A Lunch Date With Uncle Paul!

Weeks ago, I made an appointment for maintenance on the Highlander for today. It was the only way I could think to save us the trouble of trying to make accommodations for travel during the work week. The earliest opening was 8:15, and though I knew that getting Madison up that early on a three-day weekend was going to be a pain in the ass, I took it anyway. Better first thing in the morning than in the middle of the day. I got up fairly early this morning to make sure I gave myself room to use the bathroom (I felt it coming in bed last night) and also to get my contacts in my eyes.

The most traumatic experience related to contact lenses came during my sophomore year of college. My roommate Brett had just received contacts and was having trouble consistently getting them into his eyes. One day, he was locked in an epic struggle of wills between himself and those villainous contact lenses. He was in the bathroom alone with the doors closed. At first we head mild oaths and growls of anger. In time, however, the battle would swing decidedly in favor of the contact lenses. My other two roommates already used contacts so they could empathize. I did not, so it Brett’s war cries and threats directed in the general direction of the contact lenses were amazing. There were rhetorical questions aimed at inanimate objects. There was slamming of doors and punching of walls. Neither the RAs nor Public Safety arrived on scene, but there was a moment or three where I thought they might. In the end, Brett walked out with red eyes and contacts in them, victorious. As for me, it’s still new to me, the idea of touching my eyes on a regular basis.

First time at Mocha Java Cafe!

First time at Mocha Java Cafe!

On the final day of a three-day weekend, I’ve always favored taking it easy. I never want to go all-out with something because I never want to have to go all-out with cleaning it up. We drove two cars into the town and dropped off the Highlander. We coasted (why can’t all mornings be like this one?) to Ward Centre and had breakfast at Mocha Java Cafe, another first this weekend. The three of us split a breakfast croissant and 7-Up. A few minutes later we arrive at Ala Moana and bumped into my friend Brian, another LMU alum. He and his wife seem mildly shocked that Madison was drinking soda at 9 in the morning. Granted, that was because she was shouting at them about the cool whole in the back of her Roxy Dress. I wanted to tell them that she’s like that all the time and that it had nothing to do with the sugar, but who would have believed that?

The tenor of this image changes dramatically depending on which song you imagine is playing in the background. Here, give it a try. I suggest "Circle of Life," by Elton John; "Only Time," by Enya; "Why" by Amy Lennox; "Rio," by Duran Duran; "The Tide is High" by Blondie; and "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains." See? Told you.

The tenor of this image changes dramatically depending on which song you imagine is playing in the background. Here, give it a try. I suggest “Circle of Life,” by Elton John; “Only Time,” by Enya; “Why” by Annie Lennox; “Rio,” by Duran Duran; “The Tide is High” by Blondie; and “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains.” See? Told you.

In the name of taking it easy, we walked around Ala Moana expecting to see sidewalk sales, but it appears we missed them. We had a few specific goals in mind, but took our time completing them. First and foremost, I want to give Lynnette, my wife, a shout out for executing self-discipline today. Other than meals, she didn’t purchase a single thing for herself today. Maybe that’s because we’ve got a Valentine’s Day coming up. I can’t really dole out any praise for Madison in the same vein because she got a balloon at Old Navy and she made it her personal mission to poke herself and other people with the plastic stick it rested on.

Queen of the Samples.

Queen of the Samples.

Whenever we go to Costco, Madison is a psycho about the acquisition of samples. It’s fascinating, really, because she is willing to eat food that she would never choose on her own if given options. It’s as if there’s something about free food being parceled out that makes it more desirable, even if in real life, she’d block our attempts to feed her the exact same stuff by saying “I don’t like it,” or “I’m not a fan of that,” or “I don’t know what it tastes like.” It’s like she takes pride in her toothpick collection.

That’s why Big Island Candies is her favorite store at Ala Moana. She does a tour of the store, taking samples she’s interested in one at a time. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable because the associates must be pissed, but then again A) they leave out the samples, and B) Madison says thank you so energetically, they can’t really be mad.

"You're a gooooood giiiirl!"

“You’re a gooooood giiiirl!”

The mall was mostly empty so Madison took advantage of this situation by playing some Just Dance in the Windows Store. She’s gawked at other people doing the exact same thing in the past, and I guess the opportunity was something she simply couldn’t pass up. A sales associate kindly set up the system for us and Madison did her best attempt at “Blurred Lines.” I think she earned a rating of “Cute.” That’s what Lynnette said, anyway.

When we walked past the Windows Store on the way out, a man in his 20s was playing Madden. It looked like Broncos vs. Seahawks. Dude, nice. Since we’re here, as a Dallas Cowboys fan and Tony Romo supporter, I am absolutely aghast that I haven’t seen any “Colin Kaepernick Sucks” memes! Guy threw interceptions on the two most important drives of the season! I demand photoshopped images of Romo and Kaepernick at a Starbucks crying into their lattes.

Good times!

Good times!

At yesterday’s weekend lunch at my parents’ house, Matty, Paul, and I spoke about trying to meet up at Ala Moana today for lunch. Matty has been sick all week and decided to stay home. Paul, made it, though, and Madison was thrilled to see him. As it turns out, Paul had brief shopping agenda, too. It was fun to hang out with him. I’ve been happy that he moved back home, and even though he’s a high-priced lawyer now, he goes out of his way to spend time with Madison.

When he was still pursuing his degrees in Oregon, I used to make the joke that he “didn’t care enough about his niece to live in Hawaii.” I knew it wasn’t true, but I knew it rankled him. We had a good conversation at lunch about the possibility of him becoming the first “townie” from our family, and how getting his own place would also mean he would be the first person from our family to own a 70″ television, which would also mean that I”ll be at his house every Sunday during football season. Thanks for spending the day with us, Paul. Think about scaling it back to a 60-incher. Madison’s college tuition is going to be expensive.


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