Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I can see into my future: broken computer, lots of ramen noodles

I’ve been talking about wanting to get a new computer since they introduced the Mini Macs a few months ago. Now, I really always figured I’m too poor to buy a new computer, but now that the G3 is about 8 years old, it’s been getting a little more pressing. Last night, I thought the monitor had finally given up the ghost. The screen went wonky and just black with a vertical line in the middle, and a squeaky/screechy noise. I restarted it, and it came up with really crappy resolution, and wouldn’t offer any other resolution options. I turned it off, came back later, and it’s back to normal. It’s been making weird little flashes for a while, but I’m just not ready to see it go.

I suspect I’ll need to replace it soon (yeah, I know it’s already way outdated, but I’m a cheap bastard) but as far as I can tell, that’s gonna cost about $1000. Which I don’t have. Well, I do, but that’s not what it’s for.

Financially, my goal right now is to pay down my student loan, and save up for a trip to Isle of Man. Which is getting towards not-possible, since the time is rolling around, and I still have no frame of reference, no concept of a ballpark on the cost. I’m afraid by the time it becomes clear, it will be too late to put any money into it.

I was going through my papers last night and as far as I can tell, I haven’t paid off any of my student loan. This is shit. So that’s the new focus.

Other goals:

Long Term:
Pay off my student loans- best I can guess is that this might take ten years. That sucks, and I need to find a better way.
Invest a lot more in my 401K—can’t happen until after the loan is gone. That sucks too.
More travel-- Australia sounds interesting, as does Spain, Italy, pretty much anywhere…

Isle of Man, Ireland trip-- needs planning, starting with dates, then ferry reservations, hotel/camping reservations, and airline reservations. Transportation in Ireland means finding a bike rental (not easy from what I’m hearing) or learning to drive a car.
Begin learning Mandarin—Paul and I plan to take a city college class this Fall
Christmas—wouldn’t it be nice to actually make instead of buy? Yeah, like that will happen!
More dirt riding!—It’s too hot right now, but it seems like we are close to finally having all the components needed to get our bikes into the dirt. The Sheetiron is non-negotiable. So preparation would be good, when the weather calms down.
Endurocross in Vegas-- Event tickets are already purchased, need to book hotel + air. It's the weekend of November 19th, promises to be a lot of fun, and we'd love more company.

Clean out the shit in my apartment. Realistically, I do not sew any more. It’s sad, but there’s an entire room in my apartment FULL of fabric. I have been loathe to give up all my old stuff, wishing that were still something I had the time, space, and talent for.
And the old bike parts, and the new ones I can’t use, and some clothes, and some books, and some art supplies. Perhaps I ought to make a list of crap and see if anyone I know wants it.

Finish the SV650 project: the bars are not in yet (“sometime this week”) and I need to order gaiters. The scottoiler ought to go on or away.

More micro-movements on what I think matters—I’m killing the MBNA account, on account of, MBNA is the devil. I’m telling the favorite clothing retailer to shove it until their political contributions either go away, or become more representative of the world I want to live in. I’m thanking my bike insurer for being a big Blue contributer. I’m sending Boxer a note now and then. I want to tell Wells Fargo what I think of their new bullshit security service. (where the customer has to pay to monitor THEIR security fuckups!) What’s next…

I used to have a little quote that my mom had left in my Palm Pilot when she handed it over to me, that said something about “ Long term goals are never realized because they never have top priority.” Something like that. What are you doing to make things happen?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Take this bar and shove it.

The one modification I always said I wanted to make to the SV, from the time I bought it, was dirtbike bars. Maybe, I thought, if there were anything I’d change, it would be that. Well, two crashes later, I’ve bent two pairs of bars (one of which I’ve just been riding with despite the bend, for the past several months) and purchased two different replacement bars which ended up being a waste.

First off, (attempt #1: ProTapers, earlier this year) you can’t just buy bars you like and hack them down to the desired width. There isn’t enough space on the un-bent portion to allow that, and still put the controls on.
Secondly, (attempt #2: Renthals, this past week) you probably can’t put dirtbike bars on at all, even if they are an acceptable width to begin with, because there won’t be enough room for your controls. Dirtbikes have less shit on the bars, and the bars are made for that.

