my Christmas Eve love/hate relationship with Montana

I started my 7.5+ hour drive home from Helena (MT, USA) in a pleasant, amiable mood. My relationship with Montana was strong. I was loving the mountain scenery and the open sky splashed with blues, purples, pinks, and oranges.


things I’m feeling guilty about today

1) My $3 shoes. I know the shoes couldn’t be made by some kid in a foreign country, shipped, stocked, and sold to me for less than $3.

2) The fact that Montana has no consumption tax. I love not having to account for a 6% sales tax, but I know I should be paying it.

3) Not getting my Christmas cards sent in a timely matter.

4) Being excited about the return of Average Joe.


my good deed for the day…er, month

Today, I did my regular glancing through the classics section of the used bookstore, looking for the ever elusive copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. Mind you, I am not looking for any copy, but an old, hardback copy. However, my quest is not the point of this diatribe.

Soon after I entered the store and found my way to the classics section, the small area was crowded with a young female co-ed and the saleslady helping her find famous books of literature. Among the selections she sought was Beowulf, about which she knew nothing. (Sidenote: Is it actually possible to get through high school without reading Beowulf? Apparently, it is.) The saleslady could not find it. As my space was much crowded at this point, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop. I suggested that any English lit anthology would have it. Sure enough, after the saleslady had given up, unwilling to heed my advice, I pulled out a volume of Northern English lit; and there it was. The girl was not convinced, however. She didn’t want an entire volume. I haughtily thought to myself that reading a good collection of lit would do her much good, but I kept that to myself.

She wandered off. I continued browsing through the Austens, reading the end of Mansfield Park, sipping on my coffee, and convincing myself I really didn’t need anymore books. Then, there it was — a thin, almost anorexic copy of Beowulf. I looked for the co-ed. No luck. But as I walked to the door to exit, she once again appeared. I got the copy and handed it to her. Her response? ‘You are, like, my favorite person today.’


bewilderment, rage, and nostalgia

Through the fog of my dream state, a shrill noise pierced my ears. It took forever, which was, of course, merely moments, to swim back to the surface of consciousness. What is that incessant noise and why won’t it stop? Then, as my bewilderment faded, I realized the freakin’ fire alarm was that which had pierced my peaceful slumber. I faintly remember jumping out of bed, grabbing my keys, and stepping out the door. Others, groggy and angry, streamed from theirs.

Now I remember why I hated living in the dorms. Some @$$hole had pulled the smoke alarm as well as thrown an unknown compound on the walls and on my door. A compound quite similar in appearance to oatmeal. And just as I had managed to get my shoes and a sweatshirt, the alarm stopped. If this was USD, we would have had to stand outside while RAs canvassed the building. Thankfully, here that was not the case. I pulled myself back in my room and plopped down on my bed. Damn miscreants.

What a great punctuation to my last night in temporary housing.


are you sure?

Because I’m not. It seems surreal that Saddam has been captured. Perhaps my senses have been dulled, but I don’t feel that excited. Instead I am struck with worries.

My immediate thoughts: How will the Bush machine spin this? Will he be given a fair trial? It still doesn’t mean that we can leave Iraq. If only Osama bin Laden was this easy to capture. What will be the reaction internationally? Can this help Iraqis heal?

What I really hope is that now it is possible for a sustainable democracy in Iraq. One that they have control of, less the prior economic restraints, and one we leave alone to flourish. One that through its flourishing, allows generation after generation of people to live without oppression — and with freedom.

Economics Opinion

Hi, it’s me Marilyn

As I was perusing the Parade last weekend, I was surprised at some of the letters as well as the somewhat inadequate answers in the ‘Ask Marilyn’ column.


wet pants

This may be the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. An excerpt from a movie review of My Dinner with Andre:

My eyes glazed over and I felt my soul leaving my body. Drifting higher and higher, I looked down and saw myself slouching on the couch, mouth agape, with this steady trickle of saliva flowing over my bottom lip to collect onto my shirt in a dark wet pool. I focused on that pool and began to see the individual fibers that made up the fabric of my shirt, and then I saw the water molecules clinging to those fibers. Tiny mites were living on those fibers. And as each drop of saliva crashed down onto my shirt, the mites were washed away in a tidal wave of bodily fluid.

Courtesy of smivey.


bad PR

CNN Breaking News:

— Rep. Bill Janklow of South Dakota is convicted of manslaughter for a
collision that killed a motorcyclist, the Associated Press reports.
Watch CNN or log on to (AOL Keyword: CNN) for the latest

In my two years of receiving the breaking news email from CNN, this is the first time South Dakota has been mentioned. And such a great news piece it is. But does this mean we can vote for someone else? Oh, wait. I don’t live the state anymore. But if I did, I would be quite excited.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to confer that I am excited that Janklow was convicted of manslaughter as I remember that a life was lost. However, I am excited that South Dakotans have a chance to vote in someone other than a right wing bulldozer.


weekend notes

Ohhhh-klahoma! *sung in the style of the musical* sucks! I’m still in awe of their extreme and unseen level of chokedness.

Don’t worry, Missoula. It has been duelly noted that you hate me. I’m okay with that.

Please, everyone, beware of entering into conversations with strangers at an unusually busy Wendy’s. I managed to stay out of a conversation about the best burgers in Missoula — an absolutely mind-numbing one — until the junior-high-aged girl couldn’t remember the place where you had to, like, talk into the microphone, and, like, they brought stuff out, like. I’m still not quite sure what made me inadvertantly blurt out Sonic. Maybe it was a lame attempt to end the conversation. Either way, it didn’t work.

I sold myself to the darkside today; I went to the Wal-Mart Supercenter. I will not be returning. Doing so would be like asking myself to slip off the edge after the lemmings.


international stereotypes

Stereotypes bother me. A lot. While I realize that they are used by the human brain to categorize and comprehend, I guess my inherent want to avoid being trapped in one is overriding. Take the Not All Americans Are Stupid Quiz, for example. Don’t be misled, however. The makers (believed to be a British company) are not out to prove Americans aren’t stupid, but more to prove that we are.