Complex: Me, or My Writing?

So, today I got an assignment back from my professor. It was a review of a very academically-written article on an arcane topic. Turning to the final page, I saw that the professor had written about four comments, and gave me an A.

This is the same paper I turned in a draft of two weeks ago to the “undergraduate writing fellow,” an English major assigned to critique our work, and was returned to me with a litany of comments in tiny black inked letters.

And from the way he/she wrote about it, I had written the worst thing ever…trouble for me, or just plain trouble?

I don’t like to preach or toot my own horn, but let’s back up a second. First of all, even though I hate playing the age card, I’ve probably got at least a good five years on you. Second, I’d be highly surprised if you had several published articles and a 150-page master’s thesis. Third, judging from the comments you wrote, you clearly had no idea what I wrote about. And clearly, my professor understood what I was writing about. So, I feel like I might have a little on you?

But maybe I’m wrong.

Eh, I don’t care, I still got an A.

 

Three Times I Have Fallen Asleep in Public

Maybe it’s because I haven’t been eating well, or I’m behind on work, or I’m just…I don’t know, overwhelmed, maybe…but I haven’t been inspired by anything lately. I always say one of two things about blogging: a) I’ll edit this entry later, and b) That’s a story for another entry.

So I looked back at some previous posts, and since I could use a good story anyway, here are…

Three Times I Have Fallen Asleep in Public

It should be noted that, as a child, I had a horrible time trying to sleep anywhere but in my own bed, so none of these events occurred until I was at least in high school.

SeaTac Slumber Party

In between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I went on a cruise to Alaska with my dad, aunt, and sister. As it is, Alaska fucks up your sleeping schedule, especially if you are only there for a few days, like we were. So with an already destroyed body clock, we disembarked the ship in Seattle with a whole day before we had to fly home, so we went to explore the city. It started off all right, but after the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, something within me began to unravel. I don’t even quite know why or how it happened, but I just started crying. Nobody did anything to upset me, and I was not hurt, but there I was, sitting in the rental car somewhere in downtown Seattle, bawling for no reason. Unusually, my dad was being very supportive and comforting, telling me, “it’s okay, you’re just overtired, you miss home, you’ve had enough vacation for now, we’ll be home soon.” I can’t remember where my aunt and sister were at the time, but I do remember that I wished that they were around to see my dad being so nice.

After I had cleaned myself up, pulled it together (as much as I could), we returned the rental car and went to the airport. I was still a little shaken up from sobbing my eyes out so hard that I couldn’t breathe, so my dad bought me a book or something in the terminal. Next thing I knew, I was on the plane. Apparently, I had fallen asleep so deeply that I didn’t even remember where I was or why I was sad. And to make it even funnier, I was sprawled out on the floor on my stomach and people were walking over me. I only found that out after I got home; on the ship I had made some friends and exchanged email addresses with them, and two of those friends, a mother and daughter from Tennessee who had arrived at the airport after we did. On their way to their gate, they walked past the gate where we were and they recognized my dad. According to their email, they walked over to say hello/goodbye and asked my dad where I was, at which point he directed them to look towards the floor.

Sleeping Beauty in Boston

In 2008, I attended my fraternity’s national convention, held that year at a Hilton in Boston. I helped out on the workshops committee, participated in events all day, and also had a lot of late nights hanging out with brothers; basically, very little sleep for me for a few days. It was the final day of the convention, and my roommates and I had just checked out of the hotel, and along with some other brothers, were storing our luggage in a small conference room while waiting for the closing event of the convention, the final banquet. Someone started talking about how tired they were, and how they were going to skip out on the final banquet and take a nap instead. In response, someone else crawled under the large conference table in the center of the room, and thinking it was funny, a few others (including myself) joined them and continued the conversation while sitting under the table. I guess I became bored or something, because I crawled over to my bag, got the book I was reading, and crawled back beneath the table.

The next thing I know, I open my eyes to a darkened and empty room. Putting on my glasses, I get up and turn on the lights. Then, I remember about the banquet, and was horrified to think that I had possibly already slept through it. I look around the room for a cell phone or anything, and of course there’s a huge wall clock which lets me know that two hours have gone by. Two hours. Which means that the banquet…is in about fifteen minutes. And I still need to get dressed. Needless to say, I threw on my outfit and booked it to the banquet hall, managing to make it just in time to get a seat.

The convention ended, and I spent the next few days hanging out with Dan, ringing in the new year at his place, hanging out with them, and flying home in January, when plane tickets are cheaper. A few days later, my Facebook becomes clogging with tagged pictures of me from convention. Most of them are fun and happy, but then I get to a picture and see myself passed out on the floor of the conference room, lying on my stomach with my book and glasses lying next to me in a neat little pile.

Whoops.

I was kind of hoping that kind of picture wouldn’t have existed, but at least I was fully clothed and nobody decided to write on me.

