Sunday, December 31, 2006

 

My Best of 2006

Photo: Charles Pfeil

After reviewing this exciting, challenging and dramatic year, I have picked my fav's and Best Of 2006 to share with you. Some were easy picks and others were more complicated, but I finally came up with my 'best-of's 2006', so here goes:


Best Book
: Nora Ephron's "I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts on Being A Woman". Nora is a brilliant writer, and she comes from the same journalistic background of 'who-what-when-where-how school' as I do. She writes clean, easy-to-read, page-turning prose. I couldn't put the book down, and even if you've never lived in New York City or Washington D.C. where many of the stories are set, you'll enjoy her wicked sense of humor and scorching honesty about "life as a woman of a certain age."

Best Memorable Moment: Our group of four were invited for a private audience with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, at his home in McLeod Ganj, India. Spending up-close and personal time with this wise, kind & loving being was the meeting/experience of a lifetime.

Best Magazine Cover: Time Magazine's Person of the Year Cover shows a silver computer screen monitor which reflects the person looking at it. The copy reads, "You. Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world."

Best Adventure Catalogue: Hidden Trail's 2007 "Explore The World on Horseback". For horse lovers, this is a dream catalogue--trips to imagine and perhaps plan an unforgettable adventure in 2007? Several years ago we went on an 8-day Costa Rica horseback adventure using this company. We had a blast! Even looking at the back cover gives me goose pimples and a yearning for another horseback adventure. Check out the photo with the darling little girl with her face pressed against the muzzle of a beautiful black horse. Pure poetry!

Best Long-Desired Invention: Yves Rossy can fly through the air with his flying machine invention. This device has 4 model-engines under the wings and can fly at over 200 km/hour using light body movements. This is different from hangliders, paragliders and gliding wingsuits. On this website, you can watch Yves flying through the Alps. The long sought after dream of flying like a bird is now realized. The kinks are being worked out.

Best Ridiculous Announcement: Astronomers demote Pluto, our former ninth planet. Pluto is now considered by some as only one of a group of "dwarf planets".

Best New Easiest Way To Watch Videos Online: YouTube hands down-- the fastest to download, easiest to share.

Best New Word in My Vocabulary: BLOG! I am amazed how many people don't know this word! It really stumps people. Even after explaining what a 'blog' is to some, they still can't quite grasp the concept and the phenomena --which is a mystery to me.

Best Weird 'N Wonderful Television Show: Boston Legal because of the important issues addressed. The writing and acting are superb. The actors convey a wonderful sense of pathos.

Best Television Show To Entrap: Lost. I warn you--this show is addictive. You can't watch it once. You'll see. Don't tell me I didn't warn you. Of course, you will be as lost and confused as the rest of us, probably including the cast.

Best New Car: Scion tC because I own one. All things considered, this new model is full of great features & extras to add plus they have their own club. I haven't joined for I'm too busy blogging. Maybe in 2007? We'll see!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Friday, December 29, 2006

 

Wayne Brady Wows Us at the MACC


Wayne Brady performed his 11th performance on Maui, but last night was the first time I've seen his improv touring act titled "Wayne Brady and Friends." Wow--was our three-some impressed with his talent and the show! We laughed so hard, nudging each other constantly with recognition of his comedic gifts as tears rolled down our faces.

This was my first time to watch Wayne in action as I had never viewed his successful tv shows "The Wayne Brady Show" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway". The show began with his co-comedians asking the audience for words from audience members. A male voice down the aisle from us kept shouting out the word 'conundrum', but because we were further back in the orchestra area, the word never registered with the man acknowledging words. The male voice kept shouting louder and louder this word, and as he did so, it became funnier and funnier to us. Zero recognition! Finally he got his friends in on the act, and they shouted out CONUNDRUM in a loud chorus! Still...no recognition! By this time, we were laughing so hard at their futility in being heard that we couldn't stop laughing-- hysterically! That was how our Wayne Brady show began!

And from there on, between Wayne's rapid-fire improv, physicality, singing, and collaboration with the two other team-member comedians, we (and the audience) were bowled over with the amazing groove they had going-on! It's always hilarious when a pro like Wayne brings audience members on stage to support a comedy skit. Unlike myself, lots of people always want to be in the spotlight and go up on stage. When you see your average joe and/or jane up there on stage with a comedian, they inevitably look goofy as hell even if the comedian is cutting them a little slack.

