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2010

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Goddammit. I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I last posted… but, above all, I can’t believe that I’m still posting up in this bitch.

Here’s a not-so-little update on the inane happenings in my life, including some random things that have been crossing my mind. Yaaaaaaaaaay 2010! Revel in the insignificance of this number for a little bit before I commence, hm?

Okay, time’s up.

1. Christmas and New Year’s Eve have come and gone; delicious food was made, consumed, digested, and evacuated: some kind of salad, roasted chicken, cauliflower gratin, mashed potatoes, caramelized leeks, chocolate mousse, cookies, etc. I’ve been getting into cooking lately. I think it’s really helping me appreciate food ten times more than I already did.

Some favorite foods of the moment:
– hot (spicy) pork sausage
– mashed potatoes with/out caramelized onions
– salt and pepper potato chips
– marble cheesecake
– sauteed potato cubes with garlic
– toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches with onions and mustard
– spring mix salad with radishes, onions, and fried parsnips and homemade vinaigrette
– stir-fry Shanghai bok choy

2. I buy useful things that are useless to me by virtue of the fact that I just don’t use them. Though, you know, I feel like I’ve been on the market for a planner for a good ten years now. Before that, I had this awesome planner. For some unknown reason, this country is completely retarded when it comes to office supplies. The aforementioned planner — as well as most planners sold in France — is a one-page-per-day type o’ thing. That is, enough room for you to write down notes and random memos for any given day. Compare this to the one fifth of a page that you get in most of the planners here… yeah, awesome, right? Then again I think about students and about how they all get out of school before the clock even rings 3pm, so whatever.

Anyway, point is, I bought a planner that I deemed somewhat adequate. I’m no longer a student, and I don’t really have tasks for work outside of the office, so I only need a planner to write down appointment times and the like. This is the planner that I bought, in navy, but not in leather; instead, it’s fabric. The year is stitched in lime green on the cover, and the satin bookmark is light blue. I dig it. I dig it even more because it was on sale — I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise, to be honest. Two pages per week; three days on the left and four on the right. Did you see the dimensions? It’s quite large, meaning that each day has an ok-sized fraction of the page. Meaning that I don’t have to write like I have limited mobility in my hands.

Except that I don’t look at it. Never. I open it to write down appointment times, mostly doctors’ appointments, but that’s about it. I have most things committed to memory, which basically means that I don’t need a planner. Attempt at getting organized FAIL. Moving on.

3. I need new clothes. I know, I’m always saying that I need new clothes, but that’s because I never actually buy new clothes. The vast majority of my wardrobe consists of items that I’ve owned for at least five years. How often do people go shopping anyway? If it still fits and doesn’t particularly stand out from anyone else’s clothes, why replace it? I, for one, don’t understand the appeal of clothes shopping. You have to try shit on, which means you have to disrobe at least twice when you find yourself in the fitting rooms. Seriously? What a pain in the ass! And as if that weren’t enough, you have to pay what will likely be an exorbitant amount of money for, say, a t-shirt.

Which brings me to: I can’t find a store that I like and suits my needs (and bank account).

Therefore: Why should I replace my old clothes, which fit just fine and were reasonably priced?

So I guess I don’t actually need new clothes. Just new jeans, maybe. Too cold to be walking around with random holes in your pants.

4. I had jury duty this past Tuesday and thankfully did not get picked. I fucking hate the fact that they pay you NINE DOLLARS for the entire day in the form of a bloody check. Really? A check? Oh, and a negligible discount for lunch? Why don’t you just fucking give me ten bucks in cash?

5. It’s been snowing. a lot. The second real snowfall of the winter started Tuesday night, prompting the city to close and Penn to declare a snow day. Actually two snow days. This, in turn, means that I didn’t go to work on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. This means that, instead of making $136 for those three days, I made $9. This also means that I didn’t get to go to the gym — and probably won’t until two weeks from now or so — because I have to walk home with my mom who’s terrified of the snow and ice.

In conclusion, I’d like to address all them motherfuckers who’ve been wanting “another blizzard” because they’re either retarded or unemployed, or both, and say: FUCK YOU.

6. It just occurred to me that my life is incredibly boring. On that note, I’m gonna end this and either read a book or take a shower.

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Back to Square One

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Labor Day weekend came and went — and here I am, back in Philadelphia, back at home, back at the former job on Monday, back to square one. After all this time, it feels like nothing has changed. People will disagree and tell me that, no, things -have- changed: I got more education and a certificate. I will reply and say that, no, things have -not- changed, other than the fact that one year was wasted and that I am now in debt. And for what? I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.

Anyway. I’m giving myself six months or so to figure things out and get my shit together. This can’t last forever.

