Angry Bird: Last Words to the Pig

[Note: This post won’t make sense unless you are a regular reader. It is in reference of being fired from my job last December. The “Angry Bird” series covered some of my rants in response to how a hostile work environment took a toll on my health and well-being, how it affected my dream, and ultimately lead to my [wrongful termination] dismissal. It is posted here as an affirmation of a renewed vow to living well. To rise above and beyond, to refuse to fall back into the “victim role” and its accompanying depression and feelings of worthlessness. The final entry to numerous blog posts mentioning to varying degrees how this has hindered my journey.

This is my justice!

In the therapeutic sense of writing a “letter to the abuser” (that is what it is called during trauma work in psychotherapy) you are not to send it to the person in question. You are to symbolically destroy the hold it has over you by physically destroying it, however you see fit.]

As news would have it, “Big Red” got canned. Big Red would be the party ultimately responsible for orchestrating my removal from her sight after employing 18 months of “unprofessionalism” in concert with her Evil Minion, my direct supervisor, resulting in damaging my personal and professional reputation, not to mention causing severe financial distress to my family. Big Red got fired, canned, given the walking papers, kicked to the curb, made obsolete, was superseded, and told not let the door hit her in the ass on the way out. The following month. I’m not sure for what, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m sure she undid her own self, people like her almost always do. That’s the problem when you’re playing cut-throat like a hotshot CEO but you’re a Little Leaguer on the Middle Management Team. There’s always someone with a bigger knife and a bigger thirst for blood and you just so happen to one fine day be in their way.

Dear Pig,

KARMA IS A BITCH, isn’t it?!? Must suck to give up almost twenty years of hard “work”. So many years of maneuvering, cheating, lying, and washing the blood of others off your pudgy claws, all in the name of advancement at any cost and all for nothing. Must really blow to give up a job at a company where every single person disliked you, had zero respect for you, talked trash about you and called you unflattering names behind your back, while sweetly smiling and wishing you a fan-fucking-tastic good morning. Big Red was the nicest one I’ve heard circulating, in case you were wondering. Must suck that you lost your six-digit income. Must suck to be you.

But I wouldn’t really know. I am a good person who can look herself in the mirror every day, knowing that she always tries her best to do right by the people in her life, especially family. Knowing that she endured, coping the best she could under hostile fire and still tried to do the right thing by standing up for herself, even if it didn’t make a damn bit of difference in the end and got her fired.

And here I am still doing the right thing by being humane and not suing the pants off of your company and then going after you personally. My husband thinks it was the wrong move. Sometimes I think it was the wrong move. You were breaking several laws, and your employer settled for less reasons under iffier conditions. It damn sure could be just the thing to finance a doctorate and a fine racing career at the club level. But I couldn’t live with myself if I had your blood on my hands, even if you weren’t family. But I think I may have taken you down had you not been my husband’s sister. Yes. Yes, I think I would have.

Even after all you’ve done to me, directly and indirectly, after all the years of mistreating me and using me for your own petty feel-good reasons. I kept my trap shut out of deference to my husband and the rest of your family. Kept my trap shut, smiled and pretended to be your friend and acted as family would. And yet, here you are still telling lies. Still making me out to be the antagonist, still convincing yourself and everyone around you that you did absolutely nothing wrong and make it a point to bring up how much you have done for me in all these years. How you have given of yourself and always were there for me. And look how you are repaid. The shame! Even after all that, I’m still doing the right thing by not retaliating by demanding justice. Oh, it so sucks to be you.

You have finally reaped what you sowed and that’s good enough for me. It’s just sad that harvest time took so long to get here… and it’s just a little disappointing that I can’t tell you what I think of you to your face, rather than having to spill my guts in this virtual letter.

Don’t kid yourself that I am still bothered by your egotistical self-centeredness and all that comes along with it. You don’t rate all that high in my priorities. I’m not even going to continue wasting my precious energy on hating you and wanting to get even. It’s simply a therapeutic tool to end the final stage of the grieving process and to enable myself to move on and put the past where it belongs without having it control my present and my future with its seething pain and nagging self-doubts.

