Monday, November 30, 2009

things i'd eat right now if they were in front of me

1. cake
2. cupcake
3. birthday cake
4. fried chicken
5. a baked potato
6. any piece of candy except for a cinnamon disc or peppermint
7. a grilled cheese

oh sweet ass i just remembered that my coworker has candy in her office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

more isht to not buy

So I wrote this one on my last night on travel...but didn't have internet at the Condotel, so here it is...late...but who cares...because I'm finally home!!!!

By the way...the no shopping challenge has taken me to some strange places.

So my week on Oahu was no big deal, because I literally had not one second of free time to even try to go shopping. My few days on Kauai was easy too, because they don't really have malls or shops there. They do have a lot of free-roaming chickens, though. But I've been super-ready-to-be-home on the last two islands, and I got some bad news about sweet g-ma Faye, and those times are the times that aaaallll I wwaaannnntttt in the world is to buy something (everything).
Also, I ran out of clean chonies on Wednesday.

Weird--I thought I packed enough, but apparently, I did not. Why do I always pack the day I leave?

So I got out of my last high school visit early on Wednesday (because of a security lockdown--awesome. I was locked in the library with no students, and after ten minutes, the counselor came back and had security escort me to my car. I have no idea why. But there were six cop cars there, and all the buildings were chained shut. Did anyone hear anything about King Kekaulike High on the news??), so in my last pair of cleans, I ended up at a mall. And this was after I tried to waste enough time until my flight with a shave ice. No luck. The mall was not a very good one, but somehow, I ended up in American Eagle (??), and bought five pairs of awesome undies. I'm tempted to post a picture, but who knows when President Bob might find this, right? And you know I'd think of that every time I saw him.

So I left, $25 lighter, and was overcome with guilt. Like serious, serious, want to go to confession even though I'm not Catholic guilt. I haven't bought anything at a mall (or anywhere but the grocery, really) for myself since...I don't even remember...the first week of September?? All I could think was about how I ruined the No Shopping Challenge, and how horrible that made me. Yikes. I was basically like some sort of crazy person.

So I took them back.


With no cleans in my suitcase, I returned them. Interesting looks from the lady who'd just sold them to me. I told her that I bought them for a lingerie shower, but realized that I actually needed to get another size...from somewhere else.............

I got on the plane, made it to really creepy condo-tel, and the next morning, as I was fully prepared to go free-balling, I found two pairs that were hidden because they were black and looked like suitcase.

It was as though Jesus was like "Good job on the No Shopping Challenge. I want you to wear underwear today and tomorrow. Here you go."

things and things, Hawaiian radio and my haunted condo

Interesting times on the road.

I think I might have opened up some other blog with that same line...I'm not sure. I often think that...that line...not that I opened up another blog with the same line.


Dear Hawaiian Airlines,

I love that you still have free movies and free meals. I love that even on my 15-minute-in-the-air inter-island flights, you give me juice, and even though it's only 12% juice, I still love it. I'll have two, actually. I also love how nice your employees are. Seriously nice--and I don't think they're talking about me behind my back when they leave the aisle. But really...REALLY...Hawaiian airlines...I can't handle the fees. Your tickets aren't cheap in the first place, but then to pay $15 for the first, $25 for the second bag from the mainland, then $17 from island to island, and $25 for overweight bags (p.s. the weight limit changes from mainland and inter-island--not fair), then $150 for any ticket're killing me softly. I'm pretty sure I could have purchased another full ticket with what I paid in fees on this trip. And all I want to do is leave a day early...I'm so willing to pay the difference in ticket cost...but the change fees alone for my flight back to Honolulu, then to SD, is $175. That's unreal. Literally. I don't pay that much for a round trip ticket to Las Vegas.
And, consequently, Las Vegas is way more fun that the Big Island. Like, 100 times more fun. Maybe more.
In conclusion, I cannot love you, Hawaiian Airlines, because I hate you. And I cannot hate you, get it.
I would just like to go home please.

Mahalo (they love that),

Unrelated--I'm at Starbucks, and a girl just rang up for $13.49. She doesn't have any ground or bean coffee. What the hell can you order at Starbucks to total that much? "Hi, I'll have two large frappucinos. You know what? Let's make it three. With 20 pumps of hazelnut."

