Future World Traveler


Darn skippy.

In other news, we discovered that our closet shelving unit was not bracketed or mounted to a stud in any way, shape, or form. We discovered this when the whole bloody enterprise collapsed after we reorganized. One of the nice things about living the way we do and moving so often is that we can really pare down what we need and take with us. Because we *clearly* need to downsize again, on this go-around we’re donating a ton of bedding, clothing, and my wedding dress to various consignment and Goodwill shops.

On the one hand, I’m sentimental about my dress. On the other, I haven’t looked at it since I got married 2.5 years ago and we certainly made no fuss about Tom’s rental tux, so…donated. I feel better knowing that someone will be able to put it to use either for their special day or theater company or whatever, and if Maggie really wants to see it we have photos. My mother’s wedding dress wasn’t kept and I never felt a sense of loss for not being able to see it in person. Maggie is her own person and I would never presume that she would a) want to have a traditional marriage and wedding in the first place, b) have the same body type as me, or c) not want to choose her own special dress according to her own tastes.

Besides, I’m not entirely sure that it’s real sentimentality about the dress or the fact that it was exponentially more expensive than the tux and therefore my frugal Yankee soul is scalded by the idea of giving it away. There’s really no use in getting sentimental about objects. Everything can break or be lost, ultimately you can’t take any of it with you, and the chances of your next-of-kin caring about something the way you did aren’t very high. Photos, letters, the family silver or crystal, jewelery, that sort of thing I understand. Things that carry tradition through their repeated use, or things given or made by family in order to be passed down. But a dress that’s worn once and then never again? Out the door.

And it feels nice to purge and be light; everything in our home fits in two 8’x8′ shipping containers, and that’s only because the couch needed its own container. That’s what we’ll try to teach Maggie as she grows: don’t buy it if you don’t need it, use it as much and as for as many purposes as you can, and if you don’t use it in 12+ months, sell or give it away if you can or trash it if you can’t. Onward!

Apartment and Eco-Living

Dispatches from Tom: pictures of our new apartment in Mililani are up! So far, it seems as though Tom can ride his bike to town, which he did for the caucus. It also seems like there’s a decent amount of sunlight coming in that big living room window in the afternoon, so I can hang plants from the ceiling and we can grow some of our own basil, which, woo! Fresh basil that doesn’t cost the earth and sky is hard to find, and it’s such an easy plant to tend as long as it gets sunlight.

I’m hoping that since Natalie Norton was kind enough to link to my other blog, I might maybe possibly have some readers based out of Oahu who can give me some tips: are there “community gardens” in Hawaii? Our apartment complex in DC had a community garden but a) the neighborhood was full of little pint-sized vandals and b) the air around a city has to be pure poison, so I felt a little squicky about growing edible things there. Also, where is a good place to get organic groceries? Trader Joe’s, my all time favorite grocery chain, hasn’t made it out there and Whole Foods is just so horrifyingly expensive.

As you may have guessed, my ecological views are born from a laziness and cheapness that are bone-deep. Cost-wise, it makes sense to use a straight razor instead of buying cartridges; that I’m not throwing away those blade cartridges is just icing on the cake. It is cheaper to use a paste made of baking soda and a squirt of castile soap to clean the bath tub, and no chemical headaches aside, than it is to buy harsh sprays and scrubs. It also smells nicer. Going green isn’t always cheaper (see: buying an organic mattress instead of the horribly toxic regular alternatives) but it often is, and I am cheap. At some point I’ll do a post on the cost breakdown of the things I have replaced around the house with a green alternative.

But in the meantime, if a plant in the window doesn’t work, I’d love to find that community garden…

Photos!!

Starting here, all new shots of Owen. Baby photos!

And starting here, all new shots–courtesy of Tom–of our new home. Hawaii photos!

A few people have asked me how I can split myself the way I have, half here living in Portland and taking care of a baby while on the other hand my husband sets up my new life in Hawaii. Do I mind living like that, do I like taking care of a baby, and can’t I wait to get to Hawaii? Those are always the three questions asked.

I don’t know, I think that given this

and then the imminent prospect of this

makes the answers no, yes and yes. I have love and beauty all over the world. How lucky am I?

