Thursday, April 29, 2010

under construction

like just about everyone these days, i probably check my email too often in the hopes that something exciting will show up. one friend several years ago discussed the literally addicting properties of text messaging--the excitement of receiving a new text releases endorphins--and email has to be the same way. this morning, i made the happy discovery that yo la tengo's 'i can hear the heart beating as one' provided the ideal atmosphere as i wrote up my comments on michael cunningham's 'the hours.'

still exhilarated from the satisfaction of an early and successful start to the day's work, i checked my email and was almost overwhelmingly pleased with what it brought forth. this, of course, led me to ponder what elements are most satisfying entries in one's inbox. in general, it has been a great couple of days, as i recently received word that i will in fact teach workshop in the fall.

1. unexpected good news
2. the promise of a new world
3. a surprisingly different sort of email
4. news from old friends
5. a recipe
6. highly anticipated information is finally released
7. a clever joke

Friday, April 23, 2010

i became a little frustrated last night

when i realized how fun it would be to switch the topic of my folklore project on hipsters. i've done too much work already to make that a good idea.


i may have disrupted one of my graduate classes yesterday by wearing shorts, a hoodie, and a tie to class. i didn't have my headphones on, which matched the color scheme of the tie. that would potentially have been even more distraction. so we ended up talking for a minute about the fact that i had this unusual outfit. really though, i was wearing it because i wanted to be in top condition for my presentation in my second class of the evening.

essentially, i dressed up for my presentation by picking attire that made me happy. i guess what was in my head when i chose what to wear was just that i should dress in a manner that would put me in a state of maximum serenity. on some level, the outfit was random, but it was organized not just by color but, believe it or not, theme. i had cartoonish animals on my tie and my shoes.

so after remember that i'd chosen the outfit as a method of preparing for my presentation, i thought about what people would wear to job interviews if they just made what made them happy or confident. i would probably wear something like i had for my presentation. i'd probably wear jeans and an awesome pair of sneakers, plus an awesome t-shirt and a jacket of some sort. if i still had a decent track jacket, that might be my first choice. so perhaps i would go out and buy one. after all, it's for a job interview.

accessories are probably key. i would have to consider reorganizing my keychaing for maximum effectiveness, and think about whether i could bring both a phone and a music device. most likely, i would wear my new watch. as i don't own a ton of other accessories, i would probably wear a tie, just as a way of having one more element to fit into the whole. i'd wear my dress shirt untucked with the top button undone.
temperature is also an important factor; yesterday it was supposed to be around the 60s, so i thought shorts and a hoodie was a good choice. ideally, i think a job interview would be on a day in the high 40s or low 50s, so i could wear my jeans and track jacket without getting sweaty.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

fine, take my shoes

due to a complex interaction between the assignment i was given this week and the contents of my brain, i am writing a story about a depressed penguin. i suppose it isn't the best depressed penguin story either, because the penguin in question was not necessarily depressed at the time that the key action of the story takes place. it is difficult, however, to cover such topics as penguin-human friendship, sock fashion, and the effect of french pop music on retail sales in the united states in the span of three or four pages. i almost expect to lose something in the process of writing this. i hope that will not be my mind. perhaps i could lose a t-shirt. or a pair of socks, or the watch i recently purchased but have struggled to accept into my life. if you're out there waiting for my moment of weakness, just take your best shot now. i'm sick of waiting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

there's always hope

i hope my piano is not eaten by rabid cats
i hope guitars do not turn invisible during odd-numbered months
i hope the last carnivorous sock puppets have died out
i hope the neighbors do not hear me screaming in my sleep
i hope oatmeal is still good for you

