Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gear Head Gift Ideas: DD Motorcycle Rentals

Maybe the open road has been calling your name. Maybe your SO leaves back issues of "Cycle World" open to the Harley-Davidson Street Glide, Classic or 1200 CC Sportster, the Honda VTX 1300R or the King-of-the-Road Honda GL 1800 Goldwing. If so, D&D Motorcycle Rentals at 617 South McClintock has a proposition for you. Instead of laying out everything but your last pint of blood to snag a bike that would leave the most hardened Iron Butt with a bad case of bun burn, you can rent the bike of your choice for a day trip, weekend jaunt or a week-long gypsy tour.

Sure, you might take a little ribbing over renting, but according to Honda Goldwing rider and "Gypsy Moon" author Pamela Rose Anders of Tempe, Arizona, "The benefit to renting is you get to try out a certain type of motorcycle before you buy it." Just laugh all the way to the bank while your buddy gripes about the heartbreak of ownership as he works on his latest rolling basket.

Ms. Anders, who has put around 7,000 miles on her Honda GL 1800 Goldwing since purchasing it in March of this year after selling her Honda Shadow in 1978, has all her service done at D&D. "Most everyone who owns a Goldwing (in Tempe or Phoenix) goes there. I just think they have a way of making you feel like you can trust them. (They provide) very personable service. They don't try to up-sell. They just tell you what you need."

A day trip on a Honda VTX 1300R or a Harley-Davidson 1200CC Sportster is just $119, or you can have either bike for a week for just $595. The Harley-Davidson Classic and Street Glide are in mid-formation at $149 dollars for a day trip or $745 a week. The Honda GL1800 Goldwing tops the chart at $179 a day or $745 for the week, but your buns will thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance: What's Ducks Got to Do With It?

Earlier this year, my partner and I were privileged to be a part of a unique community, composed entirely of people in transition. It was healing, heartwarming and eye-opening to be among so many transgendered people from so many backgrounds and different paths. But what do plastic bathtub ducks have to do with Transgender Day of Remembrance? How could something so frivolous and silly dare take part in such a solemn occasion?

While it is important to toll the bells, pull out the photos and mourn their often violent passings, it is equally important to celebrate life. The community I refer to, HOPE House in Phoenix, Arizona, does exactly that. The first time I saw the plastic bathtub ducks in the pool there, I had to smile. They were such a silly thing, and seemingly meaningless. But those ducks symbolize the lives all of us lead: no matter what you do to them, they bob right back to the surface, still happily creating a bright yellow parade that refuses to be ignored, belittled or swept aside. Suck them into the pool drain and they emerge, sometimes scratched and scored, to resume their blithe path. Only total destruction stops them, and that is the connection.

Those who we remember today should not be made into perpetual victims. Instead, I choose to celebrate their life, their vibrancy, their beauty and their spirits: with plastic bathtub ducks.

These Dreams Starring 2009 to 2011 by JackVSage

2009 to 2011 was a very full, busy, heartbreaking and heartwarming time for us. Lots of love, loss, art, travel and mold-breaking. Many times over the past three years, various forces tried to pull us under and leave us in the dust, but we are still standing, still creating and still living every moment. From climbing 22 feet into the air every day to live in a treehouse, using a minimalist kitchen and traveling in a van held together with gossamer and pure blind luck, we had a 3000 mile run in seven states, lived on sales of how-to articles, spray paint art and hand-made jewelry. We battled snow, rain and boiling gasoline, winding up at home base in Tempe, Arizona. Now Gypsy's making pottery and I'm working on a cookbook and a new website. Here's to the best of 2009 to 2011!

