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Poem for Class   
04:34pm 26/07/2009
mood: sore
In my class about teaching diverse students, I had to write a poem about myself with the prompt of "I am from..."


Here ya go.

I Am From

I am from a military home
Defying the stereotype
of blind allegiances

I am from a German mother
Who never bothered
to teach me the language

I am from a desolate land
Palm trees and coastline
and scorched, overpopulated earth

I am from the lowest lows
Searching for the deepest deep
and the highest heights

I am from a jigsaw
Pieced together each home
moving boxes and car rides

I am from every foreign smell
Fresh paint and new carpet
and stale food and mildew

I am from others' homes
I am from buildings
that were never fully mine

I am from a beautiful city
The art and soul of soulful art
where roots actually feel right

I am from low expectations
Mediocre was good enough
until it finally wasn't

I am from endless potential
Stretching out like a horizon
which is something I can't catch

I am from a soulful ache
To make something matter
to live beyond the basic

I am from amazing lives
My friends my crutches
when I refused to stand

I am from a piano
A paintbrush, a pen
the tools of progress

I am from the most comfortable bed
Eight pillows, several blankets
all alone, like I think I like it

(8 overinflations | Inflate my Ego)

Les Gobelins   
10:37am 24/07/2009
mood: serene
And so my dream took me to Paris. It was sunny and bright, much like it had been when I actually visited. Instead of the piercing cold winds, however, the air was warm and inviting. And, unlike most experiences when I am confronted by sunlight and warmth, I took great pleasure in it.

I walked without purpose, noticing the street names but not paying mind to them. I was along the Seine, observing the way that the sunshine seemed to bleach most of the features of the city. Trees and streets were washed out, but the champagne colored stone of nearly every building blazed a fierce gold in the midday. Every painted door, flower stand, and awning seemed like an electric current had flowed through it to charge the pigment in defiance of the overpowering sun.

The warmth persisted, but never fully became what could be called hot. It was the epitome of perfection, and walking on the gravely path of the river felt more like treading water. I swam through the air as my toes brushed the bottom of the now endless sea. What I then noticed was the absence of others in this strange environment. I walked alone, soundlessly, and the constant whirring city noises were present, although muffled, as if they were coming from afar, from an invisible source.

In most instances where I have found myself alone in a strange city, the unfamiliar surroundings sparked fear and anxiety. This time was remarkably different, as if perhaps the sun and the lack of physically feeling anything except the warmth and cushion of the fluid air had cradled me in an impervious protection against the alien setting. I continued on, and the Eiffel Tower appeared in the periphery. The structure stood out, almost comically, as being so distinctly brown without the filters of atmosphere and photo lenses. I moved away from the riverbank and began to let the shadows of golden apartments provide cover as I ventured toward a home whose owner I did not know.

(Inflate my Ego)

09:56pm 16/07/2009
mood: complacent
These are my firsts. If I tag you it means I want to know yours. Copy and paste this note into your notes, delete my answers and fill yours in. Tag me back and anyone else whose "firsts" you want to know about...

1. Who was your FIRST crush? I think it was a professional baseball player when I was 6. I don't remember.

2. What was your FIRST pet? We had a cat named Generic. I don't remember her.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Swiped a glass of wine when I was 3 and downed it.

4. What was your FIRST job? Grocery Outlet. Ugh.

5. What was your FIRST car? 92 Ford Taurus.

6. Who was the FIRST person to text/IM you today? I think Nick texted me back. That had to be it.

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? Stephanie since I was getting up for work.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mrs. Bartlett.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Hawaii.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend? A girl who was named Janessa.

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? Um, a girl's birthday party in the 3rd grade where we ate junk food and I vomited.

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? Liz/Sussan. They had to give me New Moon, because I can't NOT know what happens to Bella and Edward.

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Hit snooze.

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Tori Amos. And my most recent. The circle is complete!

16. FIRST tattoo? Scorpio. Age 19.

17. FIRST piercing? Ears, age 3.

18. FIRST foreign country you went to? Canada.

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing? Probably Bambi.

20. When was your FIRST detention? 8th grade, for not bringing a book for silent reading.

21. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? Piano.

22. When did you FIRST learn to swim? About 6 ish.

23. What was the FIRST sport that you were involved in? Soft Ball.

24. What were the FIRST lessons you ever took? Gymnastics.

25. What is the FIRST thing you do when you get home? Put my keys on the front table as I kick off my shoes.

26. Who do you think will be the FIRST person to post this next? Hmmmmm. Ashley, maybe.

(Inflate my Ego)

My Tori Show   
07:41am 12/07/2009
mood: happy
In case you missed my song-by-song Twitter account of the show, here ya go. Also, I missed some, because I wasn't as familiar with newer song titles. Can I be blamed? The style has shifted, and the new stuff doesn't hold me as firmly. Anyway.

1 Give I hadn't heard this song at ALL before the show. It was a good energetic show-opener.
2 Caught a Lite Sneeze I think she purposely sang this just "creatively" so no one could join in!
3 Welcome to England Totally wasn't a fan of this song before, but the live rendition is superb.
4 Graveyard OH MY GOODNESS I NEARLY PEE'd. Relatively certain I never heard this live before. (edit, I saw it in 1999 - but that was 10 years ago! Of course I'd forgotten)
5 Cornflake Girl The only sadness in this is that people stayed firmly planted instead of dancing!
6 Icicle Fabulous! And the lights during this one were really neat, truly pretty.
7 Little Amsterdam Deep, rich red saturated the stage - :D
8 Siren She fucked up during this, joked about it. That was neat. Otherwise, a pretty boring rendition of it.
9 Starling Performed well, but not doing much for me, overall.
10 Black Dove (January) OMFG! I lurve this song, and it came out really well.
11 1,000 Oceans I usually hate this song, but I liked it last night. Sussan LOVED it! We had to listen to it in the car on the way home.
12 River (Joni Mitchell) Never seen her do this one live. Sussan knew the lyrics so I think that was special for her.
13 Winter So nicely done.
14 Playboy Mommy Great, but I think she went a little too far into "sexy" for it, considering the subject matter.
15 Little Earthquakes Superb!!!
16 Fast Horse I am positive this is my favorite Abnormally Attracted to Sin song - I really find no fault in it, and it was done very well.
17 Take to the Sky Great, with the "I feel the earth move" improv, of course.
18 Carbon I am not a fan of this song. But she did it well. Like, it's a solid C, but no C+
19 Honey It was a very interesting performance, the way the band accompanied her. Fabu.
20 Precious Things Good, good, and the lights intensified at just the right times...
21 Strong Black Vine Meh. Not a way to do the fake ending.
22 Big Wheel First encore song, and finally, some dancing! This song has been growing on me.
23 Tombigbee Good wrap up to the whole show. I've always liked this song.

