January 27, 2007

Changing of the Goose Guard

And now we're home :)

Our Last Day

On our last day we walked around and made sure we touched the sand, looked at Diamond Head and played uke. Mr Guy had a hankering for a classic Hawaiian plate lunch, so we ended up here:

We took our lunch to the mall, where we ate and did last minute shopping, including a peek inside Tiffany, where Mr Guy claims the guards are armed with tasers. This is the sort of thing you notice when you aren't dressed to go to Tiffany. My outfit consisted of rubber flip flops from the ABC store, shorts from Goodwill and a Dengue Fever t-shirt. But I wasn't going to miss the chance to see Tiffany jewelry in person, so we went in.

There I was, happily engrossed in the Etoile line display case, when out of nowhere a piece of rice from my $5 plate lunch broke free from its hiding place, became airborne and performed horrible slow motion acrobatic feats in front of my eyes, finally landing in a splat on the glass.

Oh the drama of the rice grain. I had besmirched the gleaming counter of Tiffany & Co. I couldn't disown the rice because that's not right, but under the watchful eye of beautifully dressed men with tasers I also couldn't move quickly or dispose of it by putting it in my pocket or purse. I slowly reached out, pinched the rice between my fingers and carried it around with me until I left. Whew.

Safely back in Waikiki, we went for a swim and then ate dinner at L'Uraku.

That's it. So ends our trip to Hawaii (after some music at the Halekulani, and a visit to the top of the Ilikai).

Such a good time.

Day 7

On Tuesday we took the Kamaka Ukulele Factory tour. We expected a quick visit, but were lucky enough to have an hour and a half tour with Fred Kamaka. It was such a treat. And Fred Kamaka was so lively and interesting. I wish my mom lived in Hawaii!

Then we went up the Pali Highway to take pictures of a Roger Lee designed church. Fun for us, not so fun for readers, so I blog not.

After that we hoped to visit the
sumo store in Waimanalo. Unfortunately, we missed our opportunity. The owner passed away in October and the family closed the store. But the statue of Akebono in his signature fighting stance is still there.

Next door to the sumo store is Honolulu Nuts & Ukulele Company, where Mr Guy bought his uke last year. The owner told us with sadness about the nice lady next door who was famous with the Japanese tourists. He never mentioned that she was Akebono's mom. I'm reading an Akebono biography right now and wish we'd met her. Full of personality, she was!

While I'm here, let me put in a plug for the nut store. Nice man. Sells dozens of kinds of tasty snacks in Waimanalo and the Aloha Bowl swap meet. Try the wasabi macadamia nuts. They're awesome.

Honolulu Nuts & Ukulele
41-1537 Kalanianaole Hwy
Waimanalo HI 96795

Heading back south, we went in search of another uke store, which took us to a residential neighborhood in Hawaii Kai. We balked at the idea of ringing someone's doorbell to see if they had ukes for sale, so we kept moving. Mr Guy's beer compass led us to a mall, where we happened upon the Kona Brewing Company (or as he calls it "The Source"). It sits in a beautiful little harbor. Led Kaapana plays once a week. We'll be back.

Check out this beer...

January 23, 2007

Note to Self

The cap of the defunct Canadian baseball team does not provoke Aloha in others. Yesterday three different people aimed their cars inappropriately at us, one car full of people gunned the engine and spun out in front of us in the dust while we were on foot, dogs barked at me and I got my first scowl. I think it was the 'Spos hat. This never happens when I'm wearing the sprout.

We went to Haliewa yesterday to get the world's best hippie food and plunk ourselves down on our favorite beach. That part of it was delightful, as well as hearing Ron Artis and his family play, and shopping at a fancy lady boutique and actually buying something (absolutely unheard of Mrs Guy behavior).

Here's the Taro Bomb from Paradise Found Cafe:

January 22, 2007

Day 4 & 5

I will try to make this quick. More food, more music, more shopping for a good ukulele for Mr Guy.

The famous parsley lemonade at Town, a restaurant in Kaimuki:

Led Kaapana on the right, surf and Diamond Head on the left, with surfers in the distance. Next year, Mrs Guy would like to take a surfing lesson and try to be one of those happy surfing specks in the distance during his set:

Yesterday we went to Wahiawa Botanical Gardens, or as my unhappy feet might refer to it, "Wahiawa Mosquito Resort" It was small but lovely, and had me wondering whether I can train philodendron to climb our cedar tree at home.

