Monday, April 30, 2007

Way too old for this

Even though it's 9:33 PM and even though my Spanish midterm is due in a mere 13 hours, I cannot bring myself to rewrite what I already have. I sent my TA a draft on Saturday, a whole 24 hours early, and while still on a literary and latino high for having accomplished this, he wrote me back something to the effect of:

"Well, Adriana *virtual pat, pat, on the back* you'd better sit down for this..."

Because, from what I gather from his comments, he desires me to write something that I haven't done since HIGH SCHOOL. One of those essays I churned out like a machine at the end of 11th grade 3 times a week during our in-class essay writing sessions. One of those essays I'd begin by writing down 3 literary devices and 2 allusions I could make to other celebrated, important literary masterpieces (like Nancy Drew or The Babysitter's Club), and I'd finish with some great conclusion to go out to lunch at Jimmy Dean's with my friends to talk about how mean all those girls are and how weird that one guy is. Is this what he wants? Does he want me to walk in tomorrow several pounds heavier, many degrees shyer, and saying "cat-uh-stofe" instead of "catastrophe?" To write essays that have sentences like "The author incorporates simile to blaaaaaaaaah blaaaaaaaah blaaaaaaaaaaaaah"?

Well, all right. I'm sort of a sucker to get a decent grade anyway. Plus, the TA DOES have very nice skin. I'll just listen to some Bright Eyes, part my hair directly in the middle, and wear my awesome hoodies to get me in the mood.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Taking a Break

On Friday when I had my Spanish writing session, my TA with the astonishingly flawless skin walked in and, his eyes alighting on my beaming face, said something like "Adriana, you always look so HAPPY! I always see you walking out of the library with a huge smile on your face!"

I'll go through the reasons I've had to wear a huge smile on my face that day

1. The conversation I heard right before that class that went something like this:
"If you put me in the middle of the forest alone, I could survive. I was raised on organic food."

2. Receiving not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5!!!!!!!! coupons!!! on my receipt from CVS!!!!!!

3. I did laundry on Thursday. Which means I don't have to wake up to the desolate realization that I will indeed have to wear a pair of socks I've worn 5 times before yet again. Gone are the days of pretending my clothes are clean!

4. The very action of leaving the library

Today, I have no reason to smile. I feel like I've been in the library forever and I can't leave. Somehow clean socks just aren't cutting it today.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Everyone has at least one relationship like the following: you see someone so often that you just start saying hello to each other because why not? You always make eye contact, you always smile at each other, you might as well do a small little "Hey" along with it.

Well, I have a few relationships like that on campus, except my particular problem is that I always feel like I know them because I have a terrible time remembering faces. Last year when I was riding in the elevator with a redheaded boy and my roommates, I had a pretty long conversation with the guy as if I knew him. After my roommates and I alighted, they asked how I knew him and I told them I had met him last year when I overheard him talking about being on the frisbee team and I asked him a few inane questions. They said no, that was not him and courtesy of Facebook, we were able to confirm their suspicion: redheaded boy in the elevator was indeed NOT redheaded frisbee boy. Which means I had held a pretty long conversation with a complete stranger. Thank God Jake and I are now friends and that there aren't so many redheaded boys at school. So I can now freely go up to any redheaded boy and start talking about my underwear of the day and it would be a pretty good chance that it was Jake.

A similar phenomenon happened to my yesterday. I was walking when I passed by a boy I thought I had met through my friend Arwyn. Someone who I keep on seeing around campus and we keep on smiling at each other, but never actually say anything much because we don't remember each other's names. This time I just stopped and said "OK this is getting ridiculous. I don't remember your name and we keep on saying hi." So we introduced ourselves (Hi, I'm Adrianne, Hi, I'm David) and we went on our merry ways.

Later in the day I greeted Arwyn with the great news that guess what! David and I are practically best friends now! To which she replied with "I don't have a friend named David." To which I said something like "I have PROOF that you have a friend David, lo and behold, here is a picture with you and him." To which she said "That's my friend Ivan."

