Pukey and the Gimp

Dog sat for Murphy (the cocker spaniel) and his sister, Maddy (the boxer), and sent a version of this email to their parents:

Pukey and the Gimp…  Not sure what is up with Maddy’s leg/foot. When we went to Maunawili this morning she acted like she couldn’t get in or out of the car on her own (doesn’t she always do this?). Plus, she didn’t really run (might have been hot altho the sun wasn’t out) or hop once we were there. She is hobbling on it periodically but I can’t see anything wrong. I’ve tried feeling up her whole leg and foot to tell the difference, but am getting no where like I’m on a date with a Mormon.

I think she’s faking to get attention because I play unbridled favorites when it comes to Murphy. Murphy is the baby Jesus in my delusional eyes. Murph is the second coming while Maddy is just second rate.  My faultless Christ child does not try to hog the whole manger each night at bedtime like Lady Mad Dog does either.

She also seems to have a little underarm rash (don’t we all) that she’ll lick at until the end of time (won’t we all) if you let her. She was cement glued to my side both nights in the bed.
I washed the sheets and blanket. The blanket, because someone (all I can vouch for is that it wasn’t me) licked or chewed themselves enough to bleed on the blanket (and sheets). The sheets are folded (or what resembles folding, Murph could do a better job at this than me) on the bed and the blanket and any towels used should be done in the dryer.
I really like Maunawili, closer than the beach and not a sandy mess. Plus, don’t have to worry about Cujo going apeshit on every dog in a yard in the hood. She was rabidly biting at her leash when we went by the pitbull-toad a couple doors up (did that pitbull eat the little dog and the deaf one she used to share the yard with? Where are they?) yesterday morning so I chose Maunawili over that frothing at the mouth mess this morning.
Think that’s about it. Did I say how much I love Murphy? Even when he vomits on his BFF, the sock? I have done my best to also give her Madness love, but I think she senses who I originally worship.
Thanks for allowing me this deeper appreciation for my cat. We are thinking of renewing our vows.

Chlamydian Angels

Last weekend brought the Blue Angels (accomplished Marine and Navy pilots that helm fast, loud planes in Top Gun-style maneuvers) to Kaneohe Bay for some rousing air shows. My roommate is in a sailing club so she invited me out on her friend’s 34 ft sailboat with a group of other sailing buddies to watch the festivities from an excellent vantage point in the center of K-Bay.

Like my early bird father, the captain wants to get a jump on a good spot. My father will have us in the car on our way to the Outback for dinner at 4pm siting traffic and a “no reservations” policy for this ridiculous head start – at most this is a 30 minute drive.  I’m always in the car thinking, “Are we about to have dinner at 4:30? I just finished throwing up lunch.” In the same vein, Captain (Time) Crunch has us meeting at the boat at 9am for a show that starts at 3:30pm.

I unsuspectingly get up at 8am unsure what time we need to be at the boat but knowing they usually meet about 11am. I am immediately in fire drill mode foraging for worthy contributions to the ice chest, hunting up and de-molding my snorkel gear, rifling through my beach bag to ensure all sunscreen needs and back-up garments with a dry crotch are provided for while trying to get some iced coffee down my neck at hearing we have to be there by 9am.

We get onboard, out in the bay and start getting to know our fellow sailors. I latch on to the couple, Aaron and Steve (of course I do). Steve I had met before but didn’t realize he was gay until he brought steamed edamame in a pot complete with matching dishtowel to our post-sailing BBQ. That dishtowel might as well have been a perfumed and sequined rainbow flag the way it immediately amped up the sonar on my gaydar. I happily aside to my roommate, “Oh yay, he rocks the Eve in Steve!”

On settling in, Aaron says to Steve, “Oh, I forgot the earplugs.” Ah, thank you, we got the gayest phrase we will hear today out of the way. Not only that, think on your pedicured feet for ear-stopping options, Mary, you brought brie didn’t you?

