We interrupt this “Alo-HA” blog…with a report about a man in need of a new knee.th-38

This has required a trip to California where husband Tom’s knee is waiting…all shiny two titanium pounds of it. We have spent the past week undergoing all the pre-op tests required to see if he’ll survive during the two hours of sawing and banging and chipping and hammering or whatever they do in the surgical workshop to accomplish the “out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new” procedure.

th-28warning-sign-risk-falling-16169109     But how did we get to this point? Well…first off, he’s a man. And that oft-times means an injury of some kind…an injury that usually follows the loving wife/partner’s question of “Honey do you think you should be doing it that way?” That’s why all the red/black or yellow warning signs show a stick-figured man falling, tripping, being banged on the head, walking off something. You never see a skirt on these stick figures. Lots of times, serious injury involves power tools or a ladder. That’s why ladders come with rungs of disclaimers that stop short of warning “Do NOT climb on ladder!”





E5323     In Tom’s case, it was not a ladder. It was a door threshold. A threshold that he did not trip over, but instead rolled off of. Yes. He’s a handy guy and was staining the wood about one step-height (12 inches) above ground level…”one small step for man, one giant fall for mankind.” Acute pain can be a humbling experience for a normally strong and rugged man who’s suddenly reduced to a desperate need of assistance. The next thing I knew, I heard a plaintive cry for help and I rushed to the scene where he was on the ground grabbing his knee in anguish. Fortunately, he did not break it, but tore the meniscus of his already arthritic knee-bone and that was the start of the downward spiral to Titaniumville.

th-31     Now another independent study that I have conducted over 52 years of tending to the plethora of husband injuries is that these usually occur in the daylight hours. And when the caring wife/partner says at 11 a.m. or 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, “Honey I think we should go to ER,” the husband/partner replies with frustration, “No, I’ll be fine.” This routine continues for the next 12 hours until, finally at 3:00 FRICKIN’ A.M., he (now in mortal agony) says, “We have to go to ER!” If I were going for my doctorate, that’s a thesis I might want to do: “Why the injured/sick male of the species only agrees to go to ER at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.”

th-39 2     So, here we are on countdown…about one day away from the OR having bonded with the hospital and medical building parking attendants and the admitting nurses. All the nurses love Tom (what’s not to love)…they think he’s cute and funny (so far). We just finished our “Preparing You for Knee Replacement Surgery” seminar. Pain, of course, was the #1 topic. A PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia) pump will be provided so that pain medication can be given through Tom’s IV for the first two days. The big rule in bright red letters is: “Family or friends should NEVER push the button!” (the trigger that shoots a dose of pain meds into his vein). Darn! I could have fun with that. A man in kneed can be a pain indeed.






…cont’d from last week:

Carolyn Howard Johnson (www.howtodoitfrugally.com) loves spiders. In fact she even wrote a poem: “The Man I Love DSCN3116and The Writing Spider.” She begged me to send her a picture of one of our “Writing Spiders” also known as the cane spider–so named for hanging out in the sugar cane fields in Hawaii. It earned its “Writing” credentials because of the big white “X” it makes in the center of its web. It then lurks behind the ominous big “X” by aligning each of its legs with the letter…definitely Draculean. And cane spiders are HUGE…about the size of a sardine can. Carolyn thought ours was “beautiful.” Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think she might need a couple of swigs of carrot juice as an eyesight enhancer while she’s authoring her award-winning frugal series. http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo.

th-23 2Super funny Barb Best (www.barbbest.com) is not a fan of anything spider! “I’m not keen on hairy predators capable of injecting venom. They are–can we just say it–ghastly unattractive in their appearance (sorry Carolyn) and behavior.” However, the one thing that Barb does admire …”the eating of the male by the female after they mate. Saves a lot of time and money on divorce lawyers.” When I told her about the sardine-can size of our cane spiders, she said, “That’s terrifying. In L.A. (particularly Beverly Hills) we have dogs smaller than that!

P1050521It’s hubby Tom who has the best solution for putting the crab spider to sleep…permanently. It’s called a propane torch. Kind of like a giant barbecue lighter. Nighty Night, Spidey. Poof!P1040347


My bedroom nightmares are over…oh…except for George Clooney, of course.  (Please see Part 1).



th-21 2The joke making the rounds on Facebook this week goes like this: Research shows that if you’re afraid of spiders, you’re more likely to find one in your bedroom. I’m really afraid of Johnny Depp!  That’s funny. But for me personally, the punch line should be “I’m REALLY AFRAID of George Clooney!” Okay…even Tom, husband of 52 years, doesn’t take me seriously on that.




