01/19/03: So Happy New Year, a few weeks ago. It's 2003, we are well into the 21st century...is it what you hoped it would be? No flying cars, no beaming people from one place to another. But hey, it wouldn't be a new millenium without a political war encouraged by the USA, now would it? Does it seem to anyone else like the Bush administration is just goading Iraq and Hussein into the war they want? The US is like, ooh, you better go into hiding! Or else we'll attack you! And you have old, moldy and dusty, EMPTY warheads? Watch out, we're onto you, you're trying to set up chemical warfare, aren't you? Haha, we're not stupid! If you don't give up and surrender, we're gonna bomb you! And oh, we're going to start sending our pro-American xenophobes over to intimidate you, too. What, US aggression? No way. It's as if the Republicans are trying to create an 'emergency' so that they can credit themselves with saving the Western World from the 'evils' of the Middle East. Federally-mandated racial profiling, anyone? Really, we're not back in the the 1940s, I promise. I certainly don't condone any of the terrorist actions or political tyranny that has occurred in or originated in the Middle East, or anywhere. But I certainly do have a problem with the gross-stereotyping, name-calling, moral dichotomy (good vs evil, good must triumph) that the Bush administration advocates. People are just people. We're all aware that the Iraqis, as in, the actual people that live there, who are not terrorists, have suffered a great deal because of the US's macho swaggerings about destroying the evil Hussein domination. So why, after all the American terrorism-related deaths for which the US has sworn revenge, do we not care if civilians in other countries get injured and killed because of that revenge? Do we somehow think we're actually better than citizens of any other country just because we have a world superpower to hide behind? There is no excuse for the mass ignorance of American citizens when it comes to terrorism, world events, and international politics.
And SUVs supporting terrorism? Please. Way to attempt to manipulate the people into supporting your agenda, President Bush.
Well, travel is what I really meant to write about here. This week I battled my wanderlust instincts: having remained in the country for over a year and a half, I of course am yearning to explore some new territory. Namely, Vienna, Prague, Bavaria, the Netherlands, and Ireland. Early last week I very nearly bought a plane ticket to Europe, to spend a month over there in February-March. But, predictably, finances and lack of a risk-taking spirit eventually convinced me I couldn't. But never fear! I visited the offices of Rick Steves, intrepid traveloguer, in lovely Edmonds. While perusing guidebooks and rail maps of Europe, a staff member told my friend and I about the very realistic prospects of working abroad, doing things like au pair and menial labor like grape picking. That got me excited and motivated to go to Europe, for a longer period of time and soon. What I need to do is find a way to save up some money, to get a little cushion with which to travel to the afore-mentioned new places, and then support myself while looking for temporary work in London or Paris.
My holiday job at the Bon Marche is over now, so I am looking for a real job, but it is difficult and increasingly frustrating. The job market in Seattle is truly awful. There are lots of jobs advertised, but there are just too many people looking for those same jobs. I am staying afloat, for now, and am hoping I can scrape by for the next few months until I can put something together.
Another plan I am trying to be productive enough to implement is graduate school. I decided to focus on getting the GRE taken and out of the way. So there are some prep courses in early March that I'm looking into, and then I'm hoping I can take the actual test soon after those. The financial part of this plan is a little steep for little unemployed me, but it's time to GET THINGS DONE. Right-o. I have decided to pursue a Masters of Public Health, in some aspect of Community Health/Community Health Education. There are some great programs at UCLA and NYU, among others.
Today I had a cello lesson, which was a Christmas present from my dad (five lessons altogether). It felt strange and very familiar to pick up a cello. It felt good, and it came back to me surprisingly quick, reading the notes, the fingerings, the bow movements. It didn't sound very nice, but I suppose that will improve with time. All in all, it was satisfying and exciting to play the cello again, after seven years away.
Well, that's all for now, folks. I think I've prattled on quite enough for one sitting. Take care, y'all!