Monday, October 31, 2011

Deja vu

The snow started falling in earnest on Saturday. Steve and I were near Hampshire Mall, and it began accumulating as we were waiting for the bus. By the time we got back home, both of us were drenched (Chucks really aren't winter shoes), so we changed and went to Cutter to talk our favorite Californian out of her weather-induced panic attack. I was getting sort of worried at that point: Buffalo's October storm in 2008 started out almost exactly like this. The trees were groaning under the weight of the snow on their leaves, and I think I knew that it wasn't going to end well.
We all went to Lamont for dinner, and around 6 o'clock, the power went out. I wasn't too worried at that point. I went back to Baldwin, where everyone was huddled around the fire, making s'mores and talking quietly. It was cozy, not scary at all.
The next morning, the weather was so warm that I was confident that the snow would melt and everything would be totally fine. Baldwin had a few power strips going, and everyone was drinking tea, eating ramen, and trying to get their work done. But when dinnertime rolled around and there were only two dining halls open, things started to deteriorate. Steve made off with an entire bag of rice cakes, and everyone was trying to take as much food as possible, just in case. Then night fell, and it began to get colder. Our heat turned off, and we were all expecting the generator to go off any minute. By this time, a lot of people who lived close by had gone home to their parents', friends', or relatives' homes: anywhere they could find heat. Hampshire and Amherst had been evacuated, UMass didn't have power, and people were starting to worry that we were facing evacuation, too. Two houses up the road came to us because they lost heat and power, and their fire alarm had started going off, too. It was intense.

We had been told that the power would probably be back by Monday night or Tuesday morning, so when it came back on this morning, everyone cheered and shouted, "We have power!!" It was a little like Mountain Day. I went to Manna all morning, and now I need to actually do some work.
Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Generating personal strife

My apologies for the lag in posting; I've been preoccupied with the Big Pink Hall of Fame. My life has been smooth sailing lately, except for Rites of Passage, of course. As trite as it sounds, no news is good news with me. I'm no longer so busy with my own morose emotions that I get too mopey to ever update, thank goodness.

However, I have been thinking a lot about my Future. I want to study abroad. I want it more than anything else in the world, especially after hearing everyone I know tell stories that begin, "When I was living in Italy..." and "This one time, in Russia..." but here's the thing. If I want to be a Neuro major (which I'm pretty sure I don't actually want to do anymore), I can't study abroad because there is so much stuff I will have to do. On the other hand, if I major in Psych (as I would like to do) and minor in Exercise Science, I'll be opening myself up to ridicule from my grandmother. (Or if not ridicule, then certainly harsh words.)
My Psych class is wonderful. I love it the most, and my professor is awesomesauce, but Neuroscience is also pretty cool, and would probably be more practical? I really wish someone at Smith could tell me what I need to do in order to become a physical therapist, but everyone seems a little taken aback when I announce that that's what I want to do. I am so confused! What will become of me?
I should have gone to Geneseo. Then I could do all this freaking out at a fraction of the cost. Or I should just go to hotel school like Sabrina. Then I could study abroad and learn how to be a boss cook in the bargain.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Political nitpicking

Here's my problem with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Their general principles are reasonable: 1% of America holds the majority of the wealth, and that's wrong. As a former Marxist, I am in agreement that this is not okay. However, that seems to be the only thing everybody agrees on. There are signs that say "End the war!" and while I also want the war to end, I can't help but feel that these protesters need to focus. This movement lacks cohesion. I went to Occupy Northampton a while ago, and I grew increasingly frustrated with the hippies there because as far as I could tell, nobody has any actual suggestions as to what should be done. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that nobody can agree on what issues to stand for.

I am a pragmatic person and I firmly believe in compromise. I used to be militantly principled (again, when I was a Marxist), but I quickly realized that that's stupid. If your mentality is "My way or the highway," you're going to find yourself taking the road pretty often. Just look at Andrew Johnson. You have to present your wants and needs in a way that's attractive to the person in power, but failing that, you have to tell them what you want. The social equivalent of the Occupy Wall Street movement would go something like this:

Customer: The establishment is unfair! This system has got to change!
Store owner: Is something wrong?
Customer: The corporate fat cats are swimming in pools where there are flakes of gold leaf instead of water, that's what's wrong! This nation's wealth is unfairly distributed!
Store owner: ...I meant with the store. Why are you shouting in the middle of the produce aisle? Sir?
Customer: Sir? And how do you know that I'm a man?
Store owner: I apologize, you have a point. What can I do to help this situation?
Customer: Fellow Shop-Rite patrons! This will not stand! We must show these corporations that we see through their lies!

