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the cinnamon peeler's wife

10.30.2004 at 4:51:00 PM

getting ready for the aftermath

10.29.2004 at 1:04:00 AM

haphazard notions

what a long day. i have been in a bad mood most of the day and little things have gotten on my nerves. that is not normal for me and i really hate when i get this way. sorry to the people i may have snapped at today, my bad.

but i do have fun and exciting tidbits to share:

1. went to the kerry rally tonight. saw bruce springsteen (can we say BRUCE!). the atmosphere was so electric- thousands of people, i felt the tension in the air, five more days. kerry tried hard to be folksy and used a buckeye gimmick to 'connect' with people. but hey, he isn't bush. ok funny line from kerry, when the crowd was chanting 'out-source bush', he replied "sure we can out-source him, but what can he do for anyone?". true, so true. (sidenote: there were these idiot bush supporter frat boys, hanging around the perimeter, taunting everyone. on the way out the good old kerry fans gave them a good beating, what can you say- it is ohio state! go bucks!)

2. watch the new eminem video: mosh. very anti-bush, quite well done, and even supported by moby! really watch it, and read the lyrics. eminem, who would have known?

3. must mention the red sox- wow what a sweep! the curse is gone, no more complaining from any new englanders. the curse of the bambino has been lifted, at least that is what they found at his grave. boston fans are quite rabid, but i must say they well deserved it. i am surprised the rowdiness was kept to a minimum. now if only the cubs could win!

4. if you want to help in the campaign, please do go to moveon pac. they are doing awesome work. if you are in columbus, for the volunteers, there is a great rally with michael moore and the googoo dolls this saturday!

5. something fun: moviemaker. this thing is wicked cool. yes i used wicked (it reminded me of natasha1313). use it, make movies, i challenge you. come up with something funny and send it back to me! hours of entertainment!

that's it for now. must get to bed, but please remember to vote (and brush your teeth).

afterthought: my roommate made banana pancakes for suhoor! mmmmmmmm.

10.26.2004 at 5:25:00 PM

the choice

i am fairly sure that few, if any, readers of the new yorker are voting for bush. but the editors just published a nice and concise summary of the failings of the bush administration. read it and you will get a good sense of how so many disparate people are anti-bush (from gay rights folks, pro-environment activists, mothers of soldiers, to anti-war people, immigrants, the poor, to anybody with a conscience). i am not always a fan of the new yorker's foreign policy angles, but this article is worth a read.

as the observation of one erudite writer in this here blogosphere said: Read this. It'll make you smarter and angrier, and there is nothing more dangerous than smart, angry people.

oh one excerpt: "Bush has said more than once that Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are his favorite justices. In a second Bush term, the Court could be remade in their images." now do you really want to read more opinions from scalia/thomas types, come on just vote for kerry to give law students a break. (a more than realistic fear with rehnquist suffering from cancer)

gonna see kerry and springsteen right here on campus this thursday! can we hear it for The Boss!

sidenote: Go Red Sox. they deserve to win, 2-0, with the third game in the series tonight. Curse of the Bambino be damned.

10.24.2004 at 3:14:00 PM

i am

i am- yet what i am, none cares or knows;
my friends forsake me like a memory lost;
i am the self-consumer of my woes-
they rise and vanish in oblivious host,
like shadows in love frenzied stifled throes
and yet i am, and live-like vapours tossed

into the nothingness of scorn and noise
into the living sea of waking dreams-
where there is neither sense of life or joy,
but the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
even the dearest that i love the best
are strange- nay rather stranger than the rest

i long for scenes where man hath never trod
a place where woman never smiled or wept
there to abide with my creator God
and sleep as i in my childhood sweetly slept
untroubling and untroubled where i lie
the grass below, above the vaulted sky.

-john clare

(british poet, clare (1793-1864), is best known for the amazing poems he wrote while in a mental asylum)

(this poem was one of my favorites in high school, when i think it expressed the angst of that age. later in college, this poem resurfaced when i had to interpret it in a one-woman act in a theater class (yeah don't ask). i just looked at it again today, thought i would share)

(if you are reading any of this- hating it, liking it, being bored by it- leave me a comment!)

