These past two weeks I have been home, the home that I love dearly. Time is precious, and time at home is the rarest of all. Allow me to expound on my two week ineffable relaxation in Beantown. Last week, I worked three days (which I enjoyed), attended my best friend's wedding, went to the beach on the North Shore (as in Salisbury, MA; the waves were flat as a pancake), and went camping/hiking in the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. All healthy,wonderful activities. The stars in New Hampshire were lavish and the hike provided a view unadulterated by Man. Lest I forget, on Sunday I went to Church, probably the second most important part of my week (behind the Sealing). If that all sounds menail to you, just wait to see what I did this week! Monday, I ran and hung out with my uncle and his family, which mostly consisted of Olympic highlights. Tuesday I went on an incredible eight mile run along the Charles River. Can I give a Holla to Boston? Running bare chested along the river towards the Boston skyline, with the sun warmly caressing my skin and my favorite Boston radio stations in my ears is an euphoric feeling. Boston is a city unlike any other. I also watched the Sox wallop on the Yankees on Tuesday (and Wednesday). On Wednesday I prepared mentally for an intense bikeride slash swim. I biked to Walden Pond, swam across, and biked home. Walden Pond is the essence of New England; deliberately thoughtful and reverently mellow. Equidistant from the far sides, in the center of the lake, the only noises are those of the sparce canoes and the sound of the sun brazing your skin. The water is cool, clean, crisp, and roborant. Oh how I love Walden Pond! On Thursday I went to the Museum of Science to relive my childhood and see the special Baseball as America exhibit and the live Meerkats. We also ate hot dogs and apple pie to round off the day of Americana. On Friday I packed up, went for a delighful run around Fresh Pond (don't even get me started *again* on my love for water and trees in Massachusetts). Can a better state exist than Massachusetts? I think not.
24 August 2008
Closure is a good thing. Seeing as I am home in Boston, it seems appropriate that I give an accounting of my tenure at BYU-Hawai'i. Let me sum it up with nine words: "Working hard or hardly working, but mostly the latter." Hawai'i was an absolute blast. I skydove, cliff-jumped, hiked, surfed, beached, stargazed, boogie-boarded yurt...-ed, and flipped into various pools of water. I travelled by beater car, fancy car, road bike, Chaos bike (the most exciting, by far), Chaos pegs, longboard, pie (Spanish for feet; I try to accomadate my multilingual audience as much as I can), TheBus (Hawai'ian for "The Bus"), canoe, and homemade airplane (at least that's how it felt on the skydiving plane). I got stung by a jellyfish and scarred by a cockroach. I swam in waves taller than me, and saw a man doing fire poi balls on the beach. I ate Kailua island pig, a clam I found on the beach and immediately boiled upon returning home, threw a SPAM jam, had pineapple ice cream and fresh pineapple at the Dole Plantation, and drank lots of sea water (not recommeded; and be careful, my experience has been that if you find a coconut floating in the ocean the liquid inside is not coconut milk, it's sea water). I went octopus hunting, watched the sunset at Sunset beach, watched the Sunrise on Stairway to Heaven, and biked to Ted's Bakery from Laie. I touched sea turtles, had a bonfire on the beach, made many, many, great friends, and bonded with my brother. Oh yea, I also went to classes. I aced them both.
