Friday, September 29, 2006

Absolute power corrupts absolutely...

Is anyone else "amused" at how our esteemed government berates a military coup in Thailand and imposes sanctions against the country because they ousted a controversial, corrupt and unliked man as leader?
So far, I haven't seen anything yet that makes me scream "oh noes!" about the military leader. Sure, it's definitely a precarious position, but the guy and the military managed to <i>peacefully</i> pull of a coup. Obviously have to see if a new civil leader comes and manages to stay and the military retreats.
But yeah. Our idiot government likes to yark on and on about promoting freedom and democracy.
Bullshit. Just bullshit.
Whenever a country tries to do so, they can smacked down by us. And our rights are being eroded and raped at a prodigious rate by this evil regime. Worse? The stupid jesus freaks think it's all good. Whatever. These are the same morons who believe in the "rapture". (To which I say, hurry up and happen so all these fucknuts can leave the rest of us in peace and to clean up their fucking hypocritical mess.)
Why does Bush regime not like Thailand now?
Could it be because they see in themselves an uncomfortable resemblance to the ousted? One wonders.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

in less politically horrifying news...

Guess what (more appropriately, WHO) I am for Halloween? (One part of my ensemble, tuxedo coat with tails, is not ready yet as I am attempting to spray paint it black.)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

V for Vendetta or Franz Kafka, Take Your Pick

People, this is a call to arms. Get your telephone in
hand and start making phone calls to the spineless
bastards (shame on you, democrats who won't stand up!)
who won't say "no" to this travesty, this absolute
raping of our rights.

This gives Bush the power to say WHO is a terrorist,
to "disappear" them and give them no due process
whatsoever - even if you are an American citizen.
(Hell, he suddenly gets to determine WHO an American
citizen is.) You can't know the evidence against you,
nor will you go to trial.

This? Is Franz Kafka's <i>The Trial</i> in horrific

OKs Controversial Detainee Treatment, Trial Bill</a>

The Bush administration’s controversial military
commissions and detainee treatment bill is one step
closer to being signed into law. On Wednesday, the
House approved its version of the measure, leaving it
to a vote in the Senate today. Under the new bill,
detainees would be prevented from challenging their
imprisonment and denied access to evidence used
against them. Critics of the bill say it also gives
too broad a definition of who can be ruled an
“unlawful enemy combatant”; and provides little
protection against detainee mistreatment. The
administration was forced to come up with new
procedures following a Supreme Court ruling in the
case of Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan. On
Wednesday, Hamdan’s lawyer, U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Commander Charlie Swift, said the new bill could again
be ruled illegal.

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Charlie Swift: "They're
basically recreating, almost identically, the same
trial the Supreme Court struck down that said they
violated Common Article 3 and also violated the UCMJ
at that time, and just basically didn't provide
fundamental, what we call due process, for a fair
trial. And no amount of saying that it's a fair trial
makes it a fair trial and that seems to be the bill's
biggest thing. We claim it's a fair trial but we
haven't really changed any of the things the Supreme
Court found substantively problematic."

Just one in five Democrats voted with Republicans in
the House Wednesday. <i>But Democrats say they won’t
challenge the bill because they do not want to appear
weak on terror ahead of the November elections.</i> In
an editorial today, the New York Times writes:
"Americans of the future won't remember the pragmatic
arguments for caving in to the administration.
<b>They'll know that in 2006, Congress passed a
tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points
in American democracy, our generation's version of the
Alien and Sedition Acts."</b>

Daily Kos has a list of the idiot democrats supporting
this shit <a
here</a>. Call these people up and STOP THIS SHIT.

On the question do you favor (1) allowing the
President to define torture, (2) strip the court of
judicial review via habeas corpus (even though the
constitution does not allow you to except in cases of
invasion or Rebellion), and (3) allowing the President
to jail American citizens arbitrarily and without
court review?

Gutless Democrats saying Aye:
Tom Carper (Del.)
Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
Bob Menendez (N.J)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Pryor (Ark.)
Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Ken Salazar (Co.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

Gutless Connecticut for Liebermans saying Aye:
Joe Lieberman (Conn.)

