Friday, February 26, 2010

And so it begins..

My first day of work was yesterday.  I wrote this Thursday after work, so if my tenses and days sound conflicting you can chalk it up to that, as it's Friday now.  This room isn't "internet" friendly.  I'm not getting a sig on my beeper and there's not a bank of phones in the lobby.  Woe is me.  I've been able to get lucky and get my gmail running in the basic mode so I can scope my mail in there but other than that I'm pretty limited.  Small fries are tasty treats, though so I can handle on of those a couple of times a week to keep this up and running.  It's all good in the hood.  All week I've been getting pretty active and I've been running quite a bit and cruising all over on my bicycle so I can forgive myself for some MickyD's if the need for "internet" arises. That being said I had some frackin' issues with the MickyD's "internet" today so I'm now sitting on a bench near a coffee shop across the parking lot from the D's.  I already bought my small fry so I don't want to buy a coffee today, too.  That's just too much.  But Hawaiian Village Coffee may be my new "internet" home.  Coffee sounds better than food that'll make my ass look fat.

Work was a lovely way to spend my day.  As sad as it might make me sound I was kind of happy to work and I wouldn't have minded starting last Thursday but the fine folks at Hula Grill only do orientations on Thursdays.  It was rough, though, as I had to get up and be down there for the ass crack of noon.  Slave drivers.  Got a big ass binder of papers that had to be filled out and a bunch of stuff describing my job and, I shit you not,  had to take a 110 fill in the blank test on the history of the company and operationg procedures.  110 questions on the history of the restaurants before I could start picking up trash and soiled napkins...Awesome.

There was another guy going through it with me who was pretty funny and that made it an alright time.  Had a delicious grilled Ahi tuna sangwich on a multi-grain baguette with some macadamia nut slaw for lunch during the orientation, too.  That made it more than worth it.  I do my first day of training during tonight's dinner hours with Jon's roommate, Josh.  I bet things will be busy...hope I'm up to the challenge.  It looks like my training lasts 5-6 days unless I suck then I'll either get trained longer or get fired.  Haha, I hope I can be on point.  I know all of the folks who will be training me and they all seem to be pretty good at their jobs so I hope I'll pick it up quick.  Hula seems like it'll be an alright place to work.  The people seem nice.  And the view.  Look at the view..


This morning I went for a swim in the ocean.  I've been getting pretty serious with being active; it has been a nice change of pace from my recent sedentary ways back home.  Got a good crank going when I was running 6 or so miles last night and spent about a half mile running on the beach right along the water's edge just after sunset.  It was pretty solid.  I'm taking today off from running because I'm pretty cooked.  Waves suck.

I swam from Hula Grill down to Black Rock and then walked back along the beach, somewhere between a quarter to a third of a mile.  I thought it was a decent way to waste some time this morning.  This area is where most of my beach pictures have come from, the lower Ka'anapali Beach.  I need to get some good pictures of Black Rock - It's pretty nice to look at.  Maybe tomorrow I'll take a morning stroll.  Then again, maybe not.  We'll see how work goes...Cheers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Place, New Plan..

(I think only one person who reads this will pick up the joke of the title but when they read it I expect they will spit out their coffee even if they're not drinking any.  It's that good..)

Alright.  Let's try this again.  I moved into a new place a few days ago at it's been pretty swell thus far.  As you could see from the pictures yesterday it's not a monster-sized room by any stretch of the imagination but it has some nice views and I'm set back away from a lot of the activity in the house.  I like this quite a bit because I'm more or less able to come and go as I please without disturbing anyone.  The only thing I'm not totally sure about is how the owner of the house handles/enjoys houseguests.  I guess we'll play it by ear when the situation arises.  The worst thing that happens is I get asked to leave.  Whatever, haha.  So, Samm-O, we'll make it work at one place or another whenever you land out here.

