Archive for April, 2012

At Least My Cabin Was Free of Dead Cows

Friday, April 27th, 2012

So recently I bitched about my night on Haleakala. You know: overpriced, diner bench bed-offering, fishbowl exhibitionist cabin where the hikers start barging in at 9am? Nearly dying on the way back in flash floods and whilst enduring sunshine daydream delusions only added to the fun…

Well, I should have been grateful, because at least I wasn’t dealing with this:

Frozen cows in cabin spur warnings at hot springs

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Federal forest officials want visitors of a Colorado hot springs to be very careful about what’s lurking inside a remote cabin nearby: Frozen cows.

Rangers believe the cows wandered into the cabin near the popular Conundrum Hot Springs during a snowstorm but couldn’t find their way out. Air Force Academy cadets found their frozen carcasses while snowshoeing in late March.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Bill Kight said Tuesday that water samples have been taken to determine if the hot springs was contaminated by the dead animals.

Rangers want the carcasses gone before they thaw. Removal options include explosives or burning down the cabin.

In the meantime, officials have posted warning signs about the cows around the hot springs near Aspen in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Yeah. Right.

Cows wandering into cabins.

Does this add up??

Sasquatch

Big Foot is notoriously camera shy.

No. Really. I’ve never owned a cow.

Does this add up?

Sure, the place is called “Conundrum Hot Springs” but unless there was shrimp on the barbie or some leftover McDonalds on the counter, I can’t even imagine my super domesticated dog wandering into a random cabin. And who leaves the doors of a US Forest Service cabin left open anyway?

I’m not liking this one bit.

It reeks all suspicious and stinks of involvement like Greys and Reptilians and Pegasus and stuff.

In fact…has El Chupacabra shown up in Conundrum Hot Springs? Maybe that explains the weird, hairy bugger you saw chewing on a lamb leg at the other end of the tub last month?? Utilize the hot springs at your own risk, indeed…

How about a Sasquatch? I bet it’s within Big Foot’s power to herd a bunch of cattle into a U.S. Forestry service cabin and certain (?), accidental (?) inexplicable death. You can hardly blame him: I bet he’s lonely. Or hungry. or both.

Happily, this is not an imminent danger in my world. You’re about as likely to find me on the moon as you are in Aspen. Nope. I prefer to sit here in my Maui home, with these sofas and comfy beds and absolutely no livestock, thawed or otherwise. My need to freeze is zero.

As for what to do about the crystallized cattle conundrum in Conundrum Springs? Well, I cast my vote all for fireworks: bring on the explosives and stand back!

 

p.s.

Whatever you do, DO NOT GOOGLE “FROZEN COW IMAGES.” Oh lordy, that makes a girl sad…

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On Being Lit Up

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I have a good friend – spiritual teacher, really – who has a saying I adore.

“If it doesn’t light you up, don’t do it…or find another way to do it.”

As much as I love this idea, it is a hell of a lot harder to put into practice than one might think.

Most of us – present company included – are burdened by what we might call responsibility or accountability or family or duty or being a grown-up or offspring or social contracts or just life itself. We do what we have to do because (we fear) the shit would hit the fan otherwise.

Homeward Bound

Sub in a Malamute for the Golden and me for the Pit bull and you pretty much have my worst nightmare.

I am as guilty as the next guy: although the sight of an Alaskan Malamute, a Himalayan cat, and a forlorn white woman on a homemade raft to nowhere might be charming in a “Homeward Bound” kind of way, it’s not exactly a scene I’m hoping to live through.

It probably goes without saying that for far too many people (again, note the lifted arm of present company) many of the seeming duties of life fall a pretty far cry from lighting us up.

In my own little world, the last few months have seen a number of things fall through or not turn out as so very much hoped for…and this includes the financial front. When it rains, it pours.

So things went wrong.

Such is life.

Yet I got freaked out about the rent and the bills and the $72 bags of Blue Buffalo dog food and all that responsibility/accountability/grown-up/Malamute running out of Blue Buffalo and chewing me down to a pile of bones whilst I sleep-type fears.

Fear and I moved in together. Hell, I signed a contract with fear, handed over my soul, and didn’t look back. Thus, I went out and found a j-o-b that was pretty far out of character with respect to my life path and my personal sense of self and the goals that I truly want to spend time on. “A means to an end” I called it. I put a happy spin on things. I considered having a few shots of hard liquor for breakfast: I envied Keith Richards and Courtney Love their joie de vive and incoherence. I showed up to work painfully sober and tried really hard not to be bitter.

In the spirit of honesty, let me now tell you that I spent three weeks in nine-hour-a-day training for minimum wage (that’s $7.25/hour to those who aren’t 17)…to be a waitress.

Yep. A waitress. For a really nice, brand new restaurant started by a celebrity chef, but still…a waitress.

Let it sink in: A WAITRESS.

