Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Heart Knows the Way. . .

Aloha & Welcome to Summery

W A I K I K I !

"Your mind does not know the way. Your heart has already been there. And your soul has never left it. Welcome HOME."

- Emmanuel via Ram Dass

When you are looking with love. . . then you see lovely people everywhere. . .

"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security."

- John Allen, Mathematician

A gruff person with a good heart is better to be around than a cold selfish person observing norms of politeness. . .

The road to hell is paved with false dichotomies. . .

A L O H A !

. . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

40 Year Summer Anniversary

Welcome to. . .
Waikiki?click on photos to enlarge

Can't believe I saved it all these years.

(Disclaimer: I was under age though somewhat emancipated)

"There is a way to look at the past. Don't hide from it. It will not catch you if you don't repeat it."
Pearl Bailey

Hawaiian Skies over me

“An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.”
Oscar Wilde

First Filament BURSTING OUT

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Sophia Loren

Yes, that's a hotel room safe on the curb.
Make up your own caption ;-)

It seems to be a Summer of Anniversaries.

Fifty Years of Hawaii Statehood.
40 years since the Stonewall Uprising

Forty years since Woodstock.

40 ****ing years?!!!!!!!!!!!

I should post this in August but
40 ****ing Years?!

I remember selling macrame` belts to boutiques for my ticket money.
I remember the BUZZ that THIS was gonna be a "gathering of the tribes" and a do NOT miss event!

Arriving at the site late on Thursday night it was too dark to see much.
We slept on the ground.

But Friday morning was a bursting, bustling SEA of cars and humanity.

I'd never seen so many people in one place(OK, maybe Grand Central Station)
but certainly never so many freaks!

(Only Time magazine, and news people, and the 'out of it' called us hippies)

Bob Segar struck a chord that still resonates down the corridor of years:
"Always seem outnumbered, don't dare make a stand,
Same old cliches: 'Is that a woman or a man?"

It took real courage to let your freak flag fly.

But this was freak utopia.
The few cops looked surrendered and happy and just kept the cars safely flowing even as random people (like me) hitched rides on hoods and trunks along the slow moving line of cars. Joints were smoked freely under the open sky, even sincerely offered to cops who declined smiling. Some people were topless, others muddy, and/or nude. Everyone looked HAPPY!

The cops acted like real peace officers. Locals told the press: "They're good kids." The cops treated us like citizens (instead of prey) for once. What else could they do, but still.
It was a peaceful metropolis under the sky, no fights, no attitude, just unbelieving bliss.

The radios in the cars reported that the New York State Thruway was closed!

"We closed the highway, man!"

"Maybe they got us all together in one place to bomb us."

It looked like the end of the world as we knew it and it felt fine indeed!

The disorientation and sensory overload of being amidst so many folks in quasi-disaster conditions made me feel high,
plus we hadn't brought food in expectation of buying it.
But fences were flat, services overwhelmed and not set up.
We sucked on those English flavored cigarette papers popular back then.

Campers shared food. We got by somehow.
I still have my ticket because no one needed one. Free show, Man!
Free was a big concept then: bartering,
Whole Earth Catalogue self-sufficiency, communes....
A shop in West Philly at the time was called "The Free People's Store" which had a " free shelf" to challenge the whole idea of consumerism. Those folks were interesting and later morphed into Urban Outfitters, right Richard?

I can still see that ocean of people, and "feel" that ride on the snaking line of cars as the cops directed traffic good-naturedly.

I remember meeting people from all over the country.

I remember seeing my first Hawaii License plate. (Hawaii!)

I remember the music way way WAY over the sea of people,
and the helicoptered bands landing.

I remember me and my friends being overwhelmed by the throng and leaving on Saturday...but I never tell that part.....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Never Did This Before. . . Really!

Welcome to
Virtual Waikiki A lens masterpiece by Ted Trimmer (c)
Right here in Waikiki

"Reality is nothing but a collective hunch."
Lily Tomlin
Love that rustic door pull!
King Street, Honolulu

"To love for the sake of being loved is human, But to love for the sake of loving is angelic."
Alphonse Marie Louis de Lamartine

Ah, A shower at the end of the day!
Yes, that's my actual shower.

