And then there were two. New Years day smells like football. It also smells like the rent check is due. I’ve recently regained an appreciation for the simple things in life, after taking home a case of the flu. Don‘t Cha wish your girlfriend was hot like JP ? When it feels like the tank is empty, a little adrenaline may be all I need, or maybe I need an icecold 12-pack of Busch Light.
Friday - Tuesday Facebook - social skills cupcakes - Jo Jos ignorance - bliss No - Yes lite - light 31.8 - 25.4 neo - retro 29 inch - 700c steamed - deep fried spring roll - egg roll BIKERAI - RAGBRAI smattering - saturation playoffs - don’t talk about playoffs the recession - unemployment the economy - bikes the environment - bikes exercise - bikes used cars - bikes Zip cars - bikes scooters - bikes RE Load - DANK SEA - PDX PBR - IPA cutlets - giblets bacon - bacon Pokey - Gumby complimentary - free electronic filing - hand delivery tweeting - talking light rail - walking home fries - hash browns ring tones - rotary phones after Christmas sale - yard sale what’s hot - what’s not Out n In - In n Out
everyone knows it’s windy they know it’s worse when you lie about it the truth hurts more because it’s true Who’s got it figured out? big mouth know-it-all asshole jerk only want what cannot get a firm grasp of the fundamentals the X’s and the O’s a student of the game the kids are out of school weekend warriors all week long making their way downtown today retail hunting and gathering line standing at the post office out the door Santa Claus photo 6th Ave shit show keep creepy Santa away from me traffic cop-o-rama wave You NOT you you left turn right lane for all the marbles heaping helpings of piping hot wort hovering heavy over the neighborhood single serving subscriptions red wine stained lips strained smile stretched into morning toothpaste tastes like chicken watch me eat 50 fucking hardboiled eggs keep it down v-neck argyle sweater vest ubiquitous orange zest squeezed in your eye Jesus Christ pose on the couch on the flip side on the 4th Ave side victory trophy prize consolation keeping score on a scoreboard no one else can see tote home from the County Fair one goldfish in each plastic bag didn’t expect them to live that long relationship recollection clearly calibrated calendar broken up into two-year cell phone contracts Who’s got it figured out? five blocks on a Tuesday law library ASAP if you say so five miles on a Sunday beers in Ballard because I said so
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
Canterbury tales of ABC and PBR roadmasters of annual tradition deviled eggs attractively arranged thousand island subwoofers with whipped cream on top keep your day job up to date hazardous food handler’s permit there’s a rhythm to it call & response radio etiquette copy all that five digit addresses add up if you lived there you wouldn’t be home by now traffic is a real bear I’ll have one more beer the smell cannot be duplicated copy that
What seems to be the problem? Why don’t you tell me Doc? Just take a stab at it A shot in the dark But each swing you take runs around $300 A full battery of tests coming up aces Black and white and puke allover That cat is too fat This cat is too thin Metabolic rates Inhibitors that stimulate Not enough Too much Thyroid hyper Thyroid hypo How about a little middle of the road A visit to Mediumville Not too hot not too cold This porridge is just right
black tea steeped in the cup steeped in tradition set apart to fit in brand names change trend cycles a uniform to put on each morning to take the train into the city to play the game to play along to do it all again the next day shortest days of the year strung together to make one long week 40 hours the hard way wouldn’t last 5 days at your job Yo-Yo Ma yo mamma layers seem to work best two sweaters and a vest second-day socks pushed to new limits the smell never goes away
At 11:14am the dispatcher chirps me, “pickup a rush roundtrip from the ACLU going to 44 West Mercer. Wait for the signature then take it back right away. We need you in the core to cover Nooners!”
Who is this we? We only have two riders and the other one called in sick, again. And 44 West Mercer my ass. Bad addresses are no problem and We’ll be there right away. Labor costs are down while caloric output is steadily increasing in this December weather. It’s coming up Burberry everywhere, but where is the accompanying warm fuzzy holiday feeling I read about in the paper?
Oh yeah. It’ll be a quick little jaunt out of the core…
“Copy ACLU and the story to go with it”, I chirp
There used to be a little patch of nature on the way to LQA, a wetlands preservation greenbelt. It was one of my favorite strips of asphalt in Seattle. Surrounded by trees with a short descent into a sweeping right turn and no traffic on the smoothest road ever. The city recently sold the land to developers after the river dried up and there wasn’t really any wetland to preserve anymore. Then budget shortfalls heavily outweighed the weak protests about the loss of greenspace in the city. The loss of a place to sit down and actually feel like you weren’t in Seattle. The loss of a place where you could pull off the road to take a piss and easily disappear into thick undergrowth and maybe say hi to a few happy raccoons and some crazy looking birds and chirp out. The loss of a place where a Vietnam vet I once met, could campout for months.
“Base to Matt!”
“I’m still 4 blocks away” I say, “it‘s a bad address anyway”
“Swipe it once!”
What? Swipe what? I’m not exactly sure what that phrase means, but in this context, I catch his misinformed drift. No 10-9 needed. This job would...
[More]6 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
Toni Braxton's red turtleneck sweater
December 11, 2009
Wilson posed with the roasted chestnut cheerleaders outside the Four Seasons in 2006. Three years later it has become a stock photo for when you need a little Christmas right this very minute.
In 1993, Johnny Mathis gave his red turtleneck to Toni Braxton and 12 years later she wore it on Good Morning America to perform the same song. And it was good, so good I've been talking about it ever since they took it off YouTube.
7 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
it's like this and like that
December 10, 2009
It’s like one less fuel efficient car with a bumper sticker that reads one less SUV.
It’s like the assumption that a paramilitary uniform commands more respect than an ill-fitting blue blazer with dumpy grey slacks.
It’s like a crocheted Kleenex box cover.
It’s like three battery-powered fake candles glowing on the reception desk amid plastic pine boughs emitting the chemically reproduced smell of melted wax and artificial cinnamon all over a medium sized law firm on the 19th floor of a large office building that has thousands of windows, none of which open, a building that has a newly retrofitted HVAC system, a building that prohibits the use or presence of open flames, flames like the kind you would expect to find on real candles glowing real light in December emitting smells of real wax melting and dripping on the legal documents I place on the desk when I stamp my return copies.
It’s like falsely notarizing documents regarding the sale of his father-in-law’s car in Oklahoma.
It’s like the alien that popped out of that guy’s stomach.
It’s like finding yourself on a road that used to go through but now dead-ends into a massive parking garage for a mixed use condo hotel complex of shoddy new construction with street-level retail and an Azteca restaurant on level M2, and you thought you were hungry but you can’t smell the food you can only smell the chemicals off-gassing from the new carpet, wall coverings and vinyl upholstery, but the staff is friendly.
heard it on NPR saw it on DrunkCyclist just made it up layered up enough to feed a family of four which works well until delivering to the passport office to wait in three lines three times wait time to shed layers this little piggy wears wool lucky socks worn thin breeze blowing through shoes wind chill factor demonstrated clearly December 7th today …in infamy paying the price for wardrobe decisions made four years ago in a Saturday hangover thrift store daze then compounded four hours ago in a second cup of coffee haze getting what I paid for fifteen years later a little bit older a little Budweiser slaking an unquenchable thirst chicken curry brown rice Siracha-o-rama “Thank you Dear have good day” rising up from the subterranean Korean deli sinking down into lobby furniture food coma metabolizing slowly monitored closely by building security riding a temperature roller coaster with a busted thermostat touch-screen elevators can’t feel frozen fingers
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
December 7, 2009
If the bench was still there, I’d sit on it.
Today could be the day that I turn on the heat in my apartment. I’ve reached all the arbitrary deadlines and imaginary goals and now it’s actually cold in Seattle. But first I need to scrape the ice off the inside of the window so I can look outside.
It’s all there in the dispatch log. Or it used to be.
Originals saved for seven years.
Sometimes I wear my pick-up hat. Sometimes I wear my drop-off hat. Sometimes I wear my roundtrip hat.
Just in time for the holidays. A new & improved pilderwasser production handmade in Seattle one at a time. One of a kind. Much bigger and better than last year. But just like last year Brad helped with several steps in the process including printing, counting, measuring, cutting, collating, stacking, folding, stapling and silkscreening. While Skunk slept through everything but the food breaks. This is a limited edition small batch run, a so-called helium filled alien bovine invasion Each chapbook is chockfull of words and features a unique silk-screened cover.
In order to build some anticipation I will ruin the surprise for my family and friends… because this is it, this is what you’re getting for Christmas. But it will feel different when you get it in your hands.
To ye olde messengers on the street, I’ll sell you one cheap. $5 in cash or some sort of tallboy trade may be arranged.
To all y’all in websiteville, I’ll sell you one too, but it won’t be so cheap. $8 will get you a chapbook shipped anywhere in the USA via USPS. Hand delivery via bicycle messenger will occur only for addresses in Zone One.
Red ribbons tied on gold foil wrapped fake presents staged around pine-scented plastic trees in office building lobbies. The green velvet dressed harp player props her harp on the handrail and goes out for a smoke. Hopeful retailers blare Michael Jackson Christmas tunes to pierce through the drone of the escalators. What’s missing? What day is this? Where are the hoards of holiday shoppers toting bags and bags brimming with consumer confidence? Buying buying buying more. Visa and Mastercarding store to store.
There it is.
There’s that recurring underwhelming feeling that everything is horseshit. A quick cost-benefit analysis shows neither winning nor losing. Not whining but just as productive. Trackstanding in the living room watching YouTube videos of people trackstanding in their livingrooms. Treading water in the shallow end. Energy lost and nothing gained. Like one weak little working copy to the Judges Mailroom by 9:00 and nothing to go with it except an elevator full of conversation about fantasy football. Talk turns to Bellevue and the new mall. Offictrons chitchatting comparing traffic-clogged commutes and daughter’s soccer practice schedules, sales technique seminars and the upcoming team-building retreat.
There may be some brinelling going on in your life, right now, as we speak. It’s just that you weren’t sure what to call it. I didn’t know what to call it until I heard Ron Sutphin talk about it at UBI. Now it’s a word I try to use at least once a year. Brinelling often occurs in old beatdown bicycle headsets. It gets progressively worse until the headset feels as if it’s indexed. While indexing is desirable in downtube shifters, it’s usually not a feature to be proud of in your headset bearings. However, when riding no-handed on a 30 year old grocery getter, it’s comforting to have the handlebars return “home” like a lost dog. Which is ok on a bike a that travels only a few miles each week and gets only air in the tires and an occasional drop of chain lube. If you want to prolong the life of your brinelled headset with a no-cost desert-island repair, don‘t take it to the Velo Store. Remove the crown race, rotate it 90 degrees and re-install it. The pitted surfaces will be out of the normal range of motion and the headset will feel smooth enough to get groceries for 30 more years.
it’s comforting reassuring sort of subliminally to know you know
that long branch that brushed your shoulder ever so slightly every morning on the way to work broke off when the garbage truck got too close to the curb
just a reminder
just in time for the holidays as seen on TV a compilation of your favorite artists: Standby Up Town featuring a remix of the timeless classic “Waiting for the Naj” as well as “Nothing at Wolfstone” and “Clear at 1420” includes 7 previously unreleased tracks
Step #1: show up It’s not as easy as it looks after years and years of mind-numbing repetition and an all-time low level of internal motivation. Apparently there is no penalty for calling-in sick once a week and showing up late consistently. Just as it appears to me that there is no reward for showing up on time everyday and never calling-in. Keeping labor costs down is a priority, they say. Cost-of-living pay increases are unheard of when all we hear about is the cost of living continuing to rise. Employee retention is high, to the untrained eye. While employee satisfaction is low because there’s no place else to go. Ten years ago you could change messenger jobs as often as you changed your socks. That is no longer the case.
If you told me, ten years ago, that Stealth will pay its riders hourly and ABC will be commission, I would say, no way.
Take the elevator to the mezzanine. Take the back side.
official RAGBRAI fanny pack up front adjustable hat riding high like short shorts like sunburned necks and sandal tans SPD cleats and seven-day-rider wristbands from a time before facebook to a time away or to get there and stay but we can still find a way to say roadmasters in brown paper bags and price tags displayed on the edge of the beer garden ready to purchase tickets from the outside looking in in a win win situation another Chris Murray photo yo like so four years ago like two tattoos ago like November rain pounding on a Seattle window somehow sounds like July in Iowa
Kickstand is antic ink. A tack in a sack, a snack in a cask, a task.
