IMR: Entries: 2001: March: 19 — Monday, March 19, 2001

Beautiful Day

Yesterday we enjoyed a perfect afternoon at a perfect park, enjoying a perfectly-planned birthday picnic with a perfect family.

 [ Ho`omaluhia Botanical Gardens. ]
[ Feeding the ducks. ]
[ One of the li'l quackers close up. ]
[ Crackers and bread for all. ]
[ One seriously nasty tree. ]
[ The Pooh blackberry game. ]
[ Kids played along, for a while. ]
[ Two rounds was fun enough. ]
[ Run, run, run! Musical plates! ]
[ Everyone's a winner. ]
[ Absolut Cute. ]
[ Doris and Lacene. ]
[ Dad and Grandma O. after a walk in the ocean. ]
Katie was invited to the birthday celebration for little Robert (youngest son of coworker Bernice) at Ho`omaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kailua. It was a very exclusive affair, and Katie was the only invitee who wasn't a classmate. Testament to our daughter's charm, I'd like to think, seeing as how she and little Robert don't see each other often, but Robert asks about her often.

Of course, Bernice is an incredible person, and an incredible mother, so the picnic was filled with nothing but smiles and warm fuzzies. From hand-picked and hand-wrapped favors, to toddler-tweaked party games, Jen and I — already awestruck by every thing else in which Bernice invests so much thought and attention — once again secretly hoped some of that parenting skill would rub off on us.

Well, it was either that or flashes of insecurity, particularly in light of Robert's gentle manner and shockingly articulate speech.

I'd never been to Ho`omaluhia — dubbed "The Hundred Acre Wood" for the afternoon on invitations and maps, as Robert had an affinity for Pooh — and frankly, I didn't even know it was there. But it was very nice, and the weather couldn't have been better. After convening at an open pavillion for snacks (including sandwiches cut in cute shapes and cupcakes the kids decorated themselves), we headed down the grassy slope to a huge lake, replete with ducks and wild koi.

The tots quickly went through a loaf of bread and two packages of saltines to feed the resident quackers, but it wasn't long before the fish got in on the action and started sucking down the food faster than the ducks could paddle over. When the ducks wandered off, it was time for the games.

Bernice had carefully engineered four übercute activities. The first was a simple Pooh board game, which the kids loved, but it was a little too complicated to hold their attention beyond two rounds (although they loved the little figurines and baskets of blackberries). Second was a treasure hunt of sorts, involving color-coded balloons and little cards, which was also fun even though half the balloons didn't survive their few minutes in the wild. Third was a short game of chase, in which all of the children were dressed in incredibly adorable bee costumes and swarmed after Robert, tagged as the Queen (King?) Bee.

Finally, the big hit of the day was a modified game of musical chairs, in which the seats were paper plates (with hand-colored Pooh character cutouts on them), and the number of seats and the number of kids always remained equal. It didn't take the kids long to catch on, and in no time they were jumping up with the music, running around and shrieking, scrambling to sit on the plates (which occasionally moved in the commotion), and screaming "again! again!"

It was a sight to behold... beaming, laughing little people swarming around, occassionally stumbling or colliding, like some crazy science fair demonstration of how atoms and electrons work. And Katie was in there, having a blast, eventually wising up and carrying her plate with her as she ran to guarantee a spot to squat when the tunes stopped.

Keeping the lot together was like herding cats, with little people wandering off now and then to chase ducks or stray cats. The adults — which included coworker Doris and former coworker Lacene — were kept on their toes, and fortunately, not one kid ended up in the lake as was originally feared. Finally everyone got their prize, and we headed back up to the pavillion and wrapped things up with the requisite birthday song and more cupcakes.

Frankly, the only less-than-perfect aspects of the picnic were some of the trees in the park, which were unlike any I'd seen before. They were essentially a cross between regular palm trees and porcupines, covered with stiff, sharp spikes that rudely introduced themselves to anyone who made the mistake of trying to lean against them.

We climbed back into the car exhausted but happy.

Before calling it a day, though, we jumped at the chance to visit with dad, Gayle, and Grandma Ozawa in `Aina Haina. A simple, quiet evening, eating sushi and somen, catching up, and playing the last few ounces of energy out of Katie.

A more pleasant Sunday there could not have been.

At the moment, Jen is halfway through what has got to be our 121st viewing of the John Hughes masterpiece, "Sixteen Candles." That's only since we've been a couple, mind you — she had seen it perhaps twice as many times before we even met.

The film's rotation in this household is second only to "Say Anything," which is (in my opinion) equally as entertaining and insightful. Whether it's Long Duk Dong on the exercise bike or that "boombox on the hood of the car" scene, you could say I'm not terribly impressed with the artistry or social commentary.

