Solution:

optimal_solution_by_meppol

Spring– it’s here!

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want– oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! — Mark Twain

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By the time I get back to San Diego, it will officially be spring. Spring break, spring quarter, spring flings, spring fever.

Did you know it was Mark Twain who started “spring fever” with that quote? Of course it would be Twain. Freaking Twain– he has all the good ideas.

Well, I don’t know what the big deal is with spring. It’s just another season. Yes, flowers tend to bloom (conveniently) during springtime. True, the sun is out and I guess the world seems a whole lot brighter that way. And everyone’s wearing skirts and shorts and in the sun everyone looks so good and all that just has to mean happiness, right?

I’m sure it comes down to something scientific and chemical, or something really innate and carnal. Like all the animals start to hear the call of the wild or something. I’d like to think we’re a people above the scheming manipulations of nature, but it’s probably true. All the emotions and the hormones and the flowers and the sun. That’s life. It’s springtime, and I shall accept it for what it is. Hmmm…

Haha. Just kidding– I actually love spring. I think this is going to be a great season. Bring on the sunshine!

He’s Just Not That Into You? Really?

He's Just Not That Into YouIt was finals week. I was at the public library in downtown La Jolla without wireless internet, suffocating under the heavy weight of a quickly approaching final exam.

Apparently I am incapable of studying by myself. I start off strong– documents open, headphones on, fingers hovering slightly over the lettered keys. I type my first sentence. Pause. Adjust the margins, fix the spacing, change the font to fit my current mood. Times New Roman when I have to focus, Calibri for the duller assignments, and (on occasion), Courier New to delude myself into thinking a typewriter font makes me more of a writer. And before I know it, my mind is completely gone. I wander off, and end up in the section with books like:

  • What Men Won’t Tell You, But Women Need To Know
  • Don’t Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting Go
  • Make Every Man Want You (Or Make Yours Want You More)
  • Man Magnet: How To Be The Best Woman You Can Be

And I’m thinking: Sweet Jesus, how did I get here, and someone please take me to the Harry Potter section. I spent at least 15 minutes suppressing my laughter as I pulled book after book from the shelf. Bright, bold covers pasted with provocative statements. Exaggerated cartoons of single women holding a cosmopolitan in one hand and cigarettes in the other (clearly, the shining image of feminine independence). Then, amongst the rubble, I found it– He’s Just Not That Into You.

I think it was a poor thought process, surely brought on by extreme sleep-deprivation and unparalleled hunger (i clearly remember it being past 1:30pm). But after watching the movie only to leave the theater disappointed and $10 poorer, I naturally reasoned that books were always better than movies and this had to be the case. It had a clever title– blunt, honest, catchy. So I thought, what the hell! My papers can wait! I found an empty table hidden behind thick bookshelves. No one would see me, particularly not with the book. I slid my gigantic, Princess Leia headphones over my ears and used my hair to cover most of my face. I was settled, conveniently hidden from judgment and quite incognito. I was ready to read.

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Dream a little dream of me

Calvin and Hobbes

Sometimes I hate dreams because they tell us things we already knew, but were trying to avoid acknowledging.

Distracted.

Robert Doisneau

Musicien sous la pluie, Robert Doisneau

Truth is stranger than fiction.

http://www.manonwire.com/

 

On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York’s twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released.

Following six and a half years of dreaming of the towers, Petit spent eight months in New York City planning the execution of the coup. Aided by a team of friends and accomplices, Petit was faced with numerous extraordinary challenges: he had to find a way to bypass the WTC’s security; smuggle the heavy steel cable and rigging equipment into the towers; pass the wire between the two rooftops; anchor the wire and tension it to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings. The rigging was done by night in complete secrecy. At 7:15 AM, Philippe took his first step on the high wire 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan…

James Marsh’s documentary brings Petit’s extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of Philippe himself, and some of the co-conspirators who helped him create the unique and magnificent spectacle that became known as “the artistic crime of the century.”

 
I have become extremely appreciative of documentaries lately, especially in the case of Man on Wire. There is something really refreshing about their honesty. Fiction is wonderful, and I often prefer it to the truth, but there is just something about real life, real people, real possibilities. Twain is right– truth is stranger. Philippe Petit is insane in the most extraordinary and reckless sense of the word. I don’t know what to say. Frankly, I’m a bit stunned. People like Philippe are rare, practically nonexistent. What would the world look like if everyone lived just as simply, as passionately, as honestly? One day he just decided that he wanted to walk a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers. And then he did it. Simple. He knew what he wanted, and he did what he had to do to get it– legalities and fears aside. What a way to be, walking through the clouds and balancing life on a cable-thin line.

Said he’s going back to find a simpler place and time

Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories. — Walter Benjamin

Apparently I have a thing for collections. I think whether or not we choose to admit it, everyone has a sort of useless accumulation of things gathering dust in the back of our closets or hiding in the unknown territories beneath our beds. Coin collections, stamp booklets, marble jars, the works. Well I have them all.

bottles

I keep everything, perhaps even to a fault. My coin collection is scattered in random drawers and spare boxes. I used to have a piggy bank to collect change, but I broke it for the sake of shopping. I inherited an old collection of stamps in this broken red booklet my mother gave me. I think I looked at it once and it might still be sitting on the bottom of my dresser drawer. All the marbles I treasured and gathered in elementary school somehow ended up in a large plastic bag because I needed the glass jar to hold something far more interesting. Buttons, I think. I bought Beanie Babies just like everyone else, though I lacked the self-control to leave them packaged and protected. They’re piled together in a big plastic bag in my garage.

I won’t lie; I have had my share of collections.

I can’t quite understand why I seem to be so drawn to hoarding massive quantities of junk. Am I a pack-rat? The thought of scurrying around searching for useless trinkets and treasures, a common rodent returning to its filthy den, gives me the creeps. It never occurred to me before that my collections were (and are) essentially useless. People try to justify their strange hobbies with even stranger explanations. Beanie babies– only the ones pure and untouched, of course– were supposed to be a gold mine. A complete set of state quarters was estimated to be worth millions. I think everyone, at some point, buys into this fantasy of one day, years and years later, finding these disregarded, forgotten collections and discovering that they happened to be the key to infinite wealth and unprecedented good fortune.

fishbowlI found this abandoned blog from 2007 by chance. Yet another addition to my growing collection of deserted journals. It’s always a strange experience to look back into the past. Most of the time, it’s such a joke. All the dramatics, all the irrationalities. And then you find moments beneath all those youthful absurdities. Then you find all those really heartbreaking, real moments. It’s those emotions that you can feel once again, just by looking back at yourself and remembering. I have had my fair share of collections. I mean, they’re not particularly useful. They don’t do much but accumulate, but I keep them anyway. Maybe not for any particularly logical reason; maybe just so I can find them, over and over again.

The best part about old collections is the rediscovery.