Bike Burrito

     Hungry? Me too. But I’m meeting up with some folks and hafta bike out there in 20. Fast food? Awful. Totally incompatible with my non-sedentary lifestyle. I need an action food. How about a burrito? Protein, carbs, greens, salsa verde– now that’s a meal. Somehow, though, I never learned to bike with no hands. And even if I did, I’m one of those types who wears a helmet and thinks a burrito-induced death is an undignified way to go.
Burritos are dangerous!
     You know me, though; I have a solution: the Burrito Holder 9000!
Shown w/ optional equipment. Dealer price may vary.
     It still works as a water bottle holder, if you’re into that kind of thing, but now it’s loaded with beany goodness and ready to fuel your cross-county trek (what– Cycling across the States is an absurd feat; you can totally make it across the county, though; you just need a burrito).

     Of course, when you get where you’re going, you’ll need to lock up. Which means you either need a tiny lock that fits in your pocket and good enough karma to guarantee a skinny pole to lock
How to carry a U lock.
up to; a shoulder bag to store a bigger lock in; or the absurd contraption I rigged to my bike, which is more difficult to untangle than the lock is to break.
     What the biking world needs is for someone to engineer a bike lock that integrates into your frame. I’ve been thinking of this for a while, but keep coming up empty. I only mention it because of the Amazing Debacle of Last Thursday Night:

     I rode into Union Sq to celebrate the birthday of one of my closest friends, and it turned out that a local microbrewery was also celebrating their birthday at the same bar. As such, there was a large turnout for a Thursday night, or really any night, in Union. A large turnout in a square with
Who's bike? MY bike!
practically non-existent public transportation means bikes are locked to everything: signs, meters, trees, door handles, sewer grates, police cars, small children... it was a bit absurd. I finally found a particularly awkward spot on a signpost surrounded by potted plants. The bar was rockin’, and Jake was looking fly in his birthday suit (that doesn’t sound right). At around 1am, people started deciding that any more partying would mean coming in to work still drunk, so we called our occupation a success and headed out.
     If you ride, you know the frustration of amateurs locking up to the same post as you. They don’t oppose their bike, or somehow manage to tangle their handlebars in your rear triangle (that also doesn’t sound right). So I was
already a bit annoyed to see someone else had thought I had a good
Illustrated uses of fixies
idea in locking to the super-awkward sign. Doubly so when I noticed it was a fixie. At least it wasn’t locked to my frame. I started unlocking before I realized that the fixie was locked through my main triangle. Yeah. I was locked in. My first thought was to disassemble the small fixie and pull it through my frame (factual note: yeah, I can do that– it wouldn’t be the first time). I was talked
How to lock a bike next to mine.
into agreeing that this plan would take too long, then that calling the police to break the lock and impound the offending bike was not as awesome an idea as I thought, and finally– somehow– that I should try to find the owner. Well, damn.
     I picked a bar, and started asking around for the owner of a bike with too many different colors. The very first girl I asked: her eyes grew large, and she said, “I tried so hard not to lock our bikes together!” Really.
     The moral of this story: first, I have magical asshat radar. More importantly:


Let the Music Play

      Last weekend, some friends and I made a pilgrimage to Mass MoCA in the Berkshires to see Sam Amidon, a folk musician-cum-performance artist (go check out his music and buy his records- do it!). Since Mass MoCA is three days journey from Boston by canoe, and if I’m going to portage over rocky New England terrain I want to spend at least a full day at my destination, we spent the day
This wheel is gonna make me rich.
bouncing around the Sol LeWitt exhibit, ooh-ing and ahh-ing. It was an emotional experience. Really. I’m not putting a link here because the exhibit’s up for another twenty years, so no one has an excuse to miss it. Digressions aside, my own artwork is tangentially related to what LeWitt did, and so as we waited for Amidon to take the stage, we discussed my proclivities toward translating digital to analog (or making analog analogues), and reinventing the wheel in the process. So, I thought of a way to reinvent the musical wheel:
Not really.
   Vinyl, like most analog media (8-track excluded), is awesome because it’s warm, organic almost. OK, this is an oversimplification, but sound is vibrations, and records work by immediately creating vibrations. Digital works by encoding what the sound should be, like a sophisticated game of digital telephone. Despite what certain vintage clothes-wearing irony-lovers would tell you, vinyl’s not the end-all be-all. It’s not better than live music.  And so, I give you: the animatronic band! Right, I know there’s a communist-hating mouse with a frozen head who already thought of that, but my wheel is better. First of all, my wheels robots convert digital music into real music, by playing real instruments. Maybe tiny instruments, so you can keep them in your living room. Second, my robots don’t look like people, or bears with developmental problems– they’re just enough machinery to make the music play.

Shake it, bear.
   Next week, for the vinyl buffs: robotic DJs.


This is not an Exclamation Point

     So, last week, I had promised this post would be an idea to solve the problem of the overuse of car horns. I also said that this week there’d be less exclamation marks!!!! I guess I lied.
   Since I decided not to buy a car, and have been distracted by other pressing non-issues, my week’s been a mess. In the meantime, please enjoy this rendering of this square egg the sun, to warm your chilly November bones:

‘til next week, um, I can’t remember.