30 March 2010

Prayer Request

Hey all -

I have a quick prayer request for y'all (in case the title didn't give it away).

My mom flew back to Minneapolis, MN early yesterday morning to spend time with her brother who is dying of pancreatic cancer. He is not a Christian. The doctors are not optimistic, and to tell you frankly, I think the main reason he's held on for this long is that God wanted to give Mom a chance to get back there.

My uncle's liver is shutting down, and the cancer is thoroughly embedded throughout his body. When he goes, he will leave his wife and little girl behind.

Please pray for patience and perseverance for Mom as she gets into the stressful dynamics of her family, and that she'll be a light in my uncle's dark places.


29 March 2010

Post Script

As a post script to my post 'non sint' - if you did not know what I was talking about before reading the post, then you are not persons (B), (C), or (D).

Just to clarify. I have had conversations with the people involved, so I don't want random readers of my blog to think I am keeping things from them.


Inside of You, In Spite of You

I'm sure you've noticed how eclectic my choices in music are by this point. I'll drive it home and give you a rather nice goth rock song today. It's called Inside of You, In Spite of You by ThouShaltNot. If you're anything like most people I know, you're thinking "Okay, I knew Problematic was a little out there. But goth rock? She's pushing it now."

There's an interesting thing I've noticed about my friends. They look at a genre of music and judge it without even listening to it. Now, I'll be the first to say I'm not goth. I never was, I never intend to be, and if you refer to this post, you'll see that my views on the matter are a little ... strong.  But before you go and discount this song, take a look at its lyrics. Not only is the beat of the song strong and catchy, but the lyrics are actually quite amazing.

Inside of You, In Spite of You by ThouShaltNot

I am in the air now
I am in your lungs
I am written
I am spoken by a million flaming tongues
I'm the lens through which you see
I'm the process
I am the key
I am synapses firing bullets from a gun
I'm the world's mystique
I am the words you speak
I am language
I am hidden memories that you seek
I am the sun before you see me rise
I burn still when you close your eyes
I am the soul that never dies when flesh is weak

I am inside of you in spite of you
With strength and sacred grace
But for all you do
I'll carry you now
From this bitter place

I am in your future
I am in your past
I'm the echo of your footsteps
I'm your shadow cast
I'm the heat you radiate
I am the fury and the fate
I am each beat within your heart from first to last
I'm your action without thought
I am the instinct born inside you
I'm the bones from which you drape
I am protective skin to hide you
I'm the pull that the earth exerts
I am the rain that stings and the snow that blinds
I'm the architecture of your world and mind

I am the dawn of ages
I am the days seen through
I'm final entropy
I am inside of you
I am the clouds that cover
Your way into the blue
I kiss with life to give
All this in spite of you

Interesting song, neh? I apologize for the video of the song - I only found In Spite of You is fan-made movies. And Lord Cutler Beckett was infinitely preferrable to Edward Cullen.


28 March 2010

non sint

Everyone cares about something. And that doesn't mean 'is vaguely interested in a detached sort of way.' No, there is an issue out there that is so huge, so enormous, so vast and important in their mind that they are truly passionate about it. For a couple of my friends, its the problem of malaria in Africa. For another, it's that sub-cultures can be Christian.

I've noticed a phenomenon among some of my 'courtyard' friends recently. They'll come up to me, and make a rude statement concerning my 'keep' friends. And usually, it's a hasty generalization or judgement on these people.

All this to say, the thing that makes me sad to the core, that makes me sick to my stomach when I see it happening is when I see people judge others without truly learning about them. That's my 'issue'.

The most recent one that happened was something like this: My courtyard friends started talking about people in the speech and debate league around the area. From other clubs, by the way. As I was saying, these people started talking about members of NCFCA in the Puget Sound region. They are more junior members of my club, in the way that I've been around NCFCA for much, much longer than they have. But that's besides the point. These club mates of mine commented on a couple old-timers from other clubs, who also happen to be good friends of mine.

