Comedy Club Manager: “Can you do three minutes?”
Me: “Some nights I’m done before the underwear comes off.”
Comedy Club Manager: “So then… Three minutes?”
Me: “Let me slip out of these undies, and I’ll be good for six or seven later on.”
Thank you. I’m here all week. Remember to tip your servers…
One of those “from the frying pan into the fire” kinda things. Willing to bet that this isn’t one of those scandals that will just rinse off in the shower for these particular Germans.
Although, you do have to admit that having him sing “Blue Skies” was a brilliant idea.
The SEMA Show retains the same schedule from year to year. It’s not as though the dates are randomly selected as a part of some ritual dependent upon just how the chicken bones land on the calendar in some tent at the county fair or what the average diameter of giant spinning wheels is at the DUB Show when divided by the wattage of the stereo in your cousin’s friend’s bitchin’ Eclipse; it’s an annual event, subject to some form or another of tradition.
That understood, explain to me just why in the fuck year after year am I subjected to an almost endless stream of possibly brain-damaged douchebags calling and emailing looking for conceptual art, logos, cards and other work within the FINAL weeks leading to the show? I mean barely enough time to conceptualize anything, much less produce anything. Even worse is the utter disrespect and anger that these pricks show when I explain that “no, I’m currently double-booked as it is, and that means 18-20 hour days already, and no time for your last-minute afterthought.”
Quote of the week: “What’s a few more all-nighters to help a bro?”
First, I don’t have a brother. And if I did just discover long-lost sibling who has waited forty-plus years to contact me, much less just weeks before THE major trade show of the year and needing a logo and shirts and cards for his “shop” as they display a vehicle (side note: If you’re “having a car at SEMA”, and as yet have NO logo for your “shop”, you are either full of shit, buying your way in or just one heck of a loser in the grand scheme, and destined to fail), I’d invite his sorry ass to wait another forty-plus to call again, fuck him very much. His poor planning is most definitely not my problem. I truly couldn’t care less. I’ll probably devote more time to wondering just how the life of that mosquito that flew into my ear last Summer is going than whether or not you found someone else to dupe into creating artwork for you based on promises you can never hope to make good on.
Furthermore, as I state each year around this time (gosh! It’s almost SEMA Show time!), if you’re posting hundreds of photos to Instagram and Facebook about your “SEMA thrash” and how gosh-darned tired you are and how it sucks, you are a fucking idiot. You chose it, you procrastinated, and you have chosen to spend time away from said project to play on social media, delaying any progress. You should re-think your life, asshole. You got time to play on a social site? Then you have time to finish the fucking thing and get some rest.
In summary: Three weeks to design, produce and ship all of your graphics needs utilizing the twenty minutes per day that I may or may not be able to squeeze in while neglecting my family even more than usual is not enough time. Your poor planning is but one symptom of the terminal condition you make others suffer along with you: Self-imposed suffering in the hope of some glory via a tiny photo in some magazine’s annual “SEMA SHOW COVERAGE!!” Good luck with that. Hugs and kisses as always,
P.S. Oh yeah: #semathrash
Quote out of context that bred a movie idea:
“If you you stop to think about it, there’s probably little more terrifying in the world than a wedge-style, tractor-pulling chassis lumbering at wide-open throttle toward your town… Even more so if it’s covered with the papier mache penis-shaped parade float body that the drivers of said machine stole from you on the last trek down the hill.
We could craft an entire sub-plot centered around the citizens forced to help push it back up the hill following the plundering. This is gold.”
Granted, it’s no remake or live-action version of a seventy year old animated classic… or even a trilogy based on a thirteen page short story, but with a few hundred million in CGI effects, this could be the blockbuster you need, even if you did nothing to deserve it.
If you enjoy a solid conspiracy theory like I do, then you’ll no doubt dig this. You can just bet that everything leading to the trial has been placed into hedging all bets on another Kardashian family member’s defense technique: The old “tuck something away to avoid prosecution” maneuver. In this case, we’ll call it the “Klinger Defense.”
You have a dude that’s into some weird shit, right? Whatever. But in true Kardashian flavor, there’s money to be made, so you work a deal around this guy’s weirdness, and get another fifteen minutes of fame. You capitalize on the shock of “the dude from the Wheaties box wears dresses!” and nab some air time. All is right in the world of “fame at any cost” once again for these people who thrive on being paid attention to.
