Sunday, May 29, 2005

It's The End of The World... Again.

I've been hearing a lot recently about some very disturbing topics, from some very non-politically oriented sources. This bothers me. These forums are getting surprisingly politically active considering most of the members are only connected because they own the same kind of car. This thread might be expected, since it's relevant to the price of gas... but it's still odd that something so "deep" would find its way to a forum. In my experiences forums, especially the larger ones, tend to be shallow places; people in large groups start experiencing herd mentality and don't deal well with actual thought.

There is more, too. I have heard friends talking about news they've heard or read regarding the oil shortage and our privacy and 'conspiracy theories', and the media is picking up on more "crisis" stories than I seem to remember. These stories aren't just sitting on the back pages any more; someone seems to think they're important and the public should see them. But why?

Deforestation and desertification in the Sahara haven't been addressed much, even though that's a major environmental issue. Nor has the news picked up on the remaining insurgents in Iraq who continue to kill our soldiers every day using simple bombs and guerilla warfare. A thought just occurred to me: there's almost no way to win against guerilla fighters. We started (and ended) the American Revolution with guerilla tactics which the British troops couldn't understand or strategize against. The French Revolution went much the same way until the people took control (and then got way out of control with Mme Guillotine). Vietnam? WWII and the island hopping? Take a wild guess what tactics were used. How many battles have people really won against guerilla warfare? I can't name one war where the tactic was used against an "organized" army in the open and the organization paid off in the long run. Surprise is an element that is difficult to overcome.

Back on topic: the news. The media online has become much more focused on topics other than Iraq, and it seems to me that they're digging up controversial issues (some of which, coincidentally, have been around for decades or longer) to distract the public eye from more pressing issues. It seems to be working, too. I don't keep up with the news very well, except what I catch if CNN happens to be on in a room I'm in, or someone posts it on a blog I watch. I don't know how much of the news is still about the War on Terror. I did catch a few muted minutes of CNN in a restaurant the other day. they were doing a story on Bush. The video was of him speaking to a group of officers at some military establishment, and the caption said something to the effect of "Bush: Winning the War in Iraq." I did a double-take and nearly spit out my soda. Winning? War?! Excuse me, but wasn't the 'war' over last year? Didn't Bush say then that we had won against the terrorists and were going to work on reconstruction? Oh, right. There's that insurgence thing going on. Why is he telling us we're winning when people still can't live in the major cities because of the daily skirmishes and car bombs? Where are those construction companies and engineers we are supposed to be seeing working peacefully with the Iraqis to rebuild their homes and workplaces? What ever happened to CNN,NBC,MSNBC, etc sending journalists over and giving us live updates on the situation? If the war is ongoing, shouldn't the public be informed of what's going on from the source of the action and not from a newsroom thousands of miles away?

But the public should focus on other issues, like the much-debated peak in oil production and the threat from Muslim Terrorists(tm). After all, we've always been at war with Iraq, we never were looking for WMDs anyway so of course there weren't any to find, and the reconstruction? They had an election, that's one step toward democracy!

You know, Star Wars seems like a pretty damn relevant political commentary right now, what with the panic about the war and the government (the Senate in SW) taking on more and more power... *blink* The second Trilogy hits pretty close to home as far as reflecting the general state of politics here, and that's scary too. I really don't like the idea of G.W. being a Sith Lord.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I feel better now...

I've cleaned up the kitchen a bit and it looks minimally better than it did. Even minimal is a good improvement, though. If I wasn't worried about annoying the neighbors I'd vacuum as well, because the living room needs it. Hm... At any rate, I have 4 hours to fill and I might as well make good use of it. This apartment needs a maid (and maybe I can leave a sarcastic note to the guys asking for payment for a few hours' cleaning service). ^_^

Cleaning is fulfilling. It makes me feel useful and busy and saves my brain from 8 hours a day of staring at computer monitors and TV screens. I think I would have made a very good housewife a few decades ago, if I had the sense to learn how to cook...


Excuse the sap to follow. I had to babble at someone :-p

I've got a country love song stuck in my head again... "When I Think About Angels" by Jamie O'Neal. The lyrics go (in part):
"The taste of sugar sure reminds me of your kiss,
I like the way that they both linger on my lips.
Kisses remind me of a field of butterflies;
must be the way my heart is fluttering inside.
Beautiful distraction, you make every thought a chain reaction.
When I think about rain, I think about singin'.
When I think about singin' it's a heavenly tune.
When I think about heaven then I think about angels;
When I think about angels, I think about you..."

