Garden Envy

So while it is not the frozen tundra it was last week, “Utah Spring” is far from over in my book. I still remember last May when we got snow during the first week, people scrambling to cover their annuals and spring bulbs that had sprung up in the unseasonably warm weather two weeks before. That said, I am sad as the weather warms that I no longer have The Ocho for my summer harvest. I’m working on some alternatives, but it’s just not the same.

ImageAnd yes I did take this picture, thank you.

The Ocho was in Deric and Meggi’s backyard, and while they may some day move back to Zion, 2014 is going to be tricky when it comes to my pioneer woman ways. How am I going to get my canning on when I’ll be reduced to a single potted tomato plant that will probably end up being grown on the rooftop outside of my office window? I love the farmer’s market, but I can’t afford that business. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

ImageI said, oh sweet lord Jesus, there’s a fire.

I’m working with some of the neighbors to figure out how to find a plot of space somewhere in the Castle Graystone vicinity that we can technically plant without having the Homo-owners Association breathing down our backs and sassing us out of the gayborhood. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out whether any of my friends nearby have a sunny spot in their yard that they do zilch with to make it into my substitute/temporary urban oasis.

ImageHow I’ve survived this long without Joey is beyond me.

If you’ve got a big yard you don’t want to take care of and don’t mind an overly sweaty gay man twerking while watering your plants, I’m your guy. Er, gay. Samesies. Until next time, stay classy (and know I’ll make you pickles if you take me up on it!) Salt Lake.

“Quality Assurance Purposes”

I know that I tend to make pithy comments on the minor irritants of everyday life. We all know of my disdain of many mundane things I run into in a given day. Bicyclists. People that slow down at green lights. Right-handed desks. But there’s something that I hate almost (almost) as much as I hate dare I say it, air travel.

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Your call is important to us…

Is it? Is it important? Is that why you dropped my call three times before telling me to access another tele-system that also required me to broker conversations between two companies that take over a third of my pay to “manage” my home loan? Is it why you couldn’t call my homeowner’s insurance company directly, but instead robocalled me to tell me to call you, only to be prompted every thirty seconds to access your super helpful online portal that makes healthcare.gov look like Amazon.com?

ImageThis is an oxymoron. Like jumbo shrimp. Or benevolent racist.

Without getting into the weeds, let me just reiterate what I would do to the inventor of the automated telephone answering system. I would hunt him/her down like the dog they are and force them to listen to Enya’s “Sail Away” on repeat while watching reruns of Dawson’s Creek and talking about my exes. With graphic details.

ImageAnd then we’re going to watch Beaches.

Yeah. Things just got real. So the next time, oh malevolent forces that are debt-servicers, you decide to robocall me, and then dick me around on the phone until every other office I need is closed (except for their 24 hour automated systems, which I’d rather swallow glass than attempt to navigate), be ready.

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Because I am going to crucify you during the optional satisfaction survey at the end.

End rant. Time to eat some dinner and let the soothing voices of NPR wash over me, taking with it the stress of dealing with the fact that the Robo-pacalypse is not impending. It’s here. And it’s got a computerized voice dripping with forced friendliness. Until next time, stay classy (and out of call centers) Salt Lake.

Enough with the Crises and Vortexes

And yes, it can be vortexes or vortices, I checked on the internet. And people don’t lie on the internet, am I right? In any event, I walked three miles on purpose in the MS walk yesterday (it poured the. whole. time.) watched some TV with G and then couched, flipping on the news. Which alerted me to the latest crisis to hit the world. Crushing poverty? A new infectious disease leading to pandemic?

ImageNope.  There is a “lime crisis”. Protect the children.

Don’t get me wrong. I love limes. They get less respect than lemons and they’re pretty delish. Also, I think that it’s terrible that Mexican drug cartels may be partially to blame. That being said, I think a bigger crisis than a buck-a-lime at the grocery store would be… wait for it… the Mexican drug cartels. That I would consider legitimate news. And don’t even get me started on the 24 hour “news” cycle making us quake with fear this past winter: the terrifying-sounding POLAR VORTEX.

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This is not a crisis. This is what we call “weather.”

