The thin colorless line between pissed and frustrated

I absolutely hate my job.

And by “hate,” I mean “love to death,” but in that victim-of-an-abusive-relationship-“love” sort of way.

Now that I’m in her shoes, I can relate a little bit more as to why the last News Editor was always so stressed out about her section, always the last one to finish. I don’t plan on reacting to the situation or dealing with it the way she did, but– the empathy is there.

The bottom line: NOBODY IS FUCKING WRITING FOR NEWS. I have more than 10 people on my list, all of whom have actively expressed a desire to write for the paper, and what’s more, to write for the News section. I’ve e-mailed everyone several times with a list of stories I need or would like to have covered, and *one* of those stories was picked up, and I ended up not being able to use it because it wasn’t a news story, it was a feature.

I’ve been told I’m expecting too much too soon from myself, and this is more than possible given my nature– but this Monday will be my third edition as News Editor, and I’m still struggling to keep my section filled, and my writers still aren’t picking up stories.

I came home this morning, from the office, slightly after 6. I couldn’t fall asleep for another hour, then proceeded to sleep through THREE alarms which I’d set to wake me up in time to get back to campus to cover a story which I need for Monday but which no one took (one girl offered, but she would have to leave before it was over, so there was no point in sending her). Woke up twenty minutes before I needed to be AT the event– in short, I didn’t make it, but by the most blessed of chances, our head photographer went to the event and not only took pictures, but took notes as well. (I LOVE YOU, JUMMEL)

I honestly don’t know what to do if my writers don’t start taking stories. I can’t fill the news section by myself– I mean– okay, I *could,* but I’d quickly dissolve with mental breakdowns. It’s more or less happened before. Furthermore, in about two weeks, things for Sushi Roku start rolling and I’ll be even busier–

I really just want to work for a professional publication, one whose writers who get hired actually WRITE, one in which editors don’t ask their writers what they’d like to cover, they TELL their writers what to cover, and Oh!– the writers actually do it. A publication where the job comes first, not school. A publication whose hired writers don’t have to be taught how to write.

I love The Yell, I really do, but as it stands right now, I want absolutely nothing to do with being a student in terms of academic performance. I did my time. I worked hard, I graduated, I got my good-girl-Lora college degree. Now, I just want to work, I don’t want to deal with textbooks and classes and tests and essays.

Conflicting with this is the fact that, yeah, I’m still ridiculously young, and what’s more, I never threw myself into “college life” at USD. I love what’s now accessible to me through the university– the people, the sports, the concerts, the events, the buildings– and surprisingly, I love being the *News* editor, I’m all about student issues and campus happenings and investigating and covering all these things– ::sigh:: I don’t know, I don’t know where to go with this. I’ve always been passionate about school and learning, and I suspect I still am, but right now, I’m also still burned out from last semester, from last *year*.

In other news…

I’ve got this e-mail in my inbox which has been there for over two months now. I’ve never read it, never opened it… it’s a reply to an e-mail which I sent out without the desire for a response– so I don’t particularly care *what* this person has to say. All the same, I can’t bring myself to delete the damn thing. I may just move it into one of my subfolders, where it will remain in the company of three other e-mails just like it, and– hmmm– all sent by the same person.

I’m such a packrat. Why can’t I throw stuff away?

Anyhow. I’ve still got a headache, but at least I’m not ready to kill anything, or anyone for that matter…

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Hawai’i, Day Two

I fell asleep last night to the sound of rain falling on palm leaves. I woke up this morning to the sound of the wind brushing the palm leaves against each other and the side of the house, to the sound of the doves cooing. I did not wake up to the sound of dogs barking, the sound of a lawn mower, or the sound of that asshole down the street who sometimes likes to rev his motorcycle engine as he rides around the neighborhood at SEVEN IN THE MORNING ON A SATURDAY. (I know today’s Friday, but tomorrow I won’t be waking up to that sound, either.)

Granted, I didn’t get much sleep, something made all the worse by the additional fact that I didn’t sleep at all the night before. That about-to-throw-up-and/or-faint feeling has come back, but I won’t have a chance for a nap until, oh, ever.