Apparently, there are a few bars (since ProTaper and Renthal each make about a million different styles of dirtbike bars) that may work, because there were a lot of people telling me that it was easy, just go buy some dirtbike bars you like, and throw them on. Not that easy!

Got really pissed off about this on Saturday, after realizing that I’d thrown more money away on this fucking project. How did everyone else do it so easily?

Found a cool shop in SF, that has Renthal streetfighter bars. These ought to fit, since theoretically, they are purpose made for streetbikes with streetbike controls. And if I need longer cables, they can help me with that, too. They will get a new shipment of bars this Tuesday, and I will try it out. If it does not work, it’s back to the bent bars, permanently, $300 later, and with nothing to show.

Then barkbusters (already have them, so I hope this works) and gaiters (not purchased yet), and it will be just as I want it. Then someone will steal it. Yay.

All We Need is Eight Tiny Reindeer

Last night I slept very lightly. Every little noise had me waking up and waiting, silently, for the cat door to open. Nothing. What a disappointment. I was promised a visit by a raccoon, and NOTHING.

Berkeley is some sort of wild animal park. These are the characters from this weekend:
1.) Fang. A really loud, fat, cranky, one-eyed cat.
2.) Squeeky. The big stupid boy kitty that lives downstairs. Will put up with any manner of ill treatment for attention.
3.) Fluffy. The little girl kitty downstairs. Scared of her own shadow.
4.) Possum. Ran into the open garage just as we were finished with the downstairs cats. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a giant rat. Just moments earlier, and we could have kept it out of the garage. Possums are really really dumb, but I think they are cute.
5.) Lurking raccoon. In the bushes a few blocks from Paul’s house. Very interactive and curious, but I did eventually scare it off.
6.) Another possum. In the flowers at the house around the corner.
7.) The slutty cat. Lives around the corner, is ridiculously friendly. Threateningly so, almost. She jumps up on you and spastically vies for attention. Also a brawler, when the 3 ½ legged next-door cat comes out.
8.) Mr. Peepers. The diabolical raccoon, who has figured out to break into houses.

No squirrels this weekend, didn’t see the hawk that’s frequently sitting on the telephone poles pooping and squeeking. (I’m just glad the hawk hasn’t been breaking in. The pooping on my bikes is enough trouble.)

So every so often, Paul (and sometimes with me) will come home and find a mess left behind by Mr. Peepers. Cat food, gone. Water, gone, but half splashed out on the floor (Mr. Peepers likes to wash his hands) Muddy raccoon prints everywhere. All over the kitchen, even a few on the refrigerator, and one time, even on the bed. (cute.) Downstairs at the other cats’ food area: same story. It’s funny (like when we could see that the cat had fallen into the toilet because Mr. Peepers trashed her water) and impressive (this raccoon is really smart, to have figured all this out), but it needs to STOP. Mr. Peepers, if you’re reading this, PLEASE stop. Getting hit with a beer bottle a few times didn’t seem to deter him.

I desperately wanted to see this in action, but he’s never come by when I was there. I felt like a kid at Christams, waiting for the noises at the chimney, or cat door, or whatever. Oh, I know, Mr. Peepers can't come unless you're all tucked into bed sleeping, but I get so excited.

I have seen the aftermath, and it’s quite hilarious. But it needs to stop, because the cats could get hurt. Mr. Peepers must be getting awfully big from all the cat food, after all.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Indian Tiki Penguin Goodness

This weekend was pretty great. Friday we wandered around drinking. I finally saw the Starlight Room, but did not go inside (pay? To hang out with those guidos? Uh-uh) And I guess there were other bars and things.

Saturday was totally productive. We went bike-stuff shopping, got a lot of shit we needed, and then went back and changed the oil on four bikes. (All the running bikes. Done) Then started drinking again. There’s a kick-ass Indian place in Berkeley near the Lanesplitter, called Priya. I cannot get enough of this place. One time I saw a cockroach on the wall next to our table, which Paul was nice enough to brush away so I didn’t have to look at it while I was eating. I HATE cockroaches, but I’m not stupid. I know they are everywhere, this restaurant included. I keep eating there. It is SO GOOD. I crave it while I’m at work.