Why? All because I had already made plans for New Year’s Eve 2009 and I refused to cancel out on people because that would have been rude. All because I didn’t go over to your house and take those stupid golf cart rides freezing my balls off and getting ostracized for not drinking enough keeping pace with your level of consumption. Why? Because it never dawned on you to give us more than three days’ notice. How many times have you cancelled out on our invitations or just sent your husband over?

I’m glad you could save face through all of this and rest comfortably in your knowledge that you (and by extension your kids) have been wronged by me. It was an expensive enough price that was paid, it had better be worth it.

I’ll go out on a limb here and make another prediction: You’ll die alone. Just take a long hard look at yourself and how you’ve been treating others in your professional and personal life. There’s still time, but somehow I doubt you will make good use of it. Narcissists need professional help to empower them to do what comes natural to most people.

That’s ok. I’ve taken out the trash, and with this final rant I have rid myself of all toxins that threatened my well-being and inner peace. I may be broke, I may lose my home, I may have to declare bankruptcy and put my dreams on hold. But even in the worst case scenario, I still have friends. I still have people who enjoy my company and like me for who I am. I won’t die alone, I know that.

Sorry for your terrible loss.

Condolences,
Angry Bird

P.S. Maybe you should try adding apologizing to your undoubtedly considerable skill set. I hear it works fairly well when you screw up royally or have been a complete ass for one reason or another. Most of us real people take turns doing that, you know. It’s actually a socially acceptable practice and the injuries inflicted upon your ego are rumored to be fairly short-term. Worthy of consideration.

P.P.S. Oh, and I forgive you. But I damn sure won’t forget!

And now I’m just a Bird. Without a Pig’s worry.


Yamaha: 5 – Miss Busa: 0

This is not fun anymore. In retrospect this hasn’t been fun in quite a while.

I want to ride these things as fast as I dare, not try and put them together and figure out what the previous owner(s) had done (or fucked up) so I can get an engineering degree online and learn to fix it. In the process I found out the following: I can teach myself mechanics if I can start from a baseline. I put a crashed S1000RR back together without this much fuss. Given, it took me 13 weeks and approximately $1300 in parts and tools, but it was a journey that was much more gratifying and taught me a lot about how motorcycles actually work. A road well traveled and worth it.

However, wrenching on the R1 feels like putting together a puzzle. I hate puzzles! You would have to put me on some serious medication for me to enjoy putting together some crappy picture printed on cardboard pieces.

Who in the world could enjoy sitting down to a 5000-piece puzzle and put it together when you a.) don’t have the box anymore with the picture on it, but you vaguely remember what it looked like; and b.) there are some puzzle pieces, from another 5000-piece puzzle, that don’t belong, but got mixed into the pile, but you don’t know that (yet).

I’m selling the R1.

I HAVE HAD IT!

That is all.

I have reached the point where the benefit does not outweigh the work put in and the frustrations encountered along the way.

I admit defeat. Shamefully, I throw in the towel, pack it up, and go home. I want to go back to paying somebody to do this shit for me, and I can only do that by returning to my roots: being a high-mileage street rider and combat commuter, who (maybe) goes to the occasional track day to keep most of the shenanigans off the street in an attempt to avoid going to jail for free body-cavity searches and crappy food.

This is the first time I have ever let an inanimate object (or a massive collection of them) beat me. My IQ will recover… eventually. Time heals most wounds. In the meantime I just allow myself to feel stupid as hell.

I apologize to Mr. Slow who has leaped tall buildings in a single bound to make it possible for me to own a dedicated race bike and has been nothing but supportive along the way. He has given up so much to enable me to chase some arbitrary dream I started having for reasons I still don’t quite comprehend.

It’s time for me to wake up and rejoin reality. I really should steal his license plate, move the electrical tape dot over one character and slap it on my bike. Although, my man would look pretty silly cruising down the road with “Rocket Girl” hanging off his tail.

