Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Just FYI

The hubster's parents arrive tonight for a 2-week visit.

The Diva graduates this weekend.

Next week the Diva and I head to the Mainland for her college orientation.

Later next week, we are island hopping.

The following week the in-laws leave.

(I'll be scarce.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

My Big Fat Local Wedding

(Okay, it wasn't actually my wedding......)

Today we went to the wedding of one of the Hubster's lifeguard friends. It was a very casual event (duh!) on the water (double-duh!), and one of the most fun weddings we've ever attended.

This is how you know you are at a "Local" wedding:

-You arrive at the wedding site five minutes early (fashionably early) knowing that everything will run on Hawaii time (10 minutes late, minimum)....and you find the groom getting dressed outside his truck in the parking lot.

-The (male) members of the wedding party are still 'showering' at a hose on the side of the building. Surfboards are stowed, clothes are changed while wrapped in a towel in the parking lot, hair is fluffed with the fingers, and all are ready to go.

-The only person at the ceremony wearing long pants is the groom. It's khakis, an aloha shirt, and slippers for him.

-The only person wearing pearls is the bride.

-The smell of plumeria, gardenia, and tuberose fill the air....even though no flowers were purchased for the ceremony.

-Rings are exchanged, the couple is declared 'husband and wife' and kisses are exchanged.....then a voice in the crowd shouts, "Hey!! One mo' time fo' da photographer!!" Rings are removed, exchanged again, the bride is kissed, and the photographer is happy.

-After the ceremony there are long lines for pupus (appetizers) and beer. The pupus include fresh grilled fish, so fresh that they are being pulled off a boat in the back of the building as the line forms in front.

-All conversations begin with "Hey, go out today??"

-The 'band' begins to play. The acoustics are terrible. The emcee speaks drunken pidgen. No one really understands a word he says. He is amusing anyway.

-Dinner is traditional Hawaiian (kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, lu'au, poi, and the always present white rice), and abundant. There is not a fork in the place.

-As the sun sets, several guests pull out their own ukuleles and begin strumming in the back.

-You can't help but leave in a much better mood than when you arrived.

Friday, May 26, 2006

But Seriously, Folks...

I know I blabber a lot about the stupid, mindless things that the kids do, but I don't want to leave the impression that they REALLY are that dumb! (The dumb stuff is just so much more interesting.)

So now I'm going to brag a bit about the Diva.

(Those of you who have heard this before: Click the "Back" button NOW!!)

Today was her last day of high school, ever.

Next week she will graduate as co-valedictorian of her class. This fall she will be going away to college on an (almost) full academic scholarship.

That's right, the girl who
couldn't identify her brother and carried on like an idiot when she had a bad day is actually pretty smart.

I'm sad that she is heading to the Mainland for college because I really will miss her, but it will open more doors for her than if she went to a local college. And even though she received similar scholarship offers to other schools, the one she chose offered the most opportunity in the long term.

So, anyway.

This week they had a farewell assembly for the seniors at her school, and they introduced the valedictorians, as well as some of the honor students. It was the first time many of her fellow students realized she was smart. This is what she heard after the assembly:

Wow.....I didn't know you were smart......I saw you standing outside the library once, but that's it.

Whoa, Diva! You are the only one of those smart people that I ever noticed before. The others, I was like, "Who are these people??"

No wonder you scare the shit out of guys! (Meaning: High school guys like dumb girls.)

Now, on to the subject of graduation and speeches.

Since there are multiple valedictorians, it was decided that one would write a speech, and they would each read a part. The logic was there, but it somehow went horribly wrong.

A speech was written.

The speechwriter decided it was best "read" as a rap, so accompanying choreography was written. Each valedictorian would read a part while those in the background would clap, snap, and do hand/face gestures to emphasize the points being made by the speaker.

You read that right.

Instead of a dignified speech read by a group of students who have excelled throughout high school, they are going with Mamma Velvet and the Foxy Lips Brigade.

The Diva and the lone male valedictorian have opted out, and we totally support her decision.

So, she will most likely be noted as a valedictorian in the program. She will wear her honor cords and valedictorian medal (her rapper bling). But she will probably not be "recognized" as a valedictorian, which is sad. She will leave the graduation ceremony without anyone really knowing what an amazing, intelligent girl she really is.

Which is why I am Blog-Bragging this.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Odds Are......

What are the odds that a strange old guy entering an auditorium wearing half an onion on a string around his neck will choose the seat directly next to you?

Do the odds change if 80% of the seats in the auditorium are still empty?

What are the odds that the onion-wearing guy will have bathed in a vat of bad cologne, perhaps in an attempt to cover up his onion-ness, before coming to the event in the auditorium?

And finally, how likely is it that onion-wearing, cologne swimming guy will sit sideways in his chair, facing you, the entire time?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Masterpiece Friday

I like this one.

