Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Of Clouds and Crows

So many things to do but none of them seem to matter
I look out and hope to meet your gaze but you're no longer here
So I choose, instead, to lie out on the grass in the hopes that it's embrace could rival yours
You and I both know that nothing does
Instead of your eyes I see the sky
A blue that resonates a total of zero times
That nothing seems to take over
Clouds scattered randomly in a pattern that suddenly makes perfect sense
They float on by with a carelessness I can no longer reach
A night crow flies by with purpose
A purpose that has left me in days gone by and has not been missed since its absence
So I watch, instead, the crow and his intent as it passes me by
I wonder what goes through his mind
Might he be tired?
Would he like to sit for a while next me on the grass which must look greener from his vantage?
Would he like to rest his wings and exchange a few words?
Reflections on what he might have to say pass my eyes
Maybe he would just listen to my stories
The epic tales of my own continued correspondence with terrestrials
It just might be that he would caw on and on
Sounds that I could never understand
Trying to tell me of the creatures who own the sky
A place I have always longed to inhabit
I have long had to content my desires with those of the ground
My land-locked feet forbidding the adventures I would take with wings I will never have
We could sit for hours I reckon
It might be, when it was all over, that we would make a date for the same time the next day
I might ask him to take me for a ride
For my hands long to skim over the clouds of my dreaming
Could he take me with him?
I could ask him to show me a world that was never my own
Maybe, instead, I could clip his wings and take him with me
I could
I would never inhibit such beauty in that way
So, I will instead keep him in my mind and remember the conversation we never had
For I never asked him to linger
A lost opportunity at a friend that will never be
Advice I will never hear
Tales from eyes that I never looked into
Maybe I'll choose to forget him
But I can't do that now
For I never got the chance
I'll go on with my day
The clock ticks by with its steady pace
Seconds and minutes telling me of the places I should be
In the distance a bell rings
I'm running out of time
No time left to linger in the grass of another's yard where everything is green
For my own world is dreary without the colors of this world
Back to time
Time for reality
Reality of what I see with my eyes
What I see of a world I was never at home in
I can return again
It won't be the same
Even at this time tomorrow
The chance is gone and I must take what I can
Even if it is just the possibility of a conversation I never had
Perhaps, tomorrow, he will stop by
I won't be there
I could say, "Next time."
There is only this time
So maybe tomorrow I will avoid a conversation with the clouds
But with a thirty percent chance of rain
I think they will only cry on me


Thursday, September 25, 2008

life will be all that you make it...

This past week has seen a good number of "firsts" for me. Some of them bad, but the overwhelming number of them exceedingly good. You see to the left here the first picture I've taken with two people I had never before taken a picture with. Side note: thank you Katia, this picture would not have been complete without your hand and the back of your head. At the end of everything, I am alive, in one piece, and exceedingly happy. All things considered, I count myself as having come out far ahead of par. Life treks on in such a way as to allow me to remain more than content with my place and circumstance. Even the worst of these recent days has left me more certain of the things and the people I have chosen to give places in my life to. Whatever might have happened does not matter, because what did happen was far more critical.

It has been said of me before that I am something of a klutz. People all around me are dancing intricate steps while I continue to trip over my own feet. However many times I may stumble over that doorstep, I will always get back up again. While some might say that makes me a fool, it seems to have done nothing but good for me. I refuse to fix a system that is not broken. So, having fallen off the metaphorical horse once again, I did the only thing that occurred to me. I stood, checked myself and others for injury, and jumped right back on. There was nothing else for it. The trust to which that speaks not only gives me infinite knowledge about myself, but also about that metaphorical horse and that journey I have chosen.

I took off this weekend for an escape into rain, trees, and dirt. It has been a long time since I have gone camping and it was certainly long overdue. So, thus packed and ready to go we (Steve, Katia, Sean, and myself) set off onto the road. I learned, quickly at that, that I should never discredit that 30% chance of rain, especially when the rain would be inconvenient. I learned several things that weekend. Thankfully, one was a lesson I had learned before, and served me well in two regards over the course of the weekend. I learned how to fall a long time ago, and thank goodness too, otherwise both of those things could have been...well, bad. In a way I am learning to fall all over again. Only this time tucking my chin and pulling my arms in won't do me any good. I must trust myself to fall without knowledge of what the repercussions might be. At least (both literally and metaphorically) I am not falling alone. I now have things in my life that I didn't even know I wanted...maybe I'll finally get my wings too...

