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MIT student blogger Yan Z. '12

This Entry is About by Yan Z. '12

(A) Lady Gaga (B) my MIT ID card (C) all of the above

I might as well tell you straight away that this story ends with Lady Gaga defacing my MIT ID with a permanent marker.

Be warned: the newspapers will spin you a cybertastically-juiceless tale of a bleach-haired megastar appearing at the MIT museum yesterday with almost as much advance notice as a truckload of detonated TNT, of a Polaroid press conference culminating in the unveiling of a 20”x24” Polaroid portrait of Polaroid’s Creative Director (whose name begins with “L,” I believe, and ends with “ady Gaga”) photographed on the top floor of the MIT museum using a Polaroid camera that more-than-kind-of looks like a droid from The Clone Wars, of Polaroid donating the portrait to MIT along with a 9000-piece collection of Polaroid artifacts, of Polaroid’s future plans to publicize its digital images and digitize its public image. (Grapevines for the curious: Polaroid will “soon” release a fully-digital camera with the capability to print instant Polaroids just like Grandma used to do for her scrapbook. I still submit that the slogan of the company’s reincarnation should be, “Polaroid: Because Your Embarrassment Should be Accessible to Everyone.”) These details I will skip, except to note that one of the proposed designs for the new digital-camera-plus-printer combo looks exactly like what Amish people probably think army tanks look like.

All that aside, I woke up yesterday morning on a couch, faced* with the hard, hard realization that someone had stolen my pillow and replaced it with a laptop. Except the situation was far worse than you’d expect, because the someone was myself and I had already paid for my laptop and filled it with useless PDFs about why photons interact gravitationally with each other. Eventually, I found myself a new neck and decided to consume a mango from the MIT Farmer’s Market for breakfast, although in reality the mango was probably imported from Mexico, an irony that reminded me of how Lady Gaga’s newest music video plucks out a similar dissonance between the theme of places that aren’t Mexico and the theme of places that are Mexico. I just reread the previous sentence, and it seems possible that I don’t understand what the word “theme” means.

*I should have written, “the back of my head faced with . . . ” in order to evoke the accurate positional relationship of my head to the lack-of-pillow, but this sounded too anatomically confusing.

The takeaway message here is that I finished the mango, checked my email, and discovered at 9:18 AM that I had a press ticket to a Polaroid press conference at the MIT Museum at 11:30 AM. The weather forecast registered sunny with a 50% chance of celebrity sighting.

I showed up. This happened:

ladygaga 002

Which escalated into:

ladygaga 005

The people on the other side of the street on average had bigger camera lens and better shoes, so I ran past the police cars to the other side of the Gagamobile and started ducking through the crowd.

ladygaga 010wtm

Eventually, I crossed the 7-foot-radius line and had an epiphany that no person in the presence of an international celebrity has ever had before. It was this: I would ask Lady Gaga to sign something that belonged to me. Fortunately, she was holding a Sharpie marker. The moment hung ripe in the summer air.

ladygaga 012wtm

In my right pocket was my cell phone. The temptation to ask her to sign it was compelling up until I remembered the scene from Telephone where she walks into a Tarantino film and poisons the entire cast because someone wouldn’t stop calling her on the phone. Scratch that. In my left pocket was a wallet with $15, a grocery discount card, a debit card, a subway pass with $1.70 remaining, and my MIT ID. And then I thought, “Only two more years, right?” and pulled out my ID.

Lady Gaga looked at it, paused for a fraction of a second, and said, “Are you sure this is legal?”


(If you look closely at her sunglasses in the picture above, you can see the ectoplasmic reflection of her hand autographing my ID.)

Honestly, it’s probably not. But on the bright side, a new ID card costs exactly $15.


(In case you’re curious or vegan, I blocked out my MIT ID number with stamps of green bell peppers in GIMP.)

27 responses to “This Entry is About”

  1. LOVE IT! MIT’s cool quotient definitely was raised yesterday, and yours, Yan, goes through the roof in my humble estimation!

    Congrats and keep that ID. It’s an instant collector’s item!

  2. photon says:

    The MEET contingent in Jerusalem would like to let you know that you’re 100% baller. Rock the heck on!

  3. Caio '15 says:

    Please tell me that you’re keeping this forever.

  4. Katie '14 says:

    Oh my good grief.
    That may possibly be the best thing I’ve seen all day.
    Mind you, it is only 9 am.
    But nevertheless… delightful!

  5. Paulo '16 says:

    Ahha I heard about those new polaroids. Really neat way receive benefits from your “friends”!

  6. Zuney says:

    did you dye your hair? It’s black on top of the page, but brown on your ID

  7. Ruslan (15?) says:

    You’re Crazy…)))

  8. Ruslan (15?) says:

    Hi, Katie…
    Can I ask you some questions about your apllication to MIT…
    If Yes… email me please [email protected]

  9. Ruslan(15?) says:

    It looks like she’s ambidexrous…

  10. Yan says:

    @ Zuney:

    Over the years, my hair has vacillated between short/black and long/multicolored. Right now it’s in the dying embers of what used to be flaming red.

    Lady Gaga, however, is the blondest person I have ever seen.

  11. Zuney says:

    Maybe you are Tonks! And you got bewitched into thinking you’re in MIT, except you’re actually sleeping somewhere deep inside the Hogwarts castle…

  12. Zuney says:

    You’re what they call a Metamorphmagus

  13. Snively says:

    #1 incentive for being a blogger should be press passes. Seriously.

  14. oasis '11 says:

    Maybe you should will that ID to the MIT Museum raspberry

  15. A.D. says:

    i love your writing! good post as always… more to come?

  16. Jen '14 says:

    @Snively: I was just about to say, from Obama to Gates to Gaga…if for no other reason than getting to meet basically all of the most famous people alive today, I WANT TO BE A BLOGGER!! :p

  17. Julia '14 says:

    That’s so amazing! Great choice of what to sign.

    Also, it’s so exciting to see all o the people commenting with (’15?) attached to their names.

  18. anon says:

    this is amazing !!!!! u could even meet lady gaga in MIT ..wooot

  19. Yan says:

    @ Snively:

    If by “passes” you mean “stickers” and by “press” you mean “free”.

    @ A.D:

    Thanks! I owe you guys an apology. I’ve been off the blogwagon for a few months but will hopefully be posting more frequently over the summer.

    Also, my captcha says “repented speech”- subtle message here?

  20. yuki'12 says:

    That’s pretty epic yan.

  21. Amethyst says:

    ^_^ That is a treasure to keep forever!! Total awesomeness!! (Even though I’m not fond of pop music, I respect the spectacularness of the Gaga for visiting MIT)

  22. Angela'13 says:

    Ahhhhh …… i was way to lazy that day to step out of my UROP but seriously I can let GaGa tattoo her signature on me ……

  23. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA it was ridiculously hard not to drop my toothbrush and drool all over the keyboard. Then I would have been unhappy.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Who’s lady gaga? It’s definitely Hilary Clinton in that picture.

  25. Steve R. says:

    I can’t believe ‘Lady Gaga’ didn’t ask for your autograph, Yan.

  26. Jake says:

    I just wanna say, I agree with almost every post above mine, especially the “you’re crazy” one and “I can’t believe Lady Gaga didn’t ask for your autograph” one. I love your blogs. Period.