IMR: 1997: November: 30 -- Sunday, 11:17 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
November's over already.

Unbelievable. So fast... it must be all those holidays.

Of course, I'm sure other things had something to do with it too.

William's back in town. I picked him up at the airport and, as has been arranged for some time, brought my old Mac IIsi to his dorm room and set it up. I spent the entire afternoon configuring it from scratch -- Netscape, Eudora, MS Word, Fetch and the like -- and within minutes he was logged on from Hale Aloha.

We're still working out some bugs, but I think he's happy. A steal at $220... Money to go toward the first payment on Jen's Christmas present.

A Compaq Presario 1525, with a 180Mhz Pentium, 16MB RAM, 16X CD-ROM, and a 14" monitor with side-mounted JBL stereo speakers. Picked it up at Circuit City, an hour after I walked in. Most of the waiting was for my credit application.

It wasn't a impulse buy. I'd been shopping around for a while. Right up until I went for the Compaq, the original plan was to get an Aptiva from Radio Shack. I'd also nabbed a credit card there for the purpose.

The Compaq was about $300 cheaper altogether, and a genuine Pentium versus whatever it was Radio Shack had in their base model.

William, who was very impressed with the machine, did aptly observe, "It's kind of like when Homer bought Marge a bowling ball." But truly, it is for Jen. Really!

She had wanted to get into keeping a journal, and meanwhile depended on the 5-year-old, 25Mhz Mac to answer her e-mail (via a very sluggish MS Internet Explorer) and read parenting newsgroups. Forget Java chat rooms or USENET.

Compared to my PowerBook 1400c, it was excruciating waiting for things to display, scroll or start up on her machine. Now everything's zippy fast.

I stayed up late last night making everything perfect, bookmarking her favorite parenting sites, installing plug-ins and adding newsgroups. It's also an awesome "You Don't Know Jack" machine (and, of course, a great Solitaire machine too).

She's very happy with it, even though it is a Windows machine. She's promised to write daily -- journal entries, reviews, even fiction -- and become an e-mail fiend.

We'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts.

Rationalizing though it may be, I think the Compaq is a good addition to the household, even though otherwise finances are tight.

Though Jen might not be as big a computer nut as I am, I think she'd use one more while I'm using mine if she had something decent. And with the 56k modem and Netscape with all the bells and whistles, she has lightning fast access to all sorts of pregnancy and parenting resources.

(Right now she's at BabyWorld.)

Besides, if the IIsi lasted five years, this new machine should be around for a while. Even just in the next six months, with the time Jen will have at home with the baby, I think it'll prove to be quite useful.

Who knows. Maybe our child'll write book reports on it.

Tedious as the next few years will seem, I'm sure that moment will also be upon us before we know it.

We saw Alien Resurrection tonight, after dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (twice in a month... am I becoming a yuppie?). I actually liked it. Then again, I'm a freak -- I haven't seen any of the other Alien movies.

One of the basic themes, the essence of humanity, was illustrated well enough. Better than in "Starship Troopers" at least. The clone lab scene... definitely a sequence that lingers.

And Sigourney's Ripley, despite all that the character's been through (William tried to summarize all four films in one breath), is still interesting.

While the music was standard sci-fi fare, it wasn't quite awful. Some of the sets seemed like leftover props from "Event Horizon," but otherwise the whole thing was put together well.

Car wise, my number came up yesterday.

Now, I've been pretty good to my car lately. Last week, I took it to Jiffy Lube and gave it the royal treatment... basic tweaking plus a fuel injection somethingorother. A hundred bucks. Just to show my car I love her.

But, I also cheat when it comes to parking.

On the same block of our building is an empty gravel lot. It's guarded by old metal rails, shrubs and trees, and generally bordered in such a way to say, "bug off."

The thing is, between two specific trees, the space is just wide enough to squeeze a car through. There are four or five other neighbors that have discovered the same (I figured it out by watching one leave), but there's always lots of room for me.

So, while there are small, faded "no parking" signs here and there, I park in this lot whenever I'm too lazy to hunt (which lately has been all the time). Everyone holds their breath as I turn between the trees, with no more than six inches on either side, but unlike one cab driver -- whose super-wide Cheverolet recently had a whole fender mangled -- I always fit.

Almost always, I should say now.

The other day there was a car parked on the street (illegally, I might add) opposite the secret tree gateway, forcing me to come in at a pretty skewed angle. I got the nose through and straightened the wheel, but...

The passenger side of the car started to squeak. As I rolled the rest of the way through, it made a 'fwump' sound, like the sound a Rubbermaid trash can makes after you kick its side in.

Ah, modern American car manufacturing.

After I parked, I surveyed the damage. Mostly superficial, thank god. I had to dig out frays of bark along the edge of the door, though. While I didn't lose any paint, it did get scraped enough so that -- after a good scrubbing to get rid of the marks -- the paint's definitely lost some of that shine.

I've got to be a little more respectful to the car gods, I guess. For now, I'll start parking on the street again.

Did I accomplish any of the things I was supposed to this weekend?

Well, I did pay the rent and tidied up the apartment, and we (mostly Jen, admittedly) got caught up on the laundry. I didn't finish my APT application or revise my resume, though.

And having missed the last two Hawaiian classes, there's going to be hell to pay at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. I called Vance (one of the few kids in the class who I could ask for over the phone without risking a "who?") to ask what was up, and they've already started on the "final project."

Group skits. Four people per group, the skit using each of 33 sentence patterns we've learned this semester. Deadly.

I guess I should go to bed.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 30 November 1997 · Last Modified: 4 December 1997