My club mates (both of whom I shall now refer to as X)  remarked that one good friend (B) was an insincere actress whose kindness, niceness, sincerity, etc. was an act and that she genuinely didn't care about other people. X went on to say that (C) was a little better and not as fake, but was also an actress whose concern for others was only going for getting brownie points with the adults.  Ouch. That's the type of thing I'd expect a group of cliquey high-school girls to say about each other, not teen-aged young men (I shall not call them gentlemen because they were not).

On a separate occassion, persons X (a group which may or may not be different from the previous paragraph) targeted a different friend of mine. According to X, (D) was a dogmatic, pragmatic spoil-sport who didn't know how to take a joke, nor make one.

I don't take offense at what X say: If these guys actually knew (B), (C), or (D), they would realize how wrong, how unjust, and how skewed their opinions are. I've even said something to that effect to X. But they don't listen. Why? Because X are set in their ways: They've fallen into judging others before even getting to know them.

I do it too. Before I met (B) and (C), I was universally distrustful of gregarious people because of a bad experience I had in the past. I met them, and thought "Oh, I don't want to be friends with them" because they talked a lot. I've got another friend (G), who looks on the outside like a cloudcuckoolander with no firm grasp of reality, but whose insights and opinions can be startlingly sharp.  I've got countless examples of friends who I made hasty judgements about, and now regret those opinions. God has been gracious and showed me the error of those assumptions. I'm certainly not over it, but I've learned now to try and get to know someone before drawing a conclusion about who they are and what they're like.

What upsets me about these situations is that X and other friends don't even *try* to get to know the people they criticize. They meet a person, run into them twice, and then become the experts on who the person is. Not only that, but they are then as insensitive and back-stabbing as to tell others about this person without even having one, just ONE meaningful conversation with the person in question. It's wrong, and maybe I'm not expressing it right, but it should not be this way.

Not only have persons X ruined the chance of good, pure, simple friendship without any pretensions or false concepts for themselves, they've also sewn the seeds of rumors, lies and hypotheses in other people's minds. They're not just hurting themselves: they're hurting the ones they gossip about and anyone who remotely comes into contact with the rumors.

I don't know if that was remotely intelligible, let alone polite and politic. So what are your thoughts?


Extended Analogy

I can't remember if I've ever posted this here, and because my next post is dependant to a certain extent upon the analogy, I'll refresh your mind.

Friendship is much like a medeival castle. Every person is the master of a castle, including a keep, a courtyard, and the town surrounding the defensive structures. As we meet people throughout our lives, they travel into our town. The friendly strangers, the acquaintances, the friends of friends, they all 'live' in the town: the lord or lady of the castle is aware of their presence, and tolerates any activities, strolling players, etc. within the outskirts of the city.

But sometimes, there are exceptional strangers. They're interesting, unusual, or show friendly intent. And so, as the owner of the castle, we invite them into the courtyard of the castle. They're through the portcullis, the outerwall, the outer defenses. There are less people in the courtyard, obviously. These are the friends of the owner of the town. Not necessarily good friends, but ones trusted *enough* to get through the first layer of archers, pikemen, and boiling lead.  The lord or lady of the castle interacts with these people more often, many times going out to visit and socialize with the inhabitants.

And sometimes, if a particular visitor impresses the lord or lady of the manor, they'll be invited in the keep. There are no defenses up now, and it's pretty posh inside. These are your or my intimate friends. The ones we trust so much, we open up to them. Sometimes, they move back to the courtyard for a time, but they stay close.

Like it? I do.

Now, on to the post this is relevant to.


23 March 2010

Personality (Dis)order

You may have noticed a link on the sidebar describing my personality: Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver. When I took the test, I didn't have time to look up the attributes associated with INFP personality types. But I did today. Look at the results:

-attracted to sad things
-ambivalent of the rules
-likes esoteric things-disorganized
-likes the rain
-easily distracted
-does not like crowds
-attracted to the counter culture
-can be pessimistic
-can feel uncomfortable around others
-can be overwhelmed by unpleasant feelings
-frequently losing things
-can be pessimistic

Up to this point, I wondered how they knew all this about me. It's like they've read my blog or something. These next ones were ambivalent. I haven't noticed it about myself, but maybe you have.

