Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saturday Hike

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.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Them's A Lotta Comics

The comics really pile up when I leave town for a while.

Up Sides and Down Sides of Hawaii

I apologize for disappointing y'all, but after five weeks in Hawaii, I had to leave for reasons. 

Here are three of the reasons.

I'll be working from Burbank in the morning.

Souvenir Shortage

I went to so many ukulele stores in Hawaii! Miraculously, I made it through without buying another uke. 

I settled for a couple of song books. 

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


Today we look at food. Everyone likes food, right?

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Last Leg

I’m back in Waikiki, in the cheapest hotel I could find with a desk, fridge, microwave, and pool, but I wish I were there in the Ilikai.

Bonus: the light and phone makes me look like I’m half-zombie.

Art Comes In Many Forms

 At the Kona Airport. Is it art, or is it merely a construction site? 

The Big Island, March 7-14, 2021

I flew from Maui to Kona on Sunday, March 7th, marveling at the hardened black lava as the tiny Mokulele commuter plane cruised in over the hardened lava fields. I hadn’t realized Mokulele flew into what was called the commuter terminal, but really, was just a small shelter with a few desks and a sign that read “Call the below numbers to request the car rental shuttles.”

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.

Last Minute

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

For the Ducks

Does this mean wear a mask for the ducks?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

It Used to Be Camping Stores, Then It Was Hardware Stores

I like ukulele stores and fabric stores. You keep your beaches and your snorkeling.

I like sunsets too.


Frequently Asked Questions


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?

A: No.

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

Uke Shirt in Kona

 I did an impulse buy in a touristy shop in Kona. 

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Pandemic Travel

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

Nice Touch

File under "I had no idea." 

Kihei Treat

I was all “better eat it before it melts,” then I remembered fruit doesn’t work like that.

Early Rise

Haleakala National Park is open for sunrise by advance reservation only.

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

This Seems Painful

Tomorrow's trip to Haleakala Crater is going to be challenging.

Date: 03/06/2021, Saturday
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

The Mystery of the Missing Roosters

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


 This made me laugh. "No way," I thought, but I tried the pizza and it actually was pretty good. 

Monday, March 01, 2021

Remember to Take Your Brain On Vacation

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.