Sunday, November 30, 2003


Odd to hear this song for the first time today... the 10th anniversary of my mother's death. I thought of her when I first heard Bowie sing this, then I thought of my husband, then a couple friends.


Hold me tight
Keep me cool
Going mad
Don't know what to do
Do I need a friend?
Well, I need one now

All the days of my life
All the days of my life
All the days I owe you

All I've done
I've done for me
All you gave
You gave for free
I gave nothing in return
And there's little left of me

All the days of my life
All the days of my life
All the days I owe you

In red-eyed pain I'm knocking on your door again
My crazy brain in tangles
Pleading for your gentle voice
Those storms keep pounding through my head and heart
I pray you'll soothe my sorry soul

All the days of my life
All the days of my life
All the days I owe you
All the days of my life
All the days of my life
All the days I owe you

All the days of my life
All the days of my life
All the days I owe you

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Holiday Ho-Hums

I really don't care for the holiday season. I did when I was a child because my family was around. I was the youngest of four and was much younger then they so Thanksgiving and Christmas was always a homecoming of sorts. My favorite part of those homecomings was seeing my brother, Jaimie, RIP. He was my best friend, my brother, my father, my mother, my tutor, my world when we were together. It was always our tradition to go to the movie theater on each holiday to see the latest blockbuster on the big screen. I tried to proliferate that tradition after his passing but it has never been the same. Mom's cooking is no more and being that special little sister has long since faded into my memory of youth. God, how can I still miss someone so much after so many years? My heart hurts as it did when I had to say bye to him after a homecoming. The tears still stream with heat down my cheeks when I remember our time together and at the great loss I've endured. He was mine and he was precious and it's hard to cope with his absence. Still.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Sex & The City Invades My Dreams

Ok, I'll fess up, I reallllly like watching Sex & The City. I never thought I'd see myself type that, but it is true. My friend Leah referenced S&TC several times until I finally asked what it was all about. I'm not up on pop culture, I don't watch much tv and I don't have HBO which adds up to three strikes against this series but alas, there is Netflix and DVD rental to save the day! I decided that I couldn't form an opinion on the show or its performers without actually watching a few episodes, so I ordered a couple DVDs and gave it a go. That was nearly two months ago, today I find I'm in withdrawal because I've viewed seasons 1 through 4. I'm patiently (???) waiting for season 5 to hit DVD on December 30th and wish they'd hurry up and conclude season 6, the final season, and burn it to DVD NOW!

Acknowledgement is the first step towards recovery, right? I knew I had a problem when I woke up this morning from a dream I had about S&TC. I was living life with the girls... and we were full of remorse as the time came for us to say goodbye. Carrie was the weepiest... she couldn't talk to me without tears forming in her eyes. Miranda was her strong self yet her voice cracked several times as she promised we'd stay in touch. I don't recall Samantha or Charlotte being in the dream and that's probably because they are my least favorite out of the four. I'm surprised by that because I can relate to Sam in ways I won't admit on here.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

A Musical Find

Enduring commercials on the radio is something that went out of style for me when I became a satellite radio subscriber a few months ago. I just don't have the patience for their incessant down-your-throat selling, non-funny humor (except for the Bud Light Real American Heroes & Real Men of Genius commericals), annoying voices and equally annoying jingles.

While listening to XM Cafe the other day, I discovered a new artist that I look forward to hearing more of, her name is Jem. The Cafe played her five-song EP and I sat in the driveway, in the Jeep, until I heard every song. It's not often enough that music, lyrics or a voice captivate me... hers did.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Ne'er a Stranger Did I Meet

Sometimes, I wonder if other people have the same ease of making acquaintances as I do. It seems as though I seldom go someplace where I don't share in conversation with another person, a person I've never met before. This tends to happen nearly always when my motorcycle is involved, not so much in regular run-of-the-mill daily life. It's like a mother and newborn out in public during the early weeks or months. Someone always wants to ooh and ahh over the kid or share parenting histories with the mother. It's very similar when a motorcycle is involved. Other riders want to share tales of the road or ask questions about this or that. They want to brag about their "baby" yet seldom do riders carry along photos of their bike(s).... I'm an exception there, I shamefully admit. I do carry a photo of me and my first bike. It's absolutely shameful, but it's due to pure sentimentality, what can I say? It's like they say, you never forget your first. ;)

