There’s Definitely a Headband in There…

This is a compilation of footage shot and edited by Adam Guild, starting a very long time ago and ending sometime shortly thereafter. At the time, Adam was responsible for an ongoing video series called ‘Doses,’ which basically documented just a few of us that rode together in the central Jersey area. As for the headband, it was really hot that day.

20 Years Ago

I was riding this frame, the Revcore Freestyler. Still baffled at how the excessive knurling didn’t shred my body. My, how times have changed. The reason I was so psyched on this frame was because the fork dropouts (not pictured here) were 1/4″ thick, and at the time, I was cracking fork dropouts at least every month. But after about a month of riding the Revcore, the 1/4″ thick dropouts (which were two dropouts welded together) cracked down the middle and I was back to square one. So much for engineering…

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Vomiting in Church

This past Monday morning, I found myself in North Jersey attending Roman Catholic mass for a funeral. I don’t really discuss it much, but I was brought up Roman Catholic and actually spent a few years as an altar boy. The reason I don’t discuss it much isn’t because anything particularly shocking happened to me as an altar boy or as a Roman Catholic, it’s just that they’re both kinda boring aspects of a typical suburban upbringing in central New Jersey. No one was molested and we all did the usual things that people in church do, like go to church and try to do good in life. In fact, our priest was pretty awesome. The rectory was well stocked with breakfast cereals and there were ramps in the church’s tennis courts, both of which were free to use for members of the church. Actually, the ramps were open to anyone in the area regardless of their denomination, but the cereal, that was strictly for us Catholics.

Still, our parish was in desperate need of altar boys when the call went out sometime in 1988. At the time, I was just entering this weird BMX phase of my life, declaring allegiance to a strict diet of Vision Street Wear clothing, GT Bicycles and BMX magazines. Not much else mattered in my life, not even the hour each week I spent in church lugging a golden cross around and thinking about BMX bikes. Hell, I still don’t know what half the shit we were repeating verbatim in a Catholic mass is supposed to mean. We never gave thought to what we were saying; we just learned the words and recited them at the appropriate times. But I definitely toiled away at least two years of my life as an altar boy on the weekends, wearing Skate Rags pants and Vision Street Wear sneakers underneath my cassock. All my Catholic friends were doing it too. We’d eat cereal before the mass and ride or skate the ramps afterwards. It seemed like a good thing for all those involved, including God, our parents and General Mills, the manufacturer of the pounds of breakfast cereal we ate during those times. But even before the eyes of God, some things can go terribly wrong at the worst time possible.

Such was the case for Frank Cordasco, a close friend that skated and ate too much cereal too fast just prior to a Saturday evening mass. Sometime during the mass, Frank started looking a little queasy. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for an altar boy. I mean, you’re carrying the cup of Christ and wearing a robe in front of 200 people. That’s tough on any teen-ager. But Frank’s uneasiness continued to grow, and sometime during the priest’s sermon, he leaned over and vomited cereal, a hell of a whole lot of it, all over the altar.

The sermon continued, I almost lost it sitting just five-feet away in front of 200 people, and the off-duty priest at the time (his name was Father Dino) emerged with paper towels and proceeded to clean the altar as the mass carried on. Not much of the vomiting was spoken of by either Frank or the priests. I guess they both just chalked it up to nerves, but man, did I ever laugh out loud for the remainder of that Saturday night and into the following week. You just don’t get many people giving physical credence to The Exorcist during a Catholic mass.

No long after, I was surreptitiously let go of my altar boy position due in part to my poor choice of footwear and my tardiness. The dismissal eventually became the end of my relationship with the Catholic church. But as I sat there this past week, listening to the chant of “Hosannah in the highest,” I couldn’t help but think about Frank Cordasco and the comical times I spent trying to do good in the eyes of God from a remote church in Matawan, NJ.

See Me, Hear Me

(I submitted an essay to the See Me, Hear Me series. It’s an essay comp in which you’re supposed to write 1,000 words on a select photo, then read it aloud in front of actual people. Somehow, mine got picked. The show happened last night at The Magnet Theater in NYC, and since I was a nervous wreck about it, only Alfredo was invited. But other people showed up too. People I didn’t know. People that actually paid money to watch me drunkenly read close to 1,000 words about a photo of Hilary Clinton. Here’s the submission…)

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I think it was Seth Rogen’s character in ‘Superbad,’ a naive police officer named Michaels, that said “When I first joined the force, I assumed there was semen on everything, with some sorta semen database that had every bad guy’s semen in it. But there isn’t!”

