From Wall Street to Honolulu, pick a city, any city and occupy it

APEC is coming to Honolulu next week. Let the protests begin! (If you don’t know what APEC is don’t worry, I didn’t know either until I went to the website)

The occupy movement which started on wall street, eventually has made its way to Honolulu. It is interesting to hear that there is an actual  occupy Honolulu movement. Protests in paradise, just doesn’t have the same feel as a New York protest. If I was in New York I may head down to wall street to witness this aspect of American History. In Honolulu, I am headed past the protest, straight to the beach. Honolulu is known for its tourism, it is a vacation destination. People usually don’t go on vacation to join a protest (at least I don’t think so). If you happen to live in Honolulu, you live with Aloha, and you still are unlikely to join a protest.

Needless to say, the Occupy Honolulu,  Hilo, or Maui movements, will never get as much coverage as occupying Wall Street, or DC.  Because Honolulu is so far away from the mainland, it can be difficult at times to connect to the issues of the nation. With a large amount of ocean water, and a 6 hour time difference from the east coast, the mainland can feel like another country some days.

If anyone truly sees all of Hawaii, you will see that much of Hawaii is filled with the 99%. It would be surprising if anyone in the 1% actually lives on one of the Hawaiian islands, my feeling is that they just come here as a lavish vacation destination.

Wall Street New York
Image by Mathew Knott via Flickr

The occupy Wall Street movement was started on a good basis. To bad the basis hasn’t yet reached a  consensus. With everyone having a different reason to occupy any city, the 99% actually looks like a joke to the top 1%.  The top 1% should earn money, you work hard earn money. But don’t expect bailouts and government handouts. The inequality in taxes is disturbing. There are truly reasons to protest.  But are the protest being heard? Is anything really going to change from these protest or will the movement become yesterday’s news? New York winters are harsh so I don’t expect the Wall Street protesters to be out there much longer. Sleeping in tents in the winter will never sound like much fun. Maybe some of them can come to Honolulu for the winter, and occupy the streets of paradise. With more people, the occupy Honolulu movement may get some positive attention. Without the people, it is a sad picture of a movement.

Honolulu International Airport
Image via Wikipedia

With APEC starting, I’m sure more people will be out for the protest. I still am not sure what they are protesting, but I will let you know when I find out. Let’s start making signs, and put Honolulu on the map. We are more than just a vacation destination. Honolulu is also a city that is down to fight for the cause.

Is this what it was like in the 1970’s?

Positive energy, positive thoughts, positive experiences

Where were you on 9/11/01?

Today marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Do you remember where you were that day?

9/11/01 is a day no American will ever forget. A day that changed the lives of many, and changed the face of a nation. For a super power such as the United States, who would have thought that one moment in time would suddenly change our country. From our individual selves to how we operate as a people, we were never the same after that tragic day.

9/11 World Trade Center Flag 4
Image by NVinacco via Flickr

I will never forget where I was on 9/11/01. For a day that happened 10 years ago I still remember it as it were yesterday. I was junior at the University of Connecticut. Actually about 3 weeks into my junior year to be exact.  That morning I had an 8:00 am class. I had four back to back classes from morning to afternoon. As usual I didn’t want to wake up, and I felt that class started too early. But I woke up.

At 7:00 AM I woke up. Turned on the TV to the today show as usual while I got ready for class. I still remember the news from that day, well some of it. Michael Jordan was ready to return to basketball, and The Blueprint album by Jay-z was going to be released. It was a Tuesday. Another normal Tuesday, or so I thought.

It was hot that day. Not like a normal September east coast day. It still felt like summer. I arrived to my 8:00 am class on time, it was Sociology. At 8:46 am the first plan hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. I was still in class. At 9:03 am the second plane hits the south tower of the World Trade Center. I was still in class. My home city was under attack, I had no idea. No one knew the destruction and devastation that was taking place outside of the safety net of our classroom on a college campus.

At 9:59 am the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. By this time I was in my second class of the day Women’s Studies. I still had no idea what was going on in New York. How could I? There was no TV or radio on my walk from one class to the next. Surprisingly the class was full. No one mentioned a word of a terrorist attack on New York. Maybe they were unaware too of what was going on two and a half hours away from the safety of our college campus. At 10:28 am the north tower collapses. Thousands of people are dead, and New Yorker’s are in a true state of shock.

