Friday, April 30, 2010

Another week has passed? Sorry, folks.

More than a week now.  Oops.  I guess I've sort of been going through a bit of writer's block these past couple of weeks.  My motivations haven't been to write.  Some of this laziness in writing has been a result of me having to spend more time getting around.  Yep, my bike got another flat...then another flat the day I fixed the flat so I've been leather tramping around for just about a week now.  I don't really have a problem with walking places out here since I don't have much to do and it appears the rainy days are over with here, but at the same time it still takes about an hour to get down or back from Hula and fifteen or twenty minutes to get down or back from the Farmer's Market or grocery store.  So the minutes and hours walking around add up and the long days suddenly get a tad bit shorter and the time I can devote to blogging shrinks accordingly.

I also haven't been traveling north to my McDonald's office recently because of my tire issues and that seems to have slowed my mo-jo, too.  I enjoy sitting down when I write so it's a lot easier to get my sig up there where I can sit and be online than when I'm home and I can lay down OR be online, but I can't do both at the same time.  Is it sad that I find myself procrastinating and distracting myself from writing about things I actually want to write about?  Like, I'm not putting off tedious school work I can pick the crap I'm typing about and I still can't just sit down and pound out thoughts.  CLEARLY, I need my health insurance to kick in next week so I can go see a doc and get some drugs to help me focus for periods of time.........and some painkillers.........for my.......shoulder.......and some anti-anxiety job is terribly stressful........and a medical marijuana card.........because I figure I should just ask for all of these at once.........right?

But on a serious note I should be getting my health insurance the first week in May.  This is pretty cool.  I work a little over twenty hours a week and I get full health and dental insurance.  This is separate from Obama-Care, so get off my ass.  This is a state program where state taxes are a little higher to help subsidize a state plan, and they've done this in conjunction with two insurance providers because, well, there aren't a ton of insurers beating down the bushes to get to the few folks who live in Hawaii.  So while I haven't seen a doc out here yet the program does seem like a pretty good concept.  I'm sure in some way it contributes to a sort of slacker mentality, where 20 hours a week is full time and good enough...but for right now that seems just swell to me.  My pearly whites could use a good washing.


I also hesitate to write at times until after I do something and most times it takes days or weeks to actually do whatever it was that I thought could prove interesting to write about.  Many evenings here are spent discussing possible adventures for tomorrows and the next days, yet when those days arrive a lot of times...nothing actually transpires.  Shocking, I know.  For example, yesterday a few cohorts and I went up to Honolua Bay to watch the sun set.  Honolua Bay is about five or six miles from our residences.  A five minute drive by car.  We had a car.  We had planned to go Sunday.  Didn't happen.  Then the same thing for Monday.  Still didn't happen.  That's kind of how things go around here.  Sometimes a little less talk and a lot more action would make things a little more entertaining...but that would be more work, too.  Easy come, easy go.  I didn't snap any pictures - my camera stayed at home - but I have to say it was worth the wait.


Here are some older pictures from a whale watch I went on with J.Mac's roommate, Josh.  He's back in MA now to work on the Cape for the summer.  Tough life, really...

West Maui from da boat..

Our fearless captain..
He had a bunch of funny jokes but I've forgotten them all.  Let's just say this wasn't his first time on the water..

Let's just say a couple of these went down in two hours on the water..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's been a week, eh?


As usual I haven't been doing much of a damn thing.  My bike got YET ANOTHER flat tire a couple of days ago so I've been having to take the bus down to work and then haggle a ride back from fellow employees because I'm too lazy to patch it up.  Today I'm planning to walk it down to Jonny's place so I can use another one of his patches to try to get it back on the up and up.  I'm not going to fix it today, just leave it down there so I can fix it sometime down the line.  II sure as shit don't want a car out here but all these god damn flat tires really ruin my buzz.  It's entirely possible that I really should break down and buy, get this, NEW tires instead of still messing around with used pieces of shit, but, damn, I don't want to spend twenty dollars on new tires!  This just proves once again how much of a cheap ass I am.  K: I resolve to buy new tires when I get paid on Thursday.  I resolve to buy new tires when I get paid on Thursday.  I resolve to buy new tires when I get paid on Thursday.....


The ESPN NFL schedule release show is on right now.  I can't believe they actually televise this.  There are like seven people involved, plus four NFL players/coaches as guests.  It lasts an hour.  The season doesn't start for over four months.  HOW IS THIS COMPELLING TELEVISION?!

