Monday, March 29, 2010

Good shite

There was high drama at the Volcano Farmers' Market yesterday morning. I was half way along the sidewalk between the covered skate park and the main Cooper Center building, en-route to the gravel parking lot where I'd wedged my car. I plodded along, my green, re-use bag in one hand, celery stocks and carrot tops sticking up over the top, my coffee in the other, styro-cup lifted and in mid-sip, walking and drinking, drinking and walking. I might have been humming. It was a nice day, perfect for multi-tasking. Suddenly, I heard a great thump and turned to see the aftermath of a spectacular crash. A woman had stubbed her sandaled toe and fallen - splat - face first onto the pavement. Her nose was gushing blood and a quail's egg had swollen beneath her right eyebrow. I dropped my bag and ran to help, as did a young man who had also been nearby and heard impact. I helped her sit up, then instructed him to go find some tissues or towels. Others gathered. I sent one to find the woman's husband. Another said there was a nurse on duty doing free blood pressure screenings, so I sent her to grab said medical professional and drag her back to the scene. Somehow, I had become the director of this mishap. Paper towels arrived, and I coached the woman to pinch them onto her nose. She'd hold it there for a moment, then peel back the sticky paper to sneak a peek at the blood, which looked way worse than it was because the paper towels were white, and because a little blood always looks worse than it is. "Keep the pressure on," I said, hoping that the flow would stop soon and that by not looking at it so much, she might be less freaked. The nurse arrived, checked her for concussion, then advised that her husband take her directly to the emergency room, just to makes sure her head injury wasn't serious. Whew! It was encouraging to see so many people stop to help, and so many more ask if we needed anything else. It seems there are oodles of nice people in Volcano Village.

It was a beautiful morning, so after than, I went to the park for a jog (not to be confused with a run). My route took me around the Kilauea Military Camp's outer loop, then uphill to Jagger Museum and back. It was a killer, especially that last pitch. Still, I thought, not bad for a pudgy woman who's just chiseled another year deeper into her second half-century.

This morning, en-route to my tutor's gig, I punched buttons on the radio as usual, trying to find a song I liked. It's not easy here. First I landed on, I like fish and poi, I'm a big boy.... Yuck. Then there was, If I was invisible... Yuck twice! (Sorry, Claymates.) Besides cheesy songs, I kept catching the ends of news reports on the nasty divorce of Frank McCourt. I thought, "Shite! Can they do that to a dead man? Why won't they let the poor lad rest in peace? He did die, didn't he?" Click. I love my huli huli chicken, baby! Gag! His ex-wife wants a million dollars a month. "Shite!" This time, I say it out loud. To other motorists, I must have looked like some crazy haole woman, talking to herself, hand slapping the wheel, swearing in an Irish accent to no one in the passenger seat. "I knew he sold a lot of books, but shite!" All day, I was thinking of THEE Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Angela's Ashes. When I got home, I did a quick google search and learned that the news reports were referring to anOTHER Frank McCourt, a rich one who owns the L.A. Dodgers. I now realize the error of my geekish, if literarily influence ways. What a maroon!

I made a crock of chili last night. We're having leftovers again tonight. If I don't say so myself, that's some good shite. A crock o' shite!

A hui hou! Aloha!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Broken toes and such

It's been a rough week. Last weekend, Hoppsy had a seizure. She's since recovered and is feeling well, cruising along as if nothing happened. The doggie Valium comes in handy for that, too. Two days later, we found that Abner broke his toe. Most likely, her brother/homie/best buddy Doc, the 80 pound, clueless wonder pooch, stepped on him. Abners a ten-pound, slightly built tabby with tiny feet like his mother, so there you have it. He got a shot of anti-inflammatory at the vet and is doing much better now.

The weather's been beautiful in Hawaii, everywhere but here.

