Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Tale of Two VPs

Well here we are with a solid 65 days until the United States makes an important choice. In this past week the choice got to be a little bit clearer as both Barrack Obama and John McCain announced their respective running mates. One made a safe bet, and the other took a risky long shot, and surprisingly, the risky one was John McCain.

McCain announced on Friday that Sarah Palin, the first term Alaska Governor as his right-hand woman, in a truly shocking move. This really just further emphasises the fact that John McCain will do anything to be president. This was the man, who only eight years ago was embroiled in a bitter feud with George W. Bush to be the Republican nominee, and only four years ago was dangerously close to being John Kerry's running mate, and now here he is, selling out.

John McCain has long crafted his image as a maverick, willing to cross party lines to do what he felt was right. Yet, in the last few years he has voted for Bush tax cuts, something that he had previously said was against his good consious, and has not done a blatantly political move in chosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.

This is a plea to get the wild card in the presidential election, Clinton supporters. By taking a woman he hopes to lure them over. However, what he has missed, is any other similarities that may come between Clinton and Palin, because there really aren't any aside from gender. Palin has a very evangelical stance on abortion and teaching creation "science" in schools. She also called Hilary Clinton a "whinner" a number of times during the Democratic Primaries, which probably won't help the Republicans win any point with Clintonites.

The other desperate sign here is that John McCain has really just gone against everything he has been saying about Obama for the past six months or so. He was constantly saying that his opponent does not have the experience to lead, but somehow we are expected to believe that Sarah Palin, a governor of a sparsely populated state since 2006 somehow has that experience.

Granted, she is not being voted to the office of Commander and Chief, but just ask Lyndon Johnson, sometimes things happen. With John McCain's age, it is even more of an issue. If elected to two terms, McCain would be 80 years and in charge of the free world, and his health has to be taken into account. So should something tragic but natural occur to him in his old age, we would be left with a very unproven commodity in charge. After spending so long saying that Obama is too unkown (i.e. black) to be President, it is hard not to make the same connections about Palin.

Obama's choice on the other hand was a much, much safer bet. He took a grizzled Washington insider, who will be able to guide him along nicely. One of the main holes in Obama's experience is foreign policy, so he took a running mate who has more foreign policy experience than damn near anybody in the United States.

Most importantly, Obama took an attack dog. Joe Biden is a smooth talking, quick witted, son of a gun. Now Obama can keep taking the high road on John McCain and other Republicans and let Joe Biden loose on everyone. This way Obama can maintain his status as a "nice guy" and keep on taking the high road, something that many voters appreciate.

I for one, am interested in how the Vice Presidential debates go, as I really think that Biden will tear Palin a new one, especially on foeign policy. This really hurts the Republicans, since Obama will no doubt out perform McCain in the Presidential debates.

Even though Obama had a rough summer, he is firmly in the dirvers seat as we speed down this election highway. Gallup polls put him 8% up on John McCain (his second biggest lead ever), and I am sure that will improve even more so as the debates heat up.

I find it fitting that Palin is from Alaska, because I feel that come November she will be once more left out in the cold.

Until next time,


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Summer That Was...2008 Edition

Since we just had Getting Glenergized's season premiere earlier this week, I figure it is a great chance to rehash a post I did a little over a year ago, as I look back on a busy summer and provide a series of mini-blogs for things that I would have put otherwise.

McCain Goes for Blood, Obama Stumbles

The summer has surprisingly been a tough one for my American-Political-Man-Crush, as John McCain has slowly widdled away on Obama's once large lead. Of course, while the Democratic National Convention takes place this week, Obama is getting a much needed boost. However, it remains to be seen if such a bump McCain will get next week during the Republican National Convention.

Personally, I still have the utmost faith that my boy Barrack will pull this one out. In the past few days Obama has addressed his perceived inexperience, by getting Joe Biden as his running mate, and tackled those crazy Clinton supporters by having both Bill and Hilary give him a rousing endorsement at the convention. Hopefully those two things will help sway those independents, women, and just plain nuts into voting for him as opposed to joining the dark side. No matter, I fully believe that Obama can redraw the political map just enough to not only beat McCain, but beat him well enough. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Obama tops 300 electoral votes, for a pretty handy victory.

New Homes for Hossa, Campbell, and Boyle, Sundin still Golfing

I plan on doing a more in depth analysis of the NHL Free Agency later on, but it certainly was busy summer in hockey with Detroit, Chicago and San Jose making the boldest moves. However, Mats Sundin still waits on the sidelines while all sorts of teams have been throwing money in his general direction, and yet he is still in Sweden. I think that he will play at some point this season, perhaps not until Christmas or so, and it will be for Montreal if anyone.

Radiohead Changes My Life

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Radiohead on August 15th in Toronto. Not much to say other than they are phenomenal live, and if you ever have a chance to see them, take it.
Until then, enjoy my personal favourite track from In Rainbows, "All I Need".