The way I left Jon's place kind of pissed me off a little bit, though.  I like having a bed, a closet, those sorts of things, but I don't particularly like paying what I'm paying, haha.  I can rationalize it because it's still a fair amount less than I'd be playing for a studio or anything like that but at the same time I would have liked to keep things on the cheap for a couple months to get started.  As I've said before Jon was fine with me crashing there for as long as I wanted which was stellar but clearly his roommate and especially his roommate's girlfriend were not as on board with it as Jon was.  As events have transpired it has come to light that Jon's roommate, Josh, who's a fine guy, had no issues with me crashing on their couch but his girlfriend really wasn't jiving with it. And so, of course, what happened Sunday night after I've been out for a couple of days and paid square on a month of rent..?  They break up and she moved out to a friends place. HORSE'S ASS, BATMAN.  Sonofabeesting.  It's quite possible that I'll be moving back into Jon's place come the middle of March until he and Josh depart and then I'll find my own place from there.  Sucker am I, apparently.  Hindsight says I should have just kept delaying things, but at the time it was made clear (Are we clear?  Yes, Colonel.  ARE WE CLEAR?!  Crystal..) that it was time for me to move on.  Besides, hindsight's always got 20/20 vision so it's kind of cheating to look at things that way.  Easy come, easy go..

This new place is about a half mile up the road from where I was crashing before.  It's in a nice location in between the highway and the "Lower" rd that runs right along the shoreline, with good space from both roads so most of the time it's pretty quiet.  I'm not quite as close to a beach as I was before and now I've actually accumulated a decent stock of food so I'm not making it out quite as much to eat breakfast on the beach.  It's a habit I fully expect to get back into in the coming days and weeks, just because it's a nice way to start the day.  I think I may buy some eggs, bacon, and english muffins, too.  I could go for a nice egg sangwich.  I haven't had a nice egg sangwich since before I left.  My room is nice, too because I can hear the ocean waves all day, especially when I lay down to go to sleep.  Buying "Sounds of the Ocean" or other crap CD's like that is what suckers do.

All in all this has kind of turned into a romanticized picture of what moving to Hawaii is all about, I think.  "Oh, I'm going to move to Hawaii and get a job in a restaurant and live by the beach and fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean."  Now all I need to do is find my pretty islander wife.  Yep...that's it..


Sort-of Bonnaroo (not acid..) flashback:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fucking motherfucking technology.

I had a fairly lengthy post all written up concerning the new place I'm living in and pictures of where I'm working and some other random babblings but this fucking piece of shit computer fucking highlighted everything and deleted my whole fucking post and eight or nine pictures then Blogger fucking auto-saved so I couldn't fucking go back and undo any fucking changes so now I'm shit out of luck.  

Fuck you, Blogger, and fuck you, Asus touchpad that highlights and clicks shit without being pressed for no fucking reason.  Suck my ass.

Just pictures.  No commentary.  Sorry, I'm fucking heated right now.  I'll try to get something up in a day or so.  Pardon my French, too..

Always reppin' 207.  I'm pissed but that still needed to be said..

And now Hula Grill in the afternoon..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big things, big things..

Matty's got a J.O.B.  A real job now, not some shitty pizza rolling experiment.  Jon bothered his managers enough that they sent up some smoke signals and told me to come back down on Tuesday to chat.  I interviewed with two managers and the general manager of the restaurant, all good people, and after they called my references Wednesday morning I got the call saying my ass has a job at the Hula Grill.  It's in a pretty sick spot in the resort district of Ka'anapali, right on the beach.  When I say right on the beach I mean there's the rock wall that ends the restaurant, a walking path, a few feet of grassy shrubs and then the beach.  Less than 15 feet from restaurant to beach sand.  I'm not mad about that.  I'll be bussing tables in the "Barefoot Bar" portion of the restaurant, a lunch and dinner cocktail lounge that serves food and drink to the finest tourists and locals alike.  This was where I met that guy from Lewiston and we shot the shit about the Goose.  That alone should tell you I'll be working in a pretty awesome setting.

I was hoping to go through my orientation today but my TB vaccination or whatever was expired so I had to get that yesterday, and I need to pick up my results tomorrow.  The Grill only does new hire orientation on Thursdays so I guess I'll have to force myself to head to the beach for the next few days instead of working.  Poor, poor, pitiful me.
TB vaccinations are f-ing weird, too.  It's the one where they shoot the little bubble of shit under your forearm.  There's a clinic in the shopping center right near Hula Grill so I went there to get it done yesterday morning and it took about three minutes.  I filled out the general first-time visit paper then the nurse brought me right in, described nothing about the procedure, said "Hold out your arm."  She then shot me up and said, "Don't scratch or pick at it.  Come back in two days.  You can pay the receptionist in front."  And I was on my way.  Really?  No questions?  No talk of side effects?  It's that safe, eh?  I hate doctor's offices..
I have no idea if I still have a job at the pizza place because my boss never called me on Monday.  I'm taking that as a sign that I do not, in fact, still have a job at the pizza place.  Good riddance, I say.  Working without an ocean view is for suckers.  I'm sitting in a cafe in the strip mall the pizza place is in right now so I'll probably head in when I finish up here to get the final verdict.  If he still wants me to roll this weekend I'll roll this weekend (Unlike Walter, I do fucking roll on Shabbos..).  But after that, PEEEECE out.  My motivation to stop by today comes directly from my need to find out when I can pick up my check for $37 after taxes or whatever my six or seven hours will work out to.  At that pace I would have been splashing cash around these parts in no time...

