Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Owen Wilson Sightings, Family, Guitar, Middle-Aged-Man Magnet

So much to update!
First, click below to check out new pics:

Lola and Julia have been here this past week and are leaving tomorrow. It's been a whirlwind with Jeanie's parents, my parents, and Lola and Julia all here. We have been having SO much fun with the girls. Between me, Jeanie, and David, we have taken them to all sides of the island. My favorite thing so far was snorkeling this morning! Beautiful. The summer weather is incredible: sunny, hot, clear.... Every day is a perfect beach day.

Also, they got to see Owen Wilson twice! We first saw him outside Cafe des Amis. We were there for breakfast, and I saw this guy look in the window. We made eye contact and I did a double-take to make sure it really was him. He looks exactly like he does in movies, maybe a little less pretty. When we left, we stood outside for a while and he came out of Cafe Mambo. We giggled like idiots as he came out and ducked past us, his bodyguards/friends staying in between him and us. So thrilling! I can now leave Maui fulfilled. Anyway, they saw him again on the drive to Hana (I skipped out on that one)--he and Woody Harrelson and possibly Luke Wilson were biking up the road and said hi!

This past weekend we house-sat at the Lodge, which was great because it's a nice big house AND we got to eat any of the food/drink any of the alcohol left behind by Greg and Maria, who are sadly gone for five or six months. We had a big family barbecue (by family I mean the girls, Jeanie's parents, my parents, and David), using the grill and tiki bar thing at the Lodge. Family is awesome.

Loretta and Onassis left on Thursday :( It's especially sad and even nostalgic because Loretta was our first real friend on Maui. She played an important role in our adjustment to life here.

I've discovered the bizarre and disturbing fact that I get hit on by a lot of middle-aged men, especially at Border's--more than my other coworkers do. Usually it's just "you have such a beautiful smile," but the other day this man who had to have been almost 60 asked me what I did in my free time, if I wanted to go on this hike with him, if he could join my fan club. SOOOOOO creepy. I DON'T do anything to encourage stuff like that at all! Ick ick ick ick ick.

I am learning how to play the guitar! David taught me G, D, A, and E. I'm such a wimp, my fingers hurt from pressing the strings down. I really need stuff like this right now--fresh new activities and outlets to get excited and feel good about. Haha, I already have a past in Maui that I feel the urge to escape. I can relate to those who leave places to put unpleasant things or relationships behind them, though I'm not one of those people. Running away doesn't solve anything.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Visitors, Quarter-Life Crises, and Surreal Hikes

Lola is coming today!!!! She and her friend Julia are visiting for a week, and I'm so excited to see her! It hit me suddenly last night that our last wave of planned visitors until December is here right now. Jeanie's dad and step mom arrived last Saturday, so they will overlap with Lola (and my parents, too!). It's so much fun having so many people from MN here. We had dinner with our parents last weekend, which was awesome!

And then Jeanie's mom is hoping to come visit again at Christmas. I will be in Portland, the only time I'm planning to leave Maui before I LEAVE Maui in the summer 2010. We've been here almost six months! So our time is a third of the way over? It seems like it's going fast, but SO much can still happen in a year....

I think I'm going through a quarter-life crisis, where I'm far more uncertain and afraid of the future than I was when I graduated from college. OK, grad school is a concrete and straightforward plan, but what does it actually look like? Moving to a new place alone. And what about after that? Trying to find a JOB? Or, more likely, taking off on a series of wanderings that, while fulfilling, require me to leave behind people and places every time, losing almost as much as I'm gaining. It's incredible how closely pain and joy are related, if you truly allow yourself to experience the depth of life. Life is rough.

Changing the subject, our friend Isaac took us on this insane hike the other day. It's one of those that's definitely off the map. All the water systems in Maui are privately owned, and there are miles and miles of weird irrigation and dam systems that are off-limits but in gorgeous places. On this hike, you climb over a turnstyle, walk up a road past all these cows, then turn off and scramble up a river bed, weaving through vines and branches. Suddenly the river narrows and you brace yourself between rock walls and climb up a small waterfall. But the BEST part is after this, when you realize you are entering a cave, a long one-way series of channels, pools, and waterfalls. It gradually gets pitch black and you have to blindly hang on to any handholds you can find and plunge into pools that are, for all you know, infinitely deep. The very end of the cave opens into a lake that you swim across, following the sound of a 20-foot waterfall at the end. Which of course you have to climb up. At the top you come to a retaining wall and squeeze through a drain/grate thing and are back at the river. Beyond that, there are huge beautiful waterfalls and lakes to explore. SO surreal.