"We all leave footprints in the sand, the question is, will we be a big heel, or a great soul."
Source Unknown

Poet, blogger, and urban rude-boy, Walking Man at:


Tagged me with a meme.

And though I have never participated in those sorts of goings-on before, it seems a lazy, hazy time of relaxation and gimcrackery like today might be just the time to take a break for some fun.

So here's "Times Four"

Four Movies You Can See Over and Over

"Once Upon a Time In America" Sergio Leone

"The Trouble With Angels" Hailey Mills

"Avalon" Barry Levinson

"Public Enemy" St. Jimmy Cagney

Four Places You Have Lived




Mostly in my head

Four TV Shows You Love(d) to Watch

Bill Mawr

TCM Movies all day & night/Sporanos

The Avengers / Honey West

30 Rock/NYPD Blue

Four Places You Have Been on a Vacation





Four of your favorite foods

Dim Sum


Lomi Salmon wit da rice / Hawaii "Plate Lunch"

AUTHENTIC Deli / New Jersey Diner

I'm sure that I'm forgetting important items...glad this is just a game.



You're IT!

Aloha Cloudia

Friday, June 26, 2009

Slaying Dragons

A l o h a !
Come relax a spell
here in
WAIKIKI "Put something silly in the world

That ain't been there before."

Shel Silverstein

Hometown Hero

Here Be Dragons

I found a poem,

translated from the Chinese by fellow blogger Teresa, http://wwwwhitechinese.blogspot.com/

that really spoke to me after this week's spectacle of frail human beings being confronted by seemingly over-mastering forces like their governments or the economic situation.

There is, I have learned, something stronger than mere apparent worldly power. That when a final accounting occurs, slain heroes will be honored, even as bullies are at last shamed and punished.

And somehow, that "final accounting" is not far off, but very real and alive even here & now. The Kingdom is indeed at hand. When we reach out we can feel it:


By Jiang Pinchao

Translated by Teresa Zimmerman-Liu

Edited by Brian E. HansenPublished in June Fourth Tiananmen Massacre Twentieth Anniversary Memorial Booklet

In the tree-breaking storm
you cared for the flowers
among the thistles in my path.
You did not avoid the thorns but
threw petals before me.
In my difficulties
I was lonely,
I needed understanding and support.
Your handshakegave me what I lacked.
We did not speak at our solemn parting but
your eyes brimmed with pity, love, sorrow.

High walls, electric fences, guard towers,
blocked the desolate road ahead,
machine guns aimed at my thoughts, but
I know my responsibility.

When I am lost
I will remember your eyes.
When I feel lazy,

I will recall your hand’s touch.

I will remember.
I will rejoice.
I will ponder.
I will fight.

In this desolate wilderness
when life gave me a bitter drink
you allowed me to taste sweetness.
On this precipitous mountain roadwhere some would cut off my freedom
you whispered, “They are evil.”
On a freezing winter night
when history would lock me in a cold prison
you gave me a flame for warmth.

At the end of my life
I will have a rich harvest.
On this glorious journey
history will see a new dawn.
My fatherland will see
a day of democracy, a day of freedom,
a day of prosperity, and
I know this new day

will come because of you
because of your handshake.
As a zealous patriot for my fatherland
I etch your name
into the corner of our memorial.

March 23, 1990, Hanyang, China

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chai's Island Bistro

Welcome to Honolulu Harbor at Sunset!
Aloha Tower, courtesy of Chuck Painter (c)

“A tree trunk the size of a man grows from a blade as thin as a hair. A tower nine stories high is built from a small heap of earth.”
Lao Tzu

Women Warriors of WWII. Note the camouflaged Aloha Tower!

Contemporary Clouds;
like Me!

Morning Ladies!

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them,

but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of humanity."

