"Awesome!" A Blog.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Some thoughts on my vacation to Kauai - pt II

Hotel accommodations

Some months prior to our arrival, we booked a room on the ground floor of the Marriott, a fairly nice resort. Ground floor rooms are quite pleasing: you can just stroll out of your sliding glass doorway, cross some lush turf, and be on the sand in less time than it takes to empty a can of Hawaiian Sun Apricot-Orange Nectar into the commode*.

A week before our arrival, we called to confirm the ground floor booking. The desired accommodation was confirmed with absolute certainty, and several mahalos** were exchanged. Upon our arrival we were happily told by the front desk that we had been booked into a room on the top floor of the hotel, accessible only by steam ducts, the window of which faced an air-conditioning unit, on the side of which some agitated local had spray-painted “HAOLE GO HOME!”

After a good deal of “we said the opposite of that”-ing we were finally awarded our ground floor room, only to discover that the island’s resident population of feral chickens made a regular trek across the front of our lanai, ostensibly on a journey—far too late in the game—to find a toilet. Circumventing this little “perpetual shenanigan” required us to go about a hundred yards out of our way, or roughly four times the height of the building, to reach the sand. I know I shouldn’t complain about having to walk the length of a few supermarket aisles in order to lay on lush, tropical beaches, so please take this with a grain of salt. This blog entry is not for fans of hard-boiled crime fiction or lovers of Mother Jones slaughterhouse betrayals. I just want an open forum in which to talk about the bad things that the Hawaiian chickens did.

* Five seconds. Seven seconds if you include the last couple drips. Twelve fluid ounces.
** “Mahalo” is a Hawaiian term roughly equivalent to “thank you!” and “this is going to take a little while.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Some thoughts on my vacation to Kauai

The Flight There

Flights to Hawaii are markedly different from those to less exotic destinations. The flight crews are veterans who have earned the prized route (as per union guidelines, flight crew members get to stay over a night or two in destination cities, paid for by the airline) so they are top-notch personnel. Because of the cherry route, they’re usually in a good mood and they play little games with the passengers. On our flight, they gave us the total flight distance, rate of speed, a few red herrings, and asked us to calculate at what time we would be exactly halfway done with the trip. Passengers in 16D, 23A, and 26A guessed correctly* so there was a guess-off on how many cumulative years of service the flight attendants had between them. I forget the total, but my aisle-mate in 16D won. The prize was macadamia nuts in a cumbersome, inconvenient basket.

Also noteworthy was the in-flight entertainment, which we were told would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but in fact turned out to be a video of concerned-looking children going in and out of a mobile home and saying “Hagrid’s not looking well.”

* 12:10PM PST

Rental Cars

I’m not one to go in all big and showy when I rent a car in some place I don’t live. It’s the dregs of the lot for me: “Do your worst!” I say to the clerk on the phone. A few moments later I ring up again and yell “I mean it!” to drive the point home. So, we usually end up with a Dodge (or whoever makes it, it doesn’t really matter) Neon. Shortly after landing and procuring our royal blue Neon, we discovered a tremendous odor of thoroughly smoked cigarettes coming from somewhere inside the air-conditioning vents. We turned around and exchanged the vehicle.

This time around our Neon (again royal blue, but this time with fancy buttons on the key ring) slid out of the lot odor-free. About two minutes later, the engine began to lug like it had been lubed with Chex Mix. Whatever the problem was, I wasn’t prepared to attempt to fix it in the parking lot of the Nawiliwili Marriott with a six-iron, so we returned this little juice box as well.

Now sportily outfitted with a red Neon which blew Febreeze from the grates and purred like a nursing kitten, we could finally begin our adventures about the island. So far, our list of activities looked like this:

1) return Neon (??)

- - -

I may continue jotting down my notes if I feel like it.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I rescued the day with orzo.

Liz was pretty famished last night when she got home from work, so I did a "pantry pasta" with the odds and ends that were on hand. I started sautéeing a sweet white onion in olive oil, with a lot of minced garlic, and when that stuff was a little golden I threw in some pine nuts and chili flakes. Meanwhile I boiled some orzo. When the orzo was done I threw some kalamata olives and minced rosemary into the onion/garlic to heat up, then threw the orzo in. Then I threw in about two golf balls' worth of chevre, a glug of olive oil, a handful of chopped parsley, and stirred it until the chevre had melted and coated all the orzo. Pretty good for a kitchen that looked like it only contained a jar of Emerald Nuts and coffee filters. We can usually do pretty well on pantry days since we buy so much food that we don't need all the time.

Monday, September 06, 2004


I was watering the new bougainvillea for the second time today (we're having a miserable heat wave) when it suddenly dawned on me: my closest friends are all named Chris. I have many friends, but my tightest fellows all have the same name as me.

You go through life thinking you're a complex, unknowable lagoon of blended motivations and subconscious influences, and then once in a while you realize something like this.

Tonight we are going to our Italian place. I suppose an actuarial table could predict what I'm going to have, but I may as well just tell you. I'm going to have the veal milanese, like I do every other time we go there. I like the potatoes it comes with.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I know it hasn't started yet, but:

Is it too early to be sick of The Apprentice Season 2? The first time around it was interesting to see who Donald Trump was, and to watch people try to be smart and aggressive and try to meet his challenges. The latest season is being billed purely as a pricks'n'bitches glass cage match, with "The Donald's" ego in full engorgement. Sometimes I feel like he's just sitting on a big rotating leather La-Z-Boy at the exact center of America, jacking off.

Shows like this make me want to be even worse at making money.