Wednesday, December 24, 2008

365. Cleaning My Mind's Room, Version 2, Frantically Leaving a Hotel Room, About to Be Kicked Out 12 Noon

These are just scrap notes that I will have to further develop later.

The metaphors of POWER, CONTROL, and SUPERIORITY need to be replaced by the metaphors of ORGANIZATION, MANAGEMENT, and INTERDEPENDENCE.

Commentary by UCLA graduate student: Why are we in graduate school? Because graduate school distinguishes the intelligent people from the ditch diggers. After this fatso vertebrate paleo xsshole grad student of five years said that, I lost ALL respect for him. I am only in graduate school, biologizing (ecopistemologizing) 24-7 because all the other people, e.g. "ditch diggers," are doing their work to help me focus on my work. They are doing the best they can in their work, and I will be the best darndest biologist I can be. They do services for me, and I do services for them. If people were not digging ditches, I would be spending a good portion of the day digging ditches myself. Elaborate later.

I whole month of fragmented memories lay scattered in a pile of trash all over a bed of a motel 6. And how can I have the nerve to rapidly reflect and organize my shatterd past and throw them all away within less than an hour? So, I suppose the goal is to remove the bulkiest of materials and go from there.

Melted styrofoam box. Shared nachos with Julian. The last week and a half or so had been a "food spree" from Thai to horrid Chinese food to Mexican to god knows what. I had eaten out WAY too much, and this is my moment of reflection and self-imposition of constraint. It was a nice evening with Julian. Butt cold. I just started working on the fisheries stakeholder notes, and it had been a gruesome process in my part. It was the first time I was ever an "objective" note-taker for a stakeholder meeting. What a noble title, I think! We discussed Jeffrey Miller, etcetera. Evolutionary psychology stuff.

Fat free Milk from Trader Joes. I am a Trader Joes addict.
Trader Joes natural spring water from Hector and Katia. I had a couple of writing sessions with Hector the last couple of weeks. Hector and Katia gave me a pair of pants to borrow (on a chilly night) and a bottle of water to head downtown to the movies--potentially the same movie Theater where T and I watched Wall-e, but instead this time we watched MILK, a documentary-narrative on the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly-elected gay official in the country--stationed in San Francisco. I fell in love with Harvey Milk and was 110% inspired by his charisma, opportunism, and the ability to make politics personal--the small world effect--applied for passing laws that provided rights for gays, lesbians, transgender, etcetera. If all gays came out of the closet and told their loved one, then suddenly nearly everyone is impacted--down to the family level--and then a lot of things go in their favor. Sean Penn (a Hollywood inheriter--parents involved in film) was a superb--I don't know how to describe him. All I know is that my level of respect for Sean Penn when from close to nothing to sky-rocket high. That was an academy award role, and Sean Penn deserves it. Harvey was so open. It was total bottom-up politics. You start with a neighborhood of Castro, and it expands all across the country. It's a beautiful thing. Completely beautiful thing. Harvey was such an open, organizational person. He excelled at everything he did. I looked at the old pics and I found out that he was left-handed. GO FIGURE! What a brilliant networker, the ability to move people like that. Moving on. I am throwing away the water bottle.

I liked a couple of scenes from the film because it involved reflection. There was one scene shot from the reflection of a whistle on the ground. Another scene shot through the reflection of a mirror. Those were beautiful, very creative simplicity. Love it.

It was interesting. I felt like I was going out to watch a film with my parents :-). Hector and Katia have been so kind to me, I am about to get them a Christmas present.

I bought a power bug for an ipod shuffle because my other charger was left at home by accident. I kept the box for a long time, thinking I was going to return it--it's too late. One month policy at Best Buy. I will throw it away. Though it was 20 bucks it was worth it. I can charge my ipod from a wall-socket, not my computer, which keeps getting reset all the time!

I bought a 12-pack of diet mountain dew at an unexpected time, at an unexpected place, at an unexpected price. Maybe the Vons out in Ventura off Seaward Ave. Kept me company in my drives a couple of times. No context of memories otherwise. It's funny how some things make you remember and some things don't.

I am now staring at another Trader Joes half-gallon milk and two half-gallons of TJs 2.99 (used to be 2.59) vanilla soy milk. As well as Vons organic Soymilk plain. I am a Soy Milk moderate addict. Once every two or three days. Or once a week in Goleta I would go over to TJs. Last time was there made purchases when writing an essay on Fishermen and Scientists. Define ORGANIC, please! It's government definitions, not literary definitions. I am so sure. I enjoy getting sample cups of coffee with creamer and stevia on cold days. It's a nice break from work at the Kinkos. I only get Vons soymilk when it is post 9pm and I am very desperate. Purchased with dinner with Kamal. Indian food. Too much eating out!!! Geeze!

