Brain Pickings

Oct. 21, 1998
What a bloody long day and I didn't even have class! Yeah, professors and students were walking out for Affirmative Action, and well, I was trying to get a little shut-eye. No, I didn't get to sleep in because I had the station this morning.
Today was a marathon of patience and well, I felt like I was losing in the end. Basically, I joined up with the Haunted House Committee for UC Chorale. I'm the artistic director and remind me never to join an event that only has a week before it goes on. Even though it is possible to make it a success, it seriously scares me because some of the organizers are so clueless or just not altogether. As the artistic director, I need to know who's doing what for which scene. I don't have names and phone numbers of these people, and well, neither does the organzier. He can't even e-mail me a copy of that. He's a sweet guy, with a nice voice, but he's obviously way over his head in this planning business. Plus, another sad thing, I don't see any pull to help the guy out. Well, I see people with good intentions, but I also see people shrinkning from taking a cut of the responsiblity. I know I will sound like a hypocrite hear, based on all of my experience in planning projects, but this effort needs to be delegated. Maybe he's not so inspiring of a leader, but the other students need the attitude to chip in. Like commradire or something like that.
Oh, and there's my roommate. I think we need to work on her people skills, or maybe some type of senstitvity training. Yeah, she was being a witch today and border line catting. Honestly, I don't know why she's being so damn competitive with me, when it comes to using the phone, the bathroom, or whatever. I don't feel comfortable around this girl. She seriously feels like she has to top off all of my stories with some type of supposed profound insight or funnier story. She also has to make some pretty darn rude comments about my friends. At least, that's what I have taken them to be. Maybe she thinks it's cool to make rude comments like that.....I don't know.
When I told her that I would have a group over at our place to work on a project she said quote "Oh as long as you know them and as long as you know they won't take anything." Can you believe it? She said that in such an off-hand way, that I think (and hope) she was just joking. But, at the same time, I would never make that type of comment about her friends or people she knows. Really, she tries to be the cool one in the room and she sounds like an idiot....no, more like a fool. A blonde ditz. Okay, that was mean and I apologize for it. Maybe I should talk to her. I'm just tired of fighting her, in a way that doesn't look like we're fighting, for petty things, like who has more friends and who happens to be more involved with the campus. I don't know. Maybe I"m reading too much into this. Maybe she's just like me, a controlling person, who likes to be on top of her game and who likes to have all the answers. One little problems, trying to go this way, only one girl in this room knows what's up with Berkeley...and she's talking right now. Seriously, my Russian roommate wants us to think she's so busy with her schedule and that her problems are so demanding, but just also as noble. BS. She doesn't understand the meaning of busy until she has lived one day out of my life. She doesn't know what serious problems may be until she sees the different crisises I encounter every other week. She complains about the apartment, the lukewarm water, the expesive ethernet, the fact that the lousy schedule of classes doesn't have a place for you to work on your schedule (which must be truly a disturbing thing), and the face that she doesn't have the economic piazzaz for political science. Yeah, and you know those are truly serious concerns that need a lot of moaning and groaning about.
Okay, but enough ranting on her and please God, don't let her read this. She's a sweet girl who doesn't need to know my rantings. She doesn't need to know how I can get so annoyed in a quick period of time....she is a nice girl, but no where in our "Guide to Student Living," does it say roommates have to get along. We just have to learn how to compromise. I know, I just had a bad day and well, she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yeah, and let me tell you about long.....I worked on the Computing Center Newsletter over eight hours.....all my work was flushed down the toilet when my boss takes my second to last draft and uses it for the first cc publication. She also wrote me an e-mail in which she claims she made 90% of the revisions and that, from what I understood, was a flake.
Eight hours is not a small thing for me. I frankly enjoyed working on the newsletter. But for someone to tell me that all my hard work was for nothing, especially when she didn't see the final copy, well that was pretty darn disturbing. Also heart breaking. Yeah, I was upset that she used the inferior version of the newsletter and I was upset that she didn't see the result of my eight hours in the cc. I shouldn't take it personally, but I can't help it, not when it comes to something I put so much work into. Now, I have spent about an additional hour and half in another computing center, just trying to print that final copy out so I could redeem myself in my boss' eyes. And I"m still here.
Guess what? I can't even open the damn file.....which means I have to show it to my boss some other way.
Can't for one time tonight, can anything go right?

