Alternate universe

July 6th, 2015
By



The other day, I was asked to work a day shift as a reporter. I looked forward to it.

It was really weird, though. In my business, the schedules are built around the shows, so you have morning shifters like me, and I work a 4 a.m. - noon. You have day shifters who do 10 - 6, and night shifters who do 3 -11 p.m.

I felt like I was in an alternate universe because the landscape was the same but the players were different. Who are these folks I never see at 8 a.m., in the newsroom after my morning show?

Crystal, Bridgette, Tasha, Terri

Crystal, Bridgette, Tasha, Terri

A group of us was chatting around the food counter after an ice cream break (I do love this place!) and I had to ask about some of the names they were talking about.

15-7-15 DI Lanai upper

Then, I walk into the studio to introduce my story on-air to the anchor and it's even more different. Do you realize the set lights are red in the morning and blue at night? It's a subtle difference on TV but in real life, I felt like I was in a whole different station.

Lanai

Sidebar: I did a story on how Lanai businesses need your help, and I am sympathetic. Go, if you have the wherewithal. The interconnectedness of life extends economically and we are all impacted in some way by a ripple effect. (Click here to watch.)

Lanai gfx

I never get to see the evening anchors Joe, Howard, Marisa, and Kanoe all at the same time, and not at a station Christmas party!

By now I'm getting loopy from my body clock being thrown off so it started to feel like an out-of-body experience. Pleasant, but where am I?

I really liked connecting with co-workers in a different day part. I just wish I was more present to enjoy it!

This ever happen to you??

 

 

 

Posted in Career | 2 Comments »

The annual Halloween party!

October 8th, 2012
By



It's become a tradition. Every year, KITV's Paul Drewes and I throw a Halloween party at Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary. This year's party was a blast, as usual. We had such terrific guests who are the reason for the event's success!

(Yes, it's early this year. It's the only Saturday Paul and I both had off at the same time.)

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It started in 2009 when we were laid off from our jobs at KHNL. Always ones to view life with a heavy does of irreverence, we wanted to hold a funeral for our KHNL careers. That year, the party was comprised mostly of KHNL coworkers and people we knew through KHNL. About 70 people attended.

We did not know how it would go, but it was a surprising success, so we decided to make it an annual event. In the years since, it's grown, changed, evolved slowly. We have added on a psychic reading as a guest amenity, and offer a tour of the mortuary for the curious.

Darin, Melissa Kurpinski the psychic, Claus

Darin, Melissa Kurpinski the psychic, Claus

The guest list has expanded to include the people we work with now: my hotel coworkers and the folks I interact with via public relations; and Paul with his KITV friends, where he's a morning anchor/ reporter. There's a smattering of relatives, jujitsu club members, mommy friends, and my high school pals. Primarily, though, it's media people. I like all the worlds I circulate in. It's just logical that most of the contacts I have are from TV, having spent 16 years in it.

Cindy Paliracio, Paul N, Paul Drewes, Tabitha

Cindy Paliracio, Paul N, Paul Drewes, Tabitha

I enjoy my current job, but I also loved my old one. TV was a career path I chose, not fell into. Though there were elements over the years that I grew disillusioned with, my passion for the craft and the liberal characters it attracts remains to this day. It's a fun business. Which is why it was and always is special to mingle with my former colleagues or meet new ones.

KITV reporter Catherine Cruz and Claus

KITV reporter Catherine Cruz and Claus

A special thanks to Maile for helping me tremendously before, during and after; Jan for loaning me boxes of decorations, Rep. Tom Brower for helping clean a LOT, and Mike & Christy for making an ice run.

I'm already thinking about next year, but for now, here's a few of the night's snaps to share:

The party hosts + a party crasher

The party hosts + a party crasher

College graduate Diane and Chef Claus

College graduate Diane and Chef Claus

Some of the KHNL friends

Some of the KHNL friends

Hawaii News Now anchor Teri Okita, KITV producer Anna Gomes

Hawaii News Now anchor Teri Okita, KITV producer Anna Gomes

Howard Dashefsky, Tabitha Mitchell, Malika Dudley, Kaimi

Howard Dashefsky, Tabitha Mitchell, Malika Dudley, Kaimi Judd

American Lung Association Hawaii Chapter's Executive Director Lorraine Leslie; State Rep. Mark Takai; Mark's daughter

American Lung Association Hawaii Chapter's Executive Director Lorraine Leslie; State Rep. Mark Takai; Mark's daughter

Jo, testing out the EternaSlumber mattress

Jo, testing out the EternaSlumber mattress

Nancy, Kaimi, KITV's Yunji DeNies

Nancy, Kaimi Judd, KITV anchor Yunji DeNies

The chapel's reception area

The chapel's reception area

Posted in Career | 4 Comments »

Hold my noodle!

June 25th, 2010
By



Olivia has discovered the fun of a flotation device known as a water noodle, that flexible, foamy, straw-shaped pool toy that helps kids play and have water fights.

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Dash (Howard Dashefsky) had a pool party at his house. Olivia and Claus were in the water playing with two noodles. I apparently was the Keeper of the Noodles.

Darin and Dash

Darin and Dash

Kerry, me, Darin

Kerry, me, Darin

"Hold my noodle, Mommy," she would periodically command, while she did some other fun thing. "Hold Daddy's noodle, too."

Claus would smile at me and we would snicker.

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At some point, I decided to punk her by blowing water through the noodle while tricking her into peering into the center "to see what's in the hole." After the initial annoyance at me, she wanted to see it again. "Blow my noodle, Mommy! You blow my noodle!"

Then came the inevitable, "Blow Daddy's noodle now!"

Big smile on Claus' face. "Shouldn't you make your daughter happy?" he asked.

