Another Influence Gone

I have written this blog since 2005. The first five years or so it was dedicated to racing mountain bikes, bike lust, and what I loosely interpreted as training for that racing. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I look back at Soiled Chamois v.1 with very little fondness and a good dose of embarrassment, there’s a reason it’s hid from the public eye these days!

Then, as my amateur racing slowed to a standstill I found new passions, that, along with cycling, fueled my want to continue writing this blog whether your like it or not. A love of cooking, photography, cycling, soccer football and the outdoors combined with honest, self-deprecating humor that is all too often sullied with low brow dimwittedness and poor grammar is what I offer.

I don’t write well, but I like to write. Most often my goal is to make the reader laugh or at very least get them to go outside and/or be creative.

Throughout my life, I have been influenced by art, music, food, books, and movies. I like to think that some of that shows up here from time to time.

My favorite books, essays, articles, and rants have been written by people like Gore Vidal, Hunter S. Thomson, David Foster Wallace, and lastly, someone who I must now refer to as “the late” Anthony Bourdain.

Back in 2015 in a moment of boredom I wrote a post called My Voice in which I at one point talked about who I would love to hear narrate the crap words I write out loud. Anthony Bourdain was my number one pick.

Anthony Bourdain. Oh, how I’d love to have Tony be the voice of this blog (yeah, again with the first names, don’t worry, it’s an industry thing… of course I just need an industry, ANY INDUSTRY to be part of). I am a long time fan of his TV shows, his books, and his general attitude. When I listened to him read the audiobook version of Kitchen Confidential a few years back, all I could think was yes, yes, YES! That’s the voice. [Of course] I do lack his ability to travel abroad, embrace cultures, adventure, new foods, etc., etc., etc.,

Sliding open my phone today to see the headline that another one of my influences had killed himself left me gutted for a bit. I am not the sort that sheds tears for celebrities or people who I have no personal connection with—and I didn’t start today—but I am shocked and left with a bit of dulled sadness knowing that he is dead.

Over the years I have been pretty frank about dealing with a life-long bout of depression, often referred to as “the black dog.” I have no shame about it, nor the fact that I take an antidepressant and see a therapist to combat it. Unwanted weight gain and medical copays beat the alternatives.

I dealt with years and years of self-loathing and relentless underlying sadness only to have people tell me to “smile and buck up” or that I had “no reason to be depressed.” In light of today’s news about Bourdain’s death, I am here to once again tell you that saying that to someone who is depressed is fucking bullshit! Don’t be that asshole, it doesn’t help and you deserve to be smacked in the face with a bag of dicks and hammers.

Anthony Bourdain’s shows and books influenced me in many ways: I loved his wit, his candor about his depression and past drug use, and his style of writing. His books and shows also helped me to further develop my love of cooking, even if it is Cat 5 at best. It’s sad to know that he found himself in such a dark place that he would take his own life.

I will miss seeing and reading about his adventures, but I will always enjoy his influence on my cooking, writing, eating and drinking. And when I read back the crap words I write, I will still imagine them read in his voice.



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