Friday, June 30, 2006

Let there be music

The Italian music video channel has hit an all-time low: I just saw some sort of a Pink song twice within the span of an hour, and some sort of black and white music video in which the only piece of color is a lady model about 5 times. I had sort of high hopes for this channel, since I can’t seem to fall asleep, and I would counting on something keeping me entertained until I can. And God. I’ve seen more Tiziano Ferro music videos than I can handle.

The past couple of days I’ve managed to meet a couple of unusual people. That’s nothing unusual, since I do that all the time, even though I haven’t yet tattooed “PLEASE TALK TO ME! I AM DESPERATE FOR CONVERSATION!” onto my forehead. I shall now tell you about them. They are actually not too strange, but I have been talking to no one, so they are stranger than no one.

Anna the Shirtless Wonder

Villa Farnesina (don’t worry…I hadn’t heard of it before, either) is located very near me, and the day before yesterday I decided to pay it a little visit, just to see where I would have put the toilet paper dispenser and my shoe rack had I lived during the Renaissance. There was hardly anyone else there. As I was sitting in the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche, thinking about how I would have had an oval dining room table instead of a circular or square one, a lady with a one-sided-braided-ponytail-but-kind-of-bun plopped down next to me.

“What’s it say in your guidebook about this room?” asked she.

Ever willing to inform the clueless masses about the mysteries of art and its history, I obligingly gave her a mini session about the trompe l’oeil landscape, the “indoors/outdoors” theme present throughout the entire villa, how the artist mixed together his paints, and at exactly what time of the day he applied the paints to the walls in order to achieve that light yet dark feeling.

“You know, it’s just so hot in here, and no one is around, I think I’m just going to take off my shirt and lay down on the ground,” said she.

And that’s just what she did.

I couldn’t really blame her. I had done exactly that in the comfort and privacy of my own hotel room earlier in the day, so who was I to judge? And we WERE alone, and I DID want to do that more than anything, and when is my next chance going to come around to lie on the ground of an Italian villa? Oh well.

The Shoeless Stranger

That evening I decided to take a stroll on the other side of the river, and ended up in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, wandering through the oval-shaped piazza in front of it. I know it is oval shaped because I have learned this in 3 different art history classes, and what is a piazza if it is not oval shaped?

As I was taking a picture from an odd angle, as I am wont to do, a middle aged man walked up to me.

“Do you speak English?” asked he in a very thick Italian accent.

“Yes I do,” said I.

“If you take your shoes off and walk here, the stones are very soft,” informed he.

“Oh! Why thank you!” exclaimed I.

Then he stood there expectantly. He looked at me like he was doing his good deed for the day, and that I HAD to take off my shoes for the good of humanity. So what was I going to do? I looked around to see if this was not some sort of elaborate ruse to get me to take off my shoes so he and 25 accomplices could swoop down on me to steal my sandals, then pin me to the ground to batter me with hundreds of other deceived tourists’ stolen shoes while bellowing “WE WILL TEACH YOU TO WALK BAREFOOT ON HALLOWED GROUND, YOU LEECHES! YOU THINK YOU CAN WALK ALL OVER OUR COUNTRY ASKING FOR PIZZA AND SAYING ‘CIAO!’ REFORM! REFORM! REFORM! VIVA ITALIA!”

However, everything seemed to be a-ok, so I slipped off my shoes and walked around a little bit with my new friend. After a few minutes, I thanked him for a nice stroll, assured him the ground was indeed soft, the pope himself could only dream of having such soft stones for his bed, and feeling mightily like Cinderella minus Prince Charming, the pumpkin, and the entourage of mice, I put my shoes back on, exited St. Peter’s, and ran smack dab into...

Isabel Groff, Another University of Chicago Student in Rome

I’ve never talked to her before in my life. But I recognized her, and she recognized me. I knew she recognized me because she gave me that “I know I know you from somewhere smile, but I’m not going to say anything if you’re not going to say something first.” So I did.

“Do I know you?” asked I.

And with that smooth opening started my first night out, with me going to some sort of a fancy hotel for some fancy expensive drinks, woefully out of place because I was wearing my “No One Knows Me in This Country, And I’m Not Going Out Tonight, I Might As Well Wear Whatever the Hell I Want To” walking around tourist outfit with Isabel, her sister and boyfriend, and Paolo, who happens to go to Brown and knows one of the girls from my high school, then to the apartment Paolo is staying in, which is full of odds and ends, and out to a bar near my monastery.

Small world.

PS: I don't know what to do about pictures. Shall I post some of the pictures I put on here so people will be forced to look at them, put them on flickr where no one will want to see them, or just not even bother?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

That Business Class ticket was f-r-e-e, Kristopher, because they had no room on economy for me until next month. Jerk.