Not that there is anything wrong with being a waitress, mind you…unless that waitress is me.

I don’t mean to be a snob…but some kind of terrible snobbery came over me. Although the celebrity chef was delightfully humble and charming and really seemed to be a lovely human being, it was not lighting me up. NOT AT ALL. It was all darkness, all day long.

For starters, the menu was insanity. There were nearly seventy food items, almost two dozen specialty cocktails, ten limited edition coffees, a similar variety of teas and sakes and desserts and wines. I felt like Forrest Gump with a concussion.

And the ingredients…bubu what?

I resorted to making flash cards. FLASH CARDS! I haven’t made flash cards since high school. And that didn’t even help. I couldn’t get started on the menu because I couldn’t even comprehend the ingredients… Bubu arare? Cuckoo a choo? What’s that? What’s my name? Where am I? What year is this?

HUH?

DUH.

Li Hing Mui

This is Li Hing Mui. It's been explained to me. I've even tried it. I don't have a clue. I think MSG is involved. ENJOY!

Li Hing Mui? Chung Choi? Bacalao? Kecap Manis? WTF? Kinome? Pohole? Ogo? Mamaki? Pipikaula? Yukari? Itogaki? Kamikaze?!?!

KILL. ME. NOW.

The final blow came when we were informed they would fire us if we brought our cell phones into the restaurant. My poor cell phone spent three whole days in a locker a mile away. I’m addicted to my iPhone, and I like to think it feels the same about me. How am I supposed to know what time it is or what’s going on with my friends or what bubu arare is again or what the weather is in Hong Kong or what just showed up on Craigslist that I might need to buy without my iPhone!? You can’t just wrench us apart like that. We need a 12-step program or something.

And the other thing of it is – let’s get real – I have a master’s degree. I’m a licensed hypnotherapist with a small practice here on the island. A lot of my clients are very wealthy…the exact kind of people who would come and dine at this restaurant. I kept imagining the horrible moment when someone declares, “Hey! Our waitress is my therapist!” and wondering if I could swap name tags with someone else and pretend to be my own (evil?) twin sister.  ***cringe***

So…

I quit.

Despite the fact that it was likely to be a lovely and successful restaurant…

I quit.

With all regards to the cacophony of “winners never quit and quitters never win” admonishments in my head…

I quit.

I had to. I know in my gut that the adage is true. The job didn’t light me up. In fact, it was pretty spectacularly lights out.

And when you’re not chasing your own dreams, you are just place holding in someone else’s. There is another person who would love to be at that restaurant, and by staying there I was taking their spot. I needed to get out of the way and chase my own joy.

So now I just turn myself over to fate. I go back to editing a book I should have tackled a year ago…and starting a new one. I pursue only the things that have a spark, if not a full-on Fourth of July fireworks blaze. I trust that the universe will step in where I stepped out…or at least drop a bag of Blue Buffalo (Natural Fish and Oatmeal Recipe, please) on the doorstep if nothing else.

It’s a bold experiment in real time.

And I’ll keep you posted as to how it unfolds…

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And Back…

Friday, April 20th, 2012

I found a service to fix my little issue I’ve spent two full days panicking about, and with any luck their team of “ninjas” (as the guy called them) will get this fixed up today.

That stated, get comfy and gather round the campfire, ‘cause it’s story time, kids.

When last we left off, I had spent a cold night sleeping on a diner booth in a fishbowl of a cabin on Helleakalā, one of two shield volcanoes that make up Maui. The other is the much-eroded West Maui Mountains, which contains the equally beautiful (but in a totally opposite, lush way) and equally dangerous, if you believe the folklore and ghost stories, Iao Valley.

Anyway, check out time is noon, and by 11am we’d had enough of the bursting through the doors and half asking/half demanding “can I come in and stare at you awkwardly in your pajamas?” parade of hikers, so we started back. My ankle, as I mentioned, was twisted because I am an idiot, and for all their curiosity and vigor, none of the hikers had an Ace bandage. Since the walk itself is on wobbly lava rocks and slippery surfaces, I was worried about re-twisting it, so we secured it as best we could with orange marking ribbon (that fluorescent stuff you use to mark trees) and duct tape: very professional looking.

It was raining lightly when we started…and it only got worse with each step. I was wearing a good Marmot raincoat on top and yoga pants on the bottom. About 15 minutes in and I was deeply regretting the now-20-pound yoga pants as they were DRENCHED. And by drenched I mean water was actually dripping from them and into my boots as they could hold no more DRENCHED.

We started out quietly with the occasional “this sucks” muttered between us. As the sky darkened and the rains worsened, I found myself pleading – by name and out loud – with Pele. Being the goddess of fire, lightening, wind, and volcanoes, I figured we were dabbling in a solid 75% of her territory. Who knew? Perhaps a giant fire would lie ahead as well? At the rate we were going, it wouldn’t have surprised me.

