I’ve been having a lot of random thoughts lately..

* How does exposure to a carnivorous plant at a young age affect someone’s perception of nature? I suppose this isn’t as random as it first appears, because I recently learned that Dave had a venus fly trap as a pet when he was five. After dinner, Dave’s dad would give him a scrap of meat and send him down to feed the plant. Wouldn’t that be extremely traumatizing? I think it would be. There is already enough going on in the head of a five year old. Now a whole pile of notions about plants and animals and which eats which are being complicated by nightly, ritualistic feedings. “Little Shop of Horrors” probably still terrifies him.

* Life in Western Europe (and in other place too.. that’s the only place outside of the U.S. where I’ve spent decent amounts of time) is different than it is here. Okay, so that’s an obvious statement, but I’ve never thought about it very much. Last summer I spent some time with foreign exchange students, and I remember how surprised I was (this will sound very America centric) that they liked visiting America but would never want to live here. I don’t know exactly why it surprised me. I suppose it is this innate sense that America is a destination of sorts (it was for both my mom and my dad, which is an additionally weird thought. My mom grew up in Belgium, my dad grew up in Malaysia, they met in England, and they raised their kids in America. Neither of them grew up speaking English around the house. What if I met a Japanese girl in Brazil and then raised my kids in Spain? Where would home be?)
Back to the initial thought of differences, it really is strange. I’ve always known that, in general, Western Europeans work less, accumulate less, and go out more. What I never realized before is that an individual effort to lead a more European existence, especially in an American suburb, is futile. Even if you and a close group of friends decide to buck the system (not to work from 8am till 7pm, not to substitute weekday television for weekday get togethers, etc.) and go out three or four nights during the week, barely anyone else will be out with you. And that’s not really that fun. But Western Europeans also (in general) live in old apartments with unpredictably shaped bath tubs and lots of cold weather. And not that many Americans emigrate, so I guess it can’t be an empirically better existence. Though I suppose that not that many people emigrate worldwide, which probably means that people are content to be where they are. Wow, this random thought is filled with all kinds of generalizations. I feel like someone is going to argue with me at a show about this stuff.

* I’m going to make a big deal about my birthday this year. Normally I don’t really mention it to people and let it slip by without too much fanfare, but I’ve decided that this year I’m going to talk about it a lot. I think it’s because I’m turning 23, and there’s nothing that great about turning 23, so the great part needs to be in the turning. So I’m proud to announce that May 20th is my birthday. Let the fawning over begin.

that’s all for now. i’ve been typing for a while.

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