Neil & are stoked that we will be here for Nader’s visit to SL this time. Neil made up this flyer & others for the event. If you are in Utah… COME!
Neil & are stoked that we will be here for Nader’s visit to SL this time. Neil made up this flyer & others for the event. If you are in Utah… COME!
Kate and I just moved from our apartment in Salt Lake to her parent’s house in Provo for a few weeks before we make the big move to San Diego. Every time we move I’m sadly reminded of how much junk we’ve accumulated and how much time we waste dealing with it. Cleaning out our closets and drawers revealed mounds of vaguely familiar items reminiscent of bygone years. Packing our belongings has become an archaeological excavation (except none of our discoveries are worth anything). This morning Kate and I had to move a pile of our cloths off the floor and onto the bed so we could put a dresser in the room and by the time we finished, the top of the cloths mountain was above the tree line and 15 degrees colder than at its base.
All I’m trying to say is that if we’re not careful (if I’m not careful) we will end up devoting our entire lives to the acquisition, storage, and disposal of stuff. And when we look back on our monstrously materialistic lives we will be sadned because we were to busy taking care of our things to really enjoy our family and friends, our senses, nature and learning.
Photos from the Orem City Dump.
Does anyone else remember that just three weeks ago Utah was a chilly wintry wonderland, snow was still falling in the mountains and my apartment was the loveliest of temperatures and then all of a sudden as if over night it’s 92° outside and my apartment feels like the impact zone of a nuclear blast? Well it’s strange, and now I can’t sleep very well because our windowless apartment is just too dang hot. For the last two weeks Kate and I have been battling it out each night over whether to sleep with our tiny street-side bedroom window open or closed. Kate sleeps best when she’s wrapped in quilted blanked and the room temperature is right around fresh magma. I, on the other hand, can only sleep when naked in a bath of liquid nitrogen. Needless to say, this has been a source of contention in our family resulting in sleepless nights, me on the couch, late night showers and early morning runs. I’m just hoping I will get used to this because if we end up moving to Arizona I will perish.
So, I left my job at the IRC. The demands on my time, family life, and sanity were too much for the pay I was receiving. Although I will truly miss working with refugees, this Monday was the first in months I’ve enjoyed. Yesterday I had an interview with Friends of Great Salt Lake, an environmental organization trying to preserve the ecosystems around the Great Salt Lake. I think it went well, although I did sweat for the first few minutes of the interview because I was so nervous. They said they would let me know by the end of the week.
Anyway the point of my post is that I am still working for the ESL Center running the refugee computer lab, and yesterday one of our favorite clients came to the lab to learn Microsoft Office. He is so cute that when we shut down the computer lab yesterday, he said goodbye, left the building before us, and then waited across the street for about 10 minutes while we closed up the building so he could wave goodbye again. He was riding his 10 year-old niece’s pink bike. After that Kate decide she was going to adopt him, even though he is 21 years old and still has a family.
This is the first time Kate and I have hosted a blog carnival on our site and we are very excited for the opportunity. My favorite part of the process was weeding out the unrelated, the advertising, or the completely insane (nothing like a lesson about breast cancer or a computer component add-icle to really help you appreciate cities!). OK, the jokes are out so let’s being.
We’ve been hearing a lot about “buying local” these days so we decided to start are Carnival of Cities with a little trip to our own Salt Lake City, Utah to join a “Shop Outside the Box” parade in an article called “Shop Outside the Box Salt Lake City!” hosted by www.kateandneil.com.
Well wasn’t that a treat. Kate doesn’t mind a good costume opportunity! While we are still in the parading mood why don’t we jump cross continent to the eastern seaboard and try and catch the 81st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The Explorer Pass Blog has some interesting history and facts about the parade in their article titled “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” as well as sound advice for those planning to attend.
And we thought we would never get tired of parades, but man we are pooped. All this celebratory fanfare has really taken it out of us and we are sure you all are just as exhausted. We better head strait to Washington DC and get a room in the Willard Hotel. Before you go, you’d better read this very informative article by the DC Traveler titled “The Willard Hotel – Power Central” which has a very interesting description and history of the hotel including a blip on where the term lobbyist came from.
