Stuff I Haven’t Done

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This winter, I didn’t do much besides sleep. I did go to work, Walgreens, and occasionally church, and I’ve gotten myself severely hooked on this game.  (I recommend changing the size. 50×20 is a lot more fun and still fits on the screen if you zoom out to 80%) But that’s about it. If I think about it, I can come up with a pretty long list of valid excuses, several of which have been medically verified. The point, though, is that I really need to get myself doing Stuff again.

By now, we’re well into springtime, regardless of whether we’re going by the solar calendar, social conventions, or the weather. (On second thought, let’s not bring the weather into this. The weather is far too fickle to be given any kind of authority over people.) To be honest, I think that the season only has a slight impact on my productivity, but we’re going to pretend otherwise because that allows me to believe that I’ll soon have my life totally under control. It’ll be all good by summer at the absolute latest, right?

As a side note, I don’t understand why it’s considered negative or pessimistic to say you’re having a bad day. (Or week, year, semester, or any other unit of time) It seems to me that it shows optimism when someone says they’re having a bad day, because the implication is that the next day is likely to be better. Either the problem(s) at hand is/are minor and will quickly be resolved, or the situation will look better from the fresh perspective of a new day. Someone who’s being pessimistic and negative will think otherwise and expect current problems to stick around or to have ongoing repercussions. That attitude and expectation would not be accurately represented by talking about time in concrete terms.

But I digress. The semantics are irrelevant to my announcement that I intend to do Stuff.

At this point, I’m not committing to great feats of Thing-doing. I’m talking about relatively little Stuff. For example, I did a Thing last Monday. I came home from work, ate food, and read part of a book. (If you don’t see how that qualifies as a Thing, you can consider yourself lucky that you don’t fully comprehend the level of Not-Doing-Stuff that I have achieved) I’ve been regularly doing a Thing I like to call “Getting Into My Bed Before Falling Asleep Instead of Just Sleeping on the Living Room Floor”. (Okay, that’s not true, I’ve actually been calling it “Going to Real-Person Bed”, which doesn’t really make any sense now that I see it written out) At this point, I’m hoping to move onto bigger and better Things like establishing a consistent morning routine, regularly vacuuming the cat hair from my carpeting, and spending most of my free time in ways that are somewhat meaningful to me, like reading and writing. Notice how realistic I’m being here. I think I deserve some credit for setting realistic goals because I hate realistic goals. I much prefer unrealistic goals.

The main reason that I’m writing all of this is to avoid the generic blog post that basically just says, “I haven’t been blogging in a long time, but I think I want to get back to it.” So instead, I’m offering this brief ramble in which I vaguely overshare what’s been going on in my life. (Do I get extra credit for the double oxymoron?) But the sentiment is essentially the same. All of that was basically a lead-up to me saying that I hope I’ll be posting more stuff soon.

Long, long ago, the last time I posted something on this blog, it was supposed to be the first of a three-or-four part series. That’s still technically the plan, but the other parts aren’t coming for a while. It’s not that I was having a particularly hard time writing Part Two, or that I didn’t know what it should say. In fact, my draft in progress is quite long. It just isn’t very interesting. And right now, I’m not going to put time and effort into writing anything boring.

Unedited Ramblings, Episode Two

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warningAs I pondered the many reasons that my life is meaningless and pointless, my mind latched onto the topic of how much I dislike a certain cliché. ‘Tis often said that one’s self-worth should not be defined by other people. This idea, which is related to the self-esteem trend, is used to negate the insecurities of people who feel disliked, to critique the opinions of people who feel lonely, and to undermine the unrealistic and superficial definition of love that is prevalent in pop culture. The last of these three objectives is the only one that has any merit, and even then, this cliché phrase addresses this cliché idea in the wrong way. I may or may not explain what I mean by that later. I can’t be sure at this point, since this is an unedited and unoutlined blog post. (Otherwise, it would be destined to forever remain an unfinished blog post, ‘cause I am kind of busy and stuff.)

