12/12/15 Chronicles

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  Thursday November 26

Today was Thanksgiving! I hope you had a great one.

I went to bed really late last night, around 4am. David woke me up around 11:30.  We went to Gordon Biersch for the usual lunch that we normally have on Saturdays. It rained most of the day. I love the rain here because it cools everything off.

I had bought these sunglasses that have a video camera in them...not because I'm planning to be SNEAKY :) but because I want to take some videos around town, and carrying my phone or a video camera all the time is too hard for my arm and back. They get too tired. Anyway, the instructions said that it requires something called a TF card, which I'd never heard of. I looked at Wal-mart and couldn't find it. Later on, I found out that it's another name for a micro SD card. D'oh!

Anyway, Wal-Mart was getting ready for their big sales...it was full of a lot more employees than we normally see, and they were getting the outside doors ready for lines. After using the restroom, I left without buying anything (which is rare for me!).  I stopped at 7-11 to get a soda and some snacks. I was planning to stop at the haircutting place to see if they were open, but I wasn't feeling that great, so I just went straight home.

I always text David to let him know where I am because he's such a worrier. Anyway, I had forgotten that I had been texting Lena, so I texted her instead of him. So embarrassing! This is not the first time I've done it, either. Good thing Lena is so nice.

When I got home, David was talking to his sister Eileen on the phone.  I chatted with her for a while, too. That was nice.  His other sister is visiting her in-laws with her husband. Unfortunately, we couldn't talk to his mom since she doesn't have her own phone any more (she's in a senior place).  I posted on Facebook, sent emails, and texted one of my brothers. None of us really call each other any more unless we're in the same city.

I cleaned the kitchen, finally, and did some work.  It was kind of a lazy day. I can't say I did much real work...just mostly playing around, reading on social media etc.  Well, it was a holiday so it's okay!

Oh, I found these awesome chocolates yesterday at Starbucks. I had some today. They are way too good. Decadent, rich and yummy.

We met our friends George and Lena 7:45 at the Moana Surfrider hotel. We had Thanksgivign dinner at their nice restaurant, the Beach House. You can see some photos and a video on Instagram It was great to see them! I took quite a few photos, but it was dark, so only a few came out.  They had an AMAZING buffet there, and many of the items were marked gluten-free. They had all of the usual Thanksgiving stuff plus sushi, crab, and lots more. Their desserts were great. Most were not gluten-free, but I'm not complaining because the two they had that were, macarons and panna cotta - are two of my favorites, anyway!  I think my favorite was the ham, which was delicious, and the pureed potatoes.  The turkey wasn't bad, either. I usually have salad first at buffets, so I can eat the healthy stuff first, but I skipped the salads this time. I was starving by the time we ate. We had some drinks, too.

The setting there is beautiful, but we couldn't really see the ocean since it was so late. Still, it was nice. You can always hear the surf. It had stopped raining and they had a nice band playing.  We had a nice chat with our friends. It was pretty much perfect! We all stuffed ourselves.

David and I walked over to Lewers, and I had talked him into stopping at the In Between for a couple of songs, but there was no way to get there because the street in front of it was completely flooded, like a river. I was wearing sandals and neither of us wanted to wade through that. Darn it!  We stopped in briefly at Kelley O'Neill's. The place was packed with 20-somethings. Most were drunk and/or hitting on each other.  The band was pretty good; they did covers of 60's and 70's songs. I enjoyed that. They did a couple of Doors songs, Led Zeppelin, Stones, plus Pretty Woman and "All Right Now" by Free.  There were two women dancing around, and one had one a Indian headdress, and one was wearing a whole Indian-like outfit, with a feather in her headband. I guess since it was Thanksgiving? Very odd, like they'd been to a bad costume party. I didn't see any pilgrims, either.  They were very drunk.

It was late by the time we got back, like almost midnight. Late for us, especially him.

Now I'm watching some TV before I go to bed. Hopefully I can vacuum the living room tomorrow, and then the whole place will be clean. This weekend, I hope to take all the Thanksgiving decorations down and start putting up the Christmas decorations, and start my Xmas cards.