-prone to quitting
-prone to feelings of loneliness
-avoidant-sometimes can't control fearful thoughts
-prone to crying
-focus on fantasies
-acts without planning
-low self confidence
-emotionally moody
-can feel defective
-prone to lateness
-prone to sadness
-prone to dreaming about a rescuer
-can sabotage self
-prone to regret
-can be submissive
-prone to feeling discouraged
-frequently second guesses self
-not punctual
-not always prepared
-prone to confusion
-prone to irresponsibility

Yeah, those are the ones I'm rather ambivalent about. But these next ones are jewels. They're perfect "lolwot" material. 
-can feel victimized
-familiar with the dark side
-more likely to support marijuana legalization
-daydreams about people to maintain a sense of closeness
-wounded at the core
-feels shame

I'm still chuckling over the marijuana one. I love personality tests. They offer so much amusement potential. =D

Letter to the Editor

The third writing assignment for my rhetoric class. I got high marks on this one, so I thought I'd share.

Editor, the Times;

Richard Dawkins and other prominent atheists recently have asserted that Christianity teaches that “unquestioning faith is a virtue,” but they’ve not researched the issue properly. 

The Bible teaches in many books that truth is important, and that it should be actively pursued. 2 Timothy reminds us to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” In other words, the pursuit of truth is one of the things God calls us to do as His followers.

Mr. Dawkins also overlooked the rich scientific tradition of Western civilization when he claimed that Christians do not question beliefs.  Galileo Galilei, called the Father of Modern Science, was a firm Christian. Although it went against church doctrine at the time, he questioned prior beliefs about the universe and forever changed the way we do science. Newton, Bohr, Pasteur, Lavoisier, Kepler, Copernicus, Maxwell, and other influential scientists of the past four centuries were all Christians who questioned and sought after the truth. If unquestioning belief, rote memorization, and apathy toward truth were all virtues for Christians, then the depth of our knowledge about the world would be far simpler.

Christians believe that “the truth will set us free” (John 8:32), and an unquestioning faith simply does not fit into that belief.


22 March 2010

Every Breath You Take

Music Monday, unfortunately, has been put on hold the past few weeks. But this week, I'm pleased to introduce you  to one of my favorite ear worms: Every Breath You Take by Sting & the Police. I love the backup music, not so much the lyrics. It's restrained and catchy.And actually, looking at the lyrics now, it sounds like a song a stalker would sing, but that doesn't make it any less awesome in my mind.

Every Breath You Take by Sting & the Police:

Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you
Every single day and every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Oh can't you see you belong to me?
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
Every move you make and every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake, I'll be watching you
Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace
I dream at night
I can only see your face
I look around but it's you I can't replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby, baby please

Oh can't you see you belong to me?
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
Every move you make
And every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake, I'll be watching you
Every move you make
Every step you take, I'll be watching you, I'll be watching you
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake, I'll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake, I'll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you


21 March 2010

Hysteria, Nausea, and Onomatapoeia

Disclaimer: What I'm going to say may sound mean, sarcastic, uncaring, or self-righteous, but I mean it in the best way possible. ;)

Popular guys crack me up. They really do. When I see them sauntering through the hallways with a giggle of girls following them, it takes all my self-control not to snicker, especially when the girls are all casting feral glances at each other. But you know what makes me laugh even harder? Guys who don't even know it. Yeah, the ones strutting their stuff with the girls are funny, but even they are overshadowed by the oblivious charmers.  These are the guys who remain ignorant of their popularity. I had a conversation with one of them recently who bemoaned his lack of followers. Apparently, he hadn't noticed the number of girls who follow him with their eyes. =D Anyways, I've been having a chuckle recently at the expense of these fellows. Pay no attention to the cynic in the corner.

On to the real purpose of my post. I apologize for my lack of posts recently. There was a tournament in Idaho this weekend that I spent most of March preparing for. I competed in Persuasive, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous, and Lincoln-Douglas debate. When all was said and done, I was 5th speaker and 5th LD debater, 8th Extemporaneous speaker, and 8th Original Oratory. My persuasive did not qualify to Regionals. Sad, but oh well. That leads to a tangential musing: I always seem to pick controversial, unpopular speeches. There was Animal Farm back two years ago, and now my Persuasive has gone and ticked off the judges. I guess they just can't handle my message. ;)

In other news, I won my first-ever outround in debate. I call it high cause for celebration.

