Aww-right! Work is in overdrive and The Missus is on an out-o-town bike trip. I ain't had time to wax the weasel, much less write this bitch with the turpitude it deserves. But, finally, the kids are snoozin' and the weasel is waxed (see it gleam!).
It is time to tell the tale!
Let's start with last week, say... Tuesday, September 7, 2006: Life is good. Work is work, but manageable, and I'm looking down the pipe at a four day weekend with a Thrusday Nite SK8 at the RampRanger's (Mofo's) as a prequel to a roadtrip for music, skating, and the plethora of hedonistic pastimes that a big city can offer!
Joy of Joys it was great to be me! Then Mr. Telephone - Happiness Assasin - calls to say: Skidzilla - You must be in Minneapolis on Thursday! The fate of the Company hangs in the wings! We're all counting on you!
There goes that Thursday nite Corydon Skate, dammit! (Which supposedly rocked balls and I ain't seen a single word about it!)
Apparently, I took that shot too easy cuz the Happiness Assassin returned in no time: Skidzilla - You must be in Atlanta on Monday! The fate of the Company hangs in the wings! We're all counting on you!
Well, F-U-C-K, now I gotta call Mofo, beg him to drive home alone on Monday, arrange flights from Chicago, figure out a ride to the airport, and pack for both business and pleasure - and give up a planned day off to boot!
No problem. I got this bitch! I still got all day Friday to skate, travel and relax! But the Ringy-Dingy of Dismay had other plans: Skidzilla - You must be on a conference call this Friday! The fate of the Company hangs in the wings! We're all counting on you!
I'm all about doing my part in upholding the fiduciary responsibilty to the shareholder, but at this point I am getting the old 'Number 9 Poopshoot' treatment from the man. I screened all calls for the remainder of the week. I mean, I can stand a Number 9 once in while, but there is no way I'll suffer a dreaded Double Digit sized poopshoot - that's for guys with lots of Stock Options as far as I'm concerned.
So, the short version: Tuesday Morning: Stoked, Tuesday Afternoon: Stressed, Slightly Pissed, and screening all calls for fun-killing content. BUT, I had a ticket in my pocket to Touch and Go
's 25th Anniversary Party to make everything all right! So, Fast Forward to Friday: Perfect Day weather-wise! On the way we were gonna hit Crown Point Skatepark in Crown Point Indiana. We would skate Wilson Skatepark in Chicago AT LEAST Once, maybe three times.
We even toyed with the idea of 3 parks in 3 states in 1 day. All we had to do was hit Louisville on the way out of town. Ultimately we decided the stink factor of two guys in a small car on a road trip would be bad enough - even if we started skating at the end of the ride. Putting up with a fat dose of Rector Reek for over five hours was less than exciting, so, we bagged the Louisville Park and rolled North!
After a couple of pits stops, a #$%^^@*&@!!! conference call, and a slight detour around a scads of emergency vehicles next to the park in Crown Point we roll up ready to ROCK! I so wanted to watch Mofo shred this park a new asshole! But, hey, what's this? New Hours? Schools in session and this park is now only open on Saturday and Sunday? Well...that kinda sucks, now, don't it? Helloooo, #10 Poopshoot. If work don't get ya, life just might.
I sold Mofo on the idea of jumping the fence just to get a taste of that sweet, sweet spine and the joy of the six foot 1/2 pipe. But, alas, this park would receive no new a-hole today. Time was short and we didn't want to trade the Touch and Go Line-up
for an inside look at a Crown Point jail cell specially reserved for out-o-towners. So, like it or not, Whiting
- Here We Come!
Now, Whiting and I have history. It has haunted me since I left that shit-hole in July. I should not feel so distressed after my first trip - I mean, I was the only one that summoned the gnar to even try to carve over the hole. But, why, oh why, did I so emphatically state , on record - on video!, that I was going to make it over that stupid hole only to leave without accomplishing it?!
Here is the truth: THIS PARK SUCKS. The concrete chatters your teeth, the coping is stupidly inconsistent, and the bowls are full of bearing-eating dust. Mofo claimed it was the biggest waste of concrete he had ever seen. I asked if he thought it was better than no park at all an he immediately answered, indignantly, that No Park at ALL would be better than the Whiting Park! Later in the trip I heard people defending it and calling it 'great' and 'awesome.' But, come to find, they live right next to it and were skating in Chicago's Northside. How awesome could it be?
I don't understand it. It's a Grindline Park
. The same people that built McCall, Idaho's oh-so-perfect bowl. So, Jon, I hope Grindline serves up a McCall-style park in Ohio instead the Hoosier-style Shit-hole they laid down in Whiting!
