IMR: 1999: July: 14 —  Tuesday, 11:31 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

I have to be at work at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow, so I have no idea why I'm still up.

Well, part of it is because I've been having trouble sleeping. I think it'll be a few days before I get used to the new apartment.

That's right. New apartment. On Friday — that's four days ago — Jen called me at work and told me one of the rare two-bedroom units in our building had just opened up. I raced over to look at it during my lunch break, and...

On Saturday I managed to move all the heavy furniture by myself except the bed. On Sunday, Todd and mom came over to help move everything else. Yesterday, our phone, cable and electricity service switched on, and I signed the new lease. Today, the carpet in the old place was cleaned (and the guy said it was the worst disaster he had ever seen), and I'm still wondering what the hell just happened.

It was just one of those things that I knew would never take place if I spent even half an hour actually thinking about it. True to form, as soon as the idea was planted in my head, I became an unbearable, unstoppable maniac obsessed with just doing it and doing it now.

And I still haven't settled down, and won't for a while, and as Jen and I navigate our way through the last remaining little things that need to be done whenever people move, it's all we can do to keep from biting each other's heads off.

But now Katie has her own room (and sleeps at least half the night in it). Now we have a real kitchen (not just a living room with a stove and fridge along one wall). Now our entire living space is arranged in an almost reasonable way, with the sofa and TV and desk set up just so (and no ridiculous lengths of phone wires and extension cords winding their way across the floor). We still have a precious end unit with good views (so the MakikiCam toils on).

Yet we also managed to carefully reproduce small portions of the hideous mess that was our old place, so that it still feels like home. I swear to god, this pile of CDs and videos on the floor is identical in every detail to the same pile we'd carefully built over the last year.

I just have to get used to hearing the traffic on Ke`eaumoku Street, which we now overlook. And I have to remember that the all the hot and cold water knobs are inexplicably reversed, so I stop freezing or scalding myself at the conclusion of my morning shower.

Met with Mary (and her hubby) over lunch today to go over our host-city bid for the JournalCon. She did all the hard work, and I just did some smarmy writing.

Didn't turn out half bad, especially since, realistically, we'll never convince a large number of people to fly all the way out to Hawai`i for a first-of-its-kind convention. But we were the ones to push the idea in the first place, and the outcry over the original location (Chicago) was so ridiculous, we knew we just had to make a decent show of it.

Katie is well on her way into the horrible depths of the infamous Terrible Twos.

Now walking is nothing, and she's almost perfected running, so apparently it's time to start asserting her rights as the Sovereign Ruler and Unrivaled Center of the Universe. She's already perfected her first-generation tantrum, complete with carefully engineered, sky-splitting shrieks and dramatic falls to the floor.

Whether she wants to go out or just wants to chew on another ice cube, she lets us and anyone within two blocks know it. And while I'm not as much of a pushover as Jen, the fact of the matter is Katie has figured out both our limits and carefully calculated what it takes to get just beyond them.

And the worst part? We know it gets worse. We've seen more than enough thermonuclear meltdowns at the mall to harbor any delusions that our beautiful angel has come anywhere near hitting bottom.

But how I still love her so! It's even gotten to the point where I almost, in some sick way, rather enjoy the colorful displays that are her assertions of infantile authority. Of course, when she sees that my response to her first alert is a silly grin and a chuckle, she jumps instantly to DEFCON 4, and then the walls really start to shake.

(She was in a bit of a snit when we were trying to re-record our answering machine messages. Jen's mailbox opens with, "Hi, I'm sorry I AAAAAAAAAH call, but as you can EEEEAAAA busy, so please leave a AAAAAYEE YAAAAA right back." We decided to keep it.)

And besides. The cute stuff she does could make the Grinch join the Backstreet Boys fan club. She has a whole repertoire of dance moves that leaves Jen and I rolling. She smiles and waves at everyone. She hugs her toys and still — inexplicably — enjoys putting things into boxes. The other day I took her to the playground in the park, and while watching her squeal and babble and climb all over everything, I had the biggest, breathtaking, heart-stopping "she's a little girl now" moment yet.

And then there was this exchange:

Jen: "What does the snake say?"

Katie: "Sssssss! Ssssssssssssss!"

Jen: "What does the puppy say?"

Katie: "Rrrrf! Arf! Owrfferff!"

Jen: "What does the cow say?"

Katie: "Rooooooooo!"

Ryan (being a smartass): "And the mommy says 'No! No! No! No!'"

Jen (hitting Ryan, then, curious): "Katie, what does the mommy say?"

Katie (proudly): "Arf!"

So. About work.

Tomorrow morning we're holding the first meeting of a select set of Hawai`i VIPs who will be helping to plan our conference next year. It starts at 7:30 a.m., so of course I have to be there at least an hour earlier to make sure all technical aspects of the event are ready to go.

Even though the governor won't be there, and PowerPoint is not in the picture at all (I think, ultimately, I only need to press "play" on a VCR at the right time), I'm still haunted by the nightmare of the last time we found ourselves in front of a room full of prominent local movers and shakers.

Meanwhile, we finally churned through all 32 resumes we received in response to the one position ad we placed in a recent Sunday paper. It was both an exercise in frustration and "small world syndrome."

Many applicants didn't even meet the basic requirements outlined in the ad (usually the same people who had typos in their cover letters. And there were many familiar names. Some were people who used to work for me at Ka Leo, some were people who still work at Ka Leo, some I know I've seen on the local news (though whether it was good or bad news I can't remember), and even a state senator sent in his resume (complete with a typo on the third line).

Ultimately, we called the best eight in for interviews. Two were wonderful people, people who weren't right for the advertised job but people we might still try and find a place for. But there were no grand slams, no perfect fits, and I'm dreading the possibility that I'll be told, "run the ad again."

Nonetheless, having survived the process once, I feel compelled to add a few more tips to the job-hunting strategies I compiled last month. This addendum specifically addresses the all-important first (and most likely last) interview.

  1. Be prompt. If you're half an hour early, grab a cup of coffee somewhere else instead of waiting and tapping your toes and asking for the time every five minutes. (Also: Wear a watch.) If you're half an hour late, apologize and offer to reschedule, don't just barge in, only to repeat a five-minute story about why you're late to every person you meet.

  2. Don't wear a bow tie. At least not a yellow bow tie.

  3. If you forget the name of the person you're talking to, just bite the bullet and ask. Do not, under any circumstances, guess. (If you must guess, guess a common name, preferably one you can pronounce properly.)

  4. Always carry a comb, extra copies of your resume, and money for parking.

  5. If you suddenly realize you locked your dog in the car, or otherwise need the interview to end as quickly, abruptly, and awkwardly as possible, simply ask, "So, what is it you guys do here, anyway?"

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 14 July 1999 · Last Modified: 23 July 1999