Thursday, November 20, 2014

Family and Commuting in San Diego

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I feel like I've neglected my blog lately. It's been a very busy few weeks, and the only motorcycle riding I've done is back and forth from San Diego, CA to Menifee, CA where my home is.

Last weekend my daughter and her husband came to Menifee (my daughter Olivia is beside me with my grandson Jackson, and her husband David is behind me) and Steve and I rode up to Menifee to my niece's home for a Family Football Day. Actually, it was just a reason we used to get together and spend family time, watching football, eating, drinking and singing karaoke.

My niece Shelli is our Assistant Extraordinaire, managing our business affairs and personal banking while we are on the road. She handles all of our mail, packages, banking, bookkeeping, etc. She is the one in the red holding her youngest, Sophia, age 17 mos. Her kids are Brianna age 15, Josh age 9, and Zack age 11 (he's so much like Steve it's scary!) and her husband David (yes we have 2 Davids!) is the tall guy in the back.

We had a fantastic visit and the girls got to spend some quality "Mommy Time" together.

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For Steve and I, it's good to come home, regroup, get work done, and catch up on personal stuff. I have a slew of doctor appointments over the next few weeks to manage my ever-nagging chronic pain, my pinched nerves in my shoulders (which are getting worse every day), my cardiovascular/heart issues, and my yearly physical. This is one of the main reasons we come back to San Diego each winter, as it takes time to address all of this crap. I really hate the nuisance of dealing with my health issues. I wish I could just be healthy and not have to address it all. . .

Fortunately, we have a great place to call home. San Diego has the best weather year round! We've rented a condo close to Balboa Park and we have all the amenities one could hope for; a gym, pool, spa, underground parking and washer/dryer in our condo. The only thing missing is a housekeeper, so now after being her 3 weeks, it's starting to show. One of us is going to have to break down and scrub a toilet soon. It's amazing how spoiled we've become after living in hotels for so long.

San Diego offers so many options for food and drink that we mostly walk to go out, and we go out about 4 nights a week. I love to cook, but since we work in our condo all day, it becomes imperative that we get out a few nights, just to break up the monotony of being in the same place all the time. Of course, we also walk over to Balboa Park too, just for some sunshine and fresh air.

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Motorcycling here is some of the best riding I've ever done. We have so many canyon roads from which to choose, the beauty of PCH, desert roads that lead through rolling hills, and a web of Interstates to access for getting somewhere quick. There's also the thrill of lane splitting, which is something one can only do in California. We got stuck in dead-stop traffic last Friday night riding from Lake Forest to Long Beach. We actually started our ride in San Diego, but the minute we reached the 405, traffic was at a stand still, so we rode the entire 33 miles splitting lanes.

We went to Long Beach to see Alonzo Bodden at the Laugh Factory with a few of the folks from Indian Motorcycles. The International Motorcycle Show was going on at the Long Beach Convention Center, so many of the people from the show were heading over to see Alonzo's act. He rides too, so part of his comedy centers on riding, and he certainly catered to the motorcycling crowd that night. We had a great time, even though riding to Long Beach was a long and grueling ride. Once we arrived we showered up, dressed up a bit, and hit the town. Steve treated me with a new sparkly dress and shoes, which made me incredibly happy.

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So I'm getting plenty of miles in, albeit not always the kind of miles I want to ride. So much of it has been simply commuting back and forth, but as Steve is so fond of saying, any day riding is a good day.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tainted Asphalt of Hate

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So often I say, "The Road is my Home," and I mean that when I say it, but on some other level of my reality, Southern California, San Diego and the suburban valley of Menifee are home to me as well. Even though I don't stay in Menifee, I own my property there and my Assistant Extraordinaire Shelli rents it. The house is her home, for her family, and when I go there, I am a guest. But a piece of me still sees the house and knows that a part of me lives within those walls. A painful ghost of who I once was. . .

