Thursday, February 5, 2015

Just Gonna Toke Up With My Buddy

SUNY New Paltz had the No. 1 per capita rate of students with drug arrests on campus -- 13.9 per 1,000 students, or 105 on-campus drug arrests in 2013. The school was No. 107 in 2012, with 24 on-campus drug arrests. (Huffington Post, February 2, 2015)

In 1970, despite standing 91 in a class of 619 and graduating with an 88.42% average, nobody wanted me except New Paltz.  I had applied to exactly four SUNY schools - State University of New York at Stony Brook, Albany, New Paltz, and Oneonta - and by February of my senior year, I knew I was in.  All I really wanted was to get away from home, so this suited me just fine.

What I didn't know was that New Paltz was ranked as the number two drug school in the country, right behind UC Berkeley and just ahead of SUNY Stony Brook.  It wasn't the sort of thing I was looking for and certainly was not included in the information I pored over in my well-thumbed volume of  1000 American Colleges and Universities.

New, New, New Paltz...
New, New, New Paltz...
New Paltz is good enough for me.
I ain't gonna work and I ain't gonna study,
Just gonna toke up with my buddy,
New Paltz is good enough for me!!!!!!

In my sophomore year, we got a campus radio station with a theme song.  Quaaludes were really popular then, so much so that the following year I named my lab rat Quaalude Cannabinol.  My reluctant nod to the prevalent drug culture.  

I'm not sure who did the ranking, nor what it was based upon.  Not arrests, not then.  Nelson Rockefeller was Governor of the State of New York, and the SUNY system was one of the prize jewels of his administration.  The story was that at least state law enforcement knew not to engage in any on-campus drug busts.  I am guessing the locals were similarly advised.  At any rate, I knew of exactly one drug bust during the 2 years I attended the school.  Unfortunately, it involved my lab partner from chemistry class, a dude named Paul, who made the mistake of dealing dope off-campus. I never saw him again.  Never.

At this juncture in my reminiscing, let me assure you that at no point during this post am I going to confess to using drugs during my college years, or any year that I was in school (and since I was in school, one way or another until almost forty, you can guess where I am coming from.  I'm as square as they come, I admit it.)

With Monday's article, is proof of that old chestnut "the more things change, the more they stay the same."  Too bad.  I never knew anyone whose life was improved by slavish devotion to weed or powder or pill.  I could rant on ... another time.  I had good times in New Paltz, and made the type of friendships that last a lifetime. No pot heads.

Today's new is bad news.  Anti-vaxxers and a measles epidemic.  Crippling blizzards everywhere but Florida.  Islamic terrorists burning hostages alive.  What, beheading wasn't barbaric enough for them?  These are the worst kind of animals, beasts without any kind of conscience.  They are modern day Nazis, and I do not say that lightly.With all due respect, the President is wrong.  Dead frakking wrong.  Stupidly, stubbornly, arrogantly wrong.  Of course, former President Bush was also mind-numbingly wrong in delaying his attack on Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda so that Afghani tribal chiefs could help us find them. He should have carpet-bombed the region on September 12, 2001.

You cannot appease people like this.  Ask Neville Chamberlain's ghost.  Ask the six million Jews, and the millions of gay, Roma, Sinti, and handicapped people who were tortured, experimented upon, and murdered by Hitler's Nazi regime.  Ask the American soldiers who helped to liberate the Nazi concentration camps.

My back still feels like it is breaking, in part because I stood on my two little feet for the better part of three hours during my morning trial.  There will be no food shopping or cooking this evening. I have a mad craving for take-out Chinese food, but I'm not sure the stars are properly aligned to have that happen.  I hurt, I'm cold, my brain is sluggish although not foggy.  My office looks like my files engaged in raucous, illicit sex during the night and gave birth to an exploding population of more blue files, cluttering my desk, my shelves, my chairs, my floor.  Cognitive overload.  Too many notes, damn it.  I will be finishing my trial tomorrow morning, thanks to the Great Gods of Litigation.  Thereafter, I can jump right into preparation for my next two trials set for late next week.  Two termination of parental rights trials.  Very sad and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Before that, though, I just gotta do some cooking.  Coming home, curling up in my corner, watching the news, and knitting, just seems so darn decadent when it hasn't been preceded by some kind of cooking.  There's that Jewish guilt, lapping at my shoes. Or it could be Chelsea, lapping at my ankles.  In this household, one never knows.

For this evening, I'm going to continue knitting, because it's not like anyone is going to starve.  There are still a few meals worth of leftovers. Also, my son can, and does subsist on ramen noodle bowls that he fixes up with fresh garlic cloves and eggs, a pungent combination that makes my stomach juices curdle. 

Every man for himself.  Just this once, okay?