wacko road

July 24th, 2009 by Phil Leave a reply »

I had thought I might blog some from this national Green Party meeting in Durham NC, but only about an hour or an hour and a half ago was I actually able to get online on the laptop. The campus-wide network at NCCU hasn’t worked in any building I’ve been on, and so I’m in the computer lab of the dorm in which we’re all staying for the weekend. And so, naturally, here, in the computer lab, where I’m making use of an ethernet cable borrowed from one of the computers, here is where the wireless network actually works. It doesn’t even work in the foyer 20 feet away.

The cafeteria here is surprisingly good. It’s a Sodexho cafeteria, but a lot of the options are actually choice. I was able to concoct a near-vegan burrito out of beans, rice, plantains, kale, and grilled squash. The highlight/surprise was the kale, which I learned was sauteed in sesame oil. This may have been the most important thing I’ve learned in months.

The meeting has gone well. It has been remarkably low-key. It’s poorly attended, as expected, but since we drove the budget way down, we’re alright in terms of the finances. I got to get up and channel my “inner Cobb” a couple of times in the plenary session, and that’s always a little fun, though I admit it seems kind of strange that I would need to play that role. We’re talking about a room full of people who, whatever else anyone might say, are definitely passionate people, and yet there often seems to be the need for some sort of over-the-top energy burst.

Weirder than playing the Cobb role, though, is playing the GQ role. I think Jason and I were the only two people in suits each of these two days. I realize this is not a suit-wearing crowd, but it’s still a bit odd to think of myself as the jetsetter in the group. At work, I’m the guy in the operation who usually doesn’t wear a tie, and to legions of adoring fans back home, I’m still the guy with a pair of flannels in the closet and no less than three Mike Watt t-shirts.

I can build my energy up when I need to but I feel like when it comes back down, it comes back down pretty hard. Unfortunately my days off are being chopped off into things like this, which are energy drains, instead of vacations which might somehow be revitalizing. In part because I’ve been so busy, in part because there’s always some kind of excuse, in part because I feel such an energy drain that I want to maximize my “work time” at home since I think it’ll take me longer to get things done, I haven’t made it into the gym in weeks. I’ve got to reverse that trend starting this week but it just seems so daunting. I haven’t biked to work all season, either, even though it doesn’t take me any longer to bike than to ride the CTA. It seems like I’m simply obsessed with burning through the books which have piled up around me.

What’s kind of bizarre is that even as I’m at this meeting with all of these serious activists, I still kind of feel like there was some kind of activist highpoint, at least surrounding me, about five to six years ago. Part of it must have been that some of the activism was new to me and the freshness was there, but too it must have been that just being around people with energy and enthusiasm while also talking about a whole lot of divergent issues was really uplifting and inspiring. I don’t like the current meta-role I have because I’m not going to other things and being that kind of “crossover” activist that is bringing people from other groups in and so forth. Who has the time for something like that anyway? It’ll be interesting to see how things develop at the beginning of this petition drive, and then when it wraps up.

Now, since this blog (at www.huckelberry.org) gets crossposted to Facebook, a lot of people who might stumble upon this might have very little idea what some of the things that I’m referring to are. It’s just that it’s gotten to the point where I’m not really thinking in terms of providing certain basic details about things, because there’s such a common part of existence that I don’t think to mention them. That probably sounds vague, so let me put it like this. Here we are about to begin petitioning for the 2010 primary on August 4, with seven statewide candidates and a whole slew of other candidates. I’m the Chair of the Illinois Green Party so I’m doing the bulk of the coordination on a lot of this. But mentioning all of that is something I wouldn’t ordinarily do, because it would be like prefacing the comment “my boss got mad today at some guy on the phone” with a full-blown explanation of where I work and what I do, and who would do that? I’d have a Facebook status that looks like this:

Phil Huckelberry works at John Hancock Observatory where he is employed as an Analyst. His boss got mad today when somebody called.

instead of a status like this:

Phil Huckelberry some doofus called the office and Daniel turned bright fuschia

If people constantly posted status updates like the first one, everybody would think that they were a little touched in the head. So, you see, we now live in this environment where people who have connections to one another but don’t know basic functional realities about each other get tidbits of undirected conversations and so forth, and that necessarily forms their basis for understanding what those people are doing and like etc. It’s just all very strange.

I feel like the derivative of a parabolic function: just one continuous tangent line.

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