Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I went for the chicken wings, I swear....

It was gorgeous today - nothing could have kept me from the golf course. So we rolled out there this afternoon, and found the course surprisingly empty. We go to pay for the round, and some unseen employee yells up from the back: "What are they wearing?!" With one eyebrow raised, I look at the guy behind the counter, who replies, "We're having a tournament here in about half an hour" -- as if this explains anything. Whatever, we start playing.

After a nice birdie on 3 and a killer drive on 4, I'm chipping onto the fifth green. Suddenly, I hear a cart zoom up behind me (What the hell? Can't you wait 'til we get off the goddamn hole?). Then, "Hey [giggle] you guys want anything to drink?" I glance up at Patrick, the guy I'm playing with, who is frozen - putter half out of his bag, eyes wide, jaw on the ground. I turn to see that the cart is being driven by two very buxom blondes in tiny orange shorts and skin-tight, low-cut tank tops. The Hooters Golf Tournament had begun behind us. Clearly, this was what they were waiting for in the clubhouse, and after a chuckle I informed these talented waitresses that we weren't part of the tournament.

Several times throughout the round, they would bounce (sigh, yes, bounce) across the fairway on their way to other holes. Generally, their passing was followed by "FORE!" - as some awestruck oaf found himself with more than one "wood" and in the way of someone's shot. I wonder how many of those men told their wives they were just going out for a round of golf with the guys.

Is this the kind of entertainment we can expect at the Chun Classic? ;)

Monday, April 28, 2003


i have two dollars. forget the benjamins - i've got two crispy washingtons, and that's all. i will not part with these bills unless given a drastically compelling reason.

insult to injury: at present i owe money to Victoria's Secret to cover a bill, the library for some late reserves, that bitch english department secretary for photocopies, a friend for a cup of coffee.... while i'm also being hit up to buy shit in support of every club on campus, and the state of Pennsylvania chomps away at my paychecks. is there anyone who DOESN'T want my money?

my bryn mawr account is empty, my fridge is empty, my debit card is on fire, i need a new bar of soap and Qtips, and i'm kissing ass to get a grant.

WHAT?!? NO, you can't borrow $5!! and GET YOUR STICKY HANDS OUT OF MY POCKETS!!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Hold the Insomniac all Night

it's late. writing about poverty and health care is becoming vexatious. my tiny little room is feeling exceptionally crowded. here are some places i'd much rather be:

Sequoia National Park
Bora Bora

wanna come?

Friday, April 25, 2003


Professor Koggel: "Ok, we're looking at pornography today..." [bumbling, having startled herself] "well, we won't actually LOOK at pornography...maybe some of you would like to look at pornography...i mean, i'm sure you understand.....Oh hell, it's about FREE SPEECH!"


Thursday, April 24, 2003

Unrelated Thoughts

There's an excellent book, Wittgenstein's Poker, about an argument between Ludwid Wittgenstein and Karl Popper that took place at a little gathering at Cambridge- the only time the two philosophers met. Apparently, the argument ended with Wittgenstein waving a hot fire poker at Popper and then storming out of the room. Tonight I attended a philosophy colloquium with a number of other professors and students. We do this every few weeks; it's sometimes boring, often abstractly interesting, and occaisionally - like tonight - entertaining. The lectures always begin rather stiffly and formally, and are then followed by a question and answer session. Now, there is nothing more fascinating than a passionate philosopher, except maybe a few of them - arguing. Shortly into the Q & A, conflict began brewing and then became a loud confrontation between an expert in logic, a scientist, and two professors who were once students of Karl Popper (for BMC people: this is Weaver, Grobstein, Krausz and the lecturer Nattruno). There are probably only a handful of people anywhere who could follow the discussion they were having about logical positivism and the preservation of Truth, but listening to them bat around these ideas is enough to put you in your intellectual place. But it also got me thinking - if people as incredibly smart as this can so quickly transition from discussion to heated argument, do normal people - countries, let's say - even stand a chance at something like diplomacy? When you run out of justification for your position, what's left but violence?

On a lighter note, I went golfing today, despite having mountains of work and there being a 20mph wind outside (hey, everyone needs a study break). This is clearly the recipe for some really fun golf, and the soundtrack to today was something like this:


Erin: Dammit!


Lo: Son of a BITCH!

and so on until we were eventually playing in a pissed off silence. between the two of us, we hit 6 trees and a highway (yeah, the highway was mine). but of course, erin ended her round by chipping in from down a hill and i sank a 15ft putt. golf is such a tease like that.

