2014 summarized


I was a bit reluctant to see 2014 go. Here is the summary (in no particular order):

I traveled to the Northeast twice in that year, and saw various Smithsonian museums twice! Visited Shenandoah National Park
Stood on, and hiked parts of, the appalachian trail
Drove through 5 states
Saw the 9/11 memorial
FEMA headquarters
Lickdale, PA…
Hershey Park (rode 9 different rollercoasters)
Cape Cod
Mohegan Sun
met a screenwriter who solidified my interest in Library Science…
Bodyboarded for the first time
met a professional artist who got me into gardening
took oil painting and wasn’t half bad at it…
applied to grad school and got accepted..
won an award from the hawaii chapter of the American Chemical Society for Organic Chemistry 1 student of the year…
tutored organic chemistry
broke up with a man I had high hopes for at the start
Changed my career and educational goal from MS in Chemistry in order to teach at community college, to MLISc to become an archivist.
Received one marriage proposal
Went on two dates I didn’t think were dates, but apparently kinda were setups for dates
Started a garden here in Honolulu (my very first)
Made a counter-part, indoor garden in my apartment
Learned a lot about alcohol and mixed drinks
Had a mid-life retirement

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where the Moon and Rainbows Meet

Morning Moon and Hilton Rainbow Tower Meet

Today, for the first time in a while, I went for a morning walk. I’d lost my appetite for a few months, but it’s returning with a vengeance, so I’m gonna start walking and jogging on a regular basis again (or so I say). No more marathons– Been there done that. But I’m like that sometimes. I tend to work really hard to accomplish certain goals or tasks and then move on to something new.

The sun was just rising above Diamond Head as I came around the back of the Ilikai boat harbor and saw the Hilton Rainbow Tower still lit-up. The sky was an amazing mixture of deep purples and blues, with the warmth of the sun seeping upwards from behind Diamond Head. The moon, still visible and bright. I stood there feeling fortuitous and tourist-like– taking iPhone pictures of the whole scene, unable to move on without making sure I was able to somehow capture this moment. I’ve been that way since my first photo class at LCC in the 90s. I use photos to remember things, to document people or places I’ve been. Many things long forgotten are pulled up in an instant when I see a photo from a particular place or period in my life. Some pictures are silent rememberances, others create an instant mood. Once in a while, my brain strains to remember what’s happening or who is in the photo, or whether or not I was intoxicated at the time the photo was taken (either of me, or by me).

Today was a good day. I have a picture to prove it.

Posted in ramblings | Leave a comment

December Part 1

Christmas Cactus
Ho ho ho!

It’s freaking December already and the year went suddenly. I took a painting class at KCC while applying to grad school in what I will affectionately call my mid-life retirement, which lasted all of the fall 2014 semester.

January will be a change. Gotta work at least part time, and take (hopefully) 3 classes.

I cut my left pointer finger’s tip today. I went to my sister’s place and while waiting for them to return, decided to do some yard work for them. I trimmed hedges around their house, and while snipping them into smaller pieces for the green waste bin, I somehow managed to get my finger tip between the blades of the shears and snip. Ow. Blood.

I went inside the house and had a moment of panic as the blood started dripping out of the wound and I scrambled to find band-aids, or bandages to stop the bleeding. I called my sister because I couldn’t find anything to bandage the cut with at first, and grabbed a dark green dish towel, held it around my finger, applying pressure and getting irritated when my call went to voicemail. I left a message I’d cut myself kinda deep and couldn’t find any bandages or band aids… After my moment of self-pity and panic, I managed to find some band-aids and sprayed some isopropyl alcohol on it. I applied pressure while laying on the couch with my hand elevated. Then I called my emergency contact (EC): a buddy of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years. He ALSO did not answer his phone, but I didn’t feel it was serious enough to go to a hospital or anything. I texted him “911” and “Help!!!” in case the bleeding wasn’t gonna stop and I needed a ride somewhere. To his credit, he called me back within 10 minutes of my text. We knew it couldn’t be too serious since the blood wasn’t oozing through the band-aid, and my initial feeling of panic had kind of subsided so I asked questions about whether or not he thought I’d need a tetanus shot, and some other random crap just to be talking to someone and reassure myself all was fine. My finger was cold and my head felt tingly and my chest was also kinda feeling weird – adrenaline. 15 minutes after talking to my EC, my sister called back and I told her things were under control. I went outside and finished more yard work once I felt good to go.

