Thursday, March 31, 2005

Everything I know about history and literature, I learned here:

<>Actually, this quiz is totally lame, but I'll take any excuse to put Iron Maiden here.

Iron Maiden
You're Iron Maiden! Developing from punk roots, and
now with Bruce Dickenson back on ship, you're
still the leading British Heavy Metal band.
Form has greatly slipped as of late, however,
even your new three guitar onslaught with the
returning Adrian Smith just isn't as impressive
as it used to be. \m/ rating of 7

Which Legendary Heavy Metal Band Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Friends aren't just for dogs anymore

<>A few days ago, I wrote a little bulletin about stupid people on Myspace. Specifically, about people acquiring "friends" and then commenting on them without even taking a cursory glance past the main photo. (In that case, it was a guy selling car stuff getting hit on by guys who were just looking at the main photo of a model, despite the very clear profile description everywhere else)

John responded by forwarding me a message some knucklehead sent to HIS DOG. Something about how great/hot/whatever she was, and how happy he was that she was still has friend, and would love to take pictures of her sometime. (this guy is a "glamour" photographer, or whatever. What he wants with rat-sized dog, I do not even want to imagine. Wait, on second thought, my imagination of it is pretty funny.)

Last night he offered to be my friend, ostensibly because he perused my profile, read my thought-provoking essays, and believes we share interests, and possibly could have witty repartee?

Generally, I’d just say “deny,” but John’s dog made me want to experience the stupidity for myself. If this guy will try to sell a photo shoot to a Chihuahua, I must know what’s in store for me! Michael Vincent Photography, sign me up!

John Foley (ape)

Man, you couldn't have written this without blasting Dugans? That was cold. The Chinese have shredded what was left of your soul.

Posted by John Foley on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 8:12 AM

Rebecca: Where did I blast Dugans?

I mean, unless you're seriously going to let her sign up for those slutty pics. C'mon, step in and be a parent for once. NO SLUTTY PHOTOS. Or you're grounded.

Posted by Rebecca on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 8:13 AM

dugans fife

i think i look good naked.

Posted by dugans fife on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 10:25 AM

Rebecca: Apparently, so does Michael Vincent
Posted by Rebecca on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 10:25 AM

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter Morning

<>I’d like to say we went to Mt. Tam and watched the sun rise, but really it was more like we got there, as the sun rose, and didn’t feel like hiking to the real vantage-point.

It’s my fault really. After 4 hours of not-really-sleeping, we woke up at 3 and I proceeded to pump myself (and my bag and raingear, when my thermos barfed) full of coffee.

Met with the SFMC folks and I drank a little more coffee. There’s my mistake. When I realized that I ought to have gone to the bathroom before I left, I could only think that it would take me twenty minutes, with all the gear I was wearing. Ugh. So we just hop on bikes and start through the City. This is one of the best parts of the ride, because, really, there’s not a lot of traffic at 4 in the morning on a Sunday. But there are a lot of hills. A few years ago people thought my dirtbike lust was odd, but now it just looks like one of the pack. A big pack. A pack taking the hillcrest at every block as a wheelie or jump. (not me, of course) Wheeee!

On to the bridge, into Marin, off the freeway, stop at the gas station. I really had to pee, and last year we spent quite a while at the gas station before heading up the hill. So, yeah, I was in the bushes when the group I came with headed out. And so the sky was beginning to show light before we approached the top. We were going slow, but I’m not so interested in passing on a ride like this. With all those riders, it could easily become a clusterfuck, and to what end? It’s quite beautiful, the darkness with a line of red lights twisting up through the hills.

So, yeah, by the time we got there the sun was already coming up. Just a few minutes of darkness, and then the people around us came into focus. Drank some coffee, talked some smack, and looked out over the fog and hills and cities below. This view is stunning, sunrise or no.

Two crashes that I know of coming up the hill, and probably more on the way down. We made our way down around 7am I think, and back into the City to the SFMC where we’d been invited to their pancake breakfast. After a few minutes there we decided to leave, because the last thing I need is to spend my day reeking of cigarettes. I do not understand why someone would want to smoke at 7am before breakfast. So icky. Breakfast at Bugaloo’s was OK.

Spent a few hours at my house, working on my dress (for my brother’s wedding next week) while Paul napped peacefully on the couch. Then to San Jose to see my family for Easter. My raingear was coffee-soaked, so I left it. Which was really dumb. The ride home Sunday evening ranged from sprinkling to pouring. And windy. Everyone’s favorite combination.

