Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Night all

I recently attended a songwriters forum that Chris participated in, and the guy who organized it looked so familiar. I thought maybe I'd seen him in a movie or something. But now I realize he bears a striking resemblance to one of the rogue captains on the Discovery Channel's The Deadliest Catch.

Now that I've scratched that brain itch, I can finally go to sleep.

I have a new respect for pedestrians in America

One way I don't want to die: In the middle of a crosswalk, hit by an SUV driven by an oblivious teenage girl who doesn't stop in time because she's bobbing her head along to the gangsta rap blaring from a Cadillac that happens to be driven by a heavily tattooed white boy in the lane next to her.

I don't know where to place that on the list of ways I don't want to die but it's definitely on the list.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I love my new job. I hate my new job. I love my new job. I hate my new job. I love my new job. But I don't think I'm good enough for my new job.

And so life goes on but certain things about my personality, it seems, remain.

I went to the local coffee shop, where I get a discount because the counter guy knows I work at one of the businesses on the street. Today he asked me where specifically I worked. I told him and his eyes got big and his jaw almost dropped. Then he stammered that he has editing experience and if the paper ever needs any help...*

It's occurred to me before that I seem to have scored a job that many people in the town would covet. My editor is tough, but I don't dislike her. I almost like her more for being tough, except when it pushes me to the edge and I start to feel like the shittiest loser that ever crawled into the building. But perhaps that's a sign of self-improvement? Because my editor has exacting standards and several of her former staffers have gone on to bigger and better newspapers, including a guy who now writes for The New York Times. I like the fact that this newspaper I've landed at has an emphasis on actual news, not just arts and entertainment like the alt. weeklies in Albuquerque.

I've been trying to explain to myself what I think makes a good editor or boss but I can't put my finger on it. The last great editor I had, a guy I really enjoyed working for, was nothing like my current editor. He was loyal to a big corporate newspaper chain, but he never micromanaged. A stream of people would flood his office with complaints. He'd sit there and listen and then say something like, "Do I look better with my glasses on or off? On? Or off?" or "Would you like a V8? What? You don't drink V8? It's healthy." Eventually the flood of people would leave, in lighter spirits, and solve whatever mishap had occurred on their own. I think people just liked talking to this editor and found excuses to end up in his office.

I imagine my current editor would solve the same problem by slamming her door on the flood's face, so no one really bothers her unless it's a real crisis and instead everyone just solves their little mishaps on their own.

However, if either of the aforementioned editors ever found out about a crisis that you tried to hide from them, watch out.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is: I love my new job. I hate my new job. I don't think I'm good enough for my new job...And blah, blah, blah.

*Maybe next time I see the coffee shop guy I'll tell him that working here can be rewarding, but it's not always as fun as he might be imagining.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Wal is never the answer

According to an article in The Honolulu Advertiser, Wal-Greens is planning to open some 200 stores in Hawaii -- most of them next to or across the street from Longs Drugs stores. The Wal-Greens regional manager was quoted as saying Longs has 73 percent of the market share, a percentage so high it's "unheard of."

Of course, if you're from Hawaii not only is that percentage not "unheard of", you're probably surprised it's not even higher. We can thank Wal-Mart for that. I swear, there was always someone I recognized at the Longs, and if I was with my grandma she always bumped her cart into the cart of some other old local lady she knew.

I remember going to Longs one Sunday with my dad. We decided to pick up something inconsequential, like soap or shampoo, but when we got to the cash registers there was a long line and my dad said, "Shit. It's Sunday. What kind idiot goes to Longs for buy shampoo on Sunday?" In front of us in line was my driver's ed. teacher, Mr. Abalos. He was holding his Sunday Longs catalog and telling the person in front of him, "My friends go church every Sunday but I tell them this is my church (shakes his catalog) and this is my bible."

I remember Mr. Abalos best as the guy who taught me never to assume anything while driving because when you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me." I also got pulled over by the police while in the driver's ed. car with him. The officer told us that the car's registration had expired but he let us off with a warning. Mr. Abalos apologized and explained that we were borrowing the car from the school in Lapahoehoe (or somewhere) so it wasn't really our fault. I guess we shouldn't have assumed that our car was legally registered.

I'm kind of bummed about Wal-Greens. I just can't imagine it will engender the same kind of stories/memories/nostalgia that Longs has. I mean, I live on the mainland now and there's a Wal-Greens on EVERY.SINGLE. CORNER. It'll always be generic to me.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer reading list, etc.

I've always been a bookworm. You'd think I would have taken up surfing or swimming or something outdoorsy since I grew up in Hawaii, but nope. I was shy and enjoyed holing up in my room with the latest Stephen King or Dean Koontz novel. I haven't been reading as much lately, not sure why, but here are a few books I've finished so far this summer:

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen (stole this one from Chris and it inspired me to read the next one on this list)

1421, The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies (This isn't exactly new information; I remember learning about it in one of my college history classes. Also caught the PBS special in which the author was hammered by a bunch of historians from both the United States and China)

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni

Here are the books I'm in the middle of reading:

Spunk and Bite by Arthur Plotnik (bought this one for the title alone, which is a play on the names of the authors who wrote The Elements of Style)

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin (the author is autistic and while the book's observations are insightful they're also quite child-like)

That's about it. I officially have no TV now. Not that I want the latest Paris Hilton update anyway.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Catching the Deadliest Catch on TV

I don't watch a lot of television anymore, but whenever I have access to a television with more than three channels, I always try to catch "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. Even the Discovery Channel is giving in to this reality-TV stuff. Or wait, wasn't the Discovery Channel one of the originators of reality-TV? I mean actual reality-TV as in the stuff they're showing was actually real? Anyway. Deadliest Catch follows the crew of five or six crab fishing boats in the Bering Sea. It's all very dramatic. In one episode three of the fishermen went overboard and only one was fetched out alive.

In another episode, one of the crew members approached his captain to confess that he was hoping they could finish the fishing and go back to shore as soon as possible because he had a court date in Seattle coming up and if he didn't show he'd be put in the slammer for eight months. His captain, like all of the captains, seemed to spend most of the days estimating how much money he was going to make and barking out orders. Not exactly your sympathetic character. Or, as Chris put it: "Why that guy would ever think that captain would give a shit about his problems, I'll never know." In the end, they caught enough crab to get ashore in time for the guy to make his court date. By one day. Talk about cutting it close.

This show is addictive, but it has made me wonder if I should ever eat crab again considering the true cost.

Friday, May 18, 2007


What a fucking night. Planned to go camping at Chaco Canyon, where the New Mexico astronomy club was hosting some kind of event and letting the public look through some pretty high-tech telescopes. I think there was going to be an interesting talk on the history of the area and the role astronomy played in the ancient civilization.

Instead, on the way there we hit a (relatively small) steer. Now part of Chris' car is damaged. Amazingly, we were able to turn around and drive it back the 2 hours it takes to get back to the city. Christ, I keep thinking of that steer. There were two of them in the road, each facing opposite directions so when he swerved to avoid one, he hit the other. I'm pretty sure it died. I can still see their eyes, staring at us right before we hit them. All I could see was their eyes because they were dark-haired. Chris said all he saw were their white hooves.

Then, on the way home we were passed by two speeding police vehicles and a fire/ambulance. Turned out to be a pretty bad accident. A SUV with a trailer had flipped over in the middle of one lane and it looked like another car had some front-end damage. I saw one of the firemen trying to get under the SUV, which made me think there were people trapped in there. *Shudder*

I'm so glad to just be home safe.