Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Quite a milestone!

September 27, 2020

David drove me to the nail salon. I was able to walk slowly to the salon and lift my feet into the basin without assistance.

Quite a milestone!

Images of Hawaii’s shoreline

September 25, 2020

These are images of Hawaii’s shoreline, taken by other photographers. Lovely, aren’t they?

It’s been a while since I have been to the beach. It might be therapeutic to go once in a while.

“Miss Saigon”

September 23, 2020

So far, we have watched three musicals on BroadwayHD: “The King and I,” “An American in Paris,” and “Miss Saigon.” I would like to discuss “Miss Saigon” with you.

David and I first saw this musical in New York in 1997. It was fantastic. However, we both feel that the filmed version was much better, because we could see the performers’ faces up close on TV rather than from afar in the theatre.

This is what Wikipedia has to say:

“Miss Saigon” is a musical by Schonberg and Boublil with lyrics by Boublil and Maltby. It is based on Puccini’s 1904 opera, “Madame Butterfly,” and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to 1970s Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly’s story of a marriage between an American lieutenant and a geisha is replaced by a romance between a United States Marine and a 17 year old South Vietnamese bargirl.

This production was filmed on stage in London in 2014. It was beautifully staged and performed.

Kim and Chris have an affair and then marry in a simple ceremony:

The fall of Saigon in April 1975. Chris leaves for the United States, after promising Kim that he will return to get her. He gives her his gun to kill the Viet Cong if they try to harm her:

Chris marries an American woman, named Ellen. Chris and Ellen travel to Thailand to see Kim and her 3 year old son, fathered by Chris. They are refugees from Vietnam. Kim is devastated to learn that Chris and Ellen are married:

Kim kills herself with Chris’ gun. She dies in Chris’ arms after begging him to take their son to America so that he can have a better life there:

Chris meets his son for the first time:

The cast, taking their final bow on stage in London in 2014:

There are sub-plots involving other characters to make this story even more riveting. David and I were on the edge of our seats. The music was tender as well as pulsating.

Overall, I would give this production a grade of A+.

You will weep at the end of this tragedy.

Coconut shrimp for lunch

September 21, 2020

We decided to have coconut shrimp for our lunch.

Beautiful table setting with a red tablecloth and matching red napkins, a yellow rose in a bud vase, fine china, silver, and stem ware:

David and I toasted each other with chilled apple juice. “To your good health, my dear”:

Fruit salad: Lychees, Mandarin oranges, and maraschino cherries:

Main course: Coconut shrimp, wild rice, and peas:

Shrimp dip: Sweet chili sauce:

Dessert: Neapolitan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry):

It was nice conversing with David about sports and politics.

What will be will be

September 19, 2020

I completed my 8 sessions of physical therapy on Thursday. I have improved quite a bit and can walk without the walker. However, David has to push me in my wheelchair in order to get me to my dentist’s office, which is far from the parking lot. Such a nice man to do this for his wife. I am so indebted to him.

My dentist has installed two dental implants in my right jaw. Thank God, I have savings to pay for them. Even with dental insurance, there is a hefty co-payment due.

I have decided to switch from CVS Pharmacy to Humana Pharmacy. The reason is that Humana will send me free prescription drugs to me for free via mail. Imagine: No co-pay at all. Whoopie!

These days, I just let all my troubles and worries go. My attitude is: WHAT WILL BE WILL BE.

I find that no matter how hard you try to make things go your way, sometimes they just don’t.

Just be prepared for the worst.

If something good happens, then rejoice.

BroadwayHD: “The King and I”

September 17, 2020

David and I have decided to subscribe to BroadwayHD after a 7 day free trial period. We will be charged $8.99 per month. This means that we won’t have to attend musicals and plays at Diamond Head Theatre anymore, since we can watch them in the privacy of our own home. We do have a very large 65 inch Sony TV, so we can see the actors up close.

We had a blast watching “The King and I,” a musical composed by Rodgers and Hammerstein so long ago. I saw the original movie, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. But, this TV production is so much better. It was filmed on stage in London in 2018.

This is the entire cast, taking their final bow on stage:

This is the audience in London, giving the cast a standing ovation:

Kelli O’Hara stars as Anna, the British school teacher, who has been hired by the King of Siam (now Thailand) to tutor his 8 children. She arrives in Bangkok in 1862 with her young son and is immediately embroiled in a conflict with the King. O’Hara won a Tony award in 2015 for this role. She has a beautiful voice and has sung with the Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway many times.

This is Anna, tutoring the King’s 8 children. That’s Anna’s young son, standing next to her:

Ken Watanabe stars as the King, a monarch with many wives. Watanabe was born and raised in Japan and is a famous actor. He has been married and divorced twice and has been in very poor health lately. He received a Tony nomination for his role as the King in 2015, but did not win:

This is the King:

The King, dancing with Anna:

Ruthie Ann Miles stars as Lady Thiang, the King’s first wife, who has to be the mediator between the King and Anna. Miles won a Tony award in 2015 for this role. I admire her voice and her beauty. She lived in Hawaii during her childhood and graduated from Kaimuki High School. Her mother is Korean. In this production, Miles used a cane due to injuries sustained in a terrible traffic accident in 2018. A driver, who was having a seizure, struck Miles and killed her 4 year old daughter. Miles was pregnant at the time and lost her baby. The driver was charged with manslaughter and later committed suicide.

