October 2007

10.29.07

Hey party people! David here...

Jen just called to tell me that she's having some problems with her iBook, and is working her way through "Apple loss" grief syndrome. She's currently getting over stage three, "anger" and is well on her way to stage four "bargaining". She has finished comics in the pipeline but needs to get her laptop repaired at the Apple store first. She tells me that she will hopefully be up in running by either tommorrow or Wednesday. I'll post updates as they come in.

Have a happy and safe Samhain. --- David

David
10.27.07

Great, David- now I'm completely freaked out about going to Claire's for my ear piercings (if I do it).

Anyway, I had to meet my advisor this morning to discuss some academic stuff, which went ok. I noticed on his desk though that he had this pamphlet called "Students in Crisis: A Guide for Faculty and Staff." It was shrink wrapped, but I'm assuming that its content includes instructions on how to talk to a suicidal student. NYU's really going nuts about the latest jump.

How am I doing?- Better than a couple days ago when I fell into a mild melancholy. I have a feeling I'm going to be sad later today (I wish I had more reassurance from the faculty here), but for now I'm good.

----

Sometimes I get to hear Edouard argue with his relatives on his cell phone in French, which is really cool for me because I LOVE hearing French people get angry- it just sounds so powerful and graceful at the same time. I also like it when he's playing a video game or trying to fix something and suddenly yells out "MERDE!" or "PUTAIN!" It's just funny. Whenever we go out, sometimes I yell out obscenities that he's taught me or crude statements that I've strung together with my new vocabulary (when we're not in SoHo, where a lot of French people are, he thinks it's funny).

Anyway, Mr. Ed is coming back to LA with me for Thanksgiving, where he'll get to see physical evidence of my Francophilia- like my mini Eiffel Tower and my old retainer that's colored like the French flag.

And if he gets weirded out by them- well... then he's a trou du cul.

But he's not.

So it's all good.

Hey Jen, I didn't mean to scare you or anyone about getting their ears pierced at Claire's. As someone who's had decorative holes put in his body, I was just speaking from a place of personal preference as to technique. Truth be told, the old stud-gun for earrings, when used properly with fastidious after-care, will leave you with a perfectly good set of miniscule holes in your ears. The worst thing I know of that ever came from an earring gun was a bad episode of Full House.

---David

Jen
10.24.07

I think my illness has subsided.I haven't had a coughing fit in the past few days. All is good.

Except for the cyst on my scalp. (It's not as gross as it sounds)

But the doctors say there's nothing to worry about.

Anyway.

Little known fact about me: I do not have my ears pierced. I have no unnatrual holes in my body- period. For the past 2 years I've been debating about whether or not I should get them pierced. On the one hand, I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm one of few women who don't have holes in my earlobes. On the other hand, I really like jewelry, and there have been quite a few times in my life where I was like "Dang, I wish I had my ears pierced. Those earrings are purty!"

I'm not going to get clip ons b/c clip ons are ugly- only rich people can get nice ones.

People say, "What's the big deal? If you don't like them, the holes will close up." That's not the point people- I'll know that my ear lobes are tainted and trying to pose as never-before pierced ears. It'd almost be like those women who get their hyemans reconstructed (fact: some women aren't even born with hyemans and some hyemans don't even break- they stretch). Face it honey, if you've done the deed there's no going back.

Well, that's kinda how I feel about my ears. Also- you can still kind of feel where the holes used to be.

Anyway, my boss is telling me to suck it up- that he would be willing to pay for my ear piercings (and his) at Claire's Accessories (you better believe I'm going to be hugging the Claire bear) as long as we go together. Edouard provides another, more tempting incentive; saying that if I do indeed get my ears pierced, he will buy me the lovely silver mesh earrings that I've stared at with sad, longing eyes for the past 6+ years as some sort of early Christmas gift.

So, anyone have any advice? Should I take these kind offers and just take the plunge?

Would I even look good in earrings?

Oh well, it's nice that I can agonize over something insignificant and unimportant for a change.

Hey Jen, I'm loath to give you advice on this subject because it smacks of the time I gave you directions to Little Tokyo that had you driving through Skid row at 11pm (your mom still holds that one against me) but have you considered going to a authentic tattoo/piercing parlor?

I used to be into the body modification/piercing scene and I can recommend going to a legitimate piercing studio over getting your ears pierced with a traditional earring stud-gun on account of the types of needles that are used. Most reputable piercing shops use sterile hypodermic needles that neatly cut a circular hole in your earlobe/cartilage/tongue/septum/perineum without any substantial tearing. Earring-guns on the other hand use pin-head/blunt-end needles that work by straight-up tearing a hole in your earlobe.

You might want to inquire in person about how Claire's Accessories do their ear-lobe piercing and the types of needles they use. Their website indicates they do pierce cartilage, so I imagine they use hypodermic needles but you never know... Perhaps you and Edouard might adventure into a local tattoo parlor instead of Claire's? If you do, don't forget to ask about proper gauge of needle you need for proper earrings.