I ride my motorcycle around the town with anger, resentment and rage. I remember my exx while I'm there and I know he lurks in the fast food joints and in his miserable rental house less than a mile from the home we once shared. When we initially separated he moved in with his parents in the next little town and sulked a couple of months. When Steve got his own apartment a mile from my place, my exx moved into a rental up the street from Steve's apartment. I'm sure it was no coincidence that he could see Steve's driveway from his street and he could just "BE" around all the time, driving up and down in my neighborhood.

Being in Menifee reminds me that I still feel a deep rage for this man. It saddens me that I'm not at a point of forgiveness yet, because I would like to be. But things happen in their own time, and as long as I'm willing, it will happen at some point.

I have friends in town that I love to see, but unfortunately, every event, lunch, meeting, and office I visit is only a temporary haven for the streets and parking lots that await me. Once I see the asphalt I feel the hate welling up in me and loathe this little town.

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I hate my exx for many reasons, mostly for all of the lies he told, and I wish in my heart that I could release the anger and live happily in this city of my friends. But the asphalt taints my motorcycle tires and I ride with rage, inspite of myself.

This is why I love San Diego, and all the roads beyond. I am free from my past, my reality, my mistakes with that loser, when I am rolling beyond those years and that captivity. Staying in San Diego through the holidays, I'm close enough to visit my family without having to be in the middle of that place that fills me with such pain.

For now, we'll be spending most of our time in this sunny spot on the coast, catching up on work and enjoying all it has to offer. We love the vacation rental we've found on Bankers Hill, also referred to as Park West, within walking distance of plenty of bars, restaurants and the famed Balboa Park. The ride to and from Menifee is only an hour, which is just long enough to cleanse away the black hatred in my heart for that life-sucking-vampire and miserable waste of skin zero to whom I was once married. By the time I reach the bright rainbow of lights of Hillcrest I'm happy and free again, ready to live in my new reality.

Where do you store the mistakes of your past?

Have you really left them behind for good, or do the haunt you when things get a little too quiet?

Is that when you, like me, roll back the throttle, scream in your helmet, and pull away from the pain and misery you caused yourself with bad choices and sorrowful excuses to fill in the empty spaces of your life?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Renting Reality

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We rent the places we stay, much like many people rent an apartment or a house. We simply rent on a shorter term basis. We rent hotel rooms and vacations rentals with stays lasting from one night to a few weeks. We just rented a vacation rental in San Diego that will last from October 28 through January 27, 2015, which will be our longest stay of the year. Then we intend to head out on the road again.

For most of the year we stay in hotels, and as you can imagine, staying in a hotel is a rather grand way to live. It's everything you want, really. Free breakfast, maid service, clean sheets, and all the amenities. If we don't like something, we call the front desk and it's fixed, immediately. If I want something special, most hotels are happy to oblige. Since we use our rewards club membership, we've reached Gold Status, and nearly Platinum this year (we would be at Platinum, but we switched hotel chains mid-season). And as one would expect, Gold Status truly does get one the a nicer level of treatment and accommodations. I haven't become bored with living this way, actually, quite the contrary. I'm terribly spoiled at this point, as is my husband.

We've nearly forgotten what it's like to mow a lawn, clean a bathtub, or wash our own sheets. We don't pay our bills because we have a bookkeeper that takes care of that. It helps that we have very few bills, which is a byproduct of living on the road. One simply doesn't accumulate debt and things while living this way. The hotel has it all, so we get one bill for not only our stay, but utilities, internet access, etc. Less to maintain, less to manage, less reality we need to be concerned with.

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This lifestyle has given us a great many hours to devote to the things we want to spend our time doing. We work many hours. We ride for a few days in a stretch. We go to the gym, count our calories, find nice restaurants and bars, socialize, and explore. We think, simply look inward and think, about our lives, our pasts, our hopes, our feelings, and ponder the things which interest us. We discuss politics, religion, society and human behavior with one another, and others we meet. We look at maps and dream of places we want to travel to, read blogs that other riders write and add things to our "Maybe Someday" lists.