10.21.2004 at 11:01:00 PM

modern but modest

a friend has started a clothing line of women's clothing with a tagline of modern but modest. she designs them all herself and they are locally tailored. the styles are clean and modern; the quality is quite good. visit her clothing line, haya clothing.

at 4:56:00 PM


Sometimes Turanis looted homes
At others Duranis stole the wealth
Sometimes Nadar slaughtered the people
At others Mahmud made them slaves
Finally the game was won
By a refined nation of the west.

i have been accused of being an India-phile. whatever that means is a mystery, but sure i do have a passion for much of the culture and history of india. though i have never lived there for any extended time, i seem to have developed a relationship with this land of my ancestry. my last visit this summer was quite brief, but just rekindled my interests. be it the poetry, classical music, literature, food, or history- something sparks my fancy. anyway the issues of nationalism, identity, and immigrant/minority complexes will have to be the topic of a separate entry. when i have more time i will write about it; some things i learned from living in sri lanka definitely had me re-examining these issues.

the above poem is by one of the masters of Urdu poetry: Hali. also there is a translation- though much of it's power is lost in english; if you want a transliteration, just ask. something about this poem always speaks to me, i enjoy the language a great deal. additionally, his ability to take such complex history and distill it into a few simple lines of poetry is amazing. looking at it as a 'baazi' (game) that was won by a 'shaista quawm' (refined nation) is remarkable- he expressed more of international law in that one stanza than my whole casebook can. thanks to lala2000 for introducing me to the poem (though she currently hates everything to do with india).

Altaf Hussain Hali (1837-1914) is the actual innovator of the modern spirit in Urdu poetry. Hali's works include Diwan-e-Hali, Madd-o-Jazr-e-Islam or Musaddas-e-Hali (1879), Shakwa-e-Hind (1887), Munajat-e-Beva (1886) and Chup ki Dad (1905). Hali expanded the art of writing biographies with a critical approach in his biographies Hayat-e-Sadi and Hayat-e-Jaweed. Hali was the pioneer of modern criticism. His Muqaddama-e-Sher-o-Shaeri is the foundation stone of Urdu criticism. Khwaja Altaf Husain Hali was born in 1837 in Panipat. He was a student of Mirza Ghalib. He died on September 30th, 1914 in Panipat.

10.20.2004 at 10:28:00 AM

another hit for you internet junkies

are you bored?
sitting in front of a computer screen?
feel like you have surfed the entire web?
okay here you go: three more fun, fun links

1. Sarah McLachlan: i have always loved her, well here is another reason to love her. check out her new video: world on fire very interesting. (this one is not addictive, per se)

2. blue grappa: oh my, this site will have you addicted. it looks fairly innocuous but in reality you will be hooked for hours. draw pretty, pretty pictures. perfect for surfing while on the phone for a long time.

3. crimson room: you are trapped in a room and must get out. just try, you'll never stop.

warning: you will be sucked in (don't say i didn't warn you)

much appreciation to the various folks who pointed me to these sites, you will be getting my therapist's bill in the mail

10.19.2004 at 10:30:00 PM

i keep wondering

i saw a mountain
And he was like a wotan looking at himself in the water
i saw a cockatoo
And he was like sweet clouds
even leaves and little stones
are different to my eyes sometimes
i keep wondering through and through my heart
where all the beautiful things in the world
come from
And while i wonder
they go on being beautiful

by Hilda Conkling

at 1:19:00 PM

jon stewart on crossfire

i don't know if many people saw this on cnn, but it is hilarious. watch jon stewart (of daily show fame) totally rip on crossfire and tucker carlson for their lack of journalistic ethics. only stewart could do it so well. thanks to my bro for the link.

UPDATE: yeah the ny times had a great article applauding stewart's honesty on cnn. kudos to him.
UPDATE 2: oh you can also see the responses on monday both from the daily show and crossfire.

10.18.2004 at 11:28:00 AM

election monitoring

opportunity! for those in ohio you too can help monitor the elections!

The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) has identified 40 of the poorest precincts in Ohio for their election protection efforts. As part of COHHIO's efforts, they will staff each of our precincts with two poll monitors for the entire time the polls are open. Poll monitors will be watching for voting rights violations taking place on Election Day. Each poll worker will be asked to work a five hour shift (6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 11:30-4:30 and 4:30 to 7:30 or until the last voter votes at that precinct). Find out more at the COHHIO website.

