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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
yeah yeah
we knew it was you all along

there it is
i found it. turns out my name has two I's in it. who would have thought. tim got it figured for me.

you don't recognise my initialls? i suppose that's too be expected. i recognize yours. it has been a while since i'v posted, but i think i'm still an official and authentic shoup original. i even have admin status. please contact me if you have any password problems.

Monday, May 30, 2005
Hello friend,
who are you? your initials have got me at a loss. if you or anyone else out there has lost their password or would like one: EMAIL ME or meg or sasha or mennonot and we can send you an invitation! whoa!

so do it
kate dot schrock at gmail

Sunday, May 29, 2005
note the occurances surrounding the man behind winkies

it doesnt want me blogging. it says my password is wrong. but my password isn't wrong. how can a password be wrong? mine certainly isn't.

i'm back, at least cyber-back. i'm sorry. i missed you. i'm in london, using mennotims computer but hes not here. wednesday i go home to my beautifull ______.

i want my identity back. or at least my password. i clicked the button but i never got the email yet. give it time... give it time...

you never visit me anymore. and when you do you never stay. you think you can get away with anything. you all think you can get away with anything.

who gives a key, and why?

-efm

It is on like my pants (oh, wait)
Thanks for the great memories, Kate & Meg. Meg, I am finally taking your advice and moving to DC for the summer. I hope to have an internship lined up with one of these fine NGOs or else I'll work at the docks or risk my life with Kate on the wheels of steel. I already quit my job and had my work goodbye party last night. Tuesday is my Stats final, Thursday I go skydiving with Misha and Friday night I get on the bus to our nation's capital (with a stop in NYC to see J.Yo). I'll be living with Tim K. (thanks, Tasara!). Oh, and I think I just found somebody who needs a French tutor. Fantastique!

I can't wait to see you guys. Try not to lose more limbs before I get there. Here is to a most rocking summer!


i totally recomend rocking a slideshow if you're looking for a smile :)
shoup ♥ flickr

Saturday, May 28, 2005
hangman
i hear "be safe out there" so many times a day i have no idea how to respond anymore, i usually just smile and say, "will do". but after getting my arm run over, severely doored, and the rear ended so that i totaled both my wheels i decided it was time to reconsider my career path before i died. so i laid out a plan: so far i'd injured my left and right arms and my left leg, leaving and injury to my right leg and my head till i'd be "hung" in hangman. Due to an unfortunate series of events i have since significantly scabbed up my right arm and leg falling of a curb and then got clocked in the face by a guy holding a starbucks just last week. damn, i guess i'm hung. but i'm having fun. ha ha, screw you hangman.

Friday, May 27, 2005
Mennonite Surrealism
Surreal images and vaguely obvious philosophical meditations about Mennonite set to music (click the listen to excerpt link). Seems to be parts of a longer work. Sort of like an obfuscated deep thoughts with Jack Yoder with floating eggs thrown in for good measure.

I'm not sure I get it...

Maybe it's a Canadian thing...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

nce upon a time in SE DC, Meg was biking through traffic when her Chrome bag hit the mirror of a truck. The truck blared its horn and Meg thought it best to start biking on the sidewalk. Ten blocks later the truck caught up with Meg and started yelling. As they passed an intersection, Meg turned hard and sprinted up another street. The truck backed up to the intersection it had just passed and then pursued Meg. Meg turned into a parking lot and hopped over a lawn and a sidewalk onto a different road. The truck followed her over the grass and the sidewalk. Meg hopped over the median and under the gate to the parking lot where she worked. The truck did a U-turn and tried to get through the gate but was slowed down. Meg ran through the marina security doors with her bike on her shoulder and then into the boat house where she works. The truck gave up. Meg thinks road rage is nasty and trucks shouldn't chase bikes.

The End.

octogenarian
I am so much older than you that I might as well be an "octogenarian".
I have been lurking at Shoup house for some time.
I am happy that some of you are finding life in Pittsburgh. It does have a quality of life if you can find a job.
Secondly, what the f*** is with the Schrock apparel? I have known you before you were born and apparel is not very important.
Third, Kate Schrock, Matt Styer from EMU is documenting the lives of couriers in DC, I think he needs to spend a day with you.
I will try to post my picture, but I forget the instructions.
Mother Marilyn

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

So I've figured out how to get the free wireless. I have to sit by the window to the left of the stove and it comes in not super-well but well enough to get everything I need to get to. I've been avoiding checking anything sensitive, though, because perhaps just perhaps there's someone at the other end of the line watching me.

I also feel kind of guilty about this. I am stealing someone else's utility. The funny part is that I would like to find out who it is so I could offer to chip in, but I don't know how to do that. I could probably figure out where it's coming from by determining the angle that the signal comes in through the window. But then what? Go post a notice on the window of the neighboring house? And I'm not sure I could even figure out which house it is well enough to do that.

But otherwise Pittsburgh cruises along. Had lunch today with Jeremy Yoder, which was fun. Still fighting for justice for the working class, too, from 9 to 5 with an hour for lunch.

