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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Monday, January 31, 2005

Thoughts Flying Over Shannon

My God, the world is a truly fantastic place, created with beauty and love and imagination. You can fly above Ireland and see how lucky we all are to be here, to live here, to die here, to eventually become part of this amazing Earth.

I have been thinking a good deal about victims, of the tsunami, of 9/11, of poverty, of war, of disease. Ireland is a good place to contemplate God and beauty and victimhood all at the same time. I've never been to a place that was simultaneously exemplary of both the work God can do and how man can screw it up in the oh so ironic name of religion. A minister once asked me, "Can you believe people fought wars over Jesus?"

Past the days of the Berlin wall, there's a gate in Belfast, ironically called The Peace Line that shuts everyday at six PM, cutting Catholics off from their Protestant neighbors, cutting off the ability to make peace. I expected separate churches and neighborhoods and schools. What I didn't expect was walls running beneath the Earth to separate the worms eating Catholic bodies from the worms eating Protestant ones. The hatred runs deep in some places. Separate grocery stores. Separate dry cleaners. Separate taxi services. Separate lives following the same God, the God of love, unity, and brotherhood. The God from both religions who created food from nothing to feed thousands. Separate soccer teams. The God from both religions who healed lepers, prostitutes, alcoholics, the sick, the weak, the miserable, the sinners. Separate restaurants. The God from both religions who asked his followers not to hate those who murdered his own son. Separate newspapers.

In a country whose reputation for friendliness transcends international borders, language barries, cultural lines, the thought of a conscious, willing separation of any sort seems inconceivable.

From up here, it all just looks green...it all just looks Irish...it all just looks living.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Back to the land of stinky cheese (and people...some...oh geez, now I've gone and stereotyped...sigh). Big ass post on Ireland (with photos) coming soon. In the mean time, check out this guy.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Howdy from Dublin

Well, so far, the trip to Ireland has been, bizarre and fantastic all at once. So far I've:

-- Had a juice box thrown at me by a kid on a bike
-- Been interviewed for Irish news
-- Seen a woman give an interview using a dildo as a microphone
-- Been accused of stealing
-- Met a man whose friend was an animator for the film, 'The Secret of Nimh.'
-- Danced until 2Am with an Italian man to Stevie Ray Vaughn covers
-- Had a drunk man dance, point at me, then laugh maniacly (spelling?)
-- Had a woman walk 2 miles out of her way to give me company for my walk
-- Ridden with a family I met in a newspaper office to a town I've never heard of
-- Sat in the chair of the Lord Mayor of Northern Ireland
-- Signed a peace wall
-- Hiked one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites

It's been a very bizarre five days. More fleshed out stories to come when I get back.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

In Ireland until Monday, so postings will be scarce. Some stats on Ireland:

Time it took to see a red-haired, thick-accented man: 0 minutes, my pilot was so stereotypically Irish, I wanted to check his breath for whiskey

First song heard in Ireland: Kiss From A Rose On The Grave. The Irish must be huge Seal fans...someone's gotta be.

Time it took to see a drunk Irish man point at me and fall over: 1 hour

FACT: Tattooed Irish men have NO SHAME in playing American country music and singing loudly to it.

Time it took to hear a U2 song: 9 hours, 24 minutes. Aren't U2 like the Riverdance of pop music here? Seriously, if you want to listen to Irish-only pop music, you have the choice of U2, Sinead, and the Cranberries...oh and Van Morrison. Everything else you've got to import. I would think that one of the Irish four would be played every 3 minutes, just to keep Irish pop alive.

Best thing seen so far: Anti-litter poster featuring a child with dead, dead eyes pointing towards the camera captioned by "Who Litters?"

Strangest thing seen so far: Advertisement for Boogie Nights 2: The Musical. Here is the description:
"Boogies Nights 2: The Musical follows the story of Roddy O'Neill's electric dreams ten years on and is bursting with over 80 pulsating hits by Wham!, The Human League, and many more!"

Stop me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't Boogie Nights 1 mainly about huge cock? I mean wasn't big honkin' cock the basic premise of Boogie Nights? Well, the sequel is (unfortunately) about the 80s. Go figure.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Me: My head feels like a snot factory working overtime. I smell like a foot for some reason and I look terrible.

The boyfriend: You look great

Me: No really, I look like I got run over by a truck. It's ok, I'm sick. It's how sick people look.

The boyfriend: A truck full of hot.

Me: What?