By the time I got to my third class which started at 11:00 am I still haven’t heard the news about what was going on in New York. On my stop to grab a cup of coffee I did overhear two students talking about a plane flying into the Pentagon. Since I only heard a slight bit of their conversation, I naturally assumed they were talking about a movie. Why would a plane be flying into the Pentagon in real life? Little did I know.

During my 11:00 am class of Animal Behavior the Professor did mention that coverage of this morning’s events would be on at the Student Union. I had no idea what he was talking about. He didn’t elaborate, just taught a normal lecture. I wished he had stopped to talk about how our country was under attack.

On my walk to my fourth and final class of the day, I noticed students crying all over campus. Students on the phone crying, lying on the grass crying, I was surrounded by tears. During my final class of Psychology, the Professor explained what had happened. He took a moment to talk about the terror attacks of the morning, the class reflected. It was hard. Unexpected. Not something I was ready for. But I finally knew what was happening in my city, I was living through terror.

New York, NY, September 28, 2001 -- Debris on ...
Image via Wikipedia

A few years later during my time as a graduate student at NYU, I lived a few blocks away from the World Trade Center Site. Lower Manhattan is naturally noisy, but living there after what had happened made the noise even louder. I would sometimes wake up in panic during the middle of the night while hearing fire trucks and police sirens. I would jump as if we were under attack. I was going through my own PTSD, one of memories.

Even though I wasn’t in New York on 9/11/01, I will never forget. I will always remember what the World Trade Center was before 9/11/01, and I will always remember how the city of New York came to together as one to stand up against evil after 9/11/01.

The World Trade Center in New York.
Image via Wikipedia

I won the lottery! The Broadway lottery of course

Still in New York: Day 3

I will return to Honolulu on Monday, until then I have another New York moment to share:

Ultimately the one aspect of New York that I will always love is Broadway. In every Broadway show,  I am always amazed by the creativity and intellectual genius that goes into writing a play, then turning it into a major Broadway production. I only wish that one day I can have half as much of that creativity.

During this trip into the city I had the opportunity to go with my mother to see The Book of Mormon, which is a new musical that won 9 Tony awards. I must say that it was quite an interesting masterpiece. Different from your usual musical due to the large amount of profanity. Yet, the provocative nature is what makes this production eye-catching, and attention grabbing from start to finish. I would say that this is a musical that is a must see, as long as you are not overly sensitive to religious issues or offended by the use of constant profanity.

Here is the good part of this city visit: To get a ticket to the The Book of Mormon is no easy task. Nearly impossible would be an understatement. I attempted to order tickets online for my mother and I before I left Hawaii. Unfortunately they were all sold out. Not thinking,  I did not realize that this play would be sold out.  Next, I figured I would try again to get tickets while in New York. Nope it was a no go. I called the box office, no luck. The nice woman on the phone did offer me 400 dollar premium seat tickets however. My thought was “are you kidding me?” My last name is not Trump! I politely said “no thank you” and hung up the phone.

One part of my brain had completely given up on ever going to see The Book of Mormon this year. My thoughts were to try to get tickets for next year sometime, maybe by then everyone who wanted to see this show would have seen it, and I can just order a ticket for my mother and I online. A part of me felt disappointment, and I felt disappointed for my mom because I told her that we can go see this show. My next thought, hey let’s try a last-ditch effort and attempt to win tickets in the Broadway lottery.

Now if you know me, or if you don’t, let me tell you, I DO NOT have good luck. Actually I never win anything. I have really crappy luck. Life does not happen to me based on luck, it never has, and I never expect it to. So to enter this lottery for these tickets and win, in my mind I had a better chance of being struck by lighting. Since my mom was also there to enter her name in the lottery, I figured she would probably win. Actually I was expecting her to win. I just had a feeling that the man would say her name, and we would be watching the show in the front row due to her luck.

To enter the drawing for Broadway lottery tickets, just arrive at the show that has a lottery 2 and a half hours in advance of the show time to put your name in the drawing. 2 hours prior to showtime they call out the names for a highly discounted front row ticket.  I had tried the lottery once before to see Wicked, unfortunately I did not win then. And I had little hope that I would win now.

My mom and I arrived at the theater about 3 hours before show time. People were already waiting in line for standing room only tickets, and another group of people were waiting for lottery tickets. As the time came to hand out the cards, a giant crowd formed in front of the theater, close to if not more than a hundred people. Many people, all for the same purpose, hoping to pay 32 dollars for a front row seat to the hottest musical in town.

