Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 22: Day of the Maggots

On July 22, at the last minute, City Council Member Ann Kobayashi filed to run for mayor at the urging of Senate PresidentColleen Hanabusa and ex Governor Ben Cayetano. It was a surprise move, especially given that there didn't appear to be any challengers to the seat.

Duke Bainum, Arkansas millionaire, just happened to be in Hawaii and just happened to rent an apartment in her district that day and just happened to register to vote that afternoon and just happened to hear the news in time for him to head down to city hall and file his papers for the seat. What a surprise, there didn't appear to be any contenders. Rumor is they started planning this at the funeral of Hanabusa's brother this past February.

Kobayashi and Bainum deny colluding. Both parties are full of shit.

Rather than let Bainum get a free ride, Mayor Mufi Hanneman convinced House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell to quit the House and run for Council. When he filed his papers he was one signature short, so a clerk at City Hall added her name to Caldwell's petition. The mayor had his aide, Chrystn Eads, file to run for Caldwell's seat, but she didn't get the paperwork done in time.

Geoerge Waialeale, who I serve with in the Neighborhood Board, filed also, but pulled out when Caldwell entered. Now there's an investigation into the clerk's action, Caldwell might be out, Bainum is unopposed - he just bought himself a council seat - Hanabusa is securing her base for a run for governor, and Democracy takes a tumble.

What shocks me here is the arrogance of these people, and the complete contempt they must have for democracy and for the people of this state.

Ms. Hanabusa
Mr. Hanneman

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Honolulu Cool

As long as I'm talking about cool ...

RIP Annette Nahinu. You've been good to Hawai`i. We'll miss you.

I Love the Nightlife: Honolulu

I was excited when I heard about Level 4, Waikiki's new mega-club. I thought we'd finally have a place to dance to great music. I thought it would bring the tribe back together, that the ravers and circuit boys and freaks and club kids and anyone who liked and misses house music would finally have a place.

I really had high hopes. I'm friends with Peter, who is choreographing Waikiki Nei in the same space, and he's done an excellent job of balancing art and entertainment in the show. I thought: certainly the club attached to a fabulous show will also be fabulous, right?

And so I was thinking we'd get a taste of Ibiza, and instead we got this:

That's the managing team for the club, according to MidWeek.

We're not getting Ibiza or Goa or Miami. We're getting a "slice of Vegas." Vegas Vegas Vegas. It's not even Las Vegas anymore. It's just Vegas. The city is mentioned ten times in Midweek's short article, just in case we don't get it: these guys are Vegas Cool.

That's fake-boobs and fake-tan cool to you, homie.

The problem is, Las Vegas is not cool. Las Vegas has less soul than any place I have ever visited.

Level 4 sounds worse than Pearl, Honolulu's other attempt at a Trendy Upscale Vegas Ultra Lounge. Pearl is in the mall, right across from Long's Drugs. The suburban children who go there are comfortable with this. I think it might even have the same management.

And so I am sad. And unhappy. And will continue to pay for round trip tickets to the mainland when I need a night of dancing. Geh.

I'm not surprised, though. Honolulu nightlife is dominated by suburban kids who still live with mom. It's all booty hip-hop, and rich kids acting thug-like. This is what happens when children grow up with MTV instead of Sesame Street:

Meet the Lost Tribe of Asiatic Guidos at Longhis, another fashionable club at the mall. Don't let the ghetto-posings fool you - Longhis is an expensive place to drink.

Welcome to the Chais. And welcome to a recurring theme in photos of Honolulu nightlife: one man surrounded by cloned girls. After the photo shoots are done the girls will head to the dance floor in closed ranks, and the guys will run back to their corner. The clubs here are as segregated as Friday afternoon at the mosque.

Ciao Mein tries a pimp-daddy version of the same motif. Notice his hand is clutching the beer, and not on any of the women pretending that he's sexy.

Venus used to be gay. Now it's confused boys pretending to be straight and the fag hags who love them.

Fashion 45 advertises itself as upscale. So no t-shirts or shorts! say their ads. These guys, thus, are "up-scale."

