Hawaii Part V – Graduation Day

Today was a perfect day! I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Hawaii at Manoa!!! I finally did it! The commencement was brief and painless and the feeling was almost overwhelming. To my right was a bored japanese/maybe portuguese guy playing with his new iPhone the whole time, and to my left was a tall skinny Filipino dude who was smiling the whole time. He took a moment to congratulate me right before we walked from our seats to get our names read.

I was a bit nervous, I’ll admit. But when I heard my name, pronounced correctly even…I was just floating! I pumped my arms into the air as I walked over to shake the dean’s hand and receive my diploma (a holder for one anyway), have my photo taken and was even on video for a bit. I was able to shake hands and give a hug to Tom Bingham, my old band director and music academic advisor. He is one of the good ones, and yes, happens to be haole. coincidence?? hmmm. Anyway it was really good to see him and to have him see me finish that degree!

Trish was in the audience videotaping and taking stills of me during the whole thing. Corey Nakayama was there too. It was good to have him there. He videotaped the whole thing and handed me the dv tape after. Nice yeah?

Also in the crowd to see me graduate were Todd and Hazel Anzai, who came to see me aftrwards and we took pictures and talked for a long time out in the sun at the UH baseball stadium where peeps met the graduates after the ceremony. They invited us out to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, and we had an absolute blast talking about all kinds of stuff. I am overwhelmed by their generosity and friendship. It is so great to have great friends that are fun to hang out with, even if they live 3000 miles away!

After a wonderful lunch at CPK, as it has been referred to, and after having the carribean jerk chicken pizza (oh my yes…yum!), we said our goodbyes to Todd and Hazel and went strolling through Kahala Mall, which we had not done yet on this trip.

The place changed a bit, but it’s such a small mall anyway so it wouldn’t take much to make it look different…and we stopped into Sanrio, a little japanese “Hello Kitty” store for lack of a better term, and got a few cool items for the kids, and found some of my favorite gum there too. It’s this fruity flavored gum that comes in a wrapper that has a temporary tatoo on the inside of the wrapper (called Fusen gum). I use to mess with those when I was a kid. Funny how now I don’t let my kids mess with temporary tatoos huh? Hypocrite, but hey, it comes with title of parent, I have learned.

While at that mall, we popped into a GameStop to see if they had the Nintendo Wii console in stock. They said they were out but they knew who would most likely have them in stock. I thanked the guy for the info and left. After going back to the hotel to change, we then went to “Toys N Joys” to see about getting a Wii. They had them in stock!!! We got a Wii!

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