Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Falling back into society

Slept until nearly 11:00! My new abode is too quiet and comfortable! But it was cold overnight. I had left a window open.

Today, it's warm. I’m concerned just how hot this apartment will become, given its asphalt surroundings. I probably won’t be able to bring my wine here, which complicates things. I may have to continue to pay storage fees, just for the wine.

Visited Jess at “Oliver’s” for a smoothie. She asked if I wanted to attend a YWCA auction Friday. I was torn. I want to support her and the event, but I can’t afford to buy anything, and I really don’t have anything to wear! I reluctantly declined.

Spent some time at the storage unit, digging out more stuff: the CD player, my modest CD collection, cleaning supplies and more clothes.

Stopped at the near-by “In-N-Out Burger”. At just over $5 for a meal, it’s not a bad deal (though vegetarians may shudder.).

Need to get back on track and moving. I need that “can do” attitude, that sense of a greater plan, to guide me. I need to get off this the roller coaster I’ve been riding. But I have work to finish the blog. Before I can move on, this must be put to rest.

And then there’s Jessica’s graduation celebration to plan.

Henry came over to see how I was doing. Together, we looked around his garden.

On-line at “A’Roma’s” later, I tried to look up “Spaghetti Benders” (that great restaurant in Nova Scotia). I wanted to add to the blog a photo of the three sisters. Found very little mention of the restaurant, which was surprising. And no pictures.

A trip into Bennett Valley "Safeway” supermarket was enough to make me cringe. Finding items to buy was a struggle, not for lack of choice, but for the story that accompanies so much of this stuff. The corporate mergers and acquisitions, the marketing deceptions, the unhealthy and unnatural ingredients, etc., etc.

The newly-remodeled store attempts to have an up-scale appeal (apparently in recognition of the changing Sonoma County demographics.) But we pay dearly for the remodel. Looking at prices around the store, I’m appalled at the escalation. (Though “Club Members” receive special discounts.) Produce is elevated on crate-like structures to almost chest level. An appearance of abundance, though there may actually be less inventory on display now.

In the bread section, “non-industrial” bakeries are virtually gone, their look appropriated by marketers at corporate giant “Sara Lee”. Artisan-style breads “Santa Cruz” and “San Luis” are in fact “Sara Lee” breads. And the concepts used by “Safeway” are co-opted from independents, then cheapened. But the prices don’t reflect this cheapening. They charge the price one would expect for the superior product. Other “upscale” features include a lunch bar, soup bar and gourmet cheese selection.

And the reconfigured check-out lines are outrageous. It is now impossible to look over the displays. You pass through a marketing canyon, absolutely barraged with sales pitches. Forget visiting with your neighbor, or the market staff.

Heard a new term today: “recontexturalize”…twice. Bruce Springsteen used it, referring to recording old folk songs and a “Slate.com” commentator used it in talking about a “Dunkin’ Donuts” make-over.

To address skyrocketing gas prices, President Bush now proposes easing environmental laws, calling for cleaner-burning fuels, suspending replenishment of the strategic oil supply and easing oil company taxes. In my humble opinion, the guy is truly insane.

An “NPR” headline story today stated the number of Americans who are uninsured is increasing dramatically. Another example why my blog is named as it is. I’m in the same boat as the average American, and, increasingly, the average human.

Now that I have my radio back, I’m listening to “NPR” and “Democracy Now!” regularly. The latter comes on at midnight on the local Santa Rosa station. (But, since I don’t have a TV, I’m missing out on “Fox’s” Bill O’Reilly!)

If you have access to internet, and have a question, there’s almost no reason not to have an answer (though not necessarily the correct answer!) There is a new level of accountability. A very positive benefit from the net.

There’s open-access wireless somewhere in the area of my apartment. Occasionally, my computer will connect and download a bunch of e-mails. But the connection is brief, and presently I’m not able to work on-line.

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