Senor Frogs aims for a Spring Break in Cancun vibe, but rarely gets more wild and crazy than a Congregationalist wedding. Waikiki is family-friendly, so they have pinatas instead of wet t-shirt contests.

RumFire is another Upscale Ultra Lounge specializing in rum drinks: lots of trendy garnishes - ginger, basil, lemon grass, etc. - on strangely bland drinks. The guys are cute, though.

It's dancehall night at the Living Room, so everyone is drinking Red Stripe, mon.

I've never been to Zanzabar, but I hear that every surface is covered in mirrors and every piece of trim is bronze. It's only a few years away from qualifying as retro-chic. If we could get rid of the patrons the place might be fun.

Champions is an "upscale sports bar. "

Lulu's replaced Denny's on the corner of Kalakaua and Kapahulu. In theory this is "progress." Lulu's offers jello shots on sports night, and does not pretend to be upscale.

( I borrowed all the pictures in this post from Midweek's nightlife section. As if I would know any of these people, or be seen in the same club as them. And remember that this is only a taste - there are dozens of equally cheesy clubs out there).

It's not all horrors. There are a few bright spots. Downtown has NextDoor and the Dragon Upstairs, Mo`ili`ili has Chikos, the Moana Surfrider Beach Bar retains her regal beauty, Side Street has escaped the gentrification of Kaka`ako, and I hear good things about Aku Bone. None of these, of course, are Vegas Cool, and so they do not get covered in Midweek. A few good ones made the cut ...

Lotus, which claims to play Chicago House. They've thrown some gay events that didn't quite come together, and yet I still think this place has great potential.

Art after Dark is always fun.

I rReally liked the rRed Elephant, though I just heard on KTUH that it is closing.

Monday, July 28, 2008


One last late day at work here, and I am caught up!

Or rather, if this Monday were last Friday I would be. I'm using the subjunctive-conditional past tense of "caught-up," and in that tense I'm doing just fine.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Do men cycle? 'Cause I've been a mess today. Scatterbrained, bitchy, ready to prosecute every violation I find, growling at the public, feeling way too vulnerable, just overworked and overwhelmed, talking to myself, and eating candy like a fat girl.


I put a little sticky on my wall calendar. I'll put a sticky on my next day like this, and see if I find a pattern.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The Perseids are coming!

Earthgrazers (above) are the meteors that hit the atmosphere at tangent, and skip across it like a stone on a pond rather than plunge straight to earth. They're bright, flashy, and dramatic. They occur when the radiant is at the horizon, and the earth rotates into the dust cloud. We're in a good spot to catch a few this round.

I just installed my newest toy at the bottom of the page: the Mini Astro Viewer. It's easy to use, though I have to remember that Hawai`i is -10h from UTC time. The full Astro Viewer is more robust & fun.

I already used it to plot out the best time to view the Perseids from the Makapu`u Lighthouse . August 11 Paulo (and his new boyfriend) will be in town, as well as my mec (and his mother) from Paris. I'm hoping I can get a group together and trek out to the lighthouse around midnight.

Techie stuff:

Perseus, the radiant of the shower, will rise just after midnight. This will be the best chance of seeing earthgrazers.

The moon will set just before 2am, though it should be well behind the Ko`oalau and Wai`anae mountains long before then.

The primary peak, based upon the techie sites, should last from 1:30am to 4am Hawai`i Time. Scientists are predicting a zenith hourly rate of 100 meters per hour. There is a possible secondary peak at 6:40am, and a teritary at 11:30 am. Unless the sun doesn't rise we won't be seeing those - and since the radiant won't be at it's zenith until after sunrise we probably won't see the max.

When Perseus is at 30 degrees (2am) only about half the total meteors falling will be visible from here.

/ tech

So the choice is wake up early, when Perseus is closer to the zenith and see more meteorites, or go at midnight when Perseus is rising in the hopes of seeing one or two earthgrazers.

It's an easy choice: midnight at the lighthouse.

Now I just need to find out which of my friends are nature-loving geeks. There must be a few.

Swim Lessons

Taking a friend to Ala Moana for swimming lessons this evening. He's 47, or somewhere about there, and sinks like a rock. He says.

