Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day Thirty-Eight

I feel absolutely unmotivated, even to the point where there's little to blog about. My own life is boring me. Correcting papers is, I guess, a necessary and somewhat enjoyable activity, but taking stock of my life, all I do is eat, sleep, graduate school, and work out. I think I like running sections so much because I get to be Oslec with other people, but it sucks since I really can't be friends with these kids. I'm also a little frustrated playing basketball with the regulars. I'm not sure what it is -- I think I'm just sucking significantly, or I can't play guard when everyone wants to play guard, or when someone sets a screen so I move along the weakside baseline, the reasons I cannot understand.

What's in store? Next week, I swear I'm going to New York for Easter. Other than that, I've got all these little useless assignments until that happens.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Day Twenty-Eight

Despite my calculations to be sports-cleared by December, I never expected to start playing basketball with my friends here until much later. In my mind, it was a little more amorphous than settled -- I could see myself dunking some time in the future, but only in a hazy future, filled with robots and dunking Oslecs. But after all this time, especially being eight months in recovery, I figured I'd give the ole b'ball a shot again.

I joined up with my Physics grad student friends again and got in on the intramural team they had formed, "K-Deficiency." I played in a shaky game a few months ago where I contributed the psychological threat of defense and scoring. Recently though I was able to play in a couple playoff games against pretty decent teams for the Low Division, and now we're in the Final Four.

Next week, I get to have a mold done on my left leg which will then be used to form my custom-fitting knee brace. Knee brace plus my ankle guards = totally intimidating. I need to whip out my old sports goggles I wore in 8th grade -- the last time I was on a basketball team.*

This weekend, though, I was thoroughly trounced by some dude in 3-on-3 and it motivated me to (1) get down on myself and (2) try to do everything really well from that point on, whether it be work or cleaning or even basketball. I swear to you, no one who's shorter than I am (but, was probably bigger than I am) is gonna fuck me up on the court. No fucking way.

* That year I played on the 8C team, or, the low division, or, the suckah division. I was known as "the guy with the glasses." Our team went 5-5, with no playoff birth. The sucky part was that my Mom couldn't pick me up from all the games, so I only played in half of them. The team went 2-3 in contests where I was available to suit up, though before you suggest it was me who made us lose, the coach benched me for the entirety of one game, and I got to play garbage time minutes where I started putting up points ("a" point). My stats that year: 1.8ppg, 4.4rpg. Totally awesome. I had two statistically-awesome games. The first, in a loss, I racked up 12 boards, mostly from missing my own shot and catching it. The second, in a win, I went 3-5 from the floor with 6 points and 1 board. I learned I shouldn't play down low.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Day Twenty-Five

A few days ago I had what I think was an anxiety dream. I had just slept in my office the night before and came home to my bed. If anything, this dream was a nice pile of my worries, shaped into a shit-tastic lump of steaming donkey dung.

The beginning of the dream is a little bit of a haze, but I do remember that I was having a party in my house back in Pacifica. It was pretty dark, the walls were still this fake wood wallpaper we used to have, and there were few people around.

I walked up the stairs to my old room. There was a pretty large bed in there and I was pretty groggy. Put two and two together and so I got in bed, pretty standard. So here it begins: I saw an ex-girlfriend lying there, pillow-talking to some dude. He was putting the moves on her, she was playing coy. Of course, for this to be a nightmare, only the most probable thing should happen -- they start hooking up, while I lie there, invisible.

So here's the best part, between their moans and panting, superimposed on my vision is a data table. And on this data table were columns that held percentages indicating "Percent Pleasure." So, as I was watching my ex girlfriend getting fingered by some dude, this table was showing me the real-time "percent pleasure" being generated. I forced myself to wake up.

That's the first nightmare I'd had in a long ass time. In some ways, the fear was a little refreshing. But I'm not sure what it means, but it must mean I'm going crazy.

I'm having trouble finding pictures of blond Winona Ryder, so this little contest can't go very far. But, think deeply about it. I'm not sure who I'd rather have fawn over me. Owen says Winona.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Day Nineteen

Time seems to spread out and contract just at the right moments for me, though tomorrow I'm going to contract time myself -- I'm planning to literally camp out in my office and finish my damned paper on Chile, the Philippines, and Venezuela. I feel like it's a total waste of time, but it's what I came up with, what I have to do, and what I'm going to do. Oh well.

All this is all possible because my class on Thursday got postponed, allowing me to eschew some reading and writing and commit my day tomorrow to this paper. I somehow doubt I'll get anything done during the day, so I'm planning on bringing my sleeping bag in and staying over, hopefully not sleeping later than 5am, and then getting up just in time for my meeting with Greg. I have to find my "attack mode" again and just punch out some text, then see people at 8am, not having slept, and in a daze.

We have our prelim exam statements due next Monday. Jose's going to be out of town, so I've got to get the statements in by Wednesday. I assumed that the statements were four to five pages long. It turned out that they were one and a half pages long, with a bibliography following. Relief, but I'll have to just keep going.