Oct. 18, 1998
Hello. I'm pissed at one of my co-workers and well, because I'm doing him a favor, I have not documented the source of my ire in our duty log. According to our boss, she will kill him if he's ever late again.
How does his tardiness affect me? Well, he's suppose to relieve me at 4:00. I have church choir rehersal at 4:00 but I can get away with 5 or 10 minutes being late. He's been coming to work about 5-10 minutes late every damn week for the last month. And well, I just feel pretty darn uncomfortable serving in my music ministry with my tardiness. I know this is pretty damn anal of me, but I have way too much respect for my Catholic faith. All God asks for is a little bit of my time on Sundays, to worship with his people. And for the last few weeks, I have been cheating God of that time he asks for with my tardiness.
Am I being to hard on him? You tell me. I've already mentioned his lateness in our duty logs for the last month. Really small comments, like he's late and I have to go to church. But now he asked me to omit those comments from my last entry, so it would save his ass from termination.
But I don't gain anything from him being fired. Actually, I would feel like crap and it would not sit too comfortably with the rest of my co-workers. I know what it's like to be late for work. It's happened a couple of times during the summer and the year before. Being late just happens and we're all just human. If anything, I know how he feels when he comes in and the other Computing assistant's tapping her foot impatiently.
However, a month is long time to be making the same lame mistake over and over and over again. By covering his ass, I have indirectly re-enforced his tardy ways. Now, because I have helped him this one time, he can fall back on it to continue being late and making me late for church.
what should I do?please e-mail me if you have any ideas.....

Oct. 17, 1998
Okay, I taught a class about journalism today at the radio station for the Cultural Affairs department. I had a feeling they didn't believe a word I said. I also had this feeling that one of them hated my guts. But that's just a feeling. Then, I found out the news producer did not show up for today's news show, so I hanged around the station for another hour to make sure the show goes on. I had a truly sweet reporter, but the poor thing is also pretty discouraged with the waked up way the weekend news update has been operating. Occasionally, the producer does not show up and she's usually finishing up stories about a minute before they went on the air. Well, I feel for these people who have a lot of energy and ethusiasum for news radio and then we have these flaky producers who let them down. Our reporters do not deserve that.
Plus, one of my roommates got into an interesting fight with her boy toy. (this is the one from southern california). Well, for one thing, they liked to argue with each other. There's no hiding that. But the way their arguement goes, back and forth like a tennis ball and on such pertinent issues like Serbia and democracy and conservatism. Honestly, I wasn't trying to listen to the damn thing, but they were so damn loud. But the whole point of their arguement was to be right or wrong. Not about what can be done about the killings in Kosovo. Not about what can be done about the slowness of American democracy. Just about who was wrong in the whole discourse.
I think that's a dumb way to argue. But I am guilty of practing such a useless dialogue as well....after all, I do have a boyfriend. Yes, arguing is intellectually stimulating and a marvlous way to flirt. But to the extent my roommate took it with her honey, it was downright painful to hear. Using words like weapons and all other cliche's. Plus, their arguments were pretty abusrd to begin with. It wasn't about what was wrong or right about the situtation, which they randomly read about in the New York Times. It was about how they saw it. They were arguing over their perspectives and how wrong they were. Down to the context they were using certain words, like conservatism. They may have wanted to look intellectual, but they sounded petty, anal, and ridiculous.
Plus it was a beautiful day today. Okay, that was an awful transition and I apologize. I walked around Berkeley and paid a ridiculous price for a reader that was the size of a very thin paperback.
Oh, and my wonderful boyfriend fixed a paper lamp for me. The instructions were pretty complex and well, he's the engineer in the relationship. He got to apply what he learned from class. He's sweet and handsome and smart and witty and standing right next to me....so much for an unbiased opinion. I don't mention him enough in my web page....and I should, because he's the one who has kept me sane and healthy for the last two years. He saved me from myself. And I owe him so much for that. I don't deserve him.
Am I getting all mushy again? I'm sorry.
Oh yes, I also wrote a screenplay today. I was amazed I could work on it for about a few hours. It's a reaction against the apathy we have in soceity, for things like a forteen year old boy being sentenced for involuntary manslaughter. Things like that and we don't care, because it doesn't directly affect our life. Plus the little flick is on my experiences in college as a freshman. Yeah, I'll change people's names and stuff, but it will have a little bit of me in it.