Imagine my shock when one of my favourite wrestlers pulls out the ultimate surprise and wins the World Title by defeating Edge on an episode of RAW? After winning the Money in the Bank Match at Wrestlemania 24 CM Punk proceeded to loose to just about everyone on the roster, and then on June 30th, he does the unthinkable and cashes in on an opportunity against the Ultimate Opportunist Edge.

Missed it? Well have yourself a gander at a truly memorable wrestling moment.

Great eh?

Olympic Ordeals

The 29th Olympiad really is one that people will remember for a long time. From the partial faking of the broadcast of the opening ceremony, to China completely dominating, to the huge crowds of predominantly local people, the impact of these games really can't be understated.

For a country like China, to have spent most of its history closed to outsiders to welcome the entire world in for a very big event, is a monumental thing. And for a country that was once very poor to be able to afford something so grand really is a testament to this country's amazing development.

Granted, as a Canadian, I was a little disappointed with some of the results, as I really expected us to get more medals. But that's ok, we always have the winter games on our home turf.

Speaking of China...

I moved there a week ago today, liking it so far. Keep coming back here for any zany stories that are sure to follow.

Until next time,


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Logging My Journey...

Well hello there everyone, it's official, I'm back in business!!! Welcome one and all to the season premiere of Getting Glenergized, coming to you live and direct from the People's Republic of China!

For my first post of the season, I decided to do a live log of my Trans-Pacific Flight, since well I was pretty darned bored. Here is the journey of my flight, taking place on August 20-21st....enjoy!!!


Current Time: 1:26PM EDT
Current Mood: Excited
Current Soundtrack: The Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running

The captain has turned off the seat belt light, and I have moved my way back to a free row, where I now sit. I'm bunking in seat 40D for the next 14 hours or so of my life. The take off was smooth, but is now a little bit bumpy, I can't help but feel that is some sort of an omen.

I have spent the last several days, if not months, preparing for this trip. I got my passport renewed, my visa sorted out, said all of my goodbyes, and now here I am way thirty thousand feet above the country I have called home for most of my life, and there is no turning back. Since I left my school back in June, I have been saying goodbye, and quite frankly, I am a little sick of it. While it has been nice to bid everyone farewell, and given me a great deal of closure, this time has been long overdo.

Every goodbye, from my friends to my students to my parents, carries with it a certain amount of emotion, and dare I say, a hint of regret. Did I say all that I need to? Did I do everything with this person that I wanted to? How much of my time did I waste that I could have spent with this person? In the end, it doesn't matter, because what's done is done, and nothing can be changed. There are all sorts of people that I will miss greatly over the next year or two (or more?) but such is life, especially the life of a nomad like me.

Anyway, I am going to be off to find some way to entertain myself for the next little while, I'll be back to post whenever that bores me.

Current Time: 2:37PM EDT
Current Mood: Schemy
Current Soundtrack: Wolf Parade - Grounds For Divorce

After playing a bit of Civilization III, I decided to watch an episode of "Kenny vs. Spenny" on the enRoute TV, and it got me thinking. Why don't I have horrifying challenges with friends of mine? I think that I am equal parts diabolical Kenny and neurotic Spenny. It would be pretty hilarious. Anyone out there in the blogosphere want to engage in some sort of maniacal and humiliating challenge? The possibilities have endless hilarious outcomes.

Alright time to go, off to scheme.

Current Time: 3:35PM EDT
Current Mood: Accomplished
Current Soundtrack: Tegan and Sara - Call it Off

I played a bit more Civizilation and I got a pretty easy (and dare I say) impressive Domination Victory as the Persians. I am pretty proud of myself for that one, so I think that I'm going to either erect a statue to my greatness, or maybe just start a new game soon enough.

Sadly, all of the windows are closed, and the on screen map is not working, so I really have no idea where the heck I am, but I would guess that I am probably leaving Ontario shortly (if I haven't already) which actually means that I have crossed the first of the 11 time zones that I will pass today. For simplicities sake, I'll keep writing in Eastern (Toronto) time, no point in trying to wrap my head around that one, although it could be kind of funny, especially when daylight savings are taken into account of it all. What a crazy world we live in.

I have the entire three rows to myself, and I have yet to try putting my feet up, as I have left my computer bag on the middle seat next to me, I guess I want to make it as comfortable as possible when I try to lie down and have a nap, which may just be soon.

I just took a second to peruse the movie choice, and I think that I am going to give 21 a try. Partly because I heard it's awesome, partly because it's about math geeks like me, and partly because Troy says one of the guys reminds him of me, I want to see how right he is.

