Archive for August, 2016

The driving daddy

August 31st, 2016

Every family has its own in-jokes. One of ours is about my forgetting bananas in the car for a week, hence our term "carnanas" for forgotten food, or like the time two year old Olivia hid in a closet trying to open a vacuum-sealed bag of nuts, and told us she was "just doing my peanut work." Now, every time we use the word "work" in a sentence, we always call it "peanut work."

Claus is the latest to add to this list of laughables, for the time he asked me to pick him up THREE BLOCKS from home after he got a bicycle flat... after riding 30 miles. Sometimes Olivia or I will call out to him from the front yard and ask him to come pick us up because we're tired.


But really. Today we got in the car to go somewhere together, and he went in the opposite direction of the main road. "What are you doing?" I asked.

"I have to drop something off at your dad's first," he explained. My dad literally lives eight houses up the street from us. We can and do walk there (or past there) all the time.

"We couldn't just walk there?" I asked incredulously.

When Olivia came home from school, I knew she would get a kick out of this story, so I told her. To my great surprise, she actually said he did that with her the week previous, and was herself thinking, "Why couldn't we have just walked here? This is weird."

I asked him what he was thinking. "It was raining," he said. If laughter is the best medicine, this family is sure it.

Birthday weekend in Waikiki!

August 29th, 2016

I usually don't make a fuss about my birthday. It's not because I'm unhappy about getting older or anything. I just don't. No real reason.


This year, for some reason, I celebrated it quite a bit. It was coincidence that I had time and circumstance.

My family took me to dinner the day before, at Alan Wong's Honolulu. It's one of my favorites. And I like Chef Alan a lot, too.


Impeccable service, exquisite food, convenient location. What's not to like?


Olivia was mighty impressed with this, her first luxury dining experience. She's had high class dinners but this is the highest and classiest.

Beet salad. So artful!

Beet salad. So artful!

I even "cut loose" and had a glass of wine. I rarely drink alcohol because it makes me tired. A mom can't afford to be tired.

I stopped drinking wine when I got pregnant and I never really picked it up again. I will go to nine out of ten social functions and decline wine, even if it's free.

Sisto Domingo and me

Sisto Domingo and me

Over the weekend, we checked in at Halekulani - a gift from my generous friend Sisto. It's always lovely to see my former coworkers again. It's such a gracious hotel with perfect service.

Our view! Look at green Diamond Head is!

Our view! Look how green Diamond Head is!

The suite was incredible. A few of my hotel work friends sent some treats to the room, which was so thoughtful and much appreciated.




They even thought of Olivia!

They even thought of Olivia!

You guys! Thank you so much!!!

You guys! Thank you so much!!!

We spent most of our time in the pool or beach, though the second greatest use of time was walking around Waikiki! We saw the newly opened International Market Place and I was a bit sad to see how different the flavor is from the kitschy old mall.

The century-old banyan tree at International Market Place

The century-old banyan tree at International Market Place

I completely understand it's the best use of valuable property, and it's well done. It just feels like every other luxury shopping center in Hawaii and in America.

It's probably just because I'm a local and I know what it was, that I miss it. I'm being rigid and resistant to change.

We also walked into Harry Winston and tried on some jewelry. Mind you, I'd never have the audacity to walk into a store in which I could afford nothing, and waste their time asking to try on pieces.

Reef and me. I'm such a goober.

Reef and me. I'm such a goober.

However, as Olivia and I were drooling at a window display, the security guard started waving - it was my high school classmate! OK, if they can hire Reef, they must be pretty cool, I thought.

This was my first time ever doing this (of so many unusual things I've done- go figure!) and they take you into a special room to try on the jewelry. I asked to try on the pink, six carat diamond because it's $20 million and I wanted to know what it feels like to be that close to that much money.

$20 million ring

$20 million ring

Oooh, that diamond. Wow, it sure looked good on my finger. I'm fairly sure the diamond and I were soul mates in a previous life and we're supposed to find each other in this life.

We made such a fuss, even Claus tried it on.

We made such a fuss, even Claus tried it on.

See: now the connection has been made, but the diamond is still not quite ready to be with me so we're still in a separation period. I have faith that when it's right, that diamond and I will be reunited for good.

The $800,000 yellow diamond

The $800,000 yellow diamond

Then we tried on a 13 carat yellow diamond that retails for a mere $800,000. The super cute sales ladies thought my daughter and I were funny so they also brought out a pair of 18 carat, $180,000 diamond earrings.


Halekulani, Alan Wong's, and Harry Winston. I've spoiled Olivia. I saw a pretty flower as we were walking around Waikiki, and I pointed it out to my girl.


"Look! What a pretty pink!" I exclaimed.

"Meh. It's not a pink diamond," Olivia joked back. Man, I'm sorry, Future Boyfriend of Olivia. That's a pretty hard act to follow.


Though for right now, I'm happy. It was a great birthday - and I'm ready for what the next trip around the sun brings!

Hobbies inspired by our child

August 26th, 2016

It's funny, how having a child opens you to new experiences and people. We've made friends (e.g. the Hartensteins) and gone places (e.g. the Ewa Train) we otherwise wouldn't have. We've also picked up new hobbies inspired by our daughter.

The Hartensteins, 2013

The Hartensteins, 2013

I guess we approach life differently, Husband and I. Because Olivia started doing these things, I picked up an interest - at first because it seemed like a nice way to spend more time with her doing the activities she likes.

16-7-3 Olivia in animals

I have a recent interest in ukulele, sketching, and I would really love to take up hip-hop dancing, though I won't because I feel silly that the "adult" class consists of newly formed adults - like, they literally all just qualified to buy alcohol, and maybe the oldest can now rent a car. I could be their mother.

