Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: My House Stinks

1. I mentioned last week I was watching Elementary. I was also reading The Last of August, a Sherlock Holmes inspired novel. I may have been overdoing it on the Sherlock, if such a thing is possible. If I suddenly express an interest in going into private investigation as a second career, you may need to talk me off that ledge, Fellow Adventurers.

2. I’m pretty non-confrontational for the most part. I try to go with the flow. If I get the wrong order in a restaurant, unless it’s something I just don’t care for, I’ll usually take it anyway. Last week, I’d had enough. Amazon Prime only sort of applies in Hawaii. It’s supposed to be 3-5 day shipping. Lately, it’s been taking two weeks or more. I was starting to get a little salty. Then, a book I wanted to read in time for book club showed an arrival date of over two weeks after I ordered. Nope. I went into their live chat to express my displeasure to customer service. In the end, I got a free month of Prime and a promise this wouldn’t happen again, which I took a screenshot of, because it will. Regardless, score one for not sitting back and putting up with less than I paid for.

3. Arthur Dent is trying to drive me to an early grave. Last week at Taekwondo, he decided to climb over the back of the bleachers that are at the gym. He fell off the back, slightly scraping his leg. After class, he was sitting backward on the bottom bleacher and fell over backwards onto the concrete, scraping his back and putting a lump the size of a golfball on the back of his head. I was afraid he gave himself a concussion. I even consulted a friend and fellow Kansan who happens to be a nurse. Luckily, he’s fine. Don’t worry, he didn’t learn anything from his experience. He was climbing on the bleachers last night, despite my nearly coming unglued. Climb on, Arthur Dent. Climb on.

4. I noticed a commercial for a remake of Flatliners last night. Is there no 80’s or 90’s movie they won’t remake?

5. I’m having trouble concentrating. I let Amelia Earhart make kalua pig in the crock pot. It’s basically Hawaiian smoked pork. Now my whole house smells like pork, which is a winner for some people, but is absolutely nausea inducing for me. I didn’t think it would smell like this or I wouldn’t have let her do it. Anyway, I have to go smell a candle or put some Vick’s under my nose or something.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: Of Sherlock and More Sherlock

My house is in post Costco shopping chaos. It’s time to fix dinner. But I have things to say. I’m going to step over the box of goldfish and the case of microwave popcorn (I’m tired. The International Man of Intrigue is deployed. I’m feeling accomplished there isn’t a case of Snickers to step over.) and feed my Little Explorers chicken nuggets and write the things.

1. Today, I had a morning. I messaged my friends things all morning like, “I’m killing it!” and “Totally winning at life today!” Most days, I have a timeline for the things I need to do. I give myself generous windows, because life has taught me that things always come up. Today I had a million and five things to do. I planned that most of them would be a stretch to get done before I had to pick the Little Explorers up, and I’d have a car full of groceries and Little Explorers by 1p.m. Instead, things fell into place. It was like I had one of those time turner things from Harry Potter. I snuck little errands in between bigger errands that suddenly had larger gaps between them than usual. I even had time to run home and unload the groceries and put the cold things away, but not the dry goods- see introduction. It was magical. Laura Ingalls Wilder even fell asleep in the car, so I parked in carline at school early and had 30 minutes to read. Bliss.

2. Good thing it was bliss because then it all fell apart. Two of three Little Explorers in the car were already screaming at each other and threatening bodily harm before they were even buckled in. My package came from Gap. One used and ripped and reeking of perfume skirt. Funny. I don’t remember Gap offering used clothing online. My two best friends and lots of other people I love posting pictures from the U2 concert in Kansas City. Someone on a Facebook page said something mean about a group of people and it made me sad and mad because the Facebook page should be full of people that are kind and loving. Then I got sad. I felt sorry for myself for not being in KC. I felt angry that I can’t change people’s minds, and angry at myself for arguing with someone on the internet. We all know how stupid that is, Fellow Adventurers. I looked around at the chaos piled everywhere in my house and I got overwhelmed. I thought, “Why couldn’t the day continue to be awesome.” Then I remembered something a friend who was struggling with negativity said. I decided to try it. Instead of saying, “Why couldn’t the day continue to be awesome,” I said, “I’m so glad I had such an awesome morning so I can let all this little crap this afternoon roll off my back.” You know what, it worked. I’m happy that my friends are at U2, even if I can’t be, because they’ll take pictures and send them to me and I know they miss me. I’m going to feed my Little Explorers and clean up the kitchen, and put them to bed early for extra quiet reading time. I can still get my workout in and I’m sure to sleep well tonight. 

