Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve in Waikiki

New Year Time

click on photos - if you have the time!
The Parade of Life Continues. . .

"We are here to help each other get through this thing,
whatever it is."
Kurt Vonnegut

Some of us are watching it go by. . .

"Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it."

And the river, too, flows on. . .

"We don't know the truth at all.
There's mysteries that bubble up within us
that we can't explain
and we can't understand.
And those are
humbling mysteries."
Jamie Hook


Yesterday, some 50,000 pounds of red ahi tuna
passed through Honolulu's United Fish Auction.

EVERYBODY, not just ethnically Japanese residents,
wants to eat the lucky fish at New Year's time!
In Kapahulu and Aiea the THWACK! of the wooden mallet is heard as it comes down in the stone Usu to turn the rice into chewy mochi.
Watch your hand, Uncle!

May we all stick together just like this mochi,
where individual grains of rice have melded.

After his broadcast statement, the President and his family spent Tuesday afternoon at Hanauma Bay snorkeling.
Then yesterday they visited with some of Barry's school friends
on the North Shore.

While he was preparing to tee off (Monday I think) at the course where he learned the game as a boy, the young son of one of his foursome injured himself back at the beach compound (Winter White House?) so they all motored back to the home - the kid is OK. It was described as a "routine beach injury."

I'm sure that the Secret Service could do without the Hawaii custom of
New Year fireworks!

Though firecrackers have just gone (legally) on sale, we have been seeing and hearing illegal aerials for weeks now!
Every year it's the same.

Families who received Toys for Tots for their kids are now seen blowing hundreds on explosives. . . oh well. . .

Tonight, the professional shows will be echoed by the illegals all over the island. The Trade Winds have slacked off, so we can expect a smoky New Year's Eve - no fun for the fire fighters or the police - or anyone with breathing problems.
Pets too suffer and must be sequestered indoors and even sedated.

Meanwhile 70's icons The Village People will bring in the New Year
at one of the hotels down the beach.

We will be sharing champagne here on board da boat.

2009 has been a Year OF Review: the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing, of Woodstock, the passing of Walter Cronkite, as well as numerous other 30, 40 year observances including the 50th anniversary of Hawaii Statehood.
Perhaps we will look ahead to new solutions in the
Year of the Tiger

So Happy New Year, Hauoli Makahiki Hou to Y O U, friend!

Thank you for sharing your visits and comments here at Comfort Spiral!

See you next year . . .

ALOHA, cloudia

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Listen To Louis


Welcome to Year's End


click on photos for instant male enhancement
Diamond Head Celebrates

"My whole life has been happiness,
I love everybody."

Louis Armstrong

Honolulu's Chinatown

"Chinatown is one of the coolest, most interesting places in urban Oahu.
Sure it's gritty, but that's part of it's charm.
Where else can you choose from a rainbow of perfumed shampoos
that sit on a shelf above raw goat meat and a whole pig's head?
It's not a manicured, controlled, master-planned community.

It has all the noise, smells and energy of an open market."
Lee Cataluna

Do you suppose that entire truck is FULL of chocolate??!!

"I began to recognize what I had considered Pops' (Louis Armstrong) grinning in the face of racism as his absolute refusal to let anything, even anger about racism, steal the joy from his life."
Dizzie Gillespie


Is the loss of yearning something to be mourned?
Or was it just the glorification of anxiety?

Even so - if that be the case -
I turned my unease
into a quest for
experience, knowledge,
and life.

Each new beginning of my life
has been preceded by
existential dissatisfaction
leading to a change,
to chance,
akin to a rebirth.

So is it OK,
or a cosmic sell-out,
to say:
"This must be the place,"
To feel content
or am I losing my edge,
my SELF?

The world
(I am discovering)
operates by rules
very different
from those I grew up with.

Perhaps I needn't be
on guard
quite so much.

I do believe
I will dare to choose
feel good

I made this decision
when I realized that
animals usually look pretty

And when the moment
Leap & Pounce
is announced
I will do so in an

return to grooming
and staring

ALOHA, my Year-End Friends!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Welcome to the Sun
of Waikiki

click on photos to feel the warm

“There exists only the present instant...
a Now which always and without end is itself new.
There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow,
but only Now,
as it was a thousand years ago
and as it will be a thousand years hence.”

