Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thesis, Check

Yesterday, at approximately 3:00 pm, I turned in my thesis. Yeeeeaaaah! It actually took forever to turn it in 'cause I had to go to two places on campus to get it printed out then spend 30 or more minutes waiting outside the graduate office while the women that work there were kissing up to the visiting Irish harpist that was playing on campus that night. They made her tea while they were supposed to be thanking me for turning in my brilliant project and praising me for completing this step in my education. Some people...the nerve!

Instead of starting on my ten day drunk which I've been threatening, I took a nap, went out for fried food and ice cream, then drinks, then a bottle of champagne back at the apartment. It was a good night and my friends totally pulled together and celebrated with me.

Now I'm off to buy stuff in celebration and go to work this evening. I'm 'bout to make a fool of myself spendin' money, y'all.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ben S., If You're Gay, Call Me

So, I think about six months ago, actually last September 20th, my friend Kate wrote me a long email that included shocking and important information. I saved the email (my memory's not quite that good) because, for some reason, her revelation resonated with me in a way that I have only recently realized.

She reported that the guy she went on a first date with has since come out of the closet as a gay man. Like I said, at the time, I didn't fully understand what that meant, but in the months since we've discussed the full potential of what something like this means. I have also met this man--let's call him John because that's his real name--and really liked him. He's a good looking, nice, smart, funny, impressive dresser in that laid back way, and I can totally understand how she would have fallen for him...I certainly would have.

And as for that, it's highly possible that I've dated some men who now identify as gay. For a few years now, when I think someone is cute, my next thought is that he's probably not into women. But that may have been something I got into in college.

Back to the cosmic implications: Kate came to the conclusion that it wasn't her he rejected, it was her whole gender which cancelled out the fact that there was ever any rejection at all. What a wonderfully liberating feeling. In cases like this, when someone says they don't want to see you anymore, or when things just trail off as they do in high school, it really is them!

Then I thought it would be great if guys I used to date, or have crushes on, or high-school-love, were gay then that would take all the pressure off me that I did something wrong or missed my chance. So this is my wish: Boys that used to date me (especially the person mentioned in the title) but I'm sure don't read any of this....If you're gay, call me!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dr. A.B. Ethridge

Just call me doctor, baby, 'cause I'm officially in the PhD program! I was personally informed by the Dean recently and now I get a PhD...it's that easy right. First, I should probably work on my Master's.

And I'm moving into a new apartment with my friend Brandon. It's a cozy place not far away from where I live now with a huge kitchen and a back deck perfect for herb gardens and grilling out. Possibly some tanning. Brandon and I are going to be so clean and have such good food...and I only have to share with one other person. What a luxury.

So things are looking up for me right now as long as I get this thesis done and defended so I can graduate in May. (More on my post-thesis shopping spree later.) Thanks for all your encouragement so far with making me think I can actually get through Drew University. And thanks for the blogments. Blog comments. Is that a work already? Yeah, everything!

Monday, March 20, 2006

To Daily Show or Not to Daily Show

The answer seems to obvious. It's the former, of course. But twice, TWICE I have had to cancel my Daily Show tickets. The first time was last February when I had to work on a paper and the second was just a few weeks ago when I cancelled because I have to teach on April 6th when I had so fortuitously gotten free tickets (I just mean the gettin' part, they're always free). Eeerrrrgggghhhh! I'm tired of stupid work and school getting in the way of cultural events. Doesn't everybody know that's why I'm here.

In other news, I recently housesat for a family for about 3 weeks and discovered that staying that long by myself in a house that's not my own makes me depressed and then I sleep on the couch every night after drinking too much diet coke with the tv still on The X Files and a stinky pug dog on the floor beside me. I didn't like it. Oh well, at least it gave me a good shower for those three weeks and provided me, Kate and Dominic with a pug dog's excessive neck rolls to laugh at. And it had a cool movie projector in the basement, so I guess I should hush.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Petite But Pierceable

So after my fatefull encouter with Scarlett Johansson (well, kind of) and my decision to get something pierced now set in stone, Dale and I set out in the days after Mardi Gras to get pierced and tattooed. I had done some internet research before going to New Orleans and found this place called Rings of Desire on Decatur Street in the French Quarter that was exclusively a piercing shop. We had a drink before at The Abbey across the street from the place where people were about to gather for a memorial service honoring one of their beloved patrons. Dale and I got drinks and cut out of there 'cause being around strangers mourning their loved ones can be awkward and then there was the fact that it was in a bar which made me uncomfortable.