Get involved, I did some international election monitoring in sri lanka and it was cool. but we need monitors right here in ohio.

because according to the columbus dispatch, heavily black precincts had uncounted votes about 3 times higher than other precincts, mostly due to punch cards. about 70% of ohio voters will be getting punch cards on nov. 2. that is the most for any swing state, and second to only utah.

get out there and help the vote be a fair one!

at 10:43:00 AM

eu's inside track

hmmm, i am currently sitting in administrative law. today we have a guest speaker, Professor Hubert Bocken (his bio). Bocken was the former dean of the law faculty of the University of Ghent in Belgium. His lecture is a discussion of the institutional, legislative, and judicial framework of the European Union.

so why should you care? well from an insider's opinion, he thinks that the nod towards turkey is pretty much an okay. in his opinion turkey will get into the eu one way or another, sooner or later. he mentioned that istanbul is one of the oldest european cities, the problem is the anatolian part of turkey. interesting...

note: i am thinking of applying for the llm at soas in london. what do you think?
weird: this is the second class today where the treaty of maastricht of 1992 has come up: bonus points if you knew that it was the treaty that changed the european economic commission into the european union

10.17.2004 at 6:53:00 AM

evening news

we have been there
and seen nothing
nothing has been there
for us to see
in what a beautiful silence
the death is inflicted
in a dazzling distance
in the fresh dews
and morning lights
how radiantly
in the glistening
the village is wasted
it is by such sights
the eye is instructed.

-by david ferry

(this poem was inscribed in the front of a book by hunter s. thompson, presented to me by a friend, she lives in virginia and collects owl pellets with the aid of global positioning systems)
(my suhoor this morning: toast, a bottle of water, two advil)

10.16.2004 at 10:24:00 AM

frontline online

have i ever mentioned that i truly enjoy pbs, and especially frontline. i think it is one of the few news magazine programs left on tv that is honest and intelligent. anyway, i have recently found (from the blog recommendation of a friend) that many of the frontline shows are online in their entirety. so if you have missed them, please check it out.

make sure to check out the latest one: the choice 2004. a great piece that explores in detail the lives of bush and kerry. in some ways it made me appreciate the kerry of the 70s and 80s a great deal. it definitely shows how similar their backgrounds are. also it shows the sharp contrast of bush as a frat boy, friendly, every-person type of guy whereas kerry is a thinker, intellectual, reserved, driven sort of man. i can see how each type resonates with a very different america. i personally like kerry as depicted in the show, but the average small town american may find this elitist and marginalizing. though bush comes from the same rich white boy club, somehow he is far more endearing to the common man. this is why we keep seeing kerry trying so hard to prove that he is every-man, with him hunting, wearing field coats, and having coal on his face. anyway check out the documentary, it is worth you time.

note: i have put up some new links and blogs for you all to check out. enjoy.
check out: a cool kid from columbus, charles mars, has made a great video called 'baghdad's nightmare'

10.15.2004 at 1:20:00 AM

the arrival of ramadan

May you all be blessed and protected during this sacred month. Ramadan Mubarak!

p.s. you can see some pretty hilarious ramadan e-cards at eidmubarak.com (my fave are the bush ones)

10.14.2004 at 1:38:00 PM

check it out, ruminate over it, argue, discuss, and get back to me

Okay some things to check out...

1. "Time Out of Joint"- a new article in the Boston Review by Sadik J. Al-Azm. he discusses western dominance, islamist terror, and the arab imagination. a very interesting article, i agree with a lot of his perspectives, but not sure how far i would go with his theory. he argues that muslims/arabs have a shared pathology of depression that causes them to ignore the realities of modernity. this theory goes a long way in explaining the 'head in the sand' mentality of so many people. it is long, but worth reading.

