Friday, September 30, 2005

The Value of Travel

I've received many queries lately regarding travel. I didn't realize so many people paid attention to my time on the road, but alas, there are quite a few. It has been quite some time since I've taken a ride, it's true. As of late, my heart has stirred to be home. My attention has been directed towards other interests, interests that keep me put and I'm happy to do so.

Some of my roadtrips over the last few years have been traveled for sheer pleasure, while others were done in competitive nature. All of my rides have ultimately been for me, even those that were timed or riddled with rules and guidelines. The days of documenting rides for others to approve seem to be miles behind me. I say that with a touch of sadness but moreso with a sense of pride in knowing that I accomplished endurance certifications that many have not and even more don't quite understand.

All of my roadtrips have special moments embedded in the tens of thousands of miles I have ridden. Some include tears but more include tummy-cramping laughs and face-hurting smiles. There is no possible way to calculate the number of people I've met along the way or convey the meaning behind their impact on me as a woman, a rider or more importantly, as a person.

So while I have no new travels to share with anyone, I would recommend venturing to
Dave's site to learn of his excursion to China. His photos are wonderful but pale in comparison to the impact of his journey. All journeys, no matter how near or distant, leave an impression within us if we allow them to.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

And People Wonder Why....

... why I want to move out of the south. It's a no-brainer, really. Does this happen anywhere else?

Happy Thoughts #2

Mail, of course...
Burt's Bees foot creme (if you've never treated yourself, do)...
The sound of a mockingbird singing one of its numerous songs...
Glad I'm not a white man...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Happy Thoughts #1

Amidst all the bad news in our world, I've decided to think of things that make me happy. The list is constantly growing and changing, just like me.

autumn is here!! it's my favorite season and even though my A/C is on (and has been on since March) I am happy to know cooler temps are just around the corner... the new n' groovy flat screen monitor I'm looking at right now... falling asleep at night to the purr of my kitty Zoe... the ticket I have to see Dave Attell next month... television shows are offered on dvd

Saturday, September 17, 2005

You Had Me At I Do, But Let Me Clarify

Oh look! Another celebrity divorce. Ok, so this isn't a "divorce", it's an "annulment". I read this and have absolutely no idea what the hell it means:

In a joint statement released to Entertainment Tonight, Zellweger and Chesney said "the miscommunication of this objective of their marriage at the start of is the only reason for this annulment."

Did Johnny Cochran provide that statement???

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Numerology Schnumerology

I'm not one to believe in daily horoscopes but I do believe in date specific voodooey type things like astrology and numerology, even though I know little about either. By what I have read, the information given is usually very accurate about me and the people I know. This was brought to my attention today and interestingly enough, I was working on an art project at the time I read about me.

The number 3 Life Path is one that emphasizes expression, sociability, and creativity as the lesson to be learned in this life. Here we are apt to find the entertainers of the world, bright, effervescent, sparkling people with very optimistic attitudes. A truly gifted 3 possesses the most exceptional creative skills, normally in the verbal realm, writing, speaking, acting, or similar endeavors. The lesson to be learned with a 3 life path is that of achievement through expression. The bright side of this path stresses harmony, beauty and pleasures; of sharing your creative talents with the world. Capturing your capability in creative self-expression is the highest level of attainment for this life path. The characteristics of the 3 are warmth and friendliness, a good conversationalist, social and open. A good conversationalist both from the standpoint of being a delight to listen to, but even more importantly, one who has the ability to listen to others. Accordingly, the life path 3 produces individuals who are always a welcome addition to any social situation and know how to make others feel at home. The creative imagination is present, if sometimes latent, as the 3 may not be moved to develop his talent. The approach to life tends to be exceedingly positive, however, and your disposition is almost surely sunny and open-hearted. You effectively cope with all of the many setbacks that occur in life and readily bounce back for more. It is usually easy for you to deal with problems because you can freely admit the existence of problems without letting them get you down. You have good manners and seem to be very conscious of other people's feelings and emotions. Life is generally lived to the fullest, often without much worry about tomorrow. You are not very good at handling money because of a general lack of concern about it. You spend it when you have it and don't when you don't.

On the negative side, a 3 may be so delighted with the joy of living that the life becomes frivolous and superficial. You may scatter your abilities and express little sense of purpose. The 3 can be an enigma, for no apparent reason you may become moody and tend to retreat. Escapist tendencies are not uncommon with the 3 life path, and you find it very hard to settle into one place or one position. Guard against being critical of others, impatient, intolerant, or overly optimistic.

