Sunday, November 12, 2017

It could really happen

Marijuana may become legal in New Jersey. It's hard to believe but it was a pivotal point in Phil Murphy's platform and now he is the governor elect. For an aging baby boomer, it is hard to believe.

Whenever people asked Phil Murphy how he is going to pay for all those pensions, pre kindergarten, and balance the state budget, he said he would legalize marijuana. Even for conservatives who never liked the idea it made sense. Dollars have an evil attraction to the human soul.

Marijuana could be the next casino gambling. When Atlantic City was the only place that had it on the Eastern seaboard the state made out like bandits. Then other states discovered it and Atlantic City became just another tired city with  slot machines and a boardwalk. The same thing could happen now. Two years from now, Red Bank, Montclair, Asbury Park, and Hoboken will be the hip places on the East coast. Greta Gerwig will even make a movie in the state.

Eventually, though,  New York will legalize it and things will be back to where things were.  All the hip people will be back in Brooklyn and L.A. and New Jersey will become just another tired east coast state with Polish ice.

Mother son interactions before and after legalization.
Mother: What did you do at Johnny's house last night?
(Before) Son: Oh we just listened to the Buffalo Springfield and ate apple pie.
(After) Son: Oh we just listened to the Buffalo Springfield and got stoned on Colombian and ate apple pie.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Girls weekends

As I have aged and have inevitably found myself with other people in the over 50 set, I have noticed a disturbing phenomenon, that of  "girls weekends". In this scenario, while the men are patching up the grout in the bathroom or trying out their  deck wash, the women are having "girls weekends". On these excursions the women get together and go to casinos, bars, garden shows, museums and antique shops while the men are left at home.

Yes men may go to the occasional car show or convention, but it seems that women are having more fun than we are. Why aren't men invited to "girls weekends"?   Is it because men of a certain age are bossy, lazy, stay at home curmudgeons? 

Perhaps, alas,  it is because men of a certain age have become bossy, lazy, stay at home curmudgeons, Yes it is true that some of us haven't aged well. Well, off to Lowes. I need to buy some deck wash. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The eyes on the prize

Cities and states are fighting over the chance to be the location of an Amazon headquarters. New Jersey has just offered seven billion dollars. Every state wants the prize of being Amazon east. Apparently it will bring in lots of high paying jobs and states are willing to put in big incentives.

I propose the Florida Everglades as the next location for Amazon. It is scenic, has lots of snakes and alligators, and would offer the executives lots of culinary options. Instead of a huge building, I would propose the building of hundreds of tree houses, which could serve as work units. There would be plenty of cougars and snakes, which should provide the millenials with cultural diversion. They could build a high speed rail line to Miami so people could hit the clubs on weekends. Taxes are low in Florida and you could take down the tree houses in case of a hurricane.

In this modernistic but also retro office complex, executives could swing from tree to tree to go to meetings. This would provide Amazon with a creative new way for staff to interact. Of course there might be some environmental concern with building in the Everglades  but as they say, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Monday, October 23, 2017

I'm part Norwegian and part South Asian

I recently heard from my nephew. He got his results back from He found out he was mostly British and Scandinavian and 2% Jew. Coincidentally I just sent in my saliva to 23 and me (they advertise it on YouTube) and am eagerly awaiting my results. Mother always said we were part Native American. Nothing of that nature showed up in my nephews results. We'll see how I do, a little closer to the source.

I guess it's just good clean fun. Like anything, people will want to take advantage of things. My nephew will want to take Ros Hosanna off now. Students who discover they are 4% of something will want to apply for scholarships for that group now.

It could also be a way to assuage white guilt. "I'm 2 % hispanic and I never applied for Affirmative action!" I'm 4 % black and I was never stopped by a cop for "driving while black!" or "I can't be racist, I'm 2% East Indian!" "No wonder I'm oversexed. I'm part neanderthal."

Editor's note: Finally got my report. My father was not all Italian but was also French and German. Contrary to what my mother said, I have no Native American blood. Apparently Grandpa Taylor was part hispanic. I am less than average Neanderthal.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I'd take a knee if I didn't have bursitus

I just don't understand all this business about taking a knee. For the money they make, football players should not only stand but sing "Yankee doodle dandy" at the start of the games.

And as for our president, I don't see any change. Those Mexicans are still across the street, working on their cars til 3am. Those women with head coverings are still there at the supermarket, and believe you me, they aren't nuns.

At least there is someone out there who makes sense. The next senator for Alabama, and as for me, our next president, Roy Moore. I've admired him for putting the Ten Commandments on the court house lawn. And he puts his God where he belongs, especially when it comes to Gay school teachers and transvestites in bathrooms and the like. For my money, he tells it the way it should be told. Halleluia!