Which means that yet again I have introduced myself to a bona fide stranger. And I won't know if I'm saying hello to Ivan or hello to David.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Luckiest Day Ever

As you might be aware, after being in that Art class for about 0.0000000001 seconds, I dropped it and added Problems of Modernism: 1913. This class is taught by the jolly, German, and very intelligent Reinhold Heller, and I like it.

A few weeks ago he mentioned that we were going to have a take-home midterm, and that he was giving it to us Thursday instead of Tuesday, and we'd havea whole week to work on it. So I waited for it.

And waited.

And waited some more.

On the way to class today I decided that we were getting the midterm THIS Thursday, because I enjoy talking myself into things. Like that my final is at thisandthis hour on thisandthis day, and that I'm arriving at thisandthis airport. That's JUST HOW I ROLL, and you've got to love it or hate it for the time being, but I'm planning on changing it. This planned event might be occurring next Wednesday at 2:30, but I think I'll have it Friday, just for the hell of it.

So I got to class, and I wasn't THAT surprised when I heard that the midterm was due THIS Thursday, and that he hoped everyone had received his email last Thursday. I just turned to the girl next to me and tugged at her sleeve with my eyes and mouth wide open, unable to utter a sound. And I spent the entirety of class trying to figure out excuses for why I hadn't gotten the midterm. My computer exploded. I had a major brain fart. I am blind. Because I couldn't just go up to him and tell him "Look, I think I'm not registered for your class, even though I clearly remember handing my pink slip in to the registrar to get into it, and I haven't noticed for the past 5 weeks."

At the end of class I settled on something like "I'm so dumb. I'm really sorry, I didn't have access to the CHALK website, so I assumed you didn't have one, and I didn't get your e-mail because I think there's a problem with my regsitration. Love me, please."

After he calmly listened to my explanation, he benevolently agreed to an extension, and that I go clear up stuff with the registrar. Which I dreaded, because registrar means RED TAPE and ADMINISTRATION and ALL MANNER OF NIT-PICKY PAPERS.

I got there to explain my problem, and was told that if I had the carbon copy of the pink slip, it would be no problem to re-register for the class. That's when my mind went into a tailspin, because this paper is smaller than the standard 8.5"x11". And it's thinner. I asked them if they didn't keep a copy of the pink slip, because I gave that to them, I know I did, and the lady pulled out a huge box of pink slips and said that yes, they're all kept, they just don't happen to be organized, and I should be her guest if I wanted to look through all of them.

I was pulling out my notebook, idly flipping through the pages, telling her "Look, due to the mind-boggling amount of papers I have this quarter, if the sheet is smaller than 8.5"x11" I'm not keeping it unless it's gold plated, has a disco ball and spotlights attached to it, regularly dispenses money, or unless it plays a recording of 'Billy Jean'" when lo and behold, on the very last page, there it was: the hallowed blue slip.

I nearly peed myself. Luckiest day ever.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I stink at titles

I guess without me even realizing it midterms have come around. Well, I did realize it this morning when I turned in my art history essay and reviewed all the stuff I had to do for this week and for the next, which I'll complain about later. However, I've got no energy for that. I am really tired. I feel like I normally do on Fridays, on whose afternoons I usually just crash with a great thud on my bed (Bed? I mean air mattress) in whatever article of clothing that is nearest to my hand at the moment that is clean and doesn't require too much eye-hand coordination to put on. Which means I emerge sometime later to embarass my roommates in front of their friends because Adrianne, that shirt actually had 12 buttons instead of just one right in the middle of your chest, and yes, we all love your underwear.

So today, what requires the least amount of energy on my part, is contemplating a couple of things.

1. Why are there urinals in the ladies' bathroom in a certain part of the school?


2. Why don't I ever have songs stuck in my head anymore?

Number 2 came about when after I seeing Volver Friday night my friend told me how he had a song stuck in his head and he could not get it out. I then tried to remember the last time I had one on repeat in my head and I couldn't find an example from the immediate past.

