Monday, March 30, 2009

Coconuts and Fish

Here I am again, in the Gardner Auditorium (aka the Galactic Council Chamber) listening to yet another economist talk about coconuts and fish. Why the hell do they love this model so much? I mean, I understand, you want to teach comparative advantage, but if you are stuck on a desert island with only coconuts and fish, is there really any advantage at all? Well, as I embark on another quarter, I have to say that spring break is really way too short. I mean, I did not really get into the rest and relaxation phase until one week had passed by, and by then, it was time to get ready to go back. I should have slept more last night, but I was having too much fun living in another world (Middle Earth) . Yes, the Lord of the Rings online world is a lot of fun, but thankfully I only signed up for the free 10 day trial. I would end up stuck in that realm, as it is infinitely more interesting than economics, and for now, I have to pretend that Sara Palin and John McCain are stuck on a desert island trading coconuts and fish. Snore.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What a trip into the wilderness!

There is something that is very beautiful about the desert. It is a sort of serene, desolate place, where you can get in touch with yourself, and escape from the traffic, noise, and clutter that is the urban scene. My adventure this past weekend took me to the Anza Borrego State Park, and an inviting little spot on the map called Fish Creek Primitive Camp, way out in the middle of the Western Colorado Desert. Equipped with everything one could possibly need in a remote, isolated sort of place, it was off to find solitude. Upon arrival at Fish Creek, it was everything that I had hoped for - just a few rugged souls setting up camp in the late hours of the afternoon as that sun just began to dip past the stark sandstone of Split Mountain. Once camp was set up, I had no sooner sat down to enjoy the old peace and quiet, when a wagon train of sport utility vehicles began to pour into the camp, stuffed full of rowdy pre-teen boys. I watched in amazement as carload after carload pulled into camp and the Boy Scouts of America began to unload and marvel at the pit toilets. That noisy pack of boogers dashed any hopes that I may have had about serenity, and then the hot wind began to pick up, in forceful gusts. It was sure to be a long night.

In the morning, I awoke with high hopes of leaving Rug Rat Camp behind, and finding a bit of blissful isolation along the trail that cut through Split Mountain, and through Fish Creek Wash. it was to be a nice long hike featuring a bit of awsome geologic force on display in the walls of the canyon, and this proved to be very bit as impressive as I had hoped. The trail, however, was not the sort of lonely desert hiking trail that offers a person the chance to escape. It was more like a dirt highway, as jeeps, SUVs, and all manner of vehicles continuously passed by, their fat, pinkish, air conditioned inhabitants smiling and waving at me as they stirred up clouds of dust. After hiking for miles, I just felt like scowling as the 100th passenger shot me a friendly wave out the window - as if I was some steward of the lonely desert, a ghost that they felt obligated to acknowledge, or some crazy relic that was still holding on to an antiquated idea that they felt guilty about abandoning while they rode by with the AC on max. I pressed on until my camel pack was drained, and then, with my hands and legs swollen, marched back to camp.

I had enough of the dust, crowds, kids, and wind, and so decided to pack it all up and head for cooler and greener country. After driving a little over an hour into the southern portion of the Cleveland National Forest, I found a wonderful little campground at Cibbets Flats. It was cool and shady, with the sound of a creek meandering somewhere through the oak trees. The campsites were comfortable and spaced far enough apart, so you could get some feeling of privacy. After a great steak dinner, with mashed potatoes and gravy, cold ranch salad, and hot monkey's pick oolong tea, I enjoyed a few blissful moments by the campfire with my cigar. I had planned on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail the next day, but it was a cold, windy and rainy morning. After packing up, yet again, it was back onto road, headed for home. A short, but profitable stop at Viejas Casino helped to pass the time while the rain died down, and I arrived home in the afternoon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I like potato chips

I dont want to turn this account into a food review page, but I had to say something about these potato chips that I am snacking on. I guess that they are a twist on an old favorite, but anyway, these yogurt and green onion chips are making me very happy right now. I am about 4 pages into my report on religion, ethnicity, and violent civil war, and it is already past 1am. I have an accounting final in the morning, and I am debating on whether or not I should just sleep on the couch in the student lounge. I mean, I have everything that I could possibly need right here on campus. I have food, because I brought my hot dog rolling machine and enough hot dogs to keep me alive for two weeks. I have a toothbrush, and if I have to, I can take a shower at the gym. Yeah, I may end up here for the night. I am reluctant to go home because I am afraid that I may end up sleeping in. I have had this bad habit of turning off my alarm when it goes off in my sleep. I dont know how my body learned that trick, but it did. I guess that I am also a bit nervous about confronting my roomate right now, considering the fact that I just told him that he has 30 days to scram. Ah, life. Good chips.