Archive for April, 2012

Minna's party

April 30th, 2012

My longtime friend and colleague Minna Sugimoto moved on to a new job outside of news, so current and former staff got together for a send off. Minna reported and anchored for KHNL, then the combined KHNL-KGMB operation, for a total of 14 years. She's now moving into a field similar to mine, as Communications Director at Hawk Tree International. She's thrilled; good for her!

Diane and Minna

Diane and Minna

The party, which lasted 10 hours, was at Hawaii News Now reporter Brooks Baehr's house. I very much enjoyed seeing old colleagues and friends again, and getting to meet new ones. I like the newsroom culture, and I like the kind of people it attracts.

Here's some photos from the night - only the non-embarrassing ones!


Lyle, Diane, Russ, Brooks

Lyle, Diane, Russ, Brooks

Diane, Teri, Keoki

Diane, Teri, Keoki

Diane, Sean

Diane, Sean

Maile, Beth, Ed

Maile, Beth, Ed

Posted in Career | 6 Comments »

Time travel, part 2

April 27th, 2012

"I'm doing things with Claus I haven't done in six years!" I exclaimed to my guy friend on the phone, who asked what I have been up to.

"Wow! Good for Claus!" he replied.

"I didn't mean it like that," I laughed.

"I did," he said.

It's true. I got pregnant, had a baby, and life completely changed. The simple act of taking a walk alone or going to the beach without packing toys and floaties is now unthinkable to me. We have not had this kind of couples time since I got pregnant six years ago.  I scared a young couple with this information.

Day three of the staycation passed in much the same form as the previous two days; some exercise, lots of nothing, and an afternoon nap. I went three for three on this one, and I love it so much, I'm thinking of approaching my state legislator to sponsor a bill to make a daily siesta mandatory. That, or get myself re-enrolled in preschool.

I originally thought the mini-vacation served as a small reminder of what my life was before I had a child, but after the nap times, I am starting to think it also gives me a glimpse into my future as a retiree. Either way, I like.

So on the third day off, Claus started with a dawn bike ride for a couple hours, followed by an hour walk with me and the dog. He then had to stop in at work for a couple hours. That's the thing about being a manager. He had to go manage.

I also had to do a little bit of work, and did check the cell phone for e mails and messages every few hours. I like to work, but I forced myself to take a mental break. I think it's healthier, though that means I'll have a pile of e mails to return to upon my return.

April 2012 107

In the afternoon, we met up again for lunch at another new-to-us joint, Bella Mia in Kaimuki. It was very nice, and I would go again. The food was hearty, the service was friendly, the price was reasonable, and I like supporting small businesses.

I followed this up with a nap and a long walk around the block.

Very, very enjoyable. We love to travel and discover new places, but at this stage of life, this was the perfect type of vacation for us.

What's your vacation this year?

Time travel

April 25th, 2012

My house looks a wreck, and I don't remember it being this way in 2006. Oh well, the basic premise of my time traveling vacation is being fulfilled, which is - to spend time doing activities I enjoyed doing before I had a child.

For three lovely days, my husband and I took vacation so we could hang out together and remember what it was like to do things without having to account for a third person, and most importantly, to reconnect with each other. We have spots of time alone, but it's not frequent, it's not more than a couple hours, and it's not usually in the day.

This year, we wanted a mini-vacation that allowed Olivia's patterns to continue, while we played hookey. This way, she could go to preschool all day, get picked up by the sitter and watched for his two hours' duty, which let us have about eight hours a day to ourselves. Perfect.

The first day, we went for a three hour hike in the hot sun. The dog and I were wiped out. This is nothing for Claus, who exercises about five hours a week, but it's practically my monthly quota of exercise. What was I thinking? I know. I had weekend-warrioritis. Typical overeager desk jockey. I had to take an afternoon nap and I was still groggy and done for the rest of the day.

