Rohit's Realm - Graduate School Life

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September 10, 2007

Hello Hyde Park

After four days, 2,021 miles, three motel rooms, and entirely too much fast food, I arrived yesterday afternoon in Chicago, Ill., my new home for (at least) the next three years. Surprisingly, this was only my third time in the Windy City; before deciding to move out here for graduate school, I had been to Chicago exactly twice: once for a job interview in 2004, and once for a school visit in April of this year. My first day here has been non-stop, and though I have not yet made it out to downtown, I did manage to wander through Hyde Park today.

November 05, 2007

Forever Young No More

As New Wave band Alphaville aptly (and perhaps prophetically) observed in their 1984 single Forever Young, no one likes getting older, and me the least of all. As early as 2002, I observed that there was likely nothing worse than having to do [menial tasks associated with adulthood] for the rest of my life. (The notable exception to this rule, of course, are children, but given their ignorance of the patent meaninglessness of life, and moreover, the years of heart-breaking disappointments, soul-crushing existential angst, hope-extinguishing failures, and daily flirtations with suicide that inevitably await them, one can hardly fault their enthusiasm.)

Though as a society we presume certain ages when one can be considered old, or perhaps, older (e.g., 18 for sex, 21 for drinking, 30 for [first] marriage, 40 for mid-life crisis/divorce, 65 for senior discounts, etc.), most people likely possess their own individual notions of when they will personally cross the threshold from the joys of youth to the decrepitude of old age. For me, that transition occurred last week—Saturday, October 27, 2007, to be precise. I was barely 24 years old. [...]

November 24, 2007

30 Seconds of Bliss (in an Otherwise Meaningless Existence)

'Tis the season of giving thanks, or at least the time for decadent consumption and mindless consumerism, so to counteract—I mean, commemorate—this joyous period of the year, I thought I would add my own (necessarily worthless) two cents to the loud din of Thanksgiving-related postings permeating the so-called blogosphere. Now, as we all know, I am nothing if not the stereotypical bourgeoisie ingrate, and as such, rarely find much of anything to be thankful about. And yet, this year, in stark contrast to my usual persuasion, I recognize that I have much to be appreciative of, not the least of which is my status as an impoverished graduate student. [...]

January 16, 2008

In Pursuit of Nothingness

Given my penchant in the past couple years for alternating between nonsensical discussions of soul-crushing existential angst and inexplicable idolatry of quixotic lawlessness, intrepid readers might be left wondering why I have not yet collapsed in heap of self-induced moral turpitude and cognitive dissonance. Is my consummate inadequacy and general worthlessness of such a prolific magnitude that, having wandered aimlessly onto a path of self-destruction many years ago, I cannot even seem to muster the talent or skill required to properly follow that path to its natural conclusion? Am I really so impotent as to be incapable of fulfilling as trivial a task as ruining my (necessarily futile) existence? Perhaps, as readers enamored by (foolish) notions of love and happiness have observed, I have simply not yet met the proverbial right woman. I am skeptical, however. The way I see it, ruination, like contentment, cannot be effected from without; it must be wrought from within. [...]

January 21, 2008

Touch the Magic: Chicago

Me with G-Unit and P-Diddy at the Violet Hour.
January 2008
Chicago, IL

As readers who have (for reasons unknown) been with me since (at least) last summer know, my decision to leave the Bay after six years of, among other things, getting hyphy and ghost ridin' the whip, was by no means easy, due not in the least to the many close friends and natural comfort zone I would be leaving behind. This weekend's much hyped tour, aptly entitled Touch the Magic: Chicago, which reunited the maladjusted boys of 1524 SF for the first time since we bid our tearful goodbyes to The I.S. (i.e., Inner Sunset),1 was a poignant reminder that though distance may separate us from our good friends, it need not obviate those friendships entirely.

February 10, 2008

Oh Responsibility, How I Loathe Thee

One of the great paradoxes of my (necessarily futile) life is my perverse and often baffling ability to consistently balance my responsibilities in the professional/academic sphere while simultaneously remaining mired in dysfunction sufficient to shock the senses in my so-called personal life. How is that someone who rarely showed signs of cracking under the long hours and constant stress of college or corporate America can not seem to get on top of such routine trivialities as bills, grocery shopping, cooking, and going to the gym?

April 02, 2008

The Spring Break That Was Neither

Spring Break. The phrase conjures up images of warm, tropical beaches, scantily-clad women, and tequila—lots and lots of tequila—in your mind, does it not? Unfortunately for me, I sort of hate the beach (despite having spent a little less than half my life in (the) O.C.), have already been to such destinations as Cancún and Miami, and in any case, stand no chance with scantily-clad women of any sort, no matter how much tequila they may have consumed. Instead, I chose to spend my break on a bicoastal whirlwind tour that left me perhaps more tired than before. And considering that today was probably the first day where it was both sunny and above 45° F here in Chicago, one might say that my so-called Spring Break was neither spring nor a break. [...]

