Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I am moderately repulsed by jargon. It creeps in everywhere, kind of like mold or mildew, and spoils a perfectly good... well, anything. From the slimy world of business speak, which has produced gems like "synergy optimization" and "dynamic engagement solutions," to that of academia, which prompted me to write a whole essay about my distaste for the word "hegemony," jargon just grosses me out.

Of course we need specialized vocabulary to describe certain things, but the way these words, many of which are just total fabrications, get tossed around, without consideration for what they actually mean (or don't mean), drives me crazy.

It's true that I may be known as someone who tends to trail off mid-sentence as I think about what word I should use to express my next thought or even as someone who prefers not to talk at all unless I absolutely have to, but I'd much rather be the quiet person than the one spewing nonsense into the already heavily polluted atmosphere.

So there (end of rant.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day

It never occurred to me that one's Flag Day celebration need not be limited to exalting the American flag. Technically, yes, this is what Woodrow Wilson had in mind when he proclaimed June 14th Flag Day in 1916, but in our anything-goes modern world, why not take liberties with the holiday? Isn't that what America is all about anyway?

In D.C. apparently, Flag Day brings together people who have tattoos of the district's flag. They hold a rally for Congressional representation and generally revel in their tattooed-ness. I heartily support this.

Meanwhile, you can buy almost anything emblazoned with the Chicago flag, even skateboards and high tops. I'm also partial to the California state flag, which ranks up there with those of Texas and Maryland as most recognizable state flags. (The grizzly makes California's by far the most ferocious flag though.)

So don't just let your freak flag fly. Prance around in ritualistic adoration today. If Wilson really wanted us to focus on one specific flag, he should have said so!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Our Nation's Capitol

I just can't seem to abandon this blog for good. And surprisingly, it hasn't gone away on its own, so here I am again, with more pictures. Last weekend we were in D.C., a month too early for the cherry blossoms but still we got to enjoy one 60+ degree day and some time outside in very bearable conditions the rest of the time.

I've been to the Washington Monument many times, but it never fails to impress me. The views across the Mall and toward the various other monuments are supposed to make a person feel reverential and patriotic, and I am only human, after all.

In the sculpture garden next to the National Gallery, we found this tree that looks like it is made of liquid silver. Unfortunately, touching is not allowed.

This map of the United States (at the National Portrait Gallery) is full of television monitors of various sizes, looping images that the artist associates with each state. Not surprisingly, the screens in Oklahoma were showing nothing but clips from Oklahoma!

Some of us had never been to the Georgetown campus (while some of us had visited as part of our southern states college tour, during which we decided we didn't want to go to college in a "southern" state) so we headed there on Sunday. As a neighborhood, I find Georgetown appealing in a "I'd never actually want to live here, but look at how cute it is!" type of way. These Easter-egg colored row houses just add to its charm.

If I had a big blank cement wall on one side of my house, I too might decide to paint a reproduction of The Great Wave off Kanagawa there. Even though it's pretty ubiquitious, I am a fan of this painting and enjoyed stumbling across it in Georgetown.

All in all, D.C. is a great city. I could see myself living there, were it not for the abominable humidity in the summer months.