Tuesday, February 28, 2017
After getting my ears pierced in December, I've been looking to add new earrings to my mini collection. I scoured Etsy and local jewelry makers on instagram and stumbled upon Kai Ea Hawaii. Designer Kimberly crafts specialty island earrings in all sizes and metals. I was fond of the gold Oʻahu earrings in a smaller size (just a little larger than a quarter) as to not overwhelm my frame. I love these earrings because I'm able to wear my heart on my...ears? Although most mainlanders don't know what they are upon first glance, I'm sure any Hawaiʻi kid would love them. I like to style them with my naturally curly hair or with a tita bun for an extra local aunty effect.
Monday, February 27, 2017
How do I honor one of Baylor history's most beloved basketball players? Ish Wainright is the lone senior on a game-changing 2016-17 team. The three-year letter winner has been a fan favorite from the moment he stepped onto the court four years ago. He's known for his fun personality and kindness both on the court and off where he often jokes around with opposing coaches, players and refs. In his freshman season, Ish was the only member of his young class to see playing time, where he played in 32 games and started seven times. He totaled 42 points on the season and averaged 1.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. As a sophomore, Ish played in 31 games as he averaged 1.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists and he totaled 201 points. Junior Ish became a menace for opposing teams when he was named a starter in all 34 games. His numbers drastically improved where he recorded 162 points and averaged 5.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.6 assists. Since he was a freshman, Ish has assisted (sorry for the pun) his team in their dance to the tourney each year. He's not a scoring threat like that of Jonathan Motley or Al Freeman, but Wainright is one of, if not the most important member of this year's team. His leadership, positivity and love for his team and the sport is what's motivated the Bears to achieve such high goals. Baylor fans have been truly lucky to witness such a selfless, kind and talented man shine on the court and Ish will be greatly missed!
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Prior to this year, I've never been interested in awards shows (other than the Tonys of course). Perhaps it's due to a poor selection of films, lackluster hosts or feeling an ultimate disconnect to the stars. This year however, nearly every film was inspiring (I had no interest in Hell or High Water, Manchester by the Sea or Hacksaw Ridge), unique and diverse. I cheered for Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Fences and Lion as they each represented a unique perspective with protagonists worthy of praise. Moonlight was my favorite overall and I was ecstatic to see the low budget film illustrating the struggles of a queer black boy win the most prestigious award of the night! Janelle Monáe of Moonlight and Hidden Figures was stunning in an avant garde Elie Saab gown sprinkled with jewels. The breakout actress of the moment dazzled in a sparkling headpiece and bare bustier. Taraji P. Henson is everything I aspire to be and in an alternate universe, I'm pretty sure she's my sassy aunty. I've loved her since she played Andre 3000's wife in Four Brothers aka the best movie ever created and it's inspiring to witness her take on intricate roles with surprising backgrounds. She was truly my pick for best dressed of the night. Her blue velvet Alberto Ferretti gown is a thing of dreams. I adored Felicity Jones' performance as Jyn Erso in Rogue One and she looked amazing in her tea length Dior frock. Now go watch Moonlight!!
