sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
1. This is a Public Service Announcement.... for the Ladies! Be aware of your brassiere when you are choosing your outfit for the airport. No, I'm serious. If the underwire is too thick, it will set off the metal detector at security -- as did mine -- and then they will have to take you aside and screen you with the beepy wand and do a pat-down and the ridiculous thing was, the only metal I was wearing was in my bra (fasteners, underwire) and my jeans (button & zip, rivets). It wasn't too awful, though -- I'm an easy-going traveller, generally, and I do my level best to be pleasant to the staff at airports, shops, restaurants, *ahem* libraries, and we got to the airport some four hours early because we completely ran out of things to do before we had to turn in the rental car so it's not like I was in a rush, and the security personnel were pleasant, too. And then we remembered to ask after the lost-and-found which is of course at the baggage claim carousels, so to get back to the gates after we recovered my jacket (must have fallen out of my carry-on beneath the seat where it was stowed, so I didn't notice until unpacking at the condo), mum and I had to go back through security and I set off the metal detectors again and they had to screen me again. But at least it was the same woman doing the screening and we had a nice chat about the lost-and-found. Anyway, well worth it to have my black blazer back.

2. I'm an easy-going traveller -- except when I have to deal with my family, and how my dad is impatient and my brother is disagreeable and smug by turns, and how my mother's interactions with computers (like when we did the online check-in, and the computerised baggage check) are so slow, and how my mother keeps talking when I am clearly trying to finish my book. I often find my family to be quite trying.

3. I discovered that I hate souvenir shops, which are invariably either incredibly tacky or incredibly overpriced. Sometimes they are both. And while Hawaii is a gorgeous paradise, it is full of towns that are nothing but souvenir shops. Take away the shops, and it is a perfect place.

4. Red-eye flights? Not the greatest. Especially when the airline magazine lies to you and tells you that the movie will be Star Trek (!!!) when in actuality it is Duplicity or Ghosts of Girlfriends Past or reruns of Two And A Half Men or some shit like that. I ended up drowsing and looking out the window at moonlit clouds by turns, and I only noticed the XM radio programming looping a couple times (the classical pops station was definitely the best). Airplane seats, btw, definitely do not encourage good or comfortable posture. Dear United, that is not a position in which my sit-bones align with your seat-cushions. United kind of sucks, anyhow -- they didn't have enough blankets for everyone and their magazine lied to me and there were no free snacks (Southwest gave me complimentary honey-roasted peanuts (or a choice of other stuff but seriously, who would turn down honey-rasted peanuts?) and hey, that reminds me, I was going to put some of the ways I amused myself between Houston and LA on the internets and I never did, oops, I'll get on that, I promise) and the announcements they made about how "we're here for your safety" and "please buckle the seatbelt on top of your outermost layer because we don't want to have to wake you up to check that you're strapped in" and "please watch the safety video" sounded weirdly defensive. United Airlines, I am unimpressed.

5. I'm glad California isn't as hot or humid as Maui. But California is also not as green or full of fun wildlife. I rather miss having Close Encounters With Hawaiian Wildlife.
sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
in addition to sunburn, have managed to get heat rash on my back. it is bumpy and icky and it itches like a motherfucker.

the fish are still perfect, though.

All I really need to be happy is a reef full of fish and a snorkel. Am perhaps in the wrong profession?

There will be so many fish pictures. I have used up five 27-exposure waterproof disposable cameras. They'll be a bitch to fit into my luggage tomorrow morning.
sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
i can has spam. :)
sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
I snorkelled for hours today, which was fabulous. Took lots of pictures of fish, hopefully, with waterproof disposable cameras -- we'll see when they're developed if they come out not-blurry and whether my bangs weren't in front of the lens for too many shots. Also, I managed to get sunburn on my back and the backs of my thighs, from snorkelling and then lying about. Well done, me.

My brother has been watching a lot of History Channel... I don't know about the History Channel. It's very... sensational, you know? Over-dramatic. And quite speculative, as well. Yesterday there was a thing about how some guy thinks he's located the Garden of Eden by way of satellite imaging and taking both Genesis and ancient Sumerian myth as fact. It was rather infuriating. And their "Sex and the Ancient World" series is utter sensationalism. History Channel, I am not impressed. Even if I am willing to watch your programmes about space.

