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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Poser forest

Colorado is a great state for outdoorsy people. It has nice clean air, awesome mountains for snowboarding and hiking and star gazing, cool looking golden blooms of aspen in the fall, huge and majestic red rocks, white water rafting, etc etc and so on and so forth. But I am craving forests.

Yes yes I understand we have mountains covered in pine trees and firs, and that’s great. Except the fact that they’re pine trees and firs. They’re not real forests, just leftover splinters from other forests in the country that somehow survived the lack of oxygen up here. I’m talking about deciduous trees that turn red and golden and orange in the autumn and have huge leaves the size of your head and are so tall you end up falling backwards when you try to look at the treetops. Aspen forests are dazzling to look at in the fall; taking a day hike and eating lunch up on  those paths of gold is an annual treat. But there’s just no substance. You stand in an aspen forest, you can still see most of the sky. Run into an aspen tree, and the tree shakes the slightest bit. In a real forest, you look up and there’s a thick mesh of colorful leaves almost blocking your entire view. You run into a tree, you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall and nature has just slapped you upside the head for not understanding what a tree actually is capable of.

Because of this pine beetle epidemic we seem to be having, pine trees are clearing out of the way and aspens are invading the open space. But maybe we could introduce some trees other than aspen? Now we have a chance to bring in some trees that aren’t… you know… made of pine. Although I suppose the lack of oxygen/humidity would greatly dampen the effort. Such is life… Time to go look at a nice scenic calendar.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Pitch forks and torches

A number of my friends will tell you that I am something of a den mother. I add in my little tidbits of advice here and there, I help make decisions, I listen to their problems and usually don’t judge them negatively for it. When we get drunk together in glorious stupidity, I end up patting them on the back as they tell all of their problems to the toilet and I bring the glass of water to gulp down their confession.

Those same friends, and quite a few more, will also tell you that I am a horrible counselor. I’m good at listening, prioritizing hanging out with the disheartened, and waking up at 4 in the morning to listen to what a horrible boyfriend you have. I even somewhat enjoy being the stable pillar for people when they need one. What I cannot do apparently, is empathize. When a friend sits there and says “Oh my God that bitch! Can you believe that?!” I sit there and respond “Oh. Hm. Yeah, so it would seem…” and continue listening to their shpeal. For the first 80% of the venting, this strategy works well, as usually people who need to vent, don’t need to be interrupted. After the steam is gone though, the realization sinks in to their minds that I really haven’t wholeheartedly agreed with them on anything. If this were back in the days of pitch forks and torch mobs, I’d be the villager on the sidelines holding people’s coats and a first aid kit.

On a good day anyone will say that having someone there to be reasonable and open minded is a good thing. However, people do not rant on good days. They rant on days when they need someone to pick up the pitch fork and march alongside them. No one wants to run around in madness only to hear “You know, you were a tad bit bitchy yourself, let’s not place blame unreasonably…”

It’s a small miracle people still talk to me about anything in their private lives. At this point I feel as if I should have been demoted to “water cooler coworker” status. Shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, eh?

(And what the deuce is a gift horse…)

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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International Baccalaureate

Let it just be known that the fact that I can spell baccalaureate correctly without having to look it up or use spell check really does frighten me sometimes. Moving on.

IB. Two simple letters. One awkward acronym. A lifetime of connection.

There are many things I learned in IB that I keep in my mental stockpile to this day. How to write a semester long essay in one day. How to prioritize which classes to take notes in so you can share with other classmates. How to think of philosophy backwards and forwards to the point that you have absolutely no idea what you believe in anymore or even if you exist. Thanks ToK…

While it’s true that we as the IB student body moaned and griped during every waking moment of our IB experience, I must admit that I’m glad I went through (or stumbled through… you decide) the entire program and got my IB diploma. Other than the college credits I received, it did leave a lasting impression on me. It was a pseudo-college like experience and got me prepared for all nighters and essay fluff and project multi-tasking. Everyone connected with each other in our little IB “family” and understood each other. Not to mention the “inbreeding” IB couples. We sat through classes together with the same teachers, studied for the same tests, procrastinated on the same assignments. Even if we didn’t like each other as people necessarily, we were one and the same when it came to academics and had a foundation of understanding.

Soon I realized that we didn’t only share this foundation within our high school, but with every single person that ever received an IB diploma. Back in undergrad I met people from out of state that also went through IB, all of whom we could reminisce together about our extended essays and share stories about our sixth subject and return to the four ways of knowing. And since this is an international program, one can get the slight impression that we have experienced what people our age thousands of miles away have been through. Good times.

Look at me, getting all choked up about school. I’m going to go dig up my little blue sash and cry away my nerd tears.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Standardized testing

Oh glorious standardized tests. Whatever would our world do without you? The way you judge us against ourselves with antiquated vocabulary and meaningless math trivia. How you so meticulously set the standard for intelligence and critical thinking, showing us just how well we’ll do in schools and measure our future success. What’s that, it isn’t true? You mean you can’t really tell us how well we’ll do? You don’t say. You mean all that studying and freaking out and hundreds of dollars really don’t do anything except give us a meaningless number? Goodness, what a scandal. You’d think that someone would put an end to such a money grubbing charade….

