What I’ve Learned

what-I-have-learned

There were many things that I’ve seen
but none could be more important than
what was in front of me
My DAD worked hard
to provide us with everything,
so I’ve learned to be…
RESPONSIBLE
My MOM tended to
my illnesses and injuries,
so I’ve learned to be…
CARING
My SISTER had a severe handicap
and dealt with ridicule
so I’ve learned to be…
TOLERANT
My WIFE gave hugs with a smile
through all the good and the bad,
so I’ve learned to be…
LOVING
My DAUGHTER was friendly
to everyone she met
so I’ve learned to be…
KIND
My SON sought out things
that were unfamiliar and unknown
so I’ve learned to be…
FEARLESS
My DOGS kept me company
when family was not around
so I’ve learned to be…
LOYAL
My FRIENDS were there
to hear every problem and gripe
so I’ve learned to be…
a good LISTENER
My FAMILY and FRIENDS
have been with me
through every step of my life
so I’ve learned to be…
SUPPORTIVE
These people that I’ve encountered,
made me who I am today
and I’m grateful
for the lessons I’ve learned
through their
unselfish actions.

Happy Father’s Day

A1

Father’s Day is once upon us again and I for one always look forward to this day.  Why you may ask?  It’s because I cherish the homemade cards that my children give to me.  Their words of appreciation and love are truly priceless and beats any material gifts that I receive.   a7

Being a father is by far one of the “BEST” jobs that I have.  When I’m not disciplining my children for something bad they may have done, I’m their adult buddy.

That’s my excuse for going to the toy store and perusing shelves of toys to my heart’s content.  It’s my chance to purchase awesome “action figures” (I call them that because calling them “boy” dolls are totally not cool at all).

I also am afforded the opportunities to do things like hip hop dancing, playing video games, being up on the most current social media app, learning how to navigate my phone, all the stuff that kids nowadays do.

Don’t let my “over the hill” appearance fool you; inside this battle-worn body is a goofy kid that’s willing to make a fool of himself as well.  There are even times when my kids join in my tomfoolery; more often than not, my kids are slightly embarrassed at some of the mischievous things I tend to do in public just for a laugh.  My wife often says that she has not two but three kids and the “oldest” one is the most immature.

Aside from all the fun things that I get to do with my kids as a dad, I’m also there to provide guidance and strength in crucial moments in their life.  I’m a father first and my family is my world…my everything.

I try my best to be the best father I can be and I can honestly say that it’s not that hard to do.  I had a good role model in my father; he took a vested interest in my well-being, gave sound advice and made me into the person I am today.  A4My father’s quiet strength, extensive knowledge, vast experiences, quirky sense of humor, gentle kindness and champion against all forms of danger belied his gruff, stern exterior.  No amount of thanks will ever be enough for what he’s done in my life.

Yeah moms are given all the honor and glory that they rightfully deserve but give dads the same as well.  So this Father’s Day, if you’re fortunate enough to still have your father around, spend time with him and cherish it with all of your heart.  If you’re a father, be with your kids and love them for all their worth.  Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!!!

How Time Flies

Today as I am writing this blog, I am in complete shock at the fact that my daughter is turning 16 years old today (AND also at the fact that I’m someone’s dad).  I truly cannot believe that my first born child is slowly growing into a young woman.  This is the very child whom I cradled in my arms in the wee morning hours trying to get her to sleep. 

Yes I know that it’s inevitable, but I’m amazed at how time flew by.  It’s as if I’m in a water tube slide and the laws of physics temporarily sped up; all the events that I shared with my daughter were merely subconscious flashbacks appearing before my eyes as I descended to the bottom. 

 “WOW!!!” is all I can say.  To see this strong, intelligent and ambitious girl attaining goals and dreams that I would never dare to do is completely mind-boggling…maybe I’m awed at that fact that I share DNA genes with her.  Every day I am surprised at what she is capable of doing and am truly proud.

 I guess the whole point of this post is just me reflecting on the past and how I relish my experiences as a parent with my children.  I’m not the best parent in the world but I’m definitely not the worst by any means.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way and grew as a person, but I feel like I did an okay job.

 I look forward toward the future and am anxiously awaiting for my daughter and son to astonish me, whether it be something big or something small.  It is because of them that I am inspired to do things and explore things that will surprise them as well.  Hopefully along the way I can slow down time and defy the laws of physics to savor every moment.

time1

So You Think You Can Dance

Dance7 In an earlier post I had talked about my daughter wanting to learn how to dance…more specifically dance “K-Pop” style.  Well, it’s been three months since I started this quest to help fulfill one of my daughter’s dream and it’s been going quite well.