2 hours before the show, the man started to call out the names of the winners, all the while I was thinking I hope I win, but I am not really sure I will win. My mom had already thought of our back up plan when we did not get the tickets to the show. We would go to the museum and on the NY sightseeing bus. I still had a little hope but as the first 6 sets of tickets were given out and my name not called, my hope was quickly dwindling. My next thought was would this guy hurry up and call out these names so I could go eat lunch. I was starving. At least a sandwich and a Starbucks latte were something I could actually get. As the man said that this is the last set of available front row tickets, he then called out my name. ME he called.  It replays in my head in slow motion. I heard my name. Never have I been so excited to hear my full name.  With shock and amazement I could not believe it was real. I had won something, and I had won something that I had actually wanted.

My mom was so happy to hear my name she screamed louder than a parent at a graduation ceremony. She may have screamed loud enough for all of midtown to hear. You would have thought I won the real lottery. It was nice to see her happy. She deserves happiness.

Excited about my win, my mom and I were able to sit in the very front row of The Book of Mormon for only 32 dollars for each ticket. A ticket that the woman on the phone tried to sell to me for 400 dollars the day before. Wow, look at the way life works. Unpredictable. Just live. As my mother said “we sat so close the actors could spit on you”. Gross I know, but you could see the spit coming out of their mouths as they spoke. Great times, another great day in New York.

I am feeling now that my life is starting to look up. I have a sense that things are going to work out for the better, again I will practice patience. Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experience. :0)




Show Photos - The Book of Mormon - Andrew Rannells

Life and its uncertainty: What’s next?

I am back in New York this week. Yeah I know it seems like I was just here, what can I say I like to travel. Unfortunately traveling is   expensive 😦 so, I can not always do it as much as I would like. However, I must always find the time and money to return to my home state. When I come back to the big city it feels like I never left. The city looks the same, smells the same, and still has that same city feel that says welcome to New York! New York will always be my home. It is familiar to me. A city of memories. Good and bad, each memory will always have a special place in my life. New York is full of experiences, and those experiences have made me the person I am today. As always, mentally I do have to adjust to the mainland. I have to constantly remember that there is no spirit of Aloha over here. Put on your best New York attitude and keep it moving! In New York I have to remind myself to slow down, take a moment, and continue to enjoy life.

I must say I love summer in New York. With the heat and humidity, it really does feel like hell on earth, and you may melt if you stay outside too long, but in my mind there is nothing like a New York summer. So I am glad that I have the opportunity to be in the city right in the heart of summer, ideally I want to go to summer stage this weekend, or a street fair in the village. If you haven’t experienced a New York summer, trust me it is something you must do. At least once in your life. Don’t worry about the heat too much, just drink lots of water! 🙂

Since I have been back on the mainland I have been thinking, I am ready for my next power move! My next life changing moment. I have ambition to do better, reach for something higher and I want that next opportunity to again set myself in a new life position. The problem: I haven’t really grasped in my mind what my next power move will look like. Such as what do I want to do next? Where do I want to live? What do I want to experience? Or more importantly, where does God need me to be? I have asked God, what’s next? Where do I go? What am I supposed to do now? Still waiting for those answers. I know they will come in time, so I will wait patiently until it is time to make that power move.

When I am on the mainland, it does not feel like I really live in Hawaii. For some reason it feels like life on the island is a big dream, and suddenly I have woke up back in my bed, in my house, with my family. Yet, I know I will return, and my reality is my island life. I feel like one girl, living in two different worlds. I wonder if I can connect them somehow. Maybe that is what God needs me too figure out next. How can I connect both my worlds, to make one reality. The reality that is essentially my life. Challenging? Maybe, but I know I can do it. Once I have that figured out, then maybe I will be ready to make my next power move. And trust me, the next move will defiantly be a life changing moment.

Why Not Be The Best Version Of Yourself!

S0 here it is: In a few weeks I will be turning 29! Yup 29. (I am silently wondering if I should be having a brief panic attack) Since I am entering my last year in my twenties, I have decided to do a little bit of self-reflection.