Today, I am the MRS.LOW to his MR.SLOW because I feel painfully ungrateful by giving up.

Mr. Slow is actually faster than me, or could be, if he ever decided to trade his hard bags for knee pucks. But he is Mr. Slow because that’s his riding philosophy rather than a reflection upon his skill set. And that is my confession.

~*~

There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re traveling with me

Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House

Review (& Rant): Dainese SteelT Lady Gloves

I love Dainese. I am a self-proclaimed Dainese gear ho. When I’m in the market for new motorcycle gear, I always check out what Dainese has to offer first. Heck, I drool over their gear even when I am not. I am awed by the quality of their products, their attention to detail, their commitment to research protective gear and its continuing development, their use of the latest tech. Il Dottore doesn’t look half bad in their stuff either… especially when viewed from the rear;  …inside line in a turn, as he hangs a cheek off the hardware, dragging his kn…

Where was I? Oh, yeah… Dainese. Their stuff is so expensive, their price tags easily induce sticker shock, but the brand is considered one of the best in the industry.

Dainese = Quality. Always. Or so I thought.

I bought a pair of Dainese SteelT Lady gloves, which seem to be the women’s version of the men’s Full Metal Pro gloves, or a derivative of the design. At a $229 price point, I expected more than what I had.

The gloves felt well-made, are comfortable and looked to me like they would protect me in a crash. They have plenty of protection on the knuckles and the back of the hands. None in the palms. They did put some extra layers of extra thin leather in the contact zones.

I busted the seam on the inside of my right thumb a few weeks into using them regularly on the street. I didn’t do anything other than get on the throttle with that hand. No. Really.

I busted the seam on the inside of my left thumb during a low-speed lowside coming out of Turn 4 at the Nashville Superspeedway during my very first road race. Nothing a fashionable little piece of red duct tape couldn’t fix. There’s a reason racers call that stuff “200-mph tape”. 😉

I tore the left glove to pieces when I tucked the front end of my Beemer hauling 120-some miles into Turn 1 at Barber Motorsports Park. I had ample opportunity to test out the various friction coefficients of select parts of my body as I made my way down the hill sliding this way and that, flipping over the Indy strip and following my bike into the gravel trap.

I remember the exact moment the glove had worn through. It wasn’t but seconds after my premature get-off. I was on my stomach, sliding feet first, ahead of my bike down the hill. I felt an increasingly sharp pain in my left hand, and I tried to lift my arms off the pavement, but was unsuccessful. I remember wondering how far one would slide at triple-digit speeds and  how long it would take. It didn’t seem like I was going to slow down anytime soon. Fortunately, I tumbled over onto my backside shortly thereafter.

I had a few bruises on my right thigh and leg. My ego suffered a blow. Other than that damned hand I was fine!

That was in May 2011. The injuries on my hand still hurt. I have a gnarly collection of scar tissue in two places. Great. I don’t think dudes dig scars, do they?

Miss Busa Stamp of Approval

Dainese SteelT Lady Gloves: 1 Heart for being absolute crap for a premium price!

I make it a point not to buy women’s gloves anymore. Not from Dainese, not from any other manufacturer.

Fortunately, my Sidi Vertigo Lei boots and my Dainese Yu Lady one-piece leather suit are holding up to the abuse I throw at them on the track.

I really can’t understand why women’s gear must be inferior in quality to the men’s gear. It’s not just the gloves. I have heard other women complaining about the very same thing: how their female-specific gear came apart in a crash, while the men’s gear they were wearing did its job just fine. A lot of the lady riders out there who are fortunate enough to fit into men’s gear more often than not buy men’s gear for the higher quality and added protection.

Either the industry believes women to be invincible or they think we are not serious enough riders to warrant the same level of protection our male counterparts enjoy.

Screw variety, give us gear that freaking works as designed and fits.

And why in the hell are we paying the same as the guys when our gear is inferior to theirs? Last time I checked, inferiority came with a price break.

Sidi can do it with their boots! Why can’t Dainese do it with their gloves?