Getting a check will also give me the motivation to open up a bank account down here so that I'll be able to cash said checks.  I've only used an ATM once here and that was to buy my bicycle.  A $2.50 rip for that purchase was manageable.  For $20 every other day...not so much.  I don't know why I didn't assume that a recycled bike shop would be a cash only business so I really had no one to blame but myself.  I'm over it.  I HATE atm fees, though.  I don't know if there's anything I dislike more than ATM fees.  Nothing comes to mind..


After all these good things happened (well, I guess it's really just one good thing and that was getting a job...though losing the dough roller job was "bad" in a VERY good way..) this morning I got the talk from Jon's roommate that it's time for me to be hitting the ol' dusty trail and saddling up out of their place.  Jon has no pull...jerk.  I don't know how they could say no when he propositioned them a full-time, non-rent paying couch sleeper.  What wasn't to love about that?

I really don't want to bother getting an apartment right now so I've made some calls about renting a room in a house.  I'm still dead-set on staying out of the downtown area so I'll probably have to pay a bit more but on the whole I'm not too worried about it.  It's just money.  In a perfect world I was hoping to wait until I got knowing a few more folks at Hula so I could have looked for a roommate there, but sometimes life just ain't fair.  I'll just get a place in a house for a couple of months-ish and then do the same thing.  I'm not worried about it; things will shake out.  Hell, it really was time for me to move on anyway...sleeping on a couch is the anti-cool.


My tan's pretty bangin' now.  I'm not mad about that.  The calendars tell me I've been here for two weeks, too.  It doesn't feel like I've been here for two weeks.  I don't know what it feels like.  The days have all kind of run together at this point, probably to be lumped in a "Beginning" pile of shit somewhere down the road.  I think I feel out of sorts because I've done a lot but I don't feel settled...because I'm still sleeping on a god damn couch.  In another week or so with work starting and a new place to sleep and things will be old hat.

O, I'm going to check out a room this evening just up the road from where I've been crashing.  Hopefully it'll be fine and I can move in tomorrow - per usual I really don't want to have to look/work too hard to get this [read: anything..] taken care of.  That being said, I can't wait to get a good night's sleep...can not f-ing wait.  Cheers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

McDonald's Has Wi-Fi..

I just finished reading Fast Food Nation a couple of days ago, a book full of scathing indictments concerning the fast food industry's rise to prominence within America and the around the globe and the changes to agriculture and livestock production as well as a general trend around the globe to more processed foods.  What this guy boiled it down to was McDonald's is a more effective agent for change for food production than the Federal government.  YIKES!  Horror stories are presented concerning workplace conditions in slaughterhouses, what parts of cattle end up in ground beef, what cattle and poultry are fed to boost growth prior to slaughter, etc...  Every other page it seemed there was a moment where I said, "Shit, that's just gross."  Gross in a bad way.

I pretty much pounded through the book as I've had some pretty lazy days and upon finishing it all I could think was, "Alright, who am I kidding.  Everything that was discussed is sickening and true and wrong in many, many ways, but I need a McDouble and fries just to help me mentally move on from this presentation of facts.

