Saturday, July 10, 2010

I need to write... i need to write...

I've been so distracted with life and work and settling back into living in New Jersey... or is it the other way, rather than distracted, I've simply living. I haven't had time to think... to take a step back and see what's going on. I miss having that. I had so many nights in Hawaii... just pondering about life... often thinking about how great it felt being there... where I was gonna go next... what other adventures I could find. I always came back to the same conclusion. The sound of the ocean at night... it's calming... it's as if everything is in the right place.

I've been thinking about the choices I've made in my life. Often times, in attempts to think everything through, I eventually conclude I'm going to go with where life takes me... a leap of faith... and in a flash, life changes. I came back here for a reason... to find out something... and slowly I'm coming to a conclusion that I'm less than happy to accept. Things don't seem to be going anywhere in that respect... hope floods my mind.. provoking action... instilling patience... giving these moments of bliss, mine and mine alone... then as quickly as it came... it recedes.... I come back to the same daunting conclusion. Is this what I came here for? To find out this? To find out and move on? I sidestep back....  I won't give up... ill fight for this... it's meant to be this way. Yet in the back of my mind, I slowly draw my contingency.

Now I question, am I half heartedly chasing her? Have I already lost enough hope that it's spoiled my plans. If so I'm in the wrong place. Nothing should be done half heartedly. That's by absolutism speaking that often conflicts with more logical ways to approach life. Perhaps knowing that reveals that my heart is elsewhere... not in a person... but an ideal. Nonetheless, what rewards me in life is chasing my lucid dreams. If one fades... i'll find another... rather I'll make another.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Long post over due, so on April 27th, I started the long trek back after a quick visit to my friend in Loveland, CO. Hope you're doing well Alex. Made it in 31 hours!!!! That's with a 2 hour nap at a rest stop in Iowa. I'm not surpised to find out that sleeping in a Mini Cooper when you can't recline the seat.... well that's why it was only 2 hours. Plus I was awake and hadn't really been doing anything but driving. Made it back Wednesday, late night. I'm impressed with my driving tolerance.

So onto the title. I met this cute girl, Maya. She's so lovable and playful but can get herself into trouble.
I spent a week dog sitting while she and Jason were in Jamaica. I initially stayed at her place but went back and forth a lot. Ain't she cute? She's only about a year old and doesn't get out much. Which explains her timidness. She was afraid of everything! The garage door at my parent's place, the sound of pots and pans crashing, my brother working on his car.... and she always needs to be around someone. That's not such a bad thing though. After the first night, I woke to her lying her head on my stomach, crammed with me on the couch. I later learned she's a couch hog. Or maybe I am... but anyway.
She wasn't the brightest but still fun. I play hide and seek with her all the time, especially in my house. She's not that explorative. I hid behind a door and even with a million hints, she still didn't find me until I popped my head out. Not sure where her sense of smell is. One time, I threw her toy from the living room, and I jumped on the couch and hid under a blanket. Guess what.... she couldn't find me. She happened to jump on the couch cause I was barking and I guess she thought I was behind the couch. Lol.
She wasn't always good though. I have new curtains in my room thanks to her. And had to clean up some messes. I think she did it because she was upset that I left her. I just took her for a walk and left her for 3 hours. Wtf, maya! I still love her though. Spent many content hours, rolling around the floor and lying around. She always goes for the ears!

Now 3 weeks later, I'm contemplating getting a doggie.... I really don't want a dog to be sitting at home for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week though. Everyone says they will get used to it but I don't my dog to get used to that lifestyle. Then Valentina argued that it's better than being in a shelter... I think that's the winning argument. I'll see.

Monday, April 26, 2010


So this weekend I was back in Jersey. Mom's birthday was on Friday so I had decided to surprise her. After getting back to Jersey a bit after 11pm, Al picked me up so we could both be there. When we got there, the house was still. Both Mom and Dad were still sound asleep, despite the noise of the garage door and my brother and I creaking up the stairs. I always hated those noises as a teenager. They signaled I was home and usually late. Mom's not such a light sleeper anymore. Can't blame her with dad's snoring. :) So my brother and I are both standing in the rent's bedroom and we gently wake her. Thinking about the moment before, I asked myself, would she just think it was a dream? So she's groggy and surprised and I guess doesn't know what to think at first. So I find myself repeating happy birthday a couple of times. She's delighted to see us. My dad woke up to but there wasn't much of a reaction. I probably would be the same way if I was awoken in the middle of the night. But he seemed glad. Then back to bed...

It was an impromptu trip. It crossed my mind a week or so prior. I wasn't working, just spending my days reading a lot and at the coffee shop, playing a lot of video games, and sleeping even more. Hey, I can get a free tickets with all the miles I traveled to and from Hawaii last year. 4 times to be exact. Why not. So after a brief online booking, I tell my brother a couple of days later and he wants to pick me up. Nice. So I'm all set. I didn't really announce my arrival to anyone except a handful of people. I tend to be good and not announcing my future activities. Maybe cause they're unplanned. Still I had enough time. I suppose I realized when going back to Jersey, that it wasn't very important. Most of my friends know I'll be back one time or another as I popped in and out while I was in Hawaii.

Throughout the week, I had been searching online for a job, so why not look in Jersey. I didn't really plan it out well but it worked and I locked in an interview on that Friday. I should have just extended my trip a bit and got some more in. Returning to Jersey, I found myself pretty occupied that Friday. Interview here, stop by the old office, another appointment, stop by the older office, pick up Mom (thanks for the car), then home for what was supposed to be an hour nap. I was up til 4 am Thursday... drowning in my alertness. Anyway, back to the nap....zzz... zzz... zzz... and 4 hours later. Go out, play some Rockband with the Leaches and Deguzmans. Followed up with some drinks with Deguz. We had a really good conversation. I couldn't recall about details but him and I get into these somewhat philosophical discussions of life. Good times... good times...

Well it's not so important what I did on the trip. At some point or another, in talking and thinking about where I was, what I was doing, I realized, It makes no difference if I'm here or there. Either place, I'm not really doing much, just looking for a job. And so I really start to consider a trip back for an extended but not too extended period of time. After playing some pool with Rich and Nancy, I find out that she has this boxer (I knew that before) and she's going on a vaca this upcoming Friday. Suddenly, a light bulb is hovering around my head. Dogsitting!!! Yes I'm that excited about it. Hey I can make it back here by next Friday if I really wanted to. And that thought persisted all day Sunday. On another note, it was good seeing Angela at QTime. I hadn't seen her in over 2 years because I was elsewhere and so was she. So it was good times again... sitting after the bar closed til 3 am... having some cigs inside... and just chattin about this and that (Lost Boys).

So Sunday, twas my lazy day... wake up late... run some errands... get some coffee... then met up with JK for a bit. Our usual routine outside DnD, talking, smoking... just catchin up. He always has a story and it's great to hear. After that a fantastic dinner by Mom. She's the best cook I know. Not just saying that because I'm her son. Even other extended family and friends would agree. Her pound cake is famous among her co-workers at the hospital, my friends, my brother's friends, and a whole many others. I found it a bit difficult to sleep that night. I was thinking about a couple of things. For awhile I was imagining dogsitting and how much fun it would be. Since I don't have any other obligations, I could spend time playing, sleeping, and eating... just like a dog. Rolling around on the ground, being a bit bothersome to him/her, and just giving him/her all my attention. I've never actually met the dog before but I'm sure it'll like me, cause I like it already. Though I'm still unsettled of what I'm going to do.

