Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tony Hawks or My Life's Philosophy

Those of us behind The Armchair (me) have recently suffered a defeat. I wanted something deeply and with my whole heart. I competed for it, and I lost. I was prepared for disappointment and heartbreak. What I wasn't expecting was a crisis of faith. After all, I'm from Massachusetts.

I suppose it's something that even the least religious of us experience over time. Certain ideas hold a particular magnetism. You're drawn to the same concepts over and over again until, in spite of yourself, you've created some kind of individualized belief system. Physics class with Mr. Langlois. Listening to Ben Folds' Philosophy in my high school boyfriend's basement. Reading The Alchemist in my dorm room sophomore year. Coming to terms with sentence fragments. It's all resulted in some kind of wacky personal philosophy I barely knew I had, complete with rituals and tenets and the sacrificing of virgins on the vernal equinox.

Like any system of faith, mine is full of convenient shades of gray and a few glaring inconsistencies, the details of which would probably bore you. For simplicity's sake, and because it doesn't completely stray from the topical bounds of this blog, I'd like to focus on the most important work in the literary canon of my philosophy: Round Ireland with a Fridge, by Tony Hawks.

So who is Tony Hawks? Well, he is not Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder and video game personality. He's a British comedian, writer, and object of my affection. Admittedly, my crush on him is staggeringly age-inappropriate (even for me), given that my father is only senior by about 8 years. But what can I say? It could be worse. I have a friend who lusts after John Cleese:

Around Park City - 2009 Sundance Film Festival Day 2

Anyway, as to the premise: Our hero Tony and his constant companion The Fridge document a hilarious hitchhiking adventure around Ireland. Miraculously, The Universe opens up to accept Tony and help him in his ridiculous endeavor. In the midst of irreverent comedy, you discover a deeper faith in humanity, a deeper love for Ireland, and the realization that you can accomplish any manner of crazy feat if you maintain an open heart and mind. Whether or not you come away with a complete and total schoolgirl crush on Tony Hawks obviously depends on your personality, sexual orientation, and drinking habits.

My dream is London, with or without a fridge. My goal was 2010. So what do you do when The Universe doesn't seem to open up and accept you and your crazy plans? Well, if you're anything like me, (a well-loved, well-fed, well-educated 20-something cliché) you cry, drink, blog, and decide to move to New York, knowing that at some point in the near future, you'll try it all again. And when it doesn't work out that time, you'll cry, drink, blog, move in with your parents, and die a slow death surrounded by cats and old photos of yourself covered in dust and regret. Just kidding.

Just as Tony must have had some rational reasons for wanting to hitchhike around Ireland with a fridge, (perhaps the possibility of writing a best-selling book?) I have plenty of rational reasons for wanting to live in London. I'm a classical musician. Culture. Opportunities. Proximity to continental Europe. Yadda yadda blah blah blah. But really, the nuts and bolts of it is that I just want to. I just really, really want to. And why can't that be okay? Why does my psyche equate desire with guilt? It's a loaded question and believe it or not, one that Round Ireland with a Fridge has helped me to deal with. Shamelessly declare your crazy intention and people will come out of the woodwork with help and support. Trust to The Universe and it will provide for you. Things will, of course, most certainly go wrong. Proverbial s*** will hit the proverbial fan. But with love, trust, hope, friends, beer, and a great sense of humor, dreams can come true. So even though I'm stranded on the metaphorical highway with my metaphorical fridge waiting for a metaphorical ride that might never come, I'm still carrying with me the insane hope that eventually, everything will work out in my favor. Thanks, Tony.

Tony Hawks' Wikipedia Page
Official Website
Round Ireland with a Fridge
Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
A Piano in the Pyranees
One Hit Wonderland
The Fridgetrust


ashupe said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Julia. Like you said, just because it's not "now" doesn't mean it's not "ever."

I love the idea of a guy hitch-hiking around with a refrigerator, and your joke about incomplete sentences really made me laugh. You're still cracking me up from a distance.

Julia said...

Haha, thanks Abby. You and John would both love the book. Go read it, seriously.

Meredith said...

That is a cheap shot. You picked a deliberately feeble looking picture of him! I am only forgiving you because you've had a hard enough time lately.

But in all seriousness, I have no doubt you'll get there. For realsies.

Sara said...

I want that life for you, Julia. If anyone gets to traipse around Europe with the help and loving bosom of the Universe, it's you.

I'll work on that.

Julia said...

Well you're the one who just sacrificed your anonymity, not me. But you're right, I did go out of my way to find a feeble looking picture. I used you for comedy. I'm sorry.

Also, thanks <3

Julia said...

Sara, you are a shining star.

Arwen said...

Your blog is seriously one of my favorite things. Unfortunately, the Universe giving you the big n-o is definitely not. You're way too special not to get there someday (probably sooner than later) even if it's not in a way you were expecting. Don't worry! :)

AMIT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seth B said...

Interesting that his surname isn't even Hawks. Anthony Gordon Hawksworth, how very British