Anyway. It was raining this morning and I woke up warm and happy and right where I wanted to be: in a little apartment outside of Pittsburgh; my boyfriend's apartment. It might be messy (what do you expect when you put three geeky college guys together in a small area?) but it's his and that makes me happy. His two roommates (one of whom shares this large bedroom with him) are gone for the weekend, and he's off to work for the day so I'm here all by myself till he gets back. I don't mind it though... there's more than enough to keep me entertained (looking out the windows, reading, TV, PS2, N64, movies, internet, the cross-stitch I brought with me, and if all else fails, cleaning ;p) until he gets back at 8:30 or so.

In other news, I saw Episode III last weekend. Yes, that's geeky. No, I still don't label myself a geek. It was better than I or II, but as far as comparing it to the first (chronologically speaking) trilogy... I haven't seen IV, V or VI since I was little and I don't remember them. At any rate, just to take up space...
Movie Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith.
Starring: Hayden Christiensen as Anakin Skywalker, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Natalie Portman as Padmé... and many more. There are a lot of big names in this movie. Personally, aside from the fact that they drew a big, new audience to the movies these past few years, I didn't see a reason to drop all of these superstars into one movie together. Maybe that's just me.

Is it sad that I still don't have a lightsabre? After all the dramatic shots of the famous blue, green and red blades swinging through various aliens, Jedi and Sith Lords in Episode III, I've had enough lightsabre dueling to last me a few weeks at least. A comment from the peanut gallery: "They really don't like right arms, do they?" I'd have to say no, Bob, they don't like them at all. There seems to be a lot of limb-severing going on in the second Star Wars trilogy and III tops its predecessors by a long shot. George Lucas must have a cauterization fetish... all these lightsabre deaths and not a drop of stage blood in sight. Hey, whatever keeps it PG-13, eh?

The plot of this one was a little darker than the previous two, as the title probably warned us if we were paying attention. I can't complain about realism, since Sci-fi movies tend to be a little less... "real" than most, but I did note that in
one scene Anakin's right arm (which was replaced with a robotic one previously and isn't often seen) was cut off a little lower than it had been shown when the cut was made. Hmm... well, I'm not yelling. The graphics/effects people had their hands full with this one already. Oh, and Yoda kicks serious arse for a 3" tall, 900 year old... whatever he is. Speak well and wisely, Yoda does, and the Force is with him.

This movie wraps up the package of six very well, giving us more insight into Luke and Leia's father, the reason they were separated and the answers to questions that have probably haunted past generations of Star Wars fans (I know they bothered me a little ;p): What's with Vader's outfit? What happened to Anakin that made him turn to the Dark Side? And last, but certainly not least: has George finally lost it? (I think so, but at least he makes cool movies.) The boi claims we knew all that before. I stuck my tongue out at him. I think if there were any loose ends to be tied up it would be with the minor characters who caught our attention for fifteen minutes and then wandered off into space and weren't seen again. Chewbacca needs more attention. Yeah, yeah, the boi says, he gets lots of attention in the other movies... well, like I said I haven't seen the first trilogy in forever.

After the movie I went to Burger King, where they're releasing five new toys a week with their Kids' Meals. I got a little stuffed Chewy, the boi got a little wind-up Yoda who actually flips over backwards. rox0r.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I agree.

Kines posted a wonderful rant recently. Read it, because it's better written than what I could do and it expresses my feelings on the subject rather well. Thank you, Kines.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I walked to the Lily Dale Assembly Office today to drop off a payment for the assessment. It was a nice walk, since today is just warm enough to be comfortable in a tshirt and the wind off the lake was just cool enough to make me glad for the sweatshirt I was wearing. A few interesting things happened along the way, including my being whistled at by some young men who were doing a paving job on someone's driveway. I don't know why anyone would whistle at me. Would you whistle at a tall, thin brunette wearing glasses and a baggy sweatshirt? I will never understand males, especially hormonal adolescent males. As far as I can guess, this one either whistled at me because he was truly impressed by my scrawny (lack of) sex appeal, or because he thought it was funny to 'tease' the poor stick figure. I'm going with option number two, because a few seconds after he whistled, he yelled "Shake that a$$!" and as everybody knows, I have no arse to shake. I'm totally without any shakeability and this has been proven. Soo... I have no choice but to conclude, once again, that boys will be boys (and therefore act in ungentlemanly ways) and there's nothing we ladies can do about it.

