Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blog Niblets

Just because I like the idea that people I know sometimes read this, and I sort of love the idea that people I don't know might also read this (maybe, a little, sometimes) I figure I should keep on going even if I don't happen to have a 10,000-word essay in me every day. So this is really just the blog equivalent of pulling slips of paper out of my pockets and sharing them.

Wow hey, now that I put it like that, I'm struck by two things: one, that's a pretty damn fine description of most of the blogs I read. Two, it's mind-boggling that anyone would actually want to read that kind of thing. I'm allegedly sort of intelligent, and I adore people's brain-lint if it's in blog form. But hey. It's the Internets. They's weird.

1. Pooper
In honor of my young nephew, whom I am told has recently conquered the diaper barrier and become potty-trained, I find that I actually have something to say about poop. It occurred to me today, strolling across the pitted gravel that passes for a commuter lot here at good ol'
Hampden College, that one of the ways I know I really feel at home in a place, one of the signals that I've become "of" a place, is when I can mentally catalog a short list of nearby restrooms, and come up with the best place to take an impending dump.

Hey, the more I study the whole human biology/ anatomy/ physiology thing, the more I appreciate the simple side of life, sometimes.

The restroom in the big common building is okay, but something about it makes it a far better stop for your basic quick
micturition event, rather than what my housemate calls "dropping The Deuce." It's not a sit-and-stay sort of a room; it's narrow and long, and since it's a single-occupancy room despite its size, there's no stall. Yet it's more busy and crowded outside in the hallway than it would be in a typical private home. The Dung Shui is wrong, is what I'm saying.

So, full of big dreams, high hopes, and a double serving of pasta from lunch, I wound up hitting the default pooper in the science building. Which is okay, but upon further reflection I should have gone to the one upstairs by the lab, rather than the one on the first floor. The downstairs one has but one toilet, as does the upstairs, but the crucial difference is height. The downstairs one is in a quasi-handicapped stall, and it's just slightly higher off the floor than a normal one. It's not that my legs dangle or anything -- I'm middle-sized, dammit, not short -- but it's sub-optimal. Easy to imagine the whole apparatus is on stilts or pilings. Like you're poopin' off the dock of the bay.

Okay, cool, so now I've used my blog to
talk about pooping. Excellent. That should clear the karmic debt (or Midwestern guilt, or whatever) that I've been feeling since M. Small's birthday, when I suggested that the kid from is less cute than he is. Moving on, then.

2. Potter
It's movie time again. I watched movies 2 & 3 over the last couple days, and it's really true: the third movie is so much better, the first two films (relatively speaking) suck like a wood tick on Ecstasy. Happily, the early word on the new one is that it continues and even deepens the additions that movie 3 made (things like darkness, humor that's funny, magic that's magical, and characters with character). So, y'know, yay.

If there were a midnight show tonight within 30 miles, I'd be there elbow-checking fifth-graders for a good seat, but sadly, the town cinema doesn't feel a need to have a preview. All is forgiven, though, because our beloved college is having a midnight movie night Saturday/Sunday, and this means I can see the new one with the mass of drunken nerd-balls I share classes with, sans tiny tots who maybe shouldn't see this one until their parents can get a reliable friend to tell them how freaky the scary parts are.

As an aside: in this town, people who want to get the hell out of the house so badly they'd bring a squalling toddler to the movies far outnumber the more cautious, judicious types. To be fair, and to the credit of obviously superior parenting abilities, I saw Serenity with an 8-month-old not 20 feet away, and we all survived quite well. I hear the kid is already writing fanfic.

Besides, it's not like someone is going to spoil the story for me; I can wait a couple days. In addition, I think I mentioned the drunken nerd-ball nature of my classmates.

3. Partner
Teslagrrl is coming for Thanksgiving. Thank Jeebus. All the "how to not totally detonate your long-distance relationship" books and well-intended phone calls in the world can't compare to just one afternoon actually being in the same place. I think she would think it's amusing (or maybe I already mentioned this, and she did think it was amusing) that I once referred to her trips out here as 'conjugal visits,' but beyond the obvious benefits, her proximity has an agreeably civilizing effect on me, and I could probably use some of that as well.

...just not until after the boozing and bowling scheduled for tomorrow night, and the boozing and movie happening the next night. Yes, it's true: I'm becoming an undergrad. Hey, if the work is done and the grades are good, I tell my inner child to go to bed and give my inner 7th-year senior the keys. Seems to be a decent system so far.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

falling in love

I frequently fall in love. Intense, sudden, gratifying, silly, humbling, often temporary, though the temporariness turns out to be a help most of the time. I fall in love with ideas, images, words, inanimate objects, and occasionally, people. The people part tends to last a whole lot longer (hi, sweetie!).