Poor Shop-Rite manager. He would like to help, but it's hard to be helpful when you have no fucking clue what the problem is or what you can do to fix it.

Disney Detox

Meet-the-parents dinner was last night. Alice briefed me on her parents back before fall break, and ever since then she seemed to be slowly descending into the abyss of anxiety. I was nervous because her parents have impassioned, two-hour long discussions about the Holocaust and they hate all organized religion, including Unitarian Universalism. (When sharing this detail with my mother, she exclaimed, "But they're the least organized religion ever!" Still counts, though.) I was terrified that I'd accidentally reference going to Mass or owning a cross or being Catholic at any point in my life, which was actually quite likely since I make Catholic jokes a lot. But thankfully, an enjoyable time was had by all! We got Indian food and talked with relative ease and I even managed to keep the conversation going when Alice was out of the room! Thank God for my father's Irish charm and my mother's impeccable conversational skills that I seem to only be able to exhibit when faced with adults. The dinner went well.

After dinner was Disney Detox. It was a rough week for all of us in Baldwin (and those of my friends who don't live here but spend so much time here that they're honorary Baldwinites), what with meeting the parents of significant others, romantic woes, coming out anxiety, massive blood loss and subsequent grotesque bruising, multiple papers due on the same day, and choosing next semester's classes, so I proposed the Disney Detox. It was just all of my friends coming over and watching The Princess and the Frog, but calling it Disney Detox is so much more fun. As it happened, stupid Netflix took The Princess and the Frog off instant play, so we watched Meet the Robinsons instead. Movies and cuddles. This is becoming a Friday night thing. Last week it was Monkey Business. My friends are awesome.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Beat your breasts, maidens, and rend your tunics."

"I'm beginning to look down on all poets except Sappho. I've been reading her like mad, and no remarks, please." --J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey.
Well, now it's confirmed: I'm just a nice negligee away from being Franny Glass. I hate poetry but I just love Sappho. She expresses emotion in a way that I (a cool-headed prospective Neuroscience major) appreciate on a completely non-ironic level. Why is it that other poets can't express the way they feel with that kind of clarity. But she isn't harsh or scientific about it, she depicts love as simple, beautiful and true.
Thank you, Rites of Passage. You've finally done some good.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Poor decision

The books in my Classics class are so terrible, they even smell bad. Never again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Head in the clouds

I've been thinking a lot lately about modesty and obliviousness. Somehow the line between the two blurred for me, so in an attempt to appear modest, I am completely clueless.
Here's the thing. I know it's conceited to talk about how hot you are, but it's good to think that you're hot and not talk about it. When I try to be modest, I just put my appearance out of my head and convince myself not that I'm unattractive, but that my appearance is just a sort of void. I've been doing this for so long that I don't even tell myself to think that way anymore; it's second nature. Then, when someone checks me out or flirts with me, I don't notice because I am trying not to be conceited. It's a problem I'm slowly getting over. My sex appeal has always been based on the fact that I was unaware the appeal I actually had. That was what made me attractive, or so I've been told. But most of that obliviousness is self-imposed.
Where is the line between confidence and conceit? At times I'm so confident I'm almost overheated with the assurance that nothing will ever go wrong for me, but those are the times when people think I'm stuck-up. It's really frustrating because, as I previously mentioned, I want to make friends with everybody, but I also don't want people to think I'm some sort of shrinking violet. Then I go overboard and come on too strong. Jon and Aria told me to be less abrasive at my end-of-summer review, but I can't seem to find the happy medium.