While in my twenties I would say that I almost met all of the societal expectations of girls in their twenties. I graduated from college, entered the professional world, learned how to balance a check book, and dated a variety of men. Where did I go wrong? Well I didn’t get married, and I have no children. In my thirties, if I stay on this track  I will be considered a social leper by the standards of some.  Apparently marriage and babies is the icing on the cake for women in their twenties. Therefore, when women reach their thirties they will be complete with a family, or divorced, take your pick. As a woman, if you are still or newly single in your thirties, you continue to go on what may seem like endless dates, continue to look for Mr. Right, or maybe just Mr. Right now, oh and  you even get the wonderful added pity of people who feel so sorry for you life of singledom that they go out of their way to offer to find you Mr. Right now. Do women ever get the chance to just be happy with themselves, by themselves, and love it?

I spent the majority of my early to mid twenties involved in serious relationships. When I was around the age of 24, I was dating a man who I just knew I wanted to marry. For some strange reason I wanted a husband right then. My boyfriend at the time was cute, and he had a job, he took care of me, so he was perfect to marry right? Well no it was not that simple. I wanted to get married yes, but not because I actually wanted to be a wife or understood what it actually meant to be a wife, at the time I just thought the idea of having a husband would be nice. I would have someone to take care of me, and we would just automatically become one. I must give the credit to God on that one, he knew exactly what he was doing with that didn’t work.

At 24 I would have made a horrible wife. I’ll admit it, just horrible. I was selfish, egocentric, bratty, spoiled, and had no idea of what it meant to be a wife, or how to treat a husband. Marriage was just a word in my vocabulary. I truly wanted the wedding and not the marriage. Looking back life worked out exactly the way life was supposed to work.  However, if I did get married the advantage was then I would not have to face life alone. I could go from living with my parents, to living with my husband. When I was younger I remember my mother telling me that I needed to find a husband so he can take me away. To my mom, she could just marry me off so she wouldn’t have to support me anymore. What a silly idea that was. When the marriage plan didn’t work out, I created a new plan, my own plan. My plan actually turned out to be the right plan. I would live life for me, and figure out how to be the best version of me first before I tried to share my life with someone else.

Around the age of 25, I once heard Oprah and Mya Angelou say that life gets better at 50. So being the me that I am, I figured that I only have to wait 25 more years, then life will start to get good. I will feel free, and living my best days…but at 50, which seems like an eternity away. Did I really want to wait that long? No. I have a huge problem with impatience. So my next thought was how do I make today my best day. I can make life start right now, today, and really live. The advantage had been that I could figure that out all by myself. I had no one to answer to. It was my life, and I could do whatever I wanted to with it. Suddenly I realized the bright side of not getting married, and being a horrible wife at the age of 24. I was given the opportunity to grow, to learn, to love me for who I am, to learn to love other people exactly for who they are, and to learn how to be a good wife. With growth, I learned compromise, I learned the joys of giving, and to be happy seeing other people happy.  I found my own personal happiness, and no one could take that away from me.

During my twenties I feel my biggest accomplishment has been becoming the a better version of myself. With time spent alone, I have learned to love myself first as an individual. Doing small things on my own, has helped me to learn to appreciate my own company.  I am content in knowing what I love and what I don’t love. What I want and what I don’t want.  I used to have fears of going to eat alone, going to the movies alone, or vacationing alone. In the past few years I have overcome all of those fears, and many more. So as I turn 29 do I feel like I have life figured out? Oh no, far from it. But I do know that I am now living life at my best, I appreciate everything that I have to offer to the world. Most importantly, I know that I do not have to wait another 20 years for life to start, because I am ready to start living  life at my best everyday.

Chivalry is dead, And MEN killed it!!!!

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I HATE dating. And if you read the previous blog titled Ahhhhh Dating Sucks, you would completely understand why. I would like to think of myself as the self proclaimed Anti-Dater! What some may call dates, I call hanging out, or kickin it. I find those to be safer terms without the pressure of worrying about the label of what we are actually doing.

Lately I have been hearing a lot of guys quote Dave Chappelle with the infamous line “Chilvary is dead, and women killed it”. Really? Then it came to me, that is just an excuse for men to throw the actions of chivalry out the window. What happened to true old school dating. Dates with EFFORT!!! Somewhere along in time men stopped opening doors, stopped picking  up women up for dates, and stopped wanting to impress.  Women, sadly we have accepted this as the norm, and go with it for fear that we will not find better.

