Sunday, March 02, 2008
A princess, a pyramid, a passport, and a party
The day started off with me fighting and insisting with my son that I did not actually have to wake up just because the sun was up and the birds were singing. There seems to be a rumor going about that this is the case, but I do not believe it to be true. It is possible to sleep for an hour or so after sunrise. N fell for it, however, and actually cooked breakfast while I stayed in bed. I didn't feel too guilty as I frequently get up and cook, too. Just not today.
After this, we did a little house cleaning. I clean a mean bathroom counter, let me tell you! Windex, soft scrub, that's a real man's work.
And here's where things could conceivably be considered interesting, B and I went to see Her Royal Higness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the Crown Princess of Thailand, who was on campus today. Next to the UH campus is a set of buildings belonging to the East-West Center, a federally funded institution that researches and build bridges between nations in the Pacific region. Literally. They've been working on a suspension bridge from Oahu to Tokyo for 45 years now. (No, not really.)
In the 60s, the King of Thailand (who has been the king now for 61 years, 61!!), our princess' father, donated a golden pavilion, a sala in Thai, to the Center. It had fallen into complete disrepair my first year here, having become a beaten up gray shell. However, they restored it a couple years ago (that's it in the picture above, picture from the UH web site) into its current golden glory, and so the Princess came to perform the dedication.
What does a dedication between Thailand and Hawaii look like?
Well, first you have some East-West Center scholar talk. Next up, some musicians wrote and performed a Hawaiian chant for the occasion. This is followed by three hulas, accompanied by chant and drums. Next, the East-West Center Director says something that everyone forgets. And then HRH spoke. No, I don't really know what she said either. Most of my attention was taken up by, "I wanna go home now!" and "shhh!". After the Princess was done, a Thai ensemble played several tunes for a while, but by this time we were headed back to the parking structure.
What does a Thai princess look like? Basically, she looked like a prof on campus. I later learned she actually has a Ph.D. and a couple other degrees, and even composed the music that we were listening to. Go her!
After this, we went back and picked up N for lunch. (She deliberately chose to stay home during Princess time; don't get mad at me.) We had often driven by a restaurant called Pyramids featuring "Egyptian and Mediterranean cuisine," but it never looked all that beckoning from the outside. In fact, you can go to this web site here and see the front, right near a moped shop and a mailbox, etc. But you go inside and the entire thing is, well, larger than you expected, and covered in hieroglyphics. The food was the basic stuff you see in Greek, Lebanese, etc., restaurants with felafel, gyro meat, tabouli, and hummus. But, lord, I love me some gyro meat and hummus. B even tried stuff. You can see pictures of the decor and pretty much my exact plate at the same web site.
After this, it was haircut time. B and I always go to this place up a dark stairway next to the Foodland grocery store. I'm a big fan of them because the one woman we love knows how to work with B without getting mad, and she always does a great job. (If you remember his earlier mullet, it's because we ended up at a Supercuts after this place was closed.) Being a linguist, I'm always trying to figure out what language they speak here. I know it's at least south china, and probably southeast Asia, and I still think Vietnamese. This is only relevant (other than my obsessive name-that-language game), because not everyone there speaks English well, or much. The woman we love speaks pretty decently and has a good eye for hair. Last time we went, we got another guy I couldn't communicate with well and B left with what I consider the classic Chinese boy haircut with those long sideburns. Anyway, N got someone who couldn't understand her and ended up with a great haircut about three inches longer than she had tried to tell her.
And yet the day wasn't over yet. Next it was to the lovely Costco where we got new passport photos taken, as well as spending far more than you planned on food.
Finally, around 5:00 we came home. I cooked breadcrumb chicken, some fried asparagus (there's been an awesome sale going on), and a box of rice-a-roni. Then I left for a party of various grad students grilling steaks and watching American Gangster. Oh, and, 'less I forget, a documentary on the Rosetta Stone. We are linguistic grad students after all. The last hanging out with friends at night time by myself event I can remember turns out to have been around 2 years ago, we all decided at the party. Sounds like it was about time.
Finally at midnight, I was home. To top the day off, I received Novel Deviations 1, 2, and 3 in the mail today, so I'm off to read them. Who am I kidding? I am off to see which of my continuations made it in there, and then in a couple days I will look at the stuff from other people. So sue me.