Night on the Quad

Last year, Caroline said she couldn't picture me at a party, and I really couldn't picture it, either. Now I can visualize it...really well. Gardiner's fetish party was last night, and I went. It was my first Smith party, and it was an experience. My friends were mostly dressed as the schoolgirl fetish, but Josie was steampunk (because she's Josie and steampunk is her go-to), Helen was a voyeur, and I was a newsboy. Most of my outfit was Josie's; I borrowed her knee-high platform goth boots that made me six feet tall and a pinstriped corset that I am now in love with. Erika loaned me a pair of shorts and a belt, she and Josie wrote "Extra! Extra!" "Read all about it!" and names of random newspapers on my back and arms, and I had my newsboy cap and a paper in my back pocket. It was a fun costume, but I'm not great at walking in heels. As soon as we got inside, I took them off and danced barefoot.
Oh, God. The line. The line was insane. We got there at 9:15 and it was already packed, and then we waited for two hours in the cold, cold night wearing very little clothing. Abeer was wearing about a third of a shirt, and almost everyone else was wearing corsets. It...perhaps was not the best planning to leave our coats in Morrow. Then the line was packed (which at least made it warmer) and people were cutting shamelessly. You've gotta fight for your right to party. I always thought that was a joke, but it's the sordid truth.
By the time we got inside, two of our friends had left because they were sick of waiting and I was seriously afraid that I was going to freeze. At first, I really didn't enjoy dancing in the dark, smelly room with people having sex all around us, but then the music changed and I realized that I just don't like dubstep. The party was actually kind of fun. Like so many things, it probably would have been more entertaining if I was drunk, but it was pretty fun in my normal state.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Desperation purely for entertainment value

Dear Jake's,
Did you get my email? Did you get my resume? Did you get my message? I hope I don't seem creepy here, I just really, really want to work for you.
Why don't you have a website? If you had a website, I could check to see if you're still hiring and I wouldn't have to call and leave a message that you'll never answer. But you probably aren't still hiring, because you're so fantastic I bet this whole town sat up when you posted that ad on Craigslist.
I want to work for you.
I want to work for you because I admire the quality of your establishment, because I think I'm actually very qualified for such work, and because if you don't hire me I might have to start working as a fetish model or an exotic dancer so I can pay my tuition.
Please hear my plea and call me. Just an interview. Please?
Hugs and butterfly kisses,
P.S. Tell all the other applicants to bugger off.

The universe lies!

I didn't have an interview. The person from the cafe who called me last night was not, in fact, in charge of hiring new employees. I don't know what the deal is with that. All I know is that I spent the whole day in a skirt because I wasn't going to have time to change for my interview for an awesome job with a perfect location, only to get rejected. This whole business is hard on a girl's self-esteem.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phase One complete

I have an interview! OK, this is awesome. I'll dress nicely, be confident, and it'll be awesome.

And I'm doing it now!

Bulleted ListAll through high school, I was vigilant about not procrastinating. That attitude isn't really around anymore. I need to get it back, preferably by doing more activities/getting a job. Procrastination is unacceptable, and while I like how not-crazy I am now, I need just a little bit of the craziness back. Just enough.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Probably for the best I didn't mention Gaga

Turn It Up asked me for my top five favorite albums. I think I'm in love.
My response:
  1. Parallel Lines by Blondie
  2. Rocket to Russia by the Ramones
  3. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case
  4. Loaded by The Velvet Underground
  5. Volume One by She & Him
My dad and I had an extensive conversation about why this list is awesome. The Blondie record is the greatest record ever made, the Ramones side is a little more obscure. Neko Case is trendy in hipster circles, Loaded makes me seem more about the music and less like a pretentious little snot, and She & Him is a youthful little lemon zest. This is a blend of the music the Championship Vinyl old dudes like and what the hip youths are listening to these days. I am awesome.
So hire me.

Down to brass tacks

Number of applications I now have: Eight (8)
Number of online applications I have sent out: Three (3), including the Unirondack application.
Number of leads to pursue: Two (2) that come to mind, but there were probably more that I forgot about.
Number of applications that are for jobs I want: Eleven (11)
Number of applications that are for jobs I would actually enjoy doing: Five (5)
Number of aforesaid applications that are for or related to food services: Four (4)
Number of hostile old women that got really cranky and unhelpful after being asked for an application: One (1), and frankly, one was plenty. I asked her, "Could I have an application?" and she said, "No." I stopped, confused, until she added, "I don't use applications." I paused, still unsure of where she was going with this, and said, "Okay then. Well, thank you anyway," which she somehow took to mean "I want you to tell me exactly why you wouldn't hire me, even if you were accepting resumes--which you are not-- based on the zero facts you know about me," because that's exactly what she did. Sheesh. Way to be, cranky lady. I wish I could say I'll never set foot in your store again or something dramatic like that, but I'll probably be back. It looked pretty cool in there.
Number of false leads: One (1), which led me to the previously mentioned cranky lady. Thanks a bundle, rival vintage shop worker.
Number of workers with facial piercings: too many to count.
Number of hours I spent wandering downtown inquiring about applications: Three (3)
And finally, number of applications that are for places that are actually hiring people: Four (4), possibly five (5), and if you discount Unirondack, three (3).

