Wednesday, May 28, 2008
All right. Right on. It's all good. I'm like, going to California today man. Time to get my beach cruise on right?
Libbyllama has developed an eggless meatloaf recipe and I absolutely must try it so I am taking some personal days and flying west. I have seven good chances to catch that damn green flash.
Other things I am looking forward to, besides being with my sibling, her mate, and their offspring:
65 degrees and sunny
Shopping for hoodies
Promenading the boardwalk
Telling locals how much better life is in the South...east.
Click on the title to learn more about the green flash!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
The cement pylons to my left are close. I could reach my hand out the window at 70 miles per hour and skim my fingers along their surface. The Kenworth piggybacking a Peterbilt is tucked in on my right. If it weren't for the height differential the driver and I could thumb wrestle for the outside lane. Rain is falling so hard it kicks up grit in the hydroplane lane and hoses it onto the windshield. The wipers move the whole mess around all shuka shuka shuka-- wearing grooves in the glass.
I have to get out of here.
I-95 takes a whole bunch of nobody special to a whole lot of nowhere good if you ask me.
I pull the ripcord and bob my way off the interstate in a big Chrysler M300 the color of a blue Hall's mentholyptus cough drop and take the first road west, U.S. Highway 82.
Before long I am in the country- in a part of Georgia never seen before.
Thunderheads boom and loom while I drive down a corridor of pines and palmettos, not a powerline in sight. Stephen Foster Memorial Park straight ahead, my destination. After all these years of going to the Folk Festival I am on a secret back route that crosses the Okefenokee swamp.
The sun blazes around Cumulonimbae crowning the pines. NPR comes in with exceptional clarity and somber reports from China are tolling.
Okefenokee means "trembling Earth."
The park entrance does not look familiar, a problem when you have been to a place almost yearly for 18 years. My endless unknown highway is at a dead end. Olive drab john boats and American flag red canoes are anchored in a freshwater harbor and a screen door slaps with people carrying out water, bait, and assorted gear from a general store.
This is the wrong State Park. This is the wrong state.
The road that will take me to Florida and the other Stephen Foster park is eighteen miles back up the dead end road.
I close my eyes and sigh with satisfaction, as though I had just finished a Sunday spread and still had room for pie.
Click title for bonus
Friday, May 23, 2008
Almost four decades in the South and still learning.
Folks around here regard Atlanta as north of the
Mason-Dixon line and I think we all know what kind of a slight that is. Savannah is Low country, shrimp and grits country, and the locals I have met tend distinctly towards a sense of fallen nobility. This is actually the furthest eastern district of New Orleans, and everything in between is simply an unfortunate commute.
To visit this town during a period of self-imposed abstinence from the pleasures of fermented grains is bone-headed and wrong. I am having ghost pains at the end of my wrist where the bottle goes and I stare at Pinkie Masters, the bar below my hotel room, with my bottom lip dragging on the balcony rail.
This is a town of spires and steeples and domes. Live Oak lined boulevards and Victorian homes. Tattooed kids with bad emo haircuts are tolerated by tow-headed gentleman in Seersucker suits.
Oglethorpe said, "Don't change a thing until I get back."
Savannah is keeping the promise-
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This site is nothing more than a bulletin board for my whereabouts lately. I will be at the Florida Folk Festival feeding the chiggers this weekend, but first I have to get to Savannah, GA for a few days of work. What a dumb time to stop drinking. I guess I will get into a little seeing and being, then try to get fed at Paula Deen's table. She is the reigning queen of Southern cuisine these days.
Bring your bikes and meet me on the Suwanee river-
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I found this sucker lurking around my laundry room like Kato Kalin last night. It was not this actual snake, this one is a professional snake model, but it was the same kind.
Can anyone identify it?
I am pretty sure it is Death Serpentia Aggressiva but I could be wrong.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I put together two fresh roasted succulent bike rides on top of two slices of Saturday and Sunday, then slathered the whole thing in some afternoon golf and boy, was it delicious.
S'quatch and Topsie pulled me around by the nose out in the forest on Saturday where the Twilight trail was the consistency of pancake batter sprinkled with dirt. Those are good training miles, which is really all I can say about that. It paid off, because yesterday morning Hambone, Mystery the thoroughly tamed Stallion, and I rode some real trails on the North side and I felt much stronger for the previous day's suffering. We passed some folks toiling on some bike-related projects at the Redbug trailhead, but we kept our heads down, avoided eye contact, and nobody is any worse for the wear. Advocacy-it's what's for dinner.