Monday, May 23, 2005
update from Sean in Ireland...
He's doing fine. Made it to Dublin without any problems. When he sent his message, he was waiting for Ben F. and the Meyer boys... apparently they had left the Isaacs Hostel they were staying at.. but Sean thought they would return for lunch.
But yes, he's fine. Tired, but fine.
Since I don't know if he's planning to update y'all here while he's there.. I'll take it upon myself to try to...

and a little plug for myself...
Saturday: June 11th, 534 House, Goshen. - my UnderAger for my 21st birthday.
Around 6 or 6:30p there'll be a pasta dinner of some sort... And then that night will just be a good ole party. I'm hoping to have chocolate covered goodies there.. since it's my new favourite pasttime to dip fruit and candies into chocolate.
There will also be dinner & drinks June 13th in Yorktown/Muncie Indiana (Ball State area) for my actual 21st. e-mail me: erini.christine@gmail.com if you're interested in that one (so I know how many to reserve for at the restaurant...)
But all in the Goshen area are welcomed and encouraged to swing by 534 house on the 11th.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Hey kids, I know I don't ever post to this, but I figured it might be the best way to contact Eric and Jonny Meyer and maybe even Ben Friesen.

I just found out/decided yesterday that I'm going to Ireland tomorrow for a couple weeks to bum around and look at shit. I hear that you guys are also doing something like that (a fact that was unknown to me until a few minutes ago) and I was thinking we should hook up and rock that country. Anyway, you should email me or show up at the airport in Dublin at 8 am on monday which is when myself and all the kids in the Ireland class are getting in. It'll be a hoot.

Sean Kauffman

Friday, May 20, 2005
Mildred's Daughters


On my first day of farming at Mildred's Daughters Urban Farm in Stanton Heights, Pittsburgh, I met Mildred. She's at least an octogenarian, and has severe dementia, and is very sweet and likes to flirt with male farm workers, her daughter-in-law Barb Kline told me. "She's a real southern belle,'' Kline said.

Mildred's Daughters is a wonderful place and I believe I will thoroughly enjoy my three months there this summer. (Hint: Visits are welcome!) I have already learned at least one important lesson. When kneeling for most of an afternoon trying to eradicate an invasive plant species from a farm's rasberry patch, it is important to put sunblock in the space between the bottom of one's shirt and beginning of one's pants. I have a really nasty sunburn on my lower back reminiscent of the burn Kate got on the lower quarter of her stomach after falling asleep outside one day in Ethiopia. (Oh yeah, Kate, you know what I'm talking 'bout.)

In other exciting news, I would have guessed before biking in Pittsburgh that it is about 25 percent hillier than D.C. Turns out it's more like 75 percent. In my 35-minute, 4-mile bike ride from home to work, about 6 blocks total are at an angle of fewer than 45 degrees. Soon I will have thighs of steel. Eat it, Jane Fonda!

Thursday, May 19, 2005
oh boy oh boy


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It's called a "wet-down" woo-boy!

when it rains, it's called a "free wet-down"

Guess whose working up the street from my house?

So last night Jonathan and Charletta and I were wondering through Highgate village when we came across this giant crane shining unbelievably bright spotlights down on a patch of ground in front of the URC church. We went over to investigate and discovered they were filming Sharon Stone's new movie, "Basic Instinct 2." They were also continually spraying the street with big hoses, apparently to create a pretty reflection. Ah, Hollywood...

P.S. Must see cool internet thingamajig of the day zoom quilt

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
a lip-smacking, tongue-tickling, happy-making, chewy good time!
oh derek, if only you were here... I could make you one last bubble tea... extra choobees... ice perfectly blended...
but sadly, this is the last night of the junc until august...

we still have about 1.5 liters of choobees left, purple ones too.

Monday, May 16, 2005
The bible says the darndest things
Today during noon prayers, we read Proverbs 22. Its the wierdest passage I've heard in quite awhile. In four verses we have a lazy guy with agrizoophobia, God sending people he's angry with into a prostitute's mouth, the archetypal rationalization for child abuse and a severe warning to capitalists and the socialite brown nosers:

13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!"
or, "I will be murdered in the streets!"

14 The mouth of a whore is a deep pit;
he who is under the LORD's wrath will fall into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
and he who gives gifts to the rich?both come to poverty.

new tunes
you can stream the new sleater-kinney album the woods at their website. the album is produced by david fridmann, who in addition to being a member of mercury rev has also produced the last few flaming lips albums, grandaddy, sparklehorse, and many other bands. from what i've heard so far he opts for a more lo-fi, fuzzy aesthetic not his usual lush shimmer. an interesting pairing nonetheless.

just listened to the whole thing. it is incredibly fuzzed out - it's even got some fuzz bass - and incredibly classic rock/psychedelic. there are several long guitar solos and psychedelic freak outs. needless to say this is quite unlike anything else sleater-kinney has done.

you can also stream spoon's new album gimme fiction at merge records. i like it a lot. it's more rocking and less produced than kill the moonlight. the single, i turn my camera on, is especially great. he sings falsetto and eric bachman of archers/crooked fingers fame sings backup. anyway good things to check out if you have high speed internet.

also guitar solos seem to be coming back. the woods has many, gimme fiction has a few, and the first half of wilco's a ghost is born is overflowing with them. it leaves me wondering what prompted this resurgence of guitar heroics...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

O will be in D.C. week after next.


  1. Walking home from the Walgreens in Albuquerque we ran into this guy pushing a shopping cart. When he first slurred, "Can I ask you guys a question?" I thought, "Great! An opportunity to unload the pennies that have been accumulating in my pocket over the past week!" But he launched into a story.

    "So I was taking a dump in a backyard and this guy comes out and calls me 'asshole.' Now why would he do that? And so I says 'Hey Soldier, I'm not bothering nobody.' Then he says he's going to call the cops on me. Why would he say that? I wasn't bothering nobody."

    At the time my thought was, "Right on! You weren't bothering anybody! You were just taking a dump." Of course later Celeste pointed out that someone might not be so pleased to find a man defecating in his backyard.

