Excuses and Expressions

I wanted to attend every rally and scream at President Bush and his cronies until I was hoarse. I was going to go down on my lunch. I was going to go to the Rock Against Rumsfeld Concert. I was even contemplating changing parties long enough to get a ticket to see him de-plane on the tarmac at the National Guard base.

But life interfered. I had homework to do on lunch. I had class after work. My Master's degree interfered. Does that mean my priorities are out of whack?

I mean, is my Master's degree really all that important if somewhere in the world an innocent civilian is being killed in the name of "democracy"? Should I be worrying about homework when our world is careening towards climate catastrophe? Should I be reading academic nonsense whan my partner's mother is dying and President Bush's veto of stem cell research is precipitating her demise (even though she still loves Bush with all her heart)? Should I be cutting construction paper for my latest homework assignment when the right I have to be with my partner for the rest of my life is so uncertain?

The answer is unclear. I have these deeply held beliefs and opinions and these deep need and want to express them.

We had a discussion in class the other day about Plato's Cave and my professor made a comment about how sometimes we have to focus on something besides the things we know to be true, because sometimes they're so overwhelming, and you realize that they're so nearly unsolvable, that if you dwell on them you spiral out of control. You get deeply depressed. You feel helpless.

This is how I felt when I watched President Bush's speech to his sheep when he got off the plane last night. I thought about the shadow's he was casting on the wall in front of these people in their cave, and how they wholeheartedly refused to accept anything else but these shadowy representations of reality that this administration works overtime to create. I thought about how many of these people would always believe every word the President speaks, regardless of how many times he misrepresents the truth. And I thought about butting my head against the cave wall trying to change someone's mind.

And I went to do homework. Because this is something I can have control over. I can control my own future and destiny, and I can get a Master's degree, and love my partner, and work hard to get the things I want and need, and live a happy life.

And luckily, I can have this avenue to protest and express my opinions. So, in light of that, here is my protest sign that I would have taken if life had not gotten in the way:

God Bless President Bush.....
For Vetoing My Mom's Right to Live
For Sending my Brother to Iraq
For Lying to Me
For Being Able to Sleep at Night.


If we wanted bland, we'd move to the Sandy

Okay, maybe Sugarhouse could be considered a suburb, depending on who you are. But, as Salt Lake County has expanded out to the edges of the valley, some neighborhoods were forgotten by most.

But now that these places, like Sugarhouse, have character and attract people that may have some money to spend, big box stores and developers are looking back at those once-forgotten areas with big appetites.

Have they stopped to think that if they tear down the eclectic collection of shops and replaced it with God knows what, that the crowd that keeps those sidewalks full might go elsewhere?

I know I would. I would follow Rocky Mountain Grill, the Free Speech Zone, Sugarhouse Coffee (though it would have to change it's name) and 10,000 Villages wherever they went and forget about Sugarhouse.

What's the next neighborhood these locals will bring out of the dust only to get ushered along by big developers with deep pockets and shallow ideas?


Vote of No Confidence

Chris Buttars is quite a card. It makes you wish that the Senate could pass a law wherein they subvert voters by casting votes of no confidence on each other and kicking each other out of the Senate. Would Buttars survive a vote like that? I wonder.



I've noticed among the many posts about Rocky since his announcement that he wouldn't run, that folks either love the guy, or hate his guts.
Between supporting a Republican, spending more time on the road than in his city, implementing pro-gay and pro-environment policies, Rocky has got people on both sides of the aisle that have no love left for him. Democrats call him a traitor, Ethan at slcspin can't stop talking about Rocky leaving town for this or that, and "moral values" people like Gayle Ruzicka have already RSVP'ed his spot in hell for his liberal pro-gay policies.
Then, you've got folks that can't say enough good things about him. Some are even saying he deserves a halo for everything he's done.
Can I remain ambiguous? Rocky is a little extreme for me on some things, but on others.... he rocks my world!


Back to School Shopping!

The very best thing about getting a $36,000 Masters Degree: I get to go Back to School Shopping again!

Supplies: I honestly think that a fresh, clean notebook is worth any dollar amount of tuition. It has been one of my favorite things since I could write. If I got a notebook every year for my birthday, it would be my very favorite present (this is not to suggest to those of you who I have explicitly requested give me money for new clothes for my birthday that a notebook will adequately replace said dollars. My clothes are falling off people! For this year, at least, I can buy my own notebooks. After this year, feel free to take up the practice). And it has long been one of my biggest school-shopping dilemmas: should I get a two-subject notebook or two separate notebooks and a binder?

