Friday, May 28, 2004

Seeking serenity at Paleaku Garden Peace Sanctuary

It's a cold Friday morning but the sun is shining and the birds are chirping

I hate hugs.

I have this running joke with Baron and Andrea that they shouldn't hug me no matter how forlorn I look because if they hug me it will only make matters worse. When Baron tires to hug me I cringe.

This makes me think of this one police detective whom I had a strong connection to.

I would see him when I went to check the logs and we would talk story and I could tell he liked me because he was always throwng sincere compliments my way, about how smart I was and more importantly how I seemed to have empathy and understanding.

One evening he called me out of the blue and asked if I'd go on a walk with him.

How weird, I thought. If he's a detective he must be old already. Like at least 30. (Turns out he was 32).

But he was local so he looked young.

Anyway, I went ahead and met him and off we walked. He was nice, and mostly talked about police things, so that I would understand things from a police officer's point of view and not just any police officer but a police officer that genuinely cared about his job.

All of this was sincere on his part I felt. I thought he was a little naive. But it disarming to have someone that wholeheartedly naive about something he really cares about.

I found out he has a girlfriend and two kids. He told me when his daughter was a baby she would let him carry her anywhere. If he put her down she cried. They were so close. He said it got so that he could hold her in one arm while he was doing the dishes. Sometimes her foot would dip into the suds-filled sink.

His son, the younger one, wasn't like that at all. But now he's five and some kind of genius. The detective told me he and his girlfriend got his latest test scores and were blown away by the brilliance. He said he looked at the test score, then at his son, and felt awed. His son likes to draw. He can look at something and then just sketch it out.

The detective also told me he and his girlfriend don't really get along. They concentrate all their energy on their children.

Some people would say he was just hitting on me.

I guess, in a way, he was.

But he wasn't. He hinted that he would like to go out with me if he didn't already have the girlfriend and the kids. He liked me but he wasn't going to do anything about it.

I suppose I felt the same way.

Whenever I think of him now, though, I imagine his baby daughter's feet in the soap suds.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Stupid, girly insecurity

The new people have begun arriving. Joe the new sports editor, seems like a nice guy, good sense of humor, still relatively quiet. He's a friend of Brian, our old sports guy who's been promoted.

And Carly, the new page designer. Petite girl with long brown hair and blue eyes. She's from North Carolina and has a military boyfriend who's in Iraq. She smokes a lot but seems like a smart girl, nice.

Abby, the new editor of our weekly and Carolyn the other reporter are due to arrive within the next week.

And here I confess.

I feel so threatened by these new people, that they will render me obsolete.

Carly is only 22 as is Carolyn.

To be totally honest I am also afraid, I can't explain why, that Carolyn will be prettier than me that her beauty will make me invisible.

This is stupid, girly insecurity.

Monday, May 24, 2004


Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the things you have to do that your mind shuts down and you end up forgetting? This happens to me all the time. I wonder if some fancy-schmancy drug company has already come up with a name for it. Like Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. I refuse to pop a pill for my freak-outs.

I don't understand how you can enjoy being high strung, my friends tell me.

But I do kind of. It's weird. I see high-strung people and they can be so annoying. And yet I continue to hold on to the (perhaps misguided) belief that I am charming in my panic.

Friday, May 21, 2004


Walking to the check-out counter at the local Wal-Mart when a local guy walks by yelling over his shoulder at a friend,

"Let me know if you know somebody that like my truck! The safety check stay good for another 10 months!"

"OK. Shoots."

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Today it rained. It rained like I remembered it raining in Hilo. It rained so that I wished I was at home, under a blanket, asleep with a book on my chest.

Hold on

Me: Hi. I'm a reporter calling from.... I'm just reading your press release about the student that brought the Napalm to school. It says "initial investigations showed there were no injuries." Was anyone injured?

Desk Sgt: Uhhhh.....I don't.....Hold on.

(Muffled mumbling)

Desk Sgt: Nope. As far as we know no one was injured.

Me: It says one of the students brought the Napalm and another ignited it. Which one was arrested?

Desk Sgt: Uhhhhh....hold on.

(More mumbling)

Desk Sgt: I'm not sure.

Me: Well, did anyone have to be evacuated?

Desk Sgt: Hold on.

(Mumble, mumble, mumble)

Desk Sgt: Nah. No one had to be evacuated.

Me: OK. Thanks.

Then I called the Fire Department and they filled me in. Some kid brought a styrophone cup full of Napalm and his friend set it on fire. It was a really small fire and fire fighters disposed of the cup and Napalm.

