Monday, October 31, 2005
Thanks to Brad Kreit for this tidbit: Hugo Chavez says "no" to Halloween in Venezuela.
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS. AND WHEN IT DRIES UP...
Two of my aunts came up today and we had lunch at Gourmet House. They had left pretty early in the morning and when we got back from that late lunch, they both slept for an hour or so at my place. Before they left, they handed off to me some sweaters and PowerBars from my mom and a "donation" to the "Taurus Rehabilitation Fund."
I realize that none but a select few know the recent story of the Taurus. Somewhat immediately after the whole summer car fiasco was over, I noticed my car had some problems with its transmission; it'd lurch changing some gears, and even shake a little when I'd go into reverse cold. In addition, Tauro'd heat up very rapidly on occasion, which really gave me pause about going on longer trips with the car.
On Friday I decided to do the bulk of my Halloween shopping, so I hit up quite a few places with my car, going as far as North Attleboro (about 20 miles by freeway). Everything seemed fine, until the drive back. I started noticing some acceleration problems on the highway -- I wasn't getting up to 50 without some really noticible and out-of-place revving -- and so I pulled over and started my engine up again.
Luckily, that little moment gave my car enough umph to make it back to Providence, where I managed to get over some steep hills before my car's transmission went kaput. Every time I'd come to a complete stop, I couldn't get the car to accelerate. Instead, I sat there at stopsigns and stoplights revving up as if I were in neutral. I hit the luck jackpot that night as I was able to use the gravity from driving downhill with the momentum from pulling over to the side of the road and starting the car up again a few times to get me to my place.
I called my mom up to let her know about the car. She let me know that she was leaving for China (!), and to put whatever the cost of the repair was on a credit card. I called AAA to come and tow the car and I chatted with the tow truck driver about transmissions. He warned me that the service station at which my car was now lying dormant would charge me $1500 to have my transmission reconditioned or even to order a new one to install. He gave me the name of a place down in Coventry that worked on transmissions, and I left the car for inspection the next morning.
That night, I came home and despite my best efforts at not worrying, I started looking up used cars. I found a great Dodge Ram Van that a friend suggested I turn into either the Mystery Machine or a mobile shag station.
Anyway, the next morning the service center called up and explained what they thought was wrong with the transmission. Apparently, the fluid was pitch black and a replacement of fluid would probably put my car back on the road. I told them to go ahead with the work and I went to pick up the car right before I went to Mass.
Since the end of the Summer, I've sunk $700 in repairs into Tauro, and thankfully my family has been kind and loving enough to assist me with what my aunt calls "no stress" money -- no stress about my car so I can concentrate on school. I wonder if I will be so generous when I have nephews in college. I figure I should be.
I'm debating whether or not my grad student friends would attend a party on the 11th if most of us would be going to dinner that night anyway. I still am harboring fantasies (delusions) of a pretty decent-sized shindig that's largely self-sustaining. Would they be partied out already by the activities earlier in the night? One vote for a big, spectacular party came from my aunt today; she said that 25 is a big enough deal to have a blowout.
Also, I wonder how many people could fit in the condo -- we don't exactly have Aaron Spelling's mansion here. Should I simply just invite a select few or empty out my tiny mental rolodex of friends? And would I be able to entertain all those people with my charisma and my roommate's Nintendo?
Sunday, October 30, 2005
There's Brian and me being badass at Holly and Joe's party last night. He's Elwood Blues (you can see the "OD" on his fingers if you enlarge the picture), and I'm an 80s hoodlum. If you're wondering, and I know you are, my gloves are cheapo women's gloves with some random scissoring, and my bandana is really a Martha Stewart-designed bandana print kitchen towel. The vest, as you might already have known, was a $7 find at the Salvation Army (of the stylish brand Countdown).
I ended up going to two parties last night. Holly and Joe's party was laid-back, lots of people from the department and quite a few anthropologists. It was a good, relaxed time. In contrast, the second party I went to was raucous, with lots and lots of people and obligatory table dancing. That was a good time too.
However, one dude was nice and drunk and somehow managed to spill beer on my shoe. So as I'm cleaning it up (with him not caring), I managed to knock over the VASE he was drinking out of, making me clean up more shit. He was too drunk to be totally angry and I was too nice to fucking tear him apart. I walked away before I could tackle him. The fucker.
I promised my students I'd wear my Halloween costume to section tomorrow night. I doubt they'll get it, but we'll see.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Barrington Moore, Jr., author of Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, died on October 22nd of this month. Sadly, I missed the day itself; someone from the first-year cohort informed me a few days ago. That's what I get for not reading the Times.
I read Moore's book twice at Conn: the first time in my Intro to Comparative Politics class and again in Prof. Gay's class on industrialization and democracy. Both of those classes came during my freshman year, a time when I was a little up in the air about my intellectual trajectory. I was planning on either majoring in IR or double-majoring in Soc and Government, focusing on race with Soc and IR or Comparative with Government.
