IMR: 2000: February: 03 — Thursday, 11:41 a.m.
Room 201, Hawaiian Studies Building, Univ. of Hawai`i-Manoa, Hawaii

I love it when a plan comes together.

After attempting to drive from work to campus for my Tuesday-Thursday class, netting only a complete abense of parking and an excess of road rage, I decided to stick with TheBus for my mid-day transportation.

But although I still love the CityExpress! (Route A), it only takes me to the corner of University Avenue and Dole Street. The Hawaiian Studies Building is further along Dole, beyond the opposite end of the campus, leaving me with quite a hike to get to class.

I knew two buses went down Dole, but only at 40 minute intervals. Either I'd wait, or risk missing class entirely, depending on the traffic on a given day.

The other problem was lunch. I leave the office at 10:30 a.m., which is too early; I get back at 2:00 p.m., which is too late. For a while I'd find my stomach growling all the way through class, bus back to work starving, then struggle to stuff my face with a disgusting Big Mac or Whopper at my desk.

But a few weeks out, I've lined things up just right, sparing a one-way hike and adding in lunch to boot.

I catch the bus at 11 a.m. downtown, then get off at the corner of University Avenue and King Street fifteen minutes later. Then, I duck into the Coco Ichibanya curry house, conveniently located five feet from the bus stop, and enjoy their $3.75 "student special" plate for lunch. I then walk out the door at 12:35, just in time to catch either the Route 6 via East West or Route 18, both of which go down Dole and seem to stick to the schedule quite reliably.

And the walk back up Dole to University to catch the CityExpress! back into town is just long enough to feel more like exercise than a chore.

I only hope I don't get tired of curry.

On display along the wall in the classroom today is some 400 pages of petitions signed in 1897 by Hawaii residents opposing annexation of the islands by the United States. I think it's just a few panels of a larger exhibit that's been set up somewhere in town, perhaps at the Bishop Museum.

Just on these yellowed sheets alone are listed thousands of people, mostly Native Hawaiians, aged 10 to 102, convinced their name would make a difference. It's sad.

You know... Haunani-Kay Trask's lectures are a lot like I had expected them to be. Colonialism, genocide, racism, the "evil evil evil American government."

But despite her charged and colorful language, I have to say I've been surprised at how fundamentally conservative — or at least moderate — she actually is. And as a tenured professor, she clearly appreciates the importance of research and documentation, something that makes points with my inner journalist.

I mean, she's almost always portrayed as a shrieking, whining extremist. It's even the image I held before getting to know her a little better as editor of Ka Leo. But independent of what comes out of her mouth — and most of the time she is a very articulate speaker — deep down she knows the difference between idealistic and realistic goals. She knows Hawaii's never going back to `ahupua`a and ali`i, but she's clearly not going to let the U.S. forget its mistakes, or leave Native Hawaiians without substantial reparations.

No, I'm not going to join Ka Lahui Hawai`i or anything. I guess I'm just astonished at how my perspective has changed over the years. I used to think sovereignty activists were all just misguided, frustrated poli-sci dropouts, dreamers who should just wake up and get a job. The predominant view, basically, even (I've recently discovered) among coworkers and friends.

But now, having read stacks of historic documents, interview transcripts, congressional reports, UN and other international decrees, I see they've got a point. President Cleveland, in his day, emphatically stated on the record that the U.S. aided the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, in effect committing an act of war against a foreign nation. Almost a century after said act, President Clinton finally apologized to Hawaiians on behalf of the U.S.

So the question — and it's a fair question — is, what now?

I forgot to mention that as of the evening broadcast after the Super Bowl on Sunday, Dan Cooke is back at KITV. He joins fellow returning personality Robert Kekaula at the ABC affiliate.

Now, when Dan Cooke left KITV, he went from goofy weatherman to anchor. Clearly someone at KITV realized they had missed out on his appeal, if not ability, in the bigger chair. Sometimes the best way to get a promotion is by passing through the bowels of the competition.

The crowd-pleasing Kekaula, meanwhile, was dumped by KITV after he roughed up a coworker. I guess his return means they've forgiven him.

It's clear that KITV is coming full bore after KHON and Joe Moore, the 300-pound gorilla of Hawaii broadcast media. And these big plays come just as Moore is apparently starting to losing some of his clout. He will no longer always anchor solo, and — in an even bigger concession — KHON is finally introducing a "broadcast meteorologist."

I hope Joe at least has veto power to keep the FOX bigwigs from hiring just another weatherbunny.

Frankly, I agree with Joe. A monkey can read the weather forecast, and the weather doesn't even deserve more than 30 seconds in a city where it never, ever changes. Barring a hurricane, the Honolulu weather report 355 days out of the year is:

"Lows in the high sixties tonight, highs in the low eighties tomorrow, with some windward and mauka showers in the morning. Trades 10 to 15 miles per hour. Most surf flat to a foot, one to three on north- and west-facing shores."

For variety, throw in a flash-flood watch or small-craft advisory once in a while.

I'm confident Joe will stay on top for as long as he's in the big chair, FOX or not. But when he leaves, there's going to be a gaping, sucking hole in the ratings, and KITV — already the best news team in town — will quickly land soundly on top.

We rented "Go" last night.

It was fun. Well paced. Dialogue based. Like a Gen-X 'Pulp Fiction,' but without the convoluted timeline and dead people. Jen summed it up aptly: "It's 'Pulp Fiction' meets The Gap."

Katie Holmes was probably the best player in the bunch, but really had one of the smaller parts.

I loved Timothy Olyphant. For some reason he reminded me of Captain Koons, Christopher Walken's character in Pulp Fiction. In fact, a lot of the personalities in "Go" have "Pulp Fiction" parallels. Simon (Desmond Askew) and Ringo (Tim Roth) being the other obvious match. I sincerely doubt it was coincidental.

Jen was tickled by the tips of the hat to "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club" — there's no question what generation screewriter John August grew up with.

It's no award winner, but definitely worth an evening on the couch.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 1 February 2000 · Last Modified: 4 February 2000