We had to walk around the French Quarter Market for a while t finish our drinks since Rings of Desire did not allow drinks upstairs (where the piercing was done) only to find that there was a convenient spot at the top of the stairs where you could leave your drinks. Ahhh, New Orleans really understands the importance of having a drink handy.

So I talked to a piercer, and because I was a little nervous, forgot what the part of my ear was called that I wanted to get pierced. I just pointed, said I wanted it done and this pretty and highly pierced woman named Elayne Angel said, "Your tragus?" "Yes," I replied, "but it may be too small."

I should tell you now that when I pointed this out to Dale, he called my ear deformed.

The wonderful Elayne said that it was, and I quote because I love this part, "petite but pierceable." Not only was something on me petite as been named by a professional, but I had a great phrase to use whenever I told the story. So I filled out all the appropriate paperwork and was lying on a table before I knew it. In doing my internet research, I read that the tragus is one of the more painful ear piercings, so I was a little afraid, but it was actually quite painless even though I think I might have passed out had I been sitting up. I got very red and flushed and was glad I had a shot of water waiting for me when I sat up. Elayne did a great job (did I mention she's pierced Lenny Kravitz's nose and knipple) and I thank her publically for it.

Dale scheduled a tattoo apointment the next day at an undisclosed tattoo shop (he can tell you about it), and we were on our way. I spent the next few days nursing my ear, asking Dale to look in it and saying, ow, ow, ow, ow, when I acidentally touched it. Now I can sleep on it and everything's good...and I really, really like it. When my parents come for graduation, they may even think it's cute. That's how cute it is.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I cried at Mardi Gras, then found a superhero

So, Mardi Gras was fun. Slightly smaller crowds (just enough to make the holiday more bearable) and still plenty of parades, fun costumes, and Bloody Marys. It was my second Mardi Gras in three years -- the first of which was attended with Kate and Dominic also -- and it was great, except for a little while on Tuesday.

I arrived at the Louis Armstrong airport on Sunday, my chauffeur Dale picked me up and then we went back to his place to begin the festivities. We made it to one parade that day, or was it two, but stayed pretty low key with his nice flask to keep us company. The whole trip was generally low key and we didn't go out as much as usual. Maybe that's because most of the city is still inoperable and lots of restaurants and bars are not open or have hours that limit our getting food after 8pm.

We went to his friend Michael Depp's (who interviewed me for Reuters at Mardi Gras two years ago) place for a Bacchus party on Sunday evening, walked to the parade and then holed up in Michael's house with Allison to get our snacks in privacy. It was fun.

Monday was more parades and drinks until that evening when the Orpheus parade rolled. Dale had heard that Steven Seagal was the king/marshall/the person on the front float, so that was funny, but then came the exciting part. The sign introducing the second float said "Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett," and I responded with stunned suspicion. Sometimes Mardi Gras floats are just tributes to things, events, or people, and with Orpheus' theme "Signs and Superstitions," I didn't think there would be famous people too. But Harry Connick Jr's krewe totally pulled through on this one to have several famous people, but of course the most important one was Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett by association (I think they're dating).

I love Scarlett Johansson! Total girl crush. And there she was, just as close as Elijah Wood two years ago, but those of you who either experienced my Elijah Wood-Mardi Gras freak out or heard about it will be happy to know that I did not react quite so strongly this year to famous people I saw in a parade. I conjured up my cheerleading voice and excitedly screamed, "Oh my god, it's really them!" Remember I didn't know if it was the real "them" or a tribute to "them" for some strange reason...and I was dazed after having just seen Steven Seagal. Alas Josh was the only one facing my side of the street, but he heard me yell, kind of laughed at me and threw me a long strand of large gold beads. Famous men throw me beads at Mardi Gras -- even if I do have to fight children for them. Like I said Scarlett was facing away from me (don't you love how its my side of the street and away from me?), but I did see the back of her head and her updo was lovely and quite festive.