As an ant is an acid tank and a kid in dank ick can stink Kickstand is an act and a stand. It can Sin, sic a cad at staid kin As ticks sink in skins.
Kickstand can scan ants in sand, skin cats, stain a saint Nick, kid, kick, stack, and sack a sick and sad anti-antics din As it aids kids. It isn’t AIDS And can’t stand tan Dan and Candi’s tics in a skit In skin. As I sat and stank, I said
Kick it, kids. Dan, dick Candi! And Candi said, It ain’t in, it’s an act: a knick-knack, tic-tac, sin-din in a tin can An act can’t stick its dick in.
In Kickstand, I said, it can.
This was printed in Kickstand #9 in 1999. Reprinted here and now because in kickstand I said it can. Ten years later I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for it, as an interesting and humorous poem constrained by the letters found in the word kickstand. I also have a lot of respect for Mr. Doug Nufer who is a badass writer as well as a cyclist, former messenger, poet, MC and wine expert.
“It wasn’t so much a pushback but it felt a little distant. It was sort of cold and I’m not sure why. There was no rapport. There was just no rapport.” Said one suit to another on an elevator when talking about a CPA.
And I wanted to say how warm should it be? he’s a CPA Do you want warm fuzzy chitchat or do you want the numbers?
Heard about it somewhere Saw it in a movie Read about it someplace
But this isn’t some after-school special This actually happened it’s real It jumped up and hit me in the face
What’s your 20? What do you have left? What floor is Bader Martin on? How do you stop that thing? Where is the parking garage? What is this all about? How many miles do you ride in a day? Did that hurt? Do you think my niece should get a tattoo? Is it raining? How much is the witness fee on a subpoena served in Fife? Does the judge need two copies? Will you advance money for the conformed copies? What’s the code for the men’s room? How much does it cost to modify a parenting agreement? How much does it cost to go up in the Space Needle? What time did you deliver that 2101 on August 15? Is it raining? Where are those fish guys? What courtroom in Judge Spector in? Where is the nearest Key Bank cash machine? Is there any good sushi around here? Will you be here for a minute? Where is 9th & Virgin? Where is the Adidas store? Do you need a coversheet for a miscellaneous filing at USDC? Where can I get Deep Vs powder coated to match my cranks? Where can I catch the bus to Maple Leaf? Do you know the way to San Jose? Is that all there is? Is Two Union at 2nd & Union? Where is 601 Union?
The theme of the day today was busted blownout inverted umbrellas discarded or stuffed in garbage cans all over town and in the background, imagine the smell of wet socks soaked since 8:21am. (Insert photos of leaf-clogged storm drains, rain-covered Seattle streets, and wet-dog messengers here)
Around midday I asked one of those guys down at DANK bags how he stays focused and he said when his mind wanders he just brings it back to the task at hand and gets back to work. But if I didn’t let my mind wander on a day like today I wouldn’t last 12 minutes as a legal messenger in this economy. Which reminds me, of this one time, on RAGBRAI…
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
a recognizable natural or man-made feature used for navigation; a notable building or place with historical, cultural, or geographical significance; a major or important item, denoting a change of direction or marking a beginning or an end or a beginning; or a big honking lighthouse at Cape Disappointment
I know not where I’m going like leaf blowers blowing or little kids screaming it’s not so annoying when it’s in another language take it to the mezzanine broadcast it from the balcony it’s all there it’s all in your phrenology ask the glow-in-the-dark plastic magnetic Virgin Mary what you are looking at is unlike anything you’ve ever seen there’s a whole world waiting just beyond that fake wood paneling the way things are the way things used to be Is that all there is? What was that? Who is this? This is it it goes I know that it goes but I know not where it goes it just goes away one day never to return one final sunset receding behind your hairline diagonal lines drawn with a ruler crossing off each day from the calendar routine no questions asked hard work gets you more hard work do what you love and the money will follow that thing you love right out the window window shopping knowing we won’t be buying anything just looking and talking and pointing and then eating it cold from the can that’ll do wandering the canyons of the cityscape free-ranging journey or goal-oriented mission each face focused in the framework of its reality in the façades the false fronts the curtain walls searching for a patch of grass to contact the earth
2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
October 23, 2009
DANK bags open for business and now taking orders
hand-made in Seattle by an experienced messenger for messengers, urban cyclists and commuters. I own three DANK bags. As well as three radio holsters, four top-tube pads, six coozies, two hats, two belts and one cell phone holder. Don't forget the Han-Solos, the tool pouches, the hairnets and the lifestyle choices... firstname.lastname@example.org 5 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
breakfast at Denny’s lunch at McDonald’s dinner in the shadow of the Space Needle in the rusting relics of the space age in the remnants of the Worlds Fair in the fading naugahyde and in the draperies in the Tropics Motor Inn in the optimistic outlook of a small-town tourist in the city as to me I know of nothing else but miracles thirty years later and still three minutes away from the grit the grime the guts from Bill and Melinda Gates from buildings built by Yamasaki from another from the other reality from fishing to logging to Boeing the lanes the lines the habit trails the mom & pops the elevator banks the jobs well done the firm handshakes the fermenting ketchup married bottle to bottle the unused potential the unused potential the second-day socks soaked seeking what used to be looking to see what they saw or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky looking over my shoulder looking toward the monorail looking up at the Space Needle looking as far as the left turn signal looking as far as a redshirt kindergartener looking as far as by- then- it- will- be- better
I took this faded fuzzy photo some time around 1979 with a Kodak 110 camera. A snapshot to take back home, to show n tell. Today, “Base” is just a stones throw from the hotel formerly known as The Tropics, also known as 225 Aurora Avenue North. Still crossing those same intersections every day. Thirty years later and still three minutes away.
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
hold your line
October 17, 2009
please hold...your call is very important to us.
Is that all you got?
holding back a bit a little something in reserve another layer or an arm warmer ‘cause it can always get worse and when it does then I’ll put on my front fender and my feet will stay dry just a little bit longer
first things first Jumbo baked potato Just say no Mutually assured destruction Supply side economics Trickle down theory Trust but verify Actor turned politician Win win situation Head set press Crown race installer Fingernail polish remover Essential wine aerator Crusty old messenger Highly trained professional Used car salesman Child support payment Dead beat dad King County Superior Law school aptitude Old boy network adjunct professor emeritus in title only Fish head soup Tastes like chicken Finger lickin good Inter office memo Extra marital affair High school cheerleader Naked boot leg Left handed pitcher Bare foot kicker Kick return specialist Special needs child Plays mean pinball New and improved Bottle cage bolt Video cassette recorder Original unsigned order Down hill coast Talk show host Irritable bowel syndrome Food borne illness Rocket propelled grenade Night vision goggles Post traumatic stress Stand up base Firm hand shake One trick pony Two by four Turtle neck sweater Lower back tattoo Non fat decaf Loose ball bearing Fork or chopstick Paper in plastic Stone temple pilot Full suspension disbelief Fresh ground pepper Breast reduction surgery Long haul trucker Catholic school girl White tail deer Ice cold beer Other brother Daryl Most wonderful time Man made fiber Open ended question Rush hour traffic Dexter avenue chuffer Monday night football rent a cop Dawns early light Refined white sugar Over stuffed chair Stove top stuffing Limited liability corporation Chief executive officer As registered agent Tough as nails Diamonds are forever Nothing lasts forever One hit wonder Birds eye view Old growth forest Off shore drilling Off street parking Ground level retail Just this once Pro hac vice Easter egg hunt Back door pass Shatter proof glass shot gun wedding Short attention span Ground rule double Power play goal Personal space invader Hand tooled leather Back in black On the fly In loco parentis Minor in possession Open container citation Full frontal nudity Standing room only Snow capped mountain High blood pressure Itchy trigger finger Quality of life
A question a child might ask. But not a childish question
“Son, that’s the smell of freedom.”
Of the infinite number of variables that combine at any given moment to create variations on the theme, here are just a few ingredients from the recipe for the smell of freedom:
layer upon layer of dried sweat, blood, chain lube, tri flow, T-9, Old Spice, spilled beer, day-old chicken salad, really old OURY grips, blown out chamois, inner thighs, ass crack, U-lock, bike rack, flat tire, patch kit, vulcanized inner tube, tire lever, misdirected anger, switched dispatcher, taking it in the ass when the owner is dispatching, taking it back to the client, worn out Nextel buttons, panic buttons, thrift store clothing, wet wool, wet dog, cat piss, box wine, pigeon shit, chicken shit rent a cop security guard, bartering, fair trade, road grime, King County Metro and/or Sound Transit exhaust fumes, happy hour, Taco Tuesday, courthouse x-ray, lazy driver handoff, angry attorney, legal secretary, photo ID, elevator button bacteria, rainwater, full fender, unused potential, a glass half full, allen wrench, approach the bench, judge’s chambers my ass, toilet paper dispenser, process server, second hand smoke, cat puke, apple core, banana peel, insole, Phil Wood, loose balls, couch cushion, microwave popcorn, Lane Powell mail room, airplane bottle, saddle leather, elevator ride about the weather, registered agent, rubber stamp, finger lickin, toe strap, round trip, snot rocket, yo-yo dispatcher switch back hand off, bullshit, phlegm, clear signature, print name, POD, deficit attention, chain tension, road rage, garbage can lock up, suite number, sweet number, transfer lobby, free coffee, temporary visitor badge, sign in, independent contractor, rolling resistance, inside-out jersey, second day socks, bleeding ink notary, registered agent, cheap skate pro se, rookie mistake mop up, horseshit, RV, officetron slow strut, escalator ride a thon, break time, diet Pepsi, roast beef, self inflicted hair cuts, squeaky cantilever brakes, vehicular cyclist commuter with something to prove, wind proof, water resistant, inconsistent conformed copies,...
[More]2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
Arial rounded italic bold. It’s all about the font. It’s nothing new. It’s kind of old. Same size different year. Same bus different driver. Same sticker different bike. Same bike different year. We’ve come full circle and the painted ponies go up and down. Integrity retained. Chopped up and served up in easy to swallow bite sized servings. A common thread pulled from the same old wool sweater. connecting compounding collecting. I’m not making this up. I’m making a can of chicken noodle soup. I’m making connections.
Up here at the 48th parallel in the small town city of Seattle when the sun starts to arc lower across the sky, one can witness its rising and setting six or seven times a day. Up from behind hotels. Dropping below large office buildings. Changing locations to watch it all again throughout the day. Perhaps it’s not always a picture perfect postcard view with Jesus rays peeking up behind the Cascades or pink and purple and orange and blue light exploding and disappearing behind the Olympics…but it’s real it’s there it’s true. At 10:41am the sun rose over the Volvo dealership onto Stack-It-Up dog park shedding new light on my old bike and the giant pilderwasser sticker that Chris Murray gave me. Almost instantly I was ten degrees warmer and peeled off a layer, able to linger a little while until the sun started to warm the 50 gallon garbage can full of mutt mitts and doodie bags.
