Archive for the ‘Career’ Category


October 24th, 2014

I regularly visit a few places that require visitors to undergo a bag scan (like the scanners at the airport.) I am, therefore, familiar and friendly with the guards.

At one place recently, my jewelry set off the alarm, so one guard used the wand to inspect me. While he was showing me which pieces of jewelry were making the wand beep, his friend over at the X ray machine said, "So, it's not these handcuffs in your bag."

I thought the guy was making a joke, so I said, "No, it's not my handcuffs," and I gave him an exaggerated wink.

He said, "Can you show me how they work?"

I was amused but surprised because these guys are usually a little conservative, so I laughed and said, "Sure, but not during work hours." I think his colleagues thought this was a joke, too, because we all chuckled.

He persisted, "But I see something round in your bag. How does that work?"

Then I realized what he was seeing. "THAT!" I exclaimed. "You must not be married. It's a purse hook. All the ladies carry one."

I took it out and demonstrated how it hooks the purse to a table top or chair back. It really would make the prettiest handcuff.

We al had a good laugh, and before I left the screening area, the female guard said, "Next time you come back, put a feather boa in your purse."


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The newsroom is blue

October 22nd, 2014

This is Olivia's impression of me on the news: "Hi. I'm Diane. Welcome to KHON2 News. What day is it Ron?"


Came the question: "Mommy, why do you like your job?"

I thought she felt miffed that I am often wiped out by the time she's done with school and not that playful. She wasn't.

"Because you always come home happy and you leave on time every day. I wanted to know what you like about it," she explained.

How cute that she noticed! Though, how she knows I leave on time is a mystery since she's usually zonked out when I leave in the 3 o'clock hour.

"Well, I love seeing my friends at work and I love what I do. It involves reading, writing, and talking- all stuff I'm good at," I said. "It's important to love what you do because that's where you spend most of your day."

I asked if she wants to do what I do. "It doesn't look interesting to me," she said, and parroted me on the news.

"You like coming with me to work. Why?" I asked.

"Because! The newsroom is blue!" Olivia answered in a "duh-isn't-that-obvious" tone.

Maybe she'll be a painter when she grows up.

The arm touch

September 29th, 2014

Every morning, it's my self-appointed role to divide up the news scripts between co-anchor Ron (Mizutani) and me. There are different piles of scripts: for the producer, for the director, for the talent. With a three hour show, that's a lot of paper to keep track of, so we only print one batch for the anchor, and Ron and I divide it up.

Now and then, I will slide over Ron's script's to him while he's reading on air. Sometimes the scripts come in with seconds to spare, so it's something he needs immediately.

If I'm not careful, sometimes the camera will catch a portion of my arm moving the paper over to his side. Apparently, a crew member's mom caught this enough times and deduced something else.

Said Carlson, "Diane, my mom thinks you're sweet to be so concerned with Ron. She says you're always leaning over and patting his arm." It took us a few seconds to realize that she thought I was comforting him during a sad story.

We're good friends and all, but we laughed because comforting him is the last thing I'm doing on air.

Comforting Ron!

Comforting Ron!

Until, of course, this morning I actually did pat his arm in a gesture of comfort because he came in a little sick. So maybe sometimes I actually am being a friend!


KHON2 Wake Up 2Day's Kelly Simek

September 12th, 2014

Since August, Hawaii viewers have been graced with a new presence in the morning: Kelly Simek, KHON2's morning weather anchor. She's fun, she's bubbly, and her radiant smile is the perfect way for many to start their day.

Wake Up 2Day: Taizo, Di, Jai, Ron, Kelly

Wake Up 2Day: Taizo, Di, Jai, Ron, Kelly

"It's so nice that I can inform people how to prepare for their day. I love outdoor activities and I'm honored that people actually plan their day around my forecast," she told me. She's one of the five person Wake Up 2Day on air team that includes Ron Mizutani, Taizo Braden, Jai Cunningham, and me.

Kelly's debut on air

Kelly's debut on air

If Kelly looks familiar to you already, it's because she's been a key part of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's athletics program for the past three years. "I came to UH Manoa as a freshman because I got a scholarship to twirl baton for the band." We're lucky - she probably would have stayed on the mainland if not.

