Monday, March 30, 2009

My Maui Dad Can Kick Your Butt

Have I mentioned Peter, one of our managers at Border’s? He is a few years younger than my parents, a big gruff ex-bouncer who’s a softie at heart. Jeanie and I have gotten to be pretty good friends with him, and he’s made it clear that he’s watching out for us, like when we leave for the night, he’ll stay outside until we get to our car. Or this one time when on my day off I came in with one guy and talked to another while I was there, he told me to be careful, it was a small island and he didn’t want me to get a reputation or for him to have to break up any fights (especially between a local guy and a haole, I realize now). Though he has absolutely nothing to worry about, it makes me feel special (warm and fuzzy, in fact) to know an ex-bouncer’s got my back. He said Jeanie and I could call him dad, too. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More Late-Night Adventures

I feel like a true introvert: It is Saturday night and all I want to do is stay in and hang out by myself after a busy week. I'm working on three loads of laundry because our dryer was broken for several days and I was digging dirty polos out to wear to work and it was just wrong.

I changed my availability at work so I could have my Friday nights off, and so far so good! My hours were cut down to 16 next week, which might make it hard to make ends meet, but it's still worth it to be able to go to church and then join all my friends in the after-parties :) Yesterday I went to Sansei (that sushi/karaoke place) with a big group of people and of course had tons of fun. I might have mentioned Brook's friends Scott and Josh, but I don't think I mentioned that they are cool enough to be able to pull off things like wearing bright yellow skinny pants and living in a tent in a macadamia nut field. Oh, and they are from Oregon, so naturally that puts them pretty high on the coolness scale already :)

After we left Sansei, Jeanie, David, and I squeezed into Brook's truck and he drove us partway up Haleakala to this field where you can see the lights from basically the whole island. The top of Haleakala is one of the best places in the world for stargazing, but unfortunately it was a little too cloudy to see much. We sat in the grass and froze our butts off, smoked some cigars, walked past the first few trees into the dark woods, and tried to freak each other out. I feel so lucky to have friends who enjoy doing what I would consider fun things. Almost everyone I've met on Maui is adventurous, outdoorsy, and chill all at the same time, and so quick to invite people on hikes or to parties or whatnot.

After getting to bed around 4, Jeanie and I rose bright and early at 8 to go visit her best friend Elyse's parents, who are here on vacation. We lay in the sun and wind at a nice resort in Kaanapali and swam in the pool until she had to go to work. I am tired.

By the way, I took all of two pictures last night--how lame that now that I actually have people to take pictures of, I don't--but I'm going to wait to post them until I have some more to add.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From My Soul to Yours

Every week, I work nonstop Sunday through Tuesday, basically from 11-11 each day with a couple short breaks. It's not really stressful, but every Wednesday I breathe a sigh of relief, think of all the errands, exercising, phone calls, and writing I have to catch up on, and also realize I haven't done anything interesting since Saturday. The only highlight of the past few days is that Jose Zee, that interesting customer at SBC, gave me a gift the other day: a little vial of rose oil in elaborate paper/dried rose packaging. He said there was just something about me that made him want to create for me. "From my soul to yours," he added. It was very sweet.

My parents come in a week!!!! At the beginning of March, I thought about it pretty much every day, but the last couple weeks I've been distracted and now their arrival has snuck up on me, which is a good way to have it happen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Haunted Sugar Mills

Yesterday I got the chance to explore some places I’d never been. After Jeanie got off work at four, we went on a spontaneous drive out towards Hana to find a new place to hike. We ended up just going to Twin Falls, even though we’ve gone on a couple hikes there already, and found some sweet new trails that led to the hippies’ houses, which are these amazing tents and houses on stilts tucked back behind banana plants and palm trees. There are also old irrigation streams and tunnels, so we followed those for a while and imagined floating down them on tubes.

