weekend recap

Whew.

It was a very eventful weekend. Not only was it PRIDE weekend it was also The Porchfest in Oakhurst on Saturday.

Ralph and Bernice came in on Friday and it was a party from there. Charlie and I had gone out to a local brewery with the guys Derrick and Andrew as both their wives were out of town for a mutual friend’s bday and they met us down there when they rolled into town. Everything from there is pretty much a blur.

Saturday, Charlie and I rode our motorcycles over to the Porchfest to listen to Emil play with a band and then Rooster and Shutters band. We saw LB, Benjii and of course, Emil, Rooster and Shutter and so other various friends. It was very fun – I wish they had more of these things because there’s never enough time to get to very many bands in the neighborhood because it’s SO big.

After that, we were supposed to go to a pride party at a friend of ours but we bailed and ended up going out for oysters and then dancing at this gay bar named Mary’s in east Atlanta. While we’ve been there previously and had a great time I never noticed the bartenders being women-hating assholes until that night. The bar is mostly men but that night were quite a few women being pride and all. I had gotten a drink previously from the bartender at the end of the bar who mixed me up this fruity concoction called a Kamikaze. When I returned to get another I just chose a spot at the bar that was available to edge in to order. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t in my previous bartenders section so when another bartender came up and asked me what he could get me I said, The bartender over there made me this fruity concoction called a Kamikaze. He then yelled at me saying, Why don’t you just go over there then? And turned away.

I was still standing there in shock – I mean, I think my mouth was hanging open. He turned back to me and took my empty cup and said, Go on now.

I was so angry with this guy but I let it go because he seemed like the type that would jump over the bar and slit my throat. I tamped down my temper and went over to my original bartender and ordered my drink after standing in yet another line. When he got me my drink I asked for the name of that other bartender and he said his name was Eric (which, I don’t believe). I told him what happened and said that was highly inappropriate and uncalled for and then asked him his name and he said Jason.

I got back to Charlie and she said, What’s wrong? And I told her. She left and went right up to Jason and gave him and earful of that not being appropriate and asked for the name of the manager who he said was Matt (not sure I believe that, either). After that, I didn’t want that asshole to ruin our evening and we just partied on but I noticed he was yelling at other customers as well and thought how ridiculous that was.

I later read several reviews from other women that have been harassed by that same bartender (who was called “Marky”) and obviously they aren’t doing a thing about it. I messaged the bar via Facebook and Twitter and their personal website page but I haven’t heard anything back. Obviously, harassment towards women and customer service are something they are ignoring. I will never be back there.

All in all it was a good weekend and I won’t let that bad experience ruin it BUT, if I don’t hear back from that bar I’m taking it all to social media and letting the world know that women aren’t safe at that bar.

This week we’re getting ready for vacation so I’m hoping for low-key until we leave. I can’t wait to get out of here for a while and breathe some different air.

 

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concerts & kicked out

I’m so exhausted this morning. Last night we went to see Counting Crows with Matchbox 20 with Emil and Maybe-Nicole and the Thursday before that we also saw Emily Saliers play at Edie’s Attic for the late show.  We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed both shows but I’m showed out for a while.

(Charlie and Emil with photobomb lady in the background)

In between all the concerts, we went to friends down the street for dinner, saw Benji and managed to make an hour of drum practice yesterday.

So, Charlie and I made the decision to sell her Harley on cycle trader simply because we’d like to streamline our debt a little more and get out from under the payments. Once we sell hers I’m probably going to sell mine but it’s not really necessary because it’s paid for and I can always ride her on the back of mine. Charlie first posted an ad on Facebook in case any of her peeps on there were interested – plus, they could share it with friends of theirs. She no more got it posted on FB when Shutter asked why she was selling and Charlie said she just wanted to at this time that wasn’t to say that she, me, us would never ride again. Next thing you know – we get thrown out of the motorcycle group that we were in with Link, Shutter and Rooster – Rooster had created the Meetup page and kicked us off of there.

