Brain Feels Like Garbage CanBy Rebecca Schiffman
December 29, 2008
My brain feels like one of those toys you have to push to make little bright objects bounce around in a clear dome over a loud grating noise. Or a bingo dispenser, lots of stuff cluttering around and occasionally something comes out. Or a garbage can at a rich person’s house or in a knick-knack store that’s going out of business. You can see some good stuff in there but when you reach in you have to cringe past some gross gunk like banana peels and uneaten noodles and worse and you feel your way in the dark to find the valuable bits that can be wiped off, de-grossified, salvaged for future use.
Not to be dramatic. I just can’t sleep so I’ll see what I can find in here (pointing to head.)
1. At some point in middle school I went to a party where you could have your photo put on a drinking cup. My friend Steph and I had two photos taken of us, and then each one put on a cup. In one photo I looked really good and Steph looked okay. In the other photo Steph looked really good and I looked okay. I wanted the photo where I looked better but Steph said she wanted that one- why would she want to have a good photo of herself rather than one of her friend?
I forget what we decided on, but I felt vain and still do since if I were in the same situation today I’m pretty sure I would still want the better photo of myself.
2. A few weeks ago I took a road trip to New Orleans with my friends Charlotte and Wilmot. To pass the time in the car we played what turned into a sort of game- “Who Would You Rather Hook Up With?” It was usually hit or miss, with many questions getting the answer – “Duh, of course (so and so).”
The fun was in thinking about the preferences of the person you were asking, and coming up with the perfectly balanced pair, balanced in either desirability or repulsiveness, and eliciting a “Hmmmmmm” or an “Ew!”
One of us wondered wether you could take all of someone’s answers and put them into a computer program that would figure out the perfect match. Wilmot began, “But wait! Rebecca, you said…” and I was somewhat skeptical of whatever he was about to say since he doesn’t know me as well as Charlotte and so had asked me a lot of “Who Would You Rather” questions where my choice had been obvious to me and Charlotte.
But he continued, “You said before that you would rather hook up with C over H, right?” Yeah. “And I’m pretty sure you picked H over G right?” Uh huh. “But didn’t you also pick G over C? You’ve created a circle! Or a triangle.”
Wait a minute. I thought about it and he was right! I don’t know how Wilmot had stored all of that information over the past several hours. But I kept going over it in my head and it was true. The answers had to do with the real-life context for each choice but it still blew my mind- and Wilmot said that my triangle would definitely be an obstacle for our computer program.
It’s really slim pickins in here today…what else?
3. I first heard the phrase “slim pickins” in the movie “Lady and the Tramp.”
For years I thought the word “Buick” was a synonym for car, just like automobile, rather than a brand. This is because when I was around five I was watching “Annie Hall” with my family and during the scene where Alvie is trying to kill a spider with a tennis racket and says the spider is the size of a Buick, I asked, “What’s a Buick?”
My mom said “It’s a car.”
So, be very careful what you say to your children.
I saw the movie “Murder by Death” for the first time last week and decided I want to start using the word “malarkey.”
That’s it for now. Goodnight, sweet Internet.