Thursday, December 27, 2012

Engineers in paradise

Here's Part 2 of my recent Maui travelogue.  Part 1 was yesterday.

After a week of exploring the wonders of the island and exchanging rental cars, daughter Annie and her friend Jon arrived followed shortly by son Matt and his wife Kim. Suddenly our little condo became the stateroom scene in NIGHT AT THE OPERA. So Debby and I took exile at the Grand Wailea resort.

There was a swimming pool industry convention so the only room we could get had a breathtaking view of the parking structure (being in their membership club does have its privileges). Meanwhile, one of the Jacuzzis was out of order. 1400 pool experts and not one knew how to fix the fucking thing?

They were then followed by the IEEE Control Systems Conference. I kid you not – 1200 engineers hanging out at the beach in black dress shoes, dark slacks, and long-sleeved shirts. I guess they only wear their shorts and Hawaiian shirts at home in their labs. And still no one knew how to fix the damn Jacuzzi.

Had to put the Elizabeth Taylor book aside for awhile. She’s now slept with every man in Hollywood including Joan Crawford.

Employed Apple Maps on my iPhone for a little GPS assistance. Siri sure had fun with Hawaiian street names. She’s still trying to pronounce Kaahnumanu Avenue.

Not much legroom for the kids in the Mazda 3. I called the backseat “American Airlines coach.”

The Maui Barbershop uses the following classy slogan: “We want your head!” Guess I’m not the only one reading the Liz Taylor book.

Saw a woman guest at the Grand Wailea in a black bikini with a shovel. I can only assume she’d just come from a Jewish funeral.

Did not sign up for the Hip Hop Hula class at the Grand Wailea. Didn’t pack my grass skirt or “Fuck All Da Bitches” jersey. And it’s not like I could borrow any of these items from one of the engineers.

Matt & Kim took the drive (part-way) to Hana. After exchanging their Enterprise rental car (they were originally given a giant old Chevy Impala that smelled like Larry King’s suspenders) they set out for a day of spectacular scenery. To quote the island natives: “Man oh Manischevitz, what a view!”

Annie & Jon left so we moved back into the condo just in time for construction to begin at 7 A.M. in the next unit. We were awakened every morning by the chirping of the Hawaiian red-breasted power drill.

Best sushi and karaoke is late Friday and Saturday nights at Sansei. Nothing gets you in the mood for the holidays faster than a 300 pound tatted dude singing Karen Carpenter’s “Merry Christmas, Darling” in Pidgin English.

President Obama still plans to vacation this year in Hawaii. What better place to take your mind off the fiscal cliff than Diamond Head?

Like everyone else on the islands, I was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of long time Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye. He was a politician who deeply cared about his constituents and believed in a strong moral code. In other words – a maverick. In the last election he received 75% of the votes. We can’t afford to lose any Daniel Inouyes. They’re so few of them.

Saw SKYFALL (a Bond film so good theatergoers stopped texting) and when Albert Finney came on the screen all I could think of was: which chapter does he sleep with Elizabeth Taylor?

Can you toast Hawaiian Gods with Manischevitz? I did and caught a cold the minute Matt & Kim left so probably no. On the other hand, it made for a nifty cough syrup!

We left on December 20th. Winter started the next day and you know how brutal Hawaiian winters can be. Last year an umbrella blew over. But a great time was had by all, and I returned to LA relaxed, refreshed, and dressed like the Fruit Juicy guy. Happy holidays and as they say on the islands:

Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No -- I give my love to you, you give your love to me.

Come to think of it, that’s also what Elizabeth Taylor used to say. On every page.


Rick Wiedmayer said...

Loved your travelogue story. Also saw Skyfall and think it is one of the best Bond films.

Here is a Friday question for you.

What does the assistant director/s do on a film set and is it a stepping stone to becoming a director?

Anonymous said...

Smelled like Larry King's suspenders? LOL!!!!! Have you been that close to Larry King? His wife is earning every penny, isn't she. I love this blog. Just about every post is an awesome fun read. When I read your travelogues, I feel like I'm there. Julie, Burlington, Iowa

Brian said...

Hey, I'm in the IEEE and I resemble that remark.

Mac said...

Glad you had a good time Ken, but a non-functioning jacuzzi in Hawaii is not a problem. Maybe if they'd found a body in that jacuzzi...? Even then, you're in Hawaii and there's a jacuzzi - anything that happens within that scenario is not a problem.

An (is my actual name) said...

Ahhhh, you said Sansei! I adore that place. Do they still have the early bird specials? We loved eating awesome sushi half price with all the senior citizens!

RCP said...

Really enjoyed this travelogue, Ken. Is it possible that in a previous lifetime, you managed a shady rental-car business - you're still burning off karma (carma?)

Now I want to read the Taylor biography too - so Liz was being tongue-in-cheek when she said she'd only sleep with a man if she was married to him?

LouOCNY said...

her tongue was somewhere, RCP

fred said...

Maybe if Liz was still with us she could of done a tonguelogue ...

XJill said...

Kindof related...what do you think of this "the viewers pick the ending" gimmick Hawaii Five-0 has come up with? isn't this super insulting to the creators and writers or since it's a CBS procedural and paint-by-numbers to some extent they don't mind as much??

Blair Ivey said...

"Engineers in paradise"

Years ago I worked for an engineering company that had contracts in Oahu. On our first trip from the airport to our condo in Waikiki (there's something wrong with that sentence), my boss and I and an intern were trying to navigate Honolulu's one-way street grid. This was way before GPS-enabled smartphones, and we didn't have a map, because, hey, we're guys.

After ten minutes of going around in circles, I wondered aloud how many engineers it took to drive in Honolulu. Apparently more than three.

Spent nearly a year getting paid to live and work in Hawai'i. Yes, it was great.

Breadbaker said...

One of the highlights of my life was meeting Senator Inouye. War hero, represented Hawaii in Congress since it became a state, Watergate hero, and a simply genuine nice guy. I'd rather have shaken his left hand (his only hand) than almost anyone else's right hand.