Friday, July 15, 2005

my name is (what?)

this story has come up like 3 times in the last week, so i'm putting it here so's i'll feel like i don't have to tell it again for a while.

when we moved to louisiana, i was i the first grade. i seem to recall that it was in the middle of the school year, or towards the beginning of it. on my first day, the guidance counselor type person wasevaluating me to decide what level i was at in math, english, etc. she was sort of interviewing me, trying to find out this stuff. i distinctly remember her asking me some math questions involving apples and oranges and pac man. like if pacman likes apples and you have ten of them and he eats seven, how many will you have left? i remember thinking it was a trick question or something, cos pac man doesn't eat apples, he eats power pellets.
anyway, we're about to go to my new classroom and meet my teacher and classmates. this counselor lady reads my full name, joshua matthew brown, and asks if there's a shorter version i go by, like josh, or matthew, or without thinking, i answer 'matt'. i still dunno why. i think i just wanted to see what would happen. for the record, up to htis point i'd always gone by joshua. josh came later, but my parents still call me joshua. it used to bug me that they had a different, more formal name for me, but i've kinda realized that it seems like they have a special name reserved for their use only, and i like it.
so we get to class, and i'm introduced as matt. to me this is insane, cos my name's not matt, it's joshua. i find it more amusing than anything else. i felt like i had pulled one over on the teacher and students. of course, to them, there's nothing out of line. so they call me matt, and matthew.
everything's normal for awhile, and then parent/teacher conference night rolls around. my mom and dad go in, i can't remember if i was with them or not, i like to think that i was there, cos i sort of remember this happening. the teacher sat us all down, and informed my parents that (in the same evaluation that would follow me thru high school) "matthew does great in my class, but he's disruptive and is not fulfilling his potential..." my parents look at me and each other, and are like "matthew? our son's name is joshua."
so there i am in the middle of this, having not explained to my parents that i was going by matt at school, and joshua at home. they asked if i preferred matt, and if i wanted them to call me this. i felt like a deer in the headlights. i dind't know what they wanted me to say, so i capitulated, and said, "joshua is good. you can call me that." i remember feeling like i had to decide between my parents and my teachers. of course my parents took that one.
so the next week, all the teachers started calling me joshua, but none of the students knew who joshua was. they knew me as matt.
it kinda ironed itself out after a while, but it was kinda dicey for a minute there in that parent teacher conference.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

my "new" bike

so, i have this place where i get bikes from. they're basically bikes that people have thrown away to be recycled as scrap metal. i've gotten kid's bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, bmx bikes, a sweet ass old schwinn bike(think the little red bike most every 8 yr old got for christmas in 1965), and some weird ones, like a bmw olympic team frame, which is a mtn bike, but the frame folds in half. bizarre.
anyway in order to score the bikes for free, they have to be liberated at night, or when the place is closed, so that no employees will be around. it's sort of semi quasi legal to take stuff from this place, but prolly not a good idea to be seen doing it, nonetheless.
anyway, last night, i go to check it out. what to my wandering eyes does appear? a little kids bike. 12 inch wheels, pink girl's frame, and a rack on the back wheel. like for panniers or something. as if the 4 year old riding this is going on a cross country ride and needs saddlebags.
i'm wearing flipflops, by the way, and wasn't counting on actually getting in the dumpster, but i couldn't resist this pink perfect minibike. so i climbed in.
as i'm going for broke to liberate this sweet little bike, i spot some more bike parts. a 20" bmx wheel, with peg still attached. so i toss that out of the dumpster, into my pile of "scrap" metal to be liberated.
as i'm maneuvering closer to the wheel, i see a frame and fork. it's pretty beefy, and i guess(correctly) that it;'s a bmx frame. at the time, it was being suffocated by a discarded stove. i had to wrestle witht he stove while balanced on some other sort of scrap metal, which seemed to be solid enough for me to brace against while i manhandled this dead stove out of the way.
i finally get the schwinn "pro track 3" as it's known free from the clutches of the stove and the random chain link fence scraps, and it's complete. someone tossed it. keep in mind that at the time, i didn't know what kind of bike it was. i jus knew it was beefy as hell, solid, had some killer parts, 3 pc cranks, and had to be a hefty bmx frame, worth a little bit of climbing gear at least.
so, i looked and looked online, and finally found a picture of this bike, and a description and nailed it as the pro stock 3 that it is.
the good news? it's a 300 dollar bike.
the bad news which actually might turn out to be good news? it was recalled later in 1999, due to some faulty welds or something. so this means that while i can't sell it (morally most of all, i don't have the heart to sell a recalled product to some unaware schmoe, but prolly legally there's somethign wrong with that as well, especially since i now know about the recall.
i find out tomorrow if i can still exchange it for a new replacement one, as provided by the terms of the recall.
moral of the story? i may have gotten a new bike from the dumpster.