in case of complacency go outside in case of stupidity talk louder in case of redundancy repeat as needed mirror check signal head check lane change on the road along the way in-between nothingness and nothingness you’ll find everything take two of these call me in the morning whiter teeth fresh breath goes on smoothly wipes off easily contractor quality industrial strength
for external use only great taste cats love restaurant recipe garlic parmesan year supply of stale croutons
patterns emerge from the randomness all polyester and no cotton makes Jack a dull boy what’s up what gives what’s next change in the weather you come from a land full fender you better run you better ask Dave Hiller layer up strip down settle in chill out no gloves before October no heat before Halloween no front fender before November they say it’s good to have goals arbitrary deadlines come and go like a Judges Mailroom by 2:30 by and by buh-bye standing by for hours you say jump but I don’t ask how high because it all pays the same only 6 hourly messengers remain to occupy my time a worthy pastime an honorable profession inertia friction chain tension complete absence of lubrication drive-side fixed-cup loose-ball square-taper patterns emerge from the randomness 2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
come to base
September 30, 2009
A big chapter in the history of Seattle messengers has come to a close
25 and 29 laid off let go cut loose in this economy in this industry in this city
if you want a conformed copy then provide a copy to conform and when the job is complete you may not change your mind this will not be a problem if you get it right the first time if you say what you mean if you ask for what you want if you fill out the slip correctly you will be billed accordingly visualize the big picture look ahead a step or two there will be no second guessing know the rules enough to fake it and play along play the game from 9 to 5 who decides? the weather? the calendar? the client? the owner? the FedEx tracking number the all-knowing dispatcher traffic is a real bear you can’t get there from here 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
bike mechanic aerodynamic minimum wage existence subsistence messenger from point to point from paycheck to paycheck a chain is only as strong as its weakest receptionist all you can eat feedback from the neighbors pounding on the wall appetizer platter two for a dollar deep-fried cheese-stuffed jalapeño popper all the social niceties of a jackhammer expert opinions disdainfully stated on every single subject know when to say when know when to say nothing shut the fuck up more or less is more the cushion on the end gets twice as much love as the one in the middle get back what you input a perfect parabolic reflection right back at ya overspray splash splatter pattern highlighted and heightened by a grape flavored urinal screen if you like Gina Kolata and getting caught in the rain we’ll read the New York Times and sit near each other call it a relationship it’s a two-way street with two-way radios didn’t bring my own bag but I rode my bike
history archaeology stratigraphy layers lawyers liars idea theory speculation story tall tale religion hope faith fear flighty fluff follower amateur dilettante hipster trend fashion tradition advisor consultant expert factual truthful comical press release media coverage damage control swallow it whole hook line sinker bite on the head fake chew it for awhile masticate regurgitate extrapolate from the particular to the universal
after recent rains your tumblers are rusty crispy crunchy salty sticky squeaky elbow grease release elasticity diminished capacity replace the battery help us help you change your tune gently fold it in with a wooden spoon let it go there where big kids sit with a booster chair
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
if you want something done right you have to send a messenger
September 12, 2009
An unnamed attorney takes a look at his calendar and notices a function he’s supposed to attend at the Columbia Tower (the tallest building on the West Coast. It has a private club and restaurant on one of the top floors) on Saturday September 12. He yells to his secretary a few questions about it because he had forgotten it was coming up and over the years he has come to rely on his secretary for everything. Law school didn‘t teach him this but it laid the foundations for his learned helplessness. His secretary rolls her eyes and picks up the phone and tells the receptionist to find out when and where the dinner will take place passing the buck so she can keep looking at Facebook.
The receptionist, although not playing with a full deck and dumber than a bag of hammers, is at least attractive and she tries with the resources she has available to solve problems as they arise. She slowly scans her surroundings before taking any hasty action. Making a mental note of the electric typewriter and how heavy it is she picks up a pencil and remembers the pencil sharpeners in her elementary school classroom and how they were so tricky to use. Then she grabs a pen but quickly puts it back because she likes the other color better. Finally she picks up the phone to call the Columbia Center but can’t seem to figure out what number to call or who to talk to so she calls the legal messenger company because their number is programmed into her phone. She explains her story to the dispatcher, who says “no problem we can do that, just email us a messenger slip, the PDF is on our website or you could fax one over” The receptionist is thankful but also worried because she now faces a whole new set of challenges.
the messenger slip with information redacted to protect the stupid
sometimes September smells like a vanillaroma air freshener in a Chevy Avalanche with its windows down when it pulls right up on my left close enough to touch my elbow close enough to adjust the mirror close enough to hear talk radio close enough to say hello
Sky Lobby lends itself to Floor Forty obviously however whatever whichever sounds better Floor Four or Fourth Floor it could go either way in a government building it all depends on the sexy inflection in the elevator robot’s voice a supersaturated mix of everything a complete lack of anything the presence of apathy the absence of motivation half full half empty don’t ask me I don’t know why she swallowed that fly 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
September 8, 2009
drinking cold beverages until your ears ring
that ringing in your ears may be tinnitus or maybe it’s Miles Davis
dumpster-free alleys solar powered garbage cans (seriously) compensatory sympathy and stupidity budget shortfalls revenue stream contaminated potable water button-down collar corporate conference room lingo servings per container before and or after malaise dressing on the side migratory birds crashing dried up reservoirs worse than Boise State’s blue turf skipping stones on the surface of a mirage reflected in the windshield of a Greyhound bus
When I enter a small law firm on the 27th floor of One Union Square and open the door, the hinges squeal and sing out a few notes. It’s subtle and pleasantly familiar but I cannot quite place it until I turn to exit the office grabbing the door before it closes and the hinges play the sample one more time. Then, only then do I recognize the song that‘s playing.
What does L. Ron Hubbard know about diuretics?
How many cupcake places can Seattle support?
Where can I get a cup of coffee around here?
I’ve never had and hope to never have a phantom limb. But I do have a phantom apartment building at 10th & John and I can still feel it when I go by.
They paved- a 24 unit apartment building 3 single family homes low rent office space a used bookstore a copy shop a hair salon a Piroshky place a smoke shop a dentists office an incense trinket store a used record store a youth hostel a cheap restaurant a Jack in the Box a latex vinyl rubber sex shop -and put up a parking lot
one last day one last week one last weekend match light charcoal in the air yard sales free piles U-Hauls double parked hairballs with cheese frozen pizza wrapped in velour taken to another zip code smells like September
cascading cold cuts attractively arranged on a plastic tray avocado pimento loaf sharp cheddar everything tasted better on a Ritz
Gas was 49 cents a gallon cigarette burns in the naugahyde we didn’t wear seatbelts we wore flame retardant pajamas polyester pants crept up bunched up in the thighs static thing was the thing
Free Parking there for the picking
it might mean more if it was handed to you personally in Ottumwa Iowa
had to hand it to the handyman who single handedly handled it handily
makes as much sense as a plastic cactus planted in a bed of plastic rocks
over the threshold under the radar hygiene machine malfunction look to the plastic cactus look to the replay surveillance cameras installed for your protection use your best judgment you know we trust you designed in the USA made in China
non-refundable deposit not available alternating Fridays after 4:00
predictable randomness inevitable coincidence pressure relief steam vent fish hook flip flop crock pot plumb bob expert witness tainted sample fresh meat banana peel velvet pants exhaust manifold coffee break half n half long reach short stack tall boy six pack station wagon ladder rack pot smoker house painter smoke blower defense lawyer gold bricker bike whisperer lock nut keyed washer thread chaser head tube facer frame alignment missed assignment circumcised Flite saddle loose ball headset sealed cartridge bearing detachable faring flat tire long walk green olive celery stalk buffalo jerky bloody mary Arnold Palmer Shirley Temple petite stature booming voice Graham & Dunn no choice bad actor poor politician self fulfilling gas station round trip flat rate fixed labor payroll cost freewheel coast to coast employees horrible dispatching independent contractors chronic dickscratching thread bare first impression REI dividend Magnolia cul-de-sac Volvo wagon purple fleece red wine purple teeth ponytail bald beret east coast private school New England old money Mercer Island Lake Oswego moldy blue cheese Asiago washed up scrubbed down old dog new trick salt lick deer tick lazy eye cow pie buck up bare down turn to the left and cough rubber glove unconditional love spoken word rabbit turd peripheral vision indecision Can’t do Can’t do without
into and out of existence less is more everything you need nothing you don’t those who say don’t know those who know don’t say it’s the same on the weekend as the rest of the days radiating from or contracting to the original source it won’t go away it will only change shape from nothingness to nothingness between renewal and decay somewhere along the way anywhere nowhere everywhere
Waves of nostalgia washing up on shore as if I’ve done all this before ahead of the curve the next big thing yet so twenty-six years ago recycling a trend cycle continuously toeing the line between broken in and worn out
Waves of nausea sneaking up on me clouds of perfume overtaking the lobby close enough to catch a whiff breathing recycled office building air conditioned to stand in line and not ask difficult questions go with the flow they want me to go with what may or may not contain truth
Waves of inertia surrounding me coming for to carry me home keeping it on track holding it in a rut complacent stasis status quo ankling awkward pedal strokes pushing squares uphill out of the saddle out of the frying pan and into desire
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
August 20, 2009
bartenders blue cups bloody marys breakfast purple turtle purple turtle purple turtle rasta pasta salad stale oyster shooters annoying yellow jacketed bike commuters fight or flighty moist and flakey soaked in sweat and dried and soaked again roadmaster forecaster Doppler effect it’s all foreclosures these days overdue library book well lit breakfast nook 30% off day-old sandwiches crinkling cellophane crumbs cascading collecting contrasting carpet so sorry Mr. Dual Carpet Sweeper dude spontaneous curmudgeon misdirected Sisyphusian enthusiasm way down yonder way up the river down the road no such thing as a free lunch messenger appreciation Thursday week weak chirp chirp wink wink
Calling toll free from a rotary phone outside a one-pump gas station on a dirt road in some other time zone. The voice recognition software on the customer service line is having trouble understanding my request because my drunken slurring in a regional dialect of a foreign language is making it difficult to categorize my questions. But it’s not bothering me because I'm living the dream in the margin of futility.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
rookie strap hand signal head fake is there a coffee shop around here if you need a reason to ride a bike or an excuse to drink beer monday morning motivation dedication drive traffic backed up to the ship canal distraction diversion detour career change rollover 401k on base percentage ERA feeling sleepy in the lobby call security tell them time stood still encapsulated in a digital clock 12:00:01 pm call it afternoon silence trumps incompetence the phone ringing unanswered beats a bullshit answer don’t talk louder don’t talk at all a place for everything and everything all at once everywhere all the time just shy of Yakima this side of the river lightly sanded carbon fiber smells like a stress riser 96 fluid ounces or eight for the road a normal man would not be a normal man going anaerobic on a false flat imagine that it could happen to you too if you eat like I do
if energy is never destroyed and only changes form then why are you so tired building intestinal fortitude sudden loss in cabin pressure first pull up then pull down firmly pulling toward you place over your nose and mouth over the toilet seat breathe normally provided by management for your protection help yourself before you help those around you drop the kids off at the pool deposit in the collective unconscious withdrawals happen involuntarily across sleep state lines on the plus side negative ions are good that’s the smell of falling water manmade lakes ache for fish when the shit goes down rock paper scissors don’t worry about it the long and the short of it aggregate
millions of people have never been to Spokane commemorative shot glass Expo 74 matching purple plastic back scratching ashtrays all around one big bag of motion sickness contents may have shifted during shipment 50% off full retail exhale variation on a theme strip stripe striation fake wood paneling squeegee channeling Ouija board spirit conduit follow the attention deficit expressway seven miles south merge left right on target focus unbelievably petty conversation pancake makeup thick foundation hairspray lip gloss lotion perfume empty promise idle threat talk talk shock & awe attractive distraction appetite suppressants prolonged boyhood adolescence natural progression billing cycle praying to the landlord racing the rent check in a ‘71 Monte Carlo drown it out or quiet the mind the crack of a roadmaster echoing off office plaza walls clear skies clear conscience clear the board full circle like a second hand brand new to me lunch break front brake stopping power Mathauser heaping helping self control moderation celebration inebriation light rail station jackhammer jack mormon jack and the beanstalk this little piggy went to market where inflation continues to 165psi change the subject aye aye bread & circus dancing bear wild hair smokestack flapjack unexpected heart attack sleeveless shirt short skirt amazing flirt the bailiff called angry voicemail her working copies smell like beer landscape architect mechanical engineer fear itself really nothing to fear theorize brown eyes oxidize rust battleship relationship building trust repeated repeatedly forever aftertaste precursor
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
front seat on the short bus low profile neon camouflage delicate dainty double wide single serving glass of box wine on ice schlepping shabby chic another issue of life quality sweeping the dirt floor thoroughly touristy Chihuly sincerely omg hands free blue tooth uncouth so six weeks ago antibacterial broccoli cheese potato individually wrapped cherry tomato non slip adhesive strip non fat decaf extra whip dark chocolate no fluffy trendy shit business casual cutoffs four wheel drive in theater Volvo Valvoline Vaseline Vulva nonstick chapstick dipstick chopstick Jesus H Christ popsicle stick soft warm melted cheesy it just got too easy built in handicap tacked on piggy back self inflicted equalizer six of one half dozen the other shampoo effect preconceived notion you know the deal it puts the lotion Blue Angel food cake under claw foot tub housed like Lee Majors like major lee housed more before noon than most people do all day adopting public space for personal use step into my office but don’t stay awhile
If a Heat Wave is predicted or is happening do the following:
Slow down and avoid strenuous activities. If you must do strenuous activities, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4AM and 7 AM.
Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine.
Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate which cools the body.
Wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy.
Drink plenty of fluids, regularly and often. Your body needs fluid to keep cool. Drink, even if you do not feel thirsty. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat's effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body... [ light beer is OK]
Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
back in the saddle as if I ever left returning two too to the scene of the crime exit stage left 95 in the shade is it raining or are you just happy to see me sweating balls sweet who smells like beer here on the elevator in your face in my personal space freedom the smell of that which we call a prune by any other name would cost the same or more dried plum stories spoke protectors slightly off center revolving egg shaped revolutions will not be televised check your reflectors’ vectors limit screws screwed citing pilot error the way you want it to be the way it is see greater than or equal to the two differences absences shortfalls excess crank length 170-175 whatever it takes Q factor shoe leather Velcro Shimano pedal spindle cleat position Achilles tendon what’s 489 miles between friends between rivers Missouri Mississippi please phrase your answer in the form of a question
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
This year RAGBRAI came with a wide range of Iowa weather. Monday evening in the final pass-through town of Fontanelle a group of us huddled under a picnic shelter in a park wearing garbage bags for warmth and drinking icecold beer. We were waiting out the rain after getting soaked for a few hours on the road. I was prepared for 85 and sunny with brief showers. Not 60 and overcast with heavy rains. Watching the digital clock on the bank across the street tick away the minutes Jimbo proposed a plan to leave at 7:17pm and ride the last six miles into Greenfield, weather the rain stopped or not. We saddled up and rolled out. I was still wearing a five-foot long garbage bag and I hope somebody got photos so I can show some messengers that my shivering overcame my pride.
A short while later on a long descent my rear tire exploded. I heard the noise but had no idea what it was until I could feel the backend of my bike squirreling allover the road. I guess I hit a rock. A rock I never saw coming maybe because I was drunk, it was getting dark, it was pouring rain, I was shivering or the crinkling ruffling garbage bag I was wearing distracted me. In any case the rocks in Iowa are not perfect little pebbles or polished river stones. They come from a more jagged geology and hitting one right or wrong will slash your sidewall instantly and cause a blowout (ask Matt)
I pulled off the road still to a driveway and a fresh-cut lawn to replace the tube. Tim stopped to lend me a pump but it was Schrader only so Bill came over and let me use his pump. I replaced the tube and blew it up, literally, in two seconds with Bills CO2 cartridge. Because of the big hole in the sidewall the fresh tube exploded. Perhaps I didn’t see the gash in the...
[More]3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
looking California feeling Minnesota remembering Iowa
July 26, 2009
Like Leonard Cohen said, “I ache in the places where I used to play” after a bike ride across Iowa sandwiched between plane train automobile and bus travel from Seattle and back, another busman’s holiday is in the books.
The average age of a pilderwasser is higher than you think. But we can still get the job done efficiently effectively and effortlessly to the untrained eye or at least attractively to anyone else who might be watching with a few beers along the way, from Iowa Indiana Minnesota Wisconsin Oklahoma California Washington Texas Massachusetts and much much more… pathologist physical therapist attorney paralegal legal messenger professor engineer large animal veterinarian massage therapist human being cyclist RAGBRAI rider pilderwasser
chronology stratigraphy recollection sequence of events blur drunken haze humidity dew point seven days…five years exhausted depleted dehydrated storm warning take shelter thunder lightening rain wind hail stones pinging off a steel bike at 3:30am tent poles sleeping bags baggage tags trains train whistles train tracks headwinds hills heat index rumbles rough roads ruts rain wet socks sweet corn pulled pork portable toilets portable showers five dollars please six with a towel sun screen sunburn sun glasses farmer tan biker tan t-shirt tan glistening lumber vertebrae peeking over spandex ice cold beer red hot chamois butt butter over use injury enflamed Achilles tendon all you can eat buffet sausage egg & cheese biscuits with lite beer elevation gains losses climbs descents on your left you’re on my right car back car up - up in your face pacelines gatorade water walking tacos maid right loose meat pork tenderloin potato salad peach pie pickle juice hot dogs corn dogs farm dogs Pastafari Mister Porkchop Mamma Raphael Frankie Junior pilderwasser still likes cheese beer garden beer tickets beer store beer cans coozie coozie coozie
stories later With a few photos and links to thousands more
It was a radio-free Bastille Day at Happily Legal Messengers one original and two copies according to the cover letter proper paperclip placement the right tool for the job he’ll see you in Bellevue the gummy sticky residue building up coming up crosswords everywhere not looking for conversation please respond with your location
Like riding a bike Like a cop with a moustache Like peanut butter and jelly Like Lance and Dr Ferrari Like a kosher dill pickle Like a poster child Like a frozen lake Like syrup of ipecac Like-like like really like Like an inside job Like the xiphoid process Like you know what you’re doing Like you mean it Like controlled demolition Like a hot knife through margarine Like a washed up rock star Like the Heimlich maneuver Like a fish needs a bicycle Like shooting fish in a barrel Like taking lunch at base everyday Like wild horses couldn’t drag me away
3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
white noise all around drowning out the color beige on taupe on khaki tan light brown middle of the road week weak dull drab lame stale boring dry expired dogpark politics as seen on myspace as if it’s important like the poppy seeds in your teeth bladed spokes anodized nipples slicing through the wind meaningful decaf soy latte sweet n low substantial your Elvis burrito has left the building the juice the vig the house housed by 5:00 strong to the finish if you eat your spinach getting to you letting you do setting the tone letting you own no-handed wheelie pissy poopy pants happy happy joy joy peachy keen in between here and there unfortunately the dog has no hair fresh out fresh air hoppy hoppy IPA eh freedom’s just another word for what’s that smell?
same shirt same shoes same service same route different day pushing the river upstream uphill upwind against the grain all bent out of shape distortion misperception misdirection recollection complimentary contrasting colorfully savant laser focus to detail attention all wrong mountainous molehills arising amounting to nothing counting beans beanie-weenie beezy weezy trained monkey replaced easily for less money pissy whiney bitchy crusty salty dried up old messenger save it scan it e-file it working copy to the judge hold the mayo hold it near keep it warm keep it to yourself please advance any and all fees necessary obtain one exemplified copy ASAP of each and every life issue of quality upon receipt return immediately and of course bill us accordingly the Prius effect in full effect all around Puget sound structurally sound on paper theoretically Look honey, Poor People! credit card debt standing out outstanding obligation open container citation repeat minor traffic violation seventeen minute standing ovation
open to outcome but obviously attached to outcome Dharma took a dump what now what else no doodie bags to pick it up make it up as you go get over it grow into it grow out of it sit with it yes no maybe balance give and take counter-weight compensate bend it back the other way not better just different black tea beans toast non-dairy creamer down yonder back porches front stoops annoying Mini Coopers queer PT Cruisers clowns to the left of me rookies to the right here I am on E-file eve with you 4 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
smoke filled the air you had to be there individually wrapped slices american cheese product family sized ketchup bottles industrial mustard yellow too MD 20/20 bright blue chips chips cherries paper plates french braids double stuff Oreos dipped in beer overcooked keg of Prometheus good to the last drop Cool Guy Park back on top
Synchronized cycles. Across three zip codes. Two zone round trip ‘teener. Finely tuned traffic signals. Signaling. Visualize a long summer road trip in a van with five normal guys and one who enjoys BBQ flavored Corn Nuts. Across three time zones. There’s a very fine line. Between Washington and Idaho. Keep it together. Unleash the fury. Microwave burritos. Vegetable protein added for texture. The need. The reason. The search for common ground. Connections. Michael Bolton vs. Kenny G. Copper Cross cyclocross. Chihuahua Doberman collabo. It’s like so two years ago. A real thigh slapper. Tambourine whacker. Pressure washer. You know what I mean. Question mark. 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
pretty sneaky sis
June 24, 2009
that one thing that leads to the other thing it’s not starting early if you never stop circular cyclical cycle continuous continuum carousel reaching for the golden ring you have to believe we are magic businesses doing well thriving lines out the door at the liquor store anything goes if the lead singer is attractive location location location sign here where do I sign? here… diagonally the hard way the old fashioned way uphill both ways take the long way home daddy owns the company it’s not good enough it’s too good too much is never enough it’s always too much full on Kevin’s mom and sister summer associate season fresh meat for the members in and for the county of King residing in Seattle et al et ano et tu too play it off the wall play dumb play it by ear play it again do that to me one more time time flies small fries wake up call reminder equalizer humble pie ala mode choad checker a moment of reflection correction superficial attraction an additional subtraction keeping score for real really this time deep into the third chucker sticky wicket Wednesday
One foot. Two feet. Red foot. Blue feet. Satisfaction guaranteed. Double-butted. Oversized. Ovalized. Friendly. Condensed tomato paste. Add MSG to taste. Wholesome and delicious. All you can eat. By the pound. By the book. Buy the book. It lasts longer. Take a picture. Take a furlough day. It’s coming up hairballs everywhere. No shirt No shoes No shit. Sheet metal screws. Upholstery tacks. Goof-off. Industrial strength. Acetone. Set the tone. Giving the dog a bone. There you go. Prosciutto. Holy Swiss cheese. You got it. Wholly. All the way. Way. Provide three forms of photo ID. Empty your pockets. Price check on aisle four. For Guinea pig bedding at $3.29. She’s a friend of mine. How do you walk around with those things? Apply additional shipping and handling fees. Please. Pleased to meet you. Please return to your designated cubicle Carry on
multi-tasking half-assing three things at once the same mistake made again then again three times subdivided attention beautiful Zen-like complete absence of comprehension zero information retention
bikelane to the danger zone setting you up to get doored no really that really is horseshit
the shortest line takes the longest express lane with the slowest checker takes forever and ever 15 items or less more or less
traffic mitigation devices road furniture popping out invoking worn out Helen Keller jokes evoking nursery rhymes sometimes
low rent ambulance chaser hair club for men charter member double breasted yellowing tweed blazer wide lapels neither here nor there polyester action slacks riding high past their prime tasseled loafers pronating heels worn unevenly low low overhead taken to lower lows attorney-client privilege extended to the third floor courthouse men’s room confidential conversation handicap stall speak up flush twice excuse me counselor are those your originals getting soaked near the urinals
recurring nagging injuries often aggravated by overuse riding bicycles or barstools recycling the residuals building on a strong foundation playing off a solid baseline starting over taking a healthy lead this time scribbling outside the lines humidity acidity stupidity is that a tattoo? can I see? serendipity consistently where’s the Cheesecake Factory? viscosity curiosity fecundity living in the city are you kidding me the way it should be they want you to believe convert to digital ASAP eating whatever they’re feeding things go better when walk the line all in your mind all up in my face once twice three times you’re crazy cleaner than soap fresh as a daisy downwind of an overcooked dumpster between the lines four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who drink beer all the better to eat you with red riding hood fits just right goldie locks jack in the box shrink to fit tourniquet wine bottle role model half full half empty see what happens when
I plan to screen a few random shirts for RAGBRAI (which is I know an officially licensed term belonging to the DesMoines Register) to trade at a pilderwasser collective relative discount. There are no profits here, therefore there is no reason to cease or desist. All “proceeds” will be redirected immediately into the Iowa economy in the form of beer money. Moving in the general direction of west to east but not necessarily on the most direct route. Squeezing 500 miles out of a 300 mile state. Taking only photographs, leaving only empty cans.
We gotta bring our A game and really step it up on D If we take things one day a time you know like I said They’re a great team we can’t look past them They like to run but if we control the tempo and Execute on special teams we can play with anyone Don’t count us out just yet
certified exemplified unsatisfied we made five attempts we tried shit happens and then you call a messenger to clean it up
no causation no compensation just a truckload of correlation seriously sidewalk surfing comes naturally when you get to be my age saliva-soaked perforated page dog-eared by the cat Polaroid popsicles taste fine to a feline hiccups hands down your pants down around your ankles swollen sore red cankles spoons full of sugar help the insulin go down heart palpitations chest pains who doesn’t like presents but what we have here is too much future not enough presence the doctor said try to work a little RAGBRAI into your daily life I said cool did you learn that in med school I have no desire to see your excrement please please read the fine print that thing and that thing could get together and hook up producing viable offspring same species amazing 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
in vino veritas
June 15, 2009
an alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do
squeaky jockey pulley freewheel coast to coast of course toast falls to the floor jelly side first situation sticky two-sided tape auto reverse one more time around back where we started satisfaction completion rotation position orientation location what’s your 20? doesn’t matter do it again round trip bring it back come to base same old same old resources available looking better than ever
Maintaining a professional appearance with consistent locknut lip clearance. Sweet & sour pork triple clamp fork front suspension of disbelief. Loose balls, bearing jars of pickled herring. Brass nipples shits and-or giggles. Crank arm extractor. Ask Vogel about the chicken tractor. Nine dollar Madrona cupcakes. Poorly adjusted cantilever brakes. Headset press. Barefoot summer dress.