After getting back to Avon, here's the plan. All my belongings are packed in my car. I have an interview with American Income Life down in Denver tomorrow. I'm not sure why I'm still going. Possibly because I said I would and also the hope of it being a really good position. If it does turn out to peak my interest, well back to Avon, unpack everything and start considering for a place in Denver. Well I guess I wouldn't unpack everything. Otherwise, as my uncle often said on ski trips in my younger days.... on the road again... and make it back by Thursday.

Oh yeah.... there's this girl in Jersey.... probably the most important factor.... who knows.... but I can dream.

Friday, April 23, 2010

If I wrapped my arms around you, I know everything would be alright...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Love or something like it

Me: I don't want to find out that Karla put him in jail!!! Why would she? There's no benefit for her. Things were good between them... I hope I'm right.... but am jumping to the worst scenario.
Nicole: :) ur in love.
Me: I usually am... I'd be completely lost if I weren't at any given time... whether it be a person, idea, place... or just being in love with wanting to be in love. 
So I was casually reading Shantaram (yes... I'm still reading it.... it's taken me forever) at a Loaded Joe's, a local cafe. I hadn't picked it up in a couple of weeks but no more work and taxes are pretty much done... it's a good time to sit back and just delve into the world of Gregory David Roberts. So there's a character Karla that the main character Lin is in love with. She's alluring... intelligent... observant... manipulative... reserved.... mysterious. Someone who walks into a room and you can't help but watch. Someone to chase... and as many times as you fail... you'll still chase.  They just hooked up and then within 24 hours, he's put in jail for 3 months later. Upon getting out and after some time passes, I find out that she's gone and the person who possibly set him up is an attractive woman. And thus the txt message above....

And onto a broader observation of my own life. Though my understanding of love is limited, at any given time, I am in love with something. For one day back on December 9, 2008, I was in love with Hawaii.... and decided to follow it to the fullest. Other times, it's a girl, hopelessly chasing in my own non-existent manner... often times it's this... the person is raised on a pedestal and idolized from a far... til the day when I can no longer keep quite... and everything goes astray... sometimes it cycles with the same person and it simply becomes understood as how I am and will continue to be in the friendship.

We all need to find something or someone to love. I need something to fight for. Sadly, some struggle is often enough to maintain our attention on life.  In my case, since I lack something to fight for, it has become the journey to find something to fight for. Without it, I'd be a zombie, simply dragging through life. I think I've come across this thought in the past and may be reiterating. When was the last time you asked yourself, what am I fighting for? What's important to you?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beaver Creek Splashdown 2010


So on Monday, Beaver Creek held their annual employee splashdown. The mountain closed the day before so we had the mountain to ourselves. They opened the main lift from 10am to 12:30pm for all the employees. It was pretty sweet knowing you can go as fast as you want and not have to deal with other people. So we rode for a couple of hours than they had lunch at Spruce Saddle (a cabin on top of the main lift). Burgers, dogs, salads... your typical barbeque... but on a grand scale. There were so many people up there, some in outrageous costumes, most just chillin, enjoying a free meal.
Then at 1, the splashdown! 50 employees trying to ski or ride over a short pond that my boss built with a cat the day before. The water must have been freezing! They had a competition for best splash, best costumes, and best pond skim. There was this one guy dressed like Apollo Ohno... looked exactly like him! And another girl in an 80's leotard... so cute.... towlie from South Park. There were throwing out freebies and t-shirts and other random crap too.
Rusty! Enjoy Alabama!

Apollo Ohno.
Random person...

Oh yeah... they had this bungie thing there. They've had it all season but it was free for the day (free makes everything better). So I got strapped in and started jumping and flipping. They had some kind of pneumatic system to help you bounce up. I did a flip at first then a forward one.... then a double and finally a triple back flip. Very dizzying experience but fun! It's an odd sensation. At points you're weightless and others you just don't know which way is up. 

It's been a fun season! Ready to move on and would love to work on the mountain again. Perhaps somewhere else at another time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Losing time

I see you fade to black.... I close my eyes, try to remember a smile but it's feint... it's only been a short while yet it feels like eternity. We've had so many memories over the year, beaches, dinner, movies, hiking... a quick bite at Puka Dog or a failed search for Sacred Falls Trail.... soaking up some sun at your favorite beach... conversations of nothing and everything. Crisp frisbies! Trying to remember... it's tragic that I can't. Looking back on bits and pieces.... I can't quite put it together. I know if I saw you again... it'll all come back... but that's not so easy. I'll see you soon... for a random impulsive moment... and you'll fade again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Glimpses of the present

It's long overdue but the reason I haven't posted anything is that nothing's really new with me. Still working at the Beaver Creek Tubing Hill, some part time work for PERCH, and skiing and snowboarding. I've got into a lax routine, waking up late on my days off (and working days since I don't have to be in til noon), heading to the mountain late, and skiing for just a couple of hours. Before this year, if I had an opportunity to ski, it would be from the open of the lift til about 4 pm. I suppose I'm spoiled, having such convenient access to the mountain. Like today, did some remote work, then decided I wanted to see what the mountain was like. Rushed out, found some parking, skied 4 runs and done.

Still taking Tai Chi classes... no real progression other than memorizing patterns and movements. I'm supposed to be using energy from my body rather than my arms... I don't quite get it... how am I supposed to push with energy from my body through my hands? It's a mystery to me. It's worse when he says to focus and imagine your hand moving towards a persons stomach... it just complicates things for me. Eh... well I'll go through the motion and hope it comes around.

As for my next adventure, it pops in and out of my mind. Anchorage seems to be the most prominent vision... I'm not sure why... something about experiencing 20 hours of light in the summer and 20 hours of darkness in the winter.... it just seems interesting. Plus in Anchorage, I'm never to far from nature. Even here in the mountains, it's a bit too remote... and I still haven't hiked yet. I considered Vegas but those who know me, know that's a bad choice. I don't quite have the confidence yet to go outside the U.S. I would really need someone to invite me first... or go to Canada cause I'll be close enough to the U.S... but who wants to go there. I might if I drive to Anchorage.... 60 hours!!! 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Passing moments

Earlier today I was on the bus from the Beaver Creek Village down to the Elk Lot, where my mini had been patiently waiting for half the day. It's often a packed sardine can around 4 p.m. as skiiers and boarders, locals and tourists alike, fill every void possible, not wanting to wait for the next bus down to the lots. It's filled with random banter about people's vacations, other ski areas, crazy stunts that highlighted the day...  bragging or lying about 20 ft cliff drops, foreign park slang... kids staring around... a mother telling her daughter to watch her massively large backpack so she doesn't bump into anyone... confusion of what lot someone parked in...

I've gotten comfortable with it but some reason, this ride was different. I found myself, rather than complacently amused, my mind randomly firing... shut up, shut up, no one cares, keep it to yourself. Instead of an interesting story from one friend to another, I see one friend so desperate for attention and seeking the other's approval. A child's curiosity and ignorance becomes a personal annoyance. Some girls' debate of where to go out tonight... well does it matter so much... or are you so indecisive that you need to spend that long discussing it? The general mood was set.... people don't care enough about anything and their lives are filled with trivial details of entertainment.

