A Work in Progress

Herein lies... well, just my blog really.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oedipus the Movie, in 8 Minutes, with Vegetables

Go to http://www.oedipusthe movie.com.
That's all. It speaks for itself (and how!)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Airport Saga - a special request from The Ignorance Stomper

Oh man... I spent 30 consecutive hours on airplanes or in airports, ending at 1:00 yesterday afternoon.

Due to 100 mph winds, my 6 am flight from Portland was delayed until 8:30 that night, leaving me with little else to do but wait. I passed the 15 hour PDX airport stay without too much agony. I hung out with other stranded Reedies until their flights left all around 2:00. Then, I began to get creative. I sat in the Brookstone storefront for way too long, as they have a massage chair demo, and it was a prime place to sit and peoplewatch in optimum comfort. I retreated to the waiting lounge, which was full of plush chairs that looked a whole lot more comfortable than they really were, and did crossword puzzles for two and a half hours. I'm getting especially good at them, what with their heavy use of clues about ancient Greece. Pretty soon, I got a call from my loving mom, who, in response to my casual "I'm getting kind of hungry," told me to eat out at one of those fancy airport restaurants that charge ten dollars for spinach dip. So I looked very much out of place in a swanky diner for the next few hours, and as a by-product got very full. Around 7:30 I got a call from my dad, who soon passed the phone over to my drunk sister-in-law. She advised me to head to the nearest bar and hit on old guys. That way, she explained, I would get free drinks and be able to have a good time at the airport. I, of course, thanked her for her dubious advice and got on an 8:00 flight for Seattle. I think I may have sat two seats away from Alec Trebek, but it was hard to tell.
When I got to Seattle, I was supposed to be on an 11:30 flight to Chicago, which was delayed until 1:40. I tried to standby for a flight at 1:00 (since that extra half an hour would have allowed me to catch my connecting flight in Chicago) but it was overbooked by seven and 46 other folks were standing by for the same flight. Apparently there were massive blackouts in Washington, to the point where the entire airport was running on generator power. I guess this horrid West coast weather has been all over the news - a few people have died because of it, and some hikers are lost up on Mt. Hood in a few feet of new snow. So I feel like my inconveniences are trifles compared to those kind of troubles.
I caught the 1:40 flight, after watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off on my trusty laptop (I bought in in PDX since I knew I'd be bored out of my mind by Seattle). When that was over, I still had a few hours to wait, and I watched a couple of punks practice their breakdancing moves. For the record, breakdancers are awesome, and I wish I was that cool. Once on the flight, I passed right out on that flight (I think I dreamt something about eyeballs with removable parts?) and when I woke up my pillow was frozen to the window. Mmmm. Of course, it was 7:35 when we touched down, and my flight to Detroit left the gate at (when else?) 7:35. So I talked to a super-helpful lady at Customer Service who put me on the next flight to Detroit at 10:44. At that point, a few more hours waiting seemed boring, yes, but no problem. I was so grateful, I told her she was fantastic.
I got on the flight to Detroit at 10:30, passed out a few times while we were still taxiing, and FINALLY made it on the ground at 1:10. Oh my god... I needed to brush my teeth SO BADLY. Ugh. My mom was all smiles and hugs when I met her at the car, and full of sympathy ("You poor dear!"). Every time I come home I realize that I've forgotten how flat and grey Michigan is. There are a lot of trees, though, so that's really really nice, and it's good to be home, no matter where that may be. As soon as I got home I took a looong shower and I must have brushed my teeth for nearly the same length of time.

Home is where the toothpaste is.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Reading Week... and masochistic tendencies.

“From too much reading and too little sleep, his brains dried up and he withered his wits.” – Don Quixote

Ahh... Reading Week at Reed College. Yes, it's intense enough to deserve Capital Letters. There's a stim (stimulants) table in the lobby of the library, stocked with chocolate, coffee, mate (MA-tay), green tea, black tea, 'dragon tea', ginko pills, ginko extract, guarana, Vitamin B12, nicotine, wasabi, caffeine pills, piracetam, and many more obscure and barely-legal stimulants.
This array is meant to facilitate the re-reading of your entire syllabi from all your classes - for me, this means that in the past four days I've re-read The Iliad, Works & Days and Theogony, Greek Lyric, The Presocratics Reader, Herodotus' Histories, The Oresteia, The Bacchae, Antigone, Oedipus the King, and nine chapters of Biology. Ooooh, aaaaahh....

See, here I exhibit typical Reedie tendencies, as defined in Theresa Swayne's article, "Stress Culture at Reed":
"Academic life at Reed is strongly flavored by what I call the 'stress culture.' Within the stress culture, social life consists of agonizing aloud and at length about how much work one has to do before an audience of admiring colleagues...This may be accompanied by the exclusive wearing of black, a cultivated gaunt and haggard look" (observe) "and an addiction to caffeine and/or nicotine... The high holidays of the stress culture are Reading Week, Finals Week, and Thesis Day. Its acolytes are freshlings in the throes of a Hum(anities) paper; its novitiates are those taking the junior qual(ification exam) or, perhaps, organic chemistry; its adored saints are seniors in labor with the T-word" (that is, the Thesis). Note my skeptical expression:

I think, perhaps, that some good old fashioned 'chilling' is in order. I hereby declare yesterday an anti-holiday, in which I will not succumb to the cracked-out obsession with studying, slumped over a stack of textbooks and lecture notes until your back feels as if it will never be whole again.
So, as I said, that anti-holiday was yesterday, so today must be the day I re-read Plato's Republic and the Trial and Death of Socrates! Once again, ooooh, aaaaah....
(See? I'm agonizing aloud and at length, for "the litany of suffering is recited incessantly to the exclusion of other activites, such as actually getting the work in question done.")

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I freeze... I freeeeeze!

Yes, we have no heat. Damn it. Here I sit in four layers, clutching my tea, the warmest thing in the room, trying to study Biology - but to no avail, as I am miserably cold.

Feel sorry for me. It might help.

Gypsies, Thieves, and Tramps - Winter Formal with the Vagabond Opera

Kara and I went as gypsy-tramps. Observe:

Friday, December 01, 2006

Diagnosis: Quixotic

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Martin, read this essay and wrote, "I like this - but I honestly don't know how an admissions officer would respond. Maybe if you apply to a liberal arts school, you'll be okay."
I did apply to a (very) liberal arts school, and not only was I okay, but Admissions liked it so much they chose to publish it in the Reed Magazine alongside several other freshman application essays. Check it out at: http://web.reed.edu/reed_magazine/autumn2006/features/my_essay/mayer.html

I think I'll send the link to Mrs. Martin.