Thursday, September 02, 2004

No more years! 

From the new vantage point of Capitol Hill, I can safely assert: the Bush speech at the close of the Republican National Convention got me hard.

Seriously, if you are planning on voting republican ticket in two months, you not only have serious character flaws, but you are absolutely ignorant of domestic and international policy.


I find it odd when I notice ann oddly shaped object in the Arkansas River on the weathercam, then, upon enlargin it, clearly see that said object is actually a submarine. Though it would be pretty amazing if the epicenter of the new marine attack on the States was North / Little Rock, it turns out it's actually a sort of death ceremony for the longest in-service submarine, predicatbly named the U.S.S. Razorback, and that former submariners from all over the nation are coming to look at it at rest among a flotilla of yachts in our murky stream. Interestingly, this diesel beast was commissioned in 1944 and had a role in the ceremonial surrender of Japan and contiued to go on to service during Vietnam. Then the U.S. sold it to Turkey, who then, decades later, sold it as scrap to the city of North Little Rock for about forty grand. A seventy year old diesel submarine only costs as much as a luxury sedan? Sign me up.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004


The ad mentioned something about a few international students, but I suppose I was unprepared for what exactly that implied. I just sent an email asking if the offer for a room was still available.

The quick, unembellished response email was simply a telephone number, digits oddly spaced in pairs, with a brief line of instruction: "We've had many offers, so call and arrange a meeting, OK?"

I call. Ring. Here we go; act casual. Speak clearly and with neutral intonation. The sound of pick-up--

"Ciao, Federico."

Knees... weakened; feel... dizzy...


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

We're all clones 

Tomorrow, George Washington University will be commemorating its one hundredth year under the current formal name. In so doing, its also acknowledging the science of our times, symbolically connecting the past with the present using modern technology, providing the area with a silent, staid ambassador to the future:

The community is invited to a tree-planting ceremony at Kogan Plaza on Wednesday at 11 a.m. to commemorate the 100th anniversary of The George Washington University name. The University will plant a six-foot clone of a circa 1785 white ash tree donated by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

I find this a compelling token, far better than some new piece of expensive metal sculpture that would, like most others, be easily ignored, or even despised by an unappreciative public. This is organic, an actual organism, that romantically hearkens back to the era of the nation’s founding and the ensuing Republican Elysium that so greatly fostered the cultural excellence for which the United States was once known.

This is entirely off-topic, but I'm going to spend the last of my disposable income on the new Bjork album, Medúlla, which came out in the States today!


Monday, August 30, 2004


I'm having an unusually difficult time finding a place, it seems, and the chaos is driving me mad. I've found a place that's tiny and not-so-high rent (by my Little Rock standards), but its lease is unreasonably long and I still have no idea whether or not I'll be able to afford it in the long term. Eight hundred dollars per month, a small fortune where I've just come from, buys absolutely nothing here. Washington D.C. has no middle class, and the small proportion of citizens who live poorly and happily within the city are being efficiently razed by the invading commuters and suburbanites--as a result, the District is oddly proportioned, uncomfortably polarized, and wealthy beyond all belief. I feel very out of place, oddly enough; I had thought that moving to this city would foster some sort of catchartic cultural awakening, but instead I'm confronted with crowds of people who dislike social change and wear two polo shirts with both collars up and so on. When did this city start trying to be Manhattan?

My orientation has begun today, and I am scared shitless. This is going to be hard. I feel that I'll have no time to continue looking for a place to live after this Wednesday, when classes begin, so I feel pressured to accept this tiny, expensive, long lease place with no true capacity to do so. My stomach churns with the problems I've thrown myself into. I'm losing a little weight, thought, and toning up from all the walking, so I guess it's not all bad.

I know what you're thinking, that it's only been a week, that things will change as I settle and find comfort with my setting. I agree, I certainly agree, but my agreement can't change the details that I've observed thus far. There is a distinct possibility that I have made a mistake.


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