George Bernard Shaw

No, I don't know what these birds are called.
I call them Oahu Woody Woodpeckers ;-)

"Cloudia, I loved your little book (Aloha Where You Like Go?);
I laughed, I cried, I got 'chicken skin.'" (Goose bumps)
Robert Cazimero

Tomorrow evening there will be a White House first: a Hawaiian Luau on da lawn!

My sincere admiration to Cha Thompson of Tihati productions for keeping secret this engagement of her dancers and fire knife masters until the official announcement. She looked like she won't need a plane to fly to DC.

The "Coconut wireless" has it that planners wanted to use East Coast hula dancers, but that a Local Guy (In Chief) nixed that idea in favor of bringing in the real, local performers. He can handle 16 crises AND chew gum at the same time. Our President well exemplifies the local Hawaii saying: "Cool head main thing." Yay Barack!

My luau was last night,
as Favourite Husband and those California Cattermoles took me to Chai's Island Bistro at the Aloha Tower Marketplace for a belated birthday dinner.
The Aloha Tower, a local icon, was the tallest thing in Honolulu till after WWII. Once upon a time, she greeted the Matson Liners on "Boat Day" while bands played, lei sellers displayed their fragrant wares, and kids (some of whom I met as senior citizens) dove for coins tossed into Honolulu Harbor.
The tower, though still Harbor Control Headquarters, and the docking site for the QEII and her sister cruise ships, is now home to a mixed-use "festival marketplace" like San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

Chai is a nice Thai guy who brought his palate to Honolulu some years ago and launched a successful restaurant career. His eponymous bistro is known for great food and as a place to hear world-class local talent.

Wednesdays feature the famous Cazimero Brothers, holding court and playing Hawaiian Classics as they do at their periodic Carnegie Hall concerts. But on Tuesdays the room belongs to Robert Cazimero: songwriter, vocalist, and respected Kumu Hula (hula master) who transfixes the room with his brilliant contemporary interpretations of the great Hawaii Songbook.

Alone at the piano, he effortlessly conjures a magic atmosphere. Deftly his melodious voice moves from one unique vocal interpretation to the next. "My Hawaiian Souvenirs" once recorded by beloved auntie Genoa Keawe on the old 49th State record label, is one such almost-forgotten Hapa Haole masterpiece that Robert breathes charming, fresh life into.
A single Hula dancer joins him from time to time, her expressive hands, feet, face, & body as supple and salutary as Robert's voice. During breaks, the sound system plays Hawaiian classics - including the evening's featured performer.

Can you tell I had a good time?
The food? Oh yes! I had a Pu Pu (appetizer) platter to myself (greedy girl) consisting of seared, crusted ahi (red tuna) sashimi, a diminutive crab cake (very different from the working class, Philly crab cakes of my youth) and two towering prawns wearing Summer-weight robes of spun tempura batter.

"These prawns are almost Hifumi sized!" I thought, comparing them to my favorite budget Japanese Restaurant, located (only-in-Hawaii style) at the Chinese Cultural Center. They are famous for giant shrimp tempura (and honorably stand up to the fleet of excellent Chinese eateries surrounding them).

At the end of the evening, Robert sang "Happy Birthday" to me from behind the keys. An artist I admire so much!

You know, Robert's exemplary Aloha is very much at home everywhere, at classy Chai's or blue collar Hifumi. His graciousness to the upscale patrons last night was EXACTLY the same as I've seen him lavish on near destitute patrons at a favorite Hotel Street dive around the corner from the Hawaii Theatre. The governor, an ancient, homeless drunk, or me: Robert shares his simple, profound kindness with each one.

THAT is the definition of Aloha.

He permits each one of us to be Ali`i (chiefly) for a charmed hour. The world-recognized artist treats each like a peer, spreading his kingly feathered cloak over our shoulders too. . .

Last evening will always remain one of my cherished Hawaiian Souvenirs.

I hope YOUR visits here make you feel a little of that tropical

magic too!

