What I did this summer …


So I wanted to share about one of the highlights this summer. Squire and I directed a show at Kumu Kahua Theatre. It was special for many reasons, 1) because it was the first show the both of us have worked on together in a long time, 2) it was at Kumu one of our “homes,” and 3) our lives are considerably different from the other times we’ve been this involved in a show.

Normally, I would have wanted to give you a blow by blow of the process while we were doing it but it went by so fast.

First off, we were going to do an improv workshop but Donna Blanchard floated this idea of directing a show at Kumu based on submissions they had received around the 38 minutes around Hawaiʻi received a false missile alert of an inbound ballistic missile.

The process for us was, we looked at and chose the pieces we were going to put in the show based on a submission call out that Kumu had made a week after the event, had auditions, and jumped straight into three solid weeks of rehearsals before we had to have our cast ready to act and improvise in front of an audience for another three weeks of shows.

Challenges were, not everyone had acting experience or improv experience, we had a short time to do both, and we had to teach everyone how to improvise in the style that we thought would serve the show the best.

The overall concept of the show was to have the actors perform, based on what we could do in such a short period, the most stage ready pieces in the first act, and use those pieces to make the audience comfortable enough to share their own stories in the second act. We tried to set up the show as naturally as possible, having the actors pretend to be audience members, breaking the fourth wall whenever we could by using the whole space, having moments of interaction between the cast, the crew, and the audience, and having the our tech and actors exchange places to show that everyone really is a part of the show.

This worked out the way we had envisioned it, we had no shortage of people volunteering their stories and all types of people willing to do it. We weren’t being overly cocky but because of what we had experienced so far through auditions and talking to others about their experiences we knew that people had stories and they were all unique. The odds were in our favor that people would be willing to share.

I have so many stories based on the people in the audience and what we learned about Hawai’i and the people that make up this wonderful place. The best part of the experience was getting to hear more stories and feel the connection between the performers and the people that came to the show. But delving it this subject would definitely take a really long time.

So I’d like to end with some general thoughts, although it was a terrible 38 minutes to live through, we all lived through it together and came out unscathed at the end, how lucky is that. Many people realized this and sought out what really mattered to them. Hawai’i is a very special place and what really highlights that, and our fragility, is what makes us pretty amazing and can easily brings us together. Squire and I also knew that this show was going to be special because of how different and unique each of the experiences people had were and continued to be during the run of shows. I may not remember every single line of every story shared in the second act for the shows that we were able to watch, but I remember every single person who shared, their story, how they felt, and how it made me feel with them letting us in and being a part of our show.



38_Minutes_Poster_Draft (1).jpg

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.

Hawaii Pot Shabushabu House

Open til 2am, this place is much like the other hot pot places on the island, soup base, sauces and an assortment of items to cook. With the huge exception of single-serving pots and a conveyor belt counter seating area where you are able to pick your own veggies, noodles, and a few other morsels. Meat is on order and it is buffet all-you-can eat. For those that don’t want to do a hot pot there are a few other items to order on the menu.

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 –

  • Plannedparenthood.org
  • Reproductiverights.org


Climate Issues –

  • nrdc.org


Refugees –

  • refugeerights.org


Extra ideas –

  • naacpldf.org
  • thetrevorproject.org
  • maldef.org


Also support true journalistic endeavors –

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


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

Put your money where your mouth is, Democrats.

So I have been trying to figure out how to make the most of my anger at finding out that Republicans can stomach sexism and racism and it actually emboldens them to come out stronger and in more numbers. So I decided to go back to the electoral map just one more time.

Democratic Voting States:

  • Hawaii (HI)
  • Washington (WA)
  • Oregon (OR)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • California (CA)
  • Colorado (CO)
  • New Mexico (NM)
  • Minnesota (MN)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maine (ME)
  • Vermont (VT)
  • New York (NY)
  • Virginia (VA)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Rhode Island (RI)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • Delaware (DE)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • New Hampshire (NH)


These are the states that Democrats should put their money into through tourism and supporting any products that come out of these places. They are the ones that share Democratic values by the majority. Republican states shouldn’t be ones that you visit or buy in your local stores. Bottom line though, if you live in one of these blue states buy local, if you want to take a trip somewhere and know you will be spending dollars in that place, “Shop Blue” if you are a Democrat.