Friday, February 24, 2017
Baylor football is back!!! Kind of. My life feels incomplete without the game and I've been counting down the days until the first practices of Matt Rhule's era. Spring is a season of fresh starts, new beginnings and a chance for reinvention. Spring is the new Baylor football: new faces, familiar players, recent additions, unfamiliar playcalling and schemes. Like the blossoming of a puakenikeni, Baylor fans can witness the originality of a unique Baylor football. Spring practices begin on March 18, when coach Rhule and co. will create a whole new team. On April 4, students have the opportunity to enjoy the first practice for 2017-18. April 22 boasts the team's spring game. Blossoming, petals ripping, growth and fauna changes are the equivalent of fresh QB competition, starting position challenges, new scheme growing pains and coach feedback. Spring is a new season and Baylor will display a changed team.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Urban Outfitters dress, Kate Spade Saturday bag, Daniel Wellington watch, Ocean Creations necklace, Calvin Klein flats (old, similar here)
Every time I walk into Nordstrom or J.Crew, the silks, cottons and velvets yank me to their newest forms. I rush toward the racks and pull fabrics from their hangers before sauntering to the nearest dressing room. I often fall in love with each piece. And I often despair when I see their prices. Although I feel like Rebecca Bloomwood in those stores, I don't have the type of money it takes to be the next high end fashion blogger. Luckily, I saw this flowy dress on one of my favorite blogs and instantly purchased it. I didn't know if it would be too short (sometimes it is), too low cut (hello chest) or too spring-inspired to style throughout the year (it isn't). The dress fits like a glove and knows how to accentuate curves (yes, clothes know things). As for the price? Let's just say I won't be going bankrupt any time soon. I love styling it with my favorite pink Saturday bag and strappy flats for a dressed up day in Hawaiʻi.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Poetry is often seen as difficult to understand, scary or intimidating. Shakespeare's sonnets often come to mind when people say they don't like poetry. However, when old English is the only 'definition' of poetry, the scope of writing must expand. Spoken word or slam poetry is my favorite. I love witnessing an artist share their craft with emotion and grit. Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye and Jamaica Osorio are some of my most revered poets as they speak truth and honesty through their words. I hope you all appreciate these poems as much as I do.
Monday, February 20, 2017
The first time I saw a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag, I fell in love. I researched the semi-unknown brand, discovering that each fresh drop of Italian-made pieces sold out within minutes. The bucket bag was iconic; a $565 leather must-have in all sizes and shades was nearly as envied as the newest Chanel collection. As Mansur Gavriel grew more popular due to celebrity-toting photo ops, they expanded their collection (and amounts carried, thank god!) to shoes and classic new shapes. The cobalt blue Suede Ballerina Flat is my favorite item for spring. I would love to style these shoes with a crisp white dress and delicate gold accessories for a photo shoot in a garden. The Lady Bag is featured in my favorite color of the bunch. Mansur Gavriel was smart to add a long strap as well as a short handle to the purse for women who are on the go. I love the navy Circle Bag for a pop of whimsy to a simple gray tee and straight denim jeans. For a ladylike look, I would finish the outfit with the Patent 65mm Heel Slipper.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
On this day 75 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the imprisonment of over 120,000 Japanese people without notice, the right to a fair trial or the right to an attorney because they were deemed a threat to national security. The Japanese citizens were to leave their homes and abandon their jobs or businesses before being forced into internment camps. Although 2/3 of them were American citizens, they were treated like animals with multiple families assigned to live in horse stalls. Each person was demanded to pledge their allegiance to America, though they weren't initially allowed to sign up for the military draft. Outside of the camps, U.S. police and troops aimed guns at the people in case they tried to escape. They were forced to register in a Japanese citizen registry in order for the U.S. to keep track of them. Surrounded by barbed wire and military weapons, the Japanese people were compelled to live their lives as normally as possible, even though they were prisoners. Fred Korematsu was a young Japanese man who refused to go to the internment camps and was imprisoned for defying the Executive Order. After arguing his case all the way to the Supreme Court, the court ruled against him, stating that the order was constitutional. The order has never been explicitly overturned, so legal imprisonment of American citizens can still happen. My family members were imprisoned during the Executive Order as well as citizens from Hawaiʻi throughout the West Coast. Although the Japanese civilians were eventually allowed to return home, the repercussions of the order echoed throughout generations. Most mainland schools don't teach students about what happened to the Japanese people during WWII. Children grow up learning about the different World Wars, but are ignorant of one of the greatest American injustices in history. Especially during a divisive time where exclusionary talks of Muslim registries reign free, may we never forget the wrongdoing through which Japanese suffered. To learn more, watch George Takei's musical "Allegiance" (clip featured above).