Cycling computer. Psycho commuter. Hose-clamped milk crate douche bags expecting respect from bungee-corded pickle bucket Dexter Avenue warriors. Fluorescent yellow jackets lineup. That light was red suck up. Heads up. On your left all around. Fixed gear conversion virgins whack track standing. Vehicular cyclist charade. Early-June chuffer parade.
Thin ice. Poor advice. T-shirt tan. Window fan. Be kind please rewind. Your credit card has been declined. Forget full retailing smooth sailing. Forty hour work week too much tongue in cheek.
It will all make sense behind a white picket fence.
take it to the next level take the stairs leave it in the mailroom leave it alone 50% off one day only x-ray proof lead suits keep the bad stuff out and the good stuff too for the Morton Salt girl or the Gorton’s fisherman rubber rain jackets make sense trust me wear a tin foil hat so they can’t read your mind pesky dispatchers chirping in punctuating spans of attention respond with your location relax rewind reload refresh whiter teeth fresh breath ask me about my learned helplessness a body at rest remains at rest inertia like stasis tastes like chicken feels like been here before 2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
routine run-of-the-mill strictly standard stock production pedestrian over the counter available Chihulyville garden weasel kybo scented air freshener automatic pez dispenser waterless urinal retrofit aerosolized poop droplet slingshot electron orbit cheap perfume ashtray station bike rack smoker gravitation procedure protocol parameter tolerance limit error no place else to go rosin more rosin on the bow 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
June 8, 2009
be more like cousin Milicent get out of the house get a job
getting older slowing down partly age rosemary and time
one small pack of gum one giant 30-pack of beer
all the digits were there dyslexically bedazzled out of order
going down in history with the wrong number
genuflected in the mirror off the glass and into the net
bar stool philosophizers bar end shape shifters
third trimester beer gut t-shirt tucked into Motorola bib shorts
I am not talking typical Cap Hill hipster rude I am talking want to deck a bitch rude ***
catch & release thrill of the chase the jig is up as high as a kite as free as Lynyrd Skynyrd as the crow flies as seen on TV as you were carry on overheard overhead under the seat in front of you right there left here lost and found and lost again every single day go out and play now a major motion picture act maintain keep it up façade consistently constant so full of shit it’s believable
precious cargo bulk no extra charge next day same day tuesday long day that’s no problem we’ll be right there right away right right it all pays the same pancake breakfast twice a day ex parte flat rate scoop poop clean-out regular run runs poopy doodie process service pays the bills e-file the hard copy icky yucky copy to the judge right away right of way my tummy hurts
don’t get your andiamos in a bunch It’s Court Reporter humor Get it? Neither do I but It’s worse when you lie about it That’s bike messenger humor Get it?
All the promises lying there with their fingers crossed all the ingredients they’re there with their ratios wrong sequences switched ramen noodle so-called beefy chunky leafy crispy sleepy minty fresh tuna fish cuddly cactus karate chop fig newton photo op authentic insincerity pharmaceutical saccharine lo-cal southern comfort grenadine caffeine free maraschino cherry chill & serve in a flared flute glass guy at the bar what’d he say credible source seen him here some call him a regular crushed velvet red leather alternating stripe progression concentric circle downward spiral force field flex proximity he is not my dog Luke I am your father starring role sounds better stale roll no butter keep in mind caloric intake go easy on the front brake
back to work to get some rest slow motion rewind six Mondays rolled into one Tuesday blurred recollection of events in question unable to confirm or deny any allegations extended weekend of RAGBRAI training time measured in 18-packs distance metered to nearest beer store space mapped on the grass in the shade rode my bike a little bit too to watch other people ride theirs a lot
core whore time trial track stand skid alley cat main race free style grass track bike polo add beer to taste repeat as needed
Upon first inspection at the One U bike rack I thought this bike was abandoned and someone had already stripped the chainrings. Crack head thieves know it, as well as highly trained bike thief surgeons selling stolen organs on the black market…there is usually a bike stripping protocol, a hierarchy of needs or a resale value evaluation. Quick easy practical expensive. Following a normal progression that gets more involved as specialized tools become necessary for removal. When presented with fresh bike carrion, chainrings are rarely the first bite.
Tom took a closer look and got this photo.
Later that day I saw the same bike at 1201 and noticed the lock job.
Perhaps the guy just wants to get on BikeSnob.
I suggest a more practical solution. Leave the chainrings on so can actually ride your bike. You can then lock up at a secure bike rack with a trusty Master lock by placing it around some cable housing or a shifter cable on the downtube.
listen up loosen up harden up there’s a screw loose in the dual pivot splash some apple juice and get over it three days ago there they go brake pads squealing like Ned Beatty a pretty mouth you sure got you don’t want to be that guy but it’s too late you already are take a number get in line now serving: nine hundred ninety-nine Memorial Day but soft what light through yonder window breaks it is the WestSide and so on dust off your white shoes prepare to pay more at the pump rub it in sunscreen streaks on your cheeks me gusta mucho douche bags in name tags floundering jaywalking upstream to the Convention Center not from around here I reckon getting stupid in all new ways 29 years ago Mount St. Helens blow blown up shown up grown up
preexisting condition taken out of context in situ - in the bag - in the kitchen a second dance of first impressions astroturf grass stain rug burn no sunflowers no baby Schnauzers por favor get what you pay for passing through throw a pass on third down two six-pack rings chain ring tattoo reaction empty can full of suggestion insert one more beer here or here4 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
the rain let up, the sun came up
May 16, 2009
Thomas Chapel photo
the morning after beer garden bike Led Zeppelin II work day
a bike messenger and a pay phone What year is this?
12 years ago today was my first day at Elliott Bay 07 Mark I was on a Rockhopper with bar ends and required to wear a skanky purple jersey on a day much like this one except it was 85 and sunny
Our radios were huge bricks Zone One was bigger the biggest Messenger bags were smaller Timbuk 2
We had 15 riders in purple jerseys and vests Fleetfoot had 15 or more and more attitude Buckys had 20 in blue helmet covers ABC had 25 on company bikes as well as: Jet City MDR PNP PM IPW ENA Zen Stealth NW Legal Seattle Legal Washington Legal and KnR was a guy named Art from Buckys Halo was a guy named Fever from SeaLeg
7 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
do me a favor
May 11, 2009
All you fair-weather fans keeping an eye on the forecast the thought occurred Monday morning dissipating faster than a poor metaphor by Friday it'll be easier second nature no second guessing but that’s just between me and me Bike to Work Weak listen here my friend do me a favor and don’t do me any favors make your presence known clear your throat ring a bell or belch and stay away from me nicknames will be assigned in due time you may not choose your own
5 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
Up north there’s a place where status quo goes and goes routine turns to superstition habit becomes addiction traffic patterns clearly visible they say it will be memorable a calendar date to commemorate an anniversary to celebrate some day a real rain will come wash the shit off my DANK bag playing with fire for a year and a half finally getting burned did you expect retrospect to smooth things over amplitude includes both highs and lows there’s an ebb in your flow the universe is shifting slightly to the left out of field goal range showing punt formation fourth down giving up throwing up choking down swallow it whole or get over it treating each symptom separately cannot possibly be holistic realistically really for real
it’s not the destination or the journey it’s all imaginary if A then B always one more if when you then the ending is a beginning commencement arrival completion graduation certification done finished accomplished as if you reach a point and Stop hang it on the wall stand back admire the achievement a point in space and time that existed momentarily but you let it pass trying to focus on a thin slice a cross-section of the big picture somewhere on the cycle between building up and breaking down tuned up and dialed in like the ultimate bicycle are you going to hang it on the wall and talk about it or are you going to hop on and ride it to work
I open my eyes and things calm down
it happened so long ago now it feels right
smooth scar from a carnival ride cigarette burn in the naugahyde
raw exposure turns to seasoned experience
they say the patina is beautiful but it started with an accident
the certificate of service says hand delivered via legal messenger bearer of bad news bringing the goods from point A to point B what’s the point
Hermes messenger of the gods herald from one world to another on the road with travelers patron of thieves and commerce too moving the good with the bad moving right along priming the pump easing the constipation peristalsis on two wheels
compensating for incompetence with a preponderance of post-it notes
what will she do with all her free time when she finally files electronically she won’t need 14 post-its per document labeled neatly color coded cascading perfectly down the right margin with ½ inch overlap
her messenger slips are swirls and swatches of tri-color hi-lighter Addresses Deadlines Special Instructions
her paper clips are arranged neatly sized appropriately colors never repeated within document sets sent to the same destination
maybe she can refocus her energy on preparing hardcopies for the Judge who doesn’t do that E thing and wants a goddamn 3-ring binder with index tabs and color copies ASAP
Excuse me Excuse me sir. What are you doing? Said the Capitol Hill resident after the third wave of cyclists blew through Louisa Boren Overlook park. I’m notarizing manifests. For what?
I’ll give you what for. Nice day for a bike ride, a corn dog, a beer and a new Hella t-shirt hand made in Seattle one-at-a-time one-of-a-kind. Nice view from my checkpoint. Raccoons the size of Texas living large in Interlaken. A curious bounce board photo shoot. Curious North Capitol Hill bystanders standing by made it hard to take a piss in the park. Had to call in Jewell for backup.
Three manifests. Picks. Drops. And bonus points for things like tennis balls, road turtles, bricks, g-strings and 40oz of St Ides, which is not icecream and is not available on the hill.
not so subtle body language look again blind date or tired marriage passion filled sparkle or comfortable dependence the shine wore off in 1986 proximity personal space people strangers neighbors coworkers teammates buddies pals chums lovers at the same table in the same car on the same corner next to each other guilty by association the mind will find a connection create a relationship smooth things over
size em up not quite fight-or-flight still a valuable survival skill
images phrases photographs words on the same page in the same paragraph you’ll figure it out with or without punctuation association juxtaposition connection
No best boy, no key grip, no gaffer, no cinematographer, no bounce boards, no cue cards, no caterer, no luxury trailer. Sometimes the sun comes out in Seattle. Sometimes. Shit happens. This is not a mayonnaise commercial.
