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.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The sneer is gone from Dakota's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his Urdu upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Dakota's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Dakota has struck out.

Posted by Dakota on 4:04 PM link |

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Tomorrow: Kirking is Hondurasward. After this Tuesday's departure (Luxembourgward) of Savage (comma) Caroline, I'm being left alone.

Wednesday: Poker nights. The last ever for both the above-mentioned Kirking, and her poker-partner-in-crime, Phil (of Marlboro Light fame). He: Laosward, via Honolulu and Bangkok. The Last Poker is an event on par with the last supper, but with fewer transubstantiated items to be consumed. This I promise: my Key Lime pie tastes better than the body and blood of any saviour you can put on the table.

That said, after whipping together lime juice, condensed milk and eggs, I tossed my pies in the oven. And by tossed, I do mean 'hurled,' apparantly, because half the innards of the pie on the right sloshed out of the ready-made graham cracker crust and on to the floor of the oven. This mixture, not surprisingly, immediately caught on fire.

Recall that my apartment is blessed with an industrial strength smoke detector, which went off immediately. R

Recall that only on of my windows opens.

Recall: everything is going wrong.

After a solid 2 minutes of wild arm waving (later supplemented with a newspaper, waved erratically windowward) my neighbor knocked on the door. The only other time I've seen her is when she was carried out of the building on a stretcher. She's nine hundred years old. And she's concerned about my well being, in fact. Or rather, about returning to the nap I interrupted.

Regardless, upon running to get the door, I bumped the ironing board which collapsed against the bike (with a delightful thump) which slid backwards into the trashcan, which dumped itself on the floor in front of the door.

The point here is, my nine hundred year old neighbor thinks I'm a slob (rightly so) and, I'd gather, hates me.

For her sake, I chose not to bring up the fact that shortly after moving in to the apartment, I saw my sink fill up with the chewed up remains of the dinner (chicken, rice) she had run through the disposal (which remains one of the grossest things I've ever witnessed).

But the alarm's off now, and it's nap time, and there's key lime pie in the fridge, and that's all that matters.

Posted by Dakota on 3:16 PM link |

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Last night I dreamt that I was sitting in my apartment, and lamenting the fact that my toenails were so long. A friend of mine, enamored with a new toenail-cutting tool/toy/gizmo apparatus that he had just bought from an infomercial, offered to cut them for me, and I accepted.

But when the nail cutting device wasn't the run of the mill nail cutting device I was expecting; instead of clippers, it was a sort of hook-blade on a stick, that was pressed down into the tip of the nail to cut it. I told him not to make the nails too short -- I can't stand when they're cut to the quick -- but as he started pressing he went in to a sort of ruthless streak, and I told him no, no, no, you're cutting to the quick, that hurts, but upon trying to pull back, he pressed harder and then there was blood everywhere and my toenail was a jagged bleeding mess and the pain was excruciating and I actually woke myself up by screaming.

I had forgotten this dream until I went to leave the house today. 60 degrees and sunny means that I see no other option besides wearing birkenstocks. Upon reaching for them, I had the thought, shit, I can't wear these today, my toenail's all fucked up.

But it's not. Thank god.

It is February sixth, and I am not willing to wear socks.

Posted by Dakota on 10:36 AM 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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