Term’s started: so many tangents while I dangle the details of my Vegas trip like an enticing and sexy carrot

(my last term ever as an undergrad and at this university!)

and you know I always update more when I ought to be doing anything but. And a real update is overdue. First it was finals and I had to study, then finals was over and the last thing I wanted to do was spend a lot of time in front of a computer, then I got my grades back and I passed and am set to graduate and was too busy celebrating and working to write, then I went to Vegas. Which deserves an update all for itself so more on that another day.

But this is my last-hurrah term, my term to take two final good classes to rinse the last few abysmal months of underachieving undergrads and uninspired instructors (I think one of them may have been basically brain-damaged, if not -dead) out my brain. One class with the Peripatetic Professor of my Middle East classes last year (this one is imperialism) and the last with the Beautiful Professor. I have to redeem myself with him too, his commentary on my last paper still burns. Entertaining but sloppy. It was, but knowing he’s right only makes it worse.

By Sunday night the only people who’d posted responses to the discussion thread were his fan girls (that’s me included) and a random guy. I was still in Vegas during the first class, but that seemed absurd, and also likely to get the class canceled.

Texted my friend and fellow fangirl, as his grad student advisee she ought to know.

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She concluded that the rest of us were invisible to her, as lowly undergrads. There’s three of his fangirls in the class, plus a smattering of senior auditors, two guys looking to take an easy A[1], and a sociology major whose look of baffled pain has us placing bets on whether she drops this week or next.

K gave me my birthday present–late, but not as late as mine to her:

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“I wonder if I’m the only grad student.”

“I think we had already established that you are. Yours is a high and lonely destiny.” I tried to channel as much Uncle Andrew as I could.

K rolled her eyes. “Nice Narnia shoutout, nerd.”

But you note that she caught it! Frenz.

Promise to update with salacious stories about Vegas and all the pictures I haven’t posted yet next.

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1-They’re wrong, but entertaining. One of them put his hand up and asked “What about the salt?”*

*-the course is Yiddish film and the movie was Ost und West, and the salt in question was something to do with a ritual (I can’t remember because I wasn’t taking notes, I was too busy comparing it to Twilight 2–benighted lover sees wavering phantom head of beloved in front of them, see what I mean? equally hilarious as a device in 1923 or now–and there you go, I’m entertaining but sloppy)

BUT

the question itself caused a flashback to my seminar on Early Modern England last year: My friend was giving a presentation on women and sociability and the role of gossip/slander; predictably enough the accusation of whoredom was very common. She finished up and,

“What about the bastards?” said Awful John. Awful John deserves a better descriptive, something like Halfwit, Stupid, Vacant, but my New Years resolution was to be kinder, so.

I choked back a laugh.

Emily looked a little stunned but explained that, though “whore” was a common pejorative, it didn’t necessarily mean that the woman in question was indeed a whore or having crowds of wee little ones out (or in, plenty of married whores) of wedlock. &c&c&c

“But, what about the bastards?” he asked again. “There weren’t any?”

We all had to give four presentations a term, and Awful John’s were the highlight. He strang together words chosen apparently at random, with key words that would be repeated throughout (the key words changed from presentation to presentation) but none of which cohered into a full sentence. I transcribed one of his presentations so I could do a dramatic re-enactment for the girl I was seeing, a stolid and deeply matter-of-fact water sign who thought I was prone to exaggeration for comic effect (I am, but). That didn’t last (romances based solely on bone structure never do), but luckily the notes did:

Redefined freedom. Faith. Prosperity. Revolt in the revolution, fascinating. Radical ideas. Throughout the text it emphasizes a lot of aspects of you know, things that were happening around.” (I guess that one is a full sentence.) “Thus the title. A struggle for power. First revolution…”

Here my notes broke in to comment on prof. “Dr L looking increasingly severe and prune faced. Now doing her nails. !!! omg”

“Movements substantially up until the Restoration Hill emphasizes the English radicalism that ensues as the result of movements. English radicalism. Radicals like Gerard. Emphasis. Authority of church, social superiors.”

See? School is fun. I can only hope What About The Salt is as entertaining as Simple John.

It’s my birthmark

Regan is telling me about the place she’s going for tattoo removal.  She, like me, has a teenage bad judgment tattoo[1], but unlike me has done the research on getting it removed and is in the process of this.  She has seen me in action enough to know I’ll be interested.

Hiding in the poker room (the warmest room in the club, with the most comfortable chairs) reading a textbook (The Jews, which I later find out has started a rumour that I am a religious zealot. Ok.)

A finger pokes into my chest.  “What is that?”
Do not look up, do not respond to provocation.
“It’s my birthmark.”
“Pfaw, no it’s not! What is it really?”
“It really is.”
“Well… What are you reading?”
“A book.”
“Yeah but what book?”
“A printed one.”
“Yeah but–”
I can hear Regan, playing poker and cleverly hidden by the back of a chair, snickering.  I can fix that.
“You know what?  She has tattoos!”
Regan sucks in her breath but it is too late! Too birds one stone, the guy has wandered off.
“You got tattoos? I got a tattoo!  Here, lemme show you.”

“So, how much is it?”
“It’s 1,500 down and then I pay–” whatever, I forget how much she said she paid, “per session.  And it hurts like a motherfucker.  But yours will be easy because it’s all blurry thick black lines!”
“Are you being sarcastic?”
“No!  That’s supposed to be the easiest. But until then, Red, Kat Von Dee has some amazing tattoo hiding make-up you can use!”
“Kat Von Dee could do me and tattooed girls everywhere  a bigger favour and tell the men of the world how deeply we don’t appreciate talking about our tattoos and how it’s fucking dumb as shit and also annoying and I hate it.”
“Well, yeah.”

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1- only hers is a fairy and between a blurry Louise Brooks with guns and a fairy I will take my tattoo any day. But mine does make customers (weak-willed things!) think that I am angry and cost me extra effort for lap dances–which honestly just makes me more irritable, so yes, removal looks appealing, esp if in so doing I remove the inevitable future countless fucking pointless conversations about it.