Sunday, December 28, 2008

Season's Greetings!

Hello all! Even though I’m way up here in The Boondocks for a few more days staying with my parents, I thought I’d tackle the long, patience-filled process of connecting to their dial-up internet, wading through various web pages, waiting for each to load slowwwwwwwly and finally posting some new news from your favorite Bait.

I especially wanted to add a little something to greet any newcomers to my blog. We have had outstanding feedback from all those who received my family’s newsletter and, since my blog address was printed in it, I wanted to make sure people got the right impression that yes, I DO check and post on this blogsite quite often. Just not so often from dial-up locations, as it turns out. :)

I have been very busy since I’ve been home. Just today, however, the last of the visiting family members bade their farewell so I assume the rest of the week should slow down considerably. The Christmas Eve service this year was especially wonderful, including the traditional children’s nativity scene with wonderful historic facts about some of the more famous Christmas carols. As per usual, we opened our presents on Christmas Eve, but my Mean Old Sister made me wait until Christmas DAY to open our sock presents. Draw out the excitement, she said. BaHumbug. No worries, though; ALL the presents have been opened now and I am quite satisfied.

Although I’ve acquired a cold since arriving home, I haven’t seemed to slow down at all. Several get-togethers and a birthday part were in order, since most of my childhood friends were in town and we only see each other about once a year these days, therefore mandating as much catching up as possible. There were also the extended relatives to visit with. My cousin’s four kids were a ton of fun to watch and be around for all the family dinners.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Some of the most fun was being a pyro with my dad, burning the last few slash piles down by the creek (sorry Gordon, no more this year, but I hear we’ve got some more work cut out for us next year!). Although I burned two new spark holes in my nice coat, I did have a heck of a time. Darn near burned my face off the first night, though, since I was new to the bonfire scene. Note: Always come prepared with a billed baseball cap when burned slash piles so you can get close to them without exposing your face…. Of course that does mean, with your head tipped down for protection, you won’t be able to SEE anything you’re doing at all, but hey, it’s only a bonfire, what’s the worst that can happen, right?

Today I am a pygmy owl, because dad and I saw one while burning the last of the piles yesterday. Until then, I didn’t know what one was. It’s called a ‘pygmy’ because it is one of the smallest owls you’ll ever see. In fact, we weren’t sure what on earth it was at first. It has a robust breast, like a robin, and fairly long tail feathers, but had a THICK neck, stubby nose and a neck that turned RIGHT around. I had to run up the hill to grab the binocs and camera so we could get a better look (photo to appear on this blog soon). It had the COOLEST black spots on the back of its head, so whether it was facing you or not, it looked like it had eyes staring right through you. Very cool. And small. And cute.

Today we are going for a ski (the first of the season for me), but I am very tired from staying out late last night (cheers to the Tav’s bartender who was incredibly kind to us even though it was past closing time and we weren’t really moving out the door with any measurable speed at all). (Cheers also to the friends of mine who left our little town today to return to work. It was wonderful seeing you all!) (My condolences to those returning to Spokane… I hear it has snowed continuously since my departure.)

Well, I’ll leave it at that, but I’ll try checking in here every few days and giving you all the update. Thanks for checking out my blog and feel free to leave me a comment or two!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I just got home from watching Australia. I had been wanting to see it for a while and I wasn't disappointed. LONG movie though! My goodness, very long. And I thought it was about to end at several different points that were definitely NOT actual ending, so I suppose that is a strike against it. Nevertheless, it had been a LONG time since I've seen a good western. I grew up watching The Man From Snowy River and wanted desperately to see something of that caliber. And it was. :) It might have just been that I was in a theater, and things are different in theaters, but I cried a tiny bit. Don't tell anyone, though! It was very refreshing to be exposed to a new culture in a familiar genre. Good drama, good action, good acting. Not so hot story development, but hey, you can't have everything.
P.S. To save you all the trouble, the older "King" character in the movie is the older partner in "Cocktail." I had to look it up once I got home. I didn't want anyone else to go through the same distraction I did while watching it. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Below are some pictures of the massive amounts of snow that hit Spokane today/yesterday. As you can see, the snow is up to my knees. Kara, the picture of the backyard is for you; remember when we were sunning there several months ago? A very different sight today!!! The picture of the fence was actually supposed to be a picture of my car, which is sitting just past the fence on the street. All you can see of it now, however, is a slight hint of blue.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Burr! It's cold

Hello hello! I'm taking it slow this chilly Sunday evening after a busy weekend full of friends and appearances. My best friend, Sara, flew in on Friday and I was able to pick her up and spend most of the day with her! Although she stayed at a downtown hotel to accompany her boyfriend to his work-related functions, I saw both of them a great deal and enjoyed the company VERY much! Cheers to the Davenport staff for putting up with so many loud, intoxicated construction workers, and cheers to my friend Tim who tried desperately to give us a tour of the building. It was so awfully busy this weekend at the Dav that most special ballrooms and places to show off were booked.

Scott and I attended the railroad's company party the following night and we were both pleasantly surprised by the experience. Free food and drinks were available, in addition to dancing and a raffle later on in the night. We managed to make some friends with the people at our table and enjoyed the limitless people-watching opportunities. Everyone couldn't stop talking about the cuts and furloughs the railroad will be implementing this week, but most people told Scott he had enough seniority not to need to worry much about it.

This morning Scott and I ATTEMPTED to see his niece sing a song at his mom's church with her Sunday school class. We were told the service started at 11 a.m., but found the parking lot full of cars but deserted of people when we arrived. The service, it turns out, had started at 10:30 s.m. so we missed the performance! :( O-well. I'm not sure his niece every knew the difference, since she saw us after the service was over.

My oldest sister and I worked on our family newsletter via phone today and I can't wait for you all to get a copy (please email me if you've never received one before!). We've got a great theme this year and it's coming together really well. Other than that, I've been steadily working on buying and wrapping Christmas presents and applying to jobs. Although I had two interviews within a week of each other, I didn't get either job. :( Back to square one! OY!

The only other thing left to say is MAN IS IT COLD!!! I want to go to the gym so bad, but that means I have to be cold for 10 minutes on the way there! My body just hasn't quite adjusted yet.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Music, music, music!

Things have been moving slowly around here this week so there hasn't been too much to report on. I've been keeping busy, however, with a few new projects. I've taken up my drawing pencil again (don't tell Grandma, though!) and have been working on a family sketch for a Christmas present. I've also had some luck with the freelance website I signed up for. I'll be helping a Pastor in Philadelphia type up a book starting on Monday via telephone conference. The project is so incredibly random that I can barely believe it's true, but I suppose we'll see how it all goes on Monday.

I also made a massive discovery this week: GASLIGHT ANTHEM! I can't say enough great things about them! They're from Jersey. They're great musicians. They're lyrics are quality. They're sound is fantastic. I've been listening to them 24/7 for the past several days (okay, I exaggerated a little... but you get the idea). Music is freeing. I'm so thankful for it.

I've got a friend in from out of town this weekend. I picked her up from the airport yesterday and spent most of the day catching up with her. It was a great time. She's got lots of family in the area to visit, though, so we'll see if I see her again before she leaves.