Seeing Scarlett Johansson in a parade just solidified my decision to get a new body piercing. I've had the itch to get tattooed or pierced for a while, but I recently noticed Ms. Johansson's ear piercing on the Vanity Fair cover where she was naked with Kiera Knightly and Tom Ford. It's the little middle part of the ear called the tragus; the part that you can kind of push over your ear canal to close your ears. But more on that later.

Mardi Gras day started out great. I was happy with my costume, and Dale, Allison and I were having a good time getting ready. And I was having a great hair day, very all-American girl curls. Allison drove us down in her truck and then we walked to the French Quarter and this was my downfall. I had gone into the city and bought TWO pairs of shoes to go with my sexy Uncle Sam costume. One pair of royal blue, glitter-covered maryjanes and a pair of silver go-go boots. I chose the boots that morning 'cause the glitter was already rubbing my feet, and though they first felt comfortable, they had no padding and the walk to the French Quarter KILLED. I sat down at the R Bar and had a Bloody Mary, but it quickly became obvious that I would have to either go home or get out of the shoes. I cried. Without knowing it or really meaning to, I cried (just a little) on Mardi Gras 'cause me feet hurt so bad.

That's when Allison and Dale knew it was serious. After I asked about going back to Dale's to change shoes, Allison recommended that I just take them off until I found new shoes to buy. I reluctantly did this. Yes, I walked around the French Quarter on Mardi Gras with my boots slung over my shoulder. I stuck to the sidewalk which was pretty clean and very few people noticed though I was totally humiliated at having made such a poor shoe choice and also slightly afraid for my personal health.

But Dale saved me. He walked in front of me to point out possible hazards and went very slow to make sure he didn't lose me. Then he took me to a store and bought me flipflops that still matched my costume. He was wonderful and I will never stop thanking him. He's my Mardi Gras superhero...CrazyPantsShirtlessManWithATuxedoJacketAndABeret. That's his name.

After that, Mardi Gras was soooo much fun. We trapsed all around partyhopping, getting lunch, buying drinks, and generally being fabulous in costume as one does on Mardi Gras. We saw a band and danced (but not Dale) and ended the night at the Bulldog, one of my favorite bars in NO for a reason I can't quite explain -- we just get each other, where Dale ordered and fetched food for me and Allison. And then there was sleeping which was good too.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On Hold for a Week

I'm putting my internet life on hold for a week while I finish a draft of my thesis. You should kick me in the butt by Saturday if I have not done this. But then I'm rewarding myself with at least a PalmPilot and a haircut.

Remind me to tell you about this stuff:

Mardi Gras/Rings of Desire
The Daily Show
Jon and Ben

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ok, you win

I've resisted doing this for a long time, but my cooler and more technological friends have one out and now me and the internet are together full time. After my ipod and one of those new fangled cell phones with cameras, I guess this was the next step. Said with almost a sigh of defeat.

Actually, I enjoy (but not obsessively, like everyday, no not me) checking Dale's and Kate and Dominic's blogs, so maybe they'll enjoy mine too. Today I'm at work at Kaplan, which will probably be when I do a lot of this since there's usually plenty of internet time anyway, but I have to stay until 8pm tonight to proctor a GMAT. This mostly distresses me because the Academy Awards START at 8:00. I could miss Jon Stewart's opening which would make me very sad.

I've been gearing myself up for these Oscar's for a while. I love awards shows. Well, really just the Oscar's and maybe the Grammy's, and usually Miss America, but this past year was horrible. The standard of contestants has really gone downhill. Dale and I recently had a long, seemingly intelligent talk about how the most impressive acting lately has been the more subtle stuff after I said Catherine Keener was stunning in Capote though she had a supporting role. Dale came up with the subtleness theory and we talked about it as we drank red wine, named actors, and ate delicious baclava that is now one of my favorite desserts. It was more than likely obnoxious.

I think that's enough of me for now. Find me internet! and make comments!