Saturday, December 22, 2007

Picture This

I don't know why I started this blog, then I thought it would help Chulo check in on me but he's got a lot on his plate, so I think I've been writing to myself. Kevin IM's with me and we were talking about stuff and I sent him the link to this journal.

Kevin says I need more pictures.

Here's the deal, I've been looking into copyrighting or digitally watermarking my images, or whatever it is I'm supposed to do with them. Every so often someone'll say that I take good pictures and I'll think, I wish. My brother's the real photographer in the family. Anyways, I don't mind if people like my pictures and wanna keep them, but if someone wantsta turn one of 'um into a postcard or something and make money with it...technically I'm still a starving arch student---I need to make money anyway I can! Not that I actually believe that'll happen, but you never know...

Anyways, since I always listen to what Kevin tells me, here are a few morsels to whet the appetite, um, eyes. Since it's Christmas time, let's start with Christmas Pasts (not necessarily those that'll make good postcards)...

Hope you enjoy!





Thursday, December 20, 2007

First Things First

Here it goes, my first bus story already!

Let me start with how I select a seat on the bus. Travelling by myself, I'm careful about where and by whom I sit. If presented with a choice of sitting with a man or a woman, I'll sit next to the woman. I recall one specific incident when a man intentionally and uninvitingly felt my leg. I also try to sit near the front, after the seats for disabled and elderly riders. I feel safer and I can alert the driver of a bad situation on the bus, should one occur.

Other than that, I'll sit wherever a seat is open. A teenager wearing all black with a mohawk, a fresh-from-the-jobsite construction worker, a frowning old lady clutching her bag tighter because I might be a thief, I'll sit next to any of them. I've shared a bus with crying babies, workaholics, people who talk aloud to no one in particular about nothing in particular (conspiracies, Asians don't give money, grouchy mumblings about see-he-did-it-again-he's-just-like-those-others, that kinda non-particular), big people, small people, I-Pod listeners, gamers, texters, loud cellphone users, readers, sleepers, and many, many tourists. I've had the unfortunate experience of sitting behind a guy with a very questionable odor, or at least, I hoped it was him and not me.

They don't bother me. The person that rattles me is THE COUGHER. I'm not talking about the polite closed-mouthed cough into the sleeve cougher like those at a symphony concert or in a meeting. The bus-riding cougher puts his whole being into horking up phlegm from goodness knows where, wide open mouth, several times, throwing his mucus-inducing germs into the air-conditioned atmosphere.

On the first bus of my two-bus trip to campus last Thursday, I sat by a young, healthy-looking guy. After a few minutes, he's coughing. He gets off somewhere in Pearl City, so that's about 20 minutes of coughs. He had turned to the side and tried to bury his coughing, so after he got off, I stayed in the aisle seat. Usually, I would have moved over to the window seat and leave the aisle seat open for the next rider, but that just wasn't gonna happen. Luckily, the bus wasn't very full and many seats were open.

Like the two seats behind me. An older guy moved from somewhere in back to the window seat in the row behind me. Alright, he's not bothering me. And then he coughed. A few minutes later, he coughed again. He didn't get off the bus until somewhere in town. By now, that's an hour of breathing in air coughed by someone else. It was enough to make me start to feel a little under the weather myself. Maybe I should ask, will being allergic to someone else make one cough?

It was a rainy, windy sorta day, so the number of potential coughers in a bus goes up dramatically. I'm going with that.
____________________________

From UH, I caught a ride with Brenda (Big D Committee) and Nick to visit Kapolei Middle. When the visit was over, I had them drop me off at the Kapolei SC, I went to the bead shop, then took the bus to the LCC stop. From there, I waited to transfer to the bus that'll take me home.

Already at the stop were four people: a guy on the backside by the rail [call him G1], a guy sitting on the rail to the right [G2], a guy sitting on the bench in front of G2 [G3], and a girl sitting about two feet from G3, all about college age (I'm assuming 'cuz we're at the LCC stop). The girl was wearing white slippers and white jeans, both of which were splattered with mud. I said it was a rainy day.

I was listening to music so I didn't hear everything, but I noticed that the girl was facing G3 and talking. G3 didn't seem to be listening to her though. He had earbuds in his ear and not really looking at her. G2 didn't seem to be paying attention to her either. G1 was looking down the road for the bus and completely not in a conversation with the girl.

She's talking and making sense, saying stuff about how hard her finals were and the classes she's taking next semester and stuff, but I couldn't figure out to whom she was speaking.

Then I see G3 take out his right earbud. He glances at her every so often, nods his head. He made some reply to something she said.

Apparently his phone rings; he takes out the other earbud and answers his phone. She seems to stop talking. Then she says something, he turns his head towards her, still on the phone, nods some more. They do that a few more times.

His bus arrives and he just stands up and goes. Another guy [G4] gets off from that bus and sits on the bench where G3 had been sitting. The bus leaves.

A minute later and she starts talking to G4. She's saying the same things she had said to G3, only this time G4 participates in the conversation with her.

I was at that stop for at least half an hour. My bus comes and it's pretty full so I sit in one of the elderly seats. The girl sits right next to me on the left. A couple guys that got on with us stand in the aisle. The bus starts rolling.

A stop later, the girl noticed that there was a seat on the other side between a guy and a pole, kind of a tight fit if one doesn't like touching a stranger on the bus. The girl asks the guy [G5] standing in the aisle to my right, "You like sit down? I'll go sit ovah d'ere." G5 declines. "You sure? You like sit down? I'm gonna sit ovah d'ere so someone can take this seat." G5 declines. "I'm gonna go ovah d'ere, you like sit down?"

She gets up and sits between the guy and the pole on the other side. G5 looks around him, sees that no lady or elderly is standing so he shrugs and sits next to me where the girl had been.
____________________________

Initially, at that last stop, I was thinking, good thing she wasn't talking to me. I'm not very good at being social with strangers who talk just to talk. I'm awkward with small talk and get bored easily if the other person talks on without caring if I'm listening or not. I try to make conversation, but, I'm awkward.

I ended up thinking, wow, that girl is something good. She saw an open seat and moved to let a strong young man have her seat. That has got to be the first time I've seen that happen. God bless that young lady.
____________________________

And no, G5 did not cough even once.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Bus In Time

This is the first of hopefully a new series I thought I'd begin about my adventures on TheBus. I know it doesn't sound very exciting but I already have a list of things I'd like to write about. Protocol, interesting characters and good bus drivers are all waiting for the spotlight.

With gas prices rising and parking availability falling, combined with my dislike of driving, I decided to take the bus this semester. Oh, and the deal on the U-Pass, the bus pass specially priced for university students, is unbeatable. It's already paid off for me and I've got one more month left to use it, with only one "class" to go to this semester.

I didn't come to this semester as a newbie bus rider. When I was younger and my grandma stayed with us, we rode the bus. In h.s., I got around on the bus whenever my parents couldn't give me a ride in the summer [picture days and MB practices, I never needed summerschool]. Initially, I went away for college and caught the bus between L.A. and Burbank a few times. Most recently, for my practicum semesters in OR and CA, I took the public transit everywhere [I love the transit in OR, it's so easy!]. I could write so much about riding the bus in OR and CA alone, but that'll be for some other time. So, I am not entirely new to the bus passenger role.

So concludes the introductory piece. The semester's already over. Finals are this week. Colt Brennan and Kari Gregory (I think) will be walking on Sunday. I'll be on the bus again next semester with stories lined up from this past semester in case I get stuck for a topic. Maybe this series will get me to write on this blog on a consistent basis; we'll see.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Run By Me

I know, I am inconsistent with how often I write an entry. With working on a thesis, I have an irregular schedule and thesis will always trump this blog. So here are a few things that's been on my mind:

Good Friends:
I got word back in September that my two good friends Shay and Tony are gonna be parents! Wow, I am so happy for them. They're gonna be amazing parents and this kid will be so lucky to be born to these two fine people. It's crazy to me because I have known both of them mostly separately for...more than a decade each, then they got married, and now they're having a baby. It's wonderful!

Thesis:
Good news! After some tough years and rough starts, the Big D [for Doctorate of Architecture, D. Arch.] has been resuscitated! I just had a committee meeting Thursday night and amazingly I was able to keep everyone on board. It was a good meeting, a lot of good comments and discussion, and so I've still got a lot of work to do. Overall, I feel less stressed and concerned, I'm excited about this project, that has never changed, so we'll see. I know a lot of you keep wondering when I'm gonna finish. Hopefully it'll be Spring. Don't worry, when it's done, EVERYONE WILL KNOW!!!

UH Wahine Volleyball:
Um, well, they beat Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA. Then they lost to Middle Tennessee in the second round, so... I don't know. I definitely thought they were going to the semis. I know, they don't have Kamana'o, but they were playing like a team by the second half of the season. They were really playing well and on fire. *sigh*

I can't wait for next season!

UH Warrior Volleyball:
Preseason has them at 8th. They usually start in the top 5, but last season, they graduated Beckwith at setter, Dante at middle, Hakala at right, and Kalima at libero/outside, key positions and star players. This season, Schkud is the only true senior leading a few juniors, a few freshmen, and a bunch of sophomores. Schkud has not been a starter, but the papers say he's settled in the right-side position nicely. I'm excited to see what he can do.

I tend to write about the Warrior VB a lot because I'm more familiar with it and their competition. Anyone up for going to a game with me?

UH Football:
Let me just get it out...WOOHOO!!! WAC CHAMPIONS! WE'RE GOING TO THE SUGAR BOWL! AHHHHH!!!

Okay, now that that's done...

