Tag Archives: the universe

Is Laura Bush Actually Dick Clark In Drag? (And Other Burning Questions)

A friend of mine did that thing today that all socially conscious people find themselves doing this time of year–inquiring about New Year’s plans.  It’s kind of that default question that you end up formulating a default answer to because it is, after all, slightly more exciting than the whole “How about this weather?” “It’s unseasonably mild and I’m awfully concerned about those polar bears” thing. 

So that friend of mine.  We had the default New Year’s Q&A session.  He asked, and I told him, “I’m working.”  Because that’s the truth.  And without skipping a beat, he said, “You will be working all year.”  I said, “What?!”  (Because this is a terrifying declaration).  He said (in a tone offering no glimmer of refutable hope), “You won’t stop working.  All year.” 

AHHHHH!!!

AHHHHH!!!

My friend, it seems, was referring to that idea that what you do on New Year’s sets the tone for the year, it sends your intentions out to the universe, who/which, in turn, sends those intentions right back to you.  Or something. 

Well, I’m a little distraught over this.  More than a little–I’m blogging about it at 5am.  The thing is, I’m highly impressionable.  I’ll hear someone mention a superstition and it will stay with me.  For years.  One of my roommates once told me that any time we walked on opposite sides of a large metal object we had to say “Hello” to each other or we would get in a fight.  And we had to say “Hello” in Russian.  Because it was a Russian superstition.  From my Russian roommate. 

But here’s my plan.  I’m not calling out of work because I get paid double for that shift.  Instead, I’m going to go to CVS, get my passport photo taken, and bring those to work with me.  Dear universe, my intent for 2009 is to travel, okay?  I hear there are actually some countries that are not war-torn at the moment, so the prospects are limited but exciting nonetheless.  Thank you kindly.

This passport thing is a whole ‘nother ranting post just waiting to happen.  Why do we need documentation to travel our own damn planet?  Why do we go to the drug store to get photos taken ($6.99+tax) and then the post office to fill out an application that must be witnessed that takes, like, 3 years for them to approve and send to you?  (Not that I know, I haven’t done it.)  And it costs an additional $100.  You can’t even get into Canada without a passport now.  What is the world coming to?


 
Speaking of Laura Bush, she made a statement on the shoe throwing incident and told whoever took the time to listen to her that she “wasn’t amused.”  As someone who misleadingly presents themselves as a current librarian when really she only entertains the occasional thought of becoming one in the future…I feel a strange bond with this former librarian.  And here’s what I think: she’s a liar.  If someone throws their shoes at your husband you laugh.  Slapstick comedy 101, no?  Whatever.  She’s terrifying.  I never spoke of her to begin with.

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The Smallness of Our Blips and the Largeness of Today’s Election

Apparently the Queens Library is pretty slow about delivering materials to one branch requested from another branch, so instead of taking out the book I’ve been waiting to arrive for a good 7-10 days, I took out a book called Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang. Intriguing, right? I’m not sure what caught my eye about it while walking through the stacks, but there’s a plug from Stephen Hawking on the front cover AND upon looking at the back flap you find photos of the authors who are two of the cutest bespectacled men this side of the Big Dipper. I even showed Kathleen their pictures, but she wasn’t as impressed as I was. A few minutes later I was still ridiculously excited, going on and on about this book and she said, “I can’t begin to deal with you right now.”

Books like this are great because they tell you things you kind of already had an idea about, but you hardly ever stop to think about. Like this:

The Milky Way’s cosmic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, lies 2.9 million light-years from the Earth; the light received from its stars today was emitted before the earliest humans roamed the Earth.

I just read that, say, 20 minutes ago on the train. It made me go, “Woah,” and I looked up at the guy across the aisle from me with huge awestruck eyes who looked back at me like, “I can’t begin to deal with you right now.” So then I looked up at the train ceiling trying to imagine just how far the universe would extend past where I was sitting, trying to fathom just how small of a blip of my existence really is. I’ve never understood why people aren’t more preoccupied with stuff like this. I mean, I know people turn to religion to answer silly questions like…where the hell are we right now and what the hell are we doing here…but still. Even during Sunday School when I was, like, nine years old it occurred to me to ask my teacher how God could have just always existed.

Anyway, enough about light-years and bespectacled men for now. The polls open in a few hours!! Maybe people aren’t stopping to contemplate time and space like me, but they’re definitely stopping to contemplate politics. The people across from me on the train were talking about baby daddys, baby mamas, and Barack’s grandmother. The woman with the 7 month old daughter whose baby daddy is doing time (1-3 years), said, “Maybe it’s a sign how she died right before the election and all.” And the man with the 16 year old daughter whose baby mama remarried, said, “I hope not.”

Seemed like the man took the woman to mean her death would have to be a bad sign, but I don’t think so. My grandmother died a couple weeks ago. She was in my dream last night, watching me while I read a passage from the New Testament at the funeral of my former bus driver who in real life is actually a crossing guard who wears a wig. I was completely fumbling over my words, but regardless, she was watching peacefully from the back row.

I wear a scarf she knitted years and years ago. Her photo is on my newly installed Ikea shelf. I keep thinking about how she told my cousin she never remarried because, “There are a lot of crumbs out there.” Guess what I’m trying to say is, death is sad, paralyzingly sad sometimes, but I don’t think it can ever be a bad sign. People are created, people travel through space for a short amount of time, and then who knows what happens? We leave this dimension? We cease to exist? We burn in hell for all eternity? I dunno. But I’m voting in a few hours and I’m infinitely glad I exist at this time and this place to be able to do it.