Meister Eckhart

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A year, ten years from now, I'll remember this;
not why, only that we were here like this, together.”

Adrienne Rich

These moments that we share
are precious.

ALOHA Dear Friend, cloudia

Monday, December 28, 2009

Square Midnight

Aloha, Dear Friend!

Welcome Back to Waikiki

click on photos!

“Dreams are real as long as they last.
Can we say more of life?”

Havelock Ellis

“Dreams are illustrations...
from the book your soul is writing about you.”

Marsha Norman

“Every artist writes his own autobiography.”

Havelock Ellis


How have you been?
I hope the holidays,
and the Winter,
have been treating you kindly.

The president
has been working out at the gym
at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base
every morning.
On Christmas day
he and Michelle
spent time on the base
talking with
our service members.

Everyone seems excited
that the President and his family
are here on the island with us.

the girls stopped for shave ice
right next door to my friend's business!

Everyone has been asked
not to photograph the girls
when they are out by themselves
so I can't show you how much fun
they had sharing shave ice with me.

This the the longest
that Comfort Spiral has gone without
daily updates.

My mind seems to be musing
and refuses to generate
worthy daily posts for now.

But I want you to know
that you are in my thoughts,
that Comfort Spiral
WILL resume daily posting,
and that I am wishing you
a peaceful and reflective
Year's End.

Bless You, Friend!

Warm ALOHA, cloudia

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Oahu

ALOHA Christmas

click on the tropical splendor
Welcome to the temporary capitol of the USA.
Barack and his family are here on Oahu!
Rest up, Mr. President. We are proud of you.
Actually being the decision-maker is harder than anyone knows.
You had to give in to the extortion of bankers,
to solve problems you never created.
Now they call you a socialist
for trying to get a handle on our broken "health care" system.
You are trying to end a war
that was badly launched and mismanaged,
so they call you a war monger.
But we know that there is Aloha in your heart
for the American people,
for all people.
So welcome back to your birthplace
and childhood home.
We are proud of what you are trying to do,
though others would rather harm our country and people
than to see you succeed.
Aloha & God Bless you and your family.
God Bless Hawaii, America, and our

"We have a stake in one another …
what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart,
and ... if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done for the people with whom we share this Earth."
Barack Obama
What HE is thinking. . .

What SHE is thinking :-)

This December,
That love weighs more than gold!"

~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon~

(If you haven't listened to yesterday's post, please check it out below)

ALOHA, Friend cloudia

"It's not just enough to change the players. We've gotta change the game."
Barack Obama

Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Holy Night



Na Leo Anela,
The Voices of Angels,
are closer to our ears at special times.

The whole world over,
people are close to their purity,
to their childhood wisdom,
and to love of themselves,
others, and the
Great That is Real.

It is Christmas,
and you don't need to be a devout Christian
or chronologically young
to hear the Angel Voices
at this time of year.

This year,
one of MY best presents
is this visit that
have chosen to make here
(as well as your dear visits all year 'round)

Thank you, Mahalo Nui Dear Friends.

May the true spirit of Aloha
fill your heart
and always.

That is my wish for you
and for all you hold dear.

God Bless us everyone.

And now listen to O Holy Night in Hawaiian.

You will NOT be disappointed. . .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ono Da Kine!


clickity click click!
Christmas Aunties

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."

Lucky for New Year

"Go and wake up your luck."
Persian Proverb

Northern Chinese Cuisine

"I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work 15 and 16 hours a day.
I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet,
a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language,
who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work
by the simple eloquence of his example."
Mario Cuomo

Kalapaki Apt. Hotel

"The perfect man uses his mind as a mirror.
It grasps nothing. It regrets nothing.
It receives but does not keep."
Chuang Tzu


Although I enjoy walking in Waikiki, there are many other wonderful areas of our town that reward a thoughtful perambulator.