This will be my third take at teaching an adult to swim. Hopefully this time's the charm ... I failed with the other two. One really did sink like a rock, and though I'm convinced he was doing it willfully I could never prove anything. The second squealed and refused to go further than thigh-deep in the water.

This time we have some motivation ... this guy paddles, and it's much better for paddlers to stay on top of the water during changes - and since long-distance practice starts Sunday we don't have much time left.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday II

Just slashed my finger open while cleaning the cuisinart blade. Cleaning is dangerous.

It's raining hard. Perfect timing. My poor garden was dying. Luckily the rains held until after the Hui Wa`a Championships yesterday.

And ... we missed scoring by two seconds. As usual, we were two seconds behind the next canoe. There have been so many two-second Sundays this year; if any one of them had gone differently we'd be in.

This time, though, it was a B Team that beat us. Imua. They haven't been scoring at all all season, and suddenly there they were at the finish. I asked where they came from ... and it turns out they moved their B Team up for this race. 'Cause it wasn't enough to win their division, right?

But Windward Kai beat us solidly yesterday, by ten seconds. In the end we tied with them and Manu Kai for third. It's cool that they're going to States, and fair. But ahhh we were so close.

Cleaning Day

I'm not leaving the studio until it's clean.

I don't know how this happens. I did a deep cleaning at the beginning of the season, and you'd think it would have lasted. But not in an old house in the tropics, not with three cats, not with me living there.

I had a decent weekend, so I feel alright in sacrificing a Sunday - my first free on in months. I actually turned off the alarm and slept in.

Until all of 8:30 am. Damn circadian rhythms.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Egypt Redux

I realized today that I never got around to posting my photos from Egypt. Now they're up!

And once again time has tempered my memories. Looking at my photos there's a certain amount of "wow ... I was there!"

Ah, but that hassle. I'd still like to see Alexandria, Siwa, and the desert Oases ... but not so badly that I would go back to Cairo to get there. Maybe if N. was there it the city would be more interesting, and less grating. Or maybe if they had a revolution and through off their mafia-style dictatorship.

The Sinai, on the other hand, I would go back to gladly and without hesitation.


Enough already. I give up. I want an iPhone.

But I'm already feeling behind the curve, because I just browsed the website and I have no idea what they're talking about. I have basic questions (real basic, like: how does it work? how much will it cost?) that I can't even answer.

So frakkin' geezer already. I need someone to hold my hand and walk me through this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Last Week of Regatta Season

Kamehameha Men's Novice A: Lucas, Aka, Mark, Joe, Adam (open), MC
Not in Pic: Scott, Eli

Two more days until the Hui Wa`a Championships ... and we're in a three-way run to place for States. Beach Boys and Kamamalahoe are in; the third spot could go to us, Windward Kai, or Manu O Ke Kai. Everything is coming down to the wire on Saturday.

Of course we're going to get our asses creamed if we actually make it to States, so it'll be a mixed blessing.

I emailed the above pic to some friends; in return D__ sent me this from a hula they did at Kalani Honua ...

... and I'm keeping it as Exhibit A for the Defense next time someone tries to tell me that O`ahu is ruined and that Puna is the "Real Hawai`i."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Speaking Softly

I got the best compliment this morning. It's time for our Neighborhood Board to elect officers, and Mrs. ___ is lining up votes to get me in. I'm being rather passive about it. I've got my issues (or rather, one singular issue: I want my bike paths!), but I have no interest in all the inside political games. The Board is a classic example of how the people with least power (us) will fight the most viciously over it.

But tonight I'm ready to be a punk. I even dressed up nice to mitigate the impact. I'm tired of the Chair letting the meetings wander all over the place, and I'm tired of devoting an hour each meeting listening to the Divas getting run-downs from the police on every Joe who stubs their toe in Kapi`olani Park.

So. I let Mrs. ___ know that I'd be calling points of order every time the Divas get us off track. Oh you do that, she said. Your good at that. You speak so softly and nicely, no one realizes until after that you were making fun of them.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Troll Kitten

I was seconds away from drifting off to a well-earned deep sleep when I heard the sounds of bones being chewed, coming from under my bed.

