And apparently my boobs smell like Tide, oh Ye of the Internets.
Classes have started and I’m eye-twitchingly overwhelmed. Sitting in class, wondering, why am I here? Why am I doing this? Why am I learning this? Thinking about the majority of CS and EE majors I personally know who graduated and are now working, instead, in IT or MIS. Terrified that I’m going to work and work and work and end up doing just fine, maybe even doing wonderfully, in my classes– but not retain a shred of information taught to me, only to begin the cycle of premeditated stress and scraping by next semester and the semester after that until my program is over. If CpE 200 is making me want to claw out my eyeballs in the first week, what’s going to happen with CpE 300? Or my 400-level CS classes? And I haven’t even *started* any of my EE components. OH MY GOD, WHY AM I DOING THIS?
I don’t know if it was the classroom setting or the fact that he’s foreign (Swedish, maybe?) or what, but my math professor was wearing white socks with those Velcro sandals and he looked totally normal and non-make-funnable in them. Also, he refused to give us his e-mail address so that if we need to talk to him, we either have to call him or see him in person. Have I just gotten really lucky, or are *all* the math professors here this fucking awesome?
Actually, I think I lucked out with all my professors this semester. They all have this really weird sense of humor, which just makes them doubly funny to me. I like my physics professor– though not quite as much as I liked last semester’s ("the Earf’s gravitational pull"!)– but the lecture hall makes it really hard to hear him. And the protagonist of this class’ studies is going to be, it would seem, the electron. So, you know. Shit on the sub-atomic level. For the next four months.
I am so royally screwed.
Also, I’m getting the feeling that there aren’t a lot of girls in CpE. A good number of ’em in CS and even EE, but… yeah, not so much CpE. I’m the only girl in lab. It’s kind of shitty. And then our lab instructor gave this really lengthy speech on how people get murdered and raped and shot and whatevered on campus and within a mile’s radius of campus and how later on in the semester it was going to be dark by the time we got out of lab and also did we all have a fire extinguisher in our cars? Because we should. And also at least one question on our quiz/exam will be on the fire escape routes from the lab. Oh and we’re working with electric currents so WE COULD DIE IN LAB, just, you know, a heads-up. Phone’s in the cabinet and we all know how to dial 911.
I was standing in the pen aisle at an Office Max once and realized that someone, somewhere, is in charge of engineering new pens. Because every year there are "New and Improved!" pens, pens with smoother ink flow and comfort grips and whatever. And I thought, what an interesting conversation *that* must be: "So what do you do?" "Oh, I’m an engineer." "Really! What do you work on?" "Pens." And THEN I thought, how do you get into that? Is there a college somewhere with a Writing Instument Engineering program? Where you study the frictional relationship between the roller ball and the ink cartridge and the angles of functionality? Because I would totally be all over that and OMFG LIKE SERIOUSLY WHAT AM I DOING.
Say you’re making finger sandwiches for a tea party, and this involves cutting the crusts off the bread slices, then cutting each slice into quarters. But! Each sandwich needs to be buttered, and on both sides.
In the interest of not driving yourself batshit insane (because of course, to boot, you’re really pressed for time and it’s been an exhausting whirlwind of a weekend already): butter the bread BEFORE you quarter it. Otherwise you end up buttering 24 little individual squares of bread, one at a painstakingly fucking time, and your only saving grace is that you decided to go with butter and not cream cheese.
P.S.: Fresh dill smells just like Christmas. Mmm…
Seeing as how I live in Las Vegas (in Green Fricking Valley), I don’t know why Riverside shocked me so much. Coming from the I-15 South, it’s just desert, desert, desert, BOOM! Green hills and trees and commerce and city block after city block just teeming with life. And the UCR campus– gorgeous! But then, it doesn’t take much for a campus to impress me; USD was such a small little thing (though undeniably beautiful; I’ve long held that half our tuition went toward landscape maintenance).
For some reason, I kept thinking I was in Florida the whole time I was down there. Like, *Gainesville*, Florida.