Friday, February 17, 2017
Baylor forward Johnathan Motley has become a collegiate star after emerging as one of Baylor's best players of all time. An undersized and under recruited high school prospect, Motley wasn't always the portrait of America's top athlete. As a redshirt freshman, Motley started every game of the season, averaging 7.7 points, 1.4 blocks and 4.2 rebounds. The young athlete led the 2014-15 team in blocks (46) and helped the team win the Big 12 Championship and advance to the NCAA tournament. In his sophomore season, Motley again led the team in blocks and averaged 11.1 points, 1.1 blocks and 5.1 rebounds per game. He earned both U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Big 12 National Player of the Week nods after a champion-caliber performance in Baylor's win against then-ranked No. 13 Iowa State. Although Motley earned awards and recognition throughout his first two years, it wasn't until this season that he truly exploded into a dominating power player. Baylor hasn't seen a Motley-style performance in the past and boy, how lucky we are to be alive right now (sung like Philippa Soo). How lucky are we to witness Motley dance across the court like a stage, playing each role in Les Mis' "One Day More" collaboration; Jean Valjean, Cosette, Eponine, Marius, Javert and Thenadier all rolled into one brilliant basketball gazelle. This season, he's averaging 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game with his star studded breakout performance at Texas where he recorded career high 32 points and 20 rebounds. His ability to hit the jump shot, rebound his own missed buckets and strength in the paint makes Motley a dynamic and dangerous threat to opposing teams- and the reason why he deserves to be named the Player of the Year.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Last month a few of my friends and I went to Dallas for a Japanese extra credit opportunity. The activity was a mochi festival with games and performances by local Japanese students. I love mochi more than most foods so I wasn't about to turn down a free road trip to eat it freshly pounded (it actually tasted horrible). Unfortunately my experiences with mochi has it mixed with sugar, not simply pounded rice. Nevertheless we had a great time writing kanji sheets, buying omiyage for our sensei, folding origami and leaving early because there was nothing else to do! We ended up going to the Northpark mall to buy chocolate, found (mainland) ramen and ate donuts stuffed with ice cream. I give the food a solid 9.5 except for the janky haole ramen.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
During the football offseason, I spend most of my days missing the game. Re-watching favorite plays, studying player roles and game-calling is my coping method when dealing with the absense of my favorite pastime. In 2016 I cultivated a mini guide of football positions called "Football Focus". FF focused on players, ideal body types, responsibilities and an exemplary player in that group. I learned most of my football knowledge during my own study time and I wanted to share a reference toolkit for those who don't know much about what it takes to become a successful football player. Because I've already written on every position, I had to find a new collection to write about before football comes back. The idea of "Polynesian Paragons" came to mind because I want to share the poly football players who are or who have made waves in the NFL. Polynesians are prevalent in CFB and the NFL, but they're often overlooked by more popular players in history. In this series I hope to bring honor to my culture (and our sister cultures) by showcasing some of the excellent athletes of the south pacific!
QB Marcus Mariota is Hawaiʻi and Samoa's golden boy in the NFL. The local athlete is of Samoan and German descent and is the first Hawaiʻi-born player to win the Heisman trophy. Mariota was somewhat unknown throughout his high school career because he didn't start a game until his senior season. Once he made it to QB1, Mariota shined; completing 165 of 225 passes for 2,597 yards and 32 TDs (including only five interceptions). Mariota was equally as successful at Oregon where he earned Pac-12 and national honors in three seasons. In his collegiate career, Mariota totaled 779 of 1,167 passes for 10,796 yards and 105 TDs. After facing Ohio State in the 2015 national championship, Mariota entered the NFL Draft where he was chosen 2nd overall. In two seasons with the Tennessee Titans, Mariota has yielded 506 of 821 passes for 6,244 yards and 45 TDs. Mariota not only excels on the field, but also in his local communities. He credits his humble personality to his parents and the environment in which he grew up. He often volunteers with local organizations and spends time mentoring high school players in Hawaiʻi. Mariota is the definition of a "Polynesian Paragon" and we are lucky to have him represent us in the NFL!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Valentine's Day is one of those holidays where people seem to be either overjoyed or miserable. I think people feel left out if they don't have a significant other to celebrate with, but I personally think it's a fun idea. My dad always sends me a huge box of Honolulu Chocolate Company chocolates, I watch Rush Hour 2 and go about my day as usual. It's also nice to remember that my people demolished Captain Cook on this day in 1779 but that's another story. Whether you're single or taken on Valentine's Day, you can make a longer lasting impact by donating financially and showing love to organizations that help and protect people. Some of my favorite organizations are the ACLU, College Guild, Southern Poverty Law Center and Equal Justice Initiative. So while you're busy showering your loved ones or yourself with chocolate and love, show some kindness to these great organizations who consistently fight for the rights of all people.
