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It seems all the ice melted overnight in the rain. Small dips in the road became treacherous streams; I had to ride most of the way to the bus stop aboard a discarded deodorant lid.

I had such a terrible, boring exam for about 30 minutes until the unthinkable happened. This weird little punk sitting across from me, with pierced eye-brows and a habit of pulling on his ears, started convulsing. He and his cheap desk-chair combo were down on the floor in 1 second flat. SMACK! He kept shaking violently, his rigid body draped over the desk, eyes white, blood flicking from his nose to the floor and anyone or anything else danger close. Good thing he stopped and improved to the status of 'only' unconscious after about a minute. It's not like the teacher knew what the hell to do, she must've missed that day.

The whole class had to leave the classroom (and our exams) while the janitors mobilized, scrubbing and disinfecting every fleck of blood and drool.

I don't even know what that kid's problem was. I didn't know him and don't plan on it, by the looks of him he probably was on drugs anyways. What matters to me is that I have to re-do the exam, including the 30 minutes I already did.

My life sucks!

Fragments from a Dream

1. I'm back at college and someone's holding a party at a dark old house with a wooden pavilion in back. Passing between the two I encounter a young woman who somewhat recalls J., tall and athletic, but is quite different in many ways. She's casually naked, and no one seems to consider this terribly significant. I lay down beside her in the pavilion and hold a conversation about cheese.

2. Later, the J-esque girl expresses concern that photographs taken of her while she was naked might be circulated more widely than she'd like. She's comfortable with her body, but certain people should not see these. A pair of twins who are at least two sets of twins from my past express an interest in taking her place, transferring their image to the shots.

3. A black kitten, eyes big and wide, strikes up a conversation. His English is somewhat flawed, as he is still learning. Some time passes before it occurs to me how strange this is.

4. In some version of a park from my childhood I encounter two other kittens. They are of the more typical sort, that make high-pitched mews. Summer is in full bloom while piles of snow melt with the early spring. An unidentifiable and chaotic game is either in progress or about to commence. The players use tennis rackets, beach balls, and tapioca. One player is known as the "embezzler." Another must prepare steak between innings. I see members of a girls' marching band around the park. They wear white military band uniforms. Their boyfriends and girlfriends work at Caffe Nero, or so the talking kitten assures me.

5. Dee draws a picture of a streetcorner. Many pop-culture characters inhabit the sketch. The traffic lights are not the correct colours, purple where they should be green. A street sign connects to a stylish, antique lamppost.

Notes from the Surf

Bottlenose dolphins mud-ring feeding
Some amazing water patterns.

Is this person some kind of space alien?
Bombing on stage (?)

Unlimited power to buy elections
"Perhaps the next step is just to get rid of voting. Instead, we can have big corporations bid on which candidates they dislike the most. The candidate who is least disliked by the corporations takes office. Such an auction would be a cheaper and more expedient way of deciding who leads us"

BBC and superficial, condescending journalists
"The BBC’s coverage of Venezuela, in general, is highly biased against the government... their main writer in Caracas, Will Grant, sees the country... from the perspective of a very comfortable first world citizen. He sympathises with the upper class and opposition minority, and complains of petty things like the price of luxury goods, while ignoring all the improvements and the increased voice of the majority poor."

Coping while the Ultra Rich Pull Away
"Remember that estate tax debate? ...we had a major debate for 50,000 tax filers in a nation with over 113,000,000 households?  The top 1 percent are betting on you not doing the numbers... The banking bailouts are largely a transfer of wealth to those who least need it."

FDIC Chief Got Bank of America Loans While Working On Its Rescue
"one of the chief regulators overseeing Bank of America’s federal rescue, took out two mortgages worth more than $1 million from the banking giant... FDIC officials said... Bair violated no ethics rules... Bank of America... received $45 billion in federal bailout money, the second-most among banks."

South Africa: The ANC's Big Sell Out
a gang of forty armed men attacked the Kennedy Road shack-dweller community... police arrested not the ANC attackers but 13 members of Kennedy Road Development Committee... the ANC embraced the IMF-brokered Growth Employment And Redistribution... “Levels of human development are now lower than in 1994, and South Africa has overtaken Brazil as the country with... gap between rich and poor.”

Robin Hoods on the High Seas?
Somali ‘Pirates’ want to send loot confiscated from rich countries to Haiti... "The humanitarian aid to Haiti can not be controlled by the United States and European countries; they have no moral authority to do so. They are the ones pirating mankind for many years"

India: The After Kill Of Narayanpatna
"We hide in the jungles during the day and come to the village at night. We don’t want to be arrested by the police who come to our villages during the day" ...he asks if his name and village can be kept anonymous. "If the police read the report, they may come to our village and hunt us down"... When a team of nine women from various civil rights organisations attempted to travel to the region on 9 December 2009... the team members were strangled, beaten up and assaulted repeatedly – even right outside the Narayanpatna police station. They were ultimately forced to return – without having travelled to the villages.

A review of Venezuela Speaks! Voices from the Grassroots
"by failing to see beyond Chavez... one of the most significant political dynamics in Venezuela has gone ignored and underappreciated... the response of ordinary Venezuelans... often in ways that go beyond the expectations of the government... Venezuelans have created cooperatives; taken over factories; occupied urban and rural lands; launched community radio and television stations; built centers for culture and popular education"

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