★ Useless Jobs

I used to think that parking enforcement was the only job that the world could do without. I mean, no one appreciates what they do. Always driving slow to check the time remaining, you give them dirty looks as you overtake them. You see a Crown Victoria with lights on top behind you but your emotions go from fear to anger as you find out that it’s only parking enforcement. You see someone writing a ticket and you wish you knew the driver to alert them of what’s going on. You never hear a little child say, “I want to be a parking enforcer when I grow up!” I’m sure most of them are good people with families to support but couldn’t they find some other type of work??

Today I added another occupation to the list. Telemarketing. So I get this call on my parents’ home line, so I know it’s either the Red Cross asking for blood or some telemarketer. The call came during dinner so it had to be a telemarketer. So it’s my credit card company asking if I wanted to pay an extra $1 to protect myself from credit card fraud. The whole time, this lady is reading a script like a second grader. Instead of just hanging up on her, I let her do her job and then kindly say no thanks when I got the chance. That chance came almost 3 minutes into the phone call. As I politely declined, she had a reply ready to fire back at me. I declined again eager to get back to my food, but she dropped her script and desperately tried to sell me this plan herself. The last thing I heard as a hung up was, “Mr. Torres, have you seen on TV how easy it is for people to….” Click.

Most of the time, when I say no to a telemarketer, they just say thank you and keep going down the list. But this chick kept blabbing after I said no 3 times. It was then that I decided to add telemarketer to my list of occupations the world could do without.

★ Saves The Day

My brother got the new Saves The Day album, In Reverie on Tuesday. So I took his iPod and uploaded the songs to mine. *Shhh!!* As soon as I press play, the first thing that comes to my mind was, “This sounds like Weezer”. It’s slower and more melodic and has the up and down melodies that Weezer made famous. Even though Weezer is a great band in their own right, for Saves The Day to produce a similar sound would seem like a good idea, right? You’d think that. But for someone who knows them for Through Being Cool and Stay What You Are, this new album might be too much of a change in their sound than one can handle.

I think that it is good for bands and music acts in general to change their sound as they mature. No one wants to hear the same melodies with different lyrics slapped on. (Can anyone say Rufio?) With another album under their belts, STD has matured and this is what they now sound like. Of course, with their involvement with a major label, we’ll be seeing them all over MTV and TRL and all the little kids will eat it up since it’s what Carson Daly says they should eat. Just ask those kids what their favorite song from Through Being Cool or Can’t Slow Down was and they probably couldn’t give you an answer. Nevertheless, this is what the band wanted since they signed with Dreamworks in the first place. They deserve all the fame they get.

When Stay What You Are came out, people didn’t like it since it didn’t sound like their previous album. And this is exactly what I’m saying with this album. I’m not saying the whole album sucks and I will hate it forever. I’ll just have to wait and see if this one grows on me.

: Tommorrow Too Late by Saves The Day

★ Hawaii: Day 11

I’m on the floor of gate 33 at Honolulu Airport. Our flight was delayed because they couldn’t start the left engine. So they took all of us off the plane, and had us walk next door to the next gate. I’d rather do this than try to fly with a busted airplane.

After an hour of sitting on the floor, they reboarded us and finally got us into the air. They are now showing the in-flight movie. About 2 hours until we’re in LA and I’ve got 3:08 left on my Powerbook. See you on da mainland.

Some things I noticed while in Hawaii. They call trash “rubbish”. The island looks big on a map, but in reality is really small. The water is ridiculously warm. And clear. The waves are to die for. Almost all locals have pidgin accents. L&L is NOT Hawaiian food. Ono’s is. You have to grow to like poi. There are more Japanese tourists than American tourists. The streets and freeway system are confusing (freeway entrances in residential areas, unorganized streets and unnecessary one way streets). It’s OK to ride in the back of a pick up. You hear sirens (firetruck, police, ambulence) multiple times a day. The air is noticeably cleaner there since after being here for one day, my sinuses are congested. And finally, Hawaii would be a great place to have a second home.

★ Hawaii: Day 10

Our last full day in Hawaii. Spent the day at Waikiki Beach for some final wave action. I got a couple of cuts from the reef as souvenirs. We also wanted one more stop at Ala Moana just for the heck of it. We dropped by the Apple Store to see if they had the new 15″ Powerbooks on display. Upon arriving, they weren’t on display. But as soon as an employee asked us if we needed any help, I immediately asked about the new laptops. He told me, “We have all the new Powerbooks in the back ready to be sold, but we don’t have any on display.” As we turned to leave, he called us back, “..but I can bring one out to you from the back to look at”. So we got to see one of the first 15″ Powerbooks on the island of Oahu. Basically.