3. So, it turns out it’s been a couple of hours since I wrote #2. A neighbor walked over to talk for a few minutes and then I made the Little Explorers clean up. The house is still pretty chaotic, but I don’t have to step over any goldfish. The workout is done, too, and I’m watching Elementary. I’ve only watched the first several episodes, but I think i’ll enjoy it and stick with it. I don’t like it as well as the BBC Sherlock, but Elementary does have that it puts out more than three episodes every two years going for it. Also, I’m obsessed with Lucy Liu’s eyelashes. I’m pretty sure they're extensions. What are you watching, Fellow Adventurers?

4. Reading anything enjoyable? I’m reading an as yet unpublished book by a friend. It’s brilliant and amazing and I hope it gets published someday. Next up is to finish The Last of August, yet another riff on Sherlock Holmes. This is the second in a trilogy by Brittany Cavallaro. After that, or maybe before, depending on when Amazon Prime feels like delivering to Hawaii, is Moloka’i by Alan Brenner. (The two day Amazon Prime shipping doesn't apply here. The 3-5 days they promise is a FAKE LIE, too, but that's a separate rant.) Moloka'i is for book club, hence the pause on everything else.

5. I just realized I picked at dinner. It’s now almost 9 pm and I’m starving. To have a snack or not to have a snack? That is the question. The answer is probably no, but I’m going to go to bed and read so it stays no. Peace out, Fellow Adventurers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: Good Eats Edition

I know. It’s been literally months. Those months have been some of the hardest for me in a long time, for lots of reasons, which maybe I’ll share another day. For now, I’m happy to be finally pulling out of the mud and muck that was the last three or four months.

1. Generally speaking, being told that I’m going to hell makes me angry at first, then with a little time, I find it kind of hilarious. I have a dark sense of humor like that. I was told several times before the election that I was going to hell if I didn’t vote for Trump. I am generally ok with this. My latest moment of damnation came this morning. A friend tagged me when she reposted something I had posted about raising children of color. One of her “friends” (I use the term very loosely) used the opportunity to go on a racist tirade, laced with sentences like “Black people do this thing.” “I knew a black person that did this bad thing.” “Black people are bad because they do this.” Now, I don’t really enjoy arguing on the internet. I know some people enjoy a good debate. I don’t. At all. But I had recently promised myself I would no longer scroll on by when someone posted something racist or made a racist comment on a friend’s post. I really have come to the conviction that silence at this juncture is wrong. Since I was tagged in the post, I commented pretty succinctly that her words were racist and not ok. Cue more outrage at blacks and outrage at being called a racist. Again, I hate debating on the internet. I’m not going to go twelve rounds with someone who has no intention of giving up her point of view. So, knowing that this woman had gotten her Master’s degree in religion at a well known Catholic source of higher education, I simply said, “That comment was racist. Racism is a sin against God and neighbor.” Cue more crap being spewed as some of my friend’s friends got hot under the collar with her behavior. In the end, this woman’s parting shot was that if racism is a sin, I shouldn’t forget that calumny is a mortal sin. Seriously. This woman has a Masters in religion. I have a Bachelors. I’m pretty sure we both know what calumny is, and sister, that ain’t it. So, anyway, I’m allegedly going to hell for that. Punch my ticket right next to the going to hell for not voting for Trump box. I have no shame for either. 

2. On a lighter note, television. I finished the latest season of Orange is the New Black and Bloodline on the same day. (Look at me using MLA and/or APA style for a change.) That night of viewing was heavy. I had to binge a season of The Great British Baking Show as a palette cleanser. Right now, I’m watching Ozark on Netflix. It’s pretty dark and gritty, I’d say in the vein of Breaking Bad with somewhat less cursing. I’ve been breaking that up with Midsomer Murders and cooking shows. 

