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Hawaii Bluegrass

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After a hectic day at work trying to tidy up after someone else, I went for a dip in the Ilikai pool. The weather was not as warm as I would have liked for pool going, but one has to keep one’s husband happy, doesn’t one? Oh, and I should have mentioned that I got to eat a doughnut this morning. It was completely amazing. Total bliss.

We went to Kailua to meet up with some of Geoff’s friends at Big City Diner. I decided to be different and order one of the weekly specials, grilled chicken pasta. I should have just had a cheeseburger. The pasta was limp and overcooked, the chicken was dry, and it was full of mushrooms that I couldn’t see very well in the dark. At least there was garlic toast.


The best surprise of the night was discovering that a local bluegrass band, The Salloon Pilots, was going to be playing live. Luckily, the restaurant was busy enough that we were still finishing up when the band started, and we got to stick around for the first set. I think it might have been the worst night of Geoff’s life, but I rather enjoyed it. They were pretty good players and sang well enough to entertain us. The banjo and guitar players were especially talented. I’m glad I got to take them in.

Also, you can listen to the entire Steel Drivers album, Live at the Station Inn, in the time it takes to drive from Kailua to Waikiki. In case you were wondering.




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It’s been a lovely lazy weekend, kicked off with a cholesterol sandwich. It’s the perfect way to start a day. I tried to shop after my shift, but it turns out I’m terrible at it. Even when I have a gift card, I’m so indecisive I can never actually choose something to take home. As much as I love pretty clothes, I rarely get to wear clothes of my own. Thus, I feel like I don’t deserve them. Something I absolutely can’t live without will surely pop out at me. The one thing I did go home with was a cupcake, which I graciously shared with my husband, even though I wanted to scarf the whole thing myself. I’m so nice.

When I came home from work on Saturday, Geoff was playing Sims 3,which he bought during my shift. Unfortunately, it took only a few minutes for me to become completely fascinated. I fear I will be wasting a lot of time on this game in the coming days. Pretty sure I frittered away a couple hours on it this morning. Oops.

The weather’s been so iffy lately, we didn’t plan anything big for today, but itching to get out of the house, we set off on foot this afternoon with absolutely no plan as to where we would go or what we would do. We ended up walking down the canal, then stopped in to the Starbucks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for a drink.

Geoff decided that he wanted to eat dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. I had been to a few of their restaurants in high school, and didn’t remember it being particularly spectacular, so I’d never thought about going there, but he’d never been to one before and always wanted to try it. He was quietly amazed with the rock memorabilia on the walls, and we were both pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. Cliche chain restaurant though it may be, I would consider going back there. There was even some good live music. Normally I don’t go for cover bands, but this was an accoustic duet that was very creative with their renditions of classics like Lady Madonna and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

Geoff had a truly American experience this evening, eating at a restaurant that honors music first created in America, and then he ordered a pulled pork sandwich. What’s more American than barbecue? He absolutely loved it, saying it was one of the best sandwiches he’d ever had. He’ll hate me for saying that he enjoyed such a thoroughly American experience. I’ll have to make shepherd’s pie and jam tarts soon, I suppose.

Dinner conversation eventually led to a discussion of the best rock singers. We came up with Freddie Mercury and Bono as top contenders. Who would you vote for?

I’m off tomorrow, but Geoff is back to work. I’m planning on making some margarita cupcakes just because Geoff asked for them. I can’t think of a better reason.

The Toast Sandwich and Other Ridiculousness

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Last night, Geoff came across this article about the cheap and tasty toast sandwich.  Apparently, this is a very inexpensive way to feed yourself.  A piece of toast between two pieces of buttered bread with salt and pepper to taste.  Mmmm….  delicious.

What?  Are you kidding me?  I was already baffled by some of the things Brits will pass off as a sandwich.  French fry sandwich?  (chip butty)  Hashbrown sandwich?  Carbs inside carbs?  Give me a break.  And you know I love carbs.  Potato chip sandwich.  I throw up my hands.  And now this?  A toast sandwich?  You can’t be serious.  I’ve challenged my husband to live off of them for a week just to prove their supposed legitimacy.  I don’t think he’ll do it.  I am making him eat at least one.  Toast sandwich?  Sheesh!

Geoff also brought home a shiny new handmade koa ukulele with inlaid mother of pearl.  It’s gorgeous.  And expensive.  But he deserves it.  So much for getting him one for Christmas.  He did that to me last year, too, with the PS3.  I think Wishful Thinking by the Ditty Bops definitely needs to go into our act.  He’s not convinced.

I’ve started to put together my Thanksgiving menu.  I just have to find the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and then the time table can start coming together.  I’m a bit distressed at the amount of dishes I’m going to have to buy to make this meal servable.  I’m also a little worried about how we’re going to fit everybody in the backyard.  Also, where are we going to put the food to serve it.  Do I have enough counter space?  Oh well.  We’ll make it work.  If I can make and serve a Christmas dinner in Taiwan, I can do it here easy.  It’s just that there will be strange adults, I mean proper adults, present at my Thanksgiving.  I don’t want them shaking their heads in disappointment.  Maybe I should just get them drunk as quickly as possible.

I’m hungry.  I’m going to eat breakfast.  I will not be having a toast sandwich.

The Missing Piece

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In Philosopher’s Stone, Dumbledore comments that music is “a magic beyond all we do here.”  For me, music mostly comes from my iPod.  But lately I’ve been spending most of my time trying to catch up with the NPR podcasts I’ve downloaded.  I wish to be a well-informed member of society, and I don’t trust television to give me the stories that are really important.  I try to spend as much free time as I can find taking in new information.  But if news is playing, that means music isn’t.

I was raised to love music.  It speaks to me and for me in so many ways that I cannot.  It can alter my mood drastically, even in a negative way.  Being forced to listen to music I don’t like, usually pop country, makes me feel almost hostile.  I seriously hate it.  Conversely, if I hear a song I love, I am instantly transported.  It fills me with an unmistakable happiness.  I love it when I get to play my own music at work.  It makes the shift so much more enjoyable.

We all have songs that take us instantly back to a moment in our past so that we can almost feel what the weather was like, or remember the smell in the air, or even what we were wearing that day.  There are also songs that connect us to people.  For me, I can’t hear the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” and not miss my mother.  Every time I hear “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel, I think of my husband, and tears come into my eyes.

So many people who hate musicals claim that it’s just silly for people to be in the middle of a conversation and suddenly start singing.  But there are so many emotions that I experience that I feel are expressed so much better by singing a song.  Singing is a huge release for me.  It lets go of all kinds of tension, whether the song is happy or sad.  Singing is always cathartic.  Perhaps we’d all have a much better sense of our own emotions if we spent more time singing and not caring how we sounded.

I’ve always had a deep and abiding love of music.  I will be taking a bit of a break from the news to incorporate more of it into my life.   Events of the world are important, but so are the events of the soul.  And music speaks much more to my soul than anything else ever could.