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
[Saturday, December 31, 2005]
The Lawyer, The Teacher, and the Med Student. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Good Bye and Thanks for (all the) Fish.
After a near 6 months of dating-drought, it's a virtual downpour. The Lawyer, I met at an alumni function a few months ago. The Teacher is an old classmate of mine. Motorcycle is the Med Student. Yes, he's still in the picture even despite breaking up with me before we were even going out. Right before we left for break, he said he didn't want to be just friends anymore. Because he thinks I look "nice" whenever we go out. This is a step up from being referred to as "hot asian ass". He said he'd stop pressuring me for sex if I wouldn't pressure him to be my boyfriend. I still don't know where he got the idea that I wanted him to be my boyfriend.
The Lawyer: Chinese, family from Shanghai, took me out on a nice dinner and movie. Wore nice shirt with slacks. Great conversation. Not sure if chemistry is there. Called a few times over the holiday just to chat. Talked endlessly about his clients, his cases, and his law firm.
The Med Student: Aka Motorcycle. Jewish. From New Jersey. Took me to nice dinner after hooking up. Wore fleece sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers (I showed up in a dress and stiletto boots). Not much in common. Surprisingly - he called over the holiday too. Talked endlessly (and in great detail) about snowboarding and surfing and his near-injuries.
The Teacher: White, family from Virginia. Took me out to a movie, showed up with his underwear hanging out of his jeans, used my laptop to look up movie times. We have history since he lived down the hall from me freshman year of college, but we never got together. He recently moved back to the city and things rekindled mid-December, with scary utterances from him such as "That was nine-years coming." He's the only one who didn't call over the holiday and is the most confusing considering his recent confessions and now lack of communication.
Despite all this dating activity, there are condoms in my apartment that are about to expire. This is largely due to my 2005 New Year's Resolution, which was to be celibate during the school year. I think this is the only resolution that I actually kept, rather inadverently. I'm generally very good at breaking resolutions.
Most Recent Updates: Motorcycle never ceases to surprise me. After I said I didn't feel like going out last night, he surprised me by saying (obviously nervously) that he was really looking forward to hanging out with me, and that he's disappointed. Very uncharacteristic of him. Especially considering that a few hours before, he'd called me a "skanky bitch" for not wanting to go out for drinks. The Lawyer continues to call every few days. Still have not heard from The Teacher. Though ironically, The Teacher is the only one I got a gift for. It's really a housewarming gift, that just happened to be purchased over Christmas since that was when I had time to shop.
In an effort to save money this year, I decided on fish as gifts for a few of my friends. A bowl, a little plant, and a betta fish, along with all the usual accoutrements of water conditioner, fish food, and gravel. I think my med school friend Montreal will love it. She's the type who'd dote on the thing. But a recent conversation with my male friend Welling has made me think twice about giving the other fish to The Teacher. According to him, it is apparently international boy language for "relationship". It's just a fish!!
As for my own fish, I have yet to find a name for him. My last betta was blue, and named Bubba. He was a friendly fellow and would swim to the front of his bowl when I came in from classes. I trained him to jump out of the water and eat treats from my fingers. He survived being dropped in the sink (twice), a fungal infection, and a bacterial infection (I had to drop antibiotics into his water). He died in 2001 at the ripe old age of 2 human years, and I haven't been able to bring myself to get another betta until recently. His successor is red, and still nameless. The plant is named Herbert though. I'm entertaining a few possibilities. Dexter. Jefferson. Richard. Bubba used to love his plant. He'd rest under the leaves or on top of it. Nameless, on the other hand, is ignoring Herbert. It's rather vexing. He remains on the other side of the bowl, and is generally being a little bitch about it.
As for The Teacher's fish, I guess the jury remains out on that one. I never imagined a little fish would contain so much meaning. Maybe I'll be giving it to my roommate instead.
Posted by ink |
[Tuesday, December 27, 2005]
Camera phone dump.
In honor of the new year, I decided to empty out my camera phone of all the pictures I've accumulated since August (i.e. since my digital camera was lifted off my person). What I found are the following pictures from early fall.
Posted by ink |
Med school Meet and Greet.
Mutter Museum (of medical oddities!). I liked the little funky jazz trio playing at the top of the marble stairs. Gave me the first glimmer of hope that maybe med students can be interesting. Camera phone shot.