Refuse to support and travel to Republican majority states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • Utah (UT)
  • Idaho (ID)
  • Montana (MT)
  • Wyoming (WY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • South Dakota (CD)
  • Nebraska (NE)
  • Kansas (KS)
  • Oklahoma (OK)
  • Texas (TX)
  • Iowa (IA)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • Arkansas (AR)
  • Louisiana (LA)
  • Mississippi (MS)
  • Alabama (AL)
  • Tennessee (TN)
  • Kentucky (KY)
  • Indiana (IN)
  • Wisconsin (WI)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Ohio (OH)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • West Virginia (WV)
  • North Carolina (NC)
  • South Carolina (SC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Florida (FL)


If you live in one of the red states and have Democratic values don’t shop local, buy and visit the states that you feel have the same ideals that you have, that women and minorities deserve to be truly equal and we want our future world to be a better place.

Note: I know that these are areas that are hurting already and it saddens me that it has to hurt more but these are the areas that the majority doesn’t see the connection between their mentality and their circumstances. I don’t think that we were trying not to see people for the way that they are, I think we were hoping that people were better than they were. It is now very evident that they aren’t and it’s time we show them why they need us too.

Updated: 11.13.16 with state abbreviations.



How sad we are.

I have heard a few comments in the past couple of days from people that I think resonate with the ideology that we are still the same people today that we were yesterday and the day before, let alone the month and years prior and as well, going forward. That is what bothers me. There are people out there that have different standards of what is acceptable from one person to another and they are disproportionately uneven on so many levels. This leads me to believe that inherently there are people around me that are racist and sexist.

This race was not just about politics. This race was about the idea that a President of color was the last straw, and a female President just couldn’t be a President. We are a team and now I know that half of the team doesn’t like me. It could just be because I am not white but I am also a woman. Double Whammy. This means I have to work an even more ridiculously large amount to succeed and nothing I do will ever be right in the eyes of half of the people around the nation. This could be just because I am a woman or because I am not white, although one is enough the excuse will probably be a mixture of both because it can be.

Silver lining:

It is clear that America is not “We” the People yet and we need to do something about this starting now. We need to do something. And despite what anyone says and does we will make this happen soon because half of us, and this is a growing number year after year, want to move forward with grace, dignity, and a rising power that comes with a truly, United people.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (Preamble to the Constitution)

True Silver Lining:

This current setback really is okay because we have a lot of movement in the right direction to correct this divided ideology. We have a sitting President of color give the fight of his life and we had our first female candidate of a major party give the fight of her life. And because of those two shining examples of what we can achieve, those of us that see in them the potential for all of us, will achieve more because of them.

President Lyndon B. Johnson

I have been reading an older version (5th version) of, ‘A Documentary History of the United States’ by Richard D. Heffner. It contains some of the major speeches that have shaped America and it always amazes me how it is still relevant today and here is one in particular that I find interesting.

I have to say I don’t believe a lot of what the current rhetoric is about the media bias and blame. True media is no longer cost-effective or popular among the masses; because we get to choose what we want to see we no longer seek and pay for what we need to see to have civil discourse. If broadcast media is biased, I truly believe that it is the populace’s fault because we no longer want to hear anything but what we want to hear from people that are far less interested in unbiased reporting so long as it suits their purpose(s).

“By your standards of what is news, you can cultivate wisdom–or you can nurture misguided passion.”

But on to the reason that I like this speech given by President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Address to the National Association of Broadcasters on April 1, 1968. It is because it reminds me what we expected from our media and why we should hold them to this standard and support them to meet it once again.

