Archive for February, 2008

“National Letter of Intent” as seen in the Honolulu Advertiser

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

A letter I wrote to the Honolulu Advertiser got printed yesterday. It can be viewed here.
If I think something might have a chance to get published, I tone it down and usually cut it short. The thing I love about getting published is that my letters that are printed have all my grammatical errors fixed. It’s awesome. I am such a dumbshit when it comes to writing. I’m finally getting the feel of the semi colon thanks to the Advertiser. I am the King of the run on sentences and comma splicing. I’m still trying to figure it out.

I remember I used to yell “Fags!” to all the guys while they sat in their typing classes. I now wish I would have joined them; not to discuss show tunes, but to learn how to type. I am a two fingered pecker typer. Andy Rooney too you know? Typer is not a word, yes. Is there a dash between two and fingered? Anyway nerds, don’t get to cocky, Stand Down! Remember, I’ve had sex with waaay hotter girls than any of you ever will, regardless of how rich you get.

I would have added a few things like this:

The local news showed every Tom and Harry, and yes; a few Dick’s were at this Press Conference too, Even the Mayor was there. One of our local prep gridiron greats got a full ride to Idaho. WTF? Yeah I know the Scotty Pippen story, the Terrell Davis story. But for every story like that there is a Timmy Chang story. I am sure prior to the NFL Timmy was celebrated much more than those guys. What are we setting these kids up for? How high are their expectations.

For the same reason, I didn’t wear a Tux (I was the only one in a suit) or hire a limousine for my senior prom. I suggest we cool it on these kids. What’s next, press conferences after the Pop Warner season for kids to announce which high school they plan to go to? If you go overboard in the beginning, where do you go from there?

Mark Ida

Hawaii, Stepchild of the Presidential Race

Friday, February 15th, 2008

The Honolulu Advertiser’s headline read, “Clinton, Obama Campaigns Taking Hawaii Seriously”

Are we to really believe that? Looks to me like we are being bypassed. Both these candidates are going after bigger fish. Texas and Ohio maybe? I’m not blaming them; it’s a numbers game. The candidates must be thrilled that we don’t take their absence here personally, even though the next caucus after ours isn’t until March 4.

That’s ok, we get Chelsea and Barack’s sister…half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. Kinda like showing up at an appointment with Governor Lingle and you get stuck with Duke Aiona. Well, not that bad, sorry. Maya’s kinda hot and if Hillary wins how would it be to be Chelsea? So as you were saying Chelsea, your Dad was President, and what does your Mom do again?

I think the reason we won’t see either candidate here has more to do with fundraising than it has to do with delegates. We are ranked a paltry 43rd when it comes to contributions made for Presidential candidates.

I think the candidates should thank the local newscasts for doing the campaigning for them. They promoted the turn ‘em and burn ‘em press junkets as if they were Barbara Walters’s Specials. Dan Meisenzahl had an “exclusive” with Hillary Clinton and boy did he ask the tough questions. I hear 60 Minutes calling. He even asked her to be his Valentine. Gosh that is so fricken cute it kills me. Ahhh the indignity. See it at: Unreal Exclusive

Gina Mangieri from Khon2 was “On the Road” with the candidates. I’m confident that after one of these Dems make it to the Oval Office we’ll see her on Air Force One.

If I had the chance this is what I would ask;

Senator Clinton: Senator Dan Inouye, State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and many other old school Hawaii Democrats are endorsing you. Don’t you think you should have at least showed up and given them some run? I mean after all, when Obama wins, our State will be out in the cold and these backers of yours in the shitter, unless Abercrombie (Obama backer) can save us. Senator, if you lose, are we in the shitter?

Senator Obama: I’ve followed you closely ever since your speech at the last Democratic Convention. You gave me a JFK type feeling. For much of the same reason we see more highlights of Shane Victorino than games that have relevance to the pennant race, the focus here in the islands wasn’t that you may become the next President, but that you were born and raised here. Following that speech some of the local writers found it curious that you weren’t trumpeting your roots here. Well, since then, they did it for you. Perhaps they were expecting, following your most eloquent speech in 2004 just before John Kerry was introduced, that you would throw a few shakas to the roaring crowd. The way I see it, you didn’t really dig Hawaii. I’m thinking your growing up here was less Jasmine Trias and more Bette Midler. I think the alumni at Punahou thought you were going to go Steve Case on them. I don’t know brother, the way I see it is that the only ding on your record is that you did drugs when you were younger. (not a ding in my opinion, I have more respect for you knowing you hit the pipe) And where did you do those drugs? Did someone say Punahou? Sorry to keep you waiting Senator, my question is; if you win, are we due for some serious payback because most of our leaders didn’t back you?

Mark Ida

Paper or plastic? …or cloth?

