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Dirt and music and talking and boys

I don't get to post very often these days, because I'm not supposed to be on the internet at work; so I write more infrequently, but they seem to be really LONG for the most part. So I'm actually goint to lj-cut this baby (!), even though I always talk about how much I hate it when other people do it. But I guess I'm trying to be respectful, or something. Suck it.

Last week, as aforementioned, I went up to Rutgers for a seminar. It was called Soils and Site Evaluation for Septic Disposal Systems. Doesn't that sound exciting? I actually sort of thought that it was. It was all about soil. I took Soils Mechanics in school (which isn't nearly the same thing, that's for building structures on top of, not septic systems within) and a Soils Lab (which was mostly not really the same thing), but this was more useful, and it sort of felt nice to be treated like a grown-up, and to be taught things that are relevant and practical. And applied, not just theoretical stuff that we should know, but don't really need to to complete a project. Though there was some of that, too.

And on the second day, we went out in the afternoon to do test pits. See, when you have a site, and you want to put in a septic system (or a stormwater management basin, but that's another seminar altogether), you do test pits. A test pit is a big ol' hole in the ground, made by a back-hoe. You go in and look at the soil and identify it and yadda yadda yadda this belongs in its_what_i_do, not here, so I'll shut up. But the end result is that my hands got dirty, absolutely filthy, and I loved it. I squeezed and rubbed and mushed a LOT of wet soil, let me tell you.

And then afterwards, I shot the shit for twenty or so minutes with one of the only cute boys my age in the class. He's a little too clean-cut for me, and lives an hour away, but still, it's nice to talk to a cute boy for a while, 'specially a geologist. And I was thinking he was older than me, but he JUST graduated! OMG! A younger man!

And I must talk about Cook a little. Cook College is one of the colleges of Rutgers University. Its campus is south of the College Ave. Campus. Cook has . . . agriculture-type studies. And animal sciences, and food science, and environmental stuff. Anything that's GREEN, you probably have to go to Cook for the degree. Lot of hippies. It's an amazing campus, though. There are cows and horses and goats and sheep. And pigs? I don't remember any pigs, but you'd think they'd have pigs, right? And fields, one of the test test pits was dug in a corn field. And there were flies all over, because they had recently put some manure down. I think that's great. Not the manure, but the goats and such. Goats! Tons of goats! Small animal studies. Something like that. And cows, tons of cows! I mean there honestly are a LOT of these animals, it's not like a petting zoo or something. And Cook and Douglass campuses (Douglass is the stupid women's college, they sort of share a campus, they're squished together) has a MOUNTED PATROL as part of Campus Police. Mounted patrol! And students get to ride! That's hot.

But of course the fun part of this seminar was hanging out at Dave and Mambo's apartment. They're both graduated, but they still live in an apartment a few minutes from campus. I came up Tuesday night at around ten. And Steve, Mambo's roommate from my senior/their junior year, came all the way down from Manhattan to see me! Just for a night! That's what they told me, anyway! Well, and to see Michelle too, but she didn't end up coming because I got there so late and she didn't feel like waiting around. It was great! Me and Steve and Mambo and Dave and Sarah hung out and drank wine or beer and played Uno and talked. Oh and Kaiser or William or whoever, Dave and Mambo's Kenyan roommate from last year. We were up til after three in the morning, just shootin' the shit. I never get to see these kids, so . . . you know. I wish I could think of something clever we talked about, but I can't. I'm sure we said many, many clever things, though.

On Wednesday after class I came back to the apartment and played video games with Mambo, and then Ill came home from work and we went to TGIFridays, also with Sarah and her friend/roommate/something Matt. At first I was like "aw man, who's THIS kid?" but then at dinner I decided I liked him and was disappointed when he didn't hang out with us for the rest of the night. He complimented me on my impression of Henry, as he was after I returned home from five days in Seattle. I love a man who compliments me. Flattery will get you everywhere, as they say.

