Haiku Monday 2 (Electric Boogaloo) Tuesday, Mar 11 2008 

Since I had a whole 2 comments that were pro-Haiku Monday, and since I am feeling the syllabic call, I welcome one and all to the second installment of Haiku Monday.

 Irony Poisoning
I like irony
as much as the next person
but there’s a limit

Bantu Morphology
It isn’t good when 
native speakers don’t know the
meaning of that /ya- /

New Hobby
Facebook is useful
when seducing the
cute Young Man at work

Bring on the razors!
Finally cracking forty
degrees!  It is time to start
wearing skirts again

Spring Break
A busy week of
Scrubbing toilets, research and
hopefully, a nap

Thank you for joining The Senior Senior for yet another installment of Haiku Monday.

Coming soon…Haiku Monday 3 (this time, it’s personal!)

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Giving Up The Ghost Monday, Mar 10 2008 

This weekend has been…edifying.  I do value clarity, even if it may not be the clarity I seek.  Put another way, crappy clarity is always better than optimistic ambiguity.  Because optimistic ambiguity plays with your judgement, and you spend a lot of time staring at the ambiguity, trying to make sense of it.

As I have already hinted, I received some news.  It wasn’t bad news (nor was it good news); however, it was news to me.  And it functioned as sort of a code – all of a sudden, things that were mystifying made perfect sense.  And that was good.  But I have a little void in my life, and that isn’t so very nice for me.  I have been wandering around my apartment, at a bit of a loss as to what to do next.

It is official – GSS and I are resolutely platonic.  And while it would be a lie to say it wasn’t disappointing, neither is it a tragic thing.  He was very deft and kind, and everybody is hunky-dory (or, more accurately, hunky-dorky).  Because what is causing the void isn’t that we won’t be getting together (because that never happened, it isn’t really something one can miss); it is more the loss of the possibility that I feel.

If everything had worked out exactly the way I wanted it to (which would have been the first time in the history of my life, I’m sure), it ultimately would have been a letdown.  He would have done something that would have annoyed me, and I would have done something that annoyed him.  There would have been quotidian difficulties, and eventually, I’d move on to wherever I’m to go (which is still a mystery [and very annoying] to me), as would he.  The only truly perfect incarnation was in the possibility.  And while a real, grown-up relationship is the real goal, this never felt like that, so it wasn’t that great a loss when nothing came of anything.

However, that little charge I got when deciding what to wear, or composing a clever little e-mail that was flirtatious, but not overtly so; I’m going to miss that.  The anticipation, as they say, is always better than the realization.  Discounting the real thing, a real, feel-it-in-your-soul connection, that honest-and-for-true love (which is so potent, it seems to be the only reason to go through all this nonsense sometimes), the anticipation is usually better than the realization.  Though the realization would be nice, too.

So I need myself a new hobby.  And by hobby, I do actually mean a new man to try to seduce.  Alarmingly (for me), I seem to be ready enough to go once more into the breach, dear friends.

And this is what interests me.  Because even though my original emergency back-up plan involved flirting with someone else I already know (e.g., The Young Man, The Younger Man, maybe even The Would-Be Homework Buddy), I’m thinking no.  While all these men have their charms, and could possibly be a pleasant enough way to while away the rest of the semester, I think I’ve turned some sort of corner.  The sport of the last five months was often entertaining and certainly instructive, but it was always just sport.  And I knew that, so when it turned out to be just a decoy, I was okay with that.  But now I’m after bigger game, not smaller.  My flirtation with GSS was always for a temporary fix.  And, as I’ve said before, it fixed me (but good).  No really, I honestly feel it pushed me to move on after having my heart broken.  So I’m sanguine about the whole thing.  But, instead of moving on to smaller game – men I am less, not more, interested in – wouldn’t it be something if I instead moved on to larger game – love?  This is a radical departure for me.  And I’m not sure what to do next.  You’re supposed to stop looking, the conventional wisdom says, and you’ll find it.  And that had happened to me, so I know that it’s partly true.  But maybe, just maybe, if I meet more people, I’ll improve my odds.