In response to my pleas, and in sharp contrast to my miraculous losing my eyeglasses story, Pele did zilch. Well, maybe not zilch, as another half an hour later found me hallucinating that the sun was out. This scared the crap out of my fellow traveler, especially because to my left was a sheer cliff edge and the day was dark and foreboding, yet I would exclaim, “Yay! The sun!” every fifteen minutes. It was the weirdest thing ever, and it went on throughout the whole hike, but it would honestly look to me like the sun had come out and the day was now bright. Go figure.

Sadly, this was no more than a mirage of my mind, and as my eyes adjusted and I realized that I was hallucinating, I also suddenly caught a glimpse of the HORRIFYING scene that is that hike.

twisted ankle duct tape

Alive!!!

I am not a daredevil. I don’t jump out of planes or snowboard or even jet ski. I rarely, if ever, take my life in my own hands if I can help it, but this hike forced me into just that. As I was slowly realizing this, I was also getting extremely terrified. Much of the trail finds you on a two-foot wide area of (what was now) quick moving water and slippery mud. To the right of you is the volcano and to the left is a drop of a couple thousand feet. Slip to the left and you won’t ever be coming down off the mountain unless it’s in a body bag.

I don’t think this would be “so” bad on a sunny day, but as the four miles dragged on and on, the water started to rush down the path at us like a small waterfall. I honestly began wondering if this could turn into an extreme emergency situation when, Yay! The sun came out! But it didn’t really, and once I realized that, I also knew there was no real choice but to keep putting one wobbly foot in front of the other and hope for the best.

Obviously I’m alive and writing this post, so safe to say that two and a half hours later we made it to the car. Another hour and a half later we were back in sunny Kihei. The diversity on this island never ceases to amaze me.

Admittedly, I won’t be rushing up there again anytime soon, but my memory is just bad enough and my general personality just insane enough, that I wouldn’t rule out an encore visit some day. Next time, however, I’m staying at one of the other, more remote, cabins and bringing an Ace bandage and some newspaper to cover the windows. And maybe thinking twice if the weather starts off as foreboding as it did this time…

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I pity the fool!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Screw the Maui WordPress MeetUp. I don’t need to fend off the awkward advances of weird nerds or get my head filled with a bunch of Internet lingo crap I won’t remember anyway.  I need to spend hours trying to fix things I don’t understand like I need a hole in the head. In fact, if the weird tingling in my tooth is any indicator, I may have a hole  in my head already. I may as well try to attempt to fix that (likely) cavity myself before I try to fix the blog myself…

Which is why I just slapped down the money for a service called “Securi” and will let them do the honors. I may have to write Google to explain I’ve done this and get myself off the watch list, but for $89.00 a year (Beer? Securi fee help? Support? Pity? Anyone? Anyone?) it should ensure we are business as usual. Business as usual being…a post every couple weeks.

***cringe***

American flag shirt

Dude try to fuck up a girl's blog. Not cool.

Sorry about that. You never know, perhaps shelling out further for the blog will encourage me to actually write it. It’s not that I don’t want to write it, mind you, it’s just that I have  been absurdly – even painfully – busy lately and then there’s the overriding complication that I have built all these rules about what I won’t or don’t want to write about like:

1) My personal life (when I don’t tell you the good stuff then I [thank God] don’t have to fill in the blanks when it all goes to hell.)

2) Details regarding people (friends, family, etc.) who have no voice/can’t defend themselves

3) Make fun of people (I can’t help it. I’m kind of a nice person. I’d feel awful if anyone ever discovered I’d mocked them.)

4) Lose clients or my job (I kinda hate my new job. But I don’t want to lose it just yet.)

5) Share too many secrets about the cult I recently joined

6) Use the word “cult” to describe the awesome group of new friends I’ve made!

7) Reveal that my awesome new friends require me to be naked and perform incredibly grueling physical labor for twelve to fourteen hours each day and provide me with only some watery broth and bread crusts as nourishment.

8} ……………………….help me…………………………..

 

So anywho, I’m feeling much better now that I (think/believe/hope/paid $90 I don’t really have) got the situation covered by pros. And from that perspective, let me warn you: DON’T BE HACKING MY BLOG, BITCHES!

I may not be able to circumvent your crafty asses myself, but I am willing to throw money at the problem to shut you down. Besides, promoting “personalized cancer drugs” ain’t cool when (obviously…seeing as you have to hack blogs to sell them) they aren’t real. Think of all the poor cancer patients who want personalized drugs or, worse yet, all the people with Munchhausens who will REALLY want them just because the word “cancer” is in the link and that’s their really hard to comprehend mental problem. Anyway, fake cancer drugs are crappy. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s a straight ticket to hell or a venal sin or at least worthy of a lengthy purgatory (God’s detention) to think about what you did wrong and why.

