Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Post 2: Less interesting, WITH update! Also, Get Rich Quick tips

The last post was much more interesting, but I suppose that the entire PURPOSE of this blog is to chronicle my journey such that, after I am gruesomely killed by Chechen pirates, there will be a narrative device in the eventual film to be made in my honor and memory. This post will be read in the film by Morgan Freeman, who will play me.

MORGAN: I suppose that, in this process, I've really discovered how alike we all are. We all share space on this blue orb of a planet, all breathe the same air, all shoot the same black market Soviet rifles at each other. It's enough to make a man want to cry. Either that, or the pain in his mouth. Ask me tomorrow and I'll know which.

That's right -- it's wisdom tooth removal time! I came home to get it done because I didn't want to be sitting for two days in the apartment that I sublet with two (relative) strangers, popping painkillers and drooling soup and spit on the furniture. So I'm here and hopefully it goes fine. Perhaps I'll update WHILE I'm on painkillers, just for yuks. "DFSDFSGZFRZRF, SDDZSFG$#$$$$$$!!!!!" I'll say.

Anyway, I have also been dealing with Peace Corps stuff tonight. Finally sent in my updated, Peace-Corps-Georgia-relevant resume and "aspiration statement," in which I had to answer questions about my "strategies for working effectively with host country partners to meet expressed needs," or, essentially, try to stretch "I learned good in school and that's really all I know about that" into an erudite several paragraphs. I also had to decide whether to fill out Peace Corps' ridiculous "press kit questionnaire," which is a fill in the blank press release that has "(your city here) RESIDENT JOINS THE PEACE CORPS!!!!!" in big letters at the top and gets worse from there. You're supposed to insert your personal information and have Peace Corps send it to your local newspaper and even, IF YOU WANT, your COLLEGE PAPER, as if having either (a) your small-ass local newspaper fawn over you, or (b) ignore your press release completely and consider you to be a self-promoting asshole sounds just super awesome to you. I decided against filling out the press form. But I did send an e-mail to some editors at the News-Gazette explaining that I'm from Champaign, that I'll be going to Georgia with the Peace Corps, and that I am a Classically Trained Journalist who wants to write a column for the N-G from Georgia so that I can (a) educate the central Illinois populace about the world and how we can help it, and (b) make money. We shall see if they respond. I think I pitched the idea pretty well, but who knows how the N-G deals with such things. I've seen them print much stupider things. And you know you'd read it. You're reading THIS, for God's sake. And I don't even put any EFFORT into this.


This story needs to be told. In public, on the internet, where everyone can see it, because that's the best way to tell stories. Everyone says so.

Anyway, I alluded to this in my last post (which doesn't matter, because this blog continues to have a readership of 1 -- zero if you don't count readers whose names rhyme with "couth killer") (damn, I just came up with that, but that's a badass phrase to rhyme with your name...I wish "fan batherton" had the same panache), but it deserves its own.

*clears throat*

So some friends and I were at the apartment where some of them live, drinking and playing Cranium. "Game Night," in all its unoffensive glory. One of my friends who lives in the apartment we were occupying had a visitor -- an unspecified (to me) relative from Argentina. A 17 year old girl. I shall leave her name out of this post because a large portion of my audience is Argentinian, and I wouldn't want to be the cause of any embarrassment.

Anyway, this girl was drinking with us, since in normal countries you can drink openly at that age, and she was being quiet and demure during the game. Asking questions about English idioms, and such, since Cranium requires knowledge of what, for instance, the phrase "on thin ice" means. Everything was going swimmingly until a bunch of our other friends showed up. The group immediately outgrew the game being played, and we started just drinking and talking to one another. Also perfectly fine. Until.

Until I am minding my own business, drinking a beer and vaguely paying attention to a game of Kings that is being swiftly abandoned because people have had enough to drink that they don't care anymore. Suddenly, I turn around to find the Argentinian relative THISCLOSE to my face, thrusting a new beer at me. My thoughts, verbatim: "Whaa-?"

"DRINK THIS NOW," she yells at me. Okay, I think. Fine. I smile and say, "What are you going to drink?" She points at another drink. Fine. I chug what she's given me, only to see her hand what she pointed to to another guy. She's cheating.

I point out, grinning, that she's cheating, because I'm drunk and at this point having fun with the whole encounter. She gets back in my face (LIKERIGHTHEREINMYFACE), with a new beer, yelling the same thing at me. Fine. I drink the beer and the same thing happens. She's SO cheating. She is TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ME.

I point this out more strongly this time, mostly out of bewilderment at why this girl has suddenly decided this is a fun activity. Someone tells me I'm being drunk under the table by a seventeen year old girl. I state firmly that that is not at all what is going on. The girl shoves ANOTHER beer at me and says -- swear to God -- "DRINK THIS OR YOU'RE A FUCKING GIRL." I have to admit that this would be sort of hot in any situation other than this. Namely, a situation in which the girl in question is not A) underage and B) related to one of my best friends. And C) Argentinian, because I hate South Americans. Okay, no I don't. Okay, just Bolivians. The fuckers.

Anyway, my brain decides that I will keep drinking what is put in front of me, because why not. So I drink at least one more beer and a full glass of wine. It should be relatively clear by this point why I don't know the exact figure. I'm hammered harder than a nail at a ballpeen convention. I decide to lie down on the floor, because, again, why not. It seems comfortable.