Last night was no exception to the no-stranger rule. I'd ridden a Moto Guzzi Breva 750 to a bike night at Applebee's to get the bike some exposure and ended up talking with a couple of new pals that I'm sure to see again. I actually take the time to think about these types of things after they happen because it means a lot to me to share that time with someone else. I see that time as valuable, it is precious because it is time that can never be replaced or repeated. That time is shared in a positive light with someone who is, in my mind, giving me the gift of their time and I don't take that for granted. Last night provided two new pals, as I said. Mike and Rick.

Mike and I kinda/sorta knew each other from the MTF (Motorcycle Tourers Forum -- see the link to the left), but not really. He'd posted a couple of messages and made it known that he is a Goose rider. Another member of the forum mentioned that I'd probably chime in since I was affiliated with MG now and Lou was right. I posted a reply to Mike and after volleying a couple of messages, we learned that we both live in northeast Florida and that he bought his bike from Atlantic Moto Sports, which is where I'm contracting. I informed Mike of the bike night gig and that I'd be there if he wanted to make the ride. He did and I'm so glad he did because he was a real treat to meet! We learned that we're both members of the IBA, I got to see his gorgeous Le Mans, he taught me about the endurance competition involved in horsemanship and even extended an offer to join his wife for some horseback riding!

Rick and I met earlier in the evening when he stopped by the shop to pick up his Suzuki LC1500 Intruder. Our rambling conversation led to me revealing that I had a B.A. in Journalism and had been struggling with writing for many years. We agreed to hook up at the bike night at some point to discuss journalism since he could provide some practical advice. Rick is an on-air talent on one of Jacksonville's classic rock stations, Arrow 100.7. After a couple hours of milling around at the bike night, Rick and I did actually hook up and gab about writing, writer's block, as well as motorcycling, movies and the common generalities that people share when they first start a conversation with someone else.

I rode away from the evening with two new friends who were only strangers until we said hello.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Fall my favorite time of year. This photo was taken while riding in the mountains of North Carolina in October.

I realize I've yet to mention this trip on here but I will. I was really just wanting to share this pic... it's currently posted as my background on this pc.

Twin Blogging

I commonly take time every day to peruse other blogs to see what people are finding important enough to write about. Maybe someday I'll have something important to say, but until then, I'll just keep reading. I stumbled upon this blurb from fellow blogger, Julie:

Running from your problems doesn't get you anywhere, and apparently, contemplating them doesn't either. I just can't figure shit out.

.:. There's something holding me back .:.

She and I are of the same mind.


Last week I made the time to create a wish list on I've seen several people link to their lists from their blogs and other places and thought, "hey, that's one cool thing." I didn't necessarily set up a list as a true wish list for people to shop from, instead, it was created as a reminder list for me of the things/books that have caught my interest. When it comes to books, I have many yet want so many more. I go through phases where I buy books even though there is a constant stack of fifteen to-be-read on my nightstand. There are yet other stacks around the house that fall into the same category of TBR. Not all books that catch my eye are purchased, obviously, or there'd not be a wish list. What I often do is check the website to see if a book I'm particularly interested in is on someone's bookshelf and if it is, then I send the owner an inquiry on a trade. I love the barter system and love that it is alive and well through some of the websites I frequent. As far as my amazon wish list is concerned, I'm glad that I can access it at any time but I must admit, I wish others could view it. The website tells me it is publicly viewable within 3 to 5 business days so maybe I'm just not good at counting the days. I enjoy reading lists of others for some odd reason. It's voyeuristic in nature... seeing what is on someone's shopping list. It's also an exploratory tool to discovering what interests a person. I enjoy those kinds of trips.

