Thursday, October 25, 2007


I saw that the YMCA was going to remain open most of the week, with limited hours on some days. While I have mixed feelings about this (on one hand I think they should be closed, on the other I was glad to have ap lace to get a little exercise), I decided to go in. I tried to go to a pilates or yoga class, but they were all canceled. I was understanding, after all, it is a disaster zone. But a woman came in behind me, freaking out that the class was canceled and bitching at the people behind the counter, asking them why they didn't tell her that when she called. I pointed out the fact that we are in the middle of a major fire, and that maybe it was time to be a little extra understanding. She wavered back and forth between agreeing with me, telling me "Don't tell me what to do," continuing to bitch about the situation, and defending herself. She told me she had canceled an appointment because they told her the class was happening, and if she knew she could have brought her tennis shoes like I did. (She would not have done both in reality, because she wouldn't have canceled her appointment.) I just re-emphasized that it was a time for understanding, and walked away. Can people not gain perspective for one week? I have certainly been a bitch with no justification, and I have rushed and cut people off on my way to yoga class, and I have done many other assinine and inconsiderate and self-centered things in my life. But yesterday, I did a little yoga on my own, and then used the elliptical machine. I was very appreciative that these people still came to work, so that I could exercise in a clean air facility.


In high school I once saw a girl drop some money. I picked it up and took it, and then I saw that her friend saw me and told the girl who dropped it. She never approached me, and at the time I probably would have said "Finders, keepers." But now I think it was absolutely the wrong thing to do. So, I could write about it comparing the finders-keepers moral to be-a-good-neighbor moral. It becomes moral because you could make an argument that finders-keepers is an appropriate action, but everyone did that the world would be a terrible place. I actually think about this single act more than I do about the shoplifting I did during that same “bad phase” in high school.

Or even something that comes to mind - investing. I invest some of my money in socially conscious mutual funds, but not all. Marshall and I had a discussion last night. He was like "Why do you invest? To feel good about yourself? Or to make money?" We did end up having good discussion, because it is important to support things like that IMO, but you wouldn't want to put all your money in them because they don't always do as well as other stocks, but then I feel bad about even having mutual funds with Halliburton in them, and I probably do. Yet I wouldn't ever buy Halliburton stock directly. So what is moral? Should I put all my money in hippie-funds, or put it all in Halliburton, Wal-Mart, and DeBeers stocks? Obviously, both are extreme, and I am somewhere in the middle, and a small percent of money in conscious funds can just be part of diversification. But is it moral?

Actually, everything is moral. Turning of the water while you brush teeth is a moral act, just as not turning it off is. Taking a long commute by car, or taking the time to bike and train.

After the Fires

So, apparently everyone has been at work all week. So strange. I feel like people should be at home, a sort of mass contemplation. But no, I see UCSD students partying and getting drunk beneath the smoky skies, and everyone going to work like normal, or even extra agitated because of the stress and feeling like they are important, and people just generally taking the opportunity to party and go out to eat and go shopping because they don't have to work. It's disturbing. No sense of conservation, in any meaning of the word. No effort to reduce car pollution since smoke pollution is way up, no effort to conserve energy since firefighters are using lots, no effort to conserve water since the fire efforts need it. IT truly disturbs me.

But on he other hand, life does go on, and I know that. I guess I just feel like if you are taking off work, use it to get some perspective. It’s not spring break. And if you aren't off work, then have a little reverence, even as you work, buy groceries, or whatever. I am still going to Portland this weekend. Does that make me a hypocrite? I don't know. But I will be glad to have some fresh air. The smoke is bothering my throat and eyes, and probably lungs.