And let me tell you something: It was just what the doctor ordered.  A McDouble, McChicken, and a small fry for three bucks seems like a perfect dinner, right?  I'll feel it tomorrow, which is kind of the point of the book.  Good food shouldn't make you feel like shit the next day, ergo, this is not good food.  I found it amusing here that I couldn't find a plain hamburger or cheeseburger on the menu.  They have been replaced on the dollar menu by the McDouble, for the same price.  That struck me as odd; There's more to this sangwich then there used to be, yet it's the same price.  Most everything else seems to be increasing in price and yet McDonald's is somehow able to give you more for the same price.  Gross.  I mean, it tasted just like it smelled: DELICIOUS.  But at the same time I don't see myself frequenting Micky D's any time soon.  Even my broke ass can find better food for cheap than what I can get here.  I just can't get over the fact McDonald's has wi-fi.  I should have expected this but I never saw it coming.  Hardly anywhere else around here has wi-fi.  Coffee shops don't always have it and most that do try to charge you for it.  F that S.  A sangwich place in the strip of shops also containing the pizza place I work at has wi-fi, but their sangwiches are expensive.  Which leaves needing to be where I sleep to blog.  This again proves the clout of McD's: They are able to buy their foods in such bulk that the prices they pay are so much lower than their mom & pop competitors they're able to offer services other places can't offer.  It's a hell of a business model, but at the same time it just makes me feel bad for the little guy.
Sidenote: The speakers here just played a cover of the song Adam Sandler sang on the plane at the end of The Wedding Singer.  I just found that odd.  It's a good song, but odd moreso because I never would have guessed someone would cover that into a radio-friendly song.  I think I've seen it all.
It's hard coming here and seeing pudgy little kids plowing through sangwiches, too.  It's just kind of sad.  Low wages and the job marketplace makes cheap, processed food a necessary evil.  Another product of a broken system.  Blah, blah, blah.  Everyone who reads this probably knows the facts by now.  I don't need to repeat them.  It's just kind of like, "Aww, man."

Sorry if that bit of a downer made you down.  Help yourself to a Junior Bacon Chee from Wendy's.  Just go through the drive through, that way you can enjoy your tasty sangwich in privacy without encountering the badness the food can do to you.  Then go out tomorrow and run a mile or two.  Just in case..

O, and read The Omnivore's Dilemma, too.  It was written a couple few years after Nation and this guy actually discusses progressive changes within agribusiness as a result of the slow food movement.  Nation leaves his "ideas of change" for the last ten pages or so.  I found it to be kind of half-assed: Here are all these problems I've noticed.  I'm not going to give anymore than one sentence statements on how to fix these problems, because I think I did such a good just presenting the problems.  The author probably didn't mean to sound this way, but I didn't enjoy it.  So I say don't bother with Nation; read Dilemma.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Cheers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

(Somewhat cliched..) Words to live by..

Since I got to Hawaii I couldn't help but be captivated by virtually everything I've seen  It's just totally different from anything I've ever experienced before.  The differing nationalities of the population, the mix of locals and tourists, the different topography and scenery, buildings, just, everything was different.  I came knowing one person fairly well.  Other than that, I knew nobody (This fact has led to some lengthy internal monologues already...this would more or less be an example of one such monologue, though it really isn't internal anymore.).  I knew nothing about where I was headed, and this partly explains why I ended up packing far too many clothes for what my day-to-day activities require.  All of this occurred after twenty five years of never leaving Maine and, more specifically, never leaving the L/A area.

It's a running joke amongst my friends and family that I've never really left and it's 100% true.  And it's more than never leaving the area - I'm fairly certain I've never been away from my house for more than 14 consecutive days (I may have said this before - I don't remember.  Bear with me..).  Even when I was at Bates I'd swing home on Sundays for dinner or to watch TV and during the week to check my mail or just hang out when I wanted to get off campus.  When I lived in Lewiston for a few months after graduation it was the same way - when I was bored I'd head home.

All this being said I just felt it was time to leave, and not just make it a small leave but do something seriously different.  It's a big world and I wanted to start seeing a little more of it.  HOORAY for me.  And after never leaving town before now I don't really feel homesick, and I don't expect that I will.  This isn't saying that I don't miss my folks and the stupid things we'd joke about, because I do, or swilling beers at Liam and Rachel's or Gipper's on Thursday nights or nailing shingles with a funny crew or just the comfort I had rolling around L/A, because I like Maine.  I really do.  I like most everything about it and certainly see myself there when I'm old and gray and crusty and still shoveling my driveway by hand because snowblowers are for suckers and still driving an old car because of the character old cars always seem to have.  But all that aside, I wanted something NEW.  REFRESHING.  I was bored.

