So I have purchased the first new car I have ever owned. It is a Jeep Rubicon - a very expensive toy. A gas hog to boot. I got it so my nephew and I can git ourselves out there. WAY out there. It has only been 3 weeks, but we have already run this bad boy from Clear Lake to the Salton Sea. We have already experienced much of the stuff we want to see - the stuff one would need an offroad beast to enjoy. Much awesome has already been done, plus some not so smart moves on our part. We have run into some serious Scooby Doo-type shit, which is both frightening and thrilling. No complaints.
Anyhoo, I am enjoying my first extended time off in a year, and much more in the outback will come. Today, I am cooling my jets in SoCal, and intend to get caught up on a little writing before year's end. Here we go:
- I really have intended to write a ton lately, but to be honest, the anti-depressants simply sap me of any ability to do so. Were I making a fabulous living with my writing, I might endure life off-meds in order to remain productive, but I am not, so I don't. I think I probably will shut this blog down in March of 2013 to make it an even 10 years. I might even go back and read some of it myself at that point. I really am not in a position to just quit my mental-case meds just yet. I hate taking them, but they do help me answer the alarm clock. That they are primarily meant as pain meds is a big part of it too. As of February, I will have been off of opiates for a full year. Totally clean. That makes me happy. Very happy. I need to now focus on losing weight and quitting smoking, but compared to the no-dope-year, that should be easy.
- Having the aforementioned jeep should do much to help me get out and active. I held off buying a car until I was free and clear of my Chicago apartment. I don't really know yet how to explain my year back in the 312. I do know I look back on it with a mix of fear, dread, and inquisitiveness. I am not sure why I had such an adverse reaction to "home", but I very much did. I am not kidding when I say I don't wish to leave the Pacific and Mountain time zones ever again. Yes, I love NYC and will always love it, but I either have been changed by Cali-living or Chicago has gone dramatically downhill. I suspect it is equal parts of both. I will miss even having the chance to visit with all my (many) near-orbit friends and loved ones in the Midwest going forward, but I am officially done with it. It is too conservative in ways that I am not. I am a person who personally lives VERY conservatively (not in the political sense in that I don't vote right-wing anymore, and haven't in this century.) I don't have any successful fiction writing attempts in the can yet, but the one idea I have sketched out is about my year back "home". I would love to be able to bang that out and see what I actually have. Likely nothing, but it would be a very interesting attempt IMHO. Anyhoo - I realize that choosing to avoid the Midwest means choosing to avoid many people I love and like dearly. I will gladly subsidize visits West for y'all if I can when I can since not wanting to be there isn't the same as not wanting to see y'all.
- I am starting to feel better I think because the election is over. Never in my life have I ever been more averse to politics than I have been for the last 5 years or so. I despise GWB and find what passes for the modern GOP to be reprehensible as well. BHO isn't a very good president (yet), but we gotta have those Supreme Court nominees go to the left. That is really the only reason I even voted at all. At some point, things have to change. After the 2004 election I was ready to take the Blue States and join them to Canada. I still think that is a pretty good idea. I'd like to see us move to a weak executive structure like the rest of the world has too so we can bail on the 2-party system. These are fantasies, I know all too well. Even so, it is very tough to feel like you love your country when you think half of its people are either vicious, nuts, or profoundly confused. I have no idea what is going to happen. I have lost most of my political fervor since 2004, but I do remain moved by the idea that "This was supposed be the New World". All that people thought possible in the future has largely become possible, and yet we still have not only grinding poverty, but those who do make it seem obsessed with pulling the ladder up behind them. It makes me sick in the soul, but at the same time it almost makes me physically sick to have to engage in all the stupid point-counterpoint of the current US debate. We'll see if I can get my mojo back for the public sphere someday. I am not counting on it being any time soon.
- Since everything is ultimately political, I have to confess to having some guilt about buying a car at all - let alone a giant gas hog. I don't use it to commute, I use it 90% as a recreational vehicle. In that sense, it is an adult toy, but in practice it is more like a hobby. Spending time in the California outback is what I enjoy doing. This allows me to do more of it than ever. In that way, I don't believe it to be any more wasteful than any other hobby (all of which are first-world problems to be sure.) I also would be MORE than happy to see gas taxes go up so that I am not having my jeep use any more subsidized than it already is. I can only say that life "without" a car was still requiring me to rent cars, and to do so often enough that it was rivaling a car payment itself. Also, already pay about as much to the state of CA in taxes as one can, and even so, the transit cuts have been drastic and made life increasingly untenable without a ride. If it were up to me, the whole state would enact Transit Uber Alles for everyone; but alas, I don't run things, so I am stuck in a car-loving place and killing myself trying to make my way. At this point, NYC is the only place where auto-free living doesn't come with a significant drop in the quality of life. I guess I could just become an NYC-lifer if I had to, but that seems like a play at martyrdom I am not prepped to undertake.
Sigh. In time I am sure I will be totally reconciled to life with a giant 4x4 as my primary ride. At least I am not in the legions of assholes who buy giant AWD and 4x4 capable vehicles who never see anything but mall parking lots. I will use it as it was designed to be used, and I will use it to get out and experience the nature we have left. That isn't ALL bad. It is only sorta bad. If there was a a way to do it "good", I think I already would done it.
Posted by rudayday at December 24, 2012 12:12 PM