Archive for year 2011

Splendor

Amazing splendor
All around us all the time
Appreciate it

Maui, Day 2

After a nice night sleeping in (luckily, being a night owl, my body is already kind of on normal time for Maui), I had a casual morning or laying in bed, eating pita chips and hummus and doing some emailing while I looked around online for suggestions of things to do. I knew I had the rehearsal dinner at 4:30 so I couldn’t do any all day activities. After quickly getting overwhelmed with possibilities, I decided to just let today be “exploration” day. I decided to just set out without a destination and just drive and see where life would take me.

I started out just parking in Lahaina Town and walking down Front Street right along the coast checking out the sights and the shops. It was really nice and casual. I saw all kinds of ships out on the ocean, a big battleship in the distance, a little old shipwreck not far off the coast, a few parasails over the ocean. I just enjoyed the sun and the breeze and the sights. At one point I noticed a set of stairs leading down to the beach. I took off my shoes and socks and walked down. The sand felt amazing under my feet. I let the ocean waves just wash in around my ankles. They were quite forceful and there was just something very powerful about this simple experience.

I thought about stopping for a burger at “Cheeseburger in Paradise” but after pulling up a few reviews on my phone I decided not to as everyone pretty universally said it was overpriced, sub-par food. Instead, I went back to my rental car and headed back to Terry’s Bigger Burgers, the first place I ate when I got to Maui. It was really good and I had wanted to try some other choices. Today, I really made sure my “beach body” was in its prime by having the blue cheese bacon burger, some cheese fries and a chocolate shake.

Having now stuffed myself silly, I set back off up the highway with no particular place to go. Eventually I saw a turn in to a park. It looked very scenic so I turned in and parked. It was about that time that it occurred to that Geocaching would be a perfect companion to my random exploration. I’ve been Geocaching since 2000 but hadn’t done it much in a while. It did indeed turn out to be the perfect choice. There were 3 caches within walking distance of where I’d just parked. The first was in the crook of a really cool looking tree that looked like it belonged somewhere in Lord of the Rings. The second was of in a really pretty wooded area right by the ocean that was also a really beautiful and secluded area that I never would have found or stumbled on had I not been following my GPS to a geocache.

The third was a “virtual cache”, not an actual hidden box but just the location itself. They’d named the cache “Saphira’s Teeth” after a dragon in Eragon I believe they said. That’s because the place was a lava flow formation that looked like dragon’s teeth. This resulted from the lava flow butting right up against powerful waves back when it formed. This was my favorite place I’ve yet seen. It was amazing. Standing high atop a big lava rock formation as howling winds whipped at me and ocean spray pelted my face as it hit the rocks. I couldn’t stop giggling like a giddy kid at the beauty of it all. Looking out over the vast ocean from stop my lava perch. This is one of the things I love most about Geocaching; it often gets you off the beaten path and leads you to discover amazing areas you might never have stumbled upon on your own.

After returning to my room and showering, I proceeded to Duke’s Beach House for the rehearsal dinner for my friend’s wedding. The whole place is open air with a great view of the ocean. The groom’s mother was incredibly sweet to me and very concerned that I was traveling alone so she wanted to make sure to seat me with some other people. She would take me by the hand and introduce me around. I ended up at a table with 3 other guys and I met a lot of really nice people. We ate dinner as the sun set over the ocean and they lit up the tiki torches.

At one point a man came over to the table and introduced himself as Kunal. I looked up to see none other than Kunal Nayyar who plays “Raj” on “The Big Bang Theory”. Another couple had told me that he and the groom were friends and had been roommates but I didn’t realize he was here! I played it cool, he asked how I knew the couple and I told him I had done a movie with the bride back in 2007. He asked where I lived and we chatted about Austin briefly. As he was leaving I added “Hey, I really like your show” to which he replied “Thank you, that means a lot”. Throughout the night he was s genuinely nice, personable guy and I was a little starstruck since I do watch that show. It’s always strange and cool to see “celebrities” you know in person. The food was great. I had a scampi dish with jumbo shrimp and cheese ravioli and of course, the giant dessert, Hula Pie. As I walked to my car after it was all over, The moon reflected off the ocean and a nice cool breeze blew. Another beautiful day and night in Maui.

