Get Smart: How To Do Everything Better in Honolulu (and Beyond)


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ILLUSTRATION: VALENTINO VALDEZ

Stop Paying and Do It, or Fix it, Yourself

A cornucopia of DIY classes are available in Honolulu. Here are just a few:

1) Make Home Safe

Learn how to install motion-sensor security lights and eliminate fire hazards by detecting smoke, fire or carbon monoxide. It’s also smart to map out a reliable, fire escape plan, so you’re prepared when bad stuff actually does happen. Safety and Security, Home Depot, Saturdays, 1-2:30 p.m., free, homedepot.com.
 

2) Jazz Up Your Walls

Do your rooms seem a little…lacking? Give your walls some character with crown molding. Learn fool-proof installation techniques and about proper materials and tools for the look you want. Crown Molding, Home Depot, Sundays, 1-2:30 p.m., free, homedepot.com.
 

3) Bicycle upkeep

Keep your bike in shape on your own, by avoiding flats and keeping your brakes in working order. Teacher Ryan Lopez holds one hour, DIY workshops every Thursday, covering topics such as gears, wheels and hubs. DIY Workshops, Island Triathlon & Bike, Thursdays, 6-7 p.m., $10, itbhawaii.com.
 

Swim, Don’t Sink

It’s shocking how many people in our Island home can’t swim. If that’s you, it’s time to dive in. YMCA private instructors will teach you proper swimming techniques. If you feel up to it, you can even take the next step and get a lifeguard certificate. Private Swimming Lessons, YMCA, $90-$112.50, ymcahonolulu.org, 531-9622.
 


photo: thinkstock

Defend Yourself, Women

“One assault tactic on women is called ‘the hook,’” says Steve McLaughlin, self-defense instructor at Kupale. “Someone asks you for the time or $2 for the bus. What they’re looking for is to see if you’re gullible.” Women, protect yourselves by taking this single, four-hour class. McLaughlin will cover 30 different topics on defense techniques. He has 38 years of experience under his jujitsu black belt, and spent three years researching criminal assaults. You will also learn the practicalities of making a police report, working with sketch artists and recognizing date-rape drugs. Self Defense for Women’s Assault Prevention Course, Kupale, Oct. 20, Oct. 28, $60, kupale.org, 595-7175.
 

Be a Better Cook

The Kapiolani Culinary Arts Program doesn’t just educate Hawaii’s professional chefs of the future, it offers classes to the public. Recent courses, many of them just a few hours long each, have included “Basic Knife Skills,” “Cooking with Fish” and “Taco Night.” For course descriptions, registration and schedules, visit culinary.kcc.hawaii.edu.
 

Be a Better Cook, Vegan Edition

You’ve gone meat-free, but you’re tired of eating the same old beans, tofu and tempeh. Kick up your diet with free monthly cooking classes at Down to Earth by Saradha Johnson. Past recipes include okonomiyaki, kimchee quesadillas and Greek baklava. Vegan cooking classes, Down to Earth Lifestyle Center, first Saturdays, 11 a.m.-noon, free, downtoearth.com, 947-3249.
 

Frost like a pro

Your kid’s birthday is coming up. Or you just feel like baking, and you want your cake to look good enough for Martha Stewart. Impress friends and family with floral icing designs like rosebuds, plumerias and sunflowers, thanks to this four-day workshop by Cake Creations. Cake decoration lessons, Cake Creations, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 5:30 -8 p.m., $200-$300, cakecreationshawaii.com, 988-3200.
 

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