Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An Open Letter to Robert Louis Stevenson, or: Fuck It, I'm at least going to enjoy this bullshit.

Here's is how I went with my writing assignment:

It is somewhat difficult, Mr. Stevenson, for me to read your essay, “On Marriage,” and find ideas to which I can relate, considering I’m very much not married. While I’m not presently so keen on settling down and entering into matrimony, I feel that you are perhaps too harsh on the institution.

You begin your essay with an acknowledgement of the benefits of marriage. You write, “[I]t offers to bury forever many aching preoccupations; it is to afford us unfailing and familiar company through life; it opens up a smiling prospect of the blest and passive kind of love, rather than the blessing and active; it is approached not only through the delights of courtship, but by a public performance and repeated legal signatures." Yet immediately following this long passage that seemingly applauds marriage, you confess, “And yet there is probably no other act in a man’s life so hot-headed and foolhardy as this one of marriage.” I will admit that placing your thesis directly after its antecedent makes your persuasive rhetoric effective and very amusing. I think, Mr. Stevenson, that if you were alive to see what marriage has become in modern times, you might be more admittedly open to the institution.

Feminism, Mr. Stevenson, is an institution in itself these days, and the philosophy has certainly evolved since you published your essay. You write, “What! you have had but one life to manage, and have failed so strangely, and now can see nothing wiser than to conjoin with it the management of some one else’s?” I’m afraid that if such a sentence were published in my time, the author’s reputation would feel quite a blow. (We have something called “The Internet,” a concept that would take far too long to explain, that would be a key devise in the feminist-led backlash against you.) Regardless of the public’s opinion of what could be called a misogynist point of view, gender roles have had an extreme progression, which is something you must hear about. It is absolutely normal these days for both a husband and wife to work to support the family unit; in most cases, both must work in order to make enough money to life comfortably. The working woman is a staple of the corporate world, even reaching cultural heights in literature, theatre, and film (a twentieth century marvel that I’m sure you would enjoy immensely). There are several cases where the husband may stay at home, supported by his wife’s wages. Once you overcame what you might find emasculating, you’d find that feminism has, in fact, been favorable for a few men, as well.

The courtship process leading into marriage has also changed greatly since your time. You write, “Times are changed with him who marries; there are no more by-path meadows, where you may innocently linger, but the road lies long and straight and dusty to the grave." It seems like your concern that men rashly end their most productive years too soon, giving up all of their freedom for their wives. Well, sir, you’d be happy to find that in my time, it is generally acceptable for people to avoid marriage well into their thirties. This makes for a much more open period of time where men and women and experiment with each other in hopes to find the perfect mate. The courtship rituals have become exciting routines that I am sure you would find fairly amusing; the neuroses among the single thirtysomethings make for great entertainment.

A third pessimistic view of marriage that you feature in your essay involved the burden of having an extra witness to one’s idiosyncrasies and foibles. “You have wilfully introduced a witness into your life, the scene of these defeats, and can no longer close the mind’s eye upon uncomely passages, but must stand up straight and put a name upon your actions. And your witness is not only the judge, but the victim of your sins; not only can she condemn you to the sharpest penalties, but she must herself share feelingly in their endurance.” I think you’d find glee, however, in how public the institution of marriage has become, especially in celebrity culture. The divorce rate is much higher than in your time – divorces are no longer stigmatic and negative (even the royals are having them!) Celebrity marriages and (the mostly likely eventual) divorces have become a fundamental part of our cultural entertainment. There is no reason to worry yourself on how you behave in front of your wife. Just be glad that in your time, those behaviors were not featured on the front pages of your trusted newspapers!

The institution of marriage has gone through a major change since the publication of your essay, and it will no doubt evolve years after I finish writing mine. I think that if you were alive today, Mr. Stevenson, you would have a softer opinion of marriage. It seems that the institution was quite stodgy and dull in your day, and that you’d find today’s practices much more lively and enjoyable. You would not have to worry about making the wrong choice in marrying someone with whom you were incompatible; a man of your stature and wealth would have no problem obtaining a divorce and having the opportunity to try it all over again until you got it right.

Response paper assignment number six.

True story.