Saturday got better and better, as on the way home, we found the Templebar OPEN. OPEN. We’ve been trying to go back to this place for about a year, and it’s never open. Sometimes the lights are on, but then you get all excited only to find out that the doors are locked. Evil evil shit. Because this is THE coolest bar ever. Tiki at it’s finest. Not in a kitschy way, at least not too purposefully. Not hipster and kitsch. An honest-to-goodness Hawaiian outpost of tiki. The first time we were in, there was a tiki band (with ukes and singing and all that) and the place was fairly crowded. And the people were having a great time and even singing along and dancing in the aisle. Seriously. The bar is a beautiful giant wood thing, and the staff is like three generations of Hawaiian family, from the old guy with the white pompadour to the young lady making the drinks. The drinks? Fabulous blended rummy things with cherries and umbrellas, some in tiki mugs, some not, for CHEAP. I cannot say enough about this place, except that it is NEVER open. So the guy tells me they’re open only Friday and Saturday 5:30-9. (It’s also a restaurant) But they also open at 3 on the first Sunday of the month for some Hawaiian open mic/band/drink festival. They won’t be there for August because there’s a festival in SF that day (at which his band is performing) but, omigod, I really want to go in September.

Then a walk and a drink at Spengers, which is kind of smelly and the bartender has silly facial hair.

Sunday was lazy and involved hiking around downtown SF drinking and stuff.

Monday I went and saw Eyeknife at the Elbo Room. It was great!

Last night we went to Third Thursday at the Academy of Sciences. The chocolate exhibit was so-so, but I had a great time getting drunk and looking at penguins and geckos.

This weekend I hope to get some more bike stuff done, drink some more, and cry a lot about Mark leaving Scuderia. Scuderia is one of the best shops in the City, but I am really going to miss having Mark there to entertain me and help me with my stupid bike shit.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Silence is Golden, but watching movies in your underwear at home is even better

Last night we went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I wanted to not want to see this movie, because I hate going to theaters these days.
Somehow, this seems to puzzle Hollywood: why don’t people want to go to the movies anymore?

1.) It’s too goddam expensive. $10 per ticket. That’s WAY too much, particularly considering #2
2.) You show me ads for like 15 minutes. When did this become OK? I’m not talking about movie trailers, that’s part of the fun of seeing movies in the theater. I’m talking about ads for cars, cellphones, financial services, soda, and the all-time worst: military recruitment. Excuse me? I just paid $10. So that should cover my not having to watch a fucking advertisement. Last I checked, advertisements were a way to subsidize entertainment to make it FREE (see: Television.) So you’re telling me that I ought to pay through the nose to watch commercials? No.
3.) Military advertisements get their own #. If you want to show me this garbage, show me an ad for the Peace Corps also. Or show me pictures of all the dead people our army made, or perhaps a montage of “where are they now” about veterans. Military ads are the worst of pathetic marketing aimed at stupid people. There may be good reason to join the military, but seeing a sensationalized ad in a movie theater is not one of them.
4.) People. This is really the main reason we’d all prefer to stay home, but unfortunately, it’s the one reason that Hollywood can’t easily address. Last night’s audience wasn’t bad, despite it being a little crowded for my tastes. (and despite the fact that the guy sitting next to me jabbed me in the ribs.) But talking, cellphones, people laughing too long and too loud, weird smelly food shit, people climbing in and out during the movie, and the jackass with the plastic bag he keeps rumpling, are the main reasons we don’t want to be in the theater.
5.) The movies mostly suck. By attempting to appeal to everyone, you’ve just bored everyone. I never saw the last two star wars movies, mainly because I didn’t want to pay $10 to sit through 2 hours of special effects and formulaic plotlines. I may be wrong; probably one day I’ll find out, through Netflix. I like a movie where everyone dies in the end. I want to be surprised and occasionally have to think. I want to see some talented art direction, set design, and costuming, I want to feel like I got something personal from the creators. I want to hot chicks and explosions too sometimes, but that’s not enough.

