Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: June, 2003

On the Wall

Just as people accumulate things to fill up any empty space in their house, they also cover any empty space on their walls and doors. I have to admit that I rarely hang anything on the walls or doors–out of a sense of minimalism or misguided anal retentiveness, I’m not really sure which.

Some people put an entire sticker collection on their doors or maybe a shrine to Mel Gibson. I find that looking at someone’s decorated doors or walls show a lot about one’s personality. Posters of cars and girls? Or maybe wallpaper made out of political news clippings? Strange quotes? Reproductions of fine art, cultural and otherwise? Or is it personal–photographs of family and friends?

What does it say about me when the only thing on my wall is a meticulously picked calendar of Da Vinci paintings?

A very similar thing is the decoration of one’s web home. Perhaps it is easy to discern someone’s likes or aspects of one’s personality by what images and designs are present (or not present). Is it slickly designed? Does it have cat pictures? Impersonal images? Or did the author leave it as the default template, thinking words are sufficient?

Like a visitor peeking into your room, are appearances showing what you are? Or like certain people who must put on a mask every morning, does the outside show what other people would like to see?

Midnight Thoughts

It could have been the stillness that tried to level on a different type of awareness. Eyes closed, I felt damp heat prickling along my bare arms and legs. There had been something that I had been thinking about. Or had it been my own personal dreamworld giving me my thoughts and not me at all? At that moment, I wasn’t sure where I was, what I was.

I tried opening my eyes, but the air weighed down. Should I put in the effort? Do I want to put in the effort? Somehow I managed to prop up my eyelids. A room.

A little light spilled through a window illuminating the ceiling in rectangles of gray. In the middle of the gray was a black hole. A very black hole.

There’s supposed to be a light, I wondered idly. But I kept staring at that black hole in the ceiling. It was so still and yet I had the feeling that it was sucking in the air and the light and the dust and maybe even me.

* * *
I’m really confused now. Blogger has now gone back to what it looked like before I made the last post. Maybe it has to do with the browser I was using before.

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Trolling:: Bridge
  2. Profile :: Name
  3. Tin:: Roof
  4. Phenom:: enon, always unsure how to spell it
  5. Mug shot:: Picture
  6. Tubular:: Root
  7. Six Flags:: Over Georgia (?)
  8. Pickup:: Truck
  9. Auction:: Bid
  10. Astonishing:: Fiction

* * *
Yikes, Blogger looks different again. Exactly what are those guys doing over there?

Reluctant Domestication

Today I went on a cleaning binge when all my roommates left the house. I hate dirt and I cringe whenever I see it. And perhaps it is me and not my roommates who is the biggest cleaning nazi under the roof.

The dirtiest thing I cleaned was not the bathroom or the kitchen, but the stairs. They’re wood and uncarpeted so it’s easy to see everything that has accumulated on the surface. But what struck me as puzzling was why the stairs were so dirty. If there is one rule that everyone follows, it is that there are to be no outdoor shoes going up to the second floor. So if everyone is wearing slippers going upstairs, why is there so much unseemly dirt and dust?

Oh, and never underestimate how much girls shed hair.

* * *
Is the Brain Really Necessary? (via Metafilter) I suppose I’m not really astonished. There have already been experiments debunking the “grandmother cell” theory, i.e. particular cells assigned to particular tasks and particular memories. So far, it looks as if memory and consciousness/awareness is based upon networks. And if something were damaged (let’s say, sight) there have been evidence that the brain is able to rewire itself (visual parts of the brain are devoted to other senses in the blind). So if there is less cortex in an individual available to perform cognitive tasks, who’s to say that what’s left of the brain has been reorganized to accomplish difficult skills like mathematics?


It sounds like a yappy dog attempting to catch flying frisbees. Or maybe somebody’s archnemesis. Or maybe the result of someone with a lisp. I guess I didn’t really care too much about it as long as I have my LAN connection and my multitude of cables.

I’m a creature of habit in some ways. I privately grumbled when I was forced to switch from telnet to the virtually idiot-proof blitzmail for my campus e-mail needs. I dreaded actually getting some sort of ftp software to make uploading and downloading easier. And speaking of ftp, it was maddening when Geocities (home of internet newbies) decided to make ftp only available to paying customers so I was forced to use my own domain which I had originally gotten for other purposes.

