Every night, I step outside to assess my situation. The stars are mostly unsympathetic to my questions, and I can’t blame them; thousands others have groped for answers under their dim light, and I doubt I am all that different from my predecessors. It’s comforting to imagine that on a night like this, somewhere in the world another man is stepping onto the balcony of his apartment to stop and consider just what kind of man he is, and that he will be looking at the same sky that I am. Perhaps Socrates did the same thing, shivering in his fruity little toga as he watched the moon wax and wane in precisely the same manner as it does for me. He probably didn’t have any trip-hop to listen to while he did this, though I’m certain he would have liked some.

The timelessness of the universe is shocking, to me. When I consider the earth, it feels so tumultuous and unstable. The trees around me can only count their years in decades, but the stars above have watched for eternity. The stars are so overwhelmingly countless. Consider this picture of the Great Orion nebula. Look at all those goddamn stars. Each of them in their own solar system, most of them larger than our own. Millions of planets and moons, asteroids and comets whose light is unfathomably old. How would Socrates feel, considering himself in the glow of such ancient entities? I am but one person, standing alone upon a stretch of snow, in a city of thousands, in a state of millions, in a country of many millions, in a world of billions. Though Socrates’ world was so much smaller than mine, his sky was just the same as mine, give or take a few supernovae.

I often consider how my understanding of such realities changes with my philosophy. When I began to conclude against Christianity in England, the first question I asked of myself was this: what does it mean to look at the stars as a Christian? What do they become, when I deny Christianity? More importantly, who do I become?

In my brief time off between Christmas and New Years, my family went down to Pennsylvania for our first gathering with my mother’s side of the family in a few years. Inevitably, my aunt probed me about my experience in England, and when I revealed that L’Abri’s tireless encouragement of asking questions and embracing doubt led me to conclude against Christianity, a three hour battle ensued between myself and the whole of my family (or at least, my grandparents, parents, aunt, and uncle). I dearly love a good debate, and I enjoyed the challenge quite thoroughly, but the attitudes revealed throughout the course of the discussion were exemplary of why I’ve left the faith. I should make it clear that I love my family, and that our disagreements have not left me bitter or feeling any less fond of them, but I’m also of the conviction that they’re wrong. And so the discussion went forth.

A key argument for my father and grandfather lay in the idea that Christianity is responsible for the majority of modern progress, and that Eastern societies have only succeeded once Christianity entered into their culture (they cited China as an example, lol). In particular, they cited democracy as a Christian invention. Christ’s focus on human equality, they argued, was a new idea and is the primary reason that modern democracy is able to succeed.

I was quick to point out democracy existed long before Christ’s time, but I focused more on pointing out that it could be argued far more easily that Christianity ended up stifling the rise of democratic government because of the reign of the church in the dark and middle ages. Which brought my aunt and uncle to argue my next example of infuriating thought: Anything that might seem to be a negative product of Christianity, was brought about by false Christians.

Around this time, I started flipping out a little. It was about two and a half hours in and this was an argument they’d brought up repetitively, and each time I pointed out the incredible convenience of labeling anyone that makes your faith look bad as false or confused. Although I can certainly recognize that more than a few folks have taken up the label of Christianity with devious purposes in mind, they seemed to stress that true Christians can do no evil, that any evil that might seem to be a product of Christianity was actually a product of sin. Furthermore, at several points they attempted to distinguish Christianity from religion. When I pointed to the Crusades or the Inquisition, they claimed those were products of religion, and not Christianity. These were impossible arguments to overcome, and I confess that my temper flared just a little in the face of such ridiculous defenses.

A third attitude that left me vexed was the notion that science is ultimately futile. This came up when I was arguing that science offers new ways to understand ourselves as humans, to pinpoint why we are the way we are, rather than dismissing crime and malevolence as sin and exploring no further. They scoffed, however, citing how scientists are constantly contradicting each other and releasing studies that invalidate research released just weeks prior. My attempts to explain the scientific method did not seem to satisfy their qualms with this cycle.

The discussion ended on the topic of homosexuality. After attempting to explain the important discovery of the role of genetics and environment in determining sexuality, my grandfather simply stated that “Science has shown all homosexuals to be liars”, at which point I shook my head and bowed out – further debate would most certainly have led to more regrettable words. My father later came outside to commend me for my performance, a gesture which speaks much to his credit.

After all this, I’m left feeling quite strongly that if Christianity were true, their faith would not produce such convictions. I believe quite firmly that the truth will set you free – but I do not see freedom, here. A faith that produces the belief that “circular reasoning is okay if you’re right” (a quip from my father, during this debacle) is not, for me, intellectually honest. God would not grant us intellects of truth and logic if he did not intend for them to be fulfilled.

There’s a lot more to say on the matter, but I’ll leave it at that, for now.

“In truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” – Nietzsche


My grandparents like to spam their address books with terror-filled articles about gay marriage and such things. Here’s a choice quote from my grandfather:

“Is “liberal” your escape from reason, or just a license to create your own morality? We have seen it all before and it is a well trodden path that allows a person to run; but not to hide from Truth. Don’t be too hasty with your judgment of biblical morality.

When the liberals discovered smoking causes cancer they virtually outlawed smoking. When they discovered homosexuality caused aids they tried to outlaw what? Truth! More good sense from the liberals!”

One of my cousins lashed out, and was promptly trounced by generic blather about how godless liberals are. To teach them all a lesson, I wrote a goddamn essay.

This whole debacle was just forwarded to me last night, so I apologize for being oh-so fashionably late to this party. But if I might be heard for a moment or two, I’d be much obliged.

Arguing the roots of this nation is fruitless. We don’t regard other nations based on what they were two hundred years ago – we judge them on what they are now. Norse mythology is no longer relevant to Scandinavia, Druidism is no longer relevant to England and France, and likewise, America’s religious roots should have little say in the here-and-now. Even if America ever was a “Christian nation” (a debatable matter, at best), we are looking at nation that has been long divided, and we must deal with this reality. Thomas Jefferson said it best: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.”

What does do injury, however, is the suggestion that somehow my vote for Obama is both Godless and amoral. I not only believe Obama to be a man of incredible moral quality, but but that he’s also a man of outstanding character seen only once in a lifetime. I see in him a true love for others and for his country, I see a strong desire to do the right thing, and I see the policies and the planning to back it up. I see those around me for the first time ever truly excited to be an American, hopeful that this country can for the first time in history be lead by someone else outside an arbitrarily chosen set of rich white men. I don’t expect you to be excited like me. I don’t expect you to agree with me. I respect your views and I see the validity in them.

That said, there are more important issues than gay marriage to handle. Why is the issue of two men getting married more important than reforming our utterly broken education system? Why does it even compare to the fact that over half of Americans can’t afford health insurance? Why does it even hold a candle to the fact that America has within its borders 24% of all of the world’s prisoners, with only 5% of the world’s population? There are so many things wrong and broken within our society. So many of these problems don’t even exist outside of America, too – a semester in Europe taught me that much and a half. There are solutions to these problems, and other countries have already found them. America is way behind.

Don’t get me wrong: social issues are important. But if you’re going to argue that the godlessness of the blue states is going to finalize America’s demise, I would beg you to examine the current situation in our country. Red states currently sport higher teen pregnancy rates, higher high school drop out rates, higher crime rates, and higher divorce rates (I can provide sources, if necessary). Every red states reports significantly higher numbers of Christians. If the Bible belt is to be any example, America’s problems cannot be solved by fundamentalism or neoconservatism. Our problems can’t be solved by broad platitudes, or by gross generalizations, or by a simple belief in doing the right thing. Problems don’t get solved with harsh criticism and stern disapproval, they get solved by doing something. As Benjamin Disraeli said, “It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.”

I believe Obama went and did something – and in doing so, he revamped the American political system as we know it. His campaign registered millions of unreached voters. He opted of out of the public financing system – 80% of his donations were under 100 dollars. He’ll be the first president in 150 years to owe nothing to any corporate sponsor. He single-handedly renewed my hope in the American government, and I can safely say he did the same for others around the country. He renewed the world’s hope in America, too – for even as a waning superpower, our fate is tied to those of nearly every other nation on earth. Just look at Iceland.

All that’s to say: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Obama’s stance on gay marriage should not be the deciding factor for any person’s vote. I happen to agree that I have no right to interfere with how my neighbor chooses his or her lovers – does this invalidate everything I’ve written thus far? Does it just further attest to the liberal taint within my soul, or my complete godlessness? Please think rationally about this. See beyond red and blue. Not everything is black and white.

Respect the validity in disagreement. Honor the fact that others can think rationally and critically about important issues, but come to different conclusions. Avoid these over-simplified anecdotes and sweeping generalizations. Not all liberals are the same. Not all Christians are the same. Just look at our family: we’re not the same.

I apologize for the essay-length, but throwing one-liners back and forth does little to accomplish much in the way of reaching agreement or understanding between one another. I hope I’ve contributed positively.




I thought I should add: please don’t insinuate that AIDS is somehow divine justice over gay people. It’s repugnant simply given the fact that AIDS is currently ravaging Africa sideways and a half, and is also universally common among America’s impoverished, particularly African-Americans – unless you have a sin you might wish to label across all of those demographics, as well.

EDIT: The responses have been amusing.

A distant relative that I don’t actually know:

“I know that at the end of this election my faith is not in government, but in Jesus Christ. He has a bigger plan for all of us and he will use anything to His glory. So we wake up another day just happy to be alive and well. I know the end of the story and I am on the winning team. We still love the world through His eyes and live for King Jesus until He takes us home.”

