Today’s experiment was driving 70 mph, exactly the speed limit, on I-5. The reason I call it an experiment is the fact that I’ve never tried it before (and I suspect no one else has either!).

I estimate I’ve made the 8 hour round trip between Bako and San Fran at least 25 times. The average speed of passenger vehicles seems to be about 79 mph. When you go 79, you get passed by about the same number of cars that you personally pass. Most cars go either 75 or 85, and just a few are under 70 or over 90. That’s why I refer to 79 mph as the common law speed limit of I-5. You generally won’t get pulled over by CHP unless you go over 80.

The semis tend to stay between 60 and 70, which is a pain when the turtle semi tries to pass the snail semi on the hilly sections.

Anyway, today I decided that I didn’t really need the extra 9 mph (roughly 36 minutes) and instead the Prius and I would show others that it’s okay not to speed on I-5 while physically supporting Bush’s plan to reduce gasoline consumption (without having to use ethanol or drilling ‘environmentally consciously’ in rare pristine environments).

And it feels good. It never felt too fast, and it’s nice not to constantly be on the lookout for cops. I found that I don’t have to brake as often, which actually made me a slightly less observant driver. I had to remind myself to concentrate on driving.

Overall, I enjoyed going the speed limit and I’ll probably do it again.

Well, it’s 10pm and I’m in my pajamas–from last night! I basically spent the whole day organizing data on my computer, and rearranging my room/office. Things have been busy since opening my massage business, hence no posting lately. I’ve had 11 satisfied customers so far (out of 11!), and hopefully it will keep growing. I’m enjoying my day job as well – I get to help someone else organize data so that makes me happy.

I had my estate sale last weekend in Bakersfield, and it went perfectly, as planned. I made around $3,000.00 for all my worldly possessions, which is the amount that I’ve calculated to be just over my bare montly minimum for keeping my current lifestyle. In other words, the sale bought me one more month of comfort. I was proud of my advertising skills (signs posted at intersections):


I’ve had a few things on my mind to post about, just haven’t made the time. For one, I’ve been thinking about what “family” means. My new job is in a neighborhood of San Francisco known for lesbian couples pushing their babies down the sidewalk in a stroller together. They are not quite that ubiquitous, but I may have spotted one the other day. Also, when I was back for my estate sale, I learned that my former neighbor was hosting a 10-year-old child from Korea. Apparently, her family is so concerned about her education that they paid an American family to take their child for a year so she could learn our culture. My neighbor questioned their judgement, saying that he could never give up one of his kids for a year – that’s a year you would never get back with them. But what is best for the child? It’s an interesting question, but one that I don’t have the energy to address tonight.

Road to Bakersfield

Road to Bakersfield, originally uploaded by Chrissy Mc.

I snapped this picture from my dashboard on the way to my house in Bakersfield tonight around 930pm. I like how you can make out the moon and the tailights up ahead, and see the lines on the road. It captured my mood pretty well.

Ahhh…getting close to tax time again. Here’s a smart tip from the H&R Block website:

“Secret Deduction in Volunteer Work
Summertime is often a time for increased volunteer activities. Do you drive for Meals on Wheels? Take church youth on field trips? Drive to the location of a Habitat for Humanity house you’re helping to construct? Keep track of all your volunteer mileage – 14 cents for every mile is deductible as a charitable contribution. To make your record keeping easier, stop by participating H&R Block offices for a free mileage record book.”

On second thought, it might be a little depressing to think that we aspire to be unconscious like the rocks, water, or the wind. Maybe our consciousness has a greater purpose; I just haven’t seen any evidence of it yet. Has consciousness evolved simply because it is an evolutionary advantage to the human race? Or have we conciousness so that LIFE has an evolutionary advantage in the universe? Hmmm…

Yoga-inspired thoughts of the night:

Tonight, I find it unfathomable to believe neither that we are an unlikely, complex configuration of stardust, nor that we are the product of some intelligence far superior to ours. It hurts my project manager’s mind to have no definite beginning nor end in either story of our existence.

Perhaps that is the burden of coming into your current configuration at birth, watching others be born and die for 75-120 years, then dying yourself: You personally experience beginnings and endings so frequently, but you can never recall the experience of the eternity that passed before you, nor can anyone describe to you the eternity that lies ahead, so it is very difficult to dwell on the subject of eternity. Surely it all started somewhere, or surely it will end, but it won’t, and it pains me to imagine that.


In your next immediate configuration, your flesh will split into many random molecules of dirt or dust. How does it feel to be a piece of dirt or an ash? Pieces of your skin fall off every day, but skin or dust or dirt don’t FEEL anything–your conciousness doesn’t go with them. They just ARE. They don’t think, they don’t feel, they don’t reason, they just exist, until they don’t. And you might be lucky enough one day that your body’s molecules become a diamond, or a sandy beach, or they might become food for some maggots and worms and support some other form of life on earth as we know it.

And where will your conciousness go? That constant recording device? That ability to judge and cause movement? That incessant voice inside your head? I assume it goes to a similar place it goes every night, between your dreams: back into the vast, silent, pulsing universe. The universal AUM. The place that rocks, wind, and water know better than any living plant or animal or human. The place without drive or impulse. The place of just being, just existing, just being carried along to the next phase of configuration.

And then one day, far in the future, all your molecules as you knew them, the ones that became soil or nutrients, will one day be melded together with everything else in the universe in one dense, unrecognizable ball, and explode into a new, beautiful, colorful existence unlike anything we could experience. And maybe you’ll come back with a new conscience, or, more likely, you’ll come back with a deeper, more profound connectedness to all things and all energies, and float around in harmonious oblivion.