my new blog is at tonguebutnodoor.net/monica. this doesn't mean that i'll post any more frequently, of course.
but trolls and mean commenters can feel free to stay here.
We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).
my new blog is at tonguebutnodoor.net/monica. this doesn't mean that i'll post any more frequently, of course.
but trolls and mean commenters can feel free to stay here.
so apparently i was mistaken on the phone last night when i told my parenst we had just gotten 10 inches of snow. like the rest of the east coast, we got about 2 feet yesterday. it's just that it's hard to tell when there was already two feet on the ground. but now i remember what waist-high snow looks like. it looks like fun!
i'm trying to figure out what to do this summer. all the places i want either have internships for undergrades or internships for law students, but not anyone in between. and especially not paid.
maybe i'll work at stewart's again. that was fun.
So this weekend, instead of going to the huge anti-war protest in NYC and all over the world, i went dancing. i was glad to hear that NYC had over half a million protesters. more than that, i enjoyed that the news today included quotes from marchers and explanations of reason why the world is skeptical of war.
i organized a contradance club trip to the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY. we got there around 11am Saturday and danced until 11pm. It was exhilirating. i learned zydeco and the texas two-step, both of which i've mostly forgotten. i'm not sure if the day was worth $58, but it was a really good time. (I'll post pictures.)
i had called a local comfort inn last week to reserve a room for me and two other contradance club members. although it seemed to work out at the time, i think i kind of mixed up the receptionist when, upon a request for my credit card number, i told her i'd call her right back on a land line instead of my cellphone. consequently, our reservation never made its way into the comfort inn computer. so we show up last night at midnight with no reservation and no vacancy. i had the name of the confused receptionist that i had talked to and the confirmation number she had given me. the attendant told me my confirmation number was for a reservation two months ago under a different name. using skills i either inheirated or observed from my mom, i demanded he find me another room in the area and pay the difference in price.
so we lucked out. off interstate 87, exit 9E, in clifton park, ny, there is not only a comfort inn, but also a comfort suites hotel. the dude called up comfort suites, and it just so happened that their best suite, normally $215 per night, was empty. we had a kitchen, a living room, two tvs, and a jacuzzi in our bedroom. and we paid the comfort inn cheap rate. too bad we were worn out from dancing and didn't have time to enjoy the place.
the other problem is that february is flu season. adam and adrianne were very close to sick at the start of the trip, and they didn't end up dancing much. folk dancing involves holding hands with a lot of different people, and there's not much time in between tunes for sanitizing. so now i'm not feeling so good either and will proably be in bed a good part of the next few days. but the trip was fun enough.
in other news, i have decided to switch from my long-beloved slashdot journal to a domain i will share with todd and tony. i have mixed feelings about becoming a "blog", mostly because it's so stupidly trendy. but if i gauge the amount of support for online personal info by how much positive feedback i've gotten about my cuba picutres being online, even though it was mostly from my family and others who shared the experience with me, i think "blogging" might just be ok. especially now that google's buying blogger.
plus, now i have a digital camera and want to put pictures in posts. and i want comments to be easier. and i'm gonna have a pretty layout. maybe pastels.
so i've started taking aerobics classes. i've taken two step classes, and one kickboxing. so far, i haven't quite been able to keep up in step, but i'll keep going. and kickboxing just rocked. not only did i learn the difference between a hook and an uppercut, but it was a great workout that i could keep up with. i bought some workout pants from the local kmart that's going out of businesss, so now i'm set. but having a gym bag of my workout clothes is pretty foreign. (i also needed a new folding chair for the room, so i bought one from kmart that's painted like an american flag.)
todd's friend (and mine) allison came to visit us from RISD last weekend, that was super-fun.
now in addition to my project this semester, i have three classes that meet once a week. basically that means that i'm spending most of my time in my room and not working. but still.
i just came from a senior project meeting. in math, i always grasp some of the lecture/textbook/article content, but then there's always a point where i stop understanding. it's because i'm bad at math. and the fact that i understand my whole project implies to me that it must be simple or dumbed-down. so i kind of need to make sure that it's actually real scholarly work and not just some symbols on a page that i cut-and-pasted from Character Map.
there's still snow here. all the sophomores are like "there wasn't this much snow last winter!" but last winter wasn't a real winter. i like to describe bard winters by saying it snows in november and it doesn't melt until april. and it's a good thing snow makes everything brighter.
i got another message today. i just ignored it.
