Stepping in my pet peeve.

Mariana once said that ‘stepping in dog shit is a bigger deal for you than me.’

Last night proved that right. Worst thing of all, i was scrambling to catch the bus. I had looked the time up, kudos to the new app of but low and behold, there i was so quick to get on that i didn’t notice the soft squish to my shoe sole until I was forty feet back in the double-deep accordion style bus. And the coffee ice cream colored loam on my shoe from then on reached my nostrils. Fortunately, it was a sparse ridership at 6pm on a Friday night. Try as I may, I tracked that dookie far too long, and too far.

Dogshit. It’s up there with whining, arrogance and stepping in puddles with socks on. Those, are my top four pet peeves. (or at least, what i can remember this morning)

Moral of the story: get to the bus stop early enough to not have to scramble.

3 reflections on busses and cars

Three lessons and awakenings I’ve had by taking buses, relying on rides and walking more than is normal in Seattle:

1. there is a culture of fear and middle class stigma associated with bus routes and bus rides. The car is the vehicle of class access, and not considering having one is an anamoly in a town like this.

2. without a car, my exploits and busyness of the day is moderate. I’m not scrambling to errands, the grocery store and five additional things prior to doing something else. It has opened me up to a different pace of time, my own awareness of the abundance of time. Rather than scrambling to make up for lost time, or wondering where it went, i’m instead delighted with the tick-tock of subdued minutes.

3. it practically goes without saying but bus pass is a lot less costly than gas, oil changes, insurance, parking meters, the threat of parking tickets, of driving tickets and other fees for infractions. Instead, it is making an investment in the local bike shop. And, no absurd throwing money off to corner gas station, some abstract car insurance provider, and the oil change and car maintenance garages. Or to the private gym company, cuz riding these hills are my gym hours.

Lastly, Seward Park could make me become a runner. I like becoming new endeavors come treintauno.

Listening to some Carolina Chocolate Drops. Folding a Liberacion tee.

Stumptown, what it is

6pm on a Saturday. Here it feels much later, since I attribute later hours to this level of darkness. Three weeks in, I am 5 weeks past the solstice. Between that and the uncharacteristically warmth of La Nina, I’m acclimating to these environs just fine.

I got my bike today. Two weeks after my first ride, yet only my 3rd day of recreation. Being back in a day job has been an adjustment by giving my daylight hours away to someone else. I’ve chosen to exchange my time and labor for the dynamics of office politics, a desk job, the predictable of payroll, and (ultimately) the travel to the Southeast. Or Deep South, in the office lexicon.

Deep South has been ‘up the coastline from Louisiana to Georgia plus Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee,’ as I’ve been describing it. And Monday at 7am we depart for the hub known as Atlanta’s Hartsfeld-Jackson. To drive west to Montgomery, southwest to NOLA, then north to Jackson.

Out of 8, 3 states I’ve ever been to. Not how I imagined visiting down South when I’ve dreamed of North Carolina since 2008. But, this has been an exercise in not being too fixated on a single plan to not heed the opportunities of misdirection.

Not fearing money, emotions and cizzacash

I am reading The Soul of Money after a colleague initiated a reading group. It names the tumult that arises with cash, class, and money. The blind propensity of chasing money for money’s sake, or the sake of the chase.

Growing up middle class in the ’80s and ’90s, I, too, was spoon-fed the dream, somebody’s dream (though I’m not quite sure who’s it is), of money money money. I remember being flown to NYC in college — all expenses paid, posh midtown hotel, dinner at some Afghan kebab house — by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley or another of the robber baron institutions on the 1990s. I was the sole Economics major, cuz they were trying to recruit more people of color. The other students included an English major, a bio major, and some others. Few, or none, had done classes in economic theory, history. But, not one of us was offered an internship after our incessant questioning about the social good, the social impact, and the ends that that I-bank was amassing oodles of money. Though I was little versed in issues of workers, we still asked on who’s back was all that investment wealth being amassed.