3. My Fauxfallo Chicken Dip recipe has neared perfection. It’s a vegan version of buffalo chicken dip, that cheesy, spicy, gooey concoction found on tables during parties. For me, it wasn’t so much about leaving the chicken out- I’d add that back in if I felt the need- but sending the dairy packing, and having a healthier version of a favorite. I’ve worked my tail off the last three months and have lost about 10 pounds so far. I want to enjoy my food, and spicy stuff like this is my favorite. It’s never going to be as delicious and addictive as the original, but this one can be eaten every day and still hits the high notes of the original. The bonus is that Gertrude Bell likes it as well, and she hates everything, including beans. Tell her there are beans in it and I’ll cut you. Here’s the recipe:

Fauxfallo Chicken Dip

1 can of beans. I used pinto because that’s what I had in the pantry. You can use chickpeas or great northern beans or whatever, as long as they’re light in color and mild in flavor. 
1 carrot
1-2 stalks of celery
2ish cups of cauliflower
Franks Hot Sauce

The key to this is really the beans. Drain them and rinse them and put them in a blender with a bunch of Hot Sauce. How much? I don’t know your taste buds. However spicy you like your dip. Turn this into a little hot sauce smoothie. This will provide the creamy texture and the heft of the dip. When it’s blended, scrape it into a bowl. Dump the carrot, celery, and cauliflower in the blender or food processor. You want it to be pretty finely diced when you’re through. Too big and it will be hard to eat because the veggies are raw. Too small and you won’t have any texture or crunch. Don’t like cauliflower? Give it a try here. The peppery taste of raw cauliflower goes well with the flavors of the dip.. Stir it all together and taste it. Add more Franks if needed.  Bam. Delicious. 

Now, listen, Fellow Adventurers, if eating a vegan dish isn’t your jam, feel free to add some sour cream or blue cheese or whatever. Add shredded chicken. You do you. Gertrude Bell likes to eat this on celery sticks. I usually bundle it up in a tortilla with lettuce and call it a buffalo wrap. I'm already looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow. 

4. I just finished reading a real page turner. I couldn’t put it down until I finished every word. Laura Ingalls Wilder clung to my arm with anticipation. Even Arthur Dent pretended not to be too interested. It Hurts When I Poop is an informative look at the inner workings of bowels. I’d recommend it for anyone who doesn't like to poop. 

5. I actually did finally finish American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Despite the fact that it took me somewhere in the neighborhood of the entire freaking summer to read, it really made an impression. Towards the very end a couple of lines stuck out to me because they relate so fully to my current feelings. “He wondered whether home was a thing that happened to a place after a while, or if it was something that you found in the end, if you simply walked and waited and willed it long enough.” 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday 5: I Still Have a Blog? Edition

1. Well, look, I still have a blog! I promised myself I’d get a post up today, so here I am, at 930 at night, Hawaii time, getting started. Honestly, it’s been a hard few months, and in particular a hard last month. The kids were short tempered and moody, and, frankly, so was I, which exacerbated the kids' mood, which exacerbated my mood, ad nauseum. My parents arrived for a visit a few days after school was out, and it was a game changer. I didn’t realize how much being everything for everyone 24/7 can wear you down. I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve been away from all of my kids at once in the last four months. Just running out alone for a loaf of bread when my parents were here felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. 

2. Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell flew back to the mainland with my parents. They’ll return to Hawaii with The International Man of Intrigue’s parents in a few weeks. They miss me and I definitely miss them, but mixing up our rut is proving beneficial for everyone. Also, do you have any idea what it’s like feeding and doing laundry for three instead of six?! It’s pretty amazing.

3. A couple of weeks ago, a smoke detector started beeping the low battery beep at 9 pm. I told my friend Dani, “Like any self-respecting smoke detector, it waited until night to start.” She responded, “No, that smoke detector respects YOU. A self-respecting smoke detector waits until 1 am.” 

4. I was filling up a care package for The International Man of Intrigue. He’d requested things like toothpaste and deodorant and his sunscreen/aftershave. As I purchased things I realized that if I was buying in multiples, it was even numbers. Four tubes of toothpaste. Two sticks of deodorant. Three sunscreen lotions. Ok, it was going to be four, but three was all that was left. I definitely prefer even numbers, but do any of the rest of you Fellow Adventurers buy things in evens?

5. Reading/Watching: The reading list is long and not budging. I’ve been reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman for months. I like it, I just don’t have time to carve out for reading. I’m also perusing The Taco Cleanse cookbook. It’s a vegan taco cookbook. I’m going to try my hand at making corn tortillas this week, and making tofu taco shake and bake filling to go inside. I’m watching Bloodline, because I have a friend who worked on this last season. It’s not something I’d have picked up on my own, but I do like it. It’s also fun to rehash the episodes with her and for her to hear my thoughts as an outside viewer. I love hearing her inside take on things, too. What are you reading and watching, Fellow Adventurers?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tuesday 5: Of Authors and Imagination

1. What does it say about the state of my life, when sprinting out of a book club in front of a semi-famous author really isn’t a low point? 