an interesting excerpt:
A cultural form of schizophrenia is also attendant on the Arab (and Muslim) world’s tortured, protracted and reluctant adaptation to European modernity. This process has truly made the modern Arabs into the Hamlet of our times, doomed to unrelieved tragedy, forever hesitating, procrastinating, and wavering between the old and the new, between asala and mu’asara (authenticity and contemporaneity), between turath and tajdid (heritage and renewal), between huwiyya and hadatha (identity and modernity), and between religion and secularity, while the conquering Fortinbrases of the world inherit the new century. No wonder, then, to quote Shakespeare’s most famous drama, that “the time is out of joint” for the Arabs and “something is rotten in the state.” No wonder as well if they keep wondering whether they are the authors of their woes or whether “there’s a divinity that shapes [their] ends.”

and another:
The contemporary Muslim or Arab is so sad and vexed in Amin’s account because his cherished convictions about his civilization, religion, and providence, and their role in modern history are all given the lie by hard realities every waking minute of his life. Furthermore, the radical transformations and sacrifices required to transcend this contradiction are either undesirable or unbearable. So what else can the Muslim or Arab do but muddle through his sad perplexity in the 21st century with the conviction that perhaps one day God or history or fate or the revolution or the moral order of the universe will raise his umma to its proper role once again. Under these circumstances, various kinds of direct-action violence (including terrorism in some of its most spectacular forms) present themselves as the only means of relief from this hopeless impasse.

2. shaykh hamza's comments at this year's isna convention- i know there was a lot of hullaballo about the whole version not being on the isna website, but they are available (unedited) at the zaytuna site. his message is to humanity, and just listened to it this morning. i realized it is so relevant and needed at this moment. plus he says anybody but bush. it is a great reminder, listen if you get a chance.

3. daniel pipes, okay disclaimer i don't like him and i don't agree with him. but he has this test that is developed to judge who is a moderate muslim. okay the test is ridiculous, but it is interesting some of the question he poses. plus even if you agree with the questions (i.e. accept diversity within islam, are against all violence, etc.) in pipes' book you are evil if you are muslim.

4. cinnamon girl- the new song by prince. this is getting a lot of attention, it has a powerful video however, i think his message is better understood from the lyrics. what do you think of the song? i have always liked prince (who can not love raspberry beret), and his thoughts on the atmosphere for a muslim girl are thought provoking.

i think that is enough to keep you all busy for a while...

10.13.2004 at 9:49:00 PM

aaah technology

ha ha, i am watching the presidential debates while trying to get some work done on my laptop. with the marvel of the internet and the wireless web, i can sit here in my comfy chair, surf the web, and watch the two crazies debate away. to be honest, i don't like kerry- but i guess i am in the 'anyone but bush' party.

oh, so cnn has some people doing real time blogging while the debate is going on, one from the left, one from the right, and one just being funny. it's great- on the internet people are fighting, discussing, making fun of, etc. the debates as it is going on. (oh now an immigration question for bushie- temp border cards? shadows of our society? i love his one liners and how he laughs at his own jokes). the wonders of technology: if it can increase discussion and communication is pretty cool. so maybe i would like wireless web to cover the world, aaah but i can just imagine the orwellian consequences of something like that! ;) (oh now kerry on immigration- 'we have people from the MIDDLE EAST, allegedly, coming across the border' be afraid, be very afraid)

haha funny excerpts from the cnn comedy blog:
There's already a big problem - they're both wearing red ties. I've got two rich white guys with red ties and gray hair onstage.
Will I have to actually LISTEN now to tell them apart? Bummer. For the record, I just want to say I find Johnny Damon at least as attractive as Derek Jeter.
Just putting it out there. Kerry seems super comfortable right off the bat. He knows the script by now. He'll hunt the terrorists down and kill them, yeah yeah, blablabla.
How sad is it that we live in a world where a potential world leader sounds so blasé and bored when talking about killing people, no matter who they are? (jessi klein, cnn)

at 3:42:00 PM

gul, gul, gulistan

gul- the rose, in turkish. gul- the flower, in farsi and urdu. in sufi poetry, gul represents life as it unfolds from a bud to a full flourishing flower. gul- the sign of innocence.

yesterday, a friend and i went to a concert by latif bolat. his description: one of the most well-known Turkish musicians in the U.S., Latif Bolat plays Turkish Folk Music and devotional Sufi songs, called Ilahi and Nefes, from the Anatolian peninsula. Accompanying himself on baglama (Turkish long-necked lute), Latif sings of love and spirit, with many songs featuring the lyrics of the great 13th century mystical poets Rumi and Yunus Emre.

it was really beautiful and wonderful. i bought one of his cds. (listen) it was nice to reconnect also with a friend whom i hadn't talked to in a long while. bolat's music and descriptions of turkey made me yearn to visit. additionally, a professor recited some poems by Maulana Jalalluddin Rumi in farsi. It made me want to learn farsi. From the little I could understand, the poetry was so captivating. so calming, i need ramadan. i am yearning for ramadan.

here is the translation of one poem from last night by Maulana Jalalluddin Rumi:

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.

