Friday, July 31, 2009

Shout out to my kinda sorta Ohana back home

Rarrr tanning at Hilton lagoon 2
Rarrr stealing some sun action at the Hilton's oceanfront thief.

This Summer of Irrevocable Awesomeness is made better by better people...It's been a huge surprise to hear from people who I never imagined reading this blog but who I love no less because of that thought...I just never imagined people would care too much, especially old friends...which kind of makes you wonder why you ever got new friends??

Even before we left a really good friend of mine, Mary Ann, would get in touch from time to time just to say, "hey," and let me know that she was reading and enjoying the blog. She even dropped me a quick have fun email which is more than about 98% of the people I know did. I love that girl...she's never been anything but unbelievable to me.

Then I get home tonight and find an email from another old friend ( and MA buddy) Lori, and she goes and makes me feel like a billion and half dollars...her and another stellar friend of mine, Ivy...together those three girls have always been the epitome of irrevocable awesomeness. They're seriously kind and I light up every time I see them.

There are others that drop in and check the whole b-log out pretty regularly too...Stacey and Denise from work are two reasons why I go to work and it's just icing on a pretty damn good cake that they actually care so much about other people, especially people like us here at Team Zedder.

My good bestest friend from growing up, Johhny Teetumstein checks in regularly and one of the best parts of this whole Daddy thing has been reconnecting with JT. Even in Hawaii I'm excited to get home and finally see Johnny Lawnchair in person after a decade or so.

I'm missing about a hundred and half people...sschfifteen-teen maybe even...but it's amazing to me that anyone save family reads this nonsense. Maybe I'll take some of your advice and turn all these words and sentences and paragraphs etc...into a life that is built around them someday...or maybe not. I kinda like my life right now.

Thanks for dropping by you guys, but mostly thanks for just giving a sh!t. It's a pretty cold world, and can be even in Hawaii, but you folks warm it up plenty good. For most of you I've probably never told you how cool you are or much I dig you real. Maybe because we didn't hang out all that much, or maybe because we were dudes and dudes don't say that sh!t, but I'm sayin' it...People like Ivy and MA, and Lori...Johnny T and Stace and Denise make me smile a lot more than I already do and I smiled a helluva lot already.

Thanks guys, and mahalo.

By the way...I typed this entire blog post buck naked with only an increasingly dramatic tan line there to discern where I was previously wearing clothing earlier today. Life in Hawaii sucks the mustard (I was actually wearing only a towel...even here in paradise I'm tragically modest with things like gratuitous and reckless nudity...tragically).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coolest Boss Ever On The Whole Planet

Just got me an email from da, not Bruce Springsteen TB and Aimee...M.Smith that's who, only the best boss ever on the giant spinning world. No real (man, I can't get enough of that "fo real" business).

I got a boss that sends me an email to make sure we're doin' good and we're all cool and's that? That's awesome, that's how's that. Have I ever mentioned how my working life is just the best ever?

Anyway...I heard this great story today and I'm sending it to everyone at the Y back everyday ohana...for all we're lucky enough to get paid to do...It's calledKa Hôkû Kai or The Starfish...

Once upon a time, there was a wise kupuna (elder),
who went to the sea to contemplate.
One day, while walking along the shore,
the kupuna looked down the beach,
and saw a gracefully dancing
human figure.

The kupuna wondered out loud,
"Who would so joyfully greet this day with hula?"
and began to walk faster to catch up.

Getting closer,
the kupuna saw that the dancer was a keiki (child),
who was not dancing at all.
The keiki was reaching down to the sand to pick up something,
and was very gently throwing it into the sea.

The kupuna called out to the keiki,
"Aloha! What are you doing?"

The keiki paused, looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish into the sea."

Surprised, the kupuna sputtered,
"I...I guess I should have asked,
WHY are you throwing starfish into the sea?"

The keiki smiled brightly, pointed upward and,
with exquisite simplicity, replied,
"The sun is up, the tide is going out.
If I don't throw them in, they will die."

"But, don't you realize, " asked the kupuna,
"that there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it?
You can't possibly make a difference!"

The keiki listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another starfish,
threw it gently into the sea, just beyond the breaking waves,
and exuberantly declared,
"It made a difference for that one."

Jake Shimabukuro at the Zoo...Oh, and Tigger pooped in my closet


Zo and her entourage caught the free concert series down at the Waikiki Zoo tonight and it was the best part of the trip so far. It was Jake Shimabukuro and it cost a painful three bucks each. It was all locals and easily the best time so far.

June and I have developed a nasty aversion to the tourist trap that most travel has become...we just don't wanna participate. We do our best to settle into a place and then just really get in tune with it's rhythm and soul and roll with it. Waikiki was feeling a little touristy until tonight. We sat on a lawn in front of the stage with a few hundred families it seemed like, all of our kids playing together, Jake strumming away in the background. Zoey cranked out an easy three or four good buddies that she played with the whole time...a little Hawaiian girl named Layla and a couple of beautiful little sisters. They were all enjoying a rousing game of jumping around (Zoey with some help) when the youngest girl suddenly stopped and told June and I that her cat Tigger pooped in her closet. See what I mean? Best part of the trip.

There must have been a few hundred families on the lawn and I think Zo was the whitest of the bunch...Hawaiian, Japanese, more Japanese, and then a few more Japanese kids just for good measure...It's the most beautiful mix of people here you've ever seen...ever. We both spend every day marveling at the attractiveness of everyone around here...Throw together the next generation of mixed cultures and you're flat out floored by the beautiful kids running around. Mixed marriages are everywhere and it's a nice knock out punch to the jaw of any thoughtless aryan types...Mash up a couple of cultures and just watch the beautiful kids giggle and smile forever after. Just like our little Zo, to a lesser extent I suppose. She's only 1/4 Japanese but man oh man is she ever a popular girl with everyone here. Everyone is telling her how beautiful she is and I'm worried it's going straight to her head.

