Today, I'm serving the pupu sampler instead of the plate lunch. This week's column is a mixed bag - several unrelated topics, none of them meaty enough to fill this space alone, but hopefully, tasty and satisfying nonetheless.
Topic No. 1: "Maui Connections"
When Rick Chatenever retired from his longtime role of Maui News entertainment and features editor last year, I mourned the loss of his Maui Scene column, "Making the Scene." An occasional moviegoer at best, I appreciated Rick's style of film review: informative and insightful, with none of the "hipper-than-thou" attitude that so many critics exude. And I liked the way he would use the movie of the week as a springboard to stories closer to home, sharing his mana'o like an old friend over a cup of coffee.
In last week's debut of his new column, Rick mentioned that 20 years on Maui does not an old-timer make. Perhaps not, but it's ample time to connect deeply with the place and the people he obviously loves. I look forward to reading about those "Maui Connections" with my Tuesday morning coffee.
Welcome back home, Rick!
Topic No. 2: Bruno Mars
Even in 2011, when Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, I didn't pay too much attention to Bruno Mars. As pleased as I was to see a young local boy rise to international fame, I figured he was the flavor of the month in the fickle world of pop music. In my mind, he was still 5-year-old Bruno Hernandez, introduced to Hawaii media in 1990 as the world's youngest Elvis impersonator. I remember seeing him on TV with his dad; not only was "Little Elvis" impossibly adorable, the kid was good.
Well, he's still cute and charismatic, but he's grown way beyond "good." His electrifying halftime performance last Sunday gave me chicken skin. To think that this world-class performer was born and raised in Hawaii, the product of a musical family and a public school education (he graduated from Roosevelt, which also counts Alfred Apaka and Yvonne Elliman among its alumni), my inner tita was bursting with pride.
The rest of me was filled with concern for Bruno's band, instruments in hand, executing those high-energy synchronized dance moves. I was afraid someone would have a heart attack, especially after the Red Hot Chili Peppers bounded onstage. I mean, those guys are MY age! By the time the set climaxed with all of them jumping around, my own heart was racing.
OK, so maybe the pounding in my chest was due to my deep appreciation for good-looking, smooth-moving, old-school funk musicians. I'm a sucker for fancy footwork and gold lame jackets. So what? It was a fabulous, super show, and Bruno proved himself worthy of all the pregame hype.
Topic No. 3: Kendama
I love it when old things become new again. Like the resurgence of milk covers during my son's childhood, the popularity of kendama reassures me that, despite their sophistication, today's high-tech kids can still appreciate simple pleasures.
I never got the hang of kendama myself. I was much better at Kabonkers, the pair of brightly colored, hard-as-rock resin balls that we'd clack together by swinging the connecting cord. I had the bruised forearms and bumps on my head to prove my dedication to the sport. My favorite ball-on-a-string toy, however, was the one that attached to your ankle for a game similar to jump-rope. The object was to get the ball into orbit around one foot while jumping over the cord with the other. I can't remember what it was called, but I'm pretty sure it was made by Wham-O. Which is the sound I'd make hitting the ground, after getting tangled up in the ball-propelled string.
Topic No. 4: Procrastination
I've been meaning to write about this for some time now, but . . .
I've been a procrastinator for most of my life. My son is the same way, although I had high hopes for him when he was born nearly four weeks before his predicted due date. That turned out to be the first and last time either of us finished anything a month ahead of schedule.
I suppose I should be more aggressive about conquering procrastination. It's not something I'm proud of; on the other hand, I'm not really ashamed of it either. In fact, I believe my tendency to put things off until the last minute has enhanced my ability to cope with the stress of deadlines. I've given myself no other choice than to perform under pressure. Sure, you could point out that I wouldn't have any stress to cope with if I stopped procrastinating, but I disagree. And one of these days, I'll come up with a good argument to prove my point.
* Kathy Collins is a performance artist, broadcaster and freelance writer whose "Sharing Mana'o" column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is email@example.com.