Plato believed that we lived in a world of
images, three-dimensional shadows of the true one. What we see with our eyes is nothing more than a cheap imitation of its true state.
example, the chair we see before our eyes is nothing more than a shabby image of the true chair that exists. We carry on everyday with
flawed perceptions of the true ideal form.
Life After College:
Year 3 - In Transit
[Tuesday, December 23, 2003]
Back in Time.
Being home for the holidays brings back the memories. The house hasn't changed that much. My mother still makes wonderful curtains that are cute on their own, but clash terrifically when you take in the carpet and the furniture around it. My dad still thinks that having no internet access is quite alright. And my brother still thinks he has the best abs, when in reality, they're nothing but skinny-abs. More than anything else, being home for the holidays means being a kid all over again in the worst possible ways. Without internet access, a television with more than 3 colors, or a car of my own (we've got 2 working adults sharing 2 cars with 2 kids), I'm relegated to amusing myself in the same ways that I did when I was in fifth grade. Readings lots and lots of books and baking. This doesn't bode well for my waist line. After much deliberation, I also decided to do Christmas cards this year. I came pretty close to not bothering. My list has petered down to a mere 15. My cards will arrive late this year, just like they do every year.
I find my addiction to the internet quite disturbing. Now that I have no access, I find myself with nothing to do. Considering that I've only had internet access from the age of 14 on, what did I do with my time prior to then? What did laypeople do to amuse themselves before the time of the web? It is, quite literally, a web that entraps and ensnares, luring you with promise of endless entertainment. It's a place to touch people, but not get too close. It's a place of arm's length entertainment, a place where you can hide behind your computer screen and become whoever you want for a few hours. As I drove to Starbucks to desperately pay for access, I realized that I have become not so unlike the cyborgs envisioned so long ago. I am plugged in. And become quite panicked when unplugged. I search for web access like a heroin addict, looking for my fix. Is this what they define as addiction? Is there such thing as Cybergirls Anonymous?
Posted by ink |
[Friday, December 19, 2003]
I'm putting this on the refridgerator.
By some extraordinary stroke of luck, I did phenomenally in Genetics - the one class I was most concerned about. In fact, I manically did all my potential-GPA calculations based on receiving a B+ in Genetics. Mathematically, there is no way I could've possibly scored well in that class considering my first exam grade, which leads me to believe that there were a lot of "subjective points" used. My mouth dropped when my professor said "Believe it or not, you got an A-." In the ensuing silence when I was trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, she said "Well, you worked really hard." Now I feel bad about signing the petition complaining about the class to the administration.
Based on the grades I've received so far, I believe that I might quite possibly be doing well, which makes me want to rub my eyes and make sure this isn't a dream. My entire life has this recurring motif in it. If you were to draw an analogy of life to running a race, I'd be the runner who starts out strong but then peters out when the finish line is in sight. If you were to graph my life, it would have a negative slope. I have a history of showing tons of potential but then quit. I am a vessel of unfulfilled potential, filled with the countless disappointments of hundreds of teacher who all thought I showed so much promise. I haven't done this well in school since 6th grade. Always a B student I was. I almost feel like this semester's worth of grades justifies my existence on this planet, like perhaps I'm not just a waste of air. As if the world really needs yet another mediocre person complaining about their lot in life. I didn't even have coolness to use as my contribution to society to make up for my lack of grades in the past. Because I WASN'T cool. I was perhaps cool by school-standards but come on, I went to an undergrad that's fraught with nerds and geeks. Let's keep some perspective here.
I've never been good at anything before. I've always been above average, which just means that I'll make it to some major prestigious firm somewhere and then get stuck in middle management (which ironically, almost happened). People in middle management are the most disgruntled bunch precisely because there was this promise of more that never happened. The people at the bottom are generally more accepting of their lives, and let's not even talk about the people at the top. This is a strange feeling. I keep feeling like there must be a mistake somewhere or that maybe I just got lucky. The classes were easier this semester, or they graded the wrong test. But somewhere inside, a little voice whispers Oh my God. I rock.
p.s. Why is it that "fridge" is spelled with a silent "d" in it but "refridgerator" looks so wrong?
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, December 18, 2003]
The Morning After.
Finals are over. And after sleeping for a blissful 12 hours filled with wonderful dreams (involving one in which I received a package in the mail that contained a puzzle. Once you assembled it, you could jump into it and it'd take you to parallel realities), I woke up at noon feeling starry-eyed and decidedly lazy.