  2. Near what used to be my house in D.C. there's a man sitting on a wall beside the sidewalk. He's wearing black jeans and a denim collared shirt. He has neatly trimmed hair and a beard. He speaks quickly and with an accent that's difficult to define (Greek?).

    "Cigarette for the homeless?" he asks quickly as I walk by. "Sorry, don't smoke," I say.

    Later I'm walking around the house to the garage. "Cig-oh you don't smoke," he says. He continues. "Let me tell you something, you are very handsome." "Well thank you, and yourself as well," I reply. "No, leadership cannot be handsome," he says under his breath, and continues "I tell you, you could be a Roman Centurion." "Thank you," I say and I go to get on my motorcycle and ride it for an hour. It starts without difficulty.


Saturday, May 14, 2005
Petition Update
So far, I have gotten myself mentioned on a fan site (http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/faq.asp), gotten TWO of the stars of the show to sign my petition, AND the guy I'm e-mailing at TVOntario told me in his latest e-mail, "p.s. ~ new developments on the horizon."

Let me just say, I rock.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Wednesday, May 11, 2005
There's nothing wrong with my pasty white ass!!
So, I heard through the grapevine some news about Corduroy (the short film I'm starring in that Dave Kendall, Bryan Falcón and Sidney King are working on). Evidently, they are desperately searching for a butt double for me.

EXCUSE ME! What's wrong with my ass? I think it's a perfectly fine ass! Did they not think it was good enough to film? Did they think that I was ashamed of it? I was actually kind of looking forward to my ass's screen debut. ... Oh well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
woot! and hell-yeah!
guess who got engaged??


congratulate them!





less important:

here's a little snowboarding video

The Derby link
Amish sipping Mint Julips

HTML 101
When I was 12, my mother sat me down and said, "Meg, if you're going to use the internet, you need to know a little HTML." ...or something to that effect. Anyway, the very first thing she taught me was how to make a hyperlink. Today you all will learn how to make a hyperlink as well!

Thanks to the consideration of Kate or Sasha who anticipated that everyone might not know some html, the script already exists in the template of our blog. you know that little "a href= blah blah blah" thing that some of you delete as soon as you begin a post? well, that, my friends, is the very thing you need to make a hyperlink! It's very simple. just paste the url (example: http://www.gmail.com) inside the part that says "url_here". Do not erase the quotes! Do not erase the carrots! and make sure the url includes "http://". Then, in the part that says "linkText" you can write whatever you want. a lot of people write the title of the link. experiment. It's fun!

BONUS LESSON!!!!! sweeet.

there is also a little template for an image if you want to post a picture. just take the script that says "img src=" and paste the image url in there. That would be something that most likely ends in .jpg or .gif, NOT .htm (example: http://www.metrokc.gov/health/images/smiling-tomato.gif) Simply paste this inside the quotes and presto! you have an image.

easy!

Gmail

Monday, May 09, 2005
Nanny
Tosha, my two and a half year old nephew a resident of the D.C. area has found himself without a nanny for the next few days due to her apendectomy. If anyone living in close by can work an 8-6 job for one or two or three or whatever days let me know, and I will hook you up.
~O
breif bio of Tosha

Sunday, May 08, 2005
Words from Jonas
...using the alias, Jonas, myself and two others known as Levi and Amos, got our sorry faces on television and in the paper all at the small price of being kicked out of the mennonite church for our actions. And Alisa, just think about the prospects of running around with me at Derby next year, you too could be ostracized from the church, it'll be fun!


This picture looks a lot more like her today than any of the other pictures I could find. She's just enough older now  that pictures of her from treesit days look too fresh faced. Also she has different hair than then. While it may seem a minor point, I want to give her much respect for good hair. And a good outfit all around. Black slacks and a black t-shirt may be boring in general, but they're appropriate when you want an audience to focus on your face and your words.Caliope drove us up to Los Alamos today to see Julia Butterfly Hill speak at a Unitarian church. I'd like to acknowledge one of the bad things that law school has done to me: it has made me unwilling to give credit to rhetorical styles that aren't heavily analytical. This is wrong and I need to work on it. Fortunately, today helped. Indeed, perhaps what most impressed that upon me was Julia's mention of how her speaking skills built from next to nothing to evidently quite fantasic during her two years in the tree. My speaking skills are something I very much would like to improve upon, and I found myself greatly encouraged to hear that someone else had been able to do so through practice. I expect to get a lot of practice next year.

Julia was touring the country on a bus powered by vegetable oil and biodiesel. I made a guy with a shaved head and bleached goatee explain the fuel system to me. I think I understood the basics, which pleased me greatly. On the drive back Celeste asked if there would be any way of converting a motorcycle. I had been thinking about this, as she knew. I had just read the other day about a Royal Enfield bike with a diesel engine which I supposed could run on diesal. Apparently some people have already considered this. I don't know if you could do the full conversion to vegetable oil, though, without the bike being too heavy to hold up.

And in closing, if it isn't too late already, call your mother.

Not Gene
I value Gene Weingarten for his humor and I found the article was too serious after the first 5 minutes. I don't understand anyone who chooses to stay in a small remote village (Lanaster, Goshen, Harrisonburg, Savoonga)rather than seek employment in a location where jobs exist. Booze, Bingo and Satellite TV will not make the location any better.

Saturday, May 07, 2005
mine!

Guess who's poster is on IMDB?

but for some shitty reason I'm listed as a PA... oh well, just imdb. check out the official website. There I'm credited correctly.