DAMN Blogger for the boring links! Sorry for the dull distractions.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

ma tête est un pamplemousse

Yes. My head is a grapefruit. I've really lost out on a great opportunity and it's all due to my inability to make a decision. How in the hell did I ever find my way back to Missoula on the Iron Butt Rally? I had lots of roads to choose from and obviously managed to choose a few that got me where I needed to be. But I digress. Back to my loss and my grapefruit head. For several months, the spousling has been telling me that his company plans on sending him to France (yeah, le BLAH!) for some training. We discussed it and decided it'd be pretty damn cool for me to go along. We found out a few weeks ago exactly when his travel is scheduled and decided that there was really no good reason for me not to go. That was until I tried wrapping my head around the issue. I should leave my head out of a lot of the things I do, I'd probably have an easier way of things. Anyway, we're looking at T-minus-14-days and I'm passportless which means no travel for moi. I could try to expedite but I'm not too sure that it'd be here in time and I'm not going to purchase an airline ticket based on a "maybe it'll get here by the time I need to fly." So, it's my loss at this point. I'm not all yippee-skippy on France, believe me, but I'd sure dig the museums, the sidewalk cafes, the architecture, the feeling of being in Europe. I can already imagine all the wonderful pictures I could have taken, the wines I could have tried, heck, they only charge $2.50 per glass. I'd gladly pay that than $4.00 for a soft drink. I really screwed the pooch but I may contact the passport agency first thing on Monday just to get them to tell me that is the case.

p.s. I didn't add those boring links to TRAVEL. Blogger did and I'm not too damn happy about it.

Funny How We Remember

Today is my mother's birthday. Funny how we remember such things. She'd be 71 today and I just can't imagine that. My memories of my mom are of her lying out in the sun in a brown bikini working on a tan that made her nearly as dark as her skimpy two-piece. I remember her waist-high in the lake waters, smiling, and holding me while she soothingly spun me around. For a chubby kid, that was a wonderful feeling... to be weightless and loved. I remember my mom taking me and my childhood bestfriend Phyllis into to the knobs in the '72 VW beetle to teach me how to drive on hills in southern Indiana. How could she ever tolerate listening to us scream when I stalled the car on a steep hill... repeatedly? I remember her snoring. Ohmagawd! Could my mom ever snore! It just wasn't human! I remember the ease in which she'd throw together a Thanksgiving dinner. She was never one for stress, at least she never, EVER, showed it. She was well-known and is remembered for her fine cooking. It was a mix of Polish, German and American and was always, ALWAYS, satisfying. My high school friend Monica still mentions my mother's pork chops to this day. I remember everything she prepared as being so very good. I remember my mom subtly acknowledging the special child she had that was me. She was never a doting mom, but she was aware of who I was and provided me with the mental stimulants I needed to make it through a day. She gave me culture, both in real life experience as well as in reading materials. She'd take me to heritage festivals during the summer in Louisville and she'd take me to her childhood home in Arcadia, WI. She'd give me trips to the library and subscriptions to World magazine, a subsidiary of National Geographic. And somehow, just SOMEHOW, she managed to send me to Europe when I was fourteen. The rest of the family had been there yet no one seemed to appreciate our culture as much as I did. It was only right that I get to see the land where my grandmother and grandfather called home. Sending me on that trip was no easy feat considering our lower class status but as mom's do, she made something important happen. I'll always remember my mother's good traits and good heart and will do so even when it's not her birthday.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Who Ya Callin' A Hog?

In the latest edition of HOG Tales, the magazine of the Harley Owners Group, they explained the history behind the hog moniker for Harleys. I am happy to have learned something today.

From HOG Tales:

According to Motor Company legend, the origins of the term "hog" are rooted in the 1920s. Racer Ray Weishaar adopted a small pig as his unofficial mascot, and his success (Ray's, not the pig's) inspired fans to start calling him and his team "hogs." The term caught on, and over time it bacame a nickname for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In 1983, when the Motor Company needed a name for its new owners group, the acronym "H.O.G.", for Harley Owners Group, became a natural choice.

Hold It!

