And then there were a couple of answers…

See the end for added question sets.

From Luke:

1.) What would it take to get you to hop on one foot and pat your head and rub your tummy?

It would probably take more alcohol than I would be willing to consume. Since I don’t drink at all, I can’t give you a more exact figure than that. Maybe a few whiffs of that permanent marker could do it, though.

2.) So, where would you (and I want the truth) like to have the Thorn banquet?

I can honestly find something most places. Seriously. If we go to the damn Japanese steakhouse, I’ll just cool out and enjoy the company while we’re there. Now, as to where I’d like to have it… There’s a Melting Pot in Indy, but since this’ll be the Sunday before finals, I suppose that’s out. Barring that, I like Frog’s Bistro on Wabash Ave. But don’t tell anyone. I really can eat just about anywhere.

3.) If you could be either Bob or I, who would you be? 😉

Hmm. Options, options. How about neither? I like being a girl. I never embarrass my dry-erase marker-wielding friends to death. If I had to be one of you, I’d choose you, probably. Quirks aside, you’re at least studying something I could probably do if I applied myself (Optics is completely out of the question), and although you have to handle the Thorn money and clean up everyone’s messes and deal with… Well, wait a minute. Maybe I’d rather be Bob… All he has to do is learn how to crack the whip, and he’d be set.

From, um… “^—-^—-^—-^”:

1.) Will the world ever be pleasured by the presence of lissLaugh.wav ?

Alright, you know what? Why don’t you come up here to the Haute, start my recorder without me being aware, and then tickle me or start in with good, new jokes. That’s a lot of damn setup just to get me to laugh. If I coordinate it, the recorder will make me nervous, and the laugh won’t be genuine, and asking someone else to set it up is a bit much work to ask of someone. And it would be an mp3 anyway.

2.) Who are you crushing on (“no one” is allowed, if it’s true.)?

See, I’m going to equivocate on this… What definition of “crushing”, exactly…? I jest. Slightly. No, I’ve been here long enough to get over any initial crushes I may have had. Now, there are plenty of guys I find attractive, or even downright hot, but I don’t consider those crushes, really. Then there are guys who… Now that I think about it, I may have to ask for a clear definition of “crush”, since I’m bungling my explanation.

So I guess the temporary answer would have to be no one.

3.) After all that you have been through and still will go through to be there, are you glad u chose rose over a state school?

I will say that I haven’t really gone through much. My main problem has been money this whole year. Distance doesn’t bother me except when bad things happen with my friends in North Carolina (or Hannah in Massachusetts, for that matter). Or until I get sick enough that I would actually like to go a doctor, and I want one I know. Anyone who has drawn as much blood (for medical reasons) from me as my doctor in Charlotte has is a-okay with me.

I haven’t had any of what I would consider heart-stopping social problems–nothing like the fun of senior year. There are people that don’t like me and a few more that don’t seek to spend time around me, but I have no enemies. Or, if I do, they’re rather impotent in affecting my life, ‘cuz I don’t know about any of them.

Until this term, workload has been a breeze compared to my junior year of high school, and even now that I actually have to work, I still don’t have enough to cause me to run out of hours in a day and night, even if I am down to about four hours of sleep a night. The new thing for me is the addition of stress-inducing extracurricular activities. Add on the Thorn to academics, and the ends of these past two weeks have been kinda a mess.

As to choosing Rose over a state school, I am glad. My parents would have been a little too close for comfort–a three or four hour trip is nothing for my mother to make. I love my mother to death, but I also value my semblance of independence as well. When I’m at home, I usually feel obligated to tell my mother something when she asks, “What did you do today?” Even if I don’t tell her everything, there’s still that external pressure, ever-so-slight, and that influence, with all my mother’s biases (and they are numerous). Here, I can stretch out a bit, find my own limits on what’s acceptable or not–not that I’ve been my parents’ puppets, per se (my parents were pretty good about not attempting to make me into a clone), but if I can shuck even some of that influence on me, I can and will notice a lot of things I wouldn’t have before.

From Dulin:

1) what would you do with a million dollars if there was a “you have to blow it all in one day” (i.e. no investing) stipulation…?

Cut the government a check for my loans for this year. There’s about $6 000. Cut Rose a check for my remaining years. There’s about $18 000 (assuming I get to keep my scholarships). Buy either a Toyota hybrid or some manual-transmission VW with the TDI (diesel) engine. There’s another $27 000, say, if I load it up. Insert big check for about five years of insurance (is this even possible? *smile*). Pay off the Old People’s bills and cut them a nice-sized check. Charity, most definitely–say maybe half of the million. After those “crucial” things, I’d probably buy some clothes, but nothing extremely expensive, more casual clothes, some suits. More running shoes–a couple pairs of Asics to alternate. Ooh, ooh, books! Between the rare books at the used bookstore in Charlotte and, I’d have to spend more money to buy more bookcases. And music. And stereo equipment.