It's things like this hike that keep me grounded and remind me how overwhelmingly blessed I am. Maui has got to be the best place to go through a crisis. Try getting your heart broken or freaking out about the future in the frigid uncaring doom of Minnesota. I've also found that I prefer being around people when I'm depressed--interacting with customers and coworkers at SBC provides relief and sanity rather than being draining. There are four friends in particular--Isaac, Micah, Sarah, and Holly--who've been hanging out there a lot recently and who I really appreciate.

I just found out Lola's flight is delayed until tomorrow :( She's stuck in Seattle :( :( :(

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Owen, Holly, Spock, frat boys, editing, parents, tantalizing, stupid expensive gas, Loretta

Snapshots of the last week or so:

Owen Wilson was in town again. We stalked his house (climbed a tree right by his property—we are SO creepy) but never saw him. I did, however, see Laird Hamilton (a surfer), who’s fairly famous, so that’s cool I guess.

Holly is here, just for a week. Jeanie and I have visited with her a bit. Today we were over at Maria’s with her and met Kieva’s two new cats, whom he named Marshmallow and Roasted Marshmallow. He is convinced that those two names are completely distinct.

I saw Star Trek. Not my choice, and not my favorite, but still fairly entertaining. I have a little thing for Spock.

We cleaned this terribly nasty six-bedroom house (which we actually almost ended up living in, way back at the beginning of our time here) that has been full of terribly nasty frat-like boys who do things like pee on rugs (to be fair to them, they are really nice boys). We feel that it is NOT our duty to clean up after them and are a little irritated, especially because we ended up putting in too many hours last week.

I’m editing another manuscript, a children’s story written by a man whose parents know my parents. Once again, the process is both enjoyable and frustrating. I love editing, but I’d love it even more if the writers knew how to use a computer properly so I don’t have to put so much effort into fixing their formatting errors.

I’ve spent some solid time with my parents. Last Sunday I went to Kihei in the evening and had dinner (yummy Thai food) and ice cream with them, and this Sunday for mother’s day, I did the same thing and we had Indian food and cheesecake and walked on the beach. Saturday was a perfect day because I had it completely off, and Jeanie, David, and I met up with my parents and drove to the west side of the island to an area we’d never been. We went hiking on this old, huge plantation and then went to a beach, where we had the most spectacular snorkeling and rock-scrambling experiences. Even after five months of living here, it stuns me how incredible it is that I live in such a beautiful place with so much to offer.

Jeanie and I made up a fun work game where we come up with words or phrases for the other person to have to say to customers. We played with Sunny, and she had to say “tantalizing.” It was hilarious. She did not appreciate the game.

Gas went up TEN cents today. Which brings it to almost $3, almost 60c more than when we moved here. Bummer.

Loretta and Onassis are moving to Texas in a week. It'll be hard to say goodbye to them. Loretta came up to Paia yesterday and spent the morning/afternoon with us.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

People are Complicated

I realize I've stopped updating this as often as before, sorry. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that life is shifting from new adventures and stories into a normal life of ups and downs in relationships, which are harder to write about. I'm learning more clearly than I ever have how love can be mingled with incredible pain. But it's amazing to develop deep friendships with people and grow in a relationship with God through the process. Ha, it's really hard to express all this. I'm still so unbelievably content here, happier than I've ever been, but I'm also going through this rough patch, basically getting my heart broken, I suppose.

The pastor of Hope Chapel passed away a week ago. Pr. Kit battled leukemia for over a year, and we were having a Friday night service to celebrate him when he died. He had been preaching up until that point, but that Friday he was too weak to come to church, and he died in the middle of the service while all these people were getting up to say how much he impacted their lives. I never met him, but he seems like an incredible man, and it was staggering when Pastor Ben announced at the end of the service that he had just died. I went to his memorial service last Thursday, and that was cool--more rejoicing than mourning.

Last night Jeanie and David and I went to a birthday party for Brook and his twin sister Spring (haha, yes, they are both named after water. Apparently their mom's kind of a hippie), which had a salsa theme--there was a lesson and then just dancing. It was a lot of fun. I really, really enjoy that group of friends. They're so friendly, inclusive, crazy and chill at the same time. Brook's brother Daniel is visiting from CA--he's a filmmaker, won a Sundance award, knows Greg Laswell. So cool! It's weird how everyone on Maui is connected. That customer who asked me out was there, and I was like, crap, he's probably wondering where my boyfriend is, the one who wouldn't be too happy if I went on a date with him. Awkward.

I've been pretty dang busy, but there's not much to say about that...working, bonding with people--friends, co-workers, customers--stressing about relationships.... Yup.