Kill Your Status Quo


28 January 2000

Hey everyone - here's the first (last?) mass mailing of 2000. i usually dont send these on, but its a very interesting (fun too) questionnaire. my replies are after all the questions. i suggest that you answer first, then read mine, so mine answers dont affect yours.;-0

********************the message**************
Okay, here's what you're supposed to do.
1/Copy this entire e-mail (maybe to MS word)
2/Paste it onto a new e-mail that you will send.
3/Change all of the answers so that they apply to you.
4/Send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.

The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about your friends.

Remember to send yours back to the person who sent it to you.

Who do you live with?
What do you think about ouija boards?
What's on your mouse pad?
Favorite board game?
Favorite magazine?
Believe in God?
Is God He or She?
Favorite smells?
Best feeling in the world?.
Favorite song?
Part of your body you would change (or nothing)?
What is the first thing you think when you wake in the morning?
Roller coaster - scary or exciting?
How many rings before you answer the phone?
Future daughter's name?
Who breaks up the relationship first?
Future son's name?
Favorite food?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Do you like your haircut?
Do you live within 100km of where you were born?
Do you like to drive?
First sexual experience - an adjective
Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Storms - cool or scary?
What type was your first car?
If you could meet one person dead or alive?
Place you've been that you loved the most?
Place you've been that you hated the most?
Place you want to go to the most?
Favorite alcoholic drink?
Computers - gift to humanity or hell on earth?
What is your zodiac sign?
Does your sign matter?
Who is your favorite poet?
Biggest mistake?
Biggest success?
Philosophy of Life?
Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?
If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?
Have you ever been in love?
What is on your walls in your room?
Is the glass half empty or half full?.
Favorite movie(s)??
Are you a lefty, righty, or ambidextrous?
Which hand do you eat with?
Which hand do you wipe (butt) with?
What's under your bed?
What is your favorite number?
Favorite sport to watch?
Say one nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
Person you sent this to who is most likely to respond?
Person you sent this to least likely to respond?

*****************my answers***********************
Who do you live with? My dad and my cat. Sandra is still far away ;-(
What do you think about ouija boards? Crap. Barely seen one.
What's on your mouse pad? Photo of me (my dad's computer!)
Favorite game? Hearts
Favorite magazine? The Economist (well - it's a newspaper, actually ;-)
Believe in God? Nope
Is God He or She? N/A
Favorite smells? Coffee and fresh bread
Best feeling in the world? cleaning up a mess
Favorite song? "Brenda and Eddie" Billy Joel
Part of your body you would change (or nothing)? Nothing (that's the hand you were dealt - deal with it!)
What is the first thing you think when you wake in the morning? I guess it's time again…
Roller coaster - scary or exciting? scary
How many rings before you answer the phone? 1 or less ;-)
Future daughter's name? Cristina, but not planning daughters
Who breaks up the relationship first? me
Future son's name? None, even less likely
Favorite food? yogurt
Chocolate or vanilla? chocolate
Do you like your haircut? Yep - did it myself so I'd better like it ;-)
Do you live within 100km of where you were born? no
Do you like to drive? yes
First sexual experience - an adjective? surprising
Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? no
Storms - cool or scary? cool
What type was your first car? MGC (convertible - didn't run)
If you could meet one person dead or alive? Henry David Thoreau, Ansel Adams and Marco Polo
Place you've been that you loved the most? In bed with a woman I love
Place you've been that you hated the most? When she leaves you
Place you want to go to the most? The desert - for the purity
Favorite alcoholic drink? Red wine
Computers - gift to humanity or hell on earth? A gift when working, hell when not.
What is your zodiac sign? leo
Does your sign matter? yes
Who is your favorite poet? Billy Joel
Biggest mistake? Not leaving sooner to see the world. Trusting my step-father (of course, you learn too)
Biggest success? 1690 days of travel - back in one piece (and happy)
Philosophy of Life? Money and tits might make the world go round, but they are not the key to happiness. "I want little, therefore I am rich" HD Thoreau. Man acts in his own self-interest, there are no free lunches and you don't need anything. Evolution is stronger than philosophy, law or morals.
Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Yes, please!
If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be? To reform world governments
If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be? Shave it off.
Have you ever been in love? Yes - too often ;-)
What is on your walls in your room? Not enough - I haven't moved in.
Is the glass half empty or half full? empty - it can hold more, full - you can still drink
Favorite movie(s)? pulp fiction
Are you a lefty, righty, or ambidextrous? right
Which hand do you eat with? right
Which hand do you wipe (butt) with? Right ;-)
What's under your bed? The stuff that should be on the walls (art)
What is your favorite number? 03843324 - my passport
Favorite sport to watch? Football (soccer)
Say one nice thing about the person who sent this to you? He's a nut
Person you sent this to who is most likely to respond? Sandra ('cause she wants to compare notes)
Person you sent this to least likely to respond? Branka Rajkovic (still never received a email from her!)
mail: 28295 Isabella, Mission Viejo, CA 92692 USA
ph: +1.949.837.4844 <--- please try first (no voicemail)
mobile: +1.949.510.8920 (with voicemail)
quote: "It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information." - Oscar Wilde
*******************KILL YOUR STATUS QUO*******************

