Paho Mann... how did he get a photograph of my brain? (Also- Giordano's!)

Paho Mann… how did youget a photograph of my brain? (Also- Giordano’s!)

Some days the hardest part of sitting down to write is coming up with a title. The title, after all, reflects what the post is going to be about, which means that I’ve already given some thought about the direction I want the post to take. Too much advance thought and I start over-thinking it. Too little advance thought and I stare at the blank screen without any idea of where to start. It’s a delicate balance.

Today I have many small thoughts in mind. I privately call this “Dreadful Knickknackery” and it applies both to actual knickknacks as well as to this scatterbrained state of mind. Dreadful Knickknackery is what fills up junk drawers and pencil jars. Bobby pins. Paperclips. Bottle caps. Plastic tags from bread bags. Used twist ties. Old keys that don’t open anything. Old business cards. It’s the stuff you can’t categorize and that winds up in the boxes labeled “Misc” and “Etc” when moving house. And there are always more boxes of “Misc” and “Etc” than seems conscionable yet none of it seems conscionable to get rid of either.

Here is some of the Dreadful Knickknackery on my mind:

Now that I’ve started running again with at least a facsimile of regularity I’ve found myself in that uncomfortable plateau state where the running isn’t easy enough to be fun and isn’t hard enough to seem satisfactory. I can do three miles again. I still have to stop and walk periodically, but I’m finishing strong. Is it worth making the effort to get out the door at the crack of dawn? Right now, yes, but once the semester begins? Hard to say. I like to think that I’m better than all the one-week-of-New-Year’s-resolution runners, but I won’t really know for sure until the end of the month.

It’s time to take down the Christmas tree. This is sad and lonely work. I took all the ornaments off the tree last night and packed them in their respective boxes. Today I tackle the lights and the tree itself. As much as I miss having a real tree at Christmas, there is something reassuring about the idea that I will be able to resurrect this same tree again next winter. This life-death-resurrection analogy is only emphasized by the fact that the bin in which we store our Christmas decor is roughly the size and shape of a tupperware coffin. From the storage unit ye came. To the storage unit ye shall return.

Earlier in the week I volunteered to participate in a study at the Emotion and Cognition lab on the USC campus. I’m strangely excited about this even though my role is so infinitesimally small that I don’t even know what the study is trying to accomplish. I’m essentially a monkey wearing headphones and pushing buttons. Still: I get to be a part of Science.

Well, that’s all for today. Time to sift through some more of the mental and physical household debris.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 8, 2014.

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