I am done with classes and papers. Kind of feels like being back from SST. Spent Thursday riding motorcycle out into Virginia. All it needed was a new battery. Absorbed glass mat technology, I love you. Called my father while filling up in Quantico. Told him I was done. He said he could hear it in my voice.

Yesterday I spent all day packing, dividing my room into four groups of things:

  1. Things that are coming with me to New Mexico this week.
  2. Things that are coming to Pittsburgh on the truck on the 14th.
  3. Things that are coming to Pittsburgh on the motorcycle when I come back to get it on the 22nd.
  4. Things that are spending all summer in a corner of the room under a dust cover.

I finished packing just in time to get to the 9:30 for the Decemberists show. Petra Hayden was there, so "seeing Petra Hayden" is now something I can check off from the list of things to do before I die.

Also I have to get her new album. Okay New Mexico, here I come!

Darn, I look homeless. ... No wait, I look HOT! ... Fuck! No, I just look homeless.
Let me just say, for the first minute after I read your blog, Tim, I believed you.

Friday, May 06, 2005
Goshen Grads:
I think it's pretty obvious... DC wins.

Tommorrow is the Derby
Kentucky Derby that is... and what kind of participant in the Louisville Urban Corps would I be if I didn't dress up like an Amishman under the pseudo-name "Jeremiah" and get ass drunk on mint-julips in the in-field of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow? I'll tell you what kind, a bad one! I say, No sir! I will proudly mis-represent my newfound Mennonite roots by setting a prime example of what can happen to a Mennonite when they live in Louisville for 8 months. If you happen to catch the races on t.v. look for the guy with the straw hat (It'll probably be me), after all, its only Kentucky; how many straw-hat wearing, alcohol consuming weirdos can there possibly be?

Sasha--way to rock grad school!
Speaking of things that rock: Record staff breaks record

congrats sasha!

The real meaning of "Ten Pence"
Derek,

As a long-time London resident, I'm afraid I have to break it to you that you've had a cross cultural incident. You see, here in London, giving someone ten pence is a way of signalling interest. That poor lady was actually trying to pick you up. I hope you didn't scare her off.

You might want to warn other members of the Mayterm class to avoid any further crosscultural misunderstanding. That's the last thing Goshen College needs more of.

Feeling in the top quartile today
As y'all know, last month I applied for this M.Sc. in Nursing. I waited hella long for an interview but they never called, so I called them. They said my GPA was too high for an interview and that I should take the pre-requisite statistics course. So for the month of May I'm spending mornings doing stats (and afternoons phasing myself out of my job). Then this came:
We are pleased to inform you that the Admissions Committee of the School of Nursing will be forwarding your application to Graduate Studies Office with a recommendation for admission to the Qualifying Year of the M.Sc.(A) Program for September 2005.

In the near future, we will be mailing you an official letter with more details about your admission and any condition(s) of admission if applicable. We will also give you more information about August orientation and registration of courses. The orientation will take place on August 29, 2005 09:30-11:30 a.m. (approximately). You will also be receiving a separate admissions package from Graduate Studies Office once they have given final approval of your admissions.

Please note that this process can take a little time to complete, especially during peak times. Therefore, we appreciate your patience while waiting hear from Graduate Studies and our office....

We look forward to having you as a graduate student in nursing this fall!
Whoo! I look forward to it too! Meantimes, I need to follow through on my plan to make it a DC summer and give those stats my 110%.

PS: notice the new photostream sidebar? Sign up at flickr.com and post your pics. Tag the ones you think everybody would enjoy with "shoup" and see them show up on the blog! Wonderful!

Thursday, May 05, 2005
our homeless looking friend
Dude, think how much cash you could score if you tried to look homeless! Ten pence--that's like four bucks back in the States and $8.50 in Canada!

How to know you need to up your appearance:
I mean, I've never been the most stylish person, but I didn't know I was that bad!!

So, today I go to a post office in London with Will Velez because he wanted to buy a phone card. While I was standing by the counter waiting for Will in line, a lady comes up to me (without making eye contact) and slides a 10-pence piece to me across the counter.

Yeah ... that's right, SHE THOUGHT I WAS HOMELESS!!!

I'm going to go take a shower.



So... I don't know the first thing about rowing, but yesterday I joined the DC Strokes as a coxswain. Heh. And I caught a baby duck.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
blogger.com is slow
old posts are archived after a week
text doesn't take up that much band width anyway
posting big pictures is generally what takes a while, especially if that server is slow
but really, it's the blogger server that's pretty slow
i think, i dunno much abou this stuff so i just made that up except for the part about the blogger server being slow, i read that somewhere

also, i have a flickr page!

What's wrong with capitalism?
Rose, the bassist for the Poster Children, is now selling Tickets To The Sunset. Don't forget to pick up your T-shirt and Steve Albini recording!

A response to Tim and Joel
I realize these are unrelated.

Tim, I haven't read any of Gene's articles so I don't intend to comment them. But a word on CPT and meaningful ambiguity.

I would agree that situations are incredibly complex and that there is a role for storytelling. However, I think CPTs stories would serve a far better purpose if combined with a political, social, theological, or economic analysis, or more cynically, just an analysis. It's one thing to learn about what is going on and empathize through story, which is CPT's aim, but it serves no greater purpose if we as North Americans/Christians/whatever don't have a collective response. I think the sense you get that telling stories is one of the more useful things you can do results, at least in part, from CPT's unwillingness to engage adequately the broader efforts of other movements, NGOs, multilaterals, and IFIs. It's a serious weak spot for CPT and something I've become a bit disenchanted with as I work for World Vision and listen to the policy discussion up close.