So, pluses and minuses from the tournament:
+5th in LD, 5th LD speaker
- My flight B round starting as TP rounds ended
------ Getting to the extemp prep room late because of my late debate round
+ Two first places in extemp from that round
+ Breaking in OO and extemp
---- Calvin and Bill's incredibly awkward conversation skills
------ Verve not in Finals
--- Almost fainting on Saturday
+++ A much more subdued tournament because most of my club wasn't there
--- "Your emotions seemed forced and unreal" after I almost started crying in my funny OO on account of exhaustion
--- "Can't you choose a less generic example than Jewish people?"
+++ Exclusive Ballot party
+++++ I Talk Alone - a parody of "I Walk Alone" by Tarja that Jedi Gerbils and I wrote.
+ "Pep talking" Calvin
+ New Friends!
+ "I love your blog!" <-- That was unexpected, but rather cheering. I can't remember your name, but thank you. You made my night.

Yeah, on Saturday, I was feeling really quite faint and dizzy. So much so that when the tournament director asked for a timer, I volunteered without realizing I did until I got into the apologetics round. That was about the worst 80 minutes I spent at the tournament, because I was trying desperately hard to not black out during the speeches.

On Thursday, I was in the second flight for LD. Due to some unfortunate happenstance, the judge didn't show up on time. In fact, we didn't find him until the team policy rounds were ending. This isn't good: we're supposed to be finishing when the policy rounds get out. So we start, and the tournament director was good enough to hold the tournament back half an hour to give us a chance to finish. I get out of my round, only to be told that I was the first speaker in the OO room. I rush over there, and discover that my extemp draw is in 30 seconds. I rush as fast as my high heels will allow over to the extemp prep room, and arrive almost five minutes late because I had to detour to find the postings first. Despite that, two judges ranked me first in the room. And I broke to semis, so I was quite happy. 

After the awards ceremony, I went over to Jedi Gerbil's hotel for an "exclusive" ballot party of sorts. We got Mrs. Incredible and her debate partner, Pooh and Tigger, and Jedi Gerbils and Barrelfighter, and Elsie (the girl whose house I occupied) plus R.B. together to read ballots. It eventually turned to a politics discussion, at which point another guest in the room started listening intently. Apparently, he'd never seen a room full of teenagers in suits and ties intelligently discussing the second election race of Pres. Clinton before. I have to wonder where he's been for the past 12 years.  Yeah, it was a highly successful tournament.

And now, to spend time cum mea familia. As an ending sidenote, I'm so happy to be able to hug people *taller* than me. Everyone I spent time with at Idaho was shorter.


14 March 2010


Forty-five minutes of abdominal exercises are painful the next day. Just saying.

12 March 2010

Book Tag

I received this tag from Libby (Random Jot Downs) because I have fallen in public. Quite a few times, actually, but that's besides the point.
The rules are to grab a book (the nearest book to you), turn to page 123, go to the fifth sentence and post the next five sentences:

"Come on, you blob of glup," the cold Duke roared. "You may frighten octopi to death, you gibbous spawn of hate and thunder, but not the Duke of Coffin Castle!" He sneered. "Now that my precious gems have turned to thlup, living on, alone and cold, is not my fondest wish! On guard, you musty sofa!"

The book is called The 13 Clocks by James Thurber, which my own dear brother gave me to read yesterday, but now it has jumped to the first on my list. =D


Oh, and I tag Tay, from Fearless. Because I can.

10 March 2010

Ensemble Recital

Sunday was my violin teacher's Ensemble Recital. That means we all got to play in duets, trios, etc. The first part of the evening was spent listening to the younger students play. The pieces were quite nice, but because the violin is an instrument that you create your own tones on, it was a little painful listening to the Anna Magdalena Notebook by Bach in three separate keys all at once. >.<

Then came the second half of the performance. This was the time for the older students to "shine" as my teacher put it. I was in the middle of the second half, so let me explain my piece before jumping in.

