IMR: 2000: July: 08 — Saturday, 11:46 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

Turns out we're still dreaming.

After enjoying the ache we got after walking down to Ala Moana on Tuesday, we decided to try it again Friday night. After dinner, we loaded Katie into her stroller, and took off down the street.

This time we set a brisk pace, and better plotted where and when to cross the street to minimize intersection and rampless curbs. And apart from an unscheduled stop across Ross' when Jen spotted a stray cat, we definitely burned some calories and worked up a good sweat.

We decided to duck into Sears and see if they had any jogging strollers.

They didn't, nor did the other stores we visited. As it turned out, there was no decent sporting goods store anywhere at "Hawaii's Center," Ala Moana. (There is, however, a new Sanrio "Hello Kitty" store.) The hunt had whetted our appetite, though, and we vowed to continue shopping as we continued to vow that we'd seriously start exercising.

We headed back home, no slower than we walked down, and chuckled and gasped as our legs got that familiar ache. "I guess," I asked between breaths, "people do get to like this sort of pain."

I was just beginning to wonder if a jogging stroller, always to me a symbol of yuppiehood, was a good investment, when I hit upon the answer. Literally.

Coming down off the freeway overpass, our little $16 umbrella stroller hit a large crack in the sidewalk, and I very nearly dumped poor Katie onto the concrete. Thankfully, she was buckled in and her reflexes were good, and she practically kicked the stroller back upright all by herself.

"If we keep this up, we'll need something with bigger wheels," I said.

"Yeah," Jen said, her face flushed but still smiling.

And we did.

After researching on the web, checking more stores and checking for bargains on Ebay (there weren't any), we headed out today to Sports Authority at Waikele — my mom in tow, more curious than anything — to see if they had anything to offer.

They did. A basic, no frills jogging stroller for $90 — a good $50 less than the price I'd seen everywhere else.

After everyone took the floor model for a test drive around the store, and after we discovered that they only had one boxed unit left, we snapped it up. Before we reached the checkout, though, mom also snapped up a totally cute pink-and-black XCEL spandex wetsuit for Katie.

I assembled the jogging stroller as soon as we got back to mom's, and I plopped Katie in and took it on its inaugural trip while Jen and mom started on dinner. I walked out to the shopping center across from the high school and back, stepping up to a jog as often as I could muster (which, sadly, wasn't too often).

My lower back ached a bit when I got back, and I desperately needed something to drink, but otherwise, I felt great. All this walking wouldn't be much for most people, I'm sure, but for a guy whose work and leisure has been abysmally sedentary for the last several years, I think it's a decent start.

I just hope this sudden outdoorsy obsession outlasts the summer.

As of today, we also have renter's insurance.

I'd always wanted to insure the junk in our apartment, especially after Greg signed up and soon after found himself very glad he did. But I didn't know how to go about it, and never found the time.

But a couple of weeks ago I noticed one of our new neighbors smoked, and also had a kid, a combination that made me nervous. So I mentioned it to Jen, and the moment the word "insurance" crossed my lips, we knew we had to get some.

Bachi. We were paranoid that if we talked about it but didn't do anything, our building would burn down the next day. (I remembered being especially nervous around buses when we were getting ready to sign up for life insurance.)

So I bugged Greg for some tips and Jen called around and talked to half a dozen different companies. Given the reputation of insurance salesmen, I was sure our phone would be ringing off the hook. But as it turns out, only one office bothered to follow up with us, so we decided to go with them.

Allstate, on University Avenue across Kinko's. A basic policy for property and liability ($32k and $300k respectively) for a simple $200 a year, no monthly payments or tedious inventories required.

Thanks, Greg, for the advice. But I hope our luck is a little better than yours.

I forgot to mention, Grandma Henderson bought my mom a rotisserie cooker for her birthday.

Yes, one of those RonCo contraptions, "as seen on TV." My mom was the first person I knew who has one, and frankly we were all scratching our heads. But now we've used it several times to cook fancy dinners that have turned out remarkably good.

Beef roast, cornish game hens, and tonight, pork ribs, all loaded into the cooker and rotated at an even 180 degrees for about an hour each, and taken out juicy and tasty. The thing is noisy and a somewhat strangely designed, but believe it or not, it works as advertised.

The novelty might wear off soon, but grandma — who said she regretted ordering it the moment she hung up the phone — is already satisfied she got her money's worth.

I guess buying stuff "not available in stores!" off television is one of those things you fall into sooner or later. I remember one of my aunt's once got a Flo-Bee (a hair clipper that cleverly attaches to a vacuum cleaner hose), and the entire family was walking around with the same frizzy haircut for months.

And as long as my grandma doesn't pick up one of those singing fish, I'll be happy.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 08 July 2000 · Last Modified: 12 July 2000