Archive for August, 2009

KHNL/ KGMB merger

By
August 20th, 2009



Tuesday, the big news came down from corporate that we're merging with KGMB and laying off dozens of jobs. It's just a lot to digest in a short amount of time.

I know there are a lot of details to be worked out by the managers, and I'm sure you'll see actual news reports (as opposed to emotional ramblings by this blogger) in the coming weeks.

I will say, though, that while it's going to be great for KHNL/KGMB to have a powerhouse news team, I'm nostalgic about my 13 years as a KHNL employee. I love the people I work with, and I think of the newsroom like part of my family. We aren't sure who will survive the layoffs, but I worry for my friends who have a thinner support net.

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It's hard for me to see people I like or love, stressed out about their livelihood. I'm not saying I'm living large, but at least I have a husband who can support us.

I, of course, don't know what the future holds for me. I love this craft, I love what I do, and I love my boss, Dan S. Ultimately, I think it's useless to speculate on the many variations of how things might work out, who might stay, who might go.

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I have and continue to do my best job every day on air - and off! - and that's about all I can do to prove why I'm valuable to this team. Now, I put my faith in the Universe that all will work out as it should.

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Devoting any more time to stressing out is a luxury for me because I bounce from my morning anchor job, to watching my kid all day, and trying to squeeze in time for my mother. This is why I go to sleep at 6:30 p.m. I just don't have the brain power to think about things I don't have much control over, when there's dinner to cook and laundry to do, etc.

Yes, other people have it worse. I appreciate that fact. But I'm not a robot. I'm overwhelmed and pulling back my limited energy until I process all these changes. I'll keep going forward - and positively -  after that. There's no other choice.

That, and wait for a rockin' mass bon voyage party.

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Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Shoeless shows

By
August 19th, 2009



Olivia won't keep her shoes on. Wherever we go, she likes to kick them off and run around barefoot. It's a guarantee if I put them on at the start of the car ride, they'll be off, and in some weird, random, relatively far away place in the car, by the end of the ride. I keep the window nearest her rolled up so at least we don't lose a shoe.
I was getting weary of constantly asking her to keep her shoes on, until I realized I'm probably not the best role model on that. The first thing I do when I get to work is kick my shoes off and switch to "house" slippers.
Di's slippers

Di's slippers

Actually, we all like to be without shoes. My coanchor, Howard Dashefsky, and our morning weathercaster, Tracy Gladden, also do the news in slippers. In fact, a recent morning show guest, Tamaine Gardner (fantastic musician, by the way), performed barefoot. "I always play in bare feet," she confirmed.

Tamaine Gardener and Brett Paul

Tamaine Gardener and Brett Paul

Tamaine's feet!

Tamaine's feet!

I wear slippers or go barefoot because I have to run around to several locations in the newsroom during the show, and heels slow me down. All the sets are on risers, and I've tripped on the steps once and really bruised and scraped my shin.

Dash's explanation is, "It's for comfort. But I make sure I have dress shoes for the full body shots, and I keep backup shoes at my desk."

Tracy Gladden at the weather wall

Tracy Gladden at the weather wall

Tracy explains, "I have to stand the entire two hours. My feet would hurt." She and I have heels for the full body shot at the sofa. There's been times where one of the three of us has forgotten our dress shoes, and then we have to sit in the middle seat to hide our feet. It's going to be disastrous if ever more than one of us forget our shoes. We'd be fighting for that one position.

We have a two minute commercial break to move from wherever we are, to the sofa set. I run up to the set, take off the slippers, and put on the heels just before we come back live. Once, someone in the control room accidentally punched us up sooner than scheduled, so there I was on statewide television, putting on my shoes. When I got home, my mother asked me what the heck that was all about.

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If you think these tidbits are amusing, just wait. We don't always wear pants, either.

Posted in Career | 6 Comments »

Olympic medalist Bryan Clay on parenting

By
August 18th, 2009



Olympian Bryan Clay hung out with the KHNL morning crew on Monday. He's a father of two - and soon to be three.