While having lunch at Chick-fil-a yesterday, I couldn't help but notice the frequency of children running past my table to get to the restrooms. Every one of these kids were holding their parts. Does that really help when nature calls? I'm sure I did it when I was their age (maybe once) but I must say, I'm glad that is something we humans outgrow. Or do we? Does that help explain why men adjust themselves in plain view of other people? They just can't stop the grab? That adjustment is among my top pet peeves so seeing kids grab themselves struck a chord immediately. Yes, I can differentiate between children and men, but it made me think. (Uh huh, funny with the "is that smoke I'm smelling?" joke.) I've asked men-friends why they adjust themselves and I understand the WHY but WHY in front of others??! Not all men do it and I thank you who don't. To me, it's a matter of manners and that should have been taught when those young boys learned about washing their hands after taking a tinkle. It's very annoying to see men flicking and digging and whatever else they do to make matters right. I have one word for the package handlers: DISCRETION!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

You've Got a Friendster

Upon invitation by Leah, I joined Friendster. There's really nothing to do by being a friendster, which made joining a no-brainer. But since I've joined, I find myself snooping around the site at least daily. I get enjoyment out of reading the profile information people, a.k.a. friendsters, post. I noticed there are a lot of friendsters who are into reading and traveling. We'd make great friendsters since I am into reading and traveling.

What is the purpose of this site? Basically to open doors for people to meet, make friends and have connections around the world. (Sometimes, I like it when the world gets small.) I have one friend on the site and that is Leah, but through her, I have an entire network of friendsters... 63 as of today. It's kinda cool to see how I'm linked to these other people. For example, I'm linked to Leah who is linked to Marco who is linked to blah blah blah. There are degrees of separation like the Kevin Bacon game.

I wonder if I'll ever be connected to Kevin Bacon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Suspect in Suburbia

While walking down the driveway to the mailbox (stop with the snickers) I noticed a couple of cop cars parked a couple houses down. I even saw one of Jacksonville's finest jogging a little so I figgered something big must be goin' down or they're being videotaped for training purposes.

I gathered up my goods and got in the Jeep to run a couple errands. As I slowly drove down the street, careful to go the speed limit since I've yet to close business on the award I earned a couple months ago, I noticed those two cops going into a neighbor's backyard with a German Shepard. They're definitely on the hunt.

I drove the three blocks to the end of my street to discover that every street leading into my little community was blocked off, someone was definitely being hunted. Being in a Jeep, I wasn't too reserved about going off the pavement to go around the obstacle of a cop car. The cop came over to me and told me that I wouldn't be able to get back into the 'hood for a while so I should keep that in mind. Let's see, do I want to miss out on all the action or go do what I needed to get done? Ok, I said. When do you expect to have your business concluded, I asked. About an hour, he guessed. He told me a breaking & entering and rape suspect had fled into my neighborhood and they had him contained within several blocks. Great, I'll go about my way I said and he suggested going to grab a happy hour somewhere. Nice suggestion from a cop, no??

I was gone for little over an hour and saw that the cops had blocked off a part of a neighboring street with yellow tape and lots of cars, so I assume they caught their suspect. Glad I wasn't around... I'd have had a bottle of wine and gone out there cheering them on. Dirty rotten bastard. Oh wait, innocent until proven guilty. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

This was posted on the local newspaper's website:

4 men held in carjacking, rape

Six-block area of Mandarin sealed off as police capture suspects possibly linked to string of attacks

The Times-Union
Four men suspected in a string of carjackings and a rape were captured Wednesday in a Mandarin neighborhood after Jacksonville police rammed their stolen car off the road and used dogs to chase them down.

The car belonged to a woman found tied to a tree in Mandarin on Wednesday morning after being kidnapped Tuesday in Nassau County and raped, police said.

Police gather around the car used by four men being held in the carjacking of a Nassau County woman. The men were captured after a short chase Wednesday in Mandarin.
DON BURK/The Times-Union

As the short chase unfolded Wednesday afternoon, school buses were diverted from the neighborhood and police called in helicopters and dogs, sealing off a six-block area.

"These guys were very dangerous," said Assistant Chief Roy Henderson of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. "Firearms were involved in these incidents."

Henderson said the suspects, who were being questioned by police Wednesday night and have not yet been charged, may also be linked to eight or more area carjackings that began about two weeks ago.

Police are waiting to interview other possible victims before releasing the names of the suspects.

St. Johns County detective William Werle was in Mandarin on Wednesday afternoon and spotted the Nassau County woman's car, St. Johns County sheriff's spokesman Kevin Kelshaw said. Werle contacted Jacksonville police, who began following the car just after 3 p.m.

Henderson said Jacksonville Sgt. Shawn McCormick rammed the car's rear and slammed it off the road at the intersection of Julington Creek and Agatite roads after a short chase.

One of the men was captured at the car, while the others were found in neighborhood yards with the help of police dogs, Jacksonville police spokesman Ken Jefferson said. The chase and capture took less than an hour.

Nassau County Sheriff's Col. Tommy Seagraves said the woman was driving on the south end of Fletcher Avenue on Tuesday when a car slowed in front of her. When she stopped, a man got out and pointed a gun at her, forcing her into the rear seat. He and three others got into the car, abandoning their vehicle, which Seagraves said had been reported stolen from Duval County. Henderson said the woman, who is in her early 30s, was found tied to a tree sometime after 8 a.m. Wednesday and had not been there long before being rescued.

Henderson said there have been a series of carjackings in recent weeks.

"We've had several around Tinseltown," he said. "St. Johns has had several. Nassau has had one."

St. Johns County investigators want to question the men about carjackings in Fruit Cove and Ponte Vedra Beach, Kelshaw said.

In one St. Johns County case, a Julington Creek Plantation man told police he came home from a restaurant in the Tinseltown area Oct. 31 and was beaten by several men who came into his house. The man said he believed his attackers followed him before entering his house. They stole a 2003 Infiniti. The man was taken to Shands Jacksonville, where he was treated and released.

Wednesday afternoon, as a helicopter circled the area and police sealed off the neighborhood, residents were told to stay inside.

Tracey Brown, who lives in the neighborhood, was at work when her husband called from his job to say he had been told what police were doing in their neighborhood.

"He was like, 'You need to get home now,'" she said, because the couple's 10-year-old son was due home from school.

She and other parents finally found their children after police diverted the buses to a church parking lot and then sent the buses back to various schools. She said she worried about her son and the other students.

"I just knew something had happened to the kids," she said. "There are so many of them."

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I'm the Bomb and Someone Loves Me

Sometimes, it's the simplest things people say that can make the difference in your day. Today, for instance, my friend Dana ended a very brief phone conversation by saying, "You know what?" I paused thinking she may revert to that childhood conversation game of making someone say "what" but she didn't. She simply said, "You're the bomb and I love you." How could I not smile and feel special by that? I've noticed lately that I have friends who do say the nicest things. I don't always tell them that they affect me the way they do, but I'm trying. It's not enough that I'm aware of the kind things they say. THEY have to be aware of the kind things they say. I started putting this awareness into action last night when I saw a friend at a bike club meeting I attend. In a phone conversation on Sunday, he ended the conversation by telling me, "It's always nice talking with you." Now, that may have merely been his spin on ending dialog in a manner other than, "Ok, bye" but I don't think so. He meant what he said and it meant a lot to me so I told him so last night. I was smiling inside and out after he'd given that compliment and he needed to know that it was heard. That's a part of effective communication, afterall. We speak, we listen. We talk, we hear. I think more times than not the receiver doesn't provide the giver an acknowledgement that lets the giver know that they've truly been heard. I hear what people say and need to let them know. For years, I've been among the worst at receiving compliments and have had that fact pointed out to me time and time again. I've made a heartfelt attempt to acknowledge those compliments because for some people, giving compliments doesn't come easy. I've learned to accept a person's kind words and not receive them with my normal skepticism. I have learned that people generally say kind things because they mean them and that's it. There's no reading between the lines, there's no ulterior motive, there's no need to fill a pause with words that by default lead to a compliment. They give one because they mean it. My friend Patrick (Yes! You're finally getting a mention here.) has been steadfast in his attempts to get me to accept a compliment. What he doesn't know, because I've never told him, is that the wonderful and complimentary email messages he sends are emails that linger in my inbox for weeks. I keep them for a while to read again and again until the intended message of true kindness and love sink in and penetrate my hard outer shell of resistance.

Thank you my friends for seeing the me that is who she is and for loving me.