Monday, March 31, 2003

My blue Chevy Corsica, "Blue Thunder," has been declared to be terminally ill. Again. This time for good.

It appears as if some transmission bearings are going. We can't fix it without removing the engine. And in that particular car, it's pretty tough to pull the engine. So now I'm on the hunt for a new car. Something cheap. Something less than $15 a day.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Senator Patrick Moynihan died yesterday. Here's a link to a pretty good obit from the New York Times.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

this is a cool link to the bbc-they've basically got a blog that all their reporters are logging to regarding the war.

On Saturday, my family is going to have a big dinner for my cousin, who is going to Iraq. He's set to leave (to a US camp for a refresher course in training) a week or so from now.

Hopefully, if all is well, he won't be in Iraq in time to fight.

Monday, March 17, 2003

I found out my cousin, an army reservist, has been called up. No word from the family grapevine where he's going to be put.

Due to my illness, I was able to catch the press conference with Bush, Blair, and the Spanish PM and the Portaguese PM. It was interesting to listen to Bush speak-as a whole, the speech he put out was pretty confusing. But, when I watched the news last night, they broke it up into 6 second sound bites. Which made me realize-the guy is trained to speak in those 6 seconds-and he's incapable of carrying on a sustained, long thought with proof and valid arguements. He's only capable of cowboy logic.

Notice I didn't say 'cowboy diplomacy'-that's a star trek phrase, and I wouldn't want to dirty anything Spock might have uttered once upon an episode.
I was sick all weekend. A little bit of a temp, a nice scratchy throat, and some nice green mucus. But I did manage to go on a nice bikeride Saturday-it was pretty nice. The only thing that prevented it from being perfect were all the farckin' people who were walking/running on the bike trails-which made my ride very stop and go. But I don't blame them. The walking paths were generally under water or ice.

Friday, March 14, 2003

this is a really cool essay from the CSM-
here's the link, but in case they take it down at some point, here it is:

Uh-oh, the places we'll go!
By Susan E. Omar
"Can you imagine?" my dad would say, and then we knew our family was about to move - again. A former high school dropout and runaway, my dad had turned his life around and married his childhood sweetheart. When the Korean War broke out, he had developed a talent for mechanical drafting and got a job in Colorado. He talked about his life from that point on as if it were a hero's journey. "Can you imagine?" he said when he told Mother about the new job. "They're going to pay me to go to school!"

John Kennedy delivered his "Ask not ..." speech, and I was just starting second grade when Dad announced an opportunity for a career change. He was going to work as an aerospace engineer, fulfilling his dream to be part of the space program. "Can you imagine? We're being transferred to South Dakota!" Then he began to list all the things we'd get to do: camping in the Black Hills; a visit to Mount Rushmore; a trip to Deadwood City where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane made history.
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I'm told that when he took me to a dinosaur dig in the Badlands outside Rapid City, S.D., I pointed to a worker and said solemnly, "That's what I'm going to do when I grow up." Dad answered, "Honey, you can do anything you want. I'm the living proof."

It was the summer before I started fourth grade when Dad was promoted again and we moved to a suburb of Little Rock, Ark. One night after the move, I was taking a walk with him, telling him about my new friend who liked Nancy Drew mysteries as much as I did. We stopped under a huge sweet gum tree to watch fireflies sparkle in the humid air around us. "Did you ever imagine we'd live in a place as beautiful as this?" he asked me.

We were still reeling from the Kennedy assassination when Dad came home, saying once again, "Can you imagine?" He hugged my mother. "They're going to pay me to move to California." But when I listened to them talk happily far into the night as if California were the Promised Land, I wanted to cry. I didn't want to move again. I loved my Girl Scout troop, and I was in the breathless throes of my first crush.

I was very sad when we packed again and began the long car trip west. We rolled into Arizona on New Year's Eve. Dad's car developed engine trouble and it had to be towed to what Mother's stories would refer to later as "a wide place in the road."

Yes, the gas-station owner said, he could fix the problem, but he'd need a part from Tucson, and he was closing for the holiday. He suggested we check into the dingy motel next door (which his sister operated). He told us that if we needed groceries, we'd better get them soon, because his brother-in-law was also closing until after the New Year's celebration.

