Monthly Archives: November 2011


Just a quick reminder this week: tiki is for every day of the year.  For example, here’s the Thanksgiving dinner I had with Andrew and our fellow Thanksgiving orphan Liz.  Just to tiki things up a tiny bit, we served it on my Brock “Aloha” plates with side beverages in my Siesta Ware Hawaiian glasses.

Just in case you’re interested, a close-up of the food itself:

That’s turkey cutlet with cranberry-pomegranate dressing, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, and green beans with pecans.  My pumpkin rolls came out of the oven after all this, but they were excellent.

Nonetheless, I bow to the superior dedication of Charles Phoenix, pioneer of the Tiki Thanksgiving Dinner.

Next year, maybe.  I can dream.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


As mentioned in previous posts, my dream is to build a tiki bar/office in my back yard.  A tiki office means, naturally, office supplies.  So I’ve been on the lookout for tiki bookends.

Longtime readers will recall this cast-iron parrot bookend, currently residing in my bedroom.

Last Christmas, Andrew got me these monkey bookends, which currently help hold up the works of Christopher Marlowe, Jane Austin, and my man in Ireland, Flann O’Brien.  It’s well known that monkeys love At Swim-Two-Birds.

I love my literary monkeys.  Thanks, Andrew!

More recently, Andrew also got me these classic tiki bookends.

How great are these guys?  The answer is that they are as great as it is possible for things to be great.  They’re spectacular representations of the creator god Kane, and they also hold up books!

Truly Andrew is the greatest, and also most tolerant, husband a woman has ever had.  And I am extremely well-prepared for the furnishing of my tiki office and adjoining library.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mary Blair

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m some kind of maladjusted obsessive with an unhealthy fixation on tiki.  I have an unhealthy fixation on many things.  These include, but are not limited to, midcentury modern pottery, pro wrestling, pulp sci-fi of the 1970s, Muppets, and Disney concept artist and “It’s a Small World” designer Mary Blair.  Witness my shelf of souvenirs from the Mary Blair art show I worked on in Japan a couple of years ago.

Now this, this is a fixation.

Naturally, I often dream of combining my obsessions, but, aside from the occasional space Muppet wrestling match, the opportunity doesn’t often arise.  But last week I went searching for Mary Blair advertising art, and the streams crossed.

The other tiki stuff was a gift this weekend from my friend Evelyn.  She also got me a new tiki guy.


Look at this great guy!  (And a bunch of little Jonny Quest drawings, but that’s another story and shall be told another time.)  He will be a valuable addition to my growing tiki army.

Meanwhile, here’s a closer look at my Mary Blair/tiki crossover moment.

If it weren’t freezing right now, I’d really be in the mood for a Tropic Cooler.  Thanks, Mary Blair!


Filed under Uncategorized

Hula Festival

This weekend is a Tiki Weekend Supreme.  I just got back from the ‘Oe E Ka La Hula Festival in Alameda, where I soaked up Hawaiian culture in drizzly 30-degree weather.  Fortunately, most of the festival was indoors, and the power of tiki warmed everyone’s hearts.

Upon arrival, we immediately grabbed some lunch.  I ordered my favorite, pork and butterfish laulau…

…while my friend Pancha got a bag of malasadas, fried dough balls with sugar.  Almost every culture on earth has at some point hit on some variation on the basic “fried dough” concept, and we as a species are better for it.

Then it was on to the booths!  Check out these amazing quilts from Quilt Styles of Hawaii, especially the Twelve Days of Hawaiian Christmas holiday quilt.

Hand-stitched quilts were a little rich for my blood, but I did buy some stuff.  Behold!

Oooh!  Ahhh!

The sheet music is by Paul Summers, about whom I can provide no further information at this time, although if the cover illustration is any indication he bore an eerie resemblance to Robert Benchley.  Here, however, are the lyrics to “I’ve Gone Native Now”:

First I went to a big luau
Kanes and wahines showed me how
Eating fish and poi
Oh, what a joy!
I’ve gone native now

Then I strolled out Waikiki way
Where moonlight nights seemed like day
Played my ukulele
Oh, so gaily
I’ve gone native now

Oh, I’ve learned to sing Hawaiian
Do the hula ami too
It came without any trying
What else could I do?

My little dance you will adore
‘Round the island to the floor
With a little wiggle here
And a little wiggle there,
I’ve gone native now

Now I live in a little grass shack
Wear a ti-leaf skirt and a coconut hat
Eating on the floor
Like days of yore
I’ve gone native now

I go surfing every day
Way outside, catch a big wave
Riding kahakai ‘a ‘ole kapakahi
I’ve gone native now
I’ve gone native now

Well, then.

I got the little ikaika warrior helmet from Aloha Crafts.  The tiki… wait, let’s take a moment to admire the tiki.  This is a great guy!

He was carved by Tualau Tauheluhelu of Tualau Wood Carvings in San Mateo.  Taulau signed it for me by carving his name and the date on the base.

With my new tiki cradled against my protective bosom, it was time to watch the centerpiece of the festival, the hula competition.

And this is what the trash can at the end of a hula festival looks like.

Mmm, Spam!  I had a little Spam musubi before I left, because that is good stuff.


Filed under Uncategorized