disclaimerThe point of the aforementioned cliché about self-worth is that you shouldn’t worry about what other people think, that your relationships with other people don’t define who you are, and that you can live a good, happy, and purposeful life without other people being an important part of it. The first of those three points is often (but not always) true, depending upon the context. The second is kind of a philosophical point that you could argue either way; but I would argue that it’s false. I think that the relationships between family members, friends, classmates and coworkers, and even random strangers are so significant that it really is fair to say that a person is largely defined by their relationships with other people. After all, we describe people’s personalities based upon the way they interact with other people. The obvious example is that introversion vs. extroversion is one of the basic personality distinctions in every personality model with which I’m familiar. (Certainly in both the Myers-Briggs and the Big Five, which are the only two that are widely considered to be useful) Furthermore, most people’s moral values, opinions, interests, and tastes are at least strongly influenced by those of their family and friends. I realize that the “other people don’t define you” cliché doesn’t mean quite what I’m taking it to imply, but it seems to be that those implications are definitely present even if they aren’t intended. And then the third point mentioned above is definitely untrue. It’s meaningless to even try to argue that life is meaningful without other people.

triangle warningsI don’t mean that in a corny way. I’m not talking about emotional validation coming from the support and affection of other people. I’m questioning what it means to talk about meaning and purpose in life, and as far as I’m concerned, the answer to that question is pretty obvious. You accomplish meaningful things in life when your existence and your actions have a positive impact on the world around you. “The world around you”, of course, means other people. I suppose you could argue for the value of environmental work, but I would counter that even then, the reason it’s good to protect the environment is that it helps other people. Your personal talents, abilities, and situation in life will determine how exactly you’re supposed to make this impact, what degree of influence you will have, and how many people will be affected by you. But if nobody else is benefitting from you in any way, you’re either living only for your own enjoyment or accomplishing literally nothing at all. I don’t mean that to be a moralistic statement; I just think that it’s the obvious definition of purpose in life.

trianglesI didn’t intend to make that into a religious statement, either, and I feel like it’s necessary to point that out, because if this was supposed to have religious connotations, it would be terribly legalistic. The fact of the matter is that sin negates any good and purposeful things that we do, and that any individual’s net value is negative until you bring God’s forgiveness and salvation into the equation. And by Christ’s crucifixion, we are clothed in His righteousness, and it’s therefore no longer necessary for us to wonder whether we are living good and purposeful lives. That is, it’s not necessary for our salvation. That certainly doesn’t mean that we’re actually supposed to spend the rest of our lives doing nothing but lazily sitting around, playing Settlers of Catan online, and watching Mythbusters. (On a related note, guess what I did with my Friday night yesterday?)

tangent lineThe above paragraph, by the way, was not where I was intending to go with this; it was just a long tangent, which is what happens to one’s writing when one decides that one doesn’t have the time to decide what to write before one writes it, or to edit one’s writing afterwards. As I trace the tangent back to the point where it meets the topic at hand, I find that I seem to have gone off-course at the point that one’s purpose in life is in fact not independent of one’s relationship with other people. So I’ll go back to that point and follow it in the direction I had originally intended, until my brain gets distracted by another tangent. (I blame it on calculus. It’s hard to avoid tangents when you’re taking a calculus class and are expected to look for tangents.)

trigonometrySo, I am disagreeing with the idea that a person’s value is independent of other people, and instead saying that a person’s value comes from their relationships with other people, and that a person’s purpose is to make life a better place for other people. And just for clarification, I will add that by “relationship”, I’m not talking specifically about romantic relationships. I’m talking about any connection between people, whether it is between family, friends, acquaintances, or random strangers who briefly interact in a public place and never meet again or even remember the encounter. If I’m going to stick with my definition of purpose, then I have to come to the conclusion that any of these relationships can be used to do something purposeful.

scrabble and speed of lightHowever, since I have already used the term “romantic relationships”, (even though I used it only to say that I wasn’t specifically talking about it) I actually have something else to say about it, and that is this: I really don’t like the English word ‘love’. It’s not that I’m not opposed to the idea of romance, as anyone who knows me on tumblr would attest. (For some reason, tumblr seems to bring out an overly sentimental side in me, the kind of side that probably would have liked Titanic even if it didn’t have a great soundtrack and exploding lights. For example, the other day, I informed tumblr that I needed to fall in love with someone so that I could use the line, “The only thing that will ever come between us is the word ‘and.’“)The reason that I don’t like the word ‘love’ is that it has too many meanings that are very different. The Greek language has the right idea when it distinguishes between αγαπη, ερως, and φιλια. Incidentally, can you tell that I recently figured out how to use Greek letters in Microsoft Word? This, in my opinion, is extremely cool. I have now forgotten what I was about to say, and I think it was completely irrelevant anyway.

voicesThe general gist of what I’ve been saying here is that it’s not true that a person’s value has nothing to do with other people. And the reason that this seemed relevant is that it offered a somewhat more specific way for me to tell myself that my own life is pointless. I mean, I’m a full-time student, so pretty much all of my effort and energy goes into the attempts to make myself more knowledgeable. This has absolutely no impact whatsoever on the world around me. If I just randomly decided to stop trying and to instead dedicate my life to internet games, nobody except me would even notice any difference. It’s a depressing thought. Yeah, I think that’s where I was going with this whole thing. It may have looked like I had more positive and/or interesting things to say, but I didn’t. I warned you that this was a very disorganized and rambling blog post.

catanAnd now, the next thing I need to do is to decide whether Settlers of Catan or homework is more important tonight, and to rewrite a version of my to-do list that reflects this priority.

