Idle Hands are the Idlers Excuse to do NOTHING

Thanksgiving was invented by a very wonderful person who loved [senior college]students.
Forget the Pilgrims (i.e. my entire family, but that’s another blog) and Indians and cornucopias of Puritanical vegetables (fact: I don’t know what that is supposed to mean…)
Ahhh, aren’t they so… awkward?
Thanksgiving was invented by someone, I’m going to go with my granddaddy Speake, who thought “Prithee, Let us create a holiday wherewith our future children’s children will be able to rest whilst preparing for their last two weeks of a semester of university, which they will all attend, regardless of sex or color”.
Right, I made that up again; but still… I would like to believe that my ancestors were that forward thinking… especially since they had escaped English oppression and managed not to die on the Mayflower and were trying to live free of discrimination. Or something.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for telling people what I’m grateful for (i.e. myself and mirrors)
but where I am in life a week-long break from classes, roommates and the desire to shower (which I would never be able to manage, since I can’t go more than 10 hours sans a bath) is a mighty wonderful gift from my ancestors the Pilgrims. Especially since Christmas holidays start in just THREE weeks!
Yes, I had planned to get A LOT done during my week off, but that just didn’t happen. With managing school, work, pre-senior recital stuff, a social life and a crippling Bollywood obsession I was just burnt out. So I literally did not leave the couch. All week. Except to shower. And eat. And go to work. And change Shahrukh Khan DVDs.
But it was all worth it. I feel recharged and ready to take on the world.
And, in an effort to not appear totally ungrateful, here is a list of things I am very thankful for, from this week:
1. My roommates (of which there are 5) were gone for the ENTIRE week. It wasn’t more than an hour from when the last one left and I got my hands on the freezer/fridge. That thing is clean and organized and sparkling. Also, with all of them gone, I was able to keep the apartment clean for a week… not impressive if you know me, but with 5 other people running around all the time it’s hard to keep on top of stuff like that. :) That said, I do love them, darling
roommates.
Before… I know, I know… though it might be good to mention that the ONLY things of MINE in the entire fridge are the two bottles of Martinelli’s, quart of pineapple and orange pop in the upper right corner… which might say more about me than I want it to.

After! I am, it has to be said, an organizational genius and goddess.
Oh, and I like to throw moldy things away, whereas my roommates like to hold onto them…
And, my shelf of stuff is very nicely displayed in this shot. Enjoy it people.
Judge me if you must.

The freezer. I hate it. It’s small, dark and the “before” pic did not survive. Use your imaginations based off of the fridge, it will probably get you close. Again, I don’t claim a bag or box in the freezer.

2. Skype. Not only was I able to sit in on both HUGE family Thanksgivings on the other coast of the US (which was kind of weird) I was also able to participate in the annual family watching of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, which is a must-watch when stuffed to the ears with turkey and corn and potatoes.

I have a very colorful background. I’m just noticing that.
3. Snow. I know you’re all thinking “What?! She hates snow!” True, I dislike it, but for it being the end of November and it’s JUST starting to fall (compared to September, typcially) I was happy to see it… especially since the town was emptied of students and I didn’t have to worry about idiots driving on it…. since you know, Idahoans don’t use road salt or snow plows. EVER.
Don’t bee fooled. All that snow fell in aprox. 15 minutes… and it kept falling.

4. Unlimited and unbiased free-reign of the family room’s big TV and better sound system to watch Bollywood until I couldn’t take it any more (and after a point, I did have to switch to English-language films… but only for a little bit). There was noting better than curling up on
the couch in my CLEAN house to watch a bit of Shahrukh and revel in the general cleanliness.
Typical post-shower, Martinelli’s grasping Bollywood watching pose.

Incase you wanted a panorama of my apartment… it does look lovely, if over decorated (in my opinion)
Ahhh, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, though everyone hates you, I don’t.
I will continue to watch you three times in-a-row, every time I put you in my DVD player.

5. Black Friday. Enough said. I promised myself I wouldn’t spend money, uhh, yeah, epic fail on my part. $250 dollars and a packed car full of bags later (err, exactly 20 minutes later. I’m really fast in a mall) I was singing another tune… namely “I’m in so much trouble now, I need a personal accountant who will chop off my fingers when I spend money”. BUUUUT, I did score a lot of things I really needed and these super hot earrings… which will be useful either when I attend the Oscars or appear as a bride in my Indian wedding (should that ever happen).

"J’allume au feu du jour ma cigarette. Je ne veux pas travailler – je veux fumer."

I have marooned myself in the Library, that hub of student activity that I so rarely frequent. 

Why, you are most surely asking?
Three reasons:
1. I have an hour and a half “layover” between the class I just finished and the singing engagement I have next. As I didn’t want to walk home just to turn around and walk back, I found myself in the Library. 
2. The Library is currently showcasing books on the history and events of the American Civil War, if posting this blog proves to be either quick or boring, I will wander over to the showcase, snatch a couple books and do some blissful, indulgent reading.
3. I decided to do an “exposure*” and use a public Mac of which the white keyboard has been discolored by frequent use of students who don’t wash their hands. Hold on for the ride, I might break out into hives, but so far I’m doing OK. Also, people watching is classic fun…take for instance the VERY pregnant girl who just walked in with a bouquet of red roses and a bunch of 10 balloons that proclaim it’s her birthday. How incredibly awkward. I would hate to carry all that junk around and cart a baby about in my womb at the same time. Still, what’s she going to do? She chose her life.
a. I think red roses are so tacky. Please, future relationship partners, never buy them for me. They are ugly. 
b. Balloons are such a nuisance. They are only good for popping. 
c. She just let go of the balloons and now they have floated to the ceiling. Classy and mature, all at the same time. Not. 
d. Is it wise for someone in her condition to be drinking a 24oz. can of AMP energy drink? I’m under the impression that it is not.

Healthy and responsible, for you AND your fetus!

 


4. Ok, I lied about only having three reasons, don’t act surprised. The library also provides me with ample opportunities to listen in on people’s conversations. Right now balloon girl is shoving a brownie into her mouth and proclaiming “I don’t even like sweets” and then munches away on another bite. Hypocrite. Yeah, fellow students, you might think I am contentedly listening to selections from “Dostana” on the Desi-Love playlist on my iPod, but I am listening in on your lives. Covertly, of course. 

All that junk doesn’t even have anything to do with anything I had planned to discuss in this riveting installment of “the-most-fascinating-paper-that-only-the-TA-will-read” so I’ll just get on with it, shall I?

Today’s topic? 
Smoking.

For veritable other reasons than the ones I will talk about, I don’t smoke.
a. I am a singer, I have to stake my entire adult life on my ability to sing four hour operas. I need to maintain not only lung, but also mouth and throat health. So no thank you.
b. I currently live on top of a mountain. Being a sea-level native it’s hard enough for me to breathe, why complicate things by sucking on smoke?
c. I understand (haha, how could I not know?) that there are a plethora of health risks. Also, it makes your skin look funny, and your hair all wiry, and your teeth all nasty. To someone as incredibly vain as myself, it’s just not worth all the plastic surgery required for that kind of up keep. While I am opposed to aging, I would like to do it gracefully and without hacking up a lung every time I try to climb up porch steps, that’s just so common and trashy. 
d. It’s expensive. While I don’t disagree with spending money, I’d rather not spend it on something that’s going to make me ugly. 

On the opposite side of this, I have moments of longing to be a smoker every, single day. 

I blame the French for this.  They look so elegant, they look so wise, so cynical. They have a grace and skill for it. I can just imagine being euphoric as I sit at a cafe with a ham sandwich, a good book and a pack of cigarettes wiling away an afternoon reading, smoking and people watching.  It sounds on both turns incredibly boring and incredibly enticing all at the same time.

The French Know how to Live, that’s for sure. 
Ahh, I’m so jealous.

I also blame all the old Hollywood movies I watch. Not only do I wish my life was in black and white; but I also desire to wear an evening gown, drown myself in diamonds and promenade on the porch on an elegant evening party with the ultimate accessory: my long, sleek cigarette holder. Nothing says “sophistication” more than that.

Becuase nothing says glamour like emphysema. 

Smoking also looks completely relaxing. Like a satisfied sigh or a deep breath (that wouldn’t be that deep, since your lung would be tar).  My life is pretty stressful, and smokers always look so relaxed whilst smoking. Ah, the jealousy that swells in my breast for their contentment. 

Granted, I know I live in a fantasy world for the majority of the time that I am awake and walking around, so it’s no use to tell me that these are just glamorized situations. I know this. That knowledge, however, does not make smoking any less appealing.  Perhaps it is the preoccupation I have with my hands…they always must be doing something: doodling, texting, Twittering, rolling Tac-It, that smoking has always just been something else to keep my fingers busy. 

Also, if I’m looking for a way to relax, there are other methods to cope with fitfulness. I take a walk, I go for a drive, watch a Bollywood, read a book, listen to Chopin…etc. It goes on. I don’t need something toxic to take the edge off, when I can do it myself.

Whatever it is, I’m too much of a chicken to try it. Besides, I would turn into a leathery, stale smelling, bitter old hag. And that’s not worth the glamour. 

Extras:
-An interesting study on smoking was done in Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” It is a great read (as all of his books are) and highly enlightening! And since you’re just a crap TA why not fill your time with something useful? 
-Title comes from a poem by French (ironic, non?) poet Guillaume Apollinaire [pseudonym]. The poem is entitled “Hotel” and was composed for “melodie” by (one of my favorites) Francis Poulenc.
-I am not clinically diagnosed with OCD, though my sister and mother are… I am however having to control my anxiety while touching this keyboard. It’s like I can feel the skin cells of everyone else who has touched it forming a film on my fingertips and it takes all of my concentration to sit here and type this without letting it overwhelm me or forcing me to go wash my hands.