One Long Clinic Wait

This happened sometime during the brief period between Israel and Houston where I lived at home. One day, I went with my mom to visit my sister in her classroom in Rockville. She happened to be terribly sick that day, so after following her home, she got into the car with us and we went to a 24-hour urgent care clinic somewhere in the DC/Rockville area. I did not expect this activity, so I didn’t bring any books or my laptop. As my mom and sister are seeing the doctor, I sit in the waiting room…waiting…waiting…waiting…

…And then I’m awake, still sitting in the clinic, but about an hour has passed, it’s gotten a bit darker outside, there are different people sitting around me, and my mom and sister are nowhere to be seen. At first, I think that they’re probably still with the doctor, but then realizing that I had already been waiting a long time before I fell asleep, other thoughts enter my mind. I’m already picturing the headlines: “Have You Seen This 22-Year-Old?” or “Mother Enters Clinic With Two Children; Leaves With Just One.” So my curiosity gets the better of me, and I head outside. At first I had trouble finding where I was because I was in a strange city and disoriented, but after a few minutes of walking around, I found my mother’s car, still in the spot where we parked it. Okay, I thought, so they’re around here, somewhere…but where? There are a few stores nearby and a Dunkin’ Donuts, so I spend a little time poking around there, and then head back to the clinic to wait some more.

Of course, the expected story would end with them being finished with the doctor just as I left, and then leaving to look for me as I came back, but really, it was just a long appointment and they didn’t even know I had fallen asleep or had left the clinic for a good ten-fifteen minutes.

So, yeah.

Not much of a point here, but hey, more stories, and even though I shouldn’t, I actually feel like I’ve been productive for the last hour.

Wow, I have issues.

Here’s a fuzzy bunny.

Nuts for Cola

Raise your hand if you’ve said or heard one of these three phrases.

“I don’t drink soda.”

“I haven’t had soda for 5/10/15 years.”

“I only drink water, tea, and coffee.”

These days, soda, in all its forms, is out, and healthy drinks are in (well, not all of them – PSL drinkers, looking at you). Soda is the devil, and any nutritionista (new word?) worth their salt would take that salt and throw it over their shoulder. Sugar, caffeine, carbonation, cancer, death, libido, losing your hair, giving birth to mutant children; any or all of these things are in your future should you choose to have that soda. It’s come so far that not drinking soda is almost becoming cliche.

Now, I do agree that soda should not be anyone’s main source of liquid. Children should not drink soda, because they haven’t developed that part of the brain and tongue that knows its limits when it comes to sugar. If you don’t have a soda for a week or two, the first one after that will taste weird, which is probably a signal that it is indeed an unnatural part of the human diet, to some extent. I, myself, do not buy soda to keep in the house; however, I have been known to indulge in a Diet Coke at a gas station, or with a meal at a restaurant. I restrict myself from having it often, but still, it gets such a bad rap from everyone else that it’s almost like we need to strangle all the sodas in the world and hang them from the gallows in the town square.

Today, I went to Marshalls, and on my way out, I grabbed a Diet Coke. I don’t know when the last time I had some was, but it had been a while and I was really jonesing for it, so I got it. My first sip was incredibly bitter and sour, but midway through the bottle that familiar cola taste came through. It was not strong enough that I wanted another, but it satisfied my thirst and my need for flavor for a while.

So here’s where my dilemma comes in.

You know how some people do not or cannot consume a certain thing (coffee, peaches, oranges) but enjoy things that give them the same flavor experience (coffee cake, peach tea, orange Life Savers)?

Yeah, that’s what cola is for me.

I love the taste of cola. You know what I’m talking about, the kind that you get from Mexican coke, or Passover coke, or the off-brand hippie cola that Trader Joe’s has. It’s smooth, sweet, and comforting. Unfortunately, unlike peach tea and coffee cake, which can come in moderately healthy versions, I have not been able to find any sort of food or drink that emulates that cola taste, yet isn’t insanely unhealthy or expensive.

In the meantime, I’ll finish this Diet Coke…but I know there’s something out there, somewhere.

Oh, and welcome to my first visitor for Belarus.

Santa Drives the Bus

Today, I was running late for class (as usual), but I managed to arrive at the bus stop just as the bus was pulling up.

I get on the bus, and as I’m fumbling in my wallet for my bus pass, I hear a voice saying “ya should’ve been prepared.”

I look up, and there’s a rotund man with glasses, long white hair, and a thick beard sitting in the driver’s seat. Wearing a Christmas sweater.

After a double-take, I finally find my card and swipe it, and we take off even though there are several people still waiting at the bus stop. There are several stops in between the stop where I got on the bus and the stop where I get off the bus. Even though the bus isn’t packed by any means, this guy stops for about 10 seconds at each stop before closing the doors, even if it means people have to wait for the next bus.

But otherwise, between stops, he flies. I am in shock. Normally, buses wait for everyone to get on/off, people to get situated, and occasionally stop for the wayward pedestrian. But on Santa’s bus this morning, no prisoners were taken.

Despite leaving my apartment at 9:41, I still manage to make it to class at 9:52, with three whole minutes to spare.