Admittedly, a few thoughts popped into my head during my mini-panic over the finger crisis: 1) I hope I don’t pass out, 2) Life Alert commercials, and Ha ha ha! and 3) This is the type of situation where it’d be kinda cool to have a spouse in my life.

In the end, I was too chicken to take off the bandage until my sister got home. When we checked on it, she had me put an antibiotic band-aid on it, and looked at it for me. It was OK, and throbbed a lot and bled a bit, but not too much. I didn’t try to pull the skin apart like my friend had suggested earlier. (Fuck that)! I’m a big baby when I’m allowed to be.

I had a hamburger happy meal for dinner, with an extra hamburger. Discovered McDonalds added cuties clementine oranges as an option over Go-Gurt or apple slices to go with your mini-sized fries. My niece had a chicken nugget happy meal. I decided I deserved a real McDonalds coke, and not a diet coke tonight.

Before leaving, I packed up a bunch of my chemistry textbooks I’d left at their place. I used to go and study between classes since they lived close to LCC. I will miss being a Chemistry major, but think I’m making a good choice with the new path I’m on. I hope to have time to review some of the concepts in my old texts from time to time. I’ll always cherish the year and a half I spent studying Chemistry.

Painting is a hobby I hope to keep until I die. I’d told my Ex his birthday present would be a painting of his cat I’m working on that’s been sitting in my drying rack in the art studio since October. I don’t know if I will finish it or not. I usually try to keep my word and follow through on things, but … we’ll see. Not sure I can finish it by Christmas. Maybe he’ll get it in a year or two or three. lol! Hmm.

Posted in ramblings, rants | Leave a comment

Rice Cooker Meals

I wanted a small, fancy-pants rice cooker. After browsing Amazon, I decided to take a trip to DonQuijote in Pearl City. DonQuijote, in case you didn’t know, is a large retail chain with roots in Japan, which also happens to have taken the place of the beloved Daiei, here in Hawaii … which had taken the place of the beloved Holiday Mart stores from way back in the day. As a kid, I remember the Pearl City location the most, and to this day I still believe it has the best electronics section of all the locations on Oahu.

There was a Tiger brand cooker on sale for $99.99: far cheaper than anything I saw on Amazon; Tiger is a brand I trust. I also like Zojirushi, but their cookers tended to be more expensive. It’s my understanding Zojirushi has been around longer and is considered the top brand in Japan, but that Tiger is also respectable.

My Tiger model is the JAY-A550. A big plus: I’m able to make 1/2 a cup of rice, and not have it come out dry. As a minus: It took a lot longer than the sticker on the canister which stated 1/2 cup would only take 19 minutes.

After my success with basic white rice in the new cooker, I tried two more dishes: Congee (rice porridge) and a Blueberry pancake. I’ll post the recipes below. It’s been fun experimenting so far. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make pancakes in my cooker since most online recipes are for the larger, 5 or 10 cup models, but I just adjusted them best I could. While some cookers have a “steam” and/or a “cake” function, mine does not. I have the following settings to choose from: Plain white rice, brown rice, germinated brown rice, quick cook, mixed rice, and porridge.

Blueberry Pancake made in 3-cup rice cooker:

Blueberry pancake made in rice cooker Closer shot of Blueberry Pancake Made in Rice Cooker

1) Use brand-of-your-choice (I used Krusteaz) pancake mix, following instructions on the box; (I added some milk instead of water)
2) Add frozen blueberries to mix
3) Pour mix into rice cooker and set menu option to “plain rice”
4) Press Start button
5) After it stops, check with a toothpick. If toothpick comes out clean, pancake is done. Otherwise, continue to cook again, checking periodically with toothpick until it comes out clean
6) Dump pancake out upside down on a plate and top with syrup, butter, or any of your desired pancake fixins.

Jalapeno, Avocado, and Cheese Rice Porridge in 3-cup rice cooker:

OK. This might sound gross, but I liked it because these are foods I commonly eat. In retrospect, I should have added salt.
1) Add 1/2 cup rice to pot and rinse with water until it runs clear
2) Add water to porridge water line in pot, hard or soft is your choice
3) Add desired amount of jalapeno slices
4) Set to porridge setting and press Start button
5) After it is done, pour pot contents into a bowl
6) Add desired amount of parmesan cheese
7) Added sliced avocado
8) Stir, and you’re ready to eat!

