A Weak and Idle Theme

The forecast today is “smoke.” I’ve been hoarse and ever so slightly nauseated and dizzy from the smoke prevailing our Winnipeg air from the Saskatchewan fires for the last two weeks. I’m not sure if this has adversely affected my ability to think because the forecast for this blog is that it will be unusually vacuous (unless I am deluding myself that I occasionally have something vaguely substantive on which to expound). My goal of my first blog entry was to test myself by writing a test blog. I seemed to find I could extemporize about pretty much anything. One of my favorite scenes in the iconic film, Before Sunrise, is where a street poet composes a poem which includes a random word administered by the protagonists. I have on occasion asked my friends to do this for me too and quite enjoy the creative endeavor. I actually won a part in a UCLA play by being able to create language around a few cue words.

Okay, so we all know I can BS, and occasionally use (utilize?) big words in the process (thanks to years of English classes designed for us to ace standardized tests in high school). When I become senile, my vocabulary will likely improve, as your youthful memories are supposed to dominate. My vocabulary at age 17 definitely surpasses that of it today; I cannot even understand the novella I wrote at that age; it is so rife with words whose meanings elude me now.

It is shortly after 9AM, and Andrew has left for the office. I awoke about two hours ago. What is a typical morning like for a couple of typical theoretical physicists? I actually don’t think it’s much different from the portrayal in the sit-com, The Big Bang Theory. Usually the first thing I do when I awake (even before coffee) is relay my dreams to Andrew. These are often action packed adventures whose plots I cannot recall except moments after I awake. Last night my dream was pretty pedestrian; I was playing Emma and trying to set up my male friends with models, which seems rather shallow of me, as I would hope my friends would prefer the company of archaeologists or surgeons. Not that there is anything wrong with models (most of the ones I have known were physicists or scientists as well), but I believe the subtext of the dream dealt with superficiality. But then, I don’t know any archaeologists or surgeons, and the model I know in Winnipeg (who is, indeed, a scientist) is married. Freud wrote more than one book about dreams. I’m not sure what that indicates, but I believe they do represent the machinery of our subconscious.

I once awoke from a dream that I was Sheldon, Andrew was Leonard, and my mathematician buddy was Penny from The Big Bang Theory. I told my friend that I believed the subtext was that he tolerated my idiosyncrasies as Penny tolerates Sheldon’s, and it was meant as a compliment, but I’m not sure the logic I saw in the dream translated well.  I am not sure what Freud would say about that dream either.  My friend said he identified a lot more with another character rather than Penny, and his choice does make a lot more sense now that I know him better.  Andrew has often commented, on the other hand, that he feels a lot like Leonard to my Sheldon.

What else happened this morning? Andrew and I had a discussion about how illogical the calendar is. This was not when he was singing Let It Go in Spanish (we recently watched the song performed in Spanish and Italian music videos for amusement. I could decipher more of the Spanish than the Italian, which is odd, since I sing in Italian and never studied Spanish. For some reason my French training helps me more in understanding Spanish than Italian.). Andrew proposed thirteen twenty-eight-day months or twelve thirty-day months with five days leftover. I found the latter proposal disturbing. How could you have a day not embedded in a month? Although, the calendar is a bit illogical anyway. But it is nice getting a weekend every five days.

Then I asked Andrew to tell me a ballet combination with every ballet step he knew. His combination was jeté, pas de bourré, pas de bourré, assemblé, plié. There also was a balancé somewhere in the middle. The point of this exercise was to demonstrate that it is easier for me to remember combinations as words rather than to assimilate them visually. I don’t understand this as I am a visual thinker. Maybe it’s because it is easier to remember a rapid succession of words than a slow demonstration. My brain likes things to move fast (except cars on an LA free way), and when I am presented with information in a slow fashion, my mind wanders too much. Andrew proceeded to question whether I actually am a visual thinker, so I said the word, doughnut. Instantly in my mind I conjured visions of chocolate, sugar, and Boston cream doughnuts. I asked Andrew what went through his mind. He said his thoughts were less visual and more abstract. He heard the word doughnut and had an abstract image. But I actually saw the succession of doughnuts. Now that I am writing this, I am getting hungry for doughnuts. Better change subjects.

Finally, we discussed pet peeves. Mine is the common usage, “alright,” which never used to be considered proper English but has become acceptable. Andrew’s pet peeve is interchanging “loose” and “lose”.

And then there is the issue of generations. The years delineating Gen X and Gen Y (or now the Millennials) keep changing and are inconsistent in different sources. I conclude that generations should be circumscribed by technology usage. How old were you when you had a computer at home or used one at school? How old were you when the Internet boomed? This is obviously a first world pet peeve.

And yes, today the forecast is, indeed, smoke.