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The Fog  
04:42pm 21/10/2010

The Fog, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

When I was a kid, there was a horror movie about this fog that enveloped some town and scared the shit out of everyone. I only recall the bit about the people trapped in the grocery store, wishing they could go home, but The Fog would git them if they tried to leave.

Well, The Fog is real and it has devoured Los Angeles. Except it's not some malevolent force bent merely on destruction. No, this fog is an invasive alien species. It has descended on Los Angeles because it determined that all of the most widely regarded communications emanate from this region. So The Fog figured this must be the capital of the planet or something. The Fog has been here a whole week now, and still hasn't seemed to figure out that this is indeed NOT the world capital.

So Fog, I am here to tell you that this is not where you need to be. Please leave. We have nothing of real interest or import to teach you here. You might find a trip to NYC far more informative and useful. Plus, they're used to shitty weather, and can handle ANYTHING so they can handle a little Fog. OK, OK, I know you're not little! I saw your outer edge as I rode back in from Lancaster today, hovering over the mountainous Angeles National Forest. I suffered through your density all over Malibu on Sunday, on what could've been a lovely last ride before a 3 week trip away from my bike.Instead it was dangerous, tedious and stressful.

While you may be welcome and beloved in nearby areas like Big Sur, San Francisco, and Seattle, you're actually hated here. You see, most of us live here because of our deep and abiding love for The Sun. I know how much you hate The Sun, especially when she burns you to death. But you see, this is her land. Not yours. While some may enjoy you for novelty's sake, you've really overstayed your welcome and you simply must go. Let's face it. You're a downer. Us humans need sunlight, it makes us happy. OK, so some people are only happy when it rains, but they're just weird emo types. I'm off to Spain for 3 weeks, and when I get back you better be long gone.

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04:02pm 09/10/2010

money, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

Today, after too much caffeine and being up well before my normal wakey time, I reached my limit. I have long harbored resentment against beggars who ask money from people in captive settings such as outdoor restaurants. Lately, however, the economy has brought about a new breed of wealthy beggar. Car owners who beg for gas money in gas stations. So far, the only people who have done this to me are all driving gas-guzzlers. You never see a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry owner begging for gas money. No, they bought cars that made sense for their income level.

Yes, times are hard, but dammit, I resent being put on the spot like this. Today, I was only putting gas into my MOTORCYCLE (which gets a pathetic 30 mpg, but I can afford it) to avoid spending 75 cents on AIR when someone pulled his 1990's Volvo up next to me and immediately upon leaving the car, asked me for $1 for gas. I said "What makes you think I have more gas money than you?" And continued to deride him for asking me for money when there's a perfectly good bus system...

I am not a cruel, heartless person. I am a person who does not like being taken advantage of. I donate to charities, to the level I can afford to, which right now is only about $40/month. I do my damndest to earn enough money to support myself, my cat, and my vehicles. $1 is a noticeable sum to me nowadays, as evinced by the fact that I had to try and save 75 cents. The loving thing to do for people like that is not to just blindly throw money at them, but to ask them to contemplate what they might do to pull themselves out of poverty. Moving out of "victim" mentality is not easy. It takes serious WORK to recognize and work toward fulfilling all of one's capabilities. I should know.

Being a big fan of Quantum Physics/ Law of Attraction, I was concerned that my miserly attitude toward beggars might block the flow of money toward me. Apparently not. This survey arrived today, complete with a crisp $1 bill as an incentive to take the survey. I most certainly will, especially because they are kind enough to pay me in advance for my time. And I'm taking this as proof that when you do your best to not waste money on unplanned expenses, the money comes.

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Heyyyy long time no see...  
11:08pm 30/06/2010
Sorry for the long silence! I did write a bit over here, about scootering in Italy... and I wrote a lot about electric motorcycle racing on and as soon as it's financially feasible, I'm just going to haul this entire blog on over to someplace where I can more seamlessly host it at :-)

In the meantime, please enjoy some refreshing Hot Cows pure water, purported to give women boundless energy, according to the Moto2 team owner in whose garage we found it...