Scott and I hung out with some friends of his last night and I was officially introduced to Rock Band. I know some will say 'video games are crap' and others might say 'why don't they just learn how to play real instruments' but there's something to be said for this game! It's not all about competition (you can either just jam with friends, go 'on tour,' or have band battles). I just think it fuels a passion for music and exposes the younger generation to a lot of music they wouldn't hear otherwise; they songs available to play range from Paramore to Sweet Home Alabama, from Matalica to Steve Miller Band. I mostly played the bass guitar because that's the simplest instrument, but the drums were my favorite! And although playing the game guitar is VERY different from the real instrument, the drums have a true similarity. Good stuff. I could spend hours playing this game and NOT feel like I wasted a day. Of course, some may say that's a strike against the game, but honestly, I'd be listening to music anyway. Why not play it?

Below is a picture of Scott's very first Christmas tree. I helped him a ton (or really, as I'm sure you expect, took the project over) and am very proud of how it turned out. The process was rather funny, since we both had very different ideas of what the tree should look like, but I think our compromise turned out looking great. My camera is very very poor quality. I apologize. But hopefully you'll get the idea. Blue lights, a few blue ornaments, candy-canes, and a variety of gold ornaments.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am the champion! I won my pool game last night! I played so well! In all honesty, I wasn't really enjoying our opponents last night. They were boisterous, rambunctious... different. My game was the last one thrown for the night and for some reason I was overly nervous. Although I'm still ranked a 2, I was up against a 4 (doesn't happen very often - usually done for a 'quick win' - not a very gracious move on their part, but maybe they were out of players in my rank). And I just had an excellent night! I made a lot of shots I usually miss. Kudos to Scott, by the way, because I made another along-the-rail, 'hit it in the corner between the ball and the rail' shot. Only two more games in the session! :(

I've got a new band for you all to check out: The Gaslight Anthem. In my own words, they're a mix of The Killers, Bruce Springsteen and some other stuff... I think their old school lyrics mixed with their unique rock sound.

I watched The Polar Express for the first time the other night. I loved it. Even though it's made for kids, I was on the edge of my seat. Pretty pathetic, I know, but I love a good movie. I'm trying to get more into the 'Christmas Spirit,' but it sure is hard when there's no snow outside!

That's all for now. I hope you enjoy the new mix I posted today. I like it a ton. :) Today I am a cartoon caterpillar with a big grin and a white chocolate maple mocha.

Monday, December 1, 2008

ER Visits

Hello hello! I'm back in Spokane after a wonderful weekend with the family. We enjoyed burning some slash piles behind our house, in addition to making swags, playing games and visiting with extended family and friends. It was a lot of fun! And of course there was PLENTY of food to go around.

Since coming back, however, I've been pretty busy. Scott and I started to decorate the house as soon as I returned. We got the tree, a nativity scene and a swag up within a few hours and it all looks wonderful. The evening took a turn for the worse, however, when Scott started spitting up blood. He had visited the ER earlier in the morning (before I returned from my parent's house) and the problem reappeared in the late evening. Although the ER staff didn't do much at all besides give him ice to chew on, we stayed for 2.5 hours until the bleeding was mostly stopped. Today we went back to his surgery clinic and talked with his doctor to make sure he was okay. Modern medicine is quite amazing, by the way. After spraying what looked like breathe spray in the back of his mouth to numb it, the doctor used what looked like a matchstick to cauterize the bleeding. He was a little annoyed, as we were, that the ER staff hadn't taken the extra step to do it, but o-well.

Now it's just back to the job-search grind stone. Today I am a beluga and a chai.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Early Turkey Day

Today is bittersweet. I get to go home with Jill and Gord for the holiday, but last night was very rough on Scott, so I feel like I'm leaving him when he needs someone the most. He had a reaction to the pain meds (we think) and threw up most of the night. And if you can imagine what it must feel like to have tummy acid come up through your scabbed throat (exposed muscle only barely covered with a white 'membrane' as they call it), times that by 20 and I bet we'd have a fair idea. He's still on a diet of soup, ice cream, yogurt and the like.

I'll be at my parent's house until Sunday, so I hope you'll all excuse me if I don't write while I'm there. Dial-up is hard to settle with once you've gotten used to wireless.

In other news, Offspring has a new album out and every time I hear their sound I think of my eighth grade year and the summer after. Offspring was HUGE in my hometown for a while. It sounds like this album is doing great as well.


Today I am a sad kitten and hot cocoa (but not hot enough to burn).

Monday, November 24, 2008

JFK and the AMAs

Does everyone love Owl City yet? Jillian showed me how to make a 'mixed tape' over the weekend and I'm loving it. I'll probably change it every week or so, that way you guys never get bored.

My weekend was good. I got some fresh air with Jill, Gord, Amanda and Sean on Saturday by spending a few hours in the Bowl and Pitcher area. I also went shopping for the interview I'm having today. I've got a very snazzy outfit all lined up, but I'm not the biggest fan of shopping, so it was a kind of like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Scott didn't really improve like we thought he would. He showed a lot of improvement on Friday so we thought he was through the worst of it, but he wasn't. The pain still comes and goes just as bad as it had last week. He'll run out of pain meds soon, though, so hopefully he improves soon!

I've started reading Angle of Repose to keep me from watching tv 24/7 while I'm taking care of him, but I must admit I watch my fair share of it. Since this weekend marked the anniversary of JFK's assassination several tv stations showed JFK-related films. On Saturday night I watched Oliver Stone's "JFK" and became enraged that such a cover-up could happen at such a high political level. I also started to feel mad at the older generations who hadn't relaid to my generation the severity and depth of such an outrageous event. Without anyone to tell us these things, most of us won't know the details! Of course I knew it had happened and that there was a 'grassy knoll' theory, but my U.S. History classes never covered the details.

Then, the following night, I watched portions of a documentary on the JKF assassination and felt like an idiot for believing ALL the 'facts' Oliver Stone had included in his storyline. Some of the more paramount points in the movie's case were made up... However, many of the loopholes still held strong. Although I'm not as up-in-arms about it as I was on Saturday night, I'm still taken aback that such an event can occur and some questions, 40 years later, have yet to be answered.

I also watched the American Music Awards. Well, not ALL of them, because we all know the speeches are boring. I did, however, listen to Kanye's speech, just to see what crazy thing he'd say this time, and, of course, after winning best album of the year of some such business, he gave it away to Lil Wayne. WHAT? Goodness. All is madness. I did, nevertheless, get my fill of performances. From Coldplay to Pink, from Rihanna to Sarah Mclaughlin, from Ne-yo to The Pussycat Dolls, it was good stuff! I especially liked Pink's song. I love all the costumes/dresses, the stage designs and ritzy special effects.

Well, it's about time for Scott's meds. Today I am a cat and Arizona Tea.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Movies and Holidays

Ahoy! I am currently watching Love Actually which is THE BEST holiday movie of ALL TIME. Aside from the holiday category, it is also on my top ten list of Best Movies of All Time. I gives me that warm fuzzy feeling is so many different ways that I begin to lose track and forget that I hate Commercial Christmas so much.

