WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Pensées d’avril

Whackus interruptus

And I was thinking about all that weed whacking I had to do to get our place ready for the annual fire-safe inspection, and I got a good head start on it because in the past the inspection has caught me by surprise and I got dinged for having tall grass. I had nearly finished the job yesterday, when I read in the community paper that the inspections won’t start for two more weeks. Meaning all that grass will have grown back. Meaning …

And I was thinking about how lucky I was last week, when I did get that second opinion on a dental issue, and the second dentist said there’s no need for the super-expensive procedure the first dentist recommended, so this makes up for the weed whacking thing.

And now I see that we have a week of sunshine lined up, with temperatures in the 70s mainly, a couple days in the mid-80s, which will put us in the mood to drive out to Robinson Flat and climb up to Little Baldy peak, where views of the Sierra are spectacular and there are no sounds but natural ones.

And even though today is the last day of my fifties, I feel good about things — life & etc. We saw an elderly couple on a trail the other day and thought we’ll be them soon enough, with our hiking sticks and our extra water bottles and fanny packs with sunscreen and energy bars. If something were to happen to keep us off the trails we’d have to rethink the whole happiness thing, because that’s what makes us the happiest right now, being out there. Even running into logging teams way out in the Tahoe National Forest doesn’t bother us so much because they’re making giant fires less likely, or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

It does bother us, however, that a recent executive order opens up the possibility of new oil drilling off the coast of California, raising memories of Santa Barbara in 1969, when thousands of barrels of oil spilled and hit the beaches. I’d hate to stand on the shore of Point Reyes and see rigs on the horizon. Seems unnecessary. Seems punitive. But I’ve been thinking about that possibility and how there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

And that reminds me of all the things that have happened in my lifetime that I’ve objected to but couldn’t stop, so that #Resistance now seems like something that must be done but only for personal satisfaction, because expecting history to arc back toward the utopian is probably foolish. They will drill off the coast. They will repeal the ACA. They will restructure Social Security so Goldman Sachs can have a cut of all that money, and eventually they’ll get the plutocracy they’ve been itching for. And we’ll accept it, as long as we have our phones and internet and a new car every so often. I’ve been thinking about that kind of stuff. The rebellions that do take place seem to move us in the wrong direction, toward open discrimination and aversion to diversity. We’ll fight it — we have to — but we’ll find our joys and pleasures closer to home.

And this morning, on the last day of April, I’d expect to hear a lot of weed whackers and lawn mowers going out there, but it’s quiet. Because everyone knows now that the inspection is two weeks off and you shouldn’t have to do a big job twice.

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14 comments on “Pensées d’avril

  1. kingmidget
    April 30, 2017

    Must find this Little Baldy hike you enjoy so much.

    As for the rest … it’s pretty much the approach I’ve tried to take since the election. There is this never-ending back and forth in American political culture these days. The left has eight years, the right has six, the left has four, the right has eight. It’s just relentlessly a tug-of-war. So, yes, let’s write our posts about our beliefs and our upsets and occasionally participate a little more directly, but at the end of the day — us little people really only have the slice of the world we live in where we can find enjoyment and happiness.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 30, 2017

      Check it out, man: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tahoe/recarea/?recid=55578

      Since you’re a camper, you might want to spend a night there — it’s free! You just drive way out Foresthill Road, where it’s just a one-lane logging road. Fun getting there, then the hike is an awesome payoff.

      It’s taken me a long time to realize that “the problems of … little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” But we can make our own worlds happy little place.

      Enjoy the nice Sunday weather!

      • kingmidget
        April 30, 2017

        Sounds like a good place to camp and hike. Thank you! I wonder if my low to the ground Volt could survive that road though.

      • Kevin Brennan
        April 30, 2017

        Your Volt would do fine. The road’s paved the whole way. I see that the place is “unreachable” at the moment, though, from storm damage, I guess. I’ll have to keep an eye on that before we drive all the way out there!

      • kingmidget
        April 30, 2017

        Ok. When you say logging road I imagine something different.

  2. John W. Howell
    April 30, 2017

    I remember the inspections. We were always ahead of the curve but a few neighbors got caught. Used to go to Pt. Reyes and I agree I would hate to see platforms there. Hope you have a good week. Happy 60th.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 30, 2017

      Thanks, John! I reckon I’ll pay someone to do my weed whacking by the time I’m 65! 😉

    • kingmidget
      April 30, 2017

      Forgot to comment on that part of his post. More oil wells along the coast would be a travesty. We should be putting solar panels on every rooftop and the storage batteries in the buildings, but you’ll never heard that coming from a Republican.

      • Kevin Brennan
        May 1, 2017

        Yes, the GOP is trying to revive the coal business, when all the stats show the future is in renewables. Brilliant. So let’s wreck the coastline while we’re at it and leave our mark. Infuriating.

  3. Yahooey
    April 30, 2017

    Is the double meaning (thoughts/pansies) of the title on purpose? Regardless, it works well.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 30, 2017

      I hadn’t thought of that, but hey — I’ll take it!

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