February 28, 2006

And... Wal-Mart

Expect a long rant on Wal-Mart forthcoming.

Evil bastards reaping the fruit of what they sow.

February 19, 2006


What a weekend.

Maybe I should make that into a "Wow, what a weekend."

The BW Model United Nations team made its 30th-odd trip to Boston to participate in the 2006 Harvard National Model UN conference. Most trips out to Boston are immemorable and given the quality of debate, much the same should have been expected from the 2006 excursion to Harvard.

Well, that certainly was far from the case and we should have all known it from the second we arrived at the airport.

Starting the amusement was Allen Stewart, having to get stopped and wanded at security because of his metal-studded belt. Then there was the waiting at gate C4... Léna sticking a cell phone and the an iPod into her mouth... then Tamoré shoving her fist into her mouth.

Yeah... it was not the most auspicious start to the weekend.

Things began to go downhill quickly after the Thursday evening session - yes, the session on the first night we were there. Kim and I went out to eat, but being that it was just after 11pm on a Thursday night, we were having a hard time finding any restaurants that were open. Not clubs. Restaurants. We ended up going to this place called Joe's on Dartmouth and Newbury. I had gone there last year and the food was decent. She had an Asian Chicken salad and I ordered French Onion soup...

... it took a good amount of time for the food to come out. The chefs had closed down the kitchen early and we angry with the manager.



Small talk with Kim.


The food came at long last. Kim's salad tasted excellent. The cheese on my soup was still solid... far from being melted in any way. The manager was kind enough to remove the soup from the bill, but I ate it anyway... cold and rather bland.

Yeah. So we made our way back to the hotel. Decided to invite Kim back to the room... chilled with Léna and Steven... watched some History Channel. Abby and Tamoré return, fully inebriated, sometime after that. Tamoré hits on me. Grabs me. Makes me feel pretty uncomfortable. I leave my little cot and retreat to the bed where Kim and Léna are. By the time I've reached the bed, Steven has left, I'm sure after having been made thoroughly uncomfortable by the topic of discussion.

Abby, being fully drunk, decides to go to sleep in the shower. Okay. Fine. Sleep in the shower. She brings a can of Baked Lays into the shower with her... and lays on top of it. She wonders where it is and Kim goes into the bathroom to assist with the finding of the chips. Under her.

Abby gets up and sets up a cot behind the room's door. It is snugly fit between the door and a wall, so that Abby, in her intoxication, can "keep watch." Okay, fair enough.

Eventually everyone is in bed. Tamoré, Matt, Kim, and I are in the bed. Léna is on the cot where I was supposed to be. Abby is in the other cot. It's sometime between two-thirty and three-fifteen. We're all asleep, or almost asleep, when disaster strikes. The fire alarm goes off... none of us knows what to do. We get Abby up and bail out of the room. I make my way down to the lobby to try to find out what's going on.

False alarm. Okay. That's well and fine. I go back up the stairwell, which is getting increasingly congested by the flow of students streaming from the upper floors.

Time to go back to bed, right? Not quite. None of us grabbed a key in our hurry to vacate the room. Someone goes back downstairs... this time via elevator, as the stairwell is totally backed up.

Okay... now it's time to go back to bed, right? Hell no. That would be far too simple and easy. The door won't open.

WHAT? The door won't open!

It seems that the opened after we left the room, lodging between the door and the wall, barricading the door shut. We putz around, trying to figure out what to do. Do we call for help? We do...

... and things go from bad to worse.

We go through several security people before the night manager, a large and burly man, comes up. He works on the door for several minutes, trying to force it open by his sheer weight. He stops and has the front desk make some keys for Abby, Kim, Léna, and me. Room 1053.

Léna, Kim, and I go to the front desk to pick up the keys and see our new digs.

It turns out it's the Imperial Suite.

The what?

The Imperial Suite.




there's more... but I'm low on time. More will come later.

Leaving for DC tomorrow until Saturday (or Friday). More travelling. Fun.


February 13, 2006

Misery reigns supreme

Tomorrow, for those of us who are bothered by it, misery will reign supreme. That void which tears through hearts, minds, and souls, is rent to be even wider than previously. It is the only day that will cause people to break down yearly and want to cede their existences.

It's an awful day.

And it's meaningless.

And I hate it because of the void. Oh well, last year was good. Maybe next year will be better. (Doubtful.) I feel so emo...

... but I'm not. I'm just sick of this.

But tomorrow will pass, chocolates will be eaten, and roses will wilt, and I'll laugh at everyone in relationships who save their love for this one pathetic day and they'll go back to hating each other. Hah. Joke's on them, not me this time.

(Remember what I've said: love is every day.)

Now if only the desire would come along to make me change my way. But I don't want to put it all on the line... even if it's not all of it and it's most definitely not on a line.

There's an octopus-shaped balloon holding five hearts with five tentacles... it's anatomically incorrect. Octopus, not quintopus (or pentapus, whatever the root is.) The balloons will deflate, slowly, too... like the passion of love after the first time.

But it's more than that, too, this year... more than this shilly little "love" thing. It's about friends this year. It's about the people who you hold in confidence, only to have it broken by some thoughtless friend and you wonder why you put up with them. And you shouldn't. (And I won't.) It's about people who don't respect you, who seem to take everyone opportunity they can to put you down in front of other people and you should be sick of taking it. (And I am.)

More than some confectionary treat with pink letters.


