Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thrift and food

Recently, I learned that the Subway six-inch daily special is the absolute cheapest--in substance to price ratio--lunch on campus. Alex and Jon and others complain that the daily special is usually a bad sandwich, but I think all Subway sandwiches taste basically the same when you add pickles. So I am really happy about this new development in my life, except on Tuesdays, when the meatball marinara sub is up, and I insist that meatballs cannot be sandwiched no matter how creatively you dress them. But then I add pickles and stop complaining.

Additionally, I discovered that the Starbuck's in the Bookstore (which Alex points out is not a real Starbuck's, but merely a generic food dispensary which happens to serve the entire panoply of Starbuck's drinks) has $3 grande drink specials on a different drink each day. The two days when I am near that NON-Starbuck's for econ are the days when they discount my two favorite drinks--chai and pumpkin spice lattes. Unfortunately, due to some misguided directives from above, delicious pumpkin spice has been replaced by some Christmas-themed drek like egg-nog latte. Fortunately, econ is over, so I don't care anymore.

Also, tea has re-entered my life as a cheaper and significantly tastier alternative to coffee. I noticed tea is gaining currency as a hipper drink than coffee in some circles (Argo Tea is always packed, and I found some ridiculously named store called Teavanna at Northbrook Court over the weekend) which I also view as a positive development.

That is all.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Skokie: not the butt of your joke

Two people at work are discussing the merits and demerits of living in Humboldt Park/Logan Square in the cubicle across from me, and they are assuring each other of the neighborhood's safety except for "one time," as one of them recalls, when there was a shooting on his block that involved one neighbor killing another with an AK-47. "Well, those things happen," clucks the other sympathetically. Really? A few minutes later, over some other aspect of the neighborhood, one of them says, "Well, at least it's not Skokie!" And the other vigorously agrees and they chuckle together. But really, I think the joke is on them. Skokie may not be all hip and trendily run-down and ethnically contentious, but at least in Skokie, we do not shoot each other with submachine guns. So there.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm at my parents' house, so all my motivation to accomplish anything academically useful has evaporated. All I can think about is eating, sleeping, and buying things. I sometimes think back to high school, when my parents' house was a hive of studying and projects and ambition, and I have no idea how I managed that. How I studied without the Reg, for example--I sprawled on my bedroom floor with all my books and horrified my mother. Now I'm horrified as well. Studying is a cubicle thing, which is worrying, since there will be no cubicles next year, and will I become stupider then? Also worrisome is my shocking academic laziness this quarter--am I really on the road to middle-class self-satisfied puffy-sweater-wearing PTA mom-ship?

I just watched Word Play, a silly documentary about crossword puzzles, with the high school friends. Even though it was silly, it did portray some sort of actual adult culture in which people strive to act like, well, adults, instead of like 14-year-olds as the NY Times Styles sections would have you believe. So that's something to aspire to, I suppose.

Alex and I locked ourselves out of our apartment last night, which is only funny in hindsight, because at the time, we were like, fuck where are we going to sleep tonight?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I just wrote a (really bad) paper about pre-Revolutionary Quakers in Pennsylvania. It occured to me during its composition that no one writing about eighteenth century America seems to consider religion as seriously as eighteenth century Americans considered it. It seems like doctrine occupied eight out of every ten thoughts for them--obscure, incomprehensible, and pickypicky points of doctrine. I remember in my American Civ class first year when we read John Winthrop's journals and the professor challenged us to explain what the debate over Anne Hutchinson was actually about. Someone suggested that "she dissented." That was as specific as we could get. We tend to view doctrine in political, social, and economic contexts, but rarely as a force of its own. As a result, we may downplay how insane the Protestant sects that came here to build religious utopias actually were. Like the Quakers--totally insane. How can you even conceive of a government based on a religious doctrine of abnegating self-will? Why would you try? What were they thinking?

Still, the insane religious zealots of the North continually make for more interesting study than the boring Anglican South. I wonder how that bias arose. Maybe I would feel differently if I were Southern.

Also, I think my little cartoon me up there is getting a little chilly in that outfit.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How could I forget post this: Coursework - Classic to the core?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Politics and activism: Miss Self-Important has a PLAN

After a seemingly broad but actually quite narrow and pathetic amount of reading about pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania as well as a week of election buzz, I've decided that I want to run for office. This decision is based on several factors:
1. Everyone in pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania was doing it.
2. I don't really have other, better plans for the future.
3. I *heart* Skokie.
4. I do not heart Jan Schakowsky.
Why can't I run for office? I'm kind of educated, but not over-educated. I'm kind of conservative, but not over-conservative. I follow politics, but not over-much. I'm practical, but not a realist. I'm really, really, abnormally attached to my hometown. I'm tolerably photogenic. I can compromise. Plus, what matters for the ninth district is that I be Jewish and pro-Israel, and, conveniently, I am both. I also need to be pro-choice, and since I'm apathetic to choice, I can probably swing that as well. Unfortunately, I can't run as a Republican because, in the ninth district, Republican loosely equates with fascist, so I think I'll run as a Whig instead. Sebastian doesn't think that is a good idea, but he also says he wouldn't vote for me because I say "like" too much, so I don't plan to listen to his advice.

So that's the plan--the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Schakowsky, despite being evil, owns the district and hasn't ever had a serious challenger (look at this year's energetic opponent). It might take a while to dislodge her. I figure if I start running in 2014, I might beat her by 2030, unless the Muslim population increases more rapidly than my campaign momentum.

Now, the question is how to position myself to be a serious challenger. I have a three-step plan for this as well. Step 1: Take over a school district in Niles Township. People trust principals. Step 2: Win the state senate seat. Step 3: Win the House seat. (Optional Step 4: STAGE COUP. TAKE OVER WORLD.)

But before I can execute my plan, I need to gain some practical political experience, and reading livejournals all day in a shitty DC think tank doesn't count. How will I gain practical political experience, you ask? Simple. I will launch a campaign to WIN BACK THE A-LEVEL! Alex and I were discussing this last night, and we decided our A-Level-less situation could no longer be tolerated. In protest, we plan to stage a study-in in the A-Level. We will gather with a group of other die-hard A-Levelers and refuse to leave the A-Level until the Library gives back the overnight study space in the Reg. Is this not a brilliant plan? We think so. I have a great political future, naysayers.