I decided that I really like my room. I wasn’t too sure at first because I felt like it was so small and so crowded, but when it's 1 or 2 pm and the sun is coming in just the right way to reflect off the windchimes, I kinda like it. It throws these little circles of light along one wall and along the print I have of Picasso's Blue Nude. The contrast of the hunched over woman with lights playing over here is beautiful. The room -is- super crowded, but it looks lived in. And I don't know who I'm kiddng thinking that I want the spacious room look, because I know that even if I had a spacious room, I'd just buy more furniture to make it look cluttered and cozy again.
I like it even more when it's not perfectly clean, but maybe has been cleaned a few days ago. Because then it's not a mess, but there's a few things lying around so it looks like someone was just in the room a few moments ago. I wish I was artistic. There's so many things I have in my head that I'd love to put down and make solid. I think I'd like to start a series that's just pictures of rooms. Something very pretty and portrait-like, but then have one thing in it that's evidence that it's more than just a picture that could be in a catalog. Like maybe a door in the corner with shoes sitting innocously beside it with its laces untied. Or a picture of a bedroom, very neat and clean, and then have a bowl of half-eaten cereal on the nightstand by the bed.
I also want to paint all these pictures I have of the British Isles inside my head. Just so that I can get it down before I actually go. I want to paint the hills at night, kinda dark green in the darkness with mist shrouding them, and giant shadowy figures roaming them. I feel like the british isles are such a place of lore and magic. I was thinking, if I stay here this summer to take the mcat's, maybe I'll take Italian classes during the day since I'm technically still enrolled in school. You think my Italian will come back to me quickly? I don't remember a bit of it anymore. I'm thinking maybe I'll start out with drawing classes if I was to take art courses. And then maybe move onto painting after I have a sense of perspective and know how to draw things that look normal and not like a 5 year old did it.
I bought book 1 of the Deathgate Cycle. I forgot how much I liked fantasy and how much I miss it. I don't know why I try and read general fiction because it generally bores me. It never grips me the way fantasy does. I spend half the day living in a dream world when I read a fantasy book. And then after I'm finished, I spend days imagining different versions of the story if I was one of the characters, and each version has just one tiny little detail being different. I used to indulge in orgies of this sort of thing all the time when I was little. I wish my parents had enrolled me in art classes instead of sending me to violin and piano lessons. Although I'm making progress on the guitar considering how little I pick it up. I now know half of one song!! I also wish I played the cello when I was younger. I love cello music.
I also decided that I like my babbling thoughts. I worried that I was becoming boring. I used to have this little voice inside my head all the time, like a little narrator a la Fred Savage in The Wonder Years. It'd be a running commentary on everything, usually completely irreverent, to the point where I'd laugh to myself sometimes, causing the other people in the streets to give me strange looks. I've had this little voice for as long as I could remember. It was what kept me going during those hard childhood years. It told me I was the heroine of my own little story, and these are mere obstacles I had to overcome, like Bilbo Baggins having to overcome the goblins. It made comments about the "danglies" hanging inside the bully's nose when he was making fun of me (which I thankfully kept to myself or I might not have all my limbs today). It made navigating the dating mistakes I made funny and not merely horrifying. I haven't heard from it in weeks. Part of me wondered if medical school killed it. Perhaps it died of boredom.
But this morning, I woke up after my wonderful dream (another thing that went away - my epic dreams), and the voice was back in full force. I felt complete. And as usual, accompanying this sense of completeness was a slight sense of panic that I wouldn't get to do all the things I want to do with my life before it's too late. Too late for what? I don't know, but I keep feeling like if I don't do things soon I won't ever get to do them again.
On my list:
1. Costa Rica with Dot.
2. Learning how to draw by summer 2005 - when I will go to Australia and New Zealand (hey, America was built on credit) and hopefully Southeast Asia if time permits.
3. Somehow finding a way to work in London.
4. Africa with Lux.
5. South America.
Posted by ink |
[Wednesday, December 17, 2003]
Words from a Cubicle-Monster of Another Sort.