[10:32] oralover_98: HI
[10:32] *** Auto-response sent to oralover_98: senior? project?
[12:28] *** oralover_98 has been ignored.
so these few nights have been nice. we had dinner friday, zucchini bake and risotto. we had twice as many people as usual (9 instead of 4: me, todd, tony, jesse, adam, adrianne, vibe, elijah, and erika) and the risotto took 2.5 hours to cook when we had planned for 18 minutes. it was so nice for elijah and erika to go out and get more wine and share it with us. we're thinking of buying them a bottle to thank them. but the food was great. and the company got along with each other beautifully. one of the great joys in my life is introducing people that hit it off.
tonight we played scattergories that todd got for christmas. that was fun too. after, i was supposed to meet alec at the hip-hop show at the old gym, and the music there was pretty good. but it was really smoky and loud, and everyone was drunk. i just feel really mature compared to people at the old gym. and once the place started hoppin' around 11, we left, because more than about 10 drunk people in one room make me nervous. especially if they're pressing up against me.
my problem is that i'm too busy having fun to get my work done.
but alec's leaving tomorrow for at least a semester. so that sucks, because i probably won't see her again before graduation. like this is a preview of the goodbyes in May.
i have decided to go to some aerobics classes, including kickboxing, Monday and Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 pm. i'm looking forward to that.
i'm also just really appreciating being at bard. i feel like there are phases that bard students go through.
1. freshman year: it's so exciting to be in an environment with people like yourself. and freedom. you love it.
2. sophomore year: you love it so much that you start to get involved in stuff. but that means that you learn about things that you didn't quite want to know. like how professors can get fired without the president asking your opinion.
3. junior year/first semester senior: now bard sucks. the new freshman class is soooo much different than you were two years ago, and of course it seems that bard is changing. you have tons of work to do, and it's just not fun anymore because of all the annoying seniors. and you're dreading senior project. so you're cynical.
4. second semester senior year: you realize that you're about to leave and how special this place really is. you realize how much you're really going to miss trying to sneak past Donna in Kline and chilling with administrators that you've gotten to know. and it turns out that this place really was a perfect fit. i'm not looking forward to leaving.
so while looking for michael moore's reaction to the state of union last night, i found some peace-related links. i was also looking for a flyer or something i can post in my (newly-washed!) car and room window. but i think i'm just going to write "America can rise above terrorism; Peace is Patriotic" in like size 72 font. but i was pretty amazed at how many peace groups there really are working on this issue. i just wish they were getting more time in the media. you can read this - i searched for "patriotic" and started reading from there. wow.
oh, and i also found a State of the Union Drinking Game.
i met with some people who went on the cuba trip with me - they really liked my pictures. i do too. i'm so happy about them.
For your viewing pleasure, you get the first ever sneak peak of the premiere of my Cuba pictures!
So having a digital camera does wonders in terms of getting my pictures up and online. And having a boyfriend willing to write the script that cycles through them.
Reasons my photos are better than last year's from Thailand that you didn't see:
1. digital zoom - i can crop it before i shoot.
2. light adjustment, and the ability to turn off the flash.
3. preview and the fact that i can delete a picture and re-take it.
these things make me a great photographer. i'm so proud of the ones from trinidad. who cares if they're low-res?
quote from one of my professors: "Let the U.S. lift the embargo. Then we'll see if socialism works."
so cuba was amazing. i absolutely loved it and i want to go back ASAP. but after learning some spanish.
the people are incredibly friendly. counter-intuitively, they love americans, and amazingly do not hold us responsible for the behavior of our government. the thing is, the US has won the culture war: there's american tv, american movies, and cubans want all the american junk. yet they still have the embargo, so they're all poor, and assuming all americans are rich, always ask us for money wherever we go.
there's propaganda/patriotic signs everywhere - "viva la revolucion" and whatnot. including images of che guevara and one with a cuban saying "senor imperialistos: we are abolutely not afraid of you" to a growling uncle sam.