That kind of chapped my –well- chaps over that. I mean, this is not to say we’ll even get the Harley sold – and if not then we’ll keep it, ride and keep on. Whatever. I didn’t think we deserved to be kicked out of the group for that. Granted we hadn’t ridden with the group for a while but that didn’t mean we’d never ride with them again – until now. But, hey – now that I’m no longer a member of the group I will say this – I never really liked riding with the group. Don’t get me wrong – I liked everyone as people – just not riding with them in a group. Rooster always led the group and honestly would ride a little too fast for my taste up the busy 4-lane street in Atlanta (that she always insisted that we take to get out of town) when anyone could and would pull out in front of you. What happened to space cushion?? The last time we went barreling up Candler Road I spaced myself back and when one of the girls on her Harley got her hazard light stuck on for an hour and we had to pull off into a gas station we got lectured on riding faster to keep up.

I wanted to say, B*tch, I don’t keep up with anyone when I’m on this machine. I ride my own mf-ing ride. If I’m going too slow then you just go on and I’ll see you another time.  

It’s probably not helping their cause that I have 10 years of being a motorcycle instructor under my belt and this stuff is ingrained into my behavior and brain.

Also, Rooster has no GPS and relays on some paper with directions rubber-banded to her arm. After a long, hot ride to Macon for a history lesson (now those I did enjoy) and lunch on the way back I was running my GPS and it showed that unless we wanted to extend our trip another 2 hours that we should turn at this one particular intersection. Charlie and I pulled off into the gas station at the intersection and they circled around and back and asked what was up.

Gas, and we’re turning here.

This isn’t on my directions – we were going to ride closer to Athens and then turn back. By then, the paper with the directions had blown by us and had been lost on the road and I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence she really knew where the F we were going. But, I knew because I had GPS.

That’s fine but we’re going this way. Enjoy getting lost the rest of the ride.

And, we left. Which, brings me to the question as to why, if you’re leading a group of riders don’t you get some sort of GPS device on your bike so there won’t be any confusion? Or ask someone like myself to lead.

But, no that would be too hard and too advanced.

Maybe it is a good thing we got kicked out of the group. Charlie and I were going on our own rides anyway. It’s just easier to get an early start and go and get back so the day isn’t all taken up. That group would plan a trip to Birmingham and wait until 10:00 to leave and get back at 9:00 and we’d say, No thanks.

I mean, I don’t know if I’ll keep riding. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t but I don’t like other people making that decision for me. I mean, I’ve gone to a couple of Meetups for this screen writing group – I don’t go all the time because it always meets way up in Dunwoody during rush hour and it’s kind of hellish to get there. Even so I haven’t been kicked out of the group. I just find the whole thing to be mystifying.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever been kicked out of a group? Became a lesbian and kicked out of the Junior League?

 

 

the final hell week and Halloween

Friday morning I made it through the last day of hell week and got my t-shirt.

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The following weekend Charlie and I worked on the shed deck roof and managed to get all of the plywood on a thousand nails laying around the yard later.

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Sunday, we did the Halloween ride with the Hags. It’s been very warm here so we were sweating by the end. I was thankful I didn’t wear leather that day because I would have been even hotter. We ended the tour at a haunted house in Kirkwood where Links bike died before heading to Grindhouse burgers.

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(Rooster starting the tour in front of Oakland Cemetery, Link is in blue, Stiletto in the orange bandana next to her)

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(Stop 2 at Underground Atlanta)

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bikes

(The final stop in Kirkwood, all of us with our bikes – Charlie is right behind the guy in white and I’m behind her in red)

We managed to catch the very last of the Green Bay game against Atlanta when we sat down and it had finally cooled off.

I will leave you with the dogs waiting for trick or treaters:

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new mods

I finally got the fenders and tank back from the painter a few weeks ago. Saturday, Drewberry came over and put it together for me. I did a lot of holding of the tank and handing of beers while he worked. A few glitches were one of the screws broke off putting one of the tank badges back on and we had to use doubled sided tape to keep it on while I ordered another set of screws. Then, the gaskets on the fuel supply valve were cracked and leaking so he had to fashion a piece of rubber (from the existing tail light that we did not install) which seemed to plug up the leak but I still order another set of those, too.

