l e f t - l i f e d

if it's loudly sung and in a foreign tongue...

embarrassing experience of the day
I went to Nacional (one of the big supermarket chains here, for the uninitiated) to buy some groceries earlier. While I was there, I decided to print a couple of photos for the wall of orange couch photos in our apartment, so I stopped by the little kiosk and popped in my USB. I discovered that I had forgotten two things: a) that the kiosk automatically opens all folders and all photos on your USB, and b) that there was still a folder of disgusting STD photos on my USB for the charla I helped Elisa with. So I had to stand there and scroll through all of these nasty photos of rotting genitalia, looking for the ones I wanted to print and trying to block the screen with my body as much as possible, hoping that none of the people passing behind me could see what I was looking at! Of course, it was like the one time that any of the people working the little photo-shop-corner were at all attentive to what I was doing, and the assistant guy hovering around behind me probably got an eyeful, but he never said a word! Hahaha

to cos or not to cos
For a third time in my service, people are starting to ask me whether I really will be CoS-ing this time, whether I will extend (again) or finally take that plunge into a newly readjusted life. It's a good question, but ultimately, I think I'm finally ready to go home.

Sometimes it seems much longer than three-and-a-half-or-so years that I've been here. It's such a strange juxtaposition of relatively unchanging seasons and ever-changing faces and places. Looking back over old photos from my first days here, reminiscing about old friends and old memories, I start to feel - in Dominican terms - pasa'a. In other words, I'm really starting to feel like it's time to move on, like it's other folks' turn to have their own Peace Corps experience. It's my turn to do something new. I miss my family, and I'm starting to feel the wear of the constant changes that Peace Corps life brings.

It's been an incredible ride; and that's part of both what makes it hard to go and what makes it hard to stay. I'm deeply and eternally grateful for the people I have known here, for the things that I have seen and done and heard and learned here, for the wonderful relationships and experiences I've had here that have forever changed me. But life is calling me to something new, and I think I'm just about ready to answer.

a brief guide to musical styles
Music Styles

Five men on the same stage all playing different tunes.

Played exclusively by people who woke up this morning.

Dozen different types of percussion all going at once.

People singing when they should be talking.

People talking when they should be singing.

Discover the other 45 minutes they left out of the TV ad.

Endless songs about shipwrecks in the 19th century.

20 men who take it in turns to stand up plus a drummer.

Codpiece and chaps

OK as long as it's not the house next door.

some wonderful words of wisdom - in English and Spanish
1. La verdadera felicidad está en las pequeñas cosas: una pequeña mansión, un pequeño yate, una pequeña fortuna…

1. True happiness is in the little things: a little mansion, a little yacht, a little fortune...

2. Algunas personas están vivas solamente porque el asesinato es ilegal.

2. Some people are only alive because murder is illegal.

3. Si buscas una mano dispuesta a ayudarte, la encontrarás al final de tu brazo.

3. If you're looking for a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

4. El que nace pobre y feo, tiene grandes posibilidades, de que al crecer, se le desarrollen ambas condiciones.

4. One who is born ugly and poor has great possibilities - there's nowhere to go but up.

5. Si la vida te da limones, pide sal y tequila.

5. If life gives you lemons, ask for salt and tequila.

6. Pez que lucha contra la corriente, muere electrocutado.

6. Fish that fight against the current get electrocuted.

7. Tener conciencia limpia es signo de mala memoria.

7. A clean conscience is a sign of a bad memory.

8. El que es capaz de sonreír cuando todo le está saliendo mal, es porque ya tiene pensado a quien echarle la culpa.

8. One who smiles when everything is going to hell, is one who has already figured out who to blame.

9. El que se ríe último, es porque piensa más lento.

9. He who laughs last thinks slowest.

10. El tiempo es el mejor maestro, desgraciadamente mata a todos sus alumnos.

10. Time is the best teacher; unfortunately, it kills all its students.

11. Si no puedes convencerlos, confúndelos.

11. If you can't convince them, confuse them.

12. El amor eterno dura tres meses.

12. Eternal love... lasts three months.

13. El dinero no hace la felicidad… la compra hecha.

13. Money can't make you happy. Shopping does.

14. Hay un mundo mejor… ¡pero es carísimo!

14. There is a better world... but it's really expensive!

15. La esclavitud no se abolió, se cambió a 8 horas diarias.

15. Slavery was never abolished, it just changed to eight hours a day.

16. Si la montaña viene hacia ti… Huye rápidamente ¡¡Es un derrumbe!!

16. If the mountain comes to you... run like hell! It's a landslide!!

17. La psiquiatría/psicología es el único negocio donde el cliente nunca tiene la razón.

17. Psychiatry is the only business in which the customer is never right.

18. Está muriendo gente que antes no moría.

18. People are dying that never died before.

19. Lo importante no es ganar, sino hacer perder al otro.

19. Winning isn't important. Making sure everyone else loses is.

20. Y finalmente: No te tomes la vida tan en serio, al fin y al cabo no saldrás vivo de ella.

20. And finally: don't take life so seriously. You won't get out of it alive.

a joke and a riddle
"A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along, when all of a sudden, a cat attacks them. The mother mouse goes, 'BARK!' and the cat runs away.
'See?' says the mother mouse to her baby. 'Now do you see why it's important to learn a foreign language?'"


A man walks into a bar, calls over the bartender, and orders a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a shotgun and fires off a round that just barely misses the man's ear. The man lays a tip on the bar and leaves.
Why did he tip the bartender?
The man had the hiccups!

more quotes I like
"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."

"I never learned from a man who agreed with me."

"One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others."

"To be matter-of-fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy - and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful."

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards."

-Robert A. Heinlein

this handmade life
"...I do think a lot about this handmade life we lead as knitters, people who make usable things out of sticks and string. It's an extraordinary thing in a larger culture that praises speed and disposability—our craft is methodical, meditative, thoughtful. Its gratification is delayed. But we do it for the joy of making wonderful things with our own hands, adding usefulness and beauty to the world with every stitch.

Of course, there are as many shades to the knitting urge as there are knitters, but I think that most of them boil down to this: We love being creators. Our knitting studs our lives with creativity; because of it, we're good problem solvers and thoughtful analysts, we know how to judge and take risks, we are at peace with the fact that you sometimes just need to start over again."

-Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits

when I fall in love...
I just fell in love with this song:

"When I fall in love, it will be forever
Or I'll never fall in love.
In a restless world like this is,
Love is ended before it's begun.
And too many moonlight kisses
Seem to cool in the warmth of the sun.

When I give my heart, it will be completely
Or I'll never give my heart.
And the moment I can feel that you feel that way too
Is when I fall in love with you."

-lyrics and music by Edward Heyman and Victor Young

"When Congress can seriously debate cutting food aid to pregnant women and children while giving tax breaks to billionaires—and the only question the media asks is whether the cuts are big enough—we have a crisis.

This week progressive faith leaders called for Americans to join an ongoing fast to protest the immoral budget cuts being debated in Washington.

I'm joining the fast along with thousands of people including the leaders of many leading progressive organizations including MoveOn.org. Will you join too? You can choose to fast for part of a day, a whole day, or until the budget gets passed. Click here to join:



some poemlings, older and newer
Why are they always in second person? No idea.
I'm not set on the titles either...


KeeperCollapse )


The Slow AssassinationCollapse )


UndoneCollapse )


IngenueCollapse )


Forgotten, not MissedCollapse )



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