Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Finally, a real trip! 

The timing could not be any better. Lately I have been feeling antsy and a bit anxious. A need to go out and do something, see something, has come to the forefront. Fortunately, tomorrow will see this dream come to fruition. Desirous of as few interlopers as possible, we four from the farm are heading out tomorrow to check out the island for a couple of days. This means I'll have to work thru the weekend, but I can handle it. My system needs some movement and this'll provide a bit of it. It won't compare to the excitement of crossing into another country, but that will come in time. Don't you worry.

Though my fingers will be silent for the next couple of days, I am sure there will be many stories (some true, some embellished, some completely fabricated) with which to regale you upon my return.

No, I don't really know where we're going. Some hotsprings, waterfalls, beaches, perhaps a bullfight or ultimate fighting man competition. Only time will tell.

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Uh oh 

Yesterday saw the return of something I haven't experienced in a while. Must be the relaxed atmosphere out here, but I haven't found myself getting really worked up about anything in a while (if there is a semi-recent blog that refutes this statement, we'll just pretend that there isn't). Yesterday we made a run down to the library. Since I am going to be here longer (that is right, I have extended my stay. Due to the recent influx of fun, I've decided to try and have more) I felt obliged to check out more books.

That was not the problem. The problem was a recent issue of Time that was sitting out on one of the tables that had China as the primary topic of conversation.

Article one wasn't too bad. However, when I began reading about Wal-Mart in China (and a damn Sam's Club?) I began getting angry. My lunch break isn't long enough to get into it (and I don't have the magazine to reference), but suffice it to say I was ranting by the time we left the library. I'm not sure the others knew how to handle it. There was some nervous sounding giggling and D tried to jump out once or twice. It just really chaps my ass when resentment bubbles up when another country or people feel the need to not accept the US way of life, and justifications are made to excuse the abuse of a 'lesser' people in order to maintain our wasteful way of life. Besides, Wal-Mart just pisses me off. The article didn't talk about loss of jobs or anything but primarily about how now the Chinese people can buy so many more things for so much less (gee, won't life be grand when the entire world lives to be consumers?). No mention of the small businesses that will go under or anything of that nature. Let's just thank Mao that the people can now buy so much more!


Dinner was et down on the beach (apparently, the 2 girls and I were the only ones on the beach who didn't see the green flash. Must have stared at the sun for too long before it dipped I guess. Bummer!), the Bs, girls and I. A beautiful night and amazing sunset over the waves. During the conversation, however, motorcycles and bicycles in traffic came up. The Bs are some of those who make getting around on 2 wheels a dangerous endeavor. Seems it's too tough to look around while driving to notice such vehicles. I began getting into it (oblivious drivers being one of my pet peeves), but since they weren't interested in listening I gave up and went back to watching the sun drop in the sky.

It all turned out well in the end. The night ended with a viewing of Anchorman. Too bad we all fell asleep before the end

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Race for the Cure 

Last night the American Cancer Society held a fundraising even here on the Big Island. The Race for the Cure was a relay that ran from 6pm to 6am. All teams had to have at least one member on the 'track' at all times for the 12-hour duration. A good cause and fun-sounding event, my fellow interns and I paraded over and contributed our time.

It was a cool event. The 'race' started with a survivors' lap-people who have/had cancer did a lap. Inspiring and very nice. The honored survivor for the event was a cute little 3-year old (leukemia).

Our team leader alloted each of us a 1-hour time slot to fulfill our duties; the 4 of us had the slots from 1am to 5am (D ended up grabbing the 5-530 slot as well). Since there was much time to spare, we walked over to the Kona Brewery to kill some time. And let me toss out some advice: a mixture of calzone, beer and coffee do not make for a happy stummy while running. Somehow I still managed to put in a good showing and only fell down once.

This event was held on a soccer type field. Someone forgot to shut off the sprinklers, and at random times in various places between maybe midnight and 5am streams of water struck unsuspecting walkers. It was the sleeping people getting doused that amused me the most.

What else. I'm tired. Didn't sleep at the field and couldn't hardly sleep once we got home. But, I gotta suck it up. Today is D's bday. We took him to the docks (to begin his quest for work to gain passage to S America) and bought himi lunch. He's at work right now (moron didn't call to ask for his bday off until last night around 10pm) and preparations are underway for a small party when he gets home tonight (if he's still awake). The girls are baking a cake (and dinner, which they are allowing me to mooch) and doing I don't know what. I've been laying on the couch in my underwear trying to sleep. I have the Mai Tai ingredients so I've done my part, right?

Man. Funny things happened, but my brain still ain't woked up. D is a laugh riot, and so energetic. It's nice to see such zeal for life and everything in it. Very refreshing and invigorating.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

The way a Friday should be 

Played with the wood chipper again this morning. I am sore, tired, bruised and cut up. And it was great! The best part came after the work was over-tour 'host' laid out some beers and water for us to slake our thirst. As the rain cascaded down we sipped some home brew and Guinness, stared out at the ocean, and discussed traveling and beer. Hell of a good day.

But of course then I had to head back 'home' to work some more. Played with a power washer and had a good time. As I peer at the clock right now I see that my presence at dinner will be late yet again. Oopsie

And my first G&T in a long while just fell dry. Oh how I missed you!

Feeling saucy. Time to mess with the cats

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I still got it! 

Stubbornness is too often listed as a flaw rather than a positive trait. I disagree with that, mainly because I am stubborn.

It's been a long day. Worked almost 4 hours on another farm to make some cash. Used a chipped for the first time-fun, but loud as hell. Also walked up and downhill collecting logs. Rough work and I left with my clothes soaked in sweat. Felt good.

But the next 6 hours walking around the home farm with a bucket of fertilizer around my neck were a bit rought by the end. Me be tired. Shoulda crashed hours ago, but I sit here and bumble.

There ain't no party like a westcoast party 'cause a westcoast party don't stop

I being tired in the AM

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I've been bad 

Man, give me stuff to do and people to talk with and my blogging deteriorates like hell! Sorry, eh?

Yesterday may have been a day of weeding, but it was exciting for brief spells. While unclogging the weeds from the base of the trees at the high end of the farm, I ended up trapped in a nasty situation. A lava 'tube' (in this case it's more of a half-pipe than a tube)(a lava tube is a tunnel, more or less, that lava flowed thru back in the day. Once it's purpose was served, the lava moved on and left tunnels.) runs for about 50 feet down the farm and without noticing it I slipped and fell into it. Looking up I could see daylight and taunting weeds and the tips of some tall papaya trees. I began making my way towards the lower end where I new I could exit easily.

But then I heard it: the pissed off bark of a mongoose. Halting, I peered thru the hanging foliage to ascertain their positions (there were many from the sounds of it). Nothing. The green was too dense to make out any brown furry faces of death.

Stumped, I awaited their next move, and armed myself with a rotten stick and a large fern. Slowly their forms creeped from the shadows and I counted 8 little bodies. Now the nervousness began. Looking up the side of the tube I noticed some hand-holds and rushed to climb out. There was no ensuing rush at me, for the bastards new the lava rock would bust off and not allow me an easy exit. Back on my bum, I cursed the day the weedwhacker hit the first bastard without killing him.

They smile. Mongeese actually smile. For a chicken it must drive them mad with terror. Me, I went a little loony with unease.

One of them continued towards me while the others stopped. For the first time I noticed a white wavy thing atop this leaders head. Stopping to point at it, my confusion increased tenfold.

Dumbfounded, I could do nothing but sit and sweat as he jumped upon my knee (I was reclining on my arse) and shoved out a paw. Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed it and we shook (Mongees have amazingly strong grips), apparently solidifying a new peace upon the farm.).

I guess it's over

Or is it...

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Gonnna get a late start 

Rained a lot today. Had to cut work short, drat the luck. Ended up running errands instead. Got me some work jeans (Wranglers, many sizes too big, but my rope belt holds them up) and a free shirt from the 'free stuff' plastic bag. Wrangled a couple travel books from the library. And we just watched 'Motorcycle Diaries'. Great flick.

Makes me feel a little urging and pushing and motivated tho a bit unclear direction-wise. Don't worry. I'll get there.