The final modifications were the fender eliminator kit on the back (the back fender which is solid black is staying wrapped up until I decide if I ever want to put it back on again) that includes a new tail light. New café style seat, newly painted tank and front fender with a stripe down the middle. Here are some pics:

Last night, Charlie and I rode down to Victory sandwich bar and met up with Link. As we were pulling into the lot we almost ran over Sharon just getting off the train from work who ended up joining us. After a bite to eat and lively conversation about ex’s we went out to look at all the bikes that had parked since we sat down. We were standing outside looking at bikes and talking when a young woman came up and asked to join us. She pointed over to a BMW that was hers and we all chatted and joked around as we’re winking at Sharon going, Girl you should get her number!

She’s only 23!

So? 23 backwards is 32 your age – it’s meant to be!

We left leaving Sharon to get the girls phone number. It was a fun night and nice to ride again.

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photo challenge chex mix

I’ve still been trying to run every day during the week in the mornings. It is a feat in itself I’m able to roll out of bed at 6:15 a.m. to go run -I think, only because the dogs come in and get me up to be let outside – I think this directly correlates with the coffee maker beeping that it’s finished brewing. I would love to be able to get up a few minutes earlier just so I could finish my run earlier and walk a bit to cool off but even now, 6:15 is a stretch. I tried setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier to go off but it only means I hit the snooze. Charlie has been making me smoothies for my after run and they have been great. I went online and found this organic protein powder that tastes really good. She mixes that with some almond milk and fruit. They usually come out looking a bit purplish although the one this morning was more pinkish. She suggested that we get some spinach or kale to add for extra nutrients but I’m not sure about that. It’s enough I drink a protein shake every morning instead of an egg sandwich but another to introduce the taste of @ss into my smoothie.

Work has been good. I’ve been doing a slew of training and practically the whole month of June I will be in classes. Ironically, the classes are right across the street from my old office. I’m going to try and have lunch with some peeps while I’m there. From what I learned so far is that I’m really going to be on my own as far as my learning path goes. I’m not really worried as I feel I pick up things quickly but I will be at the mercy of others to help answer questions. I will probably end up having to sit with someone while they do their designs, too. But, I’m not going to worry about that until I at least have the class under my belt.

So, I bopped on over to Liz’s site today and she has this random photo challenge. First, you open up your camera roll on your phone and scroll one time without looking and put your finger down to stop the scrolling and whatever your finger lands on save it and then post it with a little background story of the pic. Do this about 7-10 times, however many photos you want.

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My first photo was a selfie that Charlie sent me. I believe she took this one night when we were getting ready to go out on a date. (help me out, Charlie, if I’m wrong).

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This was taken the weekend we went up to the Yurt. The campsite had provided this wagons to help you haul your stuff from the car to the Yurt site. Charlie and I were screwing around when right after this was taken a DNR ranger showed up in a pickup truck and rolled down the window and asked us if we were having fun yet. I was saying, We’re not here 5 minutes without getting in trouble.

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Charlie kissing beloved Sadie. Even though she has a coat and hat on this was probably taken in April when the temperature dropped so much we thought we were going to have to turn on the heat. Compared to March where it got up to 78 degrees one week.

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Riverside Café’ when we were in Florida visiting Charlie’s parents. This place is right down the street from her folks. We had gone there one night for drinks before dinner. I remember meeting this really obnoxious couple (we seem to be magnets for them). The husband was heavily flirting with Charlie and leading the whole conversation about him and his wife diving. I was like, Really? You have a wife? I think I did say that and he pointed her out and she was across the deck having a drink and talking to some other people completely ignoring him. I deduced she was sick of him and glad he was socializing with other people. The only good thing about it was for once Charlie’s brother wasn’t dictating the conversation and you could see he was visibly perturbed about it.

