Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Day Sixty-Five

MORE TIME, LESS TIME
I'm meeting Dad in New York this weekend, and so I predict very little work will be done on my part. Dad's plan is to do lots of semi-classy to classy stuff like stay at the Waldorf-Astoria and see some Broadway show. I think it'll be fun, especially hanging with my father in New York while he entertains the Japanese client of his friend -- it'll be class-tastic.

Of course, there's a whole bunch of work to do: listing it would only make me feel pooptacular. As it is, I think I can manage.

I'm going to try to see Kim Russell -- co-founder of Vox and all-around motherly type. We'll see if I can fit it in. Otherwise, lots 'o other folks to hit up in New York that I haven't hit up already. I'm entertaining a longer visit this summer to see everyone again. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Day Sixty-Three

DOES GOING BACK TO CONN MAKE ME FEEL BETTER OR WORSE?
There's nowhere in the world like Connecticut College. My last trip there, just this past weekend, made me realize that Conn is my "home" -- moreso in many respect than California or Burlingame or any of the other places that I have a special pride for. And as much as I enjoy going "home," when I leave, it leaves me "homesick," which is the only way I can describe how I'm feeling at the moment.

I think it's one thing to long for the entirety of the college experience, which realistically I can't possibly relive, and another thing to reconnect and to be part of the college community again, as if you never left. I can't possibly return to the days when I lived right above the front door of Knowlton with Vetri and Chris, waking them up at 5:30am with my alarm and running to the library to "monitor" the printer and then head to Intro to Soc where I'd kick Owen to keep him awake. I can't run with Wuyke anymore, or warm up for the 400m hurdles in the pouring rain, hoping this race is the one I finally break 1:00.

And while those parts of my life are more or less closed, I go back to Conn and the major difference is that the people who are there -- students, faculty, staff, even people I never knew while I was around -- welcomed me back and I think honestly asked me to keep coming back. Hearing people say "you should come back for Floralia," and hearing John Anthony and Father Larry say "we miss you, you should come back more often," and hearing various Voxers say "come to rehearsal!" made me feel like I wasn't just swooping in temporarily, but that I had people asking me to come home to them.

And so it is that I have to leave and parting is more sorrow and less sweet. I come back to Providence and realize that post-college life isn't about becoming adult in one's eating habits, but a lot of it is dealing with a pretty profound lonliness out there, out here in the real world. And while I live in a "fake" (more fake?) real world, I still feel it -- the days where people don't ask you to come be with them, when you can't just drop by and hang out, where "dinner" involves place settings, and parlor games, and polite conversation.

Is how I feel justified? Shouldn't I be some rugged individualist who doesn't need community or companionship, who strives only to serve himself? And I ask that as if I don't come home already and watch hours of MTV, arguing that I need to let my mind lay fallow for the next day of intense thinking. Is it that I didn't buy into the "wine-and-cheese" culture enough at Conn to appreciate the finer art of schmoozing for schmoozing's sake instead of calling it pretentious? And I don't think it's that either since Simmel and I disagree about how important that sociability really is for us.

So I wonder what you do when you're truly homesick and when you want all the comforts of home to come with you to where you are now. I want to bring my friends with me, I want to bring my church with me, I want to bring my track team and a-cappella group with me -- but it's not possible and life as I try to recreate it is just a farce. I want to make my cohort have fun with me, but they're all married. I want to feel the fellowship of Father Larry's mass, but all I get is a 5 minute homily and the routine of Catholicism. I wanted to sing, and I found a group that made me shallow. I wanted to be fast and there's no one to run with.

And to think, I chose Conn so I could do what I wanted. And in essence, I did -- I ran track again, I still went to church, and I still was smarter than your average bear. But still, who'd have thought I'd be in charge of an a-cappella group, not knowing how to read music; or MCing Diwali Dinners, or learning that what I wanted to do for the rest of my life was engage the life of the mind. Or maybe I didn't change at all, but it seems untrue to assume I'm just as parochial as I was before, or as spectacular as I was before and that Conn had to fight to add value to my own education. I really am different and I really have come a long way.

So what's the point? I think it's that I learned a life lesson not from leaving the house I grew up in, but from Conn -- a tiny little liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere, where I turned into something really neat.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day Sixty-Two

WHAT I COULD HAVE BECOME
I went back to Conn this weekend for the track invitational and to hear Cornell West speak.* And despite it being a very cold and very rainy weekend, and despite there not being a whole mess of people I knew (I knew half a mess of people), I felt like I was "home" again -- just very comfortable, very happy.

I can trace many serious changes in my life to my time at Conn. That's not a new idea -- I've certainly said that before, and I've thought about it a little. But I think this weekend seemed to really draw out how I became who I am, do what I do, and the basis of what I've become now.

I think it'd be boringtastic to talk about all of it in detail. I dunno, maybe it really isn't much of an insight, nor is it particularly true about me -- tons of kids go through college and change. I guess what I'm hoping is that I've become "great" because of it.