I’m not normally a cheater, but Hilary Clinton, and to a greater extent, her husband Bill, taught me a very important lesson in the late ’90s: Be careful where you cum. And even if Superbad’s fictional police are right and semen, isn’t in fact, on everything, I always say that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If all this sounds dramatically left field, allow for this short history lesson from those blog-less ’90s. Bill cheated on Hilary with a girl named Monica. He put cigars in her, accepted BJs from her and left a handy dandy DNA deposit on her one-piece Gap dress, which she didn’t get dry cleaned. Along the way, Bill disavowed any accusations, with Hilary standing by his side. Then one night, he came out and admitted to the tryst after it looked like an impeachment would soon follow. For a few days after that speech, Bill stepped outside the realm of untouchable president and became a cheating husband. The physical evidence hiding in a closet somewhere in D.C. Hilary still standing by his side. Then it all died down and we got on with our lives. But I always remembered the lesson: be careful where you cum. And if you do cum on someone’s clothing, always pay to get it dry-cleaned.

Since then, the very few times I have cheated, I’ve either worn a condom or been too drunk to finish the job. And the only clothing I’ve inadvertently cum on has usually been my own while masturbating. Then George W. Bush happened. And the whole world turned silly real fast. Here was a guy that only had to do one thing to be perceived as a better president than Clinton: don’t cum on anyone’s clothing. To my knowledge, he’s achieved that so far, opting to piss on the world instead of cum, but that’s a whole other essay, book and blog that I’m not ready to tackle right now.

Anyways, as a result of Bush’s global tomfoolery, Hilary Clinton is making a run for president. And because history allows us, I’m going to make a rush division among the candidates: Hilary Clinton is the only presidential candidate I’ve known to publicly be attached to, for lack of a better word, a cum-stain.

Does this make her better than Barack Obama or John McCain, two people who have probably cum quite a bit between themselves? I don’t know, and to be frank, the idea of any presidential candidate masturbating grosses me out. But it does raise a larger question. If candidates are expected to come clean on any drug experimentation, then shouldn’t it be the same for their masturbatory habits? Everyone’s done it, right? Should we just assume that all three masturbate? (An aside: I would much rather have a masturbating president than a non-masturbating president. I just don’t wanna know about it.)

I remember a time when masturbation and cum stains were taboo subjects among myself and my friends. No one admitted to it and no one talked about it. Then one of my friends discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the proverbial barn door flew off the fiery subject of masturbation dialogue. Suddenly, everyone was doing it. And admitting to it. And waxing political about what to do with the evidence so that our parents didn’t know what we were doing in our bedrooms. I could’ve really used the Lewinsky scandal in those dark days of 1991 when my father demanded to know why there was a sudden boom in toilet paper use throughout the household. But the Clintons were still in Arkansas, possibly still having sex and nowhere near bringing the light of the cum stain into American public discourse. The resulting explanation of, “Dad, I’ve been bringing our toilet paper to school. The stuff they have in the bathrooms there is too rough” seemed to work for the time. But I took the hint and switched from toilet paper to dirty laundry, a practice I’ve kept true to for the past 15 years of my masturbatory life. It’s just better for the environment anyway.

But I digress. This isn’t about me, the environment, Anthony Kiedis or the strain that masturbating might put on a father-son relationship. It’s about Hilary Clinton, and her connection to the most famous cum-stain in the recent history of the U.S. government. It might be a long road to take, but the Lewinsky scandal wasn’t all bad in my opinion. In fact, I think it humanized the Clintons above and beyond Barack’s pot smoking or McCain’s POW tales. It brought blowjobs and cum-stains and all sorts of then-taboo subjects into public discourse, and forced a few uptight, anti-Clinton lawyers to own up to the fact that we’re all sexual beings at the end of the day, no matter how hard we might try to bury it.

Sure, it wasn’t Hilary Clinton’s doing that pushed the subject into the open. But she sure held her own during those unruly times, which deserves respect then and now. For lack of a better term, Hilary Clinton took her husband’s cum-stained infidelity, faced the evidence and transformed it into grace. And if she can do that with a cum-stain, imagine what she might be able to do with the world, which by the way, is not covered in semen…

http://www.myspace.com/seemehearme to be friends.

