Archive for September, 2010

Netflix

September 29th, 2010
By



"You're fired from ordering the Netflix," complained Claus, as he looked at the mail. The movie was The Lovely Bones.

I had read the book and was curious to see the movie, though I knew looking at it would trigger all my already-neurotic parental fears. I really don't need encouragement from a film to feel unsafe and nervous about my daughter's safety. I can do that just fine on my own. I get that from my mom.

"How is this a chick flick?" I asked.

"Why couldn't you order a comedy or a thriller?" he insisted.

"Then you do it," I said.

He went online and was looking for The Hurt Locker. "I already saw that," I said.

With total surprise, he said, "When did you see The Hurt Locker?!" He probably thinks that's not my genre, and/or when did I look at a movie without him?

I laughed. "We have had this exact conversation about six times now. I rented this when you were skiing in Utah in February. Remember?" For good measure, I laughed at him periodically for the rest of the night. Maybe now he won't forget.

"Why do you have to rent the good ones when I'm gone?" he sniffed.

"Why do you have to go skiing on Valentines Day weekend without me?" I sniffed back.

We watched The Lovely Bones that night without further complaint.

Have I mentioned I've seen The Hurt Locker?

TWILIGHT: NEW MOON

The next movie was Twilight. I have to admit, I do like that series. I saw the first one out of curiosity, and to my shock, I actually liked it. (Team Jacob, by the way. It's the abs.) (OMG, am I officially a cougar??)

When that came in the mail, Claus was really annoyed at me for having the "worse" taste in movies. I watched it one afternoon when I was sick, thinking he would not care about seeing it.

It was a Saturday and we had nothing else to look at that night on TV, so he said he wouldn't mind watching Twilight out of pure desperation. "But you've already seen it," he said politely, "so we don't have to look at it again. Twice in a day is a bit much, right?"

I insisted I was OK with it, and in order to make it interesting for myself, I put up the Spanish subtitles so I could brush up. I then fell asleep.

About halfway through the movie, I got up, and said I was going to bed. He turned off the TV and followed me to the room.

"Did you like the movie?" I asked. As expected, he said no. Make that, "Absolutely not."

"Why did you watch it for so long, then?" I said.

He thought I wanted to see it. I thought he wanted to see it.

To make it worse, he couldn't hear because the volume was too low, and he didn't want to turn it up 1) because he claimed he was too lazy to get off the sofa, 2) because he thought I purposely had it set low so I could really practice my Spanish.

"I could hear it," I clarified.

"What? You're the one who can never hear the movie. You make me turn it up so that the neighbors can hear it. That's why I thought you had it low on purpose," he said. Apparently, there was only a ten minute window in which there were no cars, no dogs barking, and no dishwasher washing, so that he could hear the words being spoken.

So we were sitting there for each others' sake, when nobody really wanted to watch Twilight. I laughed so hard I cried.

By the way- I watched the Hurt Locker already.

SIX FEET UNDER

I assured Claus I got it right for next time. Next up, several seasons of Six Feet Under. We saw seasons one and two, but I guess I didn't order the subsequent seasons because I must have made a mistake or oversight when making the queue.

And still he is not happy with me. "So now I have to watch my work," he stated. He runs a mortuary.

I'm going to have to insist he take over the Netflix account! Except, I then might find myself watching The Hurt Locker. I've seen that already, you know.

***

Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Assistants

September 27th, 2010
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I like to joke that I made my first two hires in this new job: Mom and Dad. I have been super busy at my new job, so I asked my father to help me research some educational information so I would know when to apply Olivia for some schools. I thought the deadline was coming up soon and I didn't want to miss it.

Within a day, he provided me an e mail with three Word attachments (one per school) and a fully detailed write up, including a Roman numeral outline form, and his own opinion on where I should send her. I wasn't expecting something so thorough, but then again, that's my dad.

I usually don't ask my dad to to administrative things for me, keeping my requests to things like, "Can you help me water my plants? Feed the cat?" But this has me thinking. He just might make a really good office researcher...

As for Mom, she can be my local print clipping service. There are a lot of different media monitoring companies that I've become aware of since I started my pr job. I had always known of one, Dateline Media, because that's what all the local TV stations use. I'm learning about all the others.

There's a company that literally takes a scissors and cuts out any articles with your name in it, and sends it to you. I joked, "Hey, my mom already does that." In fact, she's been doing it my whole life. If me or my employer, or even my friends, are mentioned in the paper, she clips it. If there are topics of interest she wants to let me know about, she clips it. She reads the paper front to back daily.

It must be a mom thing, because looking ahead, I'm pretty sure I will do that for Olivia. Does your mom do that for you? My cousin Val says her mother does the exact same thing. We think it's cute.

