Friday, December 17, 2010

Glowsticks, Gorbachev, and Gibb's Free Energy

"Breath of Heaven, hold me together/Be forever near me, breath of Heaven..." -"Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant

"It's like George Bush and Jesus joined forces, and declared war on taste." -Stephen Colbert

"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and eighty-five different kinds of cheese?" -Charles de Gaulle

Kiel vi fartas?: Mi estas libera! (I'm free!)

That's right, readers! It's winter break here in the Northwest, and that means the last-minute tests are done, and the parties have been had. Time for video games, naps, and CHRISTMAS!!! But first, a rather large event in my life was last week...

I turned 18 on the 10th!

That's right, readers, your dear blogger is now legally able to vote, buy dry ice and cigarettes, and enlist in the military. God help us all.

But something magical happened on that day! Something that couldn't have happened had I not started studying Esperanto!

Well? What is it?

A man from the Czech Republic, who speaks no English whatsoever, went out of his way on lernu! to wish me Happy Birthday.

You heard me right. A CZECH guy sent me an e-postcard wishing me a "Naskiĝtaga bondeziro".

So, for the skeptics out there, behold: a concrete reason to learn Esperanto!

Okay, partially-kidding, but really, it's an incredible thing that wouldn't have been possible before now.

Cool. What else has been up?


Yeah, it's comin' up.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, not just because of the presents and two weeks off and the delicious food. My favorite part about Christmas is actually the church service the night before. I sing in the youth choir at my church, and we lead the 11 PM worship service every year on Christmas Eve. The absolute best part of the whole experience, and what makes my holiday really special, is the very end; we hand out candles to all 5,000+ people in the church, and shut out all of the lights, and pass the little flame from the pastor's candle around, and sing Silent Night. It is so moving and powerful, and it's in those times that I feel close to God.

You wouldn't think it by talking to me, but I'm religious. I'm liberal, absolutely, painfully so, but it's a liberalism influenced by faith. I firmly believe that God created gay people that way, and that He calls us to care for the poor and the oppressed. It's my faith that guides me towards socialism, supporting gay and immigrant's rights, and being a silly naive hippie. Ironic, no?

For me, though, it makes sense. It makes more sense than the people who say they're Christian, then in the same sentence want to cut funding for welfare and health care, and want to keep some people in a second-class-citizen status.

"Why must you always go on campaigns?" -Jim (friend)

Yeah, sorry, it was getting political there...

BUT, one more political thing: an early Christmas present for the whole LGBTetc. community out there!


Yep, the 17-year-old policy of "We're not gonna ask, but we may search through your private e-mails until we find one with you talking about your boy/girlfriend and then interpret that to mean you TOLD us" is dead! 65-31 vote in the Senate. That's eight Republicans, guys. That's really impressive in this ridiculously partisan climate.

Merry Christmas, LGBT community!

And if I don't make another post before then, I hope all of you dear readers have a very merry Christmas, as well.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Show and Tell: "The English Advantage"

Hello, dear readers! I just wanted to make a quickie post today. This afternoon, I received a message on entitled "Why an American Would Choose to Learn Esperanto". It was basically an article which explained exactly why English is not the answer to the question of an international language.

I thought it'd be lovely to share it with all of you, so let us let Mr. DEN BROWN take the stage:

The English Advantage

As of late I’ve had the good fortune in my life to be able to travel frequently to Europe for my job. Since I am from the United States, a friend of mine in Germany told me that I have an advantage because all my life I have spoken the closest thing we have to an international language: English. I suppose that he’s right, but still, I find that I have absolutely no desire to have that advantage.

I am a citizen of the United States of America, and I am very proud of that. I am also proud that we are such an important nation in today’s world. What I am not proud of is the way in which we keep ourselves so important. I am talking about the usage of English in our world as a means of international communication: I have an advantage. We in the United States have an advantage. We are the elite, we rule the whole world, and we’ll keep on ruling because all the others will never be able to communicate as well as we do. They will work at it for years, decades even. They will never get to where we are. We are the elite.

