The Mind's I


Question: What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memories are filled with sadness. The earliest memory that I have is extremely vague. I was 3.

My mother left for the US since she got her green card. My father and I didn't receive our papers at the time; it would be another year before I would get my papers and my father would get a student visa in order to come with me to the States. His green card didn't come until after he arrived in the US. My favorite aunt, Ella, and my father told me that my mother was leaving.

"Mama is going to the States, Ai-ai."

"When is she going to come back?"

"We don't know, anak (my child). We might go there to see her, but we don't know when she's coming back."

I thought my mom had abandoned us. I recognized it wasn't like a vacation. People come back from vacation. Ma wasn't coming back. My young mind exaggerated everything. "I'll never see her again!" I ran up to my room.

I slept in the bed that my father slept in when he was my age. It was a green wooden frame, covered with a wooden mesh instead of a mattress. Sleeping on the bed was difficult: it was stiff and unyielding. If I slept on it without a blanket covering the wooden mesh, I would wake up with an elaborate pattern imprinted into my side or on my butt. I flung myself my bed and cried myself to sleep, clutching a fluffy pillow.

I awoke with a mosaic on my face. As I rubbed the impressions away, I longed for my sadness to go away too.

I don't think I was truly happy until I saw my mother's face, over a year later, at the airport.

Thanks to Tyrtle with the great question she posted on her website.


My second earliest memory was when I was at the airport in Hawaii. It was when my father and I were coming to the states and we had a stop-over in Hawaii. We watched a presentation of some kind and I remember sitting with him in some auditorium, long after everyone else had left.

"Anak, where is your earring?"

"What earring?" I tugged on my right ear with my right hand. I felt the hardness of the diamond stud. I moved my hand to my left earlobe.


"Oh no, papa. I don't know." I had been wearing the earrings for as long as I could remember. In the Philippines, if you are a girl, the birthing process is as follows: child pops out, doctor slaps you, doctor pierces your ears. The diamond studs were my favorite earrings. I was wearing them for my mama, whom I was seeing for the first time in over a year.

My father looked tall and looming. He looked down at me with a sad, disappointed look. "You lost it. Look for it, anak." He pointed at the floor.

For some reason, I knew it was futile, but I went through the motions anyway. I was too disheartened at the time. I wouldn't see my mama in my favorite diamond earrings. They were very expensive too. I got on my hands and knees and crawled between the seats, looking for the tiny diamond stud.

I looked up at my father, sadly. "I can't find it, papa."

"Look harder." He got down on his hands and knees and started looking too.

We looked for what felt like an eternity. I got up and sat down in a chair, completely disheartened. I played with the blue and yellow plastic leis that the stewardesses gave me when I got off the plane. I think I still have them in a box somewhere. I looked at them several years after I received them and they looked cheap and junky, but at the time my 4 1/2 year old brain registered them as very beautiful. They helped distract me.

My father got up off his knees and looked at me, again with that disappointed look. "You lost it, anak."

"I'm sorry, papa. I didn't take them off or anything."

"Next time, don't loose them."


For a long time afterwards, I never wore earrings.


There is a lot of hype regarding her return. Well, I think the hype is well-based. Her ability for storytelling is fabulous and entertaining. You know I'm going to be dropping by frequently...

Online Journals

This is run by Dori. She writes a weekly article on online journals. Her most recent offering is called "textshots" which are little snippets from journals. She mentions mine. I can't believe I wrote that snippet. It's quite good. Mike questioned my wording of becoming "more immortal". "How does one become more immortal?" I shooed him away.

He did like my answer to the question I pose above in Perspectives. He says I'm becoming a better writer. Yay! It's nice to know.

Baker Street
A moving entry by a highly entertaining journaller.
Your day breaks
Your mind aches
There will be times
When all the things she said
Will fill your head
You won't forget her

--Beatles "For No One"
It's a very adult and mature perspective on a relationship ending.

"Somewhere down the road, there will be someone else for me. But there will never be another her. She will always be in my heart, and I will always love her."