Still. I’m glad I’m here… I’m glad for the routine. I actually ate breakfast today– breakfast food AT breakfast time! I’m usually going to bed around “breakfast time”– or if I’m actually waking up that early, that means I’ve got some pressing engagement, which means I’m probably running late, which means I don’t have time for breakfast. Or I’m not hungry so I’ll wait until lunch.

But not today. The joys and delights o f participating in breakfast were mine to gloriously have. I celebrated with a bowl of Grape Nut O’s and a slice of bread– but not just any bread, oh no, this was authentic, baked-on-the-island-yesterday Hawaiian bread– and while I have nothing against King’s Hawaiian bread, there’s just something to be exalted about real Hawaiian bread *from* Hawai’i, eaten while *in* Hawai’i. Chris feels the same way about Philly cheese steaks– New Yorkers tend to feel the same way about bagels and pizza… my sentiment here is not an uncommon one.

So many yummy island foods are a five-minute drive away, again… nice, but dangerous. The first thing my mom did with me after I arrived yesterday was cart me to the grocery store and buy me food– food being not meal ingredients but a Pianomo roll, mochi pan, sticky rice cakes, manapua (I pick off the roll and leave the char siu for someone else– usually her– to eat)… melon-flavored everything lines the shelves out here, and I’m in heaven. Get back to the house, she has me try all these things she’s been making– haupia, sweet potato (the purple kind) pie, chocolate mochi…

(Unrelated interlude: The Stanford men’s water polo was on my flight out of San Fran– and yes, there are more than a few adorable guys on that team. Apparently there’s a tournament (or something) in Hawai’i this weekend… I had one of the guys get my bag out of the overhead for me after the plane had landed– so cute!

And now back to our scheduled program…)

I’m still getting acclimated to this Chewing with the Right Side of My Mouth business. Because of that whole tooth issue, which I’d let go on for maybe a year before having it fixed, I’d learned to chew with only my left side and it quickly became a standard reflex. Now that I can chew on both sides, however, I get annoyed with myself for still only using the left side, because dammit, we didn’t pay all that money just so I could run the tip of my tongue over the crowned surface and think about how strange it feels– no! No more excuses to not chew on the right!

I have to actually think about it when I’m eating, though, and consciously make the switch from left to right. But when I’ve done it– mother of God, the difference! FOOD TASTES DIFFERENT WHEN CHEWED ON THE RIGHT! This should be obvious given the arrangement of taste receptors on the tongue (and given the fact that I’ve had to study this arrangement for two classes over the course of my education), but I remain in shock each and every time this happens. My cucumber-and-avocado rolls taste better on the right– amazing!

Possibly there’s a guy named T (no, that’s not his birth name– it’s short for T. E.) reading this, if he managed to follow the link from the old USD site which he, to my humiliation, has discovered and browsed. T was able to unearth the whereabout of this site from the mangled heap of hidden Internet sites, but he is incapable of figuring out where the Rebel Yell office is, even though his work practically revolves around UNLV. I managed to convince him one night, with the help of Feather (and eventually the band and the bar staff), that my name was NOT Lora, how in the world could he forget that my name was Kathi, Kathi with a “K” and an “i,” who the hell is “Lora” and why was he calling me by her name? The next day, he realized the whole Kathi business was bullshit and his memory *wasn’t* screwed-up as I had suggested to him it was, and indeed, my name is Lora– and he has since learned to take everything I tell him with a grain of salt.

Hi, T.

It’s still hot and humid and sticky in Honolulu… and I say this as though it’s only recently started to be like this on the islands, as though weather like this is a foreigner to Hawai’i, as though I really expected it to be not-hot and not-humid and not-sticky today, and then I woke up this morning to find my hopes rudely squashed because it WAS hot. And humid. And sticky. STILL.

The Lexus Tip of the Day just informed me as to how to hit a golf ball out of the sand trap and onto the putting green. Fabulous.

I’m just waiting for someone to say to me, “You don’t play golf? But you’re Korean!” It’s been assumed in the past that I play either violin or piano, because of course I play one of the two instruments (or both!) because DUH, I’m Japanese.

