Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Void of Verve

I got a letter yesterday from a stranger. Well, I say a stranger because we haven't met so am I to assume that it is a potential friend? I know not. Her letter was brief but busting with verve. What the hell is verve anyway? Ahh... spirit, dash. Thanks Webster. Here's a snippet of what she had to say...

~ It thrills me to no end to see a handsome man with an equally impressive volume of something I like. It's as if he's whispering to me, "Yes, I am of the same mind. Let us dance."

She was commenting on her love of reading and bookstores. She went on to say...

~ A friend recently commented that even in his nearest immediacy I only saw him as words. It was a strange comment and I hope to prove him wrong. He'd be a great dance partner. A waltz. Yes, a waltz. He and I have tried the tango. It was laughable. (But of course, I'm hardly talking about actual dancing--merely alluding to the unspeakable.

I found her writing to be SO very poetic and I feel inadequate in responding with even a postcard.

Things That Make a Non-Yippee Skippy Day Better

... in no particular order ...

~folding the fitted sheet in a someone rectangular on squarish shape (i.e. not being forced to roll it into a ball)
~conversations with kitties
~eating a pint of ice cream... guilt free
~receiving personal mail
~receiving a phone call from someone you enjoy talking with
~hearing good news from a friend
~making your home smell fragrant with the use of candles
~a warm bubble bath
~escaping the non-yippee skippy day by delving into a book that doesn't make you think
~not watching the news
~remembering a favorite place that made you feel good
~seeing mothers meet their kids at the corner for the bus stop
~playing cd loudly and singing loudly

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Off With His Head

There's a British pub located in St. Augustine called The King's Head British Pub that I recommend to anyone in the northeast Florida area. It's great for food and atmosphere...

For years I've been wanting to go so I couldn't pass by last night's dinner invite by a friend who rides a Triumph, of course. (Although he rode a beemer last night!) I was impressed with the place as soon as we approached the pub. The pub's exterior is wrapped in ivy vines and a warm glow illuminated from its shuttered windows. Upon opening the door I felt like I was walking into a cozy tavern located in the British countryside. Laughter and music poured through the doorway and we managed to get one of the two available tables. This was obviously a popular destination for Saturday night diners and pub crawlers. My friend is a regular there so he greeted the British and Irish waitresses by name as we settled into a wooden booth located near the dart boards. The interior was decorated with a multitude of British memorabilia including photographs, postcards, swords, hats and a full knight's coat of armor standing guard along one wall. The ceiling's dark wooden rafters were low and the pub's bar was active with conversation by pint-drinking guests.

My friend had the Banger and Mash while I had Fish and Chips... both meals were very good and prices average for such fare. I really look forward to returning for another trip across the pond.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Shitty Morning

No kidding. I found cat remains in my bed this morning! How TOTALLY gross is that? I'll be smelling cat shit all day now! The bad thing about it is I don't know which of the three deviants made the disposal. They're grounded now due to bad behavior yesterday. I'd gone out for 2.5 hours to run errands and go to the gym. I left the windows open to let Isabel's breezes blow through the house and usually, that's no issue. Yesterday, it was. When I came home, Omega met me at the door with tailifia puffamonstrous and she was growling. Her behavior told me she was rattin' out one of her sisters but I wasn't sure why or which one. Finally, I found the screen in the living room window was popped open, hence there'd been a jail break and all hissing was directed at Cleo, aha! the criminal revealed! Cleo is a savant so it's no wonder she had the screen open. She's smart enough that she could have just unlocked the door and walked out but sometimes the absence of an opposable thumb creates interference.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Motorcycle Monday

My day started yesterday by riding out to the beach to serve as an Iron Butt Association witness for a couple of riders from California. They were riding a 100CCC (coast to coast to coast in 100 hours or less.) As part of their certification documentation, they need a witness at the turn-around point, which in this case was Jacksonville. The 50CC is the ride I really want to do (coast to coast in 50 hours or less.) For some reason, that ride appeals to me. I suppose from an outsider's point of view, it sounds exciting to say someone rode coast to coast. It is extreme riding at its simplest. Saying that doesn't seem right when considering the true "extreme" rides one can do for certification in the IBA, but it's a pure ride and one that I will do.