Never finished the weekend tales, did I? Not too exciting, in a way. Saturday night we all went up to a beer tasting bash. Not so much a bash as 9 of us sitting around BS'ing and sampling home brew. Damn good stuff. Late in the night our host brought out some of his distilled stuff, which happened to be some of the smoothest stuff I've ever tasted. Yummy.

Yes, this guy not only makes home brewed beer but moonshine as well. When he pointed out the Cuban tobacco plants I almost spat out the coffee flavored beer I was mid-drinked. Good times, y'all.

Other good times can be found when trying to teach a couple rookies how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. On very rocky ground. Uphill. Watching them give each other advice adds to the hilarity.

I'm tired. It's gettin' on 3am and I need to work tomorrow!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Because I can 

Just wanted to send a shout-out to my homies back home who are at work in dank cubicles and offices with germ-laden recycled air, wondering why the temperature hovers around 55 degrees F when it's hot outside....hehe.

I may be spending the day pulling weeds, but at least it involves no cubicle or machined air.

Oh yeah-the sun is out and the birds are chirping and the mongeese are plotting...

This harassment never gets old.

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While weeding today we discussed the shows we watched as kids. As you might imagine, some shows I mentioned had never been heard of while others were dismissed with a "before my time". One show belonging to the first category was Lancelot Link (which I realize was actually released before my time and I saw it in re-runs. Doesn't matter). I miss that show!

Check out a website here.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

On the high seas 

While pulling weeds on Friday, D and I started getting to know the new arrivals. Two girls who recently graduated from a small and quite liberal school in Florida and are out here bumming around for a bit. One of them worked here a couple of years ago for the previous owners.

Yadda yadda yadda. Get to the good stuff already!

Mid-way thru the day B & B left for their weekend get-away/honeymoon. Which means twice now I have been left here 'owning' the place, a scary thought. This is how the four of us came to be in the main house in the early evening hours preparing dinner. I cooked up some pasta and began a sauce. The girls added to the sauce. D made a dessert and I topped off my effort with some garlic bread.

For those who aren't in the know, I am not a bad cook. I enjoy it, and in fact think I am quite adequate in the kitchen. But holy hell did I not prove that Friday night. Dropping 2 bags of pasta into a minimal amount of water resulted in a stratified pot of spaghetti: some over cooked and brown, al dente, soft but not overcooked, and overcooked. Oops. Before the girls could sautee them, the diced garlic passed from my hands into the sauce. And I burnt the garlic bread. A poor showing to say the least.

To defend myself, I shared my beer and wine. This only dimmed the ribbing. I had to offer to cook dinner again Sunday night to prove my culinary ability (which was a rousing success).

Post-dinner festivities took place in the living room (for all my past bluster to B & B about having a party while they are gone, I finally got to make good! Not that it was crazy or anything, but you make do with what you have, ya know?). Saturday was supposed to include a trip out to see some Hawaiian music and stuff, and D was planning to bring a bucket (the big orange kind you can get at Home Depot) to serve as a drum. This was a night for him to practice while the rest of us looked on and giggled.

Overall, not a whole lot happened this night. We finished the beer and wine, listened to a lot of music and ganked 2 bunches of bananas from trees across the street.

The best part of the night was encouraging D and assisting him in choosing a career path. Since his arrival I've worked on relaying the need for travel in one's life (not something he needed to be told), and have been pushing for him to follow thru and head to South America once he leaves here. In the course of this night (based in part on my readings as of late), I came up with the brilliant idea of meeting D in Cuba. Which led to discussions on how to get there. A boat was discussed. From Guatemala. Not a fancy one, a local boat (more fun, ya know?). His sense of adventure is high and he agreed.

Somehow this simple plan blossomed into something strange and demented. The discussions that took place over the next couple/few hours had me (us) laughing harder and longer than I have laughed in a long time.

Let's see if I can explain this without y'all thinking I've (further) lost my mind. D wants to learn how to sail in order to get a job on a boat and work his way to South America. A worthy cause, no doubt. Personally I'd go with a big boat with a engine but that's me. His idea mutated into a dream of becoming a pirate (one of the girls, E, mentioned pirates when I requested a ride to Asia on D's boat). This in turn led to discussions about machetes and swords. Feeling a bit under-armed with only a sword, it was decided that something more was needed to fight the high-tech weaponry used by today's bucaneers ("What happened to the good old days of cannons and swords?" D whined).

A bucket. THE Bucket will be D's companion and backpack in this journey. As he pounded away to the tunes whinged out by Jack Johnson one of the house cats sauntered past. Temporarily blinded by inspiration (and closed eyelids) D stopped mid-pound and expounded on his latest idea. In order to deal with the better equipped real pirates, D needs a low-cost answer. The answer? Cats. With his bucket filled with cats ("Feral! They have to be feral cats!"), D will storm vessels and throw feral cats at his enemies. Dressed in a pirate shirt, eye patch, wooden leg and hideous limp. And a Venezuelan home-made boat.

At other times in the night he was to be a surf-boarding pirate with a bucket filled with feral attack cats. Kevlar vests for the cats (proposed by the animal loving vegan, C [not me]), kittens instead of cats, and roosters also popped up for consideration.

Intermixed with the delusional insanity being bulged out, various bets were made and the results were that D would cook banana/chocolate-chip pancakes the following morning, E would cook lunch, C [not me] would would bfast on Sunday as well as cookies and a bday cake for D (nexst Sunday. Don't forget to wish him a happy nine-freakin'-teen years young). Notice that in there no extra tasks were required by me? That's because I am smart and win my bets (as far as you know).

Hm. Amazingly enough it was hellishly funnier that night than it is re-telling it here. Maybe you gotta know D and the seriousness with which he put forth his ideas and adopted ours.


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It must be the money 

Not to worry, fellow earth-denizens. I have not yet found a way to rid the planet me. The thing is, I've been doing stuff! This past weekend was a lot of fun and I have many things to report but it will have to wait until tonight since right now I am on my lunch break.


Thursday the 2 new interns showed up, reinforcing my oldedness. Recent college grads, they are 21 and 22.
Friday night the 4 of us (yes that's right, 4 of us. All fun, though I am by far the old man of the group) sitting around in the big house talking and eating....and finding a career for D. It involves an eye patch, a Venezuelan boat, and attack feral cats. Good stuff
Saturday night saw the appearance of fresh moonshine and Cuban tobacco
Sunday was not that exciting. But that was ok

Eat up and grab your popcorn during this intermission, there's a lot more to come...

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hoobeldy doodely doo 

Dum dum dum!

Last week Drew came to me and rescued my quailing soul from the recesses of slothful muckety muck.

Tomorrow my bounty will be increased twofold, unless misery comes to the doorstep. Two young lassies arrive on the morrow, and about them nothing is known. Not their age, country of origin, slipper size, not even their names.

But what IS known, is that they will have, at their disposal, the use of a vehicle (Geo Tracker, I believe. We don't even know their names, but we know what they'll be driving?). What this means for me (and Drew) is a possible means of easy transport about the island. But first and foremost, it means making a decent enough impression so as to not be immediately shunned and restricted from being a passenger in said car.

No highjinks allowed (at first), no rash comments, and no meaningless harassment. My hope is that with time these requisites will fade into obscurity. I will let you know.

Hm. Perhaps I should also wash my clothes and try to not stink badly enough to awaken a drowned mongoose from the dead. Interesting...

Wish me luck. Any bets on whether or not I can behave like a reputable person?

Hitched out to the library the other day. Got a ride from a Scottish dude whose words only occasionally unfiltered into understandable untterances in my ears. Nice guy though. After dropping off books and grabbing an India guidebook (not Lonely Planet though. And boy, what a difference!), I sat and read many pages of one of the 4 books currently in my rotation. My attempts to get a ride back were rewarded with a cruise on the mythical public transportation bus (the Hele On). And it was free. Go figure. Added to this comedy of my afternoon was the appearance of my Scottish ride as I mounted the steps! Seems his battery blew and was taking the bus home. Har-har, eh?

Ah, the things that amuse me.

I am corrupting D. It is not my intent (or is it?), but it's working. But how far should I take it, and how far from the acceptance of society as a whole should I drive him?

If god wills it....

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My beef 

No, not that beef. Simmer down!