Foreigners. So often they think they are using our language perfectly but we talk about them behind their backs and make jokes about the errors they make. I want to cry out to them, "Can’t you see what you’re doing? You are the ones that take away your power to communicate. You are the ones that constantly put us above you." And above you we will stay We are the elite, and we rule the world.

I don’t want to be elite. Here is someone from the USA who isn’t interested in ruling the world. I am a citizen of the United States, but more than that — yes, more than that — I am a citizen of the world. People everywhere, I see you as my friends, as my brothers and sisters even. I don’t want to stand above you because of an unfair advantage. I would much rather walk by your side. That way we can share our cultures with each other. That way we can be equals. We can respect one another.

You refuse though, you who are not the chosen ones. It seems to me that you are blinding yourselves to the truth. People seem less intelligent than they really are when they talk to someone in that person’s mother language. I got that idea from Claude Piron, an Esperantist, and working abroad I have seen it time after time. Esperanto was created to be a language that one can learn quickly but more importantly, it was created to be flexible so that all people can use it without sounding foreign and without sounding stupid. That is not the case with English. Unless you live for years in an English-speaking country, you will never master the unwritten rules, the countless expressions, and the subtle nuances of the language.

A national language is a labyrinth, confusing to the foreigner. It’s like the layers of an onion, and when you understand one aspect of the language, you can be sure that underneath lie exceptions and nuances that you do not understand. Learn English. It is a rich and beautiful language, spoken in many different lands full of friendly people and interesting cultures. But you must understand, that it is in no way appropriate as an international language. Think about people in your country who don’t speak their own language properly. Think about the errors that you yourself make with your mother tongue. Do you think that people who have not spoken the language from birth can compete fairly? Is this the kind of unjust world you want to create? As a citizen of the world, as a member of the human race, are you proud of this, our world ?

Before I go, I would like to give you something to think about concerning this world that we are creating. I began by talking about the United States, my own country and about how it is an important nation in this world of ours. Why is it so important? I think that one of the best reasons is our strength. Not necessarily military strength, but strength in commerce, diplomatic relations, fine arts, sports, and in so many different areas. Why are we so strong in such diverse ways? I think that it’s because we are a nation of 50 states.

Those states work together, communicate together, share their strengths with each other, and thereby create a union which is so much stronger than the sum of the 50 individual states. We are now seeing that the European Union has the same idea. I invite you to think about this world of ours. What kind of world is it? What kind of world could it be if we, its citizens, could effectively communicate with each other, understand each other, and share our many strengths. I say that we cannot create such a world using any national tongue as the international language. Luckily we have a language that works, that is fair, that allows every person to declare, "Here I am, a citizen of the world, a member of the human race. Let me show you who I am." This is what it means to understand each other. This is what is possible through Esperanto. This is our world.

by Den Drown,
from Esperanto USA, Issue 3, 2001

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good News! She's (back from the) dead!

"One, twenty-one guns/lay down your arms/give up the fight/One, twenty-one guns/throw up your arms/into the sky/you and I..." -"21 Guns" from American Idiot

"Life doesn't have be a to-do list!" -Michael Abraham

"You ain't sh*t if you don't knit." -Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch 'n Bitch

Kiel vi fartas?: Mi estas tre kulpa. (I'm really guilty.)

I'm honestly embarrassed with how long it's been since I've blogged. My sincerest apologies to all two-to-four of my followers.

What've you been up to, girl?

So, for a recap of the last few months, I shall spit out random words and allow you, dear readers, to piece them together and form a creative narrative of my recent life. Winner gets baked goods from me.

Bob Dylan! Decemberists! Steampunk! Pointillism! Wicked! Sassy gay friend! Lamps! Auditions! Sacramento! Dan Savage! Purple! Knitting! Snow! Poetry!

...Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

Okay, okay, okay, let's get to the point... of the blog...



