Tag Archives: humor

last semester tirades, part 39,297

This is my senior year. Normally, this calls for celebration, mixed with a little anxiety, and a pinch of nostalgia. Yesterday, I registered for classes for the last time. Ever. It’s a bittersweet feeling, really, for many reasons. Sweet because I’m only taking four classes next semester, for the first time ever. Compared to this hellish, mind-numbing semester lacking any time to breathe, sleep, eat, or work on my writing, this 12-credit course unload is like the North star in my chaotic life. Also, for the first time since freshman year – ever since New Paltz decided to reformat the entire class schedule making it impossible for anyone to have off on Fridays – I will have a day off. Granted, it’s Wednesdays, but still. Glorious.

Bitter is an altogether different story.

Now, you’d think with my senior status and therefore early registration time in tow, that this normally excruciating process would be somewhat simple. Hell, last semester I registered for classes on another continent – at my aunt and uncle’s house, in Ireland, while being stuck there during the Icelandic volcano – and it took me all but 5 minutes. If that. This year, in New Paltz, I spent the two hours before registration scrambling around like the madwoman I am because one of my classes was already closed out. On the morning of the first day of registration. Please, someone tell me, who the hell is registering for an intro art class on the first day before 10:00am? I’m baffled. Not to mention, totally caught off-guard. Wasn’t this supposed to be easy? Weren’t last minute replacements meant for freshmen? Sophomores? Even juniors?

When I first started here, registration week started on Monday (mostly seniors/those with the most credits) and ended on Friday (freshmen). So of course, as a junior I was shocked to find that I was registering on a Thursday afternoon, as were most people upon discovering their later-than-usual registration slot. New Paltz told us they shifted everything and spaced out the registration times so that there will be less students registering at one time, thus decreasing the anxiety in the case of someone encountering a problem. Oh, I see. So how is it that I am being shut out of an intro art class on the first day of registration? Are there that many grad students/honors students/athletes in need of such a class? No. The answer is simple:

My school is out to get me.

I’m only half-kidding here. So far, I have dealt with being told I need to take Freshman Comp I as a senior English major (getting a 3.7 in her major) because the school lost my high school transcript; that I “didn’t hand in a thank-you letter for my scholarship” that I actually handed in at the end of July; that not only will I not receive my $500 refund check because of said thank-you letter, but I now owe the school $1600; being denied a measly $29 paycheck because my boss didn’t notice I didn’t sign a paycheck and then preceded to ignore e-mails from payroll; being ignored via e-mail by the chair of the English department and professors; and finally, being jerked around by the designated driver for a fund raising walk, resulting in me missing the walk. And this is just in this semester alone. Almost all of these things were resolved, but of course not without a fight. So what would my final semester be without one last tug at my nerves? Oh what’s that, Liz? You need this class to graduate? As the lady in payroll ever so condescendingly droned at you, making sure to nasally pronounce each syllable, “We apo-lo-gize for the in-con-ve-nience.”

Perhaps this is what my high school teachers were referring to when they relentlessly told us “College prepares you for the real world.” They weren’t actually talking about a lack of familiarity with your professors (Most of my professors prefer to be called by their first names) or the amount of independence in a classroom (My professors all remind us about papers and exams). No, they were all talking about the thickening of my skin and the strengthening of my backbone. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but as of right now (pending a response from this art professor) I’m signed up for a time-less, instructor-less Tuesday/Friday art class. Thanks New Paltz for being reliable in your unreliability. Much appreciated.

This rant was brought to you by the letters F and U.

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mini-rant + apologies on being aloof

Hands-free = brain-free?

First of all, sorry for being a terrible hostess. I was under this very inaccurate delusion that senior year of college would be like senior year of high school – a joke. Well, I’d say that assumption was more of a joke than anything else. I have been up to my ears in homework: I’m reading books for three classes, painting for my painting class (naturally), and working on a short story for my fiction class. In other words, I have not had a spare moment to breath, sleep, or eat the proper amount of meals a day, let alone write anything other than papers and impatient e-mails.

Which brings me to the main focus of this post. My shortcomings as a blogger are far from my point.

What is the point of having cell phones? I mean really. It went from having house phones, to having cordless house phones, to having e-mail and cell phones. Now we have smart phones, which allow us to do all of the above and make some toast and fry an egg all from the comfort of your home. Or the bus. Or work. Or in the middle of a boring class. Or while someone is in the middle of talking to us. Essentially, these gadgets allow us to be connected and plugged into the entire world at all times, anywhere.