Michael Jackson. It's pretty much universally agreed that he is a bit whacko (if you don't think so, leave MJ-land and come back to real life). I don't feel like expending energy to rail on the silly people who feel their beloved celebrities can do no wrong, so I'll focus on other things.

While pulling weeds earlier today, I decided to take umbrage with the friends and family of the King of Tots. He has issues. His childhood was not good and that has affected his life as we know it today (he'd know it as well, but he tends to be a bit oblivious). At some point, the people who knew him best decided that to let him go instead of trying to keep him versed in reality. They allowed him to build his themepark/home and believe that he is not growing older. Apparently not enough effort was put forth to inform him that a 40-year old should not be sleeping with strange 10-year olds.

Where have his family and friends been? Why did they not push him to get counseling or something when they realized he was taking the path divergent from reality? Lawd knows, if I decide to "just sleep" with 10-year olds (first of all, I would go to jail, and hours of pointless media coverage would not be spent following my trial) my friends would throw a shit-fit and let me no in no uncertain terms that what I was doing is not ok. If I continued doing this, they'd probably drift away and not appear now and then to support me to the media (who knew that Liz Taylor is still alive? I had no idea until she once again told the world how wonderful Michael is.....). You can be certain that acting like Mike would not be ok and I'd hear about it. Did MJ get any flak? I was glad to see that even Jesse Jackson said that perhaps Michael should take a look into why allegations such as these keep coming up.

Overall, I'm damn glad it's over with. No coverage was allowed to foul up my hours in front of the tv, and news artcles about it were likewise ignored.

Must be nice to be rich and famous, eh?

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Words to live by 

Since neither truth nor certainty is granted
You cannot sit in doubtful hope all your life;
Let us be careful no to set the wine cup aside,
Since a man is in ignorance, drunk or sober

-Omar Khayyam

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My revenge 

Last Friday I set out a trap. An egg the bait, mongoose the quarry.

This morning I checked the iron rectangle of imminent death (for whatever wanders into its spacious quarters). Lo, and behold! A fuzzy little varmint waited inside! Of course he was none too happy to see me. Pleasantries aside, I hoisted the cage and hoofed it back up to the house, to let someone else deal with the gory stuff. I've had enough dealings with the little bastards to last me a while. They have enough reason to hate me, I don't need to add a furry little death to their "Corey's List of Atrocities" list. God help me if they ever put me on trial.

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Oops, my pants fell off 

Tonight was pot-luck night down on the 'beach' (which is actually 10 feet of sand extending from the parking lot to the 50 feet of lava abutting the ocean). Unfortunately, only our farm showed. Instead of eating there we brought the food back home and ate here.

Prior to leaving the beach, wandering commenced. My new roomie is like a little kid-he is excited and enthralled by any and everything. It's great! Obviously some time was taken to wander the lava and check things out.

In his wandering, D found a 4 foot deep poolon the outer banks of the lava. Semi-protected from the surging ocean, it provided a calm pool with a killer view. Wandering over, he ranted and raved about it being a spiritual experience and I had to baptize myself in this pool (this kid is great!). Unfortunately, I forgot to don my suit. But since I was wearing boxers (with birdies on it), all I had to do was drop trau and get it. Which I did. And it was amazing. Big B hovered over D in his first dip, espousing his belief that such an undertaking should be avoided. Hehe. Some people just don't listen, ya know?

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Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm tired 

Yup, and for once it's activity that has brought me to this state. Yeah!

Listened to a Hawaiian kinda-jam band tonight. Great stuff!

Not much else to say. Gonna go to sleep soon.

Today is...some day in June, I forget which one. My departure date is on July 1. Nine days later I'll be completing the last leg on my trip! What is that all about? I can't believe how time is flying! I am ready to get moving again. This 'settling down' and complacency is a strange pill to swallow, and I'm ready to choke it up and be off once more.

Never mind that post from the other day. It wasn't me writing it. I think I was channeling the Mute.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

We made a day of it 

Yesterday was a day dedicated to the veneration of Pele and her works here on the island. Pele is the Hawaiian's goddess of fire (my own personal hero) and is credited with helping create these islands. While we didn't go out and make overt signs of worship, we did carouse around and say hi. Prior to this fun, once again I stood on the most southern point in the US and enjoyed the vista of varying blues in the ocean and large waves crashing against the coast.

The real fun began once we reached Volcanoes Nat'l Park (we had to stop for malasadas and coffee and such things on the way). The rain began beating down and Japanese tour buses glutted the roads while their regurgitated tourists flocked in squealing masses into the museums and such. Quitting the higher grounds and vistas, we drove down to the coast to the trail which heads out to the active lava flow. The rain petered out and the sun shone down accompanied by gusty winds. D and I waved goodbye to our older travel companions and struck out across the razor sharp lava (it is quite sharp. I have the bleeding shins and calves to prove it). Our intent was to run most of the 3 mile out, but the air quality sucked (breathing sulfer does little to aid respiration) so our trek was a combination of walking, leaping and running. Good times had by all.

Digression: I just performed a once over, and somehow I managed to get thru yesterday without getting sunburned! Way to go me!

Finally we topped a small rise and were greeted by a steaming landscape at our feet, the largest plume of steam rising from the ocean on our right. A small group of people clustered at 1 oclock and we joined them, and gazed down thru the earth at the glowing lava below! This of course meant that we were standing over this flowing river of death. Briefly I wondered how likely it was for the crumbly lava beneath our feet to give way and dump us into the molten river below, but the thought was dismissed as I took pictures of people. It was funny to watch all these folks back up to within feet of the hole of death just to get a pic. Of course all of them gasped and kept remarking how hot it was (really? That's strange). Don't worry, I made sure to take the photos quickly....hehe.

On to bigger and better things. The lava is pouring into the ocean these days, sending up huge plumes of steam and noxious gases. Not an event to miss. A Hawaiian lady and her beau began wandering further along the coast, moving to the upwind side of the plume in an attempt to garner a view of the event. We followed. I figured that since this woman is Hawaiian, she'd know where the danger zone begins and therefore would keep us out of harm's way.

The danger zone is this: as the lava pours into the ocean it forms new land. It may look and feel solid, but large sections of this new ground tends to shear off and fall into the ocean. If you happen to be standing on this land, well, you're over. There are many warnings about this phenomenon and they recommend staying 1/4 mile or so away from the area. Knowing we were not quite a 1/4 mile away, I bolstered my feelings of invincibility by blaming our possible demise on this Hawaiian woman. Besides, if we went at least there'd be 4 of us. Safety in numbers, eh?

Don't worry, we didn't go crashing into the frothy ocean waters accompanied by crumbling 900 degree melted rock. Instead, we had an amazing view of flowing lava hitting the ocean and exploding upwards! Simply amazing! The original ocean-entry we'd been watching was soon upstaged by a much closer, larger stream of lava hitting the water. As we took notice that the flowing lava seemed to be moving closer to us, the Hawaiia woman exerted her expertise and remarked that she was pretty sure we were in the danger zone, prompting us all to wander back to 'safer' ground.

But really, how safe can you feel yourself to be when you are standing on flowing death? Whomever feels that we control Mother Nature needs to check this out. We ain't got no true power over her.

Our sights taken in and pics snapped, back we scampered. Somewhere along the way a brilliant idea came to my mind. But I withheld its enactment until we approached the ranger's station and parking area. The first/last 1/2 mile of the hike is along the highway that used to ring the island (until the lava cut it off). Hitting the pavement, I left a confused D behind me and streaked towards the car screaming my head off: "The volcano is erupting! Run for your lives! AAhh!" Other such utterances escaped my lips and some people actually began turning back and looked frightened. One young lady actually began running with me and started crying in fear. I stopped and offered to buy her a drink if it would make her feel better. Her boyfriend didn't seem to appreciate my offer and neither found the humor in my prank. I escaped just before being caught in his large paws.

The rangers laughed as I tore past their stand, but then they asked me to leave. Oops. It's ok, I was going anyway!