So I called up my aunt and asked if I could spend a week with her in New York. She won't be there that first weekend of break, and misunderstood that I wanted to stay longer. So if I go down, I'll be heading down the weekend after. So, I still have a couple weeks, really, to gather myself. I think I'll expand myself on the couch and relax. I can't wait, I guess.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Day Fourteen

David Brooks came to Brown today and talked about the persistence of class in America. He said, not surprisingly, economic determinants of class are weak indicators of dispositions, political or otherwise, and so are patterns of consumption. He said we should think about class "sociologically" and in reference to cultural values, specifically types of "social capital."

First of all I feel bad that a sociologist isn't the public face of class analysis. Second, I found it doubly funny when Brooks told a little ideal type vignette about a BoBo family that the Brown kids in the room thought was hilarious, but were they laughing uncomfortably since he was, of course, making fun of them.

He mentioned how upper middle class kids were closely monitored from age 3 to be guided to largely boring, but successful lives. I think about how my mother was supportive, but hardly forceful in organizing my interests. In fact, I chose to do all the things I wanted to do and may be where I am today because of my Machivellian competitive spirit. Ah, for being the best.

I wonder, though, how much denial goes on in regards to class in the U.S. So what if we can analyze people abstractly? Class is a lived and practiced experience that in this country, people are quick to deny they're "upper" anything. Maybe all the Brown kids laughed because they are in another active part of class in the U.S. -- it's conscious denial. When Brown kids slum it and do charity work in Guatemala, are they, in some way, denying the existence of class?

I'm planning on not going home this spring break, which opens up a whole world (limited by economic factors) of travel. The tentative plan is to head to New York City, bum off my aunt, and pretend I'm in Las Vegas. There a few people I'd like to visit, but I hope they'll be free.

Another idea is to head to somewhere generally isolated and disappear, "live off the grid," so to speak. I'm too much of a wuss to camp, but I wouldn't mind going to North Dakota and being a weird Hemmingway-type in a small town.

I could do good, spend a week doing community service and such. Or, I could ostensibly join a community service organization with the secret intention to undermine them. I must be turning into Hybel in my old age.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Day Ten

I had the hots for Lindsay Lohan awhile back. I thought she looked a little like a few ex-girlfriends (the good parts) and seemed precocious enough to be intelligent and not vapid. Of course, like any real man, I liked Lindsay Lohan's boobs. Her ta-tas, to be exact. Fake or not fake (which, I have to confess, I really can't tell anyway), they looked good on her.

Apparently, she had a "wardrobe malfunction" the other day, and so I thought "finally! the internet will reveal a boob shot of my Lindsay Lohan!"* Well, I saw a picture, and frankly, I'm very disappointed -- Lindsay's boob seems so unexciting and non-magical when juxtaposed against her thintastic arm.

Admittedly, I've been trending towards older women in my tastes these days -- not a fan of baby fat. But skinny girls don't do it for me either, especially this unnatural skinny. In fact, I think I might just be maturing in my tastes, which could explain why I'm not terribly interested in these kiddos here at Brown.

Felicity Huffman became all of a sudden attractive. What the hell is up with me?

*Actually, there's a flash animation during Lohan's "fuller" days. Since it wasn't static, it was hardly satisfying. Plus it was a nip slip, not a boob shot.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Day Nine

I often wonder if I have super powers, because sometimes I amaze even myself with my dazzling skills. Case in point: I can sing like a Bee Gee. Well, to be technical, I have a good falsetto voice. Well to be truthful, it's not perfect -- I can't hit low low notes in my falsetto, but my high stuff sounds good. Those of you from Vox might recall that I sang "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire as my audition song.

Now, other than auditioning for a-cappella groups, what use does my super power have? I've been thinking about various other avenues to manifest my powers. First, Fred and I have been bouncing the idea of doing a disco song together. It really hasn't gone farther than an idea, but in response to the suggestion we do just a light rock song, Fred said he wanted to use my Bee Gees voice. Second, I've been thinking of building a powerful machine that will amplify my falsetto into a mesmerizing sonic wave. That idea is probably not going to get off the ground.

Thirdly, I've been thinking about going pro. A professional annoying voice-man. I think that'd be spectacular. I could be so annoying.

And I think my humor somehow derives from seeing what people will do when I annoy them. I used to really hate Andy Kaufman because he used to do the same thing, and I still do, but I "get" it. My cousins always made fun of me because I'd see something funny on TV or do something annoying on a video game and then look at their reactions. I'm not saying I'm mean, but I might at the least like the rush of seeing how people construct objects and meaning from disturbing situations.

This is why I dislike people who take things too seriously: they have a quite limited range of understood meanings, searching for a logical explanation for symbols. I say they're boring. And unfunny. And why they're not my friends. And this is why I have an unhealthy belief that Homer Simpson is a real person and will one day become my friend.