One such is the stretch of South King Street between Keeaumoku & Kalakaua. Formerly the path taken by the King from old Honolulu down to "suburban" Waikiki, King Street grew and developed along with the plantation generations as they moved from the fields to shops, small business and snug bungalow homes of their own in the nearby villages of Paawa and Mo`ili`ili.

Today, most stores and businesses have migrated to the malls and such, but this corridor still boasts small family restaurants, mom & pop shops, and doctor's offices featuring old-fashioned "American" first names with Chinese and Japanese last names (Clarence Wong MD). This area is like a museum of Honolulu's working-class-American-Dream 20th Century, now in it's twilight. Many of the physicians are as old (or older!) than their patients and these practices are unlikely to survive their founders as the younger generations join HMOs. Same trend with the little shops, restaurants and businesses. More and more Hangul (Korean alphabet) signs are seen spreading out from Keeaumoku's Korean nexus as new immigrants replace the old.

I love everything that makes our town unique, and most special is our people. In Waikiki one sees faces from all over the world. Every generation and human condition is represented. But stroll along King Street on a sunny weekday early afternoon and you will be among the local elderly. The people who built the Hawaii of today, who fought both WWII and discrimination, are now leaning on canes and waiting at the bus stop. The pulse of Honolulu's life has moved towards upscale condos, tourism, & retail. Meanwhile, the low-rise store-front blocks, and modest, aging professional buildings of South King Street host hustling entrepreneurs and immigrant dreamers as they wait for whatever may be coming next.
Elegy and expectation walk arm in arm along King Street as the traffic hurries past towards the University, Waikiki, upscale Kahala Mall, and growing residential Hawaii Kai where the last small farms and nurseries face down developers at the end of the road, where the wild Ko`olau Mountain foothills seem to recede with our past.

Walking down Kalakaua Avenue back towards Waikiki I had a sudden "local style" hankering for Shrimp Chips. How long has it been since my tongue stuck to a puffy shrimp chip as it changed in my mouth like "Pop Rocks?" Little by little, the small unique things that used to define us become submerged in a sea of Frito-Lay and Whole Foods house brands.
I stopped into the tiniest mom & pop you can imagine, right behind kupuna (elders) and teens waiting at the bus stop. One bag left. I thanked the woman in my best Korean: "Kahm Sahm Ne Dah."
Soon after, I bought some take-out jerk chicken from the "new" Jamaican lunch truck across Kapiolani Boulevard from the Hawaii Convention Center. But tomorrow (I promised myself) I'll go to a hole-in-the-wall for a local plate lunch with two scoops rice, macaroni salad, mochiko chicken, lau lau, and cone sushi - all the local stuff we like eat. . . before there's nothing left but fast food and chic cafe`s.
Ono da kine!
(Delicious, that's the kind!)

PS: Best selling novelist Alan Brennert (read my review of his wonderful MOLOKAI here) quoted me (of all people) in a recent interview and then e-mailed me about it!
Read it here

Cool! ALOHA, cloudia

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka

Dear Friends


click on Claus for a hearty Ho Ho Ho!

"If you could imagine the most incredible story ever, it would be less incredible than the story of being here. . .
When your soul awakens, you begin to truly inherit your life.
You leave the kingdom of fake surfaces, repetitive talk, and weary roles
and slip deeper into the true adventure of who you are and who you are called to become.
The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. . ."

The Aloe is in Bloom!

"Now you realize how precious your time here is.
You are no longer willing to squander your essence on undertakings that do not nourish your true self; your patience grows thin with tired talk and dead language. . . On this journey you begin to see how the sides of your heart that seemed awkward, contradictory, and uneven are the places where the treasure lies hidden. . .

Is your "system" working?

"You develop from your own self-compassion a great compassion for others. You are no longer caught in the false game of judgment , comparison and assumption.
More naked now than ever, you begin to feel truly alive."

John O'Donohue
(All quotes today)

Thank You for Your Visit
at this most Busy Time of the Year! cloudia

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just Take a Minute

ALOHA, Friend
Welcome to

click on the photos and be a winner!
Lot's of people feel like this picture by this time in the holiday season

Stress is nothing more
than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.

