227: Too Beef.
I put that photo first to draw you in. The thing you want to do with readers is draw them in. Lead with their eyeballs, your eyeball. Naked women. Works does it not? It is story #2 on the day. We will get to it. Do not worry. But, just a note. If you are looking at this blog post with your 1o year old, you might want to start the "What's a Stripper?" conversation right now.
It is books books books (and mags) these days. Usually it goes bikes bikes bikes, but something happened and I started reading again. But the thing is, I forgot is to tell you all about them because I was reading them. Out loud. Sometimes I get too caught up on this "real life" stuff and forget to, you know "pass it on."
I did get a new bike recently. See how the white tape glows? See the urban environs that I found to showcase this beast? It is a Ridley Helium. It has SRAM Red on it. Apparently, the Embrocation Team deemed me necessary to add to their ranks. And after said approval - new bike. So nice. Keep your eyes wide open for the review that will follow after a week of racing on it. We have PIR tomorrow and then Tabor on Wednesday, followed by the Mississippi Crit on Saturday. Cannot think of a better way to get back into shape.
I was very, very excited to pick it up at the Veloshop where Jake had assembled it for me. They do nice work there, have I mentioned that before? This town is not lacking in the ye olde bike shoppe department. The only problem when I went to pick up my new Murder Machine (that is what I had been calling it in private) was that I had been trumped by ANOTHER RIDLEY HELIUM. And you know what? I don't like being fucking shown up like that. I mean here I was picking up my brand new bike, which, if I can speak for myself, and I can, is pretty fucking awesome. And I get shown up by another bike, nay, the same bike, but done up better. What the eff is up with that?
Sorry for the swears.
"Beef don't come with a radio edit."
I'm looking into said bike. I'll get back to you. All I know at the moment is that it was stripped and repainted and then some Golden Screeching Eagle Di2 was added to it. Some fancy Edge Rims were strapped on and now I'm left looking like a sucker on the street. I am actually thinking that these two bikes might need to meet, on the streets, and settle this once and for all.
I got your Portland Bike Stud right here.
Speaking of Beef. Here are some books and Magazines that I've read recently. Let me know if something that I have not covered jumps out at you and I will try to get back to it. Seriously. Serrrriously. If it jumps out at you, it is probably because you think you might be into it. And I'm into that. But before you get too far into this... there has been a lot of reading and writing going round on just this subject. Even to an immense degree on these actual books. My pal Brian has been doing a great job of talking about publications and I would have never heard of some of them if I did not check thewashingmachinepost (what? he doesn't capitalise anything.) And there is a great piece there about Richard Sachs' New Yorker Collection.
Come and Gone by Joe Parkin — see below.
Tour de Lance by Bill Strickland — this one is no joke. I'm not even joking on the no joke thing. Order your copy on Amazon right now. I'll get back to it in a minute, but until then you will have to wait for the book report on this one.
Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew B. Crawford
The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception
The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson (read this every summer)
Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff
The Best American Sports Writing of the Century
Ask the Dust by John Fante
Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Mags and Papers:
Little White Lies (sister to Huck)
Home and Away
Come and Gone
by Joe Parkin
When you have troubles figuring out something you turn to your friends right? Apparently my friends then turn to Zombie movies as reference, which, I think, just goes to show that I have some pretty good friends.
Come and Gone is a snippet of bicycle racing from someone that was on the inside. And this is important, I think, and necessary. It makes me hopeful, that people are telling stories about bicycle racing in America. I for one, was not there, but I would still like to learn and hear about these things that happened. That shaped the culture of bike racing and molded it into what we see now before us.
It is also my hope that as these stories come out and people start telling them that they will just get better and better. This is where the Zombie movie reference comes in. No one thinks that Zombie movies are going to win Oscars. Some people do, but they aren't. And as Clint said tonight "Zombie movies are just about coming up with new and creative ways of killing the undead." So, I say this with Zombies in my heart and tears of the undead stinging eyes. This is not a good book.
I hope that you understand that I understand what it means to say that. I think that this book is very important, just not very good.
With A Dog in a Hat Parkin opened up and offered us a peak in through the doors of a world that most of us will never see. And it was such an exclusive look, into a time and place that anyone with any aspiration towards PRO was willing to overlook terrible writing to hold onto a little piece of that. This one is a less effusive glance into a world that Parkin was barely a part of. And I know that sounds harsh, but I think that is because he did not want to be a part of it. He wanted to stay in Belgium and tell the stories of the World Champion Road Racers that he met, of the World Championships that he raced in.
And now he is the editor of BIKE magazine. So, we shall see how that goes. Although I have to admit I'm curious about this post from April. One issue about Belgium. Ok, I'm listening.
"America's new Erotic Quarterly." Who could turn down a tagline like that? I admit, the thing that first sparked my curiosity were the video promos that Jacques does to accompany their issues. They are well shot, and they are, well, hot.
Squash, the Sports Issue Trailer.
These are totally safe for work, if whatever you do for work is awesome.
The thing is, I like that someone is putting this together. The stories inside are laced with humor, and women's underwear, and at the same time they are interesting, and a little heartbreaking. The Girls of Mons Venus, a strip club in Tampa, FL, tells the stories of the girls that work there.
And 37 year old Tamara has had cervical cancer and has to have more tumors removed, but she keeps working, because that is how you make money, by working.
The design, layout and format of the publication is great. It is great because in an airbrushed world of stick skinny fake boobed models it is apparent that that these are real people. They are real people in their full selves, they come alive in their awkward acknowledgments of the sex trades that they ply. And they are real people that want to be sexy for you.
The large print format gives it more than ample opportunity to do just that as well. In a time where magazines are being shrunk (Alpinist?) and distilled Jacques stands out once again. At the same time it tends to stand out if you leave it lying on your desk at work for weeks at a time. The other great aspect (besides the naked girls, cool format, and accompanying videos) about Jacques is that it is cheap. Or relatively so. So, you know, support the arts. Get one.