Dispatch from HI

A few notes from Tom, who cannot recall what his Blogger log-in is:

“Random Hawaii Post:

Just thought I would jot down some random things that I have come across in Hawaii:

McDonald’s Value Meal: Not so value worthy here. In order to get a meal you need to shell out at least $8. Hoping this is cheaper away from the beach, even though I don’t eat there but once a month (at most). Handy to know though, most value meals come with “fresh pineapple slices.”

Changing Lanes: It appears that the state has forgone the traditional yellow lane lines and went with white instead. To make things more interesting, they like to add in a lot of sold lines, especially on the highway. I’m almost sure that one day will get pulled over for crossing one of these lines for an illegal lane change.

Hey Big Boy!: Since I have been here I have been propositioned by five ladies of the evening. They don’t even try to hide the fact of what they are doing. They just stroll up and down Waikiki, without regard for any law enforcement.

That isn’t Smoke: One of the coolest things I have seen was coming over a hill one morning and just seeing what looked like smoke from a brush fire. It wasn’t, it was the mist off of 20′ waves that was about 60 feet high.

Diamond Head is the Hawaiian equivalent of the Eiffel Tower. It doesn’t look like it is too far away, but by the time you get there you are friggin exhausted. I recommend driving even if you have to walk a mile to your car like I do.

There are a lot of homeless people living on the beaches. A lot of them appear to be Vets, who seriously need support from something other than the street. That said there is a contingent who take pride in grossing out the tourists. The other day, one guy pulled off a three foot hanging snaught rocket, sending a group of Aussie tourists into a tizzy. Well played sir!

Apparently side walk cleaning is an essential part of the day, despite that fact that it will likely rain five to ten times throughout the day. By the way, a handy thing to keep in mind, always carry a jacket (especially during the rainy season), because it rains even when there are no clouds in the sky.

Chipsters are in heavy rotation on Waikiki.

Speaking of the beach at Waikiki, it is nice, but it really isn’t my kind of place. I mean the beach is nice, but how it ever made the Travel Channel’s Top 10 is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong it is relatively nice and the surfing looks good, but there is also a steady stream of barge and commercial boat traffic that obscures this bucolic view.

The Mormons have a huge compound out here, not as big as the temple height wise in Chevy Chase, but close.

Next time I get up to the North Shore, I need to try their shrimp plate. You just drive along the road and you can just smell the shrimp cooking and “it smells like victory.”

Don’t think about wearing anything white outside of Honolulu. The red dirt will dye your clothes in a matter of minutes, especially should any rain happen to fall.

Seeing sunrise and sunset over the water and on the same day is awesome!”

Purge

There is nothing quite so spiritually soothing as exorcising one’s possessions and packing them into cardboard boxes.  Moving, especially over a distance like Washington to Hawaii, is a wonderful excuse to cleanse the bookshelves and DVD towers and wardrobe.  It’s all well and good to toss a few books into a garbage bag for a cross-town move, but when the distance in question is 5000+ miles, do you want that MLA Standards Handbook from your husband’s freshman year of college following you to Honolulu like a bad smell?  No, you do not.  

On the other hand, packing is like a funky game of 3D Tetris.  You know you’re losing the game when you start yelling at your hardbound copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare for being fat and insolent.
Because Tom will be arriving in Hawaii well in advance of our household shipment and I will be spending two months in Maine, we actually get to live out the question “If you had five books to bring to a tropical island, what would you bring?”  Granted, we get to cheat a little because we won’t ever be more than a thirty-minute drive from a Borders, but it’s a fun exercise.  We also unearthed an old CD case or two and made a similar list of DVDs.  My winners for books:
The Alchemist
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Naked
The Stand
Job Hopper

The DVD list was longer and not as indicative of my tastes; Erika has a number of my favorites and I gave Tom custody of all three seasons of “Arrested Development.”  It did include Stranger Than Fiction, Pulp Fiction, Zoolander, and Animal House.

We are out of tape, so it’s time to give up for the night and open up some wine.  Tomorrow: photographs, framed photos, and the “cold weather” clothing.