Nothing is very far away here, so we went from the beauty of this little place in the middle of the island, with its odd combo of beautiful bird sounds and road noise, and in a little more than an hour could get back to the hotel, walk Waikiki beach down to the middle of town, and have a beer in front of us at the Beach Marriott (not actually on the beach, mind you). There we heard Aaron Mahi, George Kuo and Martin Pahinui play. So much good music any day here.

January 21, 2007


I guess we really like to eat, shop and listen to music. This seems to be our M.O.

Friday we headed to the AIA to get their architectural walking tour map. Then we headed to Chinatown, where I was hoping to see noodles prepared. It didn't quite work out. We cruised through the stalls and food courts, and it was amazing. We saw the Chinese version of preserved persimmons.

Everything in the food stalls looked and smelled incredibly tasty (except durian), but when it came time to eat, I balked. When need for a restroom key took me into the bead shop where I saw a cockroach the size of a little mouse, I needed to eat in a different building. Please understand that one of my favorite restaurants is filthy and infested with cockroaches. It is, in fact, the dirtiest place I can think of. But if the cockroaches at my restaurant were Hawaii size, I couldn't eat there.

We ended up in another part of the complex at Pho 97. I’m still trying for variety, so I had a salad of noodles, mint, sprouts, and grilled sausage made of pounded shrimp and rice. So tasty. And the loveliest green beverage, which was pennywort drink. Tasted a bit like lawn, but seemed healthful. In fact people drink it to reduce their skin irritations and mental illnesses. Way to be.

Then there was some resting. And then some more eating. I was hoping to find us a kaiseki meal, like the tasty ones we had on ANA, but instead found a multicourse menu at Kyoya that did basically the same thing. Yummy different tastes and experiences all in one meal. Mr Guy's butterfish with miso glaze was as good as on the airplane. And yamakake, grated mountain potato over maguro, is something I will start making at home.

What's for breakfast?

January 20, 2007

Honolulu Day 2

We took it a little easy. Went into town, stopping to photograph the IBM building along the way.

Then onto the Honolulu Academy of Arts. What a great place. It's housed in a gorgeous old building, and its collections are personal and varied, so you can see a Picasso and a Bertoia sound sculpture and an exhibition on conservation of 18th century prints and discover yam cult figures from the Abelam people all in one visit.

The museum's Doris Duke Theater was showing a film we wanted to see, so we did that too, after an amazing lunch in their outdoor cafe. If you get the chance, see "Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock," a documentary about a blue collar woman who bought an ugly painting for $5 at a thrift store and believes it is a Pollock. She assembled a motley group of art experts and is trying to prove the art establishment wrong. To this date, she's refused offers as high as $9 million, because authentication means more to her than anything else. It was executive produced by Don Hewitt, so it does have a 60 minutes feel to it, but it's pretty wonderful. As the house lights went up, I found a hearing aid battery on the floor, which tells you the age group of our fellow filmgoers. It was fun to be the young kids in the theater. We were told we were the only ones who paid full admission price! Fine with us. Support the arts.

Then we met Girlfriend from uke class and her husband at the Marriott and saw Auntie Genoa. I think she was even better than last year. She's 88 years old, and still kicking ass on the gorgeous falsetto range she is known for. Here she is signing my work uke.

I made two requests, Kaimana Hila and At the Coco Palms, and they played both. No Huhu, also someone's request, blew our tiny minds. Sung mainly in pidgin, it was a comic song about a Chinese man whose wife was unfaithful. At the end of the song he thinks he plants a paka seed and gets a haole baby. You just could not sing that back home.

Only in Hawaii.

January 18, 2007

Hawaii 2007

It's the second annual January Hawaiian vacation.

It has been so chill. Grand Mamoo Guy took us to the airport. Our plane was half empty, so we moved to better seats. Domestic travel for pleasure! Only 5 hours! No customs, no immigration, and plenty Japanese food at the ABC store when you get there.

We had a few hours to kill, so we went to the La Mariana Sailing Club for lunch. It was a little slice of heaven right there: a super down home yacht harbor that has a funky bar decorated with lovingly collected second-hand tiki bar fittings. The customers seemed to be mainly locals, which was also cool. One of them, a MINISCULE little old man stopped to pay his respects to Corky, the house parrot, cooing “How are you, you dirty little dog?” Corky bites. We reviewed the travel notes I had compiled while I was in bed last weekend, and headed out to our hotel.

