fearlesstemp: (lionel)
The internet is such a black hole. It swallows up my good intentions and academic drive to succeed. I came here for the specific purpose of digging up gossip about Genghis Khan, and yet somehow I find myself sitting here forty minutes later, typing up an LJ entry, after spending ten minutes desperately searching out General Hospital spoilers (after spending twenty minutes reading a variety of threads on TWoP, and checking my flist, and reading Dwight Schrute's blog), and do I have any new gossip about Genghis Khan? No! No, I do not!

Old gossip about Genghis Khan: I watched his A&E Biography yesterday, and it strongly implied that he and the head of another clan were an item. The Biography special didn't say it straight out, of course; Dramatic Intonation Guy said, "'Genghis and [Other Clan Leader] were said to be great friends, closer than brothers. They slept together in the same bed for one and a half years, making Genghis's wife jealous.' - The Secret History of the Mongols."

It ended like so many love stories do: With one taking over a good chunk of Eurasia, and the other being brought before him to be executed. Genghis, the old softy, had to leave the room while his old pal was being killed. A shocking show of sentimentality, considering he killed his brother over a fish when he was thirteen or so.


I really think it's important that more people watch General Hospital and talk to me about how adorable Patrick and Robin are. I don't know why I find them so cute, but I do. I want them to bicker and fight viruses together and I want one of them to fall victim to the man-made mutant strain of encephalitis (these are all words that have often been used on GH recently), and I want the other to stand by all nervous, and wonder Why He/She Did Not Realize How Much He/She Mattered. Is that so much to ask? Is it? I'm being forced to watch Emily pant after Sonny! Give me something, GH! I've given you almost eleven years of uninterrupted viewing! Have you no reciprocal loyalty?
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
this got long )
fearlesstemp: (jess)
Okay, seriously? Britney Spears's new single? Is awesome. I heard it in the car tonight and I can't get it out of my head, and I'm thisclose to driving to the nearest 24 Hour WalMart (even if, as Helen pointed out, they are evil!!!) to buy her CD because I want to hear it again. Toxic! It's so good.

That said: I heard the song while driving home from my first class of the term, which was scary and intimidating!! But it seems like it will be interesting, so I will probably keep the class, even if I feel like a total stupid loser sitting there. Today the professor did the First Day Getting To Know You Thing, and asked all of us to fill out a sheet of paper with the following information:

(1) Name
(2) Phone number
(3) E-mail addy
(4) Degree program
(5) Where we got our BA, and
(6) Why we're taking the course, and what we do when not in class -- jobs, etc.

Okay, so questions 1,2,3, and 5 were fine, but for (4) I had to write down "non-matriculated graduate student" which, as some of you may know, is basically a long way of writing "flake" and for (6), I had to say, "I've been considering returning to school full time, and so have been taking occasional graduate courses while doing temporary office work since graduating from college in May 2002" which is an even longer way of writing "flake." But, you know, must be honest! Cannot make up false history rivaling that of other classmates, like the woman who had been teaching feminist film theory at City College!

It was all easier for me to do since it was being written down, and not said aloud because, as I've said often, I am not good at public speaking. Or speaking to any group of people larger than four or so who I do not know extremely well. I passed forward my little piece of paper with my best Good Little Student Smile on, and waited for class to begin, only to watch the professor rifle through the papers for a minute and then turn to the person beside him.

"Your name?" he said, and the person gave it to him.

"Ah," he said. "I see you're Very Intellectual and Accomplished."

Actually, he said a lot more than that, in greater detail -- basically summarizing what was written down on the sheet, but I can't *remember* what was on that guy's sheet because I spent that moment riding out the wave of soul-crushing panic I felt at realizing that everyone in the class was going to hear about how lame I was! And, okay, I was overreacting, but that's what I *do* in these situations.

I spent the next ten minutes or so watching him go around the room and read out from everyone's little (6) section on their sheet, except for one or two people who he'd had in several other classes who just got a nod of recognition and a pass, and then he finally got to me. I sat there, trying to look confident and self-assured (as if I had developed in the past five minutes some version of what Bridget Jones would call inner poise).

He nodded at me, and I gave a dorky wave before saying, "Jessica MyLastName."

"Ah," he said, and pulled my sheet of paper out. "Jessica MyLastName...okay, you put your e-mail address down, good, good...non-matriculated -- hmmm...huh."

And then he furrowed his brow, finished reading, and flipped the paper over! That was it! Moved onto the next person!