I also screened Spike Lee's Bamboozled today for a film class. (by the way, does anyone know WHY all of his films are called "a Spike Lee Joint"?). It's remarkably well-made and unsettling - frighteningly, there's some excellent acting by Damon Wayans. I'm also now resolved to marry Savion Glover. It didn't look like it was going to work out for me and Paul Newman anyway. (Check out me and Paul here and here).

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


funny that i can procrastinate even here at the Cup, but the espresso man is fixing our machine, preventing me from opening. i've often thought that "espresso machine repair" would be a kickass job - i wonder if you need art history or philosophy degrees for that.

The Metamorphosis of the Lusty Cup

i'm always amazed at this place before we open. two people are studying silently at a table behind me, and the clicking of my keyboard seems loud and disruptive. i usually tip toe around getting things set up and then promptly at 8 i flip on the classic rock and bang around on the espresso machine just to let people know what's up (mind you, this is NOT why it needs to be fixed). that generally clears out the losers and makes way for the masses of people whose sole purpose in this building is to ask me when the cookies will be ready. i enjoy the coming and going of my regulars: the girl who works at the desk upstairs and whispers her order, the twins that i can never tell apart, the girl who tutors in here and always tips well, the creepy old guy who tips even better. soon it's loud and crowded and inevitably my friends have put off their work and come to congregate around the bar for the rest of my shift. then as quickly as it filled up, it clears out. it's like someone drops a little social bomb in here and then cleans up the debris. how very bryn.

meanwhile, the espresso machine repair man is breaking the silence with sporadic, loud, semi-erotic shouts at the machine. i'm a little freaked out and i'm starting to think this job might not be so cool after all.

uh oh. people are getting angry that we're not open. looks like i need to do a little damage control....

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Signs it's Almost Finals

it's that flingin' flangin' time again. i don't usually like to complain about bandwagon things, but NOTHING blows more than finals. there they are, looming on the horizon, tumultuously coming towards us; as Fred says, nothing you can do but bend over. here's a few tell-tale indicators that finals are on their way:

-lunches and dinners become shorter as you're constantly running off to finish a paper.

-classes/meetings are re-evaluated and attended under "must-go" circumstances.

-your mah jong habit is back, making it increasingly difficult to focus on work.

-EVERYONE bitches about work, under the assumption that she has more than everyone else.

-you haven't seen the surface of your desk in weeks, but are accumulating deep piles of books, CDs, empty food containers, old papers, and new papers, under which is the pen that you can never find.

-you have at least three square feet of tiny post-it notes up - defeating the purpose of having them at all.

-by necessity or choice, you become most productive in the 1am-4am time frame.

-your old Hard Rock tshirt and favorite jeans become a daily uniform.

-you start to value the small things, like peanut butter cookies, blogging and showers.

sigh. someday i'll get MY PhD, and have enough time to hang out with my significant other, complain about meetings, and perfect playstation. ;) but for now, back to work....

Monday, April 21, 2003

"What, is this map in Fisheye?"

fun weekend in baltimore. here's a few freaky pics we took (backwards of how they happened because i'm dumb):

here i am in front of the baltimore museum of art.
aww em's (faux) first day of work

me making a crabby face because emily is making me decide what we do today.

em making a blank expression when i ask what she wants to do.

lo is happy after dinner.

oops - busted for tasting dinner before it's ready

self portrait, by me.

glamour shot of em modeling the fancy amaretto

candid shot of em.

well, not from this weekend, but also at em's - on the apartment hunt (guest appearance by mom).

missing is a hilarious picture of a truck we encountered in the ghetto, bearing the decal entitled "Redneck Special" and (count them) 4 confederate flags. we valued our lives more than the picture. you get the idea.

for some humorous stories from the weekend, check out emmit blog.

A Lonely Atheist...on Easter

like the jew on christmas, atheists walk around on easter thinking "where the hell is everybody?" and being pissed that everyone else gets to eat ham. still, there are some perks for us. prof wants something posted by sunday at 8 and you get to say "gee... can we bump that back? you know, it's easter [big eyes, little shrug]". boom - an extra day for the paper. this is all probably offensive, but what the hell, it's my blog and the comments aren't working anyway.

an odd holiday, really, and one that society doesn't quite seem to know what to do with. some stores are open, some aren't. Ten Commandments is on tv (a tradition i still don't understand). joyousness for some, existential crisis for others. conflation of secular traditions with an essential religious practice. i don't get it. anyone who can explain how the bunny and candy got roped in with christ gets major bonus points from me.

i don't really feel any easter impact at all - most of my easter memories are of the new dress i'd wear - and the ressurection doesn't incite fear of the afterlife for me. still, it's not my place to step on the toes of believers. to the rest of us: L'Chiam!