It’s easy to make fun of them when you’re one of them sophomore know-it-alls know it all I know you are but what am I takes one know one too check one-two one-two see fair market value commodity the price tag ruined it for me Clearance Sale attention to detail attention deficit surplus inertia both ways bump on a log golf ball on the moon
fabric softener bike whisperer pint glass lifter shit whistler get in line at nine wait for it just wait wait but get it there on time higher highs lower lows whiter whites mountain fresh new and improved not really real reality really take the bull by the horns wait here for the next bus catch it in the tunnel between 3 & 6 or step into the street to see if it’s coming see what happens on the flip side the back side the Second Avenue side out of second chances rookie with it or on it out of balance out of whack a full bubble off plumb bob tie a string to it truly untrue a wobble a wiggle a waggle a screw loose a loose spoke everybody knows lying makes it worse operating on the same principle writing the rules like an armored car driver without the 18,000 pound backup plan
repetitive motion repeated repeatedly repeated taken for granted taken in stride every day every week every year until one day it’s taken away until one day it’s no longer here a change of scenery a transfer order a big orange bulldozer route rote rut routine right wrong again right then left and then write wrote written down normal wear & tear catastrophic failure your favorite sweater just riding along gut check wakeup call oil slick nasty fall replace divots please melted sharp cheddar cheese gentrification renovation give em 2.54 centimeters they take 1.6 kilometers pizza party poopy pants pillow fight diced dill pickle pasta shell bottle neck salad bar sneeze guard overspray baby corn shake well before using doing what needs to be done achieving the objective with the resources available perhaps not the best tool for the job bloody knuckle vice grip bike mechanic How can I do it more efficiently? How can I get someone to do it for me? file it electronically if you want it done right don’t call me
Queasy like Thursday morning Morning Edition sore throat three cups of black coffee jumbo spicy chicken teriyaki all up and down before 9:30 still wet behind the beers no rain showers precipitate running late layered up downtown downtube downshift full-finger gloves half-hour rush Bob Edwards no longer works here bad address cancel & return save the slip obtain certified copy of the order then take it to the Recorder advance fees please :) call back in 7 to 10 working days I’ll see what I can do not to be construed as legal advice or counsel call the attorney don’t blame me
Left turn from the right lane smooth sweep against the grain naked bootleg in for a touchdown untouched bus drivers linebackers left in the dust the stamp says 16:28 I know the score it all pays the same
Reviving old bagels with BBQ sauce dipping in the name of chicken nuggets inhaling stale pizza from 88 Lenora counting calories efficiently deficient completely depleted post-Easter recon mission reception candy dish position
fragrant pleasant disposition
refined white sugar bleached white flour enriched white rice lost at sea white noise servings per container ship 100,000 units made in China loading and unloading only restricted in the red zone one call per customer any available courtesy phone they said the same thing about the fax machine please excuse our mess we are open during recession sweater vest just for breakfast sensible shoes comfortable haircut Christensen O’Connor Johnson & Kindness biscuits mopping up excess gravy Lane Powell Spears Lubersky Are you fucking kidding me how can I get a job here that person in the mirror is closer than they appear to the edge answers may be found next time around
Slept past my stop forgot to get a transfer front and center at the foot of the altar Cathedral stained glass sunbeam illuminating Our Lady of What might have been pinching rosary beads for What will never be praying Patron Saint of Potential Unfulfilled racking up credits on a pinball machine in a dream feeding the feedback loop shouldacoulda monster under the bed waiting hibernating another late night visit from the Regret Fairy pillow sprinkled with magic indecision dust Hocus Pocus can’t say no afraid to say yes The fence makes the grass look greener hard deadlines all in my mind arbitrary expiration date best if used by September 1997 commitment contract concession giving up unlimited nights and weekends offering anytime minutes anytime replay the relationship conversation you me us we never said it goes without saying
6 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
A little bike swap in the park. We raised some cash for Bob and shuffled the collective energy in the local cycling community’s used bike part piles. I arrived with a bag full of old drop bars, brake levers, cantilever bits, a butchered B-17 narrow, back issues of kickstand and a few pilderwasser t-shirts. I sold a few things, traded a few and unloaded quite a few in the free pile. But I went home feeling better about the feng shui of my bike part buildup and a few more dollars in my pocket. I also adopted a sweet Alley Cat trucker cap, a couple more Control Tech stems and a TTT Columbus Nivacrom bulletproof steel flat bar. You don‘t see those everyday.
pilderwasser collective sizeable recognizable RAGBRAIsable right now right here not just 7 days all year last year and the year before next year and the year after It’s not a team issue It’s a quality of life issue All roads lead to Grinnell sunblock chapstick SPF 30 in the shade across the street beer store beer garden beer gut dual fuel pumps my bad my bed farmer tan tent city camp ground fair ground pass through overnight road kill beer garden garden hose backyard houseguest bicycles bananas bagels beer right now right here again municipal pool carwash shower apple pie ice cream popsicle Kum n Go mom n pop pulled pork loose meat maid rite sweet corn as far as the eye can see
Old flames alcohol gasoline hairspray kerosene unattended candles left unintended results right oily rags in a bucket old charcoal on the deck damp hay stacked in the barn combustion not so spontaneous burnt bridge reconstruction top to bottom left to right invisible in plain sight backtracking clockwise conservative traditional predictable professional confidential confessional archeological excavation historic landmark designation sacred burial ground don’t let me down ###
take what you need cherry picker only the best leave the rest combination breakfast available all day
Best Selling in the U.S.A. Greenfield's Kickstand enjoys enormous popularity. It's lightweight, durable, and looks great on any bike. Kickstand features: Certified Non-Corrosive Casting, Dual Spring Pressure Plate, Snap Action Mechanism, Non-Slip Clamping Surface, Hardened Steel Pivot Pin, Zinc Plated Screw, Calibrated Stem, and Solid Non-porous Casting. Weight: Only 266 grams
Isn’t that cute. You don’t see those much anymore. He’s like the paperboy we had back when newspapers were printed on paper. Or the milkman my mom always talked about. Or doctors on TV that made house calls.
Stick around long enough and you’ll see some trends, patterns, repetitions. More of the same. Same as it ever was. Like the guy on the second floor blasting “April Fool” for April Fools Day, loud enough for the neighbors, who, if they were here last year or years before would know it’s been a family tradition since 1991 when some say Soul Asylum sold out.
Or, when building management at 1700 7th plays Christmas music in the elevators on April 1st. This year, this time, today it was appropriate because Because it was fucking snowing
How ya like me now?
All up in my face
Personal space invaders Elevator latte slurpers Eye contact avoidance hesitation Umbrella cell phone conversation lunch hour clamshell migration
I’m invisible but I see you everyday
you Not you You you’re not from around here
Wealthy tourist shoppers Weak American dollars Spring break bro bras bro bra-ing Flip-flops shorts strolling bro Straight outta Corvallis
Optimism denial stupidity Toughness callousness dontgiveafuckness Ignorance is this
Focused intensity Rain/Snow mix Highs near 40
Watching three stiffs attempt to hail a cab Obviously from out of town Underdressed well and toting rolling carry-ons Polite hand gesturing from the doorway of the Logan Building but they will not step to the curb in the rain Not to muss well coifed hair Not to wet wool suits How bad do they want a cab? What time is their flight? Maybe they could, they should go back inside and listen to that Nik Kershaw song again one more time Maybe they could harden the fuck up and walk 85 feet up to 6th Avenue to the Cab stand full of cabs standing lined up like Oranges and Lemons
Stepped on an elevator doors close behind me turned to face front Oblivious to my surroundings up to a point On another level It’s a survival skill duh Next to you or Next to my mom I wouldn’t acknowledge you or ...
[More]1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
April 1, 2009
I know you are but what am I I know you are but what am I I know you are but what am I an eye for an eye aye aye I
concentric circles cycling recession ripples radiating round & round downtown ghost town trickle down to a trickle tweaking leaking toilets provoking plumbing poltergeists loitering in the loading dock summoning spirits on the service elevator taking shortcuts through the park gazebo demons to appease exorcised daily daily exercise spinning wheels stationary bicycle treadmill uphill running in place Progress (n. prog-res) Progress (v. pruh-gres) - stagnate - analog ideals erased digital results recorded according to schedule running late half step behind or half step ahead just out of reach 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
but why would I walk into your cheesy little CPA office in this Martin Selig building on a Wednesday morning dripping wet with a Nextel blaring on my chest wearing these thrift store clothes smelling like a wet dog wrapped in a chunk of beer soaked bong water cat piss carpet looking for an envelope for Mr. Richard Smoker less than 7 minutes after you called Mr. Smoker to let him know his tax documents were ready for pickup?
human hair is amazing until it's taken out of context
Recently the Bridgestone has been whining and complaining and getting tired of riding to work. Creaking, clunking and knocking. Old and tired. The original owner rode it in one STP and put it in his garage for years before he put it up for sale in the Bicycle Paper. It featured almost all OEM parts when I adopted it. I rode it across Iowa in 2005 and rode the shit out of it downtown for a few years, mostly between King County and Pier 70. It’s been through various permutations in that time but now it’s going back to a moustache handlebar big fat gumwall tires on bombproof 36-hole Mavic G 40 rims with MKS GR-9 platform pedals and Sturmey-Archer toe straps --- über retro grouch hard anodized weekend warrior fair weather slow ride. Hold the Brooks saddle, I'll go with the original Avocet. The RB-2 has been pushed back, back in the lineup by a new addition. This lugged lilac Bianchi. New to me. Adopted on Wednesday from Sebastian’s stable of surplus It’s from the same era as the RB-2 but has very few miles on it. I enjoy the feel of relatively new steel. Especially when compared to overcooked noodley tired bike frames. Yes. It’s ready to go to work. The latest in a line of steel full fender flat bar road bikes. You might think it looks just like all my other bikes, because it does. Form follows function. Riding slowly on the sidewalks all day. A tired old legal messenger’s bike. Similar to the Soma and the Surly and the IRO Not better than the Bridgestone but better than the Bertin As pretty and heavy as the Univega Made of pretty heavy quality Columbus tubing from Italy.
that's not the bike whining and complaining, that's me.
If I was a bartender and you ordered a hot apple pear martini, I’d pour you a beer.
If I was a barista and you ordered a hazelnut frappuccino, I’d pour you a cup of coffee.
If I was a barber and you came in with your pattern bald beret and ponytail, I’d shave your head.
If I was a bike messenger and you told me to take an unsigned Stipulation and Order to the judge’s chambers and wait for the judge to sign it, then file the original and return a copy to you right away, I’d take it to the mail room and stamp the copy.
If I was a King County Superior Court Judge and the defense attorney said, “your honor, my client is without sufficient information and can neither confirm nor deny the allegation” I’d say, “shut the fuck up counselor and let the guy answer the question” and if a bike messenger entered my courtroom with an unsigned order and expected me to sign it right away so he could file the original by noon, I’d stop the trial in session and wave the messenger up and ask him the name of the attorney that sent him to my courtroom and then I’d politely tell the messenger to drop the order in the judge’s mailroom and thank him for the effort and chat him up a bit about bikes or beer or both. Then I’d call the attorney that sent the messenger and give him a whole can of whoop ass and tell him his proposed order is horseshit. 2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
March 19, 2009
the soldering soldier is always in flux
unfinished business moving right along peristalsis parenthetical ellipsis
her lips is
Oh to visit the vermillion zone and stay a while let me apply liberally and evenly as often as necessary and reapply after swimming
there’s no such thing all things being equal insert variable Plug & Chug plug & chug
At 7:04 am in Issaquah Peggy walks from the kitchen into the garage and plops in the Prius for her drive into Seattle where she works on the 41st floor of a 50 story office building and parks her car in a subterranean parking garage down on level D. She takes one elevator up to the lobby where she switches to another that takes her to 41 where she fidgets around and rustles papers and gives off the appearance of working for a couple hours then she goes down to the lobby for a soy mocha with extra whip which she believes will taste great with one or two of those cupcakes that Darlene brought in for St. Patrick’s Day. Darlene always goes all out on the Hallmark Holidays with colorfully coordinated festive outfits that appear to have been assembled when Jimmy Carter was in office. Today Darlene has a blinking green LED pin on her green turtleneck that says “I’m not Irish, kiss me anyway” Peggy is grateful for the distractions and glad to have one more reason to gather round the candy dish the cookies the cupcakes. The green cupcakes. The morning coffee break on days like this easily absorbs an hour. Then she goes back to trying to exude that work-like appearance for a little while until lunch comes around and she can go down the lobby café for a cup of corn chowder with extra bread, a bacon cheddar croissant and a Diet Coke. After lunch Peggy gets another coffee break and will then have a couple more hours of trying to look like she’s working. Then she can go back down to level D and plop in the Prius for the drive home. It was a good day. Darlene’s cupcakes were so good. She won’t tell her secret ingredient but Peggy is pretty sure it’s sour cream. That question hangs on in her mind and it never really occurs to Peggy that she didn’t...
[More]5 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
she's married now or engaged or something so
March 16, 2009
transfer lobby choreography defense attorney personal injury good n plenty all you can eat sunny side of the street overly optimistic friend of a friend love’s baby soft teen spirit old spice fake wood paneling hand tooled leather time life series
eats clowns and leaves
keep your day job
So long to the Seattle PI
It’s going on-line-only It’s been losing lots of money Hearst doesn’t know what to do with it because it’s never been done 67% of those surveyed said they only buy the PI for the crossword puzzles 84% said they like the big globe sign and
From day one, bicycle has been a recurring theme. Several years later beer joined in. The two go hand in hand and work well together in the context of utility cycling. They really shine when riding across Iowa. Even Milkshake’s Mom’s 5th graders could point that out. However, those quality of life issues are just dancing on the surface of discovery. The mother of all leitmotifs. Asking questions. Questions that cannot be answered right now, right away, the right way, right or wrong, true or false, yes or no. If all the questions were answered I’d have nothing to say and there’d be no reason to go to work, no reason to leave the house, no reason to put pants on.