  Saturday, December 12

I've just been crazy busy these past few weeks, so I never got around to finishing this! I can't believe it. (Well, of course I can believe it...LOL!)

I've done a little bit of karaoke, here and there, since Thanksgiving. The place near us, Smith's Union Bar, has karaoke every night, and we've gone there a little bit. It has no a/c, though, so we don't stay too long. It's the oldest bar in Hawaii and a little bit of a dive, but not too bad. The people there are always really nice and welcoming, and there are some good singers. There is this one bartender that's particularly impressive. She sings wonderfully and does it all while she bartends!

My birthday was Thursday, December 3 (I turned 54).  On Saturday, we went over to the Pint & Jigger for dinner (great place with delicious food).  The people that work there, and some of the patrons, were all dressed up like it was the Roaring 20's, so that was fun.  Then we walked to Blue Ribbon Cafe, which is right near there. They have karaoke every night, I believe.  The crowd there is very relaxed and almost everyone sings sitting down. There are many slower and old songs. I think it gets a little more loud and young later on in the evening. Anyway, I sang about 5 or 6 songs there, so it was fun. I did quite a few Christmas songs. The people there are very nice and they get a lot of good singers. It's probably my second-favorite karaoke bar after the In Between. After we got back downtown, we hit a few more places for more drinks and karaoke.

We usually go to Gordon Biersch every Saturday for lunch. We each have our favorite dish there. It's a beautiful setting there at the Aloha Tower at the harbor.  Thanksgiving weekend, there was a big yacht there, and the waiter told us that it was owned by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. It was quite a bit boat and had a helicopter pad as well. Earlier in the day, David saw the helicopter there take off.

I have to admit that once Thanksgiving was over, I was already feeling the PRESSURE of getting ready for Christmas. I took the Thanksgiving decorations down (it took me a few days to put them away in their boxes), and it probably took me another week to get all of the Christmas decorations up and the boxes put away. I had to clean between taking down the Thanksgiving stuff and putting up the Christmas stuff.

I got all my shopping done and have sent presents and just a few cards. I have a lot more cards to do and also I need to start baking Christmas cookies. I give them out to some of the people David works with as well as to the staff downstairs and to our friends.

My guitar playing is coming along. I haven't had much time for practice since my birthday, but otherwise it's going well.

For my birthday, I got a cherry red electric guitar. It's a Les Paul Jr.....smaller than a regular one which is good for both my tiny hands and also my bad back.  It's pretty nifty. When I had my lesson last week, I took it along and got to play it with an amp for the first time! It was a good lesson. He helped me to figure out which songs to focus on and I learned some new ways to strum.  We set as a goal 10-20 songs that I will learn well enough that I can sing and play them in front of an audience. Right now I have about 5 to focus on, and once those are better, then I can learn the rest.  The five I have right now, more or less, are: Leaving on a Jet Plane, Anticipation,  And I Love Her, and then probably Last Christmas by Taylor Swift and maybe one other Beatles or Christmas song.  I have Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree pretty well down, but they both use a b minor chord, which is really hard for me to play and will take a lot of practicing.

I hope to get an amp for Christmas...

My SIL Susan got me a Star Wars costume book that was on my wish list, and my SIL Eileen got me a Starbucks gift card. I got myself some gluten free chocolate cupcakes from Harry & David (although they did arrive smushed). I've had a lot of sweets, though, so I put most of the cupcakes in the freezer and also put some other sweets in a bag and taped it up, and put it at the top closet shelf so I won't think about it.

I had signed up with this https://lovewithfood.com/ which is great...it's healthy, gluten free snacks and part of the cost goes to help poor kids. However, the snacks are not low carb so they're not healthy, in that sense, for me. I need to eat healthier, meaning salads etc. And I've been trying, plus going to the gym and getting a lot more exercise. Still not enough, though.

