Sunday, December 30, 2018

Next Year

What are your hopes and plans for 2019?

As we slide out of 2018, I'm happy to turn the page. My year started off right with motorcycle trips and fun events, but headed downward toward the end. Like the stock market, my third-quarter was diminished when health concerns came out of no where. They sapped my natural enthusiasm and kept me away from activities like blogging. I want to reverse that trend and am looking for support. Describe your optimism for next year and maybe your positive attitude will rub off on me.

With conscious effort, I'm putting aside negative concerns and striving to create fun new projects. One is to revive my previous series of blog-interviews with others doing good work online. One blogger -- whom I'm sure you don't know but should -- is hard at work on her interview. She has a passion for something super-cool (vintage makeup) and her expertise on the subject is extraordinary. You'll love learning from her.

Another project I want to pursue is a special photo-shoot of my new custom-made dress. I can't tell you how well this dress fits and looks. Its design and execution were chosen with me in mind and, given that most female clothing is not created for my body, the dress stands out in every aspect. Thank you to Aimee for creating the magnificent dress and to my photographer-friend for offering her expertise in capturing its beauty.

A third thing I'm pondering are new ways to express my femininity. This has been percolating for the past few years. I love buying and wearing pretty clothes but, at the end of the day, it's lonely without friends. I've had a few opportunities to shop and hang out with girlfriends (e.g., Suzanne, Sheila) -- the joy those experiences give me is intense and boundless. I want more of that. I *need* more of that. Somehow, I'll find new ways to get it -- even if I have to show up at your front door. <knock, knock>

How 'bout you? What do you want to do next year?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Run-up To Christmas

This is either the busiest, most pressure-filled weekend of your year or the most enjoyable, depending on how early you did your Christmas shopping and chores. Which is it for you?

For me it's the latter. My cards went out weeks ago, my gifts are bought and wrapped. Everything is done. So I had free time today to do other stuff.

I suppose I'm hard for people to grasp. I did two things today which are incongruous to many. Almost contradictory. But that's my life.

I built a motorcycle shed -- a major pain-in-the-ass. Had to lift heavy wooden boards, use power tools, measure and adjust bulky metal pieces. A manly chore.

Afterward I went inside, took a bath and painted my toenails a pretty fuschia pink. That felt as natural and fun as the other activity. I'm not masculine or feminine; I'm both. I do most things both men and women do. Few cross the border as often as I.

Do you ever do activities associated with the opposite gender? I wondered about this a few days ago when I stumbled onto a cable-TV show on women motorcycle-mechanics. How cool that gals are doing that.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sports Mishap

I know most of you don't follow professional hockey but here's something interesting even to non-fans.

In the sport, you can score a goal by shooting at the net and having the puck bounce off another player's stick, skate or body. That happens a lot. Pucks travel very fast and, when ricocheting, are hard for a goalie to predict their path.

Two weeks ago, in a NHL game, a player shot the puck. It hit a referee in the nuts -- right in the nuts -- and then bounced off him and dribbled into the net. Is that a goal?

NHL decided it was not. I believe they don't want to encourage players to fire hard objects at the referees' genitals. You can't blame them.

If you're not squeamish -- or male -- the event can be seen on video.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Happy Holidays

The holiday season is upon us which means it's a good time to count our blessings. Looking outside, I see a motorcycle-collection with the exact right number of bikes. One, two, three... perfect!

My babies are nestled in their beds, asleep and dreaming of future trips. That loud noise is from the big one; he snores.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


Side-eye is a relatively new expression but the idea behind it is not. The greatest instance of side-eye goes back to this famous photograph from the Sixties of Sophia Loren looking -- and virtually commenting upon -- the dress of Jayne Mansfield.

Sophia, now 84, is still alive. She acted in her last film only five years ago. Do you know her?

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Now and Then

The last time I saw my beloved Vulcan 750, Clinton was President. No, the other Clinton.

My bike returned home this week and I'm washing her with loving care. I remember her unique curves and distinctive features, like a pill-shaped air-box and a secret storage compartment built into the seat. I know this bike so intimately; you always pay more attention to your first.

