21 February 2008

This Aggression Will Not Stand

So I'm moving. Again. Because I love it so F-ing much.

My roommate moved in last week, but I'm not officially relocating until Sunday. I'm trying to get the little stuff moved over this week and guess what? I got a parking ticket. Dude, I don't even live there yet.

I had several boxes to move upstairs and there was no parking anywhere. I pulled up in front of someone's garage and put my hazards on. I was away from my car for three minutes at most. As I walked out of the apartment, my neighbor said, "they're ticketing your car, better get down there."


I ran down the stairs and just as I got there the cowards pulled away in their rent-a-cop pathetic Ford Focus. There wasn't even anyone trying to get into the garage. They just ticketed me because . . . I don't know why! Luckily I don't have to pay anything, but the ticket states they'll tow me if I have another "infraction."

This Aggression will not stand, Man.

Why don't they spend their time policing whether or not people put cars in their garage (as opposed to crap). If people didn't use their garages for storage maybe I'd have a place to pull in and unload my car.


Anyone reading this from Orange County, CA: this is the Avila apartments.

For the $1800/month my roommate and I are forking over for this place, the apartment management company better overlook this ticket.

(there is
no "Read more . . .")

14 February 2008

I heart Zombies

This Valentine's Day I would like to proclaim my love for zombies. Okay, not the zombies themselves, but the whole zombie phenomenon.

I spent the first few weeks of this year devouring the Monster Island books. The story goes like this: in a post-zombie apocalyptic world where the civilized nations have been overrun, Somalia is one of humanity's last holdouts (they're well-armed). The leader has AIDS so a former UN weapons inspector and a gang of teenage Somali girls with M-16s must invade NYC to get her medicine. It's a fun read.

That said, World War Z is my favorite zombie book. It's another post-zombie takeover story. This one is written from an ever-changing POV of survivors around the world. It delves into how the various nations handle the epidemic and gives serious discussion to what happens to a world swarmed with the living dead. So it's like, actually a read for smart people and stuff.

Okay, but getting back to why I love zombies. Here's what I think it is: Zombie stories appeal to my anti-consumerism side. In a zombie story, there's no room for nonsense. There's no romantic "B Story." We don't have to suffer through a worst-day-of-her-life montage, and no one is going to do anything sexual with food for "laughs."

With zombie stories it's all about fighting for survival. You get your posse, your weapon and leave the rest behind! That luxury SUV is a death trap once it runs out of gas. Jimmy Choo shoes - useless (except as a short-term weapon).

After reading the Zombie Survival Guide, I decided to invest in a hatchet shovel. You never know, Man. You never know.

So . . . pirate-related stuff has been all the rage for the last several years, right? Okay, that is so late-90's. It's time to do away with the eye patch and the silly talkin'. It's zombie time now.

I really believe we're on the cusp of something. In the last few years there have been zombie flash mobs in San Francisco, Vancouver BC, and Europe. It's time to get serious.

So if any of this has gotten you in the mood to watch some zombie movies, might I recommend:

Army of Darkness
Shawn of the Dead
Dead Alive

Don't jump my shit for not mentioning Romero! I was waiting to mention his new film Diary of the Dead which comes out later this year. To be honest, it looks just ok-ay. But you know I'll be there opening night.


- MD

12 February 2008

Hawai'i 2008: Highlights from Maui

Road to Hana waterfallFrom The Big Island we flew to Maui where my friend Keith lives with his girlfriend Colleen. The two of them left Orange County about six months ago for island life. Keith also manages a dive shop, so we had more good diving in store!

It's really absurd that people visit Hawaii and don't scuba dive - or at least snorkel. The water is spectacularly clear and the diversity of underwater life is amazing. I know this sounds jaded, but there's only so much in the Caribbean Sea. It's a just sea for godsakes. Hawaii is in the middle of the biggest ocean in the world. All kinds of cool stuff swims by.

But I digress . . .

Cessna plane we took to MauiI found a cheap island-hopper flight (only $39 per person) on Pacific Wings Express. The airplane held eight people and had big windows. Plus, you could look over the pilot's shoulder and right out the windshield. It was like a helicopter tour without the exorbitant price!