Zo and Rarrr aft before Jake in Waikiki
Zo chillin' on a street cruise a few hours before Jake

Anyway, Jake was great...the families all hanging out and picnicing together etc...was even better. It's a nice little zoo too...we'll be back just to check it out a little better and then there are two more Wednesday concerts coming up too. Looks like we'll be regulars at the Waikiki Zoo.

Wow, tonight felt great...better than some teenager trying to rent you a stand up paddle board for $40 an hour. Tonight was beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as these two turtles we found making sweet, sweet love before the show...


Beautiful...just beautiful...mostly the night and not as much the turtles doing it. #$%&ing turtles...that's pretty cool though. Just short of beautiful, but cool as hell I think.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise...

Rarrr w sunglasses and Coors

We're starting to get pretty familiar with this place...enough so that we kind of loosely wander through each day...maybe get somethin' done...maybe not. It's a tragedy of Elizabethan proportions. Fall asleep early, wake up easy...walk, some sun, some beach, some more sleep...maybe go somewhere...pool...Throw some coffee, beers and the odd burger in there and BAM, you've got our day for the most part. I try to avoid seeing the Tigers score and June mostly tries to get Zoey to acoid putting her mouth on the benches and rails that homeless people lean on. In the immortal words of Joe #$%king Walsh, "Life's been good to me so far..." I wish I could type that cool guitar part he does after that...

There's about a million photos a day to post so I won't even try...but here are a few favorites from the day...

June and Zo in the pool 2
When the ocean is 6 ft plus there's always the pool, and Zoey loves the pool

June and Zo in the pool 3
She might love Mom in the pool more than just the pool all by itself

Zo lacin up new Nikes
Zo tryin' on some new Nikes...

Zo new Nikes
They're all velcro and coolness with an air sole...sure they cost a lot but then so does cool.

We're supposed to head out to the USS Arizona at Pearl tomorrow but maybe we'll forget? The only thing we gotta do is drag our slipper tanned feet over to the Waikiki Zoo for the summer concert series performance tomorrow night. It's Jake Shimabukuro, and if you've never heard of him slip on over to Youtube and check him out. He's awesome. Take a peek...

It's a $3 donation to the zoo and Jake's on stage at 6pm and done shortly after 7pm...That's what I call Zoey friendly. Now I gotta go out and get me a uke! Start like Jake someday...maybe not.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conundrum is an awfully big word...and 6 ft is an awfully big wave

SUP Waikiki

So here's the conundrum, awfully big word or not.

To surf or not to surf, it seems that is the question. Sounds like it really shouldn't be something that you debate or endure any kind of inner monologue for but so it is. See, everywhere you look there's surfing, and unfortunately every haole ever is getting in on the game. You can hear the locals talk and laugh, and who really wants to go there. Well, I do for thats not my problem so much as the other mitigating factors...

First, salt water tastes like great big bowls of sh!t...

Second, your gonna suck, and your gonna suck for awhile

Third, when you suck you end up pooping out salt water for days. I'm not kidding.

Fourth, you gotta pay somebody to do all that sucking and pooping of salt water AND your mouth tastes like a McDonalds french fry tray except without all that McDonaldsy goodness.

Lastly, I'm here for a month and I can't pay to do it for a month nor can I bring those skills home, AND I absolutely loathe those people who live in southwestern Ontario and talk about how they loved surfing so much and blah blah be blah blah....Those people are gits.

So, I may compromise.

I've enjoyed the notion of stand up paddling for quite awhile much because Chris Chelios says it's the best workout ever as the fact that here in Hawaii it's the original form of surfing and cool as hell. Now THAT I could bring back to Lake Huron and my own backyard and have a blast all the Quiksilver board shorts or fake shaka handshake required....and far less salt water coming out of me rectum.

Don't get me wrong...I love the notion of surfing, but it just makes no sense to pay to get drilled and have the experience be absolutely a once off. And learning here in Hawaii does nothing for you in San Clemente come this December, or Cocoa Beach come March, or any other damn trip you take between now and forever. It sure as hell doesn't help you in your own backyard. Surfing is one of those things that you have to do regularly to be even remotely competent at. Plus, I'm haole enough without the giant 12 ft rubber surf board (6'3" and 250 lbs requires a space shuttle of a surf board so add that behemoth backslap to the mix). I'm a confident enough guy that I can drench myself in this culture and love every second of it but not need to tell you how hardcpre the waves were brah...that's #$%@king embarrassing when guys do that.

So SUP it is I think...I'll pay the bucks and then see what I can work out for the rest of the month and if it's reasonable then I'll be drifting around each and every day...if it's not, I'll be boogie boarding with the rest of the twelve year olds...

It's funny to hear people talk. This isn't Lake Erie man...this is the Pacific Ocean! There are undertows and rips and currents flip flopping all over the place...maybe I'll post some video. The surf has been big here all 6 ft right here in Waikiki...which is huge. If you don't think 6 ft is huge when you're out floating in it then you're stoned. Waikiki is as safe a beach as any to try surfing but not when it's 6 ft...sure, they'll rent you a board...and sure, they'll take you out, and yes, they'll put you somewhere safe, but there's a reason there's lifeguards on the beach...lifeguards cruising the breaks in Jet skis, and Life guards out in the line up on boards themselves...because it's the ocean, and if you get pulled under here you don't resurface until Alaska.