Obviously, there's a lot of crossover and similarities between the fields, but at that time, I was turning into sort of a nascent Marxist anti-racist because of my Intro to Soc and Race and Ethnicity courses that year. However, two events really set me off on another path. The first was a conference held at Conn that year called (if I recall correctly) "Conference for the Eradication of Racism." I was totally gung-ho about the concept of the conference, but then I met people who actually "did" anti-racism work. No knock on the cause, but the method and the people were far from analytical, driven more by the passion of the struggle, which I think ultimately made them both right, but ineffective. I was seriously pissed at what I called back then "one-issue liberalism" which now I'd call "liberal reductionism" -- the essentialization of social ills to a single particular injustice and suggests tautological responses to address said injustice, which really amount to sloganism.
The second was reading Moore's Social Origins. I really didn't "get" it the first time through, but when we went over it again in Prof. Gay's class, I felt like someone had revealed the secrets to the universe to me. Moore's breadth and depth were amazing, but what got me was the configurational aspect to his analysis -- the combination of peasants, landowners, and nascent bourgeoisie, along with the timing of industrialization, all mattered to democratic, fascist, and communist outcomes. I think too Moore's light cynicism appealed to me: in order to achieve any of those "modern" outcomes, societies necessarily had to eliminate or repress one of those classes -- there was no peaceful route to modernization. But I think the most appealing aspect of Moore was how he was able to see such specific patterns of class conflict, reaching back so far in history, making historical determinism appealing, and arguably answering the most profoundly important question for the 20th century: why do some countries become democratic, others fascist, and others communist?
And look at me now, doing comparative-historical analysis, trying to get at the qualities of democracy around the world. Deep down, I aspire to write a book as great at Moore's, with such breadth, such creative perspective on classes and conflict, and such importance. Are there still questions to ask like Moore's? Are their still causes deeply embedded in history? I guess we'll keep looking.
For now, rest in peace Dr. Moore.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
George Takai, the actor who played Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, is going to publish he's coming out of the closet later this week. This, of course, coming on the heels that Sheryl Swoops has come out as well. I bet this is a great relief to George and to him and his partner and family I wish much happiness. Though, all of the actors on the original Star Trek did wear eyeshadow on the show (especially Mr. Spock), so maybe this wasn't too surprising.
HALLOWEEN COSTUME UPDATE
I went to the Salvation Army down near the supermarket to look for costume shtuffs. I looked around a bit and found a very 80s vest, complete with zippers. But, it's all black, so I'm thinking about painting some red stripes on it. Also, there weren't any really tight jeans, though I guess I could go back tomorrow and look at the boys' section.
I talked with a few people at the department today and I guess we came to the conclusion that there's not really one 80s gang member look -- there's white gangs, black gangs, post-apocalyptic gangs. Really, lots of gangs.
As for practicing the "Beat It" dance, I came across this interesting site on the net: some lady with a funny accent, teaching people how to do Michael Jackson dances. While she doesn't have the group choreo for "Beat It", it's a good resource for those of you (me) who want to impress with some MJ.
I promise pictures, kids. And hopefully an interesting enough story to blog about. Those have been lacking lately.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
My friend Jen and I are working on doing a joint birthday celebration (her birthday is on Nov 18th). Right now, it's nothing more than a dinner and ice cream with friends on the 11th of November. I really want to have sort of a significantly large party that night as well; I think I deserve a massive shindig, even though I'm not a massive shindig type of guy. I guess we'll see how many people we can fit in the condo -- we might have to spill outside onto the deck (but it's gonna be cold...).
Now, would people come? I'm only partially doubting myself on this one. Would a party I throw get people to show up? If I threw a party, inviting everyone I knew, would I see that the biggest gift would be for me and the card attatched would say "thank you for being a friend"?
I had a late lunch today and was riding pretty high-strung thinking about those terrible Wednesdays that come once in awhile. I got to PT today under stress of my own generation and asked to spend most of my cardio time on the bike, instead of on the treadmill. So I took it really easy biking and I did run about five minutes on the treadmill at 6:30 pace, and when I finished, there was still a spring in my step and I wasn't totally tired. Not being pooped at the onset of PT made the rest of the session go by really quickly. I was really light on my feet for all the agility work and I didn't feel like I was dragging energy-wise.
Which brings me to this dilemma: should I forgo the intense cardio work before PT so that I can better handle the more technical portions of the sessions? Or, should I push myself as if Wuyke himself was riding my ass? On the one hand, I sure felt better during PT not having used up all my energy, but that I think might be counterintiuitve to developing all-around endurance.
It could very well be that I was having a good day or that I've actually reached a decent enough level of endurance that I'm not pooping myself out with the same amount of activity. I guess we'll find out Friday.