Charlie and the Chocolate factory was great. I don’t really like the remake-everything movement that’s going on in Hollywood right now, and I understand the resistance to this one in particular, being that the first was such a classic and all. But, the reason I wanted to see this after all, was, I suspected that this is the movie Tim Burton was born to make. I love Burton and he has hits and misses. This one is definitely a hit for him. I laughed. I did not cry, which is one of my pre-reqs for a *great* movie. Sappy and predictable, well, I mean, yeah, it IS Charlie and the Chocolate factory. But the musical numbers were OH-so-cool!

Chainsaw murders and gettin' it on

Newsflash: There’s offensive content on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas disc.

“The Parents Television Council, another group that monitors sex and violence in the media, said it was pleased with the rating switch but called on Rockstar to voluntarily recall the game and offer refunds to anyone who purchased it.”

This is utterly fucking ridiculous. This game is nothing BUT offensive. I have it and love it.

The premise of this game is based on killing people and taking their money, picking up on girls, stealing cars, going to strip clubs, etc. That is all fine, but SEX? We just can’t handle that. If anything ought to offend us, shouldn’t it be all the violence? Sex is, after all, a completely natural thing, and it is the very thing that created these children we are somehow protecting. By allowing them to waste gang members and cops, with guns and chainsaws, but not allowing them to see sex.

I can’t see how these people could say this with a straight face. If anyone wants a refund because they’ve found out there’s sex in the game, these people oughtn’t to have the game in the first place. They certainly oughtn’t to have children. Anyone returning this game should return their kids too, because they clearly are shitty parents.

This ISN’T a game for children. If you are worried that your kid might see people getting it on, perhaps you ought to worry that your kid just killed a cop with a chainsaw, then went on a shooting rampage with a stolen motorcycle.

Go fuck yourselves, Parents Television Council. Go learn to parent, rather than blaming the entertainment industry for your shoddy parenting skills.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A song I sometimes sing in my helmet

Posting song lyrics is oh-so lame, perhaps, but sometimes I need to be reminded. Maybe you do too.

Borrowed Time(Dictor- MDC)

You learn a lot in this life
And a bunch you never need to know
Now you're late for a destination
That you didn't choose to go
Walk, run, skip, or fly
Just to hurry up and wait
You can worry if you want to
But it's all sealed in the hands of fate

Broken dreams, I'm living on borrowed time
And I don't want to see it all just slide away
Yes, I could be losing pieces of my mind
But I'm playing it hard 'til my last day

Deal me in another hand
See what the cards say today
Stay in the game until the last draw
Nowhere to go anyway
Learn your lessons well my friends
Live every day like it's your last
We could build a future together
But we can't change the past

Broken dreams, I'm living on borrowed time
And I don't want to see it all just slide away
Yes, I could be losing pieces of my mind
But I'm playing it hard 'til my last day

Just remember this my friends
It ain't the years, it's the miles
There'll be many difficult hurdles
Tribulations and their trials
Smell the flowers, listen to the wind
Don't just take up space
Sometimes you don't see me smiling
But I really do love this place

Broken dreams, I'm living on borrowed time
And I don't want to see it all just slide away
Yes, I could be losing pieces of my mind
But I'm playing it hard 'til my last day

It's a pretty safe bet

that I don't want to talk to the people that call me at 5:22.

Keep trying, buddy; one day, I totally will refinance the mortgage on this place.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Let's try this again

I just applied for City College, and OMIGOD, I was ACCEPTED!!!!!!
Holy shit!

I got in!

I got in!

The honor!