Robert Louis Stevenson's essay "On Marriage" offers a rather idiosyncratic, and some would say pessimistic, view of marriage. In a well-organized counter-essay, challenge two or three points he makes about marriage and try to persuade him to reconsider your position. Address him as "Mr. Stevenson" and "you" throughout your essay, and make sure you include at least some first-person usage when you argue your view of marriage. This assignment does not require you to offer a defense or statement of support for marriage but rather to present an opposing viewpoint of the institution of matrimony.

I'm in the dumbest grad school ever.

Monday, October 30, 2006

This is really about nothing.

Okay. I might be slightly tipsy from one glass of wine (the first in what seems like years), and I might be watching Prison Break with Nicole (which I'm sure will turn out to be the worst hour of television I've seen in years), and I might be eating several of those long, skinny garlic breadsticks and contemplating eating the half-loaf of cibatta bread I have in the cabinet because MMMM CARBS. So?

I just wrote about two paragraphs about being frustrated about work, but I realize that I shouldn't really write about work and bore people with that crap. And also I suddenly got wrapped up in HOW BAD THIS SHOW IS. SERIOUSLY. IT'S CALLED PRISON BREAK AND THEY'VE ALREADY BROKEN OUT. I DON'T GET IT.

I have a paper to write. This isn't lookin' good.

That suit could use more gingham.

For those who are curious (read: pop culture retards) (haha! sike! luv yaz!), this is who I was for Halloween:

Richard Dawson: actor, host of Family Feud, Match Game panelist, sex machine.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween Blues.

I'm going to a Halloween / Birthday party tomorrow night and I have absolutely no idea what to wear as a costume. This is rather depressing since I used to get really excited about Halloween. (Well, to be honest there were only two Halloweens I ever got excited about, but that was because other people were more excited than me and influenced my own excitement.)

After college, I've discovered that Halloween is kind of boring. It's like that period in high school when you're over your town's age limit for trick or treating and instead you have to hang out on the front stoop with your mother and her best friend, giving out Snickers and Twix bars to your neighbors' children because you didn't make any plans because you live in a town of three-hundred people and everyone in your high school is too busy getting stoned and/or pregnant, and you still don't have a driver's license so you can't go anywhere, and your mother is being a BITCH and won't let you watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show on VH1 (and she doesn't even care that it's EDITED FOR TELEVISION and you can't even see nipples because they're BLURRED OUT). The only difference is now I have a driver's license (but no car), I'm totally over The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I can watch skanky girls walk around wearing Naughty Nurse and Slutty Witch costumes in forty-degree weather.

But anyway, I need a costume for this party and here are my options:

1. Lumberjack
This is the easiest since I have the clothes for it (flannel shirt, puffy down vest, dark jeans, huge utility boots) and a fake mustache. It's so lame, though, and at least two people have said, "Isn't your body type a little ill-fitting for 'lumberjack?'" Okay, okay. I'll be a lumberjack's kid brother.

2. Jeffrey Sebelia
This would be great if I had the energy to dye/spray my hair black and get someone to scribble on my neck with a Sharpie. I'd also have to find some punkier clothes.

3. Laura Bennett
Several people have told me I should be Laura Bennett, and it could work. All I'd need is red lipstick, a sequined dress, and a pillow for a baby bump. While this would, I admit, be hilarious, it'd be too draggy. I've already done Charles Nelson Reilly and Corky St. Clair from Waiting for Guffman, so it's time to butch it up this Halloween.

4. Sid Vicious
I've always wanted to be Sid Vicious because I'm obsessed with Sid and Nancy. It's essentially the same costume as Jeffrey Sebelia, only spikier hair and even less showering.

5. Flavor Flav
God. If only blackface wasn't offensive.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'll admit it: I'm probably a six.

When I got home from class, Christina (AKA "That's So Raven") alerted me to this anonymous comment that an apparent fan left on yesterday's post:

You already wrote about how horrible it is train people.
Maybe you do need more time to devote to blogging, eating, and living.
Do something interesting soon because we adore you. Don't become last week's blog.

I would be offended, but he/she adores me! And assumes others do as well! Thanks, Anonymous. I needed that.

In a non-related story, I had my writing class tonight, which is getting better since I found out I got a 97 on my exam and an A on my last paper. Also, The Guy Who Looks Like the Front-Half of a Satyr had another delightfully d-bag episode.

