Thursday, February 26, 2009

There Is No "Hotel Waikiki"

Long live Hotel Waikiki

Click this picture.

Couple of quick facts you should know upfront, before we begin...

Ron and I live 5,000 miles apart.
He has never given me his address.

I've never been to Honolulu (or left the mainland) before.

Ron is totally cool.

I can name plenty of other people who would freak out (not in the fun way, either) about the thing I just did, but Ron took it all better than I could've hoped for. Oh - and thank you for not thinking I am a stalker, Ron. This fun little idea really could've gotten rather messy.


In an unprecedented act of preparedness, I started planning a trip about a year ago. I had it all sewn up about ten months in advance, and that left me plenty of time to think about it all and make sure I didn't book something insufferable. "Maybe that ain't a good hotel." "Maybe this town is boring." That sort of thing.

Somewhere along the way, I'll admit it, I typed in "Hotel Waikiki" thinking maybe I'd overlooked the obvious. I got a lot of results for hotels in Waikiki, but I didn't get an actual Hotel Waikiki. I did find a blog (can I call it a "blog"?) by that name and, hell, I just enjoy the crap out of it. I don't follow more than about three of these so-called "blogs", but this one is at the top of my list. I like to know what's goin' on there 50% of the way to the other side of the Earth, and I like the way he tells it. I've been following his blog for about a year, I guess. I'm amused that he lives someplace sunny and warm, and he finds it quaint that I live in Antfuckingarctica (if you'll allow me the incestuous tmesis.)

The day before my visit to Waikiki, I took a photo at my local beach and posted it here. About 24 hours later, I stood on the beach at Waikiki and took a photo of the landscape, while holding that photo of my local beach. The resultant photograph is a work I call "Turd in a Punchbowl".

Then (and I remind you that we live 5,000 miles apart and have never actually met) I took the photo and one other from this blournal (that I posted a while back) over to where I thought Ron's house was so I could put them somewhere on/in his motorcycle.

I found his house on the first try. Gotta admit, that was pretty exciting for me. I had a strong idea of where it was, but if I was wrong Honolulu was going to get real big real quick. I had high hopes for pulling this off, but I hadn't much even held out the possibility of failure. When I turned the corner of the first building I tried and saw the motorcycle... the grin was ear to ear. I tucked the photos in a flap on his motorcycle cover and got the hell out of there before he saw me messing with it.

I'd say Ron was appropriately blown away by it all, so the whole experience remains perfectly intact. I'm gonna count this as one of the cooler things I've ever done.

I thought about explaining exactly how I found the place (I can't explain how I found it on the first try, but most all of my vacation seemed to work out just like that) but then I thought better of it. If enough of you rabid "NOT a Blog" fans decide to try your own hand at it, well poor Ron could end up with a whole lot of crappy pictures if you know what I mean. I'd like to say that I just used my brain and leave it at that.

No, Ron, I don't work for the National Security Agency. I also work alone.
That wasn't my beach chair.
I don't like the snow any more than you.

Hope that explains it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Change of Scenery.

That's better.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Change of Scenery?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ass Crack


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Barely qualifying as "something to do"

Friday, February 06, 2009

Office Party

...not at the office.

Many a fancy Sao Paulo Ipe tree fell for this deck at the front entryway.

...but this piece of Appalachian kitsch only required twigs. Cute, though.


Main course.


...and red meat strikes again.

Honestly, does it really taste that good going down?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

For Those of You Keeping Score at Home

The response to my letter from the previous post.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Episode 233 which religion is foisted upon the unsuspecting masses, and one attendee fires off an unappreciative letter.

Hi Mrs. *******,
I feel compelled to share with you that this year's choral performance at the District III Music Festival left me feeling nonplussed. Between the couple of songs sung in the perhaps less-than-mellifluous (simply by virtue of its judicious use of fricatives) language of Hebrew, and the Hebrew soliloquies which required translation for the uninitiated, well, it started to feel like a ceremony celebrating the Jewish faith. Is that what you had in mind? I was left thinking maybe so.

Curious choice, particularly in the nondenominational setting of a public school.

Though certainly in this neck of the woods French is a more common language, yet another song ("Amani") sung in a foreign language for an English-speaking crowd only served to further abandon the concept of accessability. Had only one song been done that way it would've stuck out as something unique, but when three out of five songs are performed in a foreign language, they take on a life as "another one that we won't be able to follow", even with those brief (and presented without context) translations between selections.

As a choral director, I'm sure you agree that music is best when words and melody combine to evoke emotion. By and large, the audience were denied that experience for much of Saturday's performance. We struggled to ascribe real meaning to the emotion that the words and music were trying to convey. Consequently, by removing this key element from our appreciation of the music, I think you may have shorted yourself in that we didn't get a chance to see your skills flourish in this area.

I'm well aware that, by expressing these thoughts, I'm subjecting myself to the prospect of being written off simply as closed-minded or intolerant, but please understand my approach is much more circumspect, and I ask you to please look at this situation as objectively as possible. If 3/5 of the songs were sung in Gaelic, I'd have the same concern.

Thank you for your time, and thank you for your effort.