pushing20

maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller

4.29.2005

Apparently, I scream like a girl.

...At least when rodents are involved.

There was (is? ) a mouse in my room.

We had pretty severe critter problems in my dorm this fall, with mouse sightings in almost all of the 12 rooms on my hall, and several killed in traps. We were told that the mice would go away when the cold weather came, and they did.

But now? The good weather is back, AND SO ARE THE MICE.

I was watching TV down the hall today when the Dish came in to the room and told me she had bad news. She saw a mouse in our shared bathroom, and it had scurried in to my room. After a cursory investigation (read: we tiptoed two feet into my room, each telling the other one to go farther), we confirmed that there was a mouse (read: saw it and screamed like the little girls that we apparently are).

We went and got a boy, because boys are better at dealing with vermi. Boy did some investigation but of course my tiny furry nemesis refused to come out. I left my door open and went down the hall for half an hour. Haven't seen the thing since I came back to my room, but I'm staying with mycomputer and all my limbs safely on my bed.

God. Sometimes I HATE living in the country.

4.26.2005

Redeeming moments

Today was crappy. Awful chem test that made me question my pre-med-ness, didn't make the line for our rugby match this weekend against our biggest rival, and there might have been a huge spider in my room very early this morning. All in all? Shitty.

There was one bright spot though.

As it turns out, I can be an enormous academic snob sometimes. Today was one of those times. My poli sci prof sent an email to the class, suggesting that we check out Krugman's op-ed in the Times today because it was relevant to what we've been doing in class (about Presidential accountability-- to his supporters? to all his constituents? Interesting and frustrating discussion, in light of current politics.).

Read it here, it's a good little piece.

So she sent it out, and I HAD ALREADY READ IT. And thought about how it fit in to class stuff. Sure, not a big deal. A really teeny deal, I guess. But I had a nice little moment of academic smuggery.* Feels good to actually recognize the real implications of what I'm learning...and to be a step ahead of the prof!



* I know smuggery isn't a word. It should be.

4.24.2005

My Pope jokes are fucking pathetic

An AIM conversation from last week with a friend from high school, wherein he reminds me that I am not as funny as I like to think I am:

M. (on what Newt Gingrich had said when he spoke at M's school that day): just about how the country was in danger, and how we all had to turn to god
bex: good thing we;ve got a new pope to guide us
M.: you just reminded me of your terrible pope joke *
bex: i need some new german pope jokes
M.: no you dont
bex: or i can always stick with the classic popemobile references
bex: i hear ratzinger is upgrading to a pope-vertible
bex: or a pope-utility vehicle
bex: no good?
bex: i just came up with those on the fly
bex: on second thought, let's just keep it between us that i ever said any of that
M.: you suck at this
bex: fine, let me hear YOUR pope jokes
bex: leave me one while I go get a commemorative pope-sicle from the freezer!
M.: you're an idiot

* the old Pope joke was from around when JPII died, Crazybrains and I were joking around about the possiblity that an African cardinal was going to become pope.

"What's he going to be, Pope click click?"
(the click clicks were noises made with our tongues, not the word click. hard to type those.)

Needless to say, M. thought it was stupid. CB and I still think it's funny, so screw him.

4.21.2005

Downsizing?

Just because scheduling seems to never, ever work out in my favor, I'm going to have to move out of my dorm about half an hour after my chem final next month. My extreme lack of car (and lack of being picked up from school) means that I will have to move myself out of here on my own. To decrease the amount of shit that I will need to take with me when I move out, my mother suggested that I bring as much stuff home as possible when I go home tomorrow for the weekend.

Good idea, right? But here's the problem.

My stuff generally falls in to two categories: stuff I need only at school or in the Winter, and stuff I need all the time. Stuff I need only at school or in the Winter will get stored here in MA for the summer, so that's easy. But what about the (much larger) category of stuff I need all the time?

Now sure, "need" is relative. But I like my shit. I like having the full rainbow of tank top colors, and my little library of comfort-food books, and something like 35 t-shirts so I don't have to do laundry all the time and also don't have to wear dirty stuff to practice every day.