Later (now), I relook at this... my introspective psycho babble is no better.... if any of them were to hear my rants and raves, I would understand their perspective of it being so trivial... that I should be concerned with what's in front of me, rather than some analytical ill-logic attempt to justify and rationalize my own actions and thoughts. Perhaps that's the wrong realization. I should move to a lighter view... that those things are important to them. Still... I can't imagine or understand why they would be important to them. It seems like such nonsense. I guess it's better to care about trivial things than nothing at all... not in my mind though. I suppose I'm just narrow minded... how about focused... that sounds much better... either way you look at it... it's all the same. There's some of my focused-ness again.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life is good

I'd like to take a moment to be thankful. It's been on my mind recently. I was sitting at Starbucks today, after skiing for 3 hours at Beaver Creek, ready to do some work remotely for the physical therapy office in Hawaii, PERCH, and it just came to me... I got it pretty good right now! I have a more than comfortable place to stay, some work to keep me a float, and what struck me as grand was.... as I said, I was in a Starbucks, at the base of the mountain, casually doing work after skiing a bit... it's not something that many people have... and I'll take it. I'm surrounded by fresh air, people to chat with, and in a moments notice, I could grab my skis or board and hit the slopes. Pretty sweet!

I'm grateful for what my parents gave me... freedom. I have this opportunity to see this world as long as I have the drive to do so. Many of us can the same though some are bounded by other freedoms. A bit ironic. My parents have always given me that and let me find my own way. The direction I took was out of the box but nonetheless accepted. I think at times, I'm so selfish for living the way I do. I don't know how I can give anything back to them. I hope that me being happy is enough but question it at times.

Thank you Mom and Dad. Love you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tai Chi - First Full Session

So I've decided to part take in a 2 times a week, 8 week series of Tai Chi courses. You can read my initial thoughts on it as I dropped in for the last 45 minutes of last weeks session. It's a few posts below.

So my teacher is Terrill Sumara and have 5 other classmates, 4 of whom I met last time. So we started with some exercises just to loosen up your body. Everything is a rotation of a joint or serious of joints. Quite honestly, they didn't feel comfortable. My knee doesn't need to move that way so as opposed to Terrill's smooth and controlled movements, mine suffered from Parkinson's. Some wrist and arms movements showed me yet again, that my arms are not accustom to moving in that manner. We also did some breathing exercises. The idea is to have your breathe controlled and flowing with the motion of your body. From what I can see, that's the essence of it. To have everything controlled yet relaxed and fluid.

After that we went onto some exercises with a partner. Terrill spoke of bows and their natural strength and flexibility over being linear and rigid. It makes sense. I though of how a sphere is stronger then a box and he went into explaining the dissipation of tension and energy when your body is bowed in certain ways. He showed me the difference as a partook in various stances and showed me how easily he could push me in one stance vs the other. Then onto practicing the 2 basic stances: empty stance and bow stance. They are very particular and even after being broken down, the movements are a handful. Such a simple thing has very fine intricacies and once again unnatural to me. I hope that it becomes second nature one day. It was a good start and glad I'm starting at the beginning of an 8 week session. Jumping in like last time would have proven more difficult.

On another note, I ate so much snow today trying to board though I'm glad I'm progressing. Last week when I went boarding, I realized that I couldn't always turn from toe to heel. I wasn't quite sure what it was but knew it was a combination of posture and more importantly my mind. I wasn't letting the board do it's job and transition. I was afraid of letting go of that edge and ended up turning uphill til I just stopped. Now I trust my board, let it slide a bit and transition to my heel. I did find myself taking so nasty spills today, flipping over at times, or crashing on my back, sliding down 15 plus feet until I finally stopped. My ass is sore. I'm breaking too much on my heel! There are these patches of snow I hit and just lose it. I realized I gotta carve right through them which made me realize I'm not finishing my turns. It's an abrupt motion to get to the edge of my board to slow down. I'll figure it out... and if I can't, time to get a lesson. For now, I'll rest up my body and just ski.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So today, I did nothing. I woke up, rolled around a bit, fell back asleep to finally awaken around 9, and then lounge around the house for another 2 hours before deciding to get out. Where to? Loaded Joes... my morning/early afternoon spot, to enjoy some coffee and read a book or browse the web. It's a nice little place in Avon with some comfy couches, a coffee bar and a full bar. I see locals drop in and meet up with friends for some quiet conversation and usually around 4, the ski or boarder crowd grab a beer to celebrate their day. For me, it's sometimes a place to do work, or just sit for a bit and read.

I spent much of the later afternoon online, trying to figure out my next venture. I can't recall if I had ever mentioned this in a previous entry but I want to do some volunteer work with wildlife. Why? I just have this curiosity with animals. I always find the discover channel programs interesting and would love to just observe a lion or cheetah for hours on end. The cats have a certain quality to them. They walk with purpose... be it a very simple one... to survive. They are constantly fending for their lives, defending their territory, and searching for a meal. Instinctively they survey their land for any signs of a meal.  There's a certain elegance in their stride only shadowed by their pride. They walk tall and proud until they spot some game.
The cheetah chases are among my favorites. They spend time, lying in the grass, observing from a far. Which will be my meal today? Which is the easiest one to catch? Little by little, they sneak a bit closer, pausing multiple times, reassessing the situation, gaining a better position, and marking their target. They stalk their prey, slithering up, their outline broken by their unique coats. Those eyes accented by a dark crying streak, fixated, waiting for their prey to get a bit closer, their prey unknowingly closer to their death.
Then suddenly, it's off and often at 60 - 70 mph at 3 seconds. Each stride reflecting the strength and flexibility of the cheetah. Often targeting a gazelle, the chase begins. It anticipates its preys path, cutting corners, quickly closing. A quick pounce and a paralyzing bite. Within a couple of minutes, it's all over and the cheetah has it's reward. Though this isn't always the case, references have said that 50% of attempts are succesful.
Its amazing! I want to see it with my own eyes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Still don't know what I'm doing here. It's almost a month. Did I ask these same questions while in Hawaii? Living with my uncle has made things easier... though scrambling to figure those things out in Hawaii was part of the fun. Skiing's good, boarding hurts but I'm getting there, mountains are beautiful, snow is perfect... it coats everything and stops everything in it's track. Not quite, we people won't let that happen but it would be nice to see. I imagine trees too burdened and kneeling to nature, cars frozen, immobilized my mounds of snow, making them indistinguishable from a rock... houses just the same... the town, still... failed attempts of people trying to get out are left in the snow... only to be washed away with more snow. Though if it happened, I'd be nowhere to view this grand stasis.

I digress... what's missing here is a real connection to anyone new. Casual and random conversation is fine and entertaining but give me something to work with. Something to delve into... someone to catch my attention... make my mind glisten.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tai Chi

This evening I stopped by the Avon recreation center to explore some Tai Chi.  It seems so random. So how'd it even come to this point?

Last Friday, I went with my uncle to a friend's Chinese New Year dinner. I met a lot of his friends and acquaintances and just chatted here and there. Most of them were/are instructors and know each other via the mountain. All good people... friendly... open... and just enjoying themselves. One of the guys, Terrell, was from Oahu and grew up in Haleiwa. So we start chattin about this and that.... how when he was growing up, there were only 9 houses between Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.... how's it so developed and ruined... commercialized and taken over. He said he never would want to go back to that island. He said, maybe Big Island. I start telling him about my time there and trip to Kauai and we're just having good conversation. I find out later from one of his student's, Briony, who was there, that he's a Tai Chi instructor. So later I talk to him about that a bit and he shows me some interesting stuff.

