Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween All...
Just found a fun quote I though I would share:
"Are Americans charitable and caring? Or selfish and rude? Or perhaps we run the whole gammit, being one of the few places free enough to be entirely human... born of a free spirit." - Walter McDougall
Keep that in mind.
Tuesday November 2nd, VOTE!


make your voice heard.

I have a new found respect for Enimen. Here are my thoughts in song form, I really have to say.

Imagine it pourin’, it's rainin’ down on us
Moshpits outside the oval office
Someone’s tryin to tell us something
Maybe this is God just sayin' we're responsible
For this monster - this coward that we have empowered
This is Bin Laden
Look at his head noddin’
How could we allow something like this without pumpin' our fists
Now, this is our final hour
Let me be the voice, and your strength and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify it, times it, and multiply it by sixteen million
People are equal at this high pitch
Maybe we can reach al CIAda through my speech
Let the president answer our high anarchy
Strap him with a AK-47, let him go fight his own war
Let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our own soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us to thinking that we ain’t loyal
If we don’t serve our own country, we’re patronizing our hero
Look in his eyes, its all lies
The stars and stripes, have been swiped
Washed out and wiped and replaced with his own face
Mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight, you’ll know why
‘Cuz I told you to fight

Also, check out this link from the New Yorker... it's a very well written piece. And thanks to Stella for both of these!

What I don't understand is people who, despite all that has occurred and the huge emotional pull this impending election has spawned, have no intentions of voting. I really don't care who you are voting for people... obviously from the above you can tell who I am voting for, but really, either way... JUST VOTE! We are so lucky to be living in a nation where you do get to vote to decide your officials. Not only that but do it safely. As that commercial says, you wouldn't let someone else choose what job you will do, or who you will marry, or how you feel... why let someone else decide who will run your country.


short and long term goals

Well, first off, let me state the obvious... that working through the weekend sucks. I know you all know that, but it really does. Especially when you are working full time and salaried, and that is that and you don't get any time off really to compensate, except for coming into work on monday at lunch time. Oh well. Not too much I can do about that.
So, to move on... I was working late this weekend at a thing that I had largely planned for my empolyer, and it was very nerve-racking, but it the end turned out very well, and I'm happy. My boss was too, which in this case, might be a little more important. But the only problem, was that I was a bit bored all weekend. It was all speakers, tons of them, and while they were very good... and the topic was very good... I find that on a beautiful Saturday, it is very hard for me to concentrate on anything for too long a period of time. And 9am to 9pm is too long (plus 8-1 on Sunday)!
So... instead I found myself thinking about all sorts of things that I normally don't have the time to just sit and think about. Wedding details, not just for myself but for my Ro as well... and for Espo, who's wedding I missed this past weekend... but of course, for Trav and I as well. I thought about China, and wrote some not too bad "feeling narratives", representing not only my feelings there, but my feelings about it now. Something I hope to keep doing until I have something about each major place we went, because I know that the longer I wait - the harder it will be, and the more my memories will fade. Which I can hopefully prevent with these narratives and my pictures, which I am going to be putting together in a scrapbook/travel journal of sorts. I'm very excited about that project, which I think will turn out beautifully in the end.
The third thing I really thought about, is something that I had considered before, but not in such depth. That is my short and long term goals in life. In this, I actually sat down and wrote out a listing of my personal goals or wishes for in my lifetime, about 12 of them total, and then went through them to decide if they were really short term goals, mid-term goals, or long-term goals. Most of them were long term. I see this as actually a good thing. Short-term goals are good, and quite necessary, but in over abundance they become a distraction from the grander things that we really want for ourselves, from the more important things in life. And while all long-term goals will, eventually, become short term goals... we really need to have both to be balanced. So while for now my biggest goal is to excel in my new position at work (and in doing so, knock the socks off of the President of the Institute!); I have many more long term goals that will give me something to work towards. I also found, that while all of my goals are important to me, and I plan on knocking at least 11 or the 12 off before I get too old to do so, really there are only 2 or 3 that are vital to my happiness... and the rest are just icing on the cake, things that would make me feel more fulfilled and successful.

