Thursday, February 20, 2014

UNCG Protests and Craziness

You may have heard, perhaps even been a part of the protests at UNCG, that are about budget cuts. It's rather ironic that the University that began as a Womens' College is now cutting Gender Studies and Womens' Studies departments. In a world in which equality, and civil rights movements of the last century, have given all of us the opportunity to engage in academics, I find it truly incredible where UNCG is about to go.

Confusing me more is the new, useless entrance to the parking garage which cost untold millions of dollars, and functionally does nothing from my stand-point.

Then there's the Lee Street Tunnel, which doesn't actually go under Lee Street and will be the source of graffiti and refuge to the homeless when open (therefore a security nightmare). How many faculty positions did that cost?

A new Rec-Center, though being developed from a separate set of funds is approaching 100 million dollars in cost. It's truly crazy!

I've never understood the endless idyling Spartan Chariot vans that run their engines queuing for hours, nor even the fact that we need a fleet of buses and retirees to ferry us the short distances which are completely acceptable for walking. The costs of gas alone must be mind-blowing.

Then there's the new E-Lot... I was sort of fond of the old one.

The rumored explanation is a mis-planning  by the school as to how many students are enrolling, and the subsequent subsidization by government. You only had to actually attend a class at UNCG to realize things have changed in the last few years. When I returned to school (3 years ago), there were tons of late 20s-30s students, but now most of them have returned to The Land of The Lost, and those who remain are primarily the traditional students (us lifers, and post high-school types). Pell Grants run out, and qualifying for Stafford Loans are hard when you can't make the grade; I fault no-one for returning to reality. However for those who remain, and who have to pay for what should have been economically predicted seems rather strange to me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Burger Warfare

Am I the only one that's the least bit excited in this new restaurant called Burger Warfare? I keep checking for an opening date, but it seems to be there's no definite date yet (does it seem like an inordinately long wait to open a business, or am I just hungry?). Did it open, and no one told me? I love the artwork that they're doing on Facebook, but what I'm really wondering about is if it's going to be any good.

Statistically, the odds aren't in their favor. While we have our share of okay burger restaurants, even good hamburgers, there's none in Greensboro that are great. Even the legendary McPhersonator (No. 2 on my list of best burgers in NC), isn't a tangible: I'm-going-to-crave-this-when-I-move sandwich. It's a once a year sandwich. There is of course a sliver of hope that they get it right. All I ask for is a single chili-cheeseburger with actual good chili. Almost every chili in North Carolina is horrid (please no beans). I really want this place to be amazing. I'm excited, but I don't want to be let down. Not to mention that they have very stiff competition just a few miles down the road at Johnson's. I really can't see how they're going to beat the whole fresh slaughtered take on the hamburger? Please don't make this another attempt on gourmet burgers. I want push-cart, bloody, medium cooked, cheesy, gooey, and delicious burgers on soggy buns. No plates, just wax paper and a handful of napkins.

If this really is a war, how do we decide who wins? Perhaps its just a gimmick (a good one at that), but to suggest you've got the gumption to title a restaurant in a way which suggests superiority (that's sort of the point of war) takes a lot of guts. Bravo to you, and good luck! I can't wait to try it!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day - Love is for everyone.

"They say love is friendship set on fire. And if you're lucky enough to find someone you can give yourself to, mind, body and soul, you should hold on, and hope like hell you don't get burned." -Erica Strange
What do you do if you're "trapped" in a corner with Cupid's arrow of love pointed straight to your heart? Do you give in? Do you fight back? The day of St. Valentine is upon us. A day for courters to express their love. The story of Saint Valentine had been embellished over time to enhance the sales of romantic goodies. Yes it is a "holiday" giving in to capitalism. But is it really a day where good girls submit to doing bad things? Wouldn't young lovers give in to temptation without cards and candies on Feb. 14th? Is sex a contagious evil from America? Some Muslims are not in favor of this western celebration. Some Christians are fretting about what their daughters will do. But in the end, no matter how hard culture, religion and society fight against young love and interracial love and same sex love, it is the LOVE that will prevail. Whether it makes sense to those all around doesn't matter. Because to those bitten and smitten, it makes perfect sense. Nature will take it's course and hearts will connect and fall completely helpless to being completely hopelessly head over heels.

I think that it is good to have a day reserved to assess our relationships. A day to show appreciation for the person who has stuck with you despite being jostled around in the vast chaos of life. Whether these feelings are marked on a calendar or not, the recognition of love will still take place if you really have found your right mate. If not, then this day is a good day to wake up, get some courage and do something about it. Don't waste another year of mediocrity while a grander world of passion and true love awaits. Valentine's Day has transformed from a religious calendar date to a day we can appreciate universally. Give in to it. It's just about that four letter word. Love.