Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Past Week

Well let's see here...

After an intense, emotional two-hour meeting, my AWOL student decided to return home. It was the right decision. I learned that a lot more human rights violations are occurring in second world countries than we like to think. And unfairness happens in all governments but in some way more than others...Still, he had to go home and he knew it. I'm glad he's with his family and his work.

Christmas was relaxed and overall very good. We've been able to see many of the people we'd hoped to over the holidays...but definitely not everyone. If I missed you, I sure hope to catch you next time. Besides quality over quantity is the way to go.

I have a very good friend of mine who is really angry with me right now. It's a terrible place to be but it's also got me thinking about things I can change in this new year. I'm looking forward to a healthier body and a healthier mind. I will work on saying what I mean and meaning what I say. I am going to say "no" more often and "yes" more often. I want to battle time less. I want to read, listen, and create more. I want to be a better me. Bring it on Oh Nine!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And Now For Some Good News

A massive congratulations and "omedetou!" to my friend Amy, her husband Todd, and big sister Emiko on the birth of Hideo William!! On the day her maternity leave started, even!

Everyone is happy and healthy...just as it should be. Way to go Amy!!

I Curse the Weather Gods

I am very angry with the snowstorm in the Pacific Northwest that caused my sister's flight here to be canceled last night and now she can only come on the 23rd at the latest.


There aren't many things that I have to look forward to but seeing Kate for Christmas was one of them.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tick Tock

I won't go into all the details of today...but I wish I could.

I'm trying to do too much on too little sleep. Not to mention the fact that it's the fucking holidays which means everything is twice as frantic and anxious and happening at once.

Another student of mine may have gone awol in the country. Again...it makes me feel strange and possibly (I can't help it) a little bit taken advantage of. I didn't expect it from this student, who really didn't strike me as a flight risk at all. It goes to show that you never know what other people are thinking and planning. Who am I to judge, though. Maybe things are really THAT BAD in his native country.

I'm so ready to make some stuff for gifts. The creative juices are starting to trickle in and percolate...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wintry Mix Blues

What a DAY, y'all. Are we sure the full moon was last week and not now? Mercury in retrograde? Other planetary realignment that I'm not aware of?

We're winding down this term; airport departures are on Saturday. I'm also simultaneously preparing for our January intake, working on overdue reports for past programs, and wondering if I'll be able to afford Christmas.

It was just one of those days where everything was moving too fast and every time I turned around something fell apart. We got your visa denials over in Peru, crucial paperwork failed to be returned in Costa Rica, letters of recommendation for Russia and China, thinking back to the African program this program, oh and at the end of the day the Indonesians' first leg of their flight home just *poof* disappeared and now I need to figure out how to get them to Chicago by 9:00am on Saturday morning. This Saturday morning.

I remember a cabbie in London telling me that the city layout was "like a dog's nervous system." It could also accurately describe my neuron synapses today...this week...most of the time.

Of course tonight of all nights is the one I've chosen to make my try-annual (as in, I try to do it every year but don't always) Christmas mix CD. It's generally comprised of songs I listened to all year or want other people to hear and love, a little soundtrack for the year. This year, though....this year was a dud. I didn't make time to listen to new stuff or pay much attention. So this mix is mostly old stuff. Which can only mean one thing: I'm turning into someone stuck in a certain era. Probably the 80s/90s. I don't even know what to call this decade anyway. Aughts? Ohes? Two Thousands? It's just as well.

AND it's bitterly cold outside so (stop!) it's heater time! The air is dry and crackles with constant static electricity. I'm fighting off a head cold and am congested uber alles. I just want to breathe easily and not have everything clogged, dry, and crackly.

Is it the end of the year that's making everything go haywire? I know it's not just me. Someone held up that fancy jewelry store on Dickson Street. Yeah, and the brewery caught fire. Vandals raised hell in Eureka Springs. Bush ducking those shoes. It's a world gone mad!

I tell you!

Monday, December 15, 2008


I think I've written before of my love for creative spam names.

Well I just saw the Best Name Yet in my bulk folder!

Are you ready?

Pontious Carbone.

Who do you think Pontious Carbone is? Besides the slickest dude this side of the Atlantic?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Came Early

Want to totally make someone's day?

Compliment a random stranger on her outfit.*

That happened to me last weekend and my step is still a little spring-y as a result. Especially because my outfit that day was one of those tear-through-the-clothes-to-find-something-relatively-flattering, cute, comfortable, and clean-in-10-minutes kind of a deal. I would name my look Sartorial Schizophrenia. I think it was patterned tights, cowgirl boots, denim pencil skirt, light blue t-shirt, and black cardigan. I'm pretty sure my hair was dirty therefore in a ponytail. See? It sounds so wrong and yet...to this one woman in Home Depot, it was so right. Or maybe she was messing with my head. Maybe she turned down the Lighting aisle and laughed her ass off and tried to sneak back around and take my picture with her cell phone so she could post it to some Fashion Don'ts web site. If you ever see this outfit on the internet, please don't bring it to my attention. Let me live in the fantasy that this sweat-panted stranger thought I had a good thing going on.

*Make sure said compliment is sincere and non-creepy.

Monday, December 08, 2008

All The Thaing Ai Wunt for Crismis

Oh lordy do I ever love the Sunday paper. Any Sunday paper. I like 'em overstuffed, mostly useless, and scattered with nuggets of Americana like kids' letters to Santa. You can't find these on the web site! I've been snipping out my favorites.

This letter also happens to represent everything I love about ESL.Read this one carefully - there's a doozy buried in there. This letter is a real head trip.

Merry Christmas all you Dallas Walkers - I sure hope you get those chelphones.

Get It While It's Hot

I need to just get this out of the way right now: I seriously hope Santa brings me Beyonce's new CD. Dang! It's so good! "If I Were a Boy?!" "Single Ladies?!" Come ON - it can not be resisted. Or, at least based on the strength of those two songs alone, I have been solidly brainwashed and beaten into submission by The Man into believing that this album alone will complete me.

Another good thing about listening to the radio these days (if you're listening to KEZA, 107.9 like me....awww yeah) is catching "Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg. Aaah, the holidays. This song gets me every time. Remember back in the 70s when songs told stories? Please tell me your favorite. You know, like "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" or "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)." I'd like to compile a mix of old story songs but that could be a bit much...a whole lotta narrative. But back to this song....the last line is really the clincher. "somethingsomething...and the snow turned into rain." So sad and wistful and evocative. Well done, Dan Grayling Fogelberg.

I'm also asking the old fat man who lives at the top of the world (aren't myths awesome?) for all sorts of local art for Agnostic Consumer Winter High Holiday. Last Thursday I went to two great shows as well as the progressive shopping party and found at least a dozen things I'm pining for, such as everydamnthing at ddp gallery, coffee table books and the Arkansas Nature Lover's Guidebook from Nightbird books, Cindy Arsaga's encaustic paintings, and pretty yarn and knitting classes from Handheld.

If you want something special and colorful and interesting and very affordable, you also should check out Megan Chapman's Etsy shop. I want, like, nine of 'em all lined up in a square above my bed.

The books of Arkansas writer Suzi Parker would also be a good idea. And if the rumor I've heard is correct and her book, Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt is being turned into a film, written by Beth Henley, then she's also definitely on her way to "I knew her back when....." Perhaps if social commentary isn't really your thing, then maybe 1000 Best Bartender's Recipes is? And if you don't like either of those, then what are you doing reading this blog?