My ensemble piece was a series of Bartok duets. Bela Bartok, for those of you who were wondering, was a Hungarian (I believe) composer from the 1940s who traveled Eastern Europe collecting folk songs and arranging them into duets for two violins and no accompaniment. That "no accompaniment" bit is important, but so is the folk songs. See, Western music has a very distinct tonality and musicality to it. As we grow up, we are conditioned to think that some patterns of tones aren't musical. The Middle East has a different musicality, as does Africa and Asia. Even particular countries have distinct sounds - Indian music can be easily differentiated from Japanese.  What is considered musical in Asia may not be in African or European traditions, but because we recognize them as 'foreign' musicalities, we accept them as melodic.

Not so with Eastern European music. It's not the same as Western European music, but it isn't different enough to be 'foreign'. Every once in a while, you can hear a touch of Asian or Middle Eastern, but it's not different enough to be recognized as musical from somewhere else. This explains why a lot of students really hate Bartok - they don't think his music sounds like music, and if it does, it certainly isn't nice sounding.

So there I was, sitting on the side as the other older students played. First up: Moussorgsky. Then Mozart. Oh, look, a Bach!  Then there was Vivaldi. Those are all either Western composers or Russian (and Moussorgsky's Romantic music sounds quite a bit like other Western Romantic composers). At this point, I'm getting a little nervous. The other pieces have piano accompaniment. The other pieces have lush, full sounds that we like. They were harmonic, not dissonant. I glanced at my sheet music. In two measures, my teacher (who played the other violin part) and I had only four notes: E, D sharp, D natural, and C natural - sometimes at the same time. If you wanted to play something incredibly dissonant and mush-like, I could think of no better note sequence.

I listened again. Their pieces sounded hard. Mine sound simple, but the fingering is killer at times (especially the Bagpipes Variation >.<).

Yeah, I kind of psyched myself out before going up there. But it turns out, I did fine. A couple of unintentional grace notes in Bagpipes Variation, but nothing serious.


06 March 2010

Olympia Days 4 & 5

I'm tired, so I'll make this fairly short.

On Thursday, in Page School, we had a mock Ways and Mean committee meeting. Along with Mrs.Incredible and one House page, I was in the conservative minority, but my proposal passed! My budget proposal was that we deport the illegal immigrant offenders in our jails back to their country of origin, saving $ 9 million. Mrs. Incredible and the house page's proposals didn't pass because they were quite conservative. I surprised one of the teachers by voting for a 1% income tax proposal, which was incredibly funny. He said: "Problematic, I can't believe you voted for that. I'm surprised!" because I had voted against all the other tax increases in the committee.

Also on Thursday, protestors from Evergreen College and UW showed up. They brought a coffin to protest a proposed increase of tuition for state colleges to balance the budget - apparently they were burying state higher education. And then they started singing in the Senate Gallery, getting through a verse and a half before being thrown out. The WSP brought some bomb sniffing dogs and about twenty extra officers for security.

It completely figures that the one day I decided to wear pigtails (Friday) is the day my Senator requests me to do the flag ceremony. I carried the American Flag. Besides that, nothing out of the ordinary happened.

It's a lame update, I know.

My conclusion: Paging is awesome. I am now interested in the United States Senate Page program. And I totally recommend the experience to everyone.

Now, I'm going to sleep again for a while.

03 March 2010

Olympia Day 3

Celebrate good times, come on!! Woohoo!! *skips merrily around computer room* So, I finally managed to hook up with my sponsoring Senator this morning. I made three appointments to meet with her with her staff these past two days, and finally one of them caught her in her office. She ushered me into her leather and light decorated office, and proceeded to make pleasant small talk. She asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, but I have no real plans. Instead, I picked the one occupation I'm kind of interested in, and told her about it. Then she asked me where I'd study for the job. There's only one university in North America that offers the course... Yeah. When she heard that, my Senator talked about how attending out-of-state colleges is bad for the state because it draws the state's best and brightest away from our economy. Hence, I've got a new rule of living.