A question pops into my mind -- which of us weathered the past two decades better? Or, more honestly, who looks worse after 20 years? I'm not going to share my thoughts on that but age certainly takes a toll. On all of us, human and machine.

Seeing the sharp contrast of this bike now (showing visible decay) with its past glory makes me look in the mirror and assess the ravages of time on my own body over the past 7,000 days. We both lived, we both waned. Fortunately, we both survived.

How does the you of today compare to the you of twenty years ago?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Real Unicorn

Looking back, I'm starting to realize how odd I am. I mean, I don't plan my blog subjects; they just come to me and I assume they may interest others. But that's a big assumption. I just reviewed some past posts and notice how weird many of them are.

Okay... so I'm weird. That's not really news except to people who meet me in real life. Many believe that my quiet, conventional facade is the real me. It ain't. I learned to put on that mask years ago to fit into society and avoid detection as a gender outlaw. Underneath the facade is a bubbling cauldron of weirdness whose intense emotional heat can scorch metal.

I promise to get back to posting pictures of cute outfits but, before I do, let me offer you a true fact which I find fascinating. Maybe you will, too.

Our natural world is full of wonders, many unknown. Beneath the sea are creatures so strange we don't even know they exist. One creature we have detected is a fascinating ocean unicorn. Let me explain...

narwhal is a whale about three times the size of a human with -- wait for it... -- a unicorn horn! The horn is actually a canine tooth that protrudes forward from the whale's head. The horn twists in a spiral, just like unicorn horns. The horn has nerve endings which enable it to transmit information to the whale's brain about what it senses. Male narwhals rub their horns together to exchange information about seawater they've visited.

Narwhals are found in arctic waters near Canada and Greenland. They can live to be 50 years old. When they reach 35, they often buy red sports cars and date young female whales. (Some phenomena cross species lines.)

Narwhals communicate with each other by making clicking noises and whistles. Lately, they are all raving about how much they like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." There's no cable underwater but there is Internet streaming.

Wouldn't it be cool to see one of these creatures?! Their weirdness makes me feel less odd.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Ride or Die

The expression "Ride or Die" is becoming popular. Do you know what it means? What it used to mean?

The phrase originated among badass bikers. It means we need to ride or else we'll die. Riding a motorcycle is our greatest passion so ride or die, bro!

The saying has evolved, however, into new meanings. One applies it to people you like: "She's my ride or die girl," meaning you'll do anything for her. Another (often comically) applies it to things you like: "This mascara is my ride or die!"

Some bikers are angry about migration of their cult language into the mainstream but I'm okay with it. Language grows, especially cool phrases. Just keep your hands off DILLIGAF.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

My First Motorcycle

I started riding motorcycles 20 years ago. My first bike was a beautiful cruiser with a cherry red gas-tank (1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 750). I loved that bike. It was good-looking and the perfect introduction to an activity that became my passion.

I learned to ride on the Vulcan and took it on my first long trip. With a friend, we rode 4,000 miles in eight days from New York to North Dakota. Afterward I realized how much I like to tour long-distance and found a bike more suited to that duty (Yamaha Venture Royale).

When I replaced the Vulcan, I gave it away to a family friend for free. As fate would have it, the bike just returned to my life. My friend's brother, who now has the bike, is giving it back to me. The Vulcan isn't working but it is not my plan to fix it. Instead I will display it as an object of veneration in my future work-space. (I plan to buy a building in a year or two.)

Do you get sentimental about stuff from the past?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Return of the Carnegie Deli

The best part of my busy day in the city yesterday was traveling back in time -- to 1958.

Celebrating the start of Season 2 of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime), they brought back the famed, defunct Carnegie Deli as a one-week pop-up store on the Lower East Side. The store is decorated in Fifties style with vintage automobiles parked outside. Prices are old, too -- a Maisel sandwich (pastrami, salami, coleslaw, and special sauce on rye bread) costs 99-cents. The only drink they sell is Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda, a New York kosher brand founded in the 1800's.

If you get into the city this week, visit the past at this fun store. If you can't get there, watch the TV show. It's very funny, quite engaging and visually beautiful to look at.