So I did- I asked my mom if she could be extra-aware of any newspaper articles that mention Halekulani or Waikiki Parc Hotel, and give it to me. She is more than happy to help. She likes the idea that she is somehow part of the team.

I bet I can pay them in gift certificates to Orchids.

***

Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Tire gauge

September 24th, 2010
By



For what feels like two months, Claus' car dashboard had the low tire pressure light up. I would get in it at least twice a week for jujitsu practice, and see it. At first, I suggested we stop at a gas station and fill up the tire. I do that every month to make sure my own tires are properly inflated.

"I did that, but the light is still up," he said. "I guess I should take it into the shop to see what's wrong."

After a month had passed, I quizzed him about it again. He mentioned he doesn't have a tire gauge, but he once more put a little air in it and it still doesn't make the light turn off. He was sure it was something with the dashboard computer, not the actual tire.

Last week, the topic came up a third time. He told me he was going to borrow my tire gauge and get to the bottom of this. Later that week when I jumped into his car, I noticed the light was finally off and the dashboard was back to normal. "What happened? Was the electronic dashboard broken?"

He looked a little sheepish then revealed that he had been routinely putting the air spigot up to the tire nozzle and giving it a squirt of air... or so he thought. On his last attempt, when he took my tire gauge, he decided to get a psi reading to see what the heck was happening. He noticed he was actually deflating the pressure.

"Then I looked at the air compressor stand and saw that white button and thought, 'Hmm, what happens if I push this?'" he said. He pushed the button. The air compressor turned on. He filled up the tire with air. Finally.

I laughed at him. "So the light never went off because you never pushed the button!" I said, meaning the dashboard light.

He pointed to his head. "Yes, the light never went off so I didn't push the button!"

~~~

There came a point in my life when I decided it would be interesting to learn more about the construction trade, like shadowing a carpenter or something. I would like to be more handy about my own home repairs.

My cousin, Chris, is a finish carpenter, so when he remodeled extensive portions of my house, I tried to help. I haven't lost this desire, but it's been dimmed by the reality that I probably don't have enough time to understudy someone like that. That's OK. I try to remember little things he teaches me here and there.

The other day, I was describing something that is supposed to be smooth to Claus, and grabbed on a sandpaper simile. "...it was like 220 grit sandpaper!" I recalled, and waited for the appropriate response, which should be shock.

He stared at me then asked, "Do you know what 220 grit sandpaper is?"

I furrowed my brow back. "Yes. Do you know what it is?"

He chuckled. "No."

***

Also reach me via DianeAko.com

BMW

September 22nd, 2010
By



Who knows what BMW stands for? Don't look it up. Just tell me now. I'm curious to see who knew off the top of their head.

In a conversation, I mentioned the phrase "Bavarian Motor Works" to Claus, and he was stunned that I would know that. I mean, stunned. "Hey! How did you know what that stands for?"

He said it with such shock in his voice that I was a little put off. "Um, 'cuz I'm smart?" I retorted.

"No, really," he replied.

"No, really," I responded.

"Most people don't know what BMW stands for," he insisted.

"Most people do," I insisted back. "Let's do a blind test. It's 7 a.m. Who's up that I know? I'll ask Christian." I went to call Christian on the phone.

Claus stopped me. "Christian doesn't count. He's European."

I snapped my gaze in Claus' direction, raised my eyebrows, and channeled a character from any 1990s FOX sitcom. "Oh no you di'nt. You're saying Europeans are smarter than Americans?" I questioned, while holding up my index finger to underline the indignation. You read correctly: that's di'nt, spelled without the middle "d."

"No, that's not it," he said.

"So it's because he's a man and he would know more about cars? It's a gender thing?" I continued.

Sensing danger, he swerved off topic. "Hey, did you want to go purse shopping this weekend?" he asked.

That is a smart husband.

***
Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Art of the Cocktail

September 21st, 2010
By



Master mixologists from around the globe converged on Halekulani last weekend for a three-day seminar on how to make and appreciate mixed drinks. "King Cocktail" Dale DeGroff came in from New York, with his wife Jill, a graphic artist. He's recognized as the world's premiere mixologist.

Former local gal Julie Reiner also came in from New York, where she lives and works. She co-owns Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club, and Pegu Club.

Tony Abou-Gamin, Simon Ford, Chandra Lam, and Halekulani's own Tim Rita rounded out the group of guest bartenders. They spent the weekend either mixing drinks or showing people how to!

Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff

Julie Reiner

Julie Reiner

Chandra Lam

Chandra Lam

Simon Ford

Simon Ford

Tony Abou-Ganim

Tony Abou-Ganim

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