Friday, October 24, 2014

Hawaii - One More Thing

Forgot some more of the trip highlights:
  • My moderate-drinker mother nostalgically ordering a Mai Tai for Happy Hour. My Brother drinking it.*
  • Also...no, that was it.  Except for the fact that I learnt to surf, hula, ride a dolphin, carve a pineapple, make a lei, paddled to Kauai from Oahu on a stand-up paddle board, grew some macadamia nuts and cooked sausages over lava.  No big deal.**

Look how I have cleverly concealed my brother's face.  With pineapple.
*She had a couple of sips but think the nostalgic memory did not include how strong they are and how little tolerance she has.
**A little bit of lies.  Except for the lava part - my Dad really did do that one time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why Am I Not A Ballerina?

Beats me. I had years of training. It was repeatedly reported on my exam feedback that I had a lovely smile. Pretty sure that's all it takes. 

They did also mention a lack of rhythm but that can't be it. 

I noticed a bias towards girls that had straight hair because it is harder to put curly hair in a bun and make it stay there. Even with hairspray. But that can't be it. Not when accompanied by a lovely smile.

Maybe it was the wearing of a tutu?  But really, who actually looks good in a tutu? Even when wearing a lovely smile.  That can't be it.
Just look at the arm extension.  And the lovely smile.  Yes, that is a slightly limp tutu that my mother"bedazzled'...
Not your most common ballet pose but I think I've pulled it off.


I think the problem is that I didn't have a proper ballet mum.  That'll be it.  She didn't own one of those flip open make-up cases with fake eyelashes for 5 year olds and she didn't always stay to catch the lesson so she could critique me during practice at home*.  We were a bit more of the wing-it type.  I was dropped off with my hairbrush so I could create whatever style I thought was ballet appropriate** and then picked up later.  If I was lucky, we would have fish and chips after.  That can be damaging to a tutu but the protein in fish is essential for building ballet muscle.
I know it looks like I did my own make-up but I swear this was what we all had to wear for this recital.  Note the hair not in a bun.  All kinds of ballet mother angst backstage over that one.  Except for my mother who thought it looked nice.

Plus there was that time when my father, brother and his best friend came to a recital and couldn't control their hysterical laughing.  To be fair, the lead male dancer (all the way from Auckland) should have worn a cup (or is that just for things like football?) or less form-fitting pants that didn't allow us to see that something else was dancing in time with him...that probably didn't help my chances.

*Mostly because we didn't really practice at home.  Really wasn't necessary because of the lovely smile.  Similar to Golf - if you wear a kick-arse outfit, no one will notice that the ball is still on the mini sticky thing.   
**Sometimes another mother would grab me and spray me into submission so you had to be quick.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Things I Saw In Hawaii

  • Green sea turtle. In trying to get away from a throng of people, I swam out a ways so that I could be surrounded by people on inflatable devices that don't know how to swim. As I was swimming along, I thought to myself, what would I do if a shark came along right now - would I help get these non-swimmers to safety? I decided I most definitely would. Then all of a sudden a large dark shape swam underneath me - not a scuba diver as I first thought - then popped its head up to take a breath, inches from me. While appreciating the nature and beauty of it all, I legged it quick smart in to shore and realized those people were completely on their own and I am not brave. It's a humbling experience to find out that you would let people die and save yourself. But honestly, should they even be out there?


It looked just like this, in fact, lets pretend I took this awesome photo before I saved myself and threw the others to the wolves. Sea wolves obviously.
  • More things from the sea.  In their natural habitat.  

Garlic shrimp
  • Gordon Gecko - buy, buy, sell, sell!

He wasn't real impressed with having his picture taken.  Trying to keep a low profile...
  • Loco Moco - the Hawaiian delicacy of egg, hamburger patty, rice and gravy.  Tastes even better when eaten while looking out over the ocean.  Less likely to give you a heart attack that way.
  • Injuries.  Namely my toe after a stand-up paddle boarding accident.  When dismounting, try not to rake your foot over sharp objects in the water.  Clearly it was broken but I bravely pushed on through...
I hardly cried at all.
  •  Small children on Waikiki beach having a lovely time making sand castles and decorating them with cigarette butts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shopping With Kids

Have you ever done it? And I don't mean grocery shopping, I mean like clothes and shoes. Because I have the two most tolerant niece kids in the world. On our vacation to Hawaii, they trailed around behind us, going from shop to shop while their parents experienced the delights of American shopping and all those stores we don't have in New Zealand. Here's what I learned:

  1. When you are bored of shopping because the stores are all the same as in Los Angeles but you need to pass the time by trying on a few things, enlist the help of your six year old niece as a personal shopper to pick some items out. She will be ecstatic and complimentary and agreeable on everything - grown-ups need to take note. 
  2. When you get into the changing room, she will ask what all the hooks on the wall are for and be delighted that she now has a place to hang her Hello Kitty* handbag and will get comfortable on the stool, preparing to provide feedback. 
  3. Now, since I don't have kids**, I wasn't sure what her reaction would be to me getting undressed and I was prepared for comments. But, you know the nice thing about kids? They don't care what you look like, they don't know what is considered beautiful or why you're even worried about it. They just want to discuss candy and the like. 
  4. After trying each item on, you will be asked to turn around and careful consideration will be given to the outfit.  Most everything you put on will be "a good color for you" which you will realize is what she just overheard a saleswoman saying.
  5. It will soon become apparent that she has some Amish modesty tendencies because comments will be restricted to "a little short, don't you think" and "I can see the tops of your boobies". Now to be far, the last comment was valid but when everything is hitting at the knee or below, I have to wonder what would be acceptable.  Suspect an up to the neck and down to the floor dress would be most appropriate.
  6. That this is was much fun for me (without even buying anything) as it was for her.  As she flung a recent purchase of her own (a Spring, floral scarf) around her neck and head, A la Grace Kelly convertible-car-riding style and sauntered out of H&M, I was advised that she would be happy to help again if I ever needed it.
*I was informed that she feels it's a bit young for her and she's on the look-out for something a little more grown-up.  With sequins.
**Albert just turns a blind eye. Like literally...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Words I Don't Like And Will Never Use

