instant gramming

November 26, 2008

Ball-buster: Attack on Hipsters

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning... While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

I don't have enough time to react to the entire article. It's a scathing critique of "hipster" sub-culture, which [it claims] lacks purpose and originality unlike many youth movements preceding it (punk, hip-hop), and rather it steals from those counter-cultures, while being wholly manipulated by the mainstream. That is, hipsterdom is just fashion. It's not anti-fashion, nor is it apathetic to fashion. The look, which was probably born from creativity and frugality (think thrift stores), is now mass produced and consumable in every facet of mainstream society. The way is shallow and dumb and narcissistic.

There are a couple cheap shots about fixed-gear bicycles. My only complaint is that bicycles (of any type) should be free from association in such criticism. Granted, bikes should be accessible and free from co-optation by elitists. However, I find that by making bikes "cool," cycling might be encouraged in a society built for the automobile to revolutionize how we live, work, and travel.

The article makes good points, but makes no attempt at offering a redirection for the so-called misled youth, save the part about picking up a rock instead of holding an iPhone or something... I guess I would suppose that skinny jeans and passionate, creative, revolutionary purpose aren't mutually exclusive. Now that we got the scolding out of the way, let's be helpful.

Don't do drugs.

I originally found the article here.

November 24, 2008


In the interest of avoiding world wide w'redundancy, I'm including a link here to a bmx video (re-)posted at Lately, I've been really geeking out on fixed gear bike videos that have been comin out--a branch of freestyling that basically evolved from BMX.

When I was younger, we skateboarders used to despise BMX-ers and inliners (a.k.a. aggressive rollerbladers). I'm not really sure why there tended to be a breakdown of respect among the three factions that fell under the banner of Alternative Sports. I guess one reason comes to mind: BMX bikes used to blast huge chunks out of wood surfaces and the metal and concrete edges of "obstacles," thereby really fudging up the buttery smooth grinds to which we skaters aspired. Anyway, the rivalry was unquestioned. Sure--these barriers were occasionally transgressed as a skater and biker would find some common ground, but generally the spheres were essentially isolated (due to the respective nature of each sport), without much overlap, and the potential for a tight bond was strained.

These days I've stopped making time to ride my skateboard. The few times I have, I feel stiff and heavy; I barely cruise or carve, let alone pop or flip. I feel like an anvil, and trying to jump is as hard as if I were fighting some force pulling me in the opposite direction. The wood feels stiff and flat and cold; the wheels, like stone or clay, with no forgiveness.

Fortunately, my body has found refuge in my bicycle--with it, I've found a familiar connection with the ground, akin to the connection once afforded me by my skateboard. I move fast and organically. I bounce and dodge and absorb and launch. I claim the street. I learn, intimately, the surfaces of the pavement and sidewalks, and take in the scenery around me. I push and exert myself.

The BMX video above--besides blowing my mind--squelched any remnant barriers between biking and skateboaring in my mind. It's an inspiration to get outside and rekindle that connection with the ground; to live and play, daily, with the world as my playground; to be creative and foster new style; to learn something new and improve my abilities; to share that connection and enjoyment with others...

November 22, 2008

Alden - Birthday #1

Alden is 1 year old today! Here he is with the birthday card sent to him from my mom and Glenn. Wooha

November 21, 2008


C baked a pumpkin pie,
I whipped up some heavy cream
We were meant to be

November 19, 2008

"Chill yourself before you kill yourself" and other thoughts

"Chill yo'self before you kill yo'self"
was precisely what I said to Alden last week when he was getting particularly raucous on a walk outside. I made it up and now you can use it as you see fit.
I had an epiphany the other day about my bike and hopefully I'll get it done this winter. I'm going to switch out my chainwheels and get a track cog that is larger than my freewheel so that I can flip the free and fixed sides of my wheel and ride different gear ratios with the same length of chain. Brilliant! I will have a higher gear for the "free" side and a lower gear for the fixed side so I can avoid busting my knees trying to slow down or skid... This is doubtful, but if I were truly ambitious I would even try to repaint the frame...
Here's a little vid for your viewing pleasure, via

Fixed 2 from Charge Bikes on Vimeo.


