I’m going to RADwood in Los Angeles on November 20th—if I can get my truck back together in time. I’m worried I’ve taken on too much too late. But I’m too pessimistic to schedule help from others, either. I’m gonna be working some night shifts this month. And I’m getting too old [ lazy ] for that shit.
Fezzik was ready to go, but I’ve still got a #todo list a mile long. At the top of that list is eliminating the outrageously loud creaking noise in the front end. Now I find myself struggling with what must-be done versus what should-be done on a tight timeline.
Bucket List #ToDo
I want to go to RADwood LA. I’ve been hearing Andrew and Brad talk about it for years on Auto Off Topic. Everything else I’ve seen about RADwood suggests these are the amazing machines I crave most. These are my people; the others I’m supposed to find. It’s also the quintessential SoCal car show. Being in a SoCal car show is on my bucket list.
I gotta go—but there’s 101 things I should do to Fezzik first. I’ve been planning a front end rebuild all year; steering, bearings, brakes, and bushings. Especially that noisy, lower, frame-mounted control arm bushing. I mean, while I’m in there, right?
While You’re In There—Panic!
I’m flip-flopping. Bucket-list road trip and I-don’t-have-enough-time. I’ve got three weeks—which should be plenty of time—but I cant use any of those weekends. I go from wanting to do ALL my front end repairs to none to ensure the truck is drivable.
Besides, is anyone even going to notice my creaky-tiki LCA bushing? I could attend but not enter. I don’t have to enter the car show. I could just go and enjoy seeing the cars with my SoCal friends—but I wanna be IN a SoCal car show. And if these are my people, maybe seeing the TGP colors will lead to some new friends in the forum. Damnit. I gotta go!
Goddamned Fear Feaster
“I understand there’s a guy inside me who wants to lay in bed, smoke weed all day, and watch cartoons and old movies. My whole life is a series of stratagems to avoid, and outwit, that guy.”— Anthony Bourdain
The Fear Feaster is a bad guy in the Adventure Time cartoon. He’s the embodiment of the hero’s deepest, darkest fears. He lives in your guts, coming out to remind you how much you suck. [ Roll that clip! ]
First, he convinced me it was stupid to consider anything less than all or nothing on the #todo list front. If you’re going to remove everything down to the frame rails, you should put all new stuff on when you reassemble. YOU HAVE TO UPGRADE ALL THE THINGS OR YOU’LL HAVE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.
It would be tricky enough if I had everything I needed in the garage ready to go (and I could find it—heh). As it is, I’m worried I’ll end up slapping shit back together the night before we gotta leave. It’s hard enough convincing myself I can—and want to—still do this sort of thing. Adding a handful of mission critical bits and rush shipping is asking for trouble. The Fear Feaster knows this. He’s using my WITTDTJR—”WIT-IT-jer”—What It Takes To Do The Job Right—sensibilities against me.
Fast, Right and Cheap? Sleep on it.
His solution? Don’t do any of it. Fast, right and cheap. Throw on the better tires, vacuum, do the windows, and the dishes are done, man. It doesn’t creak when it’s parked—and it’s gonna be parked all day. Besides, you don’t have to enter, remember? You can still go. Do the work when you get back.
It was such a brilliant idea. I shot a text to the local who knows RADwood better than anyone I know—Brad DeSantis. Was worth my entering Fezzik or should this dude abide the creak and just go? I decided to sleep on it, and went to bed that night thinking about car shows and front end rebuilds.
If I was gonna go, and being in the show was on my bucket list, it was worth putting in the work. It’s been about a year since my last run of late nights under the big Mitsubishi, anyway. I found myself thinking about those experiences like badges of honor. They made me who I am today. It’s important that I can still crank up the burners and get shit done. Especially when I’m so lazy I’m scared.
Real Talk, Bro.
Brad assured me that a creaky-tiki Montero wouldn’t be the laughingstock of RADwood. It is, after all, a celebration of 20-year-old, generally well-loved—and well-used—vehicles. What’s more, half a dozen such machines are caravanning to LA the night before RADwood. Not only am I rolling across the desert to LA in a wolf pack one more time, I can haul spares and tools for new friends doing it. Purpose has entered the chat.
Reality Check Baggage
Could-a, would-a, should-a—what actually has to get done? The Fear Feaster tried scaring me away with extremist bullshit. All or nothing. You can’t do it all. You don’t have to do anything. Do it later. Flip a coin between perfectionism and nihilism. Fuck that noise.
I’m going in deep. Nothing less than silencing that goddamned bushing will feel like progress at this point. It’s coming out. Fezzik is wheels-up as I write this. Bushings, steering, and—this just in—rally mud flaps. That’s it. I’ve got two weeks before I have to panic. Will I get it done in time? I kinda gotta at this point.
I used to take pride in getting the daily driver finished over the weekend. I can still do this. This isn’t just about #theroadtoRADwood. This is about recognizing my own laziness, and committing to doing the hard work. That’s what makes me the gearhead I am. I know I’m not alone.
We’ve all got our inner demons. Insecure voices picking at us from the shadows. I’m trying to understand where those voices are coming from. What unfinished business brings them to the surface? And how do I keep them from getting in the way? Is this all ADHD or just my midlife crisis?
15 days to RADwood. Would you like to know more?
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