April 11, 2008

Escape from Hyde Park

What with all the tired introspection, trite whining, and tepid acts of kindness in recent weeks, it may be hard to imagine that at one point this site was known far and wide (or near and narrow, as the case may be) for its irrational rants of decidedly mediocre quality. Where is the unintelligible vitriol the About page so proudly touts? Where is the illogical, unreasoned spewing of venom against irrelevant and incidental targets of only minor significance? Where indeed! Today, in a grandiose (and necessarily ill-fated) gesture of returning to the roots, I will embark upon a rant of little consequence that is guaranteed to embody the same mediocrity of thought and irrelevance of topic which comprised this site for nearly four years of its (worthless) existence. Enough useless chatter. Let us begin: I hate Hyde Park.

May 05, 2008

Stable Marriage and Information Failure in the Social Marketplace

Standing around at a bar last Friday night, sipping a dirty martini and semi-engaged in a lackluster conversation with some random woman I had met approximately ninety seconds earlier, I felt my thoughts drift almost involuntarily from trying to figure out whether she was attractive or I was hallucinating, to the Stable Marriage Algorithm and pervasive information failures in day-to-day existence. This is only one of the many reasons why I do not have a girlfriend.

May 14, 2008

The Day the Irony Died

When you lead your life adrift in a turbulent sea of mediocrity, loneliness, and despair, as I do, really all that there is to keep you waking up in the mornings and setting aside the metaphorical (if not actual) gun to your head is the bitter irony that accompanies a life devoid of meaning, purpose, or happiness. The day the irony disappears is the day the abyss consumes you, the day you hit absolute rock bottom. Today was such a day for me.

August 06, 2008

On Being an Addict

Discussions of personal inadequacy on this blog often take a grandiose scope, naturally reflecting the undeniable seas of mediocrity and existential angst upon which the author (yours truly) is perennially adrift. Inadequacy need not be defined solely by weighty subjects such as existential failure, however, as HFK pointed out, to be relevant; what failures of no consequence want for in magnitude, they make up for in frequency. One such inconsequential inadequacy (of many, rest assured) is the subject of today's post: a habit—nay, an addiction—so severe that I have struggled much of my adult life to rid myself of it, always to no avail.

What is this addiction of which I speak, concerned readers (hi, Mom) are no doubt asking themselves? Alcohol?1 Drugs?2 Sex?3 Porn?!4 If only it were so. Unfortunately, the answer is far more insidious than that.

November 18, 2008

Too Elite Is Plebeian

To those even marginally familiar with the unholy marriage of irrational vitriol and consummate self-loathing that is the Realm, the notion that the author of this most futile of sites is often branded an elitist ought to be tautological. Indeed, as I myself wrote a few years back, Rohit's Realm was formed on the steadfast pillars of anger, cynicism, bitterness, and elitism, and to change that would be to deny the very essence of my being; I am nothing if not angry, cynical, bitter, and elitist. And while this sentiment rings as true today as it did three years back—the only thing I continue to hate more than the dirty, unwashed masses is myself—a recent thought has left me in a most tremulous of dispositions. Is there such a thing as too elitist? (Perish the thought!) And, if so, is not that state just as plebeian as not being elitist at all? (No! It cannot be!)

February 14, 2009

Doom and Gloom: The Existential, the Principal, and the Asinine

The length of time that has elapsed since I last posted an entry might have led some of you to fear (or rejoice?) that this blog had met its earthly demise with a whimper of disaffection, disinterest, and apathy (much as its owner will soon meet his own mortal demise, no doubt). But fear (or rejoice) not, naysayers and haters, for it is not death but dormancy that encumbers the Realm in these dark, despondent days of wintry cold and ever accelerating economic decline. The subject which rouses me from my somnolence, moreover, is not likely to provide any solace to those among the downtrodden or defeated, for today is St. Valentine's Day, and I see it as my duty in life to neutralize the misplaced feelings of love or happiness that are likely today to pervade (and pollute!) a world decidedly lacking in neither.

Considering, however, that I have made it a habit of posting biennially on this most critical of holidays (for more, see entries from 2005 and 2007), I do not concern myself today with dead plants or (the inevitable failure of) relationships. Indeed, my purpose in this post is greater than both the worthless assholes wallowing in self-pity over Single's Awareness Day and this worthless asshole (yours truly) perennially wallowing in existential angst (and, of course, cheap beer and perfume).

The doom and gloom of the past few months has started to wear on me, as I suspect it has for many, and in ways different than those I have known in the past. What explains this difference? The key, I think, is the distinction between the existential, the principal, and the asinine, and I explore each in turn below.