* $45 total with taxes and fees

For island transportation, Keith found us a place where we could rent a used car. The company is called Word of Mouth Rental Cars and they're not far from Kahului Airport (OGG - the main airport for Maui). If you call ahead they come pick you up. Ours was $25/day with unlimited miles. Better yet, there's no charge to add an extra driver. We got a 2002 Nissan Sentra. It wasn't perfect or shiny, but we're hauling scuba gear, who cares?
Cathedrals I Lanai
We dove with Extended Horizons which is an eco-friendly, green dive operation. I swear the dive guides were marine biologists. The boat runs on bio-diesel and they have onboard recycling. Oh yeah, and the dives were killer. At Cathedrals I literally forgot I was underwater.

I don't know if I mentioned this in my Big Island post, but it rained a lot while we were there. Parts of Hawaii were under flash flood watch and schools were even closed. Luckily we had sunshine most of the time in west Maui. On the other side of the island it was another story.

The waterfall (pictured left) is normally three waterfalls. Crazy, eh? The normal view is over to the right. Different POVs, but you get the idea.

All the waterfall shots in this post are from the Road to Hana, by the way. If you've never done it, don't let some jaded dumbass talk you out if it. It's AMAZING.

If you can, stay in Hana for the night. You can get a room at Joe's Place for something like $50 (shared bathroom and kitchen). Get your dinner at the Hasegawa General Store which, I promise you, has the most random selection of stuff you've ever seen. Want some organic Hemp Granola? It's next to the sarongs. Lettuce? It's across from the hammers (and it costs $4). Hawaii may be the US, but they still gotta import everything.

Hey, while we're on the subject of food, I'd like to recommend:

Kahuna Kabobs
It's in the Lahaina Marketplace just off Front Street. For $8 you'll get a killer kabob plus rice and veggies. They even have tofu kabobs. Cheap eats and wicked good.

Thai Chef
Save room for the coconut ice cream. Even if you don't save room, get it anyway. Your friends will help you eat it, I promise.

That was pretty much it, I guess. Eating. Driving. Diving. Napping on the beach. What more do you want?

11 February 2008

Hawai'i 2008: Highlights from The Big Island

I hate shoes.
Hawaii 2008
They are so oppressive.

It's amazing how easy it is to adapt to island life - yet it's so difficult to re-adjust once you get home. Florescent lights, why?

This Hawaii trip was a little different than the last one. We hit The Big Island and Maui. So first, here are the highlights from the Big Island - Hawai'i.

For a diver, the whole point of going to The Big Island of Hawaii is to dive with Manta Rays.

The video above isn't from the exact dive I did, but it's the same dive site. The dive lights attract plankton - food for the 8-12 foot rays. How they get so big eating such tiny things, I have no idea. Manta Rays are completely harmless. They come very close and you can look them righht in the eye. It's not the least bit scary though, the rays have no teeth and no stinger. Also, when you look them in the eye, you can tell the lights are on but no one's home.

Volcanoes National Park roadWe also visited Volcanoes National Park where (for now) it's not possible to see a live lava flow. The lava is coming out at an inaccessible part of the park so all you can do is drive around and look at cold, hardened lava and smell volcano farts. The situation seems to change every few months, so check the Nat'l Park Service website for current volcano activity.

It was still kinda cool.

You know what else I really dug? As we drove around the island we listened to an all Hawaiin music radio station. It's called KAPA. Can you imagine? A whole radio station devoted to local music!*

* Unfortunately they also had a station that seemed to play nothing but Huey Lewis and the News.

Shirakawa Motel signSo we're cruising around the island in this minivan, right? We're listening to KAPA and thinking maybe we'll save a couple bucks and crash in the van (hey, it's Hawaii not like we're going to get cold). Then, while driving back to the Kona side of the island we found the Shirakawa Motel. It's the Southernmost Hotel / Motel / Inn in the United States. Why the heck not?

South Point Porta PottyI already peed in the southernmost porta potty.

Okay, couple more tips if you ever make it to The Big Island. You won't want to miss eating at Aloha Angels and/or The Coffee Shack. Both are on the way to Volcanoes, South Point, the Black Sand Beach etc.

Lastly, I hope you'll enjoy this clip of my favorite Hawaiian hit. It's called Kane'ohe.