Rabid Bernie Fans, Hillary Clinton Tries to be Human and Ted Cruz is Creepy

I am the only Bernie fan here, and I’m also right. It’s probably not a coincidence.

 

“The World is on Fire?” – a little girl
“Yes. Your world is on fire.” – Ted Cruz scaring the sh*t out of some little girl

 

Hillary Clinton cannot work the subway.

 

She also can’t deliver any solid jokes. #IsItRacist ? Probably

 

Pick-up Artist Fails (Alternatively titled “All of your ancestors managed to get laid, why can’t you?”)

What it looks like when you’re the D+ student in your pick-up artist class.

 

****(Not safe for work, or conservatives)*****

Awkward pre-porn interviews are offensive to Munna’s sense of broadcasting integrity.

I have $100 and a serious ego problem

Bits and bops from the Chamber Boys podcast last week.

Watch live today at 7pm EST where we’ll be discussing Patrick’s tinder account, Trump, Batman v. Superman and interviewing a maybe pedophile. Because obviously.

Hashtag Pay it Forward – It’s code for I’m a total asshole.

 

Jon Benet Ramsey is Katy Perry?  – She had to be sacrificed so the world could have Katy Perry.

 

The Hollywood Medium – no pressure Tyler, it’s just Snooki

Lions, and Tigers and Webcasts – Oh My!

The very funny Chamber Boys let me hang out with them and wax poetic about all sorts of ridiculousness.  Join us in the fun and the off-the-mark audio.

The Bachelor

 

The News!

 

Eff women and their rights. Because God said.

 

The full mayhem here:

How do you add your Youtube Channel to this thing? Alternately titled: Marketing is Important. Also: Misogyny

I’m totally going to get some tech-savy friend of mine to hook-up my life…tomorrow.  That’s on the list of things I’m definitely going to do this week. Other things on that list include: “writing out to-do list.”

Until then – here’s a bit from a random mic that I felt too excited to post. It’s partially a response to a male comic who got up before me and spent aWHILE ranting about how awful flat chested women are..and how he just haaates having sex with them. Hates it. Oh. And how he wouldn’t have sex with female comics because we aren’t funny.  He threw that in there for good measure.

The sweet thing about being a dude comic is that a lot of time you don’t need to write any real jokes. You can just rest on your big masculine personality and delivery and tell jokes like: “Flat chests are the worst! Am I right?!” :::taps mic::: “Is this thing on?” And you know it’s going to get a laugh because most of the room is full of other dudes who were socialized to laugh at that sorta shit. We all are.  But that’s not a joke. Saying all women comics aren’t funny isn’t a joke. It’s lazy joke writing, and lazy comedy. In addition to being, obviously, just completely misogynist. And listen, be misogynist all ya want, hate flat chests all day, but at least be fucking intelligent and funny about it. But I digress. We fight the good fight with better jokes, not ranting, right? Right.

So just to paint you a picture this comic I was responding to is a huuugge man. Huge. So a joke that occurred to me later, that I did NOT get to say, but will say now is: “This guy doesn’t have sex with female comics…and not just because we won’t have sex with him. He also doesn’t think we have a sense a humor and is worried that when he takes his clothes off we might not be able to take the joke.”

There now. That feels better.

 

Flashback: Grad School for Grown-ups – Random Highlights

3 months post-grad is better than never okay. I don’t need your judgement!

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I live in….a hovel would be extreme….it is not a hovel. It is more of a dump that doubles as a sort of comedic device. It’s full of teenage physics majors who are involved in varied whackiness, random occurrences where things don’t work, and a landlady who walks the line between slumlord and legit business woman. This is an actual excerpt from an actual email from my landlady –   there’s not even a funny comment to make here.  This is just my life and it’s funny in its own right. Emphasis added is mine:

“We are busy with a final solution [whoa!] for the heating system. For now the radiator at the entree [delicious!] has to stay on at all times [note it’s late August at this point]. If we shut it, you don’t have any hot water anymore. A firm needs to come to look for a solution. [I’ll say!]

In the kitchen sometimes the metal appliances seems to be give electrically little shocks. There were already 3 firms who checked this and they could not find anything what could cause this problem. [So basically all the appliances shock you, allegedly, but we have no real evidence of that. The moral of the story is, the shocks will continue.]

