Monday, February 21, 2005

Caffeine Fiend

Does Betty Ford have a caffeine addiction wing because I may need to check into it. I've come to the realization that the headaches I've been suffering everyday are due to caffeine withdrawal(and that's only after eight hours without), and not a small caffeine dose will satisfy it. No, a can of soda won't send the headache away. I need a gallon cup of full flavor Folgers to make my head stop throbbing.

I know this is bad. Any addiction no matter how innocuous should be broken, but dammit, my head hurts when I wake up and just increases if I don't get some coffee. I try to temper it with a can of soda and a couple of Advil, but my head still hurts. It's not fair. And yes, I know pouting is silly, but shit!

God help me if I have to start popping No Doze.

It doesn't help any that I now have the excuse that I'm protecting myself from liver cancer either.

Oh boy, I found another excuse -

OAKLAND, California (UPI) -- Coffee may be good for life. A major study has found fewer suicides among coffee drinkers than those who abstained from the hot black brew.

The study of nearly 130,000 Northern California residents and the records of 4,500 who have died looked at the effects of coffee and tea on mortality.

Cardiologist Arthur Klatsky said of the surprising results, ``This is not a fluke finding because our study was very large, involved a multiracial population, men, women, and examined closely numerous factors related to mortality such as alcohol consumption and smoking.''

The unique survey also found no link between coffee consumption and death risk. And it confirmed a ``weak'' connection of coffee or tea to heart attack risk -- but not to other cardiovascular conditions such as stroke.

The study was conducted by the health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and was reported Wednesday in the Annals of Epidemiology.

--from Frequently Asked Questions about Caffeine

So it helps you not commit suicide. Good to know. Why do I want to quit again? Right, addiction bad. But look, coffee good. You know, I might be able to reconcile these two ideas once my head doesn't hurt.

Gonna go get a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Library Security? Why That Would be Me.

I work the overnight shift at my university library. Midnight to eight am are my hours, but the library "closes" at midnight to the general public. The doors don't lock, and there isn't a key card system to get into the library. We just make an announcement at midnight and hope people who aren't university people leave. I go around and look for any suspicious non-university people, but that's a tricky thing. If the person looks college age, I leave them alone. If they don't, I ask them if they have university ID. If they don't, I have to escort them to the exit. If they don't want to leave, I call UPD.

At midnight, signs are put out at the entrance asking anyone who enters to show their university ID. If they don't show it, I have to stop them and ask. This can be problematic if the student has on say headphones. I have to either shout really loud or chase them down. I hate having to do either. If the person doesn't have their ID with them, I ask them to come up to the desk and punch in their number. Usually, the students are good about showing ID, and if the student is a regular, I don't bother having them show ID.

Tonight I had someone come in and totally blow off the signs. I was busy with another student so couldn't stop the person in time to question him. I kept an eye on him because he wasn't someone I recognized as a student. He strolled back to the computer lab. If he had sat down, logged in and gotten to work, I would've known he was a student because those computers are only accessible to students. The guy came up to the computers near the circ desk which are general use, but still require a login. He still didn't sit down and get to work. I approached him, asked him if he had a university ID. He said no. I asked him to come up to the front to punch in his number. He came up entered his number; no library record came up. I then went to the general university directory to look him up. Nothing. He insisted he was a student. He was taking a course through the continuing ed. program. I almost wanted to believe him. He seemed to know enough to not be making it up, but since there was no record of him, he had to leave. He asked why he had been singled out. I told him he had not shown his ID when he entered the building. He said fine he was leaving anyway, which lost him my belief that he could be a student. Why was he here if not to do course work? At least he left without incident, but I wish there was a better way to do this whole security business. I don't like being "The Law". I don't have a badge or a night stick. If I want someone to leave, I have to ask them. If they don't leave, I have to call university police.

The fact is, it would be easy for a non-university person to get around the system. First, they have to come into the building before midnight then they could hide in the bathroom or do something as simple as read a book. What we're trying to circumvent is homeless people from camping in the library. They generally sleep or use the computer (a good number look at porn). I've never seen one pick up a book. They spend practically everyday here but don't even acknowledge the fact that hey, there are books here, maybe it'd be cool to read one.

Reading, what a concept.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Vanilla Sky

I should not watch movies like Vanilla Sky. You know the ones that play with the concept of reality: Fight Club, Soul Survivor, Identity, The Matrix, everything written by Charlie Kaufman. For me, reality is a rather precarious thing. I don’t need to be reminded of the tenuousness of it. Reality too easily becomes surreality. Nightmares, dreams, and fantasies seem so vivid as to make me wonder if they’re the reality, and I’m only deluding myself with this current mundanity, and the fact that two of the words I’ve just used do not supposedly exist, yet they seem like true things, things that should exist, makes me wonder. Why don’t these words exist? Maybe they aren’t allowed to exist so as to keep me from knowing myself and my world.

Getting tangled in the veil, that’s what I’m doing.

I comfort myself with Zen Buddhist thought; the mantra all is one and one is nothing; the whole blowing out of the candle to reach enlightenment. I guess that’s what religion is for--to give one the false sense that the universe can be known. That one can understand reality. Delusions created to cope by.

Well, here’s me coping.

Author's Note: This post brought to you by Vanilla Sky, paint fumes, and way too much caffeine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


NBC’s The Medium

I like this show! It’s been years since I had something I made the effort to catch. The whole cast is appealing esp. Arquette and Weber. I really like the tension in their characters’ relationship and how they deal with it day-by-day. Another thing I like, and I know it’s superficial, but I like the fact that Arquette has curves. She looks like a mom of three and not a supermodel. I just hope she doesn’t start wasting away like other starlets who get a successful television show. (I’m looking at you Sarah Michelle Gellar, Laura Flynn Boyle, and Calista Flockhart.) Please keep eating healthy Arquette. Oh, and Weber’s really handsome too. I like his hair.

You know it’s funny. I really like this show, but hate with a passion any ‘real’ psychics that I see in the media. God, I want to kick in the television when I come across that Sylvia Brown witch on Montel, and John Edward is the spawn of the devil. I don’t believe they have any true extrasensory perception, and I hate how they prey on other people’s weaknesses to promote themselves. Yes, ESP, ghosts, miracles are all lovely things to imagine, but I think we do ourselves a real disservice by accepting what these ‘psychics’ claim and don’t truly test their claims. Bottom line, I hate charlatans, and not one of these ‘psychics’ has yet to convince me they’re otherwise. There’s a psychic detective show on cable I keep meaning to try to see if those people are anymore believable, but haven’t had a chance yet.

Anyway, I’m happy to go along with the fantastical elements in Medium, and I hope they play more with the ambiguity of Allison’s visions. I thought it was great that the killer in the second episode that Allison kept picturing wasn’t the real killer’s face, but the face she gleaned off the cover of a menu she’d seen several times. The subconscious and the power of suggestion would be interesting things for Allison to deal with. She seems to take some of her visions too much at face value, which proved to be wrong of her like tonight’s episode proved when she thought Joe was cheating on her when he wasn’t, and I just realized I’m probably thinking exactly what the writers want me to think. Oh well, I guess I’m being manipulated, but I’m happy.