Tag Archives: philosophy

Can Naps Be Meaningful?

I’m having a nightmare about Arabic.

I love napping an unusual amount. When I think of high school and college, some of the sweetest memories that come rushing over me are of lazy afternoons when I came home to an empty house or apartment and threw myself into the soft arms of a delicious nap.

Even though I know better, I still tell the very un-riveting story of my best high school nap.

Class ended at 1:30 and by 1:35 I’d started the long walk across the parking lot to my car. Rain was on the way. During school I’d heard the thunder muttering and grumbling in the east. The sky was an angry color, turning the late afternoon into an other worldly something between night and day. Before I reached the car, I felt thick, warm drops on my face and soon it was dumping rain. I ran but it was too late and I was already soaked by the time I reached shelter inside my noble Ford Taurus.

In the pouring rain, I drove home as fast as I could and sprinted across the lawn into my empty house. Quickly, I changed into a long sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants, lay down on the couch, and fell into one of the best naps of my life. Something about the contrast between the warm interior and the harsh, wet exterior and the gentle darkness that filled my house and the feeling of shelter against nature’s wrath made it an important nap for me, one that I (obviously) still remember with fondness.

For me, the ideal interaction with nature is a nap. When I see majestic vistas, crystal waterfalls, or white desert landscapes filled with watery moonlight, I fantasize about curling up and falling asleep, embraced by nature itself. I imagine a soft green bed beneath a willow tree, the earth all dappled with late afternoon sunlight coming in from over the mountains. I would lay down in my sleep and become a part of the place itself and my being would meld with the trees and the earth and the light.

In my mind, the nap would take on a deeper meaning and become a spiritual experience. Yet I have found that no matter how deep I sleep and no matter how peaceful or well rested I feel upon awaking, my naps are just naps, little sleeps enriching my day before I enter the big sleep and then the biggest sleep. I believe the spiritual disciplines of trances and meditation have come from the deeply human desire for spiritual slumber. Perhaps one of these days I will try those methods, but until then I will keep on napping and never stop.

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Gummy Dreams: Lisa’s True Story

just because they’re all gummy bears doesn’t mean they all look the same

What if a gummy bear was one of us, just a regular teenage mom trying to make ends meet? What if she had come from abroken gummy home, where dad ran off with a peach ring, and mom committed suicide by going hot tubbing?

What if the kids in elementary school called her dummy bear, gumtard, and sweet cheeks? What if every night of 1st through 5th grade she wept weird gummy tears before dreaming gummy dreams of a sweeter world? What if no one sat by her in middle school because of her pineapple b.o.?

What if she tried to go through a goth phase during freshman year of high school but had no facial features to coat with black makeup? What if no one asked her to the prom senior year because they didn’t want to be the one dancing with a gigantic 6 foot candy bear? What if her first love and father of her gummy cub said he wouldn’t marry her because he had fallen for a Sour Patch Kid?

What if, after she dropped out of high school, she was reduced to selling her body and being rented out for parties as a freak spectacle? “Mommy, mommy! Come look at the huge gummy bear!” The kids would say. Her name was Lisa.

One New Year’s Day, 3 years after dropping out of high school and after working a particularly grotesque New Year’s Eve party, Lisa decided she’d had enough of this life. She quit her job and got her GRE, passing the test with the highest score of the year. She made headlines that week: “Gummy Bear Mauls Test.” “Why couldn’t they use my name?” she sighed.

But the news caught on. Soon she was a local celebrity, attending mini league championships and appearing in car dealership ads. She started a blog called “Faceless” and it didn’t take long before she became a national celebrity after a youtube video of her in zumba class went viral.

Soon movie deals and invitations from talk shows were flooding in. She was already writing a book and starring in a wildly popular reality television series featuring her and her son called “I Want Candy.” Notoriety began to consume every second of her life. She grew weary from the fame.

She yearned for the days she would lumber home from school and spend hours reading and thinking about the absurdity of life. There was no time to think about anything anymore.

A few years after she had quit her rental job, she woke up another New Year’s Day. The night before was hazy and mostly forgotten, a collage of bright lights, glitter, and plastic. She gazed into the mirror and realized what she’d become: a true monster. That very moment she decided to leave it all, the celebrity, the cocaine, the lacquered friends.

She took her son and fled to a small but tolerant city in upstate New York, where people had heard of her but were too interested in living wholesomely to pay much attention.

Within a month she was signing the lease to a space where she was going to build her dream, a dance studio called “Bounce!” where women of all sizes were welcome. As she opened her front door after driving back from the real estate agent’s office, she exhaled deeply.

“I’m home,” she whispered, “Lisa’s home.”

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Wait Don’t Go! Bring Me Some Cheese!

Sure is flat out there

I saw a foreign man riding a bicycle in my neighborhood, and it inspired this post:

One summer day, a Dutch man put on his jean shorts and went for a bike ride. Out the wicker gate he flew, peddling as fast as he could, unimpeded by inclines and worries on this bright morning. He waved to his neighbors as he whizzed past: “Hallo Greta! Hallo Pieter!  Hallo Klaas!” Off he sped into the calm tilled farmland of the low country, a collage of yellow and varied greens underneath a familiar powder blue sky.

