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Wednesday, February 21, 2001

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Guayule and stories

I understand that Bush has instituted strict dress codes in the White House. That's fine and that's his option but I never have understood why being dressed up makes you a better worker. It's your attitude that makes you a better worker. I realize that some people need the clothes to give them the attitude and that's sad, but why make everyone look like a clone because some need the edge. I think it's rather patheic how alike everyone in government dresses. I think it's sad in any area of life. There is so much variety available to us that being limited to one costume is a shame, and they are costumes.

I went to a noon lecture with the title "Why-O-Why Guayule" by Dennis Ray from Plant Sciences. It was very interesting as guayule, a desert plant, is an excellent substitute for rubber but has been going in and out of favor for decades. Once again it's in as it doesn't give people allergies as rubber latex does in everything from gloves to condoms. There are so many plants that we can use that it is a shame that we are losing them so fast. I know we won't save them all but if even the majority can be saved there are a virtually unlimited number of uses we can put them to. The operative phrase is "uses we can put them to". I can't get too excited about just saving them in a locked preserve. This is the same way I feel about antiques. If I can't use it what's the point, no matter how much it's worth.

In the evening I went to a Arizona Historical Society talk on the Tales of the Tohono O'odham people. One of the Tohono O'odham told us a story about a witch who was born to one of them because they pissed off the sun. She was ugly and the kids were hateful and teased her and beat her up but when she defended herself and hurt the kids they made her leave. She goes into the desert to hide in a cave but eats the animals nearby so she starts eating human children and then the tribe kills her. I thought of Columbine and was pissed off at the tribe also because they kicked her out instead of making their kids treat her decently, not that it's nice to eat children, but. . . I have never enjoyed mythology that much. I find most myths to be rather sad and even disgusting. People are always getting punished for things that weren't their fault, like Oedipus. Of the two talks I heard today I much preferred the one about Guayule.

I spent the hour before the lecture at Paraiso Cafe which is across the street from work. The AHS is across and down a small block the other way from work so it's very handy. This is an old hippyish coffee shop with worn wood floors and is struggling against Starbucks and Plantation which are across the street and next door. Sometimes I want the glitz of S & P but Paraiso is very relaxing because it is quieter in the evening than the other two. This evening most people were sitting outside so I was nearly alone inside. At noon they are packed so I hope they stay around even with their slow evenings.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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