Now that I am totally unpacked, my life has been (pleasantly) occupied with the mundane.
I ventured out into the world today to get a 3-hole-punch (so I can organize my binders of literature that have piled up over the last 4 years), a swingline stapler (but, the squirrels), a food processor (for the soup making), a beater/mixer set (for the imminent baking), and various other necessities.
I always tried to collect kitchen ware that was multifunctional and I could glean from a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Garlic presses, salad spinners, and cake-frosters need not apply. My only downfall to date is my juicer...a fortuitous, invaluable, and thoughtful gift from my Craigers.
I am enjoying planning meals, and perusing my cookbooks for new ideas. I think I am going to make beet soup with mascarpone brioche tomorrow.
The rest of my day was spent procrastinating, then starting, then procrastinating some more on the manuscript preparation. I am setting a goal of 6 hours of work tomorrow, and come hell or high water, it's gonna happen.
Last night I watched a documentary called "Escape from suburbia" that fleshes out, in great detail, the impending energy crisis caused by peak-oil. The urban-centered economies require transport of everything from food, water, energy, and a workforce. For a smaller metro area, this seems feasible; for places like LA, with no public transport to speak of, an influx of millions of workers to the city each day seems like an epic waste of time and energy.
It was easy to get tidal-washed with the "Inconvenient Truth"-style pandemonium of crisis-mongering, pedantic, pathetique-but the documentary actually offered some concrete solutions to the energy conundrum.
1) Subsistence agriculture has been in style for thousands of years, for one reason: food grown locally is more healthy and requires no/little transportation cost. Apart from very urbanized areas, each person in America has the capacity and ability to grow a container garden. In Missouri, I used most of the back yard for permaculture, but I realize that is not possible everywhere. In many places in Europe, families have a garden plot either next to their house (or on their roof). I think this issue really boils down to space utilization, and the unwillingness of lawn-happy, delusional yuppies to sacrifice the status symbol of manicured grass.
2) Commutes. Why? Suburban communities can create their own local economies instead of serving as the rabbit hutches for the consumer-culture zombie-fied proletariat.
3) Alternative energy. Surprisingly, the filmmakers gave this movement little credence. The fallacy that biofuels, wind, solar, and geothermal power can replace the use of fossil fuels has been perpetuated by a government that has the central goal of pacification. According to the movie, the global (read: American) society has to change it's habits before any alternative energy strategies can even make a dent in our consumption.
So what have I learned? Subsistence agriculture is always in vogue, commute as little as possible and if necessary, bike or ride public transportation. Live sustainably when ever possible. Renewable energy sources are great, but not sufficient to support our consumption rate. The government (at least the federal and state) are impervious to the drastic corrections that need occur--so deal with the city, town, or community government if you feel the need for some activism.
It's not about being "green", politically correct, or fashionable. Eco-friendly is the closest descriptor I can pick without vomiting a little in mouth.
We've veni'd and vidi'd, now its time we vici'd.
Next time: my thoughts on Scarpia, Rigoletto, Iago, Count Almaviva, and why the baritone villain is always my favorite character.