almost all the buildings in havana, although beautiful in their day, are concrete slab construction. sadly, costs were cut by using sea sand instead of purer sand in the concrete, and the salt from the sea corrodes the steel reinforcements, which makes the buildings crumble. and if they're not falling down, they need a good coat of paint. except for the Hotel Nacional, which had tunnels built under it during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
we took a weekend trip to Trinidad (de Cuba, not and Tobago), which was a cute Spanish colonial town with mule-pulling dwellers looking all Juan Valdez. we stayed in a resort hotel that was absolutely beautiful on a peninsula there, watching the sun set on the water one night and rise on the water the next morning.
many of our professors gave us the party line, or what they knew about things, which did not always turn out to be correct. like they told us that Cuba is always willing to negotiate with the US. they didn't seem to remember that their own patriotic graffiti tells a different story.
but it was still fantastic. i brought back cigars, an english Granma, a book of photos of the revolution, rum, some Cuban chardonnay called San Cristobal, 75 pictures on my brand new HP digital camera, postcards, and two weeks of a journal.
in other news, there should be a documentary playing sometime soon on your local PBS station about gay Quaker civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. and todd's friend allison from RISD has started a great new blog with that classic layout. check that shit out.
so yeah. cuba.
So, 2003, huh? 2003 is the year i graduate. your very first day at bard, the alumni association gives you a shirt that says "Bard Alumni/ae" and then has the year four years from then. So each year, freshmen are wearing these shirts. So back in 1999, i got one of these shirts that says "Bard Alumni/ae 2003". and i still have it. todd's says 2005.
i had a little party last night - we played that 20th anniversary Trivial Pursuit that everyone i know got for christmas this year. i really like it, because the questions are much easier. even though i've lost both times. but the party was small and cute. i wish todd would have been here, though. we had sparklers out on the porch. and i opened the champagne.
so mom's sister, up in the mountains, when we went to visit there, they had just butchered a cow on their farm. and they had some extra liver left over. so they gave it to mom and she made pate out of it. liver pate. she decided to serve it at new years, without telling people it was liver. it tasted like cat food. there were all kinds of polite comments, like "i guess it's an acquired taste". it was great.
i'm leaving for Cuba in three days. that's exciting. we were supposed to write a short pre-trip paper and submit it to the professor in charge before christmas. so i wrote mine and emailed it to him on like the 28th. then he sent an email out to everyone going on the trip on the 30th saying he'd only gotten 6 out of like 27 people. so that's cool that most of the people are later than me.
i get so much spam, and i'm only allowed like five megs on the bard email server, so i'm scared my email is going to fill up while i'm in cuba and bounce some important emails. so you all can wait until the 19th or so to email me anything that matters.
christmas was fun, except it kind of sucks that my parents live five hours away from each other now. dad described it as yo-yoing from house to house, but it's more like i'm on the road more than i'm at the houses. next year we need to plan better.
but yeah, holidays.
today's my birthday! turning 22 is somewhat anti-climactic. but i still feel damn old. i'm 22? what?
there's this girl in my British History class who only comes about half the time. she's weird because she has the fashion and the coiffure like she's probably paying full tuition. she also talks exactly like Six from that old tv show Blossom. but i learned today that even though she celebrates christmas, she's never given a christmas present. she says she's an only child and her parents always buy her presents and she's never had a job or money of her own, so they think it's weird to give her money to buy them presents. but what about other people in her life? that's just so strange. i often get my friends presents when they didn't get me anything, and that's ok, because one of the best parts is watching them open what you picked out for them. she's never had that experience. it was so strange.
but other than that, she said that her grandmother had a donkey in italy, and that for christmas, they always get her something donkey-related, and one time they adopted her a donkey from adopt-a-donkey.com. and now every month the grandmother loves waiting at the mailbox for the update on what her donkey did that month.
oh, and by the way, i didn't ask this girl about any of this stuff. nor was i interested. she volunteered it while i tried to walk away.
oh, and a friend of mine sent me this too. i think she thought it was serious: Americans for Purity, Winning the War on Masturbation.
here are a few links i thought you might enjoy:
1. flash horses - this is some kind of sweedish choir of horses. you can click on them and they sing their different parts.