"These kids now days!" the fire fighter I spoke to said in exasperation.

"I was about to say that," I replied. "Then I realized how old that would make me sound."

Fire fighter laughs. "Yeah, me too. Ha ha ha. So we don't need to print that part."


Me: Brian, I am such a failure. I couldn't even get in touch with the mother. I'm an awful investigative reporter.

Brian: There you go reading my mind again. You better knock that off.

Me: Mind reading! Well I knew I was good for something. You always cheer me up.

Brian: Well, that's my job.


Travis: You are the new hardest working person in the office.

Me: Huh?

Travis: You're a work horse. You're a machine.

Me: What makes you say that?

Travis: Look at you. You're still here working. You're a machine.

Me: Well, I'm fueled by my insecurities.

Compassion v. Ambition

I spent today following up on a father and son who'd been hit by a drunk driver on Sunday. I tried various means to get in touch with the boy's mother to get the human interest side of the story.

She never contacted me and at one point I learned she may have made a deal to tell her story to another news organization. I almost cried, I was so frustrated when I heard this. I could see the story slipping away.

Now that I've calmed down, I wonder if it was worth being so worked up over. Is the story really more important than concern for the father and son's well being? Is it really more important than the distress the family is going through?

I tried to convince myself that the reason I wanted to interview the mother was because having her story in the newspaper would help her. It would drum up community sympathy and support. Good things would come of it. And undoubtably this is true.

But my main concern was the story. Just getting the story. And this makes me feel like some kind of mercenary.

Perhaps I am thinking about this too much.

I have to believe my sources can see through me. They'll know whether I am really concerned or simply out to exploit them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Exactly like that

Lt. B. and I agreed that Sgt. M is a smart man. He has a a wry sense of humor, rich with wit--the kind of humor that only comes with having brains.

"He has a master's degree too, you know," Lt. B. tells me.

"Oh yeah? In what?"

"I can't remember."

"Not criminal science?"


"Sociology? Psychology?"

"No. No, it's something weird. Something funny. I can't remember. What was it he said?"




"No. It's something funny. Something you wouldn't think of. Like clown school, something like that."

"Clown school?"

"Oh yeah. Safety engineer, that's what it was. He was a safety engineer."

Yes, Lt. Exactly like clown school.

Troy 2004

The best part about Troy was when Paris (Orlando Bloom) passed the sword of Troy to a young man limping along with his father.

"What's your name?" Paris asked the man.

"Aeneas," the man replied.

Aeneas goes on to wander at sea for years; his descendants eventually found the Roman Empire.

I felt smug about noticing this detail, especially when, while waiting outside the bathrooms after the movie I overheard this conversation:

Woman: I can't believe they killed Brad Pitt. He's such a hottie.

Man: Uh.

Woman: I can't believe they used the horse like that!

Man: Well you've heard of the Trojan Horse, right?

Woman: Yeah. But I didn't know they used it like that!

Man: Well what did you think they did?

Woman: I thought they used it to sail back to Greece!

Monday, May 17, 2004


The girl is pissy today.

She is still licking her wounds and the smell of blood is tempting her back into attack mode.

Her eyelids are itching and when she rubs her eyelashes they fall out and smear mascara into her eyes. Her eyes sting and tear up.


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Next time use 'xylophone' instead

The police use words like "Tango", "Hotel", and "Juliet" to avoid confusion when calling in letters on license plates.

Sometimes, one of the sergeants told me, the officer can't readily remember the word that corresponds to the letter, especially letters like "U" and "Z."

Then he burst out laughing. "I remember this one officer who was trying to remember the word for 'z' and he couldn't think of it. So finally he said 'Xerox.'"

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Problems? What Problems?

The panic hit and I was rambling.

"What if it was stupid? You know? Do you think it was? Why do I always have to worry about stupid shit like this? What's wrong with me? Do other people go through this kind of shit or what?"

I thought Baron, the photographer, was listening. But when I turned to face him, I found he him slouched in the sports writer's chair. He was rubbing an orange baseball against the top of his head with a blank expression.

"Baron! Are you even listening to me? Well it's obvious you don't think my problems are important."

Baron blinked twice and looked at me, still rubbing the ball against the top of his head. "Huh? What?"

"What are you doing with that ball? Don't you care about my problems?"

"Oh. I don't know. Problems? What problems?"

I dropped my face into my hands and burst out laughing.

Funny thing. I forget what I was worrying about.