Night Time is the Right Time…

Nighttime from Makakilo
[Night from Makakilo]

Whatever happened to night? When I was a kid, bedtime meant lights out. If I needed (or wanted) a night light, one was plugged into a wall outlet. These days there’s no need for night lights because our homes are full of them whether we want them or not. Everything has little green (or blue or orange or red) lights these days, letting us know that yes, there is power running even though the appliance is turned off. How much power does it take to burn these little lights, I wonder?

I live in a studio apartment and no matter which way I turn my head at night, I see lights. This way it’s the glow of the clock from the microwave and the phone charger. That way it’s the DVD player, the modem, the laptop that’s been shut down and the fan that cools my un-air conditioned space. I’ve decided to unplug whatever I don’t absolutely need and cover the rest with black electrician’s tape. Now if I can only figure out how to disable my neighbor’s backyard security light…


I Smell Things…

Old Spice on beach
[Original Old Spice]

I smell things that no one else can smell. Like phantom smells. Usually it’s cigarette smoke. I don’t smoke and the smell can give me migraines so I’m very sensitive to it. It’s odd when I’m home alone and suddenly I get a whiff of cigarette smoke, knowing there is no one around who could be smoking.

Lately I’ve smelled some odd things – like hairspray. Not like modern hairspray but more like the old helmet hair hairspray we used back in the 60’s and 70’s. And every once in a while I smell pipe tobacco.

There’s one thing these all have in common and I’ve only recently heard this theory, so I’m going to share it. Spirits can emanate with aromas that are known to us. In other words, ghosts smell.

It sounds – almost – outrageous but if you think about it, it makes sense. What better way for someone in the ghostly realm to make themselves known? Most of us don’t have the sixth sense that allows us to ‘see’ spirits.

What makes me convinced these smells are associated with spirits? My father was a heavy smoker. I always hated it and when he started smoking a pipe instead of cigarettes, I bought him tobacco for every gift-giving occasion. The tobacco I smell is the brand I used to buy him. And the hairspray? That could be one of two possibilities. The first thought that came to me was my half-sister. She always had her hair teased up and sprayed. She was also a heavy smoker so she could be some of that cigarette smoke. But then I thought of my mother and of watching her as she dressed to go out dancing or to a cocktail party.

So I have all these spirits around me, guiding me, protecting me and what I want to know is, why cigarette smoke? Why can’t you send me a whiff of the Old Spice you used to wear???

Knowledge of Gum Chewing…

2012-07-01 (6) Close-up of bamboo
[Bamboo in our garden]

Some woman called me at work and wanted to set up an appointment with me for a meeting with her boss, but she can’t tell me why her boss wants to meet with me. She kept saying ‘ummm’ and she was chewing gum. I told her I was not going to schedule a meeting without knowing what the meeting was in regards to. She then proceeds to relate how  busy her boss is. ‘Well my boss’ schedule is really tight and she wants to meet with you about the fence.’ But she doesn’t know WHY or WHAT about the fence. I mean really… she expects me to just drop everything and meet with this woman with no background information and no preparation?

After a little go around, I figure out which fence she’s talking about. When I told her I don’t even know if the fence is on our property, she says ‘Can you find out and call me back today?’ Yes, of course, because you are my lord and leader and I will drop everything to comply with your request… Her other line ended up ringing and she asked if I could hold and I told her I didn’t have time to hold.

A little tip. Know what you’re calling about. When you don’t, you come off as completely stupid and unfit for the job.

Also, she was the second call I’d had this morning from someone chewing gum in my ear. If you are in any position where you are either making or receiving phone calls,  DO NOT CHEW GUM!!! This is basic Business 101. It is annoying as hell to listen to on the other end of a phone line…


No Thanks…

[Pupukea Beach Park]

It must be pretty crappy being a bus driver. Especially when you’re a floater and just filling in for a regular driver. On a small neighborhood route the bus drivers are known by name and the riders have formed relationships with them. When a driver is gone, we usually know about it in advance.

Yesterday, the afternoon bus driver was someone new, someone we hadn’t seen before. Immediately, one elderly woman expressed concern over the regular driver, Mel. The driver laughed and said, ‘He retired.’ I think a dozen people on the bus gasped.

‘Yeah, he went in the office yesterday and just retired. No warning.’

‘But he has another year!’

‘Guess he decided it was time.’

The driver was joking – Mel hadn’t retired – but he had fun with it for a few minutes. It got me to thinking how ungrateful we are as a society. No one asked this bus driver his name. He comes in, drives around all day, and no one really cares except that he gets them to where they’re going. He made me smile for a few mintues there, so for that, I thank him…


Playing in the sand
[Strange collection on the beach, Waikiki]

How on earth have I collected so much stuff? I moved to Hawaii less than three years ago with just three suitcases and my dog.

I’ve decided it’s time to throw some of it out, but what if I need it? But if I keep it, I won’t need it. Until I throw it out. Then I’ll need it. So I’ll keep it. Then I won’t need it. So I’ll throw it away. And then I’ll need it…