IMR: 1998: August: 21 -- Friday, 3:18 p.m.
Makai Market, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Hawai`i
[ Aftermath ]I came down here curious to see the aftermath of a bizzare one-car accident that occurred on Wednesday, in which a Mercedes had jumped a curb and took out a stairwell railing, a phone kiosk and half a dozen pedestrians before slamming into the wall of Shirokiya.

Unfortunately, everything had already been cleaned or roped off. Understandable, since skidmarks on the sidewalk are hardly conducive to consumer confidence.

I was a little surprised at where the incident had taken place, though: on the same floor and along the same side of the mall where I park when Katie and I come down here to wander around.

I wonder if they make strollers with airbags?

I wandered Shirokiya a little, grabbing some of the free food samples they were giving out upstairs. I also bumped into Naomi, who I worked with at the Mililani High School student newspaper. I hadn't seen her for six years, and she looked exactly the same.

I told her so, and had to assure her it was a complement. She smiled at Katie and offered her congratulations. We clearly had a lot of catching up to do, and traded e-mail addresses.

The main floor of the store was stuffed to the gills with people, Shirokiya apparently in the throes of a Hello Kitty festival. When a five foot tall frog walked up and practically scared Katie out of her skin, we ran for it.

I still have a lot to learn about life as a freelance web designer.

After a frustrating four hours at AIB trying to finish another overdue newsletter, I headed downtown to meet again with my new employers. Right away they set me up with a parking pass (perhaps the most impressive employment benefit I've ever received) and FTP access to their server. The latter took some doing, however, as my supervisor and I were both unfamiliar with certain aspects of NT network management.

I showed them a couple of designs, and they were very happy with the same one I was hoping to use. They gave me a couple of little fixes (mostly darkening this color or that), and then we met up with the guy who was in charge of database integration.

Most of that meeting, again, consisted of minor edits and aesthetic changes, but there was some heavy brain grinding when it came to figuring out how to password protect certain areas and setting up various groups and groupware options like chat rooms and file libraries.

As the afternoon wound down, another gentleman joined us and we started to talk about basic site hierarchy, and specifically which content areas would be accessible from the main page and which would be buried.

Now, if there's anything I'm anal about (although friends would argue I'm pretty anal about everything), it's the intuitiveness and simplicity of website structure... however transparent to or unappreciated by the visitor.

Colleague One proposed putting a particular link on the main page -- a link that I was sure belonged one level deeper along with other related stuff. I told him so, and explained why at length, and he disagreed and articulated why he felt that way.

The exchange continued like this for a while, when eventually Colleague Two chimed in and said, "I can see there are some really good points on both sides, and I'm sure we can come to a compromise."

And suddenly I thought, "Wait a minute, is this guy mediating us?"

He was.

I didn't realize until he spoke up that we were having an actual argument. And as the newly-hired help, I was clearly being stupid. I should grin and nod at everything, even if it's a flaming logo and a purple background. "It's their site, Ryan," I told myself. "Shut up!"

I picked up a pen and cleared my throat. "So, you want it where?"

In further unreported news, I forgot to mention that Katie had to go to the doctor on Tuesday for her six-month checkup.

Although her unusually high growth rate has apparently tapered some (dropping from the 95th to the 65th percentile in both height and weight), Katie was still resoundingly healthy. We got a prescription for infant vitamins to help us ease her in the transition to solid food, breast milk alone no longer sufficient from here on. Dr. Boyens also repeatedly sat, stood and flipped her over to check her development -- tests that came out all positive, but annoyed Katie quite a bit.

Unfortunately, Katie's day would get much, much worse. The visit ended with three vaccination shots, and two blood tests.

By the end of the day, she had so many bandages, she looked like Wile E. Coyote after he plunged off his umpteenth cliff. I thought I was going to cry.

It bears mentioning, however, that the nasty technician that snubbed Katie the last time we visited the Straub laboratory was nowhere in sight, and the remaining staff practically snapped to attention the minute they read her name off the clipboard.

And the technician that took Katie's blood was so together, she must've been the Grand Master of CBCs. Professional, confident and swift. She didn't even suggest pricking Katie's finger and squeezing (the messy procedure that's the stuff of my nightmares). She grabbed a narrow tube and a needle, somehow found a vein in Katie's tiny arm, and basically held it steady for the mere twenty seconds it took to get the few ounces of blood needed to complete the tests.

We didn't even have to wait to see if the cells were okay. This woman knew they were. We headed home, stunned.

Jen wondered whether she'd gotten the other lab tech in trouble, feeling some pangs of guilt over calling them up and complaining. I assured her, however, that she had done the right thing, and that I was proud as punch that she'd picked up the phone and did something about a situation I merely complained about.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 21 August 1998 · Last Modified: 24 August 1998