I don’t like the fact that I can’t save the money, though. There’s grad school, Ali’s college education, retirement, my Louvre trip, my wider-ranging Europe trip, car maintenance, and a big fat financial cushion, none of which are taken care of with that stipulation.

2) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Eeks. Only one thing? I jest. Now that I think about it, I can’t really think of one thing that I would change about myself that I’m not already doing, or that doesn’t work in my favor frequently enough to make it worth keeping. I’m already working on my general health. My bitchiness tends to get shit done, so I’m keeping it, too, even if I lose some good acquaintances along the way. I guess there’s always physical appearance, but being pretty and bitchy would undoubtedly be worse than ugly and bitchy, because that’s just one more reason for them to hate you, right? Besides, if I had sex appeal, I might be tempted to use it to get my way, and I really don’t want the added moral dilemma of handling that.

I do wish I were more intelligent, however. But then, doesn’t everyone?

3) Shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific, there were five of you guys on the boat, including yourself. Who are the other four? (these are real people, not like “a scientist;” a name).

Boy Scout Michael; who better to lasso us up a coupla sea turtles and make a raft? With the rope made from the hair on his back, of course. Crafty Hannah, assuming that, by “guys”, you meant “folks”. The smart and generally calming presence of Mia. And Rose attendee Matt–smart mechanical engineer, rugby player, and built like a tank. According to Bridget, he’s also quite the runner. Determining a hierarchy would be difficult, but it would be interesting anyway.

Now, wait. I was supposed to pick for survival, wasn’t I?

From Jenny:

1. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Egad. I hated these damn questions on college applications, and I still hate them now. I suppose it’s my persistence. It’s serving me well in chemistry this term, losing weight this year, running, the newspaper, my friendships here, my job, dealings with my parents, and general geeky stuff, which frequently requires more patience than skill.

2. If you were going to get a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you get it?

Me and pain don’t mix terribly well, but should I get a tattoo, I’d want it in a fleshy area (less pain than needle on bone) that I keep covered (in case I gain back the weight), like my bellybutton area. I’d probably just go for a standard ring-around-the-belly-button type of style. The permanence of tattoos is scary to someone like me, who even loathes writing in pen on exams or homework because I can’t friggin’ erase and correct. Yeah, there’s probably some mental stuff there. Pbbt.

3. Kids, yes or no? How many?

Nothing has changed since high school. No kids. I still have no patience for nagging, very little patience for disobedience, and very little patience for anything that will stand in the way of what I want from life (not that I know what that is yet, but even putting limits on my possibilities irks me). Children provide all of the above, and I refuse to get myself into a situation where, solely out of guilt (because I would probably actually try to raise a tot well), I spend 22 years repressed and unhappy with my newfound limitations. Sort of a negative slant to put on it, I know, because children can be fun. But I don’t think they can be worth putting up with 24/7/365, and that would make me a shitty, resentful parent.

Updated 5/3/2004

From Hannah:

1. What is the best temperature you can imagine? If you want, you can include humidity and wind chill, but you don’t have to go all meteorologist on me.

Best temperature… I have two, depending on where I am. If I’m anywhere north of Texas, give me 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, high humidity, pre-rain-type weather. If in Texas, I would take just one fuggin’ day of dry hot weather, like 95 degrees. Just one. Of course, I also miss the lightening/thunder storms that rocked ass in Texas, but that’s not a temperature, per se, so I’ll leave that off.

2. Who is your favorite artist? When I say artist, I mean of the visual media, such as sculptors and painters. I guess if you really want you can include on-site installation creators, but I hate them all.

I still don’t know enough to have a favorite, really, but there are things that certain artists do that I love. Like the hands in Jusepe de Ribera’s “Aristotle”. Hands all around, actually–wrinkles, fingernails, creases, veins, tension, everything. I think I drove Mae nuts by just staring at the hand in “Aristotle” for a good five minutes. (That’s okay, because she does the same with faces.) I also love detail in shadowing and water. There was a section in the IMA of Dutch and Danish art that I loved–there was a lot of focus on nautical paintings, but the detail of the oil paintings made me feel like some little kid mesmerized by a glittering object.

So no favorite artist, per se, but a favorite style, definitely.

3. What’s your dream job, and where would you want to go to grad school in order to get that job? (Ha-ha, compound question!)

Dream job?? Arg. I have no idea. Right now, my hand is in so many pots, I don’t know which ones will allow me to draw back my hand unscathed. I’m very much enjoying developing this scientific application for the chemistry research I’m doing–I need to analyze UV/VIS data en masse and quickly, and writing the app to crunch the numbers is fun. I’m not sure I wouldn’t mind doing that type of thing as a career–go heavy in algorithm work, heavy in math, hit grad school at MIT, of course, and work for… well. The guv’ment? Universities? I dunno.

Then there’s also behind-the-scenes web stuff–web services and the like. I liked the little I’ve dabbled in, and there’s probably more money there than working for universities or the government. There would be no grad school if I did this.

Then there’s straight theoretical computer science/science, wherein I slaughter myself to get into Duke, weasel my way into John Reif’s office (my current database course prof had him as an advisor in grad school!) and show off my mad knowledge of both DNA and theoretical CS junk in order to secure a position in his research lab.