I grumbled when I noticed the motel pool was cracked and drained. Dad really tried to cheer me up, offering to buy me a comic book - or even two comic books. But I wanted my Nancy Drew mysteries, now packed into a moving van somewhere. He said I could have a soft drink from the motel vending machine, but all that was left was orange soda, and I told anybody within hearing distance how much I hated orange soda.

Mother, tired and stressed, gave me two choices: I could shut up, or she could slap me. Dad and I were shocked that my genteel mother had said "shut up." When Dad suggested a walk, I quickly followed him out the door.

The silhouettes of the saguaro cactus looked like eerie giants with curved prickly arms. When we started to walk away from the lights of the "town," I mentioned to Dad the possibility of running into rattlesnakes.

"We'll stay on the pavement," he said, and kept walking. He was quiet, the way he got when he was thinking or praying. After a while he said, "You know, California is a wonderful place. Can you imagine-"

But I cut him off. "I don't want to move to California!" I wailed. "I want to be with my friends. I don't want to be the new kid anymore."

Dad nodded, but he didn't say anything else until we started back to the motel. Then he said suddenly, "Did I tell you about the ocean?" I let out an exasperated sigh. "During certain seasons," he continued, ignoring me, "there are tiny animals in the water that light up when the waves roll up on the beach at night."

I thought about this. "Like fireflies?" I asked.

"Sort of like fireflies, except underwater. And the beaches," he said. "Can you imagine a place so warm you can swim in the winter?"

We walked along in silence.

"And I'll tell you something else," he said. "They have boats with glass bottoms."

"Glass bottoms?" I asked.

"Yep, so you can see the fish that swim under the boat."

Now that was something to try to imagine.

"And then, of course," he said softly, "there's Disneyland."

So I spent New Year's Day in a dusty little motel with no pool, drinking orange pop. I watched the parade on TV and flipped through the comic books. Mother and I were friends again. I was in a better frame of mind, wondering how a boat could have a glass bottom. Wouldn't it break?

We arrived in California a couple of days after New Year's, and we never moved out of state again. We rode in a glass-bottom boat and we marveled at plankton-lit ocean waves. We went to the beach year round and I discovered the dinosaur fossil collection at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits.

A few years after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, I enrolled in a college close to home, studied paleontology and archaeology, and began a life that did not include moving every few years. I visited ancient ruins in Mexico and pyramids in Egypt, though; and when I returned to recount my own hero's tales, my dad would listen intently.

At the story's end, he'd smile, nudge Mother, and ask, "Can you imagine?"

Thursday, March 13, 2003

well, some good news-Pete Townshend has been cleared of kiddie porn charges. Thank God.

Oh, I really didn't see any shows last weekend. All I ended up doing was go to the Poetry slam. Horton Heat was sold out and Greazy Meal, though I was interested, no one else was. And I wasn't interested in going alone.

This weekend-we're supposed to have temps in the 60s and I plan on going bike riding.

Friday, March 07, 2003

I think this weekend is the official 'Michael Kohout Concert Weekend'- friday night, there is a poetry slam at the First Ave VIP room (MC'd by Meghan), Saturday, Greazy Meal are reuniting for a series of shows(at the Cabooze), and the Reverend Horton Heat is playing at the 7th Street Entry.

cool. We'll see how many of the shows I'll actually get to see.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Last night I went grocery shopping after the gym. It was my intention to buy the components of a favorite breakfast staple of mine-rice with raisins, and getting out of there spending less than $6. So I needed to buy some milk and some raisins.

Now-I didn't want to buy too much milk. I don't drink that much anymore, and I figured I wouldn't need more than a half gallon. Any more and it would most likely go bad in my fridge.

Well, a half gallon of milk costs almost as much as a gallon. Which sucks. And a gallon costs only a $1.50 less than 2 gallons. So I end up buying 2 gallons.

Which leads me to a state of semi-panic as I walk through the store. What am I going to do with the extra gallon? Should I bring it to work and donate it to the group there? Should I take it to my parent's house on Sunday, and give it to them? No, I decide, as I pass the jell-o isle. No, I shall make pudding. And I then buy two gallons of milk($4.50), a bag of raisins($2.75), and five packages of pudding(one pistaschio, one chocolate, one vanilla, two butterscotch-I really like butterscotch) for about $4.

So I spend about double what I expected. I was very disappointed in myself when I got home. So I made myself some pudding to feel better. And I did.