Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood."*

   I had class at 8 a.m. this morning.
   I planned my school clothes the night before, so it was supposed to be easy: wake up, put on clothes, leave apartment and walk to class. I had intended to wear a pair of shoes (flats, mind you) that I know to be uncomfortable (from a terrible night spent waiting tables in them), so I packed a spare pair of comfies in my school bag.
   Thing is, I’m basically a moron before 11 a.m.
   Thing is, I'm basically a moron.
   I forgot sunscreen, I didn’t eat anything, and my coffee mug was dirty and I wasn’t sure I could take coffee to class anyway (nothing like getting reprimanded on your first day with a new professor).
   But Professor E was holding a hot cup of Starbucks throughout his lecture and between staring at it, rubbing my eyes, and sucking in my stomach every time I felt a huge, orchestral rumble come on, I felt very ill-prepared for my second day of graduate school. Ill-prepared, jealous, stupid, and my feet already hurt.
   After class, some of my new friends and I walked over to a local cafĂ© for breakfast. Apparently, they’d all eaten because while they ordered coffee and toast or "just a latte," I had an omelet with a side of bacon and a side of black beans and about four cups of coffee.
   Then we went to class number two. By this time there was a decided hitch in my giddy-up because left foot was threatening to kick that shoe in the garbage (left foot is definitely the bigger/dominant foot). But we made it to the lecture, and I even made it to the bathroom during the lecture (to relieve myself from what had indeed been, upon close calculation during the lecture and while holding my pee, four cups of coffee)—a bathroom that is either three miles from the lecture hall or which there was an easier way to find that I don’t know about (probably the latter).
   After second class, I decided to be pro-active and get my student ID. Fast-forward to me standing in line for 40 minutes, one shoe off, playing Sudoku on my phone and praying that my left foot wouldn’t get all comfortable outside of the shoe and then refuse to go back in it.
  (Side note: in my student ID photo I look like a fucking hipposaurus.)
   So I started walking home, finding some lovely, shaded paths behind the main drags of campus, and attempting to take in the scenery and pretend that I didn’t feel the need to limp. I’d gone about a quarter mile before I realized that I’d been walking south instead of east, effectively making my trip a good half-mile longer than it had to be. I no longer pretended not to limp. I had to make a conscious effort not to crawl. Or take my damn shoes off all together. But hell, it was over 100 degrees, so I knew the sidewalk wasn’t going to do me any favors. At that point I didn’t even mind looking like a hillbilly, I just didn’t want my feet to suffer any worse pain than the current moment.
   I kept up a brave front. I used all my old acting skills and acted like I didn’t want to lay down on the ground and scream (yay, Theatre degree!). I saw some neat parts of campus and cool kids in groovy clothes and people with booths promoting their yachting clubs, crew clubs and weird Asian nerd frats. But I couldn’t enjoy a moment of it. It felt like my left pinky toe was being slowly sawed off my foot.
   Things went on like that for about a mile before I realized, “Holy shit. I have a spare pair of shoes in my bag!”
   I immediately sat down on a curb and took my shoes off. My left foot was bloody in several places and I had brand-new, bright-red blisters. (I’d pre-bandaged my toes, but that didn’t help either—the blood was dripping into my shoes.)
Blood spilling out of my unassuming flat. Ubiquitous Texan insects running for their lives.

   New shoes on, I felt moronic again. Who in god’s name intentionally packs a spare pair of comfy shoes and then completely forgets about them after walking for 3 miles in shoes full of bloody blisters?
   I’ll tell you who: the same gal who didn’t put sunscreen on her paper-white ass before spending multiple hours in the midday Texas sunshine. The same girl who eats string cheese for dinner because she doesn’t bother to plan or cook a meal…ever. The same girl who will probably die of a combination of skin cancer, malnutrition and gangrene in the next 3-to-6 months if she doesn’t get her act together.
   Maybe most importantly: the same gal who wears heinously painful shoes to school in the first place. Sigh out loud.
   I’m guessing that I won’t be able to move around much tomorrow. But look forward to butt-loads of future complaining.

*Romy and Michele's Highschool Reunion (David Mirkin, 1997).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas."*

   Hey, you crazies.

   Sorry it’s been so long since my last post.

   I live in Texas y'all.

   I am very hot.

   I have an apartment now.

   And go out a lot.

   That was a poem. Did you get it? Didja?

    Can you keep a secret? I can't. That has nothing to do with my next statement: I’m super in love with this town. I’m so hot most days it’s hard to concentrate or remember my name, but when I’m in my car blasting the AC, and I can focus on life, I find every sight I see highly entertaining if not downright inspiring. 
That's the reading inside at 12:30 a.m. Yikes!

   This post isn’t worth much…just a shout-out to the blogosphere to let y’all know I’m alive.

