Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 30, 2013

March 30

I live in an elaborate fantasy world of my own creation. I am the Goddess and my One Love (my Soulmate through eternity) is the God.

Among the many ways I will know my Soulmate for sure is that he is the ONLY person who really knows me (besides myself). There are many other signs, too.

We both have to evolve more before we can actually live together in the physical world. My biggest regret is something from the movie, Schindler’s List: I could have done so much more (to help others/the world).

Just remember: I am loved and cherished.

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In addition to this basis (of SELF and Soulmate-and-Me), I see people as members of one of four (possibly five?) social groups: Diamonds, Clubs, Spades, and Cups. Yeah, like cards.

Diamonds have physical or material possessions (gifts). Clubs (my group) have the ability to create things (art, music, crafts, IT stuff, etc.) out of their visions. Clubs are the Dreamers: they have the ultimate mystical sight. Spades are the thinkers and warriors (as in soldiers, not as in “willing to fight for their cause”).

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Ojai morning walk: chaparral, orange groves, joggers. All along McAndrew Road and then Grand Avenue down to Carne Road. I hitch into town from that crossing.

Ojai, compared to much of the rest of the world, is (quoted from a song I heard this morning) “a place where it’s not bleeding.” Most people here seem to be preparing themselves for greatness; they are very precious about themselves and their personal well-being. This often spills over into the public arena, like when the wealthy folks buy up acres and acres of chaparral forest and put it in a preserve for the public.

Self-control is about trusting oneself. Control of others is an ego trip.

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I have sacrificed my sex appeal for wisdom. Given it up: trying to “catch” and seduce men. Silly! I still love men and sex, but I’m reeling in my line and hook.

Standards change when populations change. Like in the US now: our country is becoming so racially/ethnically mixed that by 2043, whites will no longer be numerically (and in other ways) dominant. Good.

Farmboys have great appeal for me and have since I was a kid up at the Erbhof during summers in Spofford, New Hampshire.

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I am a working woman. My 5-month trip just now (Oct. 2012-March 2013) was TONS of daily work. I find that’s very healthy for me, but then I need to relax for a while (as I’m doing now here in Ojai, California).

On the front door of a donut shop in San Antonio, Texas is the sign: “NO GUNS.” On the front door of the Meiner’s Oaks (little burg* next to Ojai) Alano club (meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and other meetings for family members of alcoholics) is the sing: “NO BIKES.” You’d think the alcoholics would be the ones with the guns.

(*Note: Ojai’s population is around 7,5oo. Meiners Oaks’ population is about 4,000. Much of the population in both towns is outside the “city” areas and in rural or agricultural areas.)

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One person CAN (or and be an important part of the process of) change the future.

Trying to change (yourself or the world) results in actual change.

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March 31

I see all Sentient Beings like suits in a card deck. Here’s how it looks to me:

Fish and all water critters = metal (or ether) element; psychic/mystical world

Birds = element air; thinking/mental world; spades (suit)

Land animals (including “Muggles*,” lizards, snakes, etc.) = element fire;  creative/energetic world; inspiration and intuition; clubs (suit).

Insects = element earth; material/physical world; diamonds (suit)

Witches and wizards = water element; hearts (suit); magical, emotional world.

*Muggles: non-magical folk (from Harry Potter)

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I am having quite a different experience camping now. I not only am watching the life around me with a different intensity, focus and purpose (as an “Amateur Naturalist, (engaged in) Orthonological Field Studies” [as my new business card says]), but also when I do go out to camp, I sit and watch movies or shows like”Jeeves and Wooster” on my computer. And I smoke pot, too. It’s very exciting! I also have my little MP3 Player, and I can walk down Grand Avenue ion the morning listening to Blondie’s murderously good version of “Girlie Girlie” (my current favorite song). I am all connected–both to Nature and to Music and wonderful shows.

It’s quite a different life, and I find that I really have had enough of cities and living indoors for quite a while. Tomorrow, I will get the first “REALLY GOOD” tent of my young life (ha ha): a Big Agnes “Seedhouse 1.” The “1” means for one person (me). I have wanted a very light-weight, excellent quality tent forever, and this is the one. It weighs under 3 lbs. and costs under $300. Ha ha! Got to spend money for good causes sometimes; being too stingy–even with myself–is not always good.

Tomorrow’s April Fools’ Day, April 1, and I’ll spend a lot of money on good things. Already paid back $85 to Seth for my phone (purchase), my monthly cell bill ($25), and a $40 loan he made to me a few days ago.

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April 2

Got my new tent ($232) yesterday at Real Cheap Sports (not so real cheap, but small and light-weight). It’s a “Big Agnes,” and it’s for one person. Tiny, but made well. Good color, too: light green (blends in well).

I moved my camp down a few yards to another little section of the field off to the side of the Horn Canyon trail. This morning around 6 am, I thought I heard footsteps by my tent. I think someone knows I’m there (at start of Canyon); a truck went by up on the hill where the donkey and horses are. Anyone in the truck could have looked down and seen my tent (although this new one is very inconspicuous: small and green). I may move up into Horn Canyon tomorrow.