Sunday morning I spoke with a new SV owner, who ACTUALLY ADMITTED THE SV’s SUCKINESS. Incredible. I feel like everyone who buys one of these things is in intense denial. “It’s not that bad” seems to be a common sentiment. (imagine if people described their marriages that way) Well, if just saying that over and over makes it true, please explain why I see SO many SV’s with crash scars. Seriously, take a count. Matt had pretty much the same experience as me. “Great little engine, horrible handling.” He also freely admitted the whole headshake thing in corners and over bumps. This little headshake made me stack hard last year, and I’d at least like to know that people are experiencing this problem and making solutions. I know everyone likes to be in love with their bike, particularly one they just bought. I honestly wouldn’t have guessed that I could *not* be in love with my motorcycle, but here it is, and admitting the problem is the first step to a solution, eh? Something I need to deal with, AFTER China. Or at least after Italy.

Charles: i'm sick of hearing your whining. SV. Set a price, I will sell it for you. You have already psyched yourself into a dislike of it, the only answer is to sell it. Sell it now. Stop whining, unload it. Get another bike.

Just like Jack and his XR. After his crash, he does not like it. Same Ting, sell it. Replace it with something else

Posted by Charles on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 at 11:40 AM

Rebecca: After you sell the girlfriend you keep whining about.
Posted by Rebecca on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 at 11:41 AM

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Culture of Life and Death

<>You can’t really believe this isn’t a political issue.
I mean, it shouldn’t be. But it is. It’s been turned into one, and that’s why you’re hearing about it.
I’m appalled that it’s being billed as a right-to-life issue. Does any one of those people really believe that they would want that for themselves? This has nothing to do with a so-called “culture of life.” It’s about an issue some people thought would polarize us more, and bring more conservatives on board. And maybe it did, but I don’t think it’s coming out the way they wanted. Turns out, the vast majority think Schiavo should be let go. Including Republicans and Democrats, church-goers or not.

I’m lucky that my parents already know not to keep me on that kind of life support like that. We’ve had a lot of talks, and even some things in writing, some hard decisions made, who will be in charge, make decisions for you? Funnily, most of us chose my sister for that task. I don’t even understand all the terms and variations of life-support and states of life and consciousness. Who cares? Technology will change those rules. The important thing is the quality of life.

I can’t say I was lucky exactly, but maybe in a way, that I learned a lot about dying from my aunt a couple of years ago. It was around this time (March 29th, 2003) that she finally passed away. Carol had been an activist for cancer and death and dying issues for years; when it came for her, it seemed a little too suitable. She knew the stages and all the things the doctors should have had to tell her. She would only allow laughing in her hospital room. She had my grandparents bring her peanut butter and vegetables that the nurses would keep for her. There wasn’t talk about when she was going to get better, all the things we’d do. Why lie?

Later, she was released from the hospital and sent home to my grandparents’ house. Why stay in the hospital? Just so the nurses are there to drag your life as long as possible? She was moved into the ground floor bedroom and spent the last several weeks there. Getting around a bit, running out of breath all the time. Her lungs were failing her at the same time that the ovarian cancer attacked her. One night an ambulance was called to revive her. She made her sisters promise never to do that again. Ambulances and hospitals are harsh things. Even the gentlest nurse or the coziest hospital bed, it’s not your family and home. It’s not restful. It’s not where you want to live or die. Mary was chosen to be Carol’s decision maker and guardian. She was most available and able. Carol had plans for her funeral, she probably had had them for years. She wanted to be buried in a pine box, a very simple casket, in her bicycling clothes. She had an Emily Dickinson poem chosen for her prayer cards. She dyed her hair bright green since it would fall out anyway. She counseled those who grieved early. She laughed at her death, on its way. All of this under my grandparents’ roof.

The time came and no ambulance was called. We were all on our way from various parts of the state anyway, to see my cousin’s daughter in a local play. Carol held on as long as she could, but when we got there, she was gone. When we came into the house it was a little quieter than usual and most of the people were in Carol’s room, some on the bed next to her, some in the chairs, waiting with Carol. People trickled in and out and hushed. We ate a talked a little. And finally, my grandmother thought that she should call someone from the mortuary. Things became a little painful when they arrived, as my grandmother became distraught that she couldn’t find her shoes to walk out with the body, and flitted around the back of the house not knowing what she was supposed to do. “I should go out with them. That’s my baby. Shouldn’t I? Should I? What am I supposed to do?”