Angry Bird: The Final Assault

Not too long after writing about having to make necessary changes in my life to assuage the medical problems and excessive stress-levels caused by my situation at work, I receive my walking papers from my employer. No verbal demerit, no write-up, no final warning. Not even a decent explanation. I was simply let go for “being unprofessional”. I realize during my interview, that “The Man” isn’t there to hear my side of the argument [rebuttal of the accusations], the decision had already been made. Consequently, I delivered a speech on my view of things. A verbal statement completely devoid of the flowery scent of diplomacy or the carefully chosen verbalizations of a player maneuvering for a better position in the game of office politics. In short, I told him exactly how I see this matter brought before me. I was tired of the lies of those who’d rather see me gone. When the deck is stacked, no amount of skill, competence, or psychological “warfare” will save the hand you’ve been dealt [repeatedly]. This wasn’t a battle I was going to win. Not at this very moment. I made my last stand. I said what was on my mind. I clued him in as to reasons why this is really going on. And it wasn’t anything to do with me or my job performance or my general attitude. The result: “We don’t need you to come in tomorrow.” He mumbled the words. I had to ask for clarification: “You do or do not need me to come in tomorrow?” He replied: “We do not.” I stood up, locked eyes, and said: “Now, that wasn’t that hard, was it?” He just looked at me. He actually had the nerve to wish me good luck as I made my way out the door. Luck? I don’t need no steenkin’ luck! I need a boss who stands up for his employees when they are clearly being mistreated by their contractor/customer bosses.

But the abuse doesn’t stop there. That isn’t quite good enough for the powers that be. After filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits, I am informed that I was fired for “disruptive behavior” and to please explain myself in a rebuttal. I do. I keep it short and factual. As I was asked: “No. I do not agree. I am not aware of any incident happening on [date of termination]. I don’t really know what they are talking about.” Can’t make an effective rebuttal if you’re dealing with generalities. Of course,  one can’t deal in specifics when the case is fabricated and the evidence is weak at best and has to be made to fit the cause. So generalities it is, like religion or badly implemented statistics.

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but what I am experiencing are the five stages of the grieving process:

  1. Denial? Check. I thought reason could prevail here. Reason. And facts. I was in denial much of the last 18 months of my stint with this particular outfit. Isolation? Check. Did a lot of that. Just no energy for anything or anybody else. Sleep. Work. Eat. Repeat. Social interaction? No thanks. Get plenty of that already. Tempting, but I’ll pass.
  2. Anger? Check. Check! Checkity-check! Injustice and prejudice, harassment and slander [or is it libel? Both, I’d say, by definition] will push anybody into that direction. A thousand postal workers can’t be wrong, after all.
  3. Bargaining? Check. I’ve done plenty of that. Faulting my reactions to the various “incidents.” Cursing my inability to “see it coming” and refusal to “play the game better than them”. Honestly, I don’t want to live my life conniving and manipulating; and to that extent, neither do I want to spend it being paranoid; documenting and running worst case scenarios through my head in the name of being prepared. Screw that. I believe in the basic good of humanity. I have to believe that at the end of the day, justice and righteousness will prevail. That the facts will speak for themselves when the final score is tallied come judgment time. That sort of thinking has no room in corporate life. None! Law, rule, and policy only apply when convenient. After all, it isn’t a crime unless you get caught, right? I keep berating myself by making excessive use of the “if only I had…” thought process. I am mired in “what-if” mechanics and all that emotional non-sense leads to
  4. Depression. Got it covered. I have mastered the art of depression. I should get a reward or something. Seriously. Maybe I should try alcoholism next time…
  5. Acceptance? Not quite there yet. I waver in and out. Part of me wants to move on; forget (but not forgive) or maybe forgive (and not forget), not entirely sure which… put the past where it belongs, learn from it and not let myself be put into the position again. As I always like to say, I learn from my mistakes. The FIRST TIME AROUND. I try not to be a repeat offender. Part of me wants justice. Make right all the wrongs through judicious use of some well-earned courtroom time. Sue the bastards. Take ’em down! Hit ’em where it hurts: their corporate coffers. Give those self-righteous lowlifers a taste of their own medicine. Go ahead and get in line at the Department of Labor. Good luck to you. Make an example out of the responsible parties that this sort of thing will NOT go unpunished. That abuse of power and willful disregard for inconvenient policy eventually will be the ink you sign your own termination with. I want to make them bleed. But it’s not going to happen. Not like I envision it, anyway. If my fantasies were to come true, I’d have Charlize Theron play my character in that Lifetime movie deal. Acceptance? Not there yet. I promise I’ll get on that after I save my house from foreclosure and narrowly escape bankruptcy. A trusted friend of mine told me that the best revenge is living well. I was living well before they started in on me and as a result threaten the very thing.
This is why...

