IMR: 1998: January: 08 -- Thursday, 4:46 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
Got my grades for last semester in the mail today.
COURSE     TITLE                             GRADE   GRADE POINTS



The "A" in Hawaiian was totally unexpected. With all the classes (and two or so quizzes) I missed, I should've gotten a low "B" by the math in the syllabus. I didn't think I was that good; maybe there was a slight curve, or he went easy on me out of pity.

With these grades, that "B" in EDEA is especially painful. If I knew I had a chance at a 4.0, I wouldn't have flaked on that final.

With the "A" I got for the final paper, Mary said I had a high "A" going into it. But I just wanted to get it over with. I didn't even try to answer the essay question.

The new checks for our new joint checking account also came.

It's weird what things bring reality into focus. Weeks ago, when I was signing the marriage certificate, I was mostly thinking about how to sign my seldom-used middle names in cursive. Seeing "Ryan K. Ozawa/Jennifer A. Ozawa" printed on a check today, though... that dazzled me.

Ack. Josh is here.

Friday, 12:44 a.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i

We've really got to start keeping a centralized shopping list. Jen and I nearly showered with AJAX dishwashing liquid (lemon scented) tonight, until she found some body wash she'd gotten for Christmas.

We did go shopping this evening, but mostly to use a couple of our WIC coupons that expired today. Two gallons of milk, two dozen eggs, four cans of frozen juice concentrate and a block of mozzarella cheese. We also cashed in the "free 20-pound bag of rice" coupon I got for subscribing to the Star-Bulletin.

She had a rough day. The air conditioning was out, and the inside of Tower Records must've been like a sauna. When she got into the car, her hands -- usually cold from eight hours in the music freezer -- were frighteningly warm.

Fortunately, she kept herself hydrated, and her merciful coworkers let her work at a desk most of the day.

She just turned in. I should too. There's a lot to catch up on, though.

On Tuesday, I would've written more, but when we got back from the doctor's office we discovered the power in our building had gone out. The power for wall outlets, at least, the fridge, heater, stove and ceiling lights oddly immune.

We figured we'd wait it out with a nap, and quickly zonked out. Several stretches and delicious snuggles later, however, and our clocks were still out.

In a flash, we decided to go to the beach. Jen tried on one of her bathing suits and found, to her great delight, that it accomodated her pre-mom figure rather well. We strolled down our street and straight out into the water.

[ Jen ]It was too cold for my taste, but I still waded around with Jen for a while. She really likes the water -- even if it is Waikiki water -- and had the most content smile on her face.

It felt great to be out, in the sun, with my beautiful wife showing off her pregnant belly.

We really don't want to leave our apartment if we don't have to. Our spontaneous stroll to the beach reminded us of the great, free things we have nearby. The zoo, the aquarium, miles of beach and Kapi`olani Park... All wonderful amenities for a couple of young parents with a nice stroller.

We decided that as soon as it was safe, we'd try to raise Katie to be comfortable with the ocean, at home on the beach. Not neccessarily the next Rell Sunn (who passed away Friday), but still, a distinctly Hawaii girl.

When we got back home, the power was still out. So, in our second spontaneous outing of the day, we ran off to see "Jackie Brown" at the Varsity.

It was a pretty good story, with fewer artsy distractions than "Pulp Fiction." Pam Grier made it work, though Samuel L. Jackson, as always, was a pleasure to watch. Michael Keaton had a pretty big part too, as did Robert DeNiro.

Unlike most of his past films, Tarantino didn't put in a cameo appearance... unless you count the talking answering machine.

The film carried Jen and I from daylight to dark. When we turned up the street to our apartment, however, we saw the whole complex was dark. A weary HECO work crew was digging a hole in the driveway.

We tried to pass some time with a drive, but even after heading west and turning back at Punchbowl, the power was still out when we got back. We gave up. We trudged back into the apartment and reluctantly went to bed at 9:30 p.m., wondering if I'd be able to wake up the next morning.

I woke up fine. At 6:30 a.m., in fact. The clock blinked 12:00.

Jen stirred too, helping me set the assorted timepieces in the apartment, and then I was off to work.

When I walked out to the street, I noticed that HECO had thrown up a monstrous bypass. A thick black cable led from the hole in the ground in the driveway, up through some pipes to the corner of our building, over and across the steet into a thick of trees, and back down into another hole next to the sidwalk.

As I marveled at the sheer ugliness of it, passing tourists also stopped to look up. Fuji, our building manager, came out to explain that HECO would later re-lay the pipe under the road.

Work at AIB was heavy. After dozens of revisions and changes, I finally finished the newsletter. Two weeks past deadline, but it sure looked good.

Things at the press were considerably more interesting.

The office was still buzzing after an editorial cartoon in last week's Honolulu Weekly depicted UH Press as a frog about to be detonated with a firecracker. The press' journals division is facing some serious shit, and apparently someone leaked the staff's simmering panic to the media.

My boss, JoAnn -- technically the production manager (but the defacto journals manager by virtue of being the last to hold the position, which hasn't been filled for over a year) -- was in the thick of it, only a few weeks after having major surgery. Her coworkers kept coming in and telling her to rest, to go home early.

