Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Kauai Photos

Greetings and salutations! Hello, even! Hi! How ya doin'? Oh yah? How's things? [Kauai says hello]:

Shave ice being consumed in mass quantities. Again. At -- where else? -- Shave Ice Paradise.

I believe this section of beach is called "Why you think they call it the 'Garden State', Goofy Mainlander?"

Finally! A shot of the beloved little pond with the precious lily pads! I see this pond in my dreams. [God bless Sue for getting the shot.]
Hey, Sexy Mainlander. Yo quiero poi.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Come Vacay With Me

Okay, it should be stated that I am a craptastic photographer, but it is difficult to make anything in Kauai look bad. There are quite a few photos here, but it was so hard to edit anything out besides the ones that showcase my beer belly. There is just so much beautalaciousness to be seen. I hope you enjoy.

This was our lovely condo. My dumb ass forgot to take photos of the adorable pond on the other side of the building where our patio was, which had lily pads (I mean! Could it BE more precious?)-- dolphin sculptures, and croaking frogs at night. But anyway, here is the front. Kewt, right?

Derek and Kimo enjoying their newfound occupation: Chillaxin'.

This was where our luau was. Tropical Paradise is right -- it was stunning:

There were peacocks running all over the place there. They make this really loud whooping mating call that could be heard throughout dinner. Here is one just hanging out. He's all "Hey, what up G's?"

Schwing!!!! And here he is when a chick walks by:

Prettiest. Smiliest. People. EVAR.

Prettiest. Smiliest-- No, just kidding. Here we are all fat and happy after the food-fest:

Like I said, they OWN your ass. And your stinking beach toys. Deal with it.

This guy was hanging around the waterfalls, and was giving me the ol' stinkeye after I commented on his poor parenting skills, but I mean . . .

His kids were hanging out by the cars unattended and stuff and he didn't even care! Absentee Dads . . .

Preeeetttyyyyy . . .

More pretty. See the rainbows? It is Kauai's way of saying Hi!

Someday, all of this could be mine.

This is the plant that goes "EW!" when you touch it. Apparently, it is not fond of children either.

Bro and Sis chillin'. You can't tell by this photo, but we could look down into this pool and see giant sea turtles swimming around. I'm not sure what Derek is saying in this photo, but I believe it is something along the lines of "This Totally Does Not Suck" (TTDNS Enterprises, LLC©)

Considering this was taken the eve before we had to leave, it's hard to believe we are smiling. But we donned our aloha wear and we put on our game face and tried to just pretend that this could go on forever.

I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Blossoming Lotus

As you are no doubt well aware by now after weeks of gloating and anticipating, and then reporting live just to rub it in a little more, I recently had the sublime opportunity to visit Kauai. Yes, I will be posting photos once I have the patience to sit down with the computer and download them, okay, settle. Settle! But for now, you will have to just deal with a super-duper restaurant shout-out, m’kay?

Before the trip, I was so graciously provided some hot tips by the ever-adorable Calivalleygirl on things to do and see in Kauai, and one of the things she highly recommended, even as a self-proclaimed meat-eater, was the Blossoming Lotus Restaurant. Assphincter boy says what? What? A meat-eater liking a vegan restaurant enough to visit twice and even recommend to others? I had to see this (and eat this) for myself. Especially since yours truly is trying to integrate more raw vegan food into her usual steady diet of chocolate, wine and snark.

Let me start by saying how beautiful this place is on the inside. It looks like what you would expect a super cool zen master who lives in a chic section of Bali’s living room to look like. And the servers are so sweet and caring and, unlike a lot of restaurant personnel I have encountered, they treated us like we were their best friends and they had all the time in the world for us, gently explaining what this or that strange term was, even though I’m sure they’ve had to do it a thousand times before. There was a certain, oh how do you say, a light? that came from within the staff there. They were glowy. And they played some kick-ass funk oldies like "Play That Funky Music White Boy" and "You Dropped a Bomb On Me. Baby." But I digress. Let’s talk food.

