Always carry a bikini in your purse

Featured

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….

HI Life- Days 4 and 5

**Disclaimer: I started this blog yesterday, but I got tired, so I put it off. Hence, two days!

Day 4:

Boy, is it nice to have a shower in the evening! Soooo muggy today. Big day! I woke up at 5:30, got Keely to school by 7:30, got the obligatory coffee (because I didn’t have a pot to boil water in), then came back to meet the guy who delivered my goods. What a cool contraption he had! Everything looked mostly okay, except for a squished bin, which only had soft stuff anyway. Then, went to drop off my rental and go to the airport so Sheena could get me to the port to get my car, which was fine, other than dirty. Oh, and my brakes are fluttering/stuttering..not sure how to describe it. Then, Sheena and I went to Costco. I got my picture for my membership card, and I look like I am missing an eye. Eerie. Dropped by a farmer’s market in the Kmart parking lot behind Costco and got my first Okinawan sweet potato (they are purple inside!). I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet. I jetted off to pick up Keely from school at 1:45. Yep, short days here in Hawaii! She said she wanted to be in the Hula class, which was that day. The teacher was really cool and greeted me warmly with “E komo mai” (welcome). Keely picked out a Pa-u (pronounced PAW-oo), and she spent an hour learning traditional hula dance, complete with chants and drums. Turns out, they meet most of the year, and they might even get to go to Oahu at the end of the year. Keely has to get her own Pa-u, which will be fun. And the class is only $5 a month! While she was dancing, I walked to the community/aquatic center up the block. Turns out they have a kids’ swim team that meets every weeknight. Score!! Keely and I ran back home after her class to unload some things and meet the landlord at 4pm, then headed back to the aquatic center around 4:45 to meet the coach. She could start the next day, 2 weeks free! Oh, just as my landlord showed up, a truck with a freezer in the back pulled into the driveway, and a large Hawaiian guy came out. He was selling meat from the island, supposedly grass fed, organic, the whole bit. He was a good salesman, so I bought enough meat to probably feed us for a year. Maybe not that long, but it’s a lot of meat.

Someone was looking at the house at 5pm (the house I am renting is on the market), so Keely and I stopped by the beach on the way home to watch the sunset, which happens about 5:55pm. Well, I went off to one end of the beach, and Keely stayed where she was. I told her to roll up her jeans so they didn’t get wet and sandy. After a while, I noticed her going a bit too far out, but I couldn’t yell loud enough for her to hear, so I hoped for the best. Next thing, I see her sit right into the water, in all of her clothes. I was furious!! Anyone who has dealt with wet sand and a detailed car would understand my frustration. I told her to walk home and wait outside for me if she got there first. I made it up to the house after talking with Nick for a bit, and the realtor had let her in the house. OMG. Total disaster..mud and sand everywhere. Then, she proceeded to mention that her phone “might have been in her pocket” when she sat down. Yep, she ruined her third phone in less than 2 years. Then, she proceeded to have a meltdown. Seems that some of the numbers in the phone were all the info she had on certain friends. She was so upset, that she broke down and said that she wanted to go home. I knew it was just a big day, she was tired, and it was settling in that we were here to stay, since a lot of our stuff was out of boxes. I proceeded to make dinner, figuring a homecooked meal would help, and it did. Oh, and the chicken from the meat guy was awesome!  I told her the usual, that change isn’t easy, but it’s good for us. Big day for her!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 5:

I had unpacked my pillows, my wonderful, fluffy down pillows, and slept for the first time since I got here on something more than a folded pillowcase (ie. nothing). I think that’s why I didn’t want to get up. After taking Keely to her 2nd day at Lokelani, I went for a run, and OMG, was it muggy! I was dripping off of my fingertips, into my eyes…everywhere. I really need to get back into this. Afterward, I unpacked some more, making sure to put aside some of Keely’s things that were familiar and might help her transition. She got out at 1pm today ( I know, crazy weird times), so I took her home to do her homework, and I went to the beach to get some swimming and tanning in. I still have a bike short tan to get rid of. What a beautiful, lazy time! After lazing around in the waves, I laid out…30 minutes each side. I am too pale to not watch the clock when laying out. Then, back out to the water. I swam further out this time, trying to get a bit of a workout in my arms, and treading water for a good while.  The water was choppy from the wind, which made it more fun to bob around and try and catch a wave here and there. I stopped and stood at one point, looked far off into the distance, and I swear I saw a dolphin jump. It was really far away, but there was air between the water and the arched shape. It was so far off, it was hard to tell, but I hear that dolphins can be seen jumping around this area about now.

BTW, I am writing this standing up in the kitchen. I still don’t have a chair anywhere in the house. I never realized how incredibly useful those are!!

Twas a beautiful time, but I had things to do. I came home and showered and took Keely to the supermarket. I figured we needed more than just the onion that was in last night’s dinner for vegetables. HOLY COW! I knew food was expensive here, but even the non-organic stuff is horrendous.  A dozen eggs from the islands, organic ( but not necessarily free from hormones or antibiotics) was $8.99. All salad dressings, save the Kraft, were minimum of $5 each. Carrots were $3.50 a bag (2 lbs), and small bags of lettuce were $5.50. Everything was pretty much twice the cost of food in New Mexico. It’s a wonder that people can get fat here. I figure that must be part of the reason they love Spam. For a small price, you can get enough calories to last you 2 days. Keely had a good swimming lesson, which ended after dark, and then I made a great dish of beans and rice, with a tad of cheese, and a salad to start. Tomorrow, we are going to try Luau leaf and Okinawa sweet potato. Wish us luck!

Oh, at some point today, I got a letter from the Hawaii Licensing Branch….I knew it was test results, and I didn’t open it at first, but I finally broke down and opened it very slowly, holding my breath. The final unfolding would reveal whether I passed or not, and I even held it up to the light to see if I could read it through there first. Silly, but this is big stuff! Well, I passed…not by a lot, but I passed the MPJE. I am still waiting to hear on the NAPLEX. Here’s to hoping I will be licensed soon!