The long version:
Woke up at 10:05. Had enough time to take a shower, send an apology e-mail to Bill (to which i got the wonderful reply "I'm sorry your body went on strike but that happens. We'll probably come back to the essay in dealing with a number of the other plays, Henry IV for one thing, but if you'd like to drop by and talk about the essay's argument some time I'm around. have a good break."), and take the later bus to UMass. Discussion section wasn’t very good. Came back and had lunch with Danne. Finished packing, and left.
It took an extra hour to get to Boston thanks to traffic. Then all the commuter trains were arriving 5 minutes before scheduled departure but mine was special and arrived ten minutes after its scheduled departure.
I got back to my house around 7:30. Had “dinner” with my brother. He caught me up on the baseball drama (Oakland, etc.) as we listened to the Red Sox finish sweeping their series.
The last Presidential election there were a bunch of local ballot questions (greyhound racing, giving convicts the vote, and i think a third issue) but this year there is nothing to vote on locally save a couple small offices. This saddens me. Though it does mean i don’t have to bother getting an absentee ballot. (There is no way i’m voting for Kerry, but i don’t think i can quite stomach voting for Kerry either, and as my state is gonna be Dem/Kerry regardless i don’t need to feel guilty.)
Up at the crack of doom to take the train into Boston to take the GRE. Found the test center no problem.
It started with the 45-minute essay, which rather threw me. Then the 30 minute essay. Then the 30-minute verbal section, then the 45-minute math section, then a second verbal section. Dunno which one was the experimental section, but the second verbal section felt much easier. The math section was hard, and since you can’t skip questions i was spending 5 minutes per question on a lot of them and had finished 22 of 28 when time was up. I ended up getting the exact same score as i got on the SAT. I almost laughed aloud at the screen. I was fucking ecstatic, though.
Saw various people in Norwood. Came home via the street Mr. Carver lives on even though he and his wife are always in Northampton Columbus Day weekend for some craft fair thing, but i saw him in his driveway. Turns out Nikki works on Saturdays now so he went up to New Hampshire and biked with his daughter and was just getting back. And as i continued the walk home a woman commented on my Celebrate shirt and turned out to be a woman who knew my mom as a kid and sees me walking a lot. small.fucking.world. And yet i love it.
I started reading Linden Hills, which feels very Flannery O’Connor esque - black people going crazy, and it feels like the South even though it isn’t. It’s a lot about generation and race relations, but of course i was all “The Gay! The Angst!”
On the red line i saw an ad for zipcar that said “Owning a car is so prehistoric” and underneath someone had written “... so is driving. Thanks for riding the T.” I enjoyed that.
I met Rachel at Harvard Square. She showed me page 18 of the current Girlfriends magazine, on the experimental bi-curious. I was talking to people recently about the idea that it hurts more if a girl dumps you for a guy than if she dumps you for another girl and how i would be more hurt if i got dumped for another girl ‘cause then it feels like “What does she have that i don’t have?” whereas a guy has a whole different biology and has been socialized in a wholly different manner and so if i get dumped for a guy it’s like Okay, obviously she wants something i totally can’t give her. Though generally i tend to think people just fall for people and while obviously it hurts to get dumped, i think the only time i would be specifically upset at who i was dumped for would be if i just thought the new squeeze was a generally inferior person.
We went to Coolidge Corner and did lots of shoppy browsing.
We went to Grand Opening and they have lots of books that are essentially how-to manuals for different kinds of sex and i kept thinking “Required reading for fanfic.” There’s actually a book of gay men writing lesbians and lesbians writing gay men.
We also went to Booksmith (where i didn’t find what i was looking for, but oh well) and they had If Women Ruled the World and i was flipping through it and Barbara Ehrenreich (whom i don’t even like) said feminism based on an assumption of the inherent moral superiority of women is lazy and self-indulgent, which made me happy, though hers was the second to last piece in the book.
Other interesting finds:
--How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization
I was sad that it was just about the influence of gay men on modern film and fashion and such; i was hoping it would be all “Influential philosophers X Y and Z were gay.”
--A Brief History of Outrage
Interesting. I liked the postcard that says “heterosexuals recruit through mind control” (or something along those lines) and then lists stuff like “threats of social alienation.”
Then we went to Davis Square to eat. (Diesel, of course) The sandwich i got was fine, but omg the hot chocolate was wonderful.
We went to Goodwill and i actually bought stuff! We looked at the rack of wedding gowns and i decided i wanna wear an evening gown at my wedding because the point is that i feel happy and special and beautiful, and i don’t want a bulky white dress (If my partner wants a white wedding, said partner can wear a white dress.) -- though my mother pointed out that they do make evening gown style white wedding gowns. I also, of course, thought about how not wearing white at your own wedding implies you’re not “virginal” and remembered that i still owe Rachel a response to her LJ post on the fetishization of virginity.