I vividly remember times in elementary school when each day I would wake up and decide that I HAD to have a song stuck in my head. That song would be the theme of the day. Beach Boys would be a care-free sort of day, Celine Dion would be a romantic sort of day, and Seal would be a sort of profound day. This would also lead to things like math problems being thought through like "So if there are 13 roses sitting on the grave and you multiply that with 2 kisses, what do you get?" Many hours were also amiably spent with "Hot Cross Buns."

Or I would have church songs stuck in my head. And there is NOTHING WORSE than having "On Angels' Wings" stuck in your head on a Thursday afternoon.

So what happened? Why don't I ever have songs stuck in my head? And what makes a song stay in a head? Whatever I have in my head now is because I put it there, or because I got to it after following a million tangents through my unorganized thought process. Does this mean I am a highly developed creature or is my friend, a math and physics major, still a degree or two more advanced than me, because this guy is a lot smarter than me?

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Basically we had a grand plan for Julie's birthday: we were going to leave Chicago. We were going to get away for the day and visit Indiana, which, if I were still living in California, I would laugh at the very idea. I would think that it was a super-lame idea. Indiana? But since living in the Midwest for almost 3 years now, it sounds pretty awesome. It sounds grand. It sounds almost like it's the Mecca of the Midwest, like it's the promised land. Obviously, my perspective has changed a lot.

The long and short of it is that we did not go because we got the train schedule wrong. So instead of hanging out at the Indiana sand dunes, we were forced to lug our cooler to a much less awesomer place and look like a typical Midwestern family out enjoying their local park and mispronouncing Gucci and bag. But it was a very nice day nonetheless, but with this nice day came a horrible realization when I was ready to get to bed at around 3:35 AM:

The day was REALLY long. It felt about 4 times longer than any day I spend doing homework in the library. Which is disconcerting because I was having a great time, but then why did it feel so long? It felt like the day was 48 hours long instead of 24. Was it because I was without the computer for so long? Because I saw the light of day? Because I was outside instead of inside?

I also cooked dinner, sort of. And really, that's been it. I was nearly sent over the edge last week, my ears are unplugging more regularly and more frequently, and I'm writing the world's dumbest essay right now about oil paint. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I'm going to finish my essay now. Here are some pictures:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Class Cancelled!

One of my classes for today has been cancelled. Even though I have a variety of options to fill my newly opened 1.5 hour, for example with plagiarizing books, stealing silverware, breaking windows, or shooting snotty boogers at people, I have chosen to sit down and describe in great length how ill I am, because that is what I did all weekend, and by now I am pretty good at this.

Actually, maybe I should spare you. But just as a reminder, I have given myself free license to do this because I am rarely sick and everyone else who is sick all the time is always talking about it. Like that one girl in my art history class who doesn't hesitate to tell everyone in earshot that she's had a cold for 3 months.

I'll just mention that this particular cold has left my right ear plugged for what seems to be an indefinite amount of time. This is particularly inconvenient in a larger class when we're asked to sign up for something at the front of the room and I'm the only one who doesn't move in the long row of people because I have no idea what's going on. But it is particularly convenient in blocking out the roaring blare of my own ignorant, poorly worded comments in Spanish class, which brings me around to what we were reading over the weekend: an account of a Spaniard in America during the 16th c. who had the unusual ability of healing people by just waving his hand over them. So while I was sitting in the library sniffling through my book, I thought about how nice it would have been to be in one of those natives that Spaniard cured, running wild and naked through a rainforest. Which, actually, is not a far cry from the lifestyle I lead now.

No, let me instead focus on the delicious dinner Kat Scanlon cooked for Julie, Mary Kate, and I, and how all I contributed was a salad, in which I slaved over the cutting of cheese and tomatoes. All I managed to eek up was a salad. No stove or oven required. Thank God I didn't make an omelette.

This momentous realization led me to decide that this Saturday, for Julie's birthday, I will cook up a 19 course meal in which every food will be very French and very impronouncable, and in which every item of food will grow in size. So that means the first course will be about the size of a plate, and we'll slowly increase the scale until the 19th course is the size of a house. This might just mean that Julie will be getting 19 variaties of omelettes, which I CAN DO, or that I will indeed be cooking much.

