Monday, September 28, 2009


Charlie looks really pissed that this guy distracted him while he was thinking.

So I realized today while I was zoning out instead of reading Lucretius that most of the time when I'm thinking, I'm really just waiting for the words to form in my brain, when I already know what they're going to be. It's like when you're having a conversation with someone who talks really slowly, and you can predict where they're going, so you just have to wait for them to finish their sentence. That's really weird for me to understand, though. It only happens when I'm thinking in words, but that's pretty much all the time, except for maybe when I'm thinking about to do when I'm playing sports, or something like that. What's extra weird about it is that I realized I can skip ahead to the end of the though when I'm only at the beginning of the sentence, because obviously I know what I'm going to say already. I guess it'd be stranger if I didn't know what I was going to say.
But the whole concept of knowing what I'm thinking before I think about it (in coherent phrases anyway) just raises a whole lot of questions for me, especially when I realize that I can skip the coherent phrases part. It's seems as though when I'm thinking, it's basically like I'm talking to myself, just not out loud. So the biggest question for me is, am I wasting a lot of time thinking sentences all the way through when I already know where they are going? Obviously it's worthwhile if I'm having a conversation or something, but could I train myself to think in shorthand? And then the question that that leads me to is: would I even have enough to think about, if I were constantly abbreviating my thought process to the essentials? Or would my head just be empty more often. (Go ahead, make your jokes about how it's always empty) It seems like it'd be a hard experiment to do.
Now here's what's really weird, is that I just wanted to talk about how I wonder whether or not my thought process is affected by carrying through the words to the end, because that's what leads me to new thoughts, is the phrasing/word choice or whatever of the old thought. And then I got distracted by my roommate and had writer's block/forgot what I wanted to say or whatever, and I couldn't figure out how to put it into words. In my head the phrase "I wonder if" just kept repeating. So I'm not sure if that invalidates what I've been saying this whole time, or not. Because on the one hand, I did know where I wanted to go with the sentence, whether I could put it into words or not, but maybe that's the value of actually talking to yourself in your head, so to speak, as it forces you to actually think it all the way through. I feel like that helps you remember the thought, for one thing, like writing it down.In conclusion, I'd like to point out that Aristotle says all the gods can do is think about thinking. You might think I'm about to say that makes me a god, but I don't want no part of that shit. It hurts my brain. Also, this might have been really boring to other people, so here's something everyone should find cool: hyperthymesia. 4 people in the world have this condition, it's having a super memory, so they remember every detail from every day, and it usually activates at around age 12.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What is laughter?

so today i rediscovered the joy of inventing new types of laughter. the highlights: the noise you make when you're about to sneeze, repeated over and over again, or wheezing like mary poppins when you lie down on her. the other fun new game that we came up with is pretending that people are laughing when they make random other noises. like if they sneeze, just get really angry and say, "what are you laughing at?", or if they yawn, then act really nervous, and ask them "what's so funny...why don't you share with the rest of us". or if they start coughing, tell them to calm down, it wasn't that funny, they're acting hysterical. the possibilities are endless, really. and hilarious because they're confusing.
also, i'm approaching critical mass with the things stored in my cell phone. i have filled up my note to self voice memo function, and so i've had to switch to typing things into the notes section. i've decided to start carrying around a small notebook and pen, so that i can remember everything. other cool things i've found out recently...they can take fMRIs of your brain, and use a program to create a picture of whatever you were just looking at. crazy. also, some other crazy people have made a cloth entirely from golden orb spider silk. it took them four years, but it is really gorgeous. i couldn't find any pictures of it, but you can find them in this article:

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I just got my first paycheck...and it is awesome. I'm not sure why I got it on a Thursday, but I won't complain. Now the test will be if I can manage to actually cash it and not then just spend it all. The problem is that I'm never counting on getting the money, so I view it as net positive, and then I see no reason not to go back to even. So I end up spending huge wads. But, I don't really have anything I want to buy right now, so I think I'm safe. Also I'm pumped that my roommate got certified to take out sailboats by himself, so now we can cruise around the Bay whenver we want and he can teach me how to sail.
We had first acapella practice on tuesday, that was also pretty cool. I think certain voicings could be upgraded, but I won't name any names. Let's just say one person was laughing through the entire thing, so their part wasn't as good as it could have been. I also have actually managed to get the tennis tournament started, so I feel really productive. I haven't decided on what to make in the woodshop yet, and my friends aren't really helpful, all they've said so far is "wooden pants".
I've decided to call shenanigans on depression. I don't understand how that's a thing. I don't mean like, chemical imbalance clinical depression. Just general depression. It seems like at the root of it, it has to be self-pity, and that just doesn't fly. I finally finished rereading Scaramouche, and it was still awesome, of course. I think I just can't resist characters like him, or Cyrano, or Popeye, or Captain Blood. That can't be unique, though, who wouldn't like to be someone who's good at everything they do/a total badass?
I don't really have anything else to say, except that it definitely doesn't feel like it has been a month at school already. But that's a good thing.
Oh, also that I've gotten a decent number of compliments on my mustache. By which I mean only that people have asked me if I'm growing a mustache, but that's still a step up from before. I don't have any pictures of it