26 March 2000 [TOP]

hey everyone:

happy spring! everyone here is crowded on the sidewalks to have coffee and look at each other. there is change in the air! it's been a while since i've sent out a "newsletter" but it's also been awhile since i have been traveling ;-)

i am, as i mentioned before, in CROATIA. for those of you following the visa soap-opera, it appears that sandra will get her visa soon. the documents that were coming from the states (from ins/dept. justice to dept. state) via the diplomatic post to the us embassy in zagreb arrived after only 3 weeks (we were told 10 days as well as 1-2 months…). we will go down and make the application for her visa on monday and then she should get it quite fast (assuming no more "surprise" requirements). i am returning to la on 2 apr and sandra should be able to follow after a short time. that's the theory at least, wait and see how goes the reality!

so - the other reason for writing this letter is to tell a few stories and facts of what we have been up to in the past month and why the long silence. we have been traveling again! yes- i know that i sent a letter not so long ago announcing that my travels were over, but necessity intervened (ie, we had to do something to kill time 'til the visa was issued) and there was a good excuse to get on the road!

we decided to head to the heat and went south thru ITALY (stopping in VENEZIA for the underwhelming carnival, BOLOGNA for dinner and NAPOLI for pizza and cappuccino) to SICILIA. i had been there 4 years ago, but thought that there were a few places that were worth looking at again as well as some new ones to explore.

our first stop was SYRACUSA, formerly the most powerful city-state in the greek age and now a nice and relaxing town. we were introduced to sicilian sweets made with ricotta cheese (unbelievably good) and just strolled around, absorbing the atmosphere.

EUROPE has lost all of its mystery to me, after traveling thru it for 1-2 years and also being in the third world. there are many differences, but the biggest is that europe has a modern society and culture. there isn't very much to surprise you and the people are fairly easy to understand, from both a philosophical and everyday point of view (pov). all this means that we were 
impatient to get to the next place after a very short time in the "new" one. sometimes we were bored after 30 minutes! since sicilia didn't have many unknown dimensions, we concentrated in meeting people and discussing life from their perspective. of course, they know about "il padrino" (the godfather), but most of their movies with mafia take place in america (!). we were
interested in visiting corleone b/c that looked to be a beautiful town in the movie, but decided against it after we saw a few hilltowns (ENNA and NICOSIA) that were similar, as well as beautiful.

hitch-hiking around the island turned out to be our most interesting experience. although there were bus services we wanted to go faster and cheaper. we met a diverse group of people while traveling around. they were so nice to us and so interesting to talk to that the journey became more important than the destination. one funny story concerns our trip from trapani to palermo. we got a ride almost immdiately, but the driver (of a pet food delivery truck) was only going halfway, since he had to stop to deliver some food. we got off and tried to go on - no success. he came back from the delivery and picked us up again. next stop, we waited again for a ride. no luck. he came back and off again. in the end, he took us all the way to palermo in 4 trips! he was a nice guy, 2 years older than me and had 2 kids. he said "don't hurry to have kids, they cost a lot". b/c of the government's poverty (probably due to tax-dodging, the national sport), there wasn't health coverage for his kids (in sicilia or everywhere??). another reason that the birthrate is dropping in italy (to the lowest in w. europe… 

anyway - we had a lovely time in the villages of 1.000 and the "metropolis" of PALERMO, full of interesting people and places to see. we didn't get mugged or killed but there were many police with machine guns on the streets - perhaps the cause of our safety ;-)

the countryside in sicilia is lovely. there are rolling hills and orange orchards as well as some very dramatic landscapes in the  northeast. we missed the ETNA eruption by about 1 week… in the west, we visited MARSALA, home of the famous wine. when we entered the tourist office searching for a map, the president of the tourist association kidnapped us and proceded to take us on a tour of the city center, buy us "panelle" sandwiches (made with fried slices of chickpea dough, another version of hummous!) and give us a drink of the local wine, which tastes somewhere between port and sherry. yum!

