Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Congratulations, Me

Graduation dinner

In the past 5 days, I have acquired:

1. a master's degree
2. a car
3. a Dust Buster
4. a healthy respect for the insanity that is air travel

Needless to say, I could write at least 4 long posts on each of the above acquisitions, but I don't have the time. So I will summarize as best I can.

The picture above features a fancy dessert presentation at my celebratory dinner following the sizzling graduation ceremony last Friday, during which I received my M.A.

The car (a silver 2002 Honda Accord... manual transmission, of course) was obtained Saturday evening.

New car dashboard

The Dust Buster was a late birthday present from my parents, and number 4 on the list is the result of an incredibly stressful but amazingly fortuitous experience in the airport Sunday morning. Let's just say I was running OJ Simpson-style down the terminal, jumping baby carriages and practically leaping onto the plane as it began taxiing down the runway. Let's also say I never want to relive that experience as long as I live.

Which is why I'm giving myself about an 8-hour window at the airport tomorrow before my flight leaves for Europe. I'll be heading to Amsterdam first en route to Paris and then Avignon. It's going to be long and exhausting but at least it'll be air-conditioned. I'm done with these 91-degree days here in Connecticut.

I've already attempted to stake out Wireless hot spots in Avignon (sparse though they may be) so I'm hoping to update this weblog from time to time, hopefully posting pictures of beautiful provencale scenery. Meanwhile, enjoy your summers here in the good ol' U.S. of A. I'll be back in August...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's getting hot in here...

Man it's hot. Yeah I know it's only the beginning of the summer. Not even really. But my body is already pissed off. I wake up sweating. I feel faint. It's awful.

Of course it is nice to be able to sit outside and have dinner on a patio (which I did here last night) when it's finally a comfortable temperature at 8 o'clock at night. For now I'm just chillin' (literally) in the med school library, lingering so that I can enjoy the A/C a little longer, even though I just finished my last paper, mediocre as it is.

Not even one little tiny iota of me wants to go back to my apartment and pack. There are boxes open, debris everywhere, packing type and bubble wrap strewn about... it's a war zone. And every time I begin a new task, I'm reminded how much I absolutely despise packing. Especially for the third time in four years. In the summer. During the first real heat wave. Why does that always happen?

So for now I'll just sit here, listening to WQXR on my headphones, and pretend those boxes aren't waiting for me. Maybe they'll just go ahead and pack themselves...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

For Sale by Broker

The house where I grew up is now on the market. I searched on line and found the listing. This is the description they posted:

"This enchanting Dutch Colonial with a stone front and colorful window boxes invites you to come in. A large living room is perfect for entertaining or family living. The sun-filled breakfast room opens to a patio. The spacious master bedroom is on the first floor and two additional bedrooms on the second floor. This is a real opportunity to customize this jewel to your own specifications."

It's bizarre to see the space you lived in for 18 years described in this way. We never once called it the "breakfast room" because it was always the sun room. But that's what marketing is all about I guess. Still I wonder sometimes who writes these. You'd think they could expand their vocabularies beyond the same tired adjectives. Every house is an enchanting jewel to these people. Still, I hope it works. I hope my parents get the price they want and that someone else gets to enjoy our house in whatever future incarnation it might take on. Because it is a special house. Hell, it produced me, right?

Friday, June 03, 2005

G-ouch-o Pants

Waiting for the bus this afternoon, on my way up north for lunch with my cousine, I noticed a girl wearing pants like these. I tried not to make a face, but I probably didn't succeed. All I could think was, "why?" or more acurately "why not just wear a skirt?"

When I got off the el at Belmont, it felt like I'd stepped out onto the Planet of the Weird-flowy-capri Pants. Every time I turned around, another wearer of this kind of pants walked by. It was creepy, and really kind of disturbing.

Evidently, Jessica Simpson is a huge fan, but really, this trend is beyond me. Maybe I'm getting old, but come on. It's like we're creeping back toward those animal-print poufy NFL pants again. (Why can I not find a picture on line?) And if it comes to that, I quit.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Evidently, there is no lyme disease in Chicago.

Well, that’s not entirely true. But that’s essentially what the nurse at the Student Care Center told me after I explained what brought me there this morning. She was super nice and she told me in a super sweet, super superficial, mid-western way that it was always good to be careful about my health, even though I knew what she really wanted to say was, “Stop wasting my precious time, you frickin’ hypochondriac.”

Anyway, I guess I’m not going to come down with the dreaded LD. I just had to go and check it out in order to stave off nightmares of Miss Balducci, my high school art teacher who sported a portable I.V. and a snarly attitude, courtesy of the disease. Or of the lady who lived down the street from Amy until she couldn’t anymore because she didn’t have the strength to work and she could no longer afford her house. How was I to know that that’s purely a northeastern phenomenon?

In order to immerse myself in Chicago culture once again (now that I have a leeeetle more time, having finished with one of two classes this afternoon), I’ve been listening to Kanye West. Here’s what he has to say about the region I now call home:

You know what the Midwest is?
Young & Restless.
Where restless N-z might snatch your necklace,
And next these N-z might jack your Lexus.”

(Obviously, I chose to quote the radio edit. But mind you, this is from a song about Jesus…)

For the next week or so, I’ll be finishing a paper, packing my stuff, preparing to move out of Hyde Park (a neighborhood where, if I did have a Lexus, there’s the distinct possibility it might get jacked), touring new apartments, test-driving new (used) cars (certainly not Lexuses) and then, oh yeah, getting ready to go to France. My blog will have to go on hiatus for the six weeks during which I am a l’etranger, so soak up the goodness now while you still can. But never fear, I’ll be back later this summer, with more tales of the high-flying fun that is my life…