Thursday, June 29, 2006

Paul brought me flowers last night, and then I proceeded to ignore him while at the DNA Lounge last night. Not really ignore him, but I felt bad anyway.

The party at DNA last night benefitting James seemed to go well, and I got a bunch of cards to send to James. Also got to meet some of his friends who I've seen for years, but never really met.

Also, after working up some alcoholic nerve, plainly stated my case for a friendship that's been long strained, and was met well. We have so many fears, and they turn out to be mostly unfounded?

It was a good night for me, though I may have drank a little more than absolutely necessary.

Paul was kept out past his bedtime and left in the corner while I worked people over to write cards, and still manages to be perfectly sweet to me. What would I do without him?

Monday, June 26, 2006


On Friday I crashed. No, not my bike. Don't get excited.

The week before, I was weird. Every night I came home feeling like I'd just drank an entire pot of coffee. I had no patience (I know, I don't usually count patience as one of my many virtues anyway), I was angry, really angry, about things that were small, maybe even imagined. I would walk into Paul's house and monologue for 20 minutes about all the crap that was annoying me. I was frantic, moving forward, plugging ahead.

It's all necessary. Everyone deals with their stress in their way. I encountered the hand-wringing defeatist, and became the optimistic locomotive. I wouldn't suffer anyone's soft feelings of being overwhelmed.

We can do better.
We can do this, we will do this, do it now, now, NOW.
If you can't do it, I will do it.

I don't take any of that back. I will still do it.

But Friday I came home and cried for a while, then napped, then cried some more.

My way doesn't show up and cry and wonder what can be done. My way shows up with energy and strategy, and momentum that will steamroll people less quick to move. What are the steps? OK, now we are taking them.

I didn't mean to feel like a speedfreak all week, but I did. Then I crashed. And that was good.

I did a little more working on it this weekend, but mostly I read a book and relaxed. Steamrolling isn't what I want to do. I have to remind myself to be soft.

Saturday I went to a baby shower, then had lunch with some friends, which was so very nice. Seems I hardly have nice quality friend times these days.

Sunday we ran some errands, I read, we downed a bottle of champagne.

Now it's back to work, but soft now. I don't feel my heart racing the way it did last week.

We all have our own way.
But we are men of action, and I won't sit around feeling like it's impossible.

Friday, June 23, 2006

F@#KING Motorcyclists!

Sometimes people wonder why I don't necessarily like other motorcyclists. I wave, sure; those riders are passing through in the opposite direction. But, no, to be frank, I often don't like encountering another motorcyclist on the road in my direction of travel. I've just seen too many stupid behaviors, and, worse, I've actually been hit by motorcyclists a few times.

So the coming of summer isn't all that welcome, particularly during the commute hour, when I get on the Bay Bridge this morning. I start in the carpool lane, and, as every morning, immediately start moving left across all lanes of traffic. Why? Because I think it's best for the motorcycles to split that lane. I think it's especially best if we split the same lanes, so that there aren't bikes in between all cars on all sides. Ever seen a helpful driver try to move aside for you? Well, now imagine there's another motorcyclist on the other side. No, it behooves us to split only one or two lanes in traffic, as much as possible. Particularly when we know, as we do in the commute hour, that there are a lot of other motorcycles out.

So I move over, and this morning, as I got into the #2 lane, I slowed to check the in-between lane, and as I did that, a motorcyclist honked his horn at me, I suppose thinking I was about to run into him. I wasn't, but I waited for him to calm down and go ahead before diving in. Which was a mistake. Well, maybe not, knowing the temper he had. I mean, the guy was slow. He was riding some big late 1970's/early 80's honda thing, I think maybe an Oldwing or something? And, I split behind the guy for a while, but he's slow. Will he let me pass? No. Note: it is the polite thing to do, when someone lanesplits up behind you, to pull into the lane and let them pass.

Fine, I'll wait, and plod behind him, maybe he'll get the hint. He makes a big show of flipping a car off, for changing lanes, about 400 feet in front of him. At his speed, it was NOT a danger. He's just an ass. I start thinking about breaking my rule and going to the next lanesplitting lane over, just long enough to get in front of him. I try this, and he speeds up. Now he is racing me. Look, fucker, I'm just going to work! YOU'RE SLOW. OK, fine, I'll get behind your slow ass again. And he slows back down. And next, NEXT he punches a delivery van, for no reason. This poor cager does NOTHING, and asshole honda guy hits his mirror in. Woah! Yeah, thanks asshole, you've just made a whole new set of motorcycle-haters. And those of us lanesplitting behind you (since you won't let us pass) now have to face these drivers' anger. At this point, I can't follow him anymore, and move over two lanes to get away. At which point he starts racing me again.

