IMR: 1998: February: 05 -- Thursday, 6:29 a.m.
Parking Structure, Univ. of Hawai`i, Hawai`i
I guess they just opened the gates. Cars are flowing in, swarming around, looking for a parking space as close as possible to the stairs and elevators. Most of these drivers will promptly recline their seats and sack out until their first class.

For as long as I'll be coming in from Mililani, I'll be leaving the house at 5:40 a.m. to stay ahead of the thickest traffic. That means I'm in the structure by 6:15 or so, with over an hour before my Hawaiian class.

I actually like having this extra morsel of time in the day to lay back, listen to "Mark & Brian," catch up on homework or nap if I want to...

Not that I don't look forward to returning to the seven-minute commute from Waikiki. I might have to park twenty spaces from the fourth-floor steps instead of two, but the few extra minutes sleep in a warm bed is worth it.

For now, it's been so long since I've had to deal with rush hour, the experience is novel enough to keep the drive from being too frustrating.

Mornings are considerably more interesting than afternoons. The drive down H-2 to the H-1 merge is nothing short of exhilirating. I'll be hurtling along at 70 miles an hour just to keep up with the traffic around me, and there will still be cars flying past like I'm not moving.

By the time I reach the interchange, it's stop and go even in the carpool lane. My favorite part of the drive is on the H-1 as you crest the hill just past the `Aiea onramp. You can see all six -- or are there seven? -- lanes filled with thousands of red brake lights flowing down and back up through Pearlridge.

It looks like a broad, glowing lava flow. At least before the sun comes up, one of the blights of city life can be almost scenic.

Thursday, 3:12 p.m.
Crawford Hall 210, Univ. of Hawai`i, Hawai`i

With all the excitement in the past week, I think I forgot to write about the class presentation I made in Journalism 360 last Thursday.

Everyone got to pick their own topic, whether research-based or first-person accounts, provided it had something to do with newspapers and Hawai`i. So far, it's been all firsthand, from life in the advertising department at HNA, to writing for the News8 morning show, to how Ka Leo turned down a story months in the making, to how the local papers covered the hotel workers strike in 1991.

I figured to hell with humility, and spoke about the 'Venue.

As expected, I firmly connected everything to the historic role of the alternative, independent and opposition press. I talked about the startup process, the well-publicized battle over campus access, and legal precedents defending alternative college publications.

I also printed out a handout outlining the basic steps of forming a private newspaper, estimated costs and assorted legal and business references.

Dr. Chapin responded enthusiastically to my presentation, though now I can't remember the points she particularly liked. I do remember her saying, "You are in the grand tradition of the independent press."

I just got her written critique:

Your report on starting up and producing an alternative paper was well put together and interesting. The accompanying handout contained useful, up-to-date information.

The report certainly illustrated the short lifespans of these papers but, conversely, that they are worth doing -- to remind us all of the role of freedom of the press, and that there are legitimate alternative opinions to the establishment viewpoint. It may not have seemed so at the time, but the experience also provides a sense of personal and professional satisfaction to those involved.

Just think -- you have entered journalism history.

Grade: A

"Journalism history." Whew. Coming from the foremost historian of Hawai`i newspapering, it's not a comment to take lightly.

Friday, 1:59 a.m.
Mom's Place, Mililani, Hawai`i

[ Film Crew (45k) ]Some time during my 360 class, Crawford Hall was taken over by a film crew.

I'm not sure what it was for, but it was a Japanese production. A commercial, I heard. The plan, it seemed, was to make Crawford Hall look like a Japanese school house -- they put lockers in the lobby, Japanese signs on the walls, and hung a crest of some sort over the main entrance.

They had closed some of the side doors and pretty much taken over the building and a good portion of the quad lawn -- a fire code violation, I suspect. My classmates and I had to wait for a break between takes to escape.

Micheal was there with "Aeris," his prized, recently-christened camera. He bemoaned the fact that he didn't have any color film, since he said he would've been able to offer it to the Advertiser for cover art. Machts nicht... I'm sure he'll have no problem finding another venue for his work.

I watched for a while. They were collecting a series of short shots, each no longer than three seconds.

A shot of a bunch of kids reading a message board. A shot of two girls reading the same. A shot of the girls walking past the board and down the steps. I guess the girls were the stars, the only other actors being sharply-dressed boys who were asked to do little more than hold still and occasionally chuckle aloud.

All that work (and we probably only saw a tenth of the day's shooting) for a final product that'll be no more than a minute long. And unless they show it on KIKU, I'll probably never find out what it was for.

Katie saw the doctor today, and she's doing great. She weighs 6 pounds, 11 ounces, which is a few ounces more than she did at birth. Even I think she's visibly grown in the last week. And she's more beautiful every day.

Yesterday morning, mom had to go to a leadership workshop in town. I, as usual, had classes. It was going to be the first time Jen was left alone with our daughter.

She was terrified, having doubts and ugly thoughts that I -- supposedly prepared for anything post-partum hormones would throw out -- was nonetheless deeply upset for a while. It was our first fight for longer than I can remember. Fortunately, it barely lasted an hour.

Everything went swimmingly, of course. When I got home after work, Jen was awake and calm. She said it wasn't hard at all.

Part of what she had to get over, I suppose, was the constant and intensive support we've been getting for the last few days. It keeps the stress down and allows more sleep, but in a way it fosters a sense of helplessness.

Right now, as a surprise treat for her, I'm keeping Katie downstairs and -- using some of the milk we expressed at the hospital -- staying awake through a couple of feedings. Jen sacked out at 10 p.m., and if all goes well, she may have a delicious chance at actually sleeping through 'til morning.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 5 February 1998 · Last Modified: 6 February 1998