Monday, May 31, 2004

extended scream

did you know that (as opposed to the real new york craiglist) is a porn site? that's intense. you know you've made it when someone creates a near-miss copy of your site featuring a vixen with a vibrator.

anyhoo, here i am! home. this weekend was super intense and at the same time weirdly emotionless. i think i was unable to comprehend the significance of anything, which is why i didn't get sick & didn't cry except for a moment, sunday afternoon, when my mom sent me to say goodbye to folks while she finished packing my stuff. i wandered around campus, unable to locate anyone, and sobbed.

three feasts, each lasting three-and-a-half hours or more, with my entourage of 15 or 16 well-wishers, swallowed large chunks of the weekend. but not in a bad way: i love my family and it was moving to see everyone assembled. for me, too! the following dialogue occurred at any pause in the conversation:

someone: so, graduate! do you feel different?
me: nope
someone: ... how bout now?

i still don't feel different, or anything really, so don't ask. i'm not tense, overwhelmed, anxious, excited, happy, nostalgic, or maudlin. the reality hasn't hit me. i'm a graduate, and never has postmodernism felt so apt. schizophrenia: perpetual present: that's how i feel. no future, no past. here i am, in the moment. home.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


college is over. it must be. i've seen the belltower, and i've seen the panorama of the campus from the belltower. philly was small and faint, off in the corner of the distance, a stamp on the envelope.

i've had -- er, thrown -- a party in the house of a professor, one who is currently away. she knows about it, don't worry. how?, you might ask. surely ester wouldn't be stupid enough to accidentally send the "party at xxxxxx's!" email TO the prof herself along with the rest of the class, right? right?

college is over. they've been feeding us too well lately. i feel like hansel and gretel, like they're fattening us up to march us across the stage into the dark, foreboding oven of the future. college is over.

i've gotten a haircut. i like it: it fits into this period of time nicely, as, like this period of time, like all transitional periods, it's pretty self-explanatory.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

bells are ringing? where?

at our fancy seniors-only white tablecloth dinner yesterday evening, my table started talking about weddings. none of us is getting married, none of us wants to. in fact, i had found out that morning that a friend i hadn't seen in two years was getting engaged to a fella she had only MET, let alone realized she was compatable with, in that time. i'd never heard of the guy, and she was contracting to spend the rest of her life with him. fuzzy, huh?

none of my local friends, whether from home or college, have done anything so dashing. in consequence, i haven't been to a wedding in a decade. when i was little, my parents took me to three:

#1) babysitter karen's wedding. i was the flower girl, i ran out of the flowers half-way down the aisle, and gave my parents in the audience a panicked look. they urged me to keep going anyway, and i did. WEDDING RESULT: divorce.

#2) babysitter celina's wedding. the priest died during the ceremony. keeled over and died. they got a new priest and the wedding went on, but the groom turned out to be abusive and thievish. WEDDING RESULT: divorce, and the asshole got custody of their small daughter.

#3) an older couple's casual wedding, the second for each. i can't even remember who they were now, except that they seemed happy, and there was no garish garter play or cake smashing like you see on tv.

so. my experience with weddings is limited and fraught with anxiety. but my curious friends had questions that made me think about several important wedding-related issues:

#1) there will be no dancing at my wedding. i'm not kidding. i made two $5 bets on this. no dancing. no crappy band, no horahs, no bride and groom lifted in rickety chairs. one time, during a fiddler on the roof rehearsal, i fell out of one of those chairs and don't tell me that didn't hurt.

#2) i'll wear sky blue

#3) my registry will be at and you, as participants, will be invitied to purchase for me any of the following: tivo; sopranos dvds; six feet under dvds; sex and the city dvds; whatever books look appealing. that is all.

#4) -- this is eliz's rule, and i second it. no toasts, unless they are funny.

also, if anyone tries to sing unbelievable, they will be thrown out on their ear.

Monday, May 24, 2004

i can't promise i'll try. but i'll try to try

the new plan is to be extremely rational about everything, so as to avoid putting any unnecessary stress on my tear ducts. this has been a very emotionally involved semester: upswings, downswings. and by semester, i mean year.

what do rational people do? they make lists.