So, we were quite relieved when we weren’t offered said internships. Instead, we had to find other options.

But I look within my family at who has money, how different people talk differently about their relationship to money.

And, it is a relief to NPR be making decisions for work, and career that aren’t driven by my own messy understanding of money’s dual roles: in my life, and in society.

Books at the decade’s dawn

Of all the books on my nightstand, there’s currently plenty o nonfiction:

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
I Will Teach You to be Rich, by Ranji Sethi
Post Traumatic Slave Disorder, by Joy DeGruy Leary
Soul of Money, by Lynne Twist
The Summer of Black Widows, by Sherman Alexie

Ambitious to read books simultaneously, but it works better for me. It’s kinda like when I have an abundance of groceries in my kitchen rather than not enough. When I haven’t been to the grocery store, I end up glossing over the hunger I do have. And I hastily buy food out, which is rarely as tasty and satisfying nevermind nutritious and filling as what can be prepped or cooked at home. Similarly, too many books keeps my mind/soul in a literary state. I read more pages per week, or month, than when I stick to reading a single book that can stumble along, bore and lead me to putting that book down for days. And I avoid other books because I inhibit myself from picking up a different genre or author.

Here’s to reading more and more. Both online, on my mobile tech, and on the written and typed page. Back to Joy DeGruy to help me rest my eyes…

Representation, corruption

What does it signify when elected officials in Europe more accurately reflect the interests of the American public than our own electeds — either the POTUS, one or both Senators and plenty of members of Congress?

If there have been few strings attached to the AIG bailout money, why should there be accountability or transparency around the litany of expenditures in the ARRA law? Even a summary of ARRA, from law firm Patton Boggs is 129 pages. I have yet to look at the webinar on their site.

If U.S. electeds are so out of touch, then who in the U.S. will pay attention to the London Declaration from the Trade Union Advisory Council to the OECD. [Note: in Europe, they wholly engage the unions, as the essential voice of workers, in the policymaking and regulatory bodies]

If the incumbents refuse to reflect our interests — as they have this week when they’ve pandered for the war profiteering military companies insisting that the Pentagon continue to buy armaments that the Pentagon has decided it cannot use in urban warfare and distributed wars — then how difficult will it be to remove them come mid-term elections in 2010?

death of my doctor

i just called Tamarin’s office about an old old appointment.
i was told by the young woman who answered the phone — in a somber tone rather than the typical harried one — “Umm i don’t know if you know, but Dr. Tamarin passed away last week.”

he was the only primary care physician i have been to in the last five years. maybe the only one that i’ve known in NYC.

whenever i had to go — when i did have insurance — i learned to schedule my appointments early in the morning. the earlier the better. because, any afternoon appointment at the offices of the esteemed Steve Tamarin required an hour-long cushion. there may have been a time that i sat in his waiting room for two-plus hours before passing through the little white door to the inner hallways of his practice.

yet, with those long hours and lags, i didn’t doubt Doc Tamarin. he had a bedside manner — jovial, concerned, patient, straight about health and sincere, [as well as critical of over-prescriptions and the pharma-consumerism of what passes as U.S. corporate-medicine] — that i haven’t known since i had a chain-smoking British doc at 13, or my pediatrician from my 0-6 years, Dr. Ginsburg. Tamarin was running late, but i learned that i could read the magazines (and rarely, take one home with me) if i had to spend half a day in his office. his hands, stethoscope and, more than anything else, his demeanor set him apart from any quick-operating office. i’d rather have the patience for healthy and loving medical attention than have my doctor’s check-up or diagnosis happen like it was a business meeting or transaction.

the delays and the indifference that Tamarin and his exceptional staff (who always had to endure the whinny of a chorus of patients) exuded was always worth it to me. a few friends derided the inefficiencies of the office and nonprofessionalism, but i learned that there is no rushing good care.

i googled him, and learned a few more bits about him, his impact, and (dare i say) his legacy:

hmm, is there another doctor in the house who can fill those shoes?