Another Hobby Blog

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Cozy 80 Degrees

One of the things I really like about Hawaii is that I can leave an event at 11:00 pm and find that the night-time air temperature is a cozy 80 degrees. On the other hand, one of the downsides is that an hour later when I'm trying to fall asleep, I find that the night-time air temperature is a toasty 80 degrees and that the ceiling fan breeze makes my hair brush across my face, tickling my nose and keeping me awake. ... It's nice to sit back and appreciate that for at least one day, today, this was the biggest of my problems.

We haven't done a lot of beach-going or souvenir hunting or other touristy excursions this trip. Instead, we've connected with the locals. We've gone swing dancing and folk dancing and ballroom dancing. We have spent time with some really great people with whom we'd like to keep in contact. We walked along the beach at sunset and watched the full moon rise over the ocean with some friends of someone we met at one of the dances. With a different group of friends-of-friends, I hiked up a steep and challenging trail to help pull up invasive plants out of a patch of rainforest so that the native plants (slower growing) have a chance to survive. My knee had some trouble with the steeper terrain, but the other hikers helped out with a stabilizing hand. I naively left my lunch in my car, but the other hikers generously shared their own lunches with me. The biggest problem of that day was the 32 mosquito bites. (My knee trouble subsided after several doses of Advil and a couple days of rest. Some of the bites still itch-- and I got them a week ago tomorrow.)

I haven't done as much swimming as I thought I might do... I had imagined myself swimming 2 to 4 hours every day (2 in the morning, another 2 in the evening). Instead, I've been wary about too much sun exposure, so I've only gone for about a 2 hour swim every other day or so. I'm getting a light tan. The nearest beach is sandy without much coral, so no brightly colored fishes. Instead I've entertained myself by looking for man-made debris that gets washed up in the tides --you know, the glass shards from broken bottles, the bits of plastic and metal we humans leave in our wake no matter where we go (and that get carried by wind and wave and weather even into places that we haven't gone). In addition to the broken glass and random unidentified clutter, I've collected 3 pair of slacks, 1 blanket, 4 snorkels, 1 swim mask, 2 pair of swim goggles, 1 pair of sunglasses, 2 unbroken glass soda bottles, and 1 very very nice watch.

I'm not yet tired of pineapples. There's another fresh one on the counter for tomorrow's breakfast. I don't think I've lost any weight. I might have gained some. I snuck in to one of the fitness gyms and ... (* for commentary on the word "snuck" check the footnotes.) ... and put myself onto one of their scales. I think I've gained five pounds. I'm hoping it's all muscle; I've been swimming and dancing more than usual. .. ... .... .....I've also been eating cheeseburgers and shave ice and drinking Dr. Pepper. I suspect my hope is misguided. But I am still able to fit into my swimsuits, so it can't be too bad, can it?

Tomorrow is sleep-in-and-do-laundry day. That's why I got to stay up late and write this entry tonight.

* If you are interested in the grammatical implications of the word "snuck," the following links can shed some light:

While I admire all the effort and skill that went into standardizing the English language throughout the centuries, I feel that sometimes the purists go too far and forget that the English language is a living language, a cultural collective. It grows and changes with time, context, and common usage. It is also subject to stylistic whims (and this is stylistically a very colloquial blog.)

In this instance, I like the emerging variant of the past tense "snuck" because it implies to me a certain (guilt-based, self-serving) furtiveness. Accordingly, if I were implying an honorable need to sneak (e.g. taking care to not wake the children while setting gifts beneath a Christmas tree) I would use the grammatically preferable past tense "sneaked." Isn't language fun?


  • At Mon Aug 25, 10:38:00 AM PDT, Blogger 'Zann said…

    Still in Hawaii! Good for you - why on earth travel all that way and not stay for a decent amount of time?
    Say hi to the ocean for me...


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