Monday, March 26, 2012

Prince Kuhio Day

Today is Prince Kuhio Day.

This is a state holiday in honor of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole. It is celebrated annually on March 26, to mark the birth of Prince Kuhio— heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii, prince of the House of Kalakaua, and later territorial delegate to the United States Congress. As Delegate, Kuhio authored the first Hawaii Statehood bill in 1919. He also won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act, creating the Hawaiian Homes Commission and setting aside 200,000 acres of land for Hawaiian homesteaders.

It is one of only two holidays in the United States dedicated to royalty, the other being Hawaii's King Kamehameha Day on June 11.

This morning over coffee I wanted to read up on Kuhio, if for nothing other than to pay homage to the man that gave me the day off of work.

Kuhio was an interesting character. In 1893 the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii put in power a Provisional Government of Hawaii and latter a Republic of Hawaii. This overthrow was instigated by the Big Five or as Stuart McKenzie would say The Pentaverate, and no Colonel Sanders is not one of them. The Big Five was a group of English and American Businessmen who wanted more control over Hawaii. The new Republic of Hawaii no longer had room for monarchs.

In 1895 Kuhio went on to fight in the rebellion against the Republic but the rebels proved no match for the Republic. Kuhio was sentenced to a year in prison. He served his full sentence.

In 1898 the the United States annexed Hawaii and the Territory of Hawaii was formed.

Kuhio and his wife left Hawaiʻi upon his release from prison and traveled widely in Europe, where they were treated as visiting royalty. He traveled to Africa from 1899 to 1902 where he joined the British Army to fight in the Second Boer War.

Kuhio eventually returned from his self-imposed exile to take part in politics in post-annexation Hawaii. He became active in the Home Rule Party of Hawaii , which represented native Hawaiians and continued to fight for Hawaiian independence. A much smaller Democratic party, led by his brother David Kawananakoa, was less radical and also less powerful. The Republicans represented business interests including people who had originally overthrown the Monarchy.

In 1901 Kuhio switched parties and joined the Republicans. He was disillusioned with the lack of progress made by the Home Rule Party, and its control by "radicals". The Republicans eagerly accepted him into the fold. By endorsing the heir to the throne of the Hawaiian kingdom they gained significant support in local communities, and Kuhio was given a strong leadership position.

Kuhio was elected delegate to the U.S. Congress in a landslide victory for the Republicans, and helped establish a Republican hold on the legislature. He served from March 4, 1903 until his death, winning a total of ten elections. During this time he instituted local government at the county level, creating the county system still used today in Hawaiʻi. He staffed the civil service positions that resulted with Hawaiian appointees. In 1919, Kuhio introduced in Congress the first-ever Hawaii Statehood Act. It would be another 40 years before seeing fruition.

Kuhio died on January 7, 1922.

Friday, March 23, 2012

WTF Hawaii!

So it's my husband's birthday today. (Happy Birthday, honey.) And he wanted to go to a movie which is like a really big deal because he's not really into movies.

So my son and I are totally excited for the Hunger Games, being huge Suzanne Collins fans, (we love Gregor) but my husband had other ideas, and well, it is his birthday and all, so he gets to choose, right?

So what does he want to see? Casa de Mi Padre, the newest Will Farrell movie.

(Because we love all things Mexican.)

So Casa opened on Thursday so we're all, "Yay let's go to a movie!" So we look up show times and discover what?? No listings? It's not playing anywhere? How can that be? After we double check the release date we come to the realization that Casa de Mi Padre is not playing anywhere on our islands.

Now I know that we have a shortage of Latinos (and all things wonderfully mexican) here in Hawaii, which is apparent in our lack of good mexican food and my inability to find ancho chili pepper--anywhere. But you'd think that a nationally released spanish language movie spoof would play somewhere on this island. But alas no such luck. Sorry Chad.

Days like these we really miss California.

Tan it' s mi husband' cumpleaños de s hoy. (Feliz cumpleaños, miel.) Y él quiso ir a una película que es como realmente una gran cosa porque he' s no realmente en películas.

Tan mi hijo y soy totalmente emocionado para los juegos del hambre, siendo ventiladores enormes de Susana Collins, (amamos Gregor) solamente mi marido tenía otras ideas, y bien, es su cumpleaños y todo, así que él consigue elegir.

¿Qué él quiere tan ver? Casa de Mi Padre, la más nueva película de Farrell de la voluntad.

