Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back from the 'burgh

Pittsburgh was also broken while I was there; apparently the nice weather that SF was having followed me across the country, hidden in the jetstream of my airplane, to smack me down with humidity and general hotness when I stepped out of the Pittsburgh airport.  I didn't wear a coat ONCE in Pittsburgh, and actually found myself sweating helplessly on more than one occasion and looking like a refugee from an unfortunate office-supply-manager boating accident, as I wandered Squirrel Hill in fitted pinstriped pants and fitted pinstriped shirt, both rolled up, and hiking sandals.  Sweating.

It's not fair that there are four ice cream places in one block in Squirrel Hill.  Especially now that I'm trying to eat less sugar.  But they make up for it by being prohibitively expensive, and serving ice cream in vast, sweetened vats, mixed with repulsive add-ins.  My friend Colleen had a great idea for her next birthday party; she's going to have a Disgusting Ice Cream Add-ons Party, where everyone goes to Coldstone Creamery and tries to create the grossest combination they can think of.  Think licorice ice cream with gummy bears and pineapple.  Pretty much anything with gummy bears is likely to be bad.

"And then," she said merrily while outlining this plan, "we'll invite some people who are supertasters, and torture them."  She is evil.

My meetings went well, although I forgot all my notes in the ballroom of the hotel. I had a mysterious 1am call from a fellow student, who woke both me and my roommate up.  I'd gotten in at midnight from a night of polite carousing around the South Side (I say polite because I don't drink, although we were also pretty polite because we were, on the whole, Midwesterners), and had fallen solidly asleep, when a shattering ring broke through my earplugs.  My roommate grunted and flung a pillow over her head, and I answered the phone.

After stating his name, the gentleman asked if I would care to come to his room.  He had music.  And dark chocolate.  And he was all alone.  "I think I'll stay here," I said, my head absolutely hazy.  

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"Yep," I said cheerily, and went immediately back to sleep, so that I wasn't sure if I'd dreamed the whole thing, until he basically avoided me all the next day.  It was interesting, and made me reflect on something one of the returning scholars had said, about how everyone just assumed she was promiscuous because she was American.

"That's all well and good," I pointed out to the lovely local who gave me a ride into town from the airport Marriott, "but what if you really ARE promiscuous?"  Do you have an obligation to curb your natural inclinations to avoid stereotyping your whole nation?  Must you keep it on the downlow?  Is this discrimination against the slutty?


erin said...

I just had chocolate-covered gummy bears. (Not in Pittsburgh, thank god.) The first one was pretty gross, but then they really grew on me.

Laura said...

"Is this discrimination against the slutty?" Bah!!!! Ha! I love your blog Claire.