December 29th, 2002

you think you know...

the randomness that is my life

This summer, the circulation department is going to be getting a new computer system which includes computer mice. We got the kind where instead of moving the mouse you just roll a ball in the mouse. Takes a bit of getting used to, but no big deal. So on Friday i went through the little exercises that come with it or whatever so i would be considered trained. At the end it offers you the option to redo any of the exercises of get further practice playing games. So i played Hangman and such. And Michele said it was totally okay because i was getting practice using the mouse. Plus it was a slow afternoon.

Saturday, Lindsay McLean showed up again. Anyone really interested could search for the relevant entries over the summer, but basically he’s someone who acts like he knows me even though i have no idea how, and every question directed at me always ends up with him talking about his own life a lot. So he showed up, checked out some books, chatted for a bit, and then left. “Nice seeing you again.” I just kinda grunted. He usually hangs around for a while, but it looked like he actually left for real. But then he came back again. Eventually he checked out a book and we talked again. He said something about the snow and i mentioned how when my friends in Brooklyn had said it was snowing i thought, “Dammit, where’s my snow.” “Oh, are you from New York originally?” “No, i just have friends there.” Now, everyone gets more worked up about my shady people than i do (although i try to avoid Lindsay) but that sort of set off low-level alarm bells in my head, because it seemed like a very obvious You really don’t know me much at all, do you? I mean, i live in a fairly small town (he lives one town over) and have lived here since i was a year old. One of these days i swear i’m just gonna flat-out say, “How do you know me?”

Then in the afternoon i went upstairs on break. I read for 20 minutes and then was on the Internet for 10. Five minutes before my break was over i talked to Terry for about 30 seconds because he was hassling me about “Shouldn’t you be working?” Then on my way back downstairs i talked to my friend Cassie for a minute or two. Other than that i didn’t talk to anyone. So shortly thereafter, while i was standing at the desk and there were no patrons, this scruffy guy who looked very vaguely familiar (as does half of Norwood) started talking to me. He claimed that we had talked upstairs, something about the Internet. “Maybe another day,” i suggested, because i obviously hadn’t talked to him that day, but i’ve certainly talked to random people, particularly at work. He was fairly insistent, though. “You’re intelligent, go to college...” (gee, that narrows down the populace). He claimed to have forgotten my name and where i go to school and when i told him did that kinda “Yeah, yeah, i knew that.” My guess is that he’s just slightly delusional. Then we got on to music. “What’s your favorite band?” Apparently he has a band. I then had to wait on patrons, so i got a respite. He went to use the phone and Terry told me he had randomly started talking to him earlier, too. Then he came back. And asked the music question again. I said my favorite musician is Ani DiFranco (i think he was pretending to know who she was), that most of my favorite musicians are solo artists. He asked if i knew Ash, some new European band whom he thinks is good. I’d never heard of them. Then he asked if i knew Vanessa Carlton. I said i’d heard of her, but hadn’t heard any of her music. He thinks she’s very good, too. Thankfully, he left shortly thereafter. With his jacket and hat he looked more familiar, like maybe i’d seen him around town or something. Whatever. Mary K. says she attracts amiable drunks. :) “If there’s a drunk around, he’ll come talk to me. They’re never fresh, just like to tell me their life story or what have you.”

I really should go visit Diane (who runs the used bookstore i worked at a couple summers ago) sometime this break. I’ve managed not to run into Richard (the shadiest of my random people, a guy who really has no sense of boundaries) since i think some time last spring, so let’s hope i can keep that up.

I had little desire to see Monsters, Inc. and no desire (beyond athene’s adamant recommendation) to see Lilo and Stitch, but we watched both of them Friday night and i greatly enjoyed them both. Boo is definitely one of the cutest things ever, and i got all teary at all the ohana bits. “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It's little and broken, but still good.” I finally saw It’s A Wonderful Life on Saturday. The short version is: I got teary at the end, but in general the movie didn’t really do it for me. The long version is: Collapse )

I am intimidated by paperwork. So instead of applying for internships and Oxford and financial aid, i am catching up on LiveJournal. Sigh. I also still haven’t told Michele about Oxford. She’s been saying stuff like, “I’m so glad that you’ll be here this summer,” and i just can’t bring myself to mention it in that context. I want it to be, “Michele, i’m going to Oxford this summer! Isn’t that great and exciting?” And she will get all excited for me and then it will be, “Oh yeah, and it’s 6 weeks in the summer, and i’m hopefully gonna be getting an internship to help pay for it, so, um, yeah.” I’d much rather have her be happy for me first, rather than start with the upset over the fact that i won’t be working for her this summer. (And if i can’t get a Praxis, i will absolutely work for her as much as much as humanly possible when i’m not at Oxford.) The guilt over this is making me less enthusiastic about the trip, which is the last thing i need when i’m trying to get Smith to give me money to go.

Dear ELIZABETH, here is your Horoscope for December 29, 2002

It may be hard for you to get a handle on things today, ELIZABETH, as
your focus seems to jump from one subject to the next without
finding any resolution from the first. Today is not a day to find a
solution. You are better off researching, asking questions, and
gathering facts. Keep your channels of communication open and don't
try to pin anyone down for a solid answer. You will accomplish a
great deal by keeping things active and light.

“This is my family. I found it all on my own. It's little and broken, but still good.”

A friend of my mother has a sign on her refrigerator which says Expect A Miracle. I’m not sure how i feel about that. I means, wasn’t Jennifer Walters’s message at Convocation “Let go of expectations.” But i do like the idea of having hope and faith that even what seems impossible can happen. There’s also the somewhat parallel idea of making your own miracles, of working toward your dreams. And also the joy of making other people’s miracles happen.
i fight fire with words

the Affair

I just finished reading Barry Werth’s The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: a Literary Life Shattered by Scandal. The book came out last year, and i heard about the scandal very briefly from my professor in Queer Studies last spring. I think Gary did an adequate job of boiling down the scandal to its barest form, but the impression i got of the fates of the accused was much different from the story the book tells. Yes, Arvin did die shortly after leaving Smith, but despite the fact that he had battled depression throughout his life, he was doing very well psychologically at the time of his death -- he died of diabetes. Dorius and Spofford were the two young untenured professors who were not asked back. This was a decision of the trustees, though. The faculty as well as the president supported keeping them on. Also, they both successfully taught elsewhere, though Spofford later suffered multiple breakdowns. I really don’t see what Smith as an institution should apologize for. Perhaps i am misremembering what Gary said. Will be e-mailing him soon.