I went and saw Tom Stoppard's Arcadia last night in Mountain View, which is a positively brilliant and hilarious play and I can scarcely recommend it highly enough. You'll enjoy it more if you read James Gleick's Chaos beforehand, though, this being the book that inspired Stoppard and will give you plenty of background to get the mathematics jokes. One surprise of the evening: I checked the program on the off chance I might know any of the actors, and it turned out that my ex-girlfriend Mona's ex-roommate was playing one of the leads. He moved down from Alaska a few years ago to become an actor, and while I found him rather frustrating as a person, he's a good guy, he did a very good job as the character Valentine, and I'm impressed he got a large role in a professional theater.
Aikido camp next week. I feel very tired, and it's not clear to me how to not feel tired. I am capable of fearless confidence, but I don't really have anything requiring fearless confidence because I don't think anything is scaring me enough to be bothered; I suppose I am caught up in being proud of my ability to push myself, and desiring that excitement. But my challenges don't need courage so much as they do focus, presence, and determination. And courage isn't so difficult: just do what needs doing in spite of my fear. Courage is excitement, trepidation, chaos; I find day-to-day practice, the attention to each little thing that elevates a life of routine from drudgery to the explosive, shimmering magic of Just What Is Happening Right At This Moment. Practice is hard, and no adventure or change of job will take its place.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Fuzzy bunny.
And now, the news.
Slate has a wonderful article on why people don't hate Garfield the way we hate Disney.
Madonna joins the ranks of the...well, I don't know what to call it, but it's not a compliment. Not for finding her own funky spirituality, but because "Kabbalah" isn't really something you "convert" to. I don't know what Madonna's subscribing to, but actual Kabbalah is a sort of extension to Judaism, a deep and esoteric study of the Talmud and other texts, in the original Hebrew or Aramaic (much Jewish mysticism focuses on the special meanings of Hebrew letters and numbers). Raise your hand if you think Madonna spends eight hours a day studying Torah. Yeah, that's what I think, too.
Thank God America doesn't do Soviet-style propaganda. Now we just put Reagan on Mount Rushmore and all our coins, let President Dumbshit or his puppeteer Cheney carve his face in the moon with a giant laser, and we'll have a trifecta.
I see a bad moon rising.
Ah, Fox News.
I'm vaguely open to the possibility that my collection of USB LED lights might be slightly overboard. (In case you're wondering, they're free, my company sells them, so they're always lying around the office. It'd be really stupid if I paid for all those.)