Admittedly Cool Things on the Mainland

Yes, Hawai'i is awesome, but it would be unfair to say that the rest of the United States absolutely and entirely sucks. First, it's not true. Second, no one likes it when bold, general statements are made, especially when fact and personal experience contradict them. I've found a couple of things that I can at least appreciate about the mainland, and get excited about from time to time while I'm up here, or maybe kind of look forward to when I have to leave home and come back to real life. I hope that maybe you can enjoy them too, or at least partake in their inherent coolness with me.

Snow: Face it, we like the snow. Maybe the idea of snow more than the snow itself, but we Hawaiians remembers the first time we see snow and how giddy we got at the sight of the powdery white stuff. Of course, this excitement does not increase our enthusiasm to shovel it, drive in it, or walk around in eight inches deep (mostly because all that means going outside in the cold) but snowmen and sledding and other winter activities are all the more fun. Especially when these snowmen are like the one on the left with chemistry goggles and glowing red eyes. Anyway, even a Hawaiian might bundle up for a few minutes of a snowball fight or a contribution toward building a snowman or making a snow angel. I mean, the most snow we get in on Mauna Kea and most people don't get to go near any of that snow. Nonetheless, snow is cool for a reason, and us Hawaiians aren't meant to brave extreme temperatures for long periods of time. Going outside is an accomplishment enough.

Sports Teams: Hawai'i doesn't have too many chances to "root root for the home team" and it's always a shame we don't have alot of opportunity to tailgate and to demonstrate our hometown pride. As much as we love our UH Warriors, its not the same as having a baseball and a basketball and a football team. Yes, St. Louis only has two of the three, and only one of those two does anything worthwhile, but the mere fact that St. Louis has a sports team playing pretty much all year round allows for St. Louisans to be proud of their teams and their city. It also allows for attention that the city wouldn't have otherwise. It's always great when a Hawai'i athlete does well with another team, but it would be even better if Hawai'i had more of its own teams for our homegrown athletes? It's wishful thinking, but who doesn't like the idea of going to a game or two and cheering on our favorites?

Other sports: There are actually a few sports that are much more ubiquitous on the mainland than in Hawai'i, such as lacrosse, rugby, ultimate frisbee and field hockey. Though Hawai'i does have its unique sports, like surfing and canoe paddling, that have made is across the Pacific, these others sports have yet to make the trek. I played lacrosse for two years and I miss it. Something that originated with the Native Americans ought to share a common bond with Native Hawaiian sports, right? I recommend giving these sports a try the next time you can.

Big Name Concerts: What do Modest Mouse, Better than Ezra and Something Corporate have in common? They're all going to be in St. Louis within the next two months. And that's just the Pageant! This doesn't include who's coming to our other venues like the Fox (Lady Antebellum) and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater! And that's just St. Louis! We have to admit, Hawai'i hardly get anybody, besides our local artists, to play. And to say that Hawaiians only listen to Hawaiian music is false. We have a variety of tastes and preferences just like everyone else.

Last but not least, the wildlife: One of my personal favorites about the mainland is the abundance of squirrels, rabbits and other fuzzy creatures running around. They're just cute and they're fun to chase in the spring and summer when hiberation time is over. The best Hawai'i has running around are feral cats, mongoose and mynah birds, all not native to the islands. Most of the native creatures have been killed off or live in protected areas, so its not as if one can see an i'iwi bird flying outside our bedroom window (unless of course you happen to live in the forests of the Big Island). Most people don't find the rabbits and squirrels all that exciting, but I do. Especially the baby ones. But other great animals I like seeing are deer, opossums, raccoons, foxes (I had an awesome picture of one at the botanical gardens, but I can't find the picture) ducks, and turkeys (which might be what the creature is on the left, but I'm can't tell and I took the picture over a year ago). None of this is through hunting excursions or wilderness adventures either, just out and about in parts of the cityscape.