Sunday Afternoon 6/10/2018

Looking west from Barking Sands – next landfall is Japan!

Brett and I both felt that our getaway to the west side was too short. It was a very relaxing time for both of us, and we wanted to stay a few more days before coming home. Both of us also wished we had gone out there earlier, and that YaYu (and the other girls) had been able to come with us as well.

The almost-end of another pretty sunset. The island of Niihau can be seen on the left horizon.

But, we are back into the thick of things. If we thought YaYu’s school and volunteer schedule was nuts, her work schedule is almost crazier with her working day shift one day, evenings the next, or having it changed at the last minute. She is working her tail off, bless her heart, and making lots of money, but she’s also exhausted and having a hard time fitting in other tasks that need to be taken care of, such as applying for her new passport (she has to appear in person) and getting some more medical stuff taken care of for Bryn Mawr.

Brett and I are taking care of things around the house, trying to get something done every day so we’re not overloaded with a ton of work right before we move out. The people who were supposed to look at the place before we left last weekend never showed up, and there’s been no other interest. The landlord claims he still has the other two interested parties from a couple of months ago on the line, but Brett and I would be very surprised if they haven’t moved on to other opportunities. It’s kind of sad because the house is actually a very nice place in a great location.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I’m still reading The Cooking Gene, and enjoying how the author links together history, race, genealogy and food. I’m learning a lot as I go along as well as having to think more deeply about some things (and rethink a few things I thought I knew). My copy of Ron Chernow’s Grant came off of hold from the library at the same time as another book, so I’m reading Grant during the day on my computer and The Cooking Gene at night. Hopefully I can get one or both finished in time to get to the third book before it has to go back. Two of Brett’s and my favorite mystery authors, Ian Rankin and Tana French, both have new books being released in October. I’ve already pre-purchased both of them from Amazon.
  • Listening to: It’s pretty quiet around here right now. Brett is reading, and YaYu is still sleeping – she doesn’t go into work until later this afternoon – and we haven’t started the laundry. A few birds are singing outside, a couple of roosters are crowing off in the distance, but there’s thankfully no noisy yard work going on (for now, anyway). Yesterday our next door neighbor ran his pressure washer for over three hours non-stop, even when he wasn’t doing anything, and I thought I was going lose my mind! In the meantime I’m mainly listening to the sound of the ceiling fan overhead – summer is here, the humidity is back and the fans are on almost all the time now.
  • Watching: Brett and I finally finished Indian Summers, and are now watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, which is proving to be a bittersweet experience. The series is supposed to leave Netflix on June 16, so we’re trying to squeeze in as many episodes as we can between now and then.
  • Cooking/baking: We’re having kalua pork tonight versus fried rice because we currently have to avoid using our range as much as possible – the outer oven door spontaneously shattered in the early morning hours on Thursday while we were asleep (it hadn’t been used in five days either). The glass thankfully has not fallen out of the door (yet), but there’s no guarantee that won’t happen at any moment. According to the landlord, repairs are “in the queue.” In the meantime, everything we cook has to be prepared in the slow cooker, the microwave or out on the grill, and baking is obviously out of the question. I’ve put grilled pork chops and grilled teriyaki chicken on the menu this week, and we’ll fill in with leftovers as necessary, but I am going to have to almost completely redo the Big Shop list.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I’ve been steadily working on getting items on our monthly goals list taken care of. I removed all the pictures from the hallway, and some from the girls’ room and filled the nail holes – the landlord will be hard pressed to find them because I can barely find where they were! I’ve also been working on getting things out of the pantry and have three shelves cleaned off so far, but I’m going to have to do a bit of touch-up painting because the shelf liner stuck to the paint and has had to be sanded off. It’s been a good week for walking and other exercise too. Instead of studying French online, I’ve gone back to studying my phrase book and practicing how to order, or buy something, etc. – things I will actually need to use.
  • Looking forward to next week: Brett and I will be working at the polls in August for the Hawaii primary and we have our training session this coming week. YaYu has worked the elections for the past two years, and was asked if she would do it once more, but she can’t because of her job so Brett and I stepped up. Otherwise, there’s nothing special on the calendar other than our Not-So-Big-Anymore Shop on Friday. We’re looking forward to a relaxing week – the weather is getting better so we may actually get to the beach.

    Sweet, juicy lychee are only in at the farmers’ market for a very short time.

