Wednesday, March 26, 2008

random thoughts

Sometimes I get upset at the twists and turns my life has taken. When I think about the lost opportunities and wasted potential, or the lost relationships and those that never came to fruition, I want to go back and do it over. There are days that I would be willing to give up the life I have now to start again and do things differently. Then there are days, like today, when I realize that everything is alright. It's not perfect, and it's certainly not the life I imagined. There are still many aspects of my life I want to be different, but it truly is never too late. Ok, so I'll never be the rock star I wanted to be as a girl, but the playing and performing of music was always more important than fame and fortune. Why can't I start a band in my 30's and just play for the fun of it?
As for all those boys I pined for, I really think they are better off where they are, with their spouses and families. I have given up too much of myself in my quest for survival, I can't imagine giving up more to be with someone I was never meant for. I am better off alone than with the wrong man, and if I end up alone - I'm ok with that (most days anyway).
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm doing well. I'm learning to let go of things I've been holding onto for too long, and hopefully those ideas, emotions, etc. will be replaced by something infinitely better.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I dislike pretension. One of the dangers of working with college students is running across 20 year olds who believe they know more than they do. Intelligence can be a blessing and a curse, especially in the young. If it is not tempered with humility, then one becomes a lonely intellectual who insists to have shunned society, when in reality society has shunned him (or her). Most of my friends are extremely intelligent and well educated, but they do not believe they are better than others for these advantages. My friends are teachers, health care workers, librarians, and writers. They share their knowledge and welcome the exchange of ideas. People who believe the less fortunate, or just someone who disagrees, has nothing to offer will never make good use of their "superior" intellect and abilities.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I had an idea for a story the other night that I'd like to play with a little, so the following is some brainstorming about said story...

Fred just arrived in town. As a matter of fact, Fred just arrived on the planet. His real name isn't Fred, of course. He adopted the name after landing and observing the people he found on Earth. Fred's spaceship landed in a field beside an Ikea in the midwest. He was lucky enough to arrive the night before the store's grand opening, so he was able to see many earthlings as they came and went. He wanted to join them in their excitement, but Fred could hardly pass as human. He didn't look like the tradition alien, though. He wasn't green with a huge head. However, he was short and very round with spindly little legs. His head was proportional to his body, but domed rather than round. His skin was iridescent and reflected sunlight, so he could not venture out during the day. But Fred wanted to know as much about this planet as possible. He accidentally discovered that he could tap into satellite television feeds, so he spent many days watching and learning until eventually he learned English. He saw a commercial in the middle of the night advertising a local sci-fi convention. The ad showed many people dressed in costume to represent television aliens. Instantly, Fred knew this was his way into Earth's society. He could go as himself. Who would question one alien in a crowd full of aliens?

I know it's not pretty, but I'm just brainstorming. Maybe someday I'll actually do something with it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Trip to Mars, anyone?

Welcome to the Terrestrial Travel Agency. Your travel needs are our priority. We have four planets for you to choose from. Although they all share the terrestrial title, each planet has unique qualities. The purpose of this brochure is to explain each planets highlights, and to warn you of the dangers they may posses. Please feel free to contact us at anytime. We are happy to answer your questions and to assist you in your travel planning.

We'll start with Mercury. Named for an ancient Earth god (from Roman mythology), Mercury is the closest planet to the sun at .387 AU. This gives Mercury some unique advantages, but also many serious problems. Because of Mercury's quick orbit around the sun, and its slow rotation, there are only 3 days for every 2 years. This gives you almost a month (in earth time) to explore Mercury's old and cratered terrain. Mercury also has geologic features known as scarps, which are similar to cliffs. There would be plenty of time to explore these features when visiting Mercury during the day. While the planet may be a fascinating place to visit, there are many disadvantages to this destination. First, Mercury has no real atmosphere. While this gives you an unfettered view of the universe, it does make life nearly impossible on this planet. Although there is some ice at the poles of the planet, liquid water is non-existent. Another serious drawback is the temperature extremes. It can be anywhere from 90K to 700K on the planet. Think carefully before choosing Mercury as your destination, and plan accordingly.

Venus was also named for an ancient Earth god (goddess, actually, and again from Roman mythology). Being .723 AU from the sun, Venus is the warmest planet of the Terrestrial quartet. The average surface temperature is 730 K! Even if you could survive such heat, Venus' atmosphere is deadly (unless carbon dioxide is your gas of choice). If the heat and the atmosphere don't dissuade you, then there are many points of interest on the planet. The surface of Venus is believed to be young, because of the lack of craters. There are rolling plains for as far as the eye can see, but there are also large depressions and a couple highland areas. And there is plenty of time to explore. Because of its ability to go retrograde, a day on Venus is actually longer than its year! The year is 225 earth days, whereas a day on Venus lasts for 243 earth days. Because of its thick lithosphere, its lack of water and no life, Venus is best seen in the night sky.

That brings us to Earth, one AU from the sun. We try not to be biased, but with our home office being on Earth, we find it to be the most beautiful planet and the easiest to visit. With its abundant water, Earth is teeming with life. From the smallest microorganisms to the largest mammals, there is so much variety on this planet. You can visit snow-capped mountains to arid deserts. There are modern cities and villages that have not changed in a millennia. With plenty of nitrogen for plant life and oxygen for the rest of us, the atmosphere is perfect for sustaining life on the planet. The temperature on Earth also makes it more habitable (although sometimes uncomfortable). The temperature can range from 184K to 331K, with an average temperature of 288K. Earth's surface is still young, and unique in its flexibility. The Earth's lithosphere has what we refer to as tectonic plates. The plates move, changing the landscape of the planet over time. Also, because of this movement, the lithosphere is constantly regenerating. There is so much to see and explore on Earth that we had to write a separate brochure to explain it all. If you're interested in visiting this planet, please contact us and we'll send you a copy of the Earth brochure.

Finally, we come to Mars. At 1.524 AU, Mars is the furthest Terrestrial planet from the sun. Because of this distance, Mars is much cooler than the other planets - 140 K to 273K, with an average temperature of 210K. Mars does have a thin atmosphere, comprised mostly of carbon dioxide. Mars also has water in the form of ice caps, and it is believed that liquid water may exist under the surface. Although life on Mars is depicted in Earth's popular culture, there is no proof that such life exists. However, Mars does have some attractions that make it an interesting destination. The lithosphere on Mars is quite thick and inflexible; however, Mars has the largest volcanoes in the solar system. These volcanoes are so large that they actually deform the shape of the planet! The largest peak is Olympus Mons in the Tharsis region. Mars also has an extremely large canyon called Valles Marineris. The Earth's Grand Canyon is paltry in comparison. Like Mercury, the surface of Mars is old and cratered. Although the atmosphere on the planet is thin, it does have some distinct whether patterns, such as dust storms. It is recommended that you check with us before heading to this planet. We will try to warn you if any of these storms are expected during your visit.

We hope this brochure has assisted you in your decision to visit one of these fascinating planets. We are here is assist you in any way possible. You can contact our home office on Earth, or one of our many satellite office throughout the universe. Thank you for considering Terrestrial Travel Agency.