- i had a lovely time in atlantic city today. i went more or less on a whim. i'd never been before.
- i gambled for the first time. roulette is *my* game. i won $46, flirted with the table master, and quit while i was ahead
- also, i wore my bikini in public, in the ocean even, for the first time
- i spent last night watching HBO, both their sunday night line up and then season 1 of six feet under on dvd. nothing is yummier than HBO.
- i have a future
- i'm done with honors, done with swarthmore, and i never have to check my transcript again

- speaking of transcript, where did all those B+s come from? a parade of them have overtaken my much-more-appreciated parade of A-s. this might be depressing if i weren't being strictly rational (rational reading of the situation: it doesn't matter!)
- i only got honors. see above: honors = B+. well, some people say B+ / A- , and if that's the case, that's where i belong. still. you know. ... a person likes to succeed.
- despite the fact that i put on lots of sunscreen today, i got pretty burnt. or unpretty burnt, rather. it's not attractive; it's blotchy. pain.

at least i smell like the sea. i should put that under PRO.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

more detailed update

i am officially done with my swarthmore career. i want to run around, point at random people and scream "bullshit!" it's a strange urge; i'm trying to keep it under control.

ben is here. fortunate. he gives me someone to yell "bullshit!" at, because he'll forgive me. also, we're watching lots and lots of movies and taking long walks and realizing, for the first time, for certain, that we will be in new york together next year. not just in the same city -- at the same SCHOOL.

speaking of skool: bullshit! hee. i never have to think theory again. jameson on postmodernism? balazs on close-ups? zizek on looking awry? bullshit! instead, i can devote my time to thinking about things i'm actually good at, like whether a given individual could be a model.

one of my favorite quotes from the recent week was from claire. i was heading up to my third oral exam and she was wishing me luck.

she: wait, what's this exam for?
me: film theory.
she (perplexed): but you HATE theory.

exactly! bullshit!
although the exam itself went fine. all my exams, in point of fact, went as well as they could have gone. i got to meet the lovely and talented diana son AND the lovely and talented anna mccarthy, with whom i could take classes in the coming year (!)
my favorite examiner, though, was definitely this gruff, skeptical history woman with whom i had a passionate debate about whether or not victoria woodhull was personally responsible for deep-sixing feminism. she was the person whose respect i felt most that i had to earn, and earning people's respect through arguing with them is invigorating. i think she liked me too. not "will give me high honors" liked me, necessarily, but liked me. and weirdly, to me, that matters more.

so, yeah, in retrospect -- BLAH! -- it was a good experience. i am absolutely ecstatic that i will never have to do it again.

Friday, May 21, 2004

what do i hug?

three orals down. each went as well as it could have gone. only one left.

and i got into nyu.

there aren't enough exclamation points in the world.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

what a town

have i mentioned that wfuv provides my favorite internet soundtrack? it's super great. sometimes they play songs from O Brother which i enjoy so much that i consider becoming the 50 millionth american to buy that particular cd despite the fact that's it's bluegrass and we americans hate bluegrass.

hello! i'm back. several days in baltimore, a night in dc, then a day in the film archive of the library of congress, then back to an eerily emptied college campus. for perhaps the first time this semester, my transition back to swarthmore went smoothly. for the first time, the transition also took place courtesy of my, THE film professor (TFP) who is the cutest authority figure i've ever met and a wicked driver. she was chaperoning a field trip to washington dc for two of us who were in her seminar this semester and then two other senior girls who like film.

the field trip itself was fun and all, but the highlight came on the drive back to swarthmore when TFP realized she had missed the exit and u-turned over the median strip to go back the other way. also when we established, she and i, that we are precisely the same height. 5' 1-and-3/4": the height of genius.

i got to be the resident dc expert and strut around -- inasmuch as one can strut, seated in a honda -- all proud in what little knowledge of the area i have. maybe leaving swarthmore will help me curtail my habit of wanting to seem like i know everything. maybe having a swarthmore degree will only make it worse. sigh.

silver lining: maybe that propensity to speak with authority will help me survive my four oral honor exams over the next two days. each lasts 45 minutes. when i'm done, i will officially be Done. Done with senior year, Done with college. but of course i can't think about that right now.