Why was I holding on and putting up with so much crap for 18 months? Because my paycheck funded my habit. That's why.

Time for Plan B: Living well(er). Be the Phoenix. Rise up out of the ashes and be more badass yet! Restore my inner peace, be happy and hot in pursuit of intellectual goals that I have given up long ago, dismissed as impractical. Rise up and show The (wo)Man the middle finger of unrealized potential. Sad, really, that those who call me stupid and would want to keep me in my [preconceived] place [of subservience] are already topped out, stretched beyond the limit of their own capabilities and have nowhere else to go [but down]. They are all they could ever be. Contrary to what some may think, the world for me has just opened up.

We’ll compare sizes [again] in about eight years or so. Or you will, since I really won’t give a rat’s ass for very much longer. =D

UPDATE:

Angry Bird: Last Words to the Pig


Silenzio! Ruhe! Pass the earplugs!

Loud Pipes Save Lives. A statement a lot of bikers swear by. I have never really cared one way or the other about this heated and controversial argument. Roll what you feel good with. If you believe that your 110dB eardrum shattering ass end will keep you alive and well, go for it. I myself am of a more stealthy persuasion. I like my bike to purr like a kitten rather than sound like the end of the world is nigh. Although I wear earplugs most of the time when I’m riding, I couldn’t stand having to wear them because my own pipes are so freaking loud that I can’t hear myself think. It would annoy me, break my concentration, rob me of my inner peace. My bike isn’t really all that quiet in the upper RPM ranges either, but it’s not like I hang out there very often, given the kind of riding that I’m engaged in 90% of the time. I wear earplugs on the track, even though I hate it, because I can’t understand what people are saying unless I’m looking directly at them, which causes a lot of “Huh? What? Could you repeat that?” and a fair share of “I have not a clue what the hell is going on!”. Once I’m out there I prefer to have my ear canal blockage in place. It makes the world eerily quiet, but not completely devoid of sound.

Why don’t I like loud pipes? Personally, I don’t believe excessive noise saves our heinies. Cagers are too engaged in their own little bubble of cranked stereos, cell phones glued to ears, and engaged conversations with their passengers. They don’t even hear your thunder until you are right on top of them. Too late to be of any good other than to piss them off because now they can’t hear what their buddy on the other end of the 3G connection is saying. I also don’t want to listen to myself roaring down the street all the time. And I don’t want to attract any unnecessary attention. Needless to say I would wake the neighbors leaving home for work on my horrendous schedule about seven mornings per month. Even though one of my neighbors told me to blast my horn when I come home, since she can’t hear me ever since I got rid of my beautiful Harley Davidson. She’s an awesome woman. Always watching out for me and making sure I am safely inside my house in the wee hours of the night. She’s seen “some stuff” go down in her time, let’s leave it at that.

Have I considered getting a race exhaust for some performance enhancing fun? Sure I have. But I can’t find one I can live with and give me the performance increase that I would want to see when dropping that kind of money. I suppose the loud pipes will have to wait until I can afford a dedicated track/race bike.

I don’t really follow politics or am I a “motorcycling activista” but I think that the state of affairs is such that all that noise generated in honor of “loud pipes save lives” or “stupid fast performance for squidly street fun” is awfully close to turning into “loud pipes kill rights”.

