upstairs eating donuts and reading the newspaper. After noon we head off to find a boogie boarding beach. This is where I learn that *I* am God, because there are absolutely no waves to be found on the South Shore and it is ALL MY FAULT.

His Grumpiness complains. We should have stayed home. One island is no different than any other. There are waves on Oahu. I would rather be doing anything other than driving around freakin' Maui on a Sunday afternoon. Blah, blah, blah. Wah, wah, wah.

We head to the North Shore, but once again, *I* work in mysterious ways. I have created waves on the North Shore, but they are TOO BIG! And *I* totally shouldn't have created that shore break....

Once again, His Grumpiness starts in....We should have stayed home. This vacation is a waste of money. There's nothing on Maui that we can't find on Oahu. No one is having any fun. Blah, blah, blah. Wah, wah, wah.

We find a beach with somewhat rideable waves and I send His Grumpiness out with a boogie board. The boys and I play in the sand. After an hour, His Grumpiness comes back and is in a somewhat better mood, so we head back to the condo to shower and get the Little Guy a quick nap.

I'm still pissed, so I go buy artwork. I pick out three prints by this local artist, even though they really don't go with anything else in the house. I like them and I'm still mad, so I'm buying them darnit!!

Monday: The Wildcard and I get up at 3:30 to make the 1.5+ hour drive up to Haleakala to watch the sunrise. It was amazing. And cold. And windy. I took about a hundred pictures. We head back home down the twisty mountain road. The Wildcard gets carsick and throws up.

Upon returning, we discover that His Grumpiness has rubbed off on the Blonde One (from here on referred to as His Grumpiness II). Neither wants to do anything other than sit in the condo and watch TV. And complain that there is nothing to do. The Wildcard and the Little Guy take naps, and I head off to pick up the Two Divas, who spent the night at their friend's dad's house in a hippy town on the North Shore. It's only fifteen miles each way, but it takes me three hours to get there and back because. Just because.

Tuesday: Our flight is at 2:10, but His Grumpiness wakes everyone at 7:30, just to make sure we get packed and out of there as soon as possible. Our only stop for the day was at the Paper Airplane Museum, and it was closed. The Wildcard was very disappointed.

We arrived at the airport at 10:45, and were able to get on an 11:30 flight. It was the first thing that made His Grumpiness (I and II) smile in four days.

Next time I will go by myself.


(Tomorrow will be Picture Day.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Glowing Friday

Maui was an interesting experience, to say the least. More on that later, maybe on Whiny Wednesday.

I took tons of pictures, and
one of my favorites(for the moment) has been posted for Photo Friday. It is a sunrise picture from the top of Haleakala. I also need to add that I seriously underestimated the weather conditions at 10,000 feet.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Maui Bound

The kids are on Spring Break and we are off to Maui for four days.

This is what we have planned for the weekend:







(nothing!!)

We have reserved a 2 bedroom/2 bath condo across the street from the beach. We plan to hang out on the beach, by the pool, and eat the most unhealthy food imaginable.

The Diva has invited her friend (the Bright Idea Girl) along. Their plans are to hit the beach, lounge by the pool, and one day meet up with some friends who will be there as well. I've told the Diva that SHE needs to be the one to make the decisions because the B.I.G. doesn't have the best judgment. We'll see how that all plays out.

The Blonde One wants to do some boogie boarding, and not much else. He's not totally happy that the B.I.G. is coming along because her sister is one of his groupies. I guess he feels like he can't really relax if someone may be reporting back to his harem....

The Wildcard plans to explore tidepools and visit the paper airplane museum. I'm intrigued by the idea of a paper airplane museum, I don't know why.

The ONE thing I want to do is get up very early to watch the sunrise over Haleakala. I've heard it is the most amazing experience to watch the sun break through the clouds below you. I plan to take many, many pictures (one of which may fit the Photo Friday theme of "Glow"). I would also like to drive the road to Hana, but that may not happen. My sister did that when she was here, and she said her kids got carsick from all the switchbacks and cliffs. I may leave the Hubster with the kids and go by myself.

The Hubster doesn't want to do anything other than spend time with the kids.....and load up on junk food.