The sink in the bathroom seems to be a problem as you say to me. I did not hear about this before, but I will check this. There is a loud squeal. [For three weeks, every time you touched the sink, it would let out a high pitched squeaking noise for the next hour that you could hear through the entire house. I like the idea of a squeal here, though. The anthropomorphic idea of this thing literally screaming in protest of, I imagine, living in this house, it’s perfect].

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Following that email – this sign appeared on the house bulletin board. I love my life.

Picture1

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Fun with ESL:

Got a text from a Dutch guy:  “Come to the bar, we’re all here.”

“Sorry I’m in PJs”

“Wait, where is PJs? We’ll meet you there!~”

***************

Do you smell something burning?

Early one Friday night a number of girls arrive at the front door in search of Nigel. I send them up to his room, but it turns out he’s not there, and they want to wait around in the kitchen. Sure. Whatever. It’s his birthday, they inform me and we’re going to make something for him. Great. Go nuts. “Everything in the kitchen will shock you, although Danielle says there’s no evidence of that, other than, well, the shocks. So just best of luck.”

I head back upstairs and it eventually starts to smell like weed. So it’s the Netherlands and it always smells like weed, but this is extreme. I’m on the tippy top floor, it’s usually just a faintest scent, but today it’s really serious and…then…the fire alarm goes off.  Of course. I run down to the kitchen where Nigel and four screaming girls are beating a large batch of flaming pot brownies positively senseless with towels and oven mitts. The kitchen is a full on hot box.  What on EARTH?!

“They caught fire!” A girl screams at me. Yes. Clearly. I can see that.

“Well put it under the sink!” I yell at no one in particular. “Hello. Now! Run the water.”

“But…but…you’re not supposed to put water on, well I thought,..” Gotta love a pothead trying to puzzle it out after inhaling flaming pot brownie smoke for five straight minutes…

“Oh Christ, it’s not a grease fire! It’s chocolate and weed. Put it under water!”

I run and open the door and windows and smack the smoke alarm repeatedly with a broom until it stops. They all just giggle their brains out.

Whose life is this?

***************************

Working with world’s worst partner on an assignment. We’re meant to be writing a paper, so I’ve written it, and she’s been like, “Yeah I have a party I’m throwing, so I don’t really have time to look at it tonight [ever!].” And when she does look at it she’s got nothing of substance to say: “Should there be a comma there? Oh wait, no sorry, that’s fine. A period is fine.” – Due tomorrow, she’s now meant to do JUST the bibliography since she did nothing else. She sends me what she’s done at midnight  It’s basically this:

  • Author, Author. Is this the title? I think so? Probably Need the Year here. Is it Year first and then the publisher?
  • Author, Author. I couldn’t find the name of the Publisher for this one. Do we even need that
  • What if there isn’t an author? Title. I have no other information.

And that’s followed by a text “Does it need to be a certain format?”

Oh no. Just whatever you feel like. Academia’s really chill about that kinda thing. The 200 page APA book they handed you — merely suggestions. Definitely just wing it.

Going to be a long year.

*********************

In order to fix the heating situation in the “entree” area, someone came and installed a digital thermostat and since I was the only one home, he explained to me how it all worked, and showed me the new little thermostat. It’s not one of those ones that gets built into the wall, it’s just a free standing thermostat that works remotely or whatever. Fine. Basic. Okay.

After a few days it starts to get really unbearably hot in the apartment and I go in search of the little device repeatedly and can’t find it anywhere. Eventually I catch all the flatmates chilling in the kitchen and ask about it. They all look at each other kinda wide-eyed.

Dennis the Flemish Menance: You mean that little clock thing?

Me: Yeah, sure, it’s a thermostat. I guess it could have looked like a clock.

DtFM: Oh dear.

Me: Oh dear?!

They all look at each other and burst out laughing.

DtFM: We dismantled it. We needed the wires. We were going to make a robot.

Me: There’s no way you’re serious.

Other random guy who I don’t think lives here: We thought it was something someone just left behind. So we just figured….

Me:…That you’d immediately disassemble it and turn it into a ROBOT?!

They all sorta shrug at me and roll their eyes, like yes, of course, what else would you do in a situation like that. When in doubt, make robots! I give you, Huaycan, Netherlands.