I do like how the NFL this year made all Week 17 games division match-ups.  Just another clever way for the league to try to keep teams from resting people.  I don't really see how it would make a difference, as if two teams in a division are separated by a game going into week 17 then both teams are going to have to try to win anyways.  I know Trey Wingo is the NFL Countdown guy, like, THE guy, but he HAS to get a little tired of needing to make all this shit sound interesting.  "It's March.  THE DRAFT IS ONLY SIX WEEKS AWAY.  I CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF!"  What, you're excited about the NFL Draft, that's now a month and a half away?  No, no you're not.


O, this is good.  I forgot my camera, but I had a fabulous dinner last week.  Many of you New England folks have probably heard of the Flatbread Company.  They have locations in Portland, North Conway, Portsmouth, and a couple of other places in Assachusetts.  Well, they also have a location on Maui that they just opened up a couple of years ago, which made me respect the Flatbread founders even more.  "Yeah, umm, all of our locations are in the northeast and it kind of gets cold there in the winter...where can we put another one that'll be warm all year round?  Maui?  Yeah, that'll work.."  Well played, Flatbread owners.

I am a huge Flatbread fan.  The flatbread pizzas I used to make back home were inspired by the tasty treats I'd pick up down in Portland and in North Conway.  Hell, there were times when I'd drive to Portland to just go to Flatbread for dinner.  That seems very silly, but to me it's well worth it.  Liam and I would always stop at Flatbread in North Conway when we'd cruise back from hikes in the White Mountains.  I'd always have two beers and usually feel a little buzz because I'd be tired and dehydrated from getting up early and walking around all day.  But man, they have tasty treats.

ANYWAYS I told you that story to bring up that I made it to Flatbread last week.  It's on the other side of the island so it was a fun adventure to get there, too.  And as always there was some semi-silliness involved.  This Flatbread dinner could technically be described as a date, because I went with a young woman, but I'd say it was more a friendly dinner.  She lives on that side so it was no sweat for her, but I had to take two buses to get across, haha.  We had the veggie special and I don't really remember what was on was just OK I guess, but we also had the Kapula pork flatbread which was killer.  It had a bunch of tender pulled pork and pineapple chunks on it, with a nice sweet BBQ sauce.  WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO.  Scrumptious.  While the treats were island-influenced, I almost felt like I was back in Maine during the whole dinner.  It's safe to say there will be plenty more flatbreads in my future.


While I was away from home on that adventure I stopped in the Maui county seat so that I could get a Hawaii state ID.  It's called a Kama'aina, or local ID out here and it gets you discounts at a lot of places because most shops mark up goods to take advantage of the tourists.  So I wanted to get a local ID because 10-25% off at a lot of places sounds better to me than paying full price.  I brought all of my hoopla: birth certificate, passport, social security card, and headed to the Governor's Liaison's office to get my paperwork filled out and my picture taken.

And this place was just like the BMV back home.  Two workers processing papers at a snail's pace, while many people waited "patiently" for long periods of time.  And their hours were kind of funny, too: 9am-noon, then there was an hour lunch break, and the office reopened from 1pm-2:30pm.  And they closed at 2:30pm sharp.  If you weren't seen, then you had to come back the next day.  Miss when your name is called?  Sign in again at the back of the line.  Maui-time, indeed.  I lucked out because six people were late getting back from lunch so they all lost their spots in line.  And I'm fairly certain that was the only reason I made it in because I didn't get out until around 2:15pm, and I think there were only four people who went in before me after 1pm. To sum: the place was a joke.

 To continue, I had all my paperwork filled out and I had a bank statement with my address on it and I went up to get it all taken care of...and when I set all my stuff down in front of the paper-pusher I was told that a bank statement was not an acceptable form of address verification.  Made.  My.  Day.  Truth be told I had read this on the wall prior to me going forward but in situations such as these I enjoy pleading ignorance.  Didn't quite work in this case, but what followed was kind of amusing:

Gentleman behind the counter: We can't accept a bank statement.
Me: Oh, really?  Well, this is all that I have.
Gentleman: Do you have a rental agreement?
Me: No.
Gentleman: No gas or water bill, or anything like that?
Me: No, I just rent a room at this address and it's all-inclusive.
Gentleman: Well, do you have a pay stub on you?
Me: No, like I said before, the bank statement is all that I have.

Here I think he's going to tell me I'll need to come back another time, which I was more or less expecting as I walked up to the counter.  But, actually, things just got silly:

Gentleman: Well, do you have a license or ID from another state?
Me: Well, yeah, I do.  I have a Maine Driver's license.
Gentleman:  O, that's fine then.  Just give me that and I can use that address.

