Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Birthday Blog

I'm 22 today. I actually prefer the Spanish or Italian way of saying my age: I have 22 years. Much less an identification by age. It's more like a characteristic, like "I have blond hair" or "I have warts." This year's turning-of-age was marked by a burning desire to dress up as something...anything!...for Halloween. Or rather, the weekend before Halloween. I had:

1. A box
2. An apron

I settled on being:

3. A gypsy. Without the help of the box or apron, but with the fake flowers plucked from the mystery plant with tissue paper flowers tied on its branches on 56th street.

The actual birthday day is marked by birthday essayage. It's occurred to me that since my birthday is around midterms, of course it's going to suck as long as I'm in college. So that is nothing new.

Since writing about 19th century architecture theory is sort of taking the joy out of life right now, I have decided to do something new for my birthday. Something I rarely do: I have decided to list 5 things I am ok with about me because hey, when else would we celebrate this if not on the day I came into this world to share myself with you all? I spend 364 days out of the year critiquing myself, I am going to spend the remaining 3.5 hours writing an essay I don't want to, I am going to spend 5 minutes at least being grateful for being what I am.

Ok, maybe 5 things is too ambitious. Let's make it 3.

1. This might be really obvious and typical, but I am really happy I can find faults in myself. And that as a result I can see progress between turning 18 and turning 22. I've enjoyed, in part, assuming the role of a sort of detached observer at times and taking note of how I think I'm changing.

2. I like that I am not too timid to strike up a conversation with anyone. I have played the part of the third wheel on awkward dates or been invited as the happy medium in between 2 groups of strangers, and sometimes I feel like my calling lies here: in being a buffer between natural and awkward.

3. I like that I can't stand dirty bathrooms. A bedroom can be disorganized, a kitchen have all the cabinets open, but bathrooms must shine, SING, be a harmonious chord of clean and sanitary.

And with that, thanks for the birthday wishes! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Today I finally had the breakdown I knew was long overdue. I knew it was coming soon, since I had some terrible nightmares the past three nights in a row, which were like this in summary:

1. A friend got engaged to his girlfriend who then committed suicide
2. I went to meet with my BA advisor and didn't have any of the readings done. She was less than overjoyed.
3. Someone got a hold of my credit card information and started buying things willy-nilly on ebay

So I have quite a lot on my plate for this week, BA and midterm wise. I have to have 10 pages of my thesis written, which isn't really too much, but when I consider that some other people in different departments haven't even started thinking about theirs I get peeved. That, plus a Chinese art midterm I have to start studying for in earnest 2 weeks ago lead to the following today:

I went to Italian class to find myself completing an activity dealing with imperfect and past tense verbs in which a story was begun ("One day I was in the house and it was very pretty outside...") and a partner and I had to finish up the story with an appropriately exciting ending. Like "...and then we ran into the river filled with alligators while screaming bloody murder and throwing mozzarella balls!" Only the best we could come up with was something like "...and then we went into the house to eat and do homework." And so my partner (another 4 year who has to hand in a huge chunk of her thesis soon) sat for about 5 minutes while other (younger) students came up with fantastical endings for the story, smiling indulgently at their youthful enthusiasm over learning a new language.

It was after 5 minutes my partner and I realized that the characters in the story were already IN the house, so they couldn't possibly run inside again to eat and do their homework. That would call for a rather existential experience. And then we lethargically tried to come up with a different story, but the best it got was "...and then we ran outside. And then we ran back inside to do our homework and to eat." And after we decided that was ok, I realized that I had written about mozzarella cheese for my Italian composition to hand in that day, and that I had just spent 10 minutes modifying the verbs "to go" and "to eat" to create something for an assignment, and the only thing my partner and I had energy for was this. In the face of what I have to do for the rest of the week, this struck my as absolutely, mind-blowingly funny. So that by the time it was time for my partner and I to present the end of our story, my partner and I were laughing so hard we couldn't talk and I had to put my head under the table to compose myself for the rest of the class.

I am past whining on here. Which might be bad, since, as my friend put it once so well "I'll start worrying about you when you stop complaining."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Worst Housewoman Ever

As I mentioned in my previous entry, the kitchen sink seems to be on the blitz. I have dealt with many a sink in my time, from disassembling one to get out a ring this summer to just doing the normal run-of-the-mill unclogging the drain act, but this kitchen sink is determined to make all my efforts to reason with it come to naught.

So in this apartment I'm in now there is this pretty snazzy looking dishwasher. I have never, ever used a dishwasher before. In fact, if you put me in front of some of the newer models, I'd probably think it was a college student's bedroom, that's how alien they are to me. I went through this summer blissfully doing all 3 of my dishes by hand because I had a whole...3!...dishes, and I never saw the point of running the dishwasher for all! 3! of my dishes. (Granted, until a while ago I didn't really see the point in a regular mattress and bed frame, so my taste in lifestyle is definitely dubious. The only glass flatware I owned were 4 wine glasses. I had my priorities straight). And Michal Lynn might have had 2 dishes, so between the 2 of us, we couldn't really even fill the sink if we wanted to.

Then Tina came and along with Tina's big heart was attached about 800 different sized cups, plates, bowls, and mugs. Suddenly our sink was constantly filled with many a mysterious plate. It's around this time that the dishwasher started to look pretty snazzy, and we tried using it. The suds started leaking from the dishwasher really early into the cycle and although I'm not really familiar with dishwashers, I gathered that if I wanted to dishes to get clean inside, those soap suds should stay inside instead of carpeting the kitchen floor.

So we determined there must be a mysterious clog in the sink and the fact that the garbage disposal isn't working is also something that is hindering the progress of our dishwasher. I have poured down 4 whole bottles of Draino. The water from the faucet now leaves the sink at lightning speed, it barely leaves the nozzle before it is sucked down into the drain, yet our dishwasher continues to let suds out like nobody's business. This is why I hate a lot of fancy gadgets.

The only thing I have left to try to get the dishwasher to work is to stick my head down the sink and seeing if maybe the garbage disposal only works if there is a college student's head to grind up. This totally seems worth it.

Who am I kidding?

The other day I received this email from the library:

Dear Adrianne Gyorfi:
The item you recently recalled - "Standing in the tempest: painters of the Hungarian avant-garde, 1908-1930" - is, according to our records, already charged out to you. Please let me know if you believe this to be incorrect.
Ben Nelson
Customer Service Assistant
Joseph Regenstein Library
bln@uchicago.edu | (773) 702-8701
P.S. How's it going?

My friend, Customer Service Assistant Ben Nelson, assured me that this happens around 3 times a day, and really, I shouldn't worry too much about this, but this nevertheless is but a small window into what is going on in my life. You'll note I did not recall Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or The Devil Wears Prada. Nooo, this is
Standing in the tempest: painters of the Hungarian avant-garde, 1908-1930, a book where "tempest" is only included because the author was sitting at his Microsoft word document at 3 AM the night before he had to hand off the last chapter of his book to his editors and he sat there thinking "HOW can I make this more interesting? There's GOT to be a way for me to spice this up! I KNOW! I'll put the word 'tempest' in! Everyone enjoys a thundering gale from time to time!" I can only hope that this does not happen when I am writing my thesis. Only instead of making the title include the word tempest, I'd just write the story of what actually happened to the Donner party way back in the day.

So yes. Not much going on here. I am staying up to Draino the sink. Such is the stuff life is made of.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Today at work I got electrocuted by fiddling around with the exposed wiring in one of the exhibit cases.