From "Creed," by Dom Helder Cámara

I want to believe that the whole world

Is my home, the field I sow,

And that all reap what all have sown.

I will not believe that I can combat oppression out there

If I tolerate injustice here.

I want to believe that what is right

Is the same here and there

And that I will not be free

While even one human being is excluded.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Legitimately OreGONE

I have an unfortunate track record for falling in love and getting really good at things and then dropping them promptly--dance (when I was 4), martial arts (when I was 11), piano (when I was 13) musical theatre (high school), calculus, surfing (okay, though I'm not really good, and I haven't quit)...I could really go on for a paragraph. I also have a track record for moving, though that's not really my fault--Santa Monica, Irvine, Greenfield, Los Angeles, Ventura, McMinnville...I don't really have a geographical location I associate with home. The world is my home. ooooooo that sounded sharp.
The POINT is, I hope I don't "drop" Oregon.
If you've been following my blogs you know my parents have moved to McMinnville, a quaint farm town of 32,000 an hour south-west of Portland. I spent a couple days there, with my Aunt Jeanine (one of my three favorite people in the world) and new Oregon best bud Allie. And the city makes me swoon.
Public transportation abounds. Every Saturday the kooky artisans gather in the glistening downtown area for an adorable market. The city is the site of the largest urban forest in the US--Forest Park. I'm gonna go for a run there someday. Today I met a former Jesuit Volunteer for lunch on Hawthorne Blvd, one of the funky neighborhoods in the southeast city. I parked behind a VW van, running on biodiesel, with a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer bumper sticker. On the street everyone was wearing an Irish cap or colorful stockings or carrying a farmer's market bag. The city is extremely young, fresh, organic, liberal--not that I whole-heartedly embrace all of these things, but I certainly love being around them.
And there's so much GREEN. Allie and I drove to Washington Park (part of Forest Park), up a winding blue road and through some smoky mountains, where we entered the forested Portland Zoo and took a cold nighttime train ride through their Christmas lights. It was the most Christmas-y thing I've ever done. When you're downtown, too, you're surrounded by clean, friendly skyscrapers and the MAX (a tram), but around you are pines and grass and hippies. And REDHEADS (the JVI I had lunch with, por ejemplo). So many gingers! Yay! My dad says it's no wonder--the smart descendants of northwestern Europeans are drawn to the northwestern united states, where they contract less skin cancer. Perhaps...
Who knows where I'll be in a year--five--ten. Saudi Arabia would be jiggy (in the right circumstances). But realistically, I could be here for a while. It's more realistic than my other fantasy prospect, London, a place I could never move without annoying my family. I FIT here, and I've never fit anywhere.

Taking my fickle personality into account, I'm sorry if tomorrow my favorite city is Houston. But don't count on it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I can smell the fresh cold air...a dusty bed not covered in assignments...the eclecticism of a Portland Saturday mother's dog's lack of bathing.
My Christmas in Oregon will consist of:
1. Two nights with my homegirl Allie...we will explore Christmas season in the Pacific Northwest like two college students should
2. Finish a Peace Corps application (and beginning one for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps)
3. اللغة العربية
4. READING: Orientalism, Mother Theresa, fiction by Middle Easterners
5. Getting my singing voice back into shape--I start women's chorus in January. YIKES.
6. Skype and phone conversations with long-lost fantastic people
7. Finishing touches on alternative break to East LA
8. Learning to play "100 Years" on the piano
9. Trying to make it to Canada or Washington for New Year's
10. Preparing mentally and physically for my FINAL semester at LMU. ooooooh $%^#.

This post is procrastination. Back to studying for my 4:30 final. Bye.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The 2nd-to-Last Semester Paper Topics of a B.A. in English

...because I think such things are interesting to the general public.

The Jerusalem Syndrome and Orientalism: exploring the Western visitor's first-time trip to Jerusalem, the feelings that arise, and the prejudices that create them

A History of Paradise: from Atlantis to Shangri-La to Thomas More and Marx, a research paper chronicling what has defined perfect societies throughout human history

Baghdad Burning and Modern Journalism: the value of Riverbend's blog from Baghdad to the current political situation and the future of online journalism

Friday, December 4, 2009

Random Thanks #2

I've decided this post is going to become a regular thing, at least in the short-term. I find it keeps me grounded and positive, especially after five days and 23 hours of sleep (which just happened to me).

More things I am randomly thankful for, in no particular order, with no particular agenda:

My rainbow journal, which will be full and join my shelf of full journals in four more pages. Christmas lights. Answered prayers in disguise as coincidences. Alexis Mendoza and Jack McSweeney. The way it's impossible to feel anxious or stressed when I'm listening to Shokolo music (from west Africa). My roommate Naivasha's bizarre sound effects and beautiful eyes. My new sporty, felty sweatpants against my legs. The picture of my sister Earm on my wall. Thursday nights (the BEST). De Colores trips (to come this weekend!). My incredible growth and maturity this semester. And, as always, the written word.

Would love to hear some of yours...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bloggers Better Than I

This blog will probably be the topic of my senior thesis. This blog is an earth-shaker. More later.