5 reasons why I would make a horrible military wife

In the next few weeks many of our troops will be returning home from the war in Iraq. In Hawaii many military wives are anxiously waiting the return of their beloved husbands. What a great feeling it is to have those who so proudly serve our country return home to their families.

Before moving to Hawaii, I had never dated anyone in the military. In Hawaii all I seem to meet are men that are in one branch of the military are another. At least 8 out of every 10 single men are either in the military or have been in the military at some point in their life. During my time here I have had a lot of experience dating men in the military, and I have come to the conclusion that I would make a really crappy military wife. That lifestyle is just not for me. For the women who are military wives, I commend them. They are strong women. Women who have to be able to deal with a lot on a daily basis. A military wife is no ordinary wife, a military wife takes on a lot more. Military wives take the duties of a wife to a whole new level. A level that I don’t think I will ever be ready for. Not only is she married to her husband, she is also married to the military.

I have thought about it long and hard. I have pondered over what type of wife I would be. I think I would be a pretty good wife actually. But I know I would be a horrible military wife. And here is why:

5 reasons why I am not military wife material

1. I hate sleeping alone at night: One guy I dated told me that he had trouble finding a girlfriend because he is never around long enough. He said that he would have to be with someone who is ok with him not being available. Due to deployments, or trainings, your husband is likely to be gone a lot of the time. I don’t intend to get married to sleep alone at night. So the idea of my husband going on a year long deployment…not only would I have anxiety over his safety, it just gets lonely after a while. Who gets married to be by themselves? Not for me.

2. When the military tells you, you pick up and move: I really don’t like people telling me where I have to live. Yes I am a free spirit. I love to travel. Obviously,  I have no problem moving where I know virtually no one.  However, I like to do things by choice. I don’t appreciate when people force me to do something or go somewhere. So because I am such a free spirit, I think I will only be happy moving to destinations where I choose I want to live.

3. Those damn secrets: The stuff you don’t know because of security measures. Yeah I know national security blah blah blah. I hate secretes and I need to know what is going on. It’s not that I wouldn’t trust my husband,  I like to know what is going on in his life. Lets talk and share information.

4. The family toll on deployments: I want my children to know their father, and I want their father to know his children. Deployments are hard on children. I work with children. If one parent is in and out of their lives, it can be disruptive to the family unit. When it is broken apart, you have to then spend time putting it back together. I want to have a consistent household. I want a husband who is part of every minute of his child’s life as possible. From walking, talking, to the first day of school.

5. Your supposed to connect to other military wives: I dont’ want to make false friends with other military wives. What if I don’t like them, am I just free not to like them?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

 

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I won the lottery! The Broadway lottery of course

Still in New York: Day 3

I will return to Honolulu on Monday, until then I have another New York moment to share:

Ultimately the one aspect of New York that I will always love is Broadway. In every Broadway show,  I am always amazed by the creativity and intellectual genius that goes into writing a play, then turning it into a major Broadway production. I only wish that one day I can have half as much of that creativity.

During this trip into the city I had the opportunity to go with my mother to see The Book of Mormon, which is a new musical that won 9 Tony awards. I must say that it was quite an interesting masterpiece. Different from your usual musical due to the large amount of profanity. Yet, the provocative nature is what makes this production eye-catching, and attention grabbing from start to finish. I would say that this is a musical that is a must see, as long as you are not overly sensitive to religious issues or offended by the use of constant profanity.

Here is the good part of this city visit: To get a ticket to the The Book of Mormon is no easy task. Nearly impossible would be an understatement. I attempted to order tickets online for my mother and I before I left Hawaii. Unfortunately they were all sold out. Not thinking,  I did not realize that this play would be sold out.  Next, I figured I would try again to get tickets while in New York. Nope it was a no go. I called the box office, no luck. The nice woman on the phone did offer me 400 dollar premium seat tickets however. My thought was “are you kidding me?” My last name is not Trump! I politely said “no thank you” and hung up the phone.