My professor teaches a section of the class in Naperville, and some girl in that class came to our section's meeting since she skipped the class last night. She had the misfortune of sitting in Satyr's seat, and when he walked in and sat down next to her he was obviously a little ill-at-ease. (And I've been called "slightly-autistic" twice this week.) When the two girls who normally sit next to the Satyr sat down and mentioned something about being "alright with change," Naperville girl said, "Oh, I'm sorry... Am I sitting in someone's seat? I can move..."

The Satyr said, "Yeeeeah. Do you mind?"

D-bag level: 11.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quick! I only have an hour to eat lunch, write a blog post, check MySpace, and read Gawker!

Today we got new temps in the office. A whopping eight new people. Which brings the temp total to nine. I think it's a little temp overload (new blog idea: Too Much Temp), but I'm just a service clerk and only do what I'm told.

The downside to new people in the office is that I usually have to train them to do my job, which sucks because I sit there while they do the work (you know how boring it is to watch other people play video games? multiply the boring factor by a thousand). I also give horrible directions and I feel that I can't appropriately teach anyone anything.

I'm also eating lunch at my desk today so I can actually fuck around online, since I don't get to do that during work since someone is shadowing my moves. I miss refreshing the Gawker homepage. It really hurts.

I was also going to use my time today to write the two papers that are due tomorrow. Whoops.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Match Made in Heaven.

Overheard on the elevator:

Girl With Ugg Boots #1: "...So he's really great. Like, he likes all of the same places I do, and, I mean, how often does that happen?"
Girl With Ugg Boots #2: "Oh, I know! Wow, you're lucky!"
Girl With Ugg Boots #1: "I know! And he drives an Audi, too!"
Girl With Ugg Boots #2: "Tee hee - it's like His 'n' Hers!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pop quiz!

How did I embarrass myself at the Lily Allen concert last night?

A. I got really drunk and was dancing so much that I forgot to walk to the bathroom and instead peed my pants.
B. I got into a fight with the bartender over the overpriced PBRs.
C. I forgot to eat dinner and went through a dizzy spell in the middle of Lily Allen's set and then woke up when strangers and bouncers carried me to the back of the club.

The answer, folks, is C, though I would think that A would be a much less embarrassing story (I mean, sometimes you've just got to dance).

I don't know what happened. I wasn't drunk, and I had had food yesterday, I just forgot to eat dinner. I was standing next to the sound booth several feet back from the stage and was enjoying the show, and all of a sudden I got very sweaty and my knees felt funny. Then I had this feeling that I was at home in bed, asleep and dreaming. And then I was being carried out of the bar, and had to stop them to let me grab my coat from the coat check. And it was awful, not because my head hurt (and still does) or that I scraped my knees, but rather because they probably just thought I was a drunk diabetic / liability and needed to get me the hell out of there. After I drank some water I felt a little bit better, and I stood in the back next to the merch table while Lily Allen started her last song, but I realized that everyone was just staring at me and waiting for me to topple over, so I walked out to catch a cab.

It was not my finest moment.

I called my boss last night and left a message saying that I was skipping work today, and I'm glad I did because I still feel weird and sore. I'm looking forward to sitting down and eating all day.

UPDATE: Here's another pop quiz! What did my mom say when I told her this story over the phone?

A. Did you inject anything before the concert?
B. Well, it was your fault so it's understandable why you feel embarrassed.
C. You're not going to be one of those people I see on TV who get caught soliticing thirteen-year-old girls on the Internet, are you?

And the answer: all of the above. I don't know how pedophilia fits in, either, but she said it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Slow news day.

I have nothing interesting to report. Coincidentally, neither does CNN.com:

Friday, October 13, 2006

To Sir, with Love.

Last night in class Dr. Crazy announced that he had a Master's in Theatre from the University of Michigan, and then performed a dramatic reading of a scene from "The Bear." His idea of a "dramatic reading," however, involves reading a piece of a book aloud and inserting his own words to enhance the audience's experience. Because Faulkner was so fucking dumb, you know, leaving all of that shit out. Thanks, Crazy.

Then we watched a scene from the original film version of All the King's Men - "The scene that made Broderick Crawford famous," (which explains why I hear that name pop up all the time on the street. "Yo, did you see Broderick Crawford in that movie last night? That shit was tiiiite!") - because we can't read a book and not watch the film version. What are we, graduate students? After the movie, Dr. Crazy performed another "dramatic reading" of a Robert Penn Warren poem, stopping every three words to give us his analysis. I'm glad he did, though, because we surely can't explicate a poem. What are we, graduate students? Then we listened to a Peggy Lee song, which Crazy told us represented Jack Burden's (the protagonist of All the King's Men) life philosophy. And I'll admit: it really made me think.

