IMR: 2000: May: 22 — Thursday, 8:12 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

Without anyone else around to feed, it's incredibly difficult to get motivated to eat.

Since Jen and Katie left, my diet has been shameful. Except when I managed to hook up with mom or dad for dinner out somewhere, "dinner" has consisted of:

A disgusting turkey-like "Hungry Man" TV dinner and a can of warm guava juice; two packages of "beef flavored" ramen with vienna sausages; fried spam and leftover poi; undercooked rice (I've never tried to make a single-serving before) and freezer-burnt Zippy's chili; and two Pop Tarts and a large bag of Haribo gummi bears.

I'm particularly proud of the last one, although the buzz kept me up watching car chases on TLC until 3 a.m. And as the refrigerator and pantry shelves get more bare, the combinations will probably get even more... creative.

Saturday night, I joined mom, her friend Gwen, and her son Ian at Kaimuki High School for its annual `Ohana o Mele Kanikapila concert. It wasn't quite what I expected, but entertaining nonetheless.

There were the expected Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan and other Pacific Island dance performances, and a large chorus made up of current `ukulele class students (from beginners to pros). They opened with lots of traditional Hawaiian pieces, slack key numbers, stuff from the 1800s, from the 1940s and 50s.

But then they got funky.

With the help of a European exchange student who was a whiz on the electric guitar, they did a classic Santana number, and then "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer. They brought out a firedancer called in at the last minute, who put on a pretty good show despite dropping his flaming torches five or six times. They did a decent Pachabel Canon in D for `ukulele, but then went a major step beyond and embellished it with a rap. And they closed with a medley from "Phantom of the Opera."

"That's an interesting choice," I kept saying.

The students gave their all, no shame, even when hitting the odd stray note or forgetting a few steps. The performances were good, despite some serious weird stuff going on with both the sound system and lighting.

In fact, the only thing that annoyed me a little was the large stretch of show in the middle where the students took backstage to a parade of guest performers. Big names, if the director is to believed, from old-time local bands, from the Big Island, all over. They would play and sing and reminisce while the kids were left standing in the shadows, most of the time unable to play as the guest musicians picked songs out of thin air.

That and the fact that the director's daughter did the singing for just about every piece with vocals. She wasn't bad, but you can't tell me that in a class of thirty aspiring musicians, you can't find more than one person willing to take the microphone.

All in all, laid back fun and a colorful way to spend an evening. With a little more practice and a smaller slate of celebrities, it should make it onto any local music fan's calendar.

Today was my first day as the new resident of office six of eight at work.

I like it.

People who come by to chat can sit down next to my desk, rather than just standing and leaning on a counter. And when I don't want people to come by to chat, I can close the door. I can use the CD radio box David donated to me without worrying about scaring visitors away with Björk and Fish Karma. I can put more pictures of Jen and Katie on my desk and on the wall. And I have my own little air conditioning control knob and a cozy space, so I can see my breath if I want to (and I often do).

I'll be living in fear that my boss will decide he likes me better out front, for a few weeks at least. But today he came "all the way over" (I'm now the staffer furthest from his office) to see my new home, and when I thanked him, he said, "You do so much for us, you've earned it."

I hope that's true.

Mom and I dashed out at the last minute yesterday and caught "Frequency" at the Mililani Theaters. In fact, we left her house when the movie was scheduled to start, but we still got in our seats before the end of the last preview.

It's the first time in a long time I saw a movie without investing a few hours of research first, reading all the reviews and spoilers and checking out the "official site." (Actually, it's the first time in a long time I saw a movie, period.) We chose it yesterday only because we'd heard from friends that it was good, and because we had three hours to kill.

I think our friends were right. Mom wasn't so sure.

I didn't know at all to expect. And I still don't know exactly how I'd squeeze it into a little compartmentalized movie box to explain it to someone else. Basically, it's one part father-son drama, two parts cop thriller, with a pinch of science fiction. There are points in "Frequency," in fact, where you can all but feel when it shifts from one genre into another.

There's an excess of loose ends and a few head-scratching moments (mom thought it was a little too convoluted), but the simple concept and the story is good enough to make you forgive those things.

It's definitely a good Father's Day flick, anyway. Mushy enough to say, "I love you," but exciting enough to get the adrenaline and testosterone going.

The most recent Sunday edition of The Honolulu Advertiser had a little present for me, tucked at the bottom of the Island Life features section cover. Yep, one more for the collection... and this one further cements the morning daily's place at the head of the local paper Hall of Shame.

I know deadline's a bitch, but they probably could have rewritten this hed to fit a little better, no?

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 22 May 2000 · Last Modified: 29 May 2000