Obama akbar

February 27, 2009

Before beginning this short blog post, I want to make a caveat by saying that I have already been disappointed numerous times by Obama as president (DOJ’s brief on telecom immunity, his banking rescue plan, the stimulus package having too many tax cuts, his faith-based initiatives, etc, and it’s only been a month) but with that said…

Today after my class with the lawyers (we talked about the 5-year old of one of them having a birthday party and about the small apartment of the other), I went to a department store, bought a new, light brown t-shirt for 4.50euros and then over to the print shop.  There I chose a font called Pescadero and a color called Petrol which is something like a hungover turquoise.  I had them print the following on the shirt:

Obama akbar

This is a play on words for a couple of topics, namely Allah akbar, the famous Arabic phrase meaning “God is great/powerful”, usually yelled in battle or perhaps to another friend.  This plays on the idea of Obama as a god or antichrist, of which he is neither.  However, God does disappoint but more importantly, he makes you have hope and faith.  I truly believe that Obama is instilling hope and faith but it’s like he has moved into an old rundown house that used to be grand but the previous owners trashed the place, even breaking keys off in the door locks on their way out, ripping the drapes letting too much light get in and pissing on the carpet.  But this has given him the motivation to leave the door unlocked, allowing us, the citizen to be able to come in and see what is going on there, leaving the curtains as they are, allowing the transparency that is needed in this world.  You can go to omb.gov and see what the budget of 2009 entails.  He is cleaning the carpets.  He is doing all of this with a weary smile on his face as he attempts to shield us from the worst atrocities left in the house (the old foreigner grandmother tied up in the attic and the broken open safe with all the family money gone) so that we can still feel like this house will once again be presentable and we can invited friends and family over.

I am at a point in my life that I think we need to turn a little inward as a nation and inspire those in America who want it to be better to do something to improve their communities.  I think a lot of us are willing to do something but we don’t know what to do or where to do it or when to start.  I think if he were to give us The Word, many of us would do what we could to help, like a Peace Corps within the country.  Many people don’t want to make lots of money, they want to lead satisifying lives.  And so, as we await the word, I say to as we pass on the Internet Boulevard: Obama akbar.  It certainly is better than my other political shirt from the last administration: Go Cheney Yourself!


Portugal in 5 pictures

February 26, 2009

hey ya’ll, I’m back after 10 days in Portugal.  It was an exhausting trip, but we had great weather, saw many castles, palaces, museums and other cultural things.  I’m sick right now and not in the mood to blog too much but thought I could explain our trip to Portugal in 5 pictures so here they are…

Little pirates in Alcobaca

Little pirates in Alcobaca

Electric nudity in Sintra

Electric nudity in Sintra

An 8th century Moorish castle way up high on a hill

An 8th century Moorish castle way up high on a hill

Late afternoon in Lisboa

Late afternoon in Lisboa

The most amazing political graffiti in Lisboa

The most amazing political graffiti in Lisboa


Calves

February 17, 2009

Greetings from Northern Portugal! My calves are killing me after we spent all day yesterday walking up and down steep streets here in Porto. We tried to go to a modern art museum yesterday but it was closed so we are trying again today and then after that we are heading about an hour or two south of here ( depending on what train we take) to a town called Coimbra.

The best part of the trip so far has been the weather which is perfect for jeans and a t-shirt.  We met our first couchsurfer last night since Costa Rica, a guy named Davide who sells wine. A really nice guy, he took us to a great little restaurant last night called Little Aunt Anna´s and so of course thought of my aunt.

Iºll catch you up in a couple of days, I am still waking up now and getting ready for our 3rd day of 10 in Portugal!


Where we’ll be tomorrow!

February 14, 2009
where we'll be tomorrow!

where we'll be tomorrow!


Tuning out

February 14, 2009

I’ll be tuning out of the world for the next 10 days, Portugal here we come!  I’m in my hammock here in germany and it is snowing outside the window, big juicy flakes and tomorrow at this time we’ll be in Northern Portugal with 60 degrees possibly smiling at us. I’m stoked about that.

Last night I tied one on with the boys, first starting the evening with a nice cocktail with Franziska and Kai and then F went home and Kai and I met Gregg and eventually Mark at Martin’s Brau for overpriced dinner but good microbrew. Then to a small cellar bar that was hopping with young people doing crazy shots and after awhile it was time to go.  I made it onto the midnight tram and that was a good thing.  I’m a bit slow today as a result but Franziska and I are going to an Argentine restaurant tonight and then going to the train station at midnight to start a new journey!


Octuplets and Portugal

February 13, 2009

The story of the lady who had octuplets recently is growing more and more trainwreckerous by the day.  She’s barely in contact with the father of all 14 children, 3 of whom are disabled.  She receives social security for those 3 and some other kind of assistance and 490 dollars of food stamps a month (all of which in and of itself is perfectly fine) but then claimed that she has never been on welfare.

People who are on public assistance should not be allowed to visit a fertility clinic solely to increase the number of babies she can have.  If it is to have A baby, a first one, that’s one thing.  But she already has six children.  She went to a fertility clinic and had 8 more.  She’s studying at the university, 50,000 dollars in college debt (which in and of itself is perfectly fine) but she’s now got 14 children and she’s all alone.  I mean, what the fuck.  This is insane.  I’m a liberal and I feel people should be able to do whatever it is they want to do to themselves but I just find this wrong.  If you break it down into little pieces it’s all copacetic but when put together, piled together with a mayonnaise slather of what the fuck holding it all together.

And wholly different note, Franziska and I are going to the train station just before midnight on Saturday night and are going to be on one train for a little under 3 hours, then we have 40 minutes to kill at the train station at 4am and then a bus for about 75 minutes.  We’ll be at the airport 3.5 hours early but it was the ONLY possible connection for us to get there.  We’ll fly 2.5 hours to NW Portugal, a city called Porto.  A direct bus from the airport brings us within 200 meters of our 4-star hotel the first two nights of our 10 nights. It should be in the mid 50s-low 60s sunny weather, I need that!


Customer service

February 11, 2009

I bought plane tickets in mid-November 2008 to fly to San Francisco for 11 days in March 2009.  The tickets cost me 528 euros and were direct Frankfurt-San Fran flights.

Last night I saw the same exact tickets on the same exact website for 454 euros.  I wrote them an email and called them and they said there was nothing they could do.

It just reminded me of http://www.orbitz.com, which states on the website that there is a price assurance that if orbitz sells the same exact tickets for a lower price, they’ll pay me back the difference.

At least I didn’t have to pay 14 cents/minute to call the German website phone number.