Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Peck of Dreams

I just woke up from a series of dreams. I remember them all.
  1. I was walking through the snow on a sunny day with a group of people from Ozark. We were going through a small village that had been abandoned. We looked into each tiny shack and saw a TON of styrofoam. When we got to a larger building, which turned out to be Dennis Hall, I stayed there. They all left on horseback.
  2. I started setting up my room, because I was going to be the RA on Dennis first floor. I plugged a microwave into an extension cord and plugged that into a power strip. Probably not very safe.
  3. I was a professor on campus. To get from class to class, I would ride in a tractor. The inside of the tractor was a lot more like a bus, though, so I gave a lot of people rides. I was like the school bus professor.
  4. I was upstairs in the chapel, when I saw a large, young black girl crying on the floor. I sat down to talk to her. She told me that she was a cutter because her mom was abusive. She was also planning on getting a boyfriend for the sole purpose of the boyfriend abusing her mom. I counseled her for a little bit.
  5. I heard a shout for help. I looked down a metal gangway and saw a group of people around a man who was bleeding profusely from the head. The man was also wearing an edible black lobster suit over his whole body, except for his head and his right hand. They quickly told me that he had been attacked by his own dog (probably because he was wearing an edible lobster suit) and needed stitches right then. I quickly ordered stitches to be given. I went outside to where the attack had happened and found a black lobster hand with a bite mark taken out of it. I ate the rest of the hand. It was good.
  6. I had just recorded two songs to promote the school. I had also made very poorly done music videos to go along with them. A big advertising expert came over to my house to watch them. My mom, sister and brother were all there for the big movie/song debut. We put in the DVD, and a TOTALLY different video played for the song. The video was really good, with real actors and multiple locations. We were all so confused until my dad walked into the room. We were all so excited to see him! He said that he was the one who had remade the music videos to be so much better, then he swapped out my DVD with his new one. When we asked him where he had been for nearly five years, he apologized and said he had faked his death so that he could get away and have some rest. I spent the rest of the dream running into every room at Ozark, telling them that my movies were a success because my dad had helped me.
Okay, enough of dreams! I have to go get ready to leave! Albuquerque, here I come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We Love Weather

Talking about the weather might be considered the universally most boring topic, but for achieving such a status, it sure seems to dominate a great deal of our thoughts and actions. For example, we check the weather to know what to wear. It dictates our clothing and accessories (Do I need an umbrella? If I take an umbrella, I'll need to take my bigger purse to fit my umbrella. Should I wear my raincoat? How about galoshes?). We pray about it all the time (Thanks for the sunshine, please send away the rain, please send the rain to Africa, etc.). It controls our moods (I'm sad because it's cloudy. I'm depressed because I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I don't want to work because it's sunny.). It dominates world news (floods, droughts, heatwaves, winter storms).

So why do people deny wanting to talk about it and act like it is boring?

I think maybe people should stop denying their extreme interest in the weather and start really talking about it freely.

Perhaps we talk about the weather because it is one of the only things to which everyone can universally relate and have some assurance of knowledge. Maybe the problem is that the world is too dull to talk about anything other than the weather.

So, decide you like talking about it and embrace this conviction, or educate yourself (and others) and then talk about something else.

Like pop culture and celebrity gossip.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Golden Arches

I don't remember when I first saw the commercial for it, but as soon as I heard about a machine that mapped your foot and prescribed a specialized insert for your shoe, I wanted to try it. It's from Dr. Scholl's. You can learn about it here. I was just so curious about what it would have to say about my feet. And so, when I saw one of these "Foot Mapping" centers at my local Wal-Mart, I couldn't wait to hop on - despite fears of germs voiced by my two shopping companions.

I removed my shoes, just as the screen told me to, and stepped on to the rather squishy surface. I followed the prompts on the screen, and a nice little "map" of my feet came up. It was obvious from the image on the screen that I have incredibly high arches. There was a nice circle for each heel, and an oval for the ball of each foot, and a nice little circle for each toe - but there was no arch to be seen on my foot map. Before I was able to proceed to the next step (which is lifting each leg in turn), the screen asked me to make sure that I had taken off my shoes because the pressure I was exerting was so weird, with absolutely no arch touching the ground. I assured the machine that I had, in fact, removed my shoes. It then gave me the reading that I have very high arches and very high foot pressure. It told me which inserts I should buy. They were fifty dollars. I did not buy them.