After a quick change and some Publix sushi, I was right out the door to the links. I'm going to be so active this summer, I now refer to my house as the transition area.
While reclining apres golf at the local dining establishment
The Fourth Quarter I overheard a group of disheveled rummies applying their considerable forensic talent to the reconsideration of the OJ Simpson case. One particular gentleman was not at all convinced that Mr. Simpson committed any crime, noting the viciousness of heroin dealers and claiming to know more than a little bit about Mrs. Simpson's personal tastes and desires.
His companion simply muttered,"Mark Furman baby, Mark Furman."
It is a real nice place and I suggest you frequent it frequently.
Bushie and Tom T are back from the 12 hour of Tsali, and I expect a more detailed report from them tonight, but to my knowledge they acquitted themselves respectably and got a nice taste of the Tsali scene.
Me? Oh yes, I am back!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Going forward, you will often want to click the title in order to receive certain background information regarding the text of the BRC.
Ick ,my skin crawls just typing those first two words.
Fourteen hours round trip in two days, now that is what I call making it happen. Back in time for a quiet rainy Friday morning?
I'm on the wagon. That's right, you read it correctly, and I am learning some things.
There are a lot more hours in the day when you don't have to schedule in drinking beer and defending your title on the dart board/ping pong table/chess board/ every single night of your life. I'm out like Justine Henin-Hardin.
Simple pleasures are simply pleasant, like waking up for no good reason at 6:30 in the morning to pet the cat and listen to how quiet the world is at that hour.
I can once again begin plotting for total dominance next season.
And now, the round up.
Bushy and Tommy Torso are headed off to Tsali for the 6 hour solo event today. Neither of them has ever ridden the trail. They will essentially unload their bikes and leap into competition on unknown terrain, the way the good Lord intended.
S'quatch is already bailing out for the weekend calling a "cinemical" due to the Tallahassee Film Festival. This heralds a new boom epoch in the proliferation of excuses.
Mystery and I double dog swear that we are going to put in some heavy miles this weekend.
Stop laughing, you are hurting my feelings!
That's all I got. I'm out of touch.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Time is confusing me lately. I try to be "in the moment" but the rules are murky on the exact length of a moment. Did one just pass this second? And damn, another one? Can a moment prolong or linger for years if the essence of the moment doesn't change as in--
"There was a moment in time during the 2000's where I worked in my underwear for 6 years?" I don't get it.
I do know that we are becoming rather cavalier with our perception of time. Everybody says "going forward" and it is causing me great anxiety. I hear this essentially as an absolution of the past, as in, "You are right, I have been stealing cookies from the cookie jar, but going forward I resolve to do better." There is a subtle implication in the phrase that implies the past means nothing.
I remember the first time I heard the phrase uttered. To avoid soiling my fingers this morning I refuse to type it, but it was in reference to waging wars of no relevance and what one might do going forward regardless of decisions which brought us to this point, this moment. The past is done son, so get over it.
It has gone much further now, and everything is going forward at such a rate we will all arrive well ahead of ourselves if we are not careful, standing somewhere with no idea of how we got there, or what we are supposed to do now.
I much prefer the dependably poetic, "from here on out" which signifies a vast and unknowable horizon as well as an awareness that in this moment, right now, one is making a change.
Anyway, thanks for listening. I need to get that off my chest this morning. In a moment I am on my way to beautiful Lake Guntersville, Alabama. This is one of the more mythical stops on my southerly route, as much for the fine people I know there as for the bucolic fjords and the sparkling water.
back in a moment,
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This is Landon and his good dog Roscoe. We mostly refer to Landon as Cave Leader though, because that is who he is. Let me tell you a story about the Cave Leader, and his Trans Am.
One cold day in the winter of 1995 Landon, Roscoe, and I were on our way to Dillon from our town of Bozeman. We were probably making the trip because Landon heard there was a surplus of five gallon buckets, or a concrete bird feeder, at the junk store. It was about a two hour drive under normal conditions, but this day the roads were a little icy and swirling snow drifted across the empty highway. We were cruising about 110 in his 1979 black Trans Am. A few hundred pounds of lead in the trunk kept us snug and stable on the road.