Monday, May 17, 2004

gentle, and, in the end, life affirming

i finished my writtens. dizzying. by the end of lunch thereafter, i still hadn't processed that i finished. it took my going down to the crum with addie to dangle our feet in the water from a stone in the middle of the creek, and then it took spending the rest of the day in the sunshine talking to people that studying for honors had kept me from talking to in weeks.

saturday morning i trekked down to baltimore to rest and recuperate. tomorrow evening i'm heading back to skool, hopefully ready to face my orals. this is all very bracing and i'm sure very interesting to read. well. maybe senior week will be chock full of nutsy things that i can recount, to the delight of all.

oh wait, i have good news. it's GAY DAY! three cheers for love triumphing, appropriately enough on the 17th. as for me, as of today, it's been three years and three months.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

the look! the eye! the horror!

no one has commented on my strange and wonderful shorts. i'm wearing them in honor of the 90 degree + humid! weather, and because i thought them an appropriate bauble to the theory babble i'm spending the day reading.

well, even if no one else find their red abruptness and unnecessary zippers exciting, i do. and even if i begin to grow paranoid that people are glancing at me (there's no gaze anymore, sez hanson, only glance) and thinking "celluloid" instead of "punk," i refuse to change. college is a time for emotional AND wardrobe growth. maybe i'll say fuckyou again, since last time it generated such an adorable/indignant response.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

gutman, brody, thompson, kelley ...

today was my fourth, and most comprehensive, day in a row of studying for my labor and urban history honors exam. sometime during the 12 hours we spent on the material today, i began to feel like i was on top of it.

with luck, tomorrow you will hear from me: it didn't go perfectly but it went; and now i have to submerge myself once more for my film theory honors exam friday morning.

on the plus side, i dined with my favorite professor and her adorable son last night. the prof & i bonded over oldskool streisand movies like on a clear day you can see forever. two of my favorite underclassmen were also in attendance and they, like a disturbing number of other underclassmen in the past few days, reminded me that i may never seem them again.

it's one of the least helpful things anyone's said lately and suddenly everyone's saying it. "i may never see you again." well, fuck you. come on! you're friends with me, right? then you should recognize that i'm a sensitive soul already overburdened with stress, and i can't deal with your awkward farewells right now. & i'm on a No More Tears streak: 7 days and counting. just pretend, the way i pretend about my honors exams and my future, that it will all be okay.

(and honestly, it will. how could i not come back here? i came into my own here. at random points throughout next year, you'll find me skulking behind the bamboo near sharples trying to overhear swattie conversation, or strolling through the first-floor in mccabe lecturing my invisible companions on the subtleties of postmoderism, or eating popcorn loudly in film society screenings. if you don't see me again, in other words, it will only be because i'll be stalking you.)

Saturday, May 08, 2004

can't concentrate. that's what the internet is for!

and the prize for funniest, most popular link that, until now, has been 100 miles off my radar screen: buy my ex-wife's wedding dress on ebay!

a snippet in case the rest of you have missed it too:
A lot of folks were asking me if I wear women's dresses a lot. I can honestly say that this is the first time I have ever donned female attire. It's also the first time I've been inside something feminine that didn't nag me to take out the garbage.
ba dum ching!