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

What am I doing 

Rambling and making half efforts seems to be my forte.
Sure, I'll go to grad school in a year. How much real effort am I putting forth to accomplish this?
Of course I'd love to go back to Asia, and will do so this winter. Again, how much effort is being expended?
Other things, I'm working, but never seal the deal.
Short attention span and avoidance seem to be my specialites lately. And I am supposed to get back to Chicago on the 10th of July. But then what the hell am I going to do. Oh yeah, haven't really thought that far ahead. Which means more wasted time trying to come up with a plan once I get there. Some things never change, right?

Hit the beach after work. Played in some waves, read my books, watched the water (and the scarce bikinis) and enjoyed some relaxing time. Just watched the movie "Changing Lanes" at the bosses' church. Kept my mouth shut and voiced none of my opinions on organized religion. But I did eat some of the pizza provided.

Now a glass of Bushmills is keeping me company while the new roomie is being inundated with pictures (mostly of cats) by B. Poor bastard.

And I am left here wondering....what the fuck am I doing? Maybe this line of questioning means it's time to get moving and lose myself again. Could be

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Friday, June 10, 2005

Tired. That's me.

Watched some of the MTV movie awards tonight. Made me feel old. The jokes seemed to be recycled, contrived, predictable, and not very funny. Overall not very enjoyable. Ah well. That's what I get for watching them, right?

Not a bad day. Worked longer hours than usual which should leave us more time to get to the beach tomorrow (didnt' happen today. Worked too late). It's only taken 2 days for my new roommate to feel a little stir-crazy and isolated. Which makes me feel better and validates my feelings! Sigh!

My plane tickets were changed again today; barring any future changes I leave this island in about 3 weeks. Pretty crazy! What this means is that all of you who offered to buy me drinks upon my return...the offer is about to come due!

No, I have no idea what my first move will be once I get to Chicago. Road trips around the midwest again. And to Colorado, perhaps the west coast. Or maybe I'll grab a change of underwear and get on another plane. One can never tell.

I swatted a mosquito today (and yesterday and the day before and....) and cursed it's existence. Ranting aloud, I questioned its purpose in this world especially when you take into consideration its short life span of a day. (Or maybe that's some other bug that only lives for a day. If that is not true about the mosquito, shut it. Don't let details ruin my rant!) Which made me stop and realize that my lifespan ain't all that long, really. Not that I know what my lifespan is going to be. Another 60 years or another 6 hours, I don't know. Whatever it happens to be, I gotta try and make the most of it. Does sitting alone at 11pm on a Thursday night, drinking a beer make the most of the time I have left? Let's all pretend and answer in the affirmative.

I'm in Hawaii. I should be seeing bikinis, yes? One of these days I'd like to see more than just the one I wear while parading around the studio (the new roomie hasn't adjusted to this nightly tradition yet. I accused him of being a prude. That didn't help)

D (the new roomie), also hasn't adjusted to my conversations with myself and any inanimate object that strikes up a conversation with me. Poor bastard hasn't lived a life yet. So innocent!

Odd. I thought that having someone to talk to would stall the losing of my mind. That doesn't seem to be the case. Funny.

Thank god the house is asleep. Not sure B&B would appreciate nude blogging. Freakin' cats.

Ok, enough of this inane drivel. Time for me to head off and fall asleep, alone, in my bed. Maybe I can cuddle up to D without him noticing? Is it worth a try? I'll let you know how it goes.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Whose life am I in now? 

What a turnaround! No longer is there a mute on the premises! The new roommate is a pretty cool dude. First of all, he talks! He's asked all sorts of questions about the last several months and loves to hear travel stories! I hope I didn't use them all up yet.

After tearing up 43.6 acres of weeds today we hit the library (of course I had to leave with 3 more books. I am now in the middle of 3 books, about to start a 4th) then a bakery on the way home (that is where one of our rides dropped us) where we had a cookie and scone while waiting for another ride. Post-dinner activities included watching cable and reading travel books and discussing future travel plans.

THEN, this lad whipped up some bean dip! Yes, it was after dinner, and we ate it all, and I am now feeling like a zit 10 seconds away from bursting, but that's ok! One of these mornings he's going to make me banana pancakes. What's happened here??

What this means for you, the reader, is a greatly reduced amount of whining (from me). Doesn't that make you happy?

Question: I woke up yesterday with a large bump in my armpit. It could be a mosquito bite, I am not sure. Seems kinda chunky for that. After how many days without it receding should I begine to worry?

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A root cause? 

An article was passed on to me that might help to explain the Mute's...mutedness. Hehe. Thanks for the article, a Certain Son!

I wonder who the Mute isn't talking to today?

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I am no longer alone 

Today, a new body moved into the studio with me. Contrary to previous reports, the bed next to mine was filled today and not next Monday. Seems like a cool dude. We've chatted already. He knows more about me after a couple hours than the Mute did after a month. After dinner we sat on the couch and watched the Daily Show and Chappelle's Show while continuing to eat (it's so hard to stop eating with so much food available!). Together we laughed, and talked, and had a jolly old time! It was as wonderful as I'd imagined it!

I think I love him

Oh wait, maybe not. He is a dude. Not only that, he's ONLY 18!! Damn I feel old. I considered asking if he wanted to hit town and a bar on Friday night. Fortunately, I asked his age first. That might have been awkward.

11 years. That's how much older I am. And the bastard has a good 5 inches on me. I guess not everything comes with age.

Today was not a bad day. Weeds were viciously attacked and beaten down. Damn things were over my head (no short jokes!!), thick, and attempting to make a break for it over the fence into the adjacent coffee farm. Too bad they aren't hip and realize he uses Round Up to battle weeds and not unpaid workers. So thick and gnarly were these weeds that I had to replace the cable on the weedwhacker twice. My hand bled from a flinging piece of something. My legs have new bruises and the field looks like a death zone (for weeds). What a day!

And to top it off, there are 3 young chicks that have taken to following me around like puppies. If they ever crow, they're mongoose meat.

For a moment, I considered typing the words for 'Taps' on here. Seemed like a lot of work.

Can you believe that tomorrow I will be 29 years, 4 months and ....some days old? Whew! What a lot of work!

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

American Cancer Society Fundraiser 

On the 26th of this month, I will be taking part in an overnight relay sponsored by the American Cancer Society. This fundraiser is being held here near Kailua and runs from 6pm to 6am. Local 'teams' will have one person on the track at all times throughout the night, walking or running to raise money and awareness.

I will be taking part on a team with the Kona Coffee Council, and am hoping people out there are willing to offer donations either in bulk or cost/lap (taking this option increases the chances of me running myself into the ground which I am told would amuse a great number of people).

I have more details, but they're up in the studio and it's a long walk (though I suppose I should begin training...).

It is a very good cause, and any donations would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, let me know and I can provide more details.

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How was your day? 

Mine was not bad. Entertaining actually.

While I scampered across the lava field, leaping like an idiot and trying not to crash headfirst into the muck, my boss was off drumming up business. Maybe drumming is a bit strong an adjective; tapping lightly with a pencil, we'll say. Translation: he passed out a business card to other volcano-seekers.

Turns out, the card was not a polite acceptance but a serious inquiry. The man and his wife stopped by today.

Headphones closed off my ears to the outside world as I attempted to secure a tailgate to the farm truck. The State vehicle inspector claimed there was too much rust on the rear of the truck and would not pass the poor thing (a bunch of shite. The guy obviously has no clue about structural integrity). Our hope is that the tailgate will 'solve' the problem and we can renew the license plates. Back to the story. Thru the music I thought I heard B call my name. I paused and uncovered my ears. Nothing. Until I heard banging on a window; I sprinted up the hill (gotta get my exercise, ya know?) and almost ran into a woman I'd never seen before. To say I was shocked is an understatement. My first thought was that it was a revenge-seeking model. Her husband (and their age) eliminated this notion.

Long story short, it was the couple B met at the volcano. They'd come to see the farm and maybe buy some coffee. B was on the phone so I took over host duties and paraded them thru our processing facility and explained the process (I swear I didn't make anything up. And they didn't seem to mind the occasional slurred, mumble cover-ups. Eventually B arrived and peppered them with his long-winded, meandering stories.

I continued working, and he took them on a driving tour of the farm. When they returned, I was stationed in the packaging room, ready to fulfill their every desire (coffee-related, anyway). B marketed well-they left with 4 pounds of coffee. Unfortunately for me, I had to return some of my coffee stash to fill their order. Gotta go roast some more tomorrow so that I have something to drink!