And then we took the quiz. Usually Doc hands out the quiz and we write our answers on our own papers, then return everything back to him. Last night, however, he said to us, "Go ahead and keep the quiz questions. When you grow up and become teachers and teach this amazing book, you can use this quiz. You should thank me for the freebie."

Thank you. I'm totally writing something positive on your evaluation.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dear Chicago,


This is too much.

My apartment building hasn't turned on our heat yet. If it's too early for heat, it's definitely too early for snow.

If I was in Virginia right now I'd at least be happy that my class would be cancelled tonight. We shut down the state for a few inches.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What I used to be able to pass off as a bad summer has now potentially turned into a bad life.

Last night my train headed for The Land Of The Emotionally Mature took a sudden detour and stopped at I'm Going To Stand Outside My Apartment Building And Yell At My Mother Over The Phone About How My Life Is Miserable Junction. And I'll tell you one thing: it's not a cute little town.

I attempted to talk to Dr. Less Crazy before class yesterday in hopes to convince him that despite my shitty papers (which, by that point, I still hadn't gotten back and was still only assuming sucked big ol' balls), I'm actually smart! (I promise! Want to talk about Faulkner? I know you want to talk about Faulkner!) I told him that I was concerned about my performance in the class based on how I thought my papers were, and I hoped he'd give me some reassuring idea that I can come out of this class with a good grade.

Instead, he said, "Well, I haven't finished grading them, so why don't we just assume you did fine. And if you didn't, you can come back and talk to me."

And then he goes, "Is this your first quarter in graduate school?" That didn't particularly reassure me, since I was convinced that he was thinking the entire time about how I was a dumbass.

So I left his office just as frustrated as I was five minutes earlier. Then I had to go take a midterm for him, which I think I did well on, but who knows what he wants; he's not really giving me direction.

When I turned in my exam, he fished through the stack of papers to find my quizzes and paper. He kept flipping through them and then stopped; he looked up at me and squinted. "You know, I barely recognize you when you're wearing your glasses." I didn't have a response, since I ALWAYS WEAR MY GLASSES and it made me realize that he has no fucking clue who I am and, therefore, couldn't give two shits about how I do in the class. (This is the professor who is also from Virginia, who talked to me two weeks prior about how beautiful Saluda is (my response: "Isn't that where the regional jail is?") and how he used to eat a lot of oysters when he was a kid.)

After seeing my slightly below-average grade on the paper, I called my mom. Because, for some reason, I call my mom when I just can't take whatever life crisis I'm going through anymore, and usually a fight over something that neither of us have control over helps me get over it. And of course that's what happened. It'd been a while since I'd had to call her like that, and I ended up having a sort of Movie of the Week monologue about school, my job, my social life, my paranoia that nobody likes me, my depressing paycheck, and my homesickness. This all took place, by the way, in front of my apartment building, half a block from a major public boulevard, so I'm sure someone in my neighborhood sat at a window listening to "that crazy guy lose his shit outside."

I wish Judd Hirsch was here to help me figure things out. Do I have to go Lake Forest to find him?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Some people exist for the sole purpose of making you feel better about your own social ineptitude.

There's this dude in my class who I call The Satyr Guy because he has a big beard that makes him look like the front-half of a satyr. And I've noticed that he has this problem where he talks in the same soft, monotone voice when he's both saying something not-funny under his breath and when he's addressing the entire class.

Tonight our professor came in and said, "Hey, is there anything new about Mark Foley?" And when no one offered anything, The Satyr Guy said, "North Korea tested a nuke."

And then there was awkward silence number one.

Then our professor, who recently got over his shingles, started talking about what he did to get over the pain. And it was obviously a joke. Obviously. Because he said, "I discovered if you crush up vicodin, mix it with Sudafed, and then smoke it, you won't feel a thing!"

And replied The Satyr Guy: "Smoking vicodin is really dangerous."

Awkward silence number two. Followed by the loud laugh-exhale of the girl next to me.

Finally, our professor said to the girl in front of him, "Don't worry, shingles isn't the kind of herpes that's contagious." Apparently The Satyr Guy said something that I didn't make out, and the professor said, "What did you say about herpes?"