With my Kanile`a ukulele

With my Kanile`a ukulele

My husband, on the other hand, really surprised me with what he picked up from Olivia: video games. Now, they sit down and play or what have you together.


Sometimes, I see him with his iPad all alone on the sofa and he's actually playing games by himself. There is no kid in sight to instigate this.

That, and peanut butter. European through-and-through, he has disdained peanut butter for almost as long as I've known him. It's hard to get there so they don't develop a taste for it. Their version is Nutella (which I don't like.)

"Hello, I'm so Danish if I admit to eating peanut butter they'll revoke my Euro card."

"Hello, I'm so Danish, if I admit to eating peanut butter they'll revoke my Euro card." Would that be called the Sexit? Scandinavian Exit?

Now, however, because he makes so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he's actually taken to liking this very American paste. He makes Olivia PB&J. He makes himself PB, no J. Just peanut butter and bread.

This child. She has enriched our lives in ways we didn't even imagine.


I have a feeling Claus is hoping she'll get into Pokemon Go next. It's, um, "for her," you know.


Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Sean Ibara!

August 24th, 2016

One of my dear friends, Sean Ibara, got married this summer. It was a beautiful ceremony at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, and I was tickled to be invited.

Benika & Sean Ibara

Benika & Sean Ibara

This could not have happened to a nicer person. I've known Sean for about twelve years, when he first came to KHNL and was my producer and then my weekend assignment editor. We kept our friendship when I wasn't in media, then continued our professional relationship when I went to KHON, where he'd migrated to continue at the assignment desk, newscast producing, and an added role as the Consumer Alert (Mondays at 5 p.m.) reporter.


He's earnest, sincere, honest, dedicated, and level-headed. He has a heart of gold. Everyone likes Sean. Nobody doesn't like Sean.

KHON2's Taizo Braden caught the garter!

KHON2's Taizo Braden caught the garter!

He met his bride Benika when they were at UH ten years ago, and after time and distance turned their friendship into a pan-Pacific relationship, they finally created the circumstances to marry.

She is beautiful, accomplished, sophisticated, and intelligent, and from what I've encountered of her, kind, sweet, loving, and caring. What a wonderful pairing of two good people.

In an era of so much strife and struggle, it's always a delight to pause and celebrate goodness and joy, love and optimism. She gathered her friends from England and her family from Japan.

He invited family, of course, and his friends from the local Japanese community in which he's an active volunteer, and from the local media, in which he has a solid reputation and a great deal of respect.

Back: Minna Sugimoto, Marisa Yamane, Howard Dashefsky, Randy Ennis, Rich Meiers, Kristine Uyeno, Mari-Ela David Chock. Second row: Craoline Julian, me, Tasha Tanimoto. Front: Benika and Sean.

Back: Minna Sugimoto, Marisa Yamane, Howard Dashefsky, Randy Ennis, Rich Meiers, Kristine Uyeno, Mari-Ela David Chock. Second row: Caroline Julian, me, Tasha Tanimoto. Front: Benika and Sean.

There were a few tables for the TV folk. I loved seeing all my former colleagues and friends.

Emi Aiko, me, Sean, Minna.

Emi Aiko, me, Sean, Minna.

Me, Kanoe Gibson, Sheryl Turbeville.

Me, Kanoe Gibson, Sheryl Turbeville - all formerly of KHON2.

Most of my deep friendships come from KHNL, simply because of time and circumstance: I was single and childless for much of my time at Channel 8, which meant loads of time to socialize and form bonds.

At KHON2, the morning shifters were so tired after work, people mostly kept to themselves and did a lot of sleeping. Because of this, I didn't also get to hang out with the other crews.

With Senator Glenn Wakai, formerly of KHNL.

With Senator Glenn Wakai, formerly of KHNL.

Travis Nishida and Daralyn Young.

Travis Nishida and Daralyn Young.

Every time I see these friends I appreciate more how much they meant to me, and how special this period of my life was. It's a gift, really, to find a harmonious situation and to develop meaningful bonds with those you work with. One cannot take this for granted.

KHON2's Ken Mashiyama shot the event.

KHON2's Ken Mashiyama shot the event...

...with the teensiest bit of help from me, so he could be in some of the shots. Ha ha!

...with the teensiest bit of help from me, so he could be in some of the shots. Ha ha!

Former Honolulu Advertiser photographer Greg Yamamoto shot the stills.

Former Honolulu Advertiser photographer Greg Yamamoto shot the stills.

So my heart is full - both for the happiness a good friend has found in his new wife, and for the event that brought us together to toast it with him. Cheers to Benika and Sean!

Posted in Career | 2 Comments »

The new IT Director

August 22nd, 2016

When Olivia was eight, she taught me how to put together a PowerPoint presentation. She proudly showed us her class project, and I was very impressed by the fancy wipes, transitions, fly ins, and what not. She even used a built-in laser pointer function to point to the text or images as she spoke to it.

Holy cow. I asked her to teach me how to do that. Schooled by a third grader.

I can edit video on Avid, I can work fairly well on Word and Excel, but for some reason, I've never had to put together a PowerPoint. When I was a PR director, I, um, had people for that.

I don't know when I'll ever need to do that again but I like to always build my skill set. So one Sunday afternoon, she sat down with me and worked with me on a sample demonstration that I put together myself. Yay, Mommy!

"Or I can just do it for you if you need. You can hire me," she offered. "I'll only charge you $5."

Five bucks. What a bargain! Done!

Realizing I've come to the age where the young mind is more in tune with technology than I am, I asked her to fix some other tech issues for me. I need help with my iTunes and I seem to have maxed out the storage on my personal iPhone.

"Yep, I'll look at that for you," she stated with all the confidence of a tech professional. And I truly believe she will fix it.

So she's now our household Director of IT. I actually like it.

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