Then later that night, we went on an adventure with David and Brook to explore some old abandoned buildings around Paia in a ghost plantation town. There is this fantastic mill in the middle of a cane field that must have been left ages ago—not to be a total nerd, but it made me think of Cair Paravel when the kids come back to Narnia and years and years have passed. At first you can’t even tell it’s a building because it’s covered in vines and trees—oh yeah, and because it’s totally pitch black outside. Unfortunately, there was a car already there (“I think they’re doing it,” Brook said like a little kid, which made us laugh), so we took off as fast as we could on muddy dirt roads as someone yelled at us. We continued to drive down a creepy country road through the cane fields—where apparently serial killers like to take their victims—and stopped at a park to lie on the grass and look at stars. Then we went to another abandoned mill and explored it. SO creepy, especially the roof, which was falling in and made loud rattling noises in the wind. Hawaiians are superstitious, and there are certain parts of Maui that they say are haunted…and I believe it. But give me a thrill and a tiny hint of danger, and I’m happy.

We’ve made plans to surf with Brook maybe four times, and every time the weather/waves have been crappy. I don’t know what’ s up with winter here, but it is still crazy windy and rains quite a bit. I can’t wait for summer.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Irritating Biker Chick

Argh. There's this really, really annoying lady staying in a couple different places that we clean (by a couple different places I mean she's moved three times and always moves late and leaves stuff behind and makes us help her move) and she just came and disturbed me while I'm sitting at my computer listening to music on my ONE day off this week to tell me someone locked her out of her place (which is a couple blocks away) and demand in a way that indicated it was my fault that I come unlock it for her. She's training for the Iron Man, and I guess somehow that means she gets everything she wants.

This week has been tiring but I've been far less cranky about the work, for some reason. The only bad thing was last night, when Border's was open until past midnight because the Twilight DVD came out, so the cafe was INSANELY slammed by pre-teen girls for a solid two and a half hours. It was crazy and tiring, and my nine hour shift came after I had already worked four hours cleaning.

Otherwise I've had a lot of fun this past week. Maybe because of hanging out with new friends.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Phew, what a weekend! This last week has by far been the most eventful of any here on Maui…and unfortunately I can’t detail everything because, well, this is a blog. But I’ll just say that things in the romance department have picked up for both Jeanie and me—not that either of us are dating or even close to dating, we’ve just had multiple interesting experiences and both have crushes and pursuers.

So, Friday night Jeanie was kind enough to take my shift so I could go to church. It was good, as always, and I went out afterwards with the usual group (David, Loretta, Onassis, Jesse, Cari) to an Irish pub with really loud music.

Saturday morning Jeanie and I got up early and went on a hike with Brook, this guy we met at Hope Chapel last week, and a bunch of his friends. I was pretty intimidated to join a large group of people I didn’t know, but they were so welcoming I can hardly get over it. I have never felt so invited into a group—they do tons of stuff together and they made sure we were included in all the plans. What made it even better is that a lot of them (including Brook) are actually from here, so they know all the cool local places. The hike was at Twin Falls, an area I’ve been to a couple times but have never gone the route with all the jumping off waterfalls and swimming and stuff. It was sweet. We all got hotdogs (the best in Maui, apparently…and did you know they dye hotdogs red here?) at a little place in Haiku afterwards and then Jeanie and I had to get back so I could go to work.

This morning was early again (it sucks working late and getting up early! Though we’ve been fitting so much more into our days when we cut the nights to six hours). Brook came at seven to take us surfing (he is the first person to not only be eager to teach us but to suggest it himself—everyone else gets kind of possessive about their surfing abilities). Unfortunately, it was storming over the entire island and the water was really weird, so instead we went to this beach in Kaanapali and jumped off a really high lava rock into the ocean. We snuck into a hot tub at a resort and got all nice and warm, then drove back to our place and had mac and cheese. Jeanie and I went promptly to cleaning afterwards and then to Border’s.

I went on my “date” with Chas during my dinner break. It was perfect—and by that, I mean there was only one awkward silence, he didn’t try to plan a second date, and things were left friendly. What a relief.

And then we picked up our first hitchhiker (I feel a little guilty every time I don’t pick one up, so maybe it’s time to start being nice) on our way back from work. It was kind of cheating because we actually know him. His name’s Jose Z and he’s this cute little South American dude with a huge white beard and really tight bellbottom jeans who travels all over the world extracting healing oils from plants. He totally fits here. He gave me some little dried flowers today.

I’m feeling another shift in my relationship with Maui—I know it’s only been three months, but there’s already tension between a strong desire to move on to grad school and a strong love for this island lifestyle…. I know I couldn’t do what I’m doing now permanently, but I want an excuse to stay connected to Maui. It’s getting harder to imagine myself pulling out my baby roots. Then again, who knows? In three more months I might be ready to leave.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Strange Week....

