What’s Up? (4/21/14)

6 AM, going to hit it again. Twice actually, this weekend.

The first time, in all fairness, was pretty pleasant. Watching the Shanghai Gran Prix was absolutely fantastic. It couldn’t compare to the Bahrain Gran Prix from two weeks ago, but definitely worth staying up until 5AM to see the end of the race live. My boy Nico Rosberg couldn’t vie for 1st, but I was happy to see him recover to 2nd after a rough qualifying session and rougher race start. Nice to see Alonso make it to the podium, and for Ricciardo to overtake Vettel. Rooting for anybody but Lewis Hamilton come May 11th’s Barcelona Gran Prix. (By the way, it felt great to sit down for the start of a sporting event at 3AM when everybody else is in Pittsburgh is winding down or asleep; I’m meant to watch live sports in different time zones).

The second 6AM, the one I’m in right now; also not unpleasant. Do I want to be up? I mean, I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t. At this point, I’d be happier spending another fifteen minutes writing rather than not recording this mindset somewhere. Still, I wish I could have finished some of those essays earlier – but I’m a stickler for detail. Honestly, I could have turned it all in back at 4AM, but proofreading turned out to be incredibly valuable. Would I have lost any points for writing “show” where I meant to write “shop?” Probably not, but it’s my final paper and I give a shit about things like that. If I’m going to be up this late working, it might as well be for some quality work.

I’m not out of the woods yet though; the final and most dry and boring of all papers must be written later today, for World Literature. Gayle, if you’re reading this right now, I’m sorry – it’s not your class that’s dry – it’s the prospect of writing a few thousand words about it. Still, the semester is over in less than 48 hours. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… though that may just as easily be the sunrise coming through my window.

Ease yourself on down
And if you’re bound and frowned 
You better put it on down 
‘Cause 4am, gonna hit it again 

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What’s Up? (3/26/14)

It shouldn’t be any surprise to you that I’m writing after 3AM once again. But why? Why not go to bed if there’s nothing else that you need to do? Perhaps I just feel like it, or perhaps I’m writing here so late at night/early in the morning because I need to. That could explain why I don’t chose sleep over voluntary writing; the writing is not voluntary, it is a necessity.

What must I write that is so important that I absolutely need to lose thirty minutes of sleep over it? Well, it’s good news! Yes, good news that perhaps makes me a tad bit nervous, and a whole lot of excited. It’s such good news, that perhaps, I dare not go deeper into explaining it for fear that I jinx it. For what it’s worth, I’ll hint that a problem expressed in a recent edition of What’s Up? may finally be coming to an end.

Oh I know, I’m being a tease right? There are some things I can tell you about though! I finally had a chance to hear Dr. Lisa Brush speak on something; that something being Women in the Workforce. A presence during Gender Sexuality & Women’s Studies programs, she’s always asked interesting questions – and last night she also proved to be an interesting speaker. I also ran into somebody who, perhaps I wish I hadn’t run into, because whenever I do – I think about inviting her to hang out, even when exiling her from my life would probably be easiest. Finally; in a screwed up world where I somehow have four simultaneous games of Pokemon in my life (Pokemon Silver,  Twitch Plays Pokemon Emerald, Pokemon Black 2, and Pokemon Y), I’ve found the most joy in creating mono-type teams in Pokemon Y. The ability to access an easy-to-use Global Trade System, and the diverse Kalos region, has made assembling a Water-type team a few weeks ago, and a Fairy-type team yesterday fun, and as challenging as I want it to be.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed about how relevant Pokemon is in my life, as somebody turning 21 soon; and somehow the words of somebody I don’t even like ring true in my head. He said something along  the lines of, “not giving up something you love as a false gesture of your maturation,” and while again, I kind of hate this guy – he’s right in a way. The “mature” thing for me to do is accept and embrace that I’m going to be a 21 year old who loves Pokemon, as abandoning it just to prove I’m “all grown up” is actually the childish thing to do, and a mistake I wish I hadn’t made over ten years ago.

I twirl the glass cork through my fingers, I toss it into the air, I catch it in the palm of my right hand, “14” it says. 

What’s Up? (2/12/14)

I don’t even dislike not getting sleep anymore. When the nights come where I have to work until daylight in order to finish assignments, I don’t hate myself for waiting until it was too late to finish something, I’m not even upset; I just deal with the fact that what needs to get done, will get done, no matter what. It’s 8 AM on 2/13/14, so I’m actively lying by calling this the 2/12/14 edition of What’s Up, but I don’t care. This is what was up yesterday: I knew I’d be here, doing this, I knew as far back as Sunday night that I’d be here. In my naivety I thought I’d be done with work by 5 AM, har!

That might have been the case, but I gave away about an hour and a half more than I needed to, in order to read some of One Hundred Years of Solitude  by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. That book was worth it though, it reminds me of East of Eden by John Steinbeck, because it tells this rich, large-family, multi-generational story. So an hour and a half went to reading, and another hour went to watching this week’s Broad City and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. “Oh what a waste of time” you say, but you’d be wrong. I’d rather enjoy one last hour of fun, and finish the day at 8 AM, than working through the night to finish at 7 AM. If you ask me, keeping yourself happy is more important than adding an hour or two to the nap of a night’s sleep you’re going to get, if any.

