The Dark Passenger’s Latest Trick – It Involves Clown Dolls

Man, this guy is killing me right now. Just when I think the Dark Passenger has stepped out for a smoke and a six pack of Coors, I turn around and he has completed destroyed some of my favorite things. He’s put cigarette holes in my grandma’s quilt and shot my dog in the ear. And after I blink a couple of times I find myself holding the gun.

Here’s his latest trick, his deadly mantra.

I’m Right.

Now I’m not talking pub trivia. I’m talking when I feel that I can lay claim to my rights or what is my possession. Doesn’t matter if it’s an argument or an agreement; it doesn’t matter if I’m talking theology or finances. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, discussion, or conversation is worth. My Dark Passenger will put the brakes on any kind of open mindedness if my rights, possessions, intelligence, or success is on the line or threatened. You’re in my way? Doesn’t matter. You’re not working on my time-table? I’m charging forward.

And hidden in that sweet phrase, “I’m Right” is this phrase, “And you owe me, (expletive).” Since (oh, not if) I’m right, then you owe me respect, gratitude, or the honor of your humble apology. Because I’m so (bleeping) self-centered that I need to know that I’m right. I tuck myself into bed with a blanket of I’m Rights and if I don’t have them, I’m freezing out here.

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My Favorite Travel Deal, Paris in 30 hours

This is a post written by my sister Roberta, who loves traveling. 

In January, my family had just returned from a 7-night cruise and I was eager to plan our next vacation. Maybe it was the 50 below wind chill that inspired me? Or maybe it was just my love of travel. In any case, the same night we returned from a Western Caribbean cruise, I was on my computer at home considering various destinations. At one point I decided to go to the Sun Country airlines website to check on fares, and an advertisement on their home page caught my attention. It said something like, “Visit Paris for 30 hours”. I had been to Paris several times before, and it is one of my favorite cities. My husband had never been to Europe, and I knew it was something that he really wanted to do. So, having just returned from a week-long vacation, I did what any other vacation-lover would do… I turned to my husband and said, “Do you want to go to Paris for 30 hours, leaving two weeks from now?” My husband’s response? “Sure, let’s go!”

 

Here’s what Sun Country was offering. They were trying to meet some type of requirement in order to obtain a specific contract. In order to do this, they needed to accumulate a certain number of hours flying internationally each month. I’m not sure about all the details, but in order to meet the requirements, they decided to offer one flight to Paris, with certain restrictions. Passengers had to depart and return on the same aircraft (same flight crew and everything), and the plane would only stay in Paris for 30 hours. Although this isn’t very long for a city like Paris, the price was right: $230 per person round trip! And for us, with three small children, this was an ideal quick little getaway. I called my mom right away and she was ready to go. Seats for the three of us were booked within the hour. Read More

The 10 colleges of UC Santa Cruz

If you choose to attend UCSC, one of your first choices will be deciding which of the ten sub-colleges you want to live in. This decision can definitely be pretty daunting and unclear, especially if you’ve never visited the campus. Many of the brochures that the school sends out don’t properly tell you what it’s like to live at a college, so I’ve taken some time to write a post about each college in hopes that you can make a more-informed decision.

The UCSC college system

UCSC is divided into ten sub-colleges:

  1. Cowell College
  2. Stevenson College
  3. Crown College
  4. Merrill College
  5. Porter College
  6. Kresge College
  7. Oakes College
  8. College Eight
  9. College Nine
  10. College Ten

Essentially, your choice of college determines where you live for your first year or two of school. Your major won’t make a difference in what college you attend — all majors are allowed into all colleges. You’ll also be in classes with students from all colleges, so your academic life is not really affected by which college you choose. Read More

UCSC Colleges: Cowell College

History

In 1965, Cowell College was founded as the first college at UCSC. The college is named after Henry Cowell, who owned much of the property that UCSC exists on currently. The Cowell family became wealthy by withdrawing the limestone from the hills and from raising cattle. Many areas around Santa Cruz are named after Cowell.

Theme

Cowell’s theme revolves around justice — what is it, and how does media define it?

 Location

Cowell is located in an extremely convenient spot on campus. Cowell is right by the bookstore plaza, which is the closest thing UCSC has to a central meeting area. Cowell is within walking distance of the east field (and all the athletic facilities). The Humanities area (and the Humanities lecture hall) is right next to Cowell. Science Hill (the main area for all sciences) is a little bit away, but it’s not much of an uphill walk.

Cowell College has many accessible bus stops for the main perimeter buses, city buses, and the central core buses, making it easy to reach just about all areas of campus from Cowell via bus, even if the locations are a bit of a walk away.

Housing

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UCSC Colleges: Stevenson College

This post is a part of my 10 post series about UCSC colleges.