Our three-some needed a GOOD LAUGH to release after the stress of Christmas, and this Wayne Brady show appeared at the perfect moment in time.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

 

Thirteen Gifts I Received for Christmas Which I Love

Although I received MORE than thirteen gifts for Christmas which I love, I had to narrow the list down for this Thursday Thirteen meme. I took photos of the gifts, but I don't know if the photos truly reflect the beauty of some of these great gifts. Here they are with a little story attached:

1.

I received the gift of watching friends clowning around and having fun!

2.

I received the gift of spending much of Christmas Day with my beautiful daughter and her handsome fiancee.


3.

I received a Sharper Image ultrasonic jewelry cleaner from Bob.

4.

Bob and I received this turtle which slides open to reveal a compass inside (from Cambodia) from Nancy & Tom.



5.

I received this Shark Cordless Vac from Bob....this will really come in handy!



6.

I received this darling purple mermaid from Nancy (the bigger one in the background I received from Sherry). I love mermaids, and so I get them a lot as gifts, and I have a large mermaid collection--everything from paintings to objects to Christmas tree ornaments. Hopefully,one of these days my mermaid book will be finished.


7.

I received this oriental-faced piggy bank from Genvieve. The reason is because I took one of these on-line mini tests recently--an email which was sent to me. You pick animals, etc., and then you get the results by which animal you picked first and second and last. I picked pig last which signifies money, so Genvieve decided I needed to focus more on money this year, and thus she got me lots of pig gifts.



8.

These are Harley Biker Salt and Pepper shakers from Gen. Pig images are beginning to proliferate all over my home because of Gen. Will these images subconsciously help me to earn more money this year? We shall see!



9.

This elephant clock with their tusks and trunks entwined is from Sam. Supposedly the symbolism of elephants this way is great feng-shui.



10.

This beautiful crystal lotus candle holder is from Nancy.



11.

This three-foot tall Celtic Santa is from Bob. I LOVE it!



12.

This gorgeous woven art scarf is from Sherry, but the photo I took of it doesn't even begin to do it justice. The manufacturer is Linda Lundstrom who commissioned Canadian artist Juno, a formal traditional painter, to create this amazing scarf. This is what is written on the tag, "Taking "art off the wall", masterfully creates vivid jewel tone images on fabric. The "art" is the passion for the work and with attention to detail Juno's art is increasingly popular and sought after world wide."




13. YOU! I received readership and many visits from ya'll! Mahalo Nui Loa for stopping by my blog and checking up on me! I hope you enjoyed the gifts of links I left out for you to open every day!

To get the Thursday Thirteen code, click here.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

 

Another Christmas Came and Went




I have only one word left in me: Pooped!


Here's my last Christmas gift for you this Christmas season! Mele Kalikimaka one last time!

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

 

Another Day of Christmas Crowds


It's not even 8 PM here in the Islands, but I'm exhausted from another day of being "Out There" running around and participating in the pre-Christmas Craziness. So I'm going to cut to the chase with my gift to you today, and then go tuck into bed! Here's the link to 101 Classic Christmas Videos online!

Nitey-nite! Happy Christmas-Eve!

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

 

Christmas Shopping Blessings


For as long as I can remember, I've had what I call "parking angels". These are the angels who arrange the perfect parking spots for me quite near my destination. I continually blow my partner's mind by insisting he drive right near to the front of wherever we are going, having complete faith that my parking angels will have the parking space awaiting me.

And so it was again today. As we drove into the packed four-level parking garage at the Kaahumanu Center in Kahului, the main shopping mall on Maui, my partner groaned and said surely we won't find parking because already at the onset of the parking garage, the parking stalls were taken. I didn't flinch, and I told him to keep driving...and I reminded him ONCE AGAIN, my parking angels don't let me down. He has witnessed my parking angels in action through the years, and he still can't quite believe what they do.

So we drove exactly to where I wanted to go which is the third level where the ramp goes over to the Macy's door, and just as we got to where I wanted to park for ease, a car pulled out at the perfect moment. My partner shook his head in disbelief and wonderment. How do I do that? How do the angels arrange it? I don't know, but they are always on the job arranging miraculous parking spots.