My 80-something year old grandfather:

“I appreciate Tim’s effort to marginalize what has been said but the wordy and inane comparisons fail miserably to explain why going down a road already proven to be a failed system could possibly prove to be “positive”. Throwing more money at education than everyone else on the globe has produced a deficient product in comparison. More will do even less. Judging history has proven to be the necessary and exact measure for current appraisals. “He who doesn’t learn from the past is doomed to repeat” is a paraphrase of several political philosophers – probably a bit wiser than our contemporary young people. Seeing Obama as a man of noble character means someone has ignored his judgment. It sees him also as NOT guilty of shitting on anyone and everyone he has looked to as mentors or helpers, in his political quest, whenever they became a hindrance to his search for power. It looks past his deceitfulness when his past record, by rhetoric or votes, is brought to bear on his judgment. A look at his oration to far left assemblies and how different it was stated in a broader spectrum audience is more than a little alarming. He lied about his intentions to accept public financial support for his campaign. His sources of support have been hidden for questionable reasons. And this represents character?

The argument about red states/blue states is not proven. Those statements are inaccurate and illegitimate .

The fact that Obama wishes to support gay marriage, and abortion, represents departure from a moral code of thousands of years existence. A wise person could not possibly see that CHANGE as absolutely positive.

Sorry Tim but your argument fails to reach the level of responsible debate.”

My uncle’s father:

“‘There are so many things wrong and broken within our society. So many of these problems don’t even exist outside of America, too – a semester in Europe taught me that much and a half. There are solutions to these problems, and other countries have already found them. America is way behind.’

Tim – – you don’t know me but I know your mom and dad – – the above is your quote – – and I don’t want to sound ugly – – or start any MORE controversy – – but if this is REALLY how you feel – – why don’t you move to Europe or some third world country and enjoy your life instead of being miserable in this backward country – – just an idea – “


Certainty is a rare and valuable thing. How often are you positive about anything? Everything comes with its share of doubts and potential pitfalls. Those, I don’t particularly mind. It’s only when those potential pitfalls are things I can fix, that I can change, that I can prevent. It’s not out of self-loathing or self-doubt that I say this, but merely because I acknowledge that I am imperfect and capable of screwing things up, especially when I’ve recognized my previous patterns for screwing up and I’m afraid of making the same mistake yet again.

This is something that’s only truly become apparant to me in the past few months, as I begin to understand the value of experience. This new-found respect for experience is not out of a sudden wealth of it in myself, but of the realization of what little I do have, and what there is in others. Last Sunday was a pretty interesting experience (lol) in this regard.

A fellow pastor from across the state came and preached and did some official duty related to my church’s recent election of elders (essentially the governmental body of the church – irrelevant to the story at hand). In our typical fashion, we (my parents, myself, and said pastor) went out to lunch and had a fairly nice time chatting and such. Somewhere along the conversation my dad started explaining the events that stopped us from moving to Tempe, Arizona in the summer of 1997.

A lot of the details I shouldn’t, and won’t share, because it’s a pretty personal story. What I can say, though, is that it’s weird to stumble across a whole new realm of respect for your own parents. Some of you may, or may not, know that once upon a time I was destined to move to Arizona, where my dad was going to start a new church. He had the financial support, the manpower, and we were just about a month or two away from moving. Our destination, to us, was quite certain, but everything fell through. In essence, they were backstabbed by their own church and fellow (quoteunquote) Christians, in a pretty clear-cut way (meaning, this isn’t just the bias of the son talking). I really wish I could describe it all, but perhaps another day.

Anyways. I had a whole varied amount of conclusions about everything after sitting and watching my dad almost drop to tears. The first was, as originally mentioned, about respecting experience. I came to realize that my parents had experiences that strongly affect how they act – for me to be as critical as I often have was, in retrospect, quite unjust, when taking into account where they’re coming from. I’m known to be especially critical of my mom. Some of it’s justified. Now, I realize, some of it’s not, and I should have questioned myself a little more harshly when others told me it wasn’t.

The second was one of the value of bad experiences. At the time, there was little good behind the emotional, financial, and practically physical abandonment my parents faced, and yet, there is much good that has been wrought of that ill. I wouldn’t live in Ithaca, for starters, and I don’t particularly enjoy the thought of not having the friends and experiences that I do now.

And the third, of course, was of certainty. As much as I’d love to be certain about something, anything, there’s nothing around me or within me that I can trust to provide certainty. Thus, I just have to suck it up and trust God that it will come out for the best, regardless of how I want to screw it up. And maybe try to minimize my capability of doing just that in the mean-time.

*hums softly*

I feel really, really good. This break has been wonderful, for myriad reasons. Some of which I will teasingly not mention.

The Parabola of Life

She’s dying.

8:14 AM, February 11 (6 days ago):
…I just got off the phone with the Falls Home. Mom fell or collapsed (not sure quite how to describe it) in the dining room this morning. The staff roused her and she was talking. They called the paramedics who are taking her to the hospital. They assume it is cardiac related — her blood pressure was slightly elevated. I will go over a little later this morning to check on her and report back. Meanwhile, let’s entrust her to the Lord’s strong and wise care.”

10:44 PM, February 11(6 days ago):
…I talked with the primary hospital care physician late this afternoon. He gave me all the time I wanted on the phone to ask questions and talk through mom’s situation.

While she is stable now and a-symptomatic, and while the EKG showed little change from the EKG they had on file from last year, the cardial blood work showed evidence that she did have a heart attack this morning. The doctor will not have a clearer idea about the exact severity of the heart attack until some add’l test results come back probably tomorrow. Given the nature of what mom is facing and given a certain degree of possibility of further heart failure (because of her age and her Alzheimers), the doctors wanted guidance on what kind of measures to take to care for her. Jim and I agreed that we should sign a DNR (Do Not Ressusitate) authorization, and we directed the doctors to supportive but non-invasive measure to respond to any further developments. (sigh)

Mom was pretty upset this afternoon while I was visitng her. She didn’t know where she was, couldn’t understand that she was in the hospital, couldn’t remember she’d collapsed and been brought to the hospital in an ambulance, kept jerking the oxygen hose off her face, kept trying to shove tissues into the non-existent pockets of her hospital gown, swatted the hand of the nurse who patted her arm, and generally kept telling me how cruel I was for keeping her imprisoned in this place. So, the nurses were going to check with the doc about upping some of her sedatives to get the old girl to calm down…. which apparently had happened by the time the doctor called me late this afternoon…

…Thank you for your prayers.

8:39 PM, February 12 (5 days ago)
“It’s Sunday 8:30pm and I went over to see mom this afternoon. She was a lot calmer today. She was so wired yesterday, I’m sure they had to get out the tranquilizer gun to get her to be still.

I did not talk with the doctor today, but I did go over mom’s charts for the day. She had some more chest pains last night, but none today. It looks like she’ll be in the hospital for at least one more day unless some more symptoms flare up.

One bit of concern — she will have to be evaluated before being readmitted to the Falls Home. The evaluation is mostly related to mobility and self-awareness. My hunch it that she will be fine and show enough physical stamina and flexibility as well as mental ability for
self-maintenance (can brush her teeth, dress herself, take herself to the bathroom, etc.) to enable her to return to the Falls Home… but we’ll see.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

7:22 PM, February 13 (4 days ago)
“All was quiet today with mom. She reported no chest pains, and nothing alarming showed up on any of the heart monitors… which apparently she managed to keep attached all day. No small miracle.

The doctor will give her another evaluation tomorrow as will the Falls Home to determine whether her independent mobility is significantly changed.

It’s likely the doctor will prescribe nitroglicerin for her heart.

She slept a lot today for which the nursing staff was grateful.

And… that’s the latest. I did not journey over to see her today since all seemed quiet.

Thanks for your continued prayers.”

5:09 PM, February 14 (3 days ago)
I just got off the phone with mom’s primary care doctor and he gave me an update on mom’s condition. He confirmed again that the episode on Sat was a heart attack. However, they are continuing to run blood tests and EKG’s to determine if the continuing chest pains are an extension of that intitial episode or if they are caused by other things like acid reflux, angina, etc. They won’t be able to come to any conclusions about that for another week after they draw more blood for testing.

Mom did have more chest pains this morning, and the doc gave her nitroglycerine to counter that again. If she is free of chest pain tomorrow, he hopes she can return to the Falls Home on Thursday.

If the Falls Home is not convinced that her physical condition fits within their guidelines for residential care, mom will remain in the hospital on “swing care.” This is a 10 day – 2 week transitional evaluation period at the end of which the Falls Home can reassess her. If they reaffirm their position that she is now beyond their ability to care for her, then we will need to move her to a nursing home.

So, I guess that means that, given the possibility that she might need to move, I need to scout out some nursing home options. There is one possible location that I think is very suitable quite close to the house, and I will check there. We have one gal in the congregation who lives there as does the mother of another gal in the congregation.

I visited mom today, but she was kinda tired and dopey and not able to converse or concentrate at all, so it was a quick visit. I chatted with the nursing staff and they all seem to think she’s doing fine, as long as she’s not on a tirade…

…Thank you for your continuing prayers.

Considering that none of that is even reminiscent of my grandmother, I’m going to hope that my the grandmother I know (knew?) and love is up in heaven, and that what’s still down here is just a shell of what once was. I feel like I already mourned the loss of Nana three years ago, when her Alzheimer’s fully took over. Enough of this. I shall avoid comtemplation and reminiscing until her day is done.

It hurts.

The Glorious

A few changes to note – I have put links into the header images. The only one that actually takes you somewhere is the files tab. I’ve set up a semi-primitive photo gallery with which you can browse my collection with great ease. The template is probably about as developed as it will get (it matches the color scheme, displays fine, and reads fine, good enough).

The wedding trip was good. It caused a lot of trouble as far as school goes, which I’m only just now recovering from. All of my teachers have been unhappy with my attendance record thus far. And I’ve failed more than one test. But, I’m getting back on track, so I expect things to go back up.