update #1: i called schwinn, and the recall occured prior to their having declared bankruptcy, so i'm sol as far as getting a replacement frame. the guy i spoke to was funny, cos i kept saying "so, i'm basically out of luck? i have a bike i can't sell, and can't ride?" and his response was "well, sir, i have to be very careful about my language here. the schwinn corporate response is that you should not ride that bike." and then i finally got him to say that if a bike shop checks out the welds, it's prolly ok, but "having said that, it in no way is an endorsement by schwinn that it's ok to ride the bike..." and that's how i left it.

update #2: early on in this adventure, i posted a message on a schwinn bmx forum looking for hte model name, any info on it, etc and got no helpful response. after having spoken to schwinn, i posted again about how i thought it was a pro stock 3, which had been recalled, (have you not been reading so far?) and that i'm out of luck. so after having posted that message, someone else posted with some new, better news. i don't have apro stock 3. i have a pro stock 1. which was a> not recalled. and b> almost 700 dollars new. holy crap! score. the person who posted(keep in mind the almost ocd like behavior of those who post in these types of forums, being able to discern the model name of a bike based on aserial number, an obscure description of some feature of the frame, etc...) said that the only olive and chrome and black model was the pro stock 1. so it's what i have. i'm so stoked.

too bad my lock is not worthy of a 700 dollar freebike.

now, to sell or not to sell? the pragmatic dumpster diver 28 1/2 year old in me says to sell it and buy some climbing gea---pay down some debt. the 14 year old bmx dork in me says to keep it, even tho i know i'm not capable/worthy of such a sweet ride.

we'll see. i may shop it around and see what i can get for it.

update over 3 years later:

turns out i ended up keeping the bike for awhile, and it just took up space in the garage. i posted it on craiglist, and tried to play up the bmx awesomeness of the bike. the only interest i got was from some guy who sounded super excited on the phone, and then came over and asked if it would be a good bike to ride to bars.
sold it for 100 bucks.
that was about 2 years ago. i completely forgot about this bike.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

stupid phone

i had a dream about her last night.
we were doing something we hadn't done.
it reminded me of the way people are reminded of other people.
then the phone woke me up.
it wasn't her.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

trash and junk

i have too many bikes. why is it that i keep bringing them home? i'mma try and take some of the trashed bikes back to the dump this weekend. we'll see.
i'm sure the roommates are tired of the pile pf wheels and random metal beside the house.
when i'm in the garage cutting apart/bolting together some new bike(s), and my housemates walk by, they can't help but sing the sanford and son theme. what are they trying to tell me?
you wouldn't believe the crap people throw away. yes you would. if you're reading this, i've prolly told you all about the turntables i liberated from the storage unit, the numerous bicycles rescued from the scrap metal recycle center(See above) and all the cases of bananas my dumpstering portland friends and i would bring home.


yes i would believe what could be found in teh trash, be it bike parts, or human heart parts, as jcpenny is wont to rejoined: it's all inside. and now back to the heart parts bit.
josh is a great heart part picker upper and soother. give him a hug when you see him, especially if you are a girl, then give him three hard ones where you really sandwich him like a mother. show him who is cock of the walk in terms of hug thugs. and make him some chips, he'll provide the bodacious, salacious salsa. and before you're even aware of it you'll be on the phone with mom about the new grown ass man in your life. and not becasue he has a deluxe size pehtooty booty, he does, but becaseu you're already in the labour ward having the first of the millions of his babys you'll be happily mothering. in your mind.ok ladies.