I saw Jason again the night of the 28th. Then he came out again on September 4, when I had my going-away shindig out on the town. We’ve pretty much been talking/corresponding every day since the beginning of August — I guess that, with the subsequent meetings, we could say that we started dating. I was unhappy that I was moving away so soon after meeting him; to my surprise, he said that he wanted to keep talking and seeing each other whenever possible. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be exclusive. It’s quite a commitment, I’d say — don’t you think? I do really like him and thoroughly enjoy his company. I just really wish we were in the same city. Still, Baltimore is closer than DC is, so I suppose that’s not such a horrible thing.

I’ve been sick for over a week now. It’s really draining, but it looks like I’m getting over it. Been plagued with headaches over the past couple days, but it’s nothing some ibuprofen can’t cure. I’m tired. Think I’ll hit the sack.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , ,

Apnea

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I realized, during my ride back from Philly to DC, that I’ve somehow developed the habit of holding my breath: I breathe in, hold it for about ten seconds, and exhale. I’m not sure when it started; I suddenly felt out of breath within ten minutes of the bus pulling away, and realized what I was doing shortly after.

I wonder if I have sleep apnea.

I could go on some random symbolism tangent, but I won’t. I’ve also found the only thing that can hold my attention for an hour and more with no interruptions: the landscape — the everchanging landscape before my eyes during a long ride. I think it’s because 1) it’s constantly changing (unless it’s in some rural area with vast stretches of farmland or grass fields — a sign of my undiagnosed A.D.D.?), and 2) it requires minimal to no concentration whatsoever. I could look at the landscape  zipping by for hours and hours on end. I guess I could say the same for the sky, even though clouds go by much slower… after all, no two clouds are the same, right?

I woke up feeling really dejected today. I’m still feeling down, but I don’t know if it’s residual shittiness from this morning or if it’s from the awful Chinatown bus ride that I was subjected to (or subjected myself to?) earlier today.

A bad morning
Today, I woke up and realized that the seemingly harmless void in my life (lack of job, lack of love, and a general lack of direction) had become a supermassive black hole. While I’m not actually certain about the severity of this, it was enough to jerk me awake at 6:20am — a solid ten minutes before I was scheduled to get up. I don’t believe I’ve ever woken up feeling so emotionally confused, unmotivated, or indifferent.

A bad ride
Today, I peed in a plastic bag. The airplane-style toilet on the bus didn’t work; the red button used for flushing (it looked like one of those buttons that you slam on when there’s an emergency) didn’t work. Not only did water not come out when I pressed it, but the metal flap at the bottom of the toilet didn’t open either — I tested it prior to unzipping. Also, the handle on the inside of the door was missing. I asked the stranger sitting in the seat in front of me if he would please slam the door shut for me and let me out whenever I was done. My original plan was to empty my water bottle in a bag, double-bag it, pee in it à la doctor’s office, put the whole thing in another plastic bag, double-bag it, and throw it out. Instead, I emptied my water bottle in a bag, double-bagged it, realized that I would probably suck at aiming, threw out the bottle, cursed my lack of forethought — and now lack of water, peed in a plastic bag, double-bagged it, and threw it out. The stranger was kind enough to oblige and remain patient when I knocked on the door just a minute upon entering the reeking facility because we had just entered a tunnel… a really long tunnel (turning Pissland really, really dark). We shared a chuckle or two, and then, when it was all over, he offered me hand sanitizer.

Paired with this persistent bad energy, all that movement was nauseating; I didn’t throw up, but the rest of the ride proved to be extremely uncomfortable. We got to DC around 12:40pm — a little over six hours ago, and I’m still feeling sick.

On a lighter note, Lilly’s mother and grandmother are in town. I met her mom not too long ago; awfully pleasant woman. I’m really looking forward to seeing her grandmother again. What a sweet woman! I wanted to bring her a box of Naked Chocolate chocolates from Philly, but didn’t know if her health permitted chocolate consumption. When I go see her, I think I will get her flowers instead. Lilly’s spending the night and part of tomorrow at her grandmother’s. As for me, I have the apartment to myself. I think it’s better this way; I’m not feeling up to having any human presence around. You know how people tend to have a specific type of music they like to listen to whenever they’re in a certain mood? General consensus is that depressing music fits this type of funk that I’m in. But I don’t want to listen to music. When I’m down, I like to sit in silence and let the noise from the street seep in. I’m not sure if it helps me feel better so much as it helps me not feel worse; I really believe that listening to some band who’s making a shit-ton more money than I am would make me feel really, really awful while in this state. Seriously, people: what do you get from listening to someone who’s better off than you whine about how awful their life actually isn’t?

Maybe I’m just nearing that time of the month. Whatever the case may be, my one ray of sunlight on this icky day was the stranger who so graciously helped me on the bus. So, again, thank you. You’re really shining on.

Categories: Personal Tags: , ,

A Craving for Chicken Pot Pie

March 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Delicious, isn’t it?

