Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Hills Are Alive

with the sound of Anti-Nazi sentiment. I just watched The Sound of Music tonight for the first time in probably 10 years and i gotta say, i was amazed at the amount of political and social commentary that i missed the first few go 'rounds. And about a third of the film. My family taped the movie when it came on tv in about 1990 and there were dozens of scenes that the network had apparantly cut for time's sake--scenes that we saw for the first time tonight when it aired on ABC's "Wonderful World of Disney." I finally came to appreciate several characters that previously had been mentioned only fleetingly in what was merely a story about a governess teaching children to sing. I came to appreciate Frau Schmidt (the maid), the Baroness, Max, and just how much Captain von Trapp really hated the Nazis. And so many more of the scenes made sense! there's a Story to the film, an actual interesting, mature, and stable focus to it that has jack squat to do with deer or tea with or without jam and bread. Turns out that missing hour of film contained the entire pertinent plot. (Did you know its a 3-hour film? Originally it had an intermission. the copy i have can't be more than one and a half hours long. I should torch it for being such a blatant bastardization.) It hits on issues of national identity such as culture and history, pre-WWII concepts of finance and family, treatment of religion by the State, heroism, and despair. All the themes that you'll never hope to pick up on when they cut out everything but the songs! I've just been amazed by this film--it always bored me as a child, but now that I've studied european history for at least five years and seen some of the effects of the Blitz and WWII (to England--slightly different story) personally I can honestly say that I have gained a new appreciation for The Sound of Music.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Was it All a Dream?

You wouldn't think that three months of your life could fly by so quickly, or that you could get back into your old habits and mind-set as expediently as I seem to have. But that's life, i guess. I'm fairly certain that that whole semester in the UK never happened, even though i'm acutely aware that i'll be returning in three weeks and my memories of people and places are still fresh. i'm pretty sure i made it all up in my head. But sweet tea and proper (hot, buttery, inch-thick and airy) biscuits tasted so good, and it felt so wonderful to drive a car--those first few hours after returning to the South were worth savoring. Appreciating all those things that you've always taken for granted.
Amsterdam Schipol (sp?) airport is enormous. Literally the size of Charlotte NC. the runways are occasionally bridges over motorways and i felt compelled to wave at passing drivers as we taxied from our landing site to the place where we eventually disembarked--a full 15 minutes of driving a plane on the ground--and even when we got off there was a shuttlebus waiting for us to take us the last 10 minute drive to the airport proper. insane, i tell you.
Based on my experience with one native, i'm fairly certain that everyone from Scandanavia is absolutely nuts. I sat next to a huge, skinheaded, thick-necked wad of muscle named Bjorn on the flight to Newark. he was very nice and chatty as all get out, and into martial arts, Asian culture, and kid movies. He'd been a fighter and dancer in numerous small films and hopes to one day be in Jet Li-esque movies, and he had a terrible time filling out his immigration forms. The lucky duck was spending 11 days in NYC and then going to Jamaica for a month--don't Europeans have JOBS? all folks ever seem to do over there is hang out and drink. there is no work to speak of because nobody cares to climb the corporate ladder or make more money than they can actually use. American schools tell you that controlled economies and job markets impede ambition and enterprising, but after having been in an area where that's exactly the way things are, all i can say is GOOD. Not being ambitious or having insane goals for how big you want your mansion to be keeps people from working all hours of day and night to try and Be somebody in their careers, to define themselves by their careers. The less time you spend working and "bettering" yourself, the more time you have to hang out with your friends and family and drink and be happy. You can't take the money with you, nor the clothes or the pretentious acquaintances, but if you don't waste all your time working to attain some unreachable and ever-expanding financial goal you can at least have fun while you're here. Capitalism can just suck it. I'm an avid supporter of less working, more living.
It is absolutely freezing in SC. I don't know how its possible--i think you go into a different "Tropic Of" between SC and the UK, but England is considerably warmer than Carolina right now. a full 8 degrees celsius warmer. as in above freezing. Rainy and dismal, to be sure, but warmer.
My mother came in and cleaned my room before i got home, and i've already made a mess of the place. There's dirty laundry and travel documents and cds and even a cat strewn all about the room like a...well i would say hurricane but its really not bad at all, so i guess a small, pleasant breeze came through.
This past Sunday i managed to burn my face...with a spoon. Just goes to show that spoons really aren't as safe as everyone thinks they are.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I don't want to go home

Right now I think the most embarrassing thing in my life is my country. Not my family or my background or the fact that i can't expect to make it far in life as a theatre major, but my country, the Grand Ol' US of A. And its not even for the reasons that, typically, Europe brings up for which to hate us. I don't give a rat's ass about the gas issue or our last four war efforts which we've fumbled--no, I care about what I am.

I'm a woman. I'm a girl. I'm a citizen of a country that has chosen to hold that against me. A country in which a man was re-elected because he shared the views of the people, and what the people want is repression. The American people have spoken and they have declared that my Body, that which is Me, is not mine to govern. That if something undesirable occurs to it--such as its becoming a host to a parasitic cell--that it is not my place to remove it on my own terms. That I am under some form of obligation to it, and if it ruins my life, so be it. I'm not the important one here--the cell is.

By law of nature, two people are required in order for this cell to exist. Yet on account of someone losing a bet i'm sure, the cell will only reside in the body of a woman. Thus the woman is landed with full responsibility for it--and if she doesn't want to put up with that well just too bad, she should have thought first before having fun. The male contributor to the production of this cell, conversely, is held to no real obligation to it, and is actually encouraged by society and government to have fun with as many women as he can. As it is most likely that when the woman doesn't want the cell, the man doesn't want the cell--or the woman, for that matter--we encounter the issue at hand.

Politicians elected by the American people want to do away with the right of a woman to choose whether or not to carry this cell. Some of the more vehement of them want all women who opt not to to be tried and executed for murder. Smart. Real smart. Kill a woman for what her body has probably done on numerous occasions without even letting her know.

Yep--its true. Fertilized eggs are rejected by female bodies every day, simply because the Body, not the Mind of the Woman, doesn't want it. Its not a miscarriage, its not a stillborn--its not a baby. Its a fertilized egg that didn't work out. Its not a tragedy, its nothing to get upset over, and it is not, by any stretch of the word, murder. Its nature. If we can understand this as a choice of the body of a woman, what's to say her mind can't make the same choice?

Women of all cultures have been using a wide variety of means to prevent childbirth since there was such a thing as sex. Drugs, herbs, dances, prayers, and unfortunately even pokey objects have all been utilized to make sure that a new life is not brought into the world. If a woman doesn't want to have a baby, chances are she'll do everything in her power and then some to make sure she doesn't.

Outlawing abortion is not going to prevent it or reduce the number of abortions in a year. It will, however, lead to an increase in women who use the at-home coathanger method and the number of women who die on account of it. The fetus will be destroyed either way. Some religious fanatics/politicians would call this justified. I call them a bunch of sadists. Why force a woman to endanger or take her own life for something that HER BODY DOES ON ITS OWN?

