Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist of the Excessivist movement who is a very, very big deal in the art world. Huge, you might even say. For the last five years, Austin, Texas has been proud home of his incredible piece of 1,254 gleaming steel bicycles called “Forever Bicycles.” I went down to bid it farewell before it was dissassembled. Where it goes, only he knows. Here are some of my photos and information about this amazeballs installation.Continue reading
May is Bike Month around the US and world, and theoretically there are more things happening than usual. Yet, every month is bicycle-centric for me and thousands of bike riders in Austin, so it’s not that noticeable. But here are a few of the great events going on in case you’re in town and want to get involved. If not in Austin, check out your local bike group, shop or government transportation office to see if they have anything going. Or, start your own event!Continue reading
The festival ended Saturday, and I made the most of it, even though I had to work my second volunteer shift. The house manager, Katy, texted in advance to remind me to show up. The venue was the familiar North Door, which hosts the One Page Salon I attend most months. After biking downtown. I met up with Katy and the other volunteers, and we went over who was going to do what to get the guests inside and how to help do crowd control. My job was to roam around to keep folks get to their seats, point out if anyone heckled or took video, point to the bathrooms, and just help as needed. Katy and stage manager Cara were both super nice and fun to work with. But that’s all secondary to the main point: I saw some great comedy and had a fun time, and had a few brushes with celebrity, too. Did you hear the one about a dude who went to a comedy festival?Continue reading
After two more days of seeing films and comedy at South by Southwest, and walking well over 10,000 steps per day as a volunteer and then participant, I’m even more exhausted than last week. But it’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to tell y’all (who actually are reading this blog) what’s the big deal about SXSW. In addition to telling, I’ll do some showing. Continue reading
Sometimes there’s no one theme that presents itself for a post. Instead, a mixture of many motifs manifests. (Alliteration apparently attracts A Dude. ) I’ve noticed myself thinking about three main topics: 1) creativity, especially the art of writing, and the necessity of commerce; 2) all the bicycling I do (and to a lesser extent, walking and yoga), and 3) issues about nutrition and health. Of course I also consider weightier things like the temporary end of the federal government shutdown, the sad passing of a former neighbor, and the goings on in the lives of friends, family and my town. So I’m gonna touch on the three themes, and perhaps we’ll stumble upon some insight or wisdom useful to you. But sometimes, a blog is just a web log of what’s going on, and its not going to change your life. To quote the farmer in the movie Babe, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do. Continue reading
Last night I attended my first Third Thursday free event held by the Texas Writers League. I’d heard of the League, but it took me hearing their director Michael Nolin speak and also met him at another event, the One Page Salon, to get me to a TWL event. After the panel, I went to a book release party for OPS host Owen Egerton, who has helped inspired me to keep on writing and to call myself a writer. At the latter event I met a couple involved in the Austin film industry, and had a good long conversation with them about their art. And then a fellow blogger made a really heartfelt comment about a recent post of mine. A day later I still find myself energized by this synchronicity. So I gotta write about it.
Today I had the pleasure to make the virtual acquaintance of former Austinite, now Denver-area, soon to be Pittsburghian writer Lauren Modery. Her blog is Hipstercrite, and her latest post To Geoffrey Owens —Thank You on Behalf of Working Class Artists. It draws on the experience of former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens, who was shamed, then praised, for having a “day job.”
What does any of that have to do with bicycles? Well, everything and nothing. Readers of this blog know that I can and have linked a bicycle to Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and actor/director Tate Donovan, to chocolate, and to racism. (I’m still not sure but I’m really, REALLY hoping that it’s not racist to use the words chocolate and racism in the same sentence.)
The fact is, that work is for most people not in the 1% (like future ex-US President Tinyhands Orangehead), an inevitable part of life. A Dude is no exception. For almost a year, his work has been this blog and a book in progress, biking his ass off (though it’s still there), daily walking and yoga-ing, volunteering, among other things. But today, he rinally had to join the working class again and get the dreaded J-O-B. He rode there on his bike, of course.