Sunday, July 31, 2005

All alone 

The bouncing of the Little Red Truck was making my kidneys scream out in protest. The shocks of the truck echoes the sentiment. I giggled with glee. All around was nothing but an old lava flow-no trees or foliage of any kind, and only the barest traces of a 'road' thru the gravel. Desolate seems almost too kind a descriptor for the scenery. Black and barren. But a traversing of the flow was necessary to reach what we hoped would be a special place: a black sand beach and no crowds. All inhabitants of the car clung to something and worried about wrenching the undercarriage from the LRT. But it was not to be (yes, I am an expert driver). Eventually we neared the ocean, 2 hulked out wrecks of ex-cars, and some terrain I felt no need to drive over. I turned off the truck, which was resting with its front tires against a large boulder, we grabbed our stuff and struck out across the rocks to what we hoped was the beach.

Amazing. No one around for literally miles (a very hard feat to accomplish on a Hawaiian beach it seems). Nothing but blackness all around. The beach itself was only about 100 feet long and the waves were crashing up on it in a very uninviting way, but it was beautiful. We plunked down and ate and relaxed, loving the lack of people. It was hot, yes, sitting on black sand in the blazing sun with no shade for miles, but it was worth it. The sound of waves is one of my fave sounds (in HI), and that's all there was to hear.

Once again, I felt as though I were at the ends of the earth. Although this scene was much less dramatic and violent than the volcano, it felt similar. Desolate and no signs of life except for the urchins and a couple crabs. The primordial soup kept splashing up the beach and I half expected to see something crawl up out of the water and say "hi". An amazing thing. Maybe I am losing my mind (is there a question?), but how incredible! A special feeling to be sure. But Hawaii tends to do that to me. I wonder what I'll get out of this trip.

It was the first time to these islands that changed my life completely, and the second time had a pretty huge impact as well. Time number three has yet to prove itself...

I do have pictures. Be patient

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Plodding along 

Today is Saturday. It's been a very slow morning. My coffee is almost depleted; the papaya and blueberry pancakes were delicious but are now fermenting in my belly. I think I may have found a nice chunk of cash that I didn't realize I had uninvested and I got my money back from plane tickets to Nepal I cancleed a year ago (now I have a big negative on a credit card that I do not have in my possession, it's in Chicago collectng dust). In a minute we're running to the grocery to get food and supplies for the mini-non-party that is transpiring at the farm tonight (we are calling it "The Secret Party" b/c the owners of this place are on another island for the weekend, and the old owners are coming over). Subsequently, I must wander the upper farm with a bucket around my neck and fun tunes in my ears and collect ripe coffee beans. Hopefully plenty of time will be left to enjoy a frozen drink or 3 on the drying deck.

Wish me luck

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Fiji pictures 

It's taken me months, but the Fiji pictures are finally online and ready for viewing. Well, more or less ready. Haven't done much of anything as far as captions go. Been avoiding doing that, for fairly obvious reasons.


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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Quote of the day 

This beaut came from C's mouth today as we three sat around preparing coffee beans for roasting. Somehow BFF ("Best Friends Forever") was brought into the conversation by D, which led into friendship bracelets which somehow prompted me to gripe about the diamond industry. Somehow amid all this mumbo-jumbo, the idea of using one of C's dreds as a friendship bracelet surfaced. Which led to C saying about the diamond industry:

"F*ck diamonds. Give hair!"

It slayed me.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ah, the good life! 

Today the three of us picked almost 100 pounds of coffee cherry between us. We then pulped it and it now sits fermenting in a pool of water.

Upon finished, I laid into the Little Red Truck.

That's right! We have it back! In my mind, the old owner's of this farm (who are loaning us the truck and are amazing people) have given it to me. At the last dinner thing at their house the convo went like this: "Corey. You can drive a manual transmission?"


"Come back here tomorrow and pick up the truck so you have a way to get around."

"Rad. Thank you so much!".

So C (not me) is not longer the Golden Child with them, I am (or so I tell everyone).

Back to the point. The LRT (Charlene) has a new clutch and we retook posession about a week ago. After parking it in the driveway, we noticed the smell of burning oil. It hasn't gone away. A cursory glance under the hood and under the engine showed quite a bit of oil splattered all over the place. I could find nothing at which to point a finger. A call went out to K to let him know. He said it was normal! Seems a cam shaft is causing problems, and most if not all of the engine needs an overhaul, which won't happen until after their trip to England next month (when we three will be house sitting for them closer to town and only working jobs that will give us cash). All we need to do is watch the oil and maybe keep it clean.

