"You sound to me as though you don't believe in free will," said Billy Pilgrim. "If I hadn't spent so much time studying Earthlings," said the Tralfamadorian, "I wouldn't have any idea what was meant by free will. I've visited 31 inhabited planets in the universe...Only on Earth is there any talk of free will." -- K. Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

right now I am into

listening to...

Iron and Wine
The Mountain Goats
TV on the Radio
(older) Modest Mouse
The 6ths

and reading...

Funny Boy (Shyam Selvadurai)
Palestine (Joe Sacco)
Journey to the End of the Night (Celine)
A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Eric Wietsz)
The Lonely Planet India travel guide

and bike riding.

Useful Insomnia

I never thought I would say this, but, I think sleeping may be overrated. Some sleeping, yes. Does anyone really need 8 hours of sleep? For the last month or two, I have been averaging 4 to 5 hours a night. I haven't even approached my bed before 1 am since early May. My head has never been clearer - it's as if staying awake long enough gave my brain time to clean itself out. And then there is the issue of 6:18 am. Every morning I wake up and my room is filled with sunlight, which makes me think that it is obviously time to get up. Apparently my body is on a schedule that it hasn't consulted with me about, because this happens every day at 6:18am. I don't have to be anywhere until 9am! I fought it at first, the idea of rising with the sun. But then I realized that fighting it is futile. Now I get up, grab some books, and join all the other insomniacs at Caffeto that early in the morning. I keep thinking the lack of sleep is going to catch up with me, but for right now, it's making me feel more alive than I have in years. Why would you want to sleep when there is so much to do? Don't ask me where this optimisim is coming from - I haven't figured that one out yet.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Cube news

The woman in the cube across from me is constantly having the same conversation over and over again with either her husband or her child. The essence of it is:

WIC (woman in cubicle): Hi Sweetie.
H/C (husband/child): [one word response]
WIC: Just calling to check in.
H/C: [short pause]
WIC: Okay then. When will you be home?
H/C: [time given]
WIC: Okay then. Bye Bye.

She has this conversation at least 4 times a day. All I know is that if I were the "sweetie" on the other end, I would be going insane. There has GOT to be some other piece of information she can share with them - world news? The weather? Observations about her drive to work? When she isn't having this conversation, she is constantly hacking and coughing, possibly dying from consumption.


I've had my bike for a few months. I kept telling myself that any day I would start riding it. But for some reason it seemed like a big pain - dragging it out of the house, fighting car traffic, unlocking it and locking it everywhere. Now that I am living somewhere that finally feels urban, the bike has become my biggest bit of freedom. Anytime you start to get lost in your head, you can rely on the bike to pull you back out of yourself. The bike takes me to work, to German class, to the YWCA. It can take me to the co-op and the bar, the bookstores and the lakes. There's no waiting for the bus, or relying on someone else's car. I thought it may encourage me to just stay at my place and never venture outside, but it has been the opposite. The bike route to the University through downtown involves a trip across the Stone Arch Bridge - a little pedestrian bridge that is really quiet and beautiful. It's just about the only place I have ever seen the Mississippi look inviting. It makes me appreciate Minneapolis much more than the factories, empty prairie land, and gloomy Sundays ever will.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

What has Friendster done for you lately?

Okay, so I resisted Friendster in the beginning. Of course it didn’t take me too long to realize the countless hours of work time that could be occupied by Friendster related activities. I put up my profile, collected my friends, added some that I hadn’t been in touch with for ages. But the true joy of Friendster has only come to me recently: deleting friends. It’s like technological murder! There are no guns, knives, poison or blood – just a "delete friend" button. The Friendster gods even give you a chance to change your mind by asking "Are you sure you want to delete [bad person] as your Friendster?" Hitting that "yes" button is akin to pulling the trigger on a long awaited end of friendship gun. I recently cleaned out 7 or 8 people, and it felt so good. An ex-boyfriend, his friends I never liked, a few other random people I don’t know too well. I will never have to see their little Friendster pictures again! I will no longer be acquainted with their relationship status, interests, or favorite books. Collecting large numbers of friends means nothing to me – I am no Friendster whore!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Sleeping with my eyes open

Ever wake up angry because of something someone did in a dream? It's possibly one of the strangest feelings in the world. I've spent whole days feeling oddly disturbed, for no reason I can remember. I have had a recent slew of these dreams, and have decided that we, as a people, need to find a way around the "dream problem". I'm going to spend this evening focused on dreaming of people I haven't seen in at least 5 years. If I'm lucky it will also involve amusement park rides, bookstores, boba tea and/or scenes from the Royal Tenenbaums. Someone out there has to have figured this out by now. It should fall in scientific discovery order somewhere between "time machine" and "invisible serum".