Friday, September 30, 2011


As of tomorrow (October 1st), it has officially been one year since I moved to Kauai. A part of me can't BELIEVE it's been that long already, and another part of me can't believe I haven't known some of these people all my life. I have been truly, richly blessed with wonderful friends here. What a great year it's been.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Underside

I’ll marry a deep-voiced filmmaker 
with dark eyes,
a sketchy past,
a bright future.  
We’ll move to California. 
I’ll be his apprentice, 
he’ll be my muse, 
and together we’ll make art
knowing not why, 
but how. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


...from the Gauthier's house during band practice. Gorgeous.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Yesterday was my Dad's birthday, and today was Olivia's. A group of us went to Kauai Pasta for dinner, then back to Olivia's house to cruise (we played Balderdash; I won.)

Robbie, Olivia, Michelle:

The AMAZING cake that Amanda made:

Lauren and Olivia:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my awesome Dad. Love you!!

(Picture taken when my parents visited Kauai in February.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Google +

I joined Google+ today and I'm loving the sleek design. Of course I'll keep my facebook account to stay connected to everyone, but I've thought it was too messy for a year or so now. And I like the idea of being able to group friends into circles on Google+. So hey, everyone join and add me! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So as I'm getting ready to go to sleep, this little guy decided to crawl into bed with me:

What a cutie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Relational issues...

I believe that my car (affectionally known as "Max") has gained self-awareness, become disgruntled over something I said or did, and resolved to publicly humiliate me.

Yesterday I was early picking up my boss from the airport, so I parked in short-term and read poetry on my phone until he had gotten his bags and was waiting for me at the terminal, at which point I attempted and failed to start my car. It wouldn't turn over, nothing. So my boss called a cab while I called AAA. But when I called the Kauai branch of AAA, before I had even spoken with anyone the system rerouted my call to the Ohio branch, which was just as confusing for them as it was for me: "Where are you parked?" "At the airport." "Which airport?" "The only one, Lihue." "What?" "Huh?"

And then I got disconnected.

Which worked out because just then the cab arrived and the driver swung by my car so we could transfer some stuff I'd bought at Costco to the cab. On a whim I tried to start my car again. Predictably, after all that trouble, it worked without a hitch.

What's the deal, Max? I just had the o2 filter replaced, got you an oil change, and renewed your registration... and you thank me by playing games with me?  

He acted out again this afternoon when I stopped to get gas in Kilauea. When I tried to start my car after filling up, the same thing happened: nothing. But when the attendant came to my rescue and had me "just try starting it one more time" so he could "hear what kind of sound it made," it roared right up.

Alright all you mechanics out there -- how can I show Max some love? What's his problem? Is it just a phase, or is there some deeper, underlying issue that needs to be addressed?

Monday, September 19, 2011

...back to the grind.

Family Camp this weekend was a nice break. Burgers, bonfire, s'mores, and worship on Friday night... dinner and talking all evening with friends on Saturday night... church, luau, and volleyball on Sunday. Olivia and I were planning to sleep on the beach Saturday night, but it rained alllllll evening and alllllll night. Our prideful sides wanted to suck it up and do it anyway, but we opted for waiting for a nice weekend when we're more prepared with supplies. All we had between the two of us were blankets and one pillow. Heh.

Here's a picture of the camp, standing in front of the cabins (which were on the beach) looking back towards the mountains. So beautiful.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Family Camp!

FYI, I won't be posting tomorrow night because I'll be camping on the beach with the sand crabs. This weekend our church is hosting its annual Family Camp, which is for everyone (not just the family unit.) Lots of food, beach, campfire, swimming, volleyball, board games, etc. Tomorrow after work Olivia and I are going to go join the festivities, then sleep on the beach all night. Sunday morning we'll have church on the beach followed by a luau. It's going to be a relaxing, fun weekend--and lord knows I need a break from thinking about the future and options and all that.

I'll post again on Monday, hopefully with pictures from camp. Aloha!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My, have I been in a funk the last few days. I think I've been caught in some sort of time-continuum vortex or between here and an alternate dimension or something. Lots of looking at my hand in front of my face and wondering if the experience/sight/sense of it is the same as the reality of it type of moments. Getting lost in my thoughts and wondering if it's actually possible to fly, wondering if dreams are as True as wakefulness. Brain-in-a-vat suspicions.

