Hey everybody. How’s it going. I’m okay I guess. I should’ve known it was going to be one of those days. I bought a new kind of yogurt for breakfast, one of those parfait jobs with the fruit on the bottom and a recessed plastic granola-filled deal on top. It was Greek and the fruit was strawberry which sounded great because I love both and I’m still kinda coming down off that Pinkberry experience from earlier this week. Not sure if you remember, but the Pinkberry lady told me their original flavor is reminiscent of Greek yogurt, and one of my toppings was strawberry, and that whole deal was a bit of an awakening for me, at least in terms of A.) what a Pinkberry was and why they were a “thing,” and B.) Greek yogurt’s range and potential. So of course, still high from my last experience I bought this breakfast project, mixed it all together, took a bite, and bummer, it just tasted kinda cold. Like, the temperature. Then, in the middle of what was rapidly becoming a disappointing meal, I learned that for some reason, maybe I didn’t order it, maybe I did but she didn’t hear me, maybe she had and but the dude working that nuclear centrifuge-looking oven spaced it, whatever the reason, I learned that my bacon-gouda sandwich order was never placed. Also, I forgot to put cream in my americano. But listen, I kept my shit together and we got to Sign-In with something like forty-five minutes to go before the start.
We get parked, we get our shit together, you know cameras and chargers and credentials—side note, I spend about 189 days a year wearing some kind of lanyard-based credential around my neck (#lanyarded), which is, when you think about it, a little bit depressing—we lock the car, we walk over to the buses and start tapping into the flow to get the vibe and find the lines and all that. Right from the start I can tell something is up because I’m just not feeling it. Sure I’m technically taking photographs but… not really. Also, I keep running into people I like a lot. Which is GREAT. But when you’re off and trying to get back on, and you keep getting interrupted or distracted, at first glance it’s a bummer. At this point I start trying, like intentionally, to take a good photograph but the harder I look and the more I think about it the less inspired I get. Also, you can’t try at photographs, at least not like that. It’s like in that one episode in season three, maybe four11It’s season four, episode four, ‘Refugees’, though the term ‘soft eyes’ comes up repeatedly during season four, even as the title of episode two., of The Wire, where Bunk is telling Kima the trick to doing good Murder Police forensics is “Soft Eyes.” Personally, even though I think mostly he’s right, which, I have never been Murder Police but this one time I did almost get jacked for my skateboard on a bus from Lansdowne to Baltimore, I always thought he was trying to rationalize his alcoholism. Anyway, I think good photography, especially observational-based variants of photography like reportage, journalism and weddings, does in fact require Soft Eyes. I don’t drink anymore, but lucky for me sleep deprivation is a solid substitute for a hangover, which Bunk claimed was how one got Soft Eyes in the first place.
I run into Emily Maye, who I like and respect a lot. And who lives in Santa Barbara. She introduces me to her parents and Saint Bernard puppy. And we talk about stuff. Then I walk around some more and take a bunch of tragically boring photographs. Then some dudes recognize me as part of Manual for Speed so I stop to talk to them. One of them works for Cadence, another works for Powell Peralta, and so naturally we start talking about skateboarding. It’s clear to me, immediately, that these dudes are rad. They remind me a lot of 1.) Venice Beach 2.) Kickflips 3.) The Dead Kennedys 4.) Getting in fights with Mall Cops & Security Guards 4.) Eating Taco Bell on a curb, at night, covered in sweat and dirt, blood running down my shins 5.) Fugazi 6.) The old Powell Peralta skate park in Santa Barbara 7.) Church of Skatan 8.) Ho-Hos as well as various other handplants, and 9.) Heshers, especially the early ’90s Santa Cruz skater kind. Also, at this point it’s clear to me that I’m impotent, in the camera. And just when I’m about to start feeling really sad with my yogurt and stupid floppy joke-camera, Lachlan Morton rolls over wearing a homemade vest. Which speaking of his homemade vest, he’s concerned about the sleeves. Apparently he’s reluctant to throw them away, he says he considered turning them into shoe covers, and/or maybe arm warmers. He says he’s not worried about how poorly shoe covers fashioned from sleeves ripped off a basically plastic jacket will perform, he knows they won’t work good, that’s not the point. Then we all start talking about tomorrow’s Time Trial, which was supposed to be in Big Bear, a place that I love, and but which is now going to be in Santa Clarita, a place that I do not love. All due to the fact a foot of snow is predicted to fall in the San Bernardino mountains in the next 24 hours. At some point we start talking about Magic Mountain and roller coasters. Lachlan says he hates going on the fuckers that do nothing but drop, the one that’s basically an elevator into the sky that stops on an imaginary 36th floor for a brief moment before free-falling back to earth. And because he’s scared of those, he does them first. Like, he walks into the park, goes straight to the thing that scares the shit out of him the most, does it, then gets on with the rest of the day. At this point it’s getting close to the start of the race, so Lachlan and I both say goodbye to the locals, then make plans to go to Magic Mountain after tomorrow’s race is over. He says, yeah, figure it out, and we’ll go.