And now there’s wireless. It’s infuriating when almost all the buildings on campus are nodal points thus negating the need for anything physical. Thus, there are no ports in sight when you need them. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve been testing out the wireless card I got a few days ago. Sure, it can be used in many places, but one is at the whim of broadcasting range, sudden disconnections, and concrete walls. I still like my steady LAN connection, thank you very much.

* * *
Bar Code Art. Some of it is similar to the type of art where many little pictures make up a bigger picture. Others use distorted bar codes. But all are very cool.
A Cat User’s Manual. “Documented Problems: The Ctrl key on most CAT units is defective. This may lead to serious performance problems.”
The Human Face. Some of it certainly makes a convincing case of “beauty” being all in the mind.


I have no problem with other people (as in pretty much anyone) discovering this site. Yet when I was randomly surfing around, I found a blog of someone I see fairly daily. I’m not really a friend of this person so I was extremely hesitant on clicking the link to see the webpage. The feeling I got was the exact same feeling I have when checking up on websites of people that I first met in person, in real life. It is not the same feeling I get when I meet someone after I’ve communicated with them online.

In a way, seeing the flesh and blood mask that people wear is a barrier. Sure, the words on the internet may be all fake, but still it came from their heads–something that I am not privy to when I talk to them face to face. It’s like sneaking into somebody’s room and stealing their diary or suddenly developing the ability to hear others’ innermost thoughts. Getting over such uneasiness is a hard thing, even when I know that anyone putting things on the web know anyone can access it.

* * *

Every so often I go to have my hair butchered. It’s not about getting rid of split ends. I don’t get split ends. Getting a hair cut is almost like being reborn. I don’t really feel like a different person, but I appear slightly different–as if I’ve switched bodies with a double in a parallel universe.

When I was younger, I only got my hair cut to even up the ends and to trim my bangs. By the time I was fourteen, my hair reached my waist. I think it was compensation from my preschool years when the teachers mistook me for a boy. But after a while, it was for a more practical reason when I grew out my bangs and had my hair chopped to shoulder length. Now my hair isn’t even that long. It’s only a few millimeters past the bottom of my ears.

Some people tell me that my hair grows really fast. I just think they get haircuts more often than I do.

I guess I’m one of the last people having my blogger account being transfered to the new system. That was probably why I couldn’t access my account last evening when I wrote the last part of this post about airport mayhem.

* * *
The Thursday Threesome: Rings, things and fine array

Onesome: Rings- Hmmm.. How are you about jewelry? Do you wear any? …none? What is your day to day complement. …and what one particular piece do you save for special occasions?

I like looking at jewelry. For about a minute. Then I get bored. The only type of jewelry I get interested in is the ones inside glass museum cases and that’s only because of the history behind them.

My only concession to body adornment (and voluntary mutilation) are two silver rings in my left ear. Getting my ears pierced weren’t really about trying to be pretty or following the crowd. I think it was more about individualism and a rebellion against a high school administration bent on banning piercings.

Other than that, I don’t wear other jewelry, even on special occasions.

Twosome: Things- Ah, and how about those ‘things’ about the place? You know, the ones that you cannot throw out, but don’t seem to really have a place of their own… Where do they end up? …in The Drawer? …or do you have a better place for those bits of randomness that just seem to show up now and again?

Randomness ends up in a drawer or in the closet. I’m actually rather haphazard when it comes to organizing things, but I put things in such a way to look like I’m rather organized.

Threesome: and fine array- Okay, so Summer’s here (except in the Land Down Under)… What is your “fine array” to clothe yourself in for the next few months? Do you still maintain? …or do you ‘go native’ with vengence? Hmmmm???

My wardrobe isn’t complicated. Just a t-shirt and a pair of jeans or shorts.

…and the quote? From Sarah this fine evening: “We will have rings, things and fine array”, Taming of the Shrew, Act 2.

Neat. Taming of the Shrew is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays despite the ending.