I am venturing into throwing away the composition of my usual vices: coffee cups, lx, gum, werther candy, the now blue-ice-mint tic-tacs made of xylitol and dentist-recommended. Day in. Day out. The epitome of graduate student life. Coffee cups. My consumption of LX only signifies my denial of leaving American Megacorporate Dogfood remaining stagnant and stuck in my stomach for lengthy periods of time. I shoot for healthy alternatives, but every once in a while, I eat the Pollen's quote "food-like substance" and all I rationally and physiological desire is to expel it from my system as quickly as possible.

Another Vanilla soy milk! I just can't get enough! Opened GUM toothbrush with a microtip. I get those simply because. I am thinking of staying another hotel night... but I am not sure.... I should start moving stuff. few more items to throw. Like a second Trader Joes water bottle. And an overprices CVS antiseptic mouth wash. I paid 3.99 for 1.0 liters when I could have gotten a 3.29 1.5 Liter bottle at Walmart. But Walmart is depressing to enter into the store. So, I am paying extra money for less so I won't have to drive so far (Oxnard Walmart is the closest Walmart to Santa Barbara) and I won't have to get depressed.

I consume quite a few xylitol tic-tacs nowadays. I should do a photographic collage of my new-found vice! I am now currently throwing away 5 large Starbucks coffee cups, that were either filled with coffee or chai tea bags. Two of them were before the Christmas season and were still white or red. They symbolize my coffee addiction as well as my endless hours in the Starbucks or neighboring businesses--e.g. Borders--studying outside the house can be a good thing. "The Way I See It" coffee cups bug the hxll out of me because they only quote the "famous people" and the likelihood of having a "commoner's" voice on the cup is about two large Starbucks coffee cups (out of a couple hundred) per year. So much for "equality" of voice.

Hector got me a pumpkin spice latte--3.80 for a MICRO CUP! Right after MILK while Katia was checking out books at Borders. I really think I am going to stay here till tomorrow morning.

I am going to recap two more memory-filled pieces of trash before I throw them away. First piece of trash is a white styrofoam cup that is supposedly recyclable (has the label on the bottom of the cup), symbolizing a wonderful recent adventure with a (now) good friend in Camarillo. Element Coffee. Great thai food. And hitting a bar for some soda water and cranberry juice in the end. Hadn't encountered such intelligence and self-resourcefulness in SUCH a long time! My goodness. My friend had been in the Iraq war and is an avid-snowboarder-multi-media-izer-intellectual-wanderer of the universe. I have to stay vague because we pinky-swore that I would journal our experiences, not blog them. But I am nevertheless amorphously positive, and hereby proclaim my innocence! It was a tough ride home though afterwards. I had the same old music on my ipod, combined with driving home on a full stomach. To make things worse, my ipod lost all juice, so I had no music to keep me awake. I fell asleep multiple times (had to get off the side of the road) and it was the most uncomfortable rest because my car was full of crxp and I had no possible way to lean down my car seat. Secondly, it was chilly, but thankfully the thai food kept me rather warm. I would wake up shivering cold after a few sets of 20-minute power naps. I hung more alert on the road upon murmering "I don't wanna die. I don't wanna die. I don't wanna die!" It was a delerious ride home. I showed up around 2am in the morning. I made myself a cup of warm milk, 1% milk fat--not the nonfat milk that my parents raised me on. Sheesh! And then grabbed about 10 blankets, layered them on top of three-spread out couch pillows my mom snatched from a yard sale, and crashed until around 920 in the morning. Though I woke up in between to greet my father--like 6am in the morning.

I just threw away my white cup. It still has some reddish water--cranberry mixed with previous ice. Melted post two days. Vamouso.

My cuisine collection: coffee, Starbucks airport food, smoothies, mexican food, thai food, chinese food, indian food. Wonder how Kamal is doing. Anything else for food? I think I hit all the food that is not "bland American white toast" food. Like Denny's and IHOP. I refuse to eat at those kinds of places--everything is pre-made and all food sits in you like a rock for two days after.

The last thing to throw away is a Blenders in the Grass cup that contained a smoothie. I took Oscar out. Kamal took me out. My Camarrillo friend took me out. Becca and I split. I took Julian out. It all evens out in the end. Just WAY too much eating out!