How does this compare to previous shows?

The last time I saw her was in 2002!! Here's what I saw her do live in all my previous shows that she didn't do this time... sadly so, in some cases (bolded):

Wampum Prayer
A Sorta Fairytale
Sweet Sangria
Space Dog
Past the Mission
I Can't See New York
Spring Haze
In the Springtime Of His Voodoo
Here. In My Head
Taxi Ride
Pandora's Aquarium

97 Bonnie and Clyde
Upside Down
Not the Red Baron
Bells For Her
Happy Phantom
Me And a Gun
Daniel (Elton John)
Enjoy The Silence
Pretty Good Year

Past the Mission
Riot Poof</b>
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Professional Widow
Tear In Your Hand

American Pie (Don McClean)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
Doughnut Song
She's Your Cocaine
Raspberry Swirl

Have I never seen Silent All These Years? WEIRD.

Okay. Yes. I've been a fan for a LONG time. This was wonderful. Pictures to follow, promptly!

(Inflate my Ego)

09:28pm 21/06/2009
mood: sympathetic
I used to just research for debate and not really think much about the real world - I wanted fodder for the most important arguments, and I kept emotionally distanced from it all.

Something within me softened this year.

Last year, I read a book that looked interested (literally, the cover intrigued me, probably because Wurtzel is a total babe) titled Bitch, subtitled "In Praise of Difficult Women." I read it, at first, because I wanted to learn more about feminism without being bored to tears. Elizabeth Wurtzel is not a boring writer. I loved the book, and I felt like I didn't have to read things that were useful for debate at the expense of reading for my own pleasure.

So, I don't know -- maybe it was Obama, maybe it was something else --

I started caring about the real world. Not just the one I promised to attain should my arguments by accepted by an adjudicator. This year, I went to "Take Back The Night" and marched through Portland to help the city stand up in the face of sexual violence.

I've always, Always, ALWAYS cared way more about large, international topics than small, local ones. The issues impacting women seem so much more weighty than those of the immediate neighborhood. Maybe I don't relate too well to my surroundings.

I chose to focus on International Relations upon finally deciding on Political Science as my major. I was fascinated with International Law, International Institutions, and any Poli Sci term that had "International" in front of it. I was hooked. But I didn't really feel emotionally tied to it - it was academic fascination more than anything.

Something really sparked within me over the past week. Iran.

Movements toward democracy and against the abuses of government are not new. Genocide has been a perpetual issue, such as in Darfur. Political freedoms are limited nearly everywhere. My god, I had just spent nearly a month in China and was unable to look at YouTube or anything with a blog attached to it, but I was more apathetic than anything. Russian elections seem completely illegitimate.

So why Iran?

I haven't quite put my finger on it. But, I think I'm getting there. The Economist wrote that there are two likely outcomes in the recent political strife. Either the government forsakes any attempt for legitimacy (the elections are an attempt at getting a stamp of approval on a regime, a mandate if you will, even if they aren't transparent in any circumstances) by quashing the protests even more violently than they have at the moment, or the government retains "legitimacy" by caving to the demands of those who demonstrate.

In my opinion, both outcomes produce a changed Iran. I don't want to use a false dichotomy, but it really does seem like there are two paths this affair could take.

If the first path is taken, the government destroys all illusions for its legitimacy. An obviously illegitimate government is much easier to dismantle because it loses the fragile public support it may have once had before it committed the abuses necessary to retain a monopoly of power. I don't want this outcome to occur, because it will mean so many more people are going to be killed and abused by their government to achieve this outcome. However, I see what good may eventually come out of it - and I think Iranians are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to have a legitimate government of their choosing emerge out of this.

The second path, which I really would prefer to have followed, shows the government accepting the complaints from the Iranian people as legitimate, and actually conceding the need for a free and fair election. An election happens, and all people who wish to run for the office get to be on the ballot. The polls are secure, the votes are counted, and the results are transparent. I wish this would happen, but I doubt it. The Supreme Leader is standing by Ahmadinejad, and let's look at the history: the results of the election were announced before polls even closed, more than 100% of people voted in some areas, Musavi didn't carry his hometown in the "official" results, Twitter updates came from Iran that people had truckloads of ballot boxes they were instructed to burn, etc., etc., etc.....

The preferable option is unlikely.

When Neda, named "the call" in Farsi since her real name is unknown, was killed in protest, I actually cried. The story was hours old at the time I found out, and I sat, stunned, and found myself crying at the description of her death.

The Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day...

I never used to care. And now I do --- it's painful. There is a real world outside of my debate rounds, and now that I am finding a connection to it, my heart is breaking hourly. Videos of police aggressively arresting civilians. Photographs of dormitories vandalized and burned by the government. Brutalization. Death. All in the hopes of getting a democracy.

I will never take my privilege for granted again.

(Inflate my Ego)

Tweets I made that made me laugh.   
09:18am 09/03/2009
mood: groggy
Monday after DST begins, plus snow, minus drive, plus inability to get out of bed, plus dreams of House, means I drove to work today.