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January 21, 1999
A taxi, a room, two memories, some hair, a professor, a planet, and me

Big Yellow TaxiHere I am in the taxi on the way home. I decided to take a taxi so that my commute wouldn't end up being an hour and a half long. Amazingly, I left work at 6:50pm and got home at 8pm. Wow. When I called Mike at home, I estimated 9pm for my arrival time. The downside of it is that I didn't get any exercise today. For the past two days, I've been walking home instead of taking the bus. The exercise is good for me, the new Sultan of Sloth. However, it was rainy and I didn't have an umbrella and I really didn't want to wait for a bus and I wanted to get home home home... so I caved in and took a taxi that zipped me home in record time.

One of the journals that I read regularly, Ceej's black book, recently had an entry demonstrating how few good photographs she really takes. An excellent study. I thought it was a great idea (she also did a great day in the life similar to mine). So, I am including the photographs of me that I tried to take in the taxi cab. Here they are in all their fumbled glory.

The taxi seat
The first photograph I took. The camera tipped over at the last moment and so all you really get is a photograph of the taxi seat (and my butt in the darkness).

Terrified Iko
This photograph makes me look like I'm on some terrifying ride at Great Adventure. I leaned way too back for it, in an attempt to look relaxed.

Iko and Boredom
I look bad and bored in this photograph. I think this was the one that I had to adjust the camera for because it fell over just before the picture snapped. So, I quickly got into a "relaxed position". Relaxed position, my patootie.

Well, Constant Reader, Joan Lansberry (whom I know from ScribeTribe and reads me regularly) sent me a URL to show me what The Mind's I looks like on someone else's computer. She wanted to demonstrate how messy her computer area is. I thought it was great! So, I decided to reciprocate to show her my view of her site.

My Room
I thought that it would be appropriate to give you a small tour of the photograph. Starting on the far left of the photograph is a black filing cabinet case that my father keeps his records. Lying on top of the case are: a stack of videotapes that I watch on my tv. The current tapes on the shelf are my two tapes of I, Claudius. Next to the tapes is a glass of water next to a bottle of Alpha Hydrox lotion. I'm trying to improve my dry skin. My sacred television. It is my muse when I want to sleep. I pop in an I, Claudius tape and I'm out like a lightbulb. It's not because I think it is boring: on the contrary, I love it so much that it relaxes me and makes me fall into dreamland. In front of the TV is a zip disk case. This is the zip disk that I keep my site on. Next to it is a mug that I had my evening tea in. Mm.

In the corner of the room is a cabinet with a glass case (can you see the black statue on the shelf inside?). Atop this are several photographs (a caricature of my father, pics of my family and relatives) and my sewing kit which is a jar with a doll's head that pops into the neck of the jar to close it. This is the shelf that I keep my digital camera on when I'm taking photos of myself at night like the one below demonstrating my new haircut.

Then, my computer. Oh yeah baby. It's got a removable hard drive, a non-removable hard drive, a DVD-Rom drive, and an internal zip drive. Atop the computer is a pink pad of paper (with some of Mike's scribbles on it), a yoyo in a blue box, and the modem (56.6k). The monitor shows the website she sent me. Behind the computer on the wall is a rack with cables and the speakers for the computer. There is another monitor and keyboard next to my computer. That is attached to the scanner on the far right of the photograph. In front of the second monitor is my latest issue of Time Out New York, a stack of photographs I have to go through and pick some to scan in, a white bottle of Jergens lotion, and a spray bottle of Vicks Chloraseptic in front of it.

Below the table is... surprise... more computers! After all, I live in the computer room. You can see all four that are underneath the table clearly. And an extra keyboard. The garbage can is next to my bed (which is on the lower right corner).

A mess, isn't it?

I got my hair cut yesterday.
Iko Before
Iko on January 19th looking depressed 'cause her hair is so bad.

Here is my photograph from two days ago. I don't think you can really see it in this photograph, but in the circled area, you can see my hair poking out of the back of my head. It's longish and I didn't like it. I like the short boyish appearance.

