Comfest, Cycling, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller… Oh, AND BOOBIES, HOORAY! Alternate Title: Busy little cranes, we be…

Photography by Tsuru

Been a busy weekend, Lardy B. As many of you know, this weekend here in central OH (IO) was Comfest, a weekend long FREE festival at Goodale Park next to downtown Columbus. This was also the first time Baby worked the festival, meaning, instead of the occasional popping in to see some music, drink some shaken lemonade and see some boobs, she was there pretty much the entire weekend and I was there a thousand times more than normal.

TsuruBride-wise, it wasn’t too bad! Got a few sales, met lots of people, and got her name out there even more (c’mon baby, I need you to be my sugar momma!!!) which may translate to some online sales later on. Here’s her set up at the Etsy Team Columbus both!

See her head poking out from behind the little piggy clutch? Adoooorable! Baby, I’m so proud of you! Kickin’ ass, takin’ names! And thank you to everyone who came out to say “alloooooooooooo!”

Vendors and causes in booth form are only a couple reasons to come out to Comfest. There’s also the music. It’s pretty much chock full o’ small named bands and there’s so much variation going on, you never know where to sit! From blues to jazz to rock to rap to folk to congo drum circles, it’s all represented. Musically, it truly is a “community fest”, probably ten times more diverse than anything the kids at Pitchfork can put on, but about 1,000 times less popular with the cool kids due to the lack of “headliners”.

At first, I was a little bummed by this, thinking it would great if each day they’d just have some mid-level indie-band or something, not like a Decemberists or Wolf Parade or anything, but maybe bigger than the Kyle Sowashes. But as the festival was wrapping up and I was helping baby break down her booth, I got to thinking that no, it’s good the way it is. All some headliner will do is drawn a bunch of egos to the festival, create a hierarchy, and ultimately, take a bit of the “community” out of Community Festival. I think the point is, every band, every person wandering around, every crafter, artisan, and designer selling their wares, every grill master turning their sausages, brats, & broccoli burgers, and every family shaking lemonade for 3 days are equal. Yeah, it’s good the way it is.

As a photographer and a observer of things in general, my very favourite part of Comfest, of course, is the people-watching. I love people-watching, whether it be at work, at the shopping center, airport, etc, just observing people, how they are, how they act, how they react, fascinates me and Comfest did not disappoint this year! Nice weather, a free festival, and a shitty economy brought EVERYONE out to the park. When I wasn’t relaxing in the back of the booth with the Etsy crew, I was taking photos…

Photography by Tsuru

Amazing tattoo, eh? Very well done… Makes me want to get more work done on mine.

Tattoos aside, anyone who’s been to Comfest knows, it’s not just about huge crowds, beer, food, bands, and vendors. No, Comfest just wouldn’t be Comfest if it didn’t have one last thing…. Boobs.

Print available at our TSURUFOTO Etsy Shop

I don’t know what it was this year, the weather, the shitty economy, the Obama administration, my extra time at the festival, or what, but this year many proud and empowered women let their ladies free! It was equal opportunity boobage, as there were little ones, big ones, boobies in between. There were painted boobs, naked boobs, black boobs, white boobs, happy boobs, sad boobs, and every variation & combination out on display.

Photography by Tsuru

Regardless of the state of one’s boobs, it’s always great to see women having fun with it, feeling free, and generally getting into the spirit of things. Baby & I have a blast with it as well, we both are excellent Boob Watchers. In fact, I’m building a Boob Watchers manual I hope to get published soon as a guide for all you hoping to join in the fun! Keep an eye out in your local store soon!

But Comfest wasn’t the only thing going on this weekend… Anyone who read our little Week/Weekend summary on Friday knew that this weekend was the Tour De Grandview in, well, Grandview, where they closed off a one mile loop of neighborhood and held a professional cycling race featuring people who actually get paid to ride their bicycles. Here’s me getting warmed up…


Haha! But seriously, besides the fact I’m old, this photos pretty acurate. Anyway, time to give my race report!

This was also the first race event for the Tsuru Tsycling Team (i.e. Tuck & I) and being that it was my first race, we signed up for the Category 5 race, 12 miles, the last to go. I’ll sum up the race by saying this… I learned something Sunday evening, I’m not a racer, I’m a rider, a lover, not a fighter. The whole point of the race for me was to see where I stand as a cyclists and to help me continue to evolve to figure out what kind of cyclists I am. This race was a perfect opportunity to do this. It was a “real race” featuring pros, closed roads, fans, the works, it was not too long, but not too short, and on an interesting course (i.e. not a flat track), and it was a relatively inexpensive experiment (I’m out $30 between registration and a one-day racing license).

I did okay during the race, I was pushing hard and working, a little bit behind the middle of the pack, but a few things helped me quickly realize racing isn’t for me. First, the obvious, going around and round a loop? Not fun… at all.

