Jack: Lemon, that’s the smartest thing you’ve ever said.
Lemon: Really? What about 3 years ago when I said there should be more TV shows about cake?
This was the conversation I just watched on On-Demand “30 Rock”. I started clapping. Hey America, why are there so many shows about cake now? I admit they are hypnotically fascinating, but still, it's absurd how many hours of American television are devoted to baking and assembling elaborate cakes. In the three weeks since I’ve been back, I’ve learned that straws inserted into lower cake tiers are used for weight displacement whereas dowels are used to hold cakes in place. A Comcast guide search reveals the following shows: Ace of Cakes, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, (many many episodes of) Food Network Challenge, and Ultimate Cake Off. I’m overwhelmed.
It’s a weird overwhelmed though. I don’t feel hit over the head; I don’t feel the weight of cake shows crashing down on me. It’s a more subconscious phenomenon where, for example, yesterday I watched hours of cake shows for no other reason other than my brain seems extra susceptible to bizarre meaningless American television programming. My brain has spent the last 2 years taking it slow, and now even a lukewarmly stimulating TV show is enough to captivate my brain for hours.
But it’s not just TV. Christmas shopping was insanely difficult this year. Browsing the shelves at Borders one night last week, I walked around the store for an hour and a half. It was a strange feeling though, because even though it physically felt like boredom-fueled aimless wandering, I wasn’t bored at all; in fact, I was enthralled. It was as though something caught my eye, and then I was distracted by a shiny object, and then another shiny object would catch my eye, and then another and another. After shopping for a while, I ran into some friends of mine. I told them quite earnestly, “This store is so big!” They found this hysterical.
People keep asking me about how I’ve been dealing with the cold. But the truth is the cold isn’t all that big of a factor—it’s been freezing, but it’s such an easy thing to remedy, I haven’t minded it too much. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs comes into play, and the things at the bottom of the pyramid, while most pertinent, have been the easiest to resolve. It’s the more ethereal, more subconscious stuff near the top that’s been most difficult to address. I can get myself a sweatshirt or a blanket to deal with the cold, but it’s difficult to even realize how overstimulated I’ve been, let alone try to alleviate the issue.
So I’ve mostly been taking life slow, trying not to overwhelm my brain with unnecessary thought processes. I’ve been enormously unproductive since I got home. Blogging has been out of the question. Sorry about that, but it was a low priority anyway, and assembling 500 words of coherent thought was out of the question.
But now things are settling down a little, and maybe life is getting back on track. I could elaborate, but there’s a cake show on TLC right now, and my attention’s divided.
I hope you’re well. Pictures soon.
23 hours ago