Monday, December 24, 2007

Info Rush

This morning's project has taken me 3 times as long as most mornings. I've been getting kind of antsy -- wondering if it was ever going to end.

I think this is a significant issue. How much are we willing to slow down to reconnect? How much have we created lives without room for readjustment? Without time to pay attention...

Also, physical research often entails following ledes that don't pan out. Funny when I find myself using a cliche -- what a great thought -- some gold rush style information search -- me, seated, slumped over shampoo and clothing as I try to sift it through a mesh contraption. The relationship of a search engine to gold pan...

A forty-niner peers into his gold pan on the banks of the American river
link (note: this is from Wikipedia. This is a controlled environment. Don't try this at home...)

It's so handy when I can type in the specific coordinates of what I want to learn on a given morning. I loved that video of the Nigerian women. I was amazed that I could find it given what I'd been talking about the day before. It still took some time -- I watched about 10 videos to find that one -- I wanted that one because of the others I watched too -- I was listening to the bias of the journalist videos, and knew I wanted and "in our own voice" kind of a thing. The Internet made that possible.

Connection -- Disconnection.

That was a long introduction. Here's the tangible thing I learned this morning:

This month, the shower at the gym was renovated. It reopened yesterday, to my relief, and I sat in the whirlpool for a long time. I fantasized the whole time about a hot spring in Greenland...

Oh, and as an aside, I've thought about it again, and I love my yoga pants. Elastic, in general, in fact -- and the introduction of better materials into our way of life: jeans with a little give; pants that don't bag up around the knees, athletic clothes that bend with you, underwear. Yesterday I called these things overly wasteful, but the inventions of fabric have also been really great. I would give them up if I had too -- but I thought I should fix my own thought of yesterday. It's so easy to get carried away and give too much up to enthusiasm...

Anyway, I pulled out my gym-shower bag for the first time in two months.

Now, I'm going to interpret my assignment a little bit -- I am going to use the computer to look up ingredients. Mind you, I tend to buy pretty natural products -- usually I shop at whole foods, though I do get my hair products at the salon.

Firstly, every thing is housed in a heavy plastic case -- this is supposed to keep things from getting wet -- which it is bad at. It does usually keep spills from getting in my gym bag. One of the biggest improvements of plastic is the ability to manipulate moisture.

The Native Americans would seal their baskets with crude oil -- spreading it in the cracks to make the object impermeable. The issue of containing water has got to be one of the oldest -- Grecian urns and shards of Egyptian pottery... If we couldn't hold water, if we couldn't transport it, we would still have to live close enough to water sources that we could carry it to our kitchens. In Maine we had a well in the front yard -- we'd pump and boil the water -- sometimes we had to boil water for baths. We didn't shower every day. Sometimes the well water would be brown -- then we would go to the store and buy some. It wasn't bad -- I'm glad for the experience -- but I'd have to choose this set of conditions now...

It turns out, after spending 45 minutes looking up all of the ingredients of those products I use at the gym, there's no petroleum. I'm surprised. Happily. I did find some anti-bacterial stuff, and some artificial colors --

I did find this out though, and mind you, it's entirely off topic:

THERE IS A MUSCLE RELAXANT IN MY SHAMPOO. Muscle relaxant! Is this why I love to wash my hair so much these days? Why I'm a little loathe not to, even when it's better for my hair? Remind me of the cocaine in Coke days -- I'm really amazed. I wonder if I could shampoo the hip I fell on in the ice Friday...

After giving up on the gym bag, I spent another 45 minutes going through the bathroom. It seems that my attempt to buy all natural products has worked to a great extent. That's a good thing.

Regardless of the fact that everything except one make up jar and one nail polish jar everything is contained in plastic, there were only a few products I found containing petroleum products:

White Petrolatum
white petroleum (IBID)

my favorite lip balm (Kheils)
Nail Polish

actually, I think that's it -- except that most of my makeup doesn't have ingredients -- and I'm sure there's a lot in there. I do have 5 tubes of bacitracin, though -- wonder how old some of them are...

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