Which is how I found myself on my back under Charlene after work today with a rag and a couple cans of Natty (Natural) Light, listening to country music. What a combo that is, eh? Pretty sweet, though I felt as though I should have been working on a Camero or something.

The Natty brought me back to the college days. It's be pretty nice to be sitting on the old ratter couch with my buds drinking Natty, watching Tommy Boy (or Dave L) and eating bean dip. One day, fellers, once I meander my way back 'home'.

The dinner bell is ringing and I still need a shower. More cowbell!!

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Last day, weeks later 

I'm a worthless sot to be sure. Our last trip was a while ago, and I have not as yet posted the events of our last day. Now I will

Awakening amongst the giant trees we cleaned our mess and visited with the park ranger. His half-hearted serious talk with us about acquiring a camping permit prior to setting down tents was tempered by his subsequent apology for having to 'talk' with us.

Duly chastened, our rental car carried us into town for a quick breakfast, then out to Waipio Valley. A beautiful valley with a remote-ish beach, our group found itself on foot heading down the very very steep road to the valley floor (four-wheel drive vehicles only) then down a tree-shaded muddy 'road' to the beach. A feral-ish donkey greeted us and horsies neighed hello as we passed. D had to work back in town that night so our stay was short but sweet. Some reading time, lots of playing in the waves, sand burials and malarky.

The walk out was long and hot and steeply uphill but we made it only slightly tinged with pink. Anxious (not really) to get D on his way to work he was dumped at a major crossroads and me and the ladies drove out to Mauna Kea for some night-time star gazing.

Our timing was off. Instead of arriving at the viewing area (at ~9,000, much below the almost 14,000 foot summit) at dark we arrived hours early. So we grabbed a couple blankets and our cameras and made a 20 minute hike to the top of a small burple to watch the sunset. A two-hour nap later we awoke, chilled, and watched the clouds roll in and the sun make a slow descent behind a far hilltop, dumping us into the shade and cold. A quick walk back and we ate a dinner of ramen (filled with yummy extras like hot sauce and mushrooms) and waited for full on dark.

It was amazing. The moon was fuller than necessary but the telescopes they set up (about a dozen of varying sizes) made for great viewing: Jupiter whose circles (not the technical term. I forget what they are called) and moons were visible; an amazing close-up of the moon; other solar systems and stars and such. Awesome.

But we were cold. So we left, grabbed some pizzas from Domino's (the only place in town open after 9pm) and watched a movie back home.

A nice mid-week break to be sure

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rumblings from down below 

Had another earthquake last night. Us three vagrants were sitting around the studio playing rummy (it was a slaughter. D was just able to get into positive numbers before C laid down the hammer) when I felt my bum start vibrating. This time, it was because the ground beneath me was moving. This trembler lasted a minute or so and brought to our minds what a friend of ours told us: that the volcano beside us has been building and when it goes, it'll be spewing this way. When C was here 2 years ago, she felt no earthquakes. Since I've been here, I've felt 4 or 5. What this means is that if no word is heard from me and the news says that the Kona coast is covered in freshly spewed lava, then I'm volcano meat. That could be exciting.

Got 2 jobs to work today. Too bad I'm tired and don't feel like doing anything. And I've eaten too many beans lately.

But I am learning new music, which is exciting. The Shins, for example, are righteous. And the others...I forget their names but it's new. Thanks to C for that. *She has very strange taste*

Gotta take the recycling out. The pile is getting silly

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Monday, July 25, 2005

I like irony 

Unions, boycotting union meetings. That was a nice way to start the day (that and sleeping in and eating a leisurely breakfast)! Made me chuckle a bit

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In an effort to wear hats less, I found a new means to 'control' this hair of mine. It popped out of my backpack the other night-the swim cap I bought back in China! It's awesome! A little tighter than I remember it being, but it works great!

I'm a tool.

And tired. Today we spent hours at the beach swimming in beautiful blue water, lounging on the white sand and getting colored a nice shade of pink. Good times.

I really need to get my act together and do some writing.


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Saturday, July 23, 2005


To add to my burgeoning insomnia, for a while now guilt dreams have been wreaking a bit of havoc.

After today, it's gonna get a whole lot worse.

Don't ask.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Don't try this at home 

D is making C and I breakfast right now (the B's are at Weight Watchers, so our day is starting late). Waffles, cooked up in a plastic toaster oven friendly maker he got at a resale shop. The first round just hit the table, and I don't suggest trying this in your home. Cardboardy, and not very good. At least we have some honey which masks the taste.

Yesterday I whacked weeds for 6 hours. For anyone keeping track, that's way to long to stumble around on weed-covered uneven and unstable lava rack with a large vibrating machine hanging from your neck. I survived though, so don't worry. It made me stronger?

