Tag Archives: San Francisco

Young Man Went West #29-D: Winter Trip Facebook Statuses, Unabridged (Pt. 4)

Day 10-11: Lunch w/Justin Todd in L-Mo, then off to the SF w/Casey Cochran. Met up w/Nate Visconti, Jake Sorensen, Jessi Bucey, Sabeen Knows Techno, Kathryn Woodworth, Anna Felver, Matt Felver, and others. Ate, skated, drank. Woke up early to catch a plane to Maui. Left the airport, met a friend, ate free food. Back to Honolulu. . .

Though Christmas had wrapped up and I was getting on a plane on the 27th, I took full advantage of the 26th in terms of seeing people and going places.  My day started with lunch at IHOP with Casey and our good buddy Justin.  Justin is a busy, busy man with like ten jobs and fifty side projects, so he couldn’t stay too long or come with us to our next destination: the City.  Casey and I took BART to San Francisco where we planned to go ice skating in Union Square with some high school friends.  Along the way from the Embarcadero station to Union Square, we met up with Nate.  Each of my friends was glad the other guy wasn’t going to skate either, for neither could/wanted to.

While waiting in a short but slow line for a chai tea latte and cannoli (sad news: they had no cannoli, so I got a random, twisty pastry), Jake and Jessi arrived.  I couldn’t hang out with them just once.  More good news for Casey and Nate: neither Jake nor Jessi were skating either.  That’s okay, my skating friends were still coming.  I was just glad Casey wasn’t going to be hanging by himself outside the rink.

Finally, Sabeen and Anna showed up, as did Anna’s brother, Matt.  The three of them just come from a performance of The Nutcracker.  I would have joined them, but $100 a ticket was a little too steep for a show.  I’ll just YouTube it.

We were nine-people strong with over an hour to kill (our tickets were for a specific timeslot), so we decided to grab some nostalgia-infused burgers at Lori’s Diner, a ’50s-style restaurant.  During our two-block journey there, Anna’s boyfriend and his buddy joined us, so we were a party of twelve going into the poor diner (the extra seat was for Kate, who was joining up with us later).  It actually turned into a party of thirteen because a friend of Anna’s boyfriend’s buddy came along.  The sheer volume of surrounding friends–from as long ago as elementary school to as recent as right then–put a smile on my face.  I was drunk off euphoria.

(Just as a guide, here’s how I group everybody: Casey–elementary-high school; Sabeen, Anna, Kate–high school; Nate, Jake, Jessi–college.  The mixing of friends makes me happy, too.)

With the high school group. Pretty background, pretty company, awkward stance.

As a server, I empathized with our waiter when we asked for split checks.  He was happy to do it, but I drew him a diagram anyway.  I was pretty happy with the diagram, actually, which included a representation of the table and the number of seats around it, the different paying groups numbered and divided by lines, with reference points for orientation, i.e. stairs are on this side, giant airplane to the right, pie shelf to the left, etc.  It was probably the smoothest I’ve paid for a meal in a group that big.

After dinner, we finally took to the rink.  Half of us, anyway.  The ice, however, was crowded with amateurs.  I’m not even sure if what I did was skating or more just standing in a forward motion.  During skate trains and newbie dodging (I imagined I was Han Solo navigating an asteroid field), my friend Juliana finally met up with us.  She’s a friend from college, so it worked out perfectly that those standing on the sideline were Jake, Jessi, and Nate.

On the sidelines. The most attractive poses for Juliana, Casey, Jake, and Jessi.

The sideliners eventually took off for a nearby bar.  After a few more minutes of ice rink traffic jam, I joined them.  Everyone else, determined to skate every minute they paid for, joined in about an hour later.  The bar we ended up in was an Irish pub about half a block from Union Square.  We got a nice little corner with a long booth and were waited on by a crazy, old Irish lady.  I think she liked me.

