Jul 24, 2004

And so we watch the sun come up...

...From the edge of the deep green sea.

With this euphonious song from the latest band I'm becoming obsessed with playing on repeat, I headed down a seldom-traveled dirt road to a familiar place on the shoreline; a place I hadn't been to in months, but felt as if I was just there yesterday. Let's see if I can scrounge up an image of it. ... Ah yes, here we go:

The road usually looks like this:

But lately, it's rained so seldomly it's turned into a dust bowl populated by brown grass. We need some moisture.

Even though I'd visited this particular area a few dozen times before, I've never encountered another soul there. Just a few paces beyond the end of the road lay the edge of the deep blue sea at the base of a sea cliff. Last winter, I took a few shots of one of my favorite frolicking spots submerged beneath the powerful surf:

One typically descends the face of the small cliff using the rope, which should be visible in the picture, but every three minutes, a colossal wave would wash over everything, making such an activity highly unsafe. Today, however, it was amazingly calm down there. The tide was low, exposing a broad, dry area at the base of the cliffs. And of course, the tide pools, the finest for swimming in the area, looked incredibly appealing to me:

The water looked clean and pure, and was actually lukewarm. Not only that, they were several feet deeper than I am tall. Though the sun had already set and the breeze was cool, I still felt compelled to take a dip. So I stripped and waded in, leaving only my sandals on, for concern of who knows what could be lying on the bottom. It turned out "the bottom" was comprised of nothing more than large smooth boulders, covered by a thick mossy-like growth .. I would have been comfortable enough swimming barefoot, so I did. There's nothing like being completely free. Of course, the water was perfect. It took my body no time at all to become accustomed to the temperature. I must have spent a good forty-five minutes enjoying myself, lying on my back, staring up at the periwinkle twilight sky and the half moon gazing back at me from right beside the ironwood trees with their long, greygreen leaves whispering in the wind. Must I mention that it was beautiful?

When I got home, I turned on the Dish and started flipping through the channels. For once, I'm glad I did. I reached the Disney channel just in time to reach the opening theme song for Bonkers. Awesome possum. I'd forgotten about the show, but I once watched it on a daily basis, and remember being quite enamored of the wacky feline cop. Watching him again was a thoroughly pleasant nostalgia trip. Even better, though, was seeing Talespin come on afterwards. As the old, familiar opening theme began playing, I nearly felt like shrieking for joy. I immediately felt like I was 12 years old all over again. I cannot really describe how warm it made me feel inside to view and listen to the opening sequence for the first time in all these years. Talespin was one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and to finally see it again, so unexpectedly and out of the Baloo, was a joyous experience. Unsurprisingly, I still find Don Karnage sexy as ever. Unfortunately, he didn't make an appearance in this episode, which left me somewhat disappointed. Still, I know now when the right time to watch cartoons is ... relatively late at night, when all the stupid modern primetime trash is over, and the reruns of fantastic classics come on. The cartoon I really desire to see now, though, is Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.

I must cease this entry, now: Ducktales is on.

Jul 23, 2004

Hungry? You may have a serious medical condition requiring immediate treatment.

ICQ conversation, 7/23

Timberwolf: Ooh, lovely, a commercial for a drug that helps reduce hunger pangs.
WyteLyon: Ooh, cool, I heard those can get terribly uncomfortable
Timberwolf: Yeah, and so can the sensation of pressure in your bowels that lets you know when you have to defecate.
WyteLyon: They should make a pill that prevents that feeling from ever happening.
Timberwolf: Mm, it would probably increase the sales of adult diapers tenfold... *Chuckle*
WyteLyon: exactly!
Timberwolf: Everyone in the commercial looks so happy, too. They all appear to be having so much fun.
Timberwolf: "Yay, look at me, I can finally go out and play tennis, sail on the lake, and travel to the Virgin Islands because I found a cure for my debilitating hunger pangs!"
WyteLyon: *gigglesnort*
WyteLyon: Possible side effects include: fullness, food in the fridge aging beyond their expiration dates, and starvation.
Timberwolf: And of course, diarrhea.
Timberwolf: I need this drug. My empty stomach depends on it.

No, I did not actually see a commercial for a drug that reduces hunger pangs.  I broached the topic primarily to satirize the ridiculousness of there being advertised on television government-approved prescription drugs for seemingly every conceivable minor ailment, and posted it here because... well, this realm needed something on the lighter side.

Truth is...