On another note, Briony is this interesting and cute girl. She's a local girl, who grew up around where I'm now, a bit younger than me, who's studied in China, can speak more than me, and seems to have an interesting outlook on life. Fair skin, light eyes, skinny and a bit shorter than me. We seemed to share a similar desire for adventure. Maybe, I'll have a chance to get to know her after her road trip. One thing that caught my attention is her general expression... bright eyed and open to the world. It was endearing. I wanted to talk with her again, hoping to run into her at the rec center to chat but also hoping not to, fearing it would seem like I'm going there just to run into her. I hope to write about her again.

So back to Tai Chi.  My background of the art is somewhat lacking. I just knew it had some health benefits, increased circulation, increased fine motor control, and ideas of body energy which seemed to be a bit of nonsense. After talking with him, I thought to myself, it's another way to look at your own body, specifically the mechanics of it. In a sense, the philosophy of it was analogous to my current lifestyle in certain respects. My move out to Colorado and Hawaii was a way for me to recapture and re-interrupt what I had always taken for granted. The idea of exploring my own physical movement and balance could possibly be obtained through Tai Chi. He showed me in a few short movements how to rethink my own motions. You never really question it. Once you walk a certain way, you take it as fact and continue to do it that way until it doesn't suit your purpose. Take that thought and it apply it to other minute movements you perform. It seems so basic that it never crossed my mind to question it or explore other options. I hope to find different ways to move.

So upon arriving at his class. I had only intended to catch the last 15 minutes, observe, and chat a bit with Terrell about Hawaii and life here in Avon, I'm thrown right into the class. There were 5 others attending the class. He asks one of the students to move to another spot and directs me to his spot. I wasn't quite sure why he asked him to move (and not sure if I still do). So I begin, awkwardly, observing the people around me and trying to follow their slow motions. Terrell explains the movements but still too fast for me to piece it together. I listen and look and do my best to mimic what I see. The motions are slow yet every piece of your body is moving... well not mine... I'm still trying to piece it together.... breaking down the already broken down steps even further for my understanding. I find myself struggling with certain motions due to lack of flexibility, lack of balance, and/or lack of motor control. I notice my hands seem to have a mind of their own when I'm focusing on where my legs should be and vice versa. They seem to contradict what the rest of the class is doing. Nonetheless, I loosely follow. I realize mid way through, that I'm surrounded by his other students... smack in the middle... and with every movement towards left or right, I have someone in my sight. Ah, that's why he placed me here. I notice that turning my head to follow a single person is more difficult and distracting than transitioning to the next closest person in my line of sight. It seems obvious but my initial instinct was to always look at the instructor. Some odd names of movements are spewed out, "repulse the monkey" and a terms like "empty stance." They are very specific but I don't know the specifics. I get paired up with a guy name Jade, who seems to be the most knowledgeable of the bunch.

We work on a certain movement, starting with your back leg bent and supporting a majority of your weight, front foot on the heel with toes relaxed... transferring all your weight to your back leg and stepping your front foot behind you while retaining your balance on what is now your front leg. Upon stepping back, your heel touches, opening up your hip, rotating your back foot to where it is opposite of your now front leg, which is still supporting most of your weight. Keeping your weight on the back was the most tasking as it seems very unnatural but it has a purpose. The next a final is to rotate your now front foot to match the direction of the other, while transferring a majority of your weight to the other leg (the one you used to originally step back). You're now facing the opposite direction. As he explains the hand movements, to explain the counter and strike, it makes sense why your weight was on that one leg. It's so that you can retain that tension and strike with not just your hands but the rotation of that leg and transfer all your weight and motion into the one strike. It's difficult to understand in just words. Now I also had a better understanding of what is meant by energy... or at least in this instance... it isn't this random force that floats around in you... rather the tension of your muscles and how it can be released in certain ways to utilize it more efficiently in a strike or counter.

It was interesting. I plan on going on Wednesday as well for a full hour and a half session. Will I continue? I'm not quite sure. It's partially contingent on how much he will charge. It didn't come up this time but I can't imagine it's free. It does fit into my schedule and I'm sure it will help out with skiing and boarding as well. More importantly, it just gives me a new perspective on something that I've known for all my life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Tubing Hill Attendent, Beaver Creek, CO

So this past week, I started my new part time job on the mountain. Last Thursday, I got there to meet my supervisor and go over some basic training at 8 a.m. (this is early in comparison to my recent schedule which comprises of doing much of nothing). After 2 hours of learning some stuff, operating one of the carpet lifts, rules, and the day to day, I grab an hour break and start the job.

It's not all that complicated. We need to set up the snow tubing hill with break mats and setup the tubes initially. Then from 1 - 6 p.m. I'm pretty much outside doing various tasks. I'm either at the top of the lanes, pushing people down, or at the bottom, fixing placement of break mats and helping out little kids who need a hand, or at the bottom of the lift, making sure people are getting on properly, or at the top of the lift, making people are exiting properly...... and that's about it.

Being at the top of the lanes is fun! You get to talk to parents and kids, and then spin them down or race down with a neighboring lane or whatever they want to do. The kids love to spin as fast as they can; so a lot of times, I'm digging in for a short start tugging a kid, then whipping around 10 ft later to get them to spin. I would get sick if I were them. They're fun and cute though. I didn't expect this, but after the first day of moving around equipment and launching kids down the hill, I was so sore and tired. Too bad though, still 3 days left before a day off. By Sunday, my shoulders hurt and I think I pulled an ass muscle. Lol. Off all things to be sore.... its fine now.

Also went boarding today with some co-workers. We were all newbies at boarding so it worked out. I must have fallen like 20 times within 4 runs. One of them was a bit timid so ended up leafing down from side to side a lot. Not me though. My philosophy with learning snowboarding is to just go, which causes me to do face plants, and tumble around. Some hurt, some were hard. Definitely gonna be sore. On a catwalk, I was just cruising along, then caught a front edge. Bam! Face in the snow! Another was going down a hill and just gaining too much speed. I wipe out elbows first, board flips over a top of me, and I'm suddenly in a sitting position with a cloud of snow engulfing me. Most were just sliding on my ass 5 - 10 ft. Or kneeing down. I think those hurt the most. I'll get the hang of it. I'm sure there's more to come before I get good at boarding.

Leaving Beaver Creek, we saw this reindeer and owner. That's something you don't see everyday. It was really mellow and people were getting photos taken and stuff.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ski pass!!!