House got delayed from eating lunch and passed out on a patient in their bed. House wouldn't wake up. Finally, blood tests confirmed...

...Low blood sugar, after Lupus was ruled out. Because, you know, it is never Lupus.

I think that was the funniest dream-interpretation of hyperbole within a TV series ever. I am LOLing.

(Inflate my Ego)

Tomorrow Tomorrow   
10:05am 02/02/2009
mood: melancholy
Where am I today? At work, for starters, but in terms of where I am in a positional sense of life - I am lost.

I am stretched thin, voluntarily, by all of my commitments. I love my job and try to be here as much as possible. I love writing for The Spectator but I constantly worry about how I'll fit it in next year. Same thing with coaching my students at Sunset - it's really rewarding to see them work and succeed, but next year will have a new schedule with grad school so I might not be able to physically be there. Coordinating the team is something I perpetually feel is TOO MUCH for me to handle anymore, even with Dana, but I fear passing the torch to someone who hasn't gone through all the trials-by-fire that I've gotten in these past two years. It's so necessary to work hard and make this team functional, but PSU is putting in overtime to make sure this job is as difficult as possible lately. It bugs me so much.

Class is class. This term doesn't count so I'm slacking like woah. I think I'll change my grading options in a few of my classes because this term is not going to help or harm my GPA, so C- worthy work won't look as such on my transcripts.

Scratch that - my Geography Class won't let me change my grading mode. So it sucks.

Poetry class is going well in terms of my writing. My prof does not like how I interpret class reading assignments and penalizes that heavily. So he can die.

My Women, Writing and Memoir class is making my soul restful. It is like my weekly therapy session. I got out a lot during class last week and decided to read it to everyone at the end of class instead of just my little group. It was frightening. But I'm glad I did it.

The biggest thing on the horizon for me is the trip to China. I still can't believe I'm doing it and it has been igniting my anxiety so crazily. I have had a few little panic attacks as of late and my sleeping has been disturbed by them. I am thinking about going back to Student Health and seeing about techniques to calm myself down, and lacking that, a prescription.

I'm just afraid of living sometimes. I'm afraid of being assertive. I'm afraid of doing what I want because I'm afraid that there are things unexpected around the corner. I'm afraid of the unknown. I'm afraid of rejection. I'm afraid, I'm afraid... I'm afraid.

I have learned bittersweet news. I have invested too much emotionally into things that were never going to pay off. I have realized that I need to live for myself and not anyone else, and that was probably the hardest conclusion I came to. I need to learn how to say no. I need to learn when I should put myself first, and when to put others first. I need to learn diplomacy.

I need sleep. Last night was restless, short, and unsatisfying.

And, dammit, most of all, I need to write a paper.

(Inflate my Ego)

Year in Review   
12:38pm 30/12/2008
mood: downtrodden
1) Where did you begin 2008?
Bangkok, Thailand

2) What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Single. As in, unchanged.

3) Were you in school anytime this year?
Oh, PSU, interminably.

4) How did you earn your money?
Four jobs. Hotel, writing, coaching, coordinating.

5) Did you have to go to the hospital?

6) Did you have any encounters with the police?

7) Where did you go on vacation?
No vacations. Well, I guess Paris counts, even though it was after a tournament. Otherwise, lots of debate travel.

8) What did you purchase that was over $1000?
Tuition. Thanks, Uncle Sam.

9) Did you know anybody who got married?
Nobody important.

10) Did you know anybody who passed away?
I don't think so.

11) Did you move anywhere?

13) Are you registered to vote?

14) Who did you want to win Big Brother?
I don't know, I don't care, that was a stupid question.

15) Where do you live now?
Tigard. As per usual.

16) Describe your birthday.
Oh, joy, another 9 hour flight!

17) What's one thing you thought you'd never do but did in 2008?
Break at Oxford.

18) What has been your favorite moment?
See above.

20) Any new additions to your family?
Nobody immediate had any kids or got married.

21) Your best month?
ummm dunno.

23) Who has been your best drinking buddy?
I did not get drunk much this year.

24) Made new friends?

25) Best NEW friend?

26) Favorite Night out?
I don't go out. I am lame and a homebody.

27) Something you look forward to before 2008 ends?
Seeing if I made the break. UNLIKELY!

28) Where will you start 2009?
Here, in Ireland.

Say one nice thing about the person you dislike the most?
That would involve me narrowing it down to just one person.

Something your looking forward to in the next month ?

Last person you gave up on?
Probably myself. A perpetual problem.

When a friend walks out of your life, do you go after them or let them go?
Context changes everything. Including how I'd answer this question.

How often do you hold back from saying what you are thinking?
A lot more this year than in previous ones.

Is it hard leaving people behind?
Some people choose to get left behind.

Who was the last missed call?
Nick. But I called him back. I bet I have loads of voicemails since I haven't been able to check since Thursday.

Do you tend to fall for players/ hoes?
Uh. no.

Are you mean?
Apparently I'm a Grade-A Bitch. But, Bitches Get Shit Done.

Is it cute when boys/ girls kiss on the forehead?

Would you rather stay at other peoples' houses or have them stay at yours ?
At mine. I don't like leaving what is familiar.

Is there anyone who understands your relationship status?
I think EVERYONE can understand "wow, she is unappealing. no wonder."

Do you remember the last person you were in a car with other then family?
Carly rode with us to the airport.

Is there a night you would like to put on repeat, and live it forever?
I think that night is yet to be had.

Is there someone you' d like to fix things with?
There is someone I'd like to improve things with. And ugh at ending sentences with prepositions.

What kind of mood are you in?
A "resigned to failure, and oh god the only boy I think is cute has already been claimed as theirs by my teammate so I guess I can just curl up and die" mood.

Do you think the last person you kissed cares for you?
I don't remember who it was.

What do you want right now?
To sleep a full night, to break tomorrow, to talk to someone who understands me and can provide comfort.

Think of the last time someone stayed at your house , where is that person?
good god i don't remember.

