Always carry a bikini in your purse

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Photograph of a TheBus 40' Gillig Phantom bus ...

TheBus in Honolulu near the intersection of Beretania and Bishop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I can breathe. At least until tomorrow. I flew last night to Oahu for my second MPJE exam in a week. Last Saturday, I took the one for New Mexico, and today I took the one for Washington state. It all started out on a positive note…..

I arrived at Honolulu International Airport in the afternoon, with my purse and briefcase on wheels. I was spending the night, but I figured I didn’t need a full change of clothes….just a couple shirts and a bikini folded into my purse. Always be prepared! Walking up to the bus stop, I spotted a man I work with on a project. I use that phrase loosely, since I didn’t even remember his name. He was fiddling with his iPhone. “Aloha,” to which his reply was, “The bus comes at 5:51.” It seems he found some cool way of tracking the buses on his phone.

As luck would have it, we sat next to each other on the bus, across from two military boys who had evidently not been whooped into shape enough during boot camp. These boys were straight from the midwest, had never been on a city bus, were probably excited about the nightlife in Waikiki,

and were loud and obnoxious. Eight-year-old boys on a big field trip, but with tons of testosterone.

I reintroduced myself to the “bus keeper,” and we talked the best we could given the ruckus around us about a grant just released by CMS, and somehow about the school his son goes to. It’s for dyslexic and/or gifted children. In fact, he moved to Oahu so his son could go there, but he works all week on Maui while his wife stays on Oahu. Now, that’s Dad of the Year, in my books! He said a few times that “it’s really expensive.”

It’s called Assets, and I intend to look into it. While I want to stay on Maui, the prospect of a job is slim to none. My daughter is highly gifted and the typical underachiever.  Not only did he (his name is Tony) turn me on to a grant and Assets, he also turned me on to a website for tracking the buses on Oahu. If you Google “the bus”, you will find the website. The buses each have gps on them, so you can find out real time how far they are from you.

Next adventure, the hotel. I had no idea where I was staying, but I knew it was in the outskirts of Waikiki….Equus, boutique hotel. Hmmm.. The front desk seemed nice enough, with a waterfall audible in the background. The desk clerk gave me my key, said to head back out and around the building to the high rise in the back. He pointed to the security code for the building and told me I was on floor 26. Whoa! 26?! I have been on Maui too long. I did what he said, but was a bit confused. High rise doesn’t sound “boutique” to me.

Western Sushi found at Wegmans Supermarket

I found my room, and it was a tiny condo with kitchenette. The bed was a Murphy, and I almost tripped on it trying to walk by, given the 12 inches of clearance between it and the wall. It wasn’t beautiful, but it had a stove, so I could boil water for my Throat tea, and it had a great view of the city. Sushi sounded good for dinner, so I searched Places on my phone and decided to head toward Waikiki a block or so.

When I found the building, there wasn’t the sushi restaurant I found, but something much better! It was Aloha Sushi, with everything to go. Hot dog! I was in business! One spicy ahi and some poke nigiri, all wrapped up, and I headed back for my last study session.

I set up my computer so I could face the city lights and the ocean and got situated with notes and sushi. Suddenly, fireworks went off right in front of me!  Boom! Boom! I had my very own show for 3-5 minutes. Honestly, the timing couldn’t be better, and I took it as a good sign.

I had a hard time falling asleep that night. Spinning in my mind were all kinds of business ideas. The whole plan was laid out, and I battled whether to get up and write it down or stay in my meditative state and hope that I would both fall asleep and remember everything the next day. I decided to stay in bed, but I might as well have gotten up.

The room next to me housed some young, rowdy females up for a good time, and they traipsed in and out of their room every few minutes. They were obviously drunk by the fact they were practically yelling to each other in the linoleum hallway that was ten feet long from the elevator to both of our doors. I cracked my door and grunted “some people are trying to sleep,” which they ignored. A call to security seemed to work, or they were just too busy praying to the porcelain god or passed out. Regardless, I finally got about 4 hours of sleep.

“Yes, but how did the test go?” you ask. Well, I made it there early, was finishing my second pint of coffee and feeling the haze lift.

Regular Starbucks Coffee tumbler, as sold in 2...

Regular Starbucks Coffee tumbler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I felt okay going into it, really (that’s what they all say). Plus, I had locker #3 (my lucky number), and then I was seated at desk #3. That just had to be a good sign! Fourty questions into the 90 question exam, I realized I was almost on time (meaning I had no grace time), and that I clearly didn’t study well enough for this one OR the last one. About 1/3 of the questions warranted a WTF?! from me. I honestly don’t know how they come up with these scenarios.

I left the test center last week feeling like most people leave. “No way I passed that exam.” After today, I left feeling completely dejected, so I did what any girl would do. I went to Ala Moana Shopping Center and bought myself some perfume.

Then, I headed to the beach, plopped down my briefcase and purse, changed into my bikini, and got me the first dose of sun in two weeks. After timing myself and flipping like bacon, I rocked a few downward dogs, pigeons and headstands.

Back to the mall for some shoes on clearance (not much makes a girl happier when she is down). I managed to catch my flight on time, where I wrote down some great notes about what I needed to do this next week. Now, here I am, sitting on my lanai with twinkling lights above me, a glass of wine to my right, a soft tropical breeze, and this hacking cough I can’t get rid of.  Tomorrow is a little “me time” before I catch up on the rest of my life….