It was still fun, though, affirming something I had known all along. As long as you do not have an extreme fear of fungus, I would recommend this activity the next time you're in Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


In the past week, I have had two experiences with hypodermic needles.

On Wednesday past, I got my nose repierced. This is something that has been a long time coming. I first got my nose pierced during the summer of 2005. I was 17, and could not get it pierced without parental consent. Fortunately for me, I have an identical sister, whose ID was readily available. This is the only instance in my life I have ever used an alias. It totally worked, even with my sister standing right next to me. I had my nose ring for a little over a year. When I switched to a new school, I had to take it out, because at that time they did not allow facial piercings. It was a sad moment in my life. When they finally allowed them at the start of this school year, there was a mad rush of Ozark students to the piercing parlors, but I was not among them. Seeing so many of them made me not want one. Not yet. Then on Wednesday, the urge struck me, so my friend Kylie took me to her favorite place in downtown Joplin and, about ten minutes later, I had a hypodermic needle in my nose. I couldn't have been more thrilled.

As for the second hypodermic needle, that came late on Sunday night. I had been experiencing chest pain off and on all day, and finally got scared enough to go to the hospital. They gave me an EKG and did some blood tests - thus, the hypodermic needle. Everything turned out fine. I apparently have been stricken with a really bad case of heartburn (which is still mildly ongoing, despite the use of antacids). But I learned that when you're in the hospital, they put in an IV needle to take blood, and then they just leave it in you. I had a needle sticking out of my arm for about three hours. When I have a needle in my vein, I'm afraid to bend my arm because I'm sure that the needle will go straight through the other side of my vein and I'll suffer massive hemorrhaging and get sick bruises. I don't want to look like I have drug tracks.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Beginning

April 7, 2010. That sounds so futuristic, but it is totally today’s date. When I was little, I would have potentially used this date as a futuristic one, one where I was imagining living in space (but not experiencing muscular atrophy) and doing futuristic things. But here I am, in the year 2010. I am sitting at a desk in the world’s smallest office. This thing is so small, it would make the Japanese proud of my economy. The only thing that I need is a sliding paper door. As of right now, my office is so small it doesn’t even have a door – just a frame.

I think our expectations of the future have always been way off. I think that long in the past, the expectations did not reach high enough, and I think that in the more recent history, they have reached too far. Consider for a moment the Dark Ages, when I genuinely think people saw no future other than the one they were living. Then I think about Orwell’s 1984, which reached too far (though still made an excellent point). I also think about the movie “Blade Runner.” That movie is set in 2019 and assumes highly established off-world colonies. Also, the background features advertisements for Atari, which I think we all know will never happen. In fact, Atari hasn’t been advertised in about 15 years anyway.

What I’m getting at is this: we can’t rightly predict the future. Perhaps we can guess the next step or two, but even that is all speculation. We might be able to predict the next step of entertainment (holographic TVs, anyone?), or certain health trends (like morbid obesity – a problem already on the rise, with 67% of American adults being overweight or obese, and 34% being obese) and perhaps what that will do. But seriously, when we start projecting 20, 30, or 100 years into the future, I think we get really whacked out ideas. I watched a movie recently called “Idiocracy.” Like 1984, the message was good, but I think the conclusions were rather far-fetched. “Idiocracy” is set 500 years in the future, where everyone is completely stupid, with incredibly low IQ levels, which the movie states happened because educated people choose not to have children, or have fewer children, because they actually think about it, while uneducated people have children because they don’t know any better. The movie assumes that, on a long enough time scale, humanity will become idiots. The people of this future America do not even have the knowledge of how to grow plants, and think that putting the futuristic equivalent of Gatorade on plants will help them grow.

But this is not about education in America. This is about predicting the future. My conclusion is this: we can’t. We are historically bad at it, and I don’t think that being farther along in a timeline of the world makes us any better at it.