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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

My parents couldn't be more anti-Wesley Clark. This is because my parents have been brainwashed by the right, and are incapable of thinking beyond their checkbooks.

This is sad.

In related news, Matt Vogel of Howard Dean fame couldn't be more mad at me for my shifty backhanded move to Clark-ville. He's supposedly preparing a polemic to win me back, but his last win-me-back polemic ended with the word 'asshole' so we'll just see as the the efficacy of his little tactics.

Posted by Dakota on 2:57 PM link |
I'm having to come to grips with the fact that I'm in love with Wesley Clark. Come now. The man's a dreamboat.

It's high time we had someone in office who is, in a word, smart. And Wesley Clark is certainly coming off that way. Maybe deep down he's an idiot. I doubt it, mind you, but even if he is, he's certainly giving all the right answers at this point.

Rebuild international trust and respect of the United States. That was high on MY list of priorities, but ordering take out Chinese food and patronizing the felafel joints in and around Dupont circle wasn't really cutting it. He's taking it to the next level (including but not limited to patronizing felafel joints OUTSIDE of the greater dupont area).

Stop trying to justify this ridiculous little war we just had. God knows I have. Wesley Clark, also, recognizes a mistake, calls a spade a spade, and wants to move forward instead of standing still. When you have an argument with your significant other, the last thing to do is keep harping on it, weeks and months later: But you see how I was RIGHT, don't you, honey?

So he keeps guns in house. Upwards of 20. (20 guns? General, is that necessary? How many can you possible fire at a single time? I understand, of course, that different types of marauders and criminals require different bores and calibers of weaponry, but 20?). But hey, at least he's anti assault rifle. God knows I'm pro-anyone who's anti-Uzi.

And as a bonus, he's anti-drilling in Alaska. Aren't we all, deep down inside?

So I just signed up, on the website, to volunteer. I've never been so pro anyone in my entire life, and it's time to take it to the next level. If I had a per diem, I'd be funnelling it in his direction. After all, if nothing else, the man is HANDSOME.

Wesley Clark '04 will be replacing the Howard Dean sticker on my messenger bag. Howard Dean is a nice conversation piece, good for striking up conversation with strangers, gay people, homeless people and the generally disaffected, but Howard Dean remains, at best, slack-jawed. If he were to learn to keep his mouth closed in between question responses, I could re-double my Dean efforts. But Clark already has a lock jaw-stability, and that's one of my top priorities in picking a president.

And my god, he's pro a Kim Daejung-esque Sunshine Policy. Towards North Korea, perhaps, but also towards the Patriot Act. The PATRIOT ACT. The most dreaded and horribly unconstitutional bit of 'legislature' ever to circle this fair world of ours. The act that, if enacted against you, prevents you from talking about it. Patriotism, loosely defined, appears to be a cessation of general rights vis-a-vis amendments 1, 4, 6, 9 and 10. The remaining are somewhat fuzzy, but the patriot act does not appear to trample on the right not to quarter soldiers in your house. Phew. Clark wants an airing, a second look at this, and I say thank god.

Thank god.

He's pitching himself as pure goodness. Pro-civil Union, Gays are Not Sinners, We've made the world's head bleed and we need to make amends, and let's get started.


Let's get started.

Posted by Dakota on 9:40 AM link |

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A big thank you goes out to Boss today, for single-handedly reinforcing both my biting self-consciousness and general profound unhappiness. Upon hearing that mini-boss had commanded me to replace my well-worn (admittedly: blown out and disgusting) boots, he looked at my newly-shod feet and asked:

"Well, why didn't you?"

Things went from bad to worse when I gave him the eye (the stink-eye) to imply that perhaps, just perhaps, these were the new shoes.

"Come on," boss said, "those look like they're covered in pub-scum. Next time you go shoe shopping, take someone with you, me or Brister. You just didn't get that gene."

Thanks for everything, boss.

Posted by Dakota on 1:32 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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