Thursday 11th June 2009

what i learned in that place where i went

we say things like it's a small world without feeling their full meaning.

the world is small only in comparison with such things as the rest of the galaxy, which is itself only small in comparison with such things as the local supercluster. we're to the point in our development as a thinking species where we can observe objects that emitted some bits of light near the beginning of the universe, and the light is only now reaching us. and light is fast, dig? if my calculations are correct it takes light approximately one year to go one light-year; do you know how long it would take you, even taking the entire journey at the fastest speed any human has ever gone? beyond the scope of supercluster one could take two, maybe three meaningful (however gargantuan) steps up, and half a dozen or more on the way down. we live near the bottom, and on the scale to which we are accustomed, the world is pointedly—almost arrogantly—large.

thank you for following so far; it's important you understand where i'm coming from if you're to understand where i'm going. it's a matter of using the appropriate scale. though it's not saying much, the difference between (1) the immensity and permanence of the rock we're all floating on and (2) my own unimportance and brevity is more than the meat between my ears can process. and yet it is precisely this difference that made each bite of greek food, each sight of stacked ancient marble, each step taken on age-worn stone, each smile on the face of the girl i love—all so small when taken individually—so large when viewed through the lens of what i'm used to.

this is what i learned: we're each so small, and each so temporary, but because of this each moment and every inch we have just becomes that much more meaningful. where we are, everything matters except you. you are exactly as self-important as you think you are; it is just your scale that is wrong.

i'm sorry, what was your question? … 'how was greece?'

pretty frakking swell.


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Thursday 28th May 2009

blog bless the greeks

let this serve as an opening bookend to what will inevitably be several posts about the effing greece trip.

it is time for an unordered noun list.

  • greek food!
  • greek food. i mean, seriously
  • ouzo?!
  • inbred kittehs
  • long hikes and almost-sunburns
  • siestas
  • ingenious monks
  • culture, and history and stuff
  • a healthy dose of perspective

ahem. w.r.t. this last. the world is enormous, beautiful, and full of everything. i just can't even begin to explain the immensity of what i feel. it's like this: take the biggest deepest breath you can, force the air in till your lungs hurt from it, and then in your utter engorgement imagine how much air there is left in the sky. the most you can contain is nearly enough to rupture you, and yet is absolutely nothing.

more soon.


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Tuesday 26th May 2009

effing airports

today started yesterday at eighteen o'clock (going by the clock at home) in a bedbug-infested athens hostel, and didn't end till just now.

there will be more later, obviously. for now i'm too tired even to


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Thursday 14th May 2009

and as an afterthought

gone greeceing. be back maybe.


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Monday 13th December 2004

confession(s)

my name is matt, and I'm an anglophile.

I'll tell you what I mean.

the realization has been creeping up on me for a long long really long time. it started, I think, with monty python. I don't remember how old I was at the time, but it couldn't have been more than seven. I was on vacation with family in a hotel room with some uncles and cousins, flipping through the stations. I remember the black knight saying to king arthur that 'none shall pass' and the hilarity that crassly ensued, the knights who say 'ni' and (later) ecky-ecky-patang-patang-yip-boing-rowr,' the knight-murdering rabbit of doom, 'one, two, five!' and so on.

o fateful day.

ever since, I've been hooked on it all: monty python, radiohead, fish and chips and a pint o' guinness, cheers, fog and rain, cricket, parliamentary democracy, '-shire' pronounced 'sher,' douglas adams, mornington crescent, bbc radio ninety-four, future sound of london, words that end in -re instead of -er (and are spelled with s instead of z, and a 'u' thrown in here and there seemingly at random).

throughout my life, most of the girls with whom I've been infatuated have had something to do with england. examples: the one who is very english. the one whose parents are very english. the one who likes pink floyd, who are themselves english. most of the ones I saw whilst in england. the one who likes english muffins. the one who went to oxford and drinks tea and makes scones (and married me).

someday we're going to live there, see if we don't. I want gmt to be my local time. I want to call wankers and mates by their rightful names. I want to go pubbing and listen to dumb hip-hop music and see flashing lights. I want to have a royal family that I don't have to vote for. I want to have high tea at harrod's. I want to drive on the left, through a roundabout.

I want to mind the sodding gap.



that's that. you might recall my little run-in with the headache of total annihilation recently. this one was particularly doomful: it was the first migraine I've ever had that actually gave me hallucinations. waking dreams. the things that make one question one's sanity.

since I'm such a forward-thinking guy, I wrote down the visions I can remember.

1. I'm flying an airplane. my bed is somehow crammed into the cockpit and I pilot the thing with my head on the pillow.

2. I'm watching 'I love lucy' from inside lucy's house.

3. I'm in my grandma's kitchen (at her table) watching her make cookies. she talked to me but I don't remember what about.

4. I meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, who shows me his hummer and calls it his pride and joy.

5. I'm in the white house. I don't see anyone important or do anything significant; I'm just happy to be in the white house.

6. (this one isn't a hallucination; it's a recurring dream that I have when I'm headache'd.) inside my head I have a small number. it's not an integer or anything definite, it's just a quantity, like a stack of generic objects. the amount/stack/quantity suddenly doubles in size, then redoubles, and so on. very soon, the number is tremendously huge, to the point where it exerts pressure on the inside of my head. it is violently, painfully large. I realize this is my pain receptors incorporating their nerve signals into my dream. I just wish they wouldn't.


dreams are dumb; pain-dreams doubly so.

(to all you out there who felt my pain: I'm sorry.)


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