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the colours in your head


Conversation between two Alexes

Alex 1: So I met this guy, and thought he was cute, but then it turned out he was kicked out of school for rape.
Alex 2: Didn't you already date one of those?
Alex 1: No, the one you're thinking of got kicked out of school for assault.
Alex 2: Collect 'em all!

I'm really confused as to why a guy from my "math" class, rightly named "The Magic of Numbers" is currently sitting next to me cradling a math book in his lap. And not only is it a math book, but it has STRANGE SCARY SYMBOLS in it. So that's why he was all speaking up and being smart in lecture.

Wouldn't you scorn and despise a class like this if you actually knew your way around a calculator? I'm a Russian Lit major, for heaven't sakes. I don't know what to do with these number-thingies. But this guy is reading a math text recreationally. Gah.

Ahhh... mystery has been revealed. He's taking Math 1b. But then why was he in my class?

Dressing to impress

I just now noticed that I am wearing my tank top not only inside-out, but backwards as well. I'm a genius at this early morning thing.

I also have on a fluffy white sweater that is shedding all over my shirt, my coat and my life. Curses.

Fortunately, though, I have already individuated my next Great Love, sitting a row in front of me in the computer lab. Hair sticking out at insane angles, nasty white New Balance shoes, jeans which are both hideous and completely unflattering, and a bizarre take on argyle with random other diamonds stuck in to add a little flair to the sweater. I must bear his children.

One seat over we have a walking advert for Nike, clad in hot pink and black, and then there is a nice young lady of the oh my god you hoslut put on some CLOTHING, damn you! persuasion. I must confess, I do admire her somewhat. It takes a certain amount of courage to look that trashy. Inch-long fake talons nicely airbrushed and bejewelled, an orange tan, and brittle blond hair are not for the weak. Particularly not if you're asian.

Room Decor

Last night I was reading in the common room and Inna was taking a nap in the bedroom when there came a pounding at the door. I opened it up to find myself face to face with David, the super. "I've got the wardrobe you asked for," he announced, before striding into the room followed slowly by two sweating men hauling the BIGGEST CHUNK OF WOOD MEANT TO CONTAIN CLOTHING EVER MANUFACTURED. "Just hope you haven't changed your mind about it. We had to order it specially." With that, the two men leave the pig in the centre of the room and pant their way out the door.

I rouse Inna, laughing hysterically, and she comes blearily to the door. What follows is a mad rush of furniture rearrangement, realising the slot we had picked for the wardrobe was exactly an inch too small, and moving every single piece of furniture we own, minus the beds. The common room now looks nice, after rearrangement number 5. The bedroom, however, looks like a cramped little hallway. And my chest of drawers is in the common room, which makes morning dressing an interesting affair.

We also still have no mattress on the futon. This will come together some day... ever so slowly. Ack.

There is someone wandering around the building with a mask and snorkel on. My incursions into the Science Centre are proving to be far more amusing than I thought possible.


I'm fed up

I just can't deal with men anymore, or at least a particular variety of them. I can't take wrongly selfrighteous people who feel that they need to lecture me about subjects they know nothing about, beyond seeing how far they can puff out their chests. I'm sick of ex boyfriends who vaguely stalk me through all possible forms of communication. And if one more unattractive little nerd asks me out, thinking that because I actually talk to them in an interested manner, it means I want to rub up against them while naked, I'm going to scream bloody murder and join a convent.

I can't bloody take this anymore. Do I have a sign at my feet saying "Give me your tired, your poor, your pretentious masses"? Honestly! I'm sick of social diatribes. I'm sick of having to convince myself that I'm attracted to a guy. I'm sick of feeling vaguely, unplaceably embarrased. I'm just going to turn around and be unabashedly superficial, and not stop until I've actually dated some guys who I'm actually physicially into. This is ridiculous.


In which I ramble and minorly bash sciency types

An evil ugly fat girl just nudged me off the computer I was previously using (and yes, reading blogs on) in order to use the scanner. So now I am sinking to a whole new low... pissily blogging from the Science Centre.

I ran into my friend Natasha a couple times in the past week, a miracle because she lives offcampus and does sciency things, whereas I live in my little den and lurk in the Barker Centre, and as we were discussing our summer, and the boytalk that naturally comes upwhen two likeminded girls get together, she commented that it was interesting sitting on the steps of Lamont Library. She hadn't gotten much people watching of the non-science centre variety in a while.