And when I touched down and saw the ocean and the beach and the mountains in a 360 degree panorama that collectively distracted me from the ugly hotels and other signs of sprawl that have tainted the natural beauty I was seeking, to some degree I knew I had read a quote somewhere that was appropriate for my situation and how I was feeling but it just didn't seem to come to me.  I mean, I'm here not doing much of anything.  J.Mac has given me the green light to crash at their place until the other people paying rent tell him directly I've outstayed my welcome.  Whatever I do out here I in no way expect to call it a step forward in my career path.  I'm sure this bothers me on some level but I'm really just ignoring the sense that I should have a legitimate job by now, because, well, I went to a good school, I had a good job for a couple of years, most all of my close friends have good jobs...but, for whatever reason that's not really of interest to me now.  Scraping by doesn't bother me at all.  The freedom is refreshing.  Well, it will be refreshing once I get some kind of a a job...I don't know why but I just don't feel this dough rolling gig working out...

But, shit, I've never really failed yet in life.  Mainly because I don't stick my neck out a lot.  I went to Bates because it was safe, took jobs there after because, well, they gave them to me and I didn't have to apply, and everything else was sort of the same.  I got stuck in a rut in that I didn't want to start applying for jobs that I really didn't want, only to see myself get turned down for these jobs.  HONESTLY, WHO WOULDN'T WANT ME WORKING FOR THEM.  The long hair and scraggle was a nice touch because I could say "NO WAY AM I GOING TO CONFORM TO WHAT THEY WANT.  THAT'S WHY I'M NOT GETTING JOBS."  Then I come out here and shave within a couple of days so I can look for a job I would have deemed well below my education level at home.  Then I worked for a day with an 18 year old boss.  I've applied to more places in the week I've been down here than in the almost three years since I graduated from college.  Talk about a contradiction to what I'd do back home..

But I knew I had something that was in the back of my mind that could kind of explain this.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Streamy thoughts after a rainy couple of days..

It's rained the past three days here.  LAME.  This place is supposed to get maybe fifteen inches of rainfall a year and a third of my days thus far have involved rain.  I'm clearly the bad luck guy who brought the bad weather with him.  Maine has been reasonably nice since I left.  The mid-Atlantic has been getting pounded, presumably because Mother Nature first thought I had headed there.  It looks like she's found me now...what a jerk I is.  K, I'm over it.


O, I got a job.  I'm the weekend dough roller at Round Table Pizza - Kaanapali.  It's a pretty prestigious position.  I Put forty pounds of pizza dough through a rolling machine a bunch of times, slowly thinning it out, then I cut pizza crusts out of it.  The room I work in is about 35 square feet and has one porthole window into the rest of the shop.  It's miserable, haha.  I guess I technically got hired Wednesday but I went in on Thursday to watch the weekday dough roller do his thing and that was when I got my name tag and and :Round Table - Maui" trucker hat.  The owner was out of town for the week so I have to wait on my t-shirts.  I can always use more t-shirts...

My first real day was today.  My 18 year old boss/manager didn't seem impressed with my skills.  And for good reason - I was moderately terrible.  But I started off in a sour mood because this clock-knocker told me to arrive to work at 8am.  This wasn't a big deal.  The big deal was that he didn't show up until I sat in front of the locked pizza shop for an hour.  Really made my, wait, it did not make my day.

Once we got going it wasn't too bad, except when I was in on Thursday the weekday dough roller sort of stood over my shoulder while I rolled once or twice and had no problem saying "You're doing it wrong; do this."  My manager today loved the standing over the shoulder watching part but enjoyed waiting until I butchered 40 pounds of dough before he said, "How do you think things are going?"  Buddy, I have a blob the size of Jobba the Hut and it's supposed to be a quarter inch thick and 40 feet do you think I THINK things are going?

I didn't say that, which is why it's not in quotes.  I thought that.  Feedback is good.  JUST GIVE ME IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK, DAMMIT.  All I really needed to hear is, "Hey asshole: Use more flour so it won't fucking stick back together you donkey shoe."  Ahhh, yes, thank you.  I was putting flour on but it was just a light dusting which would be absorbed long before I got my snake of dough folded and set up for another run through.  Flour is your friend; I know this now.  Thanks for the update, Big Ben.

After that debacle did I feel bad when he said, "Well, you can leave because I have to make more dough and it's going to be another hour before it's ready..."  No, I did not.  I worked my shift and that was good enough for me on my first day.  I just hope I don't get fired.  I don't know if I could handle having to listen to an 18 year old kid tell me those eleven sad, fateful, traumatic words that NO ONE ever wants to hear: "Maybe you're just not cut out to be a dough roller."

I think I can (I think I can...I think I can...I Think I can...) be the best damn dough roller out there.  But we shall see...we shall see.


