LATELY — 16 April 2001

Trivial Thoughts

I often find myself thinking miniscule [sic], trivial thoughts for tens of minutes at a time. Is this normal? (I don’t mean petty thoughts, I mean thoughts not only inane, but stupefyingly inconsequential in scope.)

One time in Prague (this is a few months ago) I walked across an entire bridge thinking only of how the tram drivers could appropriately be induced to drive the old–as opposed to the new–trams. That is to say, the entire trans-bridge walk (maybe five minutes) was spent devising, considering and solving the faultlessly extraneous- to- my- life problem of how the drivers of old trams ought to be compensated. (I think I ended up with something completely obvious, like an auction.)

I’m pretty sure thoughts like this occur to me often; I only noticed this one because it was neatly marked out in time by the end-points of the bridge. Do you ever lie in bed for an hour, or half an hour, only to get up to the realisation that you can remember nothing at all of the thoughts that had been merrily morris dancing their way through your head?

I saw Memento last night, which was rather good, although the ending is a bit of a rip-off in a Sixth Sense-ish kind of way. (I didn’t think Memento’s stunt was quite so forgivable.) The funny thing is, after seeing the movie (which has Guy Pearce as a guy who uses annotated Polaroids as a substitute for the short-term memories that he can no longer form) I went into Borders, found the Sylvia Plath Journal that I had been looking for, then, after pottering around a bit more, carried it through the security thingy and out of Borders. The alarm didn’t go off, and I only remembered that I hadn’t paid for it as we were paying for parking. Weird! I’ve never done this before. (I went back and paid for it.)

Dessert recommendation: Nata de Coco. It’s cubes of white, semi-transparent “coconut gel” (it doesn’t taste of coconut) in syrup. You can get it in Asian grocery stores, packed in cans or jars. Very yummy. Mix it with canned fruit and crushed ice.

I missed a sign:

United Nations Plaza
CLOSED
12 Midnight to 6AM
Everyday
Except to through traffic
(A copy of this rule may be obtained
from the director’s office, department
of public works, City Hall.)
Alcohol consumption and
camping are prohibited
without a valid permit.
SF Park Codes Secs. 4.12 and 3.12

– United Nations Plaza, San Francisco. [Many homeless people hang out there.]