How does a bike lane warrior do on a Valentine's Day?
Certainly keep a nice, safe distance from any chance of catching a communicable something! The closest I got to anything "coupley" was to watch people in furry animal costumes engage in foreplay ...
As this year's day of "will you's?" and little square tables with a chair on either side, draws to a close at 11.45pm Blue Hawaii time, I offer a blow by blow account of how I spent it. So if you had an even less romantic day than me, read my itinerary and claim it as your own. Think of it as a companion volume to 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' or more likely, 'Independence Day'.
8am: I woke with eyes like two hyphens having spent the last two nights working til 3am on the Bike Friday quarterly newsletter. In the spirit of conquering oil addiction, I was directed to make it a new, 'low emissions' publication, with half the number of pages, which means it now takes double the effort to make it pithy.
9.30am: was supposed to meet Hawaii Bicycling League cyclists at 9.30am, but was hamstrung by a rear flat tire and a pump that refused to exhale. In fact, I saw a small gecko clinging to the sidewall and for a moment imagined it was sucking air out of the tire. Rust was already all over the chain after just a few days parked outside, with the crashing ocean a few blocks over. Do you ever wonder that if salt air can do this to hardened steel, what's it doing to our bodies - romantic beach scenes and turquoise horizon aside?
10.30am: Having missed the Breakfast Club, I turned my attention the local Mac Made Easy Apple reseller, where I fondled the MacBook Air. It resembles a giant slim cigarette case with edges that taper like a knife - you could slice a foccacia with it. Unfortunately, it doesn't have FireWire ports and I suspect it won't suffice for the heavy duty video editing I've been known to do. I'm sure I wore out my welcome by asking about anything and everything in the store, but hey, it's my Valentine's day and I'll buy if I want to.
11am: I stopped by a store that said 'YOGA' but the owner was actually trying to attract last minute Valentine's Day purchases from blind men, by stringing a couple of pink balloons from her SUV rack. I suggested she hoist a selection of Brazilian g-strings on a pole and let them flap in the breeze, but it fell on deaf ears - the customer is never right. She offers several classes including poledancing, discreetly named 'Fit for a Goddess.' The goddess angle is a popular one that seeks to make this 'activity' seem 'womanly' rather than 'sleazy'. I see no need - I've always touted poledancing as an incomparable upper body workout - you never realize how puny your arms are, 'til you try to do do the 'upside down' manoeuvre.
12 noon: Bale and Yum Yum are two local Asian eateries where you can get a decent Bi Bim Bap, Green Papaya Salad or strange colored tapioca puddings - relatively cheap. Yum Yum had BROWN RICE, unheard of at most Asian eateries. The hi-fiber message is finally getting through. Being a seven-eight's vegetarian, I wasn't going to eat the pile of beef that accompanied my Bi Bim Bap, but I succumbed. Shite happens ... and less regularly when you eat too much meat.
12.30pm: I went into Don Quixote, a bizarrely-renamed Japanese supermarket formerly called Daiei, for a humble pair of shoelaces. This store has to be seen to be believed. Anything that doesn't move but did in a former life is there on ice, along with quirky stuff like containers with lids in just about every size and shape imaginable. I imagine a small lidded container of the right size and shape is a hotter item than the iPhone in cramped-quarters Tokyo ...
1pm: I visited the Bike Shop, and hung out there for an indecent amount of time inspecting and fondling bike porn - carbon fiber water bottle cages ($59.99), titanium light-sensitive sunglasses ($139.99) and this year's ugly bike shoes ($85 up). I'll say it now - bike shoes are all ugly, over embellished to the point where they look like they're wearing you, not the other way round. I don't care how comfy and longwearing and Italian they are, someone with taste needs to rescue this whole category.
I did clump away with a pair of Specialized Body Geometry MTB shoes to try out a stiffer sole. I've been using more recreational shoes disdainfully referred to by hipper-than-thou bike shop brethren as 'spin class shoes'. The damage? $35, reduced from $85. Woo hoo.
3pm: Got a haircut from Supercuts, $17. I always go to this worldwide shearing shed for the masses. It's only hair!
5pm: The Kailua Farmer's Market in full swing in the Long's parking lot. Pre-dinner Valentine couples in stage 1 foreplay - nibbling at Cinnamon Compote Crisp, Shrimp plate and each other. One popular vendor is the Taro Delight man, Tom Purdy. He makes everything out of taro, that starchy vegetable that MUST be cooked long and hard or else your tongue gets permanently grafted to the roof of your mouth. His Lau Lau is a slab of Salmon over Taro wrapped in banana leaves. He makes poke, that Hawaiian raw fish dish, from Taro - not a nori'd Nemo in sight. Delish!
6pm: Race home to avoid the VD crush: endless restaurant windows packed with tables for two like Noah's Ark ...
So that's how I spent VD. I confess I also spent an obscene amount of time in the evening trawling www.cyberguys.com for retractable cables ... who on earth would want this gal as a Valentine?
Here's the strangest thing I saw today ....