Oh Mr. Sellack

I have spent my entire morning applying for jobs, but not work-study jobs. I have to look elsewhere, for reasons too complicated and private to explain. I'm concerned that I'm going to get raped and murdered if I apply for some of these jobs on Craigslist. I'm really not ok with that happening. This has been my morning:

Deliver newspapers: ok, that sounds safe. Henry Huggins delivers newspapers! No. Shit. Newspapers get delivered to everyone. What if I get the murderous route? No newspapers for me!
Local Co-op Food Market: That's the most hippieish thing I've ever...oh right, this is a granola town. Why not. This is legit, at least. The job application is long...and boring...
Camp Unirondack: Ahhh, it feels good to have a job almost as a sure thing. But that's in the summer. Back to the grind.
Awesome restaurant I adore: Yes! Yes yes yes! I will have this jo--oh hey, my resume is gone. Write a new resume. Apply for awesome job. Say a quick prayer and sacrifice a goat, just for good measure.
About seven other jobs: Apply in person. Gotcha! I'll be there! I'll be there TO THE MAX!
About fifteen other jobs: I have class then. Great.

Into the fray I go, then!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mountain Day!

About time. We had a week of gorgeous weather, then weeks of rain, and today was perfect: crisp and beautiful. Baldwin made plans weeks ago to go apple picking in the morning, and even though Paulina traditionally likes to sleep through the morning and afternoon, she wanted to go apple picking too, so Zaineb and I woke her up at 9:40, with five minutes to spare. (So it was an afterthought. We were caught up in the Mountain Day magic.) Emily is allergic to apples so she wasn't coming, but I managed to hustle Paulina out of bed by telling her to get dressed "fireman style!" which she interpreted to mean "while dancing."
We piled into various cars (Paulina and I were in the trunk) and headed to the orchard, where I climbed trees and terrified Liz and Zaineb ("I'm finally getting over my crippling fear of heights!" I cried while perched on the tallest branch of an apple tree." "You can do that later; now get down here," said Zaineb.) and we picked the most beautiful apples the size of my face. I love picking fruit, and this summer I didn't get to do any. Three hours of apples is pretty wonderful at the best of times, but today it was especially magnificent. I'm sure glad I knew what to wear, though: one girl was wearing a skirt and flats. That's a rookie sign, folks. The Anthropologie ads have got it all wrong: you really can't wear a cute outfit and have any fun in an orchard at the same time.
After another disorienting trunk-ride back home, we all had lunch on the porch of Baldwin, and Paulina and I headed inside to make pumpkin pie. Valuable lesson learned: When cooking pumpkin for pie, DO NOT cut it into small cubes. Cut it in half! After carefully sawing a pumpkin into cubes using a pocketknife, butter knife, and delicate serrated knife made for pumpkin carving, I looked at the directions and got kind of upset. The pies were delicious, even if they took four hours to make. It was still fun.
By that time, it was past 5:30, so we had dinner (delicious mulled cider!) and I did some actual work. Finally, Amy, Kaitlin, Josie, Alice and I watched The Princess Bride, which I have seen more times than I would care to count, but each time just reminds me how wonderful it really is. A wonderful Mountain Day. I'm sorry I didn't spend more time outside, but I have to say those pies are definitely worth it.
Current music: the wonderful awesome playlist this really cool girl made for me. Three weeks left, for those of you keeping score at home and those of you weighing the odds at Smith. Hope you didn't bet too much, cuz you're going to lose it all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No describe...too funny...

I kept thinking about this today and giggling uncontrollably at inappropriate times.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I love Smith and I want to befriend everyone I encounter here, but it's hard because I'm so sheltered. For weeks now, I've suspected that a maiden in Chorus with me has a doppelganger in my art history class, and it wasn't till this evening that I learned that they're the same person. Why on Earth was I so unwilling to make that connection? I've heard of Occam's Razor! Why can't I apply it to my own life?