And it might never happen. And it might just be smores or sandwiches. But if it happens, it will be stupendous! Marvelous! Terrific! Out of this world! It will be...*achoo*...SUBLIME!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Unfortunate Event

Last night around 11:00 PM, the toilet in the apartment overflowed.

I always dreamed of this. I dreamed of it because I decided a while ago that having a toilet overflow on me would be one of my last living moments, as I would never want to re-enter a populated world again. It's just about as embarassing as wearing socks with sandals.

(And here I am writing about it on the internet)

Knowing the time would inevitably come, I arrived prepared with several different options for my last living seconds. Should I recite appropriate lines from Heart of Darkness or Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead while dirty toilet water runs in rivulets round my ankles? or should I just stick to Walt Whitman?

Alas, as all my faculties left me in my moment of crisis, all I could do was wail like a very undignified banshee or ambulance siren at the water that was spilling out from under the closed toilet lid

I always knew a toilet would overflow on me. In the past, there have been several instances where it came close. However, I was always in large gatherings so I could leave the toilet suspended in its precarious situation and rejoin the group. No one would ever find out who was the one who last went to the bathroom, and who would therefore be accused of clogging the toilet. However, in an apartment with only 3 people, it's harder to hide from the pointing fingers.

So, this is just to let you all know that closing the toilet lid does not stop anything from coming out. When your time has come, your time has come, and there's no way to reverse the flow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Artist of the Day

In every art history class I take there seems to be one artist who

a. completely baffles me.
b. annoys me.
c. intrigues me.
d. makes me laugh.
e. does all of the above

For my 19th Century Art class, I believe Philipp Otto Runge will take the prize. Let's take a look.

Here is his appropriately entitled Birth of the Human Soul (1805). A baby frolicking in what seems to be a valley with many flowers. And then there's this one:

Child in a Meadow (1809), in which a baby is plopped down in a clearing with his arms outstretched toward the sun, marinating in his innocence and childlike naivety.

This is the era of history that makes me crawl up walls. In which authors write stuff like "our heart still feels the love and unity of all contradictions in this world; to contemplate a flower rightly, to enter into its depth...we come to understand ourselves even more," that flowers and children represented "a state of innocence retained from paradise," where people write stuff like "the earth comes to life and stirs beneath me, and everything harmonizes in one great chord: then my soul rejoices and sours in the immeasurable space around me. There is no high or low, no time, no beginning, or end" regularly to their loved ones, probably right before spending his Monday afternoon heaving long, pained sighs.

In the margin of that reading, all I wrote was "barf." Do you know what this reminds me of? DO YOU? THAT AWFUL BOOK I RANT ABOUT PERIODICALLY? Look at this quotation:

After the dance, we left in Sam's pickup. Patrick was driving this time. As we were approaching the Fort Pitt Tunnel, Sam asked Patrick to pull to the side of the road. I didn't know what was going on. Sam climbed in the back of the pickup, wearing nothing but her dance dress. She told Patrick to drive, and he got this smile on his face. I guess they had done this before...Anyway, Patrick started driving really fast, and just before we got to the tunnel, Sam stood up, and the wind turned her dress into ocean waves. When we hit the tunnel, all the sound got scooped up into a vaccuum, and it was replaced by a song on the tape player. A beautiful song called "Landslide." When we got out of the tunnel, Sam screamed this really fun scream, and there it was. Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing. I started laughing. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.
This was precisely the moment I put down The Perks of Being a Wallflower and decided that maybe I would be a better person if I didn't finish the book, that maybe by reading this book instead of just tanning the putrefication of my brain would actually be accelarated instead of being reversed.

So there you have it. Philipp Otto Runge, the EMO kid of the 19th century. During class when these slides came up, I believe I was only one of a few people who was laughing/shaking her head for the rest of the lecture.

Jennie Yamartino, those babies are for you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Real World

I now have the unequalled pleasure and honor of working in the basement of Walker Museum as a little computer person. I clean up 3D models of statues like "squatting monster human head," which involves me looking at several different shells of the same area and deciding which one looks the best in which part, and then deleting what doesn't look so hot. It's sort of like a trip to the eye doctor in a 3D photoshop setting. "Tell me which is better...A or B? Now B or C? B or D?"

