IMR: 1998: January: 12 -- Monday, 10:45 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
You know, everyone kept saying the music in "Titanic" sounded like Enya. I thought so too, but I figured it was just a similarity in style -- a building anthem with booming kettle drums, but with synth choruses rather than real voices.

But I got "Shepherd Moons" in the mail today (bartered from Greg at a very reasonable price), and when "Book of Days" started playing, all of a sudden a big boat steamed through my brain.

It might as well have been that Enya track in the film. Or maybe it was, just redone as vocal-free Muzak? Or maybe they used "Book of Days" in the trailers, and the actual music in the film was just very similar?

The point is, they were closer to identical than most outright covers. Either I missed Enya in the closing credits, or there's got to be a lot of really angry fans out there.

I've got to research this... I mean, if k.d. lang successfully strongarmed the Rolling Stones into admitting that they mimicked the sound of "Constant Craving" in their "Anybody Seen My Baby," then Enya has a big fat settlement check coming her way.

We got a "One Step Ahead" catalog in the mail today. Upper-end, yuppie-oriented baby gear.

Talk about being green with envy.

Now, Jen and I are immensely fortunate to be getting a lot of the neccessities -- crib, carrier, diapers, car seat (allegedly) -- from friends and relatives for free. I'm much happier wondering, "Do we eat Hamburger or Tuna Helper tonight?" instead of, "Do we keep Katie in a clothes hamper or a cardboard box?"

Still. Who can't look at the versatile Baby Bjöorn infant carrier -- the Swiss Army Knife of baby slings -- and not drool? Who can read the glowing description of the convertible Bedside Co-Sleeper -- a bedside crib, changing table, and play yard -- and not want two?

Well, anyone who's not a parent, I guess.

Boy do I feel out of place in my demographic group.

Ah well. I'm thankful for the blessings we have. As long as the car seat wasn't manufactured by Radio Shack, I won't complain.

(But damn, this stuff is so cute!)

The first of probably a hundred medical bills also arrived today. For now, Straub wants $104.59... which was actually a relief, since Jen's insurer covered a lot more than we thought it would (the $273 sonogram in particular).

The first day of classes was... well, better than tolerable.

I have the same kumu for Hawaiian 202 that I did last semester for 201, the young, wise-cracking Kekeha. Most of the other people in the class had him last year, too. I admit his friendly teaching style is addicting.

Even though it's a brain-numbing 7:30 a.m. class, it was packed full with over 30 students... and there were half a dozen more on the waiting list.

Kekeha suggested the students without chairs go to the Hawaiian language office and sign a petition of sorts to open another 7:30 section.

Unbelievable. Last year, Kekeha had to beg students to switch from his comfy mid-morning class to the empty 7:30 section, a suggestion only I didn't mind taking because it freed up larger chunks of time to work.

Of course, I doubt the comfy mid-morning classes are short on students. If anything, Kekeha's 10:30 section was probably standing-room only.

My only other Monday class was Journalism 325 -- Magazine Writing.

It's taught by Jim Borg, former Ka Leo editorial adviser and former editor of the now Colorado-based "Hawai`i Magazine."

Today he set down the basic elements of an artful story: character, conflict, committment to action, climax and denouement. To illustrate the latter two, we watched the corresponding parts of "Terminator 2" and "North by Northwest."

The Hitchcock film's denouement was a scant 16 seconds long, from the climax to the closing title. By contrast, Borg pointed out that the "Wizard of Oz" rambled on (from the witch's death to the clicking of the Ruby Slippers) for nearly half an hour.

Fun, but time will tell whether these exercises are productive.

There were familiar faces in this class as well. Some I was happier to see than others.

To my delight (if not Jen's), Michelle (of Keever website fame) and Katrina (from News Editing) are classmates again this semester.

On the other hand, so is Gen, who made quite an impression in Public Affairs Reporting last spring. A number of her jolly cohorts have also returned. The combination of Borg's odd sense of humor and that lot's hunger for yuks and attention guarantees a semester of teeth gnashing.

Speaking of Gen, there were quite a few surprises in this morning's debut issue of Ka Leo.

Most notably, the appointment of (I presume) former Board of Publications member Dane S. Muramoto as Managing Editor.

It's hard to convey the... distinctive elements of Dane's character, and thus the kind of shock this brought William and I. But let's just say this was a man Micheal called a moron to his face, in public, and not a soul (not even me, the irresponsible administrator that I was) admonished him.

Meanwhile, Jason Yadao, who formerly held the post, has returned to the Features Desk, where he worked quite well with Kim in the post-Greg era.

Of everyone at The New Ka Leo, it is only Jason and Christy for whom I still have any hope. I earnestly wish them some enrichment in their new roles.

The other big surprise was the return of "What a Life," Gen's long-running first-person column of her features desk years. It was quite popular, actually, for those of a certain mindset.

On the other hand, it was the same column cited by an unnamed Honolulu Advertiser executive in criticizing the paper's excessive "navel gazing" pieces.

When she was appointed my successor, she wrote a final, goodbye "What a Life" column, waxing poetic about the new responsibilities and maturation she'd experienced during her tenure as columnist and Associate Sports Editor. No doubt her many fans lamented the end of her singular commentary on everything from weird roommates to dating.

Well, they need not lament any longer. "What a Life" is back. The topic for its historic return? Perfume, and how it gives a woman her signature smell.

Speaking of Ka Leo, today was Micheal's first day on the job as copy editor.

To say William is disappointed would be an understatement of obscene proportions. He's not terribly fond of option three, and after talking to him today, even I'm less willing to brush off the conflict of interest issue.

Most of the tension is between those two, so I'm just desperately trying not to get caught in the crossfire. Most upsetting is seeing their friendship strained like this... not that it hasn't happened before.

Jaimee called tonight. It was good to hear from her. Sure, she'd finally e-mailed, but it was a generic life update sent to a handful of people.

Good news. She's still committed to coming back for the April 4 affair. The one that probably isn't a second wedding, but rather a really really late reception. I wonder whether she's disappointed or relieved at not having to perform the multitude of Maid of Honor rites.

It's snowing up there. Not snowing like it is in Maine, but snowing nonetheless.

I really wish I could identify with that kind of cold. Instead, I thought my nose was going to fall off this morning, and it was probably only in the mid-60s.

It was so cold, I got the worst case of hiccups I've had in months. And when I walked into Sakamaki -- among the most over-cooled of campus buildings -- it was actually warmer than it was outside.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 12 January 1997 · Last Modified: 15 January 1997