We go inside to shop, and after deciding what we wanted to buy and our hands were holding many items, a clerk approached to help us. Little did we know that the line of shoppers waiting for the cash registers were already lining up, and by the time our clerk had commandered a cash register, we looked at the long line and went whooaaaa, we are blessed. We don't know how she found us in the very back of the store. We don't know how she managed to commander the cash register and get us checked out. It was another Christmas miracle! And this is how our day went--zero stress, mini-miracles all over the place and much laughter and joy.

As I promised a gift a day for you, my readers, up to and including Christmas Day, here is another silly Christmas link for those who like 'silly' and could use a smile.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

 

The Flame of Hope


What does the world need now? Hope! We need hope! Here's my gift for you today...a beautiful short candle lighting ceremony which speaks to our collective need for hope. May this brief video light your fire of hope within.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

 

My Silly Gift To You


When I think about what gifts to give others, I take into consideration the kind of person they are...what they need....what I can afford...what is available...what might really blow their mind....what would be most desired by them..how hard will it be to acquire an item...can I have it delivered...and on and on ad infinitum. In other words, I put a lot of thought into my gift giving and deliberate the many variables, all of which brings me to this blog and my gift to YOU every day INCLUDING Christmas Day!

Today I am gifting you a silly, funny gift. It is Simon Sez Santa. You can make this Santa do ALMOST anything! I don't know how this technology works. It's really amazing to me. This Santa gave me some chuckles, giggles and grins. Of course, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and an ancient Holy Day, so I'm feeling really good today and totally into the Christmas Spirit of Good Cheer.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

 

Gas Prices Gift


I know the following link isn't very much fun to consider, but it is another wee Christmas gift for ye from me! It's a practical gift. My gift links will continue through the Holidays. Some will be fun. Some will be silly, and yes...some will be practical.

This is pretty nifty.
Just enter your zip code in the site below, and it tells you which gas stations have the cheapest prices (and the highest) on gas in your zip code
area. It's updated every evening.

Gas Prices

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

 

Getting Human

Art courtesy of Love Peace Happiness

Like most people during this hectic Christmas season, having ENOUGH time for everything can be extremely challenging. This is why the GRINCH in me/us can jump out when we are trying to reach a Customer Service agent on the telephone about a problem, a return, a question, or whatever. Often I/you are left hanging on the phone (as happened to me recently) for LONG periods of time listening to Christmas music. Ordinarily I love Christmas music, but listening to this music while waiting for someone to answer--well, this very same music becomes extremely annoying.

This is why I was so delighted to Stumble Upon a fabulous site recently. Before I tell you about the site, let me tell you about Stumble Upon. It is free and is a feature of Mozilla Firefox...it's simply an add-on at the top of your computer tool bar. I have been enjoying it very much since I downloaded it onto my computer this past year, and every now and then, I stumble around and discover great websites. You will likely find me there--also with the moniker of Kuanyin.

So I Stumbled Upon the website Get Human. Get Human is strictly for the US right now, but maybe other countries have a similar one? In any event, I wish to rave about this very necessary and useful website even though I haven't used any of the numbers YET! Get Human gives you TWENTY pages of phone numbers to by-pass the annoying "being put on hold and listening to music" situation. I printed it out just in case this valuable site should suddenly disappear. I also printed out the information which is shared under tips: the Amazon.com, Pay Pal and eBay customer service numbers. Have you ever noticed they are almost impossible to find? Get Human also has a blog.

I feel I have already received an amazing present by discovering this website. And I hope I NEVER have to use these numbers, but given our present world, I might. Now I'm ready!

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Monday, December 18, 2006

 

Buying TIME at Christmas with Elf Names


Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is
Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com


I'm posting this little silly ELF Name thing today instead of writing a big blog because I've been SUPER busy wrapping, packing, helping Santa, and helping OTHERS. You can get your Elf Name too if you're a busy elf like me. Just click on the bottom!

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

 

Beautiful New Short Movie: Love Is The Way

Art courtesy of Love Peace Happiness

Please enjoy this exquisite new short movie created by my friends at Spirit Heart Sanctuary: Love Is The Way

Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas)

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

 

Maui Santa In A Jeep


Santa's often appear unexpectedly in vehicles other than your typical sleigh. Karl Kriegermeier of Kihei gives us the shaka outside the bank today, an omen for a good year!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a truly blessed, healthy and Happy New Year!