- - -

I recently heard on the BBC that a growing number of southern chemists refuse to dispense contraceptives such as the pill for religious reasons, stating that they found this a crime against life (or as one memorable Texan yokel put it on the daily show "i just cant participate in taking the life of an innocent human being.") In that mindset, every time I menstruate naturally--or worse, don't get laid--i'm killing a baby. By Not being pregnant, I am killing those precious demi-cells in my ovaries as they slip unfertilized from my body every month and, according to desired anti-abortionist politics, I should be executed.

Does Anyone Else notice a trend in American politics that favor exclusively CHRISTIAN MALES? Everyone else's rights are forfeit to their self-inflating agenda. Men have full license to do what they will to their own bodies, but they don't want us to. I'm personally offended, as every woman should be. If the Christians take away our rights to our BODIES, they're taking away our rights to EVERYTHING. Women's lib will be a fond memory, but can be safely ignored just like other temporary uprisings from minority groups. We get the death sentence for removing an unwanted pregnancy? That sounds downright Biblical--you know, that age in which women didn't have rights and the stars were glued to the sky. If women can't be entrusted with the administration of our own bodies, how can we be trusted with the administration of the nation? We shouldn't be allowed to VOTE. Hell, if we might choose to fix a problem in a way that someone doesn't agree with, how might we fix problems in the workplace? We shouldn't be allowed to have JOBS. Similar arguments can be made for education, licensing, and the right to wear pants or show our faces in public.

Feminism is dead if we choose not to stand up for ourselves against this. This is not about the right of DNA to become life--it is about repression of women. Don't let anyone convince you to stand for it, for you are standing against yourself.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Quotation Book

I've decided to occupy this webspace with a typed version of my quotation book. This is my second one. I filled all the pages of the first and, due to its sentimental value and relative uselessness to me in a foreign country, I chose to leave it in the States. However, i have this one here now and, on account of moderate insomnia and a lack of any way of productively occupying these early morning hours, I might as well. I do not claim to have full bibliography on any published quotations from famous people, but i've done my best to give nominal credit where I've been able to find it. For the sake of convenience, I have divided the quotations into chronological groups. Man I'm a dork. And fruit or fiction doesn't have a frickin' question mark.

Quotation Book--Junior Year UKC

Of course I think about you, all the time. I think about you every time I open the fridge or pass the table in the living room.
-Tanner Brooks (person I don't know) to Sarah Gustafson (UKC friend, housemate, from Vermont)

Do it. Enjoy it. Don't worry about it.

"Well shake it a bit."-me
"Oh trust me, I've been doing plenty of that."-Josh Myers

That's amazing--unless someone has just photographed a mophead--in that case I'd feel cheated.
-Nick (UKC friend, East Malling)

I'd rather scour myself with a rusty SOS pad.
-Sarah Gustafson

He's so far in the closet he's in Narnia.
-Ben (UKC friend, South London)

You can always trust America to do the right thing--after all other options have been eliminated.
-Winston Churchill

Mary had a little lamb
She grazed it near a pylon
1.000 watts went up its bum
And its wool was changed to nylon.
-relayed by Ben

What's the plural of piss-assed?
-Bal and OtherBen (neighbors)

Waffle House--24 hours of breakfasty goodness.
-me (Britain doesn't have waffle house!)

I tried not being superficial once. It didn't turn out well.
-Sarah Gustafson

You're a stupid whore, I'm a stupid gigolo--I think I might love you.
-Patrick Blake

Quotation Book--Soph. Year USC

"Wings? I don't have wings." "Of course not--you're a boy."
-Jen and Kira from Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal

You say "erbs" and we say "herbs"--because there's a fucking H in it.
-Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

Thank you for flying Church of England--Cake or Death?
-Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

. . .and everybody looked at me like I had just announced that the Queen Mum was a good lay.
-Matt Whalen (close friend)

Only two things are infinite--the universe and man's stupidity. And i'm not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein

It's not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.
-G. H. Hardy

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.
-George Bernard Shaw, The Apple Cart. act 1.

My entire life is a freudian slip.
-Josh Myers

This isn't Zelda--you can't just take shit.
-Kate Cullen (uni friend)

Oh, this is so good it Has to be fattening.
-Stewie, Family Guy

I'm a friendly, happy bitch.
-Melissa from Preston

You have just received the Amish computer virus. Since the Amish don't have computers, it is based on the honour system. So please delete all the files from your computer. Thank you.
-sent to me by Justin Moody (uni friend)

Granted, it's disappointing, but nobody should be surprised that the grown-ups change the rules right when we start to like the game.

Hey, I'm always the life of the pity-party.
-Josh Myers

Bifocals--eyewear for the sexually liberated.

He's my chia pet--except his hair is falling out instead of growing in.
-Marianne Parrish (uni friend, roommate)

For a while there it felt like I was in the Arctic with a grappling hook made out of molten lava lodged in my throat as Satan himself was pulling on it in an attempt to climb my body.
-Josh Myers (with a temperature of 103)

I'm like a rabbit.
-Anna from Preston

Well, it's a really Little dishwasher...
-overheard at dinner

Pirates of the Caribbean: Unfortunately, this box-office winner clears the way for other theme park-based movies, including Six Flags Log Flume and Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom's Jumpin' Jack Splash.
-MAD magazine (commentary on '04 Oscars)

That feels good? Stop. That tastes good? Spit it out.
-Jillian Odom (uni friend)

...and then you take a wrench and pry this open--its pretty tough--or you can just do it with your bare hands. that works too.
-me, to John (uni friend) at work

"But that just can't work!" "But it's a diagram--it doesn't have to work." "Well maybe I don't believe in diagrams."
-me, Eric Rouse (boss in the shop, rigging teacher)

Quotation Book--Freshman Year USC

Excuse-moi, madame, mais les professeurs de français ne sont permis dans le fleuve.
-me, to Mme. Love, french teacher

Man, I wanna talk that funny talk.
-David Short (sister's ex-boyfriend)

-Kara Gabaurer (pronounced similarly to "what") HS graduation Disneyworld trip

-another catch phrase from Disneyworld trip, as Knut was the hottest waiter...ever

That's an exit, not an entrance...don't come in there...please get out of the way...thank you for ignoring me...
-me, lifeguarding at Carowinds

Rather than go through the work of making it, I just take all the raw ingredients...and eat them.
-Josh Myers

Carowinds needs to change its motto from 'Creating Funtastic Experiences that Bring You Back' to 'Carowinds...where' there's always a Catch.'
-Josh Myers

I've got...2 chickens to paralyze/ we can...pack a bag of leaves tonight...
-John Boy and Billy (radio personalities)

Bands that are driven by beauty are musicians. Bands that are driven by competition are children.

Who am I kidding? I need more work than an '83 Datsun.
-Josh Myers

I'd be the coolest opossum in the world.
-Josh Myers

That's about as hard for me to see as Josh having kids--i mean an afternoon in the garden and then a quick game of ball followed by a healthy dinner, then off to ride the bike into the sunset.
-Ginny Holloway (high school friend)

It's sad but true--you are a product of white-bread middle-America. 


