Monthly Archives: May 2014

Just say Hello.

Just say Hello.


These past weeks, since filming my BMX edit, I needed to give an injury on my outer leg a rest. I decided instead of sitting back and letting my mind go crazy, not being able to bike, that I would instead challenge myself in another way. After having been confined to my house and immediate area for several years with illness, it is safe to say my social skills have been left unstimulated and underdeveloped. My world views and self-awareness have grown exponentially, but what use is anything in life unless you can share your joy and experiences with the people around you. So off to meet new people I went!

I often feel that I am socially fulfilled easily; I have friends in all of my passions and hobbies, which I enjoy those things with and those friends are always part of my life. I have a few select best friends who no matter how much time passes we can always pick up where we left off and continue like the years never felt more than a day. Those friends are usually it for my social life and all I need. When I have a significant other that is the reason most my best friends have years of silenced between. Some people find that offensive but that is how I feel. When I have someone to share my little achievements of the day; like the silly picture I drew or castle I built on Minecraft and also have someone whose day I can hear about and whose problems I can help solve, that is all I need. Mix those day to day achievements with an amazing bond, passionate closeness, true honesty you have something that is one of best parts of my life.

Being single is fine with me. I need above all things to love myself and my life with independence. Depending on someone else is never my goal, at the same time that does not stop me from including other people in my life. The joy of sharing is ultimate and depending on people is not unwelcome but my dependence if never a full dependence, just an opportunity to share. A cancelled date or unfulfilled plan does not upset me; I have so much to experience in this life that I can just move onto the next adventure. A broken relationship, death, or confrontation can be so taxing on my soul but I have had the opportunity to see life as a second chance where these problems can be overcome. After having experienced the situation that; after months of pain, illness, insomnia and disability while in a hospital bed, I had to come to terms that I might be experiencing my last moment on this earth. In that moment I didn’t give a shit about my car, my bike, what I was wearing, or even what my favorite pet was doing. I cared about, and only cared about, that my family was at peace, my relationships were solid and that everyone knew I how much loved them and how much they meant to me in my life.

It took a moment of looming death to show me my true priorities, even when I thought I had my priorities figured out. When I had discovered family was what I would care about most in the end, not my ex- girlfriend, lost grandpa, or fights with my best friends. It empowered me to overcome those problems in life and still find the silver lining of the experiences I had with those people before the negativity. I appreciate how lucky I was to experience life with them for part of mine. When I was 18 I fell head over heels and pursued love without regard or knowledge that just as much as love makes you feel amazing, it will blind you and hit you just as hard with the opposite feelings when the love is gone or changes form. Heartbreak felt so crushing and impossible to climb out of the first time. I lost who I was, what I wanted, and those plans that were no longer going to happen hurt and hurt in a way I had never felt. Those feelings sacred me from love, even the word was impossible to say. It was until I was faced with death in a hospital bed, after giving every possible ounce of strength and digging my deepest to defeat a pain and exhaustion without result and I was ready to close my eyes for the final time that I was shown love was great, and the sadness involved after was 100% worth it. Heartbreak as much as it felt at the time, was not the worst thing that could happen to me, there are much worse things out there but damn it took a lot to get me to see that statement as true.

Being faced without being able to bike for the week, I did the only rational thing to do…Went on a biking road trip! (Yep I’m really smart sometimes) But it was to a city filled with social opportunity and close friends. I tried my best to stay off my leg, only tried one double backflip and learned only one new trick (Gosh I need to smarten up sometimes) and used the weekend to experiment introducing myself and meeting new people. Instead of looking at someone’s Facebook profile or asking my friends what so and so was up to, I went straight to the source and asked the person. My life is solid, I have a great support system, there is no reason rejection or someone being disrespectful and making me take a second look at my life and actions will result in sadness. I have nothing to lose but everything to gain. I introduced myself multiple times to complete strangers and jumped on every awkward feeling I could come across. By not being shy I met an entire team of doctors and cardiologists and played beach volleyball with them, among great conversation about health, met a therapist who was able to really discuss social problems in my community, stopped a person in a crowd and learnt about their life and moved on (something impossibly scary to me) I hit a few snags with people who were not interested in conversation, but not everyone has to be, that was fine.  Rejection didn’t hurt, it wasn’t bad. I don’t care if I was judged beforehand or after, I will never know, it doesn’t matter even if I did.

Being single does broaden the range of people I felt comfortable introducing myself to and the places I went. I would never go to a club and introduce myself to someone on a dance floor if I had a girlfriend, my own morality would interrupt that, again the thought of a significant others laugh, smile, eyes, and impossibly attractive personality sitting at home would never make me even think of wanting to meet someone new anywhere. I guess I value one deep meaningful relationship over multiple semi deep relationships and limited intimacy.

