Thursday, July 31, 2008

12 Days

Sorry for the long delay, but I was busy getting myself together for the big move. I spent the bigger part of yesterday moving out of my apartment and into my little brother's bedroom. Except for a box of clothes, my two PC bags, and some other odds and ends my life has been packed away. I had some pretty good finds during the excavation of my room, including:
$42 in change
6 pairs of handbell gloves
My old passport- Thank goodness, I was worried I had lost all my cool stamps.

For the next 10 days will be sharing an 8 year old's bedroom, which is really a dining room. My family has a habit of buying houses that are one bedroom too small and converting the dining room into a bedroom. I spent most of high school in the dining-bedroom, and have come back to a similar chandelier-ed sleeping environment.

I've pretty much given up the dream of 40 hours of Tagalog training. The Rosetta Stone was really fun for a while. The idea of spending 20 hours of my last days in America clicking icons of cats and small children is just not appealing. I've gotten down the numbers, colors, and some basic verbage so I fell okay.

I have been watching this video. It is the Discovery Channel guy who goes places and eats the crazy food. NOT Anothony Bourdain!! As you can see I hate him a lot. Bourdain is a pretensious jerk who thinks that eating crazy stuff is bad-ass. The show I've been watching is hosted by a pleasant fat man named Zimmerman. Where Bourdain feels that eating animal testicles is a boo-yow to Western culinary traditions, Zimmermann sees it as an opportunity to experience a new culture. I'll take the more anthropological approach any day. If you'd like to see the more extreme end of what I'll be eating over the next two years please feel free to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A good day

My new laptop came today! While I will love the new mobility it has to offer, I will miss the awesome processing power that my desktop has.

If that wasn't enough reason to be excited about today i stumbledupon (should that be stumbleupon-ed or just stumbled? either way if you're not stumbling you really should start) a great resource for any man. I've seen a few other sites where you are taught how to tie a tie. Many are mediocre. Gentleman Joe does a very good job showing each step and has the best pictures I've seen. It even has a know that I've not seen before. I just tied my first Pratt knot and it is pretty much amazing.

Can't decide which is better: computing options or sartorial know how.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Perfect Bag

We're living in an America where a woman is now accepted as a feasible presidential candidate (Philippines already has one...just saying). Its funny to me now that the world of hiking bags is littered with traditional sexist leanings. I was at a local outdoors store looking through their amazing bag sell. At this point I'd been looking for a nice bag for about 4 months. Finally, a sale! The best candidate was a little red bag that was untagged. I waved down a friendly, Teva-clad associate to help me price and fit the bag. He tells me the bag was $200 and is now $100. LOVE IT! I put on the bag and he pulls some chords and ta-da, fits great.

So he says, "I'm sure you already know this, son," I hate it when people call me son, "but this is a woman's bag."
I didn't, "Well yes, but how much does that really matter," I say.
"True enough." Disdain.
"Well I think it would be too small anyhow...I've got a lot of clothes to take." True, but the dream is still crushed.

I leave the store. There's nothing else there I really like. Go to REI. I eventually got my bag from REI, but still do not like their loosey-goosey bag organization system. Everything is just kind of all thrown together in no logical order. There are no "Women's Bags" section and "Men's Bags" sections, so how does one tell if you need a penis or vagina to appropriatly use the bag? From my oberservations there are two ways:

1. Color- Because this is an outdoors product there's really only 5 colors to begin with. Black, red, blue, green, and grey. And of course only earth tones of those colors. Occasionally you might find some orange or yellow, but clearly no real hiker would use those since they're outliers. Boy bags are generally darker and/or more primary-toned than their girly counterparts.

2. The Model Name- This, more than color, will lead you to the correct bag. Male bags have hardcore names like Trekker, Eagle, Convoy, Caravan, other minivan names, etc... Female bags have names like Aura, Deva, Energy, etc... Clearly men are hiking to feel strong while women hike to become one with nature. John Smith and Pocahontas would be proud.

The whole idea is silly because you're probably using these bags to go hiking in the woods for extended periods of time. That means lots of sweat, no showers, wool socks, and other general unsexyness (maybe just a me thing). I guess in the wilderness the bag becomes the woman's bastion of feminimity. And yes I know there are subtle differences that a hiking enthusiast would actually care about, but let's be honest. I'm suggesting the name for the first unisex pack should be "The bag that's there with you when you crap in the woods." Maybe long winded, but realistic.

Anyhow, I got a new bag. I love it and it is the perfect size to fit just about all my clothing. It carries the weight really well and I think it will be a great bag to explore Southeast Asia with. It is of German origin and does not seem to be specifically gendered (although it is a very nice shade of cobalt, so I'm leaning towards a man).

It is also exactly one month until I leave!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Staging=Its actually real!

Yesterday, everybody in my program got our further set of instructions, called the staging kit. My staging will be August 13-16 and be in LA, which I didn't know until yesterday. There were a couple of other pieces of paperwork that needed to be filled out. More importantly, it awoke me from my post-graduation stupor. I'm starting to think that I should put some stuff in boxes....wait, wait I should go get some boxes--order of operations.

Staging looks like it is going to be a lot similar to RA training. Several hours in the morning of this topic, a lunch break, then some more talking about something else. Finish up at 8 or 9 and then crash. And its kinda sad, but i love things like that (when they're new). RA training got a little old after the 3rd year, but I can still remember the fun of all the group bonding and camaraderie. I guess I like the fact that everyone is new, and waiting to be discovered. I am 40 days away from a new set of friends, rivals, lovahs, and colleagues--could i be more excited? NO!