IMR: 1998: March: 23 -- Monday, 9:06 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i
Spring Break. How time flies.

Jen, Katie and I are kicking back and watching the 70th Annual Academy Awards. Kim Basinger was a surprise, but nothing else unexpected so far.

(Has it been that long since the nominees were announced?)

"Titanic" is quietly sweeping the technical awards, so there's hope it won't neccessarily take many of the Big Ones. Then again, if a cheeseball like "Forrest Gump" took Best Picture a couple of years ago, then a Cameron's big-budget sinker can get gold.

Right now we're waiting for the phone to ring, collecting RSVPs for our reception-baby-debut-all-'round-shindig thing. It's been scheduled for April 4 since time began, but true to my nature, I didn't buckle down to plan the thing until last week.

Why didn't someone tell me it was March?

So. I'm trying to wrangle up the few surviving veterans of the great Ka Leo years and Jen's ringing up coworkers and fellow Hilo-ites. Mom's getting the word out to her half of the clan, and dad...

Well, dad's out of town right now, so we're not sure about that half just yet. As long as he, Gayle and grandma Ozawa can make it, though, it'll be a bash to remember.

Although Jen's parents can't make it after all, Jaimee and Nate are flying in from Oregon for the affair. It'll be great to see them again.

Yes! Helen Hunt got Best Actress for "As Good as it Gets." Was that Kate Winslet shaking her head?

Actually, we're not sure what to call the event, but that's okay. It's just a great excuse to pull together fifty of our closest friends and family members. Nothing formal, and likely to dissolve into total chaos by night's end. I can't wait.

Speaking of receptions, my cousin Alexander and his wife Claudia had theirs yesterday. Like ours, theirs came a tad later than the wedding it celebrates: they tied the knot last June.

He's a medical officer in the army, recently assigned to Washington state; she's still in college in Chicago (where they met) studying social work. It's rare for them to have vacation time together, so their wedding was a quick and quiet affair. Such a rare moment presented itself agaiin this week, so... party time.

It was literally the first time I'd seen most of the people there. A number of the guests were on remote branches of the family tree, many connected through auntie Marge. The Ishii's, Marge's sisters, were there, as was Mom's cousin ("grandma Henderson's sister's daughter").

Jen quietly quizzed mom on some of the people there, and amazingly sorted many of them out. Sheesh... I've been a member of this family all my life and never got it right.

James Horner took Best Dramatic Score for -- big surprise -- "Titanic." Not his best work, but he deserves it for all the other awesome scores he's done over the years.

Uncle Al just loves his grandson Trevor to pieces. He was running all over the place, shrieking and laughing, often stealing the show. Eleven months old, that one. To think Katie will be stomping around like that come Christmas.

Little Cristy, now 10, was a sweet charmer. Jen wondered aloud whether Katie would grow up to be like her. Cousins Joy and Ross were also in attendance, all grown up with their respective squeezes. Joy's date no doubt a Kramer's model, Ross' looked like a Pearl City grad. (What is it, the eye make-up?)

Above all, Alex and Claudia look very happy together. I still can hardly believe he's married. Two years younger than me, once a fellow mischievous brat, now a college grad (B.S. in chemistry), army man and husband. Wow.

Since Claudia was born in Mexico, uncle Al said, "Finally we have an international family." And he wasn't kidding. In the sea of Japanese and Hawaiian faces, she stood out. Hell, Jen was one of only two haoles in attendance.

After the luncheon, we went up to Mililani for our much-appreciated weekly movie date. First, though, mom sent me out with her ATM card to do some grocery shopping. I lugged home $74 in grub, and -- in that great motherly way -- she said, "Is that all?"

Then while mom -- or as we've begun referring to her, St. Mom -- cradled and cooed over Katie, Jen and I dashed out and caught "Primary Colors."

Excellent film. If you go only looking for the Clinton parallels, you'll miss the point. Starry-eyed idealism and cold political reality wrestle beautifully, giving the "political comedy" the perfect touch of basic human drama.

Some parts drag a bit, but not without content or reason. And the acting was superb.

If you see the movie for anything, see it for Kathy Bates' performance. It'll be a crime if she doesn't get a Best Supporting Actress nod for this hilarious, fierce, tortured role. While we laugh and cringe at the minutae of campaigning, she keeps us thinking about the big picture.

And when her first line included the phrase "shit-for-brains," Jen and I both laughed. She reminded us a lot of Robin, former Ka Leo adviser and mother hen and still a good friend.

Emma Thompson too makes a strong impression, giving both claws and a heart to Mrs. Cl... I mean, Mrs. Stanton. Billy Bob Thornton continues to surprise me. And although John Travolta clearly yielded this show to the supporting characters, he does a dead-on southern governor.

One oddity -- something we've been noticing a lot lately. A scene in the television previews is absent from the film. The "no more apple fritters" line.

James Horner won Best Original Song for "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic." So very not a surprise, but -- I believe -- a deserved honor. Horner, if anything, knows how to write a good hook.

Actually, for a couple of new parents, Jen and I are seeing far more movies than we deserve. We've been renting up a storm at Tower (not "Towers" you mokes, at least not on your checks), Jen's employee priviledges intact even while on leave.

Let's see. This past few weeks alone, we saw "Devil's Advocate," "Bound," "The Matchmaker" and "Career Girls." Jen liked "The Matchmaker," I didn't. I liked "Bound" (hey, lesbians), Jen didn't. The rest we'd be happy to rent again... if there weren't another hundred movies we want to see.

So here we are, relaxing at home, our cupboards full and Whoopi Goldberg on TV, plotting the next few videos. So insanely domestic, but I like it just fine.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 23 March 1998 · Last Modified: 27 March 1998