Posts Tagged ‘School’

Personal Update

Sunday, November 1st, 2015


Frances Crethers circa 1974 (1925-2015) My mom was a trick rider in the Rodeo and was able to ride her horse until early this year 2015. She always loved animals and her horses.

I haven’t written much on the blog this year and most of what I have written have been papers for school. This year has been one of deaths in the family. My mom passed in August and my youngest son’s mom passed in October. I had to organize the funeral and the disposal of the ashes for my mom. She was living in Florida and wanted her ashes taken to the family plot of her parents in Connecticut which I duly did.
My ex who was only 51 passed in France and I had to fly over there on a long weekend to attend the funeral and spend time with my 20 year old son. We spent a day looking at cave art after the funeral and under the circumstances had a good but brief visit. I made him promise to come to America next summer.
My step daughter has been living with me on and off since last winter and her four year old daughter is a lot to handle.
School and work have been exhausting and I have been sick more than I like this year. My girlfriend and her kids have been great and supportive and I feel a little guilty at not being able to spend as much time with them as I would like. Overcompensating with trips to Disneyland and Legoland, places I would not normally recommend, but it is part of my ongoing attempt to normalize my relationship with America and not be such a commie, anarchist critic.
Interestingly enough much of my old anarchist and Marxist critique has become part of the curriculum of many of the classes I attend and it is somewhat fulfilling to find myself vindicated on an intellectual level, even if I don’t gain any monetary or status compensation for the years of critique and struggle. I have been just one more foot soldier in the war against capitalist aggrandizement.
Watching the antics of Donald Trump, the representative of Corporate Capitalism at its most extreme make a public fool of himself, is an indication of capitalism’s imminent demise. The fact that a socialist can run for president and be as successful as Bernie Sanders is the first sign of progress bubbling up from beneath the surface since the imposition of Reaganomics. Obama’s last minute attempts to bring the US into some kind of structural integration with the perils of climate change may be too little too late but it is something none the less. How much further along we would be if Carter had won reelection in 1980
Let us hope President Bush or Clinton don’t set us back too far in the next presidency.
That is about all I have to say for now.

Heat, School, Couch Crasher, Surgery, Syria, Etc.

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Really, it is hot here in Long Beach. I have the fan on. That is hot for around here. Summer has finally arrived.


Real Concern or Just US Imperialism Light?

School is kicking my butt, no time for blogging. Sad but true. I would love to put up a nice argument against the invasion of Syria, and against the Keystone pipeline and many other things, but to tell the truth I have no time. I can barely find time to eat and sleep.



Food lately has tasted rather bland. I think the heat has caused me to need more salt and led me astray into the daily shake of sea salt on my food. When the heat subsides I will see if I have developed a salt addiction like most Americans. I still don’t cook with it and seek low sodium foods but in the end, no matter how I spice things up, the salt seems to be what I crave.

Rats and salt

Rats and Salt

Otherwise I make foods pretty much like always. Taco or egg on toast breakfasts, salads with the kitchen sink on lettuce, miso soup loaded with extras, and lately corn on the cob with lots of things. Basically I check the ads, stock up on what is on sale, and cook around it with a few staples like rice and pinto beans, corn tortillas, pasta and tomatoes or tomato sauce, fresh baked potatoes, fresh onions, garlic, nopales, various peppers, squashes, basil, cilantro, hot sauce, turmeric, cumin, thyme, Asian sauces from local Cambodian groceries, and finally a bulk source of sage! Protein comes from beans, eggs, some dairy like sour cream and yogurt, chicken, turkey bacon, and salmon. Fruit is seasonal at best mostly berries, grapes, apples, peaches, avocados, whatever is reasonably ripe and cheap.

I try to stay away from packaged and food industry processed foods, but budget determines how organic my diet can be, essentially it means no Whole Foods but the occasional trip to Trader Joe’s, lots of local Mexican, and Asian markets, Food 4 Less and rare visits to the yuppie farmers markets.

Industrial food

Bad Food Chart

Got to go back to the studies, oh and I seem to be recovering from my surgery last month reasonably well. My visiting friend from Mexico has been here for almost two months and my couch is suffering from the effects. He needs to get his act together and head back to the hacienda, or on to the next couch. It is time.

Couch sitter

Shadow of the Couch Crasher

All images from Google Images.