She and I talked for a bit about the whole mess. The journals division, unlike the books division, was never expected to make much money. The 12 publications -- Oceanic Linguistics, Buddhist-Christian Studies, China Review International, etc. -- exist for purely academic, ideological reasons.

While the journals staff has known the money would run out for some time, it seemed none of the higher-ups at the university took much notice. I know the untimely death of Carol Eastman, who was working with the press, clouded things further.

Part of the problem is that the whole university is truly strapped for cash. Not a single department has a cent to spare to keep the journals going.

It's all terribly exciting to me, but JoAnn has apparently been through enough similar crises so that the present storm is just a little tiring.

She was also good enought to clarify that while I share the journals office, I'm more an independent sub-subprogram of the overall press. In other words, I'll still have a job even if some others won't.

After work, I picked up Jen (and our laundry) and we headed to Pearl City to meet with Jennifer, my cousin, with the simple expectation that we'd finally inherit her baby car seat.

We found her at the "Hawaii Shokushuken Dojo," located at the edge of the Waimanu Shopping Plaza three floors above a cellular phone store. Before we could figure out what was happening, we were eagerly ushered inside.

We were instructed to remove our shoes, wash our hands, and give a monetary offering. Then we were kneeling, bowing, and clapping, offering both thanks and apologies to the "Creator God." Jen and I were baffled, but we followed along well enough.

There were about a dozen people there; a mix of Japanese and haole, young and old. Everyone was paired off and in varying stages of "giving light" (like what Jen and I experienced at the Ishii's Christmas Eve dinner). The walls were lined with diagrams that seemed to illustrate chiropractic points on the body.

Jennifer then gave Jen light, while I received light from a pleasant gentleman named Ron. I closed my eyes and listened to random claps and earnest exclaimations of "shizumori!" We both got a full, 50-minute session.

I'm not sure if I was properly illuminated, but the kneading and lying down sure left me feeling refreshed.

I have to admit, I felt a little uncomfortable. It was the first direct exposure I had to Jennifer's church, the same one grandma Henderson now attends faithfully. It seemed like an odd hybrid of Buddhism and new-age Christianity, with talk of blessings and sins, eternal light and the "Creator God." Skimming through a thick binder of testomonials, I got a chill down my spine.

At one point, Jen -- remarking on Jennifer's plain appearance -- said, "She's really got that mommy look."

"That cult member look, you mean," I said.

Which was horribly mean and closed minded, but honestly, for a minute the whole thing creeped me out.

Jen was a little uncomfortable too, and is now having second thoughts about her plans to regularly join Jennifer at this... unique church. Still, Jennifer has been an invaluable source of advice, support and baby stuff, and I can see how she'd feel bad about not going at all.

Although we never did get that car seat.

We drove up to Mililani and quickly got started on dinner -- chicken spaghetti. I was fairly industrious, although in my haste I managed to burn a pot full of rice.

Mom was a little sniffly, but otherwise seemed to be beating her cold. Todd was there with a couple of his friends. Or rather, Todd and his friend Greg played Magic in the den while his other friend Mi Soon sat out in the living room and watched TV with grandma.

The good news was that Todd apparently already knew that he wouldn't be going to UH this semester, and seemed to be taking it well. Mom said she told him he should look for a full-time job, to which he reportedly replied calmly, "Yeah, I know."

The bad news was that he had wrecked mom's car again that afternoon -- probably the fourth time the poor Buick's been bashed in the past year. Mom insisted that this time, it was the other guy's fault.

Still, she's not looking forward to finding out if her already sky-high insurance rates will go even higher.

Jen and I ended up taking mom to see "Titanic" at Pearlridge. She enjoyed it immensely, despite getting nauseated and having to move to the back of the theatre halfway through.

We brought mom home well past midnight. We also found that Todd had finished up our laundry for us, and had even folded it.

Every so often, that kid really surprises me.

Today, after dropping Jen off at work, I headed to UH to meet Michelle to help her work on Keever's website. The one that had been sitting since she left for Boston last month.

We were supposed to meet at noon, but she called and postponed the meeting to 2 p.m. Unfortunately, the lab closed at 1:30 p.m., because the late-afternoon monitor hadn't shown up.

I left a frustrated message on Michelle's voice mail and headed to Hamilton. I set up on the fourth floor, as usual, and hacked out HTML until I had finally finished the new Page One for the 'Venue site.

Then I headed home, as Josh -- Joshua Cooper, former Ka Leo colleague and island activist extraordinaire -- was coming over.

Josh had asked me months ago to help him put together a newsletter for the local chapter of Amnesty International, and we finally had a chance to meet today.

It turned out he only had six short articles and two pictures, but we have lots of time. The last edition of the newsletter went out in the fall of 1996, so I don't think we'd breaking any longstanding publication schedule if we took a few extra weeks.

And now it's 2:40 a.m. and I have to be at work in six hours.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 8 January 1997 · Last Modified: 10 January 1997