I am wanting
to explore the line between reality|truth[?] that is: what is sharing and what is
ego; what is telling and what is just plain old drawing attention to oneself; what is noise and what is
...and after much thinking on this, I am pretty
convinced that most of 'modern-day [read: The Internet] sharing' is
nothing but drawing [or attempting to draw] attention to oneself, one's
business, one's self-created awesomeness [be it retold with an "Ahh
gee, look what I did---you really think I am great too? Gee" bent or in the intense thumping, SilverBack
style, of and on one's chest] or one's thoughts [which are masked as
'what do you think?' when it really seems to be 'agree with me or
in any case, a lot of self-absorption.
From Me, as well.
I think Warhol got it wrong by 2 minutes. It isn't 15 minutes of fame, it's 17... if you have a blog and/or Twitter account [and most everyone does].
But no more.
I liked it all better when few knew, most didn't care, and it was all small potatoes. Po-Ta-Toads [as Chloe would say].
learned [still learn] a lot, made great lasting friends, great acquaintances,
ran the gamut and gauntlet, but it's time to go away... and keep
learning, listening and growing: just like before but without so much
of me attached to the Me in Me/without so much noise from all the great warbled voices of everyone vying for something, what-I don't know any longer, but some Thing.
We, as a family, are shooting for a small, teeny-tiny
life, far off and as invisible as possible from this EEEE-sized-Lectronic
World: a place and space where I work on trying to not want nor need
anything more than what's directly in front of me [baby-steps, some concrete, my wife, daughter & life].
A friend once suggested, "Close it down with some Thanks and lots of Apologies", so here goes:
Thank You, All. Thank you all very much, and profoundly so [even the dislikers & haters too]. I've learned something from all of it.
yes, I am very sorry for any & all offenses... be them truthful
[where I took well-aimed shots] or be it the ones that were built upon the dark human
foundations of wanting more of something I could ever participate in or need or call my own [wanting to connect with so many folks that
it was driving my soul mad], I am sorry. I have a hopeless side to me that wants to change people [the World] in equal proportion to changing myself [and it's called -I'm pretty certain- Ego].
And -again- I am very Thankful for all this place has done and shown me.
it... this journal stays for those seeking some solace for a process
& journey [or to laugh -or rage- at me placing my foot in my mouth
squarely, or me joking and some not getting it, or me not joking and
some getting it], warts & all.
We're off & out to new things both small and low-key.
Here's to small & low-key...
my electronic netometer is now in perma-off-mode [blog, Twitter, all of it], but please do know-
Thank You for allowing me to share all that has come to be in the last few years,
Found the following photo lurking in the dark corners of the hard drive.
...and it gave me pause. Serious. Pause.
That was taken outside Lake Placid, NY in 2003 [on my way up to bigger & worse things] but, it was a great moment. Great because it was the 3rd time I was outside that year. Chloe & Amy had begged me to go somewhere with them: a vacation, a get-away. And I had -finally- agreed.
Looking at that photo, I smile for what it shows in the immediate: a beautiful little girl in her very first swimsuit walking into water for her very first time with her dad. She was terrified of a school of baby trout swimming near our feet. Amy & me had to -repeatedly- convince her that they weren't 'Miniature Sharks'.
But, also, looking at that pic right now... The Regret. I'd like my daughter's youngest years back, with me where I am at currently/presently. I lost so much of it. Only stories & events retold for my cloistered benefit [sanity] kept me seeing what I did not see, what I did not participate in at all. I missed every walk, every errand, every trip to the park. I pushed my daughter in her stroller precisely one time... in our living room [Amy had arranged that so I could know what it felt like~and it felt gloriously like it should have felt].
I don't know what or how it is that draws me to regret, deep regret, while certainly respecting, appreciating & honoring where I'm at now, today. I appreciate a lot if not every thing in ways I cannot express overly well... but simultaneously, I am -at minimum- tipped toward the past with endless melancholy over what was -no other good way to paint it- Lost.
I've asked Chloe if she feels anger, sadness or anything bad toward me for those years, the lost years. And her answer remains, "No, you're my daddy... I love you! I just think you're more You now, than you were you Then". And that's that I suppose...
We are who we are right now.
