Friday, June 02, 2006

The Blackhole of Brillance: Part I

For four(ish) years, I made my tuition checks out to a university in Atlanta. However, my freshman year of college was spent at a slightly humbler institution that required many gallons of gas and sweet tea to visit. My time there was a pitcher of the good stuff: cheap, sweet, and addictive enough to have you doubled over in a stomach ache. By my second week, I knew I didn’t want to leave this place in either a cap and gown or handcuffs. So away I applied.

Pretty soon, the acceptance letters began raining down. Or drizzled, for those of you concerned with a non-fiction rehashing of my freshman year. New schools meant campus visits. This meant travelling the country unnecessarily and I was glad for it. Delta loved me. Exxon adored me. The parents were slightly less enthused.

Technically, I narrowed it down to two schools. But they were so vastly different it felt like picking alternate endings in a crappy choose-your-own adventure paperback. Life would be radically altered depending on my decision between Atlanta and Pennsylvania. Had I completed my psychology courses by that time, I would have considered these choices the first sign of a raging bipolar disorder. I’m happy to report no significant mental ailments (the DSM says a burgeoning Nutella addiction does not count). Nonetheless, I still look back on this particular crossroads with nothing less then bewildered bewilderment.

Because I am both brilliant and restless, I decided to visit Atlanta for the first time at 9:39 p.m. on a Wednesday. I remember because I had just promised to cover the tab and realized that I only had enough funds to live on a jar of Jiffy for the next week. Thus, the road called. This stroke of scheduling genius got me into Atlanta a little after 4 a.m. which sounded quite reasonable to me. I filled a duffel bag with t-shirts and left a trail of smoke behind me.

At my former school, Blackhole of Debauchery (BOD), the weekend lasted from Wednesday afternoon until the clock struck midnight on Monday. The Tuesday, it was sacred. They say this is when the Papa John delivery boy rested. Given my newly arranged calendar, the Jeep and I set off for Atlanta. About four hours into the trip, I recall being overcome with a sense of extreme urgency. I pulled over to piss in the woods. Two minutes later, the urgency returned. Oh yes, I needed a map.

I’ve mentioned that, at the age of 18, I was rather brilliant. As evidence of this, I was going through a phase whereby maps, compasses, or any objects of a directional nature were considered shameful artifacts of minivan-ed families and I would have none of it. Missing your exit was an adventure! Getting lost was romantic! This is the same phase that allows freshmen to festishize dorm room filth as an indication of their waning commitment to adolescence. I am now cured. Plus, the AAA atlas lodged into the seat cushions of my Jeep was warped with a foreign substance that somehow made the entire state of Louisiana look like a quaint little fishing village off the coast of the Atlantic.

So with no real workable map, I decided to rely on the kindness of rednecks. By the glow of Chevron’s fluorescent oasis, I could tell the guy behind the counter had a skin condition. I could tell this because people typically don’t run sandpaper across their face for fun. However, in his defense, it should be said that at 1:30 in the morning after driving several hours down I-95, I, too, look only slightly more becoming than the old lady with the rifle from The Goonies. I was quite tired by that point and my empathy was at a low ebb. Yes, it does flow occasionally. Just not in the presence of other humans.

-Brilliant Moron: “Hi there. Think I missed my turnoff a while back. Any idea where Rt 313 is?”

-Chevron Slave with Poor Lighting: “Eeew buyin’ inny thang?”

-BM: “No. No, I was just wondering if 313 intersects the highway after-“

-CSWPL: “Well, I don’t recall 313 bein’ nowuur round the gas station here.”

-BM: “Ok, lemme just check out the map real fast to make sure I’m headed in the right direction, you know.”

-CSWPL: “Cayn’t letcha use the map without ya buyin’ it furst.” His cheeks crinkled up like the outside of a burnt croissant. “Got em watchin me awwll the time with the camera leeenzes!” His last word came out sounding like he was calling out to a room full of belligerent toddlers named Lindsay. He raised an alarmingly long fingernail to the corner of the store. Though partially obscured by a small city of cobwebs, there appeared to be a security camera pointed at the counter.

-BM: “Look, I don’t actually need the whole thing. Just a glance to give me an idea of which exit I need to take.” The familiar sting of indignance rose in my throat. Though it could have just been the Doritos.

-CSWPL: “Saaawry bout that, sweet tits. Just cayn’t letcha do it.”

Within the span of twenty seconds, I have learned that (1) security cameras are rarely equipped with microphones and (2) the vast majority of the population believes that tacking on “sweet” as a prefix to anything makes misogyny all fine and dandy. The world is my classroom, people.

He started to grin. His gums were approaching the color of overripe banana peels. Tiny rivers of saliva trickled through the spaces between his teeth and I wondered if maybe he just had a tendency to over-floss. With bungee cords.

It was time to leave.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Done Good and Well Done...

…but still pink on the inside.

