Category Archives: Beauty

Beaches, Volcanos, Canyons, Waterfalls, Plantations, and Storms on the Ocean in One Hour

Friday, 12.21.12 travelogue – me

Not so much “bright” as “early” start of the day for me when my eyes snapped open at 3a.m. I had just (rather sloppily from my jetlag daze) completed “The Windup Bird Chronicle” and used Wiki to fill in the gaps of the mystery I was too lazy to figure out without rereading the last quarter of the book. I read “Gone Girl” for an hour or so in the dark (still enthralled by e-reader technology). IMG_0753ZP got up as well so we sneaked out of the room, still dressed in our pjs (me in my punjammies – it’s an island resort – who is to tell me I was not dressed appropriately for slinking around the place at 4a.m.?), admired the Hawaiian-themed Christmas tree in the lobby, and sat in the post-lobby veranda overlooking the pool playing with various devices before finally getting a “we’re up, come over for coffee” email from LB. We joined LB, KG, and BSG for some early morning caffeine fix before rejoining the rest of my little unit to gear up for the day.  What was so special about this day?  HELICOPTER DAY!

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As part of Dad’s 70th birthday present vacation package, Mom and LB arranged a helicopter ride around the island. Dad, LB, KG and I drove to the Lihue airport nearby to check in at the Island Helicopter’s office. After shelling out over $300+/person (less if you pay cash but who rolls around with $1000 in their pockets?), we were discretely weighed, handed out floatation packs, and escorted to the helo. Donning the comfortable noise-canceling headphones to  communicate with each other, we strapped in and gently lifted off.

The chopper buzzed over our hotel and along the coast to reach rainbow-filled Hanapepe Valley before we set down on a postage stamp-sized landing area near the 400 ft. high Manawaiopuna Falls IMG_0777which was featured in the movie Jurassic Park. Thankful for the surgical shoe covers, we picked our way along a short path made muddy by feral pigs tromping around (luckily none to be seen when we arrived) and let the mist from the powerful waterfall spray us and probably enter our awe-struck gaping mouths. The pilot gave us a little summary of the history of the island and the falls, the various movies and shows filmed here, and the types of flora and fauna scattered throughout.

We reboarded the whirlybird and dipped in and out of the red and black striped Olokele Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” in Waimea. The eggbeater then swooped along the NaPali Coast for more “majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, secluded beaches and pristine cathedral cliffs”. One of my favorite sightings was a storm cloud over the Pacific raining directly onto the ocean and creating a rainbow thereupon. “Wow” doesn’t cover it.IMG_0798

The pilot aimed the sky-crane towards Hanalei Bay & Valley before flying inside the crater of Mt. Waialeale volcano, near the Wailua Falls, and over now defunct sugar plantations and currently operating taro fields. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

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A good time was had by all. When we returned to the hotel, we met up with the rest of the family participating in the 9a.m. koi feeding time before grabbing some breakfast and starting the day: hot tubbing, sipping pina coladas by the pool, basking in the sun, exploring Kalapaki beach, throwing coconuts into a pond, eating shave ice, and generally enjoying some quality family time.

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Special Joint Edition of Superb Blurb and 128-Word Recommendation: Winter’s Tale

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

This is not a light snack (Harry Potter; The Princess Bride). This is not a homemade meal with a twist-ending dessert (Ender’s Game; Hunger Games). This is a Restaurant Week full of tasting menus and omakase (The Lacuna; The Dark Tower). You cannot read this fantastic (in both senses) book in one sitting.  You will not want to.  You must savor each bite, let the flavors roll around on your tongue, and sit back to digest before you take another spoonful of wordsmithing the likes of which you rarely encounter. It’s about a burglar, a soothsayer, a horse, a bridge, a newspaper, malevolent billionaires, a city. It’s about the past, the future, a parallel universe. It’s about love, faith, surrender, loyalty, humor, justice, destruction, and triumph. Five courses:

1. Peter Lake and the horse race through the Bowery:

Peter Lake spurred the horse again, and extended his right arm like a lance, pointing it at the motionless officer. As they went by in a blur of white, he lifted the man’s cap from his head, saying, “Allow me to take your hat.” The enraged policeman pivoted, took out his notebook, and furiously wrote a description of the horse’s buttocks.

