Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Break Down

This one might be a bit long (even compared to my other ones) so get a drink, make some popcorn and get comfy.

It has been a little rough over Thanksgiving break. Everything seems to be breaking down all around me, and it's very distracting. One doesn't expect the betrayal of one's body or one's expensive mechanical equipment. Where do I start?

I suppose I'll begin with myself.

Even in the summer I began noticing something troubling. I have a receding hairline. Nothing incredibly drastic, but I can tell that my hairline towards the front has moved back noticably. My mother's father is rather bald, so I knew I might have problems, but I didn't expect it so early. I joked about it over the summer but it's still a nagging thought that has surfaced at random moments (as in "gee, this is good cookie. wow, I'm balding"). Stress this term probably hasn't helped at all, but I'm hoping that it doesn't move back any further, or else I might feel the need to recoup my masculinity in some excessive way. So that's the story of my hair, or lack thereof.

Let's move down, shall we?

My eyes have been bothering me. It's incredible, because my eyesight is bad enough. But staring at a computer screen all the time probably hasn't helped, especially after I got my laptop (more on that later), and I've had more and more trouble reading lately. Not very fun at all, considering my glasses are already half an inch thick. This probably also contributed to the slight dyslexia I've had lately.

Moving down.

I've also got a bad cold right now, which is just compounding my troubles by preventing me from getting a good night's sleep.

Moving Down

My dentist warned me my last visit about brushing along my gums, and I've noticed it as well. I've been taking care of my teeth, but it hasn't helped so much. I actually think my gums have gotten better over the summer and the term, but I'm still getting more cankersores than usual, which is a painful reminder that there some stage of gingivitis in my mouth.

Moving Down.

I've had this weird bump on the back of my left hand for a while now, and it's been hurting more lately. It's probably something akin to carpal tunnel, and my wrists have been bothering me since the summer. No searing pain, but something that I should probably see a doctor about before long. Thankfully, I don't have any problems anywhere else on my body, or else I might really be going nuts right now. I've gained a little weight this term, but this is college, so I'm actually stressing about that less.

So my body is falling apart. Even worse, the expensive equipment that one expects for transportation and information and transportation of information has been breaking down on me. As I was coming from La Guardia airport after dropping Jen off, some old man in a nice Acura decided that he wouldn't pay attention to the road in front of him in his haste to get over into the left lanes. I had to come to a stop to not rearend this car in front of me that was stopped because he was getting cut off by some wacko, and Mr. Acura swerved into the guardrail to keep from rearending me. He then bounced off the guard rail and smashed my rear right side. He pretty much destroyed the right rear door as I found out later. The worst part of the accident was that after he hit me (I had been moving forward to try to avoid him, but since I was stopped it was rather difficult) I spun at least once on the highway. Once, maybe twice, but I can't remember.

All I remember is braking hard, and then seeing a black car behind me. I was able to connect the screech of its brakes before it swerved out of my rearview mirror. Then there was a crunching noise as the car hit the guardrail and then another instant as I moved forward, knowing that I was probably going to be hit by the car, but not sure where it would hit and when. And then a jarring sound of metal on metal. Acura Two Door, meet Honda Accord. Honda Accord, bow and gracefully turn. And turn. Graceful. turn. I was fortunate that I didn't spin onto the oncoming traffic, but it's still unsettling, to say the least, to be in a car that's spinning on the highway.

I've been relying on my ability to exert fine control over this car for five years, and to sudden lose that control is disturbing. I'm still not sure how I feel about it now. For a couple of seconds I was spinning forward on the highway, with no way to control my car, hoping that some car wouldn't broadside me and really mess me up. I came to a stop perpendicular to the hghway. Of course, the car that stopped because it was getting cut off stopped to see in his rearview mirror that there had been an accident, and promptly took off. I hate that.

This is why I'm up at school right now with a different car for a week. I'm going to need to contact the parking and operations people so they don't tow me (they've given me a lot of trouble over the past couple of years), but that's a fairly minor concern. To compound my troubles I found out yesterday when I tried to plug in my computer that my power pack isn't working.

