Trapped in Paradise – the DC Edition

Part travel blog, part philosophical musings. All tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness.


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Block parties and weekday hangovers

I meant to write about this yesterday but I was too hungover to get on my computer, let alone type out a coherent blog post.

The most fashionable dog in Hawaii

The most fashionable dog in Hawaii

This past Monday I partook in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Chinatown Honolulu. Every now and then Chinatown holds a huge block party where they shut down one or several streets and set up food vendors, live bands, and copious amounts of beer and liquor. (This obviously is geared toward the over 21 crowd and Hawaii is pretty aggressive about carding in general, but that doesn’t stop some parents from bringing their children –  in strollers, even! – to the party. I guess you’re never too young to learn debauchery.) Anyway, these are held on the big “partying” holidays like St. Paddy’s, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, and even some made up holidays like “End of the World Day” aka December 21, 2012, which I also attended. I mean, if the world is going to end you might as well go out in style with 1,000+ of your new friends, right?

I wonder what happened to those guys who spent their life savings only to wake up on December 22 and realize they're broke?

I wonder what happened to those guys who spent their life savings only to wake up on December 22 hungover AND broke?

The block parties can get a little monotonous since the same food vendors, bands, and even some street performers tend to show up. Still, they’re a pretty good time especially if you’re visiting the islands and want to get out of Waikiki for a night. (It’s roughly a $20 cab ride to Chinatown.) I believe St. Patrick’s day is the largest of these parties, although I cannot confirm that these were the same bands and street vendors from Mardi Gras since I was too busy drinking multiple shots of Irish whiskey so that I could hate myself the next morning. That’s the other thing – most of these parties take place regardless of what day of the week it is. Raging on Monday night? Pfffft. You’ve got to start this week out right.

Go home, St. Patrick. You're drunk.

Go home, St. Patrick. You’re drunk.

By the way, I was quite entertained by this article – it made me wonder, how on earth did the legend of St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland come about, anyway? Oh well, it makes for a good story… and a good excuse to drink Guinness. See you on Cinco de Mayo!

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The 55-year-old “bridezilla”

I have to apologize for not writing as regularly as I normally do. I’d usually be able to post once or twice a week during my down time at work, since my job is pretty mundane and even a caveman could do it. However, work had gone from zero to insanity over the last month, mainly because I was voluntold to help coordinate a commander’s retirement ceremony. I didn’t mind the extra duties at first, since this commander is pretty cheerful and I enjoy working with him. (He’s been in the service forever, so in my mind he’s like that crazy old grandpa who says and does whatever he wants just because he can.) However, as the weeks went on and I started meeting with him to set up the specifics, I’ve come to the conclusion that planning a military retirement ceremony is like planning a wedding, and the retiree is basically the bridezilla who wants the most ridiculous and difficult-to-obtain things.

Why yes, I want clowns and ninjas and a giant chocolate fountain and of course I want Putin to officiate. I want it all and I want it NOW!

Why yes, I want clowns and ninjas and a giant chocolate fountain and of course I want Putin to officiate. I want it all and I want it NOW!

I’d volunteered to put together the commander’s shadowbox. Again, initially I was glad to do it… until the guy chose a rather unconventional design, which wouldn’t have been bad except we started with only six weeks to put this together. That would be plenty of time in anywhere but Hawaii, but in the land of poor work ethic and no sense of urgency, I couldn’t find a place that would build an octagon-shaped shadowbox with the flag displayed smack in the middle in less than two months. As it turns out, that particular design is only available off the shelf from an engraving shop in Virginia Beach, which means we get to pay an arm and a leg to have it shipped to Hawaii. The other two coordinators aren’t happy that so much of our budget is going towards this, but despite my best efforts to talk the good commander out of a silly-looking shadowbox shaped like a stop sign, in the end he’s the retiree and like that crazy bride, he gets whatever he wants. At least he didn’t ask for it to be made out of pricey koa wood.

As it turns out, this was only the beginning. For instance, I spent a good part of the day last week sending a fax to the office of the Texas governor requesting a personal retirement letter from Rick Perry, never mind that the commander is actually a California resident. Details, details. And who even uses fax machines nowadays?!

I always thought this was how you use a fax machine

I always thought this was how you use a fax machine

On the upside, I’m finally getting a bit of a break – I’m heading to San Diego for the weekend for a friend’s wedding. Oh, I do miss the mainland. Happy Friday indeed!