Living daily life in a Hawaiian vacation state of mind

I’ve been to the Hawaiian island of Kauai a few times, and while I am not a fan of sun and heat, I am a huge fan of the way a lot of people there live. I’ve consistently seen folks of Kauai being kinder and more courteous than people anywhere else in North America, even in high tension situations like rush hour traffic. I’ve also seen lots of large families having get-togethers and bbq’s on the beach — they seem to really value quality time together. And I’ve seen a lot of older people being really active, like surfing and even doing sit-ups at the beach.

I think all of that is amazing. Those are things that I value greatly, and things that I feel get lost in the hectic madness of the North American world. We’re always so busy trying to get ahead, get better jobs, make more money, and buy nicer stuff, that we neglect the stuff that actually makes us happier — like being kind, spending time with people we care about, doing fun things, and staying fit and active.

But what I don’t understand is that most people go to places like Hawaii for vacations to get just a short taste of what life is like when those things are prioritized over rat race stuff. They spend a week there, relax, have a great time…and then head home and jump right back into the rat race.

If people like the pace of life while they’re on vacation in Hawaii, if they like it so much that it’s what they want to escape to when they have some time off, why don’t they just incorporate some qualities of Hawaiian/vacation living into their daily lives so they get small doses of it all the time?

I don’t know. I think probably because we don’t want to stand out from our suburban neighbours and look like some sort of lazy hippie weirdos. And I think it’s tough to change your habits. And I think most people aren’t self-aware enough to realize that they could be much happier and healthier.

Personally, I think most of us would benefit from a bit more of a Hawaiian vacation approach to our entire lives.

awkward-funny-family-vacation-photos-porn-shoot-beach

I looked up “family on vacation” pics and found this. Not what I had in mind but I’ll run with it.

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A conversation I overheard and didn’t like

Today I was sitting in a waiting room next to a woman who looked like a 50-yr old middle class broad that used to be hot and now she uses botox and a lot of makeup to try to keep looking hot. It wasn’t working for her. She and her lame friends were making lame “this one time in Cancun…” one-liner jokes [cue basic bitch laughter]. I knew right then I hated all of them. It got worse though. The woman in question said she actually did have a HILARIOUS story from Cancun, and it went like this:

She went to a fucking all-inclusive resort and got shitfaced. Some guy hit on her and she said, “I’m old enough to be your mother.” You just know she loved saying that, being past her prime but still being considered acceptable for a one night stand — as if drunks give a rat’s ass what they copulate with. I’m sure a recently deceased senior would suffice most of the time, if the lights were off and the poor old goat was still warm. Anyway, when she saw her husband next, the woman told him about how she had been so wasted that night but was careful not to mention the guy hitting on her. But a bit later, she told the unedited version of the story to one of her friends…and her husband overheard it! Oh my goodness, he was so MAD and JEALOUS about the guy hitting on her!! According to the storyteller, it was NOT a good scene between her and her hubby for a while.

What a shitty story — all-inclusive’s are boring. Going sunny places just to get drunk is boring. Getting the horniest you’ve been in 15 years just because someone hit on you is pathetic. Keeping secrets from your spouse is wretched. Spouses who get upset over non-issues are juvenile. And thinking all of this made for a good story is absolutely maddening.

So maddening, I had to share my misery with the world. There it is, folks. That dreadful conversation is now crystallized on the internet and in all of our memories. Hallelujah. Spread the pain.

i want to understand everyone

i have a strong inclination to understand the motivation behind the actions of everyone i know, and even some people i don’t. i’m pretty much obsessed with it. for instance, how many blog posts have i made mulling over the reason people have kids? plenty. that’s just one example, of course; i also want to know why my friends choose to get married, choose not to get married, pick nicaragua as a vacation destination, buy an SUV, go back to school, invest in ETFs, stop playing drums, live in the city, take up gardening, have a cocker spaniel, watch comedies, and so on and so forth. i’m extremely curious about a lot of stuff.

sometimes jenn has been embarrassed by me asking people pointed questions about this kind of shit. at a wedding last summer, i was asking some friends why they liked montreal so much and jenn later said she thought i came off as judgemental. i was really surprised and bummed to hear that because i hadn’t meant it like that at all. i was genuinely interested in knowing what they like about the place. montreal may not be for me but i know that doesn’t mean it’s not for anyone. i don’t care that people want different things from me, i just want to know why they want different things from me. i want to see life from their perspectives.

i’m really just fascinated by people and their choices. call me whiskers.