We left Friday morning, had an uneventful 9 hour drive, got to the town “Chelsea, Michigan” at about 9:00 PM, had some nasty pizza, greeted our host (don’t know their names, they were a little odd), and sprinted off to the theatre to catch the 10:15 showing of Serenity. My friends, if you have not seen this movie, do yourself a favor, and see it. It was extremely good.

If you are unaware as to the nature of Serenity, it’s a movie based off the series Firefly. Firefly was one of Fox’s ‘create and cancel’ swarm, lasting only 10 episodes because every episode occured on a different day at a different time each week. It’s a sci-fi thing, but it’s not an in-your-face type in which each character’s personality is defined by the hyperbalinrakonater in their respective weapons. If you know what I mean. It’s good stuff, go watch it.

Saturday afternoon we ran off and visited Josh, John (I forgot to take pictures of them, sorry), and my Uncle for a few hours before the wedding. I had some good talks with all of them, and as always, that good old Froehlich thing makes it all a lot cooler. The wedding itself (that is, the wedding of my Uncle, and I guess my “Aunt Pat”, as of now) was short and sweet, lasted about 15 minutes, occuring in a tiny Methodist church in town.

The coolest photos come from the ride back. It was at night, and I was bored, so I took photos with a 2-second exposure time. The bumps in the road and a little manual jittering gets some cool effects. Here are a few of my favorites.

The rest can be seen here.

And now for story time. He’s got me some pictures and told a handful of stories and stuff from his experience in Iraq, but I’ll start from when he got home.

Mom and Dad got to see him arrive while I stayed back for school. Upon getting home a few days later, he handed me this, a product of his layover in Ireland. Much happiness ensued, overall, and Mom made lots of really good food.

Anyways, we were sort of in touch while he was in Iraq – we talked on the phone two or three times, and exchanged two or three letters. He didn’t have much access to a phone, limited access to a computer, so letters were the main form of communication. Basically, his day was something like this (get ready for a bulleted list here, guys):

  • Wake up in the afternoon.
  • Clean up, eat.
  • Work from evening to morning (12 hours).
  • Eat, do something recreational for an hour or two (basically either play guitar or play cards, or maybe work out), go to a meeting, clean up.
  • Sleep.

He always ran 12-hour shifts, but they’d change the time of them every 2 weeks, so he could never adjust to them fully. He would work 6 days a week (days off on Sunday), but couldn’t go anywhere on his day off. The only time he left the camp was for an escort every few months, basically meaning he’d sit in a Humvee for the majority of a day. And the camp is not an exciting place to be. Just look.

Not exciting. It’s a very bleak place, completely surrounded by walls. Of course, if you put 3 different groups of people that all hate eachother almost as much as they hate America, then you have a little more excitement. The detainees in the camp are all mostly worthy of being there (estimated at a little over 90% were true threats to the American presence in Iraq, note I say in Iraq), and more than that portion hated the soldiers. But, interestingly enough, there were three factions (names escape me) that hated eachother and would be at eachother’s throats any time they weren’t fighting to break out or kill the soldiers.

Riots would generally break out about every week or so. These consisted of one compound (basically a fenced in area where the detainees stayed) screaming, chanting, and generally making noise, and then proceeding to burn anything and everything they can. “Wait!”, you ask, “How can they burn things?”. Thanks to the morons at Abu Ghraib, “the safety of the soldiers is being sacrificed to the media gods”, as he put it. This means an inspector comes in every week to make sure that the detainees have everything they need – this includes a mosque, a Qur’an, prayer mats, portojohns, beds and tents, clothing, hand sanitizer, cigarettes, and a lighter.

Every one of those items were actively used by the detainees to kill the soldiers or eachother. The American (stress the American here) soldiers are not allowed to enter the mosque, the Qur’ans, or the prayer mats. This means whenever they do shakedowns they are not allowed to search there. A translator would go with them to make sure they did not touch a thing. Dozens of times, they would find knives (they’re fond of the knives) pouring out of this stuff, but they couldn’t do a thing about it.

Here’s an example riot. This is how they begin, with a big gathering. It looks less intense because you don’t see them jumping up and down and screaming in Arabic. The picture in the center is some religious leader (trr’rst), not of importance.

Here’s where the other weapons come in. Most of these guys are issued jumpsuits. These jumpsuits come with nice, large, elastic bands. Combine that and fist-sized rocks taken from the ground and the cinder blocks that make the foundation for their tents and beds, and you have unbelievably destructive weapons. These things go through 4″ bullet-proof glass like paper.

To disperse the crowd to make them easier to manage, they use helicoptors. It’s pretty smart – they bring them in about 30m above the ground, at which the force from the blades will easily knock a guy over, as well as any unstable structures. Like portojohns.

Here’s where the lighters, tents, and hand sanitizer come in. Meet the Purell bomb.

These are makeshift molotov cocktails, made of their headdresses, hand sanitizer, and thrown at anything. Highly explosive, and pretty darn destructive.

The hand sanitizer is mandatory, too. As for the tents, they’re just massively flammable. The canvas is usually coated in kerosene or some other sealant to improve durability, resist insects, and weatherproof it all, but obviously makes the entire thing a disaster waiting to happen. After burning the tent down, they make some more permanent holdings. Meet the ramparts of the desert.

All these do is protect them from the barrage of rubber bullets. That’s right. Through all this, the soldiers get rubber bullets, and some CS gas. Neither of these come close to stopping any determined detainee. What happens if they climb the two barbed wire fences? Oh, no problem, they just request ammo from the ammo dump outside the camp. The Americans aren’t allowed to bring live ammo into the camp unless it’s a hostile situation. Again, I stress the American part, not because it’s not an American camp, but because whenever the British or Australian troops stop by, they have live rounds. In fact, they’re not allowed to enter inside the compounds because of incidents with them killing inmates.

After all is said and done, the compound is pretty much wasted.

But of course, it’s all back up in the same day, just like it was before. Pretty efficient, I say.

And that’s a prison camp for you. There’s not a whole lot else to tell, really, except for a few amusing stories.

Portojohn graffiti is a standard in the armed services, and one such example was a soldier’s infamous mother. What was she infamous for? Nobody knows. But apparantly “V’s Mom” is etched in every portojohn in the entirity of Iraq. There is no exaggeration here.

Some of the world’s worst enter the military out of sheer inability to do anything else. One such soldier found his way into an Airborne unit at the camp. This man’s lack of personal hygene was astounding – his seargants had to escort him to the shower every morning to make sure he showered, and had to routinely check to make sure he had washed his clothes. This guy always failed his PT tests, was generally just a completely unreliable guy. Now, on his uniform, he had a patch on his arm that said “Airborne” below his rank, signifying his status. After having enough of this guy’s crap, a few guys snuck into his bunk, took his unforms, removed the “Airborne” patch and replaced it with an almost identical patch, stating “Shitbag”. This guy never noticed his new found status, and the highly ranked officers in the camp were too baffled by his incompetence to correct him. And thus it stayed on.

Many of the worst detainees in the camp are those who are friendly, speak English well, and fluent in their actions. These are usually the ones who reported directly to known trr’rst leaders. One such trr’rst was known for being a complete jerk, starting fights constantly, always out to make as much trouble for the soldiers as possible. He was constantly in and out of the isolation block, as well as the median between the two, a small fenced area seperated from the rest of the compound. This guy doles out a lot of grief on the soldiers, so he was generally hated more than the others. One soldier found him particularly bad, and felt the need to express this. He expressed this by entering his isolation area, dropping his pants, and spraying the inmate with urine in the manner of a helicopter.

The camp is a pretty big place, and empty compounds are steadily getting filled up by more inmates, so more units come in to handle them. The first night after a compound had been occupied, a controlled fire was seen within the camp, it was large, but not spreading, and no chaos was evident. The next morning, it was revealed that the new unit had gone through every tent and burned all the Qur’ans, prayer mats, weapons, hand sanitizer, lighters, and cigarettes that the inmates had, in one big pile.

Anyways, that’s about all I have for you guys. I hope you enjoyed it.

Pro Suus, a Regina

We got her approximately a year after Calvin, the unstoppable beast felled by heartworms. She was 2, her birthday some time in October, and I was 4 or 5. Friends of ours, the Hogans, had gotten her expecting that she would be a good hunter, but when the husband released her and she ran off following the trail of anything and everything, and when the wife was unable to teach her the latest tricks beyond “sit” and “off the furniture”, we offered to take her off their hands. For a Basset, she was well trained. She knew how to stay off the carpet (not that we cared about that, to stay off furniture (again), not to drink from the toilet (hmmm), and yet despite this, did not understand the concept of a leash. This was Daisy.

Here she is at the Hogan’s, when we were picking her up. (~1994)

Daisy was so-named for the typical habits of Basset puppies. Bassets’ ears don’t grow much in their lifetime – they start out absolutely gigantic. Puppies are prone to trip on such large things quite often, prompting a saying such as “Oopsie-Daisy!”. Such was the origin of Daisy’s name. Daisy is also the name of a flower which I’ve particularly grown to like, not for its stunning beauty, but of the simplicity of the flower overall, combined with the variety of colors it comes in. That is the beauty of a Basset.


I don’t remember much about Daisy from when I lived in Mississippi. I do remember her getting out the door and chasing her all over the neighborhood, but not much more than that. I also remember her howling. We used to be able to get her to howl with us sometimes. She’d howl when we were gone. She’d howl when she thought we were gone. Her howl, to me, was not annoying. It had emotion. It had a message. She was saying “I am lonely.”. That is worth dealing with.


We tried breeding her several times, because Basset puppies can go for $500 dollars, and because Basset puppies are the cutest things alive. She, unfortunately, did not understand the concept of mating, and neither did any of her potential mates. There was no second generation.


