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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hawaiian Style
When I was a kid, New Year’s Eve was a chance for the adults to play poker and the kids to play with explosives. My older cousins were the Martha Stewarts of pyrotechnics. “Okay, all we need is spray paint, baking soda, and Pop Rocks.” Then at midnight, the annual lighting of a string of firecrackers so long it finished on Valentine’s Day. Then we’d ice the finger blisters and begin the New Year with hope, anticipation, and partial hearing loss.
But let’s come back to the now and talk about some highlights for Hawaii people in the year 2004:
HAWAII, A PRESIDENTIAL BATTLE GROUND Both candidates made 11th hour runs at Hawaii’s four electoral votes. John Kerry sent his daughter to speak on Oahu, which is amazing when I realize my father won’t even send me to get his dry cleaning. On the other side Dick Cheney took time out from running the country to speak in Honolulu. Just after midnight. Apparently he was going after the Zippy’s late shift employee vote. He then went to Wave Waikiki for ‘Trip-Hop-Techno-Rave’ night and did some serious mosh pit.
HAWAIIAN-AMERICAN IDOL Simon of “American Idol” (the show that shoulders the blame for Clay Aiken’s fame) told Hawaii born singer Jasmine Trias that she better hope Hawaiians have many cell phones. We did. We voted with cell phones, land lines, internet, morse code, and smoke signals, putting Jasmine in the top three. The 16 year old is an amazing talent who represented the homeland well, and she will get free karaoke bar pupus for life.
TIMMAAAYY! Of all the quarterbacks that have played college football, none have thrown for more yards than University of Hawaii's Timmy Chang. He set the record in this his senior year, capping off a great career as Warrior QB. He is also the only person ever to play Division I football with the last name “Chang”, which in English means “Smith”.
I MISS MAGNUM “Lost”, “Hawaii", and “North Shore” all debuted in 2004, and all are filmed in Hawaii. Sadly, the show that’s doing the best (“Lost”) is the one that doesn’t admit it’s in Hawaii. It is the story of people stranded in a strange exotic land constantly in danger of attack by mysterious inhabitants, which is exactly the same plot as the time I fell asleep on the bus and woke up in Nanakuli. “Hawaii” is the perfect combination of dead people, palm trees, and “Walker Texas Ranger” style dialogue. It’s what CSI would be if they had no budget. And “ North Shore ”… don’t get me started.
15 YEAR OLD GOLF JEDI Michelle Wie took golf by storm with a dominant presence all while attending high school at Punahou. Yes, high school. As in sophomore. Here’s a sample conversation from her day:
STUDENT: “I totally aced the trigonometry test!”
MICHELLE: “Oh, really. I’m one of the greatest golfers in the world.”
LETS GO BOWS The UH Rainbow Wahine Volleyball team went undefeated in the regular season. Then went defeated in the NCAA tournament. Still, it was a great season and Dave Shoji and the gang should be commended. I, like every red blooded male, love watching Wahine volleyball. Mainly for the articles.
I wish you a healthy and happy 2005. If you need, I have a great finger blister medicine.
Kermet Apio was born in Hawai`i and grew up in ` Ewa Beach . A nationally-know comedian, he has performed in 44 states, at comedy festivals and on television. He was also a regular on KUOW’s “Rewind” before Bill Radke left for greener pastures. Kermet makes his home in Seattle and returns to Hawai`i regularly to perform and visit family.
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