Monday, April 30, 2012

Student, Father, Former Drug Dealer

It’s dark when we leave — it’s almost always dark when we leave because I have an evening class and am not available for giving rides until at least seven p.m. John[i] doesn’t mind, because I’m his only ride, and he’s not going to complain when I’m taking two hours out of my day to help him out. He always offers to pay for the gas, and I’m a broke college student so I can never refuse.
In the winter, we have to sit in the parking lot defrosting the windows for ten minutes before easing onto 99W. I’ve only known John since September, but we’ve gone to parties together, have been on high late night Wal-Mart runs for munchies, and I’ve patched him up after various accidents, and he’s an easy guy to like, and he’s been a better friend in three months than some of my high school buddies were in four years.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From dorm to UC

When I made the arduous trek from my dorm to the Bistro for a candy bar, I realized it's hard to eavesdrop on conversations nowadays, because most conversations happen over text. Regardless, I buckled up and tried to sneak behind a curly-haired jock and his friend as they walked in front of me.

The first thing I could clearly hear from either of them was "RON! RONNIE! DID YOU GO SWIMMING?" as they walked past the open windows of Clark. There was no responding shout, so I took it to mean their friend was not home. The shouts stopped.

Until they saw Charles.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A stranger for my hamster

I smuggled a hamster into the dorms. I was rather crafty about it. I snuck her in in a plastic bin, lined with sheets, so it looked like I was transporting bedding.

But alas, she was discovered during a fire drill, and I she and I had to part company.

I posted on craigslist, not asking a lot of money for her, just a good home with the promise they would take good care of her.

I was contacted by a woman who said she would love to have Lady Calliope of Sockshire as a present for her daughter's birthday. We agreed on a price, and a day and time and place to meet.

It was kind of awkward, looking for her on a rare sunny day. We triangulated positions based on what house she was at, and I ran into her behind the Masters of Fine Arts building. She had her daughters with her. For a second it reminded me of my mom, my sister and I, how we probably look when we're out anywhere together. Her two daughters were most definitely hers, and looked like they were the same number of years apart that me and my sister were.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#7 : The Fine Art of Collecting Feathers

This is more or less an excerpt from the longer piece I have written, that will most likely be turned into my personal essay. So as you read keep in mind I yoinked it mid-draft and put two paragraphs up here.

It was a hawk feather. Creamy light, light sandy brown with bands and spots of black. I didn't have any hawk feathers and could appreciate how rare a find this was. It was a gift from an elusive predator. I loved the dry little noises my nails made as they ran over the tightly packed barbs. The vane curled under a small finger the downy afterfeather tickled my chin -- I didn't believe feathers tickled you, but I believed the feather wouldn't be clean until it was back at home, tucked into the Wilhelmina Peppermint tin along with crow, blue jay, and starling plumage I had collected over the years.

Birds drop their feathers everywhere. In the Amazon they are bright greens and brilliant reds, and the people who live there make headdresses and adornments from them. In pet stores they are swept into the garbage, perhaps are collected by an eccentric employee. In parks the feathers go unnoticed and are snatched by the wing and blown into lakes and ponds. In the forests and the jungles and everywhere else birds drop their feathers, and a piece of the sky falls so that humans may be able to hold it and envy the one freedom that is not theirs.

Really don't like how that last part is worded, so it's being scrapped.

Post Script: This is what a Wilhelmina Peppermint tin is. The peppermints are made in the likeness of Queen Wilhelmina of Holland.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On the fad of Hipsters

In short, this is how
I feel about hipsters
Oh my dear sweet insert-something-you've-never-heard-of. Hipsters bug the shit out of me (as I assume they do most everyone, even other hipsters). I feel that this hipster fad has given thrift stores a bad name (or a good one, considering how many people now shop at them to dress ironically). There are many things hipsters have ruined. If you like something that is obscure, or that people have not yet heard of, you are immediately decried as a hipster. I feel there is a "Yo Dawg" [see here if you are not meme savvy] worthy level of irony to being a hipster; you can only be a hipster if you don't like hipsters, or claim not to be one, but they're goddamn everywhere, thereby making them not hipster; they all dress the same, making it mainstream, negating any hipster status. Even more ironically are those who could be called "true hipsters," i.e. those who genuinely like obscure things and are not liking them merely for the fact that no one else likes them, hate being called hipsters even worse (I have often been called a hipster, because I like things people have never heard of, and I'm from California -- this fact alone somehow makes me 15% hipster).

Upon gazing anything hipster an immediate annoyance wells within me to the point where I have to choose between biting my lip (making it bleed) and trying to find some humor in the disgustingly ironic situation. Perhaps the most offending item of hipster sub-culture (don't call us a subculture, subculture is so mainstream) are the thick-rimmed glasses whose style, three years ago, was laughed at for being garish and reminiscent of a late '70's to early 80's pencil-necked nerd. It is a style that has become grossly popularized by celebrities. As if this obnoxiously retro style weren't bad enough, hipster had the gall to just go about wearing this hideous things without any lenses in them. It reminds me of a girl in my kindergarten class who showed up to class one day wearing glasses with no lenses, claiming she needed glasses now because she looked at the sun too long (because we all thought glasses were cool, until we had to get them). I remember being so mad at her for lying straight to everyone's face, and I wondered why the hell everyone was going along with it when clearly she didn't need those glasses at all (I even stuck my finger through the empty frames and wiggled it in front of her face, going see? She doesn't even need them!). That is not, however, why I hate hipster glasses. I hate hipster glasses on the grounds that a) it is stupid to  wear such an ugly style that one out of every three hundred people can pull off, and b) that it is so beyond ridiculous to wear plastic frames with no lenses.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On messy rooms

There are, as I see it, several advantages to keeping a room untidy.

No one can steal anything from you. They look at the piles of papers, heaps of clothes, stacks of clutters to either side of that narrow path going from door to bed and see an incomprehensible tangle of mess. But to you, ah, there is organization. You alone know there is money tucked into books, important papers mixed with scrap, priceless gems mingled with plastic jewelry.

I'm sure that sounds rather paranoid, but to an older sibling distrustful of a sister four years my junior, and a brother even younger than that, this is perfectly rational. If I have to trip and stumble and sprain my ankles to find something, they won't even bother looking for it in the first place.

A messy room is a quiet way of saying "uh, no thank you" to social interaction. And also parental order. I cleaned my room maybe four times a year, when I was a) forced to, b) bribed to, c) was bored and it was raining and I had no books to read (often because all the good ones were buried) or d) thought maybe I would find enough change lying around to buy a candy bar. I claimed I could not function with a clean room; that is still true, somewhat: if things are organized and put in proper places, I completely forget about them. That homework I had to turn in? Oh, it was in my desk drawer. That pair of really nice jeans? I put them in the dresser when I cleaned up my room last time, six months ago. The one necklace I own? Tossed responsibly into a jewelry box. Well, no wonder I couldn't find it. It was put away somewhere that made sense for it to be.