Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Did the Northwest have talent?

Today, the sun came out, at long last, in what is seeming to be the apparent, early stages of global warming reversal. It seems that the Northwest has been so successful in our Green programs that we've successfully halted climate change, or any temperature change for that matter.

Thankfully, with the sunshiney state of the day, there was much gleeful cavorting and tossing off of responsibility. (I chose not to investigate whether there was any actual 'tossing off' during the day's events.) Being that I was unused to the level of joy that today's weather provided, I was strangely tired by the end of the day.

As soon as I reached my humble cave in the paleolithic section of the city, I found myself immediately in the tender embrace of dreamless sleep. Granted, sleeping so soundly in this part of town can be troublesome, in that brontosauruses bray angrily throughout the day and night. But, who can resist secured, garage parking.

As I slowly roused from my brief, though refreshing, slumber, I heard the braying of a different sort. I opened my eyes to see a purple-coiffed woman with two aging gentlemen on either side of her. My cave had been invaded by none other than Sharon Osbourne, and tonight's airing of America's Got Talent. Yes. My cave gets cable. Seattle has been ahead of the techno-curve for a very long time.

I will say that, though, I wanted to immediately turn off the television, or at least turn the channel. It seems that I was still in the half-sleep paralysis in that I could not move, nor adjust my surroundings in any way. I'm guessing that some sort of quantum-beam is programmed into the filming of this 'event' such that one cannot be stirred, despite hours of athletic training to the contrary.

No sooner, had I worked up the strength to alter my surroundings when suddenly, the 'Talent' show had transported itself to our little sister city, Portland. Portland has become the subject of much attention in the cycling community of late, so I was curious to see what this show would choose to present.

Portland and Seattle are often interchangeably considered to be the "Pacific Northwest". As much as I appreciate the tasty micro-brewed beer, production-level cheese, and sales-tax-free shopping, I confess that I can only tolerate Portland for a matter of hours at a time. I've found that Portlanders who venture up I-5 to visit their jaded neighbors to the north are folks that I like, so I can't say that I am uncomfortable with the people of the city. It's just that the total package of Portland sets every cell in my body into some kind of twitching, microcosmic indigestion. I think it is part of a crude transformative process, similar to that which was depicted in cinematic film, 'District 9'. I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure that this sensation signals the beginning of an individual's integration into the Portland Borg, which is how they're able to afford their lack of a sales tax. I always enjoy myself in Portland, but I tend to freak out if I stay for very long.

So, apparently, Portland is weird. The show made sure to spell that out in the introductions, and the show's aforementioned hosts, kept commenting on the weirdness, at any opportunity that arose. Nevermind that these hosts include Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel, but then, I guess they know 'weird' better than most.

The show made sure to present a cyclist among the group of contestants. Jeremy Vanshloogen (please forgive my inability to spell ethnic names,) from Talent, OR, who rode a bike without a seat. In a sport, or talent, he had a name for that I didn't catch (though, it included crashing, so I'm guessing this may be related to triathlons in some way,) he attempted to do his best impression of Danny McAskill. To my horror, he was allowed to advance to the next level of competition. I was happy for the guy for reaching his goal of the night, but the fact that this indicated acceptance of his seatless bicycle frightened me. Maybe my interest in having a seat on my bike is luxury that I should cherish, as it may be going away soon.

Then, the self-described, 'Air Guitar Supergroup' Airpocalypse took the stage. They were everything that they promised to be. Kilt-tastic, print-denim, and hirsute. Brilliance. Yes, I said it. That's just me sometimes. Edgy and offensive. Too bad that's not an actual talent.

For now, I have to decide whether I want to continue my exploration of national tv's presentation of a city they can only describe as 'weird', or find some other pursuit before I return my previous, slumbering state. I will say, that if you're in the Northwest, and you plan on doing some 'stage' cycling..

Ride safe. I love you all.

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