Author: Fuzzygalore

Rider, adventurer, traveler, weirdo, lover of love, and all around curious person. Trying to squeeze the fun-juice out of each and every day.
I Love My Motorcycle. And My Spleen.

I Love My Motorcycle. And My Spleen.

Motorcycling is much more than just a thing I like doing. That simply doesn’t do my feelings about it justice. Even saying it’s a lifestyle doesn’t seem right. Its tributaries spider throughout my life like veins, carrying curiosity, joy, excitement, and passion away from my heart to far beyond the reach of my extremities.

When you don’t ride your motorcycle by choice, the time away feels entirely different when compared to not riding your motorcycle because you can’t (or shouldn’t). Can’t feels like a loss, something removed from you by force. I, like many people, hate the feeling of being pushed to do something against my will. Even if it is in my best interest.

This past week, I wavered heavily over just saying, “fuck it,” and going for a little ride. The devil on my shoulder asked – “what’s the worst that could happen?” I was gently reminded that the nice answer to that is “a hernia.”

A hernia. That’s just what I need. Say the word “hernia” out loud. It sounds moist, odorous, and plump. In other words… gross. So, common sense prevailed and I parked my lazy ass on the couch and rested instead. Again. Frankly, it’s getting old.

This week marks a month ago that I had my surgery. Since I came home from the hospital, I haven’t taken a single prescribed pain pill. Sure, I’ve been uncomfortable, but not in any real pain. I’d call that a win.

But, I do have an ugly pink smile across my belly and if I don’t wear some type of compression garment, it feels like my insides are going to spill out everywhere. Can you even comprehend the embarrassment of having to pick your own organs up from the floor of the frozen food aisle?

[picks up spleen, blows the fuzz off, pulls off a stray hair, puts it in purse to shove back in abdomen later]

So instead of riding pants, I’ve been wearing all manner of Under Armor for the last couple weeks. While I, of course, look dead sexy each day in my super snug pants (I don’t), I’d much rather be looking like an amorphous blob zipping along on my moto.

Is it a bad thing that an activity like motorcycling becomes such an integral part of your person? When it leaves you, even if temporarily, it feels like something is missing from your universe. It’s like standing at a party where you don’t know anyone and you fidget around not knowing what to do with your hands.

Mother Goose in Hazard, Kentucky

Mother Goose in Hazard, Kentucky

Sometimes people ask me how I find funky stuff while out on the road. One of my favorite ways is by chance. While satisfying an itch by navigating to something has its own reward, seeing something unexpectedly adds to it the delicious element of surprise.

In October of 2018, I rode through Hazard, Kentucky after stopping in Dwarf. Hazard was one of those town names I’d often seen on a map and thought, I should pass through there. No doubt this inclination was fueled by my childhood crush on John Schneider as Bo Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard. (Don’t judge me!)

After having a look-see around the town, I continued east towards I have no idea where. Suddenly I found myself looking at a giant Goose building on the side of the road. Yeeeehaw!

Keep exploring, my friends.

Mother Goose House
2906 N Main St
Hazard, KY 41701

Whispering Giant: Sequoyah of North Carolina

Whispering Giant: Sequoyah of North Carolina

Back in 2015, I participated in the Whispering Giants Grand Tour. It was an awesome push to get out for a ride. It was exciting to see these fantastic carved Giants. Each one has so much character. Though the grand tour has long since passed, I still stop to see the giants when one is close by.

This giant, Sequoyah, stands in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Fuzzygalore Whispering Giant Sequoyah

Sequoyah stands outside of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian
589 Tsali Blvd
Cherokee, NC 28719
Gmaps: https://goo.gl/maps/f482LkSTNB5xRUmM7

Other Posts about Whispering Giants

Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Since I have a little downtime away from the bike for a few weeks, I’ve been looking through photos that have accumulated over the years.

As I flip through the images, sometimes it surprises me that I haven’t posted about a place I went or something I saw. There’s some good stuff lingering around. But, I start out with grand plans and get sidetracked. For me, there’s always tomorrow.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

from Macbeth
by William Shakespeare

Anyway, I just like this picture. Everything looks so green and vibrant, so full of new life. It just looks so stinkin’ hopeful to me.

That Time I Had My Coconut Removed

That Time I Had My Coconut Removed

There are periods in your life when you think that your self-esteem couldn’t possibly get any lower, that the only way to go is up. Then with a maniacal laugh and a wag of the finger, the universe says, “No, girrrl. Uh-uh” and hands you these.