This is just a short howdy-doodee, and to let everyone know that all roads do indeed lead to Rome, since I am now roasting my toes in the Roman sun.

So far, I’ve gotten ripped off only twice, and gotten lost only about a zillion times, thanks to my guide book’s awesomely terrible maps. And this isn’t just me imagining things; the maps this guide book provides, although it is a National Geographic publication, has only major roads labeled. Which means that only one out of 20 streets is labeled, which means that I am lost only 80% of the time, but hey, the pictures are absolutely great. TimeOut Rome wasn’t in the bookstore, so I had to content myself with this, and I’m not about to buy a book without pictures, because then I won’t have anything to look at when I’m lost.

I guess I’m one of those tourists everyone hates, but more on that later.

So Digression 1: How Adrianne got ripped off, or No More Ms. Nice Girl

There was supposed to be someone waiting for me at the airport when I got off the plane. Since this place I am staying at temporarily is a converted monastery, I was expecting a football team’s worth of monks or priests to be present in full force, each one holding a sign for “Mrs. Gyorfi” (judging from their emails, the person I was communicating with from this place thought I was married) and with the holy communion ready to be administered. Not so! That would have been too simple! My plane was late, and then, surprise of surprise, my baggage didn’t arrive. Rather, I THOUGHT it didn’t arrive, because I waited at the CORRECT baggage claim for one full hour before giving up. So my plane was late 45 minutes, then I was an hour with the baggage, which turned into more since I waited in line for luggage service, then changed my mind to see if my luggage might not be at another baggage claim, and makes sense it would be at a baggage claim of an airplane that didn’t have the itinerary that I had.

So baggage finally collected, I went out to the waiting area. There were no priests. There were no monks. In fact, there was no one waiting for me, and I wasn’t too surprised, since I was pretty late. Therefore, I just went over to an ATM, took out some Euros, and proceeded to enlist the service of a taxi.

I love taxi rides, and this was no different. Although I had no enlightening conversation with the taxi driver, he did the usual creation of lanes where there would be no lanes, and the typical fast driving. By the time we reached Rome, we were getting along famously: me speaking in slow Spanish and him countering in very fast Italian. But we got the point across, and that point was mostly that he had no idea where the hell he was going, because he never went to this street, but well, he’d take me to the area and see what he could do.

So we got the street finally.

“Muchas fiestas,” he told me as he reversed in the opposite direction into the one way street where my accommodations were.

I don’t know if that’s just the same in Italian, or if he was speaking Spanish, but I got the idea. Lots o’ parties. The area, Trastevere, I’m in, according to my guidebook with the shitty maps, is a place where the Romans are the real deal since “the residents of this area consider themselves to be the true descendants of the ancient Romans,” and everyone knows Romans liked their banquets wild.

Then I had to pay him. I discovered I magically had 50 Euros less than I was supposed to have. I could see only 2 logical explanations for me not having as many Euros as I had gotten from the bankomat:

1. Someone had reached into my bag, had taken my wallet, fished out only 50 Euros, and had considerately put my wallet back.

2. I know I put all the money I got at the bankomat into my wallet and none had fluttered out onto the sidewalk, so I had received the wrong amount from the get go.

I stood there wondering what in the world I was supposed to do then, since he was looking at me expectantly with starved eyes. So what was I going to do? I gave him an obscene amount of American dollars. Hurray. Roman Rip off #1, and let me tell you, IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

Digression 2: How Adrianne Gyorfi Got Ripped Off the Second Time, or Adrianne’s Disillusionment with Religious Orders

Then I got to my lodgings. And I had to pay for the services of the shuttle I didn’t use, since these people are unmerciful and if you called for the shuttle, were late, shuttle left, and you didn’t use said shuttle, you still have to pay. I wasn’t about to get on the bad side of a couple of people who would have a say as to whether I’d get into heaven or hell, so pay up I did.

An American in Rome. I just got back from a sort of odd night out, but more on that maybe tomorrow. Let me just say that when you’re abroad, you run into a couple of unexpected people, and me mostly, since I have a penchant for attracting curious people.

This one's for you, Agi. My hair looks like that for about 3.5 seconds. Then I go outside. Sorry it's one of those pictures I took myself, but I had no choice.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Business Class Lounge Baby! Everything looks better from Business Class!

I’m currently sitting in a leather chair in the club lounge for Lufthansa’s business class guests sipping some Guinness. I don't particularly like it, but it's the principal of the deal! I thought I’d update the blog with this information to inform everyone how the other half lives, and at the moment, I find it quite amusing.

I started off this leg of the journey at 7:15 AM. Oh but wait, FIRST, I got in line at 6:15 AM (!) to get on the plane. In true-blue Unitedian fashion, I was informed that I couldn’t check in, because I was too late, since check-in closes 45 minutes before departure. You do the math. I turned that equation inside-out, upside-down, and I still ended up with the grand total of checking in one FULL HOUR before departure, which definitely did not add up to a mere 45 minutes before departure, whose derivative was a very panicked Adrianne thinking she might not be flying on business class, because she was too late.

