Friday, April 30, 2004

when i was a kid...
the original spam museum, at least when i saw it in 1999, was an unmanned, tiny, walk-through affair in a strip mall in austin, minnesota. now it's got its own shiny building, a theatre, tour guides, and is the subject of wall street journal articles.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

double whammy in one day
what is bush doing to the environment?! please, if you have any concern for the state of the natural world when your kids are born, vote bush out of office. accusations are flying that he's manipulating EPA science to weaken clean air act regulations, and he's fudging the numbers of salmon to include hatchery fish, to satisfy some endangered species act clause. and his whole act in florida to protect the everglades -- well, consider that it was FLORIDA, THE DISPUTED STATE OF THE 2000 ELECTION. he's making it all sound good so he can get the vote and then if he does win, he'll be like oh well can't do it because it would reduce the amount of mercury in drinking water and we can't have that!

Air Quality Experts Decry New Bush Policy
The EPA modelers say science is being altered to suit objectives. U.S. officials reject notion.
By Elizabeth Shogren
(LA) Times Staff Writer

April 29, 2004

WASHINGTON — Career government experts in the arcane field of air quality modeling have joined to oppose a new Bush administration policy that they say threatens air quality over national parks and wilderness areas.

In a rare internal protest, they contend that science is being manipulated to suit policy objectives.

The air quality modelers in all but one of the Environmental Protection Agency's 10 regions have told their bosses that they believe the policy, which alters the air quality modeling for North Dakota's national parks and wilderness areas, represents "substantial changes from past air quality modeling guidance … and accepted methods."

They also warned that the policy change "could set a precedent" for other regions, according to an internal EPA memo dated April 21.

Veteran EPA officials said the agency's modelers decided to take a stand against the policy because they were offended by what they termed the administration's efforts to use science to mask a policy change that would hurt air quality. They also were worried that the new policy would make it more difficult to protect the air over federal lands.

"I was aghast," said one of the modelers, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.

The modelers said they decided to write the memo despite fears of repercussions.

"This is what our job is — to protect air quality," the modeler said. "If we don't speak up at a potential threat like this, what are we for?"

Bush administration officials involved in the new policy rejected the notion that they had altered the science to meet their policy aim.

"That's ridiculous," said Bill Wehrum, counsel to the EPA's air office. "Absolutely untrue.

"We've been accused of trying to give the state a break, but that's not the case."

The EPA's regional modelers and the analyses they produce are so deep in the agency's bureaucracy that they escape public notice. But their work can make a crucial difference in determining whether industries can increase pollution and whether the air will become clearer or more healthful.

"This is an unprecedented stand by career EPA scientists who are fighting for integrity in the basic foundation of EPA's air pollution control policies," said Vickie Patton, a former EPA career employee who is now an attorney for Environmental Defense, a national environmental group.

Analysts who follow the way the Bush administration has been running agencies that deal in science said the modelers' complaint echoed critics' concerns that the administration had adjusted scientific analysis — on issues from global warming to AIDS — to meet political objectives. The risk, they said, is that the public would begin to question the credibility of the government's science and the regulations that stemmed from it.

"Americans have great doubts about government in many areas, but where government has always been strong has been on the science," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University. "There hasn't been a consistent perception of government manipulation of the facts. But this administration is doing considerable damage to public confidence in the facts."

Some veteran EPA officials said the case of the new modeling techniques for the air over North Dakota's national parks and wilderness areas was a perfect example.

"The modelers believe it was manipulated in a manner to give a predetermined answer," said another longtime EPA official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Much of the concern of the modelers is that the agreement that was reached with the state of North Dakota allows them to manipulate the data in a way that will demonstrate less of an impact [from polluting power plants] than was actually occurring."

The Clean Air Act provides special protection for the air over national parks and wilderness areas, allowing only minor increases in pollution. Modeling done by EPA's Region 8, which includes North Dakota, found that pollution in the state had increased since 1977, the baseline year, and that the state would have to force reductions in pollution before it could allow more power plants to be built. The state, which has ample supplies of coal, wants to open more plants so it can produce and export energy to other areas.

The modelers specifically criticized the new policy for allowing the state to choose the year it wants as the baseline, which shows whether pollution has increased more than the minimal amount allowed; the higher the pollution in the baseline year, the more pollution that will be allowed in the future. A 2002 analysis by the EPA's Region 8 suggested that allowing facilities to pick their baseline years could more than double the pollution levels.