A few weekends ago, my housemate Andrew, his brother, and I were chilling in the living room, just watching late-night TV when we saw an ad for Geppetto's Pizzeria over on Federal Hill in Providence. Geppetto's apparently has what it calls "Geppetto's Idol" -- a karaoke contest -- every Wednesday night. I sort of want to head over tomorrow night and throw my hat in, and probably drag some other people with me too, since karaoke by yourself is like going to Disneyland by yourself -- you're obviously really lonely or you're a pedophile. And I'm only really lonely. No I'm not. I've got to be a pedophile, 'cause I'm a catholic.
Monday, October 24, 2005
I looked at my legs recently to see how they're sort of balancing out. I flexed both and the left quad is still smaller than my right quad. I eyeball about an inch difference in circumference. I guess it sort of concerns me since I want to be able to be at sports effectiveness in a couple months, but perhaps I shouldn't worry so much since I've only really been going all out on my recovery since I've been back here. I wonder if I need to add another day or go back to doing a lot of daily exercises for my left leg. In any case, I've now added an extra zit to my face for this worry.
Though, in a much more vain and certainly less troubling note, the rest of me looks really good. I should go shirtless more often. Um, for the ladies.
A circuitous link adventure (submitted by Patrick) leads us to WholesomeWear Swimwear. Yes ladies, you can wear form-denying swimwear that "highlights the face". This is obviously a boon for the pretty-faced, but a total "bust" for the butterfaced. I think from now on I will suggest to the ugly that they should look for clothing that "highlights the face", replacing my somewhat more limited (and as I've learned, unoriginal) suggestion that people "go into handmodeling".
This one, you can snap between your legs to give the semblance of thighs. I can't figure out where the "single zipper" is. How will I first unsnap the skirt, then sexily follow the formless shape of the body to the single zipper that will release the pius woman inside?
Sunday, October 23, 2005
It's not a bad weekend, work-wise. I've got the theory midterm to correct and some easy reading for class on Monday. Eventually, I have to do some research for a 3-pager due Wednesday evening, but I'm going to try to get the easy stuff out of the way first.
I spent yesterday evening watching the White Sox-Astros game and fudging around, half-reading things. When my housemates got back from wherever it was they went, I made them watch Swingers with me, which, for those of you who don't know, is the greatest inspirational film of the past few decades.
TODAY'S VINTAGE PATRICK
Today's vintage Patrick deals with the white supremacist teeny bopper twins, Prussian Blue.
Just to do a fugue on Patrick's observations, I find white supremacy's obsession with 19th century Germany quite hilarious, primarly because, well, I think it's a poor cultural touchstone for "whiteness" that American nationalism-patriotism does so much better. While American White nationalism has Dixie and flag-and-eagle bandanas, and certainly the flag bikini, "Aryanism" has the dirndl, which, no matter the race, is terribly unsexy (yes, even the mini-dirndl is unsexy). Maybe if you cut slits for the nipples? Nah.
Of course, no cultural pseudo-movement is complete without its own blog. Pay special attention to this post, which again shows that white supremacy is unsexy in that "little girls shouldn't even try to be sexual" way.
If I know my pop culture, I believe that Mary-Kate and Ashley were fodder for pedophiliac fantasies, and last time I checked, that was bad. Good work, Prussian Blue. An excellent template for your cultural revolution.
SPEAKING OF DRESS-UP
Remember ladies, don't be sluts for Halloween. Might I suggest a dirndl?
Friday, October 21, 2005
I told the therapists at PT about my plan to dress as an 80s gang member and to dance the choreography to Beat It. First of all, they thought it was hilarious. Second of all, one was a dance teacher, so I sorta worked out the big problems I'd been having with the first few moves -- I hadn't correctly moved my inside foot first on the second set of arm raises.
Anyway, I went and got a DVD of Michael Jackson videos and spent the afternoon breaking down Beat It. Being as the DVD won't allow me to jump to certain parts of the video, nor can I play it back in slow motion, there was much pausing and rewinding. Also, we don't have a mirror big enough for me to see what I'm doing. So instead, I watched my shadow reflection against a framed poster in our dining room.
I got hamstrung with the "gull wing-deal the cards" combination of moves. I think I sorta got it down after a bit, but I'll certainly have to revisit it later on this week. These moves, of course, will replace my public display of my sentai transformation. I think it's entirely worth it, since it's weirder.
Ok, here's the plan: I'm going to be an 80s gang member for Halloween. What stereotypes can I feed upon for this one? I'm aiming for the 80s gang member look from Michael Jackson's "Beat It" or "Bad" videos. So actually, I'm not sure if there's an archetype here to follow. I'm thinking some sort of headband, some sort of sleevless jacket thingy, jeans? I dunno.
And part of me doesn't think people'll get it and think I'm part of Journey or something. So, what I'd like to do is learn the choreography to "Beat It" to be able to dance it at will. Now, I've thought about doing this before, but now, more than ever, is the impetus greater. The universe feels uneasy and imbalanced without my knowledge of the "Beat It" choreography. I hear the galactic clamor, it is deafening.
No one wants to be defeated.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Loyal readers (all four of you), I still await from you a suggestion for a new day count challenge. What would you have The Bosslec do that'd require a mulitple day commitment? Lemme know!