Daisy’s personality was one of those that kind of…oozed onto your feet. In the form of drool. She was very normal. She was perfect with kids and other dogs and whatnot, and would kindly inform you with a growl and a glare of teeth if you’d gone too far. Which usually only involved yanking her tail. Indeed, she was a patient dog.


The move to New York generally did not affect her. She was not a fan of the snow, but was not opposed to the occasional romp.


The only scary incident we ever had with her was one summer morning. Outside on her leash, she lay sunbathing in the driveway. Oblivious to the car backing out of the garage, she lay in quiet until my dad heard her unmistakable yelp. Thanks to her being so fat, the car crushed the skin on the ground, and only suffered minor bleeding.


Time went on. She grew older. (~2003)

And older. (April 2004)

It was probably about this point she began to lose the spring in her step. It was no surprise, really. She was 13 years old. According to the generic conversion, she was 91 years old comparitively. We vaguely tried to limit her going up and down the stairs, fearing her joints would become too worn out. Her visits down to my room became a memory, and I grew very accustomed to clickity-clack of her sturdy nails on the floor above. I really enjoyed hearing that at night, the pattern of the click and the clack was soothing.

As time went on, she began to lose her desire to explore and wander. She began to lose her agility. I had taught her how to stand on her hind legs and catch the treats I threw her, but it was now more impressive for her just to catch the treats. She spent most of her time laying about the house, which was still a very soothing thing. Watching her lay there and wag her tail as you walked up was not much worse than her running around the house at full sprint. She got thinner.

When our family went our seperate ways this June, we left Daisy at home in the care of Sarah Barnard and the Johnson girls up the street. She was being cared for two or three times a day, we figured she would be okay. I was mildly worried about her when we left, fearing that she would not be okay. I came back after about a week of being gone to mow lawns and checked in on her, climbing through a window since I had no key. I was greeted by a dog wracked with loneliness. She had only eaten twice that week. She wagged her tail and barked and gave up as much emotion as she could. I took her for a walk (which she had just enough energy to do) letting her sniff wherever she wanted. This would be the last walk she would take.

I left back for the Carcich’s, and we all returned home a few days later. Daisy was worse still. Dad attributed it to loneliness, which was not entirely unfounded, as she does not eat or obey well while we are gone. It was something more. When we went on the family reunion, we took her with us. We could not do that to her once more.

She had to be lifted in and out of the car, a strenuous job. She coughed a lot and was not breathing well. Because pets were not allowed at the condo, we had to take her to a local kennel. When we picked her up, she was worse still.

On arriving home, we took her to the vet. Daisy had respiratory cancer, which had been developing for many months now. Her lungs were bleeding. She would suffocate to death. An infection in her throat was causing pain in breathing and eating. If this was not enough, she had several tumors applying pressure to her lungs and inhibiting movement. Even still, she had fleas from Madeline’s apartment. They gave us some antibiotics for the infection and flea medication, which would not save her. The goal was to make her as comfortable as possible. In the interests of her comfort, we would have her put down before she succombed to the disease. We were supposed to do that once we saw that she could no longer lay down to breathe. We brought her home expecting a few more weeks with her.

It was not to be. Mom and I spent 2 or 3 hours in the den with her, while watching the Tour de France. Mom and I cried for 2 or 3 hours. This was Saturday night.

We all agreed she would not last the week. It was to be done today. I wanted to be with her when she died, so I left work 30 minutes early. Once we got home, we got her in the car, I grabbed a box of tissues, and a blanket. I cried the whole way there, along with the periodic rain. As we helped her with the walk from the car to the building (we parked in front of the vet’s office), she made no noise. I think she knew what was happening. We got inside, and put her on the scale. She weighed 38.8 pounds. That’s about 10 pounds lower than what she was in January. Keeping in mind that all Bassets are big boned and heavy, she was highly underweight. She should have been about 43 pounds.

She moped towards the room we were to see her to. This is the same room we’ve always treated her in. From the time we’ve moved to Ithaca, she’s always been treated in this room. Maybe there are no other rooms for her to be in. But the fact remains. We signed the forms allowing her to be put to sleep, rejecting the ashes from her cremation. They took her in the back room to shave her legs. The last bark I heard from her was there. She could barely bark at all. It was unholy.

They brought her back in, and we stayed by her, petting her as they struggled to get the needle in. Meanwhile, she struggled harder and harder to keep herself propped up to breathe. She barely had the strength to do this, and continually slipped and slid back and forth, each effort weaker than the last. We pressed her head to the ground so the doctors could better inject her. She struggled, but slowly, began to slow down, her breathing slowed, her eyes stopped moving, her tongue stopped skipping in and out, and she lay still. The vet announced that she had passed, and my dad and I cried there, petting our goodbye to Daisy.

We walked out, and my Dad called two friends to say he couldn’t watch the movie with them tonight. He wanted to spend time at home. We all sat down and watched Gattaca together, ignoring the empty space on the floor that Daisy used to occupy.

For Her, a Queen.

J. Johnson, Resident Pakistani

I have honestly not had time to post, and that is a promise. But this will be a good one, I assure you. It comes with many pictures.

So, the trip to Virginia.

We left on Wednesday as planned, with Daisy in tow. We took her to prevent her from being alone another week straight. She doesn’t do well alone. Plus, if she really, really didn’t get along with Jen, then it would be good to know. On the topic of Daisy, we took her to the vet today. She has, at best, another month. She has a respiratory cancer, half a dozen tumors, a lung infection, and fleas. You’ll understand about the fleas in just a minute, though.

So, after an 8 hour drive, we get to Madeline’s (that isn’t spelled right) house. Only, it’s not a house, it’s a college student’s house. That is to say, half a dozen college students live(d) there. The level of order and cleanliness was at a level I did not know existed in normal humans. As we walked in, we were promptly informed that the cat had fleas and that some measures had been taken to kill them. Queue Daisy’s fleas.

We hung around there, Christopher and I spent most of our time driving around, he gave me a little driving lesson, and boredom was abound. We did not have much to do.

The anniversary party was on Saturday, which was completely uneventful. The food was really nasty, although the punch was quite good. I’ll take that punch any day. The party was in a Presbyterian church. Therefore, rich. The youth room had 2 27″ TVs, an air hockey table, a pool table, and 2 foosball tables. The cafe (a full cafe) had 3 27″ TVs, and a piano. This, my friends, is what the churches of the South spend their money on. I am fairly sure that the money used on 5 27″ TVs could almost feed an average man for a year. Anywho. The piano was manned by all 4 of my cousins and my aunt Lynn, who contributed their lovely cello, violin, dulcimer, and flute muzak. I spent most of the time drinking punch and playing pool, or nervously standing around looking at people I’ve never met, and still have not. The very nervewracking thing about family reunions is that you’re looking at people you don’t know, and if you glance at a girl and begin to think “Hmmm, she is mildly attractive.” your blood curdles as you remind yourself as she is your (n)th cousin. This mind game wears down on you fast, and I retreated to playing pool and slurping punch for this reason as well.

Brooke is in the middle there, I have no clue who anyone else is.
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There was cake. There’s always cake.
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Madeline is on the left, Eliza is on the right. I don’t know why my dad found this moment special, but Eliza appears to be enjoying her camera.
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They all look exactly the same. One of them is my grandma. Four of them are not.
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The rest of the week was highly uneventful. We didn’t do anything really. The most fun I had was playing putt-putt with Christopher and Dad, I spent most of my time at the condo watching the Discovery Channel, which was highly appealing to my tastes, but not exactly an exciting way to spend vacation. The phone in the condo was restricted from outside calls, and you had to pay a fee to unrestrict it. Apparantly the fee for talking was also quite high, so calls were out. That was my wonderfully spent 7 days.

The trip home was a very long 8 hours. Oy. Two dogs in the car made for a very hard time. As cute as Jen is, she is a puppy, and puppies are innately handfuls. I had practically no room, so sleep was not an option. Oh well.

These were taken at home, but hey, it works.
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Tuesday night was also a rough night. I spent a lot of time setting things up for Jen and getting a strategy ready for how to train her. Along with the unpacking, I was also figuring out how to spend some time with the Ohio-ans (pronounced O-hwA-nzz). I also seccuesfully doles out 24 GB of Season 4 of 24 while I was gone, so I felt rather good about my contribution to the community. Season 4 has been good so far (I’ve watched 4 episodes), we’ll see if it keeps things up.

On Wednesday, I had barely enough time to wake up and shower before Amanda, Daniel, Kylie, and Patrick showed up at my door to wisk me away to Benjamin’s house, where Maria and Jessica did await. I daresay (i declare that to be one word) I have not had such a good time in many a month, I truly do love you Ohio-ans. We spent some time at Benjamin’s house, playing cards, poking eachother, and just sitting around. We toddled off to Emma’s house, and did more of the same; poking eachother, playing cards, and sitting around. We decided to camp out in the great wild that is Emma’s property, so Emma’s mom took us out with out stuff in the truck to their little camp site.

Things were grim at first. Very grim indeed. There were loads of bugs, the grass was long and pokey, so we couldn’t sit in the tents, and we only had one match to make our camp fire. Things picked up once we got a lawn mower from the house and mowed everything down, and at the same time, Benjamin, Patrick and I got the fire going. The fire kept the bugs away, so tending the fire was a rather pleasant job. Somewhere in there Rachel and Robbie (they go to school with Emma) showed up, which added to the awesome. I don’t remember what we did after that, because I spent the rest of the night talking with Amanda and Maria (and sort of Nolan, although he mostly provided comic relief for us), after which we played Mafia (i totally owned as both the narrator and the mafia). We sat around the fire for a few hours, and eventually wandered to bed. But not, of course, before doing the complete hokey-pokey. I can proudly say I put my butt in and shook it all about. Not many can do that. LEEROOOYY JENKINS!