(from the Mathnavi)

note: someone asked me why/what is Maulana- it means our Master, but in our hearts it reflects the love and connection which we have with our Masters, may Allah bless them all.

10.12.2004 at 3:54:00 PM

phony populism places populace in peril

"The Republicans' phoney populism and constant insistence on issues of cultural identity - religion, hunting and tradition - take advantage of the fact that people have little time for social history."

a great line from an article by serge halimi in le monde (Bush's Appeal To America's Underclass). you can also find it on the znet website. which i recommend as regular reading. this line is one of the main reasons, i feel like bush is going to win.

some more from the article:
"Bush is very comfortable with people. He can deliver a message. He has this attitude which unfortunately America likes: 'Somebody hit me, I am going to hit that somebody in the butt.' He is not wise, but he is very very decisive even if it's sometimes stupid. I think he's a very formidable guy politically." Since 9/11 and the constant reminders of its horrors (repeated security alerts help to maintain the pressure) most Americans support the idea of a blow for a blow. And they expect their president to be prepared to take decisions."

and one last election funny...


at 10:24:00 AM

the little rose is dust, my dear

The little rose is dust, my dear;
The elfin wind is gone
That sang a song of silver words
And cooled our hearts with dawn.

And what is left to hope, my dear,
Or what is left to say?
The rose, the little wind and you
Have gone so far away.

by Grace Hazard Conkling

10.11.2004 at 1:03:00 PM

new (and exciting) post

yes i know the title is so original. driving in from chicago at 2am can do that to a person. fall break was fun and chicago was great. as my sister put it: sensory overload for four days straight. being back and seeing old friends is always nice. evanston was as beautiful as always. shopping adventures at woodfield, ikea, magnificent mile, and belmont were fruitful, if not tiring. i came back with more shoes than i left with, i know: bad, very bad. we ate at great places and i think i gained a hundred pounds this week. walker bros. pancakes- there is no comparison. this new sheesha craze is funny, however, i am not a huge fan. cute decors at most of these places. talking with a friend who just got engaged: he said he decided to marry the girl after talking to her 3 times for a total of less than 3 hours. amazing. i am happy for him, but still i don't think i could be that sure so soon. the chicago marathon was this weekend, another friend was running. i don't know if i could ever run for that long. i was told that the reason the marathon is 26.2 miles (instead of 26 miles- distance in greece) is that the .2 miles was added in london to make it to greenwich park. who knows?

the nobel prize in econ was awarded to two economists (Kydland and Prescott) for their work in studying new business cycle models and time consistency problems. Did you know that the Nobel prize in economic sciences is the only one not set out in Nobel's will? It was set up by the Swedish central bank in 1968. Also did you know that only the peace prize is awarded in Oslo? The rest are given out in Stockholm. By the way the two split 1.3 million dollars.

Oh, the capital of Turkey is NOT istanbul (as my admin law prof said today), it is ankara. yeah that was the moment i tuned in to lecture.

sidenote: things are getting worse in pakistan. some are comparing it to iraq with bombs, beheadings, and kidnappings. read more.

yes i know this post rambles a tad.

10.06.2004 at 5:55:00 PM

mindless pursuits

1. diet coke with lime: my new favorite thing. i have always hated the weird aftertaste of diet cola, but somehow, this new diet coke with lime tastes great. actually it is even better with fountain diet coke with fresh lime wedges. try it if you don't believe me. mmmm.