Shoot. Yeah. That's fallen by the wayside as I've returned to school, too...


Now wait just one second! I have, in fact, made an interesting observation on which I'd like to meditate for a little while.

As I started my fourth year of l’éducation français, I noticed that, for the first few weeks, I had a new struggle to with which to contend- not mixing up French and Esperanto. I would search my mind for the word, and come to the Esperanto one (or an Esperanto-ish guess) faster than I reached the French one. It was frustrating, not only because it was the wrong word, but because it reminded me of the strong contrast between Eo (as it's abbreviated) and other languages. French is grossly irregular- indeed, we're quizzed on the exceptions to rules all the time. It's the incredible thing that, while keeping French interesting, makes it quite difficult to learn. While I can hold my own in a conversation with a native speaker (provided they speak slowly), I am by no means fluent.

Esperanto, on the other hand, has no irregularities. That's how Zamenhoff designed the thing. All nouns end in -o, all adjectives in -a. The only word for "the" is "la". There's no indefinite article.

Yet, I find myself struggling to keep Esperanto and French apart. When I think or compose in Eo, I find myself integrating French (trying to remember what the indefinite article is, figuring out the noun gender, etc.). Silly, yes, but I can't help it. Three years of French is battling two months of Esperanto.

Despite all of this, I still want to push forward. Lernu! has basic, intermediate, and advanced-level exams to officially classify your level of proficiency in Eo, and I am determined to take and pass the basic-level exam by the time I graduate. There's a lot to learn even just for the basic exam, so flash cards and annoying friends with studying may be in order.

So what's on the agenda, in case we don't hear from you?

-In January, I'm going to Sacramento with some other kids from my school to perform in the Bob Smart Theatre Festival! Out of all of the students who expressed interest, about 15-18 of us were chosen to go. It's such an honor, and I'm really excited.
-Christmas is coming up, which means lots of sewing, partying and lazing around the house refusing to do anything which actually matters. Also, I'll be learning to make French onion soup, so everyone watch out.
-And finally, poetry slam next weekend! I'm presenting two pieces, and the winner of the slam gets their poems published in the local newspaper. If you're in the area, contact me (you know how if you know me) and I'll fill you in!

Until next time, miaj amikoj!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Close Encounters of the International Kind

"Show up. Speak French." -My friend Mia

"It takes all kinds to make a world."

"'Ça va?' 'Ça va. Ça va?' 'Ça va.'" -"Foux Da Fa Fa" by Flight of the Conchords

Kiel vi fartas?: Mi fartas suffiĉe bone. (I'm doing pretty okay.)

It's been a busy last couple of weeks for this blogger. I've continued in learning and using my Esperanto, for better or for worse, and it's hard to keep it together amidst all of the classes I'm taking, the things I'm trying to do to relax, and oh-good-God-I-have-a-week-to-memorize-a-bunch-of-music (workshop run by my voice teacher).

I've also had interesting developments in the multicultural-interaction department. There's a happy and a crappy, so I'll start with the crappy and get it out of the way.

Crappy: Flirtatious Brazillian

One of the great things about the lernu! site is that it fosters communications and friendships between people of different countries and cultures. Within a few days of my joining the site, I received a message from a member, which simply read "Hello!" in Esperanto. I responded, saying "Hi, my name's [name], what's yours?" After a long while, several weeks, the user responded, and I took a moment to check out their profile. Ah, he was a Brazillian! This is exciting.

We've been corresponding off-and-on for a couple of weeks, now, and as I sort-of anticipated, Mr. Brazil started getting... flirtatious. Fairly subtle, too, like calling me "My dear". Having had a previous experience on the site already with a guy who got fairly forward (note: my age is not posted on my profile), I was suspicious, but not overly so.

Then, Mr. Brazil said it: "Do you have Skype? I like you."

Commence cringing. My mother had warned me that a Brazilian man would be more forward, but I wasn't expecting this kind of forward. The best plan of attack was to immediately cool off. He hasn't contacted me all week. Yay?

