about a week ago kawika samson found an unused road in kapolei - ironically titled "the second city." kawika told daniel whom told everyone else. and on easter sunday a group of friends traveled to the other side of oahu to race bicycles along a new unopened road. mark mizusawa filmed and edited a video of their adventures.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
the last week has been one of the oddest weeks in recent memory. it began with john hamilton contacting me to go bicycle riding - something he has not done since college - and ended with two traffic/park ticketed violations from the good ‘ole honolulu police department.
in between I had the pleasure of hearing nimz’s voice one last time before her five month communications hiatus on an atoll. nimz is the most supportive person in my life at the moment, I can only hope that I am hers.
every so often john hamilton gets the urge to ride one of his two beautiful track bicycles beyond commuting. on these rare occasions I usually comply with his requests as they are indeed scarce. soon mark lavender, reeda martin, and steve fallon joined in the bicycle ride. the significance of fallon attending a leisure stroll was not lost upon hamilton and I.
during the week of work I kept running into people I knew. one morning aly bishop rode from aiea to honolulu for no particular reason. one late afternoon I bumped into annie as we were both finishing the day and rode home together. along the way I asked annie how her job interview went a few weeks back. annie replied that she thought it went well but had yet to receive a call back. meanwhile, annie said she taken up a side-job of tutoring college kids. what does tutoring constitute, I inquired. “actually I just write their (college kids) papers for fifteen dollars a page,” said annie.
mccully warehouse finally received the shipment of my new phil wood 18T cog. the new cog replaces a three-year old 19T phil wood cog. I really have dave flores to thank for introducing me to the quality of phil wood. if a phil wood cog can survive three years throughout snow, red dirt, and every rainy day possible, then it is money well spent.
as I was picking up a pass to visit the first circuit court judges’ chambers the sheriff paused before handing me the pass. “hey, you know your bike? its a fixed gear, right - how do you stop on that thing? I rode my friend’s (fixed gear) bike on the weekend and almost died.” I explained how the objective is to resist equal amounts of momentum that is propelled forward. the sheriff stared at me in disbelief and remarked, “that’s crazy.”
all the modern era fixed gear videos have it wrong. kids in skinny jeans skidding down a hill is cliché, sheriffs on fixed gears is the new hotness.
heading into work on friday I was ecstatic that week was finally over. when the police siren blared I kept riding along until the white SUV cut me off and the police officer pointed in my direction. immediately I knew something unethical was going to happen when the officer stepped out of his vehicle and stated, “you think you’re funny?”
I replied that I was not, and had no idea he was directing me to stop. he then grinned and said “oh, I am going to have a lot of fun taking your bicycle away from you.” the police officer - as I would later realize, was a sergeant - called for back-up. while waiting for back-up he asked for my name.
“sau,” I stated.
“‘sau’?” the sergeant repeated. “that’s an ugly name.”
“you heard me. your name is ugly.” said the sergeant.
“that’s my given chinese name,” I replied, confused and angry.
“in america ‘sow’ means pig. your name means pig,” said the sergeant, “don’t talk unless being spoken too.”
hory cow. what the funk was going on. at this moment I knew nothing good was going to come out of this scenario. so I tried my best to explain myself not realizing that it was a crime to speak in america. by now there were six squad cars - not including the sergeant’s SUV - and over half a dozen of honolulu’s finest huddled above me. above me as I was ordered to sit cross legged on the pavement with my hands in plain view.
I told one of the officers I had to call my boss as I was presumably going to be late to work. the sergeant immediately slapped my mobile out of hand. “don’t you dare use that phone, what is your boss’s number, I will call.” another officer explained, “hey don’t you know watch the news?! didn’t you know there was a shooting yesterday...how do we (honolulu’s finest police officers) know you’re not reaching for a weapon.” I replied as politely as I could under distress that I had stated previously that I was reaching for my mobile. I also explained that I did not own a television so no, I did not know there was a shooting - and on account that I never read local news. in all sincerity though, who really cares what happens on this dumb backwards island anyway?
by now I was stressing out. with the amount of officers towering over me and a sergeant hell-bent on taking away my work bicycle - and threatening to arrest me if I did not comply by sitting obediently on the pavement - there was an overwhelming pang of lost. twenty gut-wrenching minutes later I still had my bicycle, a ticket for 100USD - for running a stop sign, my fault - a scratched up mobile phone, and a little bit of my sanity.
I was late for scheduled pick-ups by only ten minutes. my boss called me and said, “I thought you were going to be arrested...the sergeant was not kind.” the day could not get any worse, I thought to myself. an hour later I was stopped by two honolulu police officers on segways. the two officers twirled their segways and ordered me to stop my bicycle. “we are issuing you a citation for riding on fort street mall.” after explaining to me that I had to go before a district court judge to extract a punishment the officers left twirling on segways.
two tickets before noon on a friday? good grief.
it turned out that I was not the only messenger having a bad day in honolulu yesterday. johnny “pluggs” isabelo also received a citation from the segway police officers - twenty minutes after I received mines. isabelo inquired what my court date was and established that both of us would be headed to court on the same day.
later in the day zeek manuel lost a filed document. zeek was so distressed that I found him huddled in the corner of a building drinking a tall can of budweiser while eating french fries in the rain. yes, there was a unforeseen downpour in honolulu yesterday. at that stretch, “when it rains, it pours” had been taken literally all week.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
after dropping nimz off for a five month stint as a NOAA monk seal researcher the apartment felt particularly empty. initially unable to fully comprehend nimz’s absence I noticed myself in a moment of sulk. so I contacted eilif and was grateful to find that he was available for shenanigans.
eilif and I took saturday afternoon by force. as eilif would soon depart for his home in corvallis, oregon if felt that many things had yet to be accomplished. we wandered into a wal-mart where I walked out with a “women of paradise” 2012 calendar for eilif; never ever steal from local stores, always steal from big corporations. we went to ala moana center: “hawaii’s premier shopping” and got lost at macy’s - which was as bad as it seems. met-up with kawika samson and proceeded to a bicycle shop where kawika would purchase an time trial aerodynamic helmet and I would purchase an expensive new castelli cycling jersey.
along the way eilif had his first encounter with shave ice. shave ice is basically crushed ice with high fructose corn syrup flavors but waiola’s on waiola street does it brilliantly. as the saturday afternoon came to an -inevitable- conclusion eilif inquired if he could take a quick shower via the pool’s shower. having been homeless - “houseless,” according to eilif - in hawaii for three months, eilif was always in need of finding a way to clean himself.
so off eilif’s clothes were. after briefly viewing eilif’s private bits I must admit that all the awkwardness of high school shower rooms reemerged. how much further in age does it take to be completely comfortable lurking nude amongst other nude men? the old-timers at the gym always appear plenty comfortable.