At this point, I think the worst is over, though I still have no idea why this demure girl suddenly started getting all up in my bizzzz. Suddenly, the seventeen-year-old Argentinian girl FALLS ON TOP OF ME and stretches herself across my back. Alarms go off in my head as she starts SNAPPING PHOTOS OF US. "Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa," my brain says to any other brains who may be listening telepathically. "Look at my hands they're over here over here over here over here I am not encouraging this." But I'm too hammered to really do anything about it. Until, that is, she murmurs, "My stomach feels funny." I rush her to the stead of her relative/my friend in the bathroom, where she starts to do what I would have expected her to do had she ACTUALLY consumed all the alcohol she claimed she would. She must have actually consumed some of it. I have no idea.

That's the last thing I remember. I woke up on the couch I initially laid next to late the next morning. Apparently I was found passed out in the other bathroom, though I have no idea why. I relate this story to you because I think people tend to be drastically and tragically unprepared for the possibility of being inexplicably taken advantage of by underage foreigners. Consider this tale my warning to you. Just say no.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Orgies. Seriously. Read On.

Comment from Ruth:

I look forward to hearing about your escapades in Georgia. I know absolutely nothing about it.
Squat toilets are supposed to be good for your body, and uh, the process. But yes, as I'm considering teaching in China right now, that definitely is not an incentive to go there.
Tell us what you'll be doing in Georgia, when you're going, and all the important stuff!
So, I realized I hadn't summarized everything for people that I don't talk to every day and that maybe I should do that. I'm leaving for Georgia mid-June (the 12th, I think, though I don't have the paper in front of me), and I'm coming home a few weeks before that to prepare. So if you're anywhere near Champaign then or looking for a reason to come down, make "seeing Dan before he leaves for two years" that reason. I'll be there for 27 months assisting NGOs; I could end up doing anything from helping established NGOs get a better infrastructure going or learn how to use the internet as a tool or things of that nature to helping a start-up organization get basic equipment. I won't know until I get there. I also won't know where in the country I'll be until I get there. Adds to the anxiety of the entire endeavor.

Some interesting new facts, courtesy of New Friend Jenny Groza, who is in the Peace Corps in Azerbaijan (next to Georgia):
it's great that Georgians are hospitable but trust me, you'll get so sick of being forced to eat and drink wine. Guys especially…one GA volunteer I met over New Year's was saying that every time he goes to someone's house for dinner, he ends up being forced to drink bottle after bottle of wine (out of one of those sweet horns) until he's too drunk to speak.
To be fair, I have experience with this. Recent experience even. Though, in my experience, it's 17 year old female relatives of good friends doing the forcing. Take my (swear to god true) word on this: interesting as it may sound, you do NOT want a 17 year old Argentinian girl shoving alcohol at you and cussing.
you also might be interested to know that I heard the G5 (you'll be G6 I think) volunteers supposedly engage in orgies???? Ha. I'm a bad person for spreading gossip to you, but I just thought you'd like to know.
You're god damned straight I want to know if I'm in for two years of drunken carnal monkey sex. Who's coming with me??

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thoughts whilst stabbing myself for taking a job that will consist of 16 hours on a set on a Sunday

So, I figured I should perhaps start posting actual stuff about all this shiiiiiit even though nobody's reading this blog (yet!). Been dealing with the whole Peace Corps invitation for a couple of weeks now; I accepted it either a week ago or two weeks ago today (time accelerates when you're dealing with such a paradigm shift in regards to your life plans.....plus I haven't been working every day, and you lose track of what you were doing on your couch on which day after a while). Surprisingly, I've gotten a lot of hits as I've reached out to people on Georgia. A friend of mine from high school's college roommate spent a year there with Rotary, a friend of mine from work has a friend serving in the Peace Corps in the adjacent country (Azerbaijan),
a friend of mine from UCLA knows some Georgians through his family's church, and my dad works with a hospital technician who actually grew up there. So I have a lot of resources if I have any questions about different facets of the experience; the only problem is that it's going to be such a big change that I don't even know what specific questions I should be asking. At this point I'm just trying to be open to everything. Although I'm not going to be super open to squat toilets. So I hope Georgia is western enough to have a seat and do its business the civilized way.

From everything I hear, Georgia is an awesome place. Everyone harps on the hospitality of the people there and on their penchant for wine, food, and feasts, so I'm looking forward to that. But in terms of what it's like to actually live there, I feel like that would be difficult for anyone to describe in such a way that I would really have any better idea than I have from research materials. But I'm taking the glowing things people are saying about the place and hounding my friends, because I want everyone to move to Georgia with me. The people there need our HELP, friends! Many of them live in poverty, but they're trying to resuscitate their economy and integrate themselves into Europe's economy! Help ME help THEM. And we'll have some wine and it'll be DANDY.

Suffice it to say that if you do not move to Georgia, there is a strong chance that I'll never speak to you again.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Welcome to the all-new, all-NUDE blog

New blog URL, new blog title, same penetrating commentary (hehe...I said commentary).

This will be the Official Blog for the 27 months I'm in Georgia in the Peace Corps, so, seriously....check early, check often, send me e-mails, all that stuff. I'll try to get back into the self-absorbed self-analysis blogging groove by posting some over the next few months before I leave, but it'll become a more crucial conduit between ME and YOU once June comes around, and you'll want to know all about my Caucasian debauchery, every last lurid detail.

I expect you to make this blog your homepage. You must check it before you check the news, or the weather, or the sports scores. It shall be your muse, your confidant, your lover. Don't be scared. You and this blog are going to be BFF.