Rule 26: The riskier option is better than the safer option. Safer options lead to foot-in-mouth disease.

So, then I headed down to the Floor for the Senate page picture with the Lieutenant Governor, who didn't show up. Lame. And then it was time for floor duty. There was a resolution passed about Filipino Americans, which was considerably less lame than yesterday's, and the Senators voted on gubernatorial appointments before adjourning for caucuses. We waited for two hours, and then got another 40 minutes of nothing much. Thanks to paging, I have now lost all faith in the ability of my government to get anything done. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the Senators and Representatives appear to be the only people on the Capital campus who aren't doing anything productive. But that's just my tired, ornery grumbling, so pay no attention.

Also today, one of the male pages started flirting with me. >.< Why must this keep happening to me? O.O I was playing a game of speed with him when suddenly:

"My gosh, you've got an absolutely gorgeous smile! I just couldn't not say that." Comments of that sort continued for the rest of the day. I'm mildly perturbed. My usual way of coping with guys like this is: "Why thank you. I appreciate the sentiment." And then continue to be polite but more guarded in my behavior. Unfortunately, it recently came to my attention that my 'politeness' comes off as flirtatious at times.  Which leaves me with the dilemma of being rude and ignoring him, or being polite (my natural inclination) and encouraging him. BOTHER!

Dad came and ate lunch with me and Mrs. Incredible. He brought flowers with him. I am now the proud possessor of a couple yellow roses and a yellow tulip. They're very pretty, but when he pulled them out of the car, I felt both special and spatial. It didn't quite connect that he was giving them to me. My first impulse was "Thank you. And where did you want these taken again?" but I suppressed the urge, fortunately.

A Senator asked the LEG Page Dispatch Station to have the pages write 20 things that make a good Senator and 20 things that make a good page down for him, so I completed the Senator list, but I'm having trouble with the page list. Oh well, I'll finish it tomorrow.

In Page School, we listened to a Moderate Republican lobbyist talk. It was very interesting, and I got him to elaborate on some philosophical topics. Glee!! Then, the pages finished budget bills we started yesterday. We had to write three proposals for reducing the WA State Budget, and I surprised my (liberal) teacher with the three options of : a. a 2% overall decrease of WA government funding, b. 8% decrease of healthcare for state and higher education employees, and c. the deportation of the 500-some illegal immigrant offenders in WA State prisons. When he got to option b, he started tsk-tsking. Most happy.

Well, I'm getting sleepy, so tata for now.

Also, guys - any suggestions for dealing with this page? Despite many experiences with this in the past, I'm still pretty clueless. :P


02 March 2010

Olympia Days 1 and 2

Yay! It's time for an update!

Sunday evening, I arrived at my host house, only to start morbid jokes with the girl whose room I'm sharing. Most salubrious for me beloved zany mind. After getting about 5 hours of sleep, I woke up for my first day of paging.

When I arrived at the page room in the basement of the Republican Senate Offices, I received, to my boredom and chagrin, the same lecture I got in page orientation on Sunday. But the catnap I snagged during that hour helped. Then it was off to page school, where pages go to school! Yes I'm tired, no you may not quote me, now do stop talking and let me continue. As I was saying I toddled off to page school. Now, I'll give the teachers this: they really do *try* to be honest and non-biased, but the succeeding bit is where they have a hard time. The first day's lesson was about wealth and income, and by the end of the two hours, it was clear that my teachers were, at best, very liberal, and at worst, slightly socialist. But what else should I have expected? So I called them on the socialism thing, which they handily dodged and moved on.

My first delivery of the day was from a Senate office to the Floor. The office needed a page quickly, and when I arrived, slightly out of breath, a giant bouquet of daffodils was thrust in my hands. Apparently, the staff had forgotten the flowers before the Senator left that morning, and I was told to hurry to the Floor to rectify the situation. A half-hearted "And please, don't spill" ushered me out of the room.

The deliveries I made over the course of yesterday took me from the basement of the Majority Senate Offices to the Republican Caucus room, to the supply room in a sterile, stark basement that would make a great horror movie set. Not to mention the Temple of Justice, and the Legislative building.

