2

What To Do When You Have No Friends

Not all of us are lucky enough to live with friends. Or even have them. But there can be a way around that…in a roundabout way.

So, last night, I wanted to watch a video online that was thirty minutes long, but I also needed to make some (ratchet) dinner. Most of what I wanted out of the video was actually what they were saying (it was a video of two guys talking and playing video games) rather than the visual, so I chrome-casted my computer to my TV. When I do that, it uses the TV volume, so it ends up being extraordinarily loud. And unlike TV, the sound on a YouTube video is not always so filtered out. Therefore, with the volume cranked up, you can hear breathing, chairs squeaking, noisy eating, and any background noises – the stuff that is excised from most television shows. And if I closed my eyes, I could imagine that there were actually two guys playing video games behind me as I cooked. I can usually hear my neighbors and all the noisy noise they and their friends make almost every night, so I imagined all my neighbors walking past my place, jealous of all the video gaming and fun going on in apartment 803.

In other news, has anyone seen that new commercial for the Princess Diana documentary? It’s weird that they have the horror-movie “one dark and scary night voice” to voice-over advertisements about a (mostly) positive documentary on her life.

0

The Epitome of a Slow Salsa

11 PM, the night before my final 120 class.

In reality: In Memorial Library study lab, grading papers, grading Emoji essays, gearing up for tomorrow’s discussion sections.

In my mind: …one two three…five six seven…just want to dance…(also, doesn’t help any that my iPhone just started playing “Vivir Lo Nuestro.”)

The epitome of a sad salsa.

So sad, but I just wanna dance…

7

Is It Time Yet?

Time is a tricky thing, you know?

We all know that it flies when you’re having fun, and stands still when you have those moments of fear or tedium. But it does keep going on.

I admit, I have not been keeping myself on the strictest or most efficient time schedule these days. My sleeping patterns are way off, I’ve been eating random things at random times – for example, I just had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and am defrosting some chicken – and self-care has definitely fallen by the wayside. On Friday, I went to the gym for the first time in a few weeks and although I didn’t feel gross or sick afterwards, I definitely felt weaker. I’ve actually missed any exercise for the last few days, other than worrying, because of my dissertation proposal, which I turned in at 2:00 this morning, and my immense stack of grading, which I should probably be doing now instead of typing this blog and pretending like I have more time.

But anyway, real talk. It just seems like time is never on one’s side. I know that I’m not the only person who has grading and work pile up at the end of the semester. Yet there is this feeling of an avalanche that’s either falling or about to fall, right on the edge. Or something like that. And it seems like my time is just measured in increments of activities, deadlines, and due dates, and then…well, I don’t know exactly what, but if I don’t find some employment past June, I guess I’ll find out, and then maybe I’ll look back with fondness on times like this when I can’t even stay on the same train of thought because I’ve got so much going on in my mind.

And it’s only Monday. Three days of grading, teaching, and meetings are ahead of me, followed by a relatively free Friday, then a busy Saturday, proctoring an exam in the morning and doing Salsa Saturday at night. Then, next week is my dissertation proposal defense…I can’t even think about that right now…and then I can at least attempt to shape the rest of my time, at least for the summer…

How do you deal with time?

1

Foiled by a French Word

Hey y’all, I’ve emerged from the crazy place I’ve been over the last week or so, alternating between stressing, running up and down the library stairs, sleeping in/staying up too late, sneezing/sniffling/dehydrated, and seeking out random places to get work done (including 1 hour of grading last night at Hurts Donut in Middleton, and 2 hours of reading/writing in a booth at Perkins) while trying (and failing) not to have too many sugary snacks. Even though I want them.

Today was actually relatively productive. Even though I didn’t get my day really started until about 12:30, at least I was up around 9 or 10. I headed over to Colectivo to get a cappuccino (yum), a sandwich (meh), and a cup of onion soup (…nasty), and proceed to discipline myself to work. First, I decided to read a book I’ve been meaning to send out for awhile. I gave myself one hour, and by the time the hour was up, I was 5 pages from the end of the 230-ish page book, so I finished it, ordered a mocha, and steeled myself for an hour of working on some of the most difficult writing I’ve ever done.

