November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

People are yelling stuffing recipes to their loved ones via cel phone at Staples and the geese are wearing their Pilgrim outfits.

Must be Thanksgiving-ish.

November 22, 2009

My New Digital Friend

The fitness challenge and the birthday came together in a funny way.

I am now carrying two pedometers.

It started out when Ms Scandiwaiian was over for rehearsal and happened to be carrying a pedometer. Hers registered several hundred fewer steps than mine. She was cheesed.
For my birthday she bought me a Nintendo DS Lite and the same walking program she uses, and now I am totally hooked up.

As she and I learned playing "Hot Flashes" at Treasure Island, people will do a lot to see funny animation. At TI it costs a penny a play for "Hot Flashes". In DS Lite's "Walk With Me" you're paying by walking.
I think I'm buying. Of course it's almost 10:30 and I'm still in bed, but I will be walking soon. And getting on that exercise bike soon, I hope. Today I want to no longer be a night time deer (yesterday I was inactive and then had a spurt of Lisa Rinna-inspired exercise in the evening). Today I want to be more like mrguy, a day time horse (consistent movement during the day).

My mii looks exactly like me.

Bidet 2009

This was an especially fine birthday. No trip to Japan or trip to New York, but lots of love :)

I spent the workday working on my presentation for Taiwan.

My colleagues had champagne and Cheez-its at our weekly meeting.

Messages from all of my sibs awaited me at home. And a lovely message from that nice boy.

We went to Pilates, had dinner at our local Japanese restaurant and watched sumo.

Mrguy got me many treats: a beautiful dictionary, yummy Japanese sweets (shiso jelly is amazing) and Tokyo Vice.

On Thursday, Ms Scandiwaiian and I went out for a movie (go see this documentary if you get the chance. it's completely charming).

Wrapping up the birthday week, Big Sis and I got together after my singing lesson yesterday and had lunch and took the most beautiful drive. Records were purchased. I have no idea what languages they're in, but the first one I tried was awesome.

The birthday celebrations segued perfectly into a birthday party last night, and another one today. It turns out that I have two bandmates and another friend who all celebrate birthdays the same week.

Happy birthday, people!

Fitness Challenge, Week Three

This was week three of the fitness challenge. I am still likely the least fit person doing it. Unless I'm working at our offsite facility my step count is somewhere in the three to seven thousands.

Thank goodness for the non-stepping extra point challenges.

Last week's challenge was to eat no sweets. Double the daily points if you go all week. Usually this would be easy, but I went to see my mom, and my sister made a pie. This wasn't food I would be refusing, but love. I took the dive on points.

This week the points are for other, non-walking exercise. I get four thousand extra points for Pilates, and Lisa Rinna helped my step count and my extra point tally. By the way, the "hip hop" in any of her dance moves is achieved via leaning forward, "pumping" and "thinking 'hip hop'". Unexpectedly earnest, that Lisa Rinna.

Today's challenge involves getting an exercise bike into mrguy's Prius. I am acquiring it for $50 from a guy at work.

Perfect for the winter months, I think.

November 15, 2009

Turnips Are As Good As Anything

Anything you bury them in, that is.

Readers of mrsguy will know that I don't particularly care for the turnips. And yet 'tis the season, and our veggie box is overflowing with cruciferous vegetables. We'd put off eating them for so long, that we had Japanese turnips and regular turnips and watermelon daikon (not a neep but a crucifer) coming out our ears.

Mrguy usually gets rid of the turnips by hiding them in fried rice, which magically makes them tasty. It must be the proportion of rice and chicken to other vegetables that helps. The Scots have a similar game plan, called neeps and tatties, wherein turnips which taste bad are hidden in potatoes which taste good. Neeps and tatties is a great thing to bury your haggis in, and that was the same meal but another story.