Nothing is etched in stone. Nothing binds us to any person, place or thing. We aren't really bound to one another. Each day we choose to spend this day with each other, or apart. We spend most of our time in the moment, dealing with the things that our at our fingertips, things that concern us right now, and we often forget about some of our responsibilities. This is why we have a bookkeeper/office manager and lists of things we need to do.

If we didn't run a business, we possibly would go completely off the radar, disappearing completely, and wander off down some dusty trail, never to be seen or heard from again. Both Steve and I crave independence, a lack of obligation, a lack of responsibility, and a complete absence of reality.

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Why are we this way?

Because it's a wonderful way to live.

I'm not ashamed and I make no excuses for this. Being responsible for only myself this last year has been incredible. This trip that was supposed to last only 6 months has now turned into a permanent lifestyle; well, as permanent as we get. As long as we can sustain this way of traveling and living, this is the way I want to be. This motorcycle trip has opened my eyes into a hidden world that lies somewhere within the fringe of our society, a sliver of reality in which there is no future, nor past, but only the moment. It's delicious and savory, and I want to remain here.

I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not worried about tomorrow, the government, my retirement, Ebola, my heart condition, or my finances. I'm convinced that I can handle whatever comes along. This is the freedom I sought, but had no idea it was so easily attained. When I stopped caring about my things, what others thought of me, and all of the things I can't control, suddenly life became colorful and sensational. Every day has a multitude of gifts, all mine for the taking, if I can appreciate them as they come! How can life get any better than this?

In the meantime, we still run our business, which we enjoy doing. I'm not complaining, not at all! We are so fortunate to be able to do the kind of work we like doing in the field we love. Certainly I could use a few more advertisers for our websites, so if you have a motorcycle business and want to be seen by thousands of readers each month, just contact me! How many people have been lucky enough to put the things they love doing (writing, riding motorcycles, eating good food, photography, social media, and advertising sales) and earn enough money to support their dream lifestyle? Believe me, I am thankful everyday!

As writers, I imagine Steve and I will always write. I've been writing since I was 13 years old, so I can't imagine a life without it. Steve has spent his life in a number of creative fields; music, art and now web development and writing, which he loves more than anything he's ever done. Even if we had a million dollars, we would still write the blogs.

For now, we rent our reality, as very little in our lives is permanent. We stay grounded just enough to stay connected to society without becoming indebted or obligated to anyone. My daughter has some difficulty with this, but she's trying very hard to understand and be independent. I feel free on my motorcycle, but even more so when everything I need is on that motorcycle with me, and I know that no matter what crossroads I come to, I can go wherever the wind takes me, renting just a little reality when I arrive.

I used to believe if I had more things, more money, more, more, more, I would be free. I've learned it is all quite the contrary. Eventually, it all becomes so much to carry. The less I have, the freer I am. I already have all I need and the less I have, the less I want.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Scottsdale Storm


I love that feeling of beating the weather on my motorcycle.

A couple of weeks ago, Steve texted me while we were in Scottsdale to tell me we had better hit it because a huge storm was showing on the radar. He was in a beer/burger bar and I was across the street perusing a consignment store.

"I'm on my way. Meet me at the bikes."

The weather had looked ugly all day, but for Steve to be concerned, it must be hellacious.

I walked out of the store and met him out front, seeing the same storm we'd been tracking all day.

"It is purple/red on and radar. . . " he told me as we mounted up.

Our hotel was only a few miles away and rolling into the parking lot before even a drop of rain made landfall filled me with accomplishment. As I dismounted my parked motorcycle, I pulled out my camera to shoot some video, because the thunderhead approaching was magnificent.

The next 10 amazing minutes that occurred are in this video that has been edited down to only 1 1/2 minutes. 

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About Sash


People call me "Sash" because I'm a former beauty queen in my old home town. My father used to ride in an MC which got me interested in the culture. After my last divorce I said "goodbye" to Susie Homemaker and became the rude biker chick I always felt inside. (Read more...)