Rainy Days, Rainbows and Guzzling Guilt

My parents are still watching (me and) the house here in L.A. and the weather has been quite funky. Last week we had blistering heat and this week, rain, rain and some more rain. And cold. My parents say this weather reminds them of Michigan. That’s right it does. It is crap. No one here is ever prepared for rain and forget about driving in it. Total nightmare.

But with all my crabbing aside, I actually like that we are having some weather. It feels like fall to me which is my favorite time of year. To top it off, we’ve seen 4 rainbows in the last week. Something good must be on its way, right?

All the cold and rain makes me want to curl up on my couch and read. So that’s what I’ve been doing mostly. I just finished reading $20 Per Gallon, by Christopher Steiner. Each chapter is a gas price, starting with $4 and goes up to $20. It’s a fascinating read. As everyone already knows, we are way too dependent on oil. It’s not even about gas for cars, so much as it’s about our way of life. Think about food shipment (hence the reason for crappy produce at the grocery store for most of the country). But it’s also about plastic, carpet, fibers in general, countertops, shaving cream, shower curtains, toothbrushes and shampoo. My initial reaction is depression. But as the book goes on, there is a distinct optimism that I didn’t expect. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll mind life with $10+ per gallon gas. Because we’ll have awesome bullet trains connecting major cities (so we won’t have to fly as much), locally grown and eaten food, better recycling practices and a tighter community. Some of this is already going on in Europe by the way.

Our commutes will look like this.

And less like this.

In the meantime, I try my best to recycle and am (probably too) ridiculous about unplugging things around the house. My rational mind knows that these things are most likely pointless in the whole scheme of the problem, but I can’t seem to help myself at this point. For me, guilt about wastefulness is just part of me.

I promise a post about food next time. And to be honest, as I type this, I’m feeling guilty to even say that we are leaving town (again) to visit my in-laws in Minnesota to celebrate my b.i.l.’s new job as a super cool CSI guy (!!). I can hear the rumble of the planes from my house (unfortunately I’m serious), and know that each plane I take is wasteful in so many ways. But if I focus on the fact that this is about family, the guilt recedes for a few minutes.

Yogi says,

Be happy so long as breath is within you.

Do you recycle? Would you take a train instead of a plane if the net time  in transit were similar?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Rainy Days, Rainbows and Guzzling Guilt

  1. we recycle, and compost. and we’re a 1 car family, but we still do drive a lot. my husband takes a van pool to work though-otherwise we’d drive a ton more! (he works 50ish miles from our house)

  2. I recycle, and I would take the train if it wasn’t so expensive and there weren’t so many layovers.

    By the way, I didn’t get to see any rainbows! 😦

    • Wouldn’t it be great if LA had better public transit? I used to take the bus home from work when I lived in D.C. and it was great. Hope you get to see rainbows next time 🙂

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