Second, jockeying around a bunch of dudes who are “competing” (i.e. hammering the pedals, slamming their brakes, shimmying left & right & forward & back) while negotiating questionable pavement, hoping that noone suddenly swings into your bike (as often happens (and did happen yesterday) in these things) offers a whole different kind of stress to cycling….


Yeah, not so fun…

Finally, I didn’t care about winning…. at all. As I felt my heart pounding in my throat (mostly before we even started pedaling) and as I fought to stay with the pack, I found myself wondering what the hell was I doing? I didn’t care about winning, there’s no one I ever care to “beat”, except myself and my own personal accomplishments. And if I did push it and did win it (extraordinarily doubtful) or if I did train and train and train then race and race, then win, what of it? What then? Is that what I want to do?

No. Not at all… I want to ride miles and miles and miles, go to new places and farther places on my bike, do more 60, 80, 100, and hell, even a 200 mile ride! Ride to Lake Erie, stay the night, then ride back. I want to be a guy who takes a couple weeks off to ride across Canada! That just sounds amazing to me. Spinning around in a one mile loop hoping some idiot doesn’t run into my beloved Kapu and hurt us both? No thanks.

These are the thoughts in my head while racing and this is why I did the race, to see if I this was the kind of cyclist I am. So I pulled out (don’t worry, in cycling it’s not shameful) and waited to see what Tuck was doing. He pulled out the next lap with somewhat similar thoughts going through his head. We rode around the block, nice and slow, talking about the race and riding, and (thankfully) came to the same conclusions.

So for now, that’s it for racing. I may be enticed to do a Point A to Point B longer distance “race”, maybe if there’s a cause involved or something, or maybe I’ll do some randonneuring, in the great French tradition (I see that Ohio’s got some randonneurs), which sounds pretty interesting… basically riding long miles within a time frame.

But randonneuring is for another day, and besides Comfest & cycling, if you had your TV, radio, or internet on, you’d be hard pressed not to see, hear, or read about Michael Jackson, seen here in tattoo form…


Seriously? How drunk was that person when they got that tattoo?

It’s weird, but last week when he died, my mind floated back to my childhood when Mama Tsuru would take my sister and I to work with her on Saturdays, as she couldn’t afford a babysitter on a 5 & Dime waittress pay, and on the long commute from Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg, we would often listen to Michael Jackson. We’d sing “P.Y.T.”, laughing, or take turns being Paul or Michael singing, “the dog gone girl is miiine”…. And of course “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” would fill up the shitty little Toyota Corolla as we crossed the Howard-Franklin Bridge.

For some reason, my mind also brought back memories of roller skating. When I was young, during the summers, we had to go to a day-care and they would take us all roller skating. Thriller was HUGE and they would play it over the loudspeaker while we rolled around in that stupid oval round and round, practicing riding backwards, or doing that thing where you squat down and stick one leg out. Kinda like this woman in the bottom left..


Yeah, the whole scene would definitely look something like that….. MY special move? The fall. No, no, I was a decent roller skater, but I would do this thing where I’d come around the bend and take the straight at full speed, then just at the next bend, would fall and slide….. Boom-shweeeeeeeeeeeeep-BOOM. The second boom, was hitting the back wall! The harder and louder you hit it, the better. It was a blast. Me and a friend would try to do it every now and then, but not TOO often, didn’t want to the ref to think we were doing it on purpose! We thought we were so funny & clever…… HA!

Well, over the weekend, people went from laughing at, pointing at, being disgusted & freaked out by Michael Jackson, to worshipping him. It was a strange thing to witness. People start buying up his albums, he took the top billion spots on iTunes, etc, etc. Suddenly, it was okay to like Michael Jackson again! People were playing “Beat It” loud in their cars with their windows down. Some dude walked around Comfest with a ghettoblaster facing out, blaring “Thriller”. Jamie Foxx whored himself out again, this time on BET dressed in “old school” Jackson!


Yes, Jamie, you played a fine Ray Charles, you even sounded like him some on “Golddigger”, but dude… c’mon. Honestly, I don’t know how you wrapped the collar of that red leather jacket around your giant ego.

ANYWHOS…. For Christmas, Mama Tsuru got your boy Thriller on record, the 25th anniversary edition. A sweet and wonderful present of an album that is so near and dear to my memories, that it means more than what is actually pressed into the grooves themselves, but with the man who soundtracked many of those memories gone, and before the sense of nostalgia is ruined by the continuation of the media’s oversaturation (oh god, am I part of that oversaturation now?), I figured it was a good time to give the first LP a spin (sorry, I have NO desire to listen to the 2nd LP that comes with the 25th anniversary edition with Fergie and Will.I.Whatever on it), just the original Thriller, from start to finish, for me, thank you.

