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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Non-Carnivorous Bry

My poor son. He's never been much of a meat-eater. Since he was a toddler, he's turned his nose up at the things that most kids find the necessary foods of life; hot dogs, burgers, pepperoni pizza. He practically lives on pasta with a nice salad for DESSERT. As active as he is, I've always had to be particularly cognizant of his nutritional needs. During hockey season, I make sure there's lots of protein drinks in the house. When it's waterpolo, he prefers to woof down a bean burrito or two. I watch him constantly, knowing full well that there's not a smidge of fat on this kid's frame and that his metabolism runs at Mach II. I still wonder how he could possibly be mine.

His waterpolo awards banquet was held at a local rib joint. The rest of the team put the bone bucket in front of him. I think the expression on his face speaks volumes.

I'm Gonna Hurl Posted by Hello

Monday, December 27, 2004

Warning: Not the Pua you know and Love

There. You've been warned. The usual sweet Pua is not writing this entry. Her evil twin has temporarily taken over her body and will now say things that may shock and disappoint you. Screw it. I don't care. I'll probably go to hell.

I've just spent Christmas like I spent Thanksgiving. With my husband spending the last four nights at his mother's house. I wasn't happy. She didn't want to stay with us. She wanted to sleep in her own bed. And since her live-in caregiver was going home to spend the holiday with her own family, someone had to stay with the Mum-in-law. No one else was willing to take on the responsibility to stay with her and miss Christmas with their families. So we make the sacrifice. Again.

Granted, he did bring her over in the day and they'd leave at night...but that just made Christmas night a little less magical for me and the kids. We always spend Christmas Eve with our friends. Look forward to it every year. When my mom died, my dad left, and Charlie's father was just a miserable asshole grinch, we basically had no family to spend Christmas Eve with. So our friends invited us into their family 12 years ago. A HUGE, Irish family throwing the king of all Christmas parties. They were gracious enough to invite Charlie's mom this year. She came with us, but she ate a bowl of chowder and decided it was time to leave. So the kids and I stayed for awhile and then went home; feeling a little guilty because Charlie couldn't stay and have fun with us. It just wasn't the same.

Charlie LOVES playing Santa. He gets the biggest kick out of helping me wrap stocking gifts and fill stockings on Christmas Eve after the ABC's have gone to bed. Then, Mrs. Santa gets her present; a nice little romp with my jolly old elf. Only this time I had to fill the stockings by myself, and then settle for a naughty midnight phone call. Fun, but again, just not the same.

Then comes Christmas morning. Charlie and I are usually the first ones up and then the kids wait for us to give them the go-ahead to run into the living room for presents. But this time, we all had to wait. And wait. And wait. HOURS. Charlie couldn't get his mom to stay on track getting ready. It took her three hours to take a shower and get dressed. He called me 3 times apologizing profusely. I told him he had nothing to apologize for. He was being a great son. I hope she realizes it. By the time they got here, it was nearly 10 am. We're usually done with presents and are on our way to Charlie's sister's by then. Mostly, the kids felt sorry for Charlie. They know how much he loves to be with us and how much it was killing him to miss waking up here for Christmas morning. They also know how difficult his mom can be.

We got through it. Still had a wonderful day and counted our blessings. At one point, some dear friends came over and brought a plate of goodies. The wife of the couple happens to be like me; she has a bit of a weight issue. However, she'd recently had gastric bypass surgery. I haven't seen her in months. She looked absolutely fantastic and I told her so. She smiled and thanked me, explaining that she'd now lost 100 pounds in 6 months. I could tell she was feeling quite wonderful. I reintroduced she and her husband to Mum and after some pleasantries and holiday wishes, they departed. Mum says; "Who was that woman? I don't know her." I explained that she did know her and she'd met her before, but she probably didn't recognize her because she'd lost so much weight; a hundred pounds in 6 months! To which Mum replied; "Well, she could lose about a hundred more." I was mortified. Usually, I'm pretty mild mannered and I let stupid things she says slide. But since I was already not happy that my husband wasn't getting the full holiday treatment he deserved, and we'd already been through this for Thanksgiving, AND that she just said something offensive about one of my friends, I lost it.

Me: Mum, that was a horrible thing to say!

Mum: I know. Please don't tell on me.

Me: I'm sorry but that was completely uncalled for. Lanie is one of the most beautiful people I know. She's sweet, kind-hearted, and lovely. How DARE you say something as shitty as that about one of my friends. If you talk that way about my friend, I can only imagine what you say about me and my weight behind my back!

Mum: I know Honey. I'm sorry. You know me; I say stupid things sometimes.

Me: Yeah. Well I suggest you try and not talk.

Just then, Charlie asked me what she had said. Mum asked me again not to "tell on her". Fuck that, I thought. I told him. He looked at her and said; "I'm ashamed of you, Mom. And you should be ashamed of yourself."

That was just Christmas morning. It continued that afternoon and evening at Charlie's sister's house. Mum would say senile, stupid things to people and everyone would brush it off as the ramblings of an old woman. Then, again, poor Charlie had to leave when Mum said she was tired and wanted to go home. I go home to a cold bed, and he goes home with her.

I know it's selfish of me. I can't help it. I keep thinking how we were so looking forward to this time in our lives. The kids are to the point where they can look after themselves and we can run away for romantic weekends. But no. Mum always has to be looked after and it always falls to us. I feel like I have a new infant in my life. If she lived with us, at least he wouldn't have to spend so much time away from home.

I wish things were different. I miss my husband. I hate the toll this is taking on us, our kids, our family. I hate that I'm being so selfish. Ya know, I may be going to hell. But I'm not going alone.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Things Are Crazy

But not crazy enough that I can't take a minute to send warm holiday wishes and to tell you all that I have been blessed, TRULY blessed this year because so many of you have touched my life in a beautiful and profound way. Thank you for your generous hearts. Malama Pono. Pua

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hugs From Afar

Hugs From Afar

We've always called them that; hugs from afar. Thoughts of love and concern for someone special in our lives. If we're apart and we talk on the phone, we always begin the conversations with; "I love your face" and end the conversations with "hugs from afar".

Today I need some hugs from afar. My baby girl, though not a baby anymore at 19, is having surgery. I'ts 5:30 in the morning and we're about to leave for the hospital. It's an outpatient procedure, but still surgery nonetheless. I'm nervous but I know everything will be okay. On the other hand, Averie has never had surgery. I tell her she's pretty lucky in her young life to have never had to experience it. She's scared. Scared to the point of temporary insanity. Just the lab work last week was a horrible, heartwrenching experience. It will muster all the mommy-strength I have to get both of us through it.

Please keep her in your thoughts. Whatever strength, peaceful thoughts, you can send to her via good vibes on a gentle breeze is enough. This mother will be forever grateful.

Friday, December 17, 2004



I have to go out THERE. I don't wanna go out THERE. I'm not really sure I'm quite up to going out THERE yet. But I gotta. Got things to do and because I was out of commission for over a week..nearly two...I'm behind. WAY behind. So far behind that I basically missed Hanukkah. Not that we've ever really celebrated it before. But this year is a little special.

My beautiful Averie has been dating her boyfriend for 7 months now. This is her first boyfriend and she's 19. She held out for what she considered the best. Jason's a sweet kid. He's an actor and writer, and like Averie, he loves comedy and theater. They're a perfect match. At least he's on his best behavior when he's around us, as would be expected. From what Averie says, he thinks Charlie is cool. Funny, she doesn't say much about what he thinks of me. I suppose you don't really have to impress your girlfriend's mom, but you DO have to impress your girlfriend's dad. Jason works at a butcher shop and so whenever he comes to visit, he brings Charlie some choice cuts of meat. Charlie finds that completely hilarious; "Yeah, this kid really knows how to impress his girlfriend's dad. He brings filet mignon and carne asada." Smart kid.

A few weeks ago, Averie tells me that she's planning on going up to Northern California with Jason to celebrate a late Hanukkah with his family during their winter break from school. I'm a little apprehensive. I'm a mom. It's what I do. I worry. But, I go about the business of getting ready for the holidays. I even start buying a couple little trinkets for those "Eight Crazy Nights" so that Jason feels a part of. I'm kinda digging the whole opportunity to celebrate our usual Christmas festivities and add to it the flavor of the festival of lights in honor of Jason. He's thinking it's pretty cool too and thanks me. Oh good, maybe he likes me as much as he likes Charlie.

