Greatest Memory? Every ride with Cheri (memorialized here), especially the ones where we snuck out at night and rode to the city 20 miles away.
The first time I went for a ride, on the back of Rob Bond’s Suzuki GS550, I knew I had to have one for myself. Sharing was simply not an option. So I spent the next year (until I was 15 1/2) working my parents over. By the time I was old enough to get my motorcycle permit, they relented. Because people (mistakenly) perceive scooters as being safer than motorcycles (it’s the other way around, actually), my parents let me buy a Vespa. I worked all summer in a paint factory to pay for it, but still only had about 50%. So my super awesome dad came up with the other half. The day I turned 15 1/2 I went straight to the DMV to get my motorcycle permit. I passed the test. Back then, you didn’t have to get a car permit in order to get a motorcycle permit. And I hadn’t heard about the MSF, as it was just starting up in 1985. Too bad, it would’ve saved me launching that 1981 Vespa P200E into the bushes across the street in front of my parents and the guy selling it to me.
So I’m in La Jolla for a few days with the fam, helping mom & dad celebrate the big 5-0. I have too many awesome friends down here to not try and get something going, so I called everyone I know south of the Orange Curtain. Zina was the only one who could come out and play, and she really pulled through! Let me borrow her amazingly kick-ass light as a feather Monster SR1000, and we rode way out 94 down by the border. It was a lovely ride, no traffic, very few cops. Except for the border patrol trucks which were practically every other vehicle we saw. They didn’t care about us, but it kinda bothered me to see my tax dollars so hard at work on something I’d rather it not be spent on. I mean, sure, we can’t just have millions of people continue to pour into the country illegally, but why not make it legal and charge them income tax? I suspect the CA state budget would be much easier to balance with such an influx of cash.
Anyway, the ride was great and it felt like a nice taste of the next 4 months, because the landscape is a lot like Spain, and hey, lots of people speak Spanish around here. While savoring my delicious veggie breakfast burrito at the cool sportbiker roadhouse on 94, I complained to Zina that I’m going to a place where everyone speaks Spanish, but there’s not much in the way of Mexican food! Oh and the eye candy at this pit stop was stunning. While I’m sure to find great biker culture in Spain (duh), I cannot imagine seeing as many gorgeous men on gorgeous bikes as I saw here in San Diego. Maybe I should try to find a job at or near Camp Pendleton…
Oh, and just in case you were wondering why the hell I need new boots anyway, well… This was taken 8 years ago. At the time, I’d been wearing those boots for almost a decade. The marketing manager said he’d considered finding a way to comment on the shifter wear on the left boot, as it showed I actually ride. Or just that I ride too often in that particular pair of boots…They’re at a point where I need to avoid rain. and puddles. And my other sensible biker boots are either too butch, or falling apart before their time. ok, I need to quit obsessing over shoes and go to sleep now. This is what I get for finishing my HW in a timely manner. shoe fixation instead of studying for the finals.
Yesterday I got an e-mail from Nathaniel, rounding up some troops for a Mutaytor show. I’ve been curious about this group, as they seem to have a cult following. So I called Heather, and she didn’t want to deal with parking yet again. So I scooped her up on my urban assault vehicle with magic parking status and express lane privileges all over town. I was shocked to discover Heather even still owns a helmet. Amazing. Maybe one day she will own a bike again. So off we went to the Knitting Factory, where we saw Nathaniel careening in reverse down Sycamore to put his cage into a spot that had just opened up. Why he was looking in the rear-view mirror for parking I do not know.
Mutaytor….wow. holy f-in shit. Normally, I hate live music, it bores me to tears. All that standing around, staring at a bunch of poseurs. Boring. But this was no ordinary band. This was DANCE music. I can’t even describe it, really. Kind of Jamiroquai but more tribal and jazzy and definitely with that Playa flava. But they were so tight I could totally picture them rocking some big stage in Vegas with real fireworks and costumes. Here’s a nice video I shot…
As if that wasn’t enough, we got a call earlier from George, informing us of the new 1098 launch party. That’s right kids, just in time for tax season, there’s a new 1098 and the IRS threw a party for it at one of the most hoity-toity clubs in Hollywood. We showed up and had JJ, the local 1098 dealer, tell the doorman to let us in. We were escorted past the velvet ropes into that rarified world of the beautiful people. The new 1098:
remember, the sooner you file for your refund, the sooner you can march down to Ducati Beverly Hills and pick up yours. Unless you’re like me, and don’t loan money to people who abuse it. I can handle paying (as little as legally possible) taxes, but the idea of giving W an interest-free loan makes me naseous.
