joanna irl

Hawaii, revisited

This week I’m back in Hawaii, visiting friends and generally soaking up sun that I’ve been missing for the last eight months. Next week I leave for the Philippines and a very different trip; this week is about relaxing and enjoying good company.

I don’t actually have much to report. The island is the same, and my inner auto-pilot still works perfectly. It actually feels more like I never left, and in that sense it’s really nice to not feel pressure to do any of the touristy things. I’ve already done all of those things. Instead I get to hang out on my favorite beach and catch up on my reading.

I’ve taken a handful of photos, but really since it’s all the same, I have perfectly good photos already at home. I’ll just leave you instead with the view from this afternoon, late in the day when the sand turns golden in the low burning sunlight and the water has turned silver and smooth. Early morning and early evening have always been my favorite times in Hawaii.


joanna irl

September rains

Well, I’m sitting in a coffee shop to access wifi and generally realizing that during moves I drink way too much coffee and tea and whatever else I get at coffee shops. Probably not great, but wifi is awfully helpful.

We got places to stay lined up in California (including four nights in Anaheim!!) until the 9th, so that feels pretty good. I’m not worried about this move, other than the usual stuff that goes along with being unsettled. There seems to be a wide variety of housing available, too, which is nice.

This move has (so far, anyway) been a little TOO smooth, if that makes sense. We haven’t had on anything go really wrong or become difficult. I shouldn’t complain (and I’m not, believe me!), but I remember all the stress of coming out to Hawaii in the first place… Of course, the cats were with us then and now they are waiting in limbo for me to come get them in October, so maybe that has a lot to do with it. I don’t have to find pet friendly hotels, or worry about driving them around, or worry about crazy import paperwork and blood samples and all of that this go-round. It’s so… NICE. Ha.

I’m thinking I’ll do the request I received for un-pretty Hawaii photos before we leave. If I have time this week, I’ll take some. In the meantime, I have photos from my last zoo day in one of the sections where I volunteer. Big kittehs!


Aren’t they beautiful?


It’s nice having a big zoom and access to great views. ^_^

joanna irl

A Kind of Nostalgia

I know it’s a little early still, but today I found myself feeling nostalgic for a place I haven’t left quite yet and finding that small, insignificant things are making me a little sad. Breakfast, for some reason, brought back a flood of memories from the first two weeks that we lived here, having breakfast in the hotel and discovering things like guava jelly (which is amazing) and coconut syrup (which is too sweet for me) and fresh pineapple every morning. I remember being fascinated by the plumeria trees that were all in full bloom when we arrived and how frustrating it was that every time I tried to go to the pool, it rained.

I also remember how (this part of) Hawaii wasn’t anything like I imagined, with its awful traffic, dense population, and constant noise. Of course I’ve found lots of other parts of Hawaii since then that are much quieter, prettier, natural. Of the islands we’ve visited, the Big Island is still my favorite. I like that a huge part of it looks the same (except for the few roads) as it has for years, and there’s something amazing about walking on a volcano.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more early-stage-nostalgia for you in the next month, but there’s also a lot to look forward to in California. It’s time to discover new things again.

joanna irl

Photos from E’s visit this month

Act like you're related

What’s this? Two posts in one day? Oh, my!

Sisters as usual

Actually it’s just an update to let you know I’ve got over 100 new photos posted over here from my sister’s visit earlier this month. They’ve got captions and everything! Ooooooh! (Also, all the other photos are way more flattering, but these entertained me.)

Aloha from J and J

joanna irl

Vog is in the air

I’ve been feeling just plain YUCK all week, but I made it into the zoo this morning (just for the morning), went to a presentation on stress levels in zoo animals that are being transported (and ways to reduce said stress), and was getting ready to leave when I heard someone mention that the news said the vog’s been really bad this week.

So maybe I’m not sick. Maybe I’m just having a really nasty reaction to the vog.

In other news, I’m going to a Mad Hatter tea party (that includes costumes, yay!) on Saturday. You¬†KNOW there will be photos of THAT. I think most of the people going are doing very Alice-in-Wonderland type costumes, but as a fan of the Looking Glass Wars books, I’m going with more of a steampunk type outfit. Or something. Mostly I’m digging through my costume closet and putting together what I think will be fun, plus a hat. You must wear a hat to a Mad Hatter tea party.

joanna irl

Beach day

There are several posts I mean to write this month. One of them is maybe a new “Learn a New Animal Day” entry, but I can’t quite decide which animal I want to do. I’m open to suggestions.

Instead you get to hear about how I went to the beach today and how, despite my sunscreen applications every 45 minutes, my chest and left shoulder still managed to turn red. It’s not an uncomfortable burn, and it’ll be tan by tomorrow (or Friday at the latest), but STILL. I really REALLY tried and used the strong sport, high SPF stuff. It’s probably because I haven’t been to the beach since January.

It’s hard to complain too much about anything else that frustrates you about where you live when you can go to the beach in January. Y’know, and not be bundled up in thermals. And when the week before Easter you can bask a little too long and have simple AWESOME tan lines for your Easter dress.

