Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


Biker’s credo

Just found this on another blog http://motorcyclecolorado.com/blog and wanted to share. It reminds me a lot of Kaz. 

Biker’s Credo

I ride purely, and only, because it is fun and offers me the opportunity to meet others of like mind.

I ride because I enjoy the freedom I feel from being exposed to the elements, and the vulnerability to the danger that is intrinsic to riding.

I do not ride because it is fashionable to do so.

I ride my machine, not wear it. My machine is not a symbol of status. It exists simply for me, and me alone. My machine is not a toy. It is an extension of my being, and I will treat it accordingly, with the same respect as I have for myself.

I strive to understand the inner workings of my machine, from the most basic to the most complex. I will learn everything I can about my machine, so that I am reliant upon no one but myself for its health and well-being.

I strive to constantly better my skill of control over my machine. I will learn its limits, and use my skill to become one with my machine so that we may keep each other alive. I am the master, it is the servant. Working together in harmony, we will become an invincible team.

I do not fear death. I will, however, do all possible to avoid death prematurely. Fear is the enemy, not death. Fear on the highway leads to death, therefore I will not let fear be my master. I will master it.

My machines will outlive me. Therefore, they are my legacy. I will care for them for future bikers to cherish as I have cherished them, whoever they may be.

I do not ride to gain attention, respect, or fear from those who do not ride, nor do I wish to intimidate or annoy them. For those who do not know me, all I wish from them is to ignore me. For those who desire to know me, I will share with them the truth of myself, so that they might understand me and not fear others like me.

I will never be the aggressor on the highway. However, should others be the aggressor towards me, their aggression will be dealt with in as severe a manner as I can cast upon them.

I will show respect to other bikers more experienced or knowledgeable than I am. I will learn from them all I can.

I will not show disrespect to other bikers less experienced or knowledgeable than I am. I will teach them what I can.

It will be my task to mentor new riders, who so desire, into the lifestyle of the biker, so that the breed shall continue. I shall instruct them, as I have been instructed by those before me.

I shall preserve and honor traditions of bikers before me, and I will pass them on unaltered. I will not judge other bikers on their choice of machine, their appearance, or their profession. I will judge them only on their conduct as bikers and as a human being.

I am proud of my accomplishments as a biker, though I will not flaunt them to others. If they ask, I will share them.

I will stand ready to help any other biker who truly needs my help. I will never ask another biker to do for me what I can do for myself.

I am not a part-time biker. I am a biker when, and wherever I go. I am proud to be a biker, and I hide my chosen lifestyle from no one.

I ride because I love freedom, independence, and the movement of the ground beneath me. But most of all, I ride to better understand myself, my machine, the lands in which I ride, and to seek out and know other bikers like myself. –

–Author Unknown


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Copyright and Submission Law (and why you should care)

As Dorothy Parker once said: “The only ‘ism’ that Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.”

At this very moment, there is a hit TV show on air that was stolen from a friend of mine. When I say “stolen” I mean the show was based on a television pilot script my friend wrote, but her name is nowhere in the credits, nor will she ever see a dime of profit. How this happened is a long, sad and too common story. What’s important to learn is how to prevent it from happening to YOU.

What is protected by copyright?

1. Original works of authorship
2. Fixed works of creativity (i.e. written down or filmed, not transitory)

Who owns the copyright?

1. The author or authors of the original work


2. The company who hired the employee or independent contractor to create the work

Rules of thumb:

ALWAYS register your literary work with the U.S. Library of Congress – a somewhat awkward process but worth the hassle. http://www.copyright.gov/eco

If your work is not literary, find the appropriate organization for your medium and register your work.

ALWAYS inform people you have the copyright by displaying it clearly on your work like so: © your name here

ALWAYS document where, how and to whom you showed your work/idea. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just keep track of where your work goes.

ALWAYS document invitations to submit work and/or pitch your ideas. You can do this before or after the submission by simply sending an email. “Thanks for inviting me to pitch XYZ this coming Wednesday.” “It was a pleasure pitching XYZ project to you yesterday.”

If you want to be even more formal, you can ask people to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. There are lots of examples on the internet. Here’s one you can download: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2533777/Non-Disclosure-Agreement—Download-Now-DOC

If you want to be less formal, have a verbal understanding and then confirm it via email.

Things to remember:

– If your work is stolen (i.e. used/reproduced without your knowledge and/or permission, without you getting credit and/or compensation) and you decide to sue, you are eligible for statuary damages (more money) if you can prove you own the copyright and it was clearly displayed it on your work.

– Unsolicited submissions don’t count! You are not protected. Get invited to submit or pitch, and then document the invitation and surrounding details, as stated above.

– If your work is stolen, the courts will want to see evidence of:
Copyright ownership
Copyright notice
Direct evidence of unauthorized copying
The stolen work is substantially similar to the original work
The accused had access to the original work

– The more details in your work, the better. It’s very hard to prove and win infringement.

Last thoughts:

I learned some of this information during a seminar presented by Mark Williams, partner at One LLP (formerly O’Melviny & Meyers), and hosted by California Lawyers for the Arts (C.L.A.). If you’re an artist or writer, I highly recommend joining this organization.  http://www.calawyersforthearts.org

Happy creating!!