In pairs and groups, my friends started leaving little by little.  For every friend I reunited with during this trip, I had to say goodbye to all over again.  Eventually, it was just me and Casey driving back to Livermore from the BART station (luckily we got a ride there and didn’t have to take BART).  Okay, it was more Casey driving and me falling asleep in the passenger seat.  That Irish pub had good beer.  I needed all the sleep I could get because I had a 7:40 AM flight to catch the next morning.

For some reason, the cheapest flight back to Honolulu included a three-hour layover in Maui.  Didn’t bother me, though.  For one, I’d never been to Maui, and two, the layover was long enough for me to leave the airport (one of my requirements for having visited a place).  As my days left in Hawaii become fewer–and my off-season tip income gets smaller–the reality of completing my Hawaii bucket list seems further away.  One goal is to visit the five other main islands.  I was determined to leave the airport to check off one-fifth of an item on that bucket list.

I hesitated at the exit gate, not sure where to go, what to see, or if I had enough time to come back and stand at the checkpoint.  But then I left.  Who cares what I’m not sure about?  I couldn’t come this close to another island without leaving the airport.  Bottom line.  I pulled out my laptop and looked on Google Maps for anything nearby.  I was this close to cabbing it to Bubba Gump’s, but that was in the main tourist city of Lahain, which is on the west side.  I was in Kahului on the north side.  Granted, it wouldn’t be too long of a taxi ride, but every minute counted in this layover.  Luckily, something in Kahului part of the map caught my eye: Whole Foods Market.

It took under ten minutes and less than ten dollars to get there by taxi.  I was excited by the prospect of seeing my old friend and coworker An Qi (whom you may remember from YMWW #13) at the Kikka Sushi stand inside.  If she worked here as often as she did in the Honolulu store, I was confident she’s be behind the counter when I arrived.  And she was.

An Qi was pleasantly surprised and a little confused to see me.  She was so excited, she bought me lunch.  It had been a while since I chowed down on the Kikka Sushi lunch special.  We talked for a while outside about her lazy coworkers and how Maui differs from Oahu.  She eventually had to go back inside, so I wandered around the outdoor Maui Mall for a bit.  It was small and empty.  I got bored right away and spent the next half hour on my laptop.

The most exciting part of Maui Mall! Yipee.

Luckily, An Qi convinced her friend to drive me back to the airport at the start of his lunch break.  At first, the guy seemed a little annoyed albeit willing, but by the time we started driving, he became very talkative.  He warmed up as soon as he found out I was a Filipino from the mainland, just like him.  I told him about my current wandering lifestyle and he told me all about his past jobs and relationships, and what ultimately drove him to Maui.  During the last few minutes to the airport, he started telling me about this one flight he was on where the engines failed.  He was sure he was going to die.  I was sure that wasn’t a story you tell somebody while dropping them off at the airport.  If I were anybody else, I’d have probably started freaking out.  Instead, I laughed to myself about the morbid irony of the situation.

I parted ways with my five-minute friend, thanking him profusely for the favor.  I definitely need to return to Maui to get the full experience, but I’m counting this little stop as a visit.  And it was a great end cap to a fantastic trip home.  With almost two weeks of memories and much less money in my account, I was ready to hop on that last plane to Honolulu.

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Young Man Went West #23-C: California Chronicles, Part III

California Chronicles: Part III—Around the Bay and Beyond

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Glen Ellen (Camp Milagros) ∙ Livermore ∙ San Francisco

Camp officially ended around noon on Sunday, so I still had half that day plus the following three to see as many people in as many places as I could before leaving.  I slept almost the entire drive back home.  The power nap came in handy, as not long after I dropped my duffle of dirty clothes in the laundry room, my parents and I took off for San Francisco.  We were going to meet my sister and her boyfriend Amit at the Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39.  You’d think I’d want to take a break from that place during my time off, but my motive was two-fold: I wanted to see how easy it would be to try out my employee discount at another location, and a family dinner was my mom’s belated birthday gift, so it might as well be a half-priced dinner.  Fifty bucks for dinner for five ain’t bad at all.