There’s a cute little crÃªpe eatery in the big center next to campus off University Ave., and it’s just like the carts in Japan (specifically, Harajuku– I don’t remember seeing them elsewhere during the trip) except the service is about five times slower. But the menu items are the same! So that was a fun (and yummy!) surprise.
We went to the Atomic Ballroom on Friday night– first time I’d been there, though of course I’d heard and read about it. It was stuffy and hot, and everyone kept remarking that it’s usually not *so* bad, but having recently come from the dancing stint in San Diego (where people were swearing to me the exact same thing), I was still used to the discomfort.
The music selection was really nice and it was a friendly crowd– I got to meet (and dance with!) The Shesha and some other really active dancers from the area, and I got half-talked into (considering) driving down for the Frankie Manning weekend near the end of September.
AND. So I saw this guy, this dancer, this lead, right? And I kept thinking he looked really familiar– actually the first time I saw him across the room, I thought– "Wait, is that–? No, that can’t be… Is it? Shit, I can’t tell." So for, like, the next HOUR (or three), I kept glancing over to wherever he happened to be (I moved around the room a lot, but he pretty much stayed on the one side), and I’m sure I either looked like I was either a smitten and lovesick fool or a massively jealous ex, but it was driving me insane. Because if it *was* him, there would have been some sort of acknowledgment of recognition (we’d made eye contact, briefly, a few times out of the 14,000 that I’d momentarily looked his way), and there wasn’t. But if it *wasn’t* him? That’s one *hell* of a resemblance. Like, enough of a ridiculous resemblance that I just couldn’t accept that it wasn’t him.
I didn’t want to walk up to him and say, "Hi, do I know you?" Because if I did know him, what a retarded question to be asking (Eddie Izzard: "It was the equivalent of going and saying: [hesitantly] ‘Uh… can you count up to three?’ [condescendingly] ‘…Yeahh…’"). And also, I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what he would be doing in Irvine. Then again, what the hell was *I* doing in Irvine? So then I thought, I guess I could just e-mail him, but, right?– we haven’t had correspondence since June, and what kind of a stupid e-mail would that be to break three months of silence? "Hi, so I was out at the Atomic Ballroom this weekend and randomly enough, I thought I saw you, but I guess that wasn’t you after all. Take care! ‘Bye."
And it’s not even a big deal. Nothing is pivoting on the answer to this Great Mystery, except I can’t stop obsessing over it. Like when you’re at Pub Quiz and there’s a question and you know the answer, IT’S ON THE TIP OF YOUR TONGUE, but you just can’t get the neurons to fire up correctly and spit out coherent words? And for the rest of the night, you’re just furiously harping over that one damned elusive answer until you get home and Google the shit out of it. Only, no amount of Googling will allay my harping; if I want respite, I have to send out an awkward e-mail. And then wait for what will likely be an awkward response.
So, yeah. Riverside. It kind of felt like L.A. without any of the Hollywood associations. Or like Santa Clara, if Santa Clara relocated to a desert. Nice, but I don’t think I could ever call it home.
For Your Ten Years of Service, The Community Thanks You
Remember the night I made that joke about the pizza ovens?
I laughed and laughed
Laid out on the couch, the ceiling
A blur through the tears that streamed from my eyes
I laughed until I couldn’t breathe
While you sat upright beside me
And remember the night of the tater tots?
It was one in the morning (or was it already two?) when
I started clamoring for them
You didn’t even blink; we went to the store
(You drove– the nearest one then was miles away)
And I wandered up and down the aisles
While you followed me
The way a bemused owner follows a hapless dog
Trying to track down a scent
Then listened to me argue with myself
For half-an-hour over whether I really wanted food anyway
Back at the house, I cooked them all on a baking sheet
Hounded you for ketchup
And ate four
You never tried to "fix" me
But trusted that I would get there on my own
You saw the other side of my smile
And heard the other side of my laugh
It didn’t change a thing
Your eyes recited cummings to me:
"one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one"–
I was a collective whole but more than the sum of my parts
And when you added it all up anyhow
I was something kind of amazing
If you die before I do
And you don’t stick around for a few days and do cool ghost shit for me
I will go to your grave
(Even if it’s on the other side of the country)
And play Postal Service on repeat for two weeks straight
OH MAN. I just thought of the greatest joke (Interrupting Starfish
aside) and I have to wait until I have a boyfriend again before I can
use it. Dammit! Double dammit!