Oh. Nope. Guess not. The prices just go higher and the standards just keep shifting with “new and improved” testing methods. I myself have funneled in hundreds of dollars for these things and spent hundreds more on study material. My scores always end up being pretty high, but I soon learned that this really has nothing to do with my actual intelligence. Just how well I can adapt to their current mindset. There goes my ego trip…

Ah well, what can you do? To get a better job you need higher education, for higher education you need higher testing, for higher testing you need more time to study at which point you quit the current job you have in hopes of getting a better one… later. After that you can get your amazing job and use it to pay for your higher education debt which you might not have needed to incur if you could have used the time working at the job you had before you started studying. Man I love the system.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Happy…. Asian holiday

I only say that because I have Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and overall Asian friends that call this day different names. Mooncake festival, mid-autumn, moon viewing, and general Thanksgiving, it’s overall a generally family/friend oriented holiday where one gets back in touch with loved ones while gorging themselves on traditional sweets and desserts. Truly one of those warm and fuzzy days where you get the perfect excuse to start up conversation with estranged acquaintances and spam facebook with caps locked holiday cheer.

And of course, after a ridiculously dry and hot summer, it rains today. It’s cold and miserable in the office because building maintenance forgot to turn off the air conditioning, so you shiver in the dull greyness while softly banging your head against the wall, sitting at the desk you were half an hour late to this morning because there was a car accident induced traffic jam on the highway in which you could have sworn a prairie dog outran your car. But in my opinion? That’s probably the best possible way you could celebrate. Why?

Because while cooped up in that dreary office you want nothing more than the warmth of a blanket, the smell of home, and a hot cup of tea in your hands. This holiday is about the bountiful fall harvest and simple pleasures of life; the strength of bonds to home and family, and what better way to appreciate than to not have it? It makes the rush hour commute a little less maddening, a home cooked meal a little more delicious, and the full moon tonight a little grander.

So once again, happy mid-autumn/mooncake/moon viewing/thanksgiving everyone. ^_^

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Desires

There are certain recurring ideas and objects in my life that will probably make their way into this blog. One of them is “video games”. Yes, I had to put those in quotations, because singularizing a plural object is awkward… and so is making up words. But I digress.

Here we stumble across one of these blogable moments. I’m standing around playing Dragon Age: Origins (I stand when playing video games… makes me feel slightly less of a waste of space) and I talk to my provocative bisexual companion, Zevran the elf assassin. First thing he asks, in his sexually charged way, is “what is your desire?”. I laugh, because I find the character hilarious, and then I continue laughing because I honestly have no idea what my answer would be. Desire is a funny thing to me. It connotes physical or emotional needs and wants, passion, excitement, maybe even a bit of sighing and a dash of sexual undertones.

All of which, quite honestly I don’t really ever feel. Excitement in the sense of riding a roller coaster, perhaps, and even then the only one that ever truly thrilled me was X2 at Magic Mountain (Which I truly do suggest for roller coaster lovers out there, it’s worth the ridiculous line and fainting patrons). All of the others I truly don’t believe I understand quite fully, especially the physical aspects. A friend of mine was walking with me one day when she very nearly swooned where she stood upon seeing, what I can only assume, was a ridiculously attractive male. Very rarely do I see anyone *actually* swooning, and here I was, gaping in confusion at her while she shamelessly stared at this new piece of eye candy. I bring this phenomenon up in conversation later with a group of friends and they all admit to visually enjoying these living statues, sometimes even fantasizing about them right then and there on the spot. One even said that “sometimes they’re so hot you just want to make out with them”.

I suddenly felt that I was surrounded by a group of harpies waiting to ravish the flesh of tall mortal men and their Mediterranean tans. What unspeakable horror of horrors have I unleashed onto my psyche?

Romantic relationships, outright flirting, puppy love and all the in between I’ve seen and done. But I have never desired someone. Can your heart truly skip a beat without signalling some sort of dangerous cardiovascular disease? Do women really start internally blushing at the sight of an attractive man like some horny anime character with her skirt hiked up too high? What is it that causes humans to be *constantly* in heat? Even the bitch in the kennel can only handle it twice a year before lulling herself back into homeostasis. In all my years of living not one person has caused such a reaction in me. Personally I am thankful for this gift, but many others claim I am missing out on something amazing. What amazes me are humans, and the surprisingly constant reactivity to physical stimuli.

Perhaps the sexual elf-assassin lies dormant in all of us, and we are surrounded by potential objects of desire constantly? He also asks in the game dialogue if there are more ropes and chains… I should probably stop my analogy here before scaring myself into a stupor.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Hello world!

Apparently the title of this “first ever” blog, Hello world!, is given as default. I like to think of it as the statement a newborn makes when it first fist pumps the doctors in their  sterilized, blinding white hospital. Fist pumps make the world go ’round you see, and newborns have the instinctual ability to greet strangers in this fashion in order to continue the great cycle that is life. Yes. I believe I’ll keep the title as is.

I’ve never been much into blogging, and I really can’t say how dedicated I will be to this little figment of cyber space, so no promises of cute doggy pictures or everyday rants or even film commentaries. Although, in all likelihood you will eventually see said cute doggy pictures and rants and commentaries. Flexible schedules rejuvenate the spirit, and these future posts have been flexibly entered into my to-do list.

I actually tried to sign up for WordPress today, only to learn that at some point in my teenager years I had already signed up… and never actually created a blog. What was going on in my mind at the moment, I haven’t the slightest idea, but it was mildly satisfying that my name had already been entered into the system, awaiting my return and saving my spot in the middle of a crowded theater.

That being said, here is a picture of a hamster playing tennis with a masterful backhand.

Hamster tennis

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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