Friday, July 6, 2012

The Worst Fourth of July....

Jordan and I were spending this Fourth of July with our good friends the Perrys and we were looking back on our worst Fourth from a few years ago and were telling them about it and so I thought I'd bring you all along on memory lane....

Jordan and I went to Tempe Towne Lake for the Fourth of July Festival reluctantly. We didn't really want to go in the first place because it was going to be crowded and hot but I ended up with free tickets. After debating with the roommates on who was going to drive, Jordan got designated as the driver for the four of us going. All went well until we decided to leave early during the firework show to beat the traffic out of Tempe.

So we start heading out of Tempe and are on the Stack, where the freeways overlap/merge and boom! The driver side of the civic tire blows out and we are on the bridge with really nowhere to pull over really. We get as close to the side of the road as we can and pop the trunk for the spare and jack. A  police officer has pulled up to assist us and she is this tiny little officer from Minnesota. So she and Jordan are jacking up the car and we realize that it's the wrong spare...for a totally different car. As we realize this, the Civic falls and the jack punches a hole through the floorboard, nearly crushing the officer. Luckily it didn't. So at this point, the fireworks are over and the bridge is packed with traffic. Our pair of roommates grab a ride with a friend driving by and leave us there to deal with our impaled car. We call a tow truck and while we're waiting, Jordan's nose starts bleeding, or hemorrhaging rather. Bleeding just all over the place. The little officer is trying to help him but it is just gushing out.

Finally the tow truck guy gets through traffic and it takes him almost an hour to hitch the car up and Jordan and I get into the cab with him to take it to the repair place. He was like a sweaty hairy man too, not one you'd want to share an already awkward ride with. He takes us to this place (which is closed because it's like midnight at this point and it will be closed for the weekend/observance of the holiday for like 3 days) on 44th street and Thomas, which if you know Phoenix is not the best place to be stranded at in the middle of the night. He makes us pay him and then he just leaves us there. So Jordan and I go to a Circle K and call our roommates to have them come get us because it's late and we just paid the tow truck guy so we don't want to have to pay for a cab too. They agree to come get us but we have to wait at this shady gas station.

While we're waiting at the gas station, this homeless man comes round and is drunk and belligerent and starts hassling people pumping gas. Then he hones in on this African American man and starts calling him racial slurs and swearing at him. The gas pumping man isn't having it and straight up decks this bum in the face and starts beating him up and yelling at him and then gets in his car and leaves. Jordan and I are just standing there watching it go down and instead of leaving to nurse his wounds under a freeway overpass, he gets up all bloodied and bruised and starts harassing other patrons. We thought someone was gonna get shot for sure while we were there....

Our roommates got there and came to get us and it was like 4am before we got much for 'leaving early" from the Festival.

And that was our worst Fourth and why we haven't been back to Tempe Towne Lake since.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 years wowsers

yesterday was my 5 year anniversary at USAA. It's by the far the longest time i've spent at any one place and i had to laugh a little because i didn't think i was going to get to this point in my career because something just kept coming up

example #1....surprise! 1 week after starting this job we found out we were having landon. i hadn't even banked a year of tenure and had no FMLA but they let me take 8 weeks after i had him.

example 2,3,4,5 and 6 surgeries, recovery, and follow up appointments

example # 7 oh boy oh boy! mr dylan tried to bail the womb early at 26 weeks and that landed me on a bedrest, not able to come to work for almost 5 whole months

example# 8 mono, landed me at home for two whole weeks

example #9seattle homesickness...everytime we came back from visiting or our family would leave to go back i'd plead with Jordan to let us move back

example #10 landon's ongoing health issues, meeting with every kind of doctor they give a degree too, hospitalizations, and recovery from his surgeries

but despite the obsticles, i've stuck it out and i'm glad to have a company with paid time off, FMLA and health care benefits because without them, we'd all be living in a van down by the river because the medical costs would have put us out of our house and into the poor house for sure.

i'm also glad because they are helping me in my pursuit of my degree...even though it is the longest 4 year degree ever. i'm getting ready to call the guys over at guiness book of world records so they can come photograph me in a stack of overpriced textbooks looking downtrodden. what will i do one i get this degree? i'm not sure, i'm still trying to decide. it will be a major accomplishment for sure. looking foward to it. the end is almost in sight

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lorax Review

Another Dr Seuss creation brought to the big screen with "the Lorax" but this one is not like the others. You might leave the theater feeling full of popcorn and full of guilt about your carbon footprint.

A little background: The Lorax is a creature that speaks for the trees and he appears when there has been an injustice against one of his forest dwellers. The Once-ler is a man on a journey to be successful with his invention, the Thneed. He ventures to a glorious, thriving paradise inhabited by bears, fish, and birds and cuts down one of the trees to harvest the material he needs for his invention. The Lorax appears and makes the Once-ler promise not to cut down anymore trees because of how important they are. the Once-ler's promise quickly goes out the window when his invention becomes the latest need of the people. High demand means more trees need to be cut down and the Once-let becomes blinded by his greed and a "what's the worst that could happen?" attitude and before he knows it, there are no more trees anywhere. The land is barren. Not only are there no trees, but the air and the water have become so polluted from the harvesting and manufacturing that the once beautiful lush place has become unliveable.

Enter the love story that drives the movie. The people of Thneedville live in an entire plastic world. Everything is manufactured and the toxicity of the outside world is in seeping and impacting them. They joke about how their children glow and become radioactive after swimming in their water. The head honcho of Thneedville is O'Hare who made his millions selling fresh air, since the people can't get it naturally. Ted (Zac Efton) wants to get the girl Audrey (Taylor Swfit) and the girl wants a real tree. Ted goes on a journey to find out what happened to the trees, why are they nonexistant?

Enter the agenda. As you listen to the songs and the conversations the Lorax has with the Once-ler, you start to realize that this movie is a message about the environmental slaughter happening now. The movie is entertaining and the characters are lovebale so it's bound to get the thumbs up from younger viewers but it at times feels like a finger wagging at the adults. Big corporations and factories that produce the things that we as consumers think we need are destroying the trees and land that we actually NEED to survive. The agenda hiding (not so secretly) behind the cute bears and the singing fish is that we need to make the changes in the world or else there won't be a world for us to live in. Parents are a little blindsided by the preachy tactics. A little head's up would have been nice so that parent's could decide if they were going to take the message to heart or with a grain of salt. Some people, especially when it comes to their children, don't like getting more than they bargained for in their kid movies.

Enjoy the message, the movie, or skip it and stick to the book. Either will be a positive way for your kids to learn how important our environment truely is, but it will let you do it in your own way.

(This might just be me, but I also noticed some religious parallels. Bears, fish, and birds are the only creatures in the forest the Once-ler settles down in? Seems like a weird, random combination but in this very Eden like place, it makes sense. In the Creation, God placed beasts on the land, foul in the air, and fishes in the streams)