Or… until I’m drunk and with really good friends, who are also
drunk at the time.
So I guess I just have to wait until this weekend.
I guess it’s, like, the trendy thing these days to say that you don’t regret anything in your life because "I wouldn’t be the person I am today," and self-acceptance is what the cool kids are all into now. Or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong, self-acceptance is a great thing, I condone it whole-heartedly– but please to excuse my disdain for where it feels like the concept of regret is headed. Regret is not always a bad thing; regret can be humbling, and god knows people could stand for a little humility in their lives (wasn’t there a recent big to-do over how this generation is more self-absorbed than ever?).
I don’t harp unhealthily over my regrets– I don’t get sucked down by memories of things I wish I had or hadn’t done in the past– but I have my regrets, all the same. I regret, for example (and perhaps more vehemently than I ought to), the Van Nuys incident and how I handled the aftermath. He was kind and sincere, and I was weak.
You could argue, maybe, that I shouldn’t regret this because it spurred me to become a better person! A stronger person! And you would be right, except it hasn’t, necessarily, and even if it had, I should either have been that person before the incident or have been able to become that person without having encountered it at all. Shame on me for not having the backbone to spell it out clearly and for ducking instead into closets of excuses.
- When I’m being forcibly civil, I sound *exactly* like my sister, to the point where it starts to creep me out.
- My mother referred to my Celica the other day as my "little blue car with the chipped front tooth," and for some reason I think this is hilariously sweet.
- I had to drive a Dodge Something tonight and now love my car all the more because of it, if only out of newfound appreciation for the fluidity of my turn signal and gas/brake pedals.
- I have been immensely cranky all day. Losing myself in books hasn’t worked.
- Paying $30 for a bottle of wine has always seemed really cheap to me. Because I don’t drink wine— how the hell should I know? It’s the same with liquor (my Grey Goose was about $28 and I think the raspberry beer was… about $6? Which seemed more than reasonable) and drugs (you can get coke for ten bucks? REALLY?); these things aren’t a part of my day-to-day existence  so I have no foundation upon which to base my expectations. But $2.50 for a pound of gala apples? You’ve got to be out of your fucking mind.
 Like it’s any surprise, but I’ve never actually tried anything. I wouldn’t even know where to start guessing at the cost of, say, heroin. $50? More? And where would you get the needles? Same goes for X. I can sort of guess at reasonable prices for weed, though, because a) I dated a pothead for a really long time, and b) about 75% of everyone I knew in SD smoked out at least once in a while. And I sort of know the going rate for a good hooker, though obviously that’s going to depend on the city and whether there are any fetishes involved, but that’s about as basic as how many
Constitutional Amendements there are: 9 22 41 wheels there are on a bicycle: 2.
"You’re illuminating when you’re angry. Do you know that?"
"Oh, hush up."
"I’m serious. God, I would argue with you every week just to see you glow like that. You’re the most charming spitfire I’ve ever met."
"What? No. Stop. Stop changing the subject!"
"And look! Now you’re getting embarrassed. Are you blushing? You’re adorable. This is fun!"
"I’m going to throw something at you if you don’t–"
"You will not. You’re probably writing down this whole exchange in your head as we speak so you can write it out in your pretty pink blog when you get home."
"Okay, now I’m just going to throw something at you for saying the word ‘blog.’"
Saying Las Vegas traffic isn’t bad compared to L.A. traffic, or even San Diego traffic, is on par with saying mono isn’t so bad compared to, say, the Black Plague.