Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Valkommen Til Sverige

I am writing now from Sweden which is the way it should be. So enough talk about Hawaii. It’s time to start the real blog. I am now on a three year journey to become a Swedish Sloth. It’s nice to have a mission. I will need to learn the language, the customs, and the culture. And then learn to sleep through them.

The flights over here, all three of them, were pretty bearable. It was a six hour flight to Seattle followed the next day by a 9 hour flight to Copenhaagen and then a 1 hour flight to Stockholm.

In Seattle we rented a car for $26.00 and stayed at a hotel for $37.50. You gotta love America for cheap stuff. The woman at the rental place was a stout lesbian with carefully trimmed facial hair. She gave me the heebie-jeebies but she gave us a free car upgrade and told us that the hotel we had chosen was not safe because there was a cop shooting there recently. The conventional wisdom is that if cops are getting smoked they will be less likely to rush over there if a problem. Linda said not to worry because she found the place on The hotel was fine, an oasis of calm in the skankster’s paradise that is Sea-Tac. Thanks for freaking me out for nothing, Advantage Rent-a-Car attendant.

The next we collected our bags from storage and stopped at the Broadway Grill for a nice breakfast before stopping to pick up our mail at the Post Office, and heading to the airport. It suddenly occurred to me that everything I owned was in my two suitcases and my carry on bag. My most prized possession was my Dell laptop, which I am tapping away on now at the breakfast table. I LOVE IT! It shocks me that for $850 you can get such a great machine like this…. 14” screen, CD burner, DVD player, and wireless internet. Awesome little writing machine.

When we arrived at the airport we were afraid we would be overweight and have to pay a lot of charges. Our bags were like Double Stuffed Oreos. Why? Every couple has strange habits. One of Linda and my strange habits is that we have a family of stuffed animals which we play with. Our family has 10 members now, but I won’t go into that now. I’ll save that for a slow day. But all those animals take up a lot of space in our bags. We had to throw away perfectly good clothes to make room for our “kids,” who have names like Fishy, Ootay, and Pengo.

At the airport Linda announced that we had enough time to get drunk before the plane left. We drank for 3 hours and managed to spend $80. I just got a new credit card so I decided to break it in. A month previous, I laughingly applied for a new credit card right before we left for a Platinum credit card with an American Flag design on it. By the time I got back to Seattle it was in the mail. I got approved for a $4,000 limit. My credit must be getting better. I have been paying my bills and stuff. Awesome. Now I can get drunk another 39 times with the card. More if I make some payments.

On the flight to Stockholm, we lost 12 hours of lives, which means Stockholm is currently 12 hours ahead of Hawaii. You would think that would make for some wicked jetlag, but so far it has been very very mild. I may have a slight cold but that’s really the only physical discomfort I have been suffering.

My mental suffering has been a little more profound. I took to drinking from nervousness about the move for pretty much the last week of Honolulu. I have moved to Europe to go to school many times before so actually being in Europe is nothing new to me. What bothers me is of course is emigrating from America back to Europe. Still, I am sure I will get over it. In a month’s time it will be no big dealio.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Last Day In Hawaii

The last week in Hawaii has been rather drunken, even for me. So much so in fact that my writing dropped to almost zero. I was too drunk or hungover or else out at the beach trying to recover. My supply of codeines is rapidly dwindling and the weather has turned a bit cooler and windy, but it was still nice enough at the beach for me to continue to read Dostoyevsky’s Bothers Karamazov without the book blowing away and sand swirling in my face. After all, bad weather in Hawaii means 79 degrees and partly cloudy with frequent gusts of wind and an occasional afternoon shower. To my horror I note in Stockholm its 35 degrees as a high.

The only bad or particularly interesting point of the week (for after three weeks in Hawaii all the days become very similar) was the night of the luau fiasco. A luau is, of course, a pig roast and a hula dance show. Booking the tickets for a luau on Linda’s 30th Birthday, I had visions of a very Brady scene with grass skirts and cheesy music and whatnot. Three alcoholic drinks were included in the price, so I started drinking at noon that day to make up for their shortsidedness.