I recorded it, of course, and we’ve been listening to it down in the Society, in our little cubby hole away from the rest of the world, along with other Michael Jackson classics, just skipping along memory lane. Now, I think this is all owned by Sony or BMI or something, so if you want to listen to every snap, crackle, and HEE-HEE! OW!, well you’ll have to come inside and join up. But man I gotta tell ya, listening to Thriller again, for the first time from start to finish in maybe 2 1/2 decades, maybe longer, and through these aging and aged ears, well, it was kinda strange…

Honestly, as I try to be honest with you always, I didn’t get into all that much. Of course it’s a bit dated, but I listen to 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s music all the time, so that’s not usually an issue. No, it wasn’t that, it just sounded empty, sanitary, calculated, too clean, and a little hallow.

Was I a-warshed in memories of a wee little Tsuru in the front seat of my mom’s car having the time of my life? Sure. Did I see my sister and my mom looking young and timeless, like a sun-drenched flashback in some stylized movie? Yep. But did I find myself wanting to don a metallic glove or do the Thriller dance?


Weird, I expected more as I’m a bit of a romantic, but maybe I should’ve expect less because I don’t really live in the past? Not sure, but by the time “The Lady In My Life” was slowly coming to an end, I was thankful it was over. I did like it fine, “Beat It” & “Thriller” are fun and stuff, but they also sounded contrived and even a bit silly, campish, really. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but I’d think you’d rather have an honest asshole than someone who pretends to enjoy sumfin he don’t, right?

BUT (and here’s the big butt)…

I’m a huge fan of the “to each their own” philosophy (not just in music, but really to everything), and whether you’ve been rockin’ the lone-gloved-one for the past 20-some odd years or whether you just re-discovered him after his demise last week, if you find yourself practicing the Moonwalk in your kitchen or belting out the occasional “HEE-HEE-HEE!” in your car, then by all means, more power to you!!!

For you then, you closet Jackos who are now to free to let your Whacko Jacko Flag fly high and true, I present a couple choice classic tracks off of the Thriller record, yes RECORD) for your enjoyment, because back then… that’s how we listened to it (well, except Mama Tsuru, she had it on cassette). So, let’s wrap this monster of a post up, shall we? Enjoy as…

(A Few Choice Tracks From) Thriller on Vinyl!!!

Side A
01 – Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
02 – Baby Be Mine
03 – The Girl Is Mine
04 – Thriller

Side B
01 – Beat It
02 – Billie Jean
03 – Human Nature
04 – PYT (Pretty Young Thing)
05 – The Lady In My Life

Now, go buy the damn thing, put on your high water pants, dance shoes, red leather jacket, and bust a move like only Michael truly could….


Tsuru & The Bride

& yes, even Twitter

6 comments for “Comfest, Cycling, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller… Oh, AND BOOBIES, HOORAY! Alternate Title: Busy little cranes, we be…

  1. Scott
    June 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    no tsurubraide booby shot?

  2. Tsuru
    June 29, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    I know!!! She can be such a prude sometimes! I keep telling her what fantastic boobies she has…


    maybe next year….

  3. FSonicSmith
    July 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

    I found this site looking for information on the tragic accident involving Steve Barbour. Ironically the story below about your experience racing at Grandview and your account of it demonstrates that all forms of cycling are dangerous. The photo you took is of my buddy and teammate Peter Czerwinski. I was in the race too, but mostly at the tail end of the pack til the end. Peter was up front the whole race. He rode for many years just recreationally and then upon the urging of others began to race. I was an old hand at racing when he started. He would not have found Grandview to is liking at first; the course is rather technical with it's twisty turns downhill at higher speeds than most courses. Speaking of driver/cyclist fatalities, Westerville is home to the Garrett Wonders classic in honor of another well known cyslist with local ties killed at the hands of a careless driver. But I digress. You might want to try a road race sometime. They are mostly earlier in the season, from late February through May. Or not. It is of course totally cool to decide that racing is not all that cool. I often feel that way too. And more to the point, let's just pray that cyclists stop getting hurt as the result of inattentiveness on the part of drivers.

  4. Tsuru
    July 21, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    I actually am looking towards doing some randonneuring come next year! I love long miles, and I love to compete against myself, completing kms under marked times, checking in with your card, doing 200k, 400k, hell 600 & 1200Ks sound unreal!!!

    Looks like Ohio's got a pretty large randonneuring group! So, I'm definitely game.

    I think this year, with the Pelotonia and leading a few WBC rides (like this Sunday's Tour de Northeast de Columbus), I'll be covered for the year on "epic rides".

    Next year though, watch out!

    But yeah, I'll keep my eye out for a single stage race, a point A to B thing, and see what I can do. I'd LOVE to ride in a real peloton just once.

  5. October 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    i can say that i miss jacko so much coz i am one of his die hard fans`’-

  6. October 19, 2010 at 6:05 AM

    i’ve come to think that Michael Jackson was our best pop artist, kanye west is nowhere near jacko’.’

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