Not to be obvious, but I can definitely feel a big change happening in the media.

The way we get our 'information' has always been/is evolving, but right now I feel a major shift. I feel it deep in my bones.
And it's making me excited...

I can't wait to go back to San Francisco.*

Do you think it's changing? If so, how?

*I'm just really excited for this upcoming project, which happens to be in SF.
It's more the project than SF itself.


inquiry into existence

Thinking a lot lately about existence.

I'm familiar with 'cogito, ergo sum' and how, after most philosophical queries, one necessarily ends up at Descartes' famous conclusion.
(Real quick-my math teacher in high school would refer to Descartes as "Dis-cartees". He was being serious.)
Indeed, it is tough for us to imagine a world in which we don't exist.
And I'm not ready to tackle whether or not we would 'exist' if we didn't think we did.
That being said, I am more interested right now in answering the question:
does our existence matter? Or, for all intents and purposes, does what we do matter?

I've always had a deeper feeling about my actions.
Liken it to Karma or the Golden Rule, whatever, but I can never escape that feeling of 'pay it forward.' And not only between other humans and myself, but also myself vis-a-vis all living creatures and our planet. I've always just tried to do 'good.'
Similarly, I tend to find 'good' in every situation.
Not Panglossian optimism, mind you, but more an appreciation for what 'life' brings. Indeed, everytime I learn something new, I label that as 'good,' and inside me arises a 'positive' feeling. This can get rather 'ridiculous' as I've even felt appreciation for the lessons learned by 'bad' things such as The Holocaust.

But why?

In a recent discussion, a question arose:
Could we have just made it all up based on the instinctually survivalist notion of self-preservation? Our religions, our jobs, our rules, even seemingly sincere things like heroism (underlying basic premise that the human race must survive) and love (need to feel complete rather than alone)?
Rationally speaking, yes. I can see this argument holding weight. Nothing can really be 'good' or 'bad' because it just 'is.' Also, according to this view, there is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' ramifications of behavior. Karma doesn't exist and it doesn't matter if I drive a gas guzzler.
(I should point out that this possible reality isn't necessarily a 'bad' thing either.)
But how do I explain my feelings of 'good' mentioned above? If they don't really exist, how can I feel them? And, should I feel them and should I be doing things for the 'greater good'?
Or, rather, should I be living a life whose purpose may not actually be real?
(I'm sure there will be discussion of existentialism here, which is fine if it's not just based on nomenclature).

I'm careful not to enter a purely cynical camp of 'nothing matters.' At least not right now.
For starters, I can't change that I naturally feel these things. Indeed, I can say confidently that I'm a "hopeless romantic" of sorts and it wouldn't follow to simply shun my feelings.
Secondly, I'd rather explore further the origins and reasons for these feelings before I just conclude that they don't exist or matter.
Or, on the other hand, that they do exist or matter.

Of course, until then, I'll err on the side I've been living on.

Any thoughts?


um, me

been reading people's surveys here and there. here's mine:

about you
name: emilie grace cole
nicknames: emcole, emiliecole, em, eeems (southern family), emmie (emmy shank)
heritage: scottish, welsh, british
birthplace: richmond, va
live now: DC
hair: light blonde (summer), light brown/dark blonde (winter)
eyes: blue
height: 5.5 ft
weight: 130-5
race: Aryan. I'm totally kidding here. Since I don't believe in race, I'd say, um, HUMAN
disabilities: none that I'm aware of. but my left knee is like a 70-year-old's
vision: huh? contacts in the -4 range. I just got new glasses last week and they are def. stronger. I can't see the big 'E' on the chart without help.
hearing: excellent

