Thursday, August 30, 2007

Where are they now?

Last night I was watching an old episode of Law and Order and when the guest actor playing one of the defense attorneys came on screen, I thought, "I know that guy." Sure enough, it was a classmate from UVa. that I was really good friends with 3rd and 4th year. He and a couple of other guys lived in a house across the street from me 3rd year and we hung out all the time. I did a little internet research and discovered that he is using a different last name, but uses his former last name as a middle name, and it's definitely him. He's a working actor who does lots of plays in New York (including on Broadway) and Washington (at places like Arena Stage), in addition to guest roles on TV shows like Law and Order and Criminal Intent.

The interet is a magical thing for reconnecting with old friends or classmates. Over the years, I have found (or been found by) dozens of people with whom I went to middle school, high school and college. A woman who was in my senior class in India got tremendous shit for dating an Italian guy who, while being smoking hot, was a freshman and the definition of jailbait. Well, it turns out it was true love, because she married him and they live in Italy, where she runs a travel agency. A guy I went to high school with in Israel is an art history professor at a small liberal arts college in South Carolina. A woman I was good friends with at UVa -- she lived in the geek dorm, like me -- became an award winning journalist in San Francisco. A former college roommate is a PhD in Japanese language. My best friend from middle school in Israel is a singer-songwriter in LA. When I knew first knew them, we were so young and stupid and unformed -- learning how to put on makeup, obsessing over silly crushes, worrying about finishing our history homework. It's so interesting to look back on those children and see the adults they've become. Remembering them way back when and learning what they've become is like being in a sculptor's studio the first day he starts working on a big piece of clay, and then coming back years later and seeing the finished result.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Get a job, honey.

We have a neighbor in our complex who is very sweet and nice to us, but she never stops bitching about money. I've gotten to the point where if I see her coming, I wave and pretend to be incredibly busy, because if I engage at all, I'll be stuck in a half hour conversation (or rather, listening to a half hour rant) about her travails with the leasing office because they're trying to raise her rent, or the fact that she had to spend $50 on this or $40 on that and how her husband didn't get any overtime work last week so they're behind on their bills. Her husband, meanwhile, works for a company that is redoing Honolulu's sewer systems. He often has to work the night shift, has skin the color of a fish's underbelly because he never sees the light of day, and is constantly exhausted. The wife, on the other hand, doesn't work and doesn't want to work and seems to think that the solution to her problems is for her husband to work overtime or figure out a way to get more hours in or something.

I don't understand this attitude at all. I thinks she is being a selfish, lazy asshole. She wouldn't need to work full time. Even part-time would be enough to give them the cash to ease the burden, and it would mean that her husband wouldn't be completely fried and stressed out about working and supporting his family. He could spend some time with his kids and she could get off her ass and make herself useful and their lives would be better as a result. But I guess then she wouldn't have as much to complain about, and it seems like she really enjoys the complaining. So maybe she's doing just fine, and I should butt out. But it's much more fun to be nosy and tell people how they should live their lives.

I'm not sure why I'm so irritated about this. Maybe it's that I come from a long line of working women -- my mother had an awesome career in the foreign service, my grandmother owned her own business at a time when most women didn't work -- so the notion that I should get to sit on my ass like a schnorrer (Yiddish for a parasite or a moocher) while someone else works for my benefit is totally foreign to me. But anyway, it bugs me. As you can see.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Zeke has the hiccups

I'm sitting in my office working right now, and my belly is going nuts. The baby is incredibly active all the time anyway, but right now in addition to feeling him squirming around, I can also feel a rhythmic pulse, about every 5 seconds or so, that must be hiccups. I haven't even met this kid yet and already I can't even deal with how cute I think he is or how much I love him.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Living in paradise doesn't suck

One of the nicest things about being in Hawaii is that everyone wants to come and visit. Last night my parents came to hang out with us for 8 days, and of course they'll be back when the baby is born. It's so nice to have them around. Mom came with me to my exercise class this morning, and we're going to go to the beach and go sightseeing and chill, and I get some extra mommy-pampering. She rubs my belly and marvels at every kick and makes me lie down and rest when I'm tired (which is alot, these days). Visitors are also a great way to do all of the touristy things that I wouldn't ordinarily get off my ass to do, like go to museums and drive around the island just for the hell of it. This really is such a beautiful place -- all of the trees are in blossom and the air smells fragrant and nice trade winds are blowing and the sun is shining. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Aloha casual," indeed

Yesterday Jason and I went to a wedding. The groom, Francis, is a good friend of Jason's from work. Francis and his wife have been together for 9 years and have 3 kids together, but decided to finally tie the knot 9 years to the day after their first kiss. Kinda romantic. Anyway, Francis and Kim were both born and raised on Hawaii, so Jason and I both thought the wedding would have more of a Hawaiian flavor to it, but the ceremony was your run-of-the-mill Christian ceremony that lasted 5 minutes and mentioned Jesus alot.

