Moana

Today, I went to see the newest Disney film, Moana. I have been looking forward to it and was not disappointed.

Moana is a Polynesian girl who is the daughter of a chief. Although the island where Moana lives is fictional, her story draws on the cultural heritage of various Polynesian islands.

I don’t want to give away the story, but it resonated with me. Both of my daughters have lived in Hawai’i and respect the native cultural traditions. Daughter T, with whom I saw the film, is especially close to the plants of the islands and was happy to see many she recognized. I could relate to the epic voyage of the heroic wayfarer and the special relationship between a wise grandmother and her questioning granddaughter. I appreciated the feminine energy and the ethic of care of and for the community.

The animation was beautiful. I especially enjoyed the ocean, which is its own character in a way. There were also a lot of great moments involving hair, which is particularly difficult to render well in animation.

As often happens, there is a bonus scene at the very end of the credits, so try to stay.

 

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mochi ice cream!

When I visited with daughter E in Honolulu for five weeks last year, one of our favorite treats was mochi ice cream, a Japanese-style bon bon made of pounded sticky rice wrapped around ice cream. The shops in Honolulu had many different flavors, a number of them tropical fruits.

When I returned home, I tried to find mochi ice cream. I finally found some green tea ones at Wegman’s, but my body doesn’t react well to tea, so I did’t buy them.

Yesterday, I happened to walk by the case and there were vanilla and strawberry mochi ice cream available.

I bought a box of strawberry and ate one after dinner last night.

It was delicious, but the memories of eating them with E made it all the sweeter.
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us! First here first:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/25/just-jot-it-january-25th-prestidigitation/

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today.

poet-tree

my poem on the poet-tree

When I was visiting Beth in Honolulu this summer, we would walk up the hill in Kaimuki to go to the big Saturday morning farmers’ market at Kapi’olani Community College. There is always a huge array of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, jams, pickles, etc., as well as lots of prepared foods and beverages to enjoy there.  (Also, lots and lots of people, as it is listed in the tour guides and some of the bus tours bring people there.)

We would walk home through campus and pass by their poet-tree, which is a world community poetry project. Visitors are invited to write a poem and leave it in a jar. Then, the poems are sorted into geographic regions, sealed in plastic, and affixed to the poet-tree, which has pegs for different countries or regions.

On the last weekend of my visit, I brought a poem to contribute to the project. E sent me this photo over the weekend, showing it on display! The poem itself is one I wrote several years ago. and, as often happens, there is a bit of poetic license. I realize it is a hard to read in the photo, so here it is:

Two Trees

A pair of gum trees
Reaching tall in the courtyard
Bark flashing streaks:
       grey, red-brown, green, vibrant orange
A paint-by-number from childhood come to life.
Transplanted into Hawaiian soil
You grow at a prodigious rate
As do my own daughters
Also transplanted there.

(Note:  The trees are rainbow eucalyptus.)

back home

I’m sorry, dear readers, for being absent for the past week. I flew home from Hawai’i Tuesday, arriving home on Wednesday afternoon without having slept. Since then I have been in a bit of a fog.

OK – more than a bit.

I am notoriously bad at changing time zones. It takes me about a week twice a year when we go on and off daylight savings time to adjust my sleep schedule, so the six-hour time change from Hawai’i Standard to Eastern Daylight Time has been a struggle. I am alternating between nights where I get little to no sleep and ones where I am so exhausted that I sleep eight or nine hours. I have been trying to catch up on the most important things that I missed being away from home for five weeks, such as visiting the elders and our younger daughter and some re-scheduled appointments, but I haven’t had much brain power to put together posts.

LOL – Not that this post is that profound!

I can at least let you know that there will be some more Hawai’i posts coming as I get access to some more photos. There will also be some commentary on recent events and potentially a squealing, excited post if any of the poetry submissions I did while in Honolulu result in acceptances. I am sparing you any disappointing posts when I get rejections (but will tell you that I have already received several rejections. It’s an advantage of putting in a bunch of submissions in a short time that the rejections aren’t as daunting because you still have some submissions under consideration.)

I had been trying to keep up on reading and commenting, but even that fell apart over the weekend. I’ll be trying to catch up with that – and sorting through the 800+ email messages in my inbox – this week.

Stay tuned and thanks for your patience!

JC

SoCS: Is it really almost over?

Is it really almost over?

I have been AWOL from One-Liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturday for the last several weeks as I have been visiting my daughter in Honolulu. Her husband has been away doing research for his PhD dissertation in London, as well as visiting his family there.

My husband came out with me for the first two weeks, during which time we stayed in a hotel. Then, he had to return to go on a business trip. I moved to my daughter’s apartment and have been staying with her for almost three weeks.