Packed up the old tent (I will never again get a tent that isn’t free-standing) and threw it behind a tree in case I need it again (like, if someone takes my nice, new tent).

Tents out in nature are much better for me than houses. Nature is much better than cities. I like warm, dry, sunny weather for camping, and I like to be able to have small fires at camp. I like winter (snow, cold), but I don’t like camping in winter. Also, winter has to be sunny or I get depressed; and, if I’m indoors, I like having a fire-place.

I like being in my tent in warm rain, but I hate camping in damp, cold weather. On Easter (Sunday, March 31) it rained quite a lot here; I got into my tent without getting too wet, and I hunkered down. The donkey in the corrals up the hill above my tent brayed after the rain stopped.

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Rejoined Bryant Street Gym yesterday and had my first shower in TWO WEEKS. My body was starting to itch, and I was beginning to have to hide my dirtiness. Ugh! The wonders of water. Of course, in some places (like African desert I read about), people “wash” with red dirt (it’s like clay). Amazing!

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April 3

I moved part of my camp yesterday afternoon and the rest (tent, sleeping bag) this morning. Yesterday I worked hard for an hour clearing out a little spot up by the first creek-crossing. I had scrambled about blindly to find this cherry little spot. When I finished clearing the branches and brush from the place, I realized it was almost right on the trail! And I had thought I was WAY off the trail. Ha ha. I had a good chuckle about that.

So, this morning I put my tent up the creek (also at the first crossing). It’s across the creek from the trail, but it’s still too close to the trail. People can see me if I’m standing up and they happen to look over to the side of the trail. I figure I’ll plead Ornithology (that I’m studying birds in the brush).

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On: Being a Jockey

70% of exercise takes place on a horse

Diet (strengthen, but don’t gain weight). Not too much red meat or carbs. Kiwi: cleansing.

Gym exercise (strengthen, but don’t gain weight; cardio): legs, forearms, shoulders, triceps, chest. Off-track fitness: two or three times a week.

Up at 4:45 am everyday: on a thoroughbred horse for morning workouts, which can last more than four hours. Then, home to eat and have a nap.

(Article on Hong Kong racetrace [or Shaghai…] in Wall Street Journal a few days ago. Jockey is young, Chinese guy who was adopted by Americans or Brits.)

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Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2013 (P. A15):

“Leave pot laws to states” by Erwin Chemerinsky and Allen Hopper

LEAVE POT LAWS TO STATES

by Erwin Chemerinsky, (Source:Los Angeles Times)

It may be surprising, but no state is required to have a law making possession of marijuana, or any drug, a crime.  Therefore, any state can legalize some or all marijuana possession if it chooses.  The federal government, if it chooses, can enforce the federal law against its possession and use, but it is up to each state to decide what to criminally prohibit, based on the 10th Amendment.

This basic insight has been lost in the public discussion about whether the initiatives legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana passed by Colorado and Washington voters in November are preempted by federal law.  The two states will soon finalize regulations to implement those initiatives, including how to tax and regulate marijuana.  U.S.  Atty.  Gen.  Eric H.  Holder Jr.  told a recent meeting of state attorneys general that the Justice Department review of the initiatives was winding down, suggesting an imminent decision as to whether it intends to challenge the initiatives as being preempted by federal law.

This month, eight former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Holder to enjoin the new state laws.  Peter Bensinger, DEA chief from 1976 to 1981, told the Associated Press: “This is a no-brainer.  It is outrageous that a lawsuit hasn’t been filed.”

Is it outrageous? Or is it just an intelligent assessment of the legal landscape?

The preemption doctrine is based on the supremacy clause of Article VI of the Constitution, which makes federal law “the supreme law of the land” trumping conflicting state laws.  The question, then, is whether there is a conflict between the federal government prohibiting small amounts of marijuana and some states not doing so.

There is not a conflict when one level of government prohibits something but another level of government does not.  An easy illustration is that murder is a crime in every state, but, except for very specific circumstances, it is not a federal crime.  No one would say that there is a conflict.  Likewise, a state can decide that certain conduct does not violate state law even if it offends federal law.  It is then for the federal government to decide how, if at all, it wants to enforce the federal law.

Several other states, including California, have laws making possession of up to an ounce of marijuana an infraction punishable by a fine, even though under federal law, it’s a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in federal prison.  Similarly, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that allow possession of marijuana for medical purposes; there is no such federal exception.  Although the federal government can enforce the stricter U.S.  law in states that have decriminalized possession or have medical marijuana laws, it has never acted to have those state laws invalidated based on the preemption doctrine.

Simply put, no state has to have a law prohibiting marijuana, even though federal law does.  And if a state does have such a ban but wants to repeal it in whole or in part, such as for possession for medical reasons or for small amounts, it may do so.

Because states could remove all criminal sanctions for marijuana, this more limited removal of some state sanctions cannot be preempted, claiming a conflict with federal law.  It is true that Colorado and Washington go further than allowing possession of small amounts of marijuana under state law; their new laws also regulate and tax the sale of marijuana.  But this actually helps achieve the federal objective of controlling marijuana compared to a state decriminalizing marijuana without regulating its distribution.