THE LATER SHIFT
Starting this week, my Tuesday morning Race and Ethnicity course gets moved to Wednesday afternoon to accomodate a couple people's commutes. What happens to me, though, is a long, continuous block of learning that essentially shifts my entire day a few hours:
Race and Ethnicity, 1-4pm
Colloquium on Comparative Research, 4-6pm
Social Capital and Social Networks 6:30-9pm
Yeah, I'll cry you a river. I'll have three breaks in there, two mid-class and one 30-minute breather for dinner. Other than that, I'm pooped on. This is, I think, an atypical academic day, which makes me yearn for ending coursework already. Sadly, I still have a semester and a quarter to go.
HALLOWEEN COSTUME INTERNAL DEBATE
Last night at Brian's party, a few friends and I discussed Halloween costumes. No one really had an idea of what they wanted to be, but I set my criterion as "Something that would still get me laid." The one idea out there is to wear a disco leisure suit a la John Travolta, but that seems a little difficult to put together. I suggested a dancer's practice outfit a la John Travolta and the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever", "Staying Alive".
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
A couple days ago, I made an accounting of all the money I owe "the Man". This was prompted by a rather decent sized hospital bill from my surgery in June, claiming that since the surgeon needed an assistant doctor. Insurance won't pay for said doctor, so I have to fork over a month and a half's worth of groceries. In sum, it looks like I'm going to have to watch close to 3/4 of my monthly income go bye-bye. Had I not received that cushion from my aunt a few weeks ago, I'd have been wiping my ass with my bare hands right about now.
If anything, that last paragraph shows how frustrated I am: I'm using crude idiomatic expressions.
BRIAN'S B-DAY, MY PARTIAL TRIP TO HARTFORD, CT
My friend Brian had a little birthday get-together at the Trinity Brewhouse down in downtown Providence tonight, and I of course, said I didn't need directions on how to get there. I used Google Earth and wrote down what I thought would be useful and clear directions. And, I guess they were, but with Mr. Unconfident driving, everything gets muddled.
I got as far as downtown, but then I made a bad left turn and ended up on the freeway. I figured if I took the first exit, I could get off and then just head back in the opposite direction. Of course, the first exit just put me on another highway, this time, towards Hartford. I went a good distance before I could get to the next exit, and it spit me out somewhere in the less well-lit parts of Providence. Thankfully the sky was clear and bright enough for me to make out the Bank of America Building and head in its general direction.
Then I had to park, which, for those of you who know me, is my weakest driving skill, nay, life skill. Luckily, my inability to find street parking wasn't due to my pussiness, but due to the fact that there was literally no street parking (on a Tuesday night? In Providence?). Eventually, I decided to bite the bullet and pay for lot parking. Of course, all the lots required me to pay up front and all I could have paid with were stamps and condoms. At the end though, I was able to park in a lot and the attendant was nice enough to let me run across the street and hit up an ATM.
Brian's get-together was great -- nice and low-key, good company, good stuff in general. Brian's going to be gone next year and I'm really gonna miss the guy. He's been a big brother to me in the department, and a great friend especially when it comes to trying to fix turn signals and moving my stuff in the rain.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Jordan asked me earlier this week if I was still counting how many days I've been celibate. No. Certainly not. In fact, I have to think of something worth counting again. Suggestions welcome, though I guess doing so asks you kids to give me a challenge. Let's just limit them to things that won't be too embarassing. Or rather, things that I wouldn't mind being embarassed by.
Oh what a play on words. I spent the day at the soc picnic. We had probably the lowest turnout of faculty this time around, which is a little disheartening, partly because we usually play a faculty vs. grad students volleyball game (they didn't have enough to field a side), and because it's really a great opportunity for faculty and grad students to mingle outside of class. Still, we did have a good day, despite me deciding to write a thought paper for class Monday, delaying Daniel and I by about 20-30 minutes. Lots of fun had by all.
I feel a little drained though. I should go to bed right now so I can hit the gym tomorrow morning, but I felt it necessary to hold a review session with the kids tomorrow evening, which by some extension of logic means that I decided to write up a study guide. It's one of those exciting things again where I've volunteered to take on extra work, then realizing at the last moment that it's actually more than I can handle. Really, I'm overwhelming myself with all this extra stuff, and I guess eventually karmic power will even things out, right?
I WANT A BIRTHDAY PARTY
I'm going to have a birthday party because it's been about three years since anyone (including myself) has celebrated my birthday. When I turned 22, I spent the day with Brett shopping for pirate clothes at the mall, saw Ashleigh at a play, then went to a Vox party in Maggie's room. I think I laughed about a billion times before Kate and Maggie came in with a surprise cake for me: the second surprise birthday cake I'd ever received.
Later though, the Housefellow came by. "Hey," Mailin said. "Is Oslec here?" Now, we though we were getting busted, or rather, I thought I was getting busted. But apparently she just wanted to "check". Later that night, Elli and Reynaldo came by with other people from CCASA and some prefrosh and another suprise birthday cake.