Kelly twirling for UH Manoa

Kelly twirling for UH Manoa.

Photo courtesy: Kelly Simek

Kelly graduated this past spring - in just three years- with a Bachelor's degree of Arts in Interdiciplinary Studies, which combined broadcasting and meteorology. "I initially thought I wanted to be a newscaster, but I really like math and science, so I gravitated towards this after taking a meteorology course early in my college career. I loved it," she explains. Kelly credits her teacher and advisor Dr. Gary Barnes with providing the right mentorship to help her make this choice.

She still, however, will be twirling through the 2014-2015 school year. You can catch her at all UH football games, as well as basketball and volleyball this season. Kelly does this while juggling a new courseload as a UH Manoa graduate student (major currently undeclared.)

"I love twirling. It's a big part of my life. I have the best memories. The band members were my first friends when I moved to Hawaii, and I appreciate that I got to spend four seasons cementing these friendships," Kelly reminisces.

Kelly began twirling baton at age six - and shortly thereafter, at age ten, began competing. "My mother's a twirler, too, and the training was intense. At its peak I would train two to three hours a day. I was even homeschooled during junior high school so that I could dedicate time to training," reveals Kelly.

The work paid off. In her senior year at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California, Kelly was selected to twirl for San Diego State. "I love when I can catch a big trick and hear the crowd go wild," she says. She's so talented, she holds national titles in twirling.

Twirling has taken her across the world. Besides a coveted scholarship to UH, Kelly twirled at the Queen's New Year's Parade in London and represented the US as a Goodwill Ambassador. In her personal time, she has also journeyed around Europe.

Kelly parlayed her looks, intelligence, and talent into beauty pageant success. She garnered a Miss East Oahu title, then ran and placed fourth runner up in Miss Hawaii in 2014. As one would guess, she twirled for her talent.

kelly miss hi

Photo courtesy: Kelly Simek

Will she run again? "I don't rule it out," she hints.

For now, KHON2 is her life. Her 3 a.m. - 11 a.m. schedule is demanding (I know!), and after work, it's "nap, band practice (for twirling) and dinner."

kelly headshot

On weekends, she likes "anything outdoors - hiking, swimming, body boarding." She just got certified in SCUBA over the weekend, so she can add that to the list of weekend fun!

We enjoy the sunny demeanor Kelly brings to our morning show family - and are sure you do, too, as you start your day with Wake Up 2Day!

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Lesson in democracy

August 25th, 2014

On primary election night, I asked my husband to visit me with our daughter at the candidate's headquarters where I was assigned to report for the night: US Senator Brian Schatz (who ran against Colleen Hanabusa.)

Live interview with Senator & Mrs. Schatz after last printout of the night

Live interview with Senator & Mrs. Schatz after last printout of the night

Besides wanting the luxury of seeing them for a little while on a Saturday night, I thought it might make a nice real-life lesson for our seven-year-old to see democracy in action. If you have never been to a candidate's party on election night, it's pretty interesting. Crowds, noise, excitement.

Mic check as we prep for a live shot.

Mic check as we prep for a live shot.

As a secondary lesson, I thought she might like to see Mommy at work as a reporter. Now that I anchor the morning show she has more chances to see me in the studio, but few opportunities to see me in the field.

My election night team: Adam, me, Lance, Terry.

My election night team: Adam, me, Lance, Terry.

She could witness the magic of television! Most people I meet are curious about how the news is put together. She's lucky she has access to this.


Claus & Olivia

Claus & Olivia

Right idea, wrong timing. The kid came, ate my dinner while I was busy conducting a live shot, and then nagged me to play with my iPhone. In subsequent live shots, she was totally absorbed in Fruit Ninja.

I rolled into my bed around 2 a.m. the next morning so when I saw her the next day, I asked, "Was that interesting? Did you learn a little about democracy?"

"I don't even know what that is," she said.

I was pretty zapped (jet-lagged, if you will, since we morning anchors effectively live in a different time zone), so I decided to skip the politics lesson for this day.

"Did you like seeing how things get on television?" I continued.

"Um. So-so," she said nonchalantly.

"What did you like about last night?" I persisted.

"I liked seeing you," she said.

Aww. Good enough for me!