Saturday, June 16, 2007

Behold! The One Thing Greater Than Yourself

Yesterday was two things:
  1. Pay Day
  2. Summer Friday
After explaining to a flustered West Coast admin that it was fine to put a 25-day pay date if that's what the contract says, promising her that there would be no apocalyptic catastrophe, I headed home at 1pm. The weather has turned gloriously summery, so I have a bike-shirt-shaped tan on my back. I've been meeting co-workers in the bike room; so far, I have the longest commute (not that it's a competition, but there's a general competitiveness to the industry, so I think I earned some props.)

I had to bring my car to the body shop to have the taxi-damage repaired. I shoved the bike in the car, biked to the shop, and headed home. Once there, I got a call from Dave at the body shop, explaining that the insurance quote didn't cover all the damage.

"Yeah, Dave, the door is old damage from an uninsured Mitsubishi Monteiro that decided to just drive into me, and the cracked side mirror happened while the car was parked on the street, most likely another victim of an oversized vehicle driving down streets never meant to accommodate the civil equivalent of an army invasion."

I showered and met Beth for Ethiopian food. Afterward we walked up Broadway and poked through the Broadway Antique Market. Looking at lots of 40s, 50s, and 60s kitsch and old songbooks, we marveled at how the Negro Clown was such a prevalent decorative motif.

"This stuff is just so racist," Beth observed.

"I think they would have considered it...ethnically whimsical," I said. I recalled seeing "Song of The South" as a teen and being horrified.

Beth had never been allowed to watch "Roots" when it came out in the 70's (remember the miniseries craze?), and had Netflix-ed it. We headed to her place after dinner for the first installation.

I remember the phenomenon it was when it was first aired, but now it seems very dated and heavy-handed. And there's something very Brechtian about having OJ Simpson show up as an affable African, complete with head-beadings.

"Look, before he became a murderer," I said.

"Oh, my God, those very words were just about to come out of my mouth," Beth replied.

We did enjoy watching Ralph Waite, aka Pa Walton, as the skeevy sailor who represents all that was ignorant and greedy about the trade.

"God, he must love this role," said Beth. " After all those years of being a wholesome patriarch, It must feel like an exorcism to be a complete scumbag."

"You mean 'Ethnically Whimsical'."

Today I biked to glass class. Lisa was there; I hadn't seen her in awhile and it was nice to catch up. I stayed a couple of hours, then headed to Whole Foods to stock up on the usual stuff. A couple of young men were manning a table with honey-derived products. Turns out they're with an organization whose mission is to support economic development in the 'hood. To quote the pamphlet, "...helps people facing significant barriers to employment, particularly those with histories of criminal conviction." I looked at the two young men at the table, sort of shy (The Lakeview Whole Foods is about as far as you can descend into White Yuppie Hell; Even I'm a little scared each time I visit. If it weren't for the baked tofu and sulfite-free pepperoncini...)

I saw their various tattoos suggestive of prison and/or gangs, and I was struck by how eager and earnest these two young men were to sell me honey and honey-based skin-care products. No flash, no image, just...really good stuff. Made by bees. It was surreal, but also very, very cool. I asked about their training, and I was envious that they knew how to keep bees. Bees! What genius said, "Hey, we need to get these young men away from crime, get them started in business; let's show them how to keep bees, which you can do in the city easily."

I'd bought honey the day before, so I bought some body butter. It's very nice. I mentioned True Nature and suggested they contact Paula. (OK, maybe a little enlightened self-interest; would be nice to be able to buy it a block from my house.) Here is their website - you can order online:

beelinestore

also see

www.nlen.org

And my skin? I feel marvelous. And I smell like a Queen Bee.

1 comment:

SP said...

Until you were stung to death in the 2007 re-enactment of Attack of the Killer Bees. Watch this space.