And so fool that I now am, I wish for wings,
As one foot steps off the edge of the cliff that I've been teetering on for my entire life

So, we set our tents up, boiled our water, and pulled out the boxed Cabernet Sauvingon and prepared for the night. A meal of freeze dried Beef Stroganoff and two cups of cheap wine later and the conversation quickly began to degrade. It should be mentioned here, that this is not a good mix in my stomach. Included in this "conversation" was a horribly bad (yes, redundancy can be fun) rendition of Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks, to which we could not even remember all of the words. Seems to be a common problem with this group, as previously we had trouble with the words of American Pie even with the lyrics printed out in front of us. Now, keep in mind here that Siobhán is a cheap date when it comes to wine, and this night was no exception to the rule. I was afraid, at one point, that we had scared away our camping neighbors.

So, my camping urges thus satisfied, I made my way back into the real world. If I had thought it would be boring in comparison, oh how wrong I was. From
plans far that I am far to young to consider to backwards marriage proposals of convenience from men I don't even know I have had myself an interesting week.

Despite annoyances at certain people who seem unable to do the simplest of things, I go on with my life the best way I know how.

Oh, and as a note, Siobhán has the most bizzarely awesome afterglows ever! And she is glad someone finally understands them.

So, suffice to say, Siobhán is looking forward to the near future and is trying not to think too hard about the upcoming
Batizado. I am building a life for myself that could possibly end up to be better than anything I could have ever planned in my youth.






Thursday, September 18, 2008


Capoeira is a Brazilian "martial art", as many of you have probably heard me say in the past. But the term "martial art" goes a long way to NOT describing Capoeira at all. While there is, certainly a fighting element involved in Capoeira, it is also so much more. Mestre Acordeon has said that it is "A dance like a fight, a fight like a dance, a song…a way of life." It is, at once, a martial art, but it is much more ritualistic and fluid than more traditional Asian Martial Arts. But I will explain that later.

Capoeira begins in Brazil during the period of the slave trade with the slaves taken from West Africa to work on the Brazilian sugar plantations. Capoeira takes its roots in the Diaspora of West African traditions, which explains a lot of traditions that I will enumerate at a later point. Capoeira, as compared to other martial arts, is very young, having only been in practice for around 300 years, and only established itself in the last century. Up until that point Capoeira had a history of violence, danger, and unlawfulness.

The slaves practiced Capoeira in secret, as they had to hide it from their masters. As such Capoeira was turned into something that resembled a dance in many ways more than a fight. Once slavery was abolished in Brazil these ex-slaves made up the lower rungs of society, and many of them took up crime and gangs as a way to survive. Because of this Capoeira became associated with poverty, crime, and gangs. Capoeira, up through the early 20th century was heavily punishable by law. It was even, at a point, punishable by death. Capoeiristas found ways around these laws and rules. There are rhythms on the main instrument, the Berimbau, that indicate certain things to Capoeiristas. One, in particular, tells some of the ways in which Capoeiristas had to hide their activities. Cavalaria is a rhythm on the berimbau that tells Capoeiristas that the police are coming, and to get out. In this way they are able to, covertly, help each other out and get out. Hopefully, by the time that the police got there, the only person left would be the one holding the berimbau and there would be no roda to break up. Other rhythms dictate the type of game that will be played, or to form the roda.

The roda is the circle around which Capoeiristas sit and within which the game of Capoeira is played. Music is played, songs are sung, and the game is played. The roda is a somewhat sacred place in Capoeira culture. There are many rituals and traditions that revolve (pardon the pun for those of you who get it) around the roda.

At this point, I find it pertinent to get into a discussion of Capoeira rituals, of which there are many. The first, and possibly most important of which is the Batizado celebration. Batizado translates to mean baptism. It is the celebration at which new students receive their first belts and actually become Capoeiristas. The celebration generally spans a weekend and involves workshops for students, visiting mestres, food, music, dance, and a lot of merry-making, as they would say. It is an opportunity for students and mestres alike to come together in celebration. Students, as I did just a few weeks ago, make their own cordao (belt), and eventually must enter the roda with a Mestre to receive it. Students are often presented with apellidos (nicknames) at Batizados as well that do something to explain something about them and that will follow them through their Capoeira lives.