chased by a cheesesteak

like many vegetarians, i suffer from a horrifying dream where i am being chased through the streets of a city. it's dawn, and though the sky is overcast, or maybe because it is, there's a pink-orange mist over everything as if someone dumped a smoothie on the sky. usually, i'll be running, but in a suit, complete with shiny dress shoes that pinch my feet a little. i keep looking over my shoulder, and i can barely breathe from the pink-orange exhaust fumes, but for the first few minutes of the dream, all i know is that i'm afraid. slowly, it dawns on me that i am losing the race, and at first i think a giant pretzel is pursuing me. when it catches up, maybe i'm going to be dipped in a reservoir of hot mustard, and maybe left there until i've gone soft.
what gets me every time though is this corner. i'm running and looking back and wishing i could adjust the buckles on my shoes by a notch or two, and suddenly, i'll just sense that i have to turn a corner. so i slow down just enough to prevent physics from throwing me to the ground, and then i'll get this amazing second wind and just kick harder and move my legs faster until all i can think about is the blur of my limbs and the sweat building on my neck and forehead.
suddenly, though, i'll look back again, and realize there's something like a giant four-legged cheesesteak pursuing me. i don't mean a cow or a bull or animal of any kind. just an actual, living, humongous cheesesteak, losing a few grilled onions every minute, which seems only likely to speed its progress. i'll catch myself wondering if this is some sort of punishment for not eating meat. sometimes, i think to myself that if the cheesesteak catches me, the worst thing it could do is force feed itself to me. would it pull a smaller cheesesteak out of its pocket and made me take a bite? would it tie me to a chair and force me to eat cheesesteaks until i pass out? these thoughts linger, and they seem to be slowing me down, as if i've eaten too much mayonnaise. i start considering my options. can i yell at people to eat the cheesesteak? is that an appropriate action for a vegetarian, even in self-defense? perhaps my best option would be to simply give up and try to hold a conversation with my pursuer. it could be that human-cheesesteak relations are at a real bad stretch, and an impratial ambassador is needed--someone whose dinner isn't part of the debate. i could make life better, both for humans and for cheesesteaks. perhaps they'll leave us alone if only we learn how to cook and enjoy them properly. perhaps they just want to give us a new recipe. otherwise, what reason could they have for chasing me or anyone else? cheesesteaks might soon be our best friends. maybe then the real tragedy is that the giant pretzel seems to have vanished.

Monday, April 05, 2010

new pennies

as a young child, i was constantly frustrated with the boring state of our nation's money. bills were all green, and coins stayed the same year after year. well, years later, we have peach-flavored bills and state-sponsored coins to thank for throwing things up in the air a bit. now that the new 2010 penny seems to be covertly advertising for a certain railroad company, i am excited for the next wave of stealth money endorsements. will we have to limit this to american companies? are there secret auctions to determine who will get their logo surreptitiously re-done by the us mint? i look forward to the results of this new wave of monetary innovation.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

cracker lackin'

there are several foods i believe are essential to my general survival. though the roster varies from week to week and especially when longer periods of time are involved, the one unchanging presence is the cracker. what is so enticing about thin crispy rectangles? do we have an innate trust of food products that explode when thrown against the wall? is it important that certain crackers are round and have no straight edges?

i could not find the answers to these questions, because i am having trouble with my computer right now. see, in general i like to believe there are overriding principles and organizational factors that apply across vast reaches of life. computers, like crackers, seem to have an uncanny level of importance to the modern human. they are also largely rectangular in nature. while it makes sense that the thinness of the modern portable computer (and cracker) serves as a part of its appeal, it is also true that this contributes to its propensity to shatter when thrown at a wall.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

3D glasses should anger hipsters

having recently seen a movie in three dimensions, i have to say that there is only one type of 3D glasses that should be offered--and that they offered the right kind. thick, black, timeless frames. you know, the type that scream 'i edit movies and/or still images for a living--or at least i wish i did!' the type of glasses sold as fashion accessories to people who don't need corrective lenses. if you go to the theater and one of your friends, after watching the entire movie, says 'wait, don't take those off, i want to see what you look like,' and is *not* making fun of you, you know they're offering the right type of glasses.
i hope the hipster lobby does not succeed in nixing the current cool movie glasses just to preserve the remaining shreds of their aesthetic. it has to be bothersome enough when your look is purchasable in a chain store, so surely these glasses have inspired petition drives outside indie rock concerts all over the nation. having become stuck in 2004, i don't actually attend these types of events, so i have little firsthand knowledge of the situation. i can say, however, that i will do my best to ensure that movie theaters resist the slacker elite and continue to make cool retro 3D glasses available to all.
so i commend the theater, but i recently saw a 3D television marketed with glasses that screamed 'the future as envisioned in 1994.' that is wrong. there are many ways to spend a thousand bucks and look stupid (buy 2 giant dorky e-readers?). in fact, with the falling prices of many dorky items, i can uncool-ly accessorize myself and have plenty left over for electronics.
if i want to look like an idiot, have less money, and own a television, i can accomplish all of these goals without purchasing a product that **makes it awkward to make out while watching a film.** am i really going to look at the person next to me with their jordi laforge face-shield eyewear and try to kiss them? the entire home theater experience is based upon the promise of making out. essentially, home theater = movie theater minus expensive snacks, minus forgetting you parked in sec H3, plus pause button, plus private makeout opportunity. the 3D glasses are already an issue, but at least have them be something i can enjoy slipping off of someone's face. seriously, sometimes you have to wonder if technology is destined to prevent people from ever connecting.