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Posts Tagged ‘TAHC’

Hawaii Five-0 & My Grandmother

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sounds like a wild combination, right?

But Hawaii Five-0 and my grandmother go together beautifully. At least in my mind.

You see…

The very first time I remember seeing the show, it was at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid.

I can remember hearing the awesome theme song and being hooked instantly–watching reruns on their television. The only color I remember is BLUE. (Was it because of the colors or Hawaiʻi or the color mix on their television set?)

I don’t remember understanding the plot. In truth, I don’t really remember much about it.


When the classic show was released on DVD, I started at the very beginning.

Starting with Season 1 I was hooked immediately–although THIS time I was hooked on the show and not just the theme song and the color blue. (Come to think of it, the show really DOES feature the color blue a lot. Especially Season 1. Check it out!)Yes, the acting is dated. Yes, the plots are kind of silly. But it’s kitschy and fun (and a fantastic visual time capsule of Oʻahu during those years!) and it makes for a great evening of classic television viewing! Throw in a pizza and some friends and you’ve got the makings of party.


In my mind, the television show and my grandmother are inextricably linked.

The other day, I was talking with my grandmother on the phone. And she wanted to know what I thought of this new version of the show.

SHOCKING UPDATE: I haven’t seen it yet!

I know… I’m embarrassed. It’s terrible for a Hawaiʻi-phile like me to not have seen a new network show about it. Especially because I loved the original series–at least when I watched it again on DVD.

I think my grandmother was both shocked and horrified that I hadn’t seen it. She thought I would have not only VIEWED it, but also ANALYZED it.

But it gave us an opportunity to do some talking.

And you know, my grandmother is one smart lady.

Her thoughts: even if the show is not a commercial success, it will be a good thing. It will bring Hawaiʻi to the forefront of pop culture, again. Just like the original television series did. It will make people AWARE of it–and that has the potential of being a great thing. Because when people are aware of something, it’s harder to ignore it.

I mentioned that I had my doubts the show could really convey what Hawaiʻi is all about–that it was still a cop show that was FILMED in Hawaiʻi, but not really about Hawaiʻi or her people.

My grandmother thinks that it’s still GOOD for the islands. It will raise awareness.

So smart, right? Go, Grandma! (I love having a hip tūtū!)


I’ve got a few episodes recorded on my DVR and ready to go. I heard they even mentioned Molokai in a recent episode! How cool is that?!

I’m curious to hear what YOU all think about this new show. Do you like it? Do you hate it? What kind of effect do you think it will have on the islands–positive or negative?

**Fun Crooner Factoid: I have had the Hawaii Five-0 theme song as my ringtone on my phone for years. I totally LOVE it. Iconic.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Aloha kākou!

Here’s this week’s question:

What is the name of the novel, written byAlan Brennert, about a girl named Rachel Kalama who was exiled to Kalaupapa after being diagnosed with leprosy?

  • Please post your answer as a reply to this message.
  • All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
  • One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm EST.

WillYOUbe this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Happy Aloha Friday!

**Crooner Update: Wow! You guys sure know your books! The answer is MOLOKA’I!

And these week’s winner (chosen randomly thanks to is… (Drum roll, please…) JANNET!!

Mahalo to all of you for playing this week. And I hope you’ll be playing along NEXT week, too!

Have a great weekend, gang.

A hui hou…



The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 3″ (9.1.10)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 3 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1. Maka ʻĀlohilohi (Kawai Cockett’s recording on the album Hula! Hula! Hula!)

In researching this hapa-haole song, I read that it was written for the composer’s daughter. Maka ʻālohilohi is her name and it means “twinkling eyes.”

There’s something so special about a name song. What a treasured gift! And to think that it was composed by a father for his daughter… wow. I can only imagine!

And its simplicity makes it a perfect song that begs for a hula!

2. Kuʻu Hoaloha (Weldon Kekauoha’s recording on the album Ka Lehua ʻUla)

This song, composed by Victor Kala, was written to honor the home of Mrs. Helen Tam. It sounds like it was a wonderful home to visit! The lyrics sing of the great hospitality offered to guests as well as the beauty of the home and land, itself. Incredible.

There are a lot of great versions of this song that have been recorded, but Weldon’s is the one that I’m hooked on this week. His gentle, smooth and rich tones are fantastic. I’m instantly transported away from the concrete island of Manhattan when I listen to his voice.

3. Summer Lady (Cecilio & Kepono’s recording on the album Elua)

Ok. It’s September. The kids are heading back to school. Yellow school busses will be on the road soon. Summer Lady = I HAD pick this song!

This C & K classic is so cool with its ultra ’70s vibe and sound. It makes me feel like I’m driving along the coast looking at a clear blue sea. It embodies the sounds of summer–which will soon be a memory here in NYC once the leaves start to change.

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!!

1 Comment

Let’s Read A Book!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We’ve been talking about it for a long time… creating a TAHC’s Book Club.

A lot of you have written in saying that you’d like to read a Hawaiʻi-themed book and be a part of a reading community.

The summer is drawing to a close. September starts, um, TOMORROW! Kids are heading back to school. It seems like the perfect time.

So let’s stop talking about it and let’s get reading!

For the first book, I’m suggesting Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s WILD MEAT AND THE BULLY BURGERS.

I read it years ago. It is a book that made me stop and think. It made an impression, for sure. I think it’s time to open it up again!

Who’s with me?

We can touch base in the middle of the month. I’m thinking Thursday, September 16th. A check-in. A way to let you know how far I’ve gotten in the reading. And, more importantly, a way for YOU to tell me (and the gang!) how YOU’RE doing with the book. How you feel about it at the month’s mid-way point. (And we can discuss a new title for the month of October!)

And then, of course, we can do another check-in at the end of the month.

Sound like a plan?

Come on! You know you wanna do it!

You might be able to find it at a local bookseller. However, because I love you guys and I want to make this as easy as possible, I’m including links to the book at various online sellers, too! (The various websites have reviews, book descriptions, etc. And a lot of ‘em have discounted copies for sale!)

Native Books

Barmes &

So whatcha think? Who’s with me??

**Crooner Update: If I remember correctly, there are some part of this book that weren’t very–well–”pretty.” Like I remember feeling a bit nauseous at times. But there were other parts that made me laugh out loud. Consider yourselves warned. (ha!)


A Midnight Phone Call

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I was surprised when my phone started ringing last night at midnight.

Who would be calling me at that hour? Something had be wrong.

I threw off the blanket and turned on the lights.

My heart was pounding and my blood pressure shot up. I was in full “fight or flight” mode. When I looked at my caller ID, I was relieved–it was an (808) number. Hawaiʻi calling. And, because there’s currently a 6 hour time difference, it made perfect sense. Bedtime in NYC = dinner time in Hawaiʻi.


And then I was shocked to see WHO the caller was. It was my teacher! It was Pops!

If I’m lucky enough to catch him when he’s “out of the Valley” (remember: Hālawa Valley doesn’t have a telephone!) we usually catch up on another night–not Mondays. What a wonderful surprise!

He had been out visiting. He couldn’t talk for very long. I couldn’t get all of the details, but they didn’t matter. I was just so happy to be talking with him.

Even a few moments are valuable!

I was able to “plug into the source.”

I was able to hear what’s happening back on Molokai. I was able to tell him about a few things that have been happening here.

And I was able to speak a little Hawaiian!

See, I’m not a native speaker of ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. I’m not even a GOOD speaker of the Hawaiian language. My skills are rudimentary, at best. But it’s not all that often that I can just launch into a Hawaiian/English conversation living here in NYC!

We’ve been spoiled this past year by having a master language teacher living here in the Big Apple. Kumu Manuwai Peters has been teaching language classes. It’s such a gift to have him here–for so many reasons. And I’ve been doubly blessed to have the opportunity to serve as his kōkua, his assistant, in the classes. We actually speak Hawaiian here in the New York City!

But–at least for now–most of the conversations take place in the classroom. So to have Pops surprise me with a phone call as I’m getting ready to retire for the night–AND have him launch into his native Hawaiian–well, it’s such a treat! I didn’t have any time to prepare. I didn’t have a chance to think about what I’d say.

We just spoke.

When I stumbled for words, I switched to English. OR… I found another way to say what I was thinking. Pops is a very patient teacher. I’m SURE I butcher the language with some of things I say, but he always lets me find my way. I stutter and and I stammer, but I somehow find a way to make myself understood. He says that’s what’s important. I couldn’t agree more!

It’s interesting to see what words come naturally… what words I REALLY know and understand. And it’s equally interesting to see where I have HUGE GAPS in my linguistic knowledge! Auē! Thank goodness I’m not depending on Hawaiian as my language of survival! (At least not yet!)

It was a short conversation. It was a valuable conversation.

And I loved every minute of it.

How do YOU plug into your source?


Crooner Check-In (8.16.10)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aloha kākou! Hello gang!

There are a lot of things going on here at TAHC!


I thought I’d check in with you all and let you know some of the things that are happening:

1. TAHC’s BOOK CLUB! I’m thinking it might be fun to suggest a book to read and then, once a month, check in and get your thoughts. What do you think? I was looking through my books last week and came across Keola Beamer’s ka ʻolili-the shimmering. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it. I’d love to read it again. I know many of you are familiar with it. I’m sure a lot of you have read it. Wanna read it again and chime in at the end of September? We can certainly go with another book, but it just seemed so appropriate because not only is Keola Beamer the author, but he’s also a SUPER FANTASTIC HAWAIIAN MUSICIAN. See the connection? What are your thoughts?

2. Hawaiian Music at the Gym? I’m working on putting together either iMixes (which could be found on iTunes)–or–simply writing up playlists for music that I’ve been jamming to. Running at the gym is so much fun when I listen to Hawaiian music. I’ll be writing up a blog post about it soon, but I wanted to get your thoughts. Playlists? iMixes (if possible)? Both? What are your thoughts?

3. I’m embarking on a SERIOUS writing project. No… not like “serious” in that it’s all dark and gloomy. But “serious” like in MAJOR! I took a story telling workshop with an incredible teacher a few weeks ago who rocked my world. (Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about that!) But part of what I took away from that workshop are some tools to really start to tell a wild story–my story of how someone goes from growing up in the ‘burbs of Pittsburgh and finding himself knee-deep in mud in Molokai’s Hālawa Valley. It’s part of my kuleana, my responsibility, that Pops has given me. I’ll be posting segments here on the blog from time to time and I’d love to get your feedback.

4. More Music! I know… I know… I promised more music. And it’s coming. Soon. We’re navigating the somewhat tricky waters of copyright law, licensing, etc. What songs would you like to hear? What songs do you want me to try and research and share what I find? I’d love go after the mele that YOU want to know about.

5. And Last But Not Least: A Giant Thank You! I want to say MAHALO to each and every one of you who’ve been reading this blog. And MAHALO for your comments! That’s how I’m finding out what works. And what doesn’t work. And what you want to know more about. This site will only be successful if I can continue to bring you things that YOU are interested in. So mahalo to you for the emails, the comments, the suggestions, etc. And please keep ‘em coming!

Phew! I think that brings us up-to-date. (Although, knowing me, I’m certainly forgetting something!)


What are YOUR thoughts?