Archive for September, 2012

Smithsonian Museum Day

September 28th, 2012

Tomorrow- Saturday, September 29- hundreds of museums nationwide will open their doors for free, including nine local museums in Hawaii that are participating. Those are:

Anna Ranch Heritage Center
Bailey House Museum
Grove Farm Museum
Mission Houses Museum
Iolani Palace
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor
Queen Emma Summer Palace
Tropic Lightning Museum
Schofield Barracks
You have to download a ticket before going to the museum, and this Museum Day Live! ticket is only good for two people per household, per address. If you go to Museum Day Live! with more than one guest, your other guests will have to pay full admission.
The purpose of this promotion is to make Smithsonian artifacts and expertise more widely available- so if you can't go to the Smithsonian, it can come to you.
This Saturday, September 29th, museums nationwide will open their doors for free and local museums in your area are participating.  Museum-goers can download free tickets on the Smithsonian website, which grants free admission for 2 people.
For a list of participating museums in your area and to download tickets please email me or visit  I hope you will include this in your reporting this wThis Saturday, September 29th, museums nationwide will open their doors for free and local museums in your area are participating.  Museum-goers can download free tickets on the Smithsonian website, which grants free admission for 2 people.

For a list of participating museums in the country, and to download tickets, visit

Book report

September 26th, 2012

Having a child who now has homework reminds me, at times, that everything is relative. I had just come home from another non-stop day at the office, and was stressing out about a big work report due the next day.

I had a week to do the project and every single day, I kept saying I'd find the time to write it, but fires kept cropping up, or meetings ran overtime, or  some such. I had no time to finish in the workday, so I was finally, begrudgingly, taking my work home to finish that night.

Olivia was unpacking her school bag and starting on her kindergarten homework. She was fussing (partially because she was tired and hungry.) I went over to see how I could help. She had a book report due: a plot summary and a drawing.

"Mommy, can you draw the mermaid tail? I tried to and it doesn't look right," she moped, and gestured to her stick figure with blonde hair and a curved line for a tail. She was trying to copy artwork of Barbie mermaid.


"Sure, Sweetie," I said, and took the crayon. I ended up drawing the tail, some sparkles, a surfboard, some more sparkles on that, and a flower corset on Barbie mermaid's halter top. It did not at all look like the book cover art. I am a horrid artist, but Olivia still liked it. (I suppose I shouldn't admit I just did my kid's homework!)

She then said she had no idea how to write this book report, which to my amusement, asked for a one sentence summary of the book. "What's this book about? Tell Mommy. I didn't read it," I encouraged.

Olivia got all super dramatic and flopped her body around with great emphasis to indicate how frustrated she was with trying to explain this huge, long book. There is just no way to sum up what happened to Mer-Barbie in this 14 page book, apparently.

With a little coaching, I got her to whittle down the plot to "Barbie saves the ocean."

Writing that was an entirely different thing. Again with the drama and the body flops. I had to stand there for five minutes and spell every letter of the sentence.

When it was done, you would have thought Olivia just beat Bryan Clay at the decathlon. She acted like she was so fatigued at this herculean task.

I laughed and thought about this as I sat at the computer for my own herculean task, which I'm relieved to say, I did finish in time. Without too many body flops. I hope we both get an "A."

Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival Week

September 24th, 2012

Thank a fisherman today. If it weren't for the folks who go out and catch the fish, we wouldn't be able to celebrate the very fun Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival Week next month.

For the seventh year in a row, Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) will coordinate the events, which culminate in the popular festival on Sunday, October 7, at Pier 38, from 9 am-4 pm. "We are expecting more than 20,000 people, over 100 vendors, ono seafood, live entertainment featuring Sean Na'auao, songwriter of the hit Fish and Poi, hula dancers, taiko drums, keiki games, workshops, cooking and fishing demonstrations, and more. The festival is a free and fun event for the entire family, and anyone who enjoys and supports fishing and seafood in Hawaii. Free parking & Shuttle service will be available from Honolulu Community College," says spokesperson Cindy Paliracio.

There will be a week-long celebration of activities and events leading into the festival, which will benefit several other organizations as well, including the Institute of Human Services, Culinary Institute of the Pacifi, University of Hawaii Culinary Programs, and the Mike Sakamoto Scholarship.

The Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival Week includes:

Fishing For Hawaii's Hungry, Sept. 28-30: A free trolling tournament benefiting IHS. All fish will be donated to help feed Hawaii's hungry. The goal is to donate 500 lbs. of fish. Currently, the only source of protein IHS provides is ground beef. Weigh-in at Pier 38 on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 10 am-12 pm.

Sea To Me Tasting Night at Pier 38 (above Nico's), Oct. 5: A night of seafood prepared by culinary students from Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Big Island. Limited tickets are available for $75 benefiting the Culinary Institute of the Pacific & UH Culinary Schools. This event is expected to sell out.

Keiki Art Contest Display at Windward Mall, Oct. 6: The theme of this years contest is Why is our fishing & seafood community important to me. Keiki in grades 3- 12 can enter to win cash and other prizes. Entries need to be in by September 21. Winners will be showcased at Windward Mall and at the Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival.

7th Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival at Pier 38, Oct. 7: Hawaii's largest fishing and seafood festival. Ono food, entertainment, fishing and cooking demos, keiki games, ice dig, learn about island fish at our amazing reef fish display, visit our country store, learn fishing techniques of the old days from kupuna, and much more.

Visit for more.

Learning Danish

September 21st, 2012

At five years old, Olivia's Danish language skills definitely outpace mine. Claus speaks exclusively in Danish to her. Up until recently, I could understand most of the repetitive commands: Have you had dinner? Do you want milk? Take a shower. Let's read a book.

Now, though, her vocabulary is really growing in both English and Danish. I don't feel left out, but rather, I see this as an opportunity to challenge myself to learn a little more of this language, even though it now means I have to make an effort, rather than to just be around it all the time.

I announced my intentions to the family and asked for Claus' help in tailoring some conversation just to me. "Speak half Danish to me so I can hear the word better," I asked. He is working on it, but it's going to be a hard habit for him to get into, I can tell.

And to Olivia, I asked her to teach me by reading me a Danish book at the end of the night. She is thrilled at being the teacher.

For a few nights so far, we've expanded the bedtime ritual thusly: after she gets an English book read to her, she "reads" me a Danish book. She points at the picture, says the Danish word, and has me repeat after her. She will correct me if I pronounce it wrong or encourage me if I say it right. Daddy is there as backup.

It's pretty cute. "Good job, Mommy! You did the whole page by yourself! Let's do the next page!" It's exactly all the things we say to her when we help her with her homework, but it's funny that she parrots it back to me now. Most surprising, it's really nice to hear it said to me. A few simple words of encouragement go a long way.

I'm actually not sure how much Danish I'll get from this, but it is an unexpected joy to watch my girl thrive in the role of a mentor, so for this alone I'm going to try to keep this ritual up for a while.

Fighting fish

September 19th, 2012

My dad gave us a new fighting fish to replace the one that died. It's a pretty red double tail, and he's super feisty. Let's just call him Rainbow, because that's what name Olivia likes for this week.

We were admiring him swimming around the bowl when I noticed that he, more than any of the other fighting fish I've had, truly lives up to his name. He would track my movements and lunge at the side of the glass at me. If my finger was a fish, it'd be in big trouble.

"Hey, look! This guy really wants to fight with me!" I laughed.

Claus leaned over the bowl and wagged his finger at Rainbow. "Can I give you some advice, Mister? Don't do it. Just don't do it."

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