Posted in diet, food, reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I Am Thankful

I’ve had a good run so far in 2014. I can’t complain because I feel like I’ve had great opportunities and experiences. 2014 has been yet another year of change! And the changes have been good.

Asparagus Ferns
The tiny asparagus ferns I gathered at my sister’s home to bring back with me

This year, I declined the invite to my cousin’s house for Thanksgiving. There is usually a plethora of great food and many people and this made me want to avoid it for a few reasons. One, was the fact I didn’t really want to talk about myself to my relatives, and the other was that I just wasn’t in the mood for it this year. The third, I won’t mention.

I spent lunch with my sister’s family, which was really nice. She had prepared a spiral cut ham, some potato salad, and had a chocolate mousse cake of some kind. My contribution, was a jell-o brand no-bake pumpkin pie and it was pretty decent! We ate together and then I hung out and talked story with my sister while the niece took a nap. I went into their yard and gathered some of the asparagus ferns that grow wild throughout, and put them in a tiny clay pot to bring home.

Asparagus ferns like shade and indirect light. I noticed they tend to grow in the shade of trees and shrubs at my sister’s. In my apartment, they’re near the anthurium I bought recently since that’s also a shade plant. So far, so good and it’s been a couple of days, so I hope to keep it alive long enough to grow it into a nice, sizeable fern. I read asparagus ferns are actually not ferns, but part of the lily family. They are often used in corsages and floral arrangements and have wispy needles. While I could have selected a larger fern, I wanted some tiny ones to raise up. There is a fern over 10′ tall growing in my sister’s yard alongside the trunk of their lime tree.

I drove back to my apartment, stuffed, and they headed out to the big Ohana gathering. At my place, I decided to play with the new rice cooker and made my jalapeno, avocado, and cheese congee (rice porridge). It was pretty fun overall and I have to say I had a great Thanksgiving.

Orchids in the Kitchen
My stripey Halloween pumpkin ended up lasting through the month and has been serving as an excellent Autumn decoration on my kitchen windowsill. Yay!

I’m thankful for my life. I truly believe all experiences, good and bad, contribute to make us who we are and I value all I’ve gone through and learned up to this point. I’m lucky for all the things that have happened throughout time in order for my existence to even be possible. Thanks to mom and dad! Thanks to my sister and her family for spending time with me! Thanks to my friends and people who have interacted with me throughout the year. Thanks to my Ex for the crazy times (good and bad), the screenwriter I met this summer, my librarian pals who wrote me letters of recommendation, my old boss who also wrote me a letter of recommendation, the chair of the department for letting me into grad school (along with UH Manoa’s grad school division office), Sue: the artist who taught me to love gardening, Boots: The Tuxedo cat who I believe loves me, The students and faculty at LCC who were in my math and chemistry courses, my art instructor at KCC, The Smithsonian museums I visited in the summer that inspired me to take the art class …

Posted in milestones, ramblings | Tagged | Leave a comment

Even Though …

What's Your Sign?
What’s Your Sign?

Even though I think of blogging as something irritating, I do it. As a kid, I kept a diary, and then a journal as I got older. There was something nice about writing for no one but yourself. Do people even do that anymore? Somehow, it’s doubtful that little kids have secret diaries or journals, but I’d like to think some do. That some people don’t feel the need to have all their thoughts broadcast to the world.

That said, I’m paid up on this hosting and domain name through 2017, so I’m gonna post here occasionally. Lol! But I won’t get too personal because that’s not my style.

So, if you read my blog, I’m happy. It’s cool if you’re a friend I’ve directed here, or a stranger. If something makes you laugh or just think about life or yourself, or think: What a loser she is, that’s also cool. As long as it isn’t super boring, but in that event, I’d hope you’d never waste valuable life-minutes reading something that adds nothing to your life.

The reason I say blogging is irritating, is because I’m obviously writing for an audience now that it’s published on the www, which means I have to be more thoughtful. More grammatically correct (or appropriately incorrect), and an attempt at being interesting and engaging (believe it or not) occurs when I sit down to write these things.

So, even though I’m pretty much boring … and despite the fact not much is going on with me, I thought I’d give the Internet a tap on the shoulder, or the finger, or a kick in the ass, and just say, “Hey.”

