Saturday, January 24, 2004

motorcycles and "safety"

One of my coworkers looked very surprised, when, about two hours after getting hit by a car, I said, I was not giving up motorcycling.

People seem to assume that once we have a fall or two, we'll come around and see the truth: "motorycles are dangerous!" "gee, what was I thinking?" Like it was a phase we went through.


The whole design af car "safety" these days is gearing toward treating driving like playing bumper cars. Safety now means, to most drivers, that their car will smash whatever they bump into, and make little air cushions to soften the blow. That is not "safety." That is "minimizing damage." To YOURSELF. By the way, in all aspects of life, I find it an honorable personality trait when a person looks out for those smaller than themselves. Cagers, do not seem to value this trait. Watch the next mention of "safety features" in an SUV commercial. Seriously, WTF? I truly think that cars should be engineered to be more dangerous to their own passengers. Some of the consequences needs to be shifted back to those who want to shirk their responsibility.

Safety features are turn signals, good visibility (minimizing blindspots), mirrors, good lighting, etc... Then you've got good driving skills, awareness, head checks, understanding of basic laws and physics. THOSE are the things we ought to talk about when we talk safety. And, by the way, I have all of those things on a motorcycle.

The doctor I saw yesterday apparently used to ride, had two bad accidents, and gave it up. He urged me to consider giving it up. He tells me that he came to the realization that even through someone else's fault, he could lose the ability to do the things he wanted to do. (In his case, yoga, meditating, dancing, running) And that I should consider that I might lose the ability to do the things I love to do.

I smiled and thanked him and went on my way.

Cold dead hands. That's when I'll give it up.

There's quality of life here. Almost every good memory I think of in the past few years involves motorcycles. My goals for the next year? All involve motorcycles. 99% of my close friends are motorcyclists. People ask me about my job? I tell them, "I go to work, they give me money, I turn it into motorcycles."

I have no idea what life would have turned out like without motorcycles. Maybe I'd be a cager, beating up on those smaller than myself. Sitting in traffic, veins popping out of my head (patience has never been a strong point for me).

I am not afraid of motorcycles. My motorcycles have never hurt me. It's the fucking cagers that hurt me.

Friday, January 23, 2004

earth, sky, earth, sky, earth, sky, no ambulance

I got hit by a car this morning (thursday morning).
Bike: toast. R.I.P. Regardless of how I felt about that bike, it broke my heart to see her spewing fluids and rolled away, knowing she'll never run for me again.
Me: walking. Getting stiffer by the moment. Taking Friday off, going to doctor.

wanted to post in more detail earlier, but myspace was down all day, again... grrr.
Maybe tomorrow. Call my cell, I'm feeling sorry for myself. I need rides, and ice cream.

I need a helper monkey chauffer.

aaaa, I should sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Voodoo IRS Dirtbike Magic

I've been telling myself all week I was gonna get out to a club tonight, git my drink on, actually dress like a girl again, raise hell, stay out late, wahoo! remember those days? shit... but now that I've come in from Zeitgeist, I seem to have lost my steam, and since my W2's shown up, I may stay in and do my taxes. how... responsible.
I fear I am getting really fucking old.

Maybe I can balance out the responsible-ness of it by getting REALLY ripped, and THEN doing my taxes?
Maybe it's time to bring out the tiki bar in a shaker I got for my birthday. A little flamingo could go a long way.

I'm crossing my fingers and praying that my W2's roll up into new dirtbike wheels...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

torque, and my growing impatience

Just got back from the South Bay. No sleep in sight, too much coffee. How much wine does it take to counteract two cups of coffee and two shots of espresso? And an apple crisp?

Met up with MNR for a ride to movie night--- Torque.
This movie would have just been a rental, had it not been for the chance to see it Mystery Science Theater-style with about fifteen other motorcyclists. (and some random goth chick, but you can't have everything) Mayhem before the movie led to popcorn and rootbeer everywhere, a boot in the face, and a broken armrest. I thought Texans would have better manners than that? Isn't there some sort of "southern gentleman" clause in your contract?

