Friday, September 29, 2006


Today, Chris Onstad wrote a funny story about his heritage, centered around the realization that he is 1/16th Seneca Nation Indian. Many of you may not know this, but I grew up in what used to be the Seneca's summer hunting grounds. I remember my brother, Sam, used to find arrowheads all the time when he was playing in the woods. He also had a box of at least five more, which I can only assume was purchased at the local flea market by my mother. The local flea market also had a guy who sold turquoise jewelry, which my mother bought religiously to mark all religious occasions for KK and I (First communion, etc.). Part of me always wished I would have gotten the arrowheads, but years later, I still have the jewels, and the arrowheads seem to have been lost forever.

Anyway, in an attempt to try to learn more about the Seneca Indians, and to waste the 1/2 hour before the seminar this afternoon, I looked them up on Wikipedia. At the bottom of the citation, I found a link to Wikimapia which I haven't used yet. Powered by Google maps, it provides built-in squares you can click on for more information on geographic locations.

Am I the last to know of this brilliant technology? It is probably a good thing I just discovered it, because I will probably now spend hours on this, clicking on random locations, finding out more about places I want to move to next.

In my quest for locations, I eventually searched most of the Seneca and my stomping grounds in Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania, only to come back to good ol' Le' ahi. Here it is in all it's glory:

This is where I live, and tomorrow, my mother and father get to join me and K tomorrow for some fun adventures. Maybe I'll even convince my mother to take me to the local swap meet and buy me some turquoise to mark the occasion!

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Post About Going to a Football Game

Ah college football season. The leaves are changing, there is dry crispness in the air, and the beautiful people are getting drunk in the parking lot on Jim Beam, Miller Light, and Jello shots. The fried chicken and pork BBQ are out on checked tablecloths under events outside forty foot land yacht RV's. And some young freshman pledge is bleeding for reasons unknown to him.

Because he is really drunk.

Well I guess so. Sitting two thousand miles from anywhere else, who even knows? All I know is what I see projected onto my wall each Saturday. And damned if it don'’t give me a hankering to hear radios playing AM tailgate shows sponsored by the local credit union.

But not to worry. Here in Hawai'i, we have our Warriors (formerly known as the Rainbow Warriors). And since the day we found we were coming, I have been excited for the chance to take in a Hawai'i football game.

All real college football fans have an intimate knowledge of Hawai'i football. That'’s because their home games are often the nightcap of ESPN's midseason quintuple-header. They start at midnight on the east coast, nine on the west, so when the once lust for football has not been sated by the day's events (or a huge win for your favorite team has you watching ESPN for every mention of your beloved) you settle in to watch the always exciting game.

This is WAC football ladies and gents. Perfect for those that can'’t get excited about a 7-3 Auburn beat-down of LSU. This is non-stop offense, gadget plays, and mistakes galore. Huge comebacks are de rigeur and everyone gets to play on a blue field at some point (Hawai'i does this weekend).

So C and me decided to take in a game at famous Aloha Stadium. This is the home of the Pro Bowl and was always a favorite of mine when playing College Football 2003 for the Xbox. It is not fully enclosed but has four high sections on each side of the field. Best of all, and unique to this stadium, the sections are connected by curved bridges, something I have always wanted to see.

The bridges are some how a feature of the stadium'’s capacity to be reconfigured into many different shapes including a baseball stadium and a large scale concert venue. Another consequence of this capability is a stadium built almost exclusively of steel (as opposed to concrete). It is kind of wild looking. Girders running everywhere.

We parked far far away and far too late to get a sense of the tailgating scene. It looked pretty fun though. And I am sure there was no shortage of rice. On the way to the stadium the first utterance of a common refrain, "Why didn'’t we bring the damn camera?,"” was occasioned by an enormous rainbow with its end situating right on the field. So neat.

Walking through the parking lot, we chugged the mini-bottles of Vodka and Jager we had brought along and hid some rum minis in the back pocket of my pants. See -– drinking is not allowed at college sporting events.

Not true it turns out. Only at places where people would clearly drink to the point of violence, like South Carolina. There was beer a-flowin' at the stadium. Every twenty feet or thereabouts. So we felt pretty silly acting all secret agent with our minis.

Then there is the matter of food. I imagine my father would have choice words if he saw me eating sushi at a football game. Teriyaki chicken, kalbi ribs, and dim sum. All the Hawai'ian faves. And even something traditional like roasted corn on the cob came with a twist. They have this stuff out here called Li Hing. It is kind of a sour candy powder. The put it on plums and eat them saldito style. But there was a big shaker of it sitting right beside the Old Bay and the kids were dousing their corn in it.

Other cultures are soooo stupid.

We took our seats (fifty-yard-line! Awesome!) after Hawai'i had already scored one TD on their first possession. UNLV was the opponent and they were as jetlagged as every other team forced to make the trip. Hawaii went up 42-0 before they knew what hit them. Yes. 42-0. Now that is the sort of game you can really enjoy. The offense was running four-, five-, and even six- receiver sets. The field was completely spread out and the UNLV defenders did not have a chance. No one wants to play against an offense like this.

And now that Jerry Glanville, another former Falcons head coach, has taken over the defense, they looked pretty dang good. Good enough to hold Alabama under 25 in their house. It'’s funny -– it is traditional for the coaches to wear aloha shirts and leis during the games but old Jerry Glanville is still wearing his all black "2 Legit 2 Quit"”-era duds. Given that he is about five foot tall, this makes for laughs.

