Friday, September 24, 2004

Pretty girls, politics, poker and possibly more

Tuesday was a good day.

Why was Tuesday a good day? I'm glad you asked. Tuesday was a good day because of two pretty girls and another political discussion with my neighbour. The first pretty girl was Cute Coffee Girl, whom I saw, unsurprisingly enough, in the coffee shop. She was extraordinarily excited to see me after all these weeks. In fact I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone be as excited upon seeing me. Which, depending on how you look at it, is a good or bad thing. The second pretty girl I saw, also unsurprisingly, in my bar. She was a girl who myself and my neighbour had had a long Saturday afternoon political discussion with a few weeks ago. All that happened was she said hello to me when she walked in and brushed my back while saying goodbye to me on the way out. Such simple things can cause excitement. How the mind plays silly games.

The remainder of Tuesday evening and a few hours of Wednesday morning were taken up with a long political discussion/debate/argument with my Bush supporting neighbour and the Kerry supporting (well more anti-Bush really) landlord — both of whom are called Greg, confusingly. It was all very interesting, for me at least.

Poker. Sometimes I like to think that I can play poker. And, in truth, sometimes I can. However, there are also nights like Wednesday night, when I couldn't play to save my life. Fortunately I wasn't playing to save my life, I was playing to save ten dollars. I didn't. Instead I limped home eighth of eight. Bugger, bollocks and bastard. Still there's always next week.

In other news. Hawaii is very pretty. The sashimi in Hawaii is very nice. I spent the first week of my stay in Hawaii, attending meetings and socializing with my collaborators. I got to see a tiny little stretch of Hawaii in this week, the bit I got to see was basically the tourist trap bit. Still, from my hotel room I could see that big wet thing called the Pacific, and there are worse things to look at when you wake in the morning.

For the final two and a half days of my trip, I rented a car and drove around Oahu (or should that be O'ahu?). I have to say, it's very very pretty. My favourite spot was on this little peninsula jutting out into one of the bays on the windward (northeast) side of the island. From this spot there was the nice contrast of ocean, complete with small sandy beach and a few big rocks/small islands, on one side and the gorgeous green mountains on the other side. I took a few photos, and if I ever get round to getting them off my camera I might post a couple.

It's a little pathetic that the thing I enjoyed most while I was in Hawaii, was sitting on this peninsula with my back to a tree reading my book. Or it could just be that I'm reading an incredibly good book at the moment. It's called Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and it's really rather good. It mixes the sort of historical realism you find in books like Jack Maggs (by Peter Carey) with this wonderfully fantastic world of magic. It's a very good book, and Susanna Clarke is a very good author. Needless to say I was recommended this book by Neil Gaiman, not personally of course but, via his ever wonderful blog. Once more, it seems, I owe him a debt of gratitude. Thea Gilmore, The Magnetic Fields and now Susanna Clarke. He really does know his arse from his elbow.

The other British thing which I enjoyed enormously whilst I was in Hawaii, was Angela McCluskey's new album. The lady can certainly sing. Her album is very good. It's part bluesy, part rocky, part lots of other things and lots of her voice. I'd definitely like to see her live, I reckon it would be an interesting experience. Her CD only left the player after I'd bought one of these cool little iTrip thingies that can broadcast my iPod tunes over the airwaves. 'Tis very cool.

Other cool Hawaiian things. The town of Waiahole, which obviously I pronounce, almost certainly horribly wrong but rather amusingly, as wahey-a-hole. (Sexual innuendo intended, of course.) The fact that I saw, entirely by accident whilst driving down a dead end road near the northern tip of the island, the location where they shot the plane wreck portion (complete with a plane wreck lying on the beach) of the new TV show Lost. Thankfully it's not another fucking reality TV show, but is actually a quality scripted drama. And based on last night's premiere might actually be quite good.

Hawaii is a very pretty place. There were other things I was going to say but can't quite remember at the moment. Maybe they'll come back to me.

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