History will not absolve you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I'm finally getting somewhere with Latin. It's not going to be quite as intensive as I had thought, but it's still got quite a lot of work. I won't need to get a degree, per se, although a masters in Classical Studies would be sweet ( and $$$ ). I wasn't really getting anywhere with UIC, so I kept pursuing Loyola.
I mean, hello - LOYOLA. That name does carry some freaking weight. I feel proud saying it. Sure, it's a buncha Jesuits and I'm not the poster child for Catholicism, but they're not stupid. I digress...
I talked with the department chair of the Classics Program. Dude is cool. He talked with me on the phone forever and answered whatever questions he could. THAT is how you get people to want to come to your school.

There are two options for me to be qualified to teach a foreign language under current ISBE standards. The quickest and most viable one for me, since I will already have my main teaching endorsement, is to have 20 semester hours in the target language + pass the content area exam. SCHWEET. That's like 7 courses. You figure two per semester and it's two years - less if I bust through some courses in the summer. The trick is, these classes are undergrad and that means they probably won't be offered at times convenient for me. Ugh. The department chair said there is precedent at the school for offering correspondence courses (and it is something the current administration is interested in reviving).
He's going to see if anyone would be willing to offer me a correspondence course that runs parallel with a Latin course they'd already be offering in the spring. *fingers crossed* That would be great. I could probably get into a Latin 102 course. I'm reviewing the Wheelock's Latin book, but it has been over 10 years since I was actually studying the language. Seriously, the guy is awesome. He totally wants to promote the study of Latin and we were geeking out for a bit and shooting the shit a little bit. He thought I'd be a great teacher candidate with both English and Latin in my arsenal. And I didn't even tell him I was probably going to get endorsed in Poli Sci and History as well! I could teach everything but math and science, Geek Team Represent.
I called the admissions office and they told me to apply as a non-degree undergrad. One page form. EASY. No fee? Even better! So I already filled it out and submitted it. Theoretically, I could take a class as soon as spring. How much?
*gulp* No idea. I just hope it's not insane. Loyola is private, though...
Gah. I'll worry about that later.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


If only I wrote more about my sometimes tragic education.
So, that class about Community Colleges that I thought would be so intriguing? Totally mindless. Last night I about jumped out of my seat and screamed. This is supposed to be a grad class. The teacher needs to stop with the hand holding! My partner and I were presenting three chapters from our really stupid class book. IT TOOK TWO FUCKING HOURS. That is ridiculous. He kept interrupting us. It like listen, asshole, if you are going to be that way, then why the fuck do you want us to present the chapters? Because you're not letting us talk!
To top it off, my partner wasn't exactly brilliant at presenting her first half. She was pretty much reading from the text book itself. *rolls eyes* Once she was finally done, I tried to jump right in and go through my points as concisely as possible. Nope. He kept interrupting. I kept fidgeting, blatantly checking my watch, and rolling my eyes. Seriously. Wanted. To. Kill. Him.
THEN, at the end of class, he proceeds to micromanage us about some upcoming interview projects we have. Again, this is already work in progress, you DO NOT change the rules, purpose or scope of the assignment once it has already been let loose for no apparent reason, other than the fact that you are an anal retentive moron. The other two people in my group project were similarly annoyed. We all agreed that we, as grad students, did not need to be baby-sat. Ugh.
Before classes started yesterday, I picked up my transcript from the college of education. I had a woman there do a preliminary review to see what I am eligible to be endorsed in for teaching. Obviously, I have my major in secondary (high school) English. I am also eligible for middle school endorsements in social science, language arts, and Spanish (which is absolutely hysterical). Not too shabby.
The other good stuff is: I can be endorsed for secondary political science if I take and pass the subject area test in that AND if I take one more history course + the subject area test, I can also be endorsed for secondary history! Sweet! I could be a triple threat in high school!
Conveniently enough, the spring course booklet was released online yesterday. There is a survey of Jane Austen course that I am positively dying to take, but I can't. I have to take another linguistics course to fulfill my final elective obligation. The second slot needs to be taken by a history course, and I'm not really stoked about the history offerings next term at all. Alas, it must be done.
Next semester looks like:
History 371 - 19th & 20th Century Africa 4:15pm-6:50pm
Linguistics 410 - Techniques of Teaching English as a 2nd Lang 7:05pm - 9:55pm
Enrollment starts late October.
I won't have to take any courses in the summer, but I may take another linguistics. Possibly, I may get this Latin shit sorted out and perhaps I'll take a class at Loyola or something. (That'll be $$$.) Shit, I'd better look at the test dates for the content area exams. I have to do that soon.

