4.30.2007

Somebody shoot me, please

...because I have at least 40 pages to write before May 8th.

Earlier estimates ran at about 60, but I realized that a couple of them are only a maximum of 15 pages, not a minimum.

Sometimes, Rhetoric is lame.

And other times, I'm lame because I'm really interested in the topics and projects for all these finals, but just not right now. I am the worst procrastinator I know, because I put everything off when it counts, when it's for me, and put everything that's for other people-- work, for example-- ahead.

Grr!

In other news, my last day at the baby store was Saturday. Woohoo! Freedom from low wages and hypocrisy! I can't decide yet whether that's more valuable of a benefit than being able to tell the self-righteous grandmas to suck it, but at least I'm down to two jobs.

4.23.2007

I love being declared

Because it means I actually get into classes!

I generally loathe the registration period where I sign up for classes that I want that aren't full but are for declared students, but this semester, it took a mere 4 minutes AND I came out satisfied at the end.

UC Berkeley's registration system is designed like a giant compromise. Telebears, as it's called, only lets you sign up for 10 units (two classes, typically) between April and July-- this is Phase I. Theoretically this allows everyone the opportunity to prioritize the hard-to-get-into classes in Phase I, while leaving open the bigger or less desirable classes until Phase II between July and August.

The problem with people like me is, I like small classes, and Rhetoric is no English. So if I want small classes, I have to pick two that I really like or that my adviser is making me take, then wait a few months and attend the first week of the packed classes and blow professors in their office hours to be let in. I gotta tell you, that week is taxing.

So you always get a couple classes that you either really want or must take, and then the last two or three are always up in the air until the first two weeks of classes, when everything starts to work itself out.

This is one reason why I hate the small department in the big university.

4.22.2007

Not sure what to say, but it isn't about ASUCk.

I just wanted to make a post to move the stupefacation about SA losing away from the first thing anyone might read.

Because I don't care about the ASUC enough to possibly generate the image that it's all I care about; I've just been working too much (read: caring about something else) to change it.

4.19.2007

Dude...they actually lost. In the popular vote.

There are some who consider the Student Action overthrow by CalSERVE in ASUCk elections to be as triumphant as the Democratic Congressional overthrow of the Republicans. The parallel is probably accurate, especially because the Democrats haven't done a heck of a lot (including refusing to correct a typo in a bill they passed the last time they were in power, which meant that a whole bunch of people who had special-needs housing no longer have housing, and there's a landlord with no idea what to do with a special-needs facility that no one can afford), and CalSERVE probably won't do much, either.

CalSERVE has always had a foothold in the Senate, but they're a group focused on "doing things" that usually don't need to play Monopoly with $1.5 million. They didn't even run an executive race last year, 1) because they didn't have anybody good-looking enough to run against Oren Gabriel, except Max Besbris who is adorable but probably didn't want to campaign all the time and 2) because they didn't need the executive power to accomplish their goals-- only a strong Senate foothold, which was pretty much guaranteed as long as they pooled their resources.

I'm not sure what their goals are, except gender-neutral bathrooms, which I only remember because it was so ridiculously presented in its Happy Rainbow font that it made me want to inject heroin into my uvula. That crack used to be "gag myself with a spoon," then "gag myself with the spoon I used to boil my crack in," then "gag myself with the spoon I used to boil my heroin in, followed by the needle," then I pondered whether one would boil heroin but remembered there was something about spoons for heroin in Requiem for a Dream, then decided that it was funnier to go with the injection bit, which I know people use to get heroin in their bodies, and avoid the gagging thing altogether. Except the uvula.

As Kyle so frequently tells me, it must be interesting being me.

Anyway, I guess it's pretty cool that Student Action lost its power to pay itself lots of my money, at least in the popular vote, even though they probably would have been disqualified for the campaign violations that people finally got around to gathering evidence for.

4.18.2007

Cults only get you so far

I confess, I watch American Idol.

I also watch House and South Park, but that's about all I ever really have time for. Frankly, I shouldn't have gotten cable in the first place, especially since I have a lot of South Park available to me on DVD and you can get Fox without paying for shit. But it wasn't my choice exclusively, and I don't really care. And besides, it means I have more things to do (i.e. shows to watch) to avoid doing homework. It just sucks that there isn't anything good on, especially during the day, except old episodes of Arrested Development. And I'm sorry, Da Ali G Show? Not funny. I can't believe my roommate Tivo's it.

Anyway, I'm glad Sanjaya is finally off. It's about time. Kyle and I have our hearts set on Lakisha, and I'm fairly positive I would have boycotted the rest of the season if she was kicked off tonight.

I do, however, wonder what Jordin was apologizing for. Right before Melinda did the right thing and refused to choose which group was the bottom three, Jordin is in the background in between Phil and Chris clearly mouthing "I'm sorry" to someone, presumably in the other group, or perhaps Melinda?

This is of perhaps more immediately pressing interest than my constant query, What is Paula On?

