Friday, December 21, 2012

Dear Mr. Lincoln

Things which are equal to the same things are equal to each other. 

So much has changed since your reign in office, yet so much else remains the same.

You may be a bit surprised at the state of the Democratic and Republican parties. You see, they seem to have traded places since the 1800s. There really isn't much to worry about, though, the Liberals are still hankering for equal rights for all. Speaking of which...

All citizens of the United States have the ability to vote. This includes people of all minorities and women. All citizens also have the right to an education and the opportunity to adequately provide for themselves and their families. We're still working on the equal pay thing.

What saddens me though, Mr. Lincoln, are the arguments that we are still having in this country.

We haven't fought a war on our soil since the Civil War, yet innocent people (such as yourself) are killed by weapons far more dangerous than those of your time every day. We have yet to figure out how to secure those who are innocent against such massacres. Women must still fight for equality in the workplace and for dominion over their own bodies. Many citizens of our nation are condemned for who they love because that person happens to be of the same gender or a different race. True equality has yet to be won.

In many ways we, the citizens of the United States, are lucky, Mr. Lincoln. But we are also very lacking. Our leaders today are driven, but driven only by the draw of the vote. Though they may start out with a clear vision in mind, their resilience is never realized, and they are swayed from the course of true change and progress.

It was you who said that America could only be destroyed from the inside. We are not yet destroying ourselves, but without the direction that marked your era in history, we have no way to save ourselves, and all that you built, either.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mandatory holiday post


It's that time again, folks! Pine trees are twinkling with lights, Menorahs are being lit one day at a time, and gifts are being bought left and right. That's right, it's time for the holidays! In honor of this magical time, here are some interesting facts about everyone's favorite time of the year.

1) Black Friday is not the best day to shop! You can find better deals from December 14-22.

2) 7 out of 10 British dogs buy gifts for their owners. (I did not make this up-check the 1995 census!)

3) There is more than one Christmas Island.

4) All of the elements in the "12 Days of Christmas" song have Biblical counterparts.

5) Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday.

6) The word Chanukah means "dedication."

7) Chocolate coins are traditional gifts during the Hanukkah season. Yum!

8) Bill Clinton led the White House's first Hanukkah Celebration. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Total yoga inspiraton

Every few months I get into a self-named "yoga funk." This is the point where I realize that it has been many more days than I would like to count since I have done yoga, and my muscles are becoming tighter and tighter with the more days that I allow to pass by. When this happens I always turn to the below yoga video by Equinox.

The woman in the video, Briohny Smyth, is a L.A. area Equinox yoga instructor. Though I am totally jealous of her strength and yoga mastery, this never fails to motivate me to get back into my routine. She and her husband, also an Equinox yoga instructor, have another video that shows how beautiful yoga can truly be- it's worth checking out as well!

Happy yogaing, everyone!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forward!



In case you haven't heard by now (in which case, where have you been??) President Barack Obama won reelection at about 11:00 PM EST last night.

His win was a veritable landslide as far as the electoral votes go (he has 303 of them so far) which seemed to come as a surprise to people on both sides of the aisle.

Those who stayed awake late into the night to watch both the concession and acceptance speeches of Romney and Obama were definitely in for a treat. Romney was the most classy and candid he has been throughout the entire campaign and Obama was simply invigorating. Though approximately half of the the citizens of America woke up feeling disappointed this morning (the huge divides in our country is topic for another time), there can be no doubt that change is in the air.

The next four years are sure to be just as momentous as the last four. I, for one, cannot wait to see where they take us and to contribute as much as possible!

*If you are a Georgia Tech student reading this blog (welcome!) and would like to learn more about the College Democrats of Georgia Tech, please join us Tuesdays at 6:00 PM in Klaus 1447. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Case of the Scarlet Fever: The End