I don't say this often, but I honestly hope you eat shit, and soon, since you're making the world a more dangerous place for the rest of us.

so here's a review:

1.) If you are lanesplitting, and another rider comes up behind you, pull into the lane and let them pass, and then go back to lanesplitting. Painless!
2.) If you aren't checking your mirror for riders because you're afraid you'll hit something in front of you, then you are riding too fast/over your head. Slow down, check your mirror, and let others pass.
3.) It really helps if we don't have to go to the next in-between lane to pass you, since this multiplies the problem of heplful drivers accidentally taking one of us out when they try to move out of the way of the one of us they do see. (in other words: don't surround the cars on all sides if you can avoid it)
4.) If another rider does finally go around you because you don't check your mirrors and pull over, please don't take this as an oppurtunity to race. Other riders are just trying to get to wherever they are going. The race is in your head, and you already lost it, if they are trying to pass you.
5.) If you are an asshole, just go crash somewhere by yourself, and stop flipping off and *punching* cars that didn't even do anything, as that makes lanesplitting and riding more dangerous for the rest of us.
6.) Lanesplitting is a separate skill. If you don't feel comfortable doing it and maintaining yourself, your awareness, and composure, just don't do it.
posted by:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Rule

OK, I'm sorry if this is crass, but I have new rule, which ought to be put into action immediately:

From now on, when you write a bulletin, email, whatever about so-and-so crashing a motorcycle, having a heart attack, being mauled by squirrels, or dying, please, please, include, or link to, a picture.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten news of so-and-so's accident, and been unsure if I even know the person. Or if I'm sure which person it is.

How many people do I know that go by, like, three different made up names? How many people do I know named James, or Mike, or Jennifer? How many people do I know, whose names I can't even remember, despite having known them for years, because I'm drunk every time I see them?

Starting now.

Thank you.

James Cornell Fundraisers

As many of you know, James Cornell (of Helimot, Vampires, and San Francisco Motorcycle club) was injured in an accident late May.

James was the monkey on a sidecar, doing a warm up lap for a practice for what many consider the "holy grail" of roadracing: the Isle of Man TT. Currently, James is still in a coma at Nobles Hospital at the Isle of Man.

more info can be found here:

James will need a lot of resources to get back to his home and health. Please tell your motorcycle riding friends about this website and fundraising effort.

June 25 (Sunday) there will be two events in Santa Cruz. Char will have a garage sale, and the Vampires will be selling food and drinks at We All Ride's event.

Next Wednesday, June 28, there will be a party at the DNA lounge benefitting James.

There are other efforts in the works, please keep tuned in to the website for more info.

Dude, WTF?
A fundraiser for James Cornell

Wednesday, June 28th 8pm - 3am 21+

DNA Lounge
375 11th St. San Francisco

Chris Venter
Chris Cendak

PS: Time to wake up James!!!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006


Weekend was nice. We saw people. Friday night, dinner at Paul's mom's house. Saturday, wine tasting in Livermore with my family (minus brother and his wife). Saturday night, dinner with Charles and Sara! Yay! Sunday, saw some folks in Oakland (or is that Berkeley?) and had dinner and ice cream with Daniel.

Aaahhhhh, so relaxing, and yet somewhat fruitful.

Now I'm focused on the organization for fundraising for James.

There are very few things I am willing to completely push my network for, and this is one of them. So, anyone I know, well or tangentially, will be worked over for this thing. Be forewarned.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Roll on with Style and Grace!

I've had my Playstation setup to collect one million red roses for my Katamari for the past few days. When I come home, I flick on the TV to see how my little Kuro is doing with his rolling. It's frustrating to watch. The rubberband-on-controller setup is soooo slow, and most of the time, Kuro is stuck rolling the ball in a corner.

What does Kuro do when the katamari runs into something?
Kuro keeps rolling, moving slowly to the left, until an angle comes up where the Katamari can roll on.

Kuro looks pretty happy doing this, despite the big task ahead. One Million Red Roses!

I found myself running into walls last night. This isn't about you, and it isn't about me. It's about something much more important. I got mad skillz, yo, and the stonewalling and self-defeatist attitude is helping nothing. We CAN do this, and we can do it in a big way. So it's frustrating that this personal crap is in the way.

