Counting down to London (and beyooooonnnndddd)

30 06 2005

The countdown begins. My excitement builds. I really love travelling and I haven’t been to London in years. (By the way, the photo to the left, like many of the photos in my blog, is not mine. I got it from the very funny site Spud’s Travels for which I, and my file sharing little ass, can now apologize profusely.)

There are some people who don’t do much travel outside of this country and, snob that I am, I just don’t get it. I consider it essential for anyone who really wants to understand the world and their place in it. The cliche of the Ugly American is all about people who consider themselves and their way of being to be the only real way. Now, honestly, in most cases I don’t think people do that to be self-centered or consciously close-minded. Nope, I think they do it because they just can’t imagine a world that’s different than theirs. They just can’t figure out how people can get along without air conditioners set at 62 degrees, or a choice of fifty different underarm deodorants.

You get the idea.

The cure for Ugly Americanism (no matter which country’s citizens practice it) is simply to keep the learning coming.

And that is why I’m really excited to be embarking on this great adventure.

To reiterate — one week in London, three weeks in Jordan, one week in Chicago, and a half a week or so in New York State. I’ll be a very exhausted and very happy camper when I come back (so long as I don’t really have to do any camping). I’ll also be much savvier about other cultures and other peoples. And that is what is even more exciting.

Is there anyone out there who is afraid of travelling or just plain and simple doesn’t like it?

Flying Off To Rio (or not)

29 06 2005

I just got my ticket for my England/Jordan trip (for which I promise to blog and upload photos as much as technology will allow — so be prepared to be bored). Now, I don’t want to sound prissy or anything, but they changed my ticket from a series of direct flights (from LAX to Heathrow, then direct to AMman, then direct back to LAX). Now I get to go through fucking Charles DeGaulle airport in Paris each and every time I get on the plane. So, it’s LAX to Paris and then to London. London to Paris and then Amman. Amman to Paris and then LAX.

Are you seeing the pattern here?

I don’t want to seem spoiled, since this could be the absolute best travel in my life that I haven’t paid for, but when I called to get back onto my direct flights I was politely informed by the woman at Air France that all of their flights between countries must fly though Paris, whether it makes sense or not.

That makes sense, doesn’t it.

So maybe I’ll blog a little while I sitting on my can for three hours at DeGaulle.

C’est la vie!! C’est la gurerre!!


29 06 2005

Tamara, over at the must-read blog T&A, has an entry today in which she talks about the odd way that people fight (which is really the same thing as saying that she has a blog entry about how she fights, but never mind that).

It seems to me that most fights are all about old shit and about how our parents used to fight or how we used to fight with our siblings. And they’re often not really about what it is that we’re fighting about, but what happened with that person in the past (earlier that day, last week, last year…) or what happened with someone else that day.

Anger seems to me to be really about fear, so fights are also about being afraid of something. A lot of people fight about money. Others fight about sex. Still other fight about their kids, or their parents. Many people fight about all three.

What happens to you when you really fight? Do you get out of control or is it a simmering, steaming anger that can be even scarier?

Hard Hats Required — Brains Optional

27 06 2005

Ouch!  Forgot your speller?Those of you whose brains are still on “drive” may remember this post about morons at USC. Here’s another story for the same category.

Strolling through campus this afternoon, I noticed that the folks who are reworking one of the dorm’s exteriors have kindly put a sign up for all of the people who are “handicaped” to help guide them to the proper entrance to the building. I assume that this includes those who are physically handicapped. For all of those who are mentally handicapped, there is another sign — “Caution. Hard Hats Required” — to the left of the larger sign.

Maybe their brains are exploding out through their hard hats.

Provided Without Comment — sorta

27 06 2005

Not that I’m making any value judgements here, but these two ads appeared on top of one another in the LA Times leading me to question whether Will and Nicole are coming out or going in.

But I’ll never again question the wisdom, fortitude and humor quotient of the tireless ad slaves at Otis Chandler’s great newspaper.

[Can’t wait to see if Ferrell’s agent calls and objects.]

Live 8 Crazies

23 06 2005

My daughter has decided that since both Pink Floyd and what remains of the Sex Pistols will be playing at Live 8 the date that we arrive in London (July 2nd) that we must, MUST, MUST go there.

Not sure how to scam tickets for a concert that happens several hours after we arrive, without paying eight gazillion dollars (or, in this case, eight gazillion pounds) but any and all advice will gratefully be taken so I can attain true godliness in her eyes.

T-minus a ridiculously low amount

21 06 2005

There are people, I am sure, who plan ahead and pack and get all of their affairs in order before going on a long trip. There are people who organize their pre-travel needs into separate to-do lists and then methodically check off each one as they complete.

I am not one of those people.

I spend enormous amounts of time thinking ahead in the editing room and as a professor, planning and planning for every eventuality (except for the ones that actually happen of course). That all falls apart as soon as I get home.

So, I’m leaving for Europe a week from Friday and I have to start thinking of planning. Not planning, but thinking of planning. Much better.

3% of All Europeans/Africans (or whatever) Like This Blog

20 06 2005

Dipping into my site statistics (which you can do by clicking on the Site Meter block on the left) is amusing today. A good 80% of the readers of this blog come from this time zone (I’m assuming that that’s my computer). A little over 15% come from the East Coast, which is puzzling because I haven’t told my mother about this.

And about 3% come from the time zone that seems to include (if the report can be deciphered properly) central Europe or parts of Algeria, Nigeria and Togo. A huge outpouring of support from the African and European continents (maybe). Those of you from that area, please raise your hands.

[UPDATE!! UPDATE!! UPDATE!!] The fun thing about a dynamically driven site like Site Meter, is that it changes. As of 4:00pm on Tuesday the 21st of June, that Algerian visitor that I mentioned above has completely, totally, absolutely, plain-up-and-disappeared.

Defamer Defames Star Wars

20 06 2005

Today’s Defamer wraps up the weekend box office and has this to say about two of your favorite films (actually, you may remember, I liked STAR WARS, so slap me stupid about this)

4. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith—$9.7 million
Fun fact: ROTS has brought in $347.8 million at the domestic box office. Will it ever catch The Phantom Menace ($431 million)? Mmm…maybe not. This would make George Lucas sad if he hadn’t uploaded all of his human emotions into a mainframe at Industrial Light & Magic, and then had that computer destroyed.

5. The Longest Yard—$8 million
Much more interesting is the bombing of Hilary Duff’s The Perfect Man, which finished seventh with an anemic $5.5 million. To celebrate, rival Lindsay Lohan’s going to skip five consecutive meals.

Defamer is, of course, the daily blog that likes to get catty about everything having to do with Hollywood. It’s actually more of a guilty pleasure than STAR WARS.

The War Comes Home

20 06 2005

Tamara, over at T&A, had a link to this post from Miss Doxie, which I had to pass along. Let me give you a warning first; despite it’s wonderfully loose start, it’s really a post about Iraq and the war there.

I remember during the Vietnam war, most of us who opposed it just couldn’t figure out why the rest of the country thought the war was such a damned good thing Well, it’s deja vu all over again.

You must go over and read this post. Then I defy you to tell me that this war is worth winning. The worst that could happen would be for us to ignore what’s going on. So long as people don’t talk about this, and so long as Bush is allowed to stop the press from showing pictures of coffins coming home, and so long as we seriously really really believe that it’s better to be there than not be there…

well… there will be plenty more families and friends who will have to reconcile their memories of life with the realities of death.

I wish we could skywrite this story over Washington DC and all of the we-love-Bush states. Because I’m still wondering just what the hell is so good about this war.

Plus ca change and all that.