Monday, January 25, 2010


I thought I lost this blog after I posted it and never saw it displayed. It turns out I had it posted on my other blog spot account. It happened months ago but now here it is. YAY!

I woke up this morning just like a lot of other Mondays, the alarm snoozer hit a couple of times and the annoying cat on the porch crying to get in but when I looked out the window I saw a very thick marine layer settled in on our little beach town. We had been hit with a lot of it lately but this morning it was so thick the ground was damp and you could see the mist swirling in the air. I pulled myself outta bed and stumbled toward the bathroom, cats following me for food and attention, neither of which I was awake enough to fulfill. I usually wake up two hours earlier than I need to be at work so that I can assure a relaxed morning routine. I may take a shower, I may eat breakfast but the one thing that never varies is the fact that I will check Craigslist.

While the cats were crunching on their breakfast I turned on the kettle and sat down at the computer for my addiction update. I always check the Free section of CL first, not wanting to miss out on any amazing treasures. Usually its the same old stuff like raggety old sofas, bags of baby clothes or if you're lucky a box of VHS tapes but today was one of those Holy Grail days. When I clicked the refresh button (yes the CL free section is always open in a browser) I saw what looked like a mundane post: Free, old couch old chair...but what I read next made me bolt for the door.... Antique Indian Bicycle. I was halfway to the door when I realized I was still in my pajamas! In case you have never seen an Indian Bicycle here is a pic of one.

BEAUTIFUL! I hurriedly re-read the post. The author actually said that "these bikes are worth a lot of money but I just don't want it" Wha??? Alrighty pal, your loss, my gain! I checked the time of the post, 7:15 am and then checked the time it was right then, 7:20am. Oh my Lord it had only been up 5 minutes on a Monday morning!!! My chances of getting this bike were excellent! I quickly threw on some clothes & shoes and looked up a map to get to the guy's house. He was all the way over in the other side of town but I was sure I could make it. I clicked print and ran downstairs to warm up the wagon. On the way down I saw my roommate's boyfriend's car parked behind our cars partially blocking us in. I surveyed the space left to escape and deemed it adequate, just barely. I fired up Lucy and remembered that I needed gas, aw shit! Alright, no worries, I'll just pump a couple of bucks really quick and then jump on the highway, no sweat....still plenty of time!

I ran back upstairs and grabbed the map (the cats thought I was nuts) and slammed the door behind me (sorry sleeping roommate & roommate's mate). I jumped in the car and squinted through the heavy mist that was collecting on the windshield and then painstakingly extracted my car from the driveway. I backed down the long driveway with my arm over the back seat and head turned all the way round, a stance I like to call "Dad arm" in honor of all the old dudes out there. The mist was really thick on the glass when I arrived on the street. When I flipped on the wipers, the drivers side arm wasn't working. Arrrggg! I pulled over, hopped out and fiddled with it, hopped back in and tried it again. Still wonky. I resolved to mess with it at the gas station while pumping gas and simultaneously envisioning riding that sweet bike. Time was a wastin'.

I had to bust out the tool kit and ratchet down the wiper arm but then it was good to go. Then I jumped back in the car and hit the road again. All the way to the highway I caught green lights. What a good omen, I thought. When I got onto the highway it was smooth sailing until the Kimball Rd. exit. I consulted the map again after the exit and only had a few short blocks to go. I was almost there when I accidentally passed the street. D'hoh! I was about to make a quick (re: illegal) u-turn when I spotted a cop car and decided better of it. I had to go a block past my turn & wait for a light to change....Arrrgh! When I finally arrived at the street I started peeling my eyes for my prize. I was looking for a God like bicycle glowing through the fog, beckoning me near. "Ride me, love me" I thought I heard it saying. I was becoming increasingly elated. Finally, I pulled up in front of the correct address and could not believe my eyes. I saw a man loading the Indian onto the ladder rack of a work truck! I felt the fog closing in around me, the magical voice of the bike getting more and more distant. I was stopped directly in front of this spectacle, the engine of my Dart faithfully humming. I rolled down my window and said the only thing I could say to the man, "OH NO! You just beat me to it!" and then he turned towards me and said the only thing he could say to me, "Que?". This man was not the proud discoverer of a rare vintage bike, he was the Swap Meet equivalent of Christopher Columbus; the discoverer of a pricey piece of merchandise. I had the thought that I could make a cash offer for it right then and there but then I remembered that I don't really ever carry cash. Right after that I realized that the reason I don't carry cash is because I never have money! I stared at the man loading the bike and mumbled a less than half hearted "Good Luck man" and drove away into the mist.

