Tonight is Tiare's "Shimmer" themed birthday party at Apartment3, and after an hour of walking around Kahala Mall last night Leslie and I found that shimmering is hard to do in July.  December, fine -- there are sequins in every shop window -- but in July, not so much.  Argh, we shall see.

Yesterday was one of those days, too long out of the ocean the 5 block walk to my home break seemed an eternity.  Even in the most demure two-piece I felt there was too little left to the imagination.  But there it was --Queens, the late afternoon sun glistening off her perfectly formed, head high walls, firing for a mile straight out into the deep blue.    I could feel it, the heady rush of blood through my veins, for what would be an exercise in hunger management.  Paddling into the lineup I told myself, "I just want three, three good waves and I'll be content,"  forever a wild stallion, satisfaction did not come willingly.  Damn, I was hungry... just kept eating it; but  getting worked never felt so good.    I did catch some fire, though; a wave took me from old age (outside) to Baby Queens, an indisputable fountain of youth.  I had a scare then.  Looking toward the island, an army of landlocked jellyfish were swimming straight for me, toes and arms flailing off their killer rental longboards,  more terrifying than a  Man-O-War.  Wtf, it's not even 10 days past the full moon.  

Rogue wave, flail flail, breath.   

Sorry, Ocean...  even jellyfish deserve the sea.  Thoughts, words, behaviors, habits, values, destiny... keep 
em positive.   Quite right, thanks Gandhi.  I took my cue, it was time to paddle in.  In 50 minutes I got my 3 waves (plus three new shiners) and made peace with the ocean, apologizing for staying away too long.   

 Lessons learned:

- Only a single fin on your nine-oh makes taking 18 second head high waves (followed by another, and then another...and then another) in a word -- daunting.
- Don't fight jellyfish, they know not what they do.
- Take the wave only as long as it lives, perpetuity is not the goal, only then will it keep it's wild beauty.
- The ocean demands respect... and frequent visits.  Follow her rules and she'll reward you.

Humbled, and a little worse for the wear, I hobbled back to the beach, a sunbeam shimmering from my  lips.  Perhaps all it takes to shimmer is a smile. ~


kumu n.

1. Bottom, base, foundation, basis, title (as to land), main stalk of a tree, trunk, handle, root (in arithmetic); basic; hereditary, fundamental. Kumupali, base foot of a cliff. ʻIke kumu, basic, fundamental knowledge. Aliʻi kumu, hereditary chief. Alanui kumu, main street. ʻAuikumu, nominative case. Kumu kāhili, staff of a kāhili. Kumu nalu, source of waves, as where surfing starts. Mai ke kumu ā ka wēlau, from trunk to tip [all, entirely]. (PPN tumu.)

2. Teacher, tutor, manual, primer, model, pattern. Kumu alakaʻi, guide, model, example. Kaʻu kumu, my teacher. Kumu hoʻohālike, pattern, example, model. Kumu hula, hula teacher. Kumu kuʻi, boxing teacher. Kumu kula, school teacher. Kumu leo mele, song book. Kumu mua, first primer.

3. Beginning, source, origin; starting point of plaiting. hoʻo.kumu To make a beginning, originate, create, commence, establish, inaugurate, initiate, institute, found, start.

4. Reason, cause, goal, justification, motive, grounds, purpose, object, why. Kumu no ka ʻoki male, grounds for divorce. Kumu ʻole, without reason or cause. He aha ke kumu i ʻeha ai kou wāwae? What is the reason for your foot hurting?

Received the results this morning that I passed the Substitute Teacher Certification Course Exit Exam today.  Relieved, Stoked, Manzoku.  It has been 5 years since I took an exam that required memorization and rapt attention (even then, the mind had a tendency to wander) but it took those five years to want to learn again.  An old journal tells me, " ...If you want to master, teach."  Easy to say, journal.  

The course was 30 hours; three hour sessions, twice a week fro 6-9pm; attendance to every class was mandatory.   Thankfully, since I'm not so good with stringency, there were very few waves to distract my resolve.  "Power through! Man up!  Doooooin' it!," my psyche screamed as I biked the 10 minutes to class.  The more the teacher broke it down Barney-style, the more my mind thought of funner ways the lesson could have been taught.  It made me reflect on teachers, kumu, I had growing up -- especially Mr. Pileggi.  Mr. P was my 7th grade English/Writing Lab teacher and stimulated the dream places in my mind, teaching us to cull them and put those ideas on paper.  He was a lefty.  

