Friday, April 02, 2004

Belated weekending 

Today has been a great day at work, mainly because it's the laziest, emptiest one I can recall since Christmas Break. It's so lax that I've already managed to squeeze in a haircut and an oil change. My boss is out this week, so no one feels any true pressure to look falsely busy; Brady's working from home today, so instead of gossiping all day and volleying hilarious links back and forth, I'm reading and squaring away some details for our upcoming annual report. Apparently, when unsupervised and left to deal with myself, I'm quite the multitasker. I've got my office window swung open, birds are chirping in the blooming cherry and redbud trees, and I can't hear a single lawnmower. Priceless.

I spent the last few minutes clearing out space on the digi in preparation for the next two days' worth of live music: tonight, we go to see Runaway Planet in their proper element, chez Whitewater, and then tomorrow it's off to Dallas for Air (and probably a little stop by the Kimbell for good measure). In so doing I realized that I never went through any of the shots I'd taken over the past two weeks. I can't remember if we went out on Friday or Saturday, but whichever it was it felt so welcoming outside that Megan and I grabbed a late-night bagel at Community Bakery before having a vanilla and walking around the River Market district. We had wanted to take advantage of the Underground's patio area, but some brash live act was trying to fit two dozen amps into a bar the size of a walk-in closet. Not worth it. I couldn't even hear what Megan was saying outside of the place (note to that band: turn it up to eleven, by all means, but not in a fucking tiny bar that keeps its doors open in nice weather). The weather had drawn out everyone who longed to put on a pair of shorts again, a group that, while including me, was predominantly the swank downtown business types or pussy-hunting future swank downtown business types. That cancelled out every piano bar and/or margarita dive, and left us with the Saucer as the only acceptable option--no patio, but couches. We get a couple of beers and start goofing off with the camera. We couldn't figure out how it could possibly benefit one to join the "UFO Club," which, by our best guess, is simply a way to pay for one's beer at a prominently-announced kiosk approximately fourteen feet from the bar. Megan (or pointless Photoshop version)had pretty toes exposed. We mused for a while on the subtle pleasure of having a throw-away paper menu that exists solely to occupy patron's overactive hands. I folded a fan, Megan made a bow tie. I was suddenly posessed by an urge to have a ring made out of a dollar, but we couldn't remember how to fold one. That shit is complex. Brady and Dawn arrived, we had a couple more beers, and Dawn made me a fly dollar ring. Then we wandered the Riverfront area for an hour or so, soaking up the new temperate climate. I thought about climbing up a water drain to the under-bridge catwalk, but then I remembered that I'm a pussy, so I laughed at the thought and we had the rest of the vanilla (or was it amaretto?). After the novelty of walking wore off, we headed into the Excelsior (I mean Peabody... that just doesn't sound natural) to ride the glass elevator; beautiful view of the river going up, scary moments thinking about the bravado of suicide at the top, then stomach-turning cascade back down facing the interior. I love that elevator. Not much else happened after that, but a couple of days ago I did this.


Thursday, April 01, 2004


SIQVI forte mearum ineptiarum
lectores eritis manusque vestras
non horrebitis admovere nobis
-Catullus, "Gai Valeri Catulli Liber"


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Je suis venu 

V: 740
Q: 630

The GRE wasn't as intense as I had expected, although I certainly could have performed better if I'd had the motivation to stick to a preparative routine of any sort. As usual, the collegiate procrastinator in me (I'd missed him; welcome back, dude!) insisted that the three days prior to the exam would be a more fruitful time to study, taking advantage of mounting anxiety and the focus that state seems to afford me.

After I'd finished the test, I drove home in an incredibly relaxed condition, focusing on the beatifully clouded sky more than on the road. I turned on some music (Goldfrapp, a new favorite at the suggestion of Anil-without-the-dot) and painted for the five hours that elapsed before sunset. What a great sighing finish to a culminatory event of supreme anxiety.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Je viens 

I (heart) Air.
[Update: after accepting a suddenly-open position teaching art (in her own classroom, no less), Megan gets to go, too! Le kick ass.]


Monday, March 29, 2004

GRE jargon 

In preparing for the analytical writing portion of the GRE, I started scanning a list of things that are generally viewed as negative points. "Principle 10: Avoid Jargon," one headline read, and I thought, "Bingo: let's see what Kaplan's tips on avoiding overcomplex vocabulary are." I start reading the section, notable only for the hollow tone it maintains, much like the rest of the book.

"The following are commonly used jargon words:" ah, we're getting somewhere. I read on. "Prioritize. Time frame. Finalize. Maximize. Originate." Umm, these are considered jargon? Well, maybe I've just read the goofiest ones, now we'll get more serious. I read on. "Parameter. Blindside. Ongoing. Facilitate. Assistance." What? Assistance? Maybe I read it wrong... nope, they've typset "assistance" as a jargon word. Hmph, who knew? I read on. "Designate. Optimize. Downside. Target." Okay, okay, enough. This is utter bullshit. There is no way imaginable that one could argue against using the word "target" in any sense, in any forum, as it is not in any respect part of a specialized group vocabulary. If "target" goes in the pool, I'm voting for the further inclusion of "a/an," "or," "but," and "and." I see those in journals all the time.

That's when I put that silly-ass book down (well, the 'writing advice' part, anyway). How is it that a standardized examination of reasoning ability can expect the population to know what "panegyric" means (out of context, no less, as well as a sound antonym) yet request that one's writing be the blandest, emptiest non-prose imaginable? Seriously, do universities pay attention to what earns test-takers high marks? It seems that the ideal GRE candidate is a somewhat dull, unenthusiastic writer with a large, unused vocabulary who likes to read, at most, two paragraphs from any given text, and who has some form of savant-like mathematical autism. Oh, to be one of the lucky. I only hope my scores are respectable enough to earn me interview rights at a few decent schools (and then it is so fucking on).

Note to self 

Saturday was the hopeful "Eureka;" today was the confirmation. At last...


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