*****************

Walked into the kitchen to find Nigel eating pasta out of a pan and giggling to himself. I’m like hey?…um did you notice you’re bleeding?

He grabs his neck.  “Oh yeah, rough one. I’m drunk. And a bit high. I’ve been at a squat all day with some people. Hippies live there and there’s like live music. You should totally come some time…”

….Right, sure. A squat. Definitely send me the address. You look at me, and you think, there is a girl who would enjoy some live music with unshowered hippies. Yes!

*************

More awesome group projects

My partner and I are writing a paper on a Google doc that tells you when someone else is also in the document. There are little icons at the top right of the screen that show you who is in the document.. I get a text from my partner that she’s looking it all over RIGHT now and will send me her comments ASAP. RIGHT NOW.

Except I’m in the document. And she is not. And I spend most of the rest of the night in it, and my lonely little alligator icon is the only one that ever appears. This is a serious annoyance for two reasons. 1) Obviously she’s not doing the work she’s lying to me about doing RIGHT NOW. But 2) and more importantly, she’s clearly NEVER ever been on Google docs at all, or she’d KNOW full well that I could tell if she wasn’t actually working on it….and we’ve been working on this thing for two weeks.

Loving life.

PERU REDUX Part 1: How soccer games end in the developing world

The following is my attempt to put together snippets of Peru moments that I noted down at the time and was too lazy to write up. Here goes:

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The kids, another voluntario and I come down the Zone S mountain for a soccer game during gym class. There are obviously no official soccer fields in this desert, but there’s an open space at the bottom of the stairs. Life in Hauycan is full of novelty. No two days are alike and I am almost (the tree on the combi story aside) not surprised anymore. Today there is a huge, fat pig tied to the railing of the stairs, standing near to one of the “goals”.  He’s there.  Just chilling. Fine. Okay we’re going to have to move one of the goals a bit, but the game can proceed. We play for a bit and things are going okay until I start to notice a situation developing near the pig. Some children have started to come out of their houses. A few adults. They’re standing around the pig and I hear him begin to squeal. I can’t see the little guy anymore, but I see one of the adults leaned over and the rope the pig is tied to going crazy. Oh my god they’re gonna kill the pig. Right now. Here. On the soccer field.

The kids realize what’s happening and run over to watch. I don’t look. “Watch, Mees. Watch!” No way. I walk away and listen to what sounds like a very in-expert form of pig slaughter that takes, I’d imagine, just way longer than something like that should. I mean, I’m not exactly a vegetarian, but come on. When it ends one of the little kids come over to me to report that we’ll have to wait for all the pig blood to be soaked up before we can play again. The other voluntario turns to me, “1st world problems, right?” Yep.

**************

Ruta is five years old. She’s the youngest of like 47 (estimation?) from a family in Zone S. She is possibly one of the cutest little girls you’ve ever seen. She’s teeny, tiny, with huge brown eyes and long, thick black hair down to the middle of her back, and when she looks up at you from under those long dark eyelashes and gives you a shy little smile, you want to snatch her up and cuddle her to bits.  And so you do. You pick her up and coo at her. She looks at you and smiles sweetly, leans in, and proceeds to bite your cheek hard enough to draw blood.

As you drop her to the ground out of shock, you feel badly for a second. You think, whoa, this little girl obviously isn’t violent enough to try to bite my face off on purpose. Kids are kids. She didn’t mean it, and you look down for a second like you might apologize for dropping her, but she looks up at you as you hold your cheek in pain, and she laughs this evil little cackle, and the glimmer in her eyes tells you that she knows exactly what she’s doing. That’s right “Ruta” is Spanish, for devil-spawn (loosely translated).

Ruta was one of the first little children I’d come to know in Zone S, and possibly the only child I’ve ever met that I think may be a certifiable, Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Illness status, textbook case of a sociopath. And there is nothing scarier to me, than a teeny, tiny, potential homicidal maniac. She’s like every made-for-TV version of the evil child you could ever imagine. The female, Peruvian version of Macauly Culkin in the “Good Son”.
mac

I’ve seen her bite, punch, kick, slap, throw and throw dirt on everyone and anyone within her reach. Occasionally, provoked. More often not. And sure, kids hurt each other, the get into little tiffs and they push someone down and it happens. You see the way their faces scrunch up in anger, and you get it. They’re kids. They can’t control themselves yet. Anger overtakes them and they burst. But anger isn’t overtaking Ruta. You’re standing there, coloring quietly and she reaches up and pinches the soft underside of your upper arm with all her little might. Or shoves a crayon in the ear of the kid next to her. For no reason. Out of the blue. And you want to toss her off the side of the Zone S cliff when you look down and see her bliss at your pain. But child murder is frowned upon. You have to remind yourself.