Topics: Hawaii 2008
16 August 2008
My favorite event to watch in the 2008 Beijing Olympics? Hands and flippers down, it's Michael Phelps. Can I give that Man-Fish a Holla? In the short span of eight days I have been captivated by his swimming and all of its intensities. The two Olympic events that stick out the most in my mind, like two sharks in a sea of fish, are Hermann Maier (Austria) at the 1998 Nagano (Japan) Olympics performing candidly an unbelievable crash, and the American relay team win the 2008 Beijing (China, in case you live in a hole) Olympics 4x100 Freestyle Relay. If you have not seen the 4x100 Freestyle Relay, you had better have a good excuse; the only appropriate one that comes to mind is if while trying to get to a comfortable standing postion in front of the television (you can't sit through something like that), you got attacked by a pack of javolinas with leprosy and you tripped over the TV and bent the electric plug. I would relate my feelings of that night and watching that victory to the feelings I had watching the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series. I had shortness of breath, a tingly feeling in my spine and left arm, and it felt like an elephant was standing on my chest. When Lezak jumped into the pool and swam the first fifty meters well behind our friends in France, I was worried. Even the announcers, who were screaming, spoke askance about America's chances at catching the wine-and-cheese swim club: "I just don't think they can do it, Dan" [NBC announcers as soon as Lezak jumped in the pool]. But then, out of the misty water and halfway through his leg of the relay, Lezak opened up a can of something and just let loose! (I really wanted to use some stronger words there but I think it would have detracted from the overall feeling of the blog.) BAM! Lezak stormed through the water like a bat out of Hades and caught and then surpassed the French! It was incredible! By less than .1 of a second he turned up the heat, overcame the defecit and won the GOLD MEDAL! It was the greatest Olympic moment in at least ten years, easily.
And then, when I thought I had seen enough swimming, Phelps brought me back to my senses. "Shame on you David" he said via satellite phone from the Olympic Village. How sweet was his gold medal in the 100 meter Butterfly? When he overcame Cavic in the last 5 meters my mom called him a tiger and my dad called him a geneticaly-engineered-wonder-fish-man (or some variation of adjectives similar to those). That was nuts! How does he do it?! He is a Tiger! His last stroke in the fly race-while Cavic kept his arms extended-was a true showing of Man verse nature and for once, Man won. Michael Phelps, I take my hat of to you. You are an inconceivably brilliant swimmer and a fierce competitor. I would not want to be in a dark pool with you though.
12 August 2008
With so many working, capable planes in the skies today, why, you might ask, would I board one with the intention of jumping out of it? And to throw another wrench in the wheel, why would I pay for it? The answer is easily found: I have an indefatigable desire for lightening speeds. My good mother approved my skydiving (and by approved what I mean is she realizes I am 22 and mostly capable of my own actions, except for some basic fundamentals like reading, tying both shoes [I just get so tired after one!] and walking the dog after dark), but after I landed she said "Oh Dang! I forgot you have absolutely no common sense when it comes to going fast! I never would have allowed you to go had I remembered!" How proud I was that she offered such a grand compliment! It came to me like a drop of fresh water on a salty lip. Skydiving was incredible. I would say it was indescribable, but that would be lying, as you shall soon see. First off, we boarded this itsy-bitsy plane with two long benches for seats and a pulldown door. Let me rephrase that, with a door. (Apparently the pulldown function was broken that day because the door remained open the entire ascent to 1400 ft, even through the jumper closest to it was not buckled in. He would stick his hand out the doorframe and let it glide in the wind). The plane took us over the deep blue and then, after watching one closely knit couple leap, it was my tandem's turn (it was not my turn, I had no control over when we went). We walked to the edge and before I could clap my hands we dove out of the plane, headfirst. We did flips and spins and twirls (manly twirls, not the ones ballerinas do); we went headfirst and pouting-chest first. We sped at 120mph straight down and watched as the ground got more and more decipherable. Mind you, we were over the ocean. I had my mouth open screaming with delight the whole time but I couldn't hear myself at all and my cheeks were blown up like a pufferfish. Maybe Evan-my instructor-went deaf from my screaming but I didn't even remember I was yelling until he pulled the chute. Once the chute was pulled we glided towards land, admiring the Bonzai Pipeline, Susnset Beach and other noteworthy North Shore allurements. Evan let me control the parachute, but only for one turn because in that half a second I was able to put a hole in the chute and somehow call a hoard of sharks to gather below us, swimming between spiky rocks. The whole experience was short and incredible. The plane ride was thrilling, the jump was spontaneous and the fall was riveting and titillating. That, my friend, is why I voluntarily leapt out of a working plane at 1400 ft. over the shark invested waters of Hawai'i. Oh yea, the goggles were pretty sweet too, that's probably what finally sealed the deal for me.