Beyond the legal arguments, there are policy reasons for the federal government to not interfere with the Colorado and Washington laws.  An important feature of federalism is that states are empowered to serve as laboratories for experimentation with social policies.  As the nation embarks on perhaps the most significant public debate about drug policy since President Nixon declared the war on drugs, Washington and Colorado’s experiment should be allowed to go forward.  The country can then assess whether it succeeded or failed.

Let’s hope Holder’s response will be more nuanced and respectful of the states than that urged by the retired drug warriors.

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Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of the UC Irvin School of Law. Allen Hopper is criminal justice and drug policy director of the ACLU of California.

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March 27, 2013

March 27

Praying to “Pachamama and Yage” to protect me during the night. My hair is receding at the temples and falling out in huge amounts when I comb my hair.

I haven’t had a shower for a week, and boy can I feel it. Smoking pot every afternoon at my camp. Today, I also smoked in the early morning (6:30 or 7 am) before leaving camp. I love waking up and just dressing and leaving my tent (with nothing irreplaceable in it) quickly. Off onto the open road, picking oranges off the trees and eating them as I walk toward town. Then, hitching, and often getting rides from remarkable (kind, interesting, sweet, etc.) people. Getting into town and making straight for a place to have coffee or tea and lounge around with other people in a cozy environment.

Ojai Coffee Roasters: intellectuals. I read the newspapers or a book and THINK. (They have internet.) Rainbow Bridge: sweethearts (or those trying to become sweethearts). I read a book or watch something online. (No internet.) Java and Joe: not sure yet. My Mexican-American friend, Evangelina’s panaderia (bakery): the usual immigrant struggles. (Example: her husband hates a.) Caucasians; b.) liberated women; c.) intellectuals.) Bohemia (newest downtown Ojai cafe): not sure yet. Meiners’ Oaks Farmer and the Cook: pretentious. Meiners’ Oaks’ cafe (name?): OK; too small in size and size of customer base.

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Made my way (in bits and pieces) through Robert Coles’ Privileged Ones: The Well-Off and the Rich in America (Vol. V of Children of Crisis, his series on education and children in the US).

On pg. 50, Coles writes:

“…(the very rich) are much harder to count or interview than other Americans, and even government economists with access to Internal revenue Service data have a tough time figuring out the share of the nation’s wealth held by the very rich.”

“Not only the ‘very rich,’ but the well-to-do, those who belong to the 5 percent mentioned in the article,* are not used to being scrutinized the way the poor are–no social workers, welfare workers, police, sheriffs who knock on the door and, if resisted, push it open.”

(*The article and info in both paragraphs [above] is in Business Week [August 5, 1972] and entitled “Who Has the Wealth in America,” as Coles states on pg. 49.)

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On pg. 25, Coles writes about travel among the children of the privileged social class:

“No preliminary sketch of the physical ‘ground-being’ (as both Heidegger and Tillich put it) of upper-middle-class life, or of the habits of the rich, ought to fail to mention travel as a strong influence on a select number of children.”

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More about travel among the upper-middle-class children on pg. 525-527:

“No matter what their parents’ attitude toward their own money, these are children privileged to have a quite distinct and extraordinary sense of spaced and time… A boy or who has, at ten or twelve, seen the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Caribbean, maybe; who has heard French, German, and Spanish spoken; and who has become familiar with distant places, customs, habits, is likely not only to be rather hopeful about the prospect of future trips but sophisticated about the world’s problems and shrewd or imaginative about what might be done by an American who wants to work or study abroad. Countries whose names mean very little or nothing to many, if not the majority, of American children become objects of anticipation to certain privileged children–who have every expectation that this year or next year or two years hence will see them here or there.

“That notion of ‘next year’ is somewhat unusual for other elementary school children, who tend to live in the present and consider the next day quite enough time ahead. For a lucky few, however, there is an apparently limitless supply of places to visit, each of which has to be matched up with a spell of time–and done so, mentally, well in advance. In fact, for a number of these privileged children time is just that–a benefactor, a source of wonder, amusement, excitement, and mysteries that soon become casually amassed memories.

“Richard Halliburton’s idiosyncratic, even eccentric, adventures of the 1930s have become for the children of the well-to-do the assumed, the required. “you just have to travel, even if it’s hard,” said the young daughter of a New England insurance executive and a stockbroker.”

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The manners of economically-privileged children “actually amount to a complicated and tenacious defensive network of words, gestures, rituals. With manners (they) feel reasonably secure, able to respect (themselves) and come to terms with others.” (pg. 532)

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On pg. 543, Coles writes:

“It may well be that from a cultural critic’s point of view these privileged children are ‘growing up absurd”…; it may be too that their ‘moral development’ is restricted, constrained–or, at the very least, limited by various social, cultural, and educational forces.” Of course, Coles doesn’t support this slanted perspective which smacks of being “cannon fodder for a particular ideological or psychiatric theory. ”

I want to add that I think many very creative, privileged people (being over-achievers and workaholics) probably are autistic (have Asperger Syndrome). They–we–are thus often judged/perceived as being “morally” lacking (I was just told last week that I am certainly “not a lady” because I used the word “fuck” online) and socially “rude.” We are also called “cold” and “socially inadequate.” 90% of this criticism is incorrect and the result of neuro-typicals (non-autistics0 misunderstanding us.

