minute thoughts 4.10.16
Thoughts while wearing my "Narwhalmadillo out" t-shirt
1. Since traffic is largely psychological, I wonder if the commercialization of automated transportation will eliminate traffic completely or make it worse because it takes human decisions out of the equation.
2. I think, for everyone, there are those little things that are impossible to let go of. A sentence, an image, an idea—the things that sort of seep into your daily thoughts and color your actions, whether you know it or not. We are complex creatures; we carry things with us, and too often they weigh so heavily on us that they eventually become part of us, or worse, blindside us when we least expect it. But I think for everyone, at least everyone who has the ability to self-reflect, there's always that one thing that inhibits them in some way or another. Something that has an irrational and inexplicable amount of power over them. And it's part of being human, but not necessarily one of the good parts.
3. Things You Should Watch: Alan Fridlund's last lecture April 6th, 2012. Dr. Fridlund was my Psych 1 professor back in freshman year, and remains to this day one of my favorite professors at UCSB, so I was intrigued to see that he was selected four years ago to give his own "last lecture." The term "last lecture" in his case is slightly misleading; the idea came from a Carnegie Mellon professor named Randy Pausch who discovered he was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. He gave a last lecture called "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". It reminds me of one of my all-time favorite books, Tuesdays with Morrie, and prompts the question: What would you say to as many people as possible in your final months? What would you want to focus on? How would you want people to remember you?
4. I have a lot of small-world stories because my family is so big, but to this day the most notable one is this: I met my friend Melissa on a cruise in China six years ago and we instantly clicked, partly because no one else on the boat spoke English and we didn't speak Chinese. I find out she's from Washington D.C., and I tell her to come visit me in California. Fast-forward two years and she's on vacation in San Diego with her younger cousin. While trying to make conversation with the younger cousin, I find out that her brother (and Melissa's cousin) goes to a tiny music school in New York...where he just happens to be dating my cousin. I'm still mind-blown about it, six years later. And to this day, we still keep in touch. Truly one of the best surprise friendships I've ever had.
5. I don't even like chocolate but since this summer I've had an obsession with Brooklyn Blackout cake and its variations (did you know they have Brooklyn Blackout ice cream?! Me neither). It has pudding in it. Omg. Coming soon: my attempt to recreate Two Little Red Hens' Brooklyn Blackout cupcakes.
6. I have very mixed feelings about YouTube, especially beauty bloggers on YouTube. I appreciate video content and vlogging, when it's talking about particular products or a trip they took or an idea they found interesting, but I think the kind that just follows one person around for a WHOLE DAY, and the culture surrounding it, is pretty...creepy. Not only is it a highly glamorized representation of even the most pedestrian aspects of daily life, but the fact that people are so obsessively devoted to particular YouTube stars that they want to know and often imitate every detail of their personal lives is a bit unnerving. There was a thread on Reddit regarding Things Beauty YouTubers Do That Annoy You and a lot of them reminded me why I unsubscribed from almost all of them. Makeup is one of my favorite indulgences, but I think a lot of parts of the online beauty culture just annoy me—for example, why is every YouTuber's bio something along the lines of "free spirit, coffee enthusiast, lipstick junkie"?
7. But, as much as I often hate things that beauty bloggers do, I still respect them. They've found a way to make a career out of their passion, and that's admirable. I would be so lucky to get paid to do something I love that much. I don't ever want my own bias to be misconstrued as not supporting other women or other bloggers, because I think that's very important. A key part of feminism is supporting other women, and not attacking their appearances or their actions out of pettiness or personal issues.
8. On that note, ALL OF MY FRIENDS ARE STARTING BLOGS AND I'M SO HAPPY I COULD CRY :'). I love reading other peoples' thoughts; blogs are such personal things and it takes a LOT of anxiety to decide to share your sentiments in such a public way. I always try to encourage it as much as possible, because I think it's helped me in so many aspects of my life. Blogging is good for the soul.
9. I have this thing about hotel rooms. When I can't sleep at 2 am, when everything is quiet except for the hum of the air conditioner and the sounds of the city outside. Maybe because I'm in an unfamiliar place, but suddenly, I just feel so small. It's just something I always think of, when it's 2 am and I'm staring out the window at the stars. There's always this pervasive sense of loneliness and isolation, even though I am never in hotel rooms alone. I can't quite think of a word to describe it, nor do I know if one even exists. It's usually those kinds of nights that lead to long, rambling blog posts.
10. I've watched this video, of Yeonmi Park telling her story of escaping from North Korea, so many times, but it absolutely rips my heart out every time. This is why I want to do good. This is why I'm hesitant to sell my soul to the corporate world. Problems like these are very real, and I'm selfishly worrying about which city has the most comfortable weather.