Monday, January 26, 2009

LOST set pictures

Alissa and Jon stumbled onto a LOST production set yesterday while out on the motorcycle. There weren't any actors around, but they did see Dharma vans, the Others' houses, Survivor's Beach (no camp there), and some covered production cameras.

Alissa was thrilled. She has just recently become interested in LOST, and the fact that there are celebrities on this island is even more exciting. (We've only seen one in person, but still...)

If you are on Facebook, you can see more of the pictures in my profile. If you aren't, Facebook says that you can see the pictures by clicking here:

I haven't tried this link (since I am on Facebook), so if you can't view the pictures, let me know and I will try to post a slideshow one night this week.

Hope you all are well, my eyes are tired so I am going to bed...Good night!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

LOST is back tonight!

LOST is back on the air tonight! After an almost 9 month long hiatus, it's back. If you're a fan, you understand my elation. This show is crazy, confusing, twisting, and insane, and I love every minute of it.

OK, I wasn't a fan from the start. Jon and I started watching the show in 2004 when we moved to Clarksville. Then, he was abruptly sent to Iraq, and I sort of lost interest. There was too much to worry about while he was gone. For a year, I copied the episodes to DVD for him, but I didn't watch. It just wasn't high on my list.

Then, in 2007 I got interested again, in the latter part of season 3. Why? Probably because there wasn't much else to watch on TV at that time. TV has become full of reality-show crap. Idiots who go on shows and make fools of themselves: trying to find a bride in 6-weeks, vying for the attention of an 80's rock star, strangers living in a house and making crazy decisions. Yuck!

So, we tuned back into LOST for season 4. Boy was I hooked!

The show is that much more attractive to me because it films here on Oahu. It is commonplace to see a scene on the show and say, "HEY! I've been there!!"

  • We ate at the Chili's where Locke met his mother in Season 1.
  • We shop every month at the Costco that doubles as Locke's "Toy Warehouse" place of employment.
  • While at her day job, my neighbor and her co-workers stood on the street outside their office building and watched Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly film a car scene in Downtown Honolulu. (That scene will appear in one of the first 4 episodes of this new season.)
  • Jon saw the blue Dharma VW vans (complete with Dharma logo) on the freeway just last week, heading toward our side of the island!
  • And, the season 4 finale (press conference with the Oceanic 6) filmed literally down the street from here, at Barber's Point NAS.
I even met Daniel Dae-Kim at the Honolulu airport last May (see original post here).

I guess it's the closest that I will ever come to meeting a movie star, or being on a Hollywood film set, so it is ultra-exciting. My sister thinks I should take the LOST set tour or scout the island for filming locations and hidden glimpses. I personally am just fascinated with the stars being on the same island as me. Anything else - meeting them, seeing props driving down the freeway - is just a bonus.

So, we've planned out the evening - quick, easy dinner with little cleanup. Early baths and night time chores. I will be parked in front of the TV promptly at 7:00 HST, prepared to sit still, content, and in an utter state of bliss for 3 hours.

I prefer not to call it an "obsession"; besides jogging, it is one of the few true enjoyments that Tiffany has for Tiffany. :-)

So, in the words of Andy Bernard from"The Office", (another fave), I'm preparing to "...get my LOST on."

See you there!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

(Not our) Moving pains...

*Note, because this news is so new, I am keeping the details vague until a later time...

We found out yesterday that very dear friends have received orders sooner than expected and will be leaving the island this coming summer (just mere months away). This is bittersweet. For the military member, it meant a promotion, which was great news. It also means a duty station that is not Hawaii. That was not so great news.

Because these friends are in a different military branch, it is fair to say that we will most likely never live in the same town as these friends again. After such a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holiday with them, it is even harder. When I heard the news, I was in shock for a little while.

Now, when you are in the military (or married to it, in my case), there are certain things that you know come with the territory: new adventures, spouses who work late and may have to travel a lot (sometimes without much notice), different cities and customs, holidays away from loved ones, and of course the ever impending move. We know these things are a part of the military way of life. And, normally, we go with the flow and take these things as they come, knowing that they will be hurdles but that we'll get through them.

