Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spring 2010

I started my Spring 2010 semester tonight. I'm taking math and Spanish. Both my teachers seem nice; math teacher more than the Spanish teacher but we shall see. This is the last math class needed for my degree! ::joyful jig::
On a related topic, I refuse to pay over $200 for a blasted text book that should cost no more than $50, so I buy online (Amazon, Craigslist, half.com, etc). The only problem there is that there may or may not be a certain disc included in my Amazon purchase that is absolutely necessary for my Spanish class for test taking and the like. Book-writing swine! Taking advantage of students as though they have money to throw around on a ridiculously overpriced text book. Bah! Shame on them!
On my walk from the parking lot to class this evening, I discovered, due to the unexpected downpour of Arizona rain, that my shoes are, in fact, not water tight. I may have been clued in about this since my shoes have gaping holes in the bottom, but those holes haven't affected the performance of my shoes so I paid them little heed until this evening of puddle-avoiding and soggy socks.
Moral: Double check online purchases and always wear water tight shoes on a potentially rainy day. Solid words to live by.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Squaw Peak (aka Piestewa Peak)

My brother Josh and I went on a hike yesterday and I selected two of my favorite quotes to share with the world:

"Let's keep going bro. If we stop now I might just wobble right of this damned mountain."

"Hi, Griffin." (said by Josh as a greeting in passing to someone that we observed tagging his name on a rock at the top of the mountain.)

Josh had also just purchased new work boots, so he decided a good way to break them in was to wear them on our hike. Well, he made it all the way up with the boots on, but found that he was rubbing a terrible blister on his left heel. Rather than suffer the whole hike down, he decided it would be best to remove the boots all together and hike down in his socks. Best hike ever

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Putting On The Squeeze

I guess I've been listening to too much NPR lately, because I'm actually starting to have political opinions. It's a very strange thing, this transition. Sometimes when I have an idea in my head, I just have to write it, no matter if it's 3AM and I woke up from a dead sleep with something clanging around in my brain. I can't rest, I can't focus on the task at hand, I just have to get the idea out because I'm afraid it will vanish and I won't know that part of myself. I've never had that feeling about anything political, but earlier today it happened, so I jotted down a bit of a rant. Goes a little somethin' like this...
I don't think we should take money from the wealthy and give it to the poor; I think the wealthy should be practitioners of morality, offering excellent benefits and wages for excellent employees. Pay people what they're worth. The wealthier someone is, the more powerful they are. The power shifts from the middle class and lower class to the upper class. The more powerful they get, the less they are in touch with and concerned with the standard of living of the average middle and lower class employees that work for their firms and companies. They cut wages. They cut benefits. They expect the same amount of work for less and less. They get richer, they realize they can get away with it, and they keep taking more away. Then other corporations observe them and realize they can do the same, and they take away too.
And the middle and lower class claw with bleeding fingers for a way of life and an American dream on two incomes that was once attainable and sustainable on only one. They live paycheck to paycheck with mounting credit card debt and one medical emergency or layoff away from living under a bridge and leeching off the system, getting on welfare and being forced into taking when they are willing and able to work a job. And forget about saving up for retirement. We'll all be working well beyond a reasonable age.
We take taxes from the wealthy and redistribute the monies to help in government programs and pay for things like welfare and medical insurance for those that can't make ends meet. These people would be fewer if the beginning of the chain held fast to a sense of respect and duty to those that carry their load. Those that want to work should be able to work and live at least a simple life on the money they earn. Now the wealthy put on the big squeeze, give the middle class the bird, and end up paying the lower class to stay unemployed because it's easier than trying to squelch out an existence on BS salaries.
I don't want to take anything from anyone. But I do want the wealthy to be moral and if they're not willing to do that, everyone, including themselves, is paying the price.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing In 2010 With A Good Burning

Happy New Year 2010!!!
For New Years Eve Rich and I traveled to the depths of the desert (sort of) to my aunt and uncle's place in Buckeye. The fact that I spent the evening with family rather than getting shitfaced at a bar or party was refreshing and simultaneously yet another nail in the coffin of my adulthood. I can't help it; I'd rather be hanging out with family than just about anything else. Plus they tantalized us by grilling steaks, cooking up some black eyed peas and making a cilantro cucumber salad. I wasn't sure exactly who would be there, but brought along the game I bought myself for Xmas, Taboo.
Taboo was outstanding and hilarious, despite that we got scolded repeatedly for making my cousins baby shriek in his crib due to our boisterous game antics. I also met and fell in love with an insanely fluffy white puppy and then poked much fun at my uncle, snoring like madness on the living room floor. I guess New Years Eve just isn't a holiday cut out for the elderly (bah hahaha! he would be so mad if he read that).
But my friends, I have saved the best part for last: The Christmas Tree Fiasco. After our unruly game of Taboo, we all headed outside for the traditional burning of the tree. They have moved their fire pit into the gated pool area, and directly under the branches of a sprawling Palo Verde. The tree was dragged to this location, supported by logs at it's base, and stood directly upright for maximum burning effectiveness. Directly upright under the Palo Verde tree. Within inches of actually touching the branches. Both Richard and I inquired as to the intelligence of this idea but were promptly shut down with the reasoning that the tree was, in fact, alive and would therefore not catch fire. My cousin got a butane torch and set it ablaze and we watched a spectacular show.
You could see each and every pine needle as it burned; it was like the tree switched to some sort of luminescent organism as it released its energy and turned into ash. There were flecks of flame flurrying through the night air like some sinister backward rainstorm. The branches above the fire pit caught flame a little, but went out with no incident, then we roasted marshmallows over the bare, charred tree trunk. And that is how I rung in the new year.