University of Pennsylvania (Robert)

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    University Rules

    By Hasselhoff
    Jan 21, '06 11:50 AM EST

    Well, I'm still not working too hard yet. It's a little weird. Your mind is ramping up to go, but the work isn't. I think it might be hard to get going when the assignments start to pile up. So it's time for more random comments.

    When I was walking home last night, I saw a group of soroity pledges or whatever they are called. Oh silly undergrads. These girls were standing in a line on the block between 40th and 41st on Locust (for you Philly people). This WASPy girl was on the porch of a row home shouting at them, "Do you know who's birthday it is!??!!?" In unison they should back "Jessica!!" "Do you know how old she is!?!?!" "20!!!" "This girl is like totally my f***ing best friend! If you b***hes mess this up, you will be in so much s**t! You b***hes better make this the best f**king birthday ever!" And so on. I don't know how long this continued because I heard about 2 minutes of it and it was still going. Sounds like the type of friend I want to pay for. I seriously stood on the other side of the street watching and laughing. It was pure entertainment.

    What is up with the naked guy at the gym? I was at the gym this morning and I just get a locker to store my coat. But there is this guy down there doing his whole routine naked. He's just walking around, putting on lotion etc buttass nekked. Those guys always seem to put on their pants last too. They are walking around in a shirt and tie, socks, no pants.

    The MFA students have an exhibit in Meyerson right now. There is this one video piece. It's basically another iteration of something she did last semester. Last semester she was dressed like a hooker type, on all fours and moving around like a dog watching you tease it with a ball. OK. The new version involves a lounge chair and end table, and basically the same video, but now she is topless and wearing a bridal vail. I know it's something about her being Korean and her parents wanting her to get married so she feels like she is being marketed. But everyone just kind of walks past it and gives it the old "WTF?" Then it's even more strange when you do kind of look at it, say WTF and turn around and the artist looks you right in the eyes. Has anyone else ever experienced that? You're fine with it until the naked person in the awkward position is looking at you? There was this guy last semester that we refered to as "Crush your cock and take a picture of it guy." Because he used to do just that. Beautiful photos. Incredible detail, but he was doing Lord Alien Brain like this kid in junior high. The gallery would be covered with 15, 20 copies of photos of this guy's smashed genitals. It was disturbing, but got worse in his second series when he included his face, and started wandering around the building. And no, it wasn't just me feeling uncomfortable, it was most people. A lot of "Oh god, there he is!"

    There have been more and more muggings around Penn lately. Some guy got mugged Thursday. Well, actually, they didn't get anything, but the hit him with a wooden cane that broke and a piece went in his hand. Kind of gross. But they ended up running away. I think if they can't get what they want with minimal effort they give up. I don't know why muggers attack students. It's really stupid. I guess they think we have money because we go to an expensive school. But it's the complete opposite. The most I will have on me is like $30. Dude, you maybe be broke, but I am in a house-worth of debt. I don't have money. Go ahead, take my 2 year old cell phone and $7.42.


    • When I was working in Meyerson Hall 20 years ago, every so often there was this oriental girl that 'danced' on the batch of lawn facing Walnut Street, right under the balconies there. You couldn't tell whether she was mentally ill or not, because she obviously made choices. Her dance was a combo of ballet, gymnastics and modern, and her dress was usually a combo of 60s MOD and clown. And she just 'performed' seemingly oblivious to everyone walking by on the diagonal path. Apparently she perfomed at other places on campus as well.

      Robert, your "random comments" brought back something that I hadn't thought of in a very long time. I'm now always uneasy whenever I visit Penn's campus. 12 years ago I was attending a weekly lecture series at the ICA on Wednesday nights. I usually found parking on Chestnut between 35th and 33rd, and one night I got back to my car and it was the only one on the whole block between 34th and 33rd. Nothing seemed wrong at the time, and I drove home via the Schuylkill and Roosevelt Expressways. Then a block away from my house I suddenly had two flat tires in the back. The next morning at the service station, the mechanic showed me how both my back tires had been punctured with a large knife. I have no idea how I got home, and it still creeps me out.

      Good luck during the semester.

