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Friday, October 22, 1999

Maui Pick-up Lines, Feeding the Locals, and Garrett*'s Reflections

We saw a few more houses today. One was made from three separate buildings packed tight together around a small central fish pond and connected to eachother with a coverred three-way bridge. It was designed around communal living, with a single large and beautiful living area with loft and kitchen in one of the structures, and five smaller bedrooms tucked into the others. Not my style, being a loner and all, but perfect for a few people who want to share a house as partners. Another place we saw was the Bali house, a 600 square foot studio shipped in pieces from Bali and erected in a small clearing in a jungly gulch. Some charming aspects, but still not quite right.

Laila gave us a lecture on the proper way to pick up women in Maui. She claims the straightforward approach is prudent here, with her example of the pinnacle of introductions being "I find you increadibly attractive and would really like to sleep with you." I told her that if a man introduced himself this way in California, the woman would most likely roll her eyes and squeel "Oh my god" (spoken in a valley accent) while turning away as if he weren't really there. "Really?" she exclaimed in disbelief.

This reminds me of the other day at Shanti's house, when Laila told us of a trend a while back where men were telling her they "wanted a women in her lower shakras". Shanti looked aghast at this, and then all four of us laughed -- Garrett* and I for completely different reasons than them.

Sera finally came by to see Jay's place (where Garrett* and I are staying). Jay's place really is much better than anything she's shown me, and having her here to give her the tour really solidified this fact for me. When cruising around with her, looking at places, I always feel slightly defective that I don't like anything I see. But I like this place, and having her here allowed me to calibrate the two experiences together and realize that the places we've been looking at are just junk by comparison.

We sent her home with a huge bag of avocodos and liliqo'i, and figured we must be doing well to be feeding the locals.

I finally reached my friend Shreya who has been on the mainland the last month but is finally back. She "missed" her Sun Country flight from San Fransisco (she was fifteen minutes late for their "you must arrive two hours before the flight" cutoff), and had to buy a completely new ticket (from ATA this time). She lives in Olinda just up the hill from Makawao. I look forward to showing her this place as I'm sure she'll love it.

Come evening, I noticed a very large gecko climbing down the wall underneath the clock. It hit the counter with a loud thump that made Garrett* and I both chuckle. "Kafka, run for it!" Garrett* said. "Do you think he can catch a gecko?" I asked.

Here is another entry from Garrett*:

We have taken up temporary residence in a beautiful patch of jungle, in a gulch two miles west of Makawao. There is a stream cutting through the middle of the property, splitting two meadows. Large fruit trees fill the area, and drop food from the sky regularly. There are several structures scattered about under the trees -- a main house that feels like a large sailboat cabin, and a bedroom with loft that looks out over the trees. I set up my hammock on the front porch, and go out to it in the morning to scribble my equations when the surf is small.

There is a very affectionate little black feline that lives here and reminds me of Vinnie.

Simon and I went with Laila to visit a pretty blond woman named Shanti before she ascended the mountain to give birth in a large tub. She was fairly typically Mauian in her philosophy, and Simon and I went back and forth discussing and relating our world views and hers as lucidly as we could as she experienced her body's developing hormone bath and the onset of regular contractions. (I am certain her child will be born an atheist.) It was a fascinating juxtaposition of situations -- to be carrying on a discussion of the emergence of patterns, on a porch in the jungle as the warm rains fall all around, with a woman moments away from giving birth. The conversation itself was not particularly interesting, more of a warm up for a dance we will be doing often -- struggling to elaborate to many of these Mauians a reinterpretation of their far out beliefs that makes more sense.

The people here seem very curious about us. Rationals seem more bizarre for them to encounter than visitors from space.

We share this house with a three inch long cockroach named Kafka.

Visited a computer entrepreneur yesterday, Reichart*, who has a house here on Maui that he shares with his Mauian wife and her son. They fly back and forth from his home and work in Los Angeles. Quite a character. He took us out to dinner at a good but wildly overpriced restaurant in Lahaina and regaled us with his tales of the software business and other topics all over the map -- from the effect of language on meaning and the hopelessness of translation, to the superior architecture of Commodore computers. He's very fast paced, especially for here, and I look forward to hanging out with him more.

The surf has been fun, with a double over head day three days ago, but nothing extraordinary yet. The crowd is definitely a factor, but the vibe is more mellow than I expected.

I climbed a very large Mango tree by the stream and contemplated the construction of a treehouse.

Propane gas leaks from the tank and wafts unpleasantly about the property.

I'm getting back into wrangling with the physics. I wonder if anyone else has seen that the Palatini variational formulation of General Relativity arises straight forwardly from a Legendre transformation in all spacetime coordinates? Probably. I wonder if my work will lead to anything really new and cool, or just keep my mind amused.

Large avocados thump when they fall and hit the grass.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com