If the news is slow, sensationalize it. Was it cold this winter? Yes. Did I need to hear about the vortex every day this winter? No. And to top it all off, the long wet and cold winter led the meteorologists on the “news” last night to proclaim (again) a brutal Pollen Vortex this spring. Which means people with allergies, like me, will suffer. Which I am not thrilled about. But really? A vortex? When I hear words like vortex and crisis, I think of Hurricane Katrina or the Great Recession. I don’t think about filling my prescription for Allegra.

ImageThis would be what a crisis looks like.

So now, as I wash dishes and fill out quizzes on BuzzFeed, I am actually relieved that there is nothing worth watching on TV that is trying to pass itself off as news. Unless you consider adver-tainment shows trying to get you to buy gadgets or gizmos that you think you need desperately and use once. I’m looking at you, Sham-Wow. Until next time, stay classy (and turn on the radio) Salt Lake.

The Department of (In)Justice

Oh, I am on one tonight.

Typically partisan politics and the antics on Capitol Hill in DC don’t bother me. I mean, they do, but so does junk mail, and I still survive. Nor does such bullsh$t present so hypocritically in ways that I find troubling, given my general disdain for a bunch of adults acting like toddlers for the sake of their own electability. Which is apparently a word. But when I see the Supreme Court make judgments that are so antithetical to one another, and so degrading to women and beneficial to the filthy rich, I get angry.

ImageWe learned nothing from the Romans.

So in the last few weeks, the Supremes (not as great as Diana, mind you) decided a few things. Money = speech. Ok, fine. Let corporations buy elections. We’re the ones that are in charge of your geriatric future, so when the alleged “death panels” of Obama-care rear their ugly heads, bask in your decision to let money talk. Why limit money? Money is the future. Money talks. Let is speak, let it be unfettered. NO LIMITS!

ImageWhy restrict? What could go wrong?

Oh wait. Was a woman raped on camera? Were those photos spread all over the internet like a bad case of herpes, contributing time and again to her personal violation? Did money talk? Surely the Supreme Court wouldn’t limit (GOD FORBID) damages based on such a violation. Buying elections isn’t a violation, so what’s a little sexual violence? An act of betrayal by a family member of a child? Surely such things wouldn’t be limited in damages. Not when there are no limits on campaign contributions, right?

ImageDo not pass go. Do not collect $200.

I recognize that many think that these are apples and oranges. You can think what you will. But when money is speech, and someone is liable for damages to their integrity, I don’t know why that money can’t speak in liability. Buying an election? Not a problem. Buying child pornography and not being liable for that violation of a human being on a fundamental level? Apparently a problem.

ImageI need Cliff’s Notes to figure this out.

So I’m pissed. I live in a world (the best nation on earth) where the Koch brothers can buy politicians so that I can’t breathe clean air without any sense of liability. Apparently, so can sexual predators. Ahhhh, America.

Stay classy (and don’t send me any more news) Salt Lake.

ESCAPE FROM SALT LAKE

I’m trapped. Like a wild animal. Safely ensconced in Castle Graystone, but still. I won’t try to leave again until I know that it’s over. I should have listened more intently to the radio. I should have checked the news. I’ve lived here long enough to remember the horror that decimates downtown travel once a year, an annual clusterf#ck of epic proportion. I should have known better.

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I should have known.

I tried to go to work to get something I had left yesterday, figuring it would take all of half an hour to get there and back. I’d drink a cup of coffee, maybe respond to a few emails. I realized my mistake at the first intersection but didn’t turn back. Foolish. Why were there so many people in spandex? Why were all of the roads closed? Wait… I thought to myself. Wait. No. NOOOOOOOO!

ImageWhy. God, seriously. It’s Easter weekend.

And then it dawned on me. The Salt Lake Marathon. My nemesis. I won’t go into my distaste of exercise; let’s not beat a dead horse. And I actually wouldn’t mind the marathon, really. People are welcome to sweat as much as they want to in public. It’s not for me, but to each his own, but for the fact that it cripples the city’s grid system by intersecting every major intersection in town.

ImageDid a blind person design the route? Or was it City Council?

By the time I got to my office, it had been 45 minutes of commuting to travel 4.9 miles. I ended up traveling the flipping interstate, going north and west to ultimately get south and east. I felt like Snake in Escape from New York, only I was stuck in the center of three lanes of traffic instead of fighting for my life against the Duke.