I can't believe the holidays (well, Christmas really) is already here. THANKSGIVING ISN'T EVEN HERE YET PEOPLE! And I can already find radio channels dedicated solely to Christmas carols. Below is an excerpt from The Only Kayak, a book I just finished, the middle phrase encompassing my thoughts on the subject.

"Nature and technology have an uneasy relationship, yet each has something to offer. One is where we came from, the other is where we’re going. One shrinks as the other grows. One loses in a war, the other wins and determines winners. One makes you feel vulnerable, a subject of the Earth, the other makes you feel powerful, a lord of the Earth. One is Christ in the desert finding clarity, the other is Christmas at Macy’s buying Calvin Klein. One explains death and disease while the other attempts to eradicate them. One is accepting what comes your way, the other is hacking DNA. One teaches grace, the other breeds pride. One is about slowing ourselves down, the other is about making things fast. One is words, the other word processing. One is stories, the other statistics."

I picked up a few copies of my most recent published article in the Inland Business Catalyst. It's always exciting to see your name in glossy print. It was quite a pick-me-up after spending most of the week at home tending to Scott. He's feeling slightly better, by the way. The last 2 days have been full of excruciating pain but he might be through the thick of it.

I should mention, having named today's entry after cinematic pastimes, that I've heard from 3 different people so far that the new James Bond movie isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not horrible, but not altogether the expected James Bond package either. Please provide feedback if you've seen it.

Also, if you care to see pictures of me in the COOLEST (well, mostly, most embarrassing) outfit ever, check out

Today I am a penguin and a hot rum tea.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Day in Sweatpants

Greetings! I didn't win my pool game last night... I played against a 1 and she beat me (I'm a 2), but she had a REALLY good game. I didn't play poorly; I played my usual nervous, okay way, but she put two down with every rack she broke and she was playing above her rank. Much thanks to Tom (one of my teammates) who always has a way of making me feel like I don't suck as completely as I think I do. He's always telling me that 'it was a tough shot,' that 'she's having a good night,' and 'you've got the right idea.' It's good to have a fan squad!

I must take this opportunity to tell you all about a band I really like. Granted, I've only listened to about 6 of their songs, but I love them so much that I can't move past these 6 to hear news ones quite yet; I haven't soaked up all I can from these first ones yet. The band is Theory of a Deadman and they sound very similar to Nickleback (the majority of stuff you'll find on their record, not the slow dumb songs the radio chooses to play). If you don't like Nickleback, I wouldn't recommend them, but if you do... VERY good stuff.

It's Scott's third day of recovery and it's supposed to start getting worse. He says he's a ten out of ten on the pain scale, ten being the most painful. So today is another day in sweatpants for us. I'm going to work a bit more refining that book I copy edited in Maui and check out a website for freelance writers.

For all my friends who don't know about Jillian's blog, please check it out to find pictures from Halloween. They are VERY entertaining! :) Her most recent post is about our president-elect, but if you scroll down you'll find the pictures. Enjoy!

Take care everyone! Today I am a dolphin and a thick mango smoothie.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Greetings! Sorry it's been so long between entries. For not having a job, I tend to stay fairly busy! First of all, I must start off by encouraging you all to listen to The Beatles today. Right now, if at all possible. I finally finished that great book I had mentioned before, in which the author speaks highly of the band. Eventually he wore me down and I put some Beatles on my playlist. It has some strange way of making everything feel more in place, a little lighter, a little easier.

I've had a busy couple of days. Friday night we enjoyed the delights of The Davenport bar, which is horribly overpriced in the beer selection, but mighty tasty in the margarita/hot drinks section. Much thanks to Tim, my friend who works there, and Marry, our waitress.

Saturday was the 15th, and since Scott would be working the next day and I would be rafting, we tried to celebrate our anniversary (7 months) early.

Sunday was crazy-fun, although incredibly cold. I rose early to catch a ride to the Cashmere/Leavenworth area for a rafting trip. Much thanks to all those who supplied what made up my wet-suite outfit. I must've borrowed gear from 4 different people, but I ended up with a setup that kept me pretty warm (save my feet... which I couldn't feel by the end of the 5-hour trip. I could only tell that walking on the rocky, muddy ground made my feet ache, yet the ability to tell temperature at that point had failed.) While we started with 7 kayaks and 4 people in the raft, we ended with 5 kayaks and 5 people in the raft! No worries, no one died. But one kayak did get cracked and one member bailed halfway through (don't worry, he walked to a nearby bridge and got a cushy ride in a cop car back to his truck). The water was INTENSE! The biggest I've ever been on and very thrilling. I'd love to do it again, but perhaps it warmer weather. :)

Yesterday was Scott's last day of freedom before his surgery today. He was rather afraid he might not make it through the procedure (too many horror stories to listen to these days) so he tried to live yesterday like it was his last, which included a stop at Azteca for some great food. The procedure today (getting his tonsels and adnoids removed) went very well, although it took longer than expected because, to be quite honest, his tonsels were much larger than the doctor expected them to be. He's sleeping right now and I'll keep careful watch over him for the next week to two weeks; this sort of recovery isn't quick, nor easy. Hopefully I'll make good use of his sleep hours by applying to more jobs. To be frank, however, it isn't a very thrilling or upbeat process; it just gets a little more depressing with every rejection letter.

Much love and cheer! Today I am a rabbit and a warm chai.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Muscles and Music Videos (but not together, don't worry)

I am proud to report that I've gone to the gym 3 of the past 4 days and I'm feeling better already! My initial shock at my diminishing muscle mass is slowly being reversed. Today the gym was very packed for some strange reason, but even that didn't get me down.

It's still raining, however, and that's been awfully annoying. Scott and I had to run a few errands yesterday afternoon and the crummy weather didn't help things.

Tonight will mark my return to the pool circuit and I'm feeling a bit uneasy. I've only played one game of pool since my leave of absence and it was a rather poor one. Wish me luck!

Another reason I need a new car: I got into my car this morning (having not used it in a full day and half) and found the floorboard completely soaked with water. I'm not sure if this is just from past trips when I had wet shoes and the cold weather hasn't allowed for the chance for it to dry up, or if something entirely different and more depressing is going on. Either way, not a very encouraging find.

So Kanye West has a new hit out. And I'm not a big fan of him, just so we're all on the same page with that. I find him a bit too egotistical and materialistic, to put it nicely. However. The video to his newest song, Love Lockdown, is an exception. First of all, the videography is incredibly well done. The visuals fit the rise and fall of tempo flawlessly. I also found the concept of using African animistic/voodoo-like characters particularly interesting. He mixed those characters with a god-like worship of the female figure; he juxtaposed those traditional, more 'primal' images with western-styled skin-obsessed images of femininity. I havne't gone to the lengths of looking up the lyrics, but the video gives me this impression: when trying to put love under wraps, trying to turn love off, one finds it's like trying to hide an entire tribe of West Africans in a small apartment. One can try to ignore it, but that basic attribute (being drawn to love) is the core to humanity, and no amount of distraction will hide the elephant in the room. While I'm not necessarily condoning the video, I'm simply saying it's interesting enough to hold my attention.