Capoeira is not a fighting style so much as a way of moving and defending that can be applied to fight. It is, traditionally, fought barefoot. One explanation that I have heard to explain this has been to harken back to Capoeira's West African origins. In many West African religions there is a belief that ancestors do not go up (say, to heaven) when they die, but rather underneath us in the ground. Therefore, our connection with them is through the ground and the feet are more sacred than the hands; the hands being made for work. This would also explain why a lot of Capoeira fighting is done with the feet. This is why you will also see many Capoeiristas 'connecting' with the ground at various moments. The most obvious and continuous example of this is the fact that we are often barefoot, especially during the roda. Also, you will see many Capoeiristas touch the ground with their hand just before, and especially after the game has been played. This moment of connection is singular and specific to each and every Capoeirista. Some sign the cross before they touch the ground, others hold their hands over their hearts during certain songs, and others still create their own ritual.

The idea of community is very important in Capoeira, and is made evident in everything. The roda is the most important example of this. Even if one is sitting on the outside of the roda and is not playing a game, they are responsible for clapping and singing to keep the Axé (energy) going for the players.

There is so much more to Capoeira, and many things I do not yet know. Not all of this is any kind of definitive description of Capoeira, but it does well to explain some of the basics to those of you who do not know much about this art that I have come to love.

If you have any questions, please ask, I love talking about this, and I enjoy helping people to understand this art that is growing in American culture.

Agua de Beber, the studio at which I train, is having its Batizado on Saturday, September 27 at 4pm. If you are interested in seeing a good show and want to come out, I suggest it. It starts promptly at 4pm and is $10 for the public to come and watch.

Blessings to all of you, and especially to everyone out there that is preparing for their own Batizados for in that way you are my brothers and sisters and I love you all. Immense gratitude goes out to all of those who have taught me, and especially to Contra-Mestre Galego for all of his help.


Ie viva meu mestre!
Ie viva meu mestre camara!

Ie que me ensino!
Ie que me ensino camara!

Ie a Capoeira!
Ie a Capoeira camara!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

less than three...

The dust is in my eyes and my boots are kicked up, I've won a lot of heartsick prizes along the way. I've picked up so much and left even more behind. I never see these things when they're sticking to my skin, but I'm certainly better off for everything that I let in. To be certain, I'm better for what I let in than what I choose to keep out. I lost way too much way too young, and the with all the promise and work left undone. It's funny to think that all that guards me is some created imaginary median line and I used to fear that brutal crossing over. Now it's time and it's not painful at all, and not nearly as frightening as I once imagined.

One days those bullies will be withered up and spent. The father, son, the holy warriors, and the president will fall from the imagined grace of our reverence. Those glory days when we kept up our fists for all the world to see will beat them - and maybe us - into submission in the name of the free. I've heard it said that we're in an evolution, but we're all so busy now that we can't even keep our heads. How do we get ahead? Planets eternally pirouetting and atoms that are cleaved in half remind me that it all will keep moving.

Those crosses on the side of the road tied with ribbons look lonely with the flowers that will die in commiseration for the memories with which they were laid to rest. They remind me, daily, how lucky I am to be able to walk this mile. I lay down at night and smile to myself at my luck. Wake me up again. There's a poem in my head. I don't believe in war but I do believe in luck. The birds call to me in the morning; what are they saying? The gate blows open and the trees sway in the wind. I pass the cemetery sometimes and stop to think. The names forever written in stone beg a silent prayer. When I come home it is time for supper and I know that all I can ask is to be loved, and the only way to ask for that is to give it myself.

I wasn't looking for a lover or a friend. I wasn't pretending and I wasn't working undercover. You walked across that space, an imagined dance floor in my mind, and you said the only thing that could have been said. Intricate steps of a dance I never learned played out in front of me and suddenly I knew how to move. I knew that I wanted to see more and I knew that I would try. Eye contact is all that is needed at times. I don't want to be saved, and I don't want to wake. Let me sleep. I was born a Gemini. I don't mind confiding, or even the word vomit. I've been misled and misguided, and I am easily led astray. I dance with disaster, and I rarely miss a step. I spin faster and faster, long after many have slipped. In the middle of everything there's someone to break the fall. Over and over, again and again. I stumble on in.

I am pulled in so many directions, but I choose my own no longer burdened with regret. I dive in over my head and find a way to stay above water. There is a perfect protection. I am soaked to the skin, but water is my home. There are bones in my closet; I've collected quite a few over the years. Goodness knows what causes any two peoples' timing to coincide or what brought this fool to where she is now. Love a fool!