Tonight was supposed to be $1 drinks at Pipeline. But instead, we went to Hooter’s because a fake ID fell through. After a perfect record, Cheryl’s ID failed to get her in. Interestingly, TJ had gotten in before her using Joe’s ID. Ironic isn’t it. Time to pack up and get ready to fly home.

★ Hawaii: Day 9

During the day, Rochelle and I walked all around Waikiki for some shopping. We were able to hit, the International Marketplace, T&C Surf Shop, and the Local Motion store featured on MTV’s Real World: Hawaii. I came up on 3 t-shirts and a body board bag from Local Motion.

For dinner, we ate at a hole in the wall restaurant. Ono’s Hawaiian Food is a tiny restaurant on Kapahulu that serves authentic Hawaiian food. This literally was a Mom and Pop store. We even got a tutorial and brief history on Hawaiian food from Pop himself. After that, we wash down all that food with Don Q’s Puerto Rican Rum straight from Puerto Rico.

★ Hawaii: Day 8

Another day at the beach. This time, we went to Sandy Beach. Sandy Beach is a VERY local spot. At times the locals’ pidgin was so bad, you couldn’t even tell what they were yelling at each other. The waves at Sandy were crazy. Not extraordinarily big, but the waves broke real close to shore. It could be real dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Mostly a body surfer spot, you could do some bodyboarding. You could get some barrels if you timed it right.

For dinner, Heidi’s aunt invited us over for dinner at her home. We met Heidi’s great Aunt Bea. At 90 years old, she looked at the youngest, 60 years old, I swear. There’s something about that Hawaiian food.

★ Hawaii: Day 7

Today was swap meet day. Every weekend, there’s a huge swap meet at the Aloha Stadium parking lot. All these vendors come out and sell stuff ranging from Hawaiian souvenirs to cheap ass t-shirts to fake designer shoes. Too bad it was freaking hot. I got 7 necklaces for $5.

Later, we ate at Sansei Sushi. This place was recommended to us by Marco but it failed to satisfy our very discriminating tastes. First of all, the place was too dark. I couldn’t even see my food. And worst of all, they had karaoke the whole night! Then there was that 17% gratuity automatically added to discounted checks (half off sushi) BEFORE the discount. Basically a $16 gratuity was added on to our $50 meal. Do the math. After telling our waiter that the charge was ridiculous, he took it off. It was at this point of our trip that we realized we started to miss California.

★ Hawaii: Day 6

Pretty much every day we’ve been in Hawaii consists of some sort of water activity. So today, we went to Hanauma Bay for some snorkeling. Although we did some snorkeling at Waimeia, this was the real deal. The whole bay was filled with reef formations and was teeming with all sorts of marine life. And unlike the fish at Waimeia, these fish were oblivious to all the snorkelers. They carried along with their business even though we were as close as 1 foot to all the fish.

From there, we headed to Ala Moana Mall for some shopping. It reminded me of Fashion Valley and South Coast Plaza. It was an open air mall with all the upscale shops of South Coast. I was a little disappointed because T & C Surf Designs and HIC were more like Pac Sun type stores rather than shops that sold only their respective brand names.

We then headed for downtown Honolulu for some Aloha Festival. Basically like a street fair with a bunch of food and music. Since we had a long day, we retired early for the night.

★ Hawaii: Day 5

Today we set off for the Dole plantation. I guess it was ok. The train ride through the plantation wasn’t worth it, but all the pineapple flavored snacks were.

Later that night, we went to Ocean Club. Supposedly it’s the place to be on Thursday nights. It was a pretty good place to be. There were noticeably more guys than girls. Enough to where there was a line for the men’s bathroom and none for the women’s bathroom. The appetizers at the beginning of the night were cheap and good. And the drinks were CHEAP. I’m talking about 5 drinks for $17 cheap. For reals brah.

★ Hawaii: Day 4

We woke up early and headed for North Shore. We got some L&L to see if it was any better than over on the mainland. It’s the same. We then got some more shaved ice at Matsumoto’s. After that, it was to Waimeia Bay. Supposedly during peak season, the waves are almost 40 ft. high. But that’s during winter. It was relatively calm. Since there were no rideable waves, we went snorkeling instead. It was cool swimming with schools of fish.

At night, we met up with Marco and Sharon for some dinner at Pietro’s, a Japanese-Italian restaurant. An odd mix at first, but it for some reason, it works.