Mr. Stinky Face With Lipstick

Some of us on this blog will remember January 1, 45 BC although we will likely refer to that year as 709 A.U.C. (ab urbe condita—”from the founding of the city,” meaning Rome.)

That was the day the Julian calendar was adopted which put to a well-deserved death the earlier Roman calendar system which had gotten so screwed up that it had January falling in mid-autumn.

Here’s Augustus whose name means “month that is hotter than the gates of hell” in ancient Roman talk. The little kid is Cupid, son of Venus. This is an unsubtle reference to the claim that the Julian family was descended from the goddess Venus.

Here’s Augustus whose name means “month that is hotter than the gates of hell” in ancient Roman talk. The little kid is Cupid, son of Venus. This is an unsubtle reference to the claim that the Julian family was descended from the goddess Venus.

The Julian calendar became the predominant calendar throughout Europe for the next 1600 years until Pope Gregory reformed it in 1582. In fact, some countries adhered to the Julian calendar until well into the twentieth century. For example, the Julian calendar was used in Russia until 1917 and in China until 1949. The Eastern Orthodox Church adheres to Caesar’s calendar even to this day.

The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar and not his brother Orange, also gave us the month of August. It created the Ides of March as well which didn’t work out so great for the calendar’s namesake, but I digress.

After Julius’s grandnephew Augustus defeated Marc Antony, Cleopatra and her bodacious asp named Kim K, and became emperor of Rome, the Roman Senate decided that he should have a month named after him.

Interestingly perhaps only to me, Julius and Augustus were the only Roman fat cats who permanently had months named after them—though this wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of later emperors. May was once changed to Claudius and fiddler Nero instituted Neronius in place of April. But these changes were short lived.

So what has all this to do with a small white dog in Hawaii? Well, not much, except to note that August has been a tough month for the pup.

Max's eyes have taken a disturbing appearance ever since he scratched them. (Full disclosure: this is a shopped photo with Rodney Dangerfield's eyes. No Malt was harmed.)

Max’s eyes have taken on a disturbing appearance ever since he scratched them. (Full disclosure: this is a shopped photo with Rodney Dangerfield’s eyes. No Malt was harmed.)

In the beginning of August, Max managed to scratch both of his eyes and develop an ear infection at the same time. Always an over-achiever, the Fluffpup then chewed his little paws raw making it a perfect veterinarian trifecta.

We’re not sure how he scratched his eyes. Maybe while rocketing along the carpet in his after-bath dance or bad aim with the hind-leg-scratches-the-face-maneuver or perhaps by sticking his face in bushes seeking out the elusive sidewalk chicken bone.

Whatever the cause, the result was a big vet bill, several medicines for eyes, ears and paws and doctor’s orders to wear the cone of shame for an extended period. It was a combination of these factors, plus very hot and humid weather, that led to Max being named Mr. Stinky Face for the obvious reasons.

Cone Dog expresses his displeasure.

Cone Dog expresses his displeasure.

As a series of impotent tropical cyclones have rolled past the islands this hurricane season, the storms have cut off our usually reliable trade winds. Temps have been consistently in the low 90s and we have sweltered in our little condo home balancing the relief of air conditioning against a crushing power bill. The fragrant Malt has not been happy and the AJF hasn’t been a bowl of cherries either, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – guy in Hawaii complains of weather, break out the very tiny violins. Look, I don’t expect much sympathy but give a Malt a break. Hot, injured, afflicted with stink face and then required to parade about town with an Elizabethan collar. Oh the humanity, or huge manatee if you are in Florida.

Today, Max was scheduled to have the cone taken off for short periods of time to assess if he would be self-destructive. As we prepped for our first walk sans cone, the AJF scooped up the Pupperoni and planted a big kiss on top of his furry little noggin. That would have been fine (if a bit demonstrative for my taste) except she was going out for a lunch and had applied fresh lipstick.

Residue from the impervious lipstick. It looked much worse in real life.

Residue from the impervious lipstick. It looked much worse in real life.

No ordinary lipstick, this stuff was the cry proof, tears proof, nuclear holocaust proof concoction you see advertised on TV with cryptic names like “Rude Passion.” Yep, right on the top of Max’s head.