But administration officials said they let the state pick the baseline years because regulations allowed them to do so.

The EPA modelers also criticized the policy for letting state modelers use average emissions over the whole year, rather than periods of peak emissions.

But Bush administration officials countered that they opted to use annual emissions because there were no good data on peak emissions days from the late '70s.

What troubles the modelers most is that the changes the administration made to modelers' general practice all appear to allow higher levels of pollution. That, in turn, opens the way for the state to allow more power plants without requiring costly pollution controls on existing facilities.

"If you rearrange your science to fit your goal, that's not really science," said the first unnamed EPA official.

But a director in the EPA's office of air quality, planning and standards, Bill Harnett, disagreed.

"It isn't about allowing more pollution," said Harnett, a longtime career official. "What it's about is doing the analysis in a manner consistent with our rules and with what Congress intended."

Hatchery Salmon to Count as Wildlife

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 29, 2004; Page A01

SEATTLE, April 28 -- The Bush administration has decided to count hatchery-bred fish, which are pumped into West Coast rivers by the hundreds of millions yearly, when it decides whether stream-bred wild salmon are entitled to protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This represents a major change in the federal government's approach to protecting Pacific salmon -- a $700 million-a-year effort that it has described as the most expensive and complicated of all attempts to enforce the Endangered Species Act.

The decision, contained in a draft document and confirmed Wednesday by federal officials, means that the health of spawning wild salmon will no longer be the sole gauge of whether a salmon species is judged by the federal government to be on the brink of extinction. Four of five salmon found in major West Coast rivers, including the Columbia, are already bred in hatcheries, and some will now be counted as the federal government tries to determine what salmon species are endangered.

"We need to look at both wild and hatchery fish before deciding whether to list a species for protection," said Bob Lohn, Northwest regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Lohn added that the new policy will probably help guide decisions this summer by the Bush administration about whether to remove 15 species of salmon from protection as endangered or threatened.

From Washington state to Southern California, the decision to count hatchery-bred fish in assessing the health of wild salmon runs could have profound economic consequences.

In the past 15 years, the federal government's effort to protect stream-bred wild salmon has forced costly changes in how forests are cut, housing developments are built, farms are cultivated and rivers are operated for hydroelectricity production. Farm, timber and power interests have complained for years about these costs and have sued to remove protections for some fish.

They are enthusiastic advocates of counting hatchery fish when assessing the survival chances of wild salmon. Unlike their wild cousins, hatchery fish can be bred without ecosystem-wide modifications to highways, farms and dams.

"Upon hearing this news, I am cautiously optimistic that the government may be complying with the law and ending its slippery salmon science," said Russell C. Brooks, a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation, an industry-funded group that has challenged federal salmon-protection efforts in court.

Word of the new policy was greeted by outrage from several environmental groups.

"Rather than address the problems of habitat degraded by logging, dams and urban sprawl, this policy will purposefully mask the precarious condition of wild salmon behind fish raised by humans in concrete pools," said Jan Hasselman, counsel for the National Wildlife Federation.

"This is the same sort of mechanistic, blind reliance on technology that got us into this problem in the first place," said Chris Wood, vice president for conservation at Trout Unlimited. "We built dams that block the fish, and we are trucking many of these fish around the dams. Now the administration thinks we can just produce a bazillion of these hatchery fish and get out from underneath the yoke of the Endangered Species Act."

Six of the world's leading experts on salmon ecology complained last month in the journal Science that fish produced in hatcheries cannot be counted on to save wild salmon. The scientists had been asked by the federal government to comment on its salmon-recovery program but said they were later told that some of their conclusions about hatchery fish were inappropriate for official government reports.

"The current political and legal wrangling is a sideshow to the real issues. We know biologically that hatchery supplements are no substitute for wild fish," Robert Paine, one of the scientists and an ecologist at the University of Washington, said when the Science article was published in late March.

Federal officials said Wednesday that the new policy on hatchery salmon -- to be published in June in the Federal Register and then be opened to public comment -- was in response to a 2001 federal court ruling in Oregon. In that ruling, U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan found that the federal government made a mistake by counting only wild fish -- and not genetically similar hatchery fish -- when it listed coastal coho salmon for protection.

To the dismay of many environmental groups, the federal government chose not to appeal that ruling, though it seemed counter to the reasoning behind the spending of more than $2 billion in the past 15 years to protect stream-bred wild salmon.