Yesterday, I walked two doors down to the General Lee’s to attend book club. We read “Lottery” by Patrica Wood. The author just happens to reside on Oahu and has an acquaintance in our book club. Being the only parent on this side of the globe, I was also juggling Laura Ingalls Wilder who was fighting some upper respiratory stuff, and the other three Little Explorers, who had tae kwon do. I enlisted one of the Grace Smith to babysit. She watched Laura Ingalls Wilder until I got back with the big Little Explorers, then took care of them all while I rushed down to book club, only a few minutes late. I was just starting to enjoy Mrs. Wood’s insight and an antipasto plate when I got a text, “Laura Ingalls Wilder is throwing up.” I sprinted out the door and down the block like Usain Bolt. (Ok, actually, I walked quickly. I don’t run. Ever.) Turns out Laura Ingalls Wilder was coughing so hard, she threw up. I got everything cleaned up and was about to send the sitter home, but she insisted on staying, since Laura Ingalls Wilder was highly unlikely to throw up again. I slunk back down to book club and into the back of the room. 

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s illness actually manifested a couple of weeks ago in the form of an eye and ear infection. I had a brilliant idea to skip the big pink hospital on the hill and drive further inland to an army post with an acute care clinic, thinking I’d save myself time, or at least be on my own schedule. When I mentioned my plan to Laura Ingalls Wilder, she lost her mind. “I SAID I’M NOT SICK. I DON’T WANT TO GO TO A CUTE FAIR. I FEEL FINE.” Fellow Adventurers, she did not feel fine. And the “a cute fair” would have been a great idea, had I not arrived to find out that every Army medical center in the entire Pacific was offline. I’ll spare you the details, but we did get everything worked out.

3. You probably all know, Fellow Adventurers, that Hawaii’s nickname is “The Rainbow State.” There are rainbows in the sky pretty much daily. Two weeks ago, I finally got to see the end of the rainbow. Not just see it, drive right through it. It was a little disappointing, but I definitely could tell the light changed as I drove through it. There was no pot of gold, though, which was disappointing, to say the least.

4. The Little Explorers’ latest fight over something imaginary was when they were playing restaurant not too long ago. Amelia Earhart made pretend money out of paper and Gertrude Bell owned the restaurant. Arthur Dent wandered in and placed his order at the pretend counter and dutifully counted out his paper currency. 

When his order arrived  on a pretend plate at his table, he looked at it with some disappointment and asked politely, “Excuse me, can I get some cheese on this?” 

Gertrude Bell stated firmly, “Cheese costs extra.” 

“Ok, I’ll pay extra.” he agreed. “Here’s $50.”

“NO. That is NOT how it works, Arthur Dent. You didn’t order cheese in the first place, so NO CHEESE FOR YOU.” 

Cue fisticuffs. 

End scene.

5. Watching? Reading? I have quite a pile of books growing on my nightstand. I think the next three to get my attention are, in this order, “A Study in Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallaro, “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman, and “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tuesday 5: Squad Goals and Chickens

1. On the way home from school today, Arthur Dent and Laura Ingalls Wilder argued over whether they were watching Star Wars or Doc McStuffins on the DVD in the car. The yelling got so heated that Gertrude Bell chimed in, incensed, that Laura Ingalls Wilder had been watching Doc McStuffins first and Arthur Dent shouldn’t try to change it. PLOT TWIST! We don’t even have a DVD player in the car. They were arguing over an imaginary entertainment system.

2. I feel like I’ve been remiss in not introducing you Fellow Adventurers to what kids these day call my “ride or die.” Fortune smiled on The Intrigues when we ended up with neighbors like these. Our “squad” saved us from the brink of insanity during this first month of deployment and, I imagine, every month we have left. So, without further ado, I present the General Lees and the Dean Smiths. Mrs. General Lee hails from Georgia, and her husband Mr. General Lee is a Hawaiian native who grew up as an Army brat. They have twin girls the same age as Amelia Earhart, an older daughter, and a son, Mac Lee, who is Arthur Dent’s brother from another mother. The two of them are inseparable. The General Lees also have another major bonding point with The Intrigues. Mac Lee and Laura Ingalls Wilder are both our kids through interracial adoption. The Dean Smiths, who obviously went to UNC, complete the trifecta of neighbor awesomeness, have four girls and one boy. Their youngest girl, Lauren Smith, is the Larry to Mac Lee and Arthur Dent’s Curly and Moe. Mr. Dean Smith is also deployed at the moment, so Mrs. Dean Smith is my deployment wife. Now that they’ve been introduced, expect to see a lot more of them in the Tuesday 5.