We tried to scrub the lip print away but to no avail. It was impervious to soap, water, dog shampoo and probably acetone and kerosene had we tried those. Of course we ran into all of Max’s friends. Everyone asked what happened since the trace of lipstick looked as though he had been clobbered by a stick.

Oh Max, you could make Augustus Caesar cry out loud.

Oh Max, you could make Augustus Caesar cry out loud.

We even ran into Uncle Fish who took one look at the doglet, gathered Max into his arms and asked accusingly, “What did you do to this dog?” I said the mark was lipstick. Fish asked if I was the one who kissed the dog. It was humiliating for all of us.

I blame Augustus Caesar. Or Julius. Or the salad. Max doesn’t care. He’s back in the cone.

Late edit: It could have been worse. From the  “dog shaming” website:

Dog shaming

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‘I Thought He Would Die’: Daughter Documents Homeless Dad’s Life

maxwellthedog:

Sometime back I wrote a story about this man and since have wondered many times what happened to him. I feared the worst. This update was very uplifting. My neighbors who read this blog will recognize him.

Here’s a link to my original blog post:

https://withinthekstreets.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/one-guy/

Apologies for not knowing how to better fit the post on to my page.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Diana is a 30-year-old O'ahu-based photographerDiana Kim was shocked to encounter her father among the homeless population she was documenting in Hawaii. Rather than turn her back on the man she barely knew, she turned her camera on him instead.

Diana is a 30-year-old O’ahu-based photographer whose love of her home, and her craft, were born from her family.

“I grew up on the island of Maui and consider the islands to be home,” said Kim. “My father owned a photography studio at one time, so my earliest introduction to photography was through him.”

But over time, Kim’s parents separated. Her father, she says, became “absent.” Kim spent years bouncing between relatives’ homes, including a few years living in parks, cars, and with friends.

“I always thought of it as ‘roughing it,’ so it didn’t really bother me,” she recalled. “My survival instincts were always strong.”

In 2003, as a student, Kim began a photo…

View original 961 more words

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A Community Of Dogs

A view from the top of our condo building with Diamond Head in the background.

A view from the top of our condo building with Diamond Head in the background.

From the top of our condo, urban Honolulu looks to be an undifferentiated mass of concrete spreading out to Diamond Head in the East and the Pacific Ocean to the South.

In reality, this sprawl is an aggregation of smaller land parcels each with a distinct flavor and character.

In the olde days (note use of extraneous “e” to signify a really long time ago), the Hawaiian people had a complex scheme for land division.

Looking out to sea from the top of our condo.

Looking out to sea from the top of our condo.

A whole island, or mokupuni, was divided in smaller parts, down to a basic unit belonging to a single family.

Each mokupuni was divided into several moku, the largest units within each island, usually wedge-shaped and running from the mountain crest to shore. O`ahu was divided into six moku.

Each moku was divided into ahupua`a, narrower wedge-shaped land sections that again ran from the mountains to the sea. Within the ahupua`a, `ili were smaller divisions (two or three per ahupua`a) that constituted the estate of the chief.

A gathering of small fluff pups and their human companions, catching up on the news of the day.

A gathering of small fluff pups and their human companions, catching up on the news of the day.

It was a particularly clever approach to establishing sustainable areas , ecosystems really, that contained all the elements needed for survival from fresh water streams and high mountain fruits and vegetables to ocean areas, fish ponds and wetlands.

Today we have neighborhoods and Honolulu is well known for the variety and distinctiveness of its ‘hoods.

Max’s neighborhood is Pawa`a in the Waikiki ahupua`a. Literally translated, Pawa`a means ‘canoe enclosure, and it is thought that canoes were brought to this area from Waikiki. According to legend, Pawa`a is also the name of an ancient chief (aliʻi) who hailed from nearby Manoa Valley.

Sophie & Prince

That’s Prince Charming (the Dogfather) on the left and Max’s crush Sophie on the right.

Pawa`a is not only the crossroads of urban Honolulu, it is a community of dogs. Our condo and all those on the same block are dog-friendly. In our dense living environment, that means a lot of dogs and we all have gotten to know each other, at least by sight, and by wave of a hand clutching the ubiquitous poo bag.

The Poodle Girls,wearing their summer frocks. Bijoux on the left and Miss Luna on the right.

The Poodle Girls,wearing their summer frocks. Bijoux on the left and Miss Luna on the right.

