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Missing my UB40
Aug 29th, 2009 by Dr Karma

It occurred to me a few moments ago that I haven’t heard any UB40 in almost a week. Why had I been hearing UB40? Well, as many of you know, I spent two weeks in Maui recently. The radio stations are sparse, as are the repertoires. Most of the music consisted of UB40 wannabees, making it sound like I was in some generic wannabeabeach place all the time. In fact, the wannabees were so annoying that when the actual UB40 came on, it was a blessing. And when they played Iz or Bob Marley, it was a miracle.

Maybe I’m just missing the music now because I’m missing other things associated with it.

In other news, I think things are finally settled with the landlord. My lease will be renewed for nine months (starting in a month), so I won’t have to move while I’m finishing the book!

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Hawaii by the numbers
Aug 26th, 2009 by Dr Karma

islands visited: 3
dolphins seen: about 400 (they were spinners!)
turtles seen: 3
humuhumunukunukuapuaa seen: 6
crazy fucking hawaiians met: 1
tropical storms avoided: 1
hitchhikers named elvis picked up: 1
nights spent drinking with a girl I call Bird: 2
green flashes seen: 0
books read: 2 1/2
visits to The Fish Market for amazing sandwiches: 3
visits to Charley’s restaurant: 3
times traveling on the dangerous & beautiful Hana highway: 2
times ending up accidentally on road even worse than Hana highway: 1
times I let the cleaning people into the condo (they wanted 60 a day!): 1 (cause they had to come after I left)
mai tais enjoyed: 0 (though I drank four)
sunsets seen from a catamaran: 1
visits to Kmart: 1
sunsets from the top of a volcano: 1
snorkeling trips: 3
times I dressed up: 0

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Karma in the Pacific
Aug 14th, 2009 by Dr Karma

Coming from a beach town (Panama City Beach, Florida), I am not usually awed by water and sand. Seeing sunlight on water is religious to me—nothing else quite looks like a god kissing the world.
Hawai’i is therefore a beautiful place, a generally welcoming place, in terms of the land and the water.
I didn’t expect the following, though:
Clouds so low on the land—I have never seen mountains touched this way—roads that could take me into a cloud if I followed them high enough.
These clouds hover around the horizon, too, blocking the sun at sunset, creating pink shadows, but precluding the view of a sun dying in the sea.
A sun that burns me through my sunblock almost instantaneously. Parts of me are red and weary and the rest are librarian-white.
An angry Safeway with three ridiculously small parking spaces & a crowd of people always inside and in each other’s way.
A little restaurant with half price appetizers and sushi and jazz on Sunday afternoons. The first full song I heard there was the one I would have requested if there had been a need—All of Me.
Firedancers performing after dark at one of the hotels on this strip each night—and the hosts proclaiming to the paying crowd (of which I manage not to be) that they won’t see that show anywhere else.
Spam sushi. Spam in the A.M. at Burger King (a spam platter or spam crossaint-wich).
In angry Safeway, a can of Bud Light Clamato. That’s right. That’s what was in the can.

But I have found a grocery store that is not angry, I have ahi to grill today for lunch. Tomorrow I will visit a bar that Willie Nelson owns. And the sun will burn and then drift down into the clouds and my skin will match the clouds at dusk–white and pink and ready for ready for rest.

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Other birthdays
Aug 5th, 2009 by Dr Karma

It was the President’s birthday yesterday. I’m finding it odd to have a President younger than my mother. It’s even more odd to realize that one day, I’ll have a President younger than I am.

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Birthday
Aug 3rd, 2009 by Dr Karma

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Well, today I turn 34.  People keep asking me if I’m worried about being a 30-something.  I actually tend to forget how old I am at any given moment.  I often have to do math during the year when people ask me.  I just don’t see myself as defined by my age.  I am younger than 34 in many ways.  I am older than 34 in many ways.  I have achieved less than some 34 year olds and achieved way more than many others.  So maybe 34 or whatever age I am is just the right age for me.

I plan to be just the right age forever.  I will have my ridiculously long hair, I will have my young-esque face, with the little gap between my teeth.  I just really want to be able to lose some weight so I can fit into leather pants.

One of my birthday presents is a kindle, so if you own one, let me know what I should do with it to reach its full potential.  If you don’t have one, I’ll do my best to review the product as I work with it.

I have to say that I am blessed.  The problems I have could mainly be fixed with money, which makes them generally uninteresting in the larger scheme.  The other problems keep life interesting, at least.

I am blessed to have the friends that I do.  My bookgroup threw me a lovely birthday party last Thursday and presented me with cookware, something I’ll be needing soon.  They also presented me with great food and laughter and love.

Another friend emailed me this week to try to help me run away from home (something I feel like I need to do for a little while).  I haven’t seen this friend in months.  Even though we have declared our friendship, we have not had the chance to hang out on our own.  She asked me about things–we have friends between us.  I think about how my friends talk about me.  It’s not gossip.  My friends love me, so they pass along news and concerns and it’s nice to be reminded that their friendship extends beyond the time that they’re with me.   And this friend, this wonderful woman and I will finally be able to have lunch this week.

Happy Birthday to me!

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California social service cuts
Aug 1st, 2009 by Dr Karma

The Governator has cut ALL funding to battered women’s shelters. He’s also cut aid to family programs which primarily serve women and children in need.

Now I know that some women are the batterers and that some men are single fathers, but I’m going to address this call to men.

Men: We have one of the largest economies in the world. It is your patriotic duty to pay your child support and to quit hitting your wives and children. I realize that the economic crunch is difficult for you, making it harder to pay your bills, including child support. And I know that when the economy is hitting you in the balls, you are more likely to prove to the world that you can hit back by picking on the women around you.

The Republican idea is that we can take these funds away and thus encourage the women using these services to stop needing these services. They’ll just stay with you instead of fleeing for their lives. They’ll somehow find jobs when no one can (and when they don’t have child care).

Someone said once that you can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps unless you have boots. Men, you not only can provide those boots, but you should provide those boots.

If you’re one of the good guys reading this, remember that it’s your job to protect the least of us in society. People don’t often uphold morality unless there’s a social imperative. Good guys–encourage those other guys (and I know you know them) to straighten up. Pulling the money won’t make these problems go away; it will exacerbate them. It’s up to each of us to do what we can.

And what we can do is to make wife beating completely unacceptable. What we can do is to look at fathers who’ve left their children without income with the same disdain we give to the women who have stayed, who are trying, who are loving, who are “single mothers.”

Deadbeat dads get to pass in our society. If they don’t tell people they’ve abandoned their children, no one knows. It’s time to know.

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