*"Hear" being the correct word, since I was outside of the room and only caught a glimpse of him.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day Fifty-Eight

WELL
So basketball sucked. 3-5, 6pts, 4 reb, 4 asst. And a 59-23 loss. I said it and I'll say it again: I don't play defense to suck my own dick, so you shouldn't be sucking yours when you guard someone.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day Fifty-Five

MORE NIGHTMARES
Two today. First I woke up to a frustrating dream of mud fighting with my stepfather. Note that I was "mud fighting," not "mud slinging" -- that is, throwing punches that fell pretty weakly, as dream punches tend to fall. I got up, deciding that being awake after six hours of sleep was probably better than continuing to dream that dream.

I took a long nap this afternoon, partly out of fatigue and partly out of depression. I had a two-parter: The first part involved performance anxiety -- me theorizing about the middle class somewhere, doing something. Then, as my nightmares tend to be, I was in a poorly-lit house, stumbling about. This time, I was searching for food, because I was hungry. Unfortunately, we didn't have any food in the house, to which I attributed to having Andrew come back from Africa and eating all of our food.

I was starving in a very suburban, middle-class way. I made my way to our pantry and discovered that we had no cereal, so I took the next best thing: "sunshine dots" -- a snack I made up in my head, similar to those cookies with fruit jam, but in smaller, bite-sized pieces. I proceeded to snack on the sunshine dots, finding them less than satisfying, then I crashed on a big leather couch in a very dark room, where I watched the Daily Show... Only it wasn't your ordinary Daily Show -- Jon Stewart had obviously gotten up from a nap and had bed head.

For some reason, that constituted a nightmare as I found it so shocking I woke up. It's interesting that I was significantly more hungry in my dream than I was after I came to.

So I welcome interpretations. And solutions too -- that's three nightmares in the past three weeks, if you count the infamous "Pleasure Given/Pleasure Received" nightmare I discussed a few posts back. No more popcorn before bed.

Day Fifty-Four

PIECING IT TOGETHER
I picked up a custom knee brace the other day -- custom made, so it's made to fit the contours of my sinewy, powerful left leg. It's not terribly awkward to wear, but it's certainly a lot heavier than I thought it'd be. Well, considering I thought it'd weigh next to nothing, a pound or so isn't that bad.

Flexion isn't that bad, nor is extension -- it stops me from hyperextending, and it doesn't flex all the way because of the strap directly behind my knee. In fact, because it doesn't let me flex so loosely, it forces me to be in the correct position to play defense -- low, weight back, ready to move left or right.

Speaking of which, I'm playing on a pretty decent 4-on-4 team w/ the usual suspects. We score a whole crapload for a 4-on-4 team, and I like to think that I help out on defense -- only because I'm not contributing that much scoring-wise:

- Villegas 2-5, 5 pts, 2 reb, 0 asst, 1-2 3pt. W, 42-40 (1-0). (the 3pter was a bank shot...)
- Villegas 0-5, 0pts, 2 reb, 4 asst, 0-1 3pt, 1 blck. W, 50-30* (2-0)

Well, even looking at that, I'm really contributing much statistically. I guess what I do is frustrate their best scorer into taking bad shots. Allen Iversons they are not, at least not in the Brown University Low Division.

*We made that score up because we blew them out.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day Forty-Five

TO NEW YORK TOMORROW
I almost hesitated going to New York again for this weekend -- I wanted somehow to get work done (again) but I couldn't keep putting off heading down. I think it comes at a decent time, with only that occursed DS200 paper nipping at my asshole. I'm planning to get all the papers I've been correcting out of the way so the kids can come and see how elaborate my comments are.

My aunt's gonna be working on Saturday, which means I hope one of my billions of friends is free to chill. My aunt suggested I google things to do in her neighborhood. Well, I guess that's something. I think I might go and find a haircut. Honestly, I don't know what the fuck to do, and frankly, I don't think I want to go to museums and such unless it'll get me laid.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day Forty-Four

SICK THEN NOT SICK THEN SORTA SICK THEN SICK THEN NOT SICK
I got sick this weekend. A flu. I haven't had the flu since, I think, freshman year back at Conn and I only remembered that bout because I skipped a session of Finite Math. I ended up getting a B+ in that class, to which I attributed to my absence that day.

Now that I'm in the semi-real world, I don't have the luxury. So for the past couple days, I've been dragging my dizzy ass to the department to get shit done. Did I get shit done? It was done half-assed, but it got done. I still have a bunch of papers to put final grades on and I still have that monstrosity of a paper to write for Patrick.

I haven't been able to work out this week, and partially because I wanted to save my strength. I think it was a good move, since I'd probably kill myself running 400s. Though I hope I ate enough to keep my weight up.

GI JOE
I never liked G.I. Joe as a kid. I mean, at times I begrudgingly accepted it as the only thing to watch on TV, and that was usually because it preceded the Transformers. And to be sure, I like the long story arcs like when they had to acquire certain elements for a teleportation ray or when they had to stop Cobra from going to the four corners of the Earth.

But over dinner, Mike got me singing the GI Joe theme song and now I'm literally distracted from typing because I keep singing "It's GI Joe against Cobra and Destro, fighting to save the day!" It's like a baritone explosion.