One of the strange things about moving overseas is that I’ve been forced to distinguish between what I want and what I need.  Do I really need fourteen tshirts in London?  Well, I mean that’s a no brainer because otherwise how will I be able to show everyone how elite and awesome I am without a unique graphic t-shirt collection?  I definitely need to do that.  I even entertained the idea of bringing my XBox with me.   This idea is, of course, absurd.  I can’t imagine with all the studying, traveling, conquering of France that I’ll have time to indulge my adolescent delights.  But who knows?  Sometimes you gotta shoot ill tempered aliens in the face.  That’s what I always say.

In addition, I find myself rationalizing lugging more things around because I have this strange, creeping, irrational doubt that Europe doesn’t have the things I need.  Deoderant? Nope.  Internet? Please. Shampoo that smells like strawberries? Well, maybe.  But of course I’ll be able to get these things in the United Kindong it’s just the exchange rate has every American dollar being equivalent to 0.649 British pounds.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m probably going to spend my inheritance in one way or another.

The other thing about packing in general is that you always end up doing it at the last moment.  There’s always something you have to cram in, pack or slide into the front pouch of your suitcase because, realistically, what if I go spelunking while I’m overseas? I’ll need my equipment.  I don’t want to be that guy who has to stay behind because he doesn’t have the right stuff; like a chainsaw or a croquet set.  Or, heaven forbid if we’re playing chainsaw croquet. 

I know there are some people who are robots and are truly efficient packers and have rationed the exact amount of toothpaste per day and put their underwear in vaccuum sealed bags that minimize spatial occupancy in a suitcase and they only bring exactly what they need, but that just isn’t me.  And I’d like to think most people are not that way.  And also, for those of you who are actually really skilled and efficient travelers, stop looking so smug when you’re waiting for us at the baggage claim.  I know you need to get to the hotel and watch HBO, but just chill out.  We can’t help it! And we over pack for two reasons.

First, we are acquisitive creatures.  We enjoy our stuff, our nick knacks and the stuff we have managed to acquire over the years.  We like to show off things we have acquired in other places of the world.  It’s a display of material plumage to show everyone how great we are.  We are a society that fixates on things with the accumulation of objects to validate our work as something meaningful and to assert our level in society.

An aside about possessions.  I heard some guy cough*hipster talking about how he thought Marxism was so amazing and how he would totally advocate a Marxist revolution in the United States.  Really, then what would happen to your Apple products and your designer skinny jeans during the uprising of the proletariat?  Those are all products of a free-market, guy.  Now, listen, I’m not one of those neoliberal free-market economic rationalists who thinks the market will always do right and make life an Easter basket filled with justice and Oreos, but you’re not allowed to call yourself a Marxist and then go flaunt the byproducts of the system you were just denouncing with your coffee shop revolutionaries. 


The second reason, which is slightly less cynical, is that we are over packing because we’re trying to symbolically take our homes with us.  This is because we all are creatures of habit and we are reticent to change.  Routine and familiarity are very important to us.  With indulging in this form of excess, we are, in a way, trying to take our homes with us.  Physics permitting, we would probably put all of our stuff in our suitcases.  There’s no way you need to bring your entire comic book collection* with you, but its familiar and it helps us navigate the frontier of the unknown as we establish our abbreviated routine in the places to which we are traveling.  It is something recognizable in a sea of unfamiliar.

(*This is of course unless it’s that limited edition crossover series your cousin gave you that has Nightcrawler, Spider-Man AND the Punisher duking it out.)

I know at this point that I’ll be bringing too much.  I just hope my suitcase has a special compartment for my TV.

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You Sound Like You’re From Lahndan!

Hello to anyone who might be interested in my activities in life.  I will be moving to London next week to purse my master’s degree in sociology.  Why graduate school?  Why sociology you ask?  I decided to go to grad school because I realized, that in order to distinguish myself among potential job applicants, I will have spent even more money to educate myself in something potentially useless.  Now that shows commitment. Secondly, I felt graduate school was a good idea due to the current state of the economy.  Seriously, go look outside right now, the economy is not looking good.  White people can only afford to have one Northface jacket nowadays. 

Unemployment is so bad right now that I’ll give it another eighteen months before the government engineers a virus that creates aggressive flesh-eating zombies just to give the unemployed something to do. Heck, it could be the New New Deal where a bunch of zombie related government jobs could be created and subsidized.  Someone would be decapitating zombies while four other people stand around and watch him, etc.  Everyone wins!  Except for the zombies I suppose.

So I figured while I’m “hiding” in grad school, I might as well do it somewhere pretty cool.  I’ve heard that London has some cool stuff even after we kicked their ass in Dubya Dubya Two.  Those socialists better get ready for this guy.  I plan on wearing a ten-gallon hat made out of hotdogs and fireworks while shooting my two double-barreled shotguns off on my Harley Davidson that is retrofitted with a high-definition Bose sound system that plays the Jimi Hendrix version of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

For those of you curious, I will be attending The London School of Economics which is located in central London.  I learned that this place is actually a pretty good school.  I’m still not entirely sure how I was offered admission there.  I’m guessing clerical error or my mom was worried about my self-esteem so she sent the graduate admissions office a lot of cookies.

So the point of creating this blog, which is counterintuitive, is that I’m pretty lazy and I don’t have the heart to keep up with all the people I’ve paid to be my friends over the years.  I’ll be busy enough reading Das Capital in Sumerian or having tea in Pumblechookfordshiretonville out in the English countryside.  I plan on uploading pictures from all the places I’ll be traveling to so that way everyone can be really jealous of me, but take solace in the fact that most of you are actually making money at this point in your life.  Lame.

So for those of you who are earnestly interested, stay on me to keep up with this because, believe it or not, I would like to share the fruits of this incredible opportunity with those I care about most. 

Since I’ve been staying in New Hampshire for the past four weeks at my parents home with a brand new digital camera, it’s only natural that I only have pictures of my dog in various states of cuteness.  Here they are for your enjoyment.

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