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Archive for June, 2010

This morning started at 6.30 with getting all of my last minute preparations finished before setting out for Florida, and by 8.00, I was being dropped off in front of the airport with my bright red suitcase and leather carry-on bag.  And I’d like to say that I did all right, thank you very much.  Granted, I spent the first twenty five minutes waiting in the wrong line for Delta, and I was clueless as to where to pick up my ticket after finding a more correct line, but after an hour of lines and security, I was finally sitting in the correct terminal and waiting for my 10.05 flight to Atlanta.  The first leg of my journey was from Saint Louis to Atlanta and went quite well.  Window seat.  Hardly a cloud in the sky.  No turbulance.  Even with sitting right next the engine, I could still listen to my iPod at half level and be just fine (which, by the way, my Florida playlist is pretty kickin’: Vampire Weekend, Imogen Heap, Arcade Fire, Nickel Creek, and a plethora of just about everything.  No really, I even have some Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls on there.  Eat it!).  The Atlanta airport was the only thing I was worried about–mostly because my first flight had been delayed by an hour, which meant that I had missed my second flight to Fort Lauderdale.  On the bright side, the second leg of my journey had also been delayed, so I ended up at the correct terminal in plenty of time.  Definitely beats my similar experience two years ago.

And that was something that really struck me.  Exactly two years ago, to the day no less, I was in the Atlanta airport, running back and forth between terminals that didn’t even exist just to get to my aeroplane for Germany.  It had been a total mess, with my friend and I running between trains and construction to get to the right spot just in the knick of time.  So, it slightly amazed me that I should have almost the exact same experience today, only not.  It was the same connecting flight, the same terminals.  Everything the same except that I found where I was going quickly and easily.  Maybe it’s the lack of construction.  Maybe it’s the fact that now I’m an adult and could trek there on my own without having to be with a group.  I’ll never know, but if things are going to work this well, then I don’t care to figure it out.

The second leg of my trip was terribly bouncy, and I was stuck in an aisle seat next to a very bored five year-old.  Half way through, I pulled out a National Geographic and began to flip through the pages of wonderful photos, being sure to tilt the magazine so that Xavier (yes, I learned his name while on the flight) could see it.  Later, I nonchallantly flipped through photos on my laptop for him to see.  And I’m not sure if it completely was enthralling, but he did look over quite a bit.  So maybe I made his trip a little less monotonous.

Anyway, I finally reached Fort Lauderdale after a long day of travelling and delays and no food, and my dad was there waiting at the exit for me so that we could fetch my luggage.  We drove to his house in Pompano Beach, had salad with fish–

WAIT.  Fish?

Yes, I ate fish, and will eat fish over this holiday.  It’s hard to avoid, and I’m not picky enough or a bitch enough or even someone who cares enough to refuse.  So, yes, I had fish.

–sat around on the porch and chatted, et cetera.  He mentioned that I should blog about my trip as a start to my dream career of being on the Travel Chanel.  As ridiculous as it is, I thought I’d do that.  So, expect some blogs from me over these next two weeks.  Hopefully nothing daily; I wouldn’t want to read that, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to, either.  And, who knows, maybe this will be the start to my fabulous life as a professional traveller.

Or maybe I’ll just share with you my adventures.  You know, same same, but different.

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…but not too much in the sun.  Just enough for Zooey Deschannel to be proud of me and sing along, being adorable and such.

Tomorrow morning, I take out on a flight to Florida to visit my dad for nearly two weeks.  We’ll probably head the beach (Atlantic side, thank goodness), visit some family down there, and meander around the state.  We were thinking of the going to the new Harry Potter park in Universal Studios, but between the 100+ dollar ticket price and the massive lines and waiting times from it being just opened a week, I’m thinking NO.  I’ve spent my fair share gushing over what house I’d be at Hogwarts (Slytherin), wearing my Hogwarts messenger bag, reading the books, and dressing up as Hermione Granger, but I just can’t see myself forking all of that time and money over for a mediocre time.  I told one of my sisters today that I might as well just plan something out with friend for after university, when the lines are shorter and we can plan a multiple day trip down there and stay at a resort.  Personally, that would be much more enjoyable.

But I shall be off and about until the middle of July, so don’t be expecting me too much on Facebook or the like.

On a completely separate note, I gave my first official tour at work yesterday, and it went really well.  I felt like the seven year old artist afterwards saying, “I did such a good job!  Look at what I did!”  Yeah, I was that kid in my head and for the first five minutes after I got back from the tour.  Great day, great group, great conversations about politics and cooking, and great times spent reading National Geographic and sipping lemonade.  Unpaid labour has its upsides.