For those of you who follow these sorts of things, (underdeveloped sense of shame + excessive free time) I’m leaving for a bit. I won’t be going far and it’s for a noble cause: The Future Employment Apocalypse Fund. If that’s too wordy, you can make the checks out to B. “Dunkin Donuts Night Manager” Hermes. Just post date them until after I get my diploma. My destination for the next three months will be very green, rather dank, and will spit me back out smelling more like stinky cheese than Euro trash cologne.

The Netherlands. 90 days.

I forecast a low chance of suckage.

Nonetheless, this is not an invitation to unload your study abroad stories on me. I don’t care about the time you met Bono in Prague. Please do not email me with the name of your Italian cousin who swears he knows all the bouncers in Ibiza and thinks most Americans talk like one of the Bush twins. However, should you have any extra Euro laying around that you’d like to dispose of, we can talk and I’ll pretend to listen.

Now that exams are over, I’m free to make wildly invalid claims about the amount of things I will pack into the remaining days I have left. This is to avoid doing any actual packing of luggage or vital documents identifying me as an American citizen. The plan is to force my law school into letting me finish out the final year in a foreign country that has never known the horrors of deep-fried Twinkies or American Idol.

Actually, this week is when clocks lie and calendars are not my friend. It’s strange how stretchy the days are now, how the elasticity of time can be such a mind-fuck.….those three minutes waiting for the 4/5 express at 59th street ooze into oblivion, especially when the guy to your right smells like a wedge of Roquefort left out in the rain….the hours you spend giving your friends laugh lines just whiz through your memory like a stray bullet between your ears.

So with t-minus 6 days until the great Dutch migration begins, I’ve been thinking about what to do with this humble little alcove I’ve carved out in my corner of the Internets. It is, I believe, high time for some newness. The unsullied, virgin site will arrive soon. Just in time to reach new depths of mediocrity.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fugitive Love Really Is the Best Love

If I thought that more than 25 people a day read these words I might be more inclined to make a limp attempt at explaining the last week or so of silence. But since I know the readership is no larger than the amount of rats currently reigning over my building, we can dispense with the excuses.

Embrace the tardiness.

Rejoice in the brain cells you’ve salvaged in my absence.

I promise extra snark and unyielding stupidity from here on out.

In that vein, let's review one of life's staunchest truths (outside the inevitability of leaving your credit card behind the bar last night, you drunken fucktard):
If you're not laughing hard enough that your nostrils drip milk at least four times a week, then your life is starved for humor. You need to eat some funny. You're also missing out on the joy of obscene laundry bills but that's really just icing, baby.

In an effort to fill your hamper, I give you the practical side of fugitive love...

IAmJamieSabuda: Would you want to date a woman with one leg?
Worker #3116: I’m tempted to say yes, but I don’t know.
IAmJamieSabuda: Wouldn’t it be kind of sweet, though.
Worker #3116: For awhile, but you’re never going to date a woman with one leg and think “I’ve found the one.”
IAmJamieSabuda: Why not?
Worker #3116: Because. Look, whomever I spend the rest of my life with, be it man, woman, or beast, I need to be able to look over my shoulder at that person and yell “WE NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, NOW!”I need someone who can flee disaster.
I don’t want to have to pull some one-legged woman from the rubble.
IAmJamieSabuda: It would be kind of romantic, though.
Worker #3116: When it comes to survival, I’m not that interested in romance. We can have romance on a cruise. In times of danger, I just want to know they can keep up.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

How To Satiate Me With Little Scraps of Laminated Plastic

When we’re lining up for the ski lift, you should position your hulking, neoprene-ed body so that I will be forced to either dangle from the gondola cable or face-plant you directly into the snow drift that is racing towards our gaping pie holes. Though I haven’t practiced my wrestling moves since last semester (“Defending Your Client While On Offense: 101”, natch), I will not hesitate to carve up your matching snow suit with the blade of my ski like a homicidal calligraphist with poor impulse control. And when I straddle your lifeless form with my goggles and a belt, you will know the menacing wrath of grad students everywhere on their final weekend of sweet, sweet break. Once I am satisfied that you have stolen your last breath from the pristine mountain air, the ski patrol guy with the crooked grin to your left will chuckle and introduce himself at the end of the Ski Lift of Rapidly Impending Doom. He will turn out to be a local yokle with very little in the way of properly firing brain synapses but, pish posh, all is not in vain. For, I, the lowly law student of even lowlier academic prowess, shall score a free lift ticket from Mountain Patrol Boy by day’s end and you, my friend, will still be excavating shards of Oakley lenses from your frozen skull. Toodles!