Finally!!! Got my ski pass, now unlimited skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and A-Basin. Beats paying like $97 per day lift ticket!!!
Training tomorrow at 7:45 am. After that, work starts at noon til about 7 pm on the mountain, Thursday through Sunday.
I'm stoked!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowboard and job

So today was eventful for me. My normal schedule on days where I'm not skiing, I wake up at around 8 am, lounge around for an hour, and then head out with computer to a local cafe. Before doing some work, I usually enjoy my coffee and read a bit of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. On a side note, I'm not much of a reader. It takes too long and it usually doesn't hold my attention. This book is an exception. It's about an ex-criminal who escapes to India and starts his new life there. The author is very illustrious and I'm fascinated by the world he's introduced. Thanks Nicole for the recommendation. Anyway, back to my regular schedule. After reading a bit, do a couple hours of work until early afternoon. I got it pretty good right now! Though that will stop soon since I got a job! I got a call from Beaver Creek Resorts. I've been waiting for this call for a week. I already knew I was hired from our initial conversation as we discussed setting a schedule and he got some info to order a uniform. So finally, my background check is clear and need to head up to HR to fill out paper work. So guess what I'm going to do? SNOW TUBE ATTENDANT!!!! I get a measley $9/hr but get 50% discounts on food on the mountain (which brings it down to somewhat normal prices, a bowl of chili is like $9 normally) and some discounts on equipment. I think it's hilarious that I'm excited to do it. I hope it's fun. I'm really glad not be stuck behind a desk. Although, that will come in time. On top of it, I can get my unrestricted season pass as early as tomorrow afternoon. So now I can ski a half day before starting on work on Thursday!
Next, I went to Breckenridge to check out a snowboard. I had been in that area last week and got some boots of Craigslist. Quite honestly, I don't really care the quality of the gear. I just need something inexpensive and comfortable. I wouldn't know the different between the various subtleties like the amount of pop in a board and whether its a rocker or something. Now I got a board to go with my boots. It's an older 2005 Sims Chaos board with Drake bindings. What that means... you got me.... the internet can only tell you so much about equipment... and I was getting impatient. The board's a bit beat up and I'll need to shell out some extra dough to tune it up, but not bad for $160. Check out the pics below. Now I can go snowboarding tomorrow!!! I think I'll actually stick to skiing. Don't wanna be all beat up for the first day on the job.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowmass, Colorado

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So I went out my way a bit to go to another ski mountain, Snowmass, to go skiing with someone new, Jen. She's originally from Colombia but recently lived in Miami and now here for an extended stay. The drive was a bit long but I passed some interesting areas. Glenwood Canyons along Interstate 70 stood out. When heading West, it's this windy canyon a bit past the Eagle area. The driving was fun and there were some tunneled sections. Didn't stop so I don't have any pics. I was just trying to get through the slight snowfall.

Anyway, Snowmass Village, is just another ski area. Shops and restaurant are slope side and there seems to be plenty of construction. Plenty of amenities at the base, but not quite as nice as Vail or Beaver Creek.

View from one of the bases at Snowmass

I can't really say much about the skiing. Jen's a beginner so we stayed on the easier trails. The conditions were decent and a lite snowfall came to play as the day progressed. It's always refreshing when it snows. Towards the end of the day, the clouds really rolled in and visibility dropped significantly. I could only see a couple dozen yards ahead of me, and the light was so flat, that made even the largest moguls seem groomed. We caught a interesting scene riding the lift up.
At first it seemed like a giant spotlight peering through the clouds.
I've never seen the sun like this. Pretty amazing!

After a short day, we grabbed some drinks. Soon after I parted ways. It was good timing. As I approached the parking lot, the sun had already gone, and a faint luminance remained. On the walk way, sat this cat, or so I thought. I noticed that it had an awkwardly large tail but didn't think much of it. Then it started to approach me, cautiously circumventing my left side on to a snow bank.

A fox! I was so happy to see this guy. This was the highlight of my day! Sorry Jen.
I wonder what it's night vision is like.

After a brief (I use the term very loosely), I'm back at my uncle's place at Avon. I imagine I'll have more days like this, running around Colorado, checking out more ski spots. Since I can't hike, this will by my new topic of discussion for future blogs. I'm going to try to ski all ski mountains in Colorado! There's 27 of them. Let's hope I can afford it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On to Colorado!!!!

So Wednesday morning, I'm awoken by my alarm.... 5 a.m.... snooze..... 5:10 a.m. snooze.... 5:20 a.m. Enough already! I reset the alarm for 6 a.m.

6:00 a.m.: I gotta get going or I'll never make it to Chicago on time. I had about 800 miles between me and my cousin, Karen, in Chicago. This is it. The start of another journey. I wouldn't see New Jersey, my family, or friends for quite some time. I imagine 6 months after my stay in the Rockies. The goodbye was simple. If I had to say goodbye 2 days earlier, I probably would have gotten choked up. For some reason, 2 nights ago, I had doubts about leaving my home in West Orange. I was okay at that moment though. Some words of wisdom from both my parents, some hugs, and begin. Car loaded with almost all my clothes, a couple pairs of shoes and boots, an awkwardly placed pair of skis that jutted into the passenger seat area, and gifts for my uncle in Colorado and cousins in Chicago, my car felt a bit sluggish.
The plan was to go to Chicago and see my cousin's Karen and Edwin. It's been more than a couple of years since I've seen them. Have a nice dinner and catch up with them. Then drive a couple more hours into Iowa to hit the midway point. Why not take my time? Well after much internet research, I only found a handful of places not far off track that I was interested in. Unfortunately, most of those places need to be visited in the summer, like state parks and lakes and such. I was considering going to Punxsutawney, PA, where they have the groundhog. Even though I wasn't going to be around the ceremony, I wanted to check it out. I mean, come on, who didn't love Groundhog's Day with Bill Murray. I skipped it though. There just aren't many points of interest. On top of it, having delayed my trip out to Colorado by 10 days, I was ready to get there and stabilize myself.

12 hours later.... I arrive in Chicago. There really isn't anything worth mentioning about that drive there. It's just plain boring. Nothing in PA or Ohio or Indiana... it only gets interesting close to Chicago. So Chicago is really nice in the winter. Lights are hung on the trees along Michagan Ave. There's people in there winter coats along the streets. Plenty of ritzy shops. I passed some kind of ice sculpture display in a park. No sculptures were complete the. I guess they were just setting up. I'd like to return and hang out there sometime. Though I'm not one for cities after my stay in Hawaii, man made wonders can still amaze me.

So my cousin Karen's place is this beautiful 4 level apartment. It was so spacious and just gorgeous. She's an orthopedic surgeon by the way and really bright. I haven't seen her in almost 2 years. The last time, I believe, was at a Chinese New Year party at my house. She looks the same. Actually, in my opinion, both Karen and my other cousin Edwin, always seem to look the same as when I was growing up. They're about a decade ahead of me but still look young. Anyway, the entrance is from the street, and leads into kind of a furnished basement, foyer area. The living room and kitchen on the second. Then 2 more floors of 4 bedrooms. She says that from the 4th floor they can see the fireworks that Chicago has in the summer and holidays. So after a quick greeting, I see Michael, her husband, Melia, their 2 year old, and for the first time Annie, the newborn. One of Michael's first comments was, she looks like a boy. Doesn't she? It was the last thing on my mind but yeah, you're right. Soon enough, Edwin comes with a deep dish Chicago style pizza. Just what I had in mind. I had thought earlier, I'm going to Chicago, what food are they known for. We just stayed in and I decided to stay the night. I was so tired and asleep by 10 am. Thanks Karen, Michael, Melia, and Annie for having me! Hope to see you soon!

 Somewhere in Ohio.
 Nebraska. As you can see, not much of anything along the trip.

