(Re)emergence or Happy Anniversary: The Girl Gets Around Finally Got Back Around

Today, two years ago, after over 35,000 awesome miles on the 2010 BMW S1000RR, I threw it off a mountain and that was the end of it. The end of an era. Chapter closed. Turn the page. Oh, wait; you can’t, can you? I haven’t written a single word since May 21st, 2012. Over three years of the story left untold. Admittedly, I stopped writing because I started to feel like I had nothing to say, and when you have nothing to contribute it is best to shut the hell up and let someone else do the talking or sit around in meditative silence and enjoy some quiet time. A truly alien concept in a world that doesn’t stop talking, I know. Cacophony reigns supreme, over-stimulation is king, and silence is awkward. But I digress. I am again ready to add my voice to the proverbial choir; I haven’t, after all, bought a car and called it quits with stupid fast motorcycles. The passion never ebbed, but the motivation to share had definitely dried up. I return to you then, my dear neglected readers, armed with three years worth of knowledge gained, a healthy dose of hindsight, the same sick sense of humor and “I do what I want” attitude, a tome full of stories about as well organized as my suspension setup notes, a collection of milestones which may or may not include a stolen mile marker on an Interstate highway somewhere in South Carolina, a renewed excitement to share my journey and roadside adventures, excessive wordiness and the blatant use of the longest runon sentences in recorded (blogoshpere) history. Stay tuned for the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

What does this sudden reemergence of writing enthusiasm mean for this blog in the future? A change of direction, a change of focus, and of course, a visual revamp and probably a change of name. Out with the old (not literally, of course) and in with the new, as they say. Gradually and over time, as it goes with all half-baked ideas. 😉

  • Miss Busa Tested: While I was otherwise preoccupied, I’ve had plenty of stuff and shit to try out, stress test (and crash in or with) and form an opinion about. Gear reviews will keep on coming.
  • The Garage Party: Motorcycle maintenance tips for the under-informed and the clueless. Yep, still hip to that.
  • The Wrenching Wench: –Caution! Low flying tools– The hilarity, borderline alcoholism, costly catastrophes, embarrassing trips to the machine shop, and smug satisfaction that is derived from learning to work on your own motorcycle, so you can fix shit when it breaks and show the crapchanics at the local stealership the figurative middle finger while your wallet stays tightly closed and your unwillingness to get ripped off by them yet again shines cleanly through in that self-satisfied smile of yours. Yes, still doing that. You haven’t missed much since last you’ve seen me around. I’ve gotten as far in as the transition pieces past the throttle bodies, but the camshaft cover is coming off soon enough.
  • Tales from the Road: Ride reports. Oh yeah, baby! Those are my favorite stories to tell and pretty much how this blog got its start and meager but loyal following.
  • The Library of Two: Mini book reviews. Here to stay. I’ve read a little since. I need to update that section most definitely. Maybe expand on it. Who knows. I have some ideas.
  • Dashed Hope or Pleasant Surprise: Nope. Still not going to do a podcast or a vlog. I don’t have the voice for it and the camera adds ten pounds and three inches to my ass and nose respectively. And that’s that. Besides, my Internet-sponsored anonymity and its inherent license to be a total know-it-all douche would be severely compromised.

Speaking of the good, the bad and the ugly, let’s start there. In reverse, somewhat chronological, order. It provides an excellent backdrop to the scene, the significance of this anniversary and an insight into understanding the direction in which this leg of the journey takes us. Accingite vos, my lovelies, accingite vos.

What the hell? “What I’m hearing is you telling me I have to wait until TOMORROW to read about it? One simply does not start the first season after un-cancellation with a damned cliffhanger. That’s not how it’s done! You suck!” Yeah, I do what I want. But really, it’s not like I planned this. The idea came to me suddenly, out of the blue, from nowhere, like a left-turner with a broken blinker whipping it out in front of you as you speed down the highway of life at almost double the posted limit. In other words, I’m still writing it and I’m out of practice. I’ll see you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morrow. By the way, I take my coffee with cream and a packet of [insert my favorite no-calorie chemical compound intended to sweeten things] served in a mug with the letters “WTF” emblazoned across the front. 🙂 Until then…

It is a sign of things to come...

Is this a sign of things to come?


At First Sight: I <3 2012

This year is taking off like a rocket! Literally (more on that shortly) and figuratively. I have just received word that the 2012 racing season is pretty much mine, if and how I want it. Win or lose, one thing is for certain: You, my lovelies, have opportunity to be with us every step of the way. Green to Checkered. No more unfinished business or unscheduled sabbaticals, since I have promised my racing buddy and sister in crime, Margie, that my literary prowess will be on it like an accident lawyer on a meatwagon, or keeping with the theme: On it like a crash truck on Miss Busa’s Beemer. Pinky swear.