I sat there kind of stunned and, initially, relieved, but then quickly horrified because! Apparently I am so lame that he, like, wanted to spare me the embarrassment of sharing my lameness with the class! And then I felt kind of indignant about it, wanted to jump up and say something like, "I'll have you know I was Temp of the Month, pal!" and challenge him to a collating contest or something.

The rest of the class was decent, though I did have another moment of soul-crushing ohmygoodnessIdon'tbelong panic when the person sitting across from me raised his hand halfway through my professor's discussion of the first week's reading and said, "Now, when you say 'deconstruct' do you mean it in the [lots of long multi-syllabic words]."

I almost heard the whoosh of the concepts flying over my head. The only thing that saved me was that I wasn't alone, and my professor turned to the guy and said, "I'm lost," when he finished speaking. After a brief foray into structuralism, the two of them worked out what the other one had been meaning, and while I was left in the academic dust, I felt not quite so awful about it as I had initially.

In any case, the episode served to bring to the forefront the That Guy of the class. You know That Guy? The guy who's done all sorts of esoteric research on obscure French philosophers so that when the professor's lecturing, he'll pipe in with a bizarre, but not completely off-topic question that casually demonstrates his brilliance? Now, see, That Guy is not being a jerk about it; if he were being a jerk about it, trying to show off, we would call him That Arrogant Jerk, or something else mildly mean. That Guy honestly doesn't know better! He thinks we're all on the same page when he lays out these questions when, actually, most of us are chapters behind him, or wishing we had a dictionary to pull out so that we can figure out what he's saying!

Ah, to be effortlessly brilliant. I spend so much energy trying to seem mildly engaged. Right now I think I'm going to go spend a few hours being totally asleep.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
I would like it noted for the record that I, Jessica A. MyLastName, finished my presentation before 9PM on the day before it was due. Yes! I'm done! DONE! This is usually the time I'm just getting started on project like this! I'm usually entering Hour Two of Seven of Exhausted Panic but now I'm just enjoying the fact that I'm done! Done!

I spent Friday night and a good chunk of Saturday afternoon in the library, and then spent a few hours this afternoon/evening working on it in the dining room away from the TV and wow, it's like all of a sudden I'm realizing that all those things I'd been told for years about studying? All those things I'd tell people when I was tutoring them in academic strategies/study skills? They're SO TRUE. You *do* need to get away from distractions! You shouldn't wait till the last minute! My God! It's a whole new academic world!

It's a shame I didn't realize this, oh, five years ago.

Anyway. Other weekend accomplishments: Got a flu shot, which is still making my arm all painful. Also got a haircut, which was good but a little disturbing because of the following exchange:

Hairdresser: So. How long's it been since you've had it cut?

Me: Well, you know, I haven't seen you in about four months, but I had to go in August and you were on maternity leave and so I went with my aunt to her hairdresser -- she has curly hair too -- my aunt, not the hairdresser, though come to think of it, so did she, but anyway! I went with her, to this lady, and she was kind of scary and intimidating and told me I used the wrong shampoo and --

Hairdresser: Right. Well, I'm just asking because it looks like she forgot to cut the left side of your head.

Me: What?!

Hairdresser: Yeah, it looks like -- hey! Cindy! Come here, look at this! [Cindy crosses room, stands next to my swivelly chair.] See, look at --

Cindy: Oh wow, yeah. That whole side.

Hairdresser: It's at least two inches longer, all on this side.

Me: Oh my God! Have I been Pathetic Lopsided Hair Girl for two months?! You're not allowed to have any more babies! No more!

Hairdresser: ...

Cindy: ...

Me: I mean, congratulations! Got any pictures?

Anyway. My hair! Has been freaky looking and I didn't notice! Hairdresser later said it probably wasn't noticeable because of the way I part it, but still. Or maybe she was making it up? As an elaborate ruse to keep me from going to the Interim Hairdresser permanently? I don't know! The Hairdressers' Realm is a mysterious place I do not fully understand!

I think I like my new cut, but I will not know for sure until a few days have passed and the New Cut Excitement has worn off.

Also, GH? To quote Justn's McDonald's campaign, I'm lovin' it. Carly + Alcazar 4EVA! I loved the black and white fantasies last week, including Alcazar's bad hair. I think it only made me love him more. I have no objectivity! None!

Must sleep.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
The subject line is what it is because I am RAVENOUS and part of me knows that there are thousands -- nay, millions! -- of kids out getting candy RIGHT THIS SECOND and I WANT SOME. Am so hungry.

