Nov 24, 2005

The truth will kill you.

I just finished reading Collapsed, our text for Sustainable Development, and now I officially have no hope left for humanity.

I finished my final discussion point for the final chapter in tears. All this to try to get an A in another class. Goodness, am I depressed.

I know I am over-sensitive. It's quite painful to be that way. I seem to be affected more deeply than most souls around me, especially when it comes to things like this. Things that actually matter. Many say being so sensitive makes you less of a man. I say being able to face up to the reality of things and not constantly try to block it out makes one courageous.

Many truly seem to believe that ignorance is bliss. For those who prefer to remain blissfully ignorant, I suggest not reading too far into this book, or this paragraph. It wouldn't be your cup of tea, trust me. Run along and watch Harry Potter. Live in your fantasy, because reality will probably just depress you and give you very little incentive to press on. Take a walk in the sunshine, knowing nothing about the increasing complications posed by the photosynthetic ceiling. Wander through the woods, somehow believing that most of those species belong there and won't be turned into a housing development ten years from now. Breathe in the air, knowing that all those toxic chemicals are manifesting themselves in your lungs, but perhaps not being aware that they are also entering through the pores of your skin, slowly poisoning your dying vessel. Somehow believe that there is a corner of the globe that has not been adversely affected by the human imprint. Believe that technology will solve all our problems, when in fact each invention only introduces its own specific set of problems, forming an endless chain of dreadful links. There is no reason to use a 500-page read to instill in your head a hundred pieces of evidence showing why we are all doomed. We all know that anyhow, it doesn't have to be proven to us. Keep living in your bubble. You're safe there for a limited time. Pay no attention to what a Pulitzer Prize-winning author has to say. Curse your consciousness. Fuhgeddaboutit.

I am going to visit the north point lighthouse later today, but I doubt I will see much beauty. I will see the landscape much differently than I used to. Decay. Dessicated streambeds. Diminished rainfall. Several cattle on ugly, browning converted pastureland contributing their share to global warming. Eroding sea cliffs, exposing in their faces the rusted corpses of old plantation machinery buried inland a number of decades ago. Creeping normalcy. Landscape amnesia. Things change so quickly, yet so slowly for us. Day to day, it seems so gradual. It takes us years to realise how much less snow the mountain has received per year due to global warming. A family looks at photographs of how green their farm used to be twenty years ago, and compares it to the same farm today, their faces suddenly showing signs of shock. Times have changed.

It all happens so gradually for us. Yet, in geological time, humans have arrived and will depart in the bat of an eyelash. A human life is measured in a billionth of a nanosecond.

I probably just shouldn't care. Screw all the sentimental bullshit the human conscious projects onto so many other things. We are all just manifestations of carbon, here today, gone tomorrow, and our existence means nothing. We perform our moves, play the game like everyone else, then expire. We are everything and we are nothing. We are whatever we want to believe we are. Some of us think our God is going to come down and save us.

So then, you might as well believe in something. Whatever justifies your lifestyle and gets you up in the morning. Reincarnation is my belief. I expect to return to Earth as something other than human. Who knows what I may take shape as, though, and who knows what shape the world will be in then. It is romantic to believe I will probably return as a wolf, until I recall that most of the world's wilderness will be completely destroyed. Maybe I would be better off returning as a bee. People love sweet, fragrant things like honey and flowers.

A former acquaintance of mine who just recently committed suicide once shared with me one thing she considered a justification of her bitterness, "nature is dying." My perspective has now coincided directly with hers. It doesn't matter how you choose to interpret it, it's always true at least in one way.

But I care. It justifies who I am, and it is not my choice to make.

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 23, 2005

Drawing a bloodbath

I enjoy images that provoke. I also love the colour, texture, and symbolism of blood. Not all anthropomorphic art is designed to give you the warm fuzzies.

