Ah, college life. I really thought I remembered it, but it appears I haven't. Not to mention, grad school adds an interesting twist, namely, the need to cart 4 boxes of books from home to weigh down the rather battered bookshelf left behind in my overpriced apartment. Oh, and the get-togethers, which are frequent and multi-layered. There tend to be a couple over the course of the week, and then some more intricately-constructed serial affairs on the weekends, such as this past Friday's soiree for the English department. All of the professors were there, and I chatted with most of them. Over the course of one conversation in particular, the professors were engaging in a round of good-natured one-upsmanship. One woman, very charming, who I remember from my undergraduate years, mentioned that she had kissed Allen Ginsberg, and, being a woman, that list is presumably relatively short. Another British prof leaned over to mention that she had actually danced with Prince Charles, which certainly got the admiration of all present. As she was sharing the particulars of her story, I thought if they looked over at me, sitting on my chair with my sparkling pomegranate juice, I'd drop my bombshell: I've met Orville Redenbacher. Twice. They didn't really look my way, so I stayed put, but popcorn is trump and everyone knows it. I sat back, comfortable knowing that my experience that would have annihilated all other competitors.
The Allen-Ginsberg-snogger leaned over and we talked a bit about sparkling pomegranate juice, and, being in the English department, we tried to figure out how the brand name [Izze] was pronounced. Was it "eetzee" or perhaps "itzee"--Italian or of some sort of Pyrenees dialect, etc? We decided that the best way to know was to find out where the stuff came from. In looking at the can, which looks rather like an oversized Everready battery, we found the company is in Boulder, Colorado. We looked at each other. "Definitely 'Izzy'" we both decided.
As that party wound down, the grad students were all conspiring to go to a downtown bar, then, after a few drinks, head over to another one not terribly far off. I reminded myself that these are 26 year olds, who are able to absorb such quantities and somehow shrug it off the following day. I, however, tend to stumble around like a drugged ox, uttering monosyllables, and in general acting much like many of the neighbors I'd have had if I had actually rented the first apartment I saw on my arrival here in Lafayette. Considering that the tequila shot I'd consumed as a matter of tradition had caused me to break out in a sort of cold sweat, I'd decided that, after a spot of wine, the aforementioned snakebite (ugh, ugh, ugh), and sizeable quantities of excellent food, it was time for me to sleep on a mattress that was not inflatable and bask in some real, bonafide airconditioning. I arrived in Indianapolis after 1:30 am. The lawn doesn't need to be mowed, and I was able to work on record reviews and writing while the gang at school prepared for their Sunday party.
Grad school--it's all so exciting. At times I feel I'm living The Secret History or The Cheese Monkeys but then I realize no one's died or gone crazy just yet. We still have two whole semesters before summer break, though. Who knows what might happen in the meantime? Pix forthcoming.