There is no time and no space and there is a permanent smile on my face. My friends have complained that I'm going insane, but the truth is...we're all just afraid. That's okay. My fear has been thrown out, for it's not worth the time. We all decide what counts for us, and for me it's in everything. Outside, inside, actions, reactions... It's not a lie. What brighter light is there? I'm going with the tide and the angel on my shoulder wonders just why I've blindfolded her.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

blackbird singing in the dead of night...

For those of you who have not heard of this woman, you MUST now go find her. She is amazing. Her name is Julie Fowlis and she has and amazing voice. She sings in both Scottish Gaelic and English. I, myself, heard her on Mojo Presents the White Album Recovered. This album is a compilation done by various artists covering the Beatles' White Album. Amazing. She sings Blackbird in bothe English and Gaelic and the experience is somewhat amazing in my own humble opinion. So, go find her, go listen to her, and marvel in her beauty.

That being said, I can move on to topics more pertinent at this moment. The first of which being my recent re-acquisition of a claddagh ring. I have not had one in a few years, and I am glad to (once again) have one on my hand. To me it always felt as though something were missing in a way. For those who care to know, it is indeed on my right hand facing in. Most of you reading this may well not know what that means, but those of you do each acquire a few points each, because that's just cool. So, thus armed with my two rings, I go out into the world feeling at the very least secure in my own personal connections to the past, the present, and the future yet to be written.

I find more and more as I walk along that things are rarely how I thought that they might ever be. I had a very clear plan on how things were to go and where I thought I would be right now. As seconds pass me by I realize that these things aren't what I really wanted at all, and that what I really want were the last things I would have thought to ask for years ago. I was certain, at one point, that I would have it figured out by now. If I had been where I wanted to be, I wouldn't be where I am, and that would be such a shame.

someone once said 'all good things must come to an end'...what a load of crap

It really is sort of funny, because these kinds of ideas really are ridiculous. They have no basis in reality and we hang on to them with some sort of ridiculous tenacity that makes absolutely no sense. We form ideals and pictures in our minds about what we think we need or want and they have no foundation in actuality. So, why cling to them?

i mean, sure, the good things have to end, but the bad things have to end too. and then they all start over again. that's just life. and you can spend your time worrying about the bad things, but it'll kind of keep you from noticing the good things, so i wouldn't recommend it

The nature of life is this cyclical pattern that reoccurs at every turn. The problem really is that everything in a circle is a turn. We find patterns that repeat because that is how we associate and log things in our minds. Comparison is as much a trait of humanity as is emotion. There is no good without bad and no recognition of light without the emptiness of night. We go on the best we know how with the experience we have and make good on what we get and give. How else would we know how to live? The condition of humanity is such that we can only do what we know with what we are given. We can choose to make it good or we can sit and pine on what we do not have, but that is sort of a waste of time at the end of the day.

i don't really know what i'd recommend, come to think of it

I really don't know any better than the next guy what is right or wrong beyond my own experience or knowledge. I feel and experience the same as the next guy, and that is all I can do. I enjoy living like that because without that kind of subjective knowledge and basis for action I would have no grounding. I can't tell you what is best for you because only you know that. I can tell you what I would do and what I think, but you must take that advice and those words and shape them to fit your own life and experience. There is nothing else to be done for it.

really, the only time things end is when you die. that's pretty final - but not always

We go on as though there is some sort of time line that is going to end a some predetermined point ahead of us. But our influence and impact on this world never really ends. It just is. we are still quoting the works and actions of people who came before us and they still have impacts on our lives in ways that those same people never could have known. When I quote MLK to a man on the street and he ponders those words, does not the man who originally spoke those words still impact the lives of those who lived past his own life? Is that death? is death final? Not always.

people say they're trying to 'make their mark on the world' before they die - that's another kind of silly thing to say. you can't make your mark on the world unless you've got a bulldozer or know the secret of making crop circles when no one is looking.

It's not about the physical world and what we do here. The things that are more abstract make such a bigger impact on this world. The physical world does not last, as our physical bodies do not.

i figure if you're going to leave your mark, you should leave it with people, rather than inanimate things. leave it by the words you say, or the things you do. the good things, and the bad things. they go hand in hand. i don't think there's a 'big mark' you leave so much as little ones, all over the place. here and there, people repeat something you say, because it was a good idea. or you made them think something differently. or you loved them is all.

