Took a hike with pal Steve this morning after a week of being a desk potato. 14,000 steps in Pasadena follow by an acai bowl.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Friday, March 19, 2021
Thursday, March 18, 2021
I was on a Zoom panel today, and the thing about laptops (versus external monitors) is they offer a dreadful perspective on a human face. No one needs to see that neck-y, chin-y angle, and at home they never do, because my external monitor is at a good height.
But I'm working on a laptop on a desk of a typical height--and I don't want to be that chin-y, neck-y person we all see in meetings where no one gives a shit anymore a year into this.
I looked around the room--I could put pillows on the desk and put my laptop on the pillows, but then when I type, I thought I might get a bounce. I considered using a wastebasket on the desk to elevate the laptop too.
Then my eyes strayed across the coffee table. I added the towel so I didn't scratch up the hotel's desk. Success!
Monday, March 15, 2021
Sunday, March 14, 2021
I could have just walked, I learned in a short while. I showed my negative covid results of a few days ago, picked up a Ford Fiesta (the car rental agent ominously told me most people prefer SUVs for the rough roads), turned on my GPS “Shaka Guide,” and headed north.
A “Shaka Guide” is a Hawaiian audio guide for phones. You plug it into the car audio via USB, turn off the Bluetooth, choose a tour, and then the guide talks you around the route, pointing out what to see and explaining Hawaiian history and culture along the way. There isn’t much cell service along these routes, but GPS coordinates trigger the talking points. These GPS tours have gained popularity this past year, as no one really wants to sit in a vehicle with a stranger for 4-8 hours while they explain the sights.
I just canceled my flight back to LA and got a one-way to Honolulu instead.
I know I'm being a weirdo. I guess I'd better go change my "hold mail" order.
I really will convince myself to go home. Maybe later this week.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Q: When are you going back to Burbank?
A: Maybe Sunday. Hawaii is currently two hours behind CA, so I start work at 7. On Sunday, the mainland time shifts and I'd have to go to work at 6. I might try it for one week but being perky at 6 a.m. sounds pretty rough.
Q: Are you a morning person?
Q: Are you a night person then?
A: Not really.
Q: Are you even a person?
A: I might be a cat or a guinea pig.
Q: Are you okay in the flooding?
A: I am! Thank you for checking.
Q: Are you really leaving Hawaii on Sunday?
A: I can't decide. I like not having the low-grade stress of worrying about covid.
Q: Do you like Hawaiian chocolate and Kona coffee?
A: Yes, I do. Thanks for asking.
Monday, March 08, 2021
Sunday, March 07, 2021
As I sat at the Maui airport waiting to fly to Kona, I found myself having a conflicted reaction to the remarkable moment I am experiencing in Hawaii. I am sure I’d hate this voyage under normal cookie-cutter conditions, but right now the scarcity of traditional tourism is creating a nearly personalized visit. But also: guilt. People are dying of COVID. Everyone I know is suffering from exhaustion and the mediocrity of familiarity and routine. A form of prison for people used to a bit of daily novelty.
And here I am living with only moderate concessions to Pandemic World. My biggest inconvenience is my work day starts at 7.
The vistas are achingly beautiful here, but on Maui, even the few tourists create unpredictable situations. Just one mask-denier causes problems for the tour companies and vendors still operating. The open-air restaurants full of diners terrify me, and I only get carry-out. Sitting on the shuttle to Haleakala worried me too. And getting a COVID test for $125-$150 every time I move islands is more of a pain in the ass than I expected it to be.
Still, my experience here is unique and almost warms my jaded backpacker’s heart. I didn’t even jump down the throat of the Oklahoma guy who said how brave I am for traveling alone. I just said “Well, I’ve been around the world alone,” instead of pointing out Hawaii is a state and god, what a provincial take on women, tourism, traditional lifestyles, etc. Is that even still a thing, not being in a traditional family unit, women on their own?
Maybe it is wherever that guy lives in Oklahoma.
Saturday, March 06, 2021
Advance is not defined as "looks at website a few days before." "Curses," I thought. I was too late to just rent a car and drive myself up.
I read up on sunset, which does not require reservations, but I couldn't find a satisfying answer on if sunset was as good as sunrise. I'd have to book a tour if I wanted to see the sunrise described by Mark Twain as "the most sublime spectacle I have ever witnessed.”
But almost no one is doing these tours at the moment, due to a shortage of tourists.
Friday, March 05, 2021
Tomorrow's trip to Haleakala Crater is going to be challenging.
Product Info: Classic Sunrise Tour
Total Guest: 1 Adult
Hotel: Aina Nalu Lahaina Resort
Pick up Time: Aina Nalu Lahaina Resort at approximately 3:00 AM at the Front Entrance
Check in Time: Activity Starts at 4:00am
Thursday, March 04, 2021
When I was scouring the webs for a rental I could afford for a week on Maui, I read a lot of reviews of my current lodging, all criticizing the chickens.
The comments were all the same: So many roosters! Couldn't sleep once they started crowing, they were everywhere!
Eh, I thought. Been there, done that, wanted to murder chickens at 5 a.m. I remember this one repetive rooster outside my serviced apartment in Kampala...that damn thing wanted me to learn to kill chickens. But my work day starts at 7 here in Hawaii, so it doesn't matter if nature's alarm clock gets it in his head to announce the dawn.
But a funny thing happened here in Lahaina.
No roosters at the complex. Nada. Not one.
There are roosters everywhere else in town. Stray roosters wandering around, underfoot, dodging cars.
But no roosters are here at the Aina Nalu on the edge of the old town.
I don't think I want to know what happened to the roosters of Aina Nalu.
Tuesday, March 02, 2021
Monday, March 01, 2021
I went for a sunset walk tonight after work. I'm in Lahaina, Maui, which is lovely if super-touristy. I like touristy places because they have options for food and lodging. I also like remote places if I have rented a car and the lodging is cheap and has great wifi for my workday, but I can't think of when all that has happened. It's usually the wifi fall down, go boom.
Anyway, I walked along Front Street, and when a young woman in a cosmetics store tried to give me a sample, I said an abrupt no and kept walking. It's like being at Bloomingdale's with people trying to spray your wrist with perfume. Go away, don't put that on me.
Anyway, I felt guilty after being abrupt, so when the next young woman tried to give me a sample, I took it.