Saturday, November 28, 2009

Democracy or something like it.

You've probably noticed that I've stayed far away from talking about the political situation here in Honduras. There's really only two reasons for this: one, my brain's been consumed by the logistics of getting my entire family to a wedding I've still to finish planning, moving out, starting new life, etc. The second reason (and I think maybe it'll explain my selfishness) is that about a month ago I grew completely sick and tired of the whole thing. It all got to a point where everything that either side did just made me clutch my hair in frustration and scream in anger. And I think it's understandable that you can't live like that. It was either push all that back (it's impossible to completely ignore it) as much as possible, or go completely insane at the utter lunacy of it all. So I did the first.

And really, the updates would all have been along these lines: This guy said 'we want elections!'. The other said 'Get Me Back into the Presidency!' and then they stuck their tongues out at each other and continued to play chicken while getting absolutely nowhere. Deals were signed, broken, signed again, complained over, until the Americans intervened and it was all over for Zelaya. All that you really need to know is that the elections are tomorrow and Zelaya's positions weakens as more and more countries decide to recognize the results of tomorrow's vote. And he'll continue to sulk in the Brazilian embassy while the others play lottery with government positions and we end up in exactly the same place we were at before the whole mess started.

I'm being deliberately flippant, of course. There was a lot going on and a lot of ugly things came to light about our political and social systems. But the simple truth is that all this was about a handful of men wanting to take or keep taking more power for themselves. And now we get an election that they pretend will fix everything instead of changing nothing at all. It's disheartening and depressing, but that's politics in this country.

But there are a few good things that could happen tomorrow. first, we could have a legitimate and transparent election for once. I think everyone is terrified to display even the slightest evidence of fraud. There's a lot of outside people watching and keeping these guys on their toes. Of course there's still some distrust on my part but hey, there's always some hope. The second thing I'm hoping for (and perhaps this is more of a pipe dream) is that enough people have become disgusted by the way the two big parties here have been behaving to not give their votes to either. I doubt any of the smaller party candidates will win anything, but what I hope for is that independent candidates will see a huge turnout of voters on their side, and that fewer people will give their votes to the big parties. I don't think this country will ever change until we can erode the power that the two parties have. And even a small increase in votes for third parties will help. And I think it's good that we're having an election at all. Things could've been much worse.

Today, I saw a huge caravan of Liberal Party cars going down the highway. Every now and then someone would toss out handfuls of leaflets into the air from one of the cars.

The entire length of the highway was completely covered in useless, wasteful red and white leaflets. Miles and miles of wasted paper that will go on to pollute more rivers, to clog more sewers that will one day be useless in a big rain. Tons of paper that no one will clean up (or some of it will be cleaned by underpaid city workers) and will just make the city dirtier.

And for what? What a sad, pathetic joke. But hey! democracy, right! yeaaaaaaaah!

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to fit a new life into a box

Phase One of the Great Packing of 09 has begun. And it's making me reflective as hell.

What do I take with me? What will I need immediately? What can I leave behind and have sent later ? What don't I need? What do I just throw away?

It's weird. I've had some pretty big moves before, but nothing quite like this. We moved to Brazil and I was too young to remember. We moved to Venezuela and we took everything. We moved back to Honduras and again, we took mostly everything. I went to college and took a lot but not so much, since that wasn't a permanent move.

But it's always been WE, my entire family, moving into a big new house and having to share rooms. But now I'm LEAVING--all capital letters. Who knows when I'll be able to see my old room again. I'm starting a new life--hell, a new HOME and how bizarre is that? I've never lived on my own before, and though this isn't a complete move into independence, and it's very exciting but also kind of scary. And I just want to DO it already, you know? I want to start organizing the apartment, turning it from the bachelor pad into a house for two. I can't wait for that part.

