IMR: 1997: December: 27 -- Saturday, 11:02 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
I did absolutely nothing today. And it felt great.

After dropping Jen off at work, then dropping William off at the airport, I just sat on the couch and wasted the entire afternoon. I listened to the Clannad disc I inherited from Greg last night, watched "Animal Planet" (featuring a disgustingly sanitized version of the Keiko whale tale), and read "Parents" magazine from cover to cover.

(Jen, working on her own journal, just asked me how to spell "genius." I think she missed the humor in that.)

I still can't believe babies can walk by the time they're one. I don't know why, but I always thought walking was some kind of higher order of task, coming somewhere after speech and before sarcasm.

In fact, a lot of the things babies figure out in their first year amaze me. Basic motor control, smiling, parent manipulation...

Do we ever top that? Is there ever another time in our lives when our of knowledge explodes exponentially on a monthly basis?

Despite all the challenges Jen and I will face next year, I'm confident the beautiful moments will outnumber them. And I know that no matter how trying sleepless nights will be, when our daughter starts preschool it will have all gone by too fast.

William will be in Hilo until school starts again, having probably spent his last night at Waikiki's prestigious Casa de Ozawa. Apart from his hot-water sapping, 25-minute showers, his overnight visits -- definitely a defining element of 1997 -- will be missed. He cooked a mean pot of rice, and sometimes, when we weren't looking, he did the dishes.

Greg leaves tomorrow night, returning to his now so-so job in Austin. I'll be curious to hear what he writes about his visit, especially now that we've talked at length about the multiple-perspective possibilities of online diaries.

[ Karaoke ]The Yet Unnamed Shindig went well. Whether or not it was insanely great, it was a special night for me. Sure the karaoke machine was half busted and the bill was a cold C-note, but I was surrounded by friends. Some I hadn't seen for years.

Del, a photographer from my early years at Ka Leo, made a surprise appearance. We threw around names William and Micheal only knew from old bylines and pictures, sharing what little gossip we had on our colleagues from so long ago.

Donica, after saying she couldn't come, appeared anyway, and in fact stayed most of the evening. She and Greg talked web markets, and she and Del tried in vain to unravel the soap opera that were the lives of mutual friends.

William and Micheal had the most fun of all, partaking of Asahi and singing Japanese songs at the tops of their lungs. Several X Japan titles were in the mix, as were Chage and Aska. At his most kinetic, William showed off some karate (or were they judo?) moves, no doubt scaring unsuspecting singers in the booths below.

Christy was there, but didn't sing a note, instead giggling at William's antics and listening in on the chatter. I don't know if she enjoyed herself at all (Del at one point asking about her), but I'm glad she came. Like many of my friends, nothing but good can come from her being out and about.

I somehow got sucked into "Pump up the Jam," and sang along with a few of Greg's picks (several Duran Duran, of course). For the most part, though, I was there for the gossip, the catching up, the long "those were the days" sighs.

For reasons that will probably remain obscured, Joel -- despite having told a mutual friend that he looked forward to crashing the night's festivities -- failed to make an appearance. So did Veronica, even though she was among the most enthusiastic about coming. Kim, swamped at work (and reportedly nonplussed about the possibility of Joel being there) was also absent.

Even so, it was fun... and still the largest non-family gathering I'd participated in for months.

When 9 o'clock rolled around, Donica headed home. Everyone else headed to Zippy's while I went to pick up Jen at work. We commandeered a table and shot the breeze a little more over chocolate shakes and Zip Mins.

Tragically, Jen -- a retail veteran who had just survived the roughest day of the year -- was denied the "brownie delite" she had been craving. She also had to endure the unavoidable shop talk that dominated the conversation. Still, she remembered Del well enough to have missed him, and I don't think she could ever get enough of Greg's sassiness.

Finally the evening wound down and everyone headed home, Greg first stopping by our place to check his e-mail and marvel at the luxuries that we'd acquired since he last visited.

"Oooh, a couch!" he said.

Yes indeed. Many, many things have changed this year.

You know, it really isn't that hard to get a gaggle of people together (provided they don't hate eachother). Last night, everyone said, "Let's do it again!" And who knows, we just might.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 27 December 1997 · Last Modified: 28 December 1997