OK, last time I registered and started to take a class there in Spring '04. The class was motorcycle mechanic-ing or whatever. It wasn't great, but I had hoped to bring the EX in and tear it apart and rebuild, and learn a lot in the process. Instead, I got hit by a car on the way to work, totalled the bike, and ended up working on some girl's Harley. Now, the girl was cool, but the bike totally wasn't. For example: in order to bleed the brakes, you would have to remove the exhaust pipe. Ummmmm, no fucking way! Probably the most important thing I learned from that class was that there's no way in hell I'll ever own one of those monstrosities. Anyway, getting hit by a car turned out to be very time consuming and I ended up dropping out of the class. (how many times could I show up and have work put on hold because the parts were the wrong kind of shiny anyway? I never even knew the difference between all the different chrome-y and billet-y finishes. I miss those naive days)

I'm hoping to learn some Mandarin this time. Conversational, not the the grammar and writing class. Chinese scares me. You cannot fake your way through Chinese like you can Italian, French, or even a little German. Good stuff. I'm very excited about this, and a little scared. A little bit of language can be a bad thing. Better to keep your mouth shut when tone/accent can mean the difference between mother and horse. I've read that because of incorrect tone, foreign diplomats are often referring to themselves as "rubber U-bend pipes" in Mandarin. I can't wait for the confused looks from Chinese people. Possibly followed by a punch in the face, or something.


Monday, July 11, 2005

I think they were racing motorcycles, or something

Saturday started way to goddam early. I was out all night with a work dinner/drinks thing, and then had to get up at 5am Saturday, to get an early start to go to Laguna Seca. The coffee house was closed. Grrrrrr…
We made pretty good time actually getting to Laguna Seca, but once we got to the gate turn-off, it was an hour to actually get inside. Why? Even at 8:30 am, Laguna Seca is totally ill-equipped to handle crowds. WTF? I can’t stand this shit. Open another fucking gate. This track brings more money to your local community than anything else. Open the fucking gates. Annoying, really really annoying. I am glad we only went one day, because I couldn’t stand to do that again Sunday. Finally parked the bikes in the dirt (grass) parking lot and made a bee line for a bar. This was actually quite wonderful. None of that usual fair-food $6 foamy Budweiser crap, no, we found a little local brewery bar setup with tables and chairs in the shade and a nice healthy breakfast stout. We were drinking by 9:30 and surly by 10. Yay!

Puttered around some of the booths, stopped to watch some practices and qualifiers, took pictures, and yelled at the Kawasaki people. Watched a little motocross, the Honda folks started up a little vintage racer (very cute), checked out the new Aprilia twin dirtbike and an old BMW sidecar. Good stuff. Go karts were sooooo cute, like little toys, you just wanted to pick them up and put them into your pocket. Ran into a bunch of people we knew, napped in the grass, drank more and ate funnel cake. Good day.
Stopped in Santa Cruz for dinner and crashed out in San Jose.

My mom’s dog pees whenever I come over. Without fail. She can’t help it.

Sunday, we rushed out to meet people for a ride leaving Blue Rock Shoot in Saratoga at 9:30. No one else showed, which I guess was a blessing since we could fuck off and take our time. It was a perfect day for a ride. Not very many bikes out (thankfully) and nice weather. I am a sucky rider these days, so it was slow.

I totally behaved myself on 9 and 35, and I hope I can just keep it that way, because the cops are everywhere on those two roads. I remember just about a year ago, coming through that stretch between Four Corners and Boulder Creek with a lot of 80 and 90 on my speedo. There have always been a few corners that slowed me down, but, now, it’s every corner. Some of that is me behaving, and some of that is because I’m on the SV instead of the much quicker DRZ, and a MOST of that is a much lower skill and confidence level. But there’s something else.

Just over a year ago, I was taking a lot more time riding, and I was riding a lot harder. My life had been pretty much riding, working, riding, going to the gym, riding, sometimes seeing my friends. Different attitudes about what I was focusing on, and a lot of less happy Rebecca, was pushing me though those corners. I was running and I knew it. I’m a happy person in general, but I know, and I even knew then, that I was trying to outrun my own shadow. Embarrassing guys on fancy sportbikes was at times a way to make up for my loneliness and annoyance at pathetic friendship and relationship possibilities. Fuck putting up with dating, I could just cut right to the good stuff at leaving them behind. Particularly if they told me I couldn’t keep up before we left. (note: the faster riders never say they are fast. They don’t talk, and they probably don’t have very “nice” bikes. That old guy on the clapped out mid-eighties dirtbike will wave at you while he takes you on the inside, on knobbies.) The cockier the guy, the faster I went. If pushed, I would push back. I wanted it.
The DRZ was getting pushed. With 3/8” unscrubbed on the edges of the front tire, it wasn’t like I was going anywhere but down, if I kept pushing it harder. I wouldn’t claim skill as much as bitterness, and mostly, though, just a lack of anything better to do or focus on. A better rider wouldn’t have shown that sort of wear.