Now comes the truly entertaining part. Running off to get informational papers or something, I was left alone with the couple. As I filled their bags, we chatted. They asked for my story. Telling them that though I am an intern, I am not preparing for a career in coffee-farming. I am merely brushing off the so-called 'real world' while pondering a career change. Countering, my length of visit on the planet was recommended.

(Sidenote: I love the Daily Show!)

Back we go. While I gave my actual age (29. I'm old!), it felt like a lie. I keep forgetting how old I am. Not 27 anymore, and not 30 yet. Their surprise was evident. However, their estimate of my age far exceeded any I've gotten in the last few months: they thought I was 18 or 19! No, as far as I could tell they were not drunk (though he giggled a lot...).

To top it all off, the guy offered me a job and left me his email address! Me, a dirty long-haired society drop-out! Awesome. Unfortunately, the job is as a salesman (not my fortee) for a pharmaceutical company (the devil). A nice gesture, and something to fall back on I guess.

Boom, sha lacka lacka boom!

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Ah! Memories! 

This link brought me back to the days when as far as I could tell, I had nothing better to do than have a couple beers with my roommate and watch stupid movies.

WARNING: There is bad language on this link. But it's so funny!

Kevin Smith rules my world!

(2) comments

Monday, June 06, 2005

Times have changed/I am old 

When I was but a lad my parents made the mistake of buying little plastic cars (alternative to a big wheel) that you sat in and with your feet you pushed on metal levers to motorate around. These were the real deal-it was like sitting in a convertible for kids-it had non-doors a nose and tail and everything! Having a patio/basketball court provided a perfect Rink of Death for my friends and me. 'Demolition Derby', we called it.

(Dilbert is on tv right now. They are talking about how a cold keeps getting passed around their cube-land. Hm, even though I am losing my mind from this solitary confinement, at least I am not in a cubicle!!)

Back to the story. These cars were great, though there isn't a chance in hell that they could be sold in today's world of 'someone should pay me for being a damned idiot and getting hurt'. It needn't be said that these cars did not last long (if my parents didn't know how they got destroyed so quickly, they do now. Oops). We slammed into each other at top speed and delighted in the neck jarring impact and cracking plastic.

As the number of participants grew, some were forced to participate on their big wheels (they did not come out ahead, much like a motorcycle taking on a full-body car. As the cars died, we graduated to bicycles. The game soon petered out. Crashes were more spectacular it's true, but it wasn't a fair fight.

Yes, I am still alive. Somehow. Don't worry, my ideas are getting safer by the day. I swear!

(1) comments


Is that a cool name for a city or what? Who wouldn't want to visit a city with a name like that?

Pulled my backpack out of the closet today for the first time in weeks (had to rescue my chopsticks from the dark recesses to eat some ramen. Which I haven't actually done yet, but might later.) and it made me sad. It's not been used in over a month! What the crap is that?

Here's the big Q: the ticket I hold in my hand right now busts me loose from Honolulu on the 5th of July. Do I want to wait that long? Today was a productive day, but tomorrow I have to return to the mundane silentitude of work. Hm, it's a mystery!

For those out there who happen to be civil engineers (or otherwise. I'm not racist): if you have any old text books, practice tests or any of that sort of thing you want to get rid of, a guy I met in Fiji is studying engineering and would like any books I might find. He's on his way to being a civil (I am not sure if sitting in a cubicle in Fiji is better or worse than a cubicle elsewhere), and is a big fan of drafting and technical drawings. Let me know, and if I remember I'll collect them when making the rounds of the US. You can give me canned foods or non-rotten fresh foods too if you like. Remember, me no have no jobby

Family Guy. High quality entertainment. Glad to have you back!

For those of you who love to mock your friends, I've got a good one for you. This may be difficult for some to pull off due to the age of the person to whom this jibe can be directed (hopefully). Find a dude in the 22-26 year old age bracket. If you can, find someone who now has a lot of tattoos and plays the angry youth. Remind them of the good old days, the days when the New Kids on the Block were all the rage, the days when their walls were adorned with NKOTB posters and the only music to reach their ears cam from....whatever the hell their names were.

It's official, my mind has gone. Now I'm hearing cows. And they are lowing...SA BAI DEEEEE!

The certain person I know who loved(es?) NKOTB recently worked a show for Joey Mcintyre (sp?). I think it made his life.

Thank god I'm not a loser

At home I have the Star Wars trilogy original edition and the dressed up version. Do I need it on dvd as well? I got the dvd versions in China, but I don't have high hopes of them being quality. Not that I would buy pirated dvds...I'd never want to cheap George Lucas out of that money

Hopefully an exciting visitor will come by the farm tomorrow. Shite! My laundry is still in the dryer! The problem (one of) with living with strangers is not being able to leave your laundry in the dryer for a couple weeks (occasionally withdrawing a needed pair of skivvies). Gotta do it promptly. What a pain.

I didn't shower today.

My Chinese toothpaste is over. My Chinese Head and Shoulders is over. Now what the hell do I do? (I did buy replacements. I am not a complete wreck)

Desperate Housewives is quite popular. Why is that? Another sign of bad times?

Rumor has reached my ears that the Dukes of Hazzard has been redone (movie-wise). Johhny Knoxville and Stifler? Ok, that might work. Not sure I agree with the Jessica Simpson casting. Her damn husband will probably show up in the background singing his crap music. Remember back in the day when the original show had folks like Johnny Paycheck and Waylon Jennings as the musical type guest? Speaking of WJ, did they try and fill the role of the balladeer? I'd better do an internet check and see if they screwed that up. It ain't good to mess with history. Look what happened when they brought in Vance and Coy! I do like Willie Nelson as Uncle Jessie. Prompters on that casting call.

(0) comments


Is that a cool name for a city or what? Who wouldn't want to visit a city with a name like that?

Pulled my backpack out of the closet today for the first time in weeks (had to rescue my chopsticks from the dark recesses to eat some ramen. Which I haven't actually done yet, but might later.) and it made me sad. It's not been used in over a month! What the crap is that?

Here's the big Q: the ticket I hold in my hand right now busts me loose from Honolulu on the 5th of July. Do I want to wait that long? Today was a productive day, but tomorrow I have to return to the mundane silentitude of work. Hm, it's a mystery!

For those out there who happen to be civil engineers (or otherwise. I'm not racist): if you have any old text books, practice tests or any of that sort of thing you want to get rid of, a guy I met in Fiji is studying engineering and would like any books I might find. He's on his way to being a civil (I am not sure if sitting in a cubicle in Fiji is better or worse than a cubicle elsewhere), and is a big fan of drafting and technical drawings. Let me know, and if I remember I'll collect them when making the rounds of the US. You can give me canned foods or non-rotten fresh foods too if you like. Remember, me no have no jobby

Family Guy. High quality entertainment. Glad to have you back!

For those of you who love to mock your friends, I've got a good one for you. This may be difficult for some to pull off due to the age of the person to whom this jibe can be directed (hopefully). Find a dude in the 22-26 year old age bracket. If you can, find someone who now has a lot of tattoos and plays the angry youth. Remind them of the good old days, the days when the New Kids on the Block were all the rage, the days when their walls were adorned with NKOTB posters and the only music to reach their ears cam from....whatever the hell their names were.

It's official, my mind has gone. Now I'm hearing cows. And they are lowing...SA BAI DEEEEE!

The certain person I know who loved(es?) NKOTB recently worked a show for Joey Mcintyre (sp?). I think it made his life.

Thank god I'm not a loser

At home I have the Star Wars trilogy original edition and the dressed up version. Do I need it on dvd as well? I got the dvd versions in China, but I don't have high hopes of them being quality. Not that I would buy pirated dvds...I'd never want to cheap George Lucas out of that money

Hopefully an exciting visitor will come by the farm tomorrow. Shite! My laundry is still in the dryer! The problem (one of) with living with strangers is not being able to leave your laundry in the dryer for a couple weeks (occasionally withdrawing a needed pair of skivvies). Gotta do it promptly. What a pain.

I didn't shower today.

