02.09.02 >1754

I am a big fan of Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, so needless to say I was quite happy with my results :

Take the What Color Dragon Should You Ride? Quiz
Made By: myway and teza

(link via Christophine)

Postscript : Needless to say - what an utterly useless phrase. I mean, you're going to say it anyway, so why put this phrase in the sentence? And I keep on doing it. Argh!

02.08.02 >1515

This is how imperialism screws everything up :

The Congress of Berlin in 1878 did not bring peace, as the four Great Powers (Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, Russia and France) intended; if anything, the desire to maintain their own interests in the Balkan peninsula did more damage than good. Civil war and endless slaughter erupted in Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina between Muslims and Christians. As Glenny noted in his book The Balkans,

The modern history of Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan, countries the world has recently had to rediscover, all began with the Peace of Berlin.
He goes on to quote A.H. Layard, who at the time was the British consul in Constantinople, and also "one of the first to comment on the implications of the settlement" :
Those who think themselves strong enough to support the aspirations by arms will be ready to rebel against the authority under which they believe they have been placed in violation of justice and of the principle of 'nationality.' Those who cannot recur to force will have recourse to intrigue and conspirancy. Both processes have already begun.
And both processes are still continuing. If you've been keeping track of how things are going in the Balkans recently, you'll see that this commentary has stood true for well over a century.


The Friday Five will return next week. Here's one of the questions, however : Do you have plans for Valentine's Day or is it just another Thursday? (This was the only question I could answer!)

Originally I was going to head home early that day and hang out with my youth group friends (the single ones, anyway), but plans have changed ... my sister and I are going out to dinner and then we're going to see The Count of Monte Cristo. Woohoo!

02.07.02 >1302

I've been blog-surfing all morning, so here's some weblog goodness to check out : lost by an echo, Holy Weblog!, me and my big blog, lost pages, and What Do I Know.

02.06.02 >2151

I know, I know, my emotions have been bouncing around a lot since yesterday, it seems - first outrage, then annoyance. Well, time to add to the emotion mixer once again. I originally found Mike's entry about his grandmother passing away via Charles, and may I say that I definitely know how it feels to lose a grandparent that you love. I lost my grandfather a month before I started blogging last year, and I've only let on to how much his death affected me a couple times here.

I lived with my paternal grandparents during my first two years of college - that was both a trial and a blessing. Why a trial? Well, first of all, my grandmother is definitely the matriarch of the family, and she can be very manipulative at times. I mean, the guilt trips she lays on you are classic. She has driven more than one of her kids away for long periods of time, depending on her mood; a good example of this would be one of my aunt's brief withdrawal from the rest of the family because my grandmother made this tremendous fuss about who she wanted to come to her 50th wedding anniversary, which of course got my aunt mad because all of the kids were planning the thing. Right before I moved in, I got involved in a fight with her that also involved another aunt, uncle, and my sister, and my dad had to break it up. No, I'm not kidding. Living with my grandmother was a painfully long lesson in patience. And I think I've overdone it so far, so I'd best move on! (Okay, this might seem a bit harsh, because I love my grandmother a lot and I certainly can't make her change her personality just to fit my expectations, but I got a rude awakening as a teen. My grandmother, I found out, was not the lovable woman I'd always thought her to be. So my thoughts on her here are things just as I and others in my entire family see them.)

[eulogy] Staying with my grandparents was also a blessing, because the other side of the coin is (was) my grandfather, the quieter and gentler one of the pair. By the time I moved in, he was wheelchair-bound because of a massive stroke he had in '94; he needed assistance doing everything from eating to getting up in the morning to going to the bathroom (that was the worst chore ever - I mean, there goes your dignity and everything, y'know?). Yet despite the volatile nature of the situation (he and my grandmother never got along, never have, but that's a story I won't tell here, and probably never shall), he would always talk to me and ask me questions, and I'd do the same with him.

