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journalWelcome to my online journal. I'm Alex Mead. For many years people called me AMPro --so much so that it seemed like my name. More recently, a lot of people on the internet have come to know me as green.earth.al and in show biz...My Rap Name is Alex. Whatever name I'm known by, I still seem to have the same opinions and convictions, I still like to write and make public my introspection and try to say something that will provoke some thoughts and help people see the world in new and helpful ways.
December 2007
$16,802.38
this journal entry posted on December.31.2007

This is something I tend to do once a year, usually at the end of the year. I've put it in two books so far, How to Care About Humans and the upcoming The Problem With Earthlings, so I guess I consider it pretty important. Ok. Here goes.

----
Automotive:
Gas - I do about 60 miles a week on my bike, so I'd probably to 80 per week if I had a car. 80 x 52 x (3.25 I think that's what gas cost this year / 20 miles per gallon (I think that's realistic)) = $767.00
Maintenance - (thank goodness the imaginary car only broke down twice this year) = $860.00
Insurance - (just a guess) = $1,100.00
Car Note - (just six years left to go) = $2,760

Total savings from not having a car = $5,487.00

----
Habit forming substances:
Alcohol - Avg $15 per week going out + $14.50 case of beer twice a month + $6.00 bottle of wine 5 times annually + $15.00 bottle once a year = $1,173.00

Drugs - (Let's say I would keep it to a $300 / year pot habit) = $300.00

Cigarettes - $5.80 per pack x .9 packs per day * 365 days = $1,905.30

Coffee - $1.50 x 5 per week x 52 weeks = $390.00

meat - (might as well(just a guess)) = $450.00 (not including fast food listed separately below)

Total savings from skipping all that = $4,218.3

plus the extra health care costs from that one trip to the hospital from that crazy night with the blood alcohol poisoning set me back a $200 deductible (fortunately my employer ate the $640 in higher insurance premiums since it hypothetically happened last may). = $4,418.3

----
Atire costs:
Wardrobe - I spent about $100.00 total on my wardrobe this year = $780.00 (under what I am guessing used to be spent on clothes for me)

Shoes - About $32.50 on shoes this year = $235.00 (savings)

All those crazy chemical smells people put on themselves after showering = $92.00

Total of $1,107.00 saved.

----
Other costs
No cable television - (guessing) = $360.00

No fast food restaurants - (guessing) = $639.60

No department stores (cheap plastic crap) - (guessing) = $1,430.00

Total of $2,429.60 saved

----

And, since all of that money would be debt for me, and I would be debt servicing with about 25% APR in interest you can pile on another $3,360.48

----

For a grand total of $16,802.38 that I did not give to evil corporations in 2007 which I do fully believe they would have used to hurt my fellow human beings of the planet Earth.

Much of this stuff I'm just guessing about since I'm not really up on what it costs, but I'm glad to not spend it whatever it really costs.

Thus ends another year in my own personal struggle against consumerism.

be Well,
-Alex


three
this journal entry posted on December.23.2007

Three is the number of items of street treasure I've found this fall. Street treasure being things that I ride past on my bicycle and stop to pick up.

#1 was a hat. Very much like the hats I keep losing and finding: Simple black tuque. I rode past it 3 times on my way back and forth to work. By the fourth time I figured nobody was coming back for it so I picked it up. After a couple washings it is now my favorite hat to wear --just as its predecessors were before I lost them.

#2 was a scarf. I already have the greatest scarf in the world (that Heather made for me), but after riding past a black bundle of ice covered cloth a few times curiosity got the better of me. I brought it home and offered it to Heather after a few washings, now we each have a really good scarf.

#3 was a dollar. I didn't really ride past this and wait to see if it would be reclaimed by it's owner --figuring it would more likely blow away or be claimed by the next person who walked past it. I find change all the time. But a whole dollar was kind of new. It was like the first crap out of the vending machine at work that day was free.

But it was easy come/easy go however as I lost 2 dollars a few nights later when a lady stopped me on my way to work at 3am and told me how desperately she needed gas for her truck to get all the way back home to south Buffalo. I gave her a couple of dollars and she then reminded me that a couple dollars doesn't buy very much gas. So then I stopped talking to her and continued on my way. I'm pretty sure I'm not responsible for her having enough gas in her vehicle. Me and gasoline have little to do with each other.

Anyway, finding stuff on the street is fun. I don't think I've had to buy any winter gloves or scarves in the last couple years. (I bought a couple hats last year when I was walking past a sale on hats for $1.50 each.)

3



photo by Jerome Lindberg

One hundred forty-two
this journal entry posted on December.08.2007

One hundred forty two is NOT the number of birthday greetings I got through the net, but I did get a LOT. Thanks. I will try to get back to everyone over the weekend as best I'm able.

One forty two IS the number of days that passed between my June 12th blog/journal entry The Garden and my Nov 2nd entry five. A pretty long unexplained absence. That was a period I like to call the dark ages, and I haven't really talked about it much.

For anyone who had been following along before I stopped journaling, we had expanded our co-op house and assembled a super group of cool people two of whom were my super awesome girlfriends that I was very much blissed out over, and we had had a great house meeting where we all appreciated each other and drew up a road map for how we were going to communicate, communicate, communicate and shower one another with loving attention and reap the benefits of our combined efforts...

Shortly thereafter we slammed the car into reverse and did the exact opposite of everything we said we were going to do. We sped backwards at top speed without looking over our shoulders or even bracing ourselves for the inevitable crash. When we finally did crash in a mangled pile of distrust, guilt, animosity and anger we found all of our relationships hacked off down to the ground. I went from two awesome girlfriends down to zero at one point, and had an armed man come into my house and tell me that I had to live with a human individual that I felt had just manipulated and bullied me in my own home, and then this armed individual representing our fine city and government even attempted to dictate to me how I was supposed to feel and act toward her. Apparently if you give a person a gun they eventually come to feel like they can dispense orders about how you should FEEL.

For the most part I lived at my job during the month of August. I just slept there and worked constantly and waited for my house to be vacated. Heather moved in with a friend and we barely saw one another. I became, for the first time in recent memory, a mean and sour person and became completely indifferent about the welfare of a person that had in the past seen me through some dark times.

In September Heather and I got to start slowly putting our lives back together and growing our relationship back from the roots. I am very grateful to have her as a part of my life, as I don't know how I'd deal with all of the things in life that wallop you from out of nowhere without her. But it basically took us until the end of October to really be able to breathe again, so that was the long hiatus.

I still have dreams of living in a diverse community of individuals with diverse gifts and diverse personalities, but that'll have to wait a while.

---

In other news, the BloodThirstyVegans really rocked out at DanceAlive last night and got very loose and free and made many beautiful sounds and I danced with a desperate joy.

And I've been having a lot of fun putting 716BBS.com back together again. It's a nice design/coding distraction and I'm learning a lot from it at the same time I'm reestablishing contact with people I've been poor to awful at keeping in touch with.

be well,
-Alex



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