kitsjay: (So?)
Today, in the grand tradition of New Year’s Eves of past, I gorged myself on fine television and binged on sugar, caffeine, and spicy sandwiches. The Travel channel is running a marathon of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” series, which is an excellent blend of historical, culinary, and cultural delight. No kidding. The current episode is set in Ireland, where he tours Belfast and sampled a pint of Guiness with a Protestant and a Catholic man over steak-and-Guiness-pie. He then went to Dublin and ate traditional Asian food—right. My only real complaint about this show is that he often eats food in Ireland, then calls it Irish food (or other countries). To some degree I can understand the incorporation of Asian culture into Ireland, but then what is the point of traveling, when you can find international anywhere you go?

Despite this, I love this show, and Iceland is coming up next. I have no idea what traditional Iceland fare is like, but I’m eager to see. Bourdain went through one restaurant that had an onslaught of Irish shellfish. According to his unofficial guide in Dublin, Irish people rarely ate fish. Fresh fish available to you, and never sampling it. Amazing.

On another channel is non-stop Hitchcock favorites, including Rear Window and Psycho. Last night I had the privilege of watching The Trouble with Harry and Family Plot.

Interspersed are clips of Paris, London, Berlin and Romania celebrating the New Year with fireworks and—in the last case—dressing as bears and dancing. In Berlin’s case, there is music playing that, if I don’t miss my guess, is from Pirates of the Caribbean.

By now you’re no doubt mentally condemning my sloth and gluttony and counting downwards the various levels of hell I am no doubt descending to. I believe firmly in the ancient Roman hedonist tradition on New Year’s. I eat until I am sick, laze about, and watch TV, indulging in all my bad habits to the fullest. Tomorrow, I’ll fast for three days and start the new year anew with good habits.

And the utterance of the word “duck”, which is said to bring new luck for the entire new year.

I wish you all a decadent end of the old year and renewal with the new one.

Oh! And lest I forget, this year I will be afraid to do things, but will do them anyway; I will excel academically, even when it kills me; I will keep my temper with lesser beings and overlook their many, many faults; I will keep silent when I want to talk, and talk when I want to keep silent; I will forget about these in the space of two weeks and curl into a fetal ball, sleep fourteen hours a day, and play video games in between classes while trying to convince Courtney to watch X-Files with me at 1:00 in the morning when I should be studying.

Sounds good.

Anything called Black Death has got to be good.

--Anthony Bourdain
kitsjay: (whale)
For laughs, I thought I would taunt myself with fake entries from the future I have planned for myself now.

Because I'm a masochist, apparently.

FAKE ENTRY FROM APRIL 14, 2008:

Ugh. Classes are boring, interspersed by moments of mind-numbing panic when I realize I have a test coming up, followed by an hour of stomach clenching, "Wait, was there a back?" and "I KNEW IT WAS A. DAMMIT. I PUT B, WHY OH WHY DID I PUT B?" and further resolutions to double-check my work that will be continually disregarded because I cannot stand to spend another moment within the confines of the classroom.

The only bonus is that a paycheck is coming up from a job that is only moderately less dignity-crushing than school itself.

It warms my heart when my meager pittance from the higher-ups comes down to me, when I turn that check into my bank, who then charges me for foolishly spending .10 to buy Ramen noodles when I had nothing in the bank. This being the same bank, of course, that takes five days to deposit my check into my account, but two seconds to realize I've overdrafted.

In any case, the warming of the heart, et cetera, knowing that that's one less $180 I'll owe after college.

Now I only have $25,000 to go.




FAKE ENTRY FROM APRIL 26, 2010:

Finally, almost graduating. After years of intense work calculating the minimum input of work for the maximum grade output (most of it defaulted to my math major roommate, who needs the extra practice; plus, I cook for us), I have managed to reach the end of the line. The last semester of my undergraduate years. Two degrees, one of them almost completely meaningless, the other only marginally less so, and I'm on my way to bigger and better things! Yes, siree, I mean defaulting on loans and hightailing it to Mexico where I'll put my Marine Biology to good use by working on a shrimp boat and my English degree to good use by speaking Spanish all the time.

What could be better?

It took me probably 3 years longer than it should have, but I'm almost there.

... Wait, when are finals?


FAKE ENTRY FROM MAY 1, 2010:

You know there are actually more than three seasons in a year? Seriously. I just found that out today. After years of thinking in terms of fall semester, spring semester, summer, they spring this on me. What's with that?




FAKE ENTRY FROM OCTOBER 29, 2012:

Never expected the Peace Corps to send me here. Well, kind of. I was expecting them to send me somewhere the exact opposite of where I requested (seriously, I'm sure they need English teachers in Jamaica. How many people can request the Caribbean each year anyway?), but this...

Well, who knows those wacky whims of the whatever.

Last year I'm here. It's surreal, to finally be heading home. I feel like I should sum up with this great thing about how I've written a novel about my experiences, made new friends, and learned something valuable about another culture...

But mostly I'm just looking forward to running showers again.

And being able to take a drink of water without feeling it squirm on the way down.




FAKE ENTRY FROM AUGUST 29, 2013:

I don't know why everyone complains. Grad school doesn't seem to be the soul-sucking abyss that I was led to believe.




FAKE ENTRY FROM SEPTEMBER 3, 2013:

Grad school is the soul-sucking abyss I was led to believe.




FAKE ENTRY FROM NOVEMBER 19, 2013:

Oh, God. Make it stop, make it stop.




FAKE ENTRY FROM FEBRUARY 5, 2015:

Last year of studying to get M.S. My soul is gradually rebuilding itself against the ravishing done by my advisor. The only thing that gets me through the day is long bouts of daydreams in which I find a glorious job as a research assistant, studying dolphin habits off the shores of Belize and formulating a thesis that (a) hasn't been done before, and (b) won't be obliterated by research three years into it.




FAKE ENTRY FROM DECEMBER 8, 2018:

Met a philosophy grad student today who told me that all he did for his thesis was sit in a room, think, then read a paper aloud for his defense and spouted a bunch of philosophic mumbo-jumbo when they asked questions.

Punched him in the face.




FAKE ENTRY FROM JANUARY 1, 2020:

Ever feel like you've wasted your entire life and you just now realized it?

I hope some dolphin out there appreciates the fact that I just wrote a 150 page paper on how their calves ride the ambient energy caused by their swimming in order to keep up with them.

Bastards.




FAKE ENTRY FROM JANUARY 1, 2020 (LATER):

"The Hydrodynamics of Cetacean Drafting"

This thesis is dedicated to my parents, who never supported me during this entire endeavour.

Also to my advisor, who was right up there with them.




FAKE ENTRY FROM SEPTEMBER 17, 2021:

Curses. The RA position was filled by someone (undoubtedly) less qualified than I am--I'll have them know I've crashed more seminars than anyone else on my quest for free food--and I've been reduced to being a TA for Introduction to English Literature During the 19th Century.

I hope I wasn't this stupid as an undergrad, but I probably was.



FAKE ENTRY FROM JANUARY 3, 2023:

All is well! Found my Belize job! Not in Belize, but I'll take what I can get. Shark Island, folks! Yes, don't let the name fool you, there are sharks there.

... But there's also dolphins, which is the important thing. That and I have made a solemn promise to keep all of my arms and legs away from any pointy teeth I see, unless they belong to a really hot Australian guy. Or girl.

In any case, this almost makes up for the years of misery spent at the hands of various people.

Almost.

Actually, only years of intense therapy and cash can make up for that, but I'm willing to give this a shot.






......... A girl can dream, can't she?
kitsjay: (Default)
College Essay; A Bit About My Life )

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