What was Hawaiian about it was the dress code. Francis had told us that it would be "aloha casual," meaning shorts and slippers (Hawaiian for flip-flops), but the part of me that has lived in the South half my life couldn't believe that people wouldn't at least throw on a decent pair of linen shorts for a casual wedding, so I wore a dress and Jason wore beige linen pants with a nice white shirt. But sure enough, we were more dressed up than anyone else there, except possibly the bride and groom (though the bride wore flip-flops, as did the bridesmaids). The bride's father wore jeans shorts and flip-flops, and many people showed up looking like they were on their way to the grocery store.

The bride's parents

wedding guests

This may take some getting used to. I have a feeling Zeke is going to be the kid in school who gets shit because his mom is always getting on his case to pull up his pants and put on a shirt with a collar, when the other little punks are running around with tribal tattoos and no shoes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We're still fine

Flossie's projected path has shifted south, so even assuming she takes the northernmost track of the projection "cone," Oahu will not be hit. The past day has been a little windier than normal, and Jason is down at the beach as I write this, taking advantage of the bigger surf, but other than that, nothing is out of the ordinary. The earthquake this morning was on the Big Island -- we didn't feel a thing (in fact, I didn't even know about it until somebody emailed me asking about it).

Monday, August 13, 2007

We'll be fine, weather permitting

A number of people have contacted me asking about Hurricane Flossie, which is on track to pass just south of the Big Island. Oahu is not under a hurricane advisory at the moment -- the storm is expected to pass well to the south of us and bring some big surf (woohoo!) and rain, but nothing more. We've got some small craft advisories in effect, but since I don't own a boat, I'm not really worried.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Am I missing something?

For about 2 months, I've been participating in an exercise class specifically for pregnant women and new moms. We meet in a local park and combine cardio work (power walking, jogging, whatever) with resistance work using stretch bands. Today toward the end of class, we were doing ab work near the playground, and a woman came up with a couple of kids and started talking to the class instructor. Apparently, the woman (Melanie) used to take the class but hasn't been in a while. Anyway, we were all chatting with Melanie and she started telling us about how her 2 year old was acting up the other night when he was supposed to be going to bed, and so she went into his room, "whacked" him without saying a word to him, and left. She was happy to report that he piped down and went to sleep after that. The weird thing was, she sounded almost proud of herself, and from the way she was talking, it appears that smacking her son is a fairly regular occurrence.

Now, I recognize that reasonable minds can differ about whether a mild spank from time to time is an appropriate form of discipline, but among the people I tend to associate with, it's not really accepted. And maybe I'm hyper-sensitive because as a child, my husband suffered some pretty horrific beatings at the hands of his (ex) step-father (not his mom's current husband, but her previous one). So to me, it's totally verboten -- neither Jason nor I have any stomach for physical punishment. But my delicate sensibilities aside, I still found Melanie's almost gleeful recounting of hitting her kid to be repulsive. Is it me? Has it become cool to beat your child?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Baby gear bonanza

Now that I'm in my third trimester, Jason and I figured it was time to get serious about loading up on baby gear before Zeke is born. I've been keeping an eye on some furniture stores and baby outlets, and also trolling craigslist for deals. Then my exercise instructor announced that she and her husband were leaving Hawaii and moving back to the mainland, and that they were selling absolutely everything, including all of their baby stuff. So I got a wooden crib (plus mattress and tons of bedding), a pack n' play, a stroller, 2 baby seats (with attachments), a nursing pillow (with attachments), a diaper genie, a chair that attaches to a countertop or table, and a couple of other things, all for $300. I'm so psyched. After we left her house, all the rest of the day Jason and I kept looking at each other and saying, "Jesus, I can't believe how much we just scored." All I need now is a car seat and a changing table and I'm all set. And of course, I need to figure out where I'm going to put all of this shit.