She’s too young for classes so she just hangs around when the other kids come to class to torment everyone. As I stand up teaching my 8 year-olds about prepositions, she slams open the door to the classroom and begins a loud jump rope (read: piece of found black cable that she’s found somewhere) game, singing and interrupting. I try to ignore her. She gets louder. I finally look back and make eye-contact with her. Ruta! I try and say sternly.  Nothing. It’s like I’m not there. I go back to trying to ignore her. She gets louder and louder, I look up to say something to her again and she drops the jump rope and looks at me. Then she smiles her homicidal little smile and holds her hands up in the air, making little pinching gestures with her fingers as a sort of threat.  It’s as scary as it sounds.

Gum is a hot commodity Huaycan. If someone’s chewing some, everyone wants a piece, but there aren’t enough pieces to go around, so usually if a child asks for piece of gum, a negotiation takes place whereby they decide how much longer kid X will chew the gum before giving it over to kid Y, who may then later be required to give it back. Lovely. Ruta’s sister asks her for a piece of gum she’s chewing. One more minute, Ruta tells her. She walks away from the table where we are coloring and hides behind the classroom building. I see her drop the gum into the sand. She picks it back up, walks over and hands it to her sister. There you go, she says smiling. You don’t even have to give it back.

At some other point a kid brought his tiny kitten to class and put it down to sleep on his backpack while he worked. I see Ruta standing near the kitten, inspecting it for a bit. It’s sleeping all curled up and cuddled and purring. Ruta leans down and puts her face close to the kitten. It looks like she’s being sweet, nuzzling it. Then she hauls off and smacks the kitten in the face. I scream at her like a crazy person. How can you treat a defenseless animal like that? There will be no hitting of animals ever. Ever. Certainly not in my classroom. She doesn’t flinch. “Why?”, she asks, “does it make you mad, Mees?” I lift her up, holding her out in front of me like she’s a stack of dirty towels and proceed to carry her out of the classroom. She kicks me in the chest. Hard. She laughs. Is it immature of me to hate a child? I put her outside, and in the end have to get one of the older kids to lock the padlock on the OUTSIDE of the door to keep her from coming in. I’ve literally locked us all into the building to keep her out. A Ruta-proof panic room.

******************

A disgruntled woman from the neighborhood bangs on the gate early one morning repeatedly yelling for someone to “Send out the white Miss”.  Four of us walk to the door and open it up to see what she wants. She stops yelling, looking surprised, moving from one face to another. “Which white miss?” I ask her.  She seems unsure. “I don’t know now. You all look alike to me.”

******************

John the Irish kid doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. He’s new here and for a few weeks has been hearing our conversation before we leave the house and return with loads of junk food and candy. One night as we’re headed out, he asks if we can bring something back for him. “Yeah, what do you want?” I ask him.  “I dunno. Whatever. Maybe get me one of those bodegas you’re all always on about.”  Will do. One bodega, coming up.

Republican Burritos and other gems in a one horse town outside West Point military academy

I went to a wedding outside West Point last weekend. It was kind of awesome but the town outside the base is great.

If you’ve never lived in or around a US military base, allow me to assure you that it’s a special experience.  Anyone who has ever lived in one can pretty much identify major (state issued?) characteristics that all military towns must adhere to. The little town of Highland Falls outside West Point does not disappoint. In fact it might be the most dense display of military-town-ness per square inch  in America.  I tried to look up some stats on that, but you’d be (not) surprised to find out that there’s not a science to measuring the military-ness of a town – you just have to feel it.  So now for your viewing pleasure, I give you, a tour through Highland Falls. You decide.

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…and justice for all…burritos?

Rand Paul approves —–They’re a bit like Mexican burritos but without all that nasty socialism that goes straight  to the hips.

American burritos – as undelicious as Chinese apple pie.

