The Tsunami that never happened! (Oh thank goodness)

Never before have I been in a Tsunami, and to tell you the truth I really don’t want to be in one. A large series of waves over taking dry land does not sound like a cool thing in my head. But I have learned when you live in Hawaii, there is a risk that you may be in a Tsunami. So everyone search for high ground, and prepare the emergency kit, because Tsunami’s are real, and there may be one coming for an island near you!

Ok let me be honest with you, before 2004 when the big Tsunami hit the south pacific, I had no idea what it was and the type of damage that it could actually cause. I had never even heard the word used before that time, but when it hit I was surely made aware that it is a seriously dangerous disaster that caused a huge number of deaths. Who knew that an earthquake could hit in one place, then a Tsunami is formed to add damage on to another. Well it real, and the threat of actually being in the middle of one quickly threw me back into a reality check, that I really do live on an island in the middle of the ocean, strictly surrounded by water.

When the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile on Friday, the world had one natural disaster quickly followed by another. By early Saturday morning the tsunami alarms were sounding on the Hawaiian Islands. At about 2 am I got a frantic phone call and text message from a friend in NY asking me if I was alright. My thoughts were did something happen to my family in NY that I didn’t hear about, because I was fine, and trying to sleep! Then she told me about the tsunami warning in Hawaii, and wanted to make sure I was ok.  I just went to thinking, damn girl your crazy, of course I’m fine, and why are you waking me up at 2 am for this! I had no idea how serious the alert seemed to the outside world. Next came the loud blaring alarm starting from about 4 am in the morning. Remind you I have never been on tsunami alert before and had no idea what that annoying noise was. So my thoughts: “why don’t they stop making all that noise so I can get some sleep”. I had no idea news channels were broadcasting that an impeding natural disaster was on the way and the country was praying for Hawaii to be safe.

As the night went on more alarms, and to me, more annoying noise, nope I didn’t get up out of my bed to find out what it was. It was just noise disturbing my sleep. For a quick second I thought maybe it was a fire alarm, but figured I would hear people outside or someone would knock on my apartment door if we were in serious danger. Right? So I just attempted to sleep through the loud sirens that would wake sleeping giants. When morning came so did the phone calls. Friends on island telling me that we were on tsunami alert and to get to hight ground. Well I live on the 8th floor in a high-rise in the middle of the island, so I am safe right? That would have been one serious world ending wave to reach me, so what is all the panic about? Then messages from friends in NY asking if everything was ok, wow I didn’t know so many people cared about my well being. Well I guess it takes a near death experience to find out that people really do care about you. Sad? Yes.

I finally woke up from my bed when the sun was up, turned on the TV, and realized the island was in full on panic mode. On facebook, messages about this tsunami on the way to Hawaii. People sending out prayers for Chile and Hawaii. Wow this is serious! Food stores flooded with people. Gas stations running out of gas. Stock up on food, water, and toilet paper! Too bad I had a fully foodless house, and only a few bottles of 16 ounce water. By the time I had woke up to go to the store, yeah you know it was out water completely!! I have never seen shelves so empty in my life. I guess they were really preparing to be shut in for a few days.

Poor me I had no food, limited water, no batteries, and only two rolls of toilet paper. So they say Hawaii dodged the bullet. The major Tsunami never happened, no waves, we were left high and dry. Luckily, nothing happened. But maybe it was me who really dodged the bullet, it wasn’t until the threat of a natural disaster, that I realized, I am not at all prepared for one. So big Thank you’s go out to Mother Nature for looking out for me on this one! I am oh so glad that we had the Tsunami that never happened.

Oh yeah my gas tank was on empty too, so I would have really been shut in my apartment with no hope! 😦

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In Hawaii they like and put a ring on it!

I have realized something about Hawaii that is not so apparent in NY or at least not in such high numbers. Girls in their mid 20’s and early 30’s are married! Yes they have husbands and kids to match. By the tender age of 23 a local girl may be married and have at least 1 but maybe 2 kids! Even girls who look like they are still in high school have rings on their fingers. Rings, rings, everywhere! And here I am the lonely girl from NY, approaching 30 with no ring. Is there something wrong with me? Heck No, at least I don’t think so. But to the older local women, I know it leaves them to wonder why?

When I go to the nail salon to get my nails done and my eyebrows waxed the little Asian lady who is always so very nice to me, asks me the same questions each time. Did you work today? and Are you married? My answers, yes and no respectively. Next comes, why you not married, you are so pretty, and getting older. I guess my job is no longer important at that point. Well it is good to know that I’m pretty, but I guess the closer you get to approaching 30 the less likely the chances you will get a man to marry you. Is that true? Maybe not, but on this island I am starting to think that is a truth.