So then I was thinking that maybe I can bring home all my movies. They take up a lot of room and I will want them over the summer.

But then that will never work. What if I get a sudden hankering to watch The Goonies? It's not totally out of the question that I'll come home from the library one night reeeally wanting to watch The American President for the 973rd time, and goddamn if I'm gonna give up my West Wing dvd's during finals. So I guess the dvd's will stay.

Okay then, how about my wool sweaters and corduroys and sweatshirts and all of that? I can part with the cords, I guess. But what the hell do I need those for at home? The sweaters too, except then they will get dry cleaned, which wouldn't be terrible. Also? It's still like 40 degrees here at night, so on second thought, I need my sweaters.

My snowboard? Totally useless to me for the next four weeks. And for the entire summer. I guess it goes in storage.

My Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker. Yes! That's it. I got it as a gift a few months ago and will make it through the next month just fine without it, then can waste hours going through the endless stream of cartoons all summer. The book can go.

Everything else stays.

My Charlie

Something things happened this week that made me think of a scene in one of my favorite movies, High Fidelity. In the scene, John Cusack's character Rob wants to find his ex-girlfriend Charlie's phone number, and is shocked to find her right there in the phone book. His reaction to finding her just like any other normal person in the city:
 Charlie's in the fucking phone book.
She has come to assume such an
importance, I feel she should be
living on Mars. She's an
extraterrestrial, a ghost, a myth,
not a person with an answering
machine, in the phone book...
The way Rob feels about Charlie is sort of how I felt when I found an old friend on facebook the other day. Facebook, for those who aren't in college, is a huge timewaster for students across this great nation. It's basically friendster for 18 to 22-year-olds. Anyway, I was just browsing around lists of friends' friends, and here I came across L.

My mouth literally dropped open, right here in front of my computer.

We spent summers together when we were younger, and while it may seem trivial, I consider her to be one of those people who really had a hand in shaping who I grew up to be. And for some reason, when we lost touch five-ish ago, I guess she just got suspended in my memory the way I knew her. If she crossed my mind from time to time, it was the nine-year-old L who was my first friend at sleepaway camp, or the fourteen-year-old who late at night sometimes woke up hysterically sad, and would make me cross the bunk to sit with her until she fell back asleep. I don't think I'm doing a very good job of expressing it, but we were very close. We climbed mountains together, literally as well as the other way, if we're gonna get all metaphorical about it. I don't really climb mountains much anymore. Either kind.

And then we drifted apart, as fifteen-year-old girls who don't live in the same city and don't go to sleepaway camp anymore tend to do. So L stayed suspended in my head, and as I turned seventeen and eighteen and nineteen she just stayed back there.

Until I found her on facebook. And like Rob finding Charlie, I couldn't believe it. She should be on another planet by now, not on facebook, like every other college kid. There she was, with a profile and a picture that looked just like the girl I used to know so well, but with much better hair and a drink in her hand.

There are some people that you're just sure have ceased to exist, you know? And there they are, right when you least expect it.

4.18.2005

Reasons Why I'm in a Shitty Mood

1. Mets are losing to the Phillies 4-0 in the fifth inning. And after the awesome 5-game run last week...Also, no Mets games on TV up here. I'm smack in the middle of Red Sox Nation, so we get all their games, and anything nationally televised. I caught a few innings of the Cubs-Reds matchup today, but I miss my Mets.

2. Three papers due this week. I got one in today (on Nixon's response to the Kent State University shootings in 1970), and hopefully will knock out a draft of my english paper before I go to bed tonight.

3. Chem problem set is due SATURDAY. What the HELL. That means it has to be done by Friday afternoon, since Friday night does not mean chem time, and I have a game on Saturday in Amherst, MA. Add it to the ever-growing pile of shit I have to do in the next three days. Awesome.

