Saturday, November 20, 2010

none-too-friendly skies

we're flying tomorrow.

which means we'll have to go through security at seatac airport.

i really hope nobody tries to grope us.

* * * * *

i haven't packed yet. but really, how long can it take to throw some shorts, t-shirts and a swimsuit into a carry-on bag?

besides which, this day-before was full up with last-minute busy work. from the coffee shop to the hardware store to the barber shop to the dive shop to the fred meyer to the post office back to the hardware store to the grocery store and finally, home.

where there was still plenty more to do.

* * * * *

whoops, forgot the bakery and the book store. and the eyeglass repair place.

* * * * *

the forecast was right: it's turned cold in seattle. and windy. this is not a happy combination. wind chill factor is not something i want to deal with. current temperature, 37. feels like: 32. dew point: 23. which means it could get damn cold tonight. forecast for the next three days: snow flurries developing. highs in the 30s. lows in the 20s.

seems like a good time to be leaving town.

* * * * *

movie tonight on comcast channel 650: "how do i look?"
movie on channel 651, same time: "coyote ugly"

* * * * *

crystal mountain and mount baker ski areas are already open. skiing this season is going to be amazing. and, unlike last year, i get to participate. working-from-home snow days also looking promising.

* * * * *

so, i've downloaded "50 first dates" from itunes. why would i do such a thing, you might ask? because it was shot on oahu, that's why. many of the places we'll be going to featured prominently in the movie. sealife park, where adam sandler's character worked. chinaman's hat, near where forgetful lucy lived. kaneohe, waimea, waimanalo...oh, i also thought the movie was pretty funny. i plan to watch it on the flight over. assuming we get past the gropers.

* * * * *

also shot on oahu: "from here to eternity," "tora, tora, tora," and "pearl harbor."

"jurassic park."

the opening shots of "gilligan's island."

"hawaii 5-0."


if you like that sort of thing.

* * * * *

10-day forecast for honolulu:

high: 82
low: 71

repeat, 10 times.


we're flying tomorrow.

why am i still awake and typing?

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Monday, November 15, 2010

four orders of good to go

"if you never did, you should. these things are fun, and fun is good."

~ dr. seuss

we're t-minus one week to oahu.

the prospect is so good, it's hard to keep in the here and now.

we're constantly recalculating the minimum required to stay functional any given moment, so as not to interfere with our pre-trip prep and general euphoria.

which is to say, we're making plans. oh my, yes.

plan a: scuba diving. the boy is on the brink of scuba certification, and so four dives off southeastern oahu are scheduled and paid for.

these dives will differ dramatically from his experience in puget sound, where the water is 50F year-round. he'll be able to see, for one thing. there's not a lot of light around here these days, so visibility is about six feet. in the bright midday sun off oahu, we expect to be able to see most of the way to san francisco. which will be good...we'll be able to see the dorsal fins circling us.

there will be surfing. the rest of the family took lessons in maui a couple years ago, and they're ready to give it another go. shoot, i may even try it myself. you haven't really lived, after all, until you've been hit in the head with a surfboard or nibbled experimentally by a shark.

speaking of nature's perfect predator, there will be an excursion in a shark cage. last time, sailing out of haleiwa, the boy and i spent 25 minutes within touching distance of a swarm of galapagos sharks. they looked impressively predatory, but word on the boat was that they're bottom feeders. which means they may bite you in the ass.

other sharks sometimes seen on these trips include tigers, gray reef sharks, and pelagic hammerheads. all are described as "aggressive to humans." but we'll be, you know, in a cage. what could possibly go wrong?

10 more very good things to get giddy over in oahu (in inverse order from top to mid-list, then in reverse...)

1. ten days of highs in the mid 80s, lows in the mid 70s.

2. running five miles, barefoot, on kailua beach.

3. a├žai extravaganza bowls from lanikai juice.

4. grilled shrimp with rice from the lunch truck across the street from keneke's family bbq in waimanalo.

5. hiking up to the lanikai pillboxes.

6. climbing the ha'iku steps.

7. paddle surfing to the mokoluas.

8. jumping off "da big rock" at waimea bay beach park.

9. thanksgiving at the beach.

