I’m not Catholic so I don’t participate in this religious activity – but some of my co-workers take part in this practice every year. For those not in the know – for the forty days of Lent (Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday), Catholics will give up something that they enjoy. For some it may be alcohol, for some it may be swearing, for some it may be caffeine. One of my co-workers is giving up sugar. Not just artificial sweeteners – but all forms of sugar. She has a list of things that she cannot eat as they either contain sugar or turn into sugar. Like rice. On the approved list, the only fruits are lemons and limes. Can you imagine – no ketchup, no candy, no shoyu, no garlic chicken – I would go nuts! But alas, I’m don’t practice this.
So here’s the Thursday 3 questions about sacrificing for Lent.
What is something that you would give up for Lent? Remember, it has to be something that you enjoy. And it should be a sacrifice.
If this is something that you practice – what have you given up before that you really missed? Maybe even cheated a little bit?
After Lent is over – do you think you would over-indulge to make up for what you missed or would you continue to abstain from it?
Here’s my replies:
What is something that you would give up for Lent? Remember, it has to be something that you enjoy. And it should be a sacrifice. I would give up soda. I would like to just give up aspartame and other artificially sweetened soda, but that might be too easy. Because us soda drinkers know that the carbonation is a big part of the enjoyment. I could also give up hot sauce. No adding Tabasco, Cholula, or Sriracha on my mac salad or anything with gravy.
If this is something that you practice – what have you given up before that you really missed? Maybe even cheated a little bit?
N/A But if I was to give up drive-in foods, including fast-foods – I would’ve probably cheated.
After Lent is over – do you think you would over-indulge to make up for what you missed or would you continue to abstain from it?
I don’t know if I would over-indulge. If what you sacrificed had a healthy result (better rest, clearer skin, etc.) then of course I would continue it. Maybe not totally stay away from it – but keep it to a minimum. Let’s say the result was the opposite – that you were grouchy the whole time, but you gave it up out of pure determination, then yes I would go back to it. I might even over-indulge myself just to get my fill. Yes, I’ll reek of garlic for a week after consuming Mitsuken, Sugoi, and Fort Street Cafe garlic chicken for a week straight. But I’d be reeking garlic with a smile!
Okay, your turn to answer the Thursday 3 questions. And no shame leave a story or two along with your replies. Or maybe just observations of others giving up things they love for Lent. What are some of your suggestions that people can give up for Lent?
You know….it’s really time for me to retire now and not wait til later this year. Here’s why….woke up at 05:00 this morning…”damn, I forgot to set the alarm…wait it’s telecommute Monday”. So I went back to sleep and got up at 07:30. Sat down at my desk and started reading emails from the previous might….nothing critical except received a request to block a phishing attempt. I couldn’t find it so I sent an email to the group and request someone look at the logs....we do this all the time and response is quick.
I was doing my usual Monday routine but never received a reply back from anyone…..strange….clue #1.
In the meantime I saw the light on my DVR was recording….took a quick look and saw it was recording the Daytona 500….strange again….maybe it got rained out yesterday (still thinking today is Monday)….clue #2.
Left at 11am to run down to Walmart to return a few things. On the way, there is no school zone signs on the road….strange, the kids must be off this week….clue #3.
At Walmart I see a stack of newspaper near the checkouts….they were thick, like the Sunday edition….clue #4.
Had lunch and back to work….(His son) calls me asking if I wanted to go to lunch with his family. I asked them are they all off today, as they were at Babies-R-Us where he sent me a pic of the kid’s Corvette bed. He said no, it’s SUNDAY !!! OH CRAP
….it’s like that song….”Always Something There To Remind Me”….I just didn’t see it….lol….so how is your Mond….errr…..Sunday coming along? Can anyone top that??
…another clue I missed…usually I make a to go order at a Chinese restaurant on Mondays…I arrived at 11:30 and the owner and his wife just arrives and tells me that they open at noon. They open at 11am on the weekdays and Sat….
btw, here’s a picture of the Corvette bed.
