IMR: 1997: November: 20 -- Thursday, 11:37 a.m.
Crawford Hall, Univ. of Hawai`i-Manoa, Hawai`i

On Tuesday, as Jen relaxed at home, I was back in school. My first day as a married man was solemnly overcast, a cold rain with rumbles of thunder in the distance.

No sooner had I sat down at my computer in Journalism 206 when the girl next to me, Katrina, poked my hand with her finger.

"Did you get married?" she asked.

"Yes," I said. "Yesterday, in fact."

"Oh my god, congratulations," she squealed. "It's just that I never saw that ring before." I was intrigued by the fact that she'd noticed its absense in the past.

She then proceeded to question me at length as to the circumstances of my recent nuptials. This was a girl who, during the balance of the semester, said barely two complete sentences to me. Now she burrowed into the details of my life with glee.

"So," she eventually asked, "Are you planning to have kids?"

Micheal snorted. I smiled broadly. "Oh yes. Very soon."

"Oh, is she pregnant now?"

"Yes," I said, happily answering the unavoidable questions about sex (we won't know until the middle of her eighth month) and names (Katherine Masami Kilinahe Ozawa or Iain Masayuki Ozawa).

We zipped through our editing assignment and got mauled by a surprise currents events quiz, and snuck over to the Macs in the journalism office to fire off two late assignments for Keever's class (one being the State Ethics Commission lookups we did on Monday).

We joined up with William and headed to the Manoa Marketplace McDonald's, an unremarkable event save for William's glee in acquiring his McExtra card.

McExtra cards are a Hawai`i-only thing, I think. Basically a frequent-buyer reward system (a free drink after $10 is spent, a free sandwich after $25, and so on) engineered by a local advertising firm. The best part are the cards themselves. They have a foil face on which a machine prints and reprints white text. It lists your accumulated points and periodic promotions.

Keever's class was unusually harsh, kicked off with an admonition to Micheal and I for having not yet written our article on a welfare recipient that was due four weeks ago. We watched a video of a court case that we'll have to write an article about for the take-home half of next week's finals and reviewed her many flash cards.

We got our last current events quizzes back -- 100 percent -- and took another. Thanks to a last minute cram session (we've learned they always come from that morning's paper), we probably did very well.

Keever caught us after class, asking to meet us the next day. First, to finalize the ad she agreed to buy in the third issue of the 'Venue, and second to review our welfare recipient stories.

Uh oh.

After school, I swung into Waikiki and nabbed Jen for dinner. We settled on a Blimpie's sub and salmon bento at the food court at Holiday Mart. I carefully plotted out the evening's tasks, as they were many. Jen approved.

The list looked like this:

  1. Snuggle.
  2. Translate Hawaiian homework.
  3. Snuggle.
  4. Design Keever ad.
  5. Snuggle.
  6. Do welfare recipient story.
  7. Snuggle.

I got every single item done, except for number six. As it was getting late, I skipped straight from item five to item seven, then called it a night.

I returned to work at AIB Wednesday morning, and congratulations flowed freely. Cecie, who was also married after some length of cohabitation, asked me tenatively if it felt any different being married.

"I know it sounds weird, but I think it does," I said.

"Yeah, me too!" she said, a bit relieved.

"In some way, I guess I feel older," I said. "Overall, I think I feel more grounded -- better rooted in life. It's been a crazy year, but putting this ring on my finger makes it at least seem like I'm wrestling things under control."

She nodded. "I can't say why it feels different, but it does."

My wife, Jennifer. It still sounds foreign to say, or to type. But it comes with a delicious, warm new feeling.

Leaving work I stopped to chat with Joshua Cooper, esteemed campus activist, outside Porteus Hall. A big protest had just gone down (fortunately Micheal was there to get photos for the 'Venue) over the ongoing flap over the building's name. Big black banners hung from the building, as did mannequins labeled as the different races criticized by the late Stanley Porteus' research.

Three of four television stations were there, and the fourth, KHNL, arrived as I started to leave. The photographer was the same guy who shot their story on the 'Venue's fight with Javinar.

"Newspaper Man!" he cried out, and asked if I saw the final package.

"Yeah, some editing," I said, intending to complement his work.

"No kidding," he said, spitting, "The editing sucked! I got some great shots, too. So, what's up here?"