Monday, February 13, 2017
In my holy trinity of haole men, coach Bill Snyder reigns as god. I can't remember a time where I haven't adored the coach and his sweet personality. Bill Snyder has been the head football coach at Kansas State for the past 25 years, completely transforming the program into a national powerhouse. Snyder's kindness to both friends and foe is unlike that of any other CFB coach, which has contributed to his hall of fame status. Coach Snyder is 77 years old now (and still coaching) and he was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. While he's stated that his health condition won't detract him from coaching, fans all over the nation had to have known that he wouldn't be on the field forever. Seeing the people we adore and idolize grow old is difficult, but we're so lucky to be alive in the time of coach Snyder. How privileged are we to witness his greatness on the field, transforming the lives of his players with dignity and compassion. Because coach Snyder handwrites all of his thank you notes, gives pep talks to players on the opposing team, never badmouths anyone and has given his all to the school he loves, he deserves all the praise and respect during this difficult time. I've said before that I love Bill Snyder more than mostly anyone and that statement still rings true today. In addition to the great uncle Bernie Sanders, my high school band director Riggle and coach Poppovich, coach Snyder has my love and adoration forever. Please get better soon, coach, the game needs you!
Sunday, February 12, 2017
There have been great Baylor basketball players in history (Quincy Acy, Ekpe Udoh, Isaiah Austin, Kenny Cherry, Pierre Jackson, Cory Jefferson, etc.), but no team has been quiet as phenomenal as this year's group. When Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince graduated, I wondered how well this team would feat in the upcoming year. Rico's presence on the court was dominating and Taurean's 3-point shot unlike any other. I knew Ish Wainright and Johnathan Motley would instantly contribute, but the cohesiveness of the team was a questionable point. Fortunately, I was convinced by the team's performance on their first game of the 2016-17 season. The starters- Manu Lecomte, Johnathan Motley, Ish Wainright, Jo Lual-Acuil and Al Freeman- performed with such chemistry and grace that I instantly forgot about any previous team. Even during their 20-sum odd halftime deficit against Louisville, I convinced my mom to remain calm because they would come back. Similarly, I had never seen such an admirable team effort at Kansas despite the officiating and harsh environment. This team is special. Maybe it's Manu, Al, King, Nuni or Jake's 3-pointers, Jo's blocks, Mot's dunks, Chuck's layups, Terry's reliability in the paint or the future of the freshmen, but this team is magical Witnessing their greatness on the court every week is like ripping open a gift on Christmas morning. Every and-1, every buzzer beater, every shot made is Disneyland. The NCAA tourney will be inspiring because of this team. If you're not watching them make history, you're missing out.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Although I've loved Kate Spade for the majority of my teenage life, its brother brand makes my favorite accessories. I've grown quite a collection of Jack Spade bags, all of which have lasted me years. The canvas material and neutral colors are meant for men, but I like the edginess it adds to my everyday girly outfits. Paired with my pink Nike sneakers, blue denim jeans and a Manuhealiʻi top, this backpack is the perfect statement piece. The cream fabric is easily dirtied but a spot here and there adds a utilitarian, lived-in feel that I love. I use the backpack for school and travel, which holds all of my books and laptop with ease! If you're looking for a sturdy canvas piece, check out TJ Maxx as my dad has found the backpack, tote bag and weekender all for over half the price!