Joel, I found your majuscules/minuscules reflection engaging. I often expect to groan at such a topic, but I think your comments make some valid points. On your broader assessment of capitalism and disdain towards globalization, I agree with the broad strokes assessment that there are a lot of problems, but I find your analysis and engagement with the topic hard to follow and incredibly biased. I'm not sure you'll agree at all with this, but I wish you would speak more adequately to what I at least perceive to be capitalism rather neutral ideological assertions and save your harsh and biting cynicism for our society's poor ethical application of capitalism. I don't think the "exchange of goods and services" should be demonized and disregarded as more or less illegitimate, rather greediness and unfair compensation should be raged against. I think that is ultimately what you mean, but I would argue that there needs to be clearer distinction, especially so that your words and actions can duly influence those who don't share your fundamental beliefs.

A request for order
Maybe everyone else has a faster internet connection than I do, but I'm wondering if those who have managerial access to the Shoup blog could take off some of the past entries or move them or whatever would help the page load faster.

Also, while I'm very appreciative of the content-rich posts of May 3, 2005, if there's a way to excerpt them and perhaps provide a link to the full text, it would also help with the page loading and seeing what has been posted more easily.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Well, I certainly don't expect CPT presentations to sacrifice meaningful ambiguity in order to give an undeserved sense of total comprehension. But I did feel that having spent almost an hour of my life reading this article, I wanted to come away with something bigger than, "Sure it's tough living at the edge of civilization but some people do like it there." Perhaps the effort that Gene went to for the story made this sense even more striking. I only spent an hour reading about Savoonga. Gene Weingarten spent a week in a place where, when you ask folks the temperature the "minus" is implied. Maybe it's just law school, but writing should say something!

I had a similar sense from Gene's article about terrorism in Jerusalem. There he at least said something: "Yes, death is a certainty, and we get by through denial. But would immortality, in a world such as ours, really be better?" But what does that mean? I was disappointed there too in his lack of something truly compelling.

And I know he can write it. He wrote a fabulous article on undecided voters. Days before an election where so many people were practically drooling with eagerness to vote or to make you do likewise, Gene took on the question of why roughly half of the population is immune to this. And why?

"Like all people who don't vote, Ted has distanced himself to some degree from the society in which he lives. It's symptomatic, I think, of a larger choice he has made. He has willed himself into a certain protective ignorance about the way life works. This intellectual callus might make some things easier to bear, but I'll bet it comes at a cost. The world must be a more terrifying place when you don't know all you can about why things happen the way they do, and why people do what they do, and whether there's anything out there that can leap out at you from the dark."

Later that day I went to a Halloween party. Someone dressed up as an undecided voter.

Of course, there's the distinct possibility that Gene's Savoonga and Jerusalem articles do in fact have points, and I'm only picking it up from the non-voter article because I like the answer more.

And really, why do I care so much? The easy answer is that it's the law school which pounds into my head the importance of not only having a point, but emphasizing it in the introduction, conclusion, and every last topic heading. Or maybe it's part and parcel of my rejection of Englishmajordom. Though here I've just spent all this time (and your time!) thinking and writing about nice writing that doesn't try to beat you over the head with its point. So maybe it comes back to get me in the end.

Anyway Gene, if you've googled your name and found this page, consider this: you write quite well, otherwise I wouldn't have so much to say. See right up there under the "quote of the week"? Sign on as "friend" and write us something.


mennonot,

yes, telling stories is one of the ways we can sew the seeds of a new understanding and approach to life. you and i have traveled and had the opportunity, or curse, to see life manifest itself in a variety of different forms. also, we've seen the broken ends of global economics, a depressing and ultimately crushing sight. as for myself, i've struggled, like you, with what to do next, after i've sat down. i've decided that i must stand up, start being active and live the life that speaks for the alternative.

this includes: growing vegetables on a community farm just to give them away; starting a food waste rescue service where i turn the kitchen scraps of goshen into organic (or as close as i can get it) fertilizer with the help of my phriend: the red worm, all powered by bicycle; and investing time to build relationships with people in my community.

i can't remember if i posted these articles before, but i'll do it again for your reading.

in solidarity,
bread for the people


----------------------------
My Senior English Portfolio Introduction Essay
- "Going slow into the sunless day"