But none of that on-line shit.  I’m going old school.

Ohhhh, I get it now… Saturday, Mar 8 2008 

It is such a cliché to cite the story about the four blind people who describe an elephant.  The crux of the story always is that if you focus on only one thing, you miss the big picture.  Yes.  Right.

It is true that lately I have seen only what I want to see, but I have (very) recently received what I will call a perspective adjustment, which, in the non-euphemistic sense, is a big heap o’ news.  The details of said news isn’t important, since it isn’t really my news to share (even pseudonymously on a blog); but it has shifted my mental furniture, so to speak.  To say that I’m caught off-guard is a bit of an understatement, but I won’t worry about that; I’m nothing if not adaptable.

Hindsight is 20/20, or so they say; it is true that with my new perspective, things are less confusing.  But, for the time being, they will be slightly less fun.

For the time being…

Commence panicking…now! Thursday, Mar 6 2008 

I just have to say that I have just gotten my second rejection from a grad school.  While I am still on the waiting list for another one, I feeling distinctly nauseated.  Small wonder I obsess on the motivations behind men’s inscrutable behavior instead.  The stakes are much lower.

Boys are weird. Sunday, Mar 2 2008 

Last week, things were, if I may take charge of a word used so often by one of my professors, “percolating.”  Monday and Tuesday, GSS was, for lack of a better word, attentive.  Which is always nice, of course; however, the entire first half of the week contained semi-uncharacteristic behavior from him (in a good way), which threw me off.  That said, I’ve got a lot on my plate, and I didn’t spend a lot of effort (at the time) questioning it.

But wait, there’s more.

A department crony chided me a bit on Tuesday for neglecting last Friday’s outing.  I was going to go, then I couldn’t remember if it was to be that Friday or next Friday; I didn’t remember seeing an e-mail about it, so I assumed that it was to be the next one.  I explained my confusion, and the aforementioned crony said, “Well, we waited for you.  Everyone was wondering where you were.”  The idea that a bunch (well, probably more like a handful) of people were hanging around a bar, wondering what had become of me, struck me as…disconcerting in some way.  I mean, it is good to know that people enjoy my company and everything, but that my presence or absence would be a topic of conversation is not something I’m prepared to accept.

But wait, there’s more.

Another department crony sidled up to me after class late this week and suggested, that, in the future, we should study together (which he had suggested before).  We then had a “walk-and-talk.”  I can never get a read on him – I always feel like there is an…I don’t want to say ulterior motive, because that sounds nefarious, which I don’t mean.  I always get the impression that he wants to say something else, but he never gets around to doing so.

Now, I am not claiming that I am so freakin’ irresistible that all the fellas are dying to ask me out, especially since clearly, that is not the case.  But I’m developing a theory that may be half-baked.  Or it may be genius.

I have heard legends and rumors that we, as women, have mystical powers over men.  I have heard, time and again, from men, that they are putty in our presence, and that if we snapped our fingers just so, they would hop to.  I have heard, again from men, that there is no earthly reason that any woman would suffer from the dreaded “dry spell” because there are teeming hordes of men just waiting to sleep with them.

If you have heard these claims too (and I assume you have, in one form or another), you, like me, have assumed that they are a load of crap.  Men quivering in our collective presence, just waiting for us to take pity on them, seem to belong to the same phylum as Sasquatch or Yeti or whatever.

And now I’m not so sure.

While I think, by and large, these claims are spurious, there may be a grain of truth to them.  A small grain, but it is there.  What I think is the more likely scenario is this:

  • As a gender, men do not give the same level of analysis to heterosexual interpersonal relationships as women do.  Thus, they have a different criteria for deciding who they are (or are not) attracted to.  If they detect a predetermined (by their own standards) level of attraction to a woman, they file that away for future use.
  • Being risk-adverse in the emotional arena, they will not automatically act on this attraction (unless it’s bartime), especially if they see this particular woman on a regular basis (co-worker, neighbor, classmate, etc.).  One is practical – she isn’t going anywhere, so what’s the rush – and the other is driven more from fear – if she rejects him, he still has to see her on a regular basis.  If he is really interested in her, fear will be trumped.  But for mild to moderate attraction, it probably isn’t worth it.
  • However, from time to time, this woman will be more attractive to him than usual.  Being a woman, I’m not sure what the triggers are, but I assume looking particularly good on a given day, laughing at his jokes or doing something different (and thereby attracting his attention) could all be possibilities.  On these occasions, the man will make a subconscious overture to this woman.  If she responds in a positive way, he may (or may not) follow up.  If she doesn’t, he drops it (either for the time being or forever, depending on the guy and/or her response).