In other news I picked up a badass cruiser bicycle on Friday.  It's an classic old, women's Schwinn from WAY back.  This sucker weighs about as much as I do.  But it's got six speeds, a rack on the back and it's spray painted royal blue so on Friday when I was cruising around town I looked like I belong.  Mad props everywhere I looked form the locals.  Progress is a good thing (not sure whether this "progress" is actually taking me forwards or backwards...but I'm not going to worry about that for awhile...Shhh.).  It's a little moist outside so I'm not going to bother to take a digital photograph for you today.  But trust me, it looks as good as you'd expect a bike purchased from a recycled bike shop to look.

My ringing rainfall to Lahaina aside, this bike purchase also demonstrated the poor luck which I have most of the time.  After taking a quick public bus ride then walking a couple of miles (Had to save that dollar!) south to Lahaina Twon where the bike store was located, buying the bike then cruising town for a couple hours because I had nothing better to do I returned to where I've been laying my head to rest to read a little and just hang out.  Once home I remembered I had seen a number for a place to live while I was running that morning so I decided to hop on  Babe (I think that's what I'm going to name her.  She's a big blue ox, if I've ever seen one.  And this time it's got the required female parts [read: low pole] so it's definitely a girl's name.  I don't have to choose gender-neutral names like the Blue Goose and the Red Dragon/Little Red Wagon this time around.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"All roads lead to the..."

So the past couple of days I've actually gotten around to emailing people in regards to places to live and places to work.  I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit (read: not that much at all..) while still having plenty of time to survey the scenes in front of me.  After I applied to where J.Mac works, The Hula Grill, I sat down and had a beer (or was it two?  I don't recall.  Probably safer to say two..) and sat across from this guy who has been out here for 20 years or so and was originally from...Lewiston.  The t-shirts are right: All Roads [do somehow seem to] Lead to the Blue Goose."

He played ball up at UMaine back in the late 70's then got in a bad car accident that put him in a wheelchair, bummed around New England here and there for awhile then more or less decided warm weather is the place to be.  So it sounds like he goes to the Hula Grill pretty much every day to suck down blush wine and Coors Light.  I can't say I respect the Coors Light but he was a hell of a nice guy.  I think he said "Man, you just made the best fucking decision of your life," six times.  His name escapes me right now but I'm sure I'll see more of that character soon enough.  It's always nice to run into people who are down with the Goose.  It just makes me feel at home even when I'm far, far away.  That place is legendary; if you've been then be proud.  If  you've been there and you're not proud then you probably have a big dump in your pants.

Our conversation also turned humorous when a server overheard our back-and-forth Goose talk and thought we were talking about a bar called the Mongoose a little bit south of where we were at.  We were not, but as we talked she informed me that this Mongoose place is one of the known-but-less-frequented dive bars in the area.  IT SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL.  It must be something about bars with "Goose" in their names that breed a stellar atmosphere.  I still haven't checked it out as I'm trying to force myself to get a job before I go out a lot, but trust that the Mongoose will be on my hit list in the very, very near future.


In other news I shaved the face.  And a clean-shaven face sucks.  Now I remember why I stopped shaving.  I'm just all rough and scratchy right now.  And I ditched a killer mustache in the process.  Sometime over the last three years or so between shaves I developed a somewhat decent stand-alone mustache and just never knew it...until the day I shaved.  Typical.  More or less, it took a 6000 mile trip and the object of finding fairly menial work for me to razor it all off.  At least if it doesn't pay off then I can just grow it back.  HELLS YES.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Early birfday present for my mamma:

Anyone who is facebook friends with big Marie may know she has a birfday coming up on Monday.  So if you see her then wish her a happy birfday for me.  I will be doing the same via cellular telephone, but I just don't think that's quite as good as an in-person Happy Birfday.

Without further adieu, Ma, I bring you more photos, this time from yesterday's bike-riding adventure south to check out Lahaina Town, along with some other places I stopped along the way down and back (All of these should get bigger if you click on them..):

This is the beach across the street from J.Mac's place.  It's a nice place to eat breakfast:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It takes a lot out of you to do this little..

Well, I made it.  Safe and sound, I suppose.  No worse for wear.  I sat in the middle aisle from Seattle to Maui so I was unable to stare at the Pacific on the way over or the other islands as we were landing.  Shucks.  All in all things have been good.  Spent the day on the beach.  It kicked my ass.  My white ass hadn't seen sun in four months, but on the whole I didn't get too beat up by the sun today.  K, my face is a bit red.  It happens.  Nothing a little lotion and some more sunscreen can't fix tomorrow.

Swimming in the ocean is much nicer than swimming in a swimming pool.  The salt water keeps my ass from sinking so I actually managed quite well in my swims today.  Jumped off a rock.  Some volleyball.  Couple buds, couple buds, etc.  Someone had to do it, so I'm fine with it being done by me.

Wednesday after I landed in Kahului and had nothing to do for awhile.  The airport information desk was happy to point me in the direction of town so I footed it to the nearest bar where I sucked down a couple of beers and made small talk until I could catch a ride out to Lahaina, about 20 miles away.  The places had $2 PBR pints.  I felt like I was back home at the Goose, and all was well.  Met the Kahului town drunk, who was quite a bit more friendly than Roland.  Drank Budweiser.  He is a good man, as far as I could tell.


Some snapshots to begin:

View from airport in Kahului:

Views from the beach circa de noontime (complete with obligatory foot shot):

It's funny because all the beaches are public beaches and most of the major hotels are built right along the beaches, so you just sort of mingle in and around the hotels and their amenities pretty easily.  This place was about 2-3 miles south of where I've been laying my head to rest.  Jon's place is about 60 or 70 yards from a park on the shoreline.  It proved a fine place for breakfast but I didn't bother to bring my camera.  Maybe tomorrow (or the next day.  or the next day..)


The only predicament I'm in is that I kind of feel like I'm contradicting some of my Maine-love.  It always pisses me off to see Mass-holes and the like come into Maine for a weekend or a week, yet now I'm in one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.  I think it could be seen as kind of the same thing.  I should probably be eating crow; instead I'll just look the other way.  Yeah, that sounds better.  Cheers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Here Goes Nothing...

It is about six o'clock and I'm just settling in to a nice seat as I head towards Chicago.  From there I move along to Seattle, where I have an abomination of a layover because I am cheap and I chose to save some bucks flying out of Portland over the span of two days rather than flying out of Boston at 4am which would have left me needing to find a way to get to Logan at 2am.  Both seemed equally miserable as I was looking to book so of course I chose to save a few bucks.  That's just the way I is.

Thus far things aren't too bad.  I got bumped to quasi-business class, which basically means I have the same legroom as the folks in an exit row but none of the responsibility.  But hell, If this thing were to have gone down I wouldn't have done a damn thing.  The hay's in the barn and as Ron White likes to say, "Make sure you hit something hard - I don't want to limp away from this."  Of course this is all moot because if you're able to read this it is because we did not, in fact, "land easrly."  Yippee.

I must apologize to anyone I did not speak to directly before I skipped town.  I am fairly certain there are at least a few people who will be sendning texts for Gipper's Thursday, and I just don't think I can work it into my schedule.  Oops.  But to be honest I just don't like talking about serious things on here that much.  I'm considering this semi-serious.  And I don't really know what to tell people.  I may be there a couple of months, I may be there for longer.  Much longer.  I don't know.  And I'm not proud to say I'm able to up and leave with some dollars to float around as things shake out down there because I've been roommates with my parents for the past...well, it's been awhile.  I'm not proud, but shit, I'm not mad at it, either.  This is where no expectations or plans get you.  So, I'll just drift along and that'll be that.

 I did make it to Gipper's last night for a quick send-off Budweiser.  Fitting end, I say.


Shawn and I got together yesterday and we finally made it to see Avatar.  Shawn REALLY wanted to see it and had REALLY wanted to see it for quite some time but neither of us communicate that well from day to day so we had put it off the whole month of January.  I had really wanted to see it at the IMAX just because that seemed like the cool thing to do, but as my time in town was growing short and I had put off a lot of other various loose ends that I needed to tie up before my departure from town we just headed to the Lewiston Flagship cinemas to catch it locally in 3-D.