Iko After
Here I am tonight. Much better and happier!
Here I am tonight. Note: No wayward hair! Does it look shorter, Constant Reader? Mike didn't think so. Then again, he doesn't notice hair too much. I got a few compliments at work today so I suppose it makes up for it.

I suppose.


Dang. Long entry... and more to go! That's what I get for not putting up an entry yesterday. However, I spent yesterday with Mike doing the latest Games Magazine. It was great! I know this isn't particularly impressive, but I did the entire one star crossword puzzle without any prompting or help from Mike. I think he was proud of me too. I helped him with a few other puzzles and I found myself contributing more than I typically do to his puzzle solving. I felt smart.

Speaking of smartness, after reading Al's latest entry, he makes the note that he's never met anyone in the flesh that he thought was smarter than he was. Well, I've met Douglas Hofstadter. I've got a beautifully signed copy of his book for myself and Mike.

He gave a talk on his most recent book "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies" at the U of Illinois bookstore and I found it very fascinating. The understanding of connections and relationships that he expressed in the game of tabletop (which is something that I should play more frequently with other people, especially new people I've just met) and the concepts of style that he presents in his alphabet generators are amazing. He's not far, either, being based at U of Indiana. After the talk, I walked up to him with my personal copy of Godel, Escher, Bach: the Eternal Golden Braid (which was slightly worn. I was introduced to it a year or two earlier by Mike) and Mike's copy.

"Hello! I really enjoyed your talk today." I felt bashful. I was in the presence of mightiness here. Mightiness. I pushed my copy of GEB and my newly purchased Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies to him.

He picked it up and flipped it a few pages and started to sign and date it as he spoke. "Thanks a lot. I'm glad you enjoyed it."

I turned around and saw a line of fellow geekheads, all clutching their slightly worn copies (or pristine, newly purchased ones) of GEB for him to sign. I felt nervous for taking up his time to sign two of my books.

After he finishes signing the second book he looks up to me. Wow, he's got wonderful eyes. They look aged, but wise. Like Yoda but not as many wrinkles. He looks at me inquisitively and I break my reverie of staring into those beautiful orbs.

"Oh.. oh.. umm..." Why is it when I'm with men that intimidate me, I turn into a blubbering piece of jello? "My boyfriend introduced me to you and really loves your work. Unfortunately, he's working today and couldn't come to hear your talk... but he wanted you to sign his copy of GEB, if you don't mind..." I looked back at the line all waiting for me to hurry up.

"Of course!" He took the book from my hands and turned it in his hands, examining it. "Wow. I don't think I've seen such a worn copy of it." My alarms went off. That line has been burned into my memory, Constant Reader. I can hear his voice to this day. He's quiet and pretty unassuming. But there is something in the way that he speaks that makes me think that every word is precisely calculated. Thought out. Come to think of it, he speaks like Mike does. They both seem very calculated in they way they present themselves and communicate.

"What's his name?"

"Uhh.. uhh..." Who is he? Oh.. he. Mike he. Thank goodness my brain didn't shut down this badly when I first met Mike. We would have never gotten off the ground. "His name is Mike."

He bent over the book and started writing something in it. I've forgotten what's in it now... but it was definitely positive. I don't remember exactly what I did while he was signing it, probably rambling on how much I enjoyed the Crab Cannon. I bet he hears that all the time.

He smiled and handed Mike's well-worn book to me. "Thanks for coming." He turns to the next geek-head in line as the young man starts rambling his praises to the Master. I heaved the three heavy books to a better position in my arms and begin the trek to Mike's place to present him with his new treasure.


Pluto may be stripped of its planetary status. I wasn't surprised. I'm actually surprised that they didn't do this earlier. It's got an orbit not in the same plane as the other eight planets, it's got an awkward shape, it's extremely diminutive in size. Doesn't Pluto and Charon orbit funny? Like, Charon doesn't revolve around Pluto but they both kind of orbit each other? I think I read that once before, but my mind could be playing tricks on me. I could have dreamt that bit of information.

© Copyright 1999, Eileene Coscolluela