I still have the picture someone took of us: me, holding the cake and a plastic pirate knife; and the rest of the CCASA crew behind me. It'd be hard to top that day... really hard. But you know me, always setting my expectations high.
THE GIRL AT CHURCH
So a couple weeks ago, I went to the 5pm mass over at St. Sebastian's. Other than there not being present an organist (meaning we had to sing a-cappella), I ended up sitting a few pews behind a rather attractive woman around my age, sitting by herself. Today, I sat more in front, partially to avoid ungodly thoughts, but I saw her on the way out.
Now, how the heck do I broach asking a girl out from church?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Let's go backwards today. I got up at about 8:30, sort of planning to head to the AC before Mom came into day from New York, but really got up because Mom called. I fully expected Mom to call about sixty times before she left, each usually with increasingly weirder and weirder requests. She asked if it was cold up here, which sadly, it is.
Just about twenty or so minutes later, she called again:
"Os, we're taking the train to New Haven, so come and pick us up here," she said. Typical Mom, not much in the way of explanation, but a lot in the way of request.
And, I love my Mom. But New Haven is two hours away in good weather. "Uh, can't you take a train to New London? It's closer," I asked. So she went to check.
A little bit later, she called back. "All the trains between New York and Boston have been cancelled," she said. Holy crap.
"Well, what about the bus?" I asked.
"Why don't you take the bus?" she retorted. "No, why don't you just drive? We have clothes here for you [!]."
"Well I have my picnic tomorrow, so I need to be back here early. I don't think it'd work," I said. I figured if the trains and busses were delayed, it'd take me about four to five hours in Tauro to head down there.
My aunt called her "driver," but he was charging about $400 for the trip. Given that, I suggested they just fly, which they I think went to go check up on. They might end up coming tomorrow for the Soc picnic, but that's not set. We'll see.
So ultimately, Mom wasn't coming up today. Errgh.
DANCE MIX USA, VOL.4
I think in the past couple weeks, I've sort of reverted to my awkward middle school self -- unconfidently moving around, stiff, insecure. But I guess part and parcel with that is the semi-revival of my obsession with Eurodance, defined in an earlier post as when Europe decided to rap, and rap poorly. There were some really bad songs (DJ Bobo's questionable attempt to find another word to rhyme with "day"), but I think I did come across some of the better tunes out there.
I was trawling the net for some of my old favorites when I rediscovered what I think is the best dance compilation from the mid-90s: Dance Mix USA, Vol. 4. First, the album is a snapshot of middle school dance music; "This is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan, "Another Night" by Real McCoy, and "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base were big time 7th and 8th grade songs. But also, this shit doesn't let up towards the end with "Cotton Eye Joe" and "Get Ready For This" so it's got the novelty+energy thing that all classic dance songs have behind them.
I have to admit, it has some classic Eurodance on it too. "Tonight is the Night" feels like it was produced bit more weakly than the other songs, but it's got a typical eurodance song profile with a catchy hook chorus and horrible ragga rapping. What makes it special is that it was, I think, a little precocious in that the lead singer actually spoke English: Melanie Thornton went on to sing with La Bouche and did the lead vocals the more accessible Eurodance song "Be My Lover". Sadly, Thornton died in a plane crash a few years ago.
Anyway, yeah. Dance Mix USA, Vol. 4. Best dance compliation ever. Even better than Pure Disco, Vol. 1.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Today's plan is simple: I have a three-page paper to turn in by this afternoon that doesn't require me to physically be in the department. So, I'm going to sit in the kitchen and type really fast.
I may leave the house to buy chicken or protein (for vanity, I mean come on). I was also thinking of replacing my old cord blazer with one that, well, fits. Ulitimately, I should be more or less caught up after today, despite having been yanked back a bit earlier this week.
And it's wet outside. Wet does not a good day make, unless you're perhaps a farmer in the midst of a drought. Or a robot that runs on water in the midst of a drought. Therefore, unless you're a farmer or a robot, wet does not a good day make. QED, motherfuckahs.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I woke up at about 8:10 this morning. I think I got about 5 hours of sleep, which isn't bad considering I tried to stay up and write a lecture on Durkheim. I had also not read a page of the Philadelphia Negro, W.E.B. DuBois' really groundbreaking and only recently praised work of sociology at the turn of the century. So I felt a little guilty about that one.
I managed to make it out of my house only a few minutes after optimal leaving time (that is, I left five minutes late) and I got to class just in time to ask Jose to let me out early so I could prep for running class.
Class itself had its ups and downs. I tried lecturing, but that bored even me. So I did an activity on the board with them and then discussed the papers and handed them back. I sort of expected people to be asking to have their grades changed, but I didn't get a deluge, so I sort of see that as a good sign that my comments and grading were fair.
I'm not sure where in all of that I got incredibly tired, but I think it was me running on adrenaline for most of that morning that's hitting me now. Though I did get my wish: I was a hero instead of being in love.