We had this red-pepper hummus thing with pita slices that was really tasty and kinda spicy. Ooooh, and the lemonade with passionfruit was the bomb. I have never had it made that way, and I am quite the lemonade snob. I hate the pre-made sugary crap, it blows. This was real lemonade with real fruit, nice and tart and refreshing and nothing getting in the way.

Derek and I decided to get two things and do sharesies. Now, my fave sammich in the WORLD is a well-made Reuben. By well-made, I mean in a decent deli with quality meats and breads, ALWAYS turkey pastrami since I don’t eat pigs, and always on toasted sourdough. Well this place has their version of a Reuben. I was skeptical, I mean, pounded tempeh instead of pastrami, are they serious? But oh man it was so messy and delicious with lots of saurkraut and Russian dressing. I was so bummed when I got full and couldn’t finish it dudes, I wanted that thing in my belly so bad! We also shared the Rama's Red Curry, which is Okinawan purple sweet potato in a creamy red coconut curry sauce. It was unique, but not in a unique-ew! kinda way. It was tasty and different, like an exotic dish in a fancy Indian restaurant. And sometimes different is good. True flavor is good. It keeps you on your toes.

Most astounding was sitting across from a total meat-eater and not hearing one single complaint during the entire meal, but instead a steady chorus of mmmmm’s and aaaahhhh’s and chompin’ and sippin’ his hibiscus/lavender iced tea.

Oh, and the best part? Rather than feeling sluggish and full and tired afterward, you feel kinda bouncy and peppy and stuff, and ready to go off and do some more chillaxin’. Next time I visit Kauai, you will find my butt there, scarfing up whatever they give me.

Blossoming Lotus
4504 Kukui St.
Kapa'a, Kauai , HI 96746
Telephone: 808-822-7678

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Roosterbitch: Reporting Live From The Most Freaking Beautiful Place On Earth

[This post is dedicated to Kimo: Rich called. He wants his person back. I told him to go eat some spam and shut the hell up and don't call this number again.]

Things you learn while hanging in the Most Freaking Beautiful Place On Earth:

1) Your hair is not going to do anything you want it to and you are just going to have to accept the fact that your lustrous locks are going to frizz and puff and pouf like a giant fro and you will look like a giant Q-tip head throughout much of your vacay, but it's so freaking beautiful here you really don't give a crap.

2) Poi kinda doesn't really taste that great, unless you put it on something else, like mahi mahi or chicken. Then it tastes pretty darn good.

3) Your toes develop confinement issues. They get so used to walking around nekkid or in flip-flops all the time, so if you put them in actual shoes (as I made the mistake of doing this morning for a walk), your toes are all "Bitch, WHAT? Exqueeze me? Oh no you di'int! WTF, over? Have you seen the super-festive paint job on these toenails that is going to waste in here? I mean!" Especially the last three toes on my left foot (which are known rabble-rousers) -- they did not let up their complaining all the way back to the condo.

4) Hawaiians are ridiculously beautiful people. I'm serious. Forget Czechoslovakia -- this place has the models. And they smile a lot. Being a life-long super smiley person, this is something I really appreciate. I go through life smiling like a damn fool everywhere I go (I can't help it!), and there is nothing worse than being met by a scowl in return. It just pisses my shit off. That is not the case here. You smile at someone, and they smile back at you. It rules.

5) The one exception to the smiley-happy rule came not in human, but plant form. There is this freaktastic plant that no one knows the name of, that if you touch it, it's like a reverse Venus Flytrap -- it bends away from you in a recoiling fashion as if to say "Ewwwww! Dirty mainlander, don't TOUCH me!!!! Gross! Ew, you did it again, STOP TOUCHING ME! I'M TELLING!"

6) Shave ice rules. No, not shaved ice. SHAVE ice. Most. Refreshing. Taste sensation. EVAR.

