Friday, November 30, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho.

The Blonde One has a group project for his Anatomy class. It involves either a live skit (or a taped version of it) in which anatomy vocab words, using the proper terminology, are discussed.

He somehow "got stuck" in a group of six - that would be five girls and one Blonde One.

(Thus the Five Ho title.)

The Five Hoes came up with the idea that the Blonde One would be Santa Claus, and they would be his elves. They would each take a turn sitting on his lap and discussing anatomy.


I swear girls are becoming much more aggressive than they were back in my day (the old days!!).

He seriously considered the idea before deciding that he just wasn't comfortable with Five Hoes on his lap.

Good thinking on his part.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Zoom, Zoom

More playing with the camera.

These are all closeups of typical things around the house. Some have been cropped, some were taken at odd angles, but none were edited in any way. Can you guess what they are?


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Any guesses?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Junior Man Brain

A few months ago the Hubster and I watched a mini-documentary on the teenage brain. The conclusion they reached was that the teenage brain works differently than the adult brain.

Brilliant discovery.

Now I'm just waiting for them to 'discover' that the male brain works differently than the female brain.

This is where I am totally screwed - I'm living in a house with an adult male brain, a teenage male brain, and a pre-teen male brain.

Take for example the pre-teen brain, aka the Wildcard.

The Wildcard has always been the conscientious one, especially when it comes to school work. If an assignment was due on Friday, he would do it on Tuesday. If he needed an 80% on an exam to guarantee an 'A' in the class, he would get a 100% just because he could.

So it totally caught me off guard when we got the deficiency notice in the mail.

He was getting a 39% in his social studies class.

Thirty-Nine Percent.

He completely forgot to turn in three major assignments. He had done two of the assignments, but never turned them in before the deadline. The third assignment? He swore he knew nothing about it.

The letter went on to say that because he was failing a class, he would be attending mandatory study hall three afternoons a week.

He was devastated. He begged me to write him a note to opt out.

Fat chance of that happening.

So, yesterday he went to study hall after school. I felt kind of bad because he generally works very hard and I believe he already learned his lesson, but still he got a 39%. I waited in the parking lot for him, expecting him to come dragging out the door after such a long day.

Wrong again.

He and his best friend came bouncing out the door, laughing and carrying on like giddy little boys up past their bedtime. When he got in the car he said they weren't allowed to talk, so they spent the entire time typing messages to each other on their calculators, pretending they were doing math homework. He couldn't wait for next study hall.

Where's the lesson in that?

I'm thinking I may write him that note to opt out of the mandatory study hall. Instead, he can come home and have MY version of a mandatory study hall.

Little shit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Waves

What do you do the day after Thanksgiving if you hate shopping and live on a tropical island?

You go to the beach, of course.

Friday was the day of the biggest football game in University of Hawaii history, and the stadium just happens to be located near the point where all the major highways on the island meet. That point also happens to be near many major shopping centers, so traffic was predicted to be a nightmare.

So, the Hubster and I headed off in my shiny, new, less than 3,000 miles on the odometer car and took the scenic route up the coast to the North Shore. It was a gorgeous day, the kids were home eating the leftovers, and traffic was surprisingly light.

The waves had been huge that morning, so I took the camera. Our goal was to watch the waves and have lunch, then head home.

By the time we got up there, the waves were smaller, but still very wild in spots.

Sunset Beach was big, but nothing spectacular, so we moved on.

Our next stop was Pupukea, where the waves were big, wild, and unpredictable. The spray when they crashed on the rocks was 20-50 feet in the air. Pretty impressive. We spent a while there, and I took lots of pictures. The Hubster was rather quickly bored because there were no surfers in the water, so he eventually sat on the rocks and waited for me to give him the okay to leave.

From there we headed to Waimea. The waves were not extremely large and they were predictable, but the shore break was huge. (And there were surfers to entertain the Hubster.) I got lots of pictures of some bodyboarders attempting to catch a wave, some surfing pictures, and even a beach patrol rescue of a guy swept up in a rip current.

From there, the plan was to head to Haliewa for lunch. Somewhere between Waimea and Haliewa we decided that we didn't want to deal with the traffic (which had picked up a lot), so I waited for an opening and attempted a U-turn to head back home.

Not only was there a break in oncoming traffic, but there was a sandy/grassy area on the opposite side of the road for me to turn around in. Jackpot!

I did a quick turn onto the sandy/grassy area and as soon as I completed my turn, I heard a horrible crunching noise from the front of my shiny, new, less than 3,000 miles on the odometer car.