After calling the coroner, Stan started the walk back down the long, marbled hallway to the area of the hotel where the body was located. Once he returned upon the scene, the most surprising aspect of it was not the grotesque condition of the body, but the whiteness of the sheriff’s face.
“Richard, Rich, sheriff, what happened?” asked Stan, laying a concerned hand on his partner’s shoulder.
“Uh, nothing, Stan. Just stood up too quickly is all,” muttered the sheriff, trying to avoid Stan’s worried gaze. “Did you call the coroner?”
“Yes, sir. Mike is on his way. May be a few minutes though, he was still in bed, as usual. Hey, are you sure you’re okay?”
Richard forced a smile in the direction of the now weary deputy. “Uh, yeah, I’m fine. The sooner Mike can get here the better, is all. There’s that game today, you know.”
“You and your football; not even a murder stands a chance when you have a game to watch,” Stan slapped his friend’s shoulder good-naturedly. “Well, I’m going to head back to the station. Call me if anything gets interesting.”
“Will do, Stan. Will do. Take care of yourself,” called the sheriff to the deputy’s retreating back. All he could think was that he didn’t want to have to arrest his poor, middle-aged, sidekick, but he also did not want him to be the next one to turn up dead.
*****
Back at her downtown apartment, the pretty lounge singer named Scarlett started suddenly. She felt as though she had been asleep for hours, though, by looking at her clock, her nap had taken less then thirty minutes.
Scarlett yawned, sat up from her uncomfortably bent position on the couch, and then furrowed her brow in confusion. For some reason, she simply could not remember any of the details of her last shift.
The young woman got up and walked quickly to her small refrigerator. Though sparsely populated otherwise, the ancient appliance did still contain all of the wine that she had purchased last week, so she knew that her memory hadn’t been impaired by alcohol.
Walking slowly back to the living room, Scarlett took a quick inventory of everything in her apartment, looking for clues as to what it was she had forgotten. Everything seemed to be in place until she looked at the end of the couch on which she had just been sleeping.
The leather was splattered with droplets of water, fanned out around a note on which was written the name of an unfamiliar man: Stanley King, the deputy.
*****
That night at the Venetian when Scarlett went in for her shift, the nervous bellhop immediately accosted her and told her, in an anxious whisper, that she was wanted by the sheriff for interrogation concerning the murder that had occurred at the hotel the night before.
“I wouldn’t worry too much though,” the bellhop assured her, “they’re interrogating everyone. Even me, though, of course, I was the one to find the body.”
“Uh, thanks,” said Scarlett, pulling away from the bellhop. “I’ll go there right now.”
A murder, Scarlett thought, on the night that I can’t remember anything from. What does this all mean?
 *****
The bellhop breathed a sigh of relief as the singer walked away. She obviously didn’t have any recollection of the night before, which was exactly as he had planned.
*****
The sheriff looked grim as Scarlett entered the conference room and quietly closed the door behind her.
“Miss Grey, please have a seat,” he ordered gruffly. “Now, I’m sure you know why you’re here. No one in this hotel can place your whereabouts last night. Do you have anything to say about that?”
Scarlett sighed deeply and furrowed her brow once more. Looking at the sheriff, she knew that he would be a difficult person to level with, but she just had to tell him the truth.
*****
Richard studied the shaking woman in front of him. She was young and definitely did not look capable of drowning a man the size of the one found dead in the hotel the night before. However, she was the only hotel employee without an alibi, and she had just confessed to possessing a note identical to the one found in the pocket of the drowned man.
The sheriff scratched his head and sat down heavily on the leather chair across from the singer.
“Miss Grey, now are you positive that you cannot remember your whereabouts last night?”
Scarlett, now with a mascara and tear streaked face, looked hopelessly up at the sheriff. “Not a clue. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what I may have done!”
Just then a woman’s scream echoed throughout the marble tiled hallways. The sheriff jumped up from his seat, motioning for Scarlett to remain where she was.
Standing in the hallway was the bellhop, a devious smile on his face and an ascot around his neck. Lying underneath him was Stanley King, the millionaire. Putting handcuffs on the bellhop was Stanley King, the sheriff’s deputy.
At the site of his deputy standing upright and unharmed, Richard breathed a sigh of relief. The motive of the bellhop could come later; what mattered the most was that no more murders would be occurring tonight. The sheriff found a deep satisfaction in knowing that his city was safe once again. Or so he thought.
*****
The sheriff motioned for Scarlett to leave. As she began her sensuous walk out of the hotel, she winked at the bellhop over the law officer’s shoulder. That fool would do anything for her, even murder.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Case of the Scarlet Fever


