From here. What an obnoxiously silly set of questions.
- In what way have you recently been rebellious?
Keehi Lagoon Park has been closed for a year. There are concrete barriers blocking entrance to the park by car, but the tennis courts in front are open. So parking there and walking into the park is a piece of cake, as I’ve been doing these past few weekends. I’m not the only one — there are a few others walking around and through the park when I’m there, but we stay far, far away from each other. If you know anything about the park, you know it’s very popular with homeless people. I guess during the pandemic, the city erected a little compound with large military tents and picnic tables, fenced off and overlooked by police officers, for the usual park residents, ostensibly to keep them safe. Whenever I go by, there aren’t very many people there unless they’re all in tents. The whole thing is a placid picture I’ve enjoyed walking through while reading my Kindle. My car’s safety inspection expired in February 2020, so there’s also that.
- What fond memories do you have of camping out?
I was a Boy Scout, so camping was a huge part of my teen years, from seventh grade until I graduated high school. One of my NaNoWriMo projects was about summer camp the year after my sophomore year, the year my patrol (The Roach Patrol) won the patrol challenge, and there are a ton of memories from just that one week. Lately, though, I’ve remembered late nights playing cribbage under the dining fly, by the light of old Coleman lanterns. My scoutmaster always brought a couple of boards, usually one for each patrol, and we played for chores or KP duty. The new scouts almost always got the raw end, as older guys would take advantage of their rawness. Cribbage is supposed to be a civil game, but it has one cutthroat feature: when the scores are announced after each hand, if a player doesn’t claim points the opponent sees, the opponent gets to steal them. We usually played four-handed cribbage, with older guys partnering up and younger guys partnering up, but in my patrol we also mixed it up sometimes, older pairing with younger. These were great friends. We played game after game, telling the same stupid stories from past summer camps, laughing at the same stupid jokes, drinking cocoa warmed up on a propane stove, late into the night for the whole week.
- When did you last have a snow cone, or something similar?
In Hawaii, it’s called shave ice (except on the Big Island, where it’s called ice shave), and it’s one of my favorite snacks. Like most of us, I’ve avoided the shave ice stands for more than a year. The last real shave ice I remember was when my company moved to its new offices on King Street. There’s a bikeshare station on our block, so one day at lunch I changed into shorts and a tee, and biked the King Street bike lane back to University Ave, then came back. On the way back, I stopped at a little hair salon slash shave ice joint. I know, it’s a weird combination, and based on the quality of the shave ice, I’m going to say the salon is the main business. Oh, wait! I remember for Penny’s birthday in October ’19, we went to that Korean shave ice spot on Keeaumoku, inside the 88 Mart. In Korean it’s bingsoo, and at En Hakkore Cafe it’s a large and busy dish. Not what I’m used to but still quite good. So that was a few months more recent than the hair salon.
- Where do you have difficulty fitting in? Where do you easily fit in?
Fitting in has been an issue my whole life. I’m just a misfit in most situations, and I’ve come to be (mostly) at peace with it. And I think it’s one reason I’ve been thinking a bit about those cribbage games when I was a teen. The feeling of belonging I felt with my friends under that dining fly especially is dear to me. I didn’t even really feel like I fit in with my troop most of the time, but in my patrol it was usually great. These days, I enjoy the feeling of misfit community at metal shows, where I have found the people to be nicer than at concerts of any other type.
- How do you feel about banannas?
I disliked bananas for most of my life. If anything I ate or drank had banana in it, I just couldn’t get it down. Then several years ago, I made a dedicated effort to learning to like them. First I chilled them, then smeared them with lots of peanut butter and brown sugar. It took a while (and lots of brown sugar) to consume a whole banana, but I did it, not enjoying it at all for weeks. Then I got to where I could tolerate them, and I gradually used less peanut butter and less brown sugar. Now I can actually eat a banana. I can’t say I like it, but it’s no longer an issue. When I get an acai bowl, I eat every slice of banana in the bowl with no problems. I’ve been surprised by how starchy bananas are, how filling and satisfying just one good banana can be. And I’m hoping within a few years I will actually like them.