Oh, in the above photo (swiped right from the SSWC site), if you blow it up and look all the way over in the left corner, you'll see my big teeth and pink hat.
These are the notes:
pizza, mtb vids, no siesta, ska brewing, party you’d pay to go to, basketball, Dakota “you lace curtain motherfucker”, Ben Thornton, someone’s getting punched in the face, Deejay, Fuzzy fixed game, confusion about team affiliation, New Zealand, bands, food, art show, my piece hanging at Chainsaw Chad’s house, Hamish dissing my accent, “Marty’s not Irish you know?”, after party, Peter? From Misfit, Steven stopping beer truck, Trans rockies, after party, boa glowstick, PBR machine, Carl Decker is the man, streaker, air horn, Ron’s arch, , almost dying on way home, Ben putting Brad on I.V.
Pizza — there's a pretty sweet pizza spot at the corner of Main and College In Durango. The slices are HUGE, like a grown man couldn't possibly finish two. While you sit, not finishing your two slices of pizza, you get to watch sick mountain bike vids on two separate screens. This is not how things are in Boston. Of course in Boston you can get a slice of pizza in thirty seconds. There's this weird west coast thing where you ask, "Do you have slices?", they say "Ya sure", and then proceed to cut a wedge of dough, pour sauce on it, sprinkle it with cheese, and put it in the oven. This process takes well over ten minutes, kind of negating the "Fast Food" aspect of the equation. Then again, I'd trade ten crappy Greek pizza joints for one good Burrito place in Boston.
Siesta — no siesta after the race, straight to Ska Brewing for the party and selection event. It was an incredible party, many people have already said it, I'll say it again, Durango raised the bar on SSWCs to a new, probably unattainable height. The selection event (to determine next year's venue) was a full on regulation collegiate basketball game under the lights, with camera crews and announcers hovering above it all on the platforms of cherry pickers. Each team was dressed in vintage NBA gear, complete with high tube socks, head bands, and Chuck Taylors. It was a sight to behold. Regulation...kind of, there was a lot more drinking, wrestling, beer dousing, and pantsing than would be allowed under collegiate rules.
I ran into a couple East-Coasters, Rebecca and Dakota, we sat courtside like Jack Nicholson at a Laker's game. Dakota lost his leg not too long ago in a motorcycle accident, he was wearing shorts with his prosthesis visible, "Hey buddy! Did you just kick my leg?" he yelled at one guy. I thought the dude was going to crap his pants. "Ah, I'm just fuckin' with ya!" Dakota is slightly frightening. I became aware of the guy one night, years and years ago while visiting my friend Seth at Umass Amherst. An altercation occurred between a crazy Serbian guy and Dakota. I guess The Serb got on the losing end of Dakota and decided to even things up...by stabbing him in the gut with a knife. That made an impression on me for whatever reason. I spoke of the Texas sense of humor, well Dakota embodies the Boston sense of humor. Upon meeting another New Englander who commented on Dakota's Bruins hat, "Hey I rode in a B's jersey today." Dakota replied "Oh ya, where you from?" "Manchester" "Manchester? — you lace curtain mutha-fucka." The guy was bemused. I'm pretty sure if you put Dakota in a room with a bunch of Texans, someone would probably get punched in the face before they figured out they were all "just fucking with each other."
During the game I found myself rooting for Italy, even though I really wanted to go to New Zealand. What I found out later was that a couple of the guys on the Italy team who looked good in practice were sucking it big time during the game, in hopes they could send SSWCs to New Zealand. Most people were cheering for Italy, even though, if you asked them, they'd tell you they all wanted to go to New Zealand. People's affiliation to their sports teams is such a weird, fickle thing. "I like the cut of his sideburns...I'm a-rootin' for them."
So ya, there were awesome bands, great food, all that good stuff. A highlight of this whole deal for me was finding out that my registration piece (above) had made the cut; it was framed (well a print of it was anyway), put up in the Ska Brewing gallery, and entered in the silent auction (not sure how that went). Later that night at the after party Chad "Chainsaw" Cheeney introduced me to his wife with the descriptor, "This is the guys who's art we have hanging up in our house." I was honored, I may have not represented myself on the bike as well (burp!) as I possibly could have (hic!), but my art was on the wall of Ska and at Chainsaw's house. Small victory.
Two out of chronological order stories: first one, late night at Ska, I'm talking to Hamish from Scotland. I decide to regale him with my impression of Marty at the 2007 SSWCs giving the pre-race speech "First rrrule...if you don wan the tattew...don fookin' win!" "Ah, that's pretty good", Hamish says, "but Marty's not Irish y'know."
Second one: I ran into Peter from Misfit Psycles, we have a mutual friend in Craig Barlow. Thing is, I've never even met Craig, he's strictly my blog buddy. You gotta be careful with these blog friendships, you can end up being buddies with guys like this. Peter just assumed we actually knew each other, maybe some day we'll meet...hmm, I hope he's as sexy as he looks in his blog photos.
Ah, look at that, this is awful long for a non-posty post.
To be continued...