Variety is the spice of life, of course, and life wouldn't be half as interesting if Jen and I actually liked the same movies (or music or TV shows or books or...). I am a bit worried, though, that even I'm beginning to memorize huge chunks of dialogue in these films.

"Where... is my auto-mo-bile?"

Gah. I feel a Björk album marathon coming on.

[ The New Star-Bulletin ]We've now entered the era of the new Honolulu Star-Bulletin. If only the newspaper's launch could be as flawless and impressive as the printed paper itself.

I picked up my copy of the first issue when it debuted on March 15. I was happy to see dozens of people downtown clutching copies, and I actually didn't mind that the first two machines I went to were already empty. It looked and felt great.

I wasn't too nuts about the new masthead, the suckage of which Donica warned me about in advance, and the slightly smaller size will take some getting used to. But it was immediately clear that new owner David Black's move to buy out and use the press owned by Oahu Publications (which prints the otherwise worthless MidWeek shopper) was the right one. Everything was sharper, cleaner, and best of all, the richness of the color was stunning. (They were showing it off so obviously, some sections looked a bit like USA Today.) A higher grade of newsprint and better ink put the look and feel of The Honolulu Advertiser to shame.

Special bonus? No black fingertips after reading!

Whether or not this is a good thing, more than one person commented that it looked like a "real" (read: mainland) newspaper. Peculiar praise for the daily usually slammed for being the more casual, local-flavored newspaper.

But. It's way too early to see if the actual content of the newspaper thrives under the new ownership and in the new packaging, or at least sustains the previous level of quality. Only time will tell, of course, especially as they will no doubt go overboard on the flashy stuff and self-congratulatory undertones in the first few weeks. I sure hope so, although folks are still grumbling about the firing and retiring of some key Star-Bulletin veterans.

More worrisome is the embarassingly huge problems the new Star-Bulletin is having with circulation. (The Advertiser hasn't been shy about highlighting them.) The new presses have led to glitches that meant papers getting out late (or not at all, when the neighbor islands are concerned). And it wouldn't be exaggerating to say thousands of home and business subscribers have not received some, or even any, issues. Even though I know some of the blame lies with Gannett, in not providing up-to-date subscriber lists or surrendering delivery access codes and keys, the fact of the matter is it makes the new Star-Bulletin look bad.

Since the switchover, we've not received a single issue at the office. Neither has dad, and Gayle is struggling very hard to not capitulate to Gannett's strong pitch to switch. I want to get a home subscription myself, but at this point I want to wait until things settle down a bit more.

C'mon, guys. Please don't let me down.


Ryan, Stick with us, baby, the best is yet to come, man. Also, I think the circulation nightmare is calming down. Best way to subscribe is via the website. Eh, when we going grab one beverage?? I'm on the rock, man.
dick (March 26, 2001 10:18 PM)

My name is Kathleen Severini and I am assisting my professor in collecting historical and interesting pictures of: Aloha Air (airplane/founder) Bankoh (parade, fun runs) City Mill (Ship, founder) Eki Cyclry EK Fernandez (events) First Hawaiian Bank (Charles Reed Bishop) Liberty House/Macy's (Hackfeld, Macy, stores, etc) Foodland (Maurice Sullivan, Stores, etc.) Hawaiian Air (Kennedy, Planes) Straub (George Straub, original location) Times (Teruya's, Stores) Historical pictures is nice. Color is what Professor Sigall is looking for and also if you can spare a picture I would greatly appreciate a copy. If you are going to email to me a picture 150 DPI is required. We are interested in old pictures of any interesting pictures/events/building fronts of past or present. Bob Sigall is a marketing professor at Hawaii Pacific University and is writing a book about little known facts and stories about Hawaii’s well-known companies. The book will be published sometime next spring. In order to have more definition we will need at least 150 DPI for all pictures. We are looking for color pictures to put into the book however black and white is okay. Since it is difficult to loan out archive pictures we would like to request to have them scanned and emailed or if you can spare some pictures have it mailed to us. We need at least 150 + DPI if you email to us. If you have any suggestions or recommendations of where I can go to or an email address of someone who may have additional pictures I would greatly appreciate it. This would be a great help to us. I have two-email address: My address is: Kathleen M. Severini 1031 Nuuanu Avenue, #2708 Honolulu, HI 96817 Thank you. Kathleen
Kathleen Severini (December 31, 2001 1:14 PM)

What the heck was that?
Ryan (December 31, 2001 1:30 PM)

E kala mai! Comments have been disabled due to overwhelming abuse by spammers. Please click through to any of the video hosting services linked above to leave a public response, or feel free to send an e-mail. Mahalo!

© 1997-2008 Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: [ PGP ] · Created: 13 November 1997 · Last Modified: 14 January 2008