Hunger is especially brutal because I have half a PB&J sandwich right in my reach but cannot eat! For I am at University Library, where all the cool kids hang out on Friday nights. And not just any Friday night, but a Friday night that is a holiday, a Friday night during which there are hundreds -- nay, thousands -- of really cool, fun parties going on. And I am sitting in the library with no party in sight. Post-library I will call my parents in the hope that they and my brother (home for the weekend) will be going out to dinner so that I can meet them somewhere and score a free dinner. Possibly one with garlic mashed potatoes. Mmmm...garlic mashed potatoes. And then I'll watch my tape of Joan of Arcadia when we get home and hey, that sounds like a pretty good night to me.

For Halloween this year I have dressed up as a Directionless Twenty-Something. All I had to do was wear my most confused, angsty expression, which was accomplished by spending thirty seconds every fifteen minutes or so thinking about My Future.

I forgot to take off my identity badge (which just says TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE) until a few minutes ago. Which means I've been wandering around the library from computer to printer, interacting with many people, with the badge on. Feel kind of lame, which is stupid, because seriously, WHO CARES?? Will that part of me that's still thirteen ever grow up and stop obsessing over Looking Stupid? Though that begs the question: Should that part of me grow up, would it take with it my affection for Two of a Kind, NSYNC, and many young adult novels? Do I really want to let all that go just so that I'll, you know, stop obsessing over little things no one cares about and enjoy my life? It's a tough call.

You know what's really cool? JSTOR. Holy crap, how did people do research before JSTOR??? I shudder to think.

Final thought: The OC. Could I love it any more? Details in a later post.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
You know who was cool? Eugene V. Debs. Had to read a biography on him for class today, and while I'm not completely confident in the objectivity of the author (the book kind of read like it was written by the press secretary of the I *heart* Eugene Victor Debs Fan Club, but it is a pretty well-known and regarded book, I think, so I'm thinking it's not completely inaccurate), it wasn't too bad a read for a four hundred plus page biography. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that I kind of skipped a bunch of the middle so I'd get to the end before class tonight. But I will go back and read the middle, honest! Someday.

I'm so wiped out. I stayed up until about 3:30 last night writing a paper for class, then got up at a little before seven, and now I know I should go to bed or I'll die tomorrow, but of course, right now, it seems more important to me that I check my email a few more times and write this fascinating LJ entry.

Randomly: In the middle of class today, I took a swig of Diet Coke and a bit of it went down the wrong way just as my professor was getting going on this huge tangent. I was sitting right next to him so I tried not to cough, eventually holding my breath to the point that I could feel myself turning red and the people on the other side of the table started looking at me oddly, so I coughed a bit and stuff and it got bearable, and now I've got this random cough going on, like because I held off on clearing my throat immediately, my windpipe is going to punish me all night by being ticklish. Weirdness.

I saw Lost in Translation over the weekend and it was so great. I'd been looking forward to it for so long that I kind of didn't want to see it anymore, because I was afraid it would be lame or disappointing but it wasn't. It was great. I love it when movies live up to and exceed your expectations.

fearlesstemp: (strictly ballroom)
It should be noted for the record that I am NOT breaking my newly-instituted 12AM bedtime right now. Because everyone knows that 12AM really means 12:15, 12:20 at the latest. 12:30 on the outside. Not actually 12AM! Sticking to the letter of what you've said before is so, well, lame and trustworthy.

Cost of my flakiness today: $3.50. I had to purchase an Oprah Magazine I didn't really want because I was standing in line at the grocery store reading it, and became so engrossed that I didn't realize the next cashier had opened up her register and called me over several times until a fellow grocery store patron shook me by the shoulder. How could I put the magazine away after that? For some reason it felt less lame if I bought it, I don't know why. There is no logic when it comes to Intense Awkwardness Flare-Ups! Anyway, now I have the magazine, which I do usually enjoy because I usually enjoy Oprah. I know someone is reading this and cringing, but I can't help it! She was a part of my childhood and adolescent years. I cannot fight the Oprah Affection.

In other news: Have class again tomorrow and have only read a smidge more than a quarter of the book. Ah, how quickly we revert to our worst habits! I'm hoping I can finish the rest over lunch and dinner before class tomorrow. I have faith in my panicked last-minute speed-reading skillz. They're what got me through my last two years of college, after all.

In yet other news: Today I had to go to church, which I generally don't do because I'm one of the most lapsed of Catholics, because my grandfather had arranged for a mass to be said in memory of my grandmother. He does it every year and I swear it's just so he can be sure that we're getting in the annual two mass attendings required by the Pope to be a practicing Catholics. It was your typical mass stuff, except for the fact that the priest almost started wrestling one of the parishoners! It was AWESOME!

