What the Heck?
Hot party goes on amid furniture
Got to Love the French:
Chef George "Mavro" Mavrothalassitis is just back from Seattle, where he took wife Donna Jung to see the Rolling Stones, a band she loves -- and he hates. "For romance, a man must suffer a little," he says.
Furnished Room: How could the hippest cocktail party in Honolulu last weekend have been in a Pearlridge furniture store? At the invite-only gathering at INspiration Furniture, Lyle Fujioka himself was pouring the wine, helped out by KHNL's Roberta Chun.
Local jazz great Noel Okimoto played vibes, Dean Taba on bass. When singer Lisa Maria Priester belted out a few tunes, her husband, Sean, executive chef at Top of Waikiki, stretched out on a chaise, their baby, Jazz, bouncing on his stomach.
Raiatea Helm, onstage with the Symphony Pops this weekend, discussed an upcoming shoot with photographer Guy Sibilla.
Honolulu architect Matthew Gilbertson was equally excited showing off his new bride, Kristina, and his plans for the store's new design center on Kapiolani, which he insists is going to be "one sexy piece of architecture."
Cross-cultural Understanding: China's 12 Girls Band sold out the Blaisdell Concert Hall last Thursday. The young women (actually 13 of them) were picked not only for their facility on the yang qin and other ancient Chinese instruments, but for their looks. "Oh, they're beautiful," says usually unflappable promoter Tom Moffatt. "I sent my staff to pick them up from the airport, and they all came back in love."
Pidgin Never Dies: This month, Bess Press releases a 25th anniversary edition of "Pidgin to the Max." The book was a local sensation in 1981, making a celebrity out of "Peppo," author-cartoonist Doug Simonson. So what's the talented Simonson been up to the last 25 years? He's been a quiet success selling art from his Web site, which bills him as "Master of the Male Nude."
Fish Tales: The Maui eateries Pacific'O and I'o entered the Halloween Shoot-Out Fishing Tournament last week. In short order, the restaurant staff landed a 192-pound and a 214-pound ahi. Chef-owner James McDonald wasn't on the boat. "I'll skip the seasickness," he says. "Just bring me the fish and I'll cook it." It's on his menu.
The Wait: Every once in a while you catch a glimpse of what our government really thinks of its citizens.
Take 3:30 a.m. last Monday. On the sidewalk outside Kapolei Hale, a few dozen folks wait in a ragged line, some dozing, some wishing they could.
They're hoping to take a road test for a driver's license. It's possible to make an appointment, but the next available appointment anywhere on Oahu is Jan. 21. The only other alternative is to wait in the dark, hoping you'll be close enough to the head of the line when the office opens at 7:45. Then maybe you'll be given one of the few walk-in slots available.
The people near the beginning of the line all know each other. Just last Friday, they waited for hours. Didn't get a test.
This time, Ivan Hess decided to be first in line. He got here at 11 p.m., slept in a camp chair.
Behind him is Maile Drake, who drove in from Honolulu with daughter Allie. "We came at 3 a.m. Friday," she says. "This time, we were here at midnight."
"I came at 2, people were here already," says Reuben Go. "It's worse than Friday."
Behind Reuben, Ozge Adao is nervous. She ships out for Italy with husband Rob in less than 24 hours. This is her last try.
Grace Mello's near the end of the line. She had to take a bus from Nanakuli and didn't arrive until 4 a.m. "I hope, I hope," she says. "My husband's sick, can't drive anymore."
The nearest restroom is at the all-night Zippy's, almost a mile away. The city won't open the restrooms at Kapolei Hale until 7:45. "You'd think they would, with all these people," says Drake.
When the office finally opens and the line files in, Ivan rushes out for some last-minute paperwork. Nobody will go ahead of him. "Next, next," calls the clerk.
Nobody moves. "Ivan's first," someone says. These folks have bonded.
Today's better than Friday. Everyone in line by 4 a.m. gets a road test. Except Reuben Go, who's been here since 2. Reuben bought a new car a week ago. He has the transfer documents, but the clerk won't accept anything but an official registration card. "They'll mail it to you in four to six weeks," she says. "Come back then."
For others, the wait pays off. Ivan passes his test. "I didn't park too well," he says. Ozge Adao flashes a thumbs-up. She's off to Italy with a license. Maile Drake's daughter, Allie, gets her license as well. "Thank heaven," says Drake. "I'm so sick of sleeping here."
John Heckathorn's radio show, Heckathorn's Hot Plate, simulcasts weekday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. on SportsRadio1420 and sister station 1080 AM. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org