2. Isaac Penn and the police exchange frantic telegrams in their search for Beverly:

BEVERLY MISSING STOP JAYGA SAYS ELOPED WITH SEER STOP ADVISE STOP

WHAT QUESTION MARK EXCLAMATION POINT FIND HER STOP CHECK THE ROOF STOP LOOK EVERYWHERE STOP

EVERYONE LOOKING EVERYWHERE STOP CANNOT FIND HER STOP ADVISE STOP

LOOK HARDER STOP

STILL CANNOT FIND BEVERLY STOP

LOOK EVERYWHERE STOP

WHERE IS EVERYWHERE QUESTION MARK STOP

DO YOU WANT SPECIFICS QUESTION MARK STOP

YES STOP

HOSPITALS HOTELS WAREHOUSES RESTAURANTS BAKERIES ROPEWALKS STABLES CARGO VESSELS DAIRY BARNS PRODUCE TERMINALS BREWERIES GREENHOUSES ABATTOIRS BATHS POULTRY MARKETS GOVERNMENT OFFICES RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS WELDING LOFTS INDUSTRIAL GARAGES GYMNASIUMS FORGES SCHOOLS ART STUDIOS HIRING HALLS DANCE PALACES LIBRARIES THEATERS OYSTER BARS POTTERY BARNS SQUASH COURTS PRINTING HOUSES AUCTION PLACES LABORATORIES TELEPHONE EXCHANGES RAILROAD STATIONS BEAUTY PARLORS MORGUES PIERS ARMORIES COFFEE SHOPS CLUBS KILNS MUSEUMS POLICE STATIONS BICYCLE TRACKS TANNERIES JAILS BARBERSHOPS REHEARSAL ROOMS BANKS BARS CONVENTS MONASTERIES SALAD KITCHENS STEAMSHIP TERMINALS CHURCHES GALLERIES CONFERENCE CENTERS WHOREHOUSES MUSIC SCHOOLS AEROPLANE HANGARS AND OBSERVATION TOWERS STOP DID YOU LOOK IN THE BASEMENT STOP

YES STOP

3. The newspaper The Sun’s rewrite editor is briefly introduced:

Hugh Close, The Sun’s rewrite editor, had the boundless energy of a hound, and was always perched upright, like a Labrador waiting for a stick to be thrown into a cool lake. He had a red mustache, and red hair that was sculpted to his head like clay. He could see puns in everything, and one could not speak to him without suffering an embarrassing disinternment of double entendres. His suits were gray; his shirts had collars with bars; he could read a thousand words a minute upside down and backward (the words, that is, not him); he knew all the Romance languages (including Romanian), Hindi, Chuvash, Japanese, Arabic, Gullah, Turqwatle, and Dutch; he could speak any of these languages in the accent of the other; he generated new words at a mile a minute; was the world’s foremost grammarian and a master of syntax; and he drove everyone mad. But The Sun was unmatched in style and linguistic precision. Words were all he knew; they possessed and overwhelmed him, as if they were a thousand white cats with whom he shared a one-room apartment. (In fact, he did not like cats, because they could not talk and would not listen.)

4. Hardesty travels with Jesse:

“Why don’t you just shut up,” said Hardesty. Jesse didn’t open his mouth until the frame he made to hold his clothes near their fire collapsed, and his purple knickers burned up. From that time forward, he went bare below the waist except for a New Guinea style penis shield that he fashioned from a discarded Dr Pepper can and hung from his waist on a piece of reepschnur. He soon took to extolling this form of dress as if he were a Seventh Avenue designer introducing a new line. ”It’s very comfortable,” he said “You should try it.”