i should mention another thing - we also went to MALTA, a small country of 3 islands and 350.000 people. it is very famous for the "maltese falcon" story/movie (which title refers to the falcon given as "rent" in the 16th century to the landlord in sicily…there is little known besides this legend.)

so - because of the rough seas, we took the plane. the shortest plane trip i have ever taken (25 minutes). it wasn't cheap, either, costing about 135$ return (sf-lax costs 90$ return). since we arrived too late to go into town, we slept in the airport, after having an interesting conversation with the guy at the tourist info office about life in malta. there are 2 big issues in
malta: joining the eu (which will swamp the culture under the eu-wave) and the continuing exodus of the people. there are more maltese living outside the country than inside and the ones that are remaining are worried about the death of their culture (yet again, the same situation), especially if the "arabs" keep coming and marrying the local women (ironic, given that the arabs
populated the place first!)

there are big economic problems as well. the simple description is of a small country removed from the rest of the world with a rising cost of living and falling ability to earn income. besides all the statistics, there is the very interesting culture that reflects the cross-roads existence of the island. the people are very close to arabic (semitic) in appearance and language, but also
have a strong influence from the 160 years of british colonial rule. such a strange place.

we were bored most of the time in the middle of this isolated, conservative place, but managed to entertain ourselves talking to the locals, hitch-hiking around and watching the various carnival festivities. we stayed in the most luxurious youth hostel i have ever been in (with a kitchen!) and enjoyed relaxing in the sun. as we were about to leave, the weather and the season
changed. suddenly the girls were dressing like they were at the disco and the tourists were crowding the historical areas. tourism is big in malta, but the people are not so receptive of it, given the package tourist profile: little human contact and little money into the local environment.

after we came back to sicilia and made our tour, we went to SARDENIA, famous in the past for the kidnapping and in the present as a seasonal tourist playground. we found it to be a lovely place, with friendly people and a very different culture from the mainland (and most similar to corsica). they speak a dialect there (sardo) which resembles latin and is still the main language in the center of the island. after a brief stay, we came to genova on the overnight ferry…

in GENOVA we visited a friend of mine, engjell, from albania. he is a historian who now renovates the stonework in houses to earn a living. the albanians lead an uneasy life in italy, being equivalent to the turks of germany, the north africans in france and the mexicans in america - they are tolerated but suspected and/or ostracised. of course, they do have a pretty bad reputation given their control of drug trade, prostitution and car theft in most of europe. we heard some amazing personal histories from the guys "angel" was sheltering. one guy came to italy when he was 13 years old, when the responsibility for his mother and 2 siblings fell to him. wow…

after genova, we had a whistle-stop tour of MILANO, to see another friend, alessandro (we had dropped in on his parents in sicilia when i needed to get his phone number. they were more than hospitable, sharing a dad's birthday meal with us ;-). alessandro lives in the middle of the richest and most expensive city in italy. there is a big difference from the south of the
country: people are concerned with making, spending and keeping money in the north, less so in the south, as per the stereotypes. we found this of in the most graphic way when we were trying to hitch out of milano. after 2 hours of
standing in the rain with no-one stopping, we took the train to the boarder with SLOVENIA, where we re-entered the humanist world and found ourselves quickly swept back into zagreb. as I mentioned before, it is good to travel
and live in the world of the human, not the dollar (or d-mark, or ???). Ithink that this issue will loom larger for me (us) when we return to the states to seek a life. of course, there are many things to do and places to live, so we will have to see if it works out. as of now, i've had a few more cappuccinos and am ready to get to work/school (yeah right! i still look at the guidebooks for south america with longing. met a scot in malta who has been traveling as a life for over 30 years. that could be me…)

i forgot to mention that we sheltered at ISOLA on the way out of croatia and stayed with miran, the world expert (as far as i am concerned) at hitch-hiking. he makes an average of 7-800 rides/year, going all over europe ;-). he inspired us to hitch and what a good idea that was (as well as saving us about 220$ in ticket-costs).

next week, i'm back to the states. i hope that this letter finds you well and welcome a little gossip the other direction!

d (and sandra, in absentia)
26.3.00 zagreb
quote : "power makes the humble man arrogant" - moi


9 April 2000 [TOP]

Mission Viejo, CA

Dear Friends and Family:

We have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: We've decided to go traveling again!

Whoops - sorry - just kidding…. We have gotten married! After 4+ years of trials and tribulations as well as an innate suspicion of the "institution" itself (5 divorces for our parents alone), we have (with INS prompting) "jumped over the broom".