My studio has been a kill-zone for the past couple months. Grasshopper, my sweet little girl kitty has gotten out of control. Usually it's just lizards and tree frogs. She brings them in, lets them loose, and then plays catch-and-release until they die. Most dry out, and so all I have to clean up is a mummified husk. Some ... ahem ... plump up and ripen in the heat.

Last night it was birds. Three, by my count. I had already found one corpse by the computer, and thought that was it. But at a few minutes to midnight I realized that she had kept a few on reserve for late-night snacking. I peeled back the corner of my futon, looked down, and it was feathers and bones and drops of blood everywhere.

I'll start calling her Gollum. She's so sweet when daddy's looking, and so blood-thirsty when he's not.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

400 Days

Just got this email from one of the guys I paddle with:
hey people! Sorry, I cant make it this sunday. For those of you who dont know, I got activated to get deployed to Iraq for 400 days yet again and I start the saturday b4 this race. It was short but definitly sweet meeting everyone and paddling w/ u folks. Thank you guys for making it a even better season for me. Hope to see everyone in 400 days. Paddle hard, Paddle strong, and paddle with ur heart! Take care and God Bless!
400 days. Which means he will be ripped out of this life - again - and if he survives he'll be returned in the middle of August, 2009.

This is the war that America bought into. This is the war our politicians are too cowardly to get us out of.

This war was a choice this country made. We can choose to end it.

Yakudoshi, Month 5

So far my Yaku-Doshi, my Year of Calamities, is going pretty damn well. I need to start blogging the good things more, instead of just when I'm irritated.

Of course, usually when things are going well I'm out and about rather than sitting by the computer.

Our Novice A crew is still in contention for States. It'll come down to the Hui Wa`a championships in two weeks. Roz promised us a relatively easy week this week, followed by a hard one after. Yikes. So far Waikiki Beach Boys and Kamamalahoe are guaranteed a spot. The third could go to us, Windward Kai, Manu O Ke Kai, or Lokahi. We've consistently placed, while the other teams have been up and down, so that's a good sign.

I bought my tickets for Miami, Rio Va`a, and Buenos Aires. I haven't convinced any of my core dancing buddies to go down with me to Miami yet, though I'm still working on it. I'm still in touch with Shane & Victor (Just Circuit) and DJ Bugie; Ron is going; and Madame Lim says she is but I'll believe that one when I see the ticket stub. I don't know if any of the Rio Va`a guys will lay over.

For Rio, so far Rudy, Eli, Pam, and Phil have bought tickets. Roz and Jake are definite. Lucas is working on it. We have two canoes, so we'll need nine men and three women - I'm not sure yet who the others are. There are a lot of names, but again: I'll wait until I see the ticket stub!

And Buenos Aires might be me solo, which I'm fine with. Donyelle might fly down to join Eli, and they might come over also, which would be cool.

Work is work.

My house is a mess. I try and clean, but end up making a bigger mess. C'est la vie.

The dating scene here remains tragic. The gay Waikiki scene still bores me. I have been going out more, though, now that I've dropped the gym from my schedule. I went out Downtown with Tom P, Jason, and (Ed? He's leaving anyways) last Wednesday & had a good time. Allen's 4th was fun if ultimately tragic (one of our team members got too drunk and became sexually aggressive with every man, woman, & transsexual that crossed his path before finally passing out face first in the mud, in the rain).

And, after fifteen months, I shaved my hair off. It was getting pretty long, and I told myself that I would grow it until I could pull it back in a pony tail & then decide ... but I couldn't handle it anymore. Once in awhile, with enough product, it looked good. Usually it just looked crazy. I found myself trying to flip some curls up over where the lines were receding, and tried hard to ignore that this was a serious warning sign ... but I finally faced the facts: it wasn't sexy. Or, it was only sexy for an hour or two out of every week. And so I took out my old Long's clippers, popped in the 9mm attachment, and set to work.

I thought I would be sad, given how long it took to grow out & knowing that I would never attempt to grow it that long again in this life.

But it felt awesome. So awesome that I kept going, shaving my chest and doing a bit of manscaping. I like fur on others. It's just not for me.