It's actually not the power pack, but probably the machine, as the port where you plug in the AC power pack is for some reason too loose. I noticed that there were problems even before Thanksgiving, but it just stopped working altogether yesterday. I'm sure that's the problem, but there's nothing I can do about it. Since I can't plug my computer in the batteries have completely run down, so my laptop is essentially a twelve hundred dollar doorstop right now. I'm using Jen's computer until her patience runs out and I have to permanently relocate to the library.

Some of this has been going on for a while, but with everything breaking down all at once I'm a little overwhelmed. Very overwhelmed. I still need to get some work done on my thesis, which is still at thirty pages and counting, as well as find the notes for the Neurobio classes I missed last week, as well as finish my electronic music composition. Music is next to done, but I'm not sure how to approach Neurobio, as I don't know how I did on the third test yet and it has become increasingly evident that most people cheat their way through the take home exams. When the median score is near 90 on a test, it's a sign that people are using their notes, not that they've all studied their asses off. As for the thesis I really like the stuff I'm working with, but I just can't seem to get it in an organized, essay form. Needless to say I'm not too keen on finishing all my work right now. I know I need to, but I just can't seem to focus on anything. This blog is as much organizational for myself as anything else. And theraputic.

I've had troubles feeling confident in cars ever since I lost two friends in high school due to an accident, and this crash has done nothing to help me out. I've driven up to Dartmouth and back over twenty times, or over five thousand miles, but I still feel shaky sometimes. Sometimes, between loud CDs and wondering what the hell the car in front of my is doing, I think about how fragile cars are and how nothing, not airbags or seatbelts, might help you at those high speeds. I actually consider myself an excellent driver with pretty good reflexes, but that just makes it worse, since my spinning out into traffic pretty much came down to a matter of how far along the center line of my car I got hit. You don't know what helpless is until you've been in a car accident that wasn't even your fault and your vehicle is doing something it shouldn't be doing, namely, spinning on a slick roadway. Since it was on the rear door I spun less than I would have if he had just swiped my bumper, in which case I might not be able to type at all right now. The thought is unsettling and has been bothering me since the accident. You can't sue someone for emotional distraction, but I'd certainly like to.

The problems with the laptop makes me angry because I'm so dependant on all this equipment. The car that I've put thousands of miles on in the last four years is basically a cardboard box in an accident. My laptop that's less than three months old has one minor hardware problem that might make me send it in, as I can't fix it myself. I can barely get work done on my thesis as a result. I can barely talk to people as a result. I can't look up stupid news and sports reports now, dammit. I've got a week up here and then a month at home before Winter term starts, but I feel like i need so much more time right now.

Oh yeah. Thanksgiving. Dinner was pretty good. Turkey was excellent and other dishes (sweet potato souffle, cornbread, potato salad, the usual suspects) were great. My mother is a very good cook. My dad stands around and pretends he's a good cook. Home is ok, and Deckard the Beagle of Beagles is doing ok, if a little hyper and untrained. He knows how to shake hands now, so he can come up to you with a peace offering after chewing up another pair of socks.

I still don't know what I'm doing next year, unlike certain people that already have trader or engineer jobs locked up. But after I told someone my major (English and Bio) again, and got the question "So what are you going to do with that" again, I realized something. Instead of saying " I don't know", I should say "whatever I want", because that's more along the lines of the truth. It really is what I want, and not what my parents want, and not what some company wants. I can decide whether I want to be a teacher, or an academic, or a lawyer, or anything else. There might be something less exciting like copywriting or publishing in front of me, but I'm completely fine with that. I know for a fact that I want to try to write at least in my spare time (I'm not committing my full time because I'm realistic and I know I'm not Tom Wolfe). I've applied to some consulting firms and a couple of research positions that i think I could do well at. Really, jobs don't concern me that much for some reason, because no matter what, I'll probably be making just enough to support myself next year no matter what I do and no matter where I end up. So I'm just going to find something that I can be sane doing for a couple of years, and then I'll hit up the law school or grad school after that.

Either that, or I might end up living in a van down by the river. But at least it'll be a nice van, along a nice scenic stretch of river. Ok, that's a bit much.

Still, having next year uncertain is yet another thing I do have to deal with in the immediate future. Along with insurance and Dell and the thesis and classes.


Blogger Trevion said...

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]

10:43 PM  

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