A L O H A! Cloudia

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dusk Friends

Aloha. . . . .
Ah! Welcome to Waikiki at Dusk
click on photos to enlarge

"Why study Buddhist texts on impermanence when I can just sit here and watch Wednesday slip away?"

Sy Safransky

"Repeat: Do NOT take the orange barrels!"

"Art is food. You can't eat it, but it feeds you."
Bread & Puppet Theater

Big Sky, Little Red Surf Board

"When your kids are young, your reactions help shape how they perceive their experiences - whether they're going to feel good or bad about what just happened. You're the sculptor of their emotional lives. We tend to tell toddlers 'No, no no' all the time. My work made me think that there needs to be more playfulness in my parenting, more emphasis on stepping back and following the child's interests."
Barbara Fredrickson

Let the child in you run free today!
Aloha, Cloudia

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just a Summer's Day

Welcome to Waikiki So glad you stopped by today!

Palolo Valley

Just musing on the summer beauty. . .

Today I brought a poem to share
with you
as I wander in a realm of sensation.
My brain works - not - right,
let's call it grief.
Flooded by memories
and the present seems like a dream. . .

Wisteria Woman
by Lisa Shields

Violet lavender drug
slipping beneath my skin,
shucking off the stale air
of too long shut in,
too long shut away
whispering to me
to breathe deep and be.
The clothes fall away
till I stand like mother Eve
two bites before the apple.
Lips blush to rose,
and the tongue tastes
of sweet tart pomegranate,
while a wisp of wind
carries hair to frame my face.
All I have been is pollen dusted,
oh the wisteria sweet
kissing deep,
till I feel the promise of fertile,
drooping fat on a vine
petals that promise nothing,
but hint at all.
A month from honeysuckle still to come,
but I can taste the nights,
raise my eyes to the mantle of sky,
suddenly clad in the skin
of every moonlit woman,
and beckoning with my being
for you to dance beneath
the far flung sky
in the arms of a Wisteria Woman

©2007, Lisa Shields

Lisa Shields resides in New Jersey.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pidgin Be Flying

Greetings, Hello, Anaseo, Shalom, Howdy, Konichiwa, Ciao, Ni Hau !Click on photos to enlarge

"Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas."

"By words the mind is winged."

Young breadfruit, or Ulu in Hawaiian
"He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel."
Francis Bacon

"Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues."
Ambrose Bierce

"There is no such thing as an ugly language. Today I hear every language as if it were the only one, and when I hear of one that is dying, it overwhelms me as though it were the death of the Earth."
Elias Canetti

"When I use a word [...] it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
Humpty Dumpty, in Through The Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

"I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my dog."
Emperor Charles V

"England and America are two countries divided by a common language."
George Bernard Shaw

Every area has it's own unique "tongue."
We can tell a lot about people by the way they speak,
or the way they "tawk."
When I was in Jamaica the patois was impenetrable, though based on the Queen's English.
Ebonics, the English spoken by some black Americans, refreshes and enlivens our language and our culture.
Cockneys, Brooklynites, Southern Belles, and Oxford dons may be distinguished by their modes of verbal communication, as may Pakistanis, and New England Yankees.
Well Hawaii is no different. We have our own indigenous way of "talking story" through the use of Pidgin, or "Hawaiian Creole English."
The other day I was in a Waikiki store behind a lady from the continental USA.
She asked the shop girl for a certain thing.
"No mo," replied the girl.
"No mo?" asked the puzzled woman.
"No," answered the local girl.
I could have told the woman that the girl was telling her there was "No more."