He slowed down once he made it past the last obvious vestiges of civilization and was left to silent contemplation of the surrounding cultivated greenery. The questions that had seemed so important to him in the city faded away as he was confronted with the unchanging cycle of the world around him, a rhythm that would precede and outlast him by millennia. Who was he on this green earth, a peach colored pinpoint in a landscape that stretched beyond the crusty surface of the world and into the stars? The wind tickled the tops of the green things all around, and the world answered his question very clearly in a language he could never understand.

His bike rolled along lazily, savoring the pavement. He came upon an intersection. He looked both ways and then proceeded to pass through it. At that very moment he was sucked into a vortex more powerful than both time and space, and was teleported to Zoharia Street in Mohandiseen, Cairo, along with his name brand sunglasses and jean shorts. 20 feet away and at the same time, I was returning with toilet paper from our local mini-mart and I saw this foreign apparition as he sailed along on his bike, oblivious to the world around him. No doubt he hadn’t time to recognize the sudden change of scenery or had so completely engrossed himself in contemplation of tree fluffiness that he was incapable of seeing the reality around him.

I distinctly remember he was not whistling. But still, he carried a whistle-y air about him, something that made everything else seem like an afterthought. Away he passed, out of sight and back to the re-entrance vortex where he could once again continue his summer thoughts. I thought I saw the air shimmer around him with the last preserved summer rays, but then the moment was gone, and I went home, trudged up the 5 flights stairs with my toilet paper, and began making dinner.

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Sue Me, Foodies

peanut butter is just as good

I would like to not apologize in advance for the fact that what follows strays significantly from the stated purpose of this blog. As the editor in chief and reader of this blog, I have overridden the discrepancy and made a dispensation for the topic. Furthermore, I stand prepared to be heavily criticized for these beliefs, especially by that interesting group of humans known as “foodies,” a term that is almost as laughable as “soup.”

The foodies might say I am boorish, uncouth, or pedestrian in my tastes, but I believe in something nobler than paragraph long menu descriptions. Do I love food? I don’t know. But I eat it, and I have found that often my satisfaction with these experiences has little to do with what I’m consuming, and everything to do with everything else. Thus, without further ado, I present some of my humbly correct opinions on food and the partaking of it:

If it’s good enough to be eaten once, it’s good enough to be eaten every day.

The more predictable meals are, the better. This applies, of course, to a meal’s existence and set time.

Temperature is more important than taste.

Anything can qualify as a meal as long as it fills you up. Thus a meal could feasibly consist of consist of a spoonful of peanut butter, some chocolate chips, plain cooked rice, and a Ritz cracker.

Coffee should be taken either with something crunchy or with chocolate, and it should be taken either in a café with friends or while reading something at home.

The finished product of a meal or dish as well as individual ingredients are equal candidates for consumption, without shame.

One should not have to wait for others if there is a chance of food or drink losing its optimal temperature.

It is acceptable to pick out one’s favorite parts of a dish with one’s fingers, as well as take at least one bite from the serving dish before beginning what is on one’s own plate. And the center of the brownies can be cut out if you don’t want any crust.

All noises of food consumption are reprehensible and must be concealed. Once the food enters the mouth it should no longer be heard or seen.

Texture is also more important than taste.

Spoons are the preferred eating utensil for all kinds of food.

A good meal is the happy phenomenon of when your innermost food desires are satisfied at the right time, at the right temperature, and with the right people.

Eating with company is nice unless you want to eat alone, and then other people should go away.

If you’ll notice, nothing was said about the quality or taste of food. This is not because these things don’t matter, but because (in my correct opinion) they are secondary issues. Bring on the angry foodie rampage.

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Found: One Bag of Slop, One Hoof

Cairo’s Lost and Found Forum

Items found: bag of slop, hoof

Location: Revolution Street, Mohandiseen, Cairo


Bag of slop: A bag of slop has been found in Mohandiseen on a pile of dirt near a street sign. The bag appears to be rapidly disintegrating though the innards are still quite moist and slop-like. As it is in an almost perfect disk shape, the bag is easily distinguished from the other bags of trash nearby carrying solid contents. The mush itself could be either chunky tomato sauce or chunky animal blood and organs, judging by the ooze surrounding the bag. There are two lacerations in the side of the receptacle as well as an empty bag of potato chips resting on top of it.  The exact kind of knot used to seal the bag is unclear, though this could easily be determined upon inquiry and subsequent investigation. Since the slop bag is in easy sight of any passersby, it may be snatched up very soon. The preservation of the slimy innards is also at risk, since the Cairo sun has a tendency to return everything to a dust like state as soon as possible. Anyone looking for their lost bag of goo would be advised to contact me as soon as possible.

Animal hoof/leg: A black animal hoof attached to about a foot of brown, fur covered leg was also found in Mohandiseen near the bag of slop. Its scent can best be described as putrid, and the overall visual effect as nightmarish.  The appendage is likely from a mule or a donkey, though a horse or goat are not completely out of the question. Said animal part was left in a pile of (animal) feces at the base of a lamppost in broad daylight. It is not likely that the appendage itself was originally a part of the excrement. The hoof is also near a leaf and a plastic bag. Rotting did not seem to have progressed very far, though its status likely got exponentially worse as the day wore on. This hoof appears to be a possible source of many diseases and is likely a public health hazard. If you have lost it and would like to reclaim it before it also turns into a pile of goo, please fax me your inquiry as soon as possible.

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