The writings within are born of a life lived in the slow lane. Those who choose to go slow make the decision again and again, each sunrise and sunset, to speak with their body and actions for a different way of approaching the human experience. Going slow is as simple as walking to work, or taking an hour or two to prepare a meal for phriends or family. Going slow is simple and yet it is extremely complex, for the moment one decides to slow down you begin to notice the details in life, and begin to analyze what you see, hear, touch, know and feel.
For many people, winter is cold. This is a true statement. However, for those who walk or bike as their primary means of transportation, we know the small differences between 30 degrees fahrenheit and 38 degrees fahrenheit. The former requires an extra layer of clothing. There is beauty in knowing and experiencing these small details.
Living slow and eating slow ultimately results in more time: to be with people, to think, to process the day's news, to find the connecting threads in our daily lives.
I've been going slow since june 2004. In the past ten months i've begun to connect my world travel experiences -- iridescent ponds in the banana plantations of southern china; the free trade zone factories east of santo domingo, dominican republicr; and fair trade coffee cooperatives in el salvador -- with my life in the united states because I've had time to think. It's built into my commute and lifestyle.
There is a common thread; it's me, the "consumer," one who has purchased products from these three regions. Each time I swipe my credit card or put a dollar down I'm voting "yes" and giving a nod of approval to those involved in the process of producing my product.
The problem is our daily economic votes are destroying the environment; ruining our relationships with family and phriends; and ultimately condemning ourselves and our happiness as we place our future hope in the dollar, social security and the stock market. Each of these three systems have either crashed completely, destroying an entire generation's life savings, or are nearing a critical point in their cycle: e.g. the dollar's future is tenuous as there is talk about dumping the dollar for the euro as the primary oil currency, from petrodollar to petroeuro; and social security is, well, not so secure to say the least.
As a young person who thinks critically about the systems in operation around me, taking into account history and what it teaches us, how society tells me i can find happiness and my intrinsic belief that the american lifestyle cannot be supported for generations to come, i'm compelled to stand up, take a stance against that which is leading us to destruction.
What is this thing? It's the short term quest for profit; a desire for instant, personal gratification; and ultimately our collapse as a person when we watch all that we have worked and saved for dissolve before our very eyes. Capitalism, or global free trade, brother and sister, is all too happy to supply the products and capital(1) to see that these two objectives are met, with each new day. Our continued economic votes in support of this system will lead to the result of such time, money and personal investments.
By the time you have read this essay, I will have completely divested my stock portfolio and cashed in my gold. Ethically and spiritually i cannot continue to invest in the market or precious metals as they place profit over people. Socially conscience funds invest in companies whose purposes are at odds with my desire to base all that I do and am on face-to-face interactions and live a sustainable lifestyle. Gold remains one of the most sought after metals, and yet, its production wreaks havoc on the land. It?s associated history shines a darkened red, with connections to apartheid, greed and countless of broken bodies.
Two popular companies often found in socially responsible portfolios include mcdonald's and coca-cola. The former seeks to profit, and does, from exploiting both human labor and animals. The latter is connected to human rights abuses in Columbia.
More progressive companies like "tom's of maine" do treat their workers well, give back to the community and produce with sustainable means of production. But I ask myself while brushing my teeth with my favorite tom's flavor, gingermint, "how many people can afford to spend five or more dollars on a tube of tooth paste?" The answer illuminates the differences between the "haves" and the "have nots". Sustainable products, healthy foods and strong bodies are available to those with extra money or time, both of which are born out of holding a job that pays enough.
But for many living in the united states, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not an option as they must work two or three jobs to support themselves and family. Essentially giving of their body and labor to support a system which is already balanced in favor of those who can afford expensive toothpaste. That said, those who buy expensive personal care products also lead unhealthy lifestyles as they've committed themselves fully to a lifestyle that ensures they are able to afford the organic pineapple or imported extra virgin olive oil at the cost of relationships and awareness of themselves.
You are probably asking yourself now, "well, how do you plant to retire? do you think about the future and how you will support yourself?" My reply is a resounding - yes! To the seventh generation and beyond do i base my each decision i make about the future and it's a bright future if i may say so.
In our country we are trapped to live a life defined by the car, informed by a media concerned more about profit than international news and placated with trinkets and the newest "insert favorite product". My advice? Go slow and think!
We must begin living beyond ourselves. We need a radical, cultural shift away from a consumptive/industrial lifestyle to that which is sustainable. We must begin to work with, rather than against nature, empowering ourselves to feed one another both physically, emotionally and spiritually through "protracted and thoughtful observation of nature rather than protracted and thoughtless labor," claiming the words and ideology of permanent agriculture proponent, bill mollison, who studied in depth the practices of the indigenous people in australia and how they survived in the "outback".
"The difference is like that which exists between the [a]boriginal and the ploughman: the latter is seen as one who would cut open his mother's breast to obtain the milk; the former takes only what is given freely, and takes it with due reverence," wrote mollison in his book "permaculture two".
We must realize as a culture, a government, a people that our way is not best, but in fact, leads us towards famine as we continue to extract the fertility from our prairies only to flush them down the toilet in our homes, disrupting nature's cycle of growth, death, decay and life. We must consider daily the cycle or circles we are involved in. But since so many americans are too busying paying for cars, too large of a home, they will never understand.
My college career draws near to a close and i believe with my entire body and spirit that i am called to educate my brothers and sisters about the path we are walking. The path is mined with countless uncertainties, each at the bidding of markets, analysts and resource consumption.
For myself, and hopefully for others, i will invest in another system, one that places nature, human beings and animals at its core. With the dollars i have divested i will reinvest them in that which is not affected by global economics. Rather than stocks, mutual funds, 401(k)s: permanent agriculture, a sustainable home and relationships with people shall be my investment. By doing so, I can assure myself that no matter what the cost of gas climbs to or how scarce non-renewable energy becomes, or if another hurricane destroys a primary source of vitamin-c, i can say, with each rising of the sun, that my life will go on.
And if for some reason the sun does not rise one day, well then, we all have a problem to think about while getting to work or school in the dark.


