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

Anime…not just animation but a “way of life”.

Since I was a young boy, I’ve been a product of the TV generation.  It was always TV, TV, TV…could never quite get into listening to the radio to pass the time away.  For me it was, “What’s the latest thing on TV that’ll keep my attention for this week” scenario.  I was glued to the TV anxiously waiting for the latest cartoon or live action show that really and truly “WOWed” me.

 It was a time when there was no cable TV or 24 hour viewing of thousands upon thousands of channels.  It was either black & white or color TV with three or four stations that had a sign on and sign off time…this meant that television stations started their broadcast day at 5 or 6am and went dark at 12 midnight.  Believe me this really sucked and wished I could’ve been born in the 21st Century.

 But as product of growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 70’s with KIKU-TV, I was fortunate to view different types of shows that the rest of the nation were not readily exposed to.  I got to see:

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Kikaida & Kikaida-01

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Rainbow Man

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Kamen Rider V-3

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Go Rangers

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Inazuman

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Denjin Zaboga

and

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Akumaizer 3

Every week I made sure that the adults knew that Saturday’s between 6-7pm was my time to watch “my” programs.  This was my world and I absolutely LOVED IT!  It was such a mind trip seeing these fantastical beings doing action stuff.

I couldn’t get enough of it.  Week in and week out my mind would wonder what each new episode would reveal.  After their run ended, the station broadened their scope and started featuring such cartoons like:

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Yuusha Raideen

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Getter Robo G

 I called them cartoons because back then that’s what they were known as “cartoons”; anime was not readily said in those times.  Watching this was a change of pace from the “live action” stuff, but was AWESOMELY COOL nonetheless.  After its run, the station starting airing more passive cartoons like

Candy Candy and Ikkyu-San; granted I gave it a shot and watched a couple of episodes but quickly decided that it was not my usual fare.  A couple years after, that station soon stopped airing kids’ shows and concentrated on more adult themed programs.

As I advanced in age, I started watching the usual stuff like G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, and Silverhawks but nothing really captured my attention as “MUST SEE.” My life felt a little hollow and there were times when I longed to be fully invested in something different again.

In the late 80’s, our household got cable; back then the viewing was not like how it is in 2016, channels didn’t quite reach the 100 mark but it was different nonetheless.

One fateful day, I flipped the channel to Fuji Television and stumbled across Hokuto No Ken (Fist of the North Star).

With eyes widened and mouth agape; I stood there in silence.  I was completely floored; the animation wasn’t as crude like it was in the 70’s and the action was off the charts.  As soon as it ended I had an “OMG WTF just happened!!!” moment.

Something stirred from within; that hollow space was now whole again and I had to watch another episode, and another, and another.  This became “MUST SEE” TV for me again.  It was my first exposure to the world of Japanese animation…I became invested in a series once again and I LIKED IT!

The series ran for a couple of years and ended to my dismay.  I was starved for more and eagerly scoured their listing for any and all new animation but no such luck.  More adult themed shows popped up again and I was back to feeling empty inside.

Fast track to the 90’s…with the advent of the internet and the progression it made, I soon stumbled across internet sites where they featured Japanese “anime” for viewing entertainment.  Now this was where I first came across the term “anime” and was awed at all the types of series that were out there.

The graphics were more refined and the movement and action were almost human-like.  This was mind-blowingly insane and there were no words to describe my thoughts.  I viewed a whole bunch of anime but was somehow drawn at the time to a series called Naruto.

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Naruto

I liked the concept and idea of the shinobi and their fighting aspects AND I thought the hand gestures to use certain jutsu’s was remarkably cool to boot.  I followed the Naruto series religiously and all of the movies in-between.

When it ended, I was depressed that I would follow the same pattern as before BUT was pleasantly surprised that it continued on in the form of Naruto Shippuden…AND there were more movies to follow as well.  I was in absolute heaven…so, this was “anime”…it was purely orgasmic to be a part of this world.

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Naruto Shippuden

Living in the 21st Century and having two kids who are into “anime” helps to broaden my horizons as well.  They introduce me to shows that they think I might like:

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One Punch Man

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Attack On Titan

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Parasyte

With a cornucopia of anime programs out there, it’s impossible to view every single one.  Having extra pair of eyes helps to filter the awesome ones from the not so interesting ones.  Such a time saver.

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I’m glad that I went on this journey of discovery (and evolution) of Japanese animation.  AND through all this, I learned that “anime” was not just a thing…but a way of life.  It was a lifestyle that I had to experience to fill a part of my soul.

Cartoons…not just for kids anymore.

We all remember our childhood days when we would sit in front of the TV engrossed in our favorite cartoon show.  For some of us, Saturday mornings was purely reserved for our cartoon viewing pleasure; we endured a tortuous week of school and homework just to make it to that holiest of days.  Hanna-Barbera 2
This is what I grew up watching.  Back then cartoons were just that…cartoons.  The drawings were elementary and colorful; the movement very nuts and bolts; the plot safe and mundane.  It’s nature by design was targeted for kids.  And that was okay by my standards.  Any adult caught watching this would a strange sight…well can you imagine your parents watching this for enjoyment.

As I grew a little older, I felt a little out of place watching this.  You kind of knew where most of the story was going and all the characters wore the same outfits.  It’s like they had a lifetime supply of the same clothes.  Luckily for me cartoons started to change a bit.  They ventured into more action, sci-fi and comic book type of things.
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This fantasy, sci-fi cartoon was simply out of this world. Not to mention, seeing comic book characters finally on-screen. It was pure ecstasy seeing cartoons geared for the older child. The drawings and motion were still a bit rudimentary and the plot very simple and safe.  But that was okay.  It captured my attention and held it for hours on end.

After awhile these new type of cartoons just didn’t capture my attention.  I was just growing up and these cartoons started to feel childish again.  I felt embarrassed if any adult stumbled upon me watching this; it felt as if your best friend caught you in the act of watching Sesame Street.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Sesame Street, it’s just meant for a different age bracket.

For the longest time cartoons became homogenous in drawing and plot.  As I got into college I got turned onto “anime”.  When I saw this, it completely blew my mind. This was cartoons but on steroids and meant for the older crowd.

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The drawings were like works of art and the plots more complex in nature.  The movements of the characters were more fluid in motion and realistic. It was fantastical in nature, action packed and engaging.

It’s as if my whole life of watching cartoons as a kid was gearing me up for anime.  I no longer felt ashamed of watching this; I would be totally oblivious to any adult entering the room.  I was reliving my childhood again but in an adult way.  Yes it’s still cartoons…but it’s done in a sophisticated and craftful manner.

Whenever I have some spare time, I would go onto the internet and catch up on the latest anime series that captures my attention.  My kids are even entranced with it and think I’m cool for sharing an interest in anime with them.  It’s purely an escape for me when I’m tired of regular TV viewing.  All I can say is that thank God for “anime”…it “TOTALLY ROCKS!”