zanwat : the weblog


November 5, 2008

finally!!!

Now that the election is finally over I feel like I can relax. I am at ease with the world finally.

In other notes, I have been getting more in MySpace and Facebook but I'm thinking of dropping off them. They are taking a lot of time and not sure the "payback" is worth it.

posted @ 4:54 PM

October 30, 2008

dance m.f.er dance!

When I worked on the radio I would play music for a very specific audience. I played rock music with an alternative slant. I worked at three different stations over the course of about five years and each played basically the same thing. I knew all the music. I knew what the people liked and I didn't care if I was playing something they didn't... because they would probably like the next song. I had four to six hour shifts and I would ebb and flow over the time slot from fast to slow and I cared not one damn bit whether anyone was dancing. I rarely (if ever) began a new song in the middle of the one currently playing. If the song sucked I might not play it again, but I wouldn't just fade it out and start over.

This is why I never was a club dj or a party dj or anything of the sort. But for the past two years I've done the Vampire's Ball Halloween party. I do it as a favor for a really good friend, but it pretty much sucks. Old folks want "rock" music. I play Rob Zombie and they complain. The kids complain I'm playing too many oldies, the oldies complain I'm playing too much rap and the hip-hoppers complain I'm playing the wrong kind of rap. I pretty much don't give a shit about "their" music and try to play halloween themed music. It's a halloween party after all. They seem to not give a shit about this and just want to dance. I'm dance music deficient. I can't hear the so called "dance groove". People would rather dance to Def Leopard than listen to the Pixies or the Cure be sad... on halloween. It doesn't make sense to me.

Don't get me wrong, I love to see the girls dance. I even love to see the guys dance... when the floor is packed and you're the dj, you feel very powerful. At the same time I can't relate at all to it, so I find it difficult to fake and that makes it less fun for me. Plus you always have the hecklers. The one's you can't please and make you feel like you aren't pleasing anyone. I'm really not sure about next year. This year was better than last, but I don't think I'm going to do it next year.

Plus I didn't get to see any of my friends. I was tied to the stage all night...

posted @ 5:51 PM

October 10, 2008

top ten things i'll miss

This summer Christina and I went to see as many music shows as we could. By the end of the summer, the last show, we were exhausted and kind of ready for it all to be over. I had in my mind the whole time that this was the curtain call celebration. The final hoorah before necessity items became way too expensive and therefore limiting the amount of expendable income we had for things like concerts.

I knew about Peak Oil and I recently started my own construction business... which, due to the downturn in the housing market, has been struggling since it was created. I felt like the end was getting near and I wanted to have a really good summer to look back on. The final glory days. I had no idea the entire global economic system would come crashing down a few weeks after the final show. But it seems to be.

I've been making a list all summer of things (mostly luxury items) that I will really miss when it becomes too expensive to do, import and/or manufacture these things. We spent a year at a retreat center in California and our little house had no water heater for six months, we had an outhouse (but had toilet paper, thank god!), no central heating only a wood stove and our power came solely from solar. It was mostly a nice way to live, but man did I grow to appreciate certain things.

At any rate, whether you "believe"* in peak oil, or global climate change or the possible collapse of financial markets it's good to think about the "what if's" every now and then and do a little reflection on them. This is mine.

10. travel (beyond a very limited range)
9. movies
8. cheap clothing
7. central heating
6. toilet paper
5. shoes
4. recorded music
3. chocolate
2. coffee
1. instant hot water

* I use quotes on 'believe' because these are scientifically provable things. Oil is a non-renewable resource, to say it will last forever is completely asinine. Global climate change is agreed upon by every independent scientist and not up for debate as if it were a religion or a philosophy. Financial markets rise and fall constantly, failure is only a matter of degree and to say our economy can't or won't fail is also not looking at facts. It has before, it will is again.

posted @ 8:13 PM

August 28, 2008

one of these things is not like the other

I got into this discussion with this woman (which turned into a debate, which because we were both drinking turned into an argument) about politics the other night at a party. It all got started by her saying that she didn't like Obama because he lied so much. I immediately pressed her for specifics and of course she had none. Then she pulled the "raised Muslim" card. (I thought we were done with this argument by now, but apparently not.) Anyway, the whole argument went this way. She'd say something dumb and unsubstantiated and I get more upset and personal each time because I was sick of hearing the absurdities. It all ended peacefully with her literally begging for me to sit back down... she must've liked the abuse or the education. I'd hope for the latter but I wouldn't count on it.

The irony of it all is that I was arguing the liberal (near socialist) perspective. I'm a small business owner, my wife works in the private sector and in one week my daughter will be going to a private school. This woman worked for the USPS, her husband is a cop and all three of her kids go to public school. I find it remarkable that she gets everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING -- from the government but would probably gaffe at the idea that she is a socialist. It's also no wonder that she thinks life in this country at this time is just peachy. I'm sure she has great health care and a pretty steady and higher than average paycheck.

I hear that there was a time in this country when the working class voted for those who would genuinely help them, not give them promises to make them rich. I really hope we return to this. I'm really looking forward to Obama's speech tonight.

posted @ 6:37 AM

August 21, 2008

the good times are killing us


I didn't get my driver's license until I was 18 years old. I took driver's ed when I was 14, like everyone else in Montana, but then I moved to Spokane before I was able to pass my test. I lived within walking distance of my junior high and high school. In fact, I lived within walking distance of all of my friends and most shopping places. The one's that were farther out required a bus ride, but that was cheap and easy. For about a year I rode my bicycle (until it was stolen -- in front of the library of all places!). For shows and things like that we all pilled into one of our friend's cars. I never really rode in a car with less than four people in it and we usually were going somewhere that we couldn't all walk.

We weren't being "green" or "eco" in any way. We were being unemployed punk rockers who refused to give up certain freedoms for convenience. (Many thanks to my mom who gave me the necessary allowance to live what I now see as a very luxurious lifestyle.) I enjoyed walking to my fiend's houses and the bus was okay... had it's certain quirky people onboard, but with my spiky blue hair and leather jacket I wasn't the exception to this rule by any means. I can't think of one single instance where I missed something because of a lack of transportation. Plus I had no car payments, no insurance, no fuel costs and no vehicular headaches. I believe it was good training for what seems inevitable.

We watched the movie, 'End of Suburbia', last night. It was amazing and scary all at once. The biggest thing I learned was about peak oil. It's a term I've heard but never understood. The world has reached it's peak capacity... which means we will never, ever be able to produce more than we are [now?]. So we are on the downhill slide. We aren't out or even really running out of oil, which is what I had thought. It's like a Bell curve and we are at the top (or slightly downhill side) of the curve.

The movie was made in 2004 and the gas prices they showed were in the $2.00 range, so I believe that we actually peaked around that time. It was as cheap and abundant as it ever will be. At one point they did the "hypothetical" price spinning from $2 something up to $5.08 a gallon. I'm sure I would have thought in 2004, "yeah right! There would be riots!" And some of the commentators said this as well. It's like the frogs in slowly rising water temperatures though... We don't seem to be terribly alarmed. Everyone seems to just be putting up with it. I think the next ten years will be very interesting.

We are planning to ride our bicycles to Spokane next summer. I want to do it for "fun" but it may just be a necessity by then.

posted @ 7:19 AM


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