So I hope you understand the reason for my silence. Not much happens in a basement. In fact, not much is happening above-ground either. I got some new face cleanser, did some laundry, got 3 NEW BLISTERS, and that's about it. A peg-leg is actually sounding pretty appealing at the moment.

Oh wait just a cotton-picking second.

One thing did happen.

I discovered Dancing with the Stars. I'm sort of taking this personally, everyone, that NO ONE has ever recommended this show to me. Every other show under the sun has been rudely thrust apon me with the introduction "You're totally going to love this." And have I? NO. Because there were no elaborate costumes, because they had names like I "heart" New York, but first and foremost, because there was absolutely no ballroom dancing. I suffered through One Tree Hill, through My Sweet 16, and through other shows I don't even remember, but my suffering has ended!

I've always had a soft spot for ballroom dancing. A long time ago, when my dad was buying Hungarian movies as if all the cool kids were doing it in great quantities, a series of do-it-yourself ballroom dancing movies found their way into the collection. (We now own such a large quantity of old, mostly awful Hungarian movies that if our house were to collapse about our ears, we could reconstruct it using solely these movies). This series of movies would be my guilty pleasure for a long time.

In it, there would be a group of teenagers going to dance school who would learn a new dance every day. First a professional couple would come in and show the dance of the day to them, and then the kids would try it out with a teacher helping them out step by step. All the boys and girls dressed and looked the same. It was all delightfully Communist. The boys would have to stand just so and the girls too. For each lesson there would be the desginated dancer who sucked and would do everything wrong: he would ask the girl to dance in a very sloppy manner, his hand would be too far down her er...back...yes, back, his elbow would not be up high enough, or (God forbid) they might even be standing too close together. Because you were supposed to treat this weird creature as if she were a lady and not a WOMAN. Part of me just always wanted a couple to bust loose like 2 very drunken strangers at a frat party who just happen to feel that horrible reggaetone beat in the very fiber of their beings and watch with horrified fascination at the mayhem that would undoubtedly ensue in the class. What would the school m'arm do? Join them? Bring out the trusty ruler or switch? Call in the army?

So these kids would dance, and would never accidentally mess up. Because they were Hungarian and they were all Communist, damnit, and this type of person never makes a mistake! Ever!

The long and short of this is that I really like ballroom dancing. If a man ever asks me to take lessons with him, I would be out the door before the sentence even left his mouth. Because while some people fervently believe that there is a core of good in the cruelest, most barbarous human being in the world, I go for a different angle and persist in believing that everyone has a little bit of Fred and Ginger in them.

Friday, April 06, 2007

You guys all suck at riddles

There are a few things I will never understand in life:

1. Why people bother cleaning their pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
2. Why mail never, ever gets delivered to my apartment in my name
3. Why mail regularly gets delivered after 10 PM on our street. Yes, the postman is out there pushing his basket around at the dead of night as merrily as if it were the middle of the afternoon when kindergarteners are being let out of school
4. Out of all the pretty girls out there, why many, many people persist in believing Keira Knightley is REALLY good-looking

Continuing my endless struggle with the post office, yet another thing has not arrived to my apartment (MOM I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP), and I'm beginning to wonder if I have somehow personally offended the mailman. Did I inadvertently step on his toes? Did I once walk past him without smiling, saying a friendly hello? Does he not like my shoes?

I was talking to my friend Stacy the other day and she brought up that she needs to write an essay for English about an experience that changed her. Not in which she learned something, just an experience that changed her. And she didn't know what to write.

It would be difficult for me to write on this topic as well, considering I can still fit into jeans from 6th grade, and since I sometimes still look around toilets to ascertain there are no spiders nearby. However, reflecting on the reaction of some of the people who I hadn't seen for years at the wedding I attended last weekend ("She speaks!"), I began to think that maybe there had been some change rendered. And I believe I know where it came from.