My childhood dog, Rambo--the dog that my sister and I lovingly referred to as our brother--recently fell ill and was put to sleep yesterday. He had to be 15 years old, or more. The last few times I saw him he was in poor health: bad sight, poor hearing, and, lately, he could barely walk or stand.

His health plummeted in the past week and doctors could find no hope for his recovery. My mom was faced with the extremely tough decision to let go of him so he could move on to a better place.

I appreciate my sister and her fiance (Andy) for helping to support my mom during this time of loss. My mom and her fiance (Glenn) have lost several dogs recently due to old age. I'm sure all this has been very hard on both of them--but I know they are helping each other get through.

Rambo was a good companion and he will be missed sorely by all of us.

November 14, 2008

Snow, Art Contest

It might not be the official start to winter but we woke up to snow today, experienced a (figurative) blizzard of gigantic flakes, and currently have a quarter inch blanket of whiteness as we are heading to bed. I don't care much for this season, but the first snow is exciting and makes me nostalgic for "hot chocolate" and "peppermint" and all those other winter things. Alden is really excited by the snowy ground too. You could see the expression on his face when he first stepped outside this morning: "What the f---?!"

Blue Moon Brewing Company finally posted up the art contest winners and finalists on their website. Visit this site, if you wish--you'll need to enter your birthday, click the "Art Project" flash, enter your birthday again, then find your way to the Columbus gallery. Big props to the person who took home first place, but boo to the others [<-- that's my poor sportsmanship side coming out]. If you care not to go through the hassle, here's a picture of the original. (Have I posted this yet?)

Maybe the judges were offended by the image of a beer-bellied, large-nipple'd sasquatch irresponsibly guzzling a beer. Oh well. I can't make everyone happy.

November 12, 2008


Big ups to Jessica Love for having been born 27 years ago, today.

Check out her flicks and hire her to photograph something before you lose: boo-ya

She's got a sharp eye, which explains her impeccable style, and her passion for life is clearly the driving force that produces such powerful photos.

Happy birthday, again, Jess--you are good folk. I've never been interested in photography until recently--you inspire me with your dedication to document the lives we are living and your desire to find more life to live.

November 4, 2008

Election 08

It's election day. Hope you last-minute voters aren't having too much trouble casting votes. C and I walked over to our "spot" around 6:00am and were out within 20 minutes after voting began (which was 6:30am).

I spent the rest of the day planting 150+ trees with some others in Dayton at a mitigation wetland. Besides the fact that it pushed our lunch back a few hours, the work was fun. The sun was out and I won't even mind the sunburn I probably got. It will be eclipsed by the tingling of my "Sh-erpes." Feel free to use that new word: it is a hybrid of "shingles" and "herpes." I think "Shingles" makes people uncomfortable, and "herpes" is worse. Sherpes is fun. Kinda' like Sherpa--and who doesn't want to know a Sherpa?

Aside from NPR, I hope to avoid election coverage tonight. Nothing will be decided before tomorrow and I'm sure it will just drive me nutty.

Nap time! PEACE!

November 1, 2008

You know when you get that tingly feeling all over...?

So, a higher power decided to help me figure out a costume for Halloween. I was to be a Roof. No, not really. But I apparently have Shingles. That's right: the varicella zoster virus (A.K.A. herpes zoster (A.K.A. same thing as chickenpox, but different (A.K.A. this fuckin sucks!))).

Here is a really colorful description of my recently latent friend Shingles.

Basically I've been experiencing sharp, pinching pains along the right side of my body, a burning rash of blisters on a small, isolated spot on my back, and tingling, sensitive sensations on the skin all over my torso.

I guess I've been harboring this virus since I had chickenpox as a kid, but my immune system decided to take a break and shit went haywire. Am I emotionally distressed? I don't think so. As I understand it, this should be my only Shingles outbreak for the rest of my life.

Oh well. That's all the venting I want to do about it. Tonight C and I went to see Olympic gymnasts at the Tour of Gymnastic Superstars. That was pretty cool. The best part was C being really excited to go. The second best part was rhythmic gymnastics. Then we hung out with J&M--they had bought Alden a little shirt that says "Bark for Barack" on the back of it! How rad.

Ok, it's Saturday night and I'm ready for sleep. Peeeeeeeeace
Here's a video to lift your spirits. Special dedication to Brandi Lee and all the hippies at the Homestead.