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Entries in Friends (2)


Reach out and friend someone

I must confess, I adore social media, because it's still so shiny and new and satisfies the computer geek in me. (For those of you keeping score at home I began this journey in 1983 with a TI-99 and a coupler modem, like the kind used in the movie, Wargames).

So with a new book on the literary horizon, this seemed like an apt time to point out where you can find me on the Interwebs.

Facebook: Of course the ubiquitous, 8,000,000,000 lb. silverback gorilla of social media. Is there anyone not on Facebook and if so, how's that 8-track tape collection? There're coming back...they're coming back...you wait.

The thing with Facebook, and a conundrum for the cyber-gurus at Random House, is that I have a normal Facebook account and also a fan page (or whatever FB is calling them these days), you know, those pages that you can LIKE.

Why both? Because my normal FB account will someday max out at 5,000 friends (that's the limit), so at some point the fan page will takeover. So while HOTEL has 10,000+ LIKEs, my fan page only has 1,000+. Hopefully that will switch with time, more books, more blood sacrifices to the Internet gods, etc.

Twitter: I love Twitter. It appeals to my minute, gnat-like attention spa...what's that music playing in the next room? Twitter delivers new (and rumors) in real time. What's more to want in 140 characters? And you can follow me here.

Instagram: If you'd like to see the world though my own bloodshot eyes, IG is the way to go. You'll find a mix of "day in the life stuff" as well as "just plain ol' personal, yet seemingly random stuff."

LinkedIn: Honestly, since I left the corporate world behind I don't have much use for LinkedIn. But I do have an account and people friend me and recommend me all the time. My info on LinkedIn is true, but blatantly so.

Goodreads: Readers + Authors. What more could you want? You can find me here.

And in case you're wondering (and folks occasionally do), it's me on all these social media venues. Not my publicist, not my agent, not at assistant. Good, bad, whatever, it's me. Nice to meet you.


What we leave behind

jonmozo.jpgA friend of mine died more than a year ago. His name was Jon Mozo. He was a prolific ocean photographer who died off the famed Banzai Pipeline last February. Jon was 33. He left behind a wife and four young children.

I first met Jon ten years ago. He was an aspiring shooter––a local boy who spent time pounding the pavements of NYC and finally decided to plant his roots back in Hawaii.

I was a freshman creative director of an ad agency in Honolulu, and was fortunate enough to work with Jon on a few of his first commercial gigs. His talent was obvious. But his character, it was magical. My wife would describe him as a "glowie"—someone that radiated happiness, yet was so humble and soft-spoken.

It was no surprise that 1,500 people attended Jon’s funeral.

Years ago, I sat with Jon on a grassy Molokai cliff, eating lunch, taking a break from a 3-day shoot. We talked about our kids. We both had three at the time, all very young, both of us crammed into little condo apartments with our young families. Jon offered to watch our kids the next time we were in town, even though at the time, he and his family lived in a tiny two-room apartment. Jon loved kids. He called them his retirement. "When I’m old, that’s the only thing that will matter to me, my family," were his words.

When Jon died, I had a hard time getting my brain around it. He was too young. Left too much behind. But I found solace in his wife’s words: "If he had a list of dreams, I think they'd all be checked off," she said. "I don't think he had any regrets. I feel like he was ready. He knew it was coming and it was ok."

And you know, I believe her now.

Today I received an invitation to a benefit for the Jon Mozo Legacy Foundation at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu. Proceeds will go toward building a youth center in Hauula, college scholarships, and cultural exchanges.

As Memorial Day approaches, Jon’s death is starting to make sense. Among Hawaii’s traditional gods are some modern legends. Eddie Aikau. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I’m happy to see Jon live on in such good company.