Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why Utah?

Some people, including myself, have wondered why I live in Utah. Here are Reasons #1000, #999, and #998, as part of a continuing series.

Reason #1000 = Today I found this note politely taped to my front door:
Neighborhood Enhancement Program
We will begin working on your street starting tomorrow. We are installing house numbers at your front curbs, so in case of an emergency, your house can be more easily found by official responders and special guests. This year, we are doing something different, involving long-lasting reflective glass beads that will be as night visible as an interstate highway sign. To be included in this Neighborhood Enhancement Program, print your name and street address on the order form envelope and tape it to your front door along with $20 cash or check. We will begin picking up forms and painting curbside house numbers at 8AM (rain or shine)! Remember to check the box below to show support for our troops by having an AMERICAN FLAG painted next to your house number at no additional cost!

D.K. Analysis -- Cons: do we all really want to see brilliantly reflective interstate highway street addresses glaring in our eyes every night? does anyone else worry that those "official responders and special guests" might be providing transportation to somewhere other than the local hospital? and how would having a reflective curbside painted American Flag be showing my support for the troops? How many tire marks will show the proper flag respect? Do you think I could get them to paint it upside down? Pros: No one around here even worries about taping $20 to their front door, I'm serious! No one even questions that the Neighborhood Enhancement Program may simply be enhancing some disreputable thief's wallet.

Reason #999 = This is my neighbor's idea of a liberal candidate. Kind of resembles a headstone. In my opinion, the only purpose of Ron Paul's campaign here in Utah is to steal votes from Mitt Romney. I take solace in the thought that even Mitt's most loyal base might prefer to give their vote to a guy who doesn't stand a ghost of a chance. RiP GoP ...

OK, here is a nice one: Reason #998 = This is the view from my backyard, taken today. It looks pretty much this way all winter. Snow up in the mountains where it belongs, not down here on the ground where I would have to deal with it. Not quite the same as sunny southern california, but then again neither is the traffic.

As you can tell, I've got plenty more reasons. If they are even remotely interesting, I may put up a few from time to time. The headline painting is Edouard Manet's "A Bar at the Folies Bergere". Click on the painting to get up close and personal. Learn more about the painting here. Read more about Manet here.


enigma4ever said...

ahhhhh so nice...a piece of Utah...and why you are a Utahian that what you all are called...

I love the Enhancement program...( I dont think the Ron Paul sign would be included in the enhancement)

AND your is breathtaking...stunning..can I come lay in the backyard with your dogs ....sigh...

Fran said...

Oooh I love your backyard view. Now if I lived in your neighborhood, I would probably spray paint a Peace sign where the flag painting would go & then claim I know nothing about it.

That upside down flag concept is great. Nation in distress.

And how DOES it support the troops???

If Mitt loses in Mormanville, that would be something.

I'm still a little shell shocked that McCain is New Hampshire's guy.... they want MORE war & more of the same? I thought for sure they would have delivered him his walking papers... because he announced if he did not win NH, he was out of the race.

This is gonna be a wild & crazy ride.

Cartledge said...

If Edouard Manet lived in Utah I would seriously consider it, given JK Galbraith no longer resides in Boston.
But having the flag painted on the bloody gutter? Might enhance the Neighborhood but it doesn't say much for the flag.
The painting, no the piece of art is wonderful, the view is a delight, the gutter painting (sorry you call them curbs) sounds a little suspect.

Fran said...

I like what Cart said-- you can do a whole piece titled *Flag in the Gutter~ How low does it go?*

Kind of reminds me of the Bicentennial-- they had flag everything ....

who would have guessed.....

in their wildest dreams


Wait for it........

Flag toilet paper!

Yes-- flush with old glory.

Flag's in the gutter can be made into a song....
using the Cat's in the Cradle tune.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma: it's "Utahn", named after the indigenous Ute tribes. My great-great-grandma is a Paiute (southern Ute). Our backyard is nice, but very cold, this time of year, so we do not spend much time in it. Wait til summer when it's 115, even the dogs don't go outside then! Spring & Fall are damn near perfect; if you ever want to visit.

