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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A New Appening


During perhaps the most exciting and most pertinent time of my blog’s existence, where I don’t have to dredge up tangential thoughts and obscure anecdotes, I’ve accomplished exactly what should have been expected, of me, which is nothing.  It’s been a busy two weeks, not that it excuses me.  Actually, it makes it worse.  So here’s quick recap of my life over the past two weeks;

Friday: August 10:

I picked up my new-to-me car from the dealer, 2006 Optima, which I’ve naturally named Optima Prime—not the most original name, but it is the easiest.  Plus, I feel much cooler/ less lamer talking to my car, knowing that you know, he's more than meets the eye.

My car isn't red.  Other than that, this is a dead ringer.


Saturday- Sunday: August 11-12:

In a series of St. Louis-to-Columbia moves ranging in usage of Optima Prime, a 15-person van, and my brother, I moved to my new pad in Columbia—a three person house with less character than John Kerry (notice how I took the high road around Lord Mittington) and an odor of cleaning products masking, well, other smells.  Still, I’m living with a good friend from my AmeriCorps days and that makes all the difference.

Monday: August 13

I began my graduate school orientation where I was congratulated for getting in and then told to prepare to not have a life.  This was orated by a roly-poly character wearing glasses and a bowtie, hence, I can only assume that he holds a complete knowledge of all things colligate.  I then drove back to St. Louis to play my team’s ultimate Frisbee summer league championship game, stayed over night in St. Louis.  We won.  I didn’t get much sleep.

Tuesday: August 14

Drove back to Columbia at 6am to make it to orientation for my writing center assistantship.  During my first year in the program I will be working as a writing tutor in the university’s Student Success Center, where among other more achievable duties, I try to convince freshman not to begin essays with, “From the beginning of history…”

Friday: August 17

Started the weekend of department get-togethers where I learned to introduce myself by new name: “First-year MA in creative non fiction”.  I found lots of free food, which I’m finding as exceedingly important as a grad student, and met lots of people.  Hopefully, I remember most of them and at least three or four of them remember me.

That weekend:

More free food, some unpacking (some), and a lot of quiet, work-conducive time.  I'm guessing I should get used to that.

Monday: August 20

First day of class!  and I’m 27, and it was a night class so I’m not sure if that’s something I should get excited for.  With that in mind I took a picture and sent it to the parents so they could get excited for me. 

Visual approximation.


Wednesday: August 22

After getting all jazzed about my writing workshop on Monday, I had my first lit seminar, which knocked me on my academic ass.  It’s been many a moon since I’ve dwelled in the pages of Dickens and the Victorians, many a moon… The literary component of my MA program is the biggest difference between the “all workshop, all the time” MFA programs that I had applied to and probably my greatest challenge.  I recognized this dynamic before accepting my position, but really?  Really literature?


It’s been a fast two weeks in terms of work—I honesty think I’ve done more work in these few days than I’ve done over the past few months at my old job—and a slow one in terms of building a “normal life”, whatever that means now.

Over the past two years, I've become ingrained in the 9-5 world.  For eight hours a day I was living a pretty“meh” existence, slogging through it just to celebrate those hours I wasn’t there.  The trade off now, of course, is that I work all of the time, but it’s work that I enjoy (supposedly) and won’t suck my soul (theoretically).  I’m really excited to see if it works out!... because it’s too late to get out!

**Another reason/ excuse for my blog hiatus is my new facebook friends from grad school.  I’m just saying, my writing is already measured and weighed in class; I don’t need it judged on the Interwebs too.  Just saying, if you must read it, read it in secret, for my sanity.

More posts to come, perhaps, even in a timely manner!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Baby Can I Drive Your Car?


So as I continue to ignore pretty much everything on my ‘Wet Hot American Summer List of Things to Do before Grad School’ in lue of finding a new car, I have to say something about this whole car-getting process; what the hell is going on here? 

I went into this situation with my skepticism hat firmly in place and my mistrust suspenders strapped on tight.  Every movie, TV show, anecdote that I’ve ever absorbed has led me to believe that car sales people—especially used car sales—are snakes in the grass ready to gobble up your wallet.  Any misstep you make, they’ll see it and pounce.  And above all, they’re ferocious selling machines who would sooner smash their hand with a hammer than see you walk off their lot. 

They’re like that dude during last call at the bar trying to make a deal; “so what do I have to do to get you in this bed tonight?”.  As soon as she walks out the door, she’s lost, it’s the end of the world, and he’ll do what he has to do to prevent that.  That’s the dude I prepared for, but what I got on my first time out was the strong, independent woman more interested in the relationship than closing the deal. 

Actually, the sales person was a little blonde girl, probably younger than me, with hot pink nail polish and lip gloss.  I could easily imagine her watching a Twilight marathon with my little sister and talking about how Zach Effron has gotten just so totally gross now, ew.  But here she was at the dealership, my epic foe in my quest to buy a car, but not the foe I was expecting.

During the test drive she was more interested in learning about me and relating it to her own experiences—“Oh, I loved going to summer camp too!—than listing the car’s features in what my mistrust suspenders told me was an attempt to gain my sympathies and lower my guard.  Yeah, nice try, Bella. 
JD says to never be the first person to speak in a negotiation, ever. 

She never put out any prices.  In fact it almost seemed like she was actively trying to avoid doing so.  Instead of the guy at last call who puts everything on the table to close the deal, Bella was the coy, guarded girl who refuses to admit that she likes you for fear of looking desperate.   It’s the notion of he/ she who speaks first is the weaker.  I believe Jack Donaghy has some business models suggesting the same.  

So we’re now we’re playing the car equivalent of “Well, do you like me?  Because maybe if you like me I like you, but you have to say it first”.  It’s a game of price chicken where the person who cracks first loses the upper hand, I think.  I’m not sure.  I’ve never fully understood the game in relationships and adding cars into the calculation doesn’t help.
 
Why can’t I just find a dude who tells me how totes ripped he is, how lucky I’d be to sleep with him, and then cuts like $1500 off the sales price before taking me back to his garage apartment under his parents’ house?  Sheesh!