Happy: Cute French Guy

I'll say it now: I love swing-dancing. It's fun, it's flirty, and it's a great thing to do with one's friends. The other day, I went to the monthly swing dance at a community center in a nearby city, where I met up with a bunch of buddies from church. One of my friends, Mia, had specifically requested my presence, because she happened to have a certain French exchange student for a few weeks, and she had brought him along. Apparently, I'm the only person she knows who speaks French.

Needless to say, I used this to my advantage a bit. I followed Mia's "No flirting" rule, but I still had fun with Mr. Dijon. ;) Specifically, I taught him to dance. In French.

Evening made? I think so. He was highly attractive. And he wore a v-neck t-shirt (v-necks on guys are very attractive to me, okay?).


Another happy recently! I'm in a video announcing the viewer takeover of the DIY fashion website, Threadbanger. The idea of the site is that it's part online TV channel, part community. Unfortunately, the hosts of the two main TV shows were FIRED (I don't know why). Upset, devastated, confused, a few of us regular contributors to the forums (including many a moderator) decided to band together and take over the site in our own way, producing our own tutorial videos. I am officially in two of the videos (one's been posted, one's coming soon), and I plan on making several tutorials to share when I have a few hours to myself.

Go ahead and check out the video! I'm so excited to be lumped together with such creative people.

Until next time, friendsies!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Books. Books. Books. Ohmigod, books.

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." -Rudyard Kipling

"I cannot live without books" -Thomas Jefferson

"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking." -Jerry Seinfeld

Kiel vi fartas? (How are you doing?): Mi fartas lace kaj bone. (I am tired and good.) :D

After my wakeup call during my last post, I've gotten back in the groove of studying Esperanto fairly regularly. This is a very good thing, considering that I found out that if a person were to study Esperanto for ten minutes a day, in four months they'd be essentially fluent.

You have no idea how exciting that sounds to a lingvemulo like me. After three years of studying French, I am definitely not at a level of fluency where I can confidently communicate with a native speaker at all, or even discuss abstract topics with a fellow student.

Alas, I've been trying to do some more studying (whilst my parents watch Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), but the stupid Lernu! site is down. I go to the page and it's blank except for: "Ŝajne estas iuj problemoj pri la datumbazo, bv. reveni pli poste." I think this means that there's some problems with the server and that I should return later.

Well, shoot.

What's all this about... books?

*spazz* Igotnewbookstoday!! :D

A fantastic bookstore in Seattle, Elliott Bay Book Co., had changed locations since my family was last there, so today after work we decided to go check out the new place and get some reading material. Despite having to walk past the large, brightly-colored SEX section to get to the good stuff (Philosophy, Women's and LGBT Studies, Linguistics, etc.), I had a ton of fun poking around. I bought this fantastic thing called In the Land of Invented Languages. There's a whole section in here on the history of Esperanto, so I'm starting with that, and then I'll read the rest of the book. I want to put up an excerpt which I found deep and highly amusing at the same time:

Still, it is not hard to understand why so many people find Esperanto so repellent. Language is not just a handy tool for packing up our thoughts and sending them along to others. It's an index to a set of experiences both shared and extremely personal... We love our languages for this... Compared with them, Esperanto is an insult... It asks us to give up what distinguishes us from the rest of the world for something that makes everyone in the world the same... Strange, then, that I don't think I've ever been anywhere more colorful than Esperantoland. On my second trip there... I was exposed to so much culture that I started to get a headache. We sang "Guantanamera" in Esperanto on ten separate occasions in ten different Cuban musical styles.

And with this, I'd like to segue into something that caught my attention a few days ago...


Crazy, huh? This goes beyond "It's ugly" (any language can be considered ugly...) and into "...Esperanto -- it's been tried, and it FAILED. Esperanto is a DEAD language, with a few wingnuts who insist it's some kind of 'perfect' solution. It's not, it's not even a LANGUAGE -- it's gibberish... Esperanto is an abysmal failure. If it were at all successful, it would be spoken by more than just a handful of self-righteous linguistic pricks. In fact, Esperanto was REJECTED by the world."

