Are You Bummed Or Stoked?

Having a car in Hawaii has changed my life. Not only because I am no longer wandering around on the side of the road with all the wild turkeys, or lugging a backpack full of groceries up a hill, but because I’ve now been able to discover Hawaii’s radio stations. One in particular which has a talk show called “Bummed or Stoked,” that airs every morning around seven. Each day the host picks a topic and asks listeners to call in and explain why they are either bummed or stoked on it. “Today we are talking about……online shoppinggggg!” The male voice says, “Call us now and tell us if you’re bummed or stoked!” This caught my attention because for some reason I thought the topic may be something like social media, or Michelle Obama. But online shopping? “I’m bummed!” A woman said. “It’s so expensive to ship to the island and it takes so long!” “She’s bummmmmed!” The host confirmed. The next day it was T.V. “Are you bummed or stoked on T.V.?” “I’m bummed! Cable has so many commercials!” I haven’t listened to enough of these morning shows but from what I’m hearing the only people who call in are women, and they are all bummed about everything.

No one is very creative or inquisitive either. Like, I had questions about such a broad topic. T.V. as in the invention of the television? If so I am stoked that there is television. The ability for people to create shows and air them, what amazing creativity and storytelling! Not to mention media in general, a way to control all of society- true power! If you are wondering if I’m stoked or bummed about what’s on TV right now, I would have no idea because I am in a comitted relationship with Netflix and I’m a faithful partner. If we are talking about genres of television programming, I am stoked on all reality television except for Cops. “Let’s take another caller!” the host exclaimed.  “I am bummed on commercials,” another lady listener agreed, and not in a firey, passionate way as if you were on the phone with your bank trying to fix an incorrect charge, or ordering a pizza. In a friendly, pleasant way, like you were returning a call from a potential employer who wants to set up an interview.

Oh come on, I thought as I crept along behind a truck going 15 miles per hour. I want more! What about commercials? Be specific. What about the Carl’s Jr commercials with a hot girl eating a hamburger in a silver bikini? Does that bum you out? Because it bums me out. Or what about Adam Levine’s Pro Active skin care commercials? Those are a real bummer too. Just calling and cheerily announcing “I’m bummed about commercials!” and then hanging up? You were on the air, you had people listening to you. You missed your chance to voice your true opinons and thoughts to a wide spread audience. That’s all I want, the ability to be on the air reading my opinionated, whiny and complainy blog posts to people forced to listen because they are waiting to hear Jennifer Lopez’s “If you had my love” that was going to play right after.

Another interesting thing about Hawaii’s radio stations is the songs they play. I have heard The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” on multiple radio stations almost everyday. I’m not bummed about this, but it raises more questions. I have also heard Britney Spear’s “Toxic,” Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It,” R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” and a number of Taylor Swift and Phil Collins songs all on the same station. It’s basically my iPod, but being broadcasted. I’m stoked. Other things I’m stoked about:

I’m Stoked:

My jungle shanty. My new home is one of the most beautiful places I may ever live in my life. Complete with Koki frogs, beautiful sunsets, rainy nights and sunny mornings, I look forward to going home each night. Every moment spent there feels like a quiet escape from reality.

I’m Bummed:

Parking in my jungle shanty. My white mainland Mazda is zippy and small but not equipped for the jungle roads its now enduring everyday. It now lives in the middle of wet jungle grass underneath a tree that splatters juicy berry innards all over it. When dried, the berry juice looks exactly like blood and I drive around the island looking like the roadkill Queen. I will stare at it sitting there in the middle of an open jungle feild worrying the humid air is going to make the engine erode and waiting for the tires to fall off from constantly driving over uneven rocks, until I remember how for a year I parked it in a dirt alley behind an abandoned house in Hollywood that may have been a potential meth lab. It survived all the homeless squatting near it/sleeping under it so I’m sure it can handle it’s new exotic enviornment.

I’m Stoked:

Everywhere you look in Hawaii, there are magical couples. I always meet the best couples in Hawaii. First it was my beloved Alis and Jeremy, now I’ve met Leah and Roland, and Jolene and Dr. Head, all people who make an incredible team with their significant other, and who make me believe that, (along with my parents), we may be lucky enough to find a friend who you love and who you can create and live in your own special world with, a true partner to enjoy life with.

I’m Bummed:

I am literally on the highway to spinsterhood. Minus all the hope these couples are bestowing upon me, the cold reality may be that my life partner is my jungle shanty. Out of curiosity one night, I browsed Tinder- only to meet Koko, who in his picture is shirtless, has a tattoo of the Hawaiian islands across his chest and is wearing a crown of Hawaiian flowers around his bald head. The picture looks professional, like he got it done at a studio, because he is posed with his arms crossed in front of a muted backdrop. Maybe he dances on the beach with fire, I thought. When I mentioned this to my friend she said, “Maybe you are in Hawaii to just love yourself.” “But what about Koko?” I said, confused, and wanting to love Koko.

I’m Stoked:

My new cat Figs. I hate cats, and the night I moved into my jungle shanty a scrawny black and white one showed up on the porch, howling. I drew the curtains, turned off all the lights and hid until he went away. He showed up again the next morning and every night after. “He is your spirit animal,” my friend said once I told her. “He showed up in your time of self discovery.” This prompted me to open the curtains and take a closer look at this cat. His face was scowling, but in it, I saw myself. “You have resting bitch face too,” I said. He purred. I pet him. He let me pet him for awhile and then he left, disappearing into the darkness. When I realized he just wanted to hang out for a few minutes and then do his own thing, I named him Figauro. After I started to get to know him I shortened it to Figs. Figs is wryly and has a lot to say. When we sit together he meows constantly and I just let him let it all out. “You’ve seen some weird shit,” I tell him. From the sharp pitch and depth of his howl I can tell he’s pretty observant as well as opinionated. He climbs trees and chases chickens and enjoys shredded cheese and all these things endear me to him. Almost every night I come home he’s sitting on the porch waiting for me. There are nights when he’s off having adventures but that’s fine, his mystery is intruiging and I understand not wanting to get stuck in a routine. We hang out on the porch for awhile, sometimes he comes inside to meow and case the place and then he leaves. “Goodbye Figs, stay out of trouble,” I say as he swaggers off. I know he will get into trouble, mainly because he will show up in the morning with all sorts of shit in his whiskers. If Figs is my spirit animal, I’m ok with that. He’s kind of an ok cat.

I’m Bummed:

Figs is wild and now I’m attached. You can’t tame wild things and if he gets eaten by a jungle boar I will be bummed.

I’m Stoked:

Island life is great because when driving you can pull your car to the side of the road, jump out, and hack away at a coconut or banana tree with the machete you keep in your trunk. Drive around the island and keep your eyes open, you’ll see it everywhere.

I’m Bummed:

Apparently I stole a lady’s mangoes. The tree looked like it was up for grabs but it was not. She came out of nowhere as I was gleefully filling the trunk of my car with wild produce. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I kept saying as I unloaded it all, piling mangoes into her arms.

I’m Stoked:

Poke. So delicious.

I’m Bummed:

Spam. Even disguised as sushi and wrapped in seaweed and rice, it’s unidentified mixed meat that came from a can,

Throughout my day there are a million things that bum me out, but also that make me stoked. It’s a constant roller coaster of ups and downs. But sometimes it’s simple, you’re stoked to watch Cops, but bummed there’s a commercial. And the commercial will end and Cops will come back on. And that’s it. No big deal. Life doesnt have to be lived wading through the grey area all the time, it’s ok for it to be black and white. And always know that when you’re bummed, there’s usually always something coming up to be stoked about.

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