4.17.2007

Apparently, I'm Awesome.

Things are going quite well over at ProgressiveU.org/blog/kfed (hint hint. There's even a link, in the Procrastination Station, called "My Alter Ego-- The More Intelligent One." Go look. I'm kinda smart, sometimes funny, and mostly saying what I mean and meaning what I say).

As it turns out, I'm kind of popular over there, and I'm not gonna lie-- I like it.

To be fair and honest and borderline Livejournal-esque, I'm not an especially popular person in real life (This is for you Kyle: It's because I work too much), so it's pretty flattering to be having good discussions and ratings and generally feeling good about what I'm writing.

I still don't have any clue what my chances are for the scholarship, because I started pretty late and I'm not Student Action popular, but I've got a couple well-wishers out there, and right now they're making my day(s).

4.16.2007

In five minutes, it will have been 20 years since my birth

And I bet Mom will call me at exactly 12:36, just as a reminder that she knows where she was 20 years ago.

I don't know why I'm so excited about birthdays. I just feel like I don't pay attention to myself much during any other day of the year, and no one else really gives me as much praise as when it's my birthday. So why not revel in it? It's just one day of the year!

I don't like the extravagant birthday thing (maybe when I'm older and can hire people to clean up the aftermath), but I do like being able to relax all day and not feel like everything that I'm doing is for someone else's benefit. I don't need presents, just food. Lots of food.



Update: I called Mom, because I was thinking about food and really had a hankering for her spice cake recipe with penuche frosting. She told me she was just about to pick up the phone to call me.

4.15.2007

In four hours, it's my birthday!

Here is my birthday list:

-DVDs of Daria, South Park, ER, or West Wing: The only show about which I'm season-specific is South Park, because Jake and Kyle already own (which means I have practically memorized) seasons 5, 7, and 8. Really, I just want something to watch while I'm in Utah... because I doubt the night life will be especially hoppin'.
-Heroin. I hear it's the next morphine!
-Books. Mostly I'm looking for physical copies of some canonical Rhetoric texts that I have to reread different chapters of every semester, like Benjamin's "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" and Wilde's "Soul of Man Under Socialism." Some Marx, Brecht, Bloch, or Luk√°cs wouldn't hurt, either. And yes, Kyle, I know that it would pain you greatly to see these titles on my bookshelf, but rest assured, I won't summarize them or read them aloud in your presence.

I think that's it, but I'll update if I think of any other illicit drugs or explicit DVDs I'm interested in.

4.07.2007

Recycling

This is reposted from my ProgressiveU.org blog, but I think it's a pretty pertinent complaint to both:

When homelessness crosses the line:

The moment it drives people to ring my doorbell at 1 or 2 in the morning almost regularly is the moment my empathy stops.

Some may have noticed earlier posts bantering with Daimler about homeless people and squirrels, but this is less of a laughing matter. It's one thing for someone to be in their own world in public. It's another for that person to trespass on private property and knock on people's windows when the doorbell is ignored.

A man who I assume is vagrant has, with relative frequency, come to our apartment building (which, mind you, is in a quaint neighborhood about ten blocks south of campus) and rang each of the four units' apartments asking to be let in. The downstairs neighbors have called the police before when he was sleeping in our front yard, but every time he knocks on the door it's a more time-sensitive matter.

I'd like to tell him that frankly, sir, my landlord doesn't run a homeless shelter, and it's unfortunate for you I don't have the authority to let you sleep in the hallway, not only because it's a fire hazard but because we also don't run a hotel. There's a reason the door is locked, and another reason why we're not excited that you're knocking on our bedroom windows while we're trying to sleep. But I would prefer not to engage more actively than a "please leave" with a man of questionable psychosis: he responds like a dog. There's absolutely no verbal or physical recognition of what I've said; he only responds, it appears, to the stern and uninviting tone of my voice.

There is a reason I chose to live so far away from the University-- since People's Park is so close (for those not familiar, it's a park owned by the University dedicated during the 1960s to the public, and currently tends to be the camping grounds for many, many vagrants), the propensity for its occupants to wander around nearby houses and dumpsters is pretty high. I had hoped that the price of a longer walk would avoid that.

But now that the circumference of wandering souls has widened, I don't feel especially safe out here anymore. This is a problem that has been addressed by the mayors of both Berkeley and San Francisco (in fact, mayor Gavin Newsom of SF vowed to "solve homelessness" by the end of his term), but neither has really done much to curb vagrancy/homelessness besides Berkeley mayor Tom Bates trying to instate a civil code for Telegraph Avenue, the main street closest to both campus and People's Park. The civil code merely highlights what is probably already written down, but includes things like "no loitering after x hour" and something about noise and/or spitting...

It's late and I might have been in bed already if it weren't for the adrenaline rush caused by the terrifying and incessant doorbell-ringing at 1:30 this morning, but the point is homelessness isn't just an eyesore anymore-- it's affecting personal safety and privacy in our homes.