By the time the bus came to pick us up I was tanked. I think I went through about six draft beers and half a bottle of rum. I made the bus pull over so I could go pee while 100 touristy passengers watched. Things got worse from there. We are talking crazy asshole drunk blackout. When I woke up the next day I was glad I was not in jail. Let’s put it that way. Linda was pretty embarrassed and wouldn’t talk to me for a few hours. The next day I had to clean and pack with a terrible hangover.

Besides the lame ass luau, I recommend a trip to Hawaii to anyone. Especially if you are headed somewhere cold like I am. A month on Oahu is just fantastic. I can’t wait to come back and explore the rest of the islands. Its hard to believe but tomorrow we head back to Seattle and then the next day at 5 p.m. it’s off to Stockholm for a few years. I don’t even know where we are staying. My dad, bless his heart, has hooked us up with one of his rich buddies who has a spare house out in the suburbs of Stockholm. It's good to have a dad with rich buddies. I hope they have a Playstation.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Don Ho is Still Alive

Last Night Linda and I went to see the Legendary Don Ho perform at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. There was a mediocre dinner and then the show. The room held about 300 people and was about 80% full. I wasn’t expecting much, perhaps a few famous songs from his past and a few corny jokes.

He was fucking hilarious. First of all, he was drunk and kept drinking throughout the entire show. He sat at some sort of “piano/desk” which had the strange appearance of being an altar. He worse sunglasseses although the room was very dark and had white hair. A woman sitting next to me at out table said he was now 75 years old.

Almost every song he sang he made the audience sing along, starting with "Tiny Bubbles". It was of course, completely awful. Audiences come to these things to be entertained by a legend so they can go home and tell people they saw Don Ho, not so they can sing ackwardky mouth along the words of Tiny Bubbles.

After the song Don admitted that he “Totally hated that song”. The humor and jokes were either self-debasing, marijuana-based, or else completely off the wall. It was fucking surreal. Does anyone really want/expect Don Ho to tell 15 marijuana jokes in a row? Not me. He kept referring to it in the Hawaian word, which is pakalolo or something similar. Then he would tell stories about how much his good friend Willy Nelson smokes pakalolo from dawn til dusk and how he is completely normal.

Now I have thought a lot of things about Willy Nelson, none of them are that he is completely normal. I mean he’s a 70 year old hippie who plays country music. What is so normal about that? Most 70 year olds I have met do not travel the country in greasy long hair, evading their taxes, smoking grass, and singing songs about ugly women they fucked because they were too high and/or stoned to tell so at the time.

Before the end of the show, Don Ho played Tiny Bubbles again and had many musical guests, some of which were originals from the Don Ho show back in the 70’s which I watched a little kid. At the end he reminded everyone to “Tell everyone you know I’m still alive.”

Don Ho is still alive. If anything, its the rest of us who are probably dead.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

More Sun to Come

18 days in Waikiki so far. What's the best part? Total relaxation.

I have been working on my second novel, The Living Dead Don't Get a Holiday, lately and surpassed 60,000 words. I don't think I'm going to finish it on this vacation like I thought I might.

I have just finished a short story as well. It's not fantastic but I am trying to write one every quarter. It's something non-pornographic, non-druggy, and short. I think that might help me get published.

I am remaining upbeat on my chances of selling my first book, The Ultimate Space Hit in England where the language and ideas might be embraced more than in America. I have been getting some good feedback on that one. Of course I get some emails like this too...

Username: Donovan

Oh well you can't please everyone. And you shouldn't try to either. Sometimes I do feel like a stupid, ugly fag, but thankfully not very often. I guess some people don't get it. I hate it when people write like that and I can't tell which article or story I wrote that made them feel bad enough to write an email like to me. So I could write more like that. Eliciting an emotional response is one of the greatest compliments to a writer.