Anyway, the day arrives that they plan on leaving for Concord. I've made a couple of baskets of goodies for Averie to take with her and give to his parents. She balks but I tell her that you NEVER go visiting empty-handed. EVER. Last night, we helped load up her bags into his car making him promise to pull over or let Averie drive if he gets too tired. He promises. I tell her to call as soon as they get there. We give hugs and wave our goodbyes as they pull out of the driveway.

Hours later, as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and listening to the sounds of the night; the Santa Ana winds outside, Charlie's gentle breathing, I longed for the phone to ring. At 1:04 in the morning, that wish came true. Charlie picked up and I could hear Averie's voice:

Averie: It's me Daddy. We're here at Jason's dad's house. Safe. Everything's fine.

Charlie: Okay Honey. Thank you for calling. Have a good time and enjoy yourself. Call us when you leave there next week..ok?

Averie: Okay Daddy. I love you. Tell Mommy I love her.

Charlie: I will Ave. Goodnight.

Charlie put down the phone, asked me if I'd heard it all. Yes. He leaned over and squeezed my hand and we both fell into peaceful sleep. That's one crazy night I'm glad is over.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Special Edition: Wayne's So Divine! Posted by Hello

Get Yours Today! Posted by Hello

Jim Carrey's Got Nothin' On Me...

Jim Carrey's Got Nothin' On Me...

First, it's VERY important for me to start this with a great deal of gratitude. You guys are beautiful. Your emails and comments have lifted my spirits when I have felt..well, like crap, to be honest. Today is the first day I've been able to, or even felt well enough to sit here and post. I love you all, more than you know. I know that this can be as difficult a time of year for some as it is a precious time of year for others. The mere fact that I've been thought of with love and well wishes from people whom I call "family", yet have never so much as seen their face in our 3d world...well, that just makes me one lucky and grateful person. In the most sincere way, I want you to know that you fill my heart.

Second, Wayne, at the apex of my worst day, your package arrived and rocked my world. I'm pretty sure that I squealed a silent, if not froggy squeal of delight. I cannot wait to soak in a luxurious, steamy bathtub full of your homemade bath salts. Though Charlie is making me wait until he's quite satisfied that the worst of whatever yuck I've had is over. Actually, I'm thinking he just wants me to wait until he can join me. Cheeky monkey. While I'm soaking, I will sip warm tea from my new and stylish "I'm So Divine" cup with the cute little Wayne Mermaids...um...Mermen...um...Merpersons? Well, see for yourselves. But please, don't hate me because I have one and you wish you did. Seriously Wayne, you could make a fortune selling these. Just a thought. Thank you Sweetie. You made me giggle. Even if no one could hear me.

Third, I apologize for the lapse in posting. I almost asked Patrick to Guest Blog for me, but I'm not sure Charlie is ready for a "TunaPet" of our own yet. Then I thought of asking Karen, but she might talk about all the hot, steamy sex she's having with the Tuna Hubby and that would depress me. I imagined how great it would be to have Jeffrey fill in for me or even my ku'uipo Aaron and how they would fill my page with charm, wit, and color. A color other than the pasty, ashen white that has graced my complexion these past awful days. Actually, I thought of quite a lot of people who I would be honored if they would sit in for the very ill me. But when it came right down to it, really the only one that could possibly fill in for me is the inimitable Hot Toddy. After all, poor thing, he hardly has a following and God knows he could use some of my amazingly overwhelming traffic. :) Then, I just threw my hands up in the air and my head back into the toilet and figured you'd all wait until I got better. And you did. So thanks for that too.

The old addage is true; when it rains it pours. And my umbrella was broken. I got over the strep with the help of TWO courses of antibiotics. Because of course, I'm just too special for one. That first course, of course, gave me a lovely yeast infection. So on top of high fever and nasty, icky throat, I got itchy girl parts. Then, just when I think I'm over it, my child comes home with the flu, which leads to..well, you know. The family that pukes together keeps the cleanest toilets in town. Cuz really, who wants to stick their head into dirty porcelain? I find that if you keep one of those Clorox toilet wand thingies in one hand while you hold back your hair with the other, two things can be accomplished at once. What am I if not the Queen of Multi-tasking..even while at Death's door.

