Friday, August 29, 2008

Morning Commute

In the mornings, I ride the bus to work. Well, I ride the bus toward work, then I get off and walk about two miles. Today, like usual, I faced a conundrum once I set foot up the steps of the bus.

Do I sit in handicap? Why not? More than half are empty. What are the odds that I'm gonna get five handicappers in the next three stops? Does being a senior count as a handicap? Then, I'd be screwed. F@#$ it, I'm just sitting up here because then I will get off faster. But if there are five handicappers, it's embarrasing to be the young stallion that moves. At that point it's too late.

Do you give the seat up? You have to, right? But at that point I'm thinking so hard that the sweat protrudes underneath my arms and today happens to be the day I'm wearing white. Then I stand up, and not only am I forced out of my seat, but I hold onto the bar above my head for the world to see - look at this sweaty f@#$ up.

For those of you who know me, you understand that I overthink things the way Jack Nicholson overeats things. Something as minor as stepping on the bus requires thoughts that could fill a crossword puzzle.

Anyway, this morning as I step on to the bus I decide to take a seat in the first couple rows, and when I do, I accidentally bump the lady's shoes next to me.

Sorry, I said.

Before she has a chance to respond, she nudges my shoes twice. Twice. I'm thinking, look, handicap or not I'll throw you off this bus right now b@#$%. But when I look up she has this silly grin on her face like she was just teasing.

But then I realize she was in the middle of reading the Onion, and therefore was no longer sure if she was grinning because she was being playful, or grinning at people who write dumber than me.

So I'm going through my mind trying to understand the options: Did she kick my shoes just to spite me? Was it flirtatious? F@#$ I hope not. Maybe those are her grandmother's shoes I just clumsily scuffed. Maybe she wore those on the Titanic and they're the only reminder kept alive from that part of the family.

But wait, didn't she get me back. Twice! No less. Screw her, right? Even if she was being playful, twice was over the top. Just like Obama's speech last night. The shoes look like Easter eggs anyways. Pastel and striped. I don't care if Grandma was wearing them, she had terrible taste and deserved to die.
Wow, now I'm going a bit over the top. I scrunched my feet in the corner behind me and all I could hear is the overt snickering of the lady beside me.
Haha I won, I'm sure she was thinking. This butterscotch stallion won't sit up front any more.
And that's when I exited the bus and 'accidentally' stepped on her toes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reflections on the Biden Choice

As you can see, I'm still kind of in shock.

I have beef with this pick.

First, Biden is from an inconsequential state, Deleware. Gosh, let's hope the Democrats can win Deleware, eh? I've heard big things happen in Deleware, like...When you get less love than New Jersey, you know there's a problem. So there's my first problem, he doesn't hail from a key state. Bayh, Kaine, Richardson, all these would have been better selections.

And also this lady named Hillary.

Second, the votes that Biden would bring in, he won't deliver on. Cue the deja vu, enter Sen. Edwards stage left. If Biden was selected to strengthen and address Obama's foreign policy (and overarching experience deficiencies,) which he was, it's counterintuitive to his campaign slogans of change and new politics. Moreover, the people hesitant to vote for Obama based on his lack of experience will not vote for Barack. Those were a lost cause anyhow.

Obama needed to coalesce Women, Latinos and Catholics.

He picked up one of those. Biden should parade his religion like McCain carries the flag and military service.

Third, Biden has been a vocal critic of Obama. It's never a good thing to select someone that the oppostion can (by the next day no less) slam against you. He/she is supposed to be a supplement, not a hindrance.

Biden is one of the longest serving Senator's in Washington. He's a pretty boy, like Edwards was.

My fourth problem is that he holds no executive experience. Senators are traditional losers at the White House. McCain and Obama make a guarantee Senate pick, but nonetheless I'd be surprised if McCain doesn't select a Governor from a contentious state.

That would be the logical choice.

Fifth, presidential campaigns often come down to money. Can Biden get the greenbacks rolling? Probably not. Just look at his previous shortcomings. Biden doesn't have the capacity to fundraise like Obama or Hillary does.


I am not completely disheartened. I still believe Obama can and will win in November. He will just have to do so on his own merits, and not with any additional help.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arrived in the City

After three days of traveling, I've arrived in Washington. And they put me to work right quick. Today is my first day and I really like it here.

It's still a whirlwind of feelings as I struggle to find a place to reside and adjust to this new environment.
Bear with me as the posts will continue shortly. In the meantime...

GO USA!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moving to Washington D.C.