Sounds convenient, but my question still remains, what is the point? I assume that these smart phones, and laptops, and Wi-fi are all supposed to be helpful, allowing us to be available to others whenever they need us. Well, given my experiences so far this semester, they serve no purpose. Every time I’ve needed to get in touch with someone via e-mail or cell phone, my questions have gone unanswered. I e-mailed the Dean of the English department back in August regarding an internship panel I was interested in being a part of. Last week all English majors got an e-mail about upcoming events, including that internship panel, not including me. Gee, thanks. Earlier than that, in mid July, I e-mailed the scholarship coordinator my thank-you letter required for receiving my cashmonies. Just a few weeks ago I was told that they revoked my scholarship for a “lack of a thank-you letter.” Uh, wrong. And now, I’m supposed to be participating in a walk tomorrow, and am unsure if I even can because the first girl responsible for giving me a ride changed her mind and didn’t think it necessary to tell me, and now the new designated driver has yet to answer my voicemail which I left over 3 hours ago.

Clearly, me and technology do not get along. So, why get a Blackberry or iPhone or any of that crap in the first place if you aren’t even going to make use of the practical functions? What is the mystique if I still have to be sending a follow-up e-mail or two or seven? As my 2-year plan comes to an end in February, I am on the prowl for a new phone (preferably one that doesn’t shut off sporadically) and the more frustrating situations I am thrust into, the more I don’t see the point in spending exorbitant amounts of money getting a phone with internet capabilities. People are still going to ignore me, whether I’m in a car, on a bus, or in a cardboard box on the sidewalk. Puh-lease.

EDIT: In the time it took me to write this, I finally heard back from my DD for tomorrow. So that’s 1 in about 50 that actually acknowledged me. Somewhat promising.

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listing my neuroses, i mean…fears

So. In an attempt to allow my readers to learn a little more about me – note the empty About the Author page – I’ve decided to compile a few lists in the next couple of days. Because who doesn’t like a good list every now and again? In my eyes, neurotic list-making is about as American as obesity and reality TV. Let’s go!

My Top 5 Strangest/Funniest Fears (in no particular order):

1. Electricity: Yep, you heard me. Anyone who knows me at all has probably been asked by yours truly to plug any major appliance into a wall socket, international converter, or surge protector (the word “protector” means nothing to me) at least once in their life. Ironically, the smaller/”dinkier” the plug, the less afraid I am of getting electrocuted. It’s those dang 3-prong suckers that freak me out. Will it kill me? Unless I’m blow-drying my hair in the bathtub, probably not. And yet I dry my hands 10 times before even walking near a plug, I don’t wear slippers on carpet, and sometimes I stand for 20 minutes, holding the plug, staring at the socket, and pep-talking/praying before actually proceeding.

I tried searching Yahoo! Answers for common cures to this incredibly inconvenient and slightly embarrassing phobia, or at least validation that others share this fear and I’m not insane. To my surprise, someone else actually had this same fear! However, upon further reading, I saw all the answers had been something along the lines of, “Go stick a fork in your toaster.” If I needed any proof of how foolish I am for being afraid of electricity, that certainly took care of it. (But seriously, if anyone has any advice more helpful than that, it would be greatly appreciated.)

2. Eyes: Not in the paranoid, Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” kind of way, but more in the “Is than an Xray of my eye? I thought it was an alien fetus” kind of way. Anything having to do with eyes – touching, poking, scratching, slicing, bulging – makes me squeamish (so does the word “squeamish,” but that’s a whole different barrel of monkeys). I refused to wear contacts until I was 15 because I was perturbed by the thought of me having to touch my own eyeball. When my mother told me she had to have cataract surgery, and when she told me she was going to be awake for the procedure, and then when she started recounting the procedure to me, I thought I would die. I can’t stand looking at bloodshot eyes, because my own eyes force me to zoom in on those little clusters of stringy red veins. And if you have a popped blood vessel in your eye, back away now. Because if you think looking like a child accidentally colored in the wrong place with a red crayon is bad enough, try having me vomit in your face. Seriously.

Needless to say, this video will forever haunt my dreams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxHQ1zMWSEk&feature=related

3. The Dark: If you’re ever in my room and you happen to see a little pink lamp on my stereo, yeah, that’s my nightlight. Maybe it’s a step up from a traditional My Little Pony or Barney nightlight, but the concept is still the same: can’t sleep in the dark. It’s not a fear only assigned to nighttime, and it’s not so much the fear that the Boogie Man will jump out at me, unannounced, and tear my face open or whatever it is that he does; it’s more the general fear of not knowing what’s in front of- or around me, at any time of the day (but mostly at night, let’s face it).

4. Fire: Or should I say, starting fires. Years ago, when I was home alone, I tried lighting a match for one of my candles. When I lit it, I got freaked out by the thought of burning my finger off, and without any thought, I threw the match to the floor. Still lit. On the carpet. With that little stroke of genius, I could’ve burnt the whole apartment down, giving me more of a reason to be afraid of fire. But thankfully, it went out before hitting the floor. Either way, I’m sure my mother loved reading that little nugget.

Between lighting matches or using lighters, I guess I’m just afraid of the idea of fire being so close to my hand. As if the match is going to burn out in .4 second, giving me no time to do anything but stand there and watch my finger crumble into a pile of ash like someone standing too close to dynamite in a cartoon. Or maybe it’s a fear that subconsciously arose from years of being told that my brother almost burned his nose off from blowing out the candles on his 3rd birthday.