I realized before I left my last relationship that intimacy was not even close to the reason I left or a problem, so I have not searched for it and instead concentrated on the other connections and let that follow if it feels right. I joined a dating website because it was a new experience that I had not tried and want to form my own opinion but it only took 2 days and about 15 instant messages to figure out that is not a place to build relationships. It’s a place to build sexually transmitted diseases and regret. If I was solely after short term intimacy I would not be practicing my social skills and developing myself into a better person. It is not wrong at all if that is what both people want or need, but I would rather have 4 intense bonds with women over my entire life than 40 names in a black book.

I feel that the best way to get to know someone is to have zero expectations or forethought about what you want, need or expect.  Just listen to someone else’s life and go from there. People constantly manipulate and bend a conversation or experience to their personal goals with tricks, unsaid feelings, and hints. Fuck that. If you want to be my friend lets be friends, you need someone to complain to and problem solve, lets problem solve, if you want someone to connect with and build a relationship, than say so and let’s try. I get that these social games are common and fun but it is usually a social insecurity that creates these complex situations of hints, strategic words, body language and unsaid feelings. If I was real to myself like I am, why would I expect someone to know exactly what my needs are and how to play my feelings the right way to be successful in getting to know me? the only way you learn things is by trial and error, so the person that does finally play all the cards right and makes the right social moves, drops the right hints and acted the right way to unlock my conservativeness, has had so much experience from trial and error and completely hidden motives. They just knew how to play the game, because they have played the social game so much, meaning the person who I think I connected with, just check mated me ,and will move on to the next game like I was target practice.

I approach someone with as little judgment as I can possibly see as rational, expect nothing and let the mood and conversation lead the way, the games, hints, and unsaid feelings are left out or not acted upon. I look for true honesty, open book conversation, and innocence, those things will shine through. While hidden sexual, manipulative or judgmental motives will shine just as bright and make me move on. Getting to know someone doesn’t hurt, but letting 100 people you are curious about pass by will just occupy your mind with wasted thought and curiosity. So that person on your mind or that story you don’t know about or that interesting craftsmen you always wondered about, go say hi and be yourself. The relationship might end there or it might take you to a place you could never imagine. Sitting idly by and watching them from a far will never answer your curiosity. GO SAY HELLO!
P.S. That cute girl that you always thought had the perfect life probably has had the furthest thing away from one. The struggles they have overcome make them even more interesting, gorgeous, and impressive. But you will never know unless you ask!



Go Hard.

Another busy week. Pulled out the 911 (which needs a wash), added a roof rack. My BMX sponsors Genes and System helped me with part of my new BMX for this summer! Started filming a bike check edit and teamed up with local music artists for the music (Take that, stupid Youtube copyright laws). Built a big ass jump out of scrap wood and it looks like it. Almost feel I should have invested money into something I plan to launch myself 15ft into the air off of…Almost. Working with a great friend and graphic designer to produce some Rii stickers which will all get numbered with a unique message written on everyone. To finish it off my brothers Fr-s is going for some modifications this month starting with the new shoes it is now rocking. 

Empire of Dirt

Delusions on grandeur, misled optimism? I call it the road less taken. This week has been one of the most amazing and fulfilling weeks in recent memory, and most has revolved around broken cars that have been given up on. 

