Everything’s Comin’ Up Milhouse!

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Milhouse – moments of Nonstop Awesomeness

That’s right folks – today we can take a lesson from the book of Milhouse Van Houten. For those who aren’t familiar with the longest-running American, primetime series, Milhouse is Bart Simpson’s luck-challenged friend. He’s a nerd, a dork, a dweeb; perhaps the leader of the uncool tribe – definitely someone I resembled during my school years! :-)

And what does that phrase mean? It’s essentially when things are going your way, when the pieces of life are fitting together effortlessly & perfectly. (I believe the phrase is a reference to the Gypsy song “Everything’s coming up Roses.”)

It may happen in more than one episode (I found a clip below). When things are looking up for our loveable loser, he declares “Everything’s coming up Milhouse!” It’s actually become a recurring joke between my brother & I – then when things seem to really start to go our way (and we’re conscious of it), we declare “Everything’s coming up Milhouse!”

So what was my recent Milhousian experience? Thanks for asking…

I spent the last three weeks near Hanalei Bay on the North Shore of Kaua’i (side note = Paradise :-). I had plans to return to the Big Island and to the community I worked at during the month of November – Polestar – but I wasn’t sure when to go. I needed to be on the B.I. by Monday, and I wanted to attend the Second Saturday Hanalei festival to support my new roomie Zander with his art. Two additional pieces of info are that buses don’t run on Sunday, and it’s a bit of a haul to go down to the airport just to drop me off. So still undecided.

I meet up with Shanti (a fellow visitor to the island who I’ve met because of his sister) to record an interview for the NA “Quality Time w/” series. I decide to ask when he’s leaving – it turns out that it’s on Sunday, that the family flies out around noon – so I ask if I could ride with them; he checks with his parents and it’s a “go” – awesome!

So I book my flight – a noon departure from Kauai – Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

About four days later, at the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Hilo, I run into Shanti’s mom, and learn that they want to BE at the airport at noon (they fly out at 2 pm). A bit of a miscommunication. No worries, but hmmm…. Not so Milhouse anymore…

That same afternoon, I spend much more time than is necessary going back and forth over whether to change my ticket (luckily for only $30). See: a relative is picking me up on B.I. and I hoped to spend time with her; I want to arrive at Polestar on time for activities; and I’m thinking again of how I’ll get down to the airport, etc. It does look like I can change my ticket to be a little later, but then when I try to change it online, that flight isn’t available. It turns out that every flight after mine is technically booked. I even called a cab company, but no way – that fare would have been $100!

After much thinking, I decide to do nothing – I make no changes to my itinerary, thinking that it will all work out – I have no idea how, but I tell myself that it’s possible!

The art show is lots of fun – located right in the heart of Hanalei, I helped Zander set up for the event & occasionally, I manned our table, answering questions. As luck would have it, Max (a new friend) is setting up across from us. We start talking and I ask if he has any airport connections – out of nowhere, he offers to pick me up in Hanalei (totally out of his way) as he heads down to work in Kapa’a on Sunday (about 6 miles north of the airport). (It was not my intention to directly ask him for a ride, just if he might know of anyone going that way on a Sunday morning.) So now I have a ride to Kapa’a, and I figure I’ll hitch a ride from there – it is legal here in Hawaii, and most people are pretty friendly about it (it’s how I got around on the North Shore of Oahu).

Sunday morning comes, and Max arrives on time with his trademark smile! We have a great ride down to Kapa’a – always cool to have that time for quality conversation. He decides to stop at Papaya’s, a natural food store, so that he can pick up a smoothie, and it’ll give me an opportunity to grab some snacks for my day of traveling.

my Kauai buddy Max – that angelic glow is pretty normal on this island :-)

At this point, I had $15 in cash on me. Since Max went out of his way, I gave him $5 to cover fuel costs. (When I’m traveling, I like to keep a little bit of cash on me, in case something unexpected comes up – and boy was it about too!) While I’m grabbing trail mix, Max asks his friend at the store (yeah, think of Kaua’i as a small town – everyone knows everyone!) if she’s going to the airport; she isn’t, but a guy at the register says that he’d make the drive for $10 – the exact amount I have left! I didn’t have to spend even one second hitching a ride. Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

Richard, the guy who made the offer was a very nice dude  (he had some extra time this morning) – he dropped me off right at the check-in area (Hilo is a small airport), and I’m there about 90 minutes early for my flight (and I was worried about missing it…oh Nathan :-)! More smooth sailing during my travel day: I was told about a second security checkpoint where there was no line; on the first plane, a woman wanted to trade with me, so I had two seats to myself; and on the second plane, I was on the aisle of an exit row – tons of leg room, and really nice people around! Score!

click on this pic for a clip with the phrase!

The moral of the story for me: it always ALWAYS works out. I went from highs to lows and back to highs. Granted, the lows weren’t as horrible as they could be, but it’s still a good chance for me to remember that I am stressed out only if I choose to be. Getting to the airport went so smoothly and so fun that I couldn’t have planned it if I tried! 

I invite you to look for the moments in your life when “Everything’s coming up Milhouse” – I have a feeling it’s more often than you might realize!


Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad - looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.