This Week in Awkwardness

I requested a transcript from my community college to be sent to USF so I think that’s my application completed, now I’m just waiting to find out if they’ll let me in.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to go on a trip in the fall, and I never do.  Maybe this will be the year….

I found a show called Aquarius that’s a sort of half-fiction based around Charles Manson.  I’ve only gotten through the first episode so far but it seems pretty good.

Book Finished:

Dead Wake, by Erik Larson

This is the story of the Lusitania and her fatal meeting with Unterseeboot-20 off the coast of Ireland in 1915, set against the broader backdrop of war and espionage.  Larson does an excellent job weaving his tale from the smaller experiences of the liner’s passengers, the the captains and crews of both ships, and the highest officials of England, Germany, and the United States.  Suspense builds throughout as “Lucy” steams toward Liverpool and U-20 makes her way around Ireland from the north.  I’m always impressed when an author can make me dread the ending to a story I already know – Larson doesn’t disappoint.

Favorite Quote:

“He was to be a willing guide for first-class passengers wishing to learn more about the ship; he was to preside over dinners with prominent passengers; he was to walk the ship and engage passengers in conversation about the weather, their reasons for crossing the Atlantic, the books they were reading.  [Captain] Turner would sooner bathe in bilge.  According to Mabel Every, he described passengers as ‘a load of bloody monkeys who are constantly chattering.'”

Added to the Travel Map:

Wicklow, Ireland.

Wicklow Mountains National Park, Wicklow, Ireland.


This Week (and Last Week) in Awkwardness

I attended the Sedona St. Patrick’s Day parade & festival (which is apparently a big deal, even though I’ve never seen a single reference to anything Irish anywhere in Arizona before) where I saw this gem of a float, labeled “Flags for Freedom”:


Book Finished:

Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi

I was generally aware of the Manson Family murders but had never studied them in depth.  Bugliosi prosecuted Charles Manson & a few of his followers in the trial of their most famous crime spree, the Tate-LaBianca murders, so the book is an in-depth, mostly first person account of one of the most sensational events in recent history.  I didn’t expect to be genuinely creeped out, but the idea of one crazy person so thoroughly controlling his followers is pretty terrifying.

Favorite Quote:

“‘I think historically the easiest way to program someone into murdering is to convince them that they are alien, that they are them and we are us, and that they are different from us.’ [Dr. Joel Hochman, psychiatrist for the defense.]

Krauts.  Japs.  Gooks.  Pigs.”

Crossed Off the Travel Map:

West Fork Trail, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Arizona
West Fork Trail, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Arizona

Sedona Heritage Museum, Sedona, Arizona

Added to the Travel Map:

Memphis, Tennessee – just because I’m heading that way I guess.

Mojave National Preserve, Kelso, California – sand dunes & whatnot.

Fort Carroll, Edgemere, Maryland – abandoned, now a bird sanctuary.