Anyway, the music at Mood was decent, and after such an awesome time at Mutaytor, we were already very warmed up. It was a wonderful evening all around, a great end to a fabulous mental health day. Which was just what I needed to survive another day at the job I can no longer do. I used to be one of the best patternmakers in the biz, and now that I am moving on to greater things and completely burnt out, I simply cannot do it anymore. I try my best, but no matter what, either I fuck up, or someone else does, and damn near everything I’ve done this season has been wrong. It’s been absolute hell. Thus, the mental health day. Seriously, I had to stay home to protect the world and myself from me. But I think it’s over. Tomorrow I go collect my money and do my math homework and look for something completely different to do in order to attract money.
Tonight was cool, because I finished work early and actually got up off my lazy ass and went to yoga!!!!! Big accomplishment for someone who exercises when the alternative is to go on a tri-state killing spree. I really must go more often. First time with this teacher and he complimented me on my style which of course makes me want to go back. Plus my favorite teacher is back at Still, so I may just have to get up early enough to catch her 9 am class next week…
So Ducati North America had a fashion show at (far as I can tell) each Ducati dealership in the country on Saturday night. I went to the coolest one, owned by my friends Christine and JJ. They hired some swanky PR guy to bring it all together and it was faaaabulous. There were celebrities, there were pro racers, there were bikers, it was all good. One of the gogo dancers is actually the ex-GF of a famous MotoGP racer, John Hopkins, so that only added to the excitement. The fashion show was silly, but I liked when they artfully applied grease to the male models’ bare chests while the rest of their bodies were clad in race leathers. mmmm, dirty boyz… Met the producers of Superbikes and told them how much I love the show. For real people, I like that show. And I won’t apologize for it neither! I won’t tell you what the writer suggested all the haters do…
After George and I grabbed a quick bite at PF Changs, he went directly to the after party at Xenii, and I made a pit stop at my favorite monthly club, Bootie LA. There I caught one of the few live bands I’ve ever seen that actually impressed me. I hate watching bands, it’s so boring. But “Blasphemous Guitars” did an amazing mash-up called “Whole Lotta Lovecats” It took awhile to get going, but once it reached the crescendo it was awesome! I’d highly recommend checking them out. Did a little bootie-shakin’ then started getting curious about Xenii. This after-hours club (speakeasy, really) is membership-only and you can see how ridiculously expensive it is here: http://www.xenii.com/membership/levels.html It’s a bargain for the practicing alcoholic who doesn’t like to drink alone, as that price includes all the booze you can drink for 5 hours each night. But for a teetotaler like me, it’s a waste.
It was fun going to such a chi-chi place and saying “I’m on the guest list” and actually being treated as such. The club was decorated with Ducatis, and all the projections were motorcycle related, so that was cool. They hosted a stunt show by Jason Britton and some of his crew, which was made all the more exciting by the thick layer of dust on the lot (making it more slippery) and the puddle right in the middle of the braking zone. I was glad to finally see the club, without having to pay for anything, so now I know I’m not missing much. Yeah, I met some tall guy who said he was a b-ball player, and Tyrese was there pimping his new album, but really I prefer clubs that get going earlier. Haven’t left a club at 4 am in a lonnnnnnng time! But it was neat (and kinda sad) seeing all the people outside clamoring to get in as I left. Amazing what a little hype can do for a place.
Later there may be some pix up here: http://beverlyhillsducati.com/
In other news, I just closed a credit card account!!! I had a hard time letting it go, the limit was so high it seemed like a fortune at my fingertips, but when I heard about how Bank of America treated one of their customers like a criminal for merely asking them to verify if the check he’d been given was fraudulent, I am glad to be rid of them. I still have one more, and I’m not ready to let it go. At least not until the interest rate goes above zero….