IMR: 1999: August: 04 —  Wednesday, 9:05 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

The deadline to pay your tuition and fees has passed. Since payment was not received, your registration was canceled.

I've always found that whenever I'm pulling my hair out over some important decision, I invariably take too long — my incurable Hamlet complex — and the right honorable hand of fate invariably pops over and makes it for me. "Oop, you seem to left this door open. Let me get it for you." (Click.) The only problem is I'm never really sure I agree with its call.

So there I was, wondering how I'd juggle two journalism classes on top of the increasingly overwhelming demands of work and the ever under-served needs of my family. Should I drop one? Both?

Ding! Time's up!

Well, unless I register late (again) and pay the fee (again) and beg Sharon to squeeze me back into both always-at-capacity courses (again), that last option is the one I'm stuck with.

Feh. I'm too much of a wuss to risk that path, and I know I will, like last year, scramble like a rat to get my ass back into school. But for the moment, I'm enjoying the melodrama of imagining The End having finally come. Eight meandering years of college, suddenly snapped off only a handful of credits from graduation! Oh, the horror!

Of course, I always imagine a happy ending. Filing a silly IPO on a whim and suddenly ending up with $285 million in venture capital or something.

I had lunch today with Wayne, not even a week back from Taipei.

It was amazing how quickly we got back into our usual gig of ranting frantically and noisily about the peculiarities and travesties of the world. The shootings in Atlanta, ADSL versus cable modems, "The Blair Witch Project," blondes with big boobs, JFK, Jr., Columbine, "The Real World," and many, many other topics dissected, devoured and discarded in 70 minutes.

He was intrigued by how Hawaii had not really changed, and yet how much I — the high school buddy with whom he once debated Star Trek ethics in Mrs. Tanaka's newswriting class — did change.

"You're so domesticated, so... Bishop Street," he chirped, pointing at my aloha attire, my cell phone, my inner yuppie shining through.

He's right, but I'm okay with it. Really. Because every day, especially now that I'm growing roots and becoming — reluctantly — a semi-conservative, I thank the gods that I've had my share of excitement, and that I have interesting friends like Wayne.

Oh the memories. Spelunking in the sewers beneath Honolulu. Mountain biking through restricted military facilities hidden in Kipapa Gulch. The occasional run-ins with cops. Touring strip clubs in the hopes of reviewing them for the web. Running a daily student newspaper. (And starting a "rebel" campus newspaper, thus stirring up a huge free-speech debate.) Failing miserably at starting a mail-order adult novelty business in Hilo. The best "Big Mele" concerts, the golden age of the "Dungeon" S&M festivals, the era of Pink's Garage, the Tantra Monsters, Radio Free Hawaii...

All neat stories that will net nothing but annoyed sighs and eye rolls when I try to share them with my ultracool, popular daughter. Because I'll have long since fallen into the mandatory role of the hopelessly unhip, boring old man.

Wayne is still, fortunately, happily "unencumbered" and intensely single, so I expect to enjoy the occasional vicarious adventure. That is if I'm not already too uncool for Wayne to be seen with.

Katie can now point to her nose, ears (or at least the hair on her head near her ears), bellybutton and toes. She can blow kisses, and go down the slide at the park by herself. Her favorite books are "Quacky Quack Quack," "Hide and Seek with Blu," and "Go, Po, Go!"

She's still not weaned, the cause of growing consternation in Jen, but frankly she's such a happy, secure, adventurous baby it's hard to get too upset about anything.

Did I say baby? I meant toddler. Little girl, even.

While I've already said it three hundred times this week, I have to say it again. She's growing so fast!

Despite the constant web-time pull of Diarist.Net and JournalCon (and awards and burbs and that huge-ass registry and...), I simply must be more consistent with updating IMR, even if solely for the reason that a thousand precious moments in my life go by every week, and I'm terrified of losing a single one.

The phrase most often uttered at the office lately is an overly twanged, "Times, they are a changin'!"

They're tearing down the entire mauka wall over the weekend, as the office expansion barrels along toward its optimistic Sept. 1 completion date. I'm still trying to figure out the telecom cabling, and we're trying to decide between another full-blown router (competitively priced at $3,800) or a tangled array of little hubs.

This week was chock full of heavy lifting and screwing with both our phone and computer networks to accomodate the latest addition to our full-time staff. (One of my coworkers — away traveling in Las Vegas — was unceremoniously evicted from his old office to make room.) We've set up temporary workstations in the server and conference rooms, prompting our many visitors to make sardine jokes.

We're still recruiting and interviewing interns by the bushel, and as far as I know the hunt is still on for the full-time slot we advertised in June.

Although I'm finally making some progress on the official site for our annual conference next March, the more immediate concern is the combination administrative meeting and APEC summit taking place next month in Auckland.

See, the internal meeting will hopefully be manageable — less insane than the one last October, at least, since I won't be making any presentations. But it's being held in conjunction with the annual APEC CEO Summit, and it turns out I'm being held over in New Zealand a few extra days to help out there as well.

And that will be a big deal. Pres. Clinton, Jiang Zemin (President of the People's Republic of China), Ernesto Zedillo (President of Mexico), the Sultan of Brunai, various prime ministers and other assorted heavies. I'd like to think I'll be giving my digital camera a good workout, but in all likelihood I'll probably be buried under paper in a back room somewhere. That and the security measures being put in place will probably keep riffraff like me at quite a distance.

Even a tour of the America's Cup sailing boats is on the agenda, but I don't think I'm invited.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 04 August 1999 · Last Modified: 16 August 1999