Richard Carlson

So here is a tonic guaranteed to make you feel relaxed and happy:

Thanks for stopping by! Aloha, cloudia

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Honolulu City Lights

Aloha, Friend!

Welcome to Dusk


click on the cliche`
This is probably what you think of when you read today's title.
One of the things that I love about Honolulu Town
is that it IS a town,
a city really.

A city surrounded by green mountains,
the world's largest ocean,
and the dome of a magnificent

Play the song below,
then scroll down
and watch the video I made
while you listen to it.
(Be sure to mute the video's sounds)

You will see a cruise ship in Honolulu Harbor,
look out to towards the December sun setting in the Pacific,
then to the right you will see the
Waianae Mountains,
and a smidge of the Big Pineapple
(Notably the cement Kuhio Federal Building).
Sparkling fairy lights
mark the traffic 34 floors below.

I used to sit in my East Coast bay window
and imagine that I was in Hawaii.

Really believe that you are in the scene
You WILL be!


ALOHA Neighbor, cloudia

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Caz Christmas Show

Aloha Friends!
Before Christmas


Click on Christmas-y Pictures
A Ted Trimmer Photo


Last week, the Cazimero Brothers had to cancel their Christmas show at the Hawaii Theatre. Everyone is OK, but it was a holiday disappointment nevertheless. So here is LAST year's post about a delightful outing....Hmmmm, it's not half bad! ENJOY
Warmly, Cloudia

click on photos to enlarge!

"Trumpet in a herd of elephants; crow in the company of cocks; bleat in a flock of goats."
- Malaysian Proverb

"Those that can't endure the bad, will not live to see the good."
Jewish Proverb

"Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money."
- Jules Renard

I have Spring Fever and Christmas spirit today! Last evening, clad in closed shoes AND socks, long black jeans, and my winter coat (a light wind-breaker jacket), I rode in a school bus with a jolly group from Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand, for the ten minute trek from Waikiki to down-town Honolulu. The ride was like being in some mutant adult summer camp. Flasks of good Irish Whisky were allegedly passed around (bad children!) And SOMEONE was filling the air with the sweet smell of burning Da Kine (“the kind!”) Yeah, you in da back! I’m looking at YOU! . . . We de-bussed in front of the venerable Hawaii Theatre as she glimmered in all her golden-age movie-palace splendor. The restored neon, and modern electronic marquee, splashed color all around little Bethel Street, gilding historic buildings, and our happy faces, in red, blue and razzle-dazzle. Many people wore a dear blend of aloha wear with holiday touches. Think of aloha shirts and mu`u mu`u accented with Santa hats and tinsel lei. An expectant crowd was gathering to enjoy a bona fide local institution: The Brothers Cazimero Christmas Show! The two living treasures, along with Robert’s kane (men) of Hula Halau Na Kamalei, the wahine of the Royal Dance Company, and special guests, would once again put on THE iconic Christmas Show of our town and WE lucky folk had actual tickets! As someone who dislikes the press of a crowd I was entirely comfortable among this glittering isle style assemblage. When the curtain rose on a set featuring a lovely Christmas tree, lighted palms, evergreen wreathes, and the usual proscenium for two, Christmas had finally come to our hearts for one more year. Even though they are seen shopping, going movies, or walking in a shop, it brings a strong pavlovian contentment to see the Brothers smiling and performing on stage. And there they were like favorite cousins visiting house: Robert on his trademark stand-up bass, and Roland with his guitar. Something wonderful in the world, something RIGHT, comes into blossom when they sing to us. For the curtain raiser, The Brothers played and sang while the entire company (filling the front of the stage before them) danced and sang along (Heck, WE ALL sang!) a rousing interpretation of the shopworn but beloved cliché: Mele Kalikimaka together. These guys play Carnegie Hall, and Robert just received a prestigious national artistic award & grant from the peer panel of the U.S. Artists organization, so this was like a family sing-along and a world-class cultural performance in one. The evening blended laughs, tears, young and older performers, in a soul satisfying early gift that I, for one, REALLY needed this year! Miss Keiki Hula 2008, Leah Santiago, danced an INCREDIBLE Hawaiian Lullaby! The night was full of excellent hula, but this little girl had such presence & grace that I KNOW we will be seeing her win Miss Aloha Hula in about ten years. (That’ll be about five years before Hawaii Governor Malia Obama proclaims me a Hawaii Treasure for my beloved writing ;-). Young Master Keiki Hula 2008, Lyons Wong of the Big Island filled the place with a rousing, energetic dance of his own. It was a night of wonderful moments pressed down, shaken, and running over. The night flew by, which is not always the case for lil ole short attention span gal – ME! I was so “knocked out” that I slept through the cannon AND booming fireworks that marked the start of today’s Honolulu Marathon. After last nights “wintry” visit downtown to the theatre (wearing shoes, SHOES I tell ya!) I woke to blue tropical skies and balmy breezes today. So Mele Kalikimaka to YOU, and please pass the sun block!
A L O H A! Cloudia

