Tuesday, June 26, 2007

my big book of grievances, part 37

You know what's really annoying? Coming home to a freezer full of empty ice trays. Especially? When you live alone.

I've been catching up on my TV:
  • I know there's a lot of debate on the Sopranos finale, but I liked it. I didn't particularly enjoy the 10 or so seconds that I thought my DVR was malfunctioning (would it kill you to use a fade-to-black, David Chase?) but I liked the ending.
  • I also caught up on 4 episodes of Studio 60 (which I know, I know, is high-brow crap, but I liked it) and
  • the season finale of House, which I am starting to not care about.
  • Oh, and Standoff? Did that get renewed? Am I the only person in America that watches it? Because I really, really like it.
I haven't got to Big Love or John from Cincinnati yet. Oh! or The 4400. Man, I love year-round programming.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

the hippie is strong with me today.

That's what Erin always says to me when I come over smelling like rosewood or lavender. She thinks all my oils smell like patchouli, even though I hate patchouli and don't have a single scent containing it. :)

Nathaniel bought me a terrapass. The company calculates your ecological footprint and then counteracts it with an clean-emission energy source. Basically they reduce the 40,000 lbs of CO2 that my own personal air travel adds to the ozone each year. So I am now a certified carbon-balanced traveler, and have a luggage tag that says so. I'm sure a lot of you will think that is a crazy gift, but I thought it was really sweet.

Tomorrow night is date night with Superman & Wonderwoman (and we've recently added a 4th to our little Justice League... enter Pixieboots). The rules for date night are pretty stringent: you have to wear a superhero shirt (or the next nerdiest shirt in your suitcase-- mine on this trip will be a Doctor Who shirt; I forgot my Batgirl tee). Wonderwoman & Batgirl have to wear their hair in pigtails because it makes Superman happy. Batgirl is in charge of picking the restaurant and the bar, so Superman & Wonderwoman don't have to make any decisions. There is no photographic evidence of date night. There's usually an end-of-the-night group hug that leads Batgirl into declaring that she is going back to her room alone and prissing "you all have dirty minds!!" Who knows what we'll think of next but I'm sure it will be sketchy at best.

In other fun news, I booked my flight to see Krysten and Chanelle! Wheeee!

Monday, June 18, 2007

the worst case of the Sunday night blues EVER... on Monday.

I can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. Because it turns out? I am really, really good at not working. Truly, I excel at it. I have had one of the best weeks ever, and I couldn't be more bummed out about having to set my alarm tomorrow, and wear make-up, and put on SOCKS. *slump*

OK, so.... Maui. Thanks, Shels, for pointing me toward the Makai Inn. It couldn't have been cuter. No maid service, no TV, no telephone even, but the kitchiest little rooms with mismatched beach towels and funky seashell lamps, and just a wonderful homey and eccentric place. I loved it.

And I loooooooved Maui! Honolulu-where? C'MON![/Gob] Maui is gorgeous, and not like the way you think of Hawai'i with white sand beaches and palm trees. It's full of mountains and rainforests and black sand beaches and sugar plantations and cattle ranches. It's pretty much about the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Oh, it's just wonderful. No cities, so the stars are brilliant, and the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets I've ever seen. Plus it's always raining in the mountains and sunny on the coast, so there's literally rainbows everywhere you look. I could really get used to the island life. I never even took my hair dryer out of my suitcase. No make-up, no watch, just flipflops and tank tops over my bathing suit all day every day. Heaven!!

The first day there we drove the Road to Hana. 52 miles, 3 rental cars (3!!), 71 one-way bridges, and over 300 hairpin curves. It was a crazy, breathtaking drive that I made at about 10 mph, while Bree hung over the edge of whatever car we happened to be in at the time and took over 300 pictures. The majority of the road is through a rainforest, and to the west there are sheer cliffs plunging down to lava rocks or black sand beaches, and to the east are green mountains that trail up into the clouds. The shallow coral reefs turn the ocean all sorts of brilliant shades of blue and green-- our pictures don't even begin to do it justice. Here you can kind of see the road cut into the side of the mountain:

The second day we got on a bus at 2am and drove up to the top of Haleakala. That's the extinct-though-some-scientists-say-it's-just-dormant volcano that created the island of Maui. You could fit the island of Manhattan in the crater (7 miles across), and the rim's elevation is at about 10,000 ft. (That's about twice as high as Denver, for relativity.) We watched the sun rise around 5:20am, way up above the cloud cover. It's like you're walking around on Mars up there:

