April 29, 2000
(Begin obligatory geek talk to scare off readers) So I got up and started doing more geek research for this stupid geek project I might do.
And I think Perl is ugly. I don't know if it's trying to be ugly because that's like a prerequisite for being post-modern or something, but yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck. So, since I did love Phil's How to be a Web Ho, I read some more about AOLServer TCL stuff, but really, kind of icky, but then I started reading about PHP and wow, it sounds kind of yummy for what I want to do. And it has functions for easy regexps, builtin ftp, easy to use filesystem ops, and boring, boring, boring.
It's a beautiful day outside! 75 and sunny! And it's Saturday! What the hell am I doing inside? So I open up the window and just stare at a bluebird for a while.
But then I lose interest and realize it's Soldier of Fortune time.
Soldier of Fortune is disgusting even by my standards. The gore level is frightening. While it is just another first person shooter computer games, it is exciting enough, and I'm bad-ass enough at it so that my friend Evan actually watches me play. It's that great. I mean, if I wasn't a weak, out of shape, uncoordinated, wussy dork, I could definitely be one hell of a mercenary. I'm convinced it's my calling in life. Well, actually, space combat is my calling in life, but if the whole starfighter pilot thing doesn't work out, this is definitely something to fall back on.
So I'm busy saving the world from a terrorist nuclear threat when Ian calls.
"Dude? Where are you?"
"I'm working at the photo lab."
"Isn't it Saturday? And you don't even work in the lab on sundays when you're supposed to."
"I'm covering for somebody. So I'm going to leave and get something to eat? Wanna come?"
"Ok. 5 minutes."
So we go to Big Kirk's to get steakburgers. While the steak burger is their standard, I got a Big Kirk, which is this massive hunk of meat on a french roll, and it's much too much for a little 5'4" weenie like me to eat, but I did anyway, and oh, it was rare and bloody and so good. And then we went to the little pseudo China town and I got some excellent Strawberry Milk Tea. I'm trying to drink more tea. I quit my excessive 5 cup a day coffee habit this year because it was making me nervous and I think was increasing my stress level. But really, I think all it did was allow me be unconscious more often.
And then I'm about to get back to saving the world from terrorist nuclear threats with my 9mm silenced sub-machine gun, when Evan, my drawmate and biggest fan, comes in, and wants to watch, but he just got back from football practice and wants to shower. Which is probably a good idea, because even though I'm a cs major and all, I shower regularly and my room doesn't really smell disgusting. Since I'm really close to finishing up the end of the game, and Evan would kick my ass if I passed it without him there, I oh so graciously agree to wait until after his shower to continue my game.
So it's back to PHP and FreeBSD loving. For about 5 minutes.
Then Diana shows up with a little "Hi schmoopie." "Schmoopie" is her favorite word in the whole world because when she's on x it "feels good to say" or some crap like that.
Diana, who's pissed that she has never been mentioned in these little lie-filled texty texts before, is another one of my buddies. She lived in the same dorm as me last year, but "stopped out" and took a year off after first quarter because her roommate was a psychopath and bulimic and had an unhealthy obsession with Billy Corgan. Not "old skool Gish" Billy Corgan - but new skool "bald freak" Billy Corgan, which is just wrong. Well, and Diana was like a wreck without her little boyfriend Punkage (no, that's definitely not spelled right) and hated school, etc etc. But you're not here to read about Diana, you're here to read about me, Adam Mathes, budding super-hero.
"Is there any food here tonight?"
"Nah, the chef doesn't work on the weekends. We have to fend for ourselves."
"Oh poo. Then come to Lag and get food with me."
"I already ate."
"So? Do you have anything else better to do?"
"I don't have University Dining anymore."
"You said you already ate anyway."
"Ok. Sure. Let's go."