Ladies and gentlemen, my hospital issued underwear:

I can’t rightly say just what fabric these medicinal underpants are made of. Nor can I fathom what the banded design provides other than another unflattering aspect. But what I can tell you is that these babies are purpose-built for comfort. They possess unparalleled super expando capabilities. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that I could’ve safely jumped from my fourth-floor hospital room window touching down as light as Mary Poppins, seeing as how they would’ve ballooned to parachute size without so much as a whimper.


Pre-op

Two weeks ago I had another procedure on my middle bit. (I’m fine, no cancer.) I have 2 previous laparoscopic scars on the sides of my tum-tum, one in my belly button and now, a niiiice big smile to round out the package. Add to that some baby-havin’ tiger stripes and my stomach looks like a demented smiley face with terrible skin issues.

Immediately following the surgery, my lower belly was so swollen and puffy that it looked like I was wearing a floaty inner tube, but on the inside. Kind of like wearing your socks over your shoes.

Post-op

I’m bringin’ sexy back, alright.


While in recovery, I didn’t know if I was just loopy or if what my surgeon was saying to me was real. He made a pluck sound and said “we removed your coconut,” and motioned with his hands an imaginary coconut shape. My coconut? I had a secret coconut?

I was reassured that I wasn’t crazy when he repeated the statement a day later. Now fully coherent when he stopped in to see how I was doing, he again motioned the imaginary coconut but clarified what they removed was the size of a coconut. I have to admit, it was disappointing not to have an actual inner coconut.

The view before heading under the knife.

One of my post-surgical tasks was to try to fart. TRY. TO. FART! After spending the last 45 years trying not to, this was the moment I’d been waiting for. Some guy asked me to fart on purpose! No making noises, shoe scuffing, or any of the other oddball coverage techniques people employ to try to mask their butt-sounds. No sir. Just let it rip with abandon.

Not only that, every nurse who cared for me was hellbent on knowing whether or not I was enjoying a ride on the poot-poot express. Never do you expect to hear “Having you been passing gas?” with such curiosity, enthusiasm, and concern.


The procedure was a success. I’m not in pain, I don’t have cancer and other than being generally tired, I’m perfectly fine. Put one in the win column for me.

My recovery period is six weeks or so. That means I have to limit physical activity, not benchpress a Volkswagon, yadda yadda yadda. Between you and me, you know what really concerns me. Yep – that I can’t ride my bike in what has been some excellent late spring weather. I’ve still got 4 weeks to go until I’ll be able to fly. Assuming they don’t identify any other strange fruits in my body.

Surely the only way is up from here!

Two weeks later – as nutty as ever:

Seeing Something New on a Well-worn Path

Seeing Something New on a Well-worn Path

Everything blends in with the background when you’re zipping along, head down, focused only on the task at hand – survival. There is no bigger picture, only now. Chaos can swirl around you, burning everything to the ground but your eyes remain ignorant, fixed only on immediate gratification.

I’ve crossed this bridge for twenty years, never once stopping until this very day. After pulling over and finally stopping, I climbed up on the wall to look out. I stood there surveying what spilled out before me.

After a long time of repeating the same actions, this was the first time that I ever saw something. I witnessed the curve of the shoreline embracing the body of it’s partner, and the ripples that danced away. I saw the clouds and the sky.

I saw distance.

Ghost Sign: Pepsi-Cola – Richmond, Virginia

Ghost Sign: Pepsi-Cola – Richmond, Virginia

In the fall of October 2018, I rode through the city of Richmond, Virginia on a Sunday morning. City riding isn’t so great, generally. But being on a motorcycle gives you the opportunity to pull over, squeeze into tight spots for a few minutes and to park and snap pictures in a way that you couldn’t possibly do in a car. Being on a low, slim bike like the Bonneville makes that even easier.

I was in town spotting ghosts. An old city like Richmond, has plenty.

This Pepsi-Cola ad is just hanging on for dear life. Topped off with “Watkins Barber Shop” the bottle cap is but a whisper. A quick search around the web and you can find images of this wall that were much more vibrant. Hang in there, lovely. We still see you.

richmond fuzzygalore pepsi ghost sign

Without any knowledge of the company’s history, I have no idea if they ever engaged in widespread campaigns like Coca-Cola. In my travels, I haven’t had the opportunity to see many Pepsi ghost signs. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other. It was in Galena, Kansas:

fuzzygalore galena ansas pepsi ghost sign

Now that my antenna is up, maybe I’ll start seeing them.

