IMR: 1998: July: 22 -- Wednesday, 1:41 p.m.
Crawford Hall, Univ. of Hawai`i–Manoa, Hawai`i
Last night, Jen and I finally made it out for our irregular movie date.

While Jen was on leave, we went out every weekend, thanks to mom's unending generosity and patience (she usually provided the tickets, too). But then Jen returned to work, eliminating our weekend visits. We tried moving movie night to Tuesdays, but then Katie entered her clingy, screams-if-mom-turns-her-back phase, and we didn't want to subject mom to the kind of ordeal I faced my first days as a solo parent.

Fortunately, over the last few days, Katie seemed to be getting accustomed to Jen being away, screaming on occasion but always calming down as soon as I grab her head out the door to pick mom up. We had also started letting her fuss in her crib a while before picking her up at night, hoping that she'll eventually be able to put herself back to sleep.

So last night we figured she would be independence-minded enough for Jen and I to sneak off for a couple of hours. Given the time frame, we resolved to see first available movie. It turned out to be "There's Something About Mary," which was not on either of our must-see lists, but frankly we would've seen anything.

We went, we laughed, we cringed, we chowed down on stale popcorn, and contentedly headed home.

We could hear Katie crying from the driveway.

We were surprised to find Todd cradling Katie in his arms, singing a little song and swaying around the living room. She was apparently starting to calm down, looking quizically at my brother and probably wondering who this person was and why he had daddy's voice.

Mom, resting on the couch, reported that Katie did a good deal of yelling while we were gone, but insisted that she handed her off to Todd only after her arms got tired from carrying her. Both of them had fed her, attempted to entertain her, and changed her over the course of the evening. The collection of toys strewn about the house spoke volumes about their adventure.

Fortunately, neither Todd nor mom seemed to phased by Katie's fussiness, agreeing that perhaps such episodes would at least further our campaign to weaken her paralyzing dependency.

Todd, citing his psychology textbook and struggling for the precise terms, confirmed that Katie was reaching that phase where she first realizes (1) she and mom are not one single being and (2) things that are out of sight are not neccessarily gone. He rambled on for some time, actually, about all the cute and amazing things Katie did while we were gone.

Mom was beaming.

Before we left, Jen momentarily engaged Todd in a discussion about life in retail, asking, "So, Todd, do you hate people yet?"

Suffice it to say, Jen really wants me to get a full-time APT position at UH.

I tell her not to get her hopes up, considering the fact that there are probably people with Master's degrees lining up to apply, but I know she can't help it. She deeply misses spending all day with Katie, and she definitely hates doing a manager's work for a clerk's entry-level wage (i.e. minimum).

Thanks to William, my unrelenting career counselor, I'm filing a third application this week for a publications position at the College of Education. The "desired qualifications" match my own better than both spots open at the press.

I think I'm out of the running for one of them, anyway. An announcement went out today that they'd be using some office to conduct interviews tomorrow, and as of 2:00 p.m. today, I haven't been asked to come by.

I hope I at least get another crisply folded rejection letter so I can start building a collection.

I forgot to mention last week that we went down to Ala Moana for Katie's first formal photo session. In a bizarre case of "Small World" syndrome, the photographer turned out to be Jen's old dorm R.A. from Hilo. She even remembered me, albeit only as "the guy who was setting up the computer."

We carefully picked out our backgrounds, from pillars and ivy to stars to balloons and teddy bears. Jen briefly toyed with Winnie the Pooh, but that was quickly nixed — incredulously, Sears is now expected to collect an additional licensing fee from customers who chose a Disney setting.

Jen's friend -- a five-year veteran of the Sears Portrait universe -- turned out to be remarkably good at what she did, setting up the camera and lining up the backdrops just so, and getting Katie to look up and smile and be perfectly adorable.

In fact, Katie did remarkably well, smiling and squealing straight through five of six poses, only turning grumpy toward the end. Instead of forcing her to struggle through the last shot, we just took one of the earlier 'throwaways' to complete our six-pose sitting.

Then we sat down and counted great-grandparents and relatives and friends and pored over the various combinations of photo sizes. After figuring out how many wallets, 3-by-5s and 8-by-10s to get, we had to pick which pose would be best for each.

By the time we were through, Jen's friend had left for the day and we spent $70 on pictures we wouldn't see for two weeks.

Fortunately, we did get a set of proof prints that were promptly scanned and posted for the more impatient family members. And Jen and I couldn't put the folder down for days, setting it up in whatever room we happened to be in. She was just so so pretty, and yet as dazzled as Jen's parents would be, we also knew she's still cuter in person.

There's nothing like the magic of photography to make a new parent gasp and say, "Is that our little girl?"

I really hate having to get into my car from the passenger's side.

I'd also feel safer if I had a set of jumper cables again (I'd wager use them more often than the average motorist). And hell, I miss my worn-out techno compilation tape, the only surviving copy now in the hands of Jaimee in Oregon.

I hope they find something on the surveillance tape. Apparently they need a special player, though, so it'll be a while before we'll know anything. I've got a sneaky feeling it's someone in the building, which of course makes me wonder exactly what I'd done to make myself a target.

I'm not sure if I said it before, but I'll say it anyway. It really hasn't been a good season for cars. Everywhere I turn, every friend I bump into and every conversation I overhear, someone's relating a tale of some automotive tragedy. And comparatively, I feel I've been unfairly lucky.

If this table was made of wood, I'd knock on it.

What else?

Well. It's been months since I plunked down a...

Time Capsule


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 22 July 1998 · Last Modified: 27 July 1998