Keep the status quo forever

October 22, 2017

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This is the new Mitsubishi air conditioner that we installed in our home in August 2017.

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Our new Mitsubishi air conditioner has proven to be not only quiet and efficient, but it has resulted in a $100 less electric bill.  We are amazed.  Had we known that it would result in a lower electric bill, we would have replaced the old Friedrich air conditioner with the Mitsubishi sooner.

Being the accountant he is, David has been figuring out our finances and budget.  He said that if we still incur the same amount of bills and taxes, we should be able to support ourselves well into our nineties.  The trick is to keep all of our bills and taxes the same, and of course, that probably won’t be possible.  After all, we might end up needing a caregiver or nursing home.  We hope not, but it is a possibility.  If so, there goes our money.

Further, if our Social Security benefits disappear, we will definitely be in a financial quandary, as we depend on Social Security as our primary source of income.

It is our reverse mortgage that has benefitted us the most, because it means we don’t have to pay a $2,500 mortgage every month.  Just one less bill to pay.  We can thank President Reagan for signing it into law.  Where would we be if it weren’t for the reverse mortgage?  With no mortgage, rent, or maintenance fee to pay, it costs us next to nothing to live in our home.

I hope we can keep the status quo forever.

Home in Las Vegas

October 20, 2017

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This is a photo of me and my daughters, Maria (standing) and Lisa (seated).  We were having lunch at 53 By The Sea (Hawaii, May 2016).

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My daughter, Lisa, recently bought a 3 bedroom 2 bath house in Las Vegas and sent us photos of it.  Beautiful!  Modern!  I loved it so much that I considered selling our house in Hawaii and buying one near Lisa’s home.  But, then, I realized that Las Vegas does not have a symphony orchestra or opera.  Boo!  I have decided to remain in Hawaii, where there is a symphony orchestra and opera.  You all know how I love classical music.

Lisa will be visiting us in January.  She told us that she plans to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

David advised her to avoid music festivals held outdoors.  She was at a music festival one week before the deadly massacre and is relieved that the shooter chose not to open fire on her group.

One of her patients is someone who survived the shooting.  He is in ICU right now.  We hope he recovers and can go home shortly.

Cataract surgery

October 18, 2017

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This is David, sitting in the doctor’s waiting room prior to surgery.

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Yesterday, David had cataract surgery on his left eye at Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii.  Dr. Lee had thirteen patients in the afternoon, so David wasn’t done until 7:15 p.m.  Though he had an intravenous sedative, he wasn’t knocked out.  Numbing eye drops were used to prevent pain.  All he felt was pressure on his eye ball.  It was a simple procedure, which cost David $180 with Humana Medicare Advantage HMO paying the rest of the bill.

I waited outside, listening to music from the 1950s, such as Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” and The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.”  This is the type of music Dr. Lee’s elderly patients would remember from their childhood.  It brought back pleasant memories for me.  I wasn’t hooked on classical music until age 23, when I heard Bach’s Double Violin Concerto for the first time in Thailand, where I had been an English teacher.  So, before age 23, I used to listen to rock, pop, and folk music.

David will see Dr. Lee again today for follow up.  He will have to wear this plastic patch over his left eye for a week at night to prevent him from touching his eye while sleeping:

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“Carmen”

October 16, 2017

Yesterday, David and I saw Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, which was packed with enthusiastic fans.  We had not seen this tragic opera in over ten years, and we enjoyed it immensely.  The famous mezzo-soprano, Kate Aldrich, starred as Carmen.

Before the performance, we sat outside to listen to Dr. Lynne Johnson speak about Georges Bizet, who composed “Carmen.”  He lived in France during the 1800s and composed more than thirty operas, but “Carmen” is the only one that is now performed.  Bizet died at the age of 36, three months after its debut, depressed that it was considered a flop and failure.  Little did he know that this opera would be so well loved around the world.

One of the reasons it was considered a flop and failure back in the 1800s in Paris is that the plot is about a promiscuous gypsy, who flaunts her assets to any man near by.  It took awhile for people to accept and appreciate the plot.

Dr. Lynne Johnson:

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A group of musicians performed in the lobby before the opera:

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David:

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Me:

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During intermission, people drank champagne or stood in the lobby to get some fresh air:

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I truly feel a kinship with people who love classical music and the opera.  These are my people, the ones at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

The military or the Peace Corps

October 14, 2017

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I took this photo at the Korean Festival in Hawaii (August 2016).

***

It’s too bad that President Trump has loaded his staff with military generals.  True, these generals have leadership skills, but it seems to me that they are itching for a fight, because that’s what generals do.  How do you suppose they became generals?  By killing lots of people.

Recently, we in Hawaii were informed by the government to take certain steps to ensure our survival should there be a nuclear attack.

One way, the government says, is to seal the windows with plastic and tape.  I wonder about the efficacy of doing so.  Wouldn’t a nuclear blast shatter the windows, allowing radiation to pour through the windows?

Another way is to stay in a room with no windows.  That means a closet.  So, how long are we supposed to sit in a closet?  What if we have to go to the bathroom?  What then?

Humans have been killing each other since the Cave Age.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

I have a better idea.  Trump should hire Peace Corps volunteers to give him advice.  Get rid of the generals on his staff.  The military likes to kill people.  The Peace Corps likes to help people.  Two very different philosophies.

Give peace a chance.

Coffee: Risks and benefits

October 12, 2017

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Here I am, sipping my coffee and typing these words on the computer.  Will I get cancer from sipping coffee?  I saw a headline recently indicating that the state of California is going to label bags of coffee with the warning that the chemical sprayed on coffee beans is carcinogenic.  Sheesh!  Good news, eh?