I drove to the university Monday to find bright orange cones blocking my entry into the parking lot.
"What's up?" I asked the security person at the gate.
"Spring break," she said. Duh! So I went to Seattle's Best at Borders (since Kope Kope is pau - sniff!). It was packed, probably because Kope Kope is pau. They have a killer orange spice latte. I hunkered down and wrote a goofy piece of flash fiction that I've entered in a small writing contest sponsored by Western State College's fledgling MFA in creative writing program. I'm hoping to win a gift certificate to Amazon. The story started out with 750 words and I pared it down to 360. That, in itself, may disqualify me, since the word limit for the contest is a paltry 250. I submitted it anyway. If nothing else, it was a good exercise in revision. I can also submit it elsewhere. It's just weird enough that someone might pick it up. To all my fellow Alaskan Fictionaires out there, a piece of flash fiction might keep us all from going over our three minute time limit at the student reading next year.

Speaking of flash fiction and in honor of brevity, I'll sign off now.

A hui hou. Aloha!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hard rain and rejection

Hoppsy has developed a fear rain. Not drizzle, but the cats and dogs, torrential kind. This is not a good thing for a dog who lives in a rainforest. She's always hated thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are most often accompanied by downpours, so now, she hates downpours by association. It's not so irrational when you think about it, from her perspective, through her ears. It makes perfect sense. So this afternoon, having run out of herbal calming capsules, we have resorted to half a doggie Valium, just to take the edge off. Poor baby.

I received another rejection note today. This one came via email. They're all so damn polite. We appreciate the opportunity to read your story. We have decided, however, that it does not suit our needs at this time. We wish you luck .... blah, blah blah. No you don't. You think I suck. If you really appreciated my story, you'd accept it. Well one day, someone will, someone huge, or at least someone reputable. They'll print one of my pieces. People will read it. They'll like it. It's all part of my diabolical plan to... dun, dun dunnnnnnnnn..... get published. Mwahahahahahaha!

While nobody wants to publish my stories, it seems the readership of this blog has gone global! I received a comment on my last post from Japan. Sadly, I could not read it, nor did I quite understand the translation, so I did not post it. I do encourage my Japanese reader to try again, if he or she is so moved do so.

I could have sworn I spotted Charlie, at the next driveway down the street, cavorting with that floozy of his. That's not really fair. For all I know, she's a nice girl, although from what I could hear through the windshield, she's a bit foul-mouthed. I could go on with hundreds of chicken puns, but I'll spare you all today. I've got writing to do. Real writing, not this fun blogging stuff.

A hui hou! Aloha!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Aloha Charlie?

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the disappearance of our rooster, Chuck. Last week, I caught him hanging out at the end of our driveway, cavorting with a cute little hotty of a brown hen from across the street. They did look like a happy couple. She must be something special for him to give up premium scratch, fresh fruit, bread, and other chicken-delectables, not to mention the fun of tormenting the cats. I asked Ron if he'd had the talk with Charlie. He shrugged. So I suspect we'll soon see the little brown hen with a trail of tiny, fluffy chicks in tow.

Kope Kope closed this week! It's my favorite coffee shop in town. Now, we're left with just two independent shops (that I know of), neither of which is great for hanging out to read or write or listen to live music. One is little more than a drive-through kiosk. The other is Bear's, downtown. It's funky but tiny, with tasty fruit-topped Belgian waffles. The coffee, last time I was there anyway, was lukewarm. I actually asked the waitress if she would zap in in the microwave for me. The parking sucks, so I almost never go there. Seattle's Best in Borders is OK. Starbucks is Starbucks. None match up with Kope Kope. My neighbor Leonard was playing jazz guitar on their little stage just last week while I tinkered with a story. Their chai lattes and homemade granola bars are awesome. Were awesome. Bummer.

I received two more rejections from literary magazines last week, so have created a folder just for them. The nice thing about rejection letters is that it confirms receipt of the story on the other end. Otherwise, you really don't know where the manuscript has gone. It's just out there, floating, in either cyberspace or real space or languishing in some post office or at the bottom of some editors slush pile somewhere. It's better to know, one way or another, than to wait. Waiting feels like the theme song from Jeopardy playing in my head, over and over, for eternity. Du du du, du-du, du du du.... du du du du DU.... du-du-du-du-du....

The rain has returned to our neck of the rainforest. Drought over. Water tank full. Algae in full bloom on the driveway. Mold thriving. Kitties soaked with muddy paws.

A hui hou. Aloha!