Ultimately I have these two reflections on the video: 1) I haven't seen such a unique use of contrast, color and videography for quite some time. 2) It's odd that the same man who sang "Jesus Walks" would use animistic/voodoo images, promoting these traditions to the exhalted spotlight of mainstream media.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Connected Yet Again!

HURAYYY! We got the internet at the house yesterday so I can, once again, blog as often as possible and check my email constantly (a habit I got used to in college and haven't quite broken yet). It will also greatly advance my efforts to look for a new job, since most of that sort of thing is done via internet these days.

Today is overcast again today... I was so excited to see a little blue sky last evening during the sunset (WHICH IS AT 4:30 P.M. THESE DAYS!!! Grr...), it was the first time I saw the color blue in nearly a week. I had my hopes up that today would be sunny and clear. We need the warmth to dry out the pile of leaves in the backyard so we can haul them away.

I've been reading a GREAT book that Grace lent me and I'm already halfway through it. Which is quite a feat for me, since it usually takes several weeks for me to finish a book. (Well, I'm usually employed, too). It's about a man who lives in Alaska and I love all the scenery he describes.

I played my first game of pool in a month and a half. It wasn't very encouraging, but at least it let me know I have some practice to do. Hopefully Scott and I will play again today since it's Tuesday is "Lady's Day" at Far West and we get to play for free. After trying out the table at Lefty's bar, and discovering a great sticky sensation whenever your hand brushed against the rail, we figured it was time to find something classy again.

Today I am a lizard (because I wish I was very hot right now, not shivering under several layers) and a 16 oz maple mocha.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Avenues

Aloha! I’m sorry I haven’t been writing as often since my return. It’s been raining daily here in Spokane and since the back porch is the only place I can get an internet signal (and I’d rather not get my laptop wet), my entries have been few and far between. I’ve also been out of town for a few days this week. I took the long drive to Winthrop, WA to see my best friend from childhood, Gracie. And what a wonderful trip it was. That area of the state is beautiful beyond words, and seeing it during the transition from fall to winter was even more spectacular. The yellows, oranges and browns of fall hung below the white capped mountaintops, which were close enough to touch. It started to snow at Gracie’s house the morning that I left; a perfect farewell to a wonderful visit.

I’m now turning a new avenue, having made that long-awaited visit and settled back into Spokane restfully. I’m registering with the Forest Service contracting office for writing/editing/analyzing related projects. It’s a new avenue, but not altogether far off from the kind of work I’m looking for. We’ll see how it all goes.

I have a feeling that as the years pass people will always comment, ‘I remember exactly where I was when I learned Obama was elected.’ I, for one, will have a rather unique story to tell. Since Grace doesn’t have a TV, we went down to the Twisp pub to get word of the election status. We arrived just as John McCain took the podium to announce his defeat. (Which, by the way, was the best speech I’ve heard in a while… I was truly impressed). Grace and I were probably the youngest in the crowd; most were middle-aged couples, and some were hippies in their 30s. But the excitement and anticipation in the room was unparalleled.

Oh, and speaking of new avenues! Guess who has a Costco card now? ME! My first proud purchases were a massive can of coco mix and a box of breakfast drink packets (supposed to be packed with vitamins and minerals – I have to get them somehow). Scott signed up earlier this week and got a second ‘household’ card for free. I was kind of surprised at how excited I got about it… Pretty silly, I know, but that’s just me, I guess.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life in the Pacific Northwest

Greetings from Spokane! This cold and frozen-over city. Today was the first time I was warm since I returned. It took nearly two days to adjust to the climate. My sinuses are still giving me a little grief about it, but I assume they, too, will get over it. I tell you, though, it was quite a surprise to realize (in the heart of Seattle’s airport during a layover) that my legs were suddenly ashy white with dry skin and my lips were horribly chapped. The weather in Hawaii just seems to smooth over these little matters of up-keep.

I highly advise returning to a city in the morning. I had all day long to unpack, do laundry, sort through and organize gift items, run a few errands and go to the store. It made for a wonderful and fulfilling sleep that night, as well.

Scott and I went out for dinner my first night back and went to a corn maze – the first for both of us. It was very fun, but like I said, I hadn’t quite warmed up at that point so we only stayed long enough for two mazes.

The following day I felt a sudden need to sort through and eliminate unneeded belongings. It’s strange how a month of living out of a backpack puts material wealth into perspective. I realized I did not need many of the items still packed away in my pile of boxed belongings in Scott’s basement. It was therefore a day of cleaning out, throwing away (recycling of course), and redistributing items into the pile, a few boxes lighter. Feels rather productive, to be honest.

Halloween at my sister’s house was fantastic, of course. The majority of those in attendance wore costumes and we found ample entertainment by creating the ultimate playlist.

Scott had to head back to work today so I mulled around, cleaning and organizing here and there, both on the computer and in the house. Since my oldest sister is still in town I spent most of the afternoon visiting at my middle sister’s house and finally returned after dinner. I need to turn my efforts toward finding a new job now, so wish me luck with that one. Trying to shift directions from service-related positions to a more professional career seems rather daunting and not without rough beginnings.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leavin' on a Jetplane

This is a sad day. It's my last day in the sunny warmth of Maui. I'm flying back to Spokane today. I went to the ocean last night to say goodbye. It was sad, as well. It didn't even have the energy to give me a sunset. The sun just dipped down behind a thick layer of clouds. My flight leaves tonight at 7 p.m. I haven't flown during night hours since Africa, and I'm sorta excited. It makes the trip go by SO much faster! As long as I have some 'lully' music (as Dad would say), I can sleep through just about anything. I've already got my 'list of things to do' upon arrival back in Spokane. It's rather long, I must admit. But what can I say, I'm a planner. I'm very excited to spend Halloween with BOTH my sisters this year - it will be a treat after feeling so far removed for so long.

It might be a surprise to some of you that I'm coming home early, but it was a decision made several weeks ago. Although I LOVE it here, and am planning to come back many more times, I honestly didn't see the need to spend more time and money here on the island when I had things to get back to in Spokane.

Bunny and I are about to go out for breakfast which I'm personally very excited about. Just a few loads of laundry, a bit of packing, some good music, and I should be ready to leave for the airport. I'm always a bit jumpy on travel days, so hopefully this goes well.

As a side note... I risked my life yesterday! Bunny and I drove around the west end of the island yesterday. She tried to tell me how narrow the road was. How there was only enough room for one car. How rental cars aren't allowed, but people do it anyway. How it was cliff on one side and mountain on the other. But these things can't truly be understood unless you actually see them for yourself. As you can see by the pictures below, it was all worth it for the beautiful scenery. But truly, I risked my life yesterday! The road was so terrifying. Sorry I don't have any pictures of the road. I was too busy holding my breath and sitting still.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photo Essay

Last night's sunset.

It made me smile.

My destination. The street has a number of alleyways leading to the ocean.

One of my favorite gates. Metal leaf sculpture is a common gate style. And since Scott loves motorcycles, I couldn't pass the photo op up.