2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
alcohol funny car
March 12, 2009
In this case the wagon is like an arbitrary deadline with no logic or reasoning to support it. No parole officer. No medical reasons. No random drug testing program. No parenting agreement. It’s losing momentum and has a slow leak in the motivation sector. And because I said so only goes so far. It’s played out and has run its course. The goal for all intents and purposes has been reached. The wagon is gently rolling to a stop and I plan to get off. Just like I got on. Because it was there. Because it had never been done. Because I said so.
Aside from the obvious things like blood alcohol level and intoxication, diet, appetite, a liver like Jerry Garcia, caloric intake, monetary output, hydration and diuretics… I also paid attention to boredom, routine, routes, habits, reflexes, energy levels, sleep patterns, attitude, anger management and poopy pants. Biological, physical, physiological, psychological, sociological, logical, intellectual, sexual and financial data were also collected, recorded and archived for use at later date.
George was another fixture in the bar, a salesman working, like me, in the furniture warehouse. He drank beer all day, chased with shots of peppermint schnapps so that his breath would smell fresh, as though he’d just brushed his teeth. Like most drunks he had the baffling notion he was getting away with it, fooling everybody. I felt sorry for George because he wasn’t fooling anybody and couldn’t see the truth, that he was being tolerated and temporarily ignored.
One paycheck away Out on the street Out of luck Out of time Out of town Out of tune Out of it Out of your mind
Pilderwasser’s declaration in support of proposed order requiring all Metro and Sound Transit bus drivers to trade places with bike messengers downtown for one day, one Freaky Friday. Because I would love to drive an articulated bus up and down 3rd Avenue for one day with a smile on my face pinning those poor suckers to the curb on their janky bikes. Get off the street get on the sidewalk. Get off the sidewalk get in the street. You like me now? How?
Change of scenery Same shit different toilet What year is this First stop this morning was last stop last night Wipe the sleep from your eyes 15 hours just went by like you never left Move one position clockwise Movement yes progress No regression Spring forward Synchronize your watches Watch this
“What the hell does that have to do with bicycles?”
“Nothing or everything just like anything it’s a quality of life issue”
I picked up a pitchfork and posed for a picture with the pigs. Then I presented the piano player with a pilderwasser plaque and a pack of precious pickles. Paula pretended to pet the poodle and puked in the pews while Peter pilfered another piece of pecan pie. Then we procured the Puch, the Peugeot and the Pinarello and proceeded to pedal past the pissed off pasty pastor with poor posture who was preaching at the pulpit.
Don’t worry about the price. Worry about what people will think of you. Imagine how these shoes will look with your outfit, your gloves, your eye protection, your helmet and your bike.
I know these shoes will look great with my thrift store pants, my army surplus sweater, my road-score gloves, my 6 year old jacket and my beer-soaked DANK bag. I know these shoes will inspire chuffers to pass me on Dexter. I know these shoes will make me a better messenger, a better citizen, a better person.
These shoes will revive the local economy.
These shoes will get this country back on its feet.
Free beer tomorrow As seen on TV Two weeks to rejuvenation discover a whole new you On the wagon?
are you kidding me A long list of things to do and a couple ways to avoid doing them product placement brand recognition avoiding the bummer life a quality of life issue glycogen stores replenished a hearty breakfast re hydrated
I now have a roundtrip ticket to Iowa in my hand RAGBRAI is just around the corner
attention deficit next door neighbor hood toss up supply side interest rate spare rib stock yard jet stream security guard security blanket cherry blossom locker partner static cling lemon fresh Reagan years place kicker place holder place mat paper clip paper boy paper cut metal fatigue metal band rubber band break room brake pad break up break down red well red tide red wine red eye septic tank slow leak dick stank trench foot thunder storm tent flap traffic circle revolving door rotary phone family size cotton ball lawn chair hawk eye farm girl ice tea credit union happy hour bake sale crushed velvet hand job fish tank bottom bracket bottom dweller bottom line picket line picket fence American dream hair ball hair brain hair style extension cord power play penalty box pedal pusher back pedal back paddle black poodle corn dog beaver dam boysenberry jam
Erlenmeyer flask grandfather clock finger nail polish remover moth ball para dichlorobenzene spice rack blue cheese remote control
Fixing a flat in the rain. Fingers so fucking cold I can’t feel them. Hands completely black with road grime. When the profanity is out of the way I like to take a moment, take a deep breath, laugh and be thankful. Sometimes this job sucks but at least I’m not a dispatcher.
Union Street at 7th Avenue at 11:53am on Wednesday my non-drive side pedal broke. A big chunk of metal snapped off and stuck to my shoe briefly before it clanked in the street. I was pissed off for about 15 seconds on my ride up to 300 East Pike. I mean Pine... yeah Pine. After that I took a minute to think about the history of those pedals. Pedals I got used at the messenger bike swap that took place in Alor’s backyard on rain soaked Saturday a few years ago. They were in the free pile of leftover shit that no one wanted to take back. (see photo) So I took them and I rode them for a few years of work on the RB-2. Years of messenger use or abuse added to the abuse they got before I adopted them. Not exactly pampered. No weekend warrior fluffy shit. These pedals clipped in and clipped out about 1.3 gazillion times and finally on Wednesday one of them broke. The pair is actually still 75% functional and if I didn’t have another pair in storage I’d be riding them today.
At several intersections around Seattle there are cameras that take your picture when you run a red light. A while later you get your citation in the mail when they track you down by your license plate. Running the light on a bike trips the camera at Denny and Fairview. I’ve seen the flash go off several times over the years as I’ve rolled through that light on my way to...
[More]3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
February 26, 2009
Can the girls from the knog website Come to the WestSide Invite
One Less Attorney talking balking chalking up billable hours bloviating bullshit horseshit no really Horseshit Original plus two copies The legal messenger industry little black flies hovering around piles of shit Moving it Filing it Researching it Copying it Serving it personally upon named defendant I know it I could take it or leave it I’ve been taking it for years But I could leave it in The State of Washington in and for the County of King Residing in Seattle
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the wall at Market Place One next to this sign taking a break with Justin. Because we’re both hourly legal messengers moving very important legal documents, we both have clients in the building and it didn’t feel like loitering it felt like putting a little fuel in the tank. Some uptight tenants got offended within two minutes and made a phone call to management, who in turn sent out the big guns, a janitor with a broom and dustpan to move us along. As you know, I have a learned phobia of facilities management professionals toting brooms and dustpans.
My hands are resting on the hoods of Chinese brake levers bolted to a Japanese handlebar wrapped in Chinese bar tape clamped into a Japanese stem (25.4 bro) quilled into a Japanese steer tube one-inch-threaded into a Japanese frame on a Japanese fork bolted to an Italian hub laced with double butted Swiss spokes to a French rim floating on 112 psi in a Chinese tube within a German Tire.
My feet are in Italian shoes with Chinese cleats clipped into Japanese pedals threaded onto Japanese cranks (175 of course) bolted to a Chinese square taper bottom bracket spinning a Polish chainring (130 bcd bro) pulling a Chinese chain driving a jury-rigged seven speed cluster of Japanese cogs and Italian spacers on a Japanese free hub body and hub laced with Swiss spokes and big brass nipples to an Australian rim rolling a Chinese tube pumped up inside a French tire creating a cute little contact patch to match the German up front.
My ass is hovering above an Italian saddle clamped to a Japanese seat post (27.2 dude) inserted into a Japanese frame.
I’m picking up road vibrations
Dry clean only don’t ever wash me someday a real rain will come and bring the smell out old wet dog wool sweater 150,000 miles and counting still wearing that thing
I'm all wet
my shoes don’t match my bag
You smell that in this economic environment just a hint of vomit wouldn’t be prudent cutting corners clipping coupons
what were you thinking Retreating
pick up slack ipecac
drop off suspicious package corned beef conspicuous cabbage sauerkraut swiss cheese dark rye dill pickle horse radish
When I finally quit this messenger shit, once and for all, I’m going to open a bike shop. A big bright historic space with huge store front windows and high ceilings and wood floors. With passive solar heating in the winter, and well placed shade in the summer. I’m going to work there all the time, six or seven days a week. The shop will be beautiful, stocked with every bike tool ever invented. French, Italian, Japanese, you name it, I will have it, hung neatly on the shop walls. Everything in its place. A place for everything. I will have two Campagnolo Cork Screws with Cherry handles. I will have seven different kinds of bike tool bottle openers. I will have four brands of headset presses. The 3000 square foot work space will have work stands and tools for 5 full-time mechanics, so I can work on 5 of my bikes all at once. 2 air compressors enclosed in sound proof cases. Truing stands bolted down to work benches 42.5 inches off the ground. I will have two Phil Wood spoke cutters/threaders. There will be cement floors and drains built in so I can hose it all down when the kegs overflow or the chainlube explodes or the cat pukes or the shit hits the fan. I will have shop dogs and shop cats. The bike book library will be monumental. The furniture will be well designed, attractive, comfortable and functional. There will be no non-dairy creamer. The coffee will be good. The beer will be cold. There will be wholesale accounts with everyone and everyone. Paul, Phil, Chris, Grant, Brooks, Mavic, Moots, Sachs, Sidi, Swobo. For me and my friends of course.
I will be at work all the time. I’ll show up 5:30am, or 3:00pm, or not at all. I’ll spend the night. I’ll stay for two weeks straight. Or take a week off if I feel like it. However, the shop will not be open to the public. The...
Attention to details Obsessions to deal with What are you looking at focused on returning to What’s bothering you I could say, “me too” but I’d be lying It’s a pride thing a dirty diaper thing a bike messenger thing You wouldn’t understand The human nature thing The planet earth thing aint no big thing piss poor porridge petty problems double boiled distilled just a catalyst precipitating the precipitate recognizable meaningful universal Joe Schmo & Jane Doe Schmo comprising the marital community misinterpreted intensity Mikkelborg fountain drinking downhill tears spraying in a high speed shimmy outside the Tastee Freez She’s got her toptube clenched between her knees Duane and Tammy sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g Jack & Diane were so like 1983 I liked it so much I bought the company
Reply to: email@example.com [?] Date: 2009-02-11, 5:04PM PST
hate to part with this chair
but it’s time to move on after a recent divorce
Cleaning house literally and emotionally.
Free to a good home.
--- --- ---
We bought it at Boeing Surplus the day we signed the lease on that first apartment on the hill. We had three sets of silverware, one chair and a lot of student loans. That chair was solid, substantial and overbuilt on bearings made for trucks. Rolling on casters capable of supporting tons of industrial product but only supporting one office worker at a time. It was created somewhere between postwar reality and prewar vision. No big name architect or hip designer attached. It was more Trenton or Cleveland or Pittsburg. It was blue collar Seattle when it was fishing and logging and Boeing building planes for the war. It was office worker all the way in government beige. Bland enough to look through, look past, look beyond. We talked about the office worker that sat in that chair for 8 hours a day behind a matching beige desk. And how he started to take on that same beige color when his soul, his passion, his ambition slowly drained out and into the cushion of the chair with each tick of the clock hanging on the wall. We talked about how we would never sellout and work in jobs like that. We talked about it while we sat in that chair. One of us or both of us. Reading the Sunday paper. Drinking coffee in November wearing sweaters and hats trying to hold off a little longer and not turn on the heat. Or drinking gin & tonics in July wearing nothing much at all sitting two feet from the fan. That chair was not built for comfort. Steel and naugahyde. It was built to last.
Know such thing as a free lunch All you can eat buffet Irritable bowel syndrome Filling up on free samples High fructose corn syrup overload Metabolic crash Eyelids heavy Security guard eyeing me Recycled office building air Please please Please use the revolving door Keep your head on a swivel Alert direct connect chirp Next day same day end of day all day 33 lb box suite 4760 roundtrip copy
Employee bonuses will be distributed at the Holiday Party.
The Holiday Party is cancelled.
Boeing Microsoft Starbucks Safeco Qwest WaMu Weyerhaeuser Tullys UW
Layoffs? Don’t talk about layoffs. You kiddin me? Layoffs?
