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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Richmond, I'm Not Angry, I'm Just Disappointed

New York Times, May 22, 2008:

"On campuses nationwide, professors and administrators have passionately debated whether their universities should accept money for research from tobacco companies. But not at Virginia Commonwealth University, a public institution in Richmond, Va.

That is largely because hardly any faculty members or students there know that there is something to debate — a contract with extremely restrictive terms that the university signed in 2006 to do research for Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest tobacco company and a unit of Altria Group.

The contract bars professors from publishing the results of their studies, or even talking about them, without Philip Morris’s permission. If 'a third party,' including news organizations, asks about the agreement, university officials have to decline to comment and tell the company. Nearly all patent and other intellectual property rights go to the company, not the university or its professors..."

Full article here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Up Yours Ben Franklin

Last week I had a dream that every boy I've ever had a crush on was marching in a straight line to Canada to get cheapo Lasik surgery and thus ditching their hottie mchothot glasses forever. In the middle of the dream Ben Franklin kind of floated up from nowhere and said with a smug grin, "I'm Ben Franklin. I invented the bifocal and even I'm going to Canada for Lasik." And then he laughed. That motherfuckin forefather laughed directly in my face. I had the same dream again last night and both times I woke up with my jaw clenched in anger at both Canada and Ben Franklin. As far as I can tell, boys in glasses are our nation's number one natural resource.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Taking a Page from Queserasera.org

Text Messages Saved in My Phone:

* Veronica Mars would be proud of you (and so am I).

* I rust [sic] an all Austrian dance circle to the song "Word Up." This is getting out of hand.

* I just did the robot...shit just got real...

* Remember when we saw that awesome Magic Flute play, and that lady behind us was like "I still have that bag of jelly the psychic told me to carry around?" That was the best part of the play.

* I'm no damn good for you. I'm a lone wolf. And this eagle must fly free.

* When you come down here, we're forming the world's greatest gator wrastlin [sic again] tag team! I pity those gator fools.

* I just wanna be dancin. Dirty, dirty, dirty dancin.

* Your yo-face is soft. I know hard baby. I'm from Short Pump and I'm staying at my mom's house.

* I'm sorry I was snoring all night, but it is actually a sign of affection. Really loud and unattractive affection.

* Put on your dancing shoes. I just boarded the funky train to Pleasuretown.

* Girl, I would take you to a fine restaurant that would treat you like the Nobel laureate that you are. Then I would take you back to your place where you could casually unpack while I strike suggestive poses. Then I would show you a poorly acted film that will make you feel like a real woman. And then when you are feeling that way, I will lay you down by the fire and show you the real power of love.

* I want to stab my balls right now.

* I should have given you my temporary tattoo. It has flowers! (not gay)

* I think I just heard a dude yell "Shitty titties" at a girl. Awesome.

* I just accidentally ate someone's food while sitting at a bar. I thought it was common snacks. I hope your day is as surprising.

* I'm in the front center. Look for the guy that looks like He-man, but sexier.

* I may or may not have just spent the past 15 minutes rage singing in front of my computer to musicals. I thought you would appreciate that.

* Newsflash: Vin Diesel movie marathon Sunday on USA Network.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Great Mustache Experiment Wrap Up

Sometimes I get all bogged down with work and doing other awesome-type stuff and I forget that I have a web site that does more than just link to other more interesting web sites. Though you wouldn't know it from looking at the past, I don't know, couple of years, it is possible, theoretically, to leave actual content on this site that doesn't pertain to broody relationship lamentations, pictures of robots and/or unicorns and/or robots riding unicorns, or stories about my awkwardness. Theoretically.

After finding this today, I suddenly realized that I never followed up on this idea which is a shame because it has a CLIMACTIC CONCLUSION of an ending.

Last July, I made a worldwide call for anyone willing to grow a burly mustache and then let me interview them about the power of the stache. Surprisingly, I got a good bit of response. As a whole, you people who read the web are pretty pumped about your ability to grow facial hair and you are not afraid to tell strangers from the internet all about it. At the end of the day, I didn't have to choose exactly who would be the best mustache candidate. One quite literally showed up at my door:



This is my friend David. Last summer David visited for a few days and showed up bearing the gift of a fully grown surprise stache which he kept for the entire length of the trip, giving me the chance to test drive the stashe for myself, see how it performed on the open road. And oh how it performed. For the four days Dave and I combed the streets of Chicago, heads were turned, eyebrows were raised, sly glances were exchanged between people on the street. When leaving the Signature Room one night, we actually heard some guy burst into full-on laughter and say to his buddy "Dude! Did you SEE that guy's mustache?!" The reaction was subtle, but significant and I think my roommate summed it up best: "It's like...I don't know...It's like it's alive or something. I just can't. stop. staring." The whole weekend felt like rolling with a D-list celebrity, specifically a D-list celebrity you might feel uncomfortable leaving your children around.

But mustaches on men under 40 are by nature creepy. That reaction is to be expected. What surprised me more than other people's reactions was my own. It's kind of an amazing thing when someone is willing to walk around looking like a sketchwad just because they know it will make you laugh. It's weirdly flattering and every time I looked over at that terrible, terrible tuft of hair, I kept thinking someone made THAT for me. Every time a stranger on the street reveled in the stashe's full comedic glory, I felt this surprising tiny swell of pride. Oh that? That little piece of hilarity was made to make me smile. In a bizarre way, it felt like getting a really personal birthday present.

This summer is 180 degrees different from last. I'm officially settled in a city I'm simply crazy for. My job is going fantastically well, I have a new boyfriend who kicks more ass than a team of highly trained ass-kicking ninjas, and I've got some amazing adventures planned, one of which involves making a pilgrimage to a 160-pound statue of Michael Jackson made entirely from white chocolate...seriously. I am happier than I have ever been and I attribute a big portion of that to the people who loved me enough to sacrifice their time, patience, and facial real estate in the name of making my life a little bit better. As silly as it is to say Dave, that stashe kind of meant the world to me.