We have a veritable infestation of canines on our block. We have pugs and pitbulls, Lhasa Apsos and Chihuahuas, German Shepherds and Shih-Tzu galore and, of course, plentiful numbers of mixed breed “poi dogs.”

It's fun when the elevator doors open to a floor and the folks waiting are presented with a car full of dogs.

It’s fun when the elevator doors open to a floor and the folks waiting are presented with a car full of dogs. Note the deluxe footwear of dog owners.

In our condo alone there must be a couple dozen pooches and most of the time we greet each other en passant as we dutifully head to the curb, bag in hand, to await whatever gift our pet chooses to bestow. Sometimes our schedules coincide and we gather in the building’s lobby area for a Yappy Hour, a Dog Party, a mingling of fluff-pups and owners.

There’s a certain subgroup that seems to congregate. The cast includes the pretty poodles Bijoux and Luna, the mighty Dogfather Prince Charming, Max’s Lhasa Apso girlfriend Sophie, and the Malt himself. These pupperoni are a civilized gang who happily merge, transact a perfunctory sniff of each other’s rear ends and then sit on the floor with their butts targeted to their owners.

Other small dogs are welcome and from time to time Stuart Little, a Dachshund/Pomeranian mix or even Miss Kiku the champion Yorkie may be spotted. You know these pupsicles; they’ve each been featured in this silly dog blog in previous posts.

While the dogs take their leisure, the owners gab about condo events and neighborhood matters, the newest restaurants and movies, who moved in and who moved out and where the best deals are for papaya and poke. In other words, the stuff of daily life, the common speech of folks living together.

He doesn't seem distressed so I'll go with the theory that this an affectionate sleeper hold on the Malt.

He doesn’t seem distressed so I’ll go with the theory that this an affectionate AJF sleeper hold on the Malt.

Ultimately, however, chat time is over and the elevator gets packed with pooches for the return home. There, Max gets either a warm hug from his Mama or strangled, I can’t be sure what’s going on.

Whether called an ahupua`a or simply the ‘hood, these small parcels of land and life define us and we, in particular, are enriched by the company of our dogs.

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Max Checks Out the Latest K-Videos

Regular readers, and both of you know who you are, will remember that Max is fascinated with Korean movie posters and their depiction of life and love in the land below Dear Leader.

Today, our morning constitutional took us past our favorite Korean video shop so of course we took a moment to review the latest offerings.

It’s not easy being a Korean in love. Here we have a flick titled “Divorce Lawyer in Love”. The poster shows a spunky lass strangling her beau with his necktie while both grin like a cross between Charles Manson and the Cheshire Cat.

Divorce lawyer

This begs the question of why anyone would pay good money to see a rom-com about a divorce lawyer. I’d rather eat glass but, hey, that’s just me.

Next is a puzzler. “A Girl Who Sees Smells.” I hope for her sake she doesn’t see me too soon after the chipotle deviled eggs. That would be something to see all right. I wonder what other mixed martial senses she can muster? Can she touch sounds? She smells sea shells… whatever.

See Smells

“The Man in the Mask” is facing some relationship problems, too, what with the sleeper hold that the K-chick has lodged on his wind pipe. I don’t know what the question in Korean means but my guess is something like “Can you still breathe? Pity.”

Man in Mask

But nothing is as scary as “Unkind Ladies” and no, I am not referring to some of the blogstresses that visit this silly dog chronicle. These are really mean Mamas. Calling them “unkind” does not do them justice.

Unkind ladies

Concluding that these folks are just a tad strange, Max shakes his little furry white head and wanders along. Just another slice of life in the K Streets. Watch out for the Korean ladies in love.

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Weather Diversity

It’s been so doggone hot in Honolulu that we took the poochlet for a haircut at Miss Nanako’s place. Here’s the finished product, in a jaunty, nautical mode.

That tongue is huge.

This must be Max's

This must be Max’s “Blue Period.”

Meanwhile, up on Mauna Kea, it snowed today.

Photo by Keck Observatory and published in the Star Advertiser.

Photo by Keck Observatory and published in the Star Advertiser.

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Lucky Dog

China Walls is a well known adventure ocean sports site in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood on Eastern Oahu.  Cliff jumping is popular as are body surfing and diving depending on conditions. The area is well known for occasionally unpredictable big waves that can be quite dangerous for folks near  the rocks.