The second day, we tried a new trail, and only went for one hour. My body was confused by the abnormal pattern and revolted. I got very hungry and wanted to fetch lunch. It's a good thing my gentle husband is clear on the goal of this time off - that it's to hang out, not to work out - or he would be really disappointed.

We ate at a new joint that's been collecting buzz, He'eia Pier General Store & Deli. We liked it. It was an upscale plate lunch in a great part of the island. We ate lunch on the picnic benches outside with a beautiful view of the Pacific. The breezes were blowing, the sun was shining. It doesn't get better than this.

April 2012 089

Or does it?

After lunch, we stopped for dessert at Kaneohe Bakery, also another first for us. My cake decorating teacher worked here once a long time ago. When I was heavy into cake decorating in 2010 and wanted a new career, she said she could refer me for a job here. "It's hard work. You won't like it," she warned. "It's more than just piping cakes."

I'm not afraid of hard work, I told her. But she insisted so much that I tabled the idea, and it eventually drifted off in the tide of unrealized ideas as other things in my life took over. Still, I'd never been inside and was curious. Today was the day for doing new things. This is a vacation, after all! I'm breaking old patterns!

April 2012 091

Inside, I saw the cutest piped cupcakes with a spring theme. They had flowers and butterflies on it, and it was so cute, I had to buy one for my little girl. I stared at it all the way home, inspired to make the same. Like mother, like daughter. When I presented it to her after dinner, she actually said, "It's so pretty, I want to gaze at it all day!" Gaze. Sounds like a Disney word.

The deli and the bakery provided just the right respite. Claus wanted to go for a swim, so we actually chose Waikiki Beach, to continue the theme of playing tourist in one's own hometown. The water was refreshing and clear enough to see a few fish, the waves were gentle, and the view from 400 meters out was stunning. People pay big money to do this, I thought, and this is my office. I should take better advantage of it.

After the swim, we headed home to receive Olivia from the sitter before his shift ended. We would normally then get into the usual dinner-bath-bedtime routine, in which I myself end up falling asleep with or not too long after Olivia. This, however, was not a normal night. This was Date Night!

We asked my parents to come and stay with Olivia so we could eat out in a grown up restaurant. I got to wear a child-unfriendly dress (one that would slide right off if my kid clung to me like a tree, which has been known to happen at the end of some dinners) combined with teetering high heels. We went to a place where semi-loud techno music set the tone, while our food dishes were all spicy, raw, or otherwise would have been deemed weird-tasting by a kid. We both got to indulge in a cocktail.

April 2012 099

Also, I saw no other children in the restaurant. Not only did that establish that I was in an adult-zone, it was very liberating in the sense that I always snap my head around when I hear someone call for Mommy. I can't help it. It's instinct, and it keeps me in a mommy frame of mind. Were I to hear a random call for Mommy, I would then start thinking about Olivia, looking at my watch, and wondering if my mom put her to bed on time. So that didn't happen for two hours, and it was nice.

We got home at 9:30. There was a time when this was the start of my night. At this stage of life, this is the end of my night. Given the massive amount of exercise (don't laugh!), I was actually overextended for the night.

Still, it's been a good vacation so far.


April 20th, 2012

I was in my home office on Saturday morning when Claus came in. "I'd like you to do something for me," he said, in a serious voice that sounded like a preface to a complaint.

"OK?" I ventured.

"I'd really like us to join (a certain organization)," he said. "Can you look into it and sign our family up?" So I wasn't in trouble, but I was about to get work dumped on me for a club I wasn't super interested in.

My husband is the nicest person ever, and he has never treated me like a subordinate. I wouldn't stand for it, but that's besides the point. "Why can't you do it?" I asked.

"You have to sign us up. Applicants have to be US citizens," explained Claus, though he didn't know much more than that. I'd have to look up the fees and the details.

Which annoyed me a little. Like I'm not busy? Spouses do stuff for spouses, but this just seemed a little more secretarial than the usual, Hey, put this check in the bank for me today kind of chore.