Unless you’re that crazy guy from last year, in which case I can’t be Asian, or at least not pure-Asian, because I have freckles on my face, and BIGGER DUH, Asians don’t have freckles– so I must be Irish, because Irish people have freckles!

And that story always reminds me of Dave’s Stupid People Who Say Stupid Things story, highlighted by this question: “What’s a Jamaican look like?”

Apparently, any guy who’s from Ireland– not Irish, but FROM IRELAND– has by default full permission from my mom to marry me– because “it’s SUCH a beautiful country!” Nice to know she’s got my best interests at heart.

Time to get back on schedule… today feels pretty low-key. A not-bad thing, not bad at all.

(I just got a package from my mom’s Aunty Gladys, who made us a tofu casserole thing– it came in a bag, a normal grocery-store plastic bag, which smells delightfully of plumerias– oh, it’s good to be back here!)

In-flight ramblings, continued

10:39 a.m.

One hour of sleep. Triumph!

This flight has so far proven to be not the worst of my life, but it still has its drawbacks.

Good things: I have a blanket, there is no one sitting in front of me, which means no dealing with a reclined seatback touching my nose, and I was awake for meal service.

Not-so-good things: neighbors who have Issues, particularly with staying within their allotted-by-me zones, smells, and I was awake for meal service.

Starting with the latter, because where else would you begin but the end?—I stupidly ordered the “omelette” plate instead of the fruit one. The omelette, in all honesty, wasn’t that terrible—the salt helped, but even without the salt, it tasted all right, and this is coming from one gosh-darneded picky-with-eggs girl. Then again, this is also coming from a girl who is unbelievably hungry and would possibly eat a styrofoam cup, just to have something to chew.

What made breakfast “eh” were the sausages placed on top of the omelette. I call them sausages with hesitance, because they didn’t exactly look like genuine meat, though they did a laudable job of trying to imitate the real thing as best they could.

What made breakfast “whoa!” was the orange muffin, which I didn’t realize was an orange muffin until I had unwrapped it and was eyeing its odd coloring and consistency. Joy of joys! I haven’t had an orange muffin for a damned long time, and in my book, orange muffins rank right up there with lemon cookies. Fake citrus carb-y yumminess.

My seat neighbors are… um… all right. Left Neighbor is an Asian girl, about mid-twenties, who is very terse when it comes to speech and who peels her grapes. For some reaosn, this makes me wary of her… not because of the eccentricity of such an act—peeled grapes actually have a unique and wonderful taste—but because of the obsessivity. Anyone who would willingly go through the trouble (and believe me, it’s a trouble, even for a girl with fingernails) to peel an ENTIRE BUNCH OF GRAPES (we’re talking at least twelve grapes) just bears the mark of a picky, fussy, high-maintenance, demanding kind of person.

(Note: I’m listening to French kitsch—April March. On an airplane. An airplane bound for Honolulu. Out of place? Just a little. These headphones—the airline ones—are pretty crap, too. I would use mine, but they’re in my main bag, which is in the overhead bin. Sigh)

Right Neighbor has Elbow Issues, notably with his left elbow, which keeps prodding my arm, my elbow, my side, my whichever-else-body-part which is properly residing within my seat space, unobtrusively between—BETWEEN—the two armrests. I am not spilling over. I am not flinging my hands and elbows and shoulders outside of the boundary lines created by these two armrests—I am not flinging anything, period, actually. I’m not even *resting* my anything *on* EITHER of the armrests, and let me tell you, it’s been enough of a while that I forgot how not-wide coach seats are.

But Right Neighbor feels it his duty to limit my personal space even more by pushing his elbow over the armrest, by bumping into me constantly whenever he turns in his seat, when he gets up, when he sits back down—and to top it all off, he, or someone remarkable close to him (close enough to make it seem like it’s him), absolutely reeks of bad cigarettes. Old, musty, stale, standing-on-a-grimy-sidewalk-and-I-haven’t-bathed-in-weeks cigarettes.