We hit the hay early that night, 'round midnight. I was very tiode.

Then I went to class again, and then I came back again. I was only going to stay for a little while, but then I realized that I should wait out rush hour, because rush hour out of New Brunswick is suicide-inducing. Ill was at work, so it was just me and Mambo, listening to music and drinking Jim Beam and Pepsi, and gin and tonic, respectively. The great thing about Ill and Mambo's place is that they're too poor to afford cable. Which means a) no teevee, and b) no internet, really. I mean, not fast enough for it to be all that fun. So there are video games, but that's it, and man. That's sort of a really great thing. It's too easy to not use your brain in those activities, and if you don't have the tv/intornet options, all there is are reading, and talking. Reading and talking! So good for your brain! Mambo and I listened to music and talked and had drinks. I was going to leave at seven, and then at eight, and then at nine, and then I couldn't really leave, due to Jim Beam. We kept adding songs to the playlist, "you have to hear this." We talked about music, I haven't talked about music for such a long period of time in ages. I got tipsy and philosophical; Mambo is always tipsy and philosophical. One of the amazing things about Mambo is that he has such an incredibly open mind. Some people I know (cough, cough) are somewhat elitist about music, which is fine, but I don't think Mambo is at all, and that's more fun. Especially when you're feeling tipsy and philosophical. He let me say twelve million different things about Elvis Costello. And I gave him my copy of When I Was Cruel.

We talked about love, and sex. We talked about Halloween. We talked about physics, a little. We talked about illscientist and etherealruffian and ziggurat. We talked about my senior year, when Mambo and I dated for a while; mosty I did the reminiscing, I have a great memory and I'm a sentimental fool to boot. I would say "remember when . . . " and he would smile at the computer and nod. And we talked about music. And what we'd both been doing the past year or two. And my visit to Seattle. And I ate my leftover steak on a steeck.

At 10:30 Jofus called, and Mambo talked to him for a while. He was drunk too I think, states and states away. They talked about Physics. I've always been a bit envious of that, of having a brother so close to your age, and certainly a little fascinated at having a twin; what must that be like? I think my brother and I would be pretty close friends, if we didn't live six hours away from each other. And we're five years apart. As it stands, we're friends, real-live friends, but we don't hang out often enough to . . . I dunno, to just hang out. I wonder what that must be like. I like how much Mambo and Jofus care about each other, I like how they just seem like . . . brothers. They're very lucky.

Eventually Dave came home from work, around oneish, and not long after, Mambo decided that he had had enough to drink and so was going off to bed. I stood in the kitchen with Ill while he ate his Chef Boyardee. We talked about the Halloween party a little bit. Hey, did you know that Ill is my oldest friend? He is. Henky used to be, but I haven't spoken to her since March, or seen her since Christmas, and she didn't write back when I sent her some email on her birthday last month. So . . . I guess she and I are not as close as we once were, which bumps Dave right up to the top spot. I was sixteen when we met, and I liked him and he liked me but we were both shy so didn't find out til after camp was over, and we lived too far away and nothing ever really came of it and I'm so, so thankful for that, because I'm glad I can love him and depend on him and talk to him without having to worry about anything else getting all mixed in. And you know how people say "oh he's like a brother to me"? Well that sounds cheesy and stupid and is the sort of thing that would make me roll my eyes, but the other day etherealruffian wrote something about having sex with him (Dave, not my brother) and I kind of went "eek!" so I guess maybe that really is true. Eek.

So we talked in the kitchen and I got a little sad, even, because I was tipsy and philosophical and I don't get to see him enough. We lived an hour away and hardly ever visited, and then we went to the SAME FUCKING COLLEGE for two years and NEVER hung out. And then my last year at Rutgers I was over at his house all the time because of Mambo, but he had this stupid girlfriend who stole him every weekend and he was never home and we NEVER HUNG OUT and we should make more of an effort, more. I'm glad that I still love him as much, though, even if our in-person visits are sporadic. And we get to hang out on LiveJournal, which helps some.

