Monday, September 28, 2009

Dead Rat: A Short Graphic Novel

That's "short graphic novel," not "short, graphic novel." Though it might be graphic, too. We'll see how this goes.

One Woman's Quest to Destroy a Life

1. It is 2:15 and I am still awake, discovering that coffee+being alone at night+missing Isaac+a rat shoving tupperware off the kitchen shelf=not a good night's sleep. I flip on my lamp, yank the curtain back, and chase the rat away. I have set a trap, but am almost relieved that the rat seems to be ignoring it, because without Jeanie around, I'm not excited to deal with blood and guts on my own.

2. It comes back.

3. I barricade the doorway, afraid it will slip under the curtain.

4. Around 4 a.m., I finally slip into a brief slumber, only to be waken less than an hour later by the definite sound of a trap springing closed, followed by the whimper and thrashing of a suffering rat.

5. Now I am tired, upset, scared, and a little sad.

6. I add to the barricade. After all, rats have been known to spend their dying minutes smearing blood all over our rugs, books, clothes on the floor, etc. This one is NOT getting in.

7. An hour and a half later, the rat is still alive, and I am still awake. Eventually, as the rising sun brings the garbage trucks and the shop owners, I drift into sleep...and wake another couple hours later to creep into the kitchen, peer around the fridge, and find...

8. ...Dead Rat.

9. I get our neighbor, Glen, to carry it away for me, to where I don't know or care. And finally, I can maybe sleep in peace, in another fourteen hours or so.


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Whoa, this is my 101st post.

Today I finally felt better. And therefore launched back into work. LOTS of make-up cleaning to do (Retha's planning to take three days in a row off because she had to put in extra work while I was sick--she was so amazing to take it all on while I lay in bed), plus four nights in a row at Borders.... Awesome. I can't wait until Jeanie's back on Tuesday so we can complain to each other again. It's a comforting ritual.

I forgot to mention that I saw W.S. Merwin at Borders the other day. I wouldn't have recognized him but Sunny pointed him out and said that he and his wife come get coffee there a lot. He's a well-known poet, by the way. I was a little star-struck.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poor Sick Me, Miserable Work, Cave Crawling, and Vitamin Water from a Swiss Lady

I am sick :( I've gotten a few colds in Maui, but this seems to be the worst. And what makes it even more unpleasant is that I'm totally alone--no mom, no roommates, no boyfriend. I revert to childhood when I'm sick--I want to be taken care of, I want to be needy and lounge in bed and whine about how unfair life is. Instead, I have to make my own tea, shop for my own soup and fruit, wash my own dishes, scare the rats away on my own.... Poor, poor me. Ha ha, pitying myself just makes me laugh. Which makes me cough, and that makes me ache.

One more thing I want to complain about: Borders/Seattle's Best. I am SO over that job. It has become a joke among the cafe workers that every time we come in, we get scolded for something, whether we actually did it or not, everything from not getting enough Borders Rewards sign-ups (btw, if you ever shop at Borders, let someone sign you up for a rewards card. It's free, you never have to use it, and you might save someone's job.), to offering a medium instead of a large, to taking more than two minutes to make a drink. And it's completely arbitrary: our supervisor yells at us for doing things she's told us do in the past, and some people bear more pressure than others, even if they're trying harder. It's not a joke at all, in reality. It's totally discouraging, and no one is happy, including the customers. We've had customers freak out on us for trying to use pressure-sales tactics on them ("If I wanted a muffin, I would have asked for one! Stop manipulating the situation!"), and ironically, if we had any say, we never would have used them in the first place. The whole experience has turned me completely off to sales, as well as working for huge businesses (though I'm sure small businesses feel even more pressure to increase sales). In just a few months, I've gone from taking pride in our store to hating it.

And one bit of funness (which I realize isn't a word): Before I got sick, I went on this awesome exploration with some people from Ke Aha (Josh and a few others I'd never hung out with before). We went to this huge evergreen forest upcountry and crawled around in a bunch of caves that someone built into the side of a cliff, including one long tunnel that got me thoroughly claustrophobic and scared. We also found some forts and pushed some MASSIVE boulders down steep hills (SO satisfying). I'm going to take Jeanie there when she gets back and take some pictures to post.

So I'm at the Lodge right now to get internet, and of COURSE there would be issues I have to deal with, when I'm least functional. This one lady locked herself out of her room and kind of freaked out about it (she's WEIRD) and another lady who's been traveling for two days from Switzerland had reservations through Rick, who's a terrible communicator and totally dropped the ball. She, at least, is really nice and bought me "defense" (C and zinc) vitamin water for letting her use my phone. So at least some random stranger is looking out for me ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pictures and stuff

Since last time I wrote, I started feeling "bad," and now I'm feeling "good" again. Like I said, good thing life isn't about whether you feel happy or not.

It's crazy how different my perspective is now compared to when I moved here. I was so in love with Maui my first few months. I couldn't imagine leaving, I couldn't get over my awe at the natural beauty and the fascinating people I was meeting. Now I'm so ready to leave that I hardly notice the beauty; I could imagine myself leaving and never coming back, never even seeing a lot of my friends again and being OK with it. I really think that once I am away, I'll miss it A LOT, but for now I have this frustrating narrow-minded view that doesn't allow now to be as enjoyable as I anticipate the future to be. My apathy makes me lazy, bored, just getting through the day in order to get to the next day. And that is so unhealthy.