It's the shedding of memories [the ones that hurt, haunt & drag it all down] that seem everlastingly on the biggest of big 'To-Do Lists'. If you can't erase them, what's to become of them.
I think, eventually, I'll find a proper place for all of it to reside in myself...
but for all the good and fantastic in the universe, I'd like a Do-Over.
Now the quandary... I know nothing/nada/zip/zero about folding bikes. I do, however, know lots of folks who like them [and theirs personally] and -also- plenty of folks who love [like a Blood-Sport] to make fun of those kinds of bikes and -especially- the people that ride them.
But, like I said, I know nothing about them.
Anyone care to fill me in? I've tried out a Brompton twice now, and must declare: I like it [and for traveling I can't imagine the ease]. ____________________________________________
In other news...
completely forgot to update on my last Weigh-In Day [WID~March/5/09]. So, the stats:
Weight: 178.4 pounds Weight on Last Weigh-In [January 18th, 2009]: 181.8 pounds Loss Of: 3.4 pounds
I like to ride in big gears. I recall doing this as far back as my first multi-geared bike as a kid. It's like weightlifting: you see the bar, a stack of metal discs nearby and one way or another, you & your friends end up puttin' them on all and seeing what comes of it. It's always been this way for me with bikes... I get on, I roll, and by the end of the block I've geared it down to its highest gear in no time at all.
And I usually just keep it there, unless I'm halfway up a hill steep enough that I'm beginning to roll backwards down it. Maybe it's a Boy/Guy thing... perhaps it's just an offshoot of always having to "try". Of course it could be as easy as the Time-Space continuum of 'Be careful or you'll shoot your eye out': whereby you have to keep pushing until the Universal RubberBand of "It's Your Turn" snaps back around on your arse and that's that. Dunno.
But I do know this... It, does snap back, eventually. And did for me.
I've noticed a lot more folks out-n-about riding lately, and of those folks many [lately] are in full-on kolorz: i.e. Team Kit [some local, most 'Net-Bought from & of their favorite team/teams/riders[?]... but in either/any case they are out and wearing those logos], and many of them are racy. They wanna go fast all the time. They are speedy quick, quickly speedy.
So far -with this climate of Fasteryness [my word, Google will net you nada]- I've been willingly coerced into two/2/to/too races. One netted me a flatted rear [but I was holding my own up until that flat even though I didn't have full USPS team kolorz on me... but I would seriously bet I was within mere feet of having my backside handed to me -had it not been for that pancaked rear flat- as we were about to embark on some serious inclined inclinations of the hilly sort]...
...and the other netted me a hyper-extended left knee. A few days back, while exiting the downtown PDX area and heading toward home, a Roadie with serious eyes for Man-Man came up from behind me. What followed was the usual, non-spoken, nudge/floor it/back-off/floor it, on again/off again game of 'wanna go??". And we went.
Between runners, walkers, joggers, baby strollers, commuters, bird poop, areas that smell of freshly sprayed cow manure [parts of the Eastside Esplanade reek to high hell of... well, one can't really candy coat it, Shite], the homeless & more... we went. And we kept going.
Never a word spoken. Only frowns, occasional grunts, always lots of serious intent written on two mugs, we went.
Pull ahead, gap opens, close it up, gap closes. Draft, pull, draft, pull... I think, looking back, we knew it would end at the tracks one stop past Spokane on the Corridor. But we never discussed it.
So it kept going, and I know he was as tired as me. And for what gain? To what effect? It was sublimely ridiculous and served zero purpose. But I think we were heeding our Testosterone, our inner-Caveman, our need to gage & monitor the current state of our "Me-ness".
What a moronic sight we must have made: me in a jacket, helmet w/mirror & lights, tights & knickers... him in a very expensive Giro helmet, racing shades, "Hammer Nutrition" jersey & shorts w/"Discovery Channel" tights underneath it all... about the only thing that united us: riding two-wheeled bikes and clipless shoes [but he got me there too, Sidi road shoes].
A 14 mile sprint, and I might be wrong on this, cannot be overly fun for even those with the advantage of Youth & Ultra-Fitness on their side. It can't be. It certainly wasn't for me... but then again, 'Sprint' is a relative term to those doing the sprinting and those watching the sprinting. My 'partner' in all this certainly wasn't wearing anything near enjoyment on his face either.