The Venetian Hotel was quiet at 8 o’clock in the morning. Most of the guests tended to be asleep, tired out from their late nights at the polished mahogany bars, and the cleaning staff had not yet arrived. But on September 30, 2012, footsteps could be heard echoing along the colored marble floors that ran along the sparkling blue of the hotel’s man-made canals.
The footsteps were heeled ones, the clacking most definitely that of stilettos, and they moved quickly. There was a pause, a grunt, and the heels continued along until they vanished into the brightly lit morning of the Las Vegas strip. All that remained alive in the hotel was a quietly lurking chaos.
*****
The woman’s scream could not be mistaken for anything other than what is was. The bellhop sighed wearily, gave the newest lounge singer one last appreciative look, and set off in the direction of the shriek that had interrupted his pleasurable musings. But the scream had not just been that of a tipsy woman trying to escape the paws of a drunk escort as the bellhop had assumed; in fact, he almost yelled out himself when he saw the scene.
Drifting peacefully in a azure waters of the Venetian’s canal, floated a man. Not any ordinary man, but a sleeping man. Not a sleeping man, as the bellhop discovered when he was able to reach out and bring the patron into shore, but a dead man. Dead and wearing a red ascot with a strange symbol on it. The color of the fabric irrationally brought the bellhop’s thoughts back to the pretty lounge singer he had been focused on only ten minutes earlier. Her dress had been this same color red, complimenting her hair, and a couple other parts of her perfectly…
But now the bellhop could not throw out that obvious wink to the singer, he could only blink at this dead man in surprise.
“Perhaps he drank a bit too much and drowned,” he heard himself saying.
“Perhaps someone should call the police,” rang out a new voice. A crowd had started to gather; guests looking for coffee, but receiving an even better morning jolt.
Booming footsteps echoed along the slick floors as the hotel’s night guard came on to the scene. “What in the name of…?” he started.
The bellhop just looked at the guard and shrugged his shoulders. Today was going to be a long one and he didn’t even know the lounge singer’s name.
*****
“It looks Irish in origin,” the deputy said , “like from one of those dancing shows at the Trump Towers.”
“I don’t know what in the hell you’re talking about, Stan, so you should probably keep your mouth closed until you have something of interest to say to me,” snapped the Las Vegas police chief. “We have a dead man on our hands, and all you’re talking about is people dancing in kilts or something.”
Las Vegas police chief Richard was used to dealing with some crazy cases, but deaths occurring on his Saturday mornings off didn’t exactly make him a pleasant person to be around.
“I’m not just making things up chief,” Stan persisted. “I think we could have an actual murder on our hands!”
Richard stood up, dusted off his quickly donned jeans, and looked his deputy square in the eye “Just shut up and go call the coroner, Stan. I’m missing the game.”
Dejectedly, Stan made his way towards the front desk, nodding at a pretty lounge singer as she passed by. He turned forty years old this week, had found the start of a bald spot in the mirror, and he still had yet to be on a case that included more than the stupidity of drunk vacationers.
*****
Back at the scene of the crime, Richard donned his latex gloves and stooped once more to inspect the bloated body. Peeking out of one of the pockets of the dead man’s jeans was a sheet of paper. Richard pulled the wet note with its bleeding ink out of the pocket and inspected it in the light.
The sheriff read the note, shook his head as if clearing out the cobwebs there, and then read it again. Normally a very stoic man, Richard could not help but pale and sit down heavily on a nearby divan after digesting the cryptic writing. Though the note contained only two words, they shook the sheriff to the core. The all-important football game was forgotten; Richard had to focus on more important things right now. Like figuring out why his deputy’s name was in the pocket of a murdered man. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Expect the unexpected, or don't expect anything at all




College is, as everyone quotes, a huge transition time in the life of a young person. More than likely you are living away from home for the first time (which means having to manage your own time, meals, and, yes, laundry) and having to form an almost entirely new support system. Obviously these are all great changes, but no one mentions the other parts of college that can definitely change a young student.

The college environment is an ever-evolving one. Days act like weeks and new experiences, both good and bad, abound around every corner. Students must learn how to take advantage and learn from these opportunities without stressing themselves out to the point of exhaustion.

Over the last few weeks, I've been living this exact scenario. Getting completely involved with my classes, on-campus job, and various student organizations has been the best choice I could have made. By using all these outlets I have made countless numbers of new friends (and left myself with no time to sit on Facebook and obsess over the old).

Through all the long days and longer nights, I have learned that, no matter what the new situation is, I have to walk into it with an open mind, ready to embrace it completely. Almost nothing has turned out as I expected it to over these past weeks and thankfully, in most cases, that's been a wonderful surprise. Everything is about perspective and I am definitely loving life by living with a totally open one.

Oh, and go Georgia Tech!