And then he gets in a wreck and someone dies. Uh-oh.
Fearing prosecution, they spin the “dude in a dress” to “he’s a woman now”, and it places the prosecution (and jurors) into the uncomfortable position of choosing to send a guy in a gown to a men’s prison, or to a women’s prison… or simply throwing their hands in the air and saying “fuck this… we have no idea what to do!” After all… he looks a lot different than the driver at the scene, and according to the media, he’s not Bruce anymore. He’s Caitlyn. She’s a new person. Haven’t we seen this before on TV cop dramas?
Much as Maxwell Klinger sought Section 8 discharge on the TV show M*A*S*H, this guy has taken the concept far downfield, and is hiding behind a serious issue, using it to avoid punishment. It’s genius, really. Manipulate the people just enough for empathy, utilize the media like a politician to plant the right buzz words, and then once they have what they need, they abandon the bandwagoning supporters (namely those who may suffer from some form of gender dysphoria), and he sashays off into the salon. And if you don’t think for a minute that some writer scripted the whole “But gosh, Bruce, Caitlytn, whatever, you’re a Conservative who is against gay marriage?” thing as the perfect doubt-filling seed to plant, then you may just be a stupid enough motherfucker to serve on the jury. Just a touch of controversy to make his “transition” seem all the more real, and give them that oh-so-typical backup argument should they be confronted. Looks strong on the surface… But if you know me, I love finding the cracks.
The whole thing smacks of the OJ/Robert Kardashian hidden murder weapon controversy, as well as the glove fiasco. Double-down on that with support from the President (speaking of media-manipulated gain) and coincidentally-timed awards for “courage” and such nonsense, and the picture of the “tragic hero” is painted with wonderful colors… Look at the under-painting, though, and it’s an ugly mess of the same bland technique we’ve seen time and again from those who think they’ve earned some station in life that is above the law. It leaves me with some concern for all of the “transgender community” supporters, wondering just how many of them are prepared to be run down by this self-serving use of their plight? You’d have to imagine that, should the truth come out looking as described here, that their cause would be set back decades… But much as Hillary would throw around the phrase “champion of women’s rights” and step on the carcasses of feminists everywhere to reach her goals, you can’t escape the feeling that this guy is no different, and has entered a world of ambiguity on so many levels that finding any way back to normalcy is a futile escapade in even the simplest sense.
Am I totally on board with this conspiracy theory? My personal jury is still out on that. I’m just waiting for the trial, and hoping they’ll present the argument that “Caitlyn here couldn’t possibly be the same persona as the driver of that Escalade… That is clearly a man, and she’s, uh, sort of woman-ish,” and then they present the wardrobe of the driver from that fatal day.
The lawyers, beaming with self-satisfaction will go on to explain that “with her breasts, there is no way that shirt could button around the breasts. If the shirt doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
I work my days away trying to help clients get the most of their vision into a build. I enjoy the guys who have PASSION and drive. That willingness to dive in and create something unique… an expression of an emotion in a mechanical object. These are the clients and the sort of car guys I want to be around, and enjoy the company of. On the other hand, I see the “patina” guys as looking for the quickest buy-in, and can’t jump that hurdle.
Richard Feynman, when asked in an interview about his ability to talk easily with scientists in other fields (versus, say a playwright) if perhaps this natural comfort was because he read the “scientific magazines”, Feynman responded by saying “we don’t have to have magazines or gossip; we think originally. We think of a new idea.”
For about 30 seconds after hearing that, I felt that I shared a place… a brief moment of kinship and understanding with one of the greatest minds to ever inhabit the Earth. He summed up in less than twenty words EXACTLY what I feel about designers wasting time discussing what car was featured in what magazine, and trying to draw any inspiration from what was happening in the three months since it was printed… Not to mention the years of build time preceding that, or even the years of refinement into the idea that sparked a cool build or just a part of one.
It may not mean anything to you, but to me it was like having a light go on, and now I can see right where it all needs to go with regard to my career.
My earliest memories are loaded with inquisitive adventures. I was one of those kids who would take everything apart to examine and explore all of the inner workings of virtually anything I could get my hands on, just to see what made it function. Occasionally, I’d manage to put everything back in some semblance of working order, as well, which had the effect of encouraging my seek-and-dismantle missions. Oh, certainly, there were misadventures, and the Frankenstein-ing of a few, less-than-fortunate items into, well, objects whose end purpose was quizzical at best, and dangerous at worst, but it fed a child’s mind, and paved a few neural pathways with some rudimentary engineering knowledge.