During a portion of the mass, I guess (I don't know because I wasn't paying attention, awesome Catholic that I am) the priest asked us all to pray for success in the war on terrorism. At the end of the mass, when the priest was standing at the back of the church saying goodbye to everyone, one of the older parishoners came up to the priest and said that he hadn't appreciated that and didn't think it was appropriate.

If you were a man of the cloth, would you:

(a) Thank the man and say you'll consider his opinion in the coming days;

(b) Thank the man and keep it at that;

(c) Step outside of the church to have a quiet discussion with the man;


(d) Argue with the man in a shrill voice until it descends into a "You can't tell me what to pray for!"/"I most certainly *will* tell you what to pray for, and if you don't like the War on Terrorism then you can just LEAVE!"/"Well, I WILL!"/"FINE!"/"FINE!" back-and-forth.

If you chose option (d), get the to a nunnery/priestery, because I think that's God calling saying Gender-Neutral-Pronoun needs YOU!

Seriously? It was awesome. I wish I could have videotaped it to share with all of you, because it was on my top five list of funniest things ever. The priest? Is awful. You may recall him from the first mass I attended post-9/11 when he kept saying things like "We may be NEXT! The enemy is AMONG US! We must be EVER-VIGILANT!" and scaring the crap out of us. But the thing is? He has a really high, nasally voice and a pronounced lisp. You know that voice people use when they're trying to sound stereotypically super-gay and effeminate? That is how this man talks ALL THE TIME. And so hearing him scream at the top of his lungs (to the point that his voice broke) about this stuff, culminating in him spinning around and marching down the aisle, vestments swirling to and fro behind him, hollering, "Talk about a cross to bear!"? Was disturbing and funny as hell at the same time.

I felt really bad for the old guy and would have gone over to give him props for standing up for his beliefs, but I was attached at the elbow to my grandfather (who, no lie, has a 2004 Bush Agenda calender in his kitchen just waiting to be hung up), escorting him to his tan Accord with four-foot-high "VOTE PRO LIFE" signs propped up against the car doors. So I wasn't really at liberty to do so.

Post-Smackdown-Mass, we all trekked over to my grandfather's for brunch, where I heartlessly cornered my three aunts and bombarded them with all the bottled-up concerns and frustrations I've been carrying around about my grandfather for the past month and a half. I'd been trying to be subtle, using e-mails and the like, but since that was getting me nowhere, I went the direct approach and just started spewing. So much so and at such length that at one point one of my aunts was gripping her temples all, "Hold on, this is too much for me to take in." I kind of felt bad but not really because I'm a heartless bitch and I'm tired of feeling guilty and powerless alone! They must feel guilty and powerless with me! If I must suffer, they must suffer! Isn't that what being family is all about? Am hoping said guilt-spreading will bring about progress.

Also: I saw no fewer than five rainbows today. Isn't that incredible?

Edited because less and fewer aren't the same things, and on a good day I remember that.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
Obligatory OC Commentage: I described the show's premise to my mother the other night and she said, "Oh, like Fresh Prince?" and I almost fell over because dude! It is so almost exactly like Fresh Prince! Carlton=Seth! Will=Ryan! Except they're not related, but still.

In other news: I have become completely obsessed with The West Wing now that it's in syndication on Bravo and work it into just about every conversation I have. This is because (a) I can't bear not having someone to blab to about my new obsession and (b) my life has been so boring of late that there's been very little outside of the TV world to talk about.

Which kind of changed tonight! I think I've mentioned before that I'm taking a grad history course at a local university to see how I like it, and today I had to go to the school's "Welcome to the Graduate History Program!" meeting. I was, of course, SO NERVOUS, proving that the new poise I've been rambling about to people in my life is a complete fabrication. I feel like I'm no longer shy because I don't meet new people that often nowadays, what with being a lame unemployed temp who chills with the same group of friends she has for years. But tonight, having to go meet a whole group of people for the first time? Nerves! Nerves!

I would like it noted for the record that I was NOT late; in fact, I was actually very, very early. This is good because it took me four tries around the MASSIVE circle at the main entrance to the campus to find the Visitors' Parking, despite the fact that the Visitors' Parking is right off of the circle and marked by a huge blinking lit-up sign. I am not exaggerating; a huge. blinking. sign. And I did not see it! I drove around the circle so many times, and so slowly, that the students sitting in the bus kiosk on the circle stared so much at me my third time around (I was going ridiculously slowly in an electric blue station wagon with a hole in the bumper -- suffice it to say I was conspicuous) that I had to get off the circle and drive around the rest of the campus a bit before I could go back to the Mysterious Circle Drive Of Hell Or At The Very Least Major Annoyance again.