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Perhaps very soon, I will have to bring my own bag to the store. It sounds good to ban all those plastic bags, but is it realistic? These bags are flying all over the place. I see birds collide with them in midair; turtles I see while snorkeling always have them wrapped around their necks as if they were lei. Really? Considering how many of these things are out there, I don’t see many of them around. I see way more diapers in parking lots. After thses bags make it home, does anyone just throw them away? I’m thinking that most are filled with trash or dog poop. It is the luggage of choice for our local homeless.

I do foresee having dozens of these cloth bags under our kitchen sinks soon. We will amass them as a result of showing up at Long’s without a bag and being forced to buy a fabric one that we can use hundreds of times. The cloth bag idea is good in an ideal situation. A family is lounging at home as Mom or Dad announces, “Hey everyone, we are all going to Foodland right now, get the fabric bags!” But aren’t many of our visits to the store unplanned? This is where I think we will begin our bag collection.

On a recent trip to the mainland a store gave me a bag that looked like the kind we get here but this one said “biodegradable”. What does that mean? It takes only 100 years to breakdown and the type we use now takes 500 years? Could we use these new types?

The thing I would miss most about those bags is using them in my trashcans at home. Don’t we all do that? I favor the bags from Don Quixote and Price Buster’s. Wal-Mart used to have good ones, but they got to small. I take a few of the bigger ones from the divider behind the cashier. Safeway’s suck. I remember my Mom buying Glad trash bags at the time when the grocery stores used paper bags. I guess we’ll have to buy those again. Won’t we still have the same amount of bags then? I think we may all need to go without liners. We would just need to rinse our cans often. I can see the trash truck driving by dripping…peeeyoooh!

I’ve wondered how something decomposes when it’s put in a bag first. When I clean and cut fish I put all the scraps in a plastic bag and knot it up tight. People do the same with dog shit. I wonder how that all ferments in the landfill. If the bags lasts a 100 years I imagine mutant life forming from within.

I’ll go with the fabric bag then. My Mom and I just picked up some cool ones from Target in Tampa for $1 each. In the kitchen I’ll rotate a small trashcan. I’ll dump my full kitchen can into the city one outside. I’ll have to rinse out the kitchen one and leave it out to dry, then take a second one back inside. This may not work for the condo folk. For me, a minor inconvenience for the sake of birds and sea life.

Mark Ida

Aspartame Ban

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

I’m not an expert on Aspartame, but I can tell you I don’t blame any of my dizziness, headaches, bouts with epilepsy or even the weird lump on my left testicle on the gum I chew. Of course I’m kidding, I don’t suffer from any of these……well maybe headaches.

How is it that a large number of people are urging our Legislators to ban aspartame commonly known as Equal and NutraSweet? Do they realize there are over 6000 products that contain aspartame? The shelves at Foodland may soon be bare. This stuff could slowly be killing us like many other things. But shouldn’t we first start by educating the public. We would then start avoiding these products, and then manufactures would have to react. Much like we see with transfat. I still can’t tell you why it’s bad, but if I have a choice of a bag of chips and one has transfat and one doesn’t, I go with the one without. An argument could be that it is impossible to avoid aspartame because it’s in everything. That is my point too; it’s in so many products there will be nothing left to buy if a ban passes.

You would think we would have banned MSG by now. I still see it in everything. Every bowl of Saimin is a year’s supply of MSG. This subject makes me think of my years as a hairdresser. I had many clients that saw me on a regular basis to color their gray hair. It would be cause for a big freak out when one of these women got pregnant. They all said their doctor said to stop, and most would. Some I remember told me to stop with a Diet Coke in their hands. What I found to be curios was that they had me put this color on their heads once a month for the last ten years and now they are going to stop because it’s hazardous to the baby? What the hell was it doing to them all this time? I always told them that the negative effect it would have on them or their unborn child was minimal compared to the stress they would feel when they looked in the mirror everyday with a full head of grey hair. Maybe the cause of some cases of post partum depression is bad hair. I’ll ask Brooke Shields or maybe Tom Cruise.

What’s so bad about Aspartame again?


He Ain’t Heavy

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for sometime. I think everyone should have one even if you are the only one who reads it. In a way it’s the dairy for the new ages. I don’t think I’ll have something to say everyday, so it will be a whenever blog.

It’s a great day for my first post. (I started this on the 8th, but now it’s the 9th) One year ago my brother Mike suffered a major brain aneurysm. I was at work at the Capitol when I got the call from Inez my brother’s girlfriend. On my drive over there I was pretty calm. I had to see for myself what condition he was in. He was unconscious when I got there. The emergency doctor was an Indian dude. (Dot, not feather) He seemed really experienced with this kind of thing but I could tell by his choice of words, Mike was in a bad way. My heart sank and I felt like I was out of my body.