Not bad enough? Fear not, there's more. I had to pull myself together to go with my daughter to her pre-op appointment yesterday. It's not so easy to muster up the appearance of the "All Together Mom" when you feel like roadkill. That, and holding her hand and administering comfort in a fearful time, and I tell you, I should be nominated for a Golden Globe. How could they overlook me? I'm friggin' amazing, I tell ya.

So last night, while I was sipping my TheraFlu out of my MerWayne cup and looking at the flickering Christmas tree lights and the stack of Christmas cards that I actually finished. I think that nothing else can possibly go wrong. All is right with the world. Charlie pops his head into the room and says.."Oh by the way, the computer crashed. It's dead. I'll mess with it tomorrow when I get home." I smile. Of course. That's complete normalcy in my world. So, I mucked my way through the mire of my college sophomore's minefield of a bedroom to use her laptop. God, I could catch something else in here.....As I said to Karen and Dr. P in an email, have you seen the new movie about my life? It's called "A Series of Unfortunate Events." I've changed my name to Lemony Snicket.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Rx=Love, administered liberally

Rx=Love, Administered Liberally and Often

I crawl out of bed only to pee, and those 10 feet from my bed to the bathroom is a long, painful trip. If I could pay someone to go for me, I would. My skin hurts, my ribs hurt from coughing, even my armpits hurt for my poor, swollen lymph glands. It's crazy. At least the ear feels better and I can actually hear something other than the blood pumping through my veins. But yes, there's still the lung cheese (sorry Mark). I'm praying to whatever higher power holds the universe in his or her hands that the worst is past.

Everyone's been wonderful when they're home. I haven't had to lift a finger. For most of the day, it's me and a little black dog who has decided that it's her duty to keep my feet warm. She's good like that. The kids have done all the Christmas decorating while I've been in a drug-induced coma. I only have to get well.

Your emails and comments lift my sagging spirit and are doing more for me than a prescription ever will. I love you all so much. Thank you. Give me a couple days and I'll be back at it and hopefully in good form. Until then, know that you're the best medicine a sick puppy ever had.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


103 temp. Ear infection. Strep. Hacking up lung cheese. Throat hurts so I can't swallow the damn pills from the doctor. Feel like poop. I'm going to do the world a favor and go back to bed.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Music to My Ears

Music to My Ears

I was feeling a little down. Sitting in a restaurant with the hub and a friend. Drinking my Jack and Coke. Thinking about New York. Then my phone rings and a very cheerful, happy voice says; "Pua? This is Toddy. Calling from New York! I'm here with Tuna Girl, and Aaron (your voice is dreamy, Ku'uipo!), and Famous Author Rob Byrnes, and Patrick...." He continued, but it was hard to hear for all the laughing and giggling on both ends.

Our friend Ron said to Charlie; "Who's she talking to?" as I sat there misty-eyed and smiling like a friggin goofball yelling "I love you Aaron, I love you Karen, I love you Toddy, I love you Patrick!" into the phone after talking to each one. People in other booths around us stared. Charlie smiled as he explained to Ron about my blog family and my love for them. Then, the best part of all; they started to sing into the phone. It was like a Who Christmas! All my little bloggies singing "You Are My Sunshine". I can't remember when I've felt so loved. I've never really felt so much a part of something when I wasn't really there. It's true what they say about being somewhere "in spirit". I could feel the little wings sprouting on my heart. I drank three more Jack and Cokes. Completely loving life.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Got Hawaiian?

Got Hawaiian?

So I'm standing in the checkout line at Barnes & Noble and I'm looking at this rotating rack with mini-gifts. You know, the little boxes of miniature treasures like "Mini Zen Garden," or "Mini Rubber Duckies," or "Mini Bonsai Tree". You've seen them. While scanning quickly through the boxes, thinking I would find something that would be a cute stocking stuffer, my eyes stop at a "Mini Hula Instruction Kit". I pick it up and look on the back for the contents:

1 plastic, multi-colored lei
1 hair comb with a flower attached
1 diagram for hand motions
and last but not least
2 finger castanets

Excuse me? Finger castanets? In my hula dancing experience of nearly 30 years, nay, in my 44 years of life as a polynesian, I have NEVER known castanets to be a part of our native culture.

