Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 - The Year of No

I resist efforts to categorize lives into sections called "years." To characterize a slice of time and boil it down to some supposed essence because the earth went around the sun once is to deny the connections in our lives that continue from year to year.

But look! Here I am categorizing like crazy!

The truth is, categorizing stuff is fun. It ignores subtlety and nuance. It's black and white. But it helps you to make sense of the story of you life. So here goes.

One of the things I learned in 2006 is that "no" can be a very positive word. I said it a lot this past year. And I'm better for it. I said no to pointless guilt over a friend's death, no to friends and acquaintances who took more than they gave, and no to a handsome, semi-famous man who wasn't right for me, (No, I won't name him, but he's one of those actors whose face you've seen a million times, even if you don't know his name. And look! I said no again!) In fact, there were a few no's to a few nice men. Nothing wrong them, except they were wrong for me.

And no to guilt over saying no. No!

Can it be just coincidence that "no" and "know" are homonyms? In saying no, you learn about your own boundaries and needs. You know yourself. You celebrate yourself. Know no. Do it.

The voters said no to the Iraq war and to a republican majority in Congress. Viacom said no to Tom Cruise. Britney Spears said no to Kevin Federline. Silly? Sure. No can be fun. No can tease. No can make you search harder for the yes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Garans Ball-Barans!

I've always loved garans ball-barans, an exclamation unique to Hawaii. I have no idea where it came from, but it whisks me instantly back to fourth grade, and walks to the store to pick up a manapua (that's a local type of dim sum) or some candy after school.

Yeah, I'm going home to Hawaii for Christmas. Take a look at Santa below. Soon, that'll be me.

My Dad sent me a local Hawaiian style take on "The Night Before Christmas." If you've ever been to the islands, you'll get it. If you haven't, there's a glossary for the pidgen terms and phrases that you might find helpful at the end.

Mele Kalikimaka li' dat!
Was da night bafo' Christmas - DaKine Local Style Story

Was da night bafo' Christmas, and all ova' da place,
Not even da geckos was showin' their face.
Da stockings was hangin' on top da TV
('Cause no mo' fireplace in Hawai'i)
Da kids stay all crashed, my old man too.
They leave all da work for you-know-who.

So me, I stay pickin' up alla their toys,
When - boom! - outside get only big noise!
I run to da window, I open 'em up,
I stick out my head and I yell, "Eh! Whassup?!"
And then, I no can ba-lieve what I seen!
Was so unreal, you know what I mean?

This fat haole guy get his reindeers in my yard!
And reindeers not housebroken, you know, as' why hard!
But nemmind, this Christmas, so I cut 'em some slack
Plus, had uku pile presents pokin' outta his sack!
So I wait 'till he pau tie up his reindeer,
Then I yell out da window, "Huui! Brah, ova hea!"

An' I tell 'em first thing, when I open da door,
"Eh, Hemo your shoes! You going dirty my floor!"
He take off his boots, he tell, "You know who I am?"
I go, "Ho! From the smell, must be Mr. Toe Jam!"
He make mempachi eyes and he go, "Ho, ho, ho!"
By now, I stay thinking this guy kinda slow!

He look like my Tutu, but little less weight,
And his beard stay so white, mo' white than shark bait!
He stay all in red, specially his nose,
And get reindeer spit on top his nice clothes!
But him, he no care; he just smile at me,
And he start fo' put presents unda-neath da tree.

I tell 'em, "Eh, brah, no need make li'dat,
And watch where you step! You going ma-ke da cat!"
Then, out from his bag, he pull one brand new computah,
Choke video games, and one motorized scootah!
He try for fill up da Christmas socks too,
But had so much pukas, all da stuff when fall troo.

When he pau, I tell 'em, "Eh Santa, try wait!
I get plenty leftovahs, I go make you one plate!"
But he nevah like hang, he had so much fo' do;
Gotta make all them small kids' wishes come true.
So I wave 'em goodbye, and I flash 'em da shaka,
And I tell 'em, "Mele Kalikimaka!"

When he hear that, he stop... and I telling you true,
He go, "Garans ball-barans! Merry Christmas to you!"

Mele Kalikimaka!

Da kine – the thing, the type of thing, a sort of, a, the (DaKine Local Style Story = a sort of Hawaiian-type story)
Local style – how it’s done in Hawaii
Bafo’ - before
‘as why – That’s why
da – the
seen - see
nemmind – nevermind
pau – finished, done
haole – white person, not necessarily derogatory, literally “foreigner” in Hawaiian
Huui – exclamation
Brah – sir, madam, hey you, form of address, can be either friendly or unfriendly, depending on tone
Uku – payment, tribute, reward
Hemo – take off
Stay – (I.e., “he stay all in red”) – remain, exist, was
Li’ dat – like that
Ma-ke (pronounced mah-kay) – kill, dead
Choke – excellent, top notch
Troo - through
Shaka – hang loose (a hand gesture where thumb and pinkie stick out and other three fingers are closed into the fist.)
Try wait – hang on a second
Puka – hole
Tutu – Auntie
Mempachi – a type of fish
Garans ball-barans – exclamation of wonder or delight