Two brief questions to mess with girls

“Why are you so sad? Is it because of your haircut?”

“Do you really think you have the cheekbones for that?”

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Aspie doesn’t know who Sandra Day O’Connor is.

I was just talking yesterday and I bring up Sandra Day O’Connor and he’s like “who’s that?” I thought he was joking so I played it off but then he responded with something that made me suspect that he definitely doesn’t know what she was.

Who the fuck doesn’t know who Sandra Day O’Connor is? He also couldn’t name any Supreme Court justices other than Scalia. I know five year olds who know who she is. He likes to pretend that he’s smart but really he’s retarded.

Tanning

Tanning is unlike euthanasia — the bourgeoisie do not fear tanning. I never really noticed tanning as a legitimate cultural phenomenon until now, my second year in Minnesota when the girls left for spring break alabaster and returned Montalban. “A girl simply must be tanned,” says Coco Chanel as she’s double-teamed by two large germanic SS officers. Mme Chanel is the paragon of a society in which you use “summer” as a verb and yachts are a legitimate mode of transportation. The girls in my class are solidly middle class affairs, tragic reminders that social mobility empowers the rabble.

People used to be mostly peasants, serfs who spent all day outside and toiled in burning sunlight under the yokes of their feudal lords. They were tanned. The upper class got to spend the day indoors in castles and shit and they were pale. Flash forward post industrial revolution, and the proletariat spent all day in factories while the capitalists could afford to escape the misery of industrial development and spent time in the south of Europe (or the tropics, or almost anywhere else) and came back with tans. Rich people are tanned from frequent vacations.

But now we have a middle class that chases their Platonic ideal upper class image around as evinced by the growth of base model luxury cars, McMansions, and cruise ships. They’re not able to take lengthy vacations and the mere fact that they appear tanned is more important than what factors caused the tanning — a tanning booth in St. Paul, or the fiery Caribbean sun down in St. Barts? So it’s important to return to class tanned in Minnesota and show everyone that you’re bourgeois, while I quietly judge you for your profoundly middle class life.

But maybe all of that is too convenient as an explanation and as the camera brings me back into focus, I look into the mirror, I’m the real monster. “Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois,” says Andy Warhol as the camera fades to black.

Chemistry is kind of funny.

Today I was looking for a reagent, and I realized that what I copied down from the grad student “Nipr2” wasn’t nickel with two propyl groups, but nitrogen with two isopropyl groups. Haha, classic mistake. It didn’t make a lot of sense because the compound would have had a nickel-phosphorus bond (is that even a thing?) and two Ni-C bonds. Does nickel even have a +3 oxidation state?

Chemistry is magical.

Also I turned in my application for summer research to the college today. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever written (and I had assistance from my grad student) and my professor gave me tons of feedback which is super helpful because professors generally don’t care that much. You have to find the young and ambitious ones.

Two Minutes Hate for Macklemore

If you dress like Macklemore, people will think you’re retarded and hate you. Like, if you casually wear furs and retarded shit from the reject collection at Goodwill, you’re going to look awful. If you dress like someone’s grandfather, you’re going to look awful.

If you’re not from Northern California and you say hella all the time, you’re worse than Hitler.

Far more social interactions than I needed for one day

One of the grad students in my lab is graduating, or what the equivalent of graduating is for a Master’s degree here. It’s a thesis defense which I attended which is apparently just a formality now. It’s weird to graduate in the middle of a semester, but what I think happens is that chemistry grad students have tons of technical skill and labs are generally happy to keep them on board to continue doing research and paying them whatever. Because you pay grad students peanuts in academia but in industry they get paid an actual salary with benefits so you might as well hang onto them because it’s a net gain. So the grad student got a job I guess so he did his defense quickly and took off. He had his thesis written and the defense is a quick two hour thing, one hour private with just his committee.

Anyway, every week the lab group goes out drinking at this one college bar populated mostly by grad students and older people. Not many undergrads, but I saw a bunch in an overpriced frozen yogurt place. I like froyo, but this place was shitty and overpriced. Anyway, I usually don’t go because I don’t like to drink, but I went today because it was the guy’s last day and he was graduating and stuff. He’s super cool and he’s a really good chemist, so that’s good.

I get to the bar late, I skipped an earlier trip to an earlier bar where the professor bought people drinks and food because I wanted to get home and take care of some stuff (eat brownies and watch The West Wing, then phone in some cheap paragraphs about healthcare discrepancies in low SES populations). So I show up and it’s a big cluster of grad students, from a bunch of different labs, and also friends of the guy who graduated. Anyway, I don’t drink anything but I had an okay time talking to people in the bar who were slightly drunk.

I greeted the postdoc with “hey dude, I looked at those pictures you sent me. That’s a really weird circumcision, did you ever get it fixed?” I got some pretty good laughs. The postdoc invited a lady friend, she was sassy and kept on talking about how great the Monterey Bay Aquarium is. I told her that her opinions about fish were objectively wrong. I was almost hoarse He got kind of drunk and was like, “omg ur so good at lab u just came in and learned a bunch so fast” and I was like, “yeah but my yield is shit” because my yield is really shit. I’m a pessimist. Also I had a lengthy conversation with the undergrad who works in lab and she’s weird and bisexual but she’s reasonably entertaining. A lot of the undergrads in lab are pre-pharm and I try to talk them out of it.

Anyway I get back home and Peasant girl wants to talk, apparently she hates her life and she’s having the existential crisis that everyone has in undergrad, except she’s only getting it now so she is of an inferior intellect. I looked at her facebook page and all of her favorite books are from high school english class. So we talked for like 15 minutes and she’s still unhappy because I’m not someone who tries to cheer people up. That’s not me. I’m a cynical nihilistic asshole and that’s how it goes. She also asked my other roommates about life and stuff so I guess she’s having a hard time, but who cares.