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Sunday, February 21, 2016


Life in the USA is about as good as it gets, more so today than, say, a century ago.  It's even better in Hawaii with our weather and people.  And finer yet if you're retired and lucked out into a cocoon such as 15 Craigside, where you can control your room temperature, have someone once a week clean your room, change your bed and replace the sheets and towels.  Three meals a day are provided, but I decided that for the limited period left in my life, I have sufficient funds to eat what I want, so I might dine in only for dinner, which, incredibly, and unexpectedly, is a party every night.

So yesterday I decided to drop by Hawaii's Best Kitchens next to Rainbow Drive-Inn to order their gigantic huli-huli chicken plate.  While I walk on the Ala Wai Golf Course twice/week or so, my lunch spot is at a lookout near the lower part of Diamond Head (Waikiki is to the right), with a magnificent view of surfers below:

That half-a-chicken actually sticks out of the bento box.

I then drove to Kahala Mall to see 45 Years, a movie Rotten Tomatoes reviewers bestowed a 97 rating.  There is nothing else playing today with anything close to this score.  The current Star Wars is at 92.  Charlotte Rampling has a Best Actress nomination in the 88th Academy Awards ceremony next week Sunday.  Both she and Tom Courtenay won the best acting prizes at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Charlotte Rampling, 70, has had quite a life:
  • First movie appearance in the Beatles' Hard Days Night (1964).
  • Was close to her sister, who committed suicide at the age of 23.
  • In Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980).
  • In the movie Max mon amour, (1986) fell in love with a chimpanzee.
  • Suffered a nervous breakdown in 1997 after divorcing her second husband, French composer Jean Michael Jarre.
Sir Tom Courtenay, 79, made a big splash in the 60's with The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).  He received a knighthood in 2001.

Frankly, while I related to all those 1960 hits, most which came on meaningfully as an integral part of the movie, the film itself I found mostly boring.  I dozed off a couple of times.  I couldn't quite understand the British language so missed a lot of the dialogue.   The entire cast could have come from 15 Craigside, but were English.  These were the six days leading to Kate and Geoff's 45th anniversary celebration, but he on Day One received a letter in German informing him that his girlfriend of 47 years ago, who had accidentally fallen into a glacier crevasse on their final hike, had been found, relatively unchanged encased in ice.   

(The following is my interpretation of what was happening in the movie.  I could be wrong, but I'm perhaps giving away the ending.)

Rampling plays a stable wife who is so affected by that letter she slowly begins to lose it.  Nothing terribly obvious.  Just tiny mannerisms.

It seemed in this relatively short film (1 hr 36 min) that some major trauma or incident was waiting to happen.  Maybe some clue that Geoff, in fact, murdered his girlfriend, who through Kate's snooping, is seen in a slide to be pregnant.  But, no, at their party they have the first dance to the entire Platters' Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, the same song from 45 years ago at their wedding.  While everyone, including Geoff, carries on in nostalgia and satisfaction, Kate, in those final minutes, has apparently reached the freezing or tipping point, and glaciates.  Something terrible might have happened if the movie went on for just a few more seconds.  Then again, these were my emotions.  Perhaps in reality their lives could well have moved on without incident, for most who have survived that long have learned to optimize their future.

Ah, but my day did not end there.  I had ordered  15C takeout (for which I paid $1.50) the previous night of lau lau. chicken long rice, lomi-lomi salmon and haupia (if you really want to know what those dishes are, click on LUAU), and had that meal with a plate of sashimi I bought at Marukai on my way home from the movie.  I might add that on Tuesday morning Marukai begins to again sell Miyazaki beef, the best in the world!  Through the early part of this feast I watched two University of Hawaii games on television:
  • The UH Men's Basketball team edged out Cal-Irvine (they have a 7 ft 6 inch center, another 7 ft 2 in center, and two months ago started the tallest team in the history of college basketball).  Hawaii is now #1 in the league with a 22-3 record.
  • The UH Men's Baseball team beat New Mexico in 11 innings, 4-3.
Then today I went to Sushi King for lunch.  I park close to the UH baseball stadium because I have an E-permit, which allows Emeritus people to practically park anywhere they want, then walked to the restaurant.  I had their lunch combo:  Zaru soba and miso salmon collar.  I also had a hot sake and cold beer.  I like hot and cold combinations.  This was the best Japanese meal I've had since I was in Miyazaki this past September.  The restaurant is almost misnamed, for they are  best known for their lunch and dinner specials.

I then went to the Rainbow Baseball game against New Mexico.    Score?  Don't ask.

Being retired, my current vacation continues tomorrow, Monday, when I plan to golf at Ala Wai.  In a little more than a month I will be flying to Japan to enjoy two weeks of Cherry Blossoms.  Here is a photo I took five years ago at Shinjuku Park, one of sites of Pearl's Ashes, a future book:

After devastating Fiji with 180 MPH sustained winds, killing ten, then Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston still remains dangerous at 130 MPH:

Computer projections show Winston weakening, but at some point in his southern journey, make a right turn and head for....Brisbane.  However, chances are he'll dissipate before reaching Australia.


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