Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nothing special

I just have one word.  Metabolism.  I know that with mine, when the great famine comes, I will survive.  In the words of that interminably skinny Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

Allergy doc says that all the things I'm allergic to - the local grasses, mold, etc - are just swirling around everywhere outside and that's why I'm perpetually reactive, loaded with junk and trying to clear it.  Sounds pleasant, doesn't it?  That's another trouble with  endless summer.  Everything just keeps growing.  They gave me some new, heavy duty, turbocharged nasal spray.  Yowza.  Harsh. Tastes nasty.  Bores through like a diamond head drill bit in a coal mine.  Stuff works, though.  

Checked out a new sandwich joint downtown yesterday called, "The Planet Cafe."  I had a grilled portobello-provolone sandwich.  Pretty good.  Small, not too busy.  Don't know if they'll make it.

There's also a new steakhouse in Kea'au.  It's the third restaurant in that location since we moved here.  I hear it's good, but it's more of a burger and rib place than a steakhouse.  It's a steakhouse without steaks.  Or with only a few steaks.  Two I heard, on their menu.  Plus stuff like loco mocos and other plate lunch fare.  Plus, they lost the bar and have no liquor license. I'll wager 10-1 they'll go under in six months.

There's a flaming gay guy with white hair in a nice suit on TV right now imploring me to buy Tide Total care to keep my wardrobe from fading in the wash.  Like I care about my wardrobe? Can you even call what I wear a wardrobe?  Anyway, since when did gay men become the end-all and be-all authority on all things fashion?  It's a curious phenomenon. Time to turn off the tube and get to work.

A hui hou.  Aloha!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Excursions on the rock

Friday afternoon had us making a road drip to Honoka'a, which I always enjoy.  Road trips are limited here, as you might imagine.  You can circumnavigate the island, of course, which takes about six, maybe seven hours.  Or you can go in a single direction and back, the longest stretch for about three hours.  Once you've done that a few times, you've done it and that's that. Except for the occasion mongoose crossing the road, there's not much variation. The island doesn't change much either, from season to season.  Oh sure, it's lush and green on the east side, dry and barren except where humans have planted palm trees on the west.  I used to love the drive from Gunnison to Denver along Highway 50, then 285.  There was always wildlife: elk in a pasture, deer, maybe even some antelope, red tail hawks, eagles,  and a variety of other varmints.  It's the same road every time, but in winter, it's white.  In spring, the gradual transformation to green seems miraculous.  In summer, it's lush with flowers.  In fall, yellow and red leaves shimmer in the sunlight.  It's different every time.  Plus, if you want to, you can keep going and drive for days.  Weeks.  Forever.  Now that's a road trip.

Anyway, I bopped around Honoka'a while Ron was probed and prodded at the doctor.  He was there for a checkup.  We have to drive and hour and a half to see our doctor here.  We ate a mediocre burger and excellent blueberry shake at The 50s cafe in Laupahoehoe on our way home.

The kitties make me happy.  Hoppsy too.  She's all healed from her recent eyelid surgery.  Still no word what that suspicious lump was.  Poor girl is starting to slow down a bit.  She's stiff and slow to get up, peters out early when we play ball and if I walk her too long, I find her noticeably gimpy the next day.  

Yesterday, I ate Thai food with my neighbor.  We make a point doing that once a month or so.  It's usually Thai food and always fun.  That said, she is really my only friend here, besides my co-workers at the winery.  Don't get me wrong.  They are really are great.  But that's it.  I participate in the occasional AAUW function, but don't hang out with those ladies otherwise. II quit the book group because I found myself working so many Sundays early on.  Honestly, I was also concerned that the woman take turns hosting the group at their homes, and the homes I visited were all beautiful and spacious, while mine is not.  Can't help it.  All my close friends and family, the friendships I've cultivated over years, the people who know me best and still like me anyway, are far, far away.  I made some good friends in Alaska last summer too, thrown into the writer's soup as we were, but as those of you with even the slightest understanding of world geography know, Alaska is also far, far away. 

Still, life's not all bad.  Winnie is here, right now, sitting in my lap, purring like a leaf blower, which they have no use for here in Hawaii because there's no autumn.  

Mr. Sox, as you can see, has no concept of size, stuffed into this box.  He's a big, sweet boy.

I'm off to work today to earn my usual $54 before taxes.

A hui hou.  Aloha.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

EJ impersonator visits winery

Good Superbowl, yeah?  I was rooting for the Cardinals, of course, but it was a great game, down to the last seconds.

Last Friday, a man came into the winery looking very much like Elton John.  It wasn't, of course.  If anyone would know the real Elton, it would be me.  A few of the customers did double takes and we heard them whispering, "Is it really him?"  Personally, I figured the guy for a flaming, overzealous fan.  He had the orange-tinged helmet hair, jewelry, earring (although in the opposite ear worn by the real EJ) and even a slight gap between his front teeth, but no English accent and the wrong voice altogether.  Turns out he's worked as a body double for Elton for 17 years.  At least, that's what he claimed.  His stage name, as he referred to it, was Eldon John and he had a few autographed photos of himself to share.  I have an autograph from the real Elton, so some chicken scratches from an impostor did not interest me much.  My co-workers dug it, though.  One lady in the gift shop even took a picture of him holding her baby.  He was a nice enough fellow and I had a good time chatting with him.  One of his companions was a spacey, middle-aged blonde who didn't seem to grasp much of what was going on.
"Don't mind her," he said.  "She used to be friends with Jerry Garcia."  'Nough said, though it probably wasn't true.
Anyway, Eldon, a.k.a. Richard something-or-other, hails from Ferndale, California, in Humboldt County, which could also explain his friend.

One of the regular tour guides who brings vans to our winery vowed yesterday, "I'll never complain about the rain again."  It was pouring.  She takes visitors on bike rides in Volcanoes National Park and the air has been awful these past weeks.  Now, the trades are back and it's raining, but getting wet is apparently better than sucking sulphur dioxide fumes.  So when those are your only two choices, you learn to embrace the rain.

Little minnie Winnie is sitting in my lap right now.  She loves me.  Her big, fat brother, Mr. Sox, is on the couch at my side, snoozing.  He's still none too happy about sharing his digs with these upstarts.  

Hoppsy goes in for surgery tomorrow to remove a weird growth on her eyelid that the vet thought looked suspicious.  

Speaking of dogs, the state of Hawaii is considering a ban on Pit Bulls.  From what I've observed, that would wipe out about half the dog population here.  People are protesting, of course.  To me, it sounds like just another law they won't be able to enforce.  Does the state really have the manpower to go door to door to see if a pit bull lives there?  And if they find one, are they really going to make those residents euthanize the family pet?  Heck.  I would bet that half the cops on this island own pit bulls, along with their cousins, brothers, uncles and aunties.  Please.  Of course, a bill to hold pet owners responsible for their dog's actions died last year in committee.  Got forbid we should actually blame the responsible party here.  Let's just punish all the dogs for the irresponsible actions of a few bad humans.  

Who elected these people, anyway?   Shoots.  Maybe I did.  I don't remember anyone running on a 'No More Pit Bulls" platform.  Or a 'Let's pay the legislature a lot more money' platform either.  They recently voted themselves a 34% pay raise in the middle of a recession.  Time to kick their okoles out to the breadlines with the rest of us.

A hui hou.  Aloha!