So...I got my kama'aina ID...with a Maine address on it.  How bizarre is that?  To me it just seems bootleg.  I haven't tried using it yet...but I feel like sometime in the next month or so I'll be making it back over with a pay stub to get an ACTUAL Hawaii ID.  I didn't travel six thousand miles to still "reside" at my parents house.  That's just silly.
See, I can't make this shit up.  Cheers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hang 10? Not so much..

Sunday I made it out intot he water for my first experience on a surfboard.  And, well, I didn't do a damn thing other than paddle around.  It would be an unsderstatement to say I was a little intimidated but the shallow water and the reef and the decent sized I didn't even try to get up even though I was out in the water for a couple of hours.  Maybe next time.  I had a fine time just paddling, and man, it was a solid workout, too.

I went out with Jonny and another gentleman who works at Hula who had an extra longboard for me to go out on.  That was another reason why I didn't really try to do much of aything.  The last thing I needed to do was break someone else's board my first time out.  That would have just been unfortunate all the way around.  I don't think he was really worried about it but I don't really need that bullshit.  He also spent our walk down to the beach explaining how to fall and not sink way down, because in quite a few spots the coral would only be a couple of feet from the top of the water.  This did not impress me, as if I attempted to get up I would have fallen, well, EVERY TIME.  I guess you could say I wasn't really impressed with the location choice for this particular adventure..

Even though I didn't do a damn thing it was still pretty cool to be out on a board.  I'm a terrible swimmer, so chances are I'll work on my stroke for a bit before I get back on the board.  O, funny story from when we were out there:
We went up to a little beach right near Kapalua (the golf course for the Mercedes Championship and the Kapalua course featured in Tiger Woods golf is close by..) and there weren't too many people on the beach and about ten people surfing, including the three of us.  We were down one end of the beach along with another guy (who I guess is a pro and has been featured a bunch of times in surf magazines but I forget his name and I'm sure he was impressed with my skills..) and there were four or five people surfing at the other end of the beach.  One of the people who was out came into Hula on Monday, and Jon was talking to her about how she thought the waves were and she responded along the lines of "It was good, other than the 10 foot tiger shark that started circling me while I was out there." 
Moral of the story is I think I need to wait until I get health insurance to go back out so if I get nipped or ripped by shark or coral while I'm out there someone else can pay for it.  A shark bite without health insurance is just bad business..

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gecko Shmecko..

There's a gecko in my room (take that nature, NatureWoman..).  I'm not sure exactly how it ended up inside but I'm pretty sure he or she snuck in one of the many times I left my sliding screen door open while I was going wee wee.  The sliding door doesn't slide very well so a lot of the time I don't bother to shut it when I'm just walking out for a few minutes.  It's been crawling across the top of my walls for much of the evening.  At first I thought I may be an alcoholic and I was seeing imaginary spiders.  Then I was pretty sure I saw something and got pretty nervous because I thought it was a REAL spider.  I guess there's one nasty breed out here that can be a real pain in the ass.  It can't deliver venom but it can bite and it's got a big, nasty look to it.  If I ever have a run in with one you can be pretty certain I'll be over Maui very shortly after said run in.  Then it flashed again and I saw it was a gecko and I kind of lost interest in it.

After about an hour of it scrambling now and again I tried unsuccessfully to catch it with an empty cereal box.  The attempt lasted about twenty five seconds.  I'm over it now.  I think he'll be a fine roommate as long as he picks up half the rent and doesn't eat my food.  I'd have to kill him if he ate my food.  I really don't want to kill him, I just want it to find it's way back out.  At the same time I don't want to leave my door open because I don't want the West Maui Gecko Convention to be hosted here.  Decisions, decisions.  And I deal with it tomorrow.


Groundhog Day was just on Bravo.  About a week or two ago I was talking with a few folks about living out here and it was compared to the movie Groundhog Day.  I'm pretty certain I made this comparison but I don't exactly remember so I won't take credit for it, but, really, at times it seems like a regular Groundhog Day out here.  Every day is the same, and more or less every day you can do whatever you want.  It's kind of silly.

Groundhog Day is one of my all time favorites; it could very well be in my top five.  It's Bill Murray at his best.  When Groundhog Day came up in conversation whenever it was I got kind of bummed because I had no idea when I'd see it again; I have no DVD player and only brought The Big Lebowski and Stop Making Sense with me.  I guess Groundhog Day, and Wayne's World, too, were oversights on my part.  SONOFABEESTING.  K, I'm over it.  Best quote:
Phil: Do you know what today is...Today is tomorrow.
But miraculously Groundhog Day was on within two weeks!  Crisis averted.  Also, here's a good review and synopsis of Groundhog Day and Groundhog Day from 2004, eleven-ish years after it was released.  Like I said, it's not too bad..