Here’s a pooch who wandered into a bad area just as a big wave washed the wall area.The good news is that the Fuzzbutt surfed his way out and was rescued and returned to safety.

There is zero chance of this happening to Max. Zero.

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Max Goes Solar

Max an I got up close and personal with the Solar Impulse 2.

Max an I got up close and personal with the Solar Impulse 2.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the land of the Haboob, you have no doubt followed the flight of the solar airplane across the Pacific. It was an amazing feat. One pilot in an unpressurized, unheated cabin for five days. Flying below 8,500 feet at a speed of about 54 km/hr.

Top speed of about 54 kilometers per hour. Ceiling of 8,500 feet. Low and slow.

Top speed of about 54 kilometers per hour. Ceiling of 8,500 feet. Low and slow. Photo from Pacific Business News

Today Max and I went to look at the plane at an open house held at Kalaeloa Airport,the landing site for the Solar Impulse 2. There was a good turnout to view a great series of displays and informative materials, chat with the pilot, back-up and flight crew and support personnel.

There was a very good turn out to view the plane and greet the people connected with the historic flight.

There was a very good turn out to view the plane and greet the people connected with the historic flight.

We were not sure if dogs would be allowed so we simply marched in with Max in his carrying bag (the pooch-pouch)  as if we owned the place. Security looked askance but never challenged us so Max got to see the record breaking airplane up close and personal too. It was quite a plane.

Imagine 5 days flying solo in that little cabin. Sleep only for 20 minute intervals. The toilet built into the seat itself. No heat. No movement.

Imagine 5 days flying solo in that little cabin. Sleep only for 20 minute intervals. The toilet built into the seat itself. No heat. No movement.

The wing span is as wide as a 747 jumbo but the aircraft weighs less than most cars. The materials used in the plane are so light it looks as if it is assembled as a child’s toy. The crammed cockpit must have strained the pilot’s endurance. Afterwards, it was off to the harbor area for some crab and artichoke dip, beer and stories. Then the dreaded bath.

Ma waits for his share of refreshments.

Max waits for his share of refreshments.

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Max Visits the Crater

Wait a minute. Did you just call me a dumpling?

Wait a minute. Did you just call me a dumpling?

Max has been face first in the food dish a bit too much of late.

We’ve started calling him the Dumpling Dog, or “Dumpling” for short.

Occasionally we mix it up and call him Gyoza or Bao, sometimes Empanada or Kreplach and sometimes Maultaschen after the large Schwabian dumplings that absolutely no one recognizes by name.

Anyway, Max the Endomorph needed some attention, a little PX-90 for Maltese, so we took him kicking and screaming for exercise by walking around Diamond Head Crater in the hope it would help generate a canine version of those Brazilian Buns of Steel that we see on late night infomercials.

View of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach and from overhead showing the crater.

View of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach and from overhead showing the crater.

As you know, Diamond Head is the most iconic of Oahu images, familiar to most everyone around the world. The volcanic tuff cone is only 767 feet high but occupies a commanding position on the eastern end of Waikiki Beach.

Entry to the trail up to the top.

Entry to the trail up to the top.

To Hawaiians the promontory is known as Lēʻahi, which loosely translates to Mount Tunafish Fin. It was a sacred venue and its surrounding areas were the sites for several heiau, or temples. Papa’ena’ena, one of the most significant, was the site of the sacrifices of both kings and criminals. It was perhaps erected by King Kahekili to celebrate his conquering of O’ahu in 1783.

In 1884, Diamond Head went from private, royal ownership to government property.

Under King Kalakaua, the Diamond Head crater and part of the surrounding lands were transferred from the estate of King Lunalilo to the Hawaiian government.

The reward for puffing up those 99 stairs and the circular staircase.

The reward for puffing up those 99 stairs and the circular staircase.

Diamond Head got its English name from 19th century British sailors who mistook worthless olivine (calcite) crystals on the adjacent beach for diamonds thereby proving that poxy scurvy-ridden sailors should not be your first choice as gemologists.

People who know about these things (often called “smart people”) estimate that Diamond Head is about 200,000 years old. It’s been inactive for 150,000 years suggesting that it is part Maltese. Geologists do not expect the volcano to erupt again which is good news for those of us living nearby.

