17 June 2004

My geekier friends can follow the progress of my research by browsing the GAE Wiki.

16 June 2004

Finally at home!

Well, living out of a bag and going from couch to couch was sort of cool in a way. All my friends were so cool and kind and supportive (much love to you guys if you're reading this!) and I had a fucking blast moving around and seeing so much new stuff.
But, at the same time, it feels great to land. And, at long last, I have 'net access on my own computer! So I can start blogging again, post some pics, and - perhaps most importantly - start downloading music! Although... this LAN is surprisingly sleepy. I mean, it's student housing, but come on guys, it's summer! I guess everyone else has the same idea as me.
Shout outs to some Pasadena establishments. Trader Joe's rocks. Wild Oats rocks. Zankou on Colorado Blvd. rocks. I am presently enjoying a Sapporo from TJ's, grinding some cashews from the Oats, after a fine half-chicken dinner from Zankou... although I don't know what those bitter pink things were. If you're reading this and know shit one about Lebanese food, post a comment OK?
Must learn SNMP tonight. Perhaps more beer would help.

05 June 2004

I had this mental image of blogging during my travels, logging in from airports and such. But I didn't realise how FUCKING expensive airport internet is, or how much work my research plan would end up taking. So I ended up spending much of my travel time dealing with that.

I really love to travel. I think part of it is the joy of new places and the pleasure I take in people-watching, but also just the enforced downtime. Nothing to do but sit. It's a pleasure, especially after a semester of intellectual exercise.

The Pacific hop was surprisingly quick and uneventful. The time change always throws me, though: what happened to that day? I was almost amazed to find out all my stuff came through. Even more amazing was the fact that Travelodge sent a big van to pick up me and my shit.

(I have digital pics to share, but I don't have ssh right now, so I'll upload as soon as I can.)

I interacted with a lot of working class people at the motel; in LA, it seems, working class = latino. And I ended up talking pidgin to everybody and I'm not sure why. I guess it's just like home: talking haole would have made me feel all hi-makamaka. But latinos are just like local folks in that give-you-the-shirt-off-your-back sort of way. Everybody was so totally helpful and full of whatever is aloha in latino culture.

Anyway, put the bike together and got my ass rolling in the morning. For whatever reason the tyres were deflated, so I had to deal with that. And I had one of those great the-map-is-not-the-territory moments when I tried to get to the bus station. See I had planned it all out so I wouldn't have to ride so far through city streets. What I hadn't counted on was the fact that Sepulveda Blvd. TUNNELS under the runways of LAX! And that the shoulder of the tunnel was like 24 inches wide. I rode through that tunnel with my eyes down at the road, chanting the Emmei Jikyu Kannon Gyo over and over again.

Needless to say, I survived.

I liked the LA city bus. We went through Inglewood, Compton and Crenshaw... I kept thinking, "God, this doesn't look bad!" Kind of like Kona, but with more people. Obviously, life is hard there and I don't know the first thing about it. But it's interesting how I had a mental image of this bombed out landscape and it really wasn't like that. Map and territory again.

Union Station was very impressive and very clean. I felt weird rolling my bike through there. I got a tuna salad while I waited - more on that in a bit.

The train to San Diego was less interesting than I had hoped. Rolling through a lot of the light industrial neighborhoods of Southern California sort of left me cold. But it was still fun to travel.

San Diego city buses kind of suck. I waited about an hour for the 1 bus to University Heights, and the bike rack was rusty and stiff. It took a good 45 minutes to get up there, and I don't think it was more than 5 miles. Still, it beat riding uphill all that way with 50 lbs on my back.

Michelle's place was really nice, and right where MapQuest said it was! It was great fun finally having some time to talk after so many years of rushed encounters and brief phone conversations. She took me out for a really nice dinner, and here is where the tuna salad from Union Station comes into the picture. I started to feel weird and crampy in my stomach, but I just put it down to a "middle-aged moment."

Got rolling the next day, found a bike shop on a road that I knew and set off. Turned out the LOCATION of the bike shop on that road was six miles away, but oh well. Enjoyed motoring around for a while, then came back to work on my research plan. It was after my second cup of coffee that the cramps began.

Loooong story short: food poisoning, probably Staphylococcus aureus brought on by the tuna salad at Union Station.

01 June 2004

Memorial Day in Hilo
It's a beautiful day on the island... everybody's got the day off, and half of um came down Keaukaha.
It's all good though... I like the energy. Just one of those days that makes you love the rock. Mahalo e Hilo!

Did Memorial Day in Hakalau, and just cruised and packed for the rest of the day. Katie called out of the blue, which was cool as shit. So I feel like I really got to connect with the people I'm going to miss.
Still...damn. Leaving home.