I accidentally dropped my digital camera, worth approximately $450, into a stream yesterday afternoon.  It's now nothing more than a paperweight; perhaps a nice mantle piece.  I've been mentally punishing myself all last night and this morning for allowing such a catastrophe to occur.  If I had been more cautious with my footing or had maintained a tighter grip, or had not been so audacious as to take it with me upstream at all, it never would have happened.  Or maybe it would have later on.  Karma works in mysterious ways.  I could have accidentally dropped it down a steep, inaccessible gorge and not even have gotten to keep it as a souvenir for aesthetic value.  My spirits thoroughly deflated, however, I decided not to go that far, and simply turned back to go home.  It's not even so much the monetary value of it that so upsets me, not how analogous the experience was to watching $400 float down the stream away from you while you could do nothing about it.  I can always afford another one.  It's how careless and ungraceful I was to allow such a thing to happen that depresses me the most. I don't feel my expectations of myself are overblown, but I disappointed myself more by doing this than I have in a long, long time.  I expect myself to make plenty of mistakes, as everyone does, but... I simply was not prepared to make a mistake like this.  On the surface, it's hardly a big deal.  Cameras can always be replaced.  Of course, it had very much become a part of me, as I take photography seriously, and am very passionate about my developing work.  Underneath,  I'm reminded that I'm not nearly as invincible as I often become convinced I am.  I take risks all the time and usually come out unscathed and satisfied.  Perhaps the purpose of this unfortunate event was to remind me that I am vulnerable to tremendous misfortune, that it's always lying just around the corner, waiting for a time that I'm sticking my neck out to pounce and clamp its jaws down upon my jugular.  Perhaps in the long run, my loss has done more good than harm, in that it has inspired me to exercise more caution, which could save me from having to endure a tragedy in the future.  At any rate, I need to call the service center and send my camera to the repair facility, to see if they can do anything to fix it.  If it must be replaced, I at least hope I can get it for a lower price, considering I still have nine months of warranty left.  Unfortunately, it explicitly states it does not cover water damage, or clumsy negligence.

"Cauterized" by Tweaker is a composition that very accurately represents my current mood.

Jul 22, 2004

So shut the door and shut off the light...

Apparently, my domain went under for a few days, as its expiration date arrived a little sooner than I could deal with.  It's all resolved now, though.  I just added two more years of life to it.  Before long, I should upload quite a few new images.  That's one of the foremost projects I'd like to accomplish before I move out.

Yes, I should be moving out of my parents' home by the middle of August.  My father and I have been discussing renting me a place closer to my University campus for months, now.  The hour and forty-five minute drive is a bit much to handle four days a week, plus whichever other days I may have to work.  Yesterday, we decided to make the commute together in search of a reasonably decent place for an independent student to shack up for at least a semester or two.  I did the driving around town; my father manned the cell phone and the classified section of the local newspaper.  The first place we investigated was a studio apartment complex which looked rather ratty-looking, and was then viewable only from the outside.  I wasn't entirely impressed with what I saw.  The next door neighbor, beyond a narrow stand of trees, was a daycare center with noisy toddlers screeching.  Minus.  The two apartment complexes the owner (not on the premises) said were available were rooms 'N' and 'O.'  I believe what those two letters put together spell is hardly a coincidence.  So we decided to keep on looking.

