random 25

Looking at the water travel down the street makes me wonder where it goes.


I suppose I’m not that curious because I could probably look it up or explore it further by foot but I don’t.


The golden gate bridge is really just a bridge. It’s the combination of its color set against nature’s colors that make it beautiful.


Matias brings up his dog’s consciousness a lot. I never considered my own dog’s consciousness.


5. He just knew when he was needed. I considered it instinct more than a conscious awareness.


So far, not too hard to make this list. It’s fun.


Not 100 lists fun, maybe 10 lists fun.


It drives me crazy when people consider themselves non-racist or non-prejudiced.


This is kind of the flow for most of my internet conversations. I like to start multiple topics at once with a single individual and continue following them at random.


10. I think if I were to look back at my old AIM conversations and current Facebook ones, I could possibly create 100 lists just by copy and pasting.


We are all raised with certain prejudices and assumptions instilled in us. Tis our way of life.


Don’t be ashamed. Own it and control it. Identify the assumptions you make so they don’t inform your actions and assumptions.


Only half way done and I’m already preaching.


I really need to wash my old muck boots. Now that it’s not freezing, I can’t reasonably where my snow shoes and the huge hole in my rain boots makes them useless.


15. I almost wrote whole instead of hole. Hole is not a word I frequently write.


I’m sure you wonder (probably not) why I keep rain boots with holes. I don’t feel like I can get rid of them until I get a new pair.


More on boots: my muck boots are covered inside and out in mud and manure from a time where I got stuck in the mare field and had to have a horse pull me out.


My parakeet is beautiful, as parakeets tend to be, but the meanest one I have ever met.


When she bites, she looks for soft flesh and knows her aim is true when the victim yelps in pain.


20. reading and writing on buses makes me nauseous but I don’t feel like pausing my list writing.


Eating and drinking milk tend to make others feel worse when they are nauseous but will often alleviate my symptoms.


I have 3.5 hours of dance classes ahead of me. Last night’s dance practice will help me know which of the dance instructors are patient and which to stay away from.


I saw an androgynous looking person yesterday. Not only did I think zhe could make a beautiful woman, handsome man, and very attractive non-gender conformer, I also realized this person is Asian and my interpretation had been that zhe is Latin@.


Unlimited metro cards make me feel super powerful. Like I can conquer the world.


My 25 things ended up coming out to 499 words.


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3 Responses to random 25

  1. Berni,

    I do think that there is a preference towards short lists because of our attention spans. I have to set aside time to read actual articles from the NYT or the Atlantic but seem to always make time to read a quick list I think I’ll enjoy. I suppose there is very little investment of time and one can stop at any moment if the list seems uninteresting. Most of the reading we do, outside of Facebook and buzzfeed, is long prose, and honestly, even what I’m writing now I wouldn’t want to read.

    While a quick read, I felt like I had responses to a lot of what Matias was saying. One response was, how many of our authors does Professor Tougaw personally know and if he is Facebook friends with Matias.

    I think he does a great job of mixing the impersonal, the semi-narrative, and the extremely personal. It seems that because it is in list form, he manages to give more of himself away than he might if he were writing an autobiography because it is always in little pieces. For example, list viii “the main thing wrong with my father’s wife is that she isn’t my mother. It makes me feel guilty to write that.”

  2. Hi Yael,

    I can related to item 1 on your list not because I wonder about the same thing but because sometimes I have similar bouts of curiosity about everyday objects or experiences too mundane to really think about. Items 8, 11 and 13 are insightful and a reminder to myself, thank you. Item 17 has a story lodged in the last part of the sentence that begs to be told. Item 20, I tend to avoid incorporating ideas that are still hot from the imagination but would write them down immediately and evaluate later.

    The question is how does one respond to a list? Koestenbaum’s review of Matias Viegner’s 2500 Random Things About Me Too is one way to respond. He shows how Viegner’s memoir affects him (“provides me with a rest cure for my linguistic apparatus”) and after reading through his review, one might conclude that it is about as much as one can get out of reading Viegner. After all, it is only a list, it is random and it is from a person who isn’t particularly famous. Koestenbaum seems to imply that we have here a work of literature in the form of a list that strives to acquire the depth of a poem which itself strives to acquire the depth of a novel. But wait, isn’t a poem capable of containing more depth than a novel (a picture worth more than a thousand words) and by the same token cannot a list contain more depth than a poem? The list as the ultimate literature expression? Really? Look at all the famous names Koestenbaum mentions in comparing Viegner’s work with theirs. The comparisons may be valid but I am sure we will mourn the day when our short attention span compels us to ascribe to lists the same literature status as classic poetries and novels. In the age of buzzfeed Viegner nevertheless breaks new ground when he combined twitter style expressions with memoir, showing us a high in our cultural low.

    So what does Viegner’s memoir then says about us? I read somewhere that people like lists that read something like “25 things you didn’t know about your favorite celebrity X” and since a larger readership generates more advertisement, websites have been churning out list-like articles to capitalize on people’s fascination with lists. Is this fascination born out of our short attention span as there’s too much media content but not enough time? Or does it originate more deeper in our psyche which advertisers then exploit? Knowing the answer to this question may diminish the appeal of reading Viegner’s memoir offer unless one is truly interested in the life and random musings of an art critic.

  3. Mari Gorman says:

    This was as compulsively readable to me as Matias Viegener’s list.

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