Editor's note: For all the fans of Aunt Agnes she has returned to do a guest blog. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Netflix Internet

Again, I have moved a bit further into the 21st century. I have given up the cozy system of getting red envelopes with a DVD every month and moved to the new world of online Netflix. I seemed to find less and less I wanted in the old system and I was tempted to explore the new Netflix. I wanted to see the Gilmore Girls a year in the life, Chelsey Handler, and lots of other things I've seen reviews for but not experienced. My favorite so far is Love, produced by Judd Apatow of Girls fame. I like Bossgirl too.

I also bought a Chromecast gizmo. This allows me to watch Internet programming on my TV. It took awhile to set up but it seems to be working now. Youtube also benefits from this new gizmo. So far I have seen over half of the Jeeves series this way.

So how are the shows? I guess so far it's a mixed bag. I was disappointed with the Gilmore Girls. Remakes are never as good as the originals. Remember the New Leave it to Beaver and Mayberry RFD?

So I am still sampling the new programming.  Some of the shows are pretty bad, though. Friend from College? Atypical? M'yeh. Clearly a lot of the shows are trying to appeal to that elusive millennial demographic. Still for ten bucks a month it's not bad. And now I feel like a member of the middle class again.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Advice for college students

It's that time when students go back to school. I saw this advice and thought I would respond with my memories of Freshman year at Rutgers. 

1. No accidents (i.e. children). That means no unprotected sex. You don’t want to be a parent. Your parents don’t want to be grandparents, just yet. And your friend’s parents don’t want to be grandparents either. That was certainly a problem I didn't have as a Freshman. 
2. No means no — always.
3. Don’t go places alone.  I went everywhere alone. Men used to try to pick me up in Times Square but that didn't stop me from wondering around hither and thither. 
4. Don’t forget the reason why you’re at college — to get an education. Strive to make Dean’s list. You won’t regret it. But also feel free to explore subjects and do things that might interest you.  I think I did make the Dean's list as a Freshman. It was Sophmore year I started to goof off. 
5. Have fun but not too much fun. Don’t ever wake up with Sharpie pictures or letters on your face or body. That means you got drunk and passed out first and your friends punked you.  I was basicly a good boy.
6. Don’t smoke pot. It will suck all your drive and ambition out of you. Same with taking Adderall recreationally.  They didn't have adderall then but I did indulge in the other. 
7. Free time is not free time. Go to the library and study in between classes, and after dinner. Right.
8. Learn how to say no to invitations. You won’t ruin your college experience if you don’t go to parties Sunday through Wednesday. There’s a party every night somewhere. True, if you call sitting in a dorm room with guys and smoking pot a party.
9. Develop a relationship with your professors. Visit them during office hours, before midterms. Get to know them on a first-name basis — all of them, including the TAs Right
10. Get plenty of exercise and sleep. Maybe even join intramural teams and/or a club team. I slept well, and did walk around a lot
11. Try to establish a routine.  The best thing about college is there is no routine. Class attendance was voluntary in those heady days. 
12. Study in the library. The dorm can be too noisy at times.  That is true. 
13. Study and hang out with people who share the same goals as you. Don’t be afraid to develop a passion for what you are learning. Passion? My college friends were all cynical about education.
14. Listen to NPR on TuneIn in the morning or whenever. They didn't have NPR back then. I listened to WBAI but the signal was weak at school.
15. Read the local and school newspapers. Right.
16. Write for the school newspaper. I did that as a Freshman, Sophomore year I discovered radio.
17. Don’t spend your college years binge-watching Netflix or Hulu or HBO Go. That’s not necessarily what your parents are paying for. You could do that at home — for a lot less money.  We didn't have tv in the dorms, Internet or cell phones at school in my day. We had stereos for entertainment. 
18. Read and do the school’s bucket list.  I think I went into the telescope once. 
19. Don’t forget to speak up in class. Don’t be a wallflower. Ask questions and answer questions.  I was brave in class
20. Stay off your cellphone in class. You don’t have to Snapchat each and every activity during the day, especially when you’re in class.  Not available in my day. 
21. Never leave your drink unattended and don’t drink mysterious alcoholic concoctions. If possible drink beer from a bottle or tap that you watch being poured.  I was never that paranoid. Sure, I'll pop a psilocybin!
22. Go home on the weekends with kids who live locally.  I had to take the bus to New York than take a Jersey bus. 
23. Check the school’s events calendar daily. Don’t be afraid to go to a museum or concert or sports event (women’s ice hockey comes to mind) you might not typically go to. I saw Chick Corea and Malvina Reynolds as a Freshman.
24. Some of the students you meet freshman year are likely to become lifelong friends. You may not realize what that means today, but someday you will.  God knows what happened to my Freshman friends. 
25. When in doubt about this or that decision or action, ask what your future self would make of your decision or action. Would your future self have regret or be proud? Avoid regrets and trips to the emergency room, police station and court.  Nothing like a visit to the emergency room