In return, she’s going to pull off one hell of a project in 2013; if we don’t kill ourselves first. 😉

Margie and Em exiting Turn 4 at JenningsGP

I didn't hear her coming, but I sure as heck had to watch her go... You shall pay for this impudence, girlfriend. (BTW, this is how 'Stupid' starts.)

Now back to dancing around in my living room singing praises to the God of Speed…


The Phoenix and the Angry Bird

Many of my readers and friends have told me that I need to keep writing. I blew them off with a dismissive wave of hand accompanied by the same old and tired rhetoric; the same rhetoric I have repeated ad nauseam until it became personal truth: “Writing doesn’t come easily; I am, after all, the author of the 12-hour paragraph. Writing is a chore. I don’t have time for it. It stresses me out. I can’t keep up with the expectations of a regular audience, no matter how small it may be. Bla-blah, bla-blah, bla-blah…” Coincidentally, I also made myself scarce online.

The blog remained, narrowly escaping deletion in a moment of temporary insanity, standing testimony of personal failure, pointing the fingers of unfinished entries and missed deadlines accusingly at its creator.

So… what is really going on?

Life happens… rather, employment does. Not to get too far into that sad situation, let’s suffice it to say that my work environment borders on abusive. I have been enduring for over 18 months. Every time I think that maybe the storm has passed and things are settling down, I am hit with another salvo. I am not a problem employee by any standards. I am loyal, complete my tasks, am a team player, and a problem solver. I help my fellow employees whenever I can, I cover for absences when I am able. My job performance cannot be faulted, on the contrary; however, that didn’t stop the harassment. It just meant that faults had to be created. I was (and still am) spoken ill of, my concerns are of no consequence to the people in charge, and I am made out to be a person with anger management issues, apparently suffer from a personality disorder or two, which prevents me from getting along with my customers, coworkers and management. Or so I am labeled. My reputation has been sullied. I am paid less than I should be. I am constantly criticized for my “excessive” sick days. Some of the people I work with aren’t speaking to me anymore, because I called them on their continued laziness after trying to work it out with them for months. What came of it? Nothing. I was told to stay away from them and bring up further issues directly. They continue to not do their jobs, which in turn makes my job a miserable proposition when it gets busy.

Enough of that. Yes, that was the short version.

My health is suffering: my stress levels are in the red; my sleep is disturbed; I have developed migraines, have constant gastrointestinal upsets, suffer from low-grade depression, and am angry all the time. I barely keep it together at work, just so that my loved ones may suffer at the hands of pent up frustration and helplessness turned to seething anger. I have no recourse, this is a right to work state and my actual boss has no backbone. Can I prove any of this? No. They may be morons, but they know how to play this game. Short of some ridiculous write-ups and the throttling of my pay, it is their word against mine. I cannot win. I ate more crow during my stint at this company than I care to admit. There might be cause to put crow on the endangered species list. I just wanted to do my job to the best of my ability and go home. But it doesn’t work like that in the real world. I thought it did. For a little while until I became too exhausted for a life outside of my subservience to Corporate America at the hands of The (wo)Man.

Not only did my health suffer. My racing skill progression slowed, came to a complete stop before it finally reversed itself and my performance degraded to the point of regression. They cancelled my vacation to Germany to join my Dad in the celebration of his 80th birthday. I lost money on non-refundable tickets for my daughter. This is the last straw. I am done. I refuse to let this job interfere with my personal pursuits and degrade my health any further. It is time to start the process of making changes for the better. This job isn’t in those plans. If they do not find me a different contract suited for my skills, I am a short-timer in this outfit.

My days here are numbered. And knowing that gives me strength. I will rise up out of the ashes, like the mythological Phoenix, but I’m one hell of a pissed off bird. My UK readers will definitely get a chuckle out of this one, considering that I am at war with a couple of pigs.

I am back.

And if I get fired for having written this, you’ll find this angry bird getting arrested downtown by yet another couple of pigs, during the Occupy Augusta movement.

There. I’ve said it. Unedited, with horrible punctuation and grammar. =D

20111113-194022.jpg


Ascertained Uncertainty

I think I am going to retire this blog, bury the dead dog, and quit beating that poor horse. Writing? Honestly, the creation of cleverly strung together words to form a proper vision in the reader’s mind is torture. Yes, it helps me process. It focuses my brain and on that rare occasion, it is actually fun and flows from me with nary an effort. Mostly, though, it is drudgery. And why bother in the first place? What exactly does this blogging thing accomplish? Nothing really. The very few people who actually read my words will hopefully not think too harshly of me. I appreciated your kind words in the comments and your encouragements on Twitter and in email. For that small token I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It felt good to have you in my online life.

