Saturday, September 24, 2005

Quick Question

So, here's a quick question:

I see these damn bumper stickers everywhere: Freedom is not free. What does that mean? Why is freedom not free? This implies that freedom is not the natural state of things. If it is not the natural state of things, what is it worth?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Suntan, school, and other thoughts

So, I keep looking down at my arms, impressed by how brown they are. And how brown are they, you might ask? Well, imagine a slice of WonderBread that has been left in the toaster for about, say, ten seconds. And for me, that is super brown. I really shouldn't be so happy about it though. I noticed another swatch of freckles across my shoulder blades. Tiny little spots of potential cancer... Sigh. Back to the fake-bake.

I am now in the writing center, waiting for my 11am appointment. As it is now past 11:30, I am assuming that he will not be showing up today. His loss. He--and the other students in his class--are required to meet with me five times this semester. My 10am appointment was in the writing center waiting for me when I arrived at 9:55. Quiet little boy from China. I tried to get him to think of ideas for his essay--it was like pulling teeth: "What were some of the differences between your school in China and your school here?" Shrug. Mumble with pen in mouth. "Nothing." "No differences? None? You ate the same food? Played the same games at recess? Studied the same subjects?" Shrug. Mumble with pen in mouth. Leg jiggle. "I guess." Me: discreet look at wall clock.

Salisbury is fine but there are not many Graduate students here. My Educational Research class is full of Masters students--but Masters in Education. They are all blond kindergarten teachers who are married. (No, I do not consider myself a blond. I don't know what color I would call my hair. Not-Blond, maybe. I'm sure that's a legitimate color.) There are about six guys in the class--all steroided phys-ed teachers. Sandy blond.

Then there are my two language/linguistic classes. I am one of about two grad students in each class (combined grad/undergrad classes). And so far, I have managed to piss off all the members of my Language and Culture class. The class is from 7pm to 9:45pm. We were already running a little late by 9:30 and the prof asked up if we wanted to start a video that we ought to have finished by that evening. I was like, hell yeah. Lets knock out fifteen minutes of that puppy. And for some odd reason, this really annoyed the rest of the class. Go figure. I mean, go home at 9:30, go home at 9:45--it's all the same. But anyway, there goes friendship potential for that class.

So poor little me, all friend-less in Salisbury. Hm. Probably doesn't help that I am a super-big nerd. Maybe if I were more cool I would have friends. But I'm actually quite comfortable with my super-nerdyness. Actually, I brought all my oboe reed stuff from my Dad's place this weekend. With all that time that I am not socializing, I can be working on my oboe. Yes, the time has finally arrived: I am coming off my oboe sabbitical. Yea! This is truly an exciting time for music groups in need of an oboist! (And believe me, there are a lot of them out there.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dead Horse

Not to beat a dead horse, but I just found this:

You are the Flying spaghetti Monster and you have to use your noodly appendage to convert the masses.

Have fun.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Female Troubles"

So, I've spent approximately half of my life as a menstruating woman--not counting the six months in the Army when I was so miserable I even stopped bleeding--and one would think that I would be used to it now, that it would not sneak up on me every single month.

Ha! And one would be absolutely wrong in thinking this because every thirty days I am totally unprepared. I won't go into any details, but it is amazing the items I've used in lieu of a tampon or pad. It is like being thirteen once a month, looking down and thinking, "Oh... Where did that come from?..." Hm.

The truly amazing this is that I get PMS with a vengeance. I get cranky and crampy and break out and am unable to stop eating. I got chocolate and peanut butter cravings and cry over everything. I recognize these as being part of PMS and am quick to blame these problems on impending blood. But even five minutes after a chocolate binge I completely forgot. Amazing.


The good news is that I just scored a tampon. Yea!


So, I'm not actually going to post about the hurricane--even though CNN is on right the television that is just right above my head right now. I'm in Salisbury and my Mom has finally kicked me (gently) out of her office. I ought to be in the University Writing Center, waiting for ESL students who will never actually arrive. The only problem with this is that I do not have a key to the WC... So I've been walking between the WC and my Mom's office all day (whic hare on opposite ends of the campus). Anyway, I was in Mom's office complaining about my lack-of-key-ness and hogging her computer and she showed me to the hall where there are three computer stations which one can use as long as one is willing to stand. But such was my need to 'blog that I am currently standing up, shifting from foot to foot to try and ease my poor, blistered feet (you know, from walking back and forth across campus).

I am having one of those days where I am constantly wondering if I am making a mistake by coming back to University. And not just the age-related, all-my-friends-have-jobs issue that is never far from the surface. Today it is more what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here-I-don't-fit-in mixed with some who-am-I-kidding-I'm-not-really-smart-enough-to-be-here-hell-even-the-freshmen-are-smarter-than-me.

Oh so tired. Time to head back in to my Mom's office and get some tea.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Our Hell

I've started reading French news on the Internet. That way, when I see the pictures, I can pretend that this crisis is happening far, far away, in some distant poor country. I can pretend that this is all the fault of some corrupt government in a third-world country.

Remember four years ago, when Pat Robinson said that 9/11 was God's punishment against homosexuality and abortion and we all thought he was nuts? Well, he may have been on to something--only he got the message wrong.

Thank about it. Two disasters of epic proportions, occurring 9 to ten months after a presidential election. Maybe God really is sending us a message. Maybe he is telling us that Bush should not be president.

Just a thought.

(Actually, I have to give credit to my Mom on this one--she was the one who reminded me of Robinson's asinine remarks and pointed out the post-election time-frame.)

I need to stop thinking about all this, though--or I will make myself sick.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Botox Bill strikes again.

Well, folks, Botox Bill of Fox has done it again--he has proven that he is a soul-less approximation of a sentient being. Mom and I had been watching news all evening when she decided to flip to Fox to see "what the enemy is saying." And sure enough, within about a minute, Botox Bill declared that people had decided not to evacuate New Orleans so they could loot after the hurricane went through.

Right. He said that.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have found the missing link, the final step in proving that human beings did evolve from apes. An unevolved cosmetic surgery accident with a television show. Then again, I've watched Animal Planet enough to know that apes do care about other apes. But, seriously, how any human being can look at footage of New Orleans and the Superdome, hear reports of corpses floating down the streets, see pictures of naked babies with no clean diapers, old grandmothers barely able to breathe--how any human being can see people suffer like that--and not just any people, but one's brethren, the fellow citizens of one's country--how any human being can see all that and suggest what he suggested... Well, to me it indicates a clear lack of a soul.

This whole situation is unacceptable. Beyond Botox Bill and "le vache du far west" is the simple fact that there are thousands of people--thousands of Americans--who have not received any aid, who have suffered now for four days. I guess that being an American only means something when it is convenient to those in power. How else could one explain the discrepancy in our treatment of our citizens. Another tragedy that occurred about four years ago elicited cries of anger and revenge. Now this tragedy elicits accusations about the motives of the inhabitants of New Orleans. Being an American only means something if you are rich and white.

That should not be so shocking. We have known for years that that is how matters stand. So we know, without even having to see the photos, that the vast majority of refugees in the New Orleans Superdome are black. What is truly shocking is the blatant lack of assistance given to these refugees. We can tell ourselves over and over again that racism is no longer a problem, or that it is less of a problem, or that blacks and whites are equal now... but one look at the Superdome shows us that our self-congratulatory back-patting about conquering racism is just an empty farce. Where is the aid that these people--these living, breathing, thinking, feeling people--need?