Friday, September 28, 2007
Another serious test ride today. Got pulled over by a motorcycle cop as I was coasting the mini van down one of those hills on Pine Lake Road.
They’re big hills; let me tell you. Big enough to get you 12 mph over the speed limit. No problem.
Give it a shot sometime. If you don’t ride the brakes you can hit 52 without even trying.
He got me.
I stopped on a side street out of the way of traffic. I had my license and registration out before he got up to my window. I even said, “Yes sir. No sir,” and all that.
And then I remembered my moustache.
Cops like moustaches. At least it seems like they do. “Maybe he’ll see mine and let me off with a warning.” I thought as I kind of leaned my upper lip out the window a little bit. “Maybe if the sun hits it just right, he’ll be overcome by my whisker-growing efforts. He’ll recognize our brotherhood. He’ll ask me what I think about the Huskers chances against Iowa State.”
No dice. The dude was not a true bro. Not at all.
Of course, these results are non-scientific. In hindsight, I don’t think I should have been test riding my moustache on the cop level yet. Plus this guy didn’t have a moustache of his own. Not sure how or if that affected the outcome. My team's researching that as we speak.
Maybe moustaches work well in a STOP class situation.
I’ll let you know.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I was stoked on the Dumb Kid vs. Fixie Skid post. I wanted to see a cool slide-show/flip-book style kinda thing of the action. So, I decided to download the photos from that flickr set and make this video from those photos.
Props to photographer Peter DiAntoni
As days go, they’ve all been on the upper end of the scale lately. Which I like.
But that’s always a sign that things are about to get shitty.
I’ve joked around for a while about my boys being the neighborhood wreckers of shop, but something in the back of my mind sensed the truth in those jokes and I’ve kinda been waiting … a little fearful of the day when they become “those Wilkins boys.”
Well that day has arrived.
Got a report today from a neighborhood mom that Cian is one of a group of three or four gang members who are on the loose and effing es up on the regular. Accounts range from them hauling their four-year-old carcasses over a six-foot-high, fenced dog kennel only to harass the hell out of the poor trapped canines within, to climbing onto a brick wall and synchronized urinating into another family’s front yard.
So now I’ve got to be the stern dad. It’s not a problem, though. Stern dad isn’t too much of a stretch for me. But thanks to my stupid little ’stache-riffic research mission, I had to talk to this nice woman with my shitty moustache sitting there on my upper lip — just making a mockery of the whole situation.
I kept thinking, “There’s no way she’s taking me serious with this thing.” Nor should she have to.
But — I reminded myself — I shouldn’t have to take me too seriously, either. I am, after all, keeping a running dairy about growing a moustache.
So, yeah. Another upper-end day in the books.
How’d yours go?
Monday, September 24, 2007
My moustache and I rode through the park yesterday and it was a good ol' time.
Met up with the usual suspects at the usual place. Everyone wanted to know how it was coming along, and I got to experience one of those self-conscious "oh-shit" moments that I'm so afraid of. But then I kind of smiled ... realizing that this exercise is somewhat about learning to deal with those situations better.
I don't remember what I said, but it made my friends smile and then we rode bikes.
Later, I infiltrated the backyard scene and took part in a five-man spinner of doom.
This moustache thing is working out pretty good.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The fine folks who comprise the Minneapolis, St. Paul skate scene have once again pulled off a day of group fun—the fourth annual Backyard Ramp Jam.
For the full backstory, photos, and a video clip from the day, go to The Skateboard Mag's Coverage Page.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Day five of ’stache fest.
The reactions that my little project is generating are proving to be pretty interesting. I've been getting advice, I've been getting support, and I've been getting appeals to end my experiment before it even starts. All of which prove one of my life-long suspicions — moustaches carry with them a very strange and polarizing power.
And so with Ernie Chambers as my agnostic witness, I promise to never ever abuse that power.
That is, if I ever manage to get it.
The best quotable hasn't been a blog comment or an e-mail, though. It was of the verbal variety, and in the spirit of the strange power a live-and-direct moustache can produce, this audible show of ’stache support was delivered for all the world to hear by the one and only Butchey. Of course I’ll carry it with me from now on ... especially in those moments when this whole thing seems a bit too shameless, egotistical, or self-indulgent.
"Yay, moustache!" he offered up.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
I few seconds ago it occurred to me how incredibly stupid I am.
Why did I start typing about a moustache that doesn't exist? Why did I announce my intentions? I look like an asshole now and I'm about to look like an even bigger asshole.
I thought I knew why, but I really don't ... evidence in the fact that when my parents said, "Oh, don't do that." I thought, "Okay, I won't."
I have no idea what I'm doing or the reason I'm doing it.
But I've started it, haven't I? And I did so in a way that makes it so I have to folow through, didn't I?
I guess eventually I can find out the reason why. Right?
Yes, it's no big deal, but now it's no big deal that I can't back out of.
My hesitations to begin this little project definitely outnumber any list of motivations I have, but this seems to be a bigger and bigger problem for me — not feeling like doing things. I'd like that feeling to go away.
That said, it's a tiny step, and as I mentioned, not one I'm too psyched on. But it's become nothing more than battle with myself — a civil war that both sides are losing.
Every time I tell the mirror, "I should just leave my moustache alone," I still never make it out of the bathroom with the thing in tact. I don't even want a moustache. I hate them. But my battle with my upper lip has become emblematic of my reluctance to step up to new challenges and new mistakes. And that reluctance is getting me nowhere but nowhere.
I'm giving my ’stache four weeks to establish itself. After that I may ask for outside assistance in keeping it going, but for now it's all about getting to the next few Mondays.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Written back in September of '01.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
"In light of the recent tragedies…" we've heard said over and over.
And then we tune out.
This is not to say that we haven't felt the significance of what it meant to watch silently as "the second plane" quickly wedged itself between the 60th and 70th floors. It doesn't mean we didn't wince deeply upon hearing of one man's charred skin slipping completely off in the helpful grip of a good Samaritan. And it doesn’t mean we didn't cover our mouths, or shake our heads, or mutter, "oh, shit," at the real-time horror of the sky falling, knowing that it didn't matter what we did — at that moment, with the word "LIVE" in the upper left-hand corner, thousands upon thousands of people were in the process of breathing their last breaths all at once.
Things have fallen apart.
It's today when you realize that almost nothing matters, especially skating.
To tie all this up into a digestible package of catch phrases, lies, and punctuation that cleverly relates to skateboarding seems less than fruitless and ultimately the act of a very stupid person.
Planes are now bombs, buildings are now rubble, people are now gone. And so we tune out; we turn away from the screen; we go sadly about our daily routines. Labor. Scrape. Ache. Working to keep the memory of those touched, all the while forgetting just enough so when you hear the first jet engine of the rest of your life, you don't freeze in your tracks, hunch your shoulders, and wait for what's next.
The marquee in front of the movie theater cheers, "U.S.A. Too Strong!"
Your professor lights a candle on her desk everyday before class.
Your mail carrier smiles and says, "god bless," as he hands you a glossy handful of direct mail advertisements.
Things fall further apart and skateboarding still seems trivial.
The weight of the unlit events that ticked away on the first Tuesday of this past September has radically shifted our future paths and will never be lifted from the collective shoulders of the human race. No matter how much we puff up with patriotism, petition publicly, peddle our wares, or tune out, it’s all on us now. Our new calling is to never forget how we felt during those first few seconds the world changed — hauling those memories with us wherever we go, whatever we do.
Of course, skateboarding isn't important, but today that's exactly what makes skateboarding matter more than ever. As long as you can go push around, you can also remember; and as long as you remember, others will never forget. —KW