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I might use my degree? 

Yesterday I started working for another farm, part-time, to earn some cash. As I was filling out the reams of paperwork I noticed certain columns on the timesheet that piqued my interest. Seems the owner, who is an architect, does some construction management type work as well. Half jokingly, I offered my services as a licensed engineer. The papers guy looked really interested, and when I told the architect his eyes lit up. What this boils down to is, I might be doing some free-lance engineering work (not stamping anything as I'm not licensed in HI)! How awesome would that be? I'd make some decent money and not have to work another ocuple of jobs. Yeah! AND, I saw no cubicles anywhere! Thank god I'm not in one of those anymore.

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Lazy day 

Back to business, the recounting of last week.

After waking up in the front seat of an economy car, I dismounted through the window and took up a position on a rock looking out over the ocean. C was doing the same down the way, E joined her and D wandered around. It was a beautiful morning; the sun was coming up, the breeze was pleasant, and the heat had not yet begun to sear the ground. The waves still beat upon the rocks (we were perched on a 20 or so foot cliff) and the volcano still spewed though we could no longer see the lava's glow. As I pushed through 'Paradise Lost', I gradually came to realize that rain had begun falling and that it was cold. Up I hobbled and we all gathered around the car discussing what to do. Drive. We did. A few miles down the road we stopped for a short hike to some petroglyphs which were neat, but the rain picked up again as we returned to the car. The intensity increased and we were forced to make a decision: go for a hike in the rain now or go out of the park into town for a hot breakfast. Food won out the day, and it was good (so were the 3 cups of coffee. I love free refills!).

The rain did not let up during our meal so we scrapped the hike and headed further from home toward Hilo town, where we stopped to get fuel for D's camping stove and more clothes for D and C at the Salvation Army. Exciting, yeah?

Driving up the east coast now we stopped an hour or so later at the ocean-side park near the farm D worked on before coming to offer me salvation. It was a nice little park, poised at the mouth of a river pooting into a small bay. The swimming was not good and there was no sand to fall down on, so we ran around a grassy area tossing the disintegrating Nerf football at each other and being rowdy. Fun times.

Tired of fun and desirous of more food, back into the car we piled and headed to Honokaa, a small town we'd stopped at before with lots of good natural foods places and great dining at every turn.

We had sammiches. Then burgers and way too many fries. It was decadent, but so it goes. It made me realize that we are not being fed enough here on the farm. Any time we get away, food becomes top priority and we all gorge. Hm.

The day was sort of growing late so off we drove to find our campsite for the night. C knew of a campground high upon a mountain which we found while listening to Billboard's Top Hits of 1993 (the library in town met us before we left Honokaa, and a few cds stayed with us. Good times). A beautiful place it was. A new microclimate: foggy, hazy, cool, large trees and big ferns. Designated campsites were on concrete pads under roofs-it seems large branches like to fall and it's safer this way. It was quite nice even though we never found a ranger to buy a permit and he cussed us (very half-heartedly) in the AM. We set up our tents and hammocks and spread out to nap and read for a while. Very relaxing. Eventually we gathered around and had some food and talked for a long while, eventually falling to sleep. Much nicer than in the front seat of a car let me tell you!

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Return to the Volcano 

Our second big trip out and about on the island got started late morning. I woke up early and headed into town to pick up the rental car and was back at the farm a little before noon. A Dodge Stratus was our mode of transport, a lot nicer and roomier than expected. But we managed to fill the trunk and headed out for fun. A couple of stops were made, Wyclef Jean boomed from the stereo (it had a cd player! That was very exciting), and we were happy. The sun was shining, we had no work to dread for days, and I was driving the nicest car I've driven in quite a while. Rad.

The Bs have a yearly pass for the national parks and we liberated that for the weekend. The girl working the booth seemed to not believe that I was B, but so it goes. She let us in and we began our tour. After making our rounds at the major sights (some of the many), we headed down to where the hike to the flowing lava began. This time there was no way we were not going to go out and see the glowing lava after dark. The hike out over broken lava was about 2 miles, and we made it out there as the sun finished its fall.

Amazing. Up on the hillside were streaks of glowing orange lava trails with flashing cameras and bobbing flashlights all around (many people ignored the ropes and kept walking. We used the ropes as an excuse to be lazy and stop walking). However, the best part was where the lava was hitting the ocean. The steam cloud was quite large, and we could see lava flowing out, cascading upwards, and lighting up the steam. A bit surreal. I felt as though I was at the end of the earth. The wind was howling unceasingly around us. Waves crashed against the rocks and vied with the wind for domination of our ears. Overhead a half moon and the stars poured down their light upon us. Reminiscent of creation-type stories, the lava and ocean met explosively casting orange-red light into the cascading steam and across the land and ocean, a creation of new land taking place before our eyes. A bit hard to explain, I suppose, but I loved it.

