Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Move Over, Vera Wang!!

It's Prom Season.

At least for the Diva, who likes to plan ahead, and is on the Prom Committee at school. This has been on her mind for a L-O-N-G time.

We've been discussing prom dresses, and since I've been known to make a ball gown or two, she asked me to make her a prom dress this year. She has a very clear vision of what she wants, and doesn't think she'll be able to find it in the stores (at least not at a price we are willing to pay). She has been talking simple lines, maybe lavender, and a funky hemline.

So, now the trip to the orthodontist.

The ortho assistant called the Diva back for her exam while I waited in the over-crowded waiting room with an overly-energetic toddler. Fortunately, the Diva emerged quickly from the exam area. I made follow-up appointments, got my parking validated, and we headed for the exit.

While we were waiting for the elevator, the Diva said, "Mom, I told them you were going to make me a beaded prom dress and they were SOoooooo excited!! They said I should bring pictures!!! Now you have to make me a beaded dress."



How did THAT happen??

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Got Closet?

When we moved back to Oahu in June 2004, it was impossible for us to find a rental on the Windward side of the island. Not a decent rental, not a large rental, just any rental. The market was incredibly tight, and we ended up renting a house 45 minutes away until we were able to move into our house on base. At $3,000 per month, we felt lucky.

Since then, the rental market has only gotten worse, especially for Windward renters.

Here's proof.


Among listings of rooms for rent was a closet — a closet! — in a Kailua house, for $100 a month. There were 33 replies and the closet was rented immediately.


The walk-in was advertised on the Web site Craigslist.org.

The posting, dated Feb. 10, made it clear that this closet was intended for living space:

"We are 4 professionals living in a very spacious house. We have a huge walk-in closet downstairs outside living areas that is being used for storage. You can fit a twin bed in there and probably a small nightstand. We can power your closet with some extension cord."

It reminds me of the episode of Drew Carey where the two guys lived in a storage unit, only that was on a comedy show.

This is just sad.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Secret Sauce

It was one of those days....breakfast consisted of a handful of dry Cheerios and lunch was half an orange (because Destructo wanted to share with me).

The Hubster had a meeting tonight and the Diva had gone to a yummy Mexican restaurant with her friends to celebrate another Diva's birthday.

So it was me and The Boys for dinner.

The Blonde One made a sandwich and some ramen after track practice. The Wildcard wanted udon noodles and eggs for dinner. Destructo nibbled on eggs, udon, ramen, and grapes.

So, I was on my own.

We had some leftover vegetables in the refrigerator...you know the ones - the tiny bits of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots that come frozen in a bag. I must have bought the MidgetMix because none of the pieces were larger than a dime.

Anyway, after the boys had eaten, I reheated the vegetables and sat down at the table to relax with the local paper. I immediately turned to
my favorite humor column.

I had hardly taken two bites of MidgetMix when Destructo appeared out of nowhere demanding, "Bite. Mouth. Now."

So I gave him a bite.

He ate it, then took my spoon from me and began to stir and fling MidgitMix all over the table.

The Wildcard was in the kitchen, so I asked him to bring a baby spoon for Destructo. My flawed logic was that I could hand the baby spoon to Destructo and he could use it for stirring and flinging while I took my spoon from him and finished my dinner of mini-vegetables.

The Wildcard brought the rubber-tipped, airplane-shaped baby spoon.....apparently his flawed logic followed my flawed logic.

I handed the airplane spoon to Destructo and tried to remove my spoon from his toddler grip, but it wasn't happening.

So I took the rubber-tipped, airplane-shaped baby spoon and scooped up one tiny piece of MidgitMix at a time while I tried to read W. Bruce Cameron's tips for preparing for a natural disaster. All the while, Destructo was stirring and flinging with his Mommy spoon.

I struggled with balancing broccoli on the rubber-tipped, airplane-shaped baby spoon while I finished reading the column, then I gave up. I glanced at Destructo, who seemed to have a rhythm to what he was doing.

Stir.

Fling.

Scoop a big bite.

Drop half the MidgitMix off the spoon and onto the floor for StupidDog.

Put the remaining MidgitMix in mouth, chew twice.

Spit half-chewed vegetables into hand, and drop them back into the bowl.

Stir.

Fling.....

(yum)
Friday, Baby!

The problem with a topic like "Baby" is that everyone has a Baby shot that they think is the cutest one ever.

For me, the problem was choosing just one of my cute Baby pics. I guess that's a burden you bear when you have the Cutest Babies Ever.

I was able to narrow it down because I'm lazy and didn't feel like scanning any of the "old" Cute Baby Pictures. (Apologies to the Cute Diva, the Cute Blonde One, and the Cute Wildcard.) Since Destructo was the only Cutest Baby Ever in the age of digital cameras, I chose a
favorite picture of him.

Seriously though, if you have the time, check out
PhotoFriday. There really are some awesome baby pictures on there. Of course, you have to sift through all the predictible ones (like mine) to find the really good stuff.

Monday, February 20, 2006

He Kicked My Ass

Twice.

In two weeks.

