Wednesday, January 30, 2013

LA: Eastside, Westside, and Who Gives A Shit?

"Which Way LA?" of KCRW in Santa Monica took time out from their busy audio-wallpaper environs to pose a Burning Question: Which is more LA? Eastside or Westside? 

Since this is either deadly serious, or a frolicsome ratings stunt, people are gonna get hurt. Think of it as two fat, naked, bald men, slippery with salad oil, fighting over comb. 

Already somebody's feeling left out. The Valley, for instance. Better luck next time. 

So here are the original questions, with my M-80 answers attached.

1] Which is better, the Westside or the Eastside? Why?
Eastside. I sojourned in the People's Republic of Santa Monica, summer of 86. Smug levels were already building. I lived for 28 yrs in the Melrose/Fairfax. Seven yrs ago I moved to the western slope of the Silver Lake Alps. 

 2] What is the boundary that separates the Westside from the Eastside? 
Do you cross those boundaries? What are you willing to drive across town for?
  • 405 = far westside boundary, with WLA drafting in its wake.Then there's the in-betweenies of BevHills and WeHo, which pretend Hollywood doesn't exist. 
  • Vermont Ave = eastern frontier of Hollywood
  • 110 = Eastern frontier of Echo Park.
I'll drive to the Far Westside only for opportunistic neccesity. 

The Real Eastside is Boyle Hts, Lincoln Hts, and so on. But all the foo-foo posers like to pretend they're Eastside, when in reality they're nice suburban kids from somewhere else, and they all shop at Anthropologie, UO, and drink the same ghastly silage smoothies while smoking American Spirits and getting hammered on shit PBR.

3] Which side of the city enhances LA's image more? Which side is more "LA" and why?
Eastside. People have less money over here, so they have to make it up. Then the Westsiders come in to buy it, and take it home.

Santa Monica is so not LA. So they can go pound sand. 

4] Fill in the blank: You know you're on the Eastside when_____________
 …you cross Vermont, and signs are in Spanish, Armenian, Thai and Filipino in the same block. And Westsiders are busy blocking traffic staring at their iPhones trying to like, figure out where they *are*.

5] Fill in the blank: You know you're on the Westside when_____________ cross the 405, and everything gets shiny bland. When Lululemon becomes the look for the girls, compared to the studied frumpiness of hipster betties over here. When tats on the guys go from Ed Hardy knockoffs to faux-tribal. And you'll get run over by a dork in a Range Rover.

Damn. I feel better already. I'll bet Jason Bentley is cueing up his Chris Douridas 12" Coachella remixes right now. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ragnar is Another Way of Spelling Poser Douche

Is "Ragnar" another way of spelling "Poser Douche"?

Hell Fuck Yeah! Of course it is! We've all heard about the Tough Mudders, Spartan Series, Warrior Dash etc. Then there are Ragnars.

What are Ragnars? They're crowded, expensive relay events of multiple participants of short duration [20 miles] over longish distances [100 +  miles], that will grind you down to bare-metal with lots of driving and waiting. Kurt Vonnegut described this kind of thing as a "granfalloon". Go ahead, look it up.

There was an NYT article recently about how Wall Street assholes really loved this kind of bullshit as a way to vent cube-rage in their constipated, competitive Type-A looter lives. Maybe boxing got too real, and their sparring partners were failing at pulling punches for their clients. Whatever.

Enter a classic Corporate Anal Intruder ... Salomon! Yes, The UTMB Helicopters Flying Around Mont Blanc Salomon. Go ahead, they need your money.

But back to "Warrior Dash". Oh boy. It doesn't count unless its live-fire. Otherwise its expensive douchery.

 Don't despair…you've come to the right place! 

Welcome to the "Corporate Ragnar Warrior Dash®™!" It'll hoover up all of you SuperBowl Lard-Asses and hold them upside down, shaking you 'til all the money falls out, kick them in the ass, and then tell them that the next year's race is full—unless they want to pay for the XtremeSpeedPass®™.

First pre-race whorientation meeting will be at CanOpeners' Weiner Ranch®™ out in Hellmouth CA. Be sure to download the 300pp Rules, Regs and TOS pdf before coming. Have your MC/Visa at the ready.

