Well hello again. How are you? However, and wherever, you are, I hope it’s beautiful, because it is STUNNING out here on the west coast. If it is currently snowing where you are, I’m very sorry that you are having to deal with that. I hope that you realize that I actually do not have the power to control the weather. Yet. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. In the meantime, you could alwaysÂ move. Plus, then we could hang out. It’s a win-win.
It’s the first weekend of the month, so I’m in Seattle for training. I got all in a tizzy yesterday because I didn’t get something. Turns out, I don’t like to not understand things. This is not shocking. I spent the majority of my MBA finance exam in tears. And in prayer, eyes skyward, praying for divine intervention. For three hours. I failed the exam (hey, there’s a first time for everything), but I passed the course. HOLLA! Anyway, I’m not used to not understanding things. Or maybe just knowing I’m not understanding things. Perhaps I don’t get stuff all the time, but live in blissful ignorance. WHOA, YOU GUYS, THIS IS GETTING SUPER META.
Anyway, I’m back at the ol’ Sunday morning Starbucks. The Team Starbucks, Or Teambucks, if you will, where I’m an honourary monthly member. Beardy Bearderson isn’t here, but there is another guy with a beard, so we’re still meeting our facial hair requirement. Phewf. I don’t bring a lot to the table in that regard (I’m counting blessings today).
The gentleman whose pants don’t leave much in the way of mystery (apart from how he doesn’t feel compelled to wear a belt) is here, talking to another regular; a wiry, greying black man with a few artfully placed dreads. Now, Friends, this is fascinating. The honourable Mr. Dread is explaining the universe to young Master Saggypants. I’m not even making this up, though I think perhaps Mr. Dread might be.
When I sat down, he was explaining how to count to thirteen trillion. I have no idea if he’s right or not (remember my finance exam? Numbers give me anxiety and anger; if you don’t believe me, ask to see the remnants of my grade 12 math textbook), but his audience is enthralled, which is utterly charming. I mean, you guys, when was the last time you heard someone exclaim, “Wow!” in a breathy, riveted fashion? I don’t know about you, but I certainly haven’t inspired such beguiling enchantment with my mere words (I need to start making up better stories).
Our astronomy lecturer is now expounding on the Big Bang Theory and I have no idea if he’s correct in his facts or not, either, seeing as how I spent my year of Astronomy 120 meeting boys, one of whom I married. Worked out pretty well for me, really, but honestly, I have no idea about anything in space. I had no idea there would be so much math involved. Or crushing on cuties.
Speaking about space, thank heavens for Colonel Hadfield. Have you been following this guy? He’s amazing. He’s a space commander, so that’s freaking cool, and for kicks, he’s up there doing science experiments in space, for the children (and me) back on Earth. Know what? I tweeted him. He hasn’t responded yet, but my question was super advanced, so I’m sure he’s just doing some diligent fact-checking and then he’ll hit me back. I tweeted him from work, and let me tell you: After communicating with AN ASTRONAUT IN OUTER SPACE, I really felt like I’d accomplished everything I could hope to do that day. “GUYS, I JUST MESSAGED SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF GRAVITY, SO I’M DONE HERE TODAY, KAY, BYE. OVER AND OUT. DID YOU SEE WHAT I JUST DID THERE? I USED SPACE-TRONAUT TALK. I’M AN ASTRONAUT NOW.”
I used to want to be an astronaut. I was the top science student from grade 8 to 10, inclusiveâ€””What? IT AIN’T BRAGGIN’ IF YOU DONE IT!” By grade 11, science strangely turned into mathâ€””Come ON!“â€”and I was out (my solution was to take IB Physics instead of biology. I know. I was clearly confused.). This brief dream burned brightly, until I really understood what a lack of oxygen meant and I was all like, “Feck this shitâ€”I’m out!” Actually, there’s no WAY I would’ve said that then. I was not a swearer of obscenities. I was this kid. But I was a coward, thanks to Total Recall. I was going to link to a video of the scene where the dude’s eyes bulge out of his head, but it grossed me out, so you’ll have to look for it elsewhere.
Next to me is a big table, which is currently inhabited by a group of six retirees sporting team shirts. They’re blueâ€”the shirts, not the people; they’re not Smurfs, after allâ€”and they say “Alaska Bound, May 5 2013.” On the backs, they have their names. I suppose in case they get lost in a crowd (is Alaska crowded? I feel like it isn’t…). To my left are Deb, Teri and Bob. They seem like real nice folks, you know? I hope they find Alaska and everything they’re looking for and I hope Alaska is everything they’ve dreamed it would be.
Anyway, I love this Starbucks.Â If you’re ever here on the first Sunday of a month, before 8:45 am, come and find me. You’ll know me when you see me: I look like someone who is typing. And then you can learn about the universe and how to count to a bazillion. You won’t regret it.
Ah yes, Starbucks is a great place to contemplate the larger universe.
Col Hadfield is still experiencing gravity: he’s in freefall, but going sideways fast enough that he doesn’t hit the Earth. That’s why he keeps going round and around instead of zipping off into the rest of the cosmos. Which is a good thing, because he’s highly entertaining in addition to reminding us of what you can be if you do everything right in life.
Speaking of entertaining, check out 1:21 and sing along. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLETHLv_0vk
And remember to sing along with him at 9 a.m. PDT on the http://www.musicmonday.ca site (ok, ok, I’ll be at work, but I’ll be singing in my head) when he does a reprise of this song on Music Monday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvAnfi8WpVE