'Heavy' is a relative term...nuthin' that funny can't fix

Bri w Rarrr - Kuhio Beach

We've been havin' fun as you could's an easy task here on O'ahu, but there are reminders all around of the cost of this life. Homelessness is pretty rampant here, as it is everywhere the sun shines, and if you're paying attention (which you should be) it's easy to realize that you're playing an integral role in the whole structure of the community that nurtures such a blight. Nurture might be a harsh term but if you're not actively working hard to fix the problem, not eradicate it or hide it, but fix the problem, then you're nurturing it. If you want to argue the point bring your Gatorade 'cause I could go all night. There are reminders in every direction that you've got something that a lot of other people don't have...hell, even the maids cleaning your room...even the guy renting you your surfboard, or serving you your being here is a reminder that without you there are no jobs, but with you a system of haves and have nots is perpetuated endlessly.

It can be a heavy subject...weighty thoughts when your supposed to be having fun, enjoying life, but I find it hard when the people who aren't are right there under your nose. It's taken a lot of years and some important lessons to remind me of how lucky I am and how unfortunate others are, and it's been those same stomach flipping lessons that have also taught me that there isn't much in the particular world that we live in that can't be served up a little better with some humor. Hell, that's why we drag Rarrrr's arse around with us wherever we go. It's pretty hard to take life too seriously when you've got a pink stuffed Domo Kun with you.

Tonight an obviously homeless and not very healthy man came and sat near us on the lava rock wall at Kuhio Beach. Maybe it's from familiarity or maybe it's just what your gut tells you, but I knew he was going to talk to me...I knew it. Not a scared or loathsome knowledge, not at all, just a sturdy surety that he was eyeing us up for potential conversation...He was.

Zo and I were playing and she was a little tired so more than cuddly and smiley...when she's tired she can get downright affectionate. We were kissing and laughing and not paying attention at all when he walked up to us. We were just packing up to leave when he strolled over and in the most unassuming voice he said, "Is this your baby?

"Yeah, I said...six months old today."

He smiled and stooped over to get a better look at her. He was dirty and disheveled, certainly suffering from some mental health issues, but he had some seriously kind eyes and was as gentle as the ocean breeze.

"She's beautiful, he said, wow," he paused. "I saw you loving her and it reminded me how much God loves us all."

He wasn't preaching but rather stating a fact. He never took his eyes off of Zoey. He truly was making an observation and just sharing it. I'm not religious in any way, shape or form, but I wasn't his looks or beliefs. He saw a father in obvious love with his daughter and wanted to say something.

I said, "Yup, just without the diaper wipes, huh?"

He grinned and enjoyed the joke, " No sir, he uses them too.

"Uses 'em on all of us I bet," I flipped back with a smile.

"Yep," he added grinning just as we were starting to walk away.

"Goodbye," he added, "You have a nice night."

That was it...that was all. Looking back the whole exchange makes me feel good, like some random unnecessary connection with a guy who maybe hadn't had one in awhile. Nothing to be scared of or confrontational about. There were plenty of people around, and I was prepared for a great many scenarios, but none arose. I knew that none would...He was just a man that wanted to say he did. I'm glad I met him. Maybe if I see him tomorrow I'll say hi. Heavy is, indeed, a relative term but funny is sometimes right where you look for it. I don't think I'll easily forget that conversation.

Things Aren't Always Easy Smooth in Paradise

Surfboard rentals w bike

That's a heavy title for what might not amount to a very heavy post...or of course it could. Mostly today was a down day...we were a little sunburnt, a lot tired, and in need of some normalcy...Zo too. So we woke up late, got out of bed late, and all of us tackled the three mile stretch that just Zo and he had been enjoying. Turns out that whether you're here in paradise or back home in Brights Grove, it's entirely possible to be out of rhythm completely without doing a damn thing. We were cutting each other off, slowing each other down, working on making a frustrating morning out of a beautiful one. It's like old Augustus McCrae said in Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove"...

"Life in San Francisco is still just life," and one of the greatest characters ever written is right...only this is O'ahu.

We eventually got back on track and in rhythm and the day roared on past. It was a pretty quiet one but a good one here at the tail end of it. Zo's on her way off to sleep...Mom and Dad are gonna take some time to eat and hang out, albeit with a sleeping kid no less than five feet away but the louder it is the better it seems. There's a giant bottle of Kona Brewing Company's Longboard Ale in the fridge, along with a Big Wave Golden Ale, and a Fire Rock Pale Ale, all beauty micro's from over at Kailua-Kona on the big island. It's shaping up to be a nice and easy night. The winds are blowing quietly and the whole south shore has cooled off. Now let's just hope the Zed falls asleep without too much of a struggle.

Took more shots today since we've been slacking...always attached to le beeb and always laying real low. The day folds out pretty nice, just like you were here (but not quite) when you pull up the pics and dump 'em off the camera.

Palms w hammock and Diamondhead
How's this to start your day? If your relaxing in a hammock under Diamondhead at 8am then you've got no worries.

The day started off kilter but how off kilter does Waikiki get? Not very.

June stroller w Diamondhead
June and the Zed on a not so average stroll with Diamondhead looking down.

We cruised further than we had before, right below Diamondhead and through the park and some residential area. Some of the places 'round here are worth millions...a block off the beach and nestled in below Diamondhead...three bedroom bungalow on a crowded street...$2 million...easy.

Waikiki bungalow
One block from world famous surf...a backyard view of a world famous natural landmark...a cool $2 million

One of our favorite parts of these places where surfing and beach culture take root (which is SO FAR removed from an all-inclusive it's not even funny) is the completeness of the culture. If you grow up in San Clemente or Waikiki you surf, that's it...period. It's a pretty simple equation. There are roof racks on every car...there are surf board carriers on bicycles...there are old men walking to the beach with 11' boards and little groms still soaking wet walking home with tiny wafers of boards, sometimes they're both cruising on skateboards. When you live this close and in this much harmony with the beach, it drenches everything...even scooters

Scooter w surf rack
You gotta get that board and your behind to the beach somehow...