Current Time: 5:51PM EDT
Current Mood: Enthusiastic
Current Soundtrack: Rebelution - Safe and Sound

21 kicks ass, make a point to watch it. Also of note, it has one of the greatest soundtracks for any movie I have seen in a while, from Peter Bjorn & John to LCD Soundsystem to the sweet Rolling Stones remix at the end, it was a tour de rock.

For the record, the main character is a touch Glenish, but not quite as much as Troy let me believe. Mostly because I don't think that I could land a gal as gorgeous as he did. (Note to the Future: If a significant other of mine is reading this somewhere down the line, I was clearly wrong on that one)

Still not really sure where I am, but I think that I am somewhere over the Pacific Ocean right now, and lord only knows what time zone it is, it is probably best not to ask such questions for it will only make me feel small. A lot of people are sleeping on the plane right now, and I'm not really sure if I should try or not, I feel tired, but only because it is dark in here, and there isn't much else to do. However, Shanghai is waking up now, so I feel a certain sense of energy and enthusiasm at this point. I think that I will celebrate by making a second case for world domination.

Current Time: 6:54PM EDT
Current Mood: Reflective
Current Soundtrack: Jeremy Fisher - Left Behind

"You're always dreaming so far ahead, I feel a little left behind. We'll never find each other my love in the same place, at the same time"

That's a quote from the above mentioned song. It seems appropriate considering how far away I'm going and for how long.

Here's hoping those lyrics ring true for someone special out there.

Current Time: 7:47PM
Current Mood: Confused
Current Soundtrack: Hawksley Workman - Jealous of Your Cigarette

I think that it's dinner time, or maybe it's breakfast. I'm not really certain. Either way, they are serving me food, so I guess it is time to eat.

Note to Future Travellers: Request a special meal on the plane, you'll get served way before anyone else. Score another point for veganism, take that omnis.

I noticed that I have a chance to watch Batman Begins. While I have seen it before, I think that I will love it even more now that I have seen Dark Knight three times, in theatres. For the record, I would like to nominate that film for an Academy Award for Best Movie EVER MADE.
Maybe I'll try and get some sleep soon, although Batman gets me really excited so it may be a bit of a challenge, ahh well, I shall do my best.

Current Time: 10:09PM EDT
Current Mood: Inspired
Current Soundtrack: Neil Young - Keep on Rocking in the Free World (Live Acoustic)

Three simple words: Batman Kicks Ass

I forgot how fantastic the first installment in the Nolan Reboot actually is. Granted it isn't half the movie that Dark Knight, but I don't think that much really is.

A few hours ago, I wanted to have humiliation contests with my friends, now I want to be come a ninja and fight crime. I guess I should start putting "Impressionable" as my mood from here on out. I chose this song to listen to because of that desire to help out, and also for cheeringly ironic reasons, considering my destination.

Watching Batman, and listening to Neil, I can't help but wonder exactly what I can do to make the world a better, more just place. I chose to become a teacher to be a guiding light, and good influence on others, and I like to think that I have the power to accomplish that, but I wonder, is it enough? The world is a massive place, full of some very bad people, surely a good person such as myself can do something to help, can't I? I guess I have to figure out some way to save the world. As I re-read that last sentence I can't help but wonder, maybe that is the meaning of life and everyone's grand purpose, saving the world from itself.

Or maybe my purpose now is to try and get some sleep, only five hours left to go.

Current Time: 12:00AM EDT
Current Mood: Restless
Current Soundtrack: Sigur Ros - Starlafur

I've been on this plane just short of 11 hours and have yet to get a wink of sleep...uggh.
I really have nobody to blame for this at all, the other passengers have been reasonably quiet and I have three seats all to myself. I guess I'm just anxious. Perhaps I should title this blog post "Confessions of a Travelling Insomniac", or maybe not, that is kind of lame.

When I look at the time, it occurs to me that it is now August 21. However, I crossed the international date line awhile ago, so it has been the 21st for quite some time. Damn time zones, so hard to wrap your head around.

Well, hopefully this is the last post I make until I arrive at my pad in Suzhou. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Current Time: 1:57AM EDT
Current Mood: Exhausted
Current Soundtrack: The Killers - Read My Mind

I got about an hour and a half of sleep, and I think that will probably be it.

I was woken up a little while ago for breakfast, or lunch, or maybe it was a midnight snack, I really don't know anymore. Ugh, tomorrow is going to be rough. Or rather, today is going to be rough. Either way, I'm pretty damn excited about it.

Descending time will start soon, the computer should get packed up soon. China, here I come!


Current Day: August 24, 2008
Current Time: 4:05AM EDT
Current Mood: Serendipitous
Current Soundtrack: Children playing

I'm here now in Suzhou, as I have been since I finished the above post, and all is well. My apartment is fantastic, my colleagues are wonderful, and everything looks like it is going to work out just fine.

I will post back with new information soon as things start to settle down. If any of you out there are worried about me, please stop. All is well.

Until next time,