So, two days ago Brett, Yuko, and Fred showed up to P-Town to kick it with the Boss. Brett and Yuo arrived first, and we watched Made (I can't find the episode in there... it's the one with the girl who wants to become a girly-girl, then proceeds to dump all her friends) for a bit.
It got to be about 2pm and we were wondering where Fred was. First I thought, "I know, I'll constantly call Fred's cellphone without leaving a message, so that the entirety of his call log will be me!" And then I thought, "what if he's just outside?" So on that whim, I went outside and Fred was there! He got lost. Silly Fred.
We did fun shit most of the afternoon, like hang out and shit. That was fun. Everyone learned how to do the arm choreography to transform into a spandex-clad, helmeted Power Rangers hero.
Coolness. Early December: Alex Patunas returns for a "sleepover" of epic proportions. Alex, my roommates are single, and I think you could eat them alive.
I'm planning on going to the AC here tomorrow morning and reset my life a little. Wednesdays are ab days, but I usually take about 30 minutes to shoot around beforehand. I've been pretty disappointed with my shot lately -- I've been a little disjointed with my stroke, throwing up some really inconsistent shit. My range is pretty limited, considering I could jump shoot from the 3-point arc before surgery and now I can't get the legs and arms to fire at the right time to get the ball to the hoop. If anything, the balance and jumping drills have made me a whole crapload steadier, which has actually helped my dribbling a little. Not that I play or could play with anyone.
It's the ball. Yeah, that's what it is.
Hilary won't be back for a bit, so I volunteered to lecture tomorrow (err today). It's not gonna happen -- I think I'm just gonna go over terms with them from Marx and Durkheim. Plus I have to skim the 400-page Philadelphia Negro in 30 minutes right now. I'll fill ya'll in about the past two days on Day Nine's update.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I think my mind works in two-by-two tables. For instance, we can classify all women (yes, every single one) into four categories, based on a two-by-two table:
- Ugly girls who won't do me.
- Ugly girls who'd do me.
- Hot girls who won't do me.
- Hot girls who'd do me.
See how easy that is? What is this you say? No, hotness and willingness to do me are not negatively correlated, nor do they covary. So suck it.
My roommates suggested that only one fourth of the women of the world are appropriate for me. I had to explain to them that the distribution of women into these categories is not even. Ah fun with statistical concepts.
WHY I'M STILL FIFTEEN: E-ROTIC IS STILL FUNNY
Way back in 1995, I was obsessed with eurodance, a form of dance music characterized by it's poor grasp of the English language, formulaic hooks, and bad rapping. Think The Real McCoy. Or think what'd happen if Britney Spears collided with an unassisted Dr. Dre.
Recently, by virtue of having a friend named Fred, I recalled what might be the most amazing eurodance group of all time: E-Rotic (wiki article), whose sole purpose in life was apparently to rhyme the words "Fred", "bed", "ex", and "sex" in every song they sung, as featured in their two hit songs "Fred Come To Bed" and "Max Don't Have Sex With Your Ex".
Of course, E-Rotic had a message. Sometimes:
So you want sex sex sex
With your ex
And it won't cost you any tax
But Willy you better care for sure
And use a Billy
With your long ding dong
Ding a dong
She'll find our you're the number one
So go man go and use your toy
But not without a Billy Boy
But more often than not, E-Rotic laid it bare.
I think E-Rotic won the battle of lyrics. Um, against high school sophomore boys. I mean, I wonder how many guy's names rhyme with something sexual, I mean, other than the ones that are innuendo in and of themselves. E-Rotic seems to have found them all. "Fritz Loves My Tits" all right.
E-Rotic did get somewhat more serious, temporarily, at least, when they recorded ABBA covers. Though I guess in immediate retrospect, that's not really that serious after all. And, now apparently they're one of the artists who provide the music for DDR. Talk about world imfamy.
Ah E-Rotic. How you make me feel absolutely libido-deficient in comparison.
Despite how much I really honestly tried to shy away from it, Esther and Myung-Ji insisted I do my poorly-practiced disco line dance for everyone. After people egged me on (the kicker was the "Os-Lec!" chant), I finally relented and did my thang to what I thought were mixed results, but everyone found it decent. I guess had I really been into it, I'd have gone nuts, but I was hella restrained.
I did dance with the rest of the sociologists for the rest of the night, which is why right now I feel super duper tired. I guess I made a good night of it. Sadly, nothing super exciting going on tomorrow, which I guess is fine considering Brett and Fred will be down here on Sunday.
I caught Owen online before he was heading off to see his girlfriend. He mentioned he might be moving to Pasadena soon for business. Now, his thing was that if he made it down there, he'd be able to see Asianmodelpalooza. I was absolutely incredulous that such a thing existed, and lo and behold, there's such an event called Asianmodelpalooza.
Wow, this is my one-hundreth post here on Your Daily Fix. Wow, to think I've been nearly faithfully posting everyday since June. I guess I've missed around 20 or so posts along the way but I guess people'll forgive me for that transgression. I am the World's Most Forgiveable Inconvenience after all.