On pg. 527-528, Coles writes about the childhoods of built-in isolation:

“The children of such (privileged) men and women get to feel at a remove in some psychological or spiritual way…as if seclusion has prompted some pervasive and unregenerate notion of difference.”

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In the main, I was not a privileged child. I was adopted by people who were not at all part of the American mainstream or even the American middle class until they were in their late 30s/early 40s. It was then that they adopted me.

My family and I traveled to Europe and took frequent (usually summer) vacations because Dad worked hard and happened to be very good at his trade. And also because Dad was an immigrant (and Mom first generation German-American) and he wanted to see his struggling family in Berlin, Germany after WW II. (Dad helped to financially support his German family all during WW II and afterward.)

My genetic- (or birth-) parents were closer to the American mainstream, and, in my birth-father’s case, right in the upper-middle-class. My grandfather, Fredrick Page Boswell of Kentucky and then Montgomery, Alabama was a medical doctor and he raised his family of four sons in an exclusive part of Montgomery (before sending them all away at a young age to board at a military academy). Brown Hill Boswell, my birth-father, also became a medical doctor. My birth-mother, Jeanne Hawes Whitney of Braintree, Massachusetts had humble beginnings (I don’t know exactly what), but she married a Whitney, took up residence in rather exclusive Scituate, Mass. Her oldest son, John, later taught economics at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. (That’s where I went to meet him–Surprise!–at his office. It was the first and last time we met.)

So, genetically, I have roots in the upper-middle-class. That’s my natural inclination. The adoptive parents are considered within adoption circles to be the “social” parents, or the ones who teach one how to behave socially (what one’s social position is). I learned from working class parents how to behave as part of the middle class (into which they had moved). I learned from my best friend, Jane Britton, how to be upper-middle-class in behavior. This is how I see myself now, as a combination of genetics and adoption, a combination of both working- and immigrant-class values and behavior and upper-middle-class values and behavior.

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March 28

Abuse of disabled: CONTROL of the disabled is one part of the abuse. The disabled are not RECOGNIZED as having potential that’s not respected by the (American) social mainstream. Very, very little freedom is allowed to the disabled, whether physical or mental. In my experience of a California public mental institution (in 1975), many of the people who care for the disabled (who work for the organization ARC, etc.) are very uneducated,  people who look down upon disabled people.

In public, I can quickly recognize the people who bully disabled people like me. They are scared and ready to make fun of anyone who is different. I act different in public, and I’m used to be teased and derided for it. This is done very subtly, very secretly; bullying is a hidden vice of weak people who fear others’ judgements of THEMSELVES.

In Aspies (persons with autism/Asperger Syndrome), depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are consistent problems that hamper social interactions. I believe these symptoms are much less common or even absent in people who know they are Aspies, have socialized well with other Aspies, respect themselves, and considers autism A GIFT. I know that’s how it has worked with me.

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Seth came yesterday. We had a really wonderful few hours together. We went up to Meditation Mount and then to the barns at Thacher and out to the gymkhana fields.

He gave me the idea to study the Horn Canyon birds as not only a good pursuit (I need a new focus!), but also as a good reason to be living in my tent up in the Canyon. I am going to start a blog about my bird studies (amateur naturalist, specializing in field studies in ornithology).

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I had one chance to rebel and liberate myself. It came in the early 1970s, and by 1974, I had left my husband and struck out on my own (with one of my two children; Anya wanted to stay home in Ojai). It seemed like almost everyone my age was doing the same thing at that time. Those were the years of the Hippies (actually, they were in the ’60s: I was a little late for all these movements), the Women’s Movement, and the Free Love movement. The social controls had lessened and that left lots of room for individual liberation. Wonderful time in that respect. All that came on the heels of the years when Black Americans went through (continued) hell in the liberation years and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (In 1963, President John Kennedy was killed, and that was an early shock to the US social system.)

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Now, in my life, goodwill equals growth. To choose consciousness (awareness) over trying to fit in or “be cool” socially is a big change; it’s the beginning of Old Age or perhaps (on the positive side) becoming one of the wise Old Ones. Less social posturing means I often look like a bungling, geeky fool. It’s OK.

I am not brave; I am just oblivious to a lot of dangers. I know they are there. I just don’t get too freaked out about it. I think that in some ways, my life has always felt edgy and a bit risky.

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I am camped where the woods end and settlement begins. Since the Ojai Valley goes from East to West (unusual) and, since where I am camped is also the end of the woods riding along the sides of the hills east of Ojai, I am at the center of the X where the woods end and town begins. It’s a heavy place for wildlife IF they care to come down out of the hills and the woods and venture into settlements. This, I think, usually happens in the winter when food is short and it’s cold (and even snowy) up in the mountains around Ojai.

