Saturday, June 27, 2009

Livin' the (12 Year Old's) Dream

Epiphany time:

I am living the dream of what I thought "adulthood" should be as a kid. I could end this posting with just that and I think most of y'all would understand what I mean but I have gotten endless amusement out of this revelation today so for those not in the loop here's specifically what I mean.

- I wrench at a shop. This was the ultimate of ultimate adult jobs in my mind when I was 12. I am now one of the guys who holds the magic key to fixing cool things and assembling carbon-riffic road bikes. We wear our Fox hats backwards, understand the insides of your bottom brackets and have the tools to fix them.

- I can bunny-hop really, really high. This was one of those things that I always thought I should be able to do as a kid but as the time passed I never really progressed my park skills. Turns out a few years throwing around a 29er imparts a skill/prowess that makes bmx bikes the most throwable things in the world... pretty rad.

Like this guy but wayyy cooler (I work at a shop, you think I would wear crewneck sweatshirts and ride a double crown...psshhhh)

- I own a crap-ton of bikes and have a sweet apartment with a room specifically for them, shop included. This was pretty much the most important part of how I envisioned adult living arrangements when I was 12 (next to an indoor bmx track).

- I eat pizza and otter pops constantly. Two things that I ditched for a while but have reverted back to pretty hard in the last year. Enough with the cooking non-sense, I can get a large pizza for five bucks and have a freezer full of banana flavored sugar-ice.

- Mario Kart 64 is my bitch. That's right I ponied up the big barista/bike shop bucks and invested in a copy of this iconic recreational television game. It's about 1000 times less hard/entertaining as I remember it but that hasn't kept me from wasting a good 2 hours with it every day for the last few months.

I'm 99% positive that every item on that list does absolutely nothing to further my actual adult life. Wrenching at a shop isn't a super smart long term career (albeit one of the most enjoyable ever), offering to bunny-hop over 2 or 3 people if they will lay down shoulder to shoulder fails to impress people of my own age, Mario Kart ownage is not applicable on resumes. Actually... pizza and otter pops seem like a reasonable life choice for now, no qualms there.

So cheers 12 year old self, you became everything you ever wanted. And yes beer does taste that good and it's rad not having to tell mom and dad where you are all the time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Ruminations

So it's raining-ish, the suns out enough to go for a bike ride but not out enough to lay by a pool... I'm only good at one of those things anymore and it's not the one that this day is best suited for so y'all get to deal with my ramblings.

I've been m.i.a. for the last 20 or so days because I have been working a lot. Which has led to an incredible lack of adventuring but also an incredible amount of satisfaction. For those not in the loop I've been working a couple days a week at the CC and spending the rest slinging lattes on campus. So while I say I've been "working", I've actually just been getting paid for participating in enjoyable activities for 8 hours at a time.

Things I have been thinking about for the last month:

I get incredible joy out of truing wheels: My mechanical skill has always been rather inept in my own mind but once being thrown into a shop I've done a pretty decent job of realizing that between wrenching on my own bikes and watching Pattersnap and Mr. Joe Fox fix things that there isn't much I can't do regarding bike-cycles (not that there isn't a metric schnoz-ton for me to learn but I feel have a pretty firm grasp on the basics.) Back to wheel-truing, something about the scrape of metal on metal sitting in a Park stand until it is tensioned well enough to not have any visible/audible impurities warms my cockles.

I read good books slowly: If it's good and it gets my brain firing than I leave it be after I've read whatever it is that made me think. Which has led to a complete lack of book conquering this summer. I've been trying to rock out The Afterlife but after one or two paragraphs I seem to have enough of my own brain-fodder to marinate in for a good few hours. Not a whole lot more to say about that.

The Big News: The Hombre has done up and shot itself in the foot. After a long-ish battle of what I thought was a wacky electrical system and then a flooding of coolant and then even more guages I have decided to give up on her. After driving a few other little trucks I have decided that it must be a compression problem and since I figure my brain works jsut as well as the OBD1 and my hood latch is broken I am just going to figure there is something seriously wrong with her and let her sit.

But that also means I visited the bank yesterday and am sitting on a smallish chunk of cash which to buy new transportation with. So while I've incurred even more debt I am wicked excited about what is in my rather immediate future.

Fo' real...? Indeed.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Word Fishin'

Problem: summer’s here, I have absolutely no desire to even look at a bicycle and I completely detest being indoors.

Solution: FISHING!

Suburban fishin' hole

Fishing, as a word, has a near and dear place in my heart. Not necessarily the sport of fishing itself but just the word. You see fishing was my “get out of jail free card” as a young and adventurous boy in high school. Everyone had one of these even if they don’t realize it. A “get out of jail free card” is something that you tell your parents you are doing even though they know (and you know) that you aren't but they respect that you at least have the good sense to lie to them about it.

A normal summer evening conversation with my parent’s would look like this:

Parents: Where are you going to?
Me: Fishin’. BYE! (run out door as fast as possible)

After I ran out the door I usually suspected my parents of just rolling their eyes and going back to what they were doing in an attempt to ignore whatever lude and lascivious behavior their offspring was actually sprinting out the door to accomplish.

But a funny thing happened with my “get out of jail free card”, my friends started using it and we ended up with a small gaggle of trucks and Jeeps with fishing gear in the back (because the lie has to at least be plausible). And eventually we discovered that in an absence of ruckus sparking events we actually enjoyed sitting, watching bobbers and drinking beer.

I brought my fishin' face and my "get kicked out of airports" beard.

That is the essence of why I like fishing. In all reality I have ended up with a fair amount of fishing knowledge and nice gear (the knowledge leans more to the gear side than the fish side… go figure). So on to today's adventure...

I thought these guys might come swooping down on me to steal my fishies, Hitchcock style.

I started today at the Clinton Dam Spillway, but it was way more work than I wanted to do. There was a huge crowd of people standing around and I had hit my first fish within 15 minutes (along with everyone else out there so don’t assume I knew what I was doing). So I decided to be done dealing with lines that move with the current and the excessive sportsmen and head down to the pond by the ball fields. I sat there for three or so hours and never caught another thing. I napped, I thought about the word fishing and I watched the clouds roll by, but I never caught another thing. I know there were fish in there since on the few occasions I did reel in my line the bait was gone, but I was far more content to continue dozing in the sun than to watch my bobber that intently.

So here’s to not riding bikes, watching the clouds roll by in the summer sky and the word fishin'