----------------------------
Cover Letter

Dear future employer,
I regret to inform you that I must decline at this time, and all future occurrences, your kind offer to join your company. I consider myself an ex-worker, a human who staunchly refuses to let their labor be utilized for economic benefit at the cost of my brothers and sisters around the world and as well as the earth; it's cycles which, believe it or perish, keep us alive and functioning with each rising of the sun.
My labor potential from hence forth shall be used to affirm humanity, not abuse it as does the current global economic system. My time is worth more than money. It's worth my future: my investment in relationships, the soil and building or renovating a structure into a sustainable home. For I wish that generations to come after I've left this earth may also know the joy that it is to walk on this planet, to interact with God's creation each day. I want them to feel the nip of the cat's tooth or sit in the radiant warmth of a summer's eve with a glass of honey-sweetened mint tea.
Consider, then, what your life might speak for if you altered your lifestyle so as to not work 40, 50, or gasp, 60 hours a week for someone else. Consider, then, what your passions are and what if would feel like to make these your life work.
Start by selling one of the two or three cars you own and carpool, train, bus, bike, walk or a combination thereof, to work. I'll bet you a chocolate bar with one less car a year to support you would save at least $1,500.
Selling your car is just one possible step. You could move to a different home, cheaper and smaller. You could turn down or up the thermostat or air conditioner, respectively. You could teach yourself how to cook, saving the cost of eating out 3 to 4 times a week.
I'll let you in on a secret. Learning how to cook and preparing food for people will always ensure you have friends. Cook more, get more friends. It's easy.
These are only a few steps towards working less and living your passionate dream life.
For myself and my future after college, I'm staying in Goshen?the city where my family resides. I'll be growing my own food, working at a local bakery, collecting recycle and compost by bicycle, teaching people how to cook for themselves, teaching people how to repair bicycles and enjoying long walks by the river. I'll also be keeping my eye out for that perfect, small and ugly house, with high food production capability and low initial visual appeal. They sell for cheap. Just what a cook can afford.
But give it time and I'll be eating my own strawberries in front of a home that produces its own energy and fertilizer so I can grow more strawberries the next summer.
I'll conclude by saying that if the work you wish me to help you in completing empowers people, improves their health and ensures that they too can live their passions, then by all means send me an application.
But if your desire, whether you know it or not, is to use my body and numerous skills to buy yourself a BMW or invest in the stock market for your social security, I have few words for you.
When cheap oil runs low, where will you buy your food? Not at the chain supermarket because they transport their food in from thousands of miles away. Like apples from Australia or bananas from the Philippines. When the landfills can no longer hold more waste, where will you put that Styrofoam cup? When the electrical grid fails (oh, wait, it already did. e.g. Enron and the northeast), how will you use your cell phone?
Don't worry too much. You are my brother or sister and I will not turn you away from my garden. However, to eat from the soil one must invest in the soil. It takes time and knowledge to grow food. Time you can make, as I've shown. Knowledge, well, when can you come over for dinner?
I suggest calling ahead, 574.534.3031, but drop-ins are more than welcome and sometimes encouraged.

----------------------------
a perspective -
?capitalization woes: an essay reflecting on the hierarchy inherent in written english?

two weeks ago i finished a book suggested to me by my fellow housemate, erin williams. "the fifth sacred thing" tells the story of san francisco of the future and it's struggle, as a sustainable community, to cooperate with the outside system; a system fashioned on an industrial understanding of society, that being not sustainable. the author, starhawk, a woman who lives in san francisco writes and advocates for sustainable societies.
in her writing she utilizes the terms "goddess" and "sheroes" in addition to "god" and "heroes". at first thought, you may think that this perspective is traveling down the path of reclaiming the divine in a feminine voice, but i'm not. rather, i want to explore the reasons for capitalization and why we agree to give special meaning to some words over others. starhawk's book, and her critique of patriarchy and capitalism, acted as the catalyst for this short paper to be written.
for a while now, i think it started while i lived in hong kong two years ago, i've refrained from using capitals, majuscules, in my personal writing and, more recently, in my academic writing. as i contemplate the rationalizations for my writing style, i've come up with the following reasons i use lowercase, minuscules.

majuscules:
- encourage divisions
- alienate persons without degrees, a higher education
- assess human value to degrees, knowledge, personal accomplishments
- operate within sets of confusing rules as to when capitalization is necessary
- break the eye's line, resulting in unnecessary jumping motion between maju- and minuscules, causing eye strain and deteriorating the aesthetic flow of the text.

i find a definition of capitalization to be appropriate in expanding my argument; one of the best definitions is available, not in a dictionary, a book controlled by a group of people who tell us what words mean, but online at: www.wikipedia.org
wikipedia is the equivalent of any hard copy encyclopedia with one major difference, any person can suggest, write and edit entries. wikipedia, essentially, is the voice of the people - well, at least those with internet access. according to wiki, "[t]he full rules of capitalization for [e]nglish are complicated and have changed over time, generally to capitalize fewer terms; to the modern reader, an 18th century document seems to use initial capitals excessively. [i]t is an important [ism supporting] function of [e]nglish style guides to describe the complete current rules."
another way of understanding the role of capitalization in our current language set is to look at the root. the word, capitalization, is rooted in the etymology of the term "capital" or "property" so vitally important to a system we call "capitalism", this is yet another reason why i distrust and refrain this form of writing. why then, does our language need to make distinctions. written chinese contains, in my limited knowledge, no more important characters, "words", than others. again, i turn to wiki for further explanation.

wiki: capitalism
[t]he lexical roots of the word capital reveal roots in the trade and ownership of animals. [t]he [l]atin root of the word capital is capitalis, from the proto-[i]ndo-[e]uropean kaput, which means "head", this being how wealth was measured. [t]he more heads of cattle, the better. [t]he terms chattel (meaning goods, animals, or slaves) and even cattle itself also derive from this same origin.
[t]he lexical connections between animal trade and economics can also be seen in the names of many currencies and words about money: fee (faihu), rupee (rupya), buck (a deerskin), pecuniary (pecu), stock (livestock), and peso (pecu or pashu) all derive from animal-trade origins.
[o]ften thought of as the "father of capitalist thinking," [a]dam [s]mith himself ne ver used the term. [h]e described his own preferred economic system as "the system of natural liberty."
[t]hough popular with [m]arxists, the word "capitalism" was in fact not used by [k]arl [m]arx, who only spoke about capital, to refer to the social relationship between owners (capitalists) and workers (proletarians); although it is not completely clear who used the word in its current, systemic context first, it was coined and introduced into the economic discourse by [w]erner [s]ombart in his 1906 classic, [m]odern [c]apitalism.