Eventually we tired of the sharp lava poking new holes and gashes in us, and we made our way back to the car. D got separated and managed to head off in the wrong direction and wander across the hillside. It was not a problem, and he managed to catch up to us before we got to the car.

Unfortunately, the only camping area (accessible without a long hike) was closed and leaving the park forced us to deal with the possibility of 'our' pass being rejected the next day when we returned to see more. Our solution? Sleep in the car. D and E had no problem. They fell asleep quickly and stayed that way most of the night. C didn't have as easy a time and didn't sleep much. Me? Very little. I've decided that I get one chance at sleeping in vehicles. If I fall asleep I'll stay that way for a bit. If I am almost asleep but am disturbed, that's it. And that's what happened. I was almost completely under when C began snoring and I woke up. After tossing a while, I climbed out the window and wrapped up in a blanket next to the car. Sleep almost overtook me once again, but people walking by were fascinated by a person sleeping on the ground and discussed me at length. And pointed all their flashlights at me. Finally I gave up and moved to the other, windy side of the car. I was more hidden, but completely exposed to the wind. I suffered this for a while and napped a bit but eventually tired of the wind and climbed back into the car, nodding off for about an hour until the sun rose and the next day began.

More later. Now I sleep.

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Still here 

Not to worry, I am still alive. We had a great time carousing about the island, and it's going to take me a couple of days to catch up on the sleep I've missed. Last night it felt heavenly to drop into a bed, my bed, and get some real sleep for a few hours. Ah! Many stories to tell. Most good, some not as good, one very dastardly vision that needs not re-telling, but I may toss down some hints anyway.

For now, a nap.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005


It's after midnight. 'Kids in the Hall' is on Comedy Central. Saturday Night Live, the best of Steve Martin is on and will be followed by the best of Bill Murray. Why are they putting this on so late at night! Guess I won't go to sleep just yet. Gotta be up to get my 730 am ride into town, so maybe I should start the coffee now?

Watched a beautiful moon setting tonight. The four of us sat around in the dark on the deck and watched the orange moon drop slowly thru the sky and slowly fade away in the vog and clouds, allowing the stars to become more visible and breathtaking. The air was cool and still comfortable enough to sit around without being chilled (for a couple of us anyway).

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On the road 

In the morning I am hitching a ride into town with B&B for a few reasons:

1. Apply for a tour vehicle washing job in town (coincidentally, the place is right next to the Kona Brewing Company. Coincidence? I think not)

2. Get a Hawaii driver's license.

Why? There are a few ads in the classifieds for taxi drivers, and a quick phone call to one enlightened me to the need for a local license. Wish me luck, it's a dream job! Driving, the graveyard shift, a taxi (which means the rules of the road barely apply)? Awesome!

3. Pick up a rental car.

Yes, we are tossing out some cash. E leaves the island for New Zealand next Monday, and we haven't seen nearly enough of the island. So at least me and the girls are heading out tomorrow until Saturday. D may come for all of it or part of the trip. The guy has no confrontational skills, so we are not sure he's asked for the days off from his restaurant gig. Supposedly he'll tell us tonight. Our plan is to head down to Volcano tomorrow and see the flowing lava at night. Waipio (sp?) Valley is next, a beautiful valley with a nice beach(es), with a trip to the top of Mauna Kea finishing off the journey. I am really looking forward to it!

Imagine, me as a taxi driver! Is that an awesome visual or what?

Imagine the stories that will come out of that endeavor!

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A thought 

Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure
you do but store the desire in the recesses
of your being.
Who knows but that which seems omitted
today, waits for tomorrow?
Even your body knows its heritage and
its rightful need and will not be deceived.
And your body is the harp of your soul,
And it is yours to bring forth sweet
music from it or confused sounds.

-The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Slow weekend 

Didn't do a whole lot of anything the last couple days. Did some reading, watched some old episodes of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", researched jobs for the next couple months...and ate a lot. That about covers it. It rained a lot so that helped.

Hopefully I'll pick up a job soon driving a taxi in town. My dream job! Driving a taxi, graveyard shift! Perfect for me! Wish me luck. I just need to get a HI driver's license and take some taxi tests or something. Oh man that'd be awesome!

Not much to say. Besides, D is probably not enjoying the clickety clacking of my typing.

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Kicking around the farm 

Last night was a good night. Fruitful...no. Fun...yes. Harmful to body and soul...perhaps. But that is what Fridays are for, is it not?