Your favorite physical features: hands, legs, back
Could be better: feet. I blame it on the miles ran.
Favorite food(s):
sheesh. I like pretty much all foods, but I'd say...
-2 eggs over medium w/tad cheddar & toast
-anything thai coconut curry
-sushi (specifically, salmon nigiri, rainbow roll, spicy tuna roll)
-veggie burgers
Least favorite food(s):
Favorite drinks(s):
-cold, light beer after a run
-mix juices
-ketel one cosmo
Least favorite drinks:
-beet juice
Favorite TV show: AbFab, Jeopardy. If only they had AbFab Jeopardy.
Favorite movie: willy wonka
Favorite book: don't have one yet
Favorite music: anything I can dance to. it may not be pretty at times, but I can dance to almost anything
Favorite sport to play: If I could, soccer. good thing I like running!
Favorite sport to watch: now it's baseball
Perfect day? any day can be perfect. some ethereal notions include sunny parks, Sunday NYtimes, frisbee, bbq's, drunken charades...summer's right around the co'na!

significant other
hair: don't care
eyes: don't care
height: not shorter than me. the last thing I need is some pipsqueak following me around
weight: don't care. as long as they can be active with me
personality: whatevs. as long as we 'fit'
style: don't care, but absolutely NO pleated pants (I can help if need be)
current relationship? nicole
fits above? for most part. nobody's perfect

Things you're good at: caring, helping, keeping in touch, making the world a good place (one way or another), most sports/running; understanding everyone's point of view; chugging Guinness (Imperial pints)
Things you could be better at: 'thinking before I speak'; resisting urge to be sarcastic with
more-simple coworkers; I could always be more chill
Things you'll succeed at:
motherhood; spouse-hood; teaching; marine corps marathon; being a friend
Things you'll fail at:
I don't quite 'believe' in failure, since I think everything's a learning experience
Comforts: i randomly find comfort. like this morning on the bridge over looking the plush green Rock Creek Park.
Fears: airplane turbulence/crash; other people's umbrella spokes
Proud of? myself, my friends, family, humanity
Regrets? not writing an honor's thesis; sometimes I put my self out on a limb and becoming vulnerable/how I ended up getting there. But again, see "failure" question.
Grateful for? how I was raised; you
Short-term goals:
have fun; read; save money/build investments; marine corps marathon; set up audioluxe; better posture; figure stuff out
Mid-term goals:
have fun; fluent in Spanish; conversational in French; literate in Latin; knowledge of Arabic; understand theory of relativity; start family; become more flexible (physically); learn to sail; own a fixer upper; figure stuff out
Long-term goals:
raise family; have cabin/cottage owned by friends and I; travel; teach; give back; HAVE FUN

my new glasses.
glasses were invented by humans just like the chair i'm sitting in, the polymer desk behind me, and those rolled up building plans, because we also decided we needed concrete structures in which to conduct our equally-as-made-up business.
come to think of it, we've totally made up a lot of shit!


either or

sometimes in life i'm faced with the following choice:
go running or eat macaroni and cheese*
well, folks, tonight it's the big m-c for me

*annie's organic shells and cheddar
**i never blog about eating salad. maybe i'll start doing that more.

the big 2-1

happy 21st birthday to my younger brother (and one of the coolest guys i know), james bernard cole!
cheers & love!!!



s p r i n g t i m e = winter's weight off my shoulders
= lightness
= freedom
= a smile

maybe it wasn't winter

there was a weight, though
and it's gone


like a bird out in the wind in the night
like a 747 to LA that's in flight


like a garden flourishing in the wind
like a student bout to do it when he's graduatin'...'
first in flight, blackalicious


weekend/happy/pointless post/etc

I'm not kidding when I say that DC keeps getting better!
Absolutely gorgeous weekend numero dos
.... spent almost all weekend outside in the wonderful sunshine.
Friday got my iPod (40GB, color) and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the local Italian bistro.
Saturday biked to Georgetown & browsed the shop(pe)s then watched the Nats game at Brad's. Sometimes there's nothing better than just going over to Brad's.
Yesterday biked along the river (Potomac) with Nicole all the way down to Old Town Alexandria--a quaint historic downtown area--about a 10 mile ride. On the way we stopped near Reagan National Airport where you can lay in a field as the incoming jumbo jets are about to land--they fly over at literally 30 feet!
Once there we enjoyed a hearty brunch and let me tell you that eggs chesapeake (like benedicte but w/crab meat) is my new favorite breakfast item.
After walking around for a few hours, it was nap time by the river. With the sound of boats and gulls, and the colonial streets nearby, I felt like I was back at Cape Cod.
Went for an early evening run then finished off the day with the handsome boy modeling school show (which actually was just 'ok' because the venue kind of screwed up the audio).
All in all, an excellent end to a great week.
Or the start of a new one.
this cup is more than half full