4. I was reading the Washington Post online a few minutes ago, and for some reason decided to go ahead and read the whole article on PA Senator Rick Santorum. Here's my favorite bit:

"He has a gift for getting attention, for better or for worse. The most egregious example of "for worse" occurred two years ago, in remarks to the Associated Press about a challenge to the constitutionality of Texas's sodomy law, a matter before the Supreme Court. According to the AP, Santorum said that if the court allows gay sex at home, "you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything." "

For god's sake. If a US Senator is espousing this kind of bullshit, it's no wonder eleven states passed laws descriminating against homosexuals this past November. I'm so sick of Republicans I could vomit.

But no time for a political rant now (see above). I'll just sit here and stew over it for a little while, then throw up my hands and go to my chem study group.

5. I was a huge, enourmous, beeyotch to HSG yesterday. He was annoying me and I was stressed out so it just happened. I'll call and apologize this week. Maybe. Or not. He called my facebook picture ugly, so two thumbs down to him. You don't earn cookies by pissing me off when I'm writing a paper at 2:30 AM, you know?

So to get Santorum out of my head, here's a picture of "interior designer" (read: fame whore/regular-type whore) Bobby Trendy. Link on over to Fugging it Up to indulge in a little Monday Night Funny.


Nice boa, Bobby.

4.15.2005

Advil Cold and Sinus and bex: A Love Story

First of all, if you haven't gone to Britney Spears' website yet as I urged you in my last post, do so at once.

Done? Good.

I've finished a full box of Advil cold and sinus in the last four days.


(I know the image cuts off...deal with it)

I used to be the kind of person who didn't like taking drugs when I didn't absolutely have to, but in the last few years I've realized that that over-the-counter medicine is your friend, and particularly it is my friend. I have no excuse to bitch and moan about how bad my cramps hurt, or how much pain I'm in from rugby, or how sore my goddamn throat is and how my sinuses feel like the Keebler Elves have set up shop in there unless I try and do something about the discomfort I'm feeling.

So this week I'm all hopped up on cold medicine, because when I don't take it (and sometimes when I do) I feel like total shit. But with a game tomorrow and two papers to write on Sunday, I don't have time to fall behind, so I'm doing my best.

Skipped chem this morning. I'm baaad.

Awesome thing that happened this week: I GOT MY FIRST A ON A PAPER (in college, anyway). It's not that I'm a huge dumbass, or that I don't work hard. I can hold my own in the brain department and while I am an expert procrastinator, I get my shit done. The fact is my school is one of the few that has really kicked the grade-inflation problem. (Kicked it but good. Something like 8 people a year graduate with better than a 3.7.) So earning my very first A was thrilling, and if I keep doing well in that class maybe my pathetic little 3.04 GPA will go up.

The paper was on Fredrick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. DuBois's autobiographies, and the different ways they used religious rhetoric in telling their stories and gaining support for their causes. It was an interesting topic, I think. Anyway, I'm proud of it. It's goin' on my little dorm fridge.

The Keebler Elves in my sinuses feel like they're trying to get out. Pass the Advil, please.

4.13.2005

Coming Fall 2005: Spawn of Spears

Have you been to Britney Spears' offical website? If not, go right now. NOW.

You can stop searching, because this is hands-down the best site EVER. I originally linked to it from someone's blog entry about La Spears' pregnancy. I thought I'd give you a little guided tour of the highlights.

The site opens up with this really weird drawing of a girl who is SO not britney holding the moon or something. After you click on her, you get to the main page, which is an "I'm a Slave 4 You"-era Britney, and a bunch of bubbles offering the latest news from Spears Land.

Of course, the big news today is that she's knocked up. Yep, Britney's officially got a bun in the oven. Ostensibly the fault of super-fugly Kevin Federline, this child is bound to be the trashiest of the trash. Here's the official announcement, in Britney's "very own" words:

"Dear Fans,
The time has come to share our wonderful news that we are expecting our first child together. There are reports that I was in the hospital this weekend, Kevin and I just want everyone to know that all is well. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
Love,
Britney and Kevin"

PHEW. So glad Britney and Kevin are letting us know that all is well. I was worried.