But we kept on.
So far, I'm only -really- dipping my big toe into Stupidity. The 10-Meter, full-on, belly-flop, comes about... right... Now.
Just past the drop on the Corridor, where you can go under the tracks into Oak's Bottom, my left knee, more specifically the outside & inside [not the front or rear of the knee] goes "Pop" and then "Ping". The 10% of my brain that isn't bathing in testosterone, endorphins and hair-covered hands, says "Whoa... bad. Stop. Now". The other 90% announces, "It was a stick, a piece of gravel, something on the asphalt... keep going sissy". So I went. I listened to the part that -also- responds with things like "No, I know that's a gas station right there, but I'm positive that if I get on that highway and drive east 20 miles we'll find the hotel. I know what I'm doing here, honey".
10%: 'This knee has a history, Einstein. It gave out before anything else gave out as you got big, then bigger, then biggest... every time you've had a knee issue, it's been this knee. You always have babied this knee, what are you doing here, Chief?'
90%: 'It was a stick or something'
10%: 'Amy's gonna be pissed. Not angry because it hurts and you hurt it... no, pissed because you're going to drive her batshit with nonstop worries about it, nonstop questions about it, nonstop "do you think? this/do you think? thats"... check up and ride home like a person that actually has learned something [anything?] in 45 years on this planet'
90%: 'You ain't Lance brother... but neither is this guy. You and Me, we can take him. Go fatboy, go'
90%: 'Steel against Carbon-The Grudge Match. Just keep going, it was a twig or something... I'm tellin' you man, just keep going'
10%: 'I guess no more rides for a while'
90%: 'There's only The Now'
And we arrived...
well, actually, I arrived. And then he arrived.
I waited for him on the tracks. About 8 seconds later he pulled up beside me. We both smiled. Long pulls on water bottles, a few 'Wows', a couple 'We were goings'... he said, "Great job! Man, I thought for sure I had you near the end" I said something like "I think I killed my knee, so unless you're injured or worse, you came out of this better than me". We shook hands.
I rode home wincing... at appx. 7mph.
Lesson ~finally~ Learned=
Pedal Lite/Spin Fast/Resistance Minimally.
[...and I never told Amy how it happened by the way, but she'll know soon enough]
Amy has been knitting lately, and has -also- taught Chloe. Chloe loves it. Her Grandma, my mom [who passed in 1997], would be beyond proud of this. Chloe's first project [seen above] is for a special guest coming by tomorrow for a hang, family ride & then hummus wrap [which will probably make him seriously sick based on his legendary intake of all things Fructose Corn Syrup-but Amy is a nurse after all, so he'll be in good hands when he drops due to something natural and non-chemical laden in his gullet]. Chloe calls this a "Whimsical Charm of Safety"... and man did she work hard on it, not to mention that she got more than a lil' stressed about the short hour of his arrival. But it's done, and it's rawkin'!
While Chloe knitted her behind off, Amy made candles...
And Mr. Dipshit, me, I decided to shave without reading the instruction sheet on my new 'lectric trimmer, and instead of taking a "little off", I hacked it all off:
Amy & Chloe like it, and therefore forced me to smile while snapping off a foto [trust me, it's a fake smile]. And then I rolled out... precisely 2 feet from our front door before noticing my front tire was flat. Fixed it, rode thru downtown, started racing a guy up Lovejoy [both of us laughing in a good-natured way] and was soundly "Game-Over'd" when I thought he was pulling my bike backwards, looked down and saw a pancake flat rear tire.
Never had two flats, front-n-rear, in one day... heck, one ride!
When riding, as in Life, one often thinks of Their Space. While walking, that space is more often than not where your two feet are planted: step-air-step-air-step-air-step. While riding, the Cycler more often than no casts that space as their two wheels, and maybe a couple feet fore & aft/a few port & starboard: pedal-wheel-turns-pedal-wheel-turns-pedal-pedal-pedal. In Life, that person often feels their existence is 50% driven & realized, where they are at currently [literally, physically], and pair that with 25% memories of their past & 25% thoughts toward their future [dreams, plans, goals, schemes]: Live-Think-Act-Plan-React-Live-Think-Act-Plan-React.