So I'm kind of trying to calm down about the Selection and Packing of Stuffs. It's not like I won't ever see these things again. It's do I even begin to pick what books I want to take? It was hard enough deciding to leave just about every bit of fiction here. I've already re-read most of it this year for the Cannonball. And one of the best things about the US is the abundance of public libraries and cheap bookstores. But I can't leave my art books behind, can I? And what if I start work soon and need them for...something? I must take them with me! It'd be like abandoning my children!

I'm taking my art supplies as well, of course. Can't live without them and they're expensive as hell to get new.

and the rest? Oooh boy. How do I even begin?

A list. I shall make a list right now so I won't go insane.

1) photo albums--staying. I don't need them right now and can always get them later.
2) framed photos -- taking with me. Graham's apartment lacks decorations.
3) jewelry and make-up -- have to take it all with me in the suitcase, or send it with my mom. There isn't a terrible lot of it but the boxes are kind of bulky. Need to find a good way to transport them.
4) journals and other papers, drawings, etc -- staying. can be sent later.
5) pottery stuff I made -- taking or sending by mail. They're multifunctional and provide good decorations.
6) decorative plates, pretty boxes, bits and pieces, etc -- sending by mail. Again, they're very practical and add nice color to places.
7) actual home/practical stuff -- going to take my mixer, because I can't live without it. Also my recipe books. Maybe sending along some special bowls and things like that.
8) bulky clothing and shoes -- sending them with the family. My mom, dad, grandma and uncle can take some in their bags. fortunately I don't actually have a lot of clothes I want to take, but shoes do make a lot of bulk and I can't leave my shoes behind.
9) two big blankets, fancy towels and my special pillow -- I don't know. Need to ask mom.

Most of that stuff is going to be sent by mail in boxes. That way they can sit in the apartment in a corner until I need them, while we clean out and organize the place.

Ooh. That helped a lot. Now that I put it that way it's not THAT much stuff I need to take - or at least it won't take up too much room when packed together. The books are really the biggest things and I might even leave some behind for now and take the best ones. They're heavy and could be expensive to send out, so I need to talk to my mom about it.

And the rest is really aesthetic stuff that boys don't think to get. I really wish I could take my giant mirror with me because it's awesome. But I think that'll have to wait. *sob*

So. I think that's it for now.

I hate packing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the zombie invasion will begin when I've had some coffee

What a great day I had yesterday.

After finally mailing out the first batch of invitations, I went out with two good high school friends and had a wonderful lunch of giant burgers and crepes for dessert. Afterward we headed out to a mall like proper girly girls and hung out at the perfume store. My one friend is a something of a professional shopper and she took me on a tour of uber-girly stores--as much as I profess to hate shopping I have to admit that every now and then I do like to do a little bit of girlyness and look at pretty things. Decided to spend some money and bought myself some awesome perfume with a huge discount and I don't feel a bit guilty over it. After all, it's not every day I let myself spend like that.

Headed out to a jewelry store of all places and looked at fancy purses. Not something I'd buy but they were certainly pretty. And oh it was fun looking at all the pretty shiny stuff.

We then headed out to my friend's place, and had a blast looking at wedding photos and her wedding video. You wouldn't think that would be full of hilarity but it was good times.

And it must've been because of that that I spent the entire night having wedding-anxiety induced dreams. It was all very emotional and bizarre and I don't know why I always have those stupid dreams where my hair isn't right or someone forgets my dress or whatever. Not fun. Woke up at 3, then 5, then 7 and finally gave up on sleep at 8. Sometimes my stupid brain won't give up on its one-track wanderings when it's exhausted.

And I woke up and have a very sore throat and feel very zombie-like.

So, a great day, a bad night, but it was totally worth it. Have a very busy two weeks coming up (AAAAAAAH I'M LEAVING IN TWO WEEKS HOLY CRAP) and I'm trying to work up the energy to start up today but I can barely even write this entry.

Need more coffee.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bits and pieces and aaaaaaaaah so much to do!

Oh boy oh boy oh BOY!

It's happening! It only started to sink in slowly over the last few days, and just as slowly my brain's coming to accept that YES I'm really getting married and YES I'm leaving my home. It's kind of terrifying and exciting and sad and joyful all at the same time and I'm running around feeling like I'm forgetting to do something or that I need to be doing something even though I know I don't. So for the purpose of keeping the madness at bay, another quick run-through of what's going through my mush of a brain right now.

1) Invitations should be done TODAY. They should be ready to be shipped out tomorrow.
2) Need to figure out when mom and I will be distributing cards to people here, at the same time inviting them to the big farewell blow-out I'm gonna be having before I leave. It's for all the people who can't come to Houston to the wedding, and it should be a blast.
3) Seriously need to start packing or at least sorting out the stuff that I'll be taking with me when I leave. It's really just kind of bizarre....I know I'm not taking everything, but where do I even start to pick? I'm thinking of taking most of my art books....most of the stuff on my desk...some stuff? ARGH. I need to make a separate list or something. What to take, what to leave behind for later, what to leave behind for good. What to send by mail, what to take with me, what to have my mom take when she goes. It's madness.
4) Mom and my older brother should be working out final hotel details today. The plan is for them all to join us in Houston so we can spend Christmas together before the wedding on the 27th. It should be so much fun.
5) Need to call the lady who's doing the wedding favors and tell her she can finally add the date to them.
6) Need to figure out how I'm gonna do my hair and makeup for the wedding. Blah. I hate my hair and trying to figure out what to do with it. Need an expert.
7) Seriously need to go to the dentist. Ow.
8) Need to work on the guestbook. I better start picking paper right now.
9) Need to write up more Cannonball Reviews AND an intro to a guide. That needs to be done NOW so I'm moving this to #1. Also, I told myself I wasn't going to read more Stephen King books but dammit, I've gone through every book on my shelf and all I have left is...Stephen King and some Tom Clancy books I don't want to read. So what the hell, more King it is. His books are easy and fast to read and dammit I need to finish this in 14 days. So there.
10) Think up new insults to throw at Manuel Zelaya for being a huge stupid baby and generally being an embarrassment to this country.

I like that last one specially. Really brings forth the creativity.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Book #61: "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman

I feel like I should have liked it more. I hate when that happens. I come in with outrageously high expectations, thanks to people whose opinion on most things is pretty valuable to me (except when it comes to TV shows), and I'm all excited and It was just good. I was expecting to be moved. Shaken. Stirred. To be laughing uproariously.

I barely chuckled a couple of times. I would have been happy with it just being great instead of fantastic, but to be honest I just found it good. But ultimately forgettable.

I've been trying to process my feelings towards it almost from when I started reading it. I liked it, but it wasn't taking me in. There were some cute jokes, but it seemed like it was trying too hard to channel Douglas Adams. And then for the longest, damnedest time it just didn't goanywhere. There were times when it seemed like it would, but then the little vignette with some plot in it would get broken up and taken over by another clever little vignette talking about some clever little character who thinks some things and is never heard from again. It's very choppy, like a movie full of quick little cuts that never let you get a grasp on anything for very long. It's fitting to the manic tone of the book, I suppose, and I can see why it was done, I just didn't like it at all. It was frustrating, and pretty quickly I began to get annoyed at having a good bit that was just getting good get interrupted as we move to yet another unimportant character doing something "funny". It just got exhausting and annoying, and sometimes it just kept me from enjoying what is a fun little story.

It really is a great idea. Eleven years before the Apocalypse happens, the antichrist (in baby form) is delivered to earth by a demon. Unfortunately, he is placed with the wrong family. Of course no one realizes this until, eleven years later, an angel and a demon get together a week before the apocalypse and try to put a stop to it by getting rid of the Antichrist (who is supposed to start the whole thing out). Among the many, many supporting characters are the four horsemen (or...bikers) of the Apocalypse, the descendant of a witch who predicted the whole thing, some witchunters, a few more demons, the metatron, a psychic, the antichrist's gang of buddies and a Dog. The angel, the demon and the dog are pretty funny. The others are really kind of...dispensable. And useless. Even the antichrist is never really there.