baseball and me

I usually don't like being a number.
Even in crowds, my natural tendency is to find some sort of individuality (sometimes, unfortunately, this has to do with a few too many drinks and a conviction that I am "funny").
But last night I was proud to be just one of thousands.
A sober one, and of 45,596, to be exact.

A short while ago, you might've likened my knowledge/care of baseball to, oh, say (can you see?) the US Tax Code's 2004 Amendments and Adjustments.
Indeed, a large portion of my apathy stemmed from my own perceived inability to understand the material at hand. It just felt like too much and, to be honest, there was really no incentive for me to give a crap. I also felt like a poser moving every year and half and trying to be a fan of whatever local team there was.

Then, however, enter: the Nats.

The only way my interest was piqued in the first place was (nerd alert) the debate surrounding their arrival and the DC municipal money involved therein. For months I followed the 'battle' of baseball v. public infrastructure (schools, hospitals, THE LIKE).
If you know me at all (or at least read the preceding paragraph), it wouldn't be hard to figure out which side I was rooting for.

But slowly something inside of me changed. I was getting excited and I couldn't figure out why! I started caring less and less about the sick, the poor and DC's children, and more and more about stuff like Livan Hernandez, statistics and this new, non-female definition of the word 'cycle.'
I even tried to go to espn.com a few times.

Now, the day after I experienced baseball's neatly-starched history 'unfold' at a sold-out RFK stadium (and, ironically, on tax day), I can say that I'm a true Nationals fan.
Even more so, I'm a baseball fan.

And it wasn't the F-16s and the fireworks.
It wasn't Renee Fleming.
It certainly wasn't President Bush.
No, I've seen my share of patriotic fanfare; all that mess wasn't the razzle-dazzle for me last night.

For me it was a pure and fresh feeling of experiencing something I hadn't before,
including that $4 hotdog (real meat, not tofu).

Simply satisfying.



The origin of this post was the fact that last night I had the pleasure of seeing Aesop Rock. Strike that. 'Seeing' should be replaced with experiencing.
Watching the words pour out of him like a waterfall of dreams, hopes and sorrows was second only to when I saw Gift of Gab do the same, only faster and with a bit more playful logic and wit (the latter tickling my fancy just a wee bit more). Also, that Blackalicious show was only $3 (thanks, SU!) whereas Aes & Co came up in the twomp range. But both made me dance and made me happy.

When I experience performances like these--or any performance, really--I just can't help feeling so good about life. I mean, these people have this incredible talent and I'm so grateful I get to see it. Is this really cheesy? (don't answer that)
Even really 'bad' performances. I mean, not if they cost me a ton, because then I'd be a little miffed. But for the most part, even watching a sucky performance gives me this same appreciation for everything.
It's still just a wonder to me that people create, and on top of that, create good stuff.

We even created fables.
A double thanks to Aesop.



"now it’s coming to you
the lessons i’ve learned
won’t do you any good
cause you’ve got to get burned
the curse and the blessing
they’re one in the same
baby it’s all
such a treacherous gain"



one of the tastiest meals is two eggs over medium with melted sharp cheddar on hearty toast.
and cold orange juice.
it's a great day!


power outtage

This is actually what I had planned to write about before my upcoming-events excitement took hold of my blog.

Public transportation.
It's a great thing if you're physically fit enough to handle it.

My commute today was going as usual...walk to Metro, rush to oncoming train at expense of woman-in-front-of-me's heels, getting thrown around inside train car due to driver's inability to... drive. Et cetera.
When I got to my destination, even the dark and cavernous station seemed normal. Until I realized it was a little too dark.

