The Art of Not Working

Peter Gibbons: I uh… I don’t like my job, and, uh… I don’t think I’m gonna go anymore.
Joanna: You’re just not gonna go?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Joanna: Won’t you get fired?
Peter Gibbons: I don’t know, but I really don’t like it, and, uh, I’m not gonna go.
Joanna: So you’re gonna quit?
Peter Gibbons: Nah-uh. Not really. Uh… I’m just gonna stop going.
Joanna: When did you decide all that?
Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago.
Joanna: An hour ago… so you’re gonna get another job?
Peter Gibbons: I don’t think I’d like another job.
Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and…
Peter Gibbons: You know… I’ve never really liked paying bills. I don’t think I’m gonna do that, either.

This has always been one of my favorite quotes from Office Space. The more time I spend away from work, the more I feel like I just don’t want to work anymore. Or pay bills. Or clean my house. Or have sex with strangers for money.

Today I went on a guided kayak tour. My mom was surprisingly active, even counting out the strokes and we ended up always near the front of the group. That muscle recovery drink I got yesterday at GNC did wonders as I woke up not even a little sore this morning. However, the back of my legs and ass are baboon red. Thank god for aloe gel. We hit a couple of little islands off the coast of Kailua and did some exploring and snorkling. The waves were huge near one of them, and the guide had warned us that it was likely that people would capsize. Well, my mom and I grounded fine, but as I was helping her out, we got hit by a big one and it capsized our kayak. I turned it over but my leg got tangled up in the paddle rope and while I was trying to free myself, I got hit by another wave that knocked me backwards, right into where my mom was squatting and I flipped over her. When this Australian couple got to shore, the woman was laughing so hard and wanted to know which one of us was the one who fell over the other. I said, that was me, and she told me that was the funniest thing she’d ever seen. I would have loved to have seen it, because it felt pretty comedic.

After kayaking, I went surfing but it was incredibly crowded. I caught one wave and rode it for a bit, so I was happy. My arms were really tired from kayaking though, so I only stayed out for an hour.

I have to say that I’ve seen more six packs out here than a girl’s mind can process. It’s like every guy out here has a six pack, even the Japanese tourists. I know for a fact all these gorgeous guys and six packs have ruined me. It’s like how they say never have sex on ecstasy because it’ll ruin regular sex for you. All you men in Hawaii have ruined me. I’ve always been a personality/sense of humor girl, but now all I know is that boys have penises and six packs, and girls have vaginas.

My family went out to dinner but I wanted to stay in and write to the sound of the surf. Or maybe I’ll go downstairs and buy a couple of Sapporos (aka robot beer) and dance. Each room here is equipped with an iHome so I’m rocking out to my iPod right now. I’m just happy to not have to go to work tomorrow.

Lazy Sunday

Sunday is my favorite day of the week and today was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. The family went off to explore the island while I stuck around the hotel because I had my surfing lesson today. I asked the concierge where was a good place to have a really good cup of coffee and they sent me to the breakfast buffet. I didn’t eat that much because I didn’t want to get lethargic before my lesson, so I did my free-write over breakfast. Then I headed out to the pool and read a few pages of Freedomland, this book I’ve been starting and restarting for years now (I keep bringing it with me on trips, but never get through the first 50 pages because it never grabs me). I’m proud to announce I’m on page 89.

I chose the noontime lesson because the rep from the school said that was when the best waves were. I showed up and this one instructor kept staring at me and when they were going over the lesson on how to stand up, he kept talking to me so I figured if I end up in his group, it’ll be good because at the very least, he seems like he’d be pretty motivated to make sure I don’t drown. He moved people into other groups to make sure I was in his, and we headed out to the beach.

I’ve never really been a strong swimmer because I’ve always found swimming really boring. There was a period when I swam laps regularly because I got a little underwater radio that kept me entertained, but that thing stopped working after about 2 months so that was it with me and swimming. With surfing though, paddling out is a lot like swimming freestyle, and I realized that as long as there was a goal-oriented activity to keep me distracted (catching a wave), I didn’t mind it. It’s kind of like basketball or ultimate frisbee can get me to run for long periods of time without minding, even though I can’t jog 3 blocks without stopping and wanting to go home. You can call me either very goal-motivated or an ADD posterchild.

The way it worked was we all had to paddle out, then the instructors would wait for a wave, then tell us when to paddle and when to stand up. My first wave, I was just shocked at the feeling of being pushed by the wave. I managed to stand up and ride for a bit, but then the moment my brain thought, “Holy shit, you’re on a surf board…now how do you get down when it’s time?”, I fell off. I fell off the next one, but after that, I was able to ride the waves all the way down and get back down, which was really cool. I’ve always been so intimidated by the surfing community in LA that I’ve never been willing to take lessons, but I can see why people dedicate their lives to surfing. It’s a great feeling to be in the ocean, and when you’re riding a wave, it’s absolute zen. We were on longboards which makes it easier, but I realized that if you do yoga, and if you’ve played baseball/softball before, the combined familiarity of balance and stance come in handy.