3. Today, when we arrived home and calmed down from the imaginary DVD fight, Arthur Dent asked if he could play Star Wars Battlefront on the X-Box. I agreed to it but told him to go get Mac Lee to play with him. A few minutes later, I heard Arthur Dent make a beeping noise and tell Mac Lee to come over to play with him. Apparently, he was using telepathy to send Mac Lee the X-Box message. I shooed him out the door to deliver the message in person.

4. Every morning, I drive the Little Explorers, Mac Lee, and Grace Smith (Smith kid number 2 of 5) to school. On the way to Grace Smith’s school, we pass by a swath of land that’s narrow and goes back at least the full block. It would be like an alley if it was paved, but it’s grass and trees. And chickens. Wild chickens reside there. The kids have named it “Chicken Hangout” and Mac Lee made up a catchy theme song to sing when we pass by. Last week, there were two baby chicks among the chickens at Chicken Hangout. We’re watching them grow and hoping they make it to full sized chickens.

5. Starting a sentence, “I remember during the war,” makes me feel old. Sometimes I do it anyway.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: Of Deployments and Disaster

Hoo boy, Fellow Adventurers. It has been a week. A long week. The first week of The International Man of Intrigue’s deployment has been a bit of a shitshow. Who’d expect anything else? Let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Laura Ingalls Wilder got double casts on her legs the day before The International Man of Intrigue flew out. She’s a habitual toe-walker (with no root cause), and her Achilles tendon was getting worryingly tight. She’s done well with the double casts, and got her second set today. We were granted a temporary handicap tag for parking, which has been a help, on the rare times there is actually a handicap spot open. In Hawaii, that’s few and far between. The process to get the tag involved me driving, alone, to the DMV. I realized that I’m a mom with entirely too little time to myself when I rejoiced and came back raving about how nice it was to go to the DMV alone.

2. Less than 48 hours after The International Man of Intrigue left, Arthur Dent and Amelia Earhart rode their scooters down the hill to get the mail. A few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. I answered, and it was a mother on the line. Arthur Dent crashed and burned and I needed to come down. I jogged down the hill to find him covered in blood. His hands were red. His shirt had rivulets of blood running down the Star Wars saying on the front. It was decidedly not good. After getting a debrief from the mom nursing him, I realized I’d need someone to drive us the block home. Neighbors were called, cuts were cleaned. In the end, he had an enormous goose egg on his forehead, despite having a helmet on, and a small cut on his chin. It was deep enough to produce lots of blood. He also had a major abrasion on his side, and smaller ones on his shoulder and knees. In short, the kid was a hot mess. I glued his chin with skin glue, held it together with a butterfly bandage, and stuck a regular band aid on top of all that to keep it clean. He slept with me so I could watch for symptoms of concussion. Five days later, he’s in pretty good shape, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be sporting a Harrison Ford scar on his chin. If so, I may have to change his name from Arthur Dent to Indiana Jones.

3. This last week, I’ve worked hard to strike a balance between “I need to stay informed,” and “I can’t take any more of this” regarding current events. I think I’m doing pretty well, but some days I really do have to tune out. 

4. Speaking of tuning out, I’m having a hard time finding something to watch in the evening. My awesome friend works on the show “Bloodline,” so I’ve been working through that, but I can only do an episode a night, since it’s kind of dark. Last night I watched an episode of “Santa Clarita Diet” on Netflix, and actually laughed out loud. It’s a bit gory, but definitely worth watching.

