Just being silly at home :) Hope you like my fake, unpracticed falsetto.
Here is my new reference chart for Thoekelu, or “Z-Script” as I called it formerly. It reads right-to-left, top-to-bottom, just like the actual script. Words are written as a continuous shape; each word begins on the line, each letter begins where the previous one ends, so every letter starts at the top and ends at the bottom. All but one of symbols are incorporated in the example text at the end and/or are self-explanatory; hyphenated words and words with a slash are written without a break. If there is enough space, words can be fit inside other words provided they start on the line. If there is not enough room to fit a word, refer to the last example word.
The second image is the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Thoekelu, an alphabetical representation of English created for recreational purposes by me. Some of the characters in this sample are old variants that I have changed since this writing, such as “gh”, “sh”, “ch”, “x”, and others, but most are still the same.
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay…
Was watching Bill O’Reilly the other night for some reason. He was arguing with Bob Beckel about whether or not dealing drugs is a violent crime (!?) and at one point, when they predictably began yelling at each other, O’Reilly pulled up his fact sheet and yelled “Trafficking!” to prove a point, underscoring it on his page. He had such a douchebaggy “are you a total idiot?” look that I cracked up, and went on reddit where a generous fellow by the name of iceddoughnut turned it into a GIF for me. It still cracks me up every time it loops!
EDIT: I can’t get it to work so I’m trying to make it link to the original if you click it.
I just discovered the wonder of realistic fiction. The emphasis is on the fiction—the “realistic” part of the phrase is like saying “western fiction” or any other modifier—but it’s the fiction that is the key word. This leads to the realization that even the personalities and thoughts of the characters are fiction. In other words, they’re all made up to the core. So you have to look beyond just the plot and see that every aspect of the world they live in is fabricated. So when you get to read what the characters are thinking, you can understand it as fiction not just in the sense that because the character is made up, he didn’t really think that, but in the sense that no real life person thinks like that because even the thoughts themselves were fiction. And just like with words themselves in literature, a writer can employ literary devices on other aspects of his fictional universe, like the hyperbole of the personalities of the characters in Of Mice and Men. As real and convincing as the author makes their personalities seem, you may never run across anybody that extreme in their persona.
Every now and then I like to log into my old facebook account just to sneak a peak at what the hell all my highschool peers are doing. But tonight I logged in just to see who, in that little shit hole conservative hometown city of mine, supported same-sex marriage and who didn’t.
Upon longing in, the first status I see is:
GOT ACCEPTED TO BIOLA PSY.D PROGRAM (Doctor of Psychology Program)!!
If God places a conviction and a desire in your heart never have a plan B!
“FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, DECLARES THE LORD, PLANS TO PROSPER YOU AND NOT TO HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE.”
HAVE A GOOD DAY!
The problem with this status and with a lot of religious folk is how egocentric they all are. It’s the idea that should anything beneficial happen, it’s automatically attributed to God. Because of their loyal and unquestioning faith, God has decided to reward them for it - Because THEY are special. Their faith has entitled THEM to their success.
And, I feel, this sentiment is extremely dangerous. When you believe your entitlement is valid because of your beliefs in a divine being, you become unsympathetic to all those who don’t follow your creed. You don’t check your privilege because why should you? You deserve it, it’s God’s will anyway.
Anyway, my point is MANIFEST DESTINY.That’s my point. When you feel entitled to your privilege, you justify acts of inequality. And that’s one of my biggest problems with (abrahamic) religions.
I was just visiting the Gateway Arch of St. Louis today and their museum is all about glorifying Manifest Destiny :/ I was fairly uncomfortable just being there, not to mention having paid a $20 entrance fee to support the foundation.
Many people know that I am spending some time in Germany. I’ve been here for two days now, and I think I’ll write a blog about it.
Why are you in Germany anyways?
I’m participating in a UC Davis Summer Abroad trip entitled Local Governance and Politics in the EU, which is taking place most of the time in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, and then for about a week in Treviso, Italy. But I chose to fly in almost a week early, spend a day touring Frankfurt am Main, then visit my childhood best friend Goscha for 3 days in a town called Koblenz, the site of the confluence (koblenz!) of the rivers Rhine and Mosel, I believe. [Spell check is screaming bloody murder at this point.]
Was it stressful planning for the trip?
You bet it was! At least in the last few days. For those who don’t live in Davis, CA, the little university town has a very unique and at times tormenting “model lease” as they like to call it, which starts September 1 and ends on August 31. You can read all about the chaos it causes during the part in between these two days when nobody has a place to live, but for me, it meant that I had to move out early. My roommates can attest that packing for a 5-week trip at the same time as packing everything else I own is kind of a crazy process, but I managed! I said good-bye to many people, including some that I may not see for a much longer time, as well as my adorable grandmother. My mom took me to the airport, and I almost started crying—I’m going to miss California so much!
What was your plan when you got to Frankfurt?
