Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let's play "Where's the Gnome?"

It seems we have an infestation of gnomes in our apartment.

Please, help us locate them.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

An awesome poem. Kinda.

I'm about to start writing the first essay of the year, which is supposed to be analyzing one of the several poems we've read in Spanish class. The essay has to be in Spanish. It doesn't help that I've got an urge to write this essay in Italian, since that's the foreign language I've been writing in most recently, and that what I want to write has something to do with spaghetti, tripe, gelato, Sofia Loren, or the Mafia. Recently we've been studying foods in class, so this means that Italian class has the same effect as that bell with Pavlov's dogs: when 12:30 comes around every day, even if I've just eaten or am not hungry, I've got the biggest, most inexplicable urge to go out and eat a huge plate of ravioli.

I'm sitting here and I've realized that I've forgotten how to read peotry and write about it. 11th-12th grades we read enough poetry to make my heart beat slightly quicker at the mention of slant rhyme, and have me swoon at the sight of pentameters. Why? Because I actually knew what that stuff was supposed to mean in the context of the poem. Now, this is the dialogue that goes on in my head when I read a poem:

"blah blah blah blah...pain (yawn)...blah blah blah...blahblahblahblahblah"

(Except all those "blahblahblahs" are in Spanish, and there's a bit of a sad tango song playing in the background.)

WHAT HAPPENED? Granted, I've never sat down and read or recited poetry for fun. That's just something that's never appealed to me. And the only reason I think that I read poetry patiently and attentively in high school was because I went through that whole phase of watching parts of West Side Story every day for 2 years or so. It was only natural that I should have heart palpitations at the very mention of...oh shoot...what's his name? That one poet who wrote that one thing about a candle or a wick or something? William something?

But now, being rudely torn away from West Side Story and having had to sit through a painful 2 hour session of American in Paris being ridiculed by a small portion of insensitive males from the floor last year while I watched it, I think a little bit of me has died. There was a girl this past summer who told me how her boyfriend wrote her a song after their first date, and while this might have been sweet and touching under normal circumstances, all I could ask her is if she had googled the lyrics to make sure that they were actually his own verses. This might be because I've never experienced "real, romantic" love, but I've watched all of Roswell with its weird, extraterrestrial love thing going on, so I've got a pretty good idea.

I'd like to think that there's still something left somewhere deep under my VERY CALLOUSED heart (more so calloused now that my wallet's been stolen and I'm too scared to even leave my computer alone while I go to the bathroom in the library), since I still manage to think that Frank Sinatra really did mean it when he invited someone to fly him to the moon, and since, despite everything he's been through, I still love Gene Kelly in American in Paris, but I can't be sure.

In the meantime, though, a more pressing issue comes to mind:

Is this thesis ok? "This poem is pretty cool, but could be cooler."

Friday, January 26, 2007

One of THOSE days

Yesterday afternoon, someone stole my wallet from the on-campus coffeeshop. The first thing my mom asked me when I told her was "What business did I have doing in a coffee shop?" as if I instead had lost my wallet at a brothel, but let's back up a little.

I'm taking my Jr. Seminar Being an Art History Major class, which translates into "So you think want to be an art history major?" Yesterday was our 3 hour information session about databases, search engines, and the like. So I had the pleasure of sitting in a room with no windows/natural light in it for 1.5 hours staring at a computer screen while we looked up obscure modern artists on things like Worldcat, Academic Search Premier, Artstor, JSTOR, GroveArt, the regular library catalogue with the obscure name in the title, in title+title in contents, in anywhere, in journal, authors, in bibliographies, with first name, with last name, with first AND last names, in advanced searches with ands and ors, and with asterisks and without asterisks, with and without quotations, with and without language limitations, and blah, blah, blah.

Basically, it was a really stimulating three hours.

So after the first 1.5 hours, when I started to wonder if this is what God really intended when he made Adam and Even, if instead of the Tree of Knowledge he would have just given them a PC and said "Have at it!" then would we by now be printing things from our deltoids and just have to think about a book to have it delivered directly to us? I don't think it was much of a surprise when I decided that it would indeed be nice to take a break at the C-Shop with my wallet.

Where I lost said wallet.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Today I tried to go to the study room at the Art Institute, which I've been e-mailing someone about since Tuesday, and only after calling today did I find out they unexpectedly closed the reading room today and yesterday (I have an inkling why...), which is absolutely wonderful, because I didn't REALLY need to see some prints from the presentation I have on Monday, which I actually prepared for for last Monday.

That was another moment of brilliance I had the past weekend, including me barelling up State Street, frantically waving my hands while hurdling curbs and, you know, sky scrapers, in order to catch the last 6 bus to Hyde Park, which proceeded to stop 10 feet after I had alighted at a regular stop, and on which all the bleary-eyed passengers eyed me irritatedly for interrupting the regular snail-paced crawl of the bus.

