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I'm not crazy.
January 13, 2009

So, as a bit of an aside, the Oregonian's commenters rival those on YouTube for their stunning wit and gracious use of over/under capitalization and punctuation. Although they almost always irritate the crap out of me (a lot of times because they remind me of my ex-husband), I can't help but read them after reading a story, because I'm sure I'll recognize the same names over and over again. Oh, and I do. It's quite amazing how many people who are so very anti-Portland and anti-Oregon read all about the city and state and feel compelled to scribble their opinions on each story.

One kind of story that always attracts these kind of people is the one about how the city is spending money on anything besides widening our streets and adding lanes to the freeways. Being a Portlander, I assume that most people living in the city feel similar to the way I feel about The Way Things Go Here, or else they would move. I came here because I like it. I love the city, the "crazy left-wing population," the confluence of bike and transit nazis, and the plethora of Other Stuff I Like here (restaurants, access to countryside/ocean/mountains, "sustainably"-raised food, etc). I figure if you want to insist that building more roads and bulldozing bike lanes and parks to make freeways is really the way to salvation, you can move to Texas. I understand that there are people who have lived here longer than I who want things to stay the same as they were in mid- to late-20th century, but I think Portland is better now. I'm not going to apologize for enjoying parks more than parking lots downtown, so some people have to pay more to drive into the city. It's selfish of me to not want to drive all over the place, but want to have a safe way of getting to work. I must be inhuman and obviously daft for riding my bike or taking TriMet, as driving a car is about Freedom of Choice in America (and getting places fast); the world will surely not cease to turn should I take an extra 15 minutes to get somewhere by bus or my leg power. Some people would have the Oregonian readers think that public transit (and any "crazy left-wing uneducated-about-the-world dribble") is a complete waste of time and money, but if we would only improve on the asphalt infrastructure, everyone would be enlightened (and every gas-using car has been replaced with a "green" electric version). I'm not anti-car. I *use* a car when it's needed. I just think that for most people, it's a lazy device, and it's as bad as leaving on all of the lights when one leaves the house. We could use some slow-down, and my path and Portland's path is not for everyone.

I started Japanese class a week ago. Here's to adding a new language to the brain in the New Year.