...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Friday, March 24, 2006

Watch out: I'm dangerously theological and remarkably smooth

Long and stream-of-conscious. Oh, and the essay I mention at the end? Done, and done. It only had to be a rough draft, anyway; I've got plenty of time to spice up the title.

1. I just can’t be bothered to blow-dry my hair every morning now. I blame Chile; after the blow-dryer Ambar lent me damn near electrocuted me (seriously, I had a burn mark on my hand, there were sparks, there was a loud boom, I shrieked a little bit), I just started air-drying. By that time of the year it was sunny enough that my hair was usually dry by the time I had walked down Agua Santa to catch the bus at esquina Alvarez, across from Café Journal. By the time María “fixed” the hairdryer, I was out of the habit and enjoyed the extra time in the morning. I’ve discovered that if I let my hair dry naturally without even combing it out after I get out the shower, it dries all wavy-like, and I like it like that every once in awhile.

2. Hee: Café Journal. It was the most popular bar/pub for foreigners in Viña del Mar, not just Americans but also Germans, French, Australians, and assorted Eurotrash. Jon’s host mom once called the exchange students who live around Agua Santa “journalistas” (journalists, but it’s funny because the real Spanish word for journalist is periodista), because they tend to hang out at Journal. I only went there once, though. Also, to get the full effect you have to pronounce “Journal” like zhyur-NALL.

3. How much do I miss drinking ponche (white wine blended with crushed fruit; kiwis or strawberries were the best) at Ritual with the gang (Carla, Mariah, Julia, Kristin, Jake, Jon)? More than I can express. That night the first week of the program with Jon, Alisa, Jake, and Carla still ranks as one of my top ten most fun experiences of college.

4. Speaking of fun times: the other day Amy and I sat in the Starbucks by Pioneer Square, synchronized our iPods, and lip-synched dramatically to Disney songs. She was Aladdin, and I was Jasmine. Then we were both Ariel (and we produced a very melodramatic “Part of Your World, with a lot of upward gazes and wistful looks) and then, best of all, we were Ursula the Sea Witch. We attracted some weird stares from people sitting around us, but whatever. You gotta ignore the haters.

5. It’s good to have nicknames for people when you refer to them on your blog. Like, you’ve all heard of Minnesota Trucker Hat, and I decided to name a certain professor of a certain Eastern religion class with a certain ear-hair problem “The Sphinx.” However, sometimes you need a more concise, clear way to refer to someone. Hence: Hot Tom (HT), a guy from two of my classes. He would look devastating in eighteenth-century dress, and I love the stubble. I wouldn’t say I really have a crush on him, though. It’s more like I just appreciate him on an aesthetic and intellectual level.

6. Anyways, Facebook stalking reveals that he has a girlfriend. Also, way to fill out your profile and post a picture, HT. How exactly is a girl supposed to stalk you when you provide almost no information about yourself?!?!?!

7. What on earth did I do in the days before Facebook? Really, it’s just barely a year old. Lewis & Clark picked it up after winter break last year, which means I went through three full semesters without it. I honestly don’t know how I spent my time. It’s like the invention of the internet or the telephone, only on the micro level.

8. HT and I got into a half-hour argument with The Sphinx about epistemology and authorial intent the other day in class. It’s too long to reproduce here and probably was totally boring to everyone else in the class (HT, The Sphinx, and I were the only ones talking) but the upshot was that The Sphinx told HT and me that our epistemology was “Theological…dangerously theological.” We laughed about the next day in our seminar with Prof. Kugler, who said that The Sphinx had consulted with him (Kugler) about our conversation the previous day. I wasn’t sure what to make of the fact that they (two professors) talked about us outside of class. I’m flattered, I think.

9. Kugler didn’t know what “dangerously theological” was supposed to mean, either, but I like the sound of it. I’ve decided that it’s my superpower, and that “dangerously theological and remarkably smooth” is, like, my tagline from now on. If I ever run for elected office, that’ll be my campaign slogan. I’m seriously considering buying some blank T-shirts and Sharpie-ing them up, or, like, finding a button-maker and making a button to put on my book bag. “Remarkably smooth” is, of course, a reference to something my doctor told me at the beginning of the summer. You can dig for it in the archives, or buy me a drink and I’ll tell you the story. Or just ask nicely. It’s a little embarrassing, though.

10. There are several people in my Foreign Policy class who I want to be friends with: the guy who sits directly across from me and is kind of a smart-ass but mostly just smart; the girl who sits next to him who looks a little like Alexis Bledel; the girl who I always sit next to who has some connection with China and who mutters snarky comments to me; the other girl who sits in the back row and makes smart comments; some of the international students. With most of those people, I’d say we’ve reached the “benevolent recognition” stage, where you say “hey” and smile at the person when you run into them around campus. I don’t know how to bump that up to real friend status, though, or even friendly acquaintance status. Making friends is hard!

11. Keeping friends is hard, too. I feel like that’s the part I’m worst at. Maybe it’s because in some ways I’m staggeringly insecure. Maybe it’s because I’m really secretly afraid of anything working out. Maybe it’s because I can’t take anything not seriously, so I blow minor contact into something huge in my head. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of admitting how much people matter to me, and because I’m afraid of the crushing disappointment when I find out that someone mattered more to me than I did to them.

12. On a happier note, though, I saw on an old high school friend’s Facebook page that she’d be in Portland over her spring break, in mid-April. This particular person, I always wanted to be better friends with her in high school, and although we haven’t spoken in almost three years, I’ve been reading her Livejournal faithfully. I sent her a message suggesting we get together when she’s in town, and she messaged me back really enthusiastically, all exclamation-pointy, and said she’d love to see me. Then she posted something about it on her Livejournal and called me one of her favorite people from high school. Throw-away comment? Maybe, but knowing that she was happy to hear from me made my week. So, if you’re reading this, Nicole, thank you…and right back atchya.

13. Eight to ten pages due in nine-and-a-half hours. All I’ve written is the title: “Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician Woman in Mark 7:24-30.” That’s not even a good title. Crap.