Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HappY NeW Year EvErYoNE!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope 2009 brings everyone love, luck, and happiness!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Philadelphia Parking Authority...or the "PPA."

So for anyone who has seen that show "Parking Wars", the one about the Pennsylvania Parking Authority, should also know that the show is not dramatized for television; it really is that big of a problem. Literally the PPA (or in other words, disenfranchised, poor city employees) take money from other poor, disenfranchised people, who then give it to the wealthy city, who then re-distributes almost nothing back into the city it originally robbed from. This is a fairly easy conclusion to draw because most of the city looks third world/or like an underdeveloped state. The roads are terrible, the southeastern transportation authority (SEPTA) is extremely expensive (free to college students in Utah), garbage up to you ankles clutters the streets, and the residential buildings surrounding the city do not look like they need re-development, but rather burned to the ground. Yesterday Gretel and I had the “privilege” of being ticketed by one of these faux officers. We parked under a sign that stated, “Free two hour parking, except Saturday and Sunday.” We walked into a shop and three minutes later we were given a ticket of 26 dollars. I asked the officer why? The meters are turned around backwards (as if out of commission), and the sign states free two hour parking. He explained to me in a very self-assured way that the sign meant we are “free” to “pay” for two hours. Imagine that…free parking as long as you pay! I may not be the most intelligent person in the world, but by my standards that qualifies as an oxymoron. The officer then said, “Have you seen my show?” Outfitted with a huge smile, he further detailed his celebrity status to us. I asked him if I was supposed to feel better about being robbed by the city because somebody follows him around with a camera. I suppose his answer was yes, because all I got was laughter and a real clever comment,"I see your not from around here... well,welcome tho Philly." We certainly were having one hell of a time together. I then called to contest the ticket and after being hung-up on several times somebody finally did their job and held the line. Apathetically, the women gave me a hearing date of April 23rd. I responded by saying, “so we get to pay the ticket regardless of our hearing, considering we only have 15 days to pay it.” She said no, but that she also couldn’t guarantee that I would not be towed at the tune of two thousand dollars (which would then have to be contested as well through a separate division). So that is how Philly does it; they charge you 26 dollars or half of most people’s daily pay and then require more of your time to contest the injustice. So you lose the initial money, and then get to miss work, throw more good money at bad money, wait four months, and maybe, just maybe you will get your chance to re-appropriate your citizenship and re-collect your 26 dollars. Meanwhile, I suppose we will all thank our lucky stars we have a reality show that perpetuates theft from faux badges adorned with celebrity smiles. Philly, you’re the best!

"But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!" (Frederick Nitsche)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

Gretel, Atticus, and I had a great Christmas together, but there was one big downfall. When Santa realized our chimney-less situation and the size of Atticus, he gave us the Tom Brady treatment and hail married our gifts through the window. Gretel was less angry over the window, but she was furious at the arctic temperature in the house; I on the other hand was just impressed by his arm. Seriously, Santa may be in the wrong business. Regardless, Santa was still quite generous and we received just about everything on our wish list (eachother) with the exception of a girlfriend for Atticus and a new window. Atticus was soooo excited to open up his gifts; continually asking us..."just one more Dad, PLLLLEEEEAAAASSSSE, just one more." O.k., the tone may be off a little,but when the time was right he opened his gifts with such enthusiasm you would have thought we soaked his new blanket and bed in beef bullion. The wrapped bones were o.k., but the thrill of the wrapping paper was out of this world. Gretel and I spent a very slow and well deserved lazy day together, which got me thinking; how much longer do we have to play grown up? If it is going to be a while, I suppose we will continue to make the best of it. We hope you all have had a great Christmas as well and look forward to another year shared with those we love. We miss you all. -ThE GyPsies

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The EnD oF a SemEsTeR, FaMiliAr FaCeS, aNd CHriStmAs