Now we are all rested, our minds fresh and bodies invigorated why not pack our bags, get a ticket, and start tackling a controversial topic or two. First lets move straight to Cleavland, Ohio where The Bag Lady is going to teach us what happens to a community when its citizenry try to buy more than we can afford in her eyeopening article, “Cleveland is Getting Owned by Germans.”
If you’re still in a feisty mood, as of course we are, than let’s mosey on over to dreamy California to hear about two issues affecting the cities of Emeryville and Santa Cruz. Lets start with Emeryville where The Bay Radical uncovers buried secrets about the local shopping mall in “The Shellmound.” I probably shouldn’t say but…it’s built on an archaeological site! As if California didn’t have enough problems there’s also Teresa Miller’s article, “UCSC Students Act Out,” about the endless battle between environmentalists, city planners, and UCSC against the far reaching tentacles of urban sprawl and sub-par-burbia.
Wow there are a lot of issues in the world. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed we head to a quite place to get away from it all…some place like a museum. Well great news the Seattle Traveler knows the perfect place. How about the “Audubon Birds of Display at MOHAI.” In this post you will find an interesting description of the art show as well as helpful information about planning your trip.
You know, the US is great and all and we hate to leave it, but there is a wide world out there and if we don’t get a move on we’ll never see it all. So we propose heading south to Mexico City (one of Kate and Neil’s favorite cities in the world) and meeting our good friend The Aussie Mom, I mean Mum, for a fun filled day in “The Big Smoke.”
Mexico City was so interesting and beautiful Kate and I can’t help but be drawn somewhere else in the world…and that somewhere happens to be Cambodia and we are going to need a guide. Art Thailand was kind enough to agree to show us around Cambodia’s mysterious “Tonle Sap Lake” and boy are we in for a treat. Rarely visited by tourists, Tonle Sap Lake is a treasure trove of sights, smells, and even a little bit of danger.
Now that we’re over the thrill of riverboats, crocodiles, and mangrove let’s head to Europe for a little taste of history, fashion, and chaos. Out first destination will be none other than Barcelona, Spain for the one of kind “Fiesta de la Mercé.” If we and Joanna España survive through the insanity that apparently takes over Barcelona during this holiday, then it will only be because Lady Luck was by our side.
Good thing we survived because we’ve two more places to go and our time is running short. Our final stop is Paris but we couldn’t get a direct flight and will have to stop in Lithuania (airlines these days!) for a connecting flight. Do be chagrined, according to the American in Oslo Lithuania is an interesting and beautiful place with more history in its pinkie finger than can be found in the entire US. In the article, “Lithuania – Vilnius” we learn about the magnificent history of this ancient capital city including a highlight of Vilnius’s ancient churches.
As promised, finally we head to Paris, but before we get there we want to make sure we’ll fit in, because Paris is high fashion and by the looks of it we all need some tips. Well, good news- Busy Bee Lifestyle has a few tips about what’s “in” in France with “Fashion in Paris.”
What a trip we have taken! Kate and I have had a great time reading all the submissions and learning about such interesting places like Tonle Sap Lake, Vilnius, and Cleveland. And don’t forget next Monday, the journey continues at The Go Chicago Card Blog; don’t forget to submit your blog posts to their edition of the Carnival of Cities! And finally the Carnival of Cities is always looking for new participates to host a blog carnival. Just go to Canival of Cities and contact them if you are interested.
Kate and Neil
Many local business owners and patrons got together and had a FUN time for a cause. What a wonderfully creative way to send a message to the community and remind them to “shop local” and support locally owned and operated businesses. 400 South street in Salt Lake City was host to a “Shop Outside the Box” parade to protest the strain Big Box stores put on local businesses and the community. Big Box Collaborative a national organization dedicated to reforming big-box stores instigated the idea for anti-Big Box parades across the US celebrating International Day of Action Against Supermarkets and Big Box Stores.
