April 27, 2008

Ukulele Festival

I love the Ukulele Festival. Good kaukau, good shopping, good music.

This year did not disappoint :)

The show itself went well. You Belong to my Heart must have some special power that I did not understand previously. People applauded it before we even played. And when we played Paniolo Medley, I saw people singing along to "Kilikila Na Rough Riders", and a woman sitting in the back in a wheelchair had a HUGE smile on her face and was clapping in time and rocking out. A few in the crowd were a little tiki face at times, but that's o.k. ;)

I didn't feel like waiting for the chicken teri, so I branched out and had chili instead. I've never had chili with mac and rice, but it was a good combo.

It was HOT! The shave ice lines were long. I'm still recovering from the heat.

What a gorgeous day.

April 12, 2008

Moving On, Mechanically Speaking

I broke up with my mechanic. It was a long time coming. I lost faith. I think that was him right now on the phone. He used the 800 number so I'd pick up.

Or it was Barack.

The mechanic, X of X's Motors, let me spend too much money on my old car and didn't fix the problem. Charged us to come back to discuss it. Did or did not do some of the work we paid for, depending on who you ask.

Would you go back to X?

He knew something was wrong. He called to check. He called again to tell me about his specials (chair massages for customers, and a "ladies special" to teach "ladies" how to talk to mechanics). Gosh, I'm too busy starching my husband's shirts to go to to a ladies mechanic-speaking lesson! Thanks, though.

And don't touch me. Eew.

For this one thing I miss the old place.

The mechanic we went to was a dear. I never knew his backstory, but he was a little gritty and his employees seemed like they all had criminal records. Maybe he was trying to help people go legit? They were courteous, did good work, and were a teensy bit rough around the edges. The series of ladies who answered the phones and ordered parts didn't seem to be our mechanic's girlfriends, but did seem as if they might have a night job, too...

When my car needed something, the mechanic would come to our house with the tow truck and take it to the shop for me. Awesome.

A relationship like that doesn't end when you move. We kept going to him because he was our mechanic. Then one day I went to drop off my car and his shop was boarded up. I never found out what happened.

Started going to a different beat up freaky old place with the world's dirtiest (intellectually, physically) trucker hat collection. Am I imagining that they had a singing James Brown doll, too?

Finally I decided it was o.k. not to drive 20 minutes to the trucker hat mechanic, and settled on X, with his Bluetooth earpiece and newsletters.

Good luck to you, X.

This lady's a person of the peeps.

April 6, 2008

Hawaii 2008, last day

Our flight wasn't leaving until later in the day. I had buildings I needed to visit, and mrguy sweetly took me to my favorites for a last peek.

Century Plaza (?) is a lovely building with a a mirrored tower that rises from a modern sculpted base. The pattern in the cement parking structure really speaks to me, and the contrast with the tower is classic Honolulu to me:

My porn store. Poor building! Once a proud example of mid-century retail architecture, it now houses some great (Akasaka and the jazz club) and some slummy (tattoos, Axxion video) elements:

The Queen Emma building. I could see her from our state capital tour and, I think, Punchbowl, and hadn't been able to get close enough for pictures. I can't explain why I love this building as much as others dislike it. It was bold in its day. It had layers and layers of ornament and color. It is abandoned now, and I feel like it's a friend I'll never see again. I'm crossing my fingers:

I was still snapping away all the way to the airport. We stopped at the brewing supply store for a chat with the owner, and then got on the plane. Or actually, ATA (RIP) had a complete meltdown and it took thirty of us an hour to check in. We had just enough time to look at Ossipoff's koa sculptures over the ticket desks and get on the plane.

Until next year.

Hawaii 2008, Day 8

Mr. Finn professed a desire to see Punchbowl Cemetery. Scandi and I are always up for anything that smacks of genealogy, and we decided to find Hilo Hattie's gravesite and make our respects. Finding her grave proved tricky but doable (thanks, Mr. Finn!).
We took pictures of the monument that appears in the opening credits of Hawaii Five-0, and then took in the view.
Then to Aiea to Jelly's books and records. Next time, we will allot two hours. Plus the Salvation Army is supposedly fabulous, which I wouldn't know because those guys actually wore me out with the shopping. I waited in the car with my new autobiography of Hilo Hattie and commenced to reading.

Paradise Found cafe in Haliewa was definitely on the hit list. Tragedy struck, and their supplier for the taro burgers has gone out of business. I had to branch out and have the lemon pepper tofu plate, and it was amazingly good.

Scandi is part turtle, so we went to the beach and saw this beauty, Pukalani, and beach chickens and surfers.

Back to town for drinks and dinner, in that order.

Those guys hadn't been to La Mariana and we'd never been at night, when the piano player is in residence. Boy what we've been missing. A large group next to him was singing along, and the motley list of songs was pretty entertaining: My Ding-a-Ling, Here in this Paradise, Benny and the Jets (extended remix eternity please-make-it-stop version), a Kui Lee medley, Tiny Bubbles, back to Elton, then some James Brown before the piano player needed to catch the last bus home. It was so fun.

Dinner was at the Side Street Inn, one of Scandi's finds. The people who run it are friendly, and chefs kick it there after their shifts. It was fun and low key and the food was pretty good. When we can be the only tourists in a place we're happy, and this was one of those times.
Finally it was time to say good night. We managed to squeeze some fun in on our way to the airport the next day, but this was the end of the road for the four of us, and our respective rides, Black and White McGarrett.

Such a good trip!

Hawaii 2008, Day 7

We finally hit the road.

Back to Kakaako, where the folks were kind enough not to point out that you don't get potatoes with your egg breakfast in Honolulu :)

Then we went to Kailua.

Hungry Ear Records, Kailua, isn't big enough to accommodate all God's children who want to look at the local music LPs, so I called dibs on the Na Kane record I'd forgotten to buy last time, and left the shopping to the menfolk. Done.

Off to Kaneohe, where we didn't see Senator Fong's Garden, but did find a public one with a pretty trail, friendly nene and a mongoose.

Then to Haliewa Joe's, Kaneohe, but first a detour on the highway that took us out of our way but in a delightful manner. We stopped at a pier where we could get a better look at Mokolii and Ms Scandiwaiian could record the sound of the sailboat lanyards slapping in the breeze.

Haliewa Joe's is in a magnificent setting, but smells like Sunday morning frat house. We couldn't stay long or eat there. We headed back to town, with a small detour for photos, and off to a nice restaurant in Kaimuki. The food was great, but my main memory is of the chefs standing around reading Scandi's Seafood Watch pamphlet when the dinner rush was over :)

April 2, 2008

Hawaii 2008, Day 6

Despite the late-ish evening, we got up early to hike up Diamond Head. Oh so beautiful. One of the things I absolutely needed to do. Marred only by Mitch, the man who poses as a Parks Department employee and tries to sell you rainforest tours. Caveat emptor.

Right at the base of Diamond Head mrguy noticed this place which was the studio where they filmed most of the interior scenes for Hawaii Five-0. The guard probably figured we were Lost fans. Whatever.

Ms Scandiwaiian and Mr Finn turned us on to Kakaako, where we ate the day-glo purple taro bread underneath supernatural green awnings.

Then off to the Kamaka factory, to see how Scandi's uke repair is going. While they were looking up her order, I asked to play a pineapple uke to pass the time. They handed me a special one with *mad* koa, that they'd just taken to NAMM and back. They'd sell it to me for regular price. What's a girl to do? Wow, it's beautiful. Weird thing is, it sounds like my Martin Tenor.

Then to the state capital for the tour. Those who haven't been should go. This is a place with great mana. It's built to resemble a volcano, with the center open to the sky. Iz laid in state here. A nautilus shell chandelier is the centerpiece of the senate chamber. A mosaic representing the seas, designed by Tadashi Sato (friend of Ossipoff) sits beneath the oculus.

Then to Antiques Alley, for the single most satisfying second hand experience ever in Hawaii. Anything you wanted was there. I came with the hope of getting a 1970 Honolulu city directory. Coulda had it. Photographs of Akebono and Takamiyama? No problem. Mrguy found me the something smaller and cheaper: a directory of Honolulu actors and models from 1970. Many of them had bit parts in Hawaii Five-0. And I bought new bottles for our Hawaiian soda bottle collection.

It took precisely three phone calls to figure out how to get to our dinner destination, but it was worth it. Teensy, satisfying Akasaka is located behind my favorite porn store (o.k., not interested in the porn but am very interested in the architecture of the building) and the food is loooovely. I had the best yamakake to date.

Finally we went to Aku Bone. I knew it was late, but we went anyway. The band, Project Kalo Patch, was good and super sweet. I could tell that they played longer because we showed up at the end of their set, and they called us out from the stage and let us know it. "There was more, and we had another set, but you missed it because you were late!!" They said. Sweet guys who made sweet music, all wearing hats.

Some day *I* want to play Aku Bone.
Related Posts with Thumbnails