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St. Augustine, Florida. Our daughters-in-law (left) is in the picture with Charlie’s youngest son (right). It was a few days before Thanksgiving and we had stopped off for an over-nighter and the boys, daughters-in-law and our friends Bernice and Raphe came up to visit. We had walked around and saw the lights as well as went into this bar and listened to live music. It was a great night. I wished we could have stayed longer.

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This is what is left of the barn on my farm. It was taken prior to Thanksgiving when I went to Indiana for a visit. My sister and I always go out to this farm – it was our grandmothers on our mother’s side. It’s always a shock to go out there because every time we go something’s torn down. This time it was the woods that was cleared. I suspect our father directed the contract farmer to clear the woods for more corn yield. I suspect someday that the barn will be torn down as well.

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The dogs at Piedmont Park. They are great posers. We had put them up on that rock and told them to stay. They’re good for about a few clicks and then they’re done.

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Charlie’s folks and us at a backyard music venue. We were friends with this couple who had backyard concerts where you could bring picnics and just donate to the artist. I can’t remember who it was we saw that night but we all enjoyed it. It was nice that we were able to take them to one of these as since the friends have stopped doing these things.

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Link, Charlie (her biker name is Tazzy now) and I (Wick) parked at the Victory sandwich bar for Tuesday night bike night. Notice we’re early because it doesn’t look like another soul was there but shortly after that almost 50 bikes were parked everywhere.

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Me right after scoring an autographed stick from the drummer of the Blues Traveler.

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A close-up of Sadie.

 

 

away

We took a beautiful ride to Dahlonega and back this past Sunday. It was warm enough where we didn’t have to bundle up. There were four of us altogether me (Wick), Charlie, Belinda and Cindi. I had a route planned out on my phone that took us up there off-highway so we wound around through part city and part country to get there.

When we finally arrived two hours later and made two loops around [the stupid] roundabout on the square. The second time around I almost got plowed over by a car that I didn’t realize had the right-of-way [I think Cindi even said she screamed]. After that, I just headed for the closed parking space I could find that we could all fit into.We pulled into a parking spot just off the square and headed for the nearest BBQ restaurant.

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We took off our coats and basked in the sun while we tried to wash down very dry BBQ. In fact, I almost choked on the first bite. One thing about restaurants in historic little mountain towns – there’s very few and they don’t have to have a 5-star rating.

After lunch, we went to a few stores off the square [all very expensive] and wandered into The Crimson Moon Cafe’ so Cindi could get a cup of coffee.  We spied all the posters for live music and started talking to one of the guys who worked there. I felt a bit sleepy so decided to order some coffee myself. We went upstairs through a cute little bar area to sit out on the balcony and people watch while we sipped our coffee. I wished that we didn’t have to go back until the next day. I could see myself cozying up to that little bar and later listening to some live music.

We drank coffee and made comments about some of the people watching (some very pregnant woman in a form-fitting horizontal striped dress with 4 inch heels What is she thinking? Her bellybutton is practically screaming at me all the way up here, some woman who tried to [literally] squish her baby and stroller into the corner of this seating wall Don’t put baby in a corner, and some creepy guy with a bag over his head with the eye holes cut out, and carrying a stick. What the heck is he trying to be – that baby in a corner is gonna start crying.  

IMG_4475 (View from the balcony – baby wasn’t in corner yet but stripie had just walked by)

We grudgingly made our way back to our bikes because we knew it was going to be a long ride home. We then realized that we parked on a downward slope and no one could really back out into traffic safely without assistance. I suggested we just ride down the sidewalk since the building it was next to was deserted. There was still the occasional pedestrian so I went down to the end to make sure no one started down and got ran over.

Once home we were exhausted – at least I was. We sat out on the porch as we always do when it’s nice outside. The dogs ran around and played while we listened to music and drank. I told Charlie that I wished we could have stayed overnight and listened to music. We decided to do that some time. I’ve just had a huge yearning to be away these days. I’m just over work and the grind. Despite the holidays it hasn’t slowed down and we’re expected to still get projects out and try to schedule meetings around the holidays. I think its B.S. Just try to schedule meetings with government folk around holidays – it’s not happening. I’m seeking the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m not seeing it. I have had several interviews lately, one offer pending but still haven’t heard anything. I’m still just trying to plug away at what I’m doing and keep my nose to the grind. I know this for sure – I’m looking forward to at least being off Christmas Eve, Day and New Year’s Day.

