You Lighthouse My Life

When I was very young, whenever we would pass a particular cemetery in Joliet, Illinois, without fail I would point to the limestone entrance which was a single castle-esque cylindrical cupola with a door, and say “That’s my house. I’m going to live there.” For years this went on. And when I pass it to this day I secretly think to myself, “That’s mine.” I dig the single cupola look, which is why I adore lighthouses. Being enamored with the ocean and old ships, a love of lighthouses comes naturally (must I always contend that I was born in the wrong era?). In high school I went through an actual “lighthouse phase”, trying to figure out just how I could eventually live in one. I had drawn out all these plans in Drafting class for the different chambers and designated levels. Ah, I was such a dreamer – and with one unaccounted for problem: I suffer from a SEVERE fear of open heights. Looking at photos of great heights or just talking about them makes my hands sweat, so living in a lighthouse would require the top to be capped. That would come at an extra expense. I would write that check to the contractor from my very imaginary bank account of millions.

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A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals and reefs, and safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation. Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and replacement by modern electronic navigational aids. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Technology has made these gorgeous structures obsolete, and many are under the protection of historical societies. As with churches, I envy those who can buy them and make them into their homes. Practicality or feasibility will never dampen my envisioned romanticism about living vertically along the ocean coast, listening to the waves crash against the shore while watching a storm roll in. It’s there waiting for me, located somewhere between Port Heaven and My Dreamsville.

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A Tale of Technology Fail

The subject: this outdated coffee machine. It doesn’t even know what’s about to happen.

Two fellow grad students, Katie Holland (a professional media gal) and Amelia Noyes (a fashion blogger) decided to inspect the flaws of the machine and assess its technological failings. It couldn’t just be me.

3 out of 2 grad students agree that this machine is technological fail.

Looking beyond the shiny 1980s colors of the machine, the choices were more fit for the nursing home demographic than the grad student sect. Why would this relic of a machine continue to operate here? Seriously, are we being Punk’d?

Why get Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee when you can have…Maxwell House.

Just when you thought the machine couldn’t get more outdated or odd, it showed us this little doozy as a choice of “Complements”. I don’t know about you but I couldn’t get any whitener. (I’m here all week, folks.) A small corner of my soul died when I saw this option.

Half and half and creamer are so 2010. All the cool kids are using “Whitener”…wait, what?

Any indicators of where the coffee comes out? No. Any indicators of when the coffee will stop coming out of wherever it will come out of? No. Awesome. Let’s do this, then. It is almost like the physical option of hitting the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on a Google search.

It would be more successful if we could “Select Compliments”. I’d choose “You’re so pretty!” and “You’re hilarious!”

When I said the coffee machine was in 1980s colors, I skipped the fact that the beverage names were actually throwbacks from the 1970s. Chocolate Trance? Suddenly I feel like throwing my keys into a bowl or running my toes through lime shag carpeting…or maybe pushing a pin just a bit further into a Voodoo doll that looks like Juan Valdez. With exactly 0% chance of entering the trance that said product promises, the name doesn’t really sell me on the confidence that I’ll be able to get home alright after drinking it.

Is a trance really what we should be in right before class? Should be called “Straight A Latte”

Yeah, you know this puppy hasn’t seen the business end of a scrub brush since the Reagan era. DEE-LISH!

No signs indicate that a paper cup comes down from this chute on its own. Communication fail!

Let’s play The Price Is Right! What would you guess that the retail value is of a medium sized paper cup full of hot water and inferior coffee grounds that refuse to dissolve no matter what? If you said, $1.25 – you’re right! (DING, DING, DING!)

Even if it were 1.25 pesos, it would still be overpriced.

The gates of hell never tasted so mediocre and bland.

Mmm. I hope some of the disgusting gudge crusting the machine will end up in my cup!

If this machine had its own Twilight Zone episode, it would be that possessed item that speaks to its patrons saying, “Tell you what – if you can you keep holding that hot cup in your hand you can keep your soul, but if not, well…”

With no cardboard holders one is certain to burn their hand.

My constituents agree that the buildup of excitement to this momentous purchase did not quite reach the crescendo of flavor they expected. And they, like myself, will never be the same again.

Failure never tasted so piss poor.

Every step of the transaction was a fail. The way the machine looked, the way it failed to communicate, the way it failed to provide feedback and real creamer and cleanliness that 1st world countries demand out of their inferior coffee machines. It was all for naught. But we did learn one thing. The garbage can’s mouth was big enough to slip that whole brimming cup into. And that couldn’t be just coincidence.

The End.

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April 24, 2011
Categories: Curious Goods . Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Author: Famous After I Die Art & Digital . Comments: 13 Comments