It is less like vacationing and more like living here, which is cool! I have been blogging about it, such as this post about settling into the Kaimuki neighborhood where she lives, but there are others to check out at Top of JC’s Mind, if you are interested. (Shameless plug!)

I fly out on Tuesday, but I’m having trouble wrapping my head around it. Just a few more days and I’ll be back – and six-hours-of-time-change jet-lagged – in upstate New York. Back to the stuff that is filling up my calendar back home – appointments and meetings – and the catching up on mail and errands and visits.

I’m not sure I’m ready – but it is what it is.
*****

Linda’s prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “is” Please join us! Find out how here:  http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-415/

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Food – leeward – food

Yesterday, E started a four-day holiday weekend, so we decided to go on an excursion to avoid the crowds that are sure to be huge over the holiday.

We started with breakfast at Town, one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. E had polenta, greens, and egg and I had baked French toast.

Fortified, we set out on the H1 for the leeward (west) side of O’ahu. I had never been to that side but E and L had a short honeymoon getaway there and sometimes go there to visit the beaches. As I have mentioned, driving in Hawai’i is an adventure for me, but we made it through the day safely, despite some slowdowns. The weirdest thing on the road was passing my former rental car. Earlier this week, some warning lights came on in the Honda Fit, so it got swapped for a Toyota Corolla. E spotted the license plate of the Fit as I passed it on the highway. I’d say small world, but small island is more applicable in this case.

As we got away from Honolulu and its suburbs, we drove through terrain that reminded me of part of the Big Island – red soils, exposed rock, sparse and dry vegetation. In Hawai’i, the leeward sides of the islands tend to be dry. It’s common to see cactus and other plants that don’t need much water. The higher elevations as you go inland tend to be wet, some with annual rainfall of 400 inches (1,000 cm) or more. The highest peaks in the younger islands even get snowfall during the winter.

We parked close to the series of lagoons and beaches that the hotels that populate the leeward coast in Ko Olina had built.  We walked along the path behind the lagoons, enjoying the breeze and the views. Then, we went to get a smoothie and an acai bowl for lunch to cool off.

We headed back to E’s apartment before the traffic got too bad and to make sure we were here for our dinner reservation. The executive chef/owner of Town has recently opened a new restaurant kitty corner across the intersection from Town. It is named Mud Hen Water, which is the literal translation of Waialae, the avenue on which it is located.

Mud Hen Water specializes in small plates that fuse local ingredients and cuisine with more modern food trends. E and I shared:
*  pa’i’ai, which is taro pounded and fried, in a seaweed wrap so you can pick it up to eat
*  a beet salad, which was prepared similarly to poke. E was happy because she wanted me to experience poke style, but I don’t eat raw fish, so doing it with beets, which I love, was a great alternative.
*  A mutligrain risotto with peanuts and greens
*  lawalu, which was opah (a fish) wrapped in green banana leaves and cooked buried in coals, served with various grilled vegetables
*  a upside-down pineapple polenta cake, served warm with vanilla gelato
*  butterscotch-miso rice pudding with lacy ginger wafers
Everything was super delicious! We will have to go again the next time we visit. I’m sure we’ll go to Town also. We love to support the local businesses of Kaimuki!

Honolulu vs home

Being here in Honolulu for a few weeks has highlighted some differences from being at home in upstate New York, other than driving:
*  Today, there was the monthly test of the tsunami warning system. E’s neighborhood is higher in elevation, so she lives above the evacuation zone. When we were staying in the hotel in Waikiki, the first several floors of the hotels were mostly dedicated to parking. This allows them to keep people safely on the upper floors in case of tsunami.
*  A heat wave here is not as hot as in most of the rest of the US.  We have been having a heat wave with some records tied or broken, but it is only 88-91 degrees F. (31-33 degrees C.)
*  There are microclimates everywhere, but they are much more noticeable here. For instance, in E’s neighborhood, you can be walking in what seems to be a rain shower – while there are no clouds overhead and the sun is shining.  The rain is falling in the  Palolo valley and being blown into Kaimuki.
*   At home, I’ve never had a tiny chameleon show up in the bathroom, matching its color to the bathmat.
*  There is much more coverage in the news on climate change and renewable energy.  Despite Hawai’i being the most remote islands in the world, the effects and the threat of more effects are real.
*  Because the angle of the sun is higher here, solar panels can often be placed on more than just the south-facing slope of a roof.
*  Unlike home, there is almost never a basement here. It ‘s strange to me to see water heaters just sitting outside under the eaves.
*  There is a lot more discussion and coverage of homelessness and affordable housing.  Rents and real estate prices here are very high and there are many people who can’t afford them, even when they are employed. While there are single people who are homeless, there are also many homeless families.
*  The tension between the indigenous Hawaiians and the state is obvious. There are demonstrations almost daily against development of certain areas. While these problems are also present in New York, they are much more hidden.