Hop on TheBus, Gus!
If you live in urban Honolulu and you’re not riding TheBus, you’d better get on board. With soaring gas prices and parking fees, public transportation makes more sense than ever, but what sold me is the convenience. At least eight different routes serve my commute between Ala Moana and Downtown, so I never wait more than five or 10 minutes at the bus stop and it’s a quick 10-minute ride door to door. Better yet, I can grab the No. 19 or 20 for my weekly airport runs that stop at the terminal and get me to work in less than a half-hour for the $2.50 fare instead of a $30 cab ride. Monthly passes are $60 at Foodland, 7-Eleven, Times, satellite city halls and other locations; www.thebus.org.
— Christie Wilson
Baseball has been very good to me
Mrs. G and I have rediscovered the joy of baseball. We hadn’t watched a game since 1994 but now you can find us most Sunday afternoons on the first base line, upper deck, at Les Murakami Stadium rooting for the UH Rainbows. A friend invited us to join him a few games back and now we’re regulars. At $6 it’s the best bargain in town and the stands are often full of people we know. Best of all, the home team is fun to watch. The final Sunday game of the season is at 1:05 p.m. May 15 versus San Jose State.
— Mike Gordon
He has a way with mallets
When I visited my friend, composer-producer Derek Nakamoto, in Los Angeles last year, he spoke enthusiastically about a project he was working on with taiko master Kenny Endo that he said would portray Endo’s formidable percussion skills in an entirely different light. The results of that project are finally out on the album “Honua.”
Nakamoto said he wanted to showcase Endo in a more atmospheric setting, akin to film soundtrack work. With Nakamoto’s assistance on keyboards and arrangements, Endo adds his distinctive touches by improvising textural sounds on assorted Japanese percussion instruments, including kotsuzumi (hand drum), odaiko (large drum) and, of course, various taiko. Ambient compositions bookend two more aggressively rhythmic tracks in “Ho‘i Hou” and “Wao Lani.”
Endo has been selling the CD at his concerts, and it’s available online for $18 at www.kennyendo.com/merchandise.
— Gary Chun
What can’t a cupcake cure?
Whether I’m having a bad day or have something to celebrate, cupcakes from Hokulani Bake Shop are the perfect sugar rush in the middle of my workday. For a few bites of moist cake frosted to perfection, try Guittard Chocolate or Strawberry Guava, both with cream cheese frosting, for $2.25 each. Log on to www.hokulanibakeshop.com for store hours and other cupcake flavors.
— Donica Kaneshiro
Try this neat treat trick
Handed his dish of ice cream, a friend immediately opened the refrigerator and dribbled a little milk on top. Que pasa? Ice cream, he explained, gets soft as it warms up and loses its texture. But you can get around that by adding a dollop of milk over the freshly scooped ice cream — skim milk works best — which freezes into a kind of crunchy, protective shell. It also makes it a little more fun to eat.
— Burl Burlingame