I am geek.

I accept it. I embrace it. To be honest, I kind of love it.

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Oh hey there, 2011.

The Old Year’s gone away
To nothingness and night:
We cannot find him all the day
Nor hear him in the night…

It doesn’t seem like a new year or a new decade or a new anything, really. But it is and that’s the weirdest part. Things are changing and I can never seem to keep up. Whether I like it or not, this next year is going to be vastly different and I’m not sure if I’ll survive. I know that 2011 is going to be a testy one, but to be honest, I can’t really grasp the weight of all these changes.

When I force myself to look into the future at the year standing before me, I glimpse these drastic polarized emotions. Intense sadness, overwhelming joy, blind anger, gripping anticipation, paralyzing fear– all the things I know will be waiting for me in this new year.

But for now, I can’t feel it at all. For now, my mind just keeps on like nothing has changed, like this isn’t the beginning of my ventures into a whole new abyss. It doesn’t seem real. I’m still gripping tightly to all the goodness in 2010 while trying to dismiss all the badness the comes dragging along. I know 2011 is new and unblemished and all of that, but I don’t know if I really see that yet.

Sometimes I have trouble letting go, even when I know I must. 2011, please bring me clarity and peace. Help me put your predecessors back into place so I can greet you properly with bold hope and courageous strength. And please, whatever you do, please don’t pwn me.

To the new year and many epic days ahead!

What would Zoltan do?

I know that I’m not Hungarian and that spending 6 months in a country certainly does not make you part of it, but I still can’t help but feel emotionally attached– even now.

When people belittle or insult it, I become angry and insanely defensive. When they compliment it, I share their praises. When I see things that remind me of it, I can’t help but smile. It was only 6 months, but there are so many memories attached to this one place. Some that are slowly fading, others so permanent that they’ve become part of me. Fond memories to cling to, less spectacular ones that I leave to be forgotten.

The sad reality of things is that I will probably not return to Hungary. Not for a long time, at least.

It’s difficult for me to describe. It’s like, a part of me wants to repay it for my adventures and experiences. Like I owe it some sort of allegiance… allegiance, which I happily and freely give. I know I have no legitimate claim or connection to the country or its people, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling this strong, personal attachment.

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Good Question

The worst part about unemployment is my 4-year-old nephew, Matthew.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the little punk. Since he and his mom have been living here, my pit of despair doesn’t seem quite so boring. Between constructing increasingly complicated train tracks, being defeated by a miniature Iron Man half my size, and learning the strange names of all the characters in Cars, I’d say my schedule is pretty full. And hey, it minimizes that all too familiar familial tension. Apparently even my stepfather realizes it’s a bad idea to fight in front of a 4-year-old.

But even so, I have to repeat it. The worst part about unemployment is Matthew.

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How to start again

How sad it would be if we forgot that the future we fear turns slowly into the present we detest, and the past we adore.

— Anton Chekov

Originally, I thought I was going to make this dramatic gesture of swapping this tired, old college blog for a new, shiny and enlightened post-grad version. But besides the depressing change in location, pressing realization of unemployment, and drastic lack of close friends to keep me sane, nothing has really changed.

I have a horrifying feeling that this next season is going to be a real bitch.

To cope, I’m making this my point of starting again– even if it doesn’t mean anything and even if it’s only for my own sake. I’m going to need something to do while I wait for my plans to pan out, so starting again doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. But still. The worst part about leaving and letting go is that it never really works like it should.

Oh well. We press on.

World Cup 2010

I love this time of year.

Graduation?

Graduation blew right past me, but this is what I remember.

Friday morning – International Center Graduation Celebration. Free gifts. Free food. It hasn’t hit me yet.

Friday afternoon – Last shift (and what feels like the longest shift) of work ever. I say goodbye Revelle ResLife and realize it is quite likely I will never find a job that permits me to watch as much television as I did. I think I’m starting to feel it.

Friday night – All Campus Graduation Celebration. Fireworks and fine company. It’s hitting me, it’s hitting me. I can’t sleep for most of the night.

Saturday morning – I drive to pick up a gown from my friend in North Park. Yes, I am too cheap to buy my own (and let’s be honest, an ugly recycled graduation gown should not cost anywhere near $60) and too tall to borrow one from anyone else in my apartment. I am scattered and unprepared.

Saturday afternoon – I get it together. Graduation gown aired out and hung up in the closet. Graduation stoles pinned and ready to wear. Graduation cap and Muir College tassel waiting on the table. Totally ready to go–

NOT.

Bonnie, late. Rush, rush, rush. Lost on the road, frantic directions, finally makes it. Picks me up. Sprinting out the door. Gathering by 4pm? Leave Costa Verde at 3:54. Still time. Traffic, traffic, traffic. Probably late. Realize cap is at home. Stopped dead traffic. Freaking cars. Freaking out. 4:13pm. Definitely late. See Heather. Beg her for a cap. Still need a tassel. 4:24pm. Totally late. Terrified fear of missing graduation. Dropped off. Rush to field to join the line, tassel-less (of course). Hot mess. Truly FML.

But then, Pauline runs slow-motion like some sort of hero from an epic movie, my tassel in hand. Eureka! The day is saved!

I proudly walk across the field in my goofy looking hat and my silly looking graduation costume to the sharp sounds of bagpipes. Everything else really is a blur. I remember it in flashes. Waiting for the lines to move, walking onto the stage, hearing my name called, shaking hands with the Provost, taking pictures, taking more pictures, looking back at the nearly empty field and leaving.

What a fitting way for me to graduate. Of course this would happen to me– all the fear and stress of being late for the ceremony, leaving my cap at home, not having a tassel to turn over to the left side of my hat. And then it all ends well with a series of selfless friends and enormously good luck.

In a way, this embodies my college experience– self-imposed pressure, overreacting stress, major breakdown, barely-made deadlines, and then… calm. Maybe this is the way I work. Maybe this is the only way I know how to be. Either way, it is done. I graduated! It feels like everything else I do– a crazy mess followed by a sigh of relief and a comforting knowledge that everything always works out for the best.

Phew. Congratulations UCSD Class of 2010!