I am meeting local, Southern California (and Colorado) men–nice men–named Wade, Darren, and Clay. Western names. Cowboy names. Clay named his son Jessie James (a famous American outlaw). You won’t find these names so much east of the Mississippi River; they are very typical SoCal names.

I have a birth-brother in Florida who our dad named James Brown Boswell. Yeah. Rather than an outlaw tradition, in my birth-family we have a musical tradition: James Brown, as everybody knows, was a famous American blues singer. He died just a few years ago.

March 22, 2013

March 19

Studying the Elites

Social elites are part of every human (and some other non-human) society on earth. Some people claw their way to the top, imagining they deserve or need more than others. They are aggressive and greedy. Others become very wealthy and think they are “fresas” (snobs, upper class, strawberry-eaters), but they simply have a lot of money and remain un-cultured and/or without any socially redeeming values (eg. generosity, compassion).

Some people, like my beloved Bertie Wooster (of Jeeves and Wooster fame [author: P.G. Wodehouse]), are born to the upper class position. They remain quite untouchable and unmovable when it comes to changing social class division. They are totally oblivious (usually) to the perks of rank. They have no other view or experience of life. The fact that I love these artifacts of upper class life reveals my fresa (snob) side.

I was born into a very low social position, that of the orphan. I was adopted and raised in the middle class (with some upper-middle class friends, like my best friend, Jane Britton) by working class parents. In addition, my adoptive parents were social outcasts in the USA thanks to World Wars I and II. Mom and her large, first-generation, German-American family were cursed on the streets of Roxbury, Massachusetts as children during WW I. Dad, with his clear German accent and strange, Nazi-type (probably defensive) walk, was shunned since he entered the US in 1922.

I am autistic (sometimes called Asperger Syndrome) which gave me a particular perspective, which was unrecognized as an inherited gift until I self-diagnosed it (thanks to the chapter on Temple Grandin in Oliver Sach’s book An Anthropologist On Mars) when I was in my 40s.

All of these unrealized (at the time) benefits have allowed me to create myself as an independent, autonomous American Traveller-Gypsy (according to Judith Okely’s definition in The Traveller-Gypsies). My informal studies of social elites have helped me to further clarify my social role, since I realized at a very young age (thanks to Dad’s prejudice against that class of fresas and the Britton’s occasional obvious elitism) that I am not one of them. Now that I’m older and wiser, I am glad to be who I am. I have no desire to be one of the elites, and, while I cannot spiritually condemn them as evil individuals, I do recognize the evils inherent in any group which dominates and suppresses the masses.

The local elites slouch into the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company every morning to trade news and views. Those who wish to rub shoulders with them gather like vultures around them. The conversation, attitudes and activities of the privileged class interest me.

My constant rejection by this group of elites EVERYWHERE I’ve ever travelled is based on two things: first, my appearance and behavior (which is, as I’ve said, half naco), and second, my obvious disinclination to become one of their flock. Now, I study and critique the elites.

In a Los Angeles Times’, front page article today, Brazil’s highly socially stratified society was described as making changes that European society made one hundred years ago. The elites are being faced with lessening social power to virtually enslave their household help. The lower classes are asserting themselves; women (who are always the majority of household helpers as cleaners and nannies) are gaining social power. The elites hate this and are fighting it, but the trend toward becoming more like American society (as the article stated) is irreversible. The elites want to be served.

The Ojai Coffee Roasting Company and indeed much of Ojai is frequented these days by rich, social elites. These people use the most natural resources in any society.

In The Last Of the Wild Horses (2005) by Martin Harbury (preface by Richard Adams), the author describes feral horses as, by and large, the same thing as wild horses. Feral horses are not used by and not beneficial to humans. Feral “means simply that their domestic ancestors escaped the bonds of civilization and became wild.”  Harbury goes on to say that “We have rendered it impossible for (wild/feral horses) to live in splendid isolation, maintaining a romanticized and somehow independent existence far apart. They have become, through our deprivations, our responsibility.” This is almost exactly how Okely (and other authors who study and write about Gypsies, like Michael Stewart) describes Gypsies in England: they were native English people who chose to drop out of society rather than serve the masters as part of the proletariat, and they became travellers.

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Wild Horses in the world:

Asia (formerly in Mongolia, now being bred in captivity): Przewalskis)

Poland: Tarpans

British Isles: Exmoor, Dartmoor, New Forest, Irish Connemaras, Dales, Fells; in rural Wales: Mountain Ponies; in Northern Scotland and the off-shore islands: Highland Ponies; on the Shetland Islands: Shetland Ponies.

Camargue (Southern France): White Horses

Sable Island:

Australia: Brumbies

USA, West: Mustangs

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A year or so ago, I wrote a “confession” revealing to many of my closest acquaintances my worst transgression during my life. It was a terrible thing that I did. I let it go, partly for the person I hurt and partly for me. Now, I feel really cleansed, healed, transformed and free. I walk around now with a free heart and a spiritual awareness that I didn’t have when I was full of guilt and self-loathing.