Also! Apparently there is a Hurricane Felicia that might be on its way? The news says they don't know if it will hit Hawaii, or pass just south of the islands, but it has been very windy and slightly rainy, so there's that explained. If it does pass over the islands, it's expected on Saturday or Sunday... and we're supposed to fly out of Kahului Airport Sunday night. So, yeah. We'll be keeping an eye on the local news.

p.s. Nikola Tesla was a fox
sigmastolen: (Default)
We're on the western side of the island, so I can't actually see the sunrise. I've been out on the lanai for a few minutes, though, looking at the lightening sky and listening to the birds. It's so refreshing to hear birds that sound like birds (and not car alarms). :)
sigmastolen: (Default)
!!!!!! I have decided that, for the All-Star Concerto Competition in the upcoming school year, I will enter a movement of Peter Maxwell Davies's Strathclyde Concerto No. 8. Because it is AWESOME and PRETTY and does not look to be impossibly hard (my boss handed me the score when I walked in this afternoon -- I had requested that the library buy it. Because I'm library savvy like that). OMG I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE DEFINITE PLANS AND THINGS TO PRACTISE. Well... I do still need to buy the sheet music before I can actually do that, and then decide which of the three movements to enter. Also, I really tried to find clips for y'all to listen to, but no joy, and his music download website (i know, right?!) is unavailable because of some unfortunate problems with one of the directors being arrested for fraud. Boo.



!!!!!! p.s. next week my family is going to MAUI again. THIS TIEM I WILL PROCURE AN UNDERWATER CAMERA AND THEN THERE WILL BE PICTURES OF FISH!!!!!!!!!!


p.p.s. the library has ants today LOLWUT?
also, the vibration might also be because of too much coffee.....
sigmastolen: (Default)
No, seriously. Today I learned to surf (along with 2/3 of the rest of the wedding people). It was fantastically fun! Now I understand why Hedda loves it so much; I just wonder what took me so long. I got about 3 or 4 really good runs out of 7 or 8, which is not great, but definitely not bad. So, I want to keep doing it when we get home. Who wants to surf with me? If you don't know how, that's fine -- we can suck together!

And also this morning while snorkeling I may have seen a shark. (Either that, or a really huge fish.) Obviously I am here & unharmed, but it made me paranoid for the rest of the morning, & so I took refuge among the big rocks near the shore (I had been swimming fairly far out, away from the big rocks, so it was basically open water, maybe 10 feet deep; there were some small rocks below me, and I was diving down to look at the little fish who lived there & I saw a really big tail fin, moving away from me, at the very edge of my sphere of visibility, which was maybe 15 feet since the water was silty today). I actually ended up finding myself at the reef I found yesterday, which was much farther out than I intended to swim, and I kind of hightailed it back to shore after that, and then it was time to leave so we left. (Dad and JP got scared when I said I thought I saw a shark (this was directly after the sighting & swimming my ass back to shore in a hurry), and so they had gotten out long before & thought I was crazy for continuing to swim.) I really just love to look at the fish, though. (Before we went to that beach, I tried to snorkel behind our condo, because there are rocks there & therefore fish that live in rocks, but it was really murky, and I couldn't see my legs in chest-deep water so I got really nervous & chickened out, like I do when I try to snorkel at home. For snorkeling to work for me, I have to be able to see things, preferably fish; I get uneasy when there's nothing but water around me and empty sand below me, but I'm fine amongst rocks & coral & most importantly fish.) I'm kind of the snorkler-extraordinaire in the family, as mum doesn't spend that much time in the water, and da & brat are afraid of the rocks, and I'm really the only one willing &/or able to dive down & get all up in the fish's (collective) face (it's also fun to blow all the water out of the snorkel when you surface, like a whale or dolphin's blowhole, which I believe I excel at because of music-related lung capacity). I would love to photograph them someday.

Actually, between beach & surfing, mum and I went to the nearest ABC Store, and I got my hands on a fish book (though I couldn't quite justify buying it, even though I bought the bird book & a dictionary for my collections), and so I learned the names of some of the fish I've seen. Most of the flattish ones have been butterflyfish, and the puffery-shaped things are either boxfish of tobies (I find boxfish more likely). The eel I saw was probably a white-mouthed moray. And the parroty-things we've been seeing all over? Actually reef triggerfish, more famously known as humuhumunukunukuapua'a, the state fish of Hawai'i (or former, or unofficial, or whatever). Which discovery made me feel rather silly.