People don't always see those little things as being as important as they really are until much later most of the time. Being unrecognized for the littlest of things is the way to go on about life. Because when you've done something without recognition or pride involved, you've done so much more. There is an instinct in me that wants to simply see a smile on a stranger's face or watch as a person I care about does something for themselves that helps them. They don't always know it at the time, but it is important in that you've done something for them with no expectation of return. I'm always shocked at how grateful people are sometimes when I simply say thank you for something small. They understand the rarity of such things, and it can make their day. So, make someone's day. You never know who really needs it, and you might be that random act of kindness that makes someone feel better. Understand that as much as you may need the help, so do others. Go out of your way to see another's joy. You'd be surprised at it's results. We all have the days when we simply need that simple kindness. Some of the best moments in my life involved free cups of coffee from an understanding barista or a friend willing to stay up with me all night studying because I couldn't do it alone. There's a sense of comraderie there that cannot be replaced. Give it, take it, appreciate it. Le mo grása mise agus liomsa mo ghrá. Give what you get and get what you give. There is nothing else for it. And often enough it need not be talked about. For sometimes these sorts of things need not ever be spoken. I've told the full story only once, and that says something. There is something in those moments that makes baring your soul completely to another with no expectation of return that can be self-gratifying. The story is not always for them, and if they can understand that and give you the understanding that you need without being told than you may know that you have found, as Anne would say, a kindred spirit. And one I have found, and keep them I will if it is within my capability.

all those little marks you make, they'll add up to a big one, someday. and in the meantime, you should just live your life the best you can with what you've got to work with, and call it good.

There is no sense in making things harder than they need to be. We are all dealt a hand, and the deuce-seven can win, if played right. It's all in the play, not in the cards. There's a lot of using what you're given and knowing where to give up and when to keep going. For now, I take what I'm given and I am happy for that because it is good. It is most certainly good. You are good: for me, to me, and, most importantly, for and to yourself. I am better because of you and I like who and what I am when I am with you, and that is enough.

i guess that's what i'd recommend, come to think of it. and while you're at it, try not to take life too seriously, because sooner or later you're going to end up as it's punchline. and you can choose to be pissed off about it - or you can choose, instead, to laugh.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

a bed to be made and a bed to lie in...

Part of me feel guilty for not spending this day in quiet remembrance of that Tuesday morning 7 years ago, but I cannot bring myself to do so. We've come so far since that day, and there's something beautiful in that. I cannot pretend that I feel that day anymore than the average person in this society. But, as it did with many, it touched me.

I have the mind of a skeptic and the heart of a child, which often lends me to a kind of self-discerning nature. These two should never meet, for they would certainly kill each other. I see my eyes in your eyes in my eyes, and the skew makes my head spin round like mad. It is time, certainly, to sweep the ashes and let the silence envelop us.

Wars, in themselves, can take many forms, and we have seen many, though not as many as some perhaps. We work our way through this world against the tides of people who would wish to see us fail. I collect my information and I stow it all away, I'm collecting you...all of you. In that I want to know you, understand you and connect with you. Motivation is small to name, and I don't like that smile applied so blindly to me the same as you would to any other just the same. I know better than any other what is happening inside, so why won't you call out to me? I feel the danger and the foolish thrills: oh, yes I will!

What it will or won't be doesn't matter. What is, so stop and look. I guess that you were lonely, that's why you called me on the phone. And in a moment of forgiveness, I didn't want to be alone and I answered. I guess that I was willing, more than I ever was before, to listen. You came knocking at my door again. I woke up smiling last night to realize that they were here, and it's time to come home. I guess I was hoping that you might finally understand, and in a moment of forgiveness that you would reach out and take my hand.

I know you're not one for baring witness or weakness, and I've always said that one wrong move would sell you out; but you've made so many mistakes. I can see now that you've kept your word, and even made it harder than it had to be. I wish I could save us the trouble and give me a little peace of mind. I can't live without you, and you will never realize that, no matter how many times I tell you that. I miss you, I love you, and I want you to come home.

I guess I was hoping that you would finally understand. Take my hand, it's been waiting for years for you to take it.

We talked all night and it came down to nothing. We started a fight that ended in silence and confusion. We're stuck, again, and where do we go from here? We get to decide what we think is no good. We have been sculpted from our youth, and all of this chipping away makes me tired. As for the turth? It seems like we just pick a theory, and thats the one that justifies our daily lives and backs us with quiver and arrows to protect openings. And when the warring begins, how quickly the wide open narrows into the smallness of our deconstruction. Things never really change, and they're the same as they ever were.

The plot is a predictable ending. And though it may seem grand with it's one speck of sand, and back to the hour glass we are going.

