Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Sean Ibara!

By
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.

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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 »

Alternate universe

By
July 6th, 2015



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.)

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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!

By
October 8th, 2012



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!

By
June 25th, 2010



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.

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She can use water wings next time.

***

Also reach me via DianeAko.com

Cake decorating

By
January 20th, 2010



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

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