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tired of not being retired (at age 36)

i had the last week off of work. not for a vacation, it’s just the way my shifts were allotted, but it was fantastic nonetheless. i had a lot of great sleeps, got lots of exercise in, started work on fixing up our travel trailer, helped jenn with working on her horse trailer, played a lot of tetris…nothing to write home about but just having the freedom to do that kind of stuff at my leisure was so lovely. and it got me to thinking how much i look forward to retirement.

i plan on retiring ASAP.

i think a lot of people would roll their eyes at that kind of statement, like ‘dream on’ or ‘you’re a lazy sod’ or ‘yeah, you and everyone else.’ but not having kids and having a dual income household certainly makes early retirement financially possible, and i don’t think it’s a lazy pursuit at all. in fact, i think it’s a great one. what’s the point of living if not to enjoy our time here? if busting your hump is the only thing in life that you enjoy then fill your boots i suppose, but i don’t believe that all the workaholics in the world are that way because they like it. i think they’re usually like that for a number of unhealthy reasons — guilt, lack of self awareness, poor relationships with their spouse, etc.

i even used to be a bit of a workaholic myself. then one day when i was trying to decide if i should take yet another shift, jenn said to me, “no one ever died wishing they had worked more.” that really hit home for me. i like making money and being financially comfortable but i don’t want to get hit by a car, lay dying on the side of the road, and have my final thoughts be, “oh no, i should have visited russia when i had the chance,” or “i shouldn’t have worked christmas day last year. it would have been nice to spend that last one with jenn.” there needs to be a balance between making a living and actually leading a life that i love.

as much as i like my job and most of my co-workers, i like sleeping in, road tripping, camping, watching the chickens in the yard, working on old cars, and hanging out with friends way more, so working takes a definite back seat to all the rest of it.

that being said, i really need to get over my fear and get to russia sometime soon.

Photographer

i want to see this, bad.

the impending summer of satan

jenn and i like going on big summer road trips. one of my fave memories of our many trips is not of a place or activity but a weird feeling i experienced one year when i read robert nye’s faust while on vacation. it’s a great book and really affected me — i felt happy and good about summer and all the fun things we were doing, like exploring forests and small towns and lakes and various sights, but there was also a feeling of dread, of fear, interlaced with all those good times and pleasant vibes because of faust. it really added a strange and fascinating dimension to the trip for me. it was like the specter of the devil and all intangible evil cast a shadow over all the wholesomeness of our summer fun.

and i loved it.

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good book. i recommend it. even jenn liked it.

it was because of this experience that i recently ventured into russell books with benjamin (sorry if that tidbit gets you divorced, benny). i was in search of well-written dark books to enjoy on upcoming road trips. not stephen king “and then the vampire swooped down and said lunch time as he bit her lovely milk-white neck” stuff. i wanted stuff that was more multidimensional and less goofy and stupid — more stuff like faust. so i described my impossibly specific tastes to an enthusiastic russell books employee who did a fantastic job of recommending and finding copies of all kinds of suitable things i’m excited to read. ben also did a quick search on his phone for ‘best satanic books’ and came up with some more good suggestions. i walked out of there with five novels, sure to ruin my summer perfectly.

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it’s going to be a goth summer. these guys look like cenobites from hellraiser. christ, can you imagine wearing all that pleather and PVC in the heat? i bet they stink under there.

and now i can’t wait for the next road trip. offsetting all the fun with a bit of spiritual desolation makes the overall experience much more emotionally and psychologically stimulating. it means i can have lots of fun with my wife, exploring natural wonders and swimming and hiking and whatnot, but also feel a little terrified for the safety of my soul or spirit. it’s a wonderful balance.

maybe if jenn was down to listen to akercocke and voices on the trip, i wouldn’t need to read these books to get my dose of satanism and misanthropy. that will never happen though so i’m glad i’ve got this plan B sorted out well ahead of time. there is no way i’m leaving evil at home on this road trip.

the epoch of sunday drives ended long ago

i know an older guy that is a fat lazy slug, and his biggest hobby is going for drives. not to any destination, and not with any intent to get out of the car and do anything along the way, just to drive around and then come home.

i can’t think of anything stupider.

“what a fucking waste of time and resources, harry.”

first off, gas is expensive. second, driving around without seeing or doing anything is boring. third, it’s lazy as all hell.

road trips are awesome when you are stopping along the way, seeing and doing all kinds of cool things like hiking, checking out ghost towns, swimming, befriending squirrels, seeing friends, etc. but in those cases, the drive itself is not the fun part. it’s just a means of getting to those fun things. remove the fun stuff and you’re left with a big old boring ass drive. whoopee. i don’t want to look at a mountain from the car, i want to get out, climb it, actually experience it, and make some cool future memories like “remember the abandoned shack full of rats we found on the hike up mt. ding dong?”

maybe back in the 50’s when gas was only pennies and people thought it would last forever and pollution wasn’t such an issue, driving around aimlessly seemed less wasteful or harmful. maybe cars were thrilling to drive back then because they were a new thing for a lot of working class families and the people that grew up with that haven’t shaken the habit. i don’t know, i wasn’t there. but it doesn’t matter. now we know it’s goddamned stupid thing to do so i hope people like the old prick i know knock it off soon.