So we're back at our old dorm Lagunita Court, and Diana shows her ID, and I just sort of scowl and walk by and nobody bothers me because I'm like a super-hero with amazing mind powers, and Diana just gets a ridiculous amount of disgusting looking dorm food, and I get a coke. "Oh, I just love Lag food so much" she says.
"You have no taste."
"This stuff is so much better than what my mom used to make. Jim said you were an asshole to Nithan at my birthday party."
"What! I was on my best fucking behavior around your annoying Indian cliquey friends. Geez, I was so good, I didn't tell him off, or make fun of his annoying ass jokes, or anything. I told you I'd behave and keep the assholishness to a minimum."
"What's your problem with Nithan anyway?"
"He's fake. Completely and utterly fake."
"No, he's just nice. And friendly. Just because someone is nice doesn't automatically mean they're fake."
"I didn't say it did, but the genuinely nice ones are few and far between, and he's just fake. He's overly friendly to the point of absurdity. And he annoyed me. But I was pleasant, jesus, I was fucking nice because it was your birthday and I was on my best behavior. I was even nice to Nnenna. Honest. Oh my god. Jim is so wrong. Trust me, besides, I'm an impeccable judge of character and I'm never wrong about anything. He's fake."
And not only was he fake, but he made some "funny" comment in response to something or other about how in his view people were just Indians and non-Indians, which he said as a joke, but really, deep down, I knew it was completely true for him, and that kind of thing really bothers me. Then I looked around the table, and it was all Indians sitting with Diana, and then the three non-Indians consisting of me, the shitty white guy, Jim, the dirty Mexican-Asian half-breed, and Nnenna, the anal-retentive african-american woman, in the corner, and saw that it was completely true for all the Indians at the table, but really, that's beyond the scope of this conversation.
"So, Di, what'd you do last night?" Ah, the good old awkward topic change.
"Drank too much with Jim and Vijay and Anj and people, and they were pissing me off and ignoring me so I ran off and hid and then they spent hours looking for me. It's so much fun to just hide when you're drinking and people ignore you because they really start to pay attention and worry."
"Sounds like another thrilling Friday night."
"How about you?"
"Well, I talked to Le on the phone for a while."
Diana gives a little, "you're an idiot" sigh. "How long."
"I don't know. A couple hours. That's not the point. I was doing much better when I wasn't talking to her. And then I watched some more episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the tape Craig sent me, and then I played Soldier of Fortune."
"Soldier of who?"
"Stupid gory computer game."
"So you're still in love with Le?"
"Le who?" I've got that response down to a fine art now.
"That's so sad Adam. There's no reason for you to still like her."
"I don't. It's just... I don't know. You know she was the first girl I ever dated."
"Really? What about high school? Grade school? My first boyfriend was in 7th grade, and he took me to the mall, and I really didn't like him, I just wanted his friend, and so I eventually broke up with him."
"Yeah, ummm, no, I was too busy playing Wing Commander. You think I'm anti-social now? You should've seen me in high shool."
"I mean, Le's just very, well, immature. And, don't take this as me being pretentious or whatever, but she's a lot like I was like 5 years ago before I grew up a little."
"I know she's immature. You're not the first person to say things that. And I'm not arguing."
"And that whole bitch thing, she's really got to get over that, it's just not cute anymore."
"Yeah, the catty bitch thing... yeah, well, it was kind of cute when she was to other people. But when she was a bitch to me and meant it, by then it definitely wasn't cute."
"And the pre-med thing just totally destroys any of her credibility at being like 'angry' or 'alternative' or questioning authority or whatever."
"Yeah yeah, I know, I know..."
Wow, turning mildly interesting conversation into interesting dialogue is hard... let's just move on.
After Diana finishes her meal it's back to my room in the magic land of Narnia, where Jim, Diana, and I watch more Buffy the Vampire slayer. Fun fun. And then, because we're just mindless consumers of cultural products who don't know how to have any real fun, we, meaning Jim and Diana and not me, decide to go to see a movie."
