Friday, November 23, 2012

11/12 of the way to forever...

i've been playing the 'eh' for just about 11 months.
actually it was right around a year ago that steve and i first hatched our plan to try this little experiment in self-discovery (or self-deprivation).

you may have heard that, contrary to our initial plans, we will be able to release a small number (less than 50) eh's into the wild via our community's greatest bastion of commerce, the yo-yo's which will be released are, i will grant you, quite a bit different from what i've been playing. of course they're still fixed axle, still 'dimple-response', still lovely, raw red oak, just begging for you to develop a patina. honestly, they're alike in pretty much all of the important ways. however, these eh's were crafted not in canada, but in oregon, by colin leland of tmbr toys.

colin is the 2011 fixed axle "champion of all the world", an awesome player, and a great friend. when i first fielded this idea to steve a year ago, his thought was "maybe we could get colin to make it for us". obviously, i'm glad steve took a stab at it and made me an unbelievable yo-yo, but when we agreed to try to fire off a small run, it was a natural to ring colin up and see what he was up for. tmbr is the pre-eminent maker of fine, progressive wood yo-yo's on the market today. anyone who even THINKS they might want to try wood should own a tmbr.

steve, colin, and i began an email exchange that has hovered around "everyday" for the past month. i got a proto in the mail from colin a few weeks ago, made right from steve's original specs. once again, i cheated on my commitment to play it (though since it's still an 'eh', i don't even feel bad about it). he knocked it out of the park, and after some ridiculously small adjustments to the profile, he cranked out a full run, sending them off to steve for laser-engraving (he needed to revamp his basement exhaust system to accommodate the ash and dust). i should receive the lot of them in a few days, and will set about the task of assembling them, tuning them, hand-twisting some type-10 cotton string for them, and packaging them.

with any luck, they should be available at yoyoexpert by the 1st week of december. my plan is to update this blog with the link as soon as it is live, along with the initial facebook thread i made asking if anyone was interested.

even after the flying v and the ronin, this is the most excited i've ever been about sharing a yo-yo with the larger community. this year will be inextricably linked in my mind with the 'eh'. it's been in my pocket every day. when i think about it, i've spent MUCH more time playing it than any other yo-yo. it's soaked up my sweat, and i've taken a few of its splinters. i struck out on this journey with the intention of transforming a certain yo-yo into an extension of my hand, and there's been no option but to succeed. time will do that. the yo-yo has developed a more obvious patina, it's left its mark on me as well.

a lot of people have asked me 'what's next', but i have no resolutions in the works. i, myself am vexed when i think about NOT carrying the 'eh' around all day. having a ronin or flying v in my pocket again (or that new ranchero calling my name - yum) just seems so foreign a concept, like cheating on a spouse or something. i've had to "practice" not being tempted to play other yo-yo's to the extent that the habit is ingrained. in the end, though, i think i'll manage. while it's great to develop a sense of "relationship" to the instrument you play... attachment is still attachment. and it ain't no good.

regardless of how much time we've shared, i feel that i SHOULD be able to give the 'eh' away to someone come january just like i'd give away any other yo-yo. it would be tough, and i feel like that's an emotional response that needs some exploration down the road.

for now though, i'm happy (and very excited) to be at this stage. i feel simultaneously very connected to the yo-yo i've been throwing and ready to apply what the past year has done for me to my other spinning toys.

here's a new video which deals with my perspective near the end of this adventure.

No comments: