February 15, 2005

Happy late V-Day.

I have always liked that Valentine's Day is like a teaser for spring. This was especially so two years ago in Boston, in the middle of a harsh winter, right after a blizzard in fact. My broken toe hadn't healed, so I hobbled (poor me) to the store in one of those stiff medical-type-shoe-dealys to get some flowers for my then-fiancee. The sun came out, and I took the longer walk home along the beach. Walking around for an hour with flowers and a big fat smile on my face was a good harbinger of the spring to come. It was a very nice Valentine's Day that year. I had another nice V-Day yesterday, and Southern Illinois' climate even cooperated, so we're having spring preview here. I was warm yesterday with no jacket and sandals, and I had to wear a light, short-sleeved shirt today. I almost had to put on the AC in the car, since a black hatchback gets pretty hot, but I didn't want to do that in February. Just seems kind of obscene. My wife and I set strict price-limits on Valentine's Day gifts this year, given the poor grad student status we enjoy and what we bought last week. I received a nice copy of Hunting with Hemingway, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, and "Wonderfalls" on DVD. A good booty, I think. What I got for my wife is another matter. What she picked out was in a small box and only one box and without the bright pink wrapping. But making someone happy with a gift is always fun, no matter how small the box is, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Making people happy is ALL that matters:)

Rob said...

Dear Sir,

It has been brought to our attention that questions have arisen regarding your "poor graduate student" status. We are undertaking a complete review, however you may forestall such an action if you can reasonably prove that you fulfill the following criteria:

1) Your primary means of transportation is either a) a semester pass on a municiple or campus-wide transportation system or b) a personal vehicle built in 1995 or earlier. If motorized, said vehicle should exhibit signs of poor maintenance (i.e. ceiling upholsery hangs down, excessive bumber-stickerage, braking system is manual "Flintstones" style).

2)Book purchases are limited to: a) course work (used texts preferable under our "best practices" standard), b) remandered or half-price bins (Under "best-practices" standard, it is preferable to obtain an additional employee discount on top of sale price from even poorer graduate student friend working at bookstore on side).

***Exception: books as gifts are acceptable so long as recieved from friend/relative clueless as to "poor graduate students" tastes and interests. Typically, this covers most "X for Dummies" texts and all of the works of John Grisham. Without exception, it also covers every iteration of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. In fact, "best practices" strongly recommends at least one "Chicken Soup for the Soul" text prominently displayed in the interests of conversational irony.***

Although not specifically required, "best practices" also suggests that conventionally observed holidays (whether national, religious or commercial) be enjoyed only in ironic contexts. Certain unavoidable gatherings of "poor graduate student"'s immediate family are exempted with the caveat that said "poor graduate student" is labeled a "wet blanket" by at least one matrilineal relation.

We sincerely hope that these questions surrounding your status will be resolved quickly. Your assistance in this resolution is much appreciated.

The Poor Graduate Student Association of [the United States of] America

Stasyna said...

From Amazon.com:

Hilary's mother died and left her a mysterious audiocassette of Leicester telling hunting stories at the family home in Miami Beach.
That sounds more like ghost stories, then hunting!

I'm enjoying Jack Hemingway's book. Too many damn hemingway's riding on their relatives back. I mean the book's intentions are good, but I've come to ignore the many tales and biographies from Ernest's brother's uncle's sister's boyfriend.

AC can be put on anyday, ITS YOUR WORLD BOSS!(whatever that means... *shrugs*)

Pragmatik said...

I have to justify being called a poor graduate student (not a name one would self-apply where I come from)?

I could go one by one, if you're serious, and since you know the definition.

Rob said...

No need to "go one by one". When one's best effort to produce a letter at once absurdly detailed, excessively officious, and, finally, patently ridiculous meets with the blogging equivalent of a blank stare, one should cut one's losses and remain silent. Still, part of the name of the fictional organization was in explanatory brackets! That's funny, isn't it? Maybe it's more of a lit crit thing. Or maybe it just isn't funny.

Pragmatik said...

Rob, I think it's a philosophy grad student thing, lol.

Have you heard OUR jokes? They are painful, let alone not funny. When an actual joke (like yours) comes along, we sometimes don't know what to do with it. We laugh, therefore it is...etc.
Anyway, you should make a blog for the PGSA[US]A. That would be insanely funny.

I apologize for my blank stare and possible rudeness and defensiveness. We might have a nice car, but you should see the bank account (or the hundred other things I never spend money on that many grad students do, etc.). It's sad. We need the car to save money and hassle on flights home to Maryland, and I do not want to drive an old car through the mountains where cell-phone blanks are an hour long.

My favorite philosophy joke:
Descartes sits in a cafe' looking at the menu.
The waitor asks, "Sir, are you ready to order?"
Descartes replies, "I think not."
And, poof: he's gone.