How Many Sunsets Do We Get?


How many sunsets do we get in a lifetime?

Better yet, how many sunsets do we see in a lifetime?

You'd think the answer would depend on how accessible sunsets are. I spend a lot of time in San Francisco. I love the city, the weird people, the yuppies—not really, the restaurants, niche neighborhoods, and especially the ocean. I take a lot of walks by The Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf. The smell of food mixed with the salty sea air reminds me of my childhood in South America. But the one thing that's a little hard to come by are sunsets. The tall buildings make the sun set around three or four o'clock.

For the past three months, I've been living in Hawaii, and the one thing I do is go see sunsets. It's different every time, it's always beautiful, and it attracts tons of tourists. Since the Waikiki beaches face westward, there's nothing to block our view of the sunsets. I'm always amazed at how much the sky we see here, at least on the beach.

But my roommates don't spend much time on the beach nor do they go see sunsets, despite the fact that we're literally a ten minute walk to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. I'd understand if they were bogged down by family, work, life. But that's not the case. I'm older than they are, so there is a part of me that understands that we only get a certain number of sunsets, sunrises, full moons, laughs, shared moments with loved ones. Instead, they spend their time drinking and partying. And that's cool. I've done my share. But that part of my life quickly waned. For my roomies, it's a slower ebb. 

Now the question becomes will I get tired of sunsets, the beach, swimming in the ocean, and communing with nature. I don't know. But I'm grateful for having seen more sunsets in the past three months than I ever have in my life. And it's apparent by the tourist turn out that they love sunsets too.

Life's a beach.

Natural Crowd Sourcing

Having lived in Hawaii for the month of March was an interesting experience on too many levels for a single article. But the center of it all has been a spiritual experience. And not the kind where I’ve found Gawd, and Gawd spoke to me through the gates of Heaven, and I throw all my materialistic wears out and forgo wearing clothes as I become free of any shame, and blah blah the fucking blah. Many people have asked me if living there has inspired my writing.


Others state how lucky I am to vacation there for so long.

Well, I had to wake up at 5 AM Hawaii time, so I can log in at 8 AM PST. I know. Poor me. But that's no vacation.

You’re still lucky to have that freedom, they say.

For sure. No doubt.

Da Lee

Da Lee

Many years ago, I saw an interview with Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, and he was talking about the movie THE CROW. He stated something to the effect that nothing is meaningless, that even the smallest task like brushing our teeth is important, not in regards to dental health, but just the task itself. How many full moons will we ever see, he stated? Hell. How many moons in any phase will we see?

No one is ever guaranteed tomorrow, and this isn’t a sadistic statement as much as a simple fact. Filming the last scene of the movie, Brandon was shot by accident on set, rushed to the hospital, put on the operation to remove the bullet that had lodged against his spine wasn’t successful, and he passed.

This simple statement wasn’t lost on me as I sat on the beach in Waikiki. Because the rainy season extends into March, I did my best to see every single sunset. To see the Pacific, the grandest of all oceans, for now anyways, to engulf that great ball of fiya, fire for those not in the know, is a rare treat for most mainlanders.

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A sunset by any other name is still damn awesome. And here’s the funny part, sunsets are fake. Or the use of that word is fake.

The people of today consider themselves very smart, technologically advanced, aware beings. Though we throw around terms like sunrise and sunsets like those are real things. Like the Earth is still flat. The sun never sets, nor does it rise. But that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. What is it about these moments that amaze us?

I think it’s one of those rare times when we marvel at the beauty of the world and nothing enters our mind. That to me—Peace & Quiet—is the ultimate spiritual experience. Well…sex is one, too, but peace and quiet is not elements of that act. TMI?

Peace. Quiet. When our minds are free from everything and anything possible at that moment is possible. Ideas come from this place. Dreams emanate from this space. Connection comes from this place. True connection anyways.

And the times when I wrought myself out of that connection was when I thought about how many more of these will I ever see? Here, my characters in my book understand forever moments. Moments that stretch into eternity, not through memory, but where time itself just doesn’t matter anymore. Only this moment matters because it’s the only moment where we can have any effect. And the effect is really only us.

Natural crowd sourcing:

The sun: Natural way to crowd source

The sun: Natural way to crowd source

Got Romance?

Macho, macho man, we are macho men...

Macho, macho man, we are macho men...

What is romance? And why are half of the books sold romance novels, trashy or otherwise? Is it indicative of women's lack or need of it? Variety is the spice of life, so maybe they need different men as stated in Steve Harvey's book.

I, being a macho, macho man, am stereotyped to not know the answer to this or any other thing about women. Oddly, this myth is not perpetuated by women, but by men. I can't count how many times men in the media state they know nothing about women and never will. And if that were true, then freakin' learn, dammit! Women certainly want us to, which may be why romance is so lucrative.

Having completed my first novel, I've been asked is there romance in it? I don't know.

I think you need a tic tac

I think you need a tic tac

Hey! Have you seen this:

A man gathers his briefcase, closes his office door, enters an ambiguous, crowded elevator. Taking a deep breath, he looks at his Tag timekeeper, exits the sky scrapin' building, and raises his hand.

A yeller taxi screeches. A radiant woman gets out, with hair from a high-priced salon wafts in the warm breeze, dressed in perfect fitted clothes, carrying a Burberry purse. Don't ask me how I know that brand.

They're eyes lock and the world comes to a startling but pleasurable halt. Her hair waves coyly at him. His stature postures over her like a gentle beast ready to pounce. Her eyes gaze ever so softly into his. She brushes her hair with the back of her hand.

What do we know and have been programmed to know from this cliche? A scene we've seen in countless movies, TV shows, books, plays, and commercials.

He is the it boy. She is the it girl. And by the massive powers of God, the universe, Shiva, Buddha, Geezus Krist, and the dominant iPhone with FaceTime, they're meant for each other for all time, passed time, into infinity and beyond, and a little more.

Whew! I need a smoke.

Going back to the question, does my book have romance?

Should I close my legs?

Should I close my legs?

I didn't know how to answer that question until I readRoger Ebert's essay on Lost In Translation,starring Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansen, directed by Sofia Copola. In fact, I saw this in the theater years ago and didn't know why I loved it until now.

In many ways, the movie starts out to be a cliche. A lonely man visits Japan. He runs into an equally lonely woman. They're subtly attracted to each other, but by no means are they the it couple. He's an older married man, she's the younger married woman. I thought they were going to hit it off. A nice romp in the bed, some drama about his wife or her husband catching them, then a climatic ending where they both leave their respective spouses, and run toward each other as the waves splash onto the sandy beach.

Why do you have pants on while I'm in a bikini?

Why do you have pants on while I'm in a bikini?

Nope. The movie is about a deep connection between two people, which is probably why I loved it so much because I cherish deep connections.

Does my book have romance?

No. Not like the taxi example above. My story focuses on a married couple who has to contend with the death of their child. Then they have to contemplate the mortality of their other, who is called to duty when a looming war approaches.

My goal was to explore the pain of loss, the guilt one spouse places on the other, on oneself, and to explore war itself. It has been a painful and enlightening experience in the sense storytelling.