Last spring, the Diva and I hiked a local spot known as The Pillboxes. Our ultimate destination was a bunker at the top of the mountain, overlooking the ocean, some islands, and several local communities. The Diva had done the hike before, and wanted me to go with her to take some pictures of the graffiti in the bunker so we could make it into a poster for her room.

This is one of the pictures from inside the bunker.

(The poster looks awesome, by the way.)


(At the playground with the Wildcard and Destructo.)

Little 4 y/o Boy (to the Wildcard): Wow. You're big.

Wildcard: Ummmm...okay.

Boy: Are you, like, seven or something?

Wildcard: I'm eleven.

Boy (in awe): Wowwww..........

Brother (3 y/o) and Sister (5 y/o) playing on the swirly slide....both had deep, deep southern accents, something you don't hear a lot in military kids.

Sister: Bubba, you come down from there right now!! Momma said it is time to go!

Brother: No!! I ain't done yet!

Sister (hands on hips): Bubba!! Don't you dare make me come up there and get you!!

Brother: I. Ain't. Done. Yet.

Sister: (dramatic sigh, as she heads up the slide)

Momma: Bubba, Precious!!! Y'all need to come down here right now!

((I just found it humorous that the children were named (nicknamed?) Bubba and Precious.))

Destructo and another little boy his age, playing with the tic-tac-toe blocks:

Destructo: Airplanes. Hell'copters. B-i- i -i - g Jets!

Little Boy: (nothing but a curious look)

Destructo: R'member? Noisy airplanes....cubber your ears!! Hell'coptors...danger! Danger!!!

Little Boy (nodding his head, like it's finally clicking): Yeah....

Destructo: Airplanes. Ready for takeoff? Mo'cycles are noisy. Danger. DANger!!

(His new favorite word is "danger", more specifically "DANger!!!")

Little Boy: Yeah!

Destructo: Go see airplanes. Shhhhooooooommmmm!!! DANger! Elmo rides mo'cycle.

Little Boy turns and runs away.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!!

I hope all you mommies spent the day doing what you love most.............whatever that may be!!

We've never been big on celebrating special days, but this is what I got for Mother's Day:

From the Diva: "Happy Mother's Day!! A hug is better than any material gift, right?"

From the Blonde One: (After I reminded him it was Mother's Day and asked what he was doing for me) "Ummmm....Happy Mother's Day. I'm in the middle of something right now (computer game)....can I get back to you later?"

From The Wildcard: He has been chomping at the bit (he's never been able to keep a secret). They made a Mother's Day gift at school and he has been DYING for me to see it ever since he came home on Friday.

His was a book they made at school, a homework assignment that I had helped him with. They had to write a story and present it to the kindergarten class, and they had to illustrate it. I helped him with the story and gave him ideas for the illustrations. The Hubster drew sample illustrations to give him ideas for his story. They had to dedicate the story to someone....and in my Mother's Day gift he wrote this dedication: "To my Dad, who has helped me from the beginning."

From Destructo: He stayed up until almost midnight, just to make sure he could spend ALL of Mother's Day with me.

From the Hubster: He ran a triathlon this morning. We were out of the house by 4 a.m., and after dropping him off I spent THREE entire hours with my camera, my iPod, and NOONE asking me for anything.

It was THE perfect gift.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Curious About George

Tomorrow is neighborhood yard sale day, so I've been spending any free time I have pulling things for the sale. I've actually had more time to think about it than to actually do it, so my head is full of lists. We're pretty good at traveling light, so we're mostly interested in getting rid of some clutter.

One of the things I am considering selling is a set of three vases we received from our friend George when we lived in Japan.

The vases are, well, ugly. They are royal blue, white, and gold, with a bird print on them. I've never liked them, even though I have always given them a place of honor in my china cabinet or glass-front kitchen cabinets.

The issue is that every time I see the vases, I think of George, and it makes me smile.

George was a single Marine when we lived in Japan. He worked with the Hubster, and had a standing invitation to our house for Sunday dinner. He was about 6'4", 220 pounds, and had the build of a college football player (which he had been a few years earlier).

Most Sundays he would arrive at our house with a banana cream pie, a really bad video, and a huge grin on his face. The kids loved him because he was still a kid at heart. He would eat whatever I had cooked, and rave about it as if it was the best meal ever (which we all know is a huge stretch).

His banana cream pie was legendary. He lived in the Bachelor Officer's Quarters and didn't have a stove, so he would buy the pre-made crust, use the instant pudding, then top it with bananas and Cool Whip. Every week we would have banana cream pie for desert (even though none of us liked banana cream pie) and we would rave about how it was the best banana cream pie ever. George always finished any leftover pie while they watched the bad video.

The video, well, it was usually something from the "Ernest" series, starring Jim Varney (anyone remember those??). Ernest goes to Hollywood, Ernest Saves Christmas, knowhutImean??!!?? The kids thought the movies were hysterical, and the only person laughing louder than them was George.