Though it does bring back memories of a few years ago, when I was walking down the street and happened to witness the outcome of an unattended horse attempting to escape from its trailer. It got its head stuck in the rear door, and ended up severing its neck. Deeply. Potent scarlet blood streamed down steadily from its throat, forming a thick, warm puddle beneath the trailer that slowly trickled down the steep concrete driveway. Most horrific were the gurgling sounds escaping from its throat as it tried to gasp for air, instead sputtering blood all over the cold steel trailer frame. I could see through the haze and the dampness in its eyes the agony and terror it was suffering, confirmed further by the sharp spasms of its body. Its legs dangled uselessly, hooves stirring up the thin layer of straw on the bloody trailer floor. All hope was lost. To watch the life force rapidly drain away from a half decapitated horse was a mesmorising sight. I could smell its ensuing death. The odour offended my nostrils. I pulled myself away and asked the closest neighbours if they knew who owned the horse. They didn't. Eventually the owner showed up and furrowed his brow, speechless as the world around me. I shall never forget the images. His facial expression and inability to utter a word. The river of blood that flowed down the driveway and into the pasture. The couple who passed by slowly in a car, the driver gawking at the scene, the passenger looking down and using her hand to shield herself from the terrifying vision. The horse's last attempt at drawing a breath. All I could do was stare. It was a beautiful and sickening and riveting and embittering and scintillating spectacle of unfathomable cruelty. The animal was dead, its head hanging idly from the trailer like a Christmas stocking from a fireplace mantle.

happy holidays.

Well go on now, go to the supermarket and purchase your pre-packaged, pre-inspected, pre-butchered turkey. Pour some champagne and celebrate your ridiculous American tradition, and give thanks that God has been so kind to you.

Nov 22, 2005

I abhor the XBOX. I hate everything about it. It is going to be fairly obnoxious to watch all the Microsoft fanboys on the gaming (and non-gaming!) forums rave and rave about how "fucking (censored)" the XBOX 360 is. As a video gamer who has always been fairly passionate about the hobby, I am as jubilant about the release of this system as I am about delivering my statistics presentation on a Monday.

It's not the fact that it's made by Microsoft that gauls me, though it does give me a bonus excuse to not have an ounce of respect for it. It's the library of games that has been confirmed for the system.

If you are not into sports, racing, strategy, or shoot-em-up games, there isn't much else for you. Unfortunately, those are the game genres most players (at least in America) prefer these days. Halo is the scum of the earth, and of course both it and its sequel are on there, along with five Star Wars games and three Tony Hawk games. I'm so excited, I just can't hide it.

I have absolutely no interest in playing games like these, sadly. Or maybe it isn't that sad. I am grateful to have been a kid in an era where video games were actually fun and required much more imagination to play. What if I grew up playing Medal of Honor or Call of Duty? I might just feel compelled (and trained!) enough to sign up for the American armed forces when I'm 18! I'm sure that's the general idea, anyhow. XBOX and XBOX 360 are undoubtedly going to help raise a generation of God-worshipin' country-servin' soldiers with their crappy war simulators. I'm so glad I don't play shit like that. If I had kids I would raise them on games like Ratchet & Clank and Starfox Adventures, old as the games would be by then.

See, I expect video games to take me out of reality, not subject me to a visually stunning simulation of it. That would defeat most of the purpose of playing games for me. While all the cool kids gather around their XBOX and play Grand Theft Auto, blare rap music and drink Coors Light while they wreak havoc on the streets, I will happily gather around my Genesis and immerse myself in Sonic the Hedgehog. Anyone with respectable taste may wish to join me, and would get a gentle fur-snuggle just for demonstrating that they have some good taste and that there is a little hope left for some members of the gaming community.

I just feel at a loss when most gaming-related conversation that occurs around me, whether it be in school, at the mall, or in a restaurant, usually involves discussion about "fucking (censored) graphics," "amazing realism," or "I heard you can actually take a dump anywhere you please in the next Call of Duty." Yes, it's all about simulating real world environments, because those are the coolest, right? Heaven forbid programmers should employ a little more imagination these days, or leave anything up to the player's imagination. I remember when I spent more time playing games and less time waiting for cinema cut scenes to finish.

I am a "retro gamer" in every sense of the term. I play the games that made an impact before games generally started sucking. That's not to say that I won't ever play any more new games, though. Give me a nice platformer involving some furry character, and I will probably gobble it up.