Friday, October 07, 2005
THE TWO GREATEST THINGS EVER MADE
So you can see my new haircut and my old friend, Allergen Reducer Febreeze. We're quite a tandem. Together we've freshened countless bedsheets, floors, clothes, towels, you name it. We're the real freshmakers.
DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE DAY
Well, it seems as if life continues to disappoint. I finally got a copy of Supreme from Harmonic Motion, and let me just say, I'm really really suprised at how poorly produced it was. First of all, it's really really quiet. Second of all, you can't hear the basses so it's scores about a -66.7 on the dance factor scale. The sopranos are nearly non-existent. The voices aren't even chorused or echoed, so it sounds barren.
Now all those things are bad in general, but this is coming from Harmonic Motion -- a group that was much, much more musically solid than Vox in my years. Fred's production of Vox songs sounds like the peal of angel's bells compared to this Supreme. And in fact, it's literally the peal of angel's bells.
Secondly, I reposted my Craigslist ad from awhile back onto the Boston Craigslist. My only response so far:
"u need some head tonight?"
From a dude. I know my attractiveness knows no bounds, but this is ridiculous.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
A couple nights ago, I talked to Yuko about how I wanted to get over all this brokenheartedness. I wrote what sort of amounted to a goodbye e-mail to Julia that I don't intend to send, but wrote to get things off my chest and then destroy it. I sent it to Yuko, just to see it get out there, and her ultimate conclusion is that I should try to make up with Julia. So, I went out on a limb and sent her a couple IMs. We can't expect anything, but admittedly if she never responds, it'll drive me just as crazy as if I didn't do it. Ah well.
I certainly don't blame Yuko, definitely not. I most certainly blame myself I'm drawing this out so long.
I also had a pretty interesting conversation with Ann from the department. It sort of touched on relationship and companionship issues I've had since I've been here -- the fact that everyone's already married or well on their way, how I'm generally a failure at finding a companion, and I guess a whole bunch o' other shit.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I never expected to be back in this kind of funk again. I want my confidence back, permanently. Ann and I talked about where agency lies in the course of relationships over time. If we're all to find someone, what does it matter what we do until then? And I think about the prescriptions people give: keep active, get back out there, exercise, work... I don't want to be distracted, I want to be at peace.
THE WEEKEND AHEAD
As we take time to celebrate the beginning of modernity and all its ills on Monday by getting a day off, I see that my social calendar is yet again full of silliness. Friday night is Esther and Myung-Ji's party, wherein I'm expected to dance. Saturday... well, we'll work on Saturday. And Sunday, Brett and Fred will be coming down to P-Town to rock shit and fuck shit up. Hopefully Sunday we'll get to fool around singing and drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves.
Looks like I'll have to break it to the kids that there's no class tomorrow. I wanted to have the papers done, but I'm at the harder stage of actually assigning a grade and those aren't done either. I spent part of the evening typing up a guide sheet for their future paper writing, cannibalizing a couple things from Prof. Tian and something Paul sent me. So far, it's gotten the seal of approval from a few people. We'll see how it goes over with the kids next week, I guess.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I stayed up till about 5ish last night, ruminating as I usually do. Thankfully Yuko was up to listen to me rant. Of course, the way my room faces the sun and the way my intestines snake feces through my body, I was up at 9:30.
"THE MARKET IS BEAUTIFUL, LIKE JULIA ROBERTS"
I e-mailed John Tian, a former professor of mine at Conn, about a handout he gave us on how to write an argumentative essay. It turns out that he's building a tenure review file and he asked me to write him up a recommendation.
There are three things I'll always remember about him. One is that he always had something absolutely random to say at the beginning of class that sort of bordered on absurdity, but was nearly always funny. "The market is beautiful," he said once. "Like Julia Roberts. If you don't like Julia Roberts, that's your problem."
He also had a penchant for not bullshitting. "People don't want democracy," he said. "People want good governance." He also opined on People Power II in the Philippines, which really sort of inspired my possible dissertation topic: "They say it's People Power, but it's more like Rich People Power!"
But I think he'll always be one of those great profs that assured me that being an intellectual was a worthy goal in its own right. "You're here for four years to become more intellectual," he said. "My job is to make you more intellectual." And part of that was how he always made fun of investment bankers who really sort of gave up the life of the mind for "12 hour days. You never get to sleep, markets open somewhere all the time!" And really, what is an intellectual? I think he inspired me to believe that an intelligent person knew about the world and about ideas, while an intellectual was never afraid to take ideas and not only critique them, but make up their own.
Wimpiness. I think that's why I suck so hard. I have to embrace the anger stage and remove myself from the denial stage. I call for a violent (perhaps revolutionary) break with the past.
All talk... And the so-called Bosslec nearly vomits.