So, interesting times on the road. I've been driving a lot (surprisingly--the islands are not big), and my first rental car didn't have one of those little pluggers where you get to listen to your iPod, so I was stuck with the radio. Hawaiian radio is not question. I listened to a lot of NPR. But I really, really, really love to sing in the car, so on Oahu, I resorted to listening to my iPod, earphones in, and singing. Even I realized that this was reeedic, so, also for my own amusement, decided to record myself singing to music no one else could hear, then listen back to myself singing along to nothing. Can't lie to you, I was laughing a lot about this. At myself. Singing. Now I know what some select few passengers experience when I get going. Sorry, by the way, to you guys. I did that for a while, left some people some singing messages, then went back to NPR.
Second rental car had a plug, so I listened to my iPod with much joy until it died, then I listened to the torrential rain that almost led to my death on the road (several times). Worst storm in four years? Sign me up. My hotel didn't have power when I checked in, or phones for that whole day.
Did I already tell you that? Sorry. Bad news when I'm repeating stories in a blog. I need human interaction so bad right now. I went to Costco with a youth pastor today. More on that later.
It wasn't until rental car four that I realized that I left my cord in rental car two. This has happened twice now, and oddly enough, no one at the rental place ever has record of someone turning in a cord. Assholes. They're like $10 at Target!! Stop stealing from me!! So I'm back to singing to myself through headphones. I did mess up one ear of the headphone with too much volume, I rattles a little now. Oops. And I'm also back to NPR. I do love it, but I am at the point that I'm re-hearing stories about racial tension between Italians and Latinos on Long that's when I play the radio scan game. It's of my own invention, there are rules, and they're complicated. No one since three boyfriends ago will play it with me. But I got 21 points today.

I also talked to Chip for like an hour today. Remember Chip? I sure miss that guy. He was the perfect audience for my latest Naz church visit, which is a story best told in person. Or via voicemail, I'm told. Eric, are you reading this? Thanks for sharing that in staff meeting.

In my radio scans, I have been stuck on Hawaiian music from time to time. I have learned one major thing about Hawaiian music: a lot of it is non-Hawaiian music, re-recorded to sound islandy. I've heard Elvis, church hymns, Jason Mraz, Tina Turner...basically every style of music redone Hawaiian style. It's not good. But I did catch one real gem--a Hawaiian rapper. No lie, the rap started with "Yo about time dat we bring some jamz from da 808...uh-LOW-hah!" Unreal.

Finally: I am staying at the weirdest place ever.
I booked this place on Expedia and got a pretty good rate, which is always a key sign of danger. I have never, ever been pleasantly surprised by some random place I booked on Expedia. Am I the only one? Although I think if I were a--not alone, b--not at the end of like 5 million weeks out, c--on another, cooler island, and d--in a different state of mind, this place could have been cool. Maybe. Except I'm convinced I may be killed in my sleep tonight.

I'm pretty sure that only girls will understand this. Lucky for me, I am pretty sure that only girls read this. In fact, it may only be Mindy (see comments on every post...xoxo MVega!).

So anyway, I landed on the Big Island last evening, got my car, and put my hotel address in el GPS, and it's 45 minutes away. At this point, I just wanted to be home, so this was annoying to me. Even more annoying--the airport is surrounded my like 30 miles of just lava. Black, ugly lava. It's not cool or pretty. I hate the lava. And people take some white rocks from somewhere and write their names and things like "just engaged!!!!!!" and "aloha!!!!!!!" in the rocks, and it looks like graffiti, and I hated that too. I also passed a man on a recumbent bike, and hated the bike and him also. So my hotel is in the middle of nowhere, shops or town or anything on my way there. It's also made up of many buildings, and is very spread out, which was, again, annoying. So I found the check-in place in some building in the middle. While checking in, I was going through the drill, initialing here, signing there, making up a license plate number for the rental car, the girl threw in this: "Would you prefer skim, 2% of whole milk?"


So I told her that I preferred skim.