We don’t grow by hearing only what we want and in a world where we are now globally connected it is a disservice to pretend there is just one view that matters.

Written published speech text (differs from his spoken word, slightly which you can also find on the below link).


Mayor Daley, Mr. Wasilewski, ladies and gentlemen:

Some of you might have thought from what I said last night that I had been taking elocution lessons from Lowell Thomas. One of my aides said this morning, “Things are really getting confused around Washington, Mr. President.”

I said, “How is that?”

He said, “It looks to me like you are going to the wrong convention in Chicago.”

I said, “Well, what you overlooked was that it is April Fool.”

Once again we are entering the period of national festivity which Henry Adams called “the dance of democracy.” At its best, that can be a time of debate and enlightenment. At its worst, it can be a period of frenzy. But always it is a time when emotion threatens to substitute for reason. Yet the basic hope of a democracy is that somehow-amid all the frenzy and all the emotion-in the end, reason will prevail. Reason just must prevail–if democracy itself is to survive.

As I said last evening, there are very deep and very emotional divisions in this land that we love today–domestic divisions, divisions over the war in Vietnam. With all of my heart, I just wish this were not so. My entire career in public life–some 37 years of it–has been devoted to the art of finding an area of agreement because generally speaking, I have observed that there are so many more things to unite us Americans than there are to divide us.

But somehow or other, we have a facility sometimes of emphasizing the divisions and the things that divide us instead of discussing the things that unite us. Sometimes I have been called a seeker of “consensus”–more often that has been criticism of my actions instead of praise of them. But I have never denied it. Because to heal and to build support, to hold people together, is something I think is worthy and I believe it is a noble task. It is certainly a challenge for all of us in this land and this world where there is restlessness and uncertainty and danger. In my region of the country where I have spent my life, where brother was once divided against brother, my heritage has burned this lesson and it has burned it deep in my memory.

Yet along the way I learned somewhere that no leader can pursue public tranquillity as his first and only goal. For a President to buy public popularity at the sacrifice of his better judgment is too dear a price to pay. This Nation cannot afford such a price, and this Nation cannot long afford such a leader.

So, the things that divide our country this morning will be discussed throughout the land. I am certain that the very great majority of informed Americans will act, as they have always acted, to do what is best for their country and what serves the national interest.

But the real problem of informing the people is still with us. I think I can speak with some authority about the problem of communication. I understand, far better than some of my severe and perhaps intolerant critics would admit, my own shortcomings as a communicator.

How does a public leader find just the right word or the right way to say no more or no less than he means to say–bearing in mind that anything he says may topple governments and may involve the lives of innocent men?

How does that leader speak the right phrase, in the right way, under the right conditions, to suit the accuracies and contingencies of the moment when he is discussing questions of policy, so that he does not stir a thousand misinterpretations and leave the wrong connotation or impression?

How does he reach the immediate audience and how does he communicate with the millions of others who are out there listening from afar?

The President, who must call his people and summon them to meet their responsibilities as citizens in a hard and an enduring war, often ponders these questions and searches for the right course.

You men and women who are masters of the broadcast media surely must know what I am talking about. It was a long time ago when a President once said, “The printing press is the most powerful weapon with which man has ever armed himself.” In our age, the electronic media have added immeasurably to man’s power. You have within your hands the means to make our Nation as intimate and as informed as a New England town meeting.

Yet the use of broadcasting has not cleared away all of the problems that we still have of communications. In some ways, I think, sometimes it has complicated them, because it tends to put the leader in a time capsule. It requires him often to abbreviate what he has to say. Too often, it may catch a random phrase from his rather lengthy discourse and project it as the whole story.

How many men, I wonder, Mayor Daley, in public life have watched themselves on a TV newscast and then been tempted to exclaim, “Can that really be me?”

Well, there is no denying it: You of the broadcast industry have enormous power in your hands. You have the power to clarify and you have the power to confuse. Men in public life cannot remotely rival your opportunity–clay after day, night after night, hour after hour on the hour–and the half hour, sometimes–you shape the Nation’s dialogue.

