December 4, 2005 at 9:40 AM"Smarmy." "Stale." "Snooty." Those were the first words that came out of the mouths of my friends when I mentioned NPR. While secretly I would agree that the announcers could stand to coat their voices and humor with a little more flavor (they often remind me of rice cakes and musty libraries), I outwardly defended my wish to listen to "From the Top" on the radio at 10:00 this morning, as we headed to the North Shore. If I could endure the tourist traps, certainly they could take a break from the Hawaiian radio station long enough for me to listen to "alice lizard" play. I'd been keeping up with her blog, but I'd not yet heard her on the radio.
Her voice sounds, so... young! I guess after all, she's only thirteen. But it's hard to remember that when I read of all her accomplishments and observe her mature insights and writing style. I remember the things I wrote when I was thirteen, and I lived in a completely different world than hers back then. This is the main reason why we all just can't relate to the show. We listen to the performers like they are specimens in a zoo, put on display so that we can point and gape like tourists and ponder the life of the child prodigy.
I liked Alice's voice. It was kind and professional, and she conveyed confidence without putting on airs. She played "It Ain't Necessarily So" by Gershwin. This piece went over well in the crowded van, who hadn't heard a violinist play Gershwin before. They all agreed she did a fine job, and I felt glad for her. From what I could decipher over the roar of the open windows, I thought she pulled off a great performance. Unfortunately, the following act consisted of a soprano and some opera. At the first sign of fuzz from the radio station, a nearly unanimous vote put us back on the Hawaiian station for some slack key guitar. Well, how can opera compete with "Come to my chest" and "I love you like a mango"? Okay, I admit I enjoy the Hawaiian station, too.
We were off to see the pineapple farms and coffee fields, the bird sanctuary (my pick), and Pipeline (George's pick). Today I discovered:
-I could eat a raw coconut in one sitting, but shouldn't.
-There's a burger stand that will put an entire avacado on your burger.
-Pineapples can kill you.
-Bird sanctuaries are full of red heavyset bathers, not birds.
-The beaches of Hawaii really do have a bunch of tan models hanging out, catching huge waves all day long.
I bought some postcards.
Are there bus tours there? It sounds touristy, but I like those. They give you a feel for the place, plus you see plenty of things you want to go back and investigate later on your own. You should get out on your own and take a taxi to the bus tour stand.
Danielle, it seems that both pineapple blades and toilet bowls can be used for torture. Beware: the pineapple, like the Angkor, has many eyes. The toilet bowls don't give up their dead.
I had some red curried duck at a cheap Thai stand today, and I think I'll go all the way back just to get more. I love the food here!
Dan, I'm planning a huge road trip for either fall 2006 or spring 2007. We'll be in your neighborhood, I'm sure. I always drive through Iowa on my way to PA. I think it would be fun to meet up with as many violinists that want to. I don't know if I'll be able to make a get-together unless I can find a great deal on a ticket. They're surprisingly cheap sometimes.
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