7) You start scheming with family members as to how you can move here and manage to scrape out a living. Kristi and I came up with the brilliant idea of serving beer in coconut shells to the tourists, while Derek and Kimo start a construction company and build us a compound to live in. We would name the beer/coconut stand Derek's Spleen. The parent company of our businesses would be called TTDNS Enterprises, LLC. Which stands for the mantra we have been repeating all week: "This TOTALLY Does Not Suck." Our brilliant logo that Kimo came up with would be the word SUCK with a slash through it. Brilliant, right? I think it could work...

8) The place is OWNED by roosters. Yeah, I'm totally serious. After Hurricane Iniki blasted all the chicken coops, the roosters got out and became wild, and they hang out everywhere you go in Kauai, sort of like wanna-be directors do in L.A. They're on the roadsides, the beaches, your patio. And they have no internal timing as to when they crow. They just do it whenever, even if it's the middle of the night, just to remind you that they OWN YOUR ASS AND YOU BETTER REMEMBER IT, BITCH AND WE WILL SING FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS, AT 4:00 A.M. IF WE BLOODY WELL FEEL LIKE IT, MAINLANDER BITCHES! Which is fine, because the place is so freaking beautiful, you don't mind being a rooster's bitch. You sit there and you thank your lucky stars that you even managed to get here, and wonder what you did to deserve to be in a place so spectacular.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Encino Farmers Market

Let me just start this off by saying that I really am in a state of severe loathing over the state of most produce you get in the markets these days. Tasteless, textureless, underripe, waxy, pesticide-laden, no-nutrients-having, soulless crap.

I remember long ago when I was little, tomatoes were red, I mean DEEP ruby red, and tasted sweet and juicy and delicious. It was actually difficult to slice them because they were so soft and juicy. They actually added a special something to a salad besides just chunks of filler. You twenty-somethings reading this probably won't be able to relate since you may have never had one of these. You can't get those anymore these days unless you grow them yourself. Even my beloved Trader Joe's, who I love more than my luggage (you know I'm ripping off Steel Magnolias when I say that, and if you don't know, go see that movie, like, STAT so you will know what deep level of love that is) -- even my beloved Trader Joe's has fallen short of the mark when it comes to edible produce. Even their organic selections are prepackaged so you can't choose what you want, underripe and then going bad in a couple of days anyway. Just... crap. What has happened to produce in California? Aren't we like, a huge hub of agriculture in this country? Why are we given so much garbage to eat that is supposed to be "six or more servings a day" --?? I just don't understand it.

I had visited our Farmer's Market a year ago when we first moved into the house and Derek's parents came to visit. I took D's mom there, and we checked it out and had a nice time (remember that, Sue?) -- lots of lovely, local, organically grown gorgeousness EVERYWHERE. I'm ashamed to admit, I hadn't been back since. Until Sunday.

I hopped on my trusty super cute pink bike now outfitted with a super cute basket for schlepping things (courtesy of Kristi), cruised on over, and loaded up on delicious red strawberries, avocados, cabbage, leeks, radish sprouts, lemons, bagels for Derek, two kinds of dates, chirimollas (I didn't know what they were either, but that's the beautiful thing about the farmer's market -- they will let you taste anything before you buy. Chirimollas are this delicious fruit, not unlike a mango, that you slice open and just eat/suck out the contents. Not very graceful to execute, but really good. Kind of like a cross between a mango and a banana.)

Oh, and I also picked up a cute little Japanese hand-painted fabric fan for $3. Not too shabby.

The Farmer's Market has grown since I was last there. More booths with competing produce to choose from, a mariachi band playing and singing walking around, a bounce house for the kids. It was a carnival of wholesome goodness.

I would have picked up flowers, but I thought that would be WAY too over-the-top Suzy Sunshine action going on -- me on my cute pink bike, fresh produce and flowers spilling out of the basket, me grinning like a total spaz in a tampon commercial or something. No way, man. I have to keep my hardcore street edge intact.

The Encino Farmers Market: Go get your produce on!

Encino Farmers Market
17400 Victory Blvd. (at Louise)
Encino (818) 708-6611
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays

Countdown, Part Deux

In only five more days, I will be here:

Yeah. Longest. Week. EVAR.