Word to your mother.

 

 

 

 

(I don’t actually know what that means. I just thought it would be funny.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s.? ?

Did any of you see that movie “Young Adult”? Was that supposed to be funny? What WAS that? I found the Charlize Theron character utterly self-important and kind of painful to watch. How is that entertaining???

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Oh come on, Karma. Really!?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I just Googled my own blog to log in and finish up my little Haleakala story…and I found this very inhospitable warning that “This site may be compromised.”

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

There is nothing I hate more than problems with the blog, especially because:

a) I super dooper suck at all this internet stuff. I am a straight up, bonafide, short bus riding Internets idiot.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

b) I don’t know anyone who is good at WordPress and the like…even people I can hire. I am a straight up etc. idiot and so is everyone I know. (Sorry everyone I know, but unless you’re holding out on me, you know it’s true. You can’t fix this “site may be compromised” crap any better than I can. And if you can….my god, CALL ME!!!)

c) I am FINALLY – for the first time in four years – making a little money on the blog…and now this!!!! Nooooooooooo!!!

Karma, I am a good person. I have supported a kid in Burkina Faso for over four years and she doesn’t even answer my letters. And all things being equal, I’m too broke to send $50 a month to that ungrateful little…  (Oops. Maybe that’s part of why this is happening?) I remember people’s birthdays. I write thank you letters. I give to the Salvation Army at Christmas time.  I am friends with (almost) all my exes. I stop at crosswalks. I have only killed only one animal (recently. Again, maybe why this is happening. If it’s any consolation, I was mortified when I saw the spray of feathers blow out from behind my Jeep) with my car and that was entirely the animal’s (a myna bird) fault. I mean, who sleeps in the middle of the Hana Highway and expects to live!?!?!

 

So anyway, I’m being punished and that’s all I’ve got.

Meanwhile, totally panicked, I Googled this scenario (what else is there to do when you’re a total idiot?) and see things about how hard it can be for non-techie people (um. me.) to fix this stuff.

GODDAMMIT!!!!!!!!

(***Short pause while I lay on the floor and throw a full kicking and screaming tantrum a la a toddler.***)

So here’s the question I have for all of you: how the hell do I figure out if phishing or spamming pharmaceutical sites have added “invisible” links out to themselves? If they are invisible, how do I see them????

This could be a new Buddhist koan:

  • If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
  • What is the sound of one hand clapping?
  • How do you see an invisible spam link to a pharmaceutical site?

For me, this is my worst internet nightmare raised to the power of a root canal and multiplied by watching paint dry. I HATE this stuff. I don’t understand it. I get panicky. I cry and semi-hyperventilate. I see dead people. I may get hives. Perhaps I’ll run down my street screaming in the middle of the night hoping someone will come out of their house and come help me find these invisible links.

***short pause again while I Googled the question I pose above. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK all over again.***

The worst part?

I’ve learned enough to be dangerous.

It was suggested I go to a site called “Bad Neighborhood” and have it scan this here wideawakeinwonderland.com for suspicious links and it found TWO. To the following:

Questionable:
Found on: www.technologyreview.com/computing/21705/page1/
URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/39707/?mod=Nav_Magazine_Feature
Anchor text: Foundation Medicine: Personalizing Cancer Drugs
Questionable:
Found on: www.technologyreview.com/computing/21705/page1/
URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/39707/?mod=MagMstEml
Anchor text: Foundation Medicine: Personalizing Cancer Drugs
But when I look at the page myself, I can’t find this. I don’t know where it lives. I don’t  know how to get rid of it. I don’t know how to stop it from happening in the future. I don’t know who wrote the book of love or why fools fall in love or why birds suddenly appear every time you are near, but if they are myna birds they may want to look out because I’m likely to cream them with my Jeep. I don’t even know what my name is. In short: I AM TOTALLY FREAKING OUT.
So web savvy people who read this blog, please give me a hand or lead me to a service or a smart nerd or something that won’t destroy my ever-loving soul that I can hire to make this yucky stuff go away. My password is so complicated that I don’t even remember it, but I guess that isn’t good enough. I don’t want to be pushing phoney pharmaceuticals for someone lame enough to do this, and I sure as hell don’t want to be flagged as a messed up website. I already crash Internet Explorer browsers on a regular basis. My work here is done.
Worse yet, if none of you do step forward,  this means I will actually have to show up at the “WordPress MeetUp” group in Kihei tomorrow and, well, MeetUp. And hopefully meet someone I can hire and who isn’t trying to date me or get to know me Biblically or anything in between. I need help, but I prefer to pay with actual money. Or fancy beads and smallpox infected blankets. Whatever the market demands…minus the oldest profession.

Now to go drink something alcohol-based. And a lot of it. And hope the sunrise brings with it some good news or at least the name of someone (way) smarter than me…

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

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