Apparently the culture of marriage so different in Hawaii. In NY it is a social norm to be in your 20’s or 30’s and not married. It’s a time to have fun with your girls and talk about your dates. You have a job, your own money, and have the chance to develop into a strong independent woman.  You don’t feel like the single girl leper who is about to die alone. In NY you get the chance to play your own rendition of sex and the city with your girlfriends, with everyone having their own version of the infamous Mr. Big.  Conversation is enlightened by the bad dates you go on, and the cute guys you meet on the train. Not the cute thing your toddler did today and how your husband is driving you crazy.

I haven’t really been able to pinpoint why the girls in Hawaii get married so young but I guess it just goes with the environment and the culture. I have Hawaiian  friends who were married at 18, 19, or sometime in their early 20’s, and have really big kids to match. So here I am floating around in life like a nomad, and these girls have families to take care. Believe me I DO NOT want to switch places with them for a second. I know some girls who are divorced by 30, and have to take care of their kids, and do not have much of a social life. Leaves little time for fun. In NY women has a sense of independence, they set goals, dream about influential careers, and want to be the woman in control. In NY girls are more likely to follow a path of doing well in college and moving up the corporate ladder. They play with the big boys, and that focused drive leaves you to put marriage on the back burner. Woman of the big city are on a path to being at the head of the board room and set themselves up so they do not have to rely on a man. The rush to build a family, and have the man go to work while babies are made is not so apparent.

So what is it. Why do girls in Hawaii seem to live with their boyfriends and get married before they have had any chance for independence. Does that really work? I can’t speak on another person’s happiness because they seem happy to me. Maybe self exploration and independence is not as important for some people as it was for me. And if it works go with it! Having a long happy marriage is never a bad thing in life. It also seems to be a generational thing on the island also, parents are young, grandparents are also young. I guess that’s good so they can help you take care of your children. When looking at military wives some of them are also very young to.  And may I just add from the ones I met they seem to be just a bit unsure of themselves. Who can blame them, when you are 20 what do you really know about life, although you may think you know it all you really are just starting to build a sense of identity.

When I look back on myself and the relationships I was in when I was in my late teens and early 20’s , I am extremely happy and overjoyed that I did not get married at that age. Not because they were bad relationships, but because I was so not ready to be a wife. A marriage is a serious commitment, and if I could not understand what it means to be a wife, and for a man to be a husband then I know I would eventually not be happy. People change, good people grow, and learn from life, they learn together, they learn as individuals. They learn to have a sense of understanding, and continuous growth together that is necessary to make a good marriage. But first you need to know your self as an individual and love your independent self without your other half. This will lead you to better appreciate your half of the relationship, and give the most unconditional love to the other half of your relationship.

Before I learned to be independent on my own, and could stand alone, I admit, I would have been a horrible wife! I would have been defined solely as a man’s wife and not as a woman who is amazing and the perfect complement to her husband. My sense of identity would have been non existant because it would have never had a chance to fully develop on its own. And the worst part is I know that I would be left with the feeling of “what if”. So do I think as I approach 30 my chances of finding a husband will decrease, maybe. But that is only because I will be able to weed out the men with a strong sense of insecurity about having a woman who does not need him, but is willing to work with him. I will weed out the men who have fear the confidence and  success of a woman, and are challenged by a woman expressing valid opinions. I don’t mind though because, that will leave me with a man who is confident enough to be part of a team, who has an intellectual mind, and who can keep me on my toes because together our bond will be so strong that it will create a force that will not be matched.

Want to meet new people?

In case you ever wanted to move to a new place, on the other side of the world, but fear that you won’t know anyone and be all alone, here are some tips for you to meet people. No matter where you decide to live or visit in the world there are always people around. So there will always be someone for you to talk to and new friends to be made. Don’t be shy. People don’t know you, so they have no expectations of you. Everyday is a new chance to make a first impression all over again. So I advise you to take it and run with it. Bring out your inner extrovert and enjoy life with the people who are around you. I have learned that people come from so many different places in life, and with each new person brings a whole new experience!

I think the greatest website to get out and meet new people is meetup.com. Meet up groups are a great way to find activities that you like, and also meet people who like to do those same activities as you. In Hawaii there are so many different types of meet up groups. My personal favorites are the ones for hiking, fitness, and project singles. These groups give me the chance to see so much of the island and meet really cool people while doing it.