I don’t see myself climbing anybody’s corporate ladder–absolute power corrupts absolutely, right? Plus, it just makes me anxious and damned tired.

Got any more?

A bland update on a bland weekend.

It’s been another long week, but it’s over, and the less said on it, the better. Except for the fact that Mae is sick and didn’t get the Sophomore Advisor spot, which means she’s feeling miserable and second-guessing herself left and right. She’s also avoiding me, because I threatened to straight-jacket her ass into a hospital if she’s still sick today. Or to call her mother. I’m just trying to pass chemistry, understand Calculus, run my three pages of the newspaper, and get a little sleep–and in that order, it seems.

Mae and I didn’t go to the formal last night. Her stomach virus was still hitting her full force, and I was just tired and turning my frustrations with the newspaper around and around in my head, mentally trying different solutions and ultimately rejecting them. I made sure she was in bed with phone numbers for my cell and the Thorn office, then headed down to the Thorn office to do chemistry and brainstorm ways to fix my current dilemma with the newspaper.

I was woken up this morning by my mother calling me. This was good, since it was 08:30, and I’d wanted to get up at 05:00. Few hours difference there. She expressed worry over my mental state, but who the hell sounds any kind of decent right out of bed? Morning breath, full bladder, hunger, fatigue, and worry over the rapidly disappearing weekend hours do not make for good morning chatter. I love her anyway, though, because she and the Old Man sent money. (Yeah, yeah, I know I complain when they send money normally, but we’re talking “bank accounts about to be suspended” kind of broke here, lately.)

So if one were to ask how my weekend is going, I’d have to say, “Fairly well.” I’ve taken half of the Chemistry notes I need to, have read over half of my Gender Issues assignment, and have idly covered a white board in possible newspaper dilemma solutions. And I’ve still got all night tonight and all day tomorrow. Minus the cigar I may [learn how to] smoke with Bob and the Thorn Leprechaun tonight…

So I’m probably the caboose of this train, but…

This “Three Questions” bit that’s been going around is interesting. I’m not sure how much response I’ll get, but I’ll open it here. Three questions, anything you want. I reserve the right to not answer if the question could get me or someone else in a world of hurt or trouble, but other than that, it’s all fair game. Whatever you want to know.

And don’t be afeared to stick your name on the comments. I don’t bite.

Well, not unless you ask nicely.

Smile. It’s good for you.

So… I’m feeling better. The mental/emotional boat is rockin’ a lot less severely, even if the anxiety and jumpiness haven’t completely abated. And I’m keeping food down again, which is always a plus. (Particularly after a two-day stint without…)

I pulled something of a preemptive strike on my chemistry prof and e-mailed him Sunday night to tell him I knew I bombed another exam, that I would be willing to take a (non-credit) exam in a week or two to show that I can, in fact, master this material, and that Dr. M is helping me understand things. Hideous as this sounds, the good news is that about half the class failed. My second, crippling fear (after my grade for the course, bien sûr) was that I would be the only one to fail (I was the only one on the first exam). However, now Dr. J is frustrated that he isn’t able to adapt his teaching to our (lack of) learning, and we are frustrated (me to tears) that we can’t get what should be simple. It’s a damn general chemistry course. I don’t know about anyone else, but I just need a good algorithm–I understand the concepts, and how the equilibrium moves with the addition of constituents, but damned if I know where to start working the math of the situation. So there’s my goal for the week. Plus understanding this thermochemistry stuff before I get completely befuddled.

My mother called this afternoon, which had me worried all over again. If she had just waited for another couple of days, I could have played nice on the phone and smoothed things over, but I was busy, and in the middle of something. I was probably a bit terse as I explained they needed to call my cell phone to get in touch with me since I’ve moved into the Thorn office, that one of my classes wasn’t going so well, and that, sure, she could fly up here to be a passenger on the trip back to Charlotte, as long as she doesn’t bring Ali–I’ve got enough shit to fill up my trunk and back seat, easily. She ended the conversation with, “Well, since you’re so busy, I’ll let you go…” which does not bode well for a lack of concern on her part, which will spread to my father when he gets the money I sent back in the mail. My anxiety is not supposed to be contagious.

I don’t know if I look frazzled or bitchy (probably the latter, alas), but people are treating me with kid gloves, and it’s a weird feeling. I expected to have my throat slit twice over an editorial choice I made last week in the paper; I spoke directly with the more… aggressive… of my two potential attackers earlier today, and she said naught on the subject. I suspect attacks are being fielded, though. Bridget just gives me these looks (of the pitying sort) every time I see her that make me wonder if I look like I’m ill or something. It doesn’t help that I can’t really explain why I’ve left when she hints about it–I’m the one being the weird, whacko bitch right now, not her, so there’s no point in bringing my problems out to bother her, and it would serve no purpose other than to make her feel bad.

But I am feeling better, a little more in control. This is a good thing.

taking joy in human unreason