I'll be back and de-stressed on Tuesday night. Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Fun With (Toddler) Vocabulary

The Little Guy is just over 14 months, and his vocabulary is growing every day. This is some of what he knows so far:

"No-no-no-no-no" means "go faster before someone stops me".

"Da", of course is Daddy, and refers to the guy who rescues him from naptime, bathtime, and feeds him sweets.

"Ahm" is Mommy - the one who puts him down for naps, gives him baths, and feeds him the boring food.

"Tee" is tree, and means, "Hold me really high over your head so I can pull the leaves off the trees".

"Side" is usually repeated over and over and over until one of us breaks down and takes him outside.

"Buh" means he wants to sit on your lap and repeatedly slam your fingers in the pages of his chunky books.

And, of course, he still barks. Every time he sees a dog, he lets out a high pitched "Arrrh!!" He stands at the back door and barks to be let out, he barks when he sees a cat, and he barks in response to other dogs in the neighborhood.

Yesterday the Little Guy watched as the Blonde One ordered the StupidDog to "sit". It didn't take long before the Little Guy would stand over StupidDog, point his finger, and command him to "Iht!! Iht!!"

Of course StupidDog doesn't pay any attention, but the Little Guy enjoys doing it anyway.

And amazingly enough, he can now say one of his siblings' names perfectly. We were surprised because the name starts with a "Sh" and we just assumed he would learn a few more single-letter sounds before putting together the blends.

Last night, as we took him for his post-bathtime, pre-bedtime walk, he just jabbered away. He talked about Da, the Tees, and barked at each dog we passed.

We were nearing the corner where we turn to go to our house, and StupidDog suddenly lunged forward, breaking his collar. He (of course) ran directly toward a truck which was backing out of a driveway and ran between the tires. The Hubster chased him down the street yelling at him to stop, but he didn't. The truck stopped before driving over StupidDog, and the three guys in the truck jumped out to see if the dog was okay. The Hubster grabbed StupidDog and ordered him to sit while he assured the guys that the dog was okay.

This was when the Little Guy (in his stroller) and I caught up with the dog/Hubster/truck guys.

The Little Guy immediately got a stern look on his face, pointed down at StupidDog, and yelled, "Shit, Shit!!"

Wise beyond his years.

Whiny Wednesday

It's Whiny Wednesday and the only thing I have to whine about is the weather.

It's cold.

And it's windy.

I know what you're thinking
...."Shut up! You're in Hawaii, you don't know what 'cold' is!!"

Just hang on for a minute....

It's been dropping into the 50's at night, the 40's in some places. Now, I know that really isn't COLD, but our house doesn't have heat.....or insulation.....and it has those jalousie windows that don't keep the wind out.

(Click
here if you don't know what jalousie windows are - I grew up in the north and we don't have them up there.)

I have one box of winter clothes and it's on the shelf of my closet, just out of reach.

Yesterday morning I caught myself warming my hands over the toaster as I made breakfast for the Wildcard. The Hubster mocked me and said I'm becoming a lightweight who can't handle the cold any more. Then he climbed into his truck, turned on the heater, and headed off to work.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Happy Birthday Wildcard!!

Today the Wildcard turned ten. He's been looking forward to it for a LONG time, not only because he is in double-digits, but because he now considers himself a pre-teen.

(Great. We have way too much teen-ness going on in the house already....)

The Wildcard has always been the unpredictable child, thus the name.

When the Diva and the Blonde One were little, I always knew what to expect with them. I could say "Don't talk or run around in church" and they would sit, still and quiet, until we walked out the door.

Not so with the three-year-old Wildcard. "Don't talk or run around in church" means it's still okay to make disgusting noises and do somersaults down the aisle. If I wasn't absolutely clear with him, he would find a loophole and take full advantage of it.

Then there's the unpredictable behavior.

Like at my sister's wedding when the four-year-old Wildcard jumped out from behind a wall with his pants at his ankles and flashed the wedding party just as we all said "Cheese!" for the photographer. The picture is a family favorite.

And when the five-year-old Wildcard 'collected' his saliva in his cheeks most of the afternoon on his first day of kindergarten, then stepped outside the door and made a huge "splat" on the ground in front of all the waiting parents.

Of course, there's also the sarcasm.