So I decided I really need to turn my perspective around. And today was a good first day of that. I did healthy stuff like get up earlier, eat better, pray, stay positive while working all ten and a half hours of my jobs, talk to more people, make plans with friends for my morning off tomorrow. I even worked on revising an old poem and put clean sheets on the bed. It's the little things that are important :)

I forgot to mention that I put some more pictures at the end of my FB album. I think they're mostly from Isaac's visit, just a few. I wish I was more of a photo taker. Click below:

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I feel good right now. I’m hesitant to even say that because I don’t believe life should be about feeling good or bad, but the truth is that I feel good right now. Because…

-I am motivated. I’m working on my application to Santisuk and flipped through a Thailand guidebook the other day and am SO excited thinking about going there.

-Today I got to communicate with Isaac in three different ways within the span of a few hours: phone, video chat, and email. As much as I scorn “Technology,” it is becoming my friend. I can’t believe how much of a difference it makes to be able to see someone’s face as you talk to them.

-I’m missing Jeanie and realizing how awesome it is to live with her, to be so comfortable with someone that you feel like they’re an extension of you (but in a non-self-centered way). At the same time, I’m enjoying the challenge of living alone for a couple weeks, finding things to do alone, making plans with other people (which is, for me, a pretty big accomplishment. I’m good at letting others make plans with me but not so good at taking the initiative myself). Tonight I’m going to see a movie with Jeffree, going to the beach with Sunny tomorrow, and hanging out with Angela and Tani (from Ke Aha) tomorrow night. I think that means I can take Saturday night for myself and not feel guilty.

-Christmas is only three months away. The end of life in paradise is in sight. I realize how lame it must sound for me to be excited to leave what seems like the perfect setting. Oh, yes, it’s just so hard to live in the most beautiful place in the world, playing at the beach whenever I want to, working with fascinating people in a coffee shop, having an infinite number of cool friends to get to know, hiking and exploring surreal spots. All I want is to be in a cold, gray place in winter. Hooray! Ha ha. I can’t remember wanting and anticipating something more strongly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Today I used vines to climb down a waterfall

Isaac is gone :( It adds another level of intensity to my antsy-ness to leave Maui, that's for sure. It's hard, but at the same time, it's kind of cool to get the chance to learn to communicate long-distance. There's something to be said for a few months of plain communication--learning to express ourselves and get to know each other through words only, whether written or spoken.

I looked at a guidebook for Thailand during my work break today, and I am PUMPED to go there. It looks incredible! And the food.........!

Jeanie is going back to MN for two weeks for her sister's wedding. She leaves tomorrow. It's going to be so strange! For nine months, we've seen each other every single day, with very few exceptions, and suddenly I'm going to spend two whole weeks without her! I'm not worried about finding stuff to do or people to hang out with, but I'm going to feel like part of me is missing :( Both of us get a little choked up when we think about leaving each other for good when we leave Maui--we've gotten so close through our time here that it's depressing to think about being far away from her in the future.

I've read some good books lately. There are few things that feel better than knowing you are reading/have read a good book. My favorites were Maus, Blankets, and Flowers for Algernon. The first two are graphic novels, which I've been getting pretty into lately. Also loved the movies The Fall and The Lives of Others. Most of those titles were recommendations from Isaac--I have to give him the credit for having good taste.

I realize I hardly ever talk about my coworkers. Jeanie and I have gone to a few coworker get-togethers lately. One was for Sanoe's birthday (she's from Borders) and one for Luisa's (she's from the Lodge), then this past Saturday we had a karaoke party with Borders employees. That was a lot of fun. I love getting a taste of Asian culture here--I was never aware that it was popular to rent a party room that comes set up with a karaoke machine. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Late-night Update

I'm currently typing on my new laptop as I watch Isaac and Josh play Zelda.... Video games, my fave. It's kind of late and I'm tired, so I can't promise this will be the prettiest blog ever.

So, Isaac is here, obviously. He attempted to surprise me and told me he was coming last Friday but came the Sunday before, instead. However, I am incredibly smart, so I figured it out (mostly through some suspicious questions Josh asked me) and it was completely not a surprise, but still sweet :) Needless to say, we've been spending a lot of time together before he leaves Wednesday. Hiking, swimming, eating out, watching movies...the usual. We hung out with his cousin Maile and his friend Ken, who was visiting from Iraq (actually, he was mostly visiting Maile, because they are dating). I can't even think what else.... It has been so good to have him here--it breaks the time up so that now we have less than four months until we see each other again.

Right before he came, I went on one of the best explorations yet, with Jeanie, Josh, and Brook. We squeezed through a gate into a mine shaft and went to the bottom of that, then looked for this bunker we knew was somewhere in the area (at the foothills of the West Mauis) and instead got chased by dogs on someone's property, swam in a river, and walked through fields of Kiawes (thorn trees). I also got stung by a bee. It was fun :) I'm going to miss Maui.