Highlights of this movie include:
harleys that actually run
a goth chick with a drooling problem who likes to rub herself against the walls of men's restrooms
quick release exhaust cans for melee weapons
bikini bike wash (I really need to find one. My bike is filthy)
Sportbikes that turn into dirtbikes whenever they get near dirt. (This is my DREAM bike.)
the most realistic thing in the whole movie- a thong shot
the line "what is it about driving cars that makes you all such assholes?"
People having sex with their helmets ON. I've always thought guys look better with their gear on. I see a bike go by, it's sexy. But if same guy comes back and takes his helmet off... disappointment 90% of the time. Don't make me reach for the paper bag.

after the movie, most of us went to Denny's for PIE. mmmmm, PIE...

As a complete side note, I've noticed that I've become increasingly impatient with people over the past few months. With a few exceptions, I'm less and less willing to wait for people or chase them down. I know this is California, and I keep hearing that in California, everyone is flaky. But, I am a native Californian (yes, there are a few of us floating around), and I am not flaky.

But I'm tired of waiting. So if you're not suited up and ready to go, you'd better know a shortcut, or you'd better be quick enough to catch the fuck up. Or maybe you didn't really want to ride after all.
(I'm not really just talking about riding, just everything in general.)

Figure your shit out. And THEN call me, or don't. But I'm leaving, either way.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

rampage failed!

Did something very silly yesterday, Charles came to the city and we went and got a Playstation 2 and Vice City. Spent the day kicking hookers in the crotch and beating up cops to take their patrol cars. Also wheelied and crashed a lot of motorcycles and did a couple of drive-bys. Omigod, it could be months before I emerge from my apartment for anything other than work.
By the early evening, we had finished a bottle of wine and headed out to a tiki bar in North Beach. Where I requested "something that will poke me in the eye when I drink it." Although we ordered the same drink, charles did not get an umbrella. I'm still a little bitter about that. Two fruity drinks and much shit-talking later, the bar had become crowded and we headed to Crowbar. And drank midori sours, blech.

just had breakfast with some of the vampires. And though there are many things I "should" be doing, I think I'm gonna spend the rest of the day crashing cars and stealing motorycles and beating up drunks...

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

gonna git mahself edumacated

Every time I get one of those City College catalogues in the mail I think it would be really cool to take a class. Sometimes I pick classes I'm interested in, once I even got so far as to go through the admissions online process.

Well, this time I've actually signed up, and starting tomorrow, those of you who have been wondering where the hell am I will have 6 more hours a week of wondering what the hell ever happened to me (Tuesday and Thursday nights). Plus homework, and I have no idea what that might entail.

When i registered, it seemed so far away, but it's crept up on me.

It was nice knowing you all. See you in May.

Sunday, January 11, 2004


Just in from work tonight.
Spent the day on the bike. I'd forgotten how nice a ride in bad weather could be. Very foggy on 9 today. Yes, the road was sopping wet, yes, my bike slipped on wet tar snakes in the corners. Sometimes the visibility was only a hundred feet or less, but, man, I love Highway 9 in the fog. It's so beautiful. Everything looks so new and mysterious and magical, some sort of secret world that most people don't get out to see. (stay home, stay in bed, and watch TV!) I could see the water evaporating from the pavement as I rode through sunny patches. Stopped on the side to look out over a valley of fog, with an odd tree or top of a hill floating in the clouds. Roads were mostly empty. "not motorcycling weather."

Got my ass in gear around 11:00, late for me, but, I was out drinking last night.
Shot down south, with the intention of taking skyline into the hills, but ick, nothing but fog. I've done skyline in thick fog enough times, it doesn't get any better until 84, and that's on a good day.
Went into Mountain View. Best coffee in the Bay Area, that I know of (any suggestions?), tried to decide whether I'd gamble on the fog clearing on the other side of the hill. I gambled, it worked out well. The fog didn't really clear until past the Big Basin turn off, but the ride was great anyway. Ran into Keith at perg's, drank more caffeine, went to eat hippie food, came back through the hills, more coffee, up to the city to go to work.
Now I'm just trying to counteract the mass amounts of caffeine I've had over the course of the day with a really large glass of wine. need... sleep...