This week was a bad one for me involving spiders and a number of mowed-rage incidents while on my riding lawn mower. As I happily rounded a curve and drove between two palms–SPLAT!–my face was entangled and smeared with a crab spider’s sticky web. In retaliation for my ruining his snare, this little spiky spider then performed his “drop-down-your-bra” maneuver. What happened next comes with mixed opinions. Some spider people (entomologists) say that crab spiders bite you. Others maintain that their tiny spiny backs poke you and cause allergic reactions with huge welts that itch like crazy…for days! So the little itsy-bitsy spider turns you into its itchy-bitchy victim.




One does not see a crab spider web until you’re in it and flailing like a crazy woman. That is this guy’s trick for getting into your bra. And his web is a mess…like he consumed a couple of Mai Tai’s and four beers. Three author friends, Toby Neal, Carolyn Howard Johnson and Barb Best have differing views on spiders. Toby, author of the spine-tingling Lei Crime Series (www.tobyneal.net), does not like crab spiders! Her great pleasure is to traipse through her Maui garden with a rubber slipper in each hand…preferably in the early morn when the webs glisten with the salty dew. The minute she spies a creepy crab, she squishes it between her flip flops as she slaps them together and gets great pleasure out of hearing the “satisfying pop.” No wonder Toby writes crime series that involve mayhem. …to be cont’d when Carolyn Howard Johnson and Barb Best have their say on spiders!




…cont’d from last week:

With a big grin, Neil greeted me in his office. We have been friends for over 30 years from when he was knee-high to a surfboard.

“So Neil, I understand you’re out of stock on my book,” I said with a broad smile.

Neil Hasegawa & Dr. Elmo

Neil Hasegawa & Dr. Elmo

“How’d you hear that?” he asked.

“A little Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer told me.”

“I LOVE that song!” exclaimed Neil.

“Well…that’s because Elmo sings it and he bought my LAST book!”

“What? Here? Are you kidding me?”

“No, I’m not kidding you.”

“Here? In my store?”

“Yep…’oia nō (that’s right). Right here in your store. Hasegawa’s. And Elmo wants you to know that you’re out of my books.”

“But…he knows you…right? And he came in here to buy your book? Right?”

“No…Neil. He did not know who the heck I was. I’m a for-real Nobody. He just started leafing through your weathered demo Nobody book, saw that it was the last one, thought it looked fun and bought it. You are officially sold out!”

At Hasegawa's, you can find cane knives next to the Christmas ornaments.

At Hasegawa’s, you can find cane knives next to the Christmas ornaments.

Neil immediately ordered four more. I hopped in the car, zoomed home, signed the books and delivered them back within the hour. Within the course of another hour, Elmo and Shy Pam went back to buy a Hasegawa’s T-shirt and saw my replenished stock. Pam bought all four!

This instantly made my book the “#1 Best Seller” at Hasegawa General Store. The last I saw of Shy Pam, she was hanging out near the huli huli chicken truck, selling my autographed copies at a 50% mark-up—thus removing me from the anonymous category.

Dr. Elmo singing "Grandma" with Shy Pam in our kitchen.

Dr. Elmo singing “Grandma” with Shy Pam in our kitchen.







Is it name-dropping if no one has a clue whose name it is that you’re dropping? I am the first to admit that Lorraine Brodek is one such name…thus the title of my book  A Nobody in a Somebody World. But Dr. Elmo Shropshire? Dr. Elmo who?

image4 3     Starting right about the time kids are in the midst of their Halloween sugar highs, the musical airwaves begin pelting haggard parents with Chipmunks squeaking the Christmas Song and Jimmy Boyd high-pitching I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. But my personal favorite is when Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer starts bringing the real message home. Go Grandma! Better to be taken out buzzed and happy on eggnog by a rogue reindeer than hooked up to a feeding tube at the geezer home. Go Elmo! No…he’s not the red, furry, falsetto-giggling Muppet monster..   he’s Dr. Elmo Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer Shropshire. My guee-tar strummin’-singin’ hero.

P1050479 2So you can imagine my excitement when Tom invited Elmo and his shy wife Pam up to meet me and share some margaritas following the guys’ weekly Pasture Golf game (please see my blog on Pasture Golf). Elmo started the conversation off by reciting some direct quotes from my Savage Bees and Porno and Public TV chapters in my book. I was almost as speechless as Shy Pam is before two margaritas. Now here’s the clincher…Elmo was in Hasegawa General Store in Hana and bought Nobody in a Somebody World two weeks before he even met Tom. He was going on and on about how much he loves the book as much as I love his singing about Grandma being the victim of a hit and run by a reindeer (my guess is it was probably Blitzen). But most importantly…Elmo wanted me to know that Hasegawa’s was sold out of my book!

So next day, after going to the Post Office, I stopped by to see if owner Neil Hasegawa was in his store. He was. I went up to his office above the cash register which is directly across from the books-for-sale shelf where my Nobody SKU slot was empty. Neil stood up from his desk…to be cont’d. Stay tuned for next week’s blog. 

HAWAII FUNNY TOP-10 (Crazy laws & stuff)

HAWAII FUNNY TOP-10 (Crazy laws & stuff)

1. Hawaiians are not allowed to put pennies in their ears.  P1040700

I wonder if this law was passed when Hawaii discovered that their coins were disappearing and they knew not all of them were ending up in the slots in Las Vegas. Also Hawaiians were becoming hard of hearing. There’s a rumor going around that magicians are starting a petition against this law.

2. It used to be illegal to leave home and not know where you were going.

If you are in your mid ’70’s, this can happen a lot, so just make something up like, “Oh, I’m going to the dump.” That’s a favorite destination in Hana. That way you can claim that all the junk you’ve forgotten to remove from your back seat is really trash. But be sure this only happens between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. And if you’re confused about which holiday it is, don’t go out because the dump will be closed anyway.

P1040702 - Version 23. All residents must own a boat or face a fine.

To be safe, that’s why we have two boats in our living room. Okay..one is a canoe.

4. Hawaii consumes the most Spam™ in the U.S.–maybe even the world.

The ingredients of Spam™ are: pork with ham (a redundancy?), mechanically separated chicken (meaning it’s separated unconsciously?), water, modified potato starch, sugar, potassium chloride, salt, sodium phosphates, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrite (for a total sodium content of 49% and saturated fat of 30%). th-1 The instructions on the can suggest that it’s easier to eat Spam™ than swimming across the ocean. Hey! With that salt content, you can just float across. But be sure to wait 1/2 hour after eating. I also think it might be better not to read the ingredients. Better yet, “eat Spam™ in a boat..that would be cool” the can label suggests. Which means that we could just make Spam™ Musubi (fried spam on top of rice and wrapped in nori)..then sit in our boat in our living room and enjoy. Not.

5. Question #93 on the Hawaiian Drivers’ Test reads:

You may drink alcohol beverages in a vehicle on a public highway:
1. As long as you don’t drive.
2. Only if you ride in the back seat.
3. Only if you ride in the back of a pick-up truck.
4. It is against the law to drink alcoholic beverages on a public highway.

The answer is #4, but this seems to apply only if you’re staggering along the highway or sitting on a road cone with a Brewski. It doesn’t mention the old law that states that you can only have one alcoholic drink in front of you at a time. Wonder if that includes the dashboard.

6. Question #118 on the Hawaiian Drivers’ Test reads:

Small children when riding in a vehicle:
1. May be safely held by a strong adult.
2. Will be safe if standing on the floor in the front or back of an auto.
3. Will not be hurt in an accident because they are small.
4. Must never be allowed to ride standing on a seat.

DSCN1426I think someone had two alcoholic beverages in front of them when they wrote this. The answer is #4. In addition, if you’re over 12 and all seats are taken inside of Uncle Kimo’s pick-up truck, you can ride in the open flat bed in the back just a long as it has sides and the tailgate is up. This does not apply to parades where everyone in the family can sit anywhere including the dogs and tūtū (Grandma) who can be propped sitting on top of the rear seat of the red convertible. Just don’t brake or accelerate suddenly.

7. Men from Hawaii’s Orakama tribe are not allowed to eat their second wife. 

So I’d really be sure you’re the second wife and not the first. I don’t know if there are search engines to help you validate this, but I’d certainly verify first, then trust until death due you part and be wary if he buys two BBQ’s.

8. Billboards are banned. 

But you can post funny signs on trees and posts. DSCN2642 3


9. You cannot annoy any bird within the limits of a public park.

However, it appears that you can heckle or hide birdseed or poke birds if they’re outside park limits. Birders might want to take this on as part of a national cause. “Protect Our Birds Outside Of Parks” or POBOOP. Rhymes with pigeon poop.th-11

And speaking of pigeon, that leads us into..

10. Pidgin is the unofficial language of Hawaii.

..or the language of the people and their emotions. It is a combo of Hawaiian, Creole and English-speak from all the immigrants who have arrived on their shores since the 1800’s. In fact, the Pidgin translation of Christ’s baptism appears above the baptismal space at one of the hundreds of  Christian churches dotting the countryside throughout the islands.Hawaii_Pidgin_inscription




And I wen say, den dat’s da Top 10!