A shack I admire. Two beater cars to work on, tons of shelving to the right for tools, and that bright area past the garage? That's the ocean through the door and windows of the house. Not a bad setup.

People and their statements.

My favorite street in the area.

Nice tree. Not a bad house behind it, either.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Update

Aloha! Just wanted to send a quick Friday update since most of you will be away from your computers over the weekend. Not too much to report here, though. I finished my copy editing project (yay!) and have really enjoyed the experience. The weather, although warm, hasn't necessarily been sunny the past few days, so I've mostly just been reading, walking the beach and souvenir shopping. I found a few more seashells this morning to add to Scott's mom's collection, in addition to scoping out some beachside houses (most of you know how much I love designing houses...). The trick about that, however, was not to step on any crabs while I walked on the higher part of the beach, trying to catch a better glimpse of the homes (the crabs and their holes are all on the upper slopes of the beach, away from the waves).

I'm going to drive to Wailea this afternoon to check out the shops in that neck of the woods and hope for a sunnier day tomorrow. Take care!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Excuse For You To Take A Break At Work

Walking back from Starbucks (I know, I’m very disappointed in myself, too) a number of things came to mind that I wanted to share about Maui after several weeks of observation.

To all my Print Journalism amigos: I read a publication called Maui Time Weekly (similar to The Inlander in Spokane, if you are familiar with that) and it has really opened my eyes to both the professional and social atmosphere here on the islands. When any mainland publication would worry about objectivity, bias and professionalism to the point of losing all sense of voice, the writers for Maui Time Weekly have a clear, coherent way of being real. They don’t shy away from cuss words, but don’t overuse them either. Profanities like “damn” just flow with the text. The writers are down to earth and call shots as they see them. It’s rather refreshing.

Suped up, tricked out and MONDO is the way to go when it comes to vehicles around here. The bigger a truck is jacked, the cooler it is. The locals, especially, take great pride in the height and width of their trucks. They even feature them in music videos, just in case their coolness was in question. While the price of gas is a dollar more than you are paying on the mainland, they haven’t quite been driving to that point of making changes. Most people drive SUVs here. Well, maybe not most, but noticeably more than the mainland. One thing is for sure, they keep their vehicles CLEAN. Even the beat-up, old Volkswagen buses seem to be washed every other day.

Maui has not escaped the repression sweeping the mainland. Rumors and stories of slowed revenue and closed resorts circle round and round. No good.

Maui also isn’t without from the typical political scandals that plague so many American cities now. A recent headline revealed a Maui business CEO resigned after sexist and racist comments were uncovered from his work email account. And so the world turns.

This is The Place for ‘morning people.’ While I’m sure there is enough night life to go around here, you’ll also find many people who take ‘early to bed, early to rise’ to heart. A drive between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. will illustrate the crazy numbers of walkers, runners and cyclists who enjoy the cool a.m. hours for some exercise. Crazy healthy morning people. I’m glad I’m not alone in the world. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

The King's Highway

I started bright and early today with a wonderful little hike. Using Laura's car to get there, it was my first time driving in Hawaii. It was also my first time driving PERIOD in several weeks so I didn't feel very comfortable with it at first. By starting so early, however, I missed the morning rush. The drive from Kihei to La Perouse Bay takes you through a few community areas, past the fancy houses, alongside the beaches (that usually only the locals know about) and through a huge lava field. There are signs warning drivers "No parking for 2 miles," since the road is only about 1.5 cars wide. A 10 mph speed limit is enforced around the blind corners. Every once in a while you'll find a wider spot used for squeezing past the unusual oncoming vehicle. The road is ROUGH, too. I like it. It's like an adventure on your way to an adventure.

Once I got to the bay, I was... well, confused. There were NO signs indicating ANYthing. Well, there was a sign signifying that indeed I had found La Perouse Bay, and that some French guy had found the place via boat at such and such time. So I just started to walk around... And without much effort, I found a trail the led off along the beach, in keeping with the directions I had brought. So I just went with it. Several people were near the beginning of the trail, but I was all by myself after a while.

I suppose Hawaiians not into signs much, because it was only after I had hiked 2 miles, took a right at a fork, realized I had walked a mile in to a lighthouse, walked back out, took the left at the fork and walked a ways that I found a worn sign reassuring me that I was on Hoapili Trail (look at above website and scroll down). Nevertheless, I loved the views. It was so strange to see the course, jagged rock juxtaposed next to the curves of the ocean waves.

I must admit, I didn't make it all the way. After my unnecessary side-spur and a blister on my left Achilles tended, I didn't find walking on movable ground very enjoyable. It might have been one thing if the footing was secure, but the volcanic rocks below my shoes were constantly moving under my feet as I walked. Still, I think I made at least a 7 mile hike out of it. I was cooled by a gentle misty rain for a short while. My first actual precipitation here. Well, it rained during the Hula cookie-fundraiser, but I was inside at the time.

The sun has finally shown its face today after a few cloudy days and the whole area is alive with activity. I went to the beach for a bit and am now doing some copy editing and waiting for my laundry to get done. Life is good.

Oh, by the way, I went to Hope Chapel yesterday for church and I know mom would have LOVED the drums during the worship. They were very prominent. I liked it a lot. I think next week I'll go to the 8:30 service, though. As much as I loved getting called at while I'm walking... I think fewer people will be awake if I go to the first service. Apparently not many people walk around here. Either you bike or you have enough money to buy a car. Apparently.

Today I am a cute, furry, sleepy cat and an ice cream Sunday (not I drink, I realize).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cookie Fundraiser

Aloha! I'm currently exhausted from an early rise and long morning putting cookies into bags for a Halau fundraiser. 'Halau' means 'school' in Hawaiian, so this was Laura's hula school. Taught by one of the most famous hula instructors in Hawaii (who is also a famous musician - the one who performed at the fair), the halau seems to have at least 80 participants. From 6-year-olds to 70-year-olds, the halau includes classes for all levels. Once a year they have this massive cookie-baking event to fundraise for costumes, travel expenses and the like. One event in particular (the big kahoona of hula competitions, actually) is called the Merrie Monarch Festival and will be held next April (I hope they telivise it!)

I was picked up by a friend of Laura's a 5:20 a.m. and we made it to the other side of the island at the elementary school kitchen/lunch room area by 5:50. I had been told the process was a 'well-oiled machine,' and I found that things did go rather smoothly. Most of the halaus came and went in shifts, but for some reason, Laura's halau (which was for the older women; it eliminated the dances that require one to kneel and use the knees) had to stay for the whole ordeal. By noon, however, we were done and started to keep up. I made lots of friends with the women and truly enjoyed watching all the work that went into the performance I saw earlier at the fair. Having seen many of these women on stage, it was amazing to see them interact in their everyday lives. Conversations ranged from activities on Maui, travel, education, politics, family, hobbies and much more. It was fun to get more ideas for activities to try out while I'm here. I even got a free start fruit out of the deal. And it was GOOD.

The 10-pack cookie bags sell for $5 each, and apparently they're a bit like the girl-scout cookies back home; they sell like hot cakes. Everybody knows about them on the island.

