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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.

Confusing husband

August 19th, 2016

People are funny. No, really. Just so very curious.

My husband went out for his usual bike ride. He, as I've said before, is a dalmation. He needs intense daily exercise or he goes nuts, as do those around him.


It's a 30 mile loop that he does in less than two hours. I was home and noticed he was overdue. Must be telepathy, because I shortly thereafter got a call from him.

"Can you pick me up? I got a flat," he asked. "I'm just down the street by the school."

"You're just three blocks away. I hate driving your car," I whined. These aren't even New York city length blocks. They're little suburban blocks, very short.

He cajoled, "I don't feel like walking home."

Really, Claus? You bike 30 miles and you can't walk three blocks? You can spontaneously enter a triathlon at the last minute and still place first in your age group, and you can't walk three blocks?

Curses, his car. It's so big and it has all these buttons that I don't know what to press. I just drove off and left the dang garage door open. I was all panicky about driving a huge SUV.

He was at the school, as promised. I pulled into the parking lot so he could load up his bike. All these stupid buttons; I didn't even know which one to pop the trunk.

When we arrived home he saw the garage open. I explained that, in case he didn't figure this out over the last 16 years, I'm a Luddite and I have no idea which button is for the garage. Stupid fancy cars nowadays.

"This one - haven't you seen me do this a thousand times by now?" he chuckled.

"I don't pay attention to you," I reminded, shrugging on the role of the old married couple like a tattered shawl.

"Thanks," he frowned.

"What?" I said.

Posted in family | 3 Comments »

Slumber party

August 17th, 2016

Olivia and I had a slumber party. With each other. It was so much FUN!

It didn't quite start out that way. It was the usual bedtime tuck-in process, which for us means a little one-on-one chat time. When I was working, the talks were ten to 30 minutes.

Now, though, the sky's the limit! Or, until someone gets tired.

Boy, can we talk. And talk. And talk. She is so much fun to talk to.

I felt like a nine year old myself, when it feels like I spent every school weekend at my best friend Steph's house and then the entire summer.

We talked about hopes and fears, goals and challenges, gossip and funny stories. It just kept going and going.

She told me about pinch pots and disco parties at summer fun, what the boy who likes her did today, and small fruits that would be nice to craft into a lei (instead of a cellophane candy lei.)

We compared favorite candies, places to go for Girls' Day together, and how much we love each other (always involves astronomy and superlatives.)

I shared gross pet stories (e.g.: dog enema), which resulted in a burst of energy and raucous laughter. This is the point during a sleep over in which I would be walking to her room saying, "Girls. It's time to wind down and sleep."

Somewhere during all this chatter, I decided I would just stay in her bed and we could call it a sleep over. That was well received.

We actually tried a few times to go to sleep but someone would say something else and the conversation would just pick up again. We couldn't help ourselves.

Next thing you know, 90 minutes had passed. "Mommy, I really should sleep. It's 10 o'clock and I don't want to be tired tomorrow."

I can't believe we've created such a perfectly reasonable little human who would utter these sensible words. I'd have fallen out of something if I weren't already lying down.

"OK. I love talking to you, though. Good night," I said a little reluctantly. I was having such a good time.

Luckily, there's always next weekend, and I can ask her if she wants to have a sleep over again.

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