2. the eu today gave a tentative nod towards turkey concerning negotiations about joining the eu. the eu decided that turkey had made enough progress in their economic policy, judiciary, and human rights records to warrant negotiations. this does not guarantee turkey a seat, but opens the possibility. my family went to turkey this summer and from their stories it seems quite european in some aspects. also the turks have done quite a good job improving infrastructure, etc. but many dismal human rights violations remain. one that is never mentioned, however, is the fact that women who choose to wear a headscarf can not go to college, work for the government, or serve in elected office. i am not in support of mandatory dress of any kind, thus limitations of this kind, in the name of secularism fly in the face of its very ideals. read about turkey and the eu in today's ny times.

3. working on a case concerning the rights of mobile home owners to organize in order to collectively bargain with their landlords (read slumlords). the overwhelming majority of these people are quite poor and thus legal aid has taken up their case. it is quite amazing how analogous all of it seem to workers rights, however, there the National Labor Relations Act lays out far more rights. still looking for ohio cases that protect tenants against landlord retaliation.

4. have you ever noticed how muslims are shy to acknowledge each other in public. today, i went to get some photos enlarged at a photo lab. the guy working there had a muslim sounding name, short beard, and an american accent. from the looks of me, he must have guessed i was muslim, but made no acknowledgement of the fact. no prob, that is pretty normal. but the minute his supervisor went in the back, he said my name all proper in arabic and said salam. i almost laughed because a minute ago he had said my name all in an american accent. ;)

5. going to chicago tomorrow! yeah!

10.04.2004 at 1:07:00 PM

i feel as empty as a drum

i wrote this on april 22, 2003 (as the war in iraq began). just random thoughts…

the world is numb and unfeeling. No one can hear the screams of terror that rise from souls. No one notices the pools of blood, no one stops to comfort the sobbing, wailing, writhing masses. We pass in our trances: onward and upward. We are all alone, empty, and busy as bees: doing nothing, saying nothing, feeling nothing. Our attitudes and attentions are so depleted… we know not even ourselves. Who cares about others, their histories, their literature, their hearts? Beauty has vanished, only replaced by screams and anguish. Pain and black dots swimming in my vision; fever and dizziness.

Where are the humans? Scream and wail… no one will hear you, no one will help you. For my lover… no one loves, no one loves. The empty talk of strangers, the rhetoric of imposters, the diatribes of fools, the acceptance of the dead. What have we become, where are we going: the tears have run dry. Confusion. Where to look, what to do, get lost in the loneliness and mundaneness of routine. Skip routine, just sleep, sleep, sleep. Writhe in pain, dirty, crying, alone, voices, wilderness. What a mess. What else should I be?

We busy ourselves so as not to notice the sufferings, the suffering of our own souls. The souls around us. Souls which we have killed and maimed and tortured with our mass consumption and our shiny bombs. How nice. We kill people, steal their names, and put them on our bombs and kill some shiny new people. How ironic. How fucking ironic!

We don’t care, they don’t care. No one cares. No one sees truth. No one feels pain anymore. All we see is our cinematic, grand 30 minute special- no reality left, no humanity: just screaming, just blood, no more tears. Why cry? Alone, no one hears and no one will. falsity.

10.03.2004 at 10:27:00 PM

spread of excellence

"In a society driven, often unconsciously, to impose a uniform mediocrity upon a former richness of excellences- where McDonald's drives out the local diner, and the mega- Stop & Shop eliminates the corner Mom and Pop- an understanding and defense of full ranges as natural reality might help to stem the tide and preserve the rich raw material of any evolving system: variation itself."

one of my favorite passages from Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin by the late stephen jay gould. gould was a paleontology/zoology/geology professor at harvard. i truly enjoyed full house, it is a book that explores complex systems and progress within those systems as variation within full systems rather than "things moving somewhere". gould attempts to debunk the common anthropocentric view of the world and progress. plus it is hilariously written. i first read this book during undergrad in a world systems class (go u northwestern, by the way we beat osu for the first time since 1958! sorry bucks, my loyalty lies in evanston). though he writes as a scientist, this model for understanding the world is applicable in various contexts. upon recent re-reading its proposed paradigm was even more appealing. anyway, if you have time give it a read. other books by gould that i liked include mismeasure of man and the panda's thumb.

at 1:17:00 AM

doesn't seem to be much swingin'

fall break has officially begun! unfortunately, i feel like it is the same old, same old. anyway this weekend i came back to little ole west chester, ohio to visit my parents. my mom was having a party on saturday, so i also came to help out. i guess i haven't spent much time around west chester since i graduated from high school.