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Where are the US mountain lions located:

California and Texas: c. 6,000 in each state

Oregon: c. 5,000

Arizona: c. 3,000

New Mexico, Colorado and Texas: cattle ranchers sell permits for hunting lions on their private lands.

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My recent trip through the Western Caribbean, South America, Central America and Mexico was notable in that it took me, rather than me taking it. At some point, the trip grew so intense, I had to surrender to it. That is, I think, a wonderful thing.

What is HOME to me? A tent, out in the woods, by fresh water (not the ocean), no kitchen or bathroom.

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I have been calling on Pachamama to protect me every night. In the morning, I call on my spirit guides to help me through the day. Last night Pachamama guided me to Paradise. She told me that South America is my spiritual home. I was helping kitties and just helping (every Sentient Being) in general. It was a wonderful dream.

I understand that waking life can never be Paradise. Waking life is where we come to learn and grow. I once read this: you cannot spiritualize matter (the material world/waking life), but you can materialize the spirit (or make the spiritual felt in the material/physical reality). This is so true.

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I am collecting male FRIENDS (not lovers). What a great change! I think my Aspie nervous system had/has a role in my occasionally overactive, sexual appetite.

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March 20

Last night a mockingbird sang for hours near my tent. It sang so long and so steadily that, at one point during the concert, I half woke up and laughed at myself for thinking it was a real bird singing. I knew it was someone playing a recording. Then, this morning, the mockingbird was still singing, and I realized that, yes, it was a real bird, singing its amazing compilation of other birds’ songs all night long. When the other birds woke up and began to sing their one liners, the mockingbird retired for the day.

“Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine birds from the Mimidae family. They are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians, often loudly and in rapid succession.”

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Making the transition out of the social class system in the US or just out of one’s own class is a dangerous enterprise. Many social guardians (both formal and informal) tried to block my way; many people resent those of us who buck the system.

Ojai is a real health center these days. It’s a wonderful town to return to after a long, city-heavy trip. Here I can camp and be outside in nature, walk a lot, go to the gym, and do yoga. Stretching in public is not looked upon as a sign of insanity as it is in much of the world (at least in those places where I’ve travelled).

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USA = 800,000 Black Bears (black bears only live in the US)

Grizzly Bears = Alaska, USA and Canada

Kodiak Bears = Alaska

Polar Bears = Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway

Brown Bears = Alaska

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I want to spend half the year living in warm, dry climates, in a tent, out in nature (close to the wilderness of National Forests and National Parks). No bathroom. No kitchen.

I figure these places are good for this way of life:

1.)    Ojai, California (mid-March through mid-October);

2.)    much of the rest of California (not south of Ventura, but north of San Francisco);

3.)     Alaska (summer).

During the rest of the year, I will travel outside the US.

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IN THE NAME OF KNOWLEDGE

March 22

Ojai, California (this little town I’ve spent time in almost every year since 1968) is such a Ship Of Fools: the very wealthy people control the town and constantly threaten others (especially those from other social groups) with dominance posturing of all kinds (physical stances, material possessions, private property, etc.).

Today at the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company, I read an OP-ED article in the Los Angeles Times (pg. A21). Here are a few exerpts:

“They aren’t like the rest of us.” OP-ED article in today’s Los Angeles Times. “If the concerns of the wealthy carry special weight in government–as an increasing body of social scientific evidence suggests–such extreme differences between their views and those of other Americans could significantly skew policy away from what a majority of the country would prefer. Our Survey of Economically Successful Americans* was an attempt to begin to shed light on both the viewpoints and the political reach of the very wealthy.” (*”…one of the first studies to systematically examine the political attitudes of wealthy Americans.” See my notes [later today or tomorrow] on Robert Coles’ US studies and the problems inherent in studying the rich. Hint: they hate to be studied; they don’t want their lives revealed.)
Almost half of these top 1% “recently initiated contact with a US senator or representative, and nearly half (44%)  of those contacts concerned matters of relatively narrow economic self-interest rather than broader national concerns.” The very wealthy want (instead of taxes on the rich) to cut Social Security and entitlement programs to balance the budget.
The wealthy “tend to be well-educated, well-informed and committed to charitable giving…” (Note: this study was small and all were from Chicago.)
“A larger-scale national study is needed to pin down more precisely the views of wealthy Americans about public policy. We need to understand how they formed the preferences thy have,* and how wealthy people from different regions, industries, and social backgrounds differ in their political views and behavior. We also need to understand more about their political clout.” (*Thacher School, where I lived [and where my ex-husband taught] from 1968 to the end of 1973 is a perfect example of the kind of nest in which wealthy kids grow up; my ex-husband went on to teach at another elitist prep school, Robert Louis Stevenson in Pebble Beach, California.)
If the influence of the top 1% is far greater and their ideas are very different from other Americans (“ordinary people”), is the US becoming (or is it already) an oligarchy?
Some differences between he rich and the rest of the US population are explained by “differences in economic experiences and self-interest.” For example, they are not dependent on Social Security. (I live totally on my Social Security [actually my “disability” income from Social Security].) They have never received food stamps.
Note: how do Gypsies and Travellers fit into this country’s stew of domination of the 99% by the very wealthy people? The Gypsy music group Gogol Bordello write: “Revolution is internal, evolution isn’t over/is preparing a surprise… Rise the knowledge, rise. Purification fire is coming.”
The authors of this L.A. Times article are Benjamin I. Page, who teaches political science at Northwestern University and co-authored the book “Class War? What Americans Really Think About Economic Inequality.” And Larry M. Bartels, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University and author of “Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age.”

