Why We Quit Scrapping

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

” In a special post-speech analysis, panelists discuss what America did to make President Obama so angry he was actually spitting while he yelled at us”

Have a look, and I mean seriously, for these Onion people to keep a straight face during this thing, they must consume enough Valium to be higher than God.

teaser: “Mitch McConnell, you can eat my balls'”

Several events led to us getting a motorcycle:

Competition for scrap borders on the insane; I know people who work through the entire night, to get a ‘leg up’ on daytime scrappers. We often spend as little as fifteen minutes at a dumpster, because others are also waiting for a chance to junk and scrap. We met a man in a thrift store, an antique shop owner, who was culling the store for books for his shop. I was too selfish to tell him about my secret library- the dumpster, which is way better than the store.

The 1994 reconstructed Dodge Ram pickup truck was costing us, in the end, a dollar a mile to operate. The transmission was stuck in first gear for the most part, the suspension springie thingies sounded like loud people who had just fought, and then, to save the marriage decided to fuck, furiously, on loud, rusty bed springs as people tend to do sometimes (I am sure no one here the Lake at has ever done that though), so every time you turned the steering wheel a loud, bedspringing noise sounded. Also, seveal fan belts were frayed and making different noises: ‘a-squeal, a squeal- a fling fling-squeak.’ One time we were driving down the road and the brake cable simply ruptured, and so the there was this violent suck-suck noise as the last drops of brake fluid were pumped out of the brake fluid container in a futile attempt to stop the vehicle. The grill, I absolutely kid you not was held on with dollar-store zip ties, because one time, when we parked at the dollar store to get some oil for the constantly leaking oil, the front grill simply fell off, with a clang, onto the parking lot Only it is not really the dollar store. It is the six dollar store. But that is another story.

Believe it or not, we were easily able to replace our truck/carbon producing money pit with a Honda Shadow that we absolutely love. So, we only scrap locally in our dumpsters within walking distance, and we still eat out of dumpsters. By the way, in the more than a year that we have been dumpster eating, we have never been sick, and the only thing that was bad that I had to return was a package of cottage cheese- that I bought from the store!

At this point, I would like to re-post something I wrote a while back called What It Is Like To Be In A Community, because when I returned to MyFDL after my manic hiatus, I noticed some interesting group dynamics. I guess that one thing I learned when I was is prison is that sometimes things just ain’t that serious, so here is a little metaphor (I like the sharks especially) to ponder:

A while back, I blogged What It Is Like To Live In A Community on Firedoglake/MyFDL.

I actually wrote the essay while I was in prison.

I have always been fascinated with groups. Anything more than two people, I think, is enough to formulate a group. I find group dynamics most interesting. In women’s prison, the group is a group of people in nearly constant crisis. Inmates have been separated abruptly from everything that once defined them, and they become a faceless number. A criminal outcast, whose life is forever divided into two parts: the before and the after. This division is sometimes compounded when a family member, a child in particular, dies on the outside. I saw this happen, more than once.

Incarceration is akin to being psychologically raped. I have always been a loner for the most part, and being forced to live with women was like being forced to befriend a group of feral cats. Still, I had hope that the members of the group could recognize their commonality rather than their differences, and work together toward a common goal of redefining the second half of their lives to incorporate the prison experience in a positive, rather than a negative way.

The key, I think, is in forgiveness, and in letting go of resentments. For me, this is a work in progress, or, as they say in the recovery program, “progress not perfection.”

What It Is Like To Live In A Community

A community is like a boat. Everyone must grab an oar and row. Otherwise, the boat just sits in the water.

Some people have oars, but their oars are not quite in the water, so it is really good to help them, to find their oar and get it into the water.

Sometimes half of the people are working really hard, and rowing forward, while the other half is working really hard to row backward, or sideways. In this case, the boat does not go anywhere; it just zigs and zags and circles and sits, attracting attention from other boats in the sea, who look and point and laugh and laugh. So it is really good to try and be sure that everyone rows in the same direction.

