IMR: 2000: July: 12 — Wednesday, 10:01 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

[ Katie in her new wheels. ]
[ Katie takes to my old foam boogie board. ]
We didn't waste any time getting the new stroller a little dirty. On Sunday we shoved it in the front passenger seat of the car (although it folds, the wheels are too big to fit in the trunk) and drove down to Magic Island.

We always go to Magic Island, sure. It's close. And It's got a protected man-made cove at one end where the waves are barely ripples. But it is also the spot for jogging strollers.

It's always swarming with trendy athetic contraptions — jogging strollers, rollerblades, bicycles, and those disturbingly popular Razor metal scooter things. We're usually dodging them, or flinching as they fly past. But finally we had one. We could fearlessly claim our place on the perfect, flat, winding jogging path.

Of course, it didn't take long until we were tearing across the grass and patches of red dirt instead. The ridiculous scramble of belts and clips (I think it's easier to get strapped into the space shuttle) always kept Katie safe.

As we tooled around the park, Katie rolled about and peered out every corner and flap, reveling in the comparative luxury of her new, forest-green transport. I'm certain she appreciated the gentle ride afforded by the tall air-filled tires provided (rather than the brain-scrambling experience provided by standard small, hard plastic wheels).

Of course, the only thing Katie wants at Magic Island is to get wet. So we steered out to the cove, and to my pleasant surprise, easily rolled the stroller over the sand to the shore.

We got Katie into her new wetsuit (although I managed to poke her in the eye and pinch her skin in the zipper in the process, a signal that Jen should dress her in it from now on). Then, we plopped down my old foam boogie board that I rescued from mom's garage the night before. She'd seen enough surfing shows on OC16 (Oceanic's "local" cable channel) to know what to do.

She dragged it to the water, pushed it in a yard or so, and clambered on.

She loved it. It was too long and wide for her to do anything but sit in the middle and giggle, but it was clearly more entertaining than bobbing about on big ugly "wing floats."

She'd also scoot to one side to splash water at Jen and I once in a while, but that required me to hold down the other end lest the board flip over. (I said that wouldn't be so bad, but Jen punched me. We clearly have differing views on efficient learning strategies.)

It didn't take long for her Independence Chip to be triggered, though. Then she vehemently insisted that no one hold or touch the board at all. She'd peel my fingers off the corner like it was a squashed bug, and just yell if she caught me trying to secretly hold it underwater.

Instead of falling off, thankfully, she only scooted off, holding onto it with one hand and onto us with the other. "Swimming!" she'd yell, over and over.

Eventually she and I retired to the beach while Jen went off swimming. We drew shapes in the sand and watched the waves erase them.

I think the wetsuit was a good purchase. She won't be boogie boarding any time soon, but even so, it keeps her warm, keeps her from getting scratched up, and protects her a bit from the sun.

And it's sooo cute!

"Now, nudity might not be for everyone..."

Jen's watching "Kids in the Hall" on Comedy Central. It comes on every weeknight at 10 p.m., and its the only television show she goes out of her way to schedule things around.

Of course, the Kids were great. Everything "Saturday Night Live" wasn't. (Although recently we tried to introduce dad to the show, and it happened to be one of the more pointless, cruder episodes.) I find myself quoting and reciting their stuff all the time.

Imagine my surprise, though, in discovering Jen isn't just drawn to the troupe's comedic genius.

She's got a crush on Bruce McCulloch.

She devours KITH fan sites. She's joined KITH mailing lists. And she's bid on obscure Bruce McCulloch CDs on Ebay.

Am I jealous? Annoyed? Not really. She's got a mixed track record when it comes to drool material.

She's had crushes on balding, pot-bellied 40-year-old men. She thinks Keanu Reeves can't possibly be that stupid. She's dated incredibly short, round, gold-chain wearing deejays. Heck, this is the woman who fingered Greg and Joel as the cutest guys among my Ka Leo colleagues many years ago, and not long after, the two of them were going out with each other.

Then again, she married me, so...

So we've stuck with our every-other-day walk-to-the-mall exercise regimen for a week now.

Monday was great — I even found myself looking forward to it the whole day at work. Tonight we were both feeling a little out of sorts, but I taunted Jen into going for it anyway.

We went a little slower, and whimpered more than usual coming back up and over the bridge, but we were still glad we went for it.

Yesterday I reset my car's trip odometer and drove down to Ala Moana and back to figure out just how long our route was. A respectable 2.3 miles roundtrip, the last quarter of which is uphill. It's no marathon, but it's further than I thought it was.

The new stroller helps. It's wider and harder to turn, but it makes jumping curbs and taking cracks and potholes much easier. And with its solid frame, the aforementioned straps and even a caliper handbrake, it feels much safer than the flimsy umbrella stroller we'd been using before.

And I like the trip. I like being outside, just after sunset, being active instead of waiting for Katie's bedtime. And, well, Keeaumoku after dark — even in the early, early evening — is pretty interesting. There's always a menagerie of characters and activities going on along its length, cluttered as it is with strip clubs, restaurants, bars, jewelry shops, and music stores.

Stopping in at the Ala Moana Foodland is also turning out to be part of the tradition, usually to pick up soda or some little thing we mentioned needing earlier in the day. On Monday we saw a number of familiar faces strolling around the store (including a couple that looked exactly like Heidi Lessely and Keith DeMello, except I know they haven't been a couple for nigh onto four years now). And tonight, a family from the Big Island walked up to admire our new stroller, and I answered their questions so readily I think they suspected I worked for the manufacturer.

Jen and I spent three nights watching one movie.

I swear, to lots of people DVD players are still a newfangled luxury, but I don't know how I enjoyed movies before we got one.

Wayne lent us "Fight Club" (along with a handful of other diverse titles) last week. So on Sunday, we watched it.

On Monday, we watched it again, but with the running commentary of the stars (Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham-Carter) and director David Fincher.

And on Tuesday, we watched the second special-edition "Companion Disc," with deleted scenes, special effects documentaries, various "making of" vignettes, dozens of trailers and TV commercials... We poked around for two hours and still didn't watch everything.

It was a good movie. Completely not what I expected (and I remember not wanting to see it when it came out). Surprisingly quirky and daring and witty, very "of our time," and not really as violent as it could have been. I'm certain, at least, that I disagree with most of the criticisms of the film that I read.

Anarchistic and anti-establishment, sure, but also a warning against nihilism for nihilism's sake. Violent, sure, but I really liked how it was more about experiencing and receiving pain more than inflicting it.

Yes, it had a twist ending, and while the gimmick affects the whole film retroactively (this is definitely a see-it-twice movie), the revelation and resolution is overwrought. And I really think it was developed parallel to, not as a major part of, The Point.

I'll probably watch it again tomorrow night.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 12 July 2000 · Last Modified: 26 July 2000