To conclude on a positive note, I saw two different people wearing Sonic the Hedgehog t-shirts at school yesterday. That raised my spirits some, and I complimented both on their good taste.

"By providing us with the information you know about your sources, we can properly format, alphabetize, and print your citation list. We’ve used EasyBib ourselves, and personally vouch for its performance: it cuts down bibliography creation time from one half to two thirds."

No more flipping through a reference catalogue for appropriate MLA citation formats for different media, thank RAYG. This should come in handy for my sustainable development planning thesis which requires 15 peer-reviewed sources. The more manual labour that can be circumvented, the better.

Nov 21, 2005

Yellow squash

It's true, people. Bananas do not travel well. Bananas tend to get very squeamish, and often spill their banananical guts out on long trips, quite literally. When will I learn my lesson? Oranges make much better backpacking companions than bananas. Heck, even apples can hold up much better on my rugged excursions.

I kind of felt like this poor guy on the van ride home yesterday:

imploded banana

My innards are spilling out of my peel! AAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Well, detective, the least we can do is show respect and try to salvage his remains. Anyone up for some banana creme pie?"

Nov 20, 2005

Darkness, come take me away.

I'm not sure yet but I think today sucked.

I did somehow manage to rise at 7 in the morning and make it down to the campus bookstore by 8, only to have to wait 40 minutes in the icky morning sunlight for our van to leave for Waipio Valley. Yes, today was the day of my field trip from... well, I shouldn't say hell, but it was indeed characterised by much lameness.

I was feeling disoriented the entire way over, longing for a pillow and a sleeping pill. Naturally, I had only gotten three hours of sleep at most. There is no more awkward time for me to be up and about than 7 to 11 in the morning. Experiences like these remind me just what a luxury it is to be able to sleep through half the day.

I suppose one of the things that bothered me most about the trip was that there was simply too much sun, too much brightness, too much daylight. Too much. It lasted way longer that I am used to. Waking up at 7 as opposed to 12 equates to having to deal with five hours more of daylight, and today, I found that terribly disquieting. My preference for nighttime was completely violated.

I still care very little for being exposed to direct sunlight on warm days, anyway. Sunlight makes my hair itch, my skin feel dirty, and generally gives me an unpleasant feeling of uncleanliness. I feel it's extremely overrated. Same with tans (tanning parlors anyone? Pft.) Of course, it's different up in the mountains, where the cool, dry air actually leaves sunlight to be desired at times. This helps explain why I am such a nocturnal creature. I'll take basking in the moonlight over hanging out in the sunlight any day.

I believe I am quite over-sensitive to light, which is why I had made such a big fuss over installing blackout curtains in my den, and tend to have an evening-oriented schedule. It's also part of the reason I live in Hilo. It was bright and sunny at Waipio the entire time we were there, and also along the entire Hamakua coast. By the time we got back into the Hilo district, though, it was pleasantly overcast as usual. I found that fairly relieving.

Once we arrived at the lookout, they had us walk all the way down that steep, winding road. By the time I reached the valley floor, I had to train myself to walk without leaning back at a 45 degree angle again. That was tough on the legs. The cultural interpreter took us along a rugged trail through the wilderness up to a taro-growing site. Then, he put us all to work, making us fix up a little rock dam which provided irrigation to the taro plots. My job was to be part of a chain where everyone passed rocks to the next person over until they reached the dam. What fun.

To be honest, my instincts compelled me to suddenly break away from the pack and simply do my own thing. I have never been one for such organised group activities. Besides, I knew that not far up the stream, there was a magnificent towering waterfall plunging into a cold, deep pool. I wanted nothing more than to scurry away from everyone and be alone to do some meditating up there.

Unfortunately, I didn't. We just ended up walking back, having lunch, then climbing back up the hill the hot sunlight. By the time I got three quarters of the way, my leg muscles and lungs were on fire and I was a sweaty mess. Did I ever feel disgusting. Not that I am one to complain, and I beat everyone else to the top by a fairly large margin.

The van ride back was ... not particularly entertaining. I was feeling exhausted, not only physically but also of having to be around people for so long. I felt terribly claustrophobic packed inside that van of 13 other students. And when some of the 'guys' started having 'in-depth' conversations about the "nice implants" of some of the "hot chicks" in their classes, I simply shook my head, shrugged my shoulders, plugged in my ear buds, and powered up my music player. **Kisses his iPod** I think it may have just preserved my sanity today, again.