As I was walking today I never kept my eyes on the road right in front of me. There was no need - I was moving slowly, there were no other pedestrians along the way, there was no sidewalk to keep my feet on and no signs directed at people walking with the exception of the "Posted" signs on various trees. It was a quiet walk, and there was a lot going on around me that took my attention away from the road in all its bland emptiness. The speedwell, dandelions, chamomile, daisies, strawberries, ivy and forget-me-nots are all blooming, sometimes making fantastic carpets out of people's lawns, and I found a white flower I don't know, growing quietly at a single spot on the shore. The lakes (there are three small ones, connected in something of a 'U' shape) were beautifully blue and a little wind pushed wavelets up onto the shore. The sound was wonderfully calming. On the way back, just outside the Lily Dale gates, I startled a deer a few feet away in the woods - I hadn't seen it until it went crashing away into the undergrowth. I stood and watched it go; I don't think the two drivers who passed me just then saw anything at all.

That's a problem with driving. When you drive, you are going from point A to point B on a predirected course which can't be changed too much because most vehicles aren't any good in nature - they only work in "civilized" areas with gas stations and roads. Even bicyclists these days have to be aware of the road, and they lose out on some of the scenery. It's tough to stop a car to watch a butterfly, or to bend over from a bike seat to look at a wildflower as you pass it. And it's tough to think, too. Drivers ought to have their minds on the road, and not on the weather or what's for dinner or, God forbid, something deep or spiritual. Walking gives us a chance to use the legs we were given for their original purpose -moving us from place to place- and it lets us think at the same time. We don't miss out on the world as it rushes by our windows and fades away. We experience it and are part of it and if we like we can sit down to watch the water flow under a bridge, or look up to watch the wind in the trees. It's nature, it's beautiful and imperfect and awe-inspiring; it's our world and we need to pay more attention to it than just letting it pass by as we move encapsulated in our SUVs and little sports cars. That could have been an organized rant if I edited more. I just wanted the thought there, so maybe I can rant later.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


It's been a long week. Not so bad at the beginning, because I got to sleep in. But suddenly I'm finding myself very, very tired.

I got to relax all the way to Wednesday, oh joy... and then Wednesday afternoon and evening, and all of Thursday and some of Friday were spent at Dad's house. That meant a lot of work, including cleaning up the house a bit, helping with the porch roof at the cottage, and other such things. I even made a BIG pan of lasagna last night (and yes, I'm sure that's spelled wrong... it's midight, I'm tired). It was pretty good, considering that was a first for me. I almost feel proud of my minimal cooking skills. Maybe I should get some recipes together so I can cook when I get back to college. And maybe I should actually get myself together and make those cherry pies I said I was going to.

Tonight I went to a concert. My friend's mother and sister are both members of a celtic trio called Johnny-In-A-Box. They're not Nickel Creek status (or skill level) yet but they're pretty darn good for a family affair. I enjoyed the music, and the company (thanks, Steph) and overall had a fun evening there. After the band, a local improv group came up (late, but that didn't matter, as more music was just as good as more laughs, in my opinion). They did a few games, got a lot of audience participation and left me laughing pretty hard at some points. Penguins are going to be a funny thing for a while now.

Sister and another friend of mine went to a concert a few blocks from my little artsy cafe - a punk rock show. Lots of local bands, music so loud I'm surpised the glass wasn't shaking in the windows. I would have gone in to find them after I left the cafe, but I wasn't up to wading through 30 punks to find the two I wanted to see, and the ones outside gave me odd looks as I walked by, since a wrap skirt and sandals just don't fit that 'scene' very well. I decided to sit in the car where I'd be safe from both an impending headache and the attention of several bored punks. Tired girl + excited people = no fun.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I'm Home...

And the computer's working, and (obviously) I can get online. Going shopping with mom this afternoon, just for an excuse not to unpack.