And, in the military lifestyle, you meet lots and lots of families. Families like yourself, with the same tales of new cities, new lives, and moves from Station A to Station B. Some families you meet and befriend, and they are in your lives while you're at that station. Some families remain in your life for much, much longer, especially if you are very fortunate. This family will be one of those families for us - they will remain in our lives for a very long time.

But soon they won't be "just down the street" anymore. They won't stop by for Wii night or a Saturday BBQ. We won't watch the fireworks or sit in the park together anymore. And that is, by far, one of the hardest things about this military lifestyle. Knowing that each friend has a "time limit" - their physical presence in your life is temporary. You may still talk to them for years and years, if you are very lucky, but they won't be in your neighborhood or in your town anymore.

Of course, worrying about your solider, especially when they are away or TDY, is the absolute hardest. And being far from home stinks. But, making friends - true friends - and sharing your life with them is right up there. In the back of your mind, you know that the day will come that you will have to say "Goodbye". You keep it back there in the back of your mind and you don't think about it, but then you get the message that the orders are here and your friends have to go.

It is one of the worst sentences to hear. Even when you know it's coming.

To our friends, the subject of today's blog - you will be close to our hearts FOREVER, no matter where your next duty station may be. You have given our Hawaii experience an amazing and wonderful twist that we never anticipated. We will miss you not being physically here, but your Miis will remain on our Wii so you will never be too far!! :-)

To our friends that we (1) will move away from at some point in the future, or (2) have already moved away from: You are also in our hearts, FOREVER. Not only do we have the bond of the Armed Forces, and the Armed Forces lifestyle, but the bond of lasting friendship, which transcends duty station and physical location. Whether we talk everyday or once a year, you are always with us.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My electricity bill starts with a '3'!!

No, unfortunately it isn't $3x.xx. It's more like $36x.xx.

But, for Hawaii, and for a family in Hawaii who has a Dad in love with the air conditioning system, three hundred and sixty-some dollars is something to be really, really happy about.

This is the lowest electric bill we've had here since we moved to Hawaii. At one point, in the other house, the bill got up to almost $800. For ONE month!

Energy and resources are very expensive here in O'ahu, and even more so on the other Hawaiian islands. I know what you're thinking - "Duh. Of course. They are islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!" And, of course I know that. But, you don't think of those things when you find out that you will be living in Hawaii. The first things that come to mind are beaches, sun, bathingsuits, paradise...not electric bills and gas prices.

Pretty much everything is more expensive here. And I know that some of it is justified and understood. (Thank goodness that we get a cost-of-living allowance to cover these extra costs....) But, it hurts my heart to see a seven hundred dollar electric bill in my inbox.

Of course, since that outrageous bill, we have moved down the street and our electric bills have steadily gone down. And Jon has even compromised some about the air conditioner settings. But, the bill has never gone down into the three-hundreds.

So, to those of you in chilly states right now, turning up your thermostats, and worrying about what your energy bills will look like, take comfort in knowing that my energy bill will almost ALWAYS be higher than yours. :-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's 2009!

I know, you're probably wondering where I've been and why there have been no blog updates. Truthfully, I had a few days off during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's, and I felt blessed to be able to close the lids on my laptops and leave the computer alone for a few days. Sometimes I feel like I am chained to these machines, so it was nice to just leave them alone.

So, 2009 is off to a great start. The kids are still all on break from school. Alissa goes back on Tuesday, and Alex and Abby go back at the end of the month. Luckily there are lots of kids in the neighborhood, and a park down the street, so I can shoo them all out when they start driving me crazy. :-)

I haven't done a great job of posting pictures recently, so I am putting up a slide show of pictures from the last few months. (Mom, I will send some to your email and maybe Laurie or Shari can have you over to view the slide show on their computers.)

I hope that all of you had a joyfilled Christmas! Can't wait to talk to all of you more in 2009. Let us know how you enjoy the pictures...