"There was an inescapable reasoning to Judge Hogan's ruling," said Lohn, chief of federal salmon recovery in the Northwest. "We thought his reasoning was accurate."

He said the Bush administration will continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on habitat improvement for salmon.

"We have major problems to overcome, both with habitat and with improving the way hatcheries are operated," Lohn said. "Run right, hatcheries can be of considerable value to rebuilding wild fish runs."

get out the popcorn and the soda and turn off the phone, kids. the NBC miniseries 10.5 is going to be on on sunday. and then may 28 sees the opening of the day after tomorrow movie. I LOVE CHEESY NATURAL DISASTER MOVIES!

i'm currently obsessed with friendster.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

grass is greener syndrome
when i'm here, i want to be there. and of course, when i'm there i want to be here. it is my lot in life to always think the grass is greener, and i think for most women, this is true with hair. straight wants curly, curly wants straight, light, dark, etc. my vanity got the best of me today. i was trying to curl my hair with a round brush and a hairdryer and ... well, for 30 minutes afterwards i was trying to get the brush out, losing a significant chunk of hair in the process of all that pulling and tugging and ripping. ouch. i have learned my vanity lesson.

i'm going to test for my black belt in august -- my master said so!!

well, if i stay on target and nothing goes horribly horribly wrong.

Monday, April 26, 2004

i've switched my personal email account from hotmail to i've been told the fm part stands for the federation of micronesia. so even tho' as an active blogger i get to beta test gmail, google's venture into the free mail service, i kind of have issues. because google searches through all your emails to tailor the advertisements that are presented on your screen, kind of like the way the advertising on their regular search engine works. so out of respect for my friends and corresponders, and on the recommendation of a friend, i've defected to fastmail.

here's what happened: i got an email the other day from some web address i'd never heard of, something like or something like that, saying i had tried to send a message that was bounced back because of an executable attachment that resembled a virus. now, i've never sent such an attachment, and i'd never seen the address. so i was concerned that someone was using my account, without my knowledge, to send email. i wanted to ask the folks at hotmail if this was possible, but IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM! perhaps in the interest of cutting back on their costs, if you send an email to "", you get an email back saying that it's an unmonitored email account. and there's no other way to get in touch with them. there are NO MORE HUMANS AT HOTMAIL! THE MACHINES HAVE TAKEN OVER! so i decided to f*** them. hotmail's heyday has come and gone. it's now the day of fastmail!

ps: i hate working. i'm such a schlub.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

allegiance lost
i received a phone call tonight while i was painting. for some extra cash, i offered to paint a rental apartment for my parents. some of the hardest earned money ever, except when i was a camp counselor. so back to this phone call -- it was from a woman i've known for several years, who is now involved in planning camp. i started going to this camp when i was 10 and started working for them when i was 16. i have given well over 10 years of my life to this place; i love it dearly. it has played a large part in making me the person that i am -- my love of the outdoors and adventure, of nature, of people and kids.

but tonight i was told that i could not lead this unit that is going to west virginia. i know, why would i want to go to west virginia?! turns out there is some really great rafting, and this trip was going to include that and more. more importantly, my recent trip to new zealand has reignited in me my passion to share the outdoors with girls. so i thought i'd take a week from my summer and do this trip. the reason i can't is because last summer, i had a wee accident with a van. yeah, i kind of crashed it into a tree near my house. no one was hurt, though the tree still has a scar.

so now, i'm too much of a liability to go on this trip. i wasn't given any options such as a driver's course or not being allowed to drive. instead, i was told by this woman that it'd be irresponsible of her to let me go on the trip, if anything were to happen, she'd be negligent, the parents of the girls would say. but what about standing up for me? i have given a decade of blood and tears and sweat and more tears to this place. i have a proven track record of being responsible and reliable. and i have the relevant training to go to this place in west virginia and keep an extra watchful eye on the girls and the facilitators. but all that was written off because of an accident i had AFTER HOURS, during OFF TIME, in a van I HAD to drive to ferry stuff back from camp for that weekend. 10 years of my life, of my hard work and dedication, have been written off because of an accident. AN ACCIDENT. it's not called an "on-purpose" for a reason.

furthermore, what gets my goat is this woman. someone else would have signed off on me, but this woman ... it wouldn't surprise me if she voted for bush. i see her walking around with american flag pins all over, driving her giant cars and suvs with no concern for oil and the environment. the farthest she's ever walked to her campsite is 30 feet from her car, and she probably complained the whole time. she's got this risk management so far ingrained into her piddly brain, she's lost sight of everything else. and i think she has personal issues with me.