"Larceny?" "Tonight?"
-Puck (uni friend), me

Miz Josch, I know you don't have an alarm clock, now...
-Flaming Dan (uni friend)

"So, why are you taking American history?" "Because you don't have much of it!"
-me, Ed Robinson (UKC exchange student to USC)

Yeah, that's what my mum tells me!
-Ed's response to just about anything

He was lookin' about as happy as a possum with a sweet potato.
-Brandon Barbee (uni friend)

"Hey look Ed--Cumsluts 5!" "Oh, 3 was brilliant."
-Brandon Barbee, Ed Robinson

"I'm writing a paper on the Sophists in Ancient Greece." "Yeah, their first album "Walking Around Barefoot in the Sand" was pretty good, but the critics thought they sold out."
-me, Josh Myers

It is said that it takes 5 minutes to smoke a cigarette and 10 minutes to enjoy one. We suggest that you smoke one.
-Amtrak announcement

I tried to put the top up, but something was wrong with the motor. The generator light had been on, fiery red, ever since I'd driven the thing into Lake Mead on a water test.
-Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. p.196

Why [bathe]? I was going to give you a stinky surprise.
-Josh Myers

That makes me smile in my pants.
-Brandon Barbee

I like Kittens. Meow meow meow. Meatball sandwich.
-Josh Myers

"I love Paris in the springtime." "I hate Jersey in the rain..."
-Tom Aspinwall (uni friend), me

It is generally a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher next to your computer when it runs on coal.
-Josh Myers

You'll have to excuse him--he's northern.
-Erica from University 101

Spontaneous Dance Party!
-Puck, on the Preston front porch

You keep on going on like you're beautiful. You're not beautiful--you're fucking ugly!
-Prof. Nikola Ristic (Philosophy 102)

One step ahead, several feet below.

I'm pretty sure Hell has fluorescent lighting.

It's obvious God has a sense of humour--just look at the Platypus!

Let me tell you--that was like doing laundry. It's not enjoyable, you never think its going to end, but when you're done, you're too tired to enjoy yourself.
-Josh Myers

See me after the show. I want to give you my old flogger.
-scary Rennie (name obliterated from memory)

"You're getting passionate about a moot issue. Leave the passion in the bedroom." "I'm just sayin. . .rreeeoowwww!"
-me, Josh Myers

I do my best...which is mediocre, at best.
-Josh Myers

Dammit. I'm naked. I just put these pants on--i've just been. Socks. Just these socks. I'm naked, I'm drunk, I'm so...Dammit, I'm naked!
-Josch Nasrollahi (uni friend) who was, indeed, naked

If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
-relayed by Sister

Go, Go, Gadget Furnace!
-Josh Myers

USC Berkeley is home to the single most densely concentrated population of geniuses in the country.
-Aunt Jan

The only thing I need to make you even more embarrassed of me is a yo-yo.
-Josh Myers

"This sounds...broken." -mom
"Yeah--I, er, dropped it. . . 14 times." -me
"Once or twice--that might have been an accident. But 14 times...yeah, I did it on purpose." -Rachel

"Wow, Kristen--this is cool!"-mom
"Did I buy it?"-me

Remember, Ladies--its Procreation, not Recreation. Where did you all get the idea that S-E-X is supposed to be F-U-N? It's time to close your eyes and do your duty.
-L.A.W (Ladies Against Women)

You're nobody until you're Mrs. Somebody.

Love creates survivors--I am never broken.
-relayed by Ginni Melton (freshman roommate)

It's a sad, sad world when a girl will break a boy just because she can.
-Fiona Apple

Single women complain that all the good men are taken while married women complain about their lazy husbands. This confirms that there is no such thing as a good man.
-no idea

Sexual in-yo-end, ho!
-Grant Robertson (uni friend)

Quotation Book--Senior Year FMHS

Ahh...America Juice.
-Kate Perrine (high school friend) on Coca-Cola while in France

-a word I associated with a hilarious painting depicting a naked man prancing around on a cliff in the Louvre--became a catch phrase among group on a trip to France)

Je suis un hot dog.
-Matt Sova (high school friend)

Don't bother going to Paris. Disgusting city.

Un photo, s'il vous plaît?
-most frequently used phrase during France trip.

It became a contest, then, of social graces...

FLUNCH!! (kiddie restaurant in France) spawned phrases Flunch you, Go to Flunch, I feel Flunchy, Have you Flunched yet? etc.
-France trip

I want to just stand in the yard under the sprinkler and point at the sky, shouting "AIR-PANE"
-Adam Miller

I just know that one day after the park closes, the music will turn off, all the streetlamps will torch up, and a voice will come over the intercom and say "You are in Hell..."
-Ross from the rockwall, on employment at Paramount's Carowinds theme park

Something is moving--Run Away!!
-Sarah Miller's (high school friend) cat, Monster. (Actions interpreted by work friend Wes Baker)

Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
-Brad Pitt, Fight Club

I have the worst breath of any man or beast--there's no way to fight it.
-Garrison Keillor in sketch "The Lives of the Cowboys," A Prairie Home Companion

Go euthanasia--we've gotta keep humans from being.
-Kara Gabauer (high school friend)/Ko

Let me put it this way--I wear more makeup than my mother.
-Jay Gordon--vocalist, "Orgy"

You know, Hobbes, it's nice to hush up a while and let autumn stick in a few words.
-Calvin and Hobbes

How do you spell 'America?' A-M-E-R-I-K-A?
-Dennis Alferink (Carowinds exchange employee from Holland)

It is common courtesy to wear a shirt if you are hairier than an Italian gorilla on Rogaine.
-Kara Gabauer

"According to the chaos theory, your tiny change in this universe can completely shift the destiny of another universe, possibly killing every inhabitant." "Shift happens." "Fire it up!"
-Dogbert and Dilbert

You rock my party hardcore, or 135 degrees.
-Debby Flores (close friend)

If your backpack was a kangaroo, this would be its joey.
-Jason Ford (AP English teacher) on dictionaries

C'mon guys, you're sittin' there like bumps on a pickle.
-Mrs. Spittle (public speaking teacher)

Stop bitching--start a revolution.
-bumper sticker

Hooking up computers is a lot like having unprotected sex--what kinds of viruses does the other harbor?

Sleep more--type less.

. . . And sometimes the President of the US goes to the UN security council and says "This is how it will be." and China abstains.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes--you don't have to be a Christian or an athlete. . . its the Everybody Club!
-Erin Doran (high school friend)

If the USA doesn't want to lead, who will--and how?
-who knows

Y'know, people look at what you're wearing before they see what your personality is; they look at who you're standing with instead of what you're standing for.
-Katie Hillagher (classmate)

That's like going to the video store and shopping for milk.
-Debby Flores

...and in 1972 the island of Kosankeland. . .
-Chris Garrick (Model UN classmate)

Beware of flying Chinese people with subtitles.
-Tracey Johnson (classmate) on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

What do you call a Jamaican proctologist? --Pok
-Tommy Ray (neighbor)

You're about to get struck down, like an operative clause.
-Ashley McFarland (classmate)

We came; we tried; we failed.
-Scott Carley on Swedish military forces (Model UN classmate)

There's usually this huge disparity between the number of thinks we would like to learn compared to the amount of stuff we already know. There's a lot of stuff like that--like the pyramid thing with the creepy eyeball on the back of a dollar bill. I mean, what the hell is that? I honestly don't have any idea. But the thing is, I don't think anyone else knows for sure either. The thing is just weird as hell. I mean, why an eye? Why a pyramid? Think about it. When you turn over a dollar bill you'd never expect to see a glowing ear hovering over the Parthaenon, so why's the eyeball above the pyramid acceptable?
-Josh Myers

. . .and I don't know why I'm telling you this, but...

