Face The Sun: Let There Be Light!
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are exclusively those of its author, and are not in any way meant to reflect the opinions or policies of the US Government.

Past Travelogues.

Finland, Estonia, Petersburg

Kirovograd, Ukraine


Tirana, Albania

Macedonia & Romania

Budapest to Bucharest

Balkans and Poland.

Christiania, Copenhagen.

Northern Norway

Northern Finland


Kashgar, briefly

More to come, Inshallah, as I go through old paper travel journals.

The DC experience, archived.

July '05
June '05
December '05
October '04
More to come should interesting things happen to me. Ever.

Blatent Plagiarism

The nation's largest chain bookstore has indicated that, due to lack of consumer interest, it has stopped selling books.
--Frederick Raphael, The Glittering Prizes

I feel this is the equivalent of a surgeon, skipping through a radiology department singing, 'I don't have cancer, I don't have cancer!'
--Phil Robinson, Charlie Big Potatoes

Mum is crying with her faced turned away from me, gulping and honking like an injured seal. And I'm rolled up in the back seat wishing the old man would stop the car and make her walk. That or buy her a fish.
--Phil Robinson, Charlie Big Potatoes

I love it when well-educated women sweaar -- the words regain their original power and meaning when delivered unexpectedly with so much poise.
--Phil Robinson, Charlie Big Potatoes

She lived with her mother, who looked like an old labrador, and an old labrador.
--Will Self, Great Apes

When I was small and would leaf through the Old Testament retold for children and illustrated in engravings by Gustave Dore, I saw the Lord God sitting on a cloud. He was an old man with eyes, nose, and a long beard, and I would say to myself that if He had a mouth, He had to eat. And if He ate, He had intestines. But that thought always gave me a fright, because even though I come from a family that was not particularly religious, I felt the idea of a divine intestine to be sacrilegious.
--Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Quality is merely the distribution aspect of Quantity.
--Vladimir Nabokov, Bend Sinister

...In the frank brilliance of the bright sun, which, as we all know, is the friend of heroes.
--Jose Saramago, All the Names

He stuttered so badly that you could go out and buy yourself a chocolate bar while he was wrestling with an initial p or b; he would never try to bypass the obstacle by switching to a synonym, and when the explosion finally did occur, it convulsed his whole frame and sprayed the interlocutor with triumphant saliva.
--Vladimir Nabokov, Bend Sinister

To Stand on Jericho's Walls and Face the Sun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Piercing beauty just left the cafe. For the record, we're right on track for dying alone.

Posted by Dakota on 2:00 PM link |
Yesterday at chipotle post work, as I was standing to leave, an individual entered. Piercingly attractive, and we made eyes at each other throughout the ordering process. Detoured to the water fountain before leaving to make spurious contact but froze: deer in the headlights. Left without saying a word, but cast backward glances that met the eyes of the other. Kicked myself all night for it (and I all alone beweep my dateless state).

And now, sitting on seventeenth street, two tables away from piercing beauty and unable to say a word.

Cowardice is killing me.

I used to be able to pick up anything that respirating. Female, male, bovine, whatever. And now, I can't even maintain eye contact to save my life.

At what point I turned into my friends, I don't know. But I've got to get back on the aggressive bandwagon, or I'm gonna die alone.

Posted by Dakota on 1:54 PM link |

Monday, August 11, 2003


Friday night at Steve's house, sleeping closer to the hospital in the name of getting the stitches out early Saturday. Half past eleven in the evening: Fire Alarm. Evacuate and hobnob with other annoyed residents. A tipsy man decked out in party attire (pleated khaki pants and pink shirt to show comfort of sexuality, hushpuppies with no socks to show fashion sense well-coordinated and several years too late) turns to a beautiful co-evacuee and inquires as to her accent. She is Croatian, and he is interested in seeing her naked.

"Oh, so you're an au pair?" He asks. She gives him a cold smile and says "No, I'm a doctor." And walks off briskly.

Poetry in motion.

Posted by Dakota on 9:36 AM link |
Sunday of last week, with Chinese food in mind, I: fell, face on the asphalt, blood on the ground, I in the ER and stiches in the chin. Chinese foodless, until Sunday: stitches out, bike to Dupont, fried rice on the table. Open the fortune cookie and am greeted with:

"Time heals all wounds. Keep your chin up."

You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by Dakota on 9:31 AM link |

Sunday, August 10, 2003

A move to the ghetto requires a new blog. And that's all I have to say about that.

Posted by Dakota on 12:17 PM link |
Current Location:
The People's Republic of China.

Stop by any time: everyone's welcome.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem to Be Born

Comments and requests for dates should be directed to email.

And here I am.

And for all you random folks out there whom I don't know, for the love of god, email me. I'm abroad, know no one, and look forward to hearing from you. I'm especially looking at YOU, whomever YOU are who's Facing The Sun all the way from Kenya. And Sweden. And Canada. And whatnot.

Books Tackled, 2006:

1. Jarhead, Anthony Swofford
2. Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia, Dennis Covington
3. A Brief History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
4. A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City, Anonymous
5. Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism, Dawn Prince-Hughes

This year's movies, in chronological order:

1. Kung Fu Hustle
2. A Wrinkle in Time
3. Pi: Faith in Chaos
4. My Big Fat Independent Movie
5. The Winter Guest
6. Voices in Wartime
7. What Dreams May Come
8. Farewell My Concubine
9. The Ring
10. Like Water for Chocolate
11. Sahara

Foreign Service Officers by day, Bloggers by day as well.

The Diplodocus
(Islamabad, Pakistan).

The Permanent Mission of Joshie
(Zagreb; Libyaward).

Prince Roy
(Chennai; Taiwanward).

Sue and not You
(Tbilisi, Georgia).

Life on the Mekong
(Vientiane, Laos).

FSO Globe Trotter
(Lahore, Pakistan).

Vice Consul: Diplomatically Transformed
(New Delhi, India).

Adventures in Good Countries

Our Man in Tirana
(Tirana, Albania).

Anne's Blog
(Kazakhstan; Greeceward).

(Bogota, Colombia).

Furnish Worldwide

Tasman's World
(Dhaka, Bangladesh).

(Lome, Togo).

World Adventurers
(Seoul, Korea).

Aaron Martz

A for Adventure
(Chennai, India).

The Excellent Adventures of Nickie P
(Paris, France).

Permanently Disco
(Dhaka, Bangladesh).

Consul At Arms
(Kingston, Jamaica).

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