But yeah, I want to make all the friends. It's a work in progress. The maidens in Chorus are really chill and I bonded with Micah over our mutual love of webcomics last week, but so far my new friendships are in the fetal stages. I actually used to be pretty charming, but I got to Unirondack and was faced with crippling social anxiety, which has more or less disappeared in favor of extreme social awkwardness. I'm lucky so many of my friends find that endearing, but I think it's getting old.

Other highlights of my day: learning that I get .5 extra points tacked onto my PoB quiz because one of the graders screwed up and actually talking to someone at French lunch table (I need to brush up on my vocabulary about neuroscience, since that was all I felt qualified to talk about and words such as "physiology" and "brain" escape me).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good day

Yesterday, I met my friend Charles at Hampshire around noon, and to kill time beforehand I decided to walk around downtown NoHo in the pouring rain. My friends and I had batted around some ideas about going downtown together on Friday night, but I wake up early and I always feel weird about knocking on people's doors, even though I know Emily wakes up at 5:30 every morning and nothing short of a strong electric shock will wake Paulina up before noon on a weekend. I still feel weird about it. So I went downtown and let the rain pour all over me (because I don't own an umbrella). It was actually really enjoyable. Sometimes rain is really aggressive and unpleasant to walk in (like the rain I got caught in on Thursday, when I was wearing ballet flats and a pretty dress and had to run across campus while a malicious God poured buckets of water all over me), but this was more like showering with all my clothes on. I went to the Garlic Festival, not out of any desire for garlic but because I heard jazz and it was free, so I listened to jazz and had a hot dog in the pouring rain until I began to experience mild discomfort, so then I got some hot apple cider and went to sit in Thornes. I was very contented, sitting there with my cider and a book--until the cup spilled and all the cider emptied out onto the floor. I was so upset I wanted to cry. Apple cider is such a beautiful thing, and rather than pound it all down I was trying to savor it. That's a moral, kids. Eat and drink everything as fast as possible. It's safer that way.

When I got to Hampshire, Charles was barefoot. I really shouldn't have been surprised, but I still asked him, "Why aren't you wearing any shoes?"
"It's Hampshire," he said, then we both added mentally, you dumbass.
It was nice seeing Charles again, even though it was mildly awkward. I did expect that; my friend Maddy and I met two years ago at Unirondack but she has family in Buffalo, so whenever she's in town we meet up, and it's nice, but also just a little bit weird. I think of Charles as a fairly taciturn guy, and while we're pretty good buddies, we've mostly bonded while doing activities rather than just talking and talking. I think our friendship is unique in that way. I usually make friends in the following ways:
  1. By being so extremely weird that other weirdos are just drawn to me (most of my con friends and lots of camp friends)
  2. Proximity, as in, "We're going to have to deal with each other for the next eight years so we might as well be friendly" (lots of my high school friends, including dance friends)
  3. By being gay (Eirie, Caleb, and Alia are the ones that stand out for that one)
  4. By having really intense conversations about really serious things (every close friend I've ever had)
  5. Talking to them via Facebook (Jonathan, Libby, and most recently, Alice)
But Charles and I got to be friends when he hung out illegally in my cabin and kicked my ass in Capuera at camp, so when we were in a situation where we had nothing to do but talk, it was a little weird. We walked in the woods and investigated a ruined car (he wasn't wearing shoes for any of this, by the way) and I picked some apples, and he showed me around the campus and told me how stuff works at Hampshire. It's nice, I guess, and the special gazebos for smoking pot are quaint, but I wouldn't want to go there. Maybe I'll take a class there, though. The no-grade system is starting to look pretty good, too. I love Physiology of Behavior so much, but I'm currently doing terribly in it.

When I got back home, my house went to Six Flags, and I went on a roller coaster and actually enjoyed it! We got back around 9 because people wanted to go to the party at Cushing, and I went to study with Josie, Zaineb, and Paulina. For "study," read "talk and watch A Bit of Fry and Laurie and do no work whatsoever." It was nice, though. A day of fun, and then today I just worked all day. Distributing tasks like a boss.