No matter, I will keep pushing, and the angle will be there, and I will roll on with style and grace, just like the King told me to...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Medical Advancement

Paul has offered to send his cat to Nobles Hospital to wake James up. I think this is a splendid idea, as will anyone who has met this cat.

(says the cat)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Crappy Vacation, Part 1

All the reasons aside, we were on our way north on Saturday. “north” was our only destination, with an implied “Seattle” somewhere along the way, as my brother lives there with his wife.

North on Memorial Day weekend, with all the unhappy feelings we had, meant, of course, we got tagged in the speed trap in Redding. The officer who stopped us had a speech impediment of some kind, which made it a little funny, but mostly it was just the icing on a cake made of shit.

What-the-fuck-ever. We both have two matching speed tickets each now. I cannot afford to get stopped again, so the ride north became a painful exercise in speed control. It was inevitable. There must have been at least 25 cops between that area near Redding all the way up to the last pass into Oregon. I was, at that point, riding painfully slow. Which sucks, since I spend more time looking at my speedometer and mirror than the road in front of me. And it makes me soooooo sleeepy to go so slow. Whatever. I fucking hate CHP.

Since I had not packed with a ride in mind, I didn't have a few things I would have liked. Mainly, my electric vest, cell phone charger, and frankly I missed my ipod. But the vest was a real problem, and riding into Oregon at night up to Grants Pass, I could not feel my fingers. Grants Pass doesn't seem to be much of a town, but our room was fine, and Denny's was entertaining.

Sunday we headed west to the coast, sloooowly still, since I cannot afford to talk to a cop again. Then up the coast on Highway 1, which is pretty, and we are getting great mileage, but it is taking forever. Planned to get up to Tillamook or something, but as we came through Waldport, Paul saw that there was a Howard Johnsons on the on the tip of the spit on the other side of the bay. It was pretty, and we were bored of riding, and so we stayed. From the hotel restaurant, we could see seals playing in the bay, and a ton of birds. The views were nice, and there was a bar. Good enough.

Monday we headed north still, through Tillamook, which is very pretty country. North of Tillamook are some small towns on a lagoon-like bay, where we both caught sight of a bald eagle. I've never seen one in the wild before, so this was a real treat.

At Astoria, we turned inland, back to I-5 to make the rest of the trip to Seattle. We had finally called my brother from Waldport to tell him we were on our way to Seattle. Stopped for gas at the junction for the road to Mt. Rainier. I rode that route two years ago and loved it, but this time I didn't have it in me. This wasn't a fun ride, just an escape. I wanted to get to Seattle in good time, so we just took I-5 into Seattle, where I took a bit to get my bearings and then got us to Ben's house just as he and Megan were on their way out the door to dinner plans. Perfect timing. I just wanted to spend some time laying low in Seattle. Both of our chains were shagged, and we'd need to replace them before the ride home. It would have been a good excuse to just hang out in one of my favorite cities. Things should have looked up from here.

But Tuesday, well... We wandered around Fremont in the morning and then came back to Ben's house. He'd left us the spare key and we'd agreed we'd call to meet them up for lunch downtown. Before this happened, Paul spent some time checking over the bikes out front. I went in and out to get stuff and somehow managed to get locked out. I don’t really know how since I didn't actively lock it the last time I came out, but, old locks, I don't know... and with my cell phone inside too, I just decided it was miserable, and sat and felt sorry for myself. We did find an easy way in and called Ben to have lunch with them downtown. After which, we went to the Yamaha dealership where Paul had his chain and sprocket replaced (as he didn't have the right size socket for the FZ1) and then on to the Suzuki dealership to get my chain and sprocket, which Paul would install the next day. It all felt very nice and accomplished, despite the fact that in the afternoon, we dropped the FZ and broke off the passenger peg.

It all seemed great, until we got home to Ben's house and found the door wide open. And the door to the basement open. Both these doors are strictly supposed to be kept closed so the cats don't get out or in the basement. I was immediately sorry that I'd somehow fucked up and left these two doors open. After shutting them and calming down, it was probably about ten minutes before I noticed that the iBook was not on the kitchen counter. Had Megan been home? Shit, the Powerbook was not on the kitchen table! I called my brother, had either of them come home? No, and he'd rush home now, and could I call the police? Upstairs, the two bedrooms (one is really a den) were also opened. Not as they'd been left, again for cat reasons, we knew something was wrong there.

