I Pay Rapt Attention

Airplanes, Computer Repairs and Oakland

Posted in adventures by Zoelle on May 28, 2009

Airplanes

My travels began this morning with the arrival of a private car (basically a glorified, pre-reserved taxi) arriving at my friend’s place in Brooklyn to pick me up. It was 6 am. I had arrived in New York the previous evening at 9:40, proceeded to wait an hour in the Grand Central terminal with 110 lbs of luggage (literally- I weighed each piece when I got home, and the total 110 lbs. That’s ridiculous) while my friend finished watching August: Osage County. Apparently she didn’t expect it to be 3.5 hours long. Whatever. Either way, it meant a free place to crash (across from a project, but I’m not picky) and some much-needed dinner, and it meant that car service was cheap enough to be feasible. My driver was an Egyptian man named Ali who used his boundless energy, despite the early hour, to ogle my tired, rumpled figure in the rear view mirror the entire way to JFK. He accompanied his enthusiastic staring with spirited inquiries as to whether I had a boyfriend (I lied and said yes) and half-jokingly threatening to kidnap me. He also seized my hand on no less than three occasions, and held it there, squeezing rather uncomfortably, for multiple minutes. Awkward. So much for sleeping on the way there.

I flew JetBlue, which is always a pleasant experience. The ride was made even better by three things: 1) There was no passenger in the center seat, so I could put all my shit under theirs, thus enabling even MORE leg room for my 38″ inseam; 2) The guy sitting in the aisle was not only an attractive Public Policy grad student at Princeton, but he also knew when to shut up and let me sleep; and 3) my generic dimenhydrine knocked me out cold for 90% of my flight. Which arrived a half an hour early. That’s a quality travel experience, if you ask me.

Computer Repairs

I got home to discover that my new laptop screen was waiting on the doorstep. Not a bad welcome present, needless to say. I was feeling braver than normal, so I audaciously got out a screw driver and started taking the old screen out. Considering that the only instruction I’d recieved was several months earlier and consisted of “take out the screws,” it’s a miracle I didn’t break anything. I also managed not to lose any of said screws, which is pretty impressive considering how damn tiny they are. All in all, a half hour later I plugged in my computer and for the first time in 5 months, the screen worked! That’s right, I’m actually writing this from the comfort of my own computer. About bloody time. 

Oakland

Though I don’t technically start work until Monday, I’m headed to Oakland early tomorrow to attend a meeting, fill out paperwork, and, inexplicably, see a nurse. Apparently to be employed by this organization you now have to go touch your toes and extend various limbs for a license healthcare practicioner. I definitely didn’t have to do this last year. Whatever. It’s employment, and considering the current economic climate, I’ve got no cause to complain.

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Commencement, Cookies, and California

Posted in Uncategorized by Zoelle on May 22, 2009

Commencement

It’s that wonky time between the end of classes and senior graduation, and in true Yale fashion the theater community (ok, really the Dramat) puts up a musical in 10 days. And, in true -me- fashion, I’m acting as assistant props master while also working full-time at my term-time job. That means that I work from 9 to 5 and then come to the theatre and glue and tape and disaster manage until anywhere from 1-3 am. Except last night, when I stayed until 7 am. Not fun. It’s astonishing how protective one becomes of pairs of scissors when said scissors are the only thing allowing one to do one’s job. I legitimately found myself yelling “you mess with Matilda [the scissors] and you mess with me!!!” into an empty theater. Not pretty. The show this time is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and it’s… interesting, if nothing else. It’s based on a real book of that title that really does purport to teach you how to climb the corporate ladder (fifties style, of course.) While there are some gems in the piece (ie the song “Coffee Break,” in which office rats essentially become deranged zombies upon discovering that there’s no coffee,) it’s definitely not my favorite musical. There’s a song called “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm.” Though to be fair that song eventually becomes more ironic and sad, it’s meant sincerely at first, and that’s… oy. Just oy.

Cookies

Yesterday was my last Hebrew lesson of the school year. Though I’m not religiously Jewish, I am technically speaking, and I’ve always wanted to learn the language (if only because I like languages and being in a Jewish a capella group [completely inexplicably] I got tired of having no clue what I was singing) Regardless, I found someone who eagerly -wanted- to sacrifice 1-1.5 hours a week to teach me the aleph bet– for free– and I’ve been going pretty regularly for a semester. I can read relatively fluidly at this point, though I still don’t know what anything means.

None of this is particularly interesting except in that my teacher’s going away present for the summer was a box of aleph bet cookies. Which was AWESOME. I don’t know if they taste any good yet, but I’ll report back as soon as I open them. Which will probably be tonight after the show, because personal considerations preclude me from having a good time at the cast party tonight, and more importantly, because I have no self control.

