I was featured today in the “Life in 6 Songs” series over at Running On Sober. Head over and let me know what you think of my choices.
Today we are discussing some of the problems with higher education over at Stories That Must Not Die. Pop on over and add your thoughts and experiences to the discussion.
Please welcome Bumblepuppies to discuss higher education, graduate school and a form of cultist sequestration I had no idea existed.
I’ve come here to tell some stories. I usually write humor but today I intend to go serious with topics that sometimes end up as a punchline for me these days. You should not expect extreme emotion from me, but rather a disturbing calm. I have been away from the situation for a while now, long enough for other life events to move into the foreground. It is for this reason that I don’t usually talk about this anymore, though it is something people need to know before allowing friends and relatives to pursue a Ph.D.
If you humor me on the small stuff early on, you’ll find that the issues grow as you keep reading.
I remember that my academic department had an email listserv for all…
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I was propositioned by a drug dealer yesterday…
Did that grab your attention? Good. It was supposed to.
But, there is more to the story than that. So, let’s look at a few more details of the situation.
It happened at the community college across the street from my house. While I don’t live in the nicest neighborhood, I was still a bit surprised when the nice man said hello and asked if I wanted to buy some weed. It is, after all, a college campus…
Okay, so that doesn’t really work as an argument either way does it. A place of education and partying… But, still, I often frequent the school and it had never happened before. Plus, it was daylight, not yet dinner time. And it was a bit unsettling that he was so forward about the transaction he wished to make.
So, okay, while that threw me off a bit, it certainly didn’t help that I was jogging. Out for some fresh air and exercise. The campus has an attached sporting complex that offers a nice little loop I can run around. And, I was on my way home. Hot. Sweaty. Tired. And, he thought I’d be interested in buying from him in that state?
I wondered if he’d had much luck selling to runners before. I also wondered how many people out for a jog carry cash with them, because I don’t. Was I just in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time? Was I close enough to his normal clientele that he thought he could maybe get a sale from me?
Which brings us to the oddest bit of the whole scenario. I wasn’t alone. I was pushing the Little Prince in the jogging stroller. Dad and toddler out for some afternoon sunshine and playtime. There is a park next to the sporting complex where the kiddo can run wild for a few minutes while I catch my breath and get ready for the run home.
So, if we revisit one of my earlier questions: Are father’s out for a jog, pushing their child in a stroller, this man’s normal clientele?
The whole interaction, lasting the two seconds I was within earshot of the man, seemed wrong.
But, funny too.
I wonder if he was serious or just trying to be humorous…
What is the oddest situation you’ve been in where somebody asked you something inappropriate?
Have you ever had a culinary disaster? Of course you have. We all have at some point. Today I made my first visit to the Domestic Disaster Diary to talk about something that happened to me in college. Go check it out, click the follow button, and get ready to read some great tales of culinary and crafting woes.
While wandering around San Diego this past weekend, I happened upon a garage sale in one of the neighborhoods I used to haunt when I lived there. With a few more minutes to waste before meeting up with friends I stopped to peruse their offerings. It was the call of vinyl (albums, 33’s, 45’s, singles, 12″ and 7″ alike) that usually found me peeking through boxes at garage sales looking for a treasure here and there, but this weekend without an agenda and without having really shopped for records in a very long time, I was shocked at what I found.
At first I didn’t even see it. The vibrant purple had faded into a muted color that my eyes swept right over. It helped that the bulk of it was hidden behind a few other odds and ends too. But, eventually, I came around to it as I picked my way through the sale. The color may have faded, but the places where I had forever marred the paint job by taping over the beat indicators (so I could learn to beat match by sound rather than sight) let me know it was definitely mine. Somehow the very first mixer I had ever bought for dj’ing had found it’s way to that garage sale.
It was a simple thing. A Numark two-channel mixer, once a brilliant (almost neon) purple with splashes of red along the sides. It had served it’s purpose well, giving me a device to learn on before I was ready to upgrade to something a little more industry standard. I had sold it to a friend while I was still living in San Diego when they too had felt the beats flowing in their veins and had wanted to attempt to control them, shape them, and spin them out for others to enjoy.
As I ran my hand down the columns of knobs I thought back to the day I purchased it. I was visiting my brother in Arizona, the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years in college, and I had been driven to buy a full setup of dj equipment even though I had no idea what I was doing yet. That night, after also buying two Gemini direct drive turntables, a few speakers, a couple records, and a receiver, we threw a little party at his place where I had my first real taste of dj’ing.
I was terrible, of course, but that was to be expected. What followed was three years of learning, throwing parties, practicing, and eventually getting good enough that I was able to start playing out at a few clubs and parties around San Diego. I didn’t get paid much, and it wasn’t a regular gig, but I still had some good memories and each of them came flooding back as I looked down on my old mixer.
I once dj’ed with a friend for a private party on a harbor tour boat. The first time I played at a real club downtime my brother and all my friends came out to see me. As I was the opening time slot they were the only people in the place, but it was fantastic they were all there, and once my set was over we all went to a different club and watched The Crystal Method create their madness live. I once opened for MARS. I once played at an actual underground warehouse party. Sure, my friend threw that party, but it was still in a warehouse, and it was still very much not a legal event.
I lifted my hand off the mixer and moved on. Part of me very much wanted to ask how much they wanted for it and take it home with me. However, while it held good memories, it was no longer my treasure. I left it there for someone else to find it and one day make their own memories beat matching, record swapping, floor pounding, party driving.
Looking at my watch I realized I had tarried too long and returned to my truck to go about my day. The smile I wore then lasted all through the weekend.