I've accepted a position in Washington as an alumni recruiter for The Washington Center. And I have measly a few more days remaining in San Diego. It's a huge move and a giant change for me. But I'm confident it's the right decision.

My job entails traveling to universities across the country, giving presentations on internship programs. Additionally, I'll work with faculty liasions to facilitate the process.

I'm nervous, excited, scared. I'm also optimistic and ambitious about the move.

I'll surely miss San Diego and all the people and connections I've made the past three years. I'll miss the peace movement. The casinos. All the unique niches like La Jolla, Hillcrest, East County, Downtown, Coronado, etc. I'll miss the fabolous weather. And I'll miss the faces that I have come to love and appreciate.

Living in San Diego has spoiled me.

Here's hoping D.C. will do the same.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Experience in Israel Part 3

The Western Wall. Note the line you see divides men and women. Women get about 1/5th the space and no access to the air conditioned room with guides seen at the very left.
Me watching the sunrise over the Dead Sea. You can only imagine how beautiful.

Taking a rest near the founding place of Kabballah. I'm seated at the far left. My roommate at the far right. My peers were from all over the U.S.

What's an industrialized country without Mickey D's? Kosher of course.

Here I am listening to a hustler on the street. Trying to sell us on a religious workshop. Our tour guide is smiling. I believe I'm wondering whether the man realizes he looks like a billy goat on two legs.

Three very animated and friendly Israelis. All Israelis serve time in the military, and these three (from l-r Hagar, Neli, Yakir) were no exception. They traveled with us during our stay.

Whew. After a challenging and hot hike (around 95 degrees) we rest and take a group picture. At first I thought it for a mirage, but there was actually an ice-cream stand to the left side of the pic providing the minimal shade you see.

Me holding on for dear life atop a camel. Nice creatures who spit their toungues at you. Per my back muscles, you can see how relaxed and comfortable I am.

To the left of the boy, you can see me watching a Bedouin fill mugs with coffee and tea. Probably the best meal I had while in Israel was here. We slept outdoors that night under a massive tent with thin mats to buffer us from the ground. An experience I will never forget.

And finally, the guys with guns. The guy on the right, accompanied us throughout the trip. I teased him and said in order to justify carrying that rifle he better use it every once in a while. I'm glad he didn't have to. The other guy traveled with us outside the big cities for increased security precautions.

After sifting through my notes and recollecting the feelings I encountered on my trip, I am ready to post again. I experienced countless emotions on a day-to-day basis, from elation to sorrow and anywhere in between. It's difficult to pinpoint or to grasp a composite feeling. Our 13-hour days were jampacked which fueled this emotional roller coaster. Let me give you a detailed explanation of the feeling I, and others, experienced on a typical morning.

Wake up call - 3:30 AM.

Annoyance. Tiredness. Abruptly awaking after four hours of sleep, I crawl out of bed and into the shower. The only way to muster enough energy to make it to coffee and cakes is to intentionally forget to turn the hot knob in the shower. Wow, that's cold.

Boarding the bus - 4:15AM

This ritual happened five or more times per day. Amazingly, it still took upwards of ten minutes. Which seems like it would make for a good joke, aye? (How many Jews does it take to board a bus without...)

Begin the sunrise hike (or, in other words hell) - 5:00AM
Our tour guide consistently reassured us the hikes were quick and easy. In Israel these terms connotate different meanings. Especially when your eyes are still blurry from the lack of sleep and lack of sun.

In truth the hikes were enjoyable. I hike frequently in San Diego, so I was more prepared for the terrain than others. Either way, we were the first group in Shorashim (the name of our group - meaning roots in Hebrew) history to complete the hike without an air evac. Whatever, we all made it.

Waiting for the sun to rise - 6:30AM

Anticipation. Relief. Climbing to the top of the mountain looking out in to the horizon. Someone turned me around and said I was looking West. My bad. Looking now at the peeking sun over the Jordanian Mountains. Breathtaking. All my complaints of waking up early fade like the darkness.
Tour of Masadda - 7:00AM

Covering the ruins and listening to stories about fights with the Romans. The architecture was amazing. Much of it still preserved. Built atop a 1,000 foot ascent, structures that would take years to build even today.

Drive back to the Hotel to Shower

The rest of the day would be a combination of different events. Maybe touring a museum, visiting a city, learning of Holy sites, relaxing on different beaches, we had an assortment of events thoroughly planned within five minutes of one another.

Above are some pictures of me and the gang on our journey. Enjoy, and comment if you have any questions.