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Monday, September 24, 2012
the old ways
Listening to:One Headlight, the Wallflowers, in my head
Reading:Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Tsukiyama
Weather:36! nipple
I'm halfway there, I suppose. Probably more than that, but who knows? Certainly at age 46 it is extremely unlikely I will live more years in the future than I've got in my past. So I'm looking at the halfway point at best. Maybe that's why I'm looking backward, thinking about the coolness of old ways of doing things.

Do you just naturally become curmudgeonly over time? As much as I like to embrace modern info tech and have been known to own a new toy the day it comes out, I also find myself muttering shit like "these young whippersnappers can't spell for shit. . ." and other such cantankerous rhetoric. OK, I don't actually say "whippersnappers" but I might as well, it's coming from the same old attitude that kids today are taking the easy route and thereby missing out on the value of toughing out with oldschool crap.

It's funny, really. And truly I've got a foot firmly planted in each world. I hopped on the web when the paint was still drying and live in here, yet I am the one human left on this dusty old hot rock who has never owned a cellphone. When I reveal that lil tidbit I tend to inspire assumptions that I'm a luddite. So not true.

There's so much more, too. No dishwasher, but I'm sure several of my friends fit in that category, too, whether too poor or old kitchen or just never got around to it at the old farmhouse. But also, no clothes dryer. No garbage pickup, I haul it m'self. No paper towels, no paper napkins, I use rags for cleaning and cloth napkins for eating. Now you're starting to see a little more of where this comes from: I am also an environmentalist whacko, of sorts. Who prefers to be unavailable while driving.

I have discovered fairly recently (less than 10 yrs?) that canning and foraging are freaking awesome. I raised a large veg garden and ate only wild meat (not much of it, since I don't hunt) for a bunch of years, but never canned during that time, and foraged little more than spearmint and chestnuts. Who am I kidding, just spearmint. So I froze and dried stuff, thinking that was sufficiently badass.

Now I'm back on the meat, though I feel a little guilty about that, and mildly obsessed with foraging and canning. Pickles, for shit's sake. I'll pickle anything that'll stand still long enough for me to whip up a brine. I can't get enough pickles. Beans, peppers, beets, onions, even the occasional mundane cucumber. Organic and homegrown only, of course, what's the point of pickling some crap from the store?

I'm looking back to smaller, less global, closer to the dirt kinda strategies for living as a way to turn back some of the damage I think my generation has caused. I'm feeling guilty about the giant holes in the earth and ozone, the flattening of the sexy curves of Appalachia, the creeks devoid of fish or even bugs, the giant stumps surrounded by nothing but twiggy young trees. The ubiquitous chicken nugget. Embalming and caskets. Reality tv.

But I love the globalization of info, the democratization of music and art and film through the net and affordable devices kindly made for us by Chinese kids, video in my frickin pocket (no cellphone, but I had a touchscreen PDA for 10 yrs before I got my first tablet a year and a half ago).

Glad Guitar Hero was a flash in the pan, maybe a few kids will learn to play real guitars instead. Works better around the campfire. Though you might laugh at me, yesterday I busted out my Bass Ace little pocket headphone amp, plugged it into my iMainGo tiny portable speakers, and plugged in a mic with an adapter, then plugged my acoustic guitar in. Almost plugged my Cool Cat chorus pedal in the effects loop (all these devices are about the size of the pedal, so cute), but that would have been ridiculous. Right? Campfire guitar hero for the hearing impaired.

permalink posted by cat 7:15 AM

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the old ways