We got to sleep about 4:00 AM, woke up about 7, and headed back to the house. After eating some delicious coffee cake, we marched off to the mall, which I did not choose to do. It was a little weird, as I was not there to buy anything, and everyone else was just kind of running off and…yeah, it was weird. I don’t particularly enjoy traveling in groups of 8. We went to the theatre, only to find everything started at 6, except for Madagascar, so we went and watched that. I didn’t think it was all that funny, but Jessica couldn’t stop laughing, which made it marginally funnier. It had its moments.

After the movie, we went and ate at the CTB in Triphammer Mall, and said our goodbyes. We’ll be seeing eachother again in two weeks (WoL), so it wasn’t exactly emotional, but I can guarantee, whatever emotion that was lacking there will be made up for on the Saturday morning WoL ends. When I got home, I got a letter from Jonothan and Elizabeth, which was most excellent. Jonothan sounded pretty exhausted in general. It was good to hear from him, though. Showering was quite excellent, as I’d been wearing the same clothes for 2 days, after camping and stuff.

And here we are Today. I woke up at 11, (and at 8:30 too, Jen was yipping to go out) went to work from 12:30 to 4 PM. Work was basically what I expected. Minor work like testing equipment and calling stores about stock constituted my day. It’s air conditioned, so it’s not uncomfortable or anything. The people are nice. It’s work.

I biked home (ugh, 2 miles uphill sapped all my energy), which took like 45 minutes. My dad got back from the vet with the news about Daisy, and also informed me that a baby bunny was outside. I took Jen out thinking she would just ignore it, but she kept jumping around it in circles, so I took her inside, got the camera, and came back outside. Jen managed to squeeze out the door as I went out, and continued jumping around the poor baby bunny, so I figured I’d get a picture of it. Jen then proceeded to bite the baby bunny, it squealed really loudly, and sprinted towards our grill, and stayed there for a good 4 hours. According to Benjamin, bunnies only squeal when they think they’re going to die. Thus, I felt pretty bad about traumatizing this poor thing. The bunnies around our house are really tame – they’ll stick around when we’re outside. We don’t give them anything, but they just kinda mope around. Bunnies are cool as long as I don’t have to take care of them.

A classic battle.
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The poor thing was hidden behind the grill after Jen bit it…
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Kerry came over, and we walked with Zach downtown and got some subs. We went back to Zach’s house and layed about as we tried out Battlefield 2. Looks pretty cool, but I don’t have the money for it. Work only pays once a month, so I won’t get any money until at least August. I got home, and here we are. I may have pictures of the Ohio-ans later, I don’t have any since I didn’t bring the camera.

You now have my post. I am allowed to pose one question to you.

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The National Rice Crispie Convention (…)

By request, this post has been outfitted with colorful bold TITLESfor each section!.

Tuesday – Frisbee

An eventful two days, to be sure. Tuesday began with disorganized ultimate in Stewart Park. It was kind of hot out 70+ with humidity, so we spent most of the time sitting around on the swings and demonstrating our physical prowess to eachother. We strolled over to Purity and got some ice cream, and that was the day. Among those present were Gwen, NOT PAUL, Ben, NOT PAUL, Veda, NOT PAUL, Julia, NOT PAUL, Zach, NOT PAUL, Ryan, NOT PAUL, and Amy.

Paul was not there because he was a lazy, lazy bum.

Tuesday – Jared’s LAN


Julia (or rather, her dad) gave me a ride home, and as soon as I sat down at my computer, I get a message from Jared, asking if I could come to his LAN. “Hmmm,” I think to myself. This could be fun, but it’s short notice. I thought about it as I ate dinner (consisting of grilled lemon chicken w/bbq sauce, 1/2 baked potato w/sour cream and butter, and applesauce w/marshmallows). I figure, “Why not?” and after some troubles, make my way over there, by about 9:00. It started out ok – there was a healthily-sized group there, consisting of Ben, Zach, Justin B., Jared, John (the Montana one, don’t know his last name), Charlie (don’t actually know this guy), and Ben Lu. After an hour or so, things got boring. Ben Lu, John, and Jared just kind of played their Counterstrike mods all night, and I mean all night. That’s all they did. Charlie just played San Andreas all night. That’s all he did. We were going to play some Halo 2, but Charlie was not interested in doing anything, and Jared wouldn’t really do anything either. About this point, Zach’s parents arrive with the Xbox we thought we were going to use, but ended up not touching the entire night. It’s a 15/20 minute drive out here, so that’s not a small deal. Coincidentally, Ben gets a killer headache about then, and Jared won’t/can’t do anything for him (who doesn’t have aspirin in their house? no, really?). By this time it’s about midnight-ish, and they turn on this really bad and really loud rap. Nobody in the room likes rap. Nobody. Why was it on? I don’t know. But it was. Combine four computers, a one ps2, one xbox, loud rap, and you get one ridiculously loud and painfully annoying room. After 15 minutes of asking, and then telling them to turn it down, the rap goes away, but the boredom doesn’t. Ben and Zach are fed up and walk upstairs to go sleep on the livingroom floor with, just about nothing. I wander around hoping something will become available to do, but again, the only person even talking to me is Justin, and there’s nothing for us to do, so he sticks to playing Ominusha. After an hour, I give up, and join Ben and Zach in their discomfort. Ben went down once to look for more pillows and blankets (we only had two blankets and four pillows), and discovered four of them (the one not present being Justin) huddled around his computer searching for porn. Obviously mad, Ben takes his computer back upstairs with him, and we eventually get to sleep.

I wake up to Ben L, Jared, Charlie, and John jumping around my head. Why? Because they think it’s absolutely hilarious to do that at 6:00 in the morning. Ben made mention of them possibly being drunk (this is not a remote possibility, and I am not being sarcastic), but I was unable to confirm that. Having had 4 hours of sleep, this was not pleasant. What was even less pleasant? The only food suitable (opposite nasty cold pizza and mountain dew) in the house were bagels. Bagels are fine, but they do not sustain the body. They do not cleanse the pallet of a hard livingroom floor and an upset stomache. After sitting around for an hour and a half laughing at Ominusha as Justin played it, Zach’s mom picked us up and I was home by about 8:00 or 8:30.


Wednesday – Power Outage

After getting a shower, I went back to sleep for a good 4 or 5 hours, and woke up about 2:00. I hopped onto the computer, and….bzzt. The power goes out. The transformer on the telephone pole down the street exploded (not in a fantastic display of pyrotechnics, but enough to set the telephone pole on fire, and make lots of smoke. The fire department showed up and blocked off the nearby streets, which was kind of amusing to watch cars drive up and wander off in another direction in a bewildered manner. The power did not come back on immediately, so boredom seeped in very fast. Luckily my dad got home an hour or so after the power went out, so we went off to his office so I could check up on his computers (he was having problems with firefox, and I wanted to do maintenence on his old computer that I will soon inherit). By about 5:30, we head out to Chinese Buffet to get some dinner. There was some kid at the table behind us who probably broke the world record for time spoken without ever stopping. He went on and on, about how his friends are crazy about Halo 2, how the Dreamcast was so great (that was hideous to my ears, his facts were so wrong..), his friends, man, I know way more about that child than I ever want to know.

Jonothan’s Exploits

We got home, and the power still wasn’t on. Jonothan called (on our cell phone) and that took up a good hour or two. He has some interesting stories. The prisoners at the base he’s working at are apparantly pretty crafty. They make gigantic slingshots out of the elastic bands in the suits they’re given, and actually have done major damage to the towers with the softball-size rocks they launch. They burn down their tents to get the wooden poles out of the structure and sharpen them to make spears. They stockpile hand-soap from the latrines and use it to light fires on just about anything. Eleven escaped through tunnels they dug under the walls (but were caught 12-hours later). It’s kind of surprising, really. Jonothan’s basically clashing with them on a daily basis, fighting off riots and uprisings. He’s also frustrated by some of the same beurocracy that Christopher faced. Because of what happened at Abu-Grep (grape? not sure..), all the commanding officers are scared of getting blamed or accused of prisoner abuse. This means they won’t let soldiers check any “holy items” the prisoners have – Q’uran, prayer mats, anything slightly religious is a no-go. Except, they keep finding that’s where the prisoners hide all their illegal items. They’ve accidentally knocked down Q’urans to find knives falling out of them, and bumped prayer mats to see more knives. It’s obvious they’re hiding it there, but they can’t do anything about it. Basically, they’re putting the prisoner’s lives before my brother’s. Very, very frustrating.

After our little chat, we waited another hour and the power came back (for a total of 6-7 hours without power). And here we are. I played some Halo 2 and have generally just cooled off from a very long string of events. I was going to write up some impressions on the ALU, as well as plans that my parents have for the weekend, but this is long enough already.

It Won’t Be The Same (O.o)

I bring to you the fabled Colorado post, minus one picture (which happened to be the one I looked forward to seeing full-size the most) which my dad deleted. This is what I get for letting my dad touch that camera. *grumble* All my mom and dad’s pictures turned out like crap – they’re barely worth putting up. It ticks me off a lot – the scenery is completely ruined by a crap disposable camera and poor photography skills. *more complaining*

We left Sunday, landed in Denver about dusk, picked Christopher up from Clair’s (cousin’s widow, for those who forgot). We drove on over to the Johnson’s, which was a two hour drive with 20 lbs of luggage on my lap. It’d been years since the 5 of us had been in the same car, so this was something to be savored, in that bitter kind of way. We got there about 1 AM, greeted by the Weimeraner known as Tenzing (after the mountain climber).