 

Hallowed – ween

Wow, it’s raining like no tomorrow here today. After living here for almost 15 years, I have come to realize that Georgia – Atlanta specifically is a drama queen when it comes to weather. It’s always one extreme to the other. It’s either absolutely gorgeous or it’s someone who woke up on a Monday morning after a weekend of partying – which is today.

I haven’t written a lot lately because Charlie and I have been busy entertaining the last week or so. Her parents came in to town and we were running practically every night. By Thursday (the day they left) I came home from work and got immediately into my pajamas, I was so tired.

Friday evening we did a haunted motorcycle ride through town with Katharine and Yvonne’s new motorcycle group – appropriately called the “Hags”.

haghag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman, often found in folklore and children’s tales such as Hansel and Gretel.[1] Hags are often seen as malevolent, but may also be one of the chosen forms of shapeshifting deities, such as the Morrígan or Badb, who are seen as neither wholly beneficent nor malevolent.

Our first stop was the Decatur Cemetery which is the oldest burial ground in the metro Atlanta area and is known to have paranormal activity. (see below)

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Katharine read from a script written of each place on the tour while Yvonne played ghost music in the background and projected slides relevant to the places from her iPhone onto the ground.

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We hit about 6 places before heading over to Six Feet Under for dinner.  By that time, Charlie and I were spent and we hugged goodnight and rode home.

Saturday was a cloudy, overcast day filled with errands. I dropped the bike off for a much needed service and Charlie and I got candy and set up shop in the carport to welcome the trick or treaters. They came in droves, too. We were watching the football game, had a bon fire going and drinking beers while the kids came up for candy. Yesterday was the start of the rain for the week and we ran around and decided to do some early Christmas shopping. (In fact, I think we’re done for each other).

Today, I woke up with a sore throat and not wanting to fight the rain all the way in to work only to sit in (stupid) meetings all morning (and not get anything done anyway). I am on the interview track again and have one on Friday. I bought a new suit and everything so I’m focused on the next level in my career. After completing the last class in my project management program this past week and having to take off two vacation days to do it because my office didn’t recognize it I decided that the writing was on the wall and it was time to look at the next thing in my career – whatever that may be.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

friends won’t be around

You know, I just don’t get people.

Charlie and I usually go for a little ride on Sunday mornings. We’ll ride somewhere and have some brunch or lunch, depending on how far away it is. Yesterday we had decided to ride out to Conyers and visit the Harley place where we purchased her bike. Charlie wanted to order some new “farkle” for her bike (for you non-bike enthusiasts, farkle is anything you can put on a bike that isn’t engine related and/or doesn’t take a mechanic to install). We figured we’d spent some time at the dealership and then go out back and visit with some of my old teaching buddies who were running a class that weekend. Afterwards, we were planning on riding down the street to a BBQ place for lunch.

So, off we went. The previous evening I had texted Yvonne and Kat to see if they wanted to ride out with us. They said they’d meet us at lunch and I said, OK, see you then.

Once we were at the dealership, Charlie ordered her farkle and we went out back and talked to Jenna and Jeff who I have taught with on many occasions in the past. Charlie hadn’t met Jenna before and the two of them hit it off as Jenna is a relatively new mommy. While they talked about baby stuff I turned to Jeff and asked him how he was doing. Gone was the happy greeting I got just minutes before. His shoulders literally sank and said, Same ol’, same ol’. My knees and shoulder hurts and I’m getting old.

Way back in the day, Jeff used to be really fun to work with (– along with K.) The last few years I’ve worked with him he stopped being engaging to hang around -at lunch, he’d go outside and smoke and then take his Harley onto the range and ride the box several times – which, I always hated when instructors did that because I thought it was just a form of showing off in front of the students.

