San Diego vs. Hawaii

I’ve prowled this place, Kona, a dozen summers in childhood. Yet in night (I arrived at 10pm) it remained shrouded in this limbo between familiar and unknown. After all, in my younger years, this is the hour where I’d be carried in arms.


I spent an eerie night wandering. I remember downtown Kona blissed in light. This lark besieged by hoots was much darker. “Aloha!” I heard in a low, leery voice from a car window.
“The catcalls here..” I said to my companion; I never finished my sentence.
We settled at a bar named “Sam’s Hideaway,” where karaoke played via laser disks and perhaps a dozen patrons called each other’s names. I took the special, a rum and pineapple for $3, and my partner took her usual whiskey coke. The pour was slow, just like everything else here. Her drink was also $3. This Monday night, we drank the same drinks we do every Monday night. “Just like Manic Monday.” But in San Diego,  at the Brass Rail, our drinks come in plastic cups, and they are mostly heavy because we are known, regulars.
We watched a tanned woman adjust her white dress halfway around her body. She meant to line up the seam but brought it all the way around to the other side. Earlier I had thought a man said something rude to me, and swiftly forgot it. I watched him wrap his arm around her, nervously monitoring her reciprocation.
She found us shortly after, said she’d just moved to Hawaii and was looking for friends. The man was her husband, and from Germany. Wouldn’t we let her buy us a round?
When, in the smoking hut (a designated gazebo) husband brought up sex toys and she screamed nein, nein (and Hawaiian that I do not know) and she walked away, flipping middle fingers, and he subsequently (and drunkenly) showed her marks on his back, I thought he might be scheming to take me/us home. My suspicion was confirmed when she tried to pawn me off on her “good friend” Jim. All I could do was laugh and say he “wasn’t my flavor.”
Husband politely asked about our plans for Hawaii. My partner parroted something I had said earlier: “Hawaii is the only place that is more vacation than San Diego.” Indeed, Hawaii is much like San Diego, only more. The grass is plusher, thick like a matt, yet simply prevalent. Tide pools have brittle stars (bigger), spiny urchins (but some with stripes), and fish (ten times as many and brighter). The buildings are the interesting dilapidated result of not enough fear of weather, yet wealthy enough for square corners and fresh paint. It’s laid back yet exotic, here. It’s just like home. But it’s someplace I can visit with excitement all the same.



What the heck sami? I got totally lost this week. Yesterday felt like wednesday and Tuesday felt like Friday. I felt super accomplished yesterday because I remembered to feed my snake and do my taxes. Yet, I forgot to put together my dad’s birthday present AND write in my blog.

Luckily I have some pretty great ideas for blog posts, so I’ll be able to get 2 done over the next week, whether that is one extra this weekend or not until Thursday, along with the regularly scheduled one Tuesday.

Here is a picture from Free Zoo to make it up to you — of a NEON FREAKING GREEN LIZARD!!!1!


I forgot what day it was

Whoops! Yesterday happened and my blog post completely slipped my mind. Expect a make-up post no later than Thursday night.

Here is a picture of dumb cat in bathtub to make it up to you (I have no idea why he went in there; he seemed shocked that I was interrupting his.. process.)


How to be a Secret Santa

Take a sheet of lined paper. Write every letter of the alphabet, one per each line, and the recipient’s name, last. Think of 26 words. Crumple the paper and throw it near, not inside, the wastebasket in your kitchen. 

Peel a tangerine. Draw a portrait of the recipient with a leaky ballpoint pen on the inside of the peel. Take a picture and send it to your 2nd best friend. Sit on the floor. 

Lay on the floor. Count backwards from 9 on your fingers. Count the letters of your recipients name. Sing an awful rap you make up, spelling her name. 

Get a box. Get a stack of magazines. Cut out every picture that reminds you of her. Put the best ones in the box. 

Go to the liquor store. Buy a cheap pair of sunglasses and an iced coffee. Go home. Drink half of the coffee. Write her name backwards in the the lenses of the sunglasses with a dry erase marker, and wear them. Put them in the box. 

Grab another sheet of lined paper. Write, “I want to get to know you better.” Draw a Christmas tree and a cat. Sign it, “Secret Santa.” Put this in the box, too. 


Yes, I’m going to Burning Man

I wasn’t going to write about this here until multiple people, as a response to the news, said, “Can’t wait to read your blog about it!” Well, fine. I’ll blog about it. I can’t think about anything else.

Friends have been asking have I gone or will I go to “the burn” for about 2 years now. Yet, I’ve never been. In 2012 I was offered a ride and a ticket (well, I’d still have to pay) and I said no. I said no to Burning Man. I regretted this such that I said yes to Electric Poncho in Mexico, a treacherous adventure filled with scorpions and heat (and oh my god I have never witnessed so much assault). I’ll probably have to do that one again, just to be sure that I hate it.

Cue 2014, and the usual questions abound;

Hey Sami … are you burning this year?



unless it fell on my lap on a silver platter

which it did 2 years ago and i said no b/c i’m an idiot


gonna miss you there!

The thing is, if you invite Burning Man to arrive on a silver platter, it will arrive. My phone rang when I was still in bed, late, on a Sunday, like noonish. Last Sunday. Friend (quoted above) called with a chance to test if I’m an idiot, again. “Hey Sami, I know someone with a ride and a ticket for you at face value. Want to go to Burning Man.”

“Umm,” am I awake yet? “Ye–ess?”

Turns out, this ‘someone’ has a non-split-able will call ticket, and needed to find a trustworthy adventurer to both buy the ticket and ride with him through the gates. So yes, I am hopping in a car with a guy I don’t know to camp in the barren desert of Nevada for the first time, and with only 2 weeks preparation. It sure sounds bad when I put it like that.

The night after “Hmm, maybe I’ll go,” turned into “Yes, obviously I have to go,” I felt like my chest was split open, my ribs pulled apart. My blood was cold and it drenched me from the inside out. I began foreseeing the emotions that I will have out there in the dust. Raw, grateful, alone, together, crying tears of joy and sadness. The ghosts of future feelings have landed in my lungs and are growing, growing to burst.

I am lucky this is so last-minute. I don’t have time to do anything but prepare. So I make a Koozie spaceship.

space rocket beer koozie diy

So I adorn a rabbit fur coat with EL wire.

space case El wire letters fur jacket burning man

So I take on the role of Art Director for this 8-foot tall monolith.

vulnerability booth burning man art

So I make my loved ones write me letters.

letter for burning man

I am crossing my arms over my ribcage. I am holding it all in. I am telling myself, Do Not Open Until )'(

Whoops! Sorry I forgot to post

I have it all drafted up, all that’s left is to add in the pictures when I get home from work today.

My friend wrote to me asking where this week’s SD Survival Guide was and I almost quipped back, “What are you talking about, it’s Tuesday?”

Yeah, it’s been a crazy rollercoaster few days…