Oh and also, he was wearing a sweater vest over an untucked button-up shirt and looked HOLY COW ADORABLE seriously. It should be illegal to look that adorable, especially when you work at a bookstore. I imagine him walking through the stacks, ladies swooning and dropping to the ground behind him, as he obliviously checks inventory and ISBNs and whatever else he does (and don't tell me you were working the music section that day, Ill, it's not as romantic).

Then Dave left to go to Sarah's house to have sex, and I slept over again. I feel very, very lucky to be on such good terms with Mambo, to be able to hang out with him and talk about stuff that's not personal, and some stuff that is. I'm much much better at opening up to boys. (I'm also better at making out with them, fyi.) I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that I'm on friendly terms with pretty much every guy I've dated since high school. Some I talk to more than others, and there are one or two with whom I've fallen out of touch, and it's been really up and really down with some, but for the time being . . . good terms. I'm so lucky! See, the thing is -- I mean I'll sleep with just about anybody, I'm easy like that, but when it comes to actually seeing somebody, and having to spend time with them, I'm very very picky. I'm not willing to put up with much. Which means that any guy I deign to let woo me, is one spectacular human being. So after I've dated these guys, it would be such a crime to not be able to see them again, you know? To not be able to hang out and get drunk and be funny and talk about physics. I'm very grateful.

But then, the other day when I was thinking about this, after I was congratulating myself at being so mature as to be able to hang out with my various past-whatevers, I rememembered that Dave is my oldest friend, and I didn't meet him until I was sixteen. I have had fallings-out/breakdowns in communication with all the important women in my life, practically (oh man I'd best be careful with Michelle). Why is that? I'm hoping that it's just because I'm terrible at keeping in touch, and girls seem to care a LOT more about that than boys do. I fear that it's because . . . that it's because I like to think, somewhere in my head, that these boys still like me. But hey, you know what, that's okay too, because I still like them. I mean nobody CHANGED, no one became a different person, or turned out to be a different person from whom I thought; things just don't work out sometimes. All times, in my case. You know? Why would I suddenly NOT like them? That doesn't make any sense. I still adore these guys, I still think of them with affection. There's nothing wrong with that, I don't think. Though I have a hard time envisioning a (future) boyfriend who would put up with that . . . Wow, sidetracked again. So why do I neglect my girls? Am I too careless? Too judgemental? Am I more honest with people I'm not fooling around with? Or less honest? I have a sneaking suspicion that this inability to hold on to my girl friends is indicitive of a personality flaw of mine, but I'm not sure what it is, yet. Let me know if you think you have it.

I got up at six Thursday morning and blearily drove an hour and a half or so home; I only ran into traffic at the end. And I forgot to go visit the grease trucks! How stupid of me. And I left my Jim Beam there; I'd tell Ill and Mambo that they can drink it if they want, but I'd wager it's already gone . . . Man, what a great few days, though. It was like a weekend, right in the middle of the week. Fan fucking tastic.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2002 09:30 am (UTC)
humping dave? pretty gross now that i'm thinking about it.
ummm... actually we DON'T DO IT. ever.
sad isn't it?

which is why i have a surrogate boyfriend, mambo although we don't hump either. which is even sadder...
Nov. 15th, 2002 06:55 am (UTC)
Man, I totally didn't say "gross", that would have been "ew". I said "eek", which means more . . . taboo. Out of the realm of possiblity. That sort of thing.
Oct. 24th, 2002 02:59 pm (UTC)
I REALLY thought about this!
OK, try not to laugh when I say this, but do you think that maybe people who have a problem with identifing with a gender make gender out to be a bigger deal than it is? I mean, I really try (and I fail most of the time) to treat gender like it it's only a small factor in a person, like I do a nationality/race. Like, it effects the way people do things/percieve things, but it's only one factor in a million others. (I really haven't had more "fallings-out/breakdowns in communication" with my female friends than my male ones. I have had major issues with 2 friends, and one was a dude, the other a chick, and they were both neurotic nuts.)