Rules of Life

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My life is so adjectiveIt’s the first day of the week and this coming Tuesday is the first day of the semester, and that means it’s time for me to reorganize my schedule. Actually, this entails organizing and planning more than just my schedule. For example, as my blog post from yesterday shows, I have recently rearranged my dorm room. It is necessary that I do this at the beginning of each semester. In this particular case, it was especially needed because, over the last couple of months, my room had become messier and less ordered than I usually allow it to get. This state of affairs in my room has been fairly reflective of the state of affairs in my schedule and the way my brain works. The time has clearly come, not to make changes necessarily, but to clearly define the way things sort of are already and should be all the time.

Approximately three months ago, I spent a fair amount of time writing down lists of my life priorities, my opinions about various important things, and my life rules. I further summarized these lists into a few principles so concise that they had the appealing quality of a simple algorithm.  Thus, I concluded, I had clearly defined my personal rules of life, and everything would make sense, and I would be completely capable of solving any problem easily and neatly. It didn’t quite turn out that way. In fact, I would say that between then and now, my life has made very little sense and has been generally uncool in several ways, some of them very specific and others very abstract.

ListThe fault did not lie with my life rules, which were sufficiently logical and axiomatically accurate. The problems lay with my life, which is too complex and too unpredictable to be governed by such a simple set of rules, and my brain, which doesn’t always follow my own rules. You see, I’m so obsessive about organizing and planning things that I feel a need to even script out my thoughts before thinking them. When my brain goes off-script, it’s confusing and disorienting, but this is an inevitable occurrence, because life itself goes off-script all the time.

There are two ways to respond to this conundrum. I could just accept the fact that life is unpredictable, illogical, and full of surprises. The only way to deal with it is to learn how to improvise a little, to be capable of changing my mind or altering my plans, to tolerate change and to accept the fact that sometimes I don’t know what to do or what to think and I need to just take a guess. Alternatively, I could stick with my conviction that everything is quantifiable and that I could make sense out of life if I just had more data.

I've got life down to a scienceTherefore, here are the new rules of my life. My values and priorities will follow the system laid out a few months ago, which is no different from the less specific system I already followed. My schedule will be consistent from week to week and will follow the plan that I wrote a few days ago. This schedule, of course, revolves around my classes. In the meantime, I will be obsessively collecting data on everything. I have developed methods of quantifying cognitive efficiency and emotion, which I will be tracking on a multi-daily basis. I will keep records of time spent sleeping, eating, dancing, studying, and sitting in class. I will be noting the music I hear, the food I eat, the degree of my health, and the weather patterns. Furthermore, each day will be evaluated on a scale measuring it against normality according to a specific standard set forth by my daily schedule. All of these factors will be noted and evaluated for the purpose of discovering any correlations. For example, does less sleep lead to decreased cognitive functioning? Do certain kinds of music motivate me to study more? To what extent does weather affect my emotional state? Am I correct in my presupposition that normality in my schedule leads to a maximum mental ability, good health, and positive emotions? These are all things that I feel a need to know in order to develop successful life algorithms in the future.

Pictured: an actual nutcase

Pictured: an actual nutcase

Anyone who is sufficiently versed in psychological theory, either real or as-seen-on-TV, will probably have come to the conclusion by now that I feel a need to document and record everything in my life in order to compensate for insecurities that stem from a fear of lack of control. Very observant, psychological people. But you haven’t really noticed anything that I don’t already know and wouldn’t have been capable of explaining. I am, in fact, a complete nutcase who is just trying to find a way to make statistical sense out of the confusing, stressful, and frequently unpleasant situation known as life.

Whatever works, right?