"Coming Soon" mixed media collage by Jane M. Smith, January 2011 

"The Dance" mixed media collage by Jane M. Smith February 2011

JackVSage, August 25, 2011

Asheville Wildflowers, Photo by JackVSage November 2010 

Kelethin Kitchen, Making Peasant Bread, 2009  Photo by Jane  M. Smith

Kelethin Kitchen, 2009 Photo by Jane M. Smith

Minimalist Jewelry Workshop, 2009 Photo by Jane M. Smith

Kelethin, November 2009 Photo by Jane M. Smith

Custom Mother's Day necklace design by JackVSage May 2010 

"Cherries Jubilee" designed by JackVSage May 2010 

"Passion and Steel" designed by JackVSage June 2010 

"Kyoto" designed for Jordi Smith, 2010

"Creative Flow" designed for Laura M. Chapman, 2010 

Grinding steel roses, July 2010

"Emerald City" in progress, July 2010

"Emerald City" complete, July 2010

"Overclocked" custom steel rose vase, July 2010  Designed  and  produced by Gypsy Wilburn

Custom steel rose vase, July 2010 Designed and produced by Gypsy Wilburn

"Momentum" custom steel rose vase, July 2010  Designed and produced by Gypsy Wilburn

"Happy Brick" and making Turkish coffee, July 2010  Photo by Jane M. Smith

Last blade ever made by Gypsy Wilburn, February 2011

"Fowl Spirit" August 2011

"Motivation" January 2010 by Gypsy Wilburn

"Jewel" and Adventures with Boiling Gasoline, April 2011 through June 2011 

Arizona Sunset November 2011  Photo by Jane M. Smith

"Now You Are a Man"
"Live, Love and Laugh"

August 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Terre Haute Performance Poet Ready for His Mic Check

If you like Jack Kerouac and Douglas Adams, then you'll enjoy the works of Indiana poet and queer youth activist Walter Thomas Beck III. In a recent interview, published here, Walter Thomas Beck III explains the origins of his queer youth advocacy and activism and the growth and development of his poetic style. Beck's political activism began at age 16, and his advocacy for the rights of queer youth led him to found the group "Equality Speaks." From Equality Speaks, Beck has turned his efforts to Wabash Valley Pride and Terre Haute PFLAG.

Currently, Beck is a columnist and reviewer for The Front Row Report. "My last column was all about the Death of Punk."

When asked to describe himself, Beck answered "I'm not the pretty boy, Glee-watching, Lady Gaga-singing type. I'm a long-haired, chain-smoking, rock-n-roll ****sucker. If you want to understand my writing, how it works, dig deeper than the subject matter, be it camp, politics or sex, when you dig deeper, it all goes back to rock-n-roll. My poetry and writing is very influenced by my love and addiction to music."

Walter T. Beck III and blues musician Eli Van Sickel recorded their most recent performance, "Head for Gigs" on November 20 at the Verve Nightclub at 677 Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute, Indiana. It is available as a free download at Media Fire.

Mark December 15th on your calender and head to the Coffee Grounds at 423 Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute, Indiana for the first-ever public performance of excerpts from Beck's upcoming novel, "Fear and Doughnuts."

THIS THURSDAY AT COFFEE GROUNDS! Come on out to Poetry at the Grounds on Thursday for a very special show.

Circulating in the underground for years, on Thursday, the controversial gonzo camp epic "The Smell of Fear and Doughnuts" is finally unveiled to the public in a series of readings from excerpts of the work. These readings will be spaced throughout the night as people get their chance to get into the mind of Crossroads of America Council's gonzo camp outlaw. Hear true tales of dirty politics, rebellion, unity, brotherhood, personal downfall and redemption. This will be Walter Beck's 30th and final performance for 2011.

Welcome to Tempe Tempest

I hate red tape, and my typical response is to slice through it and continue to my goal. I am not here to rehash the latest story about Kim Kardashian or Snooki.. I don't want to know who bought Michael Jackson's deathbed or where Casey Anthony is hiding out, and the people I know and respect don't either.

I do want to provide a place to showcase the efforts and interests of fellow writers, artists, musicians and street performers, activists and business leaders in Arizona, Ohio and Indiana, and in other states. I hope to create a dialogue between readers of this blog, myself and the featured people and agencies, so that we can all create something that nurtures our mind, body and spirit.