Bruno & Bette


Two of Hawaii’s homegrown superstars are on the radar right now.

So happens they share the same initials, BM.

Bruno Mars, who has connected with Anderson .Paak to form a new group, Silk Sonic, debuted a new single, “Leave the Door Open,” on YouTube. And because he pleaded online for a slot on this Sunday’s (March 14)Grammy Awards on CBS, he and .Paak earned a spot from the Recording Academy. The star power Bruno might bring to the Grammys should fuel a ratings boost and perhaps a Grammy next year. And unless Mars shaves it off, he might also be showing his newly groomed mustache. Watch the video here:

Meanwhile, Bette Midler, aka the Divine Miss M, has added a new orchid to her bonnet: author of a children’s book. The star of Broadway (“Hello, Dolly”), the big screen (“The Rose”) and the recording world (“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Wind Beneath My Wings”) has authored a children’s photobook “The Tale of the Mandarin Duck,” about a real-life duck in New York’s Central Park.

Can you open the can?

I have a beef with Libby’s trapezoidal tin of corned beef. Every time we have corned beef cabbage or onions for dinner, the missus shouts: “Can you open the can?”

Can do, but it takes a real effort. Libby’s product is not shaped for conventional can openers, manual or electric. You gotta use the attached key, not a pull-tab, but a bona fide key. So, if you buy the tin, make sure it has the requisite key.

Did some research (you’re welcome) why Libby’s chose this shape and attached the key.

Historians credit Arthur A. Libby, who acquired a patent in 1875, to claim and retain this shape and key, supposedly to  allows the content to slip out as a block that can be sliced. In our household, the corned beef is mashed and shredded; not sliced.

Wondering: does anyone slice corned beef, as a breakfast meat like bacon or Spam? Spam boasts a soda-style pull tab, which is easier to manipulate, and the contents can be sliced, too.

What’s your take?

Pandemic Tiers

Are Hawaii’s pandemic-related “tiers” precise in deciding what’s open and what’s not?

With Hawaii now in Tier 3 on the totem pole to conquer the pandemic, some uncertainties prevail about bars and nightclubs, which are supposed to remain closed in this echelon.

I’ve been asked, why are such venues as Blue Note Hawaii at the Outrigger Waikiki resort and Medici’s at Manoa Marketplace able to stage performances with live audiences?

Both sites serve alcohol, which means they’re sorta-bars; both places also provide dinner service, so they’re sorta-restaurants with limited capacity.

But what they provide –the mix of food, drinks and entertainment – makes them supper clubs, also known as nightclubs in the hospitality biz.

Semantics matter, so regulations require clarity.

Don’t get me wrong; as a former newspaper entertainment editor and columnist, I support the opening of bars and nightclubs, with the appropriate mask-wearing and six-feet social-distancing measures in place. I assume clubgoers to Blue Note and Medici’s don the facial gear, and certainly, I applaud more opportunities for more entertainers to take the stage.

Admittedly, I’ve not been to either venue since the pandemic hit, but can’t wholly buy into the six-feet distancing; the space between tables might be OK, with or without Plexiglas barriers, but the number of patrons on each table might be questionable.

So the regulators should regulate and provide clarify; take the temperature and diagnose the ailment. Are both venues considered restaurants, to qualify for in-house live shows, even if they’re nightclubs in practice?

We’re in the third quarter of Tier-dom, and the strategy in the fourth will help decide if a win is imminent. What’s your take?