Oct. 15, 1998
ICQ is evil....trust me on this one. I just meant to drop into the computing center to print out a newsletter and now I've been here for an hour chatting to friends....i guess I'm stuck here until the center closes.
Today was nice and pretty mindless. I know, going to lectures should be intellectually stimulating, but I was falling asleep for most of them. This was a bummer, since my classics professor was talking about the greek gods having sex. how can i get bored with that type of discourse? i could have a learned a thing or two from aphrodite!
And my life is still connected to the damn politcal pettiness of very anal people. I can't believe I still have people who are upset about me being on certain committees and organzations. I've already resigned from the damnd RHA presidency....isn't that enough to satisfy their demand for bloood? I already know they think I"m a loser for resigning. They've made that clear to me just by my last interactions with them. So much for our supposed friendship. Well, at least i don't care what they think and they don't have the power to kick me out. But I"m traveling into a dangerous tangent and I don't think it would be appropriate to share this tangent with you....i got into a lot of trouble for that ovet the summer. Okay, now I"m getting cryptic....just e-mail me if you want the rest of the story...okay?
Ripping out my heart for all of you to see can be pretty damn embarrassing. Gosh, I feel so vulnerable. Please don't take advantage of me....yes, i can feel the sarcasm running through my veins again. I must be feeling better. Sorry for that lapse in my dialouge.


Oct. 13, 1998
Had a midtermtoday and I have this funny feeling that I should have spent more than half an hour on it. Our professor came late and well, I still had plenty of time to check over my work. I was not rushing, I guess I was skimping on way too many details. But how the hell are you suppose to study for this dumb exam anyways? This was a classics class on ancient greek religion and my professor said he wasn't going to tell what to read or study for this stupid exam. So naturally, I did very little studying for this exam. I think that might be the wrong logic to take with this class. We'll find out, right?
Oh, and my parents were in town for the weekend....goody. no really, my brother misses home and it was good for him to see them. They even listen to my news cast with my crappy voice. I swear, it's just like Christmas when they visit, because I'm always getting something from them. Yeah, most of it is just stuff from home, but if you're living in Berkeley on a limited budget, you're grateful for all the little things you can get your hands on. Simple things like plates and moistrerizer.
By the way, don't watch "What Dreams May Come," without a damn kleenx box. This is the only movie I will admit to crying about. Granted, it had lousy acting, but some scenes on hell just hit too close to home. It was all about the eye candy and the nifty special effects. And, I was too emotionally, invested in it to make an good film analysis.