The two fellas I met were very nice and great to talk with. We spent nearly an hour talking about California, its political and economic disastrous state-of-affairs, weather, the Iron Butt Rally, our motorcycles and of course, Florida's humidity. I took a few pictures of them, signed their paperwork and sent them on their merry ways back west. Harold understood what I said about the excitement fading with the miles as you complete a ride. He said at that point he felt like he did the tough part... he made it to the right coast. The rest of the ride was merely him riding home. It's odd how a ride can transform from an incredible challenge into a ride home. I experienced a tremendous let-down after completing the IBR, one that took me by total surprise and one that I'm still dealing with some three weeks later.

I know their excitement will return as they approach the Pacific Ocean. Completing their ride is truly a motorcycling achievement and one that will be worth telling others about in the future. I'm honored to have helped in the small way that I did.


For over a year I've been thinking about going to a local motorcycle club's meeting on a Monday night. The Atlantic Beach Vintage Motocycle Club (ABVMC) has been meeting "out at the beach" for a few years and I've always wanted to go but never made it a priority. Sometimes it is easy for me to convince myself that I can't fit in anywhere and so I stay in the shadows, alone. I'd say to myself, "You don't have a vintage bike," knowing that didn't matter. It was a convenient, albeit, lame excuse to talk myself out of going. Something finally clicked in my head yesterday and I counter-convinced myself that the time had come to go mix and mingle among the motorcycles and be social. I enjoy being around bikes and occasionally the riders of those bikes, so I emailed PirateJohn to confirm the club's meeting time and told him that I'd most likely show up on this, the 138th time I'd asked about the gathering.

Sho 'nuff, I went... and I'm glad I did.



In addition to PirateJohn, I knew one other member and had met another two as casual acquaintances while on a trip last fall. The other member I knew, Sam Taylor, is the one I credit for one of my favorite sayings about how I look on a sport bike. He described himself as looking like "a monkey fucking a football" while riding his Moto Guzzi one time and that saying has burned itself into my library of things-to-say. Sam is the publisher of the local independent arts/entertainment/opinion newspaper, The Folio. He and I met at The Rooster, a well-known biker bar, when I was finding my way into the motorcycling world. We were the only two folks who would show up wearing professional attire yet we managed to fit into conversations on every visit we made to the scary-from-the-outside bar known to every Harley rider in a 25-mile radius of Jacksonville. I enjoyed my talks with Sam because not only was he a wise businessman, he was entertaining and enlightening. It was always a treat to have a little Sam-time.

It'd been a little over a year since I last saw Sam so seeing him last night was wonderful. He shared the great news that he was engaged to be married in November and better yet, I had the pleasure of meeting his bride-to-be. She has a history of dirt/trial riding so we spent some talking about my interest in going off-road. They offered me the opportunity to try one of their Sherpas some time, which I just may do.



When I emailed PirateJohn yesterday, I asked him if he knew who the two guys were whom I met while at Two Wheels Only last fall. I described them as: a guy who rides a Tiger and a guy who rides an old Wing with chrome fenders. Great descriptors, no? Surprisingly enough, he knew who the Tiger rider was, Rich, but I didn't get John's email informing me of Rich until after I got home. That was ok though. Ironically, when I rolled into the parking lot at Appleby's, the first person I saw was RICH. He was talking with John and when I got off my bike, he was pointing at me. Apparently, he remembered meeting in Suches nearly a year ago. Once I removed my helmet and dismounted Thor, I walked over and we laughed about inquiring about the other. It was nice chatting with him again and we agreed to stay in touch.



While working at CSX a few years ago, a co-worker introduced me to a friend of his while we were out to lunch. The friend, Phil, was at the gathering last night. Phil and I saw each other at a gas station about a year ago south of Jacksonville while we were both out riding. He was on his way into town with a group of riding pals and I'd been out geocaching when we stopped for a fill up. He recognized me even though it'd been well over a year since we saw each other last. I was introduced to his pals and we talked about riding and my bike. When I saw him last night, once again with four of his riding pals, I approached him and spent the next couple of hours yakkin' about the IBR, riding, bikes, great destinations, motorcycle camping, etc. Phil and two of the guys had just rolled into town after spending a four-day weekend in the mountains. They camped at TWO and rode in parts of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with those guys and we left saying we'd stay in touch and try to share some riding in the future.