My mom kind of made one up for me at the last minute. I was supposed to spend time on my own the whole day, then take the train to my childhood best friend’s place in Koblenz, do whatever they had me do until Saturday, and then take the train to the site of my program. It mostly went this way, so I’m glad my mom had the forethought of planning my life for me while I was going nuts with packing at home!
How was the flight?
It wasn’t the best. I took United, and I’m pretty sure I requested a specific seat by the window on their special website. But I didn’t get it. I got a seat in the very, very back row, by the bathroom - the row that doesn’t even have window sides, but only the center isle. I was seated near a woman with a crying baby. The Boeing 737 (yes, that’s a 3) must have not changed since about 2001, because all the amenities I had at my seat were a tray-table and an armrest radio console. No TV, or anything. They fed me one dinner on the 11 hour flight, and a croissant for breakfast. The flight was delayed by 2 hours for the ironic reason that their computer was too slow to calculate the route on time. Talk about 2001… They should have asked someone with a smartphone! Oh, and the kicker was that we weren’t allowed to use our personal electronics while the plane was airborne. Ever.
There was nothing good about the flight?
Well, no. As usual, I lucked out with my neighbor. No, not the crying baby woman. There was an awesome blogger-programmer type of guy from Sonoma that was on his way to do a blogging tour of the European Arctic, including Svalbard, and we talked about a lot of various stories. He’s been to Antarctica and all sorts of exotic places. I was pretty jealous! He reminded me a lot of my Mom’s awesome boyfriend Mike. I was hoping he would miss his connecting flight to Oslo because of our antique plane’s dumb computer so that we could explore Frankfurt together, but he made it in the end.
So you explored Frankfurt alone?
No, at the train into town I ran into an amazing gentleman named Rick from Vancouver who was waiting for a connecting flight to Dublin. It was about 11 AM, and his plane only left at 9 PM, so we decided to hit the town together. We did all your regular dorky tourist things, and wandered around somewhat clueless. There were maps, but we didn’t figure out which way was north until almost the end of our trip, and I found a new appreciation for the even grid layout of most American towns. Also, both of us spoke hardly any German, so we had to be pretty bold about approaching people. At one point, we ran into a cute barista from Vancouver. So appropriate! At another point, we tried to get into a cathedral, but ended up paying for a ticket to the top of its tower. The climb up there was probably the biggest workout I have ever gotten, and involved climbing about 250 steps up a dizzying narrow spiral staircase that I nearly fell down at one point. Finally, after a few beers and a fancy Frankfurter dinner, we headed back to the airport where he had his connecting flight and I had stored my luggage, and said good-bye.
And then you went to Koblenz?
I got back to the airport around 6 PM, and the train didn’t come until 8, so that was kind of a chill time at the airport. A bit of a dangerous chill time, considering by then I was awake for close to 24 hours! Similarly, I had to ask a fellow train goer to keep me awake so I wouldn’t miss my stop. By the time my old friend picked me up, I was somewhat of a zombie.
So the reunion didn’t last long.
Not really—we had a delicious dinner, I checked my email and kind of passed out until about 2 PM the next day.
Did you spend it in Koblenz?
Yes, my friend Goscha took me to the “koblenz” in Koblenz, where the two rivers come together at a giant statue of Keiser Wilhelm. Apparently you can clearly see the two different rivers merging together because they have differently colored water, but I didn’t really see it. Then I convinced him to take me up a gondola to the fort on top of the hill. Apparently, in the past, you had to drive there and it was just kind of there. But now, they built the gondola, and began charging admission, and the entire fort was half-way in the middle of a renovation process to turn it into a legitimate tourist attraction. It was really odd to see ancient fort walls supporting a modern glass skyroof with spotlights attached to it, and such things, as well as signs that point to “more display areas” but merely lead to empty, dead-end hallways smelling of fresh paint and grout. But the weirdest thing was that I was so used to seeing similar restored historic landmarks in my life, that I could completely imagine exactly how the unfinished areas would look like, and it was just as satisfying to see them unfinished! Overall, I loved it, and I’m excited for what it will be like when it is done, though I will probably not get to see it.
After that, we went home, stopping at a grocery store on the way. It was weird not to have to be carded to buy beer. Dinner was fun, and I had an interesting conversation with Alla and Goscha about Germany, the differences between the two countries, and, inevitably, socialism. My favorite observation about the two is that their emotions often escalate into angry tones, but they melt and merge like waves into cordial, agreeing tones, and this happens over and over. I’ve never seen anything of the like. They’ll look like they’re about to start breaking dishes, then moments later they’ll figure out each other’s points and smiles return to their faces as surely as the sun in the morning. I am very excited to spend the next few days with them, and see the sights of central west Germany.
Hello to everyone back home, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog—I’m assuming it’s everything you hoped to see, since you came here to read it!!
I met my G4 (Kinda like “best friend”) Aram’s boyfriend when my mom and I took them out to a vegan restaurant in Santa Cruz, so I gave him my email and told him to send me some chain letters “or something.” He sent me an email with this picture saying he didn’t have anything funny for me, but that he found a picture of me and my ex, and was surprised I didn’t tell him that we used to model together. Made my morning!