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From a site about ‘true American Values’:

“As arrows are to an archer, children are to a father.”

So, children are instruments for killing things or hitting darts for entertainment?  Last I checked, children weren’t meant for that and shouldn’t be used as tools of destruction.  And why should the children only be used or coveted by their father?  What’s the say of all the mothers out there who birthed and helped to raise those children?  There’s no winning me over with sexist or discriminatory remarks, now.  Nice try American-values website, but you didn’t quite hit the bull’s eye with this one.

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Oh dear goodness, I’m practically rolling around in my childhood right now, listening to Dixie Chicks on shuffle and scribbling song lyrics into my diary.  It’s moments like these that remind me that I still have some type of grasp on who I used to be and continue to be.  And even while most of these songs are such rubbish, so much makes up for it: Chris Thile mandolin solos, choruses shifting into minor chords, power building up in bridges.  Oh, the bluegrass of the late nineties and early 2000s was magnificent.  Think on it–Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Alison Krouse.  A lot of great bluegrass came out then.

In fact, a lot of great music came out in the nineties, but it’s taken me until nearly twenty years later to realise that this crap was… well, not crap.  My room mate for next year is really into nineties alternative, which I started getting into about five years ago, and I’m fairly certain that you’re going to be able to walk into our room and feel like you’re in your childhood.  Matchbox Twenty will be playing in the background while you reach for my Skittles candy machine and a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Only our laptops will give us away.

One day, I’ll look back at the nineties and 2000s as the “Good Ole Days”, and I will lament about the kick-ball and hiking in the woods and climbing the trees while singing Spice Girls and shoving Pokèmon cards into our Lisa Frank binders.  God, I still have those Lisa Frank binders full of Pokèmon cards in my closet, right next to a bin of Beanie Babies that I was so sure would be worth a ton of money and put me through college.  But you can buy those same Beanie Babies from a garage sale for fifty cents, so, so much for that monetary adventure.

But I’ll look back at all of this in wonder; that much is certain.

I was reading Fahrenheit 451 today while waiting for the mall to open and let me buy a Father’s Day present, and I was surprised by how everyone around me reminded me of the characters.  Sure, in limited ways, but so many people are the sheeple like the majority of characters, and I wondered if I would be like Guy or Clarisse or Mildred or Beatty.  When we read things like this or Animal Farm or Ishmael, we always want to pretend that we would be one of the enlightened ones.  One of the people who catch onto what society is up to and starts fighting the system and thinking for ourselves.  But, in all reality, would we really be that person?  Or would we be following the motions like anyone else, living day to day with no other question?  Would we wake up and go to school or church or work like every other day?  Would you be the one to sit in front of the telly and soak in everything that it had to offer?  I was that person for so long before waking up, but as I read, I still can’t help but realise that I would be one of those people.  I’d be a sheeple right next to everyone else.

We can’t all be a Clarisse.

Will books be banned one day like in Fahrenheit 451?  It makes me wonder if the good old days will be right now because of the knowledge that we presume to be free.  And it’s something to think about.

But for now, it’s best left to Dixie Chicks and scribbles of what I think into a diary that no one will ever read.  It’s better off in poems that tell stories of far away places where people learn lessons in the strangest ways that no one else will understand but in glimpses of another’s mind.  It’s better left to sentences that don’t know how to end.

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Seriously, the amount of spam I get is absolutely ridiculous.  Thank everything that WordPress lets me weed through the comments rather than automatically post everything.  I’d off myself otherwise.

Meanwhile…  It’s a bad joint day, which means that I’m still in bed watching Doctor Who, reading Wikipedia articles, and installing an old version of Oregon Trail onto my laptop.  Somehow, the hours keep slipping by faster and faster until I’m left here with barely a meal eaten and wondering what happened to my morning.  I slept in late until nine, but I still had some morning, didn’t I?  What on Earth happened to it?

I’ve been waiting around for a thunderstorm to roll on by, but it’s done just that: rolled on by without stopping.  Instead, the sun has poked back out from the angry clouds to greet me, but I don’t want that.  I really need some rain, even if it will make my knees buckle all the worse and force me to wear wrist braces yet again.  It’s days like these when it becomes more apparent that my body is falling to ruin.  I may be exercising and feeling so strong, but it can crumble in a split second.