Of course, that entailed some strange incidents. He was very alert of his surroundings, but I think he got frustrated because his body refused to let him do what he wanted to do. So sometimes he would ask me the funniest things ever - like, have I found a Significant Other yet? I stopped bringing my guy friends over because after they left my grandfather would think wedding bells would be ringing soon. When would I graduate? (That's a good question that I still don't have an answer to! One more year, IhopeIhopeIhope.) And when I left to go back to my folk's place for the weekend or summer vacation, he would always ask for me. At other times he would start to cry and talk about the Philippines, his homeland. At other times - and I definitely didn't like these moments at all - he'd start praying aloud to God to just let him die and get it over with. To be honest, I would've done the same thing if I had been in his place ...

I had moved to the dorms last year when he was rushed to the hospital because he'd eaten something bad, a day after his 92nd birthday party. Around six in the morning the next day, I woke up to a call from my little sister who told me I had to get to the hospital because the doctors were going to take him off life-support. By noon I was watching the blip on the heart monitor slowly recede to nothingness - and though I fiercely promised myself that I would never cry when I was standing with the rest of my family next to his bedside, I wept anyway.

There is a lot to my grandfather that I haven't said here yet. He was an ordained minister who loved to go downtown in S.F. with a bullhorn and gospel tracts to preach. Even after his ankle broke, he'd still go. He took Miriam, me and our cousin Melissa to his sister's house when we were little tykes; one time, we missed our train stop because we all fell asleep! And I guess he's the person I inherited my bus and train savviness from? He collected the oddest things but was also very generous with his treats.

Memories like these are the best ones to cherish. I think I'll end this by just passing along a bit of advice from Mike: "... why donít you go to your own site, and write about your grandmother, or father, or sister, or daughter; anyone you love, alive or passed. Better still, why donít you call up that person, and let them know how much you love them." [/eulogy]


San Francisco State's journalism department passed the nationwide accreditation process with "flying colors" a day or two ago - us who are majoring in the program have been told over and over again that it's one of the best in the country.

Well, that's all fine by me, but don't get stuck-up about it.

Some of the students seem to have this mentality that yeah, we're participating in a top-league journalism program, we get the best internships, we have a kool school newspaper - and they act pretty arrogant around those who aren't part of the program. For instance, a broadcasting major who's in my Contemporary Magazine class told me earlier today that some people were shooting her dirty looks at the first class session when she said she was with the broadcasting department.

Uh, yeah? So why are you making a fuss over nothing? Get a life already!

02.05.02 >1119

Within the coming weeks or days, depending on how fast they move, Yugoslavian police will try to arrest Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic and extradite him before Mar. 31, which is when Slobodan Milosevic's trial at the Hague war crimes tribunal will begin. Last August police managed to arrest Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic, one of the men who was responsible for the massacre at Srebrenica.

Don't have too much to say besides hurry up and kick their butts. Senseless slaughter outrages me to no end.

02.04.02 >2251

As long as I'm willing to pay the price, there'll be no more ads around here. Woohoo!

Found more sites on the Balkans - now I just have to comb through them carefully and see which ones are worth keeping. I think my instructor would be interested in some of these, too.


Where oh where shall I begin?

My primary focus right now is trying to stay caught up with all the various readings from my classes - the most interesting one by far concerns the Balkan region for my Int'l Relations class. We use an atlas of different areas of Eastern Europe and Misha Glenny's The Balkans, which is certainly packed with information between the 662 pages. The first chapter alone contained more names (a lot of them unpronouncable) than I could remember right off the top of my head.

But anyway, so begins my personal information blitz on the Balkans and recent events that have occurred in that region. As soon as my comp's set up again, I'm going to start looking for some informative websites. I found one already : The Centre for Peace in the Balkans. Totally fascinating. I like the headlines feature. More to come, more strange blog names to appear soon, too, as soon as I get myself situated with my new school schedule.

02.02.02 >1636

So proclaimed a banner hanging at the front of the local Target store : "Now hiring friendly people."

You mean they weren't friendly before?