I have no intention of forgoing my morning cups of coffee.  I would rather have coffee than sex in the morning.  Sex I can give up, but hell if I’ll let you take coffee from me.

Anyway, I read somewhere that drinking lots of coffee will prevent you from developing dementia.

Coffee also is an antioxidant, which is supposed to be good for you. I really don’t know what antioxidants are, but scientists say that you should aim to have at least one antioxidant per day.

So, you’re damned if you do drink coffee, and damned if you don’t.

I might get cancer.  But, halleluia, praise the lord, I won’t have dementia.

Baldwin vs. Trump

October 10, 2017

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Orchids in my neighbor’s yard.

***

Yesterday, I had a problem with the hacking of my Yahoo email account, where the perpetrator wanted me to call him to fix the problem.  It sounded phony, so I just exited the account and played it cool.  Today, no problem whatsoever.  The hacker has disappeared, and he hasn’t gotten a penny from me.  Halleluia!  It pays to be patient, as there is a God, after all.

I was thinking about the next presidential election in 2020.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the actor Alec Baldwin ran on the Democratic ticket against Donald Trump?  Picture Baldwin debating Trump.  I can see him now, wearing a wig and looking like Trump.  So, it would be Trump debating a Trump look alike.  Hey, anything is possible.  We elected Ronald Reagan, didn’t we?  If we can elect an actor like Reagan, why can’t we elect another actor like Baldwin?  Food for thought.

I tend to be an Independent and have voted for both a Republican and a Democrat.  I don’t adhere to party lines, at all.  I vote for the person, not the party.  I voted for the Republican Ronald Reagan, but also voted for the Democrat Barack Obama.  Sometimes, it is a matter of voting for the lesser of two evils.  But, if it is indeed Baldwin vs. Trump, then I’ll definitely vote for Baldwin.

Hey, anything for a laugh these days.

Good, clean, simple living

October 8, 2017

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This is how we dine in our home (December 2016).

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Yesterday, I had a brilliant idea.  I wanted to dine at two restaurants that President Obama seemed to enjoy when he vacationed in Hawaii:  Buzz’s Steak House (for lunch) and Island Snow (for dessert), both located in Kailua.

So, David and I drove to Kailua and then swerved into Lanikai, where Buzz’s is located.  But, there was no way we could find a space to park our car.  The area in front of Buzz’s was full, and the streets were jam packed with people and cars.  Lanikai is beautiful, as it is located right next to the ocean.  But, it is just too congested for my taste.  I would never live there.  In fact, it’s highly unlikely that we will ever find ourselves in the Kailua area again, as it is not worth the effort of driving there.

We had no choice but to leave Kailua and drive to Thai Bistro in Pearl Kai for a Thai lunch, which was delicious, by the way.  Thai cuisine is my favorite cuisine, so all was well, and the day was not wasted.

Today, what should we do?  I am thinking of making a potato salad, grilling steaks in our patio, tossing a green salad with Italian dressing, and having a good homemade lunch with David.  There’s a lemon meringue pie, beckoning to us from the refrigerator.  No alcohol, but how about a glass of chilled sparkling apple cranberry juice?

Good, clean, simple living.  That’s how I like my life in Hawaii.

Art: The World Reflected

October 6, 2017

David and I usually take advantage of the free admission on the first Wednesday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art.  The regular price of admission is $10.00 per person.

There are two branches of the museum:  one on Beretania Street and the other on Makiki Heights Drive.  We decided to visit the museum on Makiki Heights Drive, though we could have visited both on the same day for free.

The new exhibit is entitled “The World Reflected.”  Basically, it is comprised of contemporary works of art taken from the museum’s own collection.  Each piece displayed is explained from the artist’s point of view in a small label posted next to the piece.

Here are samples from the contemporary art collection:

Lesley Dill, “Voices in My Head,” 1997 (Charcoal and thread on gelatin silver print):

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Frank Moore, “Study for Oz,” 1999 (Gouache, watercolor and graphite on paper):

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Dennis Oppenheim, “Murder in Hawaiian Shirts,” 1989 (Celastic, silkscreened fabric, painted plastic found objects):

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Christopher Rainor, “Rigged with good intentions,” 2004:

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Outside the museum were these two sculptures:

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Beautiful trees in the backyard, with Diamond Head in the distance:

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After the tour of the contemporary art exhibit in Makiki, we drove to Monterey Bay Canners for a seafood lunch.  Let the good times roll in Hawaii!

How can anyone live with so little love?

October 4, 2017

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It’s nice to have a significant other to share my life with.  This photo of David and me was taken in August of this year.  We were having lunch at a Korean restaurant in Kapolei.

***

How can anyone live with so little love?  The way people treat each other is not right.  Why do parents mistreat their children, and why do siblings hate one another?  It seems to me that you don’t have to go to Las Vegas to see hatred in action.  If this keeps up, the entire human race will be annihilated.  Then, a new species will emerge, and the whole cycle starts again.

I, myself, don’t understand why I am still alive.  The way I lived my life was definitely not the right way to live.  Yet, here I am, sitting at the computer, typing these words at the ripe old age of 71.

I guess I survived the physical and mental abuse, simply because I loved myself too much to kill myself.

You cannot force people to love you.  They either love you or they don’t love you.

The bottom line is that if you don’t love yourself, then you will die.  So, love yourself.  Find something about your life that you enjoy, something that makes you happy.  It could be a hobby or your job or your home.  If you have a significant other, someone to share your life with, then all the better.

You cannot force people to love you.  But, you can love yourself.  Find some reason to do so.