Walking out of the house we rounded the bend and pushed up the hill to the highway and began our mile-long trek to Patel's gas station to purchase some adult beverages to bring as a present to the party at which we hoped to soon be in attendance. The walk was nice, the beer warm (it'd get warm before we reached the house anyway, so the thought was that buying it warm would help push away the skunks and keep drinkability high) and proprietorship hospitality high. D was off to work so it was me and the chicks standing on the side of the road, thumbs extended, beer fermenting in the sun as vehicle after vehicle passed us by with a laugh or unwasted glance. Finally, after an hour of waiting, a large white GMC pick-up cranked over onto the shoulder and I piled into the cab and the girls tumbled into the bed (their request). The driver was a young-ish dude, nice, but I couldn't understand a damn word he said. No worries, I played it off as though I could decipher his ramblings.

Finally, hours after leaving the farm, we arrived at our host farm which perched itself high upon the shoulders of whichever damn fountain of lava that is with a commanding view of the coastline and the lights of Kailua-Kona twinkling in the mist shrouded distance. A dog the size of an elephant greeted us with barks and a wagging tail that levelled the saplings on each side of his enormous bulk. The hosts' drink-addled voices fell upon our ears in greeting, and our gifting of beer was greeted with raucous cries of glee. Settling down at the table of finger foods and aps we were plied with beers and stories of British wit and humor (which truly ranks among the best in at lesat the UK).

The weather was warm, but a cool breeze kept my sweat production from reaching levels of indecency which was nice. The moon and stars shone thru the whisps of clouds racing across the sky and the absence of earthly lights made for a beautiful heaven-lit scene.

As the beer and wine and champagne flowed, things soon escalated into chaos. Me and M, one of our hosts, got into a long discussion about China (he was there not long ago) and Wal-Mart and travel and politics (he apologized before telling me that he hates and mistrusts all politicians, as though that might offend me. I tittered). Mid-way through a rant against the evils of margaritas without salt he leapt onto the rail around the deck and danced a little jig while singing the refrain from '99 bottles of beer on the wall'. Cheers and clapping accompanied his performance, and when he mis-stepped and did a header down into the bushes we had no recourse but to toss a standing ovation which sailed out over the rail and down to his mangled body on the ground. Unperterbed, he jumped back to his feet and resumed his performance, capering off into the yard and into the shadows. As he receded from view we took our seats and awaited the next act of imbecility.

Long our wait was not to be. Hazel got up and quietly slipped into the house without anyone but me noticing. She looked suspicious so I took another swig of beer and swallowed it. Reappearing on the balcony overhead she launched into her own rendition of the garden scene in Romeo and Juliet which contained excerpts from Snoop's 'Gin and Juice' and the perennial favorite 'Tommy Boy' ("Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou? Be cautious, my love, yon fat whale has alit upon your boat"). Her man-friend, the brooding pseudo-hippie in the corner was a less than convincing Romeo ("Don't you realize that Shakespeare was repressing people long before he found his love for a good spliff? Life is so dead. And your Romeo is right here or can't you see me thru my hair and trust-fund embracing lifestyle?"). It was truly an amazing performance and the most interesting rendition of Will that I've yet seen. The act was finished when she doffed her clothes and did a cannonball into the kiddie pool and splashed M who had just reappeared from the woods still jigging all over the yard.

Finally overcome with the debauchery and pudding we piled into one car and T's wife ("I am always the DD. He is the party guy who can't say no") drove us home. She was nice enough to slow down to 5 mph as we passed the farm and as we've been practicing dive rolls all week on the farm no scathing occured.

It was now 9:30pm.

D arrived home from work at 10pm. A 'Go Fish' tourney started up and went all night. Many burritos and corn chips and tater tots and one beer later it ended, with me atop the pile as the fisher extrordinaire.

I love coffee

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

New fun on the farm 

While this latest activity may not be B&B sanctioned, it's plenty fun and I swear, safe as can be. It takes place in the Isuzu crapper farm truck, a small gray number with more rust than bodywork and permanent 'low fuel' light glowing in the dash. These days the door lock on the driver's side has become MIA (thanks to the hand saw in the cab and my handiwork. Damn door would lock, and because of the separation of inner and outer door, getting it unlocked was not easy. And doing the Dukes of Hazzard routine gets old and tiring in the blazing sun after hours of tossing large heaping steaming mounds of rotting weeds) and the roof keeps getting dented in (Drew isn't very light on his stomach). But overall it's a great truck that begs for abuse. I am more than happy to comply. And since it has a manual transmission and the other 3 here aren't so good with a stick (hehe) the bulk of the driving ends up happily nosing around in my lap.

