It’s all college’s fault… and teething’s a bitch, too.

Rethinking my music choice the other day… “O Fortuna” probably would have been more appropriate for that medieval St. George combat, but I was in the mood for a more intimate, mob-hit kind of tone. Young, innocent Maimer peers through the stair railing at my slow-motion struggle in the coils of the gray accordeon hose, à la Laocoon, to the sobbing sound of Pavarotti… “Ridi, Pagliaccio!

Well, no vacuuming today. The Sphinx is on vacation from the library all this week, which means she has trouble lifting a paw to do anything. Except blog. I’m addicted. I really have nothing to blog about, yet here I am, boring the ether to tears. Speaking of tears, I just spent the evening with my neice Petunia Button, who is TEETHING. I don’t care who you are, after five minutes with a 14-month-old who’s teething, you’re reaching for the children’s Tylenol–the kind that knocks you out–and not necessarily to give to the baby. Even our game of dancing to “Sur le pont d’Avignon” didn’t help–she didn’t want to stop playing, but her usual squeals of delight were more like wails of despair. Poor kid.

Ahhhh, but she went home and now finally everyone has gone to bed and stopped talking and turned off the tv and I’m alone and it’s quiet. Vacation doesn’t feel much like vacation when your house is full of noisy family all day needing stuff from you.

I wish I had a book to read on my vacation, but I couldn’t find anything. I’m the finickiest reader in existence. I’m a really slow reader, so I get bored easily with what I’m reading. It’s all college’s fault. I was an avid reader until I had to read a novel or two a week for each of my three or four seminar courses… in French! And don’t even get me started on the kind of shit they make you read before they’ll let you wrench that Master’s out of their soulless, ossified hands… just say the word Ferdydurke to biblio_girl and watch her start to foam at the mouth. The life of a lit major is not to be envied.

So why major in something as useless as French Literature? You mean besides the great perk of getting to read all five volumes of Les Misérables even though Broadway already conveniently consolidated them into one easy-to-view, foot-tapping show? Well, I suppose then it would be because of the math. I mean that there wasn’t any. Whereas to become a geologist they wanted me to do all this math! And chemistry. But the crystallography was the real killer for me. Sometimes I take out my old crystallography notes just for a laugh. I have no idea what they say. I had no idea what I was writing down at the time. My professor used to get so frustrated with my blind-stab answers in class, his voice would get all breaky and he’d hop in place, squawking, “No, no, no!” (If you like that story, read “University Days” by James Thurber–he was an even worse student than me, and at the same school!) Anyhow, that’s when I dropped out of school the first time.

So why did I want to be a geologist? I love dirt. I love how it smells, how it feels… I love how rocks smell and feel, especially the sulfur-y ones. Smelling the sulfur in a rock is almost like hearing the volcano that forged it go “boom” three million years ago. I “get” earth sciences, the tangible forces of the visible world around us. Unfortunately, the nit-picky molecular stuff that’s behind those tangible forces always manages to beat me up, steal my lunch money and leave me with an academic wedgie. So I dropped out. And when I came back to the college game, it was with a different school, a different major. And I finished.

So fuck you, Ohio State, and your stupid buckeyes. I speak French now. And I still have a closet full of rocks.

2 Responses to “It’s all college’s fault… and teething’s a bitch, too.”

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