Two weeks ago, the Blonde One, the Hubster, and I did a 5-k. It was roughly one mile on the pavement, one mile on the golf course, one mile across the sand, and then what seemed like another mile up a hill to the finish. I swear they measured it wrong.

The Hubster and the Blonde One talked trash the week leading up to the race. It was all about who would finish first.....the Marine or the Student/Athlete. They even made a bet - loser had to cut the grass that week.

(They never even considered me to be competition, and to be honest, I knew they would be standing there eating jelly donuts by the time I dragged my sorry self across the finish line.)

In the end, it was the Blonde One sprinting ahead of the Hubster at the finish line, beating him by three paces.

The Hubster was stunned.

(I finished second in my age group.....which was surprising, since there were more than two of us.)

Yesterday, the Blonde One and I did an 8.15 mile race, and once again, he beat me.

I was certain I had an advantage in this one. This was my fifth time doing this race, and he had never really run more than 3 miles. My plan was to keep a (slow) steady pace, and probably pass him somewhere around the 6-mile mark.

He left me in the dust at the start, and when I saw him again, he was relaxing in the stands at Aloha Stadium where he had been waiting patiently for fifteen minutes.

Guess who has to cut the grass this week?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Blonde Leading the Blonde

The Blonde One has a "NottaGirlfriend".

They hang out together at school. She calls him every day, and he takes the phone outside to talk. They study together (with a group of friends) after school and go to the movies (with a group of friends) on the weekends.

But she's "just a friend, nottagirlfriend".

It's good, because if I didn't know better, I would think they were separated at birth. They are both tall, thin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and in the same classes at school.

Oh, and they are both smart, but hide it behind their blondeness.

Like the time the Blonde One went to her house after school (with a group of friends) to work on some AP assignments for next year.

The Blonde One called to let me know they were finished and he was ready for a ride home. I asked where she lived, and he said, "Ummm.....I don't know. Let me put NottaGirlfriend on and she can tell you."

So....NottaGirlfriend took the phone and said, "Ummmm...my brother always drives, so I'm not really sure, but you know where the Intermediate School is? It's not near there. But you should head in that direction......"

Okay. I somehow managed to find my child that night.

Last weekend they went to the movies, and we picked NottaGirlfriend up at her dance class. She had given the Blonde One very specific directions.

"If you go past that big intersection, and there's a bus stop, and a box with some wires. Turn there. Go one block and turn again. Look for a house with a white thing in the yard. I'll be waiting outside."

Huh?

Fortunately she had drawn a map labeling the box with the wires, the bus stop, and the house with the white thing in the yard.

That, and I had the Blonde One with me to interpret NottaGirlfriend's blonde directions.

So, tonight. Her dad was the designated driver for movie night (with a group of friends).

After deciding on a time and a movie, the Blonde One came back in the house and said, "NottaGirlfriend is going to call back in a few minutes. Can you give her directions to our house?"

I asked why he didn't just give her the directions while he was on the phone.

His response?

"The Diva always drives. I never pay attention...."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blurry Friday

That would be last Friday.....I've become quite the slacker lately.

I chose
this shot looking across Kaneohe Bay towards Kaneohe Town. I like the way the mountains and the clouds in the background all blur together.

Now, I'm off to work on this week's "Baby" challenge.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Let's Play......

How Far Would You Go For a Scholarship??

The Diva is in the middle of the scholarship application process, and as is typical with her, it's full of drama.

She has been dutifully writing essays, requesting transcripts, and getting letters of recommendation.

Then one day last week my brain suddenly started functioning properly, and I had a major flashback. Before we moved here I had heard of a scholarship which covers all tuition, fees, and books at state colleges. The only requirements were to meet the GPA and SAT score cutoffs, complete a set number of hours of community service, and to be a graduate of a state high school.

The Diva easily met the academic requirements. I searched the scholarship web page and found, as expected, an exception for military brats who don't graduate from a state high school because of orders out of state.

Bingo.

Now, the community service. She has done a lot of community service, tutoring elementary school students, helping at the food bank, etc. The problem? None of it had been documented.

So.....we were off to get some documented community service hours before the scholarship deadline.

Fortunately, we have a connection in the environmental department on base who was more than happy to add her to the list of volunteers for upcoming projects. Sometimes they need help documenting whale sightings, counting endangered birds, doing basic data entry, etc. But they always need help, and this would allow her to get more hours as quickly as possible.

This weekend she had her first 'assignment'.

She was told that they would be "removing invasive species" from a site on base. She was instructed to wear sneakers, jeans, and long sleeves. And to be there at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

This was the first problem.

You see, Friday night was MarleyFest. While not an official holiday, MarleyFest brings everything to a screeching halt, especially with the under-25 crowd. We had already granted a one-time extension of her curfew so she could attend the 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. concerts, and she wasn't about to give that up.

She was in good spirits when she left the house Saturday morning, in spite of only getting four hours of sleep. Then came the second problem.

In EnviroSpeak, "removing invasive species" translates into "pulling weeds from the ponds".

