Thursday, November 1, 2007

Money, get back, I'm all right Jack, keep your hands off my stack.

So, I click on the internets for my daily morning web romp, and what do I see on the front page of Yahoo other than poor Randy Couture, complaining publicly about not getting bonuses above and beyond his contract with the UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championships. My god, what is wrong with people?

This man is slated to make 3 million this year in various fights, and 15 million over the course of his contract. Hey, Randy- there are people starving in the streets, people who rely on food stamps and government food pantries to survive rises in heating costs, and you're quibbling over a 500,000 bonus?

What the hell has happened to human humanity?

In other news, Pennsylvania is still dealing with the repercussions of the shady legislative pay raises for General Assembly members in 2005- 17 legislators were defeated in the elections following the scandal, and any legislator who didn't return the pay raise or who wasn't directly involved is on the chopping block. Currently, 66 legislators are being targeted for defeat in the upcoming elections, and NPR is predicting retirements.

Ironically, "Sell out" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones is on the radio as I'm writing this.

More people are going to college, and more people are vying for relatively high paying white collar jobs, and more people are looking for jobs for a year or more, and working at stop-gap jobs just to get by.

I myself keep 3 or 4 jobs at any given time just to get a little ahead so my husband and I have some money to put down on a house when we buy one, and are able to pay off our mounting credit card debt. I wasn't able to afford to put any money in my 401K until last year... and my husband only started participating this year, with the influx of more money coming in from my extra jobs. We are lucky in the fact that our parents have had the forethought to put money aside for us to give us a starting point for buying a house- friends of ours have had no money to put down at all, and have financed the entire amount, or have had accident money/401Ks which paid for their houses. I don't know a single person who saved enough from working alone to put down the required 20% on a house. I don't know anyone who doesn't live paycheck to paycheck who didn't have some other source of income other than their main job.

Heating/Electricity costs are rising, food costs are rising, gas costs are rising, everything is rising, and it will never stop. The working poor greatly outnumber the richest 1% of the popluation, the CEO's and business execs of the world. The middle class is quietly dissapearing and making way for dual income familys struggling to work, raise children, keep the very best clothes on their backs to avoid bullying in school, healthy food on the table to avoid obesity and toxic pesticides, and maintain their outrageously priced 250,000 dollar 3 bedroom bungalows.

People wonder why life isn't what it used to be, why violence and the culture of terror exists when it was unheard of 50 or 60 years ago to even get a divorce, much less shoot a kid in broad daylight for their shoes, or destroy an entire classroom full of children and teachers just to get noticed in death. Overpopulation and pressure has broken our society down, public injustices, scandals, and leaks uncovering how government and corporate America REALLY works has demoralized the people to the point of zombie-hood.

What can be done in this money-obsessed society, but build our own environmentally friendly houses, plant our own organic gardens, volunteer, and get "off the grid" as it were, and ride our bikes to work to show the government that we are the humans we always were before conveniences- we were created to adapt.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Al Gore won the Peace Prize!

I have read loads of news articles out there saying that Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", had incorrect statements, and loads of general grumbling about this being a political move, but this is a big win for environmentalists and anyone who's interested in helping to lessen the effects of global warming.

The Academy Award win was impressive- but the Nobel Peace Prize really makes the statement that this is an important issue that we should all be paying attention to, not just other countries.

In other news, I have taken up my Japanese studies again, requested the help of penpals from Japan- I have lost so much in the couple of years since I last studied...

However, as the Japanese say- ganbate! I will do my best.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

So I made this list...

Of things I'd like to do in life. One of those things was trying to live an organic lifestyle and do more to support local farmers in these parts, because I know it's tough for them, and if they have the gumption to grow things without pesticides and hormones, well, that's something that MUST be supported to continue.

So, I heard about co-ops a couple of years ago, and it's a pretty interesting idea: join a co-op and get yourself fresh produce from the farm in increments, usually weekly or monthly, depending on the setup. Sometimes you pay for the year, sometimes, upon delivery. Some co-ops sell meat as well- it's a pretty cool idea if you're interested in giving money directly to the farmers, as opposed to the grocery store taking their cut.

there is a co-op I am reading about in Voorhees, NJ that I'm seriously considering joining- for 30-70 dollars or so, depending on the size of your family, you can have a box of organic local fruits and veg delivered to your doorstep every week.

check it out if you're at all intrested in co-ops or organic food in general.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Sunny and 67 :D

Well, just finished up a busy and wonderful weekend with the husband.

Friday night I saw Spidey 3 with the mister and a bunch of friends at 9:00 p.m. after a delightful dinner at Fuddruckers. I won't put any spoilers here, but I thought it was ok- probably the least good out of the series, but isn't that almost always true of the third in a trilogy?

Got out of the theater at 11:30, got back to the apartment at around 12:30, I went to sleep and woke up at about 4:30 to get a shower and drive up to meet my buddy Mike Staff and his pop for a day of manual labor in the Poconos at a not-for-profit summer camp. Had a delightful time, good food, met some great people. I was tuckered around 2:00, we rode home, I went straight back to the apartment, collected my thoughts, and rode right back out again to see my friend Keiichi off before he begins work in Chicago. He is being sponsored towards his permanent citizenship there, so I say, sad as it is, it's good for him in the long run- and good for me, too- I want him to stay in America!

