Sunday, June 06, 2021

One Year Assessment

Note: It's been over three months since I wrote in this blog. THAT is a sign of reduced stress, in all aspects of my life. Politics, job, family. I really need to set aside the time to write in here at least once a week. I will try to do a better job of that.


ONE YEAR ASSESSMENT

It's been one year since I left the Club. I am officially no longer a member of that club. I had one year to try and get my patch back without "re-prospecting." I am now not eligible for that opportunity.

I had a great talk with a former brother a few months ago. I was calling him to let him know how I felt about not being in the club. A bit melancholy, I was most upset with the fact that I had lost touch with so many men who I had called Brothers previously. He chuckled, then told me quite honestly that I was seen by more than a few as a "quitter." I had quit the club, for whatever reason, and the club that they hold so strongly to their hearts would never really accept quitters. To a certain extent, what that means is that brothers may hold up a former brother who has been "put out in good" with more respect that those who voluntarily turn their patches in. 

I can understand that. 

And I can live with that.

My former brother's honest remarks put me in my proper place in the MC world, and was totally refreshing to hear. 

Since that conversation, I have pretty much washed my hands of the club when it comes to occupying my mind. To a certain extent, this post is the last I will write about the club. I imagine I will try to do some academic work on the biker lifestyle and its relationship to gender definitions (masculinity). Other than that, there will be no further reflections on my club life.

I have been riding freely and independently since mid-March this year. I love the freedom that comes with riding independently. I've had one good, long ride this year (to North Carolina in May to visit David), and I have at least two more planned before the start of the semester in August. I still have a vision of traveling to the West Coast on a ride that will probably take me away from home for at least three weeks, but that will have to wait until next year. I have one chopper rally on my calendar for September. I have no other long ride plans.

It was a good journey with many wonderful experiences. I have no regrets. In the end, it truly is "all good!"


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Snowstorms and global pandemics

Again, I am late to my submissions. I've had lots on my mind, but little motivation to move those thoughts to paper or computer over the past four weeks.

No earth shattering news here. More of the same. Monotony is good. To a certain extent, so is boredom. I'm ok with routine, given the incredibly stressful times over the past year and the past four years.

Susan tells me there is one more big storm in the winter forecast. Makes sense, given the year we've already had. On the sunny days I try to take advantage of the opportunity to ride. Keeping up with my work gives me the ability to take that ride. I'm thinking I'll go out today, as long as I can be home by 4 for an early dinner and watching more "Better Call Saul" with Devin and Susan. It's our special time together and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Just taking one day at a time!

It's All Good!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Happy 62!

I'm sitting here grading papers and listening to Nick Spitzer's Jan 27 show on Basin Street Records and New Orleans. You know that's gotta make me homesick. Yeah You Right!

What's wonderful about this "find" is that my son David alerted me to the show. He was listening to it and texted me to tell me to turn it on. He knows me pretty good. As does Cecelia, honestly.

It took me to this morning to find the link and listen to it. Damn, if I haven't teared up a few times already.

Happy 62!

As I celebrate another year closer to 70, I really can't lose the desire to move back home to New Orleans someday.

Ima thinking that is exactly where I need to grow old and die.

Honestly.

I enjoy the various flavors of urban life that are relatively close to me. Chattanooga is that "new kid" on the block, a bit of a older hipster just coming into some money. Progressive, a bit naive, but searching for ways to use both politics and a sense of diversity to build a new urban space in the deeply red state of Tennessee.  I love that city right now. It has so much potential.

Atlanta is old school. Established neighborhoods, a good foundational culture, truly the craddle of the intellectual aspect of the civil rights movement. Great food, great clubs, a strong progressive sense, parks, great neighborhoods (did I already say that?), and a vibrant diverse culture. An Olympic City! I have always loved that city, and was happy to have lived there during my formidable academic years.

But as every Atlantan will tell you, they don't "vacation" in Atlanta. They vacation in New Orleans.

And why wouldn't you?

In the true south, you have Atlanta and you have New Orleans. They have been paired for over 100 years, with New Orleans being the place to escape to, for one reason or another. Atlanta has that "sophisticated" status. New Orleans, well, it has that rough edge that everyone wants to experience once in their life. Decadence in many various ways, in ways that Atlanta can't match.

I will make it back to New Orleans before I die. For the time-being, I will work towards one-week visits during the summer (you gotta love New Orleans if you want to visit during the summer), and then work my way up to three or four visits a year (my post-Katrina pattern, until the Club got in the way).

Yeah you right! It's All Good!


Saturday, January 02, 2021

Happy New Year!

I spent January 1, 2021 relaxing. I didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't want to cook, I really didn't want to read anything--I just wanted to relax.

No doubt that the night before I had started drinking beer around 4pm, and though it was never more than a beer an hour, by the time we got to the champagne at 11:30 I was feeling a bit tipsy.

Two bottles of champagne among the five of us, and I was ready for bed by 2am.