ImageI was as amused as he is in this photo.

I had to tell two police officers that the reason I was trying to turn where I couldn’t is because the f-ing route literally circumnavigated 3 of the four entrances to the complex; the fourth I couldn’t reach without driving over a bunch of hipsters dialing it in. So I’m going to wait it out. I was going to go with Big G to see her nephew’s soccer game in the southern end of the valley, but considering I can’t get to the damned grocery store at the moment, I will try to stay content by checking up on email and watching PBS cooking shows.

I am going to look up when the 2015 Marathon is, so that I can do what I typically do when things like this happen: flee. Until next time, stay classy (and indoors) Salt Lake.

The United States of Animosity

While I was going to write about seemingly unrelated strings of letters that I am hopelessly trying to learn and understand tonight, a slightly different topic was suggested from a work buddy, which involves my disgust with certain states in the U S of A that feel the need to brag. And anyone who knows me and my life history knows where the latter’s disdain is going to be focused.

ImageI know. You thought it would be Texas.

I typically keep my nasty-gram comments to myself when it comes to my like or dislike for individual states. However, when said states brag (see here), I get pissy. Big time. Don’t get me wrong, I live in a state with some “unique” attributes and a cloudy history. I recognize that people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

ImageBut I’ve got soooo many of them.

I’ve spent roughly 25% of my entire life stuck in traffic in the Garden State so I feel that my vitriol is justified. I noticed, for example, that the fact that the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway (representing two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse) were conspicuously absent from the narrative.

ImageFrom six lanes to three? No problem. Welcome to Camden!

Yes, NJ, you’re adjacent to big cities. Congratulations. So is every other state on the East Coast. So is Connecticut. That doesn’t make you special. It makes you the road on the way to places we actually want to go. And don’t gloat that you don’t have to pump your own gas; this makes you seem lazy and more at risk of perishing during the rise against the machines. And trust me, they’re on their way.

ImageThe symbol seemed so trustworthy. So harmless.

That’s what it wanted you to think all along.

So, to all of my Jersey peeps, I can’t apologize. I know that I come from a history rife with racism, sexism, and homophobia. Hell, Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, and I am not one to wave the rebel flag. That’s the point. As in most, if not all, things in life, dear New Jersey: don’t be a braggart. It invites criticism. Like this posting. Not even my most clever, but it makes its point, no?

Until next time, stay classy (and bring on the hate mail) Salt Lake.

Flat Stanley

Anyone who has children, or knows people who have children, knows about Flat Stanley. Which is a relief, considering how odd it must seem to people when I wander around downtown Salt Lake City carrying my phone and a paper doll sent to my house to “visit” from my niece. Flat Stanley, for those of you who don’t know, is a story from the 1960’s where a child is flattened by his father inadvertently when a bulletin board falls on him.

ImageEven BARACK knows this.

And so, my niece’s personalized Flat Stanley has been the impetus for me going out to places I typically go (the grocery store, work, etc.) and places I don’t typically go (Capitol Hill, City Creek Canyon) so I can take fuzzy photos of a cute paper doll made out of a manila folder. And when my niece heard I was taking Flat Stanley out on the town, she lost her mind. Which is why I love her.

ImageHow could you ever say no to this one? HOW?!

It does help that we all know I don’t feel shame. At least not very often, especially when looking odd in public. In fact, many of you know I have a habit out of doing things like that. There was the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Halloween costume of yesteryear. And let’s not forget when I unabashedly wore my Snuggie in the dark halls of the psychology department at the U.

ImageWe’re soooo channeling Charlie’s Angels right now.

But I had to smile when, walking back to the car, a total stranger running by smiled at me and said breathlessly, “Flat Stanley, huh?” I smiled at him as he threw me a big smile (woof) and said, “You know it.” I then braved traffic to come home, trying to figure out where else I can take my little cardstock buddy before he flies back to Virginia to share his escapades. In the meantime, I am going to do what I always do: read, cook, listen to the radio, and clean the house. In no particular order.

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PHOTOBOMB!

Until next time, stay classy (and be good to your little ones) Salt Lake.