Ah yes, it’s time once again for my favorite past time activity: waxing nostalgic.
I’ve talked about Daria before, but I must bring it up again now that MTV has finally released the entire series on DVD. So far I’m three discs in, the show is better than I remember. While it’s not filled with as many laugh out loud moments as I thought it would, Daria’s sarcastic remarks hold up fantastically. What I’ve found most surprising is how adult some of the subject matter is; The creators tackled sex, body image, drinking, and condescending adults without any heavy-handed messages. It’s a pretty accurate account of high school life, though you can tell that most of these episodes were written in hindsight. Daria and Jane are more or less the only voices of reason in the high school (i.e. they think for themselves instead of following the crowd) and in turn they are labeled outsiders. Daria and Jane are really just adults trapped in teenage bodies and they’re already keenly aware that high school is 100% bullshit, which is something you don’t realize until halfway through college. And as I’ve said before, Daria’s criticism of shallow airhead attention whores would not fly today, being that those people have become the foundation of MTV’s programming.
My mom finally convinced me to bring my bicycle back to my house the other day in an attempt to motivate me to exercise. Well, it worked.
Now, I’ve had this bike since I was 13. I was forced to buy it with my Bar Mitzvah money, even though there was nothing wrong with the bike I had at the time. I guess my parents figured I should have a “grown-up” bike instead of an N64, though I would beg to differ. I’ve owned two bikes in my lifetime, and on both occasions they were forced upon me in lieu of video games. But I digress. I had $600 in cash, which I used $300 to buy the bike (against my will). What happened to the other half of the money I will never know, because I sure as shit don’t remember spending it.
ANYWAY, the bike and I got along famously until I turned 17 and horny and realized that chicks don’t dig bikes. It sat in my garage until last year when my mom took it to the bike repair shop to fix literally everything. One main reason I stopped riding my bike was because of the awful sound it made when I applied the brakes. It was like nails down a chalkboard. But alas, it was tuned up to be as good as new and then sat in the garage for another year.
Fast forward to today, when I finally took some initiative to ride the Henry Hudson Trail, one of the Monmouth County Parks System’s crown jewels (and located within walking distance from my house). It’s a continuous paved 22-mile trail that starts in Freehold and ends in Atlantic Highlands, so there’s a lot to cover. I’ve only known the trail as a haven for schizophrenic transients and a magnet for complaints about precarious tree limbs, so you can understand that I was skeptical at first. But after a 10-mile bike ride, I can conclusively say that it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I never realized how much I missed riding my bike, and it was amusing to see all the bored teenagers loitering and searching in vain for something to do.
However, there was one unsettling moment. About 10 minutes into my ride, I was coming up behind a middle-aged man who was drenched with sweat and appeared to be talking to himself. As I got closer I saw the he had a hook for a hand. He yelled out to me as I rode by. This was expected. When I turned around to head back home, I came up on him again, this time at a cross walk. But this time I noticed that BOTH of his hands had hooks on them, plus he was taking up most of the trail. When he looked straight at me, I knew I was fucked. So naturally I peddled like a freight train on the grass (crazy people think it’s lava) as he yelled out “Bro!” at the top of his lungs.
OK so I really wasn’t in any immediate danger, but you see a guy with hook hands and you start to wonder if you should carry a rape horn.