We joined the the merriment and protesting with a joyful throng. My dad in the the fit-overs dressed as uncle Sam and I was dressed in red, white and blue to signify that a true patriot shops locally! Neil’s boxed head stated, “Think outside the box.” How I yearned for my days as captain of the flag team in High School so that I could whip up a flag routine to march along with!
It was perfect sunny weather for the parade and there were practically more police officers than parade participants. There was a bicycle brigade and a motorcycle contingent. They operated like a well-oiled machine stopping traffic with a rolling barricade. Even though our numbers were dwarfed by the wide Utah streets, the police closed down traffic for our loonily-dressed band of paraders. It seemed they were trying to take everything very seriously and act professionally, but given the array of costumes it was nearly impossible for them not to crack a smile.
There were the four horses of the Shopocolypse: Greed, Wast, Gluttony and Vanity. They galloped with fervor. Another use of the fantastic term Shopocolypse is the upcoming movie, “What Would Jesus Buy.” This movie is a documentary by Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me fame) about the commercialization of Christmas. The parade was graced with the presence of a 6’6″ elf pushing a scrawny Santa in a shopping cart holding a sign that said, “Sins of the Shopocolypse.” There were also dozens of people in a “small box army” dressed in various sizes of cardboard boxes (recycled of course).
Part of the focus of the parade was to remind people to look to locally based vendors for Christmas gifts this season. Even for semi-posers like us who cannot seem to give up our Costco addiction, the parade was an imaginative, lively and fun way to help us reconnect with the local community. It made me think twice about local business and feel that our city’s economic fate is worth caring about. Local businesses who are owned by my neighbors and staffed by people who are treated well are definitely worth having a party about. It made me feel alive and that there is nothing better than dancing in the streets to defend variety and integrity and the American dream. Not the Made in China American dream but, the made right here in Salt Lake City American dream.
In the words of Hossen and the Bomb Diggatys who performed at the rally:
I don’t care if they bring in millions. MILLIONS of WHAT?!?
Big Box stores SUCK and drain the resources from our community.
Until last week, when I got a job with the International Rescue Committee as a refugee case manager, I had not idea Salt Lake City was a major refugee relocation center. Each year around 400 refugees are relocated to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah to start new lives as future American citizens. Many of the relocated refugees have spent up to 30 years in a refugee camps and so everything about the US is new to them. For example many refugees have never signed a lease before, been to a grocery store, or even been in a car. While the first year or so is a very difficult adjustment for many of the refugees, eventually they settle into American life and, like the rest of us, live out the American dream. As part of my job I am also able to work with many refugees that have been in the US longer than 5 years and most of them own their own houses, have great jobs with benefits, have sent all their children to college and university, and are full fledged US citizens. In fact I am told very few refugees, if any, require welfare assistance after their first year in the US. Every time I meet one of these great Americans I am humbled to think what they have gone through and how hard they have fought to get where they are…and if they can work hard and be successful, then I sure can! My heart goes out to all the refugees in the world and what a great country we live in that allows many of these destitute people to relocate to hope and prosperity.P.S. Sorry we have been slacking, we are having a tough time adjusting to our new lives (and real jobs) in SLC and finding time to do things we love (i.e. the internet).
After a week of searching for an apartment we have finally found a perfect place to live: cheap, clean, well lit, downtown, and close to the library. We are moving in this afternoon and are very excited to live in the “Big City” SLC. Because we have been living in Provo with Kate’s parents, looking for an apartment has been the suckiest suck that ever sucked. For an entire week we would wake up at 7, get dressed and out the door before 8, speed up to Salt Lake by 9 so we wouldn’t miss our apartment viewing appointment, and arrive on time only to discover the apartment abandoned or on fire and the manager has fled the country with 2,00o pounds of A quality cocaine. No worries we’ll just hang around Salt Lake until our next appointment at 4 PM! Actually that was only one day and our appointment and 4 turned out to be the apartment we are moving into… so well worth it. We are exciting and living in Salt Lake is going to be fun… pictures to come.
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