Merry Christmas. Now Eat.


This gallery contains 9 photos.

Merry Christmas. To hear my husband tell it, he only asked me once. But I thought for sure we had several conversations about what to have for breakfast this morning. An avid Pinterest fan, I knew I’d find something fun. … Continue reading

Bike ride plus run today!


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#postaday Ooops. Jumped the gun there! I took John to the Great Aloha Run (#GAR) start at about 6 this morning and then headed to Kapahulu Starbucks to fuel my morning ride. I parked at Triangle Park, unloaded the bicycle … Continue reading

Man down on sidewalk.

@postaday 262; #postaday2011.

He was OK enough to tell me to go the eff away.

Checking to see if a man is alive or needs help is not the same as trying to make a mother feel inadequate. Let’s get that out of the way first.

I work for a health plan. People being healthy and vibrant is our goal. Our offices are in, shall we say, a sort of free-trade zone. And bars are opened really late. When I get to work in the morning, I often encounter, ahem, people, who are wrapping up their shifts. Uniforms seem to mostly include foundation garments in animal prints. You know where I’m going with this.

As I’m walking toward The Mothership from my lucky free parking on Piikoi Street, I see a person on the sidewalk. I cannot tell if it’s a woman or a man, but I soon found out without poking them with a stick or a bayonet. I asked him three times if he were OK and he finally answered me, “YES! GO THE F~@! AWAY!” Looked like an old guy from the ‘hood in white boxers, bedroom slippers and a T-shirt.

Dude. Those were EGGZACTLY the words I wanted to hear. You want me to go away, I’m going! Did I want this to be a dead body? Hellz NO! Did I want you to get up and ask me to take you somewhere? Did I want you to ask me for money or to use my phone or for my lunch or coffee? No. No. No. No. No.

I get into Starbucks Keeaumoku, where they blew my bagel order with finesse, BTW, and got to meet a new colleague who asked me if that guy was OK. I told her he was fine. Just one of the many colorful characters here in the Zombie Zone. If we walk among them, are we zombies, too?

It’s getting to that time of year, folks:  Scary sheeeit going on out there!


Another BTW: @Starbucks promptly responded to my bagel woes on Twitter. That’s what I’m talking about! ENGAGE!

A few Na Wahine Pics and Others Taken by @AlohaJohn


This gallery contains 10 photos.

@postaday 252; #postaday2011. Many of you who know my husband John are aware that he’s been toting cameras around with him since he was a kid. He got to take all kinds of pictures back in the olden days when … Continue reading

Brain Farts and Other It-can-happen-to-you Moments.

Sometimes I wish I could turn back time.

@postaday 239; #postaday2011.

This morning I left the house early to go to Koko Marina Shopping Center for a venti skinny caramel macchiato. It’s sitting right here at my left. I haven’t had any yet. I’m not ready for it. But maybe I should reconsider the delay of starting my caffeine drip. Things happen to me. To wit:

1. Depart said Starbucks and proceed to van, squeezing remote key. Van does not respond. Curse remote key. Realize it’s not my van. Glad it’s dark. Still, I am certain someone had to have seen that.

2. Pull up to gas pump with gas thingy on correct side (yay!). Pop open gas thingy. Slide credit card through reader with magnetic strip positioned correctly (yay!). Insert nozzle into gas thingy. Nozzle doesn’t fit. Freak out. WTHell? Realize van doesn’t take diesel. In broad daylight. Other drivers pumping gas pretend not to notice.

3. Go to school to pick up child. Get weird looks from the staff as I go to sign out said child (is my shirt buttoned? Did my skirt ride up? Do I have a run in my stocking?). Look around cafeteria without spotting child. Ask staff for child. Get more weird looks. Child stayed home sick. Weakly smile, say good bye and depart.

Sure, like these things never happen to you. At work I cannot figure out how to put in the exact time I need to use the microwaves, so I just hit the “add minute” button a couple of times and stand by. I’ve fallen up steps and on sidewalks with no obvious obstacles. I’ve sprayed aerosol glue on something when I thought I was spraying canned air. Imagine that oh-shit moment!

You will never spot me chewing gum and walking at the same time. I know my limitations. This might also give you an indication as to why I firmly believe in evolution. If your kids aren’t smarter than you, then whoa. My sympathies.

Good-bye with Aloha

@postaday 97; #postaday2011

In Hawaii when we say good-bye to someone, it’s quite often with lei, a lingering hug that is supposed to last the rest of your life because you never may see this person again, a kiss on the cheek, and always some tears.