When the douches wearing pinstripe suits and ties that are cinched way too tight, who never even rode a motorcycle, finally get around to banning our aftermarket pipes with the sweet exhaust notes and the delicious performance increases that come with those triple-digit decibels, I will cry in my beer next to the fella whose conviction was settled on the loud end of the noise spectrum. At least I can say that I wasn’t part of that particular problem. Maybe when they finally get to ban literbikes for public street use, you could point a finger at me… maybe.

I don’t think “majority rule” isn’t quite what the motorcycling public or the “biker subculture” need. The majority doesn’t even ride anything more than maybe the subway or the commuter train, yet we are ruled by them. Oh no… I’m getting politic! I need to leave and wash my mouth out with antibacterial soap! Stat!


No, thank you. I don’t smoke!

Cigarette butts out of car windows have homing devices built into their filters. They lock onto their target, enter the slipstream and take aim at the nearest motorcyclist. If I had a penny for every time… oh well, I could buy a pack of premimum pre-rolled and filtered cancer sticks of my choice.

I am tired of it! If you assholes would just take a moment to think how it would make you feel if some joker walking ahead of you flicked their half-smoked Marlboro over the shoulder at you and it hit you square in the chest. You both would end up sitting in the back of a squad car not ten minutes later, like 7th-grade school boys in the principal’s office. There would be an altercation, and tell me it isn’t so. I’ll eat a pack of Camels lit if you would just brush the ashes off your clean, neatly pressed dress shirt and go about your business without so much of a thought of letting the smoking offender know how displeased your are with their lack of consideration and total disregard for their surroundings.

Chances are the motorcyclist two car lengths behind you feels the same way. The jacket I am wearing cost more than your damn business casuals including your loafers and your cheap knock-off watch. I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture a guess and say that in some cases my ride and gear are worth twice the Kelly Blue Book value of your smelly-ass rolling dirty ashtray of an automobile. We are not just some hooligans who had it coming anyway.

If you don’t want the butts in your car, wait until you get to your destination to fire up the next coffin nail, you stupid moronic waste of human trash. Not to mention that if you flicked your butt at a cop you would get fined for littering! Hefty!

Have you ever considered what could happen if that burning projectile you so carelessly jettisoned from your fresh-smelling (and I mean that with every ounce of sarcasm that I have left) environment found its way into a motorcyclist’s helmet or down their jacket collar? And don’t you dare laugh at the thought. You wouldn’t after you spent some time educating your inconsiderate self in the ways of aerodynamics. Although you probably are too narrowly focused (I just spent the last of my sarcasm/cynicism allowance) to grasp the concept.

The next time you toss the rest of your drink, your lit cigarette, your girlfriend’s IUD out of your car window and then act surprised when some irate bitch on a supersport is pacing you close enough to clip your mirror while shaking a mad fist at you and staring you down with red glowing eyes, hoping you’d pull over so she can lay you out flat on the rumble strip, you might be able to venture a guess as to what the possible cause of her anger is.

We are living, breathing human beings who want the same thing you do: get to our destination in one piece, within a reasonable timeframe and with the least amount of stress and aggravation possible; maybe even arrive in a decent enough mood. The only real difference? We choose to use half the number of wheels to get around. Now quit treating us like we are just another vehicle and part of some machine. That “thing” plopped on top of that motorcycle — that is now close enough for you to reach out and touch — is 57% water, just like you and is very vulnerable unlike you in your cage constructed of high-tech plastics and metal alloys, with airbags all around, rolling down the avenue on four pieces of round rubber which are probably too low on air pressure.

Quit behaving like the world is yours and nobody but your deluded self matters. Next time don’t be surprised when I come up alongside you with my emergency window breaker and a can of mace at the ready. What do you think us two-wheeled menaces to society have stashed in those tank bags anyway? That’s where we keep a bottle of water, our stockpile of marshmallows, a handful of ball bearings, a couple of Glocks, extra high-capacity ammo clips, pink lip gloss and some hard candy. Now you know.

