Super Bowl and the violin

February 2, 2019

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday.  David predicts that the Patriots will beat the Rams and win the game, simply because QB Tom Brady is such a great player.  Well, we’ll see.

For Super Bowl food, David wants to order two pizzas from Pizza Hut.  He likes chicken and meat on his, whereas I prefer green bell peppers and pineapple on mine.  Ever had pineapple on your pizza?  Delicious!

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I plan to spend Super Bowl Sunday practicing my new violin, working on vibrato and bowing.  I bought a music book, which contains easy classical masterworks, transcribed for the violin.  It’s really cool.  David says my violin sounds very sweet, especially when I play the higher notes.  With every passing day, I get better and better.

So, hubby will watch the Super Bowl game, and I’ll be playing the violin.  Then, I’ll ask David, “Who won the game?  The Pats?”

David’s infected right leg

January 31, 2019

David has an infected right leg below the knee.  It started on Saturday, January 26, and got worse on Sunday, January 27.  It was bright red and looked like the color of blood.  It looked so gruesome.  I told him his knee implant might have to be removed due to the infection.  I told him to report to the ER immediately.  He said it was just a rash, and he would ask for a referral to a dermatologist on Monday.

Well, he got frightened and finally took my advice.  That Sunday, he drove to the walk-in clinic at Straub Clinic.  Dr. Gomez told him he had an infection, not a rash.  David had to go to the ER, because his infected leg had to be treated there.  A medical assistant walked with him to the ER.  He received an IV of two different antibiotics.  He also had a blood test, an EKG, a lung X-ray, and two cultures of the pus coming out of a hole in his leg.  He was in the ER for more than 4 hours.

Through it all, he was concerned he would not be able to escort me to the symphony concert.  He told them that he did not want to be hospitalized.  So, they gave him a prescription for three oral antibiotics, and he was able to come home, get dressed, and attend the symphony with me.

Since then, the red area has shrunk, though it is still bright red.  He is not permitted to swim or sit in the hot tub at the gym for 14 days.

This is how his right leg looked on Wednesday, January 30, at 5:30 pm.  It’s not as bad as on Sunday, January 27:

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CK Violins

January 29, 2019

Yesterday, David and I shopped at CK Violins, which is located in Honolulu, Hawaii.  They sell violins, violas, and cellos, and make some of the instruments in their shop.  The shop has been in existence since 1994, and they are a full service shop for all of your violin needs.

I have not played the violin since 1980, but do have 13 years of experience.  My last teacher was LaVar Krantz, who taught the violin at the University of Hawaii and played first violin in the Honolulu Symphony.  He is now deceased.  The owner of CK Violins, Nicholas Zou, knew LaVar Krantz and he himself used to play the violin in the Honolulu Symphony before opening CK Violins.

I purchased a violin and bow for $750 plus tax.  Nicholas Zou included other things for free, and I am very happy and satisfied with my purchase.

Me and Nicholas Zou with the violin I purchased:

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His shop sells violins, violas, and cellos:

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My violin was made in the shop.  The bow was made elsewhere.  Nicholas gave me the case for free:

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Nicholas also gave me a violin music book (which includes a concerto I played in high school), a shoulder rest, a pitch pipe, rosin, and a mute:

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I was pleased to meet Nicholas, who was very friendly and easy to talk to.  If you want to purchase a violin, viola, or cello, do shop at CK Violins.  It’s really a nice place to try out a stringed instrument.  And if you need to have your instrument repaired, Nicholas will be able to assist you.

Iggy Jang inspires me to play the violin again

January 27, 2019

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Iggy Jang, 2014.

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Today, David and I will attend a Hawaii Symphony concert, featuring concert master, Iggy Jang, who will perform the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5.  Iggy Jang has an interesting background.  He is Korean, but was born and raised in France.  He graduated from the Paris Conservatory.  His violin has such a beautiful tone, very sweet and alluring.

He inspires me to play the violin, again.

I plan to buy a new violin to replace the two violins I sold in 1992.  I probably won’t take lessons, as I already know the basic technique.  I’ll buy solo violin sheet music from Amazon, and I’ll play as best as I can in the privacy of my own home.

The violin will add another dimension to my life.  I already express myself through blogging, but I’ll also express myself through music once I buy a new violin.

Me at age 27 (1973):

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Me at age 31 (1977):

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A patient man, who understands me

January 25, 2019

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This is a flower bowl that I bought at Home Depot last Wednesday.  The nursery was bursting with green plants and colorful flowers, one of the benefits of living in Hawaii.

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I am so grateful that I have a stable marriage.  David is so nice to me.  He helps me a lot.  Best of all, he understands me — my childhood, my breakdown, and the nightmare that transpired before I married him. My life has improved tremendously, simply because I have a husband, who is very patient and kind.

My siblings have not fared as well.  My brother is dead.  Two sisters are divorced.  One sister is a widow.

I am not an easy person to live with.  But, David understands why I am the way I am.