There’s nothing I like better than the gratuitous exploitation of core American values in the service of a $1.99 bean burrito. Tastes like freedom.

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No tax…!  Let’s face it – laundry tax is what’s wrong with this country.

Have you ever been to a laundromat where the coin-op machines were advanced enough to tax you on that quarter? If you answered yes, you’re probably some kind of communist that voted for Obama. Go back to Europe.

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World’s least authentic Chinese food as described to me by the Irish man who handed me a menu.

–What should we call this restaurant?  We need a good name. Something Chinese-y.
—   Bing- Bong?
—  Ching-chong?
-– Dong Fong?

Perfect. The natives will never know the difference.

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2013-09-08 18.22.42

Look closely. Becuase that’s a  Boar’s Head logo — always the symbol of quality I am looking for in a sushi restaurant.

Do you want oil and vinegar on that spicy tuna roll?

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Pawn shop, check cashing place, and we buy and sell watches.  I’ll effing bet you do.  if you’re ever near one of these places and wonder if there’s a military base around, let me stop you right there. Yes. Yes there is.

♫ ♫Our country ’tis of thee…..♫♫

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Slow day (week/month/year) at the HighlandFalls police department. Not at all characteristic of a military town but amuses me all the same.

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World’s sweetest public library.  So cute you hardly notice the censored book selection.

50 shades = Satan.

And we don’t carry anything by anyone named Marx – even Groucho – especially him.  He is probably hiding nationalized health care under that mustache.

Foam and Parties

foam

Have you ever been out at a party and thought to yourself : I am enjoying this party, but I wish I was wetter and stickier and felt more of a burning sensation in my eyes and mouth.

If so, then foam parties are for you.

I went to one the other night.  Mostly because it was two feet from where I’d already been out with some people, and everyone was going and I thought, okay, why not?  I’ll try it.

The thing about a foam party is that there’s no reason to have a foam party.  None.  Like no one has ever been to a party and thought, “all that’s missing from this party is some soap.”  That’s not a thing that happens.  Because parties are already fun, there are drinks and music and dancing and people to meet.  Soap doesn’t need to enter into the equation here.

And yet somehow it ended up that someone (read: Frat guys or possibly the makers of Dawn?) decided that  foam and parties should be paired up, and now people wrongly believe that it makes perfect sense.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Burt and Ernie.  Foam and parties.

So I went.  They give you a little ziploc bag for your electronics when you walk it. Oh dear. It’s about 678 degrees inside (which as we all know, has scientifically been proven to be the temperature at which foam is the foamiest) and packed full of people. You can’t even really dance, you can just step a little to the right and then a little to the left and and smile and bounce your head about and pretend it’s dancing.

I overhear a young girl, obviously a professional foam party attender, providing some sage advice to some younger greener party goers:  “One thing is that you should try not to eat it or get it in your eyes,” she tells them condescendingly.  They all nod in solemn acknowledgement of this wisdom. — Wow, yes, thanks. Helpful. So as long as you don’t try to breathe or see, you should be all set.

I turn and head directly to the bar and buy two beers. The only way to be at a party like this is to be drunk at said party, and I am working on it.

I turn back from the bar and THWACK! foam covered beach ball directly in the face. I drop a beer in a belated attempt to defend myself from it. I look at the other beer now filled with soap. Bad start.

I tried to stay away from the foam machine and dance around by the door, hoping only to get my shoes wet. But  clean dry people at a foam party are not to be tolerated and the foam monsters are legally bound to throw soap and soapy beach balls at you.

And the thing is, maybe, MAYBE, if we were like in bikinis in “Ibi-tha” you could MAYbe see how it could be tolerated.  But it’s the Netherlands.  I’m literally in boots.  I am standing here, “dancing” and there is soap in my boots.  I tell myself it is fun. I like wet boots.

Two more solid thwaps in the face with a beach ball.  Someone in my group raises their glass to me from across the bar in a “cheers, isn’t this fun?” sort of gesture.  I raise my beer and try to smile, mascara running down my face, a frizzy foamy afro forming on my head and a cup of soap filled beer.

And I ask you, is this fun?  Are we having FUUUUUUN?! Whoooo!  Spring Break!