I have a similar story. My in-laws used to subscribe to the afternoon paper – which on Sundays, came in the morning. So my mother-in-law is up early getting ready for Sunday church. After eating breakfast and getting dressed up for church, she goes outside to catch the bus – but first she looks for the Sunday morning newspaper to bring in the house. But no more. She looks under the cars – nope, not there. She checks the mailbox – nope, not there. She looks in the newspaper tube – not there either. So she goes back in the house and calls the newspaper to report that they missed delivering the Sunday morning paper to their house. That’s when the newspaper customer service rep tells her that it’s only Saturday…
Has this ever happened to you? Or someone you know? Come on, no lie. I’m sure AnkleBYTERS wasn’t the only one that his happened to. Share your stories with us. And that’s for the laughs AnkleBYTERS!
This past weekend, I saw something in front of a building that I haven’t seen in a very long time:
I believe they are called Asphalt Kettles. I just called them “tar burners”.
Remember these things? You could tell that there was one nearby just by the smell of the oily smoke. It had a distinct smell. And as you rode your bike closer – following the smell – soon you could hear the loud force of the flames melting the tar inside of the burner.
Remember how the tar used to come in big blocks?
And the big moke looking roofer guys used to chop it up with an ax to make smaller chunks to throw into the tar burner.
Then they’d open the spigot on the end of the super hot tar burner and let the steaming hot tar flow into the bucket. The with a piece of rope, the guys on the roof would lift the bucket of hot tar and start mopping it on the roof.
Those must’ve been some special kine mops.
But I noticed that they don’t use the melted tar anymore. Why is that? From pictures that I saw, it looks like the tar is already on the roofing paper so now they roofers use a huge torch to heat up the roofing paper directly and as they roll it out, the heated tar on the paper helps it stick to the roof.
I remember small-kid-time when we were having our house reroofed. The roofer guys dropped off a wooden pallet of roofing paper rolls in our garage. They looked like this.
There were about one and a half dozen of these rolls on the big pallet which I quickly rearranged into a nice fort. I remember having that fort for a couple of days until the roof work began.
I guess there was no OHSA back in the day – as the guys on the roof didn’t have any tie-downs and harnesses. And they were lifting buckets of hot tar with a rope while standing on the edge of the roof. Such a hot, stinky, bus’-ass job.
I always wanted to look into the burning hot tar burner and see the hot tar bubbling in the burner. But I never could get close enough to one.
Do you still see these asphalt kettle or “tar burners” around in use? Do you remember that burning tar smell? Have you ever helped someone reroof their house? Got any tar stories to share?
As I was cutting my nails the other day, I noticed a few scars from small-kid-time. I use the term “scars” loosely as I don’t literally mean just scars.
For example, on one of my toes is a thick toenail. It’s on the middle toe on my right foot. I don’t remember exactly how the toenail got all busted up, but I do remember when it was just hanging off my toe. We went to the doctor and I watched as he grabbed it the a pair of tweezers and just yanked it off. I was bracing for the pain – but it never came. I guess the skin that was holding it on was already dead. And when the new toenail grew back, it grew back thick. I’m reminded of it every time I’m cutting my toenails.
And on my left foot – the big toe has a line going up from the base of the toenail to the tip. It’s like a permanent crack. I remember that one. My older brothers were at baseball practice at Kainalu elementary school and I was playing on the big gate. Somehow my toe got smashed between the cement base and the big pole on the gate that holds the gate in place. Cracked my toenail and it’s been cracked ever since. I don’t remember crying or bleeding but it must’ve hurt like hell.
On my right hand – just below the baby finger is a scar where I had about 5 stitches. This one was when I was working at a lot boy. I was already punched out and doing a side job buffing out a car. I was using the orbital buffer and someone showed me a trick to clean off the buffing pad: turn the buffer facing up and start the pad spinning. Then hold a screwdriver in the center of the spinning pad and slowly move it outward. All the wax or rubbing compound will come right off of the pad. Well, I didn’t have a screwdriver handy but I did have a thick piece of wire. It was the wire handle from an old paint can. As I was using that, then curved end of the wire got snagged on the buffer pad and ripped the wire right out of my hand – as it ripped my hand open. After washing off the blood, I could see the fat of my hand inside the cut. Even though I was off the clock, my boss said to claim it as an industrial accident since it was on work property.