We waited so long for the ambulance to come from Straub Hospital where they were taking Mike to see the King of Aneurysms, Dr. Felix Song. I was getting pissed so I made a bunch of calls to them telling them to hurry it up. If a waiter forgets my order, I’m the last to complain, but this was a little different. When the ambulance finally came and they wheeled him out, shit…..something told me this was gonna be bad. The drive to Straub was in slow motion.

The team there immediately went into action, just like on tv. They did a bunch of tests and stabilized him. We met Dr. Song who told us that Mike was in real danger and in most cases when such a large amount of blood spills on the brain, the person rarely lives or at best has severe paralysis. I had visions of changing his diapers. Dr. Song told us he had 3 big battles ahead of him. A coiling procedure which stops the aneurysm from bleeding any more. A thing called vasospasms where the arteries in the brain narrow, cutting off blood to the brain, which takes place 1-2 weeks after the aneurysm ruptures. And the angioplasty that is done to combat that narrowing. These 3 things were spread out over a week or so and before each of them Dr. Song explained the procedure thoroughly and said that Mike’s odds were not good. It all goes back to how major that initial blood spill was. We were so lucky to have Dr. Song guiding us through all of this. The way he explained things was so appropriate. I can’t say how much my Mom and I appreciated him. I think about him all the time. I wish I could tell his parents how he has changed our family’s life. He has the great skills he has learned over time but he also has been blessed with such humanity.

The night before the angioplasty I sat with Mike alone in his room. I felt so lucky that we had this time together. We weren’t saying goodbye to each other but we were saying things in case we wouldn’t see each other again. My mind was racing. I was trying to reminisce about all the good times, all the crimes we got away with and most of all, things like……did he want to be buried, what do do with his belongings, did he have any porn I needed to burn and all that good stuff people have to guess about when someone suddenly dies. Mike and I joked that all the information I downloaded from Dr. Song’s website ( said that the treatment would follow a path like… get this coiling done, if it works great you may be partially paralyzed, if it doesn’t work you’ll be dead…..if the angio works….. great, but it could burst while inflating it and that always means your dead. It was almost hilarious and we laughed our asses off about it. We both knew though. We knew this could be the last time we would be together. I said good bye that night to Mike and if anyone was watching us, it was like we were wishing each other good luck before a sporting event. After my last fist pump to Mike, I remember walking past the nurses station as they all cheerfully bid me a goodnight, I tried to keep my composure, biting my lip, tears rolling down my face, I could only muster a thumbs up. Their smiles disappeared as they got a glimpse of another side of one of the knucklehead brothers they’ve recently gotten to know. Their looks gave me great comfort.

As I think back about the nurses, they were all so great. They never gave us any false hopes. They knew we were in for a rough ride. I’ve travelled a lot and have been on many flights. I’ve been in really bad turbulence maybe 3 times. The kind where stuff flies out of the overhead bins. In all those times I always looked at the flight attendants. If they were cool, I was cool too. Only one time on a trip here to Honolulu did I ever think this could be the time. Kendra and I could hear the landing gear dropping down repeatedly. One of the captains even came out, leaned across the seats in front of us and said, “We’re having trouble with the landing gear”. A few minutes later he announces over the PA that the landing gear wouldn’t stay down in a locked position. He went on to explain that given this predicament, we needed a longer runway than Honolulu has. He even said Honolulu’s is like 10,000 feet, but if we were in LA, they have one that’s 15,000 feet and we’d be good. Whaaaat??? What am I supposed to do with that? At least I’d die with my best friend Kendra at my side. We circled a few times, even did a gas dump. The flight attendants looked scared shitless and we had to assume the position, head in the knees. As I peeked out the window after we hit the ground I saw the runway lined with fire trucks. Boy did we get away with one.

The nurses were the same thing. I could tell by the way they acted, they knew Mike was a goner. They were shocked by his recovery. Even Dr. Song told Mike that he was one of the lucky ones.

There were two things that had a profound effect on me after this experience. One I’ll say might make me a great poker player. I’ll not go into detail, because it will make me seem crazy and I don’t want a written record of this to live on in perpetuity. If you ask me in person, I’ll gladly tell you though. The other is a loss of a certain inhibition. The first day I brought Mike his favorite driver and a golf ball. He was fading in and out and I thought this would make him familiar. He would come to, his eyes open but he wasn’t all there, then his eyes would roll to the back of his head. It was like in and out of a coma. It was hard to watch. Every time his eyes rolled back I thought he was going to die. I remember friends and family in the room, all of us in shock on this same roller coaster ride. I started talking to him, telling him to fight. I kept thinking “Poltergeist….Don’t go to the light!”. It must have looked more like Brian’s Song. I pleaded for him to fight. I know others in the room worried I went off the deep end. I had to do it though, I was leaving it all on the field. That changed me.

Mike is back to his usual self. It’s like nothing happened. He could have found Jesus, but he’s still scheming and looking to get his freak on……Ida Way, he’s my brother.