I wasn’t ever the fastest rider. Never as quick as Charles, except maybe when he was doing chemo. I wouldn’t ever hope to keep an eye on Joanne’s tail light. But, yeah, I was moving. Was I moving well? I don’t know, but quickly, especially on empty days.

Well, now, what happened:
1.) I crashed hard, and didn’t ride hard for a few months. Then never started riding hard again. I lost my confidence, and never went to find it again. Never knowing why I crashed meant it was out of my control. Nothing to learn from that, except that for no goddam reason, you could end up flopping down the pavement leaving bits of finger. When you know what happened, you can make adjustments, and feel like it’s still ok to move forward-- problem is solved, won’t let it happen again. I dropped my bike last week and I know why, and will pay more attention to the shifting on the SV. But there wasn’t any reason why I ended up on the road last July. What could I do to restore my faith?

2.) I do not spend every weekend day riding around in the hills anymore. I just don’t have the time. There are a lot of things to do now. Paul and I have adventures every weekend that sometimes involve riding in the hills but more often do not. I need to ride constantly to improve, as I am a very slow learner, and my learning curve is very steep.

3.) I am incredibly happy. There’s no bitterness, the chip on my shoulder is mostly gone, and I don’t have people around me who would tell me that I have to ride with the girls based on nothing but seeing me and my bike, without riding with me first. I don’t have an empty spot or anything to prove. If it needed to be proved, I already did, and now that’s the past. There’s a bit of fear put back into me, because now I DO have something to lose, and there IS something to come home to. My life is GOOD. It’s not like I was ever the most fearless person, but, I can admit, I wasn’t at my personal best emotionally and that showed, to me, at least. When I was younger and bike-less, it would have manifest as heavy drinking and staying out and all that. Times are different, but I can see the same things underneath.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I am a lot slower now, and it’s been a source of frustration. Not just slower, just way, WAY less happy and comfortable on the bike. Used to be, I was more comfortable riding than walking, but I’d gotten to the point (particularly on the SV) where I was terrified to go around corners.

Well, point #3 isn’t something I’d change for the world, and point #2 can only be a matter of the compromises of time and choosing activities, but #1, that I could address. So I did.

The SV feels way better than it did two months ago. New tires made a big difference, and the suspension, it feels better now that it’s been to Aftershocks. I notice in particular the rear shock is much improved, and I assume the front is better too. (I’m no suspension expert, not by a long shot. I can’t even figure out what it’s supposed to be doing) It stays a little more stable when it goes over bumps. It’s no DRZ, but it will have to do. The bumps are still there, but I think the bike gets less shitty when it goes over them. You still feel it, but it doesn’t seem so crash prone. And the tires are WAY better. They actually stick to the ground instead of just kind of gliding over it. Imagine that!

I actually did a little jump when we came back into the city. There’s a really bad pavement seam at the 280/101 split that I usually stand up and slow down to go over, but this time I guess I sort of jumped off of it. Well, that’s what Paul said. I definitely felt it.

Was it worth the pile of money to get a little better suspension? (which is honestly probably wasted on me) Yes. If it makes me feel like I’ve made some change, fixed a problem that made me crash, and can move forward, yes. Even if it’s a placebo that puts my faith back into the bike, it is worth it. I wanted nothing more than to feel happy riding again.