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aloha Wish For YOU

So glad to see
Today is Friday


click photos for Chanukah/ Christmas cheer
Enjoy our Hawaiian Skies!


"Only through emotions
can you encounter the force field of your soul."

Here we know that Christmas will be clear & bright & GREEN!


"If you choose to feel affection or kinship with a person
rather than distance or coldness,
you shift the frequency of your light"

This is my Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Moai, Guy


"An authentically empowered person is humble. . .
a human being that does not release (their) energy
except in love and trust. . .
It is the inclusiveness of one who responds to the beauty
of each soul. . .
It is the harmlessness of one who treasures & honors & reveres
life in all it's forms. . .
A humble spirit
walks in a familiar world.
People are not strangers to it;
they are it's companions upon the Earth. . .
Humble spirits are free to love
and to be who they are. . .
not drawn to symbols of external power."

Gary Zukav
(All quotes today)


This is my wish for you:
in yourself.

The World.

Be sure to see the feel-good video below!

ALOHA, cloudia

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Celebrity Thursday

Aloha, Friend!
Welcome to Celebrity Thursday

click on the faces
Yes, that's Morgan Freeman
being kind to a complete stranger
in Honolulu's Chinatown at midnight. Long story. . .


"Happiness comes from the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."

Storm Jameson

"Enjoy the little things
for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Robert Brault

"I know everybody dies, but I thought I was an exception."
William Styron

"The essence of immortality
is the tendency to make an exception of one's self."
Jane Addams

"Not what we have
but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance."

To a kid
20 years is an unimaginably
long time.

The older we get
the more comprehensible
it becomes.

At 50
we can believe
in 70.

Approaching 60
we begin to believe
in our own

So what to think?
What to do?

The other evening
I attended a party
with old friends and colleagues.

Talk was convivial
as it is among friends
turning to wine,
to travel,
to enjoying life.

"After all, how long have I got."
said one
to a murmur of assent
by all.

You may be wondering
why I'm writing on this topic
during the holidays.
It might seem depressing

But my intent
is exactly the opposite,
echoing my friend at the party.

I want to cherish
my hours, my days
and I want the same
for you.

Let's liberate ourselves
from what are really
petty annoyances.

Don't sweat the small stuff,
and it's ALL small stuff
compared to the treasure
we possess.

ALOHA, cloudia

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


ALOHA Wednesday
here in

come in, rest your fingers, click on a photo or two; pop open a treat!

"By the river the blue heron stands
and waits, poised in the long patience.
Here the world offers itself, wave after wave
of mountains washing across the miles.
Here the sparrow sings from the sycamore.
I lift my voice
and come down to earth

Jeff Daniel Marion

"A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world."
Leo Buscaglia

I remember the temple, this route I've traveled before,
I recall the bridge as I cross it again.
It seems the hills and rivers have been waiting,
The flowers and willows all are selfless now.
The field is sleek and vivid, thin mist shines,
On soft sand, the sunlight's colour shows it's late.
All the traveler's sorrow fades away,
What better place to rest than this?

Tu Fu


Some days
there is nothing I want to say.
Then it is good
to remain
I long to reach out
and say:
to you
my friends.
And so a picture,
a flower,
a quote.
Will be the token
I leave here for

Thank YOU so much for taking the time to visit today!
ALOHA, cloudia