Left Neighbor jabbed me a couple of times with her pen while she was filling out the agriculture form, but as she let me borrow said pen to fill out my own form, I’ve let that slide. The grape peeling thing, though—I don’t know about that. I just don’t know.

It is so cursingly and abominably COLD on this plane.

Correction. It is REALLY FUCKING FREEZING.

I’ve cursed more in these last two entiries than I have in my entire published history of Internet journalling. Is it because I’m tired or because I’ve finally gotten over my weird self-censorship habits—or because I’m currently writing this in Word, so I know that I’ve got a while before I paste this into Blogspot, thereby giving me a sizeable window of time in which I can come back and substitute the bad, bad words—or just delete the rantings altogether?

Am still so tired. I say this as though I’m shocked, as though I really thought one WHOLE HOUR of awkwardly-positioned sleep in an airplane seat was really going to leave me feeling completely refreshed and ready to take the world by storm.

Delusions of grandeur and decadence, whatever that signifies to you.

I’ve hit my first glitch with Kipper (whose final, official title is Kipper the Streudel… yes, he is a Streudel—an Apple Streudel, to be exact)—for some reason, he isn’t powering up right away. Then again, maybe it’s just circumstances—the sound is muted, so when I hit the power button that trademark Mac-booting-up sound isn’t heard, so I don’t know whether the system has actually turned on or is just being stubbornly dormant, which results in me assuming the latter and pressing the button again, and again, and AGAIN, and AGAIN WHY ISN’T ANYTHING SHOWING UP ON THE SCREEN?

I suddenly feel like writing a play. A script, something, anything. It would feel right. Great American Novels are written in Parisian cafes and summer blockbuster million-dollar-budget high-profile-cast Hollywood scripts are written on long airline flights (as opposed to long rocket flights? long helicopter flights?).

Anyway. So Kipper takes a couple of minutes and a lot of scowls and furious button pushes in order to boot up… but then, maybe I’m doing something wrong, or maybe it’s always been like this and it’s normal and I just don’t know because I’ve never really turned Kipper *off* before—I’m put him in sleep mode or I’ll restart him, but that’s all.

Am so tired I can hardly see straight.

Saying something is “arguably [place adjective here]” is the grammar equivalent of saying you could care less about a subject. If you could care less, that means you do care some at the moment—to really stress how you don’t give a rat’s ass, you have to be at the point where you could positively NOT care less, because your apathy is so great that there is no level beneath where you currently are in all of existence. That’s making a point right there.

Similarly, if a band is arguably the coolest thing to have hit the rock scene since, say, the Stones—you’re indicating that this statement can be argued, meaning it’s possible they AREN’T the coolest thing since the Stones. If, however, the band is INarguably the coolest since the Stones, this means the statement can’t be argued at all—it is a definitive truth, no bones about it, etc.

And that’s your grammar lesson for today, kids.

And I write “kids” as though I’m so much older than whoever I could reasonably suspect reads this. I’m not even so little older—I’m not older at all. Of all my friends, of all my acquaintances, I’m older than maybe *one* of them. Biologically, anyway.

The flight attendant was pushing the beverages cart down the aisle. I was cold and wanted tea to help warm me back up, so when he asked what I wanted, I said, tea, please. He immediately asked, How do you drink it?

I was sorely tempted to say, In a cup, of course, and we would all have a jolly good laugh over my charming wit. Unfortunately, my witty reflexes were at the time preoccupied with trying to remember e line from Family Guy—so what came out of my mouth was, Oh, just plain, thanks.

All right. I need another nap.

Which comes first, the passing out or the puking?

Did you know it’s possible to clean a house in four hours? A two-story house, a house which has for the last five weeks been overrun by six dogs and three cats? A dusty house, a house whose every inch of off-white carpet is overlaid with clumps and patches of black Australian Shepherd fur? In four hours! Yes! It’s possible! It’s amazing!