Bree took the bus back down but I took a bicycle. It was one of the most stunning things I've ever done. The trail is in the Guiness Book of World Records because it goes from 10,000 ft. to sea level in less than 40 miles. I biked it, yo, although I never once turned the pedals. It was kind of like snow-skiing, but on asphalt, and with the vague sensation that if you fell down it would probably hurt a lot more. We stayed between 15-25mph, and the first half was way above the clouds, through the 3rd largest cattle ranch in the United States, randomly, and the 2nd half was through a lot of protea fields and more residential areas, that smelled of fir and rosemary and lavender. I don't have enough adjectives to describe it.

The following day we toured a lavender garden and a winery. The lavender garden was really interesting - it's at about 4,000 ft, and apparently the lava rock creates a natural irrigation system for the fields because it's so pourous-- when it rains up at the top it all filters down to the fields. It was beautiful. The winery was really pretty, too, and yes, I brought back some pineapple wine.

The last day we went snorkeling and I haven't developed my underwater pictures yet, but we went out on a biodiesel boat to the Molokini crater (obviously, not my photo) and it was really awesome. I saw a ton of fish and an eel, and a big sea turtle. Bree and I also took lots of pictures of the windmills; for some reason I'm completely obsessed with them. It was really cloudy up that high so I couldn't get a good shot, but still, they're just so sci-fi and creepy (click to enlarge).

That night we also went to a traditional Hawaiian luau. It was fun but really touristy, and not something I really ever have to do again.

The flight home was eventful and we almost didn't make it, but 3 airplanes and 12 hours later I landed in San Diego, and I spent the weekend with Sloane & Rob. We saw a Neil Diamond cover band and went kayaking in the Pacific and ate sushi and watched Arrested Development, and I got to hang with three of my favorite pooches in the world. I almost cried when I had to check into my hotel tonight.

So there you have it. My Hawaiian vacation. Back to work tomorrow, with a peeling nose and probably a piss-poor attitude. Did anyone miss me??

Saturday, June 09, 2007

here today, gone to Maui

Sorry I haven't updated until now. The show sucked and I feel like all I did was work and sleep for the past 10 days (and eat... they are not healthy people, these islanders) but we finally finished yesterday and went to the beach:

It was breathtaking, and those whitecaps you see down there were pretty serious. You know how in the cartoons, when the water makes a fist and just pummels you in the face? Yeah, it was like that. That ocean kicked ass and took names. Ill-named, the Pacific. It knocked me right off my feet, more than once, and I'm pretty sure I never have to eat salt again based on the amount of the sea I ingested this afternoon alone. I also, despite my liberal and frequent applications of SPF 55 (55!), got burnt to a crisp, and at the moment trying to decide if it will be more painful for me to wear a bra and sleeves, or wear a halter top that hits me in all the right un-burned places, but listen to everyone say something to the effect of "Wow, you really got some SUN!" ... as if I wasn't painfully, painfully aware.

I am packing to hop a 35-minute flight to Maui. I am really looking forward to getting off Oahu- about 75% of Hawai'i's 1.2 million people live here in the city and truthfully, I am not impressed with Honolulu in general. I won't have internet access for the next few days, but I'll be back stateside next weekend and will hopefully have lots of pictures and stories for you.


Monday, June 04, 2007

a plug for independent film...

I promise to update about Hawai'i soon (I'm working my ass off but once I'm out of work the world is just a little bit more beautiful here than it is at home) but for now I need to plug a film made by a friend of my Uncle Al's. Dave is an Austin filmmaker and although it has won numerous awards, his film doesn't have the advertising budget of a big summer blockbuster. Please go see it, and tell your friends about it, too.

CHALK is a comedy about new teachers, made by former teachers, and shot in the style of NBC’s ‘The Office.’ 50% of teachers quit within the first three years. This film is dedicated to those who don’t.

Watch the trailer!

Read reviews!!

Do that myspace thang!!!

CHALK is currently playing in...

SAN DIEGO -- Landmark Ken Cinema

ST. LOUIS -- Landmark Tivoli Theatre

AUSTIN -- Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar

AUSTIN -- Regal Arbor

CHICAGO -- Landmark Century Center Cinemas

DALLAS -- Landmark Magnolia

CHALK is coming soon to New York, NY -- June 8 and Atlanta, GA -- June 15.