Dec 11, 2003

Off the Wagon (written Nov. 13)

For those of you who weren’t around last weekend, I fell off the wagon (again) and landed inside the Royal Falconer in downtown Redlands. On night one (yah, that’s right, night one), I was joined by Aaron Gerth, Bob Hunt and his girlfriend, Lisa. Before they even arrived I had already consumed a pint of Heffenwizen and by the time we called it an evening, I had lost count.

Night two started at the Black Angus with Denise, Meredith and Annalisa Hannah. I had a couple of Newcastles and after dinner I talked them into driving over to the Falconer. We stuck around for a few hours, dumping some singles into the juke box and twenties at the bar. I ran into a grip of people I know that night, which was nice because since the time change I’ve pretty much been cooped up inside my house. Apparently Meredith got a little bothered because someone was bagging on her for still living in Rialto. It’s not like she lives in Fontana or Chino or even North Redlands. Rialto’s only bad if you’re afraid of society.

Anyway, the Falconer kicks ass because their juke box contains CDs by The Pogues and Flogging Molly and then there’s other good stuff like Joy Division and Elvis Costello. Some even kept playing Salvation by The Cranberries and a few Johnny Cash tunes. How cool is that? The lack of Dropkick Murphys keeps the place sane, although I’d love to hear Barroom Heroes echo through the joint.

Speaking of the Bottle. . .
I finally found the DVD, If I Should Fall From Grace: the Shane MacGowan Story. I picked it up at Rhino Records in Claremont on a Friday and watched it twice before Sunday evening. Unfortunately they stopped filming in January of 2001, so it’s not totally up to date. It’s filmed as a documentary so there are a lot of one-on-one interviews with Shane, Phil Chevron from The Pogues, Nick Cave, Shane’s proud parents and girlfriend, Victoria. Some of the footage is really sad because Shane has let alcohol and drugs control his life for so many years that you can’t always understand what he’s saying during interviews. Still, he’s an awesome lyricist and musician. His dad said that when Shane was about 12, he had Bob Dylan playing in one ear and the Grateful Dead in the other. I guess that helps explain is genius. Maybe my favorite part of the movie is the old footage they dug up of The Nips, Shane’s first band from the late ‘70s. Originally called The Nipple Erectors, they shortened and changed their name in order to get more gigs. Little known fact; in the early going the Sex Pistols were often advertised on flyers as just The Pistols for the same reason. While I was watching it, Denise commented that The Nips sound very modern. She’s right and that was 25 years ago. I could go on about Shane forever, so I’ll spare you all.

Aaron called and requested I print a Phil Ligget quote that he recently read. I can’t remember the entire quote. It was something about Lance Armstrong, Jan Ulrich and a trailer park. That’s all I remember. Oh yah, and something else about the eye of a hurricane. Whatever it was, I remember it being a Ligget classic.

“Tough times go away. Tough men do not.” Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton.

Sweetness said it and I keep reminding myself of it every time I want to go our and ride my bike or even ride, but then remember that I have some sort of mystery ailment in my left thigh/groin/hip area. It’s kept me off the bike for about a month now and even though I am able to jog, I’m even refraining from that in hopes that it will heal soon. The general practitioner set me up with a few x-rays and sent me down to the lab to drawl blood. All that checked out so now I’m heading to the orthopedic.

Just about all I can think about lately is riding by bike. I didn’t have a problem with taking a month off, but now I’m approaching two months and I’m missing a bunch of cross races that I had planned on riding. And I can’t even do any leg weight lifting at the gym. I fear that I’m going to be way behind on fitness and endurance when the doctors finally figure out what my deal is. All I want for Christmas is to be able to ride my bike.

I was going to end this post there, but I don’t want to end it on a sad note. Instead I’ll say, I’m looking into putting together a new website with photos, a message board and features of that nature. Maybe by New Years. . .