Next thing you know, I'll find a "Mini Fiesta Kit" with a grass skirt inside.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Chipmunk Charlie

Chipmunk Charlie

My poor baby. He got two impacted wisdom teeth and a molar extracted yesterday. He told me to tell Tuna Girl that he commiserates, although he knows her situation was and is A LOT more difficult than his. The oral surgeon says this should have been done 15 years ago. We knew that, it's just that insurance only goes so far and when you've got three teenagers who weren't blessed with beautiful teeth (HIS side of the family), orthodontia for the masses doesn't come cheap and takes up all your funds. Deductibles alone for three sets of braces nearly put us in the poor house. The parental units, in this case, are always last. I chose not to tell the doctor that I hadn't visited the dentist since my son was 14 months old. I know, I know. I won't even tell you how long its been since my last "girl parts" checkup.

The procedure itself didn't take long. It was the waiting. And the listening to patients preceeding him coming out of anesthesia. One of which was a 16 year old girl whose father was sitting with us in the waiting room. I guess no one warned him about the aftereffects of post-op anesthesia on some people. That poor little girl's crying and screaming nearly put the poor dad into orbit. Knowing how it worked, we tried to comfort him, but the cries of his poor child was overwhelming and finally he asked if they would just take him to her (which they should have done much sooner.) The mommy in me felt for him. And for her. I know when I had my wisdom teeth out when I was 19, I too, woke up hysterical. The whole scene reminded me of the waiting room of "Orin Scrivello, D.D.S." in "Little Shop" or even the Aussie dentist in "Finding Nemo."

When they finally came to take Charlie in, he turned and said to me with a big smile, "If I wake up crying and you tell anyone, I'll deny it." We laughed, he left, and I started to knit. This turned out to be a nice business boon, since I took two orders for scarves from the receptionist. An hour later, they came and told me I could go see my husband and that I should try to keep him awake. Having been with this man for nearly 25 years, I already knew what I was going to find. Charlie tends to think he's a stand-up comedian when he comes out of anesthesia. Frightfully, the medical staff all think he's either hilarious, or pathetic. Either way, they were all laughing when I got into the recovery room.

The oral surgeon asked me if he was always like this and if he was, life is probably never boring. I nodded. Yes, this is the man who, when he went in for a colonoscopy, found out that his internist was an avid golfer and put a post it note on his ass that said "19th hole". I could hear the laughter from the waiting room. This is the man who, when he had a vasectomy, refused valium because he wanted to watch the procedure to make sure the urologist didn't "snip" anything he wasn't supposed to. The doctor told him he shouldn't worry, but if he was concerned I would get pregnant after this procedure, then we wouldn't have to pay for his services. "Pregnant?" says Charlie. "Mister, right now, that's the least of my fucking worries....literally!" No, it's never boring.

When I sat down next to my groggy, gauze-packed hubby, his first words were; "Ah gueth a beer ith out of the quethtion?" Yeah Honey, completely out of the question right now. I sat next to him as he asked me the same questions over and over for 20 minutes, listened to the post-op aftercare spiel from the nurse, and then, armed with a load of fresh, sterile gauze and a prescription for Amoxicillan and Vicodin (YAY!), took my baby home. He told me he loved me 40 or so times and then asked me if he told me he loved me lately. I got a play by play account of the time he smashed his face into the ground by doing an endo over the handlebars of his bike when he was 13, AGAIN. And then the "Did you hear the one about....." started. If I hear about Rastus and Lulabelle ONE MORE TIME, I'm going to take the damn Vicodin myself. No, the gauze in his mouth DOES NOT keep him from talking. Still, I rubbed his arm, laughed at his stale jokes, helped him to bed, and kissed his forehead as he said "I luff ewww Babeeee."

I luff ewww too Honey. Chipmunk cheeks and all.