"Um, actually I think you missed the chanting and speeches and hangings, but there are still people to talk to."

He grunted and headed off to find his reporter.

I met up with William at Hamilton, and he was quick to pick McDonald's as the site of the day's lunch. On the way, we met up with Christy, and she joined us. William wielded his McExtra card with pride. Christy provided liberal critiques of Micheal's developing personal home page. I accidentally refered to Jen as my girlfriend, for which I was soundly beaten.

Christy apologized profusely for not attending the wedding. As it turned out, she had long planned to come, but somewhere along the line the matter of her transportation was muddled between her and Micheal, and she wasn't able to make it. For this, she's quite furious.

I assured her that she was still wanted at the April ceremonies, and that I'd personally make sure she had transportation.

When we got back to campus, I decided to skip work at UH Press ("Feeling your oats?" JoAnn asked when I called to let her know) to get started on the welfare article at the Keller Mac Lab. While there, I e-mailed Micheal and asked him to negotiate an extension.

By the time it was time to meet with Keever, Micheal had already gotten an extension to Friday. I had also already written five pages. "This," Micheal said, skimming what I'd done so far, "Is why I hate you."

William showed up, and the negotiations began. I showed Keever the ad I'd designed, and she was quite impressed. When time came to talk price, I sent William in.

He was in top form. We talked her from an initial budget of $300 to a full-page, back-page ad for $670. Unbelievable. With the sale, now our only worry for issue three is the copy -- a refreshing change.

As our expenses are about $740 per issue, I asked Micheal and William whether Keever knew how big of a save her check was for our operation. Micheal, having buttered her up earlier with tales of our financial woes, said she probably did. Which makes the purchase all the more awesome.

Time for dinner. McDonald's yet again. William's McExtra points were enough to net Micheal a free beverage, and he sprung for a 99 cent Filet-o-Fish.

In mid-McNugget, my phone rang. It was Jen. She'd thrown up at work, and was allowed to go home. After racing to Micheal's house to retrieve my South Park tape (as the new episode was to air that night), I picked her up and brought her home, stopping for a carton of orange juice on the way.

She'd finished half of it inside of an hour, and passed out.

And I finally think I've caught up with myself.

5:06 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i

You know, Liza Minelli looks a little like Mr. Bean.

I'm at home watching "The Daily Show," having survived the last EDEA 360 class to be taught by the singular Harry Byerly. He announced that Mary McSorely -- not Jan "The Jaguar" Javinar -- will teach the last two class meetings.

He wouldn't let us go without one last round of torture, however. He subjected us to a NCBI-esque exercise in racism and stereotypes.

The National Coalition Building Institute, or at least the UH chapter, handled some of the "workshops" Ka Leo staff -- reluctantly categorized as "student leaders" by the CAPS folks -- had to endure when I was editor.

They essentially consisted of pairing people off and having them vent about what they hated about the other's race, gender or other protected class, then gush about what makes them proud about their own labels. In the end, we're supposed to understand our fellow humans better and also recognize racism and stereotypes are bad.

The true outcome, at least as far as the cynical journalists in attendants were concerned, was that everyone had their prejudices and defensive behaviors stirred up -- things we're otherwise smart enough to control -- and left hating others and themselves.

I was reluctant to play along in Harry's derivation, which involved putting posters all around the class with various groups on them, like "Poor People," "Chinese," "Haole," "Caucasian" (I wasn't the only one to note the duplication), "Christians," and "Journalists." We all got pens and were told to write "the first things that comes to our mind" about the groups.

I wrote the non-sequitur "Very unlike llamas" under "Filipinos." Micheal wrote "sexy" and a number of other glowing words under "Journalists." They were quickly marked up with "NOT!" and "I don't think so!"

Not surprisingly, while some boards were nearly blank, it seemed everyone in the class made it a point to add their own impressions of journalists. "Annoying," "critical" and other less-than-friendly remarks cluttered the board.

We got our papers back, finally, more than three weeks after we'd turned them in. Micheal got an A-minus -- an improvement from the B-minus on his last paper, in which he outlined his leadership style as "I hate people" -- and I got an A.

After class, Micheal headed off to "make nice-nice" to Christy.

"I'd make nice-nice to William too, if I were you," I said.

But that's a story for another day.

Time Capsule


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 20 November 1997 · Last Modified: 29 December 1997