IMR: 1998: January: 10 -- Saturday, 10:43 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
Jen and I aren't bad at this domestic thing.

Thursday night we cooked up a chicken dinner a la Shake 'n' Bake -- half barbeque, half honey mustard -- and stuffed ourselves silly. And the next day, we both took leftovers to work for lunch. We agreed it was quite yummy, even after being chilled and nuked.

I used to think one of the best parts of moving out was getting away from leftovers. They're a lot more enticing when you paid for the food.

This morning, she whipped up cheese omlettes. I've never been a fan of omlettes, but they were still tasty.

Nothing beats home cooking; even budget home cooking.

I'm still not entirely used to food shopping. Even though it's obvious eating at home is much cheaper than eating out, I'm apt to spend $5 here and $5 there at assorted fast food restaurants rather than plop down $40 a week at a grocery store.

Laziness is a big factor, of course. And it's hard to undo two years of the "journalists' diet," which at UH was limited to anything within throwing distance: Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, katsu plates and Spam musubi.

And TCBY yogurt with Oreo sprinkles. And strawberry ICEEs and nori kaki mochi.

I'm hungry. I guess I could cook.

Yep, Laziness is a big factor.

I just got my rejection letter for the Public Information Officer job at UH.

"I regret to inform you that your application was not selected as one of the finalists for interviews," writes Sharon S. Narimatsu, vice chancellor for student and community affairs. "I sincerelly appreciate your taking an interest in the community colleges and hope that you will continue to consider the University of Hawai`i Community Colleges for your future personal and professional aspirations."

That's a nice way of saying, "You didn't even make it past the first round." Still, I knew I never had a chance. In fact I'm actually impressed I got a letter. I think it's my first one ever.

Let's see. The Star-Bulletin just gave me a phone call. Kinko's didn't even bother to do that.

Every other job I've applied for I got.

Either I'm somewhat marketable, or the agencies I tend to go for are unusually desperate.

Just as well I didn't get hired. I'm elated that I can remain a student for a little while longer. And I'm happy to stick with student help jobs for now. Awesome pay for generally enjoyable work, and conveniently located.

Things got a little colorful yesterday, when Micheal revealed to William and I that he was planning on taking a job at Ka Leo.

He said Sharon the Journalism Department Goddess said he should go back. He said Christy -- deservedly promoted to Chief Copy Editor -- was without an adequate staff.

Forget how shamefully he was exiled not a year ago. Forget how William was professionally molested, or how several others were blacklisted. Forget that he blasted The New Ka Leo to crude extremes that overshadowed my constant criticism, or that he built the Venue's reputation as the anti-Ka Leo (an impression, however true, that we wanted to minimize).

Now he's the great forgiver. "Zenbu kirai," he chants -- contempt for all -- but never mind that. Forgiveness is his life philosophy. This month, at least.

Feh. We saw it coming, though. We saw it when he thought he had a chance at photo editor; when he hobnobbed with the new regime right up until the day they packed his stuff in a cardboard box and told him to take it away.

It was only a matter of time before he went back. Copy editor nothing; I bet he wants the Big Chair.

Not that I would blame him for that. Seriously. The years I've held the job are among the most significant in my life, and are largely responsible for my mild recognizability in the local media community, despite my lack of a degree or any other "real world" experience.

Let me put it this way: If I ever get a job in this town, part of the reason will be because I ran that paper.

It may have sucked, and it unequivocably sucks even more now, but Ka Leo as a name, as a journalistic enterprise, carries substantial weight. It's been around more than half a century -- history like that makes any given generation's shortcomings insignificant.

Having Ka Leo on your resume is good for your career. I presume this is part of why Sharon's pointing him back toward Building 37. And if they can take the stress, what journalism student wouldn't want to have "Editor in Chief" on their resume?

No, what bugs me is simply how "right on!" Micheal was whenever William growled, "I'm never going back there." How he was the best among us at preaching how evil The New Ka Leo and its assorted puppeteers were.

Personally, at least, that's my bitch. Professionally, the major problem is this:

William and I are uncomfortable with a partner, a partial owner, of the 'Venue working for the competition. Debate was both extensive and occasionally caustic over whether it constituted a conflict of interest, William and I saying it is, Micheal insisting it wasn't.

We basically reached an impasse. Our options were:

  1. Concede to Micheal's rationalizations that there were no ethical problems. Since it was an argument of deepset ideals, William and I probably never would.
  2. Eject Micheal from the partnership. Micheal was quick to say we'd regret losing a valuble asset like him, that we wouldn't go anywhere without him ("I've never seen a two legged table remain standing for very long") and warned that it would make the 'Venue look bad. Frankly I think he overestimates his worth, but ejecting him would strain whatever friendship exists between the three of us, which -- believe it or not -- is important to me.
  3. Stop taking things so seriously, put our respective chaotic lives into perspective, and just support the 'Venue as best we can as an informal side project while juggling the other demands bearing down on us.

    Obviously, option 3 is the most attractive. Part of the thought there is, are we really competitors, now that we're probably limited to a website? And opinions differ on how much longer the 'Venue will be around, anyway.

    Besides, removing Micheal from the partnership would probably take more paperwork than the million and one applications and forms it took to start the damn thing in the first place.

    If there's anything the three of us agree on, it's that the 'Venue was a success; that it ranks up there in the best things we've ever been involved in. We made headlines, we stirred things up, we made a point.

    The fact that we broke even on issue three proves that it's possible to have more than one newspaper on the UH campus. The battles we've fought got the entire campus thinking about free speech, and hopefully cleared the way for the next alternative rag.

    We've said it from the very beginning -- if anything, we wanted to encourage others to follow in our footsteps. The more competition we got, the happier we'd be.

    I guess the only change we'd recommend is that the founding partners not be on the brink of fatherhood, graduation or "real world" career aspirations.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 10 January 1997 · Last Modified: 12 January 1997