Friday, June 17, 2005

Aside from the kidnapping/robbery that apparently goes on across the street from me, Hyde Park is lovely in summer. For one thing, there are actually people outside. And they are(usually) walking unassisted. You don't think about how much you miss life until you leave it behind for a suburb where all life is at least 75 years old. Then there is the fact that the weather is nice, and you can go to the Medici Bakery after work and get some not-quite-baked chocolate chip cookies. Then you can stare longingly at the Reg on your walk home, and think about the cruel injustice of its interim hours: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. When I come back in August and have my room back rather than sleeping on a mattress on the floor of The Cell, I think it will be nice.

That is all.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


I love the beginning of summer. In the beginning of summer, I am incredibly motivated. Ok, Rita, I think in the royal plural with which I typically address myself, we have just finished off another excellent year of our education and we will now undertake to become the best person that ever lived. We will read every book and every magazine article we had to pass up during school, on top of, like, everything else important ever written in the last 2,000 years. And we're going to work out and not be a lazy, fat schlub. And we're going to see the city and become spectacular in general. And hot--we're also going to turn hot. In general, in the beginning of summer, I have every intention of completely defying every aspect of my nature.

This desire and drive winds down within a couple weeks as I settle into a routine of sleeping until noon, waking up to read five pages a day of whatever before falling back asleep, eating cereal for lunch, and then sitting online until 9 pm, at which time I occasionally give in to the weight of self-loathing and go out for a run. That's about the time when I start pining for school to start again, and visiting regularly.

But this summer will be different. For one thing, I'm only going to be home until Wednesday. For another, I will be all alone in (hopefully) exciting Washington for six weeks. And finally, I will spend the rest of the summer in Hyde Park, where things are dead, but probably not as dead as Skokie, where the median age of the population is like 75 and they are literally, dead. Plus, Alex will be there to hopefully beat me if I start relapsing into sloth-hood.

So, since I'm convinced this summer will be different and I will actually triumph against my evil nature, I've launched into my self-improvement projects with great gusto. I've even created a mental syllabus for my summer reading that requires more than five pages a day. And so, without further ado, my overly ambitious summer reading list:
Eichmann in Jerusalem - Arendt
Fabulous Small Jews - Epstein (greatest title ever, btw)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
title TBD by John Dewey
Thoughts on Machiavelli - Strauss
title TBD by James Thurber
reread The Great Gatsby and undertake another Fitzgerald book
The Road to Serfdom - Hayek
title TBD by Edmund Burke

Additionally, things to read in excerpts because I am undisciplined and LAZY:
On War - Clausewitz
Montaigne's Essays
The Federalist Papers
selected other American history primary source material
selected other American literature (please suggest!)

Also, please suggest some contemporary fiction for me. Less profound is preferable to more profound. I am a heathen.

Right, so this is going to be a fabulous summer!

Or, you know, there's always

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Which, in Greek, unfortunately, means both to finish and to die. However, I think the "die" part only comes across when it's in the perfect, as in, "I have died and am now dead." So, I'm just done.

Goodbye, second year of college. You were good, though not so much for my GPA, which you definitely dropped by something like .2 points (this being a lot in GPA land). Ass. But you were good for other things, like getting me a part-time job that doesn't suck, and a trip to Athens, and a possibly very cool internship complete with partial funding for the latter two endeavors. And you planted the EVIL EVIL seed of grad school in my mind, where it continues to fester and feed my silly delusions of future academic grandeur. But hey, my delusions get hungry sometimes too. And you expanded my brain and my pretension, which is always important, by giving me an extensive introduction to Machiavelli and geography and Plato. And Greek. Fucking Greek.

Now what shall I do with myself? Probably nothing incredibly exciting until we move into our fabulous new apartment next Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Today was the last day of Socrates and the Sophists, and only like four people showed up. Regardless, the concluding lecture was AWESOME and you are all losers for not showing up to class, or not registering for the class so you could show up, or not attending this school so you could register so you could show up, and so on in increasingly larger concentric circles of blame for not showing up. I cannot even convey its greatness except to say that it addressed the main point of my frustration with Plato at the beginning of this year, it was about love, and I would've cried several times, except there were only four people, so that would've been pretty conspicuous.

But, on a happy note, my shitty, shitty history class is finally over as well. Greek is done. Sosc is over. And I am so on top of my final papers.