it's really hard for me not to be upset. this place is SO important to me. i came back from new zealand last year to work at this camp, busting my ass for ungrateful bergen county parents. i have shown my commitment and dedication time and time again. i could go on, but i won't. sadness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

a link for fun
fly away, dude flyguy

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

a resolution i made whilst on vacation
write more. a start: my treatise on my body

and for fun: dead fiances

Monday, April 19, 2004

public service link
for aspiring mole people and tunnel freaks everywhere:
a giant leap for weather
uhh...did i miss spring? in missing march and a week of april, did spring somehow elude me? it's 80 degrees today!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

i've nearly lost my faith in humanity, already. i.e. i hate stupid people
second day back to work, and all has gone to hell. it turns out that our beloved bar back, a 19-year old from mexico, stole a ladies purse. and since i work in a korean club, of course the purse was, allegedly, a $950 gucci, containing, among other expensive SHIT, an $80 keychain. we looked through everyone's bag, and i was offering mine up too, tho' literally i haven't taken a dollar's worth since the day i started. we stopped the bar back, his name is jimmy, and said, we're looking at everyone's bag, show me yours. he refused, and started saying that everyone gives him problems because he's mexican etc etc because he's speaking so quickly in spanish i can hardly understand one word out of ten. he then leaves without letting us look, and two waiters soon give chase.

meanwhile, i'm called to speak with the girls, one of whom had her purse stolen. she's created a list of all her lost belongings totaling $2080. first of all, who in their fucking right mind would walk around with $2000 under her armpit? i freak out just carrying my ipod, but then again, i'm not (really) korean and i don't feel the need to flaunt whatever it is one flaunts with gucci and louis vuitton and prada and all that bullcrap. (ok, not really, i'm just being intentionally racist and inflammatory.)

i tell these girls, okay, i'll listen to what you have to say, tho' i'm not really the one in control. so they start talking about how this chic's driver's license and keys were in the purse, and how she doesn't feel safe, and she'll have to change her locks. how her car is now parked on the street and who knows what will happen to that. and her credit cards, etc etc. and that they want some compensation. how we're liable because they gave the purse to us, or one of our staff, to take care of and it was our responsibility. nice try lady, but there was no real contractual agreement that we would be 100% liable for your shit. it was a friendly agreement that we would watch over your purse, you basically asked your friend, our waiter, to put it away. but i understand that this has been a trouble to you and i'd like to do what i can. but i cannot give you $2080 because literally i don't have the money nor a checkbook with access to sufficient funds. can i offer you cab fare home and a promise that we will meet to talk about this, because it's late, and there's really nothing i can do. you don't understand, they say, how do we trust you? (uhh, i work here every day, and why, if you know who i am, would i lie? you can find me easily.) blahtity blahtity blahtity we want money, they're basically saying. they see green. i can't give you $2000. how do we know you'll deal with this? i'll put it in writing. whatever you want, i'll put it in writing, that we'll meet, that we'll discuss this, that we'll consider everything. our insurance may even cover it and you may be able to get the full amount. we want to talk to the real owner. look, i'm their daughter, pretty much what i say goes to their ears. we want to talk to whomever makes the decisions. it's a family business. not everyone is here. well get them here. NO. it's 6:30 am. I am not calling my dad to drive into the city to talk to some drunk/hung over girls at 6:30 am. money grubbers at that. we're not going to be able to do what you want, anyways. so please, tell me, what can i do for you right now that would make you happy, besides giving you $2000. Do you want us to call the cops? no, not really. but please, tell me what i can do. we want compensation for our troubles. what kind of compensation? i can't give you the full amount. we're calling the cops. you're not working with us. we just need something official in writing like a police report.

what the fuck?!?!?!?!!

at this point i'd really like to slam these girls' heads together. i mean, they thought they were so smart and articulate and with it. logically, even at 6:30am, on no sleep, peeved to no end, i'm running circles around them. and here is the ultimate reason why i never want to own my own business: you can't yell at them to shut the fuck up and you have to keep kowtowing and do your best to put on a happy, subservient face. my best attempt was to get up say you're not making any sense, i'll be right back, and walk away. i mean, for crying out loud, i'm not going to even humor you into thinking that we'd fork over $100 for your FUCKING LOST MAKEUP. i hate girls. i hate koreans. okay, not really on both counts, but i'm going to turn out to be a racist yet.