Friday, May 07, 2004

feel free to congratulate me ... now

hey! so guess what! not only have i maintained a spring-fresh perspective over the several days since my acupressure appointment, even over the course of one exam and my very first HONORS exam, but i have also

bought a new pair of shoes, a pair of pants, and a tank top with a monkey on it for $6 total;

seen my video production class exhibition go off flawlessly and reaped compliments thereafter;

gotten a good grade on my vpc final project;

and received word that i made the next cut in the interminable process that is getting my entry-level job in The Company. the vice president actually sounded excited to talk to me and we're setting up interview #3 for after my honors exams are over. yay!! plus the honors exam that i had today was totally fine. i'm sure i passed. half of the test was me writing an essay on clueless, for god's sake. if i don't know clueless, i don't know nothing.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

an eerie way to spend a morning

i woke up with a start at 8 a.m., as though the morning had burst through my window and begun jumping on my bed and singing showtunes. unable to fall back to sleep (literally fall, since i woke up sitting) i hopped over to the internet and have been reading stories of military abuse ever since.

in case you're interested, i have learned:
  • the washington post has new, previously unpublished pictures of the atrocities. its highlighted picture is of what looks like a six-year-old girl holding a leash attached to a naked iraqi man. the "girl" of course is a soldier who has not yet been charged, only transferred to fort bragg, n.c. [because? and?] she's pregnant.
  • limbaugh declares they're not atrocities at all, more like a fraternity prank. sure, rush. i'll bet he thinks it's about as funny as killing koi in california. {from wonkette and sf gate, respectively};
  • salon, of course, is dripping with the story;
  • cnn is oddly brief with it;
  • usa today is oddly comprehensive;
  • even the national review deals with it soberly, calling the abuse "familiar," although surrounding the article are flashing advertisements for W04!! and the reagan revolution!!, some horrible article by mark steyn about abortion and a promo for a book about how sex differences are REAL and IMPORTANT
and that, folks, is today's key take-away. sex differences: valid, and important.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

hey, i didn't know he was jewish!

jon stewart, that is. i mean, did you? then why did you hide it from me?

(courtesy of jewsweek)

by the way, not to make a big deal out of it or anything, but if you happen to be in the swarthmore area tomorrow -- and the vast majority of you 50 readers are, don't think i don't know -- my video production class is screening our short films at 4 pm. meet the broad-shouldered boys! make eyes at the cute bryn mawr chick in my group (although hands off, boys; she's taken)! and treat yourself to some seriously amateur cinema while *bonus!* making little ester happy.

lpac. 4 pm. wednesday may 5.
"touching your shoulder's like putting my hand on a wall"

i'm growing a respect for a-traditional medicine. first, in the fall, the chiropractor, who looked like a boyband frontman, fixed my poor wrenched neck for only $5. then, this morning, the acupressurist here at swat made my whole body feel fuzzy in a good way for no money at all!

i had been a little irked when i recalled i had the appointment with her this morning. i had been up til the wee hours last night, just as i'd been to the wee hours the night before that, in both cases to work on eliz's and my video project. we finally finished! whee! and danced around and went back to our rooms to get some much-needed sleep. so the prospect of rising at 9-something (too wee! i wanted something much less wee) was not a friendly one.

the acupressurist herself was very friendly though and for the hour that she treated me i either slept or hallucinated. or maybe i saw visions of the future. not my future, but someone's, whoever's involves a whole world gone gray except for a bright red flag flown at the top of an official-looking building. hmm. now that i think about it, that's a pretty communist vision, init? well, i can't be held accountable; i was being pressure-pointed at the time.

afterwards, to handle my wooziness, she advised me to lie down and drink lots and lots of water. i did her one better: i decided, on impulse, to take my woozy but much improved body into the city to see kill bill 2. i met up with an old friend, wandered through the sunshine, ran an errand for my boy, and, on impulse, returned to swat without having seen kb2. but still, a worthy day. now i'm going to see mitch hedberg and commence the scariest 10 days in recent memory.

Monday, May 03, 2004

check check bacon check

stereotype check (courtesy of nyt):
He is taught to take at least an hour to say goodbye at family gatherings; always to complain in restaurants about the seating, the air-conditioning and the menu; and to order salmon with everything. He is also taught to talk to his parents eight or nine times a day on his cellphone and to say "I love you" to them like a child. And he is taught never to admit he is in perfect health.
true for me? i'd say: yes; no; absolutely; of course; and no. i am in perfect health. especially perfect mental health. try asking me about it sometime!