Presently, I just feel strange. Almost jet-lagged. I slept for a good three hours on the floor. Though, I do feel a little more together than I was when I started this entry. I think a little walk or bike ride outside soon might make me feel a little more 'normal' again, and that is what I need... especially if I am going to get myself together enough to do this damn recall assignment the teacher gave us as we were leaving. It is, of course, due tomorrow.

The things I put up with to get an A. Going to a place as beautiful and spiritual as Waipio Valley just isn't the same when I am not free to do as a I please and I feel like I am being guided around on a track. Fortunately, I think this has been my one and only field trip of the semester. Next time I go there, I'm sure I will have tons more fun.

Thank whatever divine gargoyle it's going to be a short week.

Nov 19, 2005

Wild Sweet Wild

"What could be worse than San Diego?"

Certainly not Madagascar. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I viewed it for the first time this evening, and I thought it was splendid. Not only was it a visual and aural delight, but the humour, the originality, the storyline, the characters, it was all so terrific. I wanted to pull Alex out of the tube and snuggle him for awhile, because you know I ain't afraid of no lions, no matter how much steak they're lusting after. Then I wanted to do the same with the lemurs, then the penguins. I knew the penguins would sooner have had me whacked than stand for such a thing, though.

I can tell Madagascar is quickly going to gain status as one of those movies that will warm my heart for years to come. Definitely buying the DVD, so that it will always be available to lose myself in whenever I need it. And I'll always remember the first place I watched it: in a cozy furry den, feasting on egg drop soup, rice, and sushi, in the company of great like-minded friends.

I like to move it, move it. Especially after hearing that song. Everything about it is so delightfully furry. And that's the way I want to be.

Anywho, I am going to prepare myself some hash browns and cheese omelettes, then make a stop at 7-11 for an energy drink and some candy. Then I'll probably hang out at Volcanoes National Park, exploring some lava tubes and trekking out on the lava in the moonlight, greeting the early dawn as I let my spirit have some much needed free roaming in a cool, enchanting setting. Luckily, I have no plans until tomorrow night (going to catch one of the showings of Walk the Line).

Keep your stripes about you, everyone!

It's a whole new level.

It has occurred to me lately just how often my dreams resemble video games, especially in mechanics and principle.

1. No matter how many times I die, I always come back to life. I am aware of this, so I am really not afraid to die.
2. Once I save my progress, I don't have to worry about losing anything I gained up to that point. If I am afraid I am about to lose something or suffer injury, I quickly save so if something tragic happens to me I can just quit and go back to that save point. Once the danger is overcome, I will save again so I need not face the exact same danger again.
3. I am usually surrounded by so many wonderful furry characters, whether they are to be considered villains or heroes. Sometimes I join them in battling evil demons, robots, and best of all, humans, and other times simply watch them, but never do I fight against them.
4. I can freeze time. Very handy when I need to stop and think of something to say on the spot.
5. Background music is always playing. Always. Nobody knows where it's coming from, it's just -there-.
6. I can defy the laws of physics quite often. Just last night I was leaping along moonlit sea cliffs, my feet touching the ground once every several hundred metres. Breathtaking.

Of course, I never know I'm dreaming when I have said dreams. I assume it to be "reality." That is a large part of what makes it so glorious. Reality gives you one chance to prove yourself. That's it, just one. No stocking up on extra lives. You get yourself killed, you do not insert coin. You depart.

If only reality were more like a video game. And no, I don't mean The Official U.S. Army Game. The commander in chief can suffer the wrath of my tail on turbo bitch slap mode.

Nov 18, 2005

I've got a secret miniature...

UB40 - "Rat in the Kitchen"
Fuel - "Solace"
No Doubt - "Sunday Morning"
Incubus - "Stellar"
MC 900 Foot Jesus - "If I Only Had a Brain"
Harvey Danger - "Flagpole Sitta"
Filter - "Welcome to the Fold"
The Verve - "Bittersweet Symphony"
Third Eye Blind - "Wounded"
Rancid - "Time Bomb"

Those are all songs I have very fond memories of and have been listening to very heavily. Some songs just bring the sweetest memories to the surface.