But United pulled through this time. After a laborious process of head scratching and nose rubbing, an agent had her “ah-HA” moment, and noticed I was indeed checking in what would appear to be before 45 to departure, and I was on my way.

First class boards early. Want to know what happens in between the time first class passengers board and the NORMAL passengers board? First class passengers have a small informal party with flappers, pink elephants, and lots of booze, with all the free pretzel snacks they can grab.

Everyone knows that in economy class, if you turn your head to say hello, you’re pretty much French-kissing your neighbor. Not so in business class my friend! The seats were situated so far apart from each other it was necessary to yell to make yourself heard by the person sitting next to you. I could have turned cartwheels in between and over the seats! My traveling companion was some gentlemen who looked interesting, mostly because you could tell that he was the sort of guy who had led a wild life before settling down to a leisure life of first class travel, fetch with his kids, and weed-free lawns. I got this information solely from his deep tan, bleached hair, wedding ring, and the fact that he was still able to grin jovially at me after I had smacked him full in the face with my bag and jacket while I was bounding into my seat to see if it really would recline to near 180 degrees, or if there was a free pack of cigarettes hidden in the arm rest.

So now in Dallas, I sat down in the ECONOMY (said in an unbearably snootish tone) waiting area before I realized that I could mosey on up to the club lounge. Let me tell you how out of place I am. For one, I am the only person taking pictures of everything. Second, I’m the only person in her 20s. Third, I’m the only one who’s laughing to herself because I can’t believe people travel like this. So relaxed! So chic! God, if I would have known I was going to be hanging out in the lounge, then I would have worn some sort of mystery travel woman outfit. Fourth, I haven’t yet made a call mentioning contracts, deadlines, or policies. I’m getting such a grand kick out of this, that I’m tempted to not leave Dallas, and instead hang out here in the lounge and watch the world cup on the flat screen plasma TV they have.

All right, one of the wandering women has taken away my now empty glass. This is a pretty impressive place, everyone. It’s a reason to study hard: to travel well.

P.S. Now in the Frankfurt airport listening to The Cardigans, because for some reason, Germany always reminded me of The Cardigans for no good reason at all, besides for when I studied here then one of my friends always listened to their songs.

Oh yeah. And I totally had sparkling wine on the plane. MUAHAHA


No lines! Suck it United!

Lobby to lounge


Part of the bathroom.


They had showers

Thank you lounge 4

Yes there is indeed a massage button on my chair

You basically need a telescope to see it

Must fly!

Sorry about the bad dream Kat! Next time I'll be sure to speak only about Schroedinger's equation. However you spell it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I give myself an "F" for the day

If I would add a new word to the dictionary, it would be "pregret."

Everyone is familiar with "regret." It's what you do after you enter a congested freeway, after you go on a 6 week diet of only hamburgers, or after you start an affair with an ablutophobic. Lots of people spend lots of time regretting things, and I think I can confidently say I belong to this group of people.

With pregret, you could save yourself the effort of saying "I am going to regret doing this," and instead go straight to saying "I pregret this." Like, "I pregret not going to sleep right now in order to wake up early to pack," or "I pregret watching a movie instead of writing that report." With this word, you could acknowledge your feeling right away instead of living in a state of consternation over the regret you'll feel later, and just get on with it. I've pregretted lots of things in the past, so it seems I'm in a perpetual state of pregretting or regretting.

I just found a book on a shelf entitled "The Book of Myself." Before I opened it, I thought it would be some sort of a long survey with questions like "My favorite color is" or "I feel best in this underwear." But instead, it's a book with 201 questions heading full pages of lines in order to answer questions like "For a while I thought I would marry this person, but I didn't," "My hope for the nation is that..." and "I feel like I could have raised my children better by...". This might be because it's 2:50 AM, but this book strikes me as extremely depressing. The old age section is filled with stuff about the bridges you've burned, the people you wish you would have spent more time with, the career you would have chosen if you would have changed mid-life, and things you never got around to doing. It's also got equally irritating and explorative (new word? maybe?) questions that I wouldn't feel like answering if I were to write an autobiography, as the back of the book suggests I do if I want to get started.

If I were going to write an autobiography, I think I'd go straight to the text message section of my cell phone. I realize that this cell phone is different from my original one, but still, since nearly every message in my inbox and outbox are saved, it's interesting to review what was going on when I sent the messages. Tonight, since Mary Kate and I were stuck in a parking lot for over an hour, it was great fun to reread the messages to remember exactly what I was thinking when I sent a message like "ditto HELP" or "to the color BLUE." (all caps figure quite prominently in any of my text messages).

