Browsing articles in "All in the Family"
Jan 7, 2013

F.O.M. #2: My Boyfriend and My Mother’s Fishnet Stockings

the ones my mother sent were probably made of PVC and had no shoes on them

Actually, as far as I know, they weren’t her fishnet stockings.  She actually mailed blown up plastic legs with fishnet stockings on them to my boyfriend at St. Paul’s School.  I am sure she thought it was a joke, and she probably thought he would have to open it in front of the housemaster (I hope he didn’t) but looking back on it — this is one of the crazy things she did that I thought was normal.

The Paulie was my first love and when we returned to our respective boarding schools after our torrid teenage summers we wrote letters every day.  Being smart (I think) and (not necessarily well behaved) my boyfriend also wrote letters to my mother.  This no doubt gave her carte blanche to send him letters and “gifts” .  I don’t remember any others, but the blownuplegswithfishnets was quite enough.

I never stopped to think where she got them, but it wasn’t from Oriental Trading or Party Pizzazz.

In fairness, my mother was a prankster at heart, and when she was at boarding school, you had to open boxes in front of the Head of School.  Her sibs and cousins made it a practice of sending her crazy stuff, including a live bat.

In her mind, blownuplegswithfishnet stockings sent to her daughter’s boyfriend was routine, and so while I was surprised when he told me, I was not alarmed.  Years later, I had a brief thought that I should have been alarmed, but I put it aside quickly.  It was harmless.  My mother had way more fun than most people I know, she was full of love, and she was harmless.

Jan 6, 2013

Lazy Liberals of Hawai`i Nei

It is Congresswoman Hana-BOOsa, thank you very much.

The warm and fuzzy folks at FOX “news” sent some guy named Watters out here to find out why Hawai`i is so liberal.  Of course they edited the film to make us look liberal and stupid at the same time, interviewing a woman (among others) in a bikini who did not know what liberal meant.

Bill O’Reilly weighed in with more opinions that he doesn’t believe, saying that we have no hard working conservatives, only lazy liberals.  Further, he noted that Asians are “usually conservatives,” so liberalism in a State that is largely Asian makes no sense whatever.  So CNN interviewed some Asians who said that FOX “news” was not worth responding to and “I’m an Asian and I’m liberal.  End of story.”

O’Reilly and Watters could have had an intelligent discussion on the issue, but did not.  Big surprise.  Why would people who had been brought here to work the plantations (no fun whatever, very hard work) and then put in internment camps in World War II  not be liberal?    O’Reilly and Watters were also disturbed that whites were in the minority — which, actually, they aren’t — they are the majority of a bunch of minorities.  The burgeoning white population are haole from the mainland, who have happened on our beautiful islands and come back to make their home here. ( Many of these people are in the much talked about 2%, so I suggest we be planning to raise taxes on the rich.)

But I digress.  The anti Asian slurs by O’Reilly and Watters made our Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa put the gloves on.  She was rightly offended, and I guarantee you she is not going to let this die.

Maybe O’Reilly and Watters have figured out that Hawai`i has a lot to teach the nation in terms of living side-by-side with different people.   It is a state stolen from the Hawaiians, and built on the backs of Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Filipinos.   Unions and liberalism grew up here because the Luna of the plantations and the “big five” haole companies did not take care of people the way they should have.

It is a state where people know about patience and live with comprise on a daily basis.  This is not to say we don’t have our power players or shifty politicians (not the ones we send to Washington) but Hawai`i and growing up here is part of the reason that Obama can be strong and also be a compromiser.  As they say in France (they do, according to Google)    “Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir” (“Better bend than break”).

We have sent several Buddhists to congress … and as one of our friends likes to say ” A Buddhist’s notion of patience is watching a boulder erode.”

That doesn’t mean they don’t know when to push it down the hill.

Jan 6, 2013

Obama to Grow a “Fro” in Second Term

Supposedly removed from store shelves; still available on

In a second history-making term referred to by insiders as the WTFN? term, Obama plans to do whatever the f–k he wants.  Caveat emptor, I am a liberal’s liberal and this blogpost is BS or my mind has been taken over by republican zombies.  Ann Coulter, are you in there?

Obama’s first priority will be to irritate the f–k out of Mitch McConnell.  Since Mitch has to run for another term in 2014, the main thrust of the first two years of the second Obama administration will be to dethrone him.  WTFN?