My Chinese toothpaste is over. My Chinese Head and Shoulders is over. Now what the hell do I do? (I did buy replacements. I am not a complete wreck)

Desperate Housewives is quite popular. Why is that? Another sign of bad times?

Rumor has reached my ears that the Dukes of Hazzard has been redone (movie-wise). Johhny Knoxville and Stifler? Ok, that might work. Not sure I agree with the Jessica Simpson casting. Her damn husband will probably show up in the background singing his crap music. Remember back in the day when the original show had folks like Johnny Paycheck and Waylon Jennings as the musical type guest? Speaking of WJ, did they try and fill the role of the balladeer? I'd better do an internet check and see if they screwed that up. It ain't good to mess with history. Look what happened when they brought in Vance and Coy! I do like Willie Nelson as Uncle Jessie. Prompters on that casting call.

(0) comments

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Yes, let's push for democracy in Latin America 

The Organization of American States (OAS) just summited. Condi spoke up and wants the Latin American countries to intervene when necessary to promote democracy.

I enjoyed what Venezuela's president had to say:

But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the United States of seeking to impose a "global dictatorship."

"So, they're going to try to monitor the Venezuelan government through the OAS, they must be joking!" he said, speaking in Caracas shortly before the conference opened on Sunday.

"If there is any government that should be monitored by the OAS, then it should be the US government," he added.

I don't understand! It's not as though our actions south of our border have ever been invasive or for any reason other than an honest fight for democracy.

I'm curious to hear what Bush has to say when he speaks to the council tomorrow.

FYI: Check out this list of petroleum and oil sources for the US. It's interesting. I'm tickled by the fact that our #1 supplier of petroleum is Canada, and that 3 of the top 4 oil suppliers are in the Americas.

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Pele is cool 

No, not the soccer player. The Hawaiian goddess, Pele.

Yesterday was a long day in the car. B and I drove over to Hilo on the other side of the island to buy a mongoose trap (take that you little beasts!) and stopped at Volcanoes Nat'l Park on the drive home. What an awesome park! Steam rises from random spots all over, large craters and old lava flows are everywhere, geologists with their own brand of humor remark everywhere that "at any time, another huge eruption could take place and drown you in hot lava that will make you dead dead dead". A bit morbid, but funny too.

The active part of the volcano (the largest mountain on earth. Something like 56,000 feet from bottom to top-though just under 14,000 is above sea level) is dumping lava into the ocean, and yesterday was a big dump day. A huge plume of steam was rising from the ocean and could be seen from quite far away. The day was hazy as a result, and the smell of sulfer burned holes in our lungs. That didn't stop us. A road that originally headed along the coast now stops where the lava went over the top of it in its mad dash to the cooling ocean. It's awesome! Man as the ultimate power my ass! A tremendous power, this molten center of the earth vomit. I love it! A discovery that brought tears to my eyes was learning that Pele and I feel the same about speed limits. They suck. In the middle of the lava I almost tripped on a speed limit sign that barely survived the flow-a burnt and twisted mass sits just above the lava surface.

The new end of the road is about 3 miles from the lava. B and I parked and walked out a bit. He headed over to a plume viewing area (a 1/4 mile in), a longer hike out of the question due to a new knee, and a second knee that clashes bone on bone. I set out towards the lava. Not wanting Bob to wait out in the blistering sun, I ran, skipped, jumped, and damn near skipped my way out. I felt bad passing poeple in such a manner, especially those who looked to be struggling (lava does not prevent a smooth walking surface), but I was happy to be getting some real exercise and getting out of the confines of the car left me giddy. Besides, who doesn't like scrambling on rock? I made it out maybe 1/5-2 miles before stopping to take some pics and then heading back (not nearly as sprightly the trip out). Got some decent photos and the cameras amazingly survived crashing against my back.

I could have sworn mongeese were stalking me across the lava, but I only caught usubstantiated glimpses out of the corners of my eyes and therefore can't prove a thing. Hairy little bastards.

Dick Cheney was there. What a friggin' riot that was. In an effort to remain unrecognized, he'd donned a Boy Scout leaders uni, a pair of glasses with thick black frames that were taped across the nose-piece, and a PBR sun hat. His "scouts" were the secret servicemen dressed also in uniforms. Some even dared to wear shorts with the knee-high green socks. That was ugly. Ah! Memories! Walking across the lava, DC made it a point to let the entire mountain hear him explain volcanoes, the ocean, flora and fauna, and international relations to his troop. Don't take my uneducated word for it, but he sounded a lot more intelligent discussing local orchids varieties than establishing friendly ties with the Middle East ("Do we really need to make them happy? What're they gonna do, sic their camels on us?")(Hold me not responsible for any cultural insensitivity. I am only repeating what I think I heard).

Fortunately I ventured no closer to them than 20 feet or so. The scouts were working on earning their "Homeland Security" merit badges. Randoms were dubbed as mock terrorists and fell quickly to the blazing tazers that popped from 20 different pockets. One poor sap tried to protest and got Vulcan neck pinched to the lava.

For my part, I taunted as I receded from view: "Oil men are Sucks!"

Witty, I know.

Awesome place, I highly recommend a visit.

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Fun stuff 

$5 bottles of good Aussie wine are nice
White chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter cups make me happy
The Mute is gone. I am apathetic
Being social seems like a lot of work; staying here and being lame seems pathetic
I'm hungry and should eat. That also seems like a lot of work
One of the 3-5 books I'm reading is "Che", and is about the life of Che Guevara. Very good.
When is the revolution?
It's raining again. Hm. No, it's not raining men, thank god. Their plunging soon to be corpses would ruin the coffee trees and my papayas
Ate some chicken sh*t this morning. Tasted like chicken
Ok, I didn't. It was only a grub worm
Jon Stewart and the Daily Show are awesome. It's too bad Jon admitted last night that he does NOT have a passport. Made me lose a little faith in him.
I wonder if cows ever contemplate suicide. Actually, I wonder if they contemplate anything at all
Just finished a Longboard Lager from the Kona Brewing Company. That's a Hawaiian beer
Got cussed out at the library today. My ride waited in the upper parking lot for me while I returned 2 books and paid a fine. They almost wouldn't take my money b/c no one is allowed to park there unless handicapped (technically he wasn't parked, and there was not a rush to fill the spots). They were actually rude about it, and told me that they are "completely inflexible" with that rule. This admonishing was of course delivered with an unwavering and completely false smile. Next time I crap on their windshields
My ankle is messed up. Think it's been twisted around too many lava rocks.
At least my hair keeps falling out. Not in an "I'm going bald way", more like "I haven't had my hair cut in almost a year and haven't brushed it in months so the loose hair accumulates until I take a shower then I find it everywhere". Crazy
For the record-I hate the fashion industry. And some shit-ass show I saw on tv where people are 'made over' to look like some celeb. How the hell is there a second show (at least this one doesn't involve parental supported plastic surgery) that does this???
Priorities. This country seems to have some seriously f*cked up priorities.
Time to play the hunter gatherer and round me up some grub
Enjoy the weekend. I'll be back on here later. What else do I have to do?

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What a day! 

Today dawned as all weekdays have dawned since my arrival here: I awoke and stumbled into the sunny morning long after the rest of the residents of Dragon's Lair Kona Coffee Farm (www.pendragonhawaii.com).

There, however, the similarites ended. Typically I take a cup of coffee and go sit on the deck to make sure the ocean hasn't moved since the sun receded below the horizon. Today I bypassed this ritual and drank it while watching the news. Getting out of bed was rougher than usual because I woke up mid-dream (I haven't been dreaming lately as far as I know)(the dream had something to do with me playing basketball), which leaves me exhausted every time! As a result, I drank my coffee in the studio to save time.