And the creepy thing? I got off the bus in the back, but before I had time to turn around and say thank you, the bus had pulled away. I didn’t even get a picture of the driver, but he looked an awful lot like this bus driver:

I am almost convinced that Santa Claus drove me to school today.

And that’s why I got there early.

Sugar Crazy

Hello, my name is That’s So Jacob.

And the reason you haven’t been seeing me around is because of SUGAR.

Yes, sugar.

It started on Sunday with the fudge cake, and continued with the care package my parents sent of Twizzlers (lasted all of three hours), Berger cookies (gone within a day, but thankfully shared with others) and not one but TWO huge packets of chocolate and vanilla wafers. Then there were the surprise donuts, and of course, some lattes thrown in for good measure.

Things I need to do:

1. Peel myself off the ceiling.

2. Eat something nutritious.

3. Settle down enough to do some homework.

4. Email probably a bajillion or so people I’ve been meaning to contact.

5. Make myself go to the gym…every day…for the rest of my life. (in my defense, though, I did go Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday I got too busy and today I ended up dancing until I was a sweaty hot mess).

GAH.

How To Spend Your Birthday Laughing Instead of Crying

So, I turned 27 years old today. Happy birthday to me.

It started off with a fire alarm at 8 AM, but other than that it was mostly a good day. My parents sent me cookies, Twizzlers, and coupons, and even my sister gave me a call. I even got a surprise bag of donuts.

As most people who know me know, my birthday always brings me anxiety. It only comes once a year and then it’s gone. 364 days until I am special again. It’s also a symbol that yes, that number’s only going up, but I have to just remind myself that it’s a good day, a happy day, just for me. It also helps that tomorrow is my lunar birthday, so that kind of softens the blow going from balloons and singing to…nothing. Here’s another thing about me: I love it when people sing me the birthday song on my birthday.

It also helps to know that although I’ve probably had more memorable birthdays than this one, I’ve undoubtedly had much, much worse ones.

What I do know:

Today, I am having a happy birthday. I am so glad that I am alive, healthy, and independent. I am safe, and I am free. Those are the best gifts I could ever receive.

But enough sappy stuff.

I spent much of my morning watching videos that make me laugh and smile, so in addition to ones I’ve already shared, here are the top five videos that will fill your birthday with laughter and happiness.

Top Five Videos that Make Me Happy

5. Clueless as performed by the Golden Girls.

4. Wanda Sykes goes skiing.

3. Rosie O’Donnell and Bea Arthur singing the Maude theme song.

2. Ellen DeGeneres and her cubicle.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzrch7X8Hoo]

1. Aliens singing the birthday song.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yolLqx6k1OM]

Oh, and a bonus video, of course.

I just imagine Celine is singing right to me.

 

 

 

27 Things I’ve Learned In My 27th Year Of Life

So, I just spent time I should have been studying going through my blog and reliving the past year, good and bad, on this, the eve of my 27th birthday. And I realized that I’ve learned a lot of things about myself and the world. Take notes, if you like.

November 2013

1. I can, in fact, memorize 55 pages of lines and recite them three times a week for two weeks. Maybe my acting career isn’t dead after all.

December 2013

2. Coffee cup lids are evil.

3. Cheese and crackers are Wisconsin’s answer to chips and salsa.

4. Einstein Brothers Bagels is always a bad idea.

5. I can drive down a country road through an ice storm.

6. But I need to scrape the ice off the windshield first.

7. Underground parking is a must in the Midwest.

January 2014

8. Car shopping sucks. Get a new one before yours dies in Mount Airy with all your stuff in it.

9. I can blog by talking into my phone. Technology!

10. Lacrosse has been the official team sport of Maryland since 2003.

11. The battle of Bunker Hill did not actually occur on Bunker Hill.

12. I will probably never develop orthorexia (thank goodness)!

13. Wisconsin is cold.

February 2014

14. Naps are underrated.

15. A true friend is one who listens to you cry and make unintelligble sounds for a solid half hour on the phone.

March 2014

16. Identity theft sucks.

17. Southwest Airlines offers free alcoholic beverages on Saint Patrick’s Day.

April 2014

18. Seeing your school lose in a sports game is still depressing, even as a grad student.

May 2014

19. Making good on resolutions is so not my thing.

June 2014

20. Arguing about race in high school musicals is one way to end a friendship.

21. Getting fined for horseplay in a state park is a horrible way to end a day trip.

July 2014

22. I own so much crap.

23. When bunking with three friends in a hotel, make sure your phone’s ringer is turned off at night.

August 2014

24. My favorite wine still exists, but it’s only available in Puerto Rico now.

25. Turkey burgers are fun and easy to make.

September 2014

26. Frustration is futile; forgiveness is fantastic.

27. I am a good person and I can make it on my own.

and as a bonus

28. I’m actually a pretty good cook.

So there we go.

27 years old…bring it on.

This post was inspired by my new online crush Taryn Southern‘s “Awkward Lessons from Instagram” video. Thank you, don’t sue.

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