In closing, several months ago somebody in the San G's told me that I looked like an "ultra guy" [his quotes], and had I done a Ragnar. I didn't know WTF a Ragnar was, and now, I def won't run one.

In the words of Afroman: "Fuck the corporate world, beeyotch!"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Buried Alive In An Avalanche: Trainer-Wheel Version

I'm digging a snow pit to look at snow layers, instructor Dave Beck is taking notes.  It will tell you everything you need to know, if you care to look. Dave Beck Avalanche Workshop, Meiss Meadows,  Feb 1988 ©2013 larry gassan

In Feb '89 I took an avalanche-workshop/training class with Dave Beck, up at Meiss Meadows south of Tahoe near Luther Pass, somewhere around 8,000'. We spent 3 days digging snow pits, snow analysis, XC skiing, etc. Looking at snow structure in a variety of scenarios. There's a world of wonder there.

I also found out what its like to have an avalanche dog look for you. We went out in front of the cabin, six feet of snow. I dug a 4' hole. Volunteers? Me. I jumped in, wild-splayed, miming a probable avalanche-induced off-balance throw.

The class backfilled the hole, and tromped out the fill and surrounding area. We waited 20min. I was covered, and it was dim. I realized my irises were flaring because it got light/dark/light dark. Everything was dim.

Guinness, looking to dig somebody out of a snow-problem. Dave Beck Avalanche Workshop, Meiss Meadows,  Feb 1988. ©2013 larry gassan

Then Dave let Guinness, his search German Shepherd loose out of the cabin. I could hear her bark, get closer, circle, range out, get close, then she was bugging. Her loud-ass barking was muffled through the snow, which had set up like concrete. Ice-cold, death-chill concrete.They dug me out, after probing with wands. Luckily they didn't poke my eye out. When they hauled me out, I was frozen. Even back in the cabin, with a roaring cast-iron stove, I was bone-chilled. In retrospect, I should've been vigorously towelled off to restore circulation as well. I was fully dressed, in wool trousers, sox, poly-pro top, hat, gloves.

Last day we were there, there was a S&R for a day-skiier who took off from his group at lunch, "to get a workout in". He got lost. They found him the next day, alive. The S&R snowmobile swung by the cabin, the lost duck was wobbly on the back. The S&R guy jerked his thumb at the Lost Boy, "We found him". Nothing more. Weary contempt. And he took off.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ultras You've Never Heard Of

Finisher belt-buckle for the obscure cultic "URFKT100" 100-mile trail race.
Hello, fun-hogs!

As we all know, Americans don't likes to pronounce names that require any additional effort outside the HFCS Food Groups. So, in recent conversations with Dr Casino Bingo, we decided to fix that problem.

Of course there are shakedown "feeder" races, so runners can "pre-qualify", before they dominate and/or crush the respective courses.

The Körnhole 100 is based on the classic Kornhole 69 Hr Track Run. 

This rugged finisher's buckle is crafted from select off-cuts of All-American CX 3/4" plywood. Hand-tooled by D&L Holistic Industries' doe-eyed eco-femmes, in the offshore tax-havens of the Bang Slap Archipelago. 


Height Categories:

Dwarf, Average, and Too Damn Tall


Anorexic, Uneasy-About-It, Love Handles & Roll-Overs, and Truck-Scale Worthy.

Guys, I suspect that this category will be most rife with obfuscations, hedgings, and outright cheating. Applicants/claimants will argue [invariably] that it all depends on who's doing the "examinations". With that said, here goes.

[music sfx: cue up Ron Jeremy]

Peewee, Piddling, Dull-Normal, "I'm Feeling Good", and "Too Much of A Good Thing". 
[For those unclear on the concept, here *is* a difference between 9 inches and 9 centimeters].

Just so no one complains of being left out, for the ladies and the guys out there who are still with us-- Behold the JogBra Competition:
Categories include Teeny, Perky, Tasty, Hmmm, Melons Out of Season, Eye-popping.

Swell huh? If this was Jeopardy, "I knew the answers, but I did not get the questions right..."

