Friday, December 26, 2014

it's very beautiful over there

Something happened since the last time I wrote here and, specifically, since I googled Lance Bass’ birthday: I found out he published an autobiography back in 2008. After spending 2 whole minutes determining if I should buy or not, I realized there was no one around to impress, so of course I bought it. It took me less than a week to finish it. Not that I need a defense (I regret absolutely nothing) but, even if you have been a teen sensation, at 29 there’s not enough material to write a long memoir.

I’m not going to review the book, it really doesn’t fit with where I’m going… Also, I couldn’t come up with witty remarks. I tried. But I am going to say that I enjoyed reading it. I can’t find a better way to describe it but as a nostalgia trip. Like when you listen to that song you used to love, and you remember that place, that person, the laughs, the tears or the color of the sky, with that touch of magic that just old half-forgotten memories achieve.

There was a time in my life I was embarrassed of saying I used to be an NSYNC fan, when I was a Green Day fan. It would be hard to be taken seriously when talking about the authenticity of the music when just a few years ago my room was full of NSYNC memorabilia. At that time I failed to notice there was no real difference between both situations and I was just falling into somebody else’s marketing plan.

Today I’m not ashamed of saying I was a huge fan of either band. When I loved Green Day “life sucked”, “love sucked”, everything sucked. I used to say the word “suck” a lot, and not in the way I use it nowadays.  I was an angry teenager and I needed angry music. With NSYNC I was na├»ve, but happy. I was still unpopular and awkward, but I forgot about all that when I got home and I made out with one of my NSYNC posters while listening to their albums.

My best friend at the time was another NSYNC fan. I don’t know if we got into it at the same time, or I told her this was the only way for us to stay friends. We both had our favorite. I loved Lance and she loved JC, and we would both spend hours talking about how dreamy our boyfriends were. Now you think I’m using the “boyfriend” term as one of my silly jokes. But I was so invested in making it work I am absolutely convinced it counts as a relationship, regardless of whether Lance was a aware of this or not… I love how I just wrote that sentence as if there was a chance Lance Bass knew he was in a relationship with me. I swear I didn’t think about it.

Anyway, I was telling you about this friend. One of our favorite games was to act out different scenarios. Sometimes we were pop stars, sometimes no one was; there could be break ups, other girls or other guys, but the ending was always the same: happy and with Lance/JC by our side. It was funny because our stories ran at the same time; she could be at one side of the room pretending to have an argument with the wall, while I was at the other side making sweet love to the air (I’m not kidding, but I do admit we weren’t very knowledgeable in that area, so we just flopped around like a dying fish and call it sex).

As if it wasn’t enough to marry Lance in my games, I had to put it down on writing, which gives me the right to say: I wrote fan-fics. My other hobbies were: to practice their choreography, be updated on their lives, maintaining my own NSYNC website (you know, the sparkly yahoo ones?), playing their board game… Oh, the board game, of course!

The board game consisted on getting backstage (“to give them a blowjob” Boyfriend said when I explained him; “OF COURSE I WOULD BLOW JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, MY LOVE, I MEAN, WOULDN’T YOU?” I said calmly). You’d have to answer NSYNC trivia, and for every right answer you’d get closer to the stage. But you’d have to reach the security guy which held your passwords, so it could take you a couple of tries. It doesn’t matter, it was awesome, believe me. I was very good at it too, ask my brothers. The poor guys didn’t know shit about NSYNC, so they had to make it up along the way. Then they would say it was unfair because I already knew all of the answers. But you wouldn’t call it unfair if someone who studied for the exam gets a better grade than you, WOULD YOU?

While writing this I felt the need various times of toning it down, or to excuse my behavior some way, probably because being a fangirl isn’t something admirable or even respectable. One could argue that most terms with the word “girl” in them have some kind of negative connotation, but that’s a subject for another day.  People like making fun of girls who cry because they didn’t get tickets for that One Direction concert, or when they cry because they did get them and they are so happy… and I think those who make fun of it are kinda sad in a way.

I have attended my brother’s wedding; I have graduated high-school; I have gotten into the college I wanted, twice; I have made out with that really cute guy I had a crush on; I have been in love; I have had a good life so far. And I can say with confidence: I have never felt again that selfless passion for anything else. Understand this: I’m not comparing the amount of “love” here, I’m talking about its form. There’s no other way to explain it but saying it’s like how you’re never in love twice quite in the same way. As we get older, we learn that showing too much excitement for something is very uncool. Nothing is ever that great, so we better keep our shit together.

