Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Sweet Mix of Fertilizer, Urine, and Exhaust

As I was riding my bike down my new commute route, taking a deep breath, I wondered if I was increasing my life expectancy by riding or decreasing it by breathing in the chemical ridden Salinas Valley air.

I am trying to balance my ugly commute with 2 days of riding/bus-ing per week to balance my physical activity, my mind and my ugly toll on the environment.

Its a good ride--about 14 miles each way from Watsonville to Prunedale, up and over a small mountain and against traffic on the 101 for a short distance. It definitely increases my happiness quotient, and surprisingly, I like the bus ride a lot as well. There is some incredible people wathching--and work time-- but best of all I dont have to drive.

After reading the section of The Omnivores Dillema that talks about the Salinas Valley and smelling the mixture of odors that waft by me, I definitely have to question farming practices. Although, the strawberries to smell delicious.

I hope I can keep up this routine and possibly alternate it with some carpooling. It will definitely make this commute more manageable.

Listening to Blitzen Trapper Furr

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Music in strange places or strange places in music?

Been watching some interesting videos from a french website that films bands playing their songs in very different settings than would be expected:
Beirut in a brooklyn stairway:

Grizzly Bear in a Bathroom:

Arcade Fire in an elevator:

Awesome stuff.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What will we do if it does Change?

I woke up this morning with a strange thought... and now in retrospect it seems less likely than it did through my early morning dreams.

I was thinking about Mr. Obama and what might change if he were commander in chief. Of course being the ego-drowned american that I am, I believe that everything I want to change will change based on my beliefs, but thats slightly absurd.

I was thinking about how life in the America has been littered with bad decisions and the crumbling notions of an empire in decline during the last 8 years. I was thinking about the anger I've had about the war in Iraq and Bush's "environmental policies."

Then I thought what would we, collectively as progressive Americans have to complain about if Obama was president. There was a strange Utopian feeling that came over me about how everything would be great if he were to become president, and we wouldnt have anything to protest about or be enraged about.

Then reality struck me again. I think Obama is the right choice for our country, and I think "W" has really done some destructive things but things arent going to instantly be better.

Not to be a pessimist, but I believe that we are dealing with a roman empire on the edge of collapse no matter who is in charge. I have nothing but hope for the future, but no one person is going to make this country better from the ills that it suffers.

Now playing: Josh Ritter - Monster Ballads

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day in a Coffee shop, Laboring

Just wanted to share some interesting experiences from the last week:

Ladyfight in my classroom: There were desks flying, people cheering, and nails scraping. I tried my best to break it up, but there are some things that just cant be stopped. Some of my other students told me they would have helped to break it up because those girls are tough--that was nice of them.

Indigo Girls and Matt Nathanson singing "kid fears" and "Closer to fine":
Wow, yesterday Meghan and I spent the day at the Oakland Art and Soul festival. I have to say that hearing these two songs were close to perfection. The ladies harmonies are amazing and smooth as butter, but throw in a male voice and wow. We had a great time celebrating her birthday.

I'm actually enjoying my new school quite a bit. Of course its a challene, but what school wouldnt be? The kids are more respectful that my students last year, but they are all working on being students--of course Im working on being a teacher. :)

Listening to the Temptation of Adam--Josh Ritter