The words that you choose, hopefully always accurate, and hopefully always just, are the words that are carried out for all of the people to hear.

The commentary that you provide can give the real meaning to the issues of the day or it can distort them beyond all meaning. By your standards of what is news, you can cultivate wisdom–or you can nurture misguided passion.

Your commentary carries an added element of uncertainty. Unlike the printed media, television writes on the wind. There is no accumulated record which the historian can examine later with a 20-20 vision of hindsight, asking these questions: “How fair was he tonight? How impartial was he today? How honest was he all along?”

Well, I hope the National Association of Broadcasters, with whom I have had a pleasant association for many years, will point the way to all of us in developing this kind of a record because history is going to be asking very hard questions about our times and the period through which we are passing.

I think that we all owe it to history to complete the record.

But I did not come here this morning to sermonize. In matters of fairness and judgment, no law or no set of regulations and no words of mine can improve you or dictate your daily responsibility.

All I mean to do, and what I am trying to do, is to remind you where there is great power, there must also be great responsibility. This is true for broadcasters just as it is true for Presidents–and seekers for the Presidency.

What we say and what we do now will shape the kind of a world that we pass along to our children and our grandchildren. I keep this thought constantly in my mind during the long days and the somewhat longer nights when crisis comes at home and abroad.

I took a little of your prime time last night. I would not have done that except for a very prime purpose.

I reported on the prospects for peace in Vietnam. I announced that the United States is taking a very important unilateral act of de-escalation which could–and I fervently pray will–lead to mutual moves to reduce the level of violence and to deescalate the war.

As I sat in my office last evening, waiting to speak, I thought of the many times each week when television brings the war into the American home.

No one can say exactly what effect those vivid scenes have on American opinion. Historians must only guess at the effect that television would have had during earlier conflicts on the future of this Nation:

–during the Korean war, for example, at that time when our forces were pushed back there to Pusan;

–or World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, or when our men were slugging it out in Europe or when most of our Air Force was shot down that day in June 1942 off Australia.

But last night television was being used to carry a different message. It was a message of peace. It occurred to me that the medium may be somewhat better suited to conveying the actions of conflict than to dramatizing the words that the leaders use in trying and hoping to end the conflict.

Certainly, it is more “dramatic” to show policemen and rioters locked in combat than to show men trying to cooperate with one another.

The face of hatred and of bigotry comes through much more clearly–no matter what its color. The face of tolerance, I seem to find, is rarely “newsworthy.”

Progress–whether it is a man being trained for a job or millions being trained or whether it is a child in Head Start learning to read or an older person of 72 in adult education or being cared for in Medicare-rarely makes the news, although more than 20 million of them are affected by it.

Perhaps this is because tolerance and progress are not dynamic events–such as riots and conflicts are events.

Peace, in the news sense, is a “condition.” War is an “event.”

Part of your responsibility is simply to understand the consequences of that fact-the consequences of your own acts, and part of that responsibility, I think, is to try–as very best we all can–to draw the attention of our people to the real business of society in our system–finding and securing peace in the world–at home and abroad. For all that you have done and that you are doing and that you will do to this end, I thank you and I commend you.

I pray that the message of peace that I tried so hard to convey last night will be accepted in good faith by the leaders of North Vietnam.

I pray that one time soon, the evening news show will have, not another battle in the scarred hills of Vietnam, but will show men entering a room to talk about peace.

That is the event that I think the American people are yearning and longing to see.

President Thieu of Vietnam and his Government are now engaged in very urgent political and economic tasks which I referred to last night–and which we regard as very constructive and hopeful. We hope the Government of South Vietnam makes great progress in the days ahead.

But some time in the weeks ahead-immediately, I hope–President Thieu will be in a position to accept my invitation to visit the United States so he can come here and see our people too, and together we can strengthen and improve our plans to advance the day of peace.