2. Duluth bridge - this bridge is just cool. the roadbed lifts up by a counterweight system when a boat wants to go through. check it out.
3. Forward Command Post - JCPenny and Toys R Us are selling this horrible toy for christmas this year. it's a base for military operations, but it's a bombed-out house, complete with broken furniture and an american flag. at first, i thought the exposed bricks were blood stains all over it. buying this $50 monstrous war toy for kids is a bad idea. As one article noted, "In terms of their approach to the world, a 5-year-old playing with a traditional doll house and a 5-year-old playing with the ruins of the Forward Command Post are at two fundamentally different starting places."
4. balloonhat.com - on a happier note, these two guys went around the world putting balloon hats on people and taking their picture. click through the first two entrance pages, and the "Permanent Gallery" is where the cute pictures are.
5. cuba - find out more about where i'm spending my january.
Session Start (Yahoo! - RoseReuben:oralover_98): Mon Dec 09 07:00:09 2002
*** (Link: oralover_98)oralover_98 has added you to their contact list with reason: "hi there" You may choose to (Link: oralover_98)accept or (Link: oralover_98)deny this action. You may also (Link: oralover_98)add this user to your contact list or (Link: oralover_98)ignore this user.
oralover_98: wake up sweety
*** Auto-response sent to oralover_98: i'm asleeping. goodnight
Session Close (oralover_98): Mon Dec 09 08:53:07 2002
Session Start (Yahoo! - RoseReuben:oralover_98): Tue Dec 10 07:19:27 2002
oralover_98: wake up sweety
*** Auto-response sent to oralover_98: bedtime
RoseReuben: who are you?
Session Close (oralover_98): Tue Dec 10 08:41:56 2002
Session Start (Yahoo! - RoseReuben:oralover_98): Tue Dec 10 11:12:14 2002
oralover_98: are you still there?
*** Auto-response sent to oralover_98: supposedly learning something
oralover_98: are you there?
RoseReuben: who are you?
Session Close (oralover_98): Tue Dec 10 14:08:11 2002
Session Start (Yahoo! - RoseReuben:oralover_98): Wed Dec 11 07:38:06 2002
oralover_98: oh i'm a 37 year old Italian male. I just bought a house in the area and to be honest i'm looking to meet a sweet college girl for some discreet daytime fun at my house. If your interested get back to me I'm D/D Free and nicely endowed. ALSO I'm not looking for trouble just some fun times. I saw your membership in a Vassar College Yahoo Group. ( I think it was a political group or something) bye for now!
*** Auto-response sent to oralover_98: asleep after a long day - yahoo person: tell me who you are. do i know you in real life?
oralover_98: Oh sorry I forgot to answer your question. No we do not know each other or I hope not! (LOL) But I'm a really nice guy.
oralover_98: One more thing! I read your Journal you appear to be a very bright young woman which interest me alot. I think I read your going to Cuba in Jan. Lucky you if you are! I'd love to go there or to Russia...........(Or Both)
RoseReuben: in no way am i looking for "discreet daytime fun" - i have a boyfriend who i live with, and i love him. i mention him in almost every journal entry. if i, in any way, gave you the impression that i'd be into that kind of thing, please tell me where you got that impression so i can delete any indication that i would be interested in fun with a 37 year old man, with a screen name "oralover".
RoseReuben: yes i'm going to cuba in january.
RoseReuben: and even if i didn't have a boyfriend, why would i want to do this? how lucrative do you think this approach might be? because i'm pretty sure, if you did snag some "sweet college girl", she'd be pretty pitiful if she needs to go off-campus with a 37-year-old for affection.