What is a 'happy' word? 'Bunny' is a happy word. 'Rabbit' is not a happy word.
-Jason Ford

Ahh, South Carolina. Too small to be a country, too large to be an insane asylum.
-relayed by Ko

Would the delegate from the USA like a cookie?
-Jonathan Malphrus (Model UN classmate) representing the PLO

Kosanke's Ko-Horts. . .

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
-Napoleon the Pig. George Orwell, Animal Farm

Kids don't spread joy--they spread germs.
-Jennifer Patterson (i have no idea)

Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
-Benjamin Franklin. 1755.

Go ahead and laugh all you want--I've still got my philosophy.
-Ben Folds 5 (from Nate Welker, high school friend)

"What a coincidence that you said that--my roommate and I were just talking about that yesterday." "Yeah, you think there's really something interesting to talk about--but there's not."
-Rachel and Cousin Josh

What we need is pain-sensitive computers--ones that, when you punch them, know, "I will never do that again."
-Cousin Josh

If idiots could fly this place would be a frickin' airport.

You know, if you were any more negative I think you would implode.

I didn't go snowboarding--I went fallin' down a mountain.
-Cousin Josh

Listen, Zorak--this is how it is.
-Nate Welker

Boredom is the root of all evil.

The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.
-Earnest Hemingway

"I can't get da gum offa my finguh. . ." "Behold, the quintessence of the AP student!"
-Scott Carley, Jason Ford

Search your feelings--you know him to be gay.
-me (Yoda rip-off)

If you were any closer to the cutting edge, you'd be bleeding.
-Jason Ford

Your immune system keeps you healthy--but it can also kill you.
-Mrs. Davis (Biology 2 teacher)

Isn't that remarkable!
-Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman

Sometimes a lamp-post is just a lamp-post.

If I touch something red-hot, so many messages come through my spinal cord that the message "this is hot" doesn't reach my brain before my spine says "move, stupid." I have to move before my brain can say "ouch."
-Mrs. Davis

Cry me a river, then build a bridge and jump off.
-Kate Liotta (classmate)

You're all schizophrenic, because I'm not real.
-Debby Flores

My car and I go everywhere together.

Tomorrow is 'Hug your friend who has Leprosy' Day.
-Kara Gabauer

The burden borne by the super-flexible is that, to achieve comfort, you have to stretch really, really weird.

All liars smell like chicken.
-Jason Ford

We live for Trivial Pursuit and Treasure Bear!
-12th grade AP English class joke

Jump back, Eminem--here's Fabe!
-Kate Liotta

La Patchanka's the sound for proud souls and lonely hounds.
-Mano Negra, Patchanka album cover

Say that in English.
-Mrs. Davis

Quotation Book--Junior Year FMHS

Let your light shine, but don't blind nobody.
-Emily Matthews (someone I've heard of)

Color Me Cynical.
-Scott Kosanke (greatest AP US History teacher alive, hereafter listed as "Ko")

Yeah, man--it was like I was adding 4+4 and getting 7½.
-Jon McGregor (drummer)

Serrously, 1 piece.
-Mike Acock, Keil McMurray (drummers)

I can be a pompous dork if I want to!
-symphonic B band oboeists (2 including me)

When God created animals, he had some parts left over, so he mashed 'em up in a ball and dropped it on Australia and called it a Duck-Billed Platypus.
-Nate Christensen (high school friend)

If you turn your head to the side and squint at it, it kinda looks like a. . .a pancreas.
-Nate Christensen, William Hendrix (also friend)

Why can you see that which you're not looking at out of the corner of your eye so perfectly?
-William Hendrix (in regard to a couple snogging a bit disgustingly at a nearby table)

When you look at the notes on this page, do you see seeds or do you see flowers?
-Martin Dickey (full time band director, full time asshole. when does he sleep?)

So we'll start back with why we dropped the bomb on Pearl Harbor. . .
-Ko (whoops)

Remember? You're stabbing them here--I'd prefer you to do it with a knife, and not a stick of butter! (Ack! I've been Buttered! Now you're gonna sautee me!)
-Sean Carney (band director, but dorky and kind)

Go ahead and mark on the calendar, "coma."
-Josh Myers (low lifed jerk with a keen sense of the world around him)

You're lying through your cavities.
-Kyle Smith (I don't remember who this is)

I'm gonna hang you in about 2 seconds...
-Ann Ledford (the nicest teacher ever)

I can take both of you! at a time...with my car...
-Katie Miller (oboeist)

This is my 15 minutes of fame! Then I'll be obscure for the rest of my life, but this is my 15 mintues of fame!
-Sean Carney

If i was perfect, you'd be in flames right now.
-Katie Miller

Sheez! This is Intrusions--not Sleepusions.
-Sean Carney

If there's nothing cool after the first drop, the rest of the roller coaster may as well not be there. It could just be: Big Hill, Get Off--Whoo!
-Scotty Sells (greatest drummer...ever)

Duct Tape is like the Force--it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.
-well-known quotation, unknown author

Yeah, in death they put you in a box and cover you up with dirt and don't even let you out for weekends.
-Mel Gibson, Air America

Jonathan Malphrus's parents--Sparkles and the Judge
-11th grade AP US History class joke

That's like me sayin "well I love you, but I'm tha shit."
-Tim Cossor (drummer)

Don't act like you're coming from somewhere, but you're going somewhere else.
-Scotty Sells

I know your sentiments, because I feel them exactly--there is no excuse for stupid people.
-Mr. Waddell (neighbor)

We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
-George Orwell, 1984

The oboe is the most tempramental instrument.
-Dr. Ashley Barrett, oboe professor at UNCG

I hate women--they always know where everything is.
-James Thurber (no idea)

Do it yourself--start your own country.
-no idea

It takes a special kind of stupidity to join into a profession where you are overworked, underpaid, and spend your life trying to help people who don't want to be helped.
-William Hendrix

. . . But I'm weird anyway.
-Mrs. Carpenter (a rather stuffy English teacher, but aren't they all?)

