What do you bet all the other Internet images beat this one up every day before lunch?
At my middle school, and, hey, maybe yours too, they gave out little pink slips as punishments for minor infractions. If you were late getting to a class, you got a ‘tardy’ slip. If you showed up to class without essential school supplies, you’d get an ‘unprepared.’
Back then I prided myself on never having received a tardy; my perfect record for ‘unprepareds’ was spoiled late in 8th grade by a bitchy Spanish teacher who got tired of my habit of coming to class without a pencil. It was traumatizing.
I’m sharing this completely uninteresting tidbit for two reasons:
1) So that you can how pathetic I used to be, and thus appreciate all the progress I’ve made in spite of still being scared of spiders and unable to drink milk.
2) You might be able to understand why my blogs have been showing up late more often these past few weeks.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, when I started this blog as a freshman it was consistency, not necessarily quality, that was going to be my gimmick: The blog would always be updated on time, but whether it was any good or not had a lot to do with how long I’d spent working on it before the deadline came down on me and I shoved it, wet and trembling, out onto the Internet to be seen by all.
Like me in middle school, you could count on the blog showing up on time, but how much effort and preparation had gone into making it good was anyone’s guess. Unlike me in middle school, my early blogs were not fat.
Keeping up with the somewhat strict schedule I’d set for myself was pretty easy my freshman year of college, when I’d made the curious decision to not drink alcohol. As a freshman, virtually every worthwhile social outlet ends with at least one person throwing up Cuervo in a garbage can, which ensured that I spent a lot of time cooling my heels in the dorms looking for something to do while everybody else was out giving or receiving herpes.
With that much time on my hands on a nightly basis, writing 2000 words a week was hardly difficult. I looked down my nose at other people whose blogs faltered and fell apart when they couldn’t stick to a realistic update schedule. Later I would figure out that these people weren’t update their blogs because they were busy meeting people, having fun and occasionally disgusting life experiences while I sat in my tomblike dorm and tried to think up jokes about the contraception posters in my hall.
So you could say that I started out being so meticulous about my update schedule because I had nothing better to do. Only you’d be wrong, because I did have something better to do – engage in alcohol fueled hijinx at the one time in life when it’s socially acceptable to do so.
I did not make out with strangers. I did not run anywhere while naked and/or blindfolded. I did not release any barnyard animals in the dean’s office. My biggest mistake as a freshman was not going out and making more mistakes, and I regret my lack of regrets wholeheartedly.
Now I’m a senior – a bitter, jaded, alcohol consuming senior, taking a 100 level geology class in hopes of coasting into a bachelor’s degree. Three months from now I’m going to be writing my Dad a check for The Mystery Wagon and driving it to Los Angeles, filled with all of my worldly possessions while listening to a road trip playlist that has ‘November Rain’ on it like five times.
It’ll be a new city, a new lifestyle, and a crop of new friends that I’ll have to painstakingly cultivate, just like I did in college. So please do forgive me if I want to take a little more time to appreciate my current city, lifestyle, and friends before they become the old ones – even if I’m appreciating them on the nights when I should be writing dick jokes and run-on sentences for the Internet.
Last night, for example, I only had about an hour of uninterrupted blog writing time before my friend’s 21st birthday, which virtually all of my other friends were going to be at. I was racing against the clock, trying to throw together some shitty update about working in the checkout room, when I just threw up my hands, left the blog where it was, and went off and had an amazing time at some of Eugene’s more colorful bars.*
*On a related note, the downtown hobos are way more feisty than the campus hobos.
What I’m realizing is that I’d rather be tardy than unprepared. I’ve reached a point where life gets in the way of my blog more and more often, and when that happens I’d rather have something good and late to show for it, rather than something terrible I threw together to fulfill an arbitrary deadline I set for myself when I was 18.
My shift into college started with a lot of lonely nights sitting in my dorm, listening to blasting hip hop music and good natured belching from all around and wistfully remembering my safe and familiar high school days.
I’ve got every reason to assume Los Angeles will be the same way at first, and on those nights that I’m barricaded in my tenement apartment listening to drug dealers having cockfights in the hallway, I don’t want to look back on my last three months of college and remember myself walking out of parties saying, “Sorry folks – I’ve got to go write a blog.”
Truman Capps will leave the definition of ‘cockfights’ up to you.