"Oh. Just that I always think about how one in six Americans herpes. I mean, why do you think they show those advertisements during prime time?"

Awkward silence number three, where everyone starts looking around and counting how many people showed up for class tonight.

At least now no one will remember last week's herpes comment.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I can't help it. I'm a machine.

I just received this email from Megan:
I've made a decision. You're the only boy I'm okay with dancing with. All other boys dance like toddlers with no rhythm. And frankly, that's embarassing to watch.

I'll remember this the next time I try to "get low" and instead "fall on my ass."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Getting my ducks in a row.

While sitting at work yesterday and desperately trying to decide what to do with my life, I came up with a five-part plan. It was rather rash, but I think it's pretty good so far. This is mostly for my own reference, but I figured I could jazz it up with my hilarious C0ates wit for entertainment purposes.

Phase One: Complete Fall 2006 quarter with As.
This might be tricky, since Southern Lit is so fucking terrible and I'm coming closer and closer to the edge of sanity. I see myself three weeks from now finally snapping at Dr. Crazy, screaming about how he's a complete idiot who obviously is not even taking the time to read the books along with us and is instead relying on his fuzzy memory and the coursepack readings. And then I'll tell him that he doesn't know anything about Faulkner, which was apparent last night when he decided to give us a synopsis of every major Faulkner novel. Since I'd read all of the books he described just two years ago(except for The Hamlet, which came at the end of Dr. Cash's Faulkner class and about three books after I had had Too Much Faulkner (hmm...great name for a blog!)), it was painful to hear him make up major plot points. (For example, his synopsis of Sartoris was actually a summary of a section of "An Odor of Verbena," which is found in an entirely different book. He also continually describes Sanctuary as "the porn novel.") Also, the writing class is weird, and I'm pretty sure that the first two papers I turned in were horrible, horrible, horrible. I need to make amends with Dr. Less Crazy so I do better next time.

Phase Two: Electric Boogaloo, with French!
Since most MA programs require a foreign language, it makes more sense to start taking one now while it's free. I was originally going to take Spanish since it's easier and I actually have people here whose first language is Spanish, but DePaul doesn't offer the first Spanish class until next fall. So I'm going to take French again. This, for some reason, made my mother very angry when I told her yesterday. "Why would you waste your free tuition on another language? And WHAT SCHOOLS require a foreign language for an ENGLISH degree?" Part of me wonders what scholastic universe she lives in, but then I remembered she was a math major and now programs computers for submarines and doesn't actually understand the whole concept of humanities. Still, I think she was being pretty stupid for getting mad that I'm taking French, as if I couldn't get enough of it the last time and just need to do it all over again for fun.

Phase Three: GRE Test Extravaganza!
I have a book about the GRE Subject Test in Literature, and my favorite part is where it describes the test as "the worst cocktail party you'll ever attend." Imagine going to your professor's house and trying to impress everyone by convincing them you've read everything that Milton, Dante, Shakespeare, Joyce, and Woolf published. Yeah. So I have to study. Hard. The test is only offered three times a year, so I'm hoping to take it in April and, if I do poorly, I can take it again in November. Also, it's one hundred and thirty dollars, so I have to save up for it. I don't think I'll be buying a new iPod anytime soon, especially since I also have to take the general GRE exam again.

Phase Four: Stalk former professors.
I need three letters of recommendation. Dr. Cash will most certainly write one, but I need to get back into contact with two other professors. I'm trying to figure out to go about this without being weird and awkward. Do I just email them out of the blue two years after I graduated from undergrad? Should I email them now and form fake-email friendships with them? I don't know the rules here. It's possible (though unlikely) that I can finish the writing course with such flair that I could get one from Dr. Less Crazy, which would be good since he'd be familiar with my graduate-level work. This part won't happen for a while, so I have time to figure it out.

Phase Five: Become a hypocrite, apply to UVA for Fall '08.
Yesterday I was listening to all of this music from sophomore year, stuff like Bright Eyes and Azure Ray and Wilco, etc., and I kept remembering driving from Harrisonburg to Charlottesville and how much I enjoyed those trips because of the scenery and the change of location and all that jazz. And I realized something: I'm so very homesick these days, and there's stuff going on at home that I feel like I need to be a part of and it hurts that I can't be there. Also, whenever I have a life-crisis here in Chicago, which is often, I can't figure out how to calm myself down. It's October, it's getting colder, I'm slipping into my annual winter depression, and it sucks because Chicago in October isn't very pretty. I need to be in the mountains right now. I need to see some color. I need autumnal foliage. I need to drive down 81 and 64, chain-smoking three-dollar packs of Camel lights. That's how I chill out.