Do you think maybe you or your friends (without thinking or conciously) treat women differently than men in a way that effects the friendship? Or expect different behavior from men or women? Back in the day, I used to give my male friends WAY more slack when they were late, careless, etc. I used to take it way more personally when girlfriends did anything like that. I figured "guys just don't know". That's not true. Guys DO know. I just don't understand how people are fine with men to running their Government, buisnesses and just about everything else, and believe somewhere in their hearts that they are less capable of remembering a birthday, being on time, cleaning up after themselves, etc. They aren't children! Likewise, not every woman is really open and wants to be super emotional and whatnot with her friends. I think women tend to get much more personal a lot sooner, but not every woman is comfortable with that. Many women expect it, and get turned off when women aren't as emotive. So what I'm saying is maybe you or your friends are guilty of such double standards. I still do it, and I REALLY try hard not too.

Man, I have SO MUCH MORE to say about this, but it's 6pm and I have to go home. MAN.
Nov. 15th, 2002 07:13 am (UTC)
Re: I REALLY thought about this!
See, it's interesting that you made this a gender issue, whereas I was more looking at it from a relationship standpoint: I've made out with all these guys, been romantically involved, "intimate" in some sense of the word. But I don't make out with my girl friends. But maybe it is a gender thing? If it is, I was thinking of something which the_role_model ended up saying below . . . see, I'm really really bad at keeping touch. But with exes, it's not that big a deal. One, because they're boys, and IN GENERAL, guys are more lax and more forgiving about keeping in touch. Girls, on the other hand -- not all, of course, but a lot of my old friends -- get real upset when they don't hear from you for months. *I* don't, *I* don't care at all. I don't see the point of trying to keep someone up to date on all the happenings in my life if I only see them a few times a year. (Not talking about bestbest friends here, of course, just good friends). Why not just catch up when you get together? What's the big deal? But people get SO upset and offended if they don't hear from you. It's too much work. I suppose it's work I should be willing to put in, but because I have no expectations of the OTHER person doing it, it's hard for me to do it, y'know? So what I'm saying is, *I'm* the guy in your little scenario, *I'm* the one who's not being responsible.

Additionally, like I said, I thought of it as more of a relationship thing, rather than a gender thing. If you're "friends", you have this friendship to maintain. But if you're "exes", then ... I think the relationship is by nature a little bit tense, so you're more eager and earnest (I am, anyway), more likely to go out of your way to be friendly and make plans, happier to spend time, less likely to have expecations of the other person. You know? I mean here I am congratulating myself for being able to hang out with my exes, but I'm not congratulating myself for still having FRIENDS. Also, though I am on "good terms" with these guys, I'm not really going to them to ask for advice or anything. If I happen to get together with them and get a few drinks in me I may start talking, but they're not people that I *turn* to or *look* to for advice.

I'm writing this up quickly at work so it may not make much sense, but there you go.
Oct. 24th, 2002 05:07 pm (UTC)
I still adore these guys, I still think of them with affection. There's nothing wrong with that, I don't think. Though I have a hard time envisioning a (future) boyfriend who would put up with that . . .

You have a hard time imagining meeting a boy who would be comfortable with your close friendships with other boys?

Nov. 15th, 2002 06:55 am (UTC)
Well, I said ex-boyfriends, which are different from just "boys". So, yes, I do have a hard time imagining that.
Oct. 24th, 2002 08:27 pm (UTC)
1. Poverty is romantic! In like a Romance Lit 241 sense, not a Barry White sense.