Who was the last thing / person you took a picture with?
I took a picture of my hand in Amsterdam.

What are you doing tomorrow?
Rounds 7-9. Closed adjudication so, basically, sweating bullets the whole effing day.

Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?

Name something you would NEVER tolerate in a relationship?
A violation of trust.

Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now?
That's a nice idea, but unlikely.

You have to get a tattoo, where and what do you get?
I would like a picture of the globe over my left (back) shoulder because, well, Worlds as a format, an experience, and the planet itself are so vital to my identity right now.

Is the last person you kissed mad at you?
See above. Way above, dumbass, not right above.

Connection between you and the last person who text messaged you?
Stephanie is all kinds of amazing. We met at work and we are admirers of office supplies together.

What do you really think of Starbucks Coffee?
I take coffee in any form, and this one is tolerable enough to make it an option in most instances.

What is the last piercing you got?
My industrial bar but that came out a long time ago.

Have you ever told someone to their face they were ugly?
I don't think so. Not with any seriousness, anyway.

Where is your phone right now?
Next to the computer. Not because the phone works, but because it is my alarm clock.

Are you jealous of your siblings?
Not really.

When is your birthday?
Oct. 29th.

Last time you felt bad about something?
Uh like 8 seconds ago.

Do you go tanning?
Never have, and never will. (keeping previous answer)

Did you ever lose a friend?
In a death sense? No. In other senses. Sure.

What was the last thing you cried about ?
Probably frustration.

What are you listening to right now?
News about the Gaza crap going on.

What was the last thing you ate?
Chicken and Rice. Food here is --- not what I am used to.

How is the weather right now?
Cold and clear.

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone ?
I suppose Chris in the hotel, but not anything substantial or important. That was someone else :D

Name something great that happened Friday?
I got a real beer in Ireland.

Do you like your life as of now?
To a certain extent.

Do you wish someone would call or text you right now?
Sure. Of course. But my phone doesn't work here :(

Do you crack your knuckles?
When stressed.

Does anyone call you babe or baby?
Stephanie does, lol!

What were you doing yesterday at midnight?
Being dead asleep. Like, comatose.

Do you like surprises?
Good ones. Like breaking at Oxford. Bad ones can suck it.

When was the last time you laughed really hard?
I laughed so hard at the Pied Cow that my face hurt.

Last awkward moment?
My entire life is a string of awkward moments. (wow, good answer)

Have you ever liked someone older than you?
Yeah, but that'd be weird if I never did.

Think of the person who's hurt you the most in the past year, who is it?
I can't think of whom so obviously I don't care anymore.

Do you take compliments well?
If I think they're true.

What made you smile today?
The 1 in the first round about an Irish issue that also resulted in us being ranked higher than an Irish team.

What made you sad today?
Uh everything after.

What keeps you up at night?
Anxiety, jet lag, reading Pahalaniuk books.

Are you tan?
Nope. Pale as snow.

Would it be hard seeing someone else kiss the last person you kissed?
I doubt it would be.

Who was the last person you had a deep conversation with?
Well, technically debate can be a series of very deep conversations.

Have you heard a song that reminds you of anyone today?
I haven't listened to too much music today.

Do you currently have a hickey?
No. Ew.

Do you hate the last guy you had a conversation with?
No. It was a conversations with the Seattle guys and they are cool in my book.

What color are your eyes?

If you could have something right now, what would it be?

When's the last time you fell or ran into something?
I tripped at lunch today.

What makes you mad?
No one listening to me/hearing me out.

What are you wearing right now?

Who was the last person you bumped into unexpectedly?
A former Mount Hood debater here.

Ever made someone cry?
Pfft, that's like part of my morning ritual. ;)

Last person you held hands with, do they mean anything to you?

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
I write notes to people all the time.

Does it take a lot for you to cry?
No, but I often do things very adamantly to stop myself before I start. I need to just let it the hell out.

Have you ever been kissed in a basement?
I don't think so.

What are you excited about?

What does your hair look like today?
It was kind of cute with the flat ironing and the bobby pins with rhinestones but one shot of wind and etc.

Honestly, if you could go back 5 months and change something would you?

Anything exciting happening tonight?
Yeah, but I'm not doing it. Bed has more allure. I'm only filling out this survey to kill a bit of time before I'm fully ready to sleep.

Do you know a few people that smoke weed?
A few people? …I live in Oregon. Hello. (well said)

How long does it take you to shower?
Not too long. I don't time it. That'd be weird. Like, doing speed trials or something. Weird.

Do you know anyone who drinks a lot?
I'm at WORLDS for eff's sake.

What should you be doing right now?
Nothing. I need to wind down.

Where was your default picture taken?
Somewhere unimportant.

Where will you be in an hour?
Three feet away in a bed.

What/who woke you up today?
I automatically woke up at 4:30 am.

Do you wear makeup every day?
Most days I at least do mascara/eyeshadow.

Is it okay for guys to wear pink, or does it make them look gay?
I don't like this question.

Who's the first "D" in your contacts?

Last place you went to that took more than 15 minutes and when?
Getting back to the hotel from UCC about an hour ago.

What was the last thing you purchased?
Foodage at Subway the other evening.

Have you ever kissed someone whose name started with the letter A?
I dont't think so.

What are you wearing on your feet?
Green and black striped socks.

Do you like your bed?
My bed is awesome. It's from Ikea.

Have you ever been to New York City?
No, wanna though.

What do you currently hear right now?
Stuff about Gaza and my fingers typing away...

Where did you get the shirt you are wearing?
NIN shirt from Ebay. Track sweatshirt from online as well.

Is the last person you hugged older than you?
Probably. I hugged a lot of people on Briefings Day who I hadn't seen in ages.

Something that makes you laugh every time?
The idea of sparring Roombas.