There was not a lot of traffic in Montana at the time, and no real speed limit either, which was why we were surprised to see the blue roller lights of a highway patrolman behind us.
Landon pulled over, waiting to roll the window down until definitely necessary to keep the minus five winds from getting into our cozy smoke-filled cab. Landon rolled the window down as the well bundled officer leaned into the window and said,
"Good afternoon, Is this thing a '79?"
Landon got out and popped the hood.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I have some reservations, and they are not at Tony Starlight's Supper Club in Portland, OR. Mine have more to do with not falling off this wagon, and incorporating riding into my frequent travel schedule. You however- are free to click the link and set yourself up for a night of crooning and spooning with your favorite sweet young thing.
I spent some time yesterday morning in the stacks. The great unexplored archives of my past. Tony is one of those trail angels who took me in for a night or two along the way, and it is good to see the King of Swing is still knocking them dead.
I met Mr. Starlight during the transition from Montana Carhartts to Portland bowling shirts and without his help I would have never known how to order a gimlet or talk to a woman with shaved legs in the forever-bored, long deep sigh of a city like PDX.
Until I get the Summer mileage program cranked up, you can expect to meet some of the legends of Juancho's hit parade in this interlude I like to call; The Hit Parade.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I came across this bit of Tallahasseecana during my fevered wanderings on the internet last week. who remembers when Marshall took over the Capitol building?
Sadly, after years of incarceration in Chatahoochee, it is reported that Marshall took his life in 2003.
For what it is worth which is decidedly not much, I hereby induct him into the Clydesdale Hall of Fame for his great, misguided and oversized balls.
I also remember seeing him roaming from party to party on his bike.
I'm taking this tubercular show on the road to north Georgia today so y'all be good.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I was talking with Mel(not his real name) the other night about why young people move to sketchy, dangerous, over-priced neighborhoods in NYC in an effort to live a more real existence. Maybe it is the age gap starting to show through like a carefully combed-over bald spot, but to hear young white professionals discussing why they carry a blade on their commute commenced our Generation X eyes to rolling.
Of course we are no better. During the exact same age and stage of our own development we, and near everyone I know worth knowing, were engaged in the same similar true believer questing in other venues. Dude Ranching, Rock Banding, Bosnia-saving too cool for school crunchy hipsters, that is what we were. Bike messenging, Kombucha mushroom tea drinking, first-edition only collecting, Beastie Boy sycophants, and we were proud of it.
Now, it has all been done. Back to the landers, Swing era revivalists, retro-hippies, neo-hippies, Alex P. Keatonists, and new urban revivalism, everything old has become old again.
Except one thing. Generations of young Americans have worn grooves like a rocking chair on a sandy floor from East to West, and South to North in search of something real, but nobody has re-interpreted that least glamorous of American traditions- the settling of the Great Plains. You heard it here first everyone, the graduating college classes of 2010 will head to the middle. Endurance sport enthusiasts will evolve into endurance farming enthusiasts; watch for the 1st Annual
Furrow like a Burro: 24 hour Hand Plowing Invitational.
With the Manatee and Grey Wolf already taken , the Giant Palouse Earthworm will become the media darling of Neo-(neo)/Revivo-Enviromentalists. Abercrombie and Fitch will re-invent the overall (with sag through window in back.)
Sod roofs will come in Pampas, Kentucky Blue, or Bermuda, and they won't be cheap. Extreme sports enthusiasts will harness the power of tornadoes until they are a manageable risk no different than big wave kite-surfing and base-jumping (it will likely involve a combination of these disciplines.)
The new Plains Re-Settlers will spurn the under watered West, and cluck at the Northeast Urbanites whose glasses frames have finally become so heavy they can no longer look to the roofs of their re come de-gentrified properties.
Because just like us, the new Plains Re-Settlers will have figured it all out for themselves.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The more you try to do the deeper you sink. I thought about calling this the Protestant Work Ethic Flu, since I am not so sick that I can't process information and communicate, work is the primary benefactor of the illness.
Not looking so good for Saturday's departure to the mountains, but I remain ever hopeful for a miracle recovery.