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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Today I Did Something Stupid

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For a long while now, I’ve been enjoying the slow lull of the indifference that for me naturally follows a rather narrow perspective of my very existence: the focus on my own everyday life. For years, my main focus in life has been myself and my immediate surroundings. By “immediate” I mean not just my family and friends, not my town, not my country, but my planet. Alright, so I haven’t been the most dedicated activist fighting for a better world, but I’ve followed world news, traveled a bit and recycled paper and plastic. I haven’t given much thought to the even larger picture: the picture that makes our planet seem like nothing more than a tiny blip in the enormity that is the universe.

I’ll tell you, as a child I had a much wider perspective on life than I do now, and I had a feeling inside me that I didn’t truly recognize until today when I did the aforementioned stupid thing: the feeling of curiosity. When not playing with Barbies, eight year old me used to get dizzy following trains of thought that usually started with the question “what would be if nothing was”? With help from a few patient grown-ups I’d rather cleverly deduce that the answer must be “nothing”. But then, eight year old me would wonder: what would be the point of anything if nothing existed? Again, the rational answer must be nothing. But if nothing existed, what would the universe look like? The answer would yet again be “nothing”, or when I wanted to mix it up a little, I’d figure “not like anything”. And then, eight year old me would think: was there ever a time when nothing existed?

And here’s where I’d get dizzy: If there was a time when nothing existed, how did something come to be? If God created everything, eight year old me would wonder, then who created God? What created what created God? What created what created what created God? I quickly gave up on the God hypothesis. Even the big bang theory only explained part of the story, and my original question still remained: what was before anything ever was? How did it all start? And where is it going to end? Is there even a limit to the universe? If so, what’s on the other side? If not, how can it possibly keep going forever? What does it stretch into? This is when my head would start to hurt and the grown-ups would have no more patience with my questions, and I’d go back to playing with my Barbies. I’ve mostly kept my mind on Earth ever since. Until today.

Today, as you know, I did something stupid:  I read an online newspaper article about cold fusion. It was brilliantly explained by a physicist at the University, who made it easy to understand even for me. So when the newspaper linked to the physicist’s blog, I went for it. Equally interesting and equally brilliantly explained, I read his posts about dark matter, the Higgs boson and the mathematical possibility of intelligent life on other planets. I spent three hours on his blog, reading and wondering, and rediscovering the curiosity I seemed to have left behind at age eight. The questions flared back up: what is dark matter, really? What are black holes? Does the universe have a border? Is there such a thing as aliens, and did my best friend’s mother really see a UFO as a child? Is there life after death? How do ghosts fit in to this mess? Is it theoretically possible to travel through time? What’s our significance on this tiny little planet in the grander scheme of things? Is there a meaning at all? Is everything just chaos? And will they PLEASE solve the mystery of the universe already so I can go on with my life?

This weekend I was planning on cleaning my apartment, playing a little Sims 3 (my replacement Barbies) and generally fuzzing about how to get around when I can’t afford a car. Now it all seems mind-numbingly unimportant. My head hurts.


Everything You Wanted, Everything You Don’t

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Hey, everyone, and happy new year. Yeah, yeah, I know, I hate new years too, but it’s considered rude not to mention it, and I’m a sucker for conformity. So, hope you’ve had a good 2011, and that your 2012 may be as wonderful as… blah blah blah. You catch my drift. Well, here we are again, back at square one, with a whole year ahead of us, to fill as we may with broken resolutions and the annually allotted five weeks of unpaid vacation we can’t afford to take. For me, the bright side is that I’ve now been a member of the work force for a whole year, so it’s only 39 more to go until I’m allowed to retire or drop dead from exhaustion. Yay!

Meanwhile, I have no choice but to begrudgingly find some means to pass the time, and as always, I choose to stand by the friend who’s always stood by me in return: the TV. January is that magical time of year when the TV execs in America deem us worthy of new episodes of our favourite shows, and thank heavens they let Vampire Diaries come back early this year!

For those of you who don’t give a crap about VD, the rest of this post is going to be less than exciting. Feel free to skip ahead to the music at the bottom. For anyone who’s still with me, and have yet to see the newest episode, go see it! Now! And then come back. For those who have already seen it, well, you know what I’m about to say, so I’m not even going to say it. Let’s just say, it’s disturbing how invested a somewhat grown-up human being can get in a fictional teenager’s love triangle with two 150-year old vampire brothers. I’m way more excited about this storyline than anyone with fully matured frontal lobes should be. I can’t even decide between Team Stefan and Team Damon, even though I’m usually very loyal to one side in these kinds of situations (I consider loyalty to one’s TV friends to be of utmost importance). This time, though, I can’t choose. So I say, slut it up, Elena! Go for them both. Katherine did, why shouldn’t you?

Oh, and that song that you’ve already googled, from that scene we’ve all replayed seventeen times, can be found below. It’s called “Holding On and Letting Go” by American singer-songwriter Ross Copperman, who I’ve actually heard of and listened to before, and who is now going back to his rightful spot on my playlist.

Follow up questions for you:
–    Team Stefan, Team Damon or Team Why-the-Hell-Choose?
–    What did you think of Meredith showing up as an adult, a doctor nonetheless, looking suspiciously like Crazy Nanny Carrie?
–    If you don’t give a crap about vampire drama, how was your new year’s celebration? Are you happy to be one year closer to the sweet relief of death retirement?