Sing to me
Sing me to sleep
Like my mother used to
Old songs long forgotten to time
Back when the sky was blue and my mind was clear
Back when simple red lines made sense in this world

Parallel, straight, perfection in chaos

Sing me to sleep, just like she used to
The only thing that makes sense is your song
Forgotten words and a song to a child who is now all grown up
When did that happen?
Sing me back to youth
Maybe then, I can be happy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you...

There are moments in life that define people and tell them things about themselves--and sometimes about this world--that they may never have wanted to know. If there were a way to control these impulses and reactions, the average person would take that chance. I know I would. As such, there are no ways to do such things. So, I go on living as I do the best way that I know how without concern to my inability to take control over these events. I have come to accept the things in my life that are beyond my control and take them with their prescribed grains of salt, however large those might happen to be. People will, I have learned, rarely live up to my expectations for this world, and I cannot expect them too either. I am, as I have often stated, often disappointed with the lack of thought and common sense that I find in the world around me. It saddens me to think that most people do not live up to their potential and, worst of all, most have no care to ever do so.

I have moments often. Moments in which silence and respectful distance is often required with me. I need to contemplate in these moments, otherwise I am likely never to calm down long enough to take that grain of salt that I have in my own hand. When those moments are intruded on I feel invaded, as though something precious has been taken from me and I believe will never again be able to have that again.

I appreciate the things in this world that people have to offer for what they are. I have my own set of expertises, but I cannot honestly expect other people to fit into those boxes. It would be ridiculous and an impossible kind of standard that I refuse to hold against the rest of the world. People will touch me, teach me, and see me for what there is and sometimes for what it not. That is enough.

I meet people every day and form judgments about them that may or may not be fair for what they are. Some days I choose to try and see the best in people. Those days happen more often than not. This is a good thing. I want people to be good, I hope they'll be good. Whatever proof I actually see of them, and however many times this world proves me wrong I still believe there is good out there. I believe that because it is true.

As disillusioned as I have become with this mentality in pocket, it pays off on occasion. Even though those occasions are few and far between, they are most certainly worth the wait. Though it does often mean that I don't always see that good, even if it is right in front of my face. I am so accustomed to having to dig for that goodness that having it given to me without expectation is odd. But this, this is a good thing. I did not see it right away, and I tried to turn a blind eye to it for a while, but I know now what has been gifted to me, and I shall endeavor to continue to know as much.

It is true, that people wrap themselves in layers. Be patient, for they are trying to show you something, trying to communicate no matter how little they will actually speak. Give them the time, the respect, and the patience so that you can hear it. Not only will you hear it, but you will also understand it. Be good to those people who expect less from you, for those are the one who deserve it the most. And those who expect preference without having done anything to deserve it are the ones you must be wary of. Keep your eyes open in this world, for losing your way is the worst of things.

Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us know how badly we want something. They are not there to keep people out, but rather they are there to stop those who do not want it badly enough. Brick walls are there to see who is willing to take the time to get inside, brick walls have a purpose and it is not loneliness.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

no pun intended

Thus armed with 500 dollars worth of textbooks and supplies for the semester, I begin with a hurt back. 3 days (3 days?) filled with riding around on the back of a motorcycle, I suppose, might do that to a person. Coupled with this, we add an extreme lack of sleep, a copious amount of stress, and a wonder as to whether people really are what they say they are. Seeing as I was, as such, prepared for the start of classes I made my way to campus today. Four classes today, and 3 more tomorrow make for my ever increasingly busy schedule. I enjoy my classes so far, and am excited (to a degree) to keep going tomorrow. I confused one of my professors today, and I'm not sure she entirely believe in my linguistic abilities as I presented them to her. But, they are as such and will continue to be so, whether she chooses to believe me or not.

Having to re-shift my major research topic for the semester will prove annoying, but it stands as it is. I shall endeavor to endure. A huge thanks goes out to Mr. Wells (Brandon) for giving me some hope as to a new possible topic. As many of us history majors well know, this is most true. History is not, in fact, what we remember. Rather, history is what we choose to forget. So finding those things that have been purposefully forgotten and remembering them all over is a task set only to the bravest of historians, for many will avoid this endeavor entirely.

So, as the day is now over, I head home in the hopes that things will look better from there. The thought is doubtful, but a girl can hope, can't she? I am feeling a little discouraged, and it is only day one. I await another day in anxious anticipation of what it will add to my already growing list of worries and trials.

And...HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA...I know I forgot to call you, and have as yet to do so, but I shall at some point. I just want you to know that I have not forgotten you, even if you are 3,000 miles away.