Thursday, July 26, 2007

mcmansion economics and a brown world


Staring out the window yesterday as we chugged through the Bel Air part of Sunset, I became fascinated by the scene at the roadside. It was bus stop upon bus stop, populated by the nannies and housecleaners and laundresses that allow the artifice of that neighborhood to function.

Am I the only person in the world that believes that needing a staff to take care of your personal space signifies an imbalance in your life? It seems to me that if you need a housekeeper, you have too big a house.

There are so many damn 4000'+ square-foot houses in L.A. with one or two people living in them - just think of the unnecessary carbon footprint that represents in cooling, heating, water, supplies, electric power...it adds up quickly and inarguably.

Yet again, it all boils down to personal choices. We all have to see our personal choices as individual votes - am I for a livable planet, or am I against it because what I'm craving right now matters more?

Monday, July 16, 2007

life is a highway


...and I'm gonna ride it until - well - about 4:45 AM.

I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it. I'd spent the night before in wakefulness, wringing my hands, thinking about what stuff can happen when one's body is hurtling along at freeway speeds on a machine you're not *quite* used to manipulating - and which still feels as though it has a malicious mind of its own, sometimes. It wasn't fear of other traffic on the road - hell, we left before dawn. It was more about my on-again-off-again friendship with Mr. Throttle, and his general air of disrespect for Ms. Clutch (we're all three in counseling - with Bear moderating - right now.)

They say everybody goes through this period, but I felt silly and conspicuous anyway - especially when I was so worked up as to be trying to shift with the rear brake lever to leave the parking lot. This two-wheels is not, my friends, as easy as it looks.

To make a long story short, I made it out there, though in a talking-to-self-in-helmet, lip-biting, maybe-half-a-yellowbellied-tear sort of way. And I did okay. And it was exciting, and I beat the fear pretty soundly.

Later in the day, we scooted up to Newcomb's Ranch to watch MotoGP with the rest of the folks, and my noob experience in the morning made the beautiful mysteries of top-tier ridership even more beautiful. When it goes wrong, it goes very, very wrong - but when everyone's keeping the shiny side up and the rubber side down, it's watching synchronized swimming through the soup of air that feeds us one and all. And I finally cheered for the silly Oakie as he brilliantly salmon-swam through the ranks to take a heap of places by sheer force. You're alright, kid. You done good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

keep it simple, stupid


I.

I have - by far - the sexiest, awesomest boyfriend ever conceived. He's so good, I'm jealous of myself sometimes.

II.

I have the bike. She is MINE! Mwa ha ha ha ha.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

i want my bottle


I would be very curious to observe myself under pressure. Am I overconciliatory? Patronizing? Overtly hand-wringing? Didactic? Or do I seem all cucumber-cool and sane-alicious, even though there's a small nuclear device detonating in my emotional core? Gee, that'd be swell.

I know I'm not as cool as I'd like to be. I take it personally. I care.

I inherited the 'caring' thing form my parents. In medicine for a heap of decades, my dad has done an amazing job of caring for and about people. I remember driving up to a glass-etcher in Napa, years ago, to pick up the glass mugs he designed and commissioned for the medical group he was leading at the time. "Our Job Is To Care," they said - the simple, yet hauntingly adroit mission statement he'd put forward for the group. I stared at that motto every morning as a gulped my orange juice out of one of them. Honestly, I can't think of a better way to phrase his approach to medicine (and to life as a whole, at that.) He cares so deeply about the people he leads and the people he treats, he appears in my eyes to be a living manifestation of namaste. I got matching 'give-a-crap' DNA from my mom - she has an oil-tanker-sized heart. She's full to bursting of a love generally only read about in religious texts, and she shares it without qualm. (Ask me to tell you about the rats sometime, if you're dubious.) The upshot is this: I can't not care. It's a physical impossibility, even though I wish I didn't. I care about my job, and whether people feel well-treated and respected. I want to help folks that are having a tough time of it. I want to make it better.

I get the nagging feeling, however, that my caring appears as a weakness in my line of work.

Pifflesticks. I can only be me.