Archive for February, 2007

February 16, 2007

v-day in the life of a single grad student.

by la rebelde

I’m not really a fan of v-day, especially not the last several years. I’m not saying I will always feel that way. I could be convinced that I’ve been overlooking something amazing about that day. But for the moment, I have to say, v-day experiences always seem to be a series of mishaps that leave me at the end of the day thinking, what the heck just happened?

My best memory of v-day is when, during my first year in grad school, ex-boyfriend sent me bell hooks’ All About Love because he said I was badass like bell. I don’t know about all that, but it was a sweet gesture and meant a lot to me at the time. That was in 2000—when the book just came out. (That’s how long I’ve been in grad school—sshhhh! Don’t say it outloud.) And I’m embarassed to say this, but I never read it. (Hey, I was in my first year of course work hell!)

Last year, the grad student boy I was dating had a great idea for a v-day outing—grabbing some sandwiches from Jimmy John’s and going to the indoor botanical gardens (had to be indoor because it was freakin’ cold in small-midwestern-college-town) for a little picnic. But he had class during the garden’s visitor hours, so we postponed until later that week. Since he had no backup plan, I called him that night and invited him out for ice cream, which I thought was harmless since we had only been dating for about three weeks. We both had a crap-load of work to do and it would be a short-and-sweet get-together and I really liked him, so… We walked through the cold toward the ice cream parlor, a couple of Chican@s far away from home, shivering in the biting upper-Midwestern wind. He gave me a heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie with “Happy Valentines Day” written on it in red and white frosting. I could tell it was a last-minute gift he picked up in the student union on the way to meet me. Of course, I was all excited that I got a valentine gift at all. (I’m easily pleased.) We had barely sat down when he busted out with the relationship talk. I wasn’t really ready for the talk yet, but there it was. I thought it went okay in the moment. But in retrospect, it was the beginning of the end of that relationship. We never made it to the botanical gardens, even though we dated for over a month more. And to think, I just wanted to have ice cream on v-day with the very cute boy I was dating. Sheeesh!

So this year was spent busily, even stressfully, but there was nothing exciting about it. My girl, the super-historian grad student, is in town to do archival visits, so I went with her to UCLA to do some research. She likes the archives much more than I do, so I’m hoping her enthusiasm will rub off on me. I just want to tell the story, without braving the dust. But that’s another post altogether.

  • Got stuck in the entrance to the parking structure because I didn’t know you needed to buy a visitor pass first. Some jackass wouldn’t give me room to back out. What’s up with the drivers on the west side? They cut you off. They don’t let you merge or switch lanes. They’re generally rude. I think it must be a weird manifest destiny space entitlement issue and all that beachiness over there.
  • Found a great oral history collection that will surely take me weeks, possibly months, to get through. Ah, the bittersweet treasure hunt for archives to bring the story to life!
  • Sat in the sunshine, ate a salad, and read the dissertation that someone else wrote five years ago about the same people and time that I’m writing about. Luckily, it’s not the same dissertation. At least I’m pretty sure its not. Or else it won’t be. Had a little bit of an existential crisis about it the other day, when I found out about said-dissertation by accident.
  • On the ride home, I missed the freeway entrance and ended up in Santa Monica. Spent 2 ½ hours in the car trying to get back home. (It wasn’t terrible, but if I had to do that kind of commute everyday in rush-hour traffic, I’d want to scream…or kick someone’s car really hard!)
  • Got my car an oil change because I have driven more in the last few months in LA than I did the entire three years I lived in small-midwestern-college-town.
  • Came home and searched archives online, with little luck, because they’re never organized the way you think they will be.

So this year’s v-day was just another day in the life of a dissertator. At least the parking attendant guy at the campus smiled and wished me a happy v-day! Hope your v-day was better than mine. ;) And here’s to hoping that next year will be full of all that fun love stuff that people talk about.