I’m Basically the Human Version of My Cat

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Our favorite kitten picture of Lysander

Our favorite kitten picture of Lysander

Actually, it’s not all that surprising that I would have more in common with cats than most people do. I was basically adopted at birth by a cat. For the first few years of my childhood, I thought I had three parents: my father, my mother, and my cat. Lysander told me when to wake up in the mornings (although my mother and father tended to disagree with his decisions in that area) and stayed with me when I went to bed to protect me from nightmares. He watched over me when I was sick, worried about me when my mother made me take baths, and was always available for moral support when I was angry with my schoolwork. I think I was about eight years old before I even learned that humans technically run the planet while cats are supposedly just pets. (Unless, of course, they aren’t, in which case they’re strays)

Lysander died of old age nine years and four days ago, and the other two cats that we had when I was little also have been dead for a while.  Now, my family has two cats who are both about eight years old and who both coincidentally look quite a bit like Lysander. It goes without saying that I love them and am very close to them, but I’m close to them in very different ways because they have opposite personalities. Bo is affectionate, energetic, extremely social, and so mischievous that we have to keep an eye on him all the time. That makes him happy; he loves having eyes on him. Bo isn’t exactly a lap cat, but he is the kind of cat who will curl up next to you, follow you around the house, tie himself in knots around your ankles, complain loudly if you leave him alone, rub his face on you, and help himself to your food when your mother isn’t looking. It’s not that he’s misbehaving, it’s just that he expresses his love through obnoxiousness and thievery. Heidegger, on the other hand, prefers to spend most of her time sleeping in places where she hopes that nobody will bother her. She can be sweet and affectionate, too, but when she is, it generally means that her food bowl is approaching emptiness and she’s trying to alert people to that fact.

Heidegger and Bo

Heidegger and Bo

Whenever I’m at my house, Bo and I spend a good deal of our time together, but I don’t necessarily see much of Heidegger. To her, I’m not much better than a stranger, because I only come to her house a few times a year. She remembers me, but she’s usually not entirely comfortable around me until I’ve been there for at least a couple days. Since Bo loves people in general, it’s not relevant whether or not he remembers me. I am one of his people and therefore, I am extremely awesome in his eyes. If it wasn’t for the fact that he likes to run away every now and then, Bo would the ultimate example of the loyalty and love that animals can have for their people. On the other hand, I relate more to Heidegger in many ways because sometimes I see in myself the human versions of many of her personality traits. Basically, I’m like a human version of my Beautiful Princess. Here are some reasons why.

Heidegger1. We both have conflicting desires for privacy and community, which we both resolve by preferring to be near, but not at, the center of attention. Heidegger likes to sit on the stairs or under a piece of furniture so that she is sees and hears everything that happens in the living room, and the sound of human conversation makes her happy. We have to keep doors open for her to go visiting people’s bedrooms when she gets lonely, and we keep the food bowl in the dining room because she likes to eat near us while we’re eating. However, it would not be permissible for anyone to pick her up or to pet her for more than a minute or two. The best way to interact with Heidegger is to sit several feet away and whisper compliments to her in a quiet and calm voice. I think that sounds like a pretty good lifestyle. If I was in a position to completely dictate my interactions with other people, I think I would set them up in much the same way, except with more intellectual conversations and more board games. I definitely agree with Heidegger that it’s often more comfortable to be an observer than to be the life of the party.

2. We both hate being startled, and therefore make a point of being very aware of what’s going on around us.  If we see a movement out of the corner of our eye, we instinctively need to look to see what it is. If we hear a sound, we instinctively turn to see what made it. If we didn’t see anything or hear anything, we instinctively look around us to see what might have happened without us noticing. My sisters tell me that, even when I close my eyes, they can see through my eyelids that my eyeballs are darting around. This amuses them greatly.

Heidegger in her Leave-Me-Alone box, the sanctity of which I defiled by taking a picture

Heidegger in her Leave-Me-Alone box, the sanctity of which I defiled by taking a picture

3. We both need to have some alone time and alone space. For Bo, (and, it would seem, for some people) the idea of solitude for any amount of time at all is completely unappealing, but for people and animals like me and Heidegger, life is overwhelming if you can’t sometimes tell everyone and everything to leave you alone. To this end, Heidegger claims any empty cardboard boxes she can find and uses them as her Leave-Me-Alone boxes. We leave them out for her, and when she goes inside them, she must be left alone. When the Christmas tree is up, she designates it as her Leave-Me-Alone tree, and she must be left alone when she’s under it. Sometimes, if Heidegger is in a bad mood, she demands entire rooms or even the entire downstairs as Leave-Me-Alone territory. When Heidegger wants to be left alone, no one may touch her, look at her, or talk to her, and if they do, she is not to be held responsible for the cat scratches and bites that will suddenly appear on their hands or ankles. Unfortunately, humans can’t insist upon acting according to those same rules. Even if one is fortunate enough to have access to a private place- and I acknowledge that my dorm room does offer me as much privacy as a person can expect to have on a college campus- one still has things to get done and problems to solve. I can sometimes make people leave me alone, but I can never make life leave me alone. I would rather have it the other way around. Still, it is worth noting that, if I had a Leave-Me-Alone box, I would definitely use it.