So, she had to get down in the muck and the mud, and pull weeds from the ponds for four hours. And she had to do this with a group of overly-enthusiastic environmentalists who asked if they could continue working longer when the time was up.


"I had to work right by the front gate.....do you know how many people saw me out there???"

"I felt like one of those little Japanese ladies working the rice paddies.....all I needed was one of those huge straw hats....."

"No one told me I would have to get dirty!!!"

"Next time I just want to help the lifeguards wax their vehicles, or something like that!!"

I cannot wait to see what they hook her up with for next weekend!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Random Thoughts From the Soccer Field

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it, but the Blonde One made his high school varsity soccer team last fall. They had an awesome season (undefeated), but then lost their first playoff game. This put them in a position where they had to win all the playoff games in order to go to the state tournament.....which they did, right up to the last one.

So, they are done.

I have to say, I enjoyed the season, for a lot of odd reasons.

First, I learned that I am bilingual.

The assistant coach (a Moke) was forever yelling, and always in Pidgin. For some reason, I found this amusing.

When he yelled, "You go Tim!! You go Tim!!" I knew he wasn't cheering for Tim....he was telling someone to pass the ball to Tim. The phrase I like best was used in the final game when the coach yelled to the referee, "Hey Ref!!! You like beef?" Translation? He was asking the referee if he wanted to, ummmm, 'discuss' the issue.

Second, believe it or not, some people have no sense of humor. And they always seem to sit next to me.

If you've ever been to a soccer game, you know that the linesman makes calls by raising a flag in his right hand if it is in favor of the team heading right and he raises a flag in his left hand if the call favors the team heading left.

During one game, the linesman continually raised his left arm, indicating that the other team got possession of the ball. It was unreal. We had had bad calls before, but not such a long string of them.

After one really bad call, I muttered, "That linesman must only have one arm. For our next game we really should request a two-armed linesman."

Stone-Faced Suzy was (of course) sitting next to me. After my comment she said, "The linesman has two arms. He just keeps making calls for the other team."

I didn't know how to respond. Should I have tried to explain that it was a joke?!?

Third, The Blonde One has an All-Girl Possee. He won't ever admit it, but they are there.

They cheer him on, and yell, "We love you, Blonde One" from the stands. He smirks, and goes about his business.

After one game, Blonde Possee Girl gave him the traditional post-game hug, and they walked to the parking lot together. I was directly behind them the entire time, and he knew it.

When we got in the MomVan, I asked him who the girl was.

He looked at me and asked what girl I was talking about. He totally pretended that he hadn't just walked to the parking lot with a blonde, ponytailed girl.

Finally, referees with tight shorts tend to make bad calls, proving the theory that men don't think with their brains.

Monday, February 06, 2006

How to Annoy Me Today

The Wildcard (yelling from the living room): Mom!

Me (yelling back from the kitchen): What?

Wildcard: Mom!!

Me: What??!!??

Wildcard: MOM!!!

Me: WHAT??!??

Wildcard: When are we going to the library?

Me: As soon as I put away the dishes.

Wildcard: What?!!?

Me: As soon as I put away the dishes!!!

Wildcard: WHAT??!!??

Me: (Expletives muttered under my breath...)

I stop what I'm doing and go out to the living room to talk to the Wildcard face-to-face.

Me: We're going to the library after I put the dishes away.

Wildcard: Okay. I couldn't hear you because I was listening to the Blonde One's iPod.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Poor, Poor Me

I'm sure I will get a lot of sympathy on this one....

I pulled a muscle in my back tonight. It hurts when I twist, turn, bend, everything. Hopefully the Motrin will help.

How did I hurt myself?

It's one of those Soccer Mom injuries. You know...when it's cold and windy, but you still can't leave until the game is over. So you sit on the bleachers and shiver so hard that you end up with a whacked-out back.

(It was 68*)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Memory Lapse?

The Diva: Mom, I think I saw the Blonde One walking around school with no shoes today.

Me: Are you sure he wasn't wearing his slippers (flip-flops)?

Diva: He was barefoot. And he was carrying some sneakers. But I'm not sure it was him.

Me: How can you not be sure if it was him?

Diva: I don't know. I looked, and it seemed to be him....but I couldn't be sure.

Me: He's your brother.....

Diva: I know. It looked like him......and he was barefoot. But he was carrying sneakers. Vans. Grey Vans.

Me: So, you identified the color and brand of shoes, but couldn't be sure if it was your own brother.

Diva: Yeah. Weird, huh?

Vain Friday

Yeah, this was a tough one.

Vanity is not big in Hawaii. People here tend to not be materialistic or vain. Cars are for transportation, houses are for when you aren't able to be outside, and there is no dress code.

If you spot someone in a convertible BMW, it's probably a tourist. The bejeweled and highly made-up are definitely not locals. The only place to go on a "Vanity Hunt" is the tourist-trap of Waikiki, and fortunately I had some errands to run down there this week.

The result?

It was a tough choice, but I was pretty amused by the lady who was wearing her
stiletto heels on the beach at Waikiki. Nothing shouts "Vanity!!" like spike heels in the sand.