The island of Oahu is filled with so many exciting activities, so since I came here without knowing anyone, I had to find a way to meet people do explore the island with me. And it has truly been an amazing experience. I have been hiking on so many trails that I would never have the opportunity to see as a tourist. I have climbed to the top of summits that overlook entire sides of the island, and I must add that the view is spectacular.  Through meet up I have been able to find groups who work out on the beach, and beach body coaches who help me to continue to reach my fitness goals. Yup, I have to keep my body in shape since its summer year round

Project singles gives me a way to meet other single professionals as myself, and even if I am not attracted to any of the males in the group there is always a cool activity to have a good time at. Meet up groups are great for meeting like minded people, people who are open to culture, to experience, and they are filled with a wealth of knowledge. Many of the people I have met have traveled to many places in the world, and have done great things in their lives. So why not give it try, it never hurts to go out and make a new friend!

Taking a Time Out!!!

I am calling time out! …..Time out!

I feel the need to take a time out and rest on the bench. I don’t want to play. I just decided that I don’t want to play anymore. Playing “the game”, the dating game is a lot more work than I thought. I have never been good at games anyway. Not monopoly, spades, bingo, or uno. I have never been good at playing, and I seem to not win. So how did I get stuck in the middle of this dating game, when I never wanted to play in the first place!

As I progress in playing this game  I will honestly say I am not really good at it, but I do think that I have a pretty good team. I have a starting line up that keeps me busy, and individually each of my 5 starters know their position, as they each meet a different need for me. But even with a strong starting line up, I feel like I am missing that Kobe or Lebron who will just dominate the game. You know the franchise player who will take over, be able to play every position, and play it with confidence. He will never need rest, and will be honored to play the entire time without needing a sub to fill in.  Basically that one guy who meets my needs so well that I don’t have to look to fill the other 4 positions because he has them all on lock. He knows when to move, how to move, and where to go to make things happen. If I just had a Kobe or Lebron, I wouldn’t need players for the other positions, and would no longer need to look back for someone else to make a play.

I have the movie guy, the guy with the great conversation and intellectual stimulation, the one who makes me laugh, the one who likes adventure and outdoor activities, and the one who I can just sit home and chill with. Sounds great huh, but why can’t they all be encompassed into just one person. That one IT guy who makes me laugh, has great conversation, likes to watch movies, likes to sit home and relax, and also like to experience the outdoors and adventure. I know there has to be a man out there who has all of these qualities, and hopefully I can find him so I can retire from this game with a championship ring.

In addition to my rotational starting line up,  I would say that I have the best sixth man in the game. He would make Ben Gordon and Jason Terry jealous with his sixth man abilities.  My sixth man is always ready to come off the bench and fill in whenever one of my starters starts to act up. He would surely be the top candidate for the sixth man of the year award in the dating game (if there was one). He is down to play any position, always ready when I need him, and he doesn’t need time to warm up. On  someone’s else team he would truly be a starter, maybe even the MVP. He would be the Kobe of their team.  However, on my team I can only bring him off the bench, and no matter how good he is at playing his position, he will never reach the starting line up.

But even with a fully stacked team,  a strong rotation of players, I feel like I need a time out from this game. This team doesn’t seem to be working as well as it once did. It may be time to make some trades, and recruit  new free agents. Yet, that still takes work, a lot of work. It’s the starting over, the getting to know him, seeing where he is going to fit in. Will he be willing to play any position I put him at? But I will secretly be hoping that he is the Kobe that I am looking for, so I can cut the rest of the team from my roster. I have no problem making cuts for a star player. But it seems the stars are in rare form,  and I have to fill in the gaps somehow.

When I was in a long term relationship with my ex,  I would look at my  BFF Dana and be jealous of her single girl adventures. She always had a new story about a new guy. I would think “wow that must be fun”!! New men, new experiences, not having anyone to answer to, and being able to tell him to leave when he pisses you off. Yeah I thought that would be fun.

Now I know better. It’s not as fun as it looked from inside the window of a relationship.  As TO said about that girl on his show,  I am a “relationshipper”. I like relationships. I like commitments. I like seeing just one guy day after day. I want one person to be the movie guy, the dinner guy, and be there for everything else I need guy. Together the two of us can be a team. We are both the stars of each others team, and there will be no bench to look to when things get complicated. He will be the one I pass the ball to, and he passes it back to me. It works. We win together, we lose together, and we play the whole game together.

But until then, I think I’ll just take a twenty second time out!