After finding a sweet shirt at the market (a black retro tee my coworkers envy), we took our seat at a corner booth near the front.  Sitting in a different Bubba’s is a strange experience; everything is completely brand new yet strangely familiar at the same time.  I was in a parallel universe.

I’d told my family to not let the server know I was an employee because I wanted to see how his service compared to that at my location.  At first, I wasn’t impressed.  He came around half as often as I do, and didn’t start trivia until we asked.  I later found out that he was the bartender as well, so I forgave him.  Also, he had some good trivia questions.  When he realized I wasn’t answering until the questions were too hard for my dad and sister, he figured out that I was an employee.  He gave me the discount without asking for proof, and I gave him twenty percent, base rate for a server-to-server tip.

We parted ways with my sister and Amit after dinner, and my parents and I just strolled around Fisherman’s Wharf for a few hours.  It was great to talk with my parents, to see and smell the City, to wear layers.  It was great to be back.

My sister and me at Bubba Gump's in San Francisco

Monday, August 9, 2010

Berkeley ∙ Livermore

One half day in Berkeley was not enough, so I woke up Monday morning and hopped on BART to the Downtown Berkeley station on Shattuck.  First, I met up with Bianca and had pizza and beer at Jupiter’s.  Wait, I need to emphasize that: I had gourmet, brick oven pizza and locally-brewed beer at one of my favorite ale houses in Berkeley.  I was in heaven, and with good company.  Bianca, a fellow UC Berkeley Film Studies graduate, also works an entry-level job at a museum.  We met up with Nate afterwards, who graduated a year before me and is still on the job hunt.  Every friend I meet makes me feel better about my post-graduate situation, but worse about the trend in general.  At least we’re all in it together!

Two friends in tow, I headed to campus and met up with two more, Felicity and Taylor.  They’re still in school, so they’re all bright-eyed and hopeful about the future.  Just they wait.  We strolled through our lovely Alma Mater and past Memorial Stadium because I wanted to see the construction progress on the soon-to-be Student High Peformance Athletic Center.  Not much progress since I left, as expected.

After a quick bite at Gypsy’s, we dropped Bianca off at BART and explored a bit of North Berkeley.  For those unfamiliar with the area, North Berkeley is nice Berkeley.  It’s a clean, high-brow neighborhood home to more professors and less panhandlers.  In true North Berkeley style, we made our last stop a tea house terrace.  The weather was perfect, the tea was tasty, and we had a fun time pretending to be sophisticated.

I returned to Livermore that night in time for my childhood friend Matt’s 24th birthday party at none other than First Street Ale House.  The room was filled with a few familiar faces—namely Tasha, Casey, Justin, and Anna—but mostly strangers.  This was the social circle Matt developed over the past five years, and while he has these people and I have my college and Hawaii friends, we still came together like high school was yesterday.  He’s still the same old silly, caring, goofy, honest Matt with whom I grew up.  I hope I haven’t changed too much.

Bianca, Taylor, Nate, Felicity, and me around the Pappy Statue at UC Berkeley

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sacramento

I had known before I left Hawaii that I was going to spend significant time in Sacramento, not only because my sister lived there, but also (and mainly) because that’s where my college roommate Jake moved to after we graduated.  Jake, Lawrence, and I shared the same small living spaces for four years, and now we reside in three different time zones.  While I couldn’t take a detour to Chicago to visit Lawrence, I did have the opportunity to see Jake again, and I was definitely going to take it.  Jake joined my family for dinner at a classy beer and pizza place (notice a trend?) and then we attempted to catch an early screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  Although he won the tickets from the radio, they oversold the screening and we got there too late.  No worries though, the theater was a short walk from Old Sacramento and Jake’s new place of employment on the Delta King, a hotel-slash-restaurant on a boat.