The rest of the site is equally priceless. Don't miss the "Dog's Crib Updates", where you will find three pictures of little Bit-Bit's room. ROOM. "Isn't the chandelier adorable?" Britney asks us. Uhh, sure. But not as adorable as the chandalier in MY dog's room.

The "Love B: Stream of Consciousness" section includes missives entitled "Britney on Kabbalah" and "Giving Thanks to Mom". Classics, both.

I'm a little overwhelmed by all of this. So Britney and fugly, fugly, Kevin: I salute you and I think your shameless publicist deserves a raise.

4.11.2005

Ego Boost

I finished the New York Times crossword puzzle in under 20 minutes today at lunch.

I feel smart.*



*OK, not so smart, since it's the Monday puzzle. I have a theory that the Monday puzzle is just to make you feel good about yourself, since any normal human being will feel entirely brainless by the time they try the Friday puzzle and realize they know like three clues.

Lost in New Hampshire

As I mentioned a few days ago, my first rugby game of the season was Saturday, at Dartmouth. Turned out to be a looooong day. Went something like this:

5:36 AM
Alarm goes off

5:42 AM
The Dish drags me out of my bed. We leave to meet the team about ten minutes later.

6:03 AM
Drive to Dartmouth in my captain Izzi's car. Stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast. So far, so good.

8:30 AM
Get to the rugby pitch in Hanover, bitch and moan that we could have slept another fifteen minutes and still been on time. Put on cleats, jerseys, etc., go for a short run, stretch, and warm up. More complaining about how early it is, how cold it is, how hard the ground is, how uncomfortable our cleats are, etc. from the team, which leads to complaining about how complain-y we are. Vicious cycle ensues.

10AM
A-side game starts. I play B-side, so I spent the 90 minutes alternately cheering my team on and muttering under my breath about how badly they were playing. They lost, 21-7. Coach not happy.

11:45 AM
B-Side plays. Our game was only 60 minutes (thank GOD), so I run my lil' self ragged trying to keep the other team back. We must have had fifteen scrum downs in each half, and if you play rugby you know how tiring that can be. I played tight prop, and did an okay job. Not thrilled with my tackles, but I'll work on it.

12:50 PM
I stumble defeated off the pitch. Final score: 12-7 Dartmouth. Plans are made to order pizza and hang out with the other team for a little while. I give money to the people ordering pizza. I get in a car that is making a stop before going to the place where the pizza is.

1:30 PM
No pizza left when I get to the place. I am very sad, but too tired to really care. Drink two beers and get in Beth's car to go back to school.

3:00 PM
Beth (who had typed out directions for all the cars the night before): We take 9E, right?
All of us in the car (without consulting directions): Sure, Beth! blah blah talky talky not paying attention to the road.

4:46 PM
bex: Hey, why is the Man in the Mountain still on the roadsigns? I thought that was just a New Hampshire thing.
...pause...
bex: Holy SHIT, are we still in NEW HAMPSHIRE??
Everyone begins to realize that NH is indeed east of Massachusetts, and 9E probably wasn't the right way to go. and then we all want to cry. a lot.

5:30 PM
Finally backtracked far enough that we are on 9W. Still in if-we-don't-laugh-we'll-cry mode.

7:02 PM
Dropped off at my dorm. Internet not working. Sigh.


Like I said, it was a long day.

4.08.2005

I'm a (musical) Pirate!

Indulging in a little musical piracy from my school library's extensive CD collection. Here's what I got today:

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Wilco)


The Joshua Tree (U2)


The Genius of Charlie Parker


Elvis Presley: The Top Ten Hits



Groovin' High with Dizzy Gilliespie



The Definitive Bud Powell


As you can see I'm trying to beef up my jazz collection. I've listened to the Parker and Gillespie already, and they're great records. Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts" is one of my favorite jazz compositions because of how playful and silly it is...I've listend to it three times today and it never gets old. The U2, Wilco, and Elvis are all things I've been meaning to add to the collection, so a big thumbs up to the college library!

