Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

Film director Adam Braff on life in Hawaii

July 18th, 2014

The new film Wish I Was Here is a story about midlife anxieties and suburban discontent, starring Zach Braff and Kate Hudson. Former Scrubs star Braff co-wrote the dramedy with his brother Adam, who happens to be an Oahu resident.

Film director Adam Braff

Film director Adam Braff

I met up with Adam Braff right before the movie opened and talked to him about life in Hawaii. How did the New Jersey native, and longtime Los Angeles resident, decide to make a life in the Aloha State?

"My wife grew up here and I met her in college. We lived in L.A. for 25 years. I was a writer and she was a costume designer. We decided to get out of town and she had always wanted to move back. What we didn't know was how I'd feel about it but I ended up loving it, not just for the reasons everyone knows but after living in L.A. for 25 years this feels like a small town. I love seeing people I know on the streets," Braff told me.

Film director Adam Braff and me

Film director Adam Braff and me

"I came here with the intention of doing lots of water sports but I have spent time taking care of my house. It's so nice, I own a home. I always lived in a condo in L.A. I take care of my kids."

Braff says his goal for next year is to log more time in the ocean. For now, though, he hints at the difficulty of launching a Hollywood career from 3,000 miles away. "I spend a lot of time writing. I'm not somebody who's a success yet and I hope I don't have to move back to L.A. to get a job writing on a TV show. I want to stay here. That's always a struggle."

Braff believes Hawaii audiences will respond well to the movie because "it's about family, and people respond to that. It's about family, spirituality, going through dreams at the expense of everything else. I think those are universal themes."

The Focus Features movie is out today in theaters.

Hurricane Claus

July 9th, 2014

Claus just went on a trip for nearly three weeks. I was a single mother. In this time I started my job at KHON2.

What's more important, I feel, is to say that in this time I was able to keep the house REALLY CLEAN, work a full time job, and still take care of Olivia.

I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let this house look like it was cleaned by my man.

I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let my house look like it was cleaned by my man.

There were actually days when I came home from work and thought, "This house looks really good." That doesn't happen often - believe me. But it did during his trip!

The week he returned, the house fell to pot. He was jet lagged, I was dragging myself around because the accumulated fatigue of the schedule change was kicking my behind, and nobody was asking Olivia to pick up after herself and/or picking up after her.

The first day off I had, I spent two hours cleaning! I think this definitely settles this battle of the sexes, because for over a decade he's been insisting that I'm the messy one.

Men! We will have to revisit this accusation!


July 7th, 2014

I started a new job on June 30 as morning anchor on WakeUp2Day from 5 - 8 a.m. weekdays on KHON2 News. It's extremely fulfilling but I've been subsumed with the transition!

Di & Ron

Di & Ron

I get up at 2 am to get ready and drive to work. For this, I go to sleep at 7:30 p.m. I've done morning anchorships before and I know it takes me at least three weeks to acclimate to the extreme schedule change. I'm ready and willing. I'm happy.


The show is three hours long, the longest I've ever done. It is fun and fast paced, so it goes quickly. My first week was a lot of fun. I'm lucky to have clicked with the crew; everyone has been very helpful and welcoming.

With show guests.

With show guests.

I also love working in the middle of town, across the mall and near Ward Centers! Not that I didn't love my old station, but we weren't located in as fun a part of town!

My family and friends are happy for me but my daughter is still a little huffy! I used to drop her off and pick her up from school, so now that my husband has to do the morning delivery, she's kind of resentful.

I honestly don't fully understand (though it's flattering to be missed) because our mornings  - like everyone else's - are one big rush to drag a sleepyhead out of bed and push her through her routine before we rush off to wherever she needs to be. I feel like it isn't quality time, but she misses that hour.

I chose to work mornings because I get off in the early afternoon, so I can have a few hours - possibly leisurely ones - with her in the afternoon. Oh well. She'll adjust.

So back in the game: I love being a part of the media again. I have missed the culture, the pace, the energy, the craft, the people. There is nothing like it, and I'm grateful to be living my passion.

Di & Ron

Di & Ron

Professional functions

May 14th, 2014

Occasionally, this housewife still attends professional functions. It might be a club I belong to, a networking mixer, or a freelance job.

Olivia HATES it when I am not around at bedtime. She is closer to me and our routine is for me to tuck her in and sit with her for a while (or maybe I fall asleep.)

I tell her, "Mommy is going to a work function tonight so you and Daddy stay home." She gets upset and does or says something clingy. It's cute, but it doesn't change my plans.

"Take me with you! Can I come?" she begs.

I felt bad because there were two functions in two weeks, which is relatively a lot for our lives now. "How's about this. What if you and I held our own work function?" I suggested. "You and I can go out at night and do our own function!"

"YES!" she replied happily.

"OK, what should we do at our work meeting?" I asked.

"We should count candy and then eat it!" she said.

"Is that what you think I do at my work functions?" I queried.

"I don't know, but that is what we can do at our work function!" she exclaimed. "Then we can vote on the most best ones!"

It's a date. We're coordinating our calendars to slot a candy-vetting process in soon. I may have a hard time topping this type of meeting when I actually have a real job again.

The next step

February 19th, 2014

Three and a half: that's exactly how many years I spent at my hotel job before making the difficult decision to leave earlier this month. It's about finding better balance in my life. I feel really good about this.

Farewell lunch at work

Farewell lunch at work

I have things going on in my personal life and appreciate now having the time to attend to that, including being a more active and participating mother to my six year old.

It was a great job. I learned an incredible amount about the industry as well as myself. I believe I bring a whole new skill set to the employment table, for when that time comes.

Emceeing UH's Travel Industry Management School dinner, April 2013

Emceeing UH's Travel Industry Management School dinner, April 2013

The job also made me a better traveler! I will never look at the hotel experience in the same way. Not after I've been allowed to stay in two $7,000 per night suites. I'm spoiled, ha ha.

I liked the job and I liked the people I worked with, both in the hotels and outside of it. I am very grateful for what was a wonderful experience. I have lovely friendships I take with me and fond memories of two beautiful properties.

With Chef Grant Achatz and PR friend Sean Morris at 2013 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

With Chef Grant Achatz and PR friend Sean Morris at 2013 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

2011 `Iolani Palace Renaissance Ball

2011 `Iolani Palace Renaissance Ball


As much as I was looking forward to the freedom of housewife status again, I was bummed for a few days after I left. It was not about losing my identity or having regret. My low-energy state surprised me for a while until I realized I need to process this transition the way one needs to acknowledge the end of any major chapter in life.

The day that mood lifted, I was walking on the street in downtown Honolulu. A beautiful monarch butterfly appeared in front of me and dive-bombed me. Having anything fly directly at me surprised me, and I actually raised my arm in front of my face and stepped sideways.

When I looked again, it had landed on my sleeve! I was surprised and pleased. I moved my arm to look at it closer, and it flew away. It was just there for a moment, but I felt touched and special.

A butterfly has never landed on me before. I decided to look at it as a good omen that the day, which had started out terrific, would continue to be great. It was.

Later, my friends Ed, Lori, and Mark pointed out that butterflies are a symbol of new beginnings, of the grace and beauty that change can bring, and a reminder to have faith in life's greater plan. I think that is a beautiful sentiment, and will carry that forward as I write the next chapter.

Here's to metamorphosis!