The Beautiful Princess

4. We both get lonely if people leave us alone too much. Heidegger hates when people are asleep. I actually like when I’m awake and other people are asleep, that’s my Leave-Me-Alone time, but I don’t like the kind of days when I hardly spend any time with other people or when I am not involved in any conversations other than small talk. The sad thing is that, because of my busy schedule and because of the things mentioned in the preceding paragraph, this is fairly normal in my life.

Heidegger taking a nap

Heidegger taking a nap

5. We both wish that life would follow patterns more consistently. In Heidegger’s case, that means that she can’t deal with it when her food bowl gets knocked a centimeter to the side; someone must fix it or she cannot eat. In my case, that means that I must know my schedule ahead of time and I can’t be spontaneous unless I have deliberately put ambiguous plans or multiple choices in my schedule or to-do list.

6. We both like sitting on top of high pieces of furniture, even though neither one of us is as good at getting up there as certain other creatures, such as Bo. Heidegger used to climb the Christmas tree when she was a kitten, but now she satisfies herself with the top bunk of a bunk bed, except when she would rather sleep on the lower bunk or on a sofa. I like to climb on top of my wardrobe. I can’t explain exactly why. It’s just fun to be up there.

7. We both have an urge to spit and run away if someone is annoying us. The difference is that Heidegger can do that because she’s a cat, and I can’t because I’m a person.

She's a beautiful Princess

She’s a beautiful Princess

Final Exams are a First World Problem

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Pictured: a diagram helpfully illustrating what kinds of ions do and do not go together.

Pictured: a diagram helpfully illustrating what kinds of ions do and do not go together.

This semester’s finals are more stressful for me than usual. That’s mainly because I’m performing in The Nutcracker this weekend, and, as anyone with much of any experience in the performing arts knows, theater week and free time go together like two ions with the same charge, (that is, not at all) even without finals. Even so, I’m inclined to think that final exams aren’t quite as horrendous as most students think. I can’t help being a little annoyed at my classmates’ facebook statuses about the horrors of final exams. Admittedly, I have been known to post facebook statuses calculating my chances of survival or making hyperbolic jokes about the evils of finals, but a lot of people say those kinds of things a lot more frequently and a lot more seriously.

first world problemIt reminds me of the “first world problem” internet meme. They show a picture of a crying face (most of the ones I’ve seen use the same woman’s face) with a caption expressing a laughably petty complaint, often having to do with slow wifi or having an excessive amount of food. I would consider the stress of finals to be a somewhat more serious complaint than those types of things, but it still is pretty petty in the grand scheme of things. There are an awful lot of people in the world who don’t have access to education, and who would much rather worry about finishing a final paper on time or getting a good grade on a really difficult exam than about how they will keep their family fed.

In fact, I find it a little surprising that, even in the relative ease of this affluent culture, so many college students don’t seem to have bigger concerns than final exams. Again, I’m being somewhat hypocritical by saying that because I admit I obsess over grades to the extent of losing sight of things in the world outside of the narrow realm of undergraduate-level academia. At the moment, though, final exams are only one of several things I have to worry about, and not even the most stressful. It’s a little hard for me to devote all of my mental energy to school when I’m also worried about money, about the ever-present possibility that my car will suddenly blow up or burst into flames while I’m driving, and about what the camaduka my life is going to do, because it sure doesn’t seem to currently be in the process of doing anything that actually matters.

But really, those are all “first world problems”, too. Especially the one about the car. As scary as it is to drive a car that is less safe than a higher-quality car would be, it’s pretty awesome that I have a car at all. Sometimes, after I park and start to walk away, I turn around and look at the car and think about how many important things that machine gives me the ability to do, and how nice it is to have it. And then I go back to worrying about what might happen next time I drive it. But the freedom that my car gives me outweighs the risk, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. And I don’t have to worry about certain other dangers like the possibility of starving to death, and I live in a college dorm room instead of on the street, and I live in a society where I am relatively safe from violence, at least in comparison to countries with ongoing wars on their own land.