(Inflate my Ego)

Oh, LOL   
01:52pm 14/12/2008
mood: amused
Me: oh, so it was funny
Me: i was making coffee for a guest and she was asking how i will get home
Me: and i told her my parents are coming
Me: and she thought it was SO sweet that they loved me so much
Me: and in walk my parents
Me: and she tells them how nice it is of them
Me: and they were like "yeah, we don't want anything happening to the car."
Dana: haha
Me: and she was like, "or your daughter...?"
Me: and they were like, "....oh, yeah, of course."
Dana: haha
Dana: that's funny
Me: my parents are douches
Me: lol
Dana: mmhmm

(Inflate my Ego)

Hand in Unloveable Handle   
09:27am 14/10/2008
mood: depressed
I hope that our few remaining friends
Give up on trying to save us
I hope we come out with a fail-safe plot
To piss off the dumb few that forgave us

I hope the fences we mended
Fall down beneath their own weight
And I hope we hang on past the last exit
I hope it's already too late

And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
Someday burns down
And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
And I never come back to this town again in my life

I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long
Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises
We're pretty sure they're all wrong

I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn't over
And I hope you blink before I do
And I hope I never get sober

And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can't find one good thing to say
And I'd hope that if I found the strength to walk out
You'd stay the hell out of my way

I am drowning
There is no sign of land
You are coming down with me
Hand in unlovable hand

And I hope you die
I hope we both die

(No Children by The Mountain Goats)

I'm into songs that echo my mood.

Did I listen to pop music because I was depressed, or was I depressed because I listened to pop music?

(Inflate my Ego)

Day three   
11:13am 03/08/2008
mood: satisfied
Today is my third day of this veganism experiment. So far, I can tell I've had enough caffeine (1-2 cups of coffee in the mornings with soy creamer) and enough protein because I haven't felt any lightheadedness or headache signals. I've also fallen asleep every night very easily, mainly because I no longer have soda through the day but switched to having herbal tea and water through the afternoon. Getting up at 5:30 yesterday for work, you'd have thought I'd taken Unisom the night before, but I actually fell asleep really easily around 10:30 pm without any medications. I even managed to fall asleep for a 30-40 minute nap before my night out with Melissa. I got home at 3 am, starving! I had some oatmeal with dried cranberries and soy milk and that did the trick.

Aside from the fact my head feels less foggy (yeah, I'm keeping up caffeine though, so sue me!), my stomach has been doing awesome. I was a bit nervous about the amount of fiber and roughage increase and how that would impact my sensitive tummy. But, as I should have been able to correlate, my stomach has always been the most pained when I've eaten horribly, including lots of dairy and lots of processed, simple sugars and fats. So the ice cream and Cheetos diet, while mild in the fiber scale, was not what I wanted. Spinach, lentils, cherries, and lots of other things are more complex, whole foods, right? But my stomach feels great. I was expecting a lot of heartburn, and I've had nada. Crazy!!! - I'm going to make this later in the week when my freezer supplies diminish more. For today, I've got flatbread and hummus with tomatoes for at work, some more polenta and vegan pizza for lunch here, and since I'm working really late, I might take a container of vegan Pad Thai with me, or some of the Asian ginger peanut lentil loaf I made. The vegan BBQ lentil loaf is actually fantastic. It tastes better than a lot of veggie burgers out on the market, and what's more, it only cost about, oh, 30 cents per serving instead of a buck or so.

Okay, have I made you hungry yet?

I had a dream about steak last night. It was marinated in a ginger orange concoction and just seared.

My body is happy but the back of my mind is still getting used to this, I think.

(Inflate my Ego)

08:09pm 31/07/2008
mood: sleepy
Life is hectic and somewhat wonderful.

I start veganism tomorrow. My lunch is made and the freezer is stocked with lentil loaf.

I go goth clubbing Saturday night with Melissa.

I'm eating Milk Duds as a farewell to chemically altered and dairy infused goodness for 31 days.

I found soy creamer, soy margarine, lots of textured vegetable protein, peanut butter, soy nuts, kombucha, rice noodles, lots of fresh garlic, hummus and falafel fixings...

I'm looking forward to reporting on September first that I feel better, I sleep better, my skin looks better, and my clothes fit better.

Because if I want something deliciously bad for me that's Vegan, I'll have to cough up $5 for the indulgence at Veganopolis or Whole Foods, and I don't know if that'll be a sustainable habit.

I'm also quitting soda, for good this time. Coffee is still very much permissible, and supplementing the sweet side of things will be tons of fruit teas.

Apples with peanut butter are almost my favorite dessert ANYWAY, so that'll be a frequent addition to the diet.

I made vegan pizza. I made vegan Pad Thai. I made two different types of vegan lentil loaf. I've got plans!

I just want to stop feeling gross. And since August is the grossest month, I'll definitely be able to feel the difference if suddenly, come August 20th, I don't feel all nasty anymore. Cuz summer is nasty.

Ack! NO SODA??! What am I doing?!!?

(2 overinflations | Inflate my Ego)

My Beautiful Nine Inch Nails Recap   
03:46pm 27/07/2008
mood: happy
First, and foremost, there are few words that can do this concert justice. I mean it. I am not exaggerating. Now that I think of it, more and more, this is most likely the best Nine Inch Nails experience that I've had yet. And, oh, yes, there will be MANY returns.

I began my day at 6:30 am, getting up to take my test for grad school. I won't get into how horrible an experience it was, but let's just say that it warranted my crazy antics in the mosh pit later.

I ended (late!) my test, grabbed some energy drinks and cigarettes (I know, I know...), and then ran off to Gresham for picking up Melissa. We hit up Jack in the Box, got on the highway, and started the trek to Seattle. Along the way we stopped around midway through Washington and met some NIN fans at the rest stop. Then we proceeded onward, and now begins the most frustrating part of the story.

Seattle has streets that I needed to drive down to get to the Key Arena. However, they were blocked off. What in the FRICKIN FRACK? And then, when we finally get parking, it's right by some streets that are also inexplicably blocked off. And, then, we see why: There's a FREAKING MARATHON. In the middle of Seattle. At night. What?