Which, I’m undecided right now actually, about whether or not to sleep. See, staying up through an all-nighter really reminds me of taking classes at Pitt over the summer, and do you remember what I liked to do on the mornings of all-nighters? Exercise! That’s right, like a freaking lunatic. Yes. I am actually considering heading up to The Peterson Events Center gym, (if it’s open) and getting in maybe thirty minutes of rowing, before coming downhill, having a bagel at Bruegger’s, and well, who knows after that. I tell you what, I’d be much happier with going to the gym right now, than getting three or four measly hours of sleep before I’d have to wake up and get ready for class and yadda-yadda-yadda.

You get the picture, the horrible, twisted picture. This is life, now, living.

What’s Up? (1/28/14)

It bothers me a little bit that, while it’s the 28th while I’m writing this post, in my time zone at least, WordPress has the final say, and wherever they are, it’s the 29th. Regardless, let’s get started.

It’s a beautiful day! I mean, not physically, because it’s below zero, wet, snowy, windy, and all of that great stuff. No, it’s a great day because for the second day in the row I feel a rejuvenated spirit, and a very clear sense of self. On Monday, I gave a speech to my Advanced Public Speaking class about how shitty the labels “masculine” and “feminine” are, and it felt great. It wasn’t the first time that I’ve vented that opinion before, I’ve written about it in essays before, and people have read my essays before – and used female pronouns to describe me, the anonymous writer, but it was the first time I got out in front of people, in the open, and talked about it. I was high on spirit, for a long time afterwards too! The feeling lasted hours after I spoke, and was only interrupted by discovering that I had to write a 7-page assignment by Tuesday.

It took me until 5:40 AM to finish that assignment, and while exhausting, I felt really good about what I had created, and the physical exhaustion that comes from sleep deprivation is intoxicating. I start laughing more often, usually for no reason, I dance to music, and do really dumb things and well, sleep deprivation is not the worst thing there is.

Jump to: Tuesday night at 9PM, for the Campus Women’s Organization’s “Why I Need Feminism” event. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I appeared to be the only dude; I struggle to be politically correct on this, because there are so many ways to say this incorrectly. That’s not really important though, what’s important is that, it felt great to be there. To hear people vent all of the shitty ways they’ve been treated, or seen others treated, or treated themselves, because they were women, to be in a place of such therapy felt therapeutic. I belong there, I felt like I belonged, though I don’t know where my place to contribute is, perhaps it’s only to talk about the horrors I’ve witnessed. I’ve certainly suffered, as a man, in unfair ways, because gender norms, suck – but I’m not going to jump the gun on venting that in the open, not when there are girls who are given knives to protect themselves, and taught how not to get raped. Besides the philosophical struggle, I was so happy I went, and I think I met some really cool people who could be friends.

This is how great the day’s been: I’m actively missing out on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to talk to you about this.

Leaving Pittsburgh In Three Hours

…Well I’m leaving the apartment in three hours at the very least. Then I’m taking an hour long bus ride to Pittsburgh International, and by nine o’clock I’ll be on an hour long flight home to Long Island. I just peeked outside, and the snow has stopped for now, the very snow which prompted the rescheduling of my flight home from Wednesday to Tuesday. I’ve never rescheduled a flight before, it’s an expensive ordeal, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to fly home a day early, and outside of the looming chaos that is snowstorm-meets-Thanksgiving travel.

I’m all packed up, but the prospect of getting two hours of sleep before a flight really doesn’t interest me. It never has. I have this thing; and I might have written about it before, about sleeping before flights. First of all, I’m too excited to sleep easily, secondly I’m going to be nervous about oversleeping somehow and missing a flight, and finally I just think that an airport is best enjoyed in a low-energy state. You get in and you stand on line, listen to music, read, and a whole bunch of other very non-taxing things.

There’s still time to kill, and I’d think about putting on a few records if it wasn’t so late. Sure, I could throw in some headphones, but I want to dance to my music, I want to play it loud. I’ll maybe do some reading to pass the time, or pace around the room trying to remember what I could have forgotten to pack. I’m not against starting some art projects with my remaining time, or crawling into my bed for warmth and comfort and very intentionally not sleep. 

What’s Up? (11/11/13)

First of all, Happy Birthday to my brother, who’s turning the big 1-9 today. That’s right bro, you can finally buy tobacco products in New York, that is, until they change the tobacco age to 21 in the next few months.

Now, back to me. I started a review of M.I.A.’s new album, and that should come out some time this week, though it is fighting for space in a very writing-intensive week. I’ve got a report due on Thursday in Media & Consumer Culture, and the usual English-Major writing-stuff. A week ago I managed my time poorly, and I payed the price, and life became this struggle to catch up on sleep. Today is nothing like last week: as I managed my time poorly, but actually got some serious benefits from the situation. See, hitting rock bottom (and being so tired that you cut class is definitely rock bottom) means that you can only bounce back (right?) and so, even though I was writing papers till the ugly hours of the morning, I embraced  that, enjoyed it for what I could, wrote something awesome, and had a great little nap before showering this morning.

Which brings me to showering: I really wish a shower could keep me warm. It’s not a matter of water heat, god knows we don’t lack for scalding hot water, but more like surface area. The water can only reach so many places, and the sensation of leaving like, 40% of your body in the freezing cold is horrible. While contorting my body into shapes that allowed the water to reach the most places, I began to think about how much I’d pay just to have a solid hour in a hot tub or Jacuzzi. I could probably fall asleep in one, I imagined, in my shivering, sleep-deprived state. The chance to sit down, be massaged by jets and warm water, it was too tempting.

Toweled off, got cold, climbed into bed to write a blog post, and that’s all he wrote.