6. He wasn’t the kind of guy that people wanted to give a nickname.
5. Rainy days are better than sunny days. On rainy days one feels free, and not bound to do anything. Wasting away the entire day, sitting by the window sipping coffee is completely acceptable. Sunny days are terrible. One feels the burden of going outside and enjoying the nice weather. After all, it’s a waste to spend such a day inside, is it not?
Our Weird Neighbor update: On May 25, 2002, the day before Cornell’s Commencement Day, Our Weird Neighbor (O.W.N.) stopped by our apartment to borrow some coffee…relatively normal, except she wanted us to brew it for her on the spot. My entire family was, at the time, sitting in our living room (they were in town for graduation). Even stranger is the fact that we actually did it for her. What were we going to do? Deprive her? Rose took care of the matter and for about fifteen minutes engaged in possibly the most awkward conversation of her life.

Today, I was coming home after a busy morning of doing nothing, and I heard O.W.N. singing (at the top of her lungs and very off key, which is her true style), “DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA; THE TRUTH IS I NEVER LEFT YOU…”

There was no music accompanying her—the a cappella melody carried through the hallway like nails on a chalkboard. I just want to point out that Rose and I experience and observe mildly strange behavior from this person on a daily basis. I only feel inclined to report that which I find particularly interesting or disturbing. Thank you, this concludes the update.

4. The paper felt wonderful when he wrote—just a little bit of friction against the gliding flow of liquid ink. It had the same effect on him as drinking cold beer late in the afternoon, or washing his face in the morning.

The women of Cornell Real Estate:

Photo by Kooyoung Kim.

Commencement Day, May 26, 2002.

3. The café attracted types who enjoyed being seen—mildly obnoxious folks who made the most of the small stage created by the space between the bar and the entrance. Nearly everyone who came to the café subconsciously understood this, and were happy to play their part. There were a few others present—observers—intentionally lingering to enjoy the little performances.
It’s starting to look like a good party when:

a. The number of wine bottles opened and consumed is greater than the number of guests;
b. People stop caring whose glass they’re drinking from;
c. Every—yes, every—dish in your home’s inventory has been used;
d. Your bedroom vanity is being used as a bar;
e. You have “smoking” and “non-smoking” sections in the apartment;
f. Tears are shed when it’s time to go home.

Last night, we had a good party.

2. Driving away she thought, “The future of America can be seen in Las Vegas.”
1. The young man who worked behind the counter in the café was loud and liked attention. The older woman whom he worked alongside emulated him in a sad sort of way—she wanted to be like him but didn’t have the character to pull it off.

So, I have graduated. Well, actually it was a week ago—it’s taking me a while to reenter the reality that most of the non-academic world enjoys. I’m not quite there yet, and for the past week I’ve had trouble doing anything that requires the slightest amount of brainpower. Video games, movies, staring out the window—these are all very enjoyable things for me right now. I expect the reentry process to take about two months, but I should be mostly functional by early next week. Thank you for your concern.

In Cornell University’s commencement speech, Pres. Hunter Rawlings (who bears a striking resemblance to Spalding Gray) quoted a graduation charge given in the previous century by none other than Bob Hope: “I have some advice for all of you who are now planning to enter the real world—don’t.”

Separated at birth?

So that was a good start. The next thing I did was to pull out of the job offer I had accepted a week earlier, thus removing most of the sense of future security I had established up to that point. It was one of those situations where it was a big company and the money was good, but you just couldn’t wake up and feel good about what you did every day. Yes, during the first week after graduation things were shaping up to be quite exciting already.

Now, I move forward, revisiting the job contacts I’ve been neglecting since I accepted that offer. Shucks, now I have to work again—I didn’t want to do that. On top of it, hindsight reassures me of what I’ve been afraid to admit to myself for the past academic year: I picked the worst time in a long time to graduate with a master’s degree. Last year at this time, the economy was still fairly healthy in most parts of the country. By this time next year, the recovery will likely be well-established. Right now, though, graduates need to work their asses off—especially to achieve the combination of desirable position and salary levels we all think we deserve. Well, I suppose I should think of the situation this way: finding my ideal job in a mediocre economy will be a great, toughening experience.

This concludes the update for the 4 people who read this site every day. Wish Rose and me luck, and feel free to send a graduation gift to:

Jason R. Carroll
107 E. State St., Suite 307
Ithaca, NY 14850