4.06.2007

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Jake's 21!

He doesn't care, because he won't see this, but whatev.

Maybe I'll start a tradition. Know any upcoming birthdays? I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands per day, but I'm going to limit things to people I know, which is, oh, about ten.

4.05.2007

Um...

Bus driver conversation with unknown caller on her cell phone (with a cheesy salsa ring tone):

Bus Driver: "HELLO? [looks at phone] Helllloooooo? Hey! You there? What's wrong, baby?"
[incoherent mumbling on other end]
BD: "Calm down, just chill a minute. Can you wait until I get there? I get off at 5; just chill in the room, don't hurt anybody, and no one will call the police."
[more incoherent mumbling]
BD: "Okay, do you think you can do that? CALM DOWN! Do you think you can do that? I get off at 5 and I'll come pick you up. Just wait there; you don't want to go back to jail any more than I want to bail you out, so don't let anybody give cops reason to nab you. JUST WAIT."

Meanwhile, everyone on the bus is sitting there, stopped with the doors open, at Bowditch and Bancroft, as the world goes by. After a while, I stepped out, figuring it would be faster than waiting for whatshisname to negotiate the rigors of boredom.

Not That Bad of a Person

Really, I swear.

It occurred to me that maybe I don't look like an awesome person by the posts I leave here, but I assure you, dear reader, that I am.

My brilliance should shine through like a beacon of truth and dignity, but in case it doesn't, I invite you to join my readership over at progressiveu.org/blog/kfed, where I've even made a friend! If you click "track" you can see all the pearls of wisdom I've left on various other people's blogs.

I know. It's amazing. I'm amazing. Let's bask in this moment.

4.03.2007

Still Hate People

This time: the Student Action slaves whose unpaid job it is to walk people to class and espouse their candidates' "beliefs."

They must have caught my silent death rays, because I avoided their near-hawking tendencies this morning.

4.01.2007

I Hate People

Especially self-righteous yuppies in Petaluma.

After finally reaching the front of an agonizingly long, out-the-door line to order some allegedly amazing brunch fare, my sister agreed to place my order for me while I scoped out a table, since by that point it was not belligerently early to do so.

Just before this, we watched an elderly couple enjoying their newspapers and coffee interrupted by this 52-ish woman with terrible gray-distracting blonde highlights holding her croissant and coffee. She was asking this couple if she and her husband could share their table, since they couldn't seem to find one of their own. The elders kind of looked at them, blinked, got huffy and uncomfortable as they moved their newspapers aside, and the 52-ish woman with terrible gray-distracting blonde highlights finally realizes what an ass she was to have asked and says "oh no, it's okay, we'll wait another few minutes; those people outside look like they're about to leave."

The elderly couple were still pretty much in shock, but after some sidelong glances and sighs, returned to their newspapers and coffee.

I almost order when I see a couple behind this elderly couple packing up to leave. Becca grabs my money and pushes me toward the table like a relay runner tags a relief. I sit down, start clearing the table, and 52-ish Woman with Terrible Gray-Distracting Blonde Highlights approaches. "Have you already ordered?" she asked me, tersely, as if everything wrong in the world had to do with her suspicion of a negative response.


"Uh, we've just ordered and my sister's paying." Which was kind of a fib, because she was in the middle of ordering, but whatever.

"Well, we've been waiting a long time. Would you mind?"

"Mind what?"

"Moving; you haven't been here long, and you'll be waiting for your food awhile like we have, and we'd really like a table when our food arrives. Plus my husband's knees really aren't great for standing, and my feet hurt."

"Well, um, I don't see a sign indicating we're supposed to wait until we order to sit, and my sister and I waited to sit until we reached the front of the line anyway so that people who had already ordered could find tables; I saw several tables open up in the half hour we've been in line. Why did you wait until now?"

"Well, we deserve it more, so if you'd kindly move, that'd be great."


I caved, thinking at the very least I would win Karma points. My sister looked at me, appalled, that the woman we had just witnessed disturb at least one other table had also entirely usurped a claimed table. Our table.

After another 20 minutes of waiting around for a table to open up, I considered asking 52-ish Woman with Terrible Gray-Distracting Blonde Highlights if she would mind sharing our table, but she had so victoriously leaned against the corner and spread her legs across the padded bench (her feet hurt), that the whole bench was contaminated with her indignity.

Finally, a kind father and daughter finished up their omelettes and french toast and offered us their slightly larger, closer-to-the-door/line table, which only made me more annoyed that our quiet bungalow in the back countryside had been so bitterly overtaken by an aging woman with bad hair. I sincerely hope her menopause is godawful.

For extra Karma points, we offered to share our table with a couple who was behind us in line, who quite gratefully accepted and kept to themselves in their corner.

The food was awesome, but not worth $16 and the 52-ish Woman with Terrible Gray-Distracting Blonde Highlights. Perhaps a weekday would be better.