The previous week, I couldn't find my keys, and then they turned up downstairs with the security guys. Turns out, I had left them in the door of our place, and the Fedex guy saw them there and turned them in for me. I ran into him, and he told me. Glad he's honest!

All the shootings are so sad... we used to live near San Bernardino, and I worked at a school there as well as took classes at the Cal State. It's so sad, but not shocking, that people would start blaming Muslims even more after that. You know, most terrorism is NOT done by Muslims, especially in this country. People are just scared and a lot of them are racist and crazy to boot.  Idiots like Trump riling them all up sure doesn't help.  He makes them think that it's okay to be racist.  Well, it's not okay... Not only that, but Westerners and Muslims fighting is exactly what the real terrorists want us to do. So it's crazy to play into their hands.

Just about every day for the past two weeks, I've been going out, shopping and running errands, and it seems like I'm just swamped with no time to do anything, and no energy.

On my birthday, we went to a play put on by David's school, "Next Fall." It was very good. We both enjoyed it. We went to another play they did Monday night after that, too.  The problem with being married to a college dean is that all of the events are at the end of the semester, which is also around my birthday and the holidays!  Sunday night we also went to a holiday party at the country club. That was great. They always have delicious food and lots of drinks, and we know many of the people there. It was great catching up with everyone. I got very dressed up in this beautiful sequined blouse I bought last February. I knew I would have an event like this one eventually to wear it too.

Monday afternoon we were over at Aloha Tower and helping out with a student event; they had finals and every semester, David's college gives out food etc. They also had a fencing demonstration from Patrick, a history professor who also helps with the fencing club.

I've been listening to Christmas music a lot this week, but not as much as I'd like to! :)  There's never enough time for everything.

Please visit my Twitter. and Instagram; I post a lot on both. Instagram is mostly pics and I post a lot of pics there of our place, the decorations, and other decorations etc. I see outside when I'm walking around. I post a lot of article links and more on Twitter. Also photos of some of the events mentioned here.

Anyway, it's been a lot of fun with all of the events, and presents, and planning for the holidays. David has a cold, poor baby.  I don't think it's that bad, though. He hardly ever gets very sick. Not like me, lasting for months.

Sunday night I'll be going to this play with my friends Tom and Cynthia, and another friend of theirs: Gay Men's Chorus of Honolulu presents A Holiday Carol at the Hawaii Theatre Center. Tickets are $20-40. Scrooge – a lonely, grumpy gay man – could care less about the holidays. On a mission to change his perspective and perhaps his life, the Spirits of each Season, with the help of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Honolulu, visit Scrooge one by one on the eve of the new year and take him on a journey through the Holidays. For more information visit http://www.hawaiitheatre.com/events/a-holiday-carol/  Should be fun!

First we'll have a very early dinner at Downbeat, which is the only place around the theater or downtown area that will be open that early for dinner on a Sunday.  I'm not sure yet what else I'll be doing during the week.  Then we have a lot of other events coming up Dec. 18-Christmas! It's nice to have friends that I can go to holiday events with. Last year everyone was out of town.

The weather has been slightly cooler and windier. It's still warm inside our apartment, just not quite as warm as before. I don't have to put on the fan while we sleep most nights.

I had emails from two guys who have bands that want me to sing with them. One of them, though, hasn't emailed me back. I guess I'll have to call him. I may not be able to do much until 2016,  since I'm so busy!

I still can't get those darn video sunglasses to work. I've been emailing the company that sent them to me, and they've been trying to help. I don't know what the problem is (aside from the fact that English is not their first language, so their instructions are not so great). So far I could take a few photos but no videos.

This time of year, people are thankful, or grateful, or feel blessed, or reflect on their year. I'm not religious, but I am very glad that my life has gone pretty well. I can't really complain about much.  My life is pretty good. My only concern, really, is losing the extra weight. Everything else is just, eh, temporary work stress or whatever. No big deal.

Have a great week and I'll try to do a better job of keeping this up...I know, I always say that!

Don't forget to also check out my TV Blog! Both are updated about once a week.

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This page updated 3/24/17

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