Thursday, September 17, 2009

General Updates

Let's see...I dyed my moustache last night, and that's looking pretty awesome. I'll put up pictures when I'm feeling more ambitious. My roommate took about 30, most of them are weird and just show people crowding around me in the bathroom, and then close-ups of my upper lip where it looks like I just smeared it with feces. I'll do some editing. Anyway, I also ordered some acapella music....Monday, Monday by the Mamas and the Papas, that should be here in the next couple days. I stole an aquarium filter from the lab supplies and promptly returned because I couldn't handle my guilty conscience. I literally put all the pieces together in the lab, walked to my room with it, and then turned around and walked back.
Other random notes: 1) Babies still fascinate me. Liz was making fun of me about it, but it is pretty weird that they have tongues like they do. Augustine kept just letting it hang out of his mouth, and it looked really weird. It's also weird how fat all of their body is. They don't even just have fat joints or something like that, they even have fat feet. Speaking from experience, I'll say that fat feet are really weird to touch. Plus, they all look like the Michelin man. 2) Mark, could you ask John (physical trainer John) about that partner stretching routine? I remember some of the steps, but was wondering if he had any set pattern. I talked to the yoga girl about it and she said she'd be down for leading some partner stretching, so I'm trying to get that started. 3) I'm definitely trying to use the wood room a lot this year. I didn't even know we had one, really. I'm not sure what I'm going to make, though, which is probably the starting point for a project. I just really want to get better at using tools. Or even knowing what they do.
Finally, if you haven't seen this shot yet, you need to get on it:

Just for some context...that was to set up match point. Also, this is not a new thing for Federer. At the 2005 Australian Open, he did that same shot on an actual match point, missed it, and went on to lose the match. That's really just 3:15-3:20 in this clip. What a badass.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

am i the king?

i think i might be the king. check this out...1) i went down to the hardware store, got them to order me some CPVC pipe, and i now am the proud owner of one working goaltimate kit, that the school paid for. 2) my other toenail has come off, and i officially have the coolest toes on campus (especially when you combine the no-toenail look with my sweet roman toes.) 3) i've found an acapella song for the fleming family trio to do. 4) i've started working out with my strength shoes, and i'm also going to do a 12-week jump program starting monday, which the other people at st. john's who did it in past years said added 6 inches to their vertical. all in all, this will be me:

lastly, i am the king because i figured out time travel in greek class the other day. what i came up with was that time machines will never exist, because if they ever were invented at some point in the future, the first thing people would do would be to come back in time and show earlier people how to make it, right? so since time machines don't exist now, that means they never will. secondly, disregarding that stunning truth, i realized that if time machines were to be invented, we shouldn't worry about whether or not that would mess up the flow of history, or whatever. like say the outcome of a war in 1710 was changed. it's not like we would know the difference, everything leading up to 2009 would have changed right along with the war. even if it ended human existence, it's kind of like, oh well. what can you do?
closing remarks: mark, good work on the mustache, bad work with your rude comments. annie, you should check this video out, i think you would like this comedian.

Monday, September 7, 2009


well, it has been a while. but it's mainly because school is so awesome and busy, so that's a good thing, i suppose. i have a lot of different things going on, but i'm excited about all of them. i want my roommate to teach me how to sail, we'll just do that random days. and we're trying to learn how to play bagpipes, because he also has a chanter. i'm doing yoga on saturday mornings, i might write an article for the gadfly with my friend, i'm a freshman lab assistant, and liz and i have not yet given up on getting an acapella things together. i've started doing morning workouts (crossfit, it's been painful so far, plus i don't know how to lift weights, but i'm sticking with it for now). and then there's the ever-present need to play croquet in the afternoons, and do tennis on free weekend days. pretty sweet. it's important that i record all these things here so that it all becomes more concrete and more likely that i'll actually do it.
in other news, one of my toenails has fallen off and the other is not far behind. here's a little montage (from my sweet new camera that we got from the bank for free).

post-removal:i'm not really sure what to do with the leftover nails yet, although my current favorite suggestion is to turn them into earrings as a christmas present for mom.
other cool news...let's see. i managed to get all the guys on the hall to do hall bonding in the form of a moustache-off. starting last saturday, none of us can shave anything above our upper lip, but everything below it has to go, and it lasts until long weekend, or until someone shaves. the person who shaves has to get some 30 racks and then there's a hall party. what bonds people like shared embarrassment? we will all look like this. although, honestly, i'm still convinced that all girls secretly love facial hair. they just do. get over it. also, i might dye mine because otherwise it might not even be noticeable until just when the 6 weeks or so is ending. cool stuff.
one final thing i've noticed this past week when eating in the dining hall with people not my is it that so few people know how to use a knife and fork? a lot of people just grip them with their whole fist and stab into whatever their eating like the fork is a skewer and end up moving the whole plate back and forth. it's really weird, i hadn't realized it was such a poorly taught skill. i think proof of this is the fact that when looking for a funny picture of people using knife and fork, nothing came up. and "how to cut food" only brought up chefs. maybe that's how i'll become rich and famous, by modernizing emily post.