Clearance Cairn

We often compare the mind to a computer, nowadays: we process information, we save information in our hard drive, our neurons form a network…and should we find ourselves burdened with trivia, we attempt to delete it.

But one of the more traditional metaphors was that a mind resembled a field.  It was cultivated, like a garden, and ideas sprang up from the fertile soil of an imagination well-watered with reading, observation, and life experience.

There has been nothing to harvest from my mind-field of late, no matter how I rack my brains for it, so I reckon that something is preventing proper growth: neglect of planting, poorly chosen seed, stony soil, lack of light or water or air…hence this post, wherein I dig out a few rocks, hopefully, and assemble them into a heap of stones, and perhaps aerate this fallow field a bit.

Clearance Cairn

To the great amusement of my housemates and friends, I occasionally issue myself orders out loud.  Sounds mad, a bit, but since orders must be direct and succinct, they almost always work.

I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness again last night.  This is atypical; it’s odd enough for me to see a movie opening week, much less twice, much less thrice.

My roommate and I keep wondering why anyone lets Jim Kirk be in charge of anything.  He’s even more of a Gryffindor than Harry Potter.


Last weekend was my first comic-con.  Tomorrow is my first steampunk expo.  Tonight there shall be hasty costume-fashioning; fortunately said comic-con outfitted me with goggles, and as everyone knows, that fulfills the second law of steampunk (right after “slap some gears on it”).

Huzzah for the Salvation Army, and how much easier it makes the costuming process!


On reflection, this was sort of a nerdy week.

I love it.

Work, on the other hand, is going quite slowly this week, so slowly that I started a phone log out of boredom.  Each day I’ve answered, on average, 38 calls.  Most are dull, but this one wasn’t:

Can I talk to an attorney?  What’s the issue?  Well, it’s complicated.  Okay.  My in-laws own a house right next to theirs.  They added one of their sons to the deed many many years ago because he wanted to fix the house up, and he needed it for collateral – he was supposed to fix it up and pay rent.  We just found out that he didn’t do any fixing up at all – they don’t even know what he was using it for.  His ex-wife was helping him by getting a friend of hers to notarize it – and he abandoned his 19-year-old son in it with no electricity, water, or food.  The son went psychotic: he set the woods on fire, he set a Bible on fire, he said that the voices told him to do it.  He needs psychiatric help and someone took him to the hospital for treatment.  The dad wants to say it’s his house.  The grandparents are still on the deed; they never gave him the house – and the father somehow lied to the psychiatric hospital and got his son back and put him back in that house with no electricity or water.  He’s just in there alone with a pit bull the dad feeds gunpowder to, and we’re just wondering what rights the grandparents have with respect to the 19-year-old…

My first response is “Well, our firm can help with your questions about the deed, but I’m not sure we’re qualified to answer questions about psychotic breaks or pit bulls.”

My second response is “Kyrie eleison.”

My third response is something like “Ummmm, 19-year-old?  No matter how psychotic he is, he’s passed the age of majority.  Americans 18 and older are legally adults, but it sure seems like there’s this effort to keep ever-older people in a state of adolescence.  … …I wonder if the laws will change in the next decade on account of it.”

My youngest brother gets married a fortnight after tomorrow.  For all that I’ve been willing and waiting for this event for years, I am not ready.  For all the weddings I’ve gone to before, none of them increased my own family at the end.  I feel as though there is something I’m meant to say to them on this occasion, something significant, a poetic farewell to the single years before it, a greeting of the coming years of married life.

So of course nothing comes to mind.

3; 4.75; 3.85; 4.68; 1.60; 3.34; 2.78; 4.06; 3.6; 3.3; 3.4; 3.91; 3; 2.51; 2.15; 4.21; 4.21; 3.35; 4; 5.64; 5.75; 7.54; 4.37; 2.84; 3.15; 2.85; 2; 4.47; 4.38; 2.85; 5.19; 3.73; 3.13; 3.56; 5.12; 3.42; 2.92; 2.31; 1.88; 2.5; 6.82; 6; 6.13; 3.81.

This may look like a string of random numbers, but it is in fact amounts spent on each serving of a lunch made from scratch over the past few months.  The average cost of these 44 meals is $3.82; the six meals (not listed) with partly pre-made ingredients from the store averaged $5.04; and the average restaurant or takeout lunch cost $6.69.  As you might guess, I delight in rather anal-retentive precision.  Even if it’s generally accepted that making your own food costs less than having someone else make it for you, I like to have data to back it up.

Sometimes while driving I am gripped by wonderment and horror that I’ve been entrusted with two tons of metal, to drive when and where I will.  Not that I am a big fan of the TSA, or in favor of further government intrusion into daily life, but I don’t recall the licensing process as being that thorough.  Considering how much time I spend on the road, they hardly vetted me for this!  Good heavens.

In my less generous moments, the horror and wonderment focus much more on the other drivers who have been trusted with so much with so little cross-checking.



Neither need you tell me that we must take care of our garden.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.


2 thoughts on “Clearance Cairn

    • Yeah, I really don’t know what to think or feel about that, beyond some amount of revulsion. It sounds like the sort of thing that ought to exist solely in fiction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s