& more when my brother isn't trying to go to bed I guess.
sigmastolen: (Default)
Between yesterday and today, I think I've seen more fish than during the rest of my life combined. (We've been snorkeling.) It's incredible. Yesterday, mum and I rented some snorkel gear -- fins, masks, snorkels -- and then we all drove to Ka'anapali and went snorkeling at oen of the beaches. I swear, you didn't even have to look for the fish. You just stick your face in the water, and they're right fucking there. And they're so pretty and just -- !!!! I love them. Yesterday I even saw an eel. An eel!!!1!1!11eleven It might have been small -- I couldn't tell because it didn't come out of its hole all the way -- and it had lots of little white spots. And today, we were just swimming around at the beach a few minutes' walk away, and I found where all the fish hang out there. I went really far out into the water, and I found an honest-to-god reef. It was incredible. FISHIES!!!! fishy fishy fishy fishy. They're SO cute. & snorkeling is really tiring.

Yesterday evening all of the wedding people had dinner, and it was really fun... I met people I had no idea that I'm related to... And afterwards I went with my cousins to Matt & Bea's condo, affectionately dubbed party central. I have good cousins who didn't let me drinnk (mostly because Hedda feared, rightly, that if they did my dad would never speak to her again), but it was fun. Everyone was playing games -- poker, scrabble, other stuff with cards...

We're going to be off to the wedding in a few minutes, so I've got to go change.

oh and also conditioner is an excellent alternative to shaving lotion/gel/whatsit.
sigmastolen: (Default)
This morning, one of the first things I heard when I woke up was my mother, talking to a myna bird out on the lanai. "Hellooo," she crooned. Silly mummy. We walked quite a long ways to a farmer's market & got the most amazing pineapple; we ate the entire thing at lunch. And we also walked a much lesser distance to a beach, and I braved the sand and the water to swim and look for fish in the rocks. (It was fine, though my foot started bleeding again after a while, and getting sand in the cut kinda sucked.)

I looked a long, long while and for a long time all I saw was sand, rocks (big rocks, sometimes with stuff growing on them), and seaweed. It's strange -- there are virtually no shells to find, either still in the water, or washed up on the beach. There are infinitely more coral pieces than shell pieces. I did manage to find a crab carapace the other day, though -- did I mention? It's really cool... just the top, and you can see its little face, with eye- and antenna-spots. It's about the size of a nickel. crazy cool. I did see one fish at the beach today, though, mid-sized and pudgy, black with lots of little white spots all over, and with a long, pointy snout. It was cute. On the way back to the condo, I finally saw lots of little silvery fishies in the surf. Still no shells, though. But also, no unfortunate foot injuries today. Yay!

One of the things I've been meaning to mention is the rock. {geology lesson begins here} It's all basalt, like the seafloor; continents are made of granite, which is the pinky-grey rock you see in the mountains and stuff (as my mother never fails to point out). Anyway, basalt is very dark rock -- browny black. Except it's mafic, which means it has high levels of magnesium and iron in it (Ma+Fe-ic, get it?), and the iron has oxidized, so the rock (& soil) is also very very red (rust eh). {we return you to your regularly scheduled rambling} Anyway, there are a lot of parts of Maui that are not so different from California, but with a slightly different colour palette: more, greener greens, and the earth is red & black instead of pink & grey; and it's kinda disorienting and surreal.

In the afternoon, mum, Auntie Teresa, and I drove to Lahaina. We spent about two hours in Hilo Hattie, souveneir-hunting... And then after that, we walked down Front Street and window shopped. It was really fun, but expensive, too. Everything is really expensive here, we've found. And we also saw the oldest building on Maui (a mission), and the giant Banyan tree, which is incredible. There's the main trunk in the middle, and it has just spread out on all sides, sending down lots of support-root-mabobs, which look like trunks themselves, so it seems to be one great treetop with about ten trunks, all attached. It was amazing. The entire thing spans an entire block.

We also saw lots of birds today: two red-crested cardinals, some zebra doves, some spotted doves, and I saw a yellow-headed bird (or maybe several) that I have yet to identify. Yay birds!


Jun. 29th, 2006 11:41 pm
sigmastolen: (Default)
The volcano was really cool. I'm not really exactly sure what I was expecting, but that wasn't it... Mum and I drove up to the summit, which is some 10,020 feet above sea level. Since there's no cone -- the top of the volcano is a great big crater from when it used to erupt -- the designated summit is really just the highest elevation around, which is a peak at the western rim of the crater. Now, it's far above the tree line (and the clouds, incidentally, which was pretty bitchin': the clouds occur between 4,000 and 7,000 feet, which is called the dust line or some such because the interior of the island used to be barren & dusty before sugar cane was planted & the meeting of the cold and hot air kept (keeps) the dust (and car exhaust, smoke, etc) down... so once we got above them, the clouds were like a fluffy white carpet around the mountains), so the landscape was really barren... red and black dust, gravel, and rock, some scrubby plants and blue, blue sky. The crater was kinda flat inside, with lots of (comparatively) little cinder cones... Mum said it looked like a moonscape. There were also these really adorable endemic plants -- Silverswords -- they bloom once in their lives, and then they die, and it takes them between three and twenty years to mature. And there were lots of pretty flowers and horizons and even some horses and cows... I bought a bird book, and have discovered that the cute, talkative brown birds that fly around here are mynas. They're pretty adorable. And from the summit, we could see Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island, and all in all it was a pretty awesome trip. Silly boys, should have come with us.