Cartledge: How right you are -- gutters seem quite a dishonorable place for flags. We don't get much rain here flowing down the gutters, but plenty of blowing red sand accumulates there. That'll make the curbside flags look a bit like the final scene in Planet of the Apes. I like the Manet because 1) she's a strawberry blonde, 2) the look on her face says "why am I here?", and 3) the bar is yet another reminder of something Utah doesn't offer.

Fran: you're killing me! Yes I certainly recall the bicentennial flag-mania, 1976, incl the T.P. (though there was some ruder phrase about old glory printed on the wrapper, free drink from the Folies Bergere bar if you can remember it). OK, sung to "Cat's in the Cradle" --
and the flag's in the gutter to support our troops, it's upside down, that's not a fluke, when're they coming home, son, I don't know when, but we'll have a good time then, yeah, we'll take the flag & throw it in the bin!

pissed off patricia said...

There is something frightening about showing your support for the troops by having a flag painted by your house number. If you don't have the flag does that make the responders respond slower or something. The whole idea is just strange.

Hell of a view. It's beautiful.

azgoddess said...

manet is one of my top ten favs...thanks for the reminder...

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

That flag business is way beyond weird. I would surely hope that no one would do it, but of course they will. So, if you do not want the symbol of our nation painted on the curb in front of your house, you do not support the troops? How the heck do you fly a curb painted flag half-mast? On the way to my parents house you pass a house that has an American Flag painted across two giant gates and right next to it there is a huge KEEP OUT sign. Hah, and the sad thing is, they intended no irony.

Larry said...

I choosed #998 as the other two are too hard to take.

D.K. Raed said...

PoP: good point about ambulances take their time if it's a non-curbside painted flag address. Maybe as I'm keeling over holding my chest, I could run out & quickly spray paint one on the curb. The fumes might serve as a pre-anesthesia.

AZ: Good to see you out & about. I'm gonna have to swing by & see what you're up to!

Pursey: I'm happy to report that NO flags were painted on our street's curbs today. No Night Vision addresses either, YET! Sadly, the giant "Keep Out" double-gate flag you describe would be a good mascot for repug border policy.

Larry: #998 is the winner BY FAR! I hope to have better ones in the future, but no promises -- most likely they will leave you scratching your head.

Fran said...

You are darned good with the lyrics--

Flag's in the gutter for the soldier patriots
the pre-si-dent who sent em' is not
he's busy running prisons, and doin' wire taps
join along in the patriot act...

Flag's in the gutter and a veep named Dick
breaking the law, is his trick
we'd like to impeach him, here and now
but Pelosi's havin' a cow--off the table now

dada said...

D.K.....Listen...I'm just coming off of days and days of computer frustrations and this has inspired me! As an old Art History major (er, minor) your imagery has triggered memories of Degas' Absinthe Drinker(s)...which has inspired a blog soon-to-be....but more on that painting and the spirit your painting that inspired the piece--absinthe!

In that 2008 is just the beginning of the total collapse of reality as we've known it, I shan't leave Earth without sampling this wonderful inebriant.

Thanks for suggesting an "escape route" in the event it gets too unbearable!

Fran said...

dk- I never purchased the bicentennial flag ass wipe, so I can't give details about the label ~ no free drink for me.
The over the top flag everything revolted me, at the time. It had been commercialized to death.

In fact, that was the year I graduated, the school chose- red white & blue tassels for the grad caps.
I was pissed off about it, (there was no vote), so I got a rainbow one (unauthorized) & just showed up @ graduation with it on.

No cookie cutter forced patriotism for me!

So have they tagged your neighborhood yet?
Or are you busy sneaking around snagging those envelopes w cash?

D.K. Raed said...

Dada: maybe that's why the woman has that "Why am I here" look -- the green bottle is absinthe & has been dipped into by the supposed server of drinks herself? Be careful with your chosen escape route. Remember Van Gogh. As for me, if a drink has to be poured through a sugar cube, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to choke it down. Glad your computer probs are desolving!

Fran: your lyrics were excellent! I like your rainbow grad tassle. Ours were gold on a black mortarboard, which I thought were cool. The gowns were the same shade of gold which I wore with black high button-up granny boots.