Friday, January 09, 2004

my day without myspace

It hurt a little at first, but then I got used to it.
Wow, I can be so productive when I'm not being hypnotized by that glowing, throbbing "online now" thingy.

Had beer, in a BAR, picked up some of the mess in my house, read mail, "studied my investments" (OK, I read my 401K statement for once.), sat through several articles on sewing, had some more vivid fantasies about my new wheels (that don't exist yet).
Did dishes and tried to come up with a plan to get my vacuum cleaner out of the closet.

And ate cheese.

I really need to get out more.

Tonight, my goal is to generate a hangover. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

one of those silly surveys

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
Rode my motorcycle through a creek. (I sucked, but it was fun.)
Went on a Poker Run with a bunch of Harleys (big suck.)
Went to a climbing gym. (big suck.)
Yoga. (meh.)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't believe in New Year's resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
And wheelies.

7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don't remember dates, but I'll never forget crossing into Nevada on a dirt road.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing the Sheetiron.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing sewing projects.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Lost my voice for about a week.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new gas tank.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My aunt Carol, in her illness and death.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My own, at times.
George Bush's, at all times.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Followed by my motorcycle.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My motorcycle, the Sheetiron, the ride to Burning Man, Grand Theft Auto, being single again.

16. What songs/bands will always remind you of 2003?
Jimmy Luxury, and that eminem song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Happier. I have a less abusive boss.

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?
Richer. Since I paid off one of my credit cards.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Riding, sewing, seeing friends and family.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Watching TV and looking at the internet.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Visiting family, drinking.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
Only with my motorcycle.

23. How many one night stands?
None, strictly speaking.

24. What were your favourite TV programs?
The Simpsons, and a documentary I saw about the Tom Ammiano write-in campaign.

26. What was the best book you read?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Jimmy Luxury

28. What did you want and get?
I'm not at liberty to discuss that.

29. What did you want and not get?
Wheels! But I will get them, soon...

30. What was your favourite film(s) of this year?
The Magdelene Sisters. I didn't see that many movies though. But that one was pretty damn good.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went drinking with my sister and her husband at various places on Haight Street. Turned 26.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Paying off more debts.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
Corporate boring, interspersed with vinyl and latex moments.

34. What kept you sane?
My motorcycle and Charles.

35. Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
Rob Zombie.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
All of them. Pretty much everything that's come out of the Bush Administration and the associated loss of civil rights and privacy, the invasion, the lies, ummm, yeah. Everything. But what bugs me the most is the idea that so many people swallow it, and that it will probably be re-elected.

37. Who did you miss?
Someone I knew briefly who was creative and full of life and loved me, but I had to push out of my life at the time.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I haven't met any new people this year who play important roles in my life. But I did re-meet Mia, who has generously overlooked my earlier nastiness, and is an incredibly sweet girl.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003.
Get on the gas, or fall on your ass.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"motor oil, and gasoline. ride."

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Baby's First Wheelie

Went to Hollister Hills on Sunday with a dirt riding class thingy. After the first two drills, I cut class to go play in a nearby area with a big bump. I couldn't deal with how crowded the little circle was with the other riders, and since I figured at least half of them were as bad at dirt riding as I am, it seemed pretty damned perilous to be so close to them.

Ah, but nearby, there was a area with a bunch of wide trails (kind of flat and open) and a big bump. Jack tells me we're going to pop my wheelie cherry. Good luck! People always tell me they can teach me to wheelie, but no luck. (sometimes I think people vastly overestimate my coordination and riding abilities) After a few times of riding back and forth to show me how, Jack stood on the side and gave me points and cheers. Back and forth over this little hill, and I finally made little wheelies! Tiny, really, like an inch or two, but it's something. I think I even got a couple that were a healthy foot or so.

Chicks dig me now.

Now if only I can get it up a little farther, and on the street, I can totally pick up on stupid coffee shop boys! Awesome!