You could dial back the language a little, and simply say I'm a fan of lots of little things and events, or I'm enthusiastic about the experiences I have, and the way I process stimuli. Or you could go basic, and say that I'm generally very happy with how things are going; that I love life. But as true as all the above is, saying it like that would leave out the sense of immediacy, and the messy, evanescent poetry that I feel when I'm, say, driving on a twisty mountain road, with the iPod playing something good and the warmth shining through the sunroof. That's the setting, and the action is I'm shifting from fourth to fifth while the road settles down under it all and reclines, finished with its few moments of the gyrating, swaying hippy dance some of the roads do here -- bam, that's the instant; I'm a little bit in love with life. The thing with me is that I fall just a tiny bit in love with the moment, and thus with the car, the weather, the trees, the music, road, the sun. Man, I love the sun. And I'm even more smitten with the moon; so much so it's damn near to monk-drowning levels. Don't even get me started.

So one of the great things about being here in New England pursuing this program is that I have opened up exponentially both my opportunities to fall in love in this way, and probably my capacity to do it. Sure, I worry sometimes that I may be extending my adolescence to an unhealthy degree, but then again maybe I'm holding on to that poetic side, in a very smart and useful way. Maybe this will become a core skill as I get into my chosen profession, and meander ever deeper into the responsible, focused, more complete kind of adulthood.

Heck, maybe the fight that broke out on the sidewalk outside the local bar where Teslagrrl and I were singing karaoke a couple weeks back was just a spilling over of that kind of love. It's my theory that more people want to be expressive than know how to be, so when the John Cougar is flowing as freely as the beer, things can happen. Fuses get lit, ya-yas come out, steam gets let off. Eventually shakin' your doughy butt, nodding your baseball cap, and yelling "yeah!" isn't enough anymore; you need something more powerfully poetic. Sadly, the most poetic and expressive tool in some guys' repertoire is throwing a punch. I suppose that does, technically, count as making a connection with someone. So there you go.

I'm going on about this now thanks to a recent post* on Diablo's blog, with a sweet and generous devotional to her hubby (who by the way, is a frickin' rock star not just literally, but figuratively). Is that too sincere? Shit, I mean it's a soppy and clearly Jaeger-fueled mash note. Some might say Diablo being sweet is surely some manner of evil plot, but I know better. In her singular style, the writing is frank, funny, and disarming, and then makes a face at you and grabs its crotch. Or yours. Basically her prose is, in my universe anyway, Terri Garr in a leather catsuit -- and that is just about the BEST COMPLIMENT POSSIBLE. Okay, maybe I'm a little in love with the writing now too. Put it on the list.

So, yes. New England autumn. Driving. Love. Things like that. It's by no means comprehensive, but to give you a better sense of what I'm talking about, here is a list of some of the things I have fallen in love with recently: my wool topcoat, Atmosphere's new album, stovetop percolator coffee, about 50% of the designs in the student fashion show I saw on Monday night, about 75% of the models in the fashion show, the normal standard distribution (a Statistics thing), White Russians mixed and served in pint glasses, my midterm grades, winning at Scrabble, and the crisp snap of November air.

I am also in love with my girlfriend, which I have to say is a very good thing indeed. As I mentioned, she was here a couple of weeks ago. I can't even remember what we were talking about, or why we were laughing, but we were. I'm sure it was very funny. Actually, screw that, we don't even need a reason, but the point is I'd said something funny in response to something she'd said that was funny, and her explanation of whatever goofy thing it was that she had said was to say "hey, I'm in love." And that's when I forgot what she'd been talking about, and just sort of marvelled at the whole thing.

Today, it strikes me that this is what I miss most, and what I miss out on the most, owing to our being 1000 miles apart. I lack for opportunities to fall in love with little things that have to do with her. This seems horribly unfair. It's fine when we do re-connect; we just pick right up where we were. But in the meantime, dang. Distance, boy. I don't know. What you gonna do?

Hey, that may have just become relevant to the ongoing saga of the non-traditional educational process. Sweet! If I just throw in the words "long-distance relationship," this post might even come up when med students and pre-med students search. Though PA students are, of course, better-looking and more fun, I have to make sure to put that in there as well.

* The slatternly fishwife should fix the photo in the post, because I've seen it and it's adorable.