Thursday, July 21, 2011


I've been gone so long. I shut my blog down for a second that lasted a entire month and made it private too. I thought I might be looking for a job. Then I didn't.

Then I thought I might be working with some hard-core Christian clients at my present job, and I was, but then it occurred to me that I don't care. I doubt they will either. I think my Introduction to the New Testament course I made for them is A-okay. Jesus would approve. Jesus would chip my socioconstructivist tasks onto a stone tablet and throw the tablet on top of a mountain and say, Pretty good, pretty good. Learning-by-doing, I like the concept.

I was also working on my novel every minute of the day and didn't finish it.

So something weird happened. This weekend I was indoors ALL weekend. I didn't step outside. My kids weren't with me so I was trying to get as much writing done as possible so I got up and started writing at 5:30 a.m. and did not stop until 9:30 p.m. at night. I did that both Saturday and Sunday.

Finally on Sunday, I decided to go for a walk at 10 at night. I walked outside, and it occurred to me, I hadn't seen anything "live" move in 48 hours (oh, except my fingers). So all motion struck me as so strange. Like the leaves rustling on the trees startled me, and then when I walked over the overpass, I was so scared. I thought something terrible had happened, some kind of massive city-wide disaster had occurred, and everybody was speeding to try to get off the Dan Ryan because all the cars looked like they were traveling at like--no exaggeration--120 miles an hour. I was filled with this paralyzing fear, like "Why is everybody driving like that? What is HAPPENING?" It's like the physical laws of the universe were thrown out the window while I was on my weekend writing binge.

What do you think this is? Like psychologically/physiologically speaking? Any guesses?

I asked Elisa and Kathleen and they said, no idea, but blog it. So I obeyed.

Hi! I've missed you.

I think I may post a bunch in a row to make up for my absence. Is that obnoxious?


  1. Welcome back! Blog a bunch. That would not be obnoxious at all. WWJD? J would blog, don't you think?

  2. WWJD!? You're so funny. JWB. Totally.

  3. Ever notice that when you spend a significant amount of time staring at circles--like when playing Connect Four or Chinese checkers--the moment you look away from the circles everything in the room, from furniture to fingers, looks unusually sharp-angled, more "square" than usual?

    Maybe your case is a similar thing--your brain gets used to a certain visual palette to the point where that state becomes a baseline normal, and then when you switch to a contrasting visual state, it seems extreme by comparison.

    I am a scientist.

    (I am not a scientist.)

  4. OMG really? We have Connect 4. Gonna try that tonight. I like that theory!

  5. Yeah, I even found it online just now:

    Now I'm tempted to try what you did too!

  6. Matt, Look what I found in my email. I emailed this to myself because I found it really interesting.

    Form has other emotional effects. A 2007 study published in the journal Neuropsychologia revealed that angular forms have a strange, unconscious emotional effect on us. Viewing angular forms, as opposed to curved forms, triggers activation in the amygdala, a small
    almond-shaped structure in the limbic system of our brains associated with emotional memory — specifically fear. We may not feel any conscious fear, but this brief moment of activity translates to a general sense of dislike for these objects. One hypothesis is that in
    nature, angles suggest something to watch out for — a tree branch, a sharp rock, the edge of a cliff — all things around which a heightened
    sense of attention and caution is appropriate. But perhaps too many angles in our homes sets us on edge, and contributes to the sense of negative affect we feel towards much modern design.

  7. Neat. Maybe that's why Frank LLoyd Wright was so testy all the time.