One part of my brain had completely given up on ever going to see The Book of Mormon this year. My thoughts were to try to get tickets for next year sometime, maybe by then everyone who wanted to see this show would have seen it, and I can just order a ticket for my mother and I online. A part of me felt disappointment, and I felt disappointed for my mom because I told her that we can go see this show. My next thought, hey let’s try a last-ditch effort and attempt to win tickets in the Broadway lottery.

Now if you know me, or if you don’t, let me tell you, I DO NOT have good luck. Actually I never win anything. I have really crappy luck. Life does not happen to me based on luck, it never has, and I never expect it to. So to enter this lottery for these tickets and win, in my mind I had a better chance of being struck by lighting. Since my mom was also there to enter her name in the lottery, I figured she would probably win. Actually I was expecting her to win. I just had a feeling that the man would say her name, and we would be watching the show in the front row due to her luck.

To enter the drawing for Broadway lottery tickets, just arrive at the show that has a lottery 2 and a half hours in advance of the show time to put your name in the drawing. 2 hours prior to showtime they call out the names for a highly discounted front row ticket.  I had tried the lottery once before to see Wicked, unfortunately I did not win then. And I had little hope that I would win now.

My mom and I arrived at the theater about 3 hours before show time. People were already waiting in line for standing room only tickets, and another group of people were waiting for lottery tickets. As the time came to hand out the cards, a giant crowd formed in front of the theater, close to if not more than a hundred people. Many people, all for the same purpose, hoping to pay 32 dollars for a front row seat to the hottest musical in town.

2 hours before the show, the man started to call out the names of the winners, all the while I was thinking I hope I win, but I am not really sure I will win. My mom had already thought of our back up plan when we did not get the tickets to the show. We would go to the museum and on the NY sightseeing bus. I still had a little hope but as the first 6 sets of tickets were given out and my name not called, my hope was quickly dwindling. My next thought was would this guy hurry up and call out these names so I could go eat lunch. I was starving. At least a sandwich and a Starbucks latte were something I could actually get. As the man said that this is the last set of available front row tickets, he then called out my name. ME he called.  It replays in my head in slow motion. I heard my name. Never have I been so excited to hear my full name.  With shock and amazement I could not believe it was real. I had won something, and I had won something that I had actually wanted.

My mom was so happy to hear my name she screamed louder than a parent at a graduation ceremony. She may have screamed loud enough for all of midtown to hear. You would have thought I won the real lottery. It was nice to see her happy. She deserves happiness.

Excited about my win, my mom and I were able to sit in the very front row of The Book of Mormon for only 32 dollars for each ticket. A ticket that the woman on the phone tried to sell to me for 400 dollars the day before. Wow, look at the way life works. Unpredictable. Just live. As my mother said “we sat so close the actors could spit on you”. Gross I know, but you could see the spit coming out of their mouths as they spoke. Great times, another great day in New York.

I am feeling now that my life is starting to look up. I have a sense that things are going to work out for the better, again I will practice patience. Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experience. :0)

 

 

 

Show Photos - The Book of Mormon - Andrew Rannells

Sun, Beaches, Palm Trees, and….Tents

I am taking a step away from talking about myself. Lets focus on a more serious issue.

To the outside world  Hawaii is  a tropical paradise. From the beaches, to the pineapples, to the amazing ocean waves it is the land of beauty, warmth, ,life, and peace. Some consider it a promise land where they come to relax, escape the troubles of reality, get married, or have a once in a lifetime vacation.

However, to those who live here there is a harsh reality of truth, one that may go unnoticed by tourist at times, but is still deeply a very disturbing a sad fact. A reality that puts a dark cloud over the tropical promise land.  The reality of homelessness and poverty in Hawaii.

To those who have seen the entire island of Oahu (the island with the largest population), understand that it is not all clean, serene beaches and sunshine. Travel outside of Waikiki to certain areas of  Waipahu or Wainaine, and you may forget where you actually are. You may even forget that you are still in the U. S. To those who truly know the island, know the truth about the growing population of homeless individuals and families that encompass the island. As a friend described it once “Hawaii is like a third world country”. Sadly, some areas are so improvised that it can remind one of being in a country that is struggling for resources.