Yeah, sometimes I feel like I never left Italy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

To a couple of good Christians out there

Remember all those times you've told me "We should go out to dinner sometime"? Or remember when you said "One of these days, I'll make you dinner"? Or "One of these days I'll fly you over to Paris on my private jet for the evening to have some real fondue"?

There is no better time than the present.

That is the current state of our fridge. There are two eggs in that carton. The blue tupperware contains a stick of butter. The bread tastes like Kleenex. The grated Parmesan cheese goes with nothing that we currently have in the fridge and the wine...well, the wine... OK, fine, maybe if we've got $3 wine we don't need any food, but I'm just thinking that I don't want to get scurvy within the next 2 weeks.

You might be asking why Mary Kate and I don't go and buy food. That's because I know your New Year's resolution was to spend more quality time with Adrianne and Mary Kate and/or feeding the poor, and I would just like to help you out with your goals.

Also, a little known fact is that if you hang out with Mary Kate and me, you're basically guaranteed a successful life.

Here we are with the cast of Blood Diamond.

With Oprah.

You don't need to point out the obvious. I know we clash with Abe's outfit.

We support the arts!

We also like to dance.

And if you don't think you'll be famous, we'll make sure other people think you are.

This is me on one of my good hair days.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I totally saw L. Juan tonight

Rethinking what it means to get an education:

Those two things are supposed to be connected.

They are obviously not connected.

I need suggestions. I am willing to sacfice small creatures in order to keep that thing hanging.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

College Student

I can't say that living in an apartment fosters what one might call intelligent thinking. My humble abode, located somewhere between 54th and 53rd Streets on Woodlawn, is not the breeding ground for enlightened knowledge. This realization came to me just a little while ago, while I was reviewing exactly what happened since I came home from the library this afternoon.

When I entered my apartment around 7 PM, I had the brilliant idea of making scrambled eggs. Not just any scrambled eggs, but scrambled eggs with pears in it, because as I see it, scrambled eggs is a repository for foods nearing their expiration dates. Many a good food that had at one time been green but was slowly decaying into a sort of purpley-brown has been put into my scrambled eggs, because there's already cheese and eggs in there, which in my book, is enough to mask the foulest of flavors. I think when the time comes, I'll be sweeping toenail clippings and dried boogers into my scrambled eggs, because well, you shouldn't have left them out in the first place.

So I made these scrambled eggs with pears and tomatoes. Scrambled eggs with pears are not served at IHOP for a reason, I can attest to that. What was promising cuisine before I started turned into a sort of mush that I had to finish off, and if you want to spend the night, I will not be making that for you in the morning, rest assured.

I managed to spend the rest of the evening in the apartment without any serious fumbles until I wanted some Munster Cheese James has been hording in the fridge. James is our unofficial 3rd roommate until he finds his own place, which might be happening anytime in the next 4 months. Mary Kate and I have subtely been placing all his stuff in front of the entry way and our conversations go something like "Hey James, nice socks, when are you leaving?" But it's not because we don't love him that we're doing this. He just happens to be a fire hazard when he's sleeping in the middle of what I call the living room.

I delve into the freezer for the munster cheese and pull out a popsicle.

"What I don't understand," I say to Mary Kate, brandishing the popsicle, "is why James keeps the cheese in the freezer."

"Well, that would be because it's a popsicle."

That wouldexplain why through all those years my sharp cheddar cheese had a remarkably fruity flavor.

I then sat down to the table and started to cut the sliced cheese into neat 8" x 5"" x 1" cubes when Mary Kate points out that the cheese IS already sliced. Then I went into my room to hang up Ikea.

Ikea is this long cylindrical mesh tube with holes placed throughout that can be used to stick hats, gloves, mittens, dead rats, and unmatched socks into. And that made an appearance in Depserate Housewives, Season 2. Through thick and thin, I've managed to hang it up, whether legally, or illegally, onto various things so that it would manage to stick. Until I came here.

Try as I would, this thing would not stay hung. Until I finally decided to masking tape a screwdriver to my curtain older so that Ikea could hang off nicely from the window frame without being impeded by the wall. So after managing to accomplish this exerting task, I stood back to survey the transformation in my room.

Everything is being held together with masking tape. My long mirror, that refused to stick with the given tape, now has a silver masking tape frame, there's masking tape sticking up pictures, my cloth covering my bookcase, and numerous other things being held together tooth and nail with silver masking tape. I am not going to be surprised the day that I'm going to be wearing masking tape. Oh, that piece of masking tape covering my right pants leg? That's just covering a large stain. It's SUPPOSED to be there.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Everyone, please take a look here:

Probably the worst picture ever of me is now opening that whole slideshow of the archaeology dig, but look at that blue water! Those happy faces! Those big smiles! Those tans! Those NONEXISTENT EYEBROWS!

Did I ever elaborate on my eyebrows?


Would you like to HEAR what happened with my eyebrows?