From there, she took my fruit juice preference (guava), my bread preference (wheat) and if I preferred butter or margarine (butter...unless I'm baking...then marg all the way. I didn't tell her that last part).

I think that, after 5 million weeks of alone time and personal reflection, that one of the reasons I get into so many crazy situations is because I HATE being out of the often, when I am, I just pretend like I know what's going on to see where the situation goes. This is often a mistake. Why not just ask what's going on?? I don't know. I just don't do it.

So girl was talking like I should know why she was asking me all these questions, and I went along with it, and she said "Alright, these items, a dozen eggs, and half a pound of bacon will be delivered to your condo tomorrow morning at nine."

What to my what?

But I didn't ask that. I just fake smiled and said "Great."

I don't even understand what she's talking about at this point, but I know that I will eat a total of none of that. I leave every morning I'm there before 8...I am not going to get up early for some 6 a.m. bacon and eggs with butter on wheat.

Then she gave me a map to my room (another thing I hate--if I need a map to get there, it's too far. I don't want to stay at places that need maps.) and I went back to my car to drive to building B.

Oh yeah, she also asked me if I minded being on the second floor. I said no, but I wanted to say yes. I hate dragging luggage up stairs! But I felt like saying yes would put her out in some form, so I said no. I am an idiot--who thinks those things?

So I drove to building B, dragged my overweight suitcase (according to Hawaiian Air...jerks) upstairs and unlocked my door to a condo that's bigger than my house.

At this point, anything other than what I expect is disaster, so my exact thought was: "What is this Iiiiiii hhhaattteee iiiittttttttttt!!!!!!!"

I am definitely not a tantrum thrower, but I did have a moment. I was just tired, and tired of not being home. I was over it quick. :) And I didn't throw one thing.

So I walked into a full kitchen with dinner settings for six, nicer knives than I have at home and a dishwasher, a dining room with seating for six, a living room, a full balcony/patio, a small door under the stairs, and don't worry--that was downstairs. Upstairs, there was a master bedroom, a bathroom and three locked doors. Awesome. Oh wait--it would have been awesome, if I had five friends with me. Maybe.

There is no better way to remind oneself that one is traveling alone than to walk into a dining room for six.

And I'm a great alone traveller...for two or three weeks. On week five million, I'm over it.

Sidenote--I'm SO over being on my own that I had lunch with a youth pastor today (who I met for 5 days at camp this summer), then went with her on her errands, including going to Costco, purchasing two large hams, and picking up her son from school.

So in order to feel at all at home (home being "in a hotel room," right now), I immediately went upstairs, grabbed two pillows and a blanket, went back downstairs and set up camp on the couch in the living room. My suitcase is on the coffee table, I brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink...I'm pretending like I don't even have an upstairs.

Also, there are three locked rooms, and I'm pre-he-hetty sure that some sort of criminal or Sloth from Goonies is living up there, just waiting for me to settle into the master bedroom.

Also, there are no restaurants nearby my creepy condo hotel, so I had to go to a grocery last night and bought the necessary items to make turkey tacos.

I made turkey tacos alone in my condo in Kona last night. After that, I loaded the dishwasher and went to sleep on the couch.!!!!

I made a video of it (why do I feel like a grandma for saying that??), so once I figure out how to post can experience it for yourselves.

And there is no internet of any kind...ergo embarking on hour two at Starbucks (and that's just this visit--doesn't count my hour earlier in between visits).

I left this morning at 7 and haven't been back yet. Partially because it's boring...partially because I know someone dropped off a half pound of bacon there this morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

an extremely long post that will likely bore anyone but me or my mom, who doesn't read this blog, to my knowledge.

I have a feeling that this is going to be the least interesting blog ever for everyone.

So Fall Travel in Hawaii has been so flipping busy. I think I mentioned this—the traffic is the worst I’ve ever been a part of, and I traveled in LA for a year.

Most of my first morning visits were 15-20 miles away, and I had to leave, on average, two hours early, and I was almost late one morning. I think it’s a combo of several things:

--they don’t have a lot of lanes here. The major freeways are like four lanes.

--the speed limit is 50 on those little freeways, so even when you’re the only person on the road, it feels like you’re stopped in traffic.