In any case, the point is that I suggesting putting pregret into the dictionary. I also suggest listing alternate pronunciations for "catastrophe," "sieve," and "vaginal," but well, that's just me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pretty irritated that this is the only place to get free wireless in this town

I'm sitting on an overstuffed couch, which I think is supposed to be characterized as "homey" and "comfortable," but which is making me feel all the more self-conscious for sitting, because in couches like this, it is possible for all the extra cushioning around your body to flow freely in any direction instead of being held together in one place with stiff cushions and some strong base support. I guess what ostensibly is a band is playing in the background, although as far as I can tell, it sounds pretty much like a revved-up version of Anthony Harmon's yodelling with a keyboard added.

I could definitely go on about the people who are surrounding me right now, and my recent revelations of how people think they are looking different actually look different in the same ways, but I will spare you the details, because everyone here is old enough to form such observations.

God. The lead singer just started singer. I hope all those stick-thin girls in the corner feel profoundly deep and inspired now.

What I'm really writing about is the Daily News in Adrianne's life: What on earth will Adrianne be doing this summer, and where will she be writing those e-mails from? Where will she be updating this blog from? Where will her next round of insanely strange pictures be taken? Where we she bring us back cheap liquor and easy women from?

Ok, the song this band is playing now is entitled "Adrianne." or "Adrian." Probably the latter, but they have won a new place in my heart. I said this band was bad? Why, they are the next undiscovered talent, hailing straight from my very own Santa Clarita! The new uhhhh...uhhhhhh... .

Instead of sitting here snarkily commenting on everyone around me, I think I should just get to the point:

June 27-August 5: Rome to study
August 5-August 30: Menorca to an archaeology program
September 1-September 20-something: Wherever the wind takes me in Europe.
September 20-something - December 5: Rome to study again. Because if I'm going to be spoiled rotten, might as well do it the right way.

After that I return back here to California. Back to this hub of culture and raw talent, to snobbishly comment on everyone around me.

Don't mind me. I just want to stand up and stop feeling overflowed. I'll go around begging for addresses and things in e-mails to everyone.

I am so distracted.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Because watching copious amounts of movies and evading repacking stuff has sucked most of my energy out of my sorry little infected body, I don't have much to say except for this:

Hard work does not go unnoticed. Kristopher Capello, Teach for America extraordinaire, has proved himself capable of not only creating lessons for "tone," but also capable of updating his blog. I place you in the regular section in my sidebar.

Rory Kelly, Sarah Vowell enthusiast, you have consistently reinforced my initial suspicion that you do not belong in the section I placed you in. You have been demoted to the "People I know (but who don't really update often enough)" section.

You have deceived me. I expected different things of you.

Besides, I can't have "Rory" and "Kris" in the same section, because then the first letters would be "R" and "K," which is an acronym for "Really Krappy." Or "Ridiculously Kooky." Which obiously this post wasn't.

**UPDATE** and to whoever told me that the cherry tomatoes in my "Sad Meal" post are grapes...I hate to break it to you, but those were indeed tomatoes. Believe me. I was there.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Welcome to the summer, baby

The usual post written at the airport is trapped on my laptop. I am safe and sound at home in the 100 degree + weather, lounging about in as little clothing as possible and lamenting the sore throat I have, which is a hand-me-down from Mary Kate.

Today's goal was to put myself in such a stupor as to not really think too hard about anything. I declare this mission accomplished, and my accomplices were the hits from the 90s and really, really bad movies. Let's go through my day.

8:30: Wake up. Think I'm still on Chicago time and congratulate myself on sleeping until 10:30, because that means I have to deal with the heat 2 hours less than I actually have to. Realize my error and go downstairs to eat breakfast.

Umm, after this I lose track of time, so the original plan to write out a schedule is pretty much kaput.

I decided to peruse the DVD selection I'd have for the 10 odd days I'm spending at home. Now, I have to clarify something first: for every decent DVD we own, there are 3 bad ones to cancel out the goodness. This is mostly due to my mom's voracious appetite in cheap DVD sections of Walmart, which has led her to buy such classics like:

Autumn in New York
The Lion in Winter
Grumpier Old Men

I keep on reminding her there are 1034 copies of the same movies in the HUGE bin at Walmart for a REASON: because they did not sell when they were on the shelves with spotlights directed at them and disco balls twirling in time to their main movie themes. These movies are usually bad, and only succeed in infecting the good movies that are already on the shelves. Somehow Wet, Hot, American Summer and Finding Nemo just don't have the same ring to them once they are sandwiched between Man of La Mancha and Penny Serenade. Or between Grumpier Old Men, for that matter.