So 6:30 am, I depart Chicago. Could I make it in a day to Avon, Co? It's like 18 hours. Actually it is 18 hours. So yes I made it here. The drive had some highlights. I crossed the Mississippi! Don't know why I'm excited by that but whatever. Iowa and Nebraska are plain old boring. Rolling hills of farms and farms. There was a windmill farm at one point, which looked pretty cool. Also there was a nice sunset along the way. Most of the day was just overcast and extremely cold. It was in single digits and the windchill brought it to below freezing. I was outside for a couple of minutes, putting more air in my tires and my ears were like frozen when I got back into the car. I guess the temperature drop deflated my tires. I started to recall a chemistry formula that would allow me to figure out the pressure change. PV=nrT. Pressure * Volume = (number of molecules or something) * (some constant) * Temperature After a bit, I figured out how to calculate it. So P1/T1=P2/T2. Then I remembered temperature had to be in Celsisus. I forgot the conversion and couldn't figure out the pressure change. It kept my mind entertained for a bit while driving. I also found out there are interstates with speed limits of 75 mph. I80 in parts of Nebraska and Colorado have it. I didn't know that. I always thought the max was 65. Of course, I still go 10 over. It's just my New Jersey rule of thumb. Luckily for me, I didn't get pulled over. Well not until the very end. As I'm rounding the corner, maybe 2 miles from my uncle's house, this truck begins to tail gate me. I get annoyed and just speed up. Then the lights.... jeez... after talking with him, he pulled me over for not stopping at a stop sign and speeding on another residential road going 40 mph when the limit was 30. After explaining that this is my first time driving in the area and that I've been driving for 17 plus hours, he takes my ID and stuff and heads back. When he gets back, no ticket!!!! He gives me a warning and his business card (he explicitly stated that he has to give those). I'm thankful and shake his hand. He has a nice guy.

So almost 1900 miles later, a total for 30 hours on the road, I'm in Avon, Colorado. I've never eaten so much junk food in such a short period of time. McDonald's was a staple plus some other road stop food. I'm tired and going to sleep. Here some pics of Avon and Vail for those who have never been in a ski town or the mountains.

 Avon, Colorado - Town Center
 They have a lot of circles like Europe. I haven't really seen any stop lights in the area.
 View from town looking at Beaver Creek

 Sunset from my uncle's house in Avon.

 Vail Village
 Ice rink in Vail Village

Friday, January 22, 2010

After thoughts

So I'm back in New Jersey. I remember, upon the descent of my plane ride, looking through the window, noting the lack of green, the lack of ocean, the lack of what I knew was life. After being in Hawaii for a year, it's odd being in a place where the only landscape is residential, commercial, and industrial areas. The only life here is human life and there's a drought of nature. I was sitting in my car, late night, stars out, sunroof open, thinking. I left I place I loved. Then quickly jumped to the opposite (as you may have noticed, my mind can be erratic), I originally left a place I hated. Just as anyone would expect, one was overly freeing and exhilarating and the other disappointing. I can't say it's all bad. It's good to reconnect with family and friends. Well I wouldn't say reconnect for all my friends. Some encounters don't quite feel like a reconnection. Rather, it's a simple touch up of a past friendship. A visit to the past, something I left behind. Others have a greater bearing.. 2 1/2 hours of conversation about nothing and everything at Dunkin Donuts. I had a great time! Thanks Nance.
I don't know. I'm having mixed feelings about being back. All too quickly did I settle back into old habits of playing video games and out drinking and playing pool. It reminds me of why I left. There's little that holds my interest here. Some would argue that it's not the environment that matters but what you make of it. I agree to a slight degree but I've already passed judgment that I cannot retract at this moment. There is nothing that I can make of this place.I suppose another factor that sways my thoughts is my lack of a profession. Though not fully unemployed, I seem to be in a quasi grey area, working part time for my old company, yet having a lot of time on my hands. I liked having time on my hands in Hawaii. I would just relax at the beach or spend a day trying to figure out where to hike and it would be an all day thing. Here, it's not the same. Being unemployed, not by choice, must be stressful. People's profession give them a sense of pride and purpose. Many define themselves in respect to their profession. Though it's something that I am trying to move away from, I understand why. In addition, some financial freedom and a way to support themselves and others. Without it, people must find another outlet. What happens when they don't and cannot find another job? Without a sense of purpose, there's little motivation to do anything. On top of the financial debilitation, well I can't quite imagine some people's reaction to losing a job and unable to find work. I feel better after rationalizing it, realizing I could be in a much worse position.
I'm off to Colorado soon. At this point, the anticipation has ceased and I just want to get there. I'm looking forward to soft powder, something I'll need to break my fall while I try to advance my snowboarding. A glades that I can weave through, bowls to speed down, and moguls to challenge myself. I worry about finding a job over there but know that worse case scenario, I come back here or even to Hawaii in an environment I know to stabilize. Good night!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kauai 12/31/2009 - 01/05/2010

So I finally had a chance to repost my Kauai trip and add some pictures. It has an adventure. Enjoy!

December 31, 2009 8:09 pm

So new years Eve... waking up today I knew it was gonna be hectic since I needed to move out. I had plannd to stay with the Brodie's for a week before I left back to New Jersey. Here was the plan... wake up early, pick up Nicole's car, pick up belongings by noon (I'm proud to say that everything I own fits in a ruffle bag, a bag slightly larger than a carry on, a large backpack, and smaller laptop backpack), run to the office for a couple of hours, run to the post office, buy a present and ship that as well, drop off keys, go to mililani and drop off everything , head back down to aloha tower for fireworks and drinks and crash some where... perhaps at work... or if I could get a ride back to Mililani. That last part changed drastically.

So 4 pm... bored, restless, and displaced (I hide behind these words). ... no where to go.... no real plans or company for the new year... hoping I could just get on standby and head to new Jersey. Nope. Despite my new found, United Elite Premier status (which only gives me the ability to sit in economy plus seating) It would cost an arm and a leg to fly out tonight. My previous reservation would essentially be voided and I would have to purchase a new ticket. What to do? What to do?... I felt like... don't know how to describe it... just plain old bored.

So I have this great idea. At this point, I still have all my baggage in Nicole's car and all my errands are done. She wouldn't need the car back til tomorrow. So I drive to the office, unload everything there, and start some online research. Kauai! Hmmm.... can I get there today? Its gonna be expensive. Where am I gonna stay? Don't I need a car? Weather? I also scheduled to work on sunday noon to finalize some issues and pass the torch to my replacement. Is it absolutely necessary? Last flight... 9:45 pm... it was already 7 pm... hmmm... this planning had already cured my boredom. It was just fun trying to figure out if thi could work. I could go down to aloha tower... watch some fireworks... get a bit drunk... and call it a night. But with who? This last question weighed on me heavily. Nic... out with her friends. Hillary and Noelle... on the east coast. Jenine... family. And others... not interested in chilling with them. Hmmm.... lets do this... one bag with the essentials:

1 pair of shorts
2 pairs of boxers
2 tshirts
1 sweater hoodie
1 sarang
2 pairs of socks
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Bar of Soap
Camera and charger
Phone and charger
GPS and batteries

I'm off!!! Drop off the car to where Nicole can pick it up easily the next morning... catch a bus to the airport... buy my ticket. Now patiently and eagerly waiting to board!!! Gotta love spontaneity.