Will I be doing track days to improve my speed? No. No. No. Who fucking cares? I’m willing to let you pass me now, cuz I’m really goddam happy. That may be the standard comparative indicator to a lot of people, about your worth or legitimacy as a motorcyclist, but, um, hello? I’ve ridden by myself to Seattle, I’ve done the Sheetiron, I’ve earned an Ironbutt Saddlesore doing a 24 hour endurance rally. I’ve taken a 400 thumper to Nevada a few times, across desert roads at speeds that made my bike toss, but did not crash. I've kick-, and push-started a clapped out 350 more times than I care to remember. I’ve seen the July snowmelt waterfalls at Mt. Rainier, and nine feet of snow in Sonora pass in June, ridden through mud puddles that would make your gixxer cry, and pulled up with thirty other bikers at 3am in Pismo Beach. I’ve saved my bike from rivers that desperately wanted to swallow it, ridden into LA with no dependable brakes, and gotten my poorly geared bike up same nasty dirt hills. Storms have not stopped me, no matter how bad, and I know where the quiet places are in the Santa Cruz, where I can stop, and hear nothing but birds, and remember that this is the world I want to see on my motorcycles.

Most importantly, I’ve found the one thing I ever really need, and there’s nothing in the world that would make me want to leave him in the dust. Paul is a better rider than I ever was, but even if it weren’t so, I’d still never let him out of my mirror


That was the sweetest love song I ever read.
Thank you.
Posted by Marisa on Monday, July 11, 2005 at 1:07 PM

Why is he out riding already while I'm still washing my bike?

It has been exactly one year since the last time I washed my motorcycle.

I cleaned a few bugs off the forks before I brought it to Phil, but other than that, no cleaning! Cleaning is bad. It makes you crash. Screw that!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Saturday, and a tally of getting back on the horse

This weekend is MotoGP (or whatever, something with motorcycles, is what I know) at Laguna Seca. Paul and I will be there on Saturday, sniffing the race gas and scratching the tanks on any display models they’ll let us get at. I am hoping for some good mullets and trophy girls.

If you’re going on Saturday, gimmee a call on my cellphone and if it actually works, perhaps we’ll hook up for some cotton candy and beer. Or funnel cakes or mullet hunting. Oh, yeah, there’s motorcycle races too. I’m mostly excited about the go kart racing, because I’ve never seen that before.

I picked up my SV from the shop last night and then promptly dropped it on Page Mill. I fell down with it, and my head landed on Paul's wheel. Nice. Just wish the FZ1 had a nice fluffy fender.

That’s OK, though, because I know exactly why I dropped it, and because Paul was there to help me pick it up again. I think that was the first time I’d ever dropped that bike. Crashed it, yes, but never just dropped it. Well, that’s sort of what happened. Anyway, the SV has been crashed twice, and rear-ended once, and now dropped once. Since I’ve owned it. Previous owners did something, I know because there’s a gouge out of the front rim.

The DRZ has been rear-ended once (didn't topple though), and dropped once on the street and once in a garage (well, really more like tossed over by a drunk girl--me). And knocked over while parked once. And in the dirt a whole bunch of crashing, like about 14 or so times.

The EX was crashed once by me, and once with the help of a minivan, and dropped at least three times that I can remember. And I got hit by a motorcycle on that one also. Also found it knocked over while parked at least twice (fucking cagers, at least pick that shit up!). And someone tried to steal it once, though I still can't fathom why.

The DR350, I crashed once in the street (I like to say I “fell off”) and dropped one other time that I can think of, and I wasn’t even touching it—it popped into gear and launched itself while it was idling and I was standing behind it putting my gear on. That bike was cursed, but fun to ride.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Weekend Addendum

I forgot, Sunday also had wheelie practice. Apparently the DRZ does pathetic wheelies with throttle only, and I was advised to use the clutch despite my wishes for throttle-only wheelies. It IS a lot easier this way, and so I did a couple of cute, tiny wheelies on Sunday. I think Paul even saw one. It was probably the daintiest little wheelie he ever saw. Even did one in front of a cop, who was probably debating pulling me over to tell me how to wheelie properly and then ticket me for my pathetic wee wheelie.

Paul also did a few bitchin' wheelies on my bike, for purely educational purposes.