I don’t know what a mother is supposed to do when her daughter gets carried away.

It’s probably one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced.

But it happens. My grandparents learned volumes from Carol. She guided them lovingly through the dying process, and made us all better people.

Carol’s death touched hundreds or maybe thousands of people. She’d been very active with cancer patients and survivors, hospice care, the deaf community, and lately Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation. I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was about 13 years between her breast cancer and the ovarian cancer/pulmonary fibrosis that final killed her. She had inspired thousands, and touched millions through her work. If you have cancer or are close to someone who does, you are probably benefiting from her work. My grandmother received emails and letters from strangers all over the place, condolences and stories of her impact on their lives. A woman none of us knew came to her funeral because she had met Carol when she herself had breast cancer and didn’t know what to do.

If you haven’t talked with your family about your wishes for your death, do it now. It’s an uncomfortable discussion. It’s a complicated one. At the very least, name someone whose judgement you trust, to make those decisions for you. I don’t think there’s a person on the planet who would choose to be kept on a life support system for 15 years as a vegetable. It’s no good for the person who’s dying, and it’s even worse for the people who love them.

I want to make my own “culture of life,” and it sure as hell doesn’t include laying unconscious in a bed for 15 years. I’ll live my life now, thank you very much. When it comes time for me, my family know to pull the plug. I’m an organ donor, and I want to be cremated. I know there will be songs and drinking at my funeral. You can cry, but there should be some laughter too. If anyone wants to know, I had a blast.


<>Charles: don't croak too soon. I still need you around. But, you are right, don't keep me alive with a tube up my kiester, pumping it in and out. If I can't feel my penis, pull the plug on me.

but YOU! better be around. I wanna get so drunk I piss myself at your wedding, and I wanna be the first to barf on the floors in your next home.

i think I am about to lose my office betting pool. I put my money on the Pope going before Terri.
Posted by Charles on Monday, March 28, 2005 at 8:40 AM

Freakishly, I suspect the pope has another month in him. I have no idea why. By all counts, he ought to have gone off by now. I'm a little perturbed that he's clinging so to his life. I mean, what is he afraid of? Doesn't he have himself all spiritually in order? Does he doubt his afterlife?

Anyway, I'll be in Rome soon, so I'm partially wishing to hit it at a really interesting time. Maybe I could go see the smoke signals and all that.

Posted by Rebecca on Monday, March 28, 2005 at 10:04 AM

Monday, March 21, 2005

Amador to Dakar to, um, King City?

<>So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thingy.
Is it boring to say I’ve been busy?
Last weekend we rode up to gold rush country, Amador County, Sutter Creek to be exact. Turned out that my folks were also there, so it was a neat little convergence on my grandparents’ house. It was wonderful to see them. My grandma took out some old pictures of my mom when she was probably my age or slightly younger. Neat stuff. Sunday Paul and I tooled around on our motorcycles through the little towns and country roads. Could have spent a few days doing that, but just had a few hours. The roads up there are wonderful. Hardly any potholes, very little traffic, and the scenery is incredible. Rolling green hills and layers of far off fog, cows and goats and chickens, ponds, barns, little spurts of flowers in tiny twisting creeks. Yeah. Timing was perfect, and we stopped off at Daffodil Hill, which was just in bloom. A few acres of daffodils, peacocks, chickens, and a donkey and rabbit. Nice. Rode a bit more, found some fun historical landmark plaques, and then headed home again.

-The SV tires track atrociously on rain grooves. I have to remember never to buy tires with tread lines going around the tire parallel to the rain groove. I almost pulled over to pull the thing apart on the way to Sutter Creek, I was so sure there was something wrong.-

Thursday we went to see the SFMC meeting, and Paul was nice enough to let me ride on the back so I could drink some stout. And drink I did.

Friday we went to Saha , a little nice-ish restaurant near my place. We’ve been there three times now, and like it rather well. I recommend it. But check that they’re open before you go, since we’ve been disappointed at least twice by their schedule or a rental. The food is delicious. The wait staff is friendly, but kind of ditzy. They brought me something totally different from what I ordered, but it was delicious. Chocolate cake was omigod. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

Saturday we went back to SFMC for a slideshow presentation by a guy who did the Dakar rally. It was a really neat talk and the photos of the guy’s bike with the front wheel suddenly sunken into the sand (on several occasions, apparently, with a trip over the handlebars each time) were really fun. Wish I could have stayed to chat with all the folks who came out of the woodwork, but we had to go eat.