Until I find my direction, until I see a sense in what it is I’m trying to do here, I am abandoning this project. It has outlived its initial purpose, I have grown beyond its outline, if you will, and as such it has to evolve or be finished.

My work here may just be done.


Winter Riding – A love story « thedandooligan

I have read this post twice now. I am so impressed with it, I just have to share it with the rest of my readers (and accidental stumblers). If you are not already subscribed to “The Dandooligan” blog, get over there now. Grab the feed, subscribe by email, whatever… just do it. The man has nerves of steel and he is passionate about the ride. If you come here regularly, I promise you’ll like his style (in print and on rubber). This one goes out to you Northerners who are snowed in at the moment. To all you Southerners: Look the other way, this is not for the faint of heart. 🙂

Winter Riding – A love story « thedandooligan.

If I still lived in Germany, I would have to try this myself.


Reviewed To Write

Reviews, reviews, reviews. I can’t bring myself to write them. I don’t know why. Is it boring drudgery? Probably. Would it help other riders? Definitely. Would it bring in some swag? Maybe. There is really no negative point about reviews that I can make. So why do I find it so hard to do them? I really don’t know, but writing product reviews just seems like such work. I don’t want writing to turn into work. I have my job for that. It’s uninspiring. It’s boring. I have to actually go out and take pictures of my stuff, too. I thought I’d never do how-tos or walkthroughs and some have already crept into my blog. But I’ve had fun doing those, for some odd reason. Or it just turned out to be a pseudo-walkthrough as I was writing without intention of doing so. Sometimes it just comes and it’s better not to fight it or you end up hating the whole mess and quit for several weeks, because “IT” is looming over your head.

I don’t want to write reviews, but I have been told that I need to. That it would be in “my best interest”, that it could eventually turn into another source of revenue to fuel my racing passion. I’m not a technical writer, though. I don’t know what kind of writer I really am, since I never thought I would be writing as regularly as I do now. I wasn’t aspiring to become a blogger. It just sort of happened and I’ve quit several times. Yet here I am. And from the looks of it, I might be more successful at writing than I am at riding. That is a scary thought. One I will not even entertain past this sentence.

I’d rather make people disappear for money.

In Photoshop. I’m good at that. I have a six-pack of beer, one completely pissed off client and a very satisfied customer to tell me as much. 🙂


Say What?

I have just been informed by Mr. Slow that I need to write a book.

“Say what?”
“You heard me.”
“Yes, I heard you, but I would like to make sure that I am not hallucinating.”
“I want you to write a book.”
“Can I just read one instead?”
“No.”

What in the world has gotten into him? I’m barely coping with blogging. Not to mention I have to read my stuff in excess of umpteen times just to get all the mistakes out. Don’t get me started on my affinity for the run-on sentence or the alternating overuse and underuse and mostly misuse of proper punctuation. And I am so not censoring out my favorite words of the profane. I happen to like “shit”, “douche bag”, and “motherhumper”. I do not wish to be edited, my limited (but nonetheless my own) creativity messed with, my words wrangled and taken out of context. Besides…

“There is a crap load of skill books already out there.”
“I’m not talking about skill books.”
“What kind of book are you talking about?”
“Tell your story. How you got into motorcycling, how you overcame your fears, what it means in the context of your life.”

Groan.

Who would wanna read that shit,” I’m thinking as he continues to elaborate; “I’m not that good.

“You’re good. You have a talent for writing. You could make money doing this. Figure this, if you get your book on Kindle, you could make $7.00 for every $9.99 download.”

I wonder where he’s getting his figures from, but I’m quiet and listening; because making money to finance the next set of tires or the next performance upgrade without having to deal with the drudgery of my job and the heartless drama of office politics that goes along with it does sound extremely tempting. Pipe dreams, I say. But one can dream. However, I’m already dreaming… a dream several sizes too big for my stature. Now I’m being told that I should write to finance my ride.

That’s a whole lot of pressure to put on one shy little woman. I know that much. He’s giving me too much credit, is not seeing this objectively and probably has forgotten that I do not do well with self-promotion. I hate selling. Especially myself.

In time, he will forget about this writing thing and leave me to the riding thing. One can hope. Even though the thought is somewhat sweet. Sweet indeed.

…and as I hit the publish button, I am treated to this:

Freaky.