IMR: 1998: February: 16 -- Monday, 1:12 a.m.
Mom's Place, Mililani, Hawai`i
Now grandma Henderson is in the hospital.

She had been sick for a while... since we moved in, anyway. Kept going to the doctor, kept coming back with inhalers and little pills, and kept getting worse. Coughing, no energy, falling asleep in a flash.

I guess the M.D. figured it was just a bad cold, but mom and I had been thinking lately it might be pneumonia.

We kept nagging, but she'd insist she was getting better. Today, though, something pushed her to try and call her physician. No go. No one's in on Sunday. Neither would anyone be in tomorrow, I pointed out -- President's Day. Worried, I asked her repeatedly if she wanted to go to the emergency room.

No, she said, she'd wait until Tuesday. She said she didn't want to cause trouble for the hospital. So she spent most of the morning upstairs. And when she did come down, she couldn't stay awake for more than five minutes... save for the occasional coughing fit.

Then uncle Al and auntie Marge stopped by.

Now, the tendency of my mother's side of the family to show up on doorsteps without warning has been cause for no small amount of grumbling in this household, but today I was desperately glad to see them.

They came by only to drop off gifts for Katie -- a Girl's Day doll and some other items -- but I was quick to bring them up to speed on grandma's health. They were considerably more effective at convincing her to go to the hospital, and within half an hour everything was packed and they drove her to Pali Momi.

She's there now, and will be for a couple of days. And it was pneumonia.

I'm sure she'll be fine, though it's frustrating that she waited so long. I mean, when I first noticed her cough, it was only a little congested. This afternoon there was so much fluid in her chest it sounded like she couldn't breathe. One thing's for sure... we're going to take a long second look at that doctor of hers.

Mom's going up tomorrow to see her, and maybe even Jen and I will go (though I'm not in a hurry to bring Katie to another hospital).

Otherwise, the night's challenge was feeding and getting pills into her dogs. These 16-year-old canines have traveled from Kona to Texas to Honolulu, and look (and smell) like they ran every mile.

There I was, in the backyard, crouched under leaking tarp in the rain trying to get an extremely senile pooch to put down a pair of pills not-very-well disguised in a spoonful of peanut butter.

"Man," I said to mom, who was watching from inside through the window. "Never a dull moment in this house."

The day was made all the more exciting because mom and Todd spent the day at the UH Music Building watching the Kaimuki High School band kids audition for assorted judges.

Jen and I were left to run the house. We did yet another load of laundry -- this one including the bedsheets due to a little changing accident this morning -- and emptied all the trash cans. I prepared dinner all by my lonesome, recycling the meatballs from earlier this week into a "beef tofu and sprouts" delicacy that impressed even Jen.

We did manage to enjoy the "X Files" episode authored by the great William Gibson. Or at least I enjoyed it. I rank it among the best five I've ever seen, but clearly the cyberpunk theme is an acquired taste. While I was engrossed, Jen asked three-quarters of the way through, "Do you have any idea what's going on?"

The basic idea seems very much like one of his short stories (a la "Johnny Mnemonic," which should never have been made a film... or at least one starring Keanu "Dude" Reeves). But I can't remember which.

Not like I'll have much time for leisure reading for the next eighteen years.

Jen and I did get out for Valentine's Day, though it was only a little thing.

After a home-cooked dinner (pork eggplant), mom watched over a sleeping Katie while we zipped up the street to the Mililani Theatres and caught "The Replacement Killers."

I liked it, though I wouldn't pay to see it again. Like many a critic has said, it is like a flashy 90-minute music video... but that wasn't exactly a bad thing. Directed by the MTV-honed Antoine Fuqua (he did rap videos, I think), with strong shades of John Woo.

I liked the overdone cinematography. I didn't mind the awful, action-flick dialogue. I was happy to discover the ending wasn't entirely Hollywood.

Chow Yun-Fat was great, but I'll always give a strong male Asian lead extra credit. Mira Sorvino was excellent as well... though, is it just this movie or is she just a blonde, thin Janeane Garofalo?

It was a nice escape from the real world. Though about twenty minutes into it -- after a familiar red-white-and-blue logo happened to dominate the entire screen for the umpteenth time -- I said to Jen: "This is the longest, most stylish Pepsi commercial I've ever seen!"

Mom, who was actually disappointed that we came home right after the show, promised us a couple of movie-night babysitting stints a month. Now that's what I call a Valentine's Day gift that keeps on giving.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 16 February 1998 · Last Modified: 19 February 1998