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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

 

A New Diet Plan



I read the most amazing news article today which I want to share with you. The title of this article is "Obesity May Be Contagious". Apparently the scientists have researched and located a pathogen called the "adenovirus Ad-37" and are suggesting it is the cause of obesity. Now we have a virus to blame, and we can forgive ourselves for not exercising enough, eating too much, or eating fattening foods. You can read the full article here at Live Science. Of course, they haven't suggested the cure yet, but we're half-way there.

I feel so much better. Don't you?

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

Cars of the Future?

Photo: terragalleria

I recently checked out some of the cars displayed on the website at the recent Alt Car Expo. This event just took place this last weekend in Santa Monica, California at the Barker Hangar, and supposedly it was "the largest presentation ever of hydrogen, electric, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol and high MPG cars." This is very interesting to me considering the situation we're ALL in, right? I mean...let's get REAL. We're gonna have to change to new vehicles.

Then I come across this other website called Knuttz with the Old Boy Toyz Gone Wild 'N Bad 'N Outrageous. I checked these vehicles out and went whooaaaa....we're at the Crossroads! You can't help but see it! The Polarities are Glaring!

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Monday, December 11, 2006

 

Layne Beachley Wins ASP World Surfing Title for 7th Time

Photo: terragalleria

Ok, for all you die-hard surfers out there, here is the link for the finals of the Billabong sponsored World Tour in which Australian surfer Layne Beachley won the world title trophy for "an unprecedented seventh time at Honolua Bay" on Maui. Click here for photos, videos and news of of the finals of the Billabong Pro Maui surfing competition.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

 

Movie Review of "The Holiday"



Admittedly my movie taste doesn't fit with the major movie-going population as I'm averse to downloading gory, bloody, horrifying, or terrifying images into my subconscious through a movie. Thus, I avoid LOTS of the more popular movies, and my taste in movies runs to funny, kiddy, adventurous (I look away for the scary segments), and romantic. Usually the movies I rave about which have given me my money's worth are given less than "hot" reviews by the movie critics. Witness the review given my favorite new movie "The Holiday" on Rotten Tomatoes:

"Just in time for the yuletide season, "The Holiday" provides a sugary treat for fans of chick flicks. Perhaps, say critics, a little too sugary. "The Holiday" tells the tale of two women who live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean; unlucky in love, they decide to swap houses in order to jump-start their lives. Love ensues. The pundits say the film has undeniable charm and a great cast, but is as predictable and fluffy as the day is long. It currently stands at 50 percent on the Tomatometer."

So much for what other people feel is worthy!
I'm gonna advise those of my ilk, my tribe and my tastes to go see "The Holiday". Our three-some laughed, CRIED, and walked out of the movie feeling GREAT! Isn't this what movies are supposed to do to you? Uplift? Inspire? Make you feel bettah and forget your life for a little bit of time? The reviews by movie reviewers of this movie would make us "The Simpletons." Maybe we're just not hard-core like them and prefer not to be terrorized and brutalized after paying good monies!

Even though it's an ensemble cast with great performances by Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, and even Dustin Hoffman in one scene, I feel Cameron Diaz steals the movie with her bravado and yes....cuteness! When did "cute" become a put-down as it is with MOST movie reviewers? Give me a break!

I won't give the movie away to you, but this is the word I wish you to pay attention to in the movie: GUMPTION. This word sums up the Movie Of The Season for me where most of the other movie offerings feel dark, dangerous, and deplorable.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

 

Freaky Friday You Tube Fruit Cake


Sharing with you today an hilarious You Tube video titled
"Ask The Fruit Cake Lady". She gives great comedic advice. Enjoy!

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

 

Thirteen Things to Consider For Christmas



1. Re-gifting. Some people consider this idea as being supremely tacky, but I feel it's an opportunity to share what you're not using. As long as the gift hasn't been personalized or used, why not?!

2. Check out this website for Toy Safety Tips which lists the Worst Toys.

3. Donate money and/or time to alternate causes. Tis the season when charities count on your generosity to make it through the year.

4. Get away from it all, and check into one of the resorts Concierge.com has picked as the World's Sexiest Resorts.

5. Send a consolation card to Andy Rooney who has been an Internet Hoax Victim. Read his story here. Heck, I liked the articles everyone kept emailing me which it turns out he didn't write!

6. Catch up on your reading. Read some of my Blogger Blogs. You can find them if you click on the link about Kuanyin near the top of this blog.


