Honolulu: Day Two

Plan for the day, dear blog readers, is: Do not eat.

Am afraid overdid it again yesterday, what with yummy lomi and laulau and haupia, but in the midst of composing this most excellent post, catch self already formulating plan to return to Ono Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu Ave and have meal before panel begins this afternoon (!!@@##)

Plan # 1, to find a way to get connected to internet, was readily accomplished (with only a short walk — which afforded self the opportunity to go exploring around University of Hawaii campus, where happened upon several pagoda-like structures nestled among trees, and a very pretty Japanese garden, where self was beset by mosquitoes who fed ravenously on self’s bare calves) by 5 PM.

Plan # 2, to attend panel with Joi Barrios, was unfortunately not accomplished, but self made up for that this morning by reading up on aforementioned author, and got to listen to audio of very funny poem called “Yankee Doodle Goes to War.” Zack told self she, too, was staying at Lincoln Hall, but apparently no longer, she is now staying somewhere on Waikiki. Well, will meet her this afternoon, as we are on the same panel (Speaking of which, have not planned what self is going to say, know my assigned topic is something to do with the “visibility or invisibility” of the Filipino American writer, thank goodness Zack said we each have only 10 minutes, just as well not to “over-prepare” –!)

Today, Plan # 4 (Plan # 3, as have already mentioned, is to refrain from eating, if possible) is: FIND COFFEE, ASAP. You see, self was up at 4 AM, looking up tours on the web (one-day round-trip to Kauai only $73!). Since it was 7 AM in California, that’s not so bad. Slept at 11 PM, California time (8 PM here), so actually that’s, like, eight hours sleep, which is about double the number of sleep hours self has been getting nightly, the past two weeks.

Unfortunately, in spite of long sleep, self still feels like she wants to sleep some more, and wonder if this is weather-induced (heat), or due to other environmental factors (ceiling fan, birds trilling outside window, distance from xxxxx community college), or due to advancing age.

Dearest Mum did also complain about feeling tired all the time — unfortunately, her “tiredness” was nowhere in evidence during her last visit, as she was on mad carousel of shopping, calling niece, dining with niece, etc. etc. and it was self who felt as if she would keel over, especially after last dinner when Dearest Mum and titas were in Milagros and niece and self were in A Tavola and getting the two groups together required Herculean re-arrangement, actually involved waiters from Milagros carting food from Dearest Mum’s table to A Tavola, and witnessing famished Mum and tita devouring burritos so that when A Tavola waitress brought menus, no one was hungry. But, I digress.

So nice to glance outside window and see there a huge green hill, and, as self told Zack yesterday, place feels sleepy, like Bacolod, where self used to spend summers as a child. “Hawaii is a nice place to grow up in, and you come back here to die,” Zack said. Presume he meant this is not a place for someone who wants to feel connected to the larger world. But, on Kapahulu Avenue yesterday, saw Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino, African American and assorted races just going about their business, and self thought that was very nice, was actually reassuring. A man stood bare-chested on his balcony, reciting and making supplications to heaven with upraised arms. Zack observed man had a nice physique, but, “crazy on meth, probably,” he added.

In spite of coming from place also known for its “diversity”, feel San Francisco is not really diverse, as groups live in sharply demarcated areas, as witness Chinatown, Japantown, Daly City (Filipino-town), Oakland (African American), etc. etc. And, mostly, groups do not overlap. (Oh, there is also a very white San Francisco, which probably includes Shorensteins and everyone who attends those fab parties chronicled in The SF Chronicle).

OK, OK, enough already with the sage comparisons. Almost 7:30 AM, reception desk is open, will inquire as to COFFEE!

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

Currently Ensconced in Abraham Lincoln Hall, University of Hawaii

It has taken me the better part of five hours, dear blog reader, but through sheer persistence have finally gotten someone to help me figure out how to connect to the internet from my room in Abraham Lincoln Hall, on the University of Hawaii campus.

Out the window of my third-floor room, I have a view of a narrow path and two gorgeous purple bougainvilleas shaped like trees (and, allow me to impart the observation to loyal blog readers that this campus is so beautiful, so filled with many gnarly old trees and pagodas and temples, tucked here and there among the buildings. Such as pagoda next to Abraham Lincoln Hall, which was apparently donated by the King of Thailand). No air-conditioning, but nice vigorous ceiling fan only adds to ambiance, fancy myself in some W. Somerset Maugham novel.

Hope Ate Ruth will forgive me for not going to Southeast Asian Writers Panel at 3 PM today, featuring Joi Barrios and Cambodian poet U Sam Ouer, but was utterly wiped out by the time Zack dropped self off at Lincoln Hall.

First of all, it was HOT, and I couldn’t remove my jacket because I’d eaten too much Laulau and Poi and Haupia at lunch in Ono’s Hawaiian Foods on Kapahalu Ave., and stomach was *quite* distended, would have been too embarrassing to reveal how much. Besides, all self really wanted to do was sink on the bed and watch CNN and maybe read.

Did force self to walk around a little bit in the late afternoon, and came to a beautiful Japanese garden, during investigation of which acquired five or six huge mosquito bites. Went limping back to hall, wondering if mosquito bites would still be evident tomorrow; have decided to wear dress/ skirt for self’s panel.

It is only 6 PM! (But 9 PM in California). Call to hubby revealed him in the backyard, shoveling poop, the leftover of last night’s dinner of corned beef and cabbage heating up in crockpot. It rained this morning, for which self was grateful, as plants would not suffer unduly from self’s prolonged absence.

Anyway, very happy to spend rest of day in this clean room. Have chatted quite a bit with young woman at front desk (who is from the mainland, she told self). Student (looked Filipino) came up and helped self get connected (no wireless; had to walk to Hale Manoa and buy ethernet cord from vending machine for $5). Other denizens of the hall are scholarly-looking middle-aged women, and one woman in black leggings with neon-green circles and a red turban (possibly an artist). Self presumes everyone is here to do research or attend a conference. Vending machine in basement sells only Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Mist. But Hale Manoa vending machines have ramen, potato chips, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Doritos, etc. etc. And apparently there is a restaurant nearby that delivers Hawaiian pizzas. Actually, self would be really content to hole up in room for next four days, reading and writing. But, well, have to do what self came here to do — feel slightly guilty now about skipping panel. But tomorrow, will perform as valiantly as expected.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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