While I was headed back to my house where I would hurriedly shower and have a cup of tea I was thinking of all the small snags that had delayed me in those last crucial seconds. The blocked driveway, the busted windshield wiper, the stop to get gas, the u-turn & the cop, it was a comedy of errors that was for sure. Take any one of those items out of the equation and I would be loading the Indian into the back of my Dodge Dart. I laughed a little to myself and thought well,
that was a pretty valiant attempt but it was truly more of a Dart experience.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Just In!

I had a realization the other day after a "business lunch" with a guy who had a Craigslist post for someone artistically inclined to draw & letter some pages in the ledger for his Fireman's Motorcycle club. It goes without saying that this is the type of situations I end up in after a few moments on Craigslist. At any rate, this guy and his lovely wife are super awesome. We chatted while they ate their lunch. Not just about the project I was hired to do but also about old cars, and various other vintage things we are both into. The husband recognized my wagon right away and was stoked to not only put a face to the car but to find out that the owner of the car was the very person who would be handling the illustrations in his book. Alternately, I was stoked that the person I was to be working with not only knew my car (she seems to be a minor celebrity in town) but also was into old cars and the slew of other cool things I like.

All this being said, I'm not trying to rally praise for CL. In that moment I actually realized that my "age inappropriate" nostalgia for things that I wasn't even there for in the first place can entirely be credited to my dad. I have known for a very long time that my appreciation and uncanny ability to acquire junk has been a credited to my mother. In fact I have already written a blog about that. Little did I know that the type of junk I choose is because of my relationship with my dad. So, I think it is only fair to give my dad some credit for also helping become the person that I am today. This one is for you papa!

When I was talking to the couple, I told them a story about how when I was in the 5th grade or so, back in the late 80's my teacher asked me what was my favorite band. I looked at her and proclaimed "The Glen Miller Orchestra"! She said, "Who?" and I said "You know.....Pennsylvania 6-5-oh oh oh"! I was forever stumping my teachers and friends with outdated references. While other kids were watching Nickelodeon on cable, I was watching Betty Boop Cartoons from the 40's on VHS. My dad also has a state of arrested nostalgia himself. He has always archived the marvelous Movie Serials like Dick Tracey, Batman, Superman and Tarzan to name a few. I remember sitting down with him to watch these short movies on a Saturday morning. The movies were originally be shown in segments -a new one each week, before a full length movie. They always ended on a cliffhanger, ensuring you came back next week to see what happened to your favorite hero. As I kid I thought they were called "cereals" and assumed it was because I ate cereal while I watched them! I had a very difficult time explaining that one to the teacher. She probably thought I meant action movies starring Captian Crunch and the Trix Bunny!

As an adult he and I go to yard sales quite regularly, we can listen to the oldies station together with no complaints (unless my sister is in the car). When he found out that I had located a free jukebox on Craigslist, he was more excited than I was and that's saying something! Back when I had fallen in love with "the one that got away" a cherry red 66 Dodge Dart, "Buelah" as I called her; he was one of the few people to actually encourage me to buy an old car. He had a trusty Valiant when my he and my mom were first married. When I actually did buy my first old car, "Ol' Blue" a clunky and crusty '63 Dart Sedan I asked him to come along on the test drive. When we were done driving around I asked him what he thought. Any other dad would have told his daughter that the car was a death-trap, and well it was; but he just told me that he knew my mind was already made up to get it. He was right. From then on out he called the car the "Dodge Ball". He has since helped me with repairs on both of my old Darts, past & present.

I have gotten very close to my dad since I first moved out to California to live with him. In the 10+ years I have lived here, I have cultivated my tastes for vintage treasures and he has been a big part of it. I now have an apartment of my own filled with cool stuff. I wouldn't trade these years for anything. I guess that makes me a Daddy's Girl but its a title I have earned.
I Love ya dad!