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Robert Coles
Author
Martin Robert Coles is an American author, child psychiatrist, and professor at Harvard University. Wikipedia
Born: October 12, 1929 (age 83), Boston
Awards: MacArthur Fellowship, Presidential Medal of Freedom, More
Nominations: National Book Award for Arts and Letters
This is one book of Coles that I am going to look for today:

Privileged Ones: The well-off and the rich in America: Vol 5 Children of Crisis

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Gogol Bordello

Band
Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for theatrical stage shows and persistent touring. Much of the band’s sound is inspired by Gypsy music. Wikipedia
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March 18, 2013

March 12

Staying in Moorpark, California with a wonderful couple, James Hurley and Melinda Gibson. Musicians and super nice folks.

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Notes from the past few busy days: Ricardo Legoretta designed the Red Enchilada Central Library in San Antonio, Texas (where my CS host, Cynthia works).

I stayed at Naco Pass with Chris McConkey in San Antonio (had 3 CS hosts in that town). Funny, since in Mexico City I was writing about Nacos (rednecks) and Fresas (preppies).

In Mexico City, the pedestrian walk signal is a green “man,” running. Here in the US, it’s a white “man” just standing still (but his legs are in a walking stance).

How did I know I was back in the USA? At the San Antonio Airport (where I flew into from Mexico City after almost 5 months on the road, outside the US), I said to an airport policeman: “Hi.” He answered, “What’s happenin’?” Ha ha. I love it!

“What do you miss most about the USA?” Bronson asked me. Countryside, the wide-open spaces, the land, fields and woods and creeks and rivers, vast expanses of wilderness. We both agreed on this. And just familiarity. What everyone misses about “home”: it’s familiar; we KNOW it; it’s OURS in some old, longed-for way.

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March 13

Here’s how I see my society:

1.)     Travellers like me. We are usually “homeless.” We move around the world.

2.)     Homeless locals. They don’t travel; they stay in their town or locality. We Travellers don’t have much to do with these people; we have very little in common. Sometimes, though, they help us out when we get in trouble with locals.

3.)     Long-distance truckers.

4.)     Other people who travel a lot.

5.)     The settled (sedentary) population.

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March 17, St. Patrick’s Day

Back in Ojai, camping in Horn Canyon up by Thacher School in the East End of town. Walking all over the place, picking oranges off the trees, seeing old friends, hanging out downtown, hitching rides into town on Thacher Road.

Saw a big, beautiful skunk out in the early morning today up on the Thacher campus. Hearing owls at night and California quail in the evening. Seeing white sage and mugwort on the Horn Canyon trail.

Having Lapsong Souchong tea right now at the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company in town. The Farmers’ Market is happening since it’s Sunday. Listening to Cajun and Zydeco on WWOZ, streaming live from New Orleans. Every Sunday at noon (10 am here) is Cajun and Zydeco for two hours. My favorite show they have on WWOZ.

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March 18

Freezing at night in my flimsy, little tent! It’s a nice tent (and cheap), it’s just cold at night here. I wasn’t prepared. And I forgot how the ground hurts my hips for the first few days of camping on the ground without a pad under me.

Today I got a used sleeping bag for $5 at an Ojai thrift shop. Should help immensely. And I’m putting my new 8′ X 12′ green tarp over the tent, both to hide it and to keep it warmer. And it will certainly help when it rains! My tent has no rainfly. Running out of money fast. Going to save by eating less and eating cheaper.

I’ve been bathing in the creek (water at the second crossing [i.e., where the creek crosses the trail the second time]; first crossing is dry). And I’ve been washing my clothes there.

A scrub jay comes up close to my tent and checks me out sometimes. The owls call at night, a very reassuring sound to me.

My first night up there in the Canyon (March 14), I slept in the dry creek bed down a little from the first crossing. It was rocky and really uncomfortable. I spent a lot of time just getting the tent up: it has to be staked down and tied up. Probably the last tent I ever get that’s not “free-standing.” I heard something (bug?) moving around in the ground (or on the ground) under my head as I often do when I sleep on the ground without a pad under me. I heard a little one (what?) humming under my head last fall at the Rat Alcove.

Now, I’m at my old, familiar, favorite spot which a piece of land on Thacher property at the very beginning of Horn Canyon trail (which is Los Padres National Forest land). I found a couple of little alcoves in there a few years ago, and I used them back in summer/fall 2012 when I was camping here in Ojai. No one uses that space. One is ruled by the wood rat and California rat that live in there (I wrote about this back then), so I use the second spot (which also has a wood rat and its big nest). My tent’s fine in there because there are lots of rocks and branches to anchor it down.