One of my absolutely favorite spaces to place [find?] myself in is this: on the bike, eyes slightly cast for/occasionally aft but mostly downish-toward my stem/bars & front wheel... sometimes, my feet. How amazing really: watching those two things go around, and around, and around. And thru that: momentum, inertia, movement. Toward something? A goal, a plan, the future... maybe even the past.
Here, up ahead, comes that hill again. First 100 or so yards, steam, real steam. Desire and Jones. Next 200... man, gravity, Mama Earth throwin' her Grand Plan at your Steam. Hurts, a lil'... A Lot. Sure, I can ease up... and hey, I'll have to soon enough, but for now, juice/Juice. Of course she always wins, she always can outlast me and my type. She laughs in the end, but I'd bet she would wink a small nod of "Hey, that dumb mother!$@ker comes back each & every day, gotta give him some thing for that too". I hope she knows I'm trying the impossible [what, I'm not sure of... maybe that some day, somehow, I'll climb her as fast as I can descend her with a stiff tailwind? Maybe I am that thick].
Top of the hill... duality: 'Man, I feel beat-down" mixed with a pinch of 'That's never as bad as it seems looking up from the bottom'. Why do I think that every time?? Dunno, but I always do.
Check my feet, yep still attached and pumping, and damn-they do their thing easier than my brain, heart & larger muscles. I envy the attachment of Feet.
No, I own that space and that place. My space is near the looking half-over/half-behind the bars. A little stem, some wheel and a touch of road. I can pivot my shoulders, my head & maybe a few other things too... but where I place the hands & my eyes, that's My Space.
Of course there's The Ache too... serious ache. Ache for more, and for less. Ache for what's been lost and to never be recovered. Ache for how lost I was before I became found...
More than a few folks have suggested a vid of me throughout the last 3 years... well, I have no video. But I do have pics, and with those was able to put together the following 'Greatest Hits' package.
When Amy & Chloe watched it for the first time, they were stunned [me, I thought it was oddly, weirdly, interestingly, strange... but yeah, my face [and body] have certainly changed significantly].
Have at it [it seems to blow thru the first few captures, so after it loads play it again or use the scroll bar to manually rewind it for proper effect]:
I started being bothered about age when I turned 30. That birthday got under my skin. I understood why though: my brother, unbeknownist to him, or my mom & dad, had forecasted my death when I was 12 years old one evening in our motel room while on vacation outside of Lake Placid, NY. They hadn't realized I could hear them talking in the other room while I was standing in the bathroom. It bothered me more deeply than I could have imagined at the time. My brothers concern was my weight, and he had told our parents that if something wasn't done, and soon, I would be dead by the age of 30. Standing, listening, in that small bathroom of room #12 at The High Valley motel, it bothered me but hey, 30 is a long way away.
When I hit 22 or so, it all came back on me. Each birthday would be part celebration/part countdown to D-Day. It was at once fun and ominous. Joy mixed with a morbid finish line coming ever closer.
Why would it bother me? Why would my brother's soothsaying get so under my collective skin? He was [still is] my big brother: not sure about other little brothers, but for me... he was always right, always On Point, always first to know, always Knew. In my twenties, I was fighting to be my own person and dismiss the ways of the Little Brother [even if it meant I had to go the opposite direction/take the opposing stance of him, my dad, hell-the rest of the universe]... but in the fight, I kept wondering, particularly near & on my birthday, 'could he be right?'.
At the end of my 29th year on this planet, I had a weird birthday. Weird because I wanted to enjoy it but ultimately couldn't... I was going to die that night at 11:58pm [the time of my birth, back in September of 1963].
In the end, I made it, he was wrong.
I was never angry at him [he's probably going to read this... so I better be nice anyway]. But I was left sad by it all. Sad, because no kid should hear that sort of business and have it lodged in their gray matter all those years. But it happens, we all have things implanted -whether we okay it or not- by life, experience, happenstance. And so it goes.
Another reason 30 bugged me was this: yeah I had dodged the brotherly bullet of his tarot'd conclusions, and that was good fodder for further acknowledgment that he could be & was wrong occasionally, but 30 also felt like the end of the Titanium Shield of Youth. You know [unless you're too young or stupid, or both] what I mean... that feeling of invincibility whereby you're Superman [or Wondergirl, or whatever the chick variant of The Man O' Steel is]. I felt that big time. "It's over".
