Monthly Archives: February 2005

venti messages

i’ve had a venti drip from starbucks in the past two days to stay awake late into the night. i usually never finish a venti drip, so after two days, the venti cups were still on my desk with an inch or less of cold coffee left in them. i noticed that starbucks has a tried to make their cups more interesting with a series of “The Way I See It” quotes from people who have important things to say. I got #1 and #14. Maybe these are collector’s items like those random messags under Snapple bottles some time ago. for those who would like to skip on the venti and just know what the cups said, here goes:

The Way I See It #1
Zeroes are important, A million seconds ago was last week. A billion seconds ago, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. A trillion seconds ago was 30,000 BC, and early humans were using stone tools. America’s national debt is $7.5 trillion, and it’s skyrocketing, even as America’s population ages. There will never be a better time to start paying off this crippling debt than today.
— Denis Hayes, Chairman of the Earth Day Network and longtime environmental advocate

(pk comment: I don’t get why some environmentalist gets to be a spokesperson for the nation’s debt problem. Is there some connection I am not seeing? Shouldn’t he go save some whales or clean the air? Or hug trees?)

The Way I See It #14
1.6 million years ago a youth died in Africa. His body was swept into a swamp. In 1984 his bones were painstakingly excavated to reveal a species on the brink of becoming human. All people on earth have one thing in common. We share a single African ancestor; the same as this young boy.
— Dr. Louise Leakey, Paleontologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. She is currently working in Kenya.

(pk comment: What happened to Adam and Eve? This statement sounds like we’ve accepted evolution as a fact or something. Haha. Just kidding. I once saw an evangelical Christian website for kids where the “atheist” was a grumpy goat who drank lots of caffeine. Starbucks strikes back at Creationists!)

shrugging the midday crisis

for every posting on this blog, there are one or two posts that never make it as public veiwing because i am dissatisfied by the writing style, the subject, or both. sometimes i write very private and embarassing things and don’t have the guts to post them. but i keep all entries saved and reference them from time to time because it’s always fun to remember how the mind was working at a different time in the past. sometimes, it’s tough to believe that it was actually me who wrote some of these reject entries.

i found an entry from the early days of my blog that never quite made it because after i wrote it, i had issues with the term i had devised: “midday crisis.” it was contrived in such an artificial way – i had heard “quarter-life crisis” in a john mayer song and was, simultaneously, having a crappy day – so i wanted to feel clever and told myself that my “midday crisis” would come and go. the entry contained “scenarios” as examples of a “midday crisis,” and although they seem to concern greater issues with life as a college student, i found it interesting to read about the things that bothered me last year. in fact, these thoughts seem even more relevant today:

(taken from posting in April 2004)

examples of midday crisis scenarios

1. sitting in a class lecture, not really paying attention, you wonder why you bothered to show up in the first place. then you go on to think about how useless most of the education really is. this gets you thinking about how you waste your parents’ money and how pointless college really is.

2. you’re reading for your research paper. you have three thick books. you try your best to get through them all, but even as you’re reading them, you realize you’ll never know enough about the topic. then you wonder how pitiful your paper will be and how fruitless it is to write on a topic that has probably been written about by some smarter, more qualified scholar. you don’t want to write anymore and the topic sickens you.

3. as an involved member of the campus community, you recognize that more than half the student body really don’t give a hoot about what goes on. you wonder why you’re so active and if there really is a point to it all except those fleeting moments of self-satisfaction and some compliments thrown at you by peers doing the same thing. you realize what you do is nothing great, but mostly out of self-interest. you wonder if you should reply to those emails and carry out tasks you have decided to be responsible for.

there’s something nice about salvaging a piece of writing that, otherwise, would have been forever forgotten. it’s like claiming back the few minutes (or even a few hours) that you might have spent thinking up something and putting it down into words. it’s also assuring to know that what you once thought in the past, whether it was days ago, months ago, or even years ago, can still make sense today.

dreams about memory loss

i couldn’t recover from the few glasses of wine i had for dinner, so i found myself sitting at my desk at 2am having written zero words for my take home exam, due in the morning at 10am. i made myself some strong coffee and chugged as much as possible but to no avail. i could not concentrate. i went to bed.

i wonder if it was the coffee or maybe the excessive amounts of sparkling water i’ve been drinking lately; i found myself engaged in an eternal sunshine sort of trance, running through happy and not so happy memories of most recent times. i remember because i woke up a few times, especially when things got too sad or too unbelievably optimistic. it was intense to feel battered and rejected one moment and to re-emerge feeling hopeful and happy. i woke up around 8am feeling confused and a bit manipulated. the mind, when asleep, should not be toyed with in such ways. and yet, for all the resemblances to the movie, i still retained my memory. i should’ve taken a train to montauk yesterday.

somehow i managed to write five pages in two hours and even took some time to do my hair. john told me not to shower in the mornings before doing my hair, so i took his advice. i think it looks less poofier today. hair aside, i felt good being engrossed with shakespeare for a few hours. henry v, when read closely and examined for all its complex messages, is an incredibly powerful play that any ambitious artist – for theatrical or cinematic purposes – can mold to express his political agenda or personal story. as pretentious as shakespeare’s work, or professing to know about it, may sound, i think it’s worth trying to be familiar with the great things he has done for this western language and culture. but i do admit, i still find reading his work a bit annoying.

as i sit here at butler trying to crank out a screenplay, i keep thinking about the way charlie kaufman wrote eternal sunshine and how it so effectively captures the power of memory. to know that, of the two who shared many memories, you are the only one who still remembers or cares to remember – such pain (save the deaths of close ones) is often unrivaled in a dulled, middle-class culture such as ours. as impossible as it is for us to guess what another person is thinking, it is often too easy to speculate what they are not thinking and to feel bad about it. sometimes you just wish for memory loss because it would be a lot more convenient that way. nobody can cause a disservice to another if that were the case. then again, you wouldn’t have screenwriters telling beautiful stories.