  • Thinking of good things that happened: Lychee were back in the farmers’ market again this week – so happy for the chance to enjoy them once more before they disappear for another year. We also enjoyed a lilikoi chiffon pie from Aunty Lilikoi’s in Waimea that we bought on our way down to the PMRF last weekend and brought home to share with YaYu – so delicious! It had been too long since we last had one. We all had a lovely luncheon at the Nawliwili Yacht Club yesterday with the Zonta Club of Hanalei, where YaYu and others received their scholarships.

    Lilikoi chiffon pie – YUM!

  • Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) Brett got a very nice free haircut from a Supercuts trainee (although the guy next to Brett didn’t fare so well with his cut). 2) Other than a trip to the farmers’ market we had a no-spend week, and ate from the pantry, fridge and freezer, all of which are getting exceedingly empty. 3) Our water and electric bills were both once again lower than they were the month before. 4) I did some research, and was happily surprised to figure out that we won’t need to purchase travel insurance, a savings for us of over $900. Our credit card insures lost luggage, cancelled flights, etc. – everything but medical – and our medical and dental insurance cover us worldwide. 5) We put just $3.00 into the change/$1 bill jar, our change from the farmers’ market.
  • Grateful for: What a sorrowful week this past one was. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and others whose names most of us will never know, gave up their struggles with their demons. Once upon a time someone reached out to me when I was at my lowest, and let me know that I was valuable and that I was needed in the world. Because of that person’s intervention I was able to go on and eventually met Brett, had four amazing children and now two beautiful grandchildren, and I have had a wonderful life. My demon hasn’t been around for a long, long time, but I know it still exists – I can still hear it pacing just out of sight now and again. If you know someone who is suffering from depression, reach out to them because they might not be able to reach out to you to ask for help. You don’t have to be a therapist; just be available and let that person know you care and are there for them. Don’t wait for someone to ask – make the first move. It can make a difference.
  • Bonus question: What is your favorite song opening (because I need to think about something happy)? There are two song openings that always, always draw me in no matter what I’m doing: Monkey Man by the Rolling Stones (1969), and Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down (2000). Both are at the top of my list The Rolling Stones have had loads of great song openings, but I think what gets me with these two songs are that the openings are quirky enough for some reason to always make me stop whatever I’m doing to listen. I heard Monkey Man this past week, which got me thinking about other openings that have caught my attention in the same way, but after a lot of thought, besides Kryptonite I couldn’t come up with anything else. The opening to Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky is high on my list of favorite openings but mainly because it triggers nostalgic feelings more than anything else, immediately taking me back to my senior year, driving around San Diego in my little red ’63 VW bug. Brett said his favorite song opening is the guitar riff at the beginning of Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools.

Anthony Bourdain’s death has affected me deeply, and it will take me a long while to come to terms with it. He was one of the most honest people around, seemed to lead a charmed life, and yet we now know carried demons along with him that eventually overtook him. He had such a pure interest in the world and a genuine affinity for the unpretentious, especially for the common man or woman, viewing their lives and contributions as an integral part of a good and just society. And, he embraced the unknown and was always curious, always wanting to know and learn more. Ian Sinclair said it best for me in a tweet I read on Friday, about how to mourn the loss of this man: I feel we should mourn Anthony Bourdain in the way he would have wanted. Eat something cooked with love. Drink a cold beer. Book a trip somewhere you’ve never been. Try a new food. Tell your friends and loved ones that they are loved. Pour a bottle of truffle oil on the ground.

12 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 6/10/2018

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Juhli. Although most of us would wish otherwise, life is filled with mundane tasks. And that’s the scariest thing about depression – even the mundane, the things we normally take for granted, become impossible.

      My sister-in-law posited that depression needs to be called something else, something that expresses more clearly how insidious it is, and that it’s a condition of the brain, not something you can just “snap out of.” It’s an illness just as much as tuberculosis or typhoid, and yet no one would tell anyone suffering from either of those to “just snap out of it.” I don’t know what a good new name for depression would be, but it’s been discouraging to read this past week how much suicide has increased in the last 10 – 20 years, something like by 25%. We’re not getting better.

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  1. Laurel Hill says:

    Yes, this week has been a tough one to accept. Two really talented people lost too young. We listened to Kate and Andy Spade on the “How I Built This” podcast while driving up north today. They were both so down to earth. Really sad. And my heart breaks for her you g daughter.

