Archive for May, 2005

Now Here’s To You, Mrs. ______________

I get invited to a lot of graduation parties, and to avoid the appearance of playing favorites, I usually don’t go to any, since there’s just no way I could go to them all. However, one of my students is the son of a very (and I mean very) prominent local family and when I was one of the handful of teachers invited to attend Sunday’s dinner at the Halekulani (!), I had to accept. It is not every day a schmoe like me even gets to hang out in a hotel like this, and it is NEVER that a schmoe like me gets to hang out in a hotel like this as a guest of a family whose name every Hawaii resident recognizes immediately.

Horses on main street.


I had a goofy smile on my face as I watched the parade go by.

It is Western Weekend – Saloon Girl contests and rodeos. And the parade down main street. As parades go, it was unimpressive. No marching bands or floats. Five or six Boy Scouts led off the parade. There were line dancing Aunties from the Hongwanji and miniature ponies. There were politicians (of course) and cross-dressing clowns. There were people lining the street and young boys sharing their candy with two girls who came late. It would be easy to dismiss this little parade in this little neighborhood and when I was young and full of myself I probably would have.

I had a goofy smile on my face as I watched the parade go by.

$92 $92 $92 $92

So we’re now in the middle of Honolulu’s “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt campaign. The fine is (wait for it…) $92. To publicize the campaign, the city has put up these signs that flash the amount of the “no seatbelt” fine all around the freeways. These are the same signs that normally display your speed according to radar. I mostly look at those signs with amusement, because I never drive 55. I’m one of those guys who has owned nothing but 2-seat sports cars almost since the day I could afford to buy a car. Seeing how fast I’m going doesn’t freak me out. Heck, it makes me feel like I’m getting my money’s worth! Well, when I saw the flashing $92, I thought the signs had been reconfigured to display the amount of your (theoretical) speeding ticket. $92 made me jump on the brakes, because dammit, these twin-turbo coupes are expensive enough to own already. Suddenly, here was a consequence I could understand! It took me a couple days, but once I found out what the $92 really meant, I jumped right back on the gas and ignored the signs again. Anyway, my point is this: if the city cares about speeders, maybe they actually should reconfigure the signs to calculate the cost of your speeding ticket. It worked for me, and I never drive slow.

Then again, it’s not like the city wants to lose all that ticket revenue.

Slow down, buckle up, and read the signs.

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Mardi Gras Under the Stars

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MardiGras Island Style,
originally uploaded by ynoelani.

The Five-O Zydecko Band and the Samba Axe dancers heated up the Waikiki Aquarium crowd for the Mardi Gras Under the Stars celebration last Friday evening – an annual appreciation night hosted by ALTRES Medical for the local Nursing community.



Speaking of the Contemporary Museum, Michael Lin’s O2Art project to restore the museum’s tennis court was recently completed. Yes, you can play tennis here! You need to make a reservation though. I would do it if I knew how to play tennis. I wonder if they would go for volleyball? =)

Sunday Art Day

nara_dog.jpgSunday is a great day to get out and see some art in Honolulu. There’s always something cool to see and this week I lucked out catching Yoshitomo Nara at the Contemporary Museum, Neo Rauch and Handprints and Footprints in Buddhist Art, both at the Academy of Arts. The photo insert is of one of Nara’s dog sculptures on the grounds of TCM. I first heard about Nara from an article in Giant Robot’s Winter 2001 issue. His signature big eyed illustrations of kids are cute but menacing. You are not quite sure if they will snuggle up to you or chew your leg off.

Another excellent show was Neo Rauch at the Academy of Arts. I would have snuck a photo off at the gallery but the security guards were everywhere. You can check out some of Rauch’s works from this website. Rauch, from Germany, captures a lonely, post-industrial angst in his paintings. They will make you sit and ponder where this world is going. Slightly depressing but very intriguing nonetheless.

T-Shirts $5.99 each or 5 for $20.00

street vendor.jpg

I hate Waikiki with its crass commercialism and kitsch. It pains me to see cultural icons plastered on tacky trinkets or naughty T-Shirts with rude sayings. I am a sophisticate, your beads and baubles do not interest me.

But, change “Waikiki” to “Bourbon Street”…woohoo! We return with boxes of beignet mix, rude T-Shirts (for my nephew), and dozens of Mardi Gras beads. Do not ask…

Hauula to D.C. with a week in the Big Easy.


Ran into some very interesting Hawai

Talented Titas


In praise of our island sisters. They are warm and they are loving. They are smart and they are nurturing. They are talented and each day they surprise me.

The details are not that important. Suffice it to say that on a recent interisland trip, I sat next to one of our island sisters playing Jan Ken Po (that is rock-paper-scissors to you folks on the Big Big Island).

Me using my hands. Jan-Ken-Po. She using her foot. Jan-Ken-Po. Her foot keeping time with my hand. Jan-Ken-Po. Her toes scrunching and twisting or spreading. Jan-Ken-Po. And she beat me nearly everytime.

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