But it does give me some more time to just sit and relax, even if there is some pain involved.  I’ve been watching old episodes of Doctor Who, which really makes me further enjoy the series.  There’s this thing that bugs me with most shows–the characters just don’t die.  Now, I’m not talking about The Doctor, because he’s immortal or whatever, but other characters.  In most shows, the good guy always has to go back and somehow save the other characters to make everything a happy ending.  It means that the main characters nearly get killed, but then everything magically works together.  Well, I don’t like that.  Call me a pessimist, but life isn’t like that.  People die.  People stuff up.  People don’t always live to see the world fall back into place.  It’s for this reason that I’ve come to appreciate Doctor Who as more than just an entertaining series.  Not every character lives.  People sacrifice themselves, repent, get punished.  They don’t just stand there and wait to have everything saved, and I enjoy seeing this realism.  Sure, I don’t enjoy death, but it’s comforting in a way to not have to watch The Doctor and Rose run all around trying to save everyone.  People are more independent in this show, I think.  And it shows when they make their decisions to allow death.  But the loss of life in the episodes shows realism, which is what really matters.

I am a realist after all.  Pessimism and optimism have never quite worked out for me.

But I thought I’d ramble about that for you, because it really is something that I enjoy about the show.  That rational, level-headedness that comes with not trying to appease the world but merely keep it stable.

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Reading the news, as usual, brings out the worst of me.  It brings out the fight and the kick and the ‘that’s just not fair’ attitude that will bite back at anyone who opposes me.  Now, I’m not closed-minded about politics.  I won’t sit here and tell you that your opinion is wrong, but boy do I get angry over certain state decisions and how they effect the thinking of the people effected.

I was reading an article about how the prime minister of Japan just stepped down a few days ago amidst the roe with the US over the base at Okinawa.  The US has had it’s base there since the end of World War II in order to better keep power in the East, but Japan is avidly against the base.  First of all, it’s a giant patch of the city taken over by a foreign army.  Second, after the 1995 rape by three US servicemen of a twelve year-old Japanese girl, the people aren’t too happy about having the soldiers there.  I understand that there’s probably a need to have a base, but I also think that Japan and the US should come to some agreement that can keep both sides happy–rather than the problem being so large that the head of a country ups and leaves.

It also got me to thinking about something way long ago.  Back in sixth grade, I remember a teacher who would basically shove his political opinions down our throats during class.  While I now thank him for forcing us to read Animal Farm (as it is my favourite novel), I do not thank him for the animosity he taught us against President Clinton and those who supported other nations.  He complained about how Clinton had sold a part of the US to Japan for a base in California, and how terrible this was.  He would lament on about how he knew some guy who flew his American flag upside-down for all eight years of Clinton’s presidency in order to show that he was in distress from the politics.  For an eleven year-old, what our teachers said was solid truth, so I believed for still some years that Clinton must have been an evil politician and that Bush was the way to go.  Of course, it only took me three years to find that things weren’t quite that way.  It was around the same time I ‘woke up’; thinking for myself just became natural, and I began to question my conservative upbringing in the same way that I now question my early liberal views during high school.  (I’m a libertarian, if you should need to know.)

But what struck me was that my teacher was so angry over Japan getting the same rights that we have in America.  America makes bases all over the world, so why can’t other countries do the same?  Sure, Americans will yell, ‘But they can’t!  They’re (insert nation here)!  They could be terrorists or communists or socialists, et cetera!’

But, really, if we have the right to go and make military bases all over the place, why can’t other countries have the same right to have military bases in the US or around us?  What makes us so damn special?  For the ‘Land of the Free’, we certainly don’t seem to like giving freedom outside of our borders.  I guess equal rights end at the imaginary lines we’ve created.

But it does invoke a lot of passion in me when someone will criticise me for thinking this way.  The people who say, ‘well, if you don’t like America, why don’t you leave?’ just end up sickening me.  If you don’t like America, you try to change it.  It’s something our country is all about.  When we were pissed about not having voting rights, women went into the streets and fought.  When we were pissed about Vietnam, college kids shoved flowers into soldiers guns.  When we were pissed about our soldiers dying in Afghanistan, we protested outside of Bush’s ranch.  It’s for the same reason that, even though I don’t agree with the Tea Partiers, I don’t mind them protesting.  Sure, many of them don’t know at all what they’re talking about, but if they want to campaign for an America they more approve of, then have at it!  That’s the point!  To me, showing others that nations aside from America should have the same rights as we do to set up bases or make nuclear weapons or fuck up the Earth should be my right to think and say.  After all, if we’re allowed to do something, why should that give us the right to deny that allowance to someone else?

What’cha say?

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