    The organ intro to Light My Fire by The Doors! When I was young I could play it but haven’t thought of it for years. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      I think Kate Spade’s death was especially shocking because she was a successful female, and a mother, although neither of those is any protection from the ravages of depression. Anthony Bourdain did a good job of hiding his struggle with depression, although in hindsight there were apparently clues, and he did talk about it. But I get the impression no one knew with either of K.S. or A.B. how bad things really were, or that they were that close to suicide. Maybe they both felt that with their lives and their successes, they weren’t “entitled” to feel depressed, and therefore didn’t reach out. But sometimes even reaching out is just too much effort. Bourdain leaves behind an 11-year old daughter, who he adored, which adds another layer of sadness to his death.

      Oh my yes – that organ opening is a classic! My son got me started on posting my 10 “most influential” albums to Facebook, and the Doors album is #2 on my list. My parents thought the album was subversive, but we wore that album out!

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    • Laura says:

      I’ve never worked at one before. YaYu says the training is a total bore, but the actual work is fun, you meet lots of interesting people, and they always put together a great potluck for workers at the polling place so I’m looking forward to it. Plus we get paid!

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  2. Chris N says:

    It is difficult to come to some reckoning with these two suicides. On the outside it looks successful,etc, etc, but inside it must be so painful. and on top of that Trump alienating the G -7 is enough to send me hiding in a closet. (not really) but it’s so difficult in our world right now and that is depressing!!! Plus, on a personal note, I have a stress fracture in my left foot so no walking for a bit. That’s really depressing since I just passed my 5-year mark of Walking.Every. Single. Day.

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    • Laura says:

      Both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s suicides seem hard to grasp because they were successful people who seemed to be doing what they loved. They were greatly loved too. I’ve been reading tributes and eulogies for Bourdain, and one thing that keeps popping up is him saying, “I’m tired, but I just can’t stop.” He says it over and over, in different ways. So maybe he couldn’t slow himself down, or didn’t know how to stop himself and it was finally all too much, and this was the only way he could find some peace. I don’t think we’ll ever know.

      You should be proud of five years of walking every day. That is beyond remarkable. But, a stress fracture is nothing to mess with, and I hope it heals quickly.

      I can barely stand to read the news these days – it’s frightening.

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  3. JJ says:

    I do volunteer work in kitchens and happened to be there on Friday when the news came in that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide. All work in the kitchen stopped and chefs and other staff shared stories on how much he had influenced them. A lot of them were young when his first book came out and had read it and it made them curious about the career. Like you mentioned, I really wonder if he ever stopped to think of the impact he had on others in that field. I admit I don’t know much about true clinical depression (if that’s what this was), but I would think that since AB and KS both had young daughters, they should have found a way to get help. They certainly had the means to afford it, so I’m afraid I just don’t understand.

    How in the world did your oven glass shatter? I think I have the same model you have. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but it has the same door. That’s scary!

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    • Laura says:

      A.B. had an impact on so many people through his writing, his work, his travels, his shows – I think anyone who interacted with him in any of these ways has been affected by his death. And none of us will know the reason why it all became too much for him, or why he could no longer go on. As I said above, he had said that he was tired, but (personally) couldn’t stop – maybe that was his demon, and this was the only way he saw to escape and find some peace.

      The oven door shattered spontaneously in the middle of the night – we were surprised to find many instances of this happening on the Internet – apparently it’s a genuine safety issue. There can be small, tiny flaws in tempered glass, and under just the right conditions the glass can shatter, and studies have shown there is no way to know when of if that could happen, or whether it might be the inner or outer glass. Some people have been hurt, so we are lucky (so far). It just messes up our ability to cook. The oven is a Whirlpool gas range, btw.

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  4. Snoskred says:

    Good news – Netflix have worked it out so Parts Unknown will remain available for a while. 🙂 Plus I am out of the spam bin hopefully, yay! 😉

    I have worked probably 6 or 7 elections now, it is always a great day but here in Australia it is a very long day, 14-16 hours from start to end because we have to count all the votes before we leave the polling place and then pack everything up.

    Sadly we do not have a potluck, but I always take plenty of snacks and treats. The Tim Tam in dark chocolate is usually very popular – you must try this when in Australia!

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    • Laura says:

      First, glad you have been removed from WP spam purgatory! It was a weird thing to happen.

      Super happy about Parts Unknown remaining on Netflix – we’re just now finishing up Season Two and never would have gotten them all done by the original withdrawal date.

      Two or more people get together here in Hawaii for any reason and you’ve got a potluck! We’ve had TamTams at Costco every year at Christmas except for this last one . . . and I never bought them. I WILL try them in Australia. There’s also this cream made from pawpaw (?) I think that’s supposed to be good for everything – babies, hands, etc. and I want to get some of that too.

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