By the time we got home Dad needed a nap, but Zo and June got busy finding us something to do. We've got lots planned...just nothing today.

Zo w June reading the paper
Zo does her best to help but that whole "can't read" thing makes it tough

Right 'round dinner time we stumbled into a live hula band going off down on Kalakaua so we settled in for some uke love...

Mom w Zo watching Hula Band

Then we wandered back down to Kuhio Beach and chilled while the sun faded...Zo w Dad - Kuhio Beach
Dad and Zo soaking it up...

It was a good day that didn't start out in any kind of groove. It's easy to rally with this view, but then it was a nice reminder that it doesn't matter where you is life.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Band Aid's My A$$...Penny Lane IS TOO a groupie!

It's times like these I'm glad that I'm in the middle of an ocean and far far away from the maddening world...sadly, not far enough away to miss this awful snapshot.

Hudson A-Rod smooch

Kate Hudson and Alex Roidriguez? Awww, c'mon world...would ya throw us a fastball low and away just once. This curveball diet sucks the mustard right out of a Fenway Frank!

From a parenting perspective we're going to use this as a teachable moment...

First, Kate Hudson is officially a perfectly acceptable example of a debatable tramp, that individual that seems to be otherwise but who's actions suggest silly tramp. Look and learn Zo.

Second, that Alpha male A-Rod types need to be avoided, almost exclusively. Are you paying attention dear?

Third, that one stupid decision, like making out with Alex Rodriguez, can ruin any previous awesomeness you once had. Example: Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" will never be the same. How can you ever look at Patrick Fugit again and hope deep down that he just might get the girl...not now after the girl has A-Rod finger smudges all over her...

Lastly, when you're in a beautiful exotic place never EVER read the NY Daily News...ever.

Did you get all that Zoey Sakura? You better have. I'm too distressed to repeat it.

Also, the word of the day today is superciliousness...we'll explain what it means later, just know that it's the word of the day today.

Say "humu humu nuku nuku āpuaʻa" Three Times Fast

Whoa...just stumbled into the fact that Hawaii's State fish is the humu humu nuku nuku āpuaʻa which is crazy! I don't even know what that is but that's one helluva name! I don't even want to look that up. I just want to imagine the craziest fish ever. With a name like humu humu nuku nuku āpuaʻa dat fish has gotta be nutso lookin''s just gotta be!

I'm picturing this...I could be wrong...

VW Fish

I really need to find something to do today that isn't just a playground for my imagination. Adventuring around in the South Pacific sun is a breeding ground for stupid thoughts.

Tanned Babies are practically the best thing ever.

week 25 - all she wants is the camera

Zoey's got a little tan on her face! It's surprising only because she's been the palest little thing on the planet for six months, but last night I noticed that her face has some color and it's cute as hell.

We've been working really hard to shield her from the sun out here. It burns quick and you can feel it's strength drill down right through whatever SPF you've got on. She mostly stays wrapped in a sarong in the carrier or covered in her stroller. Naturally, she sees a tonne of sun but we protect her as best as we can and we've been fortunate so far...just a tiny tan. We typically search for some shade down at Kuhio Beach where the park provides more shade than anywhere else on that stretch of sand. We're quick to the ocean, showers and shitters (I know that sounded funny and that's exactly why I used it there) and both the zoo and aquarium are at that end of the beach. Blah, blah, blah...I suppose if you've never been, but if you have you'll know that it's a nice place for the Zed to ease into some sun.

Zo's tan has us wondering what kind of look she's going to grow into. I guess every parent spends an inordinate amount of time staring into the mirror for their child and with Zo we're we're no different. We both find her looks are shifting each week but only subtly so. Her eyes, we noticed, are looking more and more like they've been influenced by the Yamaya family as much as any other. Sure they're a deep blue (a characteristic that still floors Baachan, a grandchild with blue eyes) but have a definite almond shape and squish into nothing whenever she smiles...which is a lot.

Her face, oddly, seems narrower first thing in morning when she wakes and gradually falls into a wider, more rounded shape as the day progresses. If you doubt me then you need to wake up with her each morning and then fall asleep with her each night...which reminds me to tell you to sod off if you laughed at that 'cause I'm her parent and see it every single day, you're just reading a blog...She's no different than the rest of us, more refreshed looking in the morning, thinner I'm sure, and less wore down by the day.

Zo's growing but upward much more than outward. We're looking forward to her next doctor's appt. to see what he weight gain has been like. She seems taller but hasn't added a single roll save for a little weight under her chin. Of course, we don't know what to expect and what we here from others is a confusing blend of this and that. She's, she's long...she's gonna be tall...oh my, she's petit...whatever, you're all nuts. She's just Zoey.

Both June and I can't wait for the day, maybe next summer, for sure the one after that, when this kid just runs around the beach with a tiny little naked bum all tanned and sun crazy. Right now we have to be happy with little brown cheeks and a translucent torso.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thank Heaven For Little Girls...