It makes sense that I apply to UVA, in a way. The school that features, in some way, things I love (strong connection with history, rampant intellectualism, dichotomy of high- and low-brow culture) and hate (mid-Atlantic intellectual snobbery, small mountain town) about the South. (My favorite episode in Lie Down in Darkness, which is in my top five novels ever and is highly recommended, the main character drunkenly stumbles through the grounds, weaving through the KA house and the homecoming football game, the entire time absent-mindedly clutching a Confederate flag. God, it’s good.) Luckily, Charlottesville is a great town; it’s an hour from Harrisonburg, two from DC, and two and a half from Montross. And UVA’s a good school, obviously, and I can deal with the negative aspects of it because, honestly, any school I’m interested in is going to have the same undergraduate Greek- and athletic-based culture, so I’m not going to exclude UVA because of that. And it’s funny – I grew up pretty anti-UVA thanks to my family, but when I told my mother I was planning to apply there, she seemed okay with it. (Free French classes in Chicago = horrible idea. Paying for graduate school at a college she hates that happens to be in the same state = absolutely fine.)

I have no idea if I can actually get into UVA, but I think I have a shot if I do well on the GREs. And I actually do want it, and I think it’ll make me moderately happy. The idea already does, so that’s a good sign.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Happy birthday, blog!

Hurrah! Today is my blog’s first birthday, and to slack off from writing a real post celebrate, I thought I’d reflect on the past year and bring all of you recent TMA readers up to speed with my life here in Chicago. Just imagine we’re on the last episode of Full House and Michelle has fallen off that horse and now has amnesia and the rest of the Tanners incorporate the effects of a great flashback-episode to make her remember all of the good times. That’s what this is like, only much shorter and probably not as entertaining.

Hey, remember back in October when I was so unemployed that that I went to a job interview in some guy’s condo and could have potentially been killed?! Oh, how hilarious that would have been! Only I figured it out just before knocking on the door (“Heeeey…this doesn’t look like an office building!”).

Laurie moved back home in November, which was depressing and scary, considering I was on the verge of doing the same thing. But before we got all sad and boo-boo bears about it, we got to interview potential roommates (and I got to reflect on why I’m so terrified of living with strangers).

In December, I found out that my best friend in high school, Fuckchill Fuckstin, didn’t invite me to his graduation party. I took it pretty well, don’t you think? Also, I started temping and, to celebrate, I got really, really drunk at my temp agency’s holiday party. Classy!

In January, I got a job working at Urban Outfitters and had a great time waking up at four in the morning and driving out to Schaumburg to count overpriced t-shirts. Oh, and the people were great, too.

I started working full-time in February, and one of my managers made a very important discovery.

Everyone knows that March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, and this year I looked back on some of my less sophisticated holiday celebrations.

In April, I was pleased to finally acknowledge that I am mature enough to go to the bathroom when necessarily, instead of waiting until the last minute as I’ve done, well, many times. Also, Christina and I started a band.

In May, I realized that I really need to get out of this mining town and make a name for myself, but my anger management issues are keeping me from fully realizing my potential.

I was a big boy and went to a concert all by myself in June, and I realized that it’s not so scary after all. You just might meet an adorable young mother from rural Indiana and have a grand old time!

I recognized I have a variety of psychological problems in July, one of which is excessive paranoia.

In August, Nicole and I went to an Irish pub in Wrigleyville to see some really, really great bands. I also had the sexiest bus ride ever.

Finally, in September, I discovered I had an irrational fear of haircuts. Luckily my new stylist, Drev, helped me get over that.

And there you have it: a whole year of me being bored enough to publish crap online. I promise I won’t do another flashback entry for at least another year. Or until after Blog Sweeps Week.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Life lesson: Your knowledge of skin disease will not help you in the Real World.

Last night during our fifteen-minute break from reading long, boring French essays, I sat in the classroom with a group of four grad students. They all know each other from previous classes and therefore congregate together and look cool while the rest of us (read: me) who don't know anyone else sit there begging for attention with our sad little eyes and pouty expressions that scream, "TALK TO ME! I'm nice and I can be funny and not entirely depressing!"

