Every new year reminds me of how bad I am remembering names, and remembering in general. I don’t know how I’m capable of forgetting someone’s name two sentences after I’ve asked it. ‘You’ is my best friend. And you, nameless friend, are a friend now, just as soon as I’ve got your name down.
On the flip side, I do hide behind the curtains of “you probably can’t remember my name either”. I don’t blame you. I also don’t help by prefixing my introduction with “uuuuh,” like I had to think of what my own name is. It’s really befuddling. I’d had a period last year where people would walk up to me (“hey you!”) and I wouldn’t remember at all having spoken to them, though they would. I guess sometimes when you don’t know someone, you’re just too busy focusing on what you could say next so that they don’t look away and you can really have a shot at making a friend.
(Of course, this is before you forget their name for the third time).
Anyway, we’re all probably bad at this. It’s just that time of the year. By December, we’ll all be used to weird names and will probably have invented a few of our own. In certain areas, I am still, in fact, known as the monocle-wearing, fedora-tipping, moustache-twirling English undercover columnist called James.
There’s going to be a generation of kids to come who are going to hear the word ‘eco’ and never think it means “ecosystem” or “ecology” or even “economics”. The first thing they’re going to think is “eco-friendly”, and it’ll completely be our fault.
Here’s a little mind chow: why do so many kids want dogs? I know it looks really good through a good quality camera in a sunlit picture with tons of grass behind, but here’s the thing: you probably have never seen a good quality camera in your life and have accepted your iPhone as a permanent substitute, there are no “sunny” days in the winter, and going by the climate reports, there isn’t much of that grassy plain left for you and the pup to roll in.
I’m serious, we’re more city-kid than we’d ever thought we were. For example, I had a little trouble digesting spring allergies, and it’s not because I never had heard of them before. Spring fever, hay fever, pollen allergies, they’re all fundamentally your body attacking spring because it thought it was something dangerous. Putting it this way, your body has no idea that spring’s just this harmless, temporary reprieve from the winter and reacts to it the way you did if you saw a flying dog in supers garb, i.e., undies.
… Just to be really clear, I meant surprise, shock, whatever. Something tells me a lot of first reactions would probably be to whip out a Real Good Quality phone camera and yell, “Awwww!!” as they film.
That’s probably why a lot of kids think a dog is a great idea.
I don’t have spring allergies though. I don’t think I’ve had enough regular, periodic exposure to spring, pollen, grassy smells or clean, non-city air enough for my body to recognise it and go, “Here we go again team, those damned seeds are back again! Lock into anti-seed mode; nose! I’m gonna need all the ammunition you can get! Call on Sinus and Lung for backup, hear?”
“Eyes, you’ll have to gain system attention, signal that idiot to get out of there on the double and back to safety indoors! No one likes casualties and we can do to avoid an unnecessary fight.”
“Sir, I don’t think that’s how it—” “Water!!” “Oh well, if you insist.”
“Pores, get ready! The bigger you appear to your enemy, the greater the intimidation. Swell up those arms and legs, soldiers!”
“Sir, I think you’re cooking up the wrong allerg—”
“PREPARE FOR WAR, FIENDS OF SPRING!!!”
At any rate, why I’m so familiar with them is probably because literally everybody else in my house seems to be a walking weather cursing machine.
I’d only really given that sort of credit to dust allergies before. That seems more up my run down city alley. *Cough, cough* *Sneeze!!*
So the dogs. God help you if you’re also allergic to them or their hair. That perfect photograph with the spring and the dog and the dust gathering on it must really be the perfect nightmare for you. Why kids want dogs, I cannot fathom. Dogs are too much like people. My cousins’ puppy runs away from new people in an explicit fashion that my own social anxiety finds admirable. Because if there’s one thing worse than having to talk to people, it’s both parties being awkward, and then you going the extra length to make it seem like you’re not awkward, only for you to realise afterwards that your trying too hard probably made your awkwardness more obvious and then you worry to death that the next time you catch a glimpse of them you’re going to remember the incident and will need to find a place to hide, but in truth, (in my case, at least) you don’t even remember who they are the next time, but they, my friend, remember everything. So much for your personal Annexe.
The other thing with dogs being so similar to humans, is that you, the kid, need to manage them. It’s like going through puberty while you’re still going through puberty. It’s like volunteering to go through puberty for someone else. Maybe if this ever became official a theory, schools and convicts would start counting dog-keeping towards their hours of community service.