The problem is (at least with me, your experience may be different) that normal, intelligent men are going to try to be subtle.  And here is the problem:  that is not a characteristic we’ve assigned to them.  Have you ever asked yourself (or, just as likely, your friends) the age-old question, “Why is it that the only guys who hit on me are the creeps and the weirdos?”  Of course you have.  We all have.  It isn’t that we all emit some sort of signal to these unfortunates (well, maybe some of us do).  It is that the creeps and weirdos use techniques like the pickup line, the lewd comment and the inappropriate touch.  The normal guys, the ones we would want approaching us, are using techniques like the oblique question, the ambiguous invitation or the chivalrous gesture.  Because it doesn’t look like a duck or sound like a duck to us, we don’t believe it’s a duck.  But what if it were a duck?  Food for thought.

But Senior Senior, you counter, Men have asked me out.  And every once in a while, they have been normal men.  Of course.  Because he has either been very interested in you, rendering the potential reward greater than the potential risk, or you have accidentally given the correct response to their subliminal exam.

Now the problem, as I see it, is that not every great relationship needs to start out with such a strong attraction.  Something good can come from being “kind of” interested in someone and discovering that they are even better than you first realized.  There is a great benefit to getting to know someone, not because you suspect that they might be “the one,” but because you have no earthly idea, but they seem like a cool person to get to know.  Which is great in theory, but if we’re all playing Marco Polo by a different set of rules, we’re all screwed (or not screwed, if you want to be blunt about the whole thing).

So my question is, “Is this a crackpot theory?”  With a follow-up question of, “If this isn’t a crackpot theory, what is the secret code?”

No, seriously, “What is the secret code?”

Anniversary! Tuesday, Feb 19 2008 

“Haiku Monday” was posted a full 365 days after my very first post as The Senior Senior.  This bad boy blog is a year old today.  Its good girl writer is much older.

Haiku Monday Tuesday, Feb 19 2008 

I had a Bus Epiphany today (after a long dry spell) – wouldn’t several haiku on the little daily episodes be neat?  We’ll see…

Guy on Segway
Goggles, slow rolling
You could have been there by now
Dude, why the Segway?

Survival of the Fittest
Cap, hoodie, no gloves
Hypothermia
Dude, you are so cool

Berber syllables
A voweless word
Syllabic “r, ” sure, why not
not so much for “q”

Troublemaker (to GSS)
If you are having
trouble writing your paper,
I can crack the whip

Thank you for attending Haiku Monday.  If you don’t think it sucked, there may be more.  Sonnet Saturday seems like too much work, though.

Be my valentine, or I’ll have Chuck Norris kick your ass! Friday, Feb 15 2008 

I have been a busy Senior Senior this days.  There has been work (which has been crazy lately), and the hilarious (but in no way germane) Chuck Norris obsession which has taken hold of many of us in the Linguistics Department.  (It’s The Translator’s fault – he started it).  Oh, and classes, too.

