No Aloha

Makalahilahi Point
[Makalahilahi Point, filtered with photo app after the fact]

I don’t understand all the hoopla over the movie Aloha. I have not seen the movie but then, neither had anyone else when this all started. It seems because the main character looked too haole (white) and not Hawai’ian enough, it was deemed a bad movie. What these people don’t seem to understand is that that is part of the movie’s premise.

There was also a lot said over the use of the word Aloha itself, although it has been pointed out that anyone can open a business of any ilk (pest control, escort service) and call it Aloha-Whatever and it’s okay.

The same people bashing the movie Aloha swoon over Hawaii Five-0. Now it seems to me that H50 is nothing about what life is actually like in Hawaii. We don’t have police shoot-outs every week and there aren’t crazy car chases in Waikiki (well, maybe that one).

Even worse, they film only in the best of the best neighborhoods. You will never ever see Steve McGarrett driving down Dillingham Blvd. or Waialae Avenue. They just aren’t glitzy enough. But it’s where us real locals live. And work. And drive.

So what I see is that Cameron Crowe made an honest movie about honest people and Hawaii Five-0 makes glitz. And because Crowe was honest, he gets knocked around for it.

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Iselle and Julio…

Storm a comin'
[Storm over Palolo]

This is my first hurricane watch. I don’t know what to think about it. So far there’s been a lot of hype. A lot of people are hoarding things they wouldn’t normally keep on hand – like a year’s supply of toilet paper. I’m not sure why they think they need so much. Maybe they’re going to TP someone’s house after the storm.

I’m not normally one of those emergency preparedness people. I don’t stock up, don’t keep supplies on hand. I have what I have. The news reports got to me though and I hit Walmart to pick up a few canned goods and a flashlight. I use my phone as a flashlight but if there’s a power failure I don’t want to waste my phone battery on the flashlight. So I go down the camping aisle and there’s not a single real flashlight left. All they had were kids’ Disney flashlights. They also had five hand-crank flashlights. I picked one up and was looking at the package, trying to decide if it was worth it, and when I looked back up, all the rest were gone. I put it in my cart just to be safe. I guess now I’m a hoarder.

The one thing I am worried about is loss of power. I’ve heard that the last hurricane that hit – Iniki back in 1992 – left power out in some parts for 5 days. I’m hoping our electrical grid is a little more advanced now, though I have my doubts.

Living in Hawaii…

2011-10-30 (1) Early morning - Diamondhead & Waikiki from Makakilo
[Sunrise from Makakilo]

Living in Hawaii has its ups and its downs. It is a lush land, full of natural beauty. The beaches are warm and inviting. The mountains are green and thick with vegetation. Even the people are, for the most part, friendly and ready to accept a stranger as ohana (Hawaiian for family).

As a newly-minted citizen of the state, it is sometimes hard to engage in conversations with those that grew up on Oahu. (I hesitate to use the term “Native” because one can be white, Japanese, or Filipino as well as Native Hawaiian and have grown up here on the island.) I often find myself left out of conversations just because I wasn’t born and raised here. I’m not shunned or ignored, exactly, but when the conversation turns to “Where did you grow up?”, they don’t want to know about my California white-bread suburban upbringing. They’re talking local. “You know where such-and-such store used to be?” and the conversation goes on without me because I have no idea where they’re talking about.

Today at lunch, someone standing behind me asked that question. I felt myself getting excited. “Me?” I thought. “You want to know about me?” I stood up straighter, pushed my shoulders back, and prepared to answer. When I turned around, I saw he was talking to someone else. “Ah,” my inner self said. “Of course it wasn’t you.” Instant deflation. My shoulders dropped back down, my spine curved, and I turned back to my food. I felt like a fool for thinking someone might be interested in me, an old haole from the mainland.

Hawaii Five-0 a Blessing?

P12-03-11_19.40
[Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park: 2011 Christmas Light Parade, Honolulu (My camera died so I was using my crappy phone. Trust me, it’s them.)]

As anyone in the modern world knows, the television show Hawaii Five-0 shoots on location here on Oahu. They are beginning shooting for the next season (2014-15) and streets get blocked, tourists gawk at the trucks (actors are a rare sight), and one entrepreneur sells t-shirts from the trunk of his car.

Tuesday, we had the ‘pleasure’ of them shooting a scene in front of the building where I work. As I drove in on this two lane street, half of it was taken up by their large equipment trucks and traffic was blocked up across the other side of the cross street. I dreaded the congestion our building and small parking lot would face throughout the day, but my fears were unfounded as the trucks were packed up and gone by 9:00am.

The next day I read in the newspaper that there was a blessing ceremony for the new season held down at the Honolulu Zoo. Now, I’m wondering… how they can shoot early morning scenes at one end of Waikiki and a couple of hours later have a blessing ceremony for the first shots of the new season at the other end of Waikiki?

I guess if you want the media and the tourists to show up, you schedule the blessing ceremony a little bit later and at a more accessible location…