November 21, 2003
Its Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas
Ho Ho Ho...We have had a very good week and we have had quite a few lookers on top of the shoppers that did buy this week. We are very much on target for the self imposed quota we placed on our selves to test the viability of Azure Seas Jewelry. So far, I think we are going to make it.
I know that we had at least two sales that were firmed up by people shopping Black Pearl Gallery. I have better quality at half the price. But on the other hand, I may have lost a sale yesterday as I wouldnt drop the price down to a rediculous level. OK but we have had a great week and we still have tomarrow. and next week.
My friend Monica is comming Nov 26, and will be staying a whole week. Im really jazzed about it and hope that she has a good time. Because she will be here on Thanksgiving, we canceled with Claudia on going to her place for dinner. I was apprehensive when she came by yesterday about asking to bring Monica , not that Monica wouldnt be a sintilating dinner guest, shes a jewel on conversation, but I want to keep her all to myself...
Wonder of wonders, the BandPeople didnt play on Sunday and only played a bit on Monday. I dont think that I will forget quickly the pain that they caused us. I know that that man is continuing to count up imagined slights like coins to be spent an a more opportune time. I see that both of the sons are at home again so it is a matter of time before things blow up again.
We have had very wintery weather for Hawaii. Cold for us, with strong winds and very high surf. It rained hard on Weds and that kept people in town and shopping which was good for us.
Well the local judge ruled that Kamehameha Schools could use race to give preference to Hawaiian children. This will go to the Supreme Court. I hope this policy get struck down as it teaches kids that racism is how you get ahead in life. Its the bedrock of the racial divide that plagues this island.
I am having to drive to work now on my own three days a week, and that allows me to listen to christian radio. Dr Stanley and favorite teacher of mine is on at 8 am and I catch him every morning that I can.
I am trying to apply some of the things that I am hearing. On thing stands out this week. God is the source of our provision, not Woody or myself. I can ask God about it, but my getting upset over Woodys lack of motivation is fruitless. Its not going to change anything. Like today Woody went to see a guy that he has asked for a job from for a while, the guy put him off till next month. Well that isnt that far away but its the putting off that bugs me...Why run an ad in the paper for a job that may come open next month? Thats not it and Woody hangs his hat on it and that is a pain filled deal all around. does no one any good. Likely there is no job...
My wish for Christmas is that Woody would get a real job. Its not all his fault he tries but I think he ought to try harder, and be more agressive about it.
Im going to start closing up a bit earlier tonight. Woody is working at the Naniloa.There are big shakeups there and he might not have this job very long, they have too many people there anyway so there are not enough hours. The long and short of it is that its going to take me longer to take the shop apart.
November 15, 2003
Spread a Little Aloha part 2
To continue my story...I feel a bit put out that all of those folks that arrived in Hawaii on 10-20-01 or before (before us that is) should want us to leave. But its true. I have actually read that "newcommers are the death of our
'aina, or land in Hawaiian, and that we should not stay here. Excuse me???? Im sorry when did I get on the Transporter and beam into another country....This is America right??? Well I am not alone in my feelings
On Thursday a lady came in and introduced herself as a advertising sales person for the Hawaiian Island Journal. A local throw away paper with a hard core liberal slant. I don't read it for the liberal cant against our President, our Governor and traditional values. But a lot of people do read it and I think I might want to look at it.
We had a delightful chat. She and her husband live out near us and they are feeling like we do lonely and bored and thinking that every one on this blasted rock resents the fact that they are here. So she up and invited us to their Thanksgiving Dinner...at one meeting now THAT is Aloha. Pure and simple. I am so glad and excited that I accepted with out telling Woody first. I just want someone to talk to.
So it isn't all bad. Now if the Bandpeople leave us alone tomorrow I will be content.
We had a ripping good week this week, We are on target to make our Quota (self imposed) 1/12 of the estimated years sales this month. I don't think that will be impossible. I hope we go way over. Next month we need to do 40% of this years estimated sales over $11,000 worth. That is a challenge to be sure. I need to be close to this to keep going.
Need to stop for today,
November 14, 2003
Spread a Little Aloha
Well, I have tried to post a few times this week but have been real busy doing shop stuff and all that. However we have had some really interesting stuff go on here. I will tell this story but just like usual, Im not using real names, as this is a small island and the word gets around.