There was a freakin' rock under the grass, and my low-to-the-ground car got caught on it.

(Times like that I wish I had my MomVan back.)

Anyway, I have bumper damage, mostly just scratches.

On the bright side, I got some great pictures, got to spend the day with the Hubster, didn't eat leftovers for lunch, and the Warriors won the football game. All in all, a good day.

This is Pupukea, and this splash was about 25 feet.

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Some surfers at Waimea.

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Some shore break.

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And I like this one, for perspective. The little thing sticking up in the center? It's one leg and fin of a body boarder attempting to dive under the incoming whitewater.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wet Wednesday

Actually I took these on Monday, but "Wet Monday" just doesn't flow.

I had planned to go to the gym Monday morning, but got sidetracked by the big waves. I ended up spending all of my "me" time taking pictures.

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And since I'm such a nerd, I stayed up late last night playing with some of the pics and came up with a few enhanced ones, including these:

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(I really need to get a life.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sick Irony

It all started about two weeks ago.

Destructo had a low-grade fever and drippy nose. No big deal.

A week later, just in time for the weekend, the Diva, the Blonde One, and I got hit (hard) with the crud.

The Diva was smart and slept all weekend. She was functional by Monday.

The Blonde One and I used the "ignore it and it will go away" treatment.

Unfortunately, by Tuesday we were struggling to get out of bed in the morning, running fevers, and downing NyQuil, DayQuil, TheraFlu, and anything else I could find in the Bucket o' Meds. It was an ugly four days.

Saturday rolled around and the Wildcard woke up sicker than any of us ever were. He spent the weekend in bed and missed school today.

The irony?

The Wildcard, who thought it was hysterical to teach his little brother the word "diarrhea" is the only one who came down with the intestinal version of the crud.

There's some justice there, no?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fun With Vocab

When you are an older sibling, it's fun to teach the little one new things. Some good, some not so good.

Take, for example, the Wildcard introducing Destructo to the word "diarrhea".

Picking Destructo up after "school":

Destructo: I told Miss Heather that I had diarrhea.

Me: You did what? Why did you tell her that?

Destructo (who obviously never considered NOT telling her): I just did.

Destructo, running out to the Hubster's car to tell him one last thing before he headed off to work:

Destruacto: Dad!! Dad!! Wait!

The Hubster stops, puts the window down and waits to find out what the important news is.

Destructo: Don't forget your diarrhea!!

At the restaurant, as the waitress brings us our meals:

Unsuspecting Waitress: Is there anything else I can get for you?

Destructo: How about some diarrhea?

Never a dull moment....

Monday, November 12, 2007

And When the Clock Strikes Twelve.....

The Marine Corps celebrated its 232nd birthday this weekend, which means it was Marine Corps Ball weekend.

The Marines, of course, throw on their dress blues or mess dress and are ready to go. The spouses need to put a bit more thought into it.

Some do, some don't.

I'm certainly no fashion diva, but I do enjoy critiquing what some people choose to wear to the ball.

The Ball is a formal event, although less formal in Hawaii because, well, it IS Hawaii. Cocktail dresses and floor-length gowns were the uniform of the night for the spouses, with a few formal pantsuits thrown in. Most everyone looked fabulous.

Which is why the others stood out like sore thumbs. Here are my top three "better get her home by midnight" outfits:

3. Mom of a Marine officer who chose to wear a pink and blue tie-died, two-piece halter dress with a black bra. Not a halter-style bra, just a black bra. And she definitely didn't have the body to carry off the halter top/bare midriff dress.

2. The "Britney Forgot Her Underwear" dress. The dress was very similar to this: Pretty in Leopard Print. Except a bit shorter, with a slit to the waist on each side.

This, of course, led to a group discussion at our table about the probability of being able to wear underwear with something like that.

3. My favorite outfit, by far. I tried to google it and find a picture of something somewhat similar, but it may be a one-of-a-kind piece. (We all hope that is the case.) My google results kept pointing me to cross-dressing websites and costume shops.

This dress was worn by a tall, curvy, very patriotic blonde.

Think red, white, and blue.

Think floor-length, strapless, form-fitting.

Now add sequins.

And a slit ALL the way up the front.

Now, just for fun, imagine one blue sequined star on each boob, and vertical red/white stripes outlining the slit up to there.

Fabulous. Just fabulous.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Finger Lickin' Good

People are idiots, we've gone that route many times.

Now, let me add this: People are gross and disgusting.

Need proof?

Tonight at the Blonde One's soccer game I watched the lady two rows in front of me eat a sandwich. Not gross by itself, but her method made me gag.