"Fine. Draft an application for my review and signature," I sniffed. He looked a mix between amused and surprised.

I have never spoken this way to him before. Frankly, I have never spoken this way to anyone before until I got to this current corporate job. "It's corp-speak," I laughed.

He got up to leave. "Well, well. Okay, then."

We had company coming for breakfast and we were tag-teaming the cooking. He had to go man his dish in the kitchen. I shortly finished my computer task and joined him.

He had hash browns in the pan and they looked decent. We lack a potato ricer, so I asked how he made them. "Fill out a request in triplicate for me to process and respond to," he retorted.

My eyebrows went up an inch and then I let out a big laugh. "So that's how it is?"

"Two can play at that game," he chuckled... but he did look up the club info all by himself online!

Posted in dad, family, mom | 3 Comments »

Speaker phone

April 18th, 2012

I have a gripe. In our very wired society, why do people think it's OK to put their calls on speakerphone - WITHOUT TELLING THE OTHER PARTY?

I have a news flash: there is an assumption that when you call someone (or you take a call from someone) that it's a private conversation between you and the caller, unless otherwise specified.

I have been on a number of calls (to several different people) in which halfway through the conversation, I figure out I'm on speakerphone and there are other people in the car. RUDE, PEOPLE. RUDE.

I understand the following assumptions about busy people: 1) Busy people multitask because they need to use time efficiently, so many calls are made in the car. 2) It's the law to have hands-free headsets in Hawaii. 3) Many newer cars have a built-in Bluetooth in which the conversation is blasted out in the entire car. There is no way to be private in this situation.

I still don't understand why people do this. Maybe it's because I'm sensitive to this issue and it's my pet peeve, but I have always made it a point to open a call with, "Hi, you're on speakerphone with my parents in the car."

Note the use of specifics - "my parents." Referring to a carload of people as "we" is still too vague. I don't mind saying certain private things if only a three year old is listening. Can you inform me if "we" also includes your wife, your mother in law, and/or your preteen child?

Here is a sample of how I have been made aware I'm on speakerphone:

Me: "So what time do you want to meet this Saturday?"

Female friend on the other end of the line: "I don't know. Joe, what time are we done with the kids' soccer game on Saturday?"

Joe: "12."


Me: "Can you ask your wife for me (blah blah blah)"

Male friend: (without a pause or without repeating my message) "She says (answer)."

Part of the reason why they think it's OK is probably because our conversations are very conservative. I have nothing inflammatory or scandalous to say. I am not flirting with them. I am not having an affair and wanting to confide in them. Lucky for me, I'm pretty drama-free these days, which is just how I like it.

However, I still think it's rude. What if I wanted to complain about/divulge something that *I* felt was confidential, that I didn't want their spouse to hear?

This is my information. It's my choice to share with it whom I want. I called you, not you + your spouse.

Most people don't place a social call with a predetermined call agenda, like a business meeting. Stuff comes up organically in the course of conversation. Let me know that I should be editing my words. If nothing else, I'd like to know there are kids in the car so that I don't let loose some swear words and get everyone in a hoo-ha.

I understand a lot of people think it's normal and OK to share everything with their spouse. I consider my husband my best friend and I tell him practically everything (unless you ask me not to.)

However, there is still a difference between summing up a phone conversation to your spouse with, "That was Diane. She had a bad day, people got on her nerves. OK, what's for dinner?" and giving your spouse a courtside seat to listen to my every word for five minutes.

I searched this on the internet and found a number of links that confirm my etiquette rant, This one is from A to Z of Manners & Etiquette:

The caller would talk less freely if it was known that a third person could hear both sides of the discussion. So, speakerphone etiquette rule number one is – to always first obtain consent to put a person on to speakerphone. Advise them of who else can hear the conversation and whether that person is going to participate in the conversation. Then it will not come as a surprise to suddenly hear a third voice talking to them. This applies to conference calls as well.

Does anyone else feel the same and does anyone have examples of where this kind of rudeness actually offended someone?

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