Grab some plastic, folks.
-Ko (meaning to say "have a seat")

Mommy, is that God?
-Ko (as a child, upon first seeing an African-American)

I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.
-Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

"When you guys come to turn your papers in, you'll have to step over the carcasses." "Why?" "'Cos from the looks on your faces, you're shooting a lot of bull."
-Mrs. Carpenter

If God dropped acid, would he see people?
-no idea

Stuffin? This here's polyester.
-Hunk, The Wizard of Oz stage production

I doubt, therefore I might be.
-no idea

Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
-Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) Spaceballs

What's that useless piece of skin at the end of a penis called? A MAN!
-Eric Idle, The Road to Mars

At the customs office encountered upon entering Australia a person is asked: "Do you have a criminal record?" "Good heavens, I had no idea one was still required."
-old British humour

I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own except that you happen to be insane.
-George Orwell, 1984

Diva Football! (Its about boys with grace--we can lose with style.)
-Sister on North Carolina School of the Arts athletics

Looks like I'm talkin' to myself here.
-Josh Myers

You keep on knockin' but you can't come in . . .
-Cheech and Chong Up in Smoke

Ko phone home.

This is the ear. You use it to hear with. Now on to something else.
-Mr. Sacco (FMHS AP Biology teacher)

Kids. . . all they want is violence and candy.
-Robert "Trae" DeLellis (high school friend)

The Black Band-O-Death.
-William Hendrix, on an event of Red Ribbon Week

It's the year of the tomato. . .
-Sarah Bergman (high school friend)

If a book is boring, it is poorly written.

Oh, if I were alive I'd just kill myself.
-Joey Wyatt (high school friend)

If you are currently giving birth to a flaming porcupine, in an igloo, in the middle of the amazon rainforest. . . you have problems.
-Nicolas Hough

My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed him till now.
-John F. Kennedy, Jr.

We don't know, we will never know, who cares?

We will again separate the true believers from those who only see that hat.
-Scotty Sells

Ko's senior superlative: most likely to take over a 3rd World country.

Pain is your friend--it tells you you're still alive.
-Adam Miller (ex-boyfriend) but probably relayed from US Marine Corps propaganda

Grown Ups--judge not, lest ye be judged.
-Scotty Sells

Gold, frankincense, myrrh--you know, the usual gifts.

A gaggle of guidance counselors. . .

Ko's Axiom #1: People are Stupid.
Ko's Axiom #2: And that's why we're here.
(If all else fails, refer to Axiom #1)

Dull, Duller, Dulles (John Fostor Dulles)

I was going to [sing on] Broadway, but now I'm going to Fort Mill instead.
-Sean Hou (prodigy child from FM)

(on Theodore Roosevelt's Trust Busting campaign) I got a bigger stick than you--who cares if its constitutional?

In World War II, the most feared sights were 18-year old German and Japanese men with a machine gun. The most welcome sight was an 18-year old American with a machine gun, because there was probably a candy bar close behind.

. . . they don't have all those amazing consonants in their names.

This is a 5'2", 86lb. ballerina on a tightrope--not an elephant on a 2x4. . .
-Sean Carney

No dancing on tables with spurs.
-sign from Joe's Crab Shack (chain restaurant)

(caption on a mounted artificial fish) "Big Dead Fish", caught by Joe's momma in the reedy river by the train station.
-sign from Joe's Crab Shack

Billy Badass, Danny Dumbass...
-Adam Miller

Quite possibly the saddest thing you could ever see would be a mosquito sucking a mummy. "Forget it, little friend."
-Jack Handey, Saturday Night Live

CD's are like bad acid--not to be produced or consumed. Viva la Vinyl!
-Pearl Jam, Vitalogy album book

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

gamecock article on cathedrals

published today by the University of South Carolina student newspaper, probably hacked to pieces by an editor who seems to enjoy countering my spellchecking. on the web at

On Cathedrals

If there's one thing in this world that I'll never have a full grasp on, its cathedrals. Vast, mind-numbingly beautiful structures in stone and concrete, they bedazzle the eye and the spirit with perfectly formed arches, intricate sculpture, delicate filigree in gold, and--what on earth? A really ugly painting. It befuddles me how architecture from 1077 was so amazing, so ornate that each wall in a room is supported by several identical hand-chiseled, 50 foot tall attractive columns, but then some shining star 500 years later decided to soil the actual walls with lousy paintings of disproportionate people and 2-D landscapes. Canterbury cathedral, for all its might and prowess, is full of them.

Take, for example, a rendering of the Legend of St. Eustace: a 19-foot high, 9-foot wide doodle depicting the life and martyrdom of the man, painted in the 1400's. Every person, animal, building, and even plant is so malformed that its comical--on first sight I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. There are certain places where its simply inappropriate to giggle, and the quire of a living tenth century cathedral is one of them. A particularly good example from this painting is near the bottom, in which Eustace has a vision of Christ between the horns of a stag. The stag, standing a full 4 hands higher than the saint's horse, has one big eye in the centre of its forehead and uniformly yellow fur. The pair meet in a forest of waist-height topiaries that look rubber-stamped up and down the wall like brickwork. And Eustace himself, seated--or possibly standing--between the two, has one arm from a gigantic tanned lumberjack and the other from a diminutive, shut-in princess.

There's no excuse for this. Artistic styles and forms had moved well past cave drawings by the fifteenth century. The walls of the Sistine Chapel were painted in the same century as this monstrosity, and even Michaelangelo's ceiling didn't come much more than fifty years after both. The paintings covering the chapel are of people and angels who clearly overlap to show depth, express roundness through shadow and hue, and have realistic-looking faces, muscle structure, and attire. Pisanello painted a scene depicting the same events at the same time as or even earlier than the mural, now at the National Gallery in London, which clearly depicts sources of light, landscape intricacies, and even what a real deer looks like. German Albrecht Dürer sketched the scene, too, no more than fifty years later, and it involved a real-looking man, an interesting forest, and a believably distant castle on a hill.

I'm not going to claim that every artist should have the same talents as Michaelangelo, but if you're the head of a church it would probably be wise to view a sample of an artist's work before commissioning them to paint an enormous mural on the wall of an already historic cathedral. Canterbury cathedral was nearly 400 years old when that painting was made--it had enough clout by then to legitimately expect quality interior decoration. Not finger-paintings my 8-year old cousin would scoff at.

If English people were artistically inclined enough in the eleventh century that they could create this church--with its quire and cloister and crypt and breezeways and tombs topped with sculptures of the deceased and all of its lovely stained glass windows, you'd think that half a millennium later the repertoire would still include painters who could draw a person who looks real.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