Regardless have fun getting your "piercing cherry"... popped and remember to only use Bactine (or whatever the place gives you) to clean out the new holes in your ears as alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are drying agents which will irritate the skin around your new piercings. Oh and just so you know, you will not be able to wear those silver mesh earrings until your earlobes heal completely... around Christmas time.

---David

Jen
10.19.07

Other than seeing Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, I'd have to say that I've been down in the dumps this week. This is partly due to my illness, which I've had for about 2 weeks now (relapsing into terrible stages every 5 days or so and being "so-so" in between). It gets really tiring. If I have a day with a coughing fit I hurt everywhere and by 5 pm I'm too tired to be work efficient.

I'm really worried about my limbo status at school and hope to god things will turn out ok by the end of the semester. Please, please, please.

This morning I woke up more anxious than I have been in a while about how things are going. I find myself finding the future bleak or worrying that I'll have to spend another semester in academic purgatory.

Jen
10.17.07

I had a relapse of my illness on Monday. I've been incredibly fatigued this week.

Sorry to the people I owe e-mails to. I've spent a lot of my days in bed achey or else working on something or other.

On the train or between walking to places I experience waves of anger at different people. It's been really distracting b/c anger isn't an emotion I'm used to feeling (to my parents: irritability, of course). When I talk to my shrink about it he says that maybe I should be angry about this or that- but it doesn't really help when I can't vent to the people with whom I'm angry.

Looking at the brighter side of life: Last night I mustered up the strength to wait at the SoHo Apple Store to see Stephen Colbert do a book reading (of his new book, which is very funny, I Am America (And So Can You!)) and then be interviewed by some local guy I've never heard of.

I didn't give Stephen Colbert enough credit when he left The Daily Show to do his own "news" show, The Colbert Report- so... hats off to you, sir.

Jen
10.10.07

After much napping, I feel a bit better.

I recommend reading the story The Velveteen Rabbit for this storyline if you're not familiar with it. They have lots of copies of it online that you can read for free. I know it's supposed to be a happy story, but it never fails to make me really sad.

Anyway, I have lots to do this week- none of it will be fun in any way.

In the meantime, be a slave to fashion. I hear Monsieur Smokey shirts are all the rave (I should know, I live in New York).

Project Gutenberg link to the Velveteen Rabbit here.

---David

Jen
10.09.07

I'm sick- my nose is red and I keep coughing up gross goo, but it's a good day because I've caught up with all my comics and because ladies can now buy a Monsieur Smokey t-shirt in the store now.

And don't forget that CLV is now on facebook (see post below).

Jen
10.08.07

Hello everyone, David here, and I have a small announcement to make...

C'est La Vie is now on Facebook!

You can now join the C'est La Vie Facebook group (Click Here to Join!) and install the C'est La Vie Facebook app to your profile (Click Here to Install it!)

The Facebook app automatically downloads and displays the latest comic right onto your Facebook profile. For a sneak peek check out the top part of my profile.

I'll leave it to Jen to extol the benefits of joining the C'est La Vie Facebook Group but I need to get a few acknowledgements concerning the C'est La Vie Facebook Application out of the way.

First off, I want to thank my surf-buddy Victor for helping me diagnose an obscure PHP error that had kept me up for 3 nights in a row (Lesson being that PHP5 is strong and robust, while PHP4 is weak and lacks fortitude).

Secondly I want to mention the C'est La Vie Facebook App was built on top of Devin Johnston's wonderfully written NDP-Supporter Facebook Application, of which he was kind enough to open-source. You can download his original source here.

Lastly, I intend on honoring Devin Johnston's original intent in releasing the source to his Facebook application by eventually publically releasing the source code to C'est la Vie's Facebook app as soon as I have the time to adequately comment the code and update the documentation. Sadly, due to my current engagements, I will not be able to do this until after I graduate (expect a release in a couple of months time... early 2008)

As such, right now, I can only release source code to the Facebook App by e-mail request only. Any webcomic creator out there who wants to use the sourcecode to program their own Facebook Application please feel free to email me at TheLimitedCircleIsPureNO(at)SPAMGmail.com, but please remember I offer the sourceode AS-IS, short of hiring me to develop/implement a Facebook App (based on the existing codebase) for their webcomic, I will be unable to support the current codebase until after I graduate.

--- David

PS Dear Jen,

I am no mere tech guy, I am a friggin' Tekkaman!

David
10.05.07

God, the Institute (my department at NYU) is so discouraging. There are definitely good days where you feel wonderful and brilliant, but then there other days where you are completely demoralized. Today is a one of those "other" days.

