Monthly Archives: February 2009

questions on the loo, issue #5: “People who know what they want.”

You see that remark everywhere.  Anywhere from job listings to online personals, people are always seeking those who know what they want.  I never quite understood what this might mean.  How could anyone not know what they want?  I know what i want, and those around me know what they want (assuming they are being honest with me).  You might not know how to get what you want, but how could you not know what you want?  It baffles me, really, and the next time i see that phrase, i am going to email whoever wrote it and ask what they mean by it.  

This is something that has been bugging for quite some time now, but i was prompted to write a post about it because this exact issue came up in my Ethics lecture the other day.  My Ethics professor, my wonderfully brilliant Ethics professor, of all people, used that seemingly meaningless phrase, “some people don’t know what they want.”  In Book I Chapter VII of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses the search for a self-sufficient good, a final end, the one thing we aim at.  His assumption is that you could be aiming at something, but not be sure what you’re aiming at.  My question is, if you don’t even see the target, how could you be aiming at it?  That would be like someone handing me a bow and arrow and telling me to shoot at the red circle when there isn’t one.  In any case, the question that naturally follows from Aristotle’s proposition that some people don’t know what they’re after is, how do you tell what you’re really after?  One way is to get it first and then figure out if that’s what you’d been wanting, he says.  The only way to know what you’re after is to blindly go after something, get it, and then see if you’re satisfied with it.  If you are, that’s what you had been wanting.  But if humanity really did function in this primitive trial and error method, we wouldn’t get so far now, would we?  

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Filed under culture, language, philosophy, questions on the loo

Nick Cave is demented (but an amazing artist)


Am i the only one who’s terrified of these?  I had to walk into a roomful of these 7 foot tall soundsuits in various poses for a sculpture assignment, and it took all the mental power i had to stay in there for more than a minute.  These things are terrifying!  Stand in their shadows one day and you’ll see what i mean.

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Filed under art, perception

the yogurt series, ii

Current top yogurts:

1.  Dannon’s All Natural Lemon


(can’t find a picture of lemon, but this is the right product line, though the packaging design has changed)

2.  Wallaby’s Organic Lowfat Key Lime

Since my last yogurt post, i’ve tried several more yogurts, and i’ve found a new favorite (that’s right, it knocked Liberté off the number 1 position, and believe me, it takes a lot to do that).  But before i talk about that, i have to tell you about this amazing yogurt i had in Morocco.

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Filed under food, products, the yogurt series

A new home


I just moved from 2nd and Bowery to 9th and 3rd Ave.  I loved the location of the former—it was a quiet, secretively hip neighborhood, and i was two blocks away from Whole Foods, three blocks away from my internship, and a 10-min walk from campus—but it was difficult sharing a studio the size of five full size beds with a roommate.  I haven’t met my new suitemate yet, but i’m loving it here so far, because the room (a single!) is much larger than i expected (everyone else thinks it’s small, but it’s big enough for me), and it’s south-facing, so i get plenty of sunlight.  My plants will be happy for once.  The only downside about the interior is the depressing and dirty kitchenette and bathroom.  The industrial, fluorescent lighting does not help, and i don’t have the money or time to decorate right now.  I’m also very close to 3rd Ave, so i’m inundated with traffic noise all the time.  But i have a sundial right outside my window, and how cool is that (it’s the one in the triangle formed by 9th, Stuyvesant St., and 3rd Ave).  

Weighing the pros and cons, i think i got a pretty good deal.  And i’m really excited to transform my room into a welcoming sanctuary.  Hopefully i’ll be happier here and be able to get more sleep so i can blog more!  

*about the image:  Apparently, Connecticut College residents have camels greeting them outside their window.

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Filed under college, new york

Maybe i’ve outgrown New York



There’s something about New York.  It’s amazing and depressing at the same time, and i’m starting to feel more of the depressing part these days.  Despite having grown up in urban and suburban areas, i feel like the city is becoming too much for me.  All i can think about these days is retreating to nature.  I used to love taking aimless walks here, so i went out this weekend to take advantage of the warmer weather, but i didn’t enjoy the walks this time.  It was an opportunity to think to myself, but the roads, the cars, the crowds just got to be a bit much.  

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Filed under depression, love, nature, new york, personal, sketches