So, even though I’m going to be complaining about finals throughout the next several days, and even though I’m surely going to whine about how tired I am, and even though I’m going to continue being extremely worried about all of the various aspects of life that are going wrong or that could go wrong, I think it’s worth pointing out that those are all fairly petty complaints. I mean, at least my wifi is working just fine at the moment.

Logic is a Little Tweeting Bird

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Ah, the beauty of logical stuff written out on nice, neat lines

Ah, the beauty of logical stuff written out on nice, neat lines

Maybe it’s just because I’m kind of a nerd, but I really love my logic class. In fact, when I do my logic homework, I almost think of it as taking a break from homework. I’m actually really looking forward to the exam because it’s going to be fun, and I don’t mean that sarcastically at all. I wish I was studying for my logic exam tonight, but I have two other exams before that one and two papers to work on, so I doubt I’ll get around to doing any logic for a couple days.  (You may be wondering how I can find time to blog about how I don’t have any time. That’s a good question. Now please stop questioning my time management.)

The cool thing about logic is that it makes sense. It’s not like math because it doesn’t have all those confusing numbers and equations. It’s not like writing an English paper because, once you’ve found the right answer, you know you’re right and you don’t have to go back and question the degree of intelligence and aesthetic style of everything you’ve already  accomplished. It’s not like real life because you can be absolutely certain that there’s a correct answer to every problem, and that once you find it, you’re free to devote all of your attention to the next one.

"Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad." -Spock

“Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad.” -Spock

It occurred to me in class a few days ago that most logical proofs are irrelevant to real life. It’s highly unlikely that I will ever have to prove the validity of a convoluted argument where each premise has several terms. If such a situation ever does occur, it’s even more unlikely that the other people involved will be willing to wait for me to write out the premises, the conclusion, and a proof that might be twenty or thirty steps long. In short, everything I know about symbolic logic is fairly useless in real life.

But if I had a choice between symbolic logic and real life, I think I’d choose symbolic logic. ‘Cause I like things that make sense.

My life has taken a sudden turn for the randomer

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The conditions of my life have entered a state in which a regular schedule is impossible, sleep is unusual, and time of day is irrelevant. I concluded this when I woke up to discover that 1) it was 3:00 in the morning, 2) I was still dressed for church even though I had left church many hours previously, 3) I had unexpectedly fallen asleep at about 9:00 the previous night, 4) The alarm I had set to keep such a thing from happening had failed to wake me up at 10:00 as I had intended, and 5) I had consequently failed to accomplish the homework that I had been aware I would need to stay up all night to do. Additionally, I realized that I had a fever and a headache and my nose was running. Taking all of this into consideration, I acted in the only possible logical manner, which was to get up and get the coffee machine going.

Here is a picture of Mariah Carey that Google gave me when I searched for pictures of 80s hair. I selected this picture because this is more or less what my hair looked like. Except it was even curlier, and less symmetrical, and much less neat. So basically, it didn’t really look like this at all.

Another thing that I noticed upon waking up was that my hair had decided that it was ‘80s hair day. It had already been unusually curly the day before, but while I was asleep, it had rearranged itself into an array of disorderly curls with a big asymmetrical poof that didn’t seem like it should have possibly been able to form without a deliberate effort on my part. This amused me so greatly that it temporarily distracted me from my homework. Shortly thereafter, my hair changed its mind about ‘80s hair day and decided instead to go for a Medusa look, as various sections of my hair decided independently which direction they wanted to point and how tightly or loosely they wanted to curl. I was greatly tempted not to do my homework and instead to laugh at my hair while pacing around in my darkened dorm room and pondering the question of which decade I ought to live in, taking into consideration my taste in music and fashion, my thoughts on matters of feminism or its absence, and the tendencies of my hair. It is worth noting that I never determined a conclusive answer to this question.

A surprisingly accurate picture of what my hair often looks like when I wake up

These events happened over twenty-one hours ago, and in that time, I have read a couple hundred pages, written a few thousand words, gone to a few classes and work, taken care of some paperwork, eaten a couple times, wasted some time lamenting the tragic fact that my life isn’t entirely as joyous as I could imagine it being, and used the internet to send my mother some squirrel emoticons. Throughout the day, there has not been a single moment at which my perception of the time of day has been accurate. Also, my hair has suddenly and spontaneously changed its appearance several more times.