It’s true I got nothing I could put on my CV out of watching all those music videos and learning five random guys’ favorite colors. But life is two seconds long, and I get to say that once I was very uncool and very happy at the same time. And, if I ever have kids, no matter if they are girls or boys, I hope they go through their own fangirl phase. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

a mathematical breakthrough

I’ve been studying architecture for almost 7 years, and I still have couple of years to go. It’s taking me so long, mainly, because I changed countries: there was confusing paperwork and I found myself starting the whole thing all over again. It didn’t seem like a bad idea at 20, but nothing ever does at that age.

But I can’t blame it all on that. Let’s see… How should I put it? “Passing all my classes is not my forte”. It shouldn’t surprise me, really, due to my very selective memory. I do this really cool trick in which someone asks me about electricity and I answer with a very honest “why the fuck should I know?” and I got a 9 on a very hard ‘Electricity Installations’ final I took last July. Hell, I don’t even remember the names of most of the people I go to class with. What can I say? I’m a small person with a small head, I won’t waste brain space with nonsense. I can, however (and I’m not proud… but not embarrassed enough to avoid writing it here) sing along every NSync song known to men and I remember perfectly Lance Bass’ birthday*, member from said boy band who I swore to marry one day (I was 11 and he wasn’t openly gay).

I have always consider myself a good student. I’m fairly driven, responsible, organized, and other cool adjectives. I don’t remember my parents really pressuring me, at least not with punishments nor rewards, I guess they just told me that’s how I should be… And there’s that other thing. My primary school had this system in which, if you failed to hand 3 homework in a year, you’d get a detention; they made it sound really scary, believe me. When I was in second or third grade, I didn’t hand my homework twice, can’t remember what it was or why I didn’t hand them. I do remember the third one, it was a sheet of paper with math problems which I DID DO, GODDAMMIT! I just forgot it at home. I don’t know what detention was in your school, but in mine it consisted on going to school in the afternoon and spending an hour in the library doing some extra work, in my case a new sheet of math problems. It turned out it wasn’t as bad as they painted it, the worst part was the humiliation behind it.  Anyway, I was waiting for my mom to pick me up and I saw a big frog. I think I had never seen a frog in my life, I don’t know, but I was very excited. So I told this boy who I didn’t know, but there was no one else around to share such a big discovery with “Hey! Look at that frog!” He proceeded to call his friends and kill it. To this day I still think about that frog and how if I hadn’t gone to detention that day it might still be alive. Or not. I don’t think frogs live that long. But damn, he wouldn’t have died because I didn’t hand my math homework. That day I learned that if I don’t do my work someone might die.

Then I started Architecture, and it wasn’t enough to be “fairly” anything. I had to really set my mind to it, to the point I started wondering if I would sell one of my brothers in exchange for a pass: they are both around the same age and male, do I really NEED two of them? But then I realized people would be too focused on the fact that I sold a sibling, and they wouldn’t congratulate me for passing that really tough class. I have become someone annoyingly organized, responsible and highly dependent on timetables, which look roughly like this:

0900 . work on constructive detail 
1125 . pee
1126 . cry about not knowing how to resolve that constructive detail
1203 . solve hyperstatic structure
1357 . text boyfriend about being able to solve the hyperstatic structure.
14.00 pee again
1401 . cook pasta. Eat pasta. Tell my roommate a funny joke about penises
1516 . try that constructive detail again
1640 . give up
1641 . masturbate

Guess what? It’s time for another little story. This one happened around 5 years after the first one. I failed a physics partial and I cried. I cried really hard, in school, around my classmates. No frog died this time, but I think I was experiencing one of my first panic attacks.

Whatever I was feeling, I’m sure, wasn’t all that different to what I felt when, yesterday, I found out I failed an “evaluable practice” (which is just a collegy way of saying homework). But it’s not just a silly pointless homework (I mean, it is, but it’s not… you know?), it’s from a class I have already failed, and I’m not doing much better on it this second time, no matter how much effort I’m putting into it, and how much help I’ve been seeking. So, even if it barely carries any weight on my final grade, I can’t help but think that there must be something badly wired inside my brain if, after all that work, I can’t manage to get a freaking pass. By the way, no, I didn't cry about it.... At least not in front of my classmates. 

I grew up seeing my name on the Wall of Honor and with kids calling me a nerd. I kept saying it didn’t mean anything, other than that I studied for a larger amount of time. It’s not until now, at 24, that I realize how much of my personality I based on that image. For some people a bad grade it’s just that, a bad grade; for me, a bad grade it’s kind of a “you’re not who you think you are”… And I think that’s funny, in a very tragic way.

*Lance’s birthday is the 4th of May, if you were wondering. I do admit I had to google it, just in case, so I wouldn’t make a fool of myself… A bigger fool, I mean.