Introduction

Welcome to my blog. I’m Marvin Cocolah and I live in Hawaii. Eventually I want to use this page to show off some of my latest photography work, but for now it’s just a blog about life in Hawaii… which is more or less like life anywhere else. I’m old enough to have three kids, and one of them has just qualified as a doctor, which means I’m far too old to go talking about my age on the internet. I have a loving wife and a beautiful house, and a Nikon D810 DSLR camera that’s probably one of the best cameras in the whole of Hawaii.

It’s not the perfect life; my job is boring, I work with a newspaper, and the photography they have me do isn’t really very interesting. I’m grateful to have a job at all, though, and it’s great that I have a job that works with my interests. At least that means I can get help getting the equipment from work, and use their photo printers sometimes.

So… welcome to my little slice of the internet. Once I figure out how, I’ll get some photos up here of Hawaii – as you’d expect, it’s a beautiful place and there’s always something to photograph. I’ve done some photography from a boat as well as on land, and it’s amazing what you can see through the water. I’ve got some pictures of the coral reef and the fish that swim around it, it’s pretty amazing.

Weird things people say

People assume some really weird things when they hear my name (Cocolah is my surname, if you remember) and see the fact that I have brown skin and live in Hawaii. For example, you wouldn’t believe the number of people who assume I can’t speak English. In fact, I went to school in the UK and graduated from Oxford.

They also assume I’m not American, like that idiot Trump does about Obama. Well, I won’t deny that Hawaii is pretty different to the rest of the United States… but parts of the United States aren’t at all alike, either. There’s way too much ground covered for that! We might have a bit more of an island mentality here, given that it’s a volcanic group of islands in the middle of miles of ocean, but Texas pretty much manages that without even being an island at all, so they can’t exactly talk.

I was born on Honolulu, though, which is part of Hawaii, which is part of the USA. So yep. I’m American, like or not. Even with this brown skin and this name.

Whether I’ll want to say that after the next election is a different matter, but it always is, and I’m sure some of people from the US mainland would agree anyway, on either side of the political equation.

Of course, the other people assume is, for some reason, that I’m Muslim and must be with the Islamic State bastards. That’s just stupid – I’m not even going to dignify it with the name racism.

Religion

I mentioned in the last post that I’m not a Muslim, which prompted a coworker to ask what I am, then. After I got over being gobsmacked that this guy had apparently just assumed that I was a Muslim on the basis of skin color and hadn’t thought about all the geographical reasons why that wouldn’t be the case, he suggested I write a bit about my religion and my experiences with it.

Well, I was raised Baptist, by my mother who came from Kentucky and had pretty strong views about it. I was in college in Oxford before I really thought much about it, going through the motions the same as half the people in church – I bet in any church only half of the people there have ever really thought about what they’re doing there – and then I decided that no, this wasn’t something I believed in. It’s not just the fact that the Bible is as bad as an Islamic hate preacher in many ways, but that didn’t help. It’s all the contradictions and the way people are so sure that they know best about some big guy in the sky who created all of us.

I can’t see that if he’s up there, he cares that much about what we think of him. If he did, he could’ve got rid of atheism already – whether he loved or hated his creation. No, the best thing we can do is live well. So that’s what I try to do.

Meet the kids

I mentioned I had three kids and someone at work asked me more about them. (I’m regretting making this blog so easy to find, given that I openly said I was bored with work. So, uh, boss? I’m not thinking of quitting or anything like that. I like my job well enough. I’d just like to win the lottery and be able to quit – and you probably feel the same way. And I need this blog to be easy to find when I do more with my photography work.

So my kids. There’s three of them. The eldest is Cindy. She’s a good girl and has just qualified as a doctor. She’s very busy at the moment so we don’t see her a lot, but she calls her mother every few days to let us know how she’s getting along. That’s all you can ask for once your kid is grown up, I think. No use keeping them tied to your apron strings.

Damien’s a bit younger than Cindy, about to go to college just as soon as he makes his mind up where he wants to go. If he wants to go to college in the UK like I did, he’s going to have to decide soon. They make you choose exactly what you’re going to major in right away, as well.

Finally there’s Gem, our little girl. Not so little now, but she’s a few years behind Damien, so I guess we’ll be keeping her a while longer.

Stories from Work

You’d think that, working with a newspaper, I’d have a lot of great stories to tell about work. The fact is, I thought I did… and then Cindy started working in the emergency room. She can’t tell us much about it, of course, since she has to be careful about her patients’ privacy and so on. But there are always stories floating around – the bizarre things they find inserted in bizarre places where people can’t get them out again, the weird things people do to get their rocks off, the weird lies people tell when they think they’re going to get into trouble or when they’re ashamed of something. There was one woman last week whose story made Cindy kind of sad: she claimed to have walked into a door. Well, Cindy said she’d have to have walked into fifty doors to get half that banged up, and it was clear someone had worked her right over, on purpose.

So that’s kind of put working for a paper into perspective, especially since I don’t really work on anything like breaking news. It’s just the local people, get togethers, weird things that get thrown up on the beach… And there have been some of them. There was one big to-do where someone said they’d found a body. Turned out to be a sex doll someone was trying to get rid of. Heard a rumor afterwards that when they tested it, they found the original owner had some kind of STD and they advised him to seek treatment… 

And we’ll then it was that time when our local casino got it’s cashier robbed during a casino industry conference taking place at the casino which is also one of the nicer resorts here. In the end that casino heist story ended well with employees from the Dutch company Gokkasten and the British free spin no deposit casino BGO casino caught the person in the act. Our local casino mega fortune free spins is however thinking about closing down their physical business and only offer their online casino services through their new website Slotsandstripes.com.

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The eye of the camera

I haven’t talked much about photography yet, and that’s a shame because I’m always trying to put words to the experience of getting out there and taking photographs. It’s like seeing through a whole new set of eyes. Suddenly, as you’re looking through the camera, you pick out different things, things you’d never have noticed before. And even then, you can go home and start to look at the photos and notice things you had no clue about when you were actually taking the images.

It’s also amazing what you can capture and what you can’t. They’re right that a picture is worth a thousand words, and yet sometimes not even the camera can capture the moment or the scene. A sunset, someone’s laugh or smile… sometimes, you just have to be there to see it, there’s no good alternative. I have plenty of pictures of my wife and kids laughing and smiling, and they look beautiful. But I’d rather be with them.

I don’t understand people who only want to experience life through a camera lens. The real stuff is out there, and you can see it perfectly well with your eyes. Why are you watching it through a camera lens? Put the camera down, live a little. Don’t be so busy trying to get the perfect shot that you don’t appreciate the moment, or you’ll miss the real fun and you’ll regret it.

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