It came from dealing with too many people who work at the post office. From having to have conversations like the following:

Me: This flight is going to Chicago?
Girl: Yes. I'm going to visit my family I haven't seen in 15 years.
Me: Oh?
Girl: Yeah, it's my graduation present.
Me: Graduation is early this year.
Girl: I went to a special school, because I was in and out of the hospital. What section are you boarding? Yeah, I'm in the back too. Normally I'd have my friend's dad who's a pilot fly me out to Chicago, but he's busy.

You can be unloved, or you can be sickly, or you can be rich, BUT YOU CAN'T BE ALL THREE.

The transformation also came from boys asking me how old I think they are, which I hate because that is just a way to weasel out a compliment from someone. Because if you say an outrageously high number, then the boy will be offended and the girl will afterwards have to be very nice to make it up to him, and if she says a low number, then the boy will be flattered.

Yes, these experiences have transformed me into who I am today: someone who cringes at many parts in Sound of Music, and someone who today, when sitting in the library trying to read with the sound of a large man's snores reverberating throughout the silent floor, filling every corner with thunderous booms and rumblings, left a note for him saying "Please snore elsewhere."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Names Changed to Protect Privacy

I have a friend here at Chicago. Her name is Happy. One of Happy's many outstanding qualities is that she is, well, generally happy and uncomplicated. Which, being an embittered and cynical person myself, I need from time to time. I need a fresh whiff of unadultered, pure Happy to remind me that some things in life really aren't all about grades and cutting criticism. Plus, it gives me all the more to lambaste when I feel like it.

Happy had a meeting with her advisor today, who we shall call Angry. After Angry commented on how jovial Happy appeared, Happy confirmed that indeed she was happy (or Happy? MAN this blog has so much potential for fun!), and the meeting continued.

Later on, Happy received the following e-mail:

Hi Happy-

I just wanted to touch base after our meeting this morning. I felt
uneasy bringing this up, but it seemed apparent that you had been
drinking. I don't want to sound judgmental, but you may want to think
twice about meeting with administrators, faculty etc.when you are
under the influence.



Drinking? At 11 AM? After she had probably woken up at around 10:30 AM, because NO ONE wakes up 2 hours before their advisor meeting to get dressed and put on make-up? Happy hadn't even had any class at this point! Had she attended a class [particularly a Sosc or Humanities class, in which plenty of students think it is their calling to enlighten everybody of Durkheim's or Marx's teaching (dear God, please do)], then maybe she could have had a reason to turn to the old fire water to numb the pain, but this is not like Happy. Happy is a responsible human being, and I am outraged for her sake.

But if she WAS hell bent on getting drunk by 11 AM then CONGRATULATIONS! Your efforts have not gone unnoticed!

So I wrote a version of the email I would send to this advisor if I would have received an email like this.

Why does everything exciting happen to other people?

Dear Angry,

Since as far back as I can remember, people have always commented on my sunny disposition. I've always felt that by keeping as positive and attitude as possible, I could manage the demanding schedule I have at school in addition to helping my friends and keeping myself from becoming overwhelmed. This simply is who I am, and therefore I find it astonishingly judgmental and out-of-line that you believe I was drunk when we met earlier today. This assumption not only sheds light onto what you thought of me during our short 30 minute meaning, but what you would believe of me when I am outside of your office: that I behave in a drunkenly, insincere manner. Yes, I recognize your job IS to guide me during my stay here at the University, but it is not to make sweeping assessments of what I "apparently" was without the proper methods ( i.e. a breathalyzer) of determining if I indeed was intoxicated when I was in your office. Your email proves you actually have no idea what I am like as a person, and that you only care about what I am like when I present myself as a student, and I feel hesitant to meet with you again in light of your offensive email. I can honestly say I have never been so disappointed, hurt, and offended since entering the University of Chicago as when I received your email, and I hope I will never have to experience such an affront here again. I plan on contacting another person (don't know, someone else higher than her, the custodian?) to discuss this matter with him/her because I feel I cannot ignore your email. I am sorry this happened, since I felt we had an agreeable rapport, and I believed you held me in higher esteem so as to know I would not be so irresponsible as to show up to a meeting intoxicated. I have always taken my schoolwork, my presentation of myself, and my performance here very seriously.