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The crew absolutely loved him, so in addition to his regular guest segment, he also guest-hosted my Monday Makeover (to the delight of the stylists), guest-hosted the final weather hit with Tracy Gladden, and sat on the sofa with us as we closed out the show. Bryan is just a nice, nice person. Doesn't hurt that he's man-candy, either.

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The decathlete took gold at the 2008 Olympics, silver at the 2004 Olympics, and is preparing to compete in the 2012 Games in London. He hopes to become the first American to win decathlon medals at three different Games. He would be at the World Championships as we speak, but he injured his hamstring.

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We spoke after the show about the Olympian responsibilities of parenting. "I think the responsibilities of being a good father are tremendous," he said. "I'm not sure we'll ever fully realize how deep an impression we leave on our children. That's why I always talk about importance of being a good father."

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The world's greatest athlete says he strives every day to be the world's greatest dad and husband. "I'll come home after a long day of training - six or seven hours - and I need to make sure to spend time with my family. The kids will jump all over me and I want to be there for them," he smiled.

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His wife Sarah is due to have their third child on Valentine's Day 2010. "I'd like a boy, but we have one of each already, so we'll be happy either way." The couple already has a four year old son, Jacob, and a two year old daugther, Katherine.

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I was impressed that they do NOT have a nanny. "We're lucky that my wife, Sarah, is a stay-at-home mom," he says, though the tremendous amount of energy to raise two kids has altered his family planning agenda. "I used to say I wanted four or five. Now, three is definitely enough."

Do they have names picked out? "No. This poor kid. We had our top picks for a boy and a girl, and then we had a boy and a girl. We both have no idea what we want to name this one!"

Kaneohe native Bryan Clay

Kaneohe native Bryan Clay

Clay is in Hawaii this week to speak at the Hawaii Statehood Conference, sharing his vision of what Hawaii should look like in the next 50 years. He plan to log some beach time while he's here, since the Kaneohe native now lives in LA.

Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and www.bryanclay.com

KHNL NBC 8 is Hawaii's Olympic station!

Posted in dad, parent | 6 Comments »

The No Makeup Nightmare

By
August 14th, 2009



I lived one of my worst work nightmares recently. I forgot my makeup and didn't have enough time to go home and get it.

It happened on a Monday. I went into the dressing room to put on my makeup and realized it was not with me. I take the makeup to work, leave it there all week, but bring it home for the weekend.

I have two words for you: High. Definition.

YIKES!

I came out of the dressing room in a panic, which then set my producers into a panic. I'm not easily flustered, but this really flustered me. For a moment, my mind went blank and I couldn't think of what to do.

"Borrow some from Tracy!" came the suggestion.

Tracy carries this in her purse!

Tracy carries this in her purse!

Oh, yeah, duh. I should have thought of that. Thank goodness there's another woman on the show. Thank goodness we get along, too. She kindly offered me her makeup kit. Thanks, Tracy. That was so, so nice of you.

I mean, I can't borrow Dash's. His consists of two-year old pancake makeup with a sponge that hasn't been cleaned in two years, and Chapstick.

Now here's the part I need to explain for the straight guys: makeup is a very, very intimate thing. Aside from the sanitation issues of using someone else's eyeliner and other products that get close to the skin, each woman carefully selects a color palette just right for her skin tone. It's also different to use brushes that aren't your own. It's like driving someone else's car.

So I emerged from the dressing room looking slightly like a Japanese tourist, because Tracy is fairer than me, and has blue eyes. You know how the Japanese makeup aesthetic is different from Westerners? How they favor really light, '70s colors, like powder blue eyeshadow? Yeah, that was me. I might as well have opened the show with that "V" peace sign the Japanese tourists all flash for their photos.

But I didn't. I acted natural, like there wasn't some kind of metahporic train wreck taking place right now. Keep reading like nothing happened, I kept remind myself grimly. Thankfully, the on camera shots are mostly two-shots so my makeup-less-ness was at least mitigated by distance.

The two-shot

The two-shot

Then I realized happily, It's Makeover Monday! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, maybe this will encourage you to watch the morning show. It's 5 - 7 a.m. M-F.) I asked the producer to move around the stories so that I had an entire five minute break. As soon as our makeup artists came in, I ran over and asked them to do my face.