In 1904 the US Government paid $3,300 for Diamond Head Crater which today would represent about $100,000. This area was developed into Fort Ruger, which was considered to be the eastern end of the defenses of Honolulu and the military bases in the area.

The new and improved trail makes it easy to access the promontory.

The new and improved trail makes it easy to access the promontory.

From 1904 until 1950, Diamond Head was closed to the public at large. During this period of exclusive occupation, significant construction occurred within the crater. Bunkers, communication rooms, storage tunnels and coastal artillery fortifications were built.

World War 2 bunker on top of Diamond Head.

World War 2 bunker on top of Diamond Head.

Battery Harlow on the north slope of the crater and Battery Birkhimer inside the crater were designed to fire to the south over the crater at ships at sea and some of the guns at Diamond Head had a 360 degree field of fire and the range to fire over the Koolau Mountains to the windward side of the island.

In addition to providing protection from sea based attacks, Fort Ruger was to defend Honolulu from ground based assaults from the eastern end of the island which explains the many bunkers and pillboxes along its length.

Some of the old bunkers and defense sites are accessible to visitors although 75% remain off limits due to safety and other concerns.

Today, Diamond Head is a United States Monument. While an FAA air traffic control center was in operation from 1963 to 2001, nowadays there is only a National Guard facility and Hawaii State Civil Defense in the crater.

Entry to the park inside Diamond Head is through one of several tunnels that pierce the wall of the crater rim.

The most popular attraction is the three-quarter mile hike that leads to the edge of the crater’s rim overlooking Honolulu. It’s an easy hike although those who have spent their vacation exercising under a drink with a small umbrella might find some portions to be a puffer.

The toughest slog is up the 99 steps through a tunnel followed by a climb on a narrow spiral staircase. The tunnel is now well lit – until a few years ago you had to bring your own flashlight. Access to the trail to the top is until about 4:30 daily. Sadly, night hikes are not allowed.

Poster art from the Sunshine Festival.

Poster art from the Sunshine Festival. Photo credit to Heritage Comics.com

My favorite crater memories are from early Seventies when there transpired the Diamond Head Crater Festival, better known as the Sunshine Festivals.

The first was held on Jan. 1, 1970, with an attendance of about 12,000.

It was a celebration of peace, love, Hippiedom, dope, music, more dope and did I mention the dope?

Big Brother and the Holding Company, along with local act Cecilio and Kapono headlined the show which started at sunrise. The morning air had a purple haze if you know what I mean and I think you do. But I digress.

Full house at the Crater. That smoke is suspicious.

Full house at the Crater. That smoke is suspicious.

In later years, Carlos Santana jammed at the Crater, Buddy Miles got his blues on and others like Mackey Feary, War and The Little River Band all showed up to party. Man, do I feel old.

Each year the crowd grew and eventually reached about 75,000 as the event grew more commercial, and in 1979 a state-appointed citizen’s task force asked the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to ban the festivals. Bummer, man. Bunch of fussy old farts that couldn’t even boogaloo.

Less recognized was the 1975 TV program “The Diamond Head Game”. As you will no doubt not remember, the game was set at Diamond Head and the host was Bob Eubanks, star of Dating Game and other socially important programs.

Donald Duck and the Money Volcano. Cultural appropriation at its nadir.

Donald Duck and the Money Volcano. Cultural appropriation at its nadir.

Final contestants were given the great, good opportunity of stepping into a “Money Volcano” to try their hand at catching flying bills of real money in different denominations. Enough to make you want to Bogart that joint.

It was fun to visit Diamond Head although Max did not much care about the history and good times at the Crater. His goal was to stay in the shade and avoid exertion. He seems quite comfortable with the idea of being a Pierogi.

I'm tired, Dad. Can you bring me a stuffed pastry perhaps?

I’m tired, Dad. Can you bring me a stuffed pastry perhaps?

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Max Floats His Boat

“I’m not coming out until you promise not to float me.”

Since 1999, an esoteric Buddhist denomination called Shinnyo-en has sponsored a “Lantern Floating” ceremony on Memorial Day to create a moment of reflection and collective compassion and remember those who have passed.

The name “Shinnyo-en” means “a borderless garden of the unchanging and real nature of things,” and its principal doctrine encourages everyone to develop the ability to act with unwavering loving kindness and compassion. That’s a pretty good thing, methinks.