* * *

Perhaps I should have taken note when I looked up from the trashy occult thriller I was reading and observed that half of the people standing in line were “preboarders”. I spent the entire flight in a headachy daze as preschoolers and toddlers yelled and screamed, and if they were being coherent, they said fatalistic comments very loudly. I ended up sitting in front of a restless little girl who kept pounding the back of the chair as if it were a punching bag. A flying tin can is certainly an excellent way of magnifying obnoxious behavior.

When I finally entered the terminal, it was a madhouse. People were packed into unmaneuverable clumps. It was made worse with the hordes of others (the people picking the passengers up) at the baggage claim. I could hardly get a glimpse of the conveyor belt since there were tall, large men standing in front of me. (Of course, I could have said “excuse me” or even tried elbowing my way through, but I didn’t want to risk the chance of getting pummeled to the ground.) It was pure, concentrated chaos. Remind me next time never to get to an airport in the late afternoon.

I should smack myself for watching TV again. I can feel a brain cell dying every second I watch. Then again, I got to see what all the fuss was about from television personalities that were mentioned by more media savvy bloggers. Frankly, I don’t see why people are so fascinated with them except for the fact that they’re all so damn annoying.

* * *
There is no Tuesday Too

1. Define ‘ectophensis’.

The first thing I thought about was ectoplasm and those really old photographs with ghostly appendages protruding out of the orifices of supposed mediums. Then again, it might have to do with some literary or grammatical construction instead of something paranormal. After all, it certainly sounds like it.

As Chad mentioned, “ecto” means outside. It’s a Greek root, and applying that reasoning to the other part of the word, “phen”, it would mean show (which originally pertained to illuminating gas, a.k.a. benzene–thus the modern chemical term phenol). Perhaps it does mean “outside display”, who knows?

2. But what does it mean?

Maybe swamp gas.

3. Have you ever thought about getting an amateur radio license?

No. But I had been a rather bad deejay at a not quite legal campus radio station before and have realized that running a radio station or maintaining anything of the sort takes up more time than I am willing to devote.

Brief Observations

Car Question. Why did people leave their headlights on during the day while driving yesterday?

Harry Potter Mania. The woman right in front of us in the checkout line said that the books are the greatest in her generation. I say it may be the most popular but not the greatest.

The Matrix Reloaded. Unlike the first movie, there was nothing remotely insightful. But I liked the SFX.

Blogging. All bloggers know that in the real world, nobody knows what blogging is. And if people go on the web as frequently as I’ve been the past couple of days (and most people log on less), most people will never figure out what a blog is.

Television. It’s evil. Sure, there are some interesting shows on, but by in large, reality shows have taken over all the programming. And I’m pretty sure they’re teaching bad values. Recently, I’ve been fuming over a Total cereal commercial where they show a woman of thinner than average size telling the viewers not to look on the scale she is standing on. Apparently this commercial wants people to look anorexic. The news, unfortunately, is like reading warblogs all the time.

* * *
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Tumbler:: Lock
  2. Recital :: Piano
  3. Reform:: Laws
  4. Nipple:: Piercing
  5. Jackal:: Head
  6. Mailtruck:: Dogs
  7. Merchendise:: Stuff
  8. Comma:: Punctuation
  9. Erotica:: Stories
  10. Ferment:: Alcohol

I’ve only read one Harry Potter book so I’m not so sure I’m qualified to answer these questions. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t read anything.

The Thursday Threesome: Harry Potter Mania!

Onesome: Potter- Which Harry Potter character is your favourite? Why do you like him or her?

I don’t have a favorite character.

Twosome: Publication- Is there one publication that you just have to read? A paper you read daily, a magazine you read weekly or monthly? Newsletters? And do you buy it for the articles, or just to look at the pictures? ;) Whatever it is, tell us about it!

The only periodicals I read at any regularity these days are scientific journals. I don’t think you want to know anything about them.

Threesome: Party!- The festivities begin tomorrow night in bookstores across the US and England, (and elsewhere too, probably!) with fun and games for the kid in all of us. Do you plan to be there standing in the queue when the clock strikes midnight to pick up your copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?

My sister is a big Harry Potter fan. She’ll probably drag me off to a nearby bookstore to get the book at midnight.