2. I know I said many clever things. I always do! Especially when I'm drunk and I'm all "mumblemumble YELL mumble."

3. Mambo is always tipsy and philosophical. What a great way to put it.

4. FOR THE RECORD I DON'T EAT VERY MUCH CHEF BOYARDEE. even if I ate two cans of it that particular day.

5. Hey! Wow, oldest friend. That's an honor. I think Jambo is my oldest friend, actually, tied with Jofus. I think. Except for Brett, but I almost never talk to him, so hmm. Never Mind.

6. Pointlessly numbered replies that aren't very witty: annoying, right?

7. Hey! Sex with me isn't that gross.

8. For me, at least.

9. Gender: is too complicated for me. It gives me a headache, unless I get all zen about it. Kinda like everything.

10. I miss you too, kiddo! You should get yourself invited to more Rutgers classes. I was (and we were) very glad to have you.
Oct. 24th, 2002 11:41 pm (UTC)
YO! HI! I found like 8 versions of Bizarre Love Triangle, but I can't find the one that was on the tape you made me way back in the "day." It's making me angry. Do you remember which one it was? I don't think it was the original cd one.... I don't know I'm talking nonsense. I could have been Jonny Quest.....
Nov. 15th, 2002 06:56 am (UTC)
The one on your mix-tape was probably from their greatest-hits cd, damned if I know the title, but I think it has a white cover (not that I ever owned it). Which is probably the same as the original album version. You're crazy.
Nov. 15th, 2002 11:52 am (UTC)
First of all that comment is practically a month old. Secondly, OK I'll look for it, and yeah I know the cover/cd's you're talking about. Thirdly, if you still want to get me something for my long past birthday, you can get me the Sportsnight DVD that just came out (which is like the price of a game) cause I'll have to end up buying it eventually.
Nov. 15th, 2002 12:01 pm (UTC)
First of all, I went through some old entries today to which I never got around to responding. Secondly, um, nothing. Thricely, sounds good to me! Forthrightly, are you home? When will you be home? How was everything? Why do I never ever call you on the phone? More importantly, why do YOU never call ME? I'M DOGSITTING THIS WEEKEND AND I'M VERY EXCITED. YOU SHOULD COME DOWN AND WATCH ME DOGSIT.
Oct. 28th, 2002 04:11 pm (UTC)
I have the same problem with my female friends. Here's my theory:

Friendships with men are easier to maintain than friendships with women. Usually, men don't want to talk about EMOTIONAL things. When you disclose emotions there's a lot of trust you're putting into the friend who is listening. Once you have trust you have a commitment; you have a RELATIONSHIP. On top of that, women expect a certain level of devotion if they're commited to someone. They expect the friend to want to see them with a certain amount of frequency. If they don't hear from the friend, they think the friend doesn't care enough to call. Or some shit like that. Guys don't get that complicated (well, some of them do). For instance, sometimes my friend Jason with call me 2 or 3 times before I call him back. When I do call him we make plans to go hang out. He's not pissed that he had to call 3 times before I returned his call. There's no infringement on any "commitment."

I'm just making this stuff up as I go along. I think it's because men just don't take friendships as seriously as women do. So it's okay to treat friendships casually; as opposed to a RELATIONSHIP that needs to be maintained.
Nov. 15th, 2002 07:18 am (UTC)
On top of that, women expect a certain level of devotion if they're commited to someone. They expect the friend to want to see them with a certain amount of frequency. If they don't hear from the friend, they think the friend doesn't care enough to call.

I KNOW! Drives me crazy! I legitimately am a pretty busy person, even though it may seem like I sit around and smoke a lot of pot . . . but I don't have a lot of free time just sitting around, to make long phone calls, and craft long emails, recapping the past MONTH of my life. So I don't, and they fucking hate that. Which is frustrating, becuase, sure, I'm not calling them, but dude, I wouldn't give two shits if they didn't call me, either, until we wanted to actually hang out or something. Unfortunately, just because you're real laid back about a relationship, doesn't mean the other person is going to be laid back about it, or going to accept that kind of behavior from you.

I elaborate a little in a comment to prettykate above.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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