Friday, January 25, 2013


Hello, blog! No worries, you haven't been forgotten.  Just neglected.

 (But I was only ignoring you because I was having such a good time without you.)

I've just been taking a couple of weeks to settle in to California. I bet you want to hear all about my roadtrip and graduation, eh?


Well then, let's see how long I can make a post before I get kicked off of the internet!  The last week of finals was really surreal. I didn't have any work and so I spent a lot of time sitting around the empty apartment. By this time I'd given away or gotten rid of anything that wasn't coming with me, minus the furniture, which stayed with my little condo. That was the nicest place I've ever lived and I was sorry to say good-bye to it. Finals went by without much of a hitch. The only thing I really studied was plant physiology, since I know plants are one of my weak points when it comes to biology. I puked out the last essay I would ever write for Penn State. (It was on the ethics and controversies of cloning dogs, but I hardly remember writing it. I probably spent more time on the in-text citations than actually creating words.) To study for my An Sci 305 test, which was about birds, I watched “The Three Caballeros,” which is a Disney movie from 1944 that features I don't know what the fuck. That shit was more confusing than Fantasia. I learned nothing about birds except that Mexican roosters shoot the ground a lot when they're excited and that donkeys with wings are exempted from donkey races, which wasn't even on the test.

 (I sure do miss the old educational television of the 1940s.)

In any case, I must have done better than I thought, because my final semester GPA was 3.67, meaning I graduated with a 3.02. I'm not really proud of being a B student since I know I'm smarter than that, but considering that I worked overnights while doing 18-credit semesters packed with 400-level science courses, it's nothing to sneeze at, either.

As far as I'm concerned, a victory.

Graduation day came too quickly and I wasn't at all ready. It really did feel surreal. My best friends were all there: Dan, Tom, Andrew and Jack, Lily, Kevin, Mick, Brandon Hamilton and Nate Davis.

 Dan had fun, and it was awful.

 The ceremony itself was pretty horrific. In light of the Penn State scandal and the fact that it was a fall graduation, they apparently found a homeless person to give the commencement speech. Grandma Simpson stood up there for what was well over an hour trying to wing a decent speech, which largely amounted to how proud she was (of herself) and how great of an achievement this was (for her to be giving the speech).

 (The trick to giving a good commencement speech is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em! Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.  Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those biiiiig yellow ones.)  (Let the record show that this is, hands-down, my favourite Simpsons quote of all time, and that I promise to stop quoting Simpsons on my blog henceforth.)

By the end, everyone banded together and decided she was done and began clapping to shut her up, but much like my drunken family members at reunions who decide to sing karaoke, she refused to be done and plowed on for a little longer just to make sure our spirits were fully and properly broken. (For the record, my favourite part of her speech was when she was talking to each college personally and when she came to communications had nothing to say about why their degree mattered and instead said how she liked napping. ACTUAL THING THAT HAPPENED.)

 Then they called our names and we trudged to the stage and shook some hands and were given a fake diploma. They took our pictures (I gave a thumbs-up). I was mortified that when they called my name a large section of the crowd cheered, especially after I'd yelled at the crowd to show some respect and decorum during the ceremony. Afterwards I found my friends, and bumped into my parents, who were nice enough. Mom was crying a little. We chatted for nearly a half-hour before I went off to Otto's and my friends and I spent the rest of the night drinking, me still wearing my robe and just not giving a gosh darn.

The next day I packed up what remained of my things into my car, a beat-up 2000 model Ford Focus covered in both dents and spray paint. It looks like a drug dealer's car, if that drug dealer had gotten the car hooked on the drugs and made it his bitch. Also, to move my gazelle head, Andrew took the liberty of wrapping it up in a wad of tarp and duct tamp and foam until it looked like I had some sort of monstrous pinata-tumour growing out of the top of my car. At dinner the previous day, Tom had advised me that “a ten, eight, or even a six-year-old car might get you from point A to point B, but it won't get you across the country.” I mentioned mine was 12 years old, to which he replied, “Oh. Well, really, it's more about the mileage.” To which I replied that mine had about 134K on it. To which he shut up.

So I hugged all my friends good-bye, loaded my dogs and rabbit into the car, and set off for the first leg of my journey in Pittsburgh to visit my Aunt Marianne for Christmas. I arrived late on Christmas Eve and stayed the night, and spent most of the next time recounting my graduation to cousins and other family friends. I left Christmas day to pick up Jack, who was coming with me and who was visiting his mother, also in Pittsburgh. We set out at about 9 pm, and that's where the real adventure began! Tune in next post for one of my plot-driven and therefore much less humourous blog posts in the coming week, where I will bore you with pictures of my roadtrip!

(Next Week: How I Nearly Died in Nebraska, and Why Jack Isn't Allowed to Drive Anymore) (Those two topics are not nearly as related as you might think.)

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