The upside is that the cats were both home, but the downside was that three laptops (Ben's work laptop was stolen from the guestroom underneath a pile of our dirty clothes, and I hadn't even known it was there despite sleeping in there.) The cordless phone handset had been stolen, but not the base (Why? Can anyone help explain this? It's useless without the base!) A jewelry box had been taken from the bedroom, including a sapphire ring that had some family heirloom value, but nothing much else in that box of real value, as I understand it. Megan's wedding bands, gone. And some credit cards, also taken (and used, at Krispey Kreme and gas stations, and some sort of catalog order I think?) Most bizarre, a Trader Joe's grocery bag full of trail mix and camp snacks for Ben and Megan's upcoming Yosemite trip was also deemed worth stealing. It was obvious from cabinet doors left open that the culprit had spent some time looking downstairs too.

The point of entry and exit was exactly as we had come in earlier. Was it a neighbor who saw us do it? It was so effortless, and obvious to us in the morning, perhaps someone had coincidentally come by that day and had the same thought? The point of entry isn't particularly visible from many public areas, so it would be strange luck for someone to have witnessed it... And regardless of anything, we felt horrible about it. Everyone, of course, feels horrible. Ben and Megan took this all very well, considering.

But it was miserable. I hope the best, I hope the stuff comes back, but mostly I hope the trouble ends there.

Wednesday, we had breakfast at a freakish restaurant run by a brainwashed cult (really) and came home to do chain and sprockets, then back across the Fremont Bridge to walk around Fremont eating ice cream and checking out Gasworks Park. With all the excitement, and since Ben and Megan were going to Yosemite in the morning, we decided to lay low with pizza delivery and Arrested Development videos at their house.

Thursday we had breakfast at Coastal Kitchen where I picked up some Italian language CDs and then hiked around Capitol Hill and Volunteer Park, up the Observation Tower for a nice view of the city. We went to the Bleu Bistro, which is a really great bar. We bought Paul a sweatshirt that said “high roller” along with glittery graphics of a roller skate with wings. Cool! Things were looking better. Every day, we kept thinking, OK, now the lemons are done falling, let's make the fucking lemonade and get on with it. How much worse could it get?

At some point in the evening, back at the house, I turned my phone on, which I'd left off to preserve the battery, as I hadn't brought the charger (since I didn't pack for a road trip)

The message was minimal, but there was something wrong. I called back, left messages, waited. I finally called my mother to help. We had no internet access either since the computers were all gone. She looked for me, and saw it, and was sorry. I'd given out my brother's home number so people could reach me as my phone was dying. I got an update later that night, and thought once again that we'd go home the next morning.

But Friday, I got up after dreaming about James all night, with a changed mind once again. There wasn't anything to be done at home, and the ride home would be hell anyway. Speaking with Lionel in the morning helped calm me a bit. To solve the communication cutoff feelings, we went downtown and bought a new cell phone (I'm sad to say, really, as I'd been very attached to the old one) Still no internet, but it was something. I just had to keep calling and bugging people for updates. At this, I truly felt that rock bottom was hit, but not by me. It put everything into perspective, but brought up a whole new range of guilt and grief and worry. It fucking sucks, is what I mean, and made everything else small. Also, shouldn't I have been there with him? That really stung, but what could I have done anyway?

But I'd lost my fight, for sure there would be no trip to Vancouver or the islands or Mt. Rainier; I just did not have it in me. We determined to stay until Ben and Megan returned, and I quietly decided I did not want to do anything besides low key wandering. NO MORE FUCKING ADVENTURES.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'll still follow you anywhere

The comfort I have now is that I DID tell you how much you meant to me, before it became an “I wish I'd let him know...”

In no uncertain terms... you are one of the two or three most important friends I have, you mean the world to me, I trust you implicitly, you are one of the coolest people I know, you look great, what you're doing is amazing, I really appreciate all the things you do for me and the times we have, I would follow you anywhere...

Maybe it seemed over the top at those times, but it was all heartfelt, and now I'm glad I made it known. Maybe while you sleep you can think of these things. Maybe when you wake up you can look forward to those times again. I am clinging desperately to those tomorrows in the meantime. And I'm keeping the “that's probably one of the best compliments I could get” close to my heart too.

And everyone else, take the time to tell the important people in your life, what they mean to you and how tall they appear in your eyes, how you couldn't do it without them, how you are a better person for knowing them. So the tough times aren't filled with “I wish I'd let him know...”
These days don't seem so grey, knowing I made myself known.