Archive for May, 2015

Kaimuki woman is boxing's oldest current World Champion

May 20th, 2015

When I reached Eileen Miyoko Olszewski by phone, she was just finishing her two hour daily workout at the boxing gym. She's keeping it "short" now that's she's 46 years old, she told me.

Diane with boxer Eileen Olszewski

Diane with boxer Eileen Olszewski

"I run about ten miles a week, in addition to shadowboxing 20 minutes straight. I also spar two to three times a week. and add in stretching, and reinforcement exercises to work the underused muscles," she detailed, making me tired just hearing it!

It's the kind of determination that catapulted Olszewski to the title of the oldest current boxing champion in the world, male or female. She was 45 years old when she earned that distinction in September 2013 in a fight against Patricia Alcivar for the world flyweight title. It was a quick ascension for a woman who only turned pro seven years before, at age 38.

Boxing champion Eileen Olszewski

Boxing champion Eileen Olszewski

In a way, it's a surprising turn for the Palolo native, who didn't expect to make a career of professional boxing, despite the fact that she loved to watch boxing every Saturday on television with her father.

Still, the Kaimuki High School graduate had danced through school, and after graduation, turned down a partial Rainbow Dancer scholarship to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to train with ballet great Noland Dingman in Florida. From there, she parlayed her dancing skills into a job at Disneyworld, before moving to New York City and taking odd jobs before finally scoring a rare opportunity.

"I was selected to be a Knicks City Dancer for the New York Knicks NBA team. This was from 1992 to 1995 under Coach Pat Riley, when this was the hottest ticket in the NBA, and when hip hop was in its golden age!" reflects Olszewski of the unforgettable experience.

After her tenure with the Knicks ended, Mortal Kombat: Live Tour hired her as a stuntwoman as it played on stages across South America.

Eileen and Matthew Olszewski

Eileen and Matthew Olszewski

Olszewski transitioned into boxing after she met her husband, Matthew, who was a boxing trainer. "I met Matthew in a martial art studio in Chinatown in Manhattan. I was rehearsing for a kung fu movie trailer with Stephen Tartarglia, a stuntman in Hong Kong and in Jackie Chan films. Matthew was visiting New York and strolled in. We both were surprised later to find out we liked the same restaurant out of the hundreds in Chinatown!"

Matthew started training her and recognized she had an aptitude for striking. "I like boxing. Like dance, it's both an art and a science. I like that there's always more to master," she explains. "I constantly continue my education; I study anatomy and kinesiology for my work as a trainer and rehab/performance specialist. I study fights and train with high intensity to stay in top of my game."

With his encouragement, Olszewski pursued the sport seriously. "I still remember my first fight. It was terrifying! I still remember little details like the floor being turquoise, and this woman coming at me, me trying to block her and looking at the floor wondering, 'Why am I here? All my friends are back in Hawaii having babies!' Then I told myself to get a grip  and I stopped her in the second round."


Looks are deceiving. In person, she is gorgeous - a petite and feminine woman whose beautifully sculpted muscles don't seem like they can deliver such a punishing blow.  She smiles easily and radiates charisma.

She's not sure when she will hang up the gloves and what would be next, but says a logical transition would be to train up and coming fighters. "I have assisted Matthew in training his latest two amateur champions, however he has already produced many amateur champions and has trained and cornered several professional world champions" she details.

When she's not boxing, she likes to cook, stroll through flea markets, and picnic at Central Park, which is near her residence. She says she'd love to retire in Hawaii!

Meantime, she's planned a visit to Oahu for this fall, to see her mother, and possibly, make a public appearance. Count me among her new fan base.

On being a psychic

May 18th, 2015

On last Sunday's radio show, Hawaii Matters on Ohana Broadcast (93.1, 94.7, 102.7, 105.9 FM on Oahu), the topic was psychics: How does a psychic work? And how do you know when you’re seeing one who is legitimate?

Diane with Darrell Harada and Melissa Kurpinski

Diane with Darrell Harada and Melissa Kurpinski.

A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses. The Gallup Organization in 2005 did a survey and found that 41 percent of those polled believed in ESP and 26 percent believed in clairvoyance. 31 percent believe in telepathy or psychic communication.

Darrell Harada and Melissa Kurpinski, Honolulu psychics, shared more about their talents and provided advice for the audience on how to find and vet one if you're in the mood to see one. In full disclosure, I throw an annual Halloween bash and hire them both to read for the guests; the feedback my guests give me is positive.

"The word psychic literally means - of the soul, so psychic ability is soul ability. What is normally considered a psychic type is really a description related to our five senses. So clairvoyance means clear seeing and is related to the visual receiving of energy and having it appear as mental images or as visions. Without getting too technical, psychics feel, see, hear, smell, and just know information," said Harada. 

He says he uses all psychic senses, but least used is the sense of smell. "I feel sensations or emotions, see images from my memory or knowledge bank, hear words that sound like my thought but feel different, and sometimes just have things pop in my head."

Kurpinkski says she gets images and feelings when she sits to read someone.

Is everyone psychic? Harada believes it's a latent skill everyone has, "but just as everyone can sing or do math easier than others, I am more easily able to use and understand psychic ability. To me you don't develop it, you become aware of it and get to know your style of sensing and communicating with the spirit world and Higher Power."

He shares one technique: "Go back to a moment of regret, then back up to when the wrong decision was made, then back up even further to when you struggled between your logical mind and your intuition, then when you can identify your intuitive voice, remember it and get more comfortable listening to it.

