IMR: 1997: December: 06 -- Saturday, 10:58 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
A busy, but probably forgettable, day.

Jen and I ate as healthy as usual for breakfast -- that is, chicken katsu curry rice for her and barbeque beef for me at L&L Drive-In. As is usual for Saturdays, knowing that I'd be at home, she dreaded going into work.

With a soft, cool kiss she was off. I held up traffic for a bit at the driveway, watching her climb the steps up and into the store before leaving the parking lot.

Sometimes I feel so protective of her, I'm sure it has to be instinctive. She's so pregnant now. And her stomach doesn't seem to grow gradually so much as surge in explosive bursts. When I'm not expecting it, the sight of her big, round belly takes my breath away.

I keep worrying she's going deliver early. "Damn," the physicist in me says, "There's no way she can get much bigger without popping!"

But thanks to lamaze, we know we generally have a two- to three-week warning sign: the baby is supposed to "descend," allowing a brief period of pregnancy during which mommy can actually breathe. With her aching more and more, I can't wait 'til she can have any relief -- however slight.

Next, I braved the Christmas-season traffic at Ala Moana and got myself a long-overdue haircut at Sears. Nicky was friendly and chatty as always.

I discovered that they raised the price of a men's cut to $12 last month, but I don't mind. Having cut my hair since the days when I had to sit on a stool, Nicky is the only stylist I trust... even when I'm too tired to tell her what I want.

And boy, was I tired today. I was wearing my shirt inside out all morning, until Nicky pointed it out and let me use the back room to make it right.

It was an embroidered shirt, too, so what I had on my chest was a fuzzy, crinkly white paper-like backing, not at all in the shape of the brown bear on the other side. No wonder those women at L&L were looking at me funny.

Before heading home, I stopped at Longs to pick up some razors and trash bags. Notable only because at one point, I found myself standing in an aisle with a big local guy who was talking earnestly into his cel phone.

"I just stay so busy, you know," he was saying. "You know what I like... You know I like make love to you..."

I tried very hard not to flinch, but I probably did. As I quickly hightailed it to the other side of the store, I heard him continue, "...I like eat you all ovah!"

Love is a many splendored thing.

I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and catching up on web work. I put two new "Clark" and "Unfair Placebo" strips on the 'Venue site, and got started on the "People" section of In Medias Res. Greg also dug up the e-mail I wrote about Jaimee's departure so I could add it to the "Events" page. I probably better do our wedding next.

They're changing Jen's schedule at Tower.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, versus her current Sundays and Mondays off. Apart from losing the one precious weekend day, I wouldn't otherwise complain. But seeing as how lamaze is on Monday nights...

Well, thankfully there's only two class meetings left. I guess we're missing next week's -- the one on caesareans. The last class is a short wrap and a tour of the birthing ward, which we can do on our own any other time.

Still, she's not happy. I'm upset too. She says her boss knows her circumstances, so it boggles the mind that they'd flip her days now of all times. She says she fought it, and that they told her she could either take the switch or give up her hard-won promotion. Way uncool.

I hope I get the APT job, or find something else decent in the next couple of months. I really want to spare her any retail employment once she's a mother... for however long I can afford to.

As far as that goes, we're starting to take a few humbling steps toward getting help. Jen's going down to apply for WIC -- Women with Infant Children -- on Tuesday. My cousin Jennifer, mother of an eight-month-old, called last week to suggest it.

It's a tougher step for Jen to take than for me, given that people in Hawai`i don't have the same stigma for people on food stamps.

With Jen working full-time and me doing 20 hours a week, we're probably too rich for general assistance. That's okay. Honestly the only thing I worry about is her health. That our family -- god, we're a family -- is fed.

Oh yeah. Judy called today.

I'd heard that she was picked as the 1998 legislative intern for The Honolulu Advertiser -- heard it from Kim, in fact, who was apparently beaten out for the job -- but she called to tell me officially, and to thank me. Thank me for hiring her at Ka Leo two years ago, giving her the experience she thinks got her in.

It certainly wasn't her last internship, which was shortlived and apparently terminated on less than pleasant terms.

I congratulated her, although frankly I was surprised at her selection. She was a decent journalist, overall, but when it comes to working under pressure, it was Kim who I always thought deserved an award.

She also wanted to know if Greg was coming back, and whether "we" wanted to do something over the winter break. It was unclear who "we" included, but she seemed to feel some sort of shindig was in order. I said it was a good idea, and to e-mail Greg to see what his plans were.

The conversation put me in a funny spot, though, because a shindig was being planned. The roster includes Greg, Kim, William, Donica and half a dozen other survivors of the Golden Age of Ka Leo. But Judy, having long since stopped keeping in touch with everyone, was never included.

And given William's lingering... hostility (it's the best word I could think of, but it's not entirely accurate) toward her, it would be insane to plan any group event involving them both.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 5 December 1997 · Last Modified: 10 December 1997