On Cathedrals

If there's one thing in this world that I'll never have a full grasp on, its cathedrals. Vast, mind-numbingly beautiful structures in stone and concrete, they bedazzle the eye and the spirit with perfectly formed arches, intricate sculpture, delicate filigree in gold, and--what on earth? A really ugly painting. It befuddles me how amazing architecture from 1066 or whenever was so ornate that each wall in a room is supported by several identical hand-carved ornate columns, but the actual walls themselves are covered in really ugly paintings of disproportionate people and 2-D landscapes. Remember, this is pre-Michaelangelo. Canterbury cathedral, for all its might (it takes up a good chunk of the town) and prowess, is full of them. If people were artistically inclined enough at the time that they could create this church and cloister and crypt and breezeways and tombs topped with sculptures of the deceased and all of its lovely stained glass windows, you'd think they'd have painters around who could draw a person who actually looks real. Perspective drawing wasn't huge at the time but you could at least draw a figure in prayer with two arms of the same length, surely. 1000's painting leaves something to be desired.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Christmas is coming

and i still can't figure out if i should head home. i know i should, to be nice to my folks and get some presents and see what few friends i have remaining, but on the other hand I really would just prefer not to. I don't want to endure the same loss and sadness of getting on a plane yet again and bidding my parents adieu. As it is i'm quite settled in here and don't feel like uprooting again for a good long time. I'm moderately opposed to packing a bag, hitching a coach, fighting through airports, dragging myself back to Charlotte, sitting around the house with my parents for three weeks, then heading back. there's nothing to do in Canterbury, sure, but there's nothing better to do in SC. And for the holiday travel pricetag? the cheapest i've been able to find so far is 600 pounds, and you can't seem to buy tickets leaving from London in American money. figures. $600 is almost understandable for a price, but as the pound is just about double the dollar, i don't have $1,200 to blow on a one-way ticket from London, and my folks don't either. Gracious alive. this hurts my soul.

Monday, October 25, 2004

never trust a British plumber

I don't know how they manage it, but but the British must be the worst plumbers since the invention of the outhouse. Everything about their water and waste management systems are...well, annoying. I shall enregister examples thus:
1. Where I come from, Hot + Cold = Warm. Here, however, Hot + Cold = Hot and Cold. More often than not, the taps are separate and on opposing sides of the wash basin. In order to get warm water, you have to plug the sink and let it fill with both. Sounds like it makes sense until you take into account GERMS. Filling the sink to wash your hands is the same as or worse than not washing your hands at all. The glossy porcelain harbors millions upon millions of germs that were washed off of hands, teeth, underwear, shoes, and every other thing that has been in that sink since the last time someone went over it with an acetylene torch. Its just not clean. Rinsing your hands or dishes in the same sitting water that was used to wash them puts the same bacteria and little bits of crud Right back on them. Tap water, as provided by the city, is legally required to meet certain cleanliness criteria. Provided that the water is not allowed to come in contact with anything else after it leaves the pipes, that cleanliness remains constant. Clean water is running water. Whenever harmful microbes manage to get into pipe water it makes huge news and you have to boil your water before you drink it.
My kitchen sink has one nozzle, but still manages to have two separate pipes in it for hot and cold until its on your hands. If you look up into it, you can see a line where hot comes out the front, and cold comes through the back. The result? any handwashing experience is going to be an unpleasant blend of scorching and freezing your hands simultaneously.
2. In a country that seems highly concerned about conservation and the environment, it would only make sense that water-consuming appliances such as toilets should be efficient and do their best to conserve water. In practical applications, however, this is rarely the case. The toilet tanks here are enormous and each downward flush takes at good deal of time, accompanied by water activity that is reminescent of opening the floodgates on the Hoover Dam. Interestingly, the tank refills at a snail's pace--you can hear the trickle of water out of a tiny pipe into it for a good ten minutes. What's more, on bigger, after-dinner type jobs, one flush isn't going to do the trick.
3. British architecture is pretty n'all, but piping fitters seem intent on not marring walls at all by punching holes through them to run tubing. The insides of houses--old and new--are all littered with an inordinate number of pipes, held to the walls with little brackets. They run up the corners, in the middle of walls, and along baseboards, visible everywhere. If aesthetics aren't a big deal to you, there's also the question of the pipes themselves. They run in pairs, with a hot pipe and a cold pipe side-by-side. And if you dare walk around the house in bare feet you'll learn which pipe is hot rather quickly. Its not just a bit of warmth that connects with your unsuspecting tootsie--these puppies could melt lead.
4. I never really appreciated central heating until I no longer had it. Radiators function on the principle that if you heat water over a large surface area, the heat of the water will dissipate through the room and heat it by activating air molecules and making them bump into each other faster and more often. So that explains why rooms heated with radiators are always ice cold save for a five-inch area around the radiator itself. If you ever question whether a radiator is on or not, you would do well to not touch it. Its just like the pipes, only bigger. Its a better idea to instead wave your hand in front of it, then wave the other on the opposite side of your body. They are, however, effective at drying laundry, if you pile it all on top of it, which it says somewhere in the manufacturer's instructions that you shouldn't do. Oh well.
Yeah, plumbing in the UK is due for an overhaul. Lets find a way to make it unintrusive, safe, convenient, clean, and ecologically friendly. Ask your friends in South Carolina, if you need help.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Viruses must be alive

Scientists, philosophers, and theologists can all bicker and argue over whether or not a virus is a living being--as it fails to carry DNA and does not seem to have much of an identifiable cell-type structure that is indicative of life in unicellular beings--but I will vouch that not only are they alive, they're smart little buggers.
Consider: Viruses attack bacteria that normally live happy, subdued little lives in your lymphatic (sinus) system. The virus pumps its RNA into an individual bacterium, which gets eaten up by baby viruses, who in turn go ahead and infect other bacteria. Basic 10th grade biology. Now here's the part that may be a conspiracy theory, but it makes sense. When viruses kill bacteria and cells from your lymphatic system, it causes your sinuses to screw up. Namely, with the common cold, it causes the sinuses to produce excessive quantities of phlegm and icky green, infected mucous. It generally does its best to exit the sinuses, by entering the nasal cavities and filling up whatever space it can there before leaking out, either exiting the body through the nose or attempting to continue through the body down the throat. Biology teachers once told me that this was a protective measure--that the phlegm was relocated to the throat and nasal passages to protect the thin and delicate skin there. BULL SHIT. When phlegm enters the nose, it causes you to sniffle, sneeze, and have a nasty runny nose that won't quit. When it enters the throat it causes you to choke, cough, splutter, and eventually spit phlegm everywhere. Noticing a trend? This infected green goo is doing its very best to not just exit the body but dissipate. spread. become a fine, airborne haze. we do our best to cover our mouths, wash our hands, keep away from food and use hankies, but the bottom line is--a good deal of that infected krud gets out of the body and into the air, water, and stuff we touch every day. Your mother always tells you to avoid touching doorknobs and toilet seats, wash your hands, and for heaven's sake keep your fingernails out of your mouth. There's Germs on those surfaces! But did she ever think of why? Not why did someone sneeze here, why did someone not wash their hands after using the toilet and wipe whatever in the world on this door handle, but why are the germs there? Because Viruses made a Conscious Effort to enter a body, make it sick, and exit the body in the quickest, most propelled manner possible. You call it a sneeze. The inbred army of virii living in your snot call it a missile.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

