Sunday, November 09, 2008

(My Bird of Paradise is back in bloom.)

It's a cold, windy morning here at Casa Diane. We got up at 5 am, (thanks, Hanna!), but now the house is quiet again, except for the sounds of the wind chimes and Hanna's snores. I'm laying in bed shopping for some songs and audiobooks on iTunes, and the girls are sleeping off their breakfast.

This week, the Hanna World Tour takes us to the dog cookie store for a special cake. I ordered it yesterday, but will pick it up later today.

Tonight I'm off to see the Who at the Nokia theater in downtown LA; this will be my first trip to this venue, but I think we have pretty good seats. (Ok, they look good on the seating chart I pulled up on the computer.)

I haven't been reading much lately, (but am starting to get back into the groove), but I did recently finish The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey, a man who spent most of his time in the American Southwest, an early environmentalist, and a man who used the power of the pen to protest the rape of the planet.

Published in 1975, the book is about 4 "environmental warriors" liberating parts of Utah and Arizona from evil road-builders, miners and rednecks. The book fueled a new generation of angry young environmentalists practicing "monkey-wrenching", sabotage for the sake of protecting the wilderness. The four warriors are best described as an eclectic bunch, which keeps the tone light, while still conveying the seriousness of the subject. Brought together on a river rafting trip are an ex-Green Beret, a polygamous jack Mormon, a feminist from the Bronx, and an aging surgeon who's hobby is torching billboards along the highways. As our heroes start to wreak havoc, the establishment they seek to disrupt gives chase, and the book has almost a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid type tone to it.

"Down in the center of the wash below the ridge, the scrapers, the earthmovers and the dump trucks with eighty ton beds unloaded their loads, building up the fill as the machines beyond were deepening the cut. Cut and fill, cut and fill, all afternoon the work went on. The object in mind was a modern high-speed highway for the convenience of the trucking industry, with grades no greater than 8 percent. That was the immediate object. The ideal lay still farther on. The engineers' dream is a model of perfect sphericity, the planet Earth with all irregularities removed, highways merely painted on a surface smooth as glass. Of course the engineers still have a long way to go but they are patient tireless little fellows; they keep hustling on, like termites in a termitorium. It's steady work, and their only natural enemies, they believe, are mechanical breakdown or "down time" for the equipement, and labor troubles, and bad weather, and sometimes faulty preparation by the geologists and surveyors."

"The one enemy the contractor would not and did not think of was the band of four idealists stretched out on their stomachs under the desert sky." (Page 80.)

I enjoyed this book alot, and in a day and age where President Bush is using his last days in office to remove enviromental regulations protecting our air, water and planet, (he just signed an order allowing uranium mining within 3 miles of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, endangering the drinking water for most of the west)*, this book still has relevance. There's been many a time I've driven past the home building on some local wetlands, (which is also disrupting a native american burial site), and have wished I could lob a monkey wrench into their plans.

*Seriously, does W possess even a shred of decency, or does he truly believe that his despicable actions will be smiled upon by St. Peter when he arrives at the Pearly Gates?

**Addendum - it was reported in the Washington Post that the Obama team has already compiled a list of 200 such executive orders signed by Bush to be immediately overturned by Obama, on issues such as the environment, stem cell research and reproductive rights. YES WE CAN!!!


Anonymous 悉怛多缽怛囉PLANET said...

證據 時效

8:36 AM  
Blogger sage said...

Your "Bird of Paradise" is beautiful! Enjoy the Who and also the special trips with Hanna (I have my own story of dogs that I need to write about!)

I'm glad you enjoyed "The Monkey Wrench Gang." Now that you got to know Hayduke (the ex-green beret) you might enjoy his book. Back in late 2006, I read and reviewed Doug Peacock's "Walking it Off: A Veteran's Chronicle of War and Wilderness." Peacock was Abbey's model for Hayduke

9:53 AM  
Blogger LA said...

Seriously, does W possess even a shred of decency

You ain't seen nothin' yet. Wait until January 19 when he pardons the likes of Andrew Fastow, etc.

Have a FANTASTIC time at The Who!

10:17 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

sage - I'll check it out, thanks!

la - I'll do my darndest!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

I haven't been reading much either lately, I plan on do some reading tomorrow though...

Hope you had a good day!

5:07 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I agree with the first comment.

7:28 AM  
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6:05 PM  

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