Hurts so Good (Yeah, I'm quoting Mellencamp. I know.)

Spring rugby season officially started up this week. I am SO sore from the last few days of practice, but it's a good kind of sore. Every time I shrug my shoulders I feel nine different muscles in my back that I had forgotten existed at all creaking back to life. I haven't done a push up in six months, so those alone are kicking my ass. I have my very first rugby bruises of the season, and as I sit here on my bed I feel a dull ache in my right hip, soreness all up and down my legs, arms, and back, and in general it feel great.

My team was supposed to go to Springfield, MA tomorrow for a match, but the other team canceled on us and now we're going to Dartmouth. This is bad on several levels:
1. They are great team, so the game is going to be really tough and there is an excellent chance that we'll just get pummeled.
2. Hanover is like 2.5 hours away from here so we're going to have to get up REALLY early. And the last time we had a game up there (in October) the car I was in got in an accident and I never made it to the game. So I'm really excited for the drive...
3. HSG goes there. I haven't written anything about him lately, but we're talking fairly regularly again (though not in the last week or so). It's a bit strained, but we've had some serious conversations and I think we'll be back to our normal rythm eventually. That said, I'm not sure I want to see him tomorrow, especially since it will be for like 15 minutes and we haven't seen each other in forever, and I'll be all sweaty and rugby-y. Not ideal. I left him a message last night saying I was gonna be up there, so we'll see.

Here's my team after a very rainy game this fall:

4.06.2005

Do I need to change the name of the site?

Today is one month before my 20th birthday. I started pushing20 a few months ago, unsure if it would last even this long. But here I am, very nearly not a teenager anymore (cue terrified screams), with an poorly-thought-through blog title.

On second thought, screw it. pushing20 it shall remain.

Post-midterm slump

Seems that I'm in a bit of a slump. I spent most of last night in the computer lab doing a chem lab report, but other than that I've been having a lot of trouble buckling down to do my work this week. I've fallen behind in reading for three classes already-- not an impossible deficit to make up, but daunting.

Also, I got back a TERRIBLE grade on my chem midterm. Let's just say that it won't help me get in to med school in a year and a half. I'll go in and talk to the prof in the next few days to see what I can do to bring my grade up. Blech. Crappy situation altogether, but I need this class so I'll figure it out.

Everything is feeling kinda slump-y. Jen is really sick, so that sucks. She started feeling really bad on Sunday morning, then went to the emergency Sunday night and again this morning. Seems that she's got E. coli, which is affecting her kidneys, and possibly malaria. So she's completely miserable and on lots of antibiotics and pain killers. Fingers crossed that a) she'll get better soon, and b) that I don't get sick too (selfish? yes. deal.).

Sometimes when I come back to school from home I get kinda down on all my school friends. I've made great friends here in the last year and a half, and I'm thankful for that and overall I'm very happy here.

That said, my best friends on the planet are Nanno and Crazybrains, and I am the same to them. There's a feeling among the three of us that we are each other's favorite people, and not just out of habit.

The Dish, Jen, and the rest are great, but it's a very different friendship. I just miss being someone's favorite, and them being mine, you know? I'm not sure that it entirely makes sense the way I'm describing it. It mostly comes down to the fact that I was insanely, unfairly lucky to find Crazybrains when I was 12 and Nanno when I was 9. I'm totally spoiled by having the kind of friends we all deserve but few of us have, and leaving them totally sucks.

The three of us last summer:



So I'm feeling slumpy, but tomorrow the Mets are playing again and I think they and I are both going to have a pretty good day.

4.04.2005

Next year is NOW.

Let me just put this out there: I am a Mets fan.

I love the Mets.

I love the 7 train, where you get a great view of the Manhattan skyline if you look up at just the right moment. The walk down from the elevated tracks is thrilling every time, looking over at the stadium so close you think you might get hit by a ball if the first inning has started already.

I love Mike Piazza, even if he is a terrible catcher. I especially love the rumor from a few years ago that he was shacking up with Sam Champion, the ABC weather guy. I think it's true, even if he's married.