Just because I’m hungry

Who would have ever thought that I would actually find a real place on this earth where spam is a delicacy. Yes spam, is the national treasure of food out here in Hawaii. I cannot honestly remember the last time I ate spam, and I really don’t even remember what it taste like. I do remember my mom making it for us a handful of times as a very young child, but now I am thinking if it was really that good then wouldn’t we have kept eating it into adulthood? So i am guessing that spam that I ate as a child, probably has not changed in flavor much so no need to eat it again right? I can’t believe that its actually on the menu at restaurants, and served at good ol Mc Donald’s. Yes Spam, its easily accessible and a food that is very much well liked in the Hawaiian culture. I could swear sometimes it is even sold out in the grocery store, a popular item, yes indeed! I will let you know when I make that leap back to my childhood memories, and engorged myself in a delicious meal of spam again, I highly doubt it will be anytime soon.

With that said let me just tell you that the rest of the food in Hawaii is amazingly good. Some of the food here, I have never seen on the mainland. And please remember I am coming from NY, where diverse food is naturally easy to find, and whatever you have a taste for, you just get up and go get it. However, Hawaii has a lot of diversity from the pacific islands and eastern countries that I have never came across in NY. I must say that it is some good eating for a cheap price.

The thing I lover here is that all the plates (you know: steak plate, shrimp plate, mixed plate, regular plates, and mini plates) all come with scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Yup gotta love them carbs! I am believing that the Atkins and southbeach diets are non existent in this state, and may just be mainland fads that have not made the journey off the coast of California, through the pacific ocean to land here. So if you are a carb lover this is the place for you! Why not eat spaghetti with a side of rice and maccaroni salad (no I’m serious). In Hawaii you will experience great eating from the south pacific, the best fresh fish, and excellent pupus (appetizers as they say on the mainland). I have become a lover of the bbq beef, meat jun, and chicken katsu. Manapua, which seems to be an everyday potluck or work place lunch favorite is also really good. Here you will find lots of noodles mixed with everything.

Now I have tried poke, which is essentially seasoned raw fish. At first taste I must confess that I  did have the sudden urge to take it home, throw some oil in a pot and cook it up. Hey it was already seasoned. But to get accustomed to eating raw fish is something that still takes time to get used to. Forcing my tastebuds to adjust is never an easy task.  In Hawaii, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Philipino, and native Hawaiian foods are everywhere! Now I have tasted the kaliua pork and poi. Yeah that poi just has no taste so don’t be afraid to try it, it won’t hurt you.  Not a big fan of the Kaliua pork, but I do have a friend on the mainland who loves it, and she is probably going to be upset when she comes to visit. I will have to tell her the truth that I do not like it, and still don’t know how to cook it. Yeah, I haven’t told her that one yet. But if you like to eat, then you will like the food in Hawaii. It is a non mainland flavor, that spices up your everyday desire to eat!!! And hey you can even get a spam plate at 7-eleven, maybe that’s what I’ll do today!

Goodbye Summer

OK so I have been gone for a while but now I am back!!!! For real this time (or at least for a few days). What was I doing? Well off enjoying the end of summer. Yes the end of summer, which is strange to say when you live in Hawaii, because even in mid September, the weather is still warm, everyday is a beach day, and I can still wear shorts and a tank daily. No fall jacket needed,  the breezy NY mornings, and smell of fresh fall air does not exist here. Yes this is great its still hot, and I can say that I still have the feeling that life is good! I am not a person who misses seasons, so I can be in a happy space. Please note if you do enjoy leaves falling off trees and the bitter cold of winter then no Hawaii is not the place for you to reside. Vacations are always great!  The only way I know that its time for the season change is because it starts to get dark early. My precious sun goes down earlier and earlier each day, bringing on the darkness. But yes that I cannot escape, the sun must go down, and the realities of fall and winter still exsit.

So what have I been up to? I will keep this brief for the readers who really don’t care about me and what I have been doing. But in all actuality I can say that I am continuing to learn more about myself everyday and I am learning the best life lessons ever. There is so much to do in Hawaii besides go to a beach. My summer has consisted of going to swim with sharks at the North Shore, watching a real life Luau, snorkling, and even rock climbing off the side of a mountain! Through it all I have survived, challenged myself, gained an amazing amount of self confidence, and increased my endurance along the way! So can I say that I had fun? Of course I have fun! And the best part is that I truly can say that I ROCK! I have been able to do things that I never would have fathomed previously in my mind, and I feel like each experience makes me a little bit more ready to take on my next adventure.