This is what first led my brother and I down the rabbit hole. We passed by this strange little alleyway with colors leading us to the next block. Now, we normally don't go down alleyways on our own, but it was mid-afternoon, and I was feeling great amounts of faith in mankind that day. Out of curiosity, we followed the colors.
The rainbow alley led us to this street, which had a huge KNOW painted on it. This definitely wasn't here the night before, and we were puzzled as to how this sort of artistic vandalism could have happened overnight. I wasn't sure I cared though - it gave me a thrill to know that someone came in by night and did something rebellious and beautiful.
Around the corner from the street with the huge KNOW was this tangle of tendrils in a message of colors. Even the post office mailbox was painted. I wondered if this was a federal offense to deface government property. Down the little PATCO subway stairwell was the answer to all our questions. Down there was a huge mural and brochures being handed out. It was a campaign to educate people on AIDS. Though I was slightly disappointed that it was legitimate and authorized as opposed to something counterculture and underground, I was still happy that this little burst of mystery and magic happened to me that afternoon.
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, December 22, 2005]
I started off anxious to try out my new equipment. Especially since my best friend Kenmore was trying out his new equipment too. We had the his and hers version of the same board, the same stomp pad, and the same snowboard bag. Sadly, the similarities ended there. Whereas he and his snowboard (and my snowboard) performed spectacularly, I unfortunately did not. He left me lying in a spray of snow, created by my own face sliding down the mountain. Was my own spectacular performance last season a fluke? It hurts to even turn over in bed. Luckily, the free webcam I got from Comcast allowed me to take this oh-so-delicious photo. Kenmore got to see my butt in vivo. He was thoroughly grossed out. By the bruise, not my butt. To think, most people pay to see ass on a computer monitor. Here, you get it for free. Brought to you by the letter P. For Pain.
Posted by ink |
[Wednesday, December 21, 2005]
I made the mistake today of telling my father I had a date. It started off with a casual, "I'm going into the city tonight to watch a movie with a friend." Then it became, "We can't watch a movie here in the suburbs because my friend doesn't have a car and he lives in the city." Then, "No, I don't think we want to use you and mom's free movie tickets." Finally, it was broken down to, "Dad, I have a date tonight, okay?" So he offered to drop me off in the city on his way to the airport. On the drive there, he gave me some advice on boys. "You are a good product," he said. "And like any good product, it's useless without good marketing. You have to market yourself better." I stared out the window. He continued, "For example, you play the piano. You should mention that you play the piano to these boys." Because of course, once I mention that, any guy will automatically like me. "Or even better, if there's an empty piano at the restaurant where you are, you should go and play a popular song that everyone knows." I stared at him. I haven't played the piano since I left high school. Then he told me I should be soft and yielding and demure. "Everyone is pretending on the first date, Ink," he said. "The boy pretends he's all nice and clean, and the girl pretends she's all quiet and shy. After marriage, that's when the truth comes out," he declared. "Then you find out that the girl is pushy and bossy, and the boy farts around the house." I wondered if he was talking about him and mom. I said, "Dad, you're wandering out of your lane." He corrected the car's path of motion. "Don't go home with boys after one date. I watch these American girls in bars, and they all go home with boys they barely know. Once you have... sex with a girl, the mystery is over." Did my dad just say the word sex? "Even if she looks like a movie star, it's over. That's why all these beautiful movie stars get married and divorced so often." I didn't have the heart to bring up that these people were probably having sex before marriage anyways. "Males," he said with a dramatic pause, "are like animals." I watched the car weave over the dotted highway lane markers. "Once they get what they're looking for, they go away. Have you ever seen a dog after it eats its food? It just leaves and doesn't even clean up after itself! That's what men are like."
He closed up by patting me on the knee and saying, "You're a good girl Ink. You just need some good marketing. And don't be pushy. Don't talk too much."
Posted by ink |
[Friday, December 16, 2005]
Done. And done!
My exam is over, I cleaned my room and removed all evidence of biochemistry, and my bathroom is spick and span. I've picked up the pieces of my life, so when I re-enter my room later tonight (hopefully drunk), I won't have be confronted with the past 2 weeks' worth of academic crap strewn all over my floor. I'm currently lying on my bed in my underwear, stuffing my face with Tostitos and guacamole dip. I'm thirsty, but I'm too lazy to go downstairs and make myself some tea. I'm considering drinking from the bathroom tap. I don't plan on getting up from this position until it's time to go drinking.
Posted by ink |
Amaz-in. The online marketplace.