Someone actually wrote that on a blog post on The original post wasn't even about Esperanto, but with debates about language usage and communication erupting in the comments section, this person contributed their harsh two cents.

My first question is: What on Earth did a language do to earn such violent commentary? Jeez, I haven't seen such a response since someone suggested that maybe it was okay to address Mexican immigrants in Spanish.

Second of all, I wanted to address specific points made by this person, in the hopes that any present or future readers here will better understand my madness.

1.) "...Esperanto-- it's been tried, and it FAILED." Now, then, is it really fair to say that a language has failed when it's still growing, and more speakers are coming all the time... and it's not even 200 years old?
2.) "It's not even a LANGUAGE-- it's gibberish..." So too is any language which cannot be understood by a listener. But more than that, if Esperanto is gibberish, it's the darn most organized gibberish I've ever seen. Being so nitpicky to ensure that all nouns end in "o" and all adjectives end in "a"? Jeez, Zamenhoff, you're a little OCD.
3.) "If it were at all successful, it would be spoken by more than just a handful of self-righteous linguistic pricks." Now, see here, besides the fact that two million is not "a handful" in any sense of the term, I see nothing self-righteous or prick-y about being interested in language. It's just part of being a linguist... okay, you're accurate there. A lot of people who speak Esperanto are linguistic-types, because they're language nerds. Like me. It's fun.

Are you gonna go into another full-blown rant?

Nah, I'm not really in the mood. I just wanted to respond without opening a massive can of worms.

That's the problem with a website geared towards debate and action. You get people who are willing to debate you into the ground.

With that, friends, I leave you with a common farewell of Esperanto:

Ĝis revida!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

¡Si, se puede!

"Thank you for calling the Arizona travel advisory hotline. If you're planning a trip to Arizona, beware of an important travel warning: an overly stringent law on immigration has made it difficult for anyone who looks even remotely suspicious, resulting in detainment." -Mock Arizona Travel Advisory Hotline

"I could see you joining the Peace Corps." -My wonderful cousin (love you, Kari!)

Aseem: It's a crisis!
Me: What's a crisis?
Tim: Yo momma!

Greetings, greetings, fellow stargazers! My apologies that it's been a while since my last post. I was quite busy being eaten alive by junior finals, and then I was even more busy doing nothing. Simply, I have no excuse. So, I figure it's high time I return to the blogosphere.

The Top 5 Things That Have Happened Recently (in no specific order)

1.) I returned to my volunteer job last week in the poorer part of Bellevue. In related news, my rate of Spanish use sharply increased that day.

2.) Forgetting the last time I watched a horror/thriller series on YouTube, I spent two days watching MarbleHornets' Slenderman series, i.e., "Let's take everything this girl is scared of, and make it into the Blair Witch Project for YouTube"

3.) Tony Awards! Catherine Zeta-Jones needs to learn how to sing "Send in the Clowns".

4.) Pilates, dance, voice, math... I thought summer was meant to be a break from learning!

5.) The commencement of the Summer Film Extravaganza with my mom... basically, everything that until now has been deemed "Too Old" for me to see (Annie Hall, Amelie, etc.)

Moving on!

How's the Esperanto coming?

Oh, yeah, that...

*clears throat*

That's kind of part of the point of the blog, isn't it? Uh... yeah!

*shifts awkwardly*

Don't worry, I haven't been wasting too much of my time! I have officially started learning some of the International Language. The website I'm using ( has many, many different methods of studying Esperanto, so it's a little overwhelming, but I am learning some things, which is nice. I've already learned the essential survival phrase for any language: "I don't understand!" (in this case, "Mi no comprenas!"). Also, the classic "Hello, what's your name, how are you" conversation. Pretty straightforward stuff. I actually really liked the particular method they used to teach these phrases, so I might pursue that further.