Back to my Blenders in the Grass smoothie. I was about to get a Strawberry-based smoothie but I converted to Mango-based right toward the end. Thankfully they were the same price. I got my Uncle Dwight a giant smoothie too! That was a couple of weeks after my grandfather's passing. My dad had some too. Oscar had edited a film for Santa Barbara Surfrider. I was picked up by Scott Bull unexpectedly on a Thursday night (First Thursday Artwalk of Santa Barbara). I got 15-minutes of what I thought was "hideous footage" and my friend Oscar praised my work--surprisingly! He said that if it were a "narrative film" that it was not-so-great footage, but given that it is guerrilla-style impromptu work, then it worked PERFECTLY and was rather aesthetic! I was scared to call Oscar for TWO WEEKS after that impromptu experience. I was supposed to be filming Scott Chatenever's work! Not Scott Bull's! Whatever! I snapped that day. Too much happened all in one day. Consuming the minds of Stephanie LeMenager (English Department professor), Scott Chatenever (well-known ceramicist of Santa Barbara), and Scott Bull (president of Santa Barbara Surfrider and a major founder/leader of the Shoreline Preservation Fund / now Coastal Fund)--I SNAPPED THAT NIGHT. I couldn't deal with anything anymore. Talk about being spread too thin. Things collapsed pretty quickly after that, especially with the falling of my grandfather's health.

Anyhow, I finally met up with Oscar and I took him out for a smoothie. I owe him some money for his work. He apparently worked with Hannah for an oil project a couple weeks previously. Hannah was at the last EMI meeting promoting this 1969 oil spill memorium. We drove around and caught up. It was the first time I entered his apartment even though I had been by Oscar's complex several times. I was able to meet his chiuaua by the name of "Coochie." She has ultimately rendered as a non-stop barking machine. Coochie, light-brown-short-haired creature, who looks like a giant rat--predictable of Chiuauas--has been with Oscar for about three years--as of what I remember. Oscar and I ended up watching "The Dark Knight"--a video he ordered through Netflix. He had watched it several times and he prompted me to write down a quote. There were about five very quoteable quotes in that film.

I think that movie was made for Batman addicts. If you are not addicted to Batman, then it is indeed not a well-conceived film, not a well-conceived, coherent plot. Christian Bale played Batman. I had established no attachment to him throughout the film. I enjoyed him in his earlier war-ish films. I don't even consider him to be a hero. Heath Ledger played the Joker, which was the MOST convincing character out of all the actors. Tragically he died of overdose or a horrible mixing of drugs-concoctions while renting a house/apt of Mary-Kate or Ashley Olson--I don't even know. The worst part is "the damsel" that was supposed to be an immense driver of male human behavior within the film was Maggie Gyllenhaal, sister of Jake Gyllenhaal, another economic dynasty of Hollywood. Both Oscar and I were unappealled to her. She doesn't have desirable aesthetics: droopy eyes, these "baggy" cheaks like chipmunks, her voice is in part annoying--very girlish--nothing deep and sensual, like Catherine Zeta Jones. When you place lighting on Maggie's face, she looks a LOT older than what she really is. My own biological perceptions of aesthetics and personality instantly turned me off. There was no motivation. I am sure it was a general turn-off for the audience as well. As for Gotham, there is a chronic addiction between the battle of Batman and the Joker. Batman attempts to establish order in Gotham and the Joker breaks people down to a point of vulnerability and converts them into creating chaos of Gotham. It is a chronic battle--endless may I add--between order and chaos. Batman can supposedly not "kill" people though he throws humans around left and right. Both Batman and the Joker had plenty of times and opportunities to kill each other, but they never ended up doing it. So, there is absolutely nothing convincing. What I recommend is that both Batman and the Joker go to AA, not Alcoholics Anonymous, but Alternative Addictions, and they need to train their minds to finding habits other than wreaking havoc in Gotham--and in the end--get to the source of their problems--then never kill each other. It's stupid to me. But of course, Hollywood wants to keep making more Batman films, so you can never resolve a never ending cinematic soap opera. Each film is bigger and better in terms of special effects, but minimal leaps in character development, and reverting to childlike storytelling with plots. Convoluted to say in the least. So much for my film critiquing.

Now I can throw away my Blenders in the Grass. That was a LOT of work.

Now that I have gone from quarter system to post-quarter post-pardum depression, I have reverted to typical American consumption: movies and going out to eat. I feel like an ungrateful sinner. I should be learning how to hunt rabbits.

You can tell I am getting restless... very fast.

As I had started to observe over time, I started to realize how all media sources started to "coordinate" themselves. For example, a movie with Keanu Reeves is about to come out. Before the film, he is the front cover of some major magazines. Then he is invited to the Jay Leno Tonight show... then Oprah. And then the National Enquirer magazine-types start to follow him around a little more than usual. He also gets a little more news coverage. Then it's the opening night. Things are hot for a few weeks, then everyone else waits for the DVD to come out. And then Keanu hides for another year or half-year until his next Mega-American-Consumptive product comes out. Not to pick on Keanu. It may very well be Brittney Spears. It's all coordinated in the end. As if there is a vicious cycle of news reporting to keep up with the hottest and latest. Chain reaction effect. Newspaper citing and copy-catting other newspapers. The competition to get the scoop. It's so circular, it's depressing. Perhaps I am having hesistantcy in "plugging into journalism" since from observation, most of the scene is rather ... depressing. The American Media in general all need to go to AA as well, especially when it comes to the issues of science and society.

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