a month abroad

Well, i've survived a month so far. 8 or more so to go but this one went so fast. I still haven't managed to get more than a platonic peck from anyone, and i don't see any of that activity glimmering in the future, so it looks like I won't get an opportunity to marry someone in order to stay here. Pity. But this level of inactivity does clue me in to a certain curiosity--British men, in general, aren't anything to look at, and British women aren't either. Its almost cute that they're attracted to one another.
Yeah, i'm bitter. I've made a good number of friends and i'm doing fairly well in my classes and i even went to London yesterday and had a dern good time the whole way through...with a boy that i'm interested in that doesn't seem too enthused about me. The last time i had a guy friend who wanted to be close but had no sexual interest in me was...well, high school, but he came around. They all used to.
I guess that makes it official--i've lost my touch.
But its okay--sure my money is worth half its US value and prices of everything are doubled to boot, but if I only buy basic food items at the grocery, stay sober every night, avoid public transit and borrow all my textbooks from the library I should be able to come home only six or seven thousand dollars in debt.
Its cold, its damp, the sun rarely shines and the wind blows in gusts. I understand why colonization was such a big deal three hundred years ago, but now i must wonder why the whole population didn't just leave. Last one out please shut the door.
I miss my roads. People drive on the sidewalk here about as often as they do the streets. Bus drivers are generally talented and safe, but the average driver here is a reckless idiot careening around curves and slamming on brakes at the last possible second. Every moment spent driving is an opportunity to play 'chicken' with any other car. Like the ones that manage to squeeze past you on a one-lane road that is 3/4 covered in poorly parallel-parked cars. I have witnessed the success of more impossible feats on the roads here. Amazing. I miss my car. If the busses fit on the roads here she must too, though how the busses manage I can't imagine. Sure i'd have to learn an entirely new way of thinking while on the road--new signs, new directions, new random chit going on all around--but i feel trapped without her. canterbury is cute and there's a little bit to do, but sometimes you just want to DRIVE. Busses and trains will take you away, but they don't give you that cleansing relief of controlling 1.4 tons of steel and explosive materials. Without my car I am smaller. I am powerless. I hold no clout. But at least i never have to be DD.
I took 3 pictures in london yesterday. All of trafalgar square. I actually went to a good number of places and saw many things that serve to amuse and endear, but I completely forgot that I had my camera. The only reason I remembered it in the Square was because i was surrounded by tourists and a girl came by and asked me if I wouldn't take a picture of her with her friends. I don't know how well the photo turned out--i always aim with my left eye but her viewfinder was on the right. Sometimes that matters. Viewfinders should be in the middle of the camera, like they used to be.
I've reached that state of poverty in which you learn to starve comfortably. One meal of pasta or a sandwich a day is sufficient--anything more is luxury. I bought a bottle of liquor last weekend and its already gone--the last I saw of it it was still half full. My neighbors may not be outright thieves but I hope whoever drank the last of it is ashamed.
London is pretty, but it is completely filthy. After several hours of mild irritation I eventually thought to blow my nose in a lavatory...and was astounded by the quantity of black dirt and soot i managed to remove. I guess you'll get that in any city, but the last time I found crud like that up my nose I'd been sanding rusty pipes for three hours.
I missed a protest today in London--it started out pretty dully last night so I didn't think to get involved with it further, but today it made news as 75,000 people turned out to encourage Americans to vote Bush out of office. It was a big deal after all. Pity my bus left at 10pm last night. I missed the opportunity for adventure, but I'm sure there'll be others. After all, the English are known for being upbeat and exciting, right?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Dude, boys suck

A'ight, so Captain Fine from Manchester is all tryin to hit it with me tonight, and i was totally excited with that idea, so he goes for the "well i'll walk you home" from the college in which we happened to be drinking and out of nowhere two of his buddies--them being the Ugly Emo Putz and the Token Asian Guy say "yeah, that' d be a great idea" and come the hell along. Ex-CUSE me? There was definitly some energy going on...that was not being communicated to you guys. If I'd a wanted a foursome with Mr. "I hate Life so I'll Whine at You and Pretend I'm Intellectual" and Mr. "Hey, I'm a Really Nice Guy but I'm not Interested in You, I'm Just Happy to Be Here" I would have friggin asked for it. Nope, I wanted a TWOsome with Mr. " Hey, I'm Cute, Dumb, and Into You" but his lousy friends had to ruin it all for me. Whatever happened to Common Courtesy? If a guy offers to walk a girl home and you don't feel invited along, DONT INVITE YOURSELF. Chances are you're not wanted. What does it take to get some action around here? I've tried being seductive, direct, forceful, smart-mouthed, cute, enthusiastic, unenthusiastic, playful, hard-to-get, and even good old fashioned DRUNK and i've wound up with nothing on all fronts. Excuses like "i've got a cold, I don't want you to get it", "its going to rain--i better hurry up and head home" and "check it out, i'm here with two huge losers who want to get in on it with you" are really starting to pile up. What's wrong with me? I'm Cute, i'm Foreign, i'm Smart, i'm Flirty, i'm Desirable, i'm Young, and i'm even a Horny Drunk. I may act dumb, but i've got some frickin' intellect right here. I know what I'm doing and I've always been at least successful on a mediocre scale. This level of ousting and rejection I've encountered here is unthinkable to me and I am feeling quite lonely. The south may not have a lot to offer but at least I know what i'm dealing with. Not these britty squares who don't know what's good for them even when it kisses their neck and invites them home. Stupid.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

well, its been a week

since my plane touched down in Gatwick International, and i've gotta say that my experiences since have been the most entertaining in quite a while. I haven't actually done anything noteworthy--got settled into my cute townhouse, went to bars, got a mobile, and puttered around campus and Canterbury--but the people have been so welcoming and excited to meet me that i've felt good about myself for the first time in another good while. I've made more friends than you can shake a stick at. And most of them have fairly nice teeth. Stereotypes hurt people--particularly me. My mild southern accent has gotten me more hell because i'm *obviously* a closed-minded Bush supporter who loves attacking other countries without reason. I didn't realize that i sounded like him at all, but apparantly a mild South Carolina twang is exactly the same as a Texan drawl to these folks. Not that i blame them for not being able to tell the difference--apparantly there's a notable variation between Essex and Sussex accents, and Manchester and Wales do not sound the same, but they all kinda sound British to my untrained ears. Oh well. I'm here to learn. But very nice folks abound in general and the State-Haters are fewer than I expected. I'm not homesick yet, though I've rarely gone this long without talking to ol' Skippyhat. I hope he's getting a life in my absence. Hmm... I still can't figure out if i should treat this like a diary or a public-access site. I doubt many people will stumble across it. Whatever.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


I'm leaving in 3 days but i'm already packed. 164 lbs of luggage total, according to my bathroom scale--a full 16 pounds under the limit. only qualm is i'm not sure if my backpack will fit under the chair in front of me--i hope the 27-lb bag counts as "laptop" or i'm screwed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

anybody out there want

a Gmail invitation? they keep piling up and glaring me in the face. I feel guilty not using them, as though I'm an employee not holding up the company motto. Share and Enjoy.

on laptops

I've been using a laptop for about a month now, and I've gotta say, though I'm not a huge Microsoft fan, I've begun to understand the appeal. With a proper ethernet card you can putz around all day, anywhere you choose to go--with No Wires. no wires. Sounds like no big deal, but its the difference between tripping and walking comfortably. I'm still getting used to the touch pad versus mouse ordeal, and the speakers are less than wonderful, but it does just about everything my iMac does with no wires. I never realized it would matter, but it does.