The Heisman will be announced Saturday 3:00 p.m. Hawaii time, so, hours from now. I know it sounds like Tebow's the favorite, but I do believe that it should be Colt. I watch shows like Around the Horn and stuff and they've mentioned things like leadership, how many games did the team lose, what conference they play in, etc.

The three other finalists have all lost a few games. UH is undefeated. Mariotti [ATH] thinks that Hawaii couldn't win in the SEC, but how does he know? He doesn't, there's no way of proving this team couldn't beat the SEC. Colt's got crazy numbers. The other finalists have good numbers too, but Colt's also got records, NCAA records! Not just Hawaii records, WAC records, NCAA records. I'm missing the reason I should be impressed with Tebow's rushing TDs, I don't know. Well, Colt got injured and missed a couple games. Actually, Colt got injured and missed one full game and a couple quarters in a couple games or so; Hawaii still won.

So they could say, well, Colt missed some play time and the team still won so they don't need Colt that much. I say, who does the team play for? Sure, Hawaii's got great players and they can win without Colt, but they play for Colt. I like Graunke, I look forward to seeing how he leads next year, but if Colt had gone NFL last year, this season would've been different, whether HI went undefeated or not. They play heart 'cause Colt came back.

And leadership, Colt's got that in spades. I've written in earlier entries about how respectful and humble he is, everyone in HI knows that, it's evident just by watching his interviews. He came back for this team. And when he did get injured, yes he played hard, but most importantly, when he had the concussion, I'm sure he said he could play, but he listened to doctors and coaches and did what was best for the team. He wasn't being the hero, he had confidence that his team could go on and they beat Nevada. He was a leader from the sidelines.

Obviously, I could go on. My last thoughts on the Heisman, I hope Colt gets it, but if he comes in fourth, it'll be an injustice. He should win it or be second. Let's see what happens.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Just for Fun

I love Christmas time!

Here's a little story: when I was younger, I hated taking pictures with Santa. I can remember wanting to go to see Santa, but I didn't want to sit on his knee and take a picture. My mom would sit me on one knee, my brother on the other knee. I'd start to cry as soon as my mom walked away. Everyone would try anything to get me to smile, which would make me cry even more. They gave me a lollipop before the picture to try to get me to stop crying. Finally they just tried to cover up my crying with the lollipop and took the picture anyway. I wish I had the picture right now, I'll hafta find it to show another time, but it's Santa smiling in the middle with big red cheeks, my brother to one side with a big dimpled smile, and me with sad eyes and a lollipop in front of my face. Of all the years that we went to take pictures with Santa, not one picture has me smiling.

Well, in the previous entry, I asked that everyone give donations to non-profit organizations this Christmas. So the following is a list of things that I would want but not NEED. It's just for fun. You'll see why I'm asking people to donate instead.

My wishlist: (in no particular order)

Sugarbowl trip
Adopt Megamouth [our current stray cat]
Books
A Fossil watch
Trip to Hilo with my family
Season tickets to UH Volleyball
7th Heaven DVD [I have the third season]
A good bra
Time with a swim coach or a swim partner
Olympus Stylus 820 digital camera
Original painting by Roy G. Tabora
A globe
Orchids
Bettas
Whiter teeth
Elfquest graphic novels 6-8
A job that I love
A Russian tutor
Gift card/certificate to:
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Bella Beads
Logos
Showers of Blessings
Carlos Santana Pounce shoes in Anthracite
Newsies DVD and soundtrack CD
Walking shoes
$100 for a U-Pass for next semester
Clarinet lessons
A trip to see Chulo and Jenelle
Have my bike fixed and with a new comfy seat
A green thumb
A good memory
A UH Volleyball signed by Hakala, Beckwith, Mason, Kaufman, Lee, L. Duggins, Kamana'o, Sanders, Hittle, Zimet, Tony Ching, Carere, or Bender
A new refrigerator, energy star (actually this is a little need and want)
Chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies and krispies from Big Island Candies
Custard pie from Liliha
BarlowGirl CD
A headlamp
Wet Okole seat covers
A Local Motion totebag
A princess-cut sapphire pendant
A year supply of Arizona Green Tea

I told you, just donate to a non-profit, a church, a school, or a library. It's easier. [For other ideas on how to give back to your community]

Merii Kurisumasu!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Mele Kalikimaka Everyone!

I hope you are safe and well wherever you may be! It has been a rough year, a good year, a year for which I am thankful.

For those of you who might be thinking about getting me a present this year and aren't sure what to get, because it has been a while since I've seen most of you, I am simply glad to be alive. I do not need much besides family and friends.

And those who were not going to get me a present, that's okay also, but please read on anyway.

I would only ask that people make a charitable contribution to a non-profit organization. It is the end of the year when most non-profits struggle to meet their needs for the upcoming months because many are busy thinking about what to get for their loved ones, which is great, but please remember also the non-profits. Any donation of any size would be appreciated, I am sure.

I am continuing with my graduate school, am looking for a job but do not have one as of today. With that, I am not able to contribute as much to my favorite non-profits as I normally do. If you feel so moved and are thinking of me, please donate to the following organizations:

Focus on the Family [http://www.family.org/]
East Bay Habitat for Humanity [http://www.habitateb.org/]
Hawaiian Humane Society [http://www.hawaiianhumane.org/]
Hawaii Foodbank [http://www.hawaiifoodbank.org/]
Lokahi Giving Project [http://www.lokahigivingproject.com/]
or [http://www.khon2.com/features/lokahigivingproject]
Focus on the Family is an organization that has helped me through many tough times in the past several years. There is probably a Habitat for Humanity where you live, but I am personally attached to the East Bay affiliate because I volunteered with them back in 2004; they are a good and well-organized group. My family loves each and every pet that we've met through the Humane Society.

I chose Hawaii Foodbank because, as I am sure many of us have, I've been asked by homeless people for money and would like to help them but do have concerns for how they will use the money; I figure the Foodbank would be a safer and surer way to get food to the people who need it. Those in Hawaii are probably familiar with the Lokahi Giving Project; they get people the things that they need like toys for children who otherwise would not have presents to open on Christmas Day. Lokahi also takes donations of common goods such as soap, toothbrushes, toilet paper, etc.

Donations can also be made to my church, Kalihi Union Church, or to a school that I have attended would be good also. I wish I could say that I could match any donations made, but if you let me know of your donation, I will see what I can do.

Or, like I said, you might not think of me at all, or might not even know me personally, but please donate something this season, even if it's a dollar to the Salvation Army bucket (though I'm sure we all can do more than a dollar). There are many deserving organizations out there, so get creative!

Mahalo to those who have already given to their communities!

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Get Less For Your Money: Circuit City

I am a service snob. I will give extra tip at a restaurant for timely service and pleasantness. I will not give much of a tip, or possibly no tip at all, at a restaurant if it takes half an hour for my food to arrive, if I get a glass of water after I've finished my meal, etc. I've had arguments over this attitude about tipping/not tipping and I have not been convinced to change my position. Do not tell me that I don't know what I am talking about; I have had service jobs. I know people in service jobs whom have depended on tips. I know about good service.

Circuit City doesn't seem to have Service in stock.

I have had several unsatisfactory experiences shopping at Circuit City [CC]. I rarely go there anymore unless they have a very good deal on something that I need.

_____

The latest episode happened a few days ago. I went to CC for a new printer. My old one was inherited from my brother and was about 5 years old. I need a good printer for my thesis, did my research, waited patiently for a good sale, so I knew which one I wanted.

The printer I wanted came on sale at CC. I had hopes of having an easy time at CC because for once there were a lot of parking stalls open; I'm thinking they're not that busy. I go to the second floor and stalk the printer aisle. I see it and it's got the sale price up so I wait for a salesperson to help me.

The three salespeople in that section were all helping customers. I walk around the section, check out the ink shelves 'cuz that's on sale with the purchase of the printer. I see the ink I'll need and pick it up. The salespeople are still busy.

I walk around a little more, think about getting paper 'cuz that's on sale also. I walk back to the printer. I put the ink right by it. The saleslady goes on a break or something; I didn't see her.

One salesguy finishes with a customer... and turns away from me, starts walking away. I know he knew I was there 'cuz I was hovering at that point. I followed him a couple steps and said, "Excuse me." He turned around. "Are you helping anyone right now?"

He shook his head no. I bring him back to the register, tell him the printer I want. He asks if I would like the ink pack that's on sale with it, that they don't have it on stock but they could special order it for me. I say, "there's one right there." I pick up the one I found earlier and hand it to him. The prompt came up to ask if I would like their warranty [Pause]. This would be where he tells me the details of the warranty, but I had to ask him how long is it for and how much it costs. He looks it up. I turn it down. I pay for the printer and ink. He tells me to pick up the printer downstairs in front. I leave.
_____

When I had stopped the salesguy for service, he looked like I was bothering him. He didn't say anything to the tune of, "No, ma'am, I am not helping anyone. May I help you now?" No smile, no pleasantness at all, not even fake pleasantness.

No "thank you for shopping with us," or "thank you for contributing to my paycheck this month."
_____

I go downstairs. There's a sign that says "today purchase pick up" so I stand over by the sign. The employee helping online purchase pick ups was helping someone. Another employee was helping a store credit customer, or so the sign said; there's a lady waiting in that line for help.

In the meantime, more people come in and wait for their online purchases. The line filled up fast. On our side of the counter, a lady in black comes in and cuts in front of me and the other lady already waiting. "Black" stands there defiantly ignoring us. Fine.

An employee comes over, helps someone who had been in line. Then she helps "black", but at least whatever "black" was there for was quick. I'm next.

The employee asks me to wait a few more moments. She calls back the guy by the TVs that she'd been helping earlier. That takes awhile.