A staff member has been dedicated to listening to Rush Limbaugh and FOX ‘news” for the express purpose of gleaning things Obama can do to irritate the right.  If they accuse him of it, he will do it.  WTFN?   As we have already seen, his agenda has immigration and gun control on it, and it will be fun to watch him stand his ground.  WTFN?

Look forward to annual firearms license and registration fee.  WTFN?  No more concealed carry.  WTFN?  Look forward to the realization of the Dream Act.  While Republicans are dreaming, we will allow immigrants who are already here to start the path to citizenship.  Once a month, The Dream Act red carpet will be rolled out on the Mexican border.  WTFN?

Beginning in September 2016, Obama will initiate a free-for-all of Executive orders, cleaning up everything that he has left undone — or was forced to leave undone.  WTFN?   The Republicans will be so busy trying to win the White House it will take them a while to notice what the black man in the white house has done.

Jan 5, 2013

State of the Light Source Industry

Surprise! Does not meet government toxicity standards. Has Mercury. Can catch fire and/or smoke.

In 2007  Congress passed the energy bill.  Shortly thereafter, the Republicans defunded it.  So the effort to ban incandescents over time has had no oompf behind it.  Still, Ian tells me that Home Depot will stop stocking high wattage incandescent bulbs.  Ever present to the world around us, Ian made a trip to Home Depot to buy up sufficient incandescense to incandess our house for years.

About two years ago, Ian changed most of our bulbs to CFLs (compact flourscents) which were being flogged by the electric company as the be-all-end-all solution.  Turns out they have mercury in them and if they break, the government recommends that you leave the room for twenty minutes.  Nice.  He was going to replace all the CFL lights with LED lights, but he got to the cashier and found out it would cost in excess of $3000.  No sale.

LEDs the current be-all-end-all are still pretty expensive, and they haven’t quite got the lighting right.  Their prices will come down.  I love my LED Christmas tree lights, which I can bang around and they don’t break, and they last a heck of a long time.

Since all of this was new to me, I googled CFL V Incandescents v LEDs and found a chart.  Some interesting facts:


Light Source          Incandescents                     CFLs                   LEDs

life span/hours                    1200                                  8000                   50000

KWh/year                              3285                                    767                      329

Cost/year                              $328.59                         $76.65                   $32.85

heat emitted/hour              85 BTUs                         30 BTUs                  3.4 BTUs

So — there’s your treatise on the lighting industry.

Jan 5, 2013

F.O.M.#1: My Parents Slept Naked

Up to no good

F.O.M. = Flood Of Memories

Writing a blog and posting it has brought back a flood of memories:  some of them initiate in my own brain, some of it comes as the result of other people.  Writing a blog has helped me reconnect with people and the result is often gobsmaking!

Such a gobsmacker occurred over the holidays when I received an email from Betty Barton, who was in my kindergarten class in Denver about 58 years ago.  She had randomly gotten to my blogpost titled “I am Gloria Etzbach” and she  emailed me to see if I was that Gloria Etzbach.

Could there be any other?  Well, there was my mother but she would never write a blog.  Beside the point.  Betty and I have a budding correspondence going and she is reminding me that I have always been that Gloria Etzbach.

to wit:  ” I also recall one time in class when, for god knows what reason, we were talking in class about night-time rituals or habits or something.  It may have been when John Glaser announced that he watched Jack Paar every night, which everyone thought was immensely cool and sophisticated.  In any event, you announced to the class that your parents slept without any clothing…..Do you remember that????  Too funny. Whichever teacher we had then kept trying to dance away from the topic and kept making little breathless comments like, “Oh, I’m sure they wear some…thing….” but you kept swinging back to it – fairly emphatically, in fact, with this enormous grin on your face. You probably advanced all of our collective consciousness in one fell swoop – and in a much more obliquely instructive fashion than the blasted birds & the bees chat we got later (you probably missed that experience as well…think that was in 6th grade).” ~ Betty Barton

I am sure it was my mother’s idea, sleeping naked, because she always felt better without her clothes.  Still, in the times of Father Knows Best and Leave to Beaver, parents tucking into twin beds with full length pajamas … this is just another thing that points to the fact that we were not the all American family.  Or maybe we were, and other kids knew enough to keep it quiet.

This reminds me of a time I remember when Daddy took me and my brother Don out to breakfast on a cold and windy January first.  After we had settled in, I stood up and told the waitress, in my always unmodulated voice, that our mother couldn’t come because she was sick.  The entire restaurant burst out laughing.  This is how my unintentional sense of humor began to develop.



Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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