IMR: 1998: October: 09 -- Friday, 6:38 a.m.
College of Business Administration, Univ. of Hawai`i–Manoa, Hawai`i

Damn, the things I do to get a good street parking space near campus.

Sure I got a spot practically within shouting distance of where I'm sitting, but I'll probably be waiting here in a dark hallway (beside one of the few functioning wall outlets) for another hour or so before someone comes by to let me into the office... where I'll wait another hour before Kato's class.

You know it's too early when you beat the janitors into the building.

Fortunately, I think I've actually been getting more sleep than usual as of late. Even though my new work schedule is considerably simpler, the days are longer, and I've found it hard to not collapse for a nap (if not the whole night) soon after I get home.

That's bad news for Jen, of course, since she had come to depend on my being conscious in the evening so I can serve a couple of hours of baby duty and give her a little break. It's a little unfair, in fact, that I've been conking out, considering that I'm sure carrying around a 15-pound infant all day is substantially more strenuous than sitting at a desk all day.

Bless her heart, though, Jen's been almost entirely understanding.

I say "almost" only because she will, on occasion, let me know when she thinks my nap has been long enough. She wakes me up in her own special way. It's never rude, mind you, but always startling. Batting me on the forehead, for example, or jumping on the bed from a vast distance.

She's so much like a cat that way.

One of the wonderful things about these naps is that Katie sometimes joins me. (Usually these naps begin as the three of us "just resting for a while," with only Jen managing to actually stay awake.) It just makes me incredibly happy and content when she stretches and sighs and curls up on her side against me. Sure it means I have to hold deathly still to keep from waking her, but just smelling her sweet skin and feeling her chest rise and fall against mine is well worth it.

And when it actually is bedtime, she now rolls up beside me now and then... even though she clearly prefers snuggling with mommy. (Who can blame her? She's gotta go where the milk is.)

Katie's such an energetic, bright, giggling ball of cuteness, even the worst day becomes a great one when I walk in the door and see her. When we're playing, she laughs so hard it makes me want to cry. But I never feel closer to her than when everyone's asleep and dreaming in the family bed.

Part of the reason I'm so tired, I think, is because I'm surrounded every day by a fantastic amount of productivity.

The mood in the office has been positively frantic. The Los Angeles meeting is less than a week away, and everyone's getting buried in a blizzard of paperwork.

I've learned that unlike the annual International General Meeting, which is usually coordinated in part by the regional committee hosting it, the Mid-Term Meeting is planned and run entirely by our office here in Honolulu. It's not the biggest meeting of the year, but only a dozen or so people are responsible for putting it together.

So everyone is running in high gear to process registrations, confirm speakers, send out media advisories, make arrangements with the hotel, and basically plan everything from meeting sessions to receptions to golf tournaments.

I've got a lot to do, of course — every little change in the program and every announcement and press release are posted immediately to the website. But the work is managable and quick. The interns, though... they're really going the extra mile. When I leave at 6 p.m., most of them are still going strong. It amazes me that most of them are working there for free.

I've got it easy. For now.

It's when the meeting is actually underway that it'll be my turn to stress. And I'm starting to get butterflies already.

I'm expected to make two website presentations. Armed with a laptop, an LCD projector and a laser pointer, I'll have to introduce the new site to the members (many of whom aren't net savvy, and would otherwise not know where the IT funds are going). More importantly, though, I have to brief them on using the "intranet" web conferencing features we got running only last week.

The plan is to do it live, with a modem and a PPP connection through Compuserve. But depending on outside elements is clearly asking for trouble, so I'm also trying to juryrig a skeleton version of the site and the web conferencing software to run from a Zip disk if neccessary.

I've been with them for just over a month, and already I'm trusted with a microphone and a pair of twenty-minute slots on the meeting program. I'll be demonstrating technology to a roomful of CEOs, government leaders and all sorts of other people from the top-floor offices of multinational corporations, some of whom may have not even mastered e-mail. I have to convince them to adapt the management routine they've followed for decades to take advantage of the latest tools of the information age.

Yeah, you could say I'm nervous.

One thing I'll say for this big meeting, though. It's been great for my wardrobe.

I've had to give extra consideration to my clothes ever since I started downtown, of course, but with the sudden expectation that I present in Los Angeles, things are really changing fast.

After a week or so of shopping, I've increased the number of dress slacks in my closet from one two six. Mom gave me a simple, sharp-looking gold watch she'd been saving for my birthday (next month!), and during my lunch break yesterday, we went over to Liberty House and picked out a pair of shiny, black, un-tasseled leather shoes for me.

Tomorrow, we hit Ala Moana for a sport coat, a couple of dressy shirts (aloha wear, perhaps?), and some black socks.

It seems as if from day to day, I've been dressing neater and neater. I wonder what my classmates think? The first week of school, I was wearing my tried-and-true "black jeans and plain T-shirt" ensemble, and now I scurry into class like I've just stepped off Bishop Street.

The jury's still out on the beardlet (my term for my not-quite-a-goatee). Now that I've had a month to grow it and give it a few trims, it's looking pretty good. But it doesn't quite pass as "neat," and I've noticed no one else in the office has facial hair.

If it's out, it'll be a shame. I like it, and Katie does too.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 9 October 1998 · Last Modified: 11 October 1998