Funny how a few months later, I find myself sitting for hours upon end in... a cubicle. At the library. Finals roam abroad and the carrels are jammed with students. My brain is similarly stuffed full of odds and ends. Purines hang limp out of one corner as the cardiovascular system juts out of another and transgenic mice run circles around it all. It's stuffed full and disorganized, but it's all there - it's just hard to find sometimes, Professor, but I swear - it's all there. After all, I did spend hours upon hours making sure it all made it in at some point during the past week. A few here and there may have escaped, but no one's perfect, right Professor? It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. I crammed, squashed, rearranged it all in a hurry until my fingertips erupted with it and my mouth burst open in canker sores from it all. Every time I brushed my teeth, I was painfully aware of exactly how much I knew. I carried it jostling around in my head all day, Physiology tugging on Genetic's arm while Biochemistry repeatedly pounded Physiology over the head, each one trying to crawl into the passenger seat and ride shotgun. It is the best view of the madness after all. I shouted at them to stop fighting so I could get a moment's peace. I placated Genetics, who'd been feeling neglected and gave the other two a stern warning before laying my head down on the pillow and closing my eyes, escaping to the wonderful nothingness of sleep. But I didn't make it. Physiology, sitting quietly in the back of my head, was stubbornly sulking. I ignored it. This rest is, after all, hard-earned. My eyes stayed closed but the Sandman just as stubbornly refused to come. I don't blame him. I'm a bit petrified of Physiology myself even as I try to not be intimidated and take a firm hand with it. After an hour of lying in the dark, I sighed and opened my eyes. It was no use. One can't ignore the steady poking of my overwhelming sense of responsibility, and whereas I pondered turning around and firmly telling it to GO AWAY as many an airline passenger has told the kid behind her kicking her chair, I had a feeling that the only person who would end up crying in such a situation was me. I flipped my lamp on, took out my Physiology, and put in another 2 hours at 1 am in the morning. I quit my corporate job largely due to incompetent management, only to land at the hands of another kind of slavemaster of the worst sort - the intangible kind that whispers to you of the money you paid to be here.
Posted by ink |
[Saturday, December 06, 2003]
At last... My love has come along. My lonely days are over, and life is like a song.
I love it when it snows. Boston is much prettier than New York underneath it all.
Last night, I couldn't find a plug for the bathtub drain, and somehow, showering with a glass of wine and a book didn't quite have the same romantic appeal. There's something beautiful about doing things like that alone. It doesn't make me feel lonely in any sense. You're never as gloriously yourself as you are when you're doing something alone - and not just anything, but something you love. The very act of observation ruins the beauty of the moment. If I had not been alone, instead of reveling in my bath (now imaginary), I would've been worried about my tummy poking out of the water. I wouldn't have stuck my toe into the bathtub faucet like I always do, and instead of having chocolate or chips with my wine, I would've felt compelled to have something like strawberries. And I love potato chips. Love them. Even with wine, as atrociously disgusting as it sounds.
I woke up this morning under my warm covers to snow falling outside my window. My bed is right beside the window this year, and there's something inherently peaceful about lying in bed and watching the snow come down outside. I laid there for about an hour doing nothing but watching it come down and daydreaming about a million different things. Living in a brownstone apartment on a quiet street with other brownstones makes snow that much more pretty than watching snow come down outside my luxury highrise in New York. They say that snow makes you wish for a significant other to wake up beside when it's coming down outside, but I've never been plagued with that. Snow only makes me feel quietly deliriously happy.
My roommate still isn't home. My own little room is warm thanks to the space heater. I think I may brave the chilly apartment outside my bedroom door armed with my bedroom slippers so I can make myself some ramen and heat up canned soup. I think studying may possibly be out of the question today. My "night off" might turn into "night and a day". It's the sort of day that makes me want to have some Ella Fitzgerald jazz playing in the background while I write in my journal or read a good book.
I bet Old Man Winter is actually a tall dashing young man dressed all in grey. I bet he has a bit of badass edge and is a bit temperamental but has a soft side that allows him to tenderly put the flowerbeds and trees to sleep. I bet he roars into town on a motorcycle. I bet he peers into every bedroom when the storm blows in and reads the balance in our karma bank. For those who've been bad this year, he puts especially precarious ice on their stoop for them to slip on. For those who have been good, he brings peace. I bet when he looked into my window last night, all he saw was a tuft of hair peeping over the covers and an empty wine glass. I bet he snickered.
Posted by ink |
[Friday, December 05, 2003]
Conversations with boys.
My Thai food delivery boy was driving a Nissan Z. As I was digging out my money and he waited on my doorstep, I happened to glance past him and see this fabulous car double parked in the street. I paused.
"Is that your car?"
"So... Do you still want your tip? It doesn't look like you're short of money there."
"Um. Whatever you want I guess."
"What are you doing working as a delivery boy driving a car like that?"
"I only work on Fridays."
"Oh I see. If I was going to work a side job as a delivery boy, that isn't exactly the car I would bring to work."
"Well, my parents own the restaurant."
"Ah. I bet they don't pay you to work for them. But I suppose for that car, I'd do a few deliveries too."
I tipped him 3 dollars. A dollar for bringing me my food. And two for his car. I told him to buy it some gas on me.