Lady Thiang:

“The King and I” is based on a true story. When I was an English teacher in Thailand in 1969, many of my Thai students mentioned the original movie and how they admired Anna, who helped change the course of Thai history. After the death of the King, his first son, Prince Chulalongkorn, took over as the new King. He had been tutored by Anna and because of her, he modernized Thailand by reforming government and social customs. He also prevented the colonization of Thailand by Western countries. Chulalongkorn the Great is revered and honored by the Thai people:

The death scene:

The King speaks to his son, Prince Chulalongkorn:

I look forward to seeing more musicals and plays on BroadwayHD. For $8.99 per month, it’s an amazingly inexpensive way to see shows on Broadway. Do check it out.

The next show we plan to see is “An American in Paris.”

Art and nostalgia

September 15, 2020

This is the very first oil painting that David and I purchased for our home. It is a rendering of Kaneohe Bay on Oahu with the Koolau Mountain Range in the background. The artist is Ebert. I saw her art displayed on the fence outside the Honolulu Zoo in 1979. I liked it immediately and bought it from her:

This is a print of Lahaina Harbor on Maui. The artist is David Warren, who later died in a traffic accident on Maui. Such a shame, really:

This is the very last oil painting I purchased. The artist is Suzanne McCrary, who was my high school and college classmate. It is a rendering of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco:

These are hand painted wooden masks that I bought in Seoul, South Korea in 2002:

This is a gift from my Thai friend. It’s a wood engraving by a Thai artist, named Kamala:

This is a wedding gift from my sister and her husband. It’s a temple rubbing of ancient Thai musicians and dancers. Temple rubbings are now prohibited in Southeast Asia and India, because repetitive rubbing has eroded the carvings on temple walls:

This is a gift from my Thai friend. It’s a temple rubbing of Angkor Wat in Angkor, Cambodia:

You might ask why I like this type of art. I like it, because it evokes pleasant memories of places that I have visited in the past. It makes me yearn to see these places again. Though I have never been to Cambodia, it is quite similar to Thailand, where I was an English teacher in 1969.

Art and nostalgia. They go together.

Lani and Sebastian

September 13, 2020

Me and Lani on West 119th Street in New York City. (January 1974)

I lived in New York City from 1970 to 1975, studying classical music. I supported myself as a secretary.

My apartment on West 119th Street was burglarized, so I adopted a puppy from the pound, thinking that she would prevent another burglary. I named her Lani. She was a cute dog, but weird. She tried to walk like a human being as much as possible. She also hated commercial dog food, but loved cooked macaroni and scraps from the table. Yes, I told you she was weird.

Anyway, I moved to a different apartment on Riverside Drive. It was bigger and more upscale. However, Lani was unable to prevent another burglary.

A few months later, I got sick and had to return to Hawaii to be with my parents. Friends of mine told me that they had given Lani to a ten year old boy, who was walking by. I have a sneaking suspicion that they took Lani to the pound, where she was euthanized. How heartbreaking!

My younger daughter, Lisa, adopted a dog from the pound in Nevada a few years ago. She named him Sebastian:

He is very well behaved and rarely barks. A very sweet, loving dog. This is Sebastian at doggie day care:

I would love to adopt another dog, but there are reasons why I can’t.

So, alas, no dog in our future.

Hubby is a carnivore

September 11, 2020

I have always said that the key to a happy marriage is to cook the kind of food that your husband likes to eat.

Some marriages end in divorce when the wife tries to force her husband to become a vegan, despite the fact that her husband is a carnivore.

Trust me, that kind of marriage will never last.

Having said that, here we go with a steak and potatoes blog. Oh, my.

This is David, grilling two bone-in ribeye steaks in our patio:

The steaks were seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. The edges were cut to prevent the steaks from curling during cooking. Since they were thick, David grilled them for 7 minutes on one side and 6 minutes on the other side. The steaks were perfect – brown on the outside and pink in the middle:

I brought out my white tablecloth and matching white napkins. I usually go with colored tablecloths, but decided that white might be interesting. I love the fine china, the silver, and the stemware. David bought the pretty red rose at the store:

David and I toasted each other with chilled apple juice. I no longer drink alcohol, because it doesn’t agree with me:

Salad consisted of Romaine lettuce, mini cucumbers, and grape tomatoes with Thousand Island dressing:

Grilled bone-in ribeye steak, topped with mushrooms, accompanied by homemade potato salad and steamed carrots:

This meal was so filling that I decided to eat animal crackers for dessert. Do you recognize the two bears and two horses? David had a scoop of ice cream, instead:

It was all so good. We had a wonderful time.

David is a carnivore, and I am flexible.

P.S. I make the best potato salad. It consists of potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, pimentos, pickle relish, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Delicious!

Welcome to Waikiki

September 9, 2020

This is a photo of David and me, toasting each other with champagne, at the Top of Waikiki, a revolving restaurant. (May 2013)

***

I recently met a woman, named Olga. We had a conversation about her country of origin. She said she was originally from Russia. I told her that I had studied Russian for 1 semester in college.

Me: “Govorite po Russki?” (Do you speak Russian?)

She smiled and said, “A little bit.”

Me: “I didn’t know your name, Olga, is a Russian name. I thought it was Swedish.”

She said that Olga is a very common name. It is also a Mexican name.

Who knew? I was surprised by that bit of information.

Anyway, she and her husband arrived in Hawaii in February, and they live in Waikiki. She said that it is very quiet there with very little traffic. She likes being close to the ocean.

I guess she and her husband came at the right time, because normally, Waikiki is very noisy with too many tourists. But, due to the pandemic, it has become a ghost town.

Welcome to Waikiki, Olga. Enjoy the peace and the tranquility…for now.

P.S. I have always wanted to visit Moscow and see the Bolshoi Ballet, the Moscow Conservatory, the Kremlin, the restaurants… But, hey, it’s not possible for various reasons. On the other hand, I can always google Moscow and see pictures online. The wonders of the internet.

I guess you can google Waikiki, too.