Workout Log 20 Aug 2012 (includes a free driving lesson!)

Hung Shing Yeh Beach 20 August 2012

30 minutes walking to and from the beach with weights: 30 minutes swimming and water dancing. Pain is associated with swimming at apex of right pelvis.

The legs are the last to go. But I replace “all is vanity” and the consequent hatred of the body with loving-care towards my body as a way of celebrating Creation. Old Creation in my case, new Creation in the case of grand-children.

If I had a car I’d change the oil, therefore I have to do my best to take care of myself even though that stupid light is blinking and the guy at the garage says ignore it.

It’s easier to change your oil in the USA today…back i the 1970s you had to schedule an appointment with a gas station. Today there are chains where you can drive in over the oil change pit and specialists will do it quickly. Only don’t do this at 2:41, which is not only characteristic of women drivers but something I might do.

The woman’s unfortunate accident in the video where the front tire goes into the open channel at the lube job joint, has a certain tragic grandeur.

I myself once stopped too close to the heavy but automated garage door at the North Point Flats in San Francisco where I lived.

The garage door handle grabbed my car under the front bumper and I watched with that slow motion horror one feels when two mechanical systems, that were never meant to interact in a particular way, do interact, blindly, mechanistically, like giants of ancient legend grappling at the edge of the Lost Continent, at the dawn of time!

The handle of the heavy garage door lifted my car (my legendary 1985 Escort, a manual transmission job and the last car in America not to have an air conditioner) and then dropped it with a clang.

Truly a “woman driver” moment: but I would remark that typical “men driver” videos would not be these low-intensity and very droll incidents, most of them caused by the excessive care that women and mothers take in cars, and each one of them providing us with a laugh.

“Men drivers” have mishaps at ninety miles an hour in which everyone dies. “Men drivers” get drunk and decide that it would be fun to drive into the forest preserve at ninety, and not realizing that there’s a chain, are decapitated in a photograph shown to me by a friend who worked at the Cook County coroner.

I drive, when I drive, slowly and in a female register because I never confused a car with a Phallus. Practically I realized in 1969 that in the Midwest, a car was for a male like a cow is in Africa, an essential tool to chercez le femmes, I just didn’t see much point in making a big deal out of cars.

I last drove in 2007 but I did remember one Great Law. “What is the law?” says the wicked Dr Moreau in th’old film. The half-human Sayer of the Law says “no spill blood”. As to driving here is the Law, said in a sing-song and ceremonious voice:

If you insist on going the speed limit of 55 mph you must drive in the right lane. If you drive like a normal person, that is, always ten or fifteen miles an hour more than the posted limit, then you should use the center lanes. The far left lane is reserved for when you’re drunk. Respect this vermilion decree for it sways the world!

You have probably seen the video, “Women Drivers Compilation”. The music of dancing hamsters is an ironic comment on what I think Baudrillard called “the disciplined mobilization of every day life” in which we, thinking we’re using our free choice, make choices that are not good for us but are for others, usually the owners of capital.

Driving empowers women as it empowered me, but to do, what? Get a job in Hoffman’s Mistake miles from the CTA. Is dis freedom or what as Adorno would ask. We’re enslaved like the gals in the video to moron machines, trying to get the automated card into the slot, skidding on the ice that we did not expect, driving into the Jiffy Lube channel and going upside down in the SUV (that particular incident looks to be an example of a genuine design flaw in the Ford SUV.)

Of course, I have been for many years quite pleased with myself for living in Hong Kong where the tendrils of inexpensive public transit choices reach practically everywhere:

Trains with hard seats made by Bombardier (there’s a wonderful extra cost soft seat car on one line, that in the past connected Kowloon and Canton).

Great big golden double decker buses much more cozy and scenic than the trains.

Crazy Minibuses driven by driven men who are paid according to the time they take yet also monitored by a buzzer which goes off when they exceed the speed limit driving us all crazy: these buses hardly will seat a Westerner with my long legs so you try to grab the seat next to the door.

Ferries gping to the least of Islands except the Spratlys which range from Discovery Bay posh to Lamma Island functional. One charming little number buckets from Yung Shue Wan to Aberdeen at the base of Queen Mary.

Sampans with mad women at the keel who try to get as many passengers aboard as possible at places where no ferry serves such as Sai Kung. By the time the mad woman has loaded the boat so that it looks like Delacroix’ painting of Dante and Virgil taking the boat with Charon to hell, the gunwales are awash, and off you go, for weal or woe…

Heigh ho, etc.

But (big but) last year my use of public transit, laden down like a packhorse, destroyed my back. Moral: don’t get smug.


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