The Lone NYC Bicycle Bomber

Just this morning, around 3:40 AM, a single hooded person on a bike rode into Times Square and apparently deposited a homemade bomb which ripped a few windows open in an Army Recruitment Center, but failed to injure anyone.

Here’s the story: Bike Bomber

I wasn’t out riding past 11:30 PM last night. Nor was I in NYC. I was on the Jersey side. And by the time the bomb exploded, I was fast asleep. But the suspect, a hooded bicyclist, doesn’t sound too far off from the 50 or so (possibly more) hooded BMXers that were more than likely out riding in the NYC area last night and early this morning. The bike was actually ditched a few blocks away, and it turned out to be larger than a 20″ bike. (The media is calling it a “Ten-speed bike,” which makes me think of The Jerky Boys. “It was a ten-speeder…”) So blame can’t be cast in BMX’s direction. But it kinda got me thinking about an old quote from Blake Schwarzenbach, who said:

“If you’re not in a relationship and without a bike, and male you are suspicious. I think I could devote half a side of a record to that feeling of being criminalized in a way, just for being alone.”

Usually, at night, if you’re out riding, or sessioning any obstacle, most people can deduce what you’re doing pretty easily. Remove the bike and it’s a different story though. Let’s say you’re riding a ledge in downtown Manhattan and practicing a new grind combination. If someone walks past you while you’re riding, it’s easy enough for them to figure out what you’re doing. They might not understand why you’re having fun grinding the pegs on a bike, but you have a purpose to them, and unless they own the property or you’re keeping them awake, they’ll more than likely keep on walking.

Now take the bike away and sit on that same ledge. Your purpose becomes removed, and because of that, it’s more likely that suspicion could be cast onto you. Partly because of this equation, it’s a lot easier to get away with riding BMX at night. Sure, it’s not always going to be the pretty picture I’m painting, but a feeble to smith is a lot easier to explain away than lurking or stalking or sitting around by yourself without a purpose late at night. The long and short of it is that people don’t criminalize lone bicyclists out at night.

This bicycle-bound, apparently serial bomber in the NYC area could change all that though. Why couldn’t they have been a rollerblader or a long-boarder?

The Battle of the Tennis Court

Once upon a time, about ten years ago, I was riding flatland in some tennis courts. There were two tennis courts next to one another, surrounded by a fence that was approximately 15-feet high. I was riding midday, and the park in which the tennis courts were located was completely empty.

About an hour into the session, two men approached the courts wanting to play tennis. I took this as my cue to leave and continue riding at the nearby basketball courts, but the would-be tennis players weren’t having it. They quickly approached me, asked “What the fuck do you think you’re doing in here?” and tried to get in my face to provoke a fight.

“This is for tennis only bitch,” the one man said.

“Which is why I was about to leave as soon as I saw you guys coming in here,” I replied.

“Well, get the fuck out before we kick your ass you little bitch,” the other one said.

I took the hint and started leaving. Two gigantic tennis players against me and a chrome Hoffman EP wasn’t a good match. As I exited the tennis court gates, I heard, “Keep walking pussy.”

I kept walking, but this wasn’t over. The session may have been dead (cause I would’ve been re-thinking different ways I could’ve handled the situation instead of concentrating on riding, which I hate), but some kinda action needed to be taken. And if I couldn’t win in a fight, then I’d have to at least figure out a way to ruin their session. Then it hit me.

There was only one way in and out of the tennis courts, through the gated entrance. Again, the surrounding fence was approximately 15-feet high. So I went to my car, put my bike away and retrieved my U-lock. After waiting about 10 minutes, I walked back over to the tennis courts with my U-lock. The two jocks were playing on the court further away from the entrance, so they didn’t notice me approaching. Carefully, I unlocked the u-lock, draped it around the gated entrance and locked the gate shut. Then I casually left the park, went home and relaxed knowing that justice had, or would, be served. Two bullies, locked inside a gated tennis court by the person they had just tried to beat up less than an hour ago.

After an hour of sitting around, I just had to know what had happened to the jocks. So I rode down to the courts for a look-see. The lock was still in place, but the jocks were gone. Their belongings were still in the court, but they weren’t. I assume they realized what happened and were forced to climb the fence to get out. Hopefully, they were cursing me the entire time they spent scaling up and down the fence.

The lesson I took away: Know how, when and with what to pick your battles, and never be afraid to sacrifice your U-lock…