Tribe of the Ring Fort

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Desperate & Lonely First-month Thoughts. posted by Barry


Where comes the sun
True that grey is the order of the day here, and that some wavelength of the unfrozen precipitation spectrum is gonna be falling on your head. But it is mild, mild, mild. Absent heavy rain (often the mist sub-spectrum doing the falling), when the winter wind blows I swear it’s refreshing.

Wed 2:35am
Just getting the urge to drive to the wi-fi hotspot and inject Patriots news. Not the first time. I walked there at 1am to see the GameCast of the Patriots-Jaguars game.

You are on the new outside if you are not connected to the Internet. Well, perhaps I/we are feeling this acutely because we’ve moved across an ocean from friends and family. But it felt that way from Montpelier as well, only not so much as you’d ruminate on the subject in the middle of the night. So many functions of society, culture and business have it as their medium now. And while we are bereft of it, we feel odd and outsidish.

The job hunt. Notes to friends and relatives. Even local phone calls, through the VOIP miracle of Vonage. All dependent on internet access. Connection to the collective. I suspect we’ll be Borg-like within a few centuries.

So, we’ve been able to resort to the cyber-scavenging, thanks to wireless. There is a name for us, I’ve learned: wijackers.

Need a vacation
Been on vacation since December 16. Need a vacation. What? You try moving to a new country sometime, sans servants, see how fully it relaxes you.

Just give me a friggin day off! Oh, and, throw in the drugs. Thank you…

Barry at the end of a Fortune 100 work week: “my God, what am I gonna do? Just get me outta here…”
Barry at the end of a week fully free of the corporate yoke: “my God, what am I gonna do?...”

Incentivising (note: sophisticated continental spelling) us
In case it wasn’t obvious to any of you, the collective federal governing body of the U.S. has its head up its butt, along with that 2-by-4. “Fellas, how ‘bout we put money in people’s pockets to accelerate their already-profligate fossil fuel consumption? Tax incentives to buy the largest class of SUV! Yep, thought you’d see the idiocy and cravenness too! Oh, and, tax the hell out of that Prius. Yahoo!”

The conservation incentive instances we’ve encountered so far run the opposite direction, and restore a bit of faith in humanity.

A sample of the conservation incentives we’ve encountered so far.
1. engine size = size of car tax
2. engine size = size of insurance bill
3. got trash or paper-products recyclable materials? pay up
4. dryers over here collect the water in plastic reservoirs below the drum. Instant possibility of re-use for plant-watering et cetera. (Not that extra water is needed around here…but most other places this would make a difference.)
5. shopping carts are all linked together by a sturdy plastic-covered chain, at the end of which a small slot accepts the 1-Euro deposit necessary for you to get a cart.
6. supermarket chains such as SuperValue simply do not provide shopping bags. But you can use--re-use--the sturdy cardboard "flats" that hold the cases of veggies, fruits etc sold there, stacked along the wall by the checkouts. Or your own bags.

Occasionally, for a moment. Think it has something to do with the pieces of me concerned with keeping up with the Joneses and with security in old age.

Do not go quietly unto your grave
That line of thinking helps. Helps the flickering bits of nausea. What do you want to reflect on at the moment of or in the knowledge of your impending death? That if only you could have had another meeting? Me neither. That helps.

I’ll tell you when this all becomes worth it. Think I’ll know. For now, all I know is that I’m convinced I’ll sooner or later experience moments of life-satisfaction.

“Just [up and] moved here? Yer mad.”
-- Steve down at The Maid of Erin.

Oh yeah. The playgrounds.
Best playgrounds I’ve ever seen. They got this see-saw that also goes round and round. Got the before-the-lawyers-got-their-hands-on-it version of those things where the kid grabs a handle, sprints off the platform, and hangs on while he/she for a pretend inter-skyscraper joyride. Got these comfy shallow bowls hanging from their swingsets; you get in and do some fairly extreme swinging; the bowl’s always falling from each apex just in time to beat your fall.

Evil Flames
Irish coal fires vs. U.S wood fires: I prefer the wood fires. These Irish fires, they look more sinister. More like Hell. More what you’d expect to see licking at you throughout your eternal damnation. It’s all those black orbs at the center of the flames, I think.


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