      Jan 21, 06 12:28 pm  · 
      liberty bell

      quondam, is that the woman who set herself on fire on the quad in '95?

      enjoyed the random musings hassel, though it makes me miss philly intensely

      Jan 21, 06 9:19 pm  · 
      brand avenue

      Your post takes me back. I miss Philly too.

      Although, that block between 40th and 41st is the worst for stupid undergrad shit. It was always surreal to bike through there at 3 in the morning, after having pulled 12-14 hours in Meyerson, what with all the aviator glasses, Polo, SUVs, black pants, Burberry, etc.

      Fortunately they're all too scared to venture past 42nd.

      Jan 22, 06 12:16 am  · 

      I actually live on 43rd and it's fine. I used to live at 44th and that was starting to get a little shady. I honestly am looking forward to leaving Philly. I've just never really 'felt' Philly and I'm originally from PA. Maybe I'm just tired of this state. I lived in Boston for two years and loved every second even though I had 98% fewer friends there and almost no spending money.

      Jan 22, 06 1:09 am  · 

      liberty bell, I know nothing about the woman that set herelf on fire. If it is the same woman, then that makes me sad. Last night I remembered that I last saw the dancer at the (new) big boat house at Kelly Drive behind the Museum, and that was probably the early '90s.

      Jan 22, 06 12:56 pm  · 
      liberty bell

      Nope, quondam, if you saw her at the boathouse (the one that is resoundingly despised with the sawtooth roof?) then it's not the same woman. This woman killed herself before the boathouse was built. I can't remember what she called herself but it was something like "Peace" or "Harmony".

      It was sad - not the kind of spectacle one wants to witness - and it was all over the news when it happened, I'm surprised you don't remember it.

      I never felt at home in West Philly either - or Northern Liberties, South Philly, or Queen Village - Center City felt like home. Though some of the residential streetes in West Philly are among the most gracious streets I've ever seen.

      Jan 22, 06 3:46 pm  · 

      liberty bell, I think it is the same woman, because of "Peace" or "Harmony". I left Penn in 1987, and I did see the woman after that where the big boat house now is. (I have no recollection of the boat house itself when I mentally picture the dancer; I was driving on the road leading to the fountain circle down behind the Museum when I last saw her.) I vaguely remember the news about a woman setting herself on fire.

      Jan 22, 06 4:52 pm  · 
      brand avenue

      I lived on 43rd St. too. Didn't love it, but it improved dramatically over the years I was there, no doubt owing to the presence of the school and the various coffeeshops all opening up. That being said, there was a night involving a high-speed chase with police cars flying down Locust and helicopters with searchlights above that was interesting to watch.

      Never got the chance to live elsewhere in the city, but if I move back (a definite possibility) I won't be in West Philly either...although lots of other neighborhoods appeal.

      I often feel like I learned more in grad school by walking around and exploring, with a camera/sketchbook, than I ever did in class.

      Jan 23, 06 10:06 am  · 
      liberty bell

      Well I'm now living in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis, and I tell my Philly friends that Broad Ripple is "the Manayunk of Indy".

      There is so much to learn just walking the neighborhoods of Philly. It's an incredibly rich environment, visually and culturally. It makes me sad to think that I used to push my son in a stroller on sidewalks where he could see a building with a marble water table laid 150 years ago next to a 1-year-old aluminum storefront next to a brick rowhouse next to....

      quondam, that woman's name is driving me nuts. Her "real" name was something like Chrissy that in a news article was misspelled by one letter to become a word that meant something like "peace" and she liked the misspelling so much she kept it. Maybe the meaning was "protest" not "peace".

      There's a cafe-to-be at 38th and Lancaster Avenue that I was involved with design for before I left. Hopefully it will open soon, as when it does I have no doubt it will be the coolest place to hang out in the sity.


      Jan 23, 06 10:30 am  · 

      Liberty bell, I am happy to hear of someone doing something cool along the Lancaster corridor. I used to work at 36th and Lancaster, and there was no where to go except Powelton Pizza...blegh.

      Hasselhoff, did you know that the last mugging was one of the 700 architecture students here? It was crazy because it was only 7:30 at night when it happened.

      Jan 23, 06 1:31 pm  · 

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