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February 13, 2007

more on t.v. drama.

by la rebelde

Several months ago, I was invited to hang out with some grad school guys, that I hung out with often, but did not know terribly well. Guy-friend and I drove through a bad summer rain to guy-friend’s friend’s apartment . And when we got there, we each grabbed a beer and went promptly to the balcony for a smoke and some snacks. It was then that I realized that the only other woman at this gathering was a very bubbly blonde undergrad who had been dating guy-friend’s friend for years. Needless to say, we were not destined to be friends. But after a while, the conversation turned to the show, Sex in the City. And I was surprised to know that the guys were all really into that show as much, if not more so, than most of my women friends. But apparently they were more into it because they liked Carrie’s body. (The woman wears bras to bed. Of course her boobs will look plump and perky in skimpy nighties! Anyway, does anyone else think underwires and a good night’s rest do not go hand-in-hand?) Funny that young blondy turned to me and rolled her eyes–a recognition of our mutual annoyance. Then she asks me which character I thought I was most like. I couldn’t decide right away, so the guys (all brown) decided they would try to guess for me. Isn’t that fun (read saracastic tone). They decided on Carrie, which, of course, I found appalling and promptly decided I was giving off the wrong vibe. But then again, they probably imagine that I wear underwire bras to sleep.

You Are Most Like Miranda!

While you’ve had your fair share of romance, men don’t come first
Guys are a distant third to your friends and career.
And this independence *is* attractive to some men, in measured doses.
Remember that if you imagine the best outcome, it might just happen.

Romantic prediction: Someone from your past is waiting to reconnect…

But you’ll have to think of him differently, if you want things to work.

Okay, so I randomly came across this little quiz as I was very busily procrastinating instead of doing my “work.” I thought it was fun, especially in light of my last post regarding t.v. drama series’. And even though I know these things are complete silliness, I feel somehow vindicated that it says I am most like Miranda (and not Carrie).

February 1, 2007

cinco cosas.

by la rebelde

So I had seen this meme going around and the Chican@ bloggers have been calling it ‘cinco cosas.’ Kisha tagged me and I knew, even before I got to the bottom of her post, that she was gonna. I always find this question difficult—the name-something-you-might-not-know-about-me question. It’s because I talk too much, tell too many stories with too much detail, and I really don’t have ‘secrets’ per se. It’s hard! Anyway, here goes–cinco cosas I probably haven’t told most folks (although I’m forgetting what I’ve told).

1. When I was in high school I wanted to be a doctor. Well, that’s not really a secret, but what you might not know is that the moment when I really decided that I wanted to be a doctor was in the 11th grade when I was taking a “linking the humanities” class that was both English and History together. We had to read Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and then we watched the movie which starred Sidney Poitier. It was one of the few reading assignments we had that was written by a non-white author. I was so excited. It’s been a really, really long time since I read it, but there was a scene where a child was hurt, her (i think) face was cut down the middle and the line in the story was that doctors could fix it, could put it back together. I wanted to be that doctor. Except now I’m a historian and I don’t fix anyone’s bodies, I just tell a lot of stories about bodies and choices and time.

2. When I was a kid I used to think that I was the center of the universe, that the sun, moon and stars followed me around. When I watched them in the car, it looked like we were staying still and the moon and stars were moving around us. Of course, I rationalized this by thinking that the earth moved beneath our car so we could get where we needed to be. Our car stayed still but everything else moved. I can’t even really explain the logic now, but I think I spent a lot of time thinking about that!

3. I am addicted to t.v. drama series’, like Sex in the City and Grey’s Anatomy even though I pretend that I don’t like t.v. If you watch these shows enough within a short period of time, you start feeling like the characters are your friends—or at least people you actually know. I know this because I didn’t get to watch t.v. for a few years when I lived in small-midwestern-college-town and now that I’ve moved and don’t have many friends yet, I watch a lot of t.v. on d.v.d. (I don’t have cable.) I have a secret crush on Alex Karev from Grey’s Anatomy. It’s secret because I rarely find white guys attractive. I’m not sure I would find him as attractive as a real person though. And I really want him and Izzy to get together. I don’t like Meredith Grey because she’s annoying in the same way that Carrie Bradshaw and Felicity Porter are annoying. She looks a bit like a Simpson’s character. And she breaths oddly between phrases. My favorites are Christina Yang and Callie Torres. I’m SO predictable!

4. I really like to eat saltine crackers with melted cheddar cheese and jalapeños that I make in the microwave. When I was a kid, my brother used to tell me that it was bad to look at the cheese bubbling in the microwave. He never said why, but I was scared to for a while. Now I’m not scared. And I always look in the microwave when I make them to be sure the cheese is melted just right.

5. A few years ago, I made a new year’s resolution to stop telling people everything about my life because I decided I needed to be more mysterious. You know, like not wear my heart on my sleeve, or better yet, not saying whatever comes to my mind. If I had stuck with this resolution, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time thinking of cinco cosas for this meme!

I tag Jennifer, Angie, Lo and DJ Fuzzylogic (because he hasn’t posted since xmas)!