IMR: 1998: May: 01 -- Friday, 11:59 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

[ Beach ]For the first time since our daughter was born, Jen and I (and Katie, of course) went to the beach this afternoon.

Part of it was because Jen's cabin fever was undoubtedly getting unbearable (especially now after twelve-weeks as a full-time mom), but part of it was to make up for all the nights I've stayed up late (like this one) doing web design, wrestling with CGI scripts, and daydreaming about finally buckling down and turning all this seemingly pointless work into a genuine business.

I left work at UH Press an hour early, picking Jen and Katie up and rolling straight down into Ala Moana Beach Park.

Although gray clouds loomed in the distance, it was clear and blue at Magic Island. We put Katie in her stroller and took turns pushing her as we made two slow circuits around the meandering jogging path.

Jen breathed in the fresh air, sighing and smiling. We held hands and hugged, listening to the ocean and watching canoes and sailboats navigate around the harbor. Joggers and bladers breezed past, a few taking a peek at Katie and sighing appropriately.

At the far end of the park there's a small arc of a beach, protected by tall man-made walls. For some reason, two seperate memories from two seperate times in my life bubbled up in my mind.

There was the rainy day Nate and I -- seventh graders at the time -- spent under a bench there with one of his very first girlfriends. Her name was Lavendar, I think... a name that Nate and I later used for the protagonist in our groundbreaking short film, "Broccoli is Two Dollars a Pound," shot on location outside, inside and under Bilger Hall.

It was my first "third-wheel" experience, but at the time I only half-registered the awkwardness in the air.

Then there was one weekend last year, though I don't recall the date. Micheal, Kylie, Jaimee, and I (I can't remember if anyone else came) hung out at that beach, the 'Venue still a hazy pipe dream.

The afternoon's entertainment was provided by Micheal and Kylie, who violently frolicked (if that's possible) together in the enclosed bay. Kylie would throw sand at Micheal, Micheal would grab Kylie and hurl her into the air. Given their respective sizes, it was like watching Hulk Hogan battle Tattoo.

They also enjoyed a brief game of keep-away (or something similar), prompting Micheal's hand to go where no man's hand dared go before.

Strange days indeed. Like they're from another lifetime.

While there, we also ran into "Uncle Toy," a.k.a. Geminiano Arre, director of student housing at UH-Manoa. He and my father were old friends, and his son, my brother and I played together as kids. It was the first time he saw Katie, if not perhaps the first time he'd even heard I was married.

Before leaving for dinner, Jen skipped to the water and wet her toes, dancing and grinning broadly. She waded in knee-deep, and splashed ocean water on her face and hair.

It'd been a long time since I've seen her so happy. Nothing makes her happier than Katie, mind you, but still... wading in the ocean must have been a delicious, selfish indulgence. We vowed to try and spend time at the beach at least twice a week.

We dined at the food court at Ala Moana, then crossed back to the park to take in the sunset. Katie, after some fussing, fell asleep, allowing us to enjoy the show in peace.

My Thursday, however, wasn't quite as pleasant.

All was well, actually, up until Chapin's class. I walked in, expecting some pointers for the upcoming final (scheduled, I dutifully recalled, for the last class meeting) and perhaps a mini lecture.

"You ready?" Broc, a classmate, asked.

It hit me like a speeding truck. The semester ends next Wednesday. This class meets only on Thursdays. Thus, it was the last class meeting.

So, wholly unprepared and without the two pages of notes we were allowed to prepare, I took my first final of the year.

Four essays, one two pages and the others at least half a page. When I walked out of the classroom I was totally wiped out. I still don't think I've recovered from the trauma.

In retrospect, though, I don't think I did all that badly. I could pick essays that covered the first half of the course, for which I still had notes. And one question begged me to illustrate my point with a very current citation:

Ka Leo O Hawaii, Wed., April 29, 1998:
  • Page 2 (top right corner): Ad for "Rainbow Books."
  • Page 3 (opposite page 2): Feature story by Casey Gushikuma on "Rainbow Books." A student is quoted as saying the UH Bookstore -- which has a history of not advertising with Ka Leo -- is a "ripoff."

We also got our papers back. Even though my study of Hawaii's alternative student press was practically an infomercial for the now-defunct 'Venue, I still got an "A" and a note suggesting I flesh it out a bit and get it published.

So, one class down, two to go. In Hawaiian, a Monday final and projects due on Friday. In Borg's class, no final but a long feature also due on Friday. I think I can handle it... although of course I'll be up all night on Thursday.

Then, it'll be off to take "LIFE 425: Childrearing with Two Working Parents."


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 2 May 1998 · Last Modified: 5 May 1998