26 April << 2001 >> 18 May
Some days at work, I'm a raging bull, knocking down anything that gets in my path and leaving the most impossible problems in a heaping, quivering pile of gore.
Some days at work I'm sick of working so hard, upset that my dreams the night before were riddled with Unix and Cthulhu knows what else. I'm pissed off because they'll never hire another dannyman to balance my load. Then, I just have to relax and not be productive, and let brain cells cool down from the red line.
This past week, I was the bull for three days, and the sloth for the next two. Usually I balance in between, but I think I'm slightly manic depressive, and if I'm not going all out one way or another, I'm just a little frustrated at not knowing which way I am going. I think the caffeine makes me tense.
Today I stole a milk crate from work and bungy-corded it on to the back of my bike so that I can go grocery shopping. What, I hear you say? Dannyman has a hybrid car! Yes, well, If I can reduce my dependence on the personal automobile, you know, like most of the people in the world, who have no cars, well then I can demonstrate that it is possible to live with the world's highest standard of living and still not have multiple tons of metal dedicated solely to my personal whims. I'd live in a better world if I could just walk or bike down to Castro Street and "check out" one of the community's cars for a few hours, or a few days. Not going to happen, you say? I've heard tell of a program up in San Francisco where you join a club and you can wander over to the lot, check out a car, and do your thing. No need to own an automobile!
But that's Un-American! Well, maybe today it is kinda communist, but you know, we change over time. My Honda Insight is a concept car designed to chauffer my fine ass around the place at 60+ MPG. I really shouldn't have bought such a car, but it is the principle of the concept. It boils down to the fact that today, I am going to have my ton and a half of metals dedicated to my personal consumption of fossil fuels for fun and frolicking about. But, just to be sure, I'll pay a little extra to have my ton and a half of fossil-burning technology put those dinosaurs in to the atmosphere at a lower rate than everyone else's' hunks o' metal. But, you know, if I'm really just owning my car as some sort of proof-of-concept, I should think about the whole thing, eh? Public transit around here sucks, but the weather is nice. The more I can get around on burning the renewable energy I spend my leisure time consuming anyway, the better!
Thinking practically, I could then plug my little car in to the grid and let it power my apartment when the rolling blackouts make their way over to my place this summer.
So, here is what I've been doing in May. Every day I am keeping score as to whether I done ate meat, and if I done relied on a personal automobile to get around. It sorta boils down along these lines:
Did I eat food today that was built around the necessity to kill some flavor of animal? Meatball sub? That counts. Something with chicken broth in it? Yeah, right, whatever!
Did I go riding around in a car such that in my happy alternate reality world, someone would have had to have owned it? Basically, I'm kind of breaking it down such that carpool of three or more is a "no," whereas if I'm chauffeuring some fine chicky about in the Insight, that's clearly bourgeois car enjoyment.
It is not like I'm going to stop eating meat, or give up my love for cars, but if we can cut back on such things, then you go and measure them - because something you can measure is something you can know you are improving upon.
So, what's the score, so far? Well, you don't count your money while you're still at the table, so I guess I really should only tally at the end of the month, but here's what I've got; Meat: 8/12, Car: 7/12. That's 67% meat and just over 50% car. Dang. I thought I'd been doing better on the car thing. But that I ate meat only 2/3 of the time - well, I gotta admit I one ordered the tofu dish at the Chinese restaurant to improve that number some. It's working! Yes! I'll be one of those hippy vegan freaks who drives a communal hydrogen van in no time!
Last night I caught a movie you never heard of called "The Debut." Whatsit about? This Philipino kid's sister is having her coming-of-age birthday party, and he's trying to go to Art school while his Dad is kinda uptight about wanting him to take his pre-Med scholarship. Basically, it is a family-themed coming of age story, only to make things more interesting, the story is based in a Philipino-American environment. A little extra spice. Aint that America?
On the drive home I was wondering why are not more movies like that? Getting down and gritty with the added dimension of being something other than generic "white" in America - isn't Hollywood in California, of all places? And then it struck me that what was unusual about the movie was that it was themed around family, culture, and personal growth, and these just aren't themes that Hollywood tends to go for, because us white males are bored by that stuff.
But add some spice from some new culture I aint acquainted with, and I'll have even more fun, because not every house you visit has giant salad forks on the wall or this bitchin' little guy in a barrel with a surprise to show you. And not every movie you see addresses the coming of age theme with the added layer of generational expectations that have something to do with emigrating to America.
Little Pink Houses.
Anyways, one reason you haven't heard of this movie is because it is still in pre-release out here in the Bay. If and when it comes rolling in to your neighborhood, I suggest you take some friends to see it!