Something that gives me pause is the degree to which I've become some sort of hedonist in the eyes of my department. First of all, yes, I do tend to sleep at inopportune times and in uncomfortable positions on various department furniture, but narcolepsy does not a hedonist make. Second of all, my penchant for disco dancing my way into the lab doesn't mean that I'm out there every night cutting the rug. Thirdly, I've never been fun at parties. Heck, I hardly even go to parties. Yet, everyone has so far cited my ability to make any party, well, a party. These people need to realize that I'm a tortured soul who's less happy with himself that he obviously lets on. I mean, come on. How much self-deprication do I need to do before you get the picture?
JUMP SOLES AND ME
It's debatable whether or not PT is a recuperative process or if it's pushing me beyond recovery and into conditioning. For the past couple weeks, they've had me using Jump Soles. Yeah, you heard me: the very same contraptions you see advertised in the back of sports magazines that will supposedly make you add inches, nay feet, to your vertical jump.
Now, these things were really really heavy when I wore them for the first time and they still to this day drive my arches nuts with lactic acid. But, I've actually noticed a whole messload more control and stability in my landings when I take the things off. Maybe I will actually dunk...
Monday, October 03, 2005
Ever so often I get these Mondays that are long ass. Everyone has bad Mondays, but mine are so much more fun (or less). I had office hours this morning, class from 12-3, then section from 7-9. I went home all of no times at all. I did manage to tell my kids a nearly hilarious story about how I pretended to be a priest during class once. I believe Brad characterized that little moment as "over-the-top". Ahhhhhh I'm going crazy.
AH THE EXCITEMENT OF ANGER!
I saw Julia on the street while I was eating dinner with Esther. I nearly vomited. Now I'll never want to eat fucking gelato again. This is interesting: usually I don't feel like someone punched me in the gut by this stuff, so it might be I'm moving on to another stage of coping, my favorite stage: anger! Oslequian anger allows me to create some amazing insults that I'd never have enough time to say to someone in person before they'd vomit in disgust. If anything, I'm the king of undeserving insults.
I really sort of enjoy the anger phase, partly I think because it can be easily tied into the purgative moment -- it's destructive and in the way I express it, it serves the purpose of allowing me to perceive the target as ruined. I'd like to deliver such a string of terrible insults that the legs get weak and you can only fall the ground or run away really fast. And I think my anger is only partially constructive in that it's relatively raw, and usually nothing to do with the specifics of a situation, but moreso with the satisfaction of seeing someone else suffer. I guess the best metaphor for my anger is the Kids in the Hall dude who crushes people's heads with his fingers.
My anger phase usually lasts for a long time, and in many cases, eats into any possible "healing" phase. Mostly I tend to reject olive branches, partially because I'd just relive shit over again in my head, and partially 'cause I want to be mean, just for the satisfaction of driving someone crazy. Though I'm mostly a pussy, so if someone just insulted me back, I'd probably just run for the hills. But, I'd probably come back and do lots of fun ad hominem attacks.
Again, it's that thing: would I rather be angry at Julia or be friends with her? I think I'd rather be angry, since "friendship" would just be some stupid ruse to pretend nothing happened and would probably get me in that "let me prove that I'm worthy" mode, which in this specific case would be the "let me prove that I'm fuckable" mode. Ahhh to be absolutely physically and emotionally unattractive to one person... It's amazing.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Ok, so I've noticed a trend here: I like to get off. I'll leave it at that.
FALL WEEKEND FOLLIES
I didn't intend to head down to Conn this weekend because my grandma and my aunts were planinng to meet me here in Providence. But, I drove down to Conn this weekend because my grandma was coming in from the Philippines and wanted to meet me in Mystic. So, I made a weekend of it.
I drove down with Chris on Friday night to get there in time for the Homecoming Jam. It was good to catch up with Chris this weekend, since he's getting shipped off to Afganistan to work for the State Department. Though, as we saw people we knew or met parents, and the conversation inevitably turned to what we were doing with our lives, his life story was about seventeen thousand times more interesting than mine. Sort of reminds me of how I enjoy my comfortable, boring life as a grad student, despite how comfortable and boring it is. A little moderation now is fine especially since in a few years I'll essentially be able to do anything I want with little accountability. Mmmm the academe...
I sort of expected to have a raging hilarious party on Saturday night, but was really unable to get Vox together. I did hang out at Iwi's Green Day party (where the premise was to wear green and listen to Green Day), but took off a little early and hung out with Yuko in her room. We found Alex Patunas online and chatted with her about masturbation and making out with Argentinian men. That entire conversation was mad entertaining: it was like watching great TV and you were a character in a sitcom.
It was a little surreal this time through, since I was nearly on my own for the weekend. I took some time to correct some papers and go to mass, but people were out with their parents until late and so my friendless self had to look for people who weren't around. Sort of reminded me of lonely times at Conn, but even in the good ole days, I could call up Brad or head down the hall to see Andy and Steve. Ahhh college was blegh.
Father Larry mentioned that it is a Catholic thing to seek the "purgative path" when confronted with sin.