The boyfriend: I said you look like you got run over by a truck full of hot.
[the last comment was then followed up by a 'sensual' dance involving lots of forehead and hip]

The road to recovery is paved with laughter....and sexy dancing.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Warning: This Web Site Will Make You Gay

Back in my sweet, sweet teenage years, the majority of which were spent looking like the movie theatre attendant on The Simpsons, I dated this boy who later went on to allegedly make out with another boy. For an upwards of, say, 30-34 minutes, I thought that maybe, in some twisted universe, I had actually made boy A so repulsed by women, that he took a test drive on the other side. And for those 30-34 minutes, I thought that I was the only thing in the world that could actually make someone gay.

Well, as it turns out, there's a lot of things that can make someone gay.

will make you gay.

Spongebob will make you gay.

Older brothers will make you gay.

Wearing the clothing designed for the opposite gender will make you gay.

Abba will make you gay.

Minute Maid will make you gay, but only in a happy kind of way.

Thank God the Teletubbies will only make you a Nazi.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Well...welcome to Bush II part II: The Climactic Conclusion. Maybe I'm just looking for things to harp on (as if there aren't enough obvious ones out there...no real need to go searching), but I can't help but see that the New York Times ran this photo on the cover juxtaposed with this as the Christian Science Monitor's cover. On Google, there's a photo of Bush being sworn in with another photo of Ukranian leaders looking disgusted just below it. Granted, the stories are about two different subjects, but the image is fantastic.

I'm not really sure how to spend this inauguration day. I think a lot of people are tired of feeling outraged and powerless, which, if the truth be told, is actually the case. The plan is to read everything I can about the state of the nation, write some letters to state and county representatives on their shitty, shitty gay marriage policies, make a donation to IndyMedia, and organize a group to go see The Corporation tonight, which, is playing in mainstream theatres in Paris. I think if I don't do anything, I'm just going to sit around muttering curses and checking news outlets every two minutes and really, that's not healthy for anyone.

Hope on a hopeless day:
and thankfully

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Once upon a time there might have been two girls who understood each other very well and were both very determined and very committed to their beliefs. And as time passed, one of these girls might have taken two steps back to become a post-grad nothing, a toned down and slightly happier version of her former self. At the same time, the other girl might have taken two steps forward to become a more active, slightly happier version of her former self. And maybe one girl didn't understand why the other one was so aggressive and maybe the other girl didn't understand why the first was so substanceless. And maybe in the end, one just missed the other tremendously and hoped that the other missed her as well, but feared that wasn't the case. That would be a shitty story to tell. That would be an even shittier story if it happened twice. Endingless stories are the shittiest of all.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Loseriest Loser in Loserville

It is now 4:00 PM. In exactly 1 hour, I'm supposed to be on a flight to Poland. I am currently 3 hours away from the airport. Fucking dumbass. In my mind, I had pictured this trip as being all the good parts of a semester abroad in Poland without any of the drawbacks. In my head, I imagined that I would land in Poland and directly proceed to make lifelong (hot) friends (really hot) with neverending (scorchingly hot) stories from around the world, eat new and delicious things, and have numerous adventures in which I would have to (and successfully would) fight off people infected with rage or something else equally awesome. Moreover, I really just wanted some sort of oddly awesome story I could drop at places like high school reunions and family dinners and people would have to ask questions to find out more. Conversations would go something like this:

[them]: Hey, I have this friend from Poland, he/she's rad.
[me]: Where's he/she from?
[them]: Krakow
[me]: Oh, I've been to Krakow, it's beautiful, the best CzywxXqydnhxz I've ever tasted.
[them]: What's that?
[me]: Oh it's a new Polish dish made out of the simmered remains of the rage-infected. Jon Stewart and the recently resurrected George Washington Carver served me their version of it when we were there fighting for the side of the living. It's surprisingly good, and healthy too.

If you can honestly have conversations like this, you automatically win a permanent seat in the International Hall of Badass. If, on the other hand, you missed your flight to Poland because you mistakenly thought you could "make a quick dash" to the other side of the city to retrieve your camera from the Fascist French postal service AND THEN catch your flight, you win the chance to have 65 Euros charged to your credit card.

Happy MLK Day everyone.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

This morning I had a job interview for a babysitting gig. Everything went well, the children were lovely, the mother was lovely, the day was lovely, the weather was cold, but lovely. And for a moment, I was very excited about the possibility of bringing in money I can hold in my hand without having to wait six months for something to be published. That moment of excitement lasted for a good 30 minutes, all the way up until the very end when just after the lovely woman asked me if my boyfriend would be ok with me working, she said (in a horrifically excited tone), "I can offer you up to 40 Euro to keep my three children for 10 hours a day!"

