Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the thrill of the chase

i thought the best way to introduce today's topic- which, as you will see, is Random Acts of Pain - would be with a quote from none other cosmogirl, a magazine one of roommates receives every month and almost immediately chucks under my bed. the phrase i'm talking about comes from this week's horoscope for aries, and it goes something like this:

'LOVE: You want more time with your cutie but you feel a bit like you're hounding him. To flip this around, become less available. He'll love the Thrill of the Chase!"

first of all, the fact that i have been reading cosmogirl horoscopes should probably give you some idea of the kind of week this is shaping up to be. still, i cannot deny that this phrase disturbed me, particularly because it popped up on almost every page. it turns out that not only do guys love the Thrill of the Chase, but they are in the Hunt for the Big Fish, and furthermore, while they may claim to hate the Hunt, girls actually love the Thrill of the Chase even more. i guess it beats being compared to big fish.

but in all seriousness - what on earth is the Thrill of the Chase? and why is this magazine - seemingly aimed at the collegiate crowd, with its references to paying rent, part-time jobs, and professors - full of quotes like 'you can catch a trout every day, but you're really in the hunt for the big one' and 'see why ignoring his phone calls and flirting with other guys will improve your relationship'?

of course, that's what i get for drowning my sorrows in mental junk food. at some point this week - i think it was last night - i made a conscious decision not to think anymore. i had five midterms scheduled between monday and friday, two within five minutes of each other monday, in addition to job interviews and a new issue of the observer coming out, and the sheer amount of information my brain had to process effectively shut down all other functions. i could not even get out of bed; i just lay there, flat on my back, staring at the ceiling, repeating over and over: 'elements of leadership and power in roman imperial art are easily observed in the varied pillars and columns such as...'

or, for a change of pace:

'elements of early jewish philosophy in medieval courts are easily observed in varied polemical documents and manuscripts such as...'

it became hard to tell, after a certain point, what midterm i was studying for.

but somehow i pulled through that first nightmarish day. it was truly miraculous. made it to both tests on time, finished them both on time, and still managed to stay awake for the classes afterwards. it was about then that, rubbing my eyes for probably the tenth time in five minutes, i realized that the skin under my eyes was bruised.

'huh,' i thought. 'i wonder how that happened.'

and then, being slow, i rubbed my eyes again.

after school that day i went to one of the other dorms to study, figuring it had to be quieter than my dorm, which is home to a significant proportion of the stern population. i spread my books out of the table and promptly conked out for three hours.

by the time i woke up again, it was dark outside, and i was so thoroughly confused i figured it was better to just go home and go to sleep. i had only a vague idea of what time it was, and i couldn't read my watch. so i rubbed my eyes all the way back to my room, threw away my poor abused contacts, and told myself i would study when i woke up in the morning.

now comes the Random Acts of Pain.

i knew something was wrong as soon as i opened my eyes, maybe because it took awhile to get them that way. i don't know if i was blogging the last time this happened, in july of 2005, but i have had eye infections before, so i know what they look like. of course, the last time i had an eye infection, i was at home, where i left, among other things, my glasses.

no way, i thought, looking in the mirror at my dracula eyes. not during midterms. no way.

i went to the nurse, and while i was relieved to find out that i didn't have an eye infection, this was somewhat mitigated by the fact that she still insisted i not wear contacts.

'it is not good,' she said. 'you have pre-infection eyes.'

'preinfection?' i thought. 'is that like hypertension?'

' if it does not clear up by tomorrow we will start you on the antibiotics,' she said. 'just rest your eyes for awhile. try not to read things or look at computer screens.'

'you can't be serious,' i said.

she frowned. 'midterms come and go. you want to keep your sight, don't you?'

'i have four more midterms before thursday.'

'well, wear glasses, and strain your eyes as little as possible.'

