A thing or two about a thing or two.
I’m no math wiz but based on my calculations, a thing or two about a thing or two is either one, two, three, or four things.
Which is exactly how many I have to discuss today.
First up and at the risk of injuring my shoulder while patting my own back, I’ll repeat myself when mentioning that Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of AHTBM’s launch.
This is a huge thing, because besides committing to not screwing up every aspect of my partnership with my wife, it’s the longest I’ve ever committed to anything besides being alive and trudging through my primary education. To celebrate, I bought a belt sander, cleaned my studio, and stuck around my house while waiting for a FedEx shipment I missed the previous day containing a present I purchased for myself six long weeks (or so) ago;
Though I’m still bathing in a swirling array of stresses on just how I’m going to pay for the piece, when I saw that the final remaining story boards were for sale, I knew more than anything that not ending up with one would be a thing I forever kick myself for, so I leapt without looking.
It reminded me of a time back in 1990 when I was home on Christmas break, and bumming around a book store in Denver’s Capital Hill district. It was there that I came across a signed and numbered edition of Ralph Steadman’s ‘America’. If memory serves, it was twenty five dollars, which at the time was probably about twenty four more than I had to my name, so I walked away from it. Sure enough, from the moment I got back to my parent’s house, the waves of regret relentlessly washed over me and I immediately couldn’t figure out a way to justify not getting it. I called the store first thing the following morning and luckily it was still in their possession, so I made the long journey back downtown to snatch it up;
I certainly realize that procuring such items, especially considering the cover price, isn’t for everybody. However as I sit at my desk and look just outside of my office door at this piece, knowing that the forty-three year old me is just as psyched as the thirteen year old me would be, makes it all very worth while.
So there we have one thing down. Let us now move on to the next one to three things.
At the risk of beating a dead horse, who for the sake of argument, we’ll call Buttercup, I would like to once again make note that in just two and a half-ish week’s time, the bicycle industry’s elite, as well as at least one bike blog douchebag (same diff) will be converging on Las Vegas (Spanish for ‘The Valley Of Bedazzled Jeans’) for its annual American trade show. It is a high time indeed, at which all manner of bicycle and fitness related finery is trotted out for viewing, promotion, and eventual consumption.
While securing my passes a few days ago, I had a brief exchange with a fellow named Justin, whose job is Public Relations, and Director of Communications. As he assisted me with my quest, he said, “after last year’s post, I wasn’t sure if you’d be returning.” This struck me for two reasons. One being that I was surprised anyone actually reads the things I write, but the second, and by far the most important, was it was then that I realized I should have chosen my words more wisely.
As I replied to him, it’s not the show per se that I have an issue with and I should have made that more clear. The actual show is a big, rumbling beast that in reality is quite a thing to behold, and when you take a second and think about all that goes into making a production of that size tick, it’s very literally one of the wonders of the world.
No, rather what I meant when noting my aversion to the show, was an immersion into humanity, the absolute clusterfuck of lights, and sound, and noise, and faces. I still stand last year’s declaration regarding my experience being akin to ‘having ADHD in a room full of blaring televisions all the while attempting to swim in mud‘. Though it should be said that this is more a statement on my relationship to the environment, rather than the environment itself.
Anyway, I genuinely appreciate the effort and the lengths Justin and his team go to every year to make the said beast come to life, and this year I will tread more lightly when offering a perspective, because as I’ve learned, even beasts have feelings.
In as far as my own participation at the event goes however, it will give me ample opportunity to trot out a few new items relating to this here web site, slap a couple of hands, and most importantly, saddle up with my co-conspirators, and ensure that the sicksth annual Underbike Industry Mixer® goes off without many hitches;
I was jibber-jabbering with an old co-worker, housemate and friend the other evening and was lightly describing the motivation behind putting this on, which went something along these lines:
Las Vegas is a spiritually difficult place to be. It’s like visiting your flamboyant, and marginally abusive aunt every year. You don’t want to be there really, because while she’s generally pretty nice, she chews with her mouth open, always falls asleep with the television on super loud with a bunch of lit cigarettes burning, and always smells like an Ambercrombie and Finch store. However, you are obligated to go in order make your mom happy, so begrudgingly you do. So Underbike is basically the equivilant of a dive bar down the street, or at the very least, a room in her basement put together just the way you want it to be. Your records, and comic books, and bike tools, or whatever are more or less set up just like you have them at home.
I don’t care for melting ice sculptures, or vampy chicks, or greasy dudes, or velvet ropes (Google Sinclair Imports Interbike Party). You can go anywhere in Las Vegas and find that stuff 24 hours a day.
As I’ve said from the beginning, as long as we all have to be there, this is an event for the rest of us;
We don’t invite people, because a need for such a thing doesn’t exist. You either go or you don’t, and unless you are actually into melting ice sculptures, or vampy chicks, or greasy dudes, or velvet ropes, you should.
As a final thought, while a number of people mentioned last year that they planned to try out the dance moves from our promo video;
Which was all well and good in 2013, but for this year, might I suggest the following;
Although, and as I’ve previously stated regarding my ill-relationship with numbers, it’s with that suggestion that I think I believe we’ve discussed five things…
My fantasy is to wind up sitting next to Steadman in a bar and having him scrawl something on a coaster. I’d cherish it forever.