Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lost and Some Memories

Hi everyone,

I mentioned the Byodo-In Temple at the Valley of Temples Memorial Park in the earlier post "Shock and Awe" and posted a photo of the koi, so here is my photo of the Buddhist temple as well. This replica of a 900-year-old temple in Japan rests at the bottom of the dramatic Ko'olau Mountains on the island of O'ahu. Besides the koi in the pond pictured below, peacocks, turtles, and at least one black swan roam the gardens and waterways.

Wish I could have this view everyday. But sadly, no. Probably wouldn't appreciate it if I did, right? ;-)

Well, if you want to surf Waikiki, you definitely need patience. Look at how flat the waves are! Click on the photo to enlarge and you'll see just how many surfers are hoping to catch at least some action. And they're out there for hours. The North Shore looked like a harbor as well, not like the body-breaking, life-threatening monster curls of which surf legends are made. One can watch those big waves (sometimes 20-30 feet high!) and the pro surfers at Sunset Beach or Pipeline during the early winter months (December and January) when the international surfing competitions take place. Good luck finding a parking space, though. You're probably going to have to do some hiking, as parking's at a premium even during the off-season.

And speaking of the North Shore...I know, I swore I wasn't going to get sucked into watching "Lost" this year because they killed off "Charlie"...BUT...they pulled me back in! Damn it. And the way they're playing with time on the show, well, maybe Charlie isn't dead (he did appear to Hurley). Sigh.

Anyway, we were touring around the island and on the North Shore we happened upon...(drum roll, please)...The Others Camp. Locke and his group were nowhere to be seen--thank goodness. ;-)

We stayed in our car and did not trespass onto the property, as it's actually a YMCA camp. But we're trying to decide whether the creepy, rusty playground equipment was added to the location by the set crew to give the camp an extra boost of eeriness. There seemed to be new equipment across the road, so we're kinda leaning toward the freaky factor. (click top picture to enlarge)

And in the Punchbowl Crater, the solemn and majestic memorial to World World II casualties rises at the end of the National Cemetery of the Pacific. This pic only shows the middle section of the memorial, as the wings form half-circles with incredibly detailed mosaic tiles (about 10 feet tall each, and about 10 different pictures) of the islands and battles in the Pacific. My little camera couldn't capture the detail of the mosaic tiles properly, so I don't have a pic to show you...sorry about that.

Also, at Punchbowl, we found the marker for Ellison S. Onizuka (Colonel, USAF) (1946-1986), one of the Challenger Astronauts, and immediately I was thrown back to that day like it had happened only a few years ago. My freshman year of high school and I had just finished taking my first semester science final when one my teachers rushed in and told us something had happened to the Challenger. He flipped on the television and we all sat in shocked silence as we watched the replay over and over. A teacher had been on board. The first civilian: Christa McAuliffe. And somehow that brought it even closer to us. But, as we all know, seven lives were lost that day.

Other days stick out to me, too. The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in January, 2003. 9/11. Diana's death. The day the Berlin Wall came down (1989). And the day the U.S. Diplomats that had been held hostage were freed in January, 1981 (also the day Ronald Reagan was sworn into Presidency).

I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news for all those events. And in the case of the last one on my list, I was eating cherry pie in a coffee shop with my mom and a neighbor when we heard it over the radio and the waitress started crying while she refilled our drinks.

What about you guys? Do you exactly where you were during certain events? Do you ever use your own experiences or actual events when creating backgrounds for your characters? (See, I brought it around to writing...eventually. LOL)

Take Care,