It was also pretty cool to see the instructor working and milling around. After hearing his songs on the radio and watching him live, it's quite an honor to share a room with him. He has a lot of dedication toward preserving the culture and history of Hawaii.

I went to the grocery store today and splurged on some fantastic food. Lol, so I'll be working that off the next few days. :) Tomorrow I'll be going to church, reading and visiting the beach. The next day will mostly likely be the hike.

No new pictures today, sorry, but I'm sure there will be some more soon.

Today I am a skunk (without the stink capacity) and a NF 1/2 pump chocolate, 1/2 pump maple mocha.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Tedeschi Vineyard (in dedication to Kara)

Aloha! The adventures continue! Today was very windy, but Bunny and I took refuge up-country to check out the winery. Although the winery is about 5 miles from Kihei as the bird flies, no road connects the two locations. Instead, we had to drive to the north side of the island, then back around up the mountain. It took over an hour to get there! But it did provide amazing scenery. I love driving through fields of crops and seeing open space all around me.

The winery was much smaller than I anticipated, but just great. We arrived in time for the 1:30 p.m. tour, which included a walk around the grounds and a view of the wine-making machinery. The winery is operated on a piece of historic property. While I'm sure curious readers can learn more on the winery's website, the gist is: a retired navy captain brought his family to live here after seeing the property from the sea during his career. He was very wealthy and quickly made a mini-village out of the place that was pretty much self-sufficient. The King of Hawaii liked the place a lot and came for a merry time (he was called The Merry King because he was always down to party). The grounds are filled with enormous, impressive trees from all over the world. One in particular is from Australia (or New Zealand? I can't remember) that is/was commonly used for making ship masts. It hadn't ever occurred to me before that ship masts are TALL and yet need to be made of one solid trunk. Not many trees are tall enough or straight enough to fill such an order. I was very impressed by this unique tree. It also made me think of John John; I wonder if he's seen any on his voyage.

The wine was wonderful. Four complimentary glasses were offered in addition to the free tour (can you believe it!? Free?!). I had a blush (GOOD), a sparkling wine made from Pineapple (smelled like ham, strangely enough, but tasted good. Tasted more like sparkling cider than wine, though), and something called "Splash," which was also made of pineapple (and smell of cheese...?) that tasted DELICIOUS!!! The last was a dessert Raspberry wine. I LOVED the smell of this one! But man, I wouldn't want more than a few sips. It was great, but so sweet!

The next few days will be windy, so I'm putting off my hiking trip until Monday. Saturday I'll be helping Laura's hula dance team with a fundraiser and I'll attempt to find another church in walking distance on Sunday.

FYI, today is my six month anniversary with Scott. Shout out to us.

Today I am a gecko and peach wine, if there is such a thing.

Here are some pictures of both my 5 mile (one way) beach walk and the scenery from today's winery trip. The beach ones are dark because it was freaking early, not because it isn't sunny here. Cuz it is. (haha to you!) And really, would you guys start leaving more comments for me?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Nice, Loooooooong Walk

Aloha! Things have been busy around here lately since Laura is packing up and preparing to leave for France this evening. She's been trying to get everything in order for us while she's gone (bills, keys, etc.).

Yesterday was pretty unproductive since I'm staying out of the sun for while (strange skin problems with my shoulders...) so I just did a few errands and enjoyed the house.

Today I got up at the crack of dawn (REALLY!) and left the house at 6:15 for a long beach walk. I had heard of this stretch of beach that runs 5 miles without an interruption (such as resort grounds or natural rock barriers). Being my father's daughter, I thought I'd try it out. Well, it took me 45 minutes just to get to the stinking START of the 5-mile stretch. It wasn't quite where I had it placed in my head... Well, I had it right, they just added a few more barriers to the ones I already knew about down the shoreline.

In any case, once I started the beach walk I loved it. And since it was so early in the morning, very few people were out to crowd my view. It was 8:45 by the time I got to the end, and found there wasn't easy access from the shore to the actual town's center (although you could tell lots of people have tried to find one because every ten feet right toward the end is a "PRIVATE! DO NOT ENTER!" sign. Instead of walking the extra half-mile around into town, I just ate my cereal on the beach and took a little break.

The walk back started to give me some problems. My knee joints and feet started to a bit more like jello and raw bone in all the wrong places. So once I got back to the start of the beach stretch, I had Bunny come pick me up. None of this 45-minutes-back-to-the-house business.

I really liked the walk, though. It was interesting to see so many different types of beaches in one continuous, long one. I even found a nice shell-grooming spot, so my collection for Scott's mom is starting to look substantial.

This afternoon I went to the store for more groceries and have just been doing this and that. Tomorrow I'm going to check out a craft fair, and perhaps the day after that Bunny and I will go to the winery up country. We'll see. I don't want to over-book myself or anything. :)

Hope all is well!

I am a crab and a peach and coconut Italian creme soda.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A New Bob-ism

I hope you all have had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Mine has zipped by quickly, but it's been pretty great. Every day is great in paradise, though.

I ventured up the southwestern coast of Maui on Friday with Bunny and enjoyed seeing all the coral, sea life and landscapes that side had to offer. Although Maui is small, I'm beginning to learn that every side has its own varying type of beach. The north side is perfect for wind-related ocean activities, the east has lots of rocky beaches (and sea life, like big black crabs) because of all the lava. My side (yes, MY side) is more calm, so it's good for sunning and kayaking. Up near Lahina, where I was on Friday, it is perfect for snorkeling and surfing. We stopped at a wildlife refuge beach and ventured to the tip of the island before returning back to Lahina (a road goes all the way around the tip, but it becomes very narrow and sketchy; rental cars are not permitted there).

At Lahina, we walked through a historical Hawaiian village, complete with totem poles and A-frame huts. We explored a few art galleries, as well, before driving to the Buddhist center. Although I believe people actually worship there, they permit tourists to walk the grounds and take pictures of the statues (although a low rail discouraged tourists from entering the actual church building). We drove through the center of town, which was very small but very packed, viewing the famous Banyan tree and a few historic buildings along the way. The Banyan tree was an incredible sight. The oldest Banyan tree on the island, it covers an entire block! The area is a designated park, and at first glance it looks like it is full of multiple trees, but upon closer inspections, all the "trunks" are connected.

We checked out a few more areas in town before going to Baby Beach, which gets its name from its shallow waters. The waves crash some 75 feet out, allowing the ocean to lap calmly at the water's edge. A big cruise ship was anchored in the distance as Bunny and I just watched the sunset for a while.

The rest of the weekend has gone fairly quickly. Copy editing, tending to a heat-rash of some kind, and generally taking things slow. I did, however, attend church this morning and am proud to introduce a new Bob-ism! The pastor was an energetic, sharp, well-educated man in his late 70s. Although he tended to wander from his outlined points, he did make for an entertaining sermon. He used the expression "half a bubble off." Well, at first I didn't know what that meant. But neither did half the congregation apparently because he went on to explain that its "when you're using a level, and you're just half a bubble off to one side." It reminded me of Dad, right off. And most of you know I like to balance levels on top of my head...