Did you also know that it’s possible for a woman, a fickle woman who took over twenty minutes trying to perfect her “look” today, even though her look was “I just rolled out of bed,” complete with worn-in gym pants, a tank top, and hair sloppily pulled back in an elastic band—a woman who can’t decide what she wants to eat in under half-an-hour, even if she were being held at gunpoint—to pack for a longish trip in five minutes? A woman, mind you, who has been working in a newspaper office for TWELVE HOURS, copy editing and fixing layout and working with photos and trying to calm herself down because she’s worked herself into a fit because IT’S FOUR SPACES FOR AN INDENT, NOT FIVE, NOT THREE, NOT SEVEN, NOT TAB AND THEN TWO SPACES, NOT “oh let’s just hit the spacebar an arbitrary number of times with no sense of pattern, rhyme, or reason”—FOUR, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THE NECESSITY FOR CONSISTENT LAYOUT???

But yes. Yes! More with the Amazing! I, who am currently running on fumes, packed a bag for a five-day trip to Honolulu in FIVE MINUTES. Absolutely mind-blowing, how necessity can drive a person to do the impossible. What I accomplished today is on par with those people who, with a sudden rush of hormones and adrenaline and Miracle-Gro Strength, can lift an eighteen-wheeler with one hand tied behind their back because of the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY to lift the vehicle, because of the Very Important and Dear to Their Heart person lying beneath one of that truck’s massive wheels, or maybe a lemon cookie, because God knows what I would do if a lemon cookie needed rescuing from the murky depths of Sub-Eighteen-Wheeler Tire.

Except for immediate and dire tasks, like changing the cat litter or changing the newspapers or sanitizing the counter that still has remnants of the month-old rotting mangoes which turned into squishy plump mounds of dark brown goo held together by a dark brown wrinkly skin, mangoes which were thrown away but whose excess spillage was never dealt with until the lingering odor—smacking of really bad wine with a vague hint of sewage—got to be too much to handle. I would pass by the spot on the counter where the fruit had melted, and I swear I would walk away with a slight drunken buzz—except for pressing things such as, I have not really cleaned the house since… well, since I moved back home in the beginning of July. I’ve wiped the surface clean with some cotton pads and astringent, but I never bothered to do a deep-down, pore-flushing, exfoliating Event.

Until today.

Why today, you ask? I couldn’t really tell you. I suppose the spirit finally got around to moving me. The fact that my mother is returning to Vegas for a few days (which is why I’m going to Honolulu, to switch places with her), naturally, has *nothing* to do with my sudden desire to vaccuum and organize and clean and make pretty. Absolutely nothing. Pure coincedence that my mother will now walk into the house, from where she has been absent since mid-July, and not get the impression that her residence has been a Zone of Massive Destruction and Shedding the whole time she’s been away.

Four hours of non-stop cleaning. Sweat and swear words were in prolific abundance. The dogs were locked outside the entire time because I didn’t want them in the way of my obsessed cleaning process, and then some because I didn’t want them to ruin in minutes what had taken me hours to create (that is, a semblance of order and cleanliness).

And from the cleaning, I went straight into the shower, and from the shower, I went straight to work.

For TWELVE HOURS.

Granted, I spent the first two hours not really working, messing around with Photoshop for a project I was compiling for my mother, reading Internet news sites and checking message boards and just fucking off with the other editors, laughing and insulting and being insulted and cursing. But I was there, I was in the office, and I was logged onto the network and I had a story on my screen the whole time. The fact that in those initial two hours, I only edited the first three paragraphs of that one story, is quite beside the point. Or it would be if I had a point to begin with

I gradually threw myself more into my work, and around nine I really cracked down and got serious.

Six hours later, still labor-intensive, there were still three sections that I hadn’t had the time to even *look* at, let alone edit and fix and repair.

Four in the morning. I haven’t eaten since 7 p.m. and I’ve been awake since 8 a.m. My flight to San Francisco leaves at 6:30 a.m., but I haven’t even packed for the trip and I need to be out the door—of my house—by 5:15 in order to get to the airport in time to check-in and muddle through security.

4:30. I’m getting that heady, dizzy feeling, that weird sort of brain cloud that makes me feel perpetually on the verge of either throwing up or blacking out. News still needs to be edited and fixed, and I have to check the captions and such for the front page. Hubert and I are the only ones left in the office—have been for at least an hour, now.

