I picked up Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham a few weeks ago. He's the author who wrote The Hours, which I never read, so I don't know why this info matters, but there you are. Anyway, it was on sale and the description on the back interested me, so I got it. In an amazing bit of foresight, I threw it in my purse as I was calling 911 on Friday. I ended up sitting in the ER for 5 hours, so I started reading it. I'm not sure how I feel about it, and I can't even articulate what it is that's getting to me. These past few weeks have been really meh in terms of books, save the Vonnegut. I need to get to a bookstore and find some good stuff. I have plenty of unread books both at my apartment and at home, but most of them were impulse buys that just don't interest me. I might start Shopgirl, since that's pretty short.

Bah. Any suggestions?


Today, I:
1) called 911 for the first time.
2) got an ambulance and a firetruck!
3) rode in an ambulance for the first time.

It was a fun day.

ETA: In all honesty, it was probably the most interesting 24 hours of my life.


It wasn't truly allergy season until last night: I finally rubbed my nose so hard that I got my annual blister inside the nostril. Ugh, it stings like a bitch. Between that, my eyes, and the general itchiness of my face, I don't want to do anything.

I've decided to change my plans for next year. If I come back to the university for fall semester, I can pick up a Cinema Studies minor and do a senior thesis. I decided both of those things would be good for me wanting to study French Film in grad school. I'll still go to Paris for spring semester and graduate afterward. This way I can get my health stuff figured out, improve my CV, and keep one part of my life constant for just a little bit longer. Plus, I'll have lots of opportunities to extend my stay in France: teaching assistant, au pair, graduate programs. When I first presented the idea to my mom, she argued with me about it. I talked to my French film professor to see if she had any advice, and she did. Later on, I got calls from both of my parents telling me that they would let this be entirely my call, and I should do what makes me happy. So unfortunately I have to talk to the study abroad coordinator and tell her again that I'm only going to go for a semester.


Grossness of the day:
My eyes are mega swollen from allergies. That's not the gross part. My blood vessels in my upper and lower eyelids have become very dark, and they're sticking out from the skin slightly. Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww. I can't wait until allergy season is over.


Today I finished Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country. Vonnegut's really grown on me. I didn't like him so much last fall when I was reading Breakfast of Champions, but his style has become an acquired taste for me. It's a short read; I bought it last night and started it around 10pm.

I applied for a job last night at Target, a job this morning at a new spa opening up in town, and a job at Eddie Bauer. I hope one of these comes to fruition. I called a couple consulates and the Quebec Delegation about internships. They took my number, but never got back to me. Bah. Just as well; I want money to take abroad with me. Money money money! Wish me luck.


I don't run for two days, and I'm able to easily add 1 mile to my normal routine. Funny how that works.

I felt like I could have run more, but I still have to read a buttload and finish up a paper, as well as eat dinner and pack. I now know what my problem was those 500 times I resolved to run (6 years of cross country = lots of guilt): I need to RUN. I would go out maybe once or twice, decide it wasn't worth it, and then stop. I really need to continue. Here's my new secret weapon: NPR Podcasts. I used to run to music, but songs divide the time too much and don't distract me enough. If I have 50 continuous minutes of talking and jokes and narrative, then I don't think so much about running, and I just let my legs take over. It's actually quite pleasurable. I think my next step is to start buying books on iTunes. I will be the most cultured, fittest person ever!


     Talia signed up for one of my classes, which was odd since it was an upper-level French class taught entirely in French. On her first day, we watched a video about religious rituals in Japan, and so she thought that was awesome. I wanted to tell her that the final would be in French, and I'd help her study for it if she wanted, but would she really want to put herself through that just for a crummy grade? I wasn't sure if saying that would be insensitive. Talia also must have had Tourette's, becuause she would jump up and shout random things, like, "That's a bummer!" and "Darn him!" during class.
     Then I was in some weird band that was managed by my 6th grade teacher and a guy who was a mix of Ice-T and Randy Jackson. They had all these unrealistic expectations for us, like I should always know where my luggage is plus the luggage of everyone else in the band. We were on tour, and our bus stopped so we could eat at a restaurant. I was frustrated with it all, so I just got up and started running. The Ice-T/Randy Jackson character ran after me. I saw a street sign that said Clark, so I thought at first we were in Lincoln Park, but then I realized Clark is a long street. I climbed up on a bookstore awning, and Ice-T/Randy Jackson pulled me down. I fell, and we both rolled into the street, where cars and trucks were rushing past at 70mph. I was frozen with fear. I started clawing the air once I revived my faculty of movement. I caught Ice-T/Randy Jackson's eye with my fingernail, and he started freaking out.


Yet another song that makes me emotional: Starálfur by Sigur Rós. This is the incredibly gorgeous song that plays at the climax of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the part where I get all teary-eyed. It wasn't on the soundtrack, and I had always wondered what it was. Now that I know, I've listened to it a million times in a row.

