Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The evils of caffeine

Closely related to the whole napping-is-evil thing is that caffeine is evil too. One vicious cycle feeds into the other, mandelbrot-style, until life is pocked by bursts of insomnia, wiredness, crashing, naps, wired naps, crashing insomnia, and dreaming about insomnia and waking up from naps and being wired.

In college caffeine was a kind of necessary evil. It is only in the past couple of years that I've come to like coffee - only as I discovered things like La Colombe, the New York Times, and pretty girls who like coffee. Now I really like coffee. It's a part of life. There's little disconnect between the aroma of coffee and the feel of books and newspaper. When I taste 'coffee', my mind tastes 'smart', and I'm a man of the wor(l)d.

Pop is similarly set deep in experience. It tastes good, sure. It's sugary sweet. But moreso it tastes like my youth, and like summer, like the REM green tour or ballgames at the Vet, or picnicing. The taste of pop is comes with an American appeal, one that's familiar, innocent and likable.

So while napping is a bad habit, caffeine is more insidious. Not napping becomes another kind of habit: it might be tough to make the transition, but napping and not-napping are reasonable substitutes. Not caffeine, though, means a loss of me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The evils of napping

A couple of weeks ago in Chicago Fresh Water Mussels was talking about how bad napping was for you. The problem, for her, was that naps were habit forming. Take a nap one afternoon, and you can't help but want to take one the next. And soon you're like Rip Van Winkle, Sir Sleepsalot, Nappy McGee. I remembered it being kind of funny and endearing, because later when we got back from the 40-year old virgin and discussed meeting friends for drinks she said she was just going to take a nap for a bit to rest up. I thought she was kidding. A midnight nap? Hopeless! I'll talk to you in the morning I said (correctly).

Lately though I've been trapped in a sick kind of marraige of insomnia and narcolepsy, and it's affecting work. So I'll concede her point: naps really are evil. And habit forming. Buckminster Fuller, he of the extemporaneous fourteen hour lectures on Spaceship Earth, once maintained that he had trained himself to exist on six twenty minute naps a day and nothing more (think of the efficiency!). Let's face it though - Fuller is a less than ideal role model.

As soon as I can get a good night's sleep, I'm quitting naps. I swear it.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

So I joined a bike gang...

I recently joined a bicycle gang. We're calling ourselves the Hill Street Bike Gang - Hill St. is our territory. This all started around a month ago, but yesterday was our real debut. We made iron-on shirts with menacing looking images (dead squirrels, wolf's heads, and crows flying in for their kill) and 'represented' at a couple of the local bars. You don't want to mess with HSBG.

This whole bike gang idea really is just as stupid as it sounds. Still, making t-shirts is fun. And we're actually not the only gang in town: surprisingly, we came across a rival gang from Urbana (the Cobras) on our very first night out. Now we have to rumble. We meet next Saturday in downtown Champaign.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Santorum Suggests Stick

The problem in New Orleans, apparently, is that dysentery, starvation and possible death aren't significant enough disincentives to staying.

Our future president is an asshole. Have some compassion Rick. Some people have their homes, their lives, their souls in New Orleans. An evacuation seems like a good idea, sure, but that shouldn't mean that people should be punished for not doing what they're told.