on saturday morning, my dad and i spent some time driving around west chester. it was just like i remembered: people up early working in their lawns and the soccer fields packed with kids and minivans. our backyard had turned all those blazing colors of fall and the leaves were falling fast.

but as i drove around, all i saw were bush/cheney signs and i mean everywhere! big signs, little signs, car signs, buttons, everything bush and bush-related. so much has been made about ohio being a swing state, but down here in small town ohio, there is no swinging, just strong bush support. our neighbors have four bush signs in their lawn! four, i mean, we get it, you like bush! so i probably counted over a hundred bush signs in just a few hours this morning. i saw exactly 3 kerry signs! one was in the beloved lawn of mr. gingrich- the 7th grade world history teacher, of course! the world needs to listen to junior high history teachers!

this last week, west chester had a personal visit from the beloved president. it was the largest bush rally of his campaign with close to 50,000 people! they closed down our main street and let out school early! definitely no swinging around here!
("It's fitting that George Bush's visit is causing students to miss school," said Brendon Cull, a Kerry campaign spokesman. "George Bush has spent the past four years making it harder for Ohio's students to get a quality education." -Cincinnati Post)

i mentioned that we should put a kerry sign in our lawn, but from our neighbor's reaction, you would think i had said a bad word.

on a side note, i was dispatched to the grocery store to pick up stuff for the party. it is a normal suburban warehouse club type place with good produce. maybe i should not have been shocked, but the whole time i did not see one non-white face. i looked for a shade of brown, a little black, maybe someone half-asian. nope not one, in a huge store, not even a cashier. i felt like all the eyes were boring a hole in my back. how did i grow up here? i mean i can't walk down high street without tumbling over half a dozen foreigners. now i remember there was a reason i left dead (i mean, west) chester. note to self: do not move back here.

10.01.2004 at 11:12:00 AM

something bad has begun? or have we just been ignoring it all along

with yusuf islam and tariq ramadan being denied entry into the us, the recent bomb in the midst of so many iraqi children, and a suicide bomber in a crowded shiaa mosque in sialkot, i can't help but have a terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. as i sit here in a liberal, artsy, yuppie coffeehouse, i can barely swallow my overpriced latte. i just can't handle the absurdity of my life. i just go on day in, day out and lose my self in mundaness and frivolity so as to ignore the reality of everything. watching the debates and thinking about vacation, i feel like i am in one of those crazy surrealist landscapes of dali.

anyway find out more for yourself:

yusuf islam in his own words in the la times: something bad has begun.

slaughter in sialkot

35 children killed by bomb as they gathered to get candy

at 2:03:00 AM

how do we always get back here?

so tonight was a typical girls' night out. fun and full of laughter. it is always good to see people you care about. after all the fun it ended with a chick flick. one of those sappy love stories, but somehow it no longer resonates. i couldn't build up enough emotion to be sappy, girly, giggly, and wistful at the end when the guy confesses his love for said girl. these nights with the girls always come back around to that ever persistent discussion of love, relationships, and the lack thereof in everyone's lives. we heard the cute stories of our newly engaged gal pals. then wistfully everyone made their requisite comments about wanting love, etc. so what is this love that we always come back around to, we always end up back at this conversation point, why do we do this to ourselves? i mean there is a whole lot more to us, to our lives, to our dreams, etc.

what is love? (i will share something written along these lines a few months ago following another one of these tortuous conversations)

love comes from knowing someone, being with someone, making the conscious decision to open your heart to them- taking the chance that they will love you or not and yet growing to love every breath they take.
"i fear i have nothing to give, i have so much to lose"

it takes deciding you are willing to invest- to truly love. you meet a few people who there is a true potential to love, but to get beyond attachment or affinity- it takes an effort to develop true love. one needs the opportunity and time to let your heart love fully. but life is complicated, fast, and transient. we meet so few and so fast. how do you know when to grab on and not let go?

in the end you just want someone to care, hold your hand, and a place to rest your head. just an embrace that is able to convey the pain, the joy, the hopes. is it all fantasy or is there truly joy, love, and hope in humanity?