Thank Heaven for Little Girls isn't just a lame blog post title...It's a portion of a Magnum P.I. episode title, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls, and Big Ones Too," that aired on Christmas Day in 1980. The only reason I bring it up is because it's the first and only time that the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium appears in the series which is the exact location of Zedder and my walks each and every day. It's a real tragic enterprise...wake up and chill out in bed with June and Zo...usually 'bout 6am or so...then Zed and I load up and head out for a hike through Waikiki while Mom heads for some alone time at the gym. Zo and I walk down the block or so from Kuhio to Kalakaua and then cruise the strip all the way to the beach and across towards Diamondhead and the War Memorial. Then we haul it back, maybe take a few detours and get sidetracked a little...maybe walk a little further...either way it's about a three miler, and it's a beauty way to start each day. I'm sure Mom agrees. By the time each day is over we probably log between five and seven or eight miles...just cruising around....adventuring in an urban Hawaiian kind of way.

This whole week the 25th Annual Quicksilver Longboard Classic is rolling out at the beach and they start early, so Zo and I get to soak in some of that each day. By the time we roll home Mom's had anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours to just breathe and pay attention to herself which she gets almost never. Zed and I get to run the streets and beaches of Waikiki and you can guarantee an hour's nap for the Zipster somewhere in there. It's a hard life but you manage it the best you can.

Duke statue Waikiki
We walk past the Duke Kahanamoku statue...

Beach at Waikiki
Past this awesomeness...

Royal Hawaiian Waikiki
...and head back toward the Royal Hawaiian and soak up that view all the way back in from Diamondhead...

My life sucks...

No Opening Monologue Does This Place Justice...None

Hawaiian evening

Remember when you'd hear Thomas Magnum's voice reminiscing as the opening monologue to some of the better episodes of Magnum P.I.? There'd be a sunset or sunrise in the picture, or maybe Thomas was out of his surfski alone, or swimming in the tidal pool. One of my favorites was, "Hawaii is one of those places that keeps topping itself - just when you think you'll never see a sunset as beautiful, there comes a sunrise that even Gaughin can't imagine. It kind of makes unemployment easier to take." You can learn a lot from watching Magnum P.I. if you're paying attention, and boy, was I ever paying attention...all eight seasons worth, as they aired and then again and again in re-runs and now once again on DVD. Oh, was I paying attention.

It's a little difficult to explain without sounding all smarmy or telling people what they already might know but it's my blog so deal with it. This's exotic but then there's a Burger King down the street. It's full of tourists but locals are everywhere and the aloha spirit is a pretty big deal, even to's tropical but so unlike what most of us midwesterners understand of the term. It's South Pacific, not Caribbean, and there's a difference in that as vast as the miles between the two places. I've never met kinder people...I've never seen so many beautiful people...women, children, everyone. People are happy here. The beach is a communal gathering place for everyone, haole and islander alike. People aren't trying to take advantage of you, they're trying to show you a proper good time. Age means nothing...just tonight we were talking to a Quicksilver rep. who's kids are starting college but you'd have guessed he was 30 years old, and straight outta some surf movie, all "bradah" and "fo real." There was nothing fake about him...his stoke was effortless and soaked in a fun, youthful energy that us flakes on the mainland too often sell our souls for.

Today the women's divisions for the Quicksilver Longboard Classic were going off down at the beach and there were dozens of dark skinned, well muscled, smiling women and girls hanging about the beach. You couldn't help but smile when you saw the young girls all hanging out and grinning their way through the day, like a Roxy advertisement but fo real. I wished Zoey could have that instead of everything that we're used to back home in the midwest. They were all white teeth and dark skin and happy, healthy energy and it glowed off every one of them. It shot across the street and struck down strangers. It lit up the evening sky. It was a page from a magazine and we got to walk through it, smiling the whole time. There were families the park, on the beach, grilling food, playing, just hanging out. Family is bigger here than anywhere I've ever seen.

This, I'm learning that there's nothing like the South Pacific. Only four days into an entire month here and I think we've found a new playground for the rest of Zoey's days with us, under our wings. Today June bought her a sweet little bracelet, the same as her Mom...well, similar, and Zo wore it all day without a fuss...never even paid the slightest bit of attention to it. It was a small handmade bracelet, a women's bracelet but looped twice over Zeds wrist and tightened good. June bought it so that she could be reminded of her first trip to O'ahu. She can adjust it and wear it when she's sixteen if it lasts that long. How cool is that? Little Zed, maybe she grows up and knows this place real good, or maybe we find another. All I know is Thomas Sullivan Magnum III never did a damn bit of justice to this place ever, but it was cool as hell to hear him try every episode.

I want some of this in my everyday and I can guarantee you that I won't be coming home the same.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Abercrombie Meets Pirate Gamer Type Guy...on the #8 bus.

Abercrombie and Pirate

So on the bus ride back from getting groceries tonight we sat on a packed #8 coming back from Ala Manoa and there's four fellas standing above our comfy seats...two annoying Abercrombie types, fake tanned (in Hawaii?), too tight tees with extra short sleeves for biceps showing offsies, and faux vintage jeans worn so low you could practically see these guys roots...mandatory leather bracelets and necklaces, mandatory messy hair (messed with a hairdryer)...and then right beside those two over-primped post-adolescents were two TOTAL gamer geeks, one was dressed like a pirate and the other dressed mostly just like a geek, except I suppose if you really are a geek then you don't have to dress like one, you just are one.

Anyway, I could have reached out and rocked the Abercrombie fellas with right hooks and knees to the jaw, perhaps even a neck stomp or six...I hate those brats. Frat loser mirror mongers...and then I couldn't stop laughing at the geek squad. Several other bus riders were gently smiling back at us each time we let a screeching giggle out. These guys were talking about how there really aren't many Asians in the Harry Potter series, except one, and also they were very busy playing a rousing game of "guess who plays Mr. Miyagi in the new Karate Kid movie." It was awesome. Geek boy number one had himself a full on thrift store pirate outfit on including boy capris (well worn and filthy), a ratty old silk shirt with hula dancers on it, a wool vest with a pack of Kools in the watch pocket, rope sandals, a bandana 'round his head, and a feather pen perched above his ear. He gave up his seat for an old man and said that he was being a "good pirate" today. Even more awesome than I had thought, and all for the low, low ticket price of $2.25.