How he quit smoking

January 23, 2019

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David at Hawaiian Memorial Park.  His parents’ graves are located near his feet.  (July 2018)

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Before we got married in 1980, I forced David to quit smoking cigarettes.  I told him that if my father could quit cold turkey, so could he.  I told him to do what Dad did.  Throw away all of his cigarettes and then buy one pack of cough drops and one pack of chewing gum.  Put both packs in his shirt pocket.  When he felt like reaching for a cigarette, he was supposed to reach for either a cough drop or a stick of gum.

By golly, it worked!  No longer does he yearn for a cigarette.  It’s such a great feeling to conquer the nicotine addiction.  Now, when he sits beside people who have smoked recently, he can’t tolerate the tobacco odor on their clothes, skin, hair, and breath.  He gets up and sits elsewhere.

I think that is the best way to quit smoking.  Do not place a nicotine patch on your arm, because that will not stop the craving.  The only way is to quit suddenly and totally.

End of story.

O’Kims Contemporary Korean Kitchen

January 21, 2019

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Last Saturday, David and I had lunch at O’Kims Contemporary Korean Kitchen, which is located on Nuuanu Avenue between King Street and Hotel Street in Chinatown.  We parked in the municipal lot on Bethel Street.

The chef and owner of the restaurant, Hyun Kim, was born and raised in Busan, South Korea, and received her culinary training at KCC in Hawaii.  I guess her food could be considered “Korean Fusion Cuisine.”  O’Kims is not an Irish name.  The O is the Korean version of the English word, Wow.

There are tables inside and outside the restaurant.  We chose to dine inside, where it is air conditioned:

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David ordered the Kalbi Steak ($14.95), which consisted of short ribs (marinated in sweet soy sauce), purple rice, root vegetables, green salad, and kim chi:

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I ordered the Seaweed Salmon ($14.95), which consisted of a lightly poached salmon fillet (topped with panko and seaweed powder, Korean ramulade, tosazu gelee, and pickled tomato), purple rice, green salad, and kim chi:

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We had such a good time at O’Kims.  The food was excellent.  So good.  We definitely will be back.  O’Kims is open for lunch and dinner, but it is closed on Sundays.

What to do when I am terminally ill

January 19, 2019

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This is David, resting after successful knee replacement surgery at Straub Clinic.  (June 2016)

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A few days ago, I met with my primary care physician, Dr. Leong, at Straub Clinic.  We discussed my Advance Care Directive document, which had been signed and notarized in 2002 in my attorney’s office.  Dr. Leong asked me why I had checked the box that stated I want to be fed and hydrated when I am considered terminally ill.  She said that most patients don’t check that box.  I told her, “Well, I don’t want to starve to death.” (It’s murder or suicide, isn’t it?)  If I am in a coma or at death’s door, I still want to feel comfortable.  I don’t want to be craving something like food and water.  I want to minimize pain and suffering as much as possible.

On the other hand, I also checked the box that stated I do not want to be resuscitated with CPR when I have already died.

Last year, the State of Hawaii passed a law that now permits physician assisted suicide.  It is so ironic that the man, who championed the law, was terminally ill a few years ago, but has still not died.  Perhaps, his illness is in remission.  At any rate, it will be interesting to see if he does accept a lethal dose of pills from his doctor and dies on his own terms.

As for me, I am pro-life.  I am against abortion, capital punishment, murder, and suicide.

Movies: Dick Cheney and Ruth Ginsburg

January 17, 2019

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David watches movies every week and gives me a synopsis of each movie.  He saw “Vice” and said it portrayed a negative image of Vice President Dick Cheney, who persuaded George W. Bush to invade Iraq.  Apparently, Cheney was the one who called the shots, not Bush.

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David also saw “On the Basis of Sex,” which portrayed a flattering image of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg.  He said she likes to listen to classical music and is an intellectual, who fought for gender equality and women’s rights.  As for the title of the movie, she wrote a paper to decry discrimination on the basis of sex.  Her secretary told her that “gender” would be more appropriate.  After Ginsburg approved the change, her secretary had to retype the entire paper, changing “sex” to “gender.”  This was before the age of computers.

Ruth Ginsburg recently underwent lung surgery.  David and I hope her health improves.

Oddest reasons for longevity

January 15, 2019

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This is a tree at Moanalua Shopping Center.  No snow, no need to shovel.  (December 2018)

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I had my routine blood test last week.  Excellent lipid results, no problem with cholesterol.  As for random glucose, it was slightly elevated at 106.  I am not in perfect health, and I do have to take medication.  But, you don’t have to be in excellent health to live long.  My cousin, who has diabetes and arthritis, turned 90 recently.  She and her husband still attend the symphony and opera on a regular basis.  They are not deaf, blind, and don’t have dementia.

I sometimes read about people who live past 100.  When asked the reason for their longevity, they give the oddest reasons.  One woman said she eats 6 strips of bacon every morning.  Another woman said she eats one sweet potato every day.  And a man said he smokes a cigar every day and drinks whisky, too.

As for me, I am 73.  I am not a vegan and don’t exercise strenuously, but I am not dead yet.