Friday, August 18, 2006


Yes, it is true.

I have never been memed. Now thanks to Troy's latest post, I have been tagged.

So here goes.

1. One book that changed your life: Like those before me, I refuse to pick just one. I cannot. The obvious and Christian, but most of all honest answer is the Bible.

If I were to pick another it would have to be The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I have lived around black people all my life, my godmother is black, but this book change my world view like few books could.

2.One book that you’ve read more than once: East of Eden and Fahrenheit 451.

3.One book you’d want on a desert island: Again, besides the Bible. Probably the dictionary.

4. One book that made you laugh: Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman.

5. One book that made you cry: I have never cried while reading a book.

6. One book that you wish had been written: Something, anything written by Jesus' own hand.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Without a doubt,it has to be Seventeenth-Century Europe: State, Conflict, and the Social Order in Europe, 1598-1700 by Thomas Munck.

The worst history book I have ever read. I hated it with a passion that burns deep inside. A travesty of the printed word.

8. One book you’re currently reading: Don't Know Much About History, Power Down: Options and Actions For a Post Carbon World, and Drive to the East.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The complete transliterated New Testament.

10. Now tag five people: Alas, all the people I would have tagged have already been named. Though I do look forward to reading their responses.


Monday, August 14, 2006


One word.

A million changes.

We have lived in Vancouver, Washington for three weeks now and it still does not seem real that I have actually done this. That I have undertaken this long distance, life altering and somewhat out of character relocation.

Yes, I know that I have not moved to Neptune, but the change is significant and takes on new meaning it seems with each new experience. I am not a world traveller, though I have been to a number of different states and a couple of different countries. But this change for some reason seems more shocking to me. When I was in Austria, of course it seemed 'foreign', it was a different country. But for some reason 'different' things seem more alien here because Washington is just another state in the country in which I have lived all my life. It doesn't make sense, I know, but it doesn't make it any less real to me.

My job is unfamiliar for obvious reasons. It does not smell like I think a school should. You know, the co-mingling scents of wood, floor wax and desk cleaner. My new school is just that, new. It is only eight years old and does not even have any gum stuck to the floors yet.

Every time I go somewhere in the car, I'm constantly lost. Mapquest or not, I'm lost. It took me over a week to figure out(with the help of my wife) that the city is organized into quadrants, which is why every street, avenue, boulevard, lane or alley is labeled either 'NE' or 'SW'.

Grids people, cities are best laid out on a grid.

Most people I meet are very nice and genuinely friendly. Very un-L.A. And every third person I meet is a recovering Californian. I find that humorous. I thought I left California to get away from it. But each transplant I meet swears I'll never regret it.

The air is better up here. Every time I go to work I can see Mt. St. Helens in front of me and Mt. Hood in the review mirror. There are also a few small farms, complete with grazing cows along my commute . Imagine forests and farms all nestled in among a city of over 150,000 people. It is different here.

So far I'm the brownest person in my department. I've seen a black guy who I was told is the 'multicultural coordinator' and wrestling coach.

No, we are not in Los Angeles anymore.

But the racial composition is not some wierd thing that makes anyone feel uncomfortable. It is just the reality of this region of the nation. After all, nobody thinks it is a bad thing that you could walk all day in some parts of Mississippi or Georgia and not see a white person. Call it a historical-social-geographic happenstance.

I don't regret moving here. It is still the best thing I could have done for my family. I regret leaving my job. I had it better there and to be perfectly honest the school I was at and the department in which I chaired was a rarity of professionalism, cohesion and achievement.
But I did not make this decision for the sake of my career. If I had I would have stayed where I was and would be making $26,000 more a year.

And be sharing the same state with nearly 40 million people.

More later. Peace to all who care to read.

Be well.