So, we RUN through the marathon (twice, because it wraps around the area we need to walk), then through a pedestrian underpass, then through a Starlight Parade (right behind some horses that were literally taking shits as we walked past them), and then through a bunch of pre-teen cheerleaders who were about to start running through the parade themselves. After being bounced from entrance to line to entrance to get our presale tickets, and finding which part of my body would be the most efficient place to hide a camera (don't get too excited, my butt pocket sufficed), we made it in!!!



Crystal Castles opened. Chick in it looked like Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Screaming does not make for good live sounds. Overall, the music part of the act was excellent. The vocals, a-notsomuch-a.

There was an intermission as things were switched. We met some cool people and someone gave me gum. Don't know her name, but I will love her forever. We also found some guys behind us who assured us they'd make sure the pit wasn't too overwhelming (please, sir, make sure we don't get crushed). Same guys ended up groping us, so one of them got an elbow in the back from me. Word.


999,999 begins the show. It starts playing before the house lights even go out. Then it goes dark, then, out comes the band, and then then then then there comes TRENT during:

100,000 is all kinds of sweet. Trent comes out wearing a red shirt, and my goodness, I was fucking CLOSE to the stage! After we get over the "ZOMG we're breathing the same air as him" moment, we brace ourselves to be rocked.

Letting You is when people start getting really intense and the pit starts to sweep us away slightly from our prime spots. I believe this is when the groping happened, and the subsequent elbowing. The band, at this point, I am convinced sounds better than ever. I also have a very good view of Alessandro Cortini and he doth play dem keyboardz.

Discipline comes on, and then I start to think maybe he's just going to play The Slip in its entirety. The crowd gets less thrashy and more dancy. Good stuff.

March of the Pigs is awesome and hilarious, because Trent yells at us for singing along and not pausing when he did for the "then everything is all right" in the first chorus. The crowd is nuts. It is fucking awesome. If any bruises are on my legs (oh, and there are), most of them came from this song.

Head Down is a pretty rocking song, but it's also somewhat more sedate than MOTP (like, most of NIN's catalog is, so yeah). More from The Slip. Woot woot.

The Frail begins, and I get all excited because I think this means I'll get to hear The Wretched. Au contraire. It's very pretty as usual.

Closer comes on instead. Trent, what? First of all, you did this much earlier in the show than you have years past. Not that I'm complaining, but don't shoot your load in the first half, my friend. Closer sounds kind of weird during the "I drink the honey" part (someone said on the boardz that it sounded like Pinion or something), but all in all, it was amazing and the first time the ENTIRE audience is singing together. MOTP was kind of like that, but Closer was the bigger single, blah blah.

Gave Up's first three seconds result in me bracing myself to not only withstand the craziness, but be a partial cause of it. A guy behind me was doing the "smash up my sanity" in the high pitched voice along with the band and it was great. I would have married him then and there had he not looked like a severe meth head.

Then a screen comes down. WHAT. And light gets projected from it/on it. And stuff comes in front of it. Like, keyboardz and shizzz. And then it's The Warning. Mmk, it's great to hear Year Zero stuff, but I wasn't digging how this sounded live. I mean, it was good, but it wasn't Zomg Great.

The Great Destroyer comes on, though, and fucking blows it out of the water. FUCKING AMAZING.

Then a "Something's gonna get broken" moment happens because some douche didn't push a button to turn on lights. But, when it finally gets pushed, amazing things have begun.

The stage lights up with xylophones and um.. glockenspiels? Robin Finck on a recorder. It's... it's... Ghosts.

Ghosts 1, Ghosts 25, and Ghosts 19 are SO good done live. I was just sitting there jaw-dropped the whole time. It was not a letdown.

Then Piggy starts, but we can't quite tell it's Piggy. Because it's Ghosts Piggy. Meaning, Robin starts plucking a ukulele. And then it's "Hey Pig.. yeah you..." And great singing. And great crazy Josh Freese drums. And and and goodness it was great. I've seen it done at each NIN show and it's always enjoyable.

Screen came back down and this crazy projection technique is done while The Greater Good is done. The official setlist doesn't list it. But it's totally done. And I can't even describe the projection of TR's face and crazy surveillance-like feel that it has, and neato burrito lighting effects and craziness and then it all comes back up and it's:

WISH. And I don't know about you, but I go crazy as shit when I hear that.

Terrible Lie. :D

Survivalism has like hidden camera surveillance projected on the screen behind the band. And we all punch the sky during the "I got my FIST, I got my plan..." Nice.

The Big Come Down is one of my favorite Fragile songs. I was getting tired at this point because I hadn't eaten, so it wasn't as wonderful (due to context) as it had been for years past.

Ghosts 31 is not my favorite Ghost. But it was nice.

Only had crazzzy ass lights. It was awesome.

The Hand That Feeds was apparently next, according to a setlist. I don't remember two With Teeth songs being played in a row, but I do know both of those songs were played.

Head like a Hole was obligatory, but did NOT disappoint.

Echoplex began with Josh Freese programming a drum machine ON THE FUCKING LED SCREEN. WHAT?!?! So fun. Nice. Good. Energy back up!

The Beginning of the End RAWKED. It is when I noticed that Robin makes really funny faces when he jams on the guitar.

The Good Soldier made me incredibly happy. I love Year Zero songs so much, and he could have done the entire album front to back without a single complaint from me.

Hurt. Done without a piano. Done with Trent at the mic. Done like I'd never seen it before. Hurt with everyone singing along. With the intimacy of being less than 30 feet away from TR. My favorite way I've seen Hurt thus far.

We thought it was over.

And then the most beautiful, most poetic, perfect ending ever, that brings tears to my eyes with In This Twilight. The lights on the screen behind the band were exactly the scene I visualized the first time I heard the song. The bassist (dude, can't remember his name right now), put down his guitar and waved goodbye, and lights went out on Robin, Josh and Alessandro, and then Trent finished on the piano, thanking us for the last time (and he thanked us several times through the show), and left.