It’s no surprise, then, that I became fascinated with cars over time. That fascination grew from bicycles (as most of us in this car thing start out) to nearly anything mechanical. The function of some machine is a marvel on nearly every level, from the very idea for the machine, to the design, to the final step of manufacturing, it’s a nearly-miraculous series of events that bring such things into our lives. When you stop to consider all of the intricately connected things that need to occur to create something that works, it’s mind-boggling! Imagine, then, just what has to happen to create an automobile, with the many systems and subsystems which need to function in some sort of harmony; having so many computers and sensors in a new vehicle, the sheer number of things working together is exponential. If you look only at the surface, at the sum of the parts, a mechanical creation like the automobile becomes almost magical. But, if you scratch the surface, a whole other world opens up.
I mention this obsession of mine simply to set the stage for an even deeper fascination I have for what happens to a machine when it is no longer deemed ‘useful’. That tipping point wherein someone makes the decision to park or part with a machine that has either become less reliable, or perhaps even inoperable. Having that ‘need to see what makes anything tick’ personality trait, I’m also burdened with the constant whispering of ‘we can fix that!’ in my brain. That urge to dig in, and see just where the trouble might be. As a self-described automotive archaeologist, I feel this urge, this need to discover the story behind the car, the owner(s), the events which conspired to place a particular car at that specific place and time… The adventures, the trials, the memories made in and around the time that car was in the care of whomever it was while all of these things were occurring. I’m the kind of guy who utilizes a mental list of the cars I’ve owned as a key to the events that occurred in my life at a particular time. It’s a way to mark a timeline, and cements that car as a part of who I am, or was to become, be it based upon a repair I learned to make on that car, or even a simple memory of the exhaust note. Knowing that one or two of my past rides is being preserved and made a part of someone else’s life gets a little warm and fuzzy feeling going, and when I see an old machine brought back from the brink and being used by someone else who appreciates this particular love for mechanized mysteries, well, it’s game on for me. I want to hear the tales, listen as someone recalls the good old days, or imagine what happened during those gaps in a car’s history.
Walking the grounds at the Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals some time back, I was surrounded by many examples of beautifully preserved and restored examples from the brand’s past. Spending hours looking over the survivor cars on hand (there was a great display of Mopar Survivors under a special tent, by the way, showcasing a number of very well-preserved cars), both in the show proper, as well as the car corral and swap meet, I found my attention drawn back to a certain few cars that were, well, somewhat worse for wear, cosmetically. Cars with some great age and patina, working together to create some outstanding character. Every dent, crack in the vinyl, faded stripe or rock-chipped emblem quietly whispering its tale. My ears were certainly tuned-in and ready to hear of each incident and passing year.
Just why I was attracted to these cars was no mystery: That love for all things mechanical, with the added bonus of the story. Those missing puzzle pieces to explain why this car was left outdoors, or forgotten about, or even neglected were bouncing around in my mind. And, as an artist, the textures and patterns of the paint chips and rust and weathering were simple mesmerizing. The blemishes and dents and cracks and checks on the surface that tell part of the tale, leaving the rest just below to be discovered. On a few grand occasions, I’d spot a preserved or restored example of a car I’d just seen in weathered condition, and to compare the two begged the question:
If you were to find a complete original, but weathered example of your dream car, would you leave it alone visually, opting only to repair and update the mechanical parts to make it road-worthy, or dive in and restore it? Granted, you could have your cake and eat it, too, by working out some mechanical and safety issues and enjoying it as a time capsule, and then go for the restoration. Being of the inquisitive sort, as we explored earlier, either path might prove a challenge for me. On one hand, having an untouched piece of history would be incredible, in that I’d be afforded a vehicle to explore some mysteries, and could research and fill in the holes, all while preserving it in as-found condition. On the other hand, I could tear into it, and make some discoveries about its past as I took it back through time to as-new condition, and cater to that side of my brain that just wants to tinker with something, and (hopefully) improve upon it.
What would you do? Taking that a step further, what memories are you making in your currently-owned ride (be it new, old, restored, or even a barn-fresh time capsule) and are you taking any steps to document the car for future automotive archaeologists to enjoy?