Finally, an employee from some other section or something comes over and helps me. She was smiling, pleasant, and was quick in service.

Finally I'm out of there! I checked the time stamp on the receipt and the time I left the store. Just under half an hour from the time I paid for the printer upstairs and received it downstairs. I should've asked if I was entitled to their promoted pick up in less than 24 minutes or receive a $24 gift card for free, but I didn't want to keep the customers behind me waiting longer.
_____

Yes, I am buying things from CC on sale. However, that does not mean that I should get less service for paying less on an item. That's the last straw. From here on, I will gladly pay the extra $ for better service from some other store.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jayme Lee Remains My Volleyball Hero

The 2007 Wahine Volleyball regular season is over and I am so proud of this 2007 team. They remained focused and determined while everyone else (critics, fans, etc.) wondered what would happen without All-American Kanoe Kamana'o to lead them. Brandt, the starting setter this season still has much to improve to reach the level of Kamana'o, but with a quirky serve and good mobility, it will be interesting to see how far she can go.

And Jamie Houston has got my attention. In the beginning half of the season, it seemed as if those amazing sets from Kamana'o had spoiled Houston, as if she was not interested in improving so much as to better a bad set. From the second half on, she started to play in a manner that said she wanted to earn all the praises that the sportscasters and writers have been giving her all this time. I have to say that she impressed me this season. Sure, the last match against New Mexico St scared me a little, but she regrouped and found other ways to score against them. I am finally excited to see how she will top this season's performance in the next season.

The only disappointment this season, for me, was at the libero position; I would rather see Jayme Lee start as libero. After the great job she did after earning and never letting go of the position once she had it, I do not understand how Ka'aihue kept the libero job this season. I am all for the position going to the best player at that position. Show me a better libero than Lee and I will not argue for Lee to start.

_____________________________________________________

So why Lee over Ka'aihue?

1. Because of her serves: Both players use a standing float serve that is tough, but given the height difference (Lee is about 6 inches shorter), Lee's serve has a tendency to unexpectedly drop short just in front of opponents. This season, Lee's service percentage is a .959 to Ka'aihue's .953 with half the errors and half the attempts. Sure, that sounds close, as if it's not really a comparison, but the service aces to games ratio is Lee's .12 to Ka'aihue's .07-a huge difference. Over time, Lee will have more aces and less errors than Ka'aihue. Lee rarely makes a service error. On the season so far, Lee has 11 aces to Ka'aihue's 7.In last season's 35 matches, Lee had 24 aces.

2. Because of her mobility: Because Lee is 6 inches shorter and maybe 30 pounds lighter, she can react quicker to an errant ball. When both players plant their feet in anticipation of a hard hit from the opponent, Lee will be able to react faster by way of some physics law (okay, I don't completely remember my physics). This was evident earlier this season when both L and K were on the court and a teammate shanked a ball back towards the tunnel. L got to the ball first while K was closer to the ball. L didn't save it, but she got there first, showing that her height wasn't a shortcoming on a play like that one.Just in general play, when covering a hitter or getting to any shanked balls, Lee reacts quicker. She also seems to know her coverage better.

3. Because of her technique and accuracy: This one, you might just have to trust me. Lee's play is cleaner. She passes the ball up so that the setter has an easier time in setting the ball. Lee passes the ball directly to the setter; the setter doesn't have to move and has more time to see the block and choose to which hitter to set the ball. Simply put, Lee does exactly what the libero is supposed to do.Whereas, too many times, when Ka'aihue passes the ball, the ball travels along a flatter parabola. This causes the ball to arrive at a sharper angle to the setter, making it easier for the setter to double-hit (a penalty point for the other team). Also, Ka'aihue isn't as accurate as Lee in getting the ball to the setter.

4. Because of the numbers: The first graph shows the digs per player, per game for the 2006 season. The second graph is the same for the 2007 season. The highest number of digs is highlighted in yellow; second highest in pink; third highest, only for the libero, is in green.





The libero should have the most highlighted games, and they both do. They should also be either 1st or 2nd place in digs each game. Breaking down the highlights:

[# of games]
Lee = [14] 1st place in digs, [13] 2nd place, [5] 3rd place, [3] 4th or worse.
Ka'aihue = [12] 1st place in digs, [12] 2nd place, [0] 3rd place, [7] 4th or worse.

One of the three games where Lee placed 4th or worse was the very first match of the season, the only match that season where Lee did not start; she was the 4th, I believe, libero to be tried. Ka'aihue has started every match this season, so those seven matches in 4th or worse is a big bad number. Lee had one game last season where she had less than 5 digs; Ka'aihue already has 6 games. That tells me that Lee is more productive. In digs per game, Ka'aihue wins it by 4.08 to Lee's 3.80 last year. However, Lee has the uncanny distinction of getting an occasional dig/kill, or what they call a "libero kill." She's 5/5 this year, she had several last year, Ka'aihue is 1/6 this year. The "libero kill" numbers don't really count for libero's since technically they aren't allowed to "attack" a ball, but that said, Lee's kills are impressive. That's something you can't teach.

____________________________________________________

Anyways, I'm sure Lee is just happy to be playing and doesn't care who starts in the big scheme of things, but I think she should be starting. Everyone else has pretty much upped their game this season, I talked about Houston earlier and certainly Kaufman has improved over this season since getting the starting job, Hittle is back to old form if not better than she ever was before the injury last season, but Ka'aihue has not improved. I'm disappointed. By the way, not like Ka'aihue cares about my opinion either, I'm fully aware of that.

Up next for the Wahine: Tennessee State tomorrow in Kentucky, the first round of the NCAA playoffs.

GO WAHINE!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Don't Know Why... [One Tree Hill With Bonus Loser]

I've been watching One Tree Hill! Bear with me 'cause this will annoy me also. It was the summer, so I was watching the reruns all the way from season one. I must've watched an episode [original airing] here and there, 'cause I remember the ones about the video time capsule thing and Haley and Nathan being married... but otherwise I hadn't really paid attention to them until this year. I'm not caught up yet on what happened last season, anything after Haley and Nathan's second vows.

And the weird thing is that I watch mostly for Brooke. I'm guessing she wasn't originally a main character, but I'm glad she is now, ever since she stayed up all night caring for Peyton who'd been drugged by a college guy.

It's weird because in high school [HS] way, way back when, I was more like Haley, probably still am. I'm very mildly into fashion and clothes; I don't care if I wear the same outfit twice in a row [but then right now I figure I don't see the same people everyday so that's easy]. For the most part, I shop like a guy [try me]. I don't come from a rich family. I did tutor a friend in Geometry, very briefly and I still doubt I really helped any. Otherwise, it was annoying when people asked me for help with homework. I'm just horrible with explaining things to others, can't you tell by this blog? Besides, I didn't always do the homework. I wasn't popular and figured that I go relatively unnoticed. I did feel more comfortable talking to guys, still do. And among many circles, I was known as the pure one.

But if I had Brooke's money, I'd probably spend it mostly on the people I care about, which she often does. And if I looked good in clothes, I'd probably buy more of them. I do remember being cool with the "geeks," that's something.

That's not it though. All promiscuity and drunkenness aside, I suppose I relate more with Brooke. She puts up a front like she's okay, smiling so much that it breaks the heart to see her sad. I definitely understand having major walls up and not wanting to be hurt like before. She's got a big heart, and I hope I do too. It might be nice to be better at taking risks and letting people in though.

I KNOW she's not a real person, she's a character on a SHOW! But in a lot of ways, she's way more interesting than these "real" people on "real"ity shows!

Except for possibly The Biggest Loser. I didn't watch the last couple seasons, but I caught the end of the opener this week, enough to see the weigh ins. The last two people for the blue team was the "small" Asian woman and the "old" grandpa guy. They needed to have lost 25 pounds to win and others didn't think it was possible. The Asian lost 20 lbs!! The most by any of the women from both teams. That's crazy for a woman to lose double digits, but two dimes? So grandpa only needed to have lost 5, but others were nervous, thinking his age would have slowed him. Plus, he's one of the smaller guys. He gets on the scale, and he's lost 30! That's crazy! The biggest loss of any of the guys on both teams!

Well, nah, I'll talk about my "diet" later.

Jayme Lee Is My Volleyball Hero

The Rainbow Wahine Volleyball team opens their regular season this Friday against Idaho. They've had a rocky start in the three pre-season tournaments that they've hosted this year. They are also figuring out how to fill up the win column without the amazing setter Kanoe Kamana'o, the hard-hitting Sarah Mason, and the all-around Cayley Thurlby.

Every year, people talk about OH Jamie Houston. Her Freshman year, they were promoting her as possibly the next Kim Willoughby. She has some shining moments, but I'm actually a little disappointed. Here's why: she's not consistent and she doesn't play smart. Notice they talk about her high-number kills, but not her kill percentage. She's a tough hitter, when she makes it in. She's a good blocker and passer, but sometimes she steps in the libero's way. I thought she really earned the MVP in the game against Wichita but most of the time she gets the honors far too often than she earns it. She's in her junior season and with the way people talk about her, I'm hoping she proves them right this year. Without Kamana'o, she's going to have to show that she can make the kill even off of a not-so-good set.

They also like to throw in Ka'aihue's numbers. So far she has been one of those players whose numbers don't really speak for their play. I mean that she's good at digging the ball straight in the air, which Brandt has to get to, and most of her digs come at Brandt at a low angle. She'll get the stats, but not with good, steady, and few spectacular plays. Ka'aihue doesn't impress me so much that I would want to watch her play instead of Jayme Lee. She doesn't do anything that Lee wouldn't do and Lee does things that Ka'aihue hasn't shown she can do yet, and Ka'aihue's supposed to have the height advantage.

