July 11, 2010

life notwithstanding

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:27 am by justinadayswork

Rhode Island drivers may be psychos, but they do at least stop for pedestrians in traffic. Hawaiians (general Aloha notwithstanding)…don’t. So when I was trying to cross a busy street today I spent about 10 minutes watching wheels go by before making any kind of move. A man walking past noticed my frustration and suggested that I just start walking. I casually informed him that there was a large moving vehicle in the shape of a bus about 100 yards away, but he insisted and started crossing the street himself. Thinking him either stoned, stupid, or just suicidal, I held back until the giant death machine disguised as a benevolent city bus slammed on its brakes, offering me that clear path.

For those of you who don’t know, I got in a car accident with a city bus at highway speeds about 6 months ago. Apparently, my brakes were under the impression that they didn’t have to show up to work that particular Wednesday (lack of vacation time notwithstanding). After skidding across two lanes on I-95 south, I turned my head just in time to see a city bus slam into my passenger side and crush my car like a frat boy with a can of natty light. This is not a good image to have in your head when trying to cross a street full of busses. If my car had been turned the other way, you’d all probably be sending my parents flowers right now. But I made it across (bus PTSD notwithstanding)

So I’m here in Hawai’i. When I’m not crossing roads of death, I’m trying to set up an Independent Study in furniture design at UH. Or should I say “Directed Study.” Apparently independence is not a cherished value out here (1776 declarations notwithstanding.) I have to come up with a detailed syllabus and write a 2 page typed proposal that must get approved by all the head honchos of the art department. The instructions for the requirements for the study take up an entire typed, single spaced page. I got to the part about “students doing better with structure” and actually laughed out loud. Structure? Get out of town. If there’s one thing a Brown education does not prepare you for, it’s requirements, deadlines, and structure. That and the reality that not everything is possible with persistence and a Dean’s Note (ceramics studios notwithstanding) (tool-faces in the Art Department withstanding). I mean, I’m still getting used to the fact that I can’t carry a pocket-sized Dean Hansen around with me everywhere to solve all of my problems (the problem that I don’t have a real Brown degree yet notwithstanding).

But people who don’t go to Brown don’t understand this, and people who go to Brown don’t understand that other people don’t understand this. So when my teacher Dave said that I should do an Independent Study, I filled in the mental gaps with what I thought the preparation for an independent study to be, namely,” la dee da dee da hey Professor Gonsher, sign this” (mental picture here should be frolicking teletubbies). So now I’m working to come up with something more concrete than “I’m gonna, like, make furniture” to show to the UH higher-ups.

I was explaining all of this to my dad, but he had more important things to talk about. Specifically, that he’s learning to speak cat. We had about a 10 minute conversation about his new language skills (official recognition of “cat” as a language notwithstanding). It went a little something like this:

Dad: Guess what. I’m learning to speak cat
Rachel: Cat?
Dad: Yeah, I’m getting really good at it
Rachel: Cat?
Dad: Yeah. See, I go up to a cat and I go “merooow” and they go “merooow” and then I go “merooow”
Rachel: That’s…wow…
Dad: Yeah and then I scratch their heads and we keep talking
Rachel: How does shmolister vernicitude feel about this (family dog’s actual name notwithstanding)?
Dad: (a remarkably sullen turn in tone of voice) He’s with your sister for the week. I’m suffering. I’m just really…suffering. But at least I can speak cat

Now I’m not making fun of my dad. Not in the least. I think he’s great. I’m simply illustrating a point, one that I’ve conveyed many times. IT’S NOT MY FAULT. This kind of abject dorkiness is simply genetic and I apparently inherited every pocket-protector gene known to man. Alternatively, my dad’s genes for insane organizational skills seem to skip a generation. It’s too bad. Because when you combine my dorkiness with my complete scatter-brainedness, I’m like the Captain Planet of spaz (with our powers combined…) But at least there is a way for people to cope with it: shut up and find it endearing (fact that it’s not endearing notwithstanding).

…For the viewing of those who have at least at one point in time found my ramblings humorous. I know, I know, you’re not laughing at me…you’re laughing near me (everyone I know notwithstanding)