It was beautiful. It was exhausting. I bought a t-shirt that will likely offend people. I don't care. We were acknowledged as being the first REAL show on this tour. Trent sweat through two shirts. I was disgusting afterward. We walked to the car, which miracle of all miracles had not been broken into, and drove back to Portland. Leaving Seattle at midnight, I drove Melissa home and got to my bed at 4 am. I made really good time, and got a few hours of sleep before work. I'm here now, laughing my ass off because I'm drunk tired. I had dreams about the concert and the money I spent on this that could have gone to tuition, but I don't give a shit. I had food, finally, around 3:30 am as I stopped for gas in Gresham, eating a dinner of Pringles and a Snickers. I nearly vomited. I nearly fucked a bitch up. It was awesome. I will do it again in a heartbeat. But I can't get to Edmonton for another show tomorrow night. Oh poop.

You have my permission to be jealous.

(3 overinflations | Inflate my Ego)

Zimbabwe: It really does deserve your attention   
11:26am 07/07/2008
mood: hungry

Today, my team and I start practice for the first time in several months. Usually, we get our debate resolutions 15 minutes before the round actually begins. This time, however, due to the long break, we were given the topic beforehand. I don't know what side we'll be on, or who my partner will even be, but removal of Robert Mugabe from power in Zimbabwe will be the discussion of the day.

I've known what's up there for a while. We didn't have much to really debate (other than this sort of topic) up until now, and the only real obvious problem was the MASSIVE inflation in the country. Thousands upon thousands of percentage points later, people in Zimbabwe can hardly afford to feed themselves. Mugabe, in power since 1980, clearly needs to go. But how do we go about that? Elections, in any democracy, are a good first step.

But that doesn't work in Zimbabwe.

In March, neither candidate got over 50% to get a clear win. The person who was awarded more votes, Morgan Tsvangirai, got several points more, even after all of Mugabe's vote rigging. There was to be a run off election a few weeks ago, which technically did happen, but Mr. Tsvangirai abandoned his candidacy in order to save the lives of people being threatened by Mr. Mugabe's "thug-like" Zanu (PF) cronies.

It is a sad day in democracy when a candidate has to make a choice between electoral legitimacy and lives.

But that's precisely what happened. There are several accounts that Mr. Tsvangirai is no angel either, but many are seeking him out to be the lesser of two evils. Some news agencies predict that if he were to assume power, the situation would flip-flop as to who starves and who bullies the weak in Zimbabwe. But there is no question that the election results were illegitimate. He was not allowed to campaign, people have been murdered, and Mr. Mugabe will not let go of his tight grasp.

This is a country that has endured colonialism, complete strife, and now people are amassed on embassy doorsteps to be shielded from the violence. Most countries that are concerned about the politics there either can't (African ones) or won't (European or North American ones). What is to be done?

Here's my breakdown of the options:

1. Assassinate him - but that will leave a power vacuum to be filled by Zanu (PF) thugs, and there might be backlash at the perpetrator (or assumed perpetrator, because who really knows who shot him if the sniper was good). This would no doubt cause more violence toward Mr. Tsvangirai, who would be a likely candidate as a culprit.

2. Get the African Union to organize and carry out a military removal. Haha, that's laughable. The AU has been made impotent by all of the politiking in Africa, and won't do shit for Darfur, so it won't here either. Countries in the AU are tsk-tsking Zimbabwe, but have made no indication that they'd do anything.

3. The United States could do it! No doubt capable, the U.S. would be unlikely to get a neighbor of Zimbabwe to allow a base of operations. Furthermore, the United States should refrain from preemptive wars, let alone wars where it's an intervention that has no direct relationship to American affairs (even Iraq had those, as bad an idea as it was).

4. Negotiate? That's been the status quo for 28 years, and Mugabe is demanding that the opposition there will have to do it with him as well. Not likely to change anything, but a better option than...

5. Diplomatic isolation... which would alienate Zimbabwe even more, give them more enemies to vilify, and fuck more shit up.

What's left do to except cry?

Hope... maybe?

This is sad. People are dying. The world needs to, at the very least, start paying attention. And, given enough motivation, careful consideration of all costs and benefits, Zimbabwe can become stable. I'm just not yet sure how that will happen.

(Inflate my Ego)

Read read read all about it (snagged from grunyo  
02:32pm 26/06/2008
mood: recumbent
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (I'm in the middle of it)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (I'm in the beginning of it)
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Probably my least favorite Russian author. Too long-winded with monologues)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (One of the best pieces of fiction ever)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (I'm kind of obsessed with her lately, so I intend to read that this summer)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (I have it, I just haven't read it yet)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I should have read more.

(Inflate my Ego)

My Daily Irritation With The Moral Majority   
09:08pm 24/06/2008
mood: pissed off


(Inflate my Ego)

On Europe   
01:34pm 23/06/2008
mood: indescribable

Of all the places in all the world, the area that fascinates me the most is Europe. I think that Europe is the pinnacle (thus far) of human civilization (albeit imperfect), and while the rest of the world does get a lot of attention from me, I am try drawn to all things European.

It might be that I've finally gotten to visit The Continent. My mother is from Germany, and I kind of felt robbed of the European heritage I felt that I'd been entitled to. Europe is culturally rich, beautifully flawed, healthy, well-educated, politically active, and a bit dirty on the surface, but quite green if you look at the statistics.

A Western European politics class I took about two years ago was taught by a woman from France, so we got a lot of insight. Learning about the European Union wasn't a new thing; the previous summer an International Relations class discussed the EU's psychology of a spiderweb of interdependence, so no great continent-wide war can break out. If Italy depends on, say, Romania for its timber, and Romania depends on Italy for tomatoes, then the money and food and commodities needs are going to make them think twice before they start shit, essentially. The EU was created in a post-WWII environment. WWII, we have to remember, followed WWI nearly immediately (on the global civilization time line), so Europeans were starting to get the idea: we can't make our land so susceptible to total war.