K got like that, too. Once he realized that I didn’t want to hear about his conquests anymore he stopped talking to me and when we taught together he would constantly be on his phone texting some honey that he was hoping to get with. We’d go to lunch and one of the other male instructors would sit with us and he’d talk to him the entire time about the latest rally he did. I started to feel invisible to many of the people I taught with because either the story never changed or they got bitter and worn out from teaching or life in general.

I had to bite my tongue at that point to keep from telling him he should retire, like me and ride on the weekends. But, that’s not for me to say.  At least Jenna was happy to see me and engaging as ever.

While she and Charlie talked I texted Yvonne asking when she thought they would be there for lunch and she texted back not until noon probably that they had just gotten up.

This is another thing is that when Charlie and I go ride we never wait for people. We say clutch out at [time we decided to leave based on distance and when we need to be there] and if they can’t make by then see ya. I won’t wait for anyone – especially if it’s going to be 1,000 degrees by noon. I want to get in as much riding as possible while it’s still cool.

I texted back, Ok, just text me your ETA – we’re probably going to go ride a bit since we’re early.

Right after that, she bailed. She said, Oh, well why don’t you go without us and we’ll do something next weekend. We’re moving kind of slow today.

I was like WTF? We offered to go ride a bit and wait for them and they just bail. I was disappointed. I mean, we ALWAYS ask them to ride and they NEVER do. They go out with their motorcycle boy group and even ride with Women on the Wind but they NEVER ride with us. I was over it.

I told Charlie and we just rode over ourselves and had lunch. Once home, we kicked off our boots and traded our jeans for shorts and hung out on the porch. Later, I see a FB post of both Yvonne and Kat in a photo with Hippy Dippy saying, Great ride with [Hippy Dippy] today!

Charlie and I were like, F-THAT. We’re not asking them again. I can’t believe they dissed us to ride with Hippy-Dippy and her pathetic little Rebel 250-needing-a-motorcycle- class-raggedy-ass. What-the-F-ever. Maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t come after all because I really don’t like Hippy Dippy. I was tempted to blow their FB up but all I said in the comments was We tried.

Pathetically, they both liked it. I hate FB sometimes.

I think of all the times I particularly didn’t want to hear for the 10th time Kat sing the same songs about her ex not paying any attention to her while her current played the drums but I went to the venue anyway, paid my cover and went in to support them. We bought all their CD’s and have shown up to every show. Now I wonder if I could spend my time better doing something else.

This brings up the issue of Charlie and I having several friends that we ask to do things and they never commit or do anything with us. I get tired of it.

I also get tired of us always hosting We’re always having the parties, come over for drinks, dinner, etc. But we never get invites. Never.  The last invite we got was from Ellen in May to come over to her house and help her celebrate her birthday – that that was even because she had her leg in a brace and couldn’t go anywhere. At least she made an effort. As does Michale and her new gf, Neasa. Michale makes an effort to come to our house or meet out but despite having a new house has never entertained there. I am hoping this [like her hairstyle] will change soon since her and Neasa [who sent her to her stylist] are together.

Anyway, I guess I’ll be thankful for the friends who do make an effort because those who don’t won’t be around for much longer.

 

Brunch and Brain Damage

Saturday, I did the Pride race in Piedmont park that I had signed up for months ago. Charlie and I took the dogs down there so they could watch me run. At one point we ran back by the spectators after the 1 mile marker and Sadie really expected me to grab her leash and take her with me. She whined and cried while Charlie and the other people around laughed.

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I could have probably taken her but it was already getting hot outside.  I thought I was going to keel over at mile 2 in the meadow that was sweltering hot.

Since I had that race we did not go with Katharine, Yvonne and Michale to the mountains to ride motorcycles. I was glad because by the time they left town it was already in the 90’s and they didn’t get back until 9:30 p.m. Charlie and I got invited by Hannah Thomas to a backyard concert so we went to that. It was amazing! The house it was held was just up the street from our little Ujoint bar and we were able to bring a cooler, chairs and things to nosh on. The back yard itself looked like something out of House and Garden and Hannah performed on the deck of this darling little shed that Charlie and I want to build something identical to in our back yard.