Posted in ramblings | 2 Comments

The 411

The most colorful Froyo I've ever had
Celebratory froyo!

“I got into grad school!” Those words are something I’d never imagined I’d ever hear myself saying, but I’m saying them on a regular basis now.

I have to thank the people who wrote me letters of recommendation (required) for my admission into the UH Manoa Library Information Science program. In addition to the letters of rec, I also had to submit a department-specific application form, a general UH Manoa graduate student application, and a Statement of Objectives.

I begin in January 2015. I’m pretty stoked and looking forward to it.

Posted in milestones, school | Leave a comment

Painting, Endeavoring, and the Basic Facts of Where I’m at.

Seeing all the art in person at The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, as well as the National Gallery of Art, the Hirschhorn Museum, the Freer and Sackler galleries and many other influences during my incredibly long summer trek, really motivated me to attempt painting for the first time ever.

As a kid, I liked to draw. I wasn’t ever very good at it, but it was fun. In high school I took Art instead of band, and it was taught by the new band instructor, so we were kind of on our own. It was a period of time when I would sit and draw stuff on a semi-regular basis.

Having no formal art training, it’s weird to me that I’m finding painting somewhat easier than drawing. Oil painting, I should clarify. I have no idea how to paint with acrylics, tempera, or watercolor, etc. But it was oil that I really wanted to learn, so when I realized I’d have a semester off from school and KCC was offering the class it seemed like a cool idea to give it a shot. Art 123, is an introduction to painting class which is done with oil paint. Usually you’re required to have taken Art 101 and Art 113 (Drawing) but it was waived this semester– yet another sign for me to take it!

So far we’ve submitted two projects, and are working on a third. I don’t really get what we’re doing, but it’s interesting anyway. Nobody’s art looks like anyone else’s, and I find it all pretty neat and cool to look at. The instructor actually gave my technique high praise for my second project, which made me feel somewhat bold enough to determine I could actually paint something for a good friend of mine who has a birthday coming up.

Painting 2: Layer 6
My second piece submitted for class

I’ve been working on my friend’s painting since last Friday. The piece involves a scene I photographed recently, and that I really like. It’s a still life with a cat in it. It’s a highly personal piece because I know the cat, and I took the photo that inspired me to paint it. So, it’s a slice of life from my friend’s place, and it’s a highly personal endeavor, because there’s also the fear of doing a shitty job. To feel like I can paint something that my friend sees every day, sounds arrogant to me. I’m worried I won’t be able to pull it off. After all, I’ve never painted before the semester began, and never drew scenes like the ones I’m painting in class… ever. So, there’s an internal voice in my head that says: Who the fuck do you think you are? And then there’s another part of my brain that thinks: Fuck it. It’s a cool idea, he’s gonna like it… it’s very personal… blah blah blah. So there you have it.

I’m appreciating oil painting and hope to continue it throughout the rest of my days. I’ve spent a shit-ton of money I hadn’t dreamed I would on paints, brushes, an art bin carrying box, a portable easel so I could paint outside of class… second set of paints, second art bin (bigger) box, more thinner, more linseed oil, and more brushes to be able to do this piece I’m working on outside of class… and I haven’t even bought everything on the suggested supply list yet.

The main colors I’ve been working with are Winsor & Newton: Phthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium yellow pale. I also bought Burnt sienna, a large tube of Titanium white, and ivory black. It was suggested I pick up Mars Black, but I ended up with ivory black due to Fisher Hawaii’s Mars black looking very very old. There was a 30% off sale that ended yesterday, so I was stoked to get some paint.

I still don’t know if I will finish the birthday painting in time. But, plan to work on it tonight and throughout the week. The thing is that each layer has to dry a bit before I can continue, so multiple sessions have to be done. I also have class on Tuesday and Thursday so I need to work on my class projects on those days. I tried working on both pieces on Saturday, and felt incredibly tired and drained after touching each piece for a few hours. When I paint, I realize after a time that my facial expression is very determined and almost angry. I get tense and tired after each session and all my concentration is focused on the piece and my overall dissatisfaction with certain aspects of what I’m putting down (or not putting down) on the canvas.

Let’s do the where I’m at part:
So, this year I started gardening for the first time ever, and painting. I’ve also changed my career and scholastic goal from Chemistry professor, to archivist or academic librarian. I’m applying to grad school and hope to begin in January 2015, and overall life is good. My personal life is getting better… or worse. Who knows? Not me. I can never tell what all this shit means, but usually in the end I’m all right no matter what so, I’m gonna wing it and know it’ll all be fine.