Rounding the house I was greeted with the sight of 10 beautiful women (they were beautiful to me. Though I haven't seen a female under 50 years old in days so my perceptions may be a bit off kilter) milling about in front of a camera, talking with the owners and the Mute. Yes, he was actually talking! A cameraman saw me and thrust his lens in my face before the shock of nicely smelling female people wore off. I suppose he expected me to say something. All he got was my pre-caffeine droop face gawking at the spectacle. A couple of the girls noticed my arrival, glanced over, then left behind looks of disgust as the twittered off to their friends. Luck was with me, and the camera captured my look of confusion which was replaced by red-faced embarassment. Why was I embarassed? My clothes. Expecting a day of pulling weeds and whacking weeds, I'd worn the same clothes I'd been wearing all week (I wash them on the weekend)-navy pants, a long sleeve blue shirt, bandanna and hiking boots. Not so bad, yes? Post-washing they are fine. But when I slay weeds, the mutilated stalks and shoots hit upon me from head to toe. And since they are wet and I am wet (I sweat like a mutha), they cling fast. Guess a grass-covered man at 9am isn't the object of a model's affections.

Which was fine with me. The vanity and high maintenance in our guests immediately turned my thoughts from pillow fights in chocolate pudding (it took me 2o minutes to come up with that visualization. Once the coffee hit, that reaction time was down to 5 minutes) to wanting their adoring public to see them sweaty and dirty (not the good dirty, but the kind of dirty where you are covered in mud and chicken shite). I was not to be disappointed.

Now that I had arrived, they started the show. The host (a simpering, annoying, ass-licking failed actor as any good host should be) had a brief chat with the hosts about their farm, the work done there, and other banal details. This was followed by a chat with me and the Mute about our daily chores, life on the island, and how incredibly fit and handsome I looked despite the grass covering (the last question was actually off camera. I think the host might not enjoy the same salsa that I do.). Finally the meat and guts was filmed. Literally. One of the 700 cats that run around this place ran up with a half-dead rooster (yes!) in her jaws. The cameraman (a very cool dude) filmed it for giggles and shites. The girls hated it and shrieked. I giggled. The caffeine was kicking in.

A quick segment was filmed showing us preparing the beans and roasting them, to give the public back home a shot of the easy work on the farm. I was filled in by Mark (the cameradude) that this would be to tease the audience; following this clip would be a dramatic shot of weeds and shovels and stuff to entice people to stay with the program a while longer.

The fun soon followed. As we walked down mountain towards the trees, a couple of the girls came over to find out why I was so dirty (and stinky. I always neglect to put on deodorant before working. Hell, why should I care what the chickens think of my stink?). "It keeps away the mongeese and chickens," I told them. Obviously they didn't understand, so I filled them in.

"The mongeese are vicious little weasels and they hate the smell of humans. Usually they run off when they hear or smell us. But it's our natural odor that really freaks them out. Deodorants and perfume and nice smelling things tend to attract them, because who doesn't like something that smells good? I've seen people get bitten after attracting them, and it's not pretty. I don't clean my clothes because then I make sure they stay away. Now the chickens, especially the roosters, can get pretty nasty as well. They are very territorial. Again, the smell thing works on them. The worse you smell, the less inclined they are to try and claw you up. And let me tell you, they can f*ck you up!"

Sensing their inability to recognize my sarcasm (which was laid on pretty thickly), I decided to push my luck.


"Excuse me?"

"Snipes. They are worse than mongeese or chickens. They abhor us. They look a tiny bit like gremlins and are faster than hell. I've had them take the backs off the legs of 2 pairs of my pants without me ever seeing them. You know they're around when you hear a piercing shriek followed by a 'wobba-wobba' noise. Get your back against something solid and watch out if you hear this. They don't come around very often, but you need to be careful when they do."

Hehe. Smiling uneasily, they thanked me and walked off. Leaving me to smirk to myself. Mark had overheard the conversation and came up to me to thank me in advance for messing with the pretty debutantes. He'd been around them 3 days already and told me: "If I was caught in the castle Anthrax, or the modern day equivalent, with them...I'd run off just like Gallahad."

Yeah, he and I got along well (that was a Monty Python quote for those who missed it)

The morning went slowly. The Mute and I showed them how to pull weeds, how to prune the trees and plant saplings. Just before lunch we took them around and picked some papayas, a mango, and a few oranges for them to eat with lunch. Of course funny little things happened, but nothing significant. Not very good reality tv fodder. Which of course was mentioned to us by the host while we ate (on the sly of course). I told him not to worry. The afternoon held lots of promise, what with harder work to come. And other stuff. Off he slunk.

I ate alone. The girls surrounded the Mute (they loved the Aussie accent). My appearance and smell, along with my 'warnings' had gotten around. They had no idea what to make of me.

Weed whacking. That was the first stop after lunch. I showed them the ropes and whacked a few weeds down. The girls were quite hesitent to don the dirty shin guards and backpack-type harnesses for the machines, but they got over it. And each lasted about 5 minutes before tiring of the exertion.

Meanwhile, others were playing with riding mowers, some picked up macadamia nuts and others pruned trees. Their 5-minute attention spans allowed them all to try everything.

The time was ripe. No one was paying attention to me so I slipped away. The chickens were first. One rooster (who hates me) fled away from me and bounced of a few Nair-ed and perfumed legs causing quite a ruckus. I made sure to toss the 4 I'd grabbed (very easy. Grab their legs and they hang quite docily) into the mix as well. One girl with a whacker fell over and had to be helped up (the machine outweighed her); another dropped her basket of mac nuts and hid behind a tree.

When I was in Scouts, sending the new kids out on 'snipe hunts' was a favorite past-time. This day outshadowed all those nights. I waited about an hour after the chicken incident then moved off again. I hollered out my snipe-call, then scooted thru the underbrush to the other side of the group and did it again. Holy shnikeys I wet my knickers at what ensued! Word quickly spread to all about the upcoming snipe attack. Two girls tried to climb trees: the one climbing the mac nut tree got cut up by the sharp leaves; the other climbed a young papaya trees which snapped off and dumped her on the ground. She cried about being fat the rest of the day. The girl on the riding mower somehow tipped it over and yowled from underneath that she was too young to die. Two of her friends 'tried' briefly to help her out before hightailing it back towards the house (they were later found cowering in the back of the garage). The two I'd told my tale two clung to each other, petrified into soundless immobility (a blessed change from their incessant giggling and jabbering). The spunkiest girl in the group let out a war cry and spun in circles with her weed whacker, daring the 'little bastards to show their demon faces'.

Unfortunately for me, the last two happened to be close to me. Perhaps rolling on the ground in tear-streaming laughter was not the smartest thing to do. Poor Mark! He was doing his best not to laugh into the camera, and I am surprised he was able to film at all he was shaking so hard!
Well, these 2 looked at me and quickly realized what was going on. They stalked over and began threatening me. I said they could give me a spanking if it would help them to feel vindicated. That didn't help. I was kicked twice, and had 2 bags of weeds dumped on me.

The girls left that day, feeling very unhappy about having met me. The owners, though amused, were not sure if I had provided bad publicity for their farm. The Mute...said nothing. The host thanked me as did Mark.

Tomorrow they film on another farm nearby. Maybe I'll sneak over and say hi...

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

I make me laugh 

Last summer my buddy and I spent too much time at one of the local bars. After work we'd head down there and shoot the shite and relax over a Guinness or two. It didn't take long for the couple of waitresses working there to begin to recognize us. One of the waitresses was in school, working, a single mom with a kid. One night she was complaining about a speech she needed to prepare for class. A five-minute ramble about a random act of kindness she'd dumped on someone.

The next morning, a Satruday, I sat on the swing in front of my house and typed up a couple random acts for her to possibly use. My only ulterior motive was free beer (which never happened...I don't think). Besides, I was tired and my floors were being refinished which made the house (and tv) inaccessible. I typed a few up and just found them on my laptop. Thought I'd share a couple. Here they come:

Random Act of Kindness 1

It was one of those perfect Colorado summer days. The sun was out, wisps of clouds scudded across the sky and a light breeze took off the slight edge brought on by the 90-degree heat. I was sitting in front of my house, reading a book and soaking up the sun. It was as relaxing as a day could get-all my errands were run, my homework for the upcoming week had been finished the night before, and I didn’t have to be at work for several hours. I laid my book down and was drifting off to sleep, when the kids across the street came shrieking out of their house, armed to the teeth with water balloons (ok, they only had one each). There were two girls and one boy (Tommy, the neighbor kid), and they all looked psyched up for their water war.