This week started by automobiles taking a back seat to the important things. The biggest car meet of the year went down and I chose to instead travel and ride bikes with a friend before he took off to trot the globe for the summer. Cars will be there later, Friends, family and health might not be so I took advantage. Which is noble and all but my Porsche also needs new tires, oil change, spark plugs and belt…so friends and BMX was cheaper! Luckily even though I picked bikes the weekend did included me driving an Audi A4 and a vicious Mercedes 6.3 AMG, since my friends are cool and gave me the privilege. Test drove a new WRX STI which was horrible, and traded my Miata for my mom’s Hyundai so my bike wouldn’t get so wet during the weekends rainstorms.
I went out to a giant extreme sports compound and started to meet some people I’m sure will become good friends after this very big project we are working on comes into fruition. In the mail an amazing custom sprocket, from a new sponsor, system bicycles, showed up. A hydro ebrake for my drift ae86 also showed up at the post office. The weather was quite up and down and I felt the seasonal depression kicking my ass but knew it would only last so long. Plus my sister brought home a new kitty for our family so who can be sad with a kitty sitting on your head while you type.
Unfortunately with my mind not on my a-game, a repeated problem arose in my relationship and I had to make the choice to move on but that is a post in itself. The next day I started the fun part of my week, a friend of mine wanted a bush beater car. I had a devastated Saturn sc2 that was useless to me, for $200 we got some wheels on it that I found in the bush by the car, took a battery out of the stalled truck he drove in but only after he got stuck in my driveway and I had to pull him out, with my mom’s 4×4 that bottomed out earlier in the day and had to get another 4×4 to pull me out (Seriously my driveway fucking sucks, and treating someone else’s car without respect is not ok so have to get my own 4×4). The Saturn fired up. We sawed off the roof, exhaust and intake then punched some holes through the floor to drain some water. I charged the battery on my 911 and it fired up! Unfortunately the AE86 blocking it in, did not start and had to charge that battery putting the release of the fire spitting 911 to another day.
Today started well when a Toyota AW11 mr2 came up for sale in my town. I rushed over there and bought it with the $200 from the Saturn. It is rusty, and had a bit of a blown gasket on its mighty 4age. In my skewed mind these are not problems just more things to learn on and fun challenges. So called a few friends until one rolled up in an down and dirty 58 Chevy  rocking vintage patina to drive my truck back and I pinned that mr2 all the way home and dealt the screaming 4age a death blow that was inevitable, showed at my gate in a cloud of sweet smelling smoke the result of burning coolant and 8200rpm redline. The gate to my house and life was were the beast decided to give up, Knowing that somehow it can now rest until it is resurrected, it had reach its destination and fought with everything to get there. Unfortunately the truck was behind the mr2 and the bumpers did not line up, plus not my truck so not going to do anything disrespectful to it, but the battery was charged on the AE86 from the day before so the mr2 found its resting place with the guidance and tow of another 4age which is fitting.
I have now borrowed a truck for over a week so that was my limit and time to buy my own. So Miata is the car on the chopping block. Later this week hopefully a trade is made. My new bike is also in! On Wednesday I should have a brand new BMX via genes sports excellence, for my summer travels. Maybe not the most exciting or amazing story but not bad for a regular week, broken cars can be fun if you have the tools and right mindset. Car may just be metal but can also be forged into so much more.
P.s. Miata is now a 2004 ford f-150 4×4, trade was made.

Guest Blog: 100%’er

Rii: To celebrate reaching 150,000 views! I’m going to introduce to you a very interesting, passionate, spontaneous and good friend of mine. He, like I had a little itch to write and offered this post to me, I think it compliments Rii’s vision perfectly.

“You never know what you’re gonna find, so always keep looking”. -Steve K.

Dedication, drive, determination and direction are words I use to describe a successful weekend. My life is like a huge to-do list that seems to be never ending. There’s always a new project, or a crazy idea, or a silly dream that is just around the corner. The prospect of a new idea is what gets it started. My brain goes into overdrive. Internet searches, eBay watch lists, forum stalking, scheduled visits to any and every swap meet/ rally/ show just to connect to one more person to find that last piece, or the first. If I didn’t have crazy dreams, what else would I have? Would my skills and abilities deteriorate? Would I be like everyone else, shopping at the dealerships, and Harley parts catalogs?
When was the last time you got so excited about a project you woke up at 6am to make it to the swap early? How many barns did you go through to find that last part? When you got home, was it to a conclusion, or another new beginning? I gauge my personal success purely on how much fun I had searching. Some people might think, finding the part is the finish line. That makes for a short story. Nobody is going to be upset with themselves for driving 3 hours with a buddy just to end up with dirty hands and a few small antiques. Because the story goes on. You’ll keep asking around, looking, researching, planning. The greatest rush I get is from finding that filled-to-the-brim building, which hasn’t seen light in 20, maybe 30 years. The treasures that await!
You can’t give up on yourself. Just because you haven’t found what you’re looking for doesn’t mean you should quit. SCOUER! Not cower. Why did you even start your project? Vanity? Power? Sentiment? Obscurity? Is the goal to restore a car? Modify some sheet metal? Learn how to sew? Along the way, the road has twists, turns, bumps and hills. Climb them, because it’s all downhill after that.

Is it better to lose some battles in the struggles for your dreams, than to be defeated without knowing what you’re fighting for? I go out almost every weekend. Searching. Sometimes for nothing. Just looking. Maybe I need a signal light, but I went home with a bamboo fishing rod. Wanted to find a hood emblem, went home with 3 vintage bicycles. Everything turns gears in my head. Fix the bike, clean it off, and it’ll make someone else happy for years to come. Go out for an ice cream, stop on the way home, now I have a 100 year old claw-foot wood stove I can convert into a tré chic meat smoker. What more of ourselves can we apply to our projects? How much time can a person spend educating themselves? Regardless of what destiny our projects have, we go at our own pace, have our own goals, fulfilling our own desires. If you aren’t putting 100% in, you aren’t going to get 100% back. Keep digging. Keep searching. I can’t stop won’t stop adding to my to-do list, nor should you. After all, they say idle hands are the devils tools. -STEVE k.1steve
P.s. If you like BMX satire or Just like to see the pot get stirred ,check out Steve’s own creation THE DUMP OUT BMX.