Gag-Me Lady would tear off a bite-sized piece of sandwich and place it in her mouth. And by 'place', I mean her thumb and index finger were shoved into her mouth all the way to the second knuckle. After dropping the morsel in her mouth, she would suck all the sandwich remnants off her fingers as she pulled them out of her mouth. This was followed by licking under her manicured nails once her fingers were free again.

Tear. Slurp. Lick. Repeat.

How gross is that??!!?

Do you know what is even more gross and disgusting?

The Gag-Me Lady was with two other women and they were doing the same exact thing!

And then?

After they all finished tearing, slurping, and licking themselves, they used those same hands to feed french fries to someone's baby, make several phone calls on a shared cell phone, and borrow someone's pen.

Hand sanitizer, anyone?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Homework Hell

The Wildcard's science project:

Five Cups of Mud
One Raw Egg
One Tablespoon of Crushed Chalk Powder
One Sheet of Newspaper, Shredded
A Secret Ingredient (from the teacher)
Water (to make it 'creamy')

Mix all ingredients in a large bucket, in the dark, in the pouring rain.

Leave the bucket just outside the door while you run inside to get the empty 2-liter soda bottle and a funnel.

Rush back out the door and tip the bucket over, spilling the 'creamy' substance all over the lanai. In the dark, in the pouring rain.

Stomp back into the house, full of drama, saying you'll just take the "F" on the project and be done with it. Leave muddy, 'creamy' tracks in the laundry room and kitchen.

Go back outside with Mom and attempt to scoop the 'not-so-creamy-anymore' substance into the funnel. In the dark, in the pouring rain. Fill the 2-liter bottle with scoopings, whatever they may be.

Next day:

Re-read the directions and discover that the project calls for one hard-boiled egg yolk, not one raw egg. Get more Secret Ingredient from teacher. Shred another sheet of newspaper. Crush more chalk. Collect more mud. Enlist Mom to help, in the dark of course. No pouring rain tonight, just sprinkles.

Assemble all materials, mix ingredients until creamy.

Attempt to pour mixture into funnel and spill it all over lanai.

Quickly scoop it with your bare hands and force it into the funnel before the rain dilutes it beyond 'creamy'.

Yell at your father to NOT let your little brother come outside because it's a big, muddy science project mess.

Continue scooping.

Yell at your little brother to stop walking through your science project, and to go back in the house. Use your muddy hands to open the door and shove him back inside the house. Mutter something as Little Brother starts to cry and tracks muddy, creamy science project through the laundry room and kitchen.

Fill the 2-liter bottle with whatever can be scooped off the cement. Place today's 2-liter bottle next to yesterday's 2-liter bottle. Take a shower, eat Cheetos, and say you're not doing it over again.

Get no argument from Mom.

Monday, November 05, 2007

SAT Saturday

Yesterday was SAT day again, and if you are one of the three people who have been reading my ramblings for a while, you know that means.

I drop the kid of to take his SAT while I go hiking. And there will be pictures.

My first choice was a rocky shoreline hike, but I changed plans because rain was in the forecast and that would make for slippery, rocky shoreline.

Instead, I went with the Manoa Cliffs Trail. The trail itself is only about 2.5 miles, but in order to make it a loop (as opposed to doubling back), it connects to the Kalawahine Trail and makes a loop around Tantalus Crater. My handy, dandy guidebook says it is 4.8 miles round trip, and takes approximately 2.5 hours.

I have to say, getting there is more than half the challenge. There is only one road that loops up the mountain to the trailhead. It's about ten miles of hairpin turns, switchbacks, and steep inclines. Oh, and a landslide closed a section of the road, but I wasn't sure exactly which section.

I headed up the mountain in my new race car, and as luck would have it, the landslide was before the trailhead. I turned and headed back down the mountain, and through town to find the road that would take me up the opposite side of the mountain. Trial and error got me there, but it took about 45 minutes more than I had planned.

Anyway, it was totally worth it.

The trail was steep in spots, and muddy. I spent a lot of time watching my footing because there was so much mud, random tree roots, and mud-covered tree roots. On the way up, the trail winds along a cliff overlooking Manoa Valley. After connecting to the Kalawahine Trail, the descent has some great views of Pearl Harbor, Pearl City, and the Ko'olau Mountains.

The trail had pretty much everything.

There were the cliffs:

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The bamboo forests:

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Interesting tree formations:

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And even a snail habitat:

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The Hubster and I studied these two pictures trying to figure out which evolved to become the other. What do you think? It's the same type of plant, but which came first?


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Or this:

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By the way, I'm LOVING the new camera!