Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let it rain

There's a saying, issued forth by civil defense here on Hawaii Island whenever flash flood warnings are issued: Turn around, don't drown.  They've been warning of this for days. It's finally here.
It's a funny thing about rain, especially for those who live in the Southwest, that is, there's never enough of it, except when there's too much of it. For what it's worth, it's raining here too, messing up vacations, overrunning sewer systems in Honolulu just like it does in L.A.  As the toads frolic, I send you this Christmas poem.

Let it Rain
(Sung to the tune of Let it Snow)

Oh the weather outside is raining,
and this glass of wine I’m draining,
the tourists are mad, you bet,
they’re all wet, they’re all wet, they’re all wet...

Oh the sky looks like it’s melting,
as the rain, the roof is pelting,
the trickling stream's a-rush,
think I’ll just sit inside on my tush...

When I finally venture out,
don’t you know, I’m gonna get soaked,
so much water is pouring down,
toads in the driveway just croaked...

In the oven a pie is baking,
and another sip I’m taking,
so I'll sing with this foggy brain,
let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

(This is why I don't write poetry.)

A hui hou. Malama pono. Aloha!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Roller derby, sirens and rackets

Yesterday morning, as the dirty oil from my car was being drained and replaced with fresh, I walked the mile or so from Goodyear on Kilauea Ave., to Island Naturals, where they have brown rice salmon musubis that aren't all that tasty but are filling and healthy for the price. Midway along my route, near Cafe 100, the tsunami warning sirens revved, then blared.  Had there been an earthquake somewhere around the Pacific Rim? I strained to recall, then remembered that they test the sirens on the first of every month. I'd thought they were limited to the big, yellow towers along the shoreline, but as I walked Kilauea, no towers in sight, the wale literally felt as though it was right over my head. I looked up to see, if that makes any sense, like you can see sound, and realized there were visually discrete speakers mounted on every other power pole along my route.  The blasting lasted for close to 10 minutes, which seemed excessive for a drill, and when it finally died down, it was as if I'd just walked out of a Van Halen concern, my ears cloudy, the traffic noise muted.

Life's been rough for our girl Lucy. As if going blind, being diagnosed FIV positive and a growing cancerous tumor the diameter of a dime on her tiny nose weren't enough, Tuesday night she came up lame, her back left leg tender and sore. The diagnosis: sprained knee. The vet prescribed some kitty pain medication for her, which should also help her sore nose.  Poor baby! We do love our Lucy.

Last Saturday night, my neighbor Kathy talked me into some unusual fun. The Afook Chinen Auditorium was packed with roller derby fans, there to see a classic matchup between the Fairies and the Scaries. Kathy informed me as we entered the rowdy place that we would be rooting for the Scaries.

"Good," I said, "because there's no such thing as Fairies."
"Never mind," I said.

As we entered, an usher explained that the front row, "the suicide seats" as they are known, are to be taken at your own risk.
"Or, I guess, if you're in a wheelchair," Kathy said, pointing to the opposite side of the floor. Sure enough, that's where they'd park three in a row.
"I guess they figure if you're in a wheelchair, you won't be able to feel it if a skater slams into you," I said.
"That's awful!" she said, laughing.

We opted for a seats up high, where we could see the action from a safe distance.

The affair was akin to WWF wrestling, but instead of burly, sweaty men, the main attractions were scantily-clad young women skating and bumping, sprawling and brawling. The teams had hardcore fans, cheerleaders (men wearing tutus with letters spelling out F-A-I-R-I-E-S painted on their bare chests), banners emblazoned with Go Scaries and the like.  We lasted until midway through the second period, then snuck out to beat the crowd and headed to Sombat's for dinner.

Yesterday afternoon, I dusted off the tennis racket and joined this same Kathy, and another neighbor, also named Kathy, for some tennis. We played for two hours, with only one mishap, which seemed terrible at the moment, but turned out OK. Barney,  Kathy #2's brother, went for a low backhand on a ball that had just whizzed passed his partner, Kathy #1.  Kathy #1 had spun and ducked to avoid the ball, and was facing the back of the court just as he swung, a full sweeping backhand.  The ball hit her, point blank off his racket, smack in the temple. Her glasses took the brunt of the impact, the frames bent, but her eye was spared. Whew!

Today, I'm sore for having not played tennis in years now, especially my right gripping hand and forearm.  My antique tennis shoes, which have been sitting on a shelf outside by the doorway, or in a closet, or in the back of the car, chose midway through our rally to biodegrade in earnest, the midsole on one shoe blown out, the heel flapping like a floundering flounder. Bummer. And they're only 15 years old, too.

A hui hou. Aloha!