If you're seeking one, Kurpinski suggests, "The best caution I can give is to be wary of anyone trying to up-sell you. Especially if the price dramatically increases, say from a reading that was a $100, to telling you to buy curse-lifting candles for a few thousand dollars. Also, if the information is to directive- if they are telling you how to live- that's a red flag."

Remember, both intuitives say, the future changes all the time and we can create our own destiny!

Most Popular Baby Names in Hawaii for 2014

May 15th, 2015

 The Social Security Administration announced the most popular baby names in Hawaii for 2014.  Emma and Noah topped the list.

The top five boys and girls names for 2014 in Hawaii were:

Boys:                                       Girls:

1)   Noah                                 1)   Emma

2)   Liam                                 2)   Mia

3)   Mason                               3)   Sophia

4)   Aiden                                4)   Aria

5)   Alexander                         5)   Lily

Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced last week that Noah and Emma were the most popular baby names in the U.S.  How does Hawaii compare to the rest of the country?  Check out Social Security’s website -- to see the top baby names for 2014.

Social Security has a new addition this year too, Social Security Matters, the agency’s newborn interactive blog located at

Social Security Matters, the agency’s new bundle of joy, launches as it celebrates 80 years of serving the American public. It also is a place where the public can engage in conversations with the agency about what matters most. The blog encourages discussion and offers important solutions.

The birth of a child is a special time for families. While having fun with the baby names list, Acting Commissioner Colvin encourages everyone to visit the agency’s website and create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.govmy Social Security is a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits.

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries can have instant access to their benefit verification letter, payment history, and complete earnings record by establishing a my Social Security account.  Beneficiaries also can change their address, start or change direct deposit information, and print a replacement SSA-1099 online.

Individuals age 18 and older who are not receiving benefits can also sign up for a my Social Security account to get their personalized online Social Security Statement.  The online Statement provides workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement.

In addition to each state’s top baby names, Social Security’s website has a list of the 1,000 most popular boys’ and girls’ names for 2014 and offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880.

To read about this year’s winner for the biggest jump in popularity and to see how pop culture affects baby names, go to!/post/5-2015-1.


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Mother's Day 2015

May 13th, 2015

I love Mother's Day because I love being Olivia's mother, and I love my own mother.

Mother's Day is really for the kids, I have come to realize. Olivia took great pleasure in making and giving me gifts, and since seven-year-olds can't keep a secret, I got to hear all about it in the week leading up to it.

That was like a gift to me too - I love hearing her get excited about what she's planning for me. In her art class, she made a coin purse for me with a potpourri sachet inside. I'm required to wear this on my purse.

photo 1

Later in the week, I got a beautiful, hand-made note pad holder. The night before, she laboriously wrapped four gifts for me in secret in her room. JUST - SO - CUTE.

Sunday morning, so woke up early and got her dad out of bed so they could make me breakfast. I was instructed not to come into the kitchen until they called me, which is a little funny since my weekend habit is to have a cup of coffee and wake up slowly while I drink it. I don't usually eat for a while until I have had coffee. So I'm skulking about my room waiting to be told I could come out.

Olivia had taken such great care to make everything perfect and set the table with my place setting in the middle of the counter. She glowed in my praise for her attention to detail, thoughtfulness, and creativity.

photo 2

I remember doing similar for my mother, and it always being such a lovely moment. The daily grind of parenting has its challenges but a day like this reminds me of why it's well worth it!

How was your Mother's Day? I hope it was a good one!

Be a Butterfly Hero

May 11th, 2015

Be a Butterfly Hero. The majestic monarch butterfly is in decline and needs our help. National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is giving away 50,000 Butterfly Heroes Garden kits to help save the monarch butterfly.

NWF’s new Butterfly Hero Campaign asks people to submit a photo of themselves making the international sign language sign of the butterfly, which you can see on NWF’s Butterfly Heroes website at: By doing that you'll be taking a pledge, and participants will be mailed a free kit (while supplies last).

If entered by May 15, participants are eligible for a chance to win a trip for four to Walt Disney World. Botanical Interests is supporting the campaign with a donation of native milkweed seeds.

"We can each be a part of saving the monarch butterfly. The simple act of planting milkweed with your family provides monarchs with a place to lay their eggs, and helps ensure this iconic species has a future," said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation.
Pollinators, of which the monarch butterfly is a part of, are mostly responsible for all the food that we eat. While monarchs are found across the United States — as recently as 1996 numbering some 1 billion — their numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent in recent years, a result of numerous threats, particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion. Degradation of wintering habitat in Mexico and California  also has a negative impact on the species.
Monarch butterflies spend winter in Mexico or Central and Southern California, and then migrate north in spring into neighborhoods across the United States. They need places to rest their wings, drink flower nectar, and lay their eggs on milkweed which their baby caterpillars eat. Monarchs are losing this habitat, and without it the Monarch cannot survive. NWF is asking that people across the United States to plant milkweed to preserve the monarch’s habitat. Learn more about NWF’s monarch protection efforts at and
NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use.

With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provides food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries.

The brand new Butterfly Heroes Campaign is organized by NWF and is a part of a number of programs designed to inspire people to get outdoors, help wildlife, and become more aware of the nature in their neighborhood and community. NWF has worked to connect people with nature for decades, inspiring people through Ranger Rick magazine, working with educators to get kids greening their schools and learning outdoors.

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