Lantern close upThe original Lantern Floating was a modest affair, held in a lagoon out near Honolulu Airport but grew in popularity and since 2002 it has been held annually at Ala Moana Beach Park, the major regional park adjacent to Waikiki.

How popular is it? About 40,000 people attend the ceremony. Folks stake out their positions on the lawn areas 24 hours in advance and guard their position zealously. Encroach on someone’s territory and the global message of peace can end with a punch to the nose. People are funny that way. But I digress.

These are the big lanterns that contain the global wishes for world peace, health and other good things.

These are the big lanterns that contain the global wishes for world peace, health and other good things.

Over 6,000 lanterns are launched at sunset.

The lanterns are like little boats. Each has a wood and rice paper container on top and the paper provides space for folks to write their individual messages to their loved ones.

The messages are poignant and personal.

Lost lives, lost loves, hopes and dreams for a better future – the messages range from small, heartfelt pleas and stories to giant themes like world peace.

The Lantern Floating ceremony is quite ritualized. It starts with the haunting sounding of the , the Hawaiian conch shell, blown as a call to come together. For some women (and we won’t mention names,) it serves as the last call to visit the ladies’ room.

That's me in the middle. The AJF went to the rest room.

That’s me in the middle. The AJF went to the rest room.

Giant Japanese taiko drums start booming and a Hawaiian chant or “oli” tells participants to ready their hearts for what is to follow. Hula precedes the entry of the lanterns. All this activity takes place on huge stages set up a week or more in advance.

The first lanterns to arrive are big ones that have messages with big themes of peace for victims of war, water-related accidents, natural and man-made disasters, famine and disease.

Her Holiness Shinso Ito, leader of Shinnyo-en in Hawaii.

Her Holiness Shinso Ito, leader of Shinnyo-en in Hawaii.

These lanterns are blessed by Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the leader of Shinnyo-en and, after food offerings and prayer, the candles inside the lanterns are lit and the lanterns are gently launched to float out to sea on the departing tide.

Buddhist chants and a showering of flower petals accompany the launching, then Shinso Ito rings a small bell, signifying it is time to launch the other lanterns.

It’s a silent and very somber moment as people walk to the waters’ edge, bend down and place their personal lantern into the sea.

There is not a dry eye in the park.

Music plays, hula is performed, chants – both Buddhist and Hawaiian – ring out over the crowd as it moves in a slow and dignified push toward the launching beach.

The main stage at Ala Moana Beach park.

The main stage at Ala Moana Beach park.

Soon all 6,000 lanterns twinkle on the gentle inner reef area and then drift offshore.

A small team of assistants ride in boats to keep the lanterns on their path.

Later, they collect the lanterns along the reef and volunteers refurbish them for next year’s ceremony.

The Lantern Floating ceremony is a unique Hawaii affair that is not truly Japanese and not really Hawaiian. It is also an odd but effective mix of the secular and spiritual.

For example, the AJF snorts about the timing of the ceremony and points out that toro nagashi (lantern floating) exists in Japan but occurs during the obon season when the spirits of the dead are said to return to Earth, roughly in August. Many of the rituals associated with the ceremony have little cultural authenticity but are highly effective at emotional manipulation.

At dusk, the sight of 6,000 lanterns is captivating.

At dusk, the sight of 6,000 lanterns is captivating.

I have to point out that neither of us is religious and we’re only marginally spiritual, although I do adore a dark beer.

Nonetheless, while we both recognize the sophisticated marketing and presentation that makes this ceremony so successful, we also recognize that there is something deeper and more meaningful going on there. Without question, the ceremony provides people with a means to express emotions that might otherwise have no outlet.

Max, by the way is Dog-agnostic, (which may be a dyslexia issue.)

For some, Lantern Floating is a way to remember a deceased loved one; for others, a way to send hopes and wishes into the cosmos. Some claim it provides closure for difficult stages of life or enables that final good-bye.

A lantern leaves the shore. Photo credit to Star Bulletin.

A lantern leaves the shore. Photo credit to Star Bulletin.

At the very least, it is a fantastically beautiful affair with the thousands of small flames covering the ocean and the flood of sincere, deeply personal emotions is tangible across the beach park.