When I walk down the trail in the morning, I often see Dennis Shives walking barefoot up the trail. He’s a musician and artist who lived here back in the day when I first got to Ojai (1968). I didn’t know him then.

Today I’m at the Thacher School Library using the internet. Feels good to be here. I am full of confidence and self-respect. Of course, respect for others goes along with self-respect.

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Thoughts I Live By:

1.)     Trust. Don’t chase people or places or situations. What’s mine will come to me. Wait.

2.)     True Love is falling in love over and over again…with the same person.

3.)     It’s not about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself. (Rumi)

4.)     Positive energy is the key to life. Why not be happy? And silly?! No reason at all. Have fun.

5.)     Love all. Trust few. Harm no one.

6.)     Let it go!

7.)     It’s not too expensive; you’re too cheap.

8.)     Don’t sweat the small stuff. And don’t make mountains out of mole hills.

9.)     We call to ourselves (from birth) what we want and need. Don’t blame others when things go “wrong.”

10.)    Do what you want to do, not what you (think you) need to do.

March 7, 2013

March 5

I’m really learning how to not offend people needlessly. “Comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable.” Still a good motto. I’m talking about not offending people who are not so comfortable, not so undisturbed.

When in a town, on the road, I just hang out. I don’t do anything remarkable. I could be “home,” except I get bored in the same place. After about two weeks in a place, I’m bored stiff.

I could easily hang out all over the US (and Canada and Mexico) for a year. Such a big country (they all are, especially Canada). No need to drive myself mad with constant long-distance travel overseas. This trouble lately with SSI has scared me. I’m not supposed to be gone for over two weeks, or, at the longest, a month. Or I lose my SSI for a month. What if I lost it forever? I’d be fuckin’ screwed!

Anyway, after meeting My Special Angel in Tapachula, even though he’s about half-a-century younger than me, I feel real, real good. I’ve seen something good, something that feels just right to me.

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I guess I am a Technomad. That’s someone who travels around, rather homelessly, and works online (so they need no fixed home-base). I absolutely have to have a computer to get couches. So, I’m a Tech-nomad.

I spend most of everyday off and on the computer. And now I have an iPod, so I’ll be spending lots of time on that. I like it; it’s fun.

My heels are so sore after wearing flip-flops for a few weeks that I can’t put any pressure on them when I walk. And my heels and one toe are all cut up from my new sneakers (tennis shoes). My feet are a mess. They are saying, “Stop Walking!” Time to come in off the long-distance travellers’ road for awhile and just do short trips.

Today, I am flying to San Antonio, Texas. I had to have an “onward ticket” after Jamaica gave me a hard time. (The ticket cost $118.) No other country on this trip asked for an onward ticket (to show I would be returning to my “country of origin”). But now I am going to San Antonio, just because of a few Jamaican immigration officers. Must be something there for me to see.

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I am left-brained. My logical (not creative: that’s right-brain), left-brain dominance makes me want to avoid emotionally sticky situations. This explains a lot. Aspies are all left-brainiacs. We are not “wrong”; we are different than right-brainers. Righties get lots of strokes for being (seemingly) sweet, soft, sentimental, caring, etc. ad nauseum; while we lefties get bapped for (supposedly) being cold, unemotional, rude, and not responsive to others. It’s just a bunch of hogwash based on how people are SUPPOSED to be. Women especially are expected in many societies.

I posted this on Facebook today after a fun hour (coffee and muffins) at a sidewalk cafe near Bronson and Ahmed’s beautiful apartment here in Colonia Condesa:

I love the US TV show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” and yet I am very comfortable staying in upscale towns. So, on a scale of 1 to 10, I am about a 6 naco (or hillbilly/redneck in English) and a 4 fresa (or snob/preppy/strawberry-eater). Ha ha.

Jean told me about the terms “naco” and fresa”. Fun!

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March 7

I just watched the old movie “Schindler’s List” again with Frank, my CS host. I, too, could have done so much more to help people in my life.  Now, I live outdoors, camping, part of the year. It’s a way to get me closer to the wisdom of nature; it is a simple, humble way to live; I use fewer natural resources by doing that.

I have given up my home/any home, and I travel around, visiting people, trying to learn from and share with them (companionship, time, positive energy, ideas, hope, etc.).

I could give a lot more to people who are begging for money. I saw so many of these people on this last trip. I tried to give something to them all; I couldn’t always give to everyone, and I never gave anyone enough.

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March 9

Life is slowing down. Bus to L.A. tomorrow.

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March 11

Back in Los Angeles by about 9 am. Bus trip OK. I avoided long lay-over at Greyhound in L.A., and instead spent 3 hour layover at Union Station (much nicer) waiting for Metrolink train ($5) to Moorpark where CSer, James Hurley will meet me.

What I ate during 26 hours on Greyhound: 4 apples, peanuts, Fritos, a big chocolate bar. Watched movie “Django Unchained” and a few episodes of “Jeeves and Wooster” (all copied onto my computer by Chris McConkey). I also listened to a lot of the music that Chris copied onto my iPod (most of which I hate).