Yesterday I unfortunately caught wind of some stupid bad idea endurance rally. I say unfortunately because now I really want to go. Really really. And of course it’s a bad idea. I have a 400 single dirtbike, and my aim here is to do 1000 miles in 24 hours and get points and whatnot. My boyfriend is way more reasonable than I, and trying valiantly to talk me out of it. I suppose it’s mainly because I am pained by the fact that I can’t do the Sheetiron this year, but I’m stubbornly interested in this.

1.) Seattle
2.) Italy
3.) China
4.) Stupid Bad Idea Endurance Rally

Open to other stupidity after that.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

To be fair, I have to admit this

Current mood: embarrassed for all of us

Some of my friends are morons.
I know this because I get a lot of stupid bulletins.
I'm not talking about the funny stupid ones. (surveys, etc.)
I'm not even referring to the boring stupid ones. ("how old are you? Repost.")
Really, not even the incredibly annoying, but on-point ones (like the 5,000 announcements for Rocket I got that one time)

But the paranoid "Women, watch out for men spraying perfume," "Women, deoderant causes breast cancer," "Republicans are sneaking the draft back," chain letters and "virus warnings" and other shit, um.
I'm sorry, you are a dumbass.
When was SNOPES introduced?
And, please, since you've forwarded me a million of these "forward to ten people and your crush will call you tomorrow" things, I mean, tell me honestly, how many times did it actually come true? You've forwarded them enough to come up with a number by now.

I'd say you know who you are, but odds are, you don't.

John Foley (ape)

I love you.

Posted by John Foley on Thursday, March 10, 2005 at 10:52 PM



Ok, guilty of re-posting a realllllllllllly annoying & DUMB chain mail on occassion, but the sheer multitude of them posted in bulletins on here is....sad.

Oh & HEY!!! I haven't talked to ya in a while, grrl...Dirk is in town--you should come see him in SF.

Ciao sweetie : )

Posted by Ka'ryn on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at 1:43 PM

Friday, March 04, 2005

It would be cheaper to get a penthouse at The Venetian

<>I suddenly realized last Thursday that I needed to get this trip to Italy planned. It became pretty clear on Friday that my mother was way too busy even think about it, so I took on the hotel search and stuff. Rome and Venice have consumed me all week. It took many hours, sifting through so many fucked up websites… ugh. I want to kill the asshole that invented Flash websites. Just give me the goddam info already!

Italy is fucking expensive. You could very easily spend upwards of $350/night on a ONE star hotel room there. Anyone who was expecting souvenirs, or telling us how great the food was going to be there, um, sorry. We’re not buying anything, and we can’t afford to eat either. Thanks Mr. Bush, for that Strong Dollar you keep talking about. At least admit it.
Anywhoo, I’m still not oriented in Florence (three nights there) or the Tuscany countryside (four nights there), so if anyone has input, please let me know.

And the trains, if you can clearly explain the trains to me, it would be a godsend.

We plan to arrive Rome (8am), get on a train to go up the coast, probably Pisa or somewhere like that, rent a car, and drive into the countryside (wherever we determine to stay, any ideas?). Spend four nights there, with the car, to make day trips to various things in that area.
Drive to Venice, dump the car, and stay in Dorsoduro for four days. Room is booked.
Train to Florence (But HOW?) , stay there for three nights. No hotel yet, any suggestions for cool areas or hotels?
Train to Rome. Apartment booked in Travestere for four nights.
Fly home.

Help! I can’t figure out if I’m supposed to buy a train pass, or individual tickets, and if so, do I buy now or when I’m there?

Last night I watched a movie called The Control Room. I highly recommend this movie to everyone. It’s a great look at the media coverage in the Iraq war and Al Jazeera in particular. Netflix has it. There are some really stupendous hairdo's in this movie too. Go forth and see the rest of the world.

John Foley (ape)

Poor baby. Having trouble getting your posh European vacation to go the way you want? Sounds like Bush's fault to me too. I blame him for my huge nostrils.

Posted by John Foley on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 at 2:01 PM

Rebecca: uh, yeah.

I'm travelling POSH, was totally the point of my blog.

Posted by Rebecca on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 at 2:11 PM