Aaron is a flight attendant and former New Orleans bartender so he laughs at everything I say plus his cooler is filled with thoughtful items… pewter bottle opener, extensive cheese selection, N’awlins beer huggies, tasteful bamboo cutting board, gallon of water and carafe to pour it from, etc. I categorically crush hard on him. I want us to be life long girlfriends and have Real Houseswives-themed slumber parties.

My day 2 buddy (I went out Sat and Sun — all the crew changed except Capt CK, my roommate and her houseguest) is the young cousin of my roommate’s friend. I love her because she says I am one of the only people she’s seen in Hawaii that doesn’t have toe nails that look like snail shells, we belt out Rihanna to the radio together, we both suffer mild hypothermia during snorkeling and curse our MIA dingy driver through chattering purple lips and she brings one of those Bud Light Micheladas as her drink of choice. Ole.

Capt TC has not seen a can of Michelada before. I inform him they are like a beer with a splash of bloody mary. He starts to read the ingredients aloud and false starts on the word “Clamato” enough that I chime in with “chlamydia”. I then spout that chlamydia is actually the secret ingredient in a Michelada  (although now that I think about it, it may very well be a key element in Clamato too). Oh, what merriment to pretend we can mix drinks with STDs!

Throughout the day the Red Baron gets the crowd going by doing climbs and free falls. The first few times you see this, you glance, possibly discuss airsickness and keep chatting with your neighbor. By the 5th time (and once you are well into the wine), you stop mid-sentence and gape in awe at this amazing daredevil. Like magic, you can mix alcohol with mildly impressive feats and transform them into show stopping shit bombs. (This same idea supports the “beer goggles” theory of late night, barstool beauty.)

As we approach show time, the bay has filled with all types of boats. You can plainly see the dichotomy that gender and age bestow on us when comparing these various vessels and their inhabitants. Next to us are the young crowd crammed into small tethered-together motorboats, baring as much nubile skin as is legal, blasting Kanye, passing bags of chips and swilling from red Solo cups while periodically back flipping overboard to pee (the few girls on these boats hold onto the sides and dangle their butts into the water while I helpfully point out to everyone on our boat, “look, that girl is peeing!”) We, the ancient mariners (or the half dead), are lounging on various ends of the boat, tapping feet to the Doobie Bros, sipping from wine glasses and nibbling at a fruit and cheese plate whilst wearing conservative bathing suit cover-ups and occasionally disappearing below deck for a discreet hit of the head.

Finally, it is show time. Once one hears a Blue Angel roar by, it’s almost too late to see it, they are that speedy (and exciting). They fly at each other mimicking a game of chicken, veering away at the last minute or each flipping on their side to avoid the other. There is no way to watch this and not imagine the pure, adrenaline-filled joy this must give the pilots. Their job is to Evil Knievel over some of the most incredible panoramas in this country. Those lucky hot dogs… if someone paid me to be reckless, I could have retired at 29 (back in the day when a Michelada wasn’t the only one with the secret ingredient).

When the planes fly over, the beasts in the motorboats next to us unleash and go into a monkey-assed frenzy. They beat chests, high five and grunt-scream “do me!” to the jets overhead. I wish I was exaggerating. They are behaving like these aircrafts have tits (or are throwing footballs). I swear each time the planes pass, the motorboat boys (I’m sure I just made a valid double entendre) get a collective hard on.

I’m trying to think what could possibly get me this excited… being mobbed by kittens and puppies, the pilot episode of the Mindy Project (I totally raised my fist and said “yes” at the end of that show like it had somehow validated my existence) or a pill that erases wrinkles and fat? But seriously, none of these examples could have me in Michael Phelps post-gold stance flexing my arms like a Neanderthal complete with veins bulging from my neck while bellow-demanding “do me”. I’d be more likely to quietly leak uncontrollable fluids from various orifices while giggling hysterically at the pure pleasure caused by the baby animal mob. Oh Christ, let me just re-read that…  a puppy orgy and a fat–free body? What an embarrassingly sexless fantasy life I have. I really am half dead.