Speaking of, only in the last two weeks of being at Yale and living in a house with a friend rather than in a dorm have I discovered just how much I hate dorm living. Give me a kitchen or get me out, as it were. Oh well, only one more year…

California

I’m going back on Wednesday morning. I’ll be returning newly-single, frantic about my post-graduation career prospects (Yes, that is in a year, but I have to apply for things now. And take the required tests. Ew.) and hoping to do some real writing. We’ll see. I’m trying really hard not to place unrealistic expectations on myself this time– every summer I make a ridiculous list of things I want to accomplish, and they never ever ever happen, and for once I’d like to feel like I’ve done what I set out to do- which means making sure that I’m being realistic from the outset. So, in the interest of putting this out (semi) publicly so that I have some accountability besides the tadalist account I studiously ignore, here are my (super loose) goals for the summer:

1. Get started on my senior thesis reading. (This is totally reasonable because technically I already have started so hah. It’s also the greatest reading list EVER. Perhaps I will post it here later. SO. AWESOME. Experimental literature, I love you. You too, digital literature.)

2. Maintain my hebrew. (It’s not that many letters or words. I don’t know grammar. How hard could this possibly be?)

3. Finish some writing samples. (I just have to do this if I want to go to grad school. Which I guess I do?  And either way, I should be trying to publish, so there you go.)

4. Take the GRE. (Ew.) Maybe the GMAT (but EWWWWW)

5. Learn to cook. (THIS HAS TO HAPPEN. The end.)

We’ll see. Pretty reasonable. My less reasonable goals include swimming regularly (but that would require buying a new swimsuit, ew); remembering to put on sunscreen; being successful at a slam (but that would require me to write some new pieces and actually perform! Haha funny joke.) and trying to write a play. In collaboration. Oh, the funny funny jokes I make with myself.

Maybe I’ll even resurrect Post-it Poetry. I mean, what else am I going to do with myself at the office? My job? Psh.

Summertime, and the blogger is back…

Posted in Eccentricities by Zoelle on May 10, 2009

I feel like this blog is a timeshare I only use during the summer.

Well, so much for updating this thing while I was away at  school. Apparently Yale is enough to distract me from my internet duties. That, or maybe the fact that my laptop has been broken since Thanksgiving. It’s a quick fix (I just need to buy and install a new monitor because my old one had an unfortunate encounter with the corner gmat study book after falling off my bed and thus looks a bit like two-dimensional broken glass) but I’ve been either broke or lazy for the last 6 months, so there you go.

Anyways, my last final was yesterday, I only have one paper left (for TV and Media theory, which should be fun rather than soul-sucking, even if it -is- 25 pages…) and from what I can tell, the sun is out for the first time in a week and it should be a beautiful day in New Haven.

Oh,  New Haven. How I love to rag on you most days… my usual deal with New Haven is that it’s only good for two things: Yale and eating. Fortunately for me, both of these things are pretty high up on my list of things to do, but still! Occasionally a girl wants to entertain herself with more than a lecture or a piece of (admittedly delicious) pizza. And the weather pretty uniformly sucks most of the time. Yet I’m having trouble with that argument right now, because I have to hand it to this place– when it’s not oppressively humid and the temperature is over 50 degrees and it’s not overcast, New Haven can be surprisingly attractive. With the sky no longer an eerie burnt orange color at night, and spontaneous rainstorms apparently on hold, the New Haven green with its trees and churches and colonial buildings is really pretty. My school has gothic architecture. I live in a bloody castle! How can I not feel some fondness towards this place when it’s sunny and I have no classes to murder my soul?

Regardless, I’m staying for commencement this year, which means I won’t be back in California until May 27. At that point I’ll be returning to my job from last summer- the pay was too good for a girl on financial aide to look elsewhere, if you catch my meaning.  Besides, my coworkers were/are good people, and working 9-5 in Oakland means that I’m close to SF or Berkeley when I get off, and I know I’ll have my evenings free. Who needs that 12 hour workday bullshit my i-banking intern friends are dealing with this summer? 1) Who would want to work in i-banking in this economy anyway and 2) I don’t care if you make $20,000 for the summer, it’s still a shitty per-hour because you’re working 100 hrs a week to get it.  I’d rather make half for only 40% of the hours and get to have a life of my own.

So. If anyone out there still reads this, I’m back, and will be serving up thoughts about food, books, and anything else I happen to fancy on a semi-regular basis starting soon.