In Medias Res

In Medias Res

I’m finally ahead enough in paperwork to get back into the regular flow of blogging. Ebb and flow man, ebb and flow. The apartment is looking spectacular, and more and more minimalist every day (I can’t begin to express the sheer pleasure at not owning shit, it comes second only to the feeling of joy you get when you throw bags of junk into the dumpster). I’m about three months from owning just what can fit into a messenger bag. I can’t wait.

Classes are going really well, we haven’t gotten into the thick of it yet, but we’re heading there which is nice. UBULS (the Undergrad Linguistics Society which I confounded) is doing really well with our hoodie fundraiser to revamp the student lounge. Our department gives it’s students – undergrad and grad – a lounge with a fridge, a microwave, coffee maker, couches, and a mailbox for each student…so now we’re trying to queer eye it and make it slightly more comfy. I’m pushing for an area rug and fuzzy pillows in bright colors to offset the grey winter sky and a coffee maker that doesn’t look like it’s been used to filter toxic sludge, mostly because I worry that one day, whatever’s growing on the bottom of that thing, is going to eat a student and we’ll have to explain to their parents why we let a carnivorous tentacle into the department lounge.

The hoodies themselves are pretty neat, we came to the consensus of getting the hoodies embroidered instead of screen printed (so they’d last longer and look nicer). Folks have the option of a grey base with black thread or a blue base with white thread (I ordered myself the grey base/black thread). They have the interlocking UB Logo in the center, and underneath that, in IPA it says “Department of Linguistics” and then on the hood of the hoodie, in regular orthography, it says “Department of Linguistics.”

We’ve made 350.00 so far (after costs of getting the hoodies made) to put towards the re-decorating effort and we’re hoping to get matching funds from the University (which they sometimes do). Anne is really good at crafts, so she might make curtains if we buy material…and if I get around to it, I might either crochet or quilt a blanket for the couch to get rid of scrap fabric and yarn I have in the apartment.

This weekend we’re also commencing operation “Install clocks so Prof. Z ends on time.”

We’re putting one in the back of the classroom (so he can see what time it is), one in the front of the classroom (so everyone else can see what time it is since we’re required to turn off our cell phones in his class…having the phone on silent isn’t good enough for him), and one on the side wall (so he can’t say that he didn’t see the clock in the back of the classroom). If he doesn’t want us packing up our bags when he goes over his alloted time by close to fifteen minutes (because he demands ‘proper etiquette’), then he’ll have to use a clock and pace himself better. We’ve been late, almost every day since the start of the semester for our other classes because he doesn’t wear a watch and won’t let us give him back channeling that lets him know that he’s gone over his time.

Arabic is going, just amazing…awesome. Prof. Roustum is probably one of the most influential teachers I’ll ever have. We’re doing a lot more conversation and getting into a lot more translation theory which is nice (we didn’t get to do a lot of translation theory last semester) and we’re learning words that he’s typically tried to guide us away from (mostly one’s having to do with politics, a subject which he really dislikes) and he’s promised to teach me all the ‘bad’ words as soon as I graduate, which should be cool.

I’m in the news again:

I was in the newspaper the other day for being an ‘over achiever’ (article: ‘Conquer the world’ without burning out). They only got some of my quotes wrong (why should this article be different from any other article?), and some of the time line wrong (as to when I’ll be doing certain things), and put in some of the non-consequential stuff instead of other stuff that I do that I’m more proud of or that matter more to me. They also make the assumption that I’m fully fluent in Hebrew, which I’m not, the writer just knows that it’s one of the languages I study. There’s degrees of bilingualism, and the second to the bottom is a ‘Functional Bilingual’ which is the category I fall under, don’t be impressed it means that I can order a cup of coffee, find my way around town, engage in basic and incredbly simple conversation, and really, say nothing of importance at all. It means I can’t explain to you astro-phsyics, that I can’t write complex papers, or really tell you anything that you care about unless you’re my waiter or a really tolerant Israeli. There’s (if I recall correctly) 7 levels of bilingualism, the one right below this level covers anyone who knows between one and a few phrases in another language. However, that said, they got the important concepts right, so using the standards of ‘new math’, it’s a pretty decent article.

The Lavender Ceremony

I and the other LGBTQ Graduating Seniors are being honored at the First Annual Lavender Ceremony being put on by The University which is pretty exciting…my parent’s are coming up and hopefully my grandparents too (if they’re feeling up to making the trip in the Spring). I may not be graduating until the end of next fall, but since I have non-standard graduation, they let you walk if you only have 12 credits or less to finish for your degree (since they don’t do separate ceremonies for each graduation date) and I need less than 12 credits to graduate and considering that I have well over 130 undergraduate credits, I’m more than okay to walk. We’ll also be honoring straight allies and those who were influential in paving the way for LGBTQ Rights. There’ll be a pinning ceremony and a reception afterwards. It should be a good time.

“She’s so cold and human, it’s something humans do, she stays so golden solo, she’s so number nine, she’s incredible math, just incredible math” – Lithium Flower

There’s a song called Lithium Flower. When I first heard it, I was just blown away. The guy sings with such emotion, such passion, with conviction! I thought to myself when I first heard it “I think he sings with the feeling that you get in your chest when you know that the guy your dating is the one.”

If you get the chance, listen to Lithium Flower. It’s by Yokko Kanno, performed by Scott Matthew and the lyrics are by Tim Jensen

Face it girl, Prince Charming isn’t coming, he’s living with Mr. Right

The dance continues, at this rate however, the mating dance feels more like the Macarena rather than the Salsa, but at least it’s a mating dance which is better than no dance at all. We’ll see where it progresses…though, I’m also making close to no effort because the only reason the idea of some kind of relationship with him is appealing to me is because he’s hot, arrogant, and cocky…and heading to another country at the same time I am which means there’s a logical point at which the relationship will end so we can have a few wild rides, a good time, become friends, and then part ways amicably…which is exactly the thing I’m not looking, but looking for at the moment.

We’ll see where it goes.

Time is Money

I paid off a debt the other day…actually, I paid it off again, technically. A bank thought that I owed them money. I had a receipt from the bank that said I didn’t owe them money. You can see where this might be a problem.

Unfortunately, the part of the bank that thought I owed them money doesn’t know how to communicate with the part of the bank that knows I don’t owe them money. The amount wasn’t small, but it certainly wasn’t large enough for either of us to push for a court hearing (which would cost us both more than the debt they believed I owed them). So over the past two years I would mail them a copy of the receipt and a letter saying that I paid it already, they’d pass me off to another account manager and the process would repeat again.

While this was certainly a fun game, and a wonderful way to get to know local bank people and all their individual senses of humor and manners of writing, they finally offered to settle. So I paid it off again because my time is valuable and it was cheaper, in the long run, for me to pay it off again rather than to keep on writing letters (as enjoyable as that was) and making photo copies of the receipt and continuing the game of correspondence tag.

So ends my long, and painful, saga with the M&T Bank Buffalo Branch…I’m so much happier since I’ve switched to HSBC…the difference in the level of customer service (and competence), is astounding. HSBC also has much nicer web-features, I’ve found.

“Give me fat girls, give me rough boys, give me what I need…” – Taboo

I got both of my Traguses (Tragi?) re-pierced the other day, and I had them put a ring in my cartilage. It feels good to have my earrings back again. At some point soon, I really, really want to get a Schwa tattooed on my left bicep.

Okay, bed time, then sleeping in.

G’night all =)