Hawaii Bus

June was whispering to a half sleeping Zoey that she was to never bring either type of boy home, both ends of the spectrum are prohibited at our house. This Hawaii stuff is hilarious so far...all kinds over here...especially pirates.

On a serious note, although that last observation was about as serious as we get around here, the price of groceries in Waikiki is probably equal to free market groceries in Fidel's Cuba. Jesus H Whatshisname!

Milk price hawaii
That's the sale price...the real price is in the upper left hand corner...yikes is right

Not only are bananas about $1.09 a lb but basics like bread and milk are outrageous. Cereal was $7 and $8 a box...laundry detergent was $9 for a small 12 load jug...peanut butter was $6 for a small jar of Jiffy...only beer is cheap, $5 for a sixer of straight up Coors. I suppose fluids are more important than food. I don't necessarily have to eat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Oooh, dats cheapie free"...June's ears work all pigden

Waikiki beach

So we're lookin' for a bus out to Ala Moana Shopping Center to buy some goods for the room, maybe find some kind of better beach set up for the Zedder and I tell June about the Ala Moana shuttle and how it's just $2 for her and I and for Zoey it's free...June heard something like, "Ooooh, dats cheapie free," and I've been laughing ever since. She sounds like a local!

It reminds me that between June and our good friend Chantelle, we referred to their mutual language misdemeanors as "Chantune Syndrome" because they always heard the weirdest stuff come out of our lips. We would say something like, cell reproduction, and June or Chantelle would say, "What are you talkin' about? Celery production? Huh?" It was unreal funny.

Now I miss Chantelle. How can I be in Hawaii and miss Chantelle? Missing is good no matter where you're at, right?

If June or Chantelle heard me say that they're auditory processing would have spit it out as, "Singing is good no matter where you're at, right?" Like I said, unreal funny.

On a crazy note...we were just talking to one of the maintenance guys here and got to talking about the cost of living etc...and he said that it's nearly impossible to make it here without family...there's that Ohana deal again...that rent is crazy, that young people in their thirties regularly move back home with their parents, that even a good working job that's putting $30 or $40 an hour into your pocket doesn't cut it if you need to pay rent etc...'Bout the only way you can make it is if you're living in an inherited property or you pull in crazy loot. Sounds awesome. How important is sun in your life?

On an even crazier note June ate this pre-packaged straight outta a Yokyo ...whoa, what's my name, Chantelle?...TOKYO vending machine Temaki deal today. Bought it at the corner store. Now I like Temaki but this was some whacked out pre-wrapped gong show Temaki...a tuna deal with the sushi and the nori wrapped separate but inside the same overall packaging...??? Whatever, the packaging doesn't matter as much as the fact that you can buy Temaki here like 7-11 hot dogs back home.


Weird? Probbaly not as weird as the 99 cent bananas! Seriously...99 cents for one friggin' nanner at the ABC Store...hence the need to get to a Safeway or whatever over at Ala Moana...enough of this pre-packaged sushi and $400 million dollar bananas. You can buy a #$%@& straw beach mat for $1.59 but a banana is $1.00...WTF?

Even crazier still...check out the breakfast options at McDonalds...

McDonalds SPAM Breakfast

Yep, that last one is SPAM. I once read an article about how Westernized canned crap food, things like SPAM and other crapola, had become standard fare in the South Pacific and was ruining the diet of people in Tahiti and Fiji etc...It seems it's popular enough to make the mainstream menu here in Hawaii. I might have to try this if only to purge my stomach. This would be the greatest hangover cure ever I know, if you wanted to hurl and then maybe still feel bad afterwards.

I Advise You to Do What Your Parents Did...Get a Job Sir...

week 25 - daddy and zo... the stupid factory hasn't opened yet

So, we've established that we could indeed live here, now the question would be what we could do to survive. Aside from being independently wealthy, we'd be required to work. We couldn't do it legally unless we became doctors or nurses...fat chance...or opened our own business...slimmer chance but still relatively obeise as far as chances are measured. We could work in tourism as it seems everyone is from somewhere else...England, Australia, etc...which also brings to mind the question HTF is it that every other nationality on the planet can work all over the place but we as Canadians only seem to be allowed to travel places and not work in them? Sure there's the working holiday visa crap but you gotta be young and dumb to nail one of those (actually young and quite on the ball). I'm talking about full on adult folks working all over the world. It pains me to know that us Canadians are only temporarily employable internationally while those surly Brits are everywhere...wanker bastards.

The notion crossed my mind that we could always drive taxi cabs, but then I remembered everything I've learned about people in my previous working life and said, "#$%& no," faster than a bump of coke hits home. People suck and I don't wanna transport their suckiness all over the place in search of more way. So, no taxi jobs for these two unemployable canucks.

Then it hit me...homelessness...We could be homeless (I'm obviously just kidding...there's a bit of a blight of such phenomenon here, as there is everywhere the sun shines more than it doesn't). No...maybe we'd just have to discover a niche that's been somehow mismanaged or missed altogether and nail it. Something fun 'cause I'm terribly tired of being serious at work, even though most would say I'm not. They'd be shocked to learn that that is my version of serious. My kinda fun is waaay more stupid. My new life with awesome daughter and wicked wife here in Oahu must be fun or else I don't want to do it. All the palm trees and beaches in the world don't make up for not fun.