Oh, I also strolled into Hot Topic today and got some lovely buttons.

There was also some nice Scarface merchandise in Suncoast, including a Scarface air freshener, a Scarface Shooter, and a Scarface valet set. The posters were nice, too. Unfortunately, it was all right next to a large Star Wars display, and some stupid kid kept pressing a bunch of buttons at once on an obnoxious Darth Vader helmet sound effects toy. I still cannot express how much I hate Star Wars.

Nov 17, 2005

the pathetic demise of decent video games.

"Our game developers don't rely on imagination."

-Online banner advertisement for The Official U.S. Army Game by the U.S. Army.
Whoa man, nifty stereogram.

Utterly random image edits at 4:30 in the morning... what's with me these days?

Nov 16, 2005

Like, bears rule.

Why are human beings so deathly afraid of bears? Sure, they have the ability to nose into your business uninvited, smother you to death, tear out your heart with their claws and break it just as easily, and trample all over you for all you are worth, but the chance of women doing the very same things to you are infinitely more likely. Be bear aware? Nevermind you. Bears may carry around voracious appetites at times and frequently act on predatory instinct, but at least they always behave rationally. Respect a bear's space, and it's likely they will respect yours. Can't say that for most women I've met, sadly. I really like bears, and I have never been at all afraid of them. I would very much like to come face to face with one, someday. Unfortunately, I spend much of my time in public being surrounded by girls that repeatedly go "like."

No, I am not a sexist pig. I resent most men in roughly equal numbers as the opposite gender.

Nov 15, 2005

A complete smile makeover!

"Is your smile keeping you from living the life you've always dreamed of? Let Dr. Tanaka give you a complete smile makeover!"

I... think I would prefer to work my way through life without flashing great big smiles just to impress other people. Once again, it's another sign of how ridiculous this culture is, and I refuse to let a smile spell the difference between whether I get hired into my dream job or not. I admit, although the media is constantly trying to make me a relentlessly self-conscious wreck, I can't bring myself to be concerned about how straight and what shade of white my teeth are. This is even in spite of the fact that a perfect smile will get me many attractive women, high-paying jobs, and a new leash on life (or is that lease?!).

I smile when I am cheerful, amused, sometimes astounded, and desiring to express friendliness. I do not and will never fake a smile to sell myself, or even pretend someone just cracked a funny joke.

One phrase that does get under my skin is "marketing yourself." Is this to imply that I am some kind of mobile commodity that must go to great lengths to deliver a "personal sales pitch" in hopes of impressing a potential "consumer"? I probably would have been more inclined to participate in the last career fair if I hadn't been told beforehand that I should spend some time practising my "personal sales pitch." Umm, yeah. "Pick me, pick me! I would save a cat's life over a baby's, I've seen Reservoir Dogs, and I've always felt the posture and architecture of fire hydrants somehow artfully suggest that they are just begging for a hug. Did I get the job?"

What I have always dreaded most about interviews and the like is not having to answer a series of asinine questions more designed to evaluate your character than your skills for the job. I can deal with that. I just strongly dislike being expected to dress up in a way I would -never- ordinarily dress and contort my face into a cheerful, enthusiastic expression that just announces jubilantly, "Why yes sir, I am so excited about possibly working for you that I'll just about have to strangle my tail before it wags out of my Wal-Mart slacks, and I promise to give you 110- no, 113.4% at all times!" I feel like I am putting on a great big circus act, and it disgusts me. If I had my way I would rip off this tie that took me an hour to figure out to clip on and strangle you with it until you let me have YOUR job. "By the way, sir, if I may be so italicized to inquire, are my teeth white enough to work in laundry? What of my acne problem? I was told if I don't buy a certain product advertised on TV I am going to be an ugly reject my entire life. And I don't know about you, but I still don't think my nose is high enough. I've heard Roman noses just aren't considered beautiful or attractive anymore. **Holds head in paws**

Let's all run down to the beauty salon and get premium makeovers tomorrow. I want to finally be able to face the world and say with confidence, "THIS IS WHO I AM!"