I pray that you and that every American will take to heart my plea that we guard against divisiveness. We have won too much, we have come too far, and we have opened too many doors of opportunity, for these things now to be lost in a divided country where brother is separated from brother. For the time that is allotted me, I shall do everything in one man’s power to hasten the day when the world is at peace and Americans of all races–and all creeds–of all convictions-can live together–without fear or without suspicion or without distrust–in unity, and in common purpose.

United we are strong; divided we are in great danger.

In speaking as I did to the Nation last night, I was moved by the very deep convictions that I entertain about the nature of the office that it is my present privilege to hold. The Office of the Presidency is the only office in this land of all the people. Whatever may be the personal wishes or preferences of any man who holds it, a President of all the people can afford no thought of self.

At no time and in no way and for no reason can a President allow the integrity or the responsibility or the freedom of the office ever to be compromised or diluted or destroyed because when you destroy it, you destroy yourselves.

I hope and I pray that by not allowing the Presidency to be involved in divisions and deep partisanship, I shall be able to pass on to my successor a stronger office–strong enough to guard and defend all the people against all the storms that the future may bring us.

You men and women who have come here to this great progressive city of Chicago, led by this dynamic and great public servant, Dick Daley, are yourselves charged with a peculiar responsibility. You are yourselves trustees, legally accepted trustees and legally selected trustees of a great institution on which the freedom of our land utterly depends.

The security, the success of our country, what happens to us tomorrow–rests squarely upon the media which disseminate the truth on which the decisions of democracy are made.

An informed mind–and we get a great deal of our information from you–is the guardian genius of democracy.

So, you are the keepers of a trust. You must be just. You must guard and you must defend your media against the spirit of faction, against the works of divisiveness and bigotry, against the corrupting evils of partisanship in any guise.

For America’s press, as for the American Presidency, the integrity and the responsibility and the freedom–the freedom to know the truth and let the truth make us free–must never be compromised or diluted or destroyed.

The defense of our media is your responsibility. Government cannot and must not and never will–as long as I have anything to do about it–intervene in that role.

But I do want to leave this thought with you as I leave you this morning: I hope that you will give this trust your closest care, acting as I know you can, to guard not only against the obvious, but to watch for the hidden–the sometimes unintentional, the often petty intrusions upon the integrity of the information by which Americans decide.

Men and women of the airways fully-as much as men and women of public service-have a public trust and if liberty is to survive and to succeed, that solemn trust must be faithfully kept. I do not want–and I don’t think you want–to wake up some morning and find America changed because we slept when we should have been awake, because we remained silent when we should have spoken up, because we went along with what was popular and fashionable and “in” rather than what was necessary and what was right.

Being faithful to our trust ought to be the prime test of any public trustee in office or on the airways.

In any society, all you students of history know that a time of division is a time of danger. And in these times now we must never forget that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Thank you for wanting me to come. I’ve enjoyed it.





Flying into New York

It is different. It could just be me but when traveling to JFK with locals you get the feeling that the rules are okay and they are worth following. I thought it was strange when the captain/flight attendants said that TSA mandated certain things aboard the airplane. It made me think-
1) that’s another reason why people complain about TSA.
2) TSA just might not have the same reputation here.
It makes you look at things a little differently, especially when you see armed soldiers walking around baggage claim on patrol. Humbling and honestly worth remembering.

Foodie Favorites, Breakfast Stops

So there are a few places I like to eat for a morning get up and go.

Andy’s Manoa – yummy smoothies and lots of veggie goodness.

Mocha Java Cafe – turkey meat loco moco, veggie goodness, and more smoothies but coffee drinks as well.

Eggs n Things – turkey bacon and eggs, syrup for their renown pancakes also makes the turkey bacon extra special.

If you are wondering what all these places might have in common, it’s Turkey Bacon.

And for breakfast in general, I have to mention an out of town favorite of mine for good measure …. Boots n Kimos – I love their banana pancakes with the mac nut sauce and their omelettes. Cash only though, be prepared for a line, and enjoy the sports fan memorabilia.