Over the weekend we had a run in with our wonderful
NOT... Neighbors. Lets call them Mom and Dad BandPeople. He is a strange person. He doesn't work, but stays home and lets his wife support him and their now grown terrorist teenage sons, and their girlfriends, one of which in a rage ran her SUV through another neighbors rockwall fence causing huge damage, and nothing seems to be able to be done about it as far as we know as the girl is a blue tarp person (technically homeless). We hear "Dad " (I use the term loosely as he hates these boys and says often that he wishes that he had never had kids and that they are the cause of all of his misery. Maybe he should have thought of that before he kept siring them ) There are altercations constantly, yelling, cursing at the top of their lungs ( This man wins the contest we used to have as teens of how many times can you use the "F" word in a sentence...27 times is a row he said it one night...) " Dad" also is a locally well known musician who has his own band, and has been used to rehearsing them whenever he feels like it, all hours of the day and night. When we first moved in we protested this to the association who gave us the name of his land lord and the name of the owner of the house. He is a tenant and has been there from some time. The association contacted Dad and told him to get over and make peace with us as we were about to talk to the landlords. ( Turns out he had a running feud with the previous owners of our house who sold to get away from him, but didn't tell us that...Nice eh? Hows that for Aloha?) I think that there has been a lot of trouble there, but I am getting ahead of myself.
We did make peace. We said that we wouldn't go to anyone with out going to him first about anything that we thought was a problem...Dad agreed to make peace and not play on Sunday, our day at home, as we observe the Sabbath and try to both get that day off. He has 6 days a week until 6 pm to rock and roll. It has gone well for a year and a half or so I thought.
Woody and I were asleep when we were startled awake by the sound of grinding wheels near our bedroom window. This chick with the SUV has been staying next door and we thought that she was on the rampage. So we ran out and low and behold it was Dad, moving his decrepit van right next to our window...We its about 15 Ft but the 1 foot high wall and the palm trees were no protection or noise block. Woody was livid but calm, and watched as Dad sat there revving the engine pumping exhaust into our house swearing, grinding the locking wheels. Woody went up to him and asked him if he knew what time it was and did he realize that our bedroom window was right there. He started cussing Woody out saying that we were the biggest trouble makers and that we were trying to run the block and who are we to say that he cant do this or that... I was stunned. This guy went on to say that we had not not kept our part of the bargan that there had been all of these complaints, everything from the band to that they were raising chickens and pigs...pigs?
I laughed, and said "no I don't think so, not pigs.. You can tell if someone has a pig by the smell"... He was going back to playing on Sunday. F__K us and whatever...He went on and on how we were the reason that he had all of these troubles and if we would just go back to the mainland where we belong
ah... There it is again.....He would be fine. Everything was fine till the house was built, but we have ruined it all...(the house was built in 1997 by other people, how can this be OUR fault and what does that have to do with this matter of 6am noise?) Woody could hardly get a word in as this madman ranted at us (quite like he rants at his sons, no wonder they are so angry?)
Woody told him he was sorry that he had all of these issues, but we were concerned about the girlfriend and her habit of turning walls into drive-thrus and didn't fancy her and her SUV as bedmates. Dad didn't hear anything but said we were liars and that we had broken our word, many times over and that he never had a problem with the neighbors until we came. Now for the last few years (we have been there less than two years but who's counting?) Hes had all of these complaints and its just us... At that point Woody said no that he had had to go to the police for another issue ( boy he really freaked out then "The Police! The Police! You went to the police about me. I knew it ! I knew it!!You lying fu--ing haoles(white people but he's white too, passing as a local Hawaiian)...No, we went as there is a peeping tom looking in our window....There was too, but that isn't the main reason we went to the Police. We were concerned that Dads kids were squatting in a house close to us using candles for light and the yard for a toilet...But we didn't say that.