The End

I had a really nice evening.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Read and Release

I'm a geek for books. I love to see them on shelves, to see people reading, to thumb through their pages and to actually read their pages. I'm a member of and have been reading and releasing books in the name of literature karma for over a year. While visiting with my mother-in-law last night, the topic of books came up. She said she had several boxes of books sitting in the back of her car and she wasn't sure what to do with them. I excitedly spoke up to volunteer taking them off of her hands in order to release them into the wild. She was puzzled as most are when I tell them about the premise behind bookcrossing but she finally got it and gladly handed over her well-read paperbacks to me for their future releases. Tonight I spent who knows how much time registering and labeling 95 books on the website. These are books that I'd never read so it'll be easy to release them... with the exception of one book by Elizabeth Berg. Luckily I've already read "Talk Before Sleep" and feel as though I can set this book free for someone else to find and enjoy as I did.

Tomorrow I'll begin releasing the newest registered books from my cyber bookshelf.

In case you're wondering, I'm currently reading Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" and Nik Colyer's "Channeling Biker Bob II."

Thursday, September 11, 2003


I don't have anything profound to say about today. The date is etched in my memory as it is in, I assume, every American's memory. We have a scar that we all share but we tell the story differently as to what happened. My day was different than yours yet we have the same wound. It still hurts... it still makes us ask "why." It still angers us.

Peace to those who survived the immediate danger as well as those who lost loved ones. With the exception of the guilty. I wish them eternal pain and embarassment. For if any part of them supported their loved ones, they deserve a living hell. There is no celebration and those who died are not martyrs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Report Card

While riding my motorcycle today, I got a lesson from a member of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office ... in fact, he gave me a report card. I don't quite understand the grading because there are no letters involved, just lotsa numbers. Apparently, I get to choose how I'm scored: 1, 2, or 3. The other numbers represent some of that "new math" we've heard about all these years. 52 over 35 equals 4-points plus $142.00. There are options like going to the courthouse for a field trip to meet a judge; going to school or taking a class online or by watching a video (I like movies so that may be a good option); or raid my piggy bank and mail the city some money.

The 9

Here are my scavenger hunt finds for the PCX photo assignment.

Photo Frenzy

Ok... camera is packed and I'm ready to go... but not without leaving a website for you to bookmark for a daily peek.

What Will I Do Today?

I need to use my head a little and today's the day. Keep all children inside, lock the doors and close the blinds... this could be scary. wandering monk on PCX! organized a photo project called The 9 and I think I'm going to take him up on his assignment by shooting pictures today to share. It's not a contest, just a sharing of vision and I need to go look around. I enjoy scavenger hunts and this is what I'll be looking for today:

1. A long time ago
2. Chaos
3. Freedom
4. What's in your closet?
6. Mailboxes/Letterboxes
7. Hands
8. Imagination
9. Me, Myself and I

Testing, 1, 2....

Giving someone the ability to comment on this site about my thoughts is a little scary but I'll give it a try.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Inner Child

My inner child is ten years old today

My inner child is ten years old!

The adult world is pretty irrelevant to me. Whether
I'm off on my bicycle (or pony) exploring, lost
in a good book, or giggling with my best
friend, I live in a world apart, one full of
adventure and wonder and other stuff adults
don't understand.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla


Lately, I've had a lot of nothingness to communicate and so I've taken pen to paper and have spent time with correspondence. There's one friend in particular who's been receiving my rantings and ramblings, the poor thing. Still, it's been good for me to get these thoughts out of my head and it's nice to not have immediate feedback where some of it in concerned. I write to just spill my mind... not to provoke conversation, opinion, judgment, observation or laughter or even an AhhhHaaa. Sometimes friends don't know when to keep their mouths shut and I say that as one who has not kept her mouth shut at times when she should have. Most people, friends, who know me, have come to expect me to not filter well... but that still doesn't mean it is welcome.

A month or two ago I had a convo with a friend about the random thoughts that cloud our minds... that fill space and force us to give more thought to them. He said this is called "monkey mind." (I do not know the people on that link... but I like their photography.) For more info on this theory, check out the following websites:
Venerable Thubten Chodron's Home Page
Transpersonal LifeStreams
I tried describing my thought process to this friend because on this particular day, I was wearing myself out due to so many random thoughts. It was good to have someone to talk to about it and in doing so, my mind slowed some, and I needed that. For the last couple of weeks, my mind has been running rampant. I know that part of the reason is because I'm processing a lot in my memory due to the conclusion of the Iron Butt Rally. There is more to my life than that, however, and my mind is having a difficult time operating with so much clogging the cogs. Writing will help. It will ease the workload as I release information. My correspondence as of late is starting to ease the pressure and I thank my reader for their attention.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Hang in there....

I'm just now working through the post-IBR fog and am getting some coherent thoughts again. I WILL be writing here so please hang in there...