at least one of the cops was hot.

now i'm so depressed. jimmy, our barback, was really nice guy. it turns out that when the waiters caught up to him, they "forced" him to show them his bag and in it was the missing purse. i tried my best to look out for him. the rest of the staff didn't hate him so much as they didn't trust him and sort of abused him for the amount of work he had to and took him for granted. i realize the situation that created the need for him to steal, but i feel like all the trust we built up, tentatively, as he knew little english and my spanish was rusty beyond "hi how are you" and "where's the bathroom?". i resolve to not let this change my nature. most of all, i miss not having responsiblitiy, i miss meeting cool people, i miss the outdoors, i miss traveling. i miss not being here and not having so much authority solely because i'm the boss' daughter. I'M NOT THE MANAGER. I'M JUST THE CASHIER and sometimes bartender. LEAVE ME ALONE.

and what do i miss most of all? wah with a certain someone. because i'm 27, incredibly independent and headstrong and self-reliant but i still view marriage/romantic relationships as an escape. i'm hopeless.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

katzenberg wannabe
i wanna be a mogul. how do i become a mogul?

it's not quite dark yet and it's already 8pm. i need to shower and leave for work. this whole missing-the-end-of-winter plan worked out pretty well, but it's weird. i feel like i need to put on layers to go outside and actually, it was nearly 80degrees F today.

in recognition of my achievements in getting into law school, my parents have decided to treat me to a trip. they wanted to send me to my 5-year reunion, since they love going to their old reunions, but practically no one is going to be there, so i said, how about you buy me a ticket to somewhere else, some other time. they agreed so now i'm plotting ... seattle? vancouver? camping in the ozarks? kayaking in the keys? the possiblities are endless and i'm quite giddy even thinking about it. so the adventures may continue after all.

Friday, April 16, 2004

damn it all if i don't need money. why? so i can travel. so i can move out of my parents' house and preserve my sanity.

it doesn't take fuck all that long to get back to the grind. jobs 1 and 2 commenced today/tonight. i miss being a traveler, a tourist. i would put on white shoes and be really annoying in subway terminals and have to defend my country to foreign criiticism every night if i could be a tourist again.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

i am now 27 in new jersey time. so finish your taxes and come celebrate tonight!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

drunk dialing & txting
breathalyzers should be attached to all cell phones and internet accessible computers.

it's now april 15 in new zealand and in all of the first time zone in the world to see the new day. april 15 is slowly creeping up on eastern standard (daylight?) time; my birthday is slowly creeping up on me, hour by hour, like a flashlight shining on a turning globe. like the sun shining on the rotating earth, except it's all dark. i want to take a shot for every new time zone that sees my birthday but i have to sit in on a couple law school classes and figured that chugging liquor would be bad form.

i like boston. i'll like boston even more when it's not pissing down rain. i can't believe this is the city of my future.

Monday, April 12, 2004

i have such a big mouth.
my new mantra
drive right, drive right, drive right -- that is what i am chanting to myself as i drive around. i am going through that readjustment period, where driving on the right side of the road from the left side of the car becomes natural again, where my body actually follows the sun here, instead of halfway around the world.

i took a red-eye flight from la to nj. i hadn't really gotten off of nz time in la, but now i'm in nj. i've had 30 minutes of sleep in the last god knows how many hours, and in this state i must make a very important decision: WHERE I AM GOING TO LAW SCHOOL. turns out i was rejected from my top two choices, and i basically have to choose from two. either way ...


unless i decide to do something crazy, put it all on hold or throw it all away to live in a yurt in wyoming. at least there wouldn't be traffic or rude people. i am so relaxed right now, listening to other people complain makes me stressed. but back in suburban driven hell, i can feel it accumulating, the interactions with people who are needlessly, senselessly rude. alas.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

i have three weddings to attend in august. and somehow, tonight, i ended up at a gathering in the inland empire for a wedding i'm not even invited to. the bride and groom weren't there, but a lot of their friends from high school were and i got to tag along. it was nice, actually. but going to weddings, i'm obviously confronting the issue of marriage full-on, in the sense that i can't really put it away in the back of my head. and not that i'm really confronting it, but the whole idea of getting married is right there in front of you, walking down the aisle and pledging their everlasting love on an altar of some sort. my point is, tonight i kind of had to confront it mentally without the pleasure of getting to eat wedding cake in the very near future.