40 was a bummer too. Why? Because I was firmly falling into the pit of weight, non-movement, isolation, non-independence and seeing my exit strategy in a way that a 40 year should not have to see it. My brother got it right, again, but his timing was off by a decade. But 40 also bothered me, weight aside for a moment, because if I was to be around, I had spent at least half of my Life Ammo and was on the other side of the life-map. That, in a way, was more of a hair-on-back-of-neck-standing-up moment than the weight issues. My youth, my 'Thing', was Spent. The check had been cashed and the money blown on long-forgotten purchases. That's the one that'll keep you up at night pacing the floor.
And now at 45, even with all the work [stuff, whatever you want to call it] I've done, what bites at me is this...
The realization that you can't stop it. Ever. Time, that is. That merciless mistress of clicking, bitching time... well, she just keeps her thing going doesn't she? I can't see being 90. So that said, I'm well past halfway thru my allotted time on this cruise. Yeah, I'm enjoying it, making the most of it [or trying at least], trying my level best to suck out all the marrow from it [even the remnants of the marrow]. But it keeps counting down... like the big, endless ass of some aunt at a family reunion, the sack of time keeps dropping.
Our next door neighbor, well let me start that again... this morning I awoke to pounding in our backyard. After a paltry 5 hours of sleep that is. I walked into the kitchen and looked out the back window into the yard. Standing out there, in our yard, was our next door neighbor... removing slats of wooden fence from our fence. I dressed, walked out into the yard and said, Hi. He looked over, turned a little embarrassed red-faced, and said that he had talked to the folks we rent from and that it was okay'd for him to start replacing some of the fence slats as they were rotting in the damp PDX'ian climate.
He's 84 years old.
Thinking to myself, I don't really feel like doing this right now, it's not really my thing to do, maintenance-wise, anyway. I'm under-slept. ...can you give me a minute to get my boots and jacket? Sure, he says, the company'd be nice.
Took us an hour and a half, but we got it done. Limited conversation: he was a logger before 'the people, those environmentalists put me out of work'. He's lived in the house next to us since 1947 and seen things change, a lot.
He said he loves to work outside but won't work outside in the rain any longer. He's paid his dues in the rain he said. I agreed with him and we both laughed.
First ride on BBC#1 in over 3 weeks [without even realizing it, I rode the El Dumbino exclusively during that period-and always with Chloe and/or serious boatloads of cargo]... and that was one glorious ride.
Long, fast [for me at least], and then met The Girls for caffe. Very fun! And very revealing... every time I ride the El I end up pondering something to the color of ' ...this is great, I need to only ever ride this bike, and for all reasons... ' and that thought/thinking sticks. For a while. And then the situation presents itself and I roll BBC#1, and Holy Holly Hunter[!!] I end up re/re/re/re/re-falling [staying?] in love with the original chick that brought me to this dance! And that's that. In the finale: I dig both & they each/individually have their own space.
Going backwards... Amy & Chloe have ridden about 320 miles in the last couple weeks, and as such are getting their Riding-Chops back on. It's a lot easier for them out here than it was in The Minnesota, or said more seasonally-a lot easier to do it here in Feb than last February on Minnesota soil, even though Chloe still mumbles 'I hate layering clothes. Layer, layer, layer... I'm just a chick who wants to ride in bare feet with Crocs, and a pair of pants & shirt. It's not too much to ask you know'.
Having dinner last night with Chloe, while watching Harry Potter, two Chloe gems: #1. "Man, I have some serious gas. My stomach feels like Mexico down there with the United States sitting on it... yeesh" #2. "Daddy, I never really noticed this before but Mrs. Weasley [one of the secondary characters in the Harry Potter series] has got about 20 cheeseburgs [terminology picked up from her grandmother who resides in Michigan] in those flappers [Chloe's term for the female breast]... she needs to step away from the cheeseburgs"
And then she excused herself from dinner to go to the bathroom, and then I heard a yell of "DADDY!! Grab the camera, I'm coming out with serious Blog Gold, get THAT camera!!". So I complied & grabbed my phone [w/camera] thinking I'd better be ready for whatever she was talking about... she came flying out of the bathroom laughing giddily:
and proclaimed, "I'm avoiding The Bummer Life tonight!"