Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Now We're Cooking!

As I write this, Barack Obama is being called the winner of the Presidential election. America voted for HOPE in these tumultous times. It's been the most exciting election in my voting history, probably yours too, and I feel such a sense of relief and yes, hope, that maybe, just maybe the paradigm has finally shifted for the better. It has become more and more apparent that things are falling apart around us and we need a new recipe...and chef.

I flew to Honolulu on Sunday on a leaky Hawaiian Airlines plane. Yes, literally leaking on us. Oddly it wasn't raining outside. We weren't even in the clouds at the time. I just hope it was WATER that was dripping down the the passengers. The flight attendant passed out paper towels. One passenger had the inflight magazine on her head like a rainbonnet. That was a first for me after 50 years of flying. Crazy!

The irony is that the book I brought onboard to read was a "Monk" book. If you've seen the TV series or read the books, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I sat there and smiled, thinking of how Monk would be reacting to droplets of an unidentified liquid falling on him from the airplane ceiling.

I think I'm Monk-ish in many ways and I noticed that while opening the tiny complimentary juice cup (to be discontinued soon, I'll bet). If you open it too quickly, juice splashes on you. You have to tilt the cup away from you a bit, then slowly pull off the foil. After drinking the juice, I neatly nested Jordan's cup into my own napkin-stuffed cup. Have you ever seen the late Phil Hartman's "Anal Retentive Chef" routine? He did this one bit on how the AR Chef throws away vegetable trimmings (wrapped neatly up, placed in a paper bag, folded over neatly then scotchtaped, etc.). Can you imagine the AR Chef meeting Rap Reiplinger's "Aunty Marialani"? Hey maybe like the Rock 'n Roll band in heaven, Rap and Phil are doing some hilarious cooking up there.

But I digress... I was talking about leaky planes. What this world is coming to IS leaky planes, $100 to fill our gas tanks, tainted food, schools with no supplies. Or how about 50 people in a standard 4-bedroom house like the one that collapsed in Kalihi last week? I was horrified to read that these people were paying $500 per month to live in a tarped-wall room built with pipes and scaffolding!

About a year ago a local news station urged viewers to write in a question to suggest topics and my question was chosen. I asked if Hawaii couldn't have rent control. When will the madness end? Someone ought to tell the legislature that Hawaii is an ISLAND state. There's no packing up and driving until you find a place you can afford to live. No driving to another state that has cheaper rent, everyone's pretty much stuck here so something has to be done. On top of our own local people being stuck homeless, there's evidence that Mainlanders are coming here to be homeless because of our warm weather. Hopefully now that Obama is President and Government is more likely to be viewed as "the solution," we can work on this problem as well as others.

I try hard not to be upset at how Kauai and our Hawaii is changing. We've lost so much of our paradise to development. My mantra is "It's part of the process," and I wish I could remember the writer who told the story of meeting a Tibetan monk who had witnessed atrocities committed by the Chinese soldiers invading Tibet. The writer asked him why he seemed to harbor no hate for the Chinese and the monk simply said what happened in Tibet was "part of the process of Life." [Adrien Monk would hardly have the same attitude so his name was ill-chosen.]

Buddhists might be viewed as "wimps" who complacently accept and don't fight back, but it's not as simple as that. Understanding what is "part of the process" and then accepting it if you can't change it, is, I believe, a major ingredient to a happy, healthy life. Take that and cook it, Rap and Phil!

This video is "Aunty Marialani's Cooking Show" by the late great Rap Reiplinger. He was a comedic genius who left us much too soon in 1984. Look up more of his work online!

video

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