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
While I'm overtly passionate about football and basketball (with volleyball, tennis and surfing thrown in), there are some sports I can't stand. Baseball, soccer and hockey are the most monotonous activities to follow and no matter how hard I try to, I never enjoy them. I'll go to UH baseball games with my dad for the nachos and chicken strips ($5 for chicken and french fries? That's unheard of) and I'll watch MLB for Kenta Maeda, but baseball itself is so boring! Why would I spend a whole day watching a game that could be decided with one score in the last inning? The same goes for soccer. I was happy for my friends who were outstanding on the field (punny!) in high school, but the thought of players kicking the ball back and forth for over 90 minutes when the final score could be a penalty kick drives me insane. I don't even bother with hockey because there's no way to even see where the puck is! I want to enjoy all sports and appreciate how difficult they are, but football and basketball are just so much more entertaining. I'll just have to try and force myself to watch games and study their rules, players and stats in order to try and like them. If you like any of the aforementioned sports, what is your favorite part about them? Help a girl out.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
College basketball is always one of the most exciting sports to watch because it redefines the phrase 'anything is possible'. Unranked teams often beat Top 5 foes and no one is safe during March Madness. Although I feel death every time I watch the Baylor men's basketball team (the Kansas game wrecked me), I'm inspired by the dunks, buzzer beaters and half court shots. Obviously I'm rooting for Baylor to be No. 1 in the regular season (which they were for one day!) but I wanted to discuss the main contenders for the victory spot.
The defending national champions currently boast a 22-2 record with losses to then-ranked No. 18 Butler and Marquette. Four of their last six games are away, which will be a tough way to end the season. Luckily they have experienced starters such as seniors G Josh Hart and F Kris Jenkins (the player with the buzzer beater to win the national championship). With only a few unranked opponents left to play, Nova is posed to be another first seed in the NCAA tournament.
Kansas has been one of the top teams in the NCAA for a while and it doesn't look like they'll go away any time soon. PG Frank Mason III is one of the best players in the nation and freshman G Josh Jackson has been unstoppable as of late. The Jayhawks infamously down three's with ease (ew I hate myself for rhyming), but their remaining schedule is a tough one with the end of the round robin Big 12 plays.
Ah, the only undefeated team left in the nation. The Zags play in a fairly easy conference, but they just keep winning. With a remaining schedule of foes such as BYU, San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Pacific and San Diego, the Bulldogs' greatest test will be their rematch against Saint Mary's. If they win that one, I'm guessing they'll remain undefeated for the 2016-17 season.
The team with the strongest resume and RPI in the nation is undoubtedly Baylor (also I'm not biased at all). Although the Bears dropped contests at West Virginia, at Kansas and against Kansas St, their victories include wins over top 5, top 10 and top 25 ranked opponents. They started the season with a 15-0 record and victories over Oregon, Louisville, Michigan State and Xavier before falling to their first opponent. Their most difficult remaining foes are Kansas and West Virginia, but watch out for all of the Big 12 teams because this conference is insane.
Arizona has been quietly making their way up the ranks with a 21-3 record including wins over Michigan State, Butler and UCLA. Their ending schedule is the most difficult you'd expect in the Pac-12 but with sophomore G Allonzo Trier and a full, healthy team, the Wildcats could be a top contender for the No. 1 spot.
Monday, February 6, 2017
I could be making an inaccurate statement but in Hawaiʻi, two of the most popular sports are football and volleyball. I grew up watching the UH volleyball teams at the Stan Sheriff Center with my family and on field trips. From my first volleyball game till now, head coach Dave Shoji of the Rainbow Wahine has remained a constant in the sports world. Shoji is an icon in Hawaiʻi from his calm demeanor to his records in the history books.