What is it about internet dating that appeals to people? Is it the ability to pre-screen, like getting a free sample before you buy the product? Is it another manifestation of America's new voyeurism craze, an extension of the reality tv shows? View the guy and what he thinks of himself before you see him. Or is it merely another product of our new disposable one-touch economy, where everything is at our fingertips and we can criticize and judge whether we want something or not from the comfort of our bedrooms. Home shopping was brought to our living rooms by the television. Guy shopping is now brought to your bedrooms via the laptop. Do I want this or not.
When viewing the online profile, you start to judge by the tiniest details of their profile or picture, even as you agonize over the fact that you can't possibly fit your entire self into 1000 words. I could feel myself making mental Rules Of Thumb. "He's wearing -pleats- in his picture. No go." "Colored contacts are so out. X him out." "Geek." But how many of us have admitted that meeting a person in real life is worlds apart from seeing their picture? How many of us have shown a picture of a dear single friend of ours to another dear single friend of ours and said "This is a bad picture of him but he's really cool and a total sweetheart." And therein lies the appeal and failure of online dating. Much like the commercialization of everything else in our society, dating has similarly become commercialized. And what else is an online dating site than an opportunnity for you to make a commercial for yourself? Come and try me on for size! And like all commercials, each profile has its own flavor and taste. I browse match.com and Friendster, shopping online for boys - wondering which ones are false advertising and which ones are the real deal. The only downfall of this is that you can't get user reviews of each guy - but wouldn't it be great if you could? Wouldn't it also be great if I actually had time to date, instead of just having my ass slapped at bars?
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, December 15, 2005]
Hey. Can you come over tonight? I was thinking about our conversation last night, and I wanted to talk to you about it.
Odd. Coming from Motorcycle (the one with the unfortunately furry rear end), this was a surprisingly serious request. I went over thinking that he was going to apologize for slapping my ass the night before. He was resistant the previous night "Whatever. I was just kidding around. Lighten up", but maybe he'd come around and seen the error of his ways. I sat down comfortably and waited for him to begin expressing his remorse. Instead, he began rambling about last night's conversation, and I couldn't really see what he was driving at. Then he suddenly ended with, "And therefore, I think we should just be friends." There was a long awkward pause. This sounded suspiciously like a breakup conversation for a relationship. I said simply, "Okay..." Then I asked him if he thought we were dating, because if so - I wasn't aware of it. Another long awkward pause ensued, and he looked embarassed. Turns out, he thought that my casual comment the other night about wanting to get to know him better was a statement of wanting to get serious. I started laughing. Obviously someone has a serious fear of commitment and relationships. It was nice that he decided to talk to me about it instead of avoiding me for the rest of the year, but it was really an unnecessary conversation. I gave him a hug goodnight, and he said hopefully, "Well, this means we can still make out. Friends make out." Even though he looked almost cute with his hair a mess from running his fingers through it in nervousness throughout the conversation, I shook my head. Give a finger and boys will take an arm. In every sense. Make-out with them and they'll want more. Desire to get to know who they are underneath the hair, motorcycle, and jokes - and they think you want to get married. Boys must live in this frightening land of in-between, petrified of swinging to either side and falling off the edge.
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, December 08, 2005]
Two sides of the same coin.
I haven't studied at all for the past two weeks. I've been reading the material, "keeping up" by highlighting and making notes in the margins, but really - if you asked me what I read an hour ago, I couldn't tell you. I've been breezing through most things, largely because I've ceased to care. We've covered 250 pages in the past two weeks, and I'm remarkably panic-free. It's terrible. I'm in self-sabotage mode, and I know it. On the flip side, I've never been happier. I've been watching movies with my roommate, calling my friends (I'm actually plugged into their lives again), and talking to my family. The exam is next week, and I have a feeling all this is going to come and bite me on the butt. Which is probably great. A failing grade on this second exam is probably what I need as a good kick on the rear end.
I'm back in the library for the first time in two weeks. My usual cubicle (number 487) has been taken by a blonde girl. I started to glare at her, but then gave up. I forfeited my cubicle when I stopped coming for so long. I'm in 490 right now, studying beside the skin disease section of the stacks. The girl in the cubicle beside me (494. another blonde girl. actually quite pretty) unabashedly farts all the time. At first, I didn't think it was her, but then it kept happening. She doesn't even bother to try and mask it. She just lets it rip. And to think, she glared at me when I made crinkling sounds opening up the illegal bag of candy I snuck into the library.
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.