So, there I am, typing away, click click click la di da di da, when all of a sudden my brain just comes to a screeching halt. I need a word that refers to an incredibly talented and versatile individual, but I cannot think of one. There is a specific word I’m looking for, but it’s in the wrong section of my brain and I can’t find it. I know it either is or sounds French, so I run through every possible French word I know. Panache? No. Savoir-faire? No. Je ne s’ai quoi? No. AUGGGHHH.

It’s. Right. There. But I can’t find it.

I call for backup. My parents are in Ocean City, and my dad and I have a several-minute long conversation about this word, which neither of us can think of. He asks my mom, who asks one of her friends who is fluent in French which is convenient because today is that friend’s birthday and she lives all by herself and my mom almost forgot to call her.

I get off the phone and start frantically writing words. Virtuoso. Au courant. Tour-de-force. One of these may or may not be the answer, I feel like I’ll know it when I see it.

I open up Google Translate and try out some French words, go to dictionary.com and thesaurus.com, make yet another call to my dad, and now twenty minutes have been spent on this one word and I’m so desperate that I open up the Wikipedia page on English words of French origin and go down the list, starting at A and getting up to C before realizing how ridiculous I’m being. After trying out a bazillion different possible words, I settle on “tour-de-force” and continue onward.

Up to now, I still have no idea what that word might have been, although tour-de-force is probably the closest I got. However, I came across some other French words that, in my opinion, should have different meanings.

Blancmange. It refers to a type of sauce, but I think it should refer to someone who is sophisticated enough to order the correct wine for the meal.

Legerdemain. It’s a lovely way to refer to trickery, but what it should means is, someone who is incredibly skilled at bookkeeping or journaling/blogging.

Demimondaine. It refers to something sordid. What it should mean: an aging leading lady (think Ms. Moore)

Peignoir. It has to do with a hairdo. It should refer to someone whose hair is so perfect that others doubt it’s natural.

Joie de vivre. Means “joy of living.” Should mean “let’s all jump around like we’re young lovers frolicking around Paris in the spring.”

And on a final, quite random note:

While I was grocery shopping today, I walked past the school supplies and for a moment, my eyes saw the word illegal pad” on a small notebook; upon closer examination, it was just an ordinary legal pad with an oddly placed logo. Who decided the legality of pads, anyway? What if I wanted an illegal pad? What would it look like? Would I have to declare it at customs? Would it be considered contraband? Would I have to throw it across the border into Mexico? So many questions.

9

Feminism, In Its Purimist Form

Well, after sleeping for almost 24 hours straight from Friday to Saturday, I woke up just in time to go to the Ovation Purim party last night. It was pretty enjoyable, plenty of hamantaschen to eat and a very nice megillah reading, then back home and to bed.

But this morning, I realized that us Jews and our holidays – well this one in particular – are surprisingly progressive for such an ancient religion. Allow me to explain.

Purim is a day when we celebrate the Book of Esther, and specifically, its heroine, the Queen herself. She was pretty much a bad-ass bitch, making her way into the palace to replace the dethroned queen, hiding her true identity, and then pulling off a pretty covert mission in order to uncover the wicked Haman’s plans to jettison the Jews. Long story short, Haman got hanged from a tree, the Jews of the Persian Empire were safe and happy, and in her honor, we dress up, get drunk, and eat cookies which are supposed to be shaped like three-cornered hats but sometimes end up looking like vaginas.

To me, feminism means disruption of the status quo in order to ensure a greater good, benefiting a marginalized group. And it’s no coincidence that it was a woman-led effort. I mean, what other mainstream religion has a day celebrating a woman, and only a woman?

I hear the arguments that Judaism is whatever, demeaning to women, second class, all that, but at the end of the day, without women like Esther and Ruth, we wouldn’t have some of our best holidays and our religion would lose a significant part of its meaning and importance.

I hope these inside-out hamantaschen turn out all right.