What I’ve Learned

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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

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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!!!

A Birthday Poem

 

As I sit here pondering what to write, I reflected for a moment on my life.  I saw my daughter’s baby picture situated on a shelf off to the left of my computer.  I soon realized that my little girl will turn 17 this year…in a few more years, she’ll be 21 years old.  Geez, where’d all that time go?!

I wondered what would I say to her once she gets to that age.  A poem came to mind, so I figured I’d write a poem for my daughter’s future self.  This is what I came up with:

“Happy Birthday Chloe

you’re finally 21,

You’re at that age

where you can enjoy illegal adult fun

Remember when you were young

when you dressed up and pretended to be old

To be a full-grown woman

was to be daring and bold

As time passed on, 

you played the game of life

The need to be an  adult woman

was joined by the desire to be a wife

You’re finally a woman,

with many birthdays gone by

The youthfulness is still in you

as the clouds are in the sky

Age doesn’t matter

so don’t let it bother you

Just be yourself and in the end

to your heart you will be true

Be cheerful, be happy

you’re now 21,

Happy Birthday Chloe

and many more to come.”

 

 

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.

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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.

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Mariska Hargitay

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Ron Howard

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Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa

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Rick Hoffman 

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Jorge Garcia

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Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell

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Kenny G

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Craig Robinson

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Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong

Dance like no one is watching

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I could never fully understand the phrase “Dance like no one is watching”, guess I’ve always loved to dance so it never really mattered.  Never took a single dance class in my life but learned from going to all those high school dances and watching other dancers from nightclubbing or from TV.  I mimicked their moves and then put my own flair to it.

 More than anything, I’ve always let the music dictate how I moved on the dance floor, sidewalk, bedroom or hallway.  Never really cared if I looked funny, I was free to dance to my heart’s content.  Really didn’t practice except when it came to popping and break dancing.  Those were the only type of moves that needed to be perfected so that you didn’t look like crap.

But going back to that phrase, the reason why I brought that up was because my teenage daughter wants to learn how to dance.  I thought to myself that this was a golden moment, I’ll offer up my services and in the process have a little father-daughter bonding experience.  How hard would this be; she took dance lessons for a couple of years but that was back when she was 4 and 5 years old.

 I asked her to show me what she remembered but she drew a blank.  Then I asked her to show me any type of dance move and she was too embarrassed to do so.

 I said to her “If you want to learn to dance, you can’t be afraid to show what you know even if it looks weird or stupid.  If you get over that inhibition, then your body will be able to move more fluidly.”  I’m not a dance teacher or professional by any means but in my opinion, if you’re not afraid of making an ass of yourself while dancing then you shouldn’t dance.

 I asked her again, to just show me anything.  There was a hesitation at first but then she “manned up” and showed me what was in her dance repertoire.  It was a bit rough and her coordination was slightly off but was impressive nonetheless.  I commended her for doing that and assured her that the hard part was over and I can teach her what I know.

As I was about to display some of my “go to” moves, she blurted out that she wanted to learn hip hop.  I thought to myself “I can manage that, it wouldn’t be the greatest but it shouldn’t be a problem.”  I came up with a move in my head and was about to display it when she added…”It has to be k-pop style.”   

 WAIT!  WHAT?!!!  K-POP STYLE, WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN?!

She wanted to learn a dance routine from a k-pop group that she thought was cool.  Now I had to check this out; I immediately went on YouTube and called up the video.  I had to admit, it was pretty awesome but way out of my league…but as a father trying to impress his child, I would never admit that.

 “I can teach you that.  Just let me watch it for a while and we can get started” I told her.

“Cool” was her only reply.  And with that she buried her face into her phone and was off in her little world.

So now I am tasked with learning an intricate dance routine and breaking it down into simple steps to teach my daughter.  What have I gotten myself into!?  This was surely a daunting task but I’m up for the challenge.  Don’t know how long it will take but I’m making it my mission to making my daughter mimic those moves fluidly and in the process adding more moves to my dance repertoire.

I’ll update my progress in future blogs and hopefully will post a video of the end result.  Here’s to a victorious end…TALLY HO!

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