I haven't gotten around to transporting my pictures, but I'll do so soon. Take care and have a great day! Aloha!

P.S. A side comment for those familiar with the Kittitas County wind-farm disagreement: Remember how half the locals were arguing for the wind-farms to create more usable energy and the other half were arguing against wind-farms because they would look "unattractive" and ruin the natural beauty of the horizon? Well, Maui has a prominent line of seven or eight wind towers in plain view of over half the population. It hasn't seemed to hurt their tourism one bit. Surprising, wouldn't you agree, that such an "unattractive" feature wouldn't deter millions of people from visiting the island? Perhaps, they aren't so unattractive after all. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Paia and Makawao

Life here has been more of the same; a day or two split between the beach and copy editing, then a day to explore more of the island. Yesterday Bunny has some business that took her back toward the north shore, so I rode along to see the town of Paia. LOVED IT! It was the exact size of Winthrop, WA, and likewise, seemed to have its own special appeal that the surrounding towns didn't have (although it certainly wasn't western-themed!). Put bluntly and in my own words, Paia is a hippie surfer's paradise. Especially if that hippie is a vegan. It was a town filled with young faces. You could tell lots of transplants from the mainland lived there; those who came to vacation, drove through Paia, and never left. About 80 percent of the stores were either restaurants of some kind, art galleries or clothing/gift shops. Bunny and I went into a food store that still a very local feel; boxes and extra supplies were stored within view, on top of the shelves. No box-store renovations had been done to upgrade the purchasing counters. It was wonderful. Lots of fun tattoos to look at, too, I might add. I managed to track down a gallery showing the art of Randy Groden. He does a few landscapes, but mostly portraits. I LOVE his work! (click on "Giclees" at the bottom of the site.)

Next, Bunny took me along the coast to watch the windsurfers.

We then headed to Makawao, which is 'up country' about ten miles or so. We passed a few historical plantations and churches along the way. Makawao also had an incredibly strong art vibe to its downtown area. Having already walked around a town for over an hour, however, I only had enough energy to watch some glass-blowing and walk through two galleries. Makawao's downtown area seemed like it could have been smaller than Paia's, but its residential area was very expansive.

Although we wanted to continue on to see a winery, the map indicated it was still another 20 minutes away, and we were both tired already. The drive back provided many beautiful shots of the fields in up country before the view gave way to the ocean. Today I am headed to Lahina. More art galleries and historical sites. Instead of a hippie's paradise, however, this town boasts lots of money.

Today I am a lion and a mango margarita.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Delights and a Music Recommendation

Aloha! Nothing too crazy to rave about, but just the usual life-in-paradise sorta stuff. So far this week I've seen two geckos, one slug/snail (well, it was the size of a banana slug, but had a 1.5 inch wide shell on its back) and a frog, which happened to be in the house so I had to catch it and put it outside. I LOVE frogs, but I can't deny, I squealed a bit when I finally got a hold of him. I haven't touched one since I was a kid and I forgot how creepy it feels when they try to jump inside your hands.

My friend emailed me the material I'm planning to copy edit during my stay, so I've been busy doing that for the past two days.

Since I mastered the bus system, I've been going toward Wailea almost every day to the beaches down there. It's taken some time, but I'm finally getting used to swimming in the ocean and I think I'll rent some goggles soon and make a real occasion out of it.

I've looked up a few hiking opportunities, and unfortunately, most require a jeep or truck to get to the trail head. There is one, however, that I think I can get to via bike, so I'm going to ask Laura to borrow her son's bike some day soon.

Speaking of transportation, I can't believe how mellow the driver's are. Some of you may be familiar with my slightly angry driving side... But getting around over here is a whole different experience. People aren't in a rush to get anywhere, and they'll gladly give someone else the right of way. The only time people honk is to get a friend's attention; then they'll return a 'hang loose' sign, smile and be on their way.

In closing, I want to tell about an amazing singer I've been listening to a lot lately. I got her CD from a friend at the Rocket Bakery who shared my passion for Ani Difranco's sound. This new artist's name is Kathleen Edwards and the album I have is called Failer. The first three songs are okay, but once you hit the forth song, all greatness breaks loose. She has a bit of Joan Armatrading sound, mixed with Ani Difranco and a certain amount of her own style that I really like. I think Jill and Gracie especially will like it.

Oh, and one last interesting tidbit I've learned about Hawaii.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A New Trip Highlight!

Hello all! I've had a busy couple of days! Two evenings ago Bunny saw that I was watching TV at 5:30 so she decided I was too young to be in the house so early at night. She took me east along the coast line to show me some great places to see the sunset from a few cliff vantage points. We ended up being very close to where her son lives, so we stopped by his campsite to chat for a minute. She showed me a few places on the way back, but most of them were closed down by that time. Although I haven't seen it, I'm sure Maui has a very fantastic nightlife. I think, however, that the other half of the population does what I do; go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up when it gets light (hence the closed shops). It's a wonderful way to live, if you ask me. I did realize that night, however, that I have been missing out on some amazing nightscapes. The way the moon reflects off the water and clouds... It is not to be missed.

Yesterday morning I caught up on some phone calls, internet research, grocery shopping and such. Then Bunny and I set out for some adventure. There is a tropical plantation that I think Grandma would love. You can take a little bus trip to see how the fruit fields look, but there's also a lot of tropical flowers and gardens right around the main entrance. I realize why there are so many artists here now. Maui has such unique and strange plant life that it almost defies your preconceptions of what nature can do. Your imagination is free to run wild in a place where every flower your eyes can find is out of this world.

She then took me to the I'ao Valley, which is on the eastern part of the island. The angles of the mountains up there are SO steep! And such a beautiful lush green everywhere!

Next was an open-air mall covered in beautiful white canvases. It was a big mall, it out-sized Spokane's mall quite a bit. But the natural light coming in from up above sure made a huge difference. It was named after a Hawaiian queen who ruled for 16 years, but who made a huge impact on Hawaiian history, and she was the first female to ever rule in Hawaii.

Then (THE HIGHLIGHT!) we went to a beach on the north shore and saw kite surfers! I cannot explain how amazing this experience was. It is beyond words. SO MANY of them! Such speed, such power. Some were able to jump 30 feet into the air. Snowboarding looks boring compared to this. There were windsurfers as well, but I liked the kite surfing the most. Bunny and I just talked and watched them for about 45 minutes. There was a young girl, she couldn't have been more than 12, who was just ripping it up! She is my idol. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Lastly, we went to the county fair to watch Laura do the hula. We had a few hours to kill so we walked around some of the tents. They didn't have the agriculture/livestock aspect of the fair that we are used to, but they had an arts and crafts tent, as well as a better living tent. Plus all of the rides and games you could imagine. A world-known Hawaiian singer was playing that night (who I hadn't heard of before, nor can I remember his name, but he was good!) and he had hula dancers from Laura's school dance. This was also an amazing experience. FYI, hula dancers are not just the skinny, coconut clad women moving their hips. It is so much more than that. In a series of about 7 or 8 songs, different classes were featured, each performance wearing a new kind of dress. It was like watching a princess welcome royalty into her court with a dance of greeting. Their movements were so slow and graceful and precise. Their movements usually represented the story of the song being played, and even though I didn't know the language, you could understand what was happening to a point. Every dancer was smiling like it was the happiest moment in the world, but you could also tell the dance was for the audience. They would constantly readdresses the audience with their their hand motions, pulling us all into the story. It really redefines the concept of a beautiful woman. The fashion lines of New York and Paris might have one perspective, but this is most definitely another perspective on beauty altogether. A far surpassing one, if you ask me.