On day 2, my roommate, Michelada, her cousin and I snorkeled all around Coconut Island (aka, the island they used as Gilligan’s in the opening shot of that show). It harbors a beautiful abundance of colorful fish and coral. Who needs “Finding Nemo” in 3D? I saw Dory no less than 10 times. (Yes, I have the marine biology knowledge of a Pixar-educated 4 yr old.) Fortunately, no one reminded me of the large hammerhead population in the bay until later that week.

We were pulled over by the jet ski police twice as they misguidedly thought we were spear fishing along the reef. They‘ve got to be better profilers than that, we are middle-aged, animal-loving (by the above puppy/kitten paragraph, pathetically so) haole women. I volunteer, “we’re not looking to harm anything, just see some pretty colors and pee out some wine”.  I’m not really sure that helped our case with the maritime Popo.

Michelada’s cousin has the curse of limitless jabber. One of those people where it’s so excessive that it becomes white noise. We better hope she is not the first to see an ocean predator because her warnings will get lost in the interminable mix — which is ironic because the blood leaking from our ears will undoubtedly draw them to us.

Now, we can all succumb to the mouthy muse at times. I can be a ruthless offender after my morning swim and coffee. Also, with each drink I get more verbose (up until I can’t form words, but rumor is, I have forged ahead in that inarticulate state regardless) and when I used to smoke weed, forget it, the first bong hit would have me motor mouthing like an auctioneer. But, as we swim, every time I pop my melon up to ensure we are still floating along together and no one’s being nailed by a hammerhead, I hear her non-stop yammer head. We are Darth Vadering thru the water with snorkels in our yaps, how in Neptune’s salty balls is she still talking?

After about an hour in the water, Michelada and I are shivering from a string of cold water pockets, slight dehydration and her cousin’s voice hammering in our knuckleheads, but our dingy driver chose this time to go back to the boat for a beer. I no longer need to look at the brain coral below the water’s surface because it is blossoming from each of my waterlogged fingertips. My own dehydrated brain coral starts to obsess about the movie “Open Water” — although we are right off an island in a bay full of boats. I suggest we get a stick and pretend to stab at the sea life so the police will come back and pick us up. Finally, we hear the telltale fart of the dingy motor and are soon whisked to the grilled sausage and dry crotched haven of the boat.

By the time the jets roar in for a landing, my roommate is searching up Capt. TC’s emergency stash jug of Yellow Tail Chardonnay that he made the mistake of telling us is hidden in his toolbox. When we pull into the dock close to sunset, we have drained every drop of wine on board and made several yellow-tailed trips to the head. We unload belongings and the diehards collect on deck to eat cookies washed down with silver bullets of Coors Light.

We look to the sky for the final air show of the day and watch the Polynesian full moon rise over the glittering ocean while etching out palm tree silhouettes in its brilliance. Every day I’m still in Hawaii is a good day, and this is a heavenly finish to a (blue) angelic day.

Wing Babe and the Miracle Skirt

I mentioned to a prospective wing girl the other night about a singles’ event I had no intention of attending. Unfortunately she took the bait (that I didn’t even mean to dangle) so we delved into a night of mating mayhem (again) courtesy of match.com.

On getting ready, I acknowledge my acute aversion to being over dressed or looking like I’ve tried too hard by wearing what could be a nice skirt if paired correctly, but I opt to wear it with a faded tank top. (Granted, overdressed in Hawaii is “shirts and shoes”.) The skirt has some special effects qualities though, as it somehow gives me a plum-shaped behind. My butt usually resides only on the front of my person so this is an unexpected coup.

I almost step into my $2 flip flops (aka, “slippahs” in HI pidgin) until my sidekick advises sandals. I inquire of the wing girl which pair of earrings I should don — the big honking orange disks or the dainty nuanced blue crystals. I lean toward the nuanced ones (because they are the opposite of my personality) but my fly girl promptly says to rock the orange donuts. I have apparently become an advice-needing “fashion don’t” that moves through these humid, unemployed island days in a style that could be referred to as street urchin laundry day and considers wearing earrings and mascara application a black tie undertaking. At this rate, my personal aesthetic is about a month away from cave woman.

