What the Heck?
Weenies meet Bikinis on Maui
Maui's Jon Farmer came up with the idea of selling tourists Hawaiian air in a bottle. Now he's back with a new brainstorm, Weenies and Bikinis. From carts in Kahului and Lahaina, he's selling Uncle Louie's hot dogs, including a $20 haute dog made from Kobe beef. The carts are a hit because they're staffed by women in bikini tops. Notes Farmer: "I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I've become the Hooters of hot dogs."
Delayed Reaction: Deprived of their usual venue at the Ilikai and weary from months of traveling, the Makaha Sons are not doing their annual Christmas concert. Instead, tonight they're producing a concert featuring 10 other artists at the Hawaii Theatre. "Don't they know it's easier to be in a show than produce one?" a veteran producer asked me. When I relayed that question to the Sons' Jerome Koko, he said, "Wish he'd told us that a month ago."
Relative Difficulty: On her day off from TV news, KHON's Gina Mangieri brought trays of Starbucks to the teachers at the Cole Academy. That's the preschool Mangieri founded and named after son Cole, now 2 1/2. With the school up and running, Mangieri's glad to be back in full-time journalism. "I'll go for coffee," she said. "But I couldn't do what the teachers do all day. Child care is the one job that makes being a reporter look easy."
More Models: The news that "two guys from L.A." bought Sri and Ruz Rusden's More Models agency sent a frisson of alarm through Honolulu's fashion folk. Fears were laid to rest when fashionistas met the new owners at a party last weekend. "Hell, we're both originally from the Midwest. How L.A. can we be?" said Dave Palomares, who's from Chicago. Partner Tom Fanning is from St. Louis.
The guest list included Patrick Gey of Fendi, Anna Fishburn of Anna Fishburn Casting, Gary Skinner of Mango Moon, JoDee Gines of PinkC, and haircutter-to-the-rich-and-beautiful Davis Nguyen.
Bringing life to the party were the two dozen More Models strutting about. Fitness model Angel Teves, 5'4", emceed the evening and kept telling the taller models not to stand next to her. Kamakoa Page turned some heads in a Christmas outfit that featured a white miniskirt, a red lace top and a Santa hat.
I thought my evening had peaked when a beautiful 5'10" model with flowing blond hair walked up to me, smiled and appeared to know who I was. "Don't you recognize me?" she said finally. "I'm Zoe Morrison, Paige's friend." And, yes, like my daughter Paige, she's a junior at Punahou.
Even More Models: With their agency sold, what's up with former owners Sri and Ruz Rusden? I got Sri on the phone. "I was out pulling weeds," she said. "It's a relief not to be glamorous."
Glamour may not be absent from the Rusdens for long. Their 17-year-old daughter Rain is already one of the islands' hottest models. Rain takes off this summer to try her luck in New York and Europe, with mom in tow. "She's not going without me," says Sri, who lived through the New York modeling scene in her younger days. "I'm watching her every minute."
Deck the Malls: If you're still searching for that perfect gift, legendary jeweler Harry Winston opens tomorrow at Ala Moana Center. On display will be one of the firm's signature "holly wreath" necklaces. A seasonally appropriate gift, it's made from 215 diamonds, for a total weight of 84.15 carats. Price available on request, but if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
If You Can't Afford Harry Winston: The Hawaii Kai Costco has for sale a $31,599.99 two-carat diamond ring. Make sure to show the receipt on the way out.
Back at the Pole: Big metal poles reinforcing the ceiling have reappeared in the dining room of Murphy's Bar & Grill. The landlord was supposed to have fixed the problem during renovation last August. Murphy's has made the best of the setback, twining the poles with red ribbons and Christmas tree boughs. Laughs bartender Jonathan Schwal- benitz, "Maybe we just should have left them alone and hired pole dancers."
A Christmas Thought: On Thanksgiving weekend, the Star-Bulletin ran a front page story on Sharon Black. Black and her volunteers bring food each Saturday to a downtown park and feed anyone who's hungry. After the Thanksgiving story appeared, Black had 100 volunteers and plenty of provisions. But the following Saturday, she had only three volunteers and food ran out.
"Thanksgiving and Christmas, there's lots of generosity," says Black. "But people are hungry every day, not just holidays." Her suggestion for your holiday charitable impulses: Fast food coupons. "We can give those out after the holidays are over." Her number: 398-6665.
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