Friday, September 28, 2007

these are a couple photos i took when i was in china last year. i think they're cool. the first one is tai shan, one of the holiest mountains in china, a pilgrimage place for the last 3000 years. kat and i climbed it at night so we could see the red sunrise from the peak. the second one is in the countryside of zhongdian (aka shangrila!), which is a primarily tibetan county in yunnan province. we were biking around, getting lost, and prayer flags were everywhere. awesome.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

[insert clever title about september here]

I've been busy-ish. I'm still trying to figure how best to squeeze a full-time grad program into the life I was living before, and it seems that blogging and naps have been the first things to go. but I'm holding tight to gchat (albeit with a red status most days), and time spent cooking and cleaning at home has, against all odds, increased! along with making real meals, i get really cheap and MASSIVE mangos at the supermarket near school nowadays to make mango shakes a couple times a week. you might get lucky if you come by and visit me some night.

these are things that have happened lately:

PapaTron, as he is now affectionately known amongst my friends, came down to LA, and we rode our bikes 50 miles up and down PCH. this was the first ride we'd been on since December, and it was [insert happy positive adjective here]. We drove east afterwards to visit little Mushy, and happiness was felt by all parties involved in the reunion. I also taught PapaTron the art of Guitar Hero - it turns out he's a natural! yeah! \m/ (I feel like, in gchat, those dashes & letter 'm' would turn into a rocker hand. just imagine it.)

My good friend Dax went on an epic cycling journey in Spain. The night before he left, we gathered together to send him off with a freshly shaven head. I felt very privileged to take him to the airport and pick him up with his boxed-up bike a couple weeks later - super alta cinqo (that's how they say 'high 5' en espanol, right?) to dave for being so triumphantly awesome.

I ran a 5 mile race. Not just any race, though. This was the Nike Run Hit Remix, featuring 5 bands along the race route (Naughty by Nature, the Sugarhill Gang, Sir Mix-a-Lot [yes, singing 'i like big butts' right as i ran by]), AND, even more awesome, a finish line concert in the Coliseum with none other than MC Hammer.

Things to note about this day: due to this whole school thing, I had to be at a group meeting on campus at 10:30, which meant I had to ditch the Hammer in the middle of his first song. bleh. i hate priorities. I took my shoes off when the race was over and walked to school. when the meeting was done (after we figured out a way to bridge ethnic tensions amongst school-age children in Bosnia - no small feat for an early Saturday morning!), i caught a bus westward. it reminded me of the olden days at USC before i had MazdaTron; i was a frequent bus passenger and all too familiar with the bus driver having to threaten and yell at everyone to GET TO THE BACK OF THE BUS! NOW! SQUISH TOGETHER, WE NEED TO MAKE ROOM! this ride was no exception, and it made me smile. instead of waiting for my transfer, i decided i'd walk the last 3 miles home - i love urban walking adventures when i have time to explore (this walk yielded at least one really cool east african restaurant i want to check out soon). i was still barefoot and hadn't factored in the temperature of the ground surfaces, so i had to do a lot of sprinting to different shade spots, which made me laugh quite a bit. It was a delightful day (carrot juice & goat cheese purchases, sushi with chelsea & christiane, checking out the massage chairs at Brookstone [so what if i wound up falling asleep in one of them]...yay).

I do not like the idea of school taking over my life so much that I make un-wendylike choices. Despite a very reasonable part of me saying "you should be home doing homework", i chose to go to a Lavendar Diamond/New Pornographers concert with Dave T, Kat & Brett. it was great, and i am deliberately feeling no regrets. i also left class early one night because there was a massive guitar hero FHE happening, and I'd been looking forward to it since before i knew i was going to be a studious trojan once more. But I also worked hard and wrote my first paper in years (on the very exciting topic of reeducation and democratic reorientation efforts by the Office of Military Govt, US, in post-war germany). i still feel really ambivalent about school. we'll see how it all shakes out as the semester goes on...

Last Saturday, I was involved in an all-day put-a-musical-together-and-perform-it-that-night thing. I had a lot more fun than i expected to, and i really enjoyed performing. wendy misses dancing on stage, turns out. this is 'thoroughly modern millie' as captured through kenny's photo sucks, but whatever. i'm the tall girl, if you decide to click play.

This is kind of a just-in-case farewell post; i'm doing something a little ridiculous this weekend in death valley, and if my body betrays The Great Cause (still tbd) For Which I'll Be Riding My Bike, please know that i love you all in one nice way or another, and that the spirit of COMPTRON will be with you anytime you're a) listening to neil diamond, b) drinking avocado shakes, or c) staying up till 0400 and trying to communicate deep thoughts but finding your brain is never, ever up to the task at that hour.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

viva mexico!

Mexico in pictures. My brain is too tired to manage many words.
We read, we nap. It's really hot by the Sea of Cortez.
We eat fish tacos in town.We drink an unreasonable amount of horchata and buy mucho coco ice cream.I don't know what to say about this.
We visit the Valley Of The Giants. Big cacti everywhere.
We are happy.
Until we get the car stuck in the sand. We try, unsuccessfully, to dig it we decide to make camp in the cactus shade until it gets cool enough to walk for help.
but help arrives quickly and miraculously! Alex pulls us out with his Hummer, then lets us stay at his campsite.His ocean is much nicer than the ocean we were camping near. We are happy again.

We miss Sparklepants.
I was born to be a diplomat, I think, with initials so universally understandable.
Adios - till next Labor Day!

* one of my favorite traditions, I would like to mention, is singing Neil Diamond's Coming to America as we cross the border. This year we sang it 5 times with a lot of fist-pumping from Bonz and me in the backseat. Freedom's light burning warm...freedom's light burning warm!