One incident that pops into my head is the time I took the kids Christmas shopping so they could buy gifts for each other. The Wildcard was admiring some metal jets, and I somehow managed to send the Blonde One back to the store to buy them without the Wildcard noticing. I took the bag from him and we headed off. A few minutes later, the Wildcard bumped into the bag I was carrying and asked what was in it. I said the first thing that popped into my head....."It's my lunch." The five-year-old Wildcard shot right back with, "Well, your lunch has wings."

Happy Birthday Wildcard - and thank you for keeping me on my toes the past ten years!!

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Observations of a Reformed Shopoholic

I don't know when it really happened, but I hate shopping.

I used to be one of those people who shopped several times each week....you know, just for fun. I was young, single, had my first real job, my own apartment, and it was all about me!! I would hit the local (and not so local) malls every weekend, sometimes by myself, sometimes with a friend. It was nothing to spend the weekend searching for The Perfect Shoe to go with The Perfect Skirt that I had found the previous week.


Fast forward to today.



I had to go shopping.....something I had been putting off for over a week now. I had a detailed list that included stops at Home Depot, Sports Authority, Old Navy, the Pearl Ridge Mall, the Navy Exchange, and Toys 'R Us. And I was dreading every minute of it.

I think the change began when I married the Hubster. I went from single, self-centered girl to working girl with law-student husband. My money became our money. Before buying that Perfect Shoe, I had to stop and think, "Do I really NEED these?" where before it would be, "I want these, what color should I get?" I could either buy my Perfect Shoe, or we could eat for a week.

It only became worse after the Diva was born. Instead of shopping for a cute little skirt for myself, I now HAD to go get more pajamas or diapers for her. My self-centered shopping trips ceased to exist. It was now all about needs rather than wants.

So, anyway, today was the dreaded shopping day.

My first stop was Home Depot. The Little Guy played with a package of nails while I searched for The Perfect Piece of Lumber. I just love home improvement stores.

Next was Sports Authority where I found the archery set that the Wildcard really, really wanted for his birthday.

After that I popped into Old Navy and bought shorts and flip-flops for myself. In the old days I would have browsed, tried on dozens of different pieces, and maybe left with nothing. Today I know that Old Navy carries the one style of shorts that I just love, so I knew exactly what to get. No dressing rooms, no dilemma - grab the shorts and run. I have the same shorts in khaki (2 pair), white, dusty rose, navy, and today bought the olive green and dusty blue. I also picked up a new pair of flip-flops because I can feel the pavement through my others. So much for the ultimate search for the Perfect Shoe. The only shoes I now wear are flip-flops (think rubbah' slippahs, not sandals) and sneakers for running.

Our next stop was the Pearl Ridge Mall to find some pick-me-up items for a friend who is in the hospital. (She was admitted at 20+ weeks pregnant and is on total bedrest for the duration - please keep her and their little girl in your prayers.) The Little Guy was getting fussy at this point, so we made it in and out as quickly as possible. No browsing today.

Toys 'R Us was crossed off the list because the Little Guy was ready to go home - the Wildcard will just have to deal with limited birthday gifts.

Our last stop was the Navy Exchange. I probably would have eliminated this altogether, but I was hungry, darnit!!! I figured I could get a few items from my list (batteries for the Diva's camera, velcro baby locks for the screen doors, discounted Yankee Candle products to feed my addiction, and cold medication) and then grab something from the food court for lunch. We were in/out in under twenty minutes.

My goal was to make it home in time for the Little Guy to get a nap before we had to pick the Wildcard up from school. I never really considered taking the time to search for The Perfect Anything....it was all about naptime.

Funny how priorities change.
Friday Faces

This week's Photo Friday topic is "Faces".

I'll bet you'll never guess what my subject matter was....

Go on, guess......



Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!!





The picture I chose is from a road trip the kids and I took throughout the west while the Hubster was spending his summer "working" in Hawaii. This was taken at 7 a.m. on the Fourth of July, then we made a beeline for home. Sixteen hours later we FINALLY pulled into our driveway. Great trip, but always better to be home....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Whiny Wednesday

You didn't ask, but....

You know what I'm tired of?

I'm tired of grown adults complaining about how bored they are.