Session Close (oralover_98): Wed Dec 11 09:53:00 2002
so it's 16 degrees outside, and although we had a little spattering of snow this morning, i didn't have to scrape off my car. that was nice. and i have a new warm coat.
the other thing is, i reformatted and reinstalled windows 98 (the only cd i had), and my computer is still crashing. i'm getting goddamned windows protection errors on some boots, and otherwise it'll just freeze up when i leave for several hours. also, whenever the case is on, some fan or another makes a loud noise. then i bang it, and it stops. so i'm thinking maybe the cpu fan is messed up? i'm about to replace it with another spare chip i have. anyone have any other ideas? or wanna send me a cd for another os or more ram?
ps: thanksgiving was great. yum!
oh, and what i wanted to say about today being cold is - the roads are white with salt. but there's no snow on the non-road parts. so it looks like campus in negative.
so one of the main questions people ask acquaintances here today is, "are you going home for thanksgiving?"
i saw one of my professors today, and in response, i told her pretty succintly that although i grew up in west virginia and consider it my home, i'm seeing my dad at his new house in pennsylvania and meeting my mom at some resort elsewhere in pennsylvania.
so then she said that her mother lives in west virginia, and i asked her whereabouts. she said, "near morgantown", and when i mentioned that that's where i'm from, she said "oh, well, then, in Philippi." the thing is, philippi's nowhere near morgantown. check out this map. on that map, Morgantown's just south of the "79" in the southwestern corner of pennsylvania, and philippi is two towns directly south. at least i never thought philippi was "near morgantown". i'm sure any philippi resident would disagree with that characterization as well. so i wondered why she might think that. is it because morgantown's where you get off the interstate to get on the road that goes to philippi? because if so, i get off interstate 81 in scranton to come to bard, but i don't consider bard near scranton. is it because it's the closest city? because it's not: clarksburg and weston are both closer, and clarksburg's a larger metro area. then maybe i thought, well, she might have just thrown in morgantown because philippi's not really near anything that anyone in bard might have heard of, and someone might possibly have heard of morgantown. but then, why not say it's near harper's ferry or matewan or something? so i was just baffled. it was weird. but i couldn't really say to her, "no, that's not really close at all."
by the way, on the last entry, todd wrote about the same event in a better entry. go read that.
so this morning started when todd suggested that we make our own breakfast of biscuits. we'd been making our own dinners every friday night, and had acquired some ingredients like flour and tools like baking sheets, and even some Jiffy baking mix for our pizza crust last friday. and moreover, todd has enjoyed cooking. so his idea was to go to the campus center and buy a few little boxes of milk, mix them with the Jiffy, as per the recipe, and eat our biscuits with honey, butter, and jelly we could also get from the cafe for free. so we did and it was yummy. we had invited tony over, too, for the biscuits. i didn't know biscuits were so easy to make. i just want to register my support for Jiffy baking mix, because it makes pizza crust easy with just adding water, and makes biscuits easy for breakfast with just adding milk.
but then, after this wonderful breakfast, one of the boys wondered if that old nintendo they had heard about was still upstairs in the lounge. the lounge to our dorm is two stories tall, with the kitchen and a study space on the bottom, and room for a ping-pong table upstairs. so we went upstairs to check things out. the ping-pong table had been moved out of the way, there were like 8 chairs, and on another table, someone had hooked up a vintage first-edition nintendo machine to a small tv. there were at least 20 old nintendo games scattered about. so after some jiggling the cartridge in the machine, they soon had the orginal Legend of Zelda up and running. this was around 1:30 this afternoon. bear in mind, as they would say later, although Zelda was almost as popular a game as Mario Bros., neither of them had ever played much of the orginal version.
so i sat there for a while, reading Glamour while they took turns playing nintendo. i eventually got bored and went downstairs to take a shower. let us jump ahead to 6:30pm, when i get hungry for dinner. the boys are still upstairs playing Zelda. they've been playing for 5 hours. since they can save the game and leave, i coax them into going for dinner for about an hour. let us jump ahead to 12:30am. i had just finished my dropin tutoring hours, where like all the rest of the weeks, no one came for help, and i did my own homework in the lounge (for pay) while the boys played Zelda upstairs. by this time, they had been playing for 11 hours, with only a break for dinner.
the plan, which is not surprising knowing these guys, was to stay up all night until they beat the game. they're on level 6, and since neither of them played the game when they were little, they don't know how many levels there are. apparently, their studiousness got the better of them, because they decided to call it a day, save the game, and go to sleep tonight. but tomorrow night, they say, they'll stay up until they beat it. tony's moderating on tuesday morning, and of course, as he believes tradition says, the best thing to do the night before moderation is to not sleep.
well, good luck to him, in both the game and moderation. but at least let me have my boyfriend back.
Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.