This is standard pidgin that we use because it is our primary tongue (and yes it is a problem in school and employment) or because it is the linguistic equivalent of comfortable slippers, or as a mark of belonging to this special community.
I look like a tourist to many local folks, even if they are fresh off the jet from Pago Pago, the Philipines, or Micronesia themselves. They way I speak, the words and the rhythm of it say: "Easy, Brah (Bruddah) or Sistah, I stay local too, eh?" When we can't think of the word for what we need we use: "Da Kine" (the kind) "Hand me da kine." And they hand it to you. You go to the neighbor to borrow a tool: "You get da kine hammer?"
We say stuffs like: "You like come?" "Can or no can?" "Stay COME Den!" (then).
In my autobiographical novel "Aloha Where You Like Go?" Pidgin is practically a character. The book's glossary contains Pidgin, Hawaiian, & Japanese words because that's the reality here. We don't have ghost stories, we have Obake (Japanese ghost) stories. If you enjoy that sort of literature, you should go to Amazon and check out books by Glenn Grant who collected TONS of this material and presented it very compellingly. You might want to buy one of his books AND mine for the complete Hawaiian STAY-cation; you can read us by the pool this Summer ;-)
Hawaii people are justifiably proud of this brilliant cultural adaptation through which those of many cultures and languages were able to communicate, and to make their contributions to the language and life of these islands.
It is important to remember that Pidgin is not Ka Olelo Hawaii, the Hawaiian language of the indigenous people, though Pidgin does seem to be based somewhat on Hawaiian grammar. A song lyric: "Nui ke aloha," literally means: "Big, the love." Contemporary Pidgin speakers will say things like: "Beeg (big) da dog!" Phrases like "Where you stay?" or "Stay come!" likely have something to do with the Hawaiian word/concept "Noho" meaning: seat, sit, reside, stay.
Through speaking Pidgin we linguistically honor our Kupuna (Hawaiian word meaning grandparents or ancestors) and their ethnicity's using borrowed Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian and English words (among others) in this daily celebration of our unique, plantation-born, "Local" culture.
"Cool head main thing." "Stay pau" (I'm finished") "Ono for some grinds?" (You hungry?) "I like go beach!" (self explanatory ;-) "Meet me pau hana." (after work) "Beeg da keiki!)" (Those/that kid/kids are getting HUGE!).
Just da way we roll here in the 808 (telephone area code for Hawaii)
Stay Come! No Worries, you going like 'um!
Laters, Cuz! Cloudia

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jack Bauer's Law

Click on photos to enlarge
"Not to know is bad. Not to want to know is worse.
Not to hope is unthinkable.
Not to care is unforgivable."
Nigerian Saying

Tuning up

It's right THERE!

Jack Bauer Law of Character Writing
"Good guys" in popular fiction (including TV & movies) break the rules to help others in peril, for the right reasons, but then they face the music and even take responsibility when wrongly accused.
"Bad Guys" break rules for their own convenience (or for the pure fun of it) and ALWAYS avoid responsibility. They lack any self awareness and always blame others.
What do YOU think?
ALOHA! Cloudia

Saturday, June 20, 2009



Welcome to Tranquil Waikiki

Click on photos to enlargeNormally, Hawaii Skies are Gentle and Pretty

In November 1962
a nuclear test on Johnston Island, 717 miles away,
lit up the skies over Honolulu.

This is the SBX / Sea Band Radar.
A few days ago it was seen leaving Pearl Harbor.
We call it "The Golf Ball."
(Can't really see the dimples in this shot from the Honolulu Star Bulletin)
It can reportedly track a golf ball-sized object several hundreds of miles away; It is used in missile defense.

Around July fourth our neighbors in North Korea will be sending one of their Taepodong Missiles over Japan and the Pacific towards


Sec Def (Secretary of Defense) Gates has ordered the positioning of the SBX and other assets to protect our islands which are reportedly within range.

No one thinks the missile is aimed at us
or will make it anywhere close.
My hubby, a former military intelligence officer,
points out that a hit on US soil
would provoke a hellacious response.

Say what you will about Obama,
War Hawks,
But he grew up here
and might resent having his
childhood home

So, all in all I'm not too worried.
As you can see above, Honolulu has had
her baptism of fire
into the ballistic age.

Sounds like some
Type - O - Dong to me!
as a child of the "Duck and Cover" generation,
I shall be prepared with all that the Cold War taught me.
In the event of attack
I shall crouch under my desk. . .
And kiss my ass goodbye.

