Board and Stone

So it has been a while … good thing this wasnʻt one of my new year’s resolutions ….

But I wanted to share a couple of things.

So I had a great work environment experience in the last couple of years. I was able to work as close to nature as I have been in a very long time. I enjoyed it a lot, the peace I felt looking out my window was never overestimated. It was hard to be stressed there but it got harder to look out the window and not realize that something was missing.

I realized that I didn’t belong there anymore though and really thought carefully about what I wanted my next step to be. I wanted to be in a place that fed what I felt there on a deeper level. I loved being around nature but I wanted to feel it in my DNA which meant I had to also embrace aspects of myself and my ethnicity. Which led me to my current job and I don’t regret it one bit.

Back story aside, to the board and stone. We are taking a 11 week class with Keiki O Ka Aina and Kamehameha Schools taught by Earl Kawaʻa. It is awesome. Star Advertiser Article “Hawaiian educator teaches how to craft poi ponders, boards

So it has been a week in, we met last Thursday to get a debrief of what the Saturday huakaʻi (field trip) would be about. Then on that Saturday we were in Punaluʻu for the day, finding and cutting down hau sticks to make our koʻi (adze) and then stripping the bark and facing it, then at the stream finding our stones to create our pohaku (poi pounders), and picking a slab of monkey pod for us to use as our papa (board).

I am so sore now. To make the koʻi for removing the bark of the papa we had to tie bike tire rubber around the hau stick to keep the blade in place, between trying to keep it in place and continuously rewrapping it when it slips off. I now realize that I am in zero shape and have an ocd quality about myself. You see, they scored the boards for us and now that I see the indention marks, I have been compulsively trying to reach them with my koʻi. Until today, I think I got in at least half an hour but, “Oh boy.” I am done. Tomorrow will be a day of rest, hopefully I wonʻt regret it when we get to start on the pohaku (stone).

My tired muscles aside, I donʻt want to give you the impression that I am not enjoying myself. I have to say that I am very excited about this whole process and the work that we are doing for it. Which is why I want to share the photos with you

Board after a day one work
Board back, to give you an idea of the grain
Board after day two work
The koʻi.
Our ʻalā stones for the pohaku
Supplies to make the koʻi.



Happy New Year Resolutions

Happy 2017!

So this year I tried to make a resolution in advance. And so far it is working ….


  1. Make your new year resolution in advance of the new year.
  2. Start your new resolution before the new year actually begins.
  3. Start small, e.g., if it is to exercise, make it 5-15 minutes a day.
  4. Give yourself a break off point or a deadline, like 30 days.
  5. Keep track, find some way of logging your progress.
  6. Donʻt push yourself to do more and allow yourself to do less.

So far so good.

John Oliver – 2016 …. This is Not Normal.

I loved this episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and think I found a way to spend the next few years.

Favorite quote, “Hindsight is 2020.”

Things to make sure you are ready to do starting now:

  • Monitor Legislation
  • Vote


Places mentioned in his video (around the 19 minute mark) to actively support by giving money (recurring donations or in the name of a Trump voter close to you for holiday giving) or time:

Women’s Health and Rights –



Climate Issues –



Refugees –



Extra ideas –



Also support true journalistic endeavors –

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • Local Newspapers
  • Public Radio


or donate to (a non profit that does investigative journalism pieces).

Changing times

Hi, All.

We’re in the process of changing over our Improv Hobby wordpress account to the actual website. It’s a little bit of a trial in the sense that we are just going to keep this as a separate blog because we love the people and information that we’ve been able to share here. Hope you can still find us in the blogosphere! Or you can check out our non-profit endeavor at We’ll still be posting things on this website, they might be more random and all but hopefully they’ll always be pertinent in some way.


Improv blogs that I found on Twitter.

This is going to be short but I’m thinking of different ways I can continue to blog regularly. I figured I could spend some time writing about things I’m reading from my twitter feed @improvhobby.
One I found today is from @sfimprovfest’s guest writer, Will Luera (@improvboston). It’s about teaching improv-physics & atomic characters – via the Montreal Improv Blog
I admit to liking the science between relating to people as it applies to improv and in life. Hope you enjoy too!

It’s been a while . . .

I have been completely negligent in my duties as the blogger for improv hobby. I think a lot of it has to do with this year being a ‘growth’ year and my enthusiasm has been dampened by its spirit.
That being said I always feel that life lessons abound and they are usually quite easily used in improv lessons also.

#1 – every experience teaches us something. Don’t think it doesn’t. Most often the more painful experiences teaches us resilience, makes us honestly look at what we find important, and how we react to the things that are thrown our way.

#2 – it gives us a chance to realistically look at regret. Regret is something that we all do when we don’t want to take ownership of the things we’ve done up to that point. Own it. This isn’t a get out of jail free card though, so don’t make it one. You are in control of how you react in any given situation so own it and make it genuine and something you’ll be able to stand behind no matter what.

Enough for now.

Just trying to get back into the swing of things.

Storybox – Unscripted Theatre

Squire and I have had the pleasure these last couple days and through this week to study a different type of improv that is strongly narrative focused.

There are two things that I really like about this process that I feel should be addressed right off the bat.

1) It has a literary focus, in language and in structure, with narration playing a large part in how the show is created and developed.