Quinn and Jaime

Quinn and Jaime, Salon 808

When I said I had, literally, five minutes, Quinn and Jaime Torres looked at each other like I was nuts, took a deep breath, and started double teaming me. The problem is, I think they're used to having a full hour to work on a client. So they just started from scratch and did what they usually do: foundation, powder, concealer. Because there were two people working on me, they also managed to start the eyeshadow.

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I then had to run back on set. While I am appreciative of their efforts and kindness, I think I looked worse than where I started. I now only had on foundation, plus Tracy's red lipstick, so I looked real kabuki. "You look fine," said Dash. I know him well enough to know he was being honest. "I see you every day and you look exactly the same to me."

To which I'm thinking, That's sweet of him and Do I look this bad every day? and He is sooo straight.

Maybe it's luck that I don't wear much makeup to begin with (and none at all when I don't have to), so my naked face was not shockingly differerent. However, when it's YOU, you notice the subtle changes. It's the universal equivalent of looking at 20 pictures of yourself and only you can find the "best" one of yourself while everyone else thinks they all look the same.

Final result

Final result

In the next break, I ran back to "Studio B" and commandeered the makeup kit myself from the surprised makeup artists. You know, I do this myself every single day for my entire career. I know how to do a quick fix in two minutes. I did my best damage control, and went back to... face the world.

AAAaaaaaa!

AAAaaaaaa!

This is the third time in half a year I've forgotten my makeup. The last time was in May, at Joann Shin's wedding. As if a wedding wasn't bad enough, I was the emcee, so guarantee there would be people looking at me. I had to borrow from the bride.

The time before that was when I was on the weekend news. I realized it just as I was getting near work, and I had to turn right back around and go home. Luckily, there is time on the weekend news for that. There is NO time on the morning news to go back home.

Previous to that, I had not had makeup issues. I am so spacey now. I've really changed since I had a kid. I'm not sure if it's the hormones (isn't there a hormone change after pregnancy?), the tremendous amount of energy that goes into caring for a toddler, or the chronic fatigue from working a graveyard shift.

Am I ditzy or am I just tired? I can't remember stuff anymore. I have my Outlook calendar, synched to my Blackberry, AND the triple whammy of handwritten reminders taped, clipped, and posted everywhere. I specifically have a note in my car saying, "Makeup???" And still I forget.

That. Is. It.

I have to make it a priority to get to the store and buy a backup kit, so I can have one at work, one at home, and never have to forget it again. I better write a note to myself to do that.

Sandwich generation

By
August 8th, 2009



I am in the sandwich generation: those people who are both taking care of young children and old parents. My mom, who I blogged about a couple weeks ago, is in fairly good health, but things happen when you're 80. She had some health issues crop up last week and can't walk too well. She's in PT but she won't be OK for several months, comes the estimate from the doctor. She says she is 10 on the pain scale.

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She usually helps me watch Olivia most afternoons for a couple hours, so not having her around has really impacted me. Time that I would normally have to catch up on e mails or business calls (FYI, this is exactly why I hardly book morning show guests), or take a nap, is now alloted to watching a two year old who won't tolerate Mommy on the computer. That, and I'm cooking dinner for my parents, too, since my dad can actually screw up saimin. It's been proven time and again.

I do cook, but sometimes it's a new recipie and I only buy enough for one dinner in case it's bad. Or, we three are able to limp by on rag-tag leftovers for one night. Now I have to make sure to cook dinner - and larger portions - for five of us.

While Mom was coming under the premise of babysitting, it was actually visiting and bonding. She just loves, loves, loves Oliva. And likewise. So not seeing her for even one day was a bummer for both of them. Therefore, instead of her coming over to my house, I try to go to her house. I bring her dinner and we visit. And that's our new schedule for the next little while.

I am not complaining. It's just how it goes. Life throws you a situation, you have to figure out how to roll with it. And her issue is, while painful, fairly minor. So, I try to look at the bright side: it could be so much worse. If this is all it is for our octogenarian, we're lucky.

Posted in mom, parent | 5 Comments »

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