March 27, 2009

Go Big or Go Home

Greetings from Ocean Springs, Miss., where I am wrapping up a week of Spring Break of Service, working for the Mississippi Center for Justice. I will have more to say about this trip in a future post, but I thought I would take this entry to address my extended absence.

August 12, 2009

A Crisis of Faith

True happiness, as I have discussed on this site ad nauseum over the years, is probably a concept that will elude me for the remainder of my futile existence. So much I have accepted. It would be curious, then, if in the midst of this eternal philosophical disquiet, I found a meaningful substitute for happiness in something so vacuous as to be embarrassing. And yet, that is exactly the place I find myself in today.

No, dear readers, I'm not talking about personal relationships assets (perish the thought!). It is, I am afraid, something far more plebeian than that: material possessions.

September 18, 2009

The Fall from (Geek) Grace

While stories of devastating, relentless failure with women—and in life more broadly—are so commonplace to my miserable existence (and this blog) as to be passé, one should never doubt my unfaltering capacity to achieve new lows with each passing year. This week brought just such a low, and in an unlikely arena—technology—demonstrating clearly that my material worthlessness is not limited to social interactions, but instead permeates the very fabric of my being.

February 20, 2010

Nightmares from the Past

Earlier this week, I awoke with a start in the middle of the night. My heart was pounding and I was drenched in sweat. 3:28 am. The low rumbling of the heater pumping dry air masked the sound of the occasional car driving by on the streets below. The diffuse light from the buildings nearby, distorted by the half closed blinds, cast oddly familiar shadows on the walls of my apartment. Nightmare? If so, I could not remember it. But there was an uncomfortable feeling of dread pervading my thoughts. I lay still, trying to discern the sensation. What was it? What was bothering me? After several seconds, the cobwebs cleared and my mind focused on the subject of discomfort: why did e = cos(θ) + j*sin(θ)?1 I could not remember! And that is when I knew. After all these years, I had finally totally lost my mind.

March 22, 2010

Law School Casualties (and a Chance at Redemption)

As my law school career winds to a close—I am eight-ninths of the way through as of last week—I finally have a moment to survey the carnage that has been wrought in my life over the past three years. It's not a pretty sight.

At the top of the list is, of course, this website—the once illustrious Realm, now a mere shadow of its former self. As I observed last year, where it has gone and whether it will return remain open questions even today. But the body count does not stop with a profoundly silly website, its decidedly useless content, or its consummately worthless author; the death toll has been far greater.

May 15, 2010

Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

There was a time in my life where I would often find myself sitting alone in a dark room in the middle of the night, my face illuminated only by the faint glow of my computer monitor, furiously pounding away on the keyboard, the week-old beard, unkempt hair, and dark circles under my eyes a testament to my hard core ways. After all, I was once a (much reviled) engineer, and more importantly, a code monkey. And though the painful awkwardness, perpetual loneliness, and paralyzing sexual frustration characteristic of my past life as a computer science major have all remained with me, I had thought the days (and nights) of bitter and futile fights with technology were a distant memory. So much the worse, then, that my horrid return to late night keyboard pounding would come as a consequence of something so atrocious I can barely stomach thinking about it even now: installing Windows 7. Excuse me for a second; I am going to be sick.

July 07, 2010

Briefly Noted on a Midsummer's Evening

In a recent turn of events that probably shocked many of you, and certainly surprised yours truly, my posting frequency in May actually rose to an average of one per week, the same rate I had long averaged in my restive pre–law school days, before plummeting again dismally in June. But whereas the deafening silence on this site over the past three years has been attributable mostly to what I last year deemed a loss of inspiration, the silence that persists vexatiously even today has a little to do with having nothing (crazy) to say and much to do with having no time in which to say it. (Nothing like studying for a licensing exam to make you appreciate meaninglessness, I suppose.)

Thus, as much for my own sanity as anything else, I thought I might briefly note some recent occurrences that, were I not consumed by a pernicious combination of unbridled anxiety and staggering overconfidence with regards to the bar exam, I would likely expound on more satisfactorily:

  • As alluded to earlier, I graduated from law school, which is really to say that despite my best efforts at self-sabotage, I nonetheless managed to complete the requirements necessary to get a degree. And I didn't even trip while crossing the stage. In a life otherwise rife with failure, it's these small things that truly make the difference—or not.
  • With the end of law school came an event that I have long looked forward to: I may have made my last trip down to (much loathed) Hyde Park last week for the foreseeable future. (God, I hope I'm not speaking too soon.)
  • Speaking of lasts, the countdown on my time in Chicago has begun: I am scheduled to leave in less than a month.
  • But before that can happen, I need to make it through the next weeks—a task easier said than done.

With that, dear readers, I bid you adieu, at least for the next month, while I concentrate on learning all the law I was supposed to have learned in law school. (Fairness? Justice? What the hell?) If all goes well, I will see y'all on the flip side; if it doesn't, well, it probably wouldn't matter anyway.