Driveway (that’s our rental in there):

Tenzing (poor picture, apologies):

We slept, and spent Monday adjusting to the elevation of 10, 800 ft.. Christopher ran out and bought a Gamecube on a whim, and rented Mario Kart, which supplied Jonothan and I some amusement. He had a Gamecube, but it was stolen a little while back. Poor Christopher has a hard history with robbery – all his possessions were stolen from a storage facility when he was 18 and had just joined the Army (that was a lot of stuff). Not too long ago his laptop and other major appliances were stolen.

Yes, we woke up to this view every morning:

We stayed in the bottom portion of their house. Their house by the way, is custom, completely wood, and disgustingly nice. Not rich kind of nice, but non-standard kind of nice. Retirement kind of nice. The bottom portion has two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a den (with TV, VCR, DVD).

The downstairs main area:

The upper portion is wide, lots of windows, and shockingly bright in the morning. I took most of the pictures around dusk, so it’s not bright, as the mountain blocks the sun.

The living room (there’s a huge wall of windows to the right (you can see them on the east side picture), but for obvious reasons I can’t take a picture of that):

The kitchen (facing out the south side):

The entry (facing out the north/west side, with my back to the windows):

The outside is very much like a log cabin. Pictures tell more than words, though.

The north side (the outside pictures are going in something of a circle, you should be able to get something of an idea of what the outside looks like if you follow it):

The east side (this ones a jump, sorry):

The south side (you can see the porch that’s in the east side picture on the right, for reference):

I won’t supply many skiing pictures, simply because it’s a lot of work for something that isn’t going to tell much. So, skiing. We skiied Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I didn’t actually ski though. Christopher, Jonothan, and I all snowboarded for our first time on Tuesday, and stuck with it the entire time. It really hurt the first day – you fall down a lot, it sucks. You run out of breath so fast at 11,000+ feet, we were sweating up a storm that first day.

Tuesday was Copper, which is the biggest resort in the vicinity of 1.5 hours. It has about 125 trails, a dozen or so lifts (speed lifts, at that. if you didn’t hear this last year, they’re lifts that go about 3 times as fast as normal lifts. they detach onto an alternate rail at mount and dismount, which goes about half as a fast as normal lifts. the convenience of this is indescribable). We took a lesson that day (and only that day) to make sure we got the basic techniques and stuff. The lessons were so much better there – it’s amazing. Greek Peak’s instructors do this “do this, no you’re not doing it, you have to do this” kind of thing. Our instructor, Jeff, gave us all kinds of tips for how to do all the stuff, it was really nice. We found that when we applied the rules he taught us, everything worked, it was amazing. We just did the bunny hill that first day – and that was hard. It hurt. It hurt bad. When the lesson was over I decided to go attempt a green, and wow was that a mistake. Apparantly Copper stops grooming about mid-season, so on the mildly steep parts of greens, there are moguls. Understand, moguls are completely different on a snowboard. If you don’t know what you’re doing (me), you can’t do crap, whereas on skis you can at least run over the moguls and ruin them. I fell about 30 times on the run, and I wore myself out badly pushing myself across the straits. I was about ready to go back to skiing the next day, but some encouragement from Brian and the brothers kept me at it.

Wednesday we went to Cooper – the smallest resort, but the highest at 13,000 feet. Towards Cooper is about the size of Greek Peak in terms of amount of lifts and runs, and even layout. The runs are still about twice as long, though. I forgot to mention – the runs at Copper are generally half a mile to three-fourths. The green path I took made for a 20-minute run, with a 4-5 minute lift ride. That’s about four to five times as long as Greek Peak’s. And about half to a quarter the lift ride. Amazing, yes? By the end of the day we braved a mild blue. Two days, and a mild blue!

Thursday we went back to Copper to meet up with Clair. We spent half the day floundering on these really bad greens – most greens had “traverse” zones, where snowboarders have to detach their back foot and push for a few hundred yards. This is really tiring, and just frustrating. We managed to get some advice from some seasoned Copper-goers and took a few nice and steep blues, which really made up for the first half of the day. The last run, though, we went to the top to try another blue to discover that it’s really, really steep and had moguls. We actually did ok, but we split when it came to a fork in the path. I went down first, and stopped at the fork. It forked between a blue and a black. The plan was to take the blue, but Jonothan and Christopher missed the blue and went down the black. Jonothan did ok, but Christopher wasn’t feeling too hot and just detached and walked back. Three days, and harder blues!

Copper, at the top (crappy camera):

Friday was Monarch, the middle-range between Copper and Cooper, but all the trails are of far greater difficulty. This is by far the best resort, IMO. It has a lot of unmarked forest trails which are really fun and challenging, they all have huge jumps, lots of powder, huge moguls, all created by skiiers. We did one trail, called “Turbo” 6 times. It’s about the equivelant of Olympian on Greek Peak, the hardest black on the mountain, and yet it’s blue. The first four times were pretty tough, we didn’t know how to handle the moguls. By the 5th and 6th time, we had it down to a science of jumping and braking, it was far more dynamic than it is on skis. FOUR days, very steep blues with a lot of moguls!

Snowboarding has it’s perks, but I think I’ll stick with skiing. Skiing has a lot of conveniences, like poles, seperated feet, and is generally more mobile. Also, you can’t really do back-trail snowboarding around here, as you’d have to push yourself everywhere. Anyway. Monarch had a few ok pictures. There was a professional photographer at the top taking pictures, so one is good.

That was our last day of skiing. Saturday was nothing, I just ran around taking pictures and such. There are a few left of views of the scenery. These are the good ones.

This is of Buena Vista, from the windows:

Night time:

View to the west:

View to the north:

We packed up and cleaned the rooms Saturday too. I ended up vacuuming with a vacuum older than my parents. So old, there was no date on it, anywhere. I took a picture to immortalize this antiquity.

The trip wasn’t just fun, though. It was (and this is said at the risk of sounding corny) a really good family bonding experience. Every time I spend time with my brothers, I realize how much alike we really are. It helps that I’m old enough to really have fun with them now, and not constantly be left behind. Our family sat down for about 3 hours just talking about problems we were facing and prayer requests, it was nice like that. It’s a little weird looking past the outside stuff that bothers me about the family and seeing what’s really worth looking at. It wasn’t gooey, soft, and pretty, but was definately heart warming. Anyways.

And a poorly taken picture of our final feast:

[2012 edit: lost forever]

We left Sunday morning to Denver airport, sent Christopher off to San Antonio, and moved on to Denver. We checked in at the hotel and just…sat, basically. We didn’t do anything until we saw Tim and Joyce Hume (this is the guy I’m named after, remember). It was really good to see them back together (they’d been seperated), and with a child no less. I really enjoy my time with Tim, he’s an awesome one. No pictures, for some reason. Monday was pretty boring, we just kinda sat around, had dinner with Clair, and that was it. We left Tuesday morning, and got back to Ithaca at 12:00 AM Wednesday. They lost Mom’s and Jonothan’s luggage though (after the flight was delayed, too), so we didn’t get home till 1:30 AM. For obvious reasons I didn’t go to school, and that was my trip. Exciting, to be sure.

All That and a Bag of Chips! (O.o)

This week would not end. I beat it with sticks, clubs, pencils, and shoelaces, but it would not relent. I’ve had about 25 less hours of sleep than I need this week, and it’s been so very rough. The week in totality has sucked – at least three teachers are highly displeased with me, my grades have been awful (it’s weird, I have like an A+ in global and english, but i doubt i’m even passing in chem and math), and I’ve just been perpetually tired. I can say this for a fact: I have never experienced a week this long.

Tuesday was the Bible Study, which again failed to meet muster. I’ve promised Daniel I’ll go another time before I give up on it, so we shall see how things go in March. Wednesday was…nothing. Thursday was ski club, fun stuff, except for some damage I did to my trachea. I was attempting to grab Colette’s poles using my poles, and I pushed down a little hard and one of my poles stuck in the ground, and before I knew it I had stopped myself going rather fast by having a pole jammed into my throat. That hurt. Of course, in my delerium, I fell over standing up once I got to the bottom. Today was Ben’s birthday (technically tomorrow, but today was more convenient). We went to his house and laughed at Sho’s chick flick, The Notebook. The name is bad enough, but the movie was worse. This was either a case of major plot revision at the last minute, awful editing, or just retarded plot transition. Let me describe the general mood of this story.

Ben: “Something needs to explode.”
Tim: “Why hasn’t anyone died yet?”
Sho: “…”

[queue main character lamenting the absence of his girlfriend]
Narrator: After she moved, he sent a letter to her every day. After one year with no response, he gave up, and became an ensign.
[queue main character running across a battle field with lots of explosions for 10 seconds, and finds his best friend dead. without providing any emotional response and experiencing no emotional change, he returns home, his dad gives him a lot of money, dies, and he begins building a house]

This is in the space of 1 minute, and I am not exaggerating. Even though it was bad, it was most hilarious to mock. I call that a happy birthday.

As for the rest of today, it’s been really, really nice. Not having school is just so delightful, I cannot express the emotion therein. I was watching Jonothan play Halo 2 (he played it for about 18 hours straight yesterday, he couldn’t sleep, so he just played), and he’s improved a lot. If you know my brother, he’s not a real gaming kind of guy, and we’ve never really shared a joy in playing these things, so it’s cool to see him get excited at learning and getting better at a game I really enjoy. We were also playing LotR Trivial Pursuit, while watching the LotR: Fellowship EE, with my dad, too. I haven’t played a board game with my dad in….ages. The last time we did was at least 4 years ago, so that was really nice. My dad went to bed, so Jonothan and I are in the midst of a game of Monopoly (we’re taking a break at the moment).

So, at 4:31 in the morning, Jonothan owned me in Monopoly. Took us three hours. Off to sleep I go.