IMG_0502.JPG, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.


kitty mood: chipperchipper
tags: travel
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The genius of Alexander McQueen  
03:00pm 03/03/2010

How will we survive without the talent that came up with Steampunk Ballerina stiletto platforms??? Oh, and metallic, too. absolute genius. I have found a kindred spirit and very, very bad influence in this teenage boy, Allanté Cathé. He blogs about shoes. Not just any shoes, but the sorts of shoes I live for.
kitty mood: enthralledenthralled
tags: fashion, shoes
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What is Failure?  
08:06pm 25/01/2010
I have to ask myself this, since I have been obsessively calling myself a failure. So, rather than jump off the nearest building because I can't seem to change careers during a kick-ass recession, I figured I'd meditate on exactly what the fuck I'm telling myself. So first I said "Self, define failure." Myself said "failure is not getting the results I wanted the first time I try something." "OK, self, so given that definition of failure, is success solely getting the results you want the first time you try? Or is there more to success than that?" I know I have achieved things in life that many people consider markings of success. But does that make me a success? Would I be more truly successful if I believe myself to be successful regardless of American definitions of success?

wait, stop. Success and failure aren't states of being, they're judgments we put on ourselves and others. right? how many multi-millionaire bankers feel like abject failures because they didn't make their bonus targets last year? Yet when they roll by in their six-figure cars, we all label them "success." Except the more self-actualized among us, who don't even realize the banker's car cost more than most, and wonder why that fool is even driving a car in Manhattan.

I judge myself a failure for not hitting what I aimed for, while others judge me a success for having a talent to understand designers as very few do. Yet I judge myself a failure because people outside of the fashion industry can't seem to comprehend how that talent could possibly cross over into their industry.

So what's your definition of success? For you, and for others? Is it different? How do you react when it eludes you?
kitty mood: over it
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movin' on up...  
12:42pm 24/12/2009
I just moved to a faaaaaabulous loft downtown, brand new and sexy and gorgeous. They sucked me in with the silver kitchen. Silver. In case you didn't know, I love silver about as much as I love pink. Since pink isn't appropriate for everything, some things I prefer in silver. Like my motor vehicles (ok, only because it's cheaper to buy the silver one than get one painted pink, but i digress) and of course kitchen appliances and cabinets are much better in silver than pink. So as soon as it's photo-ready, pix will be posted.

So glad I'm enjoying interesting dreams again. Last night I dreamt I was pimping out my brother Gary on some reality dating show back when he was single. For their first meeting, I made him ride up to the chick on his bike, because everyone loves a man on a Ducati. Then I was squeezing through this antique market I've been to in other dreams, in some unknown city. Felt like NYC when I passed Andre Léon Talley (with straight, white hair now!) and thought of him as a visitor. He lives in Paris in the real world, creative director for Paris Vogue. Then the space cleared out and that was nice. I remember being unimpressed with what was for sale, though.

Later, I met Mika Kallio, and he was Dominique Aegerter's new teammate for Moto2. I congratulated him, and told my friend how I knew Dominique. Also, I lived in or was staying in some rambling, massive stitched-together duplex with rooms upon rooms, all partially inhabited. It was one of those old houses they turn into apartments in LA. The real kitchen had fallen into disuse and water shot up out of the hole where the faucet had been, but only if I tried to make the garbage disposal stop. Meanwhile, the owner had set up a makeshift kitchen near a couple of half bathrooms, as I discovered in my quest for a sink to rinse something out. The banquette featured an old black leatherette barca-lounger. Comfortable, I'm sure, but very strange. I'd parked my car down by the railroad tracks, and when I went to get it the next morning, it'd been stripped. Not so much stripped, as completely thrashed by some lunatic. All slashed up and broken up and things destroyed. The police said it was probably someone on drugs. you think? that part was just a manifestation of the anxiety around finding a dirt-cheap yet safe off-street place to stash the damn thing. If I pay $100/month to park it, I may as well sell it, put the money in a savings account and rent the 1-2 times/month I actually use a car...
kitty mood: peacefulpeaceful
tags: dreams
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When are you going to get around to being completely committed to what you were born to do?  
10:34pm 07/11/2009
Rob Brezny asked me (and other Aries', but enough about them.) this burning question back in like 2005. Since then, I've been wondering what the answer is. I am lucky in that I am passionate about something, which means I'm closer to knowing what I'm born to do than most people. The problem is, I have a broad and disparate range of passions. Fast motorcycles, high fashion, exceptionally crafted artisinal designer shoes, getting other people to realize how scarce water is and stop fucking wasting it, doing what I can to encourage others to be child free. Oh, and cane sugar-free chocolate.

