In April, a parent alerted Mr. Orsini about Formspring, a site on which comments can be sent anonymously to mailboxes, and posted at the mailbox owner’s discretion. Many adults seem confounded at why girls, in particular, would choose to post the leering, scabrous queries; some teenagers say they do so in order to toss back hard-shelled, tough-girl retorts.
The principal found the names of some Benjamin Franklin students on Formspring. As Mr. Orsini later recounted the experience, he couldn’t bring himself to utter even a sanitized version of the obscene posts he had read. His face reddened, tears filling his eyes.
“How does a 13-year-old girl recover her sexual self-esteem after reading that garbage?” he whispered.”
I’m not sure if this counts as interesting, exactly, because it’s about me and I don’t believe I’ve done enough stuff to be considered in that category. Fortunately, a hilarious picture of a pig riding a skateboard is bound to hit the web any minute now and this little entry can be forgotten shortly.
After graduating college and generally making plans to move out, moving east, specifically, I’ve been wondering when that wave of nostalgia was going to hit me. My undergraduate years were supposed to be some sort of transformative experience, right?
Yet those types of emotions never quite came. The only significant feeling I’ve noticed this month is some sensitivity on my tooth when I eat cold foods.
Perhaps it’s because I’m still in Los Angeles, still working on campus, and therefore have nothing to miss. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but the heart pretty much stagnates if you are still surrounded by almost everything you’ve known for the past four years.
But it’s temporary and not going to last forever. Before I know it, I’ll be whisked (or slowly transported via airplane) away to Philadelphia, where there is no such thing as Yogurtland and I only know of two or three people. Sure, there will still be diseased filled squirrels and homeless people, but it won’t be the same. At that point, hopefully, I will deeply miss everything about Los Angeles/UCLA/college/the West Coast/being in a blue state/etc. We’ll see.
These Children Who Come At You With Knives: A Review
Jim Knipfel writes like Hans Christen Anderson just finished a Coen Brothers movie marathon. He tells dark and twisted fairy tales, like of a irritating gnome who is tired of being treated like a second class citizen. Knipfel’s fables are cynical without being alienating and dare I say, laugh out loud funny with serious insight and snark to boot. While a relatively forgettable series of short stories, it is a charming read, a breeze to get through and definitely worth the time and effort.
I have free time now, because I graduated college. While I am working this summer, it’s the type of work where it’s more like professional free time. Also, Facebook activity comes to a grindingly slow halt during the summer, as regular people tend to have less reasons to procrastinate and thus update less. So I read, mostly during “work.”
One of the first books I finished was “Commencement,” a book I initially had little interest in, but was attracted to after all the publicity and marketing, especially in bookstores. I have indulged in “chick lit” more times than anyone my age and gender should, but I make no excuses for my literature sins, because I can’t think of anything remotely legitimate.
Anyways, “Commencement” is about four floormates who are assigned in a hall at Smith College: Celia, the traditional Irish Catholic with a booze problem, April the liberal activist, Bree, the Southern belle, and Sally, the recent half-orphan. They become best friends despite their wildly varied backgrounds and personalities and each chapter alternates the point of view of one of the girls. Typical Yaya/Traveling Pants/Joy Luck club material: mother and family conflicts, sexuality and romance, career crap, friendship problems and the like.
What sets this apart from the plethora of female-oriented Lifetime-style fiction is that the relationship with the characters is carefully built and solidly written. Their bonds are realistic, imperfect, meaningful and compelling. Sullivan doesn’t reinvent the genre exactly and but she does respect her readers. It is smart, funny writing that references Fassbinder and the nuances of city living (both East Coast and West Coast,) college life, and romance and dating.
While there are moments of cliche melodrama, it’s expected and could have been overdone. Hardcore cynics may not love the ending, but overall, fans of “Sex and the City” (the early seasons not the crap and the movies and whatnot) should be reminded of the pleasures of a story about a strong female friendship.
Part of my job as a high-ranking front desk person in an office is to sign for courier deliveries. It’s glamorous, high-paying, but I do it because I want to make a difference in the world, or something.
The UPS guy and the FedEx guy are cool, friendly people and this job duty would be just another thing I do, like answering phones or humoring schizophrenic people who like to tell people how they are the reincarnated form of sociology.
But the DHL guy, let me tell you about him.
I don’t know his name and I don’t pretend to - he replaced some other guy with glasses a few months back. This guy does not know my name. The problem is, he thinks he does and time after time, three or four times a week, actually, he attempts to call me by some form of my name.
For awhile it was just a shot in the dark: Kevin, Bill, Tim, Precious, who knows. Eventually he got closer, but he’ll never get it right and it’s kind of annoying.
"Edwin!" Nope. "Edgar?" No, close. "Edith?"
And my last name is even worse. Tron. Trung. Truth.
The thing is, I don’t care that he doesn’t know my name. After 21 years, you get used to people have difficulty with your name, it’s not spelled like it’s pronounced and I butcher names as often as my mom criticizes me about my life choices. (A lot.)
It’s just that he tries and tries and tries, failing every single time and requiring me to slowly spell out my name every time. I’m sure he makes hundreds of deliveries each day, so I have no expectation that he memorize my name, but I sure wish he would stop attempting to recall it, as it’s clear he just isn’t going to get it.
This whole scenario is probably more amusing than aggravating, and probably is a good indicator of how little I have going on in my life right now, but please, DHL guy, just quit trying to remember my name. It ain’t gonna happen, like me being a doctor or a lawyer. (You hear that mom?!?)
I don’t know where I am right now. I mean that figuratively - of course, I really know where I am: I’m sitting in my bedroom in my apartment in Los Angeles.
Slowly, my loss for words has seem to grow over time. It’s not just that I haven’t found what I am looking for, it’s that I don’t even know what I want.
I hope to avoid a similar fate as Jack, the arguable protagonist of the recently ended television series, “Lost.” While coming full circle to where I started off might be fine, I’d rather not end up dying next to a dog who disappeared for most of six years, while a “sideways” version of me ends up in some weird all-inclusive church/inclusive spiritual building. That would suck.
I am unsure of what to make of the last four years being a college student and while trying to avoid being overly dramatic, I feel as if I haven’t fully processed the experience so I have no desire to make a grand statement about graduating or whatever.
In the mean time, please enjoy some statistics.
Since September 2006, I have …
taken 33 classes (including 1 useless online religion class at a community college)
failed 1 class
pull 2 authentic all-nighters
thrown up 2 times
fallen down 4 times
voted in 3 elections
been to 4 countries
been to 4 states
lost 1 passport
seriously cried while driving on the 405 1 time
saw 1 president (Clinton) and 1 almost-president (Dukakis)
had 4 jobs
had 1 internship
lived in 5 different apartments and 3 different dorms
had 19 roommates/apartmentmates, including some whose names I cannot remember