Yep, the count down is in the single digits.
Around Four a.m. or so, I should be lugging a suitcase through the snow and into a cab which will then swishhhhh me to O'Hare. At that point, in the wind and sleet and shouts of, "you can't park here..move along!" on some curb outside Terminal Two, I will smoke my final cigarette before I find myself trapped in the airport, airplane, Houston "Fuck you" GWB International, and another plane.
But then...then... I'll step out into the bright morning light. The whisper of salt air and waves of palm trees will great me as I strike a Camel Light (to avid protests of parents) in the land of this The Island of this Man!
That's right, after about twenty years, I will have returned to Hawaii (Doubtful, though, I'll sing and dance, especially with the eleven hour Nicotine Fit ravaging me at this point)
I remember seeing The Don in that exact setting you may have watched above.
I remember meeting a hard Rock Cafe waitress my Grandpa S. and I completely thought was a native Polynesian, and then we all laughed hard when she confessed to being from Wisconsin.
I remember my Uncle M. sneaking me my first Mai Tai at a loua (sp) at the Hilton.
I remember my dad and I taking a drive alone on Maui; we stopped at a smoking volcano and felt the heat from the red glow; we looked out at long plains which ended in mountains; we arrived at our destination, a gallery showing John Lennon's paintings and stood less than 6 feet away from Yoko Ono herself (the gallery owner told us she doesn't like to be approached).
I remember playing on a beach of black stone, running under a small white waterfall.
I remember the one hour van tour that ended up taking a winding, edge of cliff death 6 hours; and the driver taught my two cousins and I that "cuz" is Hawaiian for "dude" because in the end we are all really cousins in some way.
I remember finding the coolest cassette/t-shirt punk store around the corner from the Hard Rock Cafe, and buying a white Dead Kennedys T-shirt (with the Holidays in Cambodia Man icon) I still have it.
I remember standing near a bus stop and watching a leathery tanned man picking up a handful of cast-aside cigerette butts from the ground, then rolling his own out of the left over tobacco.
I remember Moo-moos made me and my cousins giggle (hee hee dresses for FAT people).
So who knows what memories I'll compile this year. Hopefully, loads of photos will follow soon. Some laughs and a tan would be nice. My parents got tickets for the Pro Bowl, so that'll be cool!
Until then, friends, Aloha and Mahalo!