My old friend gave me a tour of the boat and of Old Sac.  It’s an interesting little town, but not as interesting as the conversations we had, about anything and everything, as usual.  Jake and I operate on the same brainwaves, no pretenses, no social walls, no awkward silences.  It was refreshing.  Too bad Lawrence couldn’t be there.

I got to see the apartment he lives in with his longtime girlfriend, Jessi.  It was definitely cleaner than our digs in Berkeley, and was furnished with a giant TV and two awesome cats.  After joining my sister and her friends for a couple drinks downtown, he took me to a bar across the street from his place and we split a pitcher of beer over foosball and pool.  A simple good time with a simply great friend.

Jake, Jessi, and their two cats--Lucius Vorenus and Niobe--in their Sacramento apartment

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sacramento ∙ Lotus ∙ San Francisco

I spent the night on Jake and Jessi’s couch, falling asleep to TMNT.  We finished the Ninja Turtles movie the next morning and then went out for breakfast.  There are never sad goodbyes with Jake and I, just see-you-laters.  And I will.  Hell, he’s half-serious about moving to Seattle when I do.

I had plans to see some friends in San Francisco, but seeing as I was so close to Lotus, my dad suggested I first stop by there to see my grandma.  Lotus is about an hour northeast of Sac, but two hours back to Livermore.  Still, I went.

When I got there, it was only grandma, Uncle Junior, and Auntie Tessy.  I saw “only” because I’m used to that house filled with ten to eighty people.  It was like visiting an amusement park during the offseason.  My auntie and uncle were glad to see me and asked me tons of questions while forcing me to eat.  I declined food four or five times before giving in.  It’s hard to say no when your relative is already making you a plate.

The house is in a constant state of renovation, and besides a well-tended garden, the newest additions to the Lotus house were a poolside bamboo nipa hut and matching tiki bar.  Our family parties are going to amazing!

The Nipa Hut and Tiki Bar at our house in Lotus

After about an hour of eating unnecessarily and watching Filipino game shows, I headed back to Livermore, took a shower, and drove to the BART station to catch a train to the Mission District.  When I got there, my friend Juliana was finishing up work and Nate was still on his way over, so I had some time to just wander around the Mission solo for a bit.  I’d never really explored this area beyond the taquerias, but got excited as I imagined myself living there in five to ten years.  It’s an interesting neighborhood filled with impressive street art, small bars, and an abundance of Mexican restaurants.  I put it on my “to move to” list

I finally met up with my friends at Juliana’s super nice, very San Francisco-y house, and by that I mean a house that looks tall and small in the front, but extends quite far back.  We had some Mission Mexican food while I ranted about Hawaii’s problems (namely, how it lacks a rail system, recycling programs, and available girls).  I love the island, but not as much as complaining about it in front of people who so desperately want to go.  My ranting quieted a bit when my torta al pastor came out.  It wasn’t as good as what I scarfed down daily in Mexico, but it was far better than anything I could find in Hawaii (another thing it’s lacking).

Nate and I hit a bar for a bit to give Juliana some time to study as she’s one of my few friends that actually does school work.  She still hasn’t learned the art of studying just enough to BS your way through a class.  She must have graduated from Berkeley the hard way.  By the time we got back to her house, Juliana was ready for a break, so we played Clue.  Board games are such simple pleasures; I don’t know why people don’t play as often.  A few hours and YouTube videos later, Juliana was ready for more reading so Nate and I headed back to our respective homes.  We said our goodbyes and took off into the night.

Juliana shows off her awesome apron in her San Francisco house

***

Revisiting California was a refreshing break from monotony.  I soaked in my ability to recycle, to wear jackets, to drive 80+ miles per hour.  As I left those things behind, I took with me the knowledge that no matter how far I move or for how long, I will always have friends and family in Califoria ready to welcome me back home, hopefully over some pizza and beer.