  1. Hubby
  2. Moist - unless it's cake.
  3. LOL- I have never used this in any email or text and I never will.  I use "hah" which I think adequately addresses how I feel about things.  If you get a "hahaha" then you really tickled my fancy.  Or possibly I am laughing at you.
  4. Panties - what's wrong with undies or knickers?
  5. Banal*
  6. Chortle**
  7. Fanny pack***
  8. Australian
  9. Low-hanging fruit - I know this is a phrase, not a word and a commonly used business term but whenever anyone in management uses it, all I can thing of is a banana and 2 plums.  You get the picture...
  10. Turgid - I first saw this word when I was reading prohibited Mills and Boon books.  I'm not going to describe the situation or the other word used in conjunction with this but it rhymes with...actually no.  Read the books and figure it out.  This is a family show.  Albert is too young.
Any words you don't like?  We'll put them on the list and anyone that uses them will be punished.  Probably a severe beating is most appropriate.
 
*Banal - I used to like this word when I thought it was pronounced baynal. When I was corrected to baanaal, not so much.
**Does anyone really chortle these days? Except for Santa.
***Pretty sure I've explained the meaning of this before - America thinks it's no big deal but the rest of the world...gives us the giggles.

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Cat Is Not What He Seems

The color is rubbing off my cat. Every time he rubs his face and body up again the door jamb, he leaves black marks and I know he can't be dirty with the amount of time he spends cleaning himself*. I requested a black cat and I think I've been duped.

We had a long conversation last night about this fighting business as I noticed his ear was a little squished looking.  I asked him if he really thought he could lose another eye because there would be no going outside after that.  My advice, twist to the side so they get an ear or a leg.  We can work with that.

On a side note, I'm having a yard sale tomorrow so if anyone wants a bunch of crap that no longer works, is broken, out of style etc - come on by.  I'll give you the family discount.

*Also I let him kiss me and rub his face on mine so really hoping for the diagnosis to be some kind of color leaching rather than dirty grossness.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Annoying Situation #587

When I'm not having Awkward Moments, I'm having Annoying Situations. For years I have accommodated the cat when choosing where to live - paying higher rent and cat deposits, making sure there was some way I could buy an expensive cat door, create an elaborate ramp, rig a bucket (long story - see previous post) and always live on the ground floor. All so Albert can be an indoor/outdoor cat.
Just one of the many conveniences I've created for Albert...
But this time was different, I got such a good deal on the apartment that I couldn't afford to turn it down and Albert was just going to have to be an indoor cat. After all, he's almost 10, slowing down a bit and to be honest, sleeps most of the time so figured it was time to put myself first. Wrong. After two nights of howling to go out (even though he didn't know what was out there and is a big scaredy cat) and not for toiletry purposes since I have thoughtfully provided him with a litter box in the bathroom which is right in the middle of everything and highly inconvenient, not to mention that even after multiple lessons on how to wipe ones' feet, there is still kitty litter everywhere*, I have come up with a solution.
Around the litter box is the only available floor space left in the bathroom.  About 100 steps shy of ideal...
Once again, I find myself pandering to the cat - I bought him a step ladder. 

So, what you can't see is the stool inside so he can hop up, he then squeezes himself through the bars (before I bought the stool, we had a practice session where I shoved him through multiple gaps to see if he needed to go on a diet) and jumps down avoiding the step-ladder altogether.  Since he can't jump up and squeeze back through the bars in one fluid motion - although did not consider the alternative of oiling him up - and the ledge isn't wide enough to give him time to position the entry correctly, he has to come up the step ladder.  The step ladder needs to be padlocked to the iron bars because apparently anything not locked down will get stolen.  Unfortunately, the lock I bought doesn't actually open so will be making another trip back today to return it and get a new one.  Sigh...at least when he got back from having his fight (see below), he was ecstatic and rejuvenated so I guess I made him happy.
Pros
  1. No more howling at night unless of course something else comes up.  Lets call this, temporary howling relief
  2.  No more litter box.  Unless of course he decides to use the floor instead of going out.
  3. No more restless, pacing the floor, sad eyes, longingly looking outside cat.  Until he gets bored of outside.
Cons:
  1. Despite me coming up with a solution and making a special trip to Target to get it set up for last night, he sat there and just looked at me.  Until 3am when he went outside, had a fight** with another cat and came in with wet patches all over him.  I live in LA, so it was not raining. It was not blood.  Suspect that the other cat, held him down and licked him - this is either a new cat fighting style that I'm not familiar with, some random cat was passing by and thought he looked dirty or a female feline took a fancy to a one-eyed pirate cat.
*Off topic but I just ordered a new, super light vacuum cleaner that I am so excited about. Am somewhat concerned about the level of excitement since it's on a par with cake and I'm not sure what this says about me.
**Fight was loud enough to wake both me and my neighbors upstairs - was not UFC style, definitely street fighting and a lot of cussing.