The Anti-Climactic End of Winter Break 2012

It’s official. I’m in my classroom. The upside: I’m in shorts and no students until tomorrow. It’s barely a sliver. I suppose I’ll go in reverse order of events.

Strangely attractive...

Strangely attractive…

Sunday Night/Monday Morning: I did everything I could to set myself up for success. I did not take a nap yesterday afternoon in hopes of assuring myself of going to bed at a decent hour. Well, when it came time to actually get into bed, I wasn’t tired. That’s when I decided that I could handle a two-and-a-half hour movie because I’ve only got a workshop then a meeting today. I can do that in my sleep. Not literally, sadly. Anyway, I opened up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – the American version starring Rooney Mara (left). It’s exactly the kind of movie I can’t watch whenever Madison is around: hyper-violent, dark, and filled with sordid adult situations.

It’s a really messed up movie, but compared to the graphic detail of the novel – I’ve read all three – it was actually kid of quaint. I understand that completely. To film the novel in accurately would have made the movie about a half-step away from pornography in some parts. I was generally unimpressed. My attention kept wandering to this Finding Nemo “reef building” app that was supposed to be for Madison. I’m obsessed with it. I debated whether to bring the iPad to work today just to check up on my reef. The debate lasted 10 seconds and the iPad is at home. You’re growing up, Phil (pats self on back).

Anyway, as I was watching James Bond and Mark Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend run around the screen, I kept trying to think how I would have felt about this movie had I not had some kind of pre-existing expectation for it. I don’t know. And then because I am who I am, I spent something like 15 minutes after the movie looking for news on the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, only to learn that it’s currently in re-writes. So then I couldn’t sleep until close to midnight. My alarm went off at its usual 4:30 in the AM. When I arrived at Damien, the gate was locked, the back gate was locked, and so I ended up playing Bejeweled on my phone for thirty minutes. Whoo. Tell this roller coaster to slow down.

It's officially a new year once Lynnette finds her Mr. Winkle calendar.

It’s officially a new year once Lynnette finds her Mr. Winkle calendar.

Sunday Afternoon: We had lunch at my parents’ house as usual for a Sunday. Lynnette and I left Madison there as we went to run a few errands. I love Madison, but we’re about 2,000 times more efficient when she’s not around. Just the way it is. Anyway, we had to pay the phone bill, Lynnette needed some kind of makeup, and that meant Pearlridge. Again.

The real highlight, though, was Lynnette’s procurement of the 2013 Mr. Winkle calendar. This is a long-standing tradition of hers. For those not in the know, Mr. Winkle is an impossibly small dog with a rather large tongue for a pup his size. His owner dresses him up and poses him in various situations – not at all unlike what Lynnette and I do to our child – and makes money by including these pictures in a calendar.

As Lynnette is wont to do, she waits until all calendar and gift items go down to 50% off before she swoops in and buys her beloved calendar. Yesterday, she picked up the last one on the shelf and spent five minutes or so alternating between happiness and patting herself on her back for getting a deal on the last one. True, it may not look like she’s happy in the photo, but that was because of a misunderstanding that she blamed entirely on me. Now, I don’t know if that’s true, but for the sake of keeping the peace, I absolutely deserved this sour puss.

This place could be the setting of Crossroads II.

This place could be the setting of Crossroads II, starring Ralph Macchio as the devil.

Friday Night: The picture on the left is the view from my bedroom window. There is a three-way intersection just beyond that wall there. It is possible that this intersection is a gateway to hell. For whatever reason, people absolutely love to burn out at this intersection. I doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is. In the silence that envelops my area of Mililani Mauka, it is common to hear it broken by the screeching or tires. By the time I get to the window, I will often see taillights headed up the road. I don’t understand why this is so.

Once, I actually saw an accident happen from my window. A car was speeding from right to left, missed the right turn, but tried it anyway, then ended up curbing it on the wrong side of the street. A bewildered teenager emerged from the passenger side of the car, took a few steps, then collapsed on his ass and held his head in his hands. He was probably glad he was alive. A few hours later, a tow truck came to remove the car which had been resting on the curb like a ship run aground.

Most recently – something like two nights ag0 – I was awoken from my sleep by what sounded like a teenage male screaming at the top of his lungs. I peered through my blinds into the intersection. Sure enough, the were bodies moving in the intersection. It was 2 in the morning. I heard the voice shout the following things:

F*ck Mililani. I lick everybody.

And then when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did:

Wai-nae!

And then another voice chimed in:

Nanaku-li!

And then there were the hushed tones of a teenaged girl begging them to be quiet. It died down shortly thereafter. By now, the chances of falling back asleep immediately were at zero. What the hell would possess someone to do that? (probably alcohol, maybe a girl, likely a combination of the two) I don’t want to say this kind of thing happens often, but there have been several instances during which Lynnette and I have been stirred from sleep by yelling and threats of violence. I don’t think it’s ever come down to actual violence, but still. This kind of thing never happened in Aiea. The only thing I can think of is that Mililani is full of teenagers and young adults. I grew up surrounded by older families whose kids had moved on long ago. Sixty-five year old Japanese people are just less likely to start shit at 2 in the morning, I guess.

Incidentally, the other gateway to hell was locked this morning.

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