DSCN1485

She can use water wings next time.

***

Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Cake decorating

January 20th, 2010
By



When I was about eight, my mother took a cake decorating class. She was a housewife, and I was lucky to have her at home all the time, doing mom-type things. I have no idea how long this cake-phase lasted, but it made an indelible impression on me.

Mom and me

Mom and me

For what seemed like a glorious, golden stretch of time, but which was probably just half a year, we constantly had fancy cakes in the house. Not just Duncan Hines box mix crap, but made-from-scratch cakes, topped off with the most beautifully frosted designs.

Moms cakes pink

I remember distinctly cakes themed with a four-leaf clover for St. Patrick's Day, a lion for my dad's birthday, and a bouquet of flowers with "Welcome Spring!" I also vaguely remember nagging her for a custom cake for my birthday.

Moms cakes

It was SO much fun. I loved to look at the pretty designs, lick the frosting off the plastic cake decorations, and just marvel at the thought that MY mom could make stuff just for ME.

Moms cakes clover

My mom continues to bake as one of her hobbies. She has always been a good baker. Me, not so much. I've become a good cook, but cooking and baking are two different animals. I think all they share in common is the kitchen, and high heat. In cooking, you can substitute and improvise. In baking, it's so exact and specific. I shunned baking after a few lackluster attempts.

Thought bubble: "Mmmm. Cakes. Good."

Thought bubble: "Mmmm. Cakes. Good."

That is, until I met Lani Sonan and Lori Tamashiro when the Cake Creations Dessert Haven co-owners were guests on the KHNL morning show.

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Little did I know they would change the course of my confectionary life. They brought the most beauuuutiful cakes. I wanted to learn how to make that!

Diane, Lani, Lori

Diane, Lani, Lori

I'm not really sure what about their cakes did it, since I don't live in a cave, and I have viewed other pretty cakes before. I think it was a convergence of two things: 1) Having a child; and 2) having an extended conversation with them, rather than just the normal, brief interaction of ordering a cake over the counter. I raved about their skills and they insisted I, too, could learn it via their classes. Really?!? Never occurred to me before. Cool!

Fondant- my goal

Fondant- my goal

Their classes (a series of five month-long classes) are all at night, so I told them I'd sign up when I got off the morning shift. When I was working the morning show I'd go to sleep at 7 p.m. I didn't realize that I'd be off the morning show sooner than I expected, but oh well. That just means I could sign up for a winter class.

Us with Howard Dashefsky

Us with Howard Dashefsky

I wrote this! Not bad for a first-timer

I wrote this! Not bad for a first-timer

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It's something I want to do for Olivia. I have happy memories of my mom's cakes, and the joy it brought me (and my dad, of course!). I want to give that to my daughter. So for her sake, I'm going to force myself to like baking. The decorating part is fun, and I'm creative.

Here we go on a new hobby!

***

Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Jonas

December 5th, 2009
By



I spent three days visiting my old friend Jonas. We met when he shot news for KHNL, and have kept in touch ever since. He left Hawaii about eight years ago for Norway, where his wife is from. It wasn't a hard adjustment. He's Swedish, so picking up Norwegian language wasn't too big a leap.

2000

2000

Through the magic of e mail and Skype, and the occasional gift parcel, we keep in touch. I even saw him in Denmark when I was there in 2004. I was immensely touched he would fly over for the day to see me.

Jonas is doing well. He went back to Europe and got a job shooting for the network television station NRK. That led to a reporting stint, which recently ended, so he took a job with an internet business. He has a one year old son and another son due next month.

Jonas, Erik, and Ella

Jonas, Erik, and Ella

He lives on a ranch. We stayed in the main house, though he has a guest house that sleeps ten (or 15 if you push it and use the sofas), and another guest house that sleeps two (or three, if you use the sofa). He also has a really cute, clean, small storage shed, which has nothing in it but a freezer and an air bed (which can sleep an additional two people, in a pinch.) Honestly, how many guests would they have to have, to constitute a "pinch"?

He also has two fenced pastures and a barn, with horse stables he built himself. He and his wife Therese have two Arabian horses which we rode while there. Olivia got her first ride, bareback on the mare! She loved it!

Erik and Jonas

Erik and Jonas

If Jonas was in America, he would certainly be a Home Depot kind of guy. He chops his own firewood for the winter, and proudly showed us some kind of wood carrying sled as well as a tree cutter downer thingy that was apparently super expensive.

Comically, I could not get away from Hawaii while in Norway. All his European friends are hold-overs from his Hawaii Pacific University days, and he showed me his old resume reel with stories from his time at KHNL. It was odd but amusing to see Howard Dashefsky and Jodi Leong on a television in Europe.

We spent a lot of time doing nothing, which was perfect. We took care of the horses, went for a frozen trail ride (frost on the ground, chilled feet after an hour), cooked meals, and just caught up on life. They are funny, friendly, intelligent, interesting people, so it was neat to just sit and share stories over a glass of wine and a warm fireplace. I didn't want to go.

Had I planned the trip correctly, I should have gone straight to Jonas' house first. (See previous blog about jet lag difficulties.) This was the perfect, perfect set up. His son Erik could have played with Olivia, or she could have been entertained by the dog, two cats, or horses. It doesn't get more kid friendly than that.

Next time.

FOLLOW UP from Jonas:

Therese and Karl

Therese and Karl

"New baby (boy) was born on Dec. 28. Everything went well. 50 cm, 3.6 kg. (you convert it). Luckily we had just gotten the road cleared of snow, and the phone didn't break until the next day (it's now been out for almost two weeks). Since you left we had very cold weather (-26 degrees celcius) and lots of snow. Harsh! Too cold to take the baby outside. Hawaii would seem like paradise.
Jonas"