Archive for July, 2011

Nerds

July 29th, 2011
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I was a nerd in high school. I'm not ashamed. I like being smart.

My friends were kids like the Math Club president, the Debate Team captain, the Honor Society students, the ones taking Advanced Placements courses in their senior year.

Freshman year, me in yellow

Freshman year, me in yellow

One of the guys in our group was the valedictorian who went to Harvard. Jen was the salutatorian who earned a double-Ivy league degree. Jen is one of my best friends today.

Di and Jen in chemistry class which I got a C or D and she got an A, per usual

Di and Jen in chemistry class; I got a C or D, and she got an A, per usual

Sure, we were nerdy. We didn't drink, smoke, have boyfriends, sneak out at night. We still had fun, and we are all still friends who see each other on a regular basis.

I was reading a recent Time magazine article about Life After High School and laughing as I recalled those four years. I actually had a good time in high school. I have a lot of fond memories of Kamehameha.

This article quotes a study that says "the higher a student's academic rank in high school, the lower the probability that he or she experienced health problems in late middle age." Great, I'm hopeful that applies to me.

Claus teen

On the other hand, my husband was a jock- a world-class swimmer who threw himself into the sport starting at age seven. The story says "male high school athletes make more money as adults than do men who didn't play sports." I'm going to have to remember to approach him with this article in hand, and ask when I can be a trophy wife.

Claus child

Here are tidbits about the two other archetypes: The class officer will grow up to be a person more likely to vote, volunteer, and be involved in social causes. The cheerleader/populars enjoy the "popularity premium," in which the more friends students had in high school, the more money they were earning 35 years later.

What were you in high school and where are you now?

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Going to bat for healthier lungs

July 27th, 2011
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Want to go to bat for healthier lungs and cleaner air? The American Lung Association (ALA)  has a new game to help you do that.

ALA has recently partnered with State Farm and Major League Baseball on a national initiative called The Go to Bat program. It launched in mid July and will run for 10 weeks this summer.

Once a week, for 10 weeks, State Farm will choose the charity with the highest Go to Bat game batting average and make a donation of $18,000 in support of its cause. Also, an individual winner who goes to bat for the winning charity will be randomly selected and receive a trip for two to Games 3 and 4 of the 2011 Major League Baseball World Series. ALA is one of 43 charities playing.

A total of 10 winners will be drawn throughout the program which will conclude on September 26. The program will culminate during the 2011 MLB World Series with a pre-game ceremony showcasing its collective impact and recognizing the individual winners and the winning charities. State Farm will also announce and present a $25,000 donation to the charity that finishes the promotional campaign with the highest Go to Bat batting average.

Want to play?

-Visit http://www.statefarm.com/gotobat

-Select "American Lung Association"

-Play the State Farm Go to Bat game to increase the batting average and score points for the American Lung Association.

-Be sure to post on your Facebook page!

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Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Voting still open for "Kokua for Japan"

July 25th, 2011
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It's not too late to help a local production win a national award. The Hawaii-based "Kokua for Japan" benefit concert, which raised funds for the Japan tsunami victims, is up for a VH1 "Do Something Award." It's the only Hawaii-based nominee in a field of heavy hitters.

The concert, held in April, donated $1.6 million for Japanese arthquake and tsunami relief efforts, via the American Red Cross. The VH1 award is a national awards show for social action.

The show will be hosted by "Glee" actress Jane Lynch in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Palladium and will air on VH1 Aug. 18. "Kokua for Japan" supporters can vote online at vh1.com until Aug. 14, 3 o' clock in the morning, Hawaii time.

"Kokua for Japan" was a radio, television and Internet fundraising event, and coordinated by Clear Channel Radio Hawaii. I had a friend producing the event, who was not returning my calls for weeks (elbow, elbow- ha ha ha) because she was subsumed with this effort, so I'm glad her hundreds of hours of labor and stress paid off so handsomely. 

Some of the performers at the five-hour Waikiki concert included Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Henry Kapono, Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Jake Shimabukuro and the Brothers Cazimero. Other benefit nominees include Taylor Swift's Speak Now Tour to Benefit Tornado Victims; the Oklahoma Tornado Relief Concert featuring Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton; CMT Presents Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live from the Gulf Coast; and Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert.

For a complete list of nominees and to vote for "Kokua for Japan," visit www.vh1.com/shows/events/do_something_awards/2011/concert.