Today I decided to take the lead on solutions to the turnip problem. Since I made some stock yesterday, my thoughts turned to soup. I started caramelizing onions and browning the turnips a bit. Then I added a little sage and thought about it. Turnip soup was going to taste like turnips. It'd be like The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, when the teensy bit of frosting gets all over everything. It would no longer be a few root vegetables but an enormous pot of turnip flavor.

Plan b was inspired by the season and my seasoning. There was a box of Stove Top Stuffing lurking in the cupboard that Mom brought over once when she wasn't sure that she and I could make a credible stuffing without Pop. Before I knew it I had made a stuffing casserole with the julienned turnips, stock and stuffing. It is currently browning in the oven.

Turnip hiding is good practice for Thanksgiving, when the McGuyver gene needs to be dominant.

Myrtle K. Hilo

Google told me before I finished inputting my search term yesterday: Myrtle K. Hilo. Autofill wanted to add the word obituary. She passed away on October 3rd.

Other falsetto singers had nicknames befitting the prettiness of their tone. Linda Dela Cruz was "Hawaii's Canary". Lena Machado, was "Hawai`i's Songbird". Myrtle K. Hilo, however, was known as "The Singing Cab Driver". Although gifted with a vocal range that was similar to that of her feathered sisters, Myrtle's husky tone set her apart. For lack of a better word, she sounded authentic. On her first two records, that raspy tone and bold falsetto was complemented by loose arrangements that featured a steel guitarist whose reverb-laden tone had clearly made a detour in Tahiti and a loud and lounge-y pianist. Find those records if you can, close your eyes and imagine yourself at a nightclub in late 1960's Honolulu.

When she wasn't working the nightclubs or working as a DJ, or appearing on Hawaii Five-0 (and sometimes even when she was), she drove her cab. What a treat it must have been to listen to the kanikapila at Charley's Taxi Stand in those days.

A 2002 article about Myrtle K. Hilo is here.

Her obituary is here.

Listen to her music at

See her in these three episodes of Hawaii Five-0:

Season 2: Run, Johnny, Run (Napua Mala. This episode also features a young Christopher Walken)
Season 4: Air Cargo: Dial for Murder (Kim Wong)
Season 6: Secret Witness (Old Woman -- funny that she played that role 35 years before she died!)

November 7, 2009


Tiny but mighty and I went to Minneapolis the following week for a long weekend to see middleguysis and mrmiddleguysis. I learned two things:

Smelt fries aren't as good as they sound
Go with an open mind when someone says you're going to have the experience of a lifetime. Sometimes it's true.

Smelt were just a blip in the radar on our visit, though they came up twice: once in an installation in a group exhibition that middleguysis was part of. Lots of tiny shiny dried smelts all glommed together and seemingly squirting out of a squished aerosol can. When they appeared on the menu at the Red Stag half an hour after we saw sis' show, how could I help myself?

We've had the smelt fries and now you don't have to.

The open mind part happened when a meat-centric friend of sis and bro said he'd come to our vegetarian dinner party but we had to indulge him by going afterward to a small concert by Prince at Paisley Park. It would be the experience of a lifetime.


I'm not really a Prince fan, but it's never been a question that he's an AMAZING talent. Turns out that Tiny is a long time Prince fan. Long time. She was very interested, as were almost all of the people who were coming over for dinner. Now that I think of it, the vegetarians didn't come with.

Anyway, it all seemed preposterous. It was announced in the newspaper that morning. You had to show up at 7pm and buy tickets at Paisley Park. The show would start at 11.

Against the odds, that's pretty much what happened. Our carnivorous music fan friend stuffed his pockets with cash, hoping to get us all tickets. One per customer, unfortunately, so after dinner we piled in the car, and made our way to a transit station in Chanhassan, half an hour away. There was no promise that we'd get in, but in the end it was smooth sailing. We walked in and Prince was playing. He never plays on time, so this was a bonus, too.