Speaking of stitches – I have another scar from about 3 or 4 stitches on the back of my head. We were surfing out at Diamond Head and it had a late take-off. I went down first and my swallow-tail followed. Somewhere in the underwater mix, I heard a crunch and felt a sharp pain on the back of my head. When I popped up, I looked at the tail of my surfboard and the tail was shattered and pieces of hair stuck in the cracks. I rubbed the back of my head and looked at my hands. There was blood and more hair in my hand. My friends saw me eat it and asked if I was okay. I said no and told them to paddle in. While taking a shower on the beach, I could feel the gash with my fingers. I asked my friend to look at it and he said it didn’t look too bad. So not knowing what to do, I drove to my mom’s office in Kahala to ask her. But she wasn’t in. I asked the receptionist (who was good friends with my mom) what I should do. She took a look at it and said to get to Emergency right away. So we drove to Straub ER and the doctor stitched it up. After it was done, my friend told me that it looked pretty bad but he didn’t want to alarm me. Ha! Thanks a lot. The weird thing is that after the doctor stitched up the gash, he stitched on a rolled up piece of gauze over it – like a little tampon stuck to the back of my head. I had to leave it there for about 5 days until I went back to have the stitches removed. Every time I rode in someone’s car with a high headrest – it would hit my little tampon and hurt like the dickins’.
Then there’s the scar in the back of my head at the base of my hairline. I must’ve been under 5 years old and we were at Boulevard Bowl with my dad when he was bowling in a Pearl Harbor league. I was doing the spin-around-until-you’re-dizzy-then-fall-down-and-laugh thing. Well, when I fell down, I hit the base of my head against the corner of the ball polishing machine. That one – I was screaming. And that one had blood. A lot of blood. Soaked up my dad’s handkerchief. It was so bad that my dad had to stop bowling to take me home. He was pissed! And that’s right – I said home. Not to the ER. Nope. Took me home and let it heal on it’s own. I wonder if I had a concussion too? Maybe that explains why I’m like I am. LOL
One more. When I was playing flag football for PE in around the 7th or 8th grade, I skinned up my right knee pretty bad. When it healed, the scar was big – almost like a cocoon or something. The doctor told me that it was a keloid. Other than appearance – it didn’t bother me at all. That is until I took Aikido and one of the exercises consisted of walking on our knees. That’s when it hurt. So I went to the doctor and instead of cutting it off, he injected it with something and within a few weeks, it went down to nothing. I still have the scar but it no longer looks like a cocoon and it doesn’t hurt when I put pressure on it.
There’s probably more scars that I have – just can’t think of them right now.
Oh yeah – there’s the one on the arch of my left foot. That one’s a coral cut that I got by slipping off the edge of a reef while walking out to surf.
Sorry for the long read. Lots of history of Childhood Scars. What’s your story?
Happy Valentine’s Day, MLCers! So to honor Valentine’s Day – this blog post is for All Things Valentines; favorite memories, Valentine’s jokes, love songs, Valentine’s Day gift ideas, Valentine’s Day is a rip-off, whatever.
I remember the cards we used to get in elementary school on Valentine’s day. So as not to single out a special someone, I gave a Valentine’s day card to everyone in the classroom. In fact, the boxed set even included a bigger card for the teacher. Some students chose to give Valentine’s Day cards to just certain friends – and that was cool with us. None of this “If you’re going to pass out cards, you MUST give one to everyone so there aren’t hurt feelings”. HAH! Our day, if you didn’t get a card and the others did – T.S.
Those chalky heart shaped candies that only came out during Valentine’s Day. I’d read the writing on the candy first, then eat it. After a while – no need read them anymore – just eat. I remember that they all pretty much tasted the same. Kinda like TUMS.
Nothing like a good gangster movie.
Remember in the old days when movies were just that – movies. And we didn’t act them out in real life? Except when we were playing cops and robbers. But only make believe.
Okay, who’s brave enough the share their memory of their first kiss?
Favorite love song:
Share some Valentine’s Day love! Happy VD, MLCers.
Remember your small-kid-time bedroom? I’d bet that most of us MLCer’s probably grew up sharing a bedroom because back in the day – we grew up with bigger families and smaller houses.