When George moved back to the states, he bought us the set of vases as a thank-you gift.

George got married soon after he moved back to the states. He is out of the Marine Corps now, and we lost track of him several years ago. Last we knew, he was working as an FBI agent in New York City on September 11. I imagine his life took an unexpected turn at that point, but we'll probably never know. (It's not easy to do a People Finder on an FBI agent.)

Anyway, I think I'll keep the ugly vases a bit longer.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More Fun With Grammar

From the high school newsletter, discussing the procedure for picking up final report cards and diplomas:

"Students will be able to pick up they're own report card or diploma. Parents may pick up diplomas and report cards but not friends."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Prom Drama

The Diva Master Plan:

1300 - The Diva and Diva #2 leave and drive (separately) to town to have their makeup done.

1400 - Makeup appointments.

1500 - Leave Ala Moana, drive to Waikiki, check-in at the hotel, park one car.

1510 - Drive home.

1540 - Arrive at home, change into prom dresses. Accessorize accordingly.

1600 - Arrive at Diva #3's house. She lives on the beach and her father is a professional photographer. Portraits will be taken on the sand.

1645 - Limo leaves Diva #3's house, with 12 Divas and 8 Lucky Overwhelmed Guy Friends.

1730 - Arrive at prom, eat, dance, mingle, be seen.

2200 - Leave prom, head to hotel room for after-party.

Actual Sequence of Events:

1300 - The Diva leaves for her makeup appointment. Diva #2 is running late and will meet her there.

1400 - Diva gets her makeup done. Diva #2 arrives late and isn't happy with her makeup because "they messed it up". Wait while they "fix" it.

1530 - Leave Ala Moana and head for hotel. Hit lots of traffic.

1545 - Check-in at the hotel. Spend 15 minutes being grilled by desk clerk about how many people will really be sharing the room.

1600 - Drive home. Hit more traffic.

1645 - Fly in to the house yelling, "The limo is leaving in five minutes!!!!" (It's a 20 minute drive to Diva #3's house.) Quick change of clothes, pee while on the phone with male friend/date, ask repeatedly "Am I forgetting anything?"

1650 - Hop in the MomVan and head for Diva #3's house. Hit every red light and get behind every clueless driver along the way.

Diva #4 calls and asks the Diva where she is.

Diva says she is on the way, will be there soon, and curses every driver on the road.

Diva #5 calls and asks where the Diva is.

Diva says she is five minutes away.

Diva #6 calls and says the limo driver has to leave NOW.

Diva asks her to please, please stall, hangs up the phone and curses the hotel desk attendant for wasting her time.

Diva # 7 calls and asks where the Diva is.

Diva tells her the exact location, then adds, "But don't tell them that. Tell them I am two minutes away!!"

Diva curses the makeup artist who "messed up" Diva #2's makeup.

Guy Friend calls. Says he is stalling, but the limo driver needs to get on the road.

Diva curses the limo driver and hangs up.

Diva #8 calls and asks how much longer before the Diva arrives.

The Diva starts to give her an answer when Diva #9 (who is standing right next to Diva #8) rings in.

The Diva tells Diva #8 to tell Diva #9 to get off the phone.

Then she curses Diva #9.

After several minutes of no phone calls, the Diva calls Diva #3 and asks if the limo left yet. Diva #3 tells her that they have to leave NOW or be charged overtime.

The Diva hangs up the phone and is near tears.

Smart Mom (who weeks ago told the Diva that The Diva Master Plan was short on time) doesn't want to drive a cursing, crying Diva all the way to Waikiki, so she tells the Diva that we will pull over in a shopping center which is on the limo's route and she can be picked up there.

The Diva calls another Diva (I lost track by this point) and tells her to ask the limo driver if he can pick her up along the way.

The cell phone cuts out and the Diva curses Sprint.

The Diva calls yet another Diva and asks if the limo driver will be able to pick her up. The answer is affirmative, so we pull in to the parking lot and wait.

I tell the Diva that someday, probably soon, she will laugh about this.

The Diva curses laughter.

After two minutes of no contact, the Diva calls a Fellow Diva and asks where they are. She learns that they are less than a minute away and the driver would appreciate it if she could flag him down on the side of the street rather than him having to pull into the parking lot.

The Diva sees the limo coming around the corner, flies out of the MomVan yelling her usual "Love you, Mom!!" as she runs toward the street. She stops, looks back, and says, "I'll laugh about it as soon as I get in the limo!!!"

(That's my Diva!!)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Eyes Wide Open

We've discovered shadows.

(Oh, joy.)

Shadows are scary. They come out of nowhere, for no apparent reason. They can move and grow to become as large as your room. If you try to run from them, they get bigger and follow you. If you turn off the light, you can't see them but they still must be there, right?

The only safe place is in the center of the room with the light on.

With your eyes wide open.