So, really, I was just disappointed. It started out with a couple of lame jokes, but I just thought "this can only get better, right?" but didn't really. There were parts that I'm sure are supposed to be really hilarious, but I just kind of read over them and chuckled. It just never really clicked with me. It starts and stops and just wasn't all that compeling. And to be completely honest, the one thought that kept running through my head as I read the jokes and situations was "Meh. Douglas Adams did it better."

I really did want to like it more than I did. I didn't hate it, but I didn't get that happy feeling in my stomach that I get when I really love a book. Ah well.

Book #60: "Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham"by JRR Tolkien

This will be a short one, so I can get it over with an get to the Good Omens review, a book I read about 2 months ago and have been wanting to post the review for for ages.

The short stories* were Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham. They were nice little stories, fairy tales really. Written before and after Lord of the Rings (my all-time favorite series), they're really not at all related to Middle-Earth, and seem more like little exercises in story telling that Tolkien wrote for kids. They're more like The Hobbit, really, with Farmer Giles featuring a dragon and the cutesy dialogue and all that. Not bad stories to tell your kids, really.

So, they were a fun read but not really that big a deal. It's always nice to read something else by Tolkien, and after you've read LOTR and The Silmarillion you might as well read this. They're short and pretty funny sometimes.

And if you should really, really, really read LOTR if you haven't yet. And The Hobbit.

*They were each about 200 pages long, so they count.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


keep myself from going crazy trying to remember it all:

1) Get the invitations printed. I've already designed the invitations myself. But now I'm considering changing the colors to fit the season better. Need to find a nice place to print them and get them all mailed out ASAP.
2) Get the favors finished. The favors are gonna be awesome. We're having someone make them, and I need to give her the date so she can put it on the things. I won't tell you what they are. Bwah.
3) Guest Book. I want to make my own Guest Book, with some watercolor paintings. Need to get started on that TODAY. I was planning on buying a nice journal with textured paper, but so far I've been unable to find one. So I'll use my sketchbooks and hope it all turns out great.
4)Hairand veil. I have my dress, shoes, jewelry. I want to use my mom's old veil (she still has it!) but it needs to be fixed as it has a giant swathe of bright pink tulle on it . Oh, the 80s. And I need to figure out how to wear my hair. Harder said than done, as I hate my hair and can never get it to look good except on like, Sunday night before I go to bed.
5)Flights!. I just realized that it'll be for good this time. That's kind of terrifying. Turns out one-way trips are ridiculously expensive, so I'll figure something out and make the return a year from now. Maybe we can come here for next Christmas?
6)Pack up!. While I did take most of my room with me when I went off to college, this will be slightly different. I'm actually thinking of starting to ship things off before I leave, such as winter clothes or shoes that I won't be using here. And books. So many of those.

That's all I can think of for now. Oh, and of course on Monday I need to go to the Embassy and actually get the package and Visa. That'll be fun.

I also need to finish the Cannonball. I'm on Book #85, which means I need to read 15 by the end of this month. Eep!

I'll probably be editing more things into this. It's a lot, but yay! I'm so happy to finally be at the place where I can actually plan all of this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Most of you know this already, but in case you don't yet:


And there was much rejoicing!

The Embassy called me at 9 this morning, while I was still half asleep, and told me I was approved. I need to go by the building on Monday and drop off my passport and they'll give me the giant envelope with my visa that I'm not allowed to open that I have to give to the Customs agents when I get to the US.

But that's IT. Nearly a year later (it will be a year since our application was submitted on November 10) and through countless trials and days of pain, I can finally get married.

Holy crap, I'm actually getting married. EEE!

December 27th. Oh, my!