Weeds have been mounding up thanks to our efforts in various piles around the farm. The fence at the low end of the farm has a mulch pile (not so much a mulch pile as a pile of stuff rotting away for no real purpose) that has drastically increased in size since we began trucking the pulled weeds down and piling them on top. This has been our main activity the last couple of days. It's fun and hard work and feels good. And I get to pummel the truck around over rocks and stumps and hills and mud heaps and sometimes D when he isn't behaving or paying attention. Our largest collection of weeds sat atop a small hill with a ramp-like approach.

Some of you may now see where this epic is voyaging. I had to try, ya know? How could I not? After all, I am the world's greatest driver, and if anyone could pull this off it's me. So I tried. And succeeded. Sort of.

Clearing the truck I scoped out my approach and the landing (not really. I wanted to sound foresightful). The motor gunned, the clutch dropped, and we lurched. The lava rocks are kind enough to smooth out a bit at the base of the small hill which allowed me to gain the necessary speed to hit the top of the hill and lose contact with the earth below.

If you've seen the movie 'Napoleon Dynamite' (and if you haven't, go see it. Pure genius) it's like the scene where Pedro ramps his bike for ND's amusement and awestruckedly based worship. Me and the truck got something like 40 feet of air and ended up ramping over the fence running the north side of the property. Unfortunately, I had no way to ramp back over so I had to do the drive of shame thru the neighbor's farm (a large coffee farm) and up their driveway, out onto the highway, and back down onto our farm in front of B&B who gazed at me in extreme wonder since they never saw me drive off the farm and know how severely street illegal the truck is. I simply waved and continued back down the farm and set up another load of weeds.

D, of course, now worships not only the ground I walk on but the air I breathe and dirt I wash out of my fingernails. No task can be done without his assistance and he acts as my personal guardian. He is now completely under my control....time for his real training to begin!

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Life would be easier.... 

...if people would just think like me. Have you ever played out a scenario in your head or planned out your actions/words expecting a certain comprehension or understanding only to have it completely backfire when put into action? I seem to be really good at that. In my head, it all makes perfect sense. In reality, it still makes sense to me but not to anyone else. Why is that? Circular and 'original' logic seem to be my bread and butter. I just wish, in light of recent revelations, that the result wasn't sadness but rather the happiness intended and desired. If only I'd acted sooner with explanations....

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Restlessness is about to come to an end 

Oops. That is all I am going to say. For those in the know, I was planning to take a trip back to Asia this winter to check out a few more places. Seems life has speeded up a bit and 'next winter' has been redefined as 'this fall'. That's right! As of this morning, I am planning to fly back into Bangkok at the beginning of September! Of course my plans are subject to change at will and at random, but that is what I am thinking now.

Stagnation has been key lately, and it's time to break out of that. It's time to start making things happen in my life instead of sitting around making excuses and waiting for certain things to come to me. So, I am off once again.

I think.

More clarity has been ensuing and motivation has been increasing. Gotta go with that and make things happen!

No set travel plan yet. Bangkok for a VERY short stay, then maybe on to Laos to China and the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow. But we'll see. The China/Pakistan/India route is still very high on my list. Gotta plan! No timeframe has been figured out just yet so I don't know when I'll hit the US mainland yet.

Wish me luck. The voice of reason (R) is not around to keep me out of trouble on this trip so we'll see what happens.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Struggle and strain 

The waves' pounding pulses thru me,
The beauty and inherent violence awe.
Gazing across the blue my mind wanders
The tear in me widens and stupifies.
Bliss is suffused with sorrow,
Contentment with unease

Resolution will one day come to pass
Cleared the way will become and
Clouds will no longer hover

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Happy 4th of July 

What up, everybody?

It's the 4th of July today. As a collective, we here on the farm have decided that today is a holiday for us. D and I slept in late (9ish) and now I'm dreinking my coffee and enjoying a bit of sloth. Actually, D and I are discussing the future (not 'our' future. He's not my type) and stuff. This is helped along by an email I got this morning from a guy my sis met in Tibet. He was kind enough to toss out some career and life advice. Time to start the gears in my brain grinding again. Or at least grinding a bit quicker.

Charlene, the LRT, is now gone. The owner came and picker her up this morning, and now we'll have to wait to hear about her fate. Puts a damper on our plans to head up to Mauna Kea tonight and out of town for the next couple of days. Last night on our little errands (beach, grocery, D to work) the clutch let it be known that it needed a holiday as well. Dangit. Back to hitchhiking we go!

All of you out there-have a great holiday and enjoy the day off. Happy day to us all!