I’ve had my share of good-byes. Even though I was ready to move on from a job or a place, even if I was so excited about the new adventure, I always had a heavy heart when those last moments ticked away. You say good-bye to people you don’t care if you never see again, because we all work with people like that. You say good-bye to those who looked out for you, who made sure you had the keys to your desk drawers, who asked about your kids or your weekend, who spent more than a superficial moment and dug a little deeper to have a conversation.

Saying good-bye provides closure. If you were successful at what you are walking away from, if you are being let go because you let folks down, it is always, always, always an opportunity to reinvent oneself, to grow. Some departures deliver a shocking blow. You hear about them through the coconut wireless, you may never get a chance to bid adieu. And some departures are so final, that you never even get a chance for a conversation that helps the living move on and the dying go in peace.

Janine & Johna

Later today Janine will say good-bye to her friend and manager, Johnna, who is leaving Starbucks for another adventure. We wish her well!

I’m not being maudlin. It’s just that Johnna, the manager of our Keeaumoku Starbucks near our HMSA Center offices, is moving on to a better job, a new adventure, and toward new challenges that will continue to shape her as a person and a professional. Last week she told me to be sure to stop in today. I didn’t want to miss the chance to say farewell!

I do know what makes people reconsider what they are doing and look for another way to make an income. I know being bored, or broken hearted about being in such an awful job that you feel sick every morning upon approaching the mental sweat shop. The people are stupid or cruel, and almost always dishonest. You just don’t feel right about being part of their mission.

Having had some awful jobs and having been unemployed, I am genuinely grateful to have finally landed at a place where I don’t feel any of that. I like being at work. Last year when I blew out my Achilles tendon, I tried everything I could to keep working from home. It is a good thing to arrive each morning at a place where people are confident in your abilities, interested in your success, and occasionally ask about what’s going on in your life. You gotta have that.

Acknowledging others is priceless. Yet it seems to be the commodity that is withheld most.

Happy Birthday, Starbucks!

@postaday 68; #postaday2011

Today Starbucks, which was born in Seattle, celebrates its 40th birthday. I am not a coffee snob. I love Starbucks. And one of my first jobs was at McDonald’s, so I know all about the corporate formulaic approach to sales and appeal. Let me tell you, when I worked the register, I charmed my customers, I made friends, developed relationships with regulars, and even went on a date or two. I was  all of 17-19 or so and it was the late ’70s. It was my age of discovery. WAIT. It didn’t end, did it? Hah!

I visit Starbucks Koko Marina Center, which is in my ‘hood, on the weekends with my family, or on my own if the traffic flow is timed right for me to maneuver the bicycle. During the week, I visit the Keeaumoku Starbucks early in the morning before boarding the Mothership, my favorite nickname for HMSA where I work. The Keeaumoku store is run by Johna. I know some of the barristas there: Kelly, Janine, Jamie… There are more, but it’s mostly these girls rockin’ the morning brew. Love them!

On Saturday, my freebie Starbucks postcard showed up for a free beverage. I redeemed it this morning. And Johna presented me with a lovely petite tiramisu cake pop to enjoy with my coffee. Why? Because I’m a favorite regular! It was like getting a hug pop from those gals! I talked to them about how when Starbucks first opened Dec. 12, 1990, I was a reporter at Pacific Business News, covering the story, and it was my birthday! Johna and I talked about that as she has been with Starbucks in Hawaii since it was born here, too. We discovered mutual friends!

What do I like about Starbucks? Let me count the ways… I’ve had several crushes on brews. The Peppermint Mocha will always be my favorite, but it’s a bit pricey on the Weight Watchers routine. I also fell for the green tea latte for a spell. But after a while, it seemed too sweet and cloying. Then I discovered my present favorite, buoyed by signs in the store talking about how few calories it has — 140 for a Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato. Come to Mama! I also enjoy a shaken ice-tea lemonade made with black tea and two Equals, especially if I stop in after my bicycle ride.

This morning on NPR was a segment about how the world has evolved from countries running the world to corporations having influence on civilization. The discussion was whether the reach of Facebook and Twitter could affect world events. They pondered what influence these entities have on the world today. For the most part, these Internet entities are seen as neutral, conveyors of ideas and information, vehicles for anyone who wishes to post an idea, a news story, a discovery, an opinion. During the elections any time I posted something Pro-Obama on Twitter, I’d get followed by detractors whom I would block because I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of their virulence, I didn’t want them to respond to me. Eventually my Twitter account became populated with people who think like I do, agree much with what I do, and who ride bicycles. I’ve drawn to me the influences I want in my life. If one of those people introduce an idea that is new to me, I’d actually be more receptive to it.

Interesting thought to ponder over today’s free venti skinny caramel macchiato. Oh, and I do follow @Starbucks. We’re friends on Facebook, too. And I like the influence they have on my life. Especially with the people I meet in their stores, IRL.