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December 1st, 1998. 9.44pm

What did you learn from your time in the solitary cell of your mind? —Belle & Sebastian
It's unfortunate that I have become obsessed with Belle & Sebastian after their once-in-a-lifetime tour of the U.S.

Today my friend Leah, who was my roommate freshman year, told me that there are people who keep diaries on the net. And you can log into them every day. You can read about the daily existence of people you have never met and will never meet and in whose lives, under ordinary circumstances, you would have relatively little interest.

This is the essence of technology today. It is like pornography. We are terribly interested in the naked souls of perfectly ordinary people, not because they are souls but because they are naked. I think this explains the—to me at least—utterly mystifying activity known as "surfing." The point of surfing is not that one is interested. Surfing has relatively little to do with the surfer. It is entirely about the net. I did not spend a solid three hours of my life reading the transcripts of the Tripp tapes because I actually gave a shit about Linda Tripp or Monica Lewinsky. I read them because they were there. And because curiosity is the overriding instinct of mankind.

Curiosity is what comes out of the great vacuum of the mind. It is what emerges when the brain goes into a standstill, switches into neutral. Hum hum hum, hums the brain, edging closer and closer into the Plant Kingdom. It hums slower and slower. Hum, huum, huuum, hmmmm. And then comes instinct. Instinct says to itself, Oh shit. The brain is becoming a vegetable. So it fixes itself ruthlessly on whatever is readily at hand, be it the Tripp Tapes, Deep Thoughts, Inane Quotes (yes, I have submitted, so shush your mouth), Great Art, or even, yes, reading about the long and illustrious history of The Princeton Campüs Club on its small but equally illustrious homepage.

[Later]

Hello. Hi there world. What the fuck am I doing. I have an exam tomorrow. Thank you Andrew Szegedy-Maszak. Thank you for giving us an exam on December 2nd. And thank you, God, for allowing me to forget, until now, that I have to go up to fricking PRB and print out Traffic Logs. Yeah my life. Yeah.

Speaking of my life, and speaking of online diaries, here is what happens to me on an average Monday or Wednesday:

8.00am - Alarm goes off
8.02am - I reach the state of consciousness necessary for pressing the snooze button, which is incidentally, on the off chance that there was any confusion, the antepenultimate invention of the devil.
8.11am - Alarm goes off again.
8.20am - Alarm goes off again.
8.29am - Alarm goes off again.
8.38am - Alarm goes off again.
8.47am - I get up and check my email. Yeah Convoy. Yeah the illusion of love.
8.53am - I go take a shower. I meet Tristan in the common room. His hair is sticking straight up in the air. We grunt amiably in each other's general direction.
9.10am - I come back, dripping wet, to find my alarm going off again. (Sorry Jane.) I get dressed.
9.50am - I trek off to class, cigarette in one hand, Diet Coke in the other. Nectar and Ambrosia are actually, technically, ancient Mycaenean words meaning nicotine and caffeine.
10.00am - Mythology. Hi there Andrew Szegedy-Maszak. Hi there. Mmm. I finish my Diet Coke by 10.50, when...
10.50am - I stop by Campüs on my way to Soc and pick up a glass of Diet Coke. This makes me late. I walk down Prospect Street. I have my second cigarette of the day.
11.04am - I arrive at Soc. I try to be unobtrusive, but unfortunately, the professor is my preceptor. She knows who I am. C'est la vie.
11.50am - I like Viviana Zelizer because she lets us out on time.
11.55am - Lunch. Yeah lunch.
12.30am - Third cigarette, usually with Nick.

See. It's only noon and you're already bored. But you're reading, aren't you. There's something gross about that. You don't even know who Nick and Tristan are. Most likely, anyway. For all you know, Tristan is my brother and Nick is my boyfriend. Maybe Tristan is my boyfriend and Nick is my brother. Maybe the names Nick and Tristan are only pseudonyms for someone else. Possibly they are the same person, or each amalgamations of many others. "Nick" being the name assigned to the collective with which I have my noon cigarette. All these little innuendoes. And still my life which is of paramount importance to me is of none at all to you. But you are reading. If you let your eyes unfocus the screen turns to diagonal patterns of black and white. If you let your eyes unfocus you will realize that it is the white which stands out, the background and not the letters.

This is worth consideration.