Last week in was in Anaheim for Camex (Campus Marketing Expo), which was really nice in that I got to escape winter for a week but kinda sucked in that I was mostly stuck in Anaheim, which is in the middle of nowhere if you don't have a car. Still, I did get to Laguna Beach for an afternoon, and went to a really fun party at a friend's place in Silverlake, up near Hollywood. But this is where I spent most of my time, smiling through the economic glumness. The mood was truly funereal. My next door neighbor, who sold frames, only took one order the entire show. On the last day you couldn't even have a friendly chat with him, he was so pissed off. I would have given him an F-Word Kit, if we weren't completely sold out...
Some dude said "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." And thusly I justify my many tree blogs, including this one, featuring another asphalt-oasis specimen recently spotted near the Anaheim Convention Center. I think this one is a love poem. Discuss.
I see arborvitae like this all over the city, once-little bushes that got now-bigtime out of hand. Over by the Northrup King complex, in the middle of a pretty ugly brick and asphalt wasteland, is a really beautiful one; I'll try and get over there and show you a picture of it in the next couple of days.
If you look around, you'll see the initials, WPA (Work Projects Administration), on a lot of roads, bridges, monuments, national park trails and buildings and so on. Public works, stuff for all of us. Fixing up, cleaning up, sprucing up the commons, greasing up the skids for prosperity. These were basically pork-barrel government jobs given to hard-working but starving Americans during tough times. Under WPA programs our grandparents and great grandparents built much of the now-crumbling infrastructure (and arti-structure, to coin a term) of this nation. The stuff that's necessary for people to not only get rich, but live rich lives. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Well, here we are again. The me-first, Armani-and-Rolex-clad Masters Of The Universe left us a big old mess. From the land of tumbling bridges, I say it's time for us to fix up, clean up, spruce up.
P.S. To those who say WWII got us out of the depression, I say yes, sort of. When FDR came into office in 1933 unemployment was at 25%; by the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 it was down to 10%. The war reduced that number further, obviously through MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING! Too bad those trillions weren't spent on things other than bullets and bombs; we'd still have many of those things today.
I've probably mentioned it here before, but I consider 14 to be my lucky number, for a number of reasons I'm not going to go into here. But the main function the number 14 has in my life is that whenever I see it, I take it as a message from the universe that I am indeed lucky, and I give thanks for something in my life.
In this case, I gave thanks for my, and my family's, good health. Brutal though this economy may be, may you all enjoy the same!