Be careful what you wish for...

Just got this on email from a co-worker...
A married couple in their early 60's were out celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant. Suddenly, a tiny, yet beautiful, fairy appeared on their table and said, "For being such an exemplary married couple and for being faithful to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish."
"Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband," said the wife. The fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - two tickets for The Queen Mary II luxury liner appeared in her hands.
Then it was the husband's turn. He thought for a moment and said: "Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than I am."
The wife and the fairy were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish...So the fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - the husband became 92 years old.
The moral of the story: Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember that fairies are female.

Monday, September 25, 2006

She never said cake...

This movie looks positively sumptuous! Kirsten Dunst looks perfect!

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm somewhere around here

I've been fairly AWOL around here since before my trip. I'll post more in the near future. Been busy catching up on stuff!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Sense of Place

Some landscapes whisper, like lonely roads and quiet conversations. The ecstatic leap of mountains fills our blood with a triumphant confidence. The fold of a headland over a wide ocean gives rise to transcendent possibility and nuanced thought. The sense of opening awareness close to riverbanks, indeed, the bustle and din of a cavernous city - - these ineffable surroundings give our lives comfort and context.
We can love passionately, but how much, I wonder, of our life's reflection is whispered to us from the distance of valley floors and high chilly winds? Places we've never been or only imagined color our notions of place, while landscapes live outside our door and call to within our souls.
-- Todd Runestad (on the box of Celestial Seasoning's Mountain Chai)
That is simply beautiful.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Back to life, back to reality, back to the here & now

Someone send me back. Please? How I looooove Ireland and the UK.

I love tea. I love scones. I love the fact that there are about a gazillion different types of sandwiches you can buy at a Marks & Spencer's (or similar) food hall, paired with sides and beverages and you can sit in a park (St. James' would be great) and eat in the sunshine.

I love walking buy the perfume and make up area at duty free shopping - it smells of a thousand lovely ladies. Too bad you can't BUY any of it if you're traveling stateside since you can have NO liquids, gels, cosmetics NOR alcohol in your hand luggage. Mark my words, one day soon we will have to undergo body cavity searches. Watch it. I don't need to explain the details because anyone with a brain can see how THAT operates.

This was supposed to be a happy post. So on with it!

I love Harrods tins of cookies at the duty free shopping! I love postcards! I love walking London streets at night and marveling at the sights and sounds of Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus. I love walking down Bond Street and gawking at the windows of Tiffany's - jewels the size of my thumbs.

I love the green rolling hills of Ireland as they slope down to the sea. I love snarky Irish tour guides named James who make me laugh. I laugh hysterically at Australians on my tour - but watch in awe at one Aussie down an entire pint of Guinness in four seconds flat. (Seriously, it was recorded - I pray that someone finally emails out the digital of it.)

I love pints in Irish pubs. I love Irish accents - south being the best. As James' put it, they practically sing to you with every word. Irish Stew at the pub in Doolin - it's an "aurora borealis in a bowl!"

Scotland, while austere, has its own beauty. Stark heights of "bens" and cold lochs. Amazing to watch the clouds get caught in the mountains as they drift on by. Did I mention the drop dead gorgeous Aussie boy, Trent? *melts* Oh yeah. Scottish singers at the pub in Fort William - sitting with the locals enjoying the sounds and drinking down Drambuie.

Send me back. Send me back. Send me back.

I'm dying to do the Cornwall peninsula next. The same company I used for Ireland and Scotland does a four day Cornwall Explorer, but it's only offered May through October. Damnation! I was hoping to go back in March before the crowds (and the prices) go up. Rawr. Seriously, flights are at least 200 cheaper in March (I've already looked).

In other sly news: if I wheedle enough, I may wind my way into working as an onsite assistant at a product launch our company may be considering in Prague. Oh stars! That would rule. I've always wanted to go to Prague. And that would be on the company dime!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006