hear, hear: the way we write the english language supports the capitalist system; a system based on extracting resources, human and natural capital, to give power, control and wealth to a few individuals. for a number of reasons i will not discuss here, i choose, henceforth, to not support this system i see at inherently standing in opposition to humanity, the human spirit and the divine?s vision for society.

who, then, will join the movement?

ps. yes, we shall allow for am amendment to the movement's ideology, allowing for computer programmers to use majuscules in writing code; for programmers often use capitalization to make discrete chunks in a class/object/variable name such as strTitleMain (meaning the variable is a string, it is a title, it is the main title. a nod here to fred yocum. thanks.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Conformists


First, it seems from studying that thank goodness I really do have a good sense of administrative law. The exam is tomorrow. It's my last one, though I still have this paper. I might be able to get it done tomorrow afternoon, though, so I would be all wrapped up in time for the Mountain Goats show at the Black Cat. Is anyone interested in going?

Second, I got a letter today from The Honorable Charles W. Johnson He's not scheduling interviews for 2006-2007 clerkships until September, but said that if I happen to be in Washington before then that I should call to set one up. This is second part is extremely exciting because I read it as saying, "We're giving you an interview, we just aren't scheduling it yet." I stand thrilled. I would very much like to go to Olympia. I hear it's really cool.

Got an invitation to my high school reunion today. Should I go now? I think I'll call Christina Cruz and see whether she's going and then do the same.

Also, Sasha, thanks for calling. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. I'll see what I can do. And sorry I'll miss you this summer.

No reliving "Jerry Springer" for me!
So yeah, I'm having a blast in London. But, unfortunately, plans to relive my infamous cameo on "Springer" have been dashed as Jerry Springer: The Opera has just closed. And here I was hoping to have the audience angrily chanting at my democratic ass again.

Oh well. I should see if there's an Oprah: The Opera showing anywhere.

Sunday, May 01, 2005
Julia's birthday was a hoot!

Coming back home
I read the Savoonga article and liked your response, but I disagree with you that Weingarten should be more didactic. After spending 3 months in Colombia I've found that real life experience doesn't always lend itself to didactic stories. After doing 5 or 6 presentations on my time with Christian Peacemaker Teams, I'm realizing that I don't have any blinding analysis to tie all my experience together in a neat package and provide a clear "next step" for audience members. In some ways I think it would have been easier to do that before I went down there. But now all I can do is tell a few stories and sit down.


Savoonga

You all really ought to read this. It's the cover story from the Washington Post Magazine this weekend.

Gene Weingarten is a fabulous writer. His only weakness perhaps is his overavoidance of didacticism. In his efforts to let experiences shine through on their own he misses the chance to leave the reader with a sense of anything. I had a similar sense (or lack of sense) from his article on Jerusalem. But that small weakness aside, let's get down to the meat of the issue.

You may want to read the article before going further.

What is wrong with Savoonga? After centuries of living the lives of subsistence arctic hunters, the community is miserable. The people Gene meets are routinely unhappy with their lives at the northwest edge of the American empire. Why?

Perhaps it's alcohol and drugs. Temptations of inebriation from the outside suck away what little income the Savoongans have. But isn't it more likely that Savoongans turn to alcohol and drugs to escape? This answer confuses the self-medicated cure with the disease. Same with gambling. What's the disease?

Is it television? Poverty is a relative phenomenon, and perhaps the television has managed to create a sense of poverty where none existed before, and the hopelessness that is so often both poverty's cause and consequence.

Perhaps it's government handouts. As Alaskan citizens Savoongans get about a thousand dollars a year as their share of oil profits. There are federal welfare programs, too. By taking away a sense of honest toil perhaps these programs strip dignity from Savoongan life. Maybe this answer goes with the one above. You must be poor if you're living on money someone else is giving you.

Gene actually talks about money quite a bit in the article, seeming to believe that the transition from a barter to a cash economy is a major part of the malaise. Sociologists are fond of this, I know. I'm not so fond of it. It seems a little too easy, and a little too soft. I'm not sure that paying for your goods with cash is somehow fundamentally worse than paying with seal blubber. Though I've been wrong before.

While we're on an economic tack, maybe Gene fails to adequately emphasize the difficulty of hunting. Climate changes are moving aquatic game farther and farther out. And then we're back at welfare again, too. A welfare check isn't as humiliating when it's only a small part of your income.

But you know, I want to come back to the television. Gene writes about how the television replaced family talks in the evening for these folks living on an island off Alaska. There's something about television that is so compelling and pervaisive, spreading its sense of cool through antennas and satellites across the globe. It's easy to rip into people who argue that American culture is a profound threat and I've done my share of it. They can't really back up their arguments with anything solid. Sure kids in Kigali say they want Nikes when you ask them, but does that really impact their daily life? But despite the endless inability to better articulate this explanation, somehow I think it does. What is it about cool that we all know it, and know whether or not we are it? And somehow we all do know.


why the fukc will my post not post>?! My cousing ist gaetting marrine/.dd. yeah!
go maeg on rear e=ending that bus. morther gfukscers. rrrrrrrrrrRRRRRAA!
well the bayby is crying,. and thi had better go thourgh. but bayubeyiyssss will cry. wowo.!

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