In effect, we are homeless for the year, and maybe we're starting to give off that 'vibe.' It could be Rob's tie that I'm using to hold up my pants that are too loose due to not enough vegan cake (though we solved that today). Or maybe it's just the lack of caring that they see, when we pull into a rest stop or a WalMart parking lot to cook & camp for the night in cities. Being tied to one home or workplace can start as comfortable or secure. Forgoing certainty awakens a natural ability to navigate changes without paralysis. Like where to wash your dishes. (The Walmart bathroom, of course. No purchase necessary, don't worry.)
We're pretty darned comfortable in Weston. The only variables in our life are income, Weston's health, and where we're going to sleep at night. Of course there are variables we share with everyone: our own health, happiness, and the probability that I'll finally beat Rob at Gin Rummy and whether or not he'll cry like a baby when this occurs.
The other thing I'm not certain about, but would tell/yell at you a defensive "No freagin' way!" in response, is, "Are we hippies?" I mean, we have the van, and I guess there are some similarities. I have devised a hippy-o-meter to see where we fall.
Yes, Rob and Eleni are Hippies
- Love (general)
- Lack of showerage
- Attendant at gas station in Kentucky said "oh yes, you're hippies."
- Kleenex box color could be interpreted as 'tie dye'
- College kids in Chapel Hill yelled "hippy!" at Ms. Binge while driving down the road in Tercel. Ms. Binge reasoned it was one of her bumper stickers.
- Bumper stickers
- Rob now flashes the 'peace' sign to fellow VW busses. (He says it is a "V" for "VW." Binge says it is a "V" for "Vegan.")
- Avoided purchase of patchouli candle. Scowled upon reading scent.
- Don't like people (trying)
- Wear Autumn Breeze deodorant (all seasons)
- Rob's hair is too thin and short to dread
- The Grateful Dead evokes a really bad dental visit sustained by Ms. Binge
- Wash clothes (in machine)
- Only "baking" in van is of vegan cake
- They're vegan!
- Turning on and tuning in, but not dropping out
- Anything that reeks of 'new age' upsets their auras
Of course there are worse things/people. Those that take negative action. But as a somewhat-organized activist, the label of "hippy" is still offensive.
What might be more offensive, however, is this stereotype. Just do a little thing, here, for me. Google "hippies" and check out the resulting images that display on top of the page.
(If you look real close, you'll see me in the far-right picture, hands up.)
If these photos aren't proof of my own bias, they are simply proof of our larger need to compact movements into neat, square storage bins (the kind Americans use to store their extra stuff...stuff that is meaningless, I think, to hippies?). At work, as well, is the age-old comfort in overthrowing past ideals in favor of new, (presumably) improved philosophies.
After all, hippies stood for dissent from mainstream assumptions, encouraged community, and promoted peace, all awesome things I embrace (though do not think they are entirely possible). Maybe it is the commercialization and superficial symbolism of hippies that I'm adverse to: clothes and peace signs have been marketed to the masses ad nauseum and the people who embrace the "look" as if this alone is a statement that will change the world. If we're talking dissent, why do we all have to look the same?
So are we hippies? Yes and no.
Did we hear the tree that fell in the woods, due to Hurricane Ike, at an Ohio Rest Stop while playing Gin Rummy? Yes. Did Rob win, again? Yes. Is he cheating? Maybe.
So Ike has rendered us jobless for the past week. My last engagement was on Monday when I spoke to a group of Philosophy students at Ursuline. Our show at the Gypsy Hut, my screening with a veg group at the First Unitarian Church, and our show last night at the Rumba Room were all cancelled due to lack of power.
Other than that, here is a little recap-aroo of our past week or so.
We played at Ray's Monkeyhouse following my screening there. Also on the bill was an Old Tyme/Bluegrass band called Say Darlin' Say. I really enjoyed them as a nice break from the typical rock'n'roll.
As a kid, we used to go to California every summer in a VW bus with my mom, brother, and grandparents (all classical musicians, not hippies). We were very predictable and only stopped at the same Motel 6 in Eureka, the same restaurant for breakfast (the Oak Tree), the same restaurants in between (Denny's) and even the same reststops. Heck, even my treats were consistent (breakfast bars, V-8 juice, Treetop apple juice). I always ordered the French Dip at Denny's. Ordering the French Dip would not be very vegan of me now, so luckily there is a delicious alternative. I got the idea directly from Cafe Flora, a great veg restaurant in Seattle.
Pictured here are cast-iron-pan sauteed portobellos & red onions, with a sauce of sweet/savory (Bragg's & black strap molasses) as well as a dipping "au jous" of Bragg's diluted with water. It was delicious and didn't need the dip. For even more protein and bulk, I would suggest adding thin strips of seitan.
We also played a house show at the kind Oldham house. They will be ending house shows in October, but have hosted many bands in the past year. It takes a special kinda person to host these continual shows, opening up your house and cooking meals for the bands. They made us some vegan Indianish dish that filled us all up good. And we got our 2nd shower. We played with the band from Indiana, You're a Liar (pictured below).
Due to cancelled shows, Rob and I have had a lot of time to crave soy ice cream. I decided to go all out and get the cones too. We found Soy Delicious in full supply at Whole Foods. We tried a new flavor, Snickerdoodle, which I don't think is as good as Cookie Dough.
Here you can see Weston in action being a cupboard.
He has many roles: kitchen, bedroom, gambling room, etc. We've been feeling kinda bad because Syba isn't necessarily appreciating all of Weston's contributions. Rob said that her last crap was the Chinese character for "Get me outta here!" (I'm not sure how he knows this, but I'm certain it ties in to his cheating at Gin Rummy).
So we went and bought her this fluffy stuffed 'bear' toy. She is in love with it. She even will go into Weston, willingly, to fetch it and bring it out for play. She throws it around and plays keep away with interested passerby. And of course she just rolls around with it, as you see here.
In addition to the shows & screenings, Rob has been engaged in grassroots activism...leafleting at universities. Here he is at Xavier, a nice campus in Cincinnati. He's leafleting as part of the Adopt a College program. Sweet stuff. The brochures given to students describe the conditions food animals endure, and suggest alternatives. Just the facts, with no fluff required. The facts speak for themselves.
Due to Ike, gas in this same area of town was almost non-existent while we were there. For a moment or three, we were wondering if we'd be able to leave as the fuel needle dipped into the red. We waited about 20 minutes to fill up at the one station in town that still had fuel and power.
Alll of these troubles were washed away with vegan cupcakes, when we came across Pattycakes Vegan Bakery in Columbus. Rob noted that my sweater matched the sign.
Huge thanks to Kim Gray for treating us to this for my birthday.
We soon headed to the Rumba Room, but found this unfortunate message on the door:
We ended up talking to this nice man Adam, who could have applied and been hired for the Dog Whisperer job. Syba would have been happy to stay with him. I thnk she loved Adam more than her anonymous bear toy.
So these are the types of blog posts where I post them, leave, and then sometime around 3:00 a.m. wonder if I offended anyone. Yeah, I care like that. I don't mean to be rude or insensitive to any one person's lifestyle, but I do think discussion of differing viewpoints is important. So feel free to comment. And if you're rude, I'll delete you! (No, I won't).
We're off to Lakewood tonight to play a DIY space. We haven't eaten a Go Back to Durham cookie yet but I'm thinking the can will be opened soon.