I love the Amazin's of '69 and '86, even though I've only seen them on ESPN classic.

I love the '99 Mets. Even round, Hawaiian (and quickly traded) Benny Agbayani, who promised a World Series penant in five games.

I love Mets fans. Mets fans are loud, opinionated, and passionate. And they won't burn the hat off your head if you're rooting for the opposing team (I'm looking at you, Yankee fans).

Mostly, I love sitting in the upper deck with a lemon icee in my hand, Mets visor on my head, friends on every side.



My favorite season isn't Summer or Winter. It's baseball season.

4.03.2005

This joke will never get old...

...or at least hasn't yet.

Here's the AIM conversation we just had, where I continue to make fun of my best friend and her constant efforts to get out of going to things at the last minute. It's about meeting for breakfast tomorrow morning. (If you've read the last entry it will make more sense.)

[crazybrains] (3:09:36 AM): ok 10ish?
[crazybrains] (3:09:38 AM): 10
bex (3:09:39 AM): by the way, i really can't have breakfast
[crazybrains](3:09:44 AM): SHUT UP
bex (3:09:45 AM): i have to have lunch with my parents
[crazybrains] (3:09:46 AM): SHUT UP
[crazybrains] (3:09:50 AM): WHAT?
bex (3:09:50 AM): on staten island
[crazybrains] (3:09:51 AM): NO
[crazybrains] (3:09:53 AM): JDFKL;SFJSDA;JKLFDASJKLFJLASD
[crazybrains] (3:09:57 AM): DIEDIEDIE
bex (3:10:02 AM): asdfhjkhasjdkhfhahahahahha
bex (3:10:14 AM): I WIN
[crazybrains] (3:10:25 AM): GET OUTTA MY FACE

aaaand I have to be up for 10am breakfast, so I should crash. Happy daylight savings, everybody.

4.02.2005

The best April Fool's jokes are the ones that make people feel bad about themselves.

Well, sort of.

Crazybrains has this bad habit of committing to plans that she doesn't really want to go through with. This week for example, she made a vague commitment to go for sushi with some old friends that she doesn't care much for anymore, and then a few hours beforehand she backed out. Similarly, a school friend thought they were going to Staten Island one day, and CB called her that morning to say she had to have lunch with her folks. Needless to say, she had no excuse for either event (other than hanging out with me), and all the other parties ended up pissed off. She and I talked about how she does this all the time, and how much simpler it would be just to say "Sorry, I don't think I can do sushi this week", instead of "Wednesday sounds OK, give me a call later" when she's planning on canceling at the last minute.

So on April Fools Day Crazybrains and I were planning on going to the Metropolitan Museum for the day. The day before we agreed to around 11, get bagels, and sit on the steps outside the museum and have breakfast. So in the shower that morning I decide to tell CB when we talked around 10:45 that I couldn't go. I had a whole speech planned. I was going to go on and on about how I couldn't go, and maybe it was a better idea for her to go hang out with the friend she had ditched the day before (Staten Island girl), and that I would call her later maybe.

Of course, on the phone I chickened out, and just went with the "uhh, I just woke up, can we meet in like three hours?" which she tooootally fell for, and was all "Really? Oh. Well, I guess. Really? I thought we were gonna-- well, okay. Hm. I guess."

At that point I started giggling and told her I'd walk by her place in ten minutes.

I told her later what the original plan was, and she agreed that I would never have made it two sentences in without laughing.

I'll end this with some of the pieces we spent time with at the Met:



Crazybrains is an art history major, and has been studying Chinese imperial art lately, so we saw a lot of that.



We spent more time in European art than I usually do, which was a nice change. This Goya has always creeped me out a little, but I like it.



This is the Duccio that the Met spent like $30 million on last year. I'd seen it before, but CB hadn't so we checked it out. It is much smaller than you'd think. The NYT printed a picture of it in it's actual size when it came to the Met, but somehow I didn't believe it till I saw it myself.



Back to school tomorrow. Soooo much work undone. But that's for tomorrow night.