Now it's time to watch Howdy Doody. . . .

ALOHA! Cloudia

Friday, June 19, 2009

Escape to Paradise

& Welcome to. . .
Machu Picchu? Nat'l Geographic (c)

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Henry David Thoreau

“How far away the stars seem, and how far is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart.”
William Butler Yeats

The Playground of Waikiki

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war.”

Popularized by Bob Marley in the song War

Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia

Imagine that you are a black man born into slavery in Albany New York in the Year of Our Lord 1774.

That you somehow make your way to Boston as the modern 19th Century dawns, find a job in the galley of a whaling ship, but are discovered by your "owner" while still at anchor in the harbor.

Freedom denied at the last possible moment!

Then imagine your Yankee captain, bristling at such interference in HIS affairs, brusquely paying Massa off, and allowing you to work off your debt, thus EARNING your FREEDOM as you see the world from the deck of a sailing vessel.
After 1802 you are a free man.
In 1812 you settle in the Hawaiian Kingdom of Kamehameha the Great.

Such was the early story of Anthony Allen.

But the most interesting parts of this story were yet to come.

Thanks to a historic letter, auctioned last week by Bonhams, we can thrill to his amazing tale, from a unique historic moment,

and in the words of the man himself.

Missionary Hiram Bingham wrote the letter by hand to Allen's dictation on October 11th, 1822.
Allen would live until 1835.

(Incidentally, Bingham's name-sake grandson would later discover Machu Picchu! Hence the top picture ;-)

The so called "lost letter of Anthony Allen" describes his rise from slavery in New York to freedom and land-ownership in Hawaii.
From the Bonham's catalogue:
"In 1822, Allen received a letter from a Dr. Dougal of Schenectady, New York. Dougal was the son of the family that owned Allen as a slave, and had read an article about him in the Missionary Herald. He wrote to Allen, asking him to reply describing his life during the past two decades. Touched by the letter, Allen asked the American Protestant missionaries whether one of them would be willing to act as his scribe in writing a response.
The willingness of Bingham to help Allen write was testimony to the former slave's generosity and kindness towards the missionaries. Elisha Loomis remarked of Allen that he "lives the most comfortably of any on the island - has a wife and two pretty children," and that he frequently sent gifts of potatoes, squashes, goats, and milk.
The letter reads, in part:
'Mr Dear Master, I rejoice that you have found out my residence after supposing I had been dead ... As you have written me a long and very kind letter and requested me very particularly to write to you an account of myself since I left your city, I have come to the house of the Missionaries, to get one of them to write what I wish to say to you respecting myself ... Came to the Sandwich Islands in 1811 & here came ashore with permission and lived four months with Hevaheva the high Priest of the Islands ... Capt. Davis employed me as a steward in passage from one island to another particularly to wait on the King Tamehameha & his five Queens, as I was a taboo'd man, and they would like my services the better ... The High Priest gave me a piece of land at Waititi (Waikiki!) containing about six acres, having on it a few cocoanut trees & three small houses or native huts ... Came back to these Islands in the Isabella Capt. Davis in 1812 & celebrated the 4th of July at Karakekuah (Kealakekua) a great day. - Returned from Hawaii to this Island (Oahu) & after about a fortnight I came ashore with my wages which amounted to about 150 doll., and came to live on my place with two families the people of the High Priest, belonging to the land. And here I must tell you that according to the custom of the country & the practice of some of my white neighbors who settle in these Islands I took me two wives ... Isaac David had six, and one American gentleman I could name, kept ten, for two or three years ... In 1813 I began to build me small thatched houses, I built one for a sleeping house, one for an eating house for myself and one for an eating house for my wives, for we might not eat in a sleeping house without breaking taboo. I could not eat in my women's eating house nor they in mine. I could not go into theirs nor they in mine, we could not drink ...'"The text breaks off here-
It sold for $9,150 USD inclusive of Buyer's Premium.
The document is a private treasure, but the words are free to thrill us. . .
A L O H A! Cloudia