I have been reading some great books on this trip, some of which are: Kerouac's Dharma Bums, Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, Paul Auster's City of Glass, some short works of Mark Twain including The Mysterious Stranger which is currently my favorite short story of all time, and an amazing book on the history of coffee called The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen. Pick up any of them if you need a read recommendation.

So what's ahead for the final 10 days in Oahu? More sun, more mai tais, more boat rides, a dinner show with Don Ho, a luau with a roasted pig, more moped rides around the islands, more hikes, and that's about it.

I have also figured out what the Japanese hipsters do. It was just as I thought. They just strut around and eat and then strut around some more and go home. Japan needs more new beat literary drunks like Pax Acidus if they want to be taken seriously. Seriously though, I have always liked to be in places where white people were in the minority. Oahu definitely counts as such a place and I will be sad when we leave.

One huge surprise was the great Hawaiian food. We have been eating kalua pig, lau lau, and poi at a nice diner outside of the tourist area. Poi is fantastic stuff, its a purple goo made from the taro root. Any food that is purple can't be all bad.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Wai? Because we love you!

Linda and I are in Waikiki. Just the name itself sounds so exotic. People say it is like a cross between Tokyo and Miami Beach. I think that’s an accurate description.

We are staying in a penthouse suite on the 44th floor of the Island Colony about 4 blocks from the beach. Our room has a double bed, a sofa bed couch, a kitchenette, a lanai, and a small bathroom. The key is of course the lanai where we spend most of our time and from whence I write this edition of Swedish Sloth.

Ideas flood my head. I am getting vain in my mid 30’s. I think maybe if I post pictures of naked Swedish girls at the top of my posts I might get more readers. I think I will try that. But not now. I am filled with peace. I am drinking a mai-tai and munching occasionally on some macadamia nuts. Blonde on Blonde is on the stereo. It’s almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside now at 8:00 pm.

Waikiki is different. In my Jungian mind I have identified three major distinct archetypes strolling the shores around here not counting the individuals:

1. The Japanese Hipster
2. The Fat American Tourist
3. The Surfer

Almost everyone can be put in one of these 3 categories. I am hopefully one of the individuals and not one of the Fat American Tourists. Truthfully, I have never fit into a category in my life except maybe the Dipsomaniacal Sloth category. Fuck me. I like to think I belong on the fringe. I feel like more like an artist than an alcoholic.

The Japanese Hipsters are the best. I want to hang out with them so badly. They walk around mostly at night with their fancy coifs and their designer threads. There is almost always one boy and one girl. Occassioanlly they travel in groups. They look like dolls, they are so thin and perfect looking. The boys are dressed in fashionable clothes with trimmed goatees and smart sunglasses. The girls are equally decked out in flower pattern French cut dresses and high heels, although they look a little confused as to the point of it all. The boys seem more sure they are doing the right thing.

But where do they go and what do they do? I want to follow one around and find out. That is my mission for the next week. I don’t think they go out drinking… my guess is that they just prance around for a few hours and then go home and go to bed. Me I don’t see the point of going out without stopping by at least one pub. I must be old-fashioned.

Sweden? The idea behind this blog is not to extol the virtues of the Hawaiian Islands but rather to explain the perspectives of an American moving to Sweden. And that’s not an original idea, as it’s already being done quite well by Francis Strand. But of course perspective is perspective. I am not a gay American man married to a Swedish man. I am the American living embodiment of Sloth living with a Swedish woman. And Sloth is a sin, according to that prick we refer to as the Judeao-Christian God.

Being gay is not even a sin according to any Bible passage I've ever read. It's just the gay self-negating hypocritical preachers who gay bash. Sodom was a city of vice, but it never mentions actual butt-fucking in the Bible. In all the Bible School classes I was forced into attending as a child, I have never read one thing about not being gay in the Ten Commandments. Sloth however is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Oh, how I long for the day when I can no longer separate myself from the sin in which I live.

Long live Sloth in Hawaii!