Dad stopped ranting...and said " I knew it, that guy in the back, always cutting his trees, hes the one. Hes a peeping Tom." Im thinking "How does he know that? That house is an acre away, and Dads house is on stilts, way high. No one could look in. He's paranoid of everyone...he's certifiably crazy"
Woody said "Dad, when we gave our address, they said "oh you live next door to Dad and Mom BandPeople, we are always going out there for something," just like that. So things have been going on long before we got here and since we like the chickens (the wild chickens) and have worked out this arrangement with you about the band which has been fine with us, why would we mess that up and maybe there are other people that are not happy with the situation. We have never called the cops on you. So somebody must have.? We never filed a report on you the first time." He said he didn't believe us as he had had to come to us the first time and no one would have reported him and that we were the worst. Bad for the block which had always gotten along...(he ment put up with him) Woody said "How can we be bad for the block? We go to work, we come home, we go in the house, we stay in our house. No parties no groups of people comming over. We don't play loud music, have a noisy dog or burn our trash like a lot of people do around here. So why are we the bad ones? He said "Because you are neither patient or tolerant with anyone!" Like he is???? I cracked up laughing and walked away. But came back.
More cussing the sons. More apologies from us. Mom was out at this point. I waved at her way up on her balcony and said "Sorry to be meeting you like this...Hi" and she waved back. She started calling to her lunatic husband to come on... He started up about Sundays and she shook her head and called him again. It ended with Woody apologizing again, and he got Dad to shake his hand. So perhaps it did end on a good note
I worry that we will have a difficulty with Sundays now. I will just call the police and will report him to his landlord, telling the whole story. If he abides by the deal, I will hold my peace.
By the way his landlord is the same one that I have for the shop. Doesn't that make it easy. Will has dealt with me for a long time now and knows that I am neither a liar nor a troublemaker. These people are, but I feel sorry for the Mom.
And I think she feels for us, as Dad made gaff after gaff, she was helpless to stop it, just as we know that she cant stop the fighting with her sons and their father. What a shame it is. I feel badly for the sons... As bad as it was for us as we were growing up, my parents never never gave us any indication that we were not wanted. I said when Dad said that we were lucky to not have had kids, I said that I would have given anything to have had three sons like he had. That selfish bastard told me to take them. I wish that I could have years ago, to give them a proper home.
I was very worried about our house and the cats and all, but Woody the soul of reason in this situation was optimistic. Mom doesnt want the boat rocked and they are likely on the out with the Association due to the wall incident. Their youngest and Miss SUV were the squatters in the vacant house. After the row which resulted in the smashed wall they were told by the cops to get out and stay out. We saw the boy with his meager clothes walking dejectedly from the shack. The two older boys are one the Mainland now with family, Im sure that the youngest will join them soon.
Woody did good, really good. In fact I am so proud of him that the feeling has hung on the whole week. He was calm, and said and did everything that could be done to diffuse a very difficult situation.
It all really is about the people who are here hope that the people who come here like us, don't stay. We, the newcommers are the ones that ruin Hawaii. Well, its going to take a lot more than new faces to ruin East Hawaii. In fact, if ruining means the "Kaikodoization" of Hilo and all of the improvements that brings then bring it on. (restaurant Kaikodo is that beautiful restored building that I went to the meeting of Destination Hilo back in September, I know that I blogged about it)I know that the marginal people like Mom and Dad BandPeople fear that they will not be able to live here like the hippies they once were. (grow up for Petes sake...get real jobs or something...)
I want to write more about this idea that the locals want us to just give up and go home. Im not going. My life depends on staying and stay I will. Hawaii is my 'aina too.
November 08, 2003
Black and White Night
Its Black and White Night in downtown Hilo. This is like a jazz night themed block party. There is a scavenger hunt of sorts where everyone walks around and visits the participating shops and gets thats shop Identifying stamp. There are prizes for the one that collects all the stamps and for those that get up to 20, and some for the kids. Its a way to gain exposure for the stores before the holidays. We have enjoyed it. I am running a bogus drawing to gather names for the mailing list and to gain a bit of insight into what people like about the store. I will send every one a discount postcard to use for the prize.
Woody got wind of a position open at the car lot that he wants to work at. The word is that they want to hire a cousin, who is not really interested in the job. Woody Needs that job, but like so many places they dont want to give it to anyone but family or a local born and raised person. Its blatant discrimination, but the Law here doesnt care. It makes it so tough to survive here. People warned us but I wouldnt listen, I didnt believe that American Aparthied existed...but it does.