Sleeping arrangements

July 22nd, 2011
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I bought tickets for Sesame Street Live when it came to Honolulu. Claus and I took Olivia and made a family Sunday out of it. We met up with my cousin Val and her youngest, five year old Carson. The other two kids are too old to want to see Sesame Street anymore!

In the theater, which was dark and cool, both Olivia and I started to get sleepy midway through the show. Aah, she is so my daughter. She started leaning on me in all kinds of positions, until she finally settled on putting her head on my lap and her legs on Claus' lap. She fell asleep.

Meanwhile, I too was getting tired, so I put my head on his shoulder and nodded off. I was awoken by a soft shaking, which turned out to be his body moving as he chuckled at the situation: he's covered with sleeping people from head to toe, while he's forced to sit through a performance he really isn't all that interested in.

More sleepy-time stories:

Many mornings, Olivia wakes up and crawls into my side of the bed. Most young kids are closer to their mother, and she's no exception. Other than the whole mom-baby, "I carried you for nine months" thing, I bet it's because I stayed home with her for most of her first three years.

Saturday morning, she had a head cold. She was coughing and turning restlessly in our queen-sized bed, and I was too crowded to sleep. I relocated myself at 4 a.m. to her bed. I know she wants to be near me, but I also didn't want to keep waking her up so I could take her with me. She needs her sleep.

At 8:30 a.m. I heard her walking around in the hallway looking for me. "Mama?" she said, with a little panic. Little kids hate to be left alone.

"Here, Hon," I called back.

Confusion. "Are you sleeping in my bed?" she asked.

She walked in and indignantly asked why I didn't stay in my bed this morning. And for that matter, why do I tuck her in at night and go in the living room with Daddy to look at the TV?

I answered her questions and then we started getting dressed. As I walked back to my bedroom to make the bed, I was confused as to why Claus' blanket and pillow were missing. (We have separate comforters, a very Scandanivian custom.) Then I laughed because I guessed that she was too annoying to sleep with, so he relocated.

In addition to all the other actions I mentioned above, she kicks Claus in her sleep. She spins around, and he gets her feet. It's always been this way. I get the head and he gets the feet.

I was right. His stuff was in the guest bed. So basically, the smallest person in the house not only chased us out of our own bed, but got the biggest bed in the house.

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Help Barbara Ho beat leukemia

July 20th, 2011
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A 37 year old Honolulu mother of three would appreciate your prayers. Barbara "Barbie" Ho, wife of Hawaii News Now main anchor Keahi Tucker, has leukemia. If you'd like to stay updated or help, her husband asks you please check her website, Help Barbara Ho Beat Leukemia. The situation changes day to day, and Tucker says it's best to contain the information to one central source.

"I'd like to express my thanks to everyone. There are so many people trying to help, it's overwhelming," Tucker told me in a telephone call. "I'm so appreciative. This is actually a testament to my wife; she's the nicest person I've ever known, and that's why I married her. This just shows she has such nice friends."

This Friday, July 22nd, Ho's friends organized a fundraiser at Secured Gold Buyers. It will be held from 5 - 8pm at Ward Warehouse in Honolulu (between Cupcake and Loco Boutique). "Please assure people that we are NOT asking them to donate the cash they receive for their jewelry, but simply asking for everyone to come on that night and Secured Gold Buyers will STRICTLY make a 20% donation directly to Barbie for all the proceeds they made during that time. Although we may not be able to help as a donor, we can still help by attending fund raisers, giving a donation or just moral support!" says her friend Jen Tema, in an e-mail blast.

Tucker is self-conscious about the situation, and in having his private life now so public. "I'm still adjusting to that. It's unusual," he said.

According to Tema, media personality Tiny Tadani is sponsoring Friday's fundraiser and will do a segment on "Match for Barbara" on Tiny TV, every night  at 10:30 pm on OC16.

This story makes me both sad and hopeful. Sad, because I'm close to Ho's age and stage of life, so it's quite close to home to see that an active, healthy person with three children who need her, is now struggling with this misfortune. I don't know Ho or her husband more than a friendly acquaintanceship, connected through the media. (Ho briefly reported for KHON.) But they're both well-regarded and it's so unfair that this should happen to good people.

On the other hand, it's inspiring to see all the people who band together to help a woman. It's heartwarming to realize people will give of themselves for a common cause.

I wish Ho and Tucker the best.

Daily updates and Ho's blog at: matchforbarbara.com

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Also reach me via DianeAko.com