In the meantime, excuse me while I ramble off to purchase a specialised product guaranteed to efficiently remove all traces of my unsightly nostril hairs. I'll do whatever it takes to ride the magic carpet of disjointed musings into Sleepland and rest easier at night, short of listening to another Children of Boredom EP. Ever since they started getting progressive and hence keeping me awake at night with their uncharacteristically energetic tunes, they just haven't compared to... **pats mouth and takes a very deep breath, exhaling slowly** ...Sigh.

Compare and contrast

Quiet, mild-mannered Neal.

One day away from full moon Neal.

Any questions?

Nov 14, 2005

A productive little member of squirrel society.

"So I, like, walked into his office and he was, like, working on his computer. Then I was, like, have you made the study guide yet, and he was like, you know, "not quite, but I should have it ready by Friday." And I was, like, so mad about that, because, you know, the test is, like, just two days after that!~~~~~~~~~"

Until you learn how to articulate properly in an intelligible manner, quit spewing your rank verbal diarrhea loudly enough for every row of the class to hear. Better yet, speak intelligibly in a voice low enough to direct your useless grumbling exclusively to the person sitting, like, right next to you. Unless you want to go home with a compass needle in your thorax care of a wolf sitting three rows up who happens to be very skilled with darts. Come on, guys, let's be diplomatic. The world's problems can be solved if we all come together in harmony and sow the seeds of peace on our majestic Mother Earth, allowing universal love to germinate.

But before that can happen, some goddamn people need to learn some fucking manners so I don't feel so compelled to obliterate their oblivious expressions with a stock AR33.

My current focus in life is getting my projects together. I have at least four weeks left to do so, and that seems like ample time to finish my five major projects satisfactorily. Here's the general layout/timeline:

*I did my research at City of Refuge on Friday, so I can use it to scribble out my term paper. I'm really only viewing it as a longer, citation-requird version of the weekly essays I write for the class. I plan to use mostly reading materials we have already used as sources, so it shouldn't be that difficult, and my goal is to get it done by this coming weekend. Probably won't start on it tonight, with my weekly sustainable development essay and remote sensing lab materials and final project description due tomorrow.

*My 12 page sustainable development paper counts for at least 50% of my course grade, so I had better devote much, much more time and energy to this one. It's not due until Dec. 6, so I still have plenty of time. I decided to focus on the sustainability of the Three Gorges Dam in China, since I am so fascinated by dams and all, and it's the largest dam in the world. And I just -know- it's going to be directly responsible for a major disaster someday. I think I am going to enjoy learning more about the mega-project and writing my thesis on it.

*Good news on the biostats project- I managed to turn up my Ohia tree measurements from my biogeography course in fall of '03, so I'll just 'cheat' and use those for my stats this semester rather than go out into the field and do a bunch of unnecessary work. It's not that my work is all done... I still have to organise and analyse the data, perform a few statistical tests on them, and write up an extensive report. Having to collect the actual data was the part I was dreading the most, though, so I am glad I don't have to worry about that.

*As for my creative design project for web authoring, I'll probably go ahead and make a web site for the university showcasing some of my finest photographs I have taken over the years. After all, all the content must be original. I should be getting started on that soon. Fortunately, we have our last regular lab today.

*Then, there's my lab design project for remote sensing, in which I am supposed to collaborate with another person on. The groups were already assigned, but I don't even remember her name. Whatever... I'll get to it when I get to it.

Anyway, time to get my tail up to UCB so I don't miss Susi. I'm sure no one bothered to read this far, anyway. I can't blame them.

Nov 10, 2005

Wailuku River

Wailuku River

To the United States, from Buckingham Palace.