Oct. 9, 1998
Uh, what's there to say. It's Friday and I usually think: "Wow, no class. Now I'm going to do all the studying I saved up during the week. What a load of bull. I end up waking up at 7:00 in the morning to get ready for work.
(uh, I set the alarm for at seven and then I keep hitting the snooze button until 7:45). No matter how early I wake up, my Russian roommate manages to steal the bathroom first. Thanks a bundle sweetie. While she may not know it, her other two roommates are squirmming outside, dying for some release from the built-up bladder after a good night's rest. Hmmm, maybe we should have a rule in which every one in the suite can take a leak first before launching into a half-hour's worth of primping and showering in the bathroom. Good idea. No, I like my roommates. Both of them. They're nice and usually polite. However, like all roommates, we have little ticks that make us all shudder every now and then. (God, please don't let them ever check my web page. Thanks.) Like my roomie from Brea Olinda: she has a tendency of leaving her dishes (and believe me, most of the time they are her personal property) in the sink until flies start swarming and the kitchen attracts this undersirable, undescrible stench. We try our best to take turns on throwing the dishes into the dish washer. But she's pretty slow about that. The good thing, she knows this and she said she' work on that. Cool.
Then there's my Russian roommate who has to use Eudora via modem. You know what that means...despite the wonderful innovation of Ehternet that allows internet access without tying up the phone line, she opps for the modem. I can't return my calls or get in touch with my friends while she sits at her desk trying to think of what to respond to her last e-mail. Yes, I am spolied for working at a computing center with all the computers at my finger tips, without a worry about fast connection. Still, the other roommate offered her ethernet connected computer to her, and she still insisted on using her own computer. Talk about territorial. I have more issues with this roommate, like the fact she likes to think she's so much older and more mature than her unworthy roommates, but this is not the place for this....what do you think?
Still, it could have been worst. At least we can communicate to each other and we care about how we're doing and stuff like that. We're nice about letting the others use our stuff and we're considerate about music. And the nicest thing is that they're not as malicious as me. Then we would have been in trouble. We could have ended up hating each other.
Oct. 7, 1998
I'm tired and I'm sick and I just feel like crap. I skipped most of classes today execpt for American Studies (because I had to turn in my stupid annotated biblography) and I went to choir practice, just because I skip Monday rehersals. So I taught my adorable dance to the girls in my "Shoo-Shoo" group. I told them to act like prom queens and act all prissy. It's a good thing they have long legs because this little number is going to be showing them off....except mine. Heeheehee, the joys and quirks of being a cheographer.
I'm sorry, my boy toy is trying to correct me and he knows i have lousy spellin. Yeah, he's smiling right now, the poor little wupped fool. He brought me chicked soup and he's a keeper...don't worry, i'll make a little page on him soon so you'll know what the studd he really is....
Uh, so I"m going now...because he's here and he wants to make me a bad girl...not. Of course he's not a man enough to do such a thing. He's a perfect gentleman and I love him very much. Since he's standing right here, I have to play with his head. Okay, get your mind out of the gutter! That's not what I mean!

Oct. 4, 1998
Gosh, long time no see!!! Well, yesterday, I went to Monterey Bay with my brother and his roommate John. It was sunny and the water was this beautiful royal blue hue. This was the first time I have seen a shore so beautiful up here in Northern California. Seriously. So Cal can beat this place with beautiful beaches. We had lunch together and then we went over to the aquarium. I loved the sea otters and I wish I could pet them. They so cute, like water dogs with the agilty of cats. And boy did David, John, and I get into some seriously strange conversations. For some reason or other, we ended up talking about sex and s&m and dominatrix. Well, it might be helpful material for my research project on prositution. Yes, I'm writing about that and it's not due to some sick freudian desire for something else.

Oh yes, and I forgot to tell you about our little surprise party for my boy toy. Well, he doesn't know how to hold his liquor and he got sicly drunk after two shots of tequila. His face turned Asian red and I took a picture of him with his hall coordinator buddy Roger. I was teasing Roger about being a drunken hall staff person, trying to write up people for alcohol violations in his building. But he's a nice guy and don't think he would stoop to such dirtiness. Now other resident assistants, I would not trust. Especially the ditzy RAs who take their residents to parties. Who the hell do they think they are? Oh yeah, I just want to be down with the resident on my floor so I'll take them out to a frat party and watch them get drunk. Then the bimbo RA will take her poor vulnerable residents back to her building and write them up for underage drinkning. What a pal! Still, I think everybody had a decent time and they liked my cooking. Nothing fancy, just spagettie and alfredo noodles. Plus we had the Bad boys of saturday night live to entertain us. Then Zootsuit Riot came on the radio and we all started swing dancing.