[edit] How could I possibly forget the gorgeous Pepsi ad on the old post office in Burke’s Garden?

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park – Wilson, NC

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park – Wilson, NC

After visiting the White’s Tire Muffler Man on Hines Street in Wilson, North Carolina, I navigated my over to visit Vollis Simpson’s Whirligig Park.

As I turned the corner the park came into view. It was a riotous explosion of color and motion set against the backdrop of old buildings and a gorgeous blue sky. I kid you not, I said “oh my god,” out loud as everything came in to view. It was like being a kid and catching a glimpse of a carnival that came to town.

I must preface these photos by saying that they in no way deliver anything close to the experience of seeing these whirligigs in person. Really, I found them hard to photograph at all. There was too much going on that I had no idea how to do them justice.

Being there was a full sensory experience of sight, sound, and motion. The scale of these works creates a presence that is captivating. As you move around them your eyes pass over each piece picking out the details of castaway items turned in to something greater than themselves. All the while your ears pick up a symphony of whirring, clangs, clicks, and squeaks.

If you are anywhere near Wilson, North Carolina, do yourself a favor and visit. You’ll be glad you did.

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
301 Goldsboro St S,
Wilson, NC 27893
GMaps

This is the Worst Tea Party Ever

This is the Worst Tea Party Ever

fuzzygalore yamaha fz-07

Anyone in my life is probably aware that I am not a very good friend. That isn’t to say that I don’t love people, or their friendship doesn’t have a deep meaning or lasting value for me. It’s more like, I don’t know how to participate in their lives.

I think about them, find them fascinating, appreciate their courage, wit, wisdom, and tenacity. But there is some barrier that I’ve created that won’t seem to allow me to give myself over to the process of partaking in a two-way relationship. Nearly everything is done from a distance.

Maybe I’ve talked about it before, but I feel most safe, confident and able to move freely through the world when I am on my motorcycle, dressed in my gear, wearing my helmet. Those are the moments when I am breathing in the life around me and am open enough to connect. It’s when I feel the safety of not being laid bare and I will let you come closer. It’s when I feel that we are friends in both directions.

Yes, I realize that probably makes no sense – saying that I am open and engaged when I am encased in protective clothing. You see me, but not all of me; you happily consume the pre-programmed narrative. And because the costume is so specific, rarely does the dialog veer away from the bubble of this perfect activity and it’s trappings. And while the conversation is often metaphorically something beyond motorcycling itself, that ruse makes the conversation possible.

Fuzzygalore

When did I become so closed off, so fearful of being seen? I can’t quite put my finger on it. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. These examples of the things that make me withdraw in person sound crazy but what the hell, I’ve already burned that bridge:

I’m at the point where it is a struggle for me to expose my arms above the elbow. The thought of someone seeing both of my naked shoulders or upper arms makes me squirm. Oh, and it is cringeworthy for you to see my face from less than 2 feet away, especially in daylight. Add to that the fact that I’m fixated on the idea that I smell horrible at all times. And I obsessively pick at my face, sometimes for like for 45 minutes at a clip until whatever imperfection I was picking at is now really something to look at. Shitty admission: I’ve been late to work because of that in particular. In short, I feel like if I freely deliver up just how gross I am, you will reject me and I don’t want that kind of anguish.

What the fuck is all that? It’s nuts! But, it’s my truth. And no external well wishes, sympathy, compliments or anything changes these things.

These… quirks… must’ve been bubbling, generating steam for a long time. Then last year, the pressure became too much to bear and I fucking cracked. I wish it weren’t true but I’m still dealing with the fallout. These unwanted guests at my tea party won’t take the hint and hit the road. Day in, day out I try to find a way to throw their asses out to seemingly no avail.

There is nothing for me to gain by telling whoever you are these things. In fact, I’m sure it makes people think I’m a psycho. And while they may, in fact, be right, tattling on myself just feels like the right thing to do.

I’m broken but trying.

Motorcycles are my refuge. Each ride, each time I open myself up to a wider circle, each time I tiptoe outside of my comfort zone, I am shown by example that my fears never culminate to my worst case scenario. It happens over and over again. And yet for now… well, you know.

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