History

Founded in 1966, Stevenson was UCSC’s second college. Stevenson is named after Adlai Stevenson, a former Illinois governor who also ran against Dwight Eisenhower for president.

Theme

Stevenson’s theme is “Self and Society” — the theme revolves around how an individual can find him/herself and how he/she can later benefit society.

It’s definitely worth noting that Stevenson’s core course actually takes two quarters, but it fulfills more general education requirements than a normal core class. I did recommend not deciding a college based on its theme, but be aware that the core class can be very tiring. Read More

UCSC Colleges: Crown College

History

Crown College was founded in 1967. Unlike its predecessors, I don’t believe Crown wasn’t named after anybody in particular — the name Crown just sort of came along. The famous chemist Kenneth Thimann, who the Thimann labs at UCSC  are named after, was the first provost.

Theme

Crown’s theme and core course revolve around ethics with technology. What are the social implications of technology — how do we decide what is ethical and what is not?

Location

Crown is located at the top of what is known as “Cardiac Hill”. This is a fairly steep hill that must be climbed to reach Crown and Merrill Colleges.

Crown/Merrill have a bus stop, but only buses going counter-clockwise around campus stop there. If you are going clockwise around campus and want to reach Crown, you can either walk from College 9/10′s bus stop or uphill from Cowell/Stevenson’s bus stop. Each of those is about a 5 minute walk. You probably won’t have to walk to one of those bus stops frequently unless you’re going off campus, since there isn’t much in that direction from Crown that you can’t reach by walking. Read More

UCSC Colleges: Merrill College

History

In 1968, Merrill College became UCSC’s fourth college. The name “Merrill” comes from Charles Merrill Jr, an educator and philanthropist who donated much of the money to make Merrill a reality.

Theme

Merrill’s theme is “Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness”. The core course involves readings detailing how people fight to preserve their culture as other powers spread through the world.

Location

Merrill is located just next to Crown and above Stevenson. As such, Merrill is even more remote than either of these colleges. Merrill is surrounded by large redwoods, and it’s very peaceful up there.

HousingMerrill is still a short walk to Humanities and the bookstore area (as close to a central area as UCSC has), but reaching other important places such as Science Hill and the Media Center can be a bit difficult. The nearest bus stop is for Crown/Merrill, but only buses going counter-clockwise around campus stop here. If you’re coming back to Merrill, you’re going to have to stop at a different bus stop and walk a good ways, and then up the steep hill known as “Cardiac Hill” — be ready for a 5-10 minute walk when you return home. Read More

UCSC Colleges: Porter College

History

Porter College is named after Benjamin Porter, the grandfather of three contributors to UCSC. The family owned some of the land of Porter Meadow (a meadow right next to Porter College), and donated this as well.

Porter was in fact named “College Five” for about 12 years before it received its official name. Porter opened in 1969.

Theme

Porter’s theme revolves around the arts. The core course explores art and the social implications of famous works.

Location

Porter was UCSC’s first college located on the west side of campus. Porter is currently nestled between Kresge (to the north) and College Eight (to the south), and is a short walk away from Science Hill. Read More

UCSC Colleges: Kresge College

History

Kresge was UCSC’s sixth college and opened in 1971. Kresge was named after Sebastion Kresge, who was the founder of K-Mart. Kresge was often jokingly referred to as “K-Mart College”. The college was largely designed by students — the first provost taught a course titled “Creating Kresge College”. Even some of the apartments’ layouts were designed by students.

Theme

Kresge’s theme is “Power and Representation”. The core course revolves slightly around politics, as well as how individuals interact with their community.

Location

Kresge is just up the hill from Porter, at the northwest corner of campus.

The media center near the center of campus and McHenry Library are a bit farther away, so you will need to do some walking to reach them. The core buses that run to those places do not reach Kresge.Science Hill is a very short walk from Kresge, and Porter and College Eight are an easy walk downhill. The bookstore area and the East Field are a bit farther, and fortunately Kresge has bus stops going both clockwise and counter-clockwise around the campus. If you do choose to walk, the walk is mostly level, without much uphill at all.

Housing

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UCSC Colleges: Oakes College

Just in case you didn’t hear, I’m writing this series of post about UCSC  .Check my whole series of 10 posts here.

History

During the late 1960s, a black power group demanded an all-black college. UCSC compromised and instead founded a new college whose theme would revolve around ethnic studies. Oakes was opened in 1972 as “College Seven”.

Oakes College received its name in 1975. “Oakes” is the surname of Margaret and Roscoe Oakes, who made a significant impact in the founding of the college.

Theme

The theme for Oakes College is “Value and change in a diverse society”. The core course consists of readings and films about ethnic studies and how to live in a multicultural society. Read More

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