Do scary s#it, trust strangers, call old friends, smile when it hurts

Count it All Joy

A couple of weeks ago, I began to examine the oppressive idea that, “You can’t just do that.” Whatever that is. Then the notes and memories came flooding in about people who can, do, and have just done that. The common theme among everyone who I talk to and behind all of my best days is the agency required; that we simply decide when we’re going to do something (or not), that ultimately, by dwelling just long enough on a goal or something that we don’t want to happen, the desire or fear will drive us to act in spite of inertia or headaches or depression or anything else.

"You Can’t Just Do That"

I recently became aware of the improbable story of Amanda Coker. It is noteworthy in several ways. Firstly, she just accomplished something that is radically difficult to convey in words: she rode her bike 86,000 miles in a single year. Fewer than 365 days, in fact. She smashed the previous record by over ten thousand miles. Which, by the way, is about the furthest I’ve ever ridden in a single year, and that was one in which I was sacrificing lots of things to squeeze in more time on my bike. If you click the above link, you’ll find that she often puts in two and three hundred miles in a day, an amount that comes closer to my current monthly total.

 

The Stories We Long to Tell

Last night, while sitting at the very pizza place that I wrote about here a few months ago, I read a story about a treasure ship that’s supposedly lost somewhere in the California desert. I chowed down on pizza after a long day spent in the Ozarks while Hank watched me through the windshield of my car and the front window of the restaurant, feeling quite sublime about the fact that I was back in Heber Springs some five months later after simply deciding I wanted to be here.

 

 

 

 

 

You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit

We’re a bit over a week into the New Year, and it’s been a whirlwind so far. The post I published on the precipice of 2017 was my most popular ever by far, which was encouraging and enlightening. I got the cast off my hand, rendering me the most physically free and able I’ve been since June 25th. I officially have zero corporate copywriting obligations for the first time in three-plus years thanks to a hilariously pedantic ‘layoff’ by my last remaining freelance client. Hank joined my family and has dramatically altered my life for the better.

 

 

 

 

Pulling Teeth

It appears that somehow my piece on Petrolicious is climbing its way back into the ranks of the ‘most popular’ stories this week, which is a huge encouragement in a somewhat grim time and certainly motivation to write something relevant for all the visitors to this site expecting to see lots more (car-related) content. Above all, it’s been a treat to meet, talk to, and hear from people who share some slice or another of this crazy journey. Last week, I sat down for coffee with Ty and Brock, filmmakers from Portland who were in Austin for a commercial shoot and wanted to catch up with any aircooled Porsche people they could find in town. What followed was several hours’ conversation on life and the experiential side of cars, with precious little attention to technical details or highbrow esoterica. It was a conversation of finding common ground and bringing new stories and perspectives to the table.

Dances With Wolves

Much has been made of the America of yore slowly dying on the vine. This topic is as timely as ever lately as our candidates have masqueraded around the country striving to convince different demographics that they’ve been systematically oppressed and victimized in the name of economy or efficiency, that interstates and free trade are to blame for their feelings of malaise.

I was stricken by a reply to my initial Success Story on Bring a Trailer that lamented, “At 52 I am too young to have made some of these journeys back when On the Road was something you could really live without pop-up fast food franchises, endless freeways, and chain motels.” I had to think long and hard about this claim, because I often find that the more we submit ourselves to what’s been canonized as Kerouac-ian kismet, the more we find that such a world is more a state of mind than a hard and fast reality. And states of mind are devilishly difficult to suppress.

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