Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cursing Flies

I have to say that I cuss more when I'm alone, especially now that I'm living alone. Besides the obvious reason that I have the chance to cuss freely without the risk of offending anyone, I was trying to think of a reason why I cuss more. It's funny because - again because I'm alone so much - I can go almost an entire day without saying a thing, but when I do speak, there's a good chance that it will be "motherfucker" or "fuck my life" or maybe just a simple "damn." I've been running into spiders and houseflies a lot more, and that's definitely when it's the worst. I can easily spout off a long list of curse words if I see a fast-approaching spider. Worst-case scenario: the spider jumps. Ugh. A few days ago, I was working at my computer, when a moderately-sized spider crawled out from behind the monitor onto the top of the screen.  "FUCK."  That shit was close to my face.  That particular spider made a successful escape. I did not sleep well that night.
But as much as I loathe spiders, they typically keep to themselves. The real invaders are flies! Last week, a remarkably large fly found itself in my very small apartment. It kept flying at me kamikaze-style. I could feel my basic instincts kicking in, hastily deciding whether to risk my life in order to slay the beast or just leave for a few days and hope it starves to death. I turned the AC down, hoping that the cooler temperature might slow it down a little. I armed myself with a rolled-up GQ in one hand and a newspaper in the other. This was not a normal fly - it was like something from the Amazon, and it was in  for the kill. At one point I had it shut in my bedroom, but it figured out an escape through the vent and resumed torturing me with its unpredictably timed assaults. This is when I assumed I was dealing with an intelligent lifeform and began talking to the fly. I eventually opened the door to the hallway and allowed the fly to leave on his own accord, but it was still a very tense moment.

Friday, September 11, 2009

College as a Necessity

If I had millions of dollars, would I still want to go to college?

Certainly people who are born into millionaire families go to college, albeit much more comfortable, more celebrated colleges.  But if tomorrow someone were to give me a check for 200 million dollars, I can see college suffering a significant drop on my list of priorities. Ideally, you go to college to learn, to expand your mind, but I've never thought of it that way. I've always seen it as a way to earn more money and to prove my worth. It was a matter of what kind of lifestyle I wanted, not what I wanted to do research in. I feel like that is pretty consistent with the aims of most people my age who are going to college. If I had millions of dollars, my reasons for pursuing a degree would probably be more social than financial. You might choose to go to Harvard so that you can remain on the same level as the kids you went to Exeter with, so that you can still party together and share the photos of your safari in Botswana...and so that you can maintain your lifestyle. I'm just imagining, I don't have any research to back this up.

I was thinking about this because this last week I've read some about studying in Paris. One of the schools I'm interested in had a "the cost of living in Paris" page that I examined very closely. In the section covering the renting of apartments, there was a little note about "students with higher incomes" that made me open my eyes a little wider. Of course, I had been mostly looking at the price of living in what's called a "chambre de bonne," which is basically an extra room, historically intended for maids and such, and usually found on the top floor of an old building. I searched "chambre de bonne" on Google and found some fairly posh-looking examples, so it's a matter of how you fill the space. But I'm curious about these students with "higher incomes." It'd be amazing to study in Paris without having to stress about the horrible exchange rate, or to have to wonder why coffee in one neighborhood costs 4 euros more than coffee in the next. I should probably worry about improving my French first.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Is it weird to do google searches on your neighbors?  I met my upstairs neighbor today.  I figured it was a guy a while ago: he comes home pretty late, usually around eleven, when I'm getting ready for bed - he walks heavy.  He also drives a navy VW Golf, which is in my opinion a very guy car.  I haven't really figured out when he leaves for work.  I assume work is the reason he comes home about 11.  Well, I actually talked to him tonight!
I was heading out to the dumpster to get rid of a particularly disgusting bag of fast food that I couldn't finish.  He was sitting on the stoop, right outside the door.  It had been drizzling for a few hours; he was noticeably rained-upon. He was wearing a blue running outfit.    You could probably imagine the conversation.  I asked if he could ever hear me.  No.  I told him that I'm going to MU, that I'm a transfer from Truman.  He gave an "Oh" response, like "Oh, Truman..." which I'm not sure meant that he actually recognized the name.  He's a photographer for the Columbia Tribune.  For some reason, I got the sense that he wasn't a Columbia native.  I wanted to ask him a few more questions, but didn't want to impose on his quiet post-running stoop time.  I'd say he's an attractive guy.  He's also a Nick.
So, I searched him. Seems like he does mostly sports photography, but I've found at least one non-sports collection. So many photos come up - I feel like I've chanced upon some Columbia celebrity.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Living In a War Zone

Today I had a thought: How strange it must be to live in a country that has war on its border, or even worse, within its border.  When it first occurred to me, it felt like a breakthrough, but the more it sits in my mind, the more stupid it sounds.  Think of how many movies I've seen, how many articles I've read about war, and this is just now becoming a thought?  I even went to Israel, a country whose continued existence owes thanks to state-sanctioned violence and oppression.  How nice it is that I live at this time in history and in a country where I am relatively very safe.  As long as I am not hurting anyone or threatening anyone (physically, or otherwise), I could do whatever I want to do with myself, provided I have the resources.

I've been having weird dreams lately, like some with familiar faces that I haven't seen in ages, all saying things that bother/anger me. Mostly it's just me seeing them and being excited. It's usually that I've walked somewhere unfamiliar. I think I'm lost but then I see them and become hopeful. But when I try to talk to them, there's something so fundamentally different about them that I have to question whether or not I truly have stumbled upon someone I actually know, or an impostor.  It usually wakes me up.