FIN

Sigh, I guess it was time to leave California and come back to this. . .

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YMWW #23-A: California Chronicles, Part I

Part I: Back in Town

Monday, August 2, 2010

After an uneventful, five-hour flight, I was finally back in the Bay Area.  (Edit: I say “uneventful” like a bad thing, but it occurs to me that “eventful” flights usually mean catastrophe.  This flight was perfect.)  My parents picked me up at SFO, but seeing as it was past nine o’clock and near their bedtime, we skipped the restaurants and went straight home to Livermore.  After a meal of leftover ribs and rice, I gravitated towards the digital cable and 60-inch HD TV and got caught up on Entourage.  One hour into my vacation and I was already playing couch potato.

‘Round about one in the morning, my good friend Ian came by to pick me up.  Everything was closed by this hour, like any decent suburb, so we drove around just to drive around.  He pointed out a few new additions to Downtown Livermore—such as the newly-expanded First Street Ale House, the type of pub-slash-restaurant prevelent in Berkeley but lacking in Honolulu—but for the most part, the city entire was just as I’d left it.  Still, we drove.

We drove and we didn’t stop talking.  The conversation was continuous and seemlessly slipped from one topic to the next.  We discussed everything from girl problems to the possible city infrastructure of San Jose.  Before we knew it, it was three o’clock in the morning by the time he took me back to my place.  The car stopped in my driveway, but the conversation did not.  It was not until an hour and a half later did I finally head upstairs to go to sleep.

I took that first night of shooting the breeze in a car with my friend as a good omen, a foreshadowing of the fun, easy time we will have during our roadtrip around the country.  I will go into detail of this later, but basically, Ian and I plan to drive around the continental United States for an entire summer next year, starting in the Bay Area, going up through the Pacific Northwest and then across the northern states, working our way down all the essential cities of the East Coast into Florida, and then back through the South.  The theme of the trip (besides avoiding Middle America) is frugality; we will couchsurf, crash in the car, or camp before considering a hostel, our last resort.  Seeing as three hours flew by during our tour of Livermore, I truly believe our roadtrip will go off without a hitch.  Well, without many hitches.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ian picked me up the next morning for more car-wandering.  This time it wasn’t as aimless; our plan was to drive up the Peninsula for the sake of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.  Before heading out, Ian and I stopped at Safeway to buy ingredients for a pack lunch.  We spent about half an hour deciding between this sandwich and that before realizing we were both already hungry.  We ditched Safeway for hot food and beer at First Street Ale House.  I love that kind of spontaneous decision-making.  I live that kind of spontaneous decision-making.

Bellies full, the two of us continued on our trip up the Peninsula.  It was a comfort to once again see familiar golden hills, wide open spaces, and highways that made sense.  When we reached the Bridge, I whipped out my camera and started snapping away like a tourist.  It was narrower than I remember, but than again, I don’t really remember the one other time I crossed the Bridge.  I guess it was narrower than I expected.  Shorter, too.  I’ve found monuments are usually smaller in real life than in pictures and expectations.  Still, the familiar orange towers shrouded by grey fog forced a giant smile upon my face.  We pulled around to Vista Point on the other end so I could take an unnecessary amount of same-angle pictures of the Frisco icon.  Dressed in shorts, slippers (read: “flip flops” in CA), and a zipped-up hoodie, I fully indulged my Hawaiian tourist persona.

Fifty pictures later, Ian dropped me off in Berkeley so I could meet up with my friend Olivia, who just happened to have the day off.  I hadn’t seen Olivia in a year, but we quickly got caught up on what we’ve been doing since graduating.  Basically, nothing.  We were both too proud about it, too.

Olivia and I made all the necessary Berkeley stops: Upper Playground, Rasputin, Brazil Cafe, Beckett’s, spending money we didn’t have on things we shouldn’t have bought.  Along the way, we met up with my friend Ben who also—surprise, surprise—was working entry-level jobs solely to pay rent.  There the three of us sat: Berkeley graduates.  Minimum-wage warriors.  Twenty-somethings with uncertain futures but no worries about them.  We should be the poster-children on the post-recession University of California brochures.  Go Bears!