For the one night, global compassion and caring seems possible, a better world seems within reach.

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Max Gets His Art On

All noble and famous folk but nowhere to add a Malt.

All noble and famous folk but nowhere to add a Malt.

Did you ever stop and consider that public art would be much improved by the addition of a Maltese dog?

Me neither.

But that didn’t stop us from running around the financial and government districts and blending the small white dog into some of our favorite sculptures.

Ever since

Ever since the “Aloha from Hawaii” concert in 1973 (I was there!) we have had a statewide obsession with The King.

We eschewed the more common statues in search of lesser known pieces of art.

No, I am not referring to the full size depiction of Elvis at our main arena, Blaisdell Center. I’m not referring to the usual collection of noble personages whose visages have been preserved around town.

We decided we would actually insert Mr. Max into the scene rather than just taking static photos of him alongside the art.

Max says,

Max says, “Nice kids but a little stiff.”

With Mom & dad 2

Max says, “You’ll pay for this.”

So we first have him at the Department of Transportation building leading a family into the future.The kids relied on his keen sense of direction. As for the parents, they don’t mind him, uh, hanging around.

On Bishop Street, the Wall Street of Honolulu, is a much beloved statue of a guy in aloha wear sitting at the bus stop reading the paper while three little mice perch on his left shoulder.

Max was ready to settle in and wait for the next bus out of town.

Max was ready to settle in and wait for the next bus out of town.

Titled “What’s Next?”, it’s a very realistic scene. Even years after installation, new bus drivers stop, thinking he is a fare, then close the doors in irritation when they realize he’s a statue. He has a cult following and passers-by put food, lei, newspapers, pennies and cigarettes on or around him.

Note the three mice on his left shoulder and the big rat standing behind wearing sunglasses.

Note the three mice on his left shoulder and the big, bearded  rat standing behind and wearing sunglasses.

As the now defunct Honolulu Advertiser noted in 2002: embedded in his aloha shirt are actual headlines from the daily papers such as “Moon Men Warmest Welcome from Hawaii,” “Rapid Transit Streetcar Track in Kapiolani Park,” “First Airplane Ride Flight in Hawaii,” “Hokulea Sails to Tahiti.”

“Guess what I left behind on this guy’s paper, Dad?”

All are rendered from the printing plates of the millennium issues of local newspapers. Sculptor Jodi Endicott pressed the plates, or rubber stamps made from the plates, into the concrete or onto pieces of clay that were set into the concrete. One headline, reading “U.H. Lab Clones Mice in Major Scientific Step,” is impressed beside the aforementioned brass mice resting on the man’s shoulder.

Max experiencing the finer points of equine digestion.

Max experiencing the finer points of equine digestion.

Across the street, in front of the First Hawaiian Bank Tower (the tallest building in the state) are a couple of horses who apparently succeeded all too well at Jenny Craig. The emaciated equine looked so sad that we fed him a Maltese. “In the belly of the beast” took on a whole new meaning. The Pupsicle was not amused.

Exploring the grounds at the Hawaii State Library.

Exploring the grounds at the Hawaii State Library.

A little further along, we stopped by the Hawaii State Library, a lovely building on spacious grounds dominated by massive monkeypod trees. While Max pondered if the big tress were suitable as a leg-lifting location, we captured him in a two-piece modern art sculpture entitled Parents and a Young Woman.

“Parent and a Young Woman”, Yeah, right. How about “Hole in Statue With Maltese Dog Stuck Inside”?

Max and I examined this piece of work from several angles and from inside out and have determined it is beyond our limited comprehension. “Large Pieces Of Bronze With A Hole In The Middle” would have been my title.

Let freedom ring. Let the wild Malt sing. Let today be known as a day of reckoning.

Let freedom ring. Let the wild Malt sing. Let today be known as a day of reckoning.

By now the Flufferpup was getting antsy so we stopped for a final shot of him sitting under the Liberty Bell. Well, the Aloha Bell, our version of the famous Philadelphia landmark.

In compensation for what he considered dog abuse, we went to Petco where we promised him a treat, but only if he could balance it on his nose.

Now that’s what I call art.

The Pupperoni thinks this balancing trick is getting out of hand.

The Pupperoni thinks this balancing trick is getting out of hand.

Posted in Max's Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments
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