2) It focuses less on following up on your own initiations but handing off those impulses to other players because entrances and the characters within it are called to life versus self-initiated. For instance if I feel like a scene needs another players or a new scene should start, I can’t just take it upon myself to make that happen by starting the new scene or entering as a new character. I must announce that a scene or character is about to appear and those around me, support the initiation by creating the environment or becoming the characters that I narrate.

Fun and using many parts of my brain at once makes for steam coming out of my ears.

Laughtrack Theater

Laughtrack Theater had to close its doors at the end of July 2011 at the Bethel location for a bit. Turns out the space next door to them are looking to expand and the timing of the end of the lease wasn’t in Laughtrack’s best interest.
Although it’s sad, it’s also not forever. They are on the look out for an ideal space for improv classes and improv shows so expect to see them in the near future somewhere close by. Keep your eyes open and be ready for a good laugh coming your way.

A tour with Jeff (and Jeannie.)

Today, Squire and I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Norwegian Cruise Line with our very knowledgeable tour guides, Jeff Griggs and Jeannie Cahill, and some of our friends, Jen, John, Kim, Larissa, Scott, and Aaron.


We all met up at the Restaurant Row Bar to make our way across the street to the pier where the guests and the crew embark.

We first went through a check-in desk, then through security, and once we were all securely inside the first check thru, Jeff began the tour.


We did not enter through the same area that the rest of the guests had to because we came in as visitors of the crew and weren’t going to be boarding to stay the week. Here we are off to the side of the main check-in watching the tourists go through check-in.



The crew doesn’t have to go through that way because they don’t enter through the main ship entry way. They enter a different way and here we go.




Once on board there is another place for us to stop. At this point we give up our driver’s licenses and get these nifty visitor passes for “inside access.”



Once through all the security Jeff took us upstairs to see the main entry that the guests arrive through.





It looked like a very patriotic hotel. But one of my favorite places on the tour was the next stop we made, here is Jeff showing us where the Japanese food on the ship could be found.


The next stop we made was to the Hollywood Theater, this is where Jeannie, Jeff and the rest of the cast perform weekly. The house holds up to 800 and it’s a great space to play. This is where they do their sketch shows.




Next stop we went to the Mardi Gras Room, it’s where they do improv and where they judge Dancing with the Stars – America.



Although it was really dark, my flash did the trick and we were able to see behind the curtain. We entered through the side door and were able to exit right on to the dance floor.




Our next stop was the cabins and we were able to go through the crew entrance to boot.

Home sweet home, when Jeff and Jeannie are at sea.


All the rooms have a great little device/room number sign. It lets those around you know whether or not you don’t want to be disturbed and welcome among other things.


After that, we tried to get outdoors and that turned out to be harder than we thought.

Once on the other side (see lever) we learned that the wheel on the door was used to seal the inside of the cabin to be water tight.


The next safety feature we learned about on the boat were the lifeboats. There were two types of lifeboats. The first ones we saw were the inflatable lifeboats, I recognize those from most movies I’ve seen. The rafts are lowered into the water by these hooks on the side of each row of canisters.


The main lifeboats were ready to go and they were huge.



Next stop of the tour we get to see the game room. Many games are played there and many friendships torn asunder, or so I’ve heard.


Then it’s to the library, I was excited to see this place because I’m glad they had one and it looked very clean and neat.



Also, Jeff showed us his favorite spot on the ship.


The next stop was one of the restaurants on the ship that you needed to pay to eat at (the buffet was part of the cost of the package – free). It had two floors and was very patriotic.



John got to meet George Washington.


Scott got to dance and hi-five Abe Lincoln.



Scott also got to lay with the stars.


Then it was time to take the walk down the stairs.


Which Squire did in style (and thankfully without getting us into trouble).


The next stop we made, was a well kept secret off of the elevators on the 11th floor. It was the conservatory. A small area behind the pool bar.

This pool should look familiar if you’ve seen the videos that Jeannie and Jeff post.


Squire even had the opportunity to play chess, which Jeff said he’ll check to see if someone makes a move after him.


Next, it was time to get some exercise in so we took the walk to the gym.



We also saw the small version of the pool and the area to golf and play basketball. Yep, they seem to have it all.



And the last two pictures I have are of the buffet area. It has a great selection and a lot of choices (for free).

We were able to see the whole boat in about two hours and eat. It was a nice day, a wonderful tour with the best guide and great company. Thank you Jeff for making this happen and we can’t wait to see you and Jeannie the next time you’re in port.


Note to Improvisers–Intro’s

When you are doing a form and the coach is putting an intro on you, don’t look at him untrustingly and talk about the problems that you have with intro’s that you have seen in the specific space that you’ll be performing in. A) You don’t know what the coach is going to suggest yet. B) You’re not the only one in the group. C) It kind of makes you look like you don’t have any trust in the process and your coach.

My suggestion: At least wait until the coach gives the intro before you talk about what you don’t like because who knows, the coach may do the thing that you would prefer to do and you might not even have to express any displeasure. Or better yet, just don’t say anything at all and look like a good performer who respects and trusts the people that are in charge and the people around him in general.

BTW, this is not meant as a diss. The situation is pretty open-ended and low-key, and this performer does this for fun, is refreshingly excited about improv, and not interested in any commercial gain. He means well and thinks of this as more of a hobby for himself and treats it as a democracy, which is why, although slightly annoying, I do write this with a chuckle.

End Note: It quickly turned out that his misgivings were unfounded as soon as the coach told them what the intro was.