So what the hell was I born to do, besides shop/ride/be wild/run or whatever other cliche fits my mood? Or, how can I make a good living and save the planet through any and all of those? Anyway, while this question continues to smolder in my mind, I had the pleasure of hearing Leilani Münter talk about how she's united her two greatest passions, and is completely immersed in what she was clearly born to do- race cars and inspire race fans to embrace sustainability.

Leilani studied biology, and has a passion for saving the planet. She also has a passion for racing, and went so far as to move to Charlotte, NC after graduating from UC San Diego because she wanted to race so badly she did what they told her to do. To be taken seriously as an aspiring car racer in the US, one must be in Charlotte, where NASCAR is based. Even if you're vegan and the nearest vegan restaurant is hundreds of miles away in Asheville, you still gotta be in Charlotte. So Leilani moved there with only her helmet and a dream. She did all kinds of jobs that I would probably never deign to do, just to be involved in the race community. She slept in her car at races when she couldn't afford a hotel, and now that's she's finally successful enough to be sponsored by a major brand, she spoke to an audience of people most likely to be able to help her reach her next goal. Next, she'd like to be able to spread the cost of sponsorship among many smaller companies, and reserve her hood space (the premium) for a single eco message at each race, whether it be an LED lightbulb, recycling, etc.

Leilani not only teaches fans about sustainability, she is also actively working with NASCAR to help them find ways to lower their CO2 footprint. Which, by the way, is lower than that of football, as there are way more football games played weekly in the US, and the cumulative energy needed to move everyone and run the show is much greater than that of pro auto racing, even taking into account the fact that it's race gas they're burning! She also uses her merchandising booth as a venue to sell eco products, so I think it's a great opportunity for a small brand, or one that might not otherwise get an opportunity to advertise to NASCAR & Indy car race fans. Her site lists not only current sponsors, but also past ones.

Leilani told us about a time on one of the NASCAR forums where someone posted a complaint about her, saying she'd been brainwashed by Al Gore. Before you know it, the thread is a mile long and people are posting charts of GHG PPM and stuff. There's arguing and name calling back and forth as NASCAR fans face off about global warming. She points out that this may have been the first time this subject was ever discussed among NASCAR fans.

See, now isn't that the most awesome example you ever saw of someone bringing sustainability to their workplace? I only wish I could be half as cool. Well, she did tell me I'm braver than her because I raced motorcycles. But I'm not brave enough to break into the pros on 2 wheels!
kitty mood: jubilantjubilant
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Sorry I've been so neglectful...  
09:30pm 03/11/2009
I have been trying to figure out what purpose LJ serves in my life now that I am a professional blogger. ;-P Oh, and there's that whole FB thing that fills the need of telling my friends what's on my mind, and Twitter too for the ADHD version of that. So I don't really feel so much of a need to post here. Although I'm sure that once I'm traveling to fabulous places again I will. It's important for me to document things worth remembering. After all, one more concussion and I could be drooling into a cup for all eternity. Or at least till the lawyers find my living will. hint- it's in the "important documents" folder. ;-)

Anyway, on a happier note... I am so busy interviewing fascinating people for Opportunity Green and writing for Green Options, and having fun in LA, and looking for my dream job, and toying with the concept of greening the entire LA fashion industry, that I haven't had the inspiration or time to write here.

I still plan to accumulate more expensive, hand-crafted designer shoes made in Italy, at least one more motorcycle (also made in Italy, now that Yamaha hit the R1 with the ugly stick), a bigger, more fabulous, more centrally located place to live (but probably not in Italy), and a LOT more clothes (mostly made in LA, thank you very much). :-) Someone's got to keep this economy chugging along, and of course I buy the sustainable option whenever it's as stylin' as the alternative.