I love lounging in bed with my laptop, but I hate moving it from my desk. Tonight, though, I couldn’t resist; I’d been sitting in that chair forever, and I’d probably have gone crazy if I hadn’t moved. It’s not like being in bed kills my productivity any more than sitting in that chair would. Whatever, it’s Friday night.

It’s Friday night already. Spring Break has been over for pretty much a week now, and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. Still thinking about the deadlines I have, past-due assignments, assignments that are hanging over my head, etc. Still thinking about May, what to do next, where to go. Still thinking, and not getting anywhere. Talk about a lack of accomplishment.

It’s Spring now. My eyes are watery but I think it’s because I’m sleepy and not because I’m starting to feel allergies coming on. God, I dread the Spring.

Life has been insanely boring and unexceptional these past few months. When nothing interesting happens, I feel like I’m just sitting here and rotting — which is basically what everyone’s doing, but I’d rather be running around and rotting than just sitting there not doing anything spectacular with my life.

“Spectacular”. Now THAT’S a word I never want to hear or see again for a long time. Once I finish with all the translation work I have to do, I will compile a list of words that are now lethal despite their innocent appearances. Nothing’s really spectacular if you use that term to describe fifty million different things, is it. I suspect Lilly will be compiling a list of her own once she quits her job for the fourth or fifth time.

Speaking of words that should be banned, what’s the deal with abbreviations? I understand typing or writing with abbreviations to save time (e.g., when you’re taking notes), but when speaking? Can those people hear themselves and how ridiculous they sound? “Totes” for “totally”? Are you fucking shitting me?

Now, there are abbreviations that are widely used and accepted — so much so that we forget they’re abbrevations; words like “ad,” “math,” “econ,” “poli sci,” um… basically “ad” and a bunch of academia-related terms. On the other hand, French has a huge number of abbreviations that have nothing to do with how “hip” you are. No; those terms have been a part of colloquial French since forever.

French also has standardized abbreviations strictly for writing (I’m serious, you could never pronounce these): “tjrs” for “toujours” (always), “ms” for “mais” (but), “m” with a ^ on top for “même” (same), “pr” for “pour” or “par” (for or by), etc. Students are taught these abbreviations sometime in middle school or high school, when teachers stop writing everything on the board and lecture instead.

High school in this country was so weak.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , , ,

On Not Having a Valentine (and not looking “like a grad student,” apparently)

February 14, 2009 2 comments

Tonight, my phone conversation with my mom went something like this:

Mom: So you’re just working tonight? That’s what happens when you have no Valentine on Valentine’s Day.
Me: Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.
Mom: Ah, yes. Well you still don’t have one.

Isn’t she sweet. It’s funny, because “Valentine” in Chinese translates to “lover”. I was just following a thread on Yelp about casual dating and read some pretty interesting posts. I never used to think that dating around was okay; I thought it was so typically American — which, to me, always meant “bullshit”.

Dating around? Really? How A.D.D. are you?

Now that I think back on it (it’s been years since I first decided that it wasn’t an ok-thing to do), I suppose there’s nothing wrong with it. But maybe I should explain my previous point of view: I always thought that people who dated around were only playing a game (the dating game? “back in the game”?) and had no real interest in being committed (by that I mean an exclusive relationship — not “love and marriage”). I used to say that I would never be okay if the guy I was “going out with” was seeing other people, because, well, *I* wouldn’t do that.

When faced with a problem, there usually are more than one way to approach it, right? Do you try all of them at the same time? No, you don’t; you try one, you chuck it if it doesn’t work, and you move on to the next one.

But what the fuck do *I* know? You can’t actually use that model for dating. People come and people go; you can’t acquire several potentially datable (also: dateable) people, and try one out while you shelve the rest. Who’s gonna wait for you to come around? That’s the main “danger” of serial dating (as opposed to multi-dating), I guess: if you date exclusively (but not “seriously”) and it doesn’t work out, it might take a while to find your next date. Sure, freedom is nice, you get to have some single fun, spend some “you” time. And then? How long is that gonna last? How long until you get tired of being free, having single fun, and spending time ALONE?

I’m not saying everyone should go out and collect phone numbers from everything that moves (and has a phone), but if presented with the option to date several different people at one (not literally “at the same time,” people) you should do it. It’s all about maximizing your chances and using time efficiently.

I could talk about dating for hours; what to do, what not to do, blah blah blah… it’s too bad I don’t have anyone on whom to test my theories.

The other thing I’d like to discuss tonight, before I retire myself, is some nonsense I heard about “looking” like a grad student.

Well, “heard”; I had lunch with a very nice sophomore today and she told me that I didn’t “look like a grad student”. Then we took the Metro, going in opposite directions, and I was left wondering what the fuck she meant by that.