Shut up. Get off your butt and do something.

So....what did I do today that was really stupid?

As I was leaving to take the Wildcard to school, I hit the button on the garage door opener as I started to back out of the garage. The door came down just in time for me to back right into it and knock it off the tracks. I managed to push it up enough to back the MomVan out and take him to school, but then it was stuck open. When I got back home, the Little Guy and I spent half an hour working with hammers, screwdrivers, and recyclable Coke cans (okay, that was just him playing in the recyclables, not me feeding my addiction). I managed to fix it somehow.

Are you wondering which of my new rules I broke today?

I forgot to take my camera when I took the kids to the orthodontist. It started to rain as I drove home, and the most incredible rainbow filled the sky in front of me. I missed the best part, but this is what was left by the time I got home.

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Why is there a baby playing in the driveway in the rain dressed in only a diaper?

Because the Little Guy's favorite thing to do is run to the front door and repeat, "Side? Side? Side?" until you relent and let him play outside in the rain. And then when he falls in a puddle, your only choice is to strip him out of his wet clothes and let him play 'side a bit longer.

Is tomorrow going to be as sucky a day as today?

No. I won't let it happen.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

No Child Left Behind

Yeah, okay.


Apparently it's just as important to not let any child get ahead either.

I am so frustrated with the Wildcard's school right now.

This is his first (and last) year at this school, and I had great expectations after the wonderful presentation they put on called "Open House For New Students". Unfortunately it was fiction, all of it.

They had a Science Lab!! In an elementary school!! Only two elementary schools on the island have a Science Lab, and they had one!! The Wildcard's eyes lit up when we took the tour and he saw the Science Lab.

It's March already, and he's only been to the Science Lab one time - that would be the day we went to the Open House For New Students.

They had Band and Orchestra as elective classes for students in grades 4-6!! Your child can choose an instrument and take Band or Orchestra class once a week! The Wildcard has been taking drum lessons and was excited about being able to actually play as a part of a group.

It's March already. They nixed the Band class early on, and Orchestra just started last month. They are supposed to actually touch an instrument this week for the first time. He has most likely been assigned the violin.

They have a great Gifted Talented Program! Once the students are tested and placed, they will have a half-day pullout class where they get to do independent work!! They choose their own topics and projects (with teacher guidance)!! The Wildcard has always been in G/T classes and enjoyed them so much more than his regular class.

It's March (have I mentioned that?) and they are still "working on the curriculum" for the G/T class. They didn't mention this at the Open House For New Students The students have been tested and placed, and the paperwork was finalized at Christmastime.

Last week I received a note from the Wildcard's teacher - he hasn't been focused on schoolwork and seems bored in class. Perhaps we should meet to discuss this. A meeting was scheduled, rescheduled, mis-scheduled, and scheduled again. We will discuss it on Thursday, unless the teacher is a no-show (again).

The Wildcard said he is bored in school because they are learning the same things that he learned last year in home school. His grades are falling, but he knows the material. He just doesn't see the need to do everything all over again, so he doesn't do anything.

This morning he woke up with an "upset stomach"....the ones that disappear as soon as your mom says you can stay home for the day.

We had a great day together. He sat around in his underwear until noon watching cartoons and playing with Legos. Then he grabbed a chapter book and read the entire book without being told. (Reading 20 minutes/day is part of his homework and he hates it.) After that, he pulled out his multiplication and division flashcards and asked to be tested. He answered them as quickly as I could flash them. (He usually scores about 5/100 on the timed tests they do in class.) Next, he wanted me to refresh his memory on adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing/reducing fractions....just because. Then he practiced his drums and played the keyboard for a while. He's always been curious about jellyfish and wondered if they had tastebuds, so he got on the internet and did some jellyfish research. Finally, he saw me playing with a geography 'game' that my friend
Liz found, so he needed to try it himself....several times.

All in all, I think he accomplished much more by staying home than if he had gone to school.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

They PAID Someone for This?

I could be a meteorologist in Hawaii.

The weather forecast, per my radio station:

"Expect some clouds today, and more clouds tomorrow."

Gotta love a place where the only significant weather change involves the number of clouds in the sky.

Today was the "more clouds" day.