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Another day at the beach 

The day may have begun in a haze of sleepy and led directly into work, but everything worked out ok. By 10am I'd decided that noon was the end of the work day, and D agreed (the girls didn't have to work at all today). A quick lunch and a few extra chores later (the B's kept tossing stuff at us as though they were trying to prevent our excursion to fun) we piled into Charlene and headed to the beach.

What a day it was! The sun was a bit cloud obscured, but people were grilling and laying about all over the beach without it seeming crowded. Young Hawaiians were bodyboarding and kids were splashing about. After a quick dip into the ocean, I retired to my blanket and finally finished the biography I've been reading about Che Guevara (I don't mean to give away the ending, but he died!). As I laid in there pondering a nap, I changed my mind when I heard the girls laughing at D's frolicking in the waves. Running from the beach, he was leaping and 'flipping' (flopping) into and over the waves as they broke. Feeling boisterous, I joined him; at first I stuck to leaping into the waves but soon I was flipping next to him. The Nerf football made an appearance against the back of D's head (courtesy of E) and the shenanigans began. A pseudo-football game began with me and D alternating mini-drownings after tacklings. It was a great time! Lots of running around and acting like an....18 year old (ouch). Our focus soon turned, and C found herself tossed into the waves against her will. Hehe. E followed of her own accord and we all got pounded by the waves for a while.

Good times! Since the rain moved in, we left and dropped D off at one of his many other jobs. This job is his four times-a-week cook job at a Mexican restaurant (he promised to bring us burritos again tonight), and we were able to convince him to gank us some garlic. I just got out of the shower and am waiting for dinner. It's going to be an Italian night: garlic bread, wine, pasta and....maybe that's it. Hm. I wonder which item I am supposed to be preparing? Eventually someone will tell me. In the meantime, maybe I'll take a nap...

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Second day of travel 

Like I said, waking up listening to the waves and crawling out of the tent to a beautiful coastline is hard to beat. Our second day of travel began not so early, with some coffee and bfast at a healthy food place in Hilo. Not bad, but I was hungry again before I'd even finished my bagel sammich. Needing supplies, we stopped at a thrift store and walked out with a radio for the car (the inbred one doesn't work): a $2 special needing 4 AA batteries and a little love but what an addition to the car! Four books also made their way into my hand before leaving. Oops.

Long's Drugs was witness to my dirty person walking in for further supplies: batteries for our new boom box, some juice, earphones (mine are over), a Time magazine (comments will follow soon on that front) and a Nerf football. Score! With our radio blasting Hawaiian tunes we darted onto a scenic highway and began our northward trek. It took nearly 5 minutes for D to request a stop. Not to clear out his bladder but for us all to slip and stumble 100 yards down a sheer hill to a waterfall and hordes of mosquitoes. Owie. Fortunately our mud encrusted bodies had a short time to wait before being cleansed. D lived on the Hilo side of the island for a couple weeks before heading out and salvationing me so he was able to guide us to some fun stuff.

Along the highway and maybe 50 feet lower in elevation was a small pool at the base of a long waterfall and D made us stop and get in. He and I bumbled down one side and leapt from the rocks into the current and across to a calm pool. The female types took the easier way down (of course. They are the smarter gender) and got into the calm stuff.

Goading and 'encouraging' D is a past-time that the other three of us greatly enjoy. This may give you an idea of the joy we felt when C noticed a rope overhead hanging from a tree. Of course D went up to check it out. A long branch was hanging out to aid in grabbing the rope (the bottom of which was maybe 15-20 feet over the water) and D soon had it in hand. With only slightly faltering nerves, he took flight out over several feet of rocks until he cleared underwater hazards and dropped, very uncoordinatedly into the water. Surfacing, a challenge was issued in my direction. Not one to ignore such taunting I made my way to the cliff-top and grabbed hold of the rope. Damn fine time! Of course it looks more intimidating than it really is, mainly because of the spine-snapping rocks extending out into the pool, but no matter. Two tears in a bucket, ya know?

D now came up with a brilliant idea-a backflip from the rope. As he tried to psych himself up and figure out how to pull off the maneuver, I told him to pretend he was Greg Lougainis (sp?) and he'd be fine. Not one of the three had any idea who I was talking about. That was depressing. I turned to mumble into the water just as D took flight. Reaching the extent of the rope's swing he lost his nerve and barely hung on and swung back towards the rock. Keep in mind, if he lost momentum and had to hang limply from the rope, he'd be over rocks with a long climb up the rope to the tree branch. Not a good situation. Fortunately, he was able to kick off the side of the rock and get back out far enough to drop safely to the water. Crisis averted. Barely.

