- How have you recently kept yourself in check?
Uggggh. I’ve been seeing my doctor for a few issues lately. It began with a routine checkup, which led to some blood work, some encouraging numbers and some discouraging numbers, some more blood work, some mostly encouraging numbers (ruling out some bad stuff, whew), and some calm advice for adjusting the bad numbers, most of which involves my intake of two things I’m rather fond of: caffeine and carbs. So for the past two and a half weeks (excluding yesterday) I’ve really been good about checking my craving for caffeine. I’ve mentioned in this space a few times that I’ve never had a problem going cold turkey on caffeine — no withdrawal or DTs or anything — but it does make me quite happy when I consume it. Alas. I’ve also replaced most carby sides with greens. I love me some broccoli, arugula, and kale, but they do not please me quite the way noodles, rolls, or RICE do. I’m half Japanese. We are practically religious about rice. But you know. My doctor says for the most part we are fine-tuning, and that’s the kind of encouragement I need. Life’s a pain but I’d like to stick around for as long as I possibly can. There are too many things on the Cheesecake Factory* menu I haven’t tried yet.
- What’s the closest thing to a castle you’ve been in?
Structure-wise, there probably isn’t anything remotely like a castle in my experience, having spent my whole life either in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or on the West Coast of the United States. But this lovely island state used to be an island nation, and it had an elected, constitutional monarchy, and the monarchy resided in a palace, which I have visited more times than I honestly cared to, most times chaperoning ninth-graders on field trips. Iolani Palace is a huge part of our history here and while it’s no castle, I imagine castles as the abodes of royalty, as are palaces. It’s a lovely building with a lovely history, and if you visit Hawaii you really should check it out.
Oh wait a minute. Castle Park. A water park (believe it or not) in Honolulu in the 80s and 90s. You entered through a large castle-like building, which was the very cool arcade where my friends and I wasted a lot of money before high school football games (the stadium was across the street). Game tokens there were called Coins of the Realm. It’s since long gone, filled in, and replaced by a K-Mart. Which has been since replaced by who knows what?
- What were the circumstances the last time you were hoarse?
Wow. It’s been a very long time, I think. I was sick with a very bad cold about fifteen years ago, during which I went hoarse for a few days. I missed two weeks of teaching, and it was the time when I kind of ghosted Mochi Girl, something I’m not proud of. We were headed that way anyway; the long illness just hastened things. She wanted to offer me some comfort and care. I wanted to be left alone. At least we agreed on one thing: I was not worth her concern!
- What’s your favorite song by Queen?
I hate to admit this these days because the song’s a bit problematic, but it’s probably still “Fat Bottomed Girls,” ‘though in recent years I feel “Somebody to Love” and “I Want to Break Free” inching their way past it.
- For what will you likely pay a king’s ransom in the near future?
Well I’ve already gone a bit overboard on some Christmas gifts (I’m trying to get my shopping done before the first of December), and when I’m Christmas shopping, I make a supreme effort not to buy things for myself. Once I get the gifts paid for, I need a new refrigerator and I need some work on my car. I’m also ordering new glasses by the end of the year, and the last two pairs I bought were more than $400 each. I can’t imagine I’ll spend less this time around. That really does seem a bit much.
* I use this establishment’s menu as a metaphor. I’ve only dined there twice, and while I liked it quite a bit, it’s in a part of town I just don’t care to drive through. Plus the line is crazy.