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Deslusions of Something to Do [06 Mar 2003|06:08am]
[ mood | cynical ]

I was eating at my Grandma's house two evenings ago. My Grandfather (not known for his mental agility and not related to me by blood), was trying to have a conversation with my cousin's husband, Josh. My cousin is 22 and has an 18 month old baby, and did not invite me or anyone else to the wedding.

My grandpa is kind of a christian "life counselor," which kind of explains this conversation but not really. Josh had just finished explaining that his parents were never around when he was a kid and he's mostly been raised by his grandparents.

Josh: "The only time I ever heard from my mom was when she was in prison."
Grandpa: "Ah. What about when she was out of prison?"
Josh: "I never heard from her. She was always out, ya know, just too busy to see me."
Grandpa: "So where's your mom now?"
Josh: "She's dead."
Grandpa: "Oh, I'm sorry. What happened to her?"
Josh: "She got hit by a truck."
Grandpa: (speechless)
Josh: "My grandma says she ran out in front of the truck on purpose, but I don't think so. My mom was just not that kind of girl. I just don't think she would have done that sort of thing."

My grandma says that my cousin told her that Josh was very upset when they got to their home after dinner because of having to talk about those memories. She blames my grandpa, but I don't know. Who could have known that a simple question like "where is your mother" could have lead to such a conversation? I guess some people are so obviously messed up that it's just better off not to ask certain questions.

As for me, these days I'm just trying to survive, waiting for my interview with the DoD. I made about $300 in the past week by selling my posessions on ebay and amazon.com. I've still got a lot of fairly valuable books left that I never read, so I should be able to make it for a few more weeks. Hopefully by that time I'll know if I'm going to D.C. or China.

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A Distance From Myself [01 Feb 2003|07:51am]
Waking up this morning I had the strange experience of seeing my past self as someone else. My life has changed so dramatically over such a short period of time that it has become possible to view my self of only a few months ago as a close friend, but not myself.

Being thus removed from my former self, it seems I have the ability to view my past actions more objectively than any of my current or very recent actions.

Shoot. Space shuttle broke up. Gotta go.
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The phrase "attack Iraq" [27 Jan 2003|12:18pm]
This phrase has been getting on my nerves lately. There are many other ways to say "attack Iraq" that don't rhyme. For instance, one could say "Invade Iraq," "Assault Iraq," "Preempt Iraq," or even "Intervene in Iraq."

In a way it seems as if reporters are mocking the idea of an invasion of Iraq when they write "attack Iraq." Perhaps the issue is that since most media outlets are owned by the same few companies, they all use the same phrases.
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Trail of Beers [23 Jan 2003|11:48am]
[ mood | mischievous ]

Here is a map of my trip:

So far I have made it to Pacifica. My next stop is Ridgecrest, which doesn't show up on the map. It's as far south as I go in California.

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Live from the San Francisco Protest! [18 Jan 2003|02:47pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

Well, almost live. I was there just over an hour ago and took some pics. I will share one here on livejournal:

I didn't stay too long (I just marched from about 2nd St. to the Civic Center), because I was by myself and protesting with strangers is fun but not that fun.

It was good to see people out there marching for peace. I was disapointed by the low quality of some of the arguments that I caught snatches here and there:

Protestor 1: "Bush is all about oil!"

Protestor 2: "Yeah!"

And so on. It seems a bit more complicated than that, but on the whole everybody had the right sentiment.

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A great adventure delayed ... due to dumbness [05 Jan 2003|10:37am]
I was all ready to set off on the first leg of my journey (Moscow to Seattle). I was having a farewell breakfast with a friend of mine. I opened my wallet to retrieve my debit card, but found that it was gone.

I had inadvertently abandoned it at the student health center, which is locked up until Monday morning at 8:00 AM. So I'm stuck in Moscow with all of my stuff locked away in storage and nothing to do but watch network TV and surf the net until Monday.

It looks like I may have a traveling companion for at least part of my journey. My friend Michael is also looking for work. I suppose you could call us a pair of itinerant programmers.
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Chrismas Vacation is a Strange Time [31 Dec 2002|06:56am]
When one spends a great deal of time not knowing what one will be doing in even the next 24 hours, one begins to think strange thoughts.

This is my situation right now. I have just graduated from college and have no jobs lined up, just one interview, the date and time of which is yet to be determined.

And so not knowing my future, I find myself preparing for multiple futures. This is most apparent when I look at the gifts I have asked for and received.

First example: I asked for and received a very nice wool overcoat to be worn over a nice suit. I will need this if I end up working in Washington D.C. (it does get cold there, doesn't it?).

Second example: Now, on the other hand, I also asked for and received a fly fishing vest which I will need if I remain here in Idaho and work at INEEL or anywhere else in this state. I will definitely not need the fly fishing vest in Washington D.C. Perhaps there is fly fishing there, but it will in all likelyhood be overcrowded and generally just not as good as fly fishing in the great intermountain west.

Of course, I am also considering going to China, and who knows WHAT the hell I will need over there. Probablyh an umbrella.

I am also planning a great adventure in which I will visit my friends who are inconveniently spread all across the west. To see them all I'm going to have to go to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Austin, TX. I have no idea if I will make it all the way to Austin, but I will try.
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Still considering coming to China... [30 Nov 2002|02:40pm]
I have gotten an offer for a job teaching in Beijing for $400 month. The problem is, I have this friend (Chinese) who's trying to scare me away from coming to China. He says there's no way I can make it on $400 a month. He says the only way I can live like that is if I live in a rat-infested apartment the size of a refrigerator shipping box and never go out to drink. He says that I will probably have to share a shower with a whole bunch of other people. Now, living in a rat-infested refrigerator box I could bare, but not being able to go out to drink? I don't know if I could handle that...
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Vindication - sort of [30 Nov 2002|02:33pm]
I just got a mass e-mail from somebody who runs the scholarship program I'm particpating in (government pays for education, I work for government). Anyway, I've gotten a lot of shit from my friends for telling the truth about past drug use on the security clearance applications. This e-mail was about 2 participants who chose to lie on their forms and then fake out the lie-detector test. They failed, even though they might have gotten the jobs if they had admitted what they'ed done.

I'm not really sure if I feel vindicated, however, because when I told the truth last summer, I was automatically denied within a period of days. I'm hoping this was because it had only been about 10 months since the last time I toqued a bowl.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder... From School [22 Nov 2002|02:58pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

Every year I bitch and moan about how much I hate school, how much its killing me, how much I can't wait until this break or that vacation. And then, when it comes, I just feel let down and bored. I miss the rush, I guess. Gotta study, gotta study, gotta study... what?

Yes, it's the first afternoon of Thanksgiving break up here in the Panhandle. Fortunately, I have plenty of homework to keep me busy. I'm concerned as to what I will do after graduation however... Currently no prospects. I keep seeing myself in a minimum wage position. I have been beaten down to the point of not even hoping for a job doing programming.

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First Entry [15 Nov 2002|03:23pm]
I'm very excited today. I got reply from my Chinese teacher who lives in Shanghai and from whom I haven't heard for over 7 years.

I am looking forward to our correspondence greatly.
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