Another beautiful double-exposure photo from my friend Daeja Fallas (www.daejafallas.com) feature the one and only Golden Gate Bridge

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YMWW #7: Things I’ve Learned So Far

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

(Originally posted on Facebook)

Hello all and welcome to my long overdue blog #7. I meant to write you sooner, but I’ve just been busy (most of you did not know that I just quoted Eminem’s “Stan”). Seriously though, with full-time work and my volunteer gig at the Hawaii International Film Festival (more on that in the future), I haven’t had many opportunities to update the blog. I think I’ve literally spent more time inside Whole Foods Market than outside exploring! Don’t worry, I’ve come up with plenty of ideas, and I plan to stick to a weekly schedule. Here’s the first of the rest of my list.

Things I’ve Learned So Far

The original idea for this came about ten days ago, my first month-iversary of moving to the island. It was going to be called “One Month on the Island and. . . ” followed by a list of thing’s I’ve learned. Now, as you can see, it is going by a more mundane title. Oh well, let’s get it on!

How to Connect the Dots: I’d visited O’ahu plenty of times in the past, but haven been driven around everywhere by my family, I never learned where everything was in relation to each other. I remembered what my family’s different houses looked like, but had no idea how to place them on a map, and I didn’t know how far away they were from Waikiki or North Shore or the Dole Plantation or Pearl Harbor. Now, all those memory dots are connected. After learning the roads and the lay of the land, I not only know where all of these locations are, I know how to get there on my own. . . well, except for my aunt and uncle’s house in Waipahu. I always get lost, and in different ways.

The Deadbeats are Awesome: A week after moving to O’ahu, my cousin’s friends (now my friends) invited me to a 21st birthday party at a bar called Jazz Minds. “There’s a house band that plays at 10:30,” they said. Cool, I thought, some nice background music would be nice, especially jazz. So, I’m in the bar and I start to rethink whether or not it was a good idea to go out on a Wednesday night because, 1) I’m out $5 for the cover and still had to meet a $20 minimum to use a card; 2) I had to wake up before 6 AM the following morning; and 3) I got there a lot earlier than everyone else. As I was keeping myself busy by chewing on some free peanuts, the band walks up on stage. And, BOOM! They instantaneously fill the bar with energy! An upbeat, funky tune pours out over the crowd in the form of drums, a keyboard, a bass, and a saxophone. I immediately perk up. Right away, the frontman—a skinny, white hipster with a fedora and glasses—starts rapping! Despite my inability to understand his lyrics, I enjoyed how his words flowed and mixed with sax. I sat and watched for the next couple of hours. The Deadbeats easily convinced me that going out on a Wednesday night was a good idea. I even returned the next Wednesday and bought their CD. I’ve been listening to it endlessly since then.

Of course, it would be pointless for me to talk about music without sharing it. It’s like eating sugarless candy. Have yourself a listen at their MySpace page.

San Francisco Followed Me Here: Sorta. Beyond the fact that there’s a Fisherman’s Wharf off of Ala Moana, is see “Cable Car” tour trolleys everyday. They travel along my route to work and are everywhere in Waikiki. They don’t run along cables or tracks. They haul around Japanese tourists, equating in their minds “Cable Car” trolleys with Hawai’i instead of with San Francisco. They’re an atrocity to my homeland.

However, there are some cargo cranes that sit off the edge of Chinatown that remind me of Oakland. These, unlike those lame Not-Cable Cars, bring a smile to my face.