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The next day we had planned to ride down to Juliette, GA home of the Whistle Stop Café’ but we decided to bag it because we got in so late on Saturday from the cottage concert. So, we decided to ride to brunch somewhere. As we were riding I kept hearing a call come in on my helmet. I ignored it and suddenly Michale was speaking in my helmet.

Hey, are you guys coming over?

No, we thought you’d still be in bed from getting in so late last night.

Well, I thought we were riding to Juliette?

Nah, we’re riding to brunch- you want to come?

Yes, but I need you to come over here – I have a problem.

I sighed. I had already gone over to her house the previous week to help her pick her jinormous bike up from lying on its side in the backyard.

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What happened?

Oh, I was trying to park it and it went over and it’s laying against my car now. I need help picking it up again.

Ok, we’ll be over but we’re down in Candler Park right now it may be a minute to get back your way.

As I turned around and headed that way I hit the intercom button and told Charlie what happened. When we arrived, the bike was indeed leaning up against her [company] car. Fortunately, neither was worse for wear. I grabbed the back sissy bar and helped her right it. Charlie and I had parked down at the curb because Michale has a hellaciously steep driveway that not even I would attempt.  After some discussion of riding over to Katharine’s to see if she wanted to join us I walked down to the street to my bike. Charlie was sitting on hers the whole time. We started and watched Michale roll down her driveway, turn sharply onto the street, almost fall over and hit a car parked at the curb before righting herself, taking off and blowing through the stop sign at the end of the street without even looking.

Oh boy, I said into my intercom

You ain’t kidding, Charlie replied.

I was suddenly teaching at Honda again.

Michale darted across Memorial Drive (4 lanes of traffic, I might add) to Katharine’s street.  We got to Katharine’s and her and Yvonne were literally just getting up and passed on the brunch. They talked about the ride the previous day and I just figured Michale had worked all this stuff out since according to her she was a seasoned rider and they went all the way up to Brasstown Bald. I mean, surely if she could ride all the way up there and back she could ride to brunch. After Katharine bailing we discussed where to go to brunch and I mentioned Henry’s. (I would still like to give the place another shot before I call it quits on major suckage). Both Michale and Charlie said, Whatever. But, as we rode I thought about that steep parking lot at Henry’s and the turn at the bottom to get into the lot as well as all the loose gravel below. I decided on the Brewhouse in Little 5 just because it was close and we could have rock star parking. This turned out to be a good choice – food-wise and parking-wise.

IMG_3099 (this is Charlie’s new Harley in the foreground)

After a delectable lunch of a gyro and so much coffee I was sweating we decided to go to this thrift store so Michale could look for some chaps and a leather vest. I had looked at her skeptically when she explained she was going to start riding in that. Chaps – one thing – that’s fine but just a leather vest? What kind of protection is that? But, I was trying to stay off my soapbox. I had already cautioned her on using her rear brake more after she almost rear-ended Charlie coming up to a light we were stopped at. (I thought Charlie was going to have to stop and clean her pants out one time). I’d also recommended that she take a class on her own bike so she could get used to braking, cornering and operating it. So, I just shut up. I said I knew a great route to take to the thrift store and we took off. The ride over was uneventful and after Michale found some chaps, paid and wore them out of the store we agreed that once we got to Decatur she would peel off and go home and Charlie and I would do the same. At one point we were making our way back and I noticed that Michale was behind me instead of Charlie. I figured Charlie got tired of worrying about her hitting her @ss and let her go. But, later Charlie said that Michale again blew through a stop sign, passing her and that’s how she came up to be right behind me.

I just couldn’t believe this. Who in their right mind blew through stop signs on purpose unless she couldn’t stop?

Once in Decatur, Charlie and I split off from Michale and waved. We were home in 5 minutes and I texted her to let us know when she got home. Twenty minutes went by and Charlie and I were already in shorts sitting on the porch splitting our last beer.

Have you heard from Michale?

Nope. Ima text her again.