The rest of the day was mostly driving with occasional stops to see sights near the road. A beautiful island to be sure. E took lots of pics (such as the 2 already posted on here) and I will put more on somewhere. Maybe a new page so's this one won't take forever to load? Let me ponder.

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Sunset on the coast 

Beautiful, eh? Hawaii is a good place.

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Pictures...if this works 

This is me, D and C sitting on the side of the road. We stopped off to check out an amazing sunset, a picture of which I will put on in a minute

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Not working is fun, Day 1 

Ah! It's been too long since I picked up and moved around and took in the sights! Maybe not too long, but long enough. It felt so good to cram the little red truck (aka, Charlene; aka, the Tracker) with all our crap and head off down the coast, away from work for a couple days. Meandering towards the other side of the island, our main goal for the day was to find some hot ponds and hang out in them for a while. A coffee and malasada stop intervened, as did some scenic overlooks and lunch.

Crap. I forgot about lunch. A small hippie town lay at the crossroads of the highway looping the island and the one pushing us down to the hot ponds. This place was great! Interesting people all around and lots of interesting flyers ("Are you sure you're from this planet? Come to our lecture today and explre!"). We ate at a mexican restaurant, and since no work was in sight we ordered a beer to wash down the funky burrito. As I handed over my license, I lobbed a sarcastic jest at D but was stopped short when the waitress guffawed and let it be known that she didn't believe me and the guy laminated in her hand are the same. Apparently she feels I lost too much weight and was less than impressed with the real me. Huh. My 'friends' had quite the laugh at my expense. Bastards. Don't worry, I got the last laugh. I didn't order a second beer which kept the bill total low which resulted in a smaller tip for her. Showed her...

Moving on. After lunch we made our way further south and found the hot pond. Not secluded and not more than 100 feet off the highway. A tourist spot, but so nice! The pond is actually ocean water and a very pleasant temperature. I think we spent about 3 hours in and around the pond: chicken fights with little kids (they didn't stand a chance! The base kid's head didn't even break the surface of the water so we whipped them!); leaping from trees into the water; sitting on the ocean wall and gazing out across the gorgeous blue ocean and pondering life; laughing at C getting constantly nibbled on by resident fish. Good times.

Pruned almost beyond recognition we toddered back to the car and continued on our way. By this time I was behind the wheel, and I am glad because the fun ramped up. Our way led down a backroad that was pseudo-paved and rutted and pot-holed and muddy and a big mess, but fun as hell to drive. An urge to go airborne threatened to overwhelm me, but I suppressed it and instead was a very calming influence.

Our stated goal in driving this road was to find a place to crash for the night that would not result in being harassed by locals, shot at by pot farmers, arrest or 'Deliverance' type subjugation. A fancy house was followed by a 'FOR SALE' sign which was followed by a small driveway. The vehicle stopped and D went out to explore. Success! A beautiful little clearing adjacent to a cliff over the ocean. Awesome views of the pounding surf stretched in both directions, and there was sufficient room to pull the LRT over and hide it from passers-by.

By now the sun was heading downwards and we headed townwards to find some grub. Pizza slozzed its way into our maws and after a quick stop at the beer store we headed back to our home for the night.

What a night! A fire of soggy and rotten wood provided some light (and a lot of smoke), beside which we had some drinks, played some rummy, and chatted the night away. Horror was expressed at my divulgence of having owned a house, yet hope was professed based on my current state of affairs (not hope for me, hope for stuff). The stars were out in great abundance and I lost myself in gazing up at them with the sound of pounding surf in my ears while a warm breeze caressed me. Amazing.

I tried to sleep outside the tent but it didn't work. No, the little buzzing blood suckers were not the problem. It began to rain. I tried to hide under my blanket but it soaked thru and I admitted my defeat as I crawled into D's tent which he had been kind enough to warm up in my absence.

Waking up to the sound of waves and emerging from a tent to look down at the blue ocean lit by the sun's rays is really unbeatable.

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Still alive 

Not to worry my children, I am still alive and kicking (though the kicking is a bit feeble today thanks to a late night and manual labor performed already today). Instead of staying away 2 nights, we returned to the farm last night in time to eat a pizza and watch Wayne's World. Memories of high school came flooding back as I watched the movie. And I had to laugh out loud when I thought about what I was doing when the movie was released (driving around aimlessly with a new license in the Caprice) and what my friends here were doing (grade school).

No matter. It was a great trip, and I'll divulge some tales tonight. This morning we worked the wood chipper at another farm; now we are eating lunch before starting up some work here.

No one got seriously hurt, so fret me not. Only D got kinda close to smashing himself on some rocks, but it all worked out in the end.



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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