We went to her house for dinner. Her parents told me to call them by their first names. This still throws me even though i call everyone by their first names. I like her parents, though, and enjoyed talking with them (even though her mother says i live in “the outer reaches of nowhere ... almost on the Cape”). Rachel has to send me her parents’ e-mail addresses so i can send them my 11th grade rant on Beowulf.
I came home around 10 and then went out with my brother to see our grandma. We spent about 2 hours there. I learned there’s gonna be no creche in front of the Balch School this year. I thought we settled this a few years back: private entities can place displays on public property provided there is a sign clearly stating that the display is sponsored by an entity other than the town. Apparently it’s fuzzy because it’s a school rather than the town common. The school board spent $18,000 trying to mediate with the plaintiffs (of whom there are only 3 or 4) and then caved, deciding its time and money could be better spent on actual school business like education. I’m torn because i dislike religious displays on public property, but i also think it’s fair to say that private entities can put up displays on public property.
I saw Joe for the first time since January! From our planning IM: "so steps of BPL to meet you at 3ish? (don't worry about the -ish - grad school has made me scarily punctual)" Warms my heart, it does.
He was actually at BPL before i was. We walked around Copley a lot (and this is the boy who once boggled at the idea of walking from his house to mine) and then ate at the Pour House and then he showed me his prison cell of a dorm (he’s RA-ing at BU while doing grad school there) on the 12th floor -- though he has a lovely view, overlooking the water And he made me a mix CD :) Later we went to Espresso Royale and i got a hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll that’s nearly a muffin, and it was his treat :D Yeah, it was a really good day. We are both taking sabbaticals from politics -- i because of the raging liberals, he because of the raging apathy -- and had plenty to talk about that wouldn’t make us frustrated with each other. I mentioned how i’m graduating with an English major but don’t feel qualified to teach much of any of the Western canon and in an attempt to make me feel better he said that Ms. Brady (English department chair at our high school) had told him that many places now are looking less for people who can do Western canon and more for people who’ve done the multicultural lit thing; i pointed out that i’m not cool like him and am even less qualified to teach any of that.
Around 7 he took me back to Back Bay because i wasn’t entirely sure i knew how to get to Back Bay from Copley in the dark (though once we got out at Copley i realized i probably would have been fine because i actually have spent a good chunk of time in that area). So we get in to Back Bay and whom do we see but our old AP European History teacher. He said he had been thinking of me recently and asked what we were up to and whom else from NHS we had kept in touch with and so on. When Joe left he apologized for cutting our farewells short and generally implied that we were dating. Since it was only implication i didn’t bother disabusing him of the notion. He said i always had impeccable judgment and discernment and bladdyblah.
My brother helped me practice self-defense. We’ve done wrist releases in class, but if someone really has your wrist grabbed and means it (e.g. one’s brother, rather than a classmate) it’s bloody hard to get out of it without resorting to stuff like stepping on the attacker’s foot (which no i did not do on my brother).
My dad taped the 5th anniversary Smackdown for me and i watched it over the weekend and one time someone had another guy’s wrists locked behind him and i starting thinking Self-Defense class and how one would get out of it.
Wow, Taker’s only been around since 1990. (Though 15 years is a hella long time for a wrestler. Especially to manage to still have the same power and presence that he has.) I shouldn’t spend $3.95 just for a Taker retrospective, right?
Monday was National Coming Out Day. On my way to my UMass class today i passed by the Coming Out Day rally in front of the Student Union. ‘Twas cute. Though i was upset that when i passed by again in an hour all the rainbow decorations were gone as if they had never been there.
In the spirit of the day: Everyone knows i’m queer, right? Would be far more radical to “come out” as holding a variety of the political views i do (though most of you already know most of them), but i’ll save that for another time.
Coming back from my UMass class i bumped into Adam (from the Oxford trip). I would really like to hang out with him some time.
CompGeeks sent me my mouse back, so it must function on their equipment, but it still doesn’t function on mine. Le sigh. And the UMass Bursar’s Office sent me a bill for a Continuing Ed fee for the Oxford trip (yes, i’m getting a $35 bill now for a summer 2003 item) and i called the office twice this afternoon and got a busy signal both times. Liz Carr sent me a really nice thank you not for the Christine Lavin mix CD i made her, though.
Had dinner at Tyler with Danne and some of her people. Then there was a hall party of sorts outside my door when i came back. And i am enjoying The Snow Queen (legit 'cause i'm gonna work it into my UMass paper on gender and dystopias) and got interesting religion books out from the library (okay, only one really relates to my paper). However, the two main motivations for coming back to Smith earlier in the day were to go to my UMass lecture (which was interesting) and to rewrite my Shakespeare paper, and the latter has been so not happening has so not been happening. So that needs to be my project for the rest of the night (‘cause it’s due tomorrow). Eventually i will read my friendspage again.