I'll have to sleep on it...dream of something big. I've already been working at it since I laid down to take a nap at 4:30pm and just woke up now at midnight. Oh yeah, when I set my mind to dreaming it's serious business. It's not like I just fell off the assembly line at some stupid factory, you know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Daddy Likes His Two Girls Plenty Fine

June Zo WAikiki Beach - July 23-09

An easy day of beach, walking 'round, and just hanging out with the Zedder and June...and the people here, unbelievable! Easily the kindest, most lasid back and easy smiling people I've ever met anywhere. Everyone says hello...everyone talks to you...everyone is cool and helpful and happy. We love it here and we're never coming home.

June Zo waikiki Beach 3 - July 23-09
June and le Zed on the beach at Waikiki

Even Zoey's got the Hawaiian spirit...she's all happy and more cheerful and fun than she's ever been. It helps that she's absolutely everyone's favourite from the minute she grins at 'em. We stumbled into a word today that is pretty popular 'round here...Ohana, it means family, and is a strong thing in these islands. It seems like we've tripped on paradise and found the ohana in ourselves as simply as having the stones to jump on an airplane and stay gone for a month. Ohana, I like that...a lot. I like it so much I might go and get it tattooed on my mildly tanned Canadian body.

June Zo Waikiki Beach 2 - July 23-09
June and Zed finding some shade at the Quicksilver Longboard Championships, Waikiki Beach.

I'm feelin' plenty of the Ohana vibe today...only 25 or so more to go. I'm gona be all ohana'd out by August!

It's Five o'clock Somewhere...right here to be exact


A less fatigued update but no less of a crappy feeling one. It's alarming what 15 hours of travel time, three planes and a seemingly weak system will do to you. Right now it doesn't feel like too crazy of a time change...we've managed it before, and we arrived at night (7:30pm) here anyway so by the time we got to our hotel and checked in we pretty much crashed out. But now it's 5am and I'm wide awake, June just rose from the dead as well and as I type le Zed is restless. I think we'll navigate this sleep deprivation thing alright.

The running joke all night was that I still feel hollow from the trip but I keep adding the punctuation, "Ma-hollow" after to the laughter of just Dunno what struck me on the plane but it felt like a surprise attack by stealthy, well trained ninja in aloha shirts. One moment I wasn't feeling so good, hot and kinda queasy, so I tried to put my head back and sleep, and the next moment I was being woken by June and I felt like I was going to hurl poi. A plastic bag and some wet cloths later, some food and orange juice and I was feeling more like myself but only a kind of myself that had maybe just ran the Ironman. Yikes I felt bad.

I had established a pretty firm list of the things that I thought sucked the mustard pretty good...things like fighting in a war, becoming someone's play toy in prison, being seasick and stuck in the hull of a boat in the middle of the ocean, and now I'll add finding yourself airsick (or whatever the hell that was) and finally touching ground only to find yourself boarding another, much smaller plane...I'll slide that one in just below male prostitution and just above getting a bad tattoo.

Now I still feel like I'm kinda draggin' but June and Zed are bouncing around and so I better gather my wits and roll into this morning. I'm in Hawaii b!%#&$!!! This morning the news spent more time on the surf report than they did on the weather. How do you get a job around here?

Check out the logo on that cup of coffee...that's Lions Coffee Co. from right down the road in Honolulu. Good coffee but probably the gayest lookin' Lion ever...that cat's wearing what I know is a sailor's cap but what looks like a beret. How scary is a Lion in a blue beret? That's some seriously emasculating hat. Poor lion...I hope it at least helps him sell coffee. Hes not winning any man-prizes with that hat.


Aloha...after fifteen hours of Super Zed!

Aloha Brian Zo June - July 09

Fifteen hours doesn't seem like very long until you've sat in one damn place for the entirety of it, then it seems like hell with beverage service.

We arrived in Oahu without so much as a hitch, that is if you don't count the fact that our luggage is still on Maui and I nearly passed out on the plane, other than that it's been a peach. The Zedder is now the reigning baby champ of the universe and I double dog dare anyone to dispute the claim. She rode for fifteen hours without so much as tear...sure, there were a few squeals but they were joyous and playful. SHe made friends with every damn person on the plane and wasn't in her seat two minutes before the flight attendants grabbed her. They finagled us seats together and in the back row...they doted on us and administered the flight attendants version of FIrst Aid when I got all woozy and out of it from the combo heat/ no sleep/ no food platter...they were golden, and it's all because of the Zed.

Zo w Aloha flower - July 09

I was scared silly before we left for this adventure...a 6 month old on an airplane for 15 hours...awesome. Turns out I'm a dumbass 'cause Zo can handle it. And just when you think you're ready to collapse from worry and buckled in get this view...

Airplane view of waikiki

Soak it in bradas...Now I really need to sleep...ya, for real. Between me and Zo we got more bags under our eyes than what we packed.


Our Journey Begins with Anxiety and Little Michigan State Hoodlums

Rarrrr US Airways - July 09
Rarrr buckles up for no one!

I don’t know why you have to fly over Milwaukee when you’re hauling out of Detroit for Phoenix via US Airways but that’s how it goes. This sky belongs to Prince Fielder, but not for long. We’ll be over someplace much less thrilling soon.

Zedder’s been a World Champion so far…a whole hour into ten or so and she’s hardly said or screamed a word. I think I like her more now. She’s more social than Houda though (that’s my wandering friend Kevin McDonald for those of you uninitiated into the everyone’s a friend world of the wandering Wallaceburger) and she’s got buddies all over the back three rows of this Boeing 717. There’s Carter, a boy in a Michigan State t-shirt that Zo met at the departure gate and which I quickly lectured her on so she’d know she was flirting with a future farmer or worse. There are a few other children back here in the nether regions of the plane, nearest the shitter and furthest away from 1st Class , so we’re set in terms of sharing the blame if someone gets squirrely and screamy. We can always blame it on the other kids.