When I remember who my friends are, I become happy. But when I take into account who my friends are not... I become deflated.

14 February means alot more to me this year than in years past, but not as much as last year, for reasons you may know.

What does it mean to you?

February 11, 2006


Well, to that last post I must now go "oops..."

February 10, 2006

Drink, drank, drunk.

As your humble blogger begins to blog today, he is listening to a student, age unknown, lament over the criticism levied against him by a female acquaintance (girlfriend, perhaps) over his perchant towards alcoholism.


In a condescending and mocking tone he goes, "Well, I think your drinking makes you look unprofessional and wah wah wah."


I haven't touched alcohol in any amount in the last couple of weeks, not even a passing beer. I've noticed that since I've stopped drinking, I've got more motivation and I don't smell like vodka and tonic when I get out of the...

... shower.

Although that last thing was done in jest, the fact of the matter is that motivation has been driving me and making me accomplish loads without the aid of alcohol. Heck, even my social life has improved... kinda.

Not really.


I remember being a freshman and working in downtown Cleveland on Saturdays for four hours. I'd get plastered up on Saturday and either a) not show up or b) show up with a potent hangover. Looking back on that, it could be regarded as being thoroughly unprofessional.

Luckily there aren't any pictures of me holding a can of Natural Light or anything like that. (Whew.)

Here's to kicking the bottle.

Here's to another one.


February 8, 2006


Today in Politics and Economics of Developing Countries, class discussed faults of statism and problems arising from corruption. The professor had the class read a PJ O'Rourke article, "How To Make Nothing From Everything", about Tanzania.

O'Rourke lays a good deal of the fault of Tanzanian inability to develop on the government. I kindly would like to disagree. Why? How can blame be levied upon something that doesn't physically exist.


That's right. Government isn't a physical entity, but rather is a concept. Confused yet? Yes? Good.

People create government, good people govern well, bad people govern badly. It's pretty simple, I'd think. But government itself isn't inherently corrupt. The concept of government is just an idea that been presented for millenia about how humankind can regulate itself. Laws are not a branch of government. Laws are of human creation. Good people create good laws. Bad people create crap laws.

It's up to the people who are governed (in a democracy or anything similar to that concept) to maintain a check upon the people who lord over them. Rise up and slay the dragon of a dictatorship, if you must.

To be successful, I believe that people need to have qualified people to provide a rule of law, not people who are driven by power and greed. This is particularly true in an effective democracy. The playing field should be level from the gate.

But if people consistently choose others who are incompetent... does that mean that people are inherently unable to choose what is best for them?

Mmm... I smell an essay.


February 5, 2006

Strickland and Fisher

A little over a week ago Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland announced that former Attorney General and 1998 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lee Fisher would be seeking the position of Lieutenant Governor as his running mate.

Ulysses, Peter, and I attended the announcement at the ward office of Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone. It was an exciting announcement and solidified my once weak support of Congressman Strickland. After having heard Lee Fisher speak at Oberlin College, I became a fan of the former AG. His vigor and refreshing honesty gave me hope.

On Friday, January 27th, Ted Strickland proved why I should support his candidacy all the way to November... (not that I would vote for a Republican, anyway.) Maybe more importantly, he gave me reason to support him through the primary season.

The Senate race is a whole different matter.


I'm still a little wary of making a choice, but I intend to support Sherrod Brown. I want to. I mean it. I've liked him since I learned who he was and the like. Hell, I own The Myths of Free Trade... (but I haven't yet gotten to reading it.)

I'm thinking about running for Democratic Central Committeeperson for Berea... I haven't been able to get in touch with the current one, so I'm going to assume he either a) doesn't exist or b) is dead.

That's all... I'll get you more from the campaign trail if I make it.


February 4, 2006


Went to see Rent last night in the SAC.

It was good. I enjoyed the entire carpe diem theme of the movie. And no, Virginia, I haven't seen the show.

That said, the movie raises the issue of AIDS, an issue that has seemingly fallen by the wayside since the mid 1990s. This is the US's and the world's problem. AIDS is the cause of one of the greatest humanitarian disasters (if not the greatest) the world has seen - with the focus of that disaster in sub-Saharan Africa.

The profit mongering of bigpharma is posing a grand problem to combatting AIDS: companies fighting the creation of less-expensive generic drugs to help alleviate the symptoms of HIV and AIDS.

So remember, in the eyes of bigpharma: $$$ > a sick you.

February 3, 2006

Une autre six semaines d'hiver?

Punxatawny Phil (he doesn't like being called Phillip) saw his shadow yesterday...... six more weeks of a winter that has yet to arrive. Prognosticators are calling for a significant winter storm for this weekend. My prognostication: rain. And lots of it. Hell, we were throwing around a frisbee yesterday... in a steady rain... at 44F(6C)...

February 1, 2006

Cluck Cluck

Ran across a chicken the other day,
        Not a chicken, per se,
    Poultry, we'll call it

Ran across a frog two days before,
        It was a frog, for sure,
    Evolved from the tadpole
Brown. Yellow.

Ran across a human three days prior,
        For the people, to conspire,
    Advancement by blood?
Red. Brown. Yellow.

I swam across the ocean
In the truest hope of finding
Answers to the problems
But to discover more

Chickens in the ocean.
Frogs in the farms.
We annoint ourselves with a power,
    From God


Maybe I was once a babboon.
Or a chimpanzee.
On this do you agree?
Will it matter if we ever do?