So what about Lee makes her my VB hero? I have to admit here that I'm a little biased because I'm about the same height as Lee. If only they had the libero position when I was younger... I still wouldn't be good enough to play college VB! But for now I'll live vicariously by watching Lee.

But really, Lee was fantastic last year! I would say, aside from Kamana'o, Lee was the MVP of the entire 2006 season! She more than makes up for any inches she lacks. She dives, she digs, she puts it up right to the setter, she's great with covering her hitters. I'd want to play like Jayme Lee!

Players to watch:
Juliana Sanders, Sr. MB: I can't imagine what it must be like to be a 6'2 female. I like the face she gets when she's determined, it's intimidating, even when watching her on TV! So far in the pre-season, she's been building up her block numbers and getting in the kills, what's needed in a great MB.

Tara Hittle, Jr. OH: who knows what might have happened if she hadn't gotten injured last season, but she's back, shaking off a little rust, and helping to stabilize the passing. She hasn't had a great start yet, but I know she's just getting warmed up.

Aneli Cubi-Otineru, So. H: This is the one that people should be talking about! She's exciting to watch and I can't believe she's just a sophomore. We'll get to watch her for two more seasons after this one. She's consistent, a good passer, and a smart hitter. And I have to like an athlete that looks and points up after each kill, giving credit to God [Okay, not all people care about that kind of stuff, you might not, but I do]. She'll be a big reason why things open up for Houston to be the kill leader most matches.

Amber Kaufman, So., H/MB: she was exciting to watch last season whenever she got court time and I've been waiting for her to get more. It looks like that wish will finally be granted, though at a price. Last season she filled in the right-side and was effective there. By the end of this past tournament, she filled in for Kari Gregory in the middle. While I just want to see Amber play, anywhere, it's a little bitter-sweet because Gregory is usually a great blocker but for some reason, she wasn't effective against those teams. We'll see if Amber gets the nod to start against Idaho. Last season, she killed, she blocked, and I can tell she just enjoys it all!

And I've already mentioned Jayme Lee. She's enough reason to catch the matches this weekend. Now to find someone to go with me... GO 'BOWS!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tannya, Please Don't Leave!

I'm referring to Tannya Joaquin of the KHON-2 News. She's not going anywhere that I know of at this time, but the recent behind-the-scenes changes in structure, dealings with ownership, and the moving on of Leslie Wilcox, Tina Shelton, and soon, Ron Mizutani, urged me to write.

I already miss watching Leslie Wilcox at 5pm and Tina Shelton reports. They have great voices for broadcasting. (And they kinda looked like sisters, at least I thought so!)

I still watch at 5pm because (aside from all the tech-difficulties of the new system) the people of KHON still deliver trustworthy professionalism. And, if you didn't guess, I like Tannya Joaquin. I miss her in the morning news. I like Kirk, Trini, and Manolo also, but in my opinion, Tannya really has that "wake up!" sunny voice and personality that helped me start the day. (I like it that Kirk Matthews refers to his wife, also a great news reporter, as "Mrs. Matthews.") At least I can still watch Manolo eat his way through Thursday mornings!

But I have to say, if any member of the news team somehow catches sight of this piece, MAHALO for the good work that you do! With all the hassles and non-compliance of the automated system, others would have expected somebody to blow up on air. It must be like news hazing or news bootcamp. Anyone could see that even Joe Moore was frustrated and upset, but I think his professional example on how to just keep going kept everyone else going.

One of the days, nothing was going right for John Veneri as he delivered the sports. The video would delay or the video was out of sequence to his preparation of the report, he was getting frustrated but he kept going.

Hopefully, the new owners of KHON will realize that it was the people that made KHON the reigning news station in Hawaii. In our 'ohana culture, people are valued more than money or automated anything.

I wish I had a better piece for the news teams of KHON but this is all I will say for now. For those who have moved on to other projects, God bless and good journey!

Up Before Dawn and Feeling Good

Previously I had been going to the gym at night. I like going at night; I'm a nightowl and exercising before bedtime helps me fall asleep faster. Plus, the gym's less crowded from around 10pm.

However, I've decided to see what it's like to be a "morning person." I started to watch the 6pm news instead of the 10pm news, decided that since I rarely go to the movies any more and most celebrities really aren't that interesting that there's no reason to stay up and watch Letterman, and decided to have dinner by 7:30 or go without. My bedtime is roughly between 9 and 10 now. That's the easy part.

The other side of the equation hasn't been so smooth and consistent. Several times, I've been able to drag my butt out of bed between 4:30am and 6 after my alarm went off at 4am. A habitual breakfast skipper through my first quarter-years, I now have a good breakfast, take a few supplements...and don't know what to do with myself for the next several hours.

I could do the dishes, but I'm thinking that people are still sleeping and doing dishes often requires a good level of noise. My neighbors, whose kitchen window is across from my bedroom window, often do the dishes anywhere between 10pm and 2am, keeping me awake or now, waking me up. Between 3 and 4am, someone wakes up and while preparing to go to work, makes a lot of noise crushing ice, I'm assuming, in packing for lunch. As of today, I haven't retrained my thinking to doing the dishes after breakfast.
___________________________________________________________


Since I've been trying this wake up early thing, I haven't been going to the gym...until this past week that is. Getting up at 4am sounds ridiculous until I realize that 1)that's the time my cats try to wake me up anyway, and 2)that gives me up to an hour at the gym and then hand off the car to my mom, which is how I planned my new gym routine.

Wednesday was the first time that I got up, got ready, had breakfast, and headed for the gym. I love 24hour Fitness for being open when I want it to be open! Plus, mine's got a pool and is about 15-mins from my home. I made it on Friday also!

The last period of time that I was going to the gym, I was doing an hour on the elliptical, going over 4 miles. Since it had been a while, this week I did only 45 mins, still pretty much on pace going over 3 miles. I used to do strength training also; I'm gonna work that in this week. On Fri, I also attempted the stairmaster. I've only attempted it once before and lasted only 10 mins, but like my mom said, "that's 10 more minutes than you've done before!" This time, only 2 minutes; I think I should've been on the other stair machine (24hour has 3 different ones) 'cause it was too much pressure on my knees, I couldn't get a good rhythm like the 10 minute trial. Well, it's something to work on.

All in all, waking up before the sun rises isn't so bad. I do feel better when I get my day started early. As for getting more done, well... that's still to be seen.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Another Installment of MUST IT BE SO?

Of people that I care about and have hurt recently, I'm giving this person individual time because I'm more than pretty sure that I let go on purpose.

I've been really petty about this for...awhile now, consciously and otherwise. I have a great friend, my best for the past so many years. She's been the one I could confide in, the one whom I believe deserves the very best and I'd be honored if I'm around to celebrate it with her. I'm not gonna say her name because I'm sure that she'll know... And this is more about embarassing myself and not her because I usually think that I'm a good friend in return but this time I've fallen so very short of the mark. For this purpose, I'll call her...Ruthie.

To start, Ruthie began to date a guy that...to say that I don't approve of him isn't exactly the right phrase... Simply put, there is no real "deal-breaker" about him except that I honestly believe that she could do better. He's not abusive, he's not a user; he works hard for his money, he's got friends who are likable also, he dresses well; he doesn't do drugs or smoke. I have no problem complimenting him. Maybe part of my problem is that Ruthie didn't hear enough of that from me.

And I'm sure that he cares about her. What more could someone want for their friend, right?

Oh, so much more...

I'd like to think of myself as a sensible person; I'm not into the fairytale perfection fantasy. But Ruthie deserves so much more than she would probably have with this guy. I think their relationship is a big settle---for BOTH of them. As great as Ruthie is, I can't say that this is fair to him either. I hadn't seen evidence that either of them are getting what they need or giving their best.

But I'd better get on to the hurt: Ruthie's broken up with him and then gotten back together with him. She got back together with him, and didn't tell me. I know she doesn't hafta tell me everything or need my approval, but with how close we had become, I would think that's something she would tell me. I felt left out of her life on purpose and hurt by it. Again, it's not all her doing; I am sure I didn't make it easy on her. How I found out was by making a comment about a guy and her flippantly responding with, "hey, I have a boyfriend!"

So I respected that she was with him again. She broke up with him again. I didn't say anything; I didn't know what to say and by then I didn't wanna ask about him at all but listen to her talk about him but she didn't talk about him much at all. It sounded like she had really thought it through on her own and decided.

But she got back together with him again. And again I found out the exact same way. And again I felt left out and hurt, with embarassment this time because we were with other people.

By this time of finding out again, we've slowly not hung out. We used to hang out a lot, just the two of us. And to her credit, we've hung out mainly because of the amazing effort she put into our friendship.

I haven't seen her in months. She's called a couple of times, but I couldn't get words out of my mouth, not the ones I need to. I have had the worst attitude about this. I've been guilting myself, I typically guilt myself, but this is a big one. And I missed her birthday. It's so hard to say "I'm sorry" and it's just as hard to say that "I'm hurt." For me, this time, anyway.

I've handled this so wrong. A lot of it doesn't have to do with Ruthie, but with how I've been scarred and silenced by other friendships.

I have plans to call Ruthie this week. This helped, to get it out of me in a small way. Now, for the big step...

Must It Be So?

I'm not very good at small talk, so I'm just gonna go at it. I have hurt people that I care about; they might not even know it, or they know it and wonder if it's them. But it's not them. This is all a very selfish act carried out solely by me.

I haven't been out of my house much at all for...to be honest, years. And I haven't called the people I've wanted to call. I've written, I'm good when I can hide behind a pen, or a computer, but I haven't called, I haven't visited, I haven't made a move. I have a reason for all of this, but it doesn't excuse any of it.

