succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I like my political commentary with plenty of dork references:

"Frist gets personally surrounded by protesters E-mail
Friday, 13 May 2005
... after deciding to buy shoes in a store directly beneath the office of Americans United to Protect Social Security.

Obviously he's getting his forward intelligence from Ahmed Chalabi.

As the story notes, Frist blocked traffic by illegally double-parking his SUV in order to buy $530 worth of shoes. And this is the selfless public servant middle America is supposed to trust to gut their Social Security all good and proper, the same way he used to hack apart cats for his own amusement back when he was in med school.

Y'all ever feel like this is an episode of Sliders, and we've all just sort of slipped one notch, over into a parallel universe where 1/3 of humanity has had its morality destroyed by a weird mental virus that communicates itself by forcing its victims to repeat hollow, factually-incorrect, virus-serving platitudes until those in earshot are all infected, too?

I am so getting tired of Spock having a beard all the time."

Friday, May 13, 2005


One of my favorite rewards for surviving a semester is book shopping. Today's purchases:

"The Sex Side of Life" Mary Ware Dennett's Pioneering Battle for Birth Control and Sex Education by Constance M. Chen (an impulse buy off the sales rack)
Everything and More by David Foster Wallace (been on my list for a while)
Rules for Radicals A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky (also on my list for a while)
Making Patriots by Walter Berns (impulse buy while in the poli sci section looking for Rules for Radicals; can't tell yet if I'm going to like it or be incredibly pissed off by it...either way, should be good)

And since I haven't been keeping up with my Hornsby-inspired book-related entries - What I've been reading:
Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins - enjoyable, and very dirty, but the friend who loaned it to me admitted that the first 50 pages are the best, so now I'm finding it hard to finish, and instead have been distracted by
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera - Carrie has tried to convince me to read this for ages (by the way Dear, did you know that I have your copy? did you give it to me when we moved or did I just borrow it and not return it? If it's the latter, I'm sorry!) and I've always been intimidated by it, but the boy's recommendation finally pushed me over the edge. I'm halfway through and quite pleased. This will inevitably lead to a re-reading of Anna Karenina. Otherwise,
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi will be next.
And the guilty pleasure - Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething's Guide to Seeking Adventure

Feeling like a million bucks

and trying to decide what to do with myself.

After turning in my LAST final yesterday I went straight to the pool (and decided that last summer's body-image complex was stoopid and this year I'm going every damn day. just as soon as I buy a new suit. or 6. I can't believe I'm still wearing around the one I bought in high school. right.). Once there I promptly fell asleep (luckily not long enough to completely lobster-ize myself. I'll save that one for Bonnaroo), then woke up and attempted to swim a few laps and nearly drowned! Ok, not really, but holy crap am I out of shape! Apparently even the somewhat more regularly jogging I've been doing lately still isn't enough to regulate my breathing in the pool. Weak. Then Travers and I hit up the REI sale, April and Scott stopped by with a little 'yay! your done!' present (to which I reacted somewhat badly for the first time...not the most fun thing ever, but fortunately quickly passed), then Green's for tasty beverages and chilling on the couch. I crashed pretty soon afterward (yeah well, four hours of sleep the night before + alcohol will do that to a gal) and Travers was good enough to deposit me safely back home.

Woke up at 11:30 this morning after a solid 9 hours or so of being dead to the world (seriously, I'd missed several phone calls; usually I return to consciousness just enough to click people over to voicemail, but I didn't even budge) and panicked for just a second as I tried to clear my brain enough to remember what I'm supposed to do today. Then I remembered - Nothing! (ok, technically I'm supposed to start organizing notes for my qual, but let's be serious) So I made some coffee and toasted a bagel and watched tv in bed for a few hours. Fantastic. Now I'm thinking - organize cds? clean out my closet? catch up on some reading? go back to the pool? shopping? God I love those first few days of summer when the afternoons stretch out forever.

And I'm listening to "Blonder Days" and feeling sweetly nostalgic and life is good. May it be the same for you.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Finally. I have survived the hardest semester of my life. Good god am I proud of me right now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On Being a Homebody

Listening to Jeff on the phone last night, I could hear in his voice that same dopey grin that used to spread across my face right around Marietta, when I would finally start driving through some honest-to-goodness mountains again. And I got really jealous. It will be a little over a month before I get to experience the joy of driving home again. And that will be my first time in WV since Thanksgiving. Too damn long. I miss home desperately, pretty much all the time, but different aspects of it depending on what's happening at the moment. Last night, of course, I missed driving around windy, 1.5 lane roads at 80 mph. Today, walking a new path in Lullwater, I came across a patch of honeysuckle. And I just missed everything about being outside in WV. During a particularly stressful moment a few weeks ago, an audi drove past me, and suddenly I needed my mom. (that's not as superficial as it sounds - cars have always been mentally linked to my mom and her side of the family, given her love and possessiveness of them) I don't know what I'm going to do when Dad finally retires and they move somewhere else...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