A few hours later, I was enjoying my night off in front of the television with pad thai in front of me. For the past few days, I'd been speeding along at a nice clip. With finals coming up, I've been studying pretty hard, and not really trudging through it. in fact, I pretty much sailed through most of the material to the beats of No Doubt and Black Eyed Peas. I have class from 8 am to 3 pm, and then I work at my part-time job from 3 pm to 5 pm. I usually lug my gym bag with me all day so I can hit the gym right after work and run for half an hour. There's a lot more fit med school students than I would've imagined (why is it that men at the gym wear less than the women do?). After that, I come home, shower, eat for ten minutes before going to the library and studying until closing (midnight). I come home, change, and hit the sack by 1 am, only to wake up again at 7 am and start all over. Wash, rinse, repeat. My room has become a veritable mess, largely because I'm always running late when I wake up. All the outfits that had been tried on and rejected in the morning are thrown on my bed. When I get back home at midnight, I'm too exhausted to fold everything and put it away, so I move it onto the floor (neatly so the clothes don't get wrinkled) and collapse onto the bed.
But I hit a brick wall last night. I spent three hours in the library and only accomplished a half an hour's worth of work. I was irritable, cranky, and just didn't have the patience to sit there and learn the material. I couldn't focus. I went home when the library closed, brushed my teeth, and watched the blood drain down the sink like it has for the past week or so. This constant on-the-go life and lack of sleep has started to hit the inside of my mouth pretty hard. I guess this means I won't be going on any dates anytime soon. When I got home today from class, I decided to take a night off, even though finals are looming right around the corner. I didn't go the gym at all, and instead parked my ass on the couch. I looked over at the kitchen and decided to go off my diet for a night. I've been gaining some weight around the middle so I bought these cute little bowls and instated a new rule. Per meal, I cannot eat more than the food that will fit into one of those little bowls. Of course, this means I really pack the food in there and try to pile it up as high as possible. That was when I ordered the pad thai. WITH AN APPETIZER. Tonight, I'm going to take a hot bath. I'm super excited because I havent had a bath since I was 12. Spurm is gone for the night, at her girlfriend's house so I have the apartment to myself. We still haven't turned the heat on, so this hot bath will do me good. I'm bound to freeze when I step out of the tub into the apartment air (according to the thermometer, it's 50 degrees in here), but that's what the wine is for. I'll sip on it in the tub and it will warm my innards so that by the time I step out, I won't even feel the cold. It's just gonna be me, some candles, the glass of wine, and Douglas Adams in the tub. Hang on Arthur Dent and Zaphod. It's gonna be just us tonight.
I have to say, I'm a bit jealous now that my roommate has a girlfriend. She spends all her nights at her girlfriend's place now. Where it's warm. Everyone knows that nothing warms you up like another body in the bed. Or at least, everyone knows, but not everyone will admit it. I was discussing it with Apollo half an hour ago. Warm bodies in bed are best in the winter. In the summer, having another body in the same bed with you just makes it too hot.
Apollo: "I wouldn't know about that."
Ink: "How would you not know."
Apollo: "I've never done that before."
Ink: "Slept with a girl during the summer?"
Ink: "...You slept with me last summer."
Apollo: "Oh. Was that summertime?"
Ink: "...If you're going to lie and pretend like you're innocent, you can't do it with a girl you've messed around with before."
Apollo: "Sorry. I forgot."
Ink: "You forgot?!" Apollo: "I have to go now."
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, December 04, 2003]
DSL IS DOWN!!
Know what's sad? I'll tell you what's sad. The highlight of my day yesterday was calling Verizon to give them a piece of my mind. The boy I spoke to was so nice and funny that all my anger evaporated away. Too bad he's Canadian.
Spurm and I have not turned the heat on yet. In Boston, to not have the heat on in December is quite a feat. We've made do so far on space heaters, foot warmers, hot showers, heat from the stove, wine, and hot cocoa with dashes of peppermint schnapps. By the end of this, we will be hardened survivors.
My internet access so far has been limited to access at work and at the library while studying. Honesty forces me to admit that I'm a lot more efficient without internet access at home. I no longer dawdle when I go home to eat. Instead, I dawdle at work instead. Productivity increase at home has been at the cost of a productivity decrease at work. Yes, I have a part-time job, despite all the warnings from my advisors and my parents. "It's not a good idea, this is a tough program you're in, you need to focus on your grades." But see, parents and advisors don't understand the importance of having internet access at home and the ability to make future shoe purchases. As such, I am now a severely underpaid database admin at a research lab.
Posted by ink |
[Monday, December 01, 2003]
Shake, Shake it.
I am dressed in my running duds and am off to go work out at the ghetto school gym with the rest of my fellow fat med-school-wannabe compatriots.
big change, the choices we make
in life, gut instincts, on-the-whim
hairpin turns, the search for truth, the desire to be happy, the journey to finding out what
makes us happy.
being young and clueless, hoping
that we're not blindly leading ourselves to our own demise with every
tentative step we take, the pitfalls of dating, the trials
and travails of being a young woman in the post-feminist era.