That’ll be the day.
In the meanwhile, if you want a pup, try some PUP. I’m really just throwing in this link because I’m happy to not be looking at NYC or Seattle in videos for a change. And because it’s nice to see Toronto again.
Have you ever entered a library with the intention of staying and studying all day, determined to last as long as the summer sun (which lasts a while once the DST cycles kick in again, which is also a royal pain when you happen to be up and studying at 1:50 AM, comfortable, only to find that ten minutes later, it’s 3 AM), garner sole attention from the librarian when she comes around at 9 PM to specifically kick you out since they need to close, and then trudge home with the feeling that you’ve done something simply because you weren’t at the table beside your bed, in your nightdress all day?
Oh come on, come finals season, you will see someone in their nightdress down here. It’ll probably be me, for all you know.
Well, if you do plan this like I do, you probably bring everything you can think of with you and try to find the sunniest, most comfortable spot. You’re gonna be here a while.
And then you notice, there’s someone sitting next to you
Or at least, there should have been. But they’ve probably gone to the restroom, and/or asked their neighbour to please watch their stuff for them.
Do you sit there and wonder who’s sitting next to you?
Do you sit by, and ignore your proofs to play Sherlock on someone else’s major? Wonder what they’re learning, what they find hard, what assignments they’re working, grinding on today?
I probably shouldn’t.
I plan on being here a while, and I’ve a midterm tomorrow. I should be curious about my proofs.
What goes into a Big Oh proof? Can I play Sherlock and sniff out the shape of a graph? What might I deduce from this squiggly line on a paper that my cat would produce as art?
(That’s the point. I don’t have a cat. No cat in their right mind would draw a graph that’s Theta of n squared. Not even accidentally.)
But I should. I should go do it.
The library’s probably thankful that it’s midterm season and not yet finals.
They’ve seen me till 12:30 before, and they sure would see me again once the library’s finals-only 24 hour runs begin.
So I’ve been on autopilot for a while. All my brain can do right now, is fix values for numeric symbols. I probably don’t know my name anymore. Oh, and I’m unrealistically pumped up for my computer science proofs test tomorrow.
So now you probably think I’m ill.
It’s all the autopilot, and I blame everything on this buggy piece of sentient AI I’ve become over the week. Everything’s sort of been an if-then clause with me. It was five degrees yesterday—POSITIVE FIVE I KID YOU NOT!—and with all the snow melting around me, my natural reaction was to go out without a jacket. Most of you who’ve experienced winters before will tell you not to rely on the evening’s weather to be like the morning’s—that is deception at its finest!
But I did, and also being the metallic AI-in-a-machine that I am, I didn’t even realise it was cold as the sun went down.
My friend asked me how I was doing today, and I replied, I don’t know.
I don’t know? What does that mean? They asked.
I don’t know.
I came across a packet of nuts today that read the following description: Premium Salty Mix.
Running my beta autopilot software, I thought, just like me.
It took me about five minutes to realise that no kidding, I was right.
I’m a Premium Salty Mix (not to mention a messy one) right now.
And that is basically all I came here to write. I’m sorry if all you learnt today was this pointless fact.
And I’m switching back to autopilot mode. I’ll be back after my midterms, probably sentient.
Put me through the Turing test already! (Spoiler, I’ll probably fail on account of randomness.)
It’s been raining all day. After a pretty uncharacteristically and suspiciously sunny Tuesday, the skies have shown their true colours today: grey.
I don’t know if we should be worried about incoming alien attacks in the near future, because that right there is the clouds having basically eaten the CN tower.
I don’t know of an attack on anything more Canadian than that.
Except maybe the winter and poutine. (But you’re expected to eat that, aren’t you? Yes, well, you’re right, not me, but other people in general.)
I don’t know really. Maybe I’ll be that person who teams up with the aliens just because they seem cool. At any rate, I’m not particularly worried about an alien attack. (No, it’s not true that I’ve been preparing for one for years, what gives you that impression?)
I’m just honestly kind of pleased with the picture. The tree provides a nice frame in a contrasting colour that would make design rule purists real happy. That frame is also the only way you’d know what actually the subject of my photograph is!
If you do really want to see a jaded, cloudy CN tower though, I may have a little something for you.
There. Now can we get a smile on this gloomy day already?
Still can’t wait for this week to end, because I’m going home!