You will all be surprised, no doubt, that you are now receiving a notice rather than an invitation. Of course, we wanted everyone to be present, but there are the logistical problems of getting people from all corners of the globe in one place as well as the timing consideration that the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service, our current "most-hated" bureaucrats) was pushing along. We have cut the Gordian knot while tying our own. The ceremony was short and lovely, with only my father in attendance. It had the additional attraction of costing less than the average $20,000 a wedding costs today and a duration of only 15 minutes. I can honestly say that getting married is easier than buying a book on (but, alas, the return policy is very difficult!!).

We do, however, want to have a reception where we can celebrate with all of our friends (who can come) at a future date, when we have navigated the further INS-labyrinth, have jobs and a place to live! Stay tuned for time and place!

Love and hugs,

David & Sandra

Ps/we are also planning to "celebrate" in Croatia in the future, but not for awhile.
Pps/below are 2 wedding photos and a chronology (for those of you confused by our tangled history ;-) 
Ppps/I za svu obitelj I prijatelje u "Lijepoj Nasoj" evo koja rijec I na hrvatskom jeziku. Kao sto je David vec rekao, festati cemo I u domovini ali tek nakon nekog vremena jer onaj dio radnog, svakodnevnog zivota ovdije za nas jos uvijek nije
zapoceo- uglavnom zbog mene I birokracije (ili obrnuto). I tako dragi nasi, biti u braku je za sada vrlo zabavno (David se vec poceo zaliti da sam ga vise volila prije 5 dana kada smo se vjencali;-). Ostanite sa nama. 
Vole vas Sandra I David
Pppps/Posebne puse mojoj sasavoj obitelji bez koje I sa kojom nikako zivjeti ne mogu! ;-)

quote : "no - it doesn't feel any different" - us

Here's the tangled chronology of our relationship:




Zagreb, Croatia: D&S meet at the tourist office (her work). He asks her to come to coffee.


Zagreb: D&S have coffee alone when Martina, the chaperone, cannot come.


Zagreb: D&S start the “romantic” wheels rolling.


Zagreb: D&S spend the weekend together. D leaves for Hungary.


Pecs, Hungary: D&S spend the weekend together.


Istambul, Turkey: S comes to visit D in Turkey. Her first muslim/3rd world country.


Van, Turkey: D calls S and says that he wants to “travel in Africa/be engaged” to her.


Zagreb: D flies in from Moscow. D& S go to Budapest to relax.


Haifa, Israel: After “bad” experience, D calls S and says he will be faithful (& isn’t).


Cairo, Egypt: Sandra comes to travel in Africa.


Giza, Egypt: D&S get engaged at the Pyramids.


Cairo: D calls the engagement off ; S flies back to Europe.


Tana, Madagascar: S sends “ultimatum” – to be a couple or break off.


Zagreb: D arrives after “7 days thru 7 countries” to make it work. Start of monogamy for both.


Zagreb: D&S get a flat and jobs & settle down.


Budapest: D&S start traveling. The Trip covers 25+ countries in 22 months.


Zagreb: D&S return “home”.


Zagreb: D&S file I-129F (petition to apply for fiancée visa). It's returned (wrong address).


Mission Viejo, CA: D returns to US to re-petition and organize life while waiting for INS.


Mission Viejo: INS receives I-129F.

Early 2.00

Mission Viejo: D makes daily visits to INS to prove” actual relationship”.


Palo Alto: D buys ticket to Croatia for rendez-vous in the middle of over-long wait for INS


Mission Viejo: INS approves I-129F (I-797).


Budapest: D arrives. S&D go traveling to (Sicilia/Malta) while papers are “in-transit”


Zagreb: papers arrive from US to Embassy


Zagreb: S issued K-1 (fiancée) visa on day of application


Zagreb/Budapest: D&S fly to LAX on separate flights


Santa Ana, CA: D&S are married in a  civil service watched on by Hugh, D’s dad.


Mission Viejo: D&S apply for “conditional permanent residence” (I-485) and green card (I-765)

Summer 2000

Northern California: date/place TBA for “wedding celebration”



7 October 2000

Honorable Tom Lantos

US Congress

Washington, DC

Dear Hon. Lantos:

You must have some conscience. The vote condemning Turkey for genocide is not something that should be put aside for "mere" political reasons. Would you back away from a resolution calling the Nazi Holocaust such? No - that has been recognized. The Turks, like the Japanese in WWII, have never acknowledged this chapter in their past - one of the most shameful. The facts must be admitted if there is to be truth and a liberal society (an "open society", says Soros). You will regret opposing this bill when you review the actions you have made in your life compared to people who have morality.

 I grew up in your district and consider myself an active American. This position of yours shames us before the world.