 We’re not quite where we want to be but I’m proud of the fact of how far we’ve both come along.  I’m not a professional dancer by any means but I think we’re getting the hang of this style of dancing. 

When my daughter wanted to learn how to dance, I originally anticipated her asking me about break dancing or popping.  I was ecstatic and brushing off the cobwebs in a portion of my mind of all the old routines I used to do back in my heyday when I was a B-Boy (I wasn’t the best but I clearly wasn’t the worst).

 Like I said earlier, when she wanted to learn “K-Pop” style, my mind went blank and I had absolutely no idea what that entailed.  “Where do I start?” and “How am I going to pull this off?” were the only things that ran rampant in my mind.

K-Pop dancing has very intricate moves; it’s almost as if you are doing synchronized choreography.  Dancing by yourself is one thing, but doing it at the same time with another and hitting your marks at the same time is DAMN TOUGH!  These kids nowadays have much more rhythm than the kids I grew up with…simply amazing.

The things that helped me to get over this hump was the fact that she wanted to learn a routine from a specific Korean pop song and YouTube.  YouTube is simply the best because you can learn just about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING on that site.  I knew that can find a lot of stuff on YouTube but…WOW!  Where was this when I was growing up?!

 There were tons of tutorials and people doing dance covers that truly enlightened me as to the style that me and my daughter were about to learn.

After endless hours of watching the tutorials and clumsily mimicking the moves, we were inching our way towards our goal.  Man, for someone my age, this quest is daunting.  Not dancing since my high school and college days also added to the challenge.

 Doing something like this with my daughter, however, is priceless.  I was glad that my daughter took an interest in dancing, something that I LOVED to do when I was her age. 

 We got a lot of work ahead of us to complete our goal.  And…“How long will that take?” Your guess is as good as mine but I take solace in the fact that we’ll get there.  AND when we get there, I know we’ll get that sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that we were striving for.  Hopefully it’ll be soon so that I can upload the video to my blog to show you the results and make you see that we can REALLY DANCE!

No Scared, Chance ‘um!

If you were born and raised in Hawaii, the pidgin language became a part of your everyday conversation.  It’s like slang words that were created here in Hawaii that “all” the locals tend to speak.  Even if you spoke perfect English, chances are a few pidgin words would creep in, unconsciously, as you’re speaking.

pidgin

Everyone from every state has their own slang words that seem like a foreign language to those that are visiting their state. 

Why am I bringing this up you may ask?  The other day, I overheard a colleague mentioning that she saw her favorite actor vacationing down here but was too afraid to go up and get a picture with him, let alone saying hi.

When I heard this I thought to myself, “Why would you be afraid to do so?”  When are you ever going to get the chance to meet your favorite actor/actress/sports athlete ever again?  You’ll always regret for not doing so.

Growing up in Hawaii, I was always accustomed to hearing “Chance ‘um!” uttered among the people around me.  “Chance ‘um” is a phrase in the pidgin language that means “Go for it!” or “No shame, take a chance.”  

What’s the worst thing that famous person would say to you if you approached him/her, “I will cut your eyes out and burn your house down!”  I think not!  The absolute worst would be “No” or “Sorry, I don’t want to be bothered right now.”

 You’d be surprised as to how many famous A, B, C or D-list celebrities would welcome an adoring fan.  Granted there are those that would just turn you away but “SO WHAT!”  These famous people are just regular human beings who just so happen to appear on TV or play in the biggest sports arena in the world.  If you are courteous in your approach, chances are they’ll reciprocate in kind.

When I was young, I got the chance to meet one of my favorite AND my very first celebrity, Jack Lord, at Ala Moana Shopping Center with my father.Jack Lord  - Five-0Jack was an imposing man with a stern gaze; he looked liked the Steve McGarrett from the original Hawaii Five-O I remembered watching on TV.   I was so scared of him that I squirted his pants with my water gun and hid behind my father. Suffice to say, my dad, being the cool cat that he is, played it off and told him that he was my favorite actor on TV.  Jack, flashed a really big smile and got down on his knee to greet me at eye level; he shook my hand and then lifted me up so that my dad could take a picture of me with him.  Lucky for me I had a dad whose hobby was none other than photography.   He turned out to be super nice and gracious.  

When I was in college, I worked part-time at Ala Moana Shopping Center and ironically got a second chance to meet another celebrity.  There was a crowd within Shirokiya‘s electronic department;  being the curious type, I worked my way through to see what all the commotion was about.  It was none other than Stevie Wonder with his assistant at the counter.  Steve

THIS WAS STEVIE WONDER!!!  I was a bit puzzled as to why no one was approaching him, all I could think of was we were all in awe of this legend that we all had cold feet.