Treebeard Jace photo
Looking at the world through a pint glass taking things in 16oz servings everything in due time beer wine whiskey tequila chorizo burrito to go Everything in moderation She said Where’s the sport in that I said I am I said moderation schmoderation leave a little something to the imagination continuation cheap beer nation
Spent a few hours in PDX for Case’s birthday. Sipping sangria, playing croquet in the park in the dark. No bikes ridden. Short walks taken. Pleasant conversation. Drunk as hell but no throwin up… On one of the walkabouts, Clair bought an 18 pack of Busch to take to a backyard cedar shingle fire pit party. I carried the beer for a while and said to myself, “this is heavy” then I took a closer look and it was 18 tall boys. A thing of beauty that I’ve never seen in Seattle. Portland has it figured out.
half the man you used to be half full or half empty
use the force Luke use the litter box Brad
Get up get get get down get down to get up
A decent ascent preceding An absent descent receding
Mature contenting Adult consenting
The first step is admitting You pooped your pants
So, fairly early on there’s a tension established between our protagonist and the setting, the situation. She pooped her pants and there’s more where that came from. This is real drama. We, the viewers, the readers, the audience…we’re immediately drawn in, taken, absorbed, concerned. What’s she going to do now? Where is she? Where does she go from here? How’s she going to get out of this one?
8 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
Seattle traffic is a delicate ecosystem, easily upset by the slightest change. If the Dali Lama drops in, or the Seahawks make the playoffs or a white guy, about six feet tall with brown hair robs a bank and leaves behind a suspicious package, that delicate balance is thrown out the window. This afternoon traffic downtown was gridlocked, radiating from the bank robbery on the corner of 5th & Union all the way to I-5 and 99 and various on/off ramps. It was like the SeaFair Parade in February. Traffic was a real bear but I made it home in 8 minutes.
Same as it ever was.
Mirror check Signal Head check Lane change Check Check one two one two You don’t see me but that’s OK I saw you from a mile away Hands at 10 & 2 White knuckling the wheel You’re not from around here are you Welcome to Seattle Mr. Rental Car Take a deep breath relax Pull over The Pike Place Market is that way The Cheese Cake Factory is that way There’s a Starbucks here and there and there and there
Just so we’re clear on this Are we clear on this I always liked it she hated it then I got it tattooed on my arm Set in black ink Seven layers deep To last forever Whatever Now I’ll never Get a job in a bank Manmade fiber polyester Accelerated body odor Don’t stare junior That’s just a messenger Caution: use only under Strict adult supervision As if the grownups are with it The kids know what’s what Lacking only the vocabulary Evaluate review critique Awareness wisdom knowledge Insight visible in their eyes Clearly Conversation cocktail party awkward pauses spaces empty Filled with spackling putty details petty Inane trivial recollections Call & response recitations Haveyouheardtheoneabout repetitions Close cover - strike gently The third strike’s a charm Triple delight triptych triumvirate Get over it Stress harder honk louder drive faster Can it get any clearer am I clear on Pier 69
you me us we We deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in paragraph 3.3 of the plaintiffs’ complaint Yeah whatever good answer What about me There’s no I in we We have issues Stacked floor to ceiling long-time subscribers We have issues Quality of life half life shelf life Expiration date deadline priority people in hell want icewater ASAP As Soon As Plausible soon sooner soonest sooner or later It’ll get there when it gets there or not Either way anyway six lane elevated freeway Really in the longest of long runs Really it just doesn‘t matter I’d like to introduce you to my coworkers Friction wind resistance gravity They seem to get along well together I was never much of a team player Humidity precipitation temperature altitude attitude longitude latitude Cut me some slack Slack slacker slackest Slacking standing by -inertia A body at rest remains at rest It gets hard harder hardest to get off the couch to get off the babysitter Thought it was phantom cell phone syndrome Got a second opinion Turns out it’s a phantom U-lock in my pocket Take two of these and don’t call me in the morning This product has been proven to Cause cancer in laboratory animals In the state of California Side effects may include Nausea dry mouth vertigo Loss of appetite Weight gain delusions of invincibility unreasonable respect for authority upset tummy poopy pants icky A poor little rich girl sense of entitlement How’s my driving? Call 1-800-it’s-a-rhetorical-question You talkin to me You Me Us We
History has shown that when MLK day falls on a Monday before the inauguration of the first ever African American President of these United States of America…things are slow in the Urgent Delivery business.
and it was.
The first order of business for our new president is a proposed $800 Billion bailout of the bicycle messenger industry. Which translates to $1 million for every working bike messenger in the USA and enough left over to keep all the messenger companies afloat for a while. More zeros.
We don’t need another hero.
The sun came out loud and clear and low in the sky It was chiaroscuro day in Seattle
Rock, paper, scissors. Whatever. It’s 50 lbs of shit stuffed into a $10/hour messenger bag. The cost of living. The cost of doing business. The cost-benefit analysis. Whatyagonna do? You can’t afford to. You can’t afford not to. Let me think about it and get back to you. Odds are even. Six of one. Half dozen the other. Take me to your leader. Take me to the cleaners. The side effects of the prescribed remedy are far worse than that which ails you. You think that’s bad, did you hear the one about the small messenger company? I can see it from here. I could see it from there. I’m seeing it everywhere.
Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me.
Overcoming tremendous adversity so early on a Monday He forgot his sausage patty
I can’t believe I did that. Now I have to go all the way back down to the cafeteria and explain myself. I take such care to make sure the hot food stays hot. I have a routine. I pay first, set up the bagels, get my coffee and juice, and then the sausage. But today I forgot my sausage patty. (actual law firm employee on elevator yesterday holding his tray of food) After I heard his amazing tale of hardship and perseverance, my own troubles were really put in perspective.
brown paper economic stimulus packages tied up with string, these are few of my favorite things. Go with your gut, she said. I went with my gut, I said. The whole thing seemed like a good idea at the time. But halfway into a humongous humus platter I’m out of pita and the kalamata pits are pissing me off. Now here I am feeling funky with a lingering aftertaste and horrible breath. Do what you love. Do it for a living and you might not love it so much. Go to your special place. Go there for work and it’s no longer special. Do what you want to do. Do it because someone else wants you to and and and you know what I’m saying.
Maury drinks a 40 Dustin gets a flat or something like that
It goes a little something like this
Maury works late at the video store on the hill. He enjoys a bottle of malt liquor after work while he waits for the bus back to Lake Forest Park. But the busses weren’t running that night because of the snow and ice. So he called a friend on hill and walked over to crash for the night in a much closer zip code. Along the way Maury finished his Big Bear and tossed it over his shoulder in a high end-over-end arc resembling a well kicked extra point. The shattering of a 40 usually brings some satisfaction and a sense of closure. But this time the bottle came down in the middle of John Street with a dull thud and didn’t even crack because there was so much snow on the ground.
The empty Big Bear sat in the street for 3 more days blending into the snow. When the weather started to warm up, a Metro Bus ran over the bottle.
Five days go by and the snow melts away…
Dustin works early. He rides his bike to work and when he gets to “work” he works all day on his bike. Some people call him a bike messenger. Some people call him other things.
Dustin had a lot on his mind that Monday morning including a wicked hangover and he forgot to pump up his tires to their usual 113 psi. The tires on Dustin’s bike were well worn. The average cyclist would say trashed but Dustin knew how to get the most out of his equipment and could push it beyond limits that others would consider reasonable or even rideable.
Dustin got a pick up from a house on Malden, first thing in the morning then stopped at Safeway for a jalapeno cheddar bagel. Riding down John Street on the way into town the car in front of...
[More]5 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
It has arrived. Thank you Bret. It’s not 130 bcd, it’s not 135, it’s bad ass. It’s art. I’m putting together a little care package for you. A little pilderwasser reciprocity and it’ll be traveling to Albuquerque via USPS. Cheers.
Craig Etheridge photo
To: All messenger companies
From: Large law firm
RE: Sensitive sheetrock
Here at Large Law Firm we use messenger services to clean up our shit, save our asses, compensate for the procrastinating, catch our mistakes, make our attorneys look good and do all the things we don’t want to do or don’t know how to do. We want it all, we want it now and we want it for $3.50.
However we do not want to see, hear or smell messengers in our office. And most importantly we do not want messengers dinging up the sheetrock near the elevators as they write job numbers on their messenger slips.
And don’t use the Handicap bathroom either.
mergers, acquisitions, consolidations
Jason Britton photo
don’tcha wish your lawyer was a freak like me?
I’m an attorney, I need it right away “the line starts over there” the clerk will say
He was authoritative in a senior partner way But he wouldn’t accept service on the firm, not today
She was brilliant in a Harvard Law way But she couldn’t change the date stamp, no way
What exactly do you do all day Lingering in the cafeteria, the K&L Gates way
She's drab in a sensible shoe way Pro se… I’d say
He was suave in an acid wash denim mullet way Lane Powell all the way
She's attractive in a Dorsey Whitney way a few steps above Schwabe but far from Perkins Coie
There are however plenty of traditions, conventions, suggestions and expectations. When are you going to get a real job?
Working, flowing through the city all the time on time is impossible to do everyday without making some assumptions. some calculated risks. Some predictions based on probability and experience. And just taking a few things for granted. But it’s beneficial to stop and consider this once in a while. Or at least slow down and be a little more kid-like or little more bumpkin tourist like.
For example, you step on a crowded elevator and press 55 and assume it will take you up to suite #5500 and let you out. But look at the six people you’re with and visualize spending the next 7 hours with them on that elevator when it breaks down. How ya like me now? Gotta take a piss. What’s that perfume you’re wearing? Please shut up.
And another thing, it’s very difficult to give a courtesy flush when the toilet has an automatic flush sensor. A perfect example of poor product design. Designed by stiffs too far removed from reality, too high up off the streets, too clueless to know how the shit really goes down. Because they’re all up in the executive washroom where somebody gets paid to flush the toilet for them.
I designed a waterless urinal years ago. It’s called a bucket.
Out of context yet familiar. Like an exotic receptionist spotted walking down 6th Avenue. You can’t remember where she sits, where you’ve seen her. Was it a dream or was it just last week? You’re on a one-way street but you want to think it goes both ways and left lasting impressions on each of you, not just you. Like a chair-shaped ass on an ass-shaped chair. Meant to be. Fit like a glove. Hand in hand over fist.
back to the grind, back to so-called reality, back to work, back to school, back to basics, back in the High Life 12oz cans. back to back to back
What happens when your local malt liquor mart gets gentrified…?
Mom & Pop, corner store, bodega Not just a facelift, a complete boob job and clientele augmentation
From Big Bears to Belgian big beers From Rainier tall boys to Euro choir boys There’s a new sheriff in town and he just bought a condo and drinks Amstel Light
...it’s after 4:00pm and I‘m at base and my dispatcher asks me what I’m holding.
and I’m holding: 9 King County filings 2 USDC monetary filings 15 downtowns including an NLRB a big fat Immigration Court and some residential process
Then the dispatcher sends me to 9800 NE MacPherson to pick up a 1201 by 5:00
Along the way I need to attempt some process service at a residence in Ballard. I’ve tried it five times already today. It’s service on a pair of identical twins that are supermodels. They’re never home because they travel a lot for work and their stoner roommate is always there and states he’s a resident of suitable age and discretion and authorized to accept but our client says no, personal service only on each twin individually.
I say, where the fuck is MacPherson? and I’m serving that stoner roommate this time.
But the dispatcher has completely lost it, he’s incoherent, glazed over and cannot respond. Then a messenger from ABC tries to give me directions, because it’s their client on NE MacPherson, but his mouth is moving and no sound is coming out. Thanks dude…whatever.
I’m getting a little agitated and start to stress when I look at the clock. So I decide to roll out. But I’m not on a bike today. I’m driving a 1969 Chevy pickup with no windows and the back of my neck is getting cold. There’s snow on the ground and I can’t get the truck out of reverse so I’m just sliding around the parking lot backwards…
picking up the pieces piecing together events in question questioning asking wondering why my pants are still on no cash in wallet receipts in pocket that place the place no the other place bar hopping chronology Pike Street geography pint glass stratigraphy matchbook phenomenology beer coaster dendrochronology cell phone digital photography text message archaeology
Good is a good doctor, but Bad is sometimes better
look ma, no hands
As winter makes one appreciate spring, marriage helps one appreciate divorce and walking sheds new light on riding a bike. Riding naked in January highlights the importance of clothing and no-handed track standing isn’t showboating if you don’t have hands.
It’s easy to avoid over thinking, if you don’t have a head.