When did Dad start reading the onion? (the entire text of an e-mail from him):

French Intellectuals to be Deployed to Afghanistan to Convince al-Qaida of Non-Existence of God

<>PARIS, May 6 (Reuters) The ground war in Afghanistan heated up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of al-Qaida zealots by proving the non-existence of God. Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or 'Black Berets', will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris' Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement Cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers' ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.
Their leader, Colonel Marc-Ange Belmondo, spoke yesterday of his confidence in the success of their mission. Sorbonne graduate Belmondo, a very intense and unshaven young man in a black pullover, gesticulated wildly and said, "The al-Qaida are caught in a logical fallacy of the most ridiculous. There is no God and I can prove it. Take your tongue out of my ear, Juliet, I am talking."

<>Marc-Ange plans to deliver an impassioned thesis on man's nauseating freedom of action with special reference to the work of Foucault and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. However, humanitarian agencies have been quick to condemn the operation as inhumane, pointing out that the effects of passive smoking from the Frenchmen's endless Gitanes could wreak a terrible toll on civilians in the area. Speculation was mounting last night that Britain may also contribute to the effort by dropping Professor Stephen Hawking into Afghanistan to propagate his non-deistic theory of the creation of the universe. Other tactics to demonstrate the non-existence of God will include the dropping of leaflets pointing out the fact that Michael Jackson has a new album out and Jesse Helms has not died yet. This is only one of several Psy-Ops operations mounted by the Allies.
Also, treated myself to the new DMB album today and the people behind me in line noticed it and said, we just bought that and have been listening to it over and over. Very experimental. Do these people ever listen to music? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's an enjoyable album, with occasional bits of new things for the band, as they try to do with each new release, but nothing really startling or as big of a departure as, say, Everyday. And, in general, if Dave wasn't your thing before, it's probably not going to be after this album. So, yeah, sort of the opposite of 'experimental.' Somewhat annoyingly though, this CD doesn't feature lyrics in the liner notes, one of the most fun parts (for me, at least) of buying the thing.

The Story

About 4 weeks ago I'm in Paul's office, pestering him about something, when, as we're wrapping things up, he says, shut the door. Typically this means a) Paul has some constructive criticism to offer or b) some embarrassing thing to tell me. Turns out, one of his/our students had inquired as to whether or not I'm single. To which I replied, because I'm classy like this, tell him to grow a pair and ask me himself (and one wonders why I so rarely date). But eventually I tell him that yes, I am currently single, but it's a moot point since it's highly inappropriate to date one of my students. So for the next 4 weeks or so he sort of taunts me about it, and I try to narrow down the possibilities (not terribly difficult as there are only about a dozen boys total in the entire class, half of which are married). So last Tuesday Paul gave his final, all the TAs stuck around that evening to grade it, and now none of those students are our students anymore. So Wednesday the boy invites me out for drinks with him and his friends, where he proceeds to (somewhat obviously) get me drunk and I (also somewhat obviously?) let him get me drunk. (though, in hindsight, perhaps I should have stopped about one beer earlier than I did. ah well.) A good time was had by all and around 1 the next afternoon I finally dragged myself home and off to school, where I had two assignments to finish up by the end of the day (yeah, because I'm all responsible like that). Two similar days followed, though, thankfully, with somewhat less drinking involved. (meanwhile, he has one final left to take and an apartment to pack up and I have two finals left. yeah, our timing for spending all morning lounging around in bed was impeccable.) And now he's driving back to NY before heading to Fiji and then Germany. So I guess we'll see what August brings...

So what's he like? Funny and charming and perhaps just the sort of irresponsible influence I needed this week to keep my sanity. In his words, 'I think we have the same personality, just different experiences.'

Meanwhile, I'm so close to done...and yet so far. I survived my big scary theory final this afternoon and now completely lack the motivation to work on my take home for my last remaining class...due in about 38 instead I treated myself to some shopping therapy this evening and got some new pajamas and possibly the softest robe ever. And I'm already busily planning quality time with scott and april before they move back to boston and daydreaming about everything that will happen this summer, conveniently ignoring my looming qualifying exam.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I love that finals week magically coincides with whatever tv season spawns the worst made-for-tv-movies ever. Next week it's Hercules. Last year (or semester? they all blend together) was some natural disaster movie about a giant earthquake. But the best was sophomore year. I have such vivid memories of the heat wave that hit cleveland right during finals week that year. Lying on the floor of Kate's dorm room, just trying to keep all my limbs as far apart as possible and not touch anything or move any more than necessary and watching Jason and the Argonauts in its entirety, simply because getting up to change the channel burned too much energy.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

So I've been lacking in interesting thoughts of my own (and for reasons that I'll go into later, have barely had time to study just enough to not fail my upcoming finals, much less entertain Deep Thoughts) so instead I will send you to Carrie. Whose latest two posts re: feminism are brilliant. Just brilliant. Go. Read.