Typically, the life path 3 gives an above-average ability in some art form. This can encompass painting, interior decorating, landscaping, crafts, writing, music, or the stage, or all of the above. You are apt to be a happy, inspired person, constantly seeking the stimuli of similar people. Your exuberant nature can take you far, especially if you are ever able to focus your energies and talents.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Go George Go!

My last update was provided in May. I am nerdly excited to give yet another update on money I've spent! One of my dollar bills traveled 1,398 miles from Jacksonville to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 322 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes at an average of 4.3 miles per day. I am tickled that the finder recorded the bill here.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

What Goes Around Comes Around

This must be a payback for all the chain emails I sent out in my early online days. The tagging ends here so any of you who read this are safe, you won't be tasked with this mundane assignment. You can thank me via PayPal.

1. Name as it appears on birth certificate: It's my father's name in reverse. Yes, I have a man's name, thanks folks, I appreciate that. I wouldn't tell anyone my full name until I was 12. The ridicule was just too much.
2. Nicknames: JuJu, JuRew, JuliRew, Jules, GOAG, girl, but more commonly, Goddessofallthatisgoodintheworld.
3. Place of Birth: Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, Jawja -- a peach, I am, as well as the daughter of a career Army man.
4. Favorite food: Most things that were previously walking, swimming, or living in the dirt.
5. Ever been to Africa? Yes, I've been there with Bogart & Hepburn, Bogart & Bergman, Isak Dinesen (or Redford & Streep for those of you who don't read) and Dr. Tracy & Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion (Daktari for my younger readers.)
6. Love someone so much it hurts? Sure, but a little medicated cream took care of that in no time.
7. Been in a car accident? Studebaker, no seat belt, scar on my forehead as a souvenir. (Studebaker is a car, for my younger readers.)
8. Croutons or bacon bits? Real bacon, mandarin oranges, black olives and almond slivers.
9. Favorite day of the week? Any day riding my motorbike somewhere I've never been before.
10. Favorite restaurant? A clean mom n' pop joint in some small town where people smile and are courteous AND/OR any restaurant that includes meal-sharing and conversation with a friend.
11. Favorite sport to watch? The TT, WRC, the Tour and iced hockey with lemon.
12. Favorite drink for summer? Southern iced tea, no lemon.
13. Favorite ice cream: I've yet to meet an ice cream I didn't like, well, except for that one in Bar Harbor. My current favorite is B&J's Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch.
14. Disney or Warner Bros? What does this mean? One partner or two?
15. Favorite fast food? Raw almonds or gourmet malted milk balls while riding at 80mph.
16. What color is your bedroom carpet? There is no carpet.
17. How many times did you fail your driver's test? No offense to those idiots who can answer any number other than zero here... but c'mon!!!
18. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? First of all, this wasn't sent to me as an email. Oh no.. this guy made it publicly known that he was going to place this burden upon me. Like I've got time for this... I've got an Entourage DVD to watch!!
19. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Why limit it to only one credit card? C'mon, this is America!
20. What do you do most often when you are bored? I'm never bored.
21. What time is bedtime? There's never a bad time.
22. Favorite TV shows: I seldom watch tv unless there's a DVD viewing. IF I tune in, you'll catch me watching: my aforementioned sports faves, "The Secret Life of...", "Clean Sweep", reruns of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", or "Mythbusters".
If we're talking DVD, then I'll be glued to: The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Entourage and Deadwood.
23. Last person/s you went to dinner with: Yann Martel. I took The Life of Pi to Firehouse Subs yesterday.
24. Ford or Chevy? YEEEHAW! Found in my garage: Jeep, VW, Harley-Davidson and Honda. Oh, and I farkin' hate NASCAR.
25. What are you listening to right now? Will Smith and Martin Lawrence over using the word "fuck" in Bad Boys II.
26. What is your favorite color? Green. It's always been green.
27. Lake, ocean or river? Yes.
28. How many tattoos do you have? Three.
29. Have you ever run out of gas? Literally, no. Figuratively, yes, more times than I can count.

Friday, September 02, 2005


I spoke with my dad today, so I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief. He is still without power and therefore A/C but FEMA is in the area and he has ice, water and food. The utility trucks are in his county so power should be restored within the next couple of days. He knows he is among the fortunate and didn't have one complaint to voice.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What If It Was You?

  • a fancy-schmancy beverage from Starbucks
  • a lunch at your favorite eatery
  • a movie at the theatre
  • a pizza delivery this weekend

Spend that money a little more wisely by thinking of others.

What if it was you, your family, your friends?


