Sunday, December 12, 2010

What is a pineapple express?

There is a "pineapple express" coming through Seattle over the next couple days. That means warmer than usual temperatures and lots of rain and we've had some wind too. I hear that phrase being thrown around a lot this weekend but I wonder where it came from? I had assumed that it refered to pineapples growing in tropical regions and this being tropical-like weather. A quick look-up of the etymology shows that it is not just a random weather condition, but is specifically a jet stream coming up from the South Pacific to the West Coast. So, there ya go. I always wonder these things when I hear people throwing around phrases like that just because (in this case) Cliff Mass used it. And I wonder if they actually know specifically what it means. Or maybe I'm the only one who didn't know specifically what it meant until I looked it up? Sigh. There's always that.

I'm apparently one of the few adults left in Seattle who likes it when it dumps snow (but then I have a Subaru with all wheel drive and new tires so maybe that is part of it?) and I also really like these heavy downpours of rain. I like listening to the rain when I'm in bed, I like watching it pour over the windows like we're out at sea in a storm. I just like it. It's even better with thunder and lightening storms. Plus, we have the most hard-core waterproofing system in our basement that we don't need to worry about flooding. Our house could basically be surrounded by a river and our basement wouldn't flood. I feel like I have a right to gloat while my neighbors bail out their basements because we did have to drop a lot of money into getting that system put in and in case nobody has figured that out we are not wealthy by any means (despite the horse).

Speaking of which, I posted on an acquaintance's Facebook page something about my horse and someone else posted in a snotty response about "keeping their horse behind the butler's quarters". It never occurs to me that people might mistake us for being rich because I have a horse. We're fine, we can pay our bills and don't have to worry about buying food and making sure our utilities stay on. But we are not even remotely rich. We can't afford to take vacations to Hawaii or Europe, we have old cars and all our clothes are from outlets or when Old Navy has a sale. Our furniture is fairly-to-super old and we don't have any of those fancy tech things like iPhones or big screen tv's or even a stereo that isn't 18 years old. It's just my priority for myself is to have a horse over traveling and toys and that's what I spend my money on. If I didn't have a job and got to be a stay-at-home mom like the majority of our neighbors we couldn't afford for me to keep my horse. So, it always amazes me when people flippantly assume we're rich because of my horse. I want to point out to them that they spend far more on clothes and getting their hair done and dinners out at nice restaurants than I do on my horse. Plus, skiing is just as expensive a hobby. Nobody assumes because you go snowboarding you're rich.

I understand the atagonism toward people who are rich. I used to have that too, and it's hard not to in this country when there are bozos who run companies where they outsource their manufacturing to over seas sweat shops and outsource their customer service to third world countries just to make a profit for themselves while screwing workers in the U.S. But I've also befriended some really great people who are wealthy and it just makes me tired the judgments and stereotypes.

1 comment:

  1. I got that comment about wealth on another blog, http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/, because I mentioned the lovely elderly women who I encounter at the local pool during noon swims. Apparently this rather bitter woman thought it was like the one her mother paid high fees to belong to. I had to explain to her it was a public pool with reduced fees for seniors.

    Also, no one I know who has had horses is/was wealthy. That includes my sister, a friend's niece and a UW professor's daughter. Actually I think having a kid in select soccer might be more expensive (requires trips all over state, paying coaches and on and on... something my sister did pay for!).

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