Saturday, April 5, 2014

Climate Change

Did you ever have one of those weeks when something good happens there is an equal and opposite crappy re-action? That’s the way it’s been for me lately. I noticed my back was finally starting to feel better as I sat waiting in the urologist office. Later in the week, I finished a sketch, which I thought was pretty good, during a model session when the proctor came over and asked me if I was sure I was right-handed. Maybe my life is just mimicking the weather here. It was 70° at sunset yesterday, but I woke to find three inches of snow on the ground. Which leads me to my next theory.
States seem to have their own personality, much like a corporation can have its own culture. I think much of this is due to their climate. Back in New York, it was tough and grey most of the year and it seemed to alter the general mood of the populace. It has a badass reputation and deservedly so. On the other hand in Minnesota it has the opposite effect. The people are as friendly as the weather is hostile. In Florida, where the air is heavy with humidity life seems stagnant. It’s not the heat but the futility.
If this new theory of mine holds water it might explain Colorado. I find it unwise to store either shorts in the winter or coats in summer with the five-day forecast resembling a rollercoaster. With the influx of families from both coasts, this traditionally red state is turning blue in certain areas, and holding on tight in others. It is becoming a state with a split personality.
For instance, Weld County, which is very conservative, voted down offering recreational marijuana, and was so incensed on how times were changing that they tried becoming the 51st state. However, the small town of Garden City, population 241, located in Weld is selling it and filling their coffers to the brim with new taxes and jobs that the struggling town needed. A Pot Oasis in the Red Desert it’s no wonder there’s a referendum to change the state motto to “Dude”.
Long time residents offer some unique traits. Many are all smiles and will do anything to start a donation pool. But don’t ask a friend over without having at least one vegan dish or face being blackballed from the community. There’s deep down resentment brewing as if it was 8am in a coffee shop. How did I figure that? If you are looking for facts you’ve come to the wrong place. However, I offer this tidbit. Many drivers go five miles under the speed limit in areas where it is impossible to pass them, highways as well as rural roads. They seem to get a certain pleasure out of this from the looks on their faces as I accelerate by. The state created a new law designating left-hand lanes for passing only and drivers are subject to fines. Who says government doesn’t work?
Passive-aggression fits the bill nicely for those that don’t want to be seen as unfriendly, but are seething with hostility. The In-Your-Face anger found in New York is becoming a distant memory. Even as I write this I struggle to remember what it’s like to curse out a stranger or even how to flip the bird. One day it will be gone completely. One day I will be very sad.

This pencil sketch (not the one mentioned above) was from a live model session in February. I decided to enlarge it and turn it into an oil painting. I’m fairly happy with the results, but I do think it still falls into that category of 'almost'.