Sometimes people get tired and mad, and they throw their oars, so you have to be really careful and duck. Otherwise, an airborne oar could chop your head off, and your head would flop and splat across the deck, and slip and slide and splash into the water, where the hungry sharks are waiting, to tear your head to bits and eat it.

Other times, people may get to fighting over their oars, and they say things like: Your oar is ugly, or Yours has holes and so does your mama, or Well, your mama’s so fat she plays pool with the planets, or You don’t even have an oar, do you, or You do you and I’ll do me, or Who’s the bitch that stole my motherfuckin’ oar.

And then they all start fighting and beating the living crap out of each other with their oars, and throwing each other overboard, where the hungry sharks are waiting, to tear them to bits and eat them.

People might fall in love and forget to row altogether. So they sneak in and out of portholes, and up and down the ladders at the back of the boat all hours of the night, and write notes to each other, and set up meetings. Since no one is really rowing, to speak of, the boat goes nowhere. It just rocks and rocks and rocks, and the hungry sharks laugh and laugh because they know that sooner or later a couple of lovers will fight, as they always do, and someone will get tossed overboard, for the sharks to tear them to bits and eat them.

It is good to have a nautical chart. Otherwise, the boat will get lost, and people will try to jump off and swim, but they don’t stand a chance, because the sharks will tear them to bits and eat them, and stuff themselves, then sink to the bottom of the ocean and sleep.

One day, when everyone is rowing in the same direction and following the chart, the boat will be the envy of all the seas. Other boats will notice that everyone is tan and healthy, and they will never know that there was a time when its occupants were beating the living crap out of each other and turning each other into shark food.

People on the boat will notice a whole new world out there, and they will say, we don’t have to stop at that little piece of land after all, because we can row to the land of our dreams!

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Comments
  1. ed nelson says:

    Hi there if I may call you by your name…. I don’t know if I should cause that is kind of a deal of being too … something… too intimate, or something… but sinse I am a friend, I will say my little piece here, cause I wouldn’t not want to not say it. I am just a little… tipsey, at the moment….

    I have some things to say, I will say those things comming in the days to come… No I will say those things, or well, maybe not, but I will attempt to say these things, cause I MEAN WHAT I MEAN… bitch/ mean bastard!

  2. Simone1974 says:

    Hi there

    Something that I came across the other day in a book that I read: “Resentment is liking swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die”. I think all of us harbor resentment. I’ve been thinking about resentment a lot lately. Resentment can also be like a wall that you build around yourself so that the same thing that caused it, won’t happen to you again. That’s why you hold on to it so tightly for protection. But then it turns into a cancer and eats you from the inside. So I came up with a plan. The plan is to write down the resentment, every single little one, get it out of my head and entrust it to the paper and let it go in my heart. So when the time comes for me to defend myself against that thing that caused it in the first place, I will go and read it and use appropriately. This way, it’s not in my heart and killing me one thought at a time. Just my take on resentment.

    I’ve seen programs on TV on scrapping or ‘dumpster diving’ I think they called it. And I absolutely love the idea! But on the other hand, maybe it’s like war: very romantic on TV, but a harsh reality to deal with if you actually have to do it. Doesn’t make me love the idea any less though.

    Loved the post. Thanks.

    S

  3. ed nelson says:

    [” and they will never know that there was a time when its occupants were beating the living crap out of each other and turning each other into shark food.”]

    I learned that stuff from one of those sites, propably Emptywheel, where the guy does that… with the [” “] see that is good grammer, and all that stuff.

    • LOL, Thanks for stopping by, good to see you today. I posted this thing on the Lake quite a while ago- maybe even a year or so ago. No secret here: I love metaphor and satire.

  4. ed nelson says:

    yeahh right that is what we need for a president… go figure on that idear.. not too cool!

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