My foot was pretty okay, too... it's a little sore now, and it was a little sore on the mountain, but it hasn't bled too much today (I think it helped that my shoe was pretty tight on it). I have gotten a little more sun than desirable, but it's not a bad sunburn and will fade v. soon. Tomorrow we might go to Lahaina & see what's there.

And yes, I have taken many many photos, which will be available for viewing eventually. Maybe. And hey, surprise surprise, I'm even in some of them!


Jun. 28th, 2006 11:36 pm
sigmastolen: (Default)
so, today's big event was walking to a nice beach two miles north of where we're staying. mum and I climbed on rocks and looked in tidepools -- found lots of little fishies (most silvery and some stripedy! aww), about ten sea urchins, and even two sea cucumbers. it was pretty neat. And then I ventured into the water.... it's so clear here. in southern california, when the waves break, they're all murky and silty stuff, you know? but here, you can see right through them to the sky behind -- a shiny, green-tinted window of water. the colour of the ocean is breathtaking -- earlier this evening, mum and I were looking out from the balcony (they call it a lanai), and it ranged from a kind of navy, to a bright turquoise blue, and even a kind of pale aqua green. I've tried taking pictures, but I'm not sure all the colours will turn out. (and I forgot to bring my camera on our beach excursion today; I've been berating myself for it. From this point forth, I go nowhere without it.)

we brought masks and goggles and looked at the stuff underwater; it was partly a sandy beach, and partly rocky and reefy. so i swam over the rocks, and saw lots of little fishies and some medium small ones (there was a stripy one that looked angelfish-shaped, perhaps an older version of the little stripedy ones), and even a great big parrot fish! it was kind of a murky green, with bright blue lines. & then i promptly cut my foot on a rock, which put me out of commission for the rest of the day. I couldn't even walk back to the condo on it; jonathan and I stayed at the beach for another hour while mom and dad walked back and then came and got us with the car.

it was bleeding A Lot, and of course it got all sandy when I walked (hobbled) up the beach to our towels, but it didn't hurt until I applied pressure to stop the bleeding. & it's been bleeding off and on, depending on whether I move or put weight on it.... it's on the ball of my foot, an inch or so below my big toe, and it's kind of deep, but nothing (dad says) to worry about too much. doesn't even hurt, unless there's pressure on it (like yesterday's bruise); it's really inconvenient, though, and we've already had to rearrange our plans -- surfing lesson has been delayed to give my stupid foot more time to heal. blarg. am rapidly acquiring nice tan, though.

it's v. windy here.

tomorrow mum and I are going to go see the volcano! it'll be exciting (&, she thinks, easier on my foot, though I doubt that).


Jun. 27th, 2006 09:50 pm
sigmastolen: (Default)
Maui is beautiful. Beautifulbeautifulbeautiful. The weather is balmy, the condo is lovely, and there is a constant sound of ocean... the beach behind the condo (which is, incidentally, on the SEVENTH FLOOR so the view is absolutely marvelous!) has lots of seaweed and not that much sand (at high tide the sea comes right up to the hedge) and lots of rocks (I already bruised my foot pretty spectacularly in my first run-in with one... don't worry, it doesn't really hurt...), but there's a nice pool, and a much better beach just a couple minutes' walk away -- cut through the hedge (which has OMG BANANA TREES) and follow the grass and you're there. There are these massive white plumeria trees, as well, and I was having terrible allergies because the airport was near where they were burning the sugar cane fields, but it's much better now.

Is it sad that I really want to eat Spam? And that I want to order it from McDonald's to do so?

What actually is sad is that my grandma can't come, since the arthritis in her knee was really really bad today and her doctor told her not to.... we're sad, she's sad, and Hedda (the bride) will be v. sad. : (

But, um, yeah. I really love it. I hope to come back again and again and again.

Even though the plane ride was interminably long and I wanted to die.

(oh, by the way, obviously, the condo has internet. high-speed cable internet, in fact! free! w00t!)


sigmastolen: (Default)

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