I can't help but wonder what adventures lay waiting in the world of substitute teaching, I find myself more excited than I thought I'd be.... 

This week, a small group of us are starting a "Write Club" including a couple of hippies, some CEOs, a world traveler, a banker, a yogi and me.  The club will  focus on the writing instead of the writer, the possibilities are borderline infinite.

Lastly, the response on the bucket lists left a bit to be desired.  Let's try harder, shall we?  Take' til the end of July.  You know you want to :)


My great-grandmother, Lola Paping's soul left her body today.  I think I'm still in shock.  Is the right thing to feel sadness?  Lola lived her life so well and happily that I can't help but feel she's at peace.  Paz Rodriguez Tiangco was 99 years old, never took medication for illness in her old age and passed away in her sleep, tranquil and serene.  I am her first born great-granddaughter, from her first born grandson, from her first born daughter. In this time of sorrow, my hope for our family is that we  remember what she taught us by example.  Not only how to live, but how to live well; not simply how to love, but how to love well. That under no circumstances should we worry life away.  That when given the choice, a cheerful disposition trumps a fretful one.  That there are no limits to what can be accomplished with a smile and how thoughts, no matter how simple, when applied with love can be supremely powerful.  Lola's name means peace, and as she rests on her beloved island in the Pacific, something tells me that she would have wanted us to be sensitive and strong as we continue her legacy of living and loving life.  I love you, Lola.  Aloha nui loa.

Hi, Friends. After a few days without my laptop (she got the flu) and a week spent in academic pursuits (sort of), I'm back, and I missed you.  I'm glad to report that with a little help from my friends my laptop  is back in business. Chee-hoo!

Last week's highlights:

- read voraciously
- spent QT with loved ones, on the phone and in person :)
- made a list of songs for Voice class final (in 2 weeks! ahh!)
- got Crispy M & M's from a far away land by snail mail
- attended the opening of the Surf Film Festival
- made churros from scratch with Natsuko
- started researching Japan/China as options to teach English for 2011
 (and subsequently looked at Spain, Brazil, Tahiti, and Indonesia, as well.)
- had dinner with two people who renewed my faith in marriage
- re-watched Contact... and loved it
- practiced harnessing ki
- started taking Vitamin D for lack of sunlight... and waves :P
- listened to a new song "Legs"

Most days it seems the summer has wings;  It's the middle of July, 2010 and and the days flip by ever faster.  "All we ever have is now,"  I told Dominique (please smile when you say it... it's French) on the ride home last night.   She is an intriguing creature and now I know why.  Instead of the typical path, Dominique traveled for 15 years and ticked off 40 things she wanted to do/see before she turned forty.  The list included jumping out of an airplane (sounds familiar), seeing the great barrier reef, swimming in the amazon, sailing across the caribbean, etc. -- and she went right down the list.  She chose to live at once, instead of living at last.

Hawai'i is this other world, apart and floating. I am afraid sometimes that I stand too still here -- like Dorian Gray but with palm trees.  The world is so  vast.  Dominique never had more than $2000 with her and no credit cards -- simply living by her wits and learning for a lifetime.  She inspires me to keep dreaming, and more so than that to act on those dreams.  

Another source of inspiration came from 25-year old film maker from San Diego, director of  'Lost Prophets.'  If you have a chance to see his film, I highly recommend it.  The soundtrack alone will enthrall  you, combine that with jaw-dropping, deep-barrel footage, perfect peeling Mexican waves and a couple of Aussie hippies and your golden.  It'll show again at the DorisJuly 20 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.

In a way, last week I rekindled the part of myself that wants to "go for it," that believes there's hope and that life is crazy beautiful -- and sometimes the crazy is what makes it fun life is my anti-virus.

This week's talk story is to write your bucket list.  It can be as long or as short as you'd like and share it with me; I'd like to put as many of these up as I get.  Have fun, there is no limit but those you place on yourself.


*reposted from

Oahu’s July 4th Fireworks and Events 2010

If you’re making plans to visit Oahu this July 4th, you’ll find some excellent ways to celebrate Independence Day with a bang. All the events are family-friendly and free. Whether you’re staying in Waikiki, Honolulu, North Shore or anywhere else on beautiful Oahu, you’ll find a July 4th celebration that’s convenient and fun.