The growing homeless population is the untold detriment of the island. To see a state where “tent communities” are a form of suitable housing is not exactly the idealistic notion of the American Dream. However, it a normal way of living on the island. Hey I even had a quick second thought of living in a tent so I can save money on rent. Though it is possible due to the year long warm weather,  it truly is not an ideal lifestyle.  For families to live in tents on a beach,  sadly it is not a public issue. It can be common. Children grow up together in tent communities. The beaches are used to shower, and public bathrooms can be treated like their very own. Would this require CPS action in New York, of course! However in Hawaii, as long as the children are being taken care of sufficiently CPS involvement is not necessary. The positive side: families are able to stay together, and the family unit is not disrupted.

In the recent Governor elections the issue of what to do about the homeless population came up as a topic of debate. It amazed me that the responses were to turn on the sprinklers at the park, and make it uncomfortable for them as much as possible.  That does not offer a solution, just moves people to a new location. Perhaps further away from the tourist? Hide the problem not fix has become the unsaid motto of what to do about homelessness.

The truth is that it just boils down to money.  The state of Hawaii is already in a deficit, considering that they actually furloughed school days last year, I know money is a serious state problem. To build more affordable housing, shelters, or to create more jobs may be out of the question at the immediate time. But, to have such a beautiful island, a paradise, that caters more to the tourist than the actual people who have grew up on the land, and call it home makes paradise a true disappointment. A former homeless man described his experience as this: ” I was waking up each day in paradise, but I felt like I was living each day in hell”.

The Hawaiian Language: More than just Aloha and Mahalo

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I am coming up on my two year mark of living on the island. It still seems exciting yet unreal. Originally I was only supposed to be here for one year, or at least that was all the time I was allowed by my friends to leave the east coast. But coming up on two years is also exciting because I feel I am now able to absorb the Hawaiian culture. I am super stoked because I have finally developed an understanding of the key words of the  Hawaiian language.

It may seem strange to those of you living on the mainland, but really there are Hawaiian words (much more than Aloha, and Mahalo) that I had to learn in order to understand a simple conversation. And now that I am able to follow without hesitation, it makes some conversations so much easier. You may not hear me speak these words naturally, but at least I know what they mean.

One of the first facts that I learned when I moved to the island was that the Hawaiian language only has 13 letters. I quickly realized this to be true when I couldn’t pronounce most of the street names. And although I still cannot pronounce many of the street names, I can at least do a better job in trying to figure it out how it should be properly said. So with each day there is a little bit more progress, and each day a step closer to not sounding like a mainland idiot.

In case you were wondering the 13 letters of the Hawaiian alphabet are A, E, H, I K, L, M, N, O, P, U and W.  You know which words are native Hawaiian because these are the letters that are used over and over within one word (words that can be pretty long).

Since I work with a lot of local families it helps to actually understand some of the Hawaiian language. Some days it can feel like I live in another country, I learn words by putting them together within the context of a sentence. Hey now that I think about it maybe I can move to Spain or Italy, and still be able to make a way for myself.

I have complied a list of the top Hawaiian words that I have found are common to come across. Now if you come on vacation and stay in Waikiki, you may never ever hear these words. But if  you decide to venture out to lets say ummmm…Waianae, yeah you will hear these words and a lot more.

What you already know:

Aloha- Hello, Goodbye

Mahalo- Thank you

What you may want to know to heighten your Hawaiian experience:

Aina- Land, earth

Hanai-Adopted, or brought into the family

Hapai- Pregnant

Haole- Caucasian person

Hapa- Mixed race person

Kama`aina- Native-Hawaiian or long-time resident

Makai-  Ocean Side

Mauka- Mountain Side

Pau- Done, Finished

Pupu- Appetizer

Puka- Hole

Wahine- Woman

Kane- Man

Other small helpful hints: Children refer to any adult as Aunty or Uncle, it is just respect so don’t get alarmed. You will hear the term “Bruh” a lot and,  if you get mad at someone while driving, or if  you cut someone off just throw up the “shaka” it makes everything better. Last but not least the phrase “Da Kine” apparently has no real meaning, but goes for anything (yeah I still don’t understand that one).

