October 3, 2006

The other night, I sat on the couch reading through Anousheh Ansari’s blog about her trip to space. Let me first say, I have no intention of ever going to space. The flight alone would kill me. Actually, the idea that I might strap myself to a roman candle and set a billion pounds of gasoline on fire underneath me to rocket myself a couple hundred miles above the globe, which spins wildly through the unknown…well, that just sounds like an episode of Wile E. Coyote.

But I digress with my fear of flying. Truth is, I was in tears reading about her experiences in space. What an amazingly glorious trip into the blackness of space…which apparently smells like a burnt almond cookie.

During sunlight (day time) you can see hundreds of shades of blue in the oceans depending on the depth of the ocean and how the sun is reflecting off the surface… You can see the land masses, mostly without vegetation, with these veins running through them in different shapes. These are either rivers or reminiscent of water flowing on the ground and making its mark as it travels down to the oceans…
The cities are easily distinguishable because they look like someone took a shovel and messed up the ground in that area. The agricultural lands have specific geometric shapes and demonstrate different colors based on the crop and the type of soil. You cannot see any borders… you cannot tell where one country ends and another one starts… the only border you see is the border between land and water.
~Anousheh Ansari

No borders! Seriously, I was crying in my living room from the possibility that there could be a world without borders. A world without hate. A world with peace and human dignity. As a (soon-to-be) geographer, for me this was the picture of an ideal world. And to think that it could be found in space, where Americans partner with Russians and Iranians on an international station where everyone involved is hoping for the same world.

And yet, we still have daily occurrences of ruthless people killing innocent others across the world. I can only hope that my grandchildren will one day know a world without these injustices. A world that can be seen in the same light from the ground as well as from space.

ADDENDUM – 12:55 pm

Just found this and had to share it:
25 Signs That, Sadly, You’ve Grown Up

1. Your house plants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.
TRUE, but then who wants to smoke schefflera

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
FALSE, I’ll have sex in any size bed.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
TRUE, but only because I can’t afford more beer.

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
TRUE, sort of, I get up at 7:30.

5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator.
FALSE
, we don’t have music on our elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
FALSE, I watch Showtime.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up and break up.
TRUE, it happens.

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
FALSE
, I’ve got more than 130 days of vacation.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”
FALSE
, unless I’m going out with Carrie. ;-D
10. You’re the one calling the police because those damn kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.
FALSE
, the other neighbors generally call before we would.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
TRUE, and that’s only fair.

12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
FALSE
, I think it’s 4 a.m., but they keep changing it.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your payments go up.
TRUE, thank goodness.

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonalds leftovers.
TRUE, somewhat. We have cats.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
TRUE, dat!

16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 PM.
TRUE, only from noon to 4 p.m.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
TRUE, but it was always the whole date. I’m cheap.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle your stomach.
TRUE, but White Castle is a cure-all.

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
TRUE, from sleeping on the couch.

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good stuff”.
TRUE
, nothing less that $6 a bottle is good for us.
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
FALSE
, I never eat breakfast.
22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to,” replaces, “I’m never going to drink that much again.”
FALSE
, I always say I’m never going to drink that much again.
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
FALSE
, I wouldn’t necessarily call it work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
TRUE, but who goes to bars anymore.

25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save Your sorry old ass.
FALSE
, there were a couple…I’m not old yet.

See you in the funny papers!

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