And I’m getting the SV back today, so that ought to be a better wheelie and crashing machine. Phil has laid his magic hands on my SV, so if it is not better now, it cannot be saved, and must go… we’ll see.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Friday night:
Step 1: Indian food. Priya on San Pablo, near Lanesplitter. Very tasty Paneer Masala.
Step 2: Horrible movie on cable. So bad I called Daniel to lodge a complaint since I heard he worked on this movie.
Step 3: Picked up Ben & Megan from Oakland airport, Paul and I on our motorcycles. It was a bit of a zoo on account of the holiday, but worked out eventually since we found the “Park & Call” area. Ben looked nervous. I figured Megan would be a better passenger because her brother has motorcycles and my brother has led a very sheltered life, motorcycle-wise. Since I had to take the DRZ, I did not want a shitty passenger. Besides, as I was so happy to point out, this way if one of us got hit, my mom would only lose one of her offspring. Nobody died. Again.
Step 4: Beer.

Step 1: Breakfast, coffee, no mimosas. (dammit)
Step 2: Grazed at the Pasta Shop. So many free samples, so little time. Prima Donna cheese, very tasty.
Step 3: Vivarium: Noteworthy things included watching geckos walk, blue frogs, and the suicidal snake (possibly one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen!), big-ass spiders, and hyperactive turtles.
Step 4: Cruised around 4th Street until the ice cream shop opened.
Step 5: Ice Cream!
Step 6: Margaritas!
Step 7: Nap!
Step 8: Work: New Wave City.

Step 1: Coffee, made fun of the people on 4th street.
Step 2: Sat in hammock, petted cats.
Step 3: Pizza
Step 4: Found some money
Step 5: Friend’s birthday party. Saw the coolest piece of furniture EVER. They have done a ton of work to their house, and it looks spectacular. I got to pet their fishes.
Step 6: San Jose: The whole family was there for once, and we ate cheese and chocolate and wine and port. 4 bottles of wine, and some loud conversation.
Step 7: Dangermouse. He’s the fastest; he’s the quickest; he’s the best.
Step 8: Passed out

Step 1: French Toast and coffee.
Step 2: Rode up and down Mt. Hamilton. I made a squirrel very very sleepy. This was the only downer on my weekend. :( Paul will probably never forgive me.
Step 3: Made cupcakes. Very cool cupcakes.
Step 4: Stuffed ourselves full of food (ongoing throughout the day)
Step 5: Charles and friends came over.
Step 6: Watched the fireworks over San Jose
Step 7: Rode home. This was sort of fun and sort of scary. On the one hand, there were little bursts of fireworks going off all over the place, even by the time we got to the City, there were a few going off. On the other hand, drunk drivers. Either weaving/wandering, or going way too goddam slow. Oh, yeah, the cops will never suspect the guy doing 50 in the left lane! Cagers suck. When I’m a cop for a day, I’m pulling over all the shitty cars going too slow. I bet at least 80% are carrying warrants and/or no insurance, or are drunk. Those of us speeding confidently obviously have nothing to hide.

Friday, July 01, 2005

"How would you like to have complete control over what I do?"

Last night I got the first obscene phone call I've gotten in years. It was so exciting. I was like OMIGOD! It's an obscene phone call! But when I tried to click back to it (I was on the other line, and sharing my excitedness with my boyfriend), he was gone. Well, you know, after the initial novelty wore off, I wouldn't really know what to do with it anyway. Maybe like, "do you know where I left the remote?"

This was well into my beer, and I thought it was hilarious.
I'm really very comforted by the fact that ANY technology or discovery humans make, no matter how noble, or hope-inspiring, no matter its possibility to better the lives of millions or answer life's big questions...
Every technology or discovery will eventually be used for porn, sex, or masturbation.

The consistency of the human spirit is really a comfort to me, and I know "they" cannont win, because, at the root of everything, the reason we do all the stuff we do, apparently, all comes back to getting our rocks off.

Stem cell research should turn up some really intriguing opportunities, but so will prosthetics development, and, somehow, though I'm not sure how yet, cancer treatment breakthroughs and alternative fuel technologies. New Ipods is too obvious, but what about bird song research?

This I have complete faith in.