Justice, the Product of Perspective (O.o)

An arguable statement, but at least partially true in a non-religious context. My recent days have been overly sober, not as spontaneous or as wantonly enjoyable as I normally keep them. Jonothan’s time here has been a reality check for me – recently, I’d begun reducing life to simple equations, which, if worked, Einstein would have found them already. Jonothan told me how the big things right now are really actually small – no matter how mature or how smart you handle matters or approach them. A quick glance at my past and those of my friends has proven his point. I’ve been struggling with this in how I treat these seemingly big matters – should I treat them with any less delicacy or ferocity? My postulate: no. They’re big matters now because there are no matters bigger than those I’m facing – you take things in proportion.

With this in mind, I was blown away when Rachel called Jonothan on his cell, and he picked up. When he was done with a short conversation with her, I asked him why he picked up. His reply: “We’re adults.”. You have no idea how much that scares me – I’m afraid to pick up the phone when my lawn mowing customers are calling to get me to mow their lawn one more time. I guess this is where that proportion thing comes in.

What do you do, though, when something out of proportion enters in the fray? Amanda told me about a friend of hers, who’s being abused, but nothing can be done because he’s about to turn 18, and his parents are habitual liars. It’s times like that I wonder “where’s the justice? no, really, where’d it go?”. When all I can do is pray for him, I’m reminded that God does have a plan here, and that plan may not include me saving the day. A frustrating concept, to be sure.

Saturday night Daniel came over and we watched the rest of Fullmetal, talked, etc.. Sunday was normal, Benjamin came over, we played around in GIMP (I made a few that I found particularly cool – 1, 2, and 3). Today, I stayed home sick (I do have that flu, you kn0w). I woke up to Jonothan handing me a plate of bacon and an egg + cheese + english muffin thing (they’d call them egg McMuffin’s at McDonald’s, but I dunno what they’re actually called).

Beyond that, my musical tastes have been expanded a little bit – I’ve grown keen on two bands recently. Aireline and Muse (I doubt anyone’s heard of the former, but Paul’s heard of Muse, so maybe someone else has heard of it). In any case, I still like the techno, I just like some other stuff too. *cough*

A Darker Side of the Moon (-.-)

Jonothan got here last night, hearing him detail all that’s happened wasn’t exactly uplifting. The thing I didn’t realize is that there’s a reason he’s going to Iraq. He moved to North Carolina to be with Rachel. He wouldn’t be going otherwise. He ended up with nothing, and then some. We laughed at some of the really stupid stuff about playing games online (I’ll explain later, Daniel), though, which was kind of nice. One of the recurring themes that came up while talking to him which kind of dragged my mood down was how all of high school is just a trifle, relationships end up becoming nothing. This wasn’t new information, but being told that the vast majority of those I know, unless they’re really true friends, are just going to fade away once high school is over. Hopefully this really…depressed and nasty feeling will go away, I hate it, I want it gone. It sort of feels like an intruder, it broke in during the night and won’t leave. I guess the seed was planted while talking to a friend of mine (who’s now 24 or 25) a few weeks ago. I think I may spend too much time talking to those who’ve been through high school.

Friday was spent at Amy’s house (that was just a little weird, 5 girls, one guy) for a few hours after waiting for Gwen to finish her Spanish test. I got to meet her teacher, Mrs. Craig, whom I must admit was a very cool teacher. I was talking to her about my German class – or lack thereof. I didn’t mention the name, but she seemed to have noticed the same things as I have, which was rather uplifting.

I’ve ranted about her before, you don’t need to hear me again. Meanwhile, I’ve caught the beginnings of the flu. Jonothan and Brian were up playing Burnout till 4:00 (meaning, in my room) so I didn’t get to sleep nearly as soon as I would have liked.

One last thing, which is Daisy. She just galloped down the basement stairs, which she’s not supposed to do (bad for her bones). As I tried to shoo her back upstairs, she fell back down (this dog’s getting old, she’s 13 now). Upon further inspection of the dog, I noticed one of her paws was worn down and sore, she has two lumps of irritated skin on her legs. I keep telling mom and dad to take her to the vet, but they just say “We’re working on it.”, and that’s that. I realized why Daisy was so excited to see Jonothan (she’s been following him everywhere). Jonothan’s always been the one to treat Daisy the best – he takes her on walks and pets her a lot, generally just a little more attentive. I try and do that, but it’s really time consuming. It’s not that Daisy’s mistreated, but that she doesn’t get the attention she deserves. Normally the amount of attention we give her is fine, she’s happy, we’re happy, it’s all good. I guess as she gets older it’s not enough.

Perfect Squares (^^)

Who knew something could be so square?

That video contains possibly the most square piece of cloth ever to touch this earth. It’s more square than 3-piece suits and 36. I won’t go on so as to keep this post short, I’ve been posting too much lately.

Two things about Jonothan: he’s arriving tomorrow night (he’s driving all day tomorrow), and his car situation is somewhat improved. He had to shell out the money to the towing company to get the car back, but the tenant who had it towed is being emo. Real emo. The landlord is a pretty cool guy, and sending the tenant through the runs for “giving a guy who’s fighting for our country such a hard time”. He’s a real patriot, I say, and I give him my props for the day. The landlord is mad enough at this girl that he pulled out the lawyers to get her to write a simple check. He calmly requests that she pays, and she goes ballistic. After this phone call, Jonothan gets home to find three cop cars outside his place, investigating claims of death threats from him to this tenant (whom he’s never contacted, seen, met, he didn’t even know her name before today). He won’t have to be around to see the mess through, thanks to his landlord.

Skiing was excellent. Add several adjectives adverbs on to that, including but not limited to: excellentely, awesomely, amazingly, superbly, wonderfully, hugely, highly, very, really, exceedingly. School was also very good – I ended up not having to do the German conversation (by grace of God alone, I swear). Today, was a good day.

His Car, His Girlfriend, and His Job (…)

Jonothan’s on a roll. First his car is TOWED (he found out that it was in fact not stolen, but towed at the consent of an intendant, even though he had permission to leave the car there, but he’s now fighting some beaurocrats over it). Then his girlfriend (fiance, but the title fitted better with girlfriend) walks out on him. Now he’s getting an all-expenses payed trip to Iraq.

I’m not worried, although it did help for me to have previous knowledge of this. Eavesdropping on Christopher’s conversations (not really eavesdropping, but I had my headphones on while he was in the room…) has saved me some shock value. When I say previous knowledge, I knew it was gonna happen a year and a half ago, when he was checking out the prospects on National Guard units. My parents, of course, were not informed.

Like I said, I’m not worried. I know his chances are quite good (he has like a .00001% chance of even being injured) due to the marvelous army medical technology and the now somewhat safer Iraq he’ll be heading to. I’d be a lot more comfortable with this if I knew he was going there to make a difference. Christopher’s accounts left me with little faith in our Army’s officers and tacticians. I don’t disagree with the war, for the most part. I’m not stupid enough to try and think we’d get oil out of this, but other facts on the case don’t match up.

Since I’m already into this post, I might as well account for my day. School was not worth detailing, but I stayed after school with a few others, but I got bored after Amy left, so I found myself being rather unenthused to do much of anything. I went to Gwen’s house until I got picked up, which was an hour or two ago. A rather unenthusiastic day.


Looks like Jonothan’s gonna be on Convoy Patrol. He’ll be accompanying convoys going in and aorund Iraq. He’s also gonna try and get him and his stuff up here, meaning I’ll see him before we leave for Colorado – possibly as early as Monday.

Behold, the Power of Froehlich (O.o)

This week has been, in many ways, a week of…discovery. This is gonna sound cheesy, but I think I discovered the meaning of family. I had a long, long talk with Christopher, about a LOT of things, which we’ve never done before. I was already sort of “bonded” with Jonothan, but I think Christopher and I are so much closer now. I never understood why I was so much like my brothers and cousins, until I realized we’re all Froehlichs. If there’s one thing I want to remember in life, it’s that I’m a Froehlich, and I always will be. Most people don’t take much notice or pride of their name, and I didn’t either until recently, when my teachers and friends started calling me Froehlich instead of Tim.

The thing I find so astounding about this is that I, a 15 year old kid, can have such similarities with a 50-something year old uncle, two cousins over 15 years older than me, and two brothers, all who have a generation apart from me. That bond, as I have learned this week, is family.

In light of this revelation, I’ve grown a lot closer to my family over the past few days. My uncle and my only other male cousin, Josh (29 or 30) arrived on Sunday. We haven’t done anything spectacularly amazing, but we have spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying oursleves, watching movies, reading, talking, sleeping, eating (lots of eating). I was watching the new Star Wars DVDs with John (they didn’t make it any better, they stupified more stuff, but some parts are much clearer), and we watched Beautiful Girls the other night.

In other news, we got Windows XP Professional installed, and I now have about 2500 dollars worth of software on this machine. My Uncle Jim gave me Neverwinter Nights (Platinum), which is another game to add to the pile. For some reason Trillian has gone haywire, and Gaim too, so I have to reinstall Trillian before I can get back on IM, for those of you wondering about the lack of my presence on IM. Actually, I just fixed it, nevermind. I think we’re about to watch the extended version of RotK, so I’m gonna go join them.

After spending a total of 5 hours in the car we finally got Jonathan AND Christopher back, but Jonathan’s bag didn’t show up, so that’s no good. It’s nice to see them again (my hyper activity failed after 5 hours in that car.) and all that jazz. Jonathan brought Seasons 1-3 of Family Guy with him, so…heh…we managed to get to sleep about 4:30 AM, not too late for me but we woke up at 8:15-ish for church, so, I’m running low on sleep. :-/

I got a couple compliments on my haircut at church, which really makes me happy, heh…apparantly it “amuses” Sho…I’m wondering what that’s all about.