The next stop was a little room behind an antique shop on one of the busiest streets in town.  We were supposed to meet the renter later on to get a tour of the inside, but one glance at the location immediately turned me off to the possibility of living there.  Next stop: the University.  We checked a couple of the bulletin boards there, expecting to see a few ads for rooms/apartments for rent, and found a few.  My father called up one character whose supposed genius son allegedly got admitted to a mainland university when he was eight years old.  This individual sounded like quite a character, indeed, but his offer for a downstairs room for $275/month with cable internet sounded promising, so we went over and visited him.  It turned out his home was also close to a busy street, and directly across from a large industrial building.  The unkempt yard gave me a bad first impression, but if that hadn't, one look at the living space would have.  The room itself wasn't terrible; it's a little larger than my current bedroom, and included a nice bed, as well as (did I mention this already?) cable Internet.  Of course, that spooky poem written on the wall made me feel slightly uneasy.  For some reason, the overall atmosphere left me truly uncomfortable.  Never mind the fact that the guy who lives in the room right next to the one for rent is a classic example of pot-abusing space case.  Never mind that the toilet and sink were located across the basement from the shower and bathtub, or how bizarre it was that the bathtub stood in the center of its own little room, with the shower pointed straight down upon it, with no shower curtains.  Never mind that it all looked like a complete rat nest, with three or four different paint jobs peeling off the walls and brown stains all over the porcelain.  Never mind that there lay a large puddle of standing water on the kitchen's dirty cement floor due to god knows what kind of plumbing problem.  It looked like a classic ghetto living space to me.  A place where junkies congregate to cook up methamphetamine and hide their product in the toilet tank for midnight pick-ups.  But never mind at all that.  Something about the place just made me feel altogether disturbed.  I still feel rather uncomfortable about being there after so many hours of not being there.  I may have sensed an extremely foul paranormal force, or something.  We went upstairs, which wasn't nearly as spooky but still inexcusably messy, and conversed with the renter for awhile, since he was such an interesting character who claimed his friend invented the hydrogen car and that another friend of his invented a CD player that can make houseplants behave as speakers, but I insisted we keep on looking.  He insisted he had the world's most wonderful wife, which I could not contest per se, but I saw absolutely no sign of his wife, nor a woman's touch in the living quarters.  And considering he was supposedly a successful businessman and one of his sons was an astronomer pulling down a fortune like the stars, one would assume he'd live in a nicer home.  Ooh, my.  What a character.  My intuition was telling me something was just too suspicious about those people... I don't think I would have ever felt comfortable there, never mind the barking dogs across the street, the crazy old man next door he spoke of, or the noisy traffic.
And thus, we called up someone else.  This place turned out to be right next to the place we originally looked at when we first came into town.  This apartment complex was much nicer and newer-looking, and was considerably farther away from the screech factory.  Location-wise, I found it extremely satisfactory.  It's on quiet, narrow Lehua Street, not even half a mile from downtown, but still well away from any serious commotion.  The neighborhood seems reasonably quiet and clean, with yards dominated by the typical lush natural foliage characteristic of Hilo.  Apartments were what I originally had in mind, as well– considering what a private creature I am, I much prefer to live in my own room with my own bathroom, kitchen, and entrance/exit.  That's exactly what this place offered.  The realty lady showed us two available rooms on the upper level, and I immediately felt at home.  For $400 a month including utilities, it's a single studio room more than large enough to fit in an entertainment and computer center, bed, and a couple other items of furniture and still have a comfortable amount of space left over.  I decided to go for it.  Not out of impatience or desperation, but because I truly had a feeling we would find nothing better. 

So that settles it.  I officially have a place of my own.  I just have to figure out a few things... what kind of bed I'm going to introduce into such a space and where I'm going to get it, where one goes to do their laundry, how much broadband Internet costs, whether I should get a cell phone or land line, where exactly the mail comes in... I have weeks to figure it all out, though, and more than a month left of summer vacation, so I am, for the most part, going to spend the rest of it relaxing and enjoying myself.  I recently received a scholarship in the mail, granted to me just for graduating from a Hawaiian high school.  Talk about a cake walk.. it gives me $1000 more in financial aid right from the start, and instead of having to earn $1750 in workstudy through a job, I now only have to earn $750 for the semester.  Every once in awhile, remarkable things like that happen... and one hardly expects them to.  I'm grateful, though, trust me.  I'm grateful for many things, as I should be... everyone deserves a liberal education ... not everyone is able to afford it.

I picked up the new Tweaker album at Altitunes in Chicago.  I was actually shocked to find an album by such an undiscovered artist in such a small music shop.  I'd have to say it's about as accessible as the Earth's inner core, at least as far as the general pop-favoring masses are concerned, and that's saying nothing of its depth.  Like his debut, I imagine it's much too difficult and altogether "weird" for most to ever get into.  It smacks of typical Vrenna genius; that which most could probably never be bothered to dabble in.  It is rather intimidating, in a way.  Former Nine Inch Nails programmer Chris Vrenna is a strange man who makes disturbing music, and that's exactly what makes him such a fabulous artist.  This album is best listened to during periods of insomnia.  He recruited eight different vocalists to sing lyrics in his enchanting compositions, including David Sylvian and the notorious Robert Smith from The Cure.  This kind of music simply refuses to fit into any genre. Vrenna is his own genre.  It all sounds so unique... so purely refreshing.  Such a marvelous departure from all the stale crumbs I regularly hear toasted on the radio.  As I sit here listening to "It's Still Happening," I could just imagine enjoying the same song as I drive home late at night from a liberating spiritual wander.  It makes me want to howl and then some.

I know I owe a few e-mails.  I have not forgotten about anyone.  I am not avoiding anyone.  I've just been Internet-challenged as of late.  Lately, I've actually suspected the phone might be an easier tool to use for keeping in touch, which is rather frightening, considering my traditional perspective on phones.  I may have meandered away from the e-mail routine for a disgruntlingly long time, but I'll never get completely lost.  I'm going to attempt to get back into it very soon. ...Anyone want a post card?