Anyhoo, since we weren't planning a trip to Whiting I had already made peace with the fact that I would not ever carve over that damn hole. So, when we arrived I was still in this mode. We skated around on the big stuff for a while then hit the bowl-with-the-hole area. Mofo said he didn't even know how to start at it, so, when we finally got around to it, I showed him how I had warmed up to it by trying to pop out over it. Next thing you know I just went for it. Mofo yelped when I jumped off. My attempt must have looked dangerous, stupid, or both.
Mofo took a view of it and said I should try it from a different spot. Oddly, when we last visited Whiting, some local grom told me to start from the same spot. Maybe it had merit - but it looked wrong and it still looked impossible. I got a lot closer first try from that angle, so, I went for it at the new angle. I bailed a lot. I even quit once and said 'let's go.' Every bail was causing a twinge in the berries (Hey! You jump off a 7 or 8 foot ledge 10 or 12 times on hard concrete and see how your johnson feels!). I sucked it up and got all the way around the hole then bailed - that sucked, cuz even Mofo was ready to leave and the bail was pretty much inexcusable. Two more shots till I rounded that bitch and screamed all sorts of expletives of joy. This was interesting cuz 3 Whiting cops were shaking down a bunch of Hispanics in the parking lot for smoking something. The cops didn't even blink in our direction - despite my hysteria. We called Nick and I made Mofo tell the story - for validty, I suppose.
Next Stop: Chicago!
Traffic was kind and we made good time into Chi-town to meet up with my old college chum, Jack Kirk.
His hospitality (don't he look hospitable?) provided us with a place to stay and an infinite number of restaurant selections. We chose Indian. A meal that, we learned the next day, is not the best the nite before a six-mile run.
Jack is a nite owl and late sleeper. Me and Mofo headed straight for Lakeshore Drive at the crack of dawn and parked at Wilson Skate Park
. We hopped out and checked out the park and then hit the path for a quick six-mile jaunt with one pit-stop for "Indian Expulsion."
The Honeys were out as several training groups were in the final throws of readying themselves for the Chicago Marathon next month. Jog Bras rule - I'm a sucker for the UniBoob. It might have been my imagination, cuz I can't stop looking at him either with his new haircut, but lots of hottie's heads turned when Mofo ran by.
One hour later and it was time to skate! It was a blast - Just like last time! Not even the prevailing stench of raw sewage could kill that buzz!(Besides after a few minutes you got used to it.)
Mofo was wowing the locals, per usuale. Some of the same guys were there as last trip and they all recommended another old guy site: sk8.cannedoxygen.com
. Most interesting to us was the directions to the new concrete park in the burbs: Northbrook
We ran out of fuel fast and headed out for a place called 'tweet...let's eat.' Stupid name with awesome food, hot waitresses, and tons of songs from the eighties featuring female vocalists. But the food and the hot staff, by far, made up for that! Back to the skatepark for another hour of rippage then we picked up Jack, hopped a train and hit the show.
The show of shows!!!
An empty parking lot with two stages - one at either end. While one band played, the next band set up. There was never more than 10 minutes of silence. We got to see Pegboy, The Ex, and Killdozer in the course of about 2 hours then the sparks hit: The Didjits!
The Didjits wrote the soundtrack I hear in my head every time I skate. They are at once a parody of Rock and Roll, and, as such, they become the essence of Rock and Roll. Rick Sims is not afraid to be a fool or perpetually berate the audience. Back when Prince put out his LoveSexy album - The Didjits followed it with LoveSickle ep - complete with one really stinky (in a literal sense - cuz he's killer) Bass Player on cover in Prince-like pose.
Next up: Scratch Acid - They killed it, of course. They have really scary songs about death and food and monsters and stuff. Then Man - or AstroMan put on one of the best I've ever seeen. The hipsters poured in to see the reunion of Big Black for a minimal few songs. Then Shellac math-rocked it with roughly the same show they put on in Louisville two weeks ago.
Sunday Morning Comin' Down
It was raining when we woke - which meant no skating - which meant no new skatepark, so, we were a bit bummed. Soreness, however, was rampant and it may have been for the better. We headed out for an trip to the Art Institute complete with guided tour from Mofo, BFA. It was awesome. The rain quit just in time for us to catch the two acts closing the show - Pinback and Calexico. It was quite chill and at the end I was bequeathed the keys to Mofo's ride. So, now I'm the second person ever - behind Brofo - to ever drive the MofoMobile (mind all the gadgets that make the MofoMobile the Superhero Car that it is)! So ended an excellent weekend. Despite the forces of evil expanding my poopshoot to the double digit sizes.
When I grow up I want to write posts that even Nick disdains for excessive length and garrulousness.