The “share the road” philosophy embodies more than just a sentiment to move over two inches for a bicyclist or a pedestrian. It also does NOT entitle you to laying on your horn every time you see a woman walking or cycling!

Oh, will you look at that?!? I still have a balance in my profanity/name-calling account.

You fucking douche bag litterbugs!


Almost…

It’s been quite the struggle lately. The fast approach of winter probably has something to do with my lack of motivation and general malcontent and frustration with my progress, or rather the lack thereof. I knew it was going to be difficult to realize a dream of this magnitude by myself and I thought I was prepared for the struggle, but reality is stealing in and robbing me of my enthusiasm. A lot of the time it just seems so much easier to just give up. Then there are those obstacles that continue to pop up unexpectedly, like fallen rocks at the apex of a blind corner on a beautiful mountain road. You went in too fast (too unprepared, too unfocused, too naively) and now are realizing that your line of travel goes right through the middle of it. You somehow save it, but you are beginning to wonder what the hell is wrong with you. The more stuff happens, the more you wonder. If I were a religious person, I would probably say to myself: “This is God’s way of telling me it needs to stop. That this is the devil’s way of seducing the faithful soul into sin.” Fortunately, I am not religious. Instead of trying to read the sign, I keep pushing on. Working it. Spending every waking moment thinking about it. What step is next, breaking it down, making it happen. I have reached a new level, sure. But the closer I get, the harder the task.

My ‘Racing Fund’ is running low on cash, my spirit is drained from all this mundane work and mental training, having to learn new stuff that I didn’t think would have any thing to do with motorcycling or racing at all. Soldering? Please. Yet, here I am. “I love the smell of burnt lead in the morning.” *inhales deeply, making a manly snorting sound* “It smells like (more crap to overcome on the way to) victory!” Grunt work. But necessary. I prep. I procure. I learn. I wrench. I work at my boring but pretty well-paid job. I make lists. Too much training and not enough action. Kind of like the military. Train, train, train. Now what? When do we get to apply our craft? All dressed up and no one to kill. Frustrating. This is how this feels. And I know that is part of the problem. I have little self-motivation, because somewhere, someone in my past instilled this belief — this nagging, dark, lying little inner voice, that I should “not rise above my station”; that I am “never good enough”; that “lofty goals are for setting oneself up for failure”. Then there is my extreme shyness, which makes avoidance and self-sabotage a weapon of choice. Go with the flow, don’t stand out, blend in and don’t make waves. WELL, SCREW THAT! But it is a struggle to overcome these things.

To make a long story short (again, I do believe it is slightly too late for that): I have had a series of setbacks and they are tearing down my resolve. Frustration. Dwindling motivation. The gnawing of that negative piss-ant voice in the dark recesses of my brain; worming, slithering, creeping about, making itself known with its condescending quips here and there; and gathering its strength for a full-frontal assault. It’s happened before; but never have I been able to hang on this long until it all went into cascading system failure. The result: I give up and move on. Eventually it all fades into unimportance as I acquire new interests and avert my focus.

Hurdles, I was speaking of them before. Money. There is a huge one. I’m running out of my savings. And still, the list keeps getting longer. Technically, it’s getting shorter but for every two items I check off, one or two more show up. Obviously, part of that has to do with the lack of decisive and detailed planning. But I know not what I do, so I have to wing most of it. I have no mentor. I know no one personally who has raced before, in any of its forms. I do thrive on that a little, but at the same time it stresses me out. Recent case in point:

I got it in my head to go to the Maxton Mile in Laurinburg, NC on our wedding anniversary and partake in the last ECTA speed trials meet of this year. My bike had been in the shop for about ten days or so, and I had plenty of time to get ready. Yeah. I can pull this off. The dealer strung me along with promises and I thought my bike would be repaired and ready to go with plenty of time to spare. I spent over $700 to get race prepped. I planned, I studied, I made phone calls and I asked questions. I was actually getting excited. I finally had a little of that “something to look forward to” action in my life and it blew away all my frustration at my lack of skill progression, conflicting work and track day schedules, money woes, and the list goes on. Mr. Slow told me it would be a bad idea to waste all this cash on LSR when I’m less than six months away from the start of the road racing season. I told him that I needed this to keep going. I needed to get out of my “all dressed up and nowhere to go” funk that was slowly but surely settling over my resolve. He nodded and said that he understood, but also gave me this one caveat: “Don’t get your hopes up, you don’t even know if your bike will be back in time. I don’t want you to set yourself up for disappointment.” I dismissed his cautionary advice with repeating a statement made to me by my service department: “We ordered the part today. It’s being overnighted from Germany. Should be here Tuesday. They sometimes come late to deliver, so it should be ready either late Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.” And so it was decreed. I was going to my first official racing event. I actually had fun for the next three weeks. I knew the chance I was taking, but I also knew that I had to keep getting ready, because I didn’t want to be the one who fouled it up by lack of preparation. I enjoyed the newfound motivation, the feeling of having purpose. Mr. Slow even took the day off (against all odds) so he could come with me, since I really didn’t want to go by myself. I am such a damn scared-y cat! Going forth and doing something I never really have done before, not in this setting anyway, and all of it in front of a largish crowd gave me a case of the nerves. Short of getting on my bike and hauling ass as quickly and fast as I can, this was all new to me and I needed someone there to hold my hand. Yeah. So what?!? There ain’t no shame in my game.

Needless to say, it didn’t work out. Bike was ready one day before the meet. No time to make it to Norcross, GA before they closed up shop. They called around 3:00PM and it takes, depending on traffic, about 2-2.5 hours to get there in drive time alone. Even if I had been able to throw all my stuff in the back of the truck, haul ass up there, pick up the bike, and haul ass back; then wrench all night by myself to get the bike race prepped (I had some of it done already by the dealership to save time), then drive all the way to Laurinburg sleep deprived and do practice runs hopped up on diet pills and energy drinks (Low-Carb Monster? Diet Red Bull? Anybody? I drink enough of that stuff to warrant a sticker on my ass and a contingency plan.) Another kicker? They tried to call me into work, but I missed their calls, not to mention I was in Atlanta and wouldn’t have been able to make it there in time to be of any use anywa. But hubby didn’t miss his phone call, so he had to go to work. We don’t even work at the same place or the same town. How’s that for fate?

That concludes the Tale of Two Failures. I didn’t even blog about the first one, maybe I’ll mention it in detail one of these days. I give you a hint: I missed my first official WERA race. Fortunately, I hadn’t registered yet and hadn’t begun to spend a ton of money of my “Racing Fund” either. As luck would have it, life intervened not a minute too late, and I had to spend part of my “tire money” elsewhere. FML.

6 November: Lisa and Em partying away Monday's track day money.

Track Day Fees or Cover Charge: Because sometimes you just have to drink a load of low-cal shit beer in order to save money on rubber later.

Then there was that little embarrassing interlude with my planned JenningsGP track day to see what was going on with my skill progression. Also had some suspension fiddling planned since I’m way too saggy in the rear (any wise cracks and I’ll beat you with my breaker bar, is that clear?) and my damping settings could use a tweak or two. I dunno exactly what’s going on there, but I figured I’ll take it to the proper place to make the adjustments and read tea lea…. I mean, rubber and see if I can’t sort it out for myself. Tweak the springs and find out how bad my lap times are still the suck. *nods* Yeah, let’s just say three words here: Failure to appear. I went out with a girl friend and blew a track fee’s worth of $$$ on partying and cab fare. Doh! I knew it, too. Nobody to blame but myself. Instead of dragging knee (and a little more toe than I’d care to admit) on Monday, I was dragging my drunk ass all over some honkey-tonk barroom on Friday. I don’t even like Country music. Epic. Fail. Ballroom Blitz.

My life is starting to resemble a Bowling For Soup song. Rewrite the lyrics into something with a little more VP100 and voilà: Miss Busa’s has her own “Soundtrack of my (Racing) Life”.

Racing voids the warranty.

Almost.