After many hours of research, I’ve created this convenient list of Oahu’s top July 4th events for 2010:

Saturday, July 3rd – Fireworks Display at Aloha TowerOne of the Oahu’s bigger July 4th events actually occurs on the 3rd at Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu. This local favorite has traditionally presented an impressive fireworks display. The fireworks show is set to go off from a barge in Honolulu Harbor between Sand Island and the Aloha Tower Marketplace around 8:00pm, but other festivities including food, fun and live music starts at 3pm.  (See 
this Google Map.)

As for getting there to watch the fireworks from Aloha Tower Marketplace parking will be difficult to find. If you decide to drive there, you may want to arrive early to check out other festivities including food, fun and live music starting at 3pm.  
See this link for Aloha Tower Marketplace parking options.

If you are coming from Waikiki, you might want to consider taking
 TheBus or the Red Line Trolley to prevent parking and traffic headaches.

The address for Aloha Tower Marketplace is 1 Aloha Tower Drive, Honolulu, HI. For more information: See their 
website or call 808.528.5700.

Sunday, July 4th – Ala Moana Center 4th of July SpectacularAla Moana Center puts on a huge Independence Day celebration that’s been popular with locals and visitors. Their fireworks extravaganza is among the best in the country. Fireworks begin at 8:30pm, but there’s plenty of excellent entertainment starting at noon. See this link for the entertainment line up and a shopping discount. You can watch the fireworks from around the center, at Magic Island (Aina Moana Beach Park), and at Ala Moana Beach Park. See this Google Map to visualize the area.

To get there from Waikiki, you can drive, take TheBus or the Ala Moana shopping shuttle. See 
this linkfor more information on public transportation options. Also, note if you have Trolley tickets, you can take either the Pink or Red Trolley Lines.

If  your up for a good walk and have comfortable walking shoes, then consider walking from Waikiki to Ala Moana Beach Park. You won’t have to worry about traffic and finding a parking space. The closer you’re staying to the western end of Waikiki, the shorter the walk.

Ala Moana Center is located at 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu. Their phone number is 808.955.9517.

For an alternative view of these fireworks, consider one of the 
Star of Honolulu‘s dinner or cocktail cruises.

Sunday, July 4th – Schofield Barracks 4th of July Spectacular
Hawaii’s largest Army post in Central Oahu will have an Independence Day celebration including games, rides, crafts and live music. They will host a free fireworks display at 8:30pm. For more information on this day long celebration 
see this flyer.

Sunday, July 4th – Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration & Fireworks at Turtle Bay ResortIf you are staying in or around Oahu’s North Shore, the celebration and fireworks show at Turtle Bay Resort will be you’re most convenient event. The fireworks show starts “at dark” (around 8pm), but there’s display booths and games for the kids starting at 5:30pm. Admission and parking is free. Turtle Bay Resort is located on Oahu’s North Shore at 57-091 Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku, HI. For more information see this link or call Turtle Bay Resort toll free at  866.827.5327.

Sunday, July 4th – Maunalua Bay Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks Show
Starting at 1pm, this family-friendly event includes entertainment, food booths, and a fireworks show at 8:00pm. Maunalua Bay is located between Diamond Head and Koko Head on the southeast side of Oahu. For more information see the event’s website. To get there from Waikiki, you’ll need to take TheBus or drive. Be sure and check the event’s website for parking advice.

Sunday, July 4th – Kailua Fireworks
Plans are in place for a July 4th celebration and evening fireworks show at the East Oahu town of Kailua.See this link for more information.

Sunday, July 4th –  First Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Waikiki Beach Walk
Okay, so this isn’t a July 4th celebration per se, but it’s a celebration being held on July 4th, and it’s free. You’ll be able to listen to some exceptionally talented Hawaiian steel guitarists from 2pm until 6pm. Afterwards, you’ll still be able to catch one of the evening fireworks shows. This festival will be held at the Plaza Stage of the Waikiki Beach Walk.

Sunday, July 4th – Military’s July 4th Fireworks Spectacular
This event is specifically for all military affiliated personnel including active duty, reserve, retirees, DoD, family members and sponsored guests. It’s a day-long Independence Day celebration with games, food, concerts and fireworks at Ward Field, Naval Station Pearl Harbor. For more information on this event,
see this link.

*Gentle Reminder:Talk Story Submissions Due tomorrow!