So I came up with the quote “Men became lazy, and women accepted it”, now that seems like a more realistic standpoint to me.

What do I mean by that? Well it seems that dating has changed so much over time, men are throwing out the bare minium to get sex from a woman and it has become acceptable because they are getting what they want.

Please don’t ask me to come to your house to watch a DVD and eat pizza as a first date!  I don’t want to see your house, hang out on your couch, and no I will not end up in your bed at the end of the night!

So you may not be able to afford to take a woman on a date that consists of going anywhere outside of your living room.

Disclaimer: If you cannot afford to take me out, Don’t Ask!!! Simple! Ok now before you start writing hate mails or call me a gold digger,  let me explain:

I understand we are in hard times, a recession is happening amongst us. Got it. So men, its time to bring out your creative minds and do something different. Why not have a really cool date on a budget. Think outside of the boring box of dinner and a movie. I have lived in New York and Hawaii, two of the most expensive cities in the nation.  I will tell you men, you can date on a budget. Hawaii has plenty of free beaches and tons of mountains to hike. NY has a free parks,  Central Park has summer stage, and really inexpensive ice skating in the winter. So will a little creativity before going on a date kill you? Probably not, so lets put it into play!

I think I have a million “WTF”, “funny as all heck”, “can you believe that some men really do this?” dating stories. Unfortunately I can’t write them all down here because instead of a blog, I would have a book. But I do want to share my very own list of what men should not do on a date. Hopefully this will help in the second birth of chivalry, and women will stop accepting the effortless date.

So Men Please:

  • Don’t pick up a woman then blast the radio so loud in the car that you are blowing out her ear drums. Besides, that leaves no room for conversation, and I don’t want to hear that you think you are a better singer than R. Kelly, or you know that you can rap better than Drake.
  • Don’t invite a date to a movie, and then act like you are going to go broke if you have to buy popcorn, a drink, and a hot dog. Therefore, you walk at expeditiously high speeds to avoid the concession stand. That tactic is for the high school kids, and I really hope that if you are over the age of 18 your mother is not giving you a weekly allowance to take a girl to a movie. Please Don’t complain about how much food at the movies costs, (we all know it is expensive). And PLEASE don’t start to eat the one hot dog you bought for your date because she asked (and you were too cheap to buy one for yourself), then say “well I paid for it”!
  • Don’t make her finish all the food on her plate, or finish all her drink just because it cost you money! Really, that is just tacky.
  • Don’t be cheap when taking a girl out on a date. Obviously you like this girl, and you want to show her that she can be important to you. It doesn’t have to be a lavish date, but if you are working with a budget, plan the date. If you make the plans based on what you can’t afford then you don’t have to worry about this girl breaking your pockets. Be Creative!!!!
  • Don’t constantly plan group dates with all your friends. Look I am a pretty social person, and love meeting new people. But how am I going to get to know you if  time is always being split between getting to know you and getting to know your friends?
  • PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY!! This one goes for girls and guys. Don’t go on a date and send text messages, check your email, or answer unnecessary phone calls. That is just rude! I hate when a man answers the phone on a date and says, “Yo what up man, let me call you back, I’m on a date with shorty right now”. Unless someone is dying or injured, put your voicemail to good use.
  • Which leads to my next point, Please do not address a woman as “shorty” or “ma”. If your are over 24 then you are too old for that (and i think 24 is pushing the age).
  • I know we live in the age of social networking, so if you’re a hardcore player in the social network game then you may be tempted to advertise your date on facebook or twitter. DON’T DO IT! Look you would not call 800 of your non-closest friends and let them know that you just went on a date from your own personal hell. So don’t open it up on the internet. Trust me it’s a small world out there, and you never knows who knows who.
  • Don’t assume if you are invited over after the date, that you are also invited to spend the night. Feel the vibe out, have fun with your date, and please know when to go home!
  • Do not be afraid to open all doors, pull out her chair, or appear to be genuinely interested in her, it helps, and women pay close attention to the small things.

MEN:  Lets bring back the art of chivalry, don’t let it just die. Lets embrace the rebirth of chivalry! Right now it is hanging on due to the life support from the good men, but with all men it can have vibrant everlasting life.

WOMEN: Lets accept the chivalry of men that show it and, show men that we do appreciate them, and we also appreciate the effort when they think outside the box and strive to be different.