Sigh. That was energy-releasing. Had this really been my email, I would have also added as a post-script:

P.S. I also know which neighbors keep their snowshovels out on their porch. And I know wear to bury bodies so they're never found again.

But Happy is not Dangerous And Unreasonable. She is Happy. And not Drunk.

I invite everyone for a moment to be Dangerous And Unreasonable, and think what you would do in her situation. I, personally, would head straight for the shovel.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Very Directed Post

Agi, the pictures are up on Picasa webalbums. To the right in the side bar. Now you can stop bothering Joe.

Stacy, they are not all up. Because I have to tweak some pictures, but I haven't had time. I MIGHT even put the ones that have people on Facebook up on Facebook, because I am feeling that generous. And because your old roommate has been asking about it.

Bruce, I am so sorry I did not let you know that during finals week I was going insane, so I couldn't read your essay over. But you did a fabulous job, from the bits I read here and there, and I wouldn't have been able to contribute any more, really, since I know very little about technicalities of the language I can speak. Allegedly.

Everyone Else:

I have holes on my top and bottom.
I have holes on my left and my right.
And I have holes in the middle, yet I still hold water.
What am I?

Monday, April 02, 2007

O'Hare is the bane of my existence

This morning I flew back from California to Chicago at 4 AM Pacific Time. The most entertaining part of the journey was when we were landing and there was a kid a few rows ahead of me mightily screaming "SOMEBODY...ANYBODY...HELP ME! HELP ME! ANYBODY HELP ME! HEEEELP MEEEE PLEEEEEEEEEASE ANYYYYBODYYYYYYYY!" with the mom trying to shut him up. I enjoyed this so much, and I had to go pee so badly, that I didn't even notice what airport I landed in.

I didn't think twice when I ran into the bathroom and the stall doors opened inwards. Not outwards. I didn't think to stop when I started to notice that this airport is really big. Too big for Midway. And I somehow managed to ignore the fact that the SAME MURALS were showing up at Midway AND O'Hare. Because I was ecstatic over landing in Midway and not at O'Hare, and I was floating on Cloud 9 through the airport.

It was only when I got to the regional bus station that I started to suspect something was amiss. Where was my beloved 55 bus that would drop me off basically right at my doorstep? Where was that weird overpass thing to the airport? There are only hotel buses here! And buses to far away places!

It is then that I had an epiphany:

"Wait a second...bathroom doors opening inwards....murals painted on the walls like at O'Hare...the woman next to me had a connecting flight at O'Hare...shit. Damn. Shit."

So then I had to dash to catch the Blue line and sit festering like a contagious cankersore on the train because I was bitter. I was angry. I was ENRAGED. As everything fell into its proper place, 1+1 now equaled 1 hour and 30 minutes instead of a mere 30-45 minutes, and I had a class at 2:30.

The Blue Line, as usual, was slow. Really slow. So slow that my rear actually assumed the shape of the seat I was in, and my skin started to slough off. There were times where the train just plain stopped and did not move for several minutes at a time. It was at these times that I wanted to get onto the platform and scream "For Godssake move, or I will show you what sort of impromptu bomb I can construct with face cream and mascara."

By the time we actually entered the Loop, I noticed that I was clenching my fists and toes as hard as I could, and I was squeezing my jaw shut. This was so that I would not bite the passenger nearest to me. And then I started to think about how I could never, ever be good at yoga.

Last quarter when I was taking weight lifting, this exercise let me release some therapeutic grunts here and there. Not that I grunt. I just snort while I laugh. But at least I had the option. Last Thursday in yoga, we did an exercise where we (ever so silently) clenched ever muscle as tightly as possible and then released. While I was clenching, the following went through my head: funny, this is how I feel for most of the day. I never thought I was a tense sort of person, but I did just sit through 45 minutes imagining how I could rip the El poles out of the train, bend them, and then start shattering windows right and left. Or how I could use the driver as a battering ram to create my own tunnel.

By the way, I had a very nice time at the wedding. A very RELAXING time. During which I could even manage to smile. And it looked like I combed my hair.