No, they have NOT "tagged" my street yet, but they did pick up the $20 envelopes (at least they are all gone). They've started a few blocks away, so we may maintain our night vision a few days longer.

The bicentennial TP had a wrapper with some obscene motto of which I only remember the phrase, "glory hole". I was hoping YOU'd know what exactly it was! Well, maybe we should all content ourselves with a few sips of Absinthe & forget the flag.

TomCat said...

#1,000 is better than Portland. In used to live on an unpaved street near the edge of town. In 1982, the city held a neighborhood meeting about paving the street, explained that it would cost about $600 per house, and gave us each a 3x5 card with our names and addresses, asking us to hand them back in after checking a box to indicate whether or not we approved. Then they would know how much interest there was, they said. I liked my unpaved street. No cars could speed down it, so I checked No.

The city held a special election with no other issues on the ballot. All the people who checked Yes were notified by mail. All the people who checked No were not. The measure passed unanimously (by less than 1/5 of the residents. They paved the street and billed me $1,100.

proudprogressive said...

Great post , great comments, and yeah flag mania is just spooky. Its a sign of such superfiscial jingoism nowadays it truly makes me cringe. And yes, DK that is fabulous view. The politics of Utah will be amazing to watch. Well the whole proces is amazing actually.

catch ya on the flip side !

D.K. Raed said...

Tomcat: that sounds very undemocratic. I don't know why I'm amazed anymore when I hear how hard some people work to suppress the vote. I've lived paved & unpaved, and to me, it all depends on the slope of the road. If it's near flat, great, no prob. Curvy is even better for slowing people down. But if it's sloped, everyone drives like a bat out hell downhill, kicking up clouds of dust. Oh & I noticed your actual vs quoted price was about double. Typical!

PProg: I bet your NM view is similar. Snow on the mtns! Oh the politics of UT are something to behold, for sure. But I saw a picture on The Nation yesterday of a crowd of students holding Obama signs. The caption said they were "young members of Utah for Obama". You coulda knocked me over with a feather.

proudprogressive said...

ah yes my heart floods with joy and hope because of the Mayor of Salt Lake City. There are liberals in Utah who da thunk it. And of course their is our Dynomo woman of the OAK and her family. Yes my scenery and level of privacy could be more spiritually and breathtaking if i was a millionare. The elements are my best friends. And i look at my single wide (not in a trailer park but on huge ranch owned by very very cool "family") as my santuary. NM is a blue state. There are tons of old time radicals tucked away in the hills and dales. The semi high desert will help a person heal, as all the issues will perculate to the top - It certainly has healed me, but not before a dark night of the soul - no make that a dark few yrs of the soul..(no lie) And bloggin has helped. I am glad you are Utah..its not all that far away But as we know on the blogs, the miles fade away as kindred spirits find eachother.

i was really sad when we got street signs. Civilazation encrouching. As for your curbs OY Vay hopefully the sparkle will be cherry ? but the flags..gag me !

proudprogressive said...

* oh jeepers me a typo scenery could NOT be more breathtaking if i was a gazillionare. (does wonder if english is my second language )

D.K. Raed said...

PProg: are you clairvoyant? Rocky Anderson was going to be among my next list of reasons for living in Utah! He just stepped down as SLC mayor. And shhh, another reason was going to be
an interesting blog with many authors that one would NEVER suspect reside here, incl a TG (yes! even here in Zion).

Your ranch/sanctuary sounds perfect, just what you need, and NM being blue and all must really help, too. Keep healing. The desert (high, intermed, or low) is not desolate, but it does have a way of laying things bare, exposing the essentials, the core of life, things we all need to examine & come to terms with.

Spadoman said...

Sorry I'm late to this party. I have been out of town.

In Minneapolis, the curb painting was done by a company and NOT part of a city sponsored program. Some paid and got the curb numbers, some didn't. I am understanding that if the city itself did it, every house would have a number and there wouldn't be a collection envelope on your door.