I've wanted to call Chulo. Sometimes I can't believe the amazing people I've met and even more unbelievable are the ones who make an effort to keep in touch or hang out with me. Chulo is definitely one of them. I met him in college during a trying time. I accompanied someone to go around the school and sell calendars and tees for our club and Chulo bought a calendar. We became friends.

When I decided to return home, out of many KIT attempts with several people, I wouldn't have thought that Chulo would be the one that KIT the most. We've been writing/emailing/calling ever since.

I've been wanting to hear Chulo's voice, but sometimes it's too hard. Admittedly, my letters have not been very cheerful [shouldn't they be?] and well, on the phone, I'm worried that I'll say something wrong or stupid or have nothing to say at all. I do write, because then I have time to think about what to write. He has important things to do and I don't like wasting people's time. My only solace is that at least I've been able to tell Chulo how much he means to me, how much I think of him. Just in case, I love you and miss you dearly, Chulo.

I've been meaning to call Kristie, not just a classmate but a real friend from high school days. Since graduation, we've KIT here and there. Several months ago, we got together, just the two of us, to catch up and stuff. I thought we'd talk maybe a couple hours at most, but it ended up being practically a whole day. It was one of the best days of recent times that I think about.

We were supposed to meet a couple months ago. I don't know where the time goes. It's today now and I don't know why I haven't just picked up the phone and called. Maybe I'm just afraid of ruining that good day. And I think, well, how is she supposed to know that I value our friendship?

I wanna hang out with Jen, another classmate but from a different circle than Kristie. We only got back in touch the past couple years 'cuz she found me through one of those classmate sites and contacted me. That's such a strange thing, for me, because the people who remember me and contact me are mostly people I wouldn't think would. I don't think Jen and I hung out after...maybe about elem. school? But I am glad that we're hanging out now. She's great; I can just call her up and suggest a volleyball game and she says let's go! [FYI: I love volleyball, that's pretty much the thing I don't mind calling people up for, I'm not a phone person even on good days.] I haven't seen her this summer yet. I had plans to... but you're getting the pattern now.

and Chris. He's had some huge changes in his life lately. I hope he knows what a dear friend he is to me, but I don't think he believes it. I haven't been the kind of friend that I'd like to be for him. Because of one of the changes that's happened, he's finally making a push for bettering his life, not that he wasn't great before. He is a good friend to have and now he's finally doing something for him. It's for his family also, but I think this is great for him and I haven't told him how proud of him I am.

If I haven't mentioned you, don't assume that I don't have you on this list at all. To mention all of you would be too much even with the best of efforts. Or that you mean any less to me.

I've always thought too much, and I used to do things also. Lately, I can't remember how I did that. Obviously I've done a lot of thinking of late. I guess there's nothing left but to do. Pray for me, please?

[I usually make an effort to proofread my work and use proper sentences and all that, but whadda ya' gonna do? Thank you for reading!]

Monday, May 21, 2007

Guilty Pleasure: This Season's Reality TV

In general I don't understand the machine that is "reality" TV and get very annoyed by it, so I won't go on about the misnomer and all of that. Basically know that I do not like ones in which people win obscene money for being deceitful. I do not like Survivor, all but two seasons of Amazing Race, the Apprentice, Big Brother (? is that the title of the one in the house?)...

I do like the Biggest Loser 'cuz the winner has really accomplished something good. Actually, all participants have accomplished good things, and not just for themselves, but for their family, their friends, their future, their health...

In a previous entry, I wrote about my mild interest in American Idol. Ryan Seacrest really annoys me. All the childish jabs at Simon are really unnecessary. This season actually got my attention and it's mostly due to Melinda Doolittle. I am disappointed that she will not be in the final. I previously said that if Sanjaya got into the top 10, that I would quit watching this season, but I found myself (ignoring Sanjaya) watching for Melinda (and Phil), and guests like Gwen Stefani and Bon Jovi. But now that Melinda's off, I don't care about the finals and can finally quit.

The reality show I really enjoy is Dancing with the Stars. I admire the talents of dancers, especially the ones on the show because they understand their craft to the level that they can teach it as well. And in this show, we get to see the personalities of the stars. Like this season, with Apolo Anton Ohno, my family and I watched him compete in the Olympics, we saw the serious game face and stuff, but it's interesting to see what he's like off the ice. And Laila Ali, she's got a good personality, she can really move, and she's really quite pretty.

That's all I wanna say for now.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What a Season!

Quickly, the conference champions:
MIVA: Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW)
EIVA: Penn State
MPSF: UC Irvine (UCI)

Yes, that's right, UCI beat out heavy favorite Pepperdine in a full-drive close-cut 5-game match. They tested each other's limits down to the wire. The deciding 5th game went into extra play, 16-14 Irvine.

What a season it has been. With 12 very good teams in the MPSF, 10 that tend to be ranked nationally every week, it's unusual that any team would dominate a single season. Pepperdine started the preseason at 5, then climbed their way to #1, holding that top spot mid-Feb to the end of the season. UCI dominated as well, starting at #1, dropping to #2 at the end of Jan, tying for third one week in Feb, then holding at 2 for the next 7 weeks, dropping to 3rd only at the end of the season. BYU has been a rather solid #3.

Preseason, I had a feeling that UCI would be in the NCAA playoffs. I still full-heartedly cheered on my team, the early-season-ailing Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, but there was no denying that UCI has a good team.

Hey, they beat my Warriors in the MPSF Playoffs, but man, did we make sure they earned it. For a second, with the Warriors clearly taking the 1st 2 games, it looked like UH would be on their way to a national title again. I would say, it's not so bad when we took the now-MPSF champs to 5-games in the playoffs.

Warriors started preseason at 4, and really during this tough season for them, I thought of any team, this team could pull off an upset and take the national title, and done it better than the crazy tirade UCLA went on late last year for the title.

Losing 5 great seniors last year, we had solid leadership at all key positions in this year's seniors: Beckwith (setting), Dante (blocking), Kalima (passing/digs), and Hakala (kills). Even the untested freshmen, especially in the second half of the season, made incredible strides, greatly contributing in their positions to the blocking (Rawson), the hitting (Vanzant), and at passing and digging (Cervantes).

Next year, I can see Carney picking up the setting smoothly, he's already had some good experience, though the coaches say they might use him at outside hitter. Clar could definitely fill in at opposite (Hakala's vacated spot). Rawson needs to work on being patient at the net, not over-reaching. If Vanzant can improve on hitting accuracy, he'll be that more effective. Everyone needs to practice their serving and passing, that's important every year, all the time. Also important is being able to read the other team, see the blocks, see if the opponent had a good approach for the swing, etc. I'm looking forward to seeing how Schkud improves so that he gets a permanent starting spot; I don't think we've seen all he's capable of yet. We're gonna have the youngest team we've had in a while, but it's gonna be worth watching the next two seasons.

Next Up: The NCAA semis onto the finals. 2nd seeded UCI vs. 3rd seeded Penn State, 1st seed Pepperdine vs. 4th seed IPFW.

Congratulations to UCI for their first MPSF title, how do they get seeded 2nd under Pepperdine?

And a huge aloha-filled mahalo to the 2007 Warriors for another exciting season!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech: All I know to do is to pray for them. I don't know why I felt so affected by that event, not that it wasn't tragic or significant, but unlike for other events around the world, I found myself crying as I watched the news about VTech. I couldn't not cry and friends know that I show emotion very rarely.

Maybe it was because of the two that died in the dormitory. The dorm's a home away from home; it should be safe. Or maybe it was listening to the students talking about being in class or taking an exam when the guy just comes in and starts shooting. I can't imagine...and I don't know what I would've done in that situation.

But in a time when we seem to be the farthest apart from each other than we ever have been, even when sitting shoulder to shoulder on a bus or brushing shoulders in a crowded hallway, as sad as I felt watching the news the past few days I'm learning to focus on the positives, what few there were, of the tragedy. The stories of courage and bravery, of heroics in a time when we need heroes... truly uplifting.

We've heard of Prof. Liviu Librescu, Holocaust survivor, blocking the door with his life so that his students could escape; how often do we wonder if educators really care about their students and no doubt that he did. Other students also blocked doors and looked for other opportunities to help their classmates who were shot.


UH Security: I wouldn't feel safer with armed police on campus. Yes, in situations like VTech, time is very important. Other times, the sight of a gun or other weapon may exacerbate the situation, or entice someone to do a stupid thing. It would be impossible to post an armed guard at every classroom, or at every entrance, and even that would not guarantee every person's safety.

I do, however, have confidence in our guards and in our policemen. And hopefully we never have to test ourselves, but I would hope that in a time of need, of life or death, that we would rise up and protect each other.

As an aside regarding humanity, at times I worry that people from even just 5 years younger than me are...not well. It would take too much to explain exactly what I mean, but I would say, don't be discouraged about young people or write them off completely. Every so often I ride TheBus and I have to smile when a young person gives up their seat to the elderly or to a mother with her child. Not all do, and some are not so considerate, but let's take courage in those that do.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

And Dante Wins the Prize!

[continuation from previous post]

Warriors won and are play-off bound! Next up, Irvine @ Irvine...

JayLee and I at senior night Warrior volleyball (we also witnessed Fri's game). We got there about a 1/2 hour before first serve, the earliest I've ever been to a game. We got the team photo from the Stan Sheriff crew since we were so early (first 2,000 fans). Got to see some players change from their practice shirts to their game jerseys; the Card's Ceran's in good shape and that's all I'll say. I'm there for the volleyball...

I usually sit in the super-rooter section, near the "Aunties", a bunch of drunk-by-half-time college kids, and other loyal fans. I could see the flags this time and the Sheriff Center's got a clock, I didn't know that before. JayLee and I got tickets at the lower level this time, across from the benches, in the mix of the Beckwith, Schkud, and Kalima Ohana. If I had known earlier how much fun those families are, especially the Beckwiths, I would've sat there every time! Too bad he's graduating now and I'll hafta scope out for another fun ohana. I saw Johnny Matt Bender, former #13 UH Warrior and one of five seniors last year, in the stands with his girlfriend watching the current Warriors.

And Kalima fans all around. Shouts for Kalima came from the Ohana, from the left, from the right, from the top, from across the way... They've been cheering him on from his redshirt year 5 yrs. ago. "Put Eric in! We wanna see Kalima!" Well, they saw him this year! Propelling himself towards the ball no matter where it is, like a magnet, as only Kalima can!

The Beckwith crew were waving ti leaves, holding up clever signs, one dressed up as a Warrior with some boys in tow. They led cheers, also yelling out "unleash the dragon!" for Matt "Dragon" Rawson. We sat right in front of the "ICU @ UCI" and "Killer B (for Brian Beckwith)" signs. A few times, the exuberant ti leaf waving brushed my hair. The boys were heckling the Cards, a lady with them tried to get them to just cheer on the Warriors explaining that Hawai'i fans are respectful of all players.

Someone asked about Manoa, seeing it everywhere (it's the place name, campus name, like CS Fullerton, CS Northridge). Another person asked about why we cheer with "Let's go BOWS!" (a 3-count cheer) instead of their "Let's go Hawai-i" (in 4-counts)(The rainbow used to be the mascot of UH, recently changed to "Warriors" by football coach Jones, some call us "RainBOW Warriors"). "Let's go BOWS" is still my favorite. [I mention the Q's 'cuz I like it when people care to know].

JayLee and I indulged ourselves in the ever-ono garlic fries and Italian ices. Those ices are...*sigh* They taste just like the fruit their flavors say they are. Yeah, I could've just eaten a real fruit, but SO?!! Come on, I-TA-LI-AN.

Across the way, an elder lady sat in the stands, wearing a UH t-shirt... under a red sweater. The Cards colors are red and white. It's okay to be a local and root for the other team when there's a local boy on that team. If I knew him I would've just been bold like other Shoji fans and just wear all red. There was a man in our section who was wearing red, but held up a sign for the Warriors, I forget what it said.

Commentator Chris McLachlin said that Costas was the hardest hitting Warrior ever. Could be. My opinion is for Hakala. No argument that Costas was a great player with fear-inspiring, hard-hitting, tough-serving, consistent play and a mean bull-stare, but I do think Hakala hits harder. I have no proof or stats, but I've watched both play. When Hakala goes in for the kill, you see him lift-off, then you hear the *BOOM*, next thing you know Hakala's got the kill. Between Hakala's contact and the floor, or sometimes an unwilling opponent's face, the ball disappears. Even in slo-mo replay you can't see the ball. Both Costas and Hakala were great to watch, but I like Hakala's style. He might be a more intelligent player and he's definitely a physical player. He changes up his play more than I believe Costas did, making him more unpredictable. Those few games that he was injured and didn't play were a plus as he cheered on his team and was as involved as he could be. I would've liked to see him play here another year.

And okay, outside of volleyball that I love, I also like a man of languages. I would've liked to become an ambassador or a diplomat or just a translator for the government if I had the skills, but I guess other interests overrided those ideas also. I'm in my 4th year of trying to learn Russian on my own and I'm still at (in English spelling) "pazhalsta," "spaseeba," and "gdye vodka?" (please, thank you, and where is the vodka?). BKR's in CA for his doctorate and so once again, I have no one to practice Espanol with; I'm getting very rusty where the list of words/phrases I'm sure of is getting shorter and shorter. I need to live in CA for a few years again. Here's "por favor," "gracias," and "dos cervezas mas!" (please, thank you, and two beers more!). I really don't drink much at all, honest, just ask my friends. I have another favorite phase I was taught that starts with "quitate" but I won't say the whole thing here. Long and winding way to saying I admire (and am a little jealous of) Hakala for his ability to learn several different languages. Sometimes I'm thinking in English but spelling in Spanish, like "camara" instead of "camera".

Senior Festivities: Besides consistently being a good team, with good facilities, and great coaches, we could recruit just by our senior night celebrations. That did it for former Warrior Matt Carere several years ago; he caught senior night on TV in Canada by chance and thought it was something great. I bet some players from other teams check their schedules to see if they get to come to play in Hawai'i on our senior night; we also acknowledge their seniors and they usually have a good time too.

Hakala had a Finnish flag; they could've gotten a Hawaiian flag for Kalima and Dante and CA's flag for Brian. It would've been reminiscent of the four-flagged seniors from 2003, when there was a Greek flag for Costas, an Israel flag for Eyal, a Hawaiian flag for Tony "Tigah" Ching, and a WI flag for Brian Nordberg.

It's great to see the families of other teammates representing missing family members when that happens. Sean Carney's dad filled in honor for Hakala, and of course many others gave him lei also.

All 4 seniors got buried in lei. In introducing the Beckwith clan, so many of them were present that the announcer could only call out Brian's parents, his two brothers, and "almost the entire Beckwith Ohana!" Brian disappeared in the mountain of lei. Imagine if he had gone to a Hawai'i school and at his graduation...

And there was a collective "aww" from the female Dante fans when his girlfriend was introduced. Dante's got a good smile, I wasn't a part of that crowd, but I know a few who were...

NO DANCING this year!!! Boo! For their senior video, Brian, Dante, Kalima, and Hakala sang kah-rah-oh-kay (karaoke, hard "r" almost like an "l") to Lionel Richie's "All Night Long". It was great! Dante wins the prize as he got into character as a lounge singer. Gotta appreciate that!

[Images from Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin]

#10 UH vs. Stanford: Woohoo!!!


The numbers say it all.

Those are the stats [Courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser] from last night's senior match between the UH Rainbow Warriors and the Stanford Cardinals.

Here's how the Warriors got there: People will say that the turnaround for the Warriors mid-season was the sweep of Cal State Northridge [CSUN]. I say it was the second match against Pepperdine[Pepp] who was and is still #1; the Warriors took the 1st game in a 4-game match loss to Pepp where they were breathing down Pepp's neck during games 3 and 4. It was then that the Warriors resembled the winning team we're used to seeing each year: tenacity, patience, and fun at every moment whether they're up or down.

Then the Warriors began a 6-match win streak all in sweeps (3-game wins) over CSUN, Lewis, and UCSD. The big test would come at the Walter Pyramid, home of the Long Beach 49ers where the then 13th Warriors took the 1st match against 9th LBSU in 5-games, having to win the 5th in extra-play, 19-17 (5th game is win-by-2, 1st to 15). For the 2nd match against LBSU, the Warriors improved by taking down the Beach in 4 games.

Then the Warriors came home to face the Cardinals, being led by the versatile local boy, son of Wahine Volleyball Coach Dave Shoji, the Freshman Kawika Shoji. The Warriors swept the Cardinals on Friday night, 30-22, 30-23, 30-22. The big section of Cardinal fans (a lot of locals out to see Shoji, understandable) weren't as loud as I was expecting them to be, and Shoji didn't bring the A-game that Stanford articles have been talking about. Who did give us trouble was the Card's #5, 6'6" (F) Evan Romero with 17 kills and no service errors.

On to last night's match, senior night for the Rainbow Warriors. I was in attendance with friend JayLee. It was...amazing! The Cardinals did their homework and came back with determination. The entire night was one big noise as 3,000+ fans cheered at practically every play during many long rallies with whole-hearted dives and saves by both teams. Up-official Ernie Ho took a "beating" himself as at least 3 of the Card's errant passes hit him; a dive over the Card bench by (I think it was) #5 Romero almost took out a laptop (being used by one of the asst. coaches); veteran Sportscaster Jim Leahey rescued Card's #11 Brian Lindberg from what could've been a fatal or career-ending dive over PressRow (there's a Senior showing the team how to do it, Kalima can appreciate). That's just from the Cards!

On the Warriors side, Carney brought in his steady serving with 4 in a row to help us on to closing game 1; one was a service ace. He came in for setting duties half-way through game 2 and did an excellent job of running the plays. There's practically no difference between Beckwith and Carney in terms of quality; it'll be exciting to see what Carney does next year. Vanzant got in on the action with 15 kills on the night with great sprinting to chase down the ball and bring it back into play; Dante up-front helped Vanzant from going under the net after a flight from the back row for a kill. Dante himself got 14 kills, 3 of them by being quick to swallow up over-passes by the Cards. Kalima hit a solid .231 and worked hard at the net with 1 solo block and 5 block assists. He even took a ball in the head on a valiant effort to pop-up it up Kalima-style, a scary moment for UH fans as it looked like his head had hit the floor instead of the ball.

Hakala unloaded the cannon on the Cards with 21 kills on the night, 2 aces, while also working his defense skills with 10 digs and 2 blocks. Hakala's mana got out-of-control on a couple long hits and serves, but I believe I heard some sighs of relief by the Cards who didn't want an extra bruising from having to dig another Hakala fireball. Maybe a few Somebodies woke up this morning with black and blue arms, screaming before realizing "oh, that's right, we played Hakala last night" [I'm joking, that's if it had been me, the Cards are tougher than that].

And what about Beckwith? How about giving his team a .356 kill %age, all of them hitting positive, 3 of them in double-digit kills (see Vanzant, Dante, and Hakala above) with Rawson just under at 9 kills. How about across-the-board action with 3 kills, 47 assists, 8 digs, 6 block assists and a tough jump-serve. How about chasing down a ball and bringing it back into play from outside the antenna for a Rawson kill to end game 1. And, with senior-night greed which he admitted to later, he closed out the match with a no-look dump-shot to remind everyone that not only does he put the ball up, he can knock it down too.

[to be continued]

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hardly an Idol Worshiper

Except for two seasons of The Amazing Race [the Linz and Aiello family were cool] and one of the Biggest Loser, I cannot stand "Reality" shows.

I wouldn't have cared less about American Idol except that I was in Oregon during 2004, calling home and being confused when Mom would start talking about someone named Jasmine and another named Camille. Who? They did what?!

Thus, I was dunked head-first into the world of AmIdol. Camille had something different to her and an evident local-personality. Jasmine cried like a girl but sang her heart out. Actually, I was more a fan of Camille only because Jasmine is similar in appearance to my friend JoyFul who had tried out that season. Those who know JoyFul know I 'aint lyin' when I say that the lady can out-sing anyone. She said her nerves got her at the audition and that's probably true 'cause JoyFul's not the type to seek out the spotlight, yet I would've bet she'd have been on the stage at the end with Fantasia. Maybe it wasn't her nerves; maybe the judges already let in a few Jasmines by then and JoyFul no longer "stood out".

Then I dropped out of the AmIdol loop. Either the big-D (my doctorate thesis) or a better show got my votes.

Then for some reason, out of my own volition, I watched AmIdol last year; maybe I was somewhat avoiding big-D. "Chicken Little" annoyed me to no end; I was waiting for him to cry. I liked Ace's falsetto and yes, sometimes I am attracted to the pretty boys. I tried voting a couple of times but never got through so gave up, but I was calling for Chris Daughtry [not another Chris! They're invading my life!] and for Katherine McPhee. I liked Chris rocking out and yes, sometimes I can appreciate a pretty girl [not in that way and not ever sexually but, like others, I have an appreciation for inner- and outer- beauty]. I just couldn't wrap my mind around Hicks on the show...I just can't...

This season, I caught a couple of the audition shows. I couldn't believe the mother and daughter with the floor-length hair; right now, my hair is the longest it has EVER been and reaches a little below the middle of my back when I straighten it. I like my long hair and feel very feminine, but I'm finding that it bothers me to have it get stuck under the straps if I have to carry a backpack and somewhat annoys me as I sleep 'cause I don't like sleeping on top of my hair and always brush it to the side but now that it's long, I have to brush it aside more often and... [ach, shut up about hair].

Oh, so for the auditions, I liked Chris Sligh [not another!], Antonella, Melinda, Phil Stacey, and Gina.

It's unfortunate about the Antonella picture thing, but as Simon said, she held up well after that [you will never find pics like that of me, they don't exist so don't even look].

I didn't vote during the top 24 and most likely won't vote at all for the top 12. I probably won't have to anyway 'cause Melinda's my front-runner and she blew it out the past few weeks! Her humility elevates her to unbelievable heights in my opinion. And I can relate to one of her video pieces; I could definitely use a personal stylist, one with an understanding and sensitivity of island life and my delicate skin.

I also like (surprise) rocker Gina. For the guys, I still like Phil and Chris Sligh. I also liked Blake mixing it up to 311's "All Mixed Up". I can't believe Randy and Paula didn't know it! Ahh, it takes me back to my CA days and all-night studio sessions with the Ripoll or driving around, getting lost in the Hills of Beverly with B-H at 3 in the morning... good times!

I'm sorry, what? Oh, so I commented in the previous entry about who I want off AI, here's what I said: Even though, like a good local, I am proud of our local people making the national stage, but Mom'll tell you that I don't support every single one JUST because they once lived in Hawaii. Case in point: that guy on AmIdol who lived in Kauai for four years and did a terribly fake tourist hula on his AmIdol video. I didn't vote for anyone yet, but I would've voted for him to be booted if I could've.

I still can't stand AmIdol. I can't stand Seacrest even more. What his kindergarten remarks to Simon have to do with anything on the show or as entertainment is beyond me. It's annoying. And isn't it great to make it to the top 24, do your best to sing your best, and have Paula tell you not to worry 'cause you're beautiful? Yes, sarcasm. It absolutely annoys me when she says something like that. I guess Idol's my thing I love to hate. If Mr. Hula makes it to the 10, I'm quitting.

GO MELINDA!

Volleyball: Still Not Worried

Okay, now it's coming down the stretch to the MPSF playoffs. The Rainbow Warriors have yet to win a match since playing USC on February 16. They're currently in 10th place in the MPSF and 14th nationally. And this past weekend, they battled another #1 team: Pepperdine.

Sounds like a death sentence right?

Far from it. As I said earlier, the MPSF is the toughest conference in collegiate volleyball with the top 4 teams shifting places constantly. That UH had taken its place among the top 4 constantly if not consistently in the past...I don't know how many years, and is now at its lowest ranking ever, I'm still not worried about our team.

It seems that everyone in the MPSF are stepping up their game and loading up on talent this year. It's anyone's guess, even more so this year, as to who will be MPSF champs, or the NCAA champs.

But back to my team: back in Jan., we started the season playing UC Irvine who were #1 at the time. I have to say that UCI was very impressive last year and I was one who expected them to hold #1, maybe #2 throughout the season, even in the very volatile MPSF.* We lost both matches.

After the win against USC, the 'Bows [forgive me, my favorite cheer is still "let's go 'BOWS!"] were on the road to play two matches against the #4 BYU, who had been #1 just the previous week. We lost both matches [it was difficult to listen to that over the radio].

Then they came home to play the Alumni match. Mom and I were in attendance as Coach Wilton rested his seniors (Beckwith, Hakala, Kalima, Dante). It was different and still very fun! Usually I get tickets in the Student Rooter section (near the band), but since the Alumni match was reduced price, Mom and I sat in the lower section, almost in line with the net. I have 20/20 vision still, so the players' faces weren't any clearer for me. The upper official blocked my view of the net though, so I couldn't see any blocks happen.

However, the crowd was small and quiet compared to a near-capacity crowd, so I could hear the players talking on the court. Eyal and Costas were electric as teammates again; Costas even let out an "Oh, YEAH!" as he bumped a perfect set. Tory Tukuafu entertained the crowd; whenever the ball came over to the alumni side, he'd yell out "SET ME! SET ME!" Kai Kahele lost his shoe and Leoni, without his old trademark lion's mane but with the trademark headband, fired things up from the service line. The night was complete with a rotation error by the alumni and someone in the crowd shouting, "Let them play!" but both sides battled it out.

And then back to MPSF matches and to current #1 Pepperdine.

Pepperdine swept on Thurs. night, winning 30-28, 30-18, 30-28. I watched from home, cheering loudly at the TV screen, probably to the annoyance of neighbors. I watched as Beckwith pointed to the camera before tossing up the first serve of the night. I watched him use a much improved and effective jump serve; Hakala back at Opposite, the position which kept people at the edge of their seats last season; and they came so close and so far to winning games 1 & 2.

Saturday's game was 100% more exciting. Even though Beckwith still had to run around a bit, he fired things up with that jump serve again, an inspiring effort with several delicious sets to the hitters, getting his MB's in the act more often, and, after a dislocated finger early in game 4, served up rockets, still put up amazing sets and hustled more than...I don't know, it was just great to watch!

Freshman Matt Vanzant had a great match with 24 kills, just 8 errors, hitting .364! And now that he's getting rather consistent, you know he's just going to get better every time!

On the injury list with wana stuck in his foot, Dante played as if he was just a kid playing with his buddies: all fun, no work, zero worries. 7 kills, 1 error, .400. Kalima, listed as having the flu, must've had some mana on tap; with Cervantes stepping up big time at the L-pos., it left Kalima free to get in some swings at the net. [the full stats are even more impressive]

We lost the match, 30-28, 19-30, 28-30, and 28-30.

So the Rainbow Warriors are primed for making a run on the rest of the season (about a month left) and showing up for the playoffs. If ever there was a season that I wish I could've afforded season tickets, this would be it. Yet, I haven't missed a second of it, and don't plan to, even from home.
________________________________________________

*I'm not just saying that because local boy Brent Asuka (Iolani) is back playing Libero for UCI (2006 MPSF newcomer of the year, first-team all-American, all-MPSF). Even though, like a good local, I am proud of our local people making the national stage, but Mom'll tell you that I don't support every single one JUST because they once lived in Hawaii. Case in point: that guy on AmIdol who lived in Kauai for four years and did a terribly fake tourist hula on his AmIdol video. I didn't vote for anyone yet, but I would've voted for him to be booted if I could've. And UCI, phenomenal so far.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mirrors and Perceptions

I find it funny the way that people think of me. I'm going to assume that they are being honest in their evaluation, but that some are just misinformed or view me through their bias. Some are too true. To say that I don't care what people think of me is honest, I don't, but it is also true that I take great consideration as to how friends and family see me; I evaluate myself from time to time based on that. I wouldn't want to reflect badly upon them.
Keep company with good men and good men you will imitate. __Unknown

Here are various things I've heard:

From Kevin, friend: Popular. Honestly, I'm not sure. I remember in high school, Kevin stating his observation that I was popular. I suppose he still holds this opinion of me. I thought he meant that many people knew who I was, but I figured that it was attributed to being in band, and a band officer at that. With hundreds of people in the various bands, of course lots of people knew who I was. He probably also meant that I was well-liked, because that is usually characteristic of being popular, but I've never thought of myself as well-liked. In fact, I knew of a good number of people who weren't exactly thrilled with me, and some claimed to be "friends." Who did I think was popular: my brother. To this day, I have never come across a person who did not like my brother, and A LOT of people know who he is!

In all honesty, if I was popular at some time, I am not popular now. The number of people who know me has stagnated as I've become a hermit in recent years.

From JayLee, friend: sarcastic. Ain't that the truth! I blame it on that brother of mine. He's very intelligent and witty, so much that I pale in comparison. He has it down to an art form. JayLee carries this opinion of me from back in intermediate school. When I started a new school in the 4th grade, I'd describe myself as a people-pleaser. That ended by 5th grade. I suppose since then, I've used sarcasm as somewhat of a shield against transparency; rarely did I want someone to see through to what I really thought of them. Or maybe if I didn't like someone, I just didn't care enough to tell them, but I liked most people. My sense of humor, haha.

Lately, I'm trying not to be so sarcastic, since it may be construed as "mean-spirited", but sometimes, it's just too easy...

Coryne, non-friend: would-be boyfriend-stealer. Note that she was a girlfriend of a co-worker, not MY friend. I thought this was something that she attributed to any other woman that talked to her boyfriend, but sometimes it sounds like I was of special interest.

As related by my friend KN: C asked KN if she knew me because we'd grad from the same h.s. KN admitted to knowing me. C said that I was trying to steal her (then) bf. KN said "I don't think so." That didn't sound like something I would do. [I've always liked KN!]

And it isn't. Romelyn at WU thought of me the same as C, but nothing is farther from the truth. The truth is, I'm a spoiled, selfish, daughter-of-Asian-heritage (something like "son-of-a-gun"). I don't need yours, I WANT MY OWN MAN! Bottom line. I absolutely do not share; I didn't learn that concept in kindergarten, I'm not gonna learn it anytime soon. [Slow-learner]

C & R were definitely misinformed and biased against me.

From Shayna, friend: a good gift-giver. Well, I try. I suppose she's right, I just didn't realize it until she said it. Jules read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. The five are Words of Affirmation; Quality Time; Receiving Gifts; Acts of Service; and Physical Touch. We can definitely rule out the first and the last. Jules concluded that I speak "Acts of Service." I count gift-giving as part of this. When you're on my "good-list" [tough to get on, tough to get off] there is nothing that I wouldn't do for your best interest (meaning: I'd give you a kidney, but I won't steal a horse for you). I would also give you anything if I could afford everything. Since I can't afford everything, I try to be very conscious to whom I am giving and of what I am giving. It's MY thought that counts. I'm not free with hugs, but I'll give you what else I can.

I also like Quality Time, though it would cut into my hermit-time.

Thought process: Shayna and Tony are both dear friends and married to each other (~15 months now?), and Christian. I got them a cross of love and a bookmark each, with scripture on it, and other little details to the package.

The Whatever Group, mixed: pure. I'm not the only one that would laugh at this description. Maybe of that group, you could say that I was THE goody-goody that...hadn't experienced a lot of things and didn't care to. I like being good. I'm not always good at it, but when I get something right, I'm proud of that.

In another group, we would consider D-girl to be the good one. Here's the thing, the WG used the word "pure" with having a negative connotation. In context, two girls, in our JR. year, B & J were talking about their past relationships. They were about to talk about "intimate" things when they noticed that I was within earshot and said that they'd better move away and talk because "Jennifer's too pure." And more examples from that group exists. They were saying that I wasn't a wanted member of the club.

"Pure," maybe, but not "Stupid." I'm not "Naive" about things in and of the world. I'm very much aware of what bfs and gfs do with each other. If I didn't want to hear descriptions, I would've moved myself away and did so at other times.

SUMMARY: Pure and a good gift-giver, I'll give weight to that. I wouldn't mind being called those things (with the right tone). Popular, I don't think about that, but I'd like to be liked. It's nice to be nice, isn't it? But bf-stealer, NEVER. Anyone who wants to tell me what else I am, feel free. You can call me "ridiculous"; just don't call me "stupid."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

#12 UH vs. #14 USC, 2nd Match

Friday's article in the Honolulu Advertiser said that short-term fans have been dropping out of the season. Early season games don't draw huge crowds. Typically, Wednesday night games aren't a huge draw and this time, it was Valentine's Day. I'm not worried. If I had a boyfriend, it wouldn't have been Valentine's Day if he didn't take me to the volleyball game, but I'm not a short-term fan.

In other housekeeping, if you go to a game, certain rules of respect apply the same in volleyball as in any other sport. DO NOT rant on your opponents NOR cheer for your hometeam when someone is injured on the floor. It was disappointing and embarassing (because they were UH fans) when this happened while Juan Figueroa (USC, OH) was down on the floor for about a minute. It looked like he was seriously hurt. I thought he had landed on his back, could be, but now it looks like he injured his ankle. If I had been sitting behind the idiots making the noise at that time, somebody in the stands would've been hurting also, and it wouldn't be me.

And if you're a real fan, you might make a sign for your favorite player, maybe get some face time on TV, have him autograph it for you after the game, take a picture with him. But you DO NOT try to get his attention when he's at the service line. Most likely he won't hear you because he's concentrating on PLAYING THE GAME, but also, why would you try to distract your own guy on the court?

The garlic fries are still oh so ONO! and another silly thing: Pavlovich and Anderson (USC) are rather good-looking (that's in for "Apple"), but we still have the best looking team!

And what else? WE WON Friday's match in 4! It was exciting! At several points in the game, one wouldn't be sure of who would win, but our guys kept it together and pulled it out! Including an all-out, knock-down, full-drive rally in game 4 with guys on the floor and a sweet Jim Clar (OH) assist to a Beckwith (S) kill from behind the 3-meter line for the point!

Player of the match for UH was Brian Beckwith, whom I think deserves it a lot more times than he gets it. Take note of Dante's stats, He did just what he was supposed to(and maybe a little more), blocking at the net, making a killing at the net, and throw in a few key digs (too bad only 3 counted for the official stats). Also, Jim Clar for that great set to Beckwith, a thrilling block solo stopping Anderson at the net in game 2, and 20 kills.

But the whole team made good improvements and adjustments during the match and are starting to play like the team we're used to watching, serving and passing better. Didn't I say I wasn't worried?

(Picture from Honolulu Advertiser, Sat, Feb 17, 2007)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Volleyball


At this moment, our #12 UH Men's team lost last night to #14 USC. We play them again tomorrow night. If we lose again, we'll drop more spots. As it is, we're at the bottom third of the MPSF.

To put it in perspective, the MPSF is the strongest conference in college men's volleyball. UCSD, who is typically last in the MPSF, made us work for the two match wins last season. They were not going to give up. This is a conference in which the top five teams have been known to jump around and switch places. USC, at #13 in the first 2007 poll, beat #3 UCLA in 3 games; that's a sweep! Last year, UCLA started at #2, fell half-season to #9, and crawled back up the rankings to win the NCAA tournament (finishing #1).

Even though we lost five seniors, we began this season at #4. Following that, we've been #5, #3, #9, and now #12. The five seniors [Alfred Reft (L), Matt Carere (OH), Johnny Matt Bender (OH), Jose Delgado (OH), Mauli'a LaBarre (MB)] were all good players in their positions and it should be tough to fill in those spots. That we started at #4 says a lot about the talent on the team. I have faith in our guys to finish out on top this season.
So don't count Hawaii out just yet. [For more about the team]

Brian Beckwith, setter, SR: Became a freshman starter in '04 when the previous setter was injured; hasn't really given up the position yet. He twists and turns and gives his hitters great opportunities to get us a point. In the match last week against UCSB, Beckwith faked UCSB out by going up as if he was going to go for the kill himself but instead gave a quick set to Dante in the middle for the point. Last match against USC: 32 assists, 2 services aces, no service errors, 5 digs, 2 block solos, 1 block assist, and 1 kill hitting 1000! It was exciting to watch.

Lauri Hakala, hitter, SR: The "Flying Finn" is co-captain this year with local boy Eric Kalima. Injured at the moment, everyone is waiting for him to get back on the court. If you have to ask why, then you have not seen him move in for a kill. When he lifts off, reaches back, and pounds the ball, he hits it so hard that the ball disappears! Even in instant replay slowing down, you will miss it if you blink. Even though he is out for the next few games, he'll be back and meanwhile is doing a good job of being captain, cheering on the team from the sidelines.

Eric Kalima, libero/hitter, SR: The other co-captain, I have to point this guy out because of the dive he took into the stands last year. If that isn't hustle and heart, I don't know what is. I would like to see him get a few kills, but he's doing a great job at libero. I remember a few years back, watching a game, every so often you could hear among the chants, "Put Eric in! Put Kalima in!" I'm glad his family/fans are finally seeing Kalima in.

Dio Dante, middle blocker, SR: The Maui-boy is leading his team where he's supposed to, in blocks. Plus, he also does a nice job of putting the ball to the floor, especially when he gets those quick sets from Beckwith. I suppose it helps being 6'8".

James Clar, hitter, SO: Of the underclassmen, I'm excited to see this guy get time on the court. He's filling in nicely on the right side. He's as explosive and quick as Hakala.

I'm a vb fan, not a players fan, but those are the guys that I'm watching this season. Carney does a good job at setting, I'm assuming they put him in sometimes because after 4 years and with all the ties Beckwith has to coaches and players on the other teams, the others haven't had a chance to study Carney much and won't know his tendencies as much as they know Beckwith's. And usually when he's in for serving, Carney rarely missed last season. I've always liked the quicker system that our team uses with tall blockers and the shorter (6'0-6'2) hitters flying above the net from all areas of the court.

I'm going to the second match against USC. Their game in which they swept UCLA was exciting! But look for me in the green rooting for the 'Bows!

(Picture from Star Bulletin, issue: Feb 15, 2007)