Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Street

I wrote this about the street in front of where I lived for 6 years in the city of Xining, China.  It is the road that passes by the university where I studied Chinese.  It was where I would buy groceries, where I ate meals, and where I played with my children in an foreign land.

-The street-

The street shifts with the times; shiny red lights, power lines heavy under thick dust, and the feet that tilt it back and forth. 

Clothing styles come and go and come again.  Teenagers suck down cigarettes.  College students pop their collars.  Girls climb to the top of high heels and totter.

There is a strange scene of status; the latest fashion in street sweeping attire.  Feet shift and shake on heels as her arms grow embarrassingly firm.

Children play, in the gutters and in the trash.  A blessed imagination takes them through the dirt, the dust and the day into some sort of wonderland.

Steam soaks out of an open piece of glass.  The damp humidity chokes, the flavors provoke.

A frying cart; soaking in oil and down the throat.  Slam some more salt on that lettuce, please.  Press it in there.

The tea shop, where they drink beer.  The memories made on the street.

The grass is where they grew up, but the times have changed.  A cement square here, a water feature there.  Yet there it is!  A time and a place for feet; on the street.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ugly Sweaters

Did you see that most stores now sell mass produced "ugly sweaters"?  

Ben and Rose with their epic twin ugly sweater back in 2011

All of the fun and joy that's evolved and grown out of silly traditions like this gets swallowed up by the ones who love the mighty squeeze of the dollar. It will wring our Master Cards until every last nickel and dime falls out of this trend, leaving a million brand new, factory made 'ugly sweaters' to beautify the landfills with.

God bless the mighty dollar, am I right?

People used to have to go out to the thrift stores and actually work for their fun. Now Walmart and the gang have caught on. They've bottled up all of the silliness and hung it up on their racks for us to buy so we don't have to have any fun looking for those ugly sweaters.

What a world!

Who knows what other surprises the shopping malls and the television commercials have for us this winter.

Next thing you know they'll put wifi in our cars so that our poor kids won't have to look out of the window.

For me? My ugly sweater will remain to be this crappy looking Oilers pullover. For many obvious reasons.

Ugly since 2007