I’m not feeling too great, so ‘ll be heading out now…

I had a great time at Sam’s party, it was definately something I’ll remember for years to come. I got to meet Kat who wasn’t really all that bad as she was made out to be. There were a lot of tears, and it was pretty hard to maintain a stoic face. Besides the lack of food (I had a breadstick for dinner) it was really, really nice to be there with my friends outside of school. It really made me remember that I have better things to do than sit at my computer all day. At the moment, I’m really mellow. I finished up my going away present for Sam and decked it out with ribbons and a bow. It looks presentable, at least. The only other true point of interest I have is that I got the best shirt ever from Jared. We’ve all seen the classic “Ithaca is Gorges” t-shirt…but now, we have presented to the world, the ever truthful “Ithaca is Froehlich”. I’ll post a picture of it when it’s not 1:45 AM and when my parents aren’t home (we aren’t getting along this week. I have a susupicion that it’s not going to get any better for a very long time) to guard the camera.

This next part is a bit of a rant…

As for the rest of my week, I went through a few … heated debated with my dad about whether I have to go to New York City with him. You see, my parents are going to some conference, which is held on Sunday or Saturday night or something. My dad wants me to come along, but I really have no reason to go. It’s a five hour drive both ways, and I don’t have anything to entertain me for that long. Besides that, I really have no desire to spend a very long Saturday just with my dad. Now, if there were a few tech museums that were actually well laid out and presented in an interesting and logical manner, that would be a different manner, but all my dad came up with was a subsection of the Museum of Natural History – a planitarium. That’s cool, but not cool enough to go for three days. I’ll go another time, maybe. In case you hadn’t noticed I’m in a “I hate my parents mood.” This is partially because of a lecture my dad presented to me about three hours ago concerning those of the female persuasion. Apparantly he made a few observations at the party (he was there, I don’t know why, but he never left after taking me there) that a few of my friends (female) were “unhappy and wanting attention”. Besides this being a completely baseless obervation, it’s pretty insulting to me as he insults my friends. He also took it upon himself to recall his troubles as a youngster with girls and assumed I might need to hear the outdated perspective of a guy who led (and still leads) a very different life to that of my own. Whether it’s his duty or not as a parent to bestow his wisdom and experience on me, I would actually prefer to learn on my own, though his little lecture didn’t actually come across anyways, his points didn’t seem to link together in any logical manner.

I’m done.

I’m in Colorado. And it’s not all that great. I have altitude sickness, which apparently won’t wear off till tomorrow morning. And there’s nothing to do.

For those of you who don’t know, altitude sickness happens when you go above 8000 ft. It has somehting to do with the lack of oxygen, and air pressure. I threw up last night, and I’m pretty nauseated right now. Sarah’s parents are nice, but they’re pretty much what I expected. We go skiing tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday, which might be fun, but I just don’t want to get sunburned. Yes, you can get sunburned. You’re actually more likely to get sunburn than in Hawaii furing the summer.

Let me start a little point counter here, for how the trip is going.

I met Tim Hume yesterday, and he’s kinda cool, though I expected him to be like 30-ish. He’s like 40-something. IF I get to see him later in the week and talk to him and stuff, that would be a +1.

I got to see Claire, my dead cousin Pete’s wife. She’s pretty cool, in a spunky kind of way. She reminds me of Allison Hogue, for those of you who know her. If I get to see her more often, that would be a +1.

The Rockys are beautiful. You can see for like up to 250 miles, depending on where the mountain line is. +1.

Altitude sickness sucks. I’ve had it for like 24 hours now, and it’s really making things miserable. -2.

I was never able to get those CDs. I completely forgot when we went to best buy, so I all; I had to bring that I had room for was JoC and RotK. I also wasn’t able to get a charger for the GBA, which my mom is yet again trying to revive. I have batteries, but they’ll run out. -1.

I got forced to spend 3 hours with Sarah going around town. -1.

I had to give up spending the night at Jesse’s house on Sunday night. -1.

The plane ride(s) were pretty bad. We woke up at 6:00 to drive for 1.5 hours to Rochester, to ride a plan for an hour, to wait for 3 hours in Newark, to ride a 4 hour plane to Denver, to drive 3 hours to here. Half the time we were carrying luggage or stuff on our laps. *mutter* -1.

Overall stuff affecting my mood about the trip:

I’m missing my incoming Airsoft shipment. -1.

I’m missing two days of school for this trip. -1.

None of my friends are going anywhere. -1.

Overall score: -6. Not very cool.


Woof woof, wort wort! Tim is SO back.

I keep trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging, I REALLY DO, but it’s hard!. Apologies, to the greatest. Recap…again…Christopher and Jonathan are gone, and I probably won’t see either for another year at least. The house is reall empty, but it does have it’s plus side: this weekend I officially move downstairs. Technically I’ve been down here, but all this time I’ve had my personal belongings upstairs, like books, clothes, and stuff. Hopefully once my dad brings back the TV from his office which is rightfully mine by heirdome, I’ll be all set. I’ve recovered from the hell of last week, which I remember very little of. I managed to scrape a B+ out of Biology, which was somewhat discouraging, but also disapointing. I have the A++ reputation in that class, no good to have that scarring my record. No idea what I have in Global, but I’m bracing myself for the worst. I missed an entire half of the final project; thats gonna kill like no other test could.

In any case, things have been good, but it was really sad seeing Jonathan go. He’s so cool, and he had so much advice on anything, and everything.. Christopher is cool too, but he’s almost tool old to relate to. I’m still his little kid brother. I mean, for goodness sake, even most of my school friends treat me with better respect. But he’s still my brother. Jonathan is sorely missed. But he is moving on to a better stage in life. I’ll adjust in a week.

Finally got my laptop running LAN Starcraft. Took long enough….many thanks to Benjamin and Jesse!

I’ve also returned to Scouting. I had kinda ditched it because it was too kid-ish for the likes of me, but it’s a chance to hang out with friends and just do stuff, so why not?

I recently ripped all my good music (LotR, JoC, Bond) onto my computer. It’s nice to have all my good music sorted and readily available.

More in the Random section: I finally did it! I am unable to fit all my game CDs into one CD book of 60! I AM A TRUE GAMER!!! Technically I was already, but now I’ve like, passed the threshold. Woot. So much wasted money…hehehehe. Considering buying value, and counting gifts and burned CD’s, it comes out to about 1100 dollars in games. I’ve only bought 350 dollars of it myself, the rest came mostly as gifts. Lol…


This was an interesting weekend. Last night I went to see Elf with Jonathan and his friend Brian. That was funny. Stayed up till 1 talking and playing games and such things. Today I went to church, and nothing of great importance has happened. I beat JKA, which was pretty easy. Being the dark side was a little too much fun. I stumbled upon 5 jedi, and with my lightnizorz I killed them zorz. A lot of fun. Now to play online!

Now all the weekend has left for me is homework.


Ah, the weekend. So far nothing of interest has come today. I’m sitting here, at my computer, typing into my blog on a Saturday afternoon. I could be out raking leaves for money, but I don’t have much of a desire to do such. I spent my afternoon playing Gunbound, and I am REALLY bad at that game, it’s depressing. For those of you who don’t know, Gunbound is a poorly translated Korean game somewhat similar to Scorched Earth. It’s online, you play with some people, and you shoot eachother in turns. It’s kind of fun. Last night Ben, Zach and I spoke mangled Spanish and German to all the people that came into our room. I feel sorry for those poor souls who wandered into our room titled ‘sexy ham……please?’. Yes, all very random, but it was great fun.

Yesterday was good, talked to lots of people and lots of people talked to me. Nothing of amazing importance happened. Jonathan is back for the weekend, though. He was showing me some of his music. He’s trying to get me off Linkin Park, and onto more skillful music, as he calls it. Stuff like A Perfect Circle and Coldplay and stuff. I don’t really listen to Linkin Park all that much anyways. BUt it’s been a fun weekend so far.

A note! PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY I LINKED TO IN THE SIDEBAR! So far six people, including me, have taken it. I would like to know what you all think. The survey is on what you think of me, it has 20 questions. Answer them honestly please, I have no way of knowing who said what. I can only know if you took the survey, and if you don’t leave your name saying you took the survey, I don’t even know that. Just take it please, I’d really love to know.

Today is really sucking. Stuck home with my parents for an entire day. Nothing to do. Except try and make my blog better. Which I’ve hardly done. I never want a Tuesday off again. My dad happens to have his days off on Tuesday. That’s twhy today sucks. Because I have to deal with my mom AND my dad.


Lectures, lectures, and more lectures. I’ve never seen this many lectures in the space of 10 days. Wow. So many lectures. After my parents discovered my blog, my mom promptly addressed every issue I had in the past 10 days of blogs. She never mentioned my blog, but it was amazingly apparant she read my blog. As I suppressed a smirk, I asked her where she got all this, and she said someone told her. Wow. It’s been a while since they’ve bulled their way around like that. My dad essentially forced me to go to Chinese Buffet with him, so he could give me a long lecture. The only thing I learned out of an entire hour of lecturing is that they believe I don’t have the right to do crap, though that’s not new. I also learned my family has a hsitory of depression. As if I didn’t know that either, really. So much bull is coming towards me, it’s hard not to be synical and just stop believing what everyone tells me. In any case, today has been a pain. I spent most of it recreating my blog here. I just hope very dearly my parents don’t find this, again.


This blog is henceforth discontinued. My parents found it, probably via a friend or a link. Oh, I am mad, so very mad. I don’t have a place to spill my thoughts anymore. I’ll make a new one, but how I’ll get the link out to all my friends without my parents knowing will be difficult…….