Today, however, because I am an accepting and entirely non-judgmental girl, I decided to give these movies a chance. Maybe they were just misunderstood. Maybe they actually did long to be taken for a turn in the DVD player, and I would turn out to be the new Siskel and Ebert, triumphantly roosting on the leather couch in the living room, surrounded by empty popcorn bags and bottles of beer, spilling out of my bathing suit in a remarkably hot house, giving two thumbs up to such unrecognized classics like Xanadu and The Sandlot 2, while giving 2 decidedly very thumbs-downy thumbs to Citizen Kane and Singin' in the Rain.

I started with Rain Man. I don't know if that's supposed to be two words or one, but it doesn't even merit me going downstairs to check, or opening up another window on this sorry excuse for a computer to imdb it. It was an ok movie. Good to pass the time, Tom Cruise irritated me, loved the matching suits in the Las Vegas casino, hated the weepy featurette at the end.


Then to temper this experience, I moved on to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Maybe a mistake, but well, if it's got Marilyn Monroe, then it's GOT to be good. Why did I used to like these movies 30 times more than I do now is still beyond me, but these musicals will always hold a special place in my heart.

Then I took a break from this strenuous work and re-enacted a few of my favorite scenes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes while wondering what everyone else was doing.

Once I realized my mom wasn't coming home to do the royal handing over of the car before going to her second job, I moped around a bit before I started on Dr. Zhivago.

In 8th grade, my friend Jenae and I had an option of getting extra credit by watching the movie, Gettysburg, and writing some sort of a report on it. Jenae came over for a fun filled afternoon of civil war remiscing and education, hoping this movie would not be as long as the actual battle it represented. This was still in the dawn of DVDs, and I didn't realize that SOME DVDs have 2 sides to them, so we naturally started on the wrong side. For the entirety of the film, we were struggling to figure out just who was who, and WOW they really did start in on the action quickly, didn't they? I mean, no wasting time here! Just get straight to the canons and start blowing the enemy's brains out! When the movie was over, we looked at each other, and determined we were no more knowledgeable about the battle of Gettysburg than we were before watching the movie. The only thing we knew for sure was that this group, who we were pretty sure were from the North, had won the battle, since, well, we don't have slaves.

Then I read that the movie was way longer than 2 hours. And we decided we'd write the report anyway, without really watching the first half, because we already knew who won the war.

I didn't learn my lesson, people.

I stuck Dr. Zhivago into the DVD and my ears were assaulted with decidedly British accents in an obviously Russian country. Yet, I patiently waited out the rest of the movie. I had a few observations to make:

There was remarkable little character development throughout the movie.

On the back of the movie, the summary herals the "haunting score" of the movie, and well, they weren't kidding about that. Not that the music was particularly haunting, but I think that sometimes scores are only described as that because the theme is played so often that the audience leaves the movie with this inevitably drippy theme haunting their brain for the rest of the week. This movie had a theme, and what is a theme if it isn't played 8 times in 10 minutes? Dr. Zhivago had a theme, and the makers were DAMN WELL GOING TO USE THIS THEME, EVEN IF KILLED THEM IN THE PROCESS. Everything merited the theme. Dr. Zhivago was eating a potato, the theme would appear. Dr Zhivago raised and eyebrow, there comes the theme again. Dr. Zhivago finds he has no clean underwear, his nail is broken, there is snow outside, and his stomach hurts, the theme is played again. (obviously, I have a few issues with overuse)

There were a few fishy scenes. Like when Dr. Zhivago walks into a library, sees what I could only presume to be a former acquaintance, judging from the extremely passionate and longing looks they cast at each other, and within 30 seconds, they are getting down and dirty in the girl's apartment. Whatever, I guessed that's what some starved Russians in the revolution had to do to get warm once the fatty foods and vodka ran out at home. Occasionally I wouldn't mind reenacting that perhaps, without the whole revolution twist to the story. Then there was some line later on with the girl saying something to the effect of "wouldn't it have been nice if we had met earlier?"

"Why yes!" I thought to myself. "Then Zhivago wouldn't have had to drag you and your girl to an abandonded house where his family used to live in order to carry on his business there, while the rest of his family is trapped in Paris. What a grand idea. Pity you guys only met in the library."

However, after 1 hour and 14 minutes, Dr. Zhivago died. I sat, dumbstruck.

This movie merited 5 Oscar awards? THIS movie?

Then I realized there had to be another side to the movie.

However, since I understood the movie relatively completely without the first half, I'm not too inclined to watch the first half. I don't know if I can sit through at least another hour and a half of haunting themes, since now that I stopped to think, I have other things to haunt me. It's time to take the dog on a walk.

The only human interaction I've had today was when Julie and Rory called me. I nearly swallowed them hook, line, and sinker through my cell phone that hardly gets reception, I was so starved to talk to someone. The conversation with Julie was something like me yelling through the phone how much I missed her while the line cut in and out of reception. The roommate remission continues to amaze me, since I do love being alone. It just takes a while to get used to it, is all.