That was at 4pm, it’s now 2am — officially the next fucking day — and I’m still wondering. Any ideas?

What she could have meant was that I don’t “act” like a grad student. From my observations of other grad students who have been and currently are in my classes, I can deduce it to mean one of two things — or maybe both: that I am not silent in class, or that I talk and socialize with undergrads. Now, let’s be honest: most grad students probably don’t think much of undergrads, much like undergrads don’t think much of high school kids, and so on and so forth. With that in mind, being “stuck” in a class with 95-99% undergrads is probably not the ideal situation. And so, since undergrads aren’t technically our peers, we see no reason for befriending them. Or talking to them. Or you know, looking at them. I mean, some grad students are TAs, they have shit to do, places to go, people (who are more important than undergrads) to see, etc.

Newsflash: so do undergrads.

I don’t get the whole I’m a grad student attitude. I see it all the time, but I don’t get it. It’s oh-so-serious and important. But, o, venerable grad student: you KNOW damn well that when you’re with your friends you act like a silly little freshman does with his or hers.

This just in: your shit doesn’t smell any better than theirs.

You should see me in class; I’m a fucking ray of fucking sunshine. The undergrads love me — those who aren’t intimidated by my being a grad student, that is.

But what I think she meant was that I don’t look my age — I literally don’t look like a grad student. Some would agree, some wouldn’t. But honestly? I’m 24; there isn’t much of a difference between someone who’s 21-22 — e.g., a senior in college — and someone who’s 24. Maybe it’s my clothes? Am I supposed to change my wardrobe suddenly? Wear dress pants and blouses instead of jeans and t-shirts? Maybe a pair of heels would do it? Some lipstick? Bullfuckingshit. That’s just like the attitude thing and the whole taking-yourself-too-seriously act.

I’m only talking about clothes here because I refuse to think that people could ever come to the conclusion that a particular individual could not be a grad student — no way! — because their FACE looks young. Or because they’re short. Or because their face looks young AND they’re short.

Ahhhhh, but what do they know? They’re undergrads.

Categories: people, Personal Tags: , ,

Fucking hate Sundays.

January 26, 2009 1 comment

I hate people, too. Sometimes I wish that all of humanity would perish just to get rid of all the stupid people, because it sounds more feasible than a selective purge.

Sometimes I get frustrated and I don’t know why, or I know that I shouldn’t feel that way, but it can’t be helped. Some people just irritate the shit out of me, and, in an effort to remain civil and generally not knowing how to express those feelings, I keep everything inside. Until a crappy Sunday comes around and I actively look for various ways of letting it all out.

And so I’m folding paper stars. Origami is very therapeutic. Actually, activities that involve a lot of repetition, concentration, and meticulosity help me take my mind off the bigger things in life.

I want a big jigsaw puzzle.
I want a gigantic coloring book with very tiny details.
I want an endless ball of yarn.

I’d go to sleep and forget about my frustrations, but I took a 2.5hr nap this afternoon — meaning that I’m most likely going to be up for the next four hours or so.

I’m not sure if you can tell; I hate my life right now.

Categories: Personal Tags: ,

New homepage ftw!

December 6, 2008 Leave a comment

WordPress, you must’ve missed me. Judging by your new layout, I know you have. Very well, WordPress, I will no longer neglect you.

Since my last post, I turned 24, Susan came to visit, Lilly and I had dinner at Marta’s, then we had dinner with Chuck and An, I went home for Thanksgiving, I turned in a paper, and classes ended for this semester. As a matter of fact, yesterday was the last day.

My first final exam will be held on Monday (as in, the day after tomorrow). We were given a review sheet, which lists all the possible essay topics that we might get on the test. Ideally, we should prepare all the possible essays, show up at the exam, see which topics are presented, and write away.

Bitch of an exam, I say, but it beats the hell out of having no idea what she wants from us at all. And then, last night, I suddenly remembered that I had to hand in an extra assignment as well, due the same day.

The other exam is a take-home, to be turned in on Friday along with a final assignment (wtf) and a portfolio consisting of all the corrections to our graded assignments and a glossary of 200 words/terms/expressions/phrases.

Tedious, but easy.

But enough with the boring shit. I’m going home for winter break on Saturday the 13th; a whole month of not thinking about how much I hate this class or how much the other bores me… a whole month of catching up on work that pays because I haven’t got the chance to so much glance at it this entire semester. Where in the world has time gone? I thought I could (literally) buy myself some time by going back to school for a year, but the first semester’s already come and gone, leaving me with approximately five months or less to figure out what my next step will be. Foresight has always been my companion in everything else, but in this case in particular, it completely fails me. I really haven’t a clue what I should do next, or what I want to do.

And it wouldn’t be nearly as terrifying if time were crawling by. I feel like I’m stuck inside an hourglass.

Categories: Personal Tags: ,