Former President Bush Takes Up Painting

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Good for him I say, I did some paintings just after I went on dialysis and was trying to figure out what to do with my time on disability. They weren’t very good, but they were good therapy. President Bush is a better painter than I am, and that isn’t saying much, but it is something. Perhaps as someone said, he is a better painter than he was a president. Whatever, his paintings are interesting, a self portrait of his back in the bathroom, and of his feet in the bathtub. A bit narcissistic perhaps, but at least he isn’t trying to play Napoleon, just a regular guy, in the bathroom, with a paint brush, nothing gay about that.

Meanwhile here in LA the manhunt for former officer Dorner has filled the airwaves with speculation about why this man is a whack job, the assumption being that whatever his grievances, nothing justified this kind of response, killing that is. Cops kill people all the time, is is just unacceptable when they turn on their own.,0,3164064.story

I am registered for classes, bought books but am finding it hard to get motivated. I really hate studying stuff I am not into. I just really would rather put it off until sometime when I might change my mind about it. Right now its this Human Development class. It is some kind of requirement, something that might make sense for a teenager, but for me, its just busy work. I am way too old for this crap. I have no intention of becoming a preschool teacher. That crap about, well you will need it someday in the future just doesn’t wash.

Random Talk About School, Work, And Life After Work.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I am semi-detached from the working world, or at least I have been for about a year now. I started back in school last winter and am enjoying the chance to write extensively about subjects that generally interest me, as opposed to work where most of what is done, is boring, repetitive and/or morally ambiguous in the best of circumstances. That as they say, is why it is called work. School is not work for me. It is a pleasure, although most of my classmates, fresh from high school and not particularly aware of the tedium ahead of them in the working world, are themselves mostly unenthusiastic about their classes. Not in the rebellious sixties, we-want-the-world-and-we-want-it-now, sense, but in a more resigned, is-that-all-there-is, sense. There is a palpable fear element that I don’t remember from my college days in the seventies. We were not feeling any impending doom, at least not in the urgent, economic, get-a-degree-or-starve sense that modern kids seem to have. It is not verbalized so much as it is a presence, like a cloud hanging over school experience, making everything have a tinge of desperation about it. I find it to be particularly unpleasant. It makes colleagues seem more like competitors for limited resources. This is a paradigm that has been deliberately created by the powers that be, they have some social experiment in mind. If this is an attempt to make Americans more competitive, and more docile at the same time, well, it may produce good test takers, but as far as decent human beings goes, well it seems the education system is failing. But then perhaps I ask too much. After all what is wrong with preparing people for the serious business of work. As if most workplaces demanded much more than ten percent of an intelligent person’s brain. Most jobs require that you show up, on time more or less, be able to follow simple instructions, be polite to the customers and your superiors, and perform certain repetitive tasks at the proper interval. That is about it. Sometimes there is a little stress and you have to perform at a rate that is uncomfortable, and there are long periods when looking busy is about all there is to do. But I speak of office work. It has been a long time since I performed tasks of manual dexterity, beyond being able to operate a keyboard and pick up a telephone. I can’t imagine working on an assembly line, or performing tasks that took real physical skill, although I am pretty handy with a mop.
Sales is the type of job where you don’t do anything at all, but you are constantly on edge, trying to please people. Because you’re entire purpose revolves around enticing somebody to buy from you and not the guy down the street. It is thoroughly degrading work. There are people who enjoy it. They see seduction as a game that brings financial reward. For me it always brought rejection, I was always a terrible salesman.
But now I am in a position where I may have to go back to work, at least part time. I am not sure what I will do. Probably some flunkey job, but I will wait until the wolf is at the door and there is some pressure to do or die. With a social security check every month the pressure is not so great. But Social Security is not much money, it is a survival wage, like unemployment. Ultimately not satisfying; there will be some pressure to find gainful employment which for the most part means, meaningless activity that produces a profit for somebody else. I basically had a bad attitude about work. I always saw it as a form of exploitation. I desired a world of communistic sharing of tasks. It may not have been as efficient, but it would have been fairer. But I was raised in a capitalistic country and now in a capitalist world. I am glad I am more or less off that wagon. I just hope I can figure out how to live on what I get from the government, the result of thirty odd years of labor, for the foreseeable future.
Projects on the other hand, are great. I always have lots of those. Right now I have to clean my place, get some blood work at the hospital, finish this blog, go to the university library and get a book on Chiang in the 9th century, work on my novels, and well, you know, there is always more to do than time to do it. In a couple of weeks I am back in school for the summer session. Life is reasonably good, even with kidney failure.

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