Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ah the Economy... And the Angry White Men Who Control It

Bye, bye. Thanks for all the prosperity/crash. You've got yours so, really, don't bother about us. Us working class - lower middle class they used to say - well, we don't need much. And by much I mean, food, shelter, clothing, etc. We won't mind working well into our 70s despite how much we save. That is if we can maintain the healthcare to stay alive into our 70s! Hahahahahahahaha.... awwwww, shucks. Well, you all take care now. No, no, I'm serious, you go on a holiday or something. Have you been to Rome? It is a great city. Naw, naw, you've done enough. And when you think about it, you've really been thorough. In fact, we'll still be feeling the residual effects of your 'economy' for years to come. You deserve to float around on a yacht in the Mediterranian Sea with a beautiful girl (who's with you only for the money and yes that orgasm was faked) - ooop! Did I say that out loud? It was just a bit of fun. Like that funny thing you all did, tapping the phones, yeah yeah like a reverse crank call... yeah, good fun that....

Ah well, see ya. Oh you're around through the end of the year... you could leave a little early, I'm sure no one would mind... you have what? Oh, a few other things to destroy first, the enviornment, last few banks want to make sure they've.... right, totally under.

OK. Oh and angry white men who've been running our lives (into the ground) my name is Citizen, not consummer. You never got that right.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lawn saga

Here it is, the cool season in the desert. Well, cool-ish. Compared to the rest of the country this is spring. Great for vegetable gardening - I've got peas coming and beets, cabbage, lettuces, parsnips, even strawberries from seed coming up. But the lawn saga is what I really wanted to update.

This morning I went to a desert landscaping seminar hosted by the Water District. I had the chance to speak with someone in the landscaping department from my city and he told me there is "no alternative to the bermuda/rye grass overseed cunundrum". What I have is cool weather drought resistent fescue - not, as he pointed out, heat resistent. "It is sure to look awful in the height of summer" he said categorically. Well, true, but not that bad. As I pointed out there is no one actually on the grass in the summer and so the need for it dwindles as the heat rises. So, the fact that it looks bad becomes solely an aesthetic concern. And frankly, even the Bermuda summer grass looks bad, patchy, brown, whereas the tall fescue I have actually goes bald in spots. Not the most attractive but it was a far sight easier to reseed than having to kill off another type of grass and then coax new grass up. The hoops I went through to get the lush green water conserving grass I now have - which was basically fertilizing, manureur and some nitrogen addition, throw on some seeds and water like heck - is a lot less than what my own gardener and gardeners went through around town to 'overseed'.

By the time September and the end to the drastic heat came about I had a lot of bald spots in the lawn but I must say the middle - where we have the graded gully (for flood reasons - doesn't happen often but better safe than sorry) and the rotor sprinklers overlap was thick, lush and deep green all summer no matter what the heat. This grass loves company. There more there is the more there will be. If it starts to give in to the desert it goes rapidly until the balding meets a densly packed patch of thick blades, then it will stop.

So the idea this year is to reseed the cuss out of my lawn until I can get it as densly packed as the soil will stand... and then when summer comes, hang on.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Consumption Begins

Last evening commenced what is the official start of the consumption/candy/overeating season in America. I was heartened to know that my son's school teaches a little something about day of the dead - I think it's important to know why holidays came about as much as it is to celebrate them earnestly. But I was a little taken aback at the renewed emphasis on candy.

Here's the thing. Everyone wants to feel generous, that they've given a little something, been festive and lightened someone's day but when everyone is doing it, and to such an extreme it becomes too much... and meaningless... and worse for children, expected.

When I was a child I walked through miles of snow... just kidding, hate to bring up that old device but I think it may be relevant... when I was a child you went door to door on Halloween - that was the only way to get candy - and you got exactly one piece of candy per house. One. Uno. Not even dos... maybe if you happened to hit a house late and they had too much left over they didn't wish to themselves consumme. But one. If you wanted more candy you had to hit more doors, walk farther... and be costumed!

But this year there and for many years I have noticed, since having my own children, that there is candy everywhere. Not only can you get candy at the mall, the museum, the store, everywhere you happen to land at on or about Halloween, but you also get a handfull of candy at each door when trick or treating! We hit exactly our block, roughly 20 houses, and the kids could no longer hold their buckets so full of the stuff were they. And then when they took over the answering the door and doling out the treats they were giving great handfuls to the kids at the door (not to mention many, many uncostumed teens! oi). I had to stop them and tell them to give only two per kid - which I thought, my age showing here no doubt, was pretty generous - to their confused and 'if you say so, mama' looks.

And then today there was candy offered up at every stop. At school there were treats given, several to a bag so that the ancillary take alone was probably as much at the trick or treating portion. In kindergarten last year my son was as likely to get a pencil or eraser as candy bar which I thought pretty responsible. And whatever happened to the cupcake? Is an on the spot treat not enough anymore? Why does there have to be a takeaway prize too to the school party?

And all this consumption and giving, what does it do really? Fills our colons and bloodstreams with excess sugar (oh come on parents, you know you're in your kids' stash), our landfills with wrappers and plastic, our dollar bins with discounted more the days and weeks after, our fat cells with stored energy, too much to burn off in one day. But what in terms of goodwill or connection is it giving us? Our lives are still lived on the surface, we still know very little about our neighbors, we spend lives in private little familial cliques in front of TVs. It's 'fun' for the kids, but what is the message in the final analysis, to expect gifts?

And Christmas is right around the corner.