Midweek Tribute: Joi “SJ” Harris

I was saddened to hear of the untimely and tragic accident which claimed the life of this courageous, determined, trailblazing woman. Joi “SJ” Harris, the first African-American stuntwoman, died on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, 14 August. From CBC News:

The American stunt rider who died in Vancouver on Monday while shooting an action sequence for the film Deadpool 2 has been identified as SJ Harris, a 40-year-old from New York City.

Harris died in a motorcycle accident after she crashed through a window in Shaw Tower near Jack Poole Plaza…Deadpool 2 was Harris’s first gig as a stuntwoman. Her manager, Porsche Taylor, described her as a “trailblazer” in motorcycle road racing.

“Once she got on the track, she fell in love with it. And she was surprised that there weren’t very many women who were racing and no women of colour, or no African-American women, in particular,” Taylor said in an interview Tuesday with As It Happens.

“She was excited to be able to break some new ground.”

Harris began riding in 2009 and received her race licence in May 2013. She started competing in 2014, racing in the American Sportbike Racing Association Championship Cup Series.

“SJ was super competitive on the track,” Taylor recalled. “She would race with men as well as women — and often give as good as she got.”
In a 2015 profile published in Black Girls Ride Magazine, Harris was described as the first African-American woman to become a professional road racer.

“I am everything people never saw in this sport,” Harris told the magazine in an interview.

Muscle cars and motorcycles have always been a love of mine, and I know full well what Ms. Harris is talking about when it comes to the “good-ole-boys” atmosphere which is prevalent at any motorcycle or classic car event that I attend. With the events of Charlottesville still fresh in the mind, I recall how many confederate flags and other racist decals and emblems decorated various vehicles or articles of clothing, or people who had those emblems tattooed on every inch of exposed skin.

I’m certain that Ms. Harris was well aware of those who pushed back against her desire to succeed, and fought that much harder to prove them wrong. According to an article in the Huffington Post, Harris described herself on her website as the “first licensed African-American woman in U.S. history to actively compete in (American Motorcyclist Association) sanctioned, motorcycle road racing events.”

Kevin Elliott, president of the American Sportbike Racing Association, said Harris began racing with the association’s beginner-level Champion Cup Series in 2014 and this year moved up to a “feeder” series that is meant to prepare riders for racing at an expert level.
He said her other activities prevented her from competing enough to be automatically given expert status, but if she had requested it based on her 2016 and 2017 finishes, it would have been granted.

For the first two years she was racing on a bike that was too big, but when she switched to a bike that was more suited to her size, her talent showed itself to be “very promising,” he said.

“She was just a good, solid competitor. She rode well,” he said.

Ride on, sister…ride on. You were certainly an inspiration.

Tender Moments For Tuesday: 15 August 2017

I need a break from all of the hate. Everywhere I go, I hear people talking shit and nonsense. I see people doing nothing but ensuring that they are part of the problem, and doing nothing to be part of the solution. The lunatics have officially taken over the asylum, from what I’ve seen. At least my sanctuary in my little corner of the world remains solid, fortified, and secure. The royal fortress in the meadow stands tall!

Apologies for the quality of the pictures; they’re the best that I could take on short notice, with only my cell-phone camera!

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Moment of Silence: 13 August 2017

Silent Moment Saturday…Domestic Terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia of last night and today leave me heartsick, speechless, and sadly, unsurprised. It was only a matter of time, what with the hateful and vitriolic language and attitudes spanning the internet. Pointing out the obvious was labeled as “ranting” by others and deemed unworthy of listening to, while those who spread the racist rhetoric are adored and fawned upon. The amount of sickness out there is staggering, to say the least. The articles below are testament to how little is really being done to address this madness, which has long been festering in the hearts and minds of many.

Charlottesville: One killed in violence during U. S. racist rally (link to BBC article)

Fascist, neo-nazi groups on the march in Charlottesville chant: “Blood and soil,” echoing the words of their hero (link to HuffPo article)

One dead as white terrorists march through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (link to CBC article)

5 On Friday: My Excerpts!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ve selected five excerpts from my fan-fiction-related short story for today’s installment of my “Five on Friday” posts, in preparation for a more regular schedule of my writings. I also added a few new screen-shots for the viewing enjoyment of all!

I hope that your respective weekends are off to a great start. Mine certainly is!

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Festivities: This excerpt details some of the goings-on during a celebratory dinner.

Comeuppance: Revenge is a dish best served cold, as detailed in this brief tale.

Seclusion: Self-driven solitude is a necessity, at times – for the protection of others, as well as oneself.

The Wild Hunt: A cure for an illness comes in an unexpected ritual.

The Entertainer: Confidence can be earned, and learned, from the most obscure sources.

BGR 2017: Celebration in Pictures!

The Black Girls Rock 2017 celebration took place on Saturday, 5 August, but you wouldn’t know it unless you had marked the schedule on your respective calendars! I found little coverage and virtually no articles about this event, but I can’t say that I’m surprised – par for the course, sad to say.

In light of that, here are a few pictures with some positive, uplifting quotes for those of us who are overlooked and under-represented on a daily basis!

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game! *** UPDATED *** (Re-blogged)

The first game of a Mariners double-header, being played in Kansas City against the Royals, has just begun. It looks to be quite the slugfest!

I decided to re-blog this post from May of this year, showing a few pictures taken when attending a game at Safeco Field in person.

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

On Friday, which also marked Mexico’s Batalla de Puebla, I had the pleasure of attending a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. It was “Beard Hat Night” so many fans (including yours truly and the Hubster) donned furry face-warmers and had a blast! Unfortunately, the Mariners lost to the AL West division rivals Texas Rangers by a score of 3 – 1 after 13 innings of a well-played, hard-fought game, which also saw two pitchers taken out for injuries. The good news is that the Mariners rallied the next day and won Saturday’s game by a score of 8 – 3, so redemption is possible for today’s game!

*** UPDATED Monday, 8 May 2017 ***
After a back-and-forth battle, the Mariners came from behind to win the game 4 – 3 and clinch the series against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers fall into last place in the AL…

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Happy Belated Birthday, Barack Obama!

I’ll let the title speak for itself, along with the following pictures. He just turned 56, but finding current birthday photos was difficult, to say the least!

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5 On Friday: Music for the Weekend!

Happy Friday, everyone! For my “Five on Friday” post, I offer these selections to get your respective weekends off to an excellent start. It has been too hot to do much of anything but stay indoors, hydrate, and stay cool. At least I’ve been able to sort pictures and screen-shots, and do a bit more editing on those long-overdue excerpts!

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Monday Memes & Music! (Re-blogged)

’tis Tuesday, and the next few days will see record-breaking heat here on the coast.

My mind is still mush after the madness of the Mid-Year Mayhem seasonal event in-game, and I’ll be sorting through my latest screen-shots for future posts. For now, I offer this re-blog of Monday memes and music!

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

I hoped that there would be a new episode of “Last Week Tonight” to post today, but I think that I got the schedule mixed up with another show! Enjoy these Monday memes and a bit of music, instead.

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