Monday, April 24, 2006

(pseudo)intellectual conversations

One of the great things about being a graduate assistant is that they cram you in an office with several other graduate assistants and expect you to be productive. If there aren't enough distractions in your own office, you can always go to the office a few doors over and let them serve as your distraction. That is exactly what I did today. There wasn't much action going on in my own office, and I was up for a hilarious conversation of some kind. Plus, the other office has a really comfortable green lounge chair.

I'm not sure how it came up, but we started talking about love and relationships and all the other looming life questions that plague directionless twentysomethings in graduate programs. It was interesting to hear the points of view of my peers, but what was hilarious was when we tried to sound smart about every point we made. Maybe we all think if we can apply some recently learned theory, it will make our arguments sound more credible. Relationship paradigm, relationship schema, standard deviation...I heard all these things today in serious conversation. (Well, I think the standard deviation thing was a joke...but there were more I'm forgetting.)

If you could be a fly on the wall in an office full of graduate assistants, the pseudointellectual conversations you'd hear would never cease to amaze you.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

living alone

For the most part, I love living alone. I never have to share my TV or my bathtub or, most importantly, my kitchen. Of course, there are some times when things would be easier if I had someone around, like when I'm hanging things on my wall or when I need help putting the cover back on my futon (it took me half an hour, but I finally got it). But even these things that would be easier if I didn't have to do them alone, I can still do eventually. It might take a while, but eventually, I can make it happen.

But, I've finally met my match. I found something that, as of yet, I have not been able to do by myself: put sunscreen on my back. You know that area of your back between your lower shoulder blades? Yeah, I cannot reach it for the life of me, and so far, I haven't found a way to apply sunscreen to it. This poses a problem because I've recently fallen in love with my pool, and I like to lounge in the surrounding lawn chairs whenever possible. I've been trying to devise a plan to sunscreen myself in that hard-to-reach spot, and so far the only idea I've had involves a paint roller. I'll let you know how that works out...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

oxymoron of the day

"Suicide bombing was an act of self-defense."

(A statement made by the Hamas anti-Israeli group, a Palestinian group which recently blew up something in Israel.)

Friday, April 14, 2006

barnes & noble fun

It was a relatively quiet night at Barnes & Noble. Usually it's at least moderately crowded, full of people like me who have nothing better to do, or people who think Starbucks is trendy so they get all dressed up to go there. Anyway, my point is that a lot of these people, for one reason or another, decided not to show up to the nation's most overpriced bookseller tonight, so I actually got to sit in a big comfy chair.

It's been quite a while since I've been to Barnes & Noble and actually had the privilege of putting my rear on something cushy. However, the only two available chairs were pushed right up against each other, arm to arm. I think they're usually facing each other with a table between them for a nice buffer zone. I guess the previous occupants of said chairs weren't interested in the buffer zone. Since I was too lazy to move anything, the chairs remained as is.

Everything was fine for 10 minutes or so, but then my calm was disturbed by a nervous-looking skinny blonde guy in his mid/late thirties. He asked if anybody was sitting in the chair next to me, and I said no, the chairs were like this when I got here and I just didn't bother to move them. So he sat down and began loudly slurping his frappuccino while he got situated. He started reading a packet of Xeroxed papers, and every minute or so he either sighed or huffed loudly, as if he was in total disgust of whatever he'd just read, or at the fact that he was having to read it at all. I was nervous that he would at some point try to make conversation about whatever he was reading. I was reading a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye, so my plan, if he did try to make small talk, was just to hold up the book and point at the cover, if necessary.

He never did talk, though, and finally, after about five excruciating minutes, he got up and made his way toward the bathroom area. As soon as he was out of sight, I bolted to the cash register and bought the book. I didn't necessarily want to own a copy, but I was interested and I'd already gotten to the middle of chapter two. Is $15 for a book worth avoiding the anxiety of encountering an awkward social situation? My answer is yes!

Monday, April 10, 2006

the '80s

Are they coming back? Today I saw a girl jogging in a very '80s outfit. She was wearing gray sweatpants, which ended in an elastic scrunch a few inches above the ankle, and a white sweatshirt with a very large neck opening--so large it exposed the entirety of her left shoulder. Also, she was wearing a hot pink sports bra, and I think she might have been wearing a headband. Hmm. It looked suspiciously '80s to me. I've also heard rumors that women are wearing stirrup pants and ratted bangs in downtown Denver. I've gotta say, I'm not too excited about this comeback. I really don't want to be forced to purchase a crimper or Lee jeans.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


It takes a lot of work to get a Ph.D. It requires massive amounts of research culminating in a book-length document called a dissertation. I'm not denying that it's hard work and a major commitment.

Some doctors of philosophy require that you always call them "Dr. So-and-so." Ms. or Professor won't do. I had a professor in college who said that she worked hard so she could be called doctor, so that's what we had better call her. I'm not sure I would share her sentiment, but I guess I can understand that someone with a Ph.D. would prefer to be called a doctor rather than a professor.

But this behavior could easily get out of control. Several months ago, I noticed something that prompted a serious roll of the eyes. I was on my way out of town, driving through the east side of Fayetteville (the super nice part), and I saw "John E. Doe*, Ph.D." on a mailbox. What kind of insecurity issues do you have if even your mailman needs to know that you have a Ph.D.? Sometimes I think these academic elites need to remember that we're all just people. Some of us are people who are overly educated and critical of everything. Others of us are people who aren't in loads of debt from getting needless, useless, elitist degrees. :)

*Name changed not to protect the innocent, but because I don't remember it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

daylight "ruined my day" savings time

I woke up this morning at 10 a.m. to get started on some homework I've been meaning to do all weekend. Then, for whatever reason, I decided to turn my phone off and back on. When it rebooted, instead of 9:57, it said 10:57! And then I realized...last night was the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. Lame. Now I have one less hour to work on all the stuff I need to get done! I doubt it will actually affect my work that much, but my attitude has gone from one of great accomplishment to one of great defeat. I think I'm going to move to one of those states that doesn't observe Daylight Savings. But I think one of them might be Utah...eeh. Maybe that isn't such a good idea.