Sept.19, 2012

From online article on Mr. Romney’s comments about poor people:

“The video exposes an authentic Romney as a far more sinister character than I had imagined,” writes Jonathan Chait, in his New York Magazine blog. “Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party.”

It is so easy for rich people to criticize the poor! I can never get over it. They are raking in millions, and they have to turn on poor people to find targets for their anger? It’s insane.


I am writing to my favorite travel writer, Dervla Murphy in Ireland. She has been such an inspiration to me. Dervla is in her early 80s. I hope she stays alive because I am going to Ireland after the Caribbean (and after saving money for tickets), and I want to meet her. My card (bought at the thrift shop for $.27 and from The Ritz-Carlton, Boston) asks for a meeting.


The wonderful Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, writes about our fixed images of ourselves:

…you notice how attached you are to your opinions about yourself. Often the first blow to the fixed identity is precipitated by a crisis. When things fall apart in your life, you feel as if your whole world is crumbling. But actually it’s your fixed identity that’s crumbling. And as Chögyam Trungpa used to tell us, that’s cause for celebration.

I had a WONDERFUL night last night up in the woods. My new “space blanket” (Mylar) kept me super-toasty warm! By 6 pm I was watching and listening to everything going on around me. I put off opening my space blanket because it’s just like crispy, crunchy tin foil and makes tons of noise. I was reading Coyote: Seeking the hunter in our midst by Catherine Reid (2004). Ms. Reid is a naturalist who returns to her native western Massachusetts (I’m from eastern Mass., 45 minutes outside Boston). Here and there, she touches on her lesbianism and the responses of her family and the community to her and her lover settling in among them.

The book is divine, especially since the coyotes are thick around me. I haven’t seen any lately, but I hear them. I want to call myself a naturalist; it is what I was becoming at 18 or 19 years old, before marriage. I left a note with my pack at camp saying “I am observing the coyotes, woodrats, and owls.” It’s a way of trying to justify my presence there to the land owners and others, should they discover my stuff in the woods. Pema Chodron’s blurb (above) about attempting to ground oneself by having an ego-based, fixed identity (“amateur naturalist” would be mine) removes the temptation to do so.

Reid writes about her teaching and how some students can’s connect the oppression of laborers to the gains of the upper class. This upsets her.

She writes about Barry Lopez (Of Wolves and Men) and the conversations that go on between predators (like coyotes) and prey over death. Prey selection is affected by the nervousness of the prey animal. I usually stay still, trying to master my fear of predators. This behavior is very familiar to Aspies (persons with Asperger Suyndrome) who are very frequently the targets of bullies. It’s also familiar to anyone who frequently camps out in nature.

I think of deer mice and the recent California incidents of Hantavirus. I wonder if I’m exposing myself to this deadly virus. I recall that improperly ventilated cabins was cited as a possible reason for the virus’ potency at Yosemite.

there’s some evidence the park’s population of deer mice, which carries Hantavirus, has grown significantly. Park officials have been trapping and killing deer mice for the past few weeks.  They said that while the percentage of those testing positive hasn’t changed, there are simply more deer mice, which could translate into a greater risk of exposure for people.

Who controls our responses (in general)? As Catherine Reid points out (and as we all know), politics, business and marketing can be big factors in people’s responses. Those people want our responses to be favorable to their causes. Why? Profit. Power. Money.
You have to be out there in the woods to actually see the animals. Reading about them is not the same. At 7 pm, when it’s still light out, the coyotes begin to howl in the hills around me. The quail settle in the trees and bushes nearby. The dusky-footed woodrat makes a brief appearance, I think; I’m not sure it was his silouette I caught out of the corner of my eye.
The coyote is a crepuscular animal, primarily active at dawn and dusk. Coyotes can sleep all day and be up at night or sleep all night and be up all day. It depends on the availability food and the dangers around them.
Here’s some stuff on the profile of “Puneet — The Colorful Hitchhiker” on

Couch Information

No couch currently available for surfing.
Couch picture

*For Surfing with Me*
I dislike when people put conditions on their hospitality, but I am quiet busy with projects, my flatmate is a non-CSer, I have friends visiting me often, and I surprisingly get unmanageable number of requests. So excuse the hypocrisy and to be in with a chance, please tell me which of the following qualifications do you possess:
1) You can take sarcasm. Even better if you can dish it out.
2) You are a fellow poet, long-term traveler, hitchhiker, artist, clown, dumpster-diver, mathematician, living an alternative lifestyle etc.
3) You are independent and would be fine if I’m pressed with my time and attention elsewhere. One mum is enough, right?
4) You won’t be irritated if I dance whenever it rains, stop and play with every child we meet, let every dog on the street lick my face.
5) You’re a guy or an ugly girl. Heh, I’m confident but not deluded to think beautiful women will have time to look over all the propositions they get, and read my profile.

*For Hosting Me*
I am constantly humbled by the hospitality of people, so I would be the last person to disrespect it. But please invite me over only if you’re keen to have me. I have enough experience and love of the road, and would anyday prefer to sleep on the street in company of poems with stars over eyelids; than writhe inside the confines of wall for a fluffy sofa.

*For Coffee or Drink*
Everyday I indulge in yoga, tea, walks, eyes, smile, jokes, silence, and conversations. And I like these experiences enough to not mind sharing them with even those that I tend to dislike. So you may write even if you’re stupidly religious, a materialist, an angry hippie, a ryan-air traveler, a complaining bum full of self-entitlement, someone whose CS involvement is not about chasing wanderlust or hospitality-exchange, a racist, someone too shallow to laugh at himself, a 2m tall overprotective brother of a beautiful sister etc.

Puneet’s a really funny guy! You can also see him on Facebook at the same address as on CS. Here (below) is his FB pic and the notes I sent him yesterday, which he posted on his FB site.
  1. Got a mail from a 66 year old granny who is a nomad (mainly camps and sometimes CS), works out daily (her pics show she can easily beat me to a pulp), and keeps her humor in check (as you’d read). Here’s how it goes:”Puneet! Hi!I saw you on the XYZ group. Funny.I was last in Berlin when I was 17. We went over to East Berlin tyhat year through Checkpoint Charlie: Dad had relatives in both Eas

    t and West Berlin. My first trip was in 1955; the city was still very bombed out. My adoptive Dad was from there and we used to go there every few years then cruise around Europe.I really want to come there now and visit you and a few others I know who are cool and are there.Just writing you to establish this contact so I won’t forget you when I come to Berlin.P.S.
    After reading your profile more carefully, I have these responses:I am an ugly old woman.

    I can take sarcasm. “Tact is only for people who aren’t smart enough to be sarcastic.” (Seen on a t-shirt in New Orleans)

    I am a long-term traveller, a nomad. I hitchhike (7,000 mi. in 2008 at age 62).

    Dancing anytime, anywhere is good.

    I am also independent (and a mother, grandmother).

    I love Borat and Sacha’s other films.

    I am an Aspie (person with Asperger Syndrome). We are smart and very sarcastic. We are the only “disabled” group that are presenting a real challenge to Neuro-typicals (NTs = people who are not autistic) because we meet face-to-face in groups all over the U.S. and hence, have a group consciousness: so we know we are OK and refuse to be controlled by “Normal” people. Ha ha.

    Love, ABC”

    Inspired me, humbled me, and put a big smile on my face.


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