Being an adaptable gal who eats her carrots, I peered around for the ticket turnstile, and once I found it I slid my SmarTrip Card across the reader (that was easy!) and proceeded to....well, the escalator,
but what looked more like what the army likes to call a "cluster fuck."

With about 200 people being offloaded every 2 minutes, it's already enough that we only have two moving escalators in the direction of commute. And if for some reason--say, typical mechanical failure--we're all relegated to only one moving escalator, it's like the LA-Ventura Freeway at the 1-405 interchange. But replace those metal boxes and empty-threat horn blows with real people and real evil eyes.
That being said, I'm sure you can imagine what it was like this morning to see not only all escalators at a stand still, but only one of them available for the up direction. Essentially what we had was one hell of a staircase on our hands.
Enter: mass confusion and wheezing.
What I saw was absolutely hilarious and disgusting at the same time.

For me, the 200-step climb was a breeze. Even on fully-functioning days I don't just "ride" the escalator, I "walk" it, and today people like myself were finally recognized for their daily efforts: we made it out of Bethesda station with nary an aberrant breath, nor droplet of sweat on brow or bosom.
I wish I could say the same for my fellow commuters.

People were stopping, coughing, bitching, panting, gasping, gulping, squawking, heaving, and choking--mostly for air--and I seriously thought some of them were going to faint. There were a lot of innocent "phew"s and a lot more of their expletive counterparts. And there was no feeling of pulling through this uphill battle together. It was every commuter for himself.

Just to make myself feel good, I walked back down to the bottom and made a second ascension. I actually think I lapped some folks.

Beyond my own personal amusement and eduction, what I saw was very disturbing in a broader sense.
Thankfully this occured on a regular day, but what if it we had to get to the top because of an emergency? Many out-of-shape bodies would be laid to waste...either from the disaster at hand or the no-rest-stop climb itself.

I think today's Metro mishap exposed more than just a pudgy midriff:
some people definitely have to reevaluate their lifestyles.
If not for their own well-being, then for that of our homeland security.

event horizon

I'm unusually ecstatic at the current moment because I just acquired Nats opening day tickets for a very reasonable price--$40 each!
(The only drawback is that Dubya might mistake all of our hats for another "mandate." Look for the Ten Commandments in your grocer's freezer).

This tops off my recent spree of ticket-getting. Other upcoming events I will be attending:
-aesop rock
-handsome boy modeling school
-the decemberists
-a lecture by emily saliers (50% of the indigo girls) and her dad (a minister) on music in religion and religion in pop culture
-alison krauss & union station

DC is turning out to be not all that lame!



Sometimes a day comes along in which I don't really want to blog, or rather, I don't really have anything specific I need/want to blog about, but there are continuous peripheral thoughts relating to a certain subject matter vis-a-vis myself, and I feel compelled to address them.

Today's lesson is about teachers.

While I find the teaching profession one of the most noble (and potentially one of the most rewarding, though I can't say it is the most rewarding because I haven't been a teacher...yet. And, ya know...this gig ain't too shabby), I am made painstakingly aware as each day passes that it is most certainly a profession which I have little desire to enter into at this time.

This temporary conclusion comes after many conversations with and observations of my girlfriend and friends' (non) lives. For starters, Nicole comes home everyday looking like she just ran a marathon on beans and a nap. Secondly, she rarely has the energy to do much (sad face) and her weekends are spent planning next week's lesson. This might have a lot to do with the fact that she was hired as a 9th-grade bio teacher in a mostly-Spanish-speaking HS and she neither studied biology nor teaching beforehand.
But still, no thanks.

My friend Molly works at a special high school tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, which I'm sure is heaven and a dream come true. But seeing as how her work week averages 80 hours, she might as well be a prisoner at Alcatraz.
She can see, hear, and smell the Barbary Coast, but she can't go out and play.

Friends Randy and, newly, Dan might have it better off not working in a crappy urban district nor with kids like Molly's (although their district/school is still really bad) but, nope. It seems that their lives, too, are consumed by their work; from the 'miracle moments' to the disappointments, to the people they date and befriend, being a teacher has become their raison d'ĂȘtre.

