Monday, March 05, 2007

The DogFather (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Finally got to escape LA!
And we're back in Aloha-land, this time with the DogFather.

I love him dearly. He's nearly 90 but sharp as a tack, smart and witty and most of all, has lived nearly 90 years on this planet. 90 years of life! I've always been into older people. They are a window to the future. People talk about how kids are the future. They are, literally. But older people have been where I am about to go. There is no "been there, done that." In our youth-oriented culture, society sometimes forgets how much older people have to teach us, but it feels like I am learning new things from the DogFather every day.

In an earlier entry I wrote that we wanted to take the DogFather away from Lancaster. Well, we are doing that, albeit temporarily. But nothing is too straight forward when it comes to The DogFather.

"We're going to Mexico and want to take you with us. It'll be warm and peaceful. There'll be great fresh seafood. Plus there are tons of English speaking retirees to socialize with."
"It doesn't have to be Mexico, either. We can go anywhere! We've been talking about Cuba for a long time… Or we can go back to the Marianas if you think you can stand the long flight… Or back to Hawaii…"

The problem with the DogFather is that he never wants to put you out.
"I'm making breakfast. What do you want?"
"Whatever you guys are having."
"Do you want X or Y?"
"Either is alright with me."
Maybe he just doesn't want to be the one to decide anymore. Maybe he's had enough decision making in his life already.

It took us weeks to find out that he didn't really want to go to Mexico. And then because he didn't want to "make us" go to somewhere else just because he was coming along, I had to create some kind of other explanation for the change in destination.

"Well, looks like we're headed to Hawaii anyway. I may have a job in Tokyo and if that comes through, it'll be way more convenient to go from Honolulu than Mexico."

Since it was a last minute turnaround in plans, there weren't many choices in short-term condos. The one we are in is across the street from the massive construction going on at the Hilton. Our room is above a Very Busy Street, near a Very Busy Intersection. All you hear is traffic and construction noise. Not the peaceful vacation we had hoped for, really, but…

The DogFather is mesmerized by the construction.

"I've always been fascinated by cranes. You see them on top of buildings as they get built, but how do they get 'em up there? And how do they bring 'em down?"
We sit on our lanai and talk about the miracles of physics. There are two large cranes on this construction site. Imagine a pencil balanced on the tip of another pencil. That's what these cranes look like. So when there's a huge mixer of cement being lifted up, why doesn't the whole thing topple? We talk about the operator. Does he have to climb up to the top everyday?

"There he is! Coming down!" the DogFather shouts. It's late afternoon and we're enjoying our "happy hour" on our lanai. Long after the construction crew has deserted the site, the crane operator climbs down from his perch, 25 stories in the air. I wonder if he has to do this several times a day or if he only has to do it at the beginning and end of each day. Is there a porta-potty up there? Does he take his lunch? Is there a system for him to be "lifted" up?

What would have just been an ugly eyesore has turned into entertainment. Thanks to the DogFather.


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