The venue for this psychological challenge is the restaurant at the top of the Ilikai hotel in Waikiki. This hotel’s claim to fame is that it is featured in the opening of the original Hawaii Five-0. I believe McGarrett is standing atop the hotel in the opening montage — probably considering jumping if he’d just seen the ghastly dating options within that we witnessed.

This function has been listed online for almost a month but you’d think it was an impromptu gathering with the sore lack of planning at every turn. On arriving at the Ilikai, parking is a grid locked cluster. On getting off the elevator to the restaurant, there is a log jam at the host stand/registration desk. In residual NY’er “fuck that” form, I breeze past the desk with my girl in tow and hear, “they just walked in” which I later realize referred to us.  We get to the bar and the woman next to me says she followed us in, because she heard them turning people away saying they were over capacity. I exclaim that I did not go to the trouble of making myself look human and beating the parking odds to be refused access to this pool of mediocrity. Yes, it is already boring. But, I drove all the way over here for this unexceptional time and as Jack Lord as my witness, I’m going to not enjoy the shit out of it.

When you sign up for this circus online, it tells you how many men have rsvp’d (and as a male, you can see how many women have), so they must have a count and could shut registration down to prevent going over capacity. The event area is also populated with a couple high tops and a majority of sit down tables. Even this dimwit knows you set up the room with high tops and no chairs to encourage mingling. It seems the event coordination is being done by TSA.

Now that we are at the bar with drink in hand, we assess the considerably older crowd. In addition, there are about 5 women to every man (ha, Hawaii Five-1). This is further illustrated by the various 4-tops comprised of:  3 women exuding stank face while texting, 1-2 women emoting frozen-smiled interest and one guy in full-on show mode.

The men in attendance make the waiters and bartenders stand out like rock stars by comparison. We saw: a Hawaiian Elvis (seriously, Elvis’s 70’s hair and sideburns didn’t even look good on him), myriad examples of “trying too hard” and “matronly” plus we found ourselves feeling pity rather than attraction for anyone.

The older women alone in their semi-beauty pageant finery seemed like an alarming vision of my ghost of Christmas future. I start singing, “God bless you please, Ms.’s Havishams… Jesus loves you more than you will know… woe, woe, woe.” Sigh. Sniff. Super size my order of pills, please.

Wing babe and I start to play “If you had to” as in “If you had to pick one guy in the room”. It is not an easy call and takes most of our time in the establishment to finally discern. She picks a waiter and I pick a guy (at a table with 3 women – all sporting facades of rigid-smiled interest) who appears to be in his early 30’s which is all it takes to look exceptional in this crowd. For the love of bulbous butt cheeks, I wore my ass maker for this?

I tell the woman that followed us in to leave, because she is too hot (and young, at 33) to waste her time in this crowd. She has been in Hawaii for something like 7 weeks from Texas but since she is a mix of Native American and Mexican, she says she is already getting Kama’aina (local) discounts where ever she goes. My flat, blonde butt could live here for the next 50 years and still never be offered Kama’aina rates or acceptance.  (Oh well… everyone should have a taste of being the shunned minority in their lifetime.) The 3 of us decide to take a lap around the sideshows, or tables, and we lose her to a guy that was totally poised to run interception about 5 steps out.

Wing nut and I repair to a table and attempt to console ourselves with a slew of “at leasts” — like, “at least there is a great view although there is nothing to look at in here”, “at least we came out”, “at least we’re not wearing that”, “at least someone invented alcohol”, etc. On that latter point, I am contemplating licking the table where a couple drops of my wine spilled while waiting for the delivery of my next red, when two guys come up and ask if they can join us.

