IMR: 1998: January: 11 -- Sunday, 10:53 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
[ Hot (59k) ]I finally experienced first-hand the Hades on Earth that is Jen's place of employment.

William (back today from Hilo) and I got to Kahala Mall early, so we went into Tower to browse. Walking in the door was like walking into a wall of... of... phlegm.

The air conditioning has been out at Tower for days now, and no one knows how much longer it will be before some rare piece of equipment can be imported from a remote factory in Albania.

So it's hot in there. Ka Leo hot. Much like at Ka Leo, they've spent shameful amounts of money to buy huge, industrial-sized fans. And much like at Ka Leo, the fans have managed to get the hot air circulating really well.

Jen was behind the counter, pink-faced and chewing on ice from a drink cooler.

It is mind boggling that Jen can work full-time shifts in that kind of thick, oppressive heat while carrying a six-pound baby in her belly. Her coworkers have been good about keeping her off her feet and making sure she's okay, but it's clearly no picnic.

"That's why I can do it," she said as we walked out into the crisp, cool air. "For the baby."

I'm in awe. I really am. This is the kind of story we'll have to tell Katie when she gets older.

As much as kids hate to hear their parents talk about how much they've done for their offspring, I'm beginning to see how much they deserve the right to regale tales of sacrifice.

Out of nowhere, Jen and I started singing in the shower:

Little bunny Foo Foo
running through the forest,
scooping up the field mice
and boppin' them on the head.

She was surprised I knew it; I didn't know anyone else in the world had ever heard it. I learned it from Nate, and usually most of the weird things he recites come entirely from his own twisted mind.

Apparently, Jen learned it in kindergarten. "It must be a haole thing," she said.

I guess we're going to have to brush up on our limerick repertoire. Most of the ones I know involve the same "Venus" rhyme and are generally inappropriate for preteens.

I wonder how my vocabulary is going to change post partum? I've observed it in others and lord knows comedians rail on it enough. How long will it be before I accidentally introduce Jen as "mommy"? When will be the first time I'll be at a formal dinner and say, "Will you all excuse me? I have to shishi."

Jen came home with three videos today.

I love "screeners," the special promotional videos sent to stores. Sure there are the annoying screen crawls every twenty minutes -- "PROPERTY OF MONOLITH STUDIOS IF YOU PAID FOR OR RENTED THIS VIDEO PLEASE CALL 1-888-NO-COPYS" -- but they come with entirely different packaging and liner notes.

Instead of sappy prose about the "heartwarming story" and some "acclaimed Academy Award nominee," the box boasts projections of how well it will rent and with which other popular films previews for it appear.

Jen grabbed the screener for "A Thousand Acres," starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange.

The box bosts, "Pfeiffer rents again and again!" There's a color bar graph showing her other films -- Up Close and Personal, One Fine Day, Dangerous Minds and Wolf -- and how long they were on the "Billboard" charts (17, 14, 17 and 20 weeks respectively). It points out the industry average is 10 weeks.

"Sure to rent even better than 'Marvin's Room!'"

A yellow sticker assures stores a "60-day PPV window," meaning (Jen explains) that it won't be available on Pay-Per-View cable until its been on rental shelves for three months.

I love this behind-the-scenes stuff.

Right now, we're watching "Schizopolis." Jen picked it entirely on the basis of the box cover. As good a reason as any, I suppose; Greg became a fan of Jim Brickman the same way.

Steven Soderbergh, the guy responsible for "sex, lies and videotape," wrote, directed and starred in it. The words "absurd," "screwball" and "berserk" factor heavily in the quoted reviews.

I can't follow the story for the life of me. It's intentionally surreal, anyway, so I doubt the plot is particularly important. A warning on the box claims, "All attempts at synopsizing the film have ended in failure and hospitalization."

Still, I love it. Here and there, mixed in with bizzare, lightning-cut scenes of nonsense, are random flashes of hilarity.

"Nose army. Green Bay shuffleboard. Wigwam, gypsy landmine!"

"I know that if I could for an instant have you lie next to me or on top of me or sit on me or stand over me and shake, then I would be the happiest man in my pants."

"I believe so strongly in mayonaisse."

Classes start tomorrow. Damn, this break was too short.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 11 January 1997 · Last Modified: 12 January 1997