I do see what you mean about the honesty though. Being comfortable about taping a twenty to your door. My keys for the car sits in the ignition here. No doors are ever locked, even when we leave town. Last Sunday, when we were on the road, I for a call from someone who saw my sign that I make and sell snowshoes. Although I didn't know her, I told her to go in and have a look at them and told her where they were in the house. I guess I could have been cleaned out big time, but wasn't, so far.

We also have those that press their little key thingie remote door lock when they go into the coffee shop for a "to go" cup. I mean, they are in there all of a minute and the car is in view, in front of the door, and they lock it. I don't care, I just don't understand it.

Beautiful View of the mountains. Wasatch? I had the idea you were down south near Beaver or St. George. You know, I used to live in Grand Junction and have experience with the Momo's and the book of creamy creamy havarti. (inside joke, I'll tell you someday)

If Mitt gets elected, (and he has a better chance than Ron Paul), do we all have to get the underwear?

I did as you suggested and clicked on the picture of the painting. I sense strongly that the image is close to your likeness, red hair and all.

Peace to All.

D.K. Raed said...

Hey Spado, the good news is none of the curb crap has made it to our street yet. I'm holding out hope that no one on our street was willing to pay for it. It'd be too much to hope that they might be offended by it.

Our mountain view is southern, not Wasatch. I can see the Cedar Breaks and Vermillion Cliffs heading toward Zion from here. And I can reassure you that you won't have to wear any magic underwear if you tell me the Momo joke!

The image ... oh well, let's just say I get the same look on my face, that UH WHAT NOW? look often. You obviously missed my family photo in the doll story sometime before xmas. And you must've also missed my NYE Island where it's obvious I need an italian translator & some mafia protection. Just kidding ya, I know you've been out of town -- having fun, I hope!

Fran said...

dk-- What would be funny is to say yes, I'd like a flag emblem, but I want it to be Either the Swiss flag (neutral), or some other country flag.

Or a flag of the planet earth from space. Would you not love to see the expressions on their faces?

Well if they are going to offer flags, there should be a variety to choose from, here in the land of the free, right?

D.K. Raed said...

hah, Fran, you got a point! They only specified "American Flag". So they should be offering Canadian maple-leafs and Mexican eagles and what-not all the way down to Tierra Del Fuego (what do THEY have, maybe a puffin on their flag?). I only know for certain, my house will have no curbside glow-in-the-dark address or flag ... unless they mess up & somehow do it for free & then, well you know, someone is going to have to remove it & it won't be me.

Mr. Natural said...

Just thought I would Thank you for using My Video...The Untitled Protest...Seems we are on the same side . Except I'm Not Political...I'm An Anrchest. There are more @


...Keep the Faith....Power To The People!!


D.K. Raed said...

Mr. Natural/Dan: I pulled that Untitled Protest vid off Country Joe's site. I felt it captured the timelessness and uselessness of war. Belated thanks for producing it. I will check out your other works. Hope that anarchy thing works out for you.

TomCat said...

DK, here it was perfectly flat. It happened during one of the few times that the right-wing was on top here, of course.

Mary said...

Sorry to say my first thought was "SCAM". I too love the upside down flag idea but also Fran's idea of the peace sign. The whole flag idea feels icky.

That is some beautiful country you have there. It would be enough for me.

azgoddess said...

i thought of this post when i watched this movie:

D.K. Raed said...

AZ: I've not seen the movie (it was never shown here, hmmm, wonder why), but I've visited the Mountain Meadows monument. Right now, I'm reading a book about it by Sally Denton ("American Massacre, 1857"). In doing more research, I've found out that at least one of my direct ancestors was involved in the shooting & clubbing deaths. This is a horrendously painful realization. MM was the largest civilian atrocity to occur on american soil until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The cover-up story about indians is simply unbelieveable. People who confuse mormons for the pacifist Amish are making a big mistake. I think I NEED to see the film, so thanks for reminding me.

D.K. Raed said...

oops, forgot Mary ... as of today, STILL no curbside flags on OUR little street. Maybe we've got a little pocket of less jingoistic patriotic neighbors than I suspected. I don't talk politics with them, so can't be sure. Thanks for stopping by!