My Easter dress is green. I am red. Will I look like a Christmas tree? (No, I won’t, because it will be tan by then, but I’ll have weird white stripes across my shoulders. YAY.)

Moral of the story: Sometimes sunscreen isn’t enough when you live close-ish to the equator. Or I need to get SPF 100 or something.

And that is all.

joanna irl

Floods and Fasts: Week 10 of 2012 in photos

This last week was a little strange for me. We’ve had a really high volume of rain in the last couple of weeks, especially this past week, and everything is saturated to the point of constant sogginess. Some parts of this island (not where I live, thankfully) and Kauai are under almost perpetual flash flood watches and there was hail on the windward side where my cousins live on Friday (they are fine, it just damaged their porch plants), not to mention a waterspout that came on land (highly unusual) and took the roofs off of two houses over there. There are jokes about it being 2012 all over the place, but really it’s the weirdest weather I think I’ve ever experienced. The only thing I can say about it is that now the island is lush and green and we got to see some really amazing sights along the Koolaus.

In the middle of the rain, we had bulk trash day and, after the beetle infestation that had lived in part inside of it, we decided at last to part with the red furniture we’ve had since we got married. It was handed down to us from a neighbor and was good for starter furniture, but it’s been in the garage the last 2 1/2 years and I doubt we’d use it again. Between the faded cloth, worn cushions, and the beetle business, we couldn’t donate it. So bye bye, red furniture!

Continue reading “Floods and Fasts: Week 10 of 2012 in photos”

joanna irl

Cleanest toaster oven EVER: revisited

So, if you’ve been reading my blog a while, you probably remember the Lizard Sandwich episode.

If not, well… Here. Go read.

So tonight I reheated some leftovers, went into the den to watch “Once Upon a Time,” and then when the show was over I came back into the kitchen with my plate… to find a GIANT COCKROACH sitting INSIDE the leftovers container.


Now, I’m not a huge fan of things dying, but cockroaches in my house are NOT OKAY. I yelled, and it ran…

Straight into the toaster oven.

Seriously, what is with things going into my toaster oven??

SO I got out the flyswatter and poked it and the thing SKITTERED (made the noise… I’m still shuddering just THINKING of it) and I chased it (using the flyswatter) around the toaster oven until it RAN OUT and then FLEW down onto the floor and headed STRAIGHT FOR ME.

At this point, I screamed like a little girl.

I’m not even exaggerating.

I shrieked so loud that I kind of scared myself. My neighbor is probably listening next door for banging sounds or something before he comes running, but I’m sure he heard me. I was LOUD.

And then I got the roach and flushed him down the toilet and dumped STRAIGHT VINEGAR on the floor where he’d been.

And now the toaster oven is ALSO getting covered in vinegar.

The wildlife here is the reason I have the CLEANEST TOASTER OVEN EVER.

Being the animal/nature geek I am, I actually looked up the species. Turns out this is an “American cockroach” (or Periplaneta americana) and that it measures (get this) an average of FOUR INCHES. That’s FOUR INCHES OF skittering little COCKROACH in my KITCHEN.

You’re welcome for THAT visual.

[update 1/30/12]
This morning I got up and am in the process of re-cleaning the toaster oven (for my own sanity, mostly). I also scrubbed and sterilized my teapots and (two hours after rising) am finally sitting down drinking my first cup of tea. A few minutes ago, Caspian came up to me and made his “Look, mom!” noise… the Gray Wonder just brought me ANOTHER ONE.

Guess what I’ll be spending the ENTIRE DAY DOING? (If you guessed clean the ENTIRE HOUSE then you are CORRECT!)

joanna irl

Another Hawaiian Sunset

1/9/2012 beachy afternoon clouds

Today was a perfect beach day. The weather was warm but not too hot, the breeze was gentle and there were just enough clouds to break up the sunshine a little.

I like Hawaii best on days where I get to go to the beach. Unfortunately I don’t get them as often as I’d like, but I think I go less than I could because there are always plenty of other things to occupy time. I should go more often, though, especially on days when I’m not working. It’d be good for me, I think.

1/9/2012 beach umbrellas

Anyway, after about 3 hours at the beach I realized it was about rush hour (and who wants to drive in that if you don’t have to?) and that sunset was in another hour, so I decided to stick it out as the air turned cool and watch the sunset. I was glad of my coverup, though, and to be sitting on a towel. Sand doesn’t hold heat all that long in the winter. I think I was well rewarded, though.

1/9/2012 winter sunset

In slightly related news (I did spent 4 hours at the beach reading, after all), I finished the Hunger Games trilogy today. It was… well, really well written. And I’m still digesting the end. And I’m getting excited about the movie. But that’s all I’ll say at the moment. Later, when I’ve had time to chew on it, I might write more specific things, but for now I’ll just say I’m sorry it took me so long to discover the books. Tomorrow I start a new book! I’ve read 3 already in January and it feels good to be tearing through books again. ^_^