Rural Alabama

Every conversation I've had over the last 48 hours has revolved around the results of Katrina's visit to the southern states. It is causing growing tension for me because of the family I have in rural Alabama. It is also causing reflection.

Mt. Gilead, EST Early 1800s and where my great-grandfather preached.

My father's side of the family came from very humble beginnings in Sumter County, AL. My pappaw worked the land and worked hard for the county so his wife and six children would have the basic necessities required to live. It's a story we've all heard, it's not so unique but it reminds me that many of us don't give a second thought to basic needs until we turn on our televisions and see a glimpse of others who are going without.

The generation before mine knew hard times and remind me to be compassionate and to not want so much. That is something I've been trying to focus on recently; redefining my personal needs. As a child, I know I had no true definition of need. I'd confuse need with want but would be given a good lesson when there was no heat in my house while snow was accumulating in my yard. I come from several generations of humble beginnings on both sides of my family and my heart especially hurts for those who are not the "haves" in the areas affected by the hurricane.

We watch the newscasts and see the devastation. We hear the first-person accounts of those who have endured, who hung on, of those who remain thankful. We know in the backs of our minds that the business owners, the people with beach-front property, the average-income earners have property protection, investments, savings. We seem to know, some how, that they'll be ok in the long run. But I know there are hundreds, no, thousands, of people we're not hearing from, the people in the deep rural areas who had no choice but to stay put. These people can hardly make their way to a store to spend a few food stamps so evacuating an area to avoid harm's way was never an option.

The Ward Home Store which used to be: the old train depot; where I'd run to buy penny bubble gum; the place I'd visit with Bob Ward, the proprietor and direct descendent of the town's founder.

If you've never truly been in the deep south, this may all sound overly dramatic. If you think the south is merely fantastic college football; the hustle and bustle of hot night-life in the French Quarter; or a few states where all the wrong-doings of the old days are gone, you're sadly mistaken.

One of many rusted tin roofs. This one atop a barn at the Hay House.

As much as I love going to Ward to reconnect with my roots and visit family, I am oftentimes heartbroken as I see the real life that exists daily. The poor, the oppressed, the racism, the decay, it's all there. A couple years ago I met an old man, Henry, who might have made it through grade school, but I wouldn't wage a bet on that. Henry, a thin, somewhat crumpled black man with a few teeth left in his mouth, knows my father from way back. Everyone in the area knows everyone whether they're black or white. Henry was especially happy to see me and my father drive by his house, situated on a dirt road, one afternoon. My papa stopped to say hello when he saw Henry teetering out of his rustic shed. This shed looked like his house, only smaller. Rusted tin roof, old wood slats that stood as walls. It wasn't much and I'm not sure it was even his, but it was home all the same. As is often the case, I couldn't understand much of what Henry was saying to my father. The dialect used in the area makes it very hard for me to distinguish what people are saying and that is true of what my father and relatives say most of the time. By judging the smiles on their faces and the positive nodding, I knew the conversation was pleasant. Later on, I asked my father what was said. Basically, I needed him to translate. It was then that I learned that Henry was illiterate. He couldn't read one word but had learned to write his name. Henry had asked my father for a visit some time soon because he wanted to hear the word. What I didn't know until then was that my father would read the bible to Henry from time to time since he couldn't read it himself. It was then that I got a huge dose of reality. I quickly learned that the impoverished south isn't just a statistic used to emphasize economics on a newscast. It's an affliction that I'd never witnessed first hand until I drove up to its doorstep.

A typical road in Sumter County, AL.

I am reminded of this, of the many Henry's out there who are struggling to survive a day right now. They are in my heart, my thoughts and my hopes for quick relief.

Staying Tuned

Like so many others, I am staying tuned to the national coverage of the tragedy that struck the Gulf coast. It's always been my practice to get my news from a variety of sources, perhaps that is from earning a degree in Communications and quickly learning about ratings and the spin factor. Besides that, I tire of talking heads.

At any rate, because I've yet to reach my father (who lives 120 miles north of Mobile), I've been reading media websites from his area. Yesterday I emailed WTOK, a Meridian, MS TV station, which is the station I watch when I visit Ward. I told them that I've not been able to reach my father or any extended family and would appreciate their coverage of western Alabama. It was a small relief to see two news stories from Sumter County reported today and to learn that relief efforts are taking place in that area. They reported 45% of the county is without power and it could be several days before power is restored. It was in the low 90s there today and the bulk of my family members are over 70 years old so their welfare is of great concern. Tonight I sent a second email thanking them for the coverage and promised to stay tuned.