I was in shock as well to be so close to a man whose songs were known worldwide, but suddenly things changed when that phrase “Chance ‘um” popped up in my subconscious.  I felt like what the hell, what do I have to lose.  THIS WAS STEVIE WONDER!!! So I got bold and went up to him, told him that I loved his songs and to keep up the good work.  He stuck out his hand, trying to meet with mine; stupid me, in my excitement I totally forgot that he was blind and trying to find my hand.  I then left feeling totally overwhelmed from the experience and in hindsight wished we had cellphones back then so I could have gotten a picture of the experience. 

Since then whenever I had an opportunity to meet a celebrity, the phrase “Chance ‘um” came into play.  This was a once in a lifetime opportunity so don’t pass it up.  Over the years I got a chance to meet a host of known people and was fortunate that all of them were super nice and down to earth about me “respectfully fawning over their celebrity status.

All I can say is that if you ever have a chance encounter with any A, B, C or D-List celebrity and you want to meet them but hesitant to do anything about it, “No be scared, CHANCE’ UM!

You just might have an awesome experience with that “somewhat famous” person and be the envy of your friends and family.

Here are just some of the people who were SUPER NICE and took a picture with me.

IMG_0945

Mariska Hargitay

IMG_1034

Ron Howard

IMG_1036

Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa

IMG_2407

Rick Hoffman 

IMG_3099

Jorge Garcia

IMG_3798

Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell

IMG_3869

Kenny G

IMG_3804

Craig Robinson

IMG_4039

Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong

“Monsters!!!”…Under The Bed

Quinn was always afraid to go to sleep in his room at night. He thought that the monsters under his bed would grab him once the lights were out.

When he was ready to go to sleep, Quinn would get in his bed and ask his mom or dad to turn off the lights. If he was thirsty at night or needed to go to the bathroom, he would yell for his mom or dad to turn on the lights.

One night, Quinn was tired and ready for bed.

“Mom, I’m in the bed now, can you turn off the lights” yelled Quinn.

His mom stood in the doorway and said, “Quinn, you’re old enough to turn off the lights by yourself.”

“But mom, how will I get in the bed?” asked Quinn.

“What do you mean?” asked his mom.

“If I turn off the lights by myself, the monsters under the bed will grab me before I can get in bed” said a concerned Quinn.

“Nonsense, there are no such things as monsters” said his mom, “now turn off the lights and go to sleep.” With that, his mom walked away leaving Quinn with the dilemma of turning off the light.

Quinn looked at the light switch and then looked at his bed. He searched his room for an answer to his problem…and there it was, his baseball bat.

He hopped into bed and stretched out, with the bat in hand, and used it to turn off the light. CLICK! Victory! With the lights off, Quinn could now go to sleep.

The next night when Quinn was ready for bed, he looked for his bat. It was nowhere to be found.

“Mom have you seen my baseball bat?” shouted Quinn.

His mom stood in the doorway and said, “Oh, I let your cousin Nicky borrow it, he lost his.”

“But mom, I needed the bat to turn off the lights” said Quinn.

“Don’t be silly, just turn it off with your fingers” said his mom. And with that, his mom left.

Quinn looked at his fingers and said, “Nope, I’m not gonna do it.” He looked around his room and gathered up his toys and shoes and brought it onto his bed.

He looked at the light switch and picked up a toy. With careful aim, he threw the toy hoping it would hit the light switch off. SWOOSH, it soared through the air and…WHACK! It missed.

Quinn threw another toy…WHACK! He missed again.

He threw another toy and another and another…WHACK, WHACK, WHACK! No luck. He decided to use his sneakers.

This time Quinn went toward the edge of his bed, took careful aim and…SWOOSH! The shoes soared through the air and hit the light switch off. Quinn smiled and went to bed.

Just then, the lights came back on. “Young man, what are you doing?” angrily said his mom.

“I didn’t have my bat, so I used my shoes to turn off the lights” said a proud Quinn.

“Don’t do this again. Tomorrow night you use your fingers and turn off the lights like a normal person” said his mom.

“But mom, if I do that I won’t have time to get in the bed. The monsters’ll grab me!” Quinn said.

“There are no monsters under your bed!” said his mom, “Now go to sleep and don’t let this happen again.”

CLICK! His mom turned off the lights. Quinn laid in his bed with a look of concern.

“How am I gonna turn off the lights with my hand and get into bed before the monsters grab me?” Quinn pondered. His eyes lit up and he said with a smile, “Yes, I got it!”

The next night came and Quinn was ready for bed. He got four chairs and lined them up in a row. It went from the light switch to his bed.

Quinn got up on the first chair, that was near the door, and turned off the light. CLICK! He proceeded to the second chair and the third.