On to clothes. I have set aside $100 for some new clothes, which is hardly adequate considering that I basically need an entirely new wardrobe now that I've lost nearly 30 pounds. But I suppose it will have to do for now, unless people get the hint for my birthday (one month and 20 days folks!). However, at my second job our department won a contest and I get a $50 gift card to spend in the store on clothes, bringing my total to $150! Hurray! Maybe I can get some new shoes too!

And then to books: only $234 for my first semester...but that's only for two classes and that's at the used price. I'm beginning to remember the weight of books in a backpack...which gives me a strange sense of exhiliration.

And finally, technology: Is it bad that I'm seriously looking into an Apple laptop just so I can get the free Nano iPod that goes with it (or a hefty discount on a bigger iPod)? Then I was thinking about it, and I've got a few older laptops at home, so I don't really need a new one...why not just save that $1200 or so dollars and just buy the iPod? Or maybe a new Palm. I'm really going to have some organizational issues, with tracking both jobs, classes, assignments, and social stuff I'm bound to miss something without a hefty planner and/or Palm. But then, I already have a Palm...which leads me back to the question: why not just save the $200 or so for the Palm I'd really like, and just get an iPod (Do you see a pattern here?)?

I keep having this dream that it's somewhere around midterm and I realize I haven't attended a single class. I've had it now off and on for six months or so. Eery.

I recently had a conversation with my best friend about expectations. I have another friend, we'll call her Angie, that moves from job to job, gets into less-than-mature relationships with girls that also can't hold jobs, and when she found she was four credits short of getting her high school diploma in her third semester, dropped out rather than buck up and finish it over the summer. And I'm having a hard time with the gap between us.

What makes a person like me do what it takes to get that diploma, that degree, and that job that I can stick with for the rest of my life? Why did I feel the need to push myself to finish that Associates degree by the end of the summer after high school, while another friend (only six credits short) did not? Why do I feel the need to get a Master's degree, own a home, and pay off my debts, while Angie seems to have goals which she implies will always remain only goals? What makes us so different?

Expectations make us different: I cannot remember a time when I didn't know that college was the next step. I have always had the encouragement to not only finish what I start, but to do well at what I do.

Sometimes I wonder why that is lacking in Angie's life. Her mom held a job for 30 years and recently retired with a full benefit. She is a good example, but maybe not a good encourager.

I may not have always had the best examples, but I've known what an honest, hard-working person is like, and I've always known that's what I have to be. And most importantly, I've always had that love and encouragement that never ceases to remind me that I am capable of anything.

Thanks Dad.


Things on My Mind

I'm feeling really sorry for this guy. I wonder if people in the UK are really this peeved about what kind of car you drive. Maybe this car would be better, or would that send off an even more distinctive "prick" vibe despite its green qualities?

I'm feeling even more sorry for this guy. But then, that's a pretty normal, everyday thing.

I'm feeling oddly like this woman. Only a few weeks ago I got a call from the SL County sheriff saying some guy had my license in his house...luckily, it had my address from six moves ago. (Maybe not six, but certainly it wasn't current).

I'm feeling like actually supporting a Republican for Mayor of Salt Lake City. What's wrong with me? Well, he says he'll keep up with many of Rocky's most liberal policies, and let's face it: Rocky would never endorse a Republican if he wasn't up to snuff. Plus, he's from Delta...small town boy in the big city is bound to bring some good perspective.

I'm looking forward to October when this group will be in town. And we thought all gay men were just accessories (I mean that in the most loving way possible, boys)!

I'm wondering why I moved to South Salt Lake again? (Just kidding, Dad...I've never been to one of these places...I promise! Would I go without you? Come on!).

I'm feeling even better about boycotting Starbucks. Sorry Sarahbellum, but my coffee spot is WAY better than yours! They even have "Mom's Special Recipe" banana bread that really gets me going...and I am not a fan of bananas. Unfortunately, they don't have a website yet, but check out RAW BEAN, on 600 South and West Temple. Apparently, if you visit more than once the owner will recognize you and smile. I wonder if, by the third time, he'll know me by name? Oh, and they gave me the banana bread free just for knowing it was Mom's Special recipe...keep that in mind.

I'm feeling like I live in Portland...it's dumping rain outside my window! In August in Utah! What the hell is going on? I think I better save this before the power goes out and make sure my car isn't getting washed away in the flash flood!