You could tell if you were in the Republican or Democratic caucus just by what was decorating the offices: The Democrats have big pictures of JFK, Harry Truman, and company, and the Democratic party symbol which looks suspiciously like Obama's running logo. In one office, I was greeted by a life-sized cardboard cutout of President Obama - I jumped, and the secretary told me everyone did that when they saw him. The Republican offices, though, had yellow ribbons and American flags and dried rose buds in them. I get a kick out of them.

Due to a rather unfortunate packing error, I wore a pair of Dad's black socks instead of my own yesterday. I'm not sure you know this, but he has bigger feet than I do. And bigger socks. So while my shoes were quite comfortable, the socks were not. One slid down into my shoe, causing a rather uncomfortable blister on the first day.  Now, on to the second!

This morning, I woke up early just like before and got ready in the dark as my hosts slept. I stumbled out to the kitchen to grab a glass of water to take my tylenol with, and was surprised by the father of the house. I almost screamed. But I controlled the urge.

In the morning, I was scheduled to be on the Floor until lunch. However, the Senate didn't convene until 10:30, giving me a half-hour to go watch some of the Ways and Means committee meeting. Then when the Senate convened, I got to listen to a half-hour of Senators making Points of Personal Preference as they lauded the Navy guests we had today. Apparently today was Navy day, which explains the Navy Brass Band, the Navy Color Guard, and the large contingent of highly decorate, big-ranking type Navy officers. When the Senators were done, the interesting part ended. For the rest of the short Senate session, the Senators voted on a resolution acknowledging and praising the Apple Blossom Princesses and Queen of Wenatchee. Because apparently the Apple Blossom Princesses and Queen of Wenatchee are very important. So they passed the thingymajigg, and the Apple Blossom Queen of Wenatchee stood up to give a speech which I'm sure would have been really good if she had bothered to memorize it and make it sound human. Standards are slipping, I'm telling you. Standards are slipping.

You want to know what happened next?! The Democrats and the Republicans called caucuses and disappeared for the rest of the shift. All the pages played I Spy in the Rotunda while we waited for noon, though it was rather difficult considering that most of the colors there are pink, grey, gold, and green.

"I spy something green..."
"It's the State Flag."

It didn't seem like the best use of tax money resources for the Senate to pay us for sitting around on the steps for an hour, but hey, I don't mind. Though they got so desperate to find other colors in their game of I Spy that I had my eyes inspected a few times to discover if they were brown. :P

The other memorable thing that happened today was in Page School again. I succeeded in driving the conversation of "How should the state government balance its budget?" into an argument about the relative merits of privatizing education.

See, another page brought up the idea of completing doing away with public schools as a way to cut deficit spending (ie, debt). The more liberal teacher said something about 'Education is the number one priority of the Charter of Washington. You couldn't get rid of schools without ignoring our Constitution!" <---- At this point, my hand shot up in the air.

"Excuse me, but doesn't the Constitution state the education of its citizens should be encouraged and heped, but not that the government itself must be the one teaching?"

"Oh, so *you're* in favor of privatized schooling?"

I decided that for the sake of the argument yes, yes I was.

"Yup, Yellow Pages effect. If the government schools were a business, they'd be out of business by now."

"But it's too expensive."

And the conversation went on. I brought up some non-standard arguments, which they proceeded to refute with the rote memorization arguments. Finally, the teacher got ticked off with me.

"You know, this has been an interesting discussion, but you are a minority, and in a democracy, the majority is the one that makes the decisions."

I wasn't going to let her have the last word, let me tell you.

"Oh, but in a truly just government, democracy or otherwise, the majority works to protect and honor the opinions and beliefs of the minority."

Yes, really enjoyed myself in page school today.

And now, I must off to bed!

01 March 2010

Sing Sing Sing

In honor of last weekend's swing dance, I present you with Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. It's a classic swing song, but there are no words. When turned up loud, with a good recording and great speakers, it's absolutely amazing. Very energetic, and it sums up swing dancing's spirit very well.

Also, because I am in Olympia paging this week, I shall not make my posts long.