I've been kind of surprised how much is actually on TV.  I don't watch a lot but no matter the time I flip the television on I always seem to find something that is pretty good on.  Sometimes it's South Park or Family Guy.  Other times it's kicking it college-style with Food Network and the History Channel.  Today it was the second half of Groundhog Day.  It's being followed by the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.  Beautious.
[Not very] Funny aside: Rene Russo's character in the movie is from Lima, OH.  I've been to Lima, OH, home to Ohio Northern University.  Neat, right...?
I enjoy the film, but I can't stand Rene Russo's obnoxious laugh.  Ruins her nude scene, really.  She kind of sucks.  Other than that I enjoy it quite a bit.  I need to see The Matador.  I've heard Pierce Brosnan was good in that.


I woke up this morning and before I had to go to the office I went for a run.  When I got back from the run I took a shower to ready myself for work and came up with this haiku while I was scrubbing my face clean with my facial cleanser:

tender is the breeze
that blows the sand from your hand
but not in your eyes.

Think about it.  The beach giveth and the beach taketh away.  Cheers.

Friday, April 9, 2010

From my brain through my fingers onto my keyboard and onto your screen..

When I eat peanut M&M's I like to eat them individually and try to bite them in half and get the peanut out.  I have no idea why I do this but I'm pretty sure I've been doing it for a long time.  It's kind of silly.  I'd like to say that by eating them one at a time I eat less of them because it slows things down...but really I'll just snack on them for 20 minutes straight and still plow down a shit ton of them.  I ended up in Lahaina on Tuesday at a Walgreen's because Jonny needed to pick up a prescription so I took a stroll through the discount Easter candy while he was talking to the pharmacist and I happened to find some bags of dark chocolate peanut butter M&M's.  They will be the death of me but they're SO GOOD.  The dark chocolate really ties the room together.  This time around I shared some of them but let's just say I'm into the second bag and it's getting lighter by the minute.  It's a new challenge with every M&M.  If the peanut stays inside then I get to try to pry it out with my teef.  If it breaks up I cut my loses and start over again.  A neverending series of tasty, delicious treats.

While we were down in Lahaina we went to a local grind called the Aloha Mixed Plate.  It serves all different kinds of food with traditional Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and some Mexican influences.  And they serve a pretty healthy portion for not alot of dinero.  I sampled a dish called the "Loco Moco."  It was quite good.  And by quite good I mean AWESOME.  The "Loco Moco" at the Mix Plate consists of handmade hamburger patties (two quarter-ish pound patties) covered with two eggs over easy.  Then all this is covered in brown gravy and served with two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad.  And if you don't think brown gravy will be appearing on my burgers in the near future then you don't know me very well.  There's another restaurant that makes a Loco Moco burger with a single ten ounce patty and needless to say it's on my list of things to try sometime in the next seven days to seven months.  I'll get to it one of these days.  No-Gaut: if you read this, seriously, throw some brown gravy on your next burger and you won't stop smiling for at least an hour after it's gone.  It's that good..

I still never remember to bring my camera out with me.  Today I had my camera in my hand as I was heading to the beach after lunch when I set it down to put my phone in my pocket, then proceded to walk out the door without my camera.  SHUCKS.  Liam is dying to see a picture of my cruiser.  I guess it's about time; I've had it for damn near two months.

The gearshift stopped working last week.  It's in the high gear so now it's just a straight up cruiser.  I may try to fix it as I think the cable just popped loose but I'm also kind of lazy and I don't enjoy getting grease on my hands.  I can get by fine with it as it until something else breaks it'll stay as it is.  Plus I can burn a few extra calories because it's harder to pedal around with only one gear.  I'LL BE SUPER STRONG IN NO TIME..


Random History Channel fact of the week:

US soldiers in WWII were rationed eight condoms a month.


Whenever I have days off I try to plan ahead so when I finish my last shift before my off day that I'll be walking a fine line where I probably should have shaved before my shift...but I didn't.  Then I feel AWESOME for the next day with a little scraggle on my chin again.  J.Mac is bringing his mustache back but I just don't think I want to do that right now.  When I don't shave my face just feels better.  This could be because the Mach 3 blade I'm using is the same one I used in college but it still cuts so I keep using it.  They didn't have the color fading wear strip back then so I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN I'M SUPPOSED TO CHANGE MY BLADE.  I have one extra Mach 3 blade and four single blade Bic's left. That should last me, oh, about the rest of the year, right?


