Monday, October 24, 2005

Active Choices

I have been reflecting on the reasons I started this blog and one of them has to be my cousins back in L.A. Ever since the youngest of that threesome died tragically of cancer last Labor Day weekend, I've begun to understand the unique option of blogging. It's intimate, it's open. It's private and public. It's indulgent, it's necessary.

Now that some time has passed, I have come to see this as an opportunity to publicly state the minor details of my life that ulitmately turn the bigger wheel. I've been pondering for weeks now about who I'm going to be in the second part of my life. The solution I feel really good about is that of care giver. Not necessarily taking care of someone who is dying, but taking care of the family and friends who make my life meaningful. I can do the role. I have all of the innate and learned skills. But for the longest time, it's been about me. Now, I know I have to take care of myself before I can offer caring to others. But for the first half of my life, I've taken the "me" thing a bit too seriously. I've indulged in me. It's been about me. Sun, me. You, planets. Revolve.

My declaration this morning is my first step in a long journey about my life being about other people. Looking at who I am now, it'll be a work in progress.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Deadline Done, Halloween to Cum

Well, a day and a half after my deadline, I finally turned in my story. And boy was she a bitch.

Now, with that done, I can move to my school work and the plans I have with the Asians and Friends group I'm in for a Halloween party tomorrow. (A Corpse Bride Wedding Party! Yes, a theme upon a theme party.) Can't wait. (

The Halloween season begins!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Deadline Day

While I stare at the words I started fumbling with on a story that I have due today, I reach out through this blog as a way to break through the fear that comes with word wrestling. My body may be seditary, but in my mind, I'm screaming, picking up chairs and throwing them at my computer screen. I've done all the morning chores, had my oatmeal and I've checked my e-mail. Nothing to do but dive back in and kill the monster that is this article.

Keyboard at the ready. Deep breath. Tribal scream as I jump back in...Aaaaaaarrrhh!

Friday, October 14, 2005

A gay, old time in Kauai

I was in Kauai last week for a cousin's wedding. With the exception of threatening rain, it was picture perfect. The sun coming out between the clouds as the happy couple followed the instructions of a Hawaiian minister. The bride was stunning with her hair done up in orchids, her dress, form fitting and flowing down at the ankles. He was in a traditional, Filipino barong and sandals. The Poipu surf striking up against the black, lava-rock reef sending sea water bursting behind the wedding party. Just after the man-and-wife kisses, we retreated for snowcones of blue and gold, Mai Tai and Mango and the secret splash of cream.

In a private house down the road overlooking the beach, the reception setup was all under tents. Hand-made sushi, oysters, hot pupus (appetizers) and an open bar. I've been such a lush while in Honolulu that I decide to spare my family my personal displays, but we all watch the groom and his best men get tanked and chummy. The band had an Island Reagge beat that only sped up for Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."

We did the electric slide to a country song.

The children spun on their backs in the grass that was our dance floor.

Then at 11 p.m., our family went home. The 10 cases of beer and other leftover booze went back with the 20-somethings to the Sheraton and I'm certain more drinking.

For me and my immediate family (with a 10- and a 7-year-old, a toddler and an infant in tow), the next day was spent at the Fern Grotto and a drive out to the beach at Hanalei. That's where they filmed the movie South Pacific. Yes, we were in Bali Hai.

The next day, the family flew back to Honolulu at noon and gave me an extra airline ticket that would leave at 9 p.m. that night. Like the accidental tourist I am, I drove out, saw a gigantic Kauai waterfall and plowed forward up miles of mountain to the Waimea Canyon lookout. Gorgeous. Carved and plummeting. With white birds aloft in the crevaces of mud red, rock and green.

I drove back down to the beach at Waimea and splashed and sunned some more. Then I made it back to Lehui where the airport was to hold up and look for something gay to do. I got on the internet at a book store and got a phone number. Apparently there are no gay bars in Kauai. The gay men there just have gatherings. So I called this guy Jason who was having that weekend's gathering. He was having a bonfire out by where I had just came from, which was a considerable drive back where I came from. But he was very hospitable and lured me out there.

The party was at his mom's house right on the beach. Not a grand place, and tight for the six children and two adults who were there when he grew up. But the lawn opened up to the beach and the island of Niihau in the distance. About six people eventually came, but that sunset was stunning. The orange ball going back behind Niihau made you realize why people who grow up here never leave.

But as I sat there chatting with these guys, many of them either old or content, I knew all this beauty was not yet for me. I had to fly back to Honolulu and then to the urban, city ways of Chi-town and commence with burning the ball of energy still inside me.

Why did I ever leave Hawaii?

Sometimes I pose the obvious questions.

There was something hugely refreshing about Hawaii, and beyond the obvious. I did a lot of secret things. Beyond the blatant drinking and gay bathhouse sex (Yes, Honolulu has one and a half), I found myself waking up and running in the backwoods behind my house. There's a forest preserve, a stream and a mountain to climb. So in the black of 5 a.m., I'm sticking my feet in rushing water (a recent storm had jacked up the waterflow) and feeling my way to a small waterfall and mountain pool. Of course I just rip off my clothes and splash around, being pushed back by the current toward the middle of the pool and struggling to get back to the water's edge. Then I found myself making my way up the muddy pine trails giving way to thick bamboo and finally opening up mid-mountain to a view of the lush valley and the neighborhood where my family's house is. The expanse and the cool morning wind invigorates me and I feel like fucking it. Hopefully no one with binoculars spotted the little man on the mountain making repetitive gestures in that region. After jogging back home, I jumped into the family swimming pool (freezing if I had not already splashed in cold mountain water) and do laps. As I finish, it rains. And in that rain, in that pool, I am hungry again.