Topics: Hawaii 2008
11 August 2008
There really isn't a word in English that directly translates from the German word pfannkuchen. Pancakes, that would be my best attempt. That is what pfannkuchen means in English, but the Germans say it with so much elegance that I found it only appropriate to give them a Holla. When I was contemplating my week in Hawai'i, and what to write about, pfannkuchen came to my mind. It's a shame because there were many exciting things that went down this week, but you will have to wait for a report on them later. I had pancakes three times this week (?) and they were all delicious. I had a hotcake at a local diner in Honolulu on Wednesday night, with homechurned butter as smooth as a satin nightgown (it was late and I was thinking of bed). One hotcake filled an entire plate. On Saturday my travels took me down the street to the Hukilau Cafe, which inspired the cafe in 50 First Dates, among other things. Mac nut pancakes (macadamia nut) satiated my palate at the Hukilau. Yum. I also had a bite of my brother's banana pancakes. It made me feel like Jack Johnson. And then, finally, I had a truly homemade pancake. It was only more homemade than the others in the sense that I didn't pay for it. This was a masterpiece. I made a coconut pfannkuchen with cocount milk, shredded coconut in the batter, and coconut syrup on top. You might say it was a pancake, or you might say it was a "symbiotic relationship between all aspects of the cocos nucifera." That would be different if you said the latter, but I still wouldn't hate on you. If you love pfannkucken, or latin genus names, give my a Holla. Until then, check back for a more exciting post next time.
06 August 2008
Whew, that last post was exciting, was it not? I got some really intelligent comments from a vairety of people, and best of all for me, my California viewership increased dramatically! Have you seen my "Holla Atchya Fan" counter? It's through the roof! It has given me all sorts of ideas to attract more bloggers from other states; I could write about Punxsutawney Phil to attract the Pennyslvania sector (there's no controversy there but I could sure make a mean prediction for February 2nd and I'm confident someone in Pennyslvania would want to rebut it. Plus, who wouldn't want to read about a groundhog's shadow?); I could write about the Canadian border to catch the interest of North Dakotians (do they even have computers in North Dakota? If I just offended the one potential blogger from North Dakota interested in my blog, sorry); I could write about bilingualism in Baton Rouge, LA (Heck, maybe I could even get some comments or Hollas in French for that one! How does one Holla in French?). And those are just ideas for gaining more viewership from within the states that are united, constituting America! Think of the potential amid the states that aren't united, and in Fiji!
Thanks for reading fans, especially in North Dakota.
Thanks for reading fans, especially in North Dakota.
03 August 2008
In case you are the Grinch and heartless, please know that my posts have typically taken on a frivolous, relaxed approach to life. When you are living in Hawaii though, that comes easily, and without much effort. This post is different though, like a polka-dot in a sea of stripes. This is my first post where I will duck under the rope and enter the political ring with my fists up and make my presence felt. I do so because I think the issue at hand- Same-Sex Marriage in California- is a topic I feel strongly about and I want my voice heard. I will uniquivocally say that I believe marriage is a sacred union reserved for man and woman exclusively. California is voting in November to recognize only marriage between a man and a woman, a ruling that would put back into effect a law passed in 2000 that has since been reversed. I urge all my Californian readers (you know who you are, both of you) to vote in favor of keeping marriage between a man and a woman. A few weeks ago I heard a man say (is that ambigious or what) that Americans are all about rights and freedom. I whole heartedly agree, unless they violate the laws of God. I believe strongly that marriage is ordained of God and should be reserved naturally between a man and a woman. I also believe that Families are sacred, divine, and eternal. Same-Sex marriage, while offering rights to a minority, violates God's definiton of marriage and therefore leads to unhappiness. Without going too deep into my feelings about same-gender attraction, let me link you to an interview I found to be very helpful between a reporter and two Church leaders regarding same-gender attraction. In this interview they talk openly, intelligently and frankly about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' view on the topic, of which I agree. I do think that marriage is a sacred union reserved only for man and woman, and I hope and pray that Californians will recognize that principle in November. There, time to tag out of the ring for now.