Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Driftwood Tiki

What do you do to keep yourself busy while hangin' out at the beach with no surfboard? You carve a tiki out of driftwood using fingernail clippers of course!

Affordable Housing?

I may have found another place, however it is small and pricey. Here is the ad and a pic:

Must See! $1000/Month. Cozy Studio available 6/1/07. Minimum 6 month lease, 1 month security deposit. Studio on the beach with ocean view. Rent does not include utilities (water, electricity & basic cable). Unfurnished, Mature, employed, clean, single or couple wanted to enjoy cozy studio. NO pets, drugs and smoking. Appointment required see studio. Rental application and references required.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Back to the beach

Everything seemed to be going smoothly, maybe too smooth. As it turns out I had to make an unexpected getaway from the wiggy roommate whom I had abruptly moved in with last week. Overnight the chick went from being a cool country girl to a hotbed of emotional weirdness. I still don't know exactly what happened, what I did or if It was even me at all. But whatever it was the vibes were prevelent and it was all to obvious that she did not want me to a part of the living situation there and I wasn't about to stick around to figure out why. My only guess is that she freaked out because suddenly there was a strange monkey boy living amongst her and her belongings who seemed to be at home all the time. It's not like I wasn't completely honest and upfront about my situation and temporary state of flux until my scene jelled and my belongings arrived. Two days of living there was all it took before I was completely over it. The house, although nice and close to the beach, was far from Lihue where I am working and it was also exceedingly hot with no air circulation. Top that off with bad juju and the recipe for "get out of Dodge" was complete. So now I am back to campin' and looking for housing.

The day before I packed up all the housewares that I had just bought along with my things I did bring, I already knew that I must find something new. So I had set up a meeting at Poipu beach with a couple who were in search of a roomate. The meeting went well and they seemed to be of the same mindset as myself and had a cool disposition about them. I left the beach with no solid answer and they told me they are taking their time to find and ideal roommate. So I will have to wait to see what happens with that scene. Later that night I drove over to Kapa'a to meet another woman about a room. Although she was nice enough I didn't feel we were on the same page or shared any common interests. The same day that I packed and split Kekaha I had relisted my housing wanted post on Craigslists. That night I got a call from a guy who had a room for rent near also near Poipu. After a tough time finding the place I finally located the place which was in a funky and sort of run down neighborhood near the town of Lawai. When I walked up to the door I was greeted with the thunderous sound of somebody playin' the drums. I waited for a break in the poundin' to knock on the door; the break never came. I them tried loudly knocking on the door which was answered with more crashin' cymbals and heavy metal drum fills. The door was open but I did not just want to just walk in, so I waited and waited occasionaly letting out a loud "Helloooo" which the neighbors answered with "He can't here you, he has earplugs in." Eventually, I was able to get his attention during a small pause in his practice. However, I already knew from the noise and the musty smell wafting from inside the house that I wasn't interested. I figured since I was already there, had nothing else to do and nowhere to go I would meet the dude and check out his story. The guy was cool and full of the energy but sort of quirky and talkin' a mile a minute as he showed me around the house which was completely devoid of furniture. The only thing that was in the living room was his drum kit which was surrounded by several mattress propped up and meant to muffle the drums which they obviously didn't. After seeing the shoddy room that was available and the bathroom which looked like it should be condemned rather than cleaned. I was sure I would be better off livin' out of my van or on rhw beach. I said good by to the drummer and thanked him for showin' me the house but let him know that I have other options. Afterwards, I drove up too Hanalei thinking to myself that I should of known things were falling into place too simply. I had to convince myself that I was still in good shape and made the right decision to move out here.

So after hangin out at the beach and talkin' story with a guy who had come off an ocean liner docked in Nawiliwili harbor, I am sitting in a Starbucks (a first for me) cooling off, killing time and catchin' up with some work and my internetting. Tomorrow I will be headin' back into the shop too work on some t-shirt art. Hopefully I will also check out some more housing options over the weekend.


Da path

da beach

The dudes I had I met at Polihale had pointed out a hole in the guard rail along highway 50 when we were on our way back to Lihue last weekend. They told me there was a pretty good surf spot through the hole and down a dirt path. It was pretty close to the pad I was stayin' at in Kekaha, so I went back a few days later to check it out. A short jaunt down a tropical trail brought me to a long stretch of beach and to a fence with a sign attached that read "private property." On the beach side of the fence was lava rock path that stretched out into a small bay, past that was what looked like a pretty fun wave. I scaled the lava rock and saw several people loungin' on the grass on the beach side of the fence. It was kind hard to tell from the shore if the surfers in the water were all local or if there were some haoles out in the line up as well. As I walked down the beach I checked out the surf and collected a couple dried coconuts that I was going to attempt painting. On the way back towards the trail I spotted an older haole couple sitting on the grass. I walked up to them to ask a few questions about the break. I figured they might be a little more friendly and approachable than one of the group of locals hangin' out. I was mistaken.

Actually the very tan woman was cool and greeted me with an "aloha." I asked them if they would mind if I asked them a few questions about this beach and surf spot. The woman said "sure" and even offered me some of the smoked fish she was munchin' on. The weathered lookin' old guy looked at me and said nothing. I felt the vibe but still inquired what the break was called and if it was a heavy local spot or a friendly break. The dude answer my question with a grumpy reply "It's called Infinities and this is all private property" he paused a second then grumbled "except for the beach, the beach is public." He then went on to tell me it was a locals only break. I let him know that I did not cross the property but came down the path off the highway. He said nothing more and just acted indifferent. The friendly woman asked me where I was from, when I told her Santa Cruz we chatted a bit about one of the local pros who live in S.C. I mentioned that I just moved to Kauai and that I was looking to buy a longboard. When she heard that she told me the guy with her was the man to talk to. She went on to exclaim "That's Dick Brewer." Well I know a bit of surf history and had a pretty good idea of who I had been trying to milk info from. Brewer is a surfing and board shaping legend with a long history on the islands. At one point I had even owned one of his old seventies boards. But that don't mean a thing to me if you act like a crusty sand crab when a guy is just askin' a few harmless questions and tryin' to stay out of the locals cross hairs. After finding out who I was taIkin' with I simply said "well how about that" and thanked them for their time and went on my way. I wasn't about to goo and gah over him, fluff his head or stroke his ego after the way he was actin'. Later I spoke to several other people and they informed me that all kinds of folks surf out at Infinities not just the locals. Well, I don't think I will be hittin' ol Dicky boy up for a board anytime soon. Of all the people on the beach to walk up to and try to chat with I pick Dick Brewer and friend. Go figure.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Campin' at Polihale

The view of the Na Pali coast from Polihale

On Friday I sojourned to the remote west side of Kauai to the Polihale State Park to do some campin' and make myself feel like I had roughed it at least once during my transistion to livin' in Hawaii. I didn't really know where I was going and was basically just playing it by ear and seeing where the road would take me. I ended up on a really bumpy dirt road that was filled with pot holes and ruts. I later found out that my rental car agreement forbids me from driving out there. After the 5 mile drive on that bouncy road and getting the car stuck in the sand I figured out why. But I am not going to tell the rental car people about any of that. I got the car unstuck with a little diggin' and a helpful push from some folks passin' by who were also there to do some campin'.

After getting the car unstuck, I went down to the beach, leaned against a log, watched a guy surf some small waves, read the newspaper and sketched for a bit. I watched the sun set then I figured I better collect some wood and get a fire started. Easier said than done. Basically, I went out there completely unprepared with only a sandwich, a bag of carrots and some beer. The only wood to be found was from the invasive Kiawe which has thorny branches that were poking my hands and barefeet. The wood was wet from an earlier rain and I couldn't find my lighter. I borrowed a light from some near by campers and got a fire going, but it was short lived and went out when I went to the car to get my food and Uke. Fortunatly, some dudes walked by and invited me to chill by their fire

These two guys were quite the characters. They were out there with just their packs, a guitar and some peanut butter. They were students from the University of Hawaii on Oahu who were on summer break and had hitchhicked over from Lihue. Dan and Will told me stories of how they had come out too camp and fish for their food but had left their new mask in one of the rides they had caught. They went on to tell me of how they made a bamboo spear and tried to catch one of the wild chickens, that can be found all over the island, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Which is probably lucky for them because those birds don't seem like they would be the safest or cleanest things to put in your mouth. The two did manage to wrestle a few small opihi off the ocean rocks with a deer antler knife they had brought and cooked them over the fire on a grill they had found. They offered me one and I gave it a try. They were actually quite good and tasted like little smoked clams. I found the whole scene and their stories totally entertaining.
After watching the Moon and Venus, which were both casting a reflection of light in the ocean, set behind some off shore clouds, I went back up to my rental car to get some sleep. Unfortunately, that did not really go to well either.

The back seat of the car folded down easy enough, but it was all hard plastic with no padding. I laid out out all my clothes and did my best to make a mattress with my them. I laid down but didn't fall asleep for sometime. When I did finally nod off it was all too brief. The locals were racing their ATV up and down the sandy road where my car was parked. Then later another group of people showed up and parked about five yards from where I was. They were all partyin' loudly and listening to what I could only describe as sounds a broken toy would make . My mind started playin' tricks and I became paranoid that somebody may try to break into my car. I had a very uneasy sleep even after the party moved down to the beach and out of earshot.

The next mornin' I woke up very early and very sore from my restless night of sleep in the back of the rental. Will and Dan had asked me the night before if I would give them a ride into town. I was going that way and said "sure thing." Since they were already up we packed up and headed back towards Lihue. I dropped Dan off at a bus stop because he was going to stay with friend for a few days on Kauai. After we got some loco mokos for breakfast, I dropped Will off at the airport. Upon lookin' in his bag, Will discovered Dan's wallet was still in his pack. I could only laugh at the situation and the two guys carefree attitude. Since I could not help out, because I had to meet my new employer in a few minutes, I left Will at the airport while he was talkin' to Dan about how to get his wallet back to him. All in all it was a pretty intersting campin' trip and quite a memorable experience.

Friday, May 18, 2007

My new Hawaiian digs

The front of the house

The view down the street

Well I think Hawaii wants me to stay awhile! As I was checkin' out of the Kauai Palms Hotel I got a phone call from one of the ads for housing that I answered. We set up a time to meet later in the afternoon and I hung out at the beach until it was time to meet. The house is in Kehaka on the west side of Kauai and after a drive by before hand I was amping!
The house was awesome and less than a block away from the beach and about 20 minutes from Lihue where I will be working. The meeting with Jill went excellent. We both got a good vibe from one another and agreed to me moving in this Sunday! So less than three days on kauai and I landed a job in the creative field, picked up some illustration work and found an awesome house in an amazing location. I don't want to jinx myself but the tiki gods have been smilin' down on me since my arrival. Seriously, I could cry.

So long Kauai Palms Hotel

The view from my room at the Kauai Palms Hotel

Today I am checking out of the Kauai Palms Hotel and going to go campin' around the island until I can find housing. The Kauai Palms Hotel was a nice humble accommodation at with a very reasonable price and friendly staff. My $65.00 a night room was small and modest yet clean and comfortable. There was cable TV, a small fridge , coffee maker and ceiling fan to keep the room cool. There was no phone in the room but that didn't bother me because I have a cell phone. For the most part the place was quiet with the exception of the roosters that live all over the island and some street noise from being located on a small side street.

The hotel is about 5 minutes from the airport and downtown Lihue. Markets and shopping are all within walking distance too. My only complaint was that to get on the hotels wireless network I had to sit in the lobby which wasn't awful just inconvenient and distracting. I also had a big shiny cockroach in my room one morning but I have been told before I left the mainland that I better get used to them because they are everywhere.

With a very reasonable price, a amiable and helpful staff and central location, I would defintly recomend the Kauai Palms as a super place to stay when visiting Kauai.

