What the Heck?
What's under that kilt?
This weekend in Kapiolani Park is the 25th Annual Scottish Festival. Among the Highland Games will be a kilted mile run. The Hawaiian Scottish Society provides lightweight athletic kilts to all willing runners, says vice chieftain Stephen Craven. And what do you wear under an athletic kilt? According to recent studies, says Craven, two-thirds of Scots wear "nothing but their Scottish pride." In America, he says, the percentages are reversed.
Time Flies: Spotted at Chinatown's Little Village was an informal KGMB alumni association: Jan Dawson and Rodney Shimabukuro, now at KITV; Dan Schmidt, now at KHNL; Gary Nomura, now at Bishop Museum; and independent producers Robert Pennybacker and Phil Arnone.
Arnone and Pennybacker are hard at work on a TV special on the Honolulu Centennial, to air on KGMB in June. The special will cover 100 years of history in 90 minutes -- less than a minute a year. "Fortunately, some of those were awfully dull years," laughs Arnone.
UV Striptease? The show begins with dancers being tied up in ropes, which is supposed to be some sort of Homeric reference. It moves to a bed where eight dancers seem to defy gravity. Before you're done, there's an underwater love duet and a strip tease under ultraviolet light.
This can't be anything besides the new production from the Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre. Called Electric Blue, the show debuts April 21 at the Hawaii Theatre. It's not going to be dull. I didn't even mention the 10 tons of sand.
Big Talk: Cooking up a storm last weekend were two culinary giants -- Sam Choy and Paul Prudhomme. After taping a segment for "Sam Choy's Kitchen," Prudhomme helped Choy whip up a benefit dinner at Sam Choy's Diamond Head for victims of the Katrina and Kauai floods.
When someone mentioned that the two chefs were larger than life, Prudhomme, who's slimmed down from 550 pounds to a svelte 220, just chuckled. "We're still larger than life should be," he said.
Let's Call It Gray Nene: A great week for Daniel KenKnight of Oahu Ethanol. Gas stations here have started pumping ethanol blends, and HECO announced its intention to use locally produced ethanol to generate electricity.
There's one sidelight that's been overlooked. Once you produce fuel-grade ethanol, it's also possible to produce what's called potable ethanol. What's potable ethanol? With a little tweaking, it's vodka. Says KenKnight, "Yes, the idea of a Hawaii vodka has its attractions."
Child's Play: Robert Cazimero's halau, Na Kamalei, wanted to throw him a surprise birthday party last week. They left it up to Hawaii Theatre manager Burton White to lure him to Dave & Buster's.
Dave & Buster's? "Robert's hard to trick," says White, "but this was easy. We love video games. Both of us are 50-something going on 12."
In addition to video games, the evening's entertainment was a rough cut of a documentary on the halau's triumphant return to Merrie Monarch. It was shot by Lisette Marie Flanary, whose 2003 film, "American Aloha: Hula Outside Hawaii," was a New York Times Critics' Pick.
Run Time: Dashing into town next week will be Elise Allen. A TV writer, her avocation is traveling around the country to run marathons, which, she admits, is a "crazy sort of vacation."
Her book, "The Traveling Marathoner," is due out this week from Fodor's. It's filled with travel and race details for the 12 best American marathons, one for each month. Her December pick: The Honolulu Marathon.
"Hawaii? December? I'd go if it was the lousiest marathon on the planet," she says. Fortunately, it's not. "It takes the best care of its runners."
Afghan Hand: Gary "The Gem Hunter" Bowersox has lived in Hawaii for nearly 40 years -- sort of. He's spent 10 or 11 months each year traveling, often to Afghanistan, where he seeks out remote emerald and ruby mines.
Starting this month, he settles down a little, opening a Gem Hunters salon in the Waikiki Galleria Office Tower. Check out his desk; its top is all lapis lazuli, 300 pounds worth.
Bowersox knows Afghanistan as well as any American. And, he says, there's no secret that Osama Bin Laden is still nearby in Pakistan, with an army of at least 1,000. "That's pretty hard to keep hidden," he says.
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