Month: July 2003

the most notorious lie ever

“The check is in the mail”? Doesn’t anyone in the benighted Bush Administration know that’s the most notorious lie ever? [Even if his claim that checks are “almost in the mail” is true, it’s still a highly ironic turn of phrase.]

Speaking of lies, the ubiquitous phrase “weapons of mass destruction” now no longer features—at all—in Bush’s speeches, as of this week. And he has the nerve to call people who challenge his lies “revisionist.”

I’m very tired. Today would be my first true weekend day in 3 weeks. However, I have a lot of work to do.

a merciful downslope

From an email I just got from

In an amazing departure from reality, President Bush explained in a press conference on the 14th that “we gave [Saddam Hussein] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power… ” Inspectors were, of course, on the ground in Iraq for over three months, until they were pulled out because the U.S. was going to war. (White House, July 14)

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ornamental divider

I did make it up the hill last night without getting off my bike to walk, by the way…. 13th to Harrison to Grand to Lakeshore to Brooklyn to Wesley to Prospect (the big hill, then a merciful downslope) to Athol.

trial and error is the only way

I spent 8 hours yesterday cleaning the old place. Fuck that. There’s more to do—see previous sentence.

I’m finding good bike routes to my new house fairly quickly. The area just east of Lake Merritt is quite hilly (for a midwesterner like me, anyway). I’d like a route up the hill that doesn’t require me to get off the bike before I reach the top (or go half a mile out of my way for a gentler slope). Street maps are useless for this purpose; trial and error is the only way. Anyway, I’ll get used to biking up the hill soon.

ornamental divider

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no seller’s remorse

Super-tired. However: I sold the car. It is now no longer mine. I now own a new bike (make: Marin; model: Larkspur) and a used digital camera. Nice how these things work out.

No seller’s remorse, but it was really weird watching someone else drive off in my car.

Sorry if I haven’t sent you my new address yet. I’ve been incredibly busy… uh… moving, and selling my car.

not lying on the ground broken

On the way home from work last night, around 10:30 or so, as I was walking from Ashby BART to my soon-to-be-former house in South Berkeley, I noticed several cop cars at the intersection of Ashby and Martin Luther King. My heart sunk to imagine what was happening; I thought the corner store might have been robbed or something. I noticed, as I got closer to the corner, that a man was lying on the ground in the crosswalk, getting some attention from the police. The paramedics and fire engine showed up just as I walked up to the corner.

I asked some bystanders what was going on, and someone told me that the guy lying on the ground had been hit by a car, which then sped off. Apparently, when he was hit, he went flying, and the prognosis was not good.

As I walked away, after chatting somberly for a minute, several thoughts came immediately to mind. I realized that it could have been me—in the crosswalk or behind the wheel—and felt a surge of conviction that selling my car right now is the right thing to do for a thousand reasons. (I got an offer on it Tuesday night—the guy who’s buying it is basically the perfect person to buy it. He doesn’t mind that it’s a little scratched up and he offered me a fair price. We’re just waiting for the appointment with a particular mechanic to seal the deal.) Yes, I finally took the advice of “Divorce Your Car” (see previous entry) after living “car-lite” for the last 10 months. I am genuinely glad to be cutting my contribution to air and water pollution. I won’t be supporting the oil and auto industries anymore. I’ll get a lot more exercise walking and biking. And I’ll be forced by necessity to plan ahead a little bit more.

I also realized that I need to be incredibly thankful for how good my life actually is. I’m not lying on the ground, broken, after being hit by a car. I have friends and family all over the country. I have personal assets too numerous to list here, and, doggone it, people like me. I have a job at an organization that is doing work I believe in (and just learned yesterday that I’ll be redesigning CLCV’s website, which I’m pretty excited about [though I have to finish NARRP first]). I’m moving to a nice neighborhood with roommates I like into a really cool house which is only 2 miles from work. After the sale of my car, I will be totally out of debt and will have enough left to buy a new bike, a digital camera, and a CD burner and put a bit of money into savings.

Life is incredibly hectic now, but I think things are going to get a lot better soon. I have a sense of perspective I didn’t before last night. I need to make sure to keep it, which is always difficult.

ornamental divider

I really wish I had a camera now (my old one broke, inexplicably, the first week I moved out here). I keep seeing the weirdest things on the streets of Berkeley (a ripe strawberry, a bottle of Yoohoo with a straw sticking out of it) that I’d like to document. I just miss taking pictures.

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