Now, I do not have a type but I do have some preferences. I can go as low as 5’7” if the guy is muscular but the actual cut off is about 5’ 8.5”. I just don’t want to physically be the “bigger one”. I have friends that are 5’ 2” and talk about how they aren’t attracted to guys under 6’. To me, that’s just short girl greed — 5’ 8” would still tower over them. Anyhow, Hawaii is not the place to have a height requirement… few men here are tall enough to ride this ride. Wing gal is the same height as me, but she can go considerably shorter without issue, buddha bless her.

So, when the diminutive Japanese and Korean guys sit down with us, she sees this as more of an opportunity than I do (I’m thinking, “mother of god, the little hands!”) and prior to our departure, gives one of the guys her number. I casually work my height requirement into the conversation so we know how we (literally) stand on my side of the table.

Part of our tableside chat involves the cultural differences in Hawaii and how brash NYer’s are not looked on fondly in the land of aloha. I am told that while I am funny, I should take it down a notch for the sake of assimilation. Not surprisingly, my mother has been giving me the same advice for years in order to assimilate into my own gender.

Finally, my wine and attention span are gone and my eyes have become blinking blue vacancy signs. It is go time (but not in the about to sky dive exciting way).

On the way to the car, “Thelma” reveals that her guy said they approached us because they liked her hair and thought I was pretty. I’ll take that over cougar-ish any day – yet, while happy to know her follicles still “got it”, that backhanded compliment had my gal on a brief self-deprecating jag (as opposed to my lifelong one).

In the car home, we hatch a plan to hit some bars for a once-a-month foray into “getting out there”. We decide to do this because that contrived singles’ mess was too depressing and it’s not like a guy is going to just walk through our living rooms as we sit home each night – unless they’re firemen or paramedics. (I am not advising lighting your bathroom on fire and using 911 as a dating hotline — yet.)

My Nissan Papasan

I sold the car today. I explained to the new owner (like a mother handing her son over to the babysitter for the first time) that his A/C only works on high so you have to adjust the temp if he gets too cold, he sometimes screams when you start him (like he’s not ready to wake up yet) and he purrs best when he’s tuned into his favorite island music stations. He was my cherished Nissan Papasan.

He withstood the dog hair tumble weeds and slobber rivers from my various over-excited clients not to mention many wisps of my crowning haystack that breezed about like airborne streamers until they mercilessly clung to his cloth interior. The clone-able DNA in Papasan alone could fill an unruly dog kennel and half the bar stools in Waikiki.

He toted mounds of sand that snuck in from my beach paraphernalia and furtively emptied itself on his seats and floor mats. His seats were so stained by oozing shampoos and soaps from my pool bag it sometimes looked as if underwear-less starlets had been joyriding on his passenger seat all night.

Papasan’s been privy to the boisterous laughter of visiting friends and the quiet tears of his awe-inspired owner. He’s heard more glorious, top of the lungs singing than the judges on American Idol and he’s been treated by a rasta’s share of natural mystic healing.

Although Papasan seemed to have a mind of his own: he’d randomly lock himself — perhaps protecting the lose bills I often trustingly left under his seat, his tail lights would impetuously stay on after I’d make my exit in the driveway like he was ready for another fully accelerated drive over the mountains and sometimes he would momentarily refuse to start — possibly to make me take a zen moment to think about my pointless and incessant road rage, he accommodated my every motorized whim.

He escorted me all around this glorious rock and I am forever grateful for his loyal service and the many vistas he afforded me. I’ll miss hauling ass with Papasan as his bumper sticker provoked the car behind us, “Got balls?”

Now he’s off to the Marine Base where his bumper will be scraped clean of its taunt and a military sticker will give his windshield the look of the newly-regimented. His current owner drives him like an anal grandmother unsure of her destination, so sadly, his souped up engine will get little exercise. He’ll have no more excited dogs thrilled by the promise of getting in him and “Ganja Farmer” will no longer blast from his belly for all to hear (and secondhand smell) as his hazy reggae days are through. So I wistfully say, “Aloha, my Papasan, we’ve had a very good ride.”