Birthday Memories

On 10/11/12 I turned 42. I didn’t realize the symmetry of the date until someone pointed it out to me. I took it as a good omen, like everything is lining up.

A year ago I felt the complete opposite. My birthday was the first in a series of emotional milestones following my husband’s death.

Kaz is both the reason I am sad, and the inspiration for my happiness. He had mastered the rare art of Zen. Not the bullshit, new-agey Zen emoted by some yoga instructors and “energy healers” but the real inner peace and hardcore happiness shared by life long motorcycle riders like him.

Since his passing, I have made it my mission to try and be more like him. But last year’s birthday it was nearly impossible. All I could do was compare it to the three previous birthdays I had shared with him. He always made a point of making them special.

In Year 1 of our relationship he got us VIP tickets to Atmosphere, a hip hop group he had introduced me to and I had grown to love. A week before my birthday he heard they were coming to Los Angeles and the concert was already sold out. He had to pull a lot of strings to get us tickets, was panicked about it not working out, and when the manager responded the day before the concert he said it made his week.

This concert is where I said “I love you” for the first time. “What?” he responded, pointing at his earplugs. I yelled back at him: “I LOVE YOU!” He smiled, said something that I couldn’t hear and didn’t ask him to repeat. I turned around and kept dancing, then felt his hands on my hips.

In Year 2, he rented a Honda Goldwing and takes me on a 300-mile ride up Route 1 and into the farm country near Santa Barbara. Totally magical – and not only on the ride. When he went to return the Goldwing the next day, a man struck up a conversation with him about motorcycles at the gas station in Santa Monica. Kaz later strolled into the apartment saying, “Guess who I ran into at the gas station.” “Who?” I asked. “Christian Bale!” “What?!” I screamed. He laughed. “I know!!”

In Year 3, he asked his doctors to hold off on his second resection surgery by a few days so we could celebrate my 40th birthday together, first at a party with all of our closest friends, then two days in Joshua Tree National Park, our favorite getaway spot.

Last year, the first year without him, I spent a rainy evening at Occupy Oakland with a friend and her 4-year old daughter and had drinks with other friends. It was fun, but everything felt empty. My present to myself was shaving my legs.

This year, I went to an Eddie Izzard concert, rented a Harley Davidson and went for a 60-mile ride to Palos Verdes – my first ride since learning how to ride 2 months ago. The ride was awesome, if not a little scary.

I did have a good cry when I got home because I wished I could share this momentous day with Kaz. But at least I had fun. And if his spirit is still hanging around, then maybe he had some fun with me. The only reason I’m out there is because of him. If I can capture an ounce of his Zen, I’ll be good.

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I have a Secret Riding Buddy.

She’s a secret because she’s not out yet to her parents, as a motorcycle rider. I learned this a few days ago when we were discussing who we’ve told about our new, very fun and very dangerous sport. Me being a blabbermouth, I’ve told everyone. Though I did wait until after I secured my license to tell my 83 year old father, who (as I knew he would) proceeded to lecture me for an hour about the perils of motorcycles and how stupid I am for allowing myself to be seduced by the thrill and excitement.

His best line: “When you’re lying on the ground after the accident that you WILL have, my words are gonna be ringing in your ear.” I listened patiently while parked underneath a Ralph’s grocery store in Los Angeles, then told him basically that he might be right, but for now this is what I’m doing.

This is when my Secret Riding Buddy told me that she hadn’t even told her parents yet and that, besides her husband, the only other person who knows is her brother, whose reaction on the phone after she told him was silence. She told me I can’t use her name here, and can’t tag her in any pictures posted from our rides on facebook. I hesitate from even describing her, but let’s just say she reminds me of what Little Orphan Annie would look like all grown up, with a nose ring. I shall call her Red.

Red and I met last month in a Harley Davidson safety class, my second such class in 4 months, Red’s first. The teacher started off by asking everyone what they do for a living, and why they wanted to learn this sport.

Red said: “I teach ancient religions and I want to learn how to ride because my husband rides and I’d like to be able to ride with him.”

I said: “I’m a writer and my late husband rode a motorcycle for over half his life. I want to learn how to ride because he loved it so much and said it was the best stress reliever. One day I’d like to lead an annual memorial ride in his honor.”

5 weeks later, this past Saturday, was our first ride since that class. Our first ride not in a parking lot. We rented two Harley Davidson Sportster 1200’s. Red dropped the bike once in the rental shop’s parking lot and I dropped it twice on the road. Both of us stalled several times and I made two mistakes, which could have been fatal if there had been oncoming traffic. When we finally made it back to the rental shop, even the rental guy expressed his relief. “When you two left, I said I little prayer.”

We had survived. And we had the bruises to prove it. It was one of the best days I’ve had since my husband died. Much of the day I felt him with me, encouraging me, reminding me to stay calm. When I dropped the bike, I could hear him trying not to laugh.

He would have been proud of me today. Concerned but proud.