What causes total war? Good question. Alliances, often drawn on cultural lines, lack of common defense, acrimony rather than harmony, and about a million other things. There is a proverbial domino that can be seen (especially during the first World War), and Europe is far less fragile now.

The United Nations acts as an arbiter of interests, and Europeans like to sit down and have conferences to discuss things. If a mediation can iron an issue out, these countries (mostly) would rather go the nonviolent route. Now, some do have good strong military figures, but they're more for defensive purposes rather than offensive force. Also, with so many Europeans sitting on the Security Council (more representation there than any other geographical designation), there's a certain burden of knowledge of what conflict actually entails.

But that's not to say Europeans are entirely pacifists. The United Kingdom has a nuclear arsenal (as do France and others, although Germany's doesn't count because it's American warheads American bases within Germany), and NATO membership has a lot of Europeans involved in Afghanistan at the moment (as well as Canada, and the United States, obviously). Since the NATO principle is "an attack on one is an attack on all," and was seen as a counterbalance to the Soviet Warsaw Pact, which no longer exists, any European country would be damn insane to attack a NATO country, and there's hardly any reason for attacks against Europe from external origins. Most countries think Europe is a proverbial "pretty cool dude," with exceptions of terrorist actions occurring within France, Germany, Spain, and England, which are far from being considered acts of war. Most of these are a response to "racist" domestic policies (France, Spain), or because of their involvement on the War on Terror (although England will never refer to the struggle against Global Extremism as a "war" because Tony Blair, having known the shit that went down in Northern Ireland, is cautious to give legitimacy and/or Geneva Convention protections to anyone by referring to them as "warriors.")

Aside from the fact that in a space that we're used to seeing as being that big, yet just one country (like America), we have a lot of way smaller countries, there is a European Mentality arising. People in this generation (around my age, which is 23) are now saying that their loyalties go to Europe first, their country second. I was watching a taped European Journal this morning, and due to some disputes about trash removal, one Italian man was ranting and raving about being ashamed of being Italian, and he wanted to leave, but he wanted to be a European, and that was holding him back.

So, what's so great about Europe aside from the aversion to out and out conflict now?

Americans will want and want everything Europe has to offer, but we are unwilling, mostly, to put into the system as much as we'd like to take. Some countries in Europe pay around 60% of their income in taxes. However, they never have anyone go bankrupt for medical costs. Schools are fully funded. Higher education can be as well. Tuition to Oxford University, last I heard, was about 1/3 of what I pay at a state university here in the U.S. Oxford, as elite and impressive as it is, after all, is a state university, too.

Nutrition is something else altogether. None of this artificial shit. Real cheese, real cream, olive oil, real yogurt sans artificial sweeteners, no high-fructose corn syrup, much less reliance on pre-packaged frozen food, and lots of fresh produce. They eat well, in taste as well as quality, and live well as a result. Obesity is only an issue in areas where American-style eating has come to the fore, and places like England, which I can tell you, is not a pleasant place to eat.

Aside from this being a love affair with Europe, I think it should be known, America could be like this too. We have the tools.

1. We should stop refusing taxation increases when they go to fund social programs. We should scrutinize taxation that goes to Nancy Reagan buying a new set of china for the White House dining room, and reject taxation that goes to illegitimate sources. But taxation is a universal good if it means we're all healthy and educated, because we're already shouldering the costs through our own pockets, and doing a piss poor job of it.
2. Stop involvement in foreign lands that DO NOT WANT US. We never should have gone into Iraq. We should have listened to France and Germany. We should not go into Iran. We should elect Barack Obama (not perfect, but it's a start).
3. We should reduce carbon emissions. Europe is all about that. More people use public transit, trains, and bikes than drive compared to the United States figures, and even though Paris could be scrubbed down a bit, the air is clear and fresh there, even with the rats.
4. We need to stop super-sizing our lives. We've always been told to go big or go home. The only time Americans had to get used to going without was during the Great Depression. Europeans had to bear it during WWII, and some even longer, such as East Germany. Europeans have it ingrained in them, through centuries of strife and modest living, that there are more important things than buckets of potato products. If you've ever been rationed chocolate, you know you don't need a Slurpee or pile of processed food to feel happy. We're addicted to our over-abundance, and it's killing us in multiple ways.

I won't move to Europe, at least not now. I've been thinking about Canada. It's like Europe had a baby with America, except Europe obviously had much stronger genes. It's imperfect, but the society is in general leagues ahead of the American way of life.

Don't get me wrong. There's a LOT I love about America. But I'm not going to be a dumbass like Sean Hannity and say it's the best country known to man that "god" put on the face of the earth. Because I may love my country, but it hasn't made me blind. America's like a mean mother in law that I'd have to love regardless. Canada's like my cool cousin I'd go get a tattoo with and drink coffee. Europe would be the one I'd marry, though, given opportunity and ability. So someday, then, I'll finally be home. I'll walk everywhere, drink amazing coffee, read more than I've ever read before, throw away my television, speak multiple languages, and be healthy and happy for once in my life. No, not right now, but someday, I'll be able to do more with this amazing continent than just think about it longingly.

Edit: By the way, whoever left a comment in my previous two posts (on Blogger), I can't access your profile and don't know who you are, but thanks for reading and leaving great comments, even if I don't entirely agree with you. This is all about discourse, and I knew there had to be someone out there willing to engage in it.

(Inflate my Ego)

Good god.   
08:08pm 21/06/2008
mood: angry

(Inflate my Ego)

But I'm registered Democrat...   
12:22pm 20/06/2008
mood: chipper
Left-Leaning Freedom Lover on political map

(2 overinflations | Inflate my Ego)

Watching the Tim Russert Memorial   
02:10pm 18/06/2008
mood: somber
How would you want to be eulogized? What would your obituary say?

I don't even know - how should I be remembered? How should you?

(Inflate my Ego)