   Top 5 things I like about Austin so far:

1.  Despite driving in what I’m told is heinous traffic, I can’t help feeling Austin is a paradise compared to LA. Nothing takes more than 30 minutes, and it usually takes a lot less.

2.  Every street looks eclectic and original and bizarre. This is not a town of strip malls and Walmarts, praise Jesus!

3.  Some lady very nicely explained from her car in the lane next to mine today that I was in the wrong lane and about to experience a head-on collision. She offered to let me move in front of her. What? Courteous, kind fellow drivers? What planet am I on?

4.  My new apartment has a balcony overlooking a charming creek. Yay, nature! 
How cute is the GE stove from the 70's? And, as Ouisa pointed out,if it works, I'm one step ahead of my last apartment.

5.  Everyone here dresses fashionably: but not LA fashionably. We’re talking personalized, outrageous, adorable, crazy fashion from vintage to full tattoo sleeves to head-to-toe UT gear. In LA everyone dresses to look thin or importantly chic, here people dress to look unique, different, and like they just don't give a shit. And it’s WONDERFUL. I’ve never seen more beautiful people in one place in my entire life (except of course, at family reunions, duh).

   Honorable Mention: to Louise “Moose” Hopp: Gabe’s kitty has been my go-to companion, whether I’m on the front porch or the back picnic table. She sleeps at the end of the bed and only talks when she has something important to say. She searches out the strange rustling under the backyard steps and keeps me from running in the house screaming because I’m afraid of creatures. Thanks Gabe and Dan and Louise for letting me crash here!
Moose working security on the front porch.

I’ll keep you posted.

*That quote is from Davy Crockett.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"I'm smarter now than I've ever been in my life."*

   I’ve been really awful about blogging this summer.

   Part of me hopes that everyone is disappointed and sad and checks this page every day for updates and is let down and then their days are ruined because I haven’t posted.

   The bigger part of me knows that you all have been living your lives the way you always do, and haven’t been too bummed about it in the least. Fine. (Screw you.)

   Anywhose-its, I don’t want to bore you with a recreation of my intensely amazing summer (you really couldn’t handle it, anyway), I just want to talk to you about math.

   I know I’ve kvetched about math on at least one occasion, but I want to fully describe to you the utter horror that this math class has wreaked on my life.

1.  I am taking statistics online through Omaha’s Metro Community College. Therefore, I am essentially my own teacher. And my teacher is really bad at math.

2.  There are, if I were a responsible, adult-type person, approximately 2-3 hours of homework per day. But who the hell wants to have so much fun? So I wait until day 3 or 4 and do 5-6 hours at a stretch. I’m like an Olympic athlete at math. Except for not really, because I don't try.

3.  Since the course is of course online, I am at a distinct disadvantage because of my cave woman-level knowledge of the Interwebs.

4.  My sister Penelope, who is ten years younger than I am, is taking the same class. Which sort of puts me in the mood to say, “WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE?”

5.  I’m a girl. We’re not supposed to have to learn the maths (duh), because we’re supposed to get married after high school. But I’m not married, so I have to learn statistics. Thanks a lot, God.

6.  Math books are written by mathematicians, therefore they are extremely good at telling you things that make no sense and they are really terrible at WRITING ANYTHING OF VALUE. I.e. “blah-blah-blah, use this formula, blah-blah-blah, don’t worry about it, "snoochie-roochie," don't think so hard, "blah, blah, blah," answer.” There is no, for instance, description of how these mathematical terms work in the grander scheme of things, just pictures of Asian women with glasses leaning over a list of really long columns of numbers. Yeah, thanks. I already knew Japanese ladies could do math. Showing me a picture of it does not constitute an education or a text book, you dumb fucks.

7.  Really long columns of numbers: fuck you, statistics! Now that we know what we’re doing, do you think you could maybe just hand me the standard deviation for this problem so this quiz doesn’t take me 5 hours to complete?
Here's a collage of my summer artwork.

8.  I know I’m starting grad school in mere weeks, but what does it all mean for me? As soon as I take a math test I’m over it. I don’t hate math, I just don’t ever want to do it again. Because it's stupid and awful. (J/'s just time-consuming, requires concentration, and doesn't happen to get my motor running. I'm not trying to be an engineer, bitches!)

   So…the summer has been full of long columns of hideous numbers that mean nothing to me in any real context. In many ways, that is the short story of my life.
   I have, on a positive note, learned a lot about gambling odds. Hopefully this will prove useful the next time I'm on an Indian reservation. 

*This quote is from Season Two of Mad Men. It's odd I haven't quoted Mad Men before. The show makes no sense, has no point, and is yet one of the most addictive pieces of shenanigans I've ever seen. And consider this: not a single character does math. Fuck yeah, advertising!