Direction Descriptions: Because driving on an island has the potential to be simple, the inhabitants had to balance out the difficulty of it by coming up with different directional terms. They are as follows:

ewa (EH-vuh)—means “west” because Ewa Beach lies west of Honolulu

diamondhead—means “east” because Diamondhead Crater lies east of Honolulu

makai (ma-KIGH)—means “toward the sea” and is used instead of “north” or “south”

mauka (MAU-ka)—means “toward the mountains” and is used instead of “north” or “south”

So to get to Jazz Minds from my place, I’d go ewa down Kapiolani past Atikinson. The place will be on the makai side of the street.

I don’t yet use these terms comfortably. They seemed forced and fake coming out of my mouth. Kind of like I can’t naturally say “shoots” (meaning “okay, alright” as in: “Let’s go beach.” “Shoots, let’s go.”) or “ono” (meaning “delicious”). Maybe someday.

Tourists Create a Positive Aura: Local people hate tourists. It’s true in any place that relies on tourism. They are clueless invaders disturbing our way of life. At least, that’s the general consensus. Caught somewhere between Tourist and Local, I have been granted a different perspective on these aloha-shirt-wearing locusts: they are actually wonderful. In a less attractive city or town, you are surrounded by people living their everyday lives. They’re going to or coming from work. They’re running errands. They see nothing special in their surroundings. Tourists, on the other hand, have one goal: to enjoy life in the best way they know how. They move in groups with their friends and loved ones, stop to smelll the roses—literally and figuratively—and try to get the most out of each minute in a place they see as paradise. They remind you how awesome your own city truly is. Why wouldn’t you want to be around those people? That’s why, unlike the locals here, I enjoy walking around Waikiki. I am surrounded in the good vibrations of people having the times of their lives, and that, sir, is wonderful.

The Popularity of a Beach has an Indirect Relationship with the Attractiveness of its Populace: It’s a pretty straightforward rule of thumb: the more remote and unknown a beach is, the hotter the people will be. The more popular a beach is, the more man-thongs and tanlines-due-to-fat-creases you’ll see. Of course, this is because the popular beaches attract those who aren’t used to beaches, or being seen on one, i.e. tourists. Now, this may seem contradictory to my praise of tourists in the last topic, but I only said I liked to be around them; I don’t necessarily need to see them.

There is a Cure for Island Fever: . . . and it’s called the Internet. Before I left, some people warned me of getting Island Fever: a suffocating feeling of isolationism. I took their warnings as sour grapes. I doubted I would get Island Fever; so far, I’ve been right. Obviously, Island Fever is only a mental problem, so just changing my perspective of the situation could quell it. The problem, people say, is that you don’t have the potential to travel far. I rationalized that the physical size of the land itself is pretty large. Thinking about my time in college, I rarely left the Bay Area; the size of the radius where I spent 90% of my time the past four years is smaller than the island, meaning I have plenty of area left to explore without getting sick of it. The real cause of Island Fever, I deduced, stems from the lack of communication with those one leaves behind. My dad picked up and moved to Hawai’i when he was about my age (admittedly, I’m not quite the pioneer people have made me out to be). However, he only lasted the summer. He said that after endless days of hanging out with family and going to the library, he got bored. He got “Island Fever.” Well, yeah, I’d get bored, too, if I couldn’t talk to my friends and family back in California. With the coming of the Internet, that type of social isolationism has disappeared. Not only do I have friends and family here, I’m in constant communication with those I left behind, many via this blog. Communication with the whole world is at my fingertips, so I cannot possibly feel isolated on this beautiful island. Thank you, Internet. Keep on being wonderful.

And finally. . .

Meisa Kuroki Gave Me Yellow Fever: . . . and I mean that in the chauvinistic and racially- insensitive way. She is the star of Dance, Subaru!, the Japanese film I saw at the Hawaii International Film Festival. While the movie was predictable and cliche, she kept me pretty entertained the entire time. Her mom is Okinawan, her dad is Japanese-Panamanian, and she is gorgeous. Huzzah!

Yes, she is replacing this entry’s Roxy model. I don’t expect complaints.

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