So in the past month since returning to LA I've:

test ridden a Brammo electric bike
ridden Malibu a few times. Yum. not on the Brammo, batteries would die before you could get to the rock store.
kissed a boy, then changed my mind
reconnected with my posse
gotten pulled over THREE TIMES. but only got one moving violation
cried my way out of a speeding ticket for the first time in my life
got roped into doing the whole Hollaback Thriller thing again, just once. it was fun
grappled with my feelings around not having secured my dream job yet, and how much fun it is to be trying to change careers in the midst of a recession.
a few other things I'd never gotten around to doing before, like goth night at the roller rink and stuff like that.
location: Exile Rock
kitty mood: optimisticoptimistic
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Alt Car Expo Hits Santa Monica  
11:52am 18/10/2009

Those Pesky Battery-Powered Cars

Exhibitors at the Alt Car Expo ran the gamut from cutting edge to low tech sustainable transportation. The Tango, one of the electric cars available for test drives is pictured above. The Tango claims to be suitable for lanesplitting, but I wouldn't want to squeeze that box between the lanes of SUV's that populate LA freeways! The maneuverability of motorcycles is critical for safe lanesplitting.

Cutting edge technology included NuTech's portable drive-thru battery swap stations. It's better than Better Place because gas stations who want to also service electric vehicles can just rent one to try it out. I think it looks very promising. Battery swapping seems to make so much more sense than charging stations. This business of setting up charging stations along Highway 101 doesn't really appeal to me. As someone who frequently rides or drives between SF and LA, the last thing I want to do is be forced to stop and hang out for a few hours along the way. Even worse, to be relegated to one freeway! But if stopping for juice were as quick & easy as stopping for gas, I'd run out and buy an electric motorcycle tomorrow!

Speaking of Electric Motorcycles

As an avid sport rider and wannabe racer, heaven on earth for me is Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. I've only done five track days there, partly due to the Universe conspiring against me, but primarily due to all the golfers and landed gentry who chose to live within earshot of one of the oldest racetracks in the country. Laguna Seca has a 92 dB sound restriction, which some motorcycles can't meet even with the mufflers required by the State of California. So I stand ready to test ride a track-worthy electric motorcycle as soon as I can possibly arrange it. In fact, I think there should be special track days for electric vehicles at Laguna Seca, simply because. And the neighborhood council members who complained the most could foot the bill, to show their gratitude for the silent racers.

Therefore, at the Alt Car Expo, I spent the majority of my time chatting with Brammo's Service Manager, Dave Harvey. As you can see, they brought their sensible commuter bike, not their podium-finishing race bike. I'm glad Dave was there, as he was able to explain to me how their service department will work. Because they're being sold through Best Buy, and Best Buy technicians are not exactly motorcycle mechanics, Dave will travel to make repairs that Best Buy can't do. I have some trepidation about this, as I wouldn't expect Dave to come to my house just to change my tires or adjust my chain, but I certainly wouldn't trust anyone other than my favorite bike shop to do these basic yet critical regular maintenance tasks. I'd probably still take it to my favorite shop for everything not involving electronics.

The Lowest Carbon Footprint Vehicle is Self-Propelled

There were also some electric bicycles on display, but as a motorcyclist whose worst crashes occurred on scooters, I don't understand e-bikes. Why would anyone want to risk their life riding something with so little power they can't get out of a sticky situation? Clearly there's a market for them, and they make sense in cities smaller than Los Angeles, but if I want to ride a bicycle, I'll ride a bicycle and get the cardio bonus. To that end, there was an entire room devoted to cycling. There were representatives from a broad range of cycling groups, including LA Greensters, who encourage everyone to "ride loaded!" by using trailers for bicycles. They prove how much can actually be schlepped on these bad boys, by crewing a film entirely on bicycles. Only bicycles were used to do everything from carrying the camera and lighting equipment, to delivering lunch.

All in all, the show did an excellent job of presenting sustainable transport solutions to the interested public. It was free, and fairly well attended. I hope to see a strong turnout of clean vehicles at the LA Car Show, where more than just the converted will be in attendance!
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Latest Article...  
12:49pm 08/10/2009
On Friday, thanks to Karen Solomon at Opportunity Green I went to this heartwarming awards ceremony, which was far more meaningful than your typical LA awards ceremony:

kitty mood: gratefulgrateful
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