December 31, 2009 almost the new year
So I arrived in Kauai not too long ago. Dark already... it's difficult to see the landscape... as I walked from the airport to the main road, I frantically search on my phone, where to go. East or West? Lihue, an airport town... or to Wailua... Lihue is closer but Wailua is along the beach. Wailua it is.

After walking a mile and 1/2 along side the road, a stranger stops in his PT Cruiser. Wayne, asks where I'm headed. Of course, I have no idea so I'm honest and tell him, "down the road."  Looking back, this might be a rude retort, but after explaining my lack of plan, I'm sure it doesn't matter. So Wayne works at Kauai Community College, a couple of towns to the West, once a night and he was on his way back to the next town. He's been here for 4 years, originally from Cali, and started a photography company when he first got here. It's no longer in business due to the slowing tourism. Nice guy. Thanks Wayne!

January 1, 2010 12:18 am
I lay here on a beach chair.... just beyond Kauai Sand Island hotel, a cheap hotel, in case I needed to stay a night.

The new year is here. Neighboring beach goers crowding around bonfires and playing with firecrackers... dancing about.... waving sparks of light.... hidden faces flashing throughout... murmurs of smiles...silhouettes of bodies in the not too far distance. Fireworks on the horizon.... crashing waves... the soothing sound of. the ocean.... cool breezes.... slight chills... its good to be free!

January 1, 2010 3:22 am
After a couple of hours, some uncomfortable naps on that beach chair (though I'm thankful that I did not have to sleep on the sand), I awake. StIll determined to rough it, I head back to the road and start walking from where I came from. I recall another stretch of beach with grand bonfires... a public beach park. Lucky me! A dying fire was lurking about. As hints of embers lie among ash, I delicately add some drift wood... cautiously... in fear that the it will die... finally, I rekindle the flame.

Here I rest again along side this cozy reminder of ski condos... crisping trees... crackling flames. My camp for the night.

My camp!
With flash.

January 1, 2010 1:48 pm
Its been a long day. Up just before sunrise, smokey embers close by. What to do? Its funny I'm bumming it and yet I have an electric tooth brush. Oh almost forgot... I woke up several times throughout the night. A sarang as a bed and backback as a pillow is not comfortable. And a fire only warms one small side of me at a time. Should have taken Christina's advice and made the fire as big as I possibly could. 

Good morning Kauai

At one point during the nigh, I reach into my bag. To my surprise a gooey dark substance with a sweet smell covers my hand. After digging around a ketchup packet had exploded covering my phone, toothbrush, and some other paraphernalia. Gross... pain in the ass. Never putting condiments in my bag again. So after washing some of my stained clothes in the ocean, which to much surprise was warm and relaxing, I dry them from a stick over the fire. And now, a very smokey pair of shorts, socks, and sarang.

So this morning, went to Nounou Trail which goes up "the sleeping giant "... ill post details and pics later (click here for my traditional hiking posts of Nounou Trail East). Maybe I can upload them via picasa from my phone. After, I headed back to my "camp" and grabbed a shower at the beach park. The shower is right near the road. Its funny washing up in shorts as people drive by but I wanted rough it. Anyway, after 10 miles mostly walking around from and to and hoofing it took the next town, I sit in a coffee bean in Kapa'a, really just charging my phone. This couch is the most comfortable thing in the world. Soft leather, cushions.... I could fall asleep. The counter girl is pretty cute to. Skinny blond with light eyes... a bit mousy looking. Nice to have eye candy!

The sleeping giant.

View along the trail.

January 1, 2010 8:57 pm
Sitting on the beach, beside my fire. Its been a long day. So I trekked along the east coast. Downtown kapa'a is nice area with local shops, like a one street town. Kauai's filled with areas like that. Its quiet, slow paced, local. 


So from kapaa beach there's this long paved beach walk. I took it to the end... it had to be several miles. All throughout beautiful views of the coast, people strolling, jogging,biking along the path. Fishing in the ocean or an intersecting stream.

lots of roosters around the island.

This made me laugh. Lol!

saw this sucker along the beach walk around Kapa'a
looking North up the coast

looking South

beach at the end of the beach walk

God damn mosquitoes keep interrupting my train of thought. Might have to move. Thought this beach would be okay.

So the end beach park was pretty chill. Lots of young surfers... family outtings.... and what not. so I start and a pickup offers me a ride...

Gotta move locales... to be continued

January 2, 2010 10:38 am
Alright so.... as I was saying... grabbed a lift from some folks.... headed up the coast... there's only one main road on this side of the island. It reminds me of the winward coast north of kaneohe on Oahu. Got dropped of in Haliaea. After walking 3 more miles, some tourist from Canada pick me up. 

Saw these in that 3 mile stretch along the road. There's little things like this all over the island.

Glad I ran into them. Was going to stop are princeville but fortunately my Canadian ride sad there's nothing there. On to hanalei. This is the second to last area beofre the na Pali coast. Its a nice little touristy town. One street town... bunch of local shops... old elementary school turned it to surf and local shops. Cute place.... one of the most impressionable in my life so far. Got there at night so a majority of it was closed.

So after settling at the beach and starting that fire (where I wrote the last entry), i scoured the beach for a better spot. No luck. Tired and sore, I dredge through town looking for an inn. No luck. I end up crashing in the shopping area, on a bench for a bit. After an hour nap, suddenly I'm awoken by the chilling night. I was freezing. Gnawing on an energy bar, shivering down the road, I'm not sure where to go. Its past midnight, felt like 50 degrees, all I know I was cold and had no shelter. Wrapped in my sarang and beach blanket, shorts and slippers... Imagine yourself aimlessly wandering with about 15 pounds on your back. It's after midnight and after hiking 4 miles earlier in the day and walk 8 plus miles the rest of the day.... being up since 5:30 am, seeing the sunrise... all I want is sleep! Your feet are tired, sandals are uncomfortable. There are few street lights, no one driving on the road, no one awake. Like a zombie you slowly drag your feet. Why? Simply because you have no place to settle. You need to keep moving to keep warm.
I have no choice... back to the beach... needed to make a fire... my first try didn't work... nothing was catching. I couldn't get anything to kindle. Everything was soaked from the midnight dew.... agh...

I remembered seeing some burning embers lying in ash earlier but sometime after my last blog.... I lucked out... there was some still burning.... made a fire at that spot warmed up a bit... brought the fire over to another spot and mapped for a bit. Still uncomfortable though... sand was wet... and fire only warmed one side of me. I'm not sure what I would have done if I didn't find that fire. I suppose I wouldn't sleep and just keep on moving. This was the worst night of my life!!!! No exaggeration. .. can't think of a more terrible time. Having no shelter sucks and is so debilitating.

Hanalei Bay,at sunrise
A bit after sunrise. I always think it's interesting when you can see the moon so clearly during the day.

This dude was there at like 5 a.m. Serious local surfer. No leash. At one point, his board washed up and as I approached it to make sure it didn't get washed back out... he's yelling don't touch it. Guess it's some bad mojo or something... or he just doesn't like people touching his shit.

January 2, 2010 2:51 pm
So after my distraught and chilling experience, I am currently in a studio for the night. $80 pretty nice and I can check out tomorrow afternoon which gives me enough time do the waterfall hike tomorrow. Haven't done much since earlier.... took a nap on the beach... sat on the grass in town center and browsed the web.