5 a.m. STILL IN THE FUCKING OFFICE WITH THIS FUCKING PAPER THAT FUCKING STILL ISN’T DONE. Though, I’m not angry—I don’t have the brain capacity or the energy to manage to be angry. I am, however, sweating bullets because it’ll take me at *least* ten minutes to drive home, and that’s if I speed my ass off, and then I’ll have to find a bag and throw clothes and toiletries and shoes and school stuff into it, but I’ll only have a couple of minutes to do that because I HAVE to get to the airport on time because if I miss my flight the world will explode and everything will be ruined and I’ll have to drown myself in a parking lot puddle.

Five minutes later, I leave after (half) jokingly telling Hubert that if there are any typos in the Events Calendar or the random fact box, I’m going to hold him completely accountable (even though he’s just as exhausted as I am). Speed like a bat out of hell, get home—my dad’s watching the morning news, clearly waiting for me, though I didn’t pause long enough to see if he was surprised to see me only just coming home—shouldn’t I be coming *down* the stairs from my bedroom, instead of going *up* them to it?

The second miracle of the day happens: I pack everything I need. IN FIVE FUCKING MINUTES. Never before has such an event of this magnitude, of this incredulous power, occurred, and I remain confident that never again will a similar event take place (not if I have anything to do with it). I run downstairs, fly into the garage, throw some shoes into my bag while putting another pair on my feet, grab some last-minute stuff out of my car, then get into my dad’s car and catch my breath as he drives me to McCarran.

I’m writing this from the airplane—this flight was so drastically undersold that I not only received a seat before the plane even arrived at the gate, but the gate agent gave me a whole row to myself, which was nice because the bag I pac ked was ridiculously heavy and I’d been trying to figure out how I was going to get the damn thing into the overhead bin, as my smaller bag with my textbooks and my Streudel were, of course, going to go under “the seat in front of me,” to ensure their utmost safety.

Well. As of now, I’m writing from the San Francisco airport at Gate 80, waiting for the boarding process to commence. I’m exhausted and I still have that funny feeling going on in my head, which I assure you is far from being fun, and occasionally my stomach still feels like turning itself inside out, except there’s really no food in there right now, so all that would come up would be acidy spit, which I’m pretty sure equates to something of an unpleasurable experience.

I need sleep. I need food. I need some semblance of sanity and repose, and I won’t get either for some time. I also need a power outlet, because my battery is estimated to run out in three hours and I’ve got about six or seven hours until I’m settled in Hawai’i. And I’ll be damned if I can’t write when I’m finally in the mood to write and when I’m actually writing on a level above Really Crappy. Forget the fact that I’m not particularly coherent due to my lack of sleep—it’s quality incoherence, people!

The RY office was incredibly cold, no surprise—and after twelve (TWELVE) hours of sitting in that office in a sleeveless top, I was freezing and more than a little glad to be walking outside into a still warmth of a morning. Then came the Running Frantically Everywhere because I was desperately afraid of missing my flight, which made me Uncomfortably Hot, a condition which was not remedied in the least by the shoddy air conditioning of the airport terminal. Following this came Plane Flight the First, which involved an irritating but persistent stream of Freezing Cold Air which hit every square inch of exposed skin on my body, and maybe even a couple of square inches of hidden-under-not-insulating-clothes skin, too. Shivering ensued, which induced a Cranky Attitude, not helped at all by the Lack of Sleep issues—and now I’m Comfortably Room-Temperature here at Gate 80. This constant change of temperature states, however, has only left me all the more fatigued.

I found a wall outlet, however, so that’s one thing to raise my spirits—and I’ve been watching this adorable little baby who has been entertaining himself to no end by crawling around on the dirty airport floor, rolling his plastic bus which has little plastic people who bounce up and down as the bus wheels move. He has these tiny little feet with these tiny little toes—I can feel my biological clock ticking in and, being Hungry and Tired and Hot-Potato-Peas-Porridge-Cold to boot, I am powerless to stop these maternal yearnings.

Fifteen minutes and boarding should start. Standbys should be getting called soon.

