10 days

This whole blogging thing is a lot more work when you don't have an internet connection at home. Because I'm still living in the vacum tube age in my basement apartment, I'm limited to sneaking quick posts when I have a chance at work. I even feel a bit guilty about it at times. Not so much that I don't, mind you... Worst of all, the ancient laptop that I have doesn't have a CD-R drive so I can't even write at home and bring it in to work for a quick cut and paste job. The even older desktop that I have isn't currently set up so even though I took it apart and added a re-write drive in 2001, it isn't usable.

My brother is planning a trip to Chile in the next couple of weeks. As soon as he's done with his semester at college (and I mean as soon as - he's rushing out of his chior performance right to the airport) he's flying to Lima, Peru to meet a friend that's been studying in Chile for the semester. The two of them will be taking another flight and a bus to get to Chile. They'll spend 10 days bumming around Chile, staying in hostels, spend some time in some cities and also some time in 'the back country.' I'm insanely jealous.

I spent 5 months studying in Rome and then wandering around Europe in 2004. It was, without a doubt, the best experience in my life. I've always enjoyed travel. Even if I'm just driving somewhere. I miss it. I miss the movement and the possibility of the unexpected. In college, I used to drive up to New York for gallery openings our out to Carnegie Mellon for lectures. We'd go for the day. Leave around 5:00 am and finally get back about 24 hours later. I guess I think of life as a collection of experiences so the more varied experiences I can collect, the better.


A Night with Ambassador Joe Wilson

I drove down the the University of Maryland last night to hear Joe Wilson speak. The talk was put on by the UM College Democrats. (I was tempted to sign up but I remembered that I wasn't in college anymore.) Despite terrible weather, I only cut off one person on the beltway and managed to find my way to UMCP without any serious detours.

Anyway, Mr. Wilson spoke at the Chapel, which is a beautiful space. It was almost full by the time he started speaking. He gave what I'm guessing is the equivelent of his stump speach. I had heard (or read) most of it before. It sounded familiar in the same 'word for word' sort of way that politician's speeches do but still managed to be engaging. You really got the idea that the guy lead an exciting life. Rescueing Americans from Saddam before Gulf War I and meeting with African President-Generals in Army barracks surrounded by men with AK-47s. Vivid images of the cigarette smoke twisting around as they discussed the fate of nations spring to mind. He really ought to be careful when he sells the movie rights. He should stipulate that the role of Joe Wilson be played by Richard Gere. The two bear a bit of a resemblance.

In the attempt to keep this blog from becoming a political rant, (an easy thing for me) I won't get to involved with what he had to say. Hearing him speak in his own words, however, only strengthened my feeling that the current administration was not honest with the American People in the run-up to a war that had been planned since 1992.


300 Dollar Wonder

Welcome to my blog! This blog will be a place for me to post observations, commentary, and anything else that seems interesting in art, literature, politics, life, and anything else that sparks my interest.

First a bit of explanation. The title is in reference to my first car, which I purchased in June of 2002.

I payed $300 for a 1985 Volkswagen GTI. It already had 279,000 miles on it. It was barely drivable until I replaced the clutch. For the last three years I drove my little orange (yes orange - Mars Red was the 'official' color designation) car everywhere. Back and forth to college, to concerts, to visit friends, and always too fast. It had no airconditioning, no power windows, no power steering. It was great to drive. It was a bare bones car with a sports car spirit and I loved it. The steering was great and with the Koni shocks I installed and the ECU from an Audi 4000, you could toss it around while cannonballing down back roads. In the snow a judicious application of the parking brake would allow me to slide around corners with the rear wheels stepped out and the front wheels at opposite lock.

In September of 2005 I finally gave in and bought a new (used) car, a 1998 Honda Civic coupe. I'll miss my 300 Dollar Wonder. I'll miss the connection to the road it gave to the driver. I'll miss the waves from other Generation II GTI drivers. I'll miss the pride I had in keeping a car with 320,000 miles running.

This blog's title is a tribute to the car I drove to meet a girl that will soon be my wife. A tribute to a car that took me back and forth from Pennsylvania to Virginia to see her at college, the car that I enjoyed every time I sat in it.