31 March, 2009

Fun on Public Transportation!

This past week, I was in Chicago visiting my sister and her hubby (or "Chi-town" as she lovingly calls it). And maybe I don't have enough "real-world" experience to gauge this correctly... but Chicago Public Transportation ("the L") is quiet. Too quiet. Does that happen in other large cities? Is it a factor of the midwestern "hospitality" and politeness thing? How many "quotation marks" are too "many"?

(fyi: Brilliant.)
The Blog of Unnecessary Quotations

Everytime we hopped on the train, every person was looking in a different direction. I tried (mistakenly) to coax a smile out of a man one time sitting across from me. Nothing big, just looking up from under my eyelashes sheepishly, almost knowingly. It has NEVER failed to make a "friend" on the train, this knowing and sheepish smile. More than just my ego being wounded, I have never known that over sixty people could be together in a small enclosed area fifty feet above the street and not even utter one word. Not. One. Is that not weird? There weren't even any loud homeless people (or quiet ones, for that matter) or anything to break the silence. Eerie.

There have been very few times in my life where I've hoped for muzak (like the kind from elevators in the "nicer" office buildings. Which is usually where I expect to find such things), but the Chicago public transportation could definitely benefit from a little instrumental Michael Bolton or Meatloaf. TELL ME that people wouldn't at least react to that. (Note: I did not say react well, I'm just saying react. I, however, love me some Meatloaf. "Love.")

See? I have great ideas, mom. It's a wonder that I don't have a job.

28 March, 2009

A Facebook Apology

I remember how excited I was to finally get my college email address, because that was the day that I could a facebook account. Facebook! It used to be so glorious. There was a simple platform, where you had just 1 (count 'em) profile picture, where anyone could sign your wall but because it was a simple java format they could also delete other people's posts. Things such as applications were not even a glimmer on the horizon. There were hardly any advertisements, and definitely no spam. What a peaceful, simple time that was.

My love affair with facebook has to end. I have stopped getting my facebook messages forwarded to my email account, so I hope to lose track of what activity is happening at my account without me. Last I checked, I had over 180 email messages, with god knows how many unanswered event invites and un-returned wall posts. It's madness, I tell you.

And so, I have to give up facebook. I am truly sorry. I'm not ignoring you (except for a select few, which I quite possibly am consciously ignoring. But that's neither here nor there).

Do you know how many hours I've spent looking at other people's photos, once that feature became intangible to the facebook experience? I've stalked friends and foe, strangers and family: I am not proud. It's because people's lives just look so INTERESTING through photos! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the 1,000 pictures posted to my profile must say a thing or two about me. Are they true? I'm not sure (and a small part of me hopes not, as more than a few were taken on nights that not too many memories can vouch for: hey, it's college).

So, in an effort to save both my school work time and my mental sanity, I had to give up facebook. It's for the greater good. It's lost it's allure for me, and is only a timesuck and energy waster. If I was a person with better control, maybe I could be a casual user. Even from my brief but torrid facebook romance, I already know far too much about people than I could politely use in public. How does you explain why you already know about someone's time abroad in Denmark when you have yet to actually meet them? When you can knowledgeably talk of a couple's romantic relationship based on their wall-to-wall posts and shared facebook photos? There is such a thing as knowing too much.

So aur revoir, facebook. It's not you, it's me. It's for the best, for both of us.

19 March, 2009

Thursdays in a college library

Here's the thing about ivy league colleges: everyone complains about how much work they have, but really? They all secretly enjoy it.

It's like a contest. "I have a ten page paper due tomorrow, plus a midterm on Friday, and then I have to do two posts for my philosophy class which I haven't even started the reading for!"
"That sucks. But *I* have a fifteen page synthesis paper due on Thursday, and a quiz, plus I'm the discussion leader for my sociology class and I haven't even met with the prof. yet. And I've been in the library since 10!"

And so it goes for the next half hour or so, whining about work and how we're just not gonna get it done. But we secretly love it. If you have the most work- you WIN. (Though, privately really, don't you lose?)

Anyway, so here I sit at a bright table near the giant picture windows in the back of the library with all my essentials: coffee to my left, cell phone on vibrate to my right, ipod on my lap soothingly playing Ray Lamontagne into my right (and better) ear, an outline for a paper somewhere on my desktop, and the whole day to look forward to. To work.

Naturally, like all good college students, CK and I are complaining about work: her, a biochem midterm tomorrow where there's "too much material to learn" and me on my ten-pager psych paper about the psychological effects of interrogation techniques used by the military. Zing. In addition, I have a project proposal due for geosciences, as well as a movie to watch and a brief 3page response paper. Plus reading 4 articles for the same class, and doing my work-study job somewhere in there. Rabble rabble rabble.

There are over fifty people around me in this library, cranking out papers, reading packets and papers strewn about them, or lying on the couch with oversized headphones taking a brief nap before jumping right into the magical land of academia again. I secretly love it.