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North Side FAIL

I decided to hit another beach today, since I seem to go to the same one or two all the time now. I ventured up to the north shore of Maui near Paia and Haiku and was reminded why I stay on the south side. The sand is rougher, and the wind is INSANE. You can’t lay out without something to shield you from being pelted by the sand. It was beautiful in its own way, but I prefer the calm of the south side beaches.

Better late than never

Okay, I finally missed a day. I started to post, but couldn’t think of anything I wanted to share. My day wasn’t exciting.  Keely had her swim meet, which went really well, actually. I went to the beach, which was the usual nice experience, despite the high winds. Actually, I did get approached as I was leaving by this older guy who wanted to photograph me. He had his “portfolio” with him. I humored him and looked at the naked pictures of his wife, but I couldn’t get past the bright green stuff on his chin. It must have been spirulina or something, but it made him seem even goofier. He is amateur, so I wouldn’t consider it. I have wanted to be photographed before, but only by a friend I trust or someone reputable. Oh, and not naked shots by a stranger. I took it as a compliment and went on my merry way.

Aloha Banana Friday!

I don’t often feel too productive, but today was different. The morning started off with a visit on Skype with my beau. I get to see him in 11 days, which is 3 months too late (the last time I saw him was January 5th). Super excited to have a couple days alone with him in Seattle. At work, I was able to do a lot of brainstorming and prioritizing, and met with the owner of the pharmacy for quite a while to barrage him with all of my updates and questions. I think he actually appreciated it, despite already being exhausted.

After work, I laid on my bed, feeling physically exhausted. My bed is WAY too comfy! I must have drifted off, because I woke with a jerk, but no one was around to point fingers and laugh like they did in college. Somehow, I managed to get into my running clothes and out the door with Keely to take her to swimming. Despite it being hot out and feeling somewhat run down, I trotted out, pretty much determined to do more than my usual 3.8 mile loop. Well, I managed 5 miles, and it felt pretty darn good! My pace wasn’t bad either, but I wasn’t trying to go fast, just trying to keep my heart rate and effort level consistent.

Feeling pretty spunky tonight, kinda silly, which is nice, since lately I have been feeling pretty low on patience. Made some easy and yummy pasta, good for Keely’s swim meet in the morning. Now, I am determined to make banana muffins. You can see why. I waited and waited for these bananas to ripen, and one day I saw some yellow. By the next day, almost the whole first hand was yellow. Within a few days, all 5 hands were ripe! I might even have to freeze some of them.

I would love to take some muffins to the swim meet tomorrow, but not so sure if there will be any left!

Swim meet tomorrow, followed by some sun, maybe a pedicure (it’s been probably 1.5 years since I had one), perhaps a bike ride. Sunday, long run in the am, then sun and/or pedicure if it didn’t happen before, and a massage in the afternoon. This lady is AMAZING. I only get massage when my body is completely whacked, and she fixed a 2-year-old problem in one session. I sing her praises!!

Now, I wish you adieu, as it is time to mash and bake the bananas…..

Have you hugged yourself lately?

Been tired, irritable, tense lately. It is 8:30 pm, and I am falling asleep in my chair while attempting to read studies for a lit. review. I have had a hard time with my breathing lately, although still not sure why, which makes me tense and irritable.

Perhaps I just need a few good hugs from someone who cares. Too bad those people are thousands of miles away. I have hugged myself before, and it feels pretty good, but it is certainly not the same.

I don’t resort to alcohol or drugs, although I am very slowly enjoying a glass of wine. I haven’t even had half of a glass in over an hour.

I am thinking I need more beach, but I have been too busy to make it there. Getting up in the morning is nearly impossible, and I have something to do after work and before the sun sets. At least I am running, but I truly feel that the ocean envelopes you and washes away the stresses of the day.

That’s the hug I think I need, at least for now.

Living in a picture perfect world…

I wonder exactly when I went from walking along the beach and admiring the beauty of the sunset (given the weather was perfect and I didn’t have too much sand on me) to drinking in the sunset, along with some sandy ocean water occasionally. When did I go from seeing sand as a nuisance to loving the colors of the separate grains and the patterns they make on my wet legs? Where once I experienced paradise like it was a picture in a gallery, like a ride at Disneyland, I now envelope myself in it.

There is a life force, a heartbeat of the islands. Lying in the ocean, I try and hear through the crackles for the heartbeat, or for the whales. Lying in the ocean at sunset is like lying along an artery. The pulse moves me and surrounds me. Everything moves in sync. Everything affects everything. The world around us is round, not flat. We do not simply walk on the earth of the island, looking out at a sunset and a flat horizon on the sea. Well, I don’t. The islands surround me. I am a part of the islands. My feet have sunken into the sand, and I have tasted the salt water, been tossed around like a rag doll in the surf, ecstatic to feel such energy (and to be alive).

I live in a picture perfect world, but no picture can capture the joy of waking to so many birds, or the sounds of the ocean, whether it is a far-away roar, a rhythmic breaking on the beach, or the periodic pounding into rocks and erupting from a blowhole. The powerful wind and the swishing of the wet banana leaves during a tropical storm. The list goes on and on, and every day another sensation is added.

Welcome to our picture perfect world. Kick off your shoes, sink in your feet, and become a part of the pulse of the islands.

240/333- Sunny Days

239/333- Sandy

223/333- Walk With Me

222/333- On My Mind