Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weekly snippets...

Ahhhhh... the return of September. One sometimes forgets, with the flexibility of grad school summer hours, how you are completely beat by the time Friday rolls around. I feel like I've returned home almost daily with a headache. This Wednesday, for instance, I woke up at 6:30am, and didn't manage to stop running around until I returned home at 9:30pm. I think I may have to use some of my grant money to convert a testing cubicle into the ultimate power napping zone.

A natural side effect of all this is that my blog visiting abilities are often a little lacking... so if I'm a little slow on the commenting, I promise, it is not some complex web version of the silent treatment on my part!

However, busy-ness does not mean that my extreme powers of observation have been shut off. I will try to spare you the boring details of "what I've learned in school this week"...

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Fact #1 - There is a direct correlation between the professionalism of my outfit and the likelihood of me spilling coffee on said outfit.
(which would be why my sweatpants remain flawless.... which cannot be said about the blouse I bought this week)

Fact #2 - Fancy words or words from other languages in the name of an apartment building does relate to how lavish the actual apartment is. I submit as evidence a grey stucco two story building called Casa Sophia.

Fact #3 - Contrary to what you may expect, having a black light in the bathroom stall of a dive bar does not increase the classyness factor.

Fact #4 - When an individual wears a shirt declaring "Yeah, I have a PhD... a pretty huge dick!", the shirt is lying. This individual in fact has a pretty small dick and IS a pretty big dick.

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One of my more fatal flaws has come to the forefront this week-- my need to have everyone like me, even if I don't really like them. You'd think if I didn't really enjoy a person's company, I could perhaps agree, in my head, to some sort of mutual disinterest. Instead, I find the notion of someone actively disliking me really disheartening. I want to win them over, even if I don't really want to be their friend.

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Coincedence of the week:

Remember our friend the Muscovy Duck, who is currently competing in the exceedingly prestigious Ugly Animal Pageant?
He was actually on the menu at the Tapas Bar I was at last night!
(as a side note... how pretentious is the word tapas? Seriously... they are appetizers.)

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Against my better judgment, I went to see Hairspray this week. I know some of you found it entertaining, which I did at first. However, jokes surrounding John Travolta looking ridiculous in a sequined or salsa outfit got a little old. But what I found most (unintentionally, I'm sure) offensive was their portrayal of the ease of changing racist behaviours. It went from a town full of racists, with only a few white person offering obvious support, to a sudden rush of solidarity after seeing a few African-Americans dance of television. I just felt that it really trivialized a complex issue that is still, horribly, in the forefront today, as can be seen in atrocious cases such as the Jena 6 and beyond horrible case that just occurred in West Virginia. While, yes, overcoming segregation is something huge to celebrate, it's just hard to swallow the rosy picture we often get in the face of all of this.

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After walking by an open bay window with a group of people, last night, I made some random comment about how I found it interesting to look into windows, and just see the living spaces of different individuals... and people reacted like I was an utter creep! No matter how I explained to them that I wasn't skulking around in backyards, peering through blinds, but rather just turning my head while walking by on the street, there seemed to be an active denial that they would do such a thing.

I felt as though this was utter bullshit, for several reasons. First off, I find it too depressing that grad students in psychology would not have a natural people watching drive. As I've discussed here in the past, I fantasize about being able to be a fly on the wall in some many different and random scenarios. Secondly, people in apartment buildings are always talking about the weird behaviours of the porn loving fellow across the street from them. Also, people with ground level windows on busy streets are always remarking how everyone looks in as they walk by. Finally, this just seemed a little implausible considering we are in the society of reality TV and obsessions about the day-to-day lives of celebrities.

***

Lastly, I provide you with a link to the Duke's reflections on a concert we attended last weekend, as he articulated the surrealism of it all better than I could havvery nicely.

15 comments:

Beth said...

I glance into well-lit living room windows when out walking in the evening. It's fascinating.
And I in no way consider myself a Peeping Tom. Simple (normal) human curiosity.

As you get older, you won't care about winning everyone over. Too much time and effort - you just won't care. And if they don't like you (for whatever reason) it becomes their problem.

Airam said...