'i don't have glasses.'

she laughed. after awhile, when she realized i was serious, she said, 'well, get some.'

i assured her that i would do this, knowing full well that it was extremely unlikely. luckily, when your eyes are bloodshot all the time, no one can tell when you're actually about to cry.

unfortunately, the other side effect of not being able to see is, you know, the tendency to not see.

this proved to be even more difficult than i thought it would be. i have no idea how people got along in the middle ages. i really don't. i was only wandering the public with uncorrected eyesight for about six hours, yet i am not sure that all of my friendships will fully recover from today. there is something about being knocked over that people just don't forgive. i think my most truly damaging crash was the one involving a lead guitarist i played with last year. not kindly disposed towards me to begin with, she was especially unimpressed when i bashed her in the face with a wooden door.

'i'm sorry,' i said in the direction i assumed she might reasonably be standing, 'i'm really, really sorry, i didn't mean it...'

'you slammed me in the face with a door,' she noted coldly.

'i didn't see you, i'm sorry, i feel awful-'

'i'll bet,' she said, and walked away.

the security guard standing by the offending door said to me, 'boy, this school is dangerous when you walk the halls, isn't it?'

however, as i sit here on my bed, ignoring my atom-sized textbook prints in favor of cosmogirl's comforting neon letters the height of lindsay lohan, i wonder if it isn't just the Thrill of the Chase.


Blogger outofAMMO said...

I had a door slammed in my face one. It was very unpleaseant. I don't want to do it again.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

I usually somehow manage to slam doors in people's faces even WHILE wearing glasses. I have no idea how much the knock-out rate would go up if I stopped wearing... but I bet I could set a record!

6:20 PM  
Blogger Kiwi the Geek said...

FWIW: Where I went to school, a student in your situation would go talk to the Dean, and he would require the teachers to let them delay the midterms until they could see again. Or maybe have somebody do the reading & writing for them, in another room. But then you still couldn't study.

Ask some seniors what you do about impossible situations at YU.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What Kiwi said...

Ouch. Refuah Shleimah!

8:51 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Explain to the audience once again how it is that you have 2 pairs of glasses in Milwaukee and none in New York?

7:10 AM  
Blogger Hila said...


I've stopped by your blog a couple of times before, but this time I couldn't resist commenting! So sorry to hear about the whole eye situation, but at the same time I couldn't help laughing so hard my tummy hurts! You have a true gift!

And I know how it feels to go off an leave your glasses--you think your dad is peeved you've got 2 pairs of glasses at home and none at school? Try oh, 4 pairs...Well, to my credit, I LOST one pair to the bottomless abyss that was my car at the time, and another pair were old and my prescription had changed, but yeah, uh, that still leaves two good pairs that I COULD have been wearing at school, but my ninkompoop head went off to college and left them behind...GARRR... Oh well, now I have 2 pairs of glasses so I can "switch it up" (hehehe)


9:47 AM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

I just wear glasses. It makes things so much easier.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

Fudge, this is HILARIOUS. Utterly hilarious. You have effectively made my day.

I need to go to the Bait Midrash and I don't want to..but I have to...GRRRRRR

6:15 AM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Great show last night. Weed was hillarious. Also that guy who called up about the beards.

10:20 AM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...


4:05 PM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

It is cheaper to overnight mail glasses from Milwaukee to NYC than to buy new glasses. (A fact that escaped me when i was at Stern and had pretty much the same thing happen to me.)

10:19 AM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

Does it happen to everybody?

2:52 PM  
Blogger YS said...

"Thrill of Chase"
There is something to it. I think it's mostly about the ego boost you get when you get hook someone above your (self-percived) social standing. Think of it as a form of social-climbing. The other point is that chaseing is a from of choosing thus keeping the power base firmly with the chaser. Power. Mmmmm....

2:57 PM  
Blogger .30cal said...

um.... am i a fish? or a big fish, maybe? whtvr, great show perel. and uh... easy on them eyes, huh?

7:59 PM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

You're a mollusk, 30cal.

4:18 AM  
Blogger .30cal said...

my world is shattered.
great going, pershing.

1:22 PM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...


6:47 AM  

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