"But I don't want to see some stupid movie about Rabbi and a Priest."
"Oh, Adam, always grumpy, never wants to do anything."
"Besides, it's too late. We won't get there in time to see the show, and even if we do, it'll be sold out, it's Saturday at the AMC 20."
And, of course, "oh, grouchy grumpy adam doesn't want to do anything" etc. etc so we all hop into Diana's car and start driving to the obnoxious AMC 20 multiplex.
Di - "So Jim, Le and Adam are talking again."
Jim - "Yeah, and Le was going to ask you to go to the mall with her today but you weren't around." Nothing like having a roommate who's best friends with your ex to get the awkward conversations rolling.
Di - "Awww, poor adam."
Adam - "I hate you guys."
Jim - "You know he asked her to a baseball game the other day?"
Di gives another "adam is a pathetic loser ex-boyfriend" sigh.
"No, really, it was just to like prove a point in an argument, because, like she had said something to me right after that episode of the x-files about baseball about how that was the greatest x-files ever, and so I was like, so now do you see why I love baseball so much and..."
Di - "Uh huh. Whatever adam. Horrible idea"
Must - exit - pathetic - ex - boyfriend - mode. "I know, I know."
Jim - "Oh, that's nonsense. Everything is going to be just fine." Jim didn't actually say that, but he probably said something like that, because that's just the kind of thing Jim always says. And he still harbors the deulsion that everything is going to be hunky-dory with me and Le again, and we'll be "friends" and yeah. Never mind.
And, of course, because I'm always right about everything, we get to the movie theatres 20 minutes after showtime, and it's sold out. Which left us with the unique opportunity tosee Viva Rock Vegas. Which we passed up.
Di - "So, what are we going to do?"
Adam - "There's nothing to do. We live in Shallow Alto. Everything sucks or is closed and sucks. So let's go to Happy's Donuts so I can get a maple bar."
Di - "I really want Apple Pie."
Adam - "Ahhh, we could go to the diner. Oh, great, it's Saturday, I can hit on all the little high school chicks. Fun. Err, wait, never mind, we're not going to the diner."
Di - "The diner? And somehow, that just seems so right for you, to be hitting on high school girls." I was kidding. I don't even know what "hitting on" means.
Jim - "The diner... the peninsula creamery."
Adam - "But Jim hates the creamery, so we're not going, we'll just go to Denny's or Lyon's or whatever. What do you want to do Jim?"
Jim - "We can go to the creamery. I don't hate the creamery."
You see, Jim, has this problem, in that he's too nice, or something, and doesn't want to cause conflict, so he just has this bad habit of lying about everything. Which is really fucking annoying sometimes, and all these evil "friends" of his dump on him and take advantage of it, but I really try not to.
Adam - "No, fuck that, you've told me you hate that place. The last time we went there you fucking hated it."
Jim - "No, I was just pissed off at you or something."
Di - "Jim, that's so fucked up. Why can't you just say what you you really feel regardless."
I love the diner, but because tonight sucks, even my favorite Shallow Alto diner can't brighten my spirits. Instead of getting the classic midnight chocolate milkshake and french fries, I get cherry coke and buffalo wings, and buffalo wings are just disgusting. And they were out of apple pie.
Di - "So, when are you going to cut your hair short, die it blonde, spike it, and shave your beard off?"
Adam - "Umm, no."
Jim - "Oh, that would be so cool. You should totally do that."
Adam - "My hair is like the only thing I have going for me. My wonderful, beautiful, long hair. I can't cut it off. And dye it! Dye it! I would never do that to my hair! It would destroy it! Oh, the horror."
Di - "You'd so get women if you did it."
Jim - "Totally."
Adam - "What do I need women for anyway?"
Di - "Sex."
Adam - "I don't even know what that means."
Di - "These aren't even buffalo wings, they're like curry wings or something."
Adam - "There's no such thing as curry, it's just a tool of the white man."