Rarrrr is also enjoying the flight thus far…mostly because he has no responsibilities whatsoever, so he can just sit back and relax. Bastard.

In the six or so hours since this day began I’ve come to some conclusions…

First, I really need to chill out and work on both my anxiety and anger. I get worried quick and angry even faster.

Second, my wife is the strongest, most patient and easy going person I know…that I may ever know.

Third, I like bacon.

Other than that this past six hours have been completely unenlightening. Oh, except for learning how awesome sucking on a boob is for dealing with the pressure changes that take-off rolls you. Next time you’re having problems adjusting to the pressure put that gum away and grab a boob. Ladies…uhmmm, sorry. That was sexist and inappropriate…fortunately that doesn’t trump how effective it is.

I also learned that US Airways has ridiculous amounts of leg room in their economy class. Oh, and that almost all male flight attendants are gay…I think.

Oh, and that Baby Einstein stuff is annoying as sh!t regardless of how good it might work. Even Einstein didn’t have that crap and it’s named after him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One More Sleep...then it's 15 hours of Zedder in a confined space

Hawaiian Airlines

It finally dawned on both June and I this morning that there's only one more sleep until we leave. ONE MORE NIGHT! By tomorrow night we'll be sleeping to a soundtrack of "Tiny Bubbles" after about fifteen hours of manhandling a restless baby across several time zones and part of the Pacific Ocean. Sounds fun. I wanna just snap my fingers and BLAM...Oahu...but that only works when I'm really, really drunk. This time we're just gonna have to suck it up.

This is how it looks...

US Airways, Departing at 11:30am...Detroit to Phoenix...'bout 4 hours

US Airways, Phoenix to Kahului...'bout 6 hours

Hawaiian Ailines, Kahului to Honolulu...'bout a half hour

Arrive in Waikiki sometime after 7:30pm...with a 5 or 6 hour time change in there.

Can't wait to see how messed up that makes Zoey. She'll be sleeping all day and wanting to surf all night. We're also pretty eager to see if we can somehow pack better than we've ever packed in our entire lives. This is no week long all-inclusive...this is a month away from home. Mind you, it's also no Vietnam or Nepal either, so we'll be just fine but it's also been a few years since we lugged our lives across an ocean and back then it was just June and I. Zoey complicates the scenario by a good 15-20%...maybe even 25%. We'll manage -- we always do. more sleep. I'm so excited I just might get the "worry scoots"...that could be too much information.

Cousins are By Far The Most Interesting People I Know

Header-Zo-Brian July09

Zo got to hang out with her cousins Brent, Avery and Spaz-boy yesterday...not for very long because we didn't get there until late but it was long enough for the four of them to bond, and the perfect amount of time for Reece to imprint his freakness on her brain.

A quick cousin summary...

Brent a.k.a. Beezer - Headed to high school, gaming zombie, the Marquis de Sade if you asked his brother and sister...really cool hair.

Beezer Bri

Avery - Zoey's future babysitter and travel companion...We will likely help put her through college and fly her many places all in the name of Zedsitting.

Avery Bri

Reece - THE most dangerous kid on earth, probably the future bane of Zoey's existence...and weird, REALLY weird.

Reece Bri

Zo seems pretty smitten with Avery...quite interested in Reece...and very studious of Beezer. She seemed to have a blast with her splashing and screaming cousins and who wouldn't, everyone loves screams and splashes. Everyone's quite excited for when she can splash and scream with equal skill and confidence...when pool's don't need to be 84 degrees and when her cousin Reece can't possibly drown her with his unbridled affection and reckless Michael Phelpsishness.

Reece Brian Head Brad

Reece probably has the highest probability for getting Zo into trouble. Brent is too old and won't be chillin' with Zo all that much. Avery is much too motherly, and far too concerned with actually NOT getting into trouble, but Reece...oh Reece. Besides being closest to Zo in age he's also a ticking time bomb of dangerous energy, a damn the consequences kind of kid. Be afraid very afraid.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing...Chris Isaak and Zo Get Along Just Fine

Zo w Mom-Dad at Chris Isaak - July 09
Mom, Zo and Dad huddled under the umbrella at Meadowbrook

Zoey knocked off her first concert last night, absorbing Chris Isaak into her still developing brain albeit mostly subconsciously as she slept through most of it.

Zo took in all of Michelle Branch but then faded after three or four Chris Isaak songs. This kid blows us away with her astonishing ability to sleep in the midst of chaos and then struggle in a quiet house. She's a freak.

Zo w Dad at Chris Isaak - July 09
Zo and Dad at Meadowbrook for the Chris Isaak show

It problem for Zo...It was worries for Zed...Long drive to and what? The Zedder conquers all.

Zo w stage background - Chris Isaak July 09
Sometimes Zo wasnt sure which direction she was supposed to face

Grandma came to the show, and so did Uncle Brad and Aunt Header...we tailgated and everything and Zedder rolled with every damn punch...Missed bed time, whatever...kinda damp and chilly, I'm cool...Michelle Branch turned country, upsetting but manageable...

Brad and Heather - Chris Isaak July 09
Brad and Head taking in Chris Isaak for somethin' like the 54th time...or the third or fourth

Zo w Mom-Mom at Chris Isaak - July 09
June, Zo, and Grandma Cathy soakin' up Michelle Branch pre-Chris Isaak

And Zo raises the bar once again, giving her parents far too much rope with which to raise a games...check...road trips...check...concerts...check. This summer of Irrevocable Awesomeness is pretty awesome.