10. endlessly, pointlessly contemplating how we can stay and live the island life.

and...(this list goes to eleven)

11. duke's on sunday.

these things will be fun, and fun is good, while it lasts. to that end, we'll invoke the corollary that if a little fun is good, more is better.

music playing happy songs
everybody's getting along
dancing in the sunshine
sipping on that rose wine
good times will set you free
oh, this is the place to be
on the beach at waikiki
that's where you'll find me
here on the south side
beach boys paradise
duke's on sunday
duke's on sunday
duke's on sunday

~ henry kapono

* * * * *

update: this just in from the national weather service, for western washington...




the fun just does not stop.

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

early to rise

"Gotta get to bed so I can get up at 2 to re-set my clocks. I really don't understand why we can't have these time changes at a more convenient hour."

~ david hutchinson

and so, darkness descends on the northwest.

here, the end of daylight savings time is the beginning of months of getting up and driving to work in the dark, returning home in the dark, and ingesting fistfuls of vitamin D in between.

it's a time of people taking on the healthy pallor of zombies, along with a corresponding level of brain activity. seasonal affective disorder wraps us up in its clammy embrace, broken only by forced exposure to UV light or fistfuls of pharmacology.

it hardly seems worth it, but at least on the day we fall back we get an extra hour to spend however we like. there's no consensus on the best way to seize the carp and fully exploit that time, but the options are characteristic of the soon-to-be-deranged...

1. sleep in (the desperate act of the desperately sleep-deprived)
2. run around the grocery store muttering "the end is near," while loading the cart with wine
3. plunge into puget sound's 50-degree waters, imagining they're warm, and you're warm, and that hypothermia builds character
4. go to your favorite restaurant and wander through the bar saying "donner, party of 20..."
5. have mind-bending, toe-curling sex with julianne moore (assuming you actually know julianne moore and she finds you sufficiently intriguing)
6. avoid taking your car to the local car wash for the sixth straight month, because every time you wash you car, it rains (also, when you don't)
7. obsess over politics, even though the recent election ensures nothing worthwhile will happen for the next two years
8. obsess over sports and television, even though nothing worthwhile ever happens in either case
9. go outside at lunch for a glimpse of that dim star low on the southern horizon
10. go shopping, buy things you don't really need, because it makes you feel better, however briefly
11. stay home, save your money, because it makes you feel better, however briefly
12. drink the wine you bought at the grocery store; go buy more
13. buy food, while you're there
14. hug your children
15. yell at your children, tell them to shut the hell up so you can hear yourself think
16. realize what you're thinking isn't particularly interesting or important
17. pick up a book, begin reading; get the feeling you're reading the same few pages over and over
18. find a way to work the word "ennui" into as many conversations as possible
19. exercise, compulsively, because if you don't you feel fat, which is depressing
20. stare blankly into space while daydreaming about sunlight, pondering the prospect it might never return

some of these things might take more than an hour, but not to worry. there's a long, bleak winter extending endlessly before you. you have plenty of time to savor them at your leisure.

that, or you can sail to lahaina.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

post-game 2010

"violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

~isaac asimov

it's funny, really, how different liberals are from conservatives.

conservatives in the u.s. have their fingers on the trigger. literally. if they don't get their way via the ballot, they're prepared to use other means to achieve their ends. do you need examples, or have you been keeping up with current events?

despite the right wing's professed love of the constitution, it's a love of convenience. "free speech" only applies when it applies to them. in all other cases, the practitioner may be silenced by physical assault, police intervention, or hostage-taking. or all of the above.

constitutional protections regarding church and state? only christian churches need apply. all others are subject to bombing, verbal and otherwise, at any time. jesus must be so proud.

at social gatherings, conservatives demonstrate the failures of public education in myriad ways. spelling, grammar, historical comparisons...all wrong. if you're going to refer to the president as hitler, he cannot, at the same time, be kenyan. nazis, it turns out, were not fond of black people. (note: "kenyan" is not the same as "keynesian.")

also, if obama is muslim, it's not possible that he is also married to michelle. i mean, have you seen how she dresses? that said, she could even make a burka look good.

liberals, meanwhile, have a slightly different vibe. at their gatherings, no one gets beaten, kidnapped, or otherwise violated. worst case, a conservative interloper might be subjected to some tough rhetorical questions.

these comparisons may be important as conservatives even more conservative than the last batch take control of the u.s. house, as well as several state governments. the last bunch, you may recall, helped wreck the world economy, drive the u.s. into two intractable wars, and endorse torture as official u.s. policy.

and yet somehow millions of americans today saw fit to return them to positions of power.

go figure.

perhaps the takeaway is that you get the government you deserve...but not necessarily the government you need.

and that today would be a really good day to restock the wine racks.