5. Mezzanine seating in a theater/stadium: Okay, so this stems from a larger, more mainstream fear of heights. But something about the height and the depth combination of nosebleed seats sends me running for the hills (the non-steep hills). If a nosebleed is the worst thing to happen to me here, then I can’t complain. Logically, I know it’s no less safe than floor seating. However, in my twisted, worst-case-scenario mentality, I envision myself, oh I don’t know, somehow defying gravity and somersaulting over ten rows of seats and then, unable to stop myself, being hurled over the railing and going kersplat all the way down in orchestra seating. Do I really think that will happen? No, but tell that to my trembling knees when I arrive in Section 507 Row Q.

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grimy girls & googly eyes

While spending some time with my man friend (aka the love of my life, Dan) at a local mall, I had an almost encounter that filled my chest with feelings of amusement, anger, and a pinch of embarrassment. I classify it as almost because the encounter had happened when she was already behind me. Allow me to explain:

Have you ever had a moment where you’re sort of lost in your own thoughts, eyes mindlessly drifting from face to face as you pass through a crowd? You are aware that you are looking at people, and not just space, even (especially) when you catch their eye, but you look anyway because, you tell yourself, it is only for a split second. And it’s always a mutual agreement between you and that person – it’s harmless. Still with me? Okay good.

That’s normal. However, there are the rare cases when something about that person catches your attention, unintentionally. You’re still “staring off into space” but now you are slightly more aware that you are staring at someone because you choose to stare longer. It still only lasts a matter of seconds, but this unexpected “overtime” causes a severe misunderstanding in your subject; now that you have exceeded the split-second window of acceptable staring, you are officially “grilling” them. This is a serious no-no.

I got schooled on the topic of (in)appropriate eye wandering by a girl, walking towards me, who must have been at least 5 years younger than me. She was walking with a boy who had noticeably dyed his hair platinum blonde in the last week or so. Actually, of the two, he’s who originally caught my eye, for obvious reasons. I was going to look away, returning to Dan and what we were talking about, when all of a sudden, before I knew it, I was looking at Judy Attitudey. And what’s more, my eyes had overstayed their welcome in her general direction.

To make a frighteningly long story a little shorter, she was pissed. As we were escaping each other’s peripheral vision, she raised an eyebrow, practically curled her upper lip into her nostril, and her face took on this absolutely disgusted look (similar to the one happening in my brain when I saw the life-size Ken doll and his wicked ‘do). She waited until I was well out of reach to shout “Why was she looking at me?!” And for those who are not familiar with the language of Bitch, allow me to offer a phonetic spelling and translation:

How it was said: “WHY was she looKINGggggGgg at meeeEeE-YUH???!” (I’m sure there was a seizure-like eye roll to boot)
What it meant: “Why do I hafta be so ridiculously good looking that strangers in the mall have to stare at me? What, is she gay or something?! My life is so frustrating because of this overwhelming beauty… *le sigh*”

If you don’t believe me, well… you should. Girls like that assume that anyone who looks their way must be infatuated with them, male or female. Must be because they are so breathtakingly fantabulous. I know this because I was friends with a girl like this, and it was torture.

At first, I was slightly embarrassed. Probably because she misinterpreted the situation and was now shouting about it on the 3rd floor of the mall. Probably because innocent passers-by are now looking at me registering that I’m that person. I know with people like that – who you pass by at the mall – you can only recognize that you’ll NEVER see them again, but for that brief moment a tinge of humiliation can’t help but seep into my bloodstream.

But because I was with Dan and didn’t want to seem childish in that moment, I decided to be amused. It was pretty funny how pathetic it was. But then, in an instant, my blood started to boil. What an obnoxious little bitch! It got me thinking about why girls (obnoxious ones) act that way. My guess (writing under the pseudonym of Captain Obvious) would be that it’s an insecurity thing. Instead of assuming that I wasn’t paying attention to where my eyeballs were turning, or wondering if something was wrong with her (a train of thought her frosty friend should take up), she assumed that I was staring out of jealousy or something trite of that nature. Fact is, I get incredibly paranoid when someone else is experiencing those pupil-malfunctions in my directions, and especially if they’re deliberately staring. I assume I’m the one with the problem. Maybe that’s how she felt too. The difference is, I internalize it, or just downright ignore it. She turned it into a one-man Jerry Springer show, minus the midget body guards. And there, my friends, is the first of many differences between me and 99% of the female population.

If I cared enough, I would’ve marched back to her and said, flatly “Get over yourself.” She needed to hear that. But because she lacks maturity, she probably would’ve reached for my scalp and pulled my hair out with her freshly sharpened cat claws. Instead, I walked away and laughed about it with Dan and decided (hoped) that she’ll learn to do that someday.

xx

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