Over the past two months or so, Gretel and I have become two ships passing in the night. With Holiday hours, Gretel's days are long and demanding and with my semester ending, I confronted my first series of finals and grade submissions for my T/A - adjunct work. We both are looking forward to Christmas coming and going, so that we can finally feel like a family again. Although weakend due to stress, we remain strong and united; needless to say, Atticus Boo is the "gorilla" glue that binds us.
Also, Joel Larson (the "JBL") and Courtney "Sauna" Echols, recently flew East and visited. We celebrated Joel's 27th birthday by touring Independence hall, the birth place of the United States, and the Liberty Bell; WOW, What an amazing experience! Humbled, we both sat in the very halls once occupied by George Washington, Franklin, Hancock, etc.,etc.,etc., as they drafted the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution of the United States. Nearly two and a half centuries later, both the Hall and the Bell continue to demand respect and signify freedom.
..........Oh ya, I passed my classes too!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Imagine that....The Phillies have not won a world series in nearly three decades and as soon as we show up they become the World champions. Then we cast the first vote of our lives that actually means something to us, and the candidate elect is one we actually want. We may be reading into this a little....but I am pretty sure the city of Philadelphia owes us something!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

GrAtItUde & FamiLy

Gretel and I have been extremely busy ever since we set foot on the soil where so much of this great Nation was founded. From the untouched country of Fairmount Park, free Bruce Springsteen concerts, Obama rallies, the world series, to the Capital building where chumps like Benjamin Franklin once hung their hat and drafted irrelevant documents, Philadelphia has a little something for everyone . . . yes, even Joe six-pack and Joe the plumber (I love you McCain).
Things here have been chaotic and stressful lately, but we feel it is important to take a moment and express our love and gratitude to all our family who we dearly miss and love. Thank you for your support and simple conversations that carry us through each week.
Work seems to be going great for Gretel. Her management skills are second to none. Her influence and success is apparent in every store she touches. Accumulating friends who love her that literally stretch across the country and continue to seek her guidance and friendship in so many aspects that truly transcend the business of retail. I am so proud of her and to be with her. I love you momma.
School here is stressful, yet brilliant. Everyday seems to be an adventure. My adjunct professor work is painstaking some days and others it is incredibly rewarding. Most of the time I feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. One of these damn days I will know that I got it all right because Atticus will be chasing a big, fat, fury groundhog in the yard rather than a rat-tailed possum who cleverly plays dead all the time (a defense mechanism that may very well defy “intelligent design”). The professor/teaching assistant thing is still an uncomfortable mask to wear or role to take on, but I am confident that I am learning more than my students; still not sure if that is a good thing . . . The learning curve here at Temple is steep, but I am honored to be a part of such a prestigious and progressive program. GO OWLS!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Philly/GPS/a day in paradise

So after moving to Sandpoint, Idaho (just below Canada) for six months Gretel and I turned around and moved to Tucson for a Job opportunity. On our way through Utah I opened up my email account and saw that I had been accepted to Temple University's Broadcast, telecommunications and mass media program. So we continued down to Tucson knowing that in six months we would be traveling cross country with our two thousand pound silver-back Gorilla that only the insane would consider a "dog." So we can now say that we are somewhat well traveled going from border-to-border and nearly coast-to-coast. Close enough; give us a break!!!! Gretel and I like to think that we were always going to Philadelphia, we just wanted to take the long route. I suppose it is that kind of thinking that keeps us from crying in a dark corner.
Philadelphia is overwhelming and culturally shocking but we are doing our best to adjust. The Gas company still does not seem to make it a priority to supply us with luxuries such as a warm shower or a freakin stove to cook on! Got to love it. Customer service is a thing of the past and so is our sanity. We are now honking the hell of our car horns, chewing people out and getting chewed out. Gotta love the city of "brotherly love."
We have officially acquired a new pet. It is a 30 plus pound Possum that is living in backwoods wilderness of urban Philly. HA! No Kiddin! Atticus is not sure if he wants to be friends or if he should fatally injure him. Either way it may be the only animal he can keep up with. Finally we understand the phrase "playin' possum."
School is overwhelming too. If graduate school is not difficult enough I am T/A for four classes that are keeping me extremely stressed. Gretel is commuting to and from work so she is learning the city in a hurry, no thanks to that worthless GPS we bought. The other day we typed in the route to Costco and rather the miles being counted down to our destination... they were adding up???? The good news is We saw New Jersey (more tears in the corner). Gretel and I both knew we were on the east coast when the GPS lady told us our first three directions and the fourth command was to go "f" ourselves. Pretty sure she honked my own horn at me!
As we settle in we will keep everyone updated. Also, when we are done being worked over from all of our grown-up obligations we will take some photos of the city to add to the site.
Love and miss you all.....