So I am off to check out a potential room rental over on the westside in Kekaha, and explore that side of the island and do some camping. I also have some illustration work to do for the silkscreen shop that it looks like I will be working for in the near future. More post will come as I find time and wi-fi Hotspots.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Aloha Kauai

Flying over to Kauai from Honolulu

After a few crazy weeks of scramblin' all over California visiting family and friends, wishing my Grammy a happy 85th birthday, attending art shows and finishing up a few art projects and cinching up a few loose ends. I find myself writing my latest Hawaii update in the Honolulu Airport while I wait for my connecting flight to Kauai. My Mom and Grandma dropped me off at the Oakland airport early Tuesday morning after a late night of partying and last minute packin'. I made my flight with no problem and the flight was alright. I didn't get much sleep on the plane so I watched Coral Reef Adventure on my laptop and talked with a cute high school girl who was sitting next to me and traveling with her family on their first trip to the Islands.

My van was dropped off at Matson Shipping Company last week and over 400 lbs of my stuff was boxed up, loaded on a palette and sent on its way across the sea a few days later. The van cost about $1000.00 to ship and had to be empty of all personal belongings so nothing could be sent over inside the Safari which sucks but I was already aware of that fact so it came as no surprise. The whole process went very smooth and without any problems. Shipping all my boxes of office and art supplies, rolls of vinyl and the plotter went just as smooth. I sent the 15 boxes via Dependable Hawaiian Express who are located in Hayward Ca. The total cost to ship my stuff was a very reasonable $225.00. My van is due to arrive in Nawiliwili Harbor around June 6th and my boxes on the 27th of May. I am gonna have to figure out how I am gonna get my stuff and where I am gonna put it when it arrives.

My first priority once I get over to Kauai is to jump in the water and then lay on the beach and bask in the Hawaiian sunshine for a few hours. Then I am gonna get busy scouring the local paper, bulletin boards and craigslist for rooms or commercial space where I can get my studio set up. The girl whom I was talking over the past few weeks with about renting a room from in Lihue went nowhere but I am not bummed out. I already have a job interview for a graphic artist/ silkscreen position scheduled for later this week and my old buddy Charlie, who lived on Kauai for 10 years, is putting me in contact with some of his good friends who still live there. So things are already falling into place and all the obstacles on the mainland have been cleared for the most part. Now I am all about getting my self psyched up for the start of my Hawaiian adventure which has officially begun. It still has not completely hit me that I am now living in Hawaii!

I will get Chongovision set up again as soon as I have a steady internet connection and will be attempting to broadcast a video feed on a regular basis so I can chat and share my adventures with you first hand and in real time. I will send out another e-blast with more info when I am all set up and ready to go live. The next episode of Coconut Wired will be running a little late but I hope to have it done before the end of the month so keep your ears peeled and your eye and fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Lost Rocketeer at the DvA Gallery

I was privileged and very stoked to be asked to paint a Tiki Farm decanter for the DvA Gallery 3rd Anniversary Saturday, June 23rd from 4-11 pm They will have yet great line-up of artist and some new one-of-a-kind collectable decanters hand painted by your favorite artists such as Squid, Flounder, Thor, Kirsten Easthope, Tiki Tony, Sam Gambino, Moritz R., Mitch O’Connell, Drew Brophy, Derek Yaniger and Alan Forbes to name a few. There will be a preview over on Tiki Central. Check belowfor more info.
You can see progress shots of my entry over on My thread at Tiki Central. Here are the finsished shots of my submission The Lost Rocketeer:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New and Improved Chongovision

I just added a new streaming video feed thanks to the folks over at I also was able to add some nice effects with a tasty little app called Camtwist which was created by Steve at Allocinit. I have embedded a player in the side bar so give it a click and watch me go-golio! Or better yet sign up a ustream and add me as a freind. The chat box at ustream leaves a bit too be desired so I have been mashing up Adium and Twitter with pretty good results. Again, if your using Twitter add me as a friend and Tweet me up sometime.