Sometime late July, Libby and I decided that we had had enough of feeling ugly. We had had enough of sitting in our own sweat and filth as Rome nearly very literally melted into a pool of tar and pasta sauce under our feet. So we decided to go get our eyebrows waxed, because that solves everything. Someone stole your bike? Get your eyebrows waxed! Someone keyed your car? Get your eyebrows waxed!

That part about it being 3 euros was also a perk, but not the only one. The other one was that extremely attractive Italian men would be administering the wax while softly whispering in your ear that you have the most beautiful eyes and smile he had ever seen.

Ok, so that last part is not really true, but the 3 euros is still something going for it.

So Libby and I go, pay the 3 euros, and I go in. The lady starts gabbling at me in Italian, and I had no idea what she said. But down I sit, and she ran at me with tweezer and wax strips as if she were determined to eradicate all of the Amazon rainforest in the space of 3 minutes. I sat patiently through my right eyebrow while she tsk tsk-ed and ooh-ed and ahh-ed as evidently an entirely new facet of my face was revealed with each missing hair.

Then she gave me a mirror to survey the damage she had wreaked on half of my face.

I couldn't even SEE my eyebrows. Is that small brown running above my eyebrow just a stray head-hair, or is it a militant little row comprised of 3 eyebrow hairs? And, sweet lord, is that a TAN LINE above my eyelid?

However, the damage had already been started, and I had to sit through another agonizing several minutes while the damage was completed. I bet Libby in the reception room, my terrorized face reflected on her own while we both gazed upon each other in abject horror. What had we done in our previous life (or current) to deserve this treatment?

So yeah, enjoy those pictures. I know I am all warmed now from the Chicago chill by looking at those summery days.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Getting along

Last night I had a dream that the Plague was coming again. This could have something to do with me reading the grocery-store aisle bestseller, The Plague Tales, but I would like think it has something to do with the reappearance of the overbearing presence of school. I mean, all the symptoms are the same. Dry mouth, nervous twitching, innumerable aches and pains (school creating mental ones, plague creating physical ones), swollen glands, black and purple spots, pus-filled sores, they're ALL the same. In my book, the only way to cure the Plague was to perform an elaborate ritual involving lepers' pennies and ground up bones, so I'm thinking the antidote to School will have to wait.

But enough of that! On to happier subjects! Such as, how every single radiator I've ever come across has been haunted.

I guess it started with the small radiator we had at home in CA. You might wonder why one would need a radiator in California. It's to warm up towels when you're jumping out of the shower or to warm up socks before putting them on your feet. This radiator happened to decide one day that it was time to burn a hole in the carpet. Poof. Just like that. That radiator is still sitting around waiting to be deported to a Russian family who might need it more.

Next we approach the Hungarian radiator. I've never seen that radiator turned on, but as I see it, it serves as a spider tent during the summer, and a spider bbq during the winter.

Next we arrive to the radiator my first year of college. Which we didn't discover until December, when we had started burning newspapers and old math assignments in a campfire constructed in the middle of the floor to warm us up. This radiator whirred like a 1980 IBM computer, and clanged like a nuclear generator. We even named the spirit that lived inside of it's gaping belly, but I forget the name. Maybe it was Nelly.

Nelly was a bit more silent during my second year at college. It came along only once or twice, but it has made a violent comeback this year, albeit less frequently, since people decide to turn on the heat in my apartment building when no one is here so that your shower curtains can be warm, if nothing else.

So this is where I live. In a haunted apartment, with boxes still waiting to be unpacked, and with a now-finished second season of Desperate Housewives.


Friday, January 05, 2007

They've got Zipcar rentals here now!

I'm now sitting amongst the rubble of what I can now confidently call my domain, looking at a book that's on top of my roll-away closet and at the scarf draped in front of the bookcase, hiding the fact that it is very obviously being used as a dresser. Only yesterday, you could hardly move in here. I would post pictures, but I don't need to let the reader of a delicate consititution know that a bottle of bleach I evidently stored with the utmost care in a plastic bag during the summer came uncorked and leaked over a portion of my things. This means that this stuff was sitting in a bag, being eaten away by corrosive things, until I finally dragged it out into the light the day before yesterday. By the time I noticed that my (feather) pillow was one of the objects that had gotten holes, feathers soaked in bleach were perfuming my room in a variety of corners.

School is school. Just that. The novelty is already beginning to wear off, and while I would love to remind myself that less than 2 months ago I was hanging out in not Chicago, it's becoming increasingly hard to work it into conversation without seeming like a braggart, and consequently, I'm just going to have to keep the millions of things I haven't told anyone to myself and laugh about them in intervals. However, it's been great to see those people from the program around campus to smile mysteriously at each other, as if to say "I know the next airplane that's flying out of O'Hare, care to join me?"

But it's time to return to the old grindstone, and to become very boring. Because as we all know, being interesting is entirely dependent on environment.

Happy New Year everyone!