Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Week in Review

It's been a long, hard, strange week. Without even bothering to go into the intricacies of working easily 70-80 hours, I'll present a few pieces of evidence to support my claim.

Item 1: The News
There have been far too many bombings. Not that I've been directly affected by that, of course. It just sucks that this is the world we all now live in.

And, you know, I just had this feeling about that story involving the guy who got shot in the Underground in London. I don't know why exactly: just something about knowing how tense everyone there must be, a vague feeling of discomfort with the explanation "he refused to follow police orders. . . ." Not a good time to disobey the police, no matter who you are, when they're jumpy and legitimately concerned about public safety and people who act strangely. It's just really, really disturbing. Disturbing both that they apparently killed someone who had nothing to do with the bombings and also that I immediately thought that must have been what happened, despite the careful, press-release-style phrasings in which the news was originally couched. It bothers me that I could be that good at predicting something like that.

Item 2: The Weather
It has also been ridiculously hot. Boy Roomie and I had to break down and use the air conditioning with out even setting it to the "energy save" setting.

Item 3: I'm Hawking Myself Online
Personally, probably the strangest event of the week was that I put ads up on a couple of dating sites. This has been the unexpected result of an unexpected train of events, as follows:

1) I started thinking about how, since Stan bailed out, I no longer even have the possibility of someone's going with me to the summer movie festival that will involve lots of corny, sci-fi B-movies, because pretty much none of my friends will ever consent to go.

2) I started thinking that, if I were going to do anything social other than sit on my butt in my friends' living rooms and watch their TiVo and/or DVR recordings (which is--don't get me wrong--lovely; just a little sad in the "You-know,-her-fiance-dumped-her" kind of way if it's your only social outlet), I was going to have to contrive to meet new people I could stand to be around in Big City.

3) I realized that I'd better steel myself for what was out there and started looking at Big City locals' profiles on several dating sites. This was primarily a recipie for despair, but a few people piqued my interest. These were mostly either beautiful, self-absorbed indie boy-types I knew wouldn't be at all good for me or unabashedly dorky guys with weird senses of humor. I decided the latter were clearly the way to go, if I was "going" at all.

4) I was so amused by most people's attempts to be relentlessly similar and inoffensive, as well as by the snarky responses that kept popping into my head (for examples of which, see below), that I decided to try my hand at writing my own profile, just to see what it would be like.


Them: I'm really a positive person: the glass is always half full!
Me: Then who the hell has to keep filling it up for you? Because somebody has to notice when it's empty if it's gonna keep getting refilled. I'm not interested in being that person.

Them: I like puppies and walks on the beach!
Me: Who the hell doesn't? Why don't you just write "I'm a carbon-based life form" instead?

Them: Well, this is going to sound really cliched . . .
Me: Then don't write it.

Them: I'm really easy-going; everybody says so!
Me: Ick.

Them: I don't have any baggage; you shouldn't either.
Me: If you're over the age of 16 and don't have any baggage, you are a scary-ass person, because that means you haven't really let anything touch you.

Them: I am a really sane person; no hang-ups!
Me: Everybody is a little bit nuts. People who claim to be entirely sane do not realize this and are therefore some of the least sane people there are. The trick is finding out whether your neuroses either share the sand-box or run with scissors when they're around each other.

Them: You know, I really hate how shallow people are here. It's not about appearances. I just want somebody who will do what they say and be good to me. Anyway, I'm looking for a tall, fit, slender woman who's comfortable (and beautiful) in a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt or in a little black Gucci dress.
Me: Uhm, do I really even need to explain my thoughts on this one? They were mostly four-letter words, anyway.

Them: "NO GAMES!"
Me: Not even Twister? I like Twister.

5) I wrote a profile which stated very explicitly that I was interested in meeting complete dorks because I am a complete dork. It made me laugh so hard and so much that I decided I really ought to post it, just to see who would reply and what they'd say.

6) I posted it and paid my subscription.

7) I got an email in reply about 15 minutes later and promptly freaked out, spending the rest of the day vacillating between "What the hell am I doing? I'm not ready for this! It's too soon!" and "Dammit, I don't owe it to Stan to go through some ridiculous, drawn-out mourning period. This wasn't my fault, and I'd already deprived myself of anything remotely resembling a social life for the better part of a year so I could be home when he called."

8) Finally, I decided I was being a total dumbass. Because I do not have to take this so seriously. I really can just go online, exchange a few emails with people who seem interesting, maybe meet them in person and do some fun things that don't involve "night life" or intimidating restaurants. I do not have to marry these people; I do not have to sleep with these people; I do not even have to love these people. I do not owe them anything other than decency and honesty. And I owe myself the opportunity not to feel as though I'm going to spend the rest of my life alone.

9) I have gotten a rather surprising number of responses: apparently, there are lots of dorks (closeted and otherwise) out there. I'm actually pretty excited about the possibility of meeting a few of them. One of them is a Beatles impersonator. One of them rides a motorcycle, but takes a small, fluffy dog along for the ride in a specially-designed backpack. Who wouldn't want to meet these people?

Item 4: Mouse's Great Escape
Mouse decided he wanted to explore the Great Outdoors, which he may be missing from his days as a feral. So he ran outside while Boy Roomie was bringing in his laundry, and I had to get poor Bellwether to drive me back from a Battlestar Galactica viewing at The General's house before we even got to watch the show. And I had to drag another friend* along with us, because she didn't have another ride home.

At any rate, Boy Roomie managed to keep Mouse on the patio, and when I went out and called to him, Mouse came to me right away. This is a very good thing; I'm pleased that we've bonded enough that he'd come to me when he was scared and disoriented.

What is not such a good thing is that poor Mouse has been sitting at the patio door and crying off and on all day. He clearly wants to go back out there. This means that I have to figure out a way to make the patio kitty-escape proof, because he simply can't be out wandering around in my neighborhood; it isn't safe. And I promised the rescue folks that he'd be an indoor cat, anyway. But I can't stand him pining to go out all the time, either; it makes me feel like a bad Mommy.


*This friend knows who she is and reads regularly. The two of us really need to work on a good pseudonym for her, because she's too good a friend to keep getting such undifferentiated mention on this blog.