I had planned to use this space to say something clever, but last night, I ate my weight in Sour Patch Kids and pulled an all-nighter watching rally videos on YouTube. Tired? Yes. But I'm also Jalopnik's newest contributing writer.
My name is Sam Smith. How did I get here? Why is my brain so fried? What the hell was I doing with a garbage bag full of candy in my house yesterday, and how did I manage to go through all of it in one sitting? What does a titanic sugar crash feel like on no sleep whatsoever? More important, which YouTube videos did I watch, and were they any good?
1. Me: I'm a writer. Always have been, always will be, always wanted to be. By way of illustration, I have four memories of my life before the age of six. Two of them involve weird old British cars, one has me sticking a piece of chocolate-chip cookie up my nose in the back seat of a BMW 2002, and one centers around being told to "put that lousy book away and pay attention" during first-grade math. (Predictably, I cannot balance my checkbook but possess an extensive library of vintage car books.) Five years later, I discovered Peter Egan, Gay Talese, and Ayrton Senna, and my life changed forever.
2. Candy Overdose and Sleep Dep: It feels like the music of Warren Zevon, were the music of Warren Zevon wrapped around a gold brick, attached to the front of a speeding fire truck, and hosed down with the juice of a hundred lemons. Then the sugar wears off and you want to die. (The sensations are similar, but your teeth ache and the whole world smells like Lemon Pledge.) Oddly enough, a good long week of margaritas seems to accomplish the same thing.
3. The videos: Yes, the videos rocked. (Try searching for "Ari Vatanen Climb Dance," but don't do it if you've got someplace to be.)
My road here was a long and twisted one. I've done time as an Alfa Romeo mechanic, helped edit a major car magazine in southeast Michigan (Sam's talking about Automobile Magazine. — Ed.), and held an amateur racing license for most of the past decade. I live in San Francisco but grew up in the Midwest, which means that I miss driving in the snow and occasionally freak out when I can't find good barbecue. I have an unhealthy attachment to rally racing, weird old motorcycles, German film cameras, and the BMW E30 M3. I learned to drive in a car with a crash gearbox, and I love the smell of bourbon. I have a tendency to pay for things in nickels, but I hate change.
I'm happy to be here. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap.
Photo Credit: Andrew Yeadon/Automobile Magazine