Friday, December 17, 2004

misguided by the 405

Some random observations from my whirlwind visit to LA:
  • At LAX- an Indian woman near the Air India terminal had turned a fleece baby blanket (with blue and yellow clouds on it) into a poncho. Would someone please stop the goddamn poncho craze already? Then send a memo to this person informing her that, even if the craze were in its heyday, it would not include things that should only be found in cribs and bassinets.
  • Why was I in such a rush to get back? If I had made a weekend out of it, I could have gone to a museum near USC to see an exhibit on the Body that I have only heard tell about. It sounds equal parts creepy and fascinating. Plus, I could have met the famous madman, and maybe even the comedienne extraordinaire of LA (who's apparently not feeling very funny at the moment, according to her blogpost of yesterday- send good thoughts her way, we've all been there!)
  • Traffic on the fucking 405 and a bad cab driver= car-sick brimful.
  • The woman who told me the American and Alaska airline terminals were close together never tried to walk it with an over-the-shoulder garment bag and heels.
  • People wearing strong cologne or perfume should not be allowed to travel on airplanes.
  • Why did I complain about Southern California in the past so much?? I can't remember. Everything I saw was beautiful, everything said you know you want to be here. Especially if you don't have to use your car too often and get on that damn 405.
  • A non-smoking room should be defined as a room where no one ever smoked, where the smell of tobacco and lung cancer is in no way detectable. It should not be defined as I sprayed air freshener up in here and removed the ash tray.

I realize that the above is a list of mostly rants, but tucked in there, you might notice a little nugget of positivity that in actuality encapsulated the 3-hour tour. Okay, it was slightly longer than 3-hours, but it felt very short. But what an amazing place, what a fantastic campus, and what cool people. It's times like this that I start to feel very Costanza-esque; I start to think there's no way this will work out, because I'm not meant to be this happy. But here's the question- is it worse to be unaware of what you want or to know what you want and fail to obtain it? What happens to a dream deferred? And if you pretend you don't want something, does that really protect you at all? Is it better to just face the facts that, as Hemingway would write, you're simply a goner for a dream? Very weird how I seem to have bigger crushes and love affairs with academic institutions than real people, and how I feel more bitter about being dumped by an academic institution than a guy. What's that all about?

Oh, and I also had a dream on Thursday night, an isolated dream that just involved me throwing up. Yeah, I wasn't nervous at all. A little anxiety is a good thing though. It keeps me on your toes, forces me to get it together. The only way to conquer my anxiety is to feel I'm adequately prepared, and walk in there with a determined look on my face that says bitch, game on. Of course, to the untrained eye this same look could be interpreted as Am I in the right building, and am I going to be late? But that doesn't matter. The face I prepare is not for the ones I meet; it's for myself, for my own piece of mind.

On the surface, I was doing better than most though. When the others were sweating bullets and starting to get that tense look on their faces, I was pulling out the Mentos and offering the Freshmaker with my best goofy foreign advertising-style grin. Call it public service, because my idiotic comedic routines seemed to calm down those around me as well.

Well, this was an exciting way to spend my Friday night... let's not do it again, shan't we?

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