Message from Buckingham Palace to the Citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter U will be reinstated in words such as favour and neighbour. Likewise, you will learn to spell doughnut without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up vocabulary).
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as like and you know is an unacceptable form of communication.
3. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter U and the elimination of -ize.
4. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save TheQueen.
5. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
6. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many guns, lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent.
7. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
8. All American cars are hereby banned. They are rubbish: this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will see what we mean.
9. All intersections will be replaced by roundabouts (what you call traffic circles), and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect.
10. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
11. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) - roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
12. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and what you insist on calling a chip is properly called a crisp. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with ketchup but with vinegar.
13. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
14. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.
15. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
16. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.
17. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
18. An inland revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
19. Coffee shall contain actual coffee beans, and will not taste like muddy water. Starbuck's shall cease operation with immediate effect.

Thank you for your co-operation,

Buckingham Palace

Nov 9, 2005

Of electrical storms and other stimulating things

In our GLO meeting today, we had a little "pleasure party preview." It was pretty interesting to sit in the public lobby of the campus center and pass around massaging gels, shaving creams for intimate areas, genitalia enhancement devices, sexual lubricants, and various high-tech vibrating dildos. Arruff? I hadn't a clue most of this stuff even existed before tonight. I could see a few members were visibly excited about such items; I was simply amused. A man brought his young son through the lobby about halfway through the presentation when at least a dozen different sex toys were in plain view. Screw censorship, eh?

I got a few catalogues featuring all kinds of delightful passion products, though, in case I ever want to order a clitoral pleasure ring or Lucky Stiff gel. I was also given two little packets of watermelon and strawberry flavored lube! Should come in handy when I encounter a squeaky door hinge or a hungry ant. Best of, my wrist was sprayed with a product that purportedly contains a nice assortment of pheromones. My animal attractiveness is now off the scale!!!...teehee.

Early morning euphoria... I felt it this morning. I was roused from sleep at around 5 am by a very powerful rumble of thunder. Naturally, I had to get up and venture outside to watch for lightning, remembering to get dressed beforehand. I did witness a couple of brilliant flashes, but the rain was falling so hard I decided to wait an hour until dawn started to crack and the rain subsided just a little bit before driving out to Honoli'i. Surfers were already jumping into the ocean; nothing depends on the weather in their lifestyle.

After some poking around, I discovered a rugged dirt trail that led down to the sandy beach at the mouth of the gulch. It wasn't that slippery despite having been soaked by inches of rain over the previous few hours. The sandy beach abruptly ended at a rather wide stream, which was incredibly swollen with dark brown flood water and sliding very swiftly into the sea. Falling in probably would have equated to a certain drowning. Still, the view up the river was marvelous, with the tall highway bridge passing over a beautiful house nestled against the cliff wall and right beside the stream. Everything was incredibly green, damp, and cool, and the sky was a euphoric multi-textured steel blue and grey. Simply hanging out on the beach for awhile as the light of day grew stronger was very spiritually satisfying. I soaked up the ambience like a sponge.

And now I shall venture to the store to snatch an energy drink before shoving off for Hawi. I've got a four day weekend ahead of me, but it won't be all relaxation. I have a day of research to do at City of Refuge (murr), but I hope to make it entertaining for myself as possible. At the very least I'll follow it up with dinner and a movie.

I have five major projects to complete by the middle of December, some due sooner than others. School is essentially going to be my life over the next month. *Shrug* Bring it on, I'm game.

I'm also going to have a lot of fun driving home with my newly mixed metal medley...

Nov 7, 2005

Yay, censorship!

One thing I still don't get is why the word "outstanding" isn't more commonly used. It is a perfectly acceptable and much more appropriate synonym for "awesome." Examples of how this word may be used:

Wow, that's outstanding.
She's an outstanding friend.
The strength of that large beast is outstanding.
I got an outstanding grade on my exam.

See, it works perfectly well in place of the 'a' word! There's no excuse not to use it! Now, if one ever begins to sound like a broken record in their use of "outstanding," it is admissable for them to throw in an "awesome" here and there, providing it refers to something to be feared, intimidated by, or be spellbound in awe from.

See, I would actually advocate the occasional use of the 'a' word if it weren't for all you chimejobs constantly abusing it and completely tarnishing any integrity it once had twenty years ago!!

Last night, I finally decided that I had had enough of wandering into places online heavily populated with awesome zombies (which sadly comprise 95% of the Internet it seems). I was struck by the idea of searching for some type of word censor I could install on my browser that would completely filter out all instances of the 'a' word on web pages and replace them with a much more tolerable word.

