Tuesday, July 12, 2011


 Image by Christine Denck 

I'm usually too busy or distracted to prepare for my own death.  I think about it often, especially now that I'm "past my prime," but haven't really taken the time to actually put things all together.  Sure, Phil and I have Living Wills and a Last Will and Testament (as it is formally referred to), but they desperately need updating.  That was when we took Mits Aoki's  course on Death & Dying and prepared our own funeral and stuff.  But, Golly Miss Molly, that was so long ago and everything has changed since.  So when Phil and I were working through a health challenge recently, we started mulling again over our death (we're experts at mulling, not so good at action).  

Phil said that he did not want to die precipitously; he wanted time to prepare.
"How much time would you need?" I asked.
"A month." was his answer.
"Well, then," I suggested, "let's take a month off to die.  Let's just act like we're dead already."

It took quite a while to convince Phil that we could make it fun.  For a Roman Catholic, that's blasphemous, what all with Hell and Limbo hanging in  the balance, and not dying before you get your Last Rites administered!  I don't care if you have ten college degrees, this early childhood brainwashing is lethal.  Not that Phil would ever cop to still be under the church's influence, but jeez, ask any Catholic.

So here we are.  Today is our first day.  This post is coming to you from my dead self.

Drawing of me by my son, Phillip Schalekamp
We've cleared our calendar of all work-related stuff and are focusing only on issues and activities directly related to our death and dying.  Wish us Happy Trails as we wend our way through the Waikiki of Death & Dying.

Monday, July 11, 2011



Busking, or street performing, is a centuries-old tradition going back to times when wandering minstrels and bards traveled from place to place and acted not only as entertainers but also as news reporters and message bearers. The term ’sing for your supper’ could have originated at this time, when it was common practice for inns and stall holders to pay the busker with a meal and/or a bed for the night, instead of money. 

This afternoon I decided to check out the buskers in Waikiki in front of the International Marketplace.  There were the usual "statues."  A hard job, I think, standing still.  The guy in the photo below was smart; he chose to be a "sitting statue."  On the other hand, he did not attract a lot of attention.

This busker was especially entertaining.  Every time someone put money in his can, he would step on the horn that was taped to his podium.  The horn would make the strangest sound, something between a dying pig and a cat in heat.  Very clever.  First of all, it got people's attention and made them curious.  Secondly, it made people want to give him money so that he would make that noise again.  He would then go into a fancy routine of twirling his gun and inviting the donor to stand on the podium with him for a photo op.

Then... I ran into the most magical musical performance!

The busking duo of “Tanya & Dorise”!!!  
Dorise Blackmon on guitar and Tanya Huang on violin.  
O. M. G. !!!  

They gave us a virtuoso performance.  They had just arrived from New Orleans (their first day in Hawaii!) and they were drawing the crowds.  I wish I had had a video cam.  Instead I bought two of their CD's and would have bought the third if I had had more cash on me.  Best music I've heard in a long time.  Passionate.

 They said they were here for two weeks.

This darling plastic lei seller started dancing to the music, 
straight-faced and untiring.  Priceless!

Friday, July 8, 2011


 A jumper in midair

Even though the signs say, "No Jumping," there is always plenty of jumping happening from the pier.  Today was no exception.  The wind was fierce, the waves were wild, and the pier was full of action. 

Oh, to be young and fearless...

I would be more like this:
Guess my jumping days are over

This is more my style now
What kind of game are they playing?
Does anyone know?  It's something with numbers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


These are the best of my quick point-and-shoot pictures from a moving car, taken around noon on the Fourth of July.  Waikiki was relatively quiet until you came to Kapiolani Park. 

After the intersection of Kalakaua and Kapahulu, the tent city of picnickers began.  Fireworks were not starting until 8:30 PM and the beachside of the park was already crowded at noon.  I thought of coming back later to really check out the crowd, but we went to see Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" instead.  Way more fun than joining the crowds watching fireworks.  The movie is fabulous.  Go see it.

Monday, July 4, 2011


 I decided to plant a bunch of flowers for a change.  Still have the strawberries, Malabar spinach, green onions, thyme, collard greens, ong choi, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, and a young Geneovese basil plant.  But I'm craving color now.  So here come the marigolds and petunias!

If I had planned ahead, I would have planted 
red, white and blue flowers for the Fourth of July.
Oh beautiful for spacious skies...