Finally spotted the massive blinking sign and pulled in, parked the car, and realized that the lot was located as far as humanly possible from the building I was headed to. This annoyed me because (a) I am lazy and (b) I was not wearing sensible shoes. You'd think after twenty-three years living in this world, I would realize that umbrellas and sandals do not mix. If you feel you need to bring an umbrella, then odds are you need to change the sandals! Why do I never realize this? So my feet got all wet and gross and I felt self-conscious about the sandals, fearing they would realize a girl who can't even choose proper footwear does not belong in their university.

Speaking of the university, I must take a moment and marvel at how annoyingly designed it is. Everything looks alike -- no, seriously. It does. It was all built at once, and it's all symmetrical and white and with intimidatingly high arches everywhere, and it's difficult to get to one area from another because there are Very Specific Ways Of Getting Places which aren't obvious at first! I kept wandering around, ending up in areas cordoned off with chains and padlocks and stuff. It was like a nightmare! I almost got to the point of throwing down my bag, screaming, "I can see it RIGHT THERE, why can't I GET THERE?!?!" very dramatically a la someone in a horror movie. That, or maybe asking a fellow student for directions.

It was totally just like a nightmare.

Anyway, the meeting itself wasn't really a nightmare, except for the part where the guy who did most of the talking was boring enough to make me come thisclose to falling asleep. I talked to a couple fellow students, found the bookstore and bought my books, and got some cheddar cheese and pretzel combos on my way out. I call that a successful meeting, myself.

Post-grad school meetingage, I drove out to meet Anna and Jo to go to one of the Dean meetups in our area, a different one from the one Anna and I went to before. The one Anna and I went to a few months ago was nice, at this cool coffeehouse with lots of young people. This one? Was held at the library and we three were the youngest there by twenty-five years easy. I felt like we'd accidentally walked into the local AARP meeting, but no! It was Dean! I was surprised how many older people are, like, crazy into Dean. As my friend Jo said, "I didn't know there were liberal old people! I thought you just got bitter as you aged." I had felt the same way, probably because the most politically active member of the senior citizen set I know is my grandfather, a man who had always been a strong supporter of the Democratic party and now falls to the right of, well, everyone on the ideological spectrum. Tomorrow he wants to dictate a letter to me about Andrew Greeley, btw. My life is so exciting.

Regardless! Loooots of older peeps. Anna and I were so jealous of Jo (in that way where you're not jealous at ALL) because the one guy in the place who looked like he could be under forty sat down next to her for a minute. Said under-forty was sporting this orange-highlighted mullet/tail hair disaster from the early eighties that was so terrible, you couldn't look away. Seriously? Worst hairdo ever. The kind of hairdo that's so awful that when someone wearing it sits down next to one of your best friends, you canNOT look at your best friend because you know -- KNOW -- that if you make eye contact, you will not be able to prevent hysterical laughter. The type of hairdo that makes you want to kidnap the wearer and take him to a cabin in the woods until he grows the hair out to a length sufficient to style differently. The type of hairdo that, hours later, is still making me cringe and feel bad for the guy.

Anyway, Mr. Hockey Hair got up after a short conference with the guy sitting two seats down from Jo, and soon we had to do the sit-in-a-circle-introduce-yourselves thing I always, always hate and had been grateful for avoiding at the grad school meeting. Public speaking sucks! Okay, so it's not really public speaking when you're just introducing yourself, but still! All those eyes on you! Nerves! I'm pretty sure I made no sense when it was my turn. The other people were interesting and in only one or two cases suspiciously crazy-acting (one guy got all bug-eyed in passion over the whole thing, and later nearly had a fistfight with another guy in the meeting over being a bad listener or something -- I missed the bulk of the fight because I was in the bathroom! How unfair is that?). It was a pretty good meeting. Don't agree with Dean 100%, but nobody's perfect (save myself, natch), and he's not afraid to call Bush out. Not to mention the fact he's getting people fired up.

And lastly, Note to self: CALL AND ORDER NEW CONTACTS TOMORROW. Have been operating off of same disposable pair for almost twice as long as I'm supposed to. Eyes are very upset b/c of this.

And now I go off to lull myself to sleep with my tape of The West Wing. Happy times.


fearlesstemp: (Default)

February 2009

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