28-year-old Shoji took over the women's team in 1975 and has continued his winning tradition for the past 42 seasons. In just four years, Shoji led the wahine to UH's first-ever national championship before making them back-to-back NCAA national champions in 1982 and 1983. The wahine won another national title in 1987 before missing the beat in later NCAA runs. After a series of disappointing losses in the tournament, the wahine returned to glory, making the semifinals round of the 2000-2003 NCAA contest. In 2003, the senior wahine became Shoji's winningest class. The wahine reached the semifinals again in 2009, adding to Shoji's legendary resume.
Shoji was twice named national coach of the year in 1982 and 2009. He earned the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Div. I women's volleyball history in 2013 after he won his 1,107th game. Shoji was the coach of the 2005 NCAA Div. I 25th Anniversary Women's Volleyball Team and is a USA Volleyball All-Time Great Volleyball Coach. Coach Shoji is a member of the AVCA Hall of Fame, was named AVCA West Region Coach of the Year 10 times and WAC Coach of the Year 10 times.
The day that Shoji retires will be a bittersweet moment in volleyball history. Hawaiʻi fans have grown up with Shoji on the court and will miss him immensely. Shoji is irreplaceable and UH will have a difficult time finding a suitable successor for one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Damn I hate the Patriots. I'm sure I repeated that phrase 527 times tonight from the moment Tom Brady's face appeared on my tv till the final touchdown was called. In case you can't tell, I was rooting for the Falcons because I love Julio Jones and am passionately against anything involving Brady or Belichick. Super Bowl 51 was off to a great start for anyone who's not a Pats fan as Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed pass after pass. Ryan was 17 of 23 for 284 yards and 2 TDs. The Falcons scored on nearly every possession in the 2nd Quarter including an incredible pick by CB Robert Alford returned for an 82-yard score. Atlanta scored their last TD in the 3rd to lead the Pats 28-3. Although he didn't record any TDs, WR Julio Jones had two of the most insane catches I've ever seen. Witness the greatness:
If you're unfamiliar with the difference between a "catch" in the NFL vs. CFB, NFL players are required to put both feet on the ground inbounds while maintaining control over the ball. In the CFB, receivers must only have one foot on the ground. Jones somehow managed to leap over New England's Eric Rowe, grab the ball and touch both feet inbounds. He's a hero.
While I was cocky enough to tweet "RIP PATS (clapping hand emojis)" during the 3rd Quarter, I would soon shove my own foot in my mouth. Of course, the Patriots in cahoots with Satan, scored 19 points in the 4th to tie the game (thanks Gostkowski, why do you have perfect feet). They also called the coin toss in overtime- the first overtime in Super Bowl history- and got the ball first. In the NFL, overtime rules are BS and unfair. Basically whoever wins the coin toss wins the game if you have a decent offense because whoever scores first wins the game. CFB's overtime rules are more fair because both teams have a chance to score and whoever is unable to answer loses the game. @ NFL why aren't you more like CFB. Anyway, the Pats scored the first TD in overtime (because of course they did...Satan I tell you) and won Super Bowl 51 for "the greatest comeback in history, blah blah blah". I'm a little petty and bitter after that 2015 Cotton Bowl deja vu. It's okay Falcons, at least you don't have to visit the White House this year!
Friday, February 3, 2017
Manuhealiʻi top, Old Navy pants, Ocean Creations necklace, Daniel Wellington watch, Kate Spade bag (old)
The first time I fell in love with a Manuhealiʻi piece was when my best friend Kaiʻolu wore a red and orange dress to our sixth grade picture day. My mom never sported the brand so I was unaware of its prevalence in the closets of local women. However, once I saw the dress I knew I wanted one of my own. Some eight years later and Manuhealiʻi is still expensive as hell but I've been lucky enough to rack up a few pieces for my wardrobe. I love this peplum top from the Monstera collection because it features my favorite colors and would be the perfect design for Kamehameha. I paired it with my polka dot Pixie pants, which I was unsure of at first. Are the mixed patterns too much? Are people staring at my janky outfit? What is the proper way to mix prints? Ultimately I decided the clashing patterns are just right and repeatedly wore this outfit at home. Now, how great would it be to drape myself in Manuhealiʻi every day forever?