Me and the husband cooked burgers and dogs for a while, then played some pool and had a great time. We left there about 9:30 p.m. as I was passing out, and when we got home, I went right to sleep.

Sunday morning, we went out to a diner for breakfast, and then went food shopping. We went home after and he finished installing VIsta on my computer and reinstalled World of Warcraft so we could play with friends while I made brownies for my good friend and manager at Game Crazy.

I can't complain- probably one of the best weekends I've had in a long, long time.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Good weekend.

Friday night, went right after work to the mall to get my hairs dyed- yes, all of them. Now my white trash roots have been all taken care of. Afterwards, my lady friend and I went to the Outback Steak House where a couple sitting behind us threatened the waitress, and had the manager apologizing all over herself for some errant mushrooms that had found their way onto the lady's plate. What kills me is that the manager asks, "Would you like me to have your food remade?" "No," they say. "So, you're not going to eat this, then?" "Oh, no, we'll eat it." So- you wanted a free dinner, then. Why didn't you just say so?

Then, Saturday came and I was up at 7 to workout and eat breakfast, then went in to work to see a couple of shiny XBOX 360 Elites. Naturally, I bought one. Now, we've dealt with more problems with Microsoft products than you might imagine- we've gone through three XBOX 360's, and I had to return the HD-DVD player I bought for my husband for Christmas immediately. Well, guess what? The Elite wouldn't recognize it's own hard drive and I had to return that, too. I mean, seriously, folks...

Other than that had a great weekend with the mister- no World of Warcraft since he sent his video card back to the manufacturer to upgrade it for a better one, but we went out for dinner and hung out and had a good time.

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning this Friday and another round of therapy dates are threatening to make me crazy, but this Wednesday will be the last real class for me of the spring semester, so I'll have a summer break from that. Not that I'd like a break: if I had my druthers, I'd teach every semester, but I'll have to have a chat with the director of Computer Graphics at the college about that.

Not too much happening on the news front of note, other than more New English states legalizing "Civil Unions" for gay couples- why they have to separate it from marriage, I'll never understand- admittedly, if it gets it passed, I won't quibble over language too much, but, it really is a shame that something that won't affect anyone negatively is so hotly contested.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tut Tut it Looks Like Rain.

Well, dear readers, it's raining again. The ground in this area is so sodden already, people that have basements must be sighing heavily in unison right about now.

I heard a co-worker say that someone had pumped 30,000 gallons out of their basement to date. That's a swimming pool-full.

In other news, the democratic candidate debate was pretty mild, wasn't it? no one wants to ruffle any feathers just yet, it would seem; the only points of contention is whether one voted for the war in Iraq at any point, or whether one voted for the recent spending bill. Someone argued that voting FOR the bill was hypocritical when we aren't supposed to be in Iraq at all. Fair enough. Some of these democrats are all politicians to their gills, against abortion rights but voting for them, but all of them seem to understand the importance of problems here at home: environmentalism and healthcare. Some are even threatening to revolutionalize the healthcare industry by allowing a government employee-like buy-in system. Say what??? About frickin time SOMEBODY was thinking about healthcare and the environment. I mean, I know with the sheer amount of scandals to be buzzed about around the water cooler, these less juicy topics go by the wayside, but, the future, she is a-comin', folks.

The only good news to come out of the government, in this region anyway, is that 10 million in uncollected lottery winnings will be applied towards the school system. That's awesome, I haven't heard news that good in a long time.

It's a good thing that congress has been shaken up. It's a bad thing if it doesn't matter because politics are so political nowadays, it really doesn't matter WHO is in congress.

Time will tell which of the above statements turn out to be true.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Well, still sick, but getting better. I've got this nagging sniffle and sneeze problem, which may be partially due to pollen-things JUST started sprouting full time around here due to the wonderful 70 degree plus weather.

Well, the layout class I teach at the college is almost finished- only two more weeks left in the semester. I feel really good about the teaching I did there- many of the kids understood more about layout than when they started the class, I think. I fulfilled my syllabus, and I am confident to turn in the good grades the kids that attended my class earned. I hope very much the lady that runs the program asks me to return in the fall.

But please, please, let me teach Illustrator!!!

It's a shame, though, most kids that take these classes are just seeing if this is something they'd like to do with their lives. I started with 16 or 18 kids, and it dwindled down, down, to about 10. I spoke to them last night, and they are all going through the same struggles I did- they are artists, want to do somethng creative, but dont want to "waste" 4 years of college money on something that won't get them a job they'd be ok doing. What writer wants to make technical manuals forever? what artist wants to design employee handbooks, what musician wants to play weddings, or what photographer wants to take pictures of people at Sears?

I suppose today's kids worry more about practicality than anything else, at least in Community College. Maybe that's the nature of the beast.