Las casas se abrieron tan el jueves tan we' con referencia a todos, let' yay; ¡s va a una película! ¿Miramos tan para arriba tiempos de la demostración y descubrimos lo que?? ¿Ningunos listados? It' ¿s que no juega dondequiera? ¿Cómo puede eso ser? Después de que comprobemos la fecha de lanzamiento con minuciosidad venimos a la realización que Casa de Mi Padre no está jugando dondequiera en nuestras islas.

Ahora sé que tenemos una escasez de Latinos aquí en Hawaii, que es evidente en nuestra carencia del buen alimento mexicano y de mi inhabilidad de encontrar la pimienta de chile del ancho--dondequiera. Pero you' d piensa que una parodia nacionalmente lanzada de la película de la lengua española jugaría en alguna parte en esta isla. Pero alas ninguna tal suerte. República eo Chad apesadumbrado.

Los días como éstos faltamos realmente California.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Paradise in Paradise

Turtles, turtles, turtles.

So I have always had a strange fascination with turtles and tortoises. When my kids were young I bought every picture book I could find about these curious green creatures. I often visited the Santa Barbara Zoo, just to see my friends in the tortoise enclosure.

Since moving to Oahu I have made it a mission to scour the island for close encounters of the turtle kind. My absolute favorite place for turtles is Paradise Cove. I'm not sure what it is exactly that draws these underwater allies to this tiny little cove. It may have something to do with the fact that Paradise is the only naturally occurring cove in all of Ko Olina Resort. After all Paradise Cove is where they got the idea for all the "man-made" coves that those overpriced resorts are perched on. Don't get me wrong, on occasion you may swim across a turtle in one of the other coves, but Paradise Cove never disappoints.

I think it may have something to do with the tiny little parking lot. There are about twelve parking spaces and usually a line of at least three cars waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the next available spot. We just park across the street at the store. But limited parking means limited tourists, and maybe the turtles appreciate this.

Today there were at least seven turtles cruising around the lagoon, including Half-swimmer, lovingly named because one of his fins was stolen by a shark or a fishing net. We spent nearly four hours swimming and sunning with the turtles. They aren't shy at all. If you wade into the shallows don't be frightened if a few huge dark rocks start swimming towards you. They're just coming over to say hello and to welcome you to their ocean. If you're in the area you should stop by and say hello.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trash in Paradise

So when we first moved into our place here in Ewa Beach and we were busy renovating and hooking up services, I stumbled upon a beautiful discovery. It all happened during a phone call to the refuse department. You see I wanted to make sure, that along with water, electricity and cable, that our trash would also be whisked away in a timely manner. So I was on the phone with the nice lady from City and County of Honolulu, asking about transferring services to our name when she said the funniest thing.

"So there's not a can there?"

I said, "Well yes there is a can here-"

"Then use it," she interrupted.

I said, "Well, I just wanted to transfer the service and fee to our name."

She laughed and replied a little sarcastically, "There is no fee. Trash and recycling is free of charge. It's fairly simple, you just put the can out in the road."

Now to say I heard angels singing, would not be an understatement. Here in paradise where everything costs about four and a half times more than it does back in the mainland I was a little shocked to discover that this particular service was provided to the entire community, free of charge. How can this be? I was expecting upwards of about $80 bucks a month, considering the last time we lived in Cali, about 15 years ago we were paying $60 bucks a month for trash, and what with inflation and this being Hawaii, well lets just say that maybe I'm still hearing those angels sing.

But wait, there's more. Once a month there is a bulky item pickup as well. Also free. Where you can leave all matter of large trash items, appliances, old beds, the entire contents of evicted tenants apartments, on the side of the road for... not so speedy removal. And I guess you could say, maybe some people don't really know when the trucks will be by to pick up said trash, and maybe those ginormous piles hang out for upwards of two weeks, just waiting.

But hey, to a compulsive purger like myself, I only see it as a positive. As I drive by the piles of trash, I can only think to myself, "Good for you, getting rid of all that crap."

The annoying thing is when you discover old sofas, or other bags of trash deposited in the shrubbery of Hau Bush, or a giant discarded pool table on the isolated road out to Iroquois Point.

What?! Really?!

Why would someone drive these things out into the middle of nowhere where they will not be picked up instead of leaving them on their street or better yet dropping them off at the dump, which is also free? Lame.

But idiots aside, free trash is pretty awesome.

I think it may be in part because Hawaii burns it's trash to create our energy. Yeah, we dump tons of diesel fuel on it and bam! Overpriced electricity. Wait a minute. Maybe our free trash isn't so free after all.

There I go again. Damn it.