I've made my little trek here to drop off my Magic of Numbers homework, and I agree. Firstly there is the scariness of the upper floors. Who ever knew there were upper floors? In the elevator, you're suddenly faced with rows and rows of buttons to places you never knew existed. It borders on the Great Glass Elevator, without all the excitement. The lounge for the Mathematics department (where I wandered in to drop off my homework) is blue. Very blue. I think I would go mad. I like my little department. It's rather endearing in its smallness. I just realised that Thanos, my Greek mathematician ex, has to actually spend time there. He actively chooses to cavort among all that blue. Perhaps that accounts for... many things.

Also, there are more ugly people in here. I'm sorry. There are also some seriously pretty people, but the acne quotient seems to correspond to the amount of time spent hunched over in labs. Not that humanities grad students see any more daylight.

Whatever, I have a weakness for guys who can do math and science. The first thing that actually attracted me to the Greek, back in the day in the Cabot Science Library where we met late at night, was the way he scribbled away at his equations and then crumpled them up. It fit into some sort of romanticised notion. Also, he's cute.

And I'm officially rambling now. There is a really deeply beautiful girl in the computer cubicle on the other side of me. Korean, I think. Funky hairstyle that only Asian hair can really pull off, and cool glasses. Beauty mark on her cheekbone. Also great clothing. Gorgeous. I sometimes wish I could just go up to people and congratulate them on how good they look, without seeming creepy. It was bordering on hilarious in Milan. Beautiful girls swarming around, well-dressed in the way that only Milanese women can be, and I just was so happy to see them all being so happy and pretty.

Anyway, must go do research on acquiring a new computer now. My piece of crap laptop now only stays on for 20 minutes before overheating and dying. Anyone actually know anything about technology? Cheap, good technology?


I should be reading Chekhov

but I just carried a futon frame up four flights of stairs with the aid of a small Turkish man, so I think I deserve a break from all the body/mind exertion thing and so random internet surfing is happening. Huzzah.

Being back is proving to be fun. Last night was a round of parties, which ended up being vaguely weird because I found out that I'm not so hugely into drinking anymore, and bobbing around to hiphop doesn't really do it for me anymore, either. If there's a cute boy there, booty shaking shall be had with reckless abandon, but I feel vaguely ludicrous with a group of girls, and I like actually dancing to a faster beat. Seeing Lori dance in Russia made me realise that taken out of context, American girls tend to look like strippers. Apparently, as we discovered last night, tiny Bulgarian girls wearing little-to-no clothing up on blocks flinging their hair about as they grind two guys and get filmed by yet another guy look even more like strippers. Lovely. I told the Canadian about how I was feeling old and partied out, and he pointed out that a.) he's 30 and therefore I am just a spring chicken, and b.) I'm supposed to be drinking for him while he does his body detox thing, so I suppose I shall have to rally to the cause.

Anya was back in town for a while, so we went out to dessert at Finale's with Inna, Liza, Misha and Ivana. There was much giggling. Olga swanned in at the end of the meal, gorgeous as ever in a wafty white dress and black over the knee flat boots, hair down past her waist. Seeing Anya was truly bizarre... Milan was a perfect capsule period, and then seeing her for just one night, in such a group situation and knowing she was going to leave was weird. Same group of people, but with slightly shifted dynamics. I think it bordered a little on hysteria at times, but it was amazing seeing her.

Anyway, I have just glanced over and seen that it is five, and Cindy Chang from Exeter rolls into town tonight, so I must Chekhov/math/Russian before she gets here. I have to go bowling with her and an unpleasant group of people we knew back in high school. She likes them, and she is lovely, though, so I shall have to endure them. And bowling is always fun.


Back at school and back to the grind tomorrow. It's been interesting thus far, reconnecting with people and seeing where things were left off. I've gotten the cold shoulder from a couple of my lesser acquaintances, but they were people who I don't care for, so no big deal. I'm taking a Queen Victoria bent and deciding that others' opinions of me don't matter. I have enough good people around me that it balances out quite well.

Anyway, off to succumb to the ever-increasing yawns of jet lag. First day of classes starts at 9, with Russian.


Wherein your humble narrator shows herself for the ditz she truly is...

I departed Boston with 7 pairs of shoes, a ludicrous amount, I thought.

I am now returning there with 14 pairs.

Sadly enough, 3 of the original pairs went to The Happy Closet Floor in the Sky, due to excessive exposure to horrid Petersburg Streets. That means I have somehow managed to buy ten new pairs of shoes in 2 and a half short weeks.

This is truly ridiculous. I think I have a problem.

Not to mention all the items of apparel I managed to pick up along the way.

Packing is proving to be a bitch.

PS... if any likeminded female ever finds themself in Milan, Sperri makes the most perfect, classic ballet flats in the world. And the four floor Energie/Miss Sixty/Killah Babe store on Via Torino is great for funky clothing and has amazing shoes.


Fashion fables. Marvellous. Apologies to the boys in my meagre readership.


Fluffy cuteness!

I am holding a naughty little kitten in my lap right now. Her name is Shirley Messalina Aprile, and she is a gray tabby with blue eyes and the smallest nose I have ever seen on a creature. Her adorableness levels verge on unbearable, until she bites you, whereupon she becomes merely amazingly cute.


Over Breakfast

"You need to eat more brewer's yeast."
"It's good for you. Animals like it too. It makes their fur shiny. And-- this should be an extra draw-- it keeps fleas away."
"Because I'm just crawling with fleas and other mites? Good selling point, mom."


I just stumbled upon The Guardian's Bad Sex Award. It's an award given to the worst sex scenes to be found in a book, and excerpts from the winning entry, as well as a long list of runners-up, are posted. Truly genius.

On that theme, my friend Jasmin and I once tried to write a sex scene for a story once, back in ninth grade, rendered interesting by the fact that I had never kissed a boy at that point, and Jasmin, though she was whoring it around by my school's standards, had actually only ever gone to third base. *GASP!* Bear in mind that there were 32 people in my highschool back in Italy. Anyway, Jasmin found a contest online, looking for a sex scene or something, and as we were doing the whole angstier than thou thing, and it was a Sunday, so we couldn't be all cool and go mope around downtown, we decided to write it. Seems it was full of throbbings and such-- cribbed right out of Harlequin. Alas, another profession slipped through my grasp.


Show me show me show me how you do that trick

I hate how people have the power to steal songs from you, to fill them so with their essence that you can't even begin to hear the tiniest thread of the melody without having things pop into your head. In some cases, it turns out alright. Nick Chandler, my first boyfriend back in the tenth grade, is eternally linked to three songs: "Savory" by Jonah's Onelinedrawing, "Sweet Avenue" by Jets to Brazil, and "Everything is Crazy" by Reggie and the Full Effect. Also any screamy music, but those were the days where I had me some bright pink hair, so I was entitled, by Jove, to my punky boyfriend and his love of hardcore.

Regardless, nowadays The Cure, Zepplin, and Ray Charles have been taken over, and for some reason these days I can't take a step without hearing "Friday I'm in Love" blasting out of some shop window. It's rather horrible, how people have the same tastes as me. Can't shake them, and can't avoid the songs.

Ah... hurrah for babbling incoherency at 2 am. I'm off to bed now, I s'pose.

Mother, without looking up from Vogue: Would you switch off my life support?
Alexandra: If you really wanted me to.... but I think I would wait a bit first.
Mother, snippily: Well, I wasn't asking you to do it this instant.
Alexandra: You're healthier than I am. You do fifteen tons of Pilates a day. Why is this coming up?
Mother, clutching chest: I could die! I could die!

In which our author rambles her way into having a social conscience

My hands are trembling today and won't stop. I don't know if this is a result of too little sleep and too much caffeine-- it's my little brother's first day of school, so we all walked to the bus stop together in a jolly bunch at 7 am. Obviously, this necessitated a double espresso, made at one of the best bars in Milan, and I don't think my feeble system could take this rapid reintroduction to the world of caffeine, post a summer of my avoiding all things caffeinated, in a saintly manner (yes, I did drink tea in Russia, but it was mostly green. Russians are on a health kick now.)

Having dropped young goodman Charles off at the bus stop, where he refused to let us kiss him goodbye in case he looked babyish in front of his buddies, my mother and I went off to Sant' Ambrogio, to see the church itself and hear morning mass. The church itself is beautiful, and one of the oldest in Italy. The walls are covered with strange mystical symbols, and it contains the full skeletons of three saints, Ambrogio, Sigismondo and another one whose name I can't recall. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Much as I have issues with Catholicism (try growing up only vaguely religious in a small provincial town in Italy... not the most fun of experiences.) I find Catholic (and Russian Orthodox) churches to be the most beautiful I have seen. Gorgeous. Feeling melancholy, I lit a candle for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina-- and promptly burst into tears. I'm not a crier, ever, but something about this tragedy has just affected me in ways I've never thought possible. I've always been rather blasé about the news, with even the biggest disasters provoking only a minor "oh... that sucks, I guess" reaction, but this is horrible. I'm outraged at what the people affected have to go through, and I feel so helpless. I've donated money, of course, but I wish I could go down there and actually do something tangible with my hands to help. I can't even begin to express my horror at what happened. As I've said, this made me pray for the first time in God only knows how many years-- not an actual church-based praying, but just a fervent hope and plea that the suffering would end soon and things would get better.

Ah... incoherent with confusion, rage and a weird sort of despair.


Words that should never be used in combination, ever.







All plucked from my latest IM conversation with Paul. I'll never look at the Sahara in quite the same way.

Functional Family Fun

My ten year old brother just walked into the room and asked, "Mom, can you abuse me with a candle?"

Makes you wonder a little....


Found out yesterday that I am a sixteenth Cuban... Hurrah! Another box to check off under Racial Heritage... go mutts of the universe.

... my super-WASPy grandmother spins even faster in her grave.

Of arranged marriages and creepy dreams

I just clicked on a link for Shaadi.com (out of curiousity... not out of any desire to marry myself off. I know that I'm twenty and by all rights by the standards of certain eras and cultures should already be saddled with 5 children, but I prefer to keep my spoiled twentyfirst century outlook), which advertises itself as "The World's Best Matrimonial Website", and it was interesting looking at all the people looking specifically for spouses. A new approach to arranged marriage? I actually have a lot of friends whose parents were arranged, and it actually seems to tend to work out pretty well, with the exception of my friend N's parents, who apparently don't ever speak except to threaten divorce. I guess that's what happens in non-arranged marriages, though, so can't pass judgement. I think there also might be a different kind of mindset going in, more of a straightup "well, I'm with this person and specifically have to build a family, so let's start from here and see where it goes", rather than whatever it is that motivates marriages nowadays. One interesting / annoying fact about the website-- you could look for either "Bride" or "Male", which gave it sort of a breeding farm feel. The other criteria? Age or religion. Once you've managed to hook yourself a 18-24 year old Hindi Bride, there's apparently nothing else to it.

Fuzzy told me his parents were arranged, and he apparently twice allowed them to set him up with girls, with the understanding that this was for marriage purposes. Family allegiances had been studied, and hands had been rubbed together in anticipation. Blind dates with far more pressure. The first girl apparently was the most hideous thing he had ever seen, albeit nice, and the second one was ok, but then he went off to grad school.

Speaking of Fuzzy... had a bizarre dream last night wherein I went to see him in Canada. He apparently was laid up with something, so his brother, who I never have seen before in my life, came to pick me up at the airport. Drove drove drove through the countryside and was ushered in to him, somehow without seeing the house. I stepped into the room, he dove at me and swept me up, but somehow also managed to snip off all the ends of my fingernails in the process. We sat and talked. Turns out that he was recovering from a sex-change operation, though he looked as hairy and masculine as ever. Apparently the changes weren't in the "physical realm of his being". At that point, I looked down at my newly stubby fingernails, and realised he had cut them off to protect himself from me. I woke myself up at this point. There's probably not that much involved in it, but since I'm reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces right now, my instinct is to analyse and see what I can garner from it. Where it fits into "the monomyth", etc. I don't know. It bizarrely really freaked me out, and I want to write him and tell him about it, but I can't.

Alternatively, it could just be a result of eating cream puffs before bedtime.

Milan is quite a glorious city and yesterday was quite a glorious day. After a night of tea-past-midnight - induced insomnia, Anya and I crawled out of our beds and went about exploring the city. First stop was the church that houses The Last Supper, but as you ordinarily have to call for tickets and timeslots to go see it a couple days in advance, we had little hope of getting in. Fortunately, however, the ticket booth was manned by a good ol' Italian guy, and after taking a look at our eager young (female) faces, he managed to fit us in right then. I love Italy.
The painting itself was absolutely absolutely phenomenal. Leonardo continually manages to blow me away whenever I have the fortune of seeing one of his works. What an utterly amazing artist. I would highly recommend going to see it if you ever find yourself in this city.
Culture aside, there was walking, and then shopping, and then more walking, punctuated by various cappuccinos and espressos at whatever charming bars we happened to pass. Underwear was bought, though sadly the La Perla bra to which I have given my heart was 117 euros, and so will have to wait until I find me a rich lover who wants to outfit me in beautiful beautiful beautiful lingerie. We also went to Alexander McQueen, among other places, where I wanted to weep at the beauty of the cuts of the clothing. Perhaps said rich lover could also be tailor lover. Ach. Beautiful clothing. Waaaah.