Sunday, May 8, 2011

Higher Education

This weekend I was lucky enough to see 3 college graduations. It was pretty cool to see all the hard work pay off. My dad graduated with his Associates degree, and that was really inspiring. If he can do it, then I'm sure I can. Cori's brother, Kyle, got his Bachelors degree and his commission as an officer in the military. The commission ceremony took place in a small room and felt really intimate. Kyle's wife, Stephanie, also graduated and got her Masters degree. I was surprised to see how many masters and doctoral candidates there were at the ceremony. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend my friend Jen's graduation due to scheduling conflicts. She got her Masters degree.

I really enjoyed seeing (and hearing about) everyones graduations. It's always good to see hard work being rewarded. I was also really inspired by the whole thing. It made me want to go back to school even more so than I already did. I want to be able to learn how to do something fun and useful. I want out of the grocery business. I want to try new thing.

And so I applied to SLCC, got accepted, and filled out my FAFSA today. I'm going back to school, and I'm going to kick some ass.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Lately I have been really getting back into punk rock. I kind of drifted from it for a while, but I never left it. I have found that my temperament has changed in the last few years, and a lot of the aggression I had has faded. In short, I'm a much happier individual now than just a few years back.

I don't have the same 'fuck all' attitude I used to have. I haven't needed it. It seems so much easier to be nice to people until they aren't nice back. I'd rather give folks I meet the benefit of the doubt than just assume they aren't worth my time. It makes me happy to help people at work, it isn't a chore like it once was. There are still annoying customers, and I still bitch about them, but they aren't all annoying. I am much more likely now to enjoy an interesting story from a stranger than I ever have been. I've noticed I'm a much more gentle person now than I was 3 years ago. Anyway, back to my point.

I used to love going to punk shows. All summer long I would take days off to go see shows. I would make a day of it. Get together whoever was going with, go get dinner, get to the venue, buy a t-shirt (this is tradition. buy a shirt, wear it the whole concert. It doesn't matter how hot it is, you wear that shirt! Then you wear it the next day, let everyone enjoy the stench of an awesome show.), rock out, go get drinks (soda's) and head home around midnight. So epic. There were so many good shows! But then I stopped enjoying it. It just didn't seem like a fun use of my time. It was hot, expensive, noisy, crowded, and just unpleasant. So I quit going. I also quit listening to as much punk. It just wasn't really what I wanted to hear anymore. 

Well I went through this funk for a while, but now I am really getting back into it. the music sounds so good again! I think it's because I have been writing a political blog with some friends. Or that it is getting warm outside. Or any number of awesome things that have been happening lately. I feel great! I never quit being a punk at heart, I just took a vacation from it, and now I'm back! 

Punk isn't about the music, it's about the attitude. Punk is doing what you want because you want to do it. Punk is questioning authority. Punk is doing what makes you happy. Punk is never selling out, never caring what others think, doing shit your own way, and standing up for what's right. It's raw, harsh and abrasive. It's freedom. Punk may be loud and angry, but it's that way to get your attention. To raise your awareness of the iniquities of this country, of this social structure. We may be great, but we still have problems, as individuals and as a society. 

I may not be the angry kid I once was, but I am still a Punk. I can still bring forth that focused anger when it's needed to fight against injustices, whether personal or national. I still don't give a shit what others think, I still do things my way, I still question authority. I may be a calmer individual, but I am still a Punk. And I'm damn happy to be one.