Hanalei is a nice little town. It's touristy, has a beautiful bay, local shops, some decent eats... just chill. This is actually where Puff, the Magic Dragon is from, though it's pronounced slightly different to make the song rhyme. Some shirts had Puff on it... forgot to grab a pic though.




These 4 pics are of the town center of Hanalei

Kauai has a certain indescribable allure to it. As I said earlier, its mellow and slow paced. Its the country. Hitchhiking is legal and drivers stop and offer rides. Beach fires are too and you'll usually see a more than a few when driving by. The highway is really just a local 2 lane road. Towns are spaced out with vast amounts of green everywhere. Rolling hills, mountains in the backdrop. But i know nothing of the island other than my not so common experience if it. I'd like to come back for awhile and experience more someday. Off for another nap. 


Cozy little studio. I slept all day. 2 x 3-4 hour naps, then 8 hours of good sleep.

January 4, 2010 9:16 am

So just a brief update. At the airport because I have nothing to do. I have 10 hours before my departure back to Oahu. In so tired and can't walk anymore...

So yesterday and the day before... after renting the studio for a night. I napped for 2 hours.... napped for another 3.... after waking up around 8 pm, grabbing a slice of pizza, some chips, and frozen food dinner, I returned to the pad and ate all of it! I hadn't really eaten all day. Then I went to sleep for the night. :-)

Yeah I was that exhausted from the prior days and sleep deprived.

So Sunday morning, 6:30 am, on the road again... haena park. This is where the kalalau trail starts and is the end of road (Kuhio Highway) on the north side of Kauai. Its funny, on the mainland I don't really see major roads just end. On the islands, its much more common. Just something i never considered. So after walking about a mile, this local, Bison, picks me up. About my age... Hawaiian, Japanese,Chinese mix... cool name. He grew up on the island and has a good welcoming spirit despite his thuggish appearance. He lives close to haena point but was nice enough to drop me off at the end. He showed me where some celebrities had some houses.... like Stallone, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis.... Most of the houses aren’t in use most of the year. What a waste. We got into how the north shore of the island has changed. I made a comment that there weren't many Hawaiians or locals in Hanalei and he was telling me there used to be more until all the mainlanders started moving in. He also mentioned how it used to be more of a community where people would be much more friendly and open. Neighbors talking daily and open invites to dinner.... there were less boundaries... and everyone knew each other. Now it’s what I see as an American lifestyle where people don't smile or say hi in passing. I think the latter is a sham.... I’m a hypocrite for saying but we have to get back to basics of life and society. It was interesting and refreshing to hear.

So at has point I noticed a ceremony with just a handful of people. It was peaceful and quaint. If I were ever to get married, it would be like that.... simple, no frills, and pure.

and off to the falls, the route takes the first 2 miles of the Kalalau trail to the first beach and then veers off into the valley for another 2 miles. It was fantastic!!! I ended up hiking with 2 tourists from the DC area, Johnnie and Carla. They’re known each other since elementary school. They’re visiting their friend Ryan, another elementary school friend, on Oahu and decided to come out to Kauai as well. That’s a long time. The longest person I know, other than family, is Enrique and Leach from Roosevelt Middle School. Johnnie was telling me about a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon as a boyscout and how they ran out of water and that he was so grateful after to be alive. All I can picture wass this episode of ”I Shouldn’t Be Alive” on Discovery, where there was a troop of boy scouts that almost died cause of a heat wave. Actually, one kid did die. Anyway, it was nice hiking with them. We got lost a bit here and there, but we were able to find our way. The falls were amazing. It’s just so refreshing to be out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature. I find peace in it. Anyway… the hike took about 5 hours. I’m so glad I had a chance to see part of the coast. The details and pics of the hike are posted in another entry. 

 Haena Beach park from a bit into the trail

The Na'Pali Coast.

The falls!!


Thanks for the memories Johnnie and Carla. Best of luck in life!

After that hitched a ride back to Hanalei from this dutch guy. I forgot his name but he had some business in L.A., dealing with marketing for Kettle One. We got to chatting about liquor to begin then I just told him my story (as I did with every person nice enough to lend me a hand). Everyone has a different take on it. Some show a bit concern, other’s reflect how they wouldn’t be able to do it, and others just accept. This person was just pretty excepting. It seemed like a very formal conversasion. Soon enough though, after directing him to some stores in Hanalei, he dropped me off. Nice guy. I wish him the best. 

Dutch Kettle One dude.

I got cleaned up, made sure the studio was as clean as possible, and left. After spending some time with Lesly at PERCH (my company) and giving her some guidance (she’s new and my future replacement for the front office), I was able to hitch another ride. It was two guys in a compact… Dave and Andre. Nice fellas… don’t remember to much about them. I know one was from Salt Lake and the other from California. They were up in Hanalei bay to do some surfing and headed back to the other side of the island. Just chatted a bit about Utah and skiing, then a bit about the island. We made a quick stop by a shore near one of the hotels by Wailua. They wanted to check out the surf. Luckily for me, they weren’t interested. They dropped me off in Lihue, somewhere on a main road. 

Dave and Andre. Thanks for the lift.

It was about 5 pm when I reached Lihue. Uh…. there’s nothing here.´Lihue is like a ghost town. Even considering it was a Sunday, nothing was open, hardly any cars around, even fewer people on the streets. The busiest thing I saw was Star Market (grocery store) and then a walked a couple miles to a local mall. Guess what… by the time I got there, most of the stores were closed. So I walked over to a Borders and hung out in the Starbucks, charging my phone, surfing the internet, and playing Sudoku. There really was nothing to do over there and I had no where to go. I contemplated if I should try to go to Waimea for the night. After two nights ago, I was really concerned about the cold and also about the rain. I had no idea what Waimea had to offer though… beaches? City? So against my urge to make it to the other side of the island, I stayed in Lihue. I walked down towards a park I planned on crashing at. It was a handful of miles away though. Along the way, went to a bar, warmed up with some beer, a quick karaoke song, Brown Eyed Girl (Nik, that’s you!), and continued my way down. The park wasn’t that nice and though it was along the ocean, it was more of a fisherman’s park. So no nice beach or anything. After jumping around a bit, I was able to get some sleep on a bench under an awning of a building. Wow… I’m a bum… literally.

Of course, I didn’t get much sleep, 3 or 4 hours of uncomfortable and interrupted slumber. So I woke up and headed back to town center to find some food. Along the way, I did something rather odd but I think I find funny. I had to brush my teeth… so in the middle of walking down one of their major roads, I break out my electric toothbrush while walking down. Passed a diner and got some odd looks. After a bit headed to the airport

Check out this thing. The legs were about an inch and a half. The body at least an inch long. There were spiders like these all along the road to the airport. 

Since then been wandering around. Now at the airport, tired and waiting. This airport is even nice. Not in a luxurious sense, but right outside the drop off, there are narrow but grassy areas… enough to lay down and chill out. I have never seen any airport like that, Newark, Honolulu, Seattle, Denver (I might be wrong on this one), San Fran… oh except Maui. It’s just cause it’s a small airport. 
Walked around the Marriot hotel which is close by the airport. This hotel is pretty amazing.

This was a good way to break in the New Year. I’m happy that I got a chance to visit Kauai before leaving Hawaii. One day, I’ll be back on this island. I imagine I might get bored, but I like having time on my hands and am getting comfortable with it.