News

TMO is Dead. Long Live TMO

I may or may not have decided to make some changes

I will neither confirm nor deny that I am now employed in the service of a major motorcycle manufacturer. But I will tell you that Harley-Davidson makes the best bikes in the history of biking. So much good motorcycles. And parts and accessories, and general merchandise; from keychains to drive chains, Harley delivers the best. I don’t know why other manufacturers even bother, really.

And if I did work for Harley – again, not saying I am but, you know, if I did – you could probably understand how such a thing would have a pretty major impact on TMO. So major, in fact, that I might be inclined to change the name of the site (probably to something like, oh… Dancing the Polka) and return to an idea I had a year ago of broadening its focus.

KEEP READING:
Tales of Low-Level Adventure

Doing such a thing, I’d worry about disappointing people. But I’d take solace in the fact my stats suggest I wouldn’t be disappointing a lot of people. Primarily I’d feel apologetic to the super-awesome folks who have supported TMO via Patreon. I’d feel I’d let them down in some way. I’d certainly suggest that they may want to drop their financial support for a website that has changed markedly from what they signed up for – the focus now altered and posts inherently less frequent.

The site’s name, were I to do all this, would be a return to a philosophy that will be familiar to those who have suffered my writing over the past years. Roughly two decades ago, I was at a family-focused Oktoberfest celebration in La Mesa, California; amid the street performers and bands and arts and crafts and such, roamed a small pack of local beauty queens representing a number of San Diego suburbs. La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, El Cajon, etc.

As the polka band struck up its first tune, Miss El Cajon lightly touched my hand, flashed her perfect teeth and suggested I join her for a dance. Giving in to my latent social anxiety, I demurred. She politely nodded understanding, then turned to a fella near me who promptly joined her in front of the stage to hop around in circles amidst all the other guys and gals and kiddos who had been brought forward by other sash-wearing ladies in elegant gowns. Soon the crowd melted forward to join them and I found myself standing there for a moment thinking: “What the hell is wrong with me? Why did I say no? In what plausible scenario is it a bad idea to dance the polka with Miss El Cajon?”

It’s an experience that has burned me ever since, and one I hold onto as a reminder: live your life. Do the stupid shit. If a beauty queen asks you to dance, fucking dance. And take delight in it. The universe provides us with far more opportunities for joy than we give it credit for; we simply need to be better about identifying and seizing those opportunities.

So, I think Dancing the Polka would be a good name for a site that focuses on life’s adventures and quirks – big and small. Sometimes those adventures happen on motorcycles, sometimes not. And I think it’s a good analogy for how I’d like to live my life. I can’t imagine anyone takes themselves seriously when they polka. They might be quite good at it, might spend time and energy and emotion in doing it well, but the polka isn’t high art. It is essentially just an opportunity to jump up and down and hoot and grab people consensually. Which is about the best way to live that I can imagine.

But as I say: I will neither confirm nor deny any of this.