After one too many nights out in a row, I am enjoying a do-nothing night, starting with a little much-needed cleaning and then some reading in bed. I finally finished An Elegant Universe, having been stuck on the last twenty pages for about a decade now. If you're a big nerd like me and read a lot of books about cosmology, you'll probably be bored by the first third, which is essentially the same "George & Gracie pass each other at different speeds in space but their watches read different times - how can this be?!" story you've heard a thousand times. I wanted to skip a lot, but feared (and was correct) that he refers back these again and again, so it's helpful to get used to the names and stories he's using.
But what annoyed me more than that was when his analogies actually became more difficult to picture than the physical thing he was trying to describe. At one point he was talking about inflation theory - that due to the types and amounts of matter currently existing in the universe, it makes sense that at a certain point just after the Big Bang the universe expanded extremely rapidly, giving the then existing matter the appropriate time to do what it needed to do so that it exists how it is today. So he starts analogizing it to a film - imagine the film stopping and going back a few seconds, and then forward, and then back, but not so far! Then forward, then back, but too fast! And eventually I was just like, wtf is going on here? You're going to break your VCR doing that shit, man.
Moving on. I know there are at least four or five of you who have been reloading TTtC since Monday morning, in breathless anticipation of my 300 review (Note: As I was finishing writing this post Jason IM'd me and asked "Dude, where's the TTtC post about 300?" Ha.), but I think I'm going to have to disappoint you. I did, in fact, have a running commentary going in my head during the movie ("Fear not, Art 101 students, apparently you can ALL be famous!") but listen, the four pitchers of margaritas and two rounds of Patron shots beforehand have mostly eliminated my memory of those two long hours, probably for the better. I do remember this exchange:
Paul: The frontal nudity is cool, but it'd be nice if these girls were a little bustier, ya know?
Heather: But Paul, that would be gratuitous.
Oh, and I got shushed for yelling "Kick him in the nuts!" a little too loudly at one point. Also, when are we going to war with Iran because I AM PUMPED UP AND READY!
About Ted Leo. I don't know guys. I tried listening to an album at work today and made it about four songs in before I just got irritated and moved to a new playlist. Granted, I've been a little stressed at work recently, so I won't move him to my New Pornographers/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah playlist of banishment quite yet.
In addition to fun things like putting away my laundry, I also hung some art today
. When I first told Sylvie I was going to buy this photo, she said, "I don't know... it's so lonely
. Don't you find it depressing?" Not even a little, I said. About a month before I left for India, someone asked me what my favorite traveling memory was. I didn't even have to think about the answer. I was in Bolivia, and we had gotten out of the Jeep in which our guide was taking us around the lagunas, and started trekking around the desert. It wasn't the amazingly beautiful
scenery that got me (well okay, it did), it was the utter, total silence. The wind wasn't blowing (and doesn't very often in the Atacama - combined with the dry environment, you won't ever see a cloud), and in the starkness I couldn't even hear the people standing barely ten feet away from me. It was truly an amazing experience, and although I may be a reflective person generally, I've never appreciated the ability to exist in and enjoy a moment before that. It wasn't until I was finally distracted by the tiny movement of my friend waving animatedly at me from the bottom of the hill that I'd even realized I'd been standing there so long. Which is all to say, this is why I love this photo. And maybe also that 'loneliness' isn't a four letter word to me. (Is it really terrible that every time I hear that word I think of that voodoo commercial
and crack up all over again?) And maybe a bit arrogantly, I kinda like the way she's sitting there patiently, you know, waiting for the art to come to her