Sometimes, I wonder about this whole newspaper editing business. I honestly worked my ass off tonight, trying to make sure that this edition is completely free of typos—last edition, I made the mistake of relegating some of the stories to other people, whom I trusted would catch each and every mistake—I checked the stories, made sure the section editors had the edited copies of their stories, gathered my shit together and waved good-bye. Because, as a copy editor, my job is to edit the copy, and “copy” consists of merely stories, right?

SO WRONG!

Copy consists of headlines, headers, captions, bylines, drop decks, quote boxes, last-minute in-house ads—and so much more. I learned this the hard way—by picking up a copy of the issue the next day and staring blankly at the plethora of typos littering the FRONT FUCKING PAGE. Opening the paper only revealed more typos, more mistakes, more “little overlooked errors” that brought my world of complacency crashing down with a jarring cacophany of dismay.

So for this edition, nothing got finalized until I’d scrutinized every inch of the section. This meant, however, that I couldn’t—by my own imposition—leave the office, leave the paper, until everything was finished. Hence the Still Being There at five in the morning.

And yet, for all my careful preparations, for all my careful editing, for all my careful triple-checking of the littlest details, I have this terrible suspicion that something still sneaked by me, that there’s going to be a glaring error in this edition—and that one little error is the rotten apple that spoils the entire barrel, for me. One uncaught typo, in my overly-intense world, immediately devalues the hundreds of other typos I *did* catch—and that pisses me off. Perfectionism is highly overrated, but so damn inescapable. At least, for those of us cursed by the trait by birth.

The worst part of this all is, I’m not going to be in town for this next issue, which comes out on Monday. I won’t be back in Vegas until Tuesday—the thought that I won’t be able to pore, to literally scan every microcosm of this next issue the way I just did for this one—sends me into a near-panic. I don’t trust anyone else with this paper. And it’s not so much sheer arrogance that drives me to say something like that—it’s the fact that, I trusted other people with it before and that trust was irreparably broken. I’ve nagged to death the section editors to E-MAIL ME THEIR STORIES FOR EDITING, but knowledge is a deadly weapon—I now know that I can edit to perfection every story, but there will remain all the same so much room for gigantic typos. Headlines, after all, are the first thing people read when their eyes scan over a page.

Yes, it’s only one issue, but it’s still my name listed as a copy editor, it’s still my name that plays the scapegoat for all and any typos—though the majority of our student readership couldn’t ever be bothered into actually contacting me and telling me what a crap job I’m doing. I still hate the thought that I could have done something more to make it all better, to prevent these mishaps from happening.

Hot damn. Any publication would be so lucky to have someone as driven as I am when it comes to this sort of shit. That I can, while running on fumes and stressing like mad and needing to get the HELL out of the office RIGHT NOW I’M LATE I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS, still retain such a nit-picky attitude, unlike other editors I’ve had to work with in the past who, in the later hours of the morning, after hours of endless battling with software and writers and hardware and other such factors, all of which are stubborn and uncompromising and difficult and causes of migraines, will suddenly take on an attitude of “Oh fuck it, who cares, it’s just one issue and no one’s really going to notice if this one has some typos or if that onemakes less sense than a French translation of a Pauly Shore movie, and even if one or two people do, no one’s going to make a fuss about it.” And mistakes deliberately go to the printer.

It’s a crap sort of cop-out which I am incapable of ever taking. Which is a good thing for whoever employs me, but a damned nuisance for me.

Have finally made it to the plane—this is the first time in years, literally years, maybe five, which would amount to about ten trans-Pacific flights, that I’ve sat in coach. I’m not used to being in such close proximity with other passengers for five hours—but then, I’ll probably sleep. I’d better sleep. I certainly don’t plan on just writing the entire duration of this flight.

Oh hey—a blanket! Joy of joys, a blanket. Sleep is on.

Or maybe not. Screaming babies could be nearby.