So here is a partial of my list, with vitals in red (my list is sitting in my car, so I'm not going to go get that right now, but I will remember as many as possible without f*ing them up!):
1. To learn Chinese.
2. To get my M.A. (and possibly a Ph.D) in Asian Studies, Conflict Resolution, Non-Proliferationn Studies, or something that embraces one of those.
3. To get a job that makes me feel challenged, and something I would be truly proud of... working as a researcher, working for the government, or working in cultural awareness for a big international company.
4. To get completely out of debt, and be able to save a good deal of money towards important life points (specifically for a. wedding expenses, b. buying a house, c. money for children's futures, and d. toward retirement).
5. To visit China again, and take Trav with me, so he can see this place that has enchanted me for as long as I can remember.
6. To travel and see more of the world: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Japan, the Congo, Italy... etc!
7. To find some simplicity in my life, some organization. Sounds a bit stupid... but to just got through all my things and either get rid of it if its not important to me, or store it properly if it is. To go thru all of my old clothes and dump the ones that I'm never going to wear again, but that I keep holding on to for one reason or another. Clutter really can make your whole life seem more scattered.

So those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head that aren't too personal to get into. If you notice, many of them will fall back onto number 4. Sad, cruel fact of life... money runs the world.

Well, anyway... I guess that's enough rambling for now. I'm going to take a nice long shower.

Zai jian!


Autumn, and daydreams...

So its been over a month since I updated... but I really had to force myself even to do it now.
Sometime I just have too much going on in my head and I can't even make sense of it, and the idea of trying to get it out so that others can try to make sense of it is overwhelming! This would be one of those times.

Various things in my head right now:

So where do I start? It's not with China, that's for sure. I can't even begin... I loved it there so much, and I would love to return. I'm already dreaming about going back... but already the memories are becoming distant, and sureal; as if in some museum and covered with glass. This weekend we are having a brief "reunion" for those that went on the trip, and I'm hoping that will get ride of some of the fog. Until I actually write about my trip, I will give you these two pictures...

Sean (head of the bar staff on our boat) and I dressed as emperor and emperess... He was my China crush.

Dave and I on the deck of the boat on the Yangzhe River...

As for autumn, well that is just a feeling more then an actual thought chain. I adore Autumn!! It is my absolute favorite time of year. Pumpkin carving and hay rides. Halloween and warm apple cider. I'm definitely happy to be living it right now... the crisp nights and vivid colors... it does wonders for my mood and my overall outlook. How can I be bitter-sweet about life when the world just looks gorgeous?

Then there is work. It's really not so bad... but I'm just tired of doing something that is rather mindless and boring a lot of the time. I crave the days when I'm so busy that I don't have time to stop and think about how boring and meaningless my job can seem. I mean, its a job, and its fine. Someone has to do it... and there are time when I realize how important it is that they have someone to do the things I do. But that someone doesn't have to be me! I need to start looking for something better, but the problem is: I don't know where to look! I need to go back to grad school... but most of them require things for entry, which I can't offer (a language requirement, a GPA just beyond my reach in undergrad, or a super essay which I don't currently have the time to write). I know that I just need to decide where my focus lies, and go for it... but sometimes that is easier said then done. Most of the time I really don't know what I want, but I know that this is not it. I have been daydreaming a lot lately... of a great job with decent pay, that needs me for 3-4 days a week... even if they are long days. That would be so ideal. I miss being outside during the day. I miss being able to be on top of laundry and cleaning and errands. I don't want to waste my weekends on such things! My daydream for the past few weeks has been of an eccentric professor of IR or foreign policy or the like, or even better of Asian Studies/Chinese, who needs a research assistant. That is my dream. That is what I want to do. He can do the practical application... and if he wants a general sounding board, or someone to co-write a paper with him, I am all about that... but I want my hands in the research. But that is really just a daydream.

As for anniversaries... well Trav and mine is next week, on the 13th. It will be 4 years for us. I'm a bit excited because it is his turn to plan this year, and he has been shooting off some nice ideas. He already told me he has the day off of work, and that he should come into the city so that we can do lunch. I'm very excited about that. :-) I'm expecting he will probably cook us a night dinner or something along those lines, but we will have to wait and see. This year we decided to just tell each other what we need right now... it sounds so practical, and the gifts aren't the most exciting (work shirts for me, a new feather pillow and colgne for him). But it really works for what we are trying to do. Saving is top priority, and so getting each other a bunch of stuff that is cute, but unnecessary just seems stupid. So this works.

Other exciting news... this weekend Rochelle and I are going wedding dress shopping (for her not me). Her and Pat are getting married next year, and I'm honored to be one of the bridesmaids. It's very exciting, and watching her plan is giving me something to look forward to.

Well, that is enough for now. I have so much more floating around my head... but I should get back to work. I do have boring things to do you know... ;-)

Zai jian!!!