And if you have time, please, give me a ring. Or I am going to HUNT YOU DOWN AND CALL YOU MYSELF.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I am pretty disappointed I am one of the last people to find out about the new James Bond trailer

You are now reading the blog of an authentic apartment resident.

Who is updating in the middle of the school quad for lack of internet in said apartment, but well, a mere technicality. In spite of the apartment's lack of maid service, dish washer, automatically cleaning floors, draining shower, and flushing toilet, it is a one-of-a-kind gem.

We moved all our stuff in last Saturday, and since then have been drowning under a seemingly endless pile of what appears to mostly be my stuff precariously balanced on boxes and in boxes. I thought packing was bad. Unpacking is an entirely different breed of problem that I prefer to ignore until the last possible second, meaning until tonight, when I am forced to unpack in order to repack my suitcases to go home. And forced to face the very real possiblity that I won't be in my apartment until next January, but well, we'll see about this.

What I prefer to talk about now are the bugs who are laboring under the illusion that they can move in right under my nose without paying rent. When the building manager came to me yesterday to ask when it would be all right to have the exterminator come around, I opted for the next day. Why not? More time to dwell on the BUG pesticides that would be floating around in the room with the HUMAN occupants, that would PRESUMABLY only kill the BUG residents of the room. But I have my doubts. I'm beginning to think that my by-gone brushes with Raid when I thought I had to spray the stuff into my mouth and then spit it out onto the ants are the only reasonable explanations as to why I persisted in pronouncing "catastrophe" incorrectly for a good 16 years of my life. Anyhow, I did not follow a very obvious line of reasoning yesterday:

1. The exterminator would come to spray parts of the building only.
2. The bugs would duck out whole kit and caboodle to different areas of the building.
3. The different areas they would run to would be areas that were not sprayed yet.
4. This area would undoubtedly be my area.

So when I decided to do laundry at 11 PM, I opened the door to find a whole colony of flying ants and cockroaches grazing on the porch, ogling at me with wide, pleading, beady eyes, begging to be let in.*

*Translation - I was knocked to my feet the second I opened the back door as a very desperate, very ugly, very homeless collection of insects united, foe with friend, in a mad dash to make it into the OBVIOUSLY PRISTINE, unpesticided apartment.**

**Further Translation - I found a cockroach sitting dejectedly on the back porch step. But this doesn't mean there weren't plenty of flying ants around in the room, because had they all been men, I would have been the veritable female equivalent of King Shahryar in 1001 Arabian Nights.

These past few days, I have also thrown most of my better judgment to the wind as I have been madly scrambling to get furniture from occasionally dumpsters. But more on that later. I need to go home TO MY APARTMENT before it starts to rain.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

In lieu of actually packing

This is Kat's refrigerator. Say hello.

Hello Kat's fridge.

You will kindly take note of both the intense amount of sodas and the intense amount of ice that is hanging out in the freezer. There are veritable stalactites and stalagmites forming.

A closer look:

You might think it's empty, but the discerning person will be able to distinguish something in the freezer. It's like a Magic Eye.

Can you make out the polar bear?

After finishing up with Kat's fridge, I decided to take on a greater task: The Communal Fridge.

The Communal Fridge during the year has always been a sort of Pandora's Box: you didn't want to open it for fear of what would be unleashed upon the university. Usually we just threw things in there and hoped for the best. You could never put a piece of food in there and expect it to come out tasting the same way after it went through the refrigerator. If you were lucky, it only assumed the taste of one other piece of food in the fridge. Or 2. Other times, you could distinctly detect the flavor of a piece of food that had been consumed about 3 months before. I'm fairly sure there were enough bacteria colonies there to harvest a small vineyard, and if we would have stored more raw foods in there, they probably would have sauteed, flavored, garnished, and served us a 7 course meal on some Limoges porcelain.

Today I decided it was time to dive in and see what the fridge had in store for the residents of 612. Now, I haven't had a particularly good time of it today. I got very severly bellowed at by one stranger, and mildly bellowed at by someone in the street today right after I got severly bellowed at, so I was feeling a little down. But what had given me this idea before was when I was trying to write my sosc essay and I was getting angry I couldnt put 3 sentences together.

The idea was what I would put in a twist on the McDonald's Happy Meal: The Sad Meal.

The Sad Meal would have several things in it. To start with, the lucky customer would get one of the following toys:

So when the person got all excited about the toys, he could move onto the food.

The meal originally consisted of turkey jerky and tofu shrimp. However, I realized the sky was the limit when I opened up the fridge.

The Sad Meal food would consist of the several ingredients listed below:

A vegetable component. Some crisp, inadvertently frozen, near-rotting lettuce with shredded carrot thrown in.

Wizened, vine-ripened cherry tomatoes.