5. Boonya explains to Christiana what her duties in the kitchen may entail (George Martin would love this):

“Good,” said Boonya, as she led Christiana to the kitchen. “But you may not be familiar with the foods that Harry Penn holds dear to his heart. He and his daughter have favorites, which I’ll teach you how to make.”

“Like what?”

“Oh, durbo cheese stuffed with trefoil, camminog, meat of the vibola, roast bandribrolog seeds, satcha oil hotcakes, young Dollit chicken in Sauce Donald, giant broom berries,creme de la berkish tollick, serbine of vellit, pickled teetingle, chocolate wall herrnans trail lemons, Rhinebeck hot pots with fresh armando, parrifoo of aminule, vanilla lens arrows, fertile beaties, archbestial bloodwurst Turkish calendar cake, fried berlac chippings, cocktail of ballroom pig, vellum cream cake, undercurrents, crisp of tough boxer lamb sugared action terries, merry rubint nuts, and rasta blood-chicken with sauce Arnold.”

Hat Tip: Emily E.

Pit of Despair

I am so frazzled by the move to the new house/state/life that the only moment of peace I have is in the shower where I zone out so deeply that, as I just discovered, I end up with one silky smooth underarm and one mujahideen pit.

Monday Morning Comedy Jam: Tom Hanks

Third in a series of Comedy/Horror Toddler Vids.  Previously on Monday Morning Comedy Jam: Alana and Mackenzie

Happy Birthday AP, International Woman of Mystery

I started writing up a sentimagical post for you, Norbu J. Kittycat, regaling the auspicious day of your birth when it suddenly occurred to me that the phrases I was using sounded familiar.  Had I written this up already before? Yes. Yes, I had.  I even started it with the identical “It was a dark and stormy night.” line!  Seriously. I mean LOOK at this forecast!

Anyway, four years ago, you entered our lives and brought joy and sunshine and a good dose of drama with you.  You are well on your way to becoming an independent, strong-willed, compassionate, and intelligent young lady. You love dressing up, looking beautiful, and acting like a princess but you are not above being completely rambunctious on the playground or mucking around in the dirt with your big brother looking for worms. The wonderful sense of humor, you inherited from me; the incandescent sense of indignation, you inherited from your father. You have a sweet and tender heart and you are very passionate in both directions: your displays of fury are matched by your displays of love. You run like the wind, climb like a monkey, and dance like nobody’s watching. Sometimes you will ask, “does everybody love me?” The answer is, of course, “yes”.

 

Wellity wellity wellity well

Santa Maria Novella comes to Mohammed.

Previously on Bajira and Icubaji:  

Looking for it.

Loving it.

Can’t get enough of it.

[although with the nose-bleed price tag, my wallet sure can]

“You’ve reduced!”

I don’t know why Desis feel compelled to comment on everyone’s appearances: what they are wearing (“you wore that to so-and-so’s wedding already, didn’t  you?”), their hairstyle (“your longer hair suited you better”), their make-up (“Baji!  You are wearing make-up!”).  The worst backhanded, underhanded “compliment” is when some aunty (it’s invariably an aunty) lets loose with her observation on your weight: a gruesome choice of “you’ve reduced!” (subtext: “you were so fat before”) or “you’ve gained weight!” (subtext: “you’ve gained weight!”).  I am wholeheartedly with David Mitchell when he explains his reluctance to offer and aversions to “compliments” on appearances.

SO.  TRUE.  I don’t often comment on appearances in large part because I’m wholly oblivious to appearance unless it’s a special occasion where everyone is blinged out and even then it’s only after someone compliments me first and I feel obliged to return the praise.  I really don’t get it when someone arrogantly comments on anyone else’s body shape.  In either direction (weight gain or loss), it’s just not welcome or necessary.  I had two different aunts who exclaimed, on separate occasions, that I had gained weight (one put it oh so delicately by saying “you’ve got a gut!”).  To one, I explained, “Yes.  I’m pregnant.”  To the other, I wanted to say, “Well, now, aunty, that’s an interesting way to put it but what you should have said … was nothing.”

[minute 4 gem from birbigs]