erin lives in la i live in nyc. we don’t see each other for months. we meet up in chicago and have close to identical loungewear. if it’s not loungewear, it’s hairdo. or shoes or jacket or something. oh yeah, and our lives are exactly the same too except she lives amidst palm trees and freeways and i live amidst skyscrapers and subways. it’s been happening for years. it’s actually quite comforting, in a narcissistic kind of way. and, come to think of it, not all that mysterious if viewed through the lense of demographic studies.
i had a horrible prof in grad school whose abuse of power makes me know what kind of teacher i refuse to become.
he taught history and had a beef with me off the bat since i was from the journalism school. he had it in his head that we j school students were mere pragmatists, technicians, incapable of higher thought.
most of the material he asked us to read was drivel. the trendy postmodernist social constructionist tomes that are unlikely to still be in print in 20 years (or even 10 … when he and his buddies retire and stop putting them on the required reading lists). i resented having to give so many hours of my weeks to academic pulp nonfiction. but it was close to graduation and i was under the wire with elective credits. plus i had no better choices during the same time period. asshole or not, i needed the class.
so i amused myself by using each weekly reflection paper to rip apart the guy’s curriculum (and inscribed months of work and research), piece by piece, reading by reading. my animus was often irrational — this i submit. and his response was equally inappropriate: whenever i contributed and idea in class (a requirement for a passing grade), he had a barb, a comeback or another superior “perspective” ready to deflate it and smack me back down. a classmate once remarked to me as we left class: “man, he really has it out for you doesn’t he?” and he did.
i got further proof of this when he promptly shot down my idea for a research project. the only parameter he gave was that it had to do with “bodies on display in 19th century america.” i wanted to write about the ale house. where women were forbidden, except for whores, and men of different classes and ethnicities started mixing and beating the shit out of eachother. you know, like in far and away? he said no. it didn’t have enough to do with the body. an alehouse, where men go with the expressed purpose of altering their blood alcohol level whilst hobnobbing with other members of the public. meanwhile, his research assistant was permitted to do a project on “jazz.” bullshit.
anyway, i am haunted by the memory of that prof. i never want to be like that. what caliber of mind, what strength of heart contents itself with obsequious subordinates?
1. Train delays and shut downs, and not a single taxi. Arrived at the office 45 minutes later than planned.
2. Maintained my good cheer.
3. Worked on a board report with endless edits and new pieces of information, none of which I have mastery over yet.
4. Made a conscious effort to maintain my good cheer.
5. Realized it was 7 pm and if I had any life whatsoever I wouldn’t still be there toiling away. Shut down shop.
6. Walked to the subway seeing couples holding hands, dining out, and dudes buying flowers for their dudettes.
7. Started to feel bad for myself. Then mad at myself for working my life away.
8. Missed the first train because the woman in front of me in line at the Metro Card machine refused to take NO for an answer from the machine.
9. Finally arrived at 14 St. and there was a yellowish gas everywhere. All I could think was: NERVE GAS!
10. High tailed it outta there. When I got to the street level one of the street holes exploded, causing a traffic melee.
11. It was so late my dry cleaners had closed, leaving me with paltry few fashion alternatives for tomorrow.
12. I went instead to D’Agostino where the only other people there were other loner types with no dates.
13. My door man ceremoniously wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day, making me feel like an even bigger loser.
14. I reflected, once again, on the fact that I have lived here for 3 weeks and:
15. I came upstairs, fed the cat, put down my things and went to put the trash out that I had left there this morning.
16. Returned from garbage chute and realized I had locked myself out of my apartment.
17. Went to super’s apartment to get the key. Apologized to the ostensibly irritated wife of super.
18. Dispensed with any pretense of good cheer and typed this blog post whilst watching Dr. Phil Love Special.
19. In conclusion, I need an assistant and a boyfriend.
on a pre-pre-valentines day in the dead of winter … it feels indulgent to play this old and familiar song and look out the snowy window whilst hugging my cat and see what appears to be everyone else in the world frolicking together.
then my moment of moroseness is interuppted by my iTunes, which has shuffled to Get Crunk by Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz.
YEAH! GET CRUNK GET CRUNK GET CRUNK!
my hair guy, with whom i spend large sums of money every 7 weeks, called me caitlin today. how rude!
then i came home and looked at the shitty furniture i bought from target and pondered — why? why the rickety, self-assembled house of cards night stand? why not something sturdier, long lasting? why do i blow cash on hair and not home?
sometimes i think i am the only person in the world who doesn’t love U2. i can see the music has merit. and i think bono’s a standup guy using his celebrity for important economic and diplomatic issues. but hell i still cringe every time i see those cheesy glasses and hear that “uno – dos – tres – CATORCE.”
“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
it’s bothered me for years. the lack of a real ecommerce ikea site.
here i am, visa in hand, ready to blow a couple of hundred bucks on crappy furniture that has no shot at being around long enough to be of use to my future progeny.
or even me, say … 3 years from now.
but alas, der arbiter of disposable modern scandinavian style doesn’t want my kronas.
won’t sell & ship to little old me? c’est la vie! le target? oui!