40 Euros is...hmm...let me see...4 Euros per hour...that comes to...3.61 Euros below minimum wage in this country, or roughly 52% of the lowest possible legal hourly income.

Sign me up.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Real post coming soon. In the mean time:

My hero

My other heroes

Woo hoo! New picture feature!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Well I don't think every Canadian is dog sledding at all times, but I do think there's a lot of dog sledding in Canada .

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Waitin for the train, Lookin like a slut

This morning (please note that it was a rainy Tuesday morning at 10AM and I was appropriately dressed for the weather) I was waiting for people by my metro stop when a jean jacket-wearing man politely asked me if he could pay to have sex with me. Naturally. Being the shy type in the rain, on a Tuesday, at 10AM, I calmly refused, stating in French that unfortunately I would have to decline. I do have a firm policy of no subway sex with greasy strangers for legal tender before noon. Sorry, it's just the way it is.

But a calm 'no,' was not enough. This guy kept asking and raising the bid each time. "But why, you are so beautiful," "I pay more, I pay more," "Just a little bit." I firmly told him to leave me alone, to ask someone else, not me, not ever. But it just kept coming, bid after bid, then after money didn't entice me, the level of the sexual favor went down until he was saying, "just a kiss, just a kiss." Not knowing how to say, "I'm going to cut your face open and let you bleed to death in front of all these people if you don't leave me alone" in French, I just kind of stood there, taking it until he got bored with me and left.

In telling this story to the boyfriend, I said, "I can't believe someone even wants action that early in the day. Don't people need to wake up first, have a croissant, maybe read the paper, then go solicit strangers for sex favors in public in the rain?" to which his response was [in the best Sanford and Son voice ever], "Horny can't tell time baby. Horny ain't got no watch."

Cheers to that.

Monday, January 10, 2005

So I'm all snazzy new designin it all up in this piece.

I understand completely if you can no longer visit this site because I just used the phrase 'all up in this piece.'

Yesterday I visited
Reims, which is about 90 minutes from Paris. Reims is a fairly small place where an inappropriate number of historically significant things happened. We toured a cathedral where many, many kings were coronated, Clovis being the most memorable for me because his name sounds backwoods and yet, he was a king. King Clovis is like having King Bubba as far as I'm concerned.

(Editor's note, I just googled the word "
clovis" and I was directed to clovis.org where the Reagan quote "Communism only works in heaven where they don't need it and in hell where they've already got it" is prominently displayed. And while I'm not really sure what communism has to do with the Potter's House Christian Center that clovis.org is meant to advertise, it's times like these that I wish I had a really southern, Republican relative who liked Bush and sweet tea that I could share this moment with and appear as if I'm repenting my evil, liberal ways. Wait a second, I do have that relative...Lots of that relative in fact.)

(Editor's note #2: On clovis.org, just know that the writer did giggle when she saw the column on the right that says "What God Is Doing" then lists a number of first names.)

Anyways, back to
Reims. We toured the big, really impressive cathedral, which made my problems seem, well, small and in perspective. We went on a champagne tour which was only in French. Knowing an embarassingly small amount of French, which, shockingly does not include words like 'ferment' and 'carbonation,' basically what I learned about champagne is that its tour guides are unnaturally hot and amaretto tastes better. The rest of the day was spent holding hands and window shopping and sipping hot chocolate and doing anything else that would happen in a Jimmy Stewart movie. And for a moment, every other day just kind of stopped existing. And for a moment, life was just...beautiful.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

This year, I spent New Years by the Eiffel Tower, something that both sounds and looks like it would be awesome. For the French, everyone gathers at the Eiffel Tower beginning around 11. There's no countdown, there's no French equivalent of Dick Clark (I would imagine his name to be Le Dick Clark), there's no snow. All at once, the Tower (capital 'T') explodes with light, champagne is uncorked, fireworks are set off dangerously close to pedestrians, babies laugh, unicorns prance, Jesus makes his descent to Earth.

All of this lasts anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes at which point Paris totally comes down from the master bedroom upstairs, shuts off all the lights, and everyone is sent home drunk to be dealt with by their parents. At the heart of it, New Years in Paris was just like New Years anywhere else except the stock photography in the background was cooler. I'm not sure what I was expecting, or even what I was desperately hoping for, but my suspicions that New Years everywhere is about as much fun as 16 year old sex in a car was confirmed. Hands down, the best part of the night was spent eating food at our friend Benevolent Steve's house, who seriously lived up to his name by spending the night chasing down Euro ne'er-do-wells and getting maced. Next year, my goal is to spend New Years with superheroes or rockstars, or maybe superhero rockstars like Jem and the Holograms. I am, after all, truly, truly, truly outrageous