"I'm strong to the finich, 'Cause I eat lots of __________"

Seasoned with salsa whose top looks like this

With some frozen bruschetta as garnish

Olives for the customer who desires finer things in foods

And some ripened strawberries for a healthy snack.

Put it all together and you have:

I know not many people who are going to graduate read this, but congratulations. I hope it stops raining for the ceremony. Because graduations in the rain suck. I speak from experience.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The 13th Floor

ah-HA! So THIS is where they keep all the good beds!

I'm almost 100% I'm going to regret posting this, which makes it all the more thrilling to write it

I finished, in one way or another, with my final paper for Introducción a la Novela Picaresca on Tuesday at 5:36 PM. Even though I felt like I was sweating blood over every...single...blessed...sentence I wrote for that paper, I did enjoy the frantic research and connection I kind of did, and I actually wished I had way more time to write several more pages on what I had just found. So I guess it was worth it. That part of my college career is over, that class is.

So now I'm sitting here with my half-heartedly packed boxes of random papers. Going through my pictures, papers, and letter will have to be another post for a different time because, wow, there were some goodies I found stashed away in between dust bunnies there.

What I'm more anxious to talk about is the escalating amount of knots in my stomach that have been keeping me up quite frequently lately.

When I was applying to the UC schools, I remember writing what I would now consider to be a pretty cheesy personal statement essay involving my white 1994 villager that figured quite prominently in my high school adventures. Rory might fondly remember the time I drove him home and I sat a full five minutes in the car speculating out loud what looked so funny about my car. Was it that the side door was smashed? Was it that the arm rests were broken? Was it that there was a dwarf living in the trunk? No, the rearview mirror was off.

I always have enjoyed zipping around the greater Los Angeles area and in random areas around the state, mostly because I don't like sitting in one place too long when I have the means to get around, but also because I just like enjoying what I can find. This, naturally, involved the long and sometimes torturous process of getting lost because I had never visited some of the areas before. However, once I had visited the place before, it was rare that I would be utterly without direction if I ever did get onto the wrong road around the area. I could basically tell which way I needed to go by licking my finger to test the wind, smelling the scent from my previous trip, and I don't know, making use of the internal compass that emerges in me when I actually need to start acting like a bonafide 20 year old with two years of overpriced private university education under her belt.

However, the situations I've found myself in lately have left me high and dry without even a direction to point me in to fix things I know went wrong. To continue beating the dead horse that is the driving metaphor, today Kat was Kool enough to drive Mary Kate and me to the Target on 86th street. There, the problems were easy to identify: Oops, we have to turn onto 80th street instead of 79th, no matter, we can just continue on since they're parallel, we'll end up in the same place we need to be. Oops, Panera has no knives, guess we won't be cutting the apple in half.

Or, OOPS, my teacher gave me a B+ in a class i got an 89.8% in, I guess she's a BLAZING IMBECILE WHO LEADS A LOVELESS LIFE.

(Don't worry. I'm over it. Totally.)

(Only not at all...that witch)

Basically, if I've done something before, it's easier for me to identify the problem. Or if I've been somewhere before and I go wrong, I feel like I can fix it or move on without fixing it. But when I'm stranded without someone to point me in the right direction or to show me that here and here is where you went wrong, what are you going to do about it? I am thrown into a great state of unnecessary worry and self-interrogation that, you know, does make me stay up till 3:32 AM.

I know what you're thinking now. That's life, that's growing up, honey. You're not always going to have someone to tell you what you did wrong, and you just have to figure it out yourself. Which, in a way is comforting. Billions of other people before me have probably gone through very similar situations, and well, granted they are dead now, I'm sure that it's not the situation like this that put them in their graves. It's just natural that this happens and well, eventually I'll get my bearing somehow. By either never figuring out what really happened, realizing that it's not the process that mattered but rather the outcome, or that I'm imagining things.

In any case. It's time for me to get to sleep. I blame my Lost withdrawal on this post. Or my the papers I need to throw away. Or the bright lights in the room. But I kind of actually just blame myself.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'm Hungry!

I happened to think it was important at 7 AM this morning to start putting some of the websites I visit frequently on the sidebar of my blog.

Now don't go and get all carried away if you see your name there. It probably means that at one point of the day I am so desperate to not do something that I am forced to visit your site. Because, well, there are only so many porn sites one can visit.

And Rory Kelly: even though you are a swell guy and if I had to choose someone to accompany me on an ark during a flood, you'd be the first person I'd choose, you're on the top of my very sparse list to go into the "People I know (but who don't really update enough)" space. And really, do you WANT to be on that list?

Back to españoling!

Monday, June 05, 2006

187th post

I just got out of my Tuesday's final a few minutes ago.

"No, no, no, Adrianne, you silly girl. You mean you just got out of your MONDAY'S final," is what you're probably saying right now.

