Thursday, May 29, 2008

Michio Kaku!

Call this Erin McKean deja vu.

I left work promptly today and zipped over to my wife's workplace so I could surprise her by joining her for the commute home. Fate rewarded my hopeless romanticism by having me bump right into Michio Kaku!

Who is Michio Kaku, you might ask? Well, he's only one of the world's foremost theoretical physicists. I am proud to be nerd enough to recognize him on sight, as The Discovery Channel is one of my Turbo buttons on my DirecTV remote control.

Upon spotting him, I manged to voice the first consonant of his name, and couldn't finish the rest because - as if sitcom or movie scripted - a phalanx of humans (fine, I'll dumb it down to "like a whole bunch of people") suddenly passed between me and Mr. Kaku and I simply couldn't red rover through the crowd to go over and say hello to him. By the time the marching column passed, he was long gone, apparently in a hurry to get somewhere.

It immediately hit me where he might be going. It so happens that this week the World Science Festival is conducting many events in New York. He *had* to be heading to one of their functions and he was probably a speaker.

I was right. Once home, I Googled to see if he's speaking anywhere and voila:

Cool stuff. I'm thrilled to have said "M" to him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Strange Day Has Found Me

I witnessed today so many odd events that I'm convinced someone is trying to tell me something. Have a look at my itinerary and let me know what that might be.

On the way to work:

Incident # 1: I was on an NJ Transit bus that pulled over to pick up passengers, but not enough to let cars pass without breaking the double-yellow lines. An impatient driver dodged to the left of the bus and hurtled into oncoming traffic, only to be confronted by four vehicles who were going just slow enough not to bash the smithereens out of him. He backed up, fell behind the bus and allowed the cars to pass, then the bus pulled out with its new passengers and proceeded to the next stop.

The guy learned his lesson, right? Nope. One block later, there he was again, zooming to the left of the bus into oncoming traffic. He managed to dart in front of the bus just in time to avoid cars coming fast enough to smush him to little pieces had he been driving 1 MPH slower or had they been going 1 MPH faster.

I think he was in a rush to get somewhere.

Incident # 2: Just before exiting the bus, two male passengers got into a YouTube-worthy pansy fight, flailing at each other like ninnies. What could possibly have happened between them? They tussled in their seats, then shoved each other some more outside of the bus, then one guy followed the other down the escalator and pushed him until finally the tension subsided and they went their merry way. Both of them fought like the guy at the receiving end of this punishment:

Incident # 3: Human traffic was shifted over to one side of a staircase exiting the train station. From my vantage point on bottom, I could see plenty of rubbernecking. I waited my turn to rubberize my own neck. A woman was seated on a landing porition of the stairs and being attended to by an MTA employee. The lady was holding her side and yelling into her cellphone that she broke her ribs after slipping down the steps. I say yelling because that's what she was trying to do. She couldn't, naturally, since her lungs couldn't expand as usual with her broken ribs. She was crying, mostly. Ouch.

On the way home from work:

Incident # 4: Upon entering the Port Authority to grab a bus home, I found a man in mid-seizure. I had never seen that before. His legs were flailing; his arms were bunched up to his chest; his eyes were pinwheeling; he was foaming at the mouth and a pool of blood haloed his head. I whipped out my phone to call 911, but a person tapped me on the shoulder and said that 911 was already called. I said, "Yeah, but I don't see him getting any help." I dialed the 9 and the 1 as I got closer and noticed that two other people were already calling it in, so I put the phone away and stood there helplessly until they arrived less than a minute later. I was riveted to the scene and only pulled away once I felt his safety was secure. Yeah, as if my standing there was any help to him. I can only imagine the aftermath. He probably woke up (I hope he woke up!) in a hospital bed, wondering how in the heck he got there when the last thing he remembers is leaving work for home (from "During a seizure our memory may also be affected, because a loss of consciousness can interfere with normal brain processes, disrupting the encoding and storage of information. The confusion that can occur following a seizure can also prevent our memory from working properly."). Scary

Incident # 5: My head was still spinning from the previous incident, and I had walked only fifty more feet when I came upon more paramedics and officers escorting a woman on a stretcher in mid-seizure. I'd had enough, I put my head down and ran for the bus. I didn't want to witness anything anymore. Enough for one day. I boarded the bus and stared out the window, which is not a common thing for me to do. Ordinarily, I'd be doing further MCSE studying or doing the Times crossword or reading some fiction or playing Scrabble on my Blackberry, but I simply could not get the image of the seizured victims out of my mind.

If somebody was trying to tell me something, I still don't know what it was. I did go shopping later that night and heard a mother call to her son by his name, Messiah.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

My wife and I are back from a three-day trip to Vegas, and well, like the subject says, that's all I can say about it.

Just kidding, here's the rundown in a nutshell:

Landed via Delta, checked in to The Venetian, eyes popped out when I saw the size of our room, bumped into Criss Angel in the lobby, had dinner at Sababa, caught "O" at the Bellagio (wawaweewa!), zzzzzzzzzzzzz, breakfast at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (bumped into an old friend from camp), walk up the strip, Mini-Golf in Circus Circus (we tied), shopping, walk down the strip, shakes and floats for lunch (my wife bumped into a friend who lives in Boston), a Gondola ride, dinner at Haifa Restaurant (I bumped into a friend's brother and brother-in-law), watched last episode of "Lost" on our laptop, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, breakfast at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, spent the majority of the day in attendance at the IQPC e-Discovery conference, delighted in watching my wife on the panel for a discussion on e-mail archiving, we played $200 worth of BlackJack and made $5, followed by tossing $40 at video poker and losing (-$35 in total, not bad), dinner at Village Steakhouse, zzzzzzzzzzzzz, breakfast at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (bumped yet again into my friend's brother and brother-in-law; final bump-in tally: Me: 3, wifey: 1), departed via U.S. Airways, landed, home, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.