--everyone is a horrible driver. I feel like I can say that because my wonderful host Lindy said that too, and she’s from here. But really—no one merges. They just stop with their blinkers on. And people don’t signal to get in or out of lanes. And no one honks, and in my book, that’s not a good thing. I honked once, and people looked at me like I was a huge bitch. Maybe don’t stop on the freeway and I won’t honk.

--people are allowed to ride in the backs of trucks and aren’t required to wear helmets. I’m not sure about anyone else…but that makes me want to drive slower so I don’t kill anyone…or everyone.

Sidenote—it’s never encouraging to see a security guard and gate attendant running, with walkie talkies raised, to your gate in a panic. It makes me feel like we may all die on this flight. This could be my last blog…what do you think of that, America? So now, potentially FROM THE GRAVE…

So traffic is horrible. But the schools…the schools are so…I don’t even know how to describe them. In order to make any sense of them, I have to describe private schools outside of public schools entirely. So private schools. I went to 15ish this week. They are:

--BEAUTIFUL. No lie—some of these high schools may as well have been colleges, because their grounds, their buildings…everything about them is just amazing. I felt a little out of place at a couple, because it seemed like I was at a country club.

--really old. Seriously. Many of them were founded in the 1800s. One of them is the oldest school (SCHOOL—not just high school) West of the Mississippi. That’s right…the Ol’ Mississip.

--HUGE. Huge. So huge. I went to a school that’s 700 acres. That’s the size of a town. All of the Naz’s campus is 92 acres. I was lost at least four times just on their campus.

--super secure. I had to check in at a security gate everywhere I went, and they had my name on a list, pre-printed nametags, etc etc etc.

--challenging. I asked one student what class he was missing, and it was SAT/ACT prep. They have an in-the-day test prep course. That counts for credit. Unreal.

--really nice. Every place I went gave me a gift—usually a little package with mac nuts, other snacks, pens and post it notes, etc. One gave me a meat rub that she’s famous for (so she tells me—I imagine she’s famous for it among the PTA or something). Two places gave me flower leis. They all acted like I was doing them a favor for stopping by. Seriously? My CA schools sometimes don’t even have a counselor there to tell me where to go.

So all of that to say that if I ever have (someone else’s) kids, they’re going to private school in Hawaii. Swears.

Public schools, however, are a different story. Not even “a different story”—more like HI private schools are to HI public schools as finding $100 in a pocket of designer jeans that you didn’t know you had is to getting peed on by a homeless man. In the face. And he was never even wearing pants, so you have to watch it all happen to you.

The public schools I went to were:

--designed to look like prisons. I am not kidding a little bit. I drove past one school, despite my GPS bitching at me, because I thought it was a prison.

--despite above, not secure at all. No gates, no security guards…nothing. I didn’t even have to check in at one place—I just wandered around, and no one stopped me.

--dirty. There was just a lot of trash on the ground.

--not challenging. Or maybe too challenging? I’m not sure. I just know when I mentioned our minimum GPA to be considered (and it’s a 2.8—come on, America), almost every student I talked to said “…oh…like…that’s the lowest I can have…?” and basically ruled us out. Which is for the best, because they would’ve had to pay $50 for me to say “So the minimum is a 2.8……”

--poorly outfitted. Most of the career centers I was in had computers from the late 80s.

--uninformed. When I asked why students came to hear about Point Loma, only one of the twenty-something I spoke to said anything other than “I want to go to California.”

So the pisser of all of that is that I was getting so frustrated with these public school visits, because I’m pretty sure that I will be able to admit none of the students that I met with (if any even apply, which is unlikely), but those schools are default for the normal kid! Some of the private schools have scholarships (see Barack Obama), but most of the kids there who are getting these amazing educations are rich already. I don’t know how a real smartie could even do well in a public school setting there. And those are the kids I want to work with in my ideal dream world where you get paid to do whatever you love—those who don’t really have any way to understand the college process in the first place. It just sucks that these kids start off at such a disadvantage—most of them (at least the ones I spoke to) have GPAs too low to be considered at most good colleges. Where do you go from there?