Pretty huge dick is one I haven't heard before. I dated a guy who sais a PhD was a pimipin ho's degree.

eric1313 said...

Fact#4 is hilarious. Reminds me of the time I saw a pair of boxers at the gap that proclaimed across their front, "Home of the Whopper".

Whoever bought them will SO never get laid. Rejected every time, right in the act of undressing.

eric1313 said...

I used to be that way, trying to win everyone over. I'm still very diplomatic, but now, I find it fun to not try to win somebody over, but just be kind and interactive in a strange, spiteful way, watching whatever facial expresion they're hiding and making them think about it. It's a strange psychological sport. Can you think of a good name for it?

Be careful about disclosing that fly on the wall, peeping-tomete tendency. It rarely goes over well, even though everyone and their respective moms are totally that way. Keep at least some of your cards close to your chest, to use a poker cliche.

And the racist thing... I agree completely. There's a lot of people that would paint a picture that we're all just one handshake and kind word from being a bunch of smiley faces. Even here in Detroit. Let me tell you from experience, even opening a dialogue is about impossible. I've tried, discussing racism and its impact on the D-metro area will actually make people angry and sometimes hostile, on both sides of the divide. Our respective community leaders do nothing but blame each other or ignore each other, by turns. The people follow suit. Hairspray bursts into flames rather easily; people forget that part of the metaphor.

All Mod Cons said...

I've got a real thing about people walking past my living room window and looking in. It bugs me beyond belief. And it's because of this that I make a point of not looking in other people's windows. But if you do it, I can't see the point in denying it.

And I'm really with you on the whole movie gloss vs racism issue. Sometimes films really belittle a very important issue. It's such a shame, I'm not sure some in the movie industry realise just how influential films can be.

Ant said...

Yeah, methinks your companions are bullshitting with the whole peeping thing - of course they look in. It's natural human curiosity and doesn't have to be furtive.

On saying that, it would piss me off royally if I lived on the ground floor, and is one of the reasons why I always choose top-floor flats.

People that wear that T-shirt should be lined up against a wall and shot. No questions asked.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

People like to say they're not voyers b/c they're too embarrased to cop up the truth - there's no shame in watching

eric1313 said...

Clink!

I do have to say, if you want to ever discuss looking in windows, talk about it with writers. Writers never have a problem discussing that. I actually was just discussing this with another friend (a non blogger who will see the light--or the dark--be one of us very soon) and we both agreed, it's better for a writer who only wants insight to other people's lives to look in your windows than a real pervert.

And no guy would ever mind a princess looking in their window!

be cool. peace out.

cdp said...

Dude, I'm the same way with looking into windows. Doesn't make you a creep in the least.

I'm the same way about wanting people to like me; even when I don't like them. I've never understood this about myself. Sometimes I feel even more strongly about people I don't like not liking me. It's like dude, I don't even like that person. HOW DARE THEY think they're cool enough to not like me??? Please feel free to comment on the overwhelming amount of sense THAT makes.

I appreciated your thoughts on Hairspray. I've been going back and forth on whether I want to see it or not.

Finally, loved the remark about the blacklight in the dive bar. You're so funny. And spot on about the PhD. What a loser.

LMizzle said...

Man that concert review was intense!


I also heard that PhD was a Playa Hatin' Degree, not a pretty huge dick. Haha!

Yoda said...

I spilled coffee on a white t-shirt I love! So, I guess we share the same gene which causes the direct co-relation of coffee spillability.

Fie on those who desecrate the PhD acronym!

Crashdummie said...

hahaha i loved the fact bit!

NamesAreHardToPick said...

See when I get my Ph.D. I am just going to insult it like it's really nothing. I'll be like, "Yeah I've a Ph.D. it just stands for Post hole Digger." To me the only people who annoy me are the ones who are like "Call me Dr. Such and Such" just because it's not super important unless you're in your career path. For everyday conversation, I never know why it comes up.

benjibopper said...

as for me, my daily coffee spill is a reluctant inevitability.

i think that turkey thing is cute. probably tasty too.

in spain, tapas is tapas, and they're much better than here.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I thought PhD stood for Pheromone Disorder.