5. Through Arthur Dent’s crash, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s casts, and all the other nonsense in just the first week of deployment, I have been ridiculously blessed. That’s not a word I throw around lightly. I’m not of the “hashtag blessed” crowd. All this week, I’ve had so much support from near and far. My “squad” here delivered a big basket of goodies on the first morning, and rallied to help me with Arthur Dent’s accident. Cards and treats and gift cards have crowded my mailbox and little messages of encouragement have popped up in my inbox, text messages, and on Facebook. Shout out to you all. It means more than you know.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: What Happens in January Stays In January Edition

1. Know what Hawaiians love? Backing into parking spaces, or combat parking, as we’ve always called it. I don’t back into parking spaces because I have crappy spatial relations. I actually backed into the edge of our garage a few months ago, and there wasn’t anything else around. So, the thought of backing into a parking space is a little terrifying to me. I actually feel like an oddity because I pull in instead of combat park. The one time I really don’t get it, though, is at the grocery store or Costco. It’s so much harder to unload the cart into the trunk space if there’s another car parked right in front of your back end. Why struggle with dragging the groceries the length of your car when you could just park nose first and load them right into the back?

2. My favorite part of January is playing the “How long will it take to find all the Christmas decorations we missed” game. I think we’re finished. Our main miss was the “Mele Kalikimaka” sign that hung on our front door for just a little longer than was reasonable. There are always a few little ornaments the kids make at school that trickle in, too. I’m going to take a leap of faith tomorrow and pull down a Christmas box to put the stragglers away.

3. Another big part of January for the Intrigue family is birthday season. Three of the Little Explorers have birthdays within 20 days of each other. We’re finally finished with birthday season this week. I’ll be glad to have the chaos pass for another year, and to finally not have to think so hard when someone asks me how old my kids are. “Uh, 10, 7, 5, and 3? No, wait, 10, 8, 5, and 3?” Now, for the next 10 months, I can say, “10, 8, 6, and 3,” and be sure.

4. Last week, I texted the International Man of Intrigue and said, “Well, I think I accidentally started my own business.” I put out word on Facebook to see if there would be any interest in commissioning me to do cross stitch pieces.  I immediately had five requests. I’m going to go for it. I find cross stitch relaxing and love to make pieces for other people anyway, so this will be fun. Even though I’m charging for supplies and labor, it’s definitely not a money making venture- with time factored in, I won’t be making much, if anything, but I’ll get to make something for someone who enjoys it. Keep a lookout on my FB page. I also plan on doing a few “ready to purchase” pieces, both tiny and bigger. 

5. Ok, I have to get off the computer. The International Man of Intrigue is waiting for me- we’ve started watching The OA on Netflix. It’s creepy and he’s ready for another episode! Tomorrow, we’re heading to the swap meet at the Aloha Bowl Stadium. It’s one of those things we definitely need to check off of our “Living in Hawaii” bucket list.

Dorothy Gale OUT. PEACE!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: It's 2017! Edition

1. As Sherlock would say, “The Game is On.” I’m trying to relax as much as possible before The International Man of Intrigue’s deployment day comes, but as the January calendar fills up, the thought of 2017 stretching out in front of me makes my heart race.

2. It’s kind of funny being back on an active military post. Over Christmas, I was out and about running errands at the Naval Exchange. It’s kind of like a big department store. During the short time I was there, I saw a huge contingent from some Asian country, wearing their dress uniforms. I was rushing through the clothing section to make it to the Class Six (liquor store) when I saw an airman browsing through the shoe section in full battle rattle with her M-16. 

3. One of the big headlines on Hawaii News Now today is the shocking cold front that’s coming through. The actual headline reads, “Forecast: Bundle up! Cold front on its way in.” The seven day forecast calls for temperatures between 81 and 78. The struggle is real.

4. Do any of you Fellow Adventurers have any New Years Resolutions? I’m doing my usual—not resolutions per se, but a chance to recommit to things I always try to do, like journaling and exercising more regularly. Definitely not something I feel guilty about if I don’t succeed, more of a push to get back into things.

5. What have you been reading, Fellow Adventurers? I just finished reading “The Girl With All the Gifts” for a book club I’m in. I was handed the book a week before Christmas after British Neighbor finished it on the plane ride to visit us. Since then, three people have read it. It really is that good. I’m also reading “Britt-Marie Was Here,” the so far slightly disappointing sequel to “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry,” which was one of my favorite books of 2016. I imagine the sequel is disappointing because I liked the first book so much. I don’t hate it, though. It just isn’t quite as enrapturing as the first. I’m also reading “Truly Madly Guilty” for another book club. Skip that one, Fellow Adventurers. It’s really awful. I’m to the point of skimming. I would honestly stop reading it, but since it’s for book club, 1. I had to pay for it instead of getting it from the library so I’d have it on time, and 2. I feel like I should finish so I can discuss how much it’s just rubbish.