I am a peach and strawberry smoothie and a leopard.

P.S. I just looked up kiteboarding lessons... the cheapest is $300. :(

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I can officially get around the island independently now! Today I rustled up enough courage to figure out the bus system and it went perfectly well. For $1 per bus ride, I can get to almost anywhere on the island. I took it slow today and just went down to Wailea, but that was adventure enough for me. I spent a few hours on a long, wide beach and had a great time people watching. Its slightly different than crab watching because the people are farther away and they don't hold still every time they think you've spotted them, but it's still relatively close. I may have gotten a little red in places, but I'll be busy seeing new things with Bunny tomorrow, so I won't be in the sun again for a while. I took the long bus route back to see just how far west the buses went and I got a good idea of what areas and shops I'd like to look at next time I'm down there. The really handy news is that there is a bus stop just a few blocks away, so I don't have to walk too far.

I seem to have settled into a nice routine now. I go to bed fairly early because the sun goes down at 7 p.m. and I'd rather not be out by myself at night. That means I'm an early riser in the morning, which most of you know I don't mind a bit. It's nice to be out in the peace and quiet, especially before the heat gets to you. I've been going for a walk every morning, discovering a new little part of Kihei. Today I finally found Safeway and had coffee at Starbucks. The shopping center was fairly large, actually. After getting back to the house I usually check my email, do some exercises, put my suit on, and head to the beach for a few hours. I'm typically back by lunchtime, at which point I come up with an afternoon plan. My afternoons have been pretty random so far, but that's good. A little routine for the morning, a little spontaneity for the afternoon. :)

Tomorrow Bunny is going to show me a few tourist spots all afternoon, and we'll make it to the county fair by 7 p.m. to watch Laura and her hula class perform. I'm pretty excited. I guess hula dancing is a bigger deal than I thought. I asked Laura how long it takes, like how many years of classes, for someone to become really good at hula, and she laughed and said "a lifetime, starting when you're a little girl." She said she'd never be as good as some people simply because she didn't start soon enough (although she's been taking classes for a couple years already). And here I thought it was just a little move of the hips... I can't wait to see a live performance!

I saw a few shops today which reminded me about gifts. If anyone has any requests, please let me know.

Today I am an orange julius and mermaid. With silver and blue hair. And iridescent blue scales. And blue nail polish with diamonds on them.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Beaches and Turtles and More

I am so very tired right now! But looking back, I didn’t do too many extraneous things, so it may just be a of a lot of sun and heat overworking my system. I woke up bright and early this morning at 7:30. It was the perfect, still morning (no wind! Yay!) so I took off for an adventure. I walked toward the beach but took a right at one of the streets that runs along it. I walked for quite a while and then took a left to one of the ‘beach access’ alleys. It was just as far as I had walked along the beach the day before. So I backtracked back toward the main street, but headed down a small neighborhood street instead. It was so quiet and beautiful in the morning! Here is a picture I took along the way.

For most of the route, however, the view was filled with houses. And you should see the effort these people put into their gates! All were at least 10 feet tall, and they came in so many different and creative ways! Some were metal sculptures to look like plant life, while another was a ying/yang sign with two dolphins (yes, one right side up, the other upside down) swimming around it. Another was solid wood with three dancing monkeys holding drinks in their hands… Like I said, some more creative than others.

After walking 45 minutes in one direction, taking time to look at all the beach accesses, I came upon a park and surfing area. It was pretty cool to see all the surfers. A lot were standing on their boards and using a long paddle to get around.

I ended up deciding that my favorite part of the beach was actually the closest to Laura’s house. Pretty handy if you ask me. So I backtracked to that spot and spent an hour or two there. And I tried to make friends with the little cwabby-wabbies (they are too cute not to have silly names) but they are fairly aloof little fellas. Most were the size of the tip of my pinky finger, but there were other Big Daddies that scurried along every once in a while. I saw 4 of them yesterday when I plopped down on the beach digging sand out of their holes and keeping a watchful eye on me. The area I was in today, though, had a lot more. They are darn hard to see, too, because they blend in with the sand so much. There are two crabs poking their heads out. Can you find them?

Back at the house I spent a few hours doing this and that, and at 2 Laura took me along to Makena were she was having a class for her work. I spent the hour just exploring the rocky beach area. I expected to see lots of starfish and sea enenimies, like on the Oregon Coast, but that was not the case here. Just a few tiny hermit shells in a few of the pools. There were, however, fish stuck in some of the larger pools and that was something to see! All different sizes and types! It was beautiful there. I think the pictures speak for themselves. After her class, Laura had a little time to kill, so she drove me further down the beach past all the fancy, million-dollar houses to see the lava flow. SO BIZARRE! SO huge. Mind blowing. Imagine looking up at Mt. Bonaparte and seeing this poky lava stuff start to trickle down and then completely cover the land from about the sno-park down to the house. Then you turn your head and look as far as the bottom of Mt. Hull (yes, I realize you can’t actually see that far in real life, but just go with me) and all you see is lava. Laura says people get disoriented out there sometimes.

Well, I’ve written a lot, so I’ll cut it off here, but know that I’m thinking of you all! P.S. That picture of nothing but water? I SWEAR there is a turtle's back if you look hard enough! One was so big I thought it was a dead bloated cow at first (the cowgirl coming out in me) before I realized cows didn't often swim in the ocean, but turtles did. All in all, I saw 6 turtles, but not all together.

Maui Galleries Gallore!

I picked up a few publicity/advertising-driven magazines while I was in the airport the other day and was so intrigued by some of the artists they promoted that I just had to share a few links with you. The first is Andrew Gonzalez, who makes paintings that almost look like sculptures. The second is Vladimir Kush, who paints so surreal my mind just lights up when I look at his work. Unfortunately, his website sucks, so I suggest you just Google his name and look at the images provided.
Lahaina is the most popular town on Maui for artists, and I think both of these artists are showing work there. It's a pretty posh place from what I here, though. Well, not really posh, but it's got everything (amazing beaches, great eats, all the artsy things you can think of) so I'm pretty sure the real estate there is through the roof.
More later!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Photos

I tried out Jillian's camera for the first time today and I'm very pleased. It might not allow for a great deal of clarity, but at least you'll get the gist. Maui is
roughly shaped like one massive circle (the bigger mountain) next to a smaller circle with a little flat land between the two. You can see the smaller mountain in the following picture.

This last one is facing the opposite direction. It's not a lot of beach between the ocean and the grass, but it's nice and secluded. The big fat beaches are where all the resorts are, I'm sure, and I don't really like all the people that come along with resorts.