To practice, from now on, I think I'll head my posts with a little status update, so I can teach myself some new adjectives. Some basic, extremely useful ones:

lace (LAHTseh)- tired
sufiĉe bone (sooFEEcheh BOHneh)- OK
bone (BOHneh)- good/well
malbone (mahlBOHneh)- bad
tre bone (TREH BOHneh)- very well

By the way...

Sorry if I'm not sounding terribly witty/intelligent tonight. It's been a long week, and I'm really lace. I should drink more water...

Out of curiosity, what's with the quotes at the top of the post?

Ah, hm, okay... this is not a popular opinion, but... I think people are being waaaaay too hard on illegal immigrants. And I'm really, really tired of hearing people saying things like "They're takin' our jobs!" because, you know what, they're not really taking jobs that any sane citizen would want. Farm labor? Long hours, triple-digit temperatures, lower-than-minimum wages. If that's your idea of a good job, more power to you, but honestly, it's one of the most brutal and yet essential jobs out there. Who's going to harvest our fresh fruits and veggies? Given these conditions, only the most desperate will step up to that plate. And if you're desperate enough to take a job in which you risk literally working yourself to death, you're probably desperate enough to cross the border illegally to get there.

Look, what really needs to happen, really really really needs to happen, is a loosening and stream-lining of the immigration system here. It can take months and thousands of dollars for a person to legally move to the US, and any small technical error (and there are many possibilities) can delay the process. It's ridiculous. Ridiculous and unnecessary. We really need to make the system less convoluted, less pricey, and less contradictory (one person says to send a photocopy, has to be a photo copy, of a document, only for the recipient to say that it's illegal to photocopy that document... what?).

There's my two cents on the issue...

You ARE tired, aren't you?

Heck yeah, woman. I'm so tired, I'm going to bed before 11 PM... willingly.

Goodnight, my someones!

P.S. Kari, you've inspired me. I might actually look into joining the Peace Corps someday.
P.P.S. According to Glenn Beck, the Peace Corps is not unlike the SS in Nazi Germany.
P.P.P.S. Then again, Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourette's.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Words and their Usage

"Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" -Arnold Jackson, "Diff'rent Strokes"

"Words, words, words/I'm so sick of words!" -Eliza Doolittle, "My Fair Lady"

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." -Martin Luther King, Jr. (correct me if I'm wrong)

So, the last week has been me bouncing between studying for finals, wrapping up church choir, and counseling my guy friends on their crushes on straight boys (it ain't gonna happen, guys), I've been having lots of thoughts and conversations about words.

Words are extremely powerful things. Remember back in the day when "Oriental" was what you called anyone from Asia? Is that okay now? No.

Nowadays, people can have one of two attitudes towards words; the "it's just a word" school of thought, or the "respect the meaning" school of thought. I, personally, am more "respect the meaning," because this takes into account history, etymology, cultural significance, and is less likely to harm.

So, for this reason, I'd like to break down several words which I have argued about in the last few days, because their usage just really gets under my skin and bothers me.

1.) ILLEGAL (as in "Damn illegals stealin' our jobs!")

This one's gotten a fair amount of use lately, what with Arizona's apparent mass insanity regarding illegal immigrants/legal immigrants/kids of immigrants/people who look like immigrants. Just a few minutes ago, I responded to a comment on a post on's US Poverty blog, because the commentor was using the word "illegal" to describe the people. As in, just "illegal". Not illegal immigrant. Just "illegal".

I think my response says it all: "I take offense at your refering to these people as 'illegals'. This reduces their whole identity to the fact that they bypassed our convoluted, expensive and backwards immigration system. It overlooks their hopes, dreams, woes and history. They are more than illegal immigrants. They are people, like you and me."

2.) FAG

This is a really hot issue. Can only gays say it to each other, can people use it in the context of "fag hag" (a girl with many gay male friends... a.k.a. me), etc.? Personally, I think no one should use it. Why? Because the original definition referred to wood that burned very quickly.