The list goes on and on, these are just a few words to give you are head start so you don’t appear as a lost tourist once you arrive at the airport.

If you are interested about coming to Hawaii, visiting or moving to the island, check out:

Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian

Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian

Mary Kawena Pukui (Author), Samuel H. Elbert (Author)

Hawaii- The state where a Gym Membership is not needed!

The best part to living in Hawaii…Not needing to have a gym membership! No matter the day or time you can always find a way to do a free workout. It is either right in front of your face, or you can create your very own. So for those people who love to workout, but there is no gym budget, In Hawaii you can stay fit and keep money in your pocket at the same time.

I think Hawaii is the best state to workout in, you can workout year round and, avoid the hostile heat waves or frigid cold that may prevent you from wanting to go workout outside. In Hawaii no equipment is needed! Just you and your desire to stay in shape. The scenery is beautiful, serene, movie like. It is an experience that most people can only dream of. You can always run on the beach close to the ocean to add intensity, or take a run on the concrete.

The favorite is hiking up the human stair master otherwise known as Koko Head. Walking up those 1000+ stairs is sure to give you a good workout any day! Walking is never a problem if you are looking for a low-key workout, and if you are adventure go for a hike in the mountains with amazing postcard like views. Hiking is sure to give you a full body workout as you will feel each body part hurt the next day. Trust me I know.

If  you want to change up your routine and go for a swim, the ocean is always available. Paddling will give you a great back and tone up those arms, and surfing will force you to use every part of your body.

For the athlete in you, beach volleyball is always on whenever the sun is out. Try heading over to the beach just to play, with the spirit of Aloha of course they will let you play!

If you don’t like working out alone and are looking for that group motivation,  there are many beach boot camps around at low cost. Nothing like an intense beach workout to start or end your day!  On the island there is practically a group for every type of workout, and new ones pop up on a daily basis.  There is even FREE Yoga at sunrise! So do you need to be confined to the walls of a gym with the hard body types to get a good workout?  Nope! Just take a stroll outside.

Perfection: A state with my very own NY-Hawaii mix

Lately I have found myself missing New York. I never ever thought I would  feel this way because when I left the chaos of the big city, I couldn’t escape the state fast enough. I was done, it was time to experience life at a different angle. But now I think I miss life as I knew it in New York. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not the feeling of wanting to permanently move back to New York.  The chances of me ever living in the city again are slim, yet the overall atmosphere of city life cannot be matched by living anywhere else.

I can’t figure out what it is exactly that I am yearning for at this point in time that is making me miss the city. Maybe its the summer NY air. A New York summer is always filled with good times. Block parties, loud music, and excessive drinking  during all hours of the night, what an experience! The humidity,  the extremely hot air, overcrowded subway stations, mounds of tourist, and walking for blocks while window shopping and enjoying the scenes of a good New York summer are consistently invading my mind. From open fire hydrants that kids play in, to waking up in the morning with a heat wave index of 100 degrees at sunrise, there is something that I am missing while I am Hawaii, and I know I just can’t get it here.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I love Hawaii, and I love the fact that a Hawaii summer is a year long event.  While the rest of the country is enduing a dramatic heat wave, In Hawaii there are always cool breezes and low humidity. It feels like a dream state with the most perfect weather.

There is nothing like waking up to the sun and warmth every day. Its great!  I have become the queen of tank tops and flip flops (slippas in Hawaii). I know some people like the four seasons, so for you I would say Hawaii is not the place to live. But since I am an all time hater of winter, it has become a perfect destination. Unfortunately for me I do not plan on living in Hawaii forever, and I must return to the the mainland. The mainland is reality. And I need to return to my reality.

Once I return to the Mainland, I feel I will yearn for my life in Hawaii, and miss that too!  The reasons why I love it so much cannot be compared to life on the mainland. I wish I could mesh my two worlds of Hawaii and New York. But alas, they are a world apart, with the entire continental United States in the middle, and an airplane ride that takes a whole day to reach either destination.