Things I learned by cutting class:
I'm almost as cool as normal people, who can all apparently wheelie.
When I brake hard I hear a clanking noise.
And it's fun to lock up the rear. When it's intentional.
And also, I crash good. woot.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Begin obligatory New Year's reflection:

So last night I was working at New Wave City for New year's Eve. This works out well, I have no interest in New Wave Music, and I have no real interest in New Year's Eve. Generally speaking, I don't really care for the drinking-holidays: St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, etc. This is when all the amateur drinkers come out and yell "woooooHoooo!!!!" while they stumble down the street and then puke on each other. They're like Christmas and Easter Catholics. While the rest of us are drinking regularly, finely honing our drinking skills, they just show up for the holidays and annoy. Besides, there's so much pressure to have "fun" on NYE, you wouldn't believe the stress some of the people had last night trying to get everything right.

I mean to enjoy every day. There are no scheduled good days.

This year, I travelled very little, but did some really incredible things. On my dirtbike. The things that stood out were the Sheetiron 300 Dual Sport ride and my ride out to the Nevada Desert on my dirtbike. Both were incredible experiences. I'm surrounding myself with images of these trips and posting them in profiles not because I'm some great dirt rider. Actually, I'm a really stinky dirt rider, and I'm terrified of the dirt. But these are images of the person I want to be. And I'm looking for the people who will help me become this person, by helping with their experience, or just joining for the journey.

Oh, and there was a bunch of other stuff over the year: I went to New York for work, and Seattle with my family. I've been working at a new job since last January. New York was fun, I got to spend two and a half extra days there by myself, just walking around. Seattle is one of my favorite towns. I really wish money and vacation time allowed for more travel there.

Burning Man was a shortened trip this year. I have little vacation time at the new job, and I'm hoping to horde enough for a trip to Ireland in the next year or so. I rode the dirtbike to Nevada this time, and took a different route (not the slab of 80) which was led by another charles on a BMW. The CA section up to Orosville is just the same as the long straight freeways connecting the rest of the state, but once we passed Orosville, we quickly reached an incredibly perfect twisty highway. Perfect pavement, greenery, rivers, waterfalls, little bridges, and tunnels cut from the rock... it was absolutely stunning. Reminded me of all the family trips around California from when I was little. Living here all of my life, I largely forget how beautiful this state really is. We stopped for lunch in Susanville, and dropped over to a 60 mile dirt road which led us to about 10 miles north of Gerlach. With Charles out of my sight ahead of me, there was NOTHING and NO ONE to be seen for miles along this bumpy dirt road. This is also where I learned that my new street tires (gripsters) did not like to be taken above 60mph in the dirt. They reacted violently several times. I did not fall off, but got a good scare. When we arrived at the gas station with the rest of the burners, I was bouncing off the walls with delight and grinning wildly. What a great ride! Oh, yeah, Burning Man was cool too.

Earlier in the year, my aunt passed away from cystic fibrosis and ovarian cancer. It's been a bittersweet year. About fifteen years ago, she taught us what cancer really meant, and has touched thousands of lives in the time since. This year she taught us how to die. No one could have done it better. Carol had nothing in this life worth noting: no money, crappy job, crappy car, and people treated her poorly in restaraunts because she didn't look like much. But the world is just a little smaller now that she has gone. A master of the poison pen letter as well as self-sacrifice, she's my patron saint of being a royal pain in the ass when the world needs to be changed, and of being simple, loving, and open at the same time. I hope to find a little of her strength and wonder. We blew bubbles at her funeral.

Before Mr. Bush invaded Iraq, I got the immense pleasure of marching in San Francisco with a couple hundred thousand other people in San Francisco, next to my grandfather and mother. It felt really good. Although it looks like another year of bad behavior from our governments, I was and am still touched by the millions of people who come together all over the globe. Threat levels, extra security, and a rollback of civil rights will not stop terrorism. The only answer is to try to understand the hatred, and address the underlying issues. I think the people of the world mostly understand this, but we need to teach our governments. If I have a new years resolution, it will be to make a gesture to make the world a better place, once a week, attend a meeting, write a letter, plant a seed...

Peace and joy in the new year and every day...