We made it to the theater fine and good but it appears no one in Lewiston or Auburn or any of the other surrounding towns enjoys catching a matinee on a Tuesday afternoon.  I'm probably overestimating when I say that there were about 15 cars in the lot.  So, more or less the theater was open but the total veiwers weren't even paying the worker's pittance of a salary, let alone whatever the hell James Cameron charges for his movie to be played once.  This turned humorous when we walked into theater 10 and it was pitch dark.  Liereally pitch dark.  The screen was off.  The lights were off.  The floor lights were off.  I'll give Flagship credit: At least their cutting all the corners they can to stay in business.  Credit aside, I was pretty pissed off I didn't get to see my movie trivia prior to the show.
Sidenote here: Be wary of dark places with Shawn.  He likes to get handsy..
It was so odd that at 3:50 Shawn walked back to the lobby to make sure they were actually planning to show the film.  As the door shut the previews started but I didn't get up to tell him.  Serves him right, right?  It's called trust.

At any rate the movie was long.  Almost 3 hours.  The glasses were funny.  I still have mine.  And I have a pretty big crush on Neytiri, the 9 foot tall blue babe who is prncess of the tribe.  To paraphrase L'il Kim: "Fuck a dime.  [She] a silver dollar."  Holler.

The movie was good.  The plot was standard.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It had a love story.  Because all big-time movies should have one, right?  The magical world of Pandora was very nice.  So nice, in fact, I'll probably see it again.  The 3-D was actually kind of cool at times because I ever got the sense of things coming "at" me, but sometimes the screen would pan out and things would rush by my periphery and then focus as it continued to pan out.  I thought this was pretty neat.  I felt like I was there, man.

Shawn was pissed.  He drank too much Avatar Kool-Aid and thought it was going to change his life.  I told him that I could see how people were getting depressed after seeing it, and it was because it wasn't that good.  He laughed and agreed, then we went to Staples and I bought a pencil sharpener.  Because everyone should have their own pencil sharpener.
Another sidenote here:  Who still uses pencils?  I do.  A lot of the time, actually.  But Shawn mocked me incessantly saying that everyone uses pens now.  I know in a workplace setting a lot of things need to be in pen, but do people still use pencils outside of work?  I do.  You know what I use.  Dixon's, babay!!
But, ya.  It was okay, I suppose.  I kept the glasses, so I've got that going for me...

I also had this problem: Sigorney Weaver was in the movie and she plays a human scientist lady whose DNA was spliced with the blue people DNA so she has ablue person she can control via her mind when she's in a pod.  This isn't an earth-shattering plot secret, this is just what the whole movie is based around.  Yeah, it's realistic...but anyway so Sigorney Weaver plays this doctor lady, but her voice is used for her Avatar, aka the blue person she can control via her mind when she's in a pod.  So, I'm not attracted to Sigorney Weaver at all.  Let's just say I think she's been involved in one or two too many fights, to put it as nicely as I can.  But at the same time I thought her Avatar was even sexier than Neytiri.  But, hell, every time I saw that Avatar and heard Sigorney Weaver's voice I had to say, "Oh,"  It's not nice, but it's the world we live in.  This isn't to disrespect Neytiri because she was the total package.  It just messed with my mind EVERY time Sigorney's Avatar talked.  Buzzkill, indeed. Cheers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What a day, what a day..

I was hoping to be able to get some funny words up about the weekend today but it's now after 10pm and I'm tired.  So I'm not sure how far I'm going to get with this. 

UPDATE:  It's now midnight.  This is how far I've gotten with this.  My apologies to the sparse group of readers out there.  I actually had some funny things happen to me this weekend.  And by funny things happen to me I mostly mean I did funny things that cause people to get embarrassed and force a fake smile and a laugh.  Yes, this is my life.  
But for the record:  Until Saturday I had never been out to imbibe spirits in Cambridge.  When I hear names thrown around I expect a house party.  The folks I was with kept talking about going to John Harvard's.  I assume this John Harvard fellow is having a gathering at his house, or apartment, because this came up right after I was talking up a house party we were considering checking out later in the evening.  Come to find out John Harvard's is a bar.  A big bar.  A big bar that was packed with people.  
I didn't see this coming, and not seeing this coming upset me a bit.  When I go out in big places with lots of people I need to get mentally ready.  Because, for the most part, I hate both big places AND people.  So it took me awhile to shake this off.  I'm mentally weak in social situations.  Fack.  GROW UP, MAN!

This may not sound especially funny, especially because unless you're from Greater Boston then you've probably never heard of John Harvard's, either.  But I'm sure my surprised and dumbfounded look, followed by my repeats of "John Harvard's is a bar?  I thought we were going to John Harvard's HOUSE?!"  amused quite a few people.  Both friends and others who were within earshot.  Sonofabeesting. 

But, yeah.  It was that kind of weekend.  Cheers.