Because it was dark, Quinn almost lost his balance, “Whew! That was close” said Quinn. He slowly and carefully stepped onto the fourth and final chair and then finally plopped onto his bed.

Quinn smiled with pride knowing that he found a way to turn off the lights with his hand and get on the bed out of the monsters’ reach.

The next night came and Quinn prepared for bed, he walked into his room and saw that the chairs were gone.

“Mom!” yelled Quinn.

His mom rushed into his room, “What’s wrong?”

“What happened to the chairs I had here in my room?” asked Quinn.

“Why do you need the chairs?” asked his mom.

“I use the chairs to turn off the lights with my hand” said Quinn, “and then I walk on top of it to get to my bed. The monsters can’t get me.”

“There are no such things as monsters under the bed” said his mom, “turn off the lights like a normal person and walk into your bed. Do you understand?”

Quinn lowered his head and answered, “Yes, I understand.”

And with that, his mom left.

Quinn put his hand on the light switch and stretched his body toward his bed. He stretched and stretched and stretched and stretched but no luck. So close but yet so far.

“How am I gonna get into bed?” wondered Quinn.

He thought and thought and thought and then finally he got an answer.

“I know, I’ll run and jump into bed. If I run fast enough, the monsters won’t be able to grab me.”

With his hand on the switch, Quinn got into a runner’s stance. He counted, “One…two…THREE!”

CLICK! Off went the lights.

Quinn made a dash for his bed. Just before he could jump into bed, Quinn tripped over one of his toys.

KA-THUD! Quinn falls onto the floor, a few inches from his bed.

“OH NO! THE MONSTERS ARE GOING TO GET ME!” screamed Quinn. Frightened of what’s to come, he shuts his eyes.

A couple of seconds past, and then another, and then another. Quinn slowly opens his eyes and sees the underneath of his bed. There’s nothing but empty space.

Quinn smiles and chuckles to himself.

Just then…CLICK! the lights go on. “

Quinn what’s wrong? Why did you scream?” asked his mom.

“Oh nothing. I just slipped and fell when I was getting into bed” said Quinn.

“Are you alright?” his mom asked.

“I’m fine!” exclaimed Quinn, “I just need some sleep.” “

Okay then, get into bed and I’ll turn off the lights” said his mom.

Quinn stood up, grinned and proudly said, “That’s okay mom, I can turn off the lights by myself!”

His mom asked, “Aren’t you worried about the monsters under the bed?”

CLICK! Quinn turned off the lights and got into bed and said to his mom, “There are no such things as monsters under the bed. Good night.”

Mark Kaneshige

My dad is…

One bright day, at a very busy playground, there were three young boys playing in a sandbox.

Michael, Timmy, and Alan were playing with their action figures when suddenly one of the boys stood up. Alan looked at his astronaut action figure and then turned to Michael and Timmy. Alan said proudly, “My dad is the best dad in the whole world. He’s an astronaut and he gets to fly a rocket ship and work in space. He’s up there right now doing cool things in space.”

As soon as Alan finished talking, a fire engine truck drove by with sirens wailing and lights flashing. Timmy stood up with great pride and said, “That’s nothing, my dad is the greatest dad in the whole world. He’s a very busy fireman. He puts out a lot of fires and rescues people all the time. I’ll bet he was on that truck.”

After hearing Alan and Timmy talk about their dads, Michael said, “Wow, your dads are really neat. I wish I could have one of your dads.”

Alan and Timmy were curious and asked Michael, “So what does your dad do?”

Michael lowered his head in shame and replied, “Oh nothing special, he doesn’t do cool stuff like work in space or put out fires. My dad is a businessman who works in an office. Everyday after work, he comes home and plays ball with me or challenges me in a video game. Once in awhile when he’s not too tired, we’ll go rollerblading or to a movie.”

Alan and Timmy looked at each other and then looked at Michael. Alan said, “Wow you’re lucky.” Timmy agreed, “Yeah, you are lucky to have a dad like that.”  Michael was a bit puzzled at what Alan and Timmy said.

Michael responded, “Why am I lucky?”

Timmy said, “My dad is so busy being a fireman that after work, he’s too tired to do anything with me. All he does is sleep.”

Alan said, “My dad works in space so I hardly ever see him. I wish I could do stuff with my dad like you do.”

Timmy agreed, “Yeah, I wish my dad would do cool stuff with me like your dad does with you.”

After hearing this, Michael raised his head in pride and stood up. He said very proudly, “My dad is the best dad in the world. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t do neat things in space or put out fires, he’s the greatest because he’s there to do things with me. I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world!”

Mark Kaneshige