Then we made our ritual pilgrimage. We got to the hotel, changed our clothes, grabbed our ukes and walked across the street to play on the sand on Waikiki beach while the sun set. It was kind of awesome. After that, I was a little worn out (gotta take it easy after being sick) so we just ate dinner close by at the Japanese restaurant in the Hawaiian Village. This place was the scene of the best quote of last year’s visit. A guy and his mom were dining together and mainly discussing his love life. She was from out of state. When the food came, the son carefully identified all of the items on the plate, pausing to say in his best southern twang “Mama, that’s wasabi. It’ll burn your boobies off.”

Words to live by.

Then we wrapped up the night watching local television. I think I'm having a good time.

January 16, 2007

Bathroom Accessories

Sometimes you just need to improve the look of your wig.

I know I do.

January 13, 2007

Best Dressed Chicken in Town

Mr Guy has put me on a strict diet of bed rest. The antibiotics seemed to have kicked the bacteria in the ass, but to a stranger who hasn't seen the progress I'd look like a person with a really bad cold and cough.

But my sense of smell has returned, and with it my joy for life. So today, when we went for a drive, turned left to avoid a school of bicycle dudes and a fire truck and GLORY BE ended up near the Japanese market, we shopped. And so I ate kimpira gobo and made Japanese mountain potato in shiso vinegar (so snotty!) and went back to my cozy bed with all of my Hawaii books and my laptop and my personal book and my postits and organized my thoughts about next week. Dude, we are going to Hawaii.

My personal book and my bookmarks are divided into: food, music, nature, architecture, arts, ukulele and *random* I know where a lot of the good musicians are playing in Waikiki next week, and I intend to see them all for the price of a Mai Tai. God I love Hawaii. Plus Girlfriend from uke class is in town also, so perhaps we'll see a few of them together :)

In the meantime, Mr Guy summoned me from my bed to look at the beautiful comet in the sunset that looked like a long shining peach colored needle headed for the horizon. And when I returned to bed to compose my Hawaii thoughts, he made a cd for Mrs Randommeats and in the process decided that ukulele is the perfect instrument to accompany 70's dub reggae. Keith and Tex's "Tonight" has the same chord structure as Sparks' "Goofing Off."

Who knew?

January 9, 2007

The Nose Does Not Always Know

I have lost my sense of smell and taste.

It's so strange that I have no sense of smell when I think about it so often. I even selected Goosemas treats for a friend last month based entirely on great flavors. I feel naked without my senses.

Triple S (an old boyfriend) once knew a woman who had lost her sense of taste after a motorcycle accident. As a parlour trick she would pour ketchup on an ice cream sundae and eat it, to the shock and dismay of spectators.

I feel like that woman. Can barely smell a thing. I tried my favorite rose, wet paint and cat box. Nuthin. Turns out that the reason I was freezing yesterday is that Mr Guy opened all the windows to make the paint fumes go away. I didn't even know there were any.

Years ago this same sense-robbery happened when I lived briefly in New England. Triple S's parents took us out to a famous local restaurant that I'd been dying to go to on a day when I had no nose. They even had fiddleheads on the menu, a local delicacy I'd been dying to try. It all tasted like...paste.

January 7, 2007


Yes, I've been sick since Kobe. When I saw the flight attendant point to a bottle of pills and then give the guy next to me a ziplock bag full of them, I knew that couldn't be good. Who knew that ANA dispenses medicine without a license? Lord knows what this guy had, but I got it, then I got Mr Guy's cold, and then last week I got the forklift factory cold. I haven't been out of bed since the 3rd.

But I'm summoning the strength to go out to a reunion of the oyster bar where I used to work many years ago. This was the place where I learned to shuck oysters and eat greens. The place where I literally saw the sound of Edith Piaf's voice drive a woman over the edge on Bastille Day, which proved a point I'd always been trying to make about Piaf anyway. And it was a place that inspired me to try to cook, because I was surrounded by people who could really do it. My first efforts were inedible, as witnessed by the unforgettable pumpkin and oyster pasta I proudly made myself one evening. Buuuurf.

It was a wonderful restaurant in a bad location that is still up and coming 15 years later.

The restaurant dwindled until one day the call came. Our bosses invited us in to pick up our final checks (paid out of their life savings) and drain the keg. They asked us to eat or take anything in the walk-in that was perishable. The tax man watched through the window from across the street. Never have (two) chocolate pot de cremes tasted so bitter.

It's foolish of me to get out of bed at this point, but to clap eyes on these people, I will.

Kemp's Balsam, where are you when I need you?

January 1, 2007

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