i'm okay. i know i'm okay. i love my independence and i love my life. i am so grateful for the experiences that i've had, that i've had the freedom (and resources) to have them. not just abroad, but all over the states too. in short, i've been very nomadic and transient in my lifestyle lately. it's actually, objectively speaking, very priveleged and, well, nice. they've helped shape me into the person i am today, someone who is self-aware, acknowledges a MULTITUDE of flaws, and tries her hardest to change them.

but i can feel my body yearning for children. mentally, it freaks me out and i can logically talk myself out of having kids, at the very least adopting when the time and situation are right. but i see pudgy, rolly, sweet-smelling babies, even obnoxious kids who run around and kick your seat on the airplane for 12 hours straight, all of it, they make my body physically yearn. i try to explain it away as biological, but maybe it's more mental than i'm willing to give it credit.

truth be told, i'm PETRIFIED of making myself vulnerable to another. and maybe i cling to my independence, my free-spiritedness, my adventurous lifestyle as a justification for not having to open myself up. not really such a bad thing, but what if i miss THE opportunity? surely i have more faith than that...

i have decided that moving to boston will be the best thing for me. three years, law school is. even if i study abroad for a semester, i am essentially in ONE PLACE for THREE YEARS. not since college have i done that. it'll be more stability, more continuity. and also, i'll have a community of close friends and acquaintances in boston, something i know i need. i lean heavily on my friends and it'll be so nice to be able to pop over to a friend's house and say, hey, i'm feeling down, let's have dinner. and finally, i'll be in new england. traveling this last month has reminded me how important nature is to me -- wide open green and blue spaces. it's like as soon as i alight my eyes upon such a glorious sight, everything within me realigns to right. like, all good and copasetic, man. hopefully the universities will agree with me ...

so why am i rambling here. yes this is a journal but as of late, i haven't been ranting here too much. well, it's jet lag. horrible obnoxious jet lag. i've ALWAYS had more trouble traveling east, because i'm kind of a late bird to start with, and when i travel east, i often find myself staying up until sunrise, sleeping until 4pm. i've had the screwiest sleep schedule since i've gotten to l.a., the details of which i won't bore you with here. in short, my internal clock is FUCKED.

i leave you with a new thing i learned today. on my cellular plan, i can txt anyone in the world for 15 cents. on the plan i had in new zealand, a txt anywhere in the world costs NZ20 cents.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

jet lag discoveries
i should be sleeping. i've only slept four hours in the last 48 or something obscene like that. but my body is confused and my head is being nicely occupied by this nice, new computer of my friend's, which he's left in the room i'm staying in for a few days before i head back to nj. and for lack of better things to do, i googled myself. about a year or so ago, all the results used to fill two pages. now ... there are well over 10, and i think most of them are due to some dutch guy (my last name happens to be dutch!) and porn. see for yourself. weird.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

back in the u.s. of a.
i've had like twenty minutes of sleep and lived april 7th twice, but here i am, alive, showered and with my teeth brushed in the good ole city of angels. SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAINS OF CRAP I'M NEVER GOING TO GET HOME. but never mind that now.

i have mixed feelings about being back, but it's sort of pointless thinking about it because there's nothing i can do ... except go back to work and save up more money so i can jet my ass of somewhere else when i feel like it, at the first possible moment. so now i think about all the stuff i have to do. but the lesson i have learned this trip is when you make plans, STICK WITH THEM. i have tried on four separate occasions to change flights, both internationally and domestically, and i just haven't been able to. so don't even think about it, enjoy the time you have, and spend your money wisely. i've got five days on this left coast before DUM DUM DA DUM the real world returns. i haven't the faintest clue what i'm going to do, really, as i'm only needed at most two days back at the taekwondo gig.

in summary, i've had a great trip. i'm reminded again why i love new zealand so much. the people are so durn friendly, and the scenery is so durn majestic. it takes like four hours to drive from one of the sunniest places in the country, of endless beaches, to a rainforest and glacier. it's like taking all fifty of the united states and squishing them into a totally manageable size. and, as a bonus, you lose a lot of the hicks in the middle of the country. but don't get me wrong. there's all that funny business in new zealand, too. i've heard about westies ... they like to play the game that the "whole family can play", if you know what i mean. (hey ... this is straight out of the mouths of new zealanders, ok?!)

eventually, i will have some pictures up at my other site.

cheers and all my love.