He played for almost three hours. There were maybe a thousand people in his club. Larry Graham from Sly and the Family Stone was there and they played many Sly Stone songs. Morris Day was there, and they played Time songs, and Chic and Play That Funky Music White Boy, and almost all of Prince's hits. He engaged with the audience and played like crazy and sang beautifully. None of his songs had been pitched down for a guy who is now older than he was when he wrote them.

I was so impressed. I danced as much as I could while surrounded by large Scandinavian statues. Garrison Kiellor should have prepared me for this, but Minnesotans are not an outwardly enthusiastic lot. The show wrapped up around 3am.

We fell asleep around 4am and didn't get up very early.

Everybody who knows me knows this story by now. I've just written it here because there is little important that hasn't been recorded here in the last three years. It would be remiss to omit something like seeing Prince.

The Sake Lees Snipe Hunt

Somewhere there in October I had become curious about sake lees. Mrguy had come home from the liquor store with Hitachino Nest beer. The Classic Pale Ale is absolutely delicious. It's aged in sake casks.

Somehow this information was lost in translation, and I thought that it was bittered with sake lees.

A few weeks after drinking this beer, grandmammoo guy and I were driving on the overpass into town. I pointed to the sake factory and asked "Have you ever been there? We should go some time". Mom's response was "It's only 3:15". I interpreted this as: "I'm 81 years old. Let's do it now".

So off we went.

We saw the small museum with beautiful sake implements. Much of it was from a Hawaiian sake brewery that this sake company had purchased in the 1980's. I particularly loved the kitsune, a bucket with one narrow end, like the head of a fox.

After our sake tasting, I asked about sake lees. It turns out that they do sell it, its proper name is kasu and there are all kinds of things that a person can do with it.

Who knew? I didn't buy any kasu then, but I sense a purchase and culinary adventure in my future.

October Wrap Up

I felt guilty ignoring October and it's already November so I will do a few wrap up posts.

Rocktober was fabulous. I had two ukulele workshops in just over a week. The first was with Derick Sebastian, who came and gave a private concert at the forklift factory and then gave a workshop to about six of us. The Ambassador of Uke and mrguy bonded over Alden shoes. Poor mrguy. His lady doesn't care if she's wearing ripped up "chucks".

The following week, mrguy and four strangers and I had a private workshop with Keoki Kahumoku. Also fabulous. I have lots to learn.

At the end of the month, our library at work had a grand reopening. The Ambassador and I jammed a bit to provide background music. It was super. He taught me Opihi Man.

Gotta practice.

November 4, 2009

You Had Me At "Cha Cha Hey Hey"

I have what you no longer have.

I have the power of Lisa Rinna.

You see, we have a fitness challenge in the department. We have factory-issued pedometers, and we're counting up those steps. The goal is to get ourselves up to 10,000 steps per day by the end of the six weeks. We get extra points for doing the weekly challenges. There will be some tasty prize for the winner.

It's all rather funny. It's frustrating when the pedometers sometimes reset themselves and you lose your points. On the lighter side, you get points where none should be gotten, like in the restroom and the car. It all evens out.

My personal goal is not to dishonor the team by being in last place.

How will I do this? I will spend quality time with Lisa Rinna. Her hip hop ballroom workout, to be precise.

On the free pile today at work.

The power of the free pile.

November 3, 2009

Thank You, Free Pile

One of my favorite haunts when I was an undergraduate was the government documents room. I never went in, I just rummaged through the discarded and duplicate documents cart. If you do not already know this, gov docs are awesome, varied and interesting. I picked up whatever struck my fancy and read it or wrapped packages with it, sent it to friends or made decoupage with it.

The free pile at the forklift factory is now giving my original free stuff haunt a run for its money. You never know what will be there. I've picked up several dozen nice hangers for the closet, a 3XL sweater from South Pole that makes everybody crack up when I wear it, and now this:

8 yards of vintage Marimekko fabric in fall colors, that I will wash, hem and use to clothe my Thanksgiving table.

Thank you, free people.
Related Posts with Thumbnails