How To Win Me Over: Part 36

Devote more than twenty seconds to compiling a CD for me before I leave on break. You should have a mix of audacity and foolishness beguiling enough to name the CD, Music You Don’t Know, So Listen To It. You should also not be faint of heart because that is the precise organ I will stomp on while gloating that, in fact, I already have that album and, no, Mazzy Star is not an actual person. As it turns out, your choices will be marginally superb and I will give my iPod OCD over the next fortnight as I keep the same playlist in constant, maddening rotation. When I begrudgingly mention the relative perfection that is your CD, you should simply smile over the phone and reply, “Oh, good.” I will know you are smiling because your voice changes when you try to stifle your smugness like a half-hidden burp. I will smell the feigned arrogance. But I won’t care.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hurtling Towards Oblivion

The airport screeners tagged me as a female traveling alone. Because I am a dangerous individual, I got to enjoy the tactile stylings of Jaquilla, Name-Tagged One. Her big ritual is the wearing of the imitation leather gloves. This allows her to pat me down from crotch to ankle while we both pretend that a millimeter of fabric covering her press-on nails eliminates any awkwardness I may feel at having a uniformed stranger stroke my inseam in front of the general public.

The troll wore Baby Gap. He exhausted his larynx a few yards away from my seat. I stared directly at the sun coming in through the plate glass window. Layers of tint peeled away. Melanomas threw a welcome party on my face. I chastised myself for not pursuing a career in oncology. More troll wailing. I wondered about the precise decibel level at which glass shatters. I wondered how I would explain to the cops why I used a toddler as a human shield while being showered with broken window shards. But mostly, I dreamed of slow death by sun stroke.

My eardrums began to hemorrhage as the loudspeaker wanted in on the bloodshed: Please be advised. Your flight is late. Your destination is fogged out and you are somewhere between royally fucked and marginally screwed. Your delay will be in the ballpark of three hours. Your stomach will also learn to consume itself from the inside out while you wait. Please don’t eat the roaming trolls.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Welcome to the Trough

So I've been neglectful, but there are good reasons that have nothing to do with reruns of Grey's Anatomy and dollar drafts at David Copperfield's. Promise.

To wrap up this soul-sucking week, I leave you with some retina-soothing images.

Actual words will resume after the weekend.

Superior forms of street meat...French Fry Encrusted Hot Dogs

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Because Hallmark Told Me To Smile

Shit's crazy round here.

Will be vomitting up the stories soon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Unhinge Your Eyelids...

....with a little link love.

Psychotrophics are underrated.

In case you needed a manual.

Just turn it down.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How To Break Me

My law school chose a new mascot this week:

In other news, I chose a new career path:

Look for me to turn pro in early '07.

The parents. They are beaming. Ever notice how pride and disgust are easily confused?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hi Lo: Week Edition

Last Friday
Hi:Tegan & Sara concert (Canadian twins with bitchin shag haircuts + grasp of amazing lyrics) and meeting Ph.d. boy (potential grasp of advanced Freudian theory?)

Lo:Cake concert (abuse of trumpets + not enough Fashion Nugget) and battling moronic underage-ers for three inches of floor space (abuse of Natty Light + not enough brain cells)

Hi: Bed, Bath, and Beyond expedition (dangerously high levels of estrogen + unlimited selection of smelly products) and East Village exploration (dangerously high levels of Hipster + unlimited gin selection)

Lo: Rent and receipt totaling (impending credit card doom + shiny apartment newness) and desperately-needed cleaning party (impending clogged drains + shiny, sweaty foreheads)

Hi: Road Runners "Frostbite" Race (keeping up with the pack + walking away with my extremities intact) and spontaneous, caramel-corn-fueled Grey's Anatomy gathering (keeping up with the pop culture herd + walking away with my credibility intact (ish)

Lo: Towering pile of work left untouched (honing my procrastination skills + mulling over how to market a law degree as a waitress) and dwindling list of excuses (honing my denial skills + mulling over how Peter Sarsgaard got so menancingly attractive). I'm taking suggestions on both counts

Hi: iPod revival from brink of certain death via tech support guy (reasserting dominance over the devices that not so secretly run my life)

Lo: Ulcer revival from brink of certain [welcome] death via letter back from NRC (reasserting helplessness over the forces that not so secretly determine the rest of my career)

Hi: Restaurant Week shindig with the femmes (systematic draining of wine bottles + liquid pleasure in the form of chocolate raspberry drizzling sauce) and meeting British Bloke (trading family war stories + making fun of the French)

Lo: Walking home in heels (systematic draining of bank accounts + liquid fear in the form of ATM statements) and braving the wrath of Jack Frost (trading frostbite scars + making peace with our imminent death on a West Side sidewalk)

Hi: Offered research assistant position with favorite professor (padded resume + paychecks + publishing)

Lo: Realized the position doubles as an experiment in the effects of extreme exhaustion and pressure on the human animal (truncated sleep schedule + tension headaches + turning into a social pariah)

Hi: Date with Brit Bloke

Lo: Date with Brit Bloke (must I elaborate, *sigh*)

Hi: Shut-eye (Zzzz... ) and cautiously optimistic about impending evening with Ph.d. Boy (hoping that a dose of normalcy + humor won't be too much to expect)

Lo: Errands (Grrr...) and rapidly depressed about impending deadlines with Professor Man (hoping that a dose of mercy + amnesia won't be too much to expect)

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