disaster zone

Imagine newspapers, fabric, bottles of screening ink, plastic tubs of cottage cheese [for mixing ink], and tailor's chalk strewn around the floor, cardboard boxes spewing out fabric with a track bike wedged into a corner and you have an idea of what my room currently looks like.
Needless to say, it's a mess [no, I'm not posting pictures of it]. Any ordinary person would probably think I've completely lost it. And sometimes I think I might have as well.


After spending most of the day [unforeseen circumstances dictated that I got the day off] alternating between screening, cutting, hopping between laid out fabric, and sewing, my shoulders were sufficiently cramped to allow for a break. Observing the destruction wrought in my room, and some mostly complete hats, I took a breather to pat myself on the back. I've been productive today, I thought.
And there was only so much I could do; the bigger box of fabric from NYC hadn't arrived yet. Thank God. I can blow off certain projects for a few--
And then the doorbell rang.
Yup. That box came.


So it was back to work, hands sometimes covered in ink, other times finagling fabric under the foot of my sewing machine. My trash can filled up over the course of the day to the point where it was vomiting out slivers of fabric, pieces of thread, elastic, and all the bits and pieces associated with crafting. Pushing my machine to work harder and faster, I almost didn't feel guilty about wimping out on my ride.
Okay, I admit, I did a mere 6 miles today. I know. The guilt. But if it makes it any better, my knee was stiff by the time I called it a day and took my foot off the [sewing machine] pedal. My shoulders were feeling it too, and even my fingers were a little tired [although, that could be the endless gchatting].


Finally extracting myself from the hat factory [i.e., my desk], I stretched my fingers while thinking about my next ride, slightly dreading those hills. And that's when I noticed it. Despite the layers of sun screen I pour onto my arms before rides, I'm officially rocking the hood tan. My thumbs and forefingers are a noticeably darker shade than my other fingers. Great.
At this point, the only thing that's going to save me is an airbrush tan. Although, I suppose this is another badge of [cyclist] pride.

espi 4

In a former life, I would either be currently attached to a TV or in Kentucky, with a ridiculous hat and a mint julep.
Because, hello, today is the Kentucky Derby.
The first of the coveted Triple Crown, I've dreamed of watching this legendary race in person for years. And back when I would have made the weight cut, I even considered training to get an exercise jockey license. Because, you know, that would bring me one eensy, tiny step closer to the Kentucky Derby.


Instead, today, I'm off to the polo courts in Allston and Somerville, with a few prizes in my bag and full of expectations of good hugs from good friends. Finishing up hats for ESPI last night, I suddenly realized that I had promised to make these the first day I showed up to polo. In October. It was just starting to get chilly; I had just watched my life as I planned it go down the shitter, and the only thing I seemed good at collecting were rejection letters from firms. In retaliation, I painted my nails bright, bright red.
And started spending Sunday afternoons with a mallet in one hand [or, at least a beer], and forming those bonds that make bad days, weeks, or months just unravel. I remember biking down Western Ave, then that paved sidewalk to the court itself on sharp, verging-on-winter fall days my mind an emotional mess of "I didn't get that job I was dying for, my note's a mess, my future is falling apart, blah blah blah, wah wah wah wah..." And trying to keep myself from bursting into frantic tears, I'd look up and see a raised mallet or hand waving, Jamie stopping by the wall to say hello [cigarette in one hand, mallet in the other], and Nick making some smartass comment as he coasted by [laughter, in any case, inevitably ensuing].



In any life sans polo, I'd find a way to watch the Derby. But even with three more finals staring me down, I'm going to make a little time to deliver on promises, and watch my polo peeps own. I may not be able to offer any kind of tangible support on the court [unless you count my trademark "get in everyone's way" move], but that doesn't mean I can't cheer or heckle.
And even if Boston doesn't take every single prize offered [including a Volume cutter frame thanks to Kip and Bud at Cambridge], at least the winning team will be forced to rep Boston whenever they might turn these brims up. And with the Derby favorite this year named "I Want Revenge," well, I think that's all too appropriate.
[And if you're reading this, with nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon, pedal your ass over to one of the courts. Right now. GO.]

rolling resistance

boston brims

I'm resisting the end of summer. The lazy days, the nights spent out on random rides, the dripping sweat.

My list of things to do and places to go isn't even half done yet.

But there will be another long, hot, gorge-yourself-on-all-the-watermelon-you-can-eat Boston summer, and I'll be pushing out hats through the fall. Hopefully there are people out there who want to rep Boston a little bit...and ride bikes as well?

bike hat redux

new hat mockup

She will consistently fail you when you need her the most. Or at least when I depend on her the most.

She whispered in my ear that everything was fine - good, even! - while I spent sweaty hours at my sewing machine figuring out what worked for the hats and what didn't. She assured me that this was the best way to make the brim, or line the hat, or whatever. She told me everything I wanted to hear.

And then, like most relationships, something happened. I didn't believe in her enough. She didn't want to keep up the endless moral support. She pointed out everything that was wrong with the construction of the hats. I pouted furiously because they just confirmed all of my suspicions and hated her for her dishonesty.

Confidence can be such a fickle bitch.

But a few more frustrated sweaty hours in front of my machine at least gave me some new ideas, and the promise of a better product. The brims are better; hopefully sizing won't be such an issue, and just between you and me, I have some high hopes.

So fuck Confidence. I can roll out new (and better) hats without her.