I started reading a book by Charles Bukowski today.  Notes of a Dirty Old Man.  It's a collection of pieces he wrote for an independent newspaper back in the day.  Actually I'm already close to finishing it, as it was a pretty nice day to read.  He came up around the time of Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs and those other folks whose names I'm blanking on at the moment that were big in the 60's.  Bukowski shits on Burroughs quite a bit in a couple of these pieces because he thought Burroughs was always kind of playing poor; Burroughs came from a wealthy family and they bought his way out of trouble at times.  Bukowski more or less lived as a scumbag alcoholic his whole life.  I don't know how, exactly, this would make someone a better writer but Bukowski seems to believe his lifestyle choices made his writing far superior to that of Burroughs.  Not that anyone cares about any of's pretty silly.  But try it, Mikey.  You'll like it.  Cheers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I wrote a poem today..

Morning sun shines on my face through an unshuttered window
and I wipe the salt of the night from my eyes.
My feet touch the floor as I sit on the edge of the bed.
Elbows on knees, I run my fingers through my hair;
scratch the shadow on my chin,
rest my head in my hands and it all makes sense.

I don't know a lick about poetry.  Maybe I'll buy a book and learn myself something new one of these days.  I don't really know what there is to "learn," exactly, however.  Quite a predicament..

I don't work Thursday so I hope to get up and go for a long run, then pick up my check and then look to get something more substantial in length up here.  However, even odds are set that once I'm up I'll just end up at the beach.  We shall see...Cheers.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again..

So Easter has come and gone.  Again.  Twenty fifth time around for me, I believe.  This time obviously was a little bit different for me as I wasn't able to kick it on the deck at the Capone house like, well, we pretty much always do on Easter.  It sounded like the weather was stellar back home so I bet it would have been a money day to sit outside, eat, drink, and be merry.  I'm not saying things weren't stellar here, as a big breakfast (At a little place called The Gazebo.  It's right on the water and only has about eight or nine tables.  I also found it to have a pretty hearty New England feel to it, which was a nice way to start the day), a beach afternoon and a little work shift was a fine day all the way around, but it just felt sort of the same as most days do around here.  I'm not a religious person but I grew up in a somewhat Catholic family so the standard holidays have always been celebrated more by gathering together than with your traditional church services.  So for me it's the secular attributes of holidays, the fun, the family, the togetherness, that makes them special, and thusly I was a little bummed to not be around for it.  J.Mac, Josh, and Ryan were much fun to spend the day with but it's just not quite the same on a holiday without Skip, Marie, and Co.  I guess you could say I treat every holiday like Thanksgiving: It's a good reason to hang out with good people, eat way too much good food and have a good beer or two (or three..).

As I live alone I had to get my own Eater candy out here, too.  I got some Starburst jelly beans and some Peanut M&M's.  The store I went to was fairly limited...and I didn't make it to the store until Saturday evening after work.  Actually I went down to Lahaina on my bike to grocery shop because the store right down the road from me had next to nothing.  Then there wasn't a whole heck of a lot more at the Safeway.  I found out yesterday I should have gone to Foodland; they had a lot of chocolate bunnies.  D'oh.  Also: What the shit is up with the Cadbury Creme Eggs these days?  They're tiny.  God damn price increases and portion reductions.  F you, Hershey Company.  I'm pretty sure you bought out Cadbury and now you shrink the eggs.  Sonofabeesting.  I don't know when this happened but I'm nervous that brownie recipe may need to be updated to add another egg or two.  I have no way to look back at the size of eggs a couple years ago but I'm 99.99999999% sure the eggs this year were smaller in size.  F.

ANYWAYS Needless to say, they're all gone now.  I like candy and I don't buy it that often...when I do I tend to gobble it down.  It's a holiday, it's ok, right?  I'm not losing sleep over it...well, not any more.  Saturday night when I got home I ate a bunch of jelly beans so it took me quite awhile to fall asleep.  Oops.


Live work song of the week:

There's live music on a stage at Hula Grill every day from 3-5pm and 6:30-9pm and yesterday when I was working the late show closed with Runaround Sue.  Solid track from a three piece.  They played it out for five or six minutes, too, so everyone was singing it walking through the restaurant.  It's still stuck in my head today..

Out of time; time to go to work.  Hope all of you Christians had a nice Easter and that all of you Jews had a nice Passover and all of you belonging to any other religion that has celebrated anything recently that you also enjoyed your particular celebration, too.  Cheers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ma thought this was a funny Easter card..

Thanks.  I hadn't had a nightmare in a couple of nights, glad you were able to resolve that..

Happy Easter, indeed.  Cheers.