No. I am still going to firmly stand by my statement and say that this final that was SUPPOSED to be on Tuesday, was rudely forced on to me a day earlier.

As everyone will recall, this is not the first time something like this has happened. In fact, I'm getting to be a sort of pro at screwing up finals dates in my mind. I think the problem is that in between the teacher saying "fi" and then "nal," my brain goes into self-destruct mode and an explosion strong enough to level Tokyo erupts in my brain, making it impossible for me to remember anything 10 seconds after the word "final." The ten seconds in which I'm assuming the date and time of the final is always announced.

This time, though, at 1:30 PM, after a leisurely lunch, I languidly return Benno's call to chat about, you know, this and that, why the sky is blue, what he thinks about Michelle Wie qualifying for the U.S. Open, when he mentions he'll see me at the final in an hour and a half.

At approximately 1:31 PM, I called Diana Hubbard to confirm this information. At 1:31:32, I received an answer in the affirmative. From 1:31:33 to 2:01:14, such a large string of obscenities in different languages issued forth from my mouth that I'm sure my guardian angel just gave up and flew off. The people in the dining hall only narrowly missed me throwing my leftover chicken ceasar salad on to them, and they have no idea how much I wanted to pour the scalding hot coffee down everyone's shirts.

So that's the story of my written final of the week. Now I'm going to finish my Spanish paper, which is due tomorrow at 4 PM. How do I know it's ACTUALLY due at 4 PM? Because I say so. Damnit.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Entirely Uninspired

You know how you find something you can't get enough of? (<-- Yes, I DID just end that sentence in a preposition) Like a box of Trader Joe's truffles rolled in just the right amount of cocoa powder? Or Trader Joe's cinnamon alphabet cookies? Or Trader Joe's mango sauce? Or Trader Joe's Cranberrry Crunch cereal? Or Trader Joe's dates? Or anything at all from Trader Joe's?

In retrospect, I think it's always been obviously that I get easily hooked on some things. In high school, I ate oatmeal every morning for 4 years. During that time there was also a full year where I ate basmati rice every day after school, and then there was ramen after school, and then Trader Joe's chicken sausage, and let's not forget that trend I had of just eating cooked broccoli and celery every day at 4 PM.

These diets not only gave me a golden opportunity to think about writing a book about how to be, ummm, full-figured for the entirety of high school, but it also provided a vehicle for getting pinned to the tv every day after school for me to watch my favorite segments from my favorite movies. This would include the first hour of West Side Story, The Apartment up until the scene he gets punched, several of the singing/dancing parts of Singin' in the Rain, and I don't remember what else. By the way, now I can't watch these movies very frequently. The point is, everyone, that in high school, I wasted an ungodly amount of time with IM, movies, and eating.

So at the risk of some of you guys lifting your eyebrows in disbelief, I'm just going to say that I think I've kept my hooks to a minimum this year. I mean, there WERE those 3 months where I ate frost-bitten woefully-tasteless veggie-burgers every night, but that was NOT BY CHOICE, that was because there was NOTHING ELSE AROUND. But other than that, I can't really think of anything else I was hooked on.

Until this weekend.

Last week, Mary Kate made the grave mistake of borrowing the first season of Lost from someone on the floor. I could only watch the first disk last week, but since then, I've caught up. I think it started Thursday when a supernatural force drew to me to the small pile of Lost disks on the TV table and I popped one into my computer. I felt like all the car accidents in the city and all the kidnappings of the day would have grown 10-fold if I would not have watched 5 episodes of Lost in a row. With lots of determination and a minimal amount of effort exerted, I emerged triumphantly around 3 AM, done with the first season. I felt like I had just averted a world crisis by finishing the first season. Lots of hard work gets you places, everyone, and now I'm just praying that no one in the room will ask to borrow the second season someone burned onto disks, because if so, I know I'll start packing on Friday night to move Saturday morning.

Life seems kind of empty and bland now that I finished the first season. How am I going to pass the time between writing each sentence on my Spanish paper? How will I entertain myself in the break I take between eating and going to the bathroom? Or the break between waking up and eating? Or the breakbetween putting my pants on and then my top?

God. I am like a hollowed shell.

Do not give me easy access to the second season before Tuesday at 5 PM.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I just started my sosc essay for tomorrow. It only hit me after I had entitled it "MY LAST SHIT SOSC ESSAY EVER" that I am indeed writing what will be my last ever sosc essay ever.


I'm almost inclined to make a list of things I learned in sosc this year, but I'm afeared the list would be mighty scant and short indeed. I think it just created a crater of nothingness the size of a grapefuit in the "logical reasoning" section of my brain. That, and just left other areas of my gray matter in humongous knots.

Oh my God. I have the strong urge to throw this computer across the room and stand up on this table and holler. I am going nutty.