More time went by and our beer was gone and I decided to go get more and drive by Michale’s house on the way as she’s about 10 minutes from us. I parked at the street and groaned because I knew I had to run up her driveway to see if her bike was in the back. It wasn’t. I drove by Katharine’s house and she wasn’t there either. I texted Ellen and asked if she was over there and she said she wasn’t.  I told her to let me know if she showed up. As I was pulling into the gas station to get beer my phone rang and it was Michale.

Hey, where are you?

Well, I rode over to Nina’s.

I could sense hesitation in her voice. And?

And, there’s a problem. See my throttle got stuck and I went down. I’m going to need you to come over here.

I wondered when it had become my job to pick her bike up every time she tipped it over.

Here’s Nina, she’s going to give you her address.

Nina: She took a pretty good fall and I’m trying to talk her into going to the urgent care.

I’m not only a bike lift but also a paramedic, apparently.

What’s her symptoms? I guess if I was going to play the part…..

She hit her head pretty hard (I heard Michale in the background saying, But I had my helmet on) and she’s repeating the same things over and over again (hence the background, I thought) and she’s nauseous.

She probably has a concussion call 911.

She probably won’t let me do that.

Well, she has really good insurance. Just call them. If she won’t let you take her to the ER.

Ok, I’ll do that and call you back.

I was hoping she wouldn’t but she called back a second later.

She wants me to take her to urgent care.

Well, if she has a head injury then urgent care is just going to send her to the ER. You’re near DeKalb Medical, right? Just tell her you’re taking her to urgent care and drive there.

I was already back at the house with beer when a text from Nina came in saying that she was taking her to the ER.

Whew! She’s finally relented and took her to the ER.  

Thank goodness!

By this time both Charlie and our neighbor Deb were sitting on the porch. We drank while reports came in from Nina. CT scan: normal, but two cracked ribs and an overnight stay in the hospital. I was glad that Nina was handling it – and from what I’ve been told Nina wants to handle it – and more than that.

Let’s just ride by ourselves for a while.

You got it!

It was turning out to be too much like work.

 

concerts and riding

A blinking cursor followed by an empty document is the worst, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s so hard to break the seal of writing. Last weekend I was able to break the seal and finally start my next book project. I at least eked out a chapter of 934 words. Not bad for not having written anything serious in the last few years. This one is a sci-fi thriller. I’m not really going to go into details as I don’t believe in putting my work on my blog. This blog and book projects are two separate things. But, I will say that if I self-publish this one (like my last one) I will link it in case you want to download it to read. (and, if any of you want to download and read my last book just shoot me a message and I will give you the information.)

I have all next week off – save for taking a virtual class for three days but I plan on making a huge dent on the new book. I can’t wait. A whole week dedicated to just messing around in my home office taking my class, writing and playing the occasional drums. I can’t wait!

Tonight, Charlie and I are going to see The Rolling Stones play. She’s going to take the train to my office and we’re going to dinner from there and then Uber it over to the stadium. I’m hoping this concert will be as good as the one we went to last Friday: Matt Nathanson: The Fray : Train. They were all fantastic and we had incredible seats that were lawn seats that I had scored for $15 each through a Groupon. It was money well spent because all three of them were good but Train just blew everyone away. We asked Michale to go with us and she drove us down there.  The three of us had a ball! She’s one of our few friends that actually do stuff with us. Granted, I feel like I always have to plan stuff – even with the friends who do things with us – I’m always looking ahead and seeing things to do or happy hours to have. Some people just never even ask – ever. It’s frustrating and makes me not want to ask them to do anything, either.

Michale also just got a motorcycle (yesterday) so now our little click is complete – me, Charlie, Michale, Kath & Yvonne all have bikes now. We were trying to get Stacy to get a bike but she stupidly said that until Georgia got rid of their helmet law she wasn’t riding (which, I could see Ellen roll her eyes out of the corner of my eye).

Since I quit the teaching business I don’t lecture anymore I just think, Being stupid is your business, not mine.

I bet you’ll change your mind when you see Ellen riding away on the back of my bike, Michale replied.

Hmm, should be interesting…..

IMG_3702 (1) (Charlie and I at Train concert)