Monday, September 13, 2004

just occurred to me

Its really kind-of funny the way people write in journals. Typically, unless concocting poetry, one will write as though speaking to an audience who is hearing information for the first time. They describe the points they find important in much more detail than those which they don't, and may make identifying notes about certain people or events. For instance, it is not uncommon to see journal or diary entry phrases similar to "my ex-boyfriend, Josh" or "Blockbuster pavilion, this big ampitheater where I once saw Dave Matthews play" or "Billy, that whiny guy." Most of the time people add in these descriptive phrases to explain the pertinence of a person, place, or thing to the audience. However, when the audience is a blank piece of paper, one can be pretty sure that it doesn't care. And you already know who Billy is and where you saw Dave Matthews play and you should really keep a tally of your exes--so why bother?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

if i were any more negative

i would implode. Its true. I'm embarrassingly so. But I've reached a point where I'm actually more upbeat than my whiny self-flagellating companions and their complaining and sensitivity have driven me away. Over the past month I've whittled myself down to having .5 friends (one person who is genuinly a good friend but I treat him like crap) and have been spending more than a healthy amount of time alone. Convenient, I think, that I'm shortly leaving the country. Without constant reminders of how i've failed completely at friendship I can start over in a new, different environment. Oh I hope.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

believe it or not, we're all repressed

There are two things in this world about which I am less enthused than football--NASCAR and bass fishing. I guess that makes me a tragic waste of a southern girl. But come on. I can almost see how men release their primal killing urges vicariously through big guys in shoulder pads on the telly, but can anyone explain not only why people would televise bass fishing, but actually hold globally-acclaimed contests for it? Its not a sport! Its a leisure activity, much like solitaire or recreational alcoholism.
About a month ago I happened to be spending a night as a counselor at my local summer camp on Lake Wylie. At six in the morning, as the world was gradually being filtered into Technicolor for the day, I happened to wake. I stood, groggily, with my sleeping bag still around my waist, and peered through half-closed eyes toward something sparkly. It slowly dawned on me that the sparkly thing was a neon-teal bass boat, motor off, drifting around a nearby inlet. Suddenly, the statuesque figure standing stock-still in that tiny oh-just-one-push-would-flip-you craft looked up and made contact with my eyes. At that time I knew, either by dumb luck or divine intervention, both the fisherman and I were simultaneously thinking, "what the hell are they doing there?"
And NASCAR. jeebus. lets sit in cars and drive as fast as we can bumper-to-bumper without causing wrecks. Yep. yep. I call that I-485 on Friday afternoon. I do that all the time, flipping the bird with one hand as i hold a gas station Big Gulp in the other. Who needs both hands on the wheel when you've got elbows? I mean, i applaud the people who make and drive stock cars. But the fact is, the people who drive those cars drive upwards of 200 miles per hour constantly and at least once a race one of those cars is completely annihilated in a fireball visible from space--and the driver walks away. These days you can't even tap another car without the alarm going off and some sort of insufferable lawsuit, complete with neck braces and mental trauma. Why do people pay to see others drive recklessly without being ticketed? I guess we're again living vicariously through others whom we've glorified. Wow, we say, Look at that guy. He caught a real big fish and got money for it. Look at him--he's seven and a half feet tall and just pile-drove that little wimpy guy into a heap. Whoa. That guy is driving 210 miles an hour and I see No blue lights. I wish i could be him. Argh!
What we need is a complete upheaval of these celebrities and televised events. We should be idolizing that little gray-haired fella eating caviar with a straight pin while we are out pummeling little guys into heaps. We ought to feel awe at the sight of a blue-haired granny going 25 in a 70 zone while we're driving 3,000mph in our car with heat-reactive tires and a cabin that's designed to crush accordion-style. But no. We PAY PEOPLE to do that for us. We pay others to be cool, to have fun, to be strong and pretty and go fishing while we sit in our little gray cubicles tapping away from 9 am until whenever our pointy-haired boss says we can leave on our ugly beige PCs. We pay people to live cool lives so we can dream of one day being them. I'm embarrassed to be human. We're such little Puritans with our panties in a wad, at heart.

y'know what

can anyone explain to me why galaxies look like hurricanes? And in a passage-of-time diagram, the Solar system looks just like an atomic energy level chart. I'm not making this up. It makes me pretty certain that that whole Adam and Eve story is pure bull, as there's clearly something much bigger than humans or even Earth going on here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

making my exit

As no one should be expected to know, as nobody should know my name or really anything about me on this server (or really should have even read this), I will be leaving These Here United States in just under two weeks' time to spend a school year in England. I intend to use this webspace as a journal of my adventures and experiences in the UK and the rest of Europe. I figure its a great way to store my thoughts-there's no paper to get wet or torn, i never need to find a pencil, and it's hard to lose. And if anyone happens to read it besides me...well, oh well. Just hopefully my mother won't, as I at least hope that my experiences abroad will include a couple of non-G-rated scenes. But knowing my luck I'll come back in a habit, praying my rosary. In any case, this is my trip log. I hope it will be exciting. Or at least have some words in it by the time July rolls around.

Friday, September 03, 2004

By Law I'm a Moron

It sucks to be an American under age 21. I had forgotten that until I headed down to my local college town recently and was constantly under the scrutiny of the local police, who were asking my friends for ID and throwing them out of places where they're legally permitted. I'm not a kid, but I'm not an adult. In fact, I can get tossed into adult jail for participating in activities that are legal for adults. Chew on that one for a while. Heck, I've been told that I'm too stupid and immature to be responsible for my actions or pursue a lucrative career until I can no longer reliably bear healthy babies (average range of ages for women to neither incur injury during childbirth nor bear children with impariments or deformities: 15-28). At 18 I can buy guns, porno, explosives, tobacco, and poker chips AND I can pretend to contribute to the choosing of leaders, but I can't drink alcohol. Alcohol. The only "illicit" substance BLESSED BY THE CHRISTIAN GOD. In this nation where the Bible and Jaysus are used as reasons to lynch black people, repress women, terrorize people of different faiths, separate gays from basic human rights and tell kids that the instinctive procreative act known as SEX is BAD, you'd think we'd understand one of the Scripture's harder-to-rend verses such as "Jesus turned water into wine" to mean "wine isn't bad." Maybe I'm just a crazy liberal, but I can't figure out where we found notions like "prevent youths from doing what adults do on a regular basis so that they think activities such as drinking, sex, smoking, and guns are a lot cooler than they really are so that they abuse them when they finally are permitted to use them and wind up brain-damaged, pregnant, infected with STDs and possibly missing limbs before they've lived twenty-five years." Under a rock, maybe? Modern, Progressive thinking would rationalize that if you introduce activities such as these to kids when they're young and teach them the concept of moderation, we can have healthy, well-balanced, socially-productive people working and doing well for themselves as soon as they've gotten past puberty.
But until then, I'll drink and drive, have unprotected sex, and smoke until my lungs are black, then claim that I was simply too stupid to be expected to be responsible for my actions until I turned twenty-one.