Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Bucket List

From the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES - Dave Freeman, co-author of "100 Things to Do Before You Die," a travel guide and ode to odd adventures that inspired readers and imitators, died after hitting his head in a fall at his home. He was 47.

He apparently had done about fifty things on his list of things to do.

I myself had a rather more modest list -- I think I had about ten things that I wanted to do before I died -- although that got expanded and built upon as I got out in the world and did more things and met more people and took more LSD. Let's say I ended up with about twenty-five things.

It wasn't, perhaps, even a very imaginative list -- mostly just to see a good swath of famous monuments and cities and beaches, that sort of thing. And a few big festivals, although again not a very imaginative selection of them. (I lived through seven Mardi Gras and eight full moon parties in Thailand, and, like every good English major, nearly got trampled by bulls in Pamplona, Spain.)

I'd pretty much accomplished everything on my list by the time I was thirty. But the problem with this as a life philosophy is: what do you do once you've done all the things on your list? By that time, you're probably pretty burnt out on travelling and partying and such. Also, you realize that doing everything you've ever dreamed of leaves you without any fucking dreams at all, and that sort of just leaves you bitter and world-weary. . .

Maybe I just needed a more creative and difficult list. Or some normal ambitions like money, family, etc.

It's a problem. Although, I guess, one worth having.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Bear

From MSN.com, or America providing "humanitarian aid" to Georgia:

Janusz Bugajski, director of the new democracies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Bush's actions should "persuade Russia from any further aggression."

"I wouldn't stake a lot of money on it, but I wouldn't think Russia would want to provoke something with the United States," Bugajski said.

Ohhh my God in Heaven. . . do you people have any IDEA how much they still hate America here? It's like one of those Van Damme or Seagal movies where they kill the hero's family and take him out and shoot him in the brain and leave him in the desert, but he doesn't die. . . he survives and recovers and redoubles his effort to get revenge.

That's Russia. America destroyed the Soviet Union, then turned them into a country of gangsters, drunks and prostitutes, and now George Bush's wrongheaded invasions have pushed the price of oil up so high, that they have way the fuck more money than America now.

From the cia.gov website:

Oil export earnings have allowed Russia to increase its foreign reserves from $12 billion in 1999 to some $470 billion at year end 2007, the third largest reserves in the world.

compared to America:

revenues: $2.568 trillion
expenditures: $2.73 trillion (2007 est.)

reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$70.57 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

So yeah, sleep well, world. . .

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another Vague Moment of Clarity

A while back one of the other teachers was telling us about one of her students who dreamed of moving to Indianapolis, Indiana.

We were laughing. Why the hell would somebody want to move to some small backwards city in the middle of Bumfuck?

Then I thought: wait a second. . .

Friday, August 01, 2008

ICQ Conversation With A Russian Girl 20 Years My Junior Studying in Switzerland

ананаска ‎(12:43 AM):
we have here everyday sun.

English Teacher X ‎(12:43 AM):
it is sunny this week but not very warm, only about 20 - 23

ананаска ‎(12:43 AM):
24 here.

English Teacher X ‎(12:44 AM):
yeah, I remember Switzerland summer weather. . . always need a sweater

ананаска ‎(12:45 AM):
But now is good

ананаска ‎(12:50 AM):
this is very cool university.

English Teacher X ‎(12:50 AM):
yeah, I guess, many noble maidens. . .
do you actually learn any English, or just how to cook?

ананаска ‎(12:51 AM):
And english of course
All cours -english.

ананаска ‎(12:52 AM):
yes a lot of.

English Teacher X ‎(12:52 AM):
teachers from Switzerland or where?

ананаска ‎(12:53 AM):
england france

ананаска ‎(12:55 AM):
And here a lot of boys from arabia.

English Teacher X ‎(12:55 AM):
at your school?
i thought it was only for girls. . .

ананаска ‎(12:55 AM):
not in my school just girls.
ананаска ‎(12:55 AM):
but in town..

English Teacher X ‎(12:56 AM):
I miss the old days, when Switzerland was just full of Swiss people. . .

it was a simpler time then.

ананаска ‎(12:57 AM):
why you miss?
i like when a lot nationals.

English Teacher X ‎(12:57 AM):
there is no such thing as a "foreign country" anymore
every country is just full of people from every country

ананаска ‎(1:20 AM):
And this is cool.

English Teacher X ‎(1:21 AM):
cool or not, it is a fact. . .

ананаска ‎(1:25 AM):

English Teacher X ‎(1:26 AM):
the new world, 21st century. . .

ананаска ‎(1:26 AM):