Abby in the Dutch jungle. Alternatively titled: Tyler Perry’s Grandma goes to college

Skyline

The truth is that at the end of Peru I really fell off the wagon about being able to write. The house got excessively crowded again and somehow I was back to square one with having to remake friends and not be the girl hiding in her room writing. I have a bunch of notes about the end of my time there that are amusing, and at some point I’ll summarize them into something decent. But for the moment I might as well talk about the present before it too ends up just being a set of scribbled notes that I no longer understand.

So I’m currently living in what will hitherto be referred to as Huaycan, Netherlands. I am starting my masters program in Maastricht a town just over the German border. Very cute and quaint.

My living situation is what prompts the continuation of my “adventure” blog. It’s a different kind of adventure filled not with dangerous ghettos, death defying mountain climbing activities or rabid dogs, but with loads of college kids who blink at me without really seeing when they find out how old I am. :::Blink blink ::: You don’t seem 31 :: Blink blink….Um, thanks?

I arrive to my apartment on day 1. My room is a four floor walk-up, which is fairly painful considering the bathroom and the kitchen are 2 floors and 4 floors away, respectively.

Awesome.

I’ve been drinking a lot less water both because it’s hard to motivate to the first floor to get it, and because the resulting bathroom trips are daunting.

In any event, on day 1, I meet my first roommate – Nigel, the British 19 year old freshman whose parents are here helping him assemble the furniture he bought. “I’m so happy you’re here,” his mother tells me, “you can be the house mother.”

On floor three a boy comes out of his room in just his underwear, mumbles something incoherently and proceeds on by me. Later, I meet him again cooking (still in just underwear) in the kitchen. He informs me that he is NOT a freshman, he’s a second year, and that the rest of four rooms in this apartment will be filled by his other (teenage?) friends shortly. “So, what are YOU doing here?” he asks me. “I’m in grad school. This apartment doesn’t require a year lease so I hopped on it, and now I guess we’re roomates” :::Blink Blink. “You’re in school?” :::Blink.

Dennis is Flemish. But it’s complicated and he stutters over the answer to the simple question, “Where are you from?” and launches into an explanation of his heritage. I stop him. What’s the deal with the kitchen? Do you guys have your own shelves for your food? Is there a cleaning schedule? What about the fridge? I go to open the fridge door

– DON’T!! There was rotting food in there and now it’s full of flies.
– Have you called the landlord? Did you try and clean it?
:::Blinking
-Okay I’ll call her.

Awesome.

I walk back out to the car to get a suitcase and when I come back inside, the fire alarm is blaring, as it seems Dennis the Flemish Menace has burned his noodles. He looks at me, the girl who’s lived in the Netherlands for 5 minutes. “Do you know the number for the fire department?” It’s going to be a long year.

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Day One: Arrive at orientation group. Group mentor asks my name, checks it off on the list, and then to his friend “She’s the one from ’82.” – like 1982 is a weird place you can be from and not a perfectly reasonable time period in which to have been born, thank you very much.

– Yep. Guilty. ’82. That’s me.
– Where are you from?
– The States.
– But where?
– NJ.
– Jersey Shore!!!

It used to be that I’d say NJ and no one had ever heard of it, and I’d have to say it’s by NY to get them to have even a glimmer of recognition. And now, thanks to Euro-MTV, I no longer have to explain where I’m from.

– Have you ever met Paulie D?

Kill me.

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This is the first week of a two week orientation, but it’s not an orientation at all, it’s a giant party. One week of pub crawls, foam parties (ala every travel show you’ve ever watched about “Ibi-tha” during the 90s on E) concerts, boat rides, dinners, club nights, drinking. My liver hurts thinking about it. The school takes over the central square for a concert packed to the brim with people that lasts all night. They shoot t-shirt cannons at people, there are laser light shows, body paint parties, girls dance around on stage, beer is poured over white tank tops, everyone sings along to trashy Euro pop music, and then there is the strange performance by the Dutch version of Weird Al, and the crowd goes wild.

“What about my class schedule? I don’t even know where the library is yet. Are we just going to drink all week? When does the orienting start?” My group just stares at me. Right.

Later I meet someone’s boyfriend and after I say two words he says “You’re the one from NJ!” I look down at myself for signs of Jersey-ness – Is it that obvious?

************

Everyone exchanges phone numbers. A girl in my group shows me the text message she received from our mentor: “I am your orientation Daddy.”

I am worried.

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