7. Go to the movies. After seeing the previews for "Apocalypto", I wanted to see what looked like a great movie--that is until I read the reviews. I now plan to spare myself the suffering of watching others suffer. "Happy Feet", "The Holiday", and "The Fountain" are more my style which have opened already--although a LOT more great ones are coming soon.

8. For your iPod loving friends, consider giving iTunes Cards. They come in different prices of $15, $25, and $50. Easy!

9. Here's another iPod or MP3 idea: give the gift of a RadioPlay FM transmitter which allows you to play your iPod or MP3 music through a car stereo.

10. Join a gym to work off the extra Christmas calories, or put an extra effort in portion sizes on your plates, or most radical of all: forgo ALL sweets & alchohol. Good luck!

11. Call someone you haven't spoken to in a long time and wish them Happy Holidays.

12. Check out the website of the New American Dream for holiday tips.

13. Or you could do as many did after Thanksgiving, participate in the Buy Nothing Christmas!

To join the Thursday Thirteen, click here.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

 

Mauna Kea Hotel Closes


Sometimes we hear news of the passing of someone or a closing of a famous place, and it hits us hard...even if we didn't know them all that well. Such was the case when I watched the television news report this past week and heard the famous Big Island Resort Hotel, the Mauna Kea, had been closed down, perhaps permanently. This sad news felt like the end of an era for me. Apparently an October earthquake wreaked heavy structural damage to this older hotel.

The blog in USA Today online by Larry Olmsted says it so very well, "Mauna Kea is not just any big Hawaiian luxury hotel. It is the oldest and most venerable golf resort in the state, and was once the flagship property of Laurence Rockefeller's Rock Resorts chain." You can read the rest of his blog here.

Here's my personal connection with the Mauna Kea Hotel. She was the FIRST resort hotel I ever visited in the Hawaiian Islands, and back then, she was the bomb. Beautiful antiquities and exotic Oriental and Hawaiian items and sculptures were artfully placed around the property. The hospitality and staff were amazing and communicated the warm "Aloha" vibe. I loved staying there, and I visited with TWO husbands on several vacations. Within my photo albums are photos of many happy moments I enjoyed at this beautiful Grand Dame of a hotel. One time I was driving around in a golf cart with a husband on the famous golf course, and because the day was hot, I had taken off my shirt with just my bikini top showing. Someone had reported me, and the golf club marshall showed up to tell me to put my shirt back on because I was distracting the golfers. Those were the days!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

 

Beat the Christmas Blues with Persimmons

Art Courtesy of Josephine Wall

I betcha very few doctors would give this advice: Go eat a plump, juicy persimmon to get rid of your Christmas Blues! This plan might not work for everyone, but if you're on Maui, persimmon-eating might be the best way to beat the blues.

Back to the Christmas Blues: I had them the other day. Bad. I tried my regular blues-beating-routine to rid myself of them, and now my Christmas Blues are gone. Persimmons helped. I've read a couple of online articles about how to survive the Christmas Blues, but none of them mention persimmons.

Every Christmas I get the Christmas Blues-- their appearance is as reliable as Christmas gifts. Since I can't blame my blues on the light--living on Maui as I do--I know MY blues aren't a seasonal affective disorder which impacts some people who live in colder, wetter environments. No, my blues are something else. However, I have learned ways to cope with them, and so when my blues show up, I sing along with Elvis (It'll be a blue, blue Christmas!), write down all the many people and things I'm grateful for, rest, and eat a Maui persimmon. If you're on Maui, there is a persimmon farm run by the Hashimotos in Kula on 1378 Pulehuiki Road. Walk-in customers are welcome. They also offer other persimmon products for sale. You might catch me there munching on one in case my blues come back.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

 

Sacred Land





These are the photos from the Keawalai Congregational Church in Makena, Maui. The church sits alongside the ocean with an ancient cemetery on the Church grounds. This is sacred, holy land, and it's a very uplifting and special experience to attend a service or a wedding here.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

 

Makena Beach

I started the series titled "My Favorite Beaches on Maui" many posts ago, but today I am picking up where I left off, and I am highlighting MAKENA BEACH!

The photos will lead you through the beginning of the perimeter of the beach from the parking lot to the beach itself. Here we go--put your flip flops on and journey with me to Makena Beach.








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