I wasnt able to have much of a meeting with Kathy Hammes last night, but I am going to try to meet with her next week.
November 06, 2003
Malama e Kapuna (caring for the elders)
I have a lot to blog about, a lot is happening, but the biggest news is that my Mom is going to a nursing home for full time care. Its a very sad day for her and for all that are involved. Mom is 71 and while that isn't old at all...(funny how are one gets older, you start thinking "well that isn't so old." when you were 20, 40 was "old" then 50, then 60...Im 41 so 70 isn't so old...) she has advancing aggressive Parkinson's. She's now at the place where she is having trouble taking care of her basic daily tasks like bathing dressing and meal prep. So,now its time. She could likely go into "assisted living" but its so expensive that we cant afford to help her on her modest Social Security income of 800.00 a month. So its a medical facility and the choices are not very good. Two to a room, no personal stuff and frankly a completely regimented life. I would go crazy and want to die if I had to be in that situation today. However I am not, and I know that he quality of life has really gone down hill. So she seems resigned to this and I am ok about it. My aunt Ima and my cousin (another aunt's son) Clarke, are flying out to help get her stuff sorted out and get her ensconced. My hapless brother has not been answering the phone at all or coming to the door when the building manager would walk over to see him. For Petes sake, my brother lives next door to Mom and hasn't seen her in nearly a year. Is that a crime or what? I think that it is.
My going out there is nearly impossible. I have no money, and I really don't want to go there now with the air pollution at its worst and frankly I have a business that I have to run or it will die right now. I actually have thought that I should just close the store today for good and be done with it as its likely to fail and I have this new kink in the works with Mom and all, but the advice that I have gotten in the last few days is to not be as concerned with this and let Steve and Mom handle this. I don't need to rescue anyone but myself right now. You know what, they are right...
I had the three days off and I feel a lot better about the store and things are a lot better today and yesterday. We have had the banging gate fixed and it is such a relief that both residents, the manager, and the business tenant next door have thanked me profusely. The acupuncturist next door must be glad ( she thanked me). The gate would bang so loud that it would startle her patients...Can you imagine getting needles stuck in you while a steel gate is banging off the hinges? It sounded like a bomb was going off... I would have fixed that thing a long time ago cost be damned. I am to get reimbursed, but if not that was the best 192.60 I have spent in a long while. I have had few problems with the gals above me mostly the silly radio being too loud. I just call the Super and he handles it and all is well.
As usual I have spent way too much time thinking about the situation with Mom. I would die with out my books, music, and silence. I would rather die and would arrange that perhaps... I don't know. I wouldn't want to live this way. I value my freedom too highly to give up...
Everything in her life will be changing. There is not one thing that will be the same. She has this idea that she can take a lot of her things when she will be able to take very little. She doesn't realize that she will never be allowed to be alone, not even to use the bathroom. The things that she likes to do, sew, play the piano, play her stereo, or TV will be limited or not available. She will have no money of her own, the state will take it all. The whole thing is wretched. I don't think she understands this and a month from now she will call me and be very upset but what can I do?
Kathy Hammes from the Small Business Development Center will be here today to do a site visit. Mostly as I cant be at her office. I am always glad to see her.
November 01, 2003
Weary in Well doing....
There is that verse where we are admonished to not become "weary in well doing." Thats is really hard for me right now. I have the "group" above me trying to get to me. They have played the TV loud enough for me to hear it through the floor. Congragated in front of the shop smoking and spitting...(these are mostly girls...so unfeminine that I thought that they were boys. they are likely lesbians...great I have a lez gang trying to run me out)... Just as well that I am getting out of here. The "girls" just brought in a load of beer(under age drinking in the Cunningham too).
No customers in today. I called Woody at home and told him that I was done and if he wants me to close up I will. I am so tired that my chest hurts and I feel like I am having a heart attack. I might be. Anyway. He said to give up early, which I have everything closed up and Im blogging so can post before I go home. I will check email too. I wasnt going to put us on line as Woody will be having lots of free time at home now, and I want him to help me around the house...But not having the internet at home really stinks....
Im taking a day off tuesday and Woody will be in the store in the afternoons weds and thursday. I have a ton of things to do at home and I really miss being there. I am ready to throw in the towel on the store. But I may feel differently Weds.