Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

The next step

February 19th, 2014
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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!

Bird poop and other non-events in the life of a mother

January 1st, 2014
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I was outside of my house and trying to have a serious conversation with a friend who had just dropped by. He was short on time so we had just a few minutes, so I was concentrating on what I had to say.

I accidentally put my hand on the porch railing without seeing there was fresh bird poop. Something felt wet and too slimy to be rain water.

I looked down and saw it was a dainty offering. For one second I grossed out, then I wiped it on a leaf and kept talking. I didn't miss a beat with talking.

When my friend left I actually stood there in the yard and picked up a few weeds and litter before going to wash my hand. I did not rush to the sink for soap and water first thing.

Then it occurred to me: that is SUCH a mommy-move. Working-mother-always-pressed-for-time move. All my actions were based on economy of motion rather than girly-girl prissy factor, which definitely would have been present at a different time in my life.

What was the moment you realized or reaffirmed your transition to parenthood was complete?

May your new year be full of fun and funny realizations.

Hard handshaker

December 9th, 2013
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A pet peeve is people who shake my hand too hard. Not the pumping up and down part, but the grabbing my hand and squeezing it.

It drive me insane. I usually am wearing a ring on each hand so when clasped firmly like a hand therapy ball, it hurts me. The ring is driven into the flesh of the fingers. I'm usually in a little bit of shock so I don't say anything for a few seconds, and since the shake only lasts a few seconds, it's done. I pull my hand back and rub it and think of how annoyed I am.

I get that image is many things, so I do my part to live up to most of the other things that signal confidence in today's Western society. I wear clean and pressed clothing. I brush my teeth. I make eye contact that would get me attacked if I were looking at an angry dog.

The handshake is one of the things I haven't mastered. I know the handshake can say so much in so little time- if executed correctly: confidence, control, the right blend of aggression tempered with diplomacy. I can do some stuff right. But, I admit I proffer the limp wrist.

I try to to get away with slight bows (since I work for a Japanese company) and A-frame hugs (since I'm in Hawaii.) I can never predict who is a hard handshaker, either - it's happened to me with both genders and in a variety of industries.

My hand has been crushed a few times in the last couple months so I'm really trying to remind myself to be careful when forced to shake hands. I have been curling up a few fingers in my hand really tight so they can't be smooshed as easily.

What's your pet peeve?

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Halloween at the mortuary

November 1st, 2013
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Paul and I had our annual Halloween party at the chapel portion of Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary. Our first one was in 2009. At the time I didn't think it would be yearly, but that's what it's become. It's grown and evolved in a direction I didn't anticipate but do like.

Paul as a zombie, Diane as Emily the Corpse Bride

Paul as a zombie, Diane as Emily the Corpse Bride

One hundred thirty people (33 of whom were children) from all parts of our lives came to the mortuary to celebrate the season with us. After the first party we thought it would be nice to get together with our KHNL alumni once a year, but it's turned out to include people we've met along the way through our children's schools and our new jobs.

Ashley as a witch

Ashley as a witch

This event gets bigger each year. This year we brought back our very popular psychic reader, Melissa Kurpinski, and once again offered a location tour, but we also added ghost storyteller Obake Hunter and lollipop maker Candy Art Hawaii, which not only made its popular amezaiku treats but also debuted a photo booth. People waited in line for the better part of an hour for a handmade sweet. We were the beta tester for the photo booth and it was well received. My photographer friend Sisto Domingo again volunteered his time to capture the evening on digital "film" for us.

Melissa, reading in the quieter hallway

Melissa, reading in the quieter hallway

Candy Art Hawaii lollipops

Candy Art Hawaii lollipops

Photographer Sisto Domingo with former KHNL anchors Barbara Wallace and me

Photographer Sisto Domingo with former KHNL anchors Barbara Wallace and me

Just about everyone came in costume, which is a significant increase from a few years ago. I can never predict how these things will go!

The kids at the party

The kids at the party

The kids go crazy at these parties. They run around in circles wearing themselves out, shrieking and squealing. Constant access to a low counter full of sweets keeps them mainlining refined sugar until midnight.

After the party officially ended a small band of people helped us clean up. At this time Olivia asked what time it was: "Is it midnight, Mommy?"

"It's past midnight, Sweetie. It's 12:15," I told her.

"Yeah! All right! I finally stayed up past my bedtime!" she excitedly said. That's not quite true that it's never happened before, but this is probably the latest she has stayed up.

Work friends

Work friends

Pacific Century Fellows

Pacific Century Fellows

KHNL crew

KHNL crew

I love doing the Halloween party, but I have to admit that the night flashes by in a blur. Anything past 40 people, to me, is like a wedding: you're just popping from guest to guest but not really having a deep conversation, plus you're still managing the kitchen, the timeline, and the vendor needs. Still, it's really fun to see all our friends, and to get swept up in the 'spirit' of the evening.

Hawaii man in LA asks for Kickstarter support

July 10th, 2013
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My high school classmate, Daniel Hi`ipoi Kauahi, lives by most standards, a perfect life. Working as a dolly grip in Hollywood, he brushes shoulders with brand-name stars on well-known movies and TV series like Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Mr. Deeds, Dexter, Private Practice, and dozens more. He’s lucky to have steady work in a fickle industry.

Daniel in middle

Daniel in middle

Daniel in middle

Daniel in middle

The motion picture studio grip graduated from Kamehameha Schools in 1988 and moved to California in 1997 to be near his son. While there he attend college at Chapman University. He graduated with a major in film and a minor in graphic arts, and immediately pursued work in the movie industry.

Work

“It’s great; it’s so fast-paced and exciting. But things changed for me after my children were born,” he admits. “That’s when the pull of Hawaii became stronger and stronger. My youngest children are seven and two years old, and I’d really like to see them grow up nurtured by the same culture and wonderful sense of community that I grew up in.”

Now, he’s trying to find his way home, which probably necessitates a new career as well. “The film industry in Hawaii can’t provide me with as much steady work as I find in Los Angeles, so I’m looking to expand in new directions,” he explains.

MakauomauiNavy(1)

Kauahi, of nearly half-Hawaiian ancestry, decided to use the other half of his college degree: that of graphic arts. “I’ve always liked sketching and creating, and it occurred to me that I could combine a passion for my Hawaiian culture with my love for drawing. I’ve created District 808, a clothing company.”

GearsHoodieNavy

He feels if he can jump start a new clothing line, he can have a real shot at making his dream of moving back to Hawaii come true. He’s asking for the public’s help to donate to his Kickstarter campaign.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/389805395/district-808-hawaiian-inspired-t-shirt-designs

“District 808 is the embodiment of today’s Hawaii. It combines the past and the present to reflect who we are as a Polynesian society, moving forward into the future. It was borne out of my homesickness; I created it to be closer to Hawaii, which I have missed every day since I left the Islands. It’s my hope that people who wear my designs will also feel that much closer to Hawaii,” explains Kauahi.

Kauahi is asking for a total of $8,000, and his campaign closes on July 31. As per the Kickstarter model, he’s required to offer rewards and enticements based on the level of donor contribution. But what he says he’s really selling is a piece of the Island dream.

Hawaii

To contribute, go to his Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/389805395/district-808-hawaiian-inspired-t-shirt-designs