I don't like staying up much past 10pm these days. I woke up without a hangover, but rather really damn tired. 

I've recovered today, and I find myself trying to complete one prep so that I can work on the last prep on Sunday.

I "open" my classes for review on Monday, January 4.... I'm not quite ready yet to do that....

So, I start the year behind already! Not really worried about it too much though. What I can't complete by Sunday, I'll have this next week to finish up. 

No "resolutions" for me again (?) this year. There are things I'd like to do this year, but no real need for any changes in my behavior (that I can think of). The Pandemic has forced me to stay at home more, which has been wonderful. If I do any recreational drinking, its at home and then there's the 10pm curfew my body imposes on me, so I don't really drink to excess when I AM drinking at home.

Life is good. Starting the new year without any changes means to me that things are moving smoothly in my life. 

I like that feeling. It's All Good!



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

What A Year!

I chronicled much of what I did this year on this blog. Probably the most I’ve done since Katrina. I could have written more, I guess, but these occasional updates catches folks up with my thoughts.

As we wind down the year, with only one week left to go, I am once again thankful for my family and all that we do together in our own way. Devin, Susan and I are in the beginning of a Breaking Bad marathon that brings us all together in the living room. It’s good to get Devin out of his room, and I am enjoying his thoughts on the series. I pretty much know how the middle of the series goes, since I’ve seen the final episode when it came out. But it is interesting to see how the writers developed the characters and turned a relatively good person, down on his luck, looking for a way to securely finance his family given his terminal illness and lack of both salary and health care could turn into such a villain.

Ah, the power of both money and the thirst to be recognized….

Susan and I discussed last night now our lives would have been different if I had been given tenure at A&M. We’d still be in Texas, and I personally know we’d be somewhat more financially secure given that we would be well on our way to securing home ownership. Our social life would have been more lively, no doubt, in Texas, and I would have probably still been in the club (though in a back seat without much of a leadership position, by my choice). My drinking would have been as “bad” as it was then, but the parties both at home and with the club would have been glorious!

Still, no regrets at all. Susan and I are closer here, I’m more “independent”, it is quieter here, peaceful in many ways, and though it is a long commute I do enjoy my brief times in the Atlanta region on a weekly basis, and I do look forward to my once-a-month stays down there so I can experience the rich city life that exists there. More museum tours are on my bucket list for 2021 for sure.

I have survived covid, and I’m lucky to have been stricken with such a mild case. I guess I played a part in the history of 2020. And personally I am happy that Drumpf lost, though the chaos he still throws onto our society post-election may have long-lasting damaging effects. I don’t miss the club anymore (not one bit), and am happy to be with family in this wonderfully peaceful environment.

What a year. What an interesting year. What a historical year.

What can 2021 present once this virus is behind us?

The 2021 bucket list includes one “long” bike ride for me once the semester ends. Nothing too big, perhaps the “usual” route to New Orleans, Central Texas, the Mississippi Blues corridor—a good one-week trip. I love those rides. Familiar and refreshing as the summer months begin.

It's All Good!

Monday, December 07, 2020

Wow--I didn't post in November?

Crazy times. The election went as planned, but the uncertainty afterwards has only added to the stress.

Drumpf needs to go away, for the mental health of the country... Or at least for the over 80 million of us who voted for Biden.

What I do much too often is "verge" into social media forums (especially Twitter) and read all the commentary by those who live in my bubble.

We can't believe what we see....

We can't believe especially how "republicans" can continue to support this shitshow of a president (sic) and presidency.

I've been involved in my share of elections in my youth. There are no significant "fraud" events in this election. Nothing out of the "normal" perhaps, and nothing that might match the historical machine politics of the turn-of-the 20th century. This election was as legitimate as it gets, as Krebs pointed out (and got fired for).

Drumpf is doing all he can to throw as much mud against the wall to see what sticks. So far, nothing has, and with each "loss" he loses both time and credibility (sic). 

But we have just 46 days to the Inauguration. We will get through this. And I will as well....

As long as I stay off social media....

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Riding Alone

I had intended to write about this a few weeks ago, but covid....

So, since I left the club in June I've had lots of time riding by myself. It included a trip to New Orleans, a trip from Texas back home, and the trips back and forth to work in Atlanta twice a week while the weather was good (my last trip of the season to Atlanta was probably last week). Not once (not once!) have I ridden with other people.

And I love it!

I have discovered that I really don't like riding with other people.

I don't mind meeting up with folks (I did that twice this summer and fall). But as long as I'm riding alone to get there, I am happy.

Advantages of riding alone: I can leave when I want, I can take the route that I want (or change it along the way), I can come home when I want, I can go as fast or as slow as I want.

Disadvantages of riding alone: NONE

So, there you have it. I like riding alone. I intend to ride alone for the remainder of my riding career. This does not mean that Susan or Evey won't be riding on the back of the bike next year--they both enjoy the ride and they will definitely come along for some of my rides. But other than that, I'll be riding alone for the foreseeable future.

It's ALL Good!