So with much thought here is what I find myself missing about New York City:

  • Free summer concerts in the park: I am an avid lover of Central Park Summer Stage, no matter who is performing, the experience is amazing and truly a NY must see! Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a summer full of Celebrate Brooklyn concerts, Flushing Meadows Park in Queens will have an occassional weekend celebration, and many of the other parks in Manhattan will truly have a great weekend event that will bring pleasure and delight for any age.
  • South Street Seaport: I just love the area, enough said!
  • Washington Square Park/Greenwhich Village: While attending NYU as a broke graduate student, I discovered the joys of the Village. I have walked this area many a time for hours just for my own entertainment. It is truly an NY gem. In the Village you never have to spend a lot of money, and you can have a great day! With street fairs, amazing food, and cool people you will defiantly be entertained.
  • Harlem: It has everything including Sylvia’s!
  • The hole in the wall fish place outside the west 145 st subway station. I would kill for some greasy fried fish, shrimp, and plantains all for 7 bucks!
  • West Indian food: Not that I eat it that much, but for some reason I have been craving oxtails with rice and peas.
  • Astoria: The cutest outside restaurants and Hooka bars! Summertime is a great time to just walk by a restaurant or stay for dinner while sitting outside to eat.
  • Rockefeller Center: Many a days I would walk over to Rockefeller Plaza, look down at the restaurant and  think about life. They also have free outdoor movies some nights.
  • A DELI: There are no corner deli’s with Boars head meat in Hawaii. Can you believe it? No corner deli’s at all! I want a grilled honey turkey sandwich!
  • Domincian Hairdressers: I really miss a getting my hair done for 40 bucks or less oh so nice!
  • The Subway: As much as I hate it, I miss it too. I have many memories of excitement and sadness that I have went through all on a subway ride.
  • Broadway: I love love love a good show!
  • Baseball games: Although I hate going to the games, its nice to have an option to see the Yankees or Mets play!
  • Lectures/Speakers: Hey I do have an intellectual mind! So I do miss hearing talks on a variety of topics and meeting professional scholars who speak on their area of expertise. With the many colleges in NY, there is always an event to attend.
  • Finally: PIZZA: Once I realized the Bronx had the best Pizza ever, I became a addict for life!

Then I realized once I leave the island I will miss so much about Hawaii,

What I will miss about my Hawaiian Paradise:        

  • The beaches, oh such a beautiful site
  • Morning workouts on the beach, running next to the ocean waves  is the best way to start off any day
  • The outdoor spin class in Waikiki: Imagine spinning while overlooking the surfers in the ocean along with the amazing evening sunset! Even though an outdoor spin class is hot, hot, hot, the view is well worth it.
  • The mountains, hiking is a surreal experience. Strenuous activity, but the reward of the views makes it worth every bit of the pain.  Try it, it will take you away from the everyday problems of the real world.
  • The Weather!! Yeah its just beautiful everyday, what else can you ask for
  • Shrimp at the North Shore, just delicious!
  • Giant waves at the North Shore, Oh do I wish I could surf
  • The entire North Shore, though it seems like a long drive from Honolulu, it is wonderful and Haleiwa is a great quiet little old town.
  • Surfers, gotta love them!
  • The Shaka! :Where else can one hand gesture stop people from getting upset, save you from getting your ass beat, and always say “hey everything is cool bruh”!
  • The macaroni salad, and white rice that comes with every meal! Trust me you get used to it after a while.
  • Poke, Ummmm just kidding, I still haven’t got used to the idea of eating raw fish! 🙂
  • All the other food, there is always just so much of it!
  • Waterfalls, though I always have the fear of getting leptospirosis from swimming in them, I just have to because a Hawaiian waterfall is 100 times better than a NYC public pool!
  • Sea turtles, Whales, Dolphins, and Sharks! You just have to develop a strong love for the water creatures
  • My job, truly awesome, from the program director, to my supervisor, to my coworkers, I could not ever dream about working with such a great group of people.
  • Finally I will miss the spirit of Aloha!!! No where else have I experienced such kindness, happy spirits, and a genoristy to help others. Thank you Hawaii for showing me that people can have a sense of genuine kindness and giving!