i’m a consumer

Right-o, chap.
I dunno if you noticed, but the entry is “late.” Usually I automate these things to post at midnight the day I want them up, which means I have them written beforehand. Not this time. I got home last night and decided I didn’t even feel like sitting in front of the PC. I debated even writing… but I have some kinda built-in thing now that makes me.

Saturday I did it. I bought a bike. Remember, I wanted to… to see if I could make it my >50% time method of transportation to work? It’s Sunday now, so I can’t really report on how that worked out yet. Although I do plan to bike the commute tomorrow, despite the cold and damp mornings we’ve been having. Later today I’m going to do a time trial, to get an idea of when I need to leave. In the end, I settled for a cheaper bike… since I’m no cycling enthusiast or anything. I guess anything with two wheels would’ve served me well… but I couldn’t stand the thought of cruising to work on a Sam Walton special. So I settled for something the hovers slightly above the department store generics and below the bike store name brands. Either way, it rolls when peddled… so I think I’m OK. If you never hear me talk about it here again, the shame of buying it and not using it as I’d hoped has become too great – and I’d advise not bringing it up.

It’s Monday now as I write… I got to work early to finish today’s entry. And, because I took off early from the house to give myself plenty of time on the ride in. Yup, I totally did it. Biked the commute for the first time, beat yesterday’s time-trial by 5min this morning. Riding through the cold fog-mist was kinda nice. I put the new Early Day Miners record on the flash player and peddled away. It felt good… I maintained a good pace, didn’t get too tired. I’m so self-conscious when it comes to exercise; I know it’s stupid. Everyone knows me as the guy who “doesn’t care.” So when I do things that are contrary to that, it’s a fair assumption that I’ll give them up shortly or that it’s a fad. I mean, the precedent is definitely there. So I ride to work and hope I don’t pull up next to a car with someone I know in it, for fear of feeling “dumb.” Oh, no doubt it’s psychosomatic… but it’s a real thing nonetheless. I’m just glad I’m doing it. If I can stick to it, there’s a potential 8.2mi per day… ~1hr more exercise than the zero I was getting previously.

I left the 5th grade 10 days before the last day of school, because my family was up and moving to Florida. Our classroom had a party that day which served the double-purpose of a “graduation from 5th grade” party and a sendoff for me. When we got to Florida, dad’s work put us up in a condo until we could find a house. A condo that was right on the beach. I remember that summer like one long vacation. Frank and I would roll out of bed and onto the beach. Move from the beach to the pool, pool to running around the complex ringing doorbells. It was great. I remember listening to “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and “Nightmare on My Street.” I guess there was a period where I was listening to some top40… but I did have Speak and Spell in the cassette deck.

The other night Sharaun was watching this reality show where these fat people are competing to lose the most weight (yes, I know the name of the show, but chose not to use it as if I didn’t to demonstrate my disdain for such programs). Anyway, they had a competition where there was a insanely huge mountain of food on stage. All kinds of food, cheese, pastries, breads, anything you could think of and all stacked to the stagelights. The group was split into teams, and the goal was to move as much food from the huge pile over to a little podium – the catch being that they had to use only their mouths to transport and stack the grub. Imagine the scene – ten overweight people grabbing hunks of food in their mouths, shuffling across stage, and pressing it drool-covered onto a growing mound of similarly disgusting stuff. Food was dropped in transit, stepped on, mashed, squished, and gummed and toothed – but not consumed.

I watched it, and transformed from the mindless, wasteful American consumer I am – to that ever-popular American alter-ego of the caring (but just a tad less than being moved to act), world-conscious good Samaritan. How appalling would this video be if we took it on a tour of Somalia or something? It really was disgusting, it made Double Dare’s milk-battles pale in comparison. America’s food supply is so abundant that we have to find alternate uses for our stores – like playing games or building things with it. I remember a Sharaun telling me about an exchange student who was helping the homecoming committee clean up after the dance, and who broke down in tears as she watched the pounds and pounds of uneaten food go right into the trash. We truly are the land of plenty.

Random, but done.

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