Friday, October 22, 2010

Forever Young

Going back to school is risky business.

You maybe at points in your life felt on track or ahead of the game. Maybe you were settled and you could do such things as plant perennials and acquire a decent piece of furniture. Maybe you had income and even someone to help you spend it.

But in time the appearance of a game dissolved and you realized there were no rules and nothing was anything but a really heavy piece of furniture to move from a place you didn't think you ever had to. Oh, and the people who move in after you rip out your flowers cause they think they are weeds.

And all the King's Men put you back together and while you wander you go backward, wondering where you got lost, trying to find an old trail you used to run down willy nilly.

I picked mine up at the corner I turned left away from law school and accidentally charged down a dead end. Until five years after I first applied, I went to law school.

The trouble and chaos picked up from there.

The summer before I started back I was surrounded by milestones. People I loved moving up and on in life while I hit "rewind." Naturally, this is not by far easy, its an independent struggle that will make you feel very very alone.

I was going back in time in so many ways. I submerged myself with people nearly a whole decade younger than me. I had a gym, locker, cafeteria and a dance in said gym. I was reintroduced to gossip, the rumor mill and four dollar pitcher night. I was up all night reading and adding kid cuddy to my iPod. Going back has been intense.

In so many ways I feel like that line in "Away We Go" when Maya Rudolph's character says "I think we're fuck ups." I have so little of the basic things in my life figured out which is so incredibly ironic given the fact that at the age of 23 I not only owned a house but also three sets of china. I am so random I sometimes work my life out of order.

So often my next three months are in the air. I don't know where I will be living, how I will support myself, what classes I will take, damn - I don't even have a person to list as an emergency contact.

In class we did an exercise to fill out our own health care proxy form, that was awful. Immediately the room spun around me and I almost had to get up to leave and have a nice cry. As if I needed a mid-week reminder that I don't even have a person designated to pull the plug. With the order or hierarchy decided by NYS it would go through three degrees of separation before falling on my siblings to decide. Wow.

In the end I named my old and dear friend Cat, I dropped her an email that read something to the key of "You'll know what to do, I've had a good run. Donate everything burn the rest."

Sorry - morbid. No, going back part-time for your MBA or Masters while working and still progressing in your normal evolving life probably doesn't sound anything like this.

I happen to be seeing a man who decided to go back for a second bachelor's. I think that was a gutsy risk but where it leaves us is a city away from each other with homework and no gas money. Which brings me to my realization.

I have the life of a sixteen year old.

I have a part time job
I go to school full time
I do not own a car
I ride my bike everywhere
I have a messy locker
I sometimes forget my lunch money
I relax by checking my facebook
I only get to hang out with my boyfriend on weekends
If we have gas money and time off from our part-time jobs
I constantly think of my life in the future when I am "grown"
I am jealous of the Daddy's girls with their Visa cards and Christmas presents

On the plus side most people have no idea I am so much older than them at school. Education will help you stay forever young. The down side is knowing you were programmed to take care of people but all you have is yourself.

In about seven weeks I will be halfway through law school. I am thankful everyday that have this opportunity. Its that part in the race where you'd just be thankful to be on the back stretch.

But its not a race, there is no game and there are no rules.

If I can remind myself of that more often I can cherish all the simplicity that is my current life. All I have to do is learn.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Square Roots, Fly Traps, Comet

Insomnia can be an incredible thing. You may lay awake having some of your most life changing revelations and while doing so not seem to mind that the next day you will be exhausted.

I've chosen last night for an example.

Square Roots

While contemplating recent news that Apple had dismissed the approaching wave of 7 inch tablets as being too small I ran the pythagorean theorem in my head to envision the size the smaller version of the iPad. This required me to think of square roots.

There is an interesting and incredible relation of square roots that has always made me smile. Its the simple pattern of the increase between one square to the next, always an odd number in sequence from the jump before. The square of three is nine, the square of four is sixteen. Sixteen minus nine is seven. The square of five is twenty five. Twenty five minus sixteen is nine. The square of six is thirty six. Thirty six minus twenty five is eleven. Seven, Nine, Eleven.

But its the square of seven that finishes the beautiful piece of math that has me enthralled at an approaching milestone. The square of seven is forty nine. Forty nine minus thirty six is thirteen.

When my sister Shannon is forty nine, I will be thirty six and we will be perfect squares in immediate sequence. I can't wait to celebrate such an incredible milestone and I am thrilled that I haven't realized it after the fact.

Fly Traps

My roommate is a nano scientist. While discussing strange flowers his theoretical girlfriend would appreciate my other roommate mentioned venus fly traps. In my head I envisioned a new subculture of artistic food design. An entire catalog of food for fly traps came to mind. Tiny representations of sushi, hamburgers and tacos. All crafted in tiny scale (nanosci) and purchased from a trendy shop in the ultra cool segment of town. Overpriced for the token of avant-garde but necessary for the proper care of one's incredibly hip pet Fly Trap.

Imagine the potential for Vegan Venus Inc. Tofu blended supplements for the eco-conscious carnivorous plant keeper. An entire line of accouterment comes to mind. Recycled pots, composted soil, fair trade seeds, sustainable reclaimed fiber plant cozies.

The irony of taming a man eater, THE must have holiday conversation piece gift.


I then began to think of my water bottle. It is actually a tea infuser. Complete with a small metal strainer at the top should I choose to fill it with loose tea. I was thinking of how to properly clean the strainer. I thought to really get it to shine I should try comet.

Then my brain was horrified. I remembered a story of a father who stored left-over draino in a mountain dew bottle and his son swallowed some. Burned his esophagus and nearly died, later he only was able to have one tube from his mouth and had to decide if he wanted to speak or eat for the rest of his life.

I wondered, how much comet would be caustic enough to burn the epithelial tissues of my throat. Trace amounts from careful cleaning or could I like whiten my teeth with it so long as I was careful enough to rinse?

I dare not try either.