But enough of that. Here are two Very Real Pictures of a Very Real Rainbow taken from my Very Real Lanai this afternoon. (Whatever "real" means.)

Of course, a rainbow is nothing more than a grand-scale optical illusion -- a trick played on the eyes, which see an arc of colors as a result of refracted light. A distortion of reality. How appropriate.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


...if you are easily grossed out. 

I'm running out of pictures I haven't shown yet, so tonight's batch is from when I had staph infection a few months ago. I had gone stand-up paddling with my friends Blake and Lau at Hanalei Bay, and on a whim Blake decided to teach me to surf. Surfing on a stand-up paddleboard isn't really equal to surfing on a longboard, but I tried it anyway. I handed my paddle off to Blake, followed his instructions, and easily "surfed" the first wave I tried. I got a couple more, and then wiped out... on the reef. I didn't even notice I was bleeding until we had paddled out of the Bowl (it was dark by that time.)

Once back at Lau's house we cleaned out all of my various cuts with hydrogen peroxide. (And when I say "we," I mean Lau.) My knee (picture one) looked a lot worse than my ankle (picture two.)    

A few days later my knee was starting to heal, but my ankle swelled up, got all red and pussy, and became painful to walk on. 

A few days after THAT it looked... disgusting. And I could hardly walk. 

Can you tell how swollen my ankle was?:

So I made an appointment with the doctor for the next morning. But in the meantime, I went to Lau's house for band practice with him and Blake (yeah, we started a band), at which point Lau insisted that the wound needed to be cleaned, scraped out, de-pussed, etc. Blegh. It hurt too bad for me to touch it myself, so Lau donned some medical gloves and set to work. 

A blurry picture of me screaming in pain, taken by Blake:

Lau, all chill after performing the surgery:

After "doctor" Lau squeezed out all the pus, I felt SO MUCH better. Within a few hours the pain, pressure, and redness had lessened. The next morning I got an antibiotic and some topical cream... and within a few weeks the wound finally closed and began to heal. Even now it's still purplish-red and will probably scar (my knee is super scarred too, for the record.) Moral of the story: don't ever get a staph infection. 

Floating away on a story...

I've been both consuming and producing mass quantities of fiction lately. The line between "reality" and "imagination" has become blurry.

Who's to say that our lives aren't as contrived as the most brilliantly woven words of a master storyteller? 

And who's to say that fiction does not contain Truth and thus isn't real? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Art Night! Friends! Bridges!

A few months ago I went with some friends to Hanapepe for a Friday night art walk. Here are some pictures I snapped from the swinging bridge over Hanapepe River. 

Chris, Jenni, Mike, and Michelle:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Clean clean clean!

I was literally about ten seconds from falling asleep before I realized that I forgot to blog, so -- not wanting to break my promise -- I pulled myself out of bed to type a few sentences.

I spent most of the day helping Shikinah and Ryan move into their new apartment. Shikinah and Abby (her sister) and I spent all morning deep cleaning the new place: scrubbing down baseboards, walls, and cupboards... bleaching stuff... vacuuming... etc. Then we moved five carloads of stuff (three in my car, two in Ryan's) from the old apartment to the new. We got all the shelving units installed and organized the kitchen, master bathroom, and part of the office. For being 7 months pregnant, Shikinah held up amazingly well all day!

I have to say, after spending a long work-week staring at a computer screen for 8+ hours a day, it is so refreshing to actually WORK and sweat and get dirty. Especially with good friends for company. Free meals don't hurt either. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh My God.

It's strange.

When I lived in Ohio, I remember thinking, "I can't imagine leaving this place." Not that I didn't want to ever leave or thought that I would stay there forever... but I just couldn't picture what my life would look like without my family close by, without the friends I'd had for years, and without Damascus Friends Church. It was a strange feeling knowing that I wouldn't be there forever but being unable to fathom a life absent of those very, very good and wonderful things.

And being in essentially the same position now feels stranger still. In another few weeks it will be a year since I first moved to Kauai... and I can't imagine leaving this place. I had planned to live here no longer than a year and to remain unattached, but it's been impossible not to become attached. To my incredible friends, to North Shore Christian Church, to the mountains and the ocean. I have a very full life here, and when I think about leaving, I get stuck. Mentally blocked. I can't picture leaving and saying goodbye to this life. What would come next? International travel? U.S. road trip? Mission work? Hibernation for book-writing purposes? A family, at some point? Spiritual retreat? Grad school? All of the above?

Boy, it's confusing. Lately I've felt pressed to be thinking about the next step, mostly because I feel like I'm not living a life full of Christian service and sacrifice. It's not that I'm trapped in a guilt trip or anything... this is something more complex and internal. Something to do with higher goals and purpose and the meaning of life and all that. Something to do with eternity. Something to do with Jesus.

Please, listen to this song: "Oh My God" by Jars of Clay. If there will ever be a song that radically changes my life, it will be this one. Perhaps it's already begun to. Every time I listen to it, by the end my heart is pounding and I can barely breathe. Seriously, I mean EVERY time. It hasn't lost its power even with years of repeated listenings. Here's a video with the song, but I would recommend listening to it without watching the video. Shut your eyes, don't move a muscle, and absorb the lyrics. The last few minutes of the song are... wow. Even if you're not a Christian, I'm willing to bet that you can sympathize with the depiction of a broken world crying out for answers.

Somehow, whether in Kauai or Ohio or some third world country, I need to more effectively engage this broken world.

If you can't watch the video, here's the YouTube url:

Polihale and Bon Dance

In June, some friends and I went to Polihale and a Bon Dance; I'm just now getting around to posting pictures. First are some shots from Polihale, which is a wide, deep, silky beach at the very end of the road on the west side. The last couple miles of the road require four-wheel drive, so Chris rented a truck for the night and we plowed along the pitted road to this glorious destination to watch the sunset. If you blow up the picture you can get a good idea of the size of the mountain by comparing it to the teeny tiny people at its base:

Chris (a local) taking a picture of Gabriela (from Poland):

Chris and Gabriela watching the sunset while I play paparazzi:

Watching a kite surfer wrestle down his kite and fold it up:


Tako poke (octopus) for dinner... yum! If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see the suckers:

And the breathtaking sunset, of which I still managed to get a couple good shots without my tripod:

After the sun had set, we went to a Bon Dance in Hanapepe where we met up with our friends Jenni (who is now back in Germany until January, sadly) and Daniel. A Bon Dance is a Japanese Buddhist festival held in honor of the dead. In the middle of the festival was an oval-shaped arena in which the kimono-adorned performers danced circles around a center podium, where drummers struck a mesmerizing beat. I believe the podium (more like a scaffold) is called a yagura. The lanterns in the pictures have something to do with the dead spirits of loved ones -- to lead them home, I think?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pretty Pastels...

I was too lazy to dig out my tripod to get a super clear shot, but check out tonight's sunset (photo taken from my lanai.) I thought it was so unusual for the blue layer to be nearest the bottom -- and look how rich the hue is! I never get sick of these sunsets...

Monday, September 5, 2011


This entry will finish the recap of Stacey's visit to Kauai. Monday night we went to the Smith Family Luau (pictures below), and Tuesday we packed in quite a bit before heading to the airport for her flight home. In the morning we shopped in Hanalei, laid on the beach for while, and then kayaked down Hanalei river and into the bay, dragged the kayak onshore to sun and swim, and paddled back across the bay and up the river. After stopping home to shower and for Stacey to finish the last of her packing, we went to Kalapaki Joe's for dinner (calamari appetizer... mmmm) and then to the airport. At the risk of speaking for both of us, I'd say Stacey had a good trip! :) And now, pictures from the luau. 

Some random scenery in the beautiful gardens where we wandered about before the imu ceremony at dusk:

An alligator stump:

Stacey and I:

There were peacocks eeeeeverywhere:

The imu pit before the kalua pig was unearthed:

The unearthing of the pig:

I love the crowd in this photo:

After the imu ceremony, we had a feast of kalua pork, sweet and sour mahi mahi, teriyaki beef, some sort of chicken, rice, mashed potatoes, Hawaiian sweet potatoes, salad, poi, rice pudding, fresh fruit, and mai tais. Yum yum yum. Following the feast was the actual performance, which featured lots of cultural dance and costume, and ended with a fire twirler. There was no flash photography allowed during the show, but I snapped one dark shot of a hula dancer before I got completely engrossed in the show and forgot all about my camera.