Amazingly, I found a Firefox extension which does just that! It allows me to insert the 'a' word (properly spelled, and many of its idiotically misspelled variants) into a censored words list, then put any word or phrase I wish to replace the 'a' word with everytime it shows up. I chose "great."

The outstanding thing about this is that much of the time, I won't even know when someone used the 'a' word or not in a forum posting, journal entry, etc. I'll just assume they said "great." After all, the way most people abuse the 'a' word, "great" is most commonly a perfectly sensible and fabulous substitute. Sensational!

(Oh, sorry, I don't mean to be selfish. Here's the extension, if any other Firefox users want to take advantage of this brain cell-saving feature. The zombies will NEVER steal my vocabulary and literary eloquence and turn me into one of them!)

Now, if only I could get some type of micro chip implanted into my brain that would somehow cause me to hear any of a number of decent synonyms in place of the 'a' word whenever someone around me says it. Then, I would have a much better chance of staying sane.

Though, psychotherapy might be the more practical and less expensive solution. In a way, though, I favour being this obsessive. It proves to me that I am still quite sentient and in tune with my own little messed up world.

Nov 4, 2005

"Cannot establish a file transfer session with Timberwolf because he/she is not a secure user."

**Grabs a guitar in slow motion** *twing twang* *twing twing twang twing*

That's right, everyone. I'm innnnnnseeeeeeccccuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeee...

Nov 1, 2005

It takes the 'groaning' out of 'toning'!

This entry is more for my own benefit than anyone else's. I was considering posting it as a private entry somewhere, but I figure I would feel more obligated to adhere to a few resolutions of mine posted in an area viewable by the public.

I have decided recently that I would like to lose a few pounds. I realise that I am, in fact, thin, and am within the so-called ideal weight range for my age. At the same time, however, I notice that I am carrying around just a little excess fat, without which I could be even more limber and lighter on my feet. I don't believe it would be too difficult to get rid of, either. Besides that, I simply want to make my lifestyle more healthful for my own sake.

I feel I already get enough exercise, though more wouldn't hurt. It has become a little more difficult to be physically active lately with the stresses and obligations of school constantly hovering over my head, but there is one way to get around this: start riding my bike to and from school more often. The only excuse I have for driving most of the time is that it's habitual. Either that, or the sun is beating down... but that's a much better excuse, I feel. On any pleasant overcast day, I should be riding to school. Also, I should never deny my impulses to go out, except when something much more important needs to be accomplished beforehand.

What I ultimately must focus on, though, is eating better. Less greasy, fatter food, more better food. I do eat mostly healthy food, truth be told, but there is still room for improvement. I believe more salads and grains are in order.

More importantly, though, is -how- I eat. I have developed a terrible habit of eating only one large meal per day, with a little bit of snacking hither and thither. Not a good idea. I should eat several small meals throughout the day, and refrain from eating until I'm stuffed, as I can be satisfied without being "stuffed." Firstly, I should stop skipping breakfast in the mornings, even though I may not be hungry immediately after waking up. Breakfast kicks my metabolism into gear during my class hours, which is, of course, a good thing. Then, after class is over, I wouldn't feel so inclined to completely gorge myself. Secondly, I'm going to stop having big snacks before bedtime. If I'm truly hungry, I may have a granola bar, but no more chocolate, please. Third, I discovered an anemic weasel playing Pinochle in the springyard. In bed.

I could also invest in a miracle diet pill, one that is guaranteed to make me lose twenty pounds in a week. Or I could wear a Saunabelt and lose a whole inch in 50 minutes... that sounds enticing. I could even opt for liposuction- I know Dr. Watkins would take good care of me! Because you know, I just can't achieve my goal using natural methods, what with fast food restaurants making me fat by forcing their food down my throat and the horrible rainy weather keeping me indoors.

On an unrelated note, I was downloading at nearly 500 kilobytes per second earlier. That was awfully awe-inspiring. *Darth Vader mouth-breathe* I am programmed to DLT spam. Die viruses! **Pushes up glasses and snorts**

This month is going to be a wild ride for me. Wish me luck pze.