Island Life

Life on the island
Relax and go with the flow
Mahalo, my friends

Living The Island Lifetyle

I can already tell this is going to be an interesting trip. Hopefully in that good “full of character” kind of way”. I’m basically renting the master bedroom in someone’s house (the owners live in the back and rent out the rooms to visitors). Upon my arrival, there didn’t seem to be anyone here. Since it was just a house in a neighborhood, I didn’t want to just waltz on in without knowing the procedure so I called my contact number and left a message. They called back and said they’d be back to make up the room in about 30 minutes so I went to grab a bite to eat.

I found a little local burger joint right next to an awesome mountain poking up into the clouds. It was nummy. The burger, that is, not the mountain (that I know of, at least…I didn’t taste it). I returned to the house to be greeted by a shirtless guy who just got back from fishing. Turns out he owns the place and his girlfriend runs it. He was incredibly friendly and spoke with a laid back demeanor just like some islander character from a novel or movie. He regaled me with the tales of the big one that got away this afternoon and showed the one he caught and brought home.

He showed me around and introduced me to the house pig. Yes, there is a pet pig that lives here. I set up in the kitchen to compose some emails and we continued to chat casually. I definitely felt like I was already having a unique island-flavored experience full of character and characters.

His girlfriend arrived and cleaned my room as several other tenants rolled in from a day at the beach. She asked if I needed anything else and told me to just let her know if I needed any recommendations of things to do. I told her that aside from the rehearsal dinner and wedding, I had no itinerary and was just palyign it by ear to which she replied “That’s the way to do it, the island way.”

All this and I’ve only been here about 3 hours. This is way better than some generic hotel experience.

Profanely Illogical

Dichotomous words
Context dictates the meaning
Can be good or bad

Profane Paradoxes

Why is it that if something “blows your mind” it’s usually good, “getting blown” is usually good, but “that blows” means something is not good?

Why is it that if something is “shit” it’s not good but if it’s “THE shit!” then it’s good?

Neglected

So many websites
My own ends up neglected
Naughty webmaster

Oh, Yeah, Some Videos

So anyone on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ has seen these posted already. I have, however, completely neglected to post them here on my own website. Apparently I have hardly posted any of them here, your best bet is just going to my youtube channel and checking them all out there including my uploads and my favorites (videos I was in uploaded by other people). A few recent highlights:

Google+

Forget what you know
Explore and embrace the new
You may be surprised

An Epiphany About Google+

I was reading a discussion about Google+ compared to Facebook and how many people are not yet seeing its full potential because they don’t understand it or are just looking at it as a direct Facebook substitute. The main thing that hit me was how using Circles you can have friends, colleagues, celebrities, and any other grouping of people in the same place on one website but you can choose to read/post to any or all of them selectively. Where this struck me was in relation to my experience on Facebook.

I started out with just my personal page. Then I started pondering if I should start a “musician” page. At first, I saw no reason for that but then someone made the awesome point that at some point, hopefully, my “fans” won’t necessarily be just my “friends”. People may want to see where I’m playing or hear my music but I may not necessarily want them all added as “friends”. So I started my musician page. Now I’m also an actor but I don’t want to make an actor page as well. That’s just getting silly.

However, even with my musician page, I still get friend requests from strangers who find my band pages or have seen some film I’ve done. When I first joined Facebook, I was extremely selective about who I added. They had to actually be a real life “friend” or at the very least someone I had at least had a decent conversation with at some point. As time went on though I became less and less discriminating, especially as potential film industry contacts started adding me. This was a wise move as these connections have directly led to work but now I have tons of “friends” many who I don’t really know at all. Yes I know I can hide anyone I want from my news feed but that’s just an extra annoying step and maybe I don’t want them permanently hidden but just separated from my true “friends”.

With Google+, this problem is elegantly solved. Sure, at this point it doesn’t have all the features of Facebook (or many of the annoyances as well, so there’s two sides to that coin) but I can add friends, fans, film industry contacts, funny strangers, Lemur lovers, peanut butter and banana enthusiasts, deep seaa Yugoslavian folk dancers and all other manner of people into their own “Circles” making it very easy to selectively read or post to any individual circle, combination of circles or everyone including the public.

Yes, Google+ is still in its infancy. Yes there are bugs, annoyances, things missing that many people may want (however that’s another Pandora’s box as any given feature may be wanted by many while being considered clutter or annoyance by others). But all in all, I personally think it is an elegant and well done improvement over Facebook and have faith that it will only continue to get better.