And my Ambiguous Friend GSS has flustered me.  Yesterday, I check my e-mail and he has e-mailed me not once, but twice (and by that, I mean he initiated contact, instead of replying to me).  I would be sky-high, were it not for the fact that the e-mails were on a specific topic that he thought I might be able to help him with (as opposed to my e-mails to him, which are often random bits of sarcasm/whimsy).  Still, I consider him to be a friend, not just an Ambiguous Friend.  And if any friend e-mailed me with a, “hey, do you know what’s up with this?” question, I would do my best to answer.  (As Puppy Mama knows well).  So I futzed around with his question, and thought I might have come up with an answer, which I e-mailed to him last night.  Today, I was at work, talking to one of my regular students, when GSS interrupted and joking said, “You can’t talk to [Senior Senior], I get to talk to [Senior Senior] first.”  This particular regular student usually just does his homework, and asks me questions as they arise, so he deferred to GSS.  So GSS and I go over what the problem is, sitting close.  This was very distracting to me, as he smelled particularly good, and I thought idly about how I would like to kiss his neck.  Then he gets his laptop out (pardon me while I muse on the double entendre aspect of that statement…but no, I mean his computer), and when I needed to type something or whatever, I kept making errors (which I blamed on the unfamiliar keyboard, but which I suspect was due to extreme-GSS-proximity syndrome).

Long story short(er); we managed to figure the bulk of the problem out. 

GSS and I had had a briefly multilingual e-mail exchange the week before – he had, because of the smart-ass that he is, written a response in a language that he knows, but I am not even slightly familiar with.  I asked him a couple of times for a translation, which he (smart-ass that he is) refused.  Using a couple of on-line dictionaries, I plugged and chugged the words (which was difficult, as said language has a lot of morphology), and came up with something I could work with.  Earlier this week, I put forth my translation, but never got a response.  So I asked him.  When he had read the e-mail, he hadn’t put two and two together, so he reread my translation and found the e-mail with the original “furrin” language.  I did pretty well (although I whiffed the last part), and he said he was quite impressed.  What I’m parsing:  he skimmed the e-mail with the translation and originally did nothing with it (not good), but he has kept my numerous other e-mails (good), and when he was searching, he had a pretty good recollection what the topic was of each one – at least, as good of a recollection as I did (also good).  Meaning?  Who knows.

Epiphanic Monday, Feb 11 2008 

As I was telling Puppy Mama earlier, the craptastic weather we have been having wreaks havoc on the Bus Epiphanies, as you spend all your energy feeling miserable, wondering when the bus will come, trying to stay alive….  Fortunately, I have been having epiphanies in other locales, mostly at Hated Job.  The boring, repetitive nature of cleaning identical hotel rooms for hours on end lends itself well to rumination.  And this weekend has given me a bumper crop of new moments of clarity.  A short list of the best ones:

Toilet-Scrubbing Epiphany #1 – I have misgivings about online dating, mostly because I think the process is ass-backwards.  It seems to me that what you do when you post a profile online is to advertise an job opening, if you will, for a spouse.  Then you take your candidates and try to make them fit the position.  While I am probably not the best resource for romantic advice, I think it probably should be like this:  you meet people during the activities of your daily life, you get to know them and then you make the decision if a particular relationship has what it takes.  Again, not the best source for advice, but I’m pretty sure marriage shouldn’t be “the goal;” it implies that marriage is a static and terminal state.

Toilet Scrubbing Epiphany #2 – A cool idea for a party to encourage the meeting of new people, since as adults, our social circle gets smaller and smaller:  have your guests bring one person from outside the social circle.  A cool idea for those who successfully throw parties, at any rate.

Toilet Scrubbing Epiphany #3 – The trick in life is to find something that you do really well, as opposed to “pretty well.”

Toilet Scrubbing Epiphany #4 – The thing that frustrates me about Phonology is that it focuses too much on the synchronic, and not enough on the diachronic.  The thing that frustrates me about Syntax is that it focuses too much on the diachronic, and not enough on the synchronic.  Or at least, that’s how I see it.

Snow Day Thursday, Feb 7 2008 

They had warned us, but I held out hope.  Alas, the snow was too much, and the school where I work was closed for the day.  I was tired and all, so I was appreciative of the extra sleep, but a) I can always use the money, b) I like my job, c) I get some quality flirting done at work (most notably with the big blond) and d) this meant that the darkroom would not be open tonight, and I totally dig making prints.

I fully intended to go to class today, as my university doesn’t care to cancel classes.  Ever.  There was a point, however, where I could not see the other side of the street.  So I said “screw it” and stayed home.

So I’ve napped and done a couple loads of laundry.  Now it’s time to do some homework.  Snow days are much less exciting than I remember. 

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