Note that gays used to be burned at the stake.

Now, even if people today don't use this word this way, it's still wrong. The origin of the current usage is pretty clear when you see the connection, and it's simply a dehumanizing term like "illegal". It reduces a person's identity to simply their sexual orientation, nothing else, and that's just not okay.

3.) "That's so gay!"

Ugh. Aside from making no sense (That essay test was homosexual? No wonder you lost points for word choice!), it sends the message that being gay is stupid, awful or otherwise negative, which it isn't. There's better words out there to express how nasty something is, without resorting to using words related to a part of a person's identity.

To conclude...

People, think about what you say. With few exceptions, there's no such thing as "just a word". Monitor your speech and make sure that what you're saying lifts others up instead of bringing them down.

Food for thought. Eat and enjoy. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's all this, then?: An explanation of insanity

"Love your neighbor as yourself." -Matthew 22:39

"My non-violence demands universal love, and you are not a small part of it." -Mahatma Gandhi

"It's easier to be an asshole to words than to people." -Randall Munroe

150 years ago, a young man named L.L. Zamenhoff introduced a new language to the world. What he called Esperanto was created to foster international understanding, and maybe even world peace. Today, it is believed that there are up to two million fluent speakers of Esperanto living in the world today, in 115 countries. Esperanto has helped create international friendships, culture and a sense of unity among speakers.

And giiiirl, I want in on that!

Wait, who are you?

I'm just your average theatre nerd, with a dash of fashion designer, a pinch of writer, and a whole lot of "There must be more than this." I am a junior in high school, an aspiring actress, part-time superhero and full-time gay magnet.

I have always been fascinated with other cultures and languages, mostly because I'm sick and tired of being just plain American. I like my rights, but I don't like being associated with boorish bigots, so I often find myself fantacizing about travelling to new and exciting places. Over the course of my life, I've been to Canada (who in the Pacific Northwest hasn't?), Germany (technically), Italy, Costa Rica and Dallas (yes, it's a foreign country!). Italy really left an impression on me, with its laid-back atmosphere and deep cultural history. Costa Rica made me realize that there WAS more to life than working and earning and not letting oneself just "be". Nothing in America can rival that.

I'm also a pacifist. I'm opposed to war of all kinds, capital punishment, and torture (or whatever the Newspeakers call it... aggressive interrogation?). Nothing merits the taking of human life, especially a cause which could have been solved with greater understanding on the part of both sides.

All of these things mixed together produces my desire to study the international language of peace, Esperanto.

You're crazy, girl...

You know what? Maybe I am. I've been studying French for three years. I know that learning a new language is really hard. But here's the cool thing: Esperanto was created to be easy to learn. Take a look below, see how much of that you can understand just based on your knowledge of English and whatever foreign language you studied in school.

Rikardo donis libron al Maria.

Can you get it? If you took Spanish or French, or if you're just really awesome like that, you could probably figure out that the above sentence says something about a guy named Rikardo giving (dar/donner) a book (un libro/un livre) to a girl named Maria.

That's what's so great about Esperanto. It takes inspiration from a bunch of different languages, so not only can anyone learn it, but it sounds natural being spoken by anyone. It's really great for-

Okay, okay, WHY are you blogging about this, woman?

Two reasons...

1.) I want attention (who doesn't?). If I get enough people tracking my progress, I'll be more likely to stick with my studies. I'm relying on you all to badger me about it.

2.) I want to spread the word about the cause which inspired the language- world peace, unity and respect.

Fair. How are you gonna do this?

There's a great website, It's entirely devoted to teaching Esperanto, forming connections between Esperantists, and developing Esperanto culture. They have lesson plans, correspondance courses, everything. That's where I'm gonna go to learn. I'll be keeping track of my progress on this blog, along with my daily successes or frusterations.

I need to get back to my sandwich.

Okay. :)

Let's boldly go!