But for me – the bedroom was my sanctuary. But it wasn’t always that way. When I was small, I wanted to stay up late and watch TV – so being sent to the bedroom after the Carol Burnett show wasn’t a fun thing. Luckily, my parents never sent me to my room as punishment. No, I’d just get the belt or slipper or clothes hanger or yard-stick. Whatever was the enforcer-du-jour.
Besides sleeping, the bedroom was also the place to change clothes, do homework, and cry after getting lickins’. My mom also took half of the closet and a corner of the bedroom to store her clothes. And our bedroom also housed the iron, ironing board, and sewing machine.
I shared the bedroom with my brother Terry who is 7 years older than me. So when he was in his teens listening to records, I was right there too – trying to act like a teenager too. That’s what exposed me to music at such an early age.
When I was around the 7th grade, Terry went into the Army and that meant that I had my very own bedroom! Now, this really was my sanctuary. When nothing good was on TV, I’d slip in to my bedroom, throw on some records or tune in to KKUA radio. Or if my dad and one of my other brothers decided to get into a debate – which always lead into an argument – I again would quietly fade away into my bedroom.
I remember one time that my brother and my dad were debating over something trivial. I did my exit-stage-right and went into my bedroom. There was my mom – already wise to what was about to happen – ironing clothes while listening to the Japanese radio station. A little while later – the conversation from the parlor got louder and harsher – until my brother stomped his way to his bedroom all frustrated because my dad wouldn’t back down. And I remember my mom saying to me “When will he learn. You can never win an argument with him (my dad)”. I just snickered.
Speaking of mom ironing in my room. I remember the smell of heated spray starch from mom’s ironing. I’d feel secure somehow knowing that mom was right there in the room – and I’d fall asleep in a matter of a couple of minutes. To this day, the smell of heated spray starch makes me want to jump under the sheets, close my eyes and drift off to sleep. If I ever suffer from insomnia – spray starch is my drug.
Of course I had to customize my bedroom. I had black-light posters taped to the walls all around my room. Even though I didn’t have a black-light. And I had a pair of bookshelf speakers mounted up in the corners of my bedroom – facing my bed. And two huge floor speakers right at the foot of my bed on each side. Next to my bed was my record case with my Pioneer turntable on it. And next to my bed was a rack with my amplifier, tuner, and tape-deck. And a pair of headphones too.
Some nights I would lay in bed staring at the tongue-and-groove walls and imagine how I could covert my room to a double-wall room with recessed lighting and built-in wall speakers. Or sometimes I’d just phase at the light fixture and let my mind wander off until I fell asleep (which took a whole 2 minutes). I guess it was the light fairly who used to turn off my light after I was off in la-la land.
Our house telephone was on the counter between the kitchen and dining room and it had a long cord – long enough to reach into my bedroom. This was great when I had a girlfriend and we used to talk for hours on the phone. Remember tying up the phone-line? And people trying to call only receiving busy signals for hours on end? Or a family member making an announcement “I’m expecting an important call so don’t tie up the phone line until after I get my call”. Today’s kids would probably laugh at us.
Some habits are hard to break. There was a desk chair that I used to pile on my clothes on. After coming home, instead of folding or hanging up my shirts – I’d just toss them over the chair. After a while – that pile started to get higher – and if it wasn’t for the weight of the old clunky chair – I’m sure it would’ve toppled over many a times. Cleaning my room consisted of talking that huge pile of shirts and throwing them all into the hamper – where it would magically reappear a few days later all clean and ironed and hung up in my closet or folded in my dresser drawers. (I’m so sorry mom!)
Today, I still do that – except the part of throwing all the clothes in the hamper hoping for the clothes fairy to make it appear all clean and pressed. That’s because I now know that there is no such thing as a clothes fairy. Not to say that there isn’t a pile anymore – it’s just more manageable.
What was your bedroom like growing up small-kid-time? Did you have your own room or did you have to share it? Was it a sanctuary for you? What memories do you have of your old small-kid-time bedroom?
Reprinted per request from my brother Terry. Original date posted June 6, 2011.
Being the youngest of 4 boys, I was exposed to music at a very early age. Not so much music of my choice, but music of my brother’s choice.