The focus of their conversation was shingles, since our professor had them on his arm and promised us a longer break than usual because he "might just go lay down in the office and die." One student said that she was impressed that he made it to class, and the other three nodded their heads in agreement. Yes, our professor was a brave, brave man for persevering and making it through the pain (with a little help from Professor Vicodin).

Then one of them said, “What is shingles?”


“It’s actually a form of the Herpes virus…you get it when you have chicken pox and it can outbreak later in life.”

My four classmates stared at me and there was more silence.


Then they all turned around and started talking about the Aldo Outlet.

Tyler: 0. Life: 79,302.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Mike Hunt" apparently hasn't called to check on his application yet.

My co-worker still thinks "Amanda Hugginkiss" is HILARIOUS.

I'm a little teapot.

Yesterday morning I woke up early (at 6:30; and yes, thirty-five minutes before I’m supposed to leave the apartment does count as “early”) and decided that I’d make myself some tea for the commute. I’ve decided that I like tea quite a bit these days, and to compliment Nicole’s purchase of a new teapot, I spent twelve dollars on a snazzy red to-go mug. I’ve also been trying to ward-off a cold, and I thought some nice herbal tea would be great to have while riding the stupid bus to stupid work.

So I heated up some water and made my tea and let it brew while I hurried around my room getting dressed (because, yeah, waking up thirty-five minutes before I’m supposed to leave the apartment still doesn’t give me a lot of time to do stuff). I got everything together, grabbed my mug, and head out the door.

Perhaps in my rush I didn’t realize that I did not wait an adequate amount of time for the tea to cool from boiling to barely-tolerable-for-drinking, because when I turned the corner on Diversey I took a sip of tea. And it was so hot that I couldn’t even hold it in my mouth.

I rapidly glanced around in the immediate vicinity to see if anyone was there, even though it really didn’t matter at that point. I leaned over, opened my mouth, and spit the tea on the sidewalk. I didn’t even spit it out, really; it just kind of ran out of my mouth.

I would somehow turn this story into some kind of metaphor for my life, but I think you get the idea.

My mouth still hurts.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday morning wrap-up.

I'm just going to do one of those lazy list-posts because, well, I'm lazy and I feel like there's a lot of stuff to mention. (I love how I feel there are things I "have" to mention, as if someone out there is relying on me to fill them in on what I did this weekend. Well, whoever you are, this one is for you.)

1. On Friday night, Julia, Renee, and I went to the Pilsen East's Artist's Open House. Julia's boyfriend Eric had a friend from the MAPH program who was co-curating a gallery, so we went down there with her boyfriend and walked around, looking at art. Also, I got tipsy from drinking three cups of wine on an empty stomach, but it was fun. And I bought four posters from these people after I couldn’t buy the huge painting of owls flying into a gun (it was thirteen hundred dollars and I had forgotten my checkbook).

2. Critical Mass also took place on Friday. I didn't really have an opinion about it until I was stuck on the Halsted bus for fifteen minutes watching a few hundred bikers ride by. It'd be easier to take Critical Mass with a grain of salt if they were organized to raise money for a cause - like a real marathon. I don't think "Riding Bikes is Fun" is important enough.

3. I watched The Proposition, which was good, Don’t Come Knocking, which was very good, and Brick, which I didn’t like. Brick would have been wonderful if only it had not taken place at a high school. I tried very hard to accept that, but I just couldn’t. Also, I couldn’t take watching the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun being serious or the kid from Witness being menacing.

4. I talked to my mom on Sunday, who was about to go see Cats at a dinner theater in Fredericksburg. When I told her that sounded like a miserable way to spend a Sunday, she said, “Well, they’ve got real actors in it. It’s, like, a step up from regular dinner theater.” But probably five steps down from a national tour.

5. A “Spirit of Halloween” store opened on Diversey, so now I’m getting stressed-out about Halloween, which is exactly what I need. What should I be: Pimp or Pimpin’ Priest? Christina had talked about going together as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. How much would it take to convince her that these costumes are The Shit?

6. My Southern fiction class is still dreadful. My favorite quote from last week’s class: “Property supersedes humanity. That’s the Southern way.” Sigh.

7. And finally, this week in MySpace friend requests: