Thursday, June 30, 2005

What's an integer?

About this same time last year, I thought that I would begin studying for the GRE. I was 30 1/2 and in a space of fear. Doubt. 30. And a 1/2. What did I hope to be doing in 5 years? Still working retail and auditioning for nonpaying theatre? Living in my 525 sq. ft. studio apartment? Hey, I know that in some worlds, 525 square feet is a lot, and compared to the other studios that I've lived in, it is palatial. I love it, feel privileged to get to live in such luxury. I have a kitchen and dining area that are separate from the main room, even a little hallway and an enormous closet! I could fit a bed in there and have a one bedroom, except that it's a bit claustrophobic what with no windows and my dresser, and the clothes that have to hang and the jackets and coats and shoes and sewing machine and general mayhem that is my closet due to my inability to just put away the clothes, shoes, jackets and coats when I'm done with them. It's a big one. But I do not want to be living in this ginormous studio apartment when I am 35 years old. Nor do I want to count on living with someone, the person that I am in love with, because maybe I like living by myself. And besides, that is not the point. In order to know that I am self-sufficient, I must know that I can make my own way in the world, if need be. Sure, it's a bonus to have someone to share all of that responsibility with--the rent, the bills, the cleaning and perhaps even the cooking--but I am not in a place in my life where I feel like I can or even want to count on that. (Are new paragraphs not allowed in blogger land? I keep trying to use the "enter" key and nothing happens. I get no "enter" movement. Just the cursor blinking at me from the same place where it last stopped. Uninterested in my desires for it to move to the next line. Am I missing something? Or perhaps I have a malfunctioning keyboard...terrific.) I digress, the GRE. I began studying for the GRE without truly knowing what I would do once I took it. I bought a prep book, checked out more GRE-prep books from the library and even downloaded a free program from some GRE study site that lets you take several practice tests on line. And since the entire test is now done on computers, it sounded like it would be good to do a few of those. I graduated from college in 1996. The last math class that I took was in 1994, I'm pretty sure. Math 114. Previously, the easiest way to get your math credit was to take this other math class, some kind of sadistic algebra class whose sole purpose was to make all of those liberal arts and arts majors have to retake it a couple of times to get a passing grade. I was petrified of this class. In my freshman year of college I can count at least 5 friends who had to retake that class. And maybe 5 isn't a lot, except that I wouldn't say that I knew that many people, so on was enough to put the fear of never graduating in me. And then, a miracle occurred. MAT 114, an overview of math; a dollop of statistics, a dash of averages and a sprinkling of algebra. phew! Thank goodness I'd put off taking that full on nothing but algebra class. I continue to digress. The point of this babble babbling is that in order to take the GRE one must perform what are termed "basic math skills". (I don't really know if that's what they're called. That's what I infer from the description of said skills.) I cannot perform a single, not ONE of those so called skills. I recall nothing. I bought a book that is supposed to help people who are going to take the SAT or GRE review all of those components that go into the basic math that you're tested on. I got through ratios, decimal points and fractions. Twice. Last year. These books haven't moved since Christmas. I actually dust these books--they get dusty--and I can't even look at them when I do. I look out the window instead, because out there is away from that pile of recognition of my own guilt at not even really giving the whole "teach myself math all over again" thing a good college try. Obviously this GRE thing has been on my mind, lately, or I wouldn't be writing about it. So, yes. Okay. I want to give it another go.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I'll Have a Double Tall JAM

That's "just add milk" to all you uninitiated out there--which included me, until around 11 am this morning. What does that mean? And why did he say it with such authority, as if everyone knows what a double tall jam is? A double tall anything implies that you are starting with a 12 oz. cup, two shots of espresso and filling it up with...water, making an americano; steamed milk, making it a latte; or what? milk and extra foam which is kind of a cappucino, I guess. But how does "just add milk" differ from a latte? And not "just add milk", but "JAM". The poor barista looked at the guy with an expression of "I want to help you and I have no idea what you're talking about so I'll just look at you with what I hope is not pity", while mouthing silently the word "jam" and--I assumed as I watched without looking like I was watching--hoping he didn't mean for her to put a scoop of the fresh raspberry preserves into his coffee. I have spent a good part of this lovely summer day thinking about what that could possibly mean, about what that drink could taste like or even look like. And even though I saw the man leave the pastry shop, sipping from a white paper cup, seemingly satisfied with its contents, it is a bit of a mystery to me. Unless--and I admit this is just coming to me as I think this out via the keyboard--it means adding cold milk, unsteamed, unanything except straight from the plastic gallon jug taken out of the cold refrigerator milk poured over hot shots of espresso, making the entire drink tepid and flat? yum? Not a dollop of cream over the scalding hot coffee, but a full-what? 8 ounces of cold milk? Crazy, daddy-o, ker-aaaaaaa-zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Later that same day...

I still can't quite believe that I've started this thing. I keep reading other blogs that are recommened by my friend--whose blog inspired me to stop the day dreamin' and start the blog doin'. These other bloggers, the ones I've been reading, they write so well. Smart. Clever. ENTERTAINING!!!! The pressure is great and so far this is just for me. To be read by only me. And yet, one day...maybe for others?

Actually, I feel a bit silly.

After wrestling with the million ideas that popped into my head regarding the "my favorite ___" section of the profile, I think I've had enough blogging for my first day. Or, at least, for this moment in time on my first day. There may be more later, once I've calmed my fears of exposing all of my unoriginal thoughts regarding most everything.