Di - "That's such bullshit. There is such a thing as curry spice, and Indians put in everything."
Me - "Well, I had this friend in high school and she repeatedly told me curry was just a tool of the white man, a fake concoction. In fact, other than disagreeing on the authenticity of curry, you're pretty much exactly like Jenny."
Di - "Was she Indian too?"
"Yes, but she hated Indians too and didn't have anything to do with the clique." Which Di used to be able to claim with some validity too, but now, not as much since she was hanging out with Anjali's Indo friends.
Jim - "Who's Jenny?"
"Oh, just another girl from high school I don't talk to anymore. One of the many, many girls I don't talk to anymore from high school."
...boring boring conversation that you don't care about... i don't care about... tuning out... not listening... I really wish I had ordered french fries instead of these disgusting buffalo wings... and I really should have gotten the milkshake...
Di - "I shaved my pubes once."
Me - "I really didn't need to know that. Why is it that I have to be 'asexual' and that legs piece is like traumatic for you, but you can talk about shaving your pubes? It just doesn't seem fair. Can't we talk about something else? Please?"
Jim just laughs.
Di - "So there was this Iranian woman right, and her aunt was here and was so fricking nasty. And she was like, I want to wear my bikini but my pubic hair keeps popping out, what do I do?"
Jim - "Shaving is nothing, I know a girl who plucks."
Me - "Huh?"
Di - "Ow, doesn't that hurt? Like a lot?"
Me - "Geez, couldn't we just talk about anything else?"
Di - "Oh, wait, who is it?"
Me - "Yeah, who is, err, no, never mind I defintely don't want to know," and I go back to concentrating on my disgusting buffalo wings. But apparently Jim mouths something to Diana and she erupts into uncontrollable laughter. And then so does jim. "What? What is so hilarious?" Which just makes them laugh more. "Never mind, I don't want to know."
Di - "Oh my god, and it's even funnier that you don't know. No, that's the funniest part."
Cogs slowly turning in head...
And then I can't decide whether it's more disturbing, her plucking, that this was how I found out, or that I'm contemplating which is worse. And oh, oh boy, this, is, wow. Whatever, who cares. This is totally not important, and yeah. So why do I feel so uncomfortable? This is so stupid. I don't... let's just move on... nothing to see here...
Di - "Wow, regularly? That's got some pretty fucked up pedophilic implications, which I'm sure you were into, adam."
Me - "Just because a guy has a few Sailor Moon posters in his dorm room..."
Jim - "No, not regularly, just for 'special occassions.'"
Di bursts into laughter again. "Special occassions? Was that her phrase?"
Jim - "Yes."
Note to self - remember never to share classified information with Jim.
Di - "Well, we know somebody wasn't a part of any special occassions." More laughing. Ha ha. Yeah, yuck it up.
I hate my life.
Of course, I was never a part of any special occassions. I wasn't even part of any occassions, but really, who cares, because I'm over her, and yeah. Excatly. But oh, geez, this night was really bad, but this has definitely made it worse. It's like my life has gone from a poor imitation of a Woody Allen film to a poor imitation of a Kevin Smith movie, and it's like I'm Dante, and Jim is, no, well, it's like I'm Dante, and the dialogue just isn't as witty.
At this point I'm completely not paying attention to the conversation, and Di and Jim just keep talking, so we're leaving when the subject finally turns back to something I passionately care about: lesbians. Diana makes some comment about angry lesbians...
"Hey, there is nothing wrong with lesbians," which really, goes without saying, right? I will defend lesbians to the death.
Di - "Yeah, you do seem to be friends with girls who seem like they could be lesbians."
Me - "Actually, I haven't gotten along with the lesbians I've known," which of course made me think of my pseudo-arch-enemy from grade school Becky "no, dammit, it's becki with an i" who is now at Oberlin playing rugby with her shaved head.
Di - "Like Le, Alejandra, they could totally be lesbians."