Friday Obsession

So, this week's topic is "Obsession".

My most recent obsession has been my camera, since I rarely leave home without it, but that's pretty much a no-brainer. My other recent obsessions are NyQuil and Yankee Candles, neither of which sounded like good subject matter.

So, on to the Hubster's biggest obsession - the perfect wave.

Friday I was on my way up to Kaneohe when the Hubster called. He had had an exceptionally bad morning and was headed out the door for some lunch hour surfing. He had recently complained that I didn't have any new pictures of him surfing, and since I was heading that way (sort of) and had my camera in the car (obviously), I decided to swing by the beach and take some Obsessive Surfer pictures of him.

I only had a few minutes (as usual) and had the fussy Little Guy with me (as usual). The beach is on base, just across the flight line, and (of course) there were two planes landing which meant I had to wait until they landed to cross. That left me about five minutes to snap a few photos before heading back.

I parked at the beach, grabbed my camera and the Little Guy, and scanned the water looking for the Hubster. There were about a dozen guys out there - the Hubster was not among them.

So, here's
the result of my trip - a random surfer obsessing over the waves.

Friday, March 04, 2005

G** D*** Mother F****** (fill in the blank)

It never fails. Whenever the Hubster has to drive somewhere he hasn't been before, I know the phone will ring and I will be greeted with the Usual Expletives followed by a random noun.

The man is a Marine. He can navigate his way out of a dense forest in the dark, but put him on an interstate with a map and/or directions and he is totally lost. Go figure.

I knew there were navigation issues before I married the guy. We were on a road trip from Michigan to Florida - 24 hours of non-stop fun. It was the middle of the night, I had been driving for several hours and was ready for a break. We were approaching Atlanta when I woke the Fiancee up and told him it was his turn to take the wheel.

He asked where we were, consulted the map, and we discussed the route around Atlanta before we switched places. He assured me that he knew the way, and I quickly dozed off in the passenger seat.

I had just gotten into the REM zone when I was jolted awake by the Fiancee yelling, "G** d*** mother f****** construction zones!! Where the Hell are we and how the Hell do I get around this G** d*** mother f****** city?"

Fortunately, I inherited the Navigation Gene from my dad.

If you don't know my dad, he knows more about maps than Rand McNally. You could name any random town, say Clovis, New Mexico, and he could tell you the major interstates that pass through town, which back roads you can take to avoid town, and what time the train stops at the Clovis train station.

So, using my SuperNavigation skills, I directed the Fiancee around Atlanta and we were on our way.

This pattern has continued to this day, and the invention of the cell phone has only made it worse. Now when the Hubster is by himself and has no idea where he is, instead of stopping and asking for directions, he can simply call me.

The worst example of this was several years ago when the Hubster was driving from our home in Oklahoma to Alabama for a long fishing weekend with his Fishing Buddy. He needed to get on one major highway and head east to Memphis, where he would need to find the one exit that would take him south to his destination.

Sure enough, at about 9 p.m. the phone rang and I was greeted by the Usual Expletives, followed by "southern road signs!!! Where the Hell am I???"

After calming him down enough to find out where exactly he was, I consulted my map and sent him on his way.

Fast forward to the present. This week the Hubster had to attend a meeting on Sand Island, near downtown Honolulu. Now, we've lived on Oahu for almost four years total, and we've been to Sand Island at least a dozen times - most recently for a Christmas party a two months ago.

Before he left the house, I asked if he knew how to get there. He assured me that he did, but I gave him directions and drew a little map anyway. Even though he had been there numerous times, we usually came from the other direction. He took my map and headed off to his meeting.

Like clockwork, thirty minutes later the phone rang and I was greeted by the Usual Expletives, followed by "rush hour traffic!! What the Hell exit am I supposed to take and am I almost there???"

I told him to take H-1 to Nimitz, do a U-turn and the first light is Sand Island. Somehow those directions made much more sense than when he was at home and I said, "Take H-1 to Nimitz, do a U-turn and the first light is Sand Island."

The good news? He had to go there again the next day, and he found the way all by himself!

The bad news? We're moving soon and he won't remember how to get there from our new house.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Okay.....

I'm back.

I've spent the past five days in a NyQuil induced coma.

More tomorrow....