Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Organic Path of the Mind

Some days, just watching the way my mind works causes me to wonder how anyone ever had the idea that thinking is linear. My thought process is more like a Buzan mindmap -- this connected to that, and the other thing going in the other direction. It starts where it starts and ends where it ends, and the links in between are anything but linear.

For instance, Friday. I walked the block to the bank to deposit my paycheck, which led me to cogitate about how when I worked for Catholic Community Service and for the State, my check was on direct deposit, but that was because CCS is the largest private employer in the southeast Alaska, with several hundred employees between all of the communities, and the State is the State, with even more employees, but NCADD is a small employer and it would cost them too much to do direct deposit. Which led to thinking about CCS having Care-A-Van fleets in all of the communities that have streets and doing the senior centers and Meals-on-Wheels and child protection programs and how some communities here don't have streets.

By which time I was at the ATM, which is a new model and it actually is slower than the previous model and I still have trouble figuring where to insert the check.

And then, I enjoyed the lovely, sunny, crisp weather as I walked four more blocks to Kenny's Wok & Tempura Sushi Bar (honest-to-God, that is the name), considering how small communities often have to do multi-ethnic restaurants in order to have a fair representative of ethnic food. (And not all of them are as related as Kenny's. For instance, we have a Greek, Italian, Mexican place that hangs together pretty well.) Of course, despite the fact that they have a large menu of sumptuous food, all of which I like, I ordered, yet again a Bento Box, because I really like the Bento Box.

There is a small salad in the Bento Box at Kenny's -- iceberg lettuce and grated carrot, with thousand island dressing, which seems to be the standard salad served in Asian restaurants, at least in Alaska and California. Which got me thinking about how proud I was, when I was in college and working in restaurants, that I knew how to "cut up" lettuce without having brown edges on the lettuce -- you whack the core of the head on a corner, and then twist the core out of the loosened leaves, and then you tear them. (I learned that reading We Took To The Woods, by Louise Dickenson Rich, which was written in 1942 and I can remember hearing my parents read to each other and that was the book that caused me to want to live someplace like Alaska.) And then, how in the time between Rich writing that and my going to college, 18+ years, when you said lettuce in the US, you meant iceberg lettuce, and indeed most people didn't know there was any other kind. And now there are so many other kinds, and with plastic knives you can cut iceberg without having the edges turn brown, so my expertise has been outlived, like buggy whips in the day of the automobile.

After I thought about buggy whips and saddles and coach lanterns for a while, I circled back to the fact that Louise Dickenson Rich was descended from a sister of Emily Dickenson, and my family also counts Emily as a relative, so this woman who influenced me so much was actually a relative of some sort.

And then, as I was dipping my sushi into the wasabi, I remembered how funny Ted Danson was in "Made in America" when he took the bite of wasabi and rolled around on the floor and how he and Whoopi had that short romance, and now that is long over.

And when the waiter asked if there was anything else and I said I'd like an order of kim chee to go (intending to put it in the fridge at the office to eat with my lunches next week) and he told me that there is now a cabbage shortage in China and he hasn't been able to get kim chee or the right cabbage to make it for several weeks and the people of Korea are getting sick from lack of their primary source of vitamin C.

And after that, there was the cab and coming back up the elevator and all sorts of other thoughts, but this is really enough for an hour.


kenju said...

Your brain and the directions it goes are similar to mine. The older I get, the worse it gets...LOL

J said...

I like to note whether the Donut King in Stockton still serves Teriyaki...and yup, they still do. I've never tried it, but the fact that a Donut King in a city of 1/4 million people serves teriyaki bowls is just wonderful.

Betty said...

Thanks for letting us in on your thought process. Mine is similar to yours, and sometimes I have a hard time turning off and going to sleep.