now, the moment you haven't been waiting for...

I know, I know -- you're all desperate to see pictures of the Peru trip. Well, lucky reader, it is my pleasure to present to you...a trip

We started off in Lima, land of protests and women with llamas on their heads.

"We need a statue of a woman," the man told the sculptor. "And there needs to be llama on her head. "Llama?" "Yes, llama." "OK, it's your statute." Someone should have asked whether "llama," Spanish word for furry Andean creature, was intended, or "llama," Spanish word for fire. True story.

After Lima, we went to Huacachina, a tiny oasis out in the middle of a bunch of sand dunes. There was an ugly pug with a Peruvian orange around his neck, and there were sand dunes.

There was Titicaca (now suppressing childish giggles)

Peruvian Coast Guard boat. Really.

The whole lake wasn't this slimy. See the Bolivian picture below.

There was a short trip to Bolivia, home of Evo Morales and ladies with florescent blankets and bowler hats.

There were also other things that I'm too lazy to post, so I'll wrap it up with the final place we visited - Machu Picchu. It was steep.

It was like the postcards

And it was be-llama-ed

In the end, we flew home. I knew our plane was safe, because security had already confiscated all the handguns, butcher knifes, blow guns, and bow and arrow sets.

So there ya go. Thanks for sticking it out.

wh--, where am I?

My goodness, has it really been that long? Sorry blog reader(s?), I'm apparently just not that into you. I've been thinking of little blog entries to make, but apparently haven't had enough motivation to actually do anything about it, until now. What with the way I go without blogging for a month at a time then post three posts in a one hour period, I guess I'm sort of like a bulemic blogger. A blogemic. So please, humor me as I binge.

I guess the best way to go about this is to just do it. So here goes:

The Big City
I spent this summer commuting to the military base from a city that shall remain unnamed. It was an hour commute each way, and at first it was sort of fun -- not unlike Mario Kart, minus the shells. But then my iPod died. And I found myself listening to a mix of NPR and Top 40 radio. Both annoyed me, but for different reasons.

Almost all of the programming on NPR is quite interesting, but the faux accents irritate me, as does the blatant ego-stroking of listeners that occurs from time to time, reminding us of how much more intelligent we are than someone listening to, say, Top 40. Get over yourself. Or myself. Or whosever self it is that you need to get over.

But Top 40 wasn't necessarily any better. The morning DJs were somewhat witty, but soon I could have sworn I was going to drive the car right into a concrete barrier if I had to hear Fergie tell me one more time about how she was going to miss me like a child misses her blanket. After a while it didn't matter anyway, since someone stole my stereo.

In the end, I the thing that convinced me I couldn't live there, or even just be an out-and-out dyed-in-the-wool liberal was the anger. I would always tell how close I was to home on my commute from work by how angry the bumperstickers were. Who knew there were so many things/people/ideas/locations/pets to be angry at? I have a sneaking suspicion your bumperstickers aren't going to stop global warming or change American foreign policy, but if it lets you release some steam, I guess you can have at it. And speaking of global warming, let's move on to the next topic....

Jokes about high levels of smug emissions aside, I think hybrids are a good idea. Don't know how much of a difference they'll make until large scale polluters cut back on their own emissions, but they're a good idea nonetheless. And no matter what your political leanings are, everyone should be pleased with less pollution and less dependence on foreign oil.

So why aren't there more of them out there? In part because they aren't yet cost effective -- if you have one, you have one not to save money, but to be a responsible citizen of your world and/or country. The other problem is that if you see someone driving a hybrid, you're five times as likely to see a Republicans for Voldemort bumpersticker than a Romney in '08 sticker. In other words, hybrids are for liberals. Or to be more accurate, hybrids are not for conservatives. Why this should be the case, especially when our national security is tied so closely to oil and when national security has been traditionally thought of as a "conservative issue" is beyond me, but it shouldn't be that way. I don't know how to change it -- maybe name the next hybrid The Patriot. Or show a commercial with bin Laden driving an H2. Yeah, I like that one. Whatever it is, someone hop on that right away. Chop chop.

And while we're discussing patriotism (albeit obliquely), let me move onto what I hope is my final topic....

Got to see a game this summer. I didn't have any real strong feelings for or against the home team, but they were playing the Yankees, and I am always prepared to root against the Yankees. In fact, every single one of the Yankees can jump off a cliff, as far as I'm concerned. Suck it, Derek Jeter. Joe Torre, you better hope you never meet me in a dark alley.

Why the strong feelings? Because I like the Dodgers, and Dodgers fans don't like the Yankees. Why do I like the Dodgers? Because my dad does, and that's who he taught me to like. Why don't Dodgers fans like the Yankees? Because their a bunch of SOBs. And something about Brooklyn, I think. Why didn't I care about the home team? Because I haven't leave in close enough geographical proximity to them for a long enough period of time. If religion is the opium of the people, then sports are the pressure valve of international relations.

Some of the most anti-nationalist people I know are also the most avid sports fans and, as far as I can tell, their choice of teams relies primarily on either a) where they live, or b) who their parents raised them to love/loathe. Sports are great in part because they allow us to satisfy our nationalist urges without, say, invading small countries. Granted, it doesn't always work, but at least it's a start.

Phew. I guess that's about it. I was going to mention something about economic interdependence being the new mutually assured destruction (doesn't that sound brilliant? NPR would be so proud), but it's almost two in the morning. I was also going to post pictures from our trip to Peru but, well, it's almost two in the morning. Maybe next time.

Binge complete.