Me - "Really? Like together? Wow, that'd be great."
Di - "Eww, Adam."
Me - "What? You brought it up." So my life is like a Kevin Smith movie, where I'm Dante, the dialogue isn't witty, and there is a distinct lack of lesbians.
We have to go back to Di's dorm, because she needs to change her jeans or some bullshit, so Jim and I are waiting out in the car while Di goes in and changes, and Jim, in his infinte optimism, remarks, "Well, tonight turned out to be pretty good."
"Pretty good? Pretty good! What part was good? Are you crazy?"
And then I see a black cat right outside of the car, which freaks me out because it's like an omen. Well, it's not really an omen, becuase I don't believe in omens, but there's like this freaky correlation between things with Le and black cats, and no, definitely not, there isn't, it's all in my head. Never mind. Never mind. And the cat looks at me and then runs off, which, of course, means nothing, because that's just what cats do. Exactly.
To top off this wonderful evening we head back home to Narnia to watch Friday - some stupid blaxploitation flick that I don't want to see, so as the movie starts I break out the laptop and start taking down a few notes, because, yeah, if nothing else I'll write something mildly entertaining about tonight, and then it won't be a total loss. And it's imperative that I write an outline now, while it's still fresh, but really, when I look at the outline all I see is "pluck."
Di - "What are you writing?"
Me - "Nothing."
Jim - "He's taking notes for some stupid thing he'll put on his web site about this."
Uhoh, world crashing down, bad, very bad, must, come up with excuses...
Me - "Umm, no. No I'm not. I don't even know what you're talking about."
And then after the movie Diana starts reading my web site, and oh, that's not good, it's one thing to have people I know read my web site, which kind of sucks, but to read it right in front of me, oh, how awkward.
Di - "Oh my god, does Le read this? Does she know you're like insane and obsessed?"
Jim - "No, she doesn't read it." And I'm sure he's lying because I got into a drunken fight with him right after I wrote the legs piece because Virginia said something about it to me, and told me Jim told her, and so when I started bitching at Jim about it he's like, I didn't think it was a big deal to tell Le, and really, I wasn't pissed about Virginia but, now I was kind of pissed. But I don't care. It doesn't matter.
Me - "What are you talking about, there's like, what, maybe a sentence or two about Le on the whole site. Besides, you're not the intended audience for this. It's not for people I know, it's like for my fans in New Zealand. And I'm fucking huge in the Netherlands. I think. I'm not entirely sure what they're saying because it's all in Dutch, but yeah, they love me over there."
"And how come there's like pages and pages about Alejandra and nothing about me?"
"Umm... there's not pages and pages about Alejandra..."
"Wow, adam, you really are a dork."
And so Diana just makes fun of me and my site, and it hurts, and deflates my little ego, which isn't too hard because I have some serious self esteem issues, and this just reminds me that I'm not actually a super-hero or a rockstar, I'm just some loser geek guy.
So Diana leaves, and Jim goes to bed, and it's just me and the computer and unwritten rant. But do I really want to write about tonight, especially in this kind of mood? And now that Jim and Di might read it, don't I have to watch what I say?
And really, do I feel comfortable using my personal web site as a place to discuss the pubic hair, or lack there of, well, anybody? Isn't that just totally inappropriate? I can't do that. Oh no. No I can't.
Wait, yes I can. I need to remember the fans.
The millions, of screaming, rabid, intensely loyal fans of mine all over the world that desperately wait for me to post things for them to read. I can't forget the fans. If you forget your fans it's all over. And this is what they want to read! I have to give the people what they want! And they want awkward stories that mention the plucking of pubic hair. The site must go on!
And then I just went to sleep without writing anything. But I got bored today and didn't want to do my homework, so I wrote this, and I spent way too much time on it and didn't get any work done. And it's too long, and I really need an editor. Oh. Dammit.
copyright 2000 adam mathes