The water fight commenced with a water balloon standoff-the three of them formed a large triangle, a water balloon in each hand. Tommy counted down from three, yelled go, and they all stood there. Tommy made the first move. The girl he turned on spun around and ran squealing down the street, with Tommy in hot pursuit. After running 20 feet she stopped and called “time out”. Tommy pulled up, giggling maniacally, and proceeded to throw one of his balloons at her, only to miss by a good 10 feet. Sensing an imminent soaking, he turned tail and tore back down the street towards the other girl that was hiding behind a car. She popped up and lobbed one of her balloons at him and hit him. Only she didn’t hit him hard enough to break the balloon and it broke harmlessly on the street. What followed for the next ten minutes was a multitude of shrieks, squeals, “time outs”, and wasted balloons. In an extremely anticlimactic move, Tommy dropped the last balloon on the street as he chased after the girls. I laughed at their weak attempt at a water balloon fight and made to go back to sleep. But that wasn’t to be. The three of them came back out with super soakers and a bucket of water. I perked up, as this looked to be more interesting, and “deadly”. I was in for more disappointment. For 20 minutes they made rules “you can’t hit me here, only here”, called “time out” as soon as a sopping was coming, and got wet only from running around in the sun working up a sweat. Eventually they sat down and took a break from their fight.

Now when I was a kid, water fights were only similar to the one I witnessed in that water was present. We never made rules, there were no time-outs, and people got hit when they weren’t expecting it-fights were premeditated and stealthy, there were no rules. It was with these childhood water wars in mind that I hooked my hose up to the spigot in front of the house. These kids were so engrossed in discussing the details of their next fight that they didn’t see me until I opened the hose on them, soaking them completely. My random act of kindness complete, I walked back to my chair and sat down, and was gratified to see them getting down to business and soaking each other further, as well as any unfortunates who walked by (oops).

And my favorite, Random Act of Kindness 2

I work at a bar when I am not in school. And I speak from experience when I say that you meet the most interesting people at a local bar. Be they college kids just turned 21, the older crowd getting a beer after work, or guys with nothing better to do than stop in for a few pints. You meet nice and friendly people as well as the people mad at the world that vent their frustrations at you. Recently we’ve had a couple of new guys that have been coming in more or less regularly. Real nice, and never a problem to serve. They have caused me to partake in the most rewarding random act of kindness I’ve ever taken part in. Free beer. Their eyes begin to shine (happiness or alcohol caused, I am not sure) and they are eternally grateful. And it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Who named them? 

My fully loaded question, which arises from the ongoing infestation of Nevada, is how did the Mormom cricket get its name?

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Bring it on 

A call came in to the farm last week from a man claiming to be from a new reality show. The idea pitched at us was to have a slew of models come here and spend a couple days doing some work, getting their hands dirty, if you will. It sounded a bit sketchy but what harm could it do? The worst that could happen is that they show up and do no actual work. No skin off my back. The Mute and I conferred for a brief moment and then granted our consent.

Fortunately, the one owner who came back is the male half. He congratulated us on our foresight. They arrive tomorrow morning.

This should be good

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Jeff Foxworthy roast 

I caught this comedic event on Comedy Central the other night. The entire cast of the "Blue Collar Comdey Tour" was there, along with others I didn't really know and some special guests.

Now, I am not a huge fan of political correctness. I think it's gone too far and senses of humor need to be rediscovered. BUT, there is a line that should be drawn. A little respect is not a bad thing.

And I know that in the south, there may be a higher percentage of folks who are a bit behind in the times and don't have the open minds necessary to accept all (or most) lifestyles and peoples.

Also, I know that a roast is meant to be a brutal attack on a person to show respect and love and all that crap for them (I must be loved by everyone I meet, since getting ripped on is one of my specialities). But some of the stuff that was getting tossed out was just...not quite right. Some of it made me a bit squidgy. Unfortunately for the southerners who don't fit the stereotype, a lot of their jokes (to me) did fit the stereotype. Which ain't the best: closed-minded, racist, prejudiced (is that repetitive?), and unintelligent.

The funniest part of the show was a bit that I never would have expected to see on a Redneck (i.e.-very right-winged) Roast was a Dubya impersonator (the crowd and performers loved it as well). This guy was perfect! Lots of make-up was used, but there was a definite resemblance. He had Dubya down perfect-sounded like him, the gestures and facial expressions were right on, the inanities (Bushisms) were there...I almost pissed my pants. One of the funniest lines was his proposed solution to our huge deficit: sell Canada! Hehe.

Maybe some day the idea that people are all the same will get thru thick skulls. There are many legitimate reasons to dislike someone; there is no need to rely on their sex, skin color, nationality, religion, etc. For example, someone who: steals your woman. Or poops on your dinner. Or sticks their finger down the middle of your sammich. Or disses your homies. Or thinks that PBR is a bad beer. You know, good reasons.

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Shock to the system 

The down-mountain side of the house is the long side. The main house sits up top; the guest studio and deck are mid-level; a big open space lays the foundation. Needing a break in the monotony of pulling weeds and remaining silent, I decided to lay a trap of sorts for the Mute. A sure-fire way to induce conversation was just the thing to bust up the day.

My plan was to be executed heading back to the house for lunch.

Taking a break from pulling weeds, I got my trusty machine out and whacked them instead. The Mute was neat the bottom of the farm pulling weeds. Noon made a stealthy approach, and before I knew what was happening I saw the M begin his plodding walk up the hill. At this time I was between rows of coffee trees, attempting to batter waist high weeds without blemishing the trees. Seeing him move off, I killed the engine and raced to the road opposite the orchard from him. Giddiness propelled me on, and I was able to stow the machine in the shed that stands mid-farm. The protective gear I was wearing found itself tossed into various trees as I continued my race against time (one well-aimed shin guard bounced off the head of a rooster, an accident that set me to giggling).

Pausing at house level to look back down the road I saw my prey still well behind. Perfect! Onto the deck I skipped, and over the rail I bounced. I tried to shove my feet between 2 wooden slats, but my boots were too bulky. Off they came and once more I tried. It was close, but turning my feet sideways I was able to remove the bunions from the equation and the poor little footsies found themselves on the safe side of the rail. "Adieu," I bid them, and slowly lowered my upper body until I hung from my now protesting feet. My arms fell up/down, and my face grimaced as though my predicament was purely accidental. This face was hard to maintain, as laughter kept bubbling up my gullet from my stomach and fermenting in my mouth, strangling me while simultaneously forcing a grin to break.

The last papaya tree receded from his line of sight, leaving my dangling form to fill his view. Not a flinch!! He didn't even slow his pace! Unbelievable!

Instead, he quickened his pace and grabbed hold of a rooster and a rope. Uh-oh. Still unconcerned, I made no move but dropped the idiotic face I'd been making.

Now I got worried. The normally expressionless face had an idiotic grin of its own, and M was undoubtedly moving my way.

Before I could raise/lower my arms (I was upside down, so I'm not sure which verb is correct. Both, technically I'd say) he'd shoved that damn rooster into my shirt and instead of tucking it into my pants (a risque maneuver) he used the rope to tie the friggin' thing down!

Let's recall my feelings on roosters. On my list of 'dislikes', they are preferred to mosquitos and reality tv and more hated than core shots to a pair of brand-new skis. Rumor has it one fell to my sleep walking violent tendencies, and many on this farm cluck away when they see me coming thanks to closely landing rocks, branches, gas cans, and cats that I've thrown their way. Bottom line-I don't like them.

And here I'm hanging with one of the damn things tied inside my shirt! A conundrum, I tell you. Frantically I tried to loosen the rope while the little red rooster began to flail. Meanwhile, the bunions on my left foot (smaller than the bunions on my right foot) reached the limit of their patience and contracted, allowing my foot to slip thru the rail.

Hanging by one foot, a pissed off rooster scratching up my new sunburn, and tired hands vainly working on a hell of a good knot, I began to regret my choice of practical joke. Though my admiration for M's reactionary skills reached new heights.

Finally I got the rope off and hucked the stupid rooster into the bushes. He, of course, decided to declare victory and pranced and strutted across the yard, crowing exultantly. Unfortunately for him he made an effort to scratch dirt into my face just as Mr. Right Foot also tired of the effort and slipped thru the rail.

Dinner tonight was fried rooster.

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com