I’ll tell you where…riding on freeways in the back of someone’s truck. BTW--I'm no longer in the airport. That was a while ago. I lived through the flight!

Do I need to get a flu shot? I never know.

So anyway. Oahu was cool enough, but I didn’t even get to step foot on the beach for a second. It rained a little almost every day, so it wasn’t super sunny. The real reason it was cool is because I got to stay with two of my favorite people in the world—the Furushos! They’re like a really fun, cool aunt and uncle, and I could live with them. They’re super mellow, Lindy is a really good cook and taught me how to make spam musubi (Google it, because you’ll just tell me I’m gross if I tell you what it is), they like David Sedaris and Glee and they laugh at all my stories. What more could you ask for? Having familiar faces to come back to every night made fall travel totally un-lonely and great. They also took me to a sweet farmer’s market in Chinatown on Vet’s Day where I saw more dead animals and exotic fruit than I’ve ever seen, and they didn’t even laugh at me when I touched it all. I don’t know…I’m a toucher. Weird, because I’m not a hugger.

Another potentially boring tangent—I LOVE the food here. I posted about 50 pics of it on Facebook already, which should be embarrassing, but isn’t because I love food more than about 99% of things in this world. But seriously—I asked my friend who’s from there for some local recs, and I planned my days to include the places she suggested in between high schools. I had the BEST pad thai I’ve ever had (I’m not going to lie—it sort of made me mad at every other Thai place I’ve ever eaten for lying to me), amazing Hawaiian food (poke ahi…please find me some), really good seafood, Indian food, noodles, and as much shave ice as I could fit in. I won’t go into detail, just because I just spent so much time going into detail on Facebook.

ANYWAY anyway, I left Oahu today for Kauai, and had free time, which was wild. I can’t even believe this place—it’s so unrealistically pretty. I basically had my ideal afternoon driving through super green, super beautiful roads listening to music and singing really, really loud in the car. It started raining about 10 minutes in, then pouring, then I had to pull off the road for a little while, then I kept going, then I saw all these waterfalls, then I took a couple pictures, then it was pouring again, then the bridge I was going toward was closed because it flooded, then I turned around and went to my hotel to check in. Tonight I walked on the beach in the rain for a little—my first step onto sand!—which was pretty, and then ate at this local saimin place, and it was amazing. I love noodles, I love soup, I LOVE noodle soup.

Is it weird that eating is sometimes my greatest joy on the road?

Also, I saw someone’s house get hit by lightning, light on fire, then get put out by the rain. That was wild.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

going crazy, Shannon style

So I can't even describe how busy this week has been adequately...but it's been productive. Recruiting in Hawaii is no vacation though, so stop being jealous.

Unless you're jealous of all the flipping amazing food I've eaten.

But, as I've spent the last three hours at a Starbucks interviewing students and answering emails, I have only three minutes of my paid internet left, so I only have time for a short story.

I think I might legitimately be crazy.

So on Sunday, I visited a Naz church, which was good, but also busy. They have an 8 a.m. service, Sunday School, then a 1045 service too, and I was in it to win it. So after the first service, I pulled out my phone to check the time (not really...I'm just super obsessive about missing anything, ever), and saw that I had seven missed calls and voicemails from my friend and week-long host, Craig. Seven?? And all the voicemails were two seconds of silence.

So any normal person would've thought "Craig's pocket dialing me...what a joker." That was my first thought too. But about a tenth of a second later, I thought the following:

--what if Craig was kidnapped?
--what if he's calling for help?
--what if he can't say anything in the voicemail because his mouth is taped shut??
--what if he keeps calling because I was his last call and his hands are tied up and he can only recall the last call?
--what if he only had ten minutes of time alone and I was his only chance for help and now that I didn't pick up, the kidnappers are back and he's being tortured??

Now MOST of my mind realized that this was reeeedic...but there's always part of me...just a little part...that thinks "That's what everyone says when something horrible happens to them...'I never thought this would happen to me...'", and I was physically relieved to find out that I was, indeed, just pocket-dialed, and Craig was alive.

More about not-this later. More about actually interesting things later. Maybe.