Friday, April 18, 2003

Did Billy Bob need Goodwill?

I was reading about Angelina Jolie's work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. Apparently she's made a "plea" for Cambodia. Dude, if I'm Cambodian, I'm telling her to take that plea and shove it before I raid her tomb. Angelina Jolie's opinions on foreign relations are right up there with who Maculay Culkin is dating and JLo's diet regimen on the list of things I could give a shit about.

heading to baltimore* for the weekend for some quality bonding. check out the emmit blog for further details.

by the way, yeah it's april and the weather sucks, but bitching doesn't make the sun come out. have patience.

*I wanted to put a little euphamistic name here, like "the city of brotherly love" or "beantown" or "the big apple". what the hell is baltimore besides "city of lots of crime and kinda close to DC"? not so catchy.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Look out.... Lo's got a blog. :)

just in time for a recent rant on relationships. this began as an email to a friend, and has developed through a few conversations......

i've decided drama is far too crucial to most relationships. for whatever reason, everyone wants his or her life to be like a movie. far more worrying, they don't just WANT their lives to be like movies, they EXPECT them to be that way. a little exposition, introduction of characters, plot complication, tension/suspense, and resolution. people meet each other and immediately try to make themselves seem more interesting than they actually are, so that the other person will continue to be attracted. this is obviously a bad plan, because eventually trying to be interesting will get too difficult, and then you're back at square one. if it does become "a relationship", dramatic episodes have to compensate the constant need for emotional stimuli. so people fight over stupid things or important things or whatever. the Fight, you see, is multi-functional, because it provides drama and also results in either "making up" (the much-promised happy ending) or "breaking up" (the tragic ending that leaves hope for a future "make up" or for the process to begin again).

this is all painfully absurd and pathetic, because in real life, people are generally boring. we're all boring, and the best you can do is look for someone who seems less boring and then enjoy yourselves as much as possible. the drama is both detrimental and undesirable.

this all seems to be epitomized in the traditional process of "getting married" - for lots of people (women anyway) the most narrative, sought after, drama-filled series of events in their lifetime. the whole process previously described is intensified by the prospect of this one being The One. so the relationship involves teleological emotions and events that will ultimately culminate in The Proposal and marriage. here again is the undeniable expectation of DRAMA, and here again it is equally as ridiculous, because it juxtaposes the enormous "let down" of normal life.

this is why i would never marry someone who proposed by means of:

1.) ring in a box, in a box, in a box, in a box, in a great big box.

2.) a highly embarrassing or public demonstration, i.e., scoreboard, skywriting, television/radio.

3.) some fancy, special dinner.

each of these fully supports and suggests the idea that the relationship MUST exhibit pre-determined super-special and excessive outpourings of emotion in order to matter. this is also why i'm likely to be single forever.

i realize my assessment doesn't carry much weight, and it is possible that i'm just a heartless mutant who's full of shit. after all, WHY would we choose to act this way? perhaps it's a neurological thing? are we just naturally drawn to anything that excites the emotions? does this somehow relate to Homer's epics? (doesn't EVERYTHING?)

an interesting caveat to this drama thing was added by Petra during a conversation about why women wear makeup. here's the physical act of putting on a costume, a mask - making yourself into someone else. i was never troubled by this until i read Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and felt extremely confronted by my social conditioning. clearly, we're not going to deconstruct the conventions that make women feel they have to wear makeup, but i think it must adversely contribute to our general perception of Life as a little show we star in.

the shitty part is, it's not like any of this makes us feel good. more often than not, the most dramatic relationships end badly (owing to their inability to maintain constant high levels of action). while it all seems important at the time, you look back on a specific fight or that bitch in california or that guy from last year and say, "What the hell was I thinking?". once the excitement dies down, it's a little embarrassing. still, we don't like the way the woman looks without makeup; maybe a little drama is necessary.

but from here on out, i'm all about low-drama relationships.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

This is a test. "Happy Birthday," Lo!

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