For those that just woke up, this is your chance to steer the thread back to the safe waters of salt, blisters, "why RD's are congenitally mean to me", and "what is an ultra?"

Well, gotta tend to the hydroponic PowerBar farm under the grow-lights!

RTTC100 is a proud member of the Hellmouth Ultra Marathon Project [HUMP], brought to you by D&L Holistic Industries, and Offshore Vacuum Party Ltd, Gmbh.

Race To The Crack 100 [RTTC 100] is a 100 mile street ultra through the streets of LA and ending up at the most famous crack in the earth in LA, the La Brea Tar Pits. 

Along the course you'll have aid stations that offer stimulants, uppers, downers and the perennial favorite that the race is named for. 

Run like you've never run before, feeling fast and free the whole way! There are time limits. You gotta get to the aid stations before the police do! You also got to get to the finish before you crash and burn. 

Think you've hit the wall before? Think again, Punky! If you've taken salt in past races, or ingested caffeine laced gummies, or lobbed down gobs of Vitamin I, then this race is for YOU! If you've had trouble with your stomach in a 100, never fear. If you can still find your stomach at the end of this race, you're a winner.

All proceeds from the RTTC 100 will benefit the race director, Moi [aka Joe Franko], who needs to continue his Vitamin I habit. 4 tabs of IBP no longer do it for me. Got a headache, now I take 8. Soon, even 16 won't be enough. There will be bottles to buy, folks, so send in your $1000 entry fee. I know it's high, but you'll love the goodies at the aid stations.

"Well Meant For Pleather!"...The Döppeldönger 50-50 is one of the qualifying races for the classic Hellmouth 100. — at somewhere in CA.

Rugged finisher's buckle from the Idatard 100, no worries about being a winner here!

So there you go. Rest assured, entry is by Lottery only. More details as they're available. Nobody will answer your email queries.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

No Brains, No Headaches!

!guanaTrdz—the Go-to Paleo Treat!

Hello, another New Year! Yes, a whole stack of wishful thinking nuggets are all ready to be flung outwards into the Universe, which is indifferent to your plight.

Bunches of you out there in UltraLandia are wondering "How the fuck am I ever going to be faster/better/more awesomesaucely than I am already?"

Good question, get out your credit card. But first, a word from one of our sponsors.
!guanaTrdz Energy Bars. New energy bars consisting entirely of lizard-made, holistically harvested, sustainable, from contented Fijian iguanas in their natural free-range habitat. Each bar contains 10g of protein and 50g of fiber. Recommended by experts world-wide in the treatment of Irritable Vowel Syndrome. PETA-approved. Proud sponsor of the URFKT100, and other fine events. No animals were harmed or their 401ks looted in the making of this product. Have a nice day!
Is this mike on? Seriously—you're just not going to get faster.

I can see a lot of Sad-Bear Faces out there on this news. Its not what you paid big dollah for at this weekend de-motivational seminar held a at the Hellmouth Hilton, when you could be out on the trail somewhere, taking Instagram pix of yourself getting molested by surly bighorns.

Let me funnel you into my weekend looter-workshop seminar, the "SKT Ribbon-Chasers" which is a DJ set of mix-taped, hi-priced running, New Age bullshit, and Tantric Boning all in one convenient package.
  • Where else are you going get first-hand information on just how much money you're going to drop on all the right wardrobe before you even set foot out in the dirt? 
  • Where else are all your insecurities are going to be ruthlessly exploited? 
  • Where else are you going to realize that your gadgets are hopelessly passé?
  • Who else is going to provide you with the necessary Spirit Animals, Vague Native American aphorisms and Facebook-ready profile images so you may Initiate This Quest?
"SKT Ribbon-Chasers" are experts in slowing you down so you can Be At One With The Trail, and Getting You Lost in the experience.

Of course D&L Holistic Industries, along with Offshore Vacuum Party Ltd Gmbh specify that SKTRC would only provide the "creative matrix" for aforementioned "Tantric Networking", in a home-sourced, nose-to-tail presentation. You know you want it. Dig deep and bring it on!