July 24th, 2008

sideview, obamame_sideview

I am car free, not carless, and related vent

Just gotta vent.

I'm 33 years old and have never owned a car. The last time I regularly drove a car was in 1995, when I used my parents car to go back and forth to work for a week during the summer. Normally my dad drove me to work but he and Mom were on vacation. Meanwhile, since 1996 I have driven a total of under 5 times. I do have a driver's license, though most people think I don't. (Hell, most people think I secretly have epilepsy and am not *allowed* to drive. *eye roll*)

Anyway.

Just saw another one of those articles on giving up your car, how it's so hard, blah, blah, blah. I agree it it would be to switch *away* from having a car, if that's what you're used to. And especially if you have chosen to live or work in such a way that alternative forms of transportation are a pain. (It *is* a choice.) BUT if you are used to it and have built your life with an awareness of your situation and know how the system works, it is NO PROBLEM. There's a learning curve, but I swear, people, if you can figure out highways and exit ramps (which are *baffling* to me), you can learn how buses work.

People have commented to me 1000 times about how it must be "so hard" for me and I'm so "brave" to go without a car. I find these comments just plain insane. They're also a sign of where I live, because I'm sure New Yorkers never have to give the "I don't drive, I don't have a car, no, I don't need to validate a parking ticket" speech I have to give just about every day. New Yorkers don't have newspaper reporters calling them and interviewing them about the amazing, "out there" lifestyle choice of going without a car. I mean, WHAT is the deal?

I get to work, get home, go out to each, grocery shop, buy furniture, go to IKEA, go to the airport, go to conferences, do whatever I want, and a car just isn't needed. In fat most of the time, a car is just a pain in the butt. Almost any time somebody gives me a ride and I am dumb enough to accept, it ends up being such drama compared to how I would have gone on my own. It's not ever faster either, what with traffic, finding a parking space, etc. I've actually just taken to saying "No" to offers whenever possible.

So I don't know. I get annoyed over this the same way I get annoyed over vegetarian issues, i.e. "Oh, I don't know how you vegetarians do it, there's nothing to EAT when you're a vegetarian." Believe me, you can get FAT being a vegetarian, so there IS food you can eat. A lot of it. I cook and eat all the time and I'm almost never (unless I'm at some Southern restaurant) get stuck being unable to eat anything. It's NOT a big deal. Unless you've been brought up to think dinner = steak, potatoes, side veg.

OK, done venting.
sideview, obamame_sideview

The Subtle Knife

Finished up The Subtle Knife last night. Hmmph. Although I must admit, Pullman does pull me into reading, so far His Dark Materials is solid B material. B- at times, but mostly B. I thought it would be a lot better. A lot of what bothers me is that it's all so contrived, similar to Harry Potter, which bugged me in a similar way. It's a gripping read but irritating! Have just put a library hold on the last book. So does everybody die? Does the new Dark Age descend? Does Mrs. Coulter get cut up into little tiny pieces by the subtle knife? Or does Lyra? Don't tell me, I'm just rambling...