I watched Me and You and Everyone We Know tonight. I had seen the trailer a long time ago, but I couldn't decide if it was the sort of indie stuff that I love, or if it was a pretentious indie love story that I would hate (à la Garden State). ("The more I think about [Garden State], the more I hate it." --Talia) Roger Ebert chose it for his Overlooked Film Festival, which led me to give it a chance (also: the rental place didn't have The Crying Game, but I couldn't just walk away with only 2 movies). Anyway, I can't decide how I feel about it. I think many things were unrealistic (Christine & Richard's entire relationship, the kids' dialogue, the events during the meeting between Robby and the internet fetishist...), and Christine's art just kind of bugged me. But for some reason I still might like it. I liked the soundtrack a lot.

Talia and I were going to see Low tonight (free tickets!) but we both felt like crap so we ate Chinese food and then went to our respective homes to chill.

As of a few days ago, my allergies hadn't set in yet, and so I figured I was home free. Usually they start around spring break, even if it's still cold (and in last year's case, snowing). This morning I woke up with my eyes crusted shut, and it's all gone downhill from there. Today is a definite glasses day, since my eyes are too dry to even see well, and I'm reminded of how unglamorous I feel in these glasses. I hope my new ones come soon, and that I like them after all.


I rented Me and You and Everyone We Know and Junebug cause I'm an indie romantic fuck. I was happy to learn that Embeth Davidtz was born in Lafayette, Indiana, where I spent many a year of my childhood.


Gah. I hate when there are things that people write that are purposely vague, but I still can't help wondering if they're about me, because... well, things I've done could possibly maybe fit. And I want to know! But I'm afriad if I ask, people will lie, because there's a reason why the things were written vaguely, and they may not want me to know...? Or something.

And yes, I realize the irony of this entry being purposefully vague.

I was watching The Simpsons and I discovered Smithers and I have the same thyroid problem. Neat!

Today in my Film Theory & Criticism class we read an article by Laura Mulvey, a feminist film critic. This of course provoked a lot of psychoanalytical phallus talk. The people in my class chose to use words such as "thing", "package", and "boobs". I'm in a class of 12-year-olds: great.

     I went to a combination of Navy Pier and Six Flags with two different versions of Talia. One was her regular self, and the other was a Eurotrash version. The Eurotrash version didn't talk at all; she wore a stupid newsboy cap (skewed slightly off center, of course) and red nylon cargo working-out pants. We went on this one weird boat ride where the captain or whoever would flip it upside down and dip you in the water. There were a couple of deaths, and a couple children were orphaned. The people who worked there wouldn't let us leave. One of the Talias wanted to go home, but I was upset because we still hadn't ridden Raging Bull.


Things I learned today:

  1. NPR.org occasionally broadcasts live concerts for free. Tonight I heard Neko Case, which was awesome. They also have archives of Belle & Sebastian, The New Pornographers, Arctic Monkeys, and Sigur Ros. I'm going to be busy for the next several hours.
  2. Studio 360 is a cool show that I should listen to more often.
  3. All Songs Considered is available as a free podcast.
  4. Afrin, the nasal spray, works, and it works fast.
  5. When I'm sick, all I want to do is lay around and eat.


I have a cold. I get 2 or 3 per year nowadays. Whenever I sniffle or sneeze or even when I do neither, I feel a sharp pain in my right trapezius.

Here's another song that's so beautiful that it provokes intense emotions (in me, at least): America by Simon & Garfunkel.

I just got done reading Freakonomics. I read it in an entire sitting. I don't have much to say about it, except I found it extremely interesting and would like to read more books like it.

I'm coming down with a cold.

So tonight I decide to get drunk. Innocent enough, right? Except at 2am, fucking STEVE sends me a text telling me he wants to talk online tomorrow. I think he has to be drunk. This is the weirdest fucking coincidence. Weirder than I could ever imagine.

P.S. I'm drunk, right? And I STILL managed to change the toilet paper roll and throw the old one away. Fucking Jessie and fucking Bob can't even do that when they're stone cold sober, cause they're the stupidest and most inconsiderate people I've ever had the misfortune of meeting. I hope they see this, and I hope they're embarrassed about how inconsiderate they've been this whole year. Fuck you guys. This has been the most terrible year ever, and it's all thanks to you. I hope you're happy.


A recent conversation for your enjoyment (edited because I can't remember exactly what was said, and I want to make myself sound more eloquent):
me: I'm proud of myself. I finally blogged a real entry. I accomplished clarity and organization of thought, and I feel like this is what people want to read moreso than a list of all the inane things I did that day.
Talia: Yeah. I just skimmed it.


ETA: I posted this conversation cause I thought it was funny, like that I tried to be intelligent and interesting and coherent, but it ended up being boring. Let it be known that Talia is in fact a dedicated blog reader.

Last night I had a dream that I had a huge surgery done on my throat that left a scar about 9" long. This is funny, because I have 3 possible throat surgeries that may or may not happen in the not-too-distant future.

Tomorrow is my awards ceremony. Maybe I'll be able to identify the lunatic who nominated me.


One of the things that makes me happy is when semi-famous people respond to my e-mails. It makes me feel important. Ze Frank has responded to 2 of my e-mails (and one even included praise!). Today I got an e-mail from Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose book you might remember me reading (and loving, by the way). I had gone to the book's website and left her a comment soon after I had finished reading. She called my comment "INSANELY funny", which makes me love her even more. Yay for me!


Whoa! Bob Odenkirk was born in Naperville! Neat.