Fruit on the bottom, hope on top

And so begins my first week as a Distance Education student, which was gloriously kicked off by sleeping in until 11:30 a.m. (commencement of the falling asleep was five hours earlier)… I thought I’d set my alarm to 9 a.m. (the classes I had initially signed up for began at 8:30– insanely early, I know, but there wouldn’t have been half as much of a hassle regarding parking for such an early class, as opposed to the stress I would have endured had it been the third or so class of the day, when ALL the parking spots are taken– though I guess I can’t really speak from experience, never having gone to my classes at all last week), but I clearly did not, and blissful repose was MINE… for once.

But WebCT has finally recognized my registration changes and I was able to log into my DE classes and see what’s going on. The linguistics course looks more than bearable, even though I’ve already missed my first assignment, which was due on Friday… the poli-sci course looks heavy but nonetheless manageable. I was reading the bulletin board for the latter, and for some reason all the students decided to do introductions– name, class standing, major, reasons for taking the class, etc. I’ve always disliked this, the going around the room and standing up and talking about yourself briefly, usually done in the first day of (traditional classroom) class. I don’t know if it’s because of bad associations with this process, stemming from junior high, or because I just hate throwing myself out there– maybe both. I don’t like to talk about myself… not because I consider myself uninteresting, just– it always feels narcissistic, somehow. And dangerous, just a little, as well… because some glitchy part of my brain which is in drastic need of re-wiring suspects that everyone’s a psychologist out to analyze my every quirk and drawback.

Anyway. So everyone has posted their introductions in an index-card style, and quite uncharacteristically, I decided to post my own, even though to do such is clearly not necessary and probably a little awkward, since I’m doing it so late.

And typical me, I couldn’t just follow the common format. Oh no– I mentioned USD, I mentioned the Rebel Yell, I explained why I was such a latecomer to the class, why I was signing up for classes in the first place, why I was signing up for DE classes– it got lengthy. Granted, two long-ish paragraphs isn’t much in my book, but for that discussion thread, it was pretty damn lengthy. Regret inevitably sank in the moment I clicked that “Post” button. In comparison to the other posts, mine looked like a Personals ad.

I thought about this for a little bit, however, and realized I don’t really care. So I’ve introduced myself as more than a name and a major. So I’ve given my introduction a little taste of humanity, or personality– is that really such a terrible thing?

No, and yes. Yes because, if it’s actually read, the fact that it so clearly stands out draws notice, and I don’t want to be noticed, I don’t want to stand out in any way, shape, or form– not in this situation. I just want to be an anonymous figure. If it were a different forum– theatre or journalism or my professional career, whatever that ends up being– then, yes, I’d want to do everything I could to make my name one that people recognize and remember, to prove myself exceptional and outstanding and Amazing! and Wow!

But not in the WebCT introductory message board thread.

::sigh::

I’m running out of lemon cookies, which is probably a good thing because those things are going to be the death of me, but I’m still sad (because when my last cookie is gone, it’s the END OF THE WORLD and what is this nonsense about going to the grocery store and buying another package?)… remember that scene in Monsters Inc. when Sully lures Boo into the closet by leaving a trail of Cheerios? That could easily have been me, had those Cheerios been lemon cookies. I could, in all probability, be lured clear across the globe, with nothing but lemon cookie goodness.

Speaking of cookies– I made my first birthday cookie in about a year. I used to make these things all the time, but the last one I remember making was for Bastmati, and that was almost immediately after I moved into the beach house, which was the beginning of last September… I know I’d wanted to make one for Paul’s birthday in December but never did– and everyone else’s birthday, I’ve recently missed.

It was a borderline disaster. I added too much salt and had to pick it out of the flour, I used the wrong sized bowl for the sugars and eggs, we didn’t have any salted butter so I had to use unsalted, we didn’t have enough semisweet chocolate so I had to fill in with classic– but in the end, it came out all right, and even the decorating went pretty well. She liked it and it got eaten without complaints and I think it, along with numerous drinks, helped take away her strange birthday sadness.

*So* much that needs to be done before I leave on Thursday… the stress! The stress!

I’ll leave with this interesting bit of news: we just bought a house in San Diego! Fantastic! It’s either a four- or five-bedroom on a good-sized lot (FIVE fruit trees!), located in North County not too far from my sister’s condo. It’ll be officially ours after October 20… I’m absolutely thrilled– oh, the possibilities!