Sept. 25, 1998
I went to the auditions for MTV's Real World. It was a long ass line by the time I got there at opening. So, I figured I might as well be nice to the guy without shoes and sure enough, he asked no questions about my cutting in back of him. Why Real World? Because I've had a fantasy about being on that show ever since my American History High School teacher was giving it praises. Back in the day, he described the show as an amazing feat of compromise and he saw it as a marvelous way to teach  young adults about, well, life and reality. Lately, I've seen the characters on the show, and a majority of the m are nice looking people. At the same time, they also fit into society's categories of young adults. One guy in line, the one without shoes, said he sent in a video last year and they didn't even grant him an interview. He said he was so real, that they, the producers, could not handle that sort of thing. Maybe so. But in any event, at least I could tell myself that I gave it a shot. So I wouldn't always be thinking what if?
Oh do I know that I didn't make it? Well, for one thing, they, okay, she (the interviewer) didn't ask for my picture to keep. They said in the fliers that we needed to give them a picture to keep. Then, she didn't ask me to sign a release form, just in case I made the cut and they needed to interview me. So, I guess I don't have what it takes to be a Real World Star. Some of those questions were quite bizarre...like what makes you an interesting roommate and what is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done. Hmm, like you can get a lot out of person with those stimulating  questions. I don't think so. C'est la vie. I guess I'm not going to Hawaii for second semester. 



Sept. 24, 1998 
So, today is my boyfriend's b-day. At that cure? he's twenty-one now and boy do I feel left behind. He doesn't even like to drink, so he won't be shopping for alcohol on a regular basis. Still. I think it's a pretty amazing feat to reach your 21st b-day with your life still in tact. Granted you don't feel much when you grow a year older, it's still an accomplishment to be proud of. Happy B-day to my boy toy!

Sept. 22, 1998
This was a busy day too. I was a bit worried about my essay on my internship with CNN and I called up the faulty sponsor, ready for a tongue lashing. You see, I was suppose to turn in that essay on the summer internship back in August. Well, it's Sept now and I'm a little past my deadline. Still, he called me back and he was quite nice about the whole business. He said to turn it in whenever. What a nice guy, especially since he's a journalist.
Okay, stupid remark and I'm sorry.
I was  a little pissed off in judo simply because the girl I'm sparring with is a little wus. Okay, if you're taking a martial arts class, you expect to feel a little pain, right? And with judo, it's all about throwing. So when I try to throw her, she's reaching for the ground, trying to make her fall as painless as possible. Uh, I wouldn't have a problem with that if it was only once in a while. But seriously, I'm stuck with her at every class and she never let's me throw her. I let her throw me, but she never trusts me to do that. Yeah, I can really learn judo this way. And I can't go up against any of the guys because they're out of weight level. The crappy thing  about this is that all of the girls (and we all weigh about the same) are just like he. Now, I know I'm not a vicious person, but I need to feel what it's like to throw somebody. So my real workout actually starts after class. Last week I sparred with a guy friend of mine, and it felt good to truly fight someone. Then today, because everybody left, Dr. Minh set me up with a black belt. At least he didn't throw me.
 

Sept. 21, 1998

Tiring Day, beyond words....I completely forgot about my little newjob as librarian for the UC Women's Chorale and well, I was runningto my new job. At least they're pretty kick back and it's only once a week...besides it gives me a crack at my work study award. Yeah, you knowit's all about the money, baby!I also had lunch with my old RA from last year. We talked about his weddingplans. Dear Lord, marriage already. He and my best friend have decided theywill get married in the year 2001, just after she graduates.I hope they'll let me take care of the bachorlette's party. Hmmm, lot's ofcandy! But he misses her terribly and he's planning to see her inFrance this winter. (she's on education abroad.)Damn, this is such a weird format for writing random things....I guess, it's better than spilling my heart and soul to random internet guests.I'm sure you don't want the low down and dirty of my life, right?


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