Basically, I've been lead to feel like I don't belong here and I'm completely incapable of doing MA level work. After going into the toilet of tears (it's the bathroom stall where all the students here go to cry) I called Edouard who told me that I shouldn't be let down by one person's opinion. I know this is true in theory, but I feel like grad school teaches you that everything rests on the opinion of one or two people. I have my advisor's support, which is crucial and more important than the support of the other person, but it's still completely discouraging when someone with such a presence in your field thinks you're incompetent and probably better off doing something else- something that they would find demeaning or beneath them (even if it isn't- like museum administrative work or teaching high school or junior college).

While I was in the toilet of tears I overheard a conversation between two girls:

"So what are you going to do today?"

"I'm taking the day off- I'm going to a symposium. It'll be fun."

"Oh how lucky- you get to sit there and enjoy other people's ideas"

"I know, it's like playtime!"

"Playtime for the academics!"

<fake, pretentious laughter>

Good thing I was near a toilet- Jesus Christ. Since when were symposiums fun, anyway? Last time I checked, they're actually not that great. You know what's fun? Bowling. Ice-skating. Basically ANYTHING other than sitting in a dark room looking at powerpoint lectures trying to look inspired and interested for a full hour. Don't get me wrong- I do enjoy the occaisional academic presentation- but I wouldn't necessarily describe them as "fun" experiences.

Anyway, I hate this feeling. I left UCLA thinking I was a pretty decent art historian (I got highest departmental honors and graduated Phi Beta Kappa), but now I think the professors there were either humoring me or not picky enough; inflating me to the point where I have a false sense of how intelligent I really am- how able I really am to do this.

Oh well, I'll probably get over this feeling in the next few days. Even the most brilliant people (like my friend Luis, who has financial funding for the next 7 years) feel like unappreciated idiots in this hell hole from time to time. No wonder people at this place have complexes.

Jen
10.03.07

Today I saw something morbidly amusing at my department today. The school has a library that's divided into three levels- the second floor is not accessible by the elevator. You have to get it via one of the stairwells. Anyway, I accidently walked one floor too high and got to the door that provides access to the roof. I've been on this landing many times before- like all roof exit doors it had that sign nearby that said something about an emergency alarm going off if anyone opened the door. Well, that sign was replaced with another one that said: "If you're facing a crisis, please call NYU Counseling right away." Then it listed some suicide hotline numbers. I know it's terrible, but upon seeing this, I got the giggles.

Apparently, NYU is well aware that the suicide method of choice- at least at this university- is jumping.

My colleagues and I would often sit in the Great Hall (the lobby of our department- if you watched "Dirty Sexy Money" on ABC last week, you would've seen some clips of it throughout the show) and talk about how we would commit suicide if we had to (this was usually close the last week of classes or right before one of us had to give a big presentation). NONE of us said we would jump off the roof. ALL of us said that we would probably jump off the top of the stairwell so that our bodies would crash into the Louise Bourgeois sculpture that sits below (it's a model of the Duke Mansion, which is where our dept is). Obviously, art historians are completely egotistical and vain- we want dramatic, aesthetically pleasing deaths.

Anyway, I didn't mean to dwell on the suicide thing, but I just saw that sign today and had to talk about it.

Jen
10.02.07

I've had a lot on my mind lately- stuff that I've been wanting to put on this blog, but haven't had the time to write it out. For the sake of brevity, I'll pick out my thoughts one by one and spread them out over the next few days.

First of all, I'm still waiting on the Brooklyn Museum to call me back. I hope they haven't called me yet b/c of my ambiguous status at NYU rather than whatever they've found on google... (which would only be my ties to this comic and to MoCCA btw).

So yet another suicide at NYU. I'm really glad I'm not going to the university counseling anymore. Any remotely depressing thought I'd share would mean me getting "taken away" or talked to by 2+ counselors at one time. You should see the health center- they have those emergency suicide hotline cards everywhere.

Even though I find most NYU undergrads to be completely intolerable (I'm sorry to my NYU readers, but a lot of ya are spoiled brats, yo), part of me sympathizes with how much they have to cope with their first year of college. Not only do they have to get used to a completely different way of learning (at least in terms of not having teachers breathing down your neck and having your schedule dictated by bells), but they have to get used to the hustle and bustle of the city. Also, NYU's weird in that it doesn't have a cohesive campus like my alma mater, UCLA- there doesn't seem to be the same kind of comradery (especially since the dorms aren't centralized in one place).

At least when I came to NYU I already did the whole college thing. I only knew one person (barely) when I came to New York, but at least I was 23 with some life experience rather than just coming out of my lame high school bubble at 18.

Anyway, I'm sorry that the girl who committed suicide felt that life was too unbearable to go on, and I hope none of her friends and family are blaming themselves for it. I'm going to be incredibly arrogant and presume to know what her thoughts might have been- I'm sure she didn't want anyone in her life to feel responsible for her decision.

Jen