It usually is only once every so many years that I meet anyone I’m attracted to, and I’ve only ever met four people I could not really get out of my head until I dated them. And that spans back to 1991, so… you do the math. I guess my DNA is either incredibly picky, or alarmingly lazy, or just plain defective since I’m still single and have yet to propagate. Actually, I really don’t want to have kids. This is something I’m becoming more and more positive about as time goes on and I watch my peers and my sister and the task of parenting. It’s not for me. I have no such desire. I’m cool with being an aunty, and that’s it.

I’m hungry and my stomach is making loud gurgling sounds in the library.

I still have feelings for my ex.

I need to get my statement of objectives done, and have given myself a deadline of October 15.

I’m content with my life. Comfortable. Feeling better these days, and happier.

Posted in art, school | Leave a comment

Wake Up, Mr. Anderson.

I did update this blog, and then I deleted the all-too-significant post about my breakup. It was too personal. I know some people try to put it all out there on the WWW for everyone to see, but I am not those people. Yes, my blog is censored by me. But, I’ve said this before: My personal life is personal.

My current status, is single.
I still speak with my ex, though not daily, and we are platonic.
I went out with two different men, and wasn’t sure if these were dates or pseudo-dates, but wasn’t looking to hook up with anyone– just went to be friendly.

With no job, and only one studio class (ART 123), I have significantly more free time than I’ve ever had in my entire adult life. This means I get to exercise, clean my apartment, and catch up with all the TV I’ve been missing! Yay! On the flip side of that, I’ve admittedly lost sleep as well as my appetite lately; which has (on the bright side) aided in my weight going down so I can fit into those skirts I bought last summer when I worked at Barnes & Noble with no difficulty again. This summer I ate and ate on the longest vacation of my life, and those skirts were unkind to my figure. But now, it’s almost the same as it was last year so… win-win! I’m turning my anxiety over the breakup into an opportunity to look better at least. Something in me knows I have to make an effort to look better. The irony being that I’m not interested in meeting anyone.

I really was invested in my previous relationship. In so many ways I’d thought I could end up with this person, and in the end, can’t help but feel really bummed things didn’t go as I’d dreamed they would when we first met.

Painting 2: Layer 6
My second oil painting after six layers / different sessions.

Some days, I feel anxious. Other days, things are OK. I know it’s not a big deal, but I’m temporarily messed up a little. For now, I need to continue working on my admissions packet to graduate school, and the things in my life I actually have control over.

Wake up, Mr. Anderson.

Posted in art, ramblings | Leave a comment


This post is actually probably only really redundant to myself moreso than anyone else, since I rarely post about it, but I’ve been feeling pretty positive about how negative certain aspects of my life have been going.

I sense the sweater of spinsterdom will soon adorn these shoulders, and with my new career goal of librarian, that may be more befitting.

I’m in a mood. I want to talk, or write, or somehow vent… so, thank you Internet, for all you provide.

I’ve had relationships in the past that obviously came to an end. Some of them turned into friendships, while others faded into obscurity. And yet others, turned into straight-up agree-to-disagree-and-never-interact.

This time around, I’m befuddled. I don’t quite understand if anything wrong has occurred beyond the offense of being incompatible people on a personal level. In which case, and in my book, it’s nobody’s fault. But there’s this weird part of me that feels picked on and some remorse over what could have been. But, it’s finally *finally* getting through my thick skull that it just won’t be.

I’m often told I am just not trying hard enough by the other half of this dilemma. But this same person often hands 100% of the blame to me in all arguments. I am finally realizing that some people believe “working on the relationship” means changing how one person feels or speaks or acts. It’s not realistic, and I can’t see it working out.

I’ve given it a try multiple times, though each time I feel things just start to die. Like feeding poison to a plant and watching its stunted growth over time.

If I were giving myself advice, from the outside looking in, I’d say: It’s nobody’s fault, but you gotta be able to express yourself and be who you are.

So, this is me expressing myself on the Internet. And though I’ve tried talking to him about it, I’m thinking it’s something he and I will never come to an agreement upon. While it’s still nobody’s fault, it really is a bummer.

Posted in ramblings | 1 Comment