Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rev On The Red Line

I am obligated (by a vow of death) to post this on behalf of my Bike Chain Brethren. Otherwise, they will give me a Killarney neck tie and do something to my face that will deny my family an open casket. All BS aside, this is a great event, that will make a ton of money for the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association. Roll up to the line Bastards!

The Second Annual Red Bug Challenge is upon us. April 11th is the date, Forrest Meadows/Red Bug is the place. This was the "feel good" local race last year. This year, there is promise of better prizes and no Arctic animals on the race coarse. Last year I couldn't race, because I was unable to chip the ice off my drive train.

All proceeds go to the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association for future good deeds on our local trails. So open your wallets, raise your heart rate, and rattle your molars out of you jaws. W.B.Z.N. will be rockin the mic like a vandal, and losing the race, to some pissed off beginner, on a six thousand dollar (full carbon) Scott. See you out there!

Go to: http://www.redbugchallenge.com/ to register.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Welcome to the Bottom

I tried for many years to kill him. I hated everything about him. He would show up at the most inopportune moments. He would say things that I didn't want him to say. He would be neurotically funny when he was nervous. Over the years I got him more under control but around family or old friends he would awaken. It was like the expectations of the old days and people that knew him, gave him life force and he assumed control. I was a hapless passenger to his tirades, comedy routines or outbursts of bravado. He flourished in Ft. Pierce, and was the one of the reasons I left 1987.

My wife says I always get a funny look on my face when I have talked to someone from Ft. Pierce. She says my voice has a tone she has learned to recognise. George called to tell me mutual friend and musician has fallen on hard times, he is sick and they are planning a fund raiser for him. Several bands will be playing and my name came up. He would like me to come back and play with him and a bass player from my old band. My wife shakes her head and gives me a look. She hates to see me confront him. She will have to listen when I recount all the regret.

A lot of people love him. He is funny and has a lot of energy. He says the thing everyone is afraid to say. He points at the elephant in the room. He can sell you anything. He can get you a record deal. He will draw the line and dare you to step over. He is fearless. He leaves me to clean everything up, and to deal with his wreckage. He is the reason I have to ride alone, because if I hear his voice one more time, I will die. He is great to drink with and if you like a story, he is your man. In the dark, he is tortured by all he has done and said. Gallons of holy water have been heaped upon him, but he carries every sin, every decision, every incidental moment and he relives them in High Definition 1080i.

George doesn't understand, he just wants to play a few songs and pay homage to his old teacher. I want specific details about production, when we will play and if I can use my own drums. George wants to talk to him because it is easier. He would just go head first into the gig and say: "fuck it". The problem is, after he is gone, I will have another disaster to carry. Another shitty gig, in front of the very people I never wanted to play for again. The people I left, in the middle of the night, on my twenty fourth birthday. But he doesn't give a shit about any of that. He wants to show them how awesome he can play. He wants to be the returning hero. He wants them all to pat him on the back and to compliment him. There is no way to tell how the story ends. I would like to pay homage too, but maybe the risk is too high. Maybe it will raise too many questions. Maybe he won't come at all, and everyone will be disappointed.

George wants me to sing. He is not sure which songs. He wants it all to be positive. He wants to play guitar and say a speech. I wish I could just be one of those people that went along and believed everything works out. It does sometimes, and it always surprises me.

I put on my kit and go for a very long ride. I see a few people, but for the most part I am alone. He never shows up if I am quiet. Those are the days I live the most. It is windy and cool. I will have to work a little harder to get home.

He is nowhere to be found.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

These Days

I suppose it is inevitable that if you stick around long enough you become the punchline in your own joke. Resumes and Facebook bios portray the things you want people to remember, but those are not the things people do most with their time.

People, in general, never consider me a threat. Not on a starting line, not in traffic, not behind a drum kit, and certainly not toe to toe. Over the years I derived a lot of pleasure, making them aware they underestimated me. I am getting older and I have learned you can never beat them enough to make yourself feel better. They never admit they were wrong. In the end, even if totally justified, and the undeniable winner, you have still played their game, and that makes you the fool. It is in the very least, an angry waste of time.

My role has changed pretty drastically in the last few years. I am on the support team around the house. My wife is making the bread rise and my boys are becoming busy young men. I am the main cheer leader, roadie, coach, taxi, and (sometimes) a spectator in the lives that once revolved around me. It has it's moments of pure bliss and times when you have no say what so ever. Part of being a good husband and Dad is knowing when to just stand by and watch. It has always been a tough move for me to master. It frequently has no pay off, which puts it in the company of most things that must be done.

My boys will both be bigger, stronger and better at all the interests we share, very soon. Nothing could make me happier. Big C., is already smarter than I ever was and just needs a little world time, to even up the score. He has found his niche as a swimmer, and more than ever, I have a glimpse of the man he could be. L.W.B. looks like a chip off the block but really, he can do anything I can do, with about half the effort and twice the style. Fine with me. Maybe enough good traits will be passed and the short comings will fade with me. That's how it appears to be shaping up from the sideline. I hope it lasts.

I am logging a lot of saddle time with L.W.B.. Big C. and I chat more than ever, to and from swim practice. We have found a few shows to watch as a family, that have brought us all back to the dinner table. Somehow we have reeled the boys back in from the edge. Somehow we have pulled out a victory over the appliances in the their rooms.

It is okay to be in the back round. It is okay to applaud. It is okay not to kick a guys ass for nearly crashing into you, and not ever taking out his ear buds to apologise. It's okay not to slap the taste out of a counter rats face, for insulting you in front of your son. It's okay to see him learn a lesson, because for once, you didn't take the bait. I keep telling myself it's all okay.

In through the nose and out through the mouth.....