I should point out again, for fear of backlash from said individuals, that A) they are good strong people who are living life optimistically, doing their best, etc; B) I am proud of these individuals and want to thank them for their service; and C) I, at some point, also want to join this special clique, and not just for clique-membership's sake.

In addition, I hold special reverence for my own teachers. I remember quite vividly those who played a large part in my education and development, especially my second grade teacher, Mrs. Flohr. She believed in me down to her core and provided me with the tools I have used throughout my life (I even plan on relegating part of one of my children's name to "Flohr").

I truly believe in the power of the classroom and I am fully aware of my destiny to be an educator of some sort. In fact, I almost was committed to two years working with special education students in Anacostia! But at this time I feel damn happy having a balanced, outside life.

No, no no. A real balanced, outside life.



this is one of those days where i don't really know what my next step is. you know, just confusion.

i find my friend's most recent post surprisingly relevant, as well as yesterday's poem even more so.

sometimes life is like pagoda from the royal tenenbaums--
it gives you a stab in the side, but hey, 'it is what it is.'



so much death yet so much life
old parts dying
new parts thriving
i feel my breath and take my time
old parts dying
new parts thriving


"theresa marie schiavo"

From today's NYTimes Op-Ed page, pasted here a) because of NYTimes' log-in restrictions and b) because I couldn't say it better myself.

i may have mentioned before that this has had an effect on me more than any other 'news story' i can remember. the thing is, i can't believe this is a 'news story' at all.
but it was, is and will continue to be and, as such, i think these are relevant words for a life that has crossed the finish line.

"One of the most astonishing things about the human experience is the realization that loved ones die. The first time it happens, we are invariably amazed that nearly everyone who has ever lived has weathered an experience so wrenching. We see other humans on the street and in the shops and marvel that they manage to simply go about their business - that there is no constant, universal primal scream in the face of such an awful fact.

That level of grief seldom brings out the noblest emotions. The sufferers can barely make their way through the day, let alone summon their best reserves of patience and compassion for the lucky people who continue to live. In the case of Terri Schiavo, the whole world witnessed what happens when that natural emotional frailty is taken captive by politics.

It was awful, and according to the polls, the American public shrank from the sight of it.

What little we know about Terri Schiavo - the person, as opposed to the videotape - tells us that she would have been appalled by the last weeks of her life. What worse nightmare could a rather shy and affectionate young woman conjure up than 15 years of lingering unconsciousness, in which the entire globe became intimately familiar with the sight of her wasted limbs while the people she loved most engaged in a vicious court fight for control of her body?

That kind of ordeal - even if the victim was unaware she was enduring it - deserves to be honored with some meaning. On the most pragmatic level, she has been the instrument of thousands, and probably millions, of intimate conversations in which family members told one another what they would like to happen if their own bodies outlived their minds. In countless other cases, people recalled the days on which they had said goodbye to loved ones, and perhaps many came closer to peace in dealing with their own great losses.

Americans are a deeply pragmatic people, who constantly surprise ideologues of every persuasion with their willingness to accept whatever solution seems to work best at the moment. Our great ideals, when they are boiled down at a moment of crisis, often turn out to be mainly instincts - for fairness, for the right of individual self-determination or sometimes just for the pursuit of happiness. Watching the Schiavo case unfold, most Americans quickly opted for the solution that would end the ordeal.

Some people hold religious convictions so heartfelt that they could not bow to public opinion or the courts and accept the conclusion that Ms. Schiavo should be allowed to die. They deserve respect, just as her husband and her other relatives deserve sympathy.

Those relatives also deserve to be left alone, to be protected from a spotlight that turned a family tragedy into an international spectacle of sometimes shocking vulgarity and viciousness. The case attracted outsiders in search of little more than another opportunity to further their own self-aggrandizement. But worst of all were the powerful people who looked at the world we live in today, in which politics is about maximizing hysteria at the margins, and concluded that the Schiavo fight was a win-win - for everyone but the people who actually cared about the dying woman.

Today, finally, there is a moment of consensus. Rest in peace, Theresa Marie."