It has been an interesting week. Some ups and downs, learning about my own selfishness and about being a good friend.... I've been a little off recently. In some ways I like who I'm becoming in Hawaii and in other ways I don't. Julie leaves tomorrow and Jeanie and I move back to our place and back to routine. Hopefully that will mean eating healthier and spending less money.

Today was gloriously sunny, FINALLY, and we got up early and went snorkeling. The highlight was seeing two turtles!

In other news, I found out I have a secret admirer at Border's. The other night I found a letter to me on the drink serving board, and it was from one of our regular customers who I didn't actually remember but who apparently has a huge crush on me, and he also informed me of an entire unofficial Kristina fan club consisting of our male customers. It was incredibly flattering--in fact, I have probably been blushing for three days straight. Anyway, I agreed to go out for lunch with him on Sunday after I figured out who he was and after emailing a bit. I'm not super excited about it--in fact, I frequently regret agreeing--but I like free food and I need to get over my dating anxiety. Oh, and he seems like a really nice guy.

Julie and David are listening to Adventures in Odyssey right now and I am silently (or not so silently) teasing/mocking them. Oh, Focus on the comment.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Julie and Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain

It has been awesome having Julie here! I love friends. Friday night was amazing--we went to church and then to Sansei for sushi with David and Loretta afterwards. It was the first time since moving here that I felt like I wasn't just hanging out with people but was really having good, loud, crazy fun with real friends. They do karaoke at Sansei, and it was a lot of fun (even though no, I didn't sing--into a microphone anyway). The sushi was delicious! Hooray for raw fish.

Other than that, we went to Wailea one night and that's it. We've been working, obviously, and on top of that it has been raining nonstop, which is highly unusual for this late in the winter. Since last Wednesday when Julie got here, we have had literally twenty minutes of sun. Period. Twenty minutes in four days. OK, I realize that many people back home think I'm whiny for complaining about the weather here when it is negative thirty and snowing there...but keep in mind that I moved four thousand miles away from home just so that I could live in a warm, sunny place. So I get to be bummed when it's rainy and 60 degrees.

Tonight was nice. After Jeanie and I got off work, we all sat on the porch in the sprinkles and had pineapple wine and homemade chocolate chip banana bread. It was so romantic.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Real House

Today is a good day. Julie is here! Her plane got in nice and early last night, so we hung out in Kahului for a bit, picked Jeanie up and work, and then chatted and laughed and caught up at our place 'til the wee hours of the morning. I forget how nice it is to have sleep-overs :) Jeanie and I had to clean this morning, and she just left to work at SBC, but I have the night off. We moved our stuff over to Retha's because we are house-sitting for the first week of the month she's gone, and it is unbelievably nice to be in a peaceful, real house. Everything is so clean and calm and not falling apart; I have completely forgotten what it's like to be in a house. I feel like I'm on vacation even though I know I have to work. And oh my word, I just realized she has a huge mango tree in her back yard!! Maybe some will be ripe enough to eat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Schedule Crap and Happy Things

Julie's coming tomorrow!!!!! I'm so excited :) She'll be visiting for a week, during which she'll follow us around to work, because no matter how hard we try, we can't get days off...EXCEPT that I traded my Friday closing shift for an opening one, so I've got Friday night off, and Jeanie traded to get her Saturday night off, so that's pretty much amazing. I get to go to church for the first time in a month!!!! Who knew that could be so exciting? I'm frustrated beyond belief that over two weeks ago I requested Friday and Saturday off, and I didn't get them. And I asked our manager, Kris, if Jeanie and I could have a couple of the same shifts because we share a car (earlier on, she said she'd be flexible/open to our scheduling conflicts and transportation situation), and she said if it worked out, she would, but she didn't. I don't like her as much as I did when I first started working there :( Have I mentioned yet that Jeanie and I have only had one day off together in the last several weeks? We have exactly opposite schedules. Other than the fact that I hate how I am scheduled for both of my jobs, life is good right now. Julie's coming!!! And my parents are back in MN, so I can talk to them on the phone again :)

And I looked over my banking info and found out I'm only $400 short of what I came with. That's pretty amazing considering I bought half of a car and went more than a month in expensive Hawaii with no income.