Hawai'i looks like they will do alright this year. They have Boise St. and Fresno State on the road (nearly impossible) but may be able to get seven wins nonetheless. WAC road games are brutal. The conference stretches from Hawaii to LaTech.

The atmosphere was pretty good. The smallish crowd made a little noise and were helped out by Polynesian drummers in the corner of the endzone. They just kept the beat going throughout the whole game and were in native Hawai'ian regalia. Nearby, a fan wore ti leaves as a hat native style and was going bananas (not native).

Because Caroline was freaked that our car was going to get towed from the Kmart parking lot, we bailed early. Along with everyone else. Nice to know that with all the differences in the college football culture of Hawai'i and SC, we all still want to beat traffic/get drunk in the parking lot.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Boogie boarding Queens Beach

When you first move to a place, you take the camera everywhere so you can document every new corner, every vista. Slowly, you start to get used to the idea that you live in that place, and the days all just pass without notice, without documentation of its awesomeness. Until one day, when you're about to go to the beach and you realize you need the camera. You need to capture these memories of the sun setting on the 2-4ft swell you just rode. This is Queens Beach, sunset, last night. Less than a mile from our house, this is where we go boogie boarding, or at least where we have started to go, since I bought fins two weeks ago. I can't believe I didn't do it sooner. There is nothing funner than catching a wave and riding it sideways down the long tube. Especially when you meet a local, named Tyrone (yes, after Tyrone Powers, can you believe it, Taryn!) who gives you free lessons. I am hooked.

Thanks to Kyle for remembering the camera...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Goodbye Anna-Banana

Goodbye meine gute Freundin Anna-Banana!

Ich bin traurig, dass du gehst. Wir hatten viele schoene zeiten zusammen (cookies backen und essen!) und auch einige nicht so schoene zeiten (Kraempfe an der Hanuma Bay).

Vor allem aber hatten wir viel spass und viele Erinnerungen zusammen. Ich wierde dich vermissen. Viel Glueck mit deinem weiteren Studium und denk an uns, wenn du im kuehlen Deutschland bist. Die hawaiianischen Regenboegen warten auf deine Rueckkehr.

Deine Freundine, Caroline (Ich liebe dich!)

Many dankes to Agnes for help in translating...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The Advertiser had this awesome picture today: 12" mortars atop Diamondhead from 1916.

I think all that remains is the wall and the small 4' crawl space you have to crawl through to get to the top. The big guns are long gone, replaced by hundreds of daily tourists looking at the 360ยบ views of the beaches. It sure is pretty up there, and historical too! Cool.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Move to Hawaii and live longer!

The statistics are in: people in Hawaii live longer than the rest of Americans. Actually, it turns out that the all the Asian women here are boosting the numbers, with an average life expectancy of over 80 years.

The author of the study, Christopher Murray, suggests there are eight separate "Americas" based on their ethno-econo-geographic breakdown (1982-2001):

  • Asian-Americans, average per capita income of $21,566, have a life expectancy of 84.9 years.
  • Northland low-income rural whites, $17,758, 79 years.
  • Middle America (mostly white), $24,640, 77.9 years.
  • Low income whites in Appalachia, Mississippi Valley, $16,390, 75 years.
  • Western American Indians, $10,029, 72.7 years.
  • Black Middle America, $15,412, 72.9 years.
  • Southern low-income rural blacks, $10,463, 71.2 years.
  • High-risk urban blacks, $14,800, 71.1 years.

  • I wonder if a Middle American living among Asians in Hawaii can boost her numbers? I think I'll eat more fish and rice, and then wait and see what happens.

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    The quest for shrimp

    I am a lucky girl. I love my job and the people I work with. By the light of the full moon last night, members of our lab went out searching for shrimp. We were looking for a particular family of shrimp, the Hippolytidae, which haven't yet been checked for myelin. In case you ever need to find them, go out to the tidal flats, search for glowing red eyes in between the crevices of the coral, and then sneak up on them from the side. They are about 2-3" long, and like to flip their tails quickly when caught.

    Today I got to cut out their nerve cords, and I swear that they were quite sad about it. Look at those eyes! As I was cutting them, I kept thinking about Star Wars. Finally I figured out why: the shrimp kind of look like JarJar!
    Or Gaffney on a bad day:

    Incredible apologies...

    Hey y'all. I'm sorry.

    Why am I sorry? Yesterday, in a fit of pouting, I erased my "September Days" blog post because it was riddled with historic AND scientific inaccuracies. You all knew I was a whiner, now you can add pouter to the list. "Pout-o-whine" is a pretty complicated nickname but I hope I'll get used to it. I just hope you will one day forgive me for saying that 12 is not below freezing...

    In other news, tonight is the first night of the fall Ulitmate league. I am nervous for the first time in a long time about league.

    Why am I nervous? I am co-captaining with Mr. Rob Whitton on Team Incredibles! I hope everyone gets along. I hope everyone is laid-back and nice. And I hope no one gets mad when I throw a terrible chopping outside-in forehand into the wind, or when Kyle throws too long out of the endzone to a wide open player. But how can they be mad when we will be wearing face masks and dressed in red?

    Don't you think Kyle looks just like the little boy?

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    What makes Kyle happy?

    Pork Laulau and other Hawaiian luau foods:

    The Gamecocks winning their season opener.

    What a relief...