So my instructor kept saying I was doing really well, and at one point he said, “I really like the way you surf. It turns me on.” In my head I thought, “Hmmm” but outloud I said, “So you like your women off-balanced, huh?” After a while, he wasn’t really helping anyone else but me. He was towing me and this other girl, and another instructor came by and asked him why he had all the cute girls, so he pushes the other girl’s board at him and goes, “Here, take this one,” and then he spent the rest of the time with me. At one point, my neck got sore so I was stretching it out. He asked me if my neck hurt, then started massaging my neck and shoulders. So here’s me, laying on my board while this guy was giving me a massage in the middle of the ocean. He asked me how long I was in town, and said he’d like to take me surfing…for free. I thought about it (I could really dig surfing again with someone who makes it easier for me by telling me when and what to do), but then I had to ask myself how much it was worth it for the strings that would definitely be attached, perhaps being told when and what to do in other respects. I told him that I had planned activities the rest of the week, but definitely if I came back again. On the last wave, we rode it together and he grabbed my hand and tried to hop on my board, but I didn’t get far enough back so it didn’t work. That would have been awesome.

When we got back he waited until everyone else was gone and he came up and gave me a hug. I gave him the guy hug where you shake the guy’s hand, then hug him with your arms between you, but I fucked it up and ended up pressing his hand against my boob. Botched. So much for trying to keep it casual and not awkward. He told me to come find him if I changed my mind and I said I would for sure.

On the walk home, there was a GNC so I stopped by to see if I could get something for muscle recovery. I’m kayaking with my mom tomorrow, and I convinced her to sign up for a two-person kayak, because it’s a 4 hour guided tour and I know she’s going to get tired by herself. I realized that surfing is probably going to make me sore tomorrow and I wanna make sure that my arms can function because I know I’m gonna be doing all the work. I was asking the guy who worked there about what the best product to get would be, and he was this really shy Japanese guy who didn’t really know that much but he tried really hard to be helpful. He just stood there and read me all the labels and lists of ingredients. I ended up talking to him for a while because he asked me what LA was like, and that he heard people were really shallow and converations were very empty. I said that it was funny that he said that, because I had just had a conversation with someone about how vapid interactions can be out here. I told him that it’s not across the board–there are friendly, interesting, intelligent, community-oriented people out here, but on a whole, conversations tended to be more shallow and you could have a 10 minute conversation with someone, and realize that you know just as much about them after the conversation as when you started. It’s the weirdest and most disappointing thing.

I settled for some fruit punch flavored recovery drink that tasted like someone had dissolved Flintstones vitamins in it. It sucked. But while I was at the counter, I was talking about how I love Perfect Food, this green powder made from blue-green algae and different vegetables among other things, and this women making a purchase overheard. I went into a whole thing about how much I love this stuff and how ever since I started putting it in my protein shake, I’ve felt more balanced and less irritable in the mornings. I pulled it off the shelf for her and went through the nutritional panel, and she ended up buying it. A $50 impulse buy. I don’t know why I don’t work in nutrition and/or fitness in some capacity. I love that stuff. I thanked the GNC guy and told him not to hate LA people too much…there are good people out here.

I headed back to the hotel, did some yoga stretches, then showered and got ready to go to a luau.

If you ever go to Hawaii, try to go to a luau. It’s this big show where they do native ceremonies and dance performances, and at some point, they pull a pig that they’ve been roasting all day out of a pit dug into the sand. The women wear coconut bras, and the men all look like The Rock. And then you feast. That about sums it up.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but as the night wore on, I started feeling like I got sunburned because it became progressively harder to sit comfortably. When I got home, I looked in the mirror to find the back of my legs and ass were the color of an animated depiction of a watermelon. My mom started her simultaneous nagging/freaking out and it just made me mad, so unfortunately, she’s upset right now because I used a cuss word not directed at her, but one in which I used forcefully to modify a noun. I guess she didn’t like that. I rarely get sunburned but this one looks bad, probably because I was out in the water for a cou
ple of hours around noon and SPF 50 and waterproof is not as dependable as you’d hope. I got some aloe gel so hopefully this helps enough for me to sit in a kayak tomorrow.

I was looking through the pictures from the trip and there is finally photographic evidence that I am capable of managing a 2-pack. I am psyched beyond words.