Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fluff with Fork

And just like that, I'm fine again. Maybe not fine, exactly, since I'm running on the fumes of Sunday night's tank of high-octane slumber. (I slept very peacefully because, you know, darling, scruffy, witty Denny didn't make lucky number seven slated to die in the OR, and Lizzie dumped Alex-the-jerk and kissed Denny even though he's her patient. May someone save me from addictive television sagas.)

We have a presentation- the first attempt utilizing our new Dell laptop instead of my adorable Vaio- tomorrow at the high school. I remember being only slightly worried in the days leading up to my first presentation. Then I recall thinking it wasn't a matter of life and death, and nothing but a little embarassment could come of it if I blew the whole thing. It turned out fine, better than fine.

I was volunteered to judge the Young Authors contest at Aspen Elementary next Wednesday. There's that May test to study for and the application to send before April, the looming spectre of spring runoff hitting the plant and the irritation of treating Sulphur Creek Reservoir water. There's that poster to design (sketches to do, meetings to plan, painting and printing and framing) and the dubious June reward of the Renewal Ball. There are short stories to write for a group I've been invited to join and a great idea stewing for something even bigger. And I've been thinking that if I survive this spring, I just might reward myself with the desert balm of Vegas, even if I have to head for the neon glow alone (like a moth to a flame).

The pH of vinegar, by the by, is 4, which makes it an acid. (The further from neutral 7 you get, the more acidic or base, acidic being 0-6 and basic being 8-14.) I know because I used a slip of litmus paper to test it today while I was cleaning the lab, and I also tested baking soda, which turned out to be an 8. Then we ran the rest of the bottle of vinegar through the coffee machine in the break room, and it did wonders to remove almost three years' worth of stains and residue. What a useful tip that turned out to be. But hot vinegar reeks.

Travis and I thoroughly wiped down several miles of aluminum railing today. I was tearing along at my usual breakneck cleaning pace- enjoying the lemon-fresh steam and the glow of polished metal- when he sauntered up and stilled my rag with a latex-gloved hand. "Slow down, or we'll have to wash the windows and vacuum, and then we won't have anything to do tomorrow." So I tried, I really did. But it felt good to clean, almost as good as it feels when somebody invites you to complain all night long and actually seems to enjoy listening to it.

And now, because I'm in a tremendously creepy mood that Eric Idle only enhances, The Galaxy Song from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:

Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown
And things seem sad or tough
And people are useless, obnoxious, or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite enough...

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour.
It's orbiting at ninety miles a second, so it's reckoned,
The sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me, and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
Through an outer spiral arm at forty thousand miles an hour
Of the galaxy we call the Milky Way.

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars,
It's a hundred thousand lightyears side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand lightyears thick,
But out by us it's just three thousand lightyears wide.
We're thirty thousand lightyears from galactic central point,
We go round every two hundred million years.
And our galaxy is only one of millions and billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whiz.
As fast as it can go, that's the speed of light, you know;
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space
Cause there's bugger-all down here on earth!


Blogger Shepcat said...

Speaking of moths to the flame, the only time I visited Vegas was in April a few years back, and apparently that is one of the few times of the year that moths congregate out in the desert (perhaps it's convention time; I don't know). In plaguelike numbers, they are drawn to the pillar of light that shoots skyward from the apex of the Luxor pyramid, and the beam vibrates with life as it reaches into the atmosphere and gradually dissipates. The spectacle is both impressive and a little creepy.

March 22, 2006 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger A said...


March 22, 2006 at 12:36 PM  

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