First a little background. We grew up in a 3 bedroom house in Kailua. Two boys in each bedroom and of course, the master bedroom for my parents. We were brought up in pairs – talk about family planning. My oldest brother is a ’67 grad followed by brother #2 – a ’69 grad. Then my parents took a 5 year break and brother #3, a ’74 grad and saving the best for the last: me. A ’76 grad.
Now you might think that the 2 oldest shared one room and the 2 youngest shared the other room. Wrong.
The 2 oldest of the pairs shared one room and the 2 youngest of the pairs shared the other room. So I was teamed up with brother #2. And it worked out real well. We were the more passive of the pairs. I guess being the younger ones of the pairs, we had to listen to our older brothers so we were pretty mellow with each other. Plus, not only did we match with our calm demeanor, we also were the skinner of the 2 pairs. So we got along real well.
The only real argument we got into – that I can remember – was that my brother told me that if I chose to leave my little nightlight on, then he gets to close the bedroom door. But I wanted the little nightlight on AND the bedroom door open. So I’d turn on my little nightlight and he’d get up out of bed to close the bedroom door. Then I’d get up out of bed to open the bedroom door as he turned off my nightlight. I’d turn on my little nightlight and he’d get up and close the bedroom door.
This went on a few times until he explained to me that he’s working a compromise with me. He could demand that the little nightlight be turned off AND the bedroom door shut as I could demand that the little nightlight be turned on AND the bedroom door opened. So I could choose one of the two.
It made sense to me so I chose the little nightlight and he chose to close the bedroom door. And I thought that was fair and we left it as that.
See, I learned a lot from him. Little did I know that he was teaching me life’s lessons, but I realize it today.
So anyway, we had a portable turntable between our beds. I was too young and poor to buy my own records so I used to listen to whatever he played. And he had a wide repertoire of records that exposed me to a wide range of music.
As I was messing around in YouTube the other night, I was trying to remember those songs that he used to play and I thought I’d share the ones I remembered with you.
Thanks Terry. You were the best roommate a brother could ask for.
What songs do you remember that your siblings used to play? We were very fortunate to have grown up in the decades that music was evolving. If you can’t recall the songs, what life’s lessons have you learned from your siblings?
In the What Year You Went Grad? blog entry, a few of you listed not only the schools and year that you graduated, but also, your Midlife Crisis (Thanks Ynaku). Which got me thinking, what was my Midlife Crisis?
First of all, what is a Midlife Crisis?
Here’s a simple definition: Midlife crisis: A period of personal emotional turmoil and coping challenges that some people encounter when they reach middle age, accompanied by a desire for change in their lives, brought on by fears and anxieties about growing older.
Interesting enough, it doesn’t say anywhere that a Midlife Crisis is a male thing. It applies to both sexes. But I suppose that the stereotypical definition pertains to men who go out and buy red sports cars to attract young girls. Hah!
So with that cleared up, let’s hear from some of the women too.
And I’d like to believe that a Midlife Crisis doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. I think a positive change can also be a Midlife Crisis. So let’s fly with that.
For me, I’d like to say that my Midlife Crisis happened back in 1998 and lasted through 2001.
I got braces. Bruddah Lance, not leg braces – Dental braces. Ever since I was a kid, I was always self-conscious about my teeth. They were all kapakahi. The bottom was so bad, when I flossed, the floss broke. And I had fangs on the top. My childhood dentist was not a good dentist. He was a butcher. But we’ll save that for another blog.
Daughter #2 was recommended to get braces. Soon after she got her braces, I took her in for one of her monthly appointments and when the doctor saw my teeth, his eyes turned to $$. Nah, just joking, I inquired about them. He scheduled me for a free consultation and convinced me to get braces too. My job at that time had a very, very good dental plan and the orthodontist offered a sibling discount. The orthodontist was Dr. Michael J. Wall. Really cool doctor who surfs on his days off. Dr. Wall has 2 offices – one in Kaneohe and the other one in the Ala Moana building, which was really convenient since we were at Ala Moana just about every weekend anyway.
Dr. Wall usually shoots for 18 months to complete the job, but mine took longer since I had to extract a couple of teeth after my teeth were straightened out. He has teeth extraction done only as a last resort. After my teeth were straightened, the overbite was just too much so I had no choice but to extract. But he gave it a shot and that made my treatment take that much longer. But the time flew by quickly.
So I got my teeth straightened out. Honestly, I think it was money well spent. It did wonders for my self-confidence. It’s too bad that I waited so long to have it done, but I thank my wife and family for encouraging me to get them.
That was my Midlife Crisis.
Just how bad were my teeth? Here’s a after and before picture.
So, even if you listed it previously in the other entry, list it again – What was your Midlife Crisis?
*If you didn’t have one (yet), go ahead and list what you’d like it to be.
While watching Soko Ga Shiritai the other night, the hosts were traveling around rural Japan as they often do and they went into a country home. There, was this girl in the house – maybe 8 years old – and the host asked the obaasan there whether the little girl was the her granddaughter. She replied that no, it was just the neighbor’s little girl. The thing was – there weren’t any other children at the house that she was playing with. She was just there to keep the obaasan company. The obaasan said “She’s a good girl” as she patted her on her knee (they were sitting Japanese style on the floor).
That reminded me of small-kid-time how we always felt welcomed in our neighbor’s yards. Okay, maybe not ALL the neighbors. Some we kept away from. But most of the ones in the neighborhood were like our aunties.
I remember the Correias who next door to us. They didn’t have any children but Mrs. Correia invited us into her house and sometimes made a snack for us. That was the first time I ever tasted toasted Portuguese sweet bread with butter. Was so ono. Had to tell mom to go out immediately and get some sweet bread!
Then on the other end of the block was the DeRamos’. They had a couple of boys who were my older brothers ages. Sometimes I’d walk over to their house, open the front gate and just let myself in. I’d walk through the carport into the patio in the back, sit on the couch and play with their dog, Loa. She liked to be scratched just above her tail and it would make her leg bounce up and down. Sometimes, Mrs. DeRamos would her the chattering of Loa’s dog license and come look out the window to say hi to me. When I was done playing with the dog, I’d just let myself out again.
And then there were the Kikuchis who’s back yard was the Kawainui marsh – which we referred to as “the swamp’. Whenever we wanted to go play in the swamp, we’d just simply walk through the Kikuchi’s yard like it was our own. Sometimes Mrs. Kikuchi would be hanging laundry and we’d say “Hi, Mrs. Kikuchi” as we paraded through the yard.
The best was when Mr. Abbes who lived right next door to the Kikuchis – would burn rubbish in a big 55-gallon drum in the corner of his yard. Since the smoke would blow over the swamp, it wasn’t a problem. And if the timing was right – I’d get to watch him burn is dried out Christmas tree. Vooosh! Up in flames in just a few seconds. The thing I remember about Mr. Abbes was his handlebar mustache.
So watching the episode of Soko Ga Shiritai and seeing the neighbor girl at the obaachan’s house reminded me of the old days – when people could be trusted – and we were always welcomed into anyone’s yard without first having to ask permission. I miss those days…
What was small-kid-time like in your neighborhood? Did you always feel welcomed in certain homes and would simply invited your self over to play with their dog, or on their swing set maybe? Or use it like a shortcut maybe? Or possibly they may have had a big tree that was fun to climb. And had fruit! Or did you have one of those homes where everyone felt welcomed to and your house was the gathering place? Share your Neighbors stories with us.
Time to get the brain going as we start off a new work week, so let’s play a game.
List songs, artists or bands that contain a color in it’s name.
Moody Blues (band name)
Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue (song title *bonus – 2